Thursday, May 28, 2015

Look Up For Your Redemption Draweth Nigh

Dan stopped by last week. He came up from Sonora. He has lived in ol' Mesico since 1980. Not long after that I started flirting with the southern border myself. A few months here and a few months there, mainly in tropical regions; the backdrop for my first forays into the land of "hot chili peppers and a blistering sun". I finally settled in the southern foothills of Sonora state. I lived with a family of goats on a mountainside in a 300 year old mining town.  We shared a house, built with stones, old mortar and petroglyphs with the Gaxiola family. I taught grade school (yes, rural Mexico in the 1980's, rudimentary Spanish and all) and made plans to capture myself a sweet señorita. Anyway, Dan had something to do with that (the capturing part) and we've been friends ever since. I will add a picture below of my young family from back when.  This is not a canned shot.  We had just got back from picking corn on the steep mountainside with our next door neighbors. Life was simple for us then. Hard but simple. The skies always looked like they do in these paintings too. I think I will go back there soon. Yes, I will get a burro, plant some corn on a steep hillside and grow old with my señorita.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Steelheart 12x24, Megan's Tree 18x24

The bike trail has become my new jogging path. Since the titanium implant of 2010 the nagging and niggling numbness in the left leg has hindered the normal fleetness of foot I'm accustomed to. So, not being one to hang up the cleats too quickly, I have turned to riding a bike for health and... for speed. Actually, speed is the last thing I need at this point. (The cleats are also useless) A pleasant tooling around for an hour or so down the two lane paved bike trail is all that's required these days.  However, I often need to navigate a few miles of road traffic to get to safe bike paths. Tucson prides itself on being a bike friendly town with many designated bike lanes and paths etc. But, truth be told, this place is nothing like real biker cities I've been to. All in all, it ain't bad either and depending on the season you can encounter rattlesnakes, tarantulas, heat stroke, sand storms and any number of other wonderful natural phenomenon that enhance your riding experience. I notice there are distinct categories of cyclist out there.  The  middle aged men dressed like The Riddler (those aerodynamic suits  must shave a whole 10 seconds off their Saturday morning ride), with their $5k road bikes are, true to form, the least friendly of all. You can tell who's gonna give you a nod, a "hi", a thumbs up or whatever as the categorical silhouette approaches.  I've gotten to be pretty good at guessing who is going to wish me a good morning and who is not.  Almost without fail the "Riddler",  somewhere between the ages of 38 and 52, is so absorbed in his imaginary time trial and  in displaying his stretchy, euro-colored, suedo-sponsored suit that he cannot afford the nano-second it takes to acknowledge another human being on this planet. I've noticed too that they exhibit the same cockiness to car traffic. Someday, I can only hope to be so important. Meanwhile, I will enjoy all the other friendly categories of walkers, riders, joggers and strollers that are out there and be glad to count myself amongst them. 

Friday, May 22, 2015

 I finally availed myself of the multi -proffered  invites to fish the sea of Cortez where it meets the Pacific ocean.  We have relatives that live in Baja. They are fisherman of various sorts and backgrounds. For the most part their pursuit of salt water fishies has been for sustenance. I had never been in Los Cabos though we lived right across the shining sea in mainland Mexico for many años. Mother's day was the needed propellant and little Carmelita and I were off to spend the weekend with Mama Carmen and a multitude of nephews and nieces.  Pictured here is Juanito. He knows me as tio Paco.  Juan has wanted to take me out Marlin fishing for years. I thought it was all bluster. I said I just wanted to do some in-shore bottom fishing, catch a few to take home and make tacos. I was explicit. I did NOT want to spend a pile of silver pesos to go out sport fishing. Well, happy to report the later was accomplished without the need for the former. The fishing was off the hook (picture above) and tacos and hot chili sauce and good reunions with old camaradas  prevailed.  I might have to open an art gallery there someday.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Synesthesia Downstream 12x36, NP Winterlude 24x24, American River Revisited 24x30

Here are three new paintings for your listening enjoyment...and you thought I've been saying that in jest all these years.  Did you read the recent articles that have made headlines about synesthetes?  Well, if you are one, then welcome and...enjoy doubly!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Frames & Spring Time

April showers and May's flowers have been happening here in the desert since about February. Spring ushers in changes, as always, and so as not to be found contrary to nature, I have been firing up the old wood shop and making some new styled frames and also some furniture pieces.  The rocking chairs require welding and wrought iron work as well as some fancy joinery and wood carving.  They turn out pretty nice but will be a challenge to photograph. I hope to have some pics of those soon.  I finally figured out a shipping solution  too so they will be made available hopefully soon.  Stay tuned.  In the meantime you can check out what is  available in on our etsy, eBay and soon to be opened 11 Main pages.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Homeward Boys 12x18, Rest On The Shore 6x24, Move smartly 'Cross The Sky 18x12

The big duck left the roost about a week ago.  The attempt at a cross-bred / hybrid between the chickens and the duck did not meet with success, however hard the duck tried to believe he was a rooster. In reality, no one here thought it would work but we let the old Rouen think he was the cock of the walk until it appeared he might hurt the white leghorns and little bantam hen. Plus, he could do little to rally the cluckers when needed if an old sly fox tried to raid the free-rangers in the late afternoon.  The subtle buzzing sound of the drake's "quack" is nothing like the call to flee that a savvy rooster can produce to get his hens to hide from marauders. The paintings above were made while listening to the sounds of egg making right outside the studio door.  Organic, free-range,  pesticide and gluten-free art at its finest can be found here.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Entering  the studio after an absence is like opening a new bag of Lays potato chips. There must be an aphorism somewhere out there that aptly describes this...or maybe a euphorism.  Anyway, as the first nano-second of breath comes in contact with the appropriate receptors there is a euphoric rush of gladness and glorious possibilities; the future looks bright. Isn't that how you feel when you open a bag of chips? Well, if it is you understand my feelings when I  walk in to the shop and the first wave of oil fumes slaps me square.  That's what happened prior to making these two little beauties. They are available for consumption here.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

James Rockford, Captain Kirk, Bob Dylan & Frank Sinatra

I just like the cut of his jib, as they say.  James Rockford. Is there anyone else like Jim out there? Besides captain Kirk and Teddy Roosevelt I really can't think of anyone. Relatives don't count either so I won't mention my uncle Bob Dylan who, although his jib flies true and grabs the wind like none others', shouldn't be added to the list just so's I won't be accused of nepotimistic leanerings. Rockford is the truest antihero out there and if kids can't be forced to attend a citizenship ceremony in order to graduate high school or read the proverbs out of the Bible everyday or memorize Mr. Roosevelt's "The Strenuous Life" then they should at least have to watch a few episodes of the Rockford Files. This would prove a great help to slow the growing tsunami of fatherless males that will eventually and inevitably swell the ranks of stand-in-line-with-their-hand out type folks that...create video games and... vote.  These are just some of the thoughts that swim through the irrigation ditches of my mind while I paint this week...trying to figure out how to save America without using uncle Bob's new album of Frank Sinatra tunes.

Monday, January 26, 2015

A roaring rumbling ruckus disturbed my otherwise tranquil state of mental soul sleep. I was staring at the screen benumbed by game number 3,485 of solitaire at 4:45 pm.  Most of the time it's a false alarm. The chickens squawk, a dog barks and a piece of plywood, precariously perched, topples to the floor of the shop with a flutter, a clatter and a bang. Always ready (for that is the natural state of trained operatives like myself) I was on my feet in a flash-bang.  Ten steps in half a blink had me out the door and face to jowl with Mr. coyote who was, as always, looking for a free meal. The chickens (and one duck) had scampered and scattered and, to their credit being now *rooster-less, made it to the front of the hen house. I had left the birds under the watchful eye of guard dogs Billie and Trigger.  My holler, super-enhanced muscle memory speed and ejector-seat propulsion into their world (the world of chasing things) had them on their feet and joining in the chase. The brown fur-clad assailant fled, mouth empty, into the desert pursued by his domesticated and too slow canine counterparts. I counted my chickens, closed the coop and returned to the important work that awaited me at the desk. Thusly, a portion of this past weekend was squandered. O yeah, I did paint a bit too.  Check out new work here.

*Last rooster killed by coyote Oct. 2014 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Monday morning blues start off with these three new ones that just rolled off the brush this past week. Are you a football fan? Well, neither am I...anymore.  I told my little wifey that if she wanted to make some serious money last weekend she should bet against the teams I'm rooting for.  I guess I should have taken my own advice.  I am pretty much batting 1000 in recent years in my pitiful prognostications when it comes to the NFL playoffs.  Since 1998 I have sworn off allegiance to my childhood home team only to be sucked in to the vortex almost every season when the playoffs come around.  Thankfully I have my little easel, my old guitar and a few happy ducks and chickens to bring me back to the glad reality of the life of an artistical expeditionary. A couple of these are still available for sale or on auction here.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy Anyo Nuevo!

Three new paintings to cloud the horizon of your new year outlook.  January first woke up to three inches of snow here in Catalina. Carmen took a picture of the trash trailer outside the bedroom window.  It was the only picture taken of the beautiful snowy desert we had for a total of 16 hours.  All the friends south of the border in the snowless land thought is was magnificent. I thought it looked like, well, garbage covered with snow. Tonight we might dip below 20 degrees.  For the desert that's pretty cool. To keep the chill off, these three are available for purchase here.  Happy new year!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Three Blind Mice

These three paintings inspired and reminiscent of this past summer's journey through California and Oregon.
The painting of the Jay bird below (Phainopepla) is posted as an homage to the ridiculous movie I let myself be drug to this past week.  I'm thinking of making a spoof that will rival the Robertson's "Dynasty" show. We'll call it "Mockingduck Part I"  Marissa painted it last summer.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Elkhorn 24x8, Adequate 12x8, Backyard 12x8

Three little friends to brighten up your day.  The top painting titled Elkhorn is from a beautiful area along the Umpqua river near Elkton, Oregon. The other two were derived from inspirationious photos taken this summer in California and Arizona.  (One of these was from my fone camera!...( I say that in a whisper so the new hot-fallutin' Canon  doesn't get wind of it)  'Been working on a few commissions lately so there might be a small quantum-lapse in blogposts this month and next. Rest assured that there has been some rattlesnake wrangling and duck calling going on around here...just finding it difficult to kick-start the old iMac to put it all in writing.  These are available for sale on the bay.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Playfull Clouds...

It had been a long time. How long you ask? Well, I'll tell you. On a scale of one to ten it had been a very long time.  The truck, rumbling towards us, entering the intersection with no headlights became visible just in the nick of time.  I was making a left turn. When the last oncoming vehicle with headlamps burning cleared the way I floored it and started to crank the wheel. Here's where the futile, obsolete reflex kicked in as I jammed on the brakes. My ring-finger glinted in the flash-second it took the unconscious limb to reach for and grab for the ubiquitous headlight switch.You know, that common knob on the dash to the left of the steering wheel that you pull and push to activate your running lights and headlights? You know, the way you do to flash your lights on and off at another driver to let them know they're riding around in the dark without their lights on? Yeah, well it's probably been over thirty years since I last drove a car with a push-pull headlight switch. I might as well have kicked a hole through the floorboards trying to find the button to dim the high-beams for all the good it did me.(I have done that too) Now how does that even happen?  Why is that an automatic reflex after all this time?  And after how many hundreds of thousands of miles and how many thousands of on-off switchings in newer autos is this even possible? The day I answer that question is the day I paint my masterpiece. Till then, I will keep working at it.  These attempts are available for sale here.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Clouds on my horizon...

I'm happy to be sharing these pics with you as the monsoon season is spectacularly showing her good side around these parts...making for good inspiration and entertaining sky-gazing. Summer is coming to a close even here in the desert. The tails and trails of moisture-laden clouds spinning off both pacific hurricanes and northwest Alaska-spawned storms have been making their way into the old southwest and thus, onto my canvases. (via my new hot rod camera!) I'm gearing up for another video How-To series that will feature the ABC's of cloud making and maybe a mountain scene or two. Also, stay tuned for more info. on the painting I will be giving away around the holiday season.  Everyone who makes nice comments and shares my blog posts and video links will be made eligible.  (Let me know what subject matter would be good for the painting give-away)
PS. The coyote was captured by said "hot shot" camera about 100 yards from the house right as we were looking for Trigger the happy puppy with 4 inch legs.  They didn't catch her!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Chicago Skyline and Little Birds

End of August's joyful jaunt to Minnesota found Carmen and I  recharging our chlorophyll powered batteries and filling our yearly quota of lakes, rivers, creeks, ponds, streams and puddles viewed. I think the desert was jealous. The tales of  "water, water everywhere" (and cold tap water) were a metaphorical  babbling brook of non-stop spring-flow that bubbled and poured with gushing praise every time I parted my erstwhile sun-dried and cracked lips in a mouth-watering description of the land of 10,000 reasons to thank God... for agua. It seems that my effusive bragging on the wonderful water-founts of the north country  was just too much for the dessicated dust dwellers to stomach. They ordered a full load of H2o just to shut me up.   Almost four inches of rain gully-washed down on us here in Catalina this past Tuesday. (That is a million-year record) The usually dry creek bed that borders our little burnt piece of real estate flowed with a wild rage that effectively cut us off from civilization for ...a few hours anyway, and gave us the riverfront property I've always wished for.  It was / has been beautiful and the vengeful actions of those who ordered the rain just to spite me turned into a lush and verdant blessing of thirst quenching solace for the raisin people of the southwest. I tend to see the glass as half full as you can tell.  The birds pictured here (if you got the e-mail notification you might have to open the blogspot link to view images) were painted by Marissa. They are small ACEO paintings but they are clever and colorful and should be collectable. The Chi-town skyline was an new inspiration...gonna be messing with some cityscapes in the future so be prepared...and feel free to make requests or send photos of your favorite town. I don't have a lot of pics of cities.