happy trees and oil spills

I paid homage and poked fun at my first fascination with painting, Bob Ross! The show starts slow, then some music kicks in which is a little loud and the painting progressing nicely, the music stops at the 38 minute mark and we get some serious painting in, but then at 47 minutes all hell breaks loose and a volcano goes off, there's a major oil spill, and a Starbucks moves in to spoil the arcadian idyll of Bob Ross's beautiful place! you can fast forward to any point in the video!video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Fire Escapes

..................................... "Fire Escapes - V"
.............................................12" x 32"
..........................................oil on linen
451 Broome Street - SOHO NYC. This grand Italianate skyscraper was built in 1895 and it stands out among its more modest cast-iron neighbors on Broome Street. This is my third and larger painting of this building and it was both challenge and pleasure to paint it. I will probably paint its roof top in the future.

Fuck the Eighties!

Fuck the Eighties! is painted over this painting and I think it's an improvement! lol It sums up my feelings of that decade, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. And the 2000s are like the Eighties on HGH and Viagra. oil on canvas, 48 by 36

West Village - Double RL

............................ "West Village - Double RL"
........................................oil on canvas

I always have a fun painting storefronts. Here is Ralph Lauren at 390 Bleecker Streen in West Village.

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With view on Manhattan

"With view on Manhattan"
oil on canvas
I recently visited a friend of mine who has apartment-loft in Brooklyn Heights with spectacular view on Manhattan and decided to try a painting of the view from one of her windows. It's been a fairy cloudy day so I was glad when the sun came out and there was some contrast to work with.

Painting the Town! 15

Michael Blaze from Skid Row Films joined me on the show the share his art and experiences in downtown. We get to meet Blaze and also paint his portrait! (also click here to see Blaze's youtube channel)video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

skin mags

I acquired a new batch of vintage x-rated magazines from my neighbor Rod so I'm going to get to paint some paintings for this series that has sprouted up around these mags. I really do find them fascinating as windows into our recent past as consumers of luxury items and sex, how and what are be being sold. I've got a couple work in progress... I plan to keep working on them and also starting new ones. Feel the Velvet 1980, oil and acrylic on canvas, 48 by 36. Hustler 1978, acrylic on canvas, 30 by 40.

Mandala Street Painting

This is the final image of a large project I did for the Center of Living Peace in Orange County. The Center promotes peaceful living via meditation, yoga, dance, visual arts, and gardening classes and workshops. They asked me to create a 9x9 foot canvas street painting during their grand opening weekend which they would later display in their main room as a permanent fine art piece. There were so many ideas and symbols that we needed to represent to really portray the message of the Center. It was a really intense process trying to create something to meet their needs while still keeping my personal style. Traditional Mandalas are much more geometric and much less figurative. Figures are my specialty so I needed to integrate them into this project as symbols of harmony in humanity.

So, I started with 4 intersecting circles and created a vesica piscis symbol at center.

North - Snow Lion, Winter, Moon, Arts and Culture represented as a constellation.
South - Dragon, Summer, Sun, Inner Reflection represented by the clear globes.
East - Sekhmet, Spring, Sunrise, Environment represented as a fan of leaves.
West - Garuda, Autumn, Sunset, Peace and Diplomacy represented by the olive branch.

MulitCultural portraits -
Male - Clockwise
Female - Counterclockwise

Auspicious imagery - Koi fish, Lotus flower, rings.

Center For Living Peace
4139 Campus Drive

Peace may sound simple - one beautiful word - but it requires everything we have, every quality, every strength, every dream, every high ideal.
 - Yehudi Menuhin

Mills College "Walk of Honor"

I was fortunate enough to be able to work with Julie Kirk on this project for Mills College. Julie designed the project with Mills for their 2010 Commencement where Nancy Pelosi would be speaking. The 18 panel street painting celebrate women who have made a difference in Science, Medicine, Sports, Film, Politics, and so on.

The panels I painted were:
1. Women in TV/Film which included my all time favorite, Lucille Ball, and Katherine Bigalow, Halle Barry, and even Wonder Woman.
2. The Founding of Mills, portraits of founder Susan Mills, and a former and current president of the college.
3. U.S. Politicians, such as Hilary Clinton and Barbara Lee.
4. Nancy Pelosi and graduates. This panel was worked on by both Julie and I because it was very important to have it perfect for Nancy's arrival.

She posed with Julie and the painting on commencement day. Unfortunately, I couldn't be there but am happy it all worked out so well.

The total mural measured about 7 x 180 feet along the path.

"Art District NYC No.5"

................................. "Art District NYC No.5"
............................................ 14x20
....................................... oil on canvas
I finished 5 new paintings and will post them here this week.
This is another and probably my last painting of the NYC Art district....at least for awhile.

click here for a larger view and purchase info.

worlds fastest portrait

total painting time, 10.5 seconds

Painting the Town!

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo playerThis is a good episode! after having fun last week face painting, we get into a teaching mode. We start off with a video from "Erotic Art School", follow that up with a review of the new LAzarides gallery show, and end with knowledge and wisdom. My favorite quote is from the very end of the video, "Manet I carry a piece of you in my heart and I love you in a way that Matisse loved you, l love you like Picasso loved you, I love you like Cezanne loved you!" which is my response to a famous quote by Matisse to Picasso in 1954, "My God! In a generation or two, who among the painters will hold a piece of US dear to their hearts as we do MANET and CEZANNE!?" be skeptical of art from "branded" galleries like LAzyrides

the Alexandria Hotel

I was at the Art Walk this last Thursday doing some plein air painting at the corner of 5th and Spring in downtown Los Angeles! The crowds really had fun watching me paint this and I think it came out nicely. oil on canvas, 36 by 18

spray manet

I was inspired to see what spraypaint is like so I bought a can of white, grey, and black and paid homage to one of my favorite painters, Manet! It's the first time I've tried it, so I have no "can control", but one of my former students is going to give me a lesson on the basics. I can't wait! In the meantime I'm going to just keep experimenting more. spraypaint on panel, 20 by 16

And here's another! I'm learning by doing... I love how flat or gradated you can get with the colors, it's like photoshop. Spray Lautrec, 48 by 24

Erotic Art School

Saturday I was in a group show called Erotic Art School! I was one of two live painters invited to play teacher and fool! Here are a couple paintings I made that night.

San Francisco Ballet, Romeo and Juliet

I took my best friend, Pedro Moreno, to the San Francisco Ballet again. This time, how lucky we were to see the Helgi Tomasson choreographed production, danced by Prima Ballerina Sarah Van Patten as Juliet, and Primo Ballerino Pierre-Francois Vilanoba, as Romeo. How thrilling to see the pair embodying the tragic lovers.
How gorgeous to revisit through exquisite dance, perhaps well-meant but nonetheless cruelly consequential and misguided parental skills, as danced by Mariellen Olson as Lady Montague, and Jeff lyons as Lord Montague.
How delicious to once again partake of Shakespeare's supreme psychological insight into the desructive meddling goodness of the perfectly beautifully danced parts of Nurse, and Friar Lawrence by Anita Paciotti, and Ricardo Bustamante, respectively. How horrifying to realize yet again the cruelty and ignorance of human existence through the barbaric testosteronic ego and body slaying antics of the supreme athletic grace in the dance of Damien smith as Tybalt, Pascal Molat as Mercutio, and sad to say, Romeo.

All, all, all, were as great as can be expected from a world-class ballet company, and much greater than that. Ask me if I am a fan of the ballet, and I shall tell you truthfully that as an artist, and the artist that I am, I am in a position to appreciate as much as any, all of the higher arts. I should have been partaking my entire life, but the cruelty of economics in this country prevented me from going as often as I most assuredly would have preferred. Ballet, Opera, Classical or any other musical form should not be only for the wealthy. Theater was intended by the greatest playwrights, including Shakespeare, for the masses. I rue the day when art museums began to charge for admission, and then to prohibitively increase those charges, year by year. Volunteering is an option, but competition for placement are fierce, and people must work to earn a living, so time is short.

I do know this. I was afforded much time my entire life to make art by the fact that I could rarely attend the art of others. I was rendered poverty-stricken by the fact that as a teacher of art I was very poorly paid, and the better jobs went from scarce to nearly non-existant. So work as an artist I did, long hard, rigorous hours. It's a bit different for me now, in so many ways; that is all subject for other blog entries, other times in the future.

Juliet is one of the Three Sisters of Hope and Fear, You may know her by her cap, and by the fact that her Shakespeare written words emerge from her youthful lips as jewels. She is created from found objects, fix-all, pigmented resin, texture gel, and vintage and antique jewelry. The assembled tiny hands in the panels behind her are cast from the hands of my five year old friend of several years ago, Heather Bui, daughter of Rebecca and Thai Bui.

Romeo and Juliet are in reality Adam and Eve, playing the roles for just this blog entry. They inhabit their 5 and a 1/2 X 4 foot canvas, swathed in their nakedness by acrylic and oil paints, various secret and hidden textural drama, and a fig-leaf (or two), symbol of repression (in this case), but more hopefully also symbolic of sharing, and fruitfulness (fruitility?). they are owned by Maureen Anglin.

Pyramus and Thisbe, owned by Barry Ress, are also stand-ins and early inspirations for Romeo and Juliet. They are created on the backs of wooden drawers, each 21"x 21" from tin, wood shavings, vintage can labels, and layer upon layer of acrylic I painted using dual tools of concentration and love, wielded from faith in my own universe.

The jewels in the black table I began to make in the tiny apartment I now inhabit, my studio being much smaller than in years past, and across town, an hour and a half away by bicycle, as opposed to the short trip downstairs that I made in the past to produce my work. They are comprised of Turquoise, Coral, various quartzes, aquamarine, garnet and other jewels fit for young Juliet.

face painting the town

This week I had Amy Hagemeier back with her face paints and I tried my have at that for the first time! That was fun! I recommend everyone give it a try. update 1-10-11: I noticed the embedded video clip to this show is 'dead' so if you click this link you can watch it online still. I'll try to figure out how to re-embed it... click here to watch the episode
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Painting the Town 12!

It took a while for this show to get put on the www.unitedartscene.com website, but here it is finally! Our guests are musician Patrick J. Collins and artist model Toni Czechorosky
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8th and san pedro

I was drawing at the corner of 8th and San Pedro in downtown Los Angeles yesterday and today. Here's a video with some footage for your viewing pleasure. Today I drew more to the right and left of the first drawing and have composited them in Photoshop. this is a work in progress!


I've been finding random inspiration from peoples party pictures on Facebook! Here's a couple recent ones. "Brat Pack!" is oil on canvas 40 by 40 inches. And "i'm wastedddd ;P" is a mixed media drawing.

Street Painting & Oil Painting residencies

It's been a busy few months and everything will culminate in the next few weeks. I recently spent time in Arizona where I was giving street painting workshops to Waggoner Elementary just outside of Pheonix, and also to some local High Schools. Now that I'm back home, I've been teaching collaboratively, via the Music Center, with 3 teachers at a Los Angeles High School to integrate the arts into their curriculum. It's been going really well and next meeting we'll be creating their street paintings on campus. Will post pics!

Also with the Orange County Performing Arts Center, I'm debuting a new oil painting class for elementary school children. It's a 12 week residency where the children will learn simple techniques of painting with oils while completing 3 paintings and have a mini gallery exhibition at their school. I'm really excited about this because it is one of the only oil painting classes offered to young students.


Deep Green is Not the Same as Dark Green... Gushing Oil Blues

A prominent theologian recently wrote a book detailing the green movement as a religion, which he calls "dark green religion." Another who conflates ecology with religion because she grew up in a forest with a father who was both fundamentalist Christian and a forest ranger says that both fundamentalist Christianity and the Green Movement have in common a dearth of humor. She asks if anyone has ever heard of stand-up comedy performed by the proponent of either.

Well, I have also never heard of stand-up comedy about the Holocaust, slavery, child abuse, rape, or mass murder. I have not heard a whole lot of stand-up about war, which generally along with greed and the corrupt usurpation of land and power practiced by nearly all nations and peoples throughout history, is widely glorified and celebrated.

I am deeply green. This is not a religion for me, although I do hold life as sacred. I am aware every day of my duty toward preservation of the planet, including our atmosphere and our oceans. As such I do not drive. I happily walk, ride a bicycle and public transportation everywhere I go. I proudly state for all to hear that I have brought no child into this world to exponentially increase my carbon foot-print in perpetuity. I do not use heaters or air-conditioners, or excess electricity (I keep all plugged into power strips which I regularly turn off when not in use), and I use CFL bulbs. If I owned the place where I live I would go solar. I have not eaten meat, neither chicken or fish, for almost two thirds of my life. I get my Omega 3 fatty acids from Flax Seed Oil. I never fly in a plane.

I deeply mourn for the Gulf of Mexico off of four states, and who knows how much by the time this finally ends, who's coastlines and wetlands will be devastated by the gushing British Petroleum rig sunk more than a mile deep into the waters where perpetual oil bleeds from a major artery without end until it is capped (???), or until our earth is a suffocated, poisoned, dried up little wrinkled raison of a planet forever doomed by threat from nuclear annihilation from the dual catastrophic hazard of both weaponry and energy.

Originally the piece photographed and presented here was made in compassion for the child victims of the Catholic Church. It is part of an installation presented at ProArts Gallery in Oakland, California in which I exhibited over two hundred artworks detailing my feelings about human on human cruelty, called Insomnia (Awakening). It is now time for humanity to awaken from it's long slumber with dreams attending of money, lust, and power; there is still hope that we can save ourselves yet. I recommend knowing how you truly feel and allowing yourself to feel it, for starters. I am talking about deep greening of yourself.

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