Category Archives: Things To Check Out

Sometimes I’m The Last To Know…

Google Alerts kinda failed me here — apparently a couple years back when one of my paintings (“Chill Quill”) was used as the cover for Madlib’s Medicine Show 11, it made a “Best Album Cover” list, dropping in at number two (just behind Wiz Khalifa’s “Rolling Papers”).  Jeff Jank, the art director over at Stones Throw Records, did a beautiful job — the LP cover isn’t cluttered up with type and design frippery.

Madlib Medicine Show 11

Madlib Medicine Show 11

But if you pick up the CD you get a great little booklet that Jeff designed with an additional three full color reproductions of paintings from my “Into The Woodz” series.

madlib(inside)

On top of all that, it’s beat heavy, super smooth ear candy, crafted with humor from a deep musical sea:  “hip-hop productions, remixes, beat tapes, and jazz, as well as mixtapes of funk, soul, Brazilian, psych, jazz and other undefined forms of music from the Beat Konducta’s 4-ton stack of vinyl.”

You can read the Top Ten list right here

And pick up your very own copy of either the LP or CD right here

And if you don’t know from Madlib, check this out! 

When Art, Sun and Drinks With Mustaches Collide

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What do a ceramic bust of The Notorious BIG, Spock wearing a zippered rubber fetish mask, and a China marker drawing of an Asiatic chevrotain (the Cadillac of small artiodactyls) all have in common?  They are just a small sampling of the art that was on view at this year’s ArtPadSF art fair, held poolside at the Phoenix Hotel.  You know you wanna see — and you can!  Just click the link right here for my tour through the fair for Cartwheel.

Come Take A Stroll

San Francisco was recently host to a big “feast for the eyeballs” weekend of art fairs, with both ArtMRKT and ArtPadSF opening their doors and isles to thousands of patrons and imbibers of free alcohol.  If you didn’t have a chance to see for yourself or you want to revisit some choice tidbits, come stroll the endless white cubicles with me and Cartwheel, who kindly asked me to cover the fairs for them.

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First up: click for  ArtMRKT!  

A Blast From The Current!

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If you’ve ever talked to Michael Snyder (I usually bump into him at art openings in San Francisco and LA) then you know he’s got a wealth of opinions about nearly any topic you might choose to bring up — he gives good conversation.  His new webcast “Culture Blast” is just like one of those meetings, except you can have the pleasure of his company at the click of a button!  In his trademark rapid patter, Michael will tell you about films, comics, tv shows, art, music, comedy, and food — just the straight dope, no filler.

So imagine my delight when he told me the other night that he’d included me in a segment?  Thrilled to the gills and ticked to the ends of my flippers!  You can check it out right here.   (You can learn more about the show on the show’s FB page.)

Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss a morsel of his snarky updates on current pop culture.

Do A Cartwheel

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Don’t you just love digital cameras?  How you can take hundreds and hundreds of pictures because you don’t have to pay expensive processing costs for developing film?  Yeah, it’s very liberating.  It’s over-liberating.  When I was in Miami last month for all the art fairs, my camera log tells me I took 1,060 photos.  In five days.  And I haven’t quite figured out how to share that with the world yet (or had the time to winnow it down into less of a visual onslaught, the art viewing equivalent of the endless battle scenes in the last “Lord of the Rings” movie).

Fortunately there’s sites like Cartwheel, where they’re a little more on the ball with timely reviews and have a spiffy editorial eye to pare things down to digestible nuggets.  So while you’re waiting for me to wade through a sea of JPGs,  you can check out some of their Miami art fair coverage right here.

Couple of classy broads resting their hooves after a long day

Couple of classy broads resting their hooves after a long day

Aw Nutz!

Ok yes that was me standing at the window yesterday with a slingshot, firing wine corks at a squirrel.  To be clear A) I was aiming over his furry little head, B) I never hit him, C) I totally dig squirrels, D) I totally dig my figs too, and E) completely un-phased by the barrage of corks sailing over his noggin, he sat just out of reach and calmly ate a fig to taunt me.

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I know I don’t stand a chance against these characters — they’ve been around forever.  Have you seen the prehistoric saber-toothed squirrel?

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No wait, that’s not the right one… this one!

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Hang on, that’s not right either — that is an actual Protosciurus or “first squirrel” from the fossil beds in Oregon, but it’s not much to look at.  I was actually thinking about these toothy little buggers, the Saber-toothed squirrels who lived in Argentina 220 million years ago.

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Take the figs!  Take all the figs you want!  Truth be told, even though they keep calling it a “saber-toothed squirrel” apparently it’s not actually a squirrel. (Just as well.)  Lest you be in danger of having any squirrel nightmares, gaze at this for a moment…

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Ah, all better now.  My own ode to squirrel coolness, “Nutz,” will be on display at “Awakened,” a show curated by Alix Sloan and on view at AFA Gallery in NYC.  It started out a bit like this —

And ended up like this —

The show opens Sept. 20th and a portion of every sale goes to Adopt-A-Pet in support of their mission to find loving homes for homeless pets.  There’s a great roster of artists involved with this show, including a live auction of hard to find prints, and you can read all about it right here.

“Awakened”, AFA Gallery, opening Sept. 20th 5-8pm, 54 Greene St. in Soho, NYC. Because a large turnout is expected, please RSVP to rsvp@afanyc.com if you think you’ll be dropping by.

Bird Is The Werd

Depending on who you listen to this is either a man’s world (James Brown), or girls we run this mutha (Beyonce). This is what was trickling through my mind when Tara McPherson asked me to contribute to the second Tiny Trifecta show at her Brooklyn gallery, Cotton Candy Machine.  So while I’ve feathered some paint around honoring some of my male musical favorites…

“It’s Like That” oil on wood panel, 11 x 14

… this time I decided to honor the ladies and this fine flock of females appeared in my sketchbook.

But who are those birds? Up at the top we have Da Brat, (Shawntee Harris) who was discovered after winning a rap contest on Yo! MTV Raps in the early 90’s, and went on to become the first female rapper to go platinum with her album Funkdafied.

She was promoted as kind of a girl version of Snoop Doggy Dog but she rolls pretty hard (convictions for assault, misdemeanor conduct). This bird is flying free again now.

“Da Brat”, watercolor on Medioevalis paper, 8 x 6 inches (framed)


Dana Elaine Owens picked the name Latifah out of an Islamic name book when she was eight, but though the name meant “delicate” she went on to be a power forward on her high school basketball team, and put her out her album “All Hail the Queen” when she was just nineteen.

Queen Latifah went from rapper to actress, where she’s racked up a couple Golden Globes, a Grammy, and nominations for an Emmy and Oscar. She’s owned that whole regal queen thing from the beginning.

“Latifah” watercolor on Medioevalis paper, 8 x 6 inches (framed)


I saved my favorite lady rapper for last. Melisssa Arnette “Missy” Elliot — she’s got everything going on, songs I can never shake out of my head and terrifically wacky music videos.

The only female rapper to go platinum six times, I don’t even know how to pick a favorite song. She’s done pretty well for a girl who grew up in a “vermin infested shack.”

“Missy” watercolor on Medioevalis paper, 8 x 6 inches (framed)


All this goodness and much, much more is currently on display at Cotton Candy Machine‘s exhibit “Tiny Trifecta”, in which over 80 artists have each contributed three pieces, all of which are for sale for a mere $100 each. (Yes you read that right.) The Wall Street Journal was kind enough to write the show up (read it right here), and with artists like Eric White, Josh Keyes, Natalia Fabia, Doze, James Jean and a host of others, it’s easy to see why. Shows like this are great because they allow people without deep pockets to become art collectors, and I think buying art is sort of an addictive process — once you do it, you start looking at art a little differently, maybe a bit more acquisitively. I’ve had some collectors who’ve grown with me over the years, starting when we were basically still students and continuing the relationship as we all became a little more “solvent.” It’s a great thing. Buy art, people!

Tiny Trifecta runs at Cotton Candy Machine thru August 5th, so trot on over to 235 South 1st Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Time to get back to work!

Making A Better Yesterday, Today

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Unless you’re hiding in my studio supply cabinet you probably don’t get to listen to me rattle on about the things that obsess me — but now all that can change with the simple click of your index finger!  Layla Lyne-Winkler came over from Varnish Fine Art to record an interview which spans everything from when all this art stuff got started, how I think there’s a connection between an Ingres “Odalisque” painting and the TV show “I Dream of Jeannie”, and why I feel compelled to constantly re-write pop culture history in my paintings to bring the romance and the happy to fictional characters.  Give a listen right here

Get Your Freak On!

Please tell me you aren’t one of those strange creatures who’s already finished all their holiday shopping, because what are the holidays for except the panic of running around like a headless chicken?!? The only way to experience the true joy and spirit of giving is to leave some shopping till the last minute so you can get that heady high that comes from snatching up The Perfect Thing with mere days to spare. And let’s not forget the time honored tradition of buying something wonderful for yourself, just in case Santa fills your stocking with coal this year. (It was worth being naughty.)

So fear not, the solution to all your gift fretting is at hand — the Holiday Freaktastic Art & Book Sale at Varnish Fine Art is December 21st, 11am until 8pm, 16 Jessie Street, San Francisco, CA. The sale includes special artist prints and unique items that you wont find in the regular Varnish Emporium, including some of these goodies:

“Nutz!” porcelain collector plates, my saucy book “On Tender Hooks”, limited edition signed & numbered “Song of the Magi” jigsaw puzzles, and kickin’ little “Doe Knocker” knickers will be among the many treats awaiting you, so get on down to Varnish, support local artists and scoop up something special for the holidaze!

Here’s a little Missy to motivate you to get out:

Are You Curious?

"Besame Mucho" oil on wood panel

“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.”
Dorothy Parker

There may not be a cure but perhaps you can temporarily satisfy your curiosity by seeing what the answers are when new art blog KrossD asks me Five Questions. Click right here to find out.