Thursday, December 30, 2010

Year in Review


Favorite Music
Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles (2010)
Wolf Parade - “Expo 86”
Beach House - “Teen Dream”
Boise Cover Band - “Unoriginal Artists”
Magnetic Fields - “Realism”

I didn't have much for new music. A little cause I didn't like stuff, but mostly cause I never bother looking for new things these days, except for random songs from video games and soundtracks, or songs from mid-90s indie rock bands covering other mid-90s indie rock bands.

Boise Cover Band is Doug Martsch's Cover Band. He does Ashes to Ashes by David Bowie on it. Manny sent me it in an e-mail so I bought the album for $3 on Amazon. I gave it to Rob, cause CDs take up a lot of space.

Favorite Movies

Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World
True Grit
Youth in Revolt
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part I)
Hot Tub Time Machine

Uh, I was going for 5 on these lists, so I left off Inception and Kick-Ass. I haven't seen Tron yet. I hear it has bad reviews but I think I know what to expect. But when I was a kid I came away from seeing the first Tron thinking how I would never want to be stuck in a video game cause it would a) be very long and boring and b) I could die at any moment.

True Grit's amazing and I would highly recommend it to anyone.

Favorite Movies I Missed but Glad I Found

Two Hands 1999
The Importance of Being Earnest 2002
Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express 1974
Casanova 2005
Matinee 1993
High Noon 1952

To figure this one out I had to consult my Netflix queue. I watched so much stuff, but only rated 4 things five stars (this is why I don't own a TV). "Two Hands" stars Heath Ledger in an Australian crime film. The Poirot in the 1974 "Murder on the Orient Express" isn't as good as David Suchet, but it has an all-star cast (but the newer David Suchet version is way better).

Favorite Television Stuff
ESPN’s 30 for 30
Secrets of the Dead
Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple Series 5
Agatha Christie’s Poirot

I have a television but there's no antenna and we don't have cable, so most of my new TV watching comes from PBS online.

Favorite New Books
Moomin: A Tale of Two Families
Scott Pilgrim (Vol 1-6)
Charley Harper (an Illustrated Life)
Moomin: The Complete Tove Jannson Comic Strip (Vol. 5)
Almost Silent by Jason
Skim by Jillian Tamaki
Birchfield Close by Jon McNaught

I didn't buy very many new books this year cause we were busy collecting Edward Gorey books, but these are the ones I especially enjoyed.

I've been reading the Complete Peanuts. I was collecting them as they were coming out but I never got around to reading them until this year. Peanuts is the first thing I really discovered on my own an loved as a kid, and I read most of these strips from checking out the old books from the Benjamin Branch Library when I was a kid.

I also bought a bunch of Tove Jansson books. My favorite is one I picked up at Kinokuniya which is just a retrospective of her work. It had photos I never seen before and side-by-side comparisons of her line drawings and paintings of the same images.

Reading Scott Pilgrim's the best, especially ditching work and reading it in bed.

Favorite Trips

Providence, New Bedford, Salem, and Portland, MA.
San Jose day trip with Rob Williams
Los Angeles (both times)
Train ride to Portland, OR

Favorite Moments
Being on the Train with Marci to Portland.
Seeing Strength with Friends in San Francisco.
Celebrating Marci’s Birthday by going to Japantown and watching two movies.
NLCS game with Dennis and Derek.

Favorite Eats
Braeburn Apples
Strawberry Jam
The Rainbow Roll at Kirala on Shattuck.
California Sushi on MLK and University.
Suzu Noodle in Japantown.
J's Oyster Bar in Portland, ME.
Arinell's Pizza on Shattuck.
Las Flamas in Santa Clara.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Fresh Water by Virginia Woolf

I found this at Pegasus Books on College while waiting for Marci. It was in the humour section which I never thought to check. The Edward Gorey covers are kind of getting harder to find in person for me. Mostly cause we have so much. That and they're not so easy to scan for while going through stacks of books looking for the Anchor symbols on the spines. I have a short list of books I want to find that are in the mystery section but I've only found three that way.

The Scott Pilgrim Video Game Soundrack is in my Head when I'm Dreaming

Friday, December 10, 2010

Arkansas Black Apples

Arkansas Black Apple
We picked up two of these at Berkeley Bowl today. They're very pretty and are super crisp. They were part of the produce special.

This winter my favorite apple is the Braeburn Apple, which I guess originated from New Zealand. One of it's offspring is the Jazz Apple which I don't particularly like. Last year I went through several apples testing which one's I like, but I pretty much settled on Pink Ladies and Braeburns.

I get into conversations of favorite fruits a lot these days. I don't know if it's a turning 30 thing or a Berkeley thing. But, yeah. If you're in a grocery store you should go for one of those Braeburns.

I grew up hating apples cause all I ever had were Granny Smith, Red Delicious, and McIntosh Apples. Last year I went through a tried a new one every week and make a note of why I liked it or not. I think I watched a documentary on Apples and since there was such a variety there had to be one I like.

I know pears are related to apples, and I kind of like them sometimes. But only with pork chops.

BTW Marci's been looking for a Pink Pearl Apple but we haven't found one yet. Here's what it looks like:

I got the image from here.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Higglety Pigglety Pop! - Preview Clips

Spike Jonze has produced a new live-action/animated adaptation of Maurice Sendaks Higglety Pigglety Pop! or There Must Be More to Life. The film will be included on the Blu-Ray release of Where The Wild Things Are.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

"Feeling Better Already" Double Punch (San Francsico, CA)

Double Punch "Feeling Better Already"
I'm in a Group Show that opens up at Double Punch in the City, on Saturday the 10th.

These are the paintings I made for it:
For Double Punch

I might switch out one, but yeah.

The show includes:
Travis Millard, Albert Reyes, Nate Van Dyke, Jesse Ledoux, Ryan Bubnis, Parskid, Christopher Cox, Shawn Wisenant, Nas Chompas, Sidney Pink, Ryan De La Hoz, Scott Greenwalt, Tom Haubrick, Jared Schorr, Ken Garduno, Mia Christopher, Corey Smith, Tyler Bewley, Max Kauffman, Greg Kenton.

111 at 111 Minna (San Francisco, CA)

I'm in this show that opens tonight. Uh, I know that's pretty late notice. I'll be doing Sketch Tuesday on the 14th, so if you go then you can see the show, and you can buy a sketch from me pretty easily.

I made this painting:
For 111 Minna

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Winter Shows

Here's a drawing I made. I'm in a few group show. There's always year end shows in December. I actually said "No" to three others, just cause they're always at the same time, and some folks ask artists a little late.

The first show was at Lopo Gallery in San Francisco. It opened this past Saturday. I didn't make it out there, and I would have written about it, or at least take a photo of my art in it, but it was a busy week cause of Thanksgiving, so I did none of those things. It was set up by Ken Harman, who also took photos of the show.

I'm in the year end show for 111 Minna on December 2nd. I just have to drop off my painting tomorrow. Its just one. I might do the Sketch Tuesday thing. I'm sort of just feeling it out and seeing if anyone else I know might do it. Marci's kind of busy, and I don't like doing those things without knowing if my friends will be around.

The last show I'll be in December will be at Double Punch. I was just going to take it easy and send them framed drawings, but then I realised I had nothing else better to do so I'll be hopefully sending them 4 8"x10" paintings and one 11"x14" painting. A long time ago I bought a bunch of panels in various sizes, but pretty much settled on 9"x12", 16"x20" and 20"x24" as my favorite sizes. But I just have a bunch of 8"x10"s and 11"x14"s just lying around so I've been trying to use then in group shows. I have one of these paintings done, the other 4 I just finished the drawings on. The show is on the 10th and the deadline's probably the 7th so I have plenty of time.

Oh, yeah. These shows are all in San Francisco. I know, most exciting post. Hopefully I'll remember to take photos of the things I make.

Bernard Shaw's "The Black Girl in Search of God"

I've been looking for this book with an Edward Gorey cover for a really long time. I sort of just caved in and bought it online. I got it for $1. It's not an Doubleday Anchor, instead it's a Putnam Capricorn. The illustrations inside are done by John Farleigh and apparently quite controversial when it was published with this book.

It's added to our Edward Gorey Book Cover Set on Flickr.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

It's hard not to get sucked into gimmicks in photographing with your mobile device. I like using Instagram.

Pole Star

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Slytherin Revised

I made the above painting two years ago. It's kind of a weird painting that combines Harry Potter with Benjamin Franklin's very famous "Join or Die" political cartoon.

I thought it was pretty funny, and I showed it in a few places for like 2 years but I don't think anyone really got it cause no one bought it, so I ended up just giving it to a friend.

But then, recently another friend asked about that painting, so I told them I'd remake it for them. I really do like re-making stuff, just cause after I finish something I always think about how I could have made what ever I just made better. The first time I made that image I pretty much just drew it out and then just inked in the line. It probably didn't take me more than 3 or 4 hours to finish.

This is how I redrew it. The only thing I really changed was moving the text around, and rewriting "Join or Die" to look like a font that would come out of a type set. And I looked up what a real snake's tail looks like instead of drawing it out of my ass.

I bought this funny pencil. It's from Faber-Castell. It's called a grip 2001, It's triangular going down and they have grip marks on it. It's also like $1.19 for just one pencil. The lead actually comes out alright, but it's pretty much acts like a Mirado Black Warrior (which is just 29c each/or $3 for a dozen), but the eraser is much nicer. So yeah, I guess it's worth $1.19. I don't know why I don't like lead pencils, but I drop my pencil a lot cause I never have a firm grip, so my lead always gets broken.

This is my painting after I put down all the colors that aren't black. It's a pretty simple palate, just greenish grey and white.

I've been using high viscosity paints. Lascaux's alright, and I use a lot of Liquitex. I used this color straight up for the inside of snakes, and then mixed white, with a drop of French blue grey for the snake's body in general.

I use a 3/4 flat watercolor wash brush to fill in my color.

The white I use is from the tube cause the high viscosity is a bit thin, so to get something really white on top of a dark surface would take a lot of layers. This just takes three.

I then drew in the scales of the snake. I was going to paint "Join or Die" in all black, but I then decided to paint the text white with a black outline.

The next step is to paint in my lines. I use Golden's High Viscosity Carbon Black. It's really smooth and it dries really fast. Since it dries so fast it means when I put it on my palate I just put a drop down little by little. Just cause it'll dry up and form a skin if you're using it for a while (a while being about 45 minutes to an hour).

I use a Kolinsky Sable Brush. It's suppose to be the nicest, but I've used synthetic/sable blends and they work just as fine. I get e-mails from kids asking me how my lines get so thin, and I don't really know how to answer that, other than to buy thin brushes and use Golden High Viscosity paints. But I did have chunky lines when I first started painting, and I think it took me about half a year until I noticed my line work getting smoother, so I think most people would just work that out if they just painted a bunch. But I think the high viscosity paint helps out cause you don't have to water anything down.

Also the high viscosity paint is kind of forgiving. If I fuck up with my lines, I'll let the paint dry and then take an exacto-knife and scratch out my mistake.

4 hours later, this is what the finished product looks like...

...until I realised I fucked up. I fact checked the original 13 colonies, and Vermont's not one of them. I left off Georgia. So I scratched out VT, remixed the background color, and put in GA. To be fair Benjamin Franklin left off GA, and grouped New England as a single entity, so my original drawing was based on that. I knew that Maine was part of Massachusetts, but then I just assumed Vermont was the last colony. But Ben Franklin also carved his out of a wooden block so I guess it's okay if he took a short cut.

And that's it.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Kitten Pile

Myleen sent us this link.


In Space Drawing
I'm trying to make more drawings as finished projects. I don't know if that's working out so well. Mostly cause it's taking me a while to finish anything. This drawing actually involves a little bit of paint.

San Francisco Arts Commission Passport 2010

This year I got to participate in the San Francisco Arts Commission's Passport Project. It was their second year. Pretty much they sell these little books, or passports and the buyer goes around a specific neighborhood in San Francisco to specific booths manned by artists who then stamp their art into the person's book.

SFAC Passport 2010
Uh, I forgot who did the cover for the books, but they look pretty sweet.

SFAC Passport 2010

Timothy Cummings
Timothy Cummings (one of Marci's favorite painters).

Jovi Schnell
Jovi Schnell.

Deth P. Sun

Jason Jägel
Jason Jägel.

Ruth Laskey
Ruth Laskey. I really liked seeing Ruth's stamp throughout the day. Marci used to work with her at the CCAC Library on the Oakland Campus.

Nigel Poor
Nigel Poor. I'm not familiar with Nigel Poor's work, but I liked that his piece included the Mayor's thumbprint (now the Lt. Governor of California, Gavin Newsom).

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mary Snowden at Braunstein/Quay (San Francisco)

Mary Snowden was our painting teacher at CCAC. She moved to a rural part of Rhode Island and started raising chickens. She has a show up at Braunstein/Quay in San Francisco that just went up and it's pretty awesome.

Mary Snowden
This piece is oil, linen on thread.

She works the thread like paint, and it makes the surface a little more three dimensional.

Mary Snowden

Mary Snowden
She also make several nice portraits of chickens.

Mary Snowden

You can read a short interview about the show here. The show runs till December 11th.

430 Clementina
San Francisco, CA 94103

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Jacob Hewko

Marci bought one of Jacob's shirts.
Marci bought one of Jacob's shirts. The Men's XS fits pretty perfectly for her. Jacob's one of the best drawers I know. I met him at SF State when I was 19 and he was 17. You can see the prints he makes here.


Jacob's Description:
I wanted to try and make surfing shirts that are about waves and surfing more than product placement and advertising. the lettering is in cyrillic (which i can't read) implying a message that isn't clear. the imagery is whimsical and bizzare. An online translator was used for the russian, so i have no idea how accurate the phrasing is.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Post Office

It's almost Christmas so that basically means I have to take more trips to the Post Office. It kind of sucks, but it's better than not being busy.

So yeah. I usually go to the North Berkeley Post Office, which is pretty awesome. They take numbers, have the same 3 employees that are pretty efficient, and if I just need to ship domestically I can use the automated machine and skip the wait. But they're so efficient, and there's never a lot of people in there, that the wait is about 1 to 3 minutes. Sometimes longer if other customers don't have their shit together. Another awesome thing, is that they consider my prints and zines documents so I don't have to write out customs forms.

The only draw back is there's no window service on Saturday, so I can't ship media, and I can't ship to other countries on those days. So if I have a bunch of packages and if a good amount of them are foreign, I just would rather wait till Monday. But today I had to ship out my orders, and most of them were international so my only option was to go to the Downtown Berkeley Post Office, which by the way, really sucks, cause everyone goes there, and although they have more windows and they take numbers, it takes them a very long time.

But yeah. I get my number and then I wait, and when I get up there, the lady tells me I have to fill out these custom forms, which isn't that big of deal, other than it's kind of tedious. But then when I get up there again, she reads my descriptions, and goes, "What's a zine?" Which is weird, cause in the 8 years I've been sending stuff out to people no postal employee has ever asked me what anything i'm shipping is, but yeah. I tell it's like a little hand-made book, and the word is short for magazines. And then she goes, "Well, This is America, and you have to write your descriptions in English." Then I repeated that zines were short for the English word "magazines". Then she replied, "Well for us old-timers you should write the real description". And then I was like, "But the word "zine" is older than you...", but before I continued on, I then I realized I was one of those guys who was arguing with a postal employee so I gave up and scratched out "zines" and put down "books".

But the thing is, not to really argue to no one in general, is that they don't even know what I'm shipping. I mean, who checks? I could be shipping nothing for anyone knows. I could be shipping an empty envelope to Dundee. Or what happens I'm shipping something that most people wouldn't know what they were? Like a catheter, or a thurman. I don't know. I don't know. I think I got really confused when the lady asked me "what's a zines", but then it got even more complicated when she said I had to use English cause this was America. Which she wasn't being racist, and I never thought she was, it's just that this was in Berkeley, and you don't normally hear people telling you to use English "cause this is America", unless you were in like somewhere else. Like Idaho or Ohio, or somewhere else not in the Bay Area.

There actually is no reason to make a post about this, other than to say I hate going to the Downtown Berkeley Post Office, especially during the "Big Game". And I really hate filling out customs forms almost as much as I hate filling out delivery confirmation slips. And Cal students in any line I happen to be in. Or people who ask too many questions, or complain about the Post Office with strangers at the Post Office. And I kind of hate the number system at the downtown one cause there's so many people there, and you have to wait so long, you can't just put your headphones on and zone out until you get to the top of the queue, you have to listen to all the numbers.

Other than that I don't really complain about the Post Office.

My local post offices over the years:
1. Piedmont (1998-2002)- The first Automated Machine I saw was here, and it was awesome cause no one knew how to use it, so it was all mine. I went here for my time at CCAC. I traded paintings with other artists, and I traded stuff to random people for sending me stamps.
2. Emeryville (2002-04)- I moved to 54th and San Pablo and the local post office was in Emeryville, which was only about 10 or so blocks away. I actually didn't go here that often, cause I had just left school, and I had to work a real job, and I didn't sell products or prints yet. I shipped my artwork for group shows through UPS, but I went to the Long's Drugs to do it, just cause it was on my way to work.
3. West LA (2005)- For the one year I lived in LA this was my Post Office. People in LA like to randomly talk to strangers, so every time I was using the automated machines they'd ask about it but they'd never want to use it cause it didn't take cash, and at the time they didn't dispense stamps.
4. North Oakland (2006-2009)- Fuck. They started discontinuing the vending machines that sell stamps, so people got really upset about that, and I had to hear every time I went in here. It seemed like every time I came back from here there was a new story to tell, like the one time a Nigerian guy wanted the clerk to re-issue a money order cause he lost his the other day, or the amount of times people would just come up to the teller with a trash bag full of stuff asking how much it would cost to send their stuff. People would pull the fire alarm and there wasn't a way to turn it off unless the firemen came, and so you'd hear a constant siren that could be heard for miles. It was quite possibly the worst fucking Post Office to go to, but only cause everyone who went in there was a jerk.
1. North Berkley (2009-). I love U.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

Drawings for Domy Books

I got asked to submit work for Domy Book's Annual Monster Show. They're based in Austin and Houston, Texas, so I had to ship a drawing to each place.

Drawing for Domy Books002 (Austin)
This is the one I shipped to Austin.

Drawing for Domy Books001 (Houston)
I shipped the pencil one to Houston. I was going to ink it, but I kind of liked it just penciled in.

The show opens later this week. On Saturday.

Domy Books
1709 Westheimer, Houston, TX 77098
913 E Cesar Chavez, Austin, TX 78702

There's over 100 artists at each location so it should be a good show.

This is what I did for them last year:
Deth P Sun

The Studio Now

Cleared up the Studio
After finishing that show at Giant Robot I thought I should clear up some space in the studio cause it was kind of cluttered up with the my drying table. I put that in storage, and got rid of some boxes and put my packaging peanuts in storage as well. I had been hording boxes and packaging materials cause I thought I was going to be shipping paintings to New York but then my show got switched to LA.

Marci wanted her table higher so she used my sawhorses. But then she wanted her table even higher so she got cinder blocks from the garden. I don't think that's earthquake safe, but whatever.

What Marci's working on.
More stuff Marci's working on. I'm kind of taking a break from working. Until maybe Wednesday. I have to photocopy my zine again. It sucks cause I just did it for Tiny Showcase. I also have like 7 left of my other zine and that one is even more work. But at least I bought the cover sheet paper. The last time I bought a rim of paper for it, it was like $50, but they no longer carry that one, so I got a thinner one that sells for $25. I don't think anyone really notices. It's raining a lot so I have to wait till the weather clears up a little. Or I might hitch a ride into the City cause my favorite copy place is there. It's like 3c a copy, but the copies are really good, which is unlike most 3c copies. I usually go to Copy Central, even though they're 6c a copy. They give you a 1c discount per if you make more than a 1,000 copies.

There's a bunch of squirrels that run up and down the roof of the studio. The half-eat all the apples and litter them around the car. Jerks. I guess they're better than the possums that hang out in the compost. A few weeks ago late one night/or early one morning I saw a deer eating from the tops of Marci's tomato plants. It was kind of strange cause we live pretty much in suburbia. Then I found out that week they shot a Cougar in the parking lot of the old Elephant Pharmacy on Shattuck which is a few blocks away. My friend said it was thought to be hunting deer.