Sunday, June 17, 2007

Locked away in the studio

Hey everyone been locked away in the studio the last week I've been home. I have to try and get stuff done when I can. As of late I have been trying to work on my next book proposal. I have had some thoughts on this for a while and now trying to get something to my editor to make the pitch by the end of summer. I think I have a pretty good least I like it... Not going to give anything away yet, but here's a photo of a piece I recently finished for the proposal.
Sorry this is all I can show right my buddy Jane Wynn would say "tee hee hee"

Thanks a bajillion for all the great responses I received from everyone about the book. It's still doing well...hooray. There are a few souls out there who are a bit surprised that it is not a traditional "how to" book, but it seems like most of the responses I have received view this to be its strong point. I was pondering this and I'm not sure I could write a traditional "how to". I just don't think that way...and I think there are many people in the same place. I don't read instructions...i just muddle around until something works. This is both restrictive and liberating all at once. Hey, it's not my fault I can't be that organized, it's my brains fault.

Last week spent some time in the Bay area. Taught a workshop in Danville at the Stampers Warehouse and then in Berkeley at Scrapbook territory. Great time at both places. In Danville I taught in the same shopping center that I worked at during high school. The video store (Take One Video) is no longer there. At the end of the hotwheels class we had the big race...ironically there was a big car show in the parking lot. Ferraris etc. Our cars were cooler.

In Berkeley, Dianne the own of Scrapbook Territory took me to the Albany Bulb. This is a stretch of beach/park across from S.F. that was at one time a dump. Now it is an amazing art park that perpetually evolves. Since it was once a dump, discarded objects such as car parts, scrap wood, etc. are used to create the most magnificent sculptures. I didn't have my camera with me but I've found some images off the net. Here you go.
this photo by jennconspiracy

Off to the Boston area tomorrow. First teaching at Stamp Act, then to Absolutely Everything. On Tuesday before class, meeting up with my friend Darryl and my friend Bernie and going to check out the Joseph Cornell exhibit at PEM in Salem. That should be great. Go here for more info
So yes off to another airport I go...I wonder if they have studio space on airplanes...I'd like to look into that. Maybe I'll just rent an aero-partment...that would make serious sense lately.



Karen Cole said...

You will LOVE the Cornell exhibit!! I went twice when it was in Washington. The rooms were darkened and "moody", it was magical. My favorites were the "slot machines" of the Medicis, the homage to Lauren Bacall and the fact that they had some of his actual collected "stuff". Boy did I want to take something home.The blue glass he used is incredible.

Have fun.

Anonymous said...

I just finished your book and loved it. Look forward to the next one!

Alix said...

Wow, Michael, I can TOTALLY see where you're going with the book based on that photo. Are you sure you want to give that much away? ;-)

I wrote up my experience taking your Danville Hot Wheels class in my blog entry, "Is the Pen Mightier Than the Sword? Let's Find Out!"

Thanks again for the fabulous class and all the great techniques! In my blog, I don't describe the actual techniques you taught, of course, but I hope people who read it are now intrigued to sign up for more of your classes and read your book. I know I am looking forward to taking another class from you in the future.

Oh, and THANK YOU for my fabulous prize!

Joy Logan said...

WOW do I love that statue made of scraps.It would look great in my yard!

Sue Berry said...

Just wanted to say I love your book, particularly that it's not the run of the mill "how to" type. I don't want to know how to make art like you, I want to know how YOU make art and this book certainly give us an insight into your creative process. Thanx for being different! Sue x (in England) PS It was great meeting you at A&S!

Ro Bruhn said...

WOW Michael, I've just received your book today. I love the layout and the format, the book's a work of art in it's own right and soooooo much eye candy. Can't wait for your next one.

Anonymous said...

Love the scrap sculpture Michael how cool is that.

Deb said...


Tried sending this by email, but it keeps coming back to me as undeliverable, so I'm sending it as a comment...

I was lucky enough to take your polaroid class at A&S in Portland last
year, so needless to say I have been anticipating your new book.

It came in the mail Friday, and I have been in a state of absolute &
total INSANITY ever since.

"Insanity," as in - I can't tell you how INSANELY HAPPY this book makes
me! I cannot quit thinking about it. Cannot put it down.

I am so, so glad you chose to do the book the way you did! Another "how
to" instruction book would have been okay - many of us would have bought
it just to see your work.. BUT THIS!

I'm certain your editor had to fight like hell to get such an unusual
format published. Oh, how I'm glad she DID!

OMG! Getting into your HEAD this way is strictly genius. And clever. And
instructive. And inspiring. And (need I say it?) FUNNY!

You have such a gift with words. You were meant not just to be an
artist, but a writer. (Maybe a comedian too?) I thoroughly enjoyed not
just seeing how your art evolves (sometimes planned, sometimes not), but
reading about the process, including your constant need for coffee (I
can't live without it either). Somehow, slipping in the mundane
happenings of your every day life (like the dogs, pattering in covered
with rain) with the creation of your work makes all of us feel that our
seemingly futlile "efforts" at creativity are not in vain. And it is
comforting that an artist's life is full of both the glamorous, "aha"
moments, as well as the "oh, great, if I don't do the laundry I won't
have any underwear" times.

I have to tell you ... when I first opened the book and saw all the
writing ... my first thought was, "Good Lord. I'll NEVER read all of
this." But after the paragraph of "Notes From An Alchemist," I was
hooked. Totally. Here I was, immersed in the legends of Amaterasu &
Shiva & Orpheus - & how their traits and characteristics relate to that
of an artist. Mesmerizing!

And the artwork! Don't even get me started. The way you interpreted the
Gods & the stories. I'm agog. (or should I say, "agod.")

And the notes about your scavanging hunts! Living in the west myself
(down here in Cody, Wyoming), I can so relate to those quirky, stubborn
characters. (I was especially amused by the woman who refused to sell
you the frames without the artwork. What a loon. She could have cared
less if she could have sold the paintings seperately & made twice the
money. By God, she had RULES, dammit, and she wasn't going to break
them!) Having those little stories sitting over to the side, in notebook
form, was like getting two books in one. The creative, intelligent,
artistic Michael on one side - and the Yee Ha, adventurous, nutty
Michael on the other. Pretty darned cool.

In essence, the description of your book on the back cover is only a
"tease." The book is so, so much more.

I can hardly wait for the next one.

Once again, congrats. I'm off to enjoy a Bloody Mary (complete with a
celery stalk.)


Joe said...

Hey there Michael, Joe Nickell here. Sorry to use this forum to leave you this msg, but....well, your email link bounces, your listed phone number is dead, and I need to talk to you. Could you call me? Thx...Joe 523-5358