Scotch Tape

16"x20" oil on canvas One of the things I kind of miss about the "daily painting" regimen is the spontaneity of it. Most times I sauntered (yes, I like to think I can saunter like William Powell) into the studio, not knowing what I was going to paint that day. Sometimes, I would return from a walk with a found prop, but mostly, something just caught my eye in the studio, house, thrift store, etc., and I would just jump in and smoosh the paint. The reason I bored you with that little story is because the painting above actually happened in that happy way (along with a fair amount of cussing and spitting). I came into the studio one morning, saw my handy Scotch Tape thingy, and decided to paint it. I had done a small painting of it before and it proved to be very annoying and very, very obnoxious and very, very, very challenging. With all that going for it (and the simple fact that it was there) how could I resist doing a larger painting of it? So, here it is, larger and with the usual accompanying plea to the lovely people at 3M: Please, do not sue me.
  
Posted July 29, 2016

sold • private collection santa monica, ca


Fouled AC Spark Plug

20"x10" oil on canvas A few years back, I removed these spark plugs from my old truck and brought them back to the studio. I really do not know why. I mean, why keep six nasty old spark plugs? Eventually, I did paint a little 6"x4" piece of one and, once again, continued to keep the plugs in the studio. Why? Just like how I could not answer as to why I liked Donna Summer (actually, she had a great voice), I could not answer as to why I kept these little buggers. That was then and the above is now. I finally did another painting of one of the little devils that rebelled against my truck. At 20"x10" it is not a large piece, but it is probably the last painting I will do of these spark plugs. (Actually, that is exactly what I said the last time, so who the heck knows.)
  
Posted July 12, 2016

Black & Decker 1/4 Junior Drill

16"x24" oil on canvas For a change of pace, I will now talk about the picture(s) above. The four detail shots you see surrounding my painting of a drill came about because I am easily entertained and/or distracted. For example, a piece of tin foil supplies me with hours of entertainment. Having typed that, I must admit that I am not really distracted by things like video games or smartphones. The lure of texting eludes me and interacting with an app or game or video or whatever, kind of bores me and I soon find myself looking for another piece of tin foil to play with or at least a chicken to chase around. That was the case until I found the camera in The Spousal Unit's iPhone (I have one too, but it was more fun stealing hers). I used it to take the four up close shots you see above. I admit the colors are whacked out, but shooting up close was fun. I always complain that the 3D element of my painting is lost in the photography of my work and these color-inaccurate shots show the dimension a bit better than a regular shot. Oh, and I tried to take a video with the phone, scanning the craggy surface of the piece like a low flying helicopter. Sounds cool, but due to my shaky hands, the end result made me want to puke. So, no video for you. UPDATE: I have now become bored with the cameras in our smartphones (and I am pretty sure the phone is actually smarter than me). Can anybody loan me a chicken?
  
Posted July 1, 2016

•••••
Oh, I almost forgot. I will have a piece in The Cityscape Show VI at the George Billis Gallery over in Culver City. See details below and the postcard for the show (that is my piece in the middle). Check it out if you get a chance.
The Cityscape Show VI
July 9 - August 20, 2016
Opening Reception: Saturday, July 9, 5 - 8pm
George Billis Gallery/LA
2716 S. La Cienega Boulevard / Los Angeles, CA 90034
310.838.3685 / la@georgebillis.com
Summer Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 10:00am - 5:00pm


Green Gate Ranch House

16"x24" oil on canvas Whenever you see one of my still life paintings, rest assured, the subject(s) was in front of me. (Yes, there is a storage issue there, but I would rather not talk about.) Anyway, I either own the items or someone has loaned them to me or The Spousal Unit has murdered them (e.g., flowers) or I have obtained them through some other legal means. When it comes to my structures-in-the-landscape paintings, it would be somewhat difficult getting a ranch house into the studio. That means a lot of photos. And I mean a lot. Sometimes I get the scrap I need right out of the chute, sometimes it takes over a year of experimentation until I get the shots that will serve my purposes. Sometimes, regrettably, I never get the shots I need. This lonely ranch house required a ton of photos shot on different days, at different angles, and at different times of the day. On one of those trespassorial excursions, somehow, I know not how, a ranch hand crept up behind me and scared the bejesus out of me. He was the spittin' image of Sam Elliott—sans the mustache—with amazingly tanned skin that you could have made a saddle out of. Being a wise soul, he immediately viewed me with suspicion and obviously did not care for me much. I was, after all, trespassing and I did look like a dork out in the middle of an open field dancing (shoot picture, take three crab steps to the left or right, take picture—repeat a couple a thousand times). But after we talked for a while, I think he took pity on the "dork who can't dance" (or did he say "dork with no rhythm?") and gave me the locations of a couple other old ranch houses in the area. One I found, the other I am still searching for—he wasn't big on road names or even county names for that matter. Still, I appreciated his help and his not whacking me in the head with a shovel. As a sage once said, "There aren't many problems that can't be solved with a shotgun and a shovel," and a dork dancing like a spastic crab in the middle of your field might just qualify as one of those easily solved problems. Or, at least, be so annoying that you would consider it a humane act putting a stop to it.
  
Posted June 3, 2016

Albert Einstein & BH Art Show Report

46"x46" oil on canvas You were not supposed to meet this Albert until next Fall. He was specifically painted for a gallery show I have coming up in October. But, on a lark, I decided to bring him to the Beverly Hills Art Show this past weekend to see if he could draw some attention. Man, oh man, did this man draw a lot of attention. It is not evident here, with this small image, just how big he is and how much paint is on that canvas. At just about four feet by four feet, that's a lot of Albert.
  
•••••
My Report on the Beverly Hills Art Show
Outside of the fact somebody tried to get me to eat a cookie with white chocolate in it, I had a great show. No, I do not like white chocolate. I do not even consider it to be chocolate—I don't know what it is, but it is not chocolate. It is the confectionary world's equivalent of high fructose corn syrup and I don't like it. The Spousal Unit, on the other hand, loves white chocolate and loves it when somebody gives it to me—could that beautiful smile get any broader? Did I tell you that I do not like white chocolate? Sorry, I wandered a bit there. Regaining the thread now... The show was great! The weather, the friends—old and new, the sales, the not getting tasered by the Park Rangers, the food (except for that heretical cookie), The Spousal Unit being there (eating that heretical cookie), all great!
Posted May 26, 2016

sold • private collection beverly hills, ca

Raymond in Beverly Hills

 

 

 •••••

The Beverly Hills Art Show
May 21st & 22nd
10 am to 6 pm both days
I am in space #140 in the first park between Rodeo and Beverly Drives. Come, check it out.
For more detailed information about the show (e.g., maps, times, parking, food, etc.), visit the City of Beverly Hills website at
www.beverlyhills.org/exploring/beverlyhillsartshow/artshowinformation

Pink Handled Cap Gun

4"x6" oil on masonite panel I procured this little toy gun as a subject for a much larger painting than this and... Oh yeah, I got it for that pink handle! Anyway, like I was typing, I bought this to paint larger later on, but I had one of those urges to paint and that shiny little gun was just screaming at me. It is great coming into the studio, not even planning on painting, and just getting the urge to go for it. This subject needed some off-the-cuff experimentation anyway and BAM paintings are a great way to go about it. So, BAM! Here it is for you in gooey oil paint. On another note... I have been judged into the Beverly Hills Art Show. It is coming up in about a week and a half. See more details below.
•••••
The Beverly Hills Art Show
(http://beverlyhills.org/exploring/beverlyhillsartshow)
I will be showing my wares in space #140, that's in the first park between Rodeo and Beverly Boulevards. Saturday & Sunday, May 21st & 22nd / 10am to 6pm both days. If you are going to be on this side of the world, drop by and see me! There's a heckuvah lot of art and good food (the food trucks are supposed to be great), so come and check it out.

•••••
Posted May 11, 2016

Candy Striped Yellow, Red, and White

4"x6" oil on masonite panel What can I say? I like candy and I need a better dental plan.

Posted May 5, 2016

sold • private collection washington, dc

Western Electric Telephone

4"x6" oil on masonite panel I should not have procured this old telephone and The Spousal Unit knows it and that is not good. Anyway, moving on from my domestic ruptures... I really like this old telephone and I am so happy I procured it. It is that really cool and ugly handset with its freaky spit cup that sold me on it. This is the telephone you see people like Humphrey Bogart speaking into (while he stares at Lauren Becall's knees in "The Big Sleep"). Factoid: When they were making "The Big Sleep" they came to a part of the story (actually, many parts) that confused them, so they called up Raymond Chandler and asked him what he meant when he wrote that particular passage. He told them he didn't know and if they ever figured it out to call him and let him know. Oh yeah, I am full of useless information like that.

Posted April 28, 2016

sold • private collection los angeles, ca

African Daisies and Statice

12"x8" oil on canvas panel It would seem that some sort of cosmic alignment needs to take place for me to paint flowers. Don't get me wrong, I love flowers. I just don't paint them a lot. History has shown that the cosmic equation goes something like this:



And let me tell you, that woman can make a bouquet out of just about anything. If you gave Her petrified lizards, lemon peel from last night's salmon, and an empty bottle of Wild Turkey found at the side of the Sierra Highway, I bet She would make a nice arrangement out of it. (May smell nasty, but it would look nice.) Her victims this time were some African daises (what some people call "Freeway Daisies"), some statice, and some sort of empty spice bottle. The tops of the daisies are such a light purple that they appear white. They are lighter than lilac. Lighter Than Lilac? That sounds like a name for a retro soft rock band. You know, like The Little River Band, but in drag. How I went from talking about painting flowers to coming up with a name for a cross-dressing 1970s cover band I will never know.

Posted March 10, 2016

1956 Pontiac Safari

4"x6" oil on masonite panel I am not 100% sure why I painted this car. Don't get me wrong, the car is gorgeous and the owner should be very proud. And it is not because the Pontiac Safari wagon was the oft neglected half-sibling to the rocking Chevy Nomad. No, the reason is that $%@# blue on its flanks.    You might recall me mentioning that my camera is evil. Well, one of the issues is that the camera just can't seem to correctly capture certain pigments. After taking my work to professional photographers, I have since found that this is not an issue confined to my camera alone (though I still think it is evil). Some colors just seem really hard to capture in the Land of RGB. Blues are an issue; they can just scream out from the image. But a particular blue not only has to be reined in, it is just about impossible to capture or color correct for. For lack of a better term, I would call it Cerulean blue. Blue to the green, but NOT blue green. The sides of this wagon are in that family, but the car was just so beautiful, that I had to take a shot at it—camera be damned. And by the way, don't even talk to me about reds. Reds give me sphilkes.

Posted March 3, 2016

sold • private collection glendale, ca


Rotary Telephone Red

4"x6" oil on masonite panel As the uncreative title of this piece confirms, I am a bit distracted at present. (Not that I usually come up with whiz-bang titles.) As I type this, there is an unfinished, five foot wide painting staring at me from behind. I can even see its menacing reflection in my monitor—it's very distracting. After finishing the above painting of a really cool looking phone, all I can say is that I have developed a severe dislike of Lucite.

Posted February 25, 2016

sold • private collection los angeles, ca

Kodak Brownie Starflex Camera

6"x4" oil on masonite panel Just one of the four billion cameras I have sitting around my studio. Its pet name is "Cyclops."

Posted February 18, 2016

sold • private collection los angeles, ca

1929 Ford Model A

6"x4" oil on masonite panel Like so many guys, I love cars. Don't know squat about them—just know I love them. When I say cars, I guess I mean classic cars. The ones from a different era. No seat belts (you wanted to be thrown clear), weird pneumatic windshield wipers (actually made visibility worse, you were better off sticking your head out the window during a rain storm), horrible smog emissions (to kill the rats and termites in your garage, all you had to do was start your car and close the garage door for maybe 5 minutes), a top speed of around 45 to 55 miles per hour (that's downhill with the wind at your back), the designers and engineers made the cars look cool and distinct (actually, that was pretty great—today, cars pretty much all look the same). The list of wonderfulness goes on and on. You know the cars I mean. The good cars.

Posted February 4, 2016


Tangerine and Tea Bowl

4"x6" oil on masonite panel This painting could have just as likely been entitled "Tangerine vs. Tea Bowl." The bookies would probably place odds on the larger, overpowering tea bowl, with its striking design, beating the heck out the poor little tangerine. Seems obvious, right? Actually, that spunky little tangerine's color was so brilliant that I had to tone it down lest it kicked the poor tea bowl's behind. Not just a little, no, it was so brilliant that it was spanking the tea bowl and laughing as it did it! It shouldn't have been laughing, because only one of the them was edible and man, do I love tangerines. Justice prevailed! It was delicious.

Posted January 28, 2016

sold • private collection, marina del rey, ca

 
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