Saturday, June 20, 2015

Horny Toad, Celia 30x24, Las Nubes Se Alegran 24x24

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

Dead Buried Fish, Grapes 12x24, Entre Amor y el Antojo

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

Burn down the hamburger stand. Arsonistic Art

I didn't really intend to "burn down" an icon of our youth.  The old hamburger stand was already condemned/slated for some point. It was boarded-up. I suppose I just helped it along.  Jerry and I had too much Saturday afternoon left at the end of our bike ride and too many matches left in our pockets.  I think this particular arsonistic exploit was my first. It pre-dated the ten speed bikes we rode throughout our teens. I remember riding the red Schwinn Stingray over scraps of boards and watching out for nails so it must have been early in my career. If I had kept (rather burned to the ground) those Coca Cola signs I would have made a fortune selling them on eBay. I suppose had I kept any number of things from back then they could be sold now for a nice profit...or burned in a big beautiful fire! Well, what I do have, besides these fond and sweet memories of childhood innocence, I make available here for your enjoyment.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Human Skulls & Serene Seascapes

A human skull feels weighty in your hand.  Like it could weigh a thousand pounds. But you don't drop 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

Playground Knife Throwing, Sheep & Trees

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