Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Grunge Years

Greetings earthlings.

I started packing today. It's rather overwhelming. And very, very dirty. Our house is located about two blocks from I-5, which seems to create a vaccuum of pollution inside these walls. Actually, Los Angeles is among the three cities in the U.S. with the worst levels of 'fine particle pollution'.. this is according to the EPA:
'Fine particle pollution is the nation’s deadliest air pollutant—and one of its most pervasive. Because of their small size, fine particles can bypass the body’s natural defenses, such as coughing and sneezing, and lodge deep within the lungs or even pass into the bloodstream, causing serious respiratory and cardiovascular problems, such as asthma attacks, heart attacks, and lung cancer. Fine particle pollution cuts short the lives of tens of thousands of Americans each year, according to EPA. They estimate that particle pollution shortens the lives of its victims by an average of 14 years.'

My friends keep asking me why we're leaving Los Angeles. In all honesty, I've thrived here and made a ton of art.. but this is what happened to Justin last year:

That's in the special quarantine room at L.A. County Hospital. Where they put people they think have TB. He spent a week there, in lockdown. They poked and prodded and took a piece of his lung.

He didn't have TB; rather, a sort of nebulous lung condition. He still has it. Though the docs can't be sure it's caused by the smog and dust, it sure isn't helping! And while I dust every single book on our shelves and cough through my dust mask, I'm getting excited for cleaner Puget Sound air. Trees that provide shade. The sound of waves lapping onto the shore. Seagulls, crows, and woodpeckers.

But I'm sure gonna miss my friends.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Just Fold and Go

My new Poketo wallets are here!!

I am super jazzed. There's always something about a.) things that are 'fun-sized' and b.) things coated in shiny vinyl that make me really happy. As my friend used to say, 'Everything looks better covered in plastic'.

I have 20 of each design that are going to be for sale soon on my Buyolympia.com page.. they don't officically debut on Poketo until sometime this spring, so if you want to get a jump on new trends in art-wallets, visit Buyoly!!

I can't wait to see what all the other new Poketo designs look like. So, to recap, things on the art horizon for 2007:
1. Find a new studio space in Olympia or Shelton (!)
2. Finish work for my Art For Empty Walls show in May.
3. Start work for my Show Cave (new L.A. gallery) show in Aug/Sept.
4. Make new tshirt designs for Buyolympia.com.
5. Figure out a cost-effective way for making prints of my paintings.
6. Take more risks.
7. Use less exclamation points (not exactly art-related, but seriously, i have a problem!)
8. Find a group of inspiring and motivated artists in the Northwest to start a good-times art group with.

It's going to be a busy year!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Good Night/Good Morning

Thank you Los Angeles!

Last night was truly wonderful.. so many friends showed up! Per my usual style, though, I took about 7 pictures:

David and Nina in front of the Owl Wall...

Tamala and Paloma leading the sing-along (check out the beautiful giant Rosebud print in the background, courtesy of the amazing Joanne Kim!)..

..Poketo in the house! Angie and Ted hand-delivered my new wallets, which i'll scan and post sometime soon (I'm still dealing with this shitty cold, which is making everything monumentally difficult.). They turned out so rad! Super saturated and bright.

We talked, we danced, we raised a bunch of cash for little Rosebud. Again, massive thank you's and LOVE to all my friends who made the night possible!!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Canine Charity Gala

Dear Los Angeles,
I hope to see you tonight at Rosebud's little Fun-raiser! If I seem like a total space cadet, it's because I've been nursing a gnarly cold for the last week and am pretty much zapped. But there will still be plenty of music, art, friends, and good times to be had.. plus the very exciting last minute news that my new Poketo wallets will be arriving, courtesy of the Poketo peeps themselves, Angie and Ted!
I love you,

D.I.Y. Gallery
1218 W. Temple
Los Angeles 90026
9 p.m.

Featuring music by: Anna Oxygen, Devon Williams, and Tamala + Paloma
Art from: Myself, Stefan Simikich, Joanne Kim and more.
Cupcakes made delicious by: Sam Ott
Drinks poured w/love by: Yours Truly

Thursday, February 22, 2007


I have a wicked cold. My head feels like it is made out of a pillow; my ears buzz and any idea of taste or flavor has been kidnapped.. pretty much all I can do is sit here and sniffle while Justin keeps handing me amazing artifacts from the storage room he's cleaning out:

I covet this picture, I thought maybe we had lost it.. 'Eating of the Night Feces', from the Thurston County Fair a few years ago. Some kid made this poster and hung it up in the bunny barn.. if you look really closely you can see the little night feces taped to the bunny's mouth.

Here's Justin and Brandt being wild n' crazy in high school! Funny how things don't change too much. Fast forward a year or two, and here he is again being such a punk with Crispin Glover and Brent. Olympia, 1993?:

And this list, written on the back of a fanzine called 'Joe Preston's Legs', details the strange phenomenon of scorpio singers and gemini drummers:

I can almost feel the rain.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Fattening Tuesday

Good grief. The party train in Los Angeles is on full-steam ahead! Today my wonderful pal Joshua Ploeg came to town on his Vegan Dinner Party Tour 2007, bringing delicious savories and sweets themed around the aforementioned 'Fat Tuesday'.. 8 courses of vegan insanity, people! Save me. I can barely type as my body digests the treats (I must confess, I only made it to course 5 before I bowed out, because dessert was on the horizon and I needed to save room. Chocolate Beignets!!).

It is at this moment that I realized this was supposed to be an art blog; it seems to have degenerated into a food and hiking blog.

After the move, I promise.. paintings everyday. I'm actually in the middle of a big Rosebud painting right now, but it's at that state where it looks like a terrible mess of underpainting, only to be raised from the ashes in the next few days. Soon!

Photographing food is always terribly disgusting. This was so tasty, yet it looks kind-of terrible.. but let me describe; somewhere on this plate is collard greens, tamale pie, jambalaya, red beans and rice, corn fritters, and mystery tofu dish.

That's The Joshua. He used to be the singer for Behead the Prohphet N.L.S.L and Mukilteo Fairies. Plus he's written like 5 thousand zines. Plus 3 cookbooks.. order them here and impress your pals. He rides the Greyhound around the U.S. and cooks up a storm from coast to coast.

There was also some pretty mindblowing baby-jamming going on. Little humans. Speaking of mindblowing, I'm joining these two crazies for a taping of the Price is Right next monday:

We are TOTALLY coming home with dinette sets and jet skis!

Monday, February 19, 2007

What Gives

Today is Presidents' Day. Awesome!

Abraham Lincoln loved oysters, served any way.

L.B.J. was into chili.

Reagan fed jellybeans to his cabinet.

It has been suggested that to celebrate Presidents' Day, you should build a log cabin out of pretzels! I recommend going to see Barack Obama speak tomorrow in Los Angeles. Unfortunately I just found out about this from my pal Amra, and will be unable to attend.. please go, and then tell me what you learned: 2:00 PM at the Rancho Cienega Sports Complex, 5001 Rodeo Road, Los Angeles, CA 90016.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Year of the Boar

Last night I had a dream about helicopters and giant-sized mutant alpacas. The choppers were swooping through my backyard trying to capture a pair of 12-foot-tall llama/giraffe hybrids. I opened my door to see what all the commotion was about, and a lion attempted to eat me as a tiny lamb darted underfoot. It all seemed very biblical.. I think Justin's philosophy/theology/gnosticism studies are seeping into the back of my brain somewhere.

Side note: 'Brain' is truly one of my least favorite words in the English language. Typing it twice just now caused my face to make an awful expression.

I think ingesting all of these delicious treats last night sent me on an extra-psychedelic journey into dreamland.. I mean, seriously, goat-cheese filled dates! guava cheese pie. curried lentils. pizza. My friends rule.

It was our early going-away party, hosted by thee amazingly rad duo of Tamala and Joanne. This photo reminds me of what will exist when I return to the Puget Sound. Yeah.. sometimes we dress up like annoying/gross speed dealers for fun. Starter Jackets. Starter Hats. Guys named 'Mitch'.

But really, it will be more like this:


Saturday, February 17, 2007

A Daily Meditation

Yesterday I started work on a big painting of Rosebud for the benefit show:

This is usually the part where I'm like 'Oh man, what have I gotten myself into?'

Then I made this drawing, to reference as I'm painting, and I stood back and thought 'Huh, maybe I should just hang this at the show. I kind of like it as-is.'

But then, of course, I reminded myself that I am, truly, dedicated to craftsmanship. And so begins a week of what I love about painting the most: the process.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Rosebud's Big Night

It's finally happening!

My pal Sarah Cake hooked me up w/ a great new venue in Los Angeles, the 'D.I.Y. Gallery'. A place where I can throw a benefit show, have bands, sell cheap cocktails and cupcakes, hang art, and dance into the night.. perfect!

For those of you out of the loop, Rosebud is my dog. She was found wandering the streets of South Central when she was 6 months old and ended up in the pound. She was about to be euthanized when a local dog rescue, Ace of Hearts, swooped in and got her just in time. Justin and I had just started volunteering with the rescue, and Rosebud came to live with us on a temporary 'foster' basis. Well, that didn't really work out.. we fell in love after a few months and adopted her. Justin still likes to say 'She's YOUR dog'... yeah, she's a little bonkers. In a good way.

She's 2 1/2 now. Last August she got really, really sick. She started breathing funny, and when the vets xrayed her they found that pretty much her entire chest cavity had been slowly filling with a nasty bacterial fluid. The fluid was crushing her little lungs. They gave me 3 options: massive surgery, trying to get the fluid out with chest tubes, or euthanizing her. It was truly one of the worst moments of my life! I chose the less invasive chest tube treatment:

After 9 days in the doggy i.c.u., she pulled through! She had to be on hardcore antibiotics for six weeks and monitored by the vets to make sure the bacterial fluid hadn't returned. They're still not sure what caused it; maybe a foxtail or thorn that she inhaled while crashing through the backyard. The condition is called pyothorax.

Then, in December, she ate something (a sock?) that became lodged in her colon and caused all sorts of terrible pain and 'gastrointestinal hemorraghing'.. back to the i.c.u. again. This time she only had to stay for a couple of days, but the bills kept adding up. Her total for the last six months is $9,500!!! So, enter the benefit show: a night of music, art, and good times with all proceeds going to little Rosebud's debt. If you live in Los Angeles, please come on by! And tell all your friends!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Across the Universe

Everyone should go here:

Finally, the restored Griffith Observatory is open for visitors! It's beautiful up above the city.

I had a dream last month that I parachuted to the moon. When I landed, the moon kind of resembled Denver.

Skip the shuttle and take the walk. Bring a picnic and some binoculars. You can see the ocean, the city, the hollywood sign, and a snow-capped Mt. Baldy! The only bummer was that the gift shop didn't have any 'You Are Here' galaxy t-shirts... dang.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Where Seagulls Dare

The clouds of Los Angeles were crazy today!
We hiked to the top of the Verdugo Hills and saw this:

..and these..

We saw Glendale, Downtown, and Griffith Park:

We saw a happy Otis:

And I saw a creepy eyeball staring back at me..

But the most magical part happened when we came home, in the backyard, in Sun Valley:


Monday, February 12, 2007

Done and Done

I finished!

Thanks to an encouraging soundtrack of Etran Finatawa, Hot Snakes, and Dennis Brown, I was able to complete two paintings in time for the 'Lovelorn' group show in Tacoma. Props to Liquitex Heavy Bodied Cadmium Red acrylic and Kousmichoff Russian tea as well..

It's about long-distance-love. That gap in communication that exists even though you're both trying to say the same thing. It's also about two birds that have some crazy antenna transmitters attached to their heads. And it's always about color.. pthalo turquoise, organic vermillion, and the aforementioned and most coveted: cadmium red.

Off to the post office!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Say Those Magic Words

I love today's palette.. pinks and gold and yellow. It's like some sort of metallic sherbert sunshine surprise.

I'm working on two small paintings for a group show up in Tacoma, Washington. I think it's a Valentine's Day themed show. Which means I need to finish tomorrow! Yikes.

These birds need feet. And a whole lot of other stuff flying around.. leaves, rain maybe. We'll see what happens tomorrow.

Today this photo, along with a bunch of others, arrived in the mailbox. In the Awesome Friend category, Stefan Simikich is pretty high up there. He's an old Olympia pal who lives in S.F. now and is part of the whole Hamburger Eyes photo collective.. he sent me all these great pics for my dog Rosebud's vet bill benefit (which is hopefully going to become a reality on feb. 24th, and I will definitely post the when/where/what details). Check out his work here!