Thursday, August 30, 2007

Something else I miss about having a job.

In addition to health insurance, I miss air-conditioning.

Its past 1AM and the thermostat in my un-airconditioned house has finally dropped to 85 degrees. At 10pm it was around 90. I refuse to look at it during the day. I dont know why I decided to keep an eye on it this evening. Its irrelevant, I already know its hot. Its supposed to be over a 100 for the next few days--probably longer. Im fine in the morning but by noon its uncomfortable and by 3 its ridiculous. Needless to say, I'm having a hard time concentrating on my painting. Frankly, Im having a hard time even getting off the couch. I try to put things in perspective by thinking about people in the desert, or people in the south where its hot AND humid. That hasn't helped.

At about 10pm I decided I could finally focus and paint for more than 10 minutes at a time. At midnight I put on a pot of coffee, threw all my ice in the blender and made my own frosty frappucino concoction. Seems perfectly reasonable to me that if its too hot to work in the day, I should just stay up all night and sleep through the heat. So yes, I drank the whole thing. Between working at night and going to "Camp Jeannie" (My friend Jeannie lives by the beach and naively offered me her studio & couch if it gets too hot up here) I should be able to function for the next two months.

I am very grateful not to have roomates. I am very grateful to have a friend & fellow painter who lives at the beach.

Hive Opening this Sat. Sept 1

One of my Trucker portraits will be in the Hive group show this month:
Opening: September 1st 8-12:30AM $7 at door
from Sept.1st to Sept.30th
729 S. Spring St.
LA, CA 90014

Also, Los Angeles Downtown Art Walk is Thursday Sept 13th 12- 9pm. They have a handy shuttle to take you around to the various galleries which makes the whole artwalk experience a little nicer and easier to see all the galleries.
click here for map, more info & list of participating galleries.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

August 18- Get out of the house!

YAY! More Shameless Plugs!!

I know I just got home but already Im itching to get out of the house. It has a lot to do with the fact that I dont have air conditioning and its been in the mid 90's here in LALA land. I'm not good in the heat.

Two fabulously talented friends will be performing this Saturday August 18. These are separate events which will be quite different from each other but both very cool.

1) Wanna Camcam (she is also a very talented visual artist--we shared a space at the Brewery artwalk in April) will be performing with Francis Awe and the Nigerian Talking Drum ensemble. They're doing a performance, and a drumming and dancing workshop. It's early in the day, but if you wanted to learn some moves or just watch the shaking, now is the time.

Ford Amphitheatre
August 18th, 10AM.

Bring the kids--- they'll love it (Plus they get in free!). Adults $5

2) "Dr. Charles J. Maxey" will be performing with the Lunar Project (myspace page)

August 18 @ 8pm
117 North Sycamore
Santa Ana CA

Its Funky space agey--- I dont know really how to describe it but its cool! Its an experimental jazz influenced ambient music/video performance thing.

Maybe get a babysitter for this one.....

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Worst place to play Fetch- EVER!

This morning I backed up all of the photos I took on this trip to my hard drive. Slightly more than 500 files were transfered. I won't torture you with a slideshow but I will share a few of my favorites, starting with this one:

And if the dog jumping off the cliff is still somehow unclear, the bottom of the sign reads "Put your dog back in the vehicle!"

You know meetings were held to determine the best design. An artist probably had to draft several versions.(I would LOVE to see them!) I especially like the birds flying by. Its a nice touch and a subtle reminder that birds fly; dogs don't. ... and by the way, you are really high up.

Home Sweet Home

Got a little bit of mail while I was gone....

Sunday, August 05, 2007

homeward bound

headed to bend today...taking the long way there!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

A few shameless plugs

1- Last Tuesday I went and saw my friend Joe McMurrian and his band play some mighty fine blues at the White Eagle here in Portland. I managed to make it through the night this time without losing my car. Joe and his band are outstanding especially live. If you are anywhere near Portland, you have a pulse, and a penchant for good Blues, you must go see them play (they're there every Tuesday). If you can't see them live, you can get their CD through his website:

2- My friend Mike partnered with Digital Steamworks and Kevin Kallaugher (aka KAL, the Economist’s editorial cartoonist) on a tech demo: Dancing Dubya (on YouTube)

Falling out here, Boss...

The other day I took Oxford (Ken’s dog) for a walk down the street that runs on the back side of the studio. I had been completely engrossed in a painting so I was in that state of mind where I’m hyper aware of anything painting related but oblivious to all else. I may notice things but if they aren’t related to the painting, it just doesn’t click.

Because I’m working on the trucker series, I immediately noticed the way the roads intersected across the field bordering the complex; that the afternoon light would be hitting it soon and that there were a lot of trucks moving along the road and onto the I-84 onramp. With my zoom lens I’d be able to get some good shots. The sun was behind me, so I kept turning around to see where it hit the trees and figuring how long before it was likely to make the trucks coming down the road look extra cool. I noticed, but immediately dismissed, the large parking lot on the opposite side of the road, the remaining warehouse buildings… and the group of guys (all dressed in orange shirts) sitting in the shade of the building clearly waiting for something.

I let Oxford run around in the field for a while and then went back to the studio for my camera. I’m getting great shots of trucks coming on and off the freeway with the field in between. I’m still looking behind me to see where the sun is hitting and where its likely to go. The guys in the orange shirts are now watching my every move. It vaguely occurs to me that they might be thinking I keep looking in that direction because I’m looking at them but I’m so focused on the trucks that the thought barely makes a blip.

A truck pulls into that parking lot and the guys jump up and start loading. The light is now that perfect golden light just before sunset. The driver’s got one of those Australian leather cowboyish hats and its too much for me to resist so I start taking photos of them. The guys notice and really start hamming it up. I think, wow, these guys don’t’ get out much….

I’m far away but my lens is really good so I’m zooming in and getting some great shots. The security guard (or so I thought) starts walking over to me. As he gets closer, I realize it’s a sheriff. This doesn’t particularly surprise or alarm me because in LA with the movie industry and all, its fairly common for a cop to be around big trucks as they’re loaded up with props and such. He starts chatting with me and makes a joke about my disruptive presence. I ask if its ok that I’m taking photos, and he says the guys don’t seem to mind. We chit chat as I’m snapping away, the guys are still loading but clowning around for the camera. I’m zoomed in but looking at composition, the light, etc but ignoring small details. Like what is printed on their shirts and caps. I zoom in even closer and FINALLY it registers: printed on each and every one of their shirts: Marion County Sheriff’s Inmate Work Crew.

I’m nothing if not observant… and I was right, they don’t get out much.

one more...

Friday, August 03, 2007

Truckers and Truckstops

Troutdale is a heavily used truck stop. There are trucks and truckers everywhere. Seemed a no- brainer to do a series. I used to wait tables in college at a diner frequented by truckers. From that experience I knew that while they can be gruff sometimes (I know I would be cranky after 14 days of driving), they are typically good people; they’ve got plenty of hilarious stories and more importantly (at that time at least) across the board they were the best tippers. All things being equal, I’d pick the trucker tables over the business lunch crowd any day. Regardless, the idea of hanging out at a truck stop talking truckers into letting me take a photo to do a painting off of was a little intimidating. Actually, to be honest, the idea scared the hell out of me.

I talked to my friend Cliff who tried to help me analyze exactly what I was afraid of. When that didn’t work, he resorted to calling me a chicken and all sorts of other juvenile names. I’m ashamed to admit that’s what worked. I’ve spent the last few mornings at the truck stop catching the truckers after they filled up and were going inside to pay or grab a Coke.

Some I only talk to for a few minutes, others I talked to for up to 45 minutes. I met truckers from all over the U.S. and even ones from Rio, London, and India. Richard Montgomery (“Like Montgomery, Alabama… but I’m from OMAHA!”) just turned 50 but maybe looks 40. We talked about everything from Paris Hilton to Condoleeza Rice, of course that led to Iraq, then Syria…somehow ended up talking about Orwell’s “1984”, the collapse of the bridge in Minneapolis…he did a hilarious impression of an American talking to an Iraqi (he wants to be a comedian some day). My guess is this guy spends most of his time driving listening to news and talk shows. He’s very well informed and a lot smarter than he thinks. The one and only female driver I saw was from Wisconsin and was very excited about getting her photo taken for a painting. Tarry’s been driving for 11 years and LOVES her job. She’s an evangelist spreading the Word and she’s got more energy than she seems to know what to do with. A very funny lady. There were many many good stories. This is going to be a fun series.

Here are a few pieces in various states of finish. The woman by the way is an attendant at the station, not Tarry.