New prints :o)

Forgot to mention, I added some new prints to my Etsy shop. :o)

I also added 11x14 inch versions of prints already available. I'm thinking of adding some REALLY big prints too. Like, really big. ;o)

More prints of recently sold paintings coming soon!

A Different Direction

(photo by Colin)

This weekend we unplugged, taking a computer sabbatical of sorts. It actually wasn't intentional until midway through Sunday, but having realized we'd gone that far already, it seemed wise to just stay away until the new work week began.

We accomplished much. Our business momentum was high. The primary objective was brainstorming, regrouping, and planning ahead. We had many discussions outlining our future career goals and how to implement them.

I think it's necessary for us to step back occasionally and look at all our plans. Otherwise we tend to feel overwhelmed and confused. We always have lots of ideas, but we lack the ability to plan accordingly.

More than all of that, I had some serious breakthroughs about myself and my art. I know more about who I am now, and what I want. I can see further ahead on the path I'm traveling. I know where I stand on certain issues. Very important, very heavy stuff.

But it was also an incredibly relaxing weekend. We saw friends, ate delicious food, took a few nature walks, sketched, talked, took pictures, and enjoyed each other.

I'm looking forward to getting things done. :o)

Moleskine® + Graph Paper = Yay

Be still my heart.

Sketchbooks! Moleskine®!! Made with graph paper!!! Why hasn't someone informed me of this sooner? Did you not know how perfect it was for me? :oO

Little squares that can be marked out to match almost any size canvas. This is huge. Plus, the sketchbooks themselves are really thin, so I can easily carry one around with me in my bag. Rarely am I the type to be struck with an idea while out grocery shopping that I absolutely must jot down then and there, but... You never know.  Maybe now I will be inspired to. Who wants to carry thick, flimsy sketchbooks with metal binders around with them all the time? Not I. Not I.

I will never again buy another kind. I have found my sketchbook soulmate. We are one and we will multiply. I love you, Graph Paper.

Show Recap

Wow. I'm always surprised at how much energy having a show takes. At the same time, I'm starting to feel experienced having them. A friend commented on how calm and "blasé" I seemed, whereas he thought he'd be running around like a mad person. Maybe that's true, though I didn't necessarily feel blasé inside. I have plenty of on stage, theatrical experience - that helps. I don't fear speaking in front of people.

Internally, my energy level was high. I didn't stop speaking all night. My voice gave out numerous times, and my throat was sore the following day. It's embarrassing to have to cough in front of people in order to get your voice back, but it's more embarrassing to attempt explaining your motivations for art in an articulate, engaging fashion when nothing more than a frog-like growl escapes when trying to speak.

That might be the only downside I find to these types of gatherings.

This show was packed.

People are always enthusiastic about my events. For those unfamiliar with my work, it's a bit shocking to see paintings glow and react intensely to light. Those that know my work get to see favorite pieces up close and personal, observing the complexity of each painting in a way that simply can't be appreciated online. I heard people discussing the dimensionality of the pieces all night.

The Happening Gallery kindly constructed a black box "dark room" with a black fabric curtain so that paintings could be taken in and shown under the blacklight. As usual, Colin and I spent much of our evening switching paintings around for people to see each one change colors and charged up under the light. It was a big success. I was personally gratified when I noticed anyone bring a friend back into the room, exclaiming "You have to see this!"

Many times when speaking with someone who's newly discovered my art, they can only manage an appreciative "Wow." Speechlessness has to be one of the highest forms of compliment.

I have my own difficulties explaining what my art means. Each show is a new opportunity to learn what it is I'm doing, what I'm trying to communicate through acrylic and phosphorescent pigments. I mention that I'm fascinated with light itself, that my grandfather and I were into astronomy together, that I find the simplicity and complexity of circles amazing, that the scientific universe is a gorgeous, spiritual place, that there are colors in the universe everywhere though we can't always see them with our limited vision. Circles, circles, everywhere.

I don't know if what I say resonates with anyone, but I get a sense of their appreciation when they're looking at glowing paintings in amazement, taking a blacklight to each piece hanging on the wall, and asking if they can see others in the dark room.

It was a successful show. I'm going to have to start a waiting list for commissions. I simply have too many to handle at once. A great problem to have. 

 (Mike & Nick)

(Greg & Kristen)

One of the best parts of having an event like this in the Los Angeles area is getting to see LA friends, and giving them a chance to see my art. I've known Mike since I was 16, and Kristen since I was 5, and for each of them this was the first time they, and their respective partner's-in-crime, were able to visit one of my shows. That's very special for me.

This is my happy-that-the-show's-over, happy-that-I-can-sit-down, happy-that-I'm-in-a-dark-restaurant-with-friends face:


If you couldn't make it to the show, but you'd like to see my art in person, it will remain on display at The Happening Gallery until July 27th. They're open at noon daily from Tuesday through Sunday. (Closing at 7 all days but Sunday when they close at 5.)

I'm already looking ahead to my next event. No time to waste!

Show tonight!!

Come out to Marina del Rey, near Venice and Santa Monica, tonight from 6-9PM to meet me and see my art in person!

The gallery has even set up a fun little "dark room" for me to view any painting you like under black lighting.

My space is right up front, behind the front window with another painting of mine in it. You can't miss the gallery -- you can see my art from the street!

Wine and refreshments will be served. It's a great gallery, with lots of artists! Hope to see you there.

The Happening Gallery
4047 Lincoln Blvd
Marina del Rey, CA 90292

Free parking on the street in front of the gallery. There's a couple of side streets behind the gallery just a short walk away. There's also a Walgreens on the corner of Washington and Lincoln that might have extra parking too.

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Wayfinder . 18x24 . 2010

1. natural lighting (near a sunny window)
2. artificial lighting (regular interior lighting)
3. combined uv and artificial lighting
4. uv lighting only (with a black light)
5. no light (glow in the dark for hours!)

Made with: acrylic, sand, glass, phosphorescent pigments

This is the last new painting to introduce to you before my show tomorrow night at The Happening Gallery.

I dig this one. ;o)

It went through a few revisions as I fine-tuned it. Originally I'd wanted the piece to "show my work" somehow, to have visible sketch lines and pencil marks, but I couldn't make it work with all the texture. Well, actually, I think it works as I intended, it just looks different than I'd originally imagined. That's common for my art. It's an exciting, unpredictable process for me.

In person this piece is really something - the glass makes it sparkle and you can see all the interesting cracks and crevices of texture. Yet, somehow, it still seems shiny and new.

In certain lighting conditions it looks ancient. I love the dichotomy of old and new. I'm fascinated with ancient artifacts. At one point, they were new to whomever held them in their hands or gazed upon them from a distance. I imagine some of these paintings to come from the ancient times of future civilizations.

One thing I find sad in our current culture is how removed we are from the skies. Ancient people knew where all the stars were each night, and where they would move throughout the year. They navigated by the Heavens, confidently. We can't even seem to look up from our computer screens. If we did, the glaring lights of modern civilization blur out the stars anyway.

Who's really in the dark?

Lately, in the constant exploration to find myself, I've been acknowledging my desire to travel. It's always on my mind, I become obsessed with scheming up ways to make it happen. When presented with the personal, self-reflective question of "what would you most like to be doing right now?" -- my answer always involves travel. I think, eventually, I want to be part me, part Anthony Bourdain. An artsy Anthony Bourdain. I'm not quite sure what that means for my future, specifically, but I'm factoring the clear inclination into my life goals.

At the very least, it's teaching me something about myself.

Ninety One Percent

I love my collectors.

Painting has allowed me to meet some of the most interesting people I've ever known. My collectors are scientists, aerospace pilots, doctors, writers, teachers, world-travelers, feminists, corporate executives, and even artists themselves - to name a few. I consider many of them to be close, personal friends - even though they may live in other parts of the world and we connect only through email.

I truly value the support I've received for my art. You all mean a lot to me. The connection between Artist & Collector is something that can only be experienced. :o)

I currently have 10 paintings hanging at The Happening Gallery in Los Angeles. These make up nearly ALL of the remaining art I have left. My walls, and my studio, are currently empty.

This Saturday, July 17th, from 6-9pm I will be participating in my first show in Los Angeles. Even though my work is collected across the country and internationally, this will be the farthest that I have gone to directly meet collectors and show my work in person. I'm happy to expand beyond Orange County and introduce myself to new (and old) collectors in LA.

Out of the 150 paintings I've made so far in my career (not counting earlier ones hidden in my closet) I've sold 137. That's above 91%.

I've been hesitant to say that number out loud since we first did the math a few months ago. I've sold pieces since then, and made new ones too. The percentage remains the same. I'm thrilled with this, but it also shows the limited nature of any given collection of work.

I work very slowly and very intentionally on my art, I nurture each piece until it's just the way I want it. Each painting takes months to complete. Often, because of this, I don't have many paintings available for purchase at any given time. I receive emails inquiring about future paintings, and I keep very busy with commissioned work. This doesn't allow for a lot of extra art to be made. I never seem to be able to keep a backlog of art on hand.

I have been working on new concepts and experimenting with new materials recently. The fruits of these explorations may not be available for some time, and the process of an artist is one that's constantly evolving.

It's crucial to me that people who want to are able to collect my art. I'm happiest when someone who truly connects with a piece is able to have the one they want. That's what being an artist is about for me, connecting with those who enjoy what I do.

I'd love to meet you and make your acquaintance this weekend. We can chat about life and art and I can show you the light reactive effects on each painting. My paintings cross over into sculpture in that they are intended to be seen from different angles as light plays across textures and surfaces. You can see new pieces as well as your favorites up close and personal.

It's really going to be a great show. I'm excited to see you there.

The Happening Gallery
4047 Lincoln Blvd
Marina del Rey, CA 90292

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Separation Anxiety

(halloween, 2002)

It's always when something sudden and unexpected happens that I am suddenly and unexpectedly forced to face the reality of my own beliefs.

Last night I was informed that one of our best friends was up and leaving for the Gulf Coast, for an indefinite amount of time. Perhaps a few weeks, perhaps months. Perhaps we don't know what will happen to change the timeline once he gets there. He found out yesterday afternoon, we all found out yesterday evening, and now he's on a plane to Louisiana. Huzzah. No time for any sort of going-away shindig.

Colin and I have been struggling over the last few months (maybe the last few years) to balance our social, recreational lives with our careers. A typical adult problem, I realize. Colin has it worse-- he spends his days in a design studio designing things for other people. In order to work on his own art and career, he must do so during nights and weekends. (Assuming the daytime gig doesn't run over into nights and weekends itself.)

I work perpetually. I'm never really "off" unless I leave the house and go somewhere, away from my supplies, away from my computer. (Which is a lie anyway, since I'm glued to my iPhone whenever I leave the house.)

We discuss this constantly. We feel guilty, isolated, and boring much of the time, holed up in our house, working. Yet, we know that we have to make a choice. We know we cannot do both all the time. We have to focus on our careers at some point, otherwise we never will. We were available constantly for "socializing" at other points in the last decade, and consequently we didn't get very much work done. Nowadays we enjoy working, and enjoy the ways in which our lives are changing because of it. Our goals are different, and we look forward to accomplishing them. The process is amazing to experience.

It's an odd thing to grow up.

We have been better about balance lately. We've had a very extroverted last 6 months. There were trips to take, shows to have, friends' weddings to plan, families to see, and various friends to visit. We've noted specifically that ever since we went to Yosemite the weekend of May 15th, we've seen a different set of friends every single weekend since then. Truthfully, I didn't realize I had that many friends. I feel very grateful for it.

Even so, there's always that twinge of feeling like you're missing something, especially with the group of friends we've spent the most time with over the last 10 years. We used to see them daily, then weekly, then monthly, now we're lucky if we see them once a quarter. If we can't be around all the time, then we can't be around all the time. We're okay with this, it's an understandable thing, we all have lives. It all makes sense to me and I don't usually worry about it. That is, until one of them up and leaves.

I've always been a fan of change. I encourage people to go off and leave the nest and fly far, far away. It's essential to life. I'm thrilled when people do so. I'm thrilled for Kevin, and I think this adventure in his life is going to be awesome. I'm both proud of him for taking this step and excited to see what will happen.

Yet I still find myself shocked, and wish that maybe, somehow, some way, I'd found time to be around more. I wish there was an indefinite amount of time in my life that would allow me to do everything and see everyone and be everywhere.

I really am happy for us all growing up. I love watching us all change. It's beautiful.

Hero Worship

A number of years ago, a friend spoke to us of the dangers of Hero Worship, as he called it. I was in my early 20s at the time. This concept was fairly revolutionary to me, though it struck a cord immediately.

There was reason to take his advice seriously. He had achieved a bit of success in his particular industry, and many regarded him as a hero of their own. He had fans and fan pages, websites that are still active to this day. I got emails from strangers asking about him. He would occasionally be recognized in public. When we would go to concerts, the band we went to see would hang around after to speak with him.

So I listened when he told us this.

I'm not knocking role models. Having Role Models can be quite helpful, especially if you need a bit of extra education in life (like me). As children, I think we emulate our heroes because we don't yet know who we are.

When I was growing up, I idolized first Marilyn Monroe, and then as I became a teenager, Julia Roberts. I don't know why I picked Julia, I haven't actually seen a movie of hers in about 10 years. I think I wanted someone a little closer to my age, or at least someone who was actually alive. I collected pictures of her and taped them to my wall. (I'd already amassed a pretty hefty collection of Marilyn photos by that point.)

Fortunately, I grew out of this when I turned 20, although I still have a few choice photos of Marilyn around my house, for decor purposes. She is most definitely iconic. I don't think I was making a mistake in idolizing Marilyn and Julia when I was young. I learned from it, and I appreciate the qualities in them that I originally admired. I don't actually want to make similar choices to either of them, especially doomed Marilyn.

As an adult, I learned that Hero Worship is no longer helpful. It can convince you that you are somehow different than the hero, that you don't have the same potential as they did before they achieved success. It makes it hard to see that potential in yourself. I want to know that I am just as capable of attaining my dreams as anyone I greatly admire. If I become too fixated on them, their power, their success, it will distract me from achieving my own. They are not better than me, they are no different. To view myself beneath them confuses the reality of the situation, which is to say, that I am just as capable as they are. I am special too.

Occasionally I am guilty of it still. Recently I discovered an actress that I hadn't heard of before, and found her to be particularly interesting, particularly pretty, particularly lucky, particularly deserving, and I felt jealous. I wished to be in the right place at the right time too, to experience such fame and fortune and magazine covers.

I had to stop myself. I am particularly lucky. I am interesting, I am deserving. I have things that others do not, that others envy in me. I am in Love. Greatly in love, more than I was ever told was possible. If I achieved nothing else in my life, I consider myself rich. This is not to say I plan on halting my long list of impossible, lofty goals. It just means that I am particularly capable of achieving them, and I must always remind myself of such. I am on the right path, already.

My future is going to be very exciting. My now already is.

A Journal Fetish

In which we grow a collection of blank books that we occasionally write stuff in.

Fortunately, we've both got that artist-thing going for us, so often times the blank journals become sketchbooks. This is in addition to the regular, conventional sketchbooks we use for work.

We enjoy the concept of journals, for sure. We just don't use them as such very often. Some of them have purposes though, even if incomplete. They contain thoughts, facts we want to remember, ramblings on spiritual and religious considerations, outlines for books, herbal recipes and remedies, etc. Some are turned into types of scrapbooks.

Sadly, many of them are left blank, out of paranoid fear of ruining the purity and potential of the book by writing something stupid in it. Because that's how we roll.

We've even been known to rip pages out if it's later decided that the "purpose" for the journal has changed and the former writings would somehow disrupt the flow of the new concept. This makes sense to us when it's happening. Writing about it after the fact highlights the absurdity. Obviously we have some sort of psychological issue relating to journals.

Maybe if I could type in them, I'd be more inclined to use them. Or perhaps I should get my laptop a rich leather cover to bring out the romance of journal keeping.


Cruel Summer: In Retrospect


Happiness is selling a painting you really love to someone who really loves it. :o)

Funny story: I took a bunch of paintings to the gallery in LA for next month's Venice Vibe Art Show. The gallery decided I had one too many. We agreed to remove Cruel Summer. Secretly, my real reason was that I hoped (knew?) that this painting already had a home. Call it Artist's Intuition.

And so it was. Two days later, it has a much better destiny than just hanging in a gallery. I can't wait until its new family finally has this piece in their hands! Truthfully, though, I will be sad to see it go. But, the art I make serves a much better purpose, for me, if the magic I experience in my head while creating it moves further out into the universe, affecting moods, changing environments, influencing the creativity and emotions of others. That's what art is, right?

And this art is pink. Pink pink, pinkety pink. I have a fascination with pink in my art. It causes a distinct emotion in people when they view it. Lots of times, someone has seen this painting and said "It's really bright" or "It's really pink." Yes, it is. That's why it's AWESOME. ;o)

I love this painting. I'm not even sure what it is, but this piece, maybe more than a lot of others, is a true reflection of me. I think you'd have to know me incredibly well to understand why. I swear it's not just because The Karate Kid was highly influential in my childhood. Okay, maybe a little.

I was going through some interesting emotions personally, that one fateful summer in which I created it. A lot of changes were happening in my life. Someday, I'll tell you about them.

For now, let's all celebrate the connection between Art & Artist, Artist & Collector, and Collector & her exciting future. Adrea's purpose for this painting in her home in Canada is greater than I could ever have imagined. It's truly an honor. Someday I'll tell you about that too.

In the meantime, sing it with me. You know you want to.

Glimpse . 2010

1. natural light
2. interior light
3. mixed interior and black light
4. blacklight alone
5. glowing endlessly in the dark

24x30 inches/61x76 cm

Have you ever looked a little too close at the sun? Not enough to burn your eyes out, but enough that the glare of light momentarily blinds you, washes out all color around you and leaves a temporary haze upon anything you see for a bit afterwards? So far away... so strong. Deadly, even. It takes a bit of work to restore color and sanity back to your life.

There are crushed sea shells in this painting, and beach sand. I spent many hours, many days on the glowing segments. It will glow all night, maybe for weeks. It glows in the evening before darkness falls. It glows in the shade. I'm not really sure that it ever stops glowing. At certain moments, it seems like it's glowing in broad daylight.

Glimpse will be available for viewing and purchase at The Happening Gallery starting tomorrow, July 2nd through the 27th. You may also view it in person at the Venice Vibe Art Show on Saturday, July 17th. I'll be there, and I'd love if you stopped by!

The Happening Gallery is located at:
4047 Lincoln Blvd
Marina del Rey, CA 90292

They're open at noon everyday. Closed on Mondays.