Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Luddite Frame of Mind

  It’s so easy to hate the Information Revolution, computers, iPads, iPhones, MP3 players, digital cameras, software and television. And yes, I’ve been guilty of the Luddite frame of mind.

What are Luddites? They were nineteenth century textile workers who rebelled against the Industrial Revolution, often by smashing the mechanized loom which they believed were cheapening their craft, ruining their industry and putting them out of jobs.

And frankly the temptation to join the Luddites is overwhelming, one look at the popular media and sign me up. I’ve had it to the gills with texting, iPhones, Kim Kardashian, Fashion Police, American Idol, Desperate Housewives, Survivor and Nutrisystem.

But that just won’t work and it won’t get me off the hook. You see, progress, even if I don’t think much of it can’t be stopped. Get with the program or get plowed under.

Now it doesn’t mean you get to cut corners and put out shoddy art, that’s what all of the fuss and feathers is about.

Nothing stands still. It either changes or dies and having had a bit more of the later than I am willing to revisit, I am here to tell you I am firmly in the change camp.

Just because something is new and strangely different does not make it a bad thing. Like most change it is the people who drag their feet who allow the hucksters and the flim-flam artists to take over. If you aren’t out there fighting the good fight who is left? That’s right those guys and we all know what a complete lack of moral fiber and aesthetic sensibility they have!

See it isn’t an Elvis on velvet that makes art look cheap. It is the folks who don’t make sure there are other voices present. How do you know that an Elvis on velvet isn’t fine art if no one shows up to argue for the fine side?

Okay, anything on velvet except maybe a white cat or a bottle of vintage wine is tacky, but you have to make your voice heard if you expect anyone to listen.

Along the coast we have hundreds of car enthusiasts, they work like the devil restoring the wonderful and not so wonderful cars of years gone by, you know way back before the EPA made anything which could change your blood pressure just by driving by, extinct.

I love those old beauties, Auburn, Cord, the twelve cylinder Cadillac and the most iconic of all the Rolls Royce. Don’t think so; just take a look around, any time the ad-guys want to make you think ultra rich, out comes the Roller. Not just any Roller mind you but those fantastic land yachts with the big, square, silver grill like a tombstone on wheels. In fact the most iconic Roller of all Rollers is the 1963 long-wheel base saloon, Silver Cloud III with the single headlight mounts. Just screams ya-na-na-na-nah!

And you’d better be loaded with those nas cause that four thousand pound rolling mansion gets about ten miles to the gallon. At five bucks a gallon those nas come dear.

You all know how I feel about phones, I hat’em but I don’t have any special hatred for the mobile kind. I don’t text, surf, photo or stream on my phone and I am brilliant unsuccessful and antisocial enough I know no one is looking or me.

But those mobile phones are sure great when you have a flat at night or you run late and the Long Suffering is holding diner or you need to place a carry out order. Try ordering from your favorite eatery while sitting in front of your television set and then making it there and back while the food is still hot.

I did mention I had a chance to play with film cameras and in truth I lov’em; I started shooting with a film camera and learned a lot of stuff which is now obsolete but even with all of that knowledge weighing heavy on my heart having a digital camera makes shooting so much easier.

No processing get it? Just pop the USB data chord into the port and download to the computer where the magic of software can diddle it to death and make something out of nothing.

Beats hours of darkroom time trying by test stripping to get the enlarger exposure right.

Does any of this make change any easier? Not a bit. It’s hard to cram new knowledge into sixty-four years of solid ivory. And it pisses me off that I have to do it. I don’t like having to learn new stuff. But I like the results, and that’s why I’m asking you to keep your eyes peeled for that Luddite thingy.
Take your eye off the ball for just a second and there you are, extolling the virtues of grinding your own pigments and plastering your own scratchboard.

Sure if you want to, if you have the time, if it is part of what you consider your artistic process then please don’t mind me, go ahead and do it. But maybe you have a job or taxes to file or a houseful of kids, pets, spouses and you have no idea how you can get diner made, clothes washed, food on the table, the house picked up and find any time for art. Then having some technology at your beck and call can be a life saver.

I’m sure you’ve grown tired of my whiney-crybaby-sissy opinion of travel on Oregon roads. And to tell the truth so have I. So it was a big help for me to be able to use the Internet to enter two juried shows in other parts of the state, well lower Oregon, you know California? Took about two minutes and no persons or cars were injured or killed while it was being done which might not have been the case had I had to drive down to Redding.

So, while I reserve the right to complain about Kim Kardashian I also work very hard to overcome my Luddite tendencies. How ‘bout you? Fire up the Betamax, slip in a tape and hunker down with some chicory coffee and a sugar pie, fried in lard and rolled in powdered sugar cause it’s gonna be cold out tonight!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Going Green

This is the time of the year when everything turns green and people start thinking about…St Patrick’s Day.

You thought I was going to say spring, but no, that’s ages away, first we have to celebrate the wearin’ of the Green.

I’ve mentioned I used to run a theater troop, well murder mystery troop, doing murder mystery plays on-site for anyone with the money to pay for them.

Yes, that was a big deal. You’d be surprised how many people want you to give away your product because they have a bigger/better/brighter business. I had an offer from a ski resort in Colorado which wanted me to fly my troop there, spend five days and stage a whole weekend murder mystery event. They didn’t think they should pay, cause after all we were getting to spend time at their resort!

Even actors want to get paid. It happens so seldom that when they get a chance to get paid they can become quiet indignant if you try to stiff them. Oh and the airline folks, they just won’t let you board if you haven’t paid and this was before the Homeland Security SS started manning the airports.

So no I didn’t get to see the wonderful resort at…I won’t name names but it had to do with fire and wheels, you work it out.

So aside from herding actors, writing a coherent play, directing actors, stirring up publicity, scrounging props and paying the light bill I had to deal with clients. If ever you wonder why those folks in Hollyweird get paid so much, try working with demanding, impatient, whiney clients for a while. Yeah, it was a good thing when I stopped.

But doing a murder mystery show is a very seasonal thing. You have to be aware what the next holiday is so that you can have a show up and running for it with the correct theme. Halloween doesn’t work for St Paddy’s, you know.

And the same if true of art, you have to be aware of what your clients are looking for if you are going to take advantage of the natural tie-in with the holidays.

On the east coast where almost all of the civil workers have some ethnic connection, St Paddy’s is bigger than Christmas. There isn’t a soul who’ll admit to being British or refuse to wave the Green. Out here, there isn’t so much dedication, but you’ll find pockets of folks who miss the big St Paddy’s celebrations and want a bit of the Old Sod for their green beer drinking.

And you should see that they get it.

I heard that groan. Look St Paddy’s day isn’t all Leprechauns and green beer, Ireland and the Irish have seeped into all of our culture, just take a look and you’ll find a Finn.

Take for instance John Ford’s brilliant and lyrical The Quiet Man. John Wayne never looked as heroic nor as well suited to be a romantic leading man and Maureen O’Hara, (Why was she always so mad?), plays The Girl to a T and not a lad in the audience who wouldn’t play patty-fingers in the Holy Water for a touch of her hand. Victor McLaglen was one of the few actors who could stand toe to toe with Big John and not look like a patsy. And the whole Irish Mafia in supporting roles make this film a classic by any standard.

So why do you care? One of the central elements of the film is the White of Morn, an idealized Irish cottage, just the sort of thing for a painter to set his or her brushes to this month. Then there are the horses, the pub scenes and the big fight and you can spend a lot of days just doing Quiet Man themes.

But why would you? Well there are a lot more living rooms in need of an Irish themed painting than there are suited for Iris or Sunflowers.

Did you know that the Titanic and her sister the equally ill-fated Olympic were built and launched in, that’s right, Ireland.

There’s this little show coming up in a quick hurry, let me see, oh yes, the Maritime Show. Now would that be a good place for a painting, photograph, sculpture of one of these giant ships? Right, no photographs, anyone know the way to the Ghetto?

Hint* I like those fine line drawings that show up in the Maritime show, nothing like a colored pencil sketch for getting all of the majesty of a big liner right.

Oregon is the home of so many micro-brews it is hard to keep up without a scorecard, but the one commercial brewing company which never has to worry about the competition is…Guinness! Irish again, but who’s counting?

Those hand-blown bottles and dark brew make for wonderful still life images. And there are hundreds of people who want a still-life for the kitchen. Even a lowly glass, not the proper, correct and right pub glass, can become a wonderful subject if it is filled with Guinness.

And okay, you could do a Leprechaun or two. Yeah I know they are trite, but you’re an artist so you can re-imagine them in a way that makes them less Lucky Charms and more Fine Art.

You know Hollyweird has made a good living off the Little People. Darby O’Gill and the Little People gave us both the traditional Leprechaun and the biggest Bond of them all, Sean Connery, now you just can’t beat that.

Mr. Fantastic, no not the Marvel comic book, Fred Astaire, the original Mr. Fantastic made Finian’s Rainbow something to smile about even if you can’t bring yourself to admit you enjoyed watching it.

Fred was kind of a very tall Leprechaun, so maybe you could do a tribute to Mr. Astaire?

The opportunities are there if only you go and look for them. Now what did I tell you six months ago? That’s right, you should be thinking about Halloween and Thanksgiving, cause the time-frame for them is right now and you’ve kinda missed St Paddy’s day, but that won’t let you off the hook for next year.

Tell you what, I have the Irish Rovers on disc, copied from my dusty-trusty ole LP and could let you give a listen or better still, draw a Guinness, fill up your best briar and move a little closer to the fire and I’ll put on Glen Yarborough and the fabulous Limeliters and we’ll listen to Darlin’ Sportin’ Jenny or talk a little treason and sing By the Risin’ O’ the Moon.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Blinded by The Light

Light is a curious thing, we all think we know what it is and yet it seems to be so elusive? How come we can’t get a grip on it?

Maybe because it changes each time you look at it. Think not, take a look at the same piece of real estate, at the same time every day for a month and find out. You won’t see the same light twice.

We’ve all seen what light does to sunsets, just give it a few clouds and let it sink beyond the horizon and be prepared to be struck blind. The colors and the drama can’t be matched.

As a photographer I deal with light all of the time, it is the single most important thing I need to capture an image. But don’t walk away, light is important to painters too.

Let’s take a look at some basic light and see what it does when we try to use it.

Light coming from below the target of the image, be it photographic or paint makes for dramatic shadows. This can be perfect when the image is something technical or three dimensional, nothing like deep shadows to give substance to something which by its very nature has no substance.

But there’s a danger here, light from below can pick up casts from the background and transfer it to the subject. This is critical for photographers and you’re probably saying “I’m a painter it doesn’t effect me,” but you’d be wrong.

Film makers have known since the 30’s that a slightly greenish cast makes for a very convincing corpse/monster and if it happens to come form below the center line so much the better. Deep shadows and green tint give a very creepy look to any image.

Painters have to be aware of this because nothing ruins a painting faster than having the light come from the wrong place. Put that light in the wrong quadrant and the viewer will spend all of their time trying to figure out where the heck that light came from instead of understanding your composition.

In the thirties and early forties there was a B actor, Rhondo Hatton. His chief claim to fame and the reason why he got so much work was because of his brutish facial structure. This was due to acromegaly, a disorder of the pituitary gland. Of course it gave him a career so I’m thinking he didn’t mind nearly so much as he would have if it had been the heartbreak of psoriasis and no career move in sight, but you’d have to ask Rhondo.

The thing about Rhondo was that he did have exceptionally brutish features, but they were given a helping hand by low green lighting. That made him into a regular creep show all by himself.

Now while this was a wonderful thing for Rhondo, career-wise and all, it would be terrible for a bride or a child and this is where attention to lighting comes into play for both painters and photographers, don’t make your brides into Rhondo Hatton.

In fact have a care that you don’t do this to anyone unless it is Halloween and they want to look creepy. Any person place or thing which has distinct angles to their appearance can be turned into a night crawler by low green lighting.

So what do you do? Remember way back when you were in school, yes, that was before Roosevelt and Daylight Savings Time, you probably had a mention of the color wheel and how to find the complimentary colors.

No, you don’t need a time machine, but a trip down memory lane wouldn’t hurt.

That lesson squandered on you when all you really cared about was what was going to happen to Davey Crockett this week and whether or not you’d get your Sky King Lunch box, could have told you about pink.

No, not the singer although if you like rock and haven’t heard Pink you ought to give a listen, cause the stinkpot can really blow and she has so much personality she’s a hoot to watch and given that her talent is singing and she’s a big-time, wild-assed, rock-star, she has some pretty exceptional talents as an aerialist. But I digress; pink can make a world of difference to your work, photograph or painting.

See pink is a softening agent. You add a touch of pink, in light or paint and you can take years off a face that would have been comfortable when the Pilgrims were just grim and the rock was still a big clod. Add pink to a landscape and you bring spring out in a winder scene, pink to the ocean and those tossed and battered ships will make safe harbor, people, animals and plants and you make them all look a lot younger.

Here’s a thought, if you have a pal who has been in the hands of the Croakers lately, like, I don’t know, me, then try some pink and get those haggard hospital lines out of their tortured faces.

I have a cousin, yes, even I have family, who is old enough to be my Aunt, but because of a recession in the early part of the last century, she was born to parents twelve years older than my own parents making her twelve years older than little ole me, but still the daughter of my Aunt and Uncle and that makes her my cousin and not my Aunt, see?

Anyway, I’ve been promising her a picture so she can see how much weight I’ve lost courtesy of my surgery and it turns out I also owe my sister, yes, I have one of those too, a picture and I want to give them one which will reflect my weight loss without scaring the beejesus out of them which is hard to do considering the subject, but I want to try it anyway, so I’ve been experimenting around and so far my results are not quiet as good as the look ole Rhondo had so I’m still working on it, but now I know what to do.

I’m getting a lot of light from two or more sources with a pink filter or drape and maybe that will keep me form looking like Rhondo Hatton as The Creeper and not scare the living daylights out of my relatives.

So the next time you approach the canvas or peer through the lens, think. Think about the good light and pink and don’t bring back Rhondo Hatton.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Do What You Love

Do what you love and the money will follow. It’s a great idea, but it never worked for me. I guess that’s why I spent my working years as a mole, doing the midnight until dawn gig so that when the sun came up I could go do the things I liked.

Now I’m not saying that I hated what I did, far from it, some of it was rewarding, some of it was exciting, some of it was drudgery and some of it was a ball, but it wasn’t what I loved and it never could have been.

The problem I see with the philosophy, “Do what you love and the money will follow,” is it presumes one tiny little thing, it assumes that you will love something commercial or at least popular.

Now here’s the truth, we’d all love to fins something we could love that everyone else would love and that they would buy in truck loads and spend wildly for and tell all of their friends about and that is what television is all about. But for the most part, I have been singularly successful at picking shows which get cancelled after half a season.

I loved The Avengers, Steed and Mrs. Peel were great and fired all of my rockets, but I loved Cathy Gale before Mrs. Peel and Tara King and the incomparable Purdy long after Mrs. Peel had run off with James Bond. The series lasted three years on American television; fortunately I had friends in the UK who could bootleg it for me.

Then there was the Dresden Files. Oh yes, that was a few years later but it was the same thing all over again, loved it and all of the changes for TV. Died like a dog. Terrance Man as Bob the skull was delightful, but it wasn’t enough to hook the big enchilada.

I’m waiting on Body of Proof, the Dana Delany series and CSI: New York and Combat Hospital, Flashpoint and Lost Girl, my Canadian favorites all loves of my life and on life support.

When it comes to being mainstream, I flunked.

So doing what I love is probably not going to be the secret of my success. Should I try to chase a trend, maybe catch a falling star and put it in my pocket to save for a rainy day? There are problems there too, stars don’t much like to be caught and trends are funny things, the minute you chase one it stops being a trend and becomes a passing fancy.

Now I know what you are saying, you must like something other people like. Not really, not in any commercial sense. See I really like watching television. Okay, I know that’s something which should only be admitted under questioning by the Inquisition or at least after water-boarding at Guantanamo. But I really do.

I like guns. Yes, you can leave the room if you like but I don’t use them to shoot harmless animals. I like the unique mechanical complexity of guns. It is amazing to me that the human mind, in a flash of insight, realized that chemicals could be mixed together to cause an explosion, directed if that explosion was contained in a metal pot and used for hunting and military purposes. What a deal!

But unlike your averaged pickup driving, camo wearing, Beauregard’s Battle Flag waving, (You do know that the Stars and Bars, often called the Confederate flag was the battle flag of General Beauregard and not a “National” flag at all. The Bonnie Blue Flag was the first “National” Confederate flag and it was the flag which flew over the Confederate batteries which opened fire on Fort Sumner), survivalist I do not think the end is near or that Bambi poses a serious, long-term threat or that any day now the forces of the Scientologists are going to march into downtown Coos Bay and take over. I just like taking guns apart and seeing how their innards work.

(* This has nothing to do with anything, but I find it fascinating, the first successful semi-automatic handgun, the Mauser Military Pistole of 1899 called the C96, was so perfectly designed that not one single screw was used in its assembly until war-time production demands in the 1940’s forced the addition of a screw into the grip panels.)

Same is true for old cameras but I’ve gone on and on about that and I know you are getting tired of it, so I won’t say anything more about it, except, loving guns for their mechanical innards and obsolete cameras is not a money making venture.

There is the thing about nekkid girls. Yes, you can make money with nekkid girls but that sort of profession requires fur coats, sunglasses and large, gas-guzzling cars or slick magazine production or obnoxious websites you’d block on your children’s’ computers in spite of the fact that the average child get around a block established by a parent in less time that it takes to switch on a light, and besides the Long Suffering would not approve of such an undertaking so that’s out, which brings me right back to where I started, doing what you love and expecting to get paid for it is a lot like expecting your Lotto winnings to finance your retirement.

Just move somewhere warm and learn to make salads from dumpster produce.

This does not mean you shouldn’t do what you love. On the contrary I think doing what you love is one of the most self-affirming things you can do. Just don’t plan on buying out Warren Buffet’s Berkshire-Hathaway stock.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, before there was a Kim Kardashian, there was a belief in a Calling. People with some special connection to certain disciplines had a life calling and they took up the job of following their passion knowing that they would never become rich doing it.

They did it for the love of what they were doing. Please re-read that last part, love of what they were doing.

Art is a miserable way to make a living. You can probably do it if you have a special gift, work like a man possessed and live in one of the giant art centers like New York or L.A. but just because you can’t make a living at it, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.

About a thousand years ago, before there was Paris Hilton I worked the evening shift at Ling/Temco/Vought. It was a good job, but like most young guys I wanted the bright lights and the fast life I was sure was waiting just around the corner. I was chronically dissatisfied.

I worked with a guy called Lanny, thirtyish, married, with a family and bills and a degree in psychology. I asked Lanny, on one of those nights when there was little to do and a lot to talk about, I asked what he was doing here, why wasn’t he out using his degree? He smiled and said, “I have a job.”

I had no idea how profound that was. Work is what you do to pay the bills so that you can do the things you really want to do when you aren’t working. Don’t try to make your passion support your life. Work and then go home and do the things you love.

And Lanny, now I know…

Saturday, February 25, 2012


North Valley Art League
Carter House Gallery & Gift Shop


May 1 - June 2, 2012

Printable Version Click Here
This show is open to all photographers. All forms of photographic expression are encouraged: from film-based to digital capture -- black and white darkroom to digital manipulation and alternative processing -- montages to hand-colored photographs. All entries must be the entrant’s original work, i.e. the capture of the image as well as dark room and digital processing. This does not preclude the use of professional labs for printing, resizing, and film development. Images previously accepted into a NVAL Juried Photography Show are not eligible.

Our purpose is to professionally exhibit your unique artwork in our gallery for patrons to view, appreciate and purchase. Approximately 70 images will be exhibited at our spacious Carter House Gallery and on the NVAL Online Gallery. The gallery is located in Caldwell Park, 48 Quartz Hill Road, Redding, CA 96003, and fronts on the banks of the Sacramento River as it runs through the heart of Redding. It is adjacent to major recreational sites, consequently attracting local and tourist foot traffic.

All Accepted images will be exhibited
Best of Show $1000 
2nd Place $500
3rd Place $250
Up to 8 Honorable Mention Awards - $25 framing, printing gift certificates


Entry Deadline: March 24, 2012
Notice of Acceptance: April 3, 2012 by email
Shipped Artwork Due: April 17 - April 28, 2012
Hand-delivered Artwork Due: April 24 - April 28, 2012
Show Opens: May 1, 2012
Reception & Awards: May 6, 2012,  1-3 pm
Show Closes: June 2, 2012

JUROR: Jennifer L. Daly
We are pleased to have an exceptional juror, Jennifer L. Daly, Art and Art History Instructor at Shasta College. She has a BFA from the University of Missouri and a MFA with Distinction-Photography from California State University, Chico. She has exhibited all around the country.

“Photography has always been a diverse art form with evolving and emerging technologies, ideas, and styles. As a juror, I look forward to seeing the breadth of the medium from ‘straight’ photography to photo-manipulation, digital, traditional and alternative process and everything in between in order to facilitate an exhibition of interpretations of photography today.”

• First 3 entries    $30
• Additional entries    $8 each
• No Limit on the number of submittals per entrant
• All submissions will be online using Smarter Entry. All images will be juried in electronic format as submitted, with final jurying for awards based on the gallery presentation


• EXHIBIT PRINTS: All accepted images submitted for exhibition must be printed and framed either professionally or in a professional manner. Simple dark framing with white or off-white matting is recommended. Works must be delivered ready to hang. Maximum frame dimension is 40” and maximum weight is 12 pounds. NVAL hangs with cables hooks, so please use only frame hangers, D-rings or split rings (no wires). Local professional printing and framing can be arranged.

If framed work does not substantially meet the appearance of the JPEG entry, or if the print quality, matting or framing are not suitable quality for gallery presentation, the NVAL may ask the artist to replace whichever element is not suitable. If the artist is unwilling to meet these standards, the NVAL reserves the right to replace the entry with another work selected by the juror.

• ACCEPTANCE NOTICE: Everyone who submits will receive an email notification regarding acceptance on April 3, 2012. Instructions for delivery, shipping, handling and artwork identification will be detailed in the notice.

• SALE OF ARTWORK: There will be a 20 percent commission charged by the gallery on any piece that is sold. California sales tax will be collected.

• USE RIGHTS: By submission for jurying, artists whose submissions are chosen for the exhibition grant the North Valley Art League the right to use their images for the purpose of marketing the exhibition, marketing the North Valley Art League’s programs and subsequent display on the NVAL website of past exhibitions. Artists grant the use of their image(s) as stated without further contact or compensation from NVAL. Artist’s recognition is provided with any use.

• 72 ppi resolution
• Sized to 1,280 pixels on the longest side of the image
• JPG format only
• JPG compression (quality) 7 medium
• File size no larger than 2 MB
• Make sure that your file name (not the title) does not include special characters: ‘ “ ; : { } \ / or any of the  characters found above the numbers (@, #, *, etc.) except the underscore and dash.

              CLICK HERE TO ENTER

• Once you set up your account, you will be asked to use your credit card to pay the entry fee
• PLEASE DO NOT INCLUDE YOUR NAME IN THE TITLE. Judging is from files without names attached
• In the Required Dimensions (in inches) field put the approximate size of the unframed print that you would show  in the Gallery if that entry is accepted by the juror. This is for the juror’s benefit.
• If you need additional help, please email or call the show chairmen

Call show chairmen
Bernie & Charlotte Bryson
Home phone 530-221-1993, cell 530-227-9790

Friday, February 24, 2012

Ava Richey's Art News

Please note my new e-mail address


Hello Everyone,

This Monday, February 27th, 12 - 3 p.m., we will paint at Art by the Sea Studio & Gallery in the Continuum Building, next door to Bandon Artist Supply in Old Town Bandon.

Bring your lunch, if you like. There will be a still life set up, or bring your own resource to paint from.

My phone is 541-347-4643 or cell is 541-297-6118.



Art Information:
FYI: New listings have asterisks ***** next to the date.

If any of the web links below in blue are not "live", meaning if you click on it and it doesn't take you to the website,--- right click on it and choose copy, then open your internet web browser, left click on the web address window at the top to highlight it, then right click and paste the web link into your browser and hit enter. The site should open.
February sale at Bandon Artist Supply: Paints 15% off (excluding kits).

NEW Winter Hours: Wednesdays through Saturdays 10 -5 p.m. Closed Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. 541-347-4482 or 541-297-6118.
Art Connection is moving to a new location, 245 South Fourth St, (corner of 4th & Anderson) and will open there on April 2nd. In the meantime, inventory reduction sale has items with a red dot at 40% off this week, and 50% off the next week and so on.
Artists' Accomplishments:

We want to honor the achievements of all you artists, so don't be shy about sending the highlights of your art lives, or those of your artist friends.

Yvonne Ousley has had two Meso-American wool tapestries accepted into the Ancient American Exhibit at LaSells Stewart Center, Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. The show runs from February 21st to March 26, 2012, with a reception on March 8th at 6:30 p.m.

Congratulations, Yvonne!!
Current Shows:
Backstreet Gallery, 1421 Bay Street, Florence

Jerry Polder and Mohn McMahan, winners of the LIttle Dickens Miniature Show
Bandon Public Library February 2012

Hallway Gallery: "Island Dreams and Coastal Themes", watercolors & oils by Shawn Tempesta

Cases: Larry Linder's woodcarver collectables.
Chetco Community Library, Brookings

February "Coast to Cactus Country", featuring Pete Chasar

Showcase: "A Collection of Valentines" display by Evelyn Allen
Coos Art Museum 235 Anderson Ave. Coos Bay 541-267-3901

Coming March 2nd: Biennial Student Art Exhibit & Vision 12

February BAAA "Artist of the Month" featured in the BAAA display located in the Coos Art Museum lobby is Beth Wegner.
Coos Bay Library 525 West Anderson, Coos Bay


Wall Display "The Coquille River"--selected acrylic & ink paintings celebrating the flora & fauna of the Coquille River by SL Donaldson

Lobby: Pottery by Catherine Walworth
Coquille Valley Art Center 10144 Hwy 42, Coquille 541-396-3294

February 13 - March 2, 2012 "The Miniature Show"

Hours are Monday - Friday 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Coquille Valley Hospital, 940 E. 5th Street, Coquille, OR

Photography show featuring works by Kathy and Dick Chambers of Myrtle Point; Patricia Davidson, Coos Bay; Kelle Herrick, Bandon; Richard Kirk, Myrtle Point; Kathy Phillips, Myrtle Point; David Sinnot, formerly of Coquille; and Tony Spenader, Coquille. A portion of sales goes to the CVHA Auxiliary. Show runs through February.
Crystal Dolphin Gallery

1901 Sherman Ave, North Bend, 541-756-1989
Easy Lane Frames & Select Gallery

3440 Broadway, North Bend, 541-756-7638

"What's New?". Features Gallery Artists and their new works.

February 6 - March 30 "Winter Wonder", Reception Friday, Feb. 10th, 2-4 p.m.
Emerald Art Center

500 Main Street, Springfield 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.

February 1st - 24th "Top 21 Paintings from the 46th Fall Transparent Watercolor Society of Oregon Watercolor Show". Also Featured Member Nancy Ericksen Ward, and Work from the Photography at Oregon Committee, and other members' works. Music by West Winds Flute Choir.
Evergreen Court

Evergreen Court, Baycrest Village, 451 O'Connell St., North Bend, OR 541-756-7658
Fairbanks Gallery located on campus at OSU in Corvallis. Free, open to the public Mon.- Thurs. 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Fridays 8 - 12 noon. Contact Douglas Russell at 541-737-5009, or


Florence Events Center

715 Quince Street, Florence Call for more info at 541-997-1994

Gallery One: "Water Media Artists" display of 16 Watercolor Society of Oregon members.
Hawthorne Gallery, 517 Jefferson St., Port Orford

Features "Friends", a series of hot glass sculptures that skillfully depict characters who have stood out in the artist's life in one way or another. Artist is Danny White.
High Tide Cafe, Charleston

Michael William Ousley is showing a display of his Yacht Club works of art . Open 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays.
Langlois Public Library 48234 Hwy 101, Langlois, OR 97450

Hours: Mon. 11a.m.-2 p.m., Tues-Fri. 11 a.m. - 6 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Paintings of Sheila Oberg continue into the new year.
Manley Art Center 433 Oak Street, Brookings, OR 541-469-1807


"The Acrylics of Thomas Moody"

Gallery Theme "Abstracts". Panel Displays: Plein Air Painters Christina Olsen, Sandy Bonney, Eileen Jensen, Philip Wadsworth, Nancy Moore-Hope, the Mudslingers.

the Photo Club presents a slide show of members' works.
Maude Kerns Gallery 1910 East 15th Ave, Eugene, OR 541-345-1571

February 24th - March 23rd Opening reception Feb. 24th, 6 - 8 p.m.

Pportraiture: "Three Twists" Frank Moro, Russ Revok, Mike Sirl
North Bend Library, Conference Room February


Features : Manga Art by Tiffany & Brittany Valdez
Old City Hall-- 99 E. Second Street, Corner of Second & Adams, Coquille

Contact Nella Abbott at 541-824-0779 for information.
Pony Village Mall:

ArtWalk: Various artists showing at tables in lobby areas near Katherine's and Harry Ritchie Jewelers. and Artists Loft.

Also in the Mall:

Artists' Loft, 541-756-4088

Gallery Artists Group Show, features jewelry by Hester Solsang. Guest Artist--watercolors by Cindy Horner

East Wing Art Wall (by JoAnn's)

Photography--local color and other works by Dan Hull

Sterling Savings Bank

Fabulous Oils by Carol Turner

Port Orford Library January-March

Paintings by Susan Lehman, Jane Schmaltz and Ava Richey
Raincoast Gallery

Featuring work of many local artists.

Gallery is open 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily except Tuesdays.
Second Street Gallery, Old Town Bandon 541-347-4188

Features annual "Wall of Opportunity" with 50% off regular sales price of local artists' work including 2-d, jewelry, pottery, glass, greeting cards and books. Inventory changes weekly.
South Slough Interpretive Center, Charleston -- in the William Q. Wick Auditorium

January 7 - February 29, 2012

Graphite renderings of birds and wildlife by Lance Cox.
January 11th through March, 2012

Southern Coos Hospital and Health Center

"Down on the Farm" features agriculture related art.

In addition:

******March 1, 2012 through March: 21 award-winning watercolors selected by Juror Ted Nutall of Arizona for the traveling show of the Watercolor Society of Oregon .
Umpqua Valley Arts Center, 1625 W. Harvard, Roseburg


Through March 2, 2012 "Student Art Show", 500 works in a variety of media fill all six UVAA gallery spaces.
U.S. Bank--Coquille

Works by Joanne Drapkin; Victoria Tierney's paintings of Coos County Parks for the 30 Parks by 30 Artists Show; selected works from "TIME" - A Statewide Traveling Show of Oregon Prison Art.
Whistling Gallery

87456 Ste. A, Whistling Drive, Bandon (located in Laurel Grove, 5 miles south of Bandon.) A variety of artists showing 2-d and 3-d work.

Also in charge of showing work at Billy Smoothboar's and other venues for those artists interested in showing their work, contact Vickie.

541-404-7336, or
Art 101, The Purple Yurt, 5 miles south of Bandon on Hwy 101, 541-250-1140 or

Saturdays and Sundays 1 - 5:00 p.m.

Volunteer Workshops to build "Leo the Leopard Shark" Have a hand in constructing the newest member of the Washed Ashore family. This work is designed to permanently reside at the Chula Vista Nataure Center in San Diego, CA. The sculpture consists of 100% ocean going debris (plastics and more). Help inspire others to do something about this problem by building this eye-catching sculpture.
Art by the Sea, Gallery & Studio 175 2nd St, Old Town Bandon, (next to Bandon Artist Supply)

Monday, April 2, 2012 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Silkscreen Monoprint Class Instructor is Pat Snyder, class fee $45. to register call 541-297-6118.
Artist Loft Gallery, Pony Village Mall, North Bend. Call for Class

Information at 541-756-4088

If you are interested in taking a Chinese Brush Painting class with Darlene Diehl on April 12, 2012, $67 for 5 hours with all supplies provided, please contact Carol Young at 541-260-4573. Class will be held in the Artist Loft classroom.

Beginning Watercolor with Carol Young, for info call 541-260-4573.
Bay Be, located in Charleston, next door to High Tide Cafe is now open and offers licensed childcare for kids 3 yrs & up with a focus on nature and art projects. ALSO offer workshops for adults--making lip balm, jewelry, knitting and yoga.

Drop-in Saturdays from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. with only $5 and 5 minutes we can help you create a craft such as paper, a candle, a willow basket, driftwood sculpture or bird feeder. 541-888-3265, Find us on Facebook.
Brookings Area and more:

various classes are listed at
Coos Art Museum, Coos Bay 541-267-4877 for more information.

Tuesday - Thursday, April 3, 4, 5th, 2012 Watercolor from Start to Finish with Judy Morris 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Saturdays, May 12th & 19th: Paper Arts with Holly Rodenkirk and Mary Cervantes 10:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Coquille Valley Art Association 10144 Hwy 42, Coquille, OR 541-396-3294

Painting with Pat Weaver 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Tuesdays & Wednesdays

Painting with Anna Crosby 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Thursdays & Fridays

Painting/Drawing 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Mondays

Painting with Bunny Upton 12 - 3 p.m. Mondays

Woodcarving with Larry Roberts 9-12 Mondays 541-396-2579

Woodcarving 6 - 9:00 p.m. Tuesdays

Wood Burning 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Tuesdays

Play with Clay 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Thursdays

Ken Means Carving 9 - 12 noon and 6 - 9 p.m. on Wednesdays

Quilting 10 a.m. on Wednesdays

Appliqué 10 a.m. Tuesdays

Stained Glass 2:30 - 5:00 and another at 6 - 9 p.m. Mondays and Fridays 9:30 - 12:30

Fiber Arts 10 a.m. on Fridays

Yoga 6 p.m. Mondays No Classes during January or February.
Easy Lane Frames, 3440 Broadway, North Bend, 541-756-7638

Contact for information on a variety of classes.

Palette Knife Technique with Acrylics with Carolyn Le Grande is continuing on Mondays from 2 - 4:00 p.m. Call to see about joining this class.

Susan Lehman's Textures in Collage class has been changed to Sat., March 31st, 10 - 2 p.m. $40 which includes supplies. Beginners through intermediate.

Cartooning with Bandon artist Leo Chiantelli will be offered at the gallery this summer. Students of any age and ability are welcome. Class will be four sessions for $60. Supply list available at the gallery.

The gallery is interested in setting up some children's classes for summer. If you would be interested in teaching a class please contact Jane 541-756-7638.
Freshwater Gallery, 236B Hwy 101, Port Orford (next to Paula's Bistro)

Sundays, 3-5 p.m.: Figure Drawing with Model, $25

Mondays, 5-7 p.m.: Seascape Painting, $20 per class. For information: 541-332-8019 or 541-236-8077, or
Gallery on the Bay

658 S. Empire Blvd, Empire 541-888-3771

Lessons in painting pastel by Darrell Sanders.
Heritage Textile Arts Guild

157#A, Pony Village Mall, North Bend

Lessons available in wearables, kitchen linens and gift items.
Manley Art Center, Brookings

Call for class and workshop schedules. 541-469-1807
Rose Palette, Pony Village Mall, North Bend. 541-290-7858

Oil Painting classes by Carol Turner, 2:30 - 5:30 Mondays, $20 per class. You can reach Carol at 541-396-5373 for information on other classes as well.
Rosie's Art Carnival, 575 B Hwy 101, Florence

New Classes: e-mail for more information.

Fridays: Two Card Classes, one at 10:00 a.m. and the other at 12:30. Sign up ahead of time so a materials packet will be available for you.

Saturday, March 9th: Stampscapes Class with Cathy.
Sage Place, 11th & Elmira, Bandon

For a schedule of classes offered go to:
Southwestern Community College

Brookings: Saturday, April 7, 2012 1 - 5 p.m. "Containers, A Mixed Media Art Workshop". Learn to make a coiled fabric basket and explore containers as art and metaphor. Instructor Linda Mulvany

Gold Beach SWOCC Center (on the fairgrounds) 541-247-2741

Weekly collage class, Tuesdays 4 - 5:30 p.m. April 3rd, 10th, May 8th and 22nd. Rich and varied collage materials furnished to help you explore the possibilities and learn a variety of techniques.

SOCC, Port Orford : Saturday, May 19th, 1 - 5 p.m. "Aspect Dolls: A Mixed Media Art Workshop" Identify different parts of yourself and create mixed media dolls to honor those parts.
Umpqua Valley Arts Center, Roseburg

1624 W. Harvard, Roseburg, OR 97471 541-672-2532
Wright's Custom Framing 910 Chetco Ave, Brookings 541-469-7625

Drop in Art Workshop every Friday Afternoon 1 - 4 p.m.

Individual instruction in any medium; demonstrations in various mediums; critiques of completed work and works in progress. $12 per session. Just drop in and bring something you would like to work on, or need help with. Each week something new is presented during demonstrations.
Dateline Events:
*****Saturday, March 3, 2012 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Coquille Valley Art Center, 10144 Hwy 42, Coquille Quilt-a-Thon to make small "care quilts" to be donated to children at risk. All ages of helpers are invited. Those who don't sew can cut, iron and tie knots. Refreshments served. Contact Carolyn for more information at 541-439-2425.
Sunday, March 4, 2012 1 - 3 p.m.

Evergreen Court on the Campus of Baycrest Village, 4510 O'Connell Street, North Bend

Opening reception for the Plein Air Painters Exhibition featuring painters from Oregon's Bay Area and Bandon. Please join us for art, food and friends.
Thursdays. No meetings until March

Gold Beach Episcopal Church Easternmost end of Moore Street.

Figure Drawing. To confirm & for more information contact Alexandra
Calls to Artists:
*****2012 Southcoast Wood Carvers 21st Show & Sale will be held Saturday, March 24th & 25th at the North Bend Community Center, 2222 Broadway.

There will be 50 spaces available for woodcarvers to sell or display. For more information contact Ken Means at 541-396-4501 or
*****March 2, 2012 application receipt deadline

Art on Broadway, 12570 SW Broadway, Beaverton, OR is calling for entries of original artwork for their "Oregon Originals" Guest Show which runs March and April, 2012. $25 for up to two entries. Art to be delivered, (no digital entries for judging).

For more information see:
*****March 5, 2012 Postmark Deadline

Emerald Art Center, 500 Main Street, Springfield, OR Emerald "Spring Exhibition" National Juried Show. Cash awards of at least $6000 will be announced at the opening of the show.--14 paintings will be selected for cash awards. $35 entry fee for 1 or 2, $10 for each additional. Show runs May 1 - June 1, 2012. Juror is nationally known pastelist Dawn Emerson.
******Deadline March 23, 2012 to return application for Yachats: Crafts on the Coast 15th Annual Spring Arts & Crafts Festival, which runs May 26-27th, 2012, AND Crafts on the Coast 15th Annual Harvest & Holidays Arts & Crafts Festival Nov. 3-4th, 2012.

Call 541-547-4738 for application packet for both events.

First time participants are welcomed, and demonstrations of arts and crafts are appreciated. Festivals are juried separately with the May event juried at the end of March, and the Nov. event juried in August.

70 exhibitors of exceptional, gallery quality crafts, fine arts and gourmet food products from the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
*****April 14, 2012 postmark deadline

Coos Art Museum, 235 Anderson, Coos Bay,

19th Annual Maritime Art Exhibition. Show runs July 14 - September 22, 2012. $35 for up to 3 entries. Go to above website for prospectus and entry application.
Postmark Deadline March 5, 2012

Sequim Arts is seeking entries for its 36th Annual Juried Art Exhibit to be held at the Museum & Arts Center, Sequim, WA. Exhibition dates May 1 - 27th.

Cash and merchandise prizes totaling over $1500. Open to all adult artists. All work must be original in interpretation and composition, not copied from copyright or published art or executed in a supervised class, and must be for sale. Entries are $20 for the first entry, additional $5 each up to five entries. 360-681-4884
Deadline May 16, 2012 at 5 p.m.

Career Opportunity Grants, available from Oregon Arts Commission, help support individual Oregon artists by enabling them to take advantage of unique opportunities to enhance their careers through the development of arts, business or professional skills; expanded marketing capacity and/or the further development of the nature or quality of their artwork.

Grant amounts may range from $300 - $1500. A new collaboration with The Ford Family Foundation is now included with the application. To apply, visit http://www.oregonartscommission.ort/content/grants/ For more information call Shannon Planchon at 503-229-6062.
Deadline March 19, 2012

Artists are invited to apply to display their works at the third annual Sunriver Art Faire. Limited to 60 exhibitors, the juried show will be held August 10 - 12th. Submit applications at For more information visit
Deadline February 29, 2012 5 p.m.

2012 Art Contest to Benefit New ODFW (Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife) Habitat Conservation Stamp

Artwork must feature one of the fish or wildlife species identified in the Oregon Conservation Strategy in its respective strategy habitat. Announcement:

List of Species:
Deadline April 16, 2012 for postmark and/or hand delivery of application and fee.

"Exposure 2012" Photography Only show. Florence Events Center

Show runs April 30th - June 28th, 2012 $20 per rod, rod hold 3 photographs. For guidelines and application:
Submission Deadline: February 28, 2012

"Artworks NW 2012" (formerly "Hundred Valleys")

Umpqua Valley Arts Association, 1624 W. Harvard, Roseburg, OR 97471

Northwest Collage Society Spring Exhibition

Collage artists Susan Lehman of Bandon and Pat Snyder of Coos Bay each have had two of their collages accepted into the juried Northwest Collage Society Spring Exhibition at the Rob Schouten Gallery on Whidbey Island, Greenbank, WA showing March 2 - April 4, 2012.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


presented by Photographer's Forum Magazine and sponsored by SIGMA

PRIZES :: OVER $8,000


EARLY ENTRY Date: APRIL 16, 2012

Early entry fee is $4.95 per photo entered

(uploaded/postmarked on or before

end of day April 16, 2012 EST)

FINAL ENTRY Date: MAY 14, 2012

Final entry fee is $5.95 per photo entered

(uploaded/postmarked on or before

end of day May 14, 2012 EST)





$10 Value - Just for Entering!

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Enter Online at:

To Enter Prints or Slides by Mail

Download Entry Form:

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Fun, fun, fun…

Till your daddy takes your T-bird away.
That’s what the Beach Boys promised and you know the Beach Boys would never lie to you, they’re very honest boys.

I mean if you can’t trust five, clean-cut, blonde-haired, dazzling smile, Ivy-coated, surfer dudes before there was a surfer dude, who can you trust?

Excuse me while I pry my tongue from my cheek and continue, you really should listen to the fun part.

That’s right, I’m talking to all of you serious, dedicated artists out there, are you having fun yet?

If you aren’t maybe you should be doing something else. Let’s face it making a living from art in the big centers of art frenzy like L.A. and New York is tough, but out here in the wilds of Oregon, you could do better selling lemonade.

My favorite writing instructor, Lawrence Block, an exception to the old rule, “If you can’t do teach,” does, he does a lot, he does it well, he gets paid for doesing it and that kids is no easy trick. He says, “The odds of getting published are so remote you might as well write what you like. That way you will at least enjoy the process and if nothing else happens you won’t be left with shattered dreams, you enjoyed getting there.

Now that is sage advice for anyone working in the creative fileds, do what you like so that you enjoy the process of getting there.

I had forgotten that. I had, I’ve been so busy trying to get my life back on track after falling into the hands of the Croakers and losing six weeks to the hospital and missing all of the art shows of the Fall and Winter that I was frantic, trying to find new avenues and techniques to guarantee my place in the next big show.

I was crushed after spending a week or ten days working up a perfectly nifty design for the Ancient Americas show only to discover if I got a piece in I would have to ship it to the show and that would in the face of all of my indentures to the medical profession be prohibitive. There I sat with a perfectly good design and nowhere to use it. What a waste!

But it wasn’t. I learned something new, I dimpled my old brain and I came away with a little design which won’t do me any good right away but will someday and that’s the trick, I really enjoyed doing it and if it doesn’t pay off now, it will.

I had completely forgotten that at the time. I was so angry and disappointed and frustrated that I wanted to kick the cat. Fortunately all of my cats are too clever and too fast to be kicked by an old fart fresh from the Quacker and they ran circles around me until I was so dizzy that I had to sit down.

And while I was sitting two ancient 35 mm cameras fell into my lap. Okay, they didn’t fall, but they did come as a surprise and they did need attention.

They weren’t top of the line cameras, not at all collectible, not even something to make the audience gasp on Antiques Road show. They were just old film cameras in need of some love and understanding. I spent the better part of a week working on them. I had to search the Internet to find and download the manuals for them,

And then I had to find the proper batteries to bring life into their old tired bodies, I even had to scrounge around Goodwill to find a lens for one of them.

And you know what happened next? I got both of them working again and sent them back to their owners with the manuals and batteries and a word of caution. And I was left with nothing but the web address for manuals I no longer had cameras to wonder about.

(Read the instructions The three most important words in the English language Valentine’s Day aside, love matters most to the young at heart but instructions last forever.)

And yet, I wasn’t left with nothing. I had a lot of fun. I had a ball bringing life back to those old guys. The owner took them to a photography studio which shall remain nameless and was told that they weren’t worth fixing. Boys and girls, Rule 2, people in the business of selling you new anythings make poor consultants when it comes to fixing old things which just might serve as well as the new things they are selling.

Now I won’t claim that there was any ill will, maybe they didn’t even check the camera’s battery compartment, even though they should have known that without the correct batteries both of these cameras are paper weights. They won’t work at all, even the films advance lever won’t turn. Maybe they just didn’t care enough, but when I did check the batteries in one of the cameras were inserted in the wrong orientation with the negative post where the positive post should have been and you know electricity is very picky about that sort of thing, it doesn’t like it at all.

If the battery had been fresh and hot there’s a very good chance that the electronics on this camera would have been toast. But the batteries were dead and there was no harm, no foul. Except my pal got some pretty bad advice.

I got something else, I got the look of delight when I returned the cameras and saw the joy it brought the owner to have the old guys back on the job. No, modern, digital cameras can run rings around both of the old timers and don’t need a trip to the processing plant before the results can be seen, but there’s something magical about film which can’t be explained to those raised on the CCD.

Okay, so enough about the cameras, you don’t care about cameras old or new, you are an artist, a rigorous, demanding, exacting artist. You don’t compromise, don’t minimize, you don’t commercialize your art. You are an aesthete.

But are you having any fun?

Sure suffering for your art is a long held belief, but should it be something you take to your heart of hearts? Can you enjoy yourself and still be a serious artist?

I sure hope so.

See the reality is you won’t sell enough to make warren Buffett shake in his boots, Donald Trump won’t forsake his empire and but on sack cloth and ashes and Time will not feature you on its cover. Sure you may become a famous artist and I sincerely hope that you do, but in the meantime, while you are waiting, wouldn’t it be a good idea to enjoy what you do?

I told pal, this was a coupla years back so I have matured since then, I told her that photographs should look like photographs and that a little judicious tweaking, shifting colors and making some adjustments was fine but beyond that anything else was just a photographer trying to be a painter without having the skills. I was completely wrong.

I still think photographs should look like photographs, but photographs are a very plastic medium, they can look like a lot of stuff. And I stopped taking myself so seriously and started having more fun. Wanna see a seagull?

I’ll bet you have. Now take a look at my seagull.

Not so common, but what if it was to get a complete make-over?

Now it’s like one of those dancing Mayan patterns on the Central American pyramids.

What about a bicycle?

I found this one lying in the snow. But I thought it had more to say so I adjusted it.

Now it looks like Norman Rockwell had a word in my ear.

Is it a painting? No of course not, but it sure was fun. And that is what I am trying to have a lot more of these days.

The next time the Quack gets her hands on me I might not come back with the same skills, so I want to use what I have right now, while I still have them. That means enjoying what I am doing while I do it, returning old cameras to service, installing a hard drive in a nearly scraped computer or taking an ordinary photograph and making it a bit more interesting. Now that guys is fun, fun, fun…

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Finish it

I have been working on one of my books and I don’t remember working this hard when I wrote it.

Now you may say that’s because I’m a hack and I will admit that, I never had any ambition to write the Great American Novel, my heroes have always been pulpers, Dashiell Hammett, Rex Stout and Edgar Rice Burroughs, with a special nod to Walter B Gibson who as Maxwell Grant wrote two hundred and thirty-two Shadows novels. What devotion!

Jus give me a hero and a threat and maybe a mean, dastardly villain and leave me alone to write and I am content. Unfortunately that’s not all that has to be done.

The writing part is the easy part, just the word processor and a blank screen and word after lovely word and in time you have a novel.

And if that were all it takes, I would have five published novels and an income like J.K. Rowling and be living my life in the tabloids.

Fortunately I have avoided all that by being unpublishible.

That’s right, what I write will never be published. See publishing is a business. They want a guy or girl who can crank out a one hundred and fifty thousand word novel twice a year for the next twenty years and bring in half a million sales with each title. Do you have any idea what that takes?

That’s right; you have to find a way to hook the public. James Patterson has it, that’s about all he has. His books have become so formulaic that they aren’t worth reading, but that doesn’t stop hundreds of thousands from buying each new title. His “Girl’s” Murder Club, he thinks its Women, but none of the women in his stories are mature enough to be anything but girls, has nine titles in the series. There are even more Alex Cross titles and probably will continue so long as he wants to keep writing. I stopped reading Alex Cross when Patterson named his villain The Mastermind. Oh Good Grief! The Mastermind?

But his publisher is happy. And that is really the most important thing, cause a happy publisher is a driven publisher. You sell half a million copies and they’ll send you more than a month old box of Valentine’s candy, you can bet.
To even get a publisher you have to jump through enough hoops to make art look like a smart way to earn a living. You have to write the thing. No one is going to take your word for it, if you don’t have the finished copy you got diddly.

Then you have to start looking for an agent. Sure you can send it in without an agent…do you like the DMV? Let me tell you sending in a book “over the transom” is like going to get your license renewed on a Monday, it will be Thursday before your number gets called and by then you may be too weak to stagger to the counter. “Over the transom” submission don’t even go to the bottom of the pile, they get read, in their spare time, by under-paid, over-worked assistant editors and if they like it after all of the thousands of books they read, they might just pass it on to their boss. Why not just buy a Lotto ticket? You’re odds are better.

If you get an agent to look at your book, you have to convince them that they can make money flaking it cause they don’t get paid if they don’t sell your book and they won’t do a thing with something they can’t sell.

You can self-publish, don’t make a face, Mark Twain did it with Huck Finn and that seems to have worked out. Amazon even makes it pretty easy, so long as you submit your social security number and banking information. Try just leaving your car unlocked the next time you go shopping, the results will be the same and walking is such good exercise.

Jack the Giant Killer had it easy compared to the writer trying to get a book out of his computer and into the bookstores.

But…the biggest obstacle in front of any artist, writer or not is the oldest one, finishing what you start. You can’t do anything if it isn’t finished.

Did you frame it? Did you mat it/ did you go back and create a glossary if you used words which are made-up or not standard English?

I didn’t. Yeah, I know bitch and prod, whine and complain and then be guilty of what you are moaning about.

So that’s what I’ve been doing all day, creating that glossary and it looks like its going to take several days, maybe even a week or two. But there’s nothing to do but do it, cause you have to finish it. You have to finish what you start.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Silliness for Artists


His dizzy aunt ---------------- Verti Gogh

The brother who ate prunes---- Gotta Gogh

The brother who worked at a convenience store ------ Stop N Gogh

The grandfather from Yugoslavia - U Gogh

His magician uncle ----------- Where-diddy Gogh

His Mexican cousin ----------- A Mee Gogh

The Mexican cousin's American half-brother --------- Gring Gogh

The nephew who drove a stage coach --------------- Wells-far Gogh

The constipated uncle -------- Can't Gogh

The ballroom dancing aunt ---- Tang Gogh

The bird lover uncle -------- Flamin Gogh

An aunt who taught positive thinking ------------- Way-to-Gogh

The little bouncy nephew ---- Poe Gogh

A sister who loved disco ---- Go Gogh

And his niece who travels the country in an RV --- Winnie Bay Gogh

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Enchanted Hours

For the last several days I have been crawling around in the innards of two old thirty-five millimeter cameras.

Now why would anyone do that you ask? I mean everyone knows film is a dead medium. Digital is the ONLY way to go.

And yes, everything you’ve said, you didn’t really say it cause this is a blog, but you would have said it if you’d had one of those nifty, neat and cool, Dick Tracy writs radios, wouldn’t you? Course you would cause you know a thing or two and you have every right to express your opinions and when you see someone driving off a cliff it is your duty to tell them, “Hey you’re getting ready to drive off a cliff.”

So I’ve been told and it didn’t do one bit of good, cause I am a resurrectionist. No, not like Burke and Hare the Scots grave robbers of the nineteenth century, I love to try and bring back life into old stuff. I’m sitting next to a stereo system which cost thirty-seven dollars. It has a receiver, five disc changer and a turntable for LP’s. (If you aren’t old enough to remember LP’s get someone to explain them. They’re like Frisbees with a greater purpose and you could use them to listen to music before there was a tinny Ipod to carry around. Besides the old vinyl records sound better than those MP3 thingies and you can’t get Jackie Cooper’s band playing the theme to Hennesy on MP3. Yeah, I know, you don’t know what Hennesy was. Take it form me there was funny long before Seinfield.)

See I scrounged around at Goodwill and the Salvation Army looking for parts for my Frankenstein and over the years I’ve managed to put together two respectable stereos that way. No, they aren’t as cute as a Bose and they don’t have an Ipod dock, cause I don’t have an Ipod.

Back to my story, I got them because one of my pals have them lying around catching dust and didn’t know what to do with them and besides film is dead so they might as well go to the junkyard.

This wasn’t helped any by a double-breasted, hounds toothed, oil slicked photo expert who said, “Film is dead. These things aren’t worth anything to anyone and you should toss them before you trip over them and do yourself an injury.” Okay, maybe the injury part was made up, but that was the jest of it and it was just plain wrong.

It is true that film cameras are not in demand these days. Digital is just so easy, you point, shoot, download and print and it’s all done and over.

Back in the old days, you never really knew what was lurking inside the magic box, might be the next Ansel Adams or just a blurry piece of silver-coated plastic. What you thought I was going to say POS? No way, I’ve never seen a POS come from a camera. True I didn’t always get what I was aiming at but I always found a use for what I did get.

So my pal, brought the two cameras to me and said, in effect, “They’re junk, play with’em.”

The first part was wrong and the second part was right and that’s a fifty-fifty average which is not at all bad.

Okay so the first step was to check them out. Fortunately cameras aren’t all that complicated, one end has a hole in it and the other has a flat carrier to hold the treated plastic. You let light in through the end with the hole and move the plastic along so that you only take one image per measured section, unless you are in the advanced class and want to do a double exposure. Yes, tell them that’s what you had in mind even if you did just do it by accident, it’s always better to claim you did it on purpose.

Took a while to clean things up, nothing nasty or foul here just too much time sitting on a self not working and that is as bad for a camera as it is for a human. Once they were clean I could get into the insides and see what was working and what wasn’t.

Okay, now for the part where I fess up and admit that I do not know everything there is to know about every brand of camera. I used Miranda cameras when I was doing film and I had four or five of them and they never let me down. I also found that when you are working away from your home-20 it helps to have a machine which can use multiple lenses designed for something else and something cheap enough so that you don’t want to jump off a cliff if you drop it in the river. So if these had been Mirandas I would have been ready for teddy. But they weren’t.

Fortunately the Internet makes this sort of thing easy and it only took a coupla hours to find the correct user manuals. Good thing too. I never used a completely automated camera and didn’t know that one of my new toys has to have battery power or it is a paper weight. The other news flash was half of the problem with that camera was the batteries were inserted upside down. I wouldn’t have known without the manual and batteries for this sort of camera only run down every six months or so so I am pretty sure my pal either forgot which way they went of lost the manual and couldn’t refer to it to find out. Batteries in and presto, chango it works! Not only does it work, but it has more double-secret stuff than a house full of Deltas.

I was enchanted.

The other old timer wasn’t so far wrong either, it just needed a bit of cleaning and some touch up and it sprang to life too.

So now I can go back to my pal and say, “Tak’em they’re yours and they work.”

Of course to be really sure, I’ll have to run a roll of film through each one and wait on the developing, but in the mean time I can send the guys back home. It will be a hoot to take the pictures by later in the week and see the expression of the face of someone who thought I was administering Last Rites when al I was doing was applying a Band-aide.

And what do I get out of it? Seven, maybe eight days of unadulterated joy playing with the senior staff members, not to mention learning all about two brands of cameras I never had a chance to use in my film career.

They say that learning new things, not just taking on the daily crossword in the paper helps fight off Alzheimer’s. I don’t know and I do the crosswords too, but they don’t give me the jump-start trying to bring back old technology does.

And yes, when the film comes out of the soup I’ll give you a look. But why don’t you see if there’s some obsolete technology you can try. Just changing the tools and techniques you use might fire off your creative juices. You never know, there might be a cave painting in your future!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Pushing the Envelope

Submission Deadline: February 28, 2012

"Artworks NW 2012" (formerly "Hundred Valleys")

Umpqua Valley Arts Association, 1624 W. Harvard, Roseburg, OR 97471
Submission Deadline: February 28, 2012

"Photoworks NW 2012" (formerly titled "Best Photo")

Umpqua Valley Arts Association, 1624 W. Harvard, Roseburg, OR 97471

Random Acts Of Time

Call for Art: Random Acts of Time


OCCCA Call for Art: Random Acts of Time

Curator and Juror: William Moreno

Online Entries only, click here to enter! 
Deadline for entries, March 31st, 2012 
Exhibition Dates: May 5th - June 23rd, 2012
Juror Statement 
This exhibition investigates our relationship to the concept of time, the choices we make and the random, uncontrollable events that shape our lives. From the moment we begin our journey into the cacophony of the world - a series of decisions, choices and twists of fate guide us - often lurching or blissful and occasionally tragic. What have we chosen for ourselves? When has our hand been forced? Where have random or serendipitous events changed our course? When have we triumphed? What have we lost? What have we remembered and forgotten? Time is a recurring thematic in artists' works - witness the public response and fascination with Christian Marclay's 24-hour montage The Clock. Exploring that inexorable passage via divergent points-of-view, media and imagery demands introspection and perspective. This exhibition will investigate what binds or propels us, notions of conscious or unconscious experiences and the narratives we collect as we negotiate our lives.  

About the Curator and Juror  
William Moreno is a curator, writer and director of William Moreno Contemporary which mounts periodic exhibitions. He was most recently the Associate Director of ArtPadSF, a hotel- based art fair. William was the founding Executive Director of the Claremont Museum of Art and the director of The Mexican Museum, San Francisco. He has organized and overseen numerous exhibits including: Karl Benjamin: Conversations in Color; Ephemeral: Explorations in Light: an international, multi-media exhibition featuring contemporary light-based installations and sculptures; Multiverse, delving into the hypothesis that physical reality exists within a set of multiple, parallel universes and Vexing: Female Voices from East LA Punk, which explored a singular music scene. 

He has been a featured panelist addressing topics ranging from the contemporary role of museums and the international art landscape at San Francisco's Commonwealth Club, the American Institute of Architecture, Latino Art Now Conference, William Turner Gallery, ArtPadSF, Flagstop and others. He has appeared on KCET's series California's Gold as well as other media. William serves as board President of LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions) and on the Advisory Board for the California Associations of Museums.


Orange County Center for Contemporary Art
117 North Sycamore
Santa Ana, CA USA, 92701

Orange County Center For Contemporary Art
117 N Sycamore. Santa Ana, CA 92701
714 667 1517 · Hours: Th & Sun
12-5pm, Fri & Sat 12-9
1st Saturday Receptions: 6-10pm

OCCCA is located
at the corner of 2nd and Sycamore in the
Santa Ana Artists Village.
There is no entrance fee.  Please see the web site for more
information, , or call the gallery during regular operating hours.
# # #

Orange County Center for Contemporary Art
Is an artist run
California nonprofit corporation.  OCCCA affiliate artists are committed to presenting contemporary art exhibitions in an atmosphere conducive to discussion without censorship.

OCCCA is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation and all donations
are tax deductible to the fullest extent provided by law