Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A little tree

Photos in the dark

I tried to photograph the sketch I did of the snowy drive, but it is so soft it won't photograph even under my artist lights. Kinda funny.  Maybe I will get it this weekend, but hopefully I'll get to actually paint this weekend! 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Driving in a Snowstorm (Picture to post later)

I did a quick sketch of driving in the snowstorm yesterday. I don't know how I looked up at the view for a minute. I'd post the photo, but don't have time to set it up before work this morning. I will say that even in a 4WD vehicle driving in the snow is a bit spooky... especially when heading down a narrow one lane highway with trucks going by and little drop offs on either side of the road.

Have a great day today!

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Drive

Today is a bit of a drive, winding through the desert mountains to a meeting and back. I'll get to see the dawn rise over the hills, and possibly a snow storm. It should be a lovely day.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


The landscape in Italy is so lovely- farmland with rolling foothills; vineyards and old manors in neutral tones, khaki and rust. One drive we stumbled upon a whole city built upon a hill, with sheer cliffs around the edges.   You could just imagine it enveloped in fog, a shining city of magic where all the stories come true.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Busy Busy

I have an extremely busy week this week, so more pictures and less text!
I had a great weekend checking out Toronto. Fun architecture and quite a lot to do. One of my favorite spots was a restaurant called The Academy of Spherical Arts. It is a converted billiard table factory with a wide open space that is well decorated, old wood beams and real-retro furniture. The walls are large enough to handle really large artwork. I would love to show there- hehe soon enough, I’m sure.  (Thanks for the tour CH.)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Travel Adventure

This painting was inspired on a long trip meditating about the path of life, success for yourself, and ultimately challenges along the way.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


I am obsessed with communication right now.  Myself, this is why I love artwork; I want to tell the story with it.
The more I focus on honest communication, the more I notice when others are dishonest or manipulate the story or truths that exist. It seems like such a waste of time, but geez a lot of people do it as part of their everyday lives.  The more I pay attention, the less comfortable I feel. I am working to slowly and kindly move people who get confangled in their own stories toward truth, it is kind of a challenge.

In any event, have a great day- and be honest. You do have to be brave sometimes, but life runs just a hair smoother when you are.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Following Your Dreams

Probably about 10 years back I was trying to figure out what to do with my life. For a period of time I decided I wanted to travel around and film active volcanoes all over the world. I wrote up and pitched a tv program idea which would let me… run around the world checking out volcanoes.  While my idea didn’t fly, I did meet some interesting people in the process.

One man I met worked at a production company, and we ended up having a random two hour conversation about our dreams, things we wanted to do with our lives etc. He came across as nice, supportive and motivated. His dream: direct music videos.   I don’t even think he remembers the conversation or who I am any more. I am on his email list, so I get updates about work he has created. And, being me, I email him every few years to see how he is. This is my humor.

Congratulations on making your dreams happen Admire! And great job!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine’s Day

Picasso said,“Paradise is to love many things with a passion.”

I was thinking about things that make me joyful from love and they are so many and varied, which is why I designed this piece, “Love is not what you expect.” Volcano’s, Hawai’i, cityscape's, underground mining, the ocean… Weird, eh?

The pattern on the right is the story of the journey of life, which most of us hope to have filled with love.

My love to all!.

Monday, February 13, 2012

In The Background

If you ever wondered who watches those terrible disaster movies on the SyFy channel- that would be me. I love having them on in the background while I’m doing artwork. They are too silly to be scary; they typically have any and all elements of a good story with zero editing to actually make it a good story, and they just go for it. Three-story Piranha’s? No Problem! Multiple tornado’s that descend on Chicago? Sound great! Best thing is: they don’t require too much focus.
This last weekend: Snowmageddon!  Pretty decent actors compared to my normal fare.  I cannot believe they killed off the snowboarder.
Any genre’s you love that are equally silly?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Designing the Day Away

The piece I’m working on right now takes quite a lot of planning.  Some work requires more planning and time than other pieces.

It reminded me of this piece, a church from Varenna, Italy. I had a dream of it before my first trip to Europe and sketched it in a journal. Imagine my shock when I saw the church in real life.  I literally had to go back to the journal to make sure I wasn’t losing my mind. In real life it is set in the middle of a parking lot, backed against a steep hill. The hardest part of this piece was designing the a better setting. What a beautiful building.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Jennifer Commands Me To Paint

This piece was done in the midst of frustration, representing calm in a storm, or calm in chaos.

The Dark And The Cold

I seem to want to draw swirling rising high on a dark night. Sketchs of bigger paintings I may never do.  When I start to fade with tiredness in the week, my ambition wanes. I spend my time tasting my coffee. I miss the smells of the underground. The etheral feeling of another world. The lights of cars in front, winding far into the distance in the middle of nowhere. Heading to work.

May this be a wonderful day.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


And how did this day turn out? The one that started so beautifully? Oh lord it was a pain! Am I supposed to walk away thinking "it would have been worse otherwise?"  Lots of little politcal things, same old same old, dragging myself through the document. I even "rebooted" a couple times.


The Flow of Tuesday

It is extremley difficult, when you are tired and going to do work that is a bit dull today, to engage and feel like it is part of the flow of everything. I think the proper joke is that we work to be able to eat. But today I'm going to dedicate myself to going to work, but having the feeling I have when I'm in the forest, walking along a steam as it meanders down the hills.

I just went to warm up my car, and the moon is hanging a few inches above the horizon, as round disc. Amazing start to Tuesday. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Back to the Salt Mines

Ironically my regular job is analytical. Kind of the flip side of the brain. It is good to use both sides of it, I think.

My desire to paint is so strong, but I'm still working on the concept and form of the larger painting. I may try to work on one of my unfinished pieces in the mean time. It will keep my hand in it.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Snow Falling on Aspen

In the last 6 months I've done quite a lot of driving between Ely and Elko. We haven't had as much snow as normal, so the drives haven't been too much more than long (knock on wood). There was about one real snow storm I went through with a colleague, the kind that reminds you that this is HIGH desert, as the drive down was clear and beautiful- and the return trip was heavy snow with several inches on the ground. (Oh dear. Where is my carhart?!)

That trip, combined with several little jaunts up to Harrison Pass, made me want to capture the feeling of snow falling on Aspen trees. Specifically trees which still had their fall leaves. If you've ever camped amongst Aspen, you know the leaves softly hitting each other sound like a gentle rain. I wanted that feeling and the gentle hush of the snow falling. The contrast of the fall yellow bright color with the white soft and cold snow.

Turns out that when you go into an Aspen grove you can't see the trees for the trees. And they are so overwhelming that when you take photos it just looks like a messy pile of brush. I had a couple nice photos- looking from inside the trees to the landscape in the distance, and down at leaves that had fallen.  But generally photos of other vegetation was more naturally artistic to my eye.

As I started heading back to my abode I looked across the valley and found that the grove of trees from a distance was compelling; and passed a cattle ranch which had a flat plain before the Ruby Mtns in the distance.


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Please? Pretty Please with Sugar On Top?

I have several pieces going at once. One piece is a gift to a friend I've been working on for a few years. I think it will turn out well, it's just I can see I have to re-do a big part of the main feature (a train) because I messed up the perspective on a portion of it. So, the inspiration comes and goes.

Other stuff I just pick up and do, the inspiration is present as I paint. I go until I'm done. The piece I want to design right now is within this theme I've had recently of wanting to be greater than those individual circumstances of my life. I'm not talking fame here, that sounds really ugly and awful. I'm talking about in a spirtual way, viewing life from a space of calm and peace. This benefits me at work with co-workers (we can all use to have grace for others! so that they can give us grace when it's our turn!) but also just adds something to life that is uplifting.

Anyhoo, I did one piece recently that is about opening that spiritual door within yourself. And about two years ago I did several pieces in a series titled "Fate Found Me." I just had this feeling wash over me that I was walking in my own fate, which is odd (Who ties fate to Elko, Nevada? Seriously.) but that is how I felt. Feel. In any event long story short (too late for that) I built these really large canvases with the help my brother, and then have been intimidated to use them. They are so nice!

The inspiration has hit me to do a large piece, about 3.5' by 5' with a theme mixed of spiritual growth and walking the path of ones' own fate. So, having left the beautiful canvases in peace for 6 months, I want to use them! I have asked one of my friends to be my model.  As I sketched the piece out, it was obvious that she is the correct person to use as model for this piece. She is very tall and powerfully built- you want her on your side of the fight- but somehow has extremely delicate features. Anyway I've asked her to send me a picture facing the camera, how I want her hands etc., and her eyes in drishti.  I think she will do it but I don't want to wait. I'm feeling a tad rambunctious: this is not about you! This is about me! Hurry up! I don't think that's a very persuasive argument. So I'm trying to be patient.


Getting Better As I Get Older

It doesn't make a lot of sense to pretend an experience wasn't a challenge. The longer I live the more value I recognize in the suffering I have experienced. It is so strange that personal growth comes from just listening to yourself. Asking the right questions starts the process.

So, this piece I did about a year ago:

It's titled "Soul Sick."

And for comparison, two weekends ago:

"Dreams of Home"

The feelings are similar, missing Oregon and Family and Friends and Trees. But the exposure to Nietzsche last year did it's work. I have translated the suffering I believed I was experiencing into personal growth. Reflected on the decisions I've made, and remembered the logic behind them. And in this rearview mirror review, I find that I can support myself.  I can see the subtleties in fault and responsibility and circumstance. And now have moved on: What sort of life do I want to live?

I am moving towards a peace and joy I haven't known since I was little. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

I wanted to capture the feeling of walking in a strange city. A warm sunny day, the feeling of possibilites and exploration. But it's merely the presence in the day that matters- this moment.