ABOUT the Art of
Phoenix & Arabeth

Arte Visionario y Fantastico
Art of Phoenix & Arabeth



"I like this art. It's real nice."
--Bo Diddley

"These are beautiful pictures!"
--Albert Hofmann


Star-Turbaned Phoenix Dr Now

Phoenix was raised in Pencilvania. As a young tyke he loved pictures and unearthed classic Victorian era artists -- Romanticist, Orientalist and Pre-Raphaelite -- in the black and white illustrations of a 1950s home encyclopedia.

Fantastic scenes, ancient mythology and nude figures all were prominent in those images, which seared deeply into his psyche. He started drawing surreptiously in third grade classes, taught himself perspective rendering in fourth grade, and hasn't stopped drawing since.

Phoenix majored in mechanical engineering and English at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. His library researches revealed long forgotten (at the time) artists such as Beardsley, Mucha, Klimt, Kley and Parrish. Those works moved him to consider an art career.

Dr Now with 2 Clowns
DR NOW with Magical Collaborators

After college Phoenix began to discover the vast global and tribal nature of art, the exploration of which became a lifetime passion. An additional deep interest in the folk art of tattooing eventually led to apprenticeship and mastery of that challenging and complex skill set. He inked tattoos (1991-2006) on many treasured living canvases.

Phoenix continues to create beautiful and intriguing paintings, drawings and other works. Currently he is: writing a memoire, researching vol. 4 of the Tribal Bible (tattoo history series), making laser engraved works in wood and other materials, and developing a curious backyard water-generating device.

Dr Now's Junkyard Gamelan Orchestra

Phoenix [aka Dr Now] is an accomplished ethno-jazz musician (founder of Junkyard Gamelan, the Improvonesian Gongkestra) and also a performance artist, who enjoys tinkering with light-show and video tech, as well as creating classic stage magic illusions. He produces and directs the Santa Cruz Arts & Technology Festival on a random basis.

Dr Now with 2 Clowns
DR NOW & 2 CLOWNS

Phoenix is primarily self taught, however he credits a childhood museum Saturday morning drawing class, and a draconian low-budget drafting class in middle school with helping him to develop basic eye-hand coordination & accurate rendering skill .... but mostly, of course, just doing a hell of a lot it, for decades.

Phoenix's artistic experiments in the early 1970s led to the development of a blend of imagery and a certain rather unique style, which continues to evolve. His studies of human anatomy and painting techniques are manic, and on-going.

The fantastic realism works of Phoenix & Arabeth have been praised by art afficiandos, and his drawings and paintings are in the collections of inspired art lovers across the U.S. and abroad.


About Phoenix & Arabeth by Michael Bell
BIBLIOGRAPHY

BOOKS
by Phoenix & Arabeth


also
Forthcoming:
MEMOIRE

ART & PIVOT

Surviving & Thriving
in the Arts
During Challenging Times

One man's 55 year journey
through California
creative communities


(Work-in-Progress)
[ Excerpt ]

PROLOGUE
"Tarpits of Mystery"
( Expect the Unexpected ! )
[1967]

With the sun rising higher behind me, I drive inexorably on, towards the great waters of the Pacific. Only a few short, one or two hour catnaps, and over 2500 hard miles of highway separate me from the desolate mid-west of Indiana I had precipitously deserted, with just 4 hours to pack and prepare. Impulsive much ? I had decided and embarked, at least partly, upon the word of a college friend who recently said to me "Go to California, you will like it." (He was quite right.)

The geography I'm seeing is very different than the mid-west. I had never been alone in such desert lands before. This was by far the longest trip I'd ever made on my own. Though I didn't think about it, somehow that fact fed my endurance. I would succeed.

I am passing 29 Palms, Riverside and other towns and cities I'd never heard of. I have the addresses of just three people who might be helpful. And a to-find list of three others I wanted to meet, whose wicked art works I had seen in their (UCLA) college humor magazine, but no contact information for them. Not much to go on.

By mid-morning I am beginning to feel more awake, a bit more energized. The car radio is picking up a Los Angeles AM station loud and clear now. What is this crazy, wonderful music they are playing ? And, wow, it keeps going on and on, morphing down more intricate lyrical, harmonic and rhythmic alleyways.

No DJ comes on to enlighten me. No commercials interrupt this odd reverie of unknown mystical music. I am already nearly in trance from the very long, edgy, doggedly impulsive drive anyway.

And now this ... am I dreaming ?? Strange, intriguing, beautiful, quirky and very magical music [a lot of that going around in those days] for the last 50 miles. It is energizing me, lifting my spirits as I am hurtling 65 mph down the wide concrete ribbon, naively plunging into total unknown, a foreign land: southern California.

Finally the disc jock comes on and, as he is turning the record over, tells me, and everyone else listening, "that was side one of the brand new Beatles album, finally released today, Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band". Ohhhhh ... OK. I definitely like it.

And the beat goes on.

Dr Now - Reality Rangers Fire Dept
Gong-Bonger in Chief
(Bonging Along)

Would I be driving headlong and happy into the
gaping maw of these steaming Tar Pits of Mystery,
a stranger in a strange land,
if I had any idea :

- that my expensive college education had given me exactly zero survival skills for the real world
- that I would design a new alphabet to pay my rent every month for two years
- just how many bumpy detours and poorly maintained side roads of Life I'd be sent down during my long west coast sojourn
- that I would nearly abandon my music for a design and advertising career path ... eventually painting signs and even tattooing while developing my personal artistic vision
- that I'd also become a stage magician, clown, juggler & fire-eater on a bed-of-nails along the way
- that I'd often live in & work from various shacks & barns, a three-story water tower, a school bus, a travel trailer, a gypsy wagon, store fronts & warehouses
- that I would ever even touch a computer, let alone become proficient at digital art, code writing and e-book publishing
- that I'd invent a water-from-the-air device for home & garden, and advocate to house some of the nation's homeless population in surplus cruise ships
- what a long wild ride it would be

(and, dude/dudette ...
o taint over yet)

? ? ? ? ? ? ?

=================

Note to my much younger (and very naive) self:
Sometimes the future is best left unknown.
Besides, the Goddess loves a Mystery.


=================

2023 Phoenix Dr Now
( except from:
ART & PIVOT

Surviving & Thriving
in the Arts
During Challenging Times

One man's 55 year journey
through California
creative communities


FREE DOWNLOAD:
ART OF THE PIVOT
illustrated version Prologue
with complete Table of Contents,
front and back covers
and some surprises too.

Time to PIVOT ???
Time to PIVOT ??


Phoenix & Arabeth gypsy wagon tiny home REAR VIEW
Phoenix & Arabeth's first
vardo gypsy wagon
tiny home (under construction).


Dr Now's Tantric Time Machine

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Dr Now Case

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The Art of Phoenix & Arabeth