Monthly Archives: February 2007

Out of focus

Today I added many more bruises to my current collection. We went sledding again this morning and there was a father there with his two boys. He was too cold — hadn't prepared for the weather — so he curled up in a ball inside one of the playsets (quite funny) and the four of us that didn't mind the cold traded sleds around and had races. I love winter!

Other than that I did a little more painting. I'll likely fill in the rest of the background tomorrow and then start doing some work on inking it on Tuesday if I can. When it's more complete I'll post a non-blurry photo of it; there's just not much to show until the linework is on because it's kind of “blobby” until then.

More paint…

It's really hard to photograph this painting because it's very high gloss, 100% iridescent paint, and most of the brushstrokes raise the paint 1/4″ to 1/2″ high, so there are a lot of reflections. This is just underpainting; when it's done it'll have really heavy inking done on top of it all like usual.

I'm trying to finish this as quickly as possible because I want to start focusing my spare time on rebuilding the car… Tons of people have asked me for this painting; I don't know what it's final fate will be.


So I spent a couple hours sledding at the park down the street with Nefarious this morning. Tons of fun, but because there's a lot more ice than snow, you go nice and fast, but when you fall off the sled, you get a bit scratched up! But I think in a way that's what makes it fun.

Yeah, yeah, I have saggy skin and stretch marks. Who cares. Oh yeah, and I also fell in a pile of dog crap at the bottom of a giant hill. That's when we decided to play on the little hill instead.

I make no claim of being an artist

That said, I consider almost every single thing in my life that I am involved in an artistic endeavor… Anyway, moving on… If you don't already know, Tristan is working on a series of oil-paint portraits of IAM members. Anyway, a few days ago he wrote an entry I'd meant to comment on; I'll quote part of it here:

…they went on to say they weren't into any art after modernism because art

  1. “stopped having something to say”
  2. “instead tried to emulate photography”

I started to lose vision as my blood began to boil and stopped providing oxygen to my eyes. Well I see your generalization and raise you another! Why is it that people that love “artists” that can't paint have almost no real respect for artist who can?!

[go to the entry if you want to comment]

Personally, I think that the person who made the comment was missing the point entirely, because my feeling is that Tristan or Sean Cheetham, who was the the seed of this conversation, aren't just “emulating photography” — and portraiture has a lot to say. The subtleties of catching emotional character in paint is extremely difficult, and isn't really about fabricating a literal clone of the visual scene… Yeah, it's realistic looking, but it doesn't really look anything like a photo, and I think that anyone who claims that is kidding themselves. After all, there's nothing special about being able to simply reproduce something — anyone can be taught to be a street artist when it comes down to it. That said, I did want to make a general comment of agreement, and I make that comment as someone who mostly paints like Stephen Colbert thinks — from the gut, not from the brain.

Anyway, my comment of agreement is that while you can create some fantastic pieces of art with a shockingly low technical skill level, when it comes down to it if you can't handle basic life drawing, making paint move the way you want it to move, and so on, you will have very tight limitations on the type of art you can create. Technical skills can be applied in a way that can appear hapharzard or simplistic, but there's a richness that's lost without a solid foundation I think. An old friend of mine once said to me (and I agree completely) that (and I misquote), “If you can't draw a hand, you're not an artist.”

Hey, hands are hard!

That's why I draw cartoon monsters.

OK, I draw cartoon monsters because that's what I think about.

Blah blah blah part No. 453,621

Just finished the next stage of a very interesting interview with the closest thing to the cheerleader from Heroes that I've met. In theory it's for the new book but I kind of want to print at least an excerpt publicly… so maybe I'll post that next week. Anyway, my brain hurts from doing that interview because I'm doing it in German.

So I was actually a lot more worried than I really said in the previous entry… I truly hate any forced drug that alters brain chemistry (voluntary brain chemistry changes on the other hand I'm pretty cool with). It didn't help me sleep or alleviate (yet anyway), but I have to admit that I do feel a little more “mellow” today. We'll see. I'm not really convinced this is a good idea.

So I got some of that “Lakota Joint Care” stuff that Floyd Red Crow promotes on TV. The ingredients are interesting — the main ingredient is “Canada Balsam”, a friendly name for turpentine made out of fir tree resin, as well as birch oil, juniper berry and yarrow (a little white flower that you might know colloquially as the arrowroot and a wide variety of other things; probably the main painkiller I'm guessing). Anyway, Jon, who has perpetual small joint injuries from kickboxing was the first guinea pig and it seemed to work on him so I tried it too, and it seemed to work for a while, but then I woke up at three or four in the morning with a stinging sensation everywhere I'd applied it.

Update: Jon just arrived and he's like “yeah, I was thinking I might call you and warn you about that but I wasn't sure if you were asleep.” (He had the same thing happen).

On Tuesday I have an appointment with another doctor, this time about weight issues. I had someone come up to me yesterday (that I don't know but I guess remembers seeing me over the last few months) and they congratulated me on the weightloss. I know they were being friendly and complimentary, and I do really appreciate that, but it makes me really uncomfortable. I don't think I'm at an unhealthy weight or anything right now — the problem is more that I'm really struggling to stay at this weight and not drop more.

A few years back I wore pants as large as a 44″ waist pants — without a belt. In those pictures I have 32″ pants and I have to cinch them down to about 29″ to keep them from falling off. Seriously, if anyone has any advice on how to gain weight, I'm listening. I don't even mean muscle mass. I just mean weight. I don't mind having a little more fat on me. What I mind is being under 220 pounds, which is the weight I like for myself (fat or fit). I eat a ton of food, almost all quite healthy, a ton of fluids (mostly in the form of fresh juice), and high levels of protein supplementation already.

I don't know. My fingers are crossed that it's just my metabolism waking up after a long period of lethargy, and still finding itself a comfortable zone to operate in, and will simply correct itself. I mean, odds are that's all it is I would think.

When Rachel and I were still a couple, I switched from a vegan diet to a broader one so that we'd be able to do more stuff together. I felt like crap about it on a lot of levels, so at the time I initially just added fish to my diet. For me to be able to deal with doing that emotionally, I asked Lukas Zpira to cut two rivers of tears across my face, one on each side, with a fish symbol swimming in them toward my center.

I think over the next few months I'm going to shift back to a 90% vegan diet (I have some milk in supplements that I probably won't cut out) both for health, environment, and ethical reasons… In terms of that, I've been thinking a lot about a totally new design for my left sleeve. Along the lines of the work I did with Lukas, I'm thinking about doing a tattoo that includes every single specific type of animal that I've eaten. I'm not sure yet whether I want to break it down by breed (because, for example, I can name most of the different kinds of cattle and chickens and so on that I've eaten, and many are exotic subbreeds so I might add them).

I think my list goes something like this… I'm sure I'm missing a lot. Anyway, here's my list of sentient beings I have either killed myself or had killed for me, and eaten (or eaten alive in a few cases). This doesn't include animals that I ate by accident like flies because I don't think that really counts.

Horse, Deer, Cattle, Goat, Sheep, Moose, Caribou, Frog, Alligator, Octopus/Squid/Cuttlefish/etc, Shrimp/Lobster/etc, Fish (a zillion sorts), Sea Cucumber, Clam/oyster/etc (a zillion sorts), Snails, Pigeon, Chicken, Turkey, Goose, Pig, Warthog, Bison, Grubs/mealworm/etc., Ants/crickets/etc.

I figure that's about 70% complete…

Oh yeah and this is really cool and kind of gross.