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.