Thursday, December 1, 2011

Surprise Show!

Like a ninja grabbing a doughnut, I managed to sneak myself into the cross gallery "Rivals" show at Benjamin Benjamin and Gigantic! The idea of the show is that both galleries hang one side of an epic rivalry, and the owners were cool enough to include a few of my paintings that just happened to fit the theme. Here they are:

"The Saint" and "The Sinner"

I was really excited about this show because I've had these paintings for a while, but they never got the gallery treatment I thought they deserved. "The Sinner" was originally created for the "Satan-folio", a calendar featuring lighthearted paintings of the devil that never made it to print. "The Saint" was created as a companion piece for a show at a bar in the wastelands of Queens,NY. I don't necessarily work in these styles anymore, but to see them finally hung in a real gallery was pretty gratifying. There is a ton of great work in this show, like Neil M. Perry's "Mario" and Erin Nations "Socs" vs "Greasers", so check it out and support your favorite struggling artists for X-mas!

Also, Myah and Scott, the super cool owners of Benjamin Benjamin, are moving to Colorado. In Honor of their awesomeness, lift your frosty mugs and toast to their grand legacy and safe travels! I, and the Portland art scene, will miss them dearly! Prost!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

First Thursday Recap

This First Thursday was a little more lax than usual and I didn't get around to quite as many galleries, but I did get to go to a few of my favorites and they didn't disappoint. Gigantic is showing some Beer inspired work, and were pouring a new Deschutes brew that was quite tasty. A great way to start the night. Right next door, Benjamin Benjamin is showing the work of Jimmy Pickering and I gotta say, as a whole, its one of the nicest looking shows I've seen in a long time. I had the pleasure of talking to Jimmy for a bit and his process is super interesting. I love his sculptures and custom frames. He has a few step by step walk-throughs on his blog so go check that out.

Cycloptic: Robin's Egg Blue by Jimmy Pickering

Moving downtown, Blue Sky, as always, had some killer photojournalism. The show that really struck me was of Colombian beauty pageants shot by Carl Bower and all the "interesting" stuff that goes on behind the scenes. Seeing this type of work really makes me want to get out there and do some real life inspired work. Maybe not reportage exactly, but something gritty and a bit edgy. Anyway the shots are stunning and fascinating. Everything I've come to expect from the artists shown at Blue Sky.

Miss Coffee By Carl Bower

Last but not least (and I totally mean that because this was by far my favorite show) the Compound is showing the work of Senjiro Nakata and Tadashi Ura. Both artists are great, but I think I'm in love with Senjiro . I'm a sucker for Asian ink style drawings, but his color palette and drawing style make my art heart hurt. Awesome-O-Opossum. The Whale image on the show's postcard is a good example of the awesomeness. There was also a ridiculously cool droopy looking elephant and as soon as I rob that bank...Eh-hem, I mean do some productive work that I shall get paid legitimately and handsomely for...I'll be back to snatch it up.

Karesansui Kujira by Senjiro Nakata

Well that is pretty much it. Portland has been really impressing me with the quality of the shows lately so keep it it! I didn't get a chance to hit the Lofts or much in the Pearl this time, so maybe I'll take another trip down there later this month. Till next time,

Love and Monkeys

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Susan Lucci Show Recap (The lazy version)

So the Susan Lucci show was pretty great. A lot of cool pieces and good people. I made a album on my facebook artist page and now I'm too lazy to upload the images here. If you are interested, here's the link. Also, if you have a facebook account, you should like my page! Each 'like' is a tiny little confirmation of my existence. Yay!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

All Hail Lucci!

"Victory", 11x14, oil on illustration board

So I finally finished my entry for the Benjamin Benjamin tribute show to Susan Lucci and here it is! This was a funny project for me for a few reasons. For one, I was invited to do the show kinda last minute, meaning I had to come up with an idea pretty quick. Also, I really didn't know too much about the fabulous Miss Lucci. I mean I had heard of her, but as my Grandma puts it, "All My Children was never one of my stories". She did seem like a damn classy lady though, so I resolved to give it my best.

Though I'd never really seen her in action, the one thing I did know was that she had the longest running streak of nominations (18 times) for the daytime Emmys without an actual win until 1999. Since that's what I knew her best for, I decided to do a piece celebrating her moment of victory, by making her an Emmys version of the actual goddess Victory. Yup. That's what I did alright. I'll be the first to admit I'm not the best with "likenesses" and there is nothing more difficult than drawing a pretty person (if you cartoon them at all, they look like ever other pretty person) so that was tough. That being said, I think it worked out.

Close up

This one is definitely leaning more towards illustration over fine art, but I think it will be a funny addition to the show. I also found a great (read: tacky) gold metal frame from the 60s or 70s with plenty of flourish to add to the fabulousness. Come down this Thursday (the 15th) and celebrate all that is Lucci with us!

Framed and ready to go!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

First Thursday Recap

Sorry for the long absence in posts.  Benjamin Benjamin asked me to fill out their Susan Lucci tribute mini-show, debuting Sept 15th, and I've been rushing to get something done. Anyway, I went out this First Thursday and there were some great things I felt compelled to share.

Blue is Always Stronger,  Jude Buffum

As always, Benjamin Benjamin had a great group show, this time celebrating the time wasting glory of video games. Great work by Shannon Larson, John Padlo and a perfect zelda inspired print by Jude Buffum (above). Blue Sky had some moving, albeit depressing, photos from Dana Popa, chronicling the victims of human trafficking in Europe. And even the Everett Station lofts had some great work, including an upside down robot and a video of a naked lady making herself into a green screen. Neat!

But my "I love it so much its actually inspiring me to get back to work" award goes to the show at Benjamin Benjamin's neighbor gallery, Gigantic. Brook Cashbaugh's ( paintings are unique, totally unexpected and the life size portraits on hanging sheets of mylar are absolutely incredible. Just the right amount of detail and the perfect use of color. Unfortunately, pictures don't them them justice. You HAVE to see them in person to experience them legitimately.  Here is the show card:

Anyway, that about wraps it up. I was really impressed by the amount of good work being shown in Portland this month. Even though the economy is a crap-hole, its great to see people pushing through it and making art. Yay Art!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

We Can Rebuild It....

Just a quick post today...I've been updating my main site ( in small increments, adding new work and readjusting some of the navigation so feel free to check it out. There may be some stuff you haven't seen, and I'm considering adding an archive page with stuff from as far back as college for friends and family to check out but we'll see. If you notice anything funky, let me know. I never know what type of web gremlins my site building program will let in, but I think its slightly more user friendly than before. Let me know what you think!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Super Thanks!

I've had such an overwhelming amount of support and positive feedback about the Adaptation Show, both on this blog and others, so I wanted to say thanks to everyone who has left comments and bought prints! I'm still working on getting a better digital image for Sumire, but as soon as I have prints, I'll let everyone know. In the mean time, here is a detail of her face, which actually did scan pretty well:

Also, I should have posted these sooner, but here are some pics from the show:

My work on the wall.

Outside looking in.

Some of the other artists work (really cool stuff).

More of the other artists.

And finally a great picture of Scott, one of the gallery's owners. Awesome!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Adaptation Show

Ahh yes, summer has arrived. And just in time for the to-be super awesome Benjamin Benjamin "Adaptation" show this first Thursday, where all us creative monkeys took some time to make art inspired by authors. To all of you who care not of the long and boring story of how difficult getting ready for this show was, I'll get the important tidbits out first and then you can peruse down this post if you are so inclined. As the flier says, the show opens Thursday the 7th at 5 and goes till 8. I'll be there showing off the three paintings I managed to complete from my Murakami's Women series. If you've read any Murakami, you know that he loves writing these strange women who almost always make the narrators' lives just a bit more insane than it was otherwise. I took a few that spoke to me and here they be:

This one is called "Tuesdays Girl". She is inspired by the short story version of The Wind-up Bird Chronicles called The Wind Up Bird and Tuesdays Women. The story centers around a guy who is out of work, and just having a really weird day. He meets this girl while looking for his cat Noburo Watanabe.

Probably my favorite Murakami Novel is Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World because its just SOOO bizarre. In this book there are unicorns, dream readers, evil underground kappa-like monsters who can be held at bay with paperclips and two entirely separate but intertwined worlds. This painting ("Granddaughter") however, is based off of the opening scene of the book and the narrators lengthy mental wrangling while walking behind this "..young beautiful woman who is, shall we say, plump..". Even with all that other crazy stuff , this is still one of the funniest and most surreal moments in the entire book. Just some guy trying to figure out his own emotions when confronted with what he sees as a fundamental contradiction in his libido.

Finally we have "Sumire" from Sputnik Sweetheart. I couldn't get a good scan of this one but you get the idea. Sumire is the narrators best friend, secret love interest, and eventually the catalyst for a mystery involving an island in Greece. I love this description of her: "Sumire wanted to be like a character in a Kerouac novel—wild, cool, dissolute. She’d stand around, hands shoved deep in her coat pockets, her hair an uncombed mess, staring vacantly at the sky through her black plastic-framed Dizzy Gillespie glasses, which she wore despite her 20/20 vision. She was invariably decked out in an oversized herringbone coat from asecond-hand shop and a pair of rough work boots. If she’d been able to grow a beard, I’m sure she would have."

UPDATE: You can buy prints here: 

Wow this a a long post. Good for you for sticking with it. Or maybe sad for you because you have nothing better to do than read my blog. But anyway, now you can be rewarded (?) with a picture of three other paintings that were worked on during these last two months but for some reason (not finished, ruined and abandoned) will not be appearing in the show. The one in the middle will probably be finished at some point this month, but the other two are dead for good. Just about everything that could go wrong with paintings went wrong this time. I think I just tried to do too much, got distracted, and forgot how to paint. Luckily the series survived, so that's something. Hooray...

Anyway, I hope to see you at the show, but my stuff will be up all month if you want can't make it Thursday. The end.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Art Killa

There is a saying that "art is never finished, only abandoned", but occasionally it is also taken out back and shot in the head Old Yeller style.

Basically, I've been working on a bunch of stuff for an upcoming show at Benjamin Benjamin and one of these paintings was to be a lovely pastoral scene inspired by the Murakami book "Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World". After stressing over the composition for weeks, I finally drew something I was moderately happy with, and figured I'd fix what I didn't like with paint. Unfortunately, it became clear to me after about 10 hours of work that there was a glaring and unforgivable perspective problem that no amount of cleverly placed reeds could cover. I made the hard choice to break the board in two to prevent myself from working on what was essentially an imploding shit show. Sad but necessary.

Here is the digital color comp:

And here is a moving photo of its lifeless body on my floor:

The End

Friday, May 6, 2011

Face off show recap

Here are some pics from last nights show at Benjamin Benjamin. It was great turn out and a ton of fun. I was really impressed with the diversity and quality of the work . If you couldn't make it last night, the show will be up through the end of the month.

Dustin's and my work side by side:

Some pics of the other artists stuff:

Super Awesome owners Myah and Scott:And finally a picture that sums up how feel about my work as I am painting it:Good times indeed.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Face Off!

Guess what! Its almost First Thursday! And Guess What! This First Thursday I'll have a painting in the Benjamin Benjamin "Face Off" show! (Oh my gosh, four exclamatory sentences in a row?! How exciting!!!!) The premise of the show is pretty cool. B&B took a bunch of artists and paired them off to do portraits of each other. My victim was illustrator phenom Dustin Hostetler, better known as UPSO. This was a really fun project and it was great to work with such a well known artist. Here are the results:

Dustin's Portrait of ME:And my portrait of him:

I made a few edits to the painting after I scanned this one, but you get the idea. And speaking of ideas, I had close to a billion for this project, so here is a drawing that may or may not ever get painted (but definitely not in time for the opening):

If you know UPSO's work, you'll get the diamonds reference. Anyway, I hope you like and I hope to see you at Benjamin Benjamin this coming Thursday (5/5) for the fun. Stone Brewing and Canvas Art Bar will be there, so its gonna be a straight up PAR-TAY.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Figure paint'n

Every so often I get some down time in between projects and I've started doing some figure painting to keep the ol' paint'n skills sharp and steady. Here are a couple of the most recent, done from poses taken from the Art Models book series.

The first was an attempt at using a very limited color palette (burnt umber, burnt sienna, a tiny bit of Naples yellow Italian, white and I think gold orche) with a more traditional pose, and the second was with anything color I felt like and a more pin up style pose. Both were done on a 14x20 Aqvarelle Arches water color block (cold pressed) after a light gesso and wash. I limited the time I could spend on them to around 1-2 hours, to keep them loose and more spontaneous. Minimal computer color correction. Hope you like!

Monday, March 14, 2011


This one is a bit late in going up. I did it as a Christmas present for my aunt who is a big time surfer and loves mermaids, hence the, um, mermaid. I'm not sure if it'll make it to the site, but I was thinking of popping on some sweet retro lettering and making it look like an old time-y surf ad. That's kinda what I was going for when I was painting it...

A funny note: I put that graphic on the board just thinking it'd look neato, but it turns out it is actually pretty close to a real board company's logo. Coincidence or the result of an insidious surfboard makers subliminal marketing? You be the Judge!!!!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

First Thusday Awesomeness: Mary Ellen Mark and Eric Joyner

For those who aren't from Portland, we have a magical monthly event known as "First Thursday". Basically, it's when all the galleries have their openings, and the gallery district become one big party. I try to go every month, for inspiration and free wine (or free Pabst at the Lofts), but this month I was so excited by two shows in particular I felt the need to BLARG about them.

The First was the Short Circuit show at Benjamin Benjamin. For avid readers of this blog (all two of them-"Hi Mom") you'll know this is a gallery I recently showed at, but I promise this isn't biased. This month they were showcasing one of my favorite artists, Eric Joyner. He paints robots and doughnuts pretty much exclusively, so you can understand why I love him so. Needless to say I was psyched to see some of his work in person, and the other artists were also super kick ass. If you like robots at all, or fun retro stuff, you have to check this show out.

The Second show was a huge, but incredibly welcomed, surprise. Blue Sky, a photography gallery near the north park blocks, was showing three series by Mary Ellen Mark. The series (Falkland Road, Indian Circus, an Ward 81) are shocking, moving and beautiful. You very rarely come across photo journalism exhibits in the first place, and even more rarely ones of this caliber. If you have even a passing interest in photography, you'd be nuts to miss it.
Gloria and Ravi, a Trainer, with His Bear Gemini. Gemini Circus, Perintalmanna
platinum print
19" X 19"
Image © Mary Ellen Mark

Anyway, I just wanted to put it out there that if ever there was a month you should be visiting P-towns galleries, this would be the month. If you want company, give me a jingle.