Tuesday, December 29, 2009

35 Degrees in Tampa

Tampa residents had to deal with a wind chill of 35 degrees this morning. Northern parts of the Bay area had temps hovering around 30. Here in Sarasota it was 41 degrees when I woke up. I freaked out! I was completely insane by the time I got to work. I put cheese in my coffee, and I don't even drink coffee!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Art After Hours Reception Pics

There are some photos posted from last weeks "Art After Hours" reception on Sarasota County Libraries' Flickr account. Hey, I sold 2 paintings there!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Art After Hours

Wow, I just found out the official reception for the quarterly artshow at the Fruitville library here in Sarasota is this Friday night. I'll try to be there.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

On and Off the Wall

"On and Off the Wall" is the name of the current juried show at the Manatee Art Center. Last night was the opening reception. I won a Merit Award. The show runs through December 4th.

Monday, October 26, 2009

We Reach

My goal was to take photos of my last painting after every session. I did for the most part. I think I missed only four or five sessions out of about twenty. My idea was that by documenting my painting process I could learn where things go wrong or where I kept going when I should have left well enough alone and called it finished. I didn't really learn anything, but with the help of Photostory 3 the pics set to music make a neat time lapse video.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hey Jupiter

It's the same dream every night: our puny planet has somehow gotten off track and been sucked into Jupiter's gravitational pull. Helplessly, we orbit closer and closer until the stare of the looming red eye becomes too much to bear. Oh well, it's probably not gonna happen, but here's my latest painting...

"We Reach", 2009

28" x 24", oil on wood

This is the sixth time I've included our system's fifth planet in a painting and each time it seems to get a little bigger or closer. Below are the other five paintings.

Tori Amos- Hey jupiter from Size Ne yav on Vimeo.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Art at the Library

Try as I might I couldn't think of cute title for this post. Anyway, I've got some of my artwork on display at Fruitville Library here in Sarasota.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Abbey Road

No, this post isn't about an album by the most overrated musical group in history. It's about my trip yesterday to a Benedictine Monastery for an art show. An hour and twenty minutes north of Sarasota via I-75, near Dade City, is the little town of St. Leo, home of St. Leo University and St. Leo Abbey. Yes, nestled in the "rolling hills" of Pasco county is a real abbey with real monks and it's been here in Florida for 120 years! I guess I didn't know there was an abbey in Florida. I'm told it's the only one.

The Abbey decided to put on an art show to celebrate the art of one it's late brothers and invited other artists to attend. I think they found me and most of the others through TampaArtist.com. "The Memorial Art Show" was for Brother Paul Tennis, who worked mostly in watercolor. Below are some pics from the show.

The Church of the Holy Cross

The Abbey

The Brotherhood of the Sith? A cool cubist monk statue.

Brother Isaac Camacho, the Abbot

My Paintings

I should have taken this last photo when the crowds were still there. Yeah, right. All in all it was an interesting experience anyway.

My 20th Post!

I'll say it again, "My 20th post!" Wow, when I started this thing, I never thought I'd make it this far. Thanks everyone! Now, how should I celebrate this milestone? How 'bout some entertainment from legendary song-and-dance man Andy Kaufman?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Southwest Florida Lives!

I'm one of the artists in Howl Gallery's latest show. Opening Reception is tonight 7 to 9pm. The show runs through September 16th.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Arts On 9th

I now have some pieces hanging at Arts On 9th, a "Community Arts Venue" for performing and visual artists, in Ybor City .

Friday, July 17, 2009

Why Can't That Be Me Up There...

...Making all of you feel like dirt? Oh well. The life of a failure can be a hard one, especially when your dreams are so big.

The scene before the above one is one of the funniest moments in television in my humble opinion. Watch it here.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Have I Been Cheating Myself?

I recently just completed my first painting using artist or professional quality oils. Up till now I'd never used anything but Winton, Windsor and Newton's student grade oils, but my local art supply store had Gamblin professional oils on sale, so I thought I'd finally give artist grade paints a try and see if they're worth the hype. I'd always heard how much more vibrant the colors are with artist grade oils and how you use less paint because of the higher pigment load and that the colors can last for a hundred years or more without fading or yellowing. Well, I do want vibrant color in my paintings and it is nice to use less paint, especially when that paint costs as much as $40 a tube, although I never really cared so much about the colors being true for a hundred years. Won't the earth be just a mass of toxic boiling seawater full of dirty jet ski-riding outlaws and pirates by then anyway?.

Anyway, when I first started my latest painting with my new Gamblin artist paints, I was pissed! The colors were a lot less workable, probably because of the higher pigment to oil ratio they had compared to the student grade crap I was used to. I like to paint right of the tube and don't usually thin with a medium, so getting the blank canvas covered with paint was rougher going than I was used to. Later once I had the underpainting finished things got easier, and I started to like my new paints. Then when I was nearly finished, I took an older painting done in student grade paint out of storage and compared it to my new painting done in artist grade. I was amazed at the difference! The colors in the older one looked so drab and dull next to my new work on the easel. So until this week I was prepared to write a new post extolling the virtues of artist grade paints and bemoaning how much time I'd wasted painting with cheap crap. But now that the painting is finally fininshed I don't know...

I mean I did use less paint, and the colors were much more opaque and covered better than the student grade I had been using. The artist grade also dried more evenly without the weird shiny spots I'd gotten used to, but after comparing the new painting to several more older paintings I've done, I'd say in most paintings the difference is not so great. Certain colors like reds and dark blues are noticeably better, but overall I've haven't cheated myself that much. Not with paint anyhow. And I've still got the same cottony unrealistic cloud formations, which if I can figure how to do properly on a test canvas I may even repaint. They're definitely the weak link here.

"With Teeth", 2009

24" x 28", oil on wood

Another name taken from a song off an album in my collection. Good track, but crappy video.

I've seen the painting used on the album cover at several garage sales and flea markets over the years. I didn't know until recently that the image was so famous. It's based on a sculpture called "Appeal to the Great Spirit". Thanks Wikipedia!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sorry About All Those Viruses

My humble little website was hacked a couple months ago. A string of malicious Javascript was added to the index page. This script redirected visitors from my site to another site hosting a nasty virus. The virus exploits a vulnerability in Adobe Reader (supposedly upgrading to 9.1v fixes this hole, but I haven’t been brave enough to try it) to automatically download a malicious pdf to the visitor's computer, which installs a bogus Anti-Virus program. This “Anti-Virus” program then installs a Trojan on the user’s computer.

I figured out all the above information within a week of hearing my site was infected. I had to hear about it, because I use Firefox and not Internet Explorer, which is still what most people use for web browsing, so I didn’t notice anything wrong. The malicious script only worked in IE, because it exploited IE’s Active X controls (the IE 8 upgrade stopped the script from running, but still showed just a blank page). But what stumped me for the last couple months was how the script kept getting into my web pages. I would upload a clean copy of my index file and within 12 hours it was infected again. If it wasn’t an infected server, which my hosting company swore it wasn’t, then what was it? All I could read about were Javascript and SQL injection attacks, which I didn’t really understand and hoped weren’t relevant to my little Web 1.0 site.

Finally, after being infected with a new script, which looked like Google analytics code, I visited a Google analytics help page where others had a similar problem. After days of following postings there, I got my answer. Who needs fancy Javascript and SQL injection attacks when you can steal a person’s FTP account information right off his own computer?! That’s right, malware hidden on my computer was stealing all the info and passwords I used to upload web pages to my hosting server. What’s even more devious is the malware was gotten from another “legitimate” but compromised site. My site became yet another in the chain downloading Trojans to unsuspecting visitors (I doubt they were netting that many with mine) to steal more FTP account info stored on their computers and infect any sites they manage with the same FTP password stealing virus. What do they, whoever they are, ultimately get from all this? Anyway I think I finally removed the Trojan from my computer. I changed all my passwords and my site has been clean for a week now. I fixed it… I think.

Here are some links to articles with more info on this kind of hack:




"Trojan Horse", 2006

26" x 24", oil on wood

Hopefully this is the only trojan horse visitors to my site will find.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Gator Head and Shell

"Gator Head and Shell", 2009

11" x 14", oil on canvas board

A painting I was doing as a study for a new painting. I decided to finish it. I don't usually do studies. I think it looks like the alligator is laughing. Doesn't it look like the alligator is laughing? Ha, ha! I won't even say what it looks like the conch shell is doing.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

"Left Side" Reception

A few photos from last night's reception at Howl Gallery in Fort Myers. The show runs through May 13th.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Howl in Fort Myers

There's a very cool new gallery in downtown Ft. Myers. The Howl Gallery is an art gallery/tattoo studio that specializes in the kind of pop-surrealist art you commonly see in Juxtapoz magazine. It just had it's grand opening last month, and this month the current show is called "Left Hand Side". It's a show of left coast artists. Left coast meaning artists from the "left coast" of Florida. I'm proud to have four pieces in this show. Opening reception is tomorrow night from 7 to 10pm. Be there!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Robots at the Beach

"Robots at the Beach", 2009

16" x 12", oil on artboard

"Chief Robot" and "Sparkling Mike" visit the seashore. It's a new experience for them. Mike collates the data on a strange new object he's found, and while distracted is about to be clobbered with a bottle of suntan oil. "Chief Robot" doesn't find the beach so interesting. He grumbles, "I hate the people on the beach. With their towels and umbrellas, they're so insane."

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The House of Scratch

I'm one of the ten finalists chosen for the House of Scratch's March 2009 exhibition. The House of Scratch holds a monthly online gallery/competition of surrealistic and fantastic artwork. You can vote for the best of the best for each month. So, you know what to do now. Vote!

Monday, March 2, 2009

There's Something About Mary

I love these cool homemade altars and shrines at Divine Excess at the Village of the Arts in Bradenton. Divine Excess Folk Art, Studio 14eleven, and Innervisions Gallery are all having their grand openings this Friday. You can read more about them here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Depot Dharma

My friends the threat to our Judeo-Christian values begins at our local garden center. I recently went looking for a Jesus or Mary garden statue to photograph for a new painting I had planned, but after browsing the garden centers of several department stores and home improvement centers found neither the Son of God nor the Blessed Mother. Instead I encountered numerous occultic gnomes and fairies, a couple of St. Francis statues and Buddha after Buddha after Buddha. Why fight it? Here's my latest painting...

painting of buddha head with shells and orchid

"Garden Center Buddha", 2009

20" x 16", oil on canvas board

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Art Walk Tomorrow Night!

Tomorrow night is another Village of the Arts in Bradenton first Friday of the month artwalk. I have some things from this blog at Studio 14eleven. Tomorrow night is Studio 14eleven's soft opening at their new location.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Future?

Last week Jan Kaplicky collapsed on a Prague street. Paramedics arriving on the scene were unable to save him. My wife, who is from the Czech Republic, has been hogging the computer for the last week reading the news and watching interviews with this man. I wasn't paying much attention, so it took me a while to realize who this "important" guy was. This was Jan Kaplicky! This was the radical architect who came up with the mind-blowing design for the new national library in Prague.

I had lost interest in the story about the proposed building when it looked like conservative members of the Czech government were going to put the kibosh on it. Apparently Kaplicky hadn't given up, because people close to him said that the stress of fighting hard to get his library built had contributed to his sudden death. Even though Kaplicky's London based architectual firm Future Systems had won the competition for the design of the Czech Republic's new national library fair and square, many Czechs were virulently opposed to The "Blob", as it was called.

The "Blob" was supposed to be built on a plain near the Prague Castle and the Old Town Square. Having been to Prague and seen it's wondrously preserved historic architecture, some of which has been standing since the 11th century I have to admit that, as much as I loved the idea of a giant protoplasmic library that can hold up to 10 million books, I had my reservations about it being so near these storybook buildings. But where would such a futuristic design belong? When you make a work of art you can't always be so concerned with convention, or you never move forward. Should all paintings match the couch? Maybe it would be nice to see the future as well as the past so well represented in this beautiful city.

Kaplicky's designs have been called "organic modernism". He got his inspiration from nature, and said that nature supplied and endless source of design for architects, and that it was high time man stopped living in boxes. His most famous completed building is the Selfridges department store in Birmingham England. He also design the award-winning Media Center for London's Lord's Cricket Grounds, a floating bridge, also in London, and a house in Wales that is partially submerged into a hillside. There's a wonderful portfolio of Kaplicky's designs at the Future Systems website.

When Kaplicky died last Wednesday he had just celebrated the birth of his daughter only six hours earlier. After leaving the Czech Republic in '68 after the Soviet invasion he had come back, hoping to finally build one of his revolutionary designs in his homeland. It's sad. Sometimes you can't "close the cirle". Sometimes you can't get a giant ameoba-like library built because of politics. Sometimes you try hard to get hired at a library and then quit because of politics and bullshit. You just never know.

"Soothsayer", 2009

16" x 12", oil on canvas panel

Friday, January 16, 2009

Bless this blog

A painting of a hand giving the sign of the benediction

"Your Blessened", 2009

16" x 12", oil on canvas board

A raised hand giving the benediction, the second in a series of paintings of hands I've been working on. I had an argument with my wife about the length of the palm. Most people's palms are longer than they think. The fingers look shorter from the inside of the hand. The scar on the wrist is real too. It makes this "blessing" a little ironic.

I took the name for the painting from a song off the Melvins' 1991 album "Bullhead". "Your Blessened": It's a play on words, I guess. You're not. I am your... nevermind. The Mighty Melvins are still going strong to this day. Below is a video of what the band is up to these days.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

More Doughnuts and Robots!

a painting of two robots and a box of donuts

"On the Outside Looking In", 2009

16" x 12", oil on artboard

"Sparkling Mike" has gotten into a box of doughnuts, and "Chief Robot" stares through the plastic of the open top enviously. Another tribute to Eric Joyner. I guess I should give this robot/donut thing a rest, as it is his thing. Although, I was painting toy robots before I got reinspired by Joyner's work. Below are two examples from 2001.

a painting of robots and hula dolls

"Aloha Mr. Roboto", 2001

19" x 29", oil on wood

a painting of a toy devil a stuffed monkey and some toy robots

"El Diablo and the Monkey", 2001

18" x 27", oil on wood

Friday, January 2, 2009

Doughnuts and Robots!

a painting of two robots and a doughnut

"Break Fast!", 2008

16" x 12", oil on artboard

This is my tribute to Eric Joyner, an San Francisco artist who does more than anyone could ever imagine with the absurd theme of robots and doughnuts. I was having trouble thinking of what to paint next, so I thought I would give robots and doughnuts a try. It was a lot of fun. "Sparkling Mike" and "Chief Robot" race to be the first to intercept an unattended plain glazed left on a small breakfast table overlooking Jupiter and the belt of stale doughnuts that runs between the giant gaseous planet and its innermost satellites.