Wednesday, March 31, 2010

sea change

There's been a new series germinating in my brain since last summer and though I haven't yet reached any firm conclusions, yesterday I did make some decisions. Today was like sealing the deal; after spending over three hours at the Federation Gallery jurying three different shows I knew I was doing the right thing. Shoot me for saying it so plainly, but there's an awful lot of junk out there and I'm terrified of adding more to the pile.

Whenever I make a decision like this I shift into purge mode. I have some work I need to finish for two of my dealers but after that I'm jumping in with both feet and don't want to feel bogged down by stuff hanging around my studio, so I sense another garage sale coming on. More on the Great Unloading Of Small Artwork (including the drawing above) soon.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Some amazing stuff from Rudy:

Spring is sprung but does your garden grow flowers like the ones blooming in Japanese artist Macato Murayama's imagination?

And since we're discussing growth, you would've been the star of the class if you'd grown something like this in Biology 11. No hallucinogenics were abused in the making of Klari Reis' petri dish art.

Then there's this amazing new Photoshop tool called the content-aware fill. It's like Photoshop with its own brains. I would have embedded the demonstration video here but I can only post small-dimension videos on this Old Blogger template and it helps to see it larger so check it out directly.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

the northern flicker shop

Call me crazy but I have just been goofing around at Cafe Press, setting up a shop entitely devoted to my noisy but charming little friend, the Northern Flicker. (We get the red-shafted variety here.) It's really just a fun project, but bird nerds, if you have the chance please spread the word! And for my next act I will open a restaurant that only serves carrot sticks.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

alien vs pooh

"Oh, bother!"

This is awesome. At moments like this, when my Need-to-share Disorder surfaces, I question my Facebook withdrawal.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

brilliance beyond

mixed drawing media on black archival paper
11" x 14" (image: 7.5" x 10")

So much work to do and so little time away from my laptop. Solution? Chase Ellen and Donn and, like a lemming, drop off the edge into the abyss that is life without Facebook. But only for a week. I'm not crazy after all!

PS Check out the Owl Box.

Monday, March 22, 2010


In the past couple of days I have read two vastly different takes on the art world. The first is this article, concerning power struggles in the overinflated world of high-end art branding. The other is the blog of artist and friend Paula, who is simply struggling to exist. Both are fascinating reading.

As an artist who uses photography as both a tool and for its own rewards, I have two contrasting photographic interests: cityscapes and wildlife. I'm fortunate to have easy access to both kinds of environments. On Friday I was thrilled to see a Chestnut-backed Chickadee amongst the common-as-dirt Black-capped Chickadees around here. I'm struggling to find a metaphor there to tie this post up neatly but I got nothin'. Suggestions anyone?

Friday, March 19, 2010

pear picture for peras

mixed media on panel 6" x 6"

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

the creative personality

Recently I came across this 1996 article by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi based on a study of the creative personality. I love those rare moments when I can really recognize myself (or others, as the case may be) in a study like this. The first phrase to grab me was the following:

When we're creative, we feel we are living more fully than during the rest of life.

After that I was hooked!
The crux of the biscuit is in this segment:

If I had to express in one word what makes their personalities different from others, it's complexity. They show tendencies of thought and action that in most people are segregated. They contain contradictory extremes; instead of being an "individual," each of them is a "multitude."

Csikszentmihalyi goes on to cite 10 pairs of antithetical traits present in creative people, all fascinating, b
ut of all the examples, I especially like and identify with this one:

As Howard Gardner remarked in his study of the major creative geniuses of this century, a certain immaturity, both emotional and mental, can go hand in hand with deepest insights. Mozart comes immediately to mind.

Not that I'm elevating myself to the level of Mozart, but the truly creative people I know have a very silly side to their personalities.
But enough from me ~ read the article!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

signs of spring

Spring seemed to start here in January -- somewhat ironic for the place that held the "winter" Olympics, but I'm not complaining! On February 20th I took these photos:

The following week I was doing the breakfast-and-lunch-making short-order routine and what should appear on the morning news but footage of my childhood home burning down (see video clip). A couple in their eighties died in the blaze. It was completely unnerving as I have fond and vivid memories of that old rancher in its idyllic setting. Apparently the fire started in a bedroom I shared with my brother (and I'm convinced it started in that evil, dark closet) as you can see by this photo I lifted off a news site:

Yesterday, March 8th, the temperature finally dipped to normal levels for winter, something like 3 or 4C. Murphy having his last winter hurrah maybe? I had to go to White Rock today to pick up some paintings, so Greg and I took Coco to the (very chilly) beach:

She got to hang out with more than just big birds, though. Coco weighs about 40 lbs. Guesses as to how much this Giant Schnauzer weighs?

Then there was Casey, seven weeks post-op after having his foreleg amputated due to bone cancer. He lurrrrved Coco, totally unphased by his missing leg, and she politely tolerated his tragic attempts to hump her.

The coffee at Small Ritual Coffee Society, a Christian coffee house, was much appreciated after that ... then we took down the show. On February 27th I gave a brief talk about these paintings for an evening audience consisting mostly of friends and family of the musical entertainment. It was not exactly my audience -- or, more accurately, I was not exactly their type of artist -- but we do what we can to relieve the monotony of toiling in silence behind the scenes.

I'm ready for spring to return!

Monday, March 08, 2010

a type of art

I love art that recycles. The days of typing your deepest, darkest whatsits on your own letterhead may be long gone, but who says the typewriters themselves have to go into the landfill and the paper into the recycle bin? It's a shame that the vintage letterhead isn't on acid-free paper. For more on the typewriter sculpture, check out Delilah.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

more art and photography

I'm painting again and taking lots of photos so the creative juices are coming unstuck (and the metaphors they are a-mixin'). Yesterday I took the following photos of my son (the redhead) and his bandmates in the little graveyard around the corner. I just want a small mention when they make it big ("Photography by Carl's mom").

More art: Joanne Mattera wrote a very interesting blog post about the artist/gallerist relationship.
More photography: Thanks to Kikipotamus I discovered this amazing photo blog.