Well...May has been an interesting month. The Induction pieces are still evolving...and they are keeping
me focused on the process of creating, which is my favorite part of all this. Lots of new pieces
completed, and more coming for my July show at Archival Gallery. My site gallery has new photos, and
there will be more soon. Some of these things are tricky to photograph, and best seen in person, so
come see them if you can.
My band Furschitzen played two of our best shows ever...one in Sacramento and one in Fairfax.
Keyboard, drums, and 100% improv. We don't have songs, we make everything up as we go. That is an
amazing freedom, and when it flows, it's magical. It's inspiring to do things in a live setting where we
can't go back and redo anything. I'm trying to bring some of that into my visual artwork. There is
something important to me about learning as I move forward creatively, not getting hung up on small
mistakes, and making sure the overall effect is more important than the details.
I went to Las Vegas for a wedding....two of my long time friends were married, and it was one of the
most beautiful experiences I've ever been a part of. They are very special to me and both are creative,
wonderful people. I wish them greatness.
After Vegas, I returned to thinking of my Induction pieces and creative artifacts. Creation = artifacts, and
tonight a TV show left me with a great one. It featured a writer/poet named Jim Harrison, who lived in
Montana and died shortly after this show was taped. The show ended with one of his poems on the
screen...I think it's beautiful.
The moon comes up.
The moon goes down.
This is to inform you
that I didn't die young.
Age swept past me
but I caught up.
Spring has begun here and each day
brings new birds up from Mexico.
Yesterday I got a call from the outside world
but I said no in thunder.
I was a dog on a short chain
and now there's no chain.
Thanks to everyone who came out to my opening at Archival. and a special thanks to D for the extra time it
took to hang those pieces....I think she did an amazing job! The show was a success in many ways, but now
I'm excited to be back at work. I've made some new assemblage pieces...some of them are made from parts
of older, unfinished, or broken pieces of mine, and some from found objects, driftwood, and recycled junk I
pick up at the river or along roads around town. The building process is very direct and unplanned, and I'm
working on a few pieces at a time. I'm trying to throw out most of my rule book and just let the work happen
in an improvisational way. So far, so good...
I recently went to the SF MOMA and I was incredibly moved by the Rauschenberg pieces. They seem to be
improvised and even messy, but each piece feels structured and cohesive...definitely ideas I want to work
I'm showing a few of my new assemblage pieces this month at Archival in a group show called "What I Did
On My Summer Vacation". There are new pieces in my gallery, many more in the works, and a few surprises
coming up...so stay tuned and I hope everyone has a great rest of the summer.
Daylight savings time is here...which means shorter days and wider pieces of art! Some of the new pieces are
five feet wide or more. I'm using numbers and letters on some, and no stencils on others. I'm really liking
them.....they seem to be evolving, and that's usually a good thing. I like that I struggle and learn with each
one. I'm also working on some mixed media assemblages and some small drift wood pieces.
I have a few pieces in a collaboration show with William Ishmael this month at Archival Gallery. He
collaborated with fifteen artists, and the results are really great. He's a bold artist who always strives to learn
and push his work.
I also have a piece in a group show at ARC Gallery in San Francisco this month. The juror Kim Larson, from
Modern Eden Gallery, picked my piece Third Person to be included. For more info check out ARC's website:
Check out my gallery for my latest work and stay tuned for new pieces...I will be updating my site again over
the next couple of months. Happy Thanksgiving! gobble, gobble...
Happy New Year!!!
I hope everyone had a great 2016. For me it was a
very successful year... I met new people and pushed
my art in new directions. I struggled as much as I
ever have with my work, and I learned some things
about myself and my art in the process. I'm hoping
for more of the same in 2017.
I want to thank everyone who came to my shows last
year and supported my growth as an artist. I'm
looking forward to experimenting with new ideas as
well as working on some old ones that are still
These new pieces make me feel calm. Even though
the process of making them is partly chaos and
chance, there are elements of control and planning
that come through in the finished work. The results
for me are pieces that seem to have a history and a
purpose...like modern totems.
I will be updating my gallery with new work later this
month so check back soon and see what's
The first day of Spring, another time change, and new art..........two out of three isn't bad. Along with the new art,
I'm very happy to announce I have a show with Maureen Hood in August at Archival Gallery. It's going to be
Last month I camped in Death Valley. It was everything I thought it would be, and more. It
was one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had. Seeing the amount of open space
and the scale of the surrounding mountains constantly challenged my brain's ability to make
sense of it. It was surreal, and it was felt as much as it was seen. It has the lowest point in
North America at 282 feet below sea level and a mountain peak that's over 11,000 feet high,
and those two spots are 15 miles apart!
It is a very humbling place and it seems sacred for some reason. If you're on the dirt roads,
which is where we camped, it seems like you are the only people on earth. That can be
alarming on some levels, but overall it's intensely peaceful. The word magical kept coming
to mind. There is a power there that still resonates with me weeks after being back. I loved
everything about it...the openess and solitude, dramatic elevation changes, the unspoiled
naturalness of it, and of course the colors. It was very green in places with the dirt and rocks
ranging from white and gray, to red, brown, purple, and black. The wildflowers were
blooming and absolutely beautiful. They were mostly yellow, purple, and white, with some
pink and orange mixed in.
I made a few new pieces of art before the trip with Death Valley in mind, but I came back
with more inspiration than I could have hoped for. I took about two hundred photos, some as
panoramics that I put together in Photoshop. The smallest, seen below, is made from three
photos, the largest was made from over twenty photos. If you look closely in the photo
below you can see the one way dirt road we drove on getting smaller and smaller...the depth
and distances were difficult to realize.
The pieces of art I have made since coming back are personal in a way that my art before
was not. I'm making pieces based on my feelings and memories of Death Valley. They are in
the format of panoramic photos, and are spray paint on cut strips of wood. They are
separate images, painted one at a time, that work individually as sections of Death Valley
seen from different viewpoints and/or different times of day, and also work together to
make a bigger, more complete image of Death Valley. Jean-Paul Sartre, in a commentary on
Albert Camus's book The Stranger, said each sentence is a separate thought, distinct from
the one before, and exists in it's own reality, but when put together in paragraphs they
combine to make a bigger reality and meaning. I like to think of my Death Valley pieces in
this way, and I believe through my experience there and some hard work, I might have
brought some magic back with me.
I'm showing new art at Benko Gallery in South Lake Tahoe starting on May 20th through
June. Thanks John! If you happen to visit Tahoe, please go check it out, it's a great gallery
with lots of great art and it's close to the casinos.
In June I'm showing a new piece in a show called BLUE at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts
in Sebastopol. Luckily for me, I really like the color blue.
The Crocker Art Museum's Big Names Small Art will feature one of my pieces this month,
and another will be in their Art Auction in June.
Finally, in August I will be showing at Archival Gallery in Sacramento with the amazing
Maureen Hood. She is one of my favorite artists and I'm inspired by her work. I will be
showing the new Death Valley pieces so please come check it out.
Anyway...Death Valley is still there, even though I feel I brought a lot of it back with me. It
continues to be the focus of most of my art, and I'm very excited about the new pieces.
I'm experimenting a lot, and that is always a good thing for me, because it keeps me
moving forward and forces me to make creative choices.
I'm showing the new work next month at Archival Gallery. Maureen Hood is also showing
new work, and I couldn't be happier sharing a show with her. I think this show is going to
be beautiful and inspiring.
The photo above is inspiring to me...I can still feel what it was like sitting there in a chair
drinking tea and watching the sun slowly come up. It was the start of a new day and it
felt like beautiful things were about to be revealed. When I work on the Death Valley
pieces I have a similar feeling, as if every day is a new opportunity for an adventure. I
like to think, at their best, the pieces might capture some of the beauty, power, serenity,
and chaos of that amazing place.
In September I'm taking part in Verge's Sac Open Studios. I will be in my studio
(garage/driveway), listening to music and probably painting so come out and say hi. In
October I will have a Death Valley piece in the KVIE Art Auction, which is always a great
It's been over 100° lately, and that's hot....but at least it's not Death Valley hot. Stay
My show at Archival is dedicated to a good friend who lost his life last month. I met him
when I was in junior high school. Over the last few years he stopped by my studio often to
hang out and see whatever I was working on. He always had interesting ideas and
suggestions about art and was always happy to see my pieces come to life. He was a
talented guitar player, appreciated all kinds of people and art, and was a huge supporter of
mine. He also loved color and being outdoors.......I think Death Valley and my new pieces
would have made him smile.
This is one of the new pieces I'm working on. The painting part of it is done, now I have to
put it all together. There are quite a few steps in building these things and, luckily, I like all
the steps. I have twelve new Death Valleys painted, and they are taller and wider than the
previous ones. I really like the bigger panels, they allow me to experiment more with
different painting techiniques, and I'm able to blend the colors better and have the option of
smoother transitions. The pieces are becoming more powerful and subtle at the same time.
I feel I'm learning with each one, and as long as I'm experimenting and taking chances, and
not getting too hung up on the outcome, I think they will continue to get better and better.
As long as I'm talking about Death Valley again, I should mention I'm planning on going
back! Either right after Christmas, or early next Spring. It's been on my mind since the day I
got back from the last trip. I plan on seeing some of the same spots, but I will definitely see
some new parts of the park. Certain things in my life, I just don't question...the power and
inspiration of Death Valley is one of them.
I wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving and don't forget to sometimes just stop and look at
things...it can change your life. peace.
Thanks to everyone who came out to my show in August! A special thanks to D. at Archival
for giving me a show with Maureen Hood...the show looked beautiful and was very special
to me. It was a success on many levels and I think it was a sign of good things to come. I've
been busy since the show...yes, painting more Death Valley pieces. I had two Death Valleys
in Bold Expressions, a national juried show at the Sacramento Fine Arts Center, where Death
Valley 2 won the Evelyn Michell Memorial Award. I have three new pieces at STUDIO Gallery
in San Francisco, one of them is pictured above. The show is called tiny, with each piece
being smaller than 7" x 7". I also have a couple of Induction pieces in the gallery. It's my first
time showing at STUDIO and I'm excited to be part of the show. I still have work at the Benko
Gallery in South Lake Tahoe, so if you're in the area, stop in and check it out...it's a great
gallery showing very unique artwork.
I spent a lot of time this year working on art and trying to be a healthier person. I changed a
few things in the way I make art, which led to new discoveries, and I changed my diet, which
led to feeling better. Feeling better allowed me to have more energy and focus while
working, and I've never enjoyed making art as much as I have this past year. I feel a purpose
and a sense of confidence that wasn't there before. I'm still making Induction pieces, like
the one above, and my Death Valley pieces continue to evolve. I also started a new series
called Ascending. These pieces combine driftwood, found objects, and paint. They will
usually have a "wing" of some kind and they will represent the challenge to progress in life
and rise above the past, looking forward with an open mind, and the idea that I can become
whatever, or whoever I want.
The image below is a panorama of Death Valley, and was taken from the campsite. The
road leading off to the left ends at sand dunes which are over a mile away. I hope to camp
somewhere near this spot again next Spring. It's incredibly peaceful and it's one of the
places that inspired me to paint with more purpose and feeling.
The image below is the most recent Death Valley piece. It's #40 in the series. It measures
18 inches tall by 5 feet wide, making it the tallest one so far. You can see a bigger image of
it in the gallery, which is updated and has most of the new pieces. I'm excited to start
painting Death Valleys again, and after my next visit I'm sure I'll have new ideas. I also hope
to bring back more of the magic, peace, and inspiration I feel when I'm there.
I have three exhibits scheduled next year, two of them in San Francisco and one here in
Sacramento. I'm excited about all of them. It's going to be a lot of work, but I'm definitely up
for it. I couldn't be happier with my recent work and I believe it will continue to get better.
I want to thank everyone who helped make this a great year for my art. I hope everyone has a
great Holiday Season and enters the new year with an open mind and confidence.
"The self is only that which it is in the process of becoming."
more DEATH VALLEY...