Three of the most powerful words.
To all my fellow cheesy, corny, sappy folk. I've been accused of being too "Hallmark" with my stuff- but as I've gotten older I've realized that we shouldn't be ashamed of our mushy tendencies because if I had to choose between feeling too much and feeling too little, I'd always take the former. I'd always rather opt for sentimentality over a dispassionate disposition. I'll proudly be a cheeseball til the day I die.
Piece by piece.
This is my tribute to David Bowie for the "In Bowie We Trust" show at (instagram: @deliciousvinyl ) with help from (instagram: @inheroeswetrust_venice ) - there are 30+ artists doing Bowie themed work and while they are all amazing and it is an honor to be among them, I for one am super excited to be on a wall next to Jim Mahfood who years ago did a Clerks comic that I read as a kid and became obsessed with his art. It was very influential as to how I draw my stuff to this day (though I'm not nearly as good). My point is that it seems the last gift that David Bowie gave me was the chance to pay tribute to him in a show with another hero of mine which is pretty cool. The words on the paper behind my words are lyrics from David Bowie songs as one of my teenage memories is scrawling lyrics in my spiral notebook instead of paying attention in school.
Living in California I've noticed a lot of (and probably have been from time to time) two very specific types of people. There's the person who chases acclaim- or fame- or popularity- or buzz/hype/attention/etc. and the more that it eludes them- the more bitter they become. The more they remind me of how it felt to see the girl I liked making out with the jerk boyfriend who in my mind didn't deserve her. Then there's those who gather a measure of attention and become constantly vigilant of it fading away, growing stagnant or moving on to someone else- and it reminds me of the times when I had the girl and was always worried that she'd figure out that she could do better and cheat on me. Neither side of that coin was enjoyable. Coveting praise and popularity can turn bitterness into a drug that makes you feel pleasure in knowing you've been unfairly overlooked- but when that attention is given to you- you simply want more and can never appreciate the praise because you need more and more of it to get the same high and you become suspicious and envious of those who might take some of your spotlight. It's a miserable spiral of disappointment and frustration and the best way to stop the decent is to see that both aspects can be damaging- find a definition of who you are beyond how many people praise you and chase a more self satisfying kind of success.
I'm often bewildered at what I read in the news. Whether it be a systemic injustice or some tragedy that ended with lives lost or just the day-to-day flaws in our way of life that leave people behind. Often times we convince ourselves that these broken things cannot be fixed- that adjusting the malfunctioning aspects of our culture or even correcting the people who exploit, take advantage or otherwise neglect those in a less powerful positions would be too daunting. But I believe that things can change and we can change them. In the immortal words of John Lennon, "you may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one." So I challenge you all to try and do one good thing today to make the world a better place, even in just some small way. Pick up a piece of trash, buy a homeless guy a sandwich, bring donuts to your office co-workers. It may sound trite but a little really does go a long way. Happy Friday folks!!
We are constantly bombarded by distractions. Sometimes it can feel like before even a brief thought reaches a conclusion, the incessant pleas for attention from your phone- from the ads thrust upon you, from pop culture, from a 24-hour news cycle and on and on and on. With the loss this week of beloved people like Lemmy, David Bowie and now Alan Rickman- the time frame to mourn these people gets smaller and smaller before the next thing captures our collective attention. I struggle to focus on moments, on ideas, on important events and linger within them. I try to give people my full attention when speaking to them- and it's a challenge. It's not just the natural progression of time- it's that there are just so many things vying for our attention and when everything dictates that it is important- nothing is important. I'm not sure where I'm going with this... and maybe that's because I've become distracted by about ten other things. Ugh. I guess I have some work to do.
So I was painting last night and Howard (one of my newly adopted kittens) was very persistent to know what I was doing- going so far as to crawl up my leg to get a look. Eventually, just to get some work done, I had to hold him as I worked so he could observe up close.
My other kitten, Hattie wants to be a wheatpaste artist when she grows up!
You too can foster and adopt curious kittens with LUXE Paws !
There is a speech in Shakespeare's Henry V that begins: "Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more." It's a rousing speech in which King Henry is attempting to rally his troops to battle once more. For some of us though, the battle we face each day is in returning to jobs that leave us frustrated, numb and unengaged. These jobs can be reminders of how far away from our dreams we are or of the responsibilities we have that keep us from taking a chance. This is not to say that everyone that has a job shouldn't be grateful- but some days you need a bit more rallying to get out of bed and paint on a smile and do it all again then others and those are the days (and the people) that this poster is speaking to.
Distance makes the heart grow crazy.
Taking a moment to just stop and breathe and put your agenda on hold for two seconds apparently takes a lot of practice.
A play on the old phrase "The king is dead! Long live the king!" I've found that TIME is the only authority that seems to really run things- so you might as well live in the moment that's currently in charge.
Here's a video that shows the creation of a mural I made during my trip to Chicago!
A made a series of mini signs to stick in flower beds. I immediately felt foolish for having this idea in the middle of winter (and in a drought no less) but luckily I found a few things in season around LA. I made them on electrical outlet covers and glued nails to the bottom to stick in the ground.
For those who don't follow me on Instagram and Facebook- my yearly scavenger hunt featured four of these guys. They were all found pretty quick which means I either make these hunts too easy or you guys are just too dang smart! Maybe both?
Like many things, words of love hold varying power in different contexts. It's easy to love someone through the good times. It takes character to love them through the bad. The consistency of what you say, the promises you make and the sincerity in which you make them is what lets you know the real strength of not only the words, but the one who speaks them as well.
Often with the things we want in life- even when we get them, it's only moments before we want something else. We're always hoping that each desire, once met- will be the one that finally completes us, finally gives us lasting contentment. We say to ourselves: "okay, I thought it would be that last thing- but really it was this thing- THIS will be the thing that will make me happy forever!" Wash, rinse, repeat. Over and over. I think there is purpose in ambition, in setting goals- but a misplaced expectation can cripple your gratitude and shorten the lifespan of your happiness once you've attained something. The trick I think, is to let your goals evolve over time rather than become a never ending list, or in the case of this poster's metaphor, a never ending line of people- each dressed in their most attractive attire and hoping that they convince the bouncer that they deserve to get in- but once inside are just another anonymous face in a dimly lit room with loud music that is difficult to hear anyone speaking over.
This may be more romantic during another sweltering summer.
On December 17th, 2015 I opened a show at BEAUTY AND BRAWN GALLERY called THE WRITING'S ON THE WALL. Here's a video that shows how it came together.
The show runs until February 20th, 2016.
This piece includes an interactive sound element! I picked up this motion activated speaker and recorded an automated system telling me to "please remain on the line." Now whenever someone walks past the piece, a little voice can be heard. As for the meaning of the piece, it's about those seasons in life when you just feel like life is on hold- when you're waiting for some specific aspect of life to change so it can move forward, or you're waiting for some confirmation from your instincts or from God or the universe, it can have that same feeling of tedium as when you're waiting to speak to a person on the phone who can fix a problem. I imagine we've all been there at some point. Some, I hope, have had mercifully short spans of this. Some may be in the midst of that kind of season right now. I always just remind myself that the most important thing is to always be grateful and live in the present and know that eventually that awful "hold-muzak" will end.