Friday, November 30, 2007
The Hive Gallery
opening: Saturday, December 1st, 6pm to 1am
729 So. Spring St. Los Angeles, CA 90014
-up to 40 artists -live performances and painting -video projection/s -DJs-
$7 suggested donation at the door, parking lot across the street ($5-$10)
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Here are some paintings that I made to help out a student film. The movie was about a painter so since I'm a painter, I have the ability and the accoutrements of the painter... you get the idea. This was something of a collaboration between the actor and me, I'd paint some part of it, and then they'd film the actor and he'd invariebly screw things up. So then they'd cut and I'd fix his lameness and then paint more of the figure. Then 'action' and more of his ham-fistedness, then 'cut' and I fix it and add more. Lather, rinse, repeat. Regardless, I like this piece, it's been growing on me! When I did it my mentality was that it's totally disposable, a who cares attitude. Still I wanted to do something beautiful, so I kept pushing the color and the brushstrokes... So here you go, the most accidental painter ever. The size is 4 by 3.5 feet.
For the feature artist spot at the Hive this weekend, I wrote an artist statement to accompany the paintings. Here's the text:
This selection of work spans the past few years and I think gives a good cross section look at the different moods of the city of Los Angeles and of myself, the artist. I should start off by saying that I am in no way a surrealist of any form, neither Freudian nor Pop nor whatever. I am a realist and the flag of my heart is firmly planted in the earth of Matisse and Manet, Bonnard and Velazquez. I have no interest to paint my thoughts or dreams or nightmares. I find inspiration for subject matter in what I see before my very eyes, and seek to paint a picture that expresses a particular feeling of “truth” taken from being there. I am moved to paint what I find beautiful in the world, to re-present a particular light or time of day, a beautiful woman, a beautiful landscape. But I can also find beauty in the simplest of places, a motel room, a bus stop. It’s everywhere when you learn to see.
Someone may ask, “In this crazy time we live in, the war, the death, the torture, the planetary destruction, how can you sit there and paint beauty!?” I was recently reading a book about the history of art theft and came across a great quote by Don Hyrcyk, a Los Angeles art theft detective, which sums up my feelings well. He said of art, "The overwhelming feeling I have is that, in a world that has so much violence, these ARTWORKS are testaments to our better nature. THESE are the things we would want to trot out if there was an Armageddon and somebody said, 'Hey, you guys don't deserve to go on.' There is so much out there that has such tremendous BEAUTY that we could actually point to and say, 'No look, THIS is our finer nature, THIS is what we strive for here.'"
I want my art to be an expression of my finer nature, and to show my love for things.
“Young painters, painters misunderstood or only lately understood- no hatred! Hatred is a parasite that devours everything. One doesn’t build upon hatred but upon love... Love sustains the artist.”
- Henri Matisse, 1947
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I'm putting some finishing touches on the painting from the Getty. When I was there I took a picture of one of the other painters at the event and decided that he'd be the perfect 'human element' the piece needed. I wanted it to be just a few easy brushstrokes to he feels integrated with the scene. Next I'm going to paint some slap dash flax leaves in the lower right that were in a pot that is out of frame. I think it'll be a nice bit of extra foreground.
Monday, November 26, 2007
This Saturday, December 1st I'm a featured artist at the Hive gallery! I'm very excited to get to show a bunch of paintings all together. Also I have the space in the back where I thought I might show a piece that people will be able to paint on. I call it "artist and model" and is a composition done from life at the Art Center College of Design where I'm a teacher. I'll hang this painting up, set my mobile studio up in front with of it with all the paints and brushes layed out, and invite people to get in touch with their inner Manet on the 'canvas' in the lower left of the piece... The painting is 5 and a half feet tall, so there's plenty of room to mess around. Hey, it's "conceptual"! It's performance art! It's collaborative! I think it'll be fun.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
A Eulogy For the First Vermont Republic
4 March 1791
Ladies and gentlemen, it is my solemn duty to inform you that on 4 March 1791 the First Vermont Republic, the only American republic which truly invented itself, entered immortality and became the fourteenth state of the American Empire. Fourteen years after declaring its independence, Vermont was seduced into the Union by the promise of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Over two hundred years later the Green Mountain state finds itself in a nation whose government condones the annihilation of Afghanistan and Iraq, a war on terrorism which it helped create, the illegal rendition of terrorist suspects, prisoner abuse and torture, citizen surveillance, the suppression of civil liberties, the suspension of habeas corpus, an impotent Homeland Security bureaucracy, corporate greed, pandering to the rich and powerful, a culture of deceit, and a foreign policy based on full spectrum dominance, imperial overstretch, and unconditional support for Israel.
A state convention convened by the Vermont Assembly on 10 January 1791 petitioned the United States Congress for admission into the Union. By a vote of 105 to 4 the delegates of the convention opted to sell the soul of the independent Republic of Vermont to the Empire. Vermont’s statehood petition was ratified by the U.S. Congress on 4 March, a day that will go down in history as a day of infamy.
America was supposed to have been immortal, but in the end it could not deliver. Its government has lost its moral authority. It has no soul. As a nation it has become unsustainable and unfixable because it is effectively ungovernable. The endgame is near. “Whenever any form of government becomes destructive, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and institute a new government,” said Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence. Just as a group has a right to form, so too does it have a right to disband, to subdivide itself, or to withdraw from a larger unit.
Vermont is smaller, more rural, more democratic, less violent, less commercial, more egalitarian, more humane, more independent, and more radical than most states. It provides a communitarian alternative to the dehumanized, mass production, mass consumption, narcissistic lifestyle which pervades most of America.
Fundamental to what it means to be a Vermonter is the right of self-preservation. The time has come for all Vermonters peacefully to rebel against the American empire by (1) regaining control of their lives from big government, big business, big cities, big schools, and big computer networks; (2) relearning how to take care of themselves by decentralizing, downsizing, localizing, demilitarizing, simplifying, and humanizing their lives; and (3) learning how to help others take care of themselves.
This is a call for Vermont to reclaim its soul. In so doing, it can provide a kinder, gentler model, that is clean, green, sustainable, and socially responsible, for a nation obsessed with money, power, size, speed, greed, and fear of terrorism.
Is it possible that out of the ashes of the First Vermont Republic a Second Vermont Republic might emerge? Might not Vermont experience a kind of resurrection from the dead, or at least from its 216 year slumber, resulting in a new state of consciousness opposed to the tyranny of corporate America and the U.S. government and committed to once again becoming an independent republic and more broadly to the dissolution of the Empire? Might such a republic embrace these principles: political independence, human scale, sustainability, economic solidarity, power sharing, equal opportunity, tension reduction, and mutuality?
As Reverend Ben T. Matchstick did in his invocation on October 28, 2005 in the Vermont State House at the first state convention on secession since 1861, we pray for Vermont independence “in the name of the flounder, the sunfish, and the holy mackerel.”
Thomas H. Naylor
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
I layed in a drawing for a subsequent painting of downtown LA from Temple Street, a beautiful view. This is 24 by 30 and based on a previous drawing I did (click here to see it). This is an even more stripped down and abstracted version of that drawing, but still retaining the feeling and arrangement of the original. I like it! I'm going to paint color all over it soon, but still I like it as it is presently.
Also, I'm posting a better link of the news piece that aired on the California Art Club painting live at the Getty. My sister said on the close up, I look like I'm blind! AHAHAHAHA! it's because I'm squinting to see lights and darks more clearly. Vincent used to squint! Here's a quote that relates well to the video:
"The louts in Neunen say I'm crazy when they see me shuffling across the heath, standing still, squatting, squinting, holding my hands now like this, then like that in front of my eyes in order to frame the whole, but I don't care, I just go my own way."
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Here's an assortment of things from the paint-out at the Getty yesterday. It was fun because the museum is normally closed to the public on Mondays, but they let us all go into the gardens and enjoy ourselves. It was a great time! I'm posting the drawing that I did the week before... then there's the canvas with the preliminary drawing laid in... the last one is what was done on location. I'm going to add some more refinement, crop a little off the top and add some people. I got a few good pictures of people walking around and one of an artist set up and painting... They'll add some more atmosphere.
I filmed this off the TV last night... channel 11 news came out and documented all the California Art Club artists painting, so here's some more footage of me on location! There's a good shot of me squinting, but it looks like I'm painting with my eyes closed... AHAHAH!