Friday, September 22, 2006

I must be crazy ~queue up the gnarls barkley and let her rip....

Ok, I still haven't learned not to volunteer. Its been a busy week with show prep. Still working on a few projects for the Celebrate the Art's next month sponsored by the Monrovia Art Festival Association. Of course I am showing, but am also coordinating the event. This event is the largest of the fund raisers sponsored by MAFA with the proceeds used to fund art education in the Monrovia Schools. Near and dear to my heart, yes. Watch here for a teaser on the piece I will be donating to this years auction at the event.

Too much on my old dance card, but at least it keeps my brain ticking.

I continue to explore man vs nature themes. The Aztec Hotel which I wrote about recently has some interesting things going on with that theme. This is a massive structure that much of it has very biomorphic shapes capped with very hard edged shapes. The Brass Elephant is part of the hotel. A colorful venue serving up libations initially to the Hollywood Glitteratti during the 1930's (secretly during prohibition) on their way to Palm Springs. The Bar still much of its original stuff inside and will be restored eventually.

The impressionist within has been running wild the last few days with the Aztec. The massive scale of the Mayan themed decoration on the hotel is unique and is on such a grand scale. No matter how you look at it is very man made, not machine made but made by man, by hand. Layers of stucco and concrete built up until the artisans handiwork changed the face of the building. It shear size can't even be softened by a cloudy sky.

So today's exploration was just that machine vs man vs nature. The Brass Elephant was the subject and the print is my final exploration. My exploration involves altering elements to soften nature, had a man made edge to what man did, and sharpen what was done by man. All with the intent to allow each element express itself as a part of the whole image. I won't bore you with the technical stuff but the end result speaks for itself.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Restoring History

The original intent of photography was to preserve the world as it was, things happened, mainly artists got a hold of the tool and it began to record much more. The advent of the PC and digital imaging has opened a whole new world for recording and then retelling what you saw.

In Monrovia we have many unique spots with bits and pieces of history that are being restored and preserved. I'm lucky to have met Kathy Reece-McNeill who owns and is restoring the Aztec Hotel here to is former glory. With the help of the Route 66 Preservation groups I am certain she will succeed. I am equally lucky that she has allowed me to begin to photograph and record this treasure left from Route 66 and preserve is memory and focus on its future too.

Today I spent some time around the Aztec shoot it. Its a magnificent space to just be in. Honestly it is such a treasure I feel almost like a voyeur walking in at some great old grand dame's bath time. I really want to do the place justice and convey a bit of the history and character of the place.

With this in mind I continue to explore and develop my impressionistic views of the world and how I convey them to you. This image started as always with a digital image that with the help of Photoshop and Paintshop ProI destructed it and reconstructed it into a new image. I like it, the angle is right the details kept and those blurred gave the sense of history and warmth I wanted.

Enjoy..."Aztec Front Marquee".

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Hundreds Hung Downtown LA

Frazgo was the last hung....that happens when they do it in alpha order.

Tonight was the opening of the LA Center for Digital Art's annual Snap to Grid show. Interesting concept....nominal fee, no jury all art is hung. The center prints it all and hangs it in a grid. Its a slice of everything imaginable. Unfortunately its downtown LA so go before dark...unless of course you like living life on the edge and don't mind being surrounded but 2 legged vermin begging for spare change. Once again my pocket change went to the the dude that told me no bs...he needed it for his drugs. I can respect honesty....sheesh.

Anyway the piece I submitted is one of my experimental pieces that is part of the reality bubble series I have been doing for the last year. Short version is that I rip apart an image, some elements are left very real then wrapped in a bubble. The remaining image is altered into a sketch like rendering, the bubbles are floated back in with theatrical highlighting and other illustrative machinations to bring about a "reality bubble" or that bit of reality that drifts into our dreams. The inspiration in and of itself came about from a bout of migraines I had last year where reality drifts into a shrinking bubble as your head throbs harder. The twist now is that reality is returning and forcing itself upon the dream side of ones brain waves.

The piece chosen is titled INRI and is of a cross at the Calico ghost town cemetery.

So...go see the show while you can as it runs now through October 7, 2006.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Strange static in the air

Its monsoon season here in so cal and we have thunderstorms in the air. A total So Cal thing is the solo palm tree up in the sky. Blasted things are worse than bamboo for taking over a horizon line.

Maybe its the static from the storm, the impending full moon tonight, or the fires in the area adding haze to the sky but I had this total impressionistic painters thought when I grabbed this storm working into my area from the desert.

Its a toss up which of the impressionists influenced me the most Manet, Monet, or Seraut. (Bet you thought I'd say Manny, Moe or Jack...but that would be too cheap and a commercial plug). Each of those painters, Manet in his later years and Seraut a whole lot influence me. Each had a way of using abstraction to make a statement about the scene they captured so it was more emotional to the viewer than a pictorial regurgitation initiating some sort of aperient reaction to a realistic depiction of nature.

So after 8 hours of data input and work on a local non-profits October show the impressionist within needed to escape for a bit. (Am still trying to restrain the inner smart aleck and juvenile delinquent and just may purposely let that fail shortly).

I shot a storm passing through yesterday with my blogger. What struck me at the moment was the palm tree and wondered what it would be like done in an impressionists view. I snapped it with my "blogger" the che-ez snap and worked it a bit. The end result was "September Storm"...enjoy.....

Friday, September 01, 2006

Inspiration and motivation

Through an old college friend, Ruth Waytz, I have met an incredible artist. It's her husband "Coop". His work is very illustrative in nature with a really erotic edge. Nice guy, totally unassuming who is quite the guru of pop culture past and present. (Read Coop's Blog, Positive Ape Index to see what he's about in greater detail)

How does this inspire or motivate? As a newer artist it is frustrating to forge your way among critics and not see results as fast as you like. Coop is proof that if you remain honest to your art and continually try to explore new ways of communicating what you see you will find an audience. I need that focus as us newbies need something to keep us going until our art finds its followers.

The unashamed commercial plug.....Coop has a new show "Brand Recognition" at Sixspace Gallery running 9/9 - 10/7. Sixspace is located at 5803 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA. (The entrance is at the rear of the building...guess that's an important tidbit to know). So go see his show and be totally amazed!!!

Coop got a terrific write up in the alternative magazine that hit the racks here in LA this last week....pic of it included here. He made the cover!!!! May not be the cover of the Rolling Stones but close enough as its on street corners all over LA right now...and its free!