Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Red Disassociated

Yay! Finally a colored pencil drawing that I like. I was at the art store a while back and bought a colorless blending pencil. I was unsure if I wanted to use it since I didn't know what it would do, but I decided to try it out and I have to say I really like it.

It allows you to push down the tooth of the paper so you get a more complete coverage of color and at the same time you can use it for gradient techniques that give you a more painterly feel.

I like this so much I think I might do a painting of it, or something similar. We'll have to wait and see.

P.S. All these drawings look about 10 times better in person. Scanners use reflected light on an angle that bounces into the sensor. The light reflects off the side of the tiny ridges of the paper, which means, there is more of the paper showing through than you would see with your own eye, making the colors less intense. I think I might start taking photos of them instead of scanning them.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Tower vs. Pan

Since I had to start displaying my cookie sheet because of the heat mark that resembles Virgin Mary and couldn't cook up a decent post, I've decided to distract you with a game. And it so happens to coincide with my latest painting , kind of.

Monday, February 26, 2007


Friday, February 23, 2007

You Want to Be Fooled

I just finished watching the Prestige DVD, and I thought it was a cool show, and then I remembered this video. I love real magic and I've seen a ton of magic.

I like being accosted on the street by people who want to put me in their TV shows without compensation.

And I really like it because I'm not an actor. Have you seen me act? Trust me no one would mistake me for an actor.

But I'll tell you what, I'm really good at believing stuff.

Like stuffing your arm under a dudes jacket and shirt and having your hand appear from between the buttons, and I would totally believe that he put his arm through the dudes chest. It would totally work on a guy wearing a t-shirt too. Your hand would just melt right through the cloth. I wonder if that is a super power, "Melting Cloth Hand Man", I would have the coolest costume.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Man: Continued

This sign sums up what the corporate motto should be. Now if only we could all be as mindless as these upstanding workers. Imagine the bliss that would prevail in all of serfdom.

(via Can't Get Enough Futurama)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Man

The corporate world is designed to make you fail.

I believe that the more people know and learn, no matter what their area of interest, the better off the world is.

I wonder how many great ideas, inventions or breakthroughs have been ruined when someone is sitting at work and just barely gets an inkling of something great and then someone interrupts and slams a folder down, drops off a memo, rings the phone, or sends an email?

It's impossible to retrieve these ideas once lost since they were just being uncovered by the archaeologist of the mind when a dust storm arrives to bury it forever.

But I think a bigger tragedy occurs when the idea never sees the light of day, suppressed by the fear that the idea will be stolen by management and even if the idea is implemented there never is a reward equal to the contribution.

A corporation is designed to be run by very few men. These men want to run their own little empire and keep their thumbs on the serfs. And because of this, ideas and free flowing thoughts are discouraged unless they fit in the already outlined plan.

Corporate culture believes that everything takes a certain amount of time to happen. A person must have so much experience in this department, or must have been doing such and such for so many years before they can "move up". Which is totally contradictory to the way people learn.

Some people learn quicker than others, so for some a few months in a certain area is enough for them to learn the skills. While others might take years. But the fear that someone will "take" your job persists and keeps humanity from moving farther and faster than it could.

I believe that the internet is a precursor to a better society. The internet gives the everyday man the ability to make his voice heard, to change things, and to bypass the controlling grip of the few at the top who are happy with their empires. I believe that we could be headed toward a custom society where the individual can be master of his own life and use their natural skills to better humanity.

It's amazing what people can do when they can think and pursue ideas that would have been shot down by a corporate middle manager. For example Burt Rutan chief designer of Scaled Composites, he wanted to make planes and even space ships that had no bearing on traditional ideas of what and how these should perform and look. By going it alone without the corporate umbrella he has broken records, invented dozens of new plane designs, and has the credit of putting the first non-governmental supported man into orbit.

As long as the corporate culture exists in its current form, the failure rate for humanity's greatness will continue at its high level.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

White Hole

Monday, February 19, 2007

3 Black

This is the first painting I've completed since I decided to go more abstract. I was trying to use concepts that I like, fading color, crosses, and shapes. The idea of bright light shining into a skinny yet vast area has been an icon in my mind for a while now.

I'm not quite sure what it means yet, but usually after time has passed I'll pull out an old painting and all of a sudden I'll understand what my subconscious was trying to tell me.

(This painting also inspired me in the redesign of my website.)

Friday, February 16, 2007

It's a Bird, It's a Plane...

It's a new easel! Yay!

Well after many years of using home built jobs I finally have an official easel. I still think that fancy equipment doesn't mean you make great art, but just look at it in all its stained and varnished glory! (Excuse me as I grab a Kleenex to wipe my eyes.)

"How do you afford your art lifestyle?" You might ask.

Well due to unforeseen circumstances, a.k.a. my boss thought I did a pretty good job last year, I was given a bonus at work. Now usually when I fall into a little extra money I pay bills and then whine about it later. (Responsibility sucks sometimes.)

But this time I said screw it! I'm not gonna take it, anymore! So I jumped on Dickus Blickus and found a killer deal, original price $400, on clearance just over $100, and said that's the one for me. And of course with the rest of the money I bought paint and supplies, a.k.a. paid off the witch doctor for my "I'm doing great at work" spell. (He has an installment plan, for the thrifty consumer.)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Dinner Two Ways

This dinner is a lovely tarragon chicken baked in a phyllo dough shell. But, as you can see from the two versions one is more attractive than the other.

The bottom photo is a straight shot without any post processing. It looks fine but it lacks that pizazz that jumps out and says eat me now!

So how do we get the desired effect?

You can do it two ways. If you have a filter system you can use a graduated warming filter and shoot the original shot. This will brighten things up and increase your contrast a bit.

Or you can do what I did and use photo editing software. The basic procedure is to put a second layer over the top of the original image, and then choose an appropriate color , I chose a yellow-orange color. After you have your color, you turn it into a gradient by clicking the gradient button, or similar method. In the gradient options screen I chose color fading from top to bottom with a transparent bottom.

Next, you use the fill bucket tool to paint the second blank layer with your gradient. This leaves your image looking like someone spilled ink on it and tried to wipe it off. Now here comes the secret. In the layer options in most programs you can choose a blend mode. This tells the software how the top layer should interact with the bottom layer. I chose soft light for this blend but other programs may be different. The best thing to do is to experiment and see which turns out the best.

And if you are wondering, yes I made the dinner.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Fair Use and You Tube

Since I am an artist/writer copyright law is one thing that I have researched. I am always an advocate for asking permission to use a created work but sometimes things fall under fair use law.

As this article at says 'Under the "fair use" rule of copyright law, an author may make limited use of another author's work without asking permission.'

The fair use rule limits use to commentary, news, educational purposes, research, and parody. By taking clips of works and posting them on You Tube, or any other venue, without appropriate use you are basically breaking the law.

Now I believe that my previous post about the film "The Mystery of Picasso" was fair use since I was using it in a commentary form and did not show the entire film, but merely an illustration of what you can expect, in a similar way as a late night talk show. But, After going back to You Tube and looking up Picasso I realized that someone had basically taken the entire film and posted it in pieces.

This clearly does not fall under fair use since only a small portion of a work can be used under fair use, even if it is presented in pieces, and I did not see any reasonable commentary by the postee.

One thing to be careful of is the use of a single image. Since showing the entirety of a single image is akin to copying an entire book or film, the only usage that would fall under fair use would be to show a smaller portion of the image.

A general rule to follow is that if you are using more than a snippet of the work and do not provide some sort of commentary or transformation to the work, you are not protected by fair use.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Mystery of Picasso

This is a small piece of a film I watched, years ago, showing Picasso painting. This looks like an oil painting or maybe acrylic, since you can see him painting white over black, something you can't do in watercolor or ink.

In the film he starts out by painting ink onto the back of stretched paper on a frame that is lit from the front. All you can see are his brush strokes as the painting forms. It's very interesting and I recommend watching the entire film.

Apparently the video that I was using as an example of the movie has been taken down by You Tube, due to a copyright claim. Used in an editorial way it clearly falls under fair use but since I'm not a lawyer (and have no cash to hire one) we will have to put up with it.

Monday, February 12, 2007

I'm the Father of Anna Nicole Smith's Baby

I was on the verge of calling a press conference but that prince guy beat me to it on Friday so I had to make other plans. His press conference would merely steal my thunder.

It's been a secret for too long. Yes, I am the father of Anna Nicole Smith's baby.

I didn't want to announce too early because just like candidates for the presidency, the early worm usually burns out before the finish line.

Some might ask when I met her, and I say back, it hardly matters. Yes we were never physically in each others presence but I've seen her on TV, on the internet, and in print.

At some point she had to know that I existed and somehow through the magic of television obtained my DNA to create, in a Frankensteinian experiment, a child that will bring me the big bucks.

I will challenge all con-men... err... potential fathers to a thumb war, the winner take all! Screw paternity tests, that's my baby and I have the thumbs to prove it.

Friday, February 09, 2007

3 X Blue

This started out as a sketch for a painting, but since I was at work and bored I decided to make it a colored pencil drawing. This is the first thing that I've posted after deciding to go down the abstract path. I like the idea of it but think the color coverage of paint would make it better.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Emeril Needs To Lay Off The Ritalin

I was flipping through channels and somehow ended up on the Food Network watching Emeril. I don't have a sleep disorder but if I did I would expect my doctor to prescribe watching Emeril and calling back in the morning.

Seriously how does this guy stay on the air? He frustrates me to the point where I want to crawl through the TV and shake him to wake up. Was he not calm enough? Did some producer get an illegal prescription for Ritalin, convincing Emeril to take it by saying "look, we think you're not slow enough. This will help."?

It also turned out to be Emeril Live. The idea of a cooking show with a live band and studio audience doesn't sit right. And the audience was really freaking me out, these people look way too happy.

Here's an example:

"So uh... we have... the butter... in... the pan." Emeril says then pauses longer for some reason, "And... the butter... is... melting."

"Whoooooo!" And at this point the crowd goes crazy.

Now melting butter isn't anything that makes me excited but for some people it seems like something just short of a miracle.

I guess the next time I'm trying to get people to come to my art show, I'll add a line that says I'll also be doing a demonstration involving melting butter, live!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Desert Perch

This is from a road trip I took years ago. The model is my sister. We were really bored one weekend and decided to take a whirlwind tour of southern Utah. I forgot about this photo and was going through some old boxes and ran across it.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Techno Road Trip

If I was going to visually classify music styles I would have to say that techno is the closest form to abstract art you can have audibly. And since I'm going down that road visually here is a sound track for your road trip.

Bust out the chocolate pies and easy cheese and put the pedal to the metal.

DJ Krush -Road to Nowhere
GB - The Black Monolith (No official website. Af link)
Hybrid - Higher Than a Skyscraper
Jake Fairley - Radiator
Ada - Les Danseuses

Monday, February 05, 2007

Crisis of Art

I was going through an art crisis last night and forgot to post. If you've been reading you know that I've been battling with myself about how I want to paint, between abstract and figurative styles.

I like both of them and I think I will continue to do both of them for a while but I have decided to go into a more abstract path. I've always been drawn to modern and minimalistic art and over the years have sketched many ideas on what I would do, but an artist is under extreme social pressures. I know that sounds funny since an artist is supposed to buck expectations and follow his own path but those expectations can be a gigantic lead cloud that seems to press you down into a little cube where people can quantify you.

I often wonder why people. especially art galleries, try to pigeonhole artists into a narrow category. Artist's are living beings and as such they, like everything else, will change over time. To expect an artist to only paint, or make art, in one style his entire life would be like me saying to you that you can only watch one type of TV show, or read one type of book your entire life.

If I tried to force you into this you would think that I was crazy. And yet that is exactly what people expect of artists. It's unreasonable.

I'm just glad that I'm not widely known for one type of art yet, it will be less of a shock for people, though I do think that my friends and family are going to wonder what I'm up to.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Early Winter Bramble

I took this on a short trip up a canyon. It was late in the day and the sun was just about to set and the light was not the best. I took this on the edge of a small stream that had cut a 20 foot deep gorge through a small meadow.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

People Who Watch TV Are Laughing

"Are you serious?!" That was my reaction when I heard about the totally overblown reaction to the advertising campaign for Aqua Teen Hunger Force.

Someone really thought it was terrorists? I bet you if they were signs of Mickey Mouse that lit up, not a single person on the planet would've been alarmed. (By the way that last statement should concern somebody.)

But we react by calling out the bomb squad and have blue gloved officials holding up signs like Superman handling Kryptonite. Give me a break. Doesn't anyone in government watch TV?

I mean the show has been on TV for seven years. It's not like it's new or something. At some point maybe someone should have recognized the cartoon figure and thought "Gee, it's a cartoon."

Now I agree that there shouldn't have been visible wires and stuff hanging out, and a logo with the cartoon network on it might have waylaid some fears. But charging people with felonies and potentially a fine of a half a million dollars, isn't that a little too far?

All of this could have been solved if someone had just called their son in college and used a camera phone to send a picture of the sign. It could have saved a lot of trouble, but there's always going to be some old granny (mentally speaking) who thinks the world is going to end because they changed the color on her hemorrhoid cream packaging.

People should be more aware of their own culture. And right now TV and the Internet are the driving force. How can we expect to understand other cultures and know what is a threat and not if we don't even pay attention to our own?

Maybe someone in the government should be assigned to watch some TV. It would save some cash and a few heart attacks.