Friday, March 30, 2007

Fire Can Not Melt Steel

And with that comment Rosie O'Donnell proves that she is the stupidest person on Earth. I didn't see her make this comment on The View, but if the audience hadn't been prescreened for brain dead zombies, I would fully expect them all to get up and walk out.

Seriously, does she even know how steel is made? You have to melt it with fire in the first place, then you form it into the desired shape. Apparently she's never been to a medieval festival, though she clearly would fit right in as a harridan, where blacksmiths heat steel in fire to soften it, a.k.a. melt it slightly, so it is softer and will bend under the pressure of the hammer.

If after this comment people still give her any kind of credit, they are as stupid as she is and need to be all put in a bag and drowned.

Here's a news flash Rosie, ANYTHING that gets hot enough can melt. Have you ever heard of the Sun? It's a big fire ball where every element in the universe is melted. Or did you just think that there was a giant million watt light bulb floating in the sky that warmed the Earth? And by the way the Earth isn't flat either.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Go Kill Yourself!

Go play this game. You can all thank me later.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

How To Find Inspiration

To a creative person lack of inspiration is similar to dying, except you are still alive and have to deal with it. Everyone goes through periods of time when nothing seems to excite you and all the ideas seem to have left on a mission to Mars and they forgot to invite you along. So what do you do when you need inspiration and no matter which rocks you turn over all you seem to find are bugs?

Here are some ideas to help catch the elusive muse.

Let inspiration find you. With a world full of distractions it's hard to think let alone listen to something that can't be heard. Turn off the TV, radio, ipod, cell phone, instant messages, and hang a sign on the door saying you've gone to lunch and won't be back for an hour. Then sit in a comfy chair and close your eyes. And stop thinking. Listen to the sounds around you, look at the light patterns of your eyelids, and let the ideas come to you.

Limit your senses. You can only process so many incoming signals at once so turn one off and provide an open path for the one you want. Try watching a visually stimulating movie but turn the sound and closed captions off. In the absence of a storyline it allows your brain to think its own thoughts about what you are seeing. You can also start watching the movie part way in so you don't get wrapped up in a plot.

Find the right song. Try listening to music you might not always listen to, and when you find the song that just seems to click, put it on repeat. Don't worry if others think you're nuts because you have listened to the same song 20 times. You're doing this for your reasons not theirs. Repeat is inspiration's friend.

Go for a walk. Get out of the office or house and walk in a different direction than you have before. Movement stimulates your body and mind and the new sights will force your brain to deal with new sensations. If you can't get out, try walking briskly in a circle or back and forth. Unusual activity will prepare your brain for something new. And in case it isn't obvious, leave the ipod on the desk.

Open a window. Having a fresh breeze and letting the outside in can change the feeling in the room and also in your brain. Even if it's the middle of Winter, the change can bring fresh thoughts.

Look at new art. Yes you may love that picture of a windmill hanging on your wall but by now it's old and the ideas it inspires are old. Hang a new painting on the wall, or print off a picture you found on the internet and tape it up where you can see it. And try finding art that challenges you and is interesting. A good rule is to reject the normal and go for something you wouldn't usually choose.

Go to church. I know, it sounds weird, but I have received some of my best ideas while sitting in church. That's why I always take a notebook with me everywhere I go. While the speaker is going on it's easy to jot down an idea or make a thumbnail sketch. I look at it as a kind of forced meditation.

Keep a dream journal. Most of what you dream makes no sense but once in a while you'll wake up and the greatest thing since sliced bread will have just ran through your head. Write it down quick. Dreams fade fast. And if later on it sounds like a crackpot idea, remember you don't have to use it just because you wrote it down.

Take a break. Sometimes there is nothing you can do, so instead of fighting it, forget about it. Let your subconscious figure things out and go do something else for a while. While playing basketball or reading a book you'll be amazed at what ideas will jump into your head.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Book List: The Traveller

I just finished reading The Traveler by John Twelve Hawks. It's a story about an underground society and their enemies who are both racing to find a traveler. A traveler has a special gift that allows him to go between dimensions and bring back knowledge. On one side you have a street ninja trying to protect travelers and on the other a group of people trying to kill them so they can control all of humanity. It was a decent book in the cyberpunk genre but it had a few cliches in it that kept throwing me out of the story, but I would have to recommend it. It is a good read especially if you're not sensitive to cliches like me..

Monday, March 26, 2007

Road Trip Cancelled

I was supposed to go on a trip to Yellowstone this weekend but then we found out that it wasn't open this time of year. So with plans dashed, I decided to stay home and accomplish something. Only nothing much got done.

No paintings, no drawings, no photographs.

I think my subconscious was in vacation mode and was going to make me take a mental one, even if I couldn't go anywhere physically. I guess it was time to recharge the batteries.

But I still feel this pressure like I should have done something. I always feel like I am falling behind and not able to keep up and that if I slow down the world will pass me by and not be too kind as it tramples me with elephantine feet.

I start to compare my accomplishments with those of the past like Benjamin Franklin, Pablo Picasso, and Mozart. They all seem to have accomplished great things, many more than people of today seem to. Many more than I seem to be able to.

I think sometimes that taking a break, whether by choice or not, is probably a good thing. I bet the giants of the past took breaks, but no one writes about them in history books. Recharging the batteries isn't very exciting, but I think it is probably necessary.

Now if only I could figure out how to stop the nagging in my head that I'm not doing enough.

Friday, March 23, 2007


colored pencil on bristol board 8 x 5 inches

Thursday, March 22, 2007

In a Lonely Place

I love film noir. I just finished watching In a Lonely Place which was made in 1950 and stars Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame. It's one of those movies that you don't realize how good it is until after it's over and you start to think about it, and then all the little things hit you and you just want to watch it again.

I love how it ends, it's probably one of the best and least anticipated endings in film history. You are just left with this feeling of question and inevitability at the same time. I love how as the audience you are taken along on the same emotional journey as the characters and how you come to the same conclusion. And yet you want to have this hoped for idealized ending that you've come to expect in other movies, but then you think about it and realize that the director was a genius, and that if it had had the typical ending it would be like last year's romantic comedy, ............ whatever its name was, and end up forgotten.

I feel a kinship with film noir and it wasn't until I saw this film that I realized that I explore the same general themes in my art, the alienation, the tension, the contemplation of the inevitable, the ultimate loneliness we all face, and forced acceptance of our situation.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Where The Wind Blows

It's windy tonight. After a beautiful first half of March the second half is promising to have teeth. There are three flags outside my room that flap in the breeze, they make a cracking snapping sound mixed with the mad ringing of the ropes used to raise and lower them beating against the metal poles. It's the first sound of a storm moving in.

I like the sounds they make. They are soothing to me, but I bet they annoy the neighbors. I also like storms. Big loud noisy thunder thrills me. Often I'll go out in the rain just to hear the crack of lightening echo across the sky.

Spring is a time of change and I always want to do something new when winter is melting away. Maybe it's time for a trip.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Happiest Monster

Yay! Monsters like me!

Something fun for everyone.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Red Asphalt

colored pencil on bristol board 8 x 5 inches

Another drawing that I did while bored at work. When I finished it a coworker walked by my desk and said,

"Cool, oh wait. What is that?"

I said it was just a drawing and he said,

"Oh I thought it was a light shining down on a road."

I told him thanks and agreed that it did look like a road but that wasn't what I had in mind when I drew it.

But his comment stayed with me and I kind of like the idea even though I was working on a purely abstract image. But I liked it so much that I turned it upside down. Originally I drew the bottom as the top and vice versa.

The sharp observer will also notice that the "road" design is made up of hundreds of my crossfaces. While I was painting figuratively I would always do these obsessive repetitions of crosses and faces. And that's really where the inspiration came from, but since my first influence was and is the idea of the city I like the road angle also.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Indoor Borealis

I was playing around with some leds and decided to break out the camera and goof off a bit. I just thought that these looked cool together.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Downbeat Sandwich

Some of these I've been listening to for awhile and some are new.
It goes fast, slow, slow, slow, fast.
Have you noticed that sandwiches are always defined by what's in the middle not the bread on the outside?

Now get your funk on.

Ghostland Observatory - Sad Sad City
Cut Chemist - The Garden
Supreme Beings of Leisure - Ghetto
Mellowdrone - Beautiful Day
Arctic Monkeys - Brainstorm (This was added for the name alone. Those who know me know why.)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Baby Store

There are two things that I don't understand. I don't understand why people, usually women, steal newborns from hospitals, and why some pregnant women secretly give birth and then throw their baby away.

There must be something mentally wrong in their head. Maybe one is desperate for a baby and the other is desperate to get rid of a baby.

Maybe someone should start a website where these two groups can get together.

There will be advertisements saying:

"Do you have strange thoughts about going into a hospital and stealing someone else's baby? Don't do that! Come to the baby store! Where we have babies galore!"

And on the other side of the coin:

"Have you just realized that you are going to have a baby? Don't leave it on the side of the road. Call the baby store! We'll take care of it, and no one will know."

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Nightmare She Wrote

I work evenings and nights and so my wake sleep/cycle is different than 90% of the rest of the world, and because of this I often end up sleeping in the day. On top of this I often have to sleep in the living room instead of my bedroom due to noise and other irritants.

The down side of this is that usually someone else will come in and turn on the TV and wake me up. And these half heard and seen shows creep into my dreams.

So this morning I started having this dream about multiple Angela Lansburies and they all wanted to sing to me. I have to tell you that one Angela Lansbury is bad enough but more than one is just about the creepiest thing I could ever imagine. And to make things worse some of them had this really awful accent and were wearing Tammy Faye Baker style makeup and sporting bright curly red hair that I'm sure was stolen from Bozo's prop closet.

After a while it slowly sunk into my head that I was waking up and Murder She Wrote was on TV, and the person who turned it on was nowhere around. So I opened my eyes and what do I see? Yes that's right TWO Angela Lansburies and one of them was singing and looked like she had just been spawned from hell by some sort of demon!

Trust me, this is not how anyone should have to wake up.

So after a brief mental scream and a mad scramble for the remote to shut out the evil Lansburies, I realized it must have been one of those horrible shows where the same character plays two parts, one of them who is always a long lost relative or twin (always from another country so after this episode we luckily never have to hear from them again).

I'm just glad I don't have a gun, because if I did, I think I would have to go TV shopping.

Monday, March 12, 2007


alkyds, mdf 32 x 18 inches

I've always been inspired by those old carved signs you see in Chinatown with characters painted in red. My city doesn't have an area you could call Chinatown but I've seen enough photos and movies to have the colors and images embedded in my brain.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Obscure Blue

alkyds, plexiglass, stainless steel, vinyl, mdf 13 x 16 inches

I've always had the fascination of images seen through a foggy surface. I think it is a sci-fi influence but I also like the idea that there is more going on behind the surface than we can see.

It's hard to get the whole effect in this photo since you loose the third dimension, but I've attached a piece of frosted plexiglass to the painting with some stainless steel machine screws and used some vinyl tubing to act as a spacer, making the plexiglass stand away from the surface of the painting.

Looking at the painting in person you have this mental itch to try to see behind the plexiglass, but you can't seem to get the right angle to see the surface clearly. It leaves you a little frustrated but that's how life is. Clarity is a rare thing. You end up slogging through life, barely able to make out your next foothold, let alone the complete path.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Your Gallery

As I've mentioned before, I've been out of the art scene for a few years, due to dealing with depression and a mental block imposed upon me during a bad job experience that went on way too long. So this may be old news but I just read about a feature of the Saatchi Gallery's website called Your Gallery in this month's issue of Artnews.

It's a way for artists from around the world to talk and share art and for dealers and collectors to see an artist's work.

It is similar to Deviantart in the respect that it allows you to network with other artists but it differs since it only allows you to show a limited group of art. I believe that this will weed out any but serious artists, or I should say artists interested in showing in galleries and shows. Where as Deviantart is more community based and showing something on Deviantart seems to be the ultimate outcome.

This looks like a great way to get things started and I can't wait to see what happens.

An artist's worst enemy and best friend is marketing. To get known as an artist you have to market yourself and your work but as an artist you would rather be creating than marketing and so you feel that it takes away from your art.

To become a known artist you have to work hard at promoting yourself (or if you're lucky you happen to be in the right place at the right time). This involves keeping up with the latest art news, researching upcoming shows, making and keeping an up to date portfolio, networking, print and online promotions, phone calls, keeping abreast of legal issues, bookkeeping, sending out examples of work, dealing with acceptance and rejection letters, coordinating shipments of art to the various shows and galleries, giving interviews, and anything else that may come along.

And I haven't even mentioned taking time to think about art, waiting for inspiration, gathering supplies, setting up whatever logistics and technical help you need, actually making the art and whatever odds and ends that I've forgotten to mention.

Oh, and on top of all of this, hold down a full time job, and if you have a family, take care of them.

There is no off time for a self promoting artist.

There's a story that I like to give as an example of the struggles of the artist. One day a man was walking down the hall of a university and he happened to be walking by an art class with an open door. He overheard several art students complaining about how hard it was to do the project assigned to them. And then he overheard the teacher's reply.

"What do you think this is? Brain surgery?"

An artist's job is hard, not because he has to memorize a set of instructions on how to get down a particular path, but because there is no path.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Umoja Village, Florida Homeless Town

I agree that people shouldn't have to live like this in America but during this video most people are saying that they are happy. If people aren't happy they would find somewhere else to live.

Right now the unemployment rate is 4.9%, the lowest it has ever been. This means that there are plenty of jobs out there. Now I agree a lot of those jobs might be something you don't want to do, but in some cases you have to start somewhere.

Looking at the job statistic another way, 95.1% of people of working age in America have jobs. This means that those who don't have jobs either A) have some condition preventing them from getting a job, or B) don't want to get a job.

Group A are the only ones who actually deserve to get help from the government. Group B are people who believe they deserve help from the government.

It is not the governments job to provide you with housing, food, or to direct your lives. You have the freedom to choose how you live. If you choose to live in a shack, do not be so crass as to blame others for your situation.

If you want to be left alone, fine we'll leave you alone. But don't come begging when you no longer like the situation you put yourself in.

If on the other hand, you want to change and are willing to do what everyone else does, a.k.a. do some work, there should be a support system in place for you.

I think that the best thing the government can do is to look at some private sector training courses, and implement them to teach people to improve their own lives. Those who do not wish to improve themselves can go back to the shack.

(As a side note, this also may be the beginning of a community like the one described in William Gibson's bridge series of books Virtual Light, Idoru, and All Tomorrows Parties. It will be interesting to watch what happens to this village.)

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

impossible is nothing - line rider

Since I forgot to post yesterday , today is a two for one special. I mentioned line rider previously as a fun game but this kid has taken to it's limit. And the second video is for my brother. Cotton Eyed Joe is his theme song!

Line Rider - Cotton-Eyed Joe

Hollywood Clichès Round Three

I have a theory that every decade there is one movie clichè that defines that movie as from that era. I have noticed several contenders for this decade, like cup dropping, but I think I've hit upon the right one.

This will go down as the era of teeth brushing. Every single movie and show these days has somebody brushing their teeth at some point in it. It's almost as if the Dentist Mafia (the military arm of the American Dental Association), has threatened studio heads to put a scene in every movie or at least one episode of a series, with someone showing proper dental hygiene or else.

I can imagine how this went down. In a secret meeting between the ADA, Crest, Oral B, and Colgate, a crisis has occurred. Maybe profits were down, or maybe plaque was up, it doesn't matter but whatever the crisis, action was decided upon. If people see more people brushing teeth more people will be influenced to do it, (some parts of the American south and the U.K. seem to be exempt, maybe as a testing ground for tooth related diseases or just something to scare the kids with).

A dental conference for Hollywood dentists was called (in Las Vegas, of course). They were given special training and sent back like a spider on its web to wait for the sounds of toothache. Once a studio head came in for a checkup the dentists training took over.

"I really think you should show more people brushing their teeth. And not because I'm a dentist, I think people really want to watch people scrub the crap off their teeth and pay money for it too." Dentist says.

"Why on Earth would anyone want to see that?" Studio head mumbles around dental instrument lodged in mouth.

"Because if you don't, I drill without the Novocaine!" Dentist laughs.

The next time your at the dentist be careful, who knows what they might force you to do.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Silver City + Red Light

This is a project I've been working on for the past few days. It started out as an idea of adding some interesting light to my room, but then I started sketching and this popped into my head.

The original plan was to make something out of copper, but I had some old aluminum laying around and not a bunch of copper so I reversed the color scheme.

I cut out the shape and then I had to start bending and stretching the metal, until I got the dimension I wanted it to have, instead of it just being a flat shape. I cut out crosses from copper scrap and then used some wire to make small stand-offs so the crosses would float in midair and not be flat against the aluminum (flat is boring) and attached them with glue.

The light is provided by a single led attached to 2 AA batteries. I think if I make another artwork like this I would add another led to make it brighter.

Too Much Paint Not Enough Canvas

I hope he shaved first.