Archive | Live Art

“Balance of Powers”

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 24″ x  36″
Year: 2019

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Notes: Painted live to benefit St. Joseph’s Family Medicine Residency Program.

These live paintings usually auction at events for anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand on the far upper end. Not that this means a whole lot in the big picture, but we were pretty stoked to witness this one sell at the auction for $11,500. That’s the highest price I’ve seen a painting of mine go for in Humboldt. We thought that was pretty cool.

Ok back to the regular programming…

“Trust the Process”

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 30″ x  24″
Year: 2018

Notes: Painted live to the music of the Sand Fleas at a benefit for the Trinidad Coastal Land Trust. They’d invited a handful of plein air painters to paint at the event. As the sun went down and the music picked up, I began this larger live piece as a loose sketch of the band playing music. Before I knew it, I’d shoved a wet brush in Andrew Daniel’s hand and turned him loose. Then did the same with Paul Rickard, whose grimace seemed to suggest an utter disdain for acrylic paint. Roody dooody do, Paul.  The music kept flowing and looking at the painting while the guys painted on it, I realized we’d taken a wrong turn for a live painting and needed to get away from trying to represent the scene in front of us and just have fun. Collectively we were doing no justice to the figures or the instruments. We were just drinking beer and painting a progressively more awkward painting together. So the ship changed course and we ended up with this instead. Sometimes live art is just about trusting the process.

“Drip Castles” (Thinking of Chris Lundy)

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 24″ x 18″
Year: 2017

Notes:
I was scheduled to do some live art today at a local event here in Humboldt, a culinary event celebrating… well, Spam, of all things… but also with some live music so I figured I’d zone out, angle for some free beers (which were kindly provided) and figure something out as I went. Shortly before heading out the door, I learned of the passing of one of the greatest surfing artists of all time, Chris Lundy.

I never met the man, Chris Lundy, but I’ve been met by his art many times over the years. It’s an experience. It rushes up to meet you face to face with a spray of salt and mist. Electrifying, and dazzling, somewhat disorienting. Like a seriously complex jazz number made of water frozen in some off-beat time signature that only the great jazz minds can comprehend.

I’m on the outside of this jam session. A good old punk rock 4/4 guy standing in the back of the hall, admiring the real magicians who can play along to this strange melody- artists like my friend Spencer Reynolds, who seems to have studied the genius of Chris Lundy’s songs and internalized their syncopated rhythms. He’s one of the only artists I know of, who could jump into a Lundy performance and play along, adding to the song in his own way, without distracting from it all.

It’s appropriate then that as I painted this piece thinking of Chris Lundy, praying comfort for his family and friends in their time of loss, that this personal meditation on his visual music contains distinct undertones of the work of my friend Spencer Reynolds. Not that this painting of a wave cracking on a white sand beach in a slightly different dimension does either of their work justice, its just a sort of personal homage to two amazing artists, one of them gone from us too soon. The other is only in Oregon.

Look them both up if you aren’t familiar. You won’t regret it.

 

“The Glider”

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 18″ x 36″
Year: 2017

Notes:
This year the San Diego Surf Film Festival held a tribute night to San Diego’s Skip Frye, who has been building beautiful boards and outsurfing everyone for over 50 years. The hall was packed with legends of the surfing world there to honor Skip with the SDSFF Lifetime Achievement Award. As each speaker stood to speak about Skip they would mention what an honor it was to honor such an inspiring individual. If they could have read the mind of the painter standing in the back of the hall busy crafting this visual tribute to Skip based on an old Ron Stoner photograph, they would have seen that there was nobody in the room that felt more unworthy of the honor of being there than him. Of all the amazing artists in San Diego, this fuzzy kid from Humboldt rolls down and is asked to perform his trade for the audience to admire, heckle, mock, or cheer (all of which happened in spades). Beyond stoked. This one was for Skip.

 

“Chromatic Water Theory VII: Chunk”

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 36″ x 36″
Year: 2017

Notes:
Much can be said of beautiful harmonies, but there is also a place in music for the dischord, the feedback, the reverb, the chunks of rawness strewn about from a creative process that values expression above technical prowess. Even the ugly shorepound is beautiful to the bodysurfers and boogie boarders.

This painting is another reminder that every song has its roots in water.

This series was created live during the Redwood Coast Music Festival inside the Morris Graves Museum of Art. The overall concept of the series was to explore the connections between music and water, through a set of shared geometric structures.

“Chromatic Water Theory VI: Platinum”

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 36″ x 36″
Year: 2017

Notes:
I painted this one during a Johnny Cash tribute set, while the painting (and occasionally my big fat head was projected on to a 30 foot screen behind the band). Slightly awkward, but hopefully a fun visual to compliment the music. Thinking of Johnny Cash and the music he produced, it got me thinking of vinyl records. Like a drop in a pool of still water, the rings emanating outward from that single point. (I know it’s a spiral really, but song by song with the little spaces between em, they’re circles alright?)

Those albums played the world over, resonating with listeners from all walks of life, reveal the power of music to speak to our souls.

Thank you John. Thank you.

This painting is another reminder that every song has its roots in water.

This series was created live during the Redwood Coast Music Festival inside the Morris Graves Museum of Art. The overall concept of the series was to explore the connections between music and water, through a set of shared geometric structures.

“Chromatic Water Theory V: Theory and Practice”

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 18″ x 36″
Year: 2017

Notes:
While rhythm is undoubtedly a universal element, music is the realm of humans. As such it’s not the perfections that make it speak to us so deeply, it’s the imperfections. Listen to a beat machine produce a synthetic rhythm, perfect in repetition, but void of life. Then listen to a human drummer, full of nuance and subtly placed mistiming, but always coming back to where they started, like water lifting and falling as waves pass through. In theory perfection is the goal, but in practice it’s the imperfection, the unpredictability, the deviations from the established patterns that remind us we are alive.

This painting is another reminder that every song has its roots in water.

This series was created live during the Redwood Coast Music Festival inside the Morris Graves Museum of Art. The overall concept of the series was to explore the connections between music and water, through a set of shared geometric structures.

“Chromatic Water Theory IV: String Theory”

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 18″ x 36″
Year: 2017

Notes:
Stringed instruments often contain a dizzying array of mathemetical geometries; the length and/or thickness of strings, the placement of frets, the bodies themselves. All of it designed to vibrate those strings at the right frequencies to produce harmonic sounds. But what is vibration, if not a wave? Reduce a wave to its mathematical base and you have a simple sine wave, an oscillation between two points at a regular frequency.

This painting is another reminder that every song has its roots in water.

This series was created live during the Redwood Coast Music Festival inside the Morris Graves Museum of Art. The overall concept of the series was to explore the connections between music and water, through a set of shared geometric structures.

“Chromatic Water Theory III: Strum”

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 18″ x 36″
Year: 2017

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Notes:
Sound upon sound, wave upon wave, a simple strum of a stringed instrument produces something that combines to a beautiful note. Sound is a wave after all, watch what happens when multiple waves collide, the result is usually something far beyond the sum of the parts. A synergy of moving water, a liquid chord in the key of H2O.

This painting is another reminder that every song has its roots in water.

This series was created live during the Redwood Coast Music Festival inside the Morris Graves Museum of Art. The overall concept of the series was to explore the connections between music and water, through a set of shared geometric structures.

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