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Musarity. Yep. Musarity: Music, Art & Charity | Nov. 6, 2015


Looking forward to a fun night at Redwood Curtain Brewery in Arcata on Nov. 6, 2015.  This event was organized by the folks at the Neighborhood Board Shop and is all about bringing musicians, artists, and communities together to do a bit of good for others.

I don't know about you, but that strikes a chord with me. Check this out:  See what I mean?  Double stoked that the event will include my buddy Spencer Reynolds who so far is the only other artist on board with the art-for-non-profit site. I'll add others soon enough, but I'm hoping the tag-team live art we create raises a few dollars for Food For People so he can replace those goose eggs in his fundraising totals.

So yeah, live art, did I mention that?  This will be a collaborative effort between myself and Spencer Reynolds. We've never tag teamed a painting togother before so I'm super stoked and looking forward to seeing where it goes. We'll be switching off with each beer. What can go wrong?


The event will be held on Friday, Nov 6th. Event patrons are requested to bring a minimum of one can of food as admission to the show. The canned food will be donated to Food for the People, a Humboldt County food bank.

Where: Redwood Curtain Brewery 550 South G St #4 Arcata, CA. 95521 707-826-7222

When: Friday, Nov 6th 5pm - Midnight

Admission;  Minimum, 1 Can of food per person that will be donated to Food for the People

Music by: The Absynth Quintet,  The Good Sam’s

Art by: Matt Beard, Spencer Reynolds, Matt Obrien

Shapers: Kalu Coletta, Brian Kang

Two Cents

All art is a lie.

All you really need is red yellow blue and white.

Work fast, don’t worry about results too much. just keep going.

Don’t paint the things you’re looking at, paint the air between them and you.

Every piece goes through an ugly stage, just keep going and trust your instincts to bring it through. You will bring it through.

When painting next to another artist, loosen all their easel bolts when they aren’t looking and… wait, not that.

“Gifted” artists aren’t born with automatic talent. The “gift” they have is a deep and thorough enjoyment of the process, that brings them back for more and more and more.

Living as an artist is like Peter getting out of the boat and walking on water. No safety nets, and you’re bound to get wet once in a while. Watch out for sharks.

Selling art and making art are two very different arts. Don’t confuse them.

Be very careful not to dip your brush in your beer.

That is all.

Live Art @ SDSFF 2015 Farm to Table Closeout Party

Like Water @ Great Highway Gallery, San Francisco

Solo Show: 6831 Neptune Place, Windansea, CA

Live at Highline Festival with Tom Curren and Matt Costa

The Lucky Caterpillar

“Luck with no skill or hard work will only go so far, skill with no luck or hard work might go a little farther, hard work with no skill or luck might even beat them both, but skill AND luck AND hard work is tough to beat. Skill can be developed, hard work is a choice, but this thing we call luck, by nature, is a mystery. Don’t disparage it though, a little unearned good fortune is not something to be refused when offered.” or at least that’s what I thought the caterpillar said, but he was sorta mumbling.

Depth Together.

A high-minded artist speaks of lofty ideals
and grand ideas
and creates to conceptualize
all the pretty lies
they feel
into every piece of art they steal
from the ether
and deposit through the vaulted gallery door
while the kid on the floor
scribbles away
trying to draw out the poison
from the wound incurred
during the last family feud
and though the one speaks highly
and the other barely whispers dryly
they both see the scene
through one eye apiece
and only perceive
depth together.


The artist.
You created this.
You accomplished everything.
Did what you never thought you could.
Lived circles around your own preconceptions.
Saw your children grow and scatter to the four winds.
Heard their glowing reports from the four corners of the world.
You’ll live your last days here in the shelter you’d always sought after.
Not working for the hollow dream of another man’s profit .
Just breathing now with the rhythm of the martyrs.
Breathing in the deep sweet breath of the dying.
Your youngest child still on the easel.
Bound to miscarriage.
No memories.

Upholstery And Smoke

She was just a child
Leading the Rebellion
With discarded toys.
Striking out
At them.
At us.
At herself.
And though she made a fool of the Enemy
Throughout the Ten Year War
She lost the Final Battle yesterday.

And now she is gone.

She left home too soon.
There was heaviness in the entry way
As she said her goodbyes.
We did not understand why.
Our parents cried.

She picked us up in her Chevy Nova at the age of sixteen.
We were only nine.
She smoked cigarettes like a real grown up.
We couldn’t see the road.
Just the upholstery and the smoke.
She gave us punk rock.
She bought us pizza.

She fought like hell.

If we’d learned anything from her
Perhaps we could fight back these tears right now.
But every drop is a salty rebellion
Led by a mere child
With discarded toys.
She was never one to be easily denied.

Goodbye Sister.


Load upon load
and weight to bear weight
these beams bear witness to our memories lost in the fire
on the night we crossed the bridge
to the hobo camp
passing driverless cars
and the rising tide
forced us to climb over the rocks in order to round the headland
where lovers loved
and dreamers dreamed
and thieves did their best work
stealing all that we had
and leaving us with nothing
but ashes.


Never underestimate an artists ability to be completely void of social skills.  We will amaze you at times.  We live in our internal landscapes, you exist in our external landscape… it gets awkward.

An Oddly Introspective Post for no Real Reason

When I consider my background, upbringing and all that, well, to be honest I’m not quite sure how I ended up a being a (questionably) professional artist.  I didn’t decide to follow my dream after traveling the world and finding myself on a high mountain in a third world country.  I came from a family of teachers and preachers.  Really.  Almost all of em.  Aunts, uncles, you name it.  We did honest things, worked hard to help others, and never had much to spare.  Never poor, but plenty of cornbread and beans.  Teaching was always encouraged. For awhile in high school I though of architecture.  That was very encouraged.  So was a career in sciences and oceanography, nearly applying to UCSD to go hang out on Scripps pier and measure ocean stuff. I had the highest SAT score in my school and nearly a 4.0 gpa, for what they’re worth, and could have gone a lot of different directions at that pivotal time in life 20 years ago.  Then I started getting really into art and the wheels fell off the train. Art was not encouraged as a career path.  It always had to do with money.  Thank God for punk rock.  Saved me from that line of thinking and I find myself today not living an ordinary life by most measures.  I’m half-broke and all that, but I’m also half rich so there.  All this is just to say I am incredibly thankful to be where I’m at, hardships and all.  Wouldn’t trade em for the world.  And when folks talk about wishing they could afford a painting of mine one day, while instead they buy a greeting card or a poster or tshirt, and especially when they begin to explain what I should do and where I should go to find the folks with the money, I sort of climb inside myself to a little bench I carved out a long time ago made of rough-hewn lowered expectations and wish there was a way to let them know that they themselves are the folks who support me and make me successful.  Sure I do have some incredibly well off folks buy art from time to time and it’s a lot of fun to connect with them on that level, but my daily bread is from the folks who come from the same place I come from.  We just get by.


I don’t know how many folks reading this really know about or pay too much attention to the big picture narratives that unfold over time as I write, create, and move from one idea to the next in this catchall corner of the internets.  And that’s fine, for most folks my life story wouldn’t matter much or be relevant anyway, but there are some between the lines story lines that may be worth highlighting from time to time.

About a year or so ago, and in the middle of launching and waging the Board Art Benefit project for SurfAid, I was pouring so much into that thing as I felt the weight of everyone’s expectations to make the project as successful as possible, that I neglected for a long period the vital essence of my own art life – making art.  I became consumed with promoting other artists art all to benefit folks in need, that I sort of ceased to be an artist for awhile there. (Here’s a good read on that topic.)  Long story short, I ended up spiraling into the worst depression I’ve ever known over it.

I irreversibly pulled the plug on my old website along with the years of work that went into it.  I went blank on social media.  I sat on a couch a lot.

I was done.  And it didn’t really matter.  If I shared this with anyone it was usually met with a “well yeah you gave that art thing your best, but it’s probably better to move on” type of response.  Not from everyone, but from many.  The general mindset seemed to be in consensus that Beard should no longer Art.  Move on.  Do something else.  Had to happen sometime.

And that’s fine, I know they all meant well, so I won’t dwell on them except to provide contrast for a few of the folks who took a different approach to what they saw and heard from me at the time.  There were a few who reached out and were genuinely concerned to see that I was alright.  It meant the world to me, but there was one red-bearded fellow who took it a few degrees further and just wouldn’t put up with my non-sense.  Meet Pierce Michael Kavanagh… PMK.


To him, there was no option for Beard to not Art, and he with his wife Petra and their team of film makers and all around stoke spreaders (misfit pictures), quickly had my head spinning with opportunities to get more involved in their world.  Film cover art, surf film festival poster art, art shows, live art, they threw everything in their power at me to get me off the couch and arting again.   The gesture was sincere, and before I knew it I was back at it with a new sense of purpose and passion for what I do.

And today I find myself typing this little recollection from the gallery I just opened up near my home as a strong testimony of the effectiveness of their pushing me on.  Quitting artists don’t open galleries.  I may not ever make it as a well known artist in the great big world, but art is what I do and live and breathe, and I was dying without it.   If death is like sleep, Pierce provided the wake-up call, and it was time for me to get up and get some stuff done as there was a long and busy day ahead.

So yeah, hero in my book.  Lesson is don’t just let folks stay down, it’s way too easy to be passive and fatalist about things.  There may not be anything you can do that will bring them up, but don’t let it stop you from trying.  It could mean the world.


NYE @ Arcata Theatre Lounge


“One Last Breath”

Verbal Alteration
Year: 2010

The beautiful
Of powerful
Lines drawn
In constant
Contrast to
Our desire for
What we know
To be right, but
Somehow never
Seems to happen
In our daily lives
Filled with sprints
To the green horizon
In Every effort to not
Be swallowed by the
Accelerating pace of
Life in the intertidal
Zone.     One last breath.

“Welcome Back”

Verbal Alteration
Year: 2010

Out of your
And into the
of your new
Welcome Back.
Now move along.

“Roll Softly”

Verbal Alteration
Year: 2010

Roll softly over
With each
Washing away
All knowledge
Of what came
We lost it

“War on Tomorrow’s Past”

Verbal Alteration
Year: 2010

These trembling walls dance
With their Maker’s invisible Spirit
As we wage War on Tomorrow’s Past.
Victory was better an hour ago
And Defeat is a low-tide…

The Distance is calling Our name.