Saturday, June 20, 2015
Is there such thing as a cute lizard? I submit that yes, there is. This fellow was picked up out in the woodshop the other day. They try to escape but their little legs just paddle the ground and their stout little armored bodies go nowhere. This is the season for horned toads and monsoon clouds. I'm still making seascapes based on pictures from the Sea of Cortez and area around Los Cabos. The new clouds should inspire some great landscapes mixed with cool beach scenes. I often put together disparate photos. It can make for exciting references and unexpected outcomes. Being primarily a studio painter this is a good way to keep the bionic juices flowing. Very similar to the experience of nabbing a horny toad on a desert eve. I highly recommend it!
Friday, June 12, 2015
We didn't eat carp or sheep's head back then. They were considered rough fish, not fit for consumption. They were for the compost pile. We caught a heck of those fish. The Mississippi teamed with 'em. I have since learned to savor their meaty muddiness. Muskrats, 'coon and crawdads did not get consumed either. Oh we caught them alright...we just lived too far north to eat 'em. Snow kept certain expressions of redneckedness from creeping into our cultural vocabulary I guess. The trick with composting dead fish parts is that you've got to bury them good and deep. (dogs!?...need I say more?) Similar things ought to be done with certain pieces of "art" that don't work out. When it's not fit for public consumption just bury it. Every once in a while, against all wisdom and logic, you will be tempted to dig up a piece after its gone bad and make something out of it. Be forewarned, you will have to roll in it and get pretty nasty before anything will come of it. Even then it's a 50/50 gamble. Fortunately these two new pieces came right out of the crystal flow of the river of creative goodness...first cast!
Monday, June 8, 2015
here for your enjoyment.
Thursday, June 4, 2015
A human skull feels weighty in your hand. Like it could weigh a thousand pounds. But you don't drop it...you can't. Only with extreme effort do you free yourself from the Vulcan mind-meld three-fingered cranial grip and let him go back to his place of rest. Maybe it has to do with spent adrenaline. You know that feeling you get after you've broken through the wall of the ancient burial tomb-- that moment you realize that the air is still breathable, no gases or poison in the haze that rises and rolls as it reveals radial spears of laser light. The sun's rays penetrate the stifled brown deadness 30 feet below the banyan's roots. You pull at your sweat-soaked bandana mask and gulp down death, decayed matter and bone dust. I'm not really afraid of snakes but this would have been the perfect place for someone who is, to freak out. Skeletons, some arranged, some scattered, carved amulets of coral and jade decorating the heads and hands. Three thousand years old! I think that predates the Vikings last super Bowl appearance...maybe even their discovering of Minnesota. Anyway, back to the weightiness issue. This is much the same feeling I get when I finish a large and difficult canvas. The adrenaline rush is over, you feel exhausted but before long you have to go back for more. There are two pursuits in life that result in morbid addictions; grave robbing and ...landscape painting. Pray that you will succumb to neither for when once you start there is no going back.This nifty 24x24 seascape was the result of our recent foray into old Mexico, ...Baja Sur to be exact, Cabo San Lucas
Monday, June 1, 2015
Ah, playground knife throwing games, those were the days. I carried a knife to school almost every day from about 5th grade on. Usually it was a small pocket knife. In junior high school I took to carrying a 6 inch menace in the shape of a switchblade. It had white pearly handles and a long slender locking blade. It was almost always dull. It was a good knife for throwing into the ground. There was a small skirmish in 8th grade political science class. Someone's hand was cut (not mine) and the bleeding kid and I were sent to the principal's office for "fighting". I said I was just trying to reach across the aisle, bring the two parties closer etc. The teacher didn't see the blood (or the knife) nor the humor. We made like friends while being interrogated by the vice principal. The charges were dropped and a lesson was learned. My adversary was sent to the school nurse, his palm was bleeding at a pretty good rate...said something about cutting it on a desk.
"When you are on the way to court with your adversary, settle your differences quickly. Otherwise, your accuser may hand you over to the judge, who will hand you over to an officer, and you will be thrown into prison." Mathew 5:25
Saturday, May 30, 2015
The muted mercurial circle of light on the street corner served as a gathering beacon for mosquitoes, June bugs, night hawks and...vandals. Streetlights don't break easily. What I mean is that you can't just put the things out with a casual toss of any old smooth stone. No, you've got to really chuck something large and hard. Probably throw as hard as you can, straight up, many times. That's what it takes. Glancing blows hardly faze those things. You'll need to make a direct hit. First the outer glass cracks, breaks, begins to crumble and then rain. It takes two or three good hits. Half inch thick shards will fall on your head if you're not careful. Finally, after too many misses to count, a rock (or chunk of asphalt) makes it through to the chewy center and..."pop" it goes. The sparkling light shower is really something to behold, quite rewarding for all the effort.You only have a few moments to bathe in it's fugitive fusile glow. Sometimes a painting is like that old streetlight on the corner of 72nd and Riverdale road. They can be tenacious buggers. But once you get to the core, find the key, it all comes together in a luscious blast that the artist savors but for a moment and then ...runs away before someone calls the cops.
Thursday, May 28, 2015
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
Friday, May 22, 2015
Monday, May 4, 2015
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
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
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
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
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
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.