29 September 2006

A Better Place...

For as long as I can remember, I have had the problem of taking things personally. Things that I know were not directed at me and really had nothing to do with me personally. They still drive me MAD. I can't help it. Because in the end these actions hurt everyone, even the bozos who do them.

Things like:

*Being cruel to animals, children or the elderly.
*People thinking that rules don't apply to them. Like when they're driving or cutting in line somewhere or littering...
*John Daly waisting $50 million on gambling...How selfish and stupid can people get? How many people could he have helped and changed their lives with that kind of money?
I have lost any respect I may have had for him.(in case you don't know, he is a pro golfer)

I could go on and on and on... but I wont, because it just makes me depressed. I try very hard everyday, to not let these things get to me.

Today I was going to post about how guns are a bad thing that the world should do away with.(One of my many issues) I read the news headlines this morning and was disgusted with humanity, so no. I am not going to go there today. I just can't.

Today is about things that make the world a better place.
This is also something I take personally.
This is going to be a regular thing for me, at least I hope. So here it is.

*****

In my life, art is huge, so this will be the things I share the most.
Some wise man said that, "Sharing is caring..." or maybe it was a beer commercial. Either way it rings true.

*****

Let the sharing begin.

Markus Pierson and Mackenzie Thorpe are two the most talented and thought provoking artists alive today. Their works are about love and dreams and taking chances to make our lives and the world a better place.

I am proud to know them personally as well as own a few of their works.
Here is one from each of them.



"High" by Markus Pierson

Two Coyotes we, up high as November comes upon us. The holidays soon after, then April, summer just around the corner, then the leaves change and here we are once again. Trouble lurks, my dear, our future uncertain, just as always, but right now we two share the sky, just high, so high.



"The Innocent" by Mackenzie Thorpe

And Finally, because you can't do anything to change the world if you don't' say anything. So for my three readers, Thank you for reading, and, here is a little bit more about me. (madwilliam.com)

I may never be as good as most of the artists I will talk about, or change the world they way they have, but I have to try.

27 September 2006

Reach for your guns!


I have done something stupid.

Ok, in the realm of stupid things I've done, this one is minor, but I can't believe I've done it.

This coming November is an event called "Stormy Weather". It takes place in my town every year. All of the galleries have an artist or two show up for demonstrations. Bands come to town and play at many different venues. It lasts for three days and is, from what I'm told, a very big deal for the town. On the first night is a special event called "The Quick Draw" in which artists engage in a competition of sorts. They gather at a local hotel in the banquet hall, set up their plunder, and have one hour to create a work of art. They are put into frames and then auctioned off.

Here is where the stupid move comes in.


I let one of the other gallery owners talk me into entering "The Quick Draw".

What the hell was I thinking?


Hundreds of people standing around watching me work, and having to produce a work in an hour. 60 tiny minutes.

Sure I tend to work fast but I never let anyone in my studio. I have never worked in front of anyone before, not even my wife.

It is a month away and I am already freaking out about it. What am I going to paint?
How am I going to get it done in an hour? In a crowd.

This is where I stop writing and start yanking out my hair in large clumps.

24 September 2006

God Help Us...

"Jackass Number Two" cost just $11.5 million to make and took in slightly more than that on Friday alone. Males accounted for two-thirds of the movie's audience, with 71 percent of the crowd younger than 25, according to Paramount.

Be afraid, be very afraid!


This is the future people. Movies like Jackass. Games like San Andreas.

We wonder what went wrong when kids kill kids.
We wonder why drugs are such a problem.
We wonder why the world hates us.

Things are only going to get worse. Much much worse.

Where have our priorites gone? It's not too late.


On a side note:

Bush has now killed more Americans than 9/11. This is to say nothing of the thousands of other non-Americans who have been sucked into this insanity.

Enough already!

22 September 2006

Yet to be...

It was a beautiful day along the coast today. I locked the door of the gallery and sat outside to soak it all in. Watch people walk past. Listen in on private conversations and giggle at the things people say when they think no one else can hear.

But then I heard a group of kids(20 somethings) talking about high school. How they missed it. How great it was. Life will never be like that again.

Holy crap Batman, I sure as hell hope it will never be like that again.

The more I thought about it, the worse I felt for them. How sad does your life have to be, to think that high school was as good as it will ever get? To be 18 to 20ish and think that your best days are behind you.

I for one could not wait to get out of high school and get on with my life. An endless world of possibilities. So much to learn and see and taste and touch and...well, there's a lot to do.

At night when my son goes to bed, he always pats the pillow and says, "Nap Daddy, nap Daddy". He wants me to lay with him until he falls asleep. Which I do. Each time, it is the greatest thing I have ever done. I wouldn't miss it. I am so looking forward to showing him the world.

I wonder if those kids today will ever know what that feels like. Will the ever realize, that we get out what we put in. They have so much life left and they are already looking back.

My high school class has had it's 20th reunion. I don't think I have thought about going back more than a few times. And even that was more just to see how many of them were still there, or who had gotten fat and lost their hair.

In all the years, I have seen only two of my class mates. One became my brother in law. Nothing I could do about that. The other was an old flame. Big mistake!. Her I still about, but only because I want to tell her I'm sorry about that last time.

When those kids ride in a car, do they face forward or backward? Do they ever want to see what's just over the next hill? Or the one beyond that one?

I have had some great moments. The best time of my life?

Ask me when it's over.

19 September 2006

Art Saves Lives!


My three readers may have noticed that I have a new side bar section called "Art Saves Lives".

I am trying to create a non-profit organization that will help teach the benefits of art. Art helps create understanding and opens our eyes to the world around us.

In my mind it will create after school programs in areas that have cut school funded art programs. As well as help fund private art teachers, community art projects, studio and exhibition spaces, supplies...

Basically anywhere that needs or wants help with an art program or project for those who can not afford to do it on there own.

We have the lawyers working on it. That should screw things up right from the start but it is a necessary evil for a non-profit.

So anywho, that is where any and all donations will be going. Stay tuned kids...

18 September 2006

Simple Economics?


Here is another one of the things that confuses me.

Two thirds (2/3) of the United States economy is consumer spending. That is, you and I going about our daily business of buying things. What ever they may be, from food, clothes, cars, household goods you name it. It is what we as Americans do. We buy stuff, and lots of it. It is the driving factor of this country.

Now, what confuses me is that minor events seem to control our spending. When the news says the stock market is low, oil prices are high, unrest in the middle east, a storm some where or an other, what ever it may be.

We as consumers decide that we should stop spending money. Save until things get better. They call it Consumer Confidence, and when it is low they economy suffers.

Am I the only one who is saying "WTF?"

Buy not spending money we are hurting the economy. Every time some number crunching geek in a cubicle says the economy is weak, we stop spending money.

For the vast majority of Americans the stock market, storms and the Middle East have nothing to do with our lives. Nothing!

Why do we pay so much attention to what some boob on the tube says we should or should not be doing?

Hello, McFly....

Consumers...It is what we do...It is what drives our economy...

Why can't people figure out, that when the economy is weak, all we need to do is to continue to be consumers.

If you want the economy to get better, contribute to it!

17 September 2006

Speed Limits...



There is something that I have never understood. Ok there are a lot of things I don't understand but lets just go with the one for now.

Why do auto makers continue to build cars and trucks that will go 200 plus MPH?


There is no place in North America that you are allowed to drive faster than 75 MPH. And with good reason!

Clearly there is something that I am missing. Why does anyone need that much power in a vehicle?

To me, auto makers should be held accountable every time there is a high speed chase with police. Every time some idiot dies or kills someone else from street racing.

To me it is like handing a big bag of drugs to an addict and telling them not use any. Sha right! Are you kidding me?

Why do we need 500 horse power engines? Personally I think it is penis envy. The smaller the Johnson the faster car you need. Big trucks and fast cars tell me that someone is over compensating.

The DMV (department of moter vehicles) should also be held accountable for making it criminally easy to get and keep a drivers licence, but that is another post. Don't worry I will get to that.

It all come down to priorites. We seem to be confused about what is important. Wasting natural resources and driving fast should not be at the top of that list.

15 September 2006

A-Musing


Oh muse, I would very much like to paint today.
Hello, are you there muse?

Maybe I will do home work until you come back.

Oh muse, I would really like to paint today.

I'm sorry I did not listen to you yesterday when you were here.
I played with the dog instead.

You were here the day before that.
I'm sorry but I wasn't feeling well.

Oh muse, I have the time today.
Mr. Man is asleep. Precious is asleep. The dog is asleep.
I am wide awake and I would very much like to paint today.

I promise I will never put you off to watch TV.
Again.
I won't sit in front of the computer when I know you you are in the house.
Again.

Oh muse, where have you gone?
I know you are upset with me,
Please come back oh muse.

I don't want to do home work,
there is nothing worth watching on TV.

Oh muse,
I would very much like to paint today.

13 September 2006

Loosing Hope...


I cannot be alone in this, please for the love of God tell me I am not alone.

Although it would not really surprise me if I am.

Jackass the movie. Not one but two now. All I can say is, "What the hell is wrong with us?"

To me, this kind of stupidity is everything that is wrong in the world. I am not seeing the humor. The fact that people are spending tons of money to not only make these films and shows but people are willing to pay to see them, makes my head hurt.

The gene pool is dangerously shallow.

This is the reason Kris(see post on Dating and lower mandibles) can't find a decent guy. Men are idiots! I am sad for humanity.

10 September 2006

Psychometric Impressionist

I was just IM-ing with my friend Feline when I found this;

"The creation of images which reflect, not the appearance of a particular object, but rather the situation's or location the object has been involved with in the past."

"To create such works it is necessary to spend a good deal of time sniffing, patting and rubbing against the object or person whose psychometric impression is to be conveyed, before beginning."


It is from "Why Cats paint". I came across it years ago, and I have to say, it is how this cat paints. I try to approach all of my work with this attitude. Sniffing, patting and rubbing against people is one of my favorite things. Provided it's the right people. Other wise it's just freaky.

07 September 2006

Unknown to me...

who are you
where are you from
where have you been
tell me about yourself
your hopes your dreams your fears
what do you want out of life

we are surrounded by people
everywhere
how many of them do you know
how many catch your eye
do you hear the things they say
do you wonder who they are
or what it would be like to know them
to share a part of yourself, with a stranger
to accept a part of them

some people we see everyday
at work
on the street
out and about
often enough that they have become familiar to us
but who are they
what do they do
where do they go
where are they from

why don't we stop
say hello
take the time
no matter how long or how short
a brief exchange
a passionate encounter

how rewarding could it be
to share a drink
sit down for a meal
silently stare and hold hands awhile

a psychic connection
a pheromone rush
an attractive smile or passing scent

what does it take
to get your attention
how long do we wait
before we step into the path of another persons life
to make those lives intersect
for no matter how long

think of all the things we have missed
the people not met
lives not shared
opportunities lost

how much richer could our lives be
how much wiser could we grow

who are you I wonder
would we get along
do we have things in common

are you a good kisser
do you like to be touched
how would you feel in my arms
what does your skin taste like

I want to feel your breath on my neck as I kiss your shoulder
I want to feel your hair as I hold your head
and softly kiss your lips
I want to feel the rhythm of your breathing as we embrace

I want to know you
who you are
where you've been
where you're from
tell me about yourself

it's my fault
for wasting our time
no matter how much of it we have to share
it should be treated with the respect it deserves

only by stepping back
can we see the big picture
observation lets me see
what most people miss
so I watch

unfortunately
sometimes
I miss
something that was right in front of me
I was watching you
but I said nothing
our paths crossed so many times
but each time
I stepped back
only to watch you fade from my sight

I missed the chance to find out
who you are
where you're from
where you've been
I only know where you're going

away
and unknown
to me

06 September 2006

Fine Art 101: What is a print?

This post should have came before part one, Oh well...

What is a print?
As far as art is concerned, a print is a work made up of ink on paper, canvas, board, etc, and existing of multiple examples. It is created not by drawing on the paper with ink filled pen or other instrument, but through an indirect transfer process.

The most important thing to know when looking a prints, is not how it's printed, but how many were printed. Smaller edition sizes are usually better than large editions. But remember, if you have 1/250 or 250/250 they are all the same. The value is no different. The first number doesn't matter, it is the second number that does.

Does that make sense?

If you are looking at a print and you are told that a lower edition number is worth more,(25 /195 is worth more than 50/195) ask them if you can have a higher number and pay less money for it. It will never happen.

Ok. now for the Etching and Wood block...

Etching
Etching is one of the intaglio techniques, along with engraving, drypoint and aquatint. Intaglio comes from intagliare meaning, to incise. In etching, acid is used to bite, or etch an image into a metal plate. Etching has been around for hundreds of years. Rembrandt created some of his most important works with etchings.

To make an etching, the artist starts with a metal plate, usually copper, that has been covered with a waxy substance called 'ground'. With etching needles the artist draws in the ground to expose the plate. You do not dig directly into the plate itself. Next the plate is dipped in acid. The ground protects the plate, the acid only goes into the lines that have been drawn and eats away at the metal creating grooves. The ground is then cleaned from the plate. Using a 'dabber" ink is beaten into the grooves and the surface is cleaned. A damp piece of paper is place over the plate and it is run through a press under extreme pressure. The plate is actually
crushed just a little bit with each impression. The first impressions are better than latter impression. (This has nothing to do with how they are numbered. Works are not always numbered in the order they are pulled.) The paper which is usually larger than the plate picks up the ink from the grooves. In addition the edges of the plate will leave an impression on the paper called a plate mark.

Wood blocks

Possibly the earliest form of printing, wood blocs have been around since the 9th century. The artist draws an image on a plank of wood and then uses gouges, chisels and knives to cut away pieces from the block. Ink is then rolled over the surface of wood. Paper is placed over the block and it is run through a press. It is possible to print them by hand by rubbing the back side of the paper with a hand held instrument.
The areas of wood that were cut away remain the color of the paper.

05 September 2006

For the love of...

Yesterday I went to feed Mr. Man's fish and it was gone. No one flushed it. Mr. Man is too small to get to it. We don't have cats. It was just gone.

Where does a fish go? How did it go?

I was married once, long ago. One day I came home and found that the love was gone.
We were big enough. We did have cats. It was just gone.

Where does the love go? How did it go?

The fish, I am pretty sure was always there. The love, I not so sure.
The fish I can replace. You go to the store and pick out a new one. It's close to the same and it never seems to matter that it's a different fish. A fish is a fish.

The love, I have no idea how to replace. Hearts have minds of their own.

I did find love again. I have been in love many times in my life. Had my heart broken many times, and broken a heart or two as well.

I broke her heart when I told her the love was gone. Even as I said it I was not sure if that was true. I felt for her deeply but it had changed over time. I had changed.

Over the years I have always followed my heart no matter what my head was telling me.
Soon after I had left her, she died.
Often I wonder if it was my breaking her heart that killed her.

Did I not love our fish enough? Did I break its heart?

03 September 2006

Fine Art 101: The Print, part one



From my 20 plus years in the art world I have come to realize that almost everyone is confused by prints.

I would love to clear this up. So this is the first of many posts to come that will tell you all everything you need to know about Fine Art Prints.

Never let anyone tell you that prints are not fine art. They can be and they are!

In this installment we will go over the "Screen print" or "Serigraph" and "Lithograph".

The Serigraph

A screen print and a serigraph are the same thing. Usually when printing tee shirts it is called a screen print and when printing fine art it is called a serigraph.

Side note
There are a lot of people in the art world who are elitist and want the rest of us to feel as if art is only for the rich. They are wrong! Art is for everyone. If you ever go to a gallery or museum and they give you attitude like you don't belong, tell them to get stuffed and never go back.

Screen printing is a form of stenciling, commonly used to apply words or images to paper, cloth, canvas, board etc, that dates back to the late 1800's. It was in the 1930's that the term serigraph came about in order to distinguish fine art from commercial work. (SNOBS)

In the 1960's screen printing became very popular with the "Pop artists" who were attracted to the bold areas of undulated color, flat surfaces and its commercial look.

For screen prints, a mesh (originally silk) is stretched tightly across a frame. An image is glued or affixed to the mesh in order to mask out compositional areas. This image can be created from a variety of materials: cut paper, hardening glues, or a special gelatin.

Unlike other printing methods, no printing press is needed to transfer images from screens to surface. The screens are placed directly on top of the surface and a squeegee is used to push ink through the mesh. A separate screen is needed for each color to be printed.

LeRoy Neiman's limited editions are for the most part, serigraphs. They are some of the finest examples of fine art screen printing I have ever seen.


Lithograph

Invented in 1798 lithography was widely used through out the 1800's and had it's hay day in the late 1890's with the color works of Cheret, Toulouse-Lautrec, Bonnard and many others.

It can be one of the most direct printing mediums because images are drawn on the flat printing surface in the same way one would paint a watercolor or draw on paper.

Lithography is based on the resistance of grease and water. The artist uses grease crayons or tuschewhich is a liquid applied with a brush, to create an image on the printing stone or plate. Traditionally, slabs of limestone weighing tons were used and moved on small rail ways like train cars. Today sheets of metal are more common because they are much lighter and easier to handle.

When the surface is ready to print, a chemical mixture is applied to the stone to secure the image. Then the stone is covered with water. The water sticks to the stone and not the greasy image drawn by the artist. Inks are then rolled across the stone, sticking to the grease and not the water.

Paper is then placed on the stone and it is run through a press to transfer the image. The more complicated the design the more stones need to be used.

Next, Etching and Wood bloc...