Monday, August 31, 2009

Jeff and Roy / Pulliam Gallery

Sure wish I was in Portland this Wednesday because this show is going to be great. Roy McMakin and Jeffry Mitchell turn their artistic focus on to twelve objects they bought while antiquing in Chehalis. Through drawings, sculpture, watercolor, ceramics and wood-working, they investigate the relationship between the seemingly random objects and between each other. I'll post an image or two once they're available.

Sept 2, 6-8pm

Saturday, August 29, 2009


(image via Gretchen Bennett)

Okay, it's officially done and I can quit stressing out. My first speaking engagement/tour for Seattle Art Museum (or anyone for that matter) is over. Thanks to SAM and all the sweet folks who came out to listen to me ramble last night.

Also, If you still haven't seen this exhibit, you only have a few more days - it closes September 7th and it's a total don't miss! Richard Jackson (his painting is amazing!) and Paul McCarthy will both be speaking at the museum this Thursday (Sept 3) from 7 - 8:30 pm. Details here.

Friday, August 28, 2009


Jungle Island by Timothy Cross (image via)

Aw, here's a show I'd sure love to be in! DWG - A Look at Contemporary Art-Making opens up tomorrow at OHGE Ltd. Alex has assembled a great group of folks who are pushing around the idea of what drawing can be. Included are Gala Bent, Timothy Cross, Peter Foucault, Kevin Haas, Linda Hutchins, Scott Kolbo and Counsel Langley.

Emerald City by Kevin Haas (image via)

Reception: Saturday, August 29, 6-9pm
Open through September 26th.
Hours: Thur - Sat, 11-6pm

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

2009 Betty Bowen Finalists

images via howard house and artist websites

Betty Bowen panelists had their work cut out for them this year. Out of 494 applicants, they've narrowed it down to the final five, Jovencio de la Paz, Josh Faught, Jenny Heishman, Sean Johnson, and Matthew Offenbacher (shown in order above). Congratulations to everyone who applied. And a big congrats to Billy Howard whose gallery shows three out of the five finalists.

Related: Matt opens up shop at the Henry!

Update 7/28: SAM announcement here.

Purple Rain / 25th Anniversary

I've kind of taken the summer off from the media so I never know if anything has already been talked to death or not. Example: I haven't seen nary one minute of an MJ tribute but folks tell me they're still happening.

I get the feeling that the 25th anniversary of Purple Rain hasn't gotten nearly the coverage it should have. This summer, a quarter of a century ago, I watched MTV's frenzied spectacle of the movie's release (thank god I was visiting my grandma who had cable!). It's hard for me to overstate the impact that album had on me as a 12 year old boy.

Spin had a big feature that revisited it all through interviews with the folks that were there (noticeably absent is Prince). It's a really great read. Even better, Spin assembled 9 singers/bands to cover Purple Rain and they're giving it away as a free download*. Sharon Jones doing Take Me With U! My personal favorite is I Would Die 4 U by Mariachi El Bronx.

3. "The Beautiful Ones" FOL CHEN
4. "Computer Blue" OF MONTREAL
5. "Darling Nikki" CHAIRLIFT
7. "I Would Die 4 U" MARIACHI EL BRONX
8. "Baby I'm a Star" CRAIG WEDREN

*The answer (already found all over the internet) is in quotes in the labels section below. Go here to start the process.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Seattle University Artist in Residence

Continuing my summer of firsts, I am now officially doing my first residency - at Seattle University for summer and fall quarters. The Department of Fine Arts has got me all set up in a wonderful studio with lots of room for drawing, painting, ceramics and anything else I can think of! I'll be doing some open studios, student crits, and an artist talk culminating in a final show in mid-December. 

Coincidentally, one of my favorite people will be teaching there this fall so we're already scheming about fun ideas/projects. One thing I'm real excited about is hosting open studio nights and inviting artists to come in and just make art or do a demonstration on their speciality. I've already some great folks who want to do it.

Also, this is the first time I've ever had an actual studio. As long as I've been making art (it's been almost ten years since I first picked up a paintbrush), I've always just rented a 2 bedroom apartment and used one as my studio. I didn't think I'd enjoy making art off-site but it's been going really great so far! I'm looking forward to lots of visitors (and lunches at Presse).

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sakura Rising

It seems like Capitol Hill has been slowly becoming more serious since I moved here 13 years ago. So it always makes me especially happy when I find weird things still happening on the hill. One example was driving by a car wash the other day manned by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Another good example was the Saturday night performance of Sakura Rising. SR is basically several rounds of a video game that's similar to Street Fighter. My buddy Eric was Bipolar Bear (his weapon is a lead baby doll). The sound effects and choreography were amazing. Can't wait for it to come back in January.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Helsinki Syndrome

Performance art/theater duo Helsinki Syndrome (Mike Pham + Rachel Hynes) continue to perform The Importance of being Ernest for two more nights. After that, they'll be taking it to New York to participate in this.

Tonight, you can catch them at Crawl Space Gallery at 8pm.
504 E Denny Way (at Olive) Seattle 98122
-Entrance on Summit Ave behind a wooden fence
age 15 and older

Tomorrow, they'll be at Rendezvou Jewelbox Theater at 8pm.
2322 2nd Ave Seattle, WA 98121

Tickets: $12 General, $10 Student, Cash only at the door

Last night, a group of us went to the Implied Violence fundraiser. I bought a jar of lemon preserves that will act as my ticket to their 2011 performance in Seattle. I can't wait!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Henry Darger (image via)

I have been a recluse lately holed up in my apartment drawing for hours and hours. I've got a couple of things coming up and I'm having lots of fun working on them.

Henry Darger (image via)

I usually put something on while I draw and yesterday it was In the Realms of the Unreal about Henry Darger. I love his art and the movie. This quote is especially inspiring, "It is the best gift of all. The more you draw, the better you'll be able to draw. Do the best you can and draw everything you lay your hands on."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Marc Manning

rainbow ok ok ok by Marc Manning

I woke up thinking about teeth this morning. Specifically, Marc Manning's drawing of fangs. If you don't already know Marc, he's an artist (and designer and musician) in San Francisco who makes amazing drawings of clouds and fangs and nightmares.

9 out of 10 by Marc Manning

I can't find many of his teeth online, but my favorite ones are from some of his earlier booklets. They're basically drawings with phrases like "no stone unturned" and "9 times out of ten" that tell a story about ghosts being haunted by demons and most times, the demons win. His pieces are simply executed but always end up leaving me anxious.

I love his stuff and he's a great guy who will hopefully post more art soon! 

Monday, August 17, 2009

Eddy Radar / Gallery 110

Tail Shadow 2 by Eddy Radar, 41“x 68”

I'm really loving these super simplified man-made landscapes paintings by Eddy Radar. She's been showing at Gallery 110 and this show is up through August 30th. 

White Stripes by Eddy Radar, 58”x 93”

The paintings seem so quiet, almost devoid of any of energy or movement. To me, they feel like the calm pause right before something bad is going to happen. They might feel more optimistic to you, but there's something about the stillness that portends danger. 

Boundary Dam by Eddy Radar, 30”x 52”  

More info on her current show here and other work here.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Target Practice tours...

drawing of Red Brush Stroke by Roy Lichtenstein

I got a chance to take a tour of Seattle Art Museum's Target Practice with its curator Michael Darling earlier this week. It was a really cool chance to get to hear about the creation of the exhibit. 

I was going to highly recommend that if you liked the exhibit (and everyone I know loves it!), you should check out the upcoming salon with Michael Darling and Patricia Junker (curator of the Wyeth show), but I just looked for the link and it's sold out. You might want to call and see if there's a waiting list because I'm sure it will be a fantastic talk. 

As part of Seattle Art Museum's My Favorite Things series, I'll be leading a tour through the exhibit later this month. While I'm probably not the most traditional tour guide, I feel reasonably qualifed to talk about MY favorite things. :) Also, if I get it done it time, I'll be distributing a new chap book made especially for this tour. It will be drawings of my 8 favorite things from Target Practice. 

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Vermillion / Vital 5 tonight

Opening tonight at Vermillion is a show by the artists at the creative agency, Digital Kitchen. They've put together a multimedia show (installation, video, light, print, more) called Found: A Collection of Creatures and Curiosities.

It's video heavy so it make sure you check it out at dark. The sun sets at 8:24pm today and the opening lasts until 11pm - that gives you plenty of time to swing by. Click here for a video of their SIFF ads.

And did you know Digital Kitchen did the opening sequence for True Blood? That's so cool.


Also tonight, the final Arbitrary Art Grant - this time for dealing art. $500 to some lucky dealer


In Portland? Tonight at Portland Art Museum, Northwest favorite Jeffry Mitchell talks about "art that delights, puzzles, or inspires him." 

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Lemon preserves @ The Hideout

I know I've been a little Implied Violence heavy lately on the blog, but that's just cause I love 'em so much! If you haven't read the other posts, they're trying to raise money to go to New York City. They've been invited to participate in the New Island Festival and they want to debut a new piece called, The Dorothy K.

They've been hosting a series of fundraisers to make their still-to-be-achieved goal. One week from today (on Wednesday, August 19th), they'll be taking The Hideout hostage. 

The unknown is one of my favorite things about IV, but here are a couple of things we do know about the night. Lemon preserves will be made and opera will be sung. There's no cost to get in but bring lots of money for drinks and merchandise. 

Who:  Open to the Public, 21 +
What:  Implied Violence:  Live at The Hideout
Where:  The Hideout, 1005 Boren Avenue
When:  Wednesday, August 19th, 4pm to 2am

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

2nd Thursday / Blitz Capitol Hill

Green Dumpster with Cardboard by Rachel Maxi
Image via Grey Gallery & Lounge

I can't wait for Rachel Maxi's upcoming show, The Lay of the Land, at Grey Gallery and Lounge. It's opening up this Thursday (aka Blitz) and includes new work that continues to "...portray the industrial still life in its exquisite simplicity." Reception: 5-9 this Thursday

Also at Grey: Bradley Biancardi and Greg Boudreau


Starting today at noon in Occidental Park, D.K. Pan, NKO and Holly Brown begin their 24 hour reading/performance called on hiding an elephant in plain sight, based on the words of Haruki Murakami.
"The relationships of voice, hand, and typewriter become intertwined in the act of imprinting memory onto a public site. A silent transformation occurs, unnoticed. A box truck becomes an elephant, text escapes the confines of its pages; we awake from a dream and find ourselves at the beginning of a journey. Murakami’s tale of search, longing, and reconciliation serves as the point of departure for this performance action" via
Also: RH 

Monday, August 10, 2009

PONCHO 8th Annual Invitational Art Opening

Desaturated Daisy by Joey Veltkamp

PONCHO's 8th Annual Invitation Art Opening is right around the corner. This is the first year I was invited to participate. I submitted a new flower - done in black, white and shades of grey.

Elton John Wayne by Troy Gua is up for auction!

This year, it's being held at Western Bridge (!). The show will be open Aug 13-15 (Thur - Sat) and again on Aug 20-22 from noon to six. There will be art by 250 artists, including folks like Eric Elliott, Troy Gua, Matthew Olds, Renee Rhodes, Matthew Cox, Amy Johnson, Ken Kelly, Noah Grusgott, Ryan Molenkamp plus many, many more!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

do you see me? / Troy Gua

Today is the final day to check out Troy Gua's show, do you see me? It's really great and Troy wll be there tonight from 7-9pm.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Say Hello to Eric Elliott

Photinia #2 (2008) Oil on canvas

Hi Eric. First off, congratulations on the Neddy! Did that just feel like a really good review?

Thanks! Yes, it is very validating to know that people think my work is worthy of being nominated and chosen for such a prestigious award.

Photinia #3 (2008), Oil on panel
What you’re able to achieve with a limited palette, some folks can’t do with the entire spectrum of colors. Do you think your paintings would change much if you used more colors?

I’m not sure how much my paintings would change if I added more color. More colors would probably just give me more of a headache. For me it is less complicated to just mix a color from the primaries, because with each different color choice comes an entirely different set of color characteristics I would have to take into consideration. At this point for me extra colors are just superfluous. Maybe if I wanted to paint in high saturation I would need more colors, but for right now, that isn’t what I’m interested in. Although, I have been tempted to do a painting where I switch out the primaries I’ve been using with completely different pigments (like replace ultramarine blue for cobalt blue), just to see if and how it would change the painting.

Photinia #1 (2008), Oil on canvas
How do you choose your subject matter? They seem very traditional (copper pots, plants, your studio), but you make them into something very new.

I don’t know if I think of the subject matter as the subject, sometimes it is, but most of the time the most successful paintings happen when I am able to disregard the subject and just focus on the painting. Most of the time I start with an idea (like how the light will penetrate a space, or that I want the air to envelope an object, or a specific way of applying the paint), and then I try to think of a subject that would work best for that idea. I don’t want any objects to be to distracting or dominating, so everyday objects that surround me seem to work very well. I also believe that every object is just as equally important as any other object, so why not my teapot, or houseplants. When I start to think about why I should paint one object over another the decision seems absurd, but then again I have to paint something, because I’ve tried non-objective painting and that is definitely not for me.

Objects in Studio (2008), Oil on Canvas
You have such a great painterly surface texture.
I like each mark I make on the canvas to have body and thickness. Being able to see the marks on the canvas is important to me. I want the building blocks that make up the painting to be obvious, and I know this may sound cheesy but I think of the brush marks as a metaphor for the elements/building blocks that make up the plant or whatever it is I’m painting. I want to show that the figure and the ground are made up of something smaller. And as I work on a painting the paint just keeps building up until it feels right (and what feels right is an intuitive thing that is different for each painting). I also love how the image dissolves into marks of paint the closer you get to it, and how closeness doesn’t necessarily equal clarity of imagery (but maybe clarity of creation).

Teapot (2007), Oil on canvas
Is there anything about your process that you think would surprise people?
I think most people are surprised that I work with only four colors. Other than that I’m not sure what would surprise people, maybe that I work very intuitively. Finding the paintings through the process of making. I usually just start with an idea like how I want the light or air to penetrate the space, or how I want to apply the paint, and then let the painting evolve from there. Rarely do I have a set idea of what I want when I start a painting, and if I do rarely does that idea become the end product.

Ficus (2008), Oil on canvas

Your paintings almost have an obfuscating veil on top of them that separates the viewer from the object yet still draws them in. What’s your intention behind that?

I want the figure and the ground to start to merge into one. I want the background, space and air to have as equal importance as the objects in the painting. I want to paint the air in front of an object, but I don’t want the object to disappear into the air, but at the same time I do. I think that contradiction is how the world really is (it appears that objects are separate, but really the world is more of a continuum). I believe that painting is the best medium for showing this contradiction, because no matter how much depth I create it is all just an illusion painted on the same flat surface.

Flowers (2008), Oil on canvas

Can you talk about your visual unification theory?

When I look at an object I see it as made up of smaller parts, and just as it is made up of smaller parts I see it as a smaller part of a larger whole. I want to find a way to show this connection between an object and the world around it. In my current body of work I have been doing things like dissolving edges, lowering the contrast, and distorting the focus, all to try to bring more attention to the relationships between the various things in my paintings. I want to show that a solid object isn’t as solid as we think, or that space isn’t as definitive as we think. I want to do this in a way that the viewer can relate it to their own life, so I feel there have to be objects that people can recognize and a space to put them in. I guess I want to show that a person is the world around them, that they emerge from it and dissolve back into it. I can’t really tell you why this concept is so important to me, but it is something that has always been in my work and drawn me to other artist’s work.

Artist's Studio (2008), Oil on canvas

What's next for you?

Right now I am just finishing up some paintings for a show in September at the James Harris Gallery. Once I have all of those paintings out of my studio, I’m planning to do some collaborative works with some other local painters. I want to play with some different ways of applying paint, and what better way to do that than to have other people who do just that come in to my studio and make some art with me.
all images via James Harris Gallery

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Unbunny TONIGHT / Rendezvous

Argh, my calendar reminder for the Unbunny show tonight at the Rendezvou popped up. I can't go and am brokenhearted! Unbunny is one of my favorite bands ever and it's been forever since I've even had the chance to see them. If you don't have plans, I HIGHLY recommend this show. 

Here's the video to the song Casserole - it's just a long, single shot about life in the trailer park. So beautiful!

Seattle Weekly also recommends. You should totally go!

First Thursday / August 2009

All sorts of great art opening up tomorrow. I'll be out of town but if I weren't, here's where I'd be.

Whitehorse by Leonard Baskin

Davidson Contemporary Prints is showing huge lithographs by Leonard Baskin of Native Americans commissioned by the Parks system during the 70s. So cool!

Shoes (acrylic/oil on masonite) by Holly Farrell

Garde Rail Gallery is having their August Open House and debuting new artists, such as Holly Farrell -- whose photorealistic paintings are blowing my mind. 

Mini #31 by Kate Protage

At La Familia Gallery, Kate Protage just finished a beautiful new series of mini-paintings measuring 5" square. Also showing are Cristin Ford and Lee Richmond.

Untitled 2009 by Matt Browning.

Yoko Ott and Jessica Powers have curated a show called Spite House at Lawrimore Project. It sounds real interesting and includes local artists Matt Browning, SBC, Eli Hansen and more. 

Katrina by Carrie Marrill (at Howard House)

Don't forget about Send Me an Angel at Howard House (who are also showing Carrie Marrill). I'd check out SOIL and 4Culture, too. 

Are you a member of The Henry? If yes, then you're invited to a members only Scan-A-Bear workshop. On Friday night, Tivon Rice (with Jeffry Mitchell) will be making a new piece similar to Panda but based on participants' collages.  

Seattle Art Museum is staying open late on Thursday for After Hours and check out their Friday night event, SAM Remix. It runs from 8-midnight at the Sculpture Park. DJ Freddy King of Pants will be spinning, PDL, Jen Graves (and other Stranger folks) will be doing tours. First 100 folks get in free.

On Saturday, Platform Gallery is having a launch party for DECODE Books who recently published 3 new photo-books (monotypes) by Ariana Page Russell, Steven Miller and Bill Jacobson.

Other 1st Thursday lists by Jen Graves and Regina Hackett.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Send Me an Angel / Robert Yoder

Beryl, 2009 (image via artist)

I can't wait for Robert Yoder's upcoming show, Send Me an Angel. Robert will be turning things upside down in the front space at Howard House on Thursday. Part workshop, part salon, but all exhibition, Robert will be transforming HH into an artist workspace for the month of August. He'll be on-site building community Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays during the exhibit. Behind him will be a wall of portraits by both regional and international artists (and even thrift store finds) keeping a close eye on how things develop.

Untitled (detail), 2009 (oil on panel)

Robert will also be leading public workshops on Aug 8, 15, 22 and 29 (1-3:30pm) - sign up at HH's website. The entire project sounds great but I'm most excited to see the new oil paintings that Robert will be showing. We've been chatting about these for a while and I can't wait to see them.

Send Me an Angel at Howard House, August 6 - 29, 2009.
Middle Room: Carrie Marill's Visual Aides

Monday, August 3, 2009

Joseph Margate / Kurtwood Farms

Oh! Joseph flew into town this weekend to cook for Kurt's Sunday Dinner. That, in turn, triggered Wendy's imminent arrival which meant a tribe reunion! And tribe reunions always mean good food and lots of pink rosé!

Kurt's brie made on the farm.

One of the best things about farm dinners (and there are many things) is that all the ingredients are local. Like from right on the farm, including the honey, the butter, the cheese, the herbs, the vegetables, the meat -- everything but four items (things like pepper, flour, etc.). Last night, I tried pork cooked in its own blood. It's a bit adventurous for me, but I promised myself long ago that whatever Joseph cooks, I'll happily try it. He's never let me down yet.

Kurt and Holly, dear friends

Another great thing about the farm? It's got tons and tons of beautiful, golden light that just makes the place seem even more magical. It's the perfect place to spend a Sunday evening with some of your favorite people. More pics here.

me and Joseph (standing)

Thanks Joseph & Kurt (and Holly for coordinating).

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Implied Violence Fundraiser

poster by Darin Shuler

Hopefully you remembered to save the date last night! I had a friend fly into town so I couldn't make the event, but I did stop by before it started to wish Ryan and Mandie good luck! Mandie gave me a quick tour and it looked amazing!

Down the stairs and into the unknown (you never know with Implied Violence) six bands performed on a subterranean grass-y stage. There was an award was given out for most money raised in the SHOT-A-THON, a raffle prize (!!) was given away and a bar sold drinks (including the previously promised Vagina Punch, served with a floating baby).

In a side room that you can only see through a small window, they set up effigies in this weird diorama. It looked great.

Also, they're having a dinner fundraiser with one pot. It's August 8th, in the same building as last night's event. Here are the pictures from a previous collaboration, Respect The Boss.