Alexis Hinders, 2017.
Colored pencil and pen.

There are some pretty simple art techniques that are known as being subtractive in nature. That is, to say, to achieve the desired effect you must remove something — color, clay, or what have you. I’ve never really thought of applying it to my abstract art before but it seemed the perfect thing to accomplish what I was shooting for here. The bright lines in the face on the right and the background were done simply by erasing some of the layers of colored pencil I had put on the page.

The Girl Who Missed Her Prom


The Girl Who Missed Her Prom
Alex Hinders, 2016.
Colored pencil and pen.

I actually finished this drawing early in January, 2016. I was really distraught over how some of the blending went, however, and decided that the drawing was basically unsalvageable. So I set it aside. Eight months later I looked at it again and I’m surprised by how I had written this drawing off. I’ve mentioned before on this blog that sometimes I occasionally have some problems with perfectionism — or maybe I haven’t? I’ve been doing this site for so long I’m starting to forget. But this is a perfect illustration of what I mean when I’m over-focusing on details.

First off, let’s play a game. Check out the drawing above and try to find the part that I was dis-satisfied with. Can you do it? I’ll give you a hint: It appears in the following area of the drawing.


Did you find it? I’ll circle it for you.


Looking at it now, it’s not such a big deal. I’m still not terribly pleased with how this portion turned out, blending-wise, but I don’t think it drags the overall drawing down. I’m still really pleased with the texture of the girl’s hair and the overall feel of the drawing. But sometimes, it’s like I can’t tell my eyes to zoom-out and I’m looking at something minor magnified beyond what it should be. Like this:PromGirlMagnified3

There’s an idiom about forests, and trees, and seeing all the wrong stuff. I forget how it goes, though.

A Night of Clarity, Pt. VII

In this part of the story, the man dreams that he moves into a cabin in the woods with the mysterious hitchhiker woman. Unfortunately, things don’t work out, and this proves to be the end of the road for this ill-fated affair. I’ve decided to post the lyrics to the song these pictures are based off of — “Go Fishing” — to better help you understand the narrative at play. The lyrics are, of course, the intellectual property of Roger Waters.

Buckle up, because this is where things get intense.

(Spoken words: “As cars go by I cast my mind’s eye
Over back packs on roof racks
Beyond the horizon
Where dream makers
Working white plastic processors
Invite the unwary
To reach for the pie in the sky
Go fishing my boy!”)


We set out in the spring
With a trunk full of books about everything
About solar devices
And how nice natural childbirth is

We cut down some trees
And we trailed our ideals
Through the forest glade


We dammed up the stream

And the kids cooled their heels
In the fishing pool we’d made


We held hands and we exchanged bands
And we practically lived off the land


You adopted a fox cub
Whose mother was somebody’s coat
You fed him by hand
And then snuggled him down
In the grandfather bed while I wrote


We grew our own maize
And I only occasionally went into town
To stock up on antibiotics
And shells for the shotgun that I kept around


I told the kids stories
While you worked your loom
And the sun went down sooner each day.


(Spoken Dialogue:

Man: “Chapter six, in which Eeyore has a birthday
And gets two presents…”

*The sound of a joint being lit*

Child: “Daddy…come on dad!”

Man: “…Eeyore the old grey donkey stood by the side
Of the stream and he looked at himself in the water
“Pathetic” he said, “That’s what it is”
“Good morning Eeyore” said Pooh
“Oh” said Pooh, He thought for a long time.”)


The leaves all fell down
Our crops all turned brown
It was over
As the first snowflakes fell
I realised all was not well in the camp


The kids caught bronchitis


The space heater ran out of diesel


One weekend a friend from the East
Rot his soul
Stole your heart


I said “Fuck it then!

Take the kids back to town
Maybe I’ll see you around”


And so…leaving all our hopes and dreams
To the wind and the rain
Taking only our stash
Left our litter and trash


And set out on the road again
On the road again



Child: “Bye bye, Daddy! Bye bye!”)

Long Hot Bath


Long Hot Bath
Alex Hinders, 2015.
Colored pencil and pen.

This is a simple drawing illustrating the joys of a long and hot bath. An alternate title could be “Healing.”

This drawing uses two cool colors and their complimentary warm colors. Blue is my favorite color, and the color I usually use to depict myself. I almost chose red for the curtains, but this would have all of the warm colors in the picture and give the image a greater feeling of energy. It probably would’ve looked nice like that — but it just wasn’t what I was going for. In the end I decided to leave the bath tub white, as I felt I would have had to introduce another color for it. Using purple would have completely dominated the image in that color, and using blue would make the tub seem to be related to the figure inside of it. I wanted to make certain the person and the bathtub are two separate objects.

I should also mention that I’ve recently done a number of drawings that don’t have colored backgrounds. There’s actually an artistic term, horror vacui, which means ‘fear of empty space.’ It was originally applied to older art work that filled every inch of its space with detailed patterns and images. While I assume the word was invented with tongue-in-cheek intent, it does accurately describe the dilemma an artist faces when working on art. Is space left un-used evidence that the drawing is unfinished — or worse, is it evidence that the artist is lazy? Well, I’ve decided that at least for now, I’m not afraid of empty spaces.

For now.

of Two Minds

Of Two Minds
Alex Hinders, 2015.
Colored pencil and pen.

I’m working on a larger drawing at the moment that heavily utilizes a red/purple/blue color scheme and this has made me appreciate the relationship between red and purple. They’re on opposite ends of the spectrum — poles apart. For this drawing, though, I chose yellow and green, since they complement the red and the purple. The purple clashes with both the red and the green. I’ve created a sense of tension here by alternating complementary colors and non-complimentary colors.

A Night of Clarity, Pt. VI

If you’re forgotten your place in the narrative, check out the earlier Night of Clarity entries.

During Song 6, the Man is still reeling from the nightmarish image of his wife eating a dog sandwich. He cowers in the corner, aware that somehow his wife can see into his dreams and is aware of his imaginary infidelity. But then the dream takes a sudden turn, and the man is back in the hotel where the Hitchhiker Woman left him. This time, though, instead of leaving him, she says she was “Only joking”, and the two of them start talking about running away to the country together. They get so wrapped up in this idea that they eventually pack up their things and move out to a cabin of their own. They are certain that nothing but domestic bliss awaits them in their new life.


Tangled Branches


Tangled Branches
Alex Hinders, 2015.
Colored pencil and pen.
8.5″ x 11″

The Forest is a theme that seems to run rampant across my body of artwork. (I just took a look at the ‘Browse by Title’ page and I count at least eight forest related drawings, with this one included.) At first, I thought that the forest only related to my romantic life — the first time I really noticed it was after an ex and I literally broke-up in a forest. But lately, I’ve been thinking that the forest encompasses far more than just relationships. I think that the forest, to me, represents the stage on which we all act. All of the decisions that we make, all of the actions that we decide to take — all of this takes place in the forest.

Color-wise, you’ll notice that this uses the dangerous red and green color scheme. Although these two colors are complimentary to one another, the combination has a strong connection to Christmas here in the US. This can lead to a sort of un-conscious connection to the holidays that can become a conscious connection and then undermine the tone and meaning of drawing. I tried to side-step that by making most of the red and green shaded with black, hopefully providing a sense of menace that wouldn’t get mistaken with any sort of Christmas cheer. The use of lines going in opposing directions also heightens this tension.

Graphic Novel


Graphic Novel
Alex Hinders, 2012/2014.
Colored pencil and pen.
Dimensions: 19″ x 25″

When I was in kindergarten – oh! Excuse me; I’m employing the literary technique of launching directly into a story in order to make a point and lead into the topic at hand. I hope I didn’t startle you, as I know that was rather abrupt. Anyway, when I was in kindergarten, we sometimes had ‘group circle’ activities where we would each be given a task and then the teacher would come around one by one to make certain we understood what we were doing and offer individual attention. There were only five or six kids in a circle group at a time and the rest got to play with stuff while awaiting their turn. I probably learned a lot of useful – if basic – skills from these exercises, but there’s one of particular importance. I’m about to segue into it right now, and later on you’ll see the overall importance of the story and compliment me for being so god damned clever.

But first, I was born. I think that if I were to tell you this story without first giving you the context that I was born that you might be confused, and stop me in the middle of the story and ask if this event took place before or after my birth. After all, if I hadn’t of been born yet, what business did I have attending Kindergarten?

Anyways, this particular task involved sequential order, and our ability to look at pictures and place them in a sort of logical order. We were each given a series of cards and asked to put them in the ‘correct’ order.  While I can’t remember one hundred percent the details of the cards, I do remember that they involved a cat watching a trash can become full, and then a garbage truck coming and emptying the trash. Well, I noticed that the cat looked happy when the garbage can was full – perhaps it was a stray? – and that it looked awfully sad when the can was emptied. I felt bad for the cat, and figured that the garbage driver probably did, too.

So I arranged the cards in an order, and the teacher looked at my handiwork and frowned. She asked me to tell her about the sequence of events, and what I told her amounted to something like this: “The cat was watching the trash can get full, until the garbage man took it away. But that made the cat sad, so the garbage man brought the trash back and the cat was happy again.” I was told that this was not how things in the world worked, and she re-arranged the cards in the ‘correct’ order.  Although I understood what she was getting at, a part of me rebelled – my sequence was correct, too – it was just a different story.

Many years later, when I was a senior in college, I took a class on storytelling. It met once a week and mostly consisted of a few lectures followed by weeks of all of the students telling stories to the class. One of the biggest things my professor stressed was the order of events; he said that stories were more interesting if the events were arranged slightly out of chronological order, weaving between the past and the present. This technique could not only make a story more dynamic, but could also completely change the tone of the story – hell; it could change the story of the story.

There was a time, and I’m not sure when I first felt this, that I wanted to make an abstract comic book. I wasn’t certain how to even start going about doing that. I mean, those academic types sometimes refer to graphic novels and comic books as ‘sequential art’ because the sequence of the pictures and the words are so important to the experience. How does one break down sequence in a purposeful manner and still come out of it making sense?

But then one day, in late 2012, I did it, somehow. I drew random lines and saw a series of harsh straight lines that kind of resembled the panels that you would find in a comic book, and in each of the panels there were images. This took a long time to outline because I wanted the images to have some sort of relation to one another – after all, I’d hate to arrange random panels from random comics. I didn’t end up finishing this drawing until spring 2014 – that was two apartments later!

The cool thing about this drawing is that the ‘story’ of this comic is up to your interpretation; you’re in charge of arranging events into a sequence that tell a story that makes sense to you. There is no kindergarten teacher coming around the circle to tell you that your sequence is ‘wrong’, as there is no absolute ‘right’ sequence in this drawing. If it makes sense to you, then congratulations, you’ve got it! Go play with some toys while the other kids finish their circle time.

Personally, when I look at the drawing, I see the story of a young woman whose depression has kept her confined in her apartment. This has caused her pain, and led her to fall into a depression – she dreams of going somewhere else. After fantasying about getting a car and going to the beach she reaches a moment of grim determination and walks downtown to a store with a strawberry on it, and feels contentment at getting out of her rut.

I didn’t own a car at that time, so it makes more sense to me that the car images would be a dream or a fantasy sequence. Depending on who you are, you probably didn’t have that piece of information to use to your contextual advantage, so that might have changed where you put the car images in the story. Maybe you saw it as the girl driving home from the beach after a vacation, and then feeling a bit of depression at returning to her life working at the Strawberry store. Maybe there are some other things in these drawings that I haven’t even picked up on because I’m so bound and limited by my own personal experiences. Who knows?

Did you see what I was doing with this post? On one hand, I think it’s hilarious when you explain a joke, because that sucks all the humor of out of it. I sort of feel the same way about explaining the literary devices and techniques I use in my writing, since usually the effectiveness of those gambits depend on how subtle the writer is. Sort of like how this post was about sequential order, and how I gave you the feeling of jumping around the timeline of my life, yet at the same time I put events roughly in chronological order. Like I said in the first paragraph, I’m so god-damned clever! Or am I? Maybe I put the events of this post in the wrong order. Maybe I should  have introduced the drawing in the present  and then gone back to past events as they became relevant to explaining the drawing.

I’d hate to end the post with a sense of self-doubt, so let’s just assume I wrote this posting in the correct sequential order and my kindergarten teacher gave me a gold star. In related news, this drawing was the other drawing I entered in the Rokoko Gallery’s “Spring, Sprang, Sprung” exhibit and holds the honor of being my first abstract drawing to be sold at a gallery.