30 December 2006

Call To Arms...

I am declaring War.
If I had a glove I would slap someone across the face and call them a scoundrel.

I refuse to put up with substandard, rude, uncaring, inadequate, inept, and down right piss poor customer service!

Enough I say. What the hell has happened to the service industry? What happened to courtesy? What happened to a job well done?Why do we continue to put up with bad service? Doesn't anyone care about the customer anymore?

It seems that practically every where I go, I get poor service. And by poor I mean: Not being greeted in a friendly manner, or just not at all. Employees who don't know their jobs and or don't care to learn their jobs. Employees that give a half-assed or no effort at their jobs. Employees who are unfamiliar with soap, shampoo and other personal grooming practices. Employees with IQ's lower than my dog. Employees that do not comprehend basic English.
Employees who would rather talk about how cool Paris and Brittney are. Employees who would rather talk amongst themselves than help a customer....
I could go on for days with this.

When did being a slacker become acceptable? When did people start thinking that world owed them something? What happened to this countries work ethic? Has the job force really gotten to the point that there are no good prospects left? Or have I just not been paying attention?

If you are thinking to yourself, "Mad William, you're just getting old."
Give your self a good hard bitch slap from me.
This is not a generational thing. This attitude of "who gives a shit" is nation wide, affecting young and old. There is no blaming Canada or the French for this. This is our own doing. Welcome to a country built on "Politically Correct".

One of these days we are going to wake up and the rest of the world is going to have passed us by. The whole "World Super-Power " thing is going down the toilet. Have you never heard of "Out-sourcing"? As much as we want to believe it, we are not privileged by birth or geography. But I digress!

Join me in my effort to take back what we all deserve.
Decent customer service and respect.

Be warned. From now on. I'm calling you on it.

26 December 2006

Resolutions...

For the last month I have been listening to people talk about what their New Years Resolutions will be. I have never been one who made resolutions. It always seemed silly to me. I have never understood the whole New Years Eve thing either, but that is a different post.

People make resolutions to be better people and do things they think they should in order to be better people. I never understood why they didn't aspire to do those same things all the time. They make a resolution. A week later they have broken it and it's as if they had to wait until the next New Year to try it again. I don't get it.

This year I am going to try a few new things. I am not Resolving to do them, it is just a coincidence that these new things will begin on or around the New Year. Semantics.

There are the things I have been working on for the last couple of years, that will continue.
Spending more quality time with my wife and son.
Spending more time in my studio painting and shooting photographs.
Working on my French tongue. Maybe I will try Spanish as well.
Sharing my madness with all of you.
Finding a cure for dullness...

The list is too large to go on and on.

The big thing I want to try.

Wait for it.......drum roll.....

Life without television.

No, seriously. Think about it. What would I really be giving up?

?????

Wait, I'm thinking about it.....still thinking......still thinking......
Alright, I give. What?

Every month I spend $80 so we can sit and stare at this box in the corner and complain that there is nothing worth watching. Sure, I love the Cartoon Network. Sometimes the Travel Channel. I have grown a fondness for Studio 60, but that's about it. Most of the time I spend in front of the tube is endlessly flipping channels or watching reruns of things I have seen thousands of times. Honestly I don't even need the TV for those. I can play them in my mind. And I can watch them in my mind without commercials.

On average Americans watch one to two months worth of TV per year. If I'm average, I have lost about 5 years of my life so far to TV.

How sad is that?

More important is that I don't want Mr. Man to grow up thinking it's alright to waste his days and nights in front of the TV. Already I watch in horror when his eyes glaze over and his expression goes blank. You can see his little mind turning to jello before your very eyes. I want to try and shield him from the world of materialism, greed, corruption and violence that fills the airways, for as long as I possibly can.

I know that turning off the TV wont solve the worlds problems, but it's a good place start.




25 December 2006

19 December 2006

Happy Stinkin' Holidays...


Christmas has always been a time of mixed emotion for me. From the time I was 11, I have not enjoyed Christmas. I could never figure out how the world seemed to have forgotten what Christmas was really about. The commercialism of it all made me sick. Still does.
Until we had Mr. Man I had always tried to avoid the holiday as best I could.

Now that we have a child something struck me. I'm Santa!

I started to think about the holiday differently. I could now teach my son what I believed Christmas to be about. Now I get to see Christmas through his eyes.
The sights, sounds and wonders of the time that have long been gone from my memory.

It should be a wondrous time for humanity, not just Christians. A time of peace, love, charity and all that goes with it.

Maybe I have been reading too many mommy bloggers or I am just getting misty. Who knows, who cares.

The holiday is more than gifts, shopping, greed and inhumanity in the name of more more more, me me me!

Treat people with love and kindness and you will get love and kindness in return. It's so crazy and simple, it just might work.

16 December 2006

There's No Place Like Home...



Where do I begin?
The last few days have been wild.

Thursday we(Precious, Mr.Man, Ivy Dog and I) went to Portland to deliver some art.
On the the way home the rain was coming down harder than I have ever seen. With about 20 miles left to the coast we were stopped. The highway was closed because of downed trees. It was about 3pm. After an hour sitting on the road without moving I drove up the wrong side of the highway past the line of other cars to Camp 18. It was only about 1/4 of a mile. Only about 20 others had thought of doing the same thing.

Camp 18
is a restaurant, 18 miles from the coast. It was built 20 years ago to resemble a logging camp. It's very cool. Large, well built, big fire place, bar, food, all the necessities. Once there we learned that power was out all over Oregon and Washington. The Camp has its own generator.
We kept hearing conflicting reports about how long we would be stuck. While we were there trees had fallen behind us as well so we could not go back to Portland either.

Long story short. We were stuck for about 20 hours. We spent the night at Camp 18 with about 30 others who came inside. The rest spent the night in their cars. Crazy.

Mr. Man and I spent most of the night under a table in the loft with an other family with two girls.


The woman was on her way to Cannon Beach for her wedding. I'm not sure she made it.


Mr. Man played most of the evening with the two girls which was a huge help. He could not figure out why we could not go home. He kept asking to leave. Precious did not want to leave Ivy Dog in the car all night so she spent most of the night in the car. Around 4am we traded.

At about 10am Friday morning a guy came in saying he had just cut a path in the highway between Jewel and Astoria. Anyone who wanted to follow him could most likely get to the coast that way. Most of us jumped at the chance. Highway 26 was going to be blocked for sometime. Up to 100 trees were reported down.

Camp 18 is the greatest for letting all of us stay and feeding us. They were life savers. We met some very nice people while there. It could have been much worse.

Along the drive we saw this heard of elk. About 200 head. This only part of it. I had to stop. The rest of the cars drove off. The storm was coming back and the winds were getting stronger.



Just up the road from the elk I slowed as this tree was coming down. I'm, glad I had stopped for the elk. The power pole on the left was bouncing up and down about to break. I drove under it anyway. I wanted to get home.


We finally made it home around 1pm Friday. To no power. About 1 million people across Oregon and Washington were without power. The radio was saying it would be Sunday or Monday at the earliest to get it back on.

Thank God, it came back on at 5:45pm Saturday. On the up side we are well stocked with fire wood, canned goods, water and other survival stuff. It was quite the adventure.

This tree was just down the road from our house. I can't believe it missed this coffee hut. How lucky was that?


Anyway, everything looks to be back to normal. At least for awhile. We're home. Safe. Our power is back. Our phones are working again. I have access to the outside world again. It's time for a Martini!

13 December 2006

Ethics...

For as long as I have been in the art business I have wondered how "we" get away with the things we do.

There is so much that comes to mind I have no idea where to begin.

Andy Warhol
Cy Twombly
Thomas Kinkade
An instalation of "Farts" in the London Museum


Those were just the first things that shot through my mind. I could write volumes about why I think they are hucksters or why people are so sheep like, but I have other bones to pick at the moment.

As a few of you know I have been taking courses from an international organization, so I may be an accredited fine art appraiser.

For years I have been working with appraisers and answering questions for them so they can get paid to do appraisals. I figured that I should be the one getting paid if I was doing the work.

Almost every appraiser I had ever met was a member of one of the three top appraisal organizations. All of them offer classes. All of them preach about being a member and the benefits it will bring.

Needles to say I picked one and signed up for their classes.

From the beginning they like to go on and on about Ethics. How important they are to the business of appraising. How anyone not a member of one of the organizations could not be Ethical.

ethics |ˈeθiks| plural noun 1 [usu. treated as pl. ] moral principles that govern a person's or group's behavior : Judeo-Christian ethics. • the moral correctness of specified conduct : the ethics of euthanasia. 2 [usu. treated as sing. ] the branch of knowledge that deals with moral principles. Schools of ethics in Western philosophy can be divided, very roughly, into three sorts. The first, drawing on the work of Aristotle, holds that the virtues (such as justice, charity, and generosity) are dispositions to act in ways that benefit both the person possessing them and that person's society. The second, defended particularly by Kant, makes the concept of duty central to morality: humans are bound, from a knowledge of their duty as rational beings, to obey the categorical imperative to respect other rational beings. Thirdly, utilitarianism asserts that the guiding principle of conduct should be the greatest happiness or benefit of the greatest number.

The more I learn about the business of appraising, the more problems I'm having.

Let me explain.
First. Not one of any of the organizations will tell me about their disciplinary practices. I wanted to know how often they discipline members for Ethical violations. Not one of them will answer that question.

Second. I have come to find out that there is no governing body that watches over appraisers. Meaning, anyone and everyone can be an appraiser of anything. No matter what your education, or background or what ever. Legally, anyone can be an appraiser of anything. No questions asked. Membership to any of the appraisal societies is not required or necessary.

Third. Any object can be appraised for what ever amount you want it appraised for.
An antique can have an appraised value of $200.00 or $10,000.00 for the exact same object, and both would be legal. If you get an appraisal for the IRS, you want it have a low value so you don't have to pay taxes on it. An appraisal for insurance replacement value you want to be high in case you lose or damage the object. It can get much more complicated than that.

We are talking about the same object. Maybe it's just me, but that does not sound very ethical. Screw who ever you are doing the appraisal for as long as you come out ahead. That's how I see that. There are ten chapters that explain how and why these things are done but it all sounds the same to me.

What it comes down to is. An appraiser has to be able to justify the findings in court, should the appraisal be questioned. That is what the classes teach. How to justify your appraisal value, depending on who you are talking with.

Am I missing the point of ethics?

10 December 2006

More "Wine"ing...


This is the Wine painting I had mentioned in the last post. "Abstract Wine No. 2".
It's 8 x 24 inches, oil on canvas. I spent about two hours, over three days on this one. It could have used a little more time with the back ground.

*****

I have decided to start painting in the gallery. This time of year(from Nov to April) is AMAZINGLY slow in this little town. This month we have had, maybe, two dozen visitors. None of which have the slightest interest in actually buying art.

So I might as well put my free time to good use. I am going to set up a mini studio area in the front side window. It will allow me paint. People who are walking past can see what I'm doing and I will still be able to see if anyone happens to come inside.

*****

We are searching for new, undiscovered artists to show in our gallery. The amount of people who "paint" and think they should have gallery space, makes my mind wobble.

Don't get me wrong. I think it's great that you all want to paint. Keep going. But don't think that just because you paint, that you are an artist. The two are very different and do not always go hand in hand.

We need quality, consistency, craft, motivation, vision, originality, personality and blah blah blah.

Any medium, photography, sculpture, you name it as long as it's good.

Anyway. Pass it around. Any of you out there knows an aspiring artist(s) or knows someone who knows someone. Let me know. Good work is getting very hard to find. I am sure that one of you knows someone.

08 December 2006

Back In The Studio...

I started six canvases this week. Two "Wine" Theme. Finished one. No photo yet. The other I may have let go too long. I am having a hard time returning to it. And,
a realistic portrait that is having the same problem. I have been looking at her for too long.

These three however, came to me with much less effort. All are 8 x 10 inches. Oil on canvas board. All of them have paintings under them. Their Souls.

The first was painted on Wednesday night between 10:30pm and 1:30am. There is a Pop version of "Cosmic Cow" under her. It would have been part of the "Cow" series, but No.


This painting and the next were painted Thursday night from 11pm to 2:30am with just a couple of touch ups this morning.
Both have other versions of portraits under them.





These works are part of an on going group called the "Chadettes". If my count is correct, these are numbers 38, 39 and 40.
Of everything that I paint, these girls are my favorite. I painted the first one about a year and a half ago. It's been fun to watch them evolve and grow. The first few were young and some what cartoonish. They are getting older, scarred, more mysterious. Or is that just me?

I have yet to give these three names. I still haven't named the two before that either. Any suggestion?

07 December 2006

Where Do Loyalties Lie...?

I am wondering about human nature as related to my world. Fine Art.
People that come through my gallery, or any gallery, look at us as sales people. No different than cars, vacuums or household fixtures. I have spent my life studying art. And yet, sales are sales. To most.

The difference is that I will not say things just to make a sale. No matter what gallery I have work for I have a terrible habit of telling potential collectors exactly what I think of a work or of an artist. Often it has cost me sales. In my mind, I want the collector to know they can trust me. I would rather they passed on something now if it meant they would come back to me later. A lie now might make a sale. Truth will make a client. I want clients.

The art business is about relationships. Art is unlike anything else people buy. Art can be immortal. It will(if cared for) last for hundreds of years or more. Art will almost always hold its value. Quality work will hold its value at worst. At best it will grow to limitless amounts. Art is a reflection of ones personality. Most will go through several sofas, chairs, window treatments etc over the years. The art they will keep. It will become a family heirloom and be passed down from generation to generation.

One of the things I have a hard time with in this business is client loyalty. I expect clients to be loyal to me, because I have earned it over the years by being honest with them. Even if they want to buy a work that I don't handle, I always think they should ask my opinion or ask if I can get them the work. If I think it is a good work at a good value I tell them to buy it. Keep the client, build relationships.

Being an art dealer I get to know some clients very well. We are a part of their lives in a personal way. We are invited to their homes. We know the families. We talk to them about getting married, divorced, having kids and sometimes death. When was the last time their car or refrigerator salesman was involved in their lives like that?

We had been in San Diego for eight years before coming here to open our own gallery.
Eight years is longer than most marriage's last. They stop being clients and become friends. At least, to me.

Having been in this same business for as long as I have, I realize that when I change galleries, most of my clients will not follow me. No matter how well I know them or how long I have know them. They will stay with the gallery not the consultant.

Every time this surprises me. I still think to myself, they should be loyal to me. Not the gallery. Clients are all over the world. They very seldom came to the gallery in person. They would call, ask for me. Or email. I provide the service for them. And yet they are loyal to the gallery, not me.

When we decided to move from San Diego to come here, I talked to the Director about clients. He was worried that we would take all of his business. I remember telling him that most of them would not follow us. And now, I am still surprised that they didn't. Even though I knew I shouldn't, I expected their loyalty.

We still talk with many of them. It's awkward now. Like talking to an old lover. It's polite but with a nervous tension. You both know it will never be the same. Eventually we will stop talking.

I know that the longer we are here, that we will make new clients and friends. I know that when we leave here, that most will not follow us. Each time this craziness starts over from the beginning.

I don't get it. Never have, most likely never will.

04 December 2006

Thanks For Playing...

Many thanks to everyone that left a comment or emailed with answers to my questions.
See last post..."Hide and Seek".
Welcome to those of you who were first time visitors. As well as my few regulars.

It was like I had imagined, for the most part. It also confirmed my thoughts that most of you are great people. Whether or not it's real or just how you come across on your sites, I don't know. Nor does it matter. I am going with great people! So if you are not, I don't want to know.

I did learn a few things and came up with a couple more questions.

I have a site feed. What's a site feed? Does everyone have one? Where do I find them?

I have no idea what that is but it sounds cool. Thanks Dave for subscribing.

I learned that my french really needs some help. Thank you Laurence for sharing my questions with your readers.

In answer to my own questions...
Those of you have read this blog for a while already know who I am. I show my art as well as have a link to my art site.
I started with what is a 'sort of' alias. William is my given name but I have never used it. I didn't and don't see the point of giving too much personal info. Too many weirdos.

Although I do mention my wife and child I don't and wont use their names. I am overly protective of them. My wife has the same fear as Scott's wife. Being kidnapped by freaks.
The problem I face, and the reason I asked all the questions, is that I want people to know my art. To make this happen I have to let people know who I am. I am kind of a hermit. I don't care for the spot light. I've had it before, in another life. It didn't work for me.

I guess I'm only kind of hiding. Besides, how often do you get to use your pirate name? I would never put anything on this site that I would not say to your face. I am who I am.

Thank you all again for your time. Fell free to ask of me as I ask of you. I always have more questions.

Alright I'm rambling and I'm done.

02 December 2006

Hide And Seek...


I have a question for you. Ok, several really.
I know, there is only about five of you who actually read this site. Well visit, I have no idea if you read it or not.

Anywho, I have questions for you. I would also love it if you would pass this around to the other sites you visit. I am looking for some feed back.

Here it is.

Do you let the world know who you really are with your blog, or do you hide behind an alias?

If you are up front with your identity, has it ever been a problem for you or your family?

If you are using an alias, why do you feel the need to be anonymous?


If you would rather send your answers/comments via email instead of leaving a comment, please do so.

Thank you for you feed back.

01 December 2006

You May Begin...

Alright, it is now December. Thanksgiving is over. You may begin to look forward to Christmas.(or the holiday of your choice) Remember, one holiday at a time.

Now that we are ready for Christmas, every child's room needs "Snowflakes". When Mr. Man wakes up this morning he will find these hanging around his room.





I also started three paintings tonight. I am working on patients. These will not be rushed. Maybe I will take photos as I go. Most often if a painting takes more than one sitting it never gets finished. Once I see it in my mind, it's done. The hard part is getting it on canvas. These three will be a test run. Day one: One hour thirty minutes.

27 November 2006

C'est la Vie!


It is friggin cold out here Mr. Bigglesworth!

That's right, it has snowed at the coast. This is not supposed to happen. So far everything we were told about this town has been wrong. I am beginning to think we have been misled in order to get us up here.
Just because I'm paranoid, doesn't mean they're not out to get me.

So, I'm still sitting in the middle of my cross roads, waiting to be run over. Why does it continue to surprise me when life doesn't go the way I wanted it to? It seldom does.
At least for me. I just have that kind of luck, or lack there of.
Don't get me wrong. This is a nice enough town. The people are friendly. It's beautiful here. I love my gallery!

It's just not where I had wanted to be at this point in my life. I wanted to be some place very different. Sometimes life just happens. Time lines change. So must mine.

I am starting a new group of paintings this week. I will put much more than an hour each into them.(note to self: never do Quick Draw again) Studio time will continue to be between 10pm and 2am. I will not give up time with Mr. Man, he means too much. My painting will always be for me and me alone. If I can sell them great, if not, c'est la vie!

My photos are being sorted in order to rebuild a portfolio. Many photo shoots will be needed to beef up a few soft spots. Mainly the portraits and some artistic figurative work(nudes). I am torn between doing the work by hand, i.e., silver gelatin prints or going with the much simpler digital prints. I am a huge fan of film and have an abnormal love of my camera. My digital camera is nice and has served me well but it lacks the tangible quality of film for me. Not having my darkroom, the decision has sort of been made for me.

The underground restaurant has gone done the tubes. No one here is willing to pay in advance. I am not willing to buy all the food and have them not show up. Having worked in restaurants before I know that a lot of people make reservations and go some where else. It looks like this idea will be put on the back burner for another city at another time.

Never a dull moment.

26 November 2006

Do I Offend?...Good!

What the Hell is wrong with people?

I was reading yesterday about Michael Richards and the aftermath of his outburst.
The two men he was yelling at, now want a personal apology and money.

MONEY?

WTF?

Now I'm offended! I am not saying that what Richards did was a good thing. It wasn't! He showed extremely poor judgement. But that fact that these two morons think they deserve some kind of financial compensation is just wrong.

This is what is upsetting me:

1) Richards is a public figure. He made a public apology. That should be all there is to it, but no one seems to care because it, "wasn't a good enough apology".

They are lucky that he apologized at all.

2) I want an apology from the two assholes who disrupted Richard's show and ended up ruining it for everyone who had paid good money to get in. If they didn't like his act they should have left, not gotten rude and offended Richards by interrupting.

At a comedy club, they sort of had it coming. If it had been Chris Rock, or any black comedian for that matter, they all would have laughed. I have a problem with the double standards this country seems to think are alright. Race should have nothing to do with it.

3) This may seem nit-picky, but it is illegal to shoot photos or video at any comedy club. Why isn't the person who shot the video phone footage in trouble?

They should be. Instead, they sold the footage and made money off of it.

If these two actually get money out of Richards, I fear for the future of comedy clubs. Someone is always going to be offended. We are already the most sue happy country in the world. These two should not profit for being rude. The fact that they are saying they felt offended, and even frightened at one point is total BS. They saw the chance to take advantage of a celebrities mistake and they jumped on it. These two need to grow up. And Gloria Allred should be disbarred for even helping.

22 November 2006

Thank your 1st Commenter Day.

For our President: Neil 'Citizen Of The Month' Has declared this to be the second annual "Thank your first commenter day"

So...

Thank you very much to, "Southern Femme"

She had a different blog at that time but has returned, sort of.

I am pleased she still keeps in touch from time to time.

Happy Thanksgiving!

21 November 2006

Can you hear it?

He rubbed his face and eyes. It looked as though they were going to pop from his head.
She cringed as she watched, telling him that wasn't a good thing to do.
He ran his fingers through his hair and held his head.
Something was going on and she knew better than to ask. He couldn't explain it to her. He didn't understand it himself.

He's hard to live with when he gets like this. Like a caged animal with O.C.D.
He paced around the house, over and over. For hours he paced rubbing his face, running his hands through his hair.

Every now and then he would stop to stare blankly out over the ocean, sometimes for hours without moving. Silent tears would run down his face.

"You can't hear it can you?" he would whisper to her. "It's so loud."

"What?" she asked. "What do you hear?"

He would look at her with a pain on his face like she had never seen before.
Pure anguish. Something had hold of his soul and was squeezing the life out of it.

Then he would pace. He had told her long ago that it had nothing to do with her. He was like that before they met. He had always heard it.

He drove her crazy when he got like this. It was happening less often that it used to. Sometimes it would last for days. He would go without sleep or food. Rarely stopping for a Vodka Martini that did nothing to ease his pain.

It had been many years since he had smoked but he could still taste it. Still feel it on his fingers as he rolled them by hand. The sensation of it on his lips.
One joint and this would all go away. He just wanted it to stop.

He knew that if he gave in all of the years of going without were gone. All of it would have been for nothing. It had been too many years to go back now. You can't go back for just one visit. It all comes back as if it were never gone. It wasn't the answer. The pain would come back and he would be in this same spot again. It had always been there, even before the drugs. Even after, it remained.
Times like this made it hard. The cravings were so real. The temptation so great.

He would pace for miles. The same routine over and over. It drove her crazy. She couldn't watch it anymore. After years of this she knew enough to leave him alone.
The others tried to help him and it destroyed them. The last one used to tell him,
"I know you better than you know yourself...". This one knew, that only made things worse. What a stupid thing to say.

He would always go back to them. He needed them. They filled him. This one need him too. She would wait. Trying to be patient. Trying to understand. Trying to stay clear. Before she started to hear it too.

The only one who could reach him now...

Was himself.

20 November 2006

Thank You FOX News...

Thank you Thank you!
There is still some sanity in the world.

FOX News has canceled O.J.s book and the televised interview.

My message was heard. I am so happy.

Thank you Thank you! A sliver of faith in humanity has been restored.

18 November 2006

Don't Give In To The Haters...

Why...
Why...Someone please tell me why.

Why do humans have this sick need to slow down at an accident?
Why, do we insist on holding a protest rally when Haters like Skin Heads have a rally?
Why do we care that O.J. has written a book?

Let me explain something to you.

As far as the accidents go...
Wanting to see people hurt, dead or dying is just sick and it makes you a sad, disturbed individual. Try to think about how you would feel if the situation were reversed.
Do you want a bunch of people gawking at you?

If you said "I wouldn't care" or "Yes", STOP READING RIGHT NOW. I don't want you visiting my site anymore.

With the Hate rallies and the O.J.'s of the world...

What they want more than anything else, is to have the rest of us paying attention to them. By holding rallies to protest the haters and by watching FOX or buying "If I did it"... you are giving these creeps exactly want they want.

ATTENTION!

They win. Sure you can justify the rally that is against the Haters, but you are letting them win. You can tell yourself and your friends that you just have to hear it for yourself, or you are doing it for all the women who were hurt by someone else, or you just wanted them to confess...

You know what? No matter why you do it, you are giving these people exactly what they want and they win.

If you really want to make a statement that you disapprove of the haters and the O.J.s...

IGNORE THEM
!

I know, it is one of the hardest things to do, but it works. The next time the haters hold a rally and no one goes to protest and they get no media coverage. How many more rallies will they hold? It is the perfect way to say, ..."you guys suck and we're smarter than you are."

They don't care about standing around listening to one another talk their trash, they want the attention of the rest of us. If you ignore them, we win, not them.

If you stop watching FOX and don't buy O.J.s book, we win. He wants your attention.

Trust me people, Ignore them, don't pay attention, it's what they fear most.

Don't let them win, don't give them the attention they are craving, make a statement and say NO.

17 November 2006

Falling Behind...

Somehow I have managed to get about three months behind in everything that I have been working on. Not sure how.

My studio is a complete mess. There are things scattered from end to end, floor to ceiling. I am a bit of a neat freak too so it is beginning to disturb me. I haven't painted since the "Quick Draw" either. Which means, it has been a mess for a few weeks now..

I have not touched my Appraisal Studies in two months. I should have a month to go and be done. Instead I still have three months to go.

The cataloging of my photographs started six months ago(alright, two years ago) and I swear it looks as if I have not touched any of them. They are still mostly in boxes, scattered across three rooms of the house. The negs are here, there, and who knows where.

Every surface in my studio is covered with multiple layers of...stuff.
With each stack I move or sort I manage to create three more stacks.
Where is all coming from? This cannot all belong to me.

I feel like a trailer park after a tornado.

It is time for a major overhaul of the place and a trip, or twelve to the Goodwill.

A flame thrower would be a very big help right now.

*****

For my three reader who have been curious. This is what my studio looked like three years ago. (Hufflelump Blue)


This is what it looked like 16 months ago after I moved it so we could redo our floors. (Sunflower Yellow)


And this is what it looks like as of five months ago when we moved back to the Northwest. (Buttugly White)


Ok there are more to each of them that what you see, but who the hell knows where those photos are.

15 November 2006

A Cross Road...


This is a view from our gallery today. What you can't see is that it is raining fairly hard and the wind is blowing about 40-50 miles an hour. The only cars on the street belong to those of us that are working.
I have spent too many years in So Cal and am now freezing my buns off. I do have the fire place burning, so it is nice and cozy inside the gallery.

The last couple of days have been spent on reflection and going through the inventory of my work. I have decided that more than half of them are going to get painted over and given a fresh start.

Maybe it is a period of self loathing. My work is just not up to professional standards.

After 20 some years in the art business and countless years of study, I have reached a place where I can almost always tell the difference between 'good' and 'not quite'. It has nothing to do with whether or not I like it, but the quality of the work. The good ones have three things; Head, Hand and Heart.

It isn't even something I can describe. It is more of a feeling. To be a real professional you need all three. Sure there are many people who have made a living having only one or two, but their work will never have any lasting value.

Over the last two years I have put much more effort into my painting than I have in some time. I think I have a good eye. I can see the designs in my head and they're good. My heart is still there. I feel my work as if it's a part of my soul that I slice off and put on display. It is my hand that is failing me. It is just not where it should be. Every now and then, the three come together and I create a work that is great.


This painting I think is one of the best I have ever done. Technically speaking.


Once in a while however, does not cut it. If it were another artist that wanted to show in my gallery I would tell them they are not quite ready yet. Well...

I'm not ready yet!. I need more practice, more study, more time... I may never have it. I know that. Most wont. I have met thousands of artists who are good, but will never take it to the next level.

I'm close. I can see the next level and it is killing me that I can't take it up a notch.

It leaves me at a cross road. 1) I can keep going down the same path, painting when I get the time. 2) I can sacrifice some of the time I want to spend with my wife and son in order to spend it in the studio. 3) I can give up being a painter and go back to photography. Precious likes my photographs more than my painting and has been trying ever so kindly to tell me, that's what I should do. Replacing all of my equipment is another set of roads. 4) I can chuck them all and devote all of my energy to the gallery and sell other artists work. 5) I can just sit down and stare at these many roads until I decide which one to follow. There will definitely be more intersections on all of them. 6) I can lay in the middle of one of the roads and hope I get run over and wont have to think about any of it any more. 7) And there are I'm sure other options I have yet to consider.

I wish there was a bar on one of these roads. Is it too early for a drink?

13 November 2006

Only the Good...

This past Friday evening the world lost someone very special.
Sergey Smirnov.



He was 53 years old. One of the finest people I have met in the art world. A kind person and a truly gentle soul.

He left behind a 36 year old wife and a 2 1/2 year old son.

I knew Sergey for 8 years. I watched his painting grow and mature to a world class level. His works hang all over my home.

He touched my life not only as an artist but as a friend. He influenced my own works and encouraged me when I wanted to quit.

Sergey, we will miss you. Rest in Peace





All donations to the "Art Saves Lives" fund for the next 6 months will go to his family.

09 November 2006

Blind?

There are some days when I have so much to say that I can not manage to speak a single word.

Sometimes I envy those who can talk endlessly about nothing. You can tell they don't have a single thought in their head. It would come in handy in my business. Turn the mouth on and the mind off.

There are days when my mind will not let go of an image. It is all I can see. When I close my eyes it remains. There is no hiding from it. It comes out in everything I do or say.

Other days I can't focus on anything or anyone.

My mind races faster than I can keep up with. It becomes a blur and makes me spin.
I open my mouth to scream, STOP!
But nothing comes out.

I draw or paint and all I can do is scribble, unable to hold a single vision for long enough to get it out. It all comes out at once.

It is like being lost in a crowd. Surrounded by people and miles from anyone.

*****

Markus Pierson has done it again. I can not get enough of this man's work. Someday I think the world will look at his body of works and hail him as a genius of epic proportion.

He never fails to amaze me. His grasp of the simple beauties and pleasures in life make me feel as though I am blind to the world.

It also drives me to work at my painting and writing more than almost anything else.

"Everything to Me" by Markus Pierson

"Through my spectacles I see everything, and thus I see only you, for you are everything to me."




06 November 2006

What is this wet stuff fallin' from the sky?

This past weekend, with the "Stormy Weather" events going on in town, was very busy. We had some great traffic through the gallery.

I was amazed at how many people came to see my work, and want to talk about the "Quick Draw". I ended up selling a couple other of the practice works I painted also.

This morning I was going to spend some quiet time in the gallery boxing a few things up for FedEx, try to clean the gallery up and re-hang the walls.

No such luck. It has been raining here since last Wednesday and has not let up. Right now it is still coming down in sheets. Anyway, the highway between where I live and the gallery is under water and closed. So I am stuck at home.

It makes me wonder how often it rains here. I am being sarcastic of course, because I know for a fact that it rains here a great frickin deal of the time. It's coastal Oregon for crap sake. What I want to know is why, in the last almost 200 F'ing years of this town being here, has NO ONE thought about raising highway 101 about 4 or 5 feet up so it wont flood? Am I the only one who has ever thought of that? Every bloody year the highway has to be closed for an indeterminate amount of time because the river over flows and ends up on the highway.

This is not to mention the fact that the streets flood, the parking lots flood, every building in town leaks. What the hell is wrong with these people?

The best part, is that every year they act surprised that it all floods and leaks.

Duh!

Ok, enough about these local Bozos.

Halloween pics are here! I know, you are excited. Clam down here they are.

The little guy was hard to photograph this year so there are only a few good shots. The one with me is not one of them.





Thank you very much to all of you who commented and emailed with support during my Quick Draw rantings. For something that only lasted and hour. It took about a month of hard work. Your support meant a lot to me. When I start giving away some of the practice works you will all be at the top of that list. Feel free to let me know which one you would like and where to send them. Unframed of course. Sorry, framing is expensive.

Lets hope I can get to the gallery some time this week. Looks like more rain.

04 November 2006

I Survived!



I am just getting home from the "Quick Draw". I went to set up my area at around 5pm Friday evening. Made sure my iPod was working, set-up my laptop to run a slide show of my web site, put paint on my pallet, had the bar tender make me a double vodka, I was ready. At about 6:30 pm the crowd started to roll in. I was a good boy and politely talked and mingled with the crowd answering silly questions over and over. That's Ok, it took my mind off the task at hand.

At 8 pm we were given the word to begin. I cranked my iPod and went to work. I had a back up canvas that I knew I could finish in 20 minutes. After 30 minutes if the first choice was not going well I was going to switch gears.

So I'm painting away, trying hard not to pay any attention to the hundreds of people parading past my table. I hear the loud speaker so I remove the ear phones to listen. I hear him say that we have 15 minutes left.

Holy Crap! where did that first 45 minutes go?

I through my self into over drive. There was no time to switch paintings, I had to finish the one I had going.

With about 5 minutes left I decided that it was over. Sign it and be done.

I took the head phones off, people instantly started asking questions and talking to me.

It was amazingly nerve-racking. But I survived.

At the auction my work sold for $450. Not the high of the night, but not the low either.

Here is the finished work. 13 x 20 inches plus the frame. 55 minutes.



In about 7 hours I have two interviews with local news papers and about two dozen people want to come to the gallery and look at my work.

All in all I was pleased with the out come.

I am not going to paint a thing for at least a week.

I did try to video the night, but some where along, my recorder stopped working so I wont know what I recorded for a day or two.

Now I need sleep! IT'S OVER

02 November 2006

Last Day of Practice...

Halloween photos will be up soon.

"Stormy Weather" is upon us. That is what they call the events that will begin on Friday the 3rd. This has been going on for about 35 years now. And, on schedule, it is raining something fierce.

Practice is over. No more time to work out any potential problems. Tonight Precious and I will make our final choices and then it is up to me.

Tomorrow is the "Quick Draw". Last night I worked on three more designs trying to decide what I was going to paint. One is 14 x 18, one 16 x 20 and one 12 x 24. The first two took about 40 minutes each. The third took about 15 minutes. I was pleased with the outcome of all three. So now I just have to decide which of the works to paint.

The contest starts at 7 with drinks and a reception. At 8 we start painting. At 9 the auction begins.

Precious cannot go because she will be at the gallery. Mr.Man will be with my parents who are here for the week end to visit. I am on my own. I will try to take some photos and video of the event and me working. We'll see.


I wont be getting much sleep tonight. Nervous is an understatement.

Here are the last three finalists.





29 October 2006

Boo...



It is such a fun time of year.

Mr. Man is going to be a Bumble Bee this year. Photos will follow. Precious is going to be a Witch. I believe I will be a Bee Keeper. Maybe...


28 October 2006

More Variation...

Last night I was up until almost 2:30 am painting. This "Quick Draw" thing has got me very nervous. Having never done anything like this before, I am terrified I am going to choke under the pressure.

When I played baseball, I had no problem playing in front of thousands of people. I never gave it a second thought.

Having to paint in front a few hundred people has be scared to death. I keep telling myself that this is a character builder. If I can get through this it will be one more fear that I have overcome. Well, myself isn't listening. Character schmaricter!

Back to the point. I tried this design again. I like the layout. This one is 18 x 24 inches. It took about 70 minutes. I added a bit of table and the leaves. The leaves slowed me down. They will not be in the final painting.



I was not as pleased with the reflection in the glass either but my sight was a bit blurry at 2am.


*****


This one was just for more practice. Working on the reflections. It is 14 x 18 inches. This will either be a very inexpensive gallery piece or get painted over. I paint over a lot of my works. Anything I am not totally happy with gets several coats of gesso and a fresh start. It adds to the soul of the canvas.

27 October 2006

Variations...




This is another version of the same set-up as a couple of days ago. I like this composition so I painted it several times in a few different sizes.

This one is 8 x 24 inches. I got distracted while working and it took me about 65 minutes. I am confident I can get these done in under 60 minutes now.

So now it is down to finding the right composition for the event. The size is going to be 10 x 30 inches, gallery wrapped canvas with a black edge. It's about an inch and a half thick. That's what this one was, you just can't see the edge. Or 12 x 24 inches with a small liner and frame.

I like the idea of not framing it.

I have many more to paint before I'm ready. I think I want a wine bottle in the work too. I should be able to do three or four more tonight. I hope.

26 October 2006

One of the finalists...



This is one of the design finalists for my wine themed painting. I have 7 days until the Quick Draw. This one is 16 x 32 inches. It took 62 minutes. I could have finished it sooner had I rushed it a bit.

I am looking forward to putting a lot more time into some of these paintings. Next week.

23 October 2006

Speed Painting...Still...

Alright, I know I said that we had decided to go with one of the wine theme works for the "Quick Draw". But I like to paint women.

Yes the wine work would have more of a general appeal, but is this about what I can sell or what brings me pleasure. It's not like I am making my living off of my paintings at this point. The people who collect my work (and yes there are a few) have come to accept my variations of styles.

Sure the women take longer and they don't fit in as well as a bottle of wine in most homes. I torn...

Here are two works I just painted. The blond is 33 x 41 inches. She took about 75 minutes. Too long.

The red head is 14 x 18 inches and took about 135 minutes. Way too long.




You're right, you're right, I know you're right.
Wine theme for the Quick Draw, women for me and the gallery.

It is about what would sell for the most money at the auction.
It is charity after all.


Back to the studio...Feel free to help me with giving names to my girls. I need titles.

22 October 2006

What's New in Art...




"The Joyous Leaping of Uncanned Salmon" by Dr Seuss.

One of my personal favorites.

This is from the Secret Art of Dr Seuss. A collection put together by his widow, Audrey Geisel. She will not sell any of the original works. They are all going to The University of San Diego in La Jolla California when she passes. She allows two or three of the works to be reproduced as limited editions every year. Ted Geisel painted for almost 70 years. He did not share these personal works with anyone other than the family and a few close friends. Hence, "Secret Art".




"The Watcher" by Frank Gonzales.
A young man from New York who is just getting started. I have known Frank for years and sell a lot of his works in my gallery. He also paints abstract, organic landscapes and very edgy, urban portraits.

19 October 2006

Christmas in October?

For the last week, Precious and I have been driving up and down the coast trying to find a Halloween costume for Mr. Man.

We both love Halloween. Growing up in small towns in the mid west and northwest, Halloween was a great time to be a kid. I will remember trick or treating and parties for the rest of my life.

It wasn't about Devil worship. (and for those of you who get all bent about Halloween being about all things evil, you can suck it. I am more worried about you freaks than kids who just want to trick or treat and have fum with their friends while getting free candy.)

Anywho, for the last week we have gone everywhere within 50 miles to find a costume.

What have we been finding?

CHRISTMAS.


Don't get me wrong, I like Christmas. But WTF! IT'S THE MIDDLE OF OCTOBER!

Do these greedy bastards(aka retailers) not remember Thanksgiving?

Two and a half weeks until Halloween and everything is friggin Christmas already.

Sure we could put him in the same totally cute Cow outfit he had last year. He's not old enough to care or remember. But I am.



Slow down people. There is always plenty of time for all of the materialism, over shopping and lack of good will toward man, that goes on for the holidays. It's not like Christmas comes as a surprise.

Just for those of you who don't realize this, Christmas comes every year at the same time. Instead of ruining Halloween and Thanksgiving in the name of maximizing the amount of crap sold as cheesy gifts. How about we try to think ahead. We have a whole year to shop. Halloween costumes on the other hand are only around for a very short time. And getting shorter every year!

GIVE ME HALLOWEEN BACK!(for the kids)

17 October 2006

More Study...

Here are a few more of the speed painting studies for the "Quick Draw". This has been a great exercise. I do not usually work this fast. It makes me let go a little bit more. Not so much thought, more instinct. It's kind of fun but I wont be making it a habit.

This one is 24 x 32. It took about 50 minutes.



This one is 8 x 27. 40 minutes.


This one is 23 x 32. 47 minutes.



This one took me too long. 78 minutes. I got carried away with the label. Too much detail. I had the bottle done in about 40 minutes.



I changed one of the photos in the last post. The last one with the bottle and flute glass. I added the label design.

Sometimes I just can't let things go.