Silver Lining

Here is a detail progress shot of the commission I'm currently engaged upon for a local Hotel. They wanted a sport themed painting with an emphasis on vintage football helmets and the race car numbers I used to put on older works of mine. It's suppose to be a painting for their lobby.
I feel like a complete sell out just to keep matters straight...


Good Grape

Richard Kinssies, Wine Outlet owner and wine sleuth

It's almost Thanksgiving, and to that measure Christmas is almost here as well, so I thought I would give a worthy shout-out to one of my favorite shops in Seattle, the Wine Outlet on 1st Ave just across from Safeco Baseball Field. Stretch your wine dollar at this small, but amazing store. Owner Richard Kinssies stocks his no-frills space with great deals through connections he’s made in more than 30 years in the wine business. In the past he's been a sommelier and restaurant owner, and he's a current wine columnist for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer; Richard knows his grapes. Prices are often 20 to 50 percent off retail, and one can often discover really great reds and whites at $10 a bottle. There are always at least four of five selections open and ready to taste, with no tasting fee, just Richard informing you of what it is he's found exciting in wine. Richard is very charming, easy to talk to, and his love of the grape is infectious, he really gets one excited about wine. If you feel like splurging, and with the holidays approaching, he has a few collector wines. I must admit, there is a Kenwood Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon with a Miro label on it for $100 that I pick up everytime I'm there, temptations, temptations, temptations. So if you are here in Seattle, drop in and take a look around, you won't leave disappointed!


Edward Burtynsky

Urban Renewal #5
City Overview From Top of Military Hospital Shanghai 2004

Dam #4

Three Gorges Dam Project Yangtze River 2002

Today was a really fantastic install day, I hung three rather large works by the artist Edward Burtynsky. I've been aware of his work for the last couple of years due to being an art preparator at Microsoft, but the works from this series really grab me. The two pictures above are part of three works that I installed today. Big in format and large in subject, Burtynsky's imagery explores the intricate link between industry and nature, combining the raw elements of mining, quarrying, shipping, oil production, and recycling into beautiful, highly expressive visions that find elegance and humanity in the most unlikely places. These images are metaphors for the dilemma of our modern existence: we are drawn in by desire...the desire to live well and in comfort...yet we all know that the world is suffering to meet those demands. The series he entitled China shows our dependence on nature to provide the materials for our consumption and our concern for the health of our planet. Burtynsky sets us into uneasy contradictions and feeds the dialogue between attraction, repulsion, seduction and fear. Burtysnky's latest body of work gives visual form to the industrial and urban transformation of China, a place where industrial forces are gathering on a scale that the world has never experienced before. If the earth's resources were up to now under siege through western colonialism and technological progress, then China is on the brink of a sweeping assault on the planet's ecosystem that is only just forming and is nowhere close to expressing its full impact. His photos, especially done in the 4"x5" format, capture that. It left me humbled at a place that often leaves me numb.


the job

Seems like when it rains it pours. The weather was foul, and of course today's schedule had myself and Rachel installing some rather large works. Taking things inside to outside and back inside is part of the tricky business of art installing. Timing is everything. Having someone who has your back is key. I'm fortunate at times to have someone like Rachel to assist me. This is the trick in a poor paying industry; intelligent, calm, and creative personnel. I had a few stressful moments today where I felt very pinched, either in time, or on quality of work being executed. Rachel provided sound advise and ideas to quell the dilemmas I was encountering. All artwork went safely into place, and all jobs that needed to be done today, were done. In the end, after some of the wind died down, I realized, I like seeing some of the items we get to place, and take care of. It does allow me in a strange way to see what is going on out in my fellow artists studios, sometimes...in a sideways manner.


Happy Birthday Rachel

from left to right - Lisa - Lisa - Rachel - Harold - order a drink called the Andy Warhol, and you get this fine polaroid taken of yourself, or your posse...
Rachel Maxi's birthday is today, we all enjoyed a fine amount of alcohol and birthday revelry; Hope you had a good one Rachel!


The Hideout

Archer gets a drink prepped at the Hideout

It's really a simple thing, a bar where those that bend towards the artistic can feel they belong. I recently read about the Mandrake in Los Angeles, and upon thinking about it, wanted to seek out perhaps a similar place in Seattle. The Hideout seems like a very equal equivalent. I was recognizing certain faces, names of course were the loose memory. The simple fact of sitting in a place for a period of time, taking in faces, familiar, and unfamiliar, was actually a fun exercise. I look forward to many a drink in this place, with peers and friends alike. Funny how it took me reading about it elsewhere to realize it was worth seeking in one's own city. The gentlemen getting a drink from Archer the Bartender sat drawing for well over an hour. It was a reminder that I used to do the same in the late 80's, after punk shows. I think I'm going to enjoy coming to the Hideout for drinks and artistic spins, that I haven't gotten anywhere else in Seattle.


R.I.P. Poops

My friend and Seattle artist, Rachel Maxi, lost her longtime cat companion today. Having just gone through this myself recently, I completely feel for you Rachel! He was such a sweetie, he will be missed. Rachel, you made a fantastic home for him, know that, and know that myself, and others feel for your loss. Rest In Peace Poops!


Medway Wheelers

Eras End and Begin Again, never has this rule applied as much to an artist that I've enjoyed, and yet, who remains a mystery to so many. Thee Billy Childish.

Similar to a Robert Beauchamp, Billy Childish has had a long standing career of being an outsider; influential, but relatively unknown. Making his own brand of music, and art, Billy Childish is and always will be, in a place all to himself. The music I believe will stand the test of time. His paintings harken back to a bygone era, and the same can be made of his music. But in both he is fluid, strong willed, and sure. He has stride, and dynamics galore, and each time he sends something into the world, I'm curious, and rarely disappointed.


drinks and chatter

left to right - New Zealand artist Stuart Tume - Seattle artist Collin Shutz - Seattle artist Shawn Nordfors

Tonight was a get together with artist Stuart Tume, who has gotten back from a couple of months away to do some shows in New Zealand and Australia. Colin is back from a short vacation and Shawn of course just last week arrived back from a month in Ghana. All had stories, and plenty of ideas flowing, a really fun evening to just sit back and listen to what all had for upcoming ideas. Stuart was hyped to gather a few of us up to show in New Zealand. Colin was rested and ready to get back to work, as is Shawn, who is beginning to make some new paintings. I'm feeling on a roll, so it was good to sit with one's peers who are feeling the buzz of both wanting to, and doing work. It's a good start to the work week!


Shawn Nordfors

Seattle artist Shawn Nordfors is back from a month in Ghana. It's good to have him around again, I enjoy bouncing ideas back and forth with him and he's a good friend. Shawn recieved a Fulbright U.S. Student Fellow in 2002 and went to Ghana to create a body of work. Using the knowledge and skills he had, he mixed them with traditional materials and methods he discovered while he was in Ghana. He made a large body of work that wound up staying for the most part there. He ran into some local trouble, and had to clear out before getting his work shipped out. He came away though with experiences and ideas that to this day are fermenting in his work. He's continued to return to Ghana every year since, usually for a month stay, and maintains friendshops and close ties with artists and folks in Ghana. Over the past two summers he has spent many weekends sculpting at his parents old cabin property on Vashon Island, and has created some really fantastic sculptures. It's always good as an artist, to have friends and peers that inform one another, work hard off of one another on things they see, and ideas that they have. Shawn and I make work that contrasts in its design, and it's origins, but we both find common ground on our no-stop love of art and the child like ways we stay curious. He has, and does lead, a rather exciting and sometimes dangerous life, but I must say, it makes for a fantastic time listening to his stories of adventure. He and I are in similar places right now in our careers; no longer the hyped young graduates, and finding our once vaunted positions a bit shaken, we back one another and proceed forward, just like we did when we were students. I hope we both never lose that mental state of mind, just do the work, and stay curious. Glad you are home Shawn!