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my name is tom coyle

i decorate old boards and other substrates that appeal to me. the result isn't for everyone, but what is? to me, these are exactly what paintings should look like, period.

i'm inspired by scratchiness, imprecision, and rot. my pictures look like something left outside and kicked around. they work best for people inspired by wabi-sabi, iconoclasm, and dark humor. 


most images here are cropped. all measurements are in inches and accurate within half an inch. website formatting makes some pictures look bigger or smaller (relative to one another) than they really are. i tweak things continuously, so the images aren't all true -- more or less they are, but not entirely.


i use acrylic paint, oil pastels, pencils, pens, markers, tape, tempera, glue, house paint, binding media, and fixatives.


pardon the glare on some of the photos. 

email if you have questions.


statue of the man who made the statue of the horse
96 x 48 on hardboard 

email if you have any questions.

24 x 36 x 1.5 on canvas

this was a canvas art photograph i bought at a thrift store. once home, i covered that shit in paint forthwith and then buried it in at least six inches of spray-foam insulation. then i outlined the central figure, and cut the shape out of the foam with a paring knife. (in the end, i scraped most of the foam off, leaving a nice bumpiness, but my method was overkill.) for some reason all that took like a year.

email if you have any questions.


22 x 23 x 0.25 on plywood

that's not glare on the pic. it just kind of shimmers.

email if you have questions.


20 x 30 on paper

this old thing's tempera/water on crackly old paper, and was painted in the mid-1980s. (most other stuff here is from the last year or two.) 



50.5 x 49 x 0.5 on corrogated cardboard

inspired by the computer game and the jazz musician moondog.

email if you have questions.


22.75 x 14 x 0.5 on wood

it's on part of a yard-sale haul: an old cradle. not sure if for a baby or a doll -- too small for one and too big for the other, if you know what i mean.

email if you have questions.

24 x 36 x 1 on canvas

an example of constructive vandalism.

email if you have questions.

proposal for a book jacket
7 x 13 x 1 on wood (irregular)

oddly, they went in another direction.

email if you have questions.


44 x 30 on unstretched canvas



25.25 x 30 x 1 (irregular) on wood

murnau, the village south of munich, not the old film director. st. george, the dragon slayer, is its patron. the place has a  myth from ancient times involving a creature said to have inhabited a nearby lake. plus kandinsky.

email if you have questions.


white fez
22 x 25 x 0.50 on plywood

this almost square painting was the top of the crate my washing machine arrived in. thematically, it's mate to another one called red turban (which in fact was painted on the bottom of the same crate). the thing with the tentacles back there is supposed to be pulcinella, a stock character from italian theater (i'm told) -- which doesn't normally have tentacles (i'm also told). anyway, the foreground character is just a shape really, though it also reminds me of this internet cat.

if you have questions.

24 x 18 x 1 on canvas

this painting got slashed in a passion. for real -- and not even by me.

email if you have questions.


23 x 19 x 0.75 on pressboard

again with the minoans or something.

email if you have any of your usual stupid questions.

i'll show you ugly

24 x 24x 0.25 on metal


an homage to subjectivity. and kraftwerk.

email if you have questions.

believe it or not!
17 x 43 x 1.75 on wood

used to be a door on my kitchen cabinets, probably from the 1920s. anyway, when i was young i really liked these little believe it or not paperbacks we had around, and maybe it was comic strip, like in the newspaper, but we didn't always get the newspaper.

email if you have questions.


red turban
22 x 25 x 0.50 on wood

this one stems from a conversation about stock characters in italian comedy (about which i know nothing, so i was all ears). that's supposed to be arlecchino (sp?) in the back, whose basic disposition i'm told i got wrong -- which makes sense because i was guessing. better luck next time, right? anyway, i'm more interested in our man in the foreground.

email if you have questions.

24 x 24 x 1
(but it's an octogon, obv.)
on wood

i want to revisit this one. or maybe i don't.

if you have questions.

this is you

18x 24 x 0.25 on cardboard


email if you have questions about how right i am.


27.5 x 31.5 x 1

email if you have questions.


bora scura
24 x 24 x 0.25 on hardboard

a was in place one time where the wind would start up out of nowhere and freeze shit immediately.

email if you have questions.

the old king

24 x 37 x 0.25 on wood

a guy who spent a year less a day in the manhattan detention complex told me he experienced sensory overload on his way back uptown.

email if you have questions.

land and freedom

24 x 42 x 0.5 on wood

dedan kimathi was killed for trying to talk about land reform.


email if you have questions.


aggressive dog
16 x 13 x 0.75 (irregular) on cardboard, framed


snake lady
20.75 x 33.5 x 0.25 on tile board

about 80% of the snake is a big swirl of adhesive on the back of some ripped-out tile board i bought in a thrift shop. it depicts a late victorian person, and there's a cork in it. 

email if you have questions.

6 x 12 x 1 (irregular) on wood

this little guy is on a small plank that tapers at the bottom.

email if you have questions.

18.25 x 25 x 0.50 on wood

she reminds me of one of those jowl-flapping lizards.


design for a pirate flag
29 x 17 x 0.50 on some old board

everyone should have a pirate flag.

email if you have questions.

15.25 x 16.25 x 0.50

another place with hard winds.

email if you have questions.


plague dr
30 x 34 x 0.5 on plywood and the board is a bit askew

who doesn't enjoy the sight of an old leech?

email if you have questions.


fool's gold leaf
24 x 36 x 2 on canvas

email if you have questions.



ignore them
34 x 21 x 1 on wood

no one else can see them anyway.

email if you have questions.


28 x 24 x 2 on glass

two-sided painting on glass covered in packing tape and smacked with a hammer.


40 x 20 x 0.25

inspired by bronze age art. 

email if you have questions.

10 x 16 x 1 on canvas

based on a famous figure from the indus valley civilization. the androgynous original is often called "dancer," or "dancing girl." some say it depicts a particular goddess with (notional) ties to the (much later) hindu pantheon. my version looks more like a fighter.


stucco (from the vault)
22.5 x 40 x 0.25 on masonite



18 x 54 x 1 on wood

email if you have questions. 


30.5 x 32 x 0.50

shitshow monk from florence.

email if you have questions. 


42 x 16 x 0.25 on wood


black dot
19 x 35 x 0.50 on strand board (irregular)

email if you have questions.

47.5 x 31 x o.25 on wood

red cobra and blue octopus are friends who enjoy visiting.

email if you have questions.

54 x 27 x 0.50 on warped plywood


homage to a foal that was flash-frozen 42,000 years ago and recovered recently from retreating ice in siberia. as of 2019, he yielded the oldest still-liquid blood ever recovered.

email if you have questions.

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