Category Archives: story

E.T.s come to Richmond / monoprints and story

As soon as they stepped through that bright light portal people loved them. They looked like a delicious tossed salad and smelled so fresh. They communicated through mental telepathy that they were here in peace and said,”Take me to your leader.”

The governor rushed right over to meet them and they promised that they could increase our crop yield 1000%. Imagine getting a real ton of tomatoes from each plant, 50 foot tall corn stalks with 100 ears on each, pumpkins large enough to be made into housing! They could do all that because they are actually vegetables themselves and they want to put down roots in Virginia.

The governor gave them the key to the city. Then the next day they were shopping downtown and some kids started chasing them with bottles of ranch dressing and forks. Suddenly the portal reappeared and they vanished.

I hope you enjoyed the story. If the mono prints look like something else other than aliens tell me what you see!

It’s raining and I had some fun with these prints but I’m not finished with them. I want to do a larger collage using them and make something deep with layers of paint. I’m not sure yet how I’m going to do that. I’ll have to wait a few days for this to dry then I might cut these and rearrange them.

Life’s not easy if you’re a pine tree on a sand dune. / oils

Trees are like people.

I spent roughly 20 hours on the dune next to this tree and I was only trying to capture it’s image but when I got home I kept thinking about the tree, like the tree was communicating with me by mental telepathy or something! nah, I’m kidding. This is what the tree would like to say.

The sand doesn’t have enough nutrients. The wind is trying to blow me down all the time. Someone called me scraggly and now I have a low self esteem. I won’t live as long as other pine trees or ever get tall.

And still, the scraggy little tree lifts it’s dead bleached arms to the sky like a person who suffered but doesn’t give up hope.

There’s something going on in the shadows and places where you can see the dune grass through spaces between branches. It’s heavily textured.

You can’t go down the dune through the grass filled with burrs and give the tree a hug. The tree is prickly too, not to mention that’s a steep drop off and you have to climb back out.

You want to remind the tree that it is on prime real estate with a better view than most pine trees have and its head is above dune level.

Plus, the tree has a lot of grace, like people who have lived through some bad stuff. Then when something else bad happens, those people don’t freak out in the next dangerous situation. Like the tree, they remember a worse storm. And people or trees that had it easy fall apart under stress.

returning to my roots with this project

haha I don’t have any roots. I’m a tumbleweed.

Once I drove Rt. 66 from Springfield MO. to Santa Monica CA. I was in OK. and I saw these dead looking shrubberies by the side of the road, which had no traffic. I thought they fell off a truck and wondered why they didn’t pick them up since they were on the road. Then I saw so many of them I thought, these have to be tumbleweeds.

This is my plan for the next painting, the second time I sketched it, this time larger. The chalk is sand and the chalk dots are sea oats.

That’s how you start a painting in the traditional process, do a detailed drawing on the paper or canvas. When I was sketching a few people walked across the path at the top of the meadow to the right of center and I decided to try to paint a figure in to give it scale. I had already sketched in some sea oats that rise up over the path from this view. I decided to erase them when I paint and put my person walking in that spot on the path. This step is the time to plan and change plans. If I started in a rush to slap down some paint without doing the sketch then the painting wouldn’t work out as I hoped. Where would I put my person in?

That’s the only roots I have, the traditional ways of painting that I learned long ago. Some times I tumble along in the breeze trying to paint like a modern artist. This time I’m going to use paint brushes and take my time on it, not skipping any steps.

a quick sketch from 2006

tundra swans at Middle Creek

This sketch is about to get wasted. I’m using the back of the paper. This will get ruined so here it is to be seen for the last time.

I remember it was 06 because that was a strange time in my life. I sold the house in Chesterfield because I knew the market was in a bubble and I didn’t feel safe there alone. I put my stuff in storage and went to PA. For a couple years I bounced around between PA and VA. I was a gypsy. It was great.

I couldn’t settle down for long. I couldn’t pick another house or an apartment so I lived with this lady or that lady. Finally I got an apartment but still, I want to keep moving even up to last year.

The apt. I have now is quiet and no one is bugging me so I will probably renew my lease in April. I’m not sure. I’ll decide when I hear if the rent goes up or not.

plein air painting from a couple years ago and scary thing that was a false alarm but weird

The painting is long to fit in the window at Jerry’s Artarama. They asked artists to paint on canvases to fit in the store windows to block the view of the merchandise racks from the outside of the store. This was in front of a rack of paper so I thought it would be safe because they’d have to move a lot of paper to take it out of the window. It was in the window for a couple years and I wanted to get it back and rework the water but didn’t ask because I knew it would be difficult to get it out of there.

So, today I went there to buy some things and my painting was replaced by a tiger. I asked where my painting was and the guys didn’t know. The girl that arranges the windows would be out for a couple days. I gave them my phone number but expressed my concern about it with out acting too alarmed because I’m really cool in weird situations, but I was afraid it was stolen. The manager didn’t even remember the painting and he worked there for a year!

He went around the whole place looking for it and finally spotted it in a window behind shopping carts. You could only see the sky. The rest was blocked. No one would ever notice it. I was so relieved to see it. I took it home, never to be on display again! They still have some empty windows but instead they hid it.

Every time you put a painting out there you run the risk of losing it. Now, if I want to throw it away that’s one thing, but if it goes missing that would be kind of upsetting. I used to worry when entering shows in those huge sprawling non profits with back doors and no one’s watching that someone would walk out with one of mine. It did happen to a guy and the newspaper did a report on it. That artist said it was worth the loss for the publicity and sales he got afterwards but I know if it happens to me it wouldn’t make the news.

I wonder why the store didn’t just call me or email me and say it was time to pick it up? That I could understand. But hide it behind carts? Next to the front door where it was easy to slide out? Makes no sense. That also reminds me of the non profits because they liked to mainly reject my paintings but when they got hung they were in the hallway, or way up high, or next to the bathroom, or in a corner or some place I had to hunt for them, like behind a sculpture.

I’m really glad I got this one back.

It’s the view from the beach side at First Landing State Park looking out over the Chesapeake Bay at the bridge tunnel. This is a close up.

omg. I just looked at the back of the painting and someone had put a price on it of $40. This is looking more like a plan to rob me. That’s another weird thing because someone tried to rob me earlier this year and made off with a bunch of my art and I got it all back, except one thing I can remember which they didn’t return. That thing was a drying rack I made from stretcher strips and button twine. It’s possible they kept more of my art and I just don’t remember what I had because it was all my good stuff from so many years, since I regularly cull my collection and toss the old stuff I don’t want.

Now I feel like someone up there is watching out for me because I only went to the store because a fellow blogger told me to buy a different kind of palette knife.

So, Thanks to God!

Lucifer / If I wrote the story / spoiler alert

That’s Lucifer, 3rd from the left. Chloe is next to Lucifer in a leather jacket.

It’s my favorite series on Netflix so I was happy they came out with another season, but so far they’re only airing half of it, or 8 shows.

I think it would have been cooler at the end when God shows up if he’d have stayed invisible and just boomed out, “Do not maketh me come down there!”

Why isn’t God played by Morgan Freeman?

I doubt if the series will go on long enough to finish the story, but if I could write the end, I see it going in a certain direction.

First, Chloe should never have had sex with Lucifer. Yes, I know he’s hard to resist, but this will not go well for her. He can only cause pain and destruction. He is the devil, after all.

And she didn’t seem to be worried about getting pregnant with the devil’s spawn so we have to assume she’s on birth control, but it won’t work. I predict Chloe will have Lucifer’s baby.

One funny thing about the angel, Amandiel (on the left in the photo) and Linda’s baby, (Linda’s on the right) is that the baby cries all the time. Amandiel is a good angel and Linda, a human, is worried about being a good mom, but she likes to go out and get drunk with her girlfriends leaving the baby with Amandiel. Then the baby stops crying when he sees Lucifer’s devil face! The baby likes the devil face, which is scary looking.

I think if the story goes on long enough, Amandiel and Linda’s baby will be the antichrist and Lucifer’s baby with Chloe will be the second coming of Christ. That would be a twist. It might not go that far unless they have the kids grow up real fast like on soaps, since they already said they would end the series then they came out with another season.

Also, Dan’s daughter isn’t afraid of Maze’s demon face. (Maze is behind the bar and Dan is second from the right)

And Maze wishes she had a soul. She already has one. She suffers just like a human.

We should see the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse before this ends.

Observations of the Astral World / Morrisseau

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photo lifted from I forget where

I saw this documentary on amazon called, “There are no fakes”. It’s about a huge art fraud case in Canada. Morrisseau is an aboriginal Canadian artist who is called a shaman. His work is very significant to the culture of native tribes.

Some people came forward and said there are tons of fake Morrisseau paintings flooding the market. The one above, I don’t know if it’s one of the fakes or the real deal. There’s court cases and big bucks involved. It became a real scandal with a forgery ring, drugs, a sex predator, young natives held hostage, people kept locked up and forced to paint forgeries. exploitation of the worst kind. There are so many people involved it’s hard to keep all the characters straight. And different opinions on the situation by the people involved. I can’t type it all. It’s worth watching if you’re interested in art world scandals.

I  try to imagine what I’d do if I knew someone was forging my art work but I can’t see myself in a million years in that situation. Not because bad guys wouldn’t like to find a way to exploit me if they could, but just that my art can’t be forged. Imagine a few kids, locked in a room, given all the drugs and booze they want and being forced to paint forgeries of my art. Impossible! And I’m not a significant artist so why would they?  No money in it.

ok, enough of my trying to imagine myself famous, this is a horrible thing that happened in the art world. I just read recently that the art world is the largest unregulated business in the world and they talked about how corrupt it is. But I’ve been saying that for years. How can this kind of crime be stopped? Did you see the documentary or hear this story?

underpainting for magnolias / story

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My life has been weird so far. I see a lot of strange things, people tell me strange things, weird stuff happens around me that leaves me thinking w.t.h. just happened. Normally I don’t talk about it because I don’t want to worry others, but this is too much. I’ll tell you what happened yesterday.

I was home working on my painting and taking a break to heat up some food in the microwave when I heard a LOUD bang! I looked around but had no idea where it came from. I was blaming the guy upstairs when I heard a knock at my door. It was a guy who looked scared so I opened the door. He asked me if I’m ok. I said yes I’m ok, what happened? He said he was cleaning his gun and it went off! (the idiot) I asked him where the shot went and he said about 5 feet behind me. I looked but didn’t see a bullet hole. He said it must have gone into a beam. The guy wanted to come in and talk to me. I said no. Then he offered me $500. He was afraid I’d call the cops. I don’t want to call the cops on my noisy neighbors, I think they’re soldiers and soldiers get a pass from me on the noise. The guy was very worried and kept apologizing over and over. He offered me the $500 three times. Normally I wouldn’t accept money but yesterday I said ok, I’ll take the money. It would probably be a $500 fine if I reported it and he would get in big trouble if he is in the navy, but I didn’t ask. So then he went back to his apt and got the $500 and brought it back up to me. He kept saying if there’s anything I need, to knock on his door any time.

Now this is only one story. Imagine if I told you hundreds of weird things like that. You’d think god was f—–g with me. I don’t know what to think. I’m not saying some supernatural power has any interest in me, but I certainly see a lot of coincidences and random flukes of the universe.

One funny thing about it was that when I was drinking my tea yesterday morning I was thinking about how there’s no need to worry about getting cancer from smoking. I’m smoking whenever I want to because there’s a million ways to die and I’m not afraid. I was giving myself a big pat on the back for being so fearless. Then my neighbor was probably worried I’d freak out.  I never freak out. I’m so calm it’s ridiculous. I should be a zen master.

This weird stuff that happens to me, I can’t keep it out of my paintings. There’s a dark and dangerous part of life that I stare straight at. I don’t try to put it in my paintings, but I can see it in there. I think the viewer can see it too but not identify it. It gives an interest to the shadows in my paintings. It’s not too scary for the viewer because they don’t know my weird life stories.

This is only a start on the painting. I’ve been packing to move in the end of March. I’d stay, but they’re making everyone move out one block at a time for renovations. Then the rent will go way up. I like the apt and no one is really bugging me, but the guy upstairs is noisy. It’s just not worth it to pay $200 more a month for the new appliances they’re putting in.

Hopefully the weather will cooperate and I can get back out to paint in plein air and finish this before I move. Or maybe I can paint it at home. I’ve made good progress on packing and still have plenty of time.

Spanish moss

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How’s this working as an abstract?

From far away it looks soft. Long ago I heard or read, I forget which, that one of the original British invaders of VA. saw this and thought it might make good stuffing for a mattress. That guy got a lot of bug bites. After that, no one tried to use it for mattress stuffing and they all headed upstream.

I used the magic of art and drew the invisible bugs. What are the bugs and how many are in this sketch?

A – 0

B – 1 to 10

C – 10 to 100

D – 100 to 1000

Holly Receptors In The Brain Of Your Plein Air Artist / mixed media

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I could have titled this, “Deciduous Holly” but then the art viewer would dismiss it as just another drawing of a twisted bush. Allow me to interpret it for you.

A few years ago my daughter lived in Atlanta GA. and when I visited her one time we saw a show called “Bodies” at the Atlantic Center. These Chinese mad scientists had taken some John Doe bodies in China and dissected them in unique ways. They injected bright dye into the nervous system then eliminated all the rest of the body’s tissues so all that was left was the neon nervous system in 3D body shaped plexiglass.  They did the same thing to the blood veins. Imagine a clear body where the whole nervous system is visible. I found it a little disturbing. One display had an arm sliced across sections and spread out so you could see the bones, muscles and other guts of the arm going down the extended length of it. I thought if I had a few of those arm cross sections I could use them as coasters since they were in plexiglass and colored so nicely with no smell of death.

Coincidentally, they were running ads on TV for a pill that supposedly stopped the “nicotine receptors” in a smoker’s brain from working. If you wanted to quit smoking, you could take the pill and quit the habit / addiction of smoking. I wondered what the nicotine receptors looked like. I doubt there are really nicotine receptors in the brain at all. I guess if an artist challenged a mad scientist to show the nicotine receptors the scientist would slap a brain out of a jar of formaldehyde onto a plate and make some cuts into the gray matter and say, “There are your nicotine receptors”. Then later, I heard of opium receptors or some other bad kind of receptors in your brain. It seems like there are receptors for all kinds of things in your brain. Everyone started jumping on the brain receptor band wagon. Then there must be receptors for other things that give the brain pleasure, like eating hard shell crabs, or looking at a pretty bush in the winter.

These days, a lot of times I draw trees with bare twisted branches and it reminds me of the neural network of the brain. And when I stood in front of this bush to draw it, those holly receptors went off in my brain giving me a feeling of pleasure. The red dots on my sketch are the holly receptors. The art viewer might see the red dots as merely berries and be bored with the sketch, because that person wants to see not only a tree, but the suffering of the artist depicted in the sketch, or some story illustrated through the art. They would never know this is an illustration of the holly receptors in my brain if I didn’t tell them. This is where you, my WordPress friends, have an advantage over the other art viewers out there. Because now you know some of the things that went through my mind when I worked on this drawing, but if I frame it or use this sketch to do a painting, others won’t see the receptors.