06/28/2013 05:48 pm ET Updated Jun 29, 2013

Robbie Conal on the ImageBlog

KNUCKLEHEADS, 2008, 24"x18" each, acrylic and glitter on canvas.

I paint at night. After 25 years of painting ugly old white guys in suits and ties, all that the bad karma just built up in the studio. But at around 4am, just about every night, a nutty tingle of resistance to it would creep up on me. I finally found myself saying, "I just can't take it anymore!" I'd pull out a little raw stretched canvas, break out the good old psychedelic ecstatic color palette—and rip into painting a goofy glitter skull! As the skull's character began to emerge, I'd try to pick what might be one equally goofy, but not directly descriptive, word for each. I did—am still doing—a bunch of them, hoping that my "Sunrise Posse" will help me break off some of those accumulated, ossifying, bad vibes, and make room for a little synergy. (Bust a fresh move or two).

Besides, we all know by now that SKULLS are the new "HAPPY FACE".