Saturday, September 26, 2015
Remember the time I wrote about the toothpaste being replaced by the minty Ben Gay muscle relaxing (and tooth polishing) cream? Well, my mother-in-law sought to one-up me the other day. Eddie and Don Chuy gobbled down their breakfast of beans and eggs with no problem. They were cooked in a nice healthy layer of Palmolive dish soap! I walked by the table and grabbed a piece of scrambled egg, thought it tasted funny and told Carmen so. I breezed through the kitchen on the way to the studio to work on a masterpiece giving the huevos rancheros no second thought. Later Carmen told me she found that her mom, bless her 80-something heart, had confused the dish soap for canola oil. I had an image floating around my head all day of Alfalfa trying to sing and bubbles coming out. Remember that? I checked to see if my father-in-law and son were foaming at the mouth. They were fine.
We have almost concreted the 3 day workshop in November in Hawaii. I will keep you posted here on the blog. Teaching is fun, I like doing it and do not do it enough. That said, it is high time I was a little more forthcoming with all my secrets. If all goes well, I will be making more opportunities available in the future to learn with me. Let me know if you'd be interested in learning how to paint clouds or vineyards etc. and we'll try to keep the ball rolling on this end.
New paintings are available here and here. Write, text or call to find out more about upcoming workshops and classes.
Monday, September 14, 2015
Airport security. It's one of our favorite pastimes. Once, in my youth, I said something about my camera having explosive properties as it rode the little conveyor belt through the ex-ray machine. This was pre-TSA popularity, probably early 80's. The guard stopped the belt and made me repeat my comments. I had a momentary lapse of precise memory just then. He scowled, I shrunk. Lesson learned. Fast forward to last week. My son Edward, spitting image of Saddamic offspring everywhere south of Gibraltar, tosses backpack onto said, similar conveyor belt. Unbeknownst to all the security guards and said "son" the pack contained a lethal dose of 20 gauge shotgun shells. No one said a word. My son is tall and swarthy...should be profiled. I, with similar backpack full of similar ammo, get searched on the Mesican/American border one fine day. Bullets were discover and all H-E-double hockey sticks breaks loose. I am not tall, look like Bilbo Baggins and should not be profiled. These new small 12x12's are available for you to buy and are certified acceptable carry-on size and ex-ray proof...guaranteed to make it through even the tightest security checkpoints.
Friday, September 11, 2015
Top picture is a commissioned painting; Sheep from the Spicy Lamb farm. The second picture is the re-worked result of a recent studio project (previous post). The house has been full of legal and illegal immigrants lately so studio time has suffered. I have, however, made time for a few of my favorite things which include dogs, birds, yard sales, motorcycles, gold and guns...in that order. I foist these upon you once again for your listening pleasure. (these paintings were made to be read out loud)
Saturday, September 5, 2015
These two new paintings are quite large. The first one measures 40x58 inches and the second is a 30x24 inch canvas. As I completed the behemoth skyscape (top picture) the other day (yesterday?) primal pleas for help and a primitive sounding skirmish caught my ear. Actually, it was more like the well-worn noise of chickens tangling with a coyote. I lost two hens a week ago and have not let the girls roam too much lately. I have become hyper-attuned to their voicings. These were genuine fear/hide/we're being attacked squawks. I ran out the door without my gun. Ten feet away was a mangy coyote, stopped dead in his tracks. He looked and acted like a cartoon. I ran at him yelling and reaching out my hands. It took him a second or two to get his feet moving. Teddy Roosevelt wrote about a man that hunted wolves and coyotes with dogs. When they had one at bay he would lunge in and grab the animal by the lower jaw and subdue it. That is what I was planning to do. The coyotes legs started spinning (like a cartoon) and finally his body caught up with him just in time to elude my bare knuckle brawling technique. Lucky for him. These paintings are available for sale here.
Monday, August 31, 2015
That big ol' nasty river had me in its grip again. I was at the confluence of the Rum and the Mississippi rivers earlier this month. The Champlin /Anoka bridge was within view. My rust-encrusted 74 Ford Pinto rumbled across it everyday on the way to Anoka high. Tim and I go way back. He was my first fishing buddy. The river was the eastern border of our neighborhood and off limits to all the grade-schoolers we knew. Apparently ours were the only enlightened parents in those early days or, they just knew there was no stopping us. The river consumed our every waking hour...still haunts my dreams. And Tim still lives nearby. He took me out for a little bass and walleye fishing the other day. The big brown temptress gurgles and bubbles and rolls and continues to call my name. I almost dove in right before the Coon rapids dam, never to be seen this side of glory again. Well, the thought of getting the smartphone wet and not getting to take advantage of the snazzy rental car for the full week stopped my ears to the Siren's song. We did catch a lot of fish though and I got some great pics/ideas for future paintings. Thanks Tim Peterson and to the Mighty Miss.
Friday, July 31, 2015
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.