Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Fall Retreat

We were supposed to go to my parents' house for Thanksgiving, but my Mom has got pneumonia, so that was cancelled. Luckily, I had taken the boys by the previous week to see "Grammy & Poppa". I think Dyl is going to be a car guy. He's pretty obsessed with cars, and loves just hangin' out and being a gearhead with Poppa. This is the inside of my Dad's garage. I always loved hanging out in the garage. When I was a wee tike, probably around Dylan's age, I busied myself by slapping stickers onto this side of the racecar. I totally screwed up the gold leafing on the car. Dad has incredible tolerance, I'm really surprised the man ever spoke to me again...
Here's my Dad talking cars and stuffed animals with Dylan.
So on Thanksgiving we ended up going to Michael's parents' house. It was cool, until Dylan had a meltdown and got so worked up that he threw up into the hands of Mike's Mother at the dinner-table. Way to kill the mood, Dyl. Saturday night Dylan spent the night with his Nana & Pops, and Michael and I went up to Camp Wrightwood for "Fall Retreat '07". Sloan & Joseph, who run the camp, invited a little group of friends up for the night. This is going to be an annual thing that just started last year. Here's the lodge, where we spent most of the evening.

Here's me and Bodie, happy campers.

Sloan, Joseph and Bodie Bear.

Sloan made one helluva meal. The Prime Rib Roast weighed in at a whopping 14.5 lbs. The fixin's were spectacular, sweet potatoes with a lemon-ginger sauce, green beans with sauteed pearl onions, and mashed potatoes. Here's Sloan with the Roast Beast.

Sloan took this picture of Michael, Me & Bodie. Bodie looks so much like Michael,... I pretty much look like I'm babysitting when I'm holding him.
Joseph kept a raging fire brewing in the fireplace!

Little Britches got tuckered out and had to take a nap before dinner...

Honey took this picture before we all obliterated the meal. L to R : Me & Bodie, Joseph & Sloan, Jami & Mike, and Matt & Krista.
And what could possibly cap off this beautiful meal?!... Smore's. That's what!

Thanks so much Sloan & Joseph for the good times this weekend! Can't wait 'til next year!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Fizzy LIfting Drink

The second Wonka piece... "Fizzy Lifting Drink"
Some close-ups...

Now... to finish the last piece and stuff my face this weekend! Everyone have a great Turkey Day!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tommy Day!

Working on the second Wonka piece now, I'll post pics when it's finished.

I took this picture of Bodie a few days ago... he's so gosh- darned cute!

Yesterday we took Dylan to the Railroad Museum in Perris, CA for "A Day out with Thomas". It was really cool. Michael and I underestimated how huge this thing would be. We just thought it was going to be some lame little train ride, not many poeple. But when we got there we were shocked by the tons of parents and kids everywhere. We took a train ride on these old passenger cars that were hooked on to Thomas.

It made me think a lot about my late Granddad, Buck. He was such a bad-ass. He used to hop trains all the time and just ride the rails, see where it would take him. He actually recorded himself on tape telling all of these awesome train hopping stories. He gave them to my brother. I need to get copies of those things. He even came to California in a covered wagon. That dude was solid gold.
Here's Michael and Dylan in the passenger car. Dyl was totally into it!
As if the day weren't packed with enough excitement, Bob the Builder made an appearance!

Old Cabooses rock!
Here' s a bunch of old trolleys...
Damn, I've always loved train sets.

Dylan sporting his Junior Conductor Thomas the Train hat.

I want to go back and check that place out again when it's not so crowded. There was a ton of history to see there. Michael and I also want to take the boys to check out the old fighter planes at March Air Force Base.... maybe that could be our next outing.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

inspiration ... and a little depression

I took this picture before I started painting the first Wonka piece. I don't know what it is about a newly layed out palette of paint that I love so much. I guess it's just the possibilities... also the paints look so crisp and inviting. I always get that same warm & fuzzy kind of feeling from a blank canvas too...
So here is the finished product for the first Wonka piece. She's 10" x 24" and I think it came out pretty cool. It's really hard to get a real feel for the layering of the wood cut-outs.
I even tried taking some pictures of it with my camera... but they just came out kind of crappy.

A couple of close-ups...

So this past Tuesday Jeff invites me to go out to L.A. and visit some of the galleries. I was super excited not only by the titillating idea of seeing artwork, but also the idea of actually leaving the house. Michael's Mom took Bodie for the day and Michael took charge of Dylan...leaving me with the day to myself. Jeff and I stopped off in Pasadena to pick up fellow Art Center Alumni, Levon Jihanian.
Our first stop was Black Market Gallery to see Dave Kinsey's show "Sure, Why Not". I've been here a couple of times before and I really like this space. The artwork was really soulful and moving. I came away with a real admiration for Kinsey's ability to get down and dirty and really make art.
I mean, to paint something onto the canvas and then paint right over it again is something I wish I had the courage to do. My stuff is really more illustration based, and maybe even a little anal in that respect. The layering effect in his art was really balanced and well thought out. Each stroke of paint was beautiful in itself.

Jeff and Kinsey talking shop.

This is a really bitchin', yet kind of creepy sculpture that sits atop the gallery.

From there we went down the The Lab Gallery to see Kelsey Brookes, Anthony Lister, and Kill Pixie.

I came away feeling like maybe I'm a little too stuck in my illustration ways... not experimental enough...
Then we went to Billy Shire's Gallery to check out Joe Sorren's show. Although these pictures show the work as a whole... each and every square inch was a wonder of paint, light, and color.

And basically I left there just wanting to crawl under a rock and cry. It all kind of made me question my own art. Mine just seems so lame and cheeky in comparison. I mean, I have fun making my art, and I think that shows in my finished work... but my art doesn't really say's pretty shallow, really.
We headed over the Merry Karnowski Gallery for Camille Rose Garcia's show. The work was stunning. I really like the textural quality she gets by using glitter in her work. Also, you can't beat happy little liquor bottles.

Form there we went on to Gallery 1988, where Jeff introduced us to Attaboy, who was gearing up for the High Fructose Show opening that night.

The work looked great. I was especially smitten with "Little Bastard" by Jason D'Aquino.

Apparently the Writer's strike happened that day. We passed by some of the studios en route to La Luz De Jesus.

Then we went for a late lunch at Lupe's, our old college hang-out. Here's a sweet picture of Jeff and Levon sharing a lovely day. The food there rocks, and just look at what the atmosphere does to people!

After eating we decided to swing by Art Center to check out the scene. Here we are on the bridge. I hadn't been there in years. It was pretty weird to go back, but pretty cool to get that nostalgic feeling again.
Overall, a really inspiring day. And I guess maybe seeing what other people are up to is supposed to make you question your own art. Maybe we stop progressing if we stop questioning.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Long Lasting...

I have a group show coming up at the Alcove Gallery
The theme is Willie Wonka, so I'm doing three pieces that are these kind of ads on old wood. I'm cutting out the wood to layer the piece, a lot like the old Alice Cooper piece I did. Here's the sketch for the first piece...
And here's the frame.
A couple of days ago Mike ran into this guy down by our mailboxes. He took this pic with his camera phone
I searched Google images for something that would really show the detail on it. Here's what I found. I'm totally arachnophobic... I literally got woozy just looking at the blurry pictures on Michael's phone. He was going to bring it home to get better pics of it, but he thought I might have a heart attack and die.

So out of curiosity, I looked up some info on tarantulas and I found out they're really harmless to humans. However, It was really interesting to find out about the tarantula hawk. I had taken the picture below a few months ago. We have a few of these things hanging around our backyard sometimes. This one was on our retainer wall. I didn't know what it was at the time I took the picture ( just dug on the colors in it), but apparently these things wait around for tarantulas, sting them & paralize them, drag them into a burrow, then lay their eggs on the spiders still-warm body, and THEN somehow lock them inside the burrow to act as the host for their future family. I'd rather tangle with a tarantula, thank you.

What is it with the creepy crawly bugs around here?