i draw. and sometimes i post music too. but i make you dig through the pile first to get to the good stuff. oh, and welcome.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

basement show opening

The upcoming Basement Gallery group show is entitled "A Noise in the Basement" and the following artists, including myself, will be showing mostly new work and a few older ones:
bill carman, erin cunningham, jerms lanningham, ardith tate, john warfel, and ben wilson.
if you're a fan of any of their work, especially bill carman's, i suggest you get there early thursday as hardcore collectors are already snatching up the best pieces in the show.
all artists in this show are more "illustrator" than "fine artist," i would say. i, being completely biased, think illustrative work is rapidly gaining on fine art- if not matched or surpassing- as a viable art or movement thanks to the success and cultlike followings of "low-brow" or "pop-surrealist" artists like mark ryden, joe sorren, and camille rose garcia. and no doubt the rise in silk screened poster art is bringing back a fascination in illustration as well. it's like discovering your first favorite soda as a kid that you couldn't get enough of.
mine was black cherry shasta.

in other news, i picked up a fine collection of classic old horror films like "the cabinet of dr. caligari" and "nosferatu." a few pals and i watched "the last man on earth" last night and i was impressed. my friends mocked the cheesiness of storyline or acting at times and i felt disappointed they could not see the art in an older film like this. the movie, starring vincent price in his youthful glory, was based on the novel I Am Legend. as the remake with will smith came out recently, i thought it would be a treat for my friends to see the movie that long preceded it. and i never realized before how much of an influence it must have had on the entire horror film genre! especially "Night of the Living Dead (1968)" for which George Romero is credited such brilliance and genius, how truly "original" was his idea??
the plague-infested so-called vampires of "the last man on earth" were more like zombies in lifeless action and primitive thought. though they seemed to retain some memory and purpose, more like vampires. neither description seemed to fit these ghouls and for purposes of getting past the they-aren't-vampires-but-not-quite-like-zombies hang-up, we referred to them as "vombies."

watch it. see how romero could have viewed it and completely envisioned his undead masterpiece. then go to the art show.

Monday, December 17, 2007

it's been awhile.

which means it's time for another update.
i've got another show coming up with a group of fine people. bill carman, ben wilson, erin cunningham and some others including myself will be showing at the Basement Gallery in downtown Boise starting next month. the show is comprised of more illustrative work and should be worth the trip. Ben and i will have a couple collaborative pieces of ours for sale as well.
and while i'm pretty excited about the show, group shows always make me a little nervous. i have yet to see anyone else's work for the show, but i do know the artists and their work always kills.
anyway. here's a taste of what i'll be bringing to the table:

my favorite literary character of all time. captain ahab.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Art Adventures: Sylvia Ji

i just watched this youtube video about silvia ji preparing for her show at the beginning of this summer. for anyone who has never spent months on end preparing for a gallery showing, it can be all-consuming and quite intense. her words at the end of it- paintings on wall, night of the opening- she remarks how glad she'll be to just go home and chill and not pick up a paint brush for a month.

silvia is one of my favorite artists. i've been watching her art improve over the last few years and it's inspiring to see. not only this, but discovering that intense work ethic that artists share makes you feel a little less crazy. luckily, i've only had to prep for group art shows and it does take some of the pressure off in knowing that i'm only responsible for a segment of the show or area of the gallery.

i just finished a bunch of work for the basement gallery and took off most of july from art-making. it was a relaxing few weeks, but soon i started to feel the itch to create again. now that i know i'm not alone, i feel like i've got a small army of like-minded people i've never actually met. or. at least an army of two.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

gone bye.

the above portrait was one i drew up in february and only had it in my hands a few days before it was put into a show and sold. i'm certain i priced it too low, as it left me in a matter of minutes, but that's not the issue i suppose.
there's a lot of art out there that can be yours for a pretty low price. it's always a source of contention with artists: how much to charge for art. most of us will under-price it, questioning its worth. and i don't think you ever really get back what you put into it. materials can be compensated for, naturally, but what is time worth? i'm not sure i even have an issue with the time aspect of creating art. but the idea that you've invested a small piece of yourself into whatever you've made, only to have to part with it is always a hard thing for me to do. i stuck my little astronaut into a frame and never saw him again.
i fantasize about his new life on a brightly painted wall in someone's home overlooking a tv or a window to prevent boredom as he fantasizes about space. i didn't spend much time on him, to be honest, maybe two days worth of work to me-- i've spent more time than that on other pieces that were easier to part with-- but the ones who have a piece of my soul i always miss. i'm not sure any artist ever gets over that.
i like knowing he's being appreciated, admired, and hopefully fawned over.
i got into an interesting conversation at work that arose out of some experience my boss had been running into with a gallery she'd been trying to "get in with." the gallery peeps were unorganized and had given a day's notice that she needed to bring art in that night for the big ol' First Thursday gallery hop downtown. we scrambled at work, framing paintings we had in stock, only to find out at drop-off that the gallery commission was 60-40, meaning, the artist only receives forty percent of any and all sales.
i was angry, my boss was even more so. not only had she paid for the framing of the art, but now she was expected to hand over more than half the profit to people who were basically peddling fancy wall real estate.
i've never run into any disagreements with any of the galleries i've had stuff in. my art is usually on the wall for months at a time and i see that commission as paying someone to sell my work for me. i certainly don't have the time to do it myself. so when a gallery expects 40 or even 50 percent of my sales, i can get behind that. but a gallery asking for 60 percent, riles me up.
all the time, effort, inspiration, material an artist pours into their work seems to be completely disregarded just because a gallery has a good location.
i'm not sure how the rest of the art world feels about gallery commission and prices. my boss and i share a sentiment or two about it, of course, but i am curious about where my painting peers stand on this particular issue. i like galleries. i like what they can do for me and i understand that we need to help keep them in business, but asking for more than half seems... unnecessary.
my show is still up at the basement gallery in boise until the end of the month and i'll be going down in the next few days to drop of a few new pieces to fill up some wall space. word is, the new owner of "my brother the black sheep" wants to hang up his piece as soon as he can get his hands on it and the gallery owner prefers not to have empty wall space.

and who can blame him? apparently it's all about a blank wall in a really good location.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

flat tire.

i pulled my old bike out of the garage for the first time in two years, i think. it was a bike that belonged to my uncle back in the seventies. after he'd retired it, it sat in my grandmother's backyard gathering dust, rust and spider eggs. i don't remember exactly how it ended up in our backyard, but five years ago, i dug it out of its resting place and fixed it up the best i could.
i've taken it to the burning man festival in nevada a couple summers since, and pulling it out today i had to wash playa dust from its crevices. the summer of 2005, i camped next to two very nice lesbian ladies who fed me quesadillas one evening and told me my bike looked "gay." maybe it was the seventies skull sticker that adorned the front of it that refuses to wash off after thirty years. maybe it was the
exuding masculinity left over from my uncle. maybe that old dirt bike is just to kick-ass for a girl like me. but for whatever reason, i pouted a little while chowing down on my meal and pretended my bike and i weren't offended just slightly.
i still ride it, now with a tentative shyness. people stare and i'm sure it's because they're jealous.
riding that thing this evening all over creation, discovering places of my hometown i didn't know existed reminded me of my childhood. i had wheels for legs in those days. the bikeseat wearing my adult buttcheeks sore, i tried to grasp at a childhood that didn't seem as far away as it actually has become. another work day wasn't looming before me then, and i still had an entire summer before me.
there are amenities that have come with age since my relationship with those bike rides of the eighties. i carry bottled water to stay hydrated, of course, and my ipod tags along. ironically, i choose to listen mostly to eighties music and marvel at how my life has come to this place.. thinking about the pals who used to ride alongside me and wondering where they went, what became of them, and how easily friendships ended in the days of slow-moving communication. (back when my best friend moved to wyoming, i didn't even know how to send a letter to her.)
after a few miles on foot and some photos taken, i found a gas station with an air pump and filled up my tires for fifty cents and bought another bottle of water. the bike seemed to have been resurrected, and with it, my second wind arrived. we rode on for another hour.
my new polaroid spectra was tested and performed admirably. i also took the nikon my grandfather gave to me back when i was a prisoner on the banks of north carolina. that camera has been the best gift i've ever received, though waiting for film to be processed is always a bit of a nail-biting, time-consuming experience. i loved hearing the mechanics and the whirrs of the polaroid creating instantaneous satisfaction this evening. but is it really just the novelty and simplicity that draws me to this new camera? if i had to choose a sidekick to follow me throughout my days, it'll always be my nikon.
on my way home, and with my very last polaroid photo, i caught a rather hidden shed with the words "something special" marked above its doors. it felt like a small gift left there for me to discover.
so i'm sharing that gift by way of instant photomaking.

Friday, July 13, 2007

the scent of summer.

inevitably the oppressive summer heat has struck- has been streaking- these parts for a many few weeks now and i find the scents of this summer seem to be that of sweat and chlorine from the pool. i can count the area lucky so far, that this is one of few summers where idaho isn't on fire. leave it up to those nevadans to throw a fiery fiesty party that leaves all others somewhat lackluster.
i went on a day trip a few weeks ago with a pal. we drove out to lime, oregon to an abandoned cement plant. i find the relics of industry so mystifying. adolescents armed with paintballs had shot up the place and left them littering the area. i found them irresistible and could not restrain myself from popping them open, minor mishap included. my pal and i weren't there long before we discovered some shady, long tunnel in which we happily explored. no sooner were we inside than we heard footsteps approaching in the gravel. once outside the tunnel and after a small panic about some hillbilly with a shotgun ran through my mind, we heard those same curious footsteps above us in one of the giant silos. it sounded as though someone was timidly searching for us.
we surfaced from below and discovered to our surprise that we were alone. it was so quiet you could hear the occasional breeze knock around old tin doors back and forth. we waited, hoping to encounter our pursuer on pleasant terms, but alas. no one ever showed.
it nagged at me for some time after the event; i tried many different routes of scientific explanation, but none were convincing.
i did some research later and discovered, though no proof can be offered, that others report that old cement plant as haunted. unearthly growls have been heard there- lame- but the one thing that caught my attention were the reports that apparitions have wandered the grounds following people.
i can't say i'm thoroughly convinced of either side, but it certainly piqued my interest.

below is a photo of my "number one" at the place of haunted cement.

all photos in this post were taken with a holga 120s. it was a hand-me-down camera from my friend john back when i lived in savannah, but only recently have i begun to explore the possibilities and shoot with it more often.

Monday, July 9, 2007

basement gallery and bullfighter.

i like ease of use. i like three minute ramen & four minute easy mac, rechargeable batteries and the like. but when ease of use impedes on mother nature and the future of the world and landfills, let's face it: disposable handiwipes and razors aren't necessarily easy. that's another story, and i'm opening this blog in hopes of finding a way to make posting illustrative news and such a bit faster. ease of use.
i find that near an entire year between posts to my current website is a bit ridiculous. i tend to get too busy and focus on the actual creating art part and forget that my website is how i inform a lot of folks about comings-up and goings-on surrounding my art. it's not a professional way of going about this i admit, and i've lost a few cards and email addresses scrawled on pieces of papers. i hate to admit that i have scatterbrained tendencies because i don't. hermit, yes: guilty. preferring written word to actual conversation, again: guilty. scatterbrained? lies!
so. this better be easier. updating images to the website and building such on my own will continue to be something i have to deal with, but the news should always be updated in a more efficient manner than i've been capable of thus far.
end: ramble.
i'm in a show right now at the basement gallery in downtown boise, alongside local artists jeremy lanningham, tarmo watia and scott brown. if you're not familiar with the basement gallery, it's pretty much in the basement of the old idanha building. the show will run through both july and august. (the above image is a piece in the show.)