And we're off!


Seems like Hawaii 2010 was just yesterday, but now we're heading further across the Pacific with our travel-BFFs to the Land of The Rising Sun to gorge ourselves on sushi and sake and robots. Well, we don't plan on eating too many robots. 

Oddly enough, the four of us have each separately had a heart-attack inducing 2011 so far, so why not top off the first quarter with the craziest international trip ever? I see no reason not to.

I'll totally get all those show pictures up when we get back. BEST. SHOW. EVER. 

I wanted to do it this week, but then getting rear-ended on the freeway and having my car totaled on Monday kind of got in the way of my schedule. I'm fine, by the way. But not my car. And not my patience for talking to auto-insurance people. 

But the BEST SHOW EVER and an awesome trip are plenty to keep my spirits up. I'll be posting pictures as I go on my twitter account.

P.S. Our hotel has beer vending machines. I'm just sayin.


Rising (An Ode to Japan) . 40x30 inches . 2011

1. natural lighting
2. artificial lighting
3. artificial and UV lighting combined
4. UV lighting only
5. no light

Ingredients: acrylic, beach sand, candle wax, crushed glass, phosphorescent pigments, varnish, water & light on canvas.

Oh, Japan.

You've been on my mind for decades. I always knew that one day we would meet. I've admired your style, your history, your food, your people for so long now. I feel like I know you, yet I haven't actually seen you for myself. I just totally dig you. You're shiny and neat and I want to introduce myself, up close and personal.

Things were so much simpler last month.

It's heartbreaking what you're going through. It's devastating to watch. You're all over the news. People are saying some pretty intense things about you. It's difficult to weed through the hype to find the truth. Some people feel we shouldn't meet just yet. They want us to wait. We've waited my whole life, and they think we should wait longer.

Sometimes it just takes my breath away to imagine what you must be feeling right now. So few of us can really imagine. This is an unbelievably awful thing you're faced with.

I believe in you, Japan. You're ancient and wise and I trust your ability to come through. You're more capable to handle a situation such as this than anyone else.

Although I will be hundreds of miles from the affected areas, my heart is with all of you. It will be an honor to stand with your people and support those who are facing disaster right now. I hope and pray that my presence in your land shows you how much those of us in my country support you. I am not afraid.

One day this will all be a memory, and your Greatness will shine even brighter than before. You will rise up. You will conquer tragedy. You will stand as a beacon of human perseverance and strength.

I'll be seeing you next week. The cherry blossoms are coming. I bet they'll look more beautiful this year than any year before it. Though my personal sadness over the last month cannot compare to yours, I hope this time can be a renewal for us both. Let's hold hands and take one step forward together. We might just rise higher than we ever dreamed.

I love the gritty, sandy, crackly texture. This painting is deceptively colorful. In the sunlight, there's hints of blue and yellow and orange, almost shining straight through the darkness. It sparkles in the light, oh-so-subtly.

I'm proud of this painting.

Though I normally donate 10% of all money made through art to Acres of Love, I'm donating that percentage of Rising to The Red Cross, to help with the disaster in Japan, or wherever else in the world needs help and funding for disaster relief. There's certainly no shortage of countries who need the help. Sometimes it seems as though the planet is just cracking in two, doesn't it? I hope this artwork can serve as my hope and prayer for all those affected by such disasters. It would be impossible to overcome if we weren't all working together.

The final image, glowing in the darkness, is what I believe for the future of Japan. A peaceful sky, a full, rising sun. Light. Hope. Beauty. I have no doubts it will be so.

This is my final painting to be shown in my Studio C Artists Collection. The show is tomorrow night, March 26th, from 6-10pm. One night only! I truly hope you can make it. Many of these paintings have already sold, so there will not be a second opportunity to see (most of) them again.

Make a night of it. Get dinner in LA, and stop by for a bit to have a glass of wine and look at some art. There's beer too! I'd love to talk with you. It's kind of like a party. :) Here's where you should go:

Studio C Artists
6448 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90038

View Larger Map

There's parking on the street, and a couple of lots nearby.

I'm really excited. It's been an interesting month! I'm looking forward to celebrating all the work I've done, seeing friends, meeting new ones, and then resting briefly before we embark on the biggest trip of our lives. Quite a time to be alive. I'm feeling grateful for every moment.

Joy . 24x30 inches . 2011

1. natural lighting
2. artificial lighting
3. combined UV and artificial lighting
4. UV lighting only
5. no light

Ingredients: acrylic, crushed glass, phosphorescent pigments, Joey's Love, varnish, water & light on canvas.

During the last week of Joey's life, I cleared the downstairs of everything and stopped working. Nothing, no show, no trip, was more important to me than Joey. I wanted him to have full reign of wherever he wanted to go. He spent a lot of time sleeping in the sun. He would stand in front of the screen door and seemed to be looking outside. He was quite blind by this point, so I'm not certain what he was looking at, but it was clear the sunlight appealed to him.

This particular painting was closest to the outside, and I realized he spent quite a bit of time next to it. I let him. Whatever he wanted to do. He and I would lie next to it together, talking, napping. I stroked his face while he slept, telling him how much I loved him, how beautiful he was.

I knew we were destined for each other from the first moment I saw him. I spent years wanting a dog, and months looking for the "right" puppy. I saw many, many litters of them. But the first time I laid eyes on Joey, I knew he was the one. It was fate. Magic.

He was a very special dog. He was the happiest soul I've ever known. Just being around him made you feel like life was awesome. He was thrilled to be alive, every moment of his 15 years. He seemed to look at the world and find it magnificent. You couldn't help but have his joy rub off on you.

A long time ago a friend commented that, "Every moment is the BEST moment in Joey's life." If only we could all live like that.

Our BFF and Best Man Joe, who proudly shared his name with Joey, said this: "As a breed of shepherd, Joey would often gently nudge me from one end of the apartment we shared to another, in accordance with whatever byzantine organization known only to him. Most pet owners tend to project a personality on their pets, but Joey projected his demeanor on you. I was fortunate enough to know Joey, and I cannot stress enough how much of an effect he had on everyone who knew him, even curmudgeonly "non-pet" people. His was as noble a soul as I have come across."

I told Colin, after Joey's passing, that the one thing I wanted to take with me most was the pure joy that Joey lived his life with. He was so happy, and it made me happy to experience it. I tend to be a cynical, sarcastic person myself, but Joey showed me what true happiness was like. If nothing else, I want to remember how joyful he was about everything. Everyone. I still have much to learn from him. His very spirit will change my soul from this day forward, and has since the day I met him.

I'm keeping this painting.

I'd still like for you to come see it this Saturday, though. Not just to appreciate art, but as support for me and an honor to Joey. He was, and is, my hero. If I can achieve even a fraction of the joy he had for life, my entire existence will be a success.

Adrift . 30x24 inches . 2011

1. natural lighting
2. artificial lighting
3. combined UV and artificial lighting
4. UV lighting alone
5. no light

Ingredients: acrylic, beach sand, crushed glass, phosphorescent pigments, water & light on canvas.

Making my way through the month. It's strange to have such awesome things and such sad things happen simultaneously. It's not a month I care to repeat, but I recognize that with success comes increased activity. It's hard to schedule the sad, unforeseen circumstances in. As I get older, I'm learning to assume they'll sneak up occasionally.

I'm starting to feel an overall calm in my life, mostly because the alternative is scary. I have no choice but to surrender my anxieties and allow life to happen since I can't control all aspects of it anyway. I want to enjoy my show. I want to calmly enjoy my trip to Japan. I want to remain lucid and awake, observing and experiencing everything. I want each step to be purposeful.

I'm working on it.

Adrift will be on display at my show this coming Saturday (!) March 26th, from 6-10pm.

If you'd like to reserve this painting before the show, contact me for details. *UPDATE* This painting is now sold!

Studio C
6448 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90038

View Larger Map

Very much hope you can be there. :)

Two paintings left to unveil!


We said goodbye to Joey on Saturday, March 12th. He was at home, in our arms, with my forehead pressed up against his, kissing his nose and his ear, telling him how much I loved him and how important he was in my life. It was incredibly beautiful and peaceful.

I am devastated.

It was time. I've known it for awhile, and I knew it in an immediate sense a little over 2 weeks ago. I've been crying for weeks. Months, actually. I feel total despair.

We spent his last week showering him with affection, attention, and love. We home-cooked all his favorite foods. I sat with him for hours every day, just sitting. I never really left his side. I didn't leave the house for almost two weeks. We even camped downstairs and slept with him, where he was most comfortable. He took naps next to all my paintings. I talked to him endlessly about what I was feeling. I told him how fully, how deeply I adored him.  I kissed him a million times.

He was very, very sleepy.

The silence is the worst part. I'd give anything to hear him softly snoring in the background. I feel sick every time I pass by an area he should be in. We haven't yet picked up his floor mats and bowls. I've been carrying his bed around the house with me. It doesn't replace him for the hugs I crave, or the feeling of my face buried in the soft fur of his neck.

Absolutely everything reminds me of him. I'm 31 now. I brought him home as a puppy when I was 16. It's been a very long time we've spent together. It feels like he has always been with me.

Joey turned 15 on January 3rd of this year. He had a long, happy life. I named him Joey because he reminded me of a baby kangaroo as a puppy. He liked to jump around. He was the most awesome dog I could ever have wanted. He learned every trick I could think of to teach him. He knew how to bring me the TV remote. He was first in his Agility class. He was an athlete. He loved playing ball. I didn't teach him to play fetch, he just knew. I also didn't have to housetrain him. Somehow, even at 8 weeks old, he just knew what to do. He never barked, unless we told him to. When we asked him if he "needed to go out," he answered with a soft bark or a sneeze-like horse neigh. If he didn't have to go out, he was silent. It was amazing. It made you forget you were dealing with a dog.

He was perfect.

I spent my childhood praying for him, wishing for him, dreaming him up, and the last 15 years enjoying him more than I ever thought possible.

To know me at all is to know how much I loved Joey. He saved me. He was my guardian angel.

We were inseparable. I don't feel ready to go on without him. I know he was waiting for me to grant permission. It was the right thing to do, and I couldn't have asked for a better situation, or a more perfect ending to Joey's life.

Ours was truly a love story. 

My heart is broken.

Doorway . 36x24 inches . 2011

1. natural light
2. artificial / interior light
3. artificial and uv lighting combined
4. uv lighting
5. no light

Ingredients: acrylic, beach sand, crushed glass, phosphorescent pigments, varnish, water & light on canvas.

It's time to pass through. No matter how much I might want things to stay the same, I have to move forward. I have to take the next step. I believe events in my life have been purposeful. I don't know what's waiting for me on the other side, but it's time to find out.

The only thing I have control over are my choices. Everything else is unknown. Hopefully, one day, I can look back through this threshold and know that the rest of my life began with that one step, and feel solace that I took it. At the moment, it's a leap of faith.

Doorway will be shown on March 26th, 2011 in Hollywood for one night only. If you're interested in this piece and would like to reserve or purchase it before the show, email me. *UPDATE: This painting is now sold.*

Singularity . 30x40 inches . 2011

1. natural light
2. artificial/interior light
3. artificial and UV light
4. UV light
5. no light

Ingredients: acrylic, beach sand, crushed glass, phosphorescent pigments, varnish, water & light on canvas.

I guess I feel awkward even commenting on this piece. I don't have anything to say that would properly capture what went into it. It was an act of meditation and study. 

There's so much going on in my life right now. I feel like this moment in time is floating by at a different rate of speed than most moments. I feel trapped in the space, watching everything pass in slow motion, not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and not remembering what life was like before I got here. Such a huge, important chapter of my life is closing, and although I can't stop it, I don't want to meet it. I feel like if I refuse to acknowledge reality, it won't play out. It's an incorrect and unhelpful mindset, and I'm swimming in it. I never, ever agree when I see others dragging their heels through life refusing to make choices and meet their destiny. Everything is rushing toward an inevitability and I can't stop it and I feel like I'm going to burst or disappear. 

It's strange that life can be so awesome and so sad simultaneously. I usually embrace change, but right now I'd rather certain things stayed as they were, forever. Forward motion, in this case, means the end of part of my lifestory that I don't want to let go of. I see aspects of my life approaching a sort of event-horizon, and I am afraid. I'm not sure I can handle it. I don't really have a choice. 

I'm standing in front of a doorway. At the moment, it feels impossible to see through to the other side.

Singularity will be shown on March 26th, 2011 at Studio C in Los Angeles. Definitely a piece you'll want to see in person. If you're interested in purchasing this piece before the show, email me for details. *UPDATE: This painting is now sold.*