Monday, May 31, 2010

Sketched-Out Monday...the extremely travel weary edition 5-31-10

Hey everyone
I am soooooooo tired...had to be at the airport at 4am est this morning then when I finally got home had a flat tire...and spent several hour in a tire shop.  Just what I wanted to do.

So here are a couple of sketches for this weeks episode that I did...
and this I did in a coffee shop

I thought I'd show you my latest Hipstamatic airplane photo too.  Beware if you sit across from me on an airplane, you may end up on my blog.
Happy Memorial Day

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Dusty Diablos: In the Flesh

Dusty Diablos on Display
Attention Missoulian! or anyone in the Missoula area next Friday.  An exhibit and book-signing will be 
going down at Studio Gallery.   It's an exhibition of the work in my new book:
 Dusty Diablos: Folklore, Iconography, Assemblage, Ole!
Dusty Diablos: Folklore, Iconography, Assemblage, Ole!
Stop by to check out the work

Dusty Diablos Exhibit
Studio Gallery
June 4th - 30th
Opening June 4th 7-10pm
1001 South 4th St West Missoula MT 
Corner of Oak and 4th

Needful Things

Well one more set of workshops on this East Coast trip.  Hampton Art and Soul was great.  Good to see so many dear friends.  Next was Angela's Happy Stamper...great to meet new friends (and those who did classes in both know who you are Heather).  Now I'm at Random Arts in Saluda, North Carolina.  Mask Class starts tomorrow...

In the meantime
In between planes and classes I had a day to play.
Started of a Mean Mr. Mustards Cafe In Hendersonville.   Amazing breakfast.  Go right this second.   and yes there is Beatles music always playing.

So I headed to my favorite place to get goodies when I'm in this neck of the woods...Needful Things.    I know what you're think I like this place because its the same name as a Stephen King novel...well, sure that is part of it...but as far as I know the devil does not own the joint
Actually there is nothing demonic about this place it has merely has... needful things.  I can attest to that. Last year I was doing my Mad Alchemists Cabinet class and the day before class I realized I didn't ship enough printer's trays (which was the base from which we were working from).  I freaked.  I frantically rushed in and within an hour we found 10, which by the way is pretty unlikely.  I had enough for the class exactly.  Now, what I didn't ask was whether my soul was still intact after I purchased them.

Today I stopped by....not frantically, but leisurely.  Not sure what I was looking for.
To get there you need to head to the Bat Cave....No not this one:
...this one...
I wasn't sure I was going to find anything needful this trip.  I did like this collection of puppets
I also have to tell you that not everything in this place is needful.  For example:
and the ultimate not so needful thing...this:
Yes...a glowing chick.  
So I was feeling like I'd walk away empty handed...then I saw this:
A little dressing box...not sure of the exact name.  Wasn't exactly cheap but I'll be able to do some nice things with this.  An Apothecary Chest, for instance.

Then I had a nice lunch with my friend Nicole McConville in Ashville.  Great to see her...check out her art.  Lots of boney things, spiny things.
You can find her stuff here:

So that was my day...nice and relaxing...very needful thing.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sketched-Out Monday 5-24-10

Its another episode of Sketched-Out Monday.  Don't have much time to chat. I've been busy zooming around.  Just finished Art and Soul Hampton.  Reston VA at the Happy Stamper, the next couple of days and then to Saluda NC this weekend at Random Arts.  Whew.  See some of you there!

Okay here are a few I managed to do on a couple flights and layovers.  More Strange Angels
Got to fly

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sketched-Out Monday 5-17-10

Periodically I post sketches on my FaceBook wall.  Usually it is while I'm enjoy a croissant and coffee at the world famous Bernice's Bakery in Missoula.  It is interesting to me because I usually I get a very positive response when I do this.   Perhaps the reason is that  perhaps people are familiar with my assemblage but they are not privy seeing the process of thought that goes behind the creation.  I should mention that not every assemblage starts with a sketch.  Sometimes I work on sketches to resolve certain issues after I've started on a piece...or sometimes I just work on sketches for the sheer joy of drawing...or as Mike Myers used to say as his character Simon: "DrawRing".
It was mentioned to me that perhaps an interesting thing to do would be to post my sketches once a week, every week.    Well the idea seemed like a good one to me so without further ado I'd like to invite you to the first installment of: Sketched-Out Monday 5-17-2010

Here's one I did on a plane ride a week or so ago...Captain Ahab.  It would make a nice shrine.  I'm looking for a toy whale and then maybe I'll get rolling on this one.  

This is a pretty raw sketch.  I have a small figurine in the studio that looks like this in this case I'm trying to get some bright ideas.

Some of you saw this on FaceBook.  This is St. Michael battling el Diablo.  I have a piece in the studio that I've started; snake headed devil being jostled by the gear propellered Michael .   I'll  show you the assemblage when I get it a bit further.

This is Archangel Gabriel...just an idea I'm working through.  After I finished this I was looking around and it just so happens that I have two trumpets in the studio.

Those savvy with Tarot will know this guy right away.  This is the Magician.  This is a very quick sketch.  Most of my drawings start this way...very fast sketches that might get filled in later...or not.

Well that's it for this weeks episode of Sketched-Out Monday.  I'll be posting another batch of sketches next week.  Same Bat Time same Bat Place.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Oaxaca Itinerary

As some of you know my Oaxaca organizer, Colleen Darling was just down in Mexico scoping out the sites and trying to figure out this year's Day of the Dead Workshop itinerary.  I think she's come up with a great bunch of excursions.  Going to be fun...October will be here in no time!  This does not include the class description, for that click here: 2010 Class Description
With no further ado: 
deMeng de los Muertos: October 25 - November 3, 2010 
Join Michael for a workshop in Oaxaca, Mexico.  Oaxaca is a beautiful, friendly, historical and culturally rich city in southern Mexico.  Home to some of the finest folk artists in the world, Oaxaca abounds with ceramics, textiles, tin, wood carving, jewelry, and more.  There is also an exciting contemporary art and photography community based here.   The food and restaurants are exceptional and friendly people make it a pleasure to visit.

Throughout our 9-day stay people around the city will be getting ready for Dia de los Muertos.  Every home and business will be setting up altars and preparing for the feast.  The photo opportunities are endless.  Each time you head out the door for the Zocalo or just a walk around the neighborhood something new will catch your attention.  Flowers on the street corners, students in school altar competitions, book fair, traditional dancers, mariachis, and so much more!

We hope you can join us this year.
October 25 (Monday) Arrive in Oaxaca and get settled after a long journey.  Enjoy a walk to the Zocalo (town square) for dinner and sight seeing in the evening.

October 26 (Tuesday) Breakfast 7:30 –10:00 A.M.  Class begins at 10:A.M.  We will walk to the Zocalo to explore our supply options.  The market, religious store, hardware, paper store and lots of treats along the way will help us all get oriented to the variety Oaxaca has to offer.  Lunch at 1:30 Return to class.
Dinner 7:30 at La Catrina de Alcala

October 27 (Wednesday) Breakfast  Class begins at 10:00 A.M.  Lunch at Maria Bonita.   Evening free.

October 28 (Thursday) Breakfast   Tour 9:00 A.M. to the CaSa art center and the paper making factory Arte Papel Vista Hermosa in San Agustin Etla.  Housed in a former textile mill this art and cultural center offers expositions, music and a film series for the people of Oaxaca.  We will visit a woodcarver and have lunch in the countryside.  Evening free.

October 29 (Friday Breakfast.   Class begins at 10;00 A.M.  Lunch at La Olla Return to class.  Evening free.

October 30 (Saturday) Breakfast   Class begins at 10:00 A.M.  This is the final workshop day.  Time to put the finishing touches on your work.  Get ready for the good, the bad, and the ugly.
  Lunch at Maria Bonita     Evening free.

October 31 (Sunday) Breakfast  9:00 A.M. Tour to the Mitla ruins and local cemetery, Tlacolula market and a rug weavers home .  Lunch in the countryside.  This is the first night of the Dia de los Muertos celebration.  We will visit the city cemetery.  All around the city ofrendas are being made, sand paintings around the Zocalo and so much more.  It is an amazing experience, hard to describe and I can’t say enough about the friendly people. Please ask before taking photographs.

November 1 (Monday) Breakfast   Free day.  Take this time to enjoy the city and all the celebrations going on.  Lunch on your own.  A walk to a small cemetery for anyone interested.   Dinner 7:30

November 2 (Tuesday) Breakfast  Our last day in Oaxaca to spend as you wish.  Shopping, eating, drinking or just sitting in the Zocalo taking it all in.  I can make arrangements for anyone interested in going to the museums, Ethno-Botanical gardens, Monte Alban or any other site you would like to visit

November 3 (Wednesday) Breakfast   Fly away home
Double $2100.
Single   $2400.

Returning participants  $100. discount
Deposit:  $250 to secure your spot.  Full payment is due September 10, 2010.  Please pay by check; I am unable to process credit cards.

Colleen Darling
950 Ballard Canyon Rd.
Solvang CA 93463
Airfare is not included.  When searching for airfares the Oaxaca code is OAX.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Ghoulish Glow

My friend Andrea Saujani recently asked me about something in my work she called a "ghoulish glow".   Of course me being me...I was smitten with the term and she made me promise to give her credit if I used's you're "Ghoulish Glow" credit.

What she was referring to was a glow that seems to come from inside the piece of art.  It has nothing to do with Patrick Swayze...just so you know.
Though admittedly there is a bit of Ghoulish Glow to this poster art.

 Here's the piece she was referring too when she brought it up.  The Kali Mama piece.

Where you can really see the effect she was talking about in this detail shot from Brush Boy.  See how there is a white glow emanating from is body and his face.  Well that is "Ghoulish Glow".
I use this effect a bunch.
Here are some of my more recent uses...the Blue Meanies
All these samples have a bluish cast thus the "ghoulish" quality, but it can be achieved with any color really.  Basically what the deal is that you start with a white surface.  Next start laying down a bunch  of washes...okay now here is where the glow comes in... you dry-brush white or another opaque color over those darker areas.  Leaving hints of the lower layers.
You see all those darker colors(reds, browns, blues) on this cute little duds face...well those are actually below the whitish layer....the white is the most surface layer though it doesn't look it.
So that is the secret of Ghoulish Glow. I wanted to show you some photos in which I have been achieving the same type of effect.  I've been playing with my Hipstamatic App and been coming up with some very nice shots.  Before I show the photos...I should mention the App.  It's pretty nifty. 
 You can change lenses and flashes and film to create a whole range of effects.   

I created these effects by accident at first but honing in on the method.  This first one is a nice photo but not quite glowy enough

This one is ok.  Getting closer to the "GG"

Okay this was the one that where I started getting the hang of it.  A self portrait on my last flight.

For me this is the best "GG" shot to date.  I'm still trying to duplicate the exact method.  It's tough because it is a mixture of lenses, flash, film, but also the lighting has to be just so.  I also noticed a slight jiggle in the camera helped the last two effects.  I took this on the same plane ride as the self portrait.   I hope my traveling companion doesn't mind the exposure...double exposure....I crack myself up.
So have fun "GG"ing whether with paint or your Hipstamatic.

Bowling in Hollywood

Bowling in Hollywood

Hey gang,
a quick trip to LA...there and back again. As some of you might know I was down there not too long ago...a few weeks ago in fact. But I am a giganto Peter Gabriel fan so when I found out he was playing at the Hollywood Bowl, I was there. More on him in a moment.

I should mention I was staying in the city of my birth...Glendale CA. Never really lived there...just born there. But I do remember passing Eagle Rock when visiting my grandparents in Pasadena.

First night had a nice visit with a bunch of my friends at Tamara's (of Zinnia in South Pasadena)...Joe and Paul and Suki and Judi Delgado and Tyn were all there. Very civilized. Wine, cheese, everything else you can imagine and Judi Delgado brought the scones...very civilized indeed. And here we are:
(yes I had every intention of taking a group shot but...the wine I think...anyway this will have to do)

Next Day
I headed down to Melrose Av and hung out there. For a bit.

Lots of cool graffiti

Lots of second hand Clothing shops for have to have a lot of balls to own a place like this:

and then I came across a nifty retro antique store
Off the Wall Antiques

for those of you looking for a giant shrimp or perhaps a Napoleon and Marie Antoinette doll.
Very nifty place

but what I was most smitten with was this:
A Barange automated display
It was a company from S. Pasadena that made jewelry displays this one has small diamonds moving down a conveyer belt as the moving workers work. When the diamonds reach the center the oven glows red. 
 Out the other side the continue down the conveyer belt but much larger.
If I had a spare $6000 I would have picked it up in a snap. The owner of the store told me a bit about the Baranger company. Big in the 30's and 40's, then he showed me an image of one that recently sold for $25,000. The piece on the cover of this book:
Apparently the couple stays put while the saucer spins around them and the moon above rocks gently back and forth. Way cool.

So that was my day in Melrose.
Then later:
Met up with some friend to see Peter Gabriel. Here I am with Dawn, KD, and 2/5s of Mike
Dawn and Mike brought the picnic basket and we dined before the concert in one the nice little areas around the Bowl.

then to our seats...the show was close to beginning
(No I wasn't in London...this was the only image I could find of the poster.)
I mentioned that I have been a big fan of Peter Gabriel for a jillion years. He always puts on amazing shows...visually as well as musically. I was intrigued by this show because his latest album is all orchestral and all covers.
Scratch My Back
Its an amazing album and I know that he was doing the show the same way.

The only seats we could find were in the boonies.
but it didn't matter it was phenomenal. The show was in two parts. The first was the entire album start to finish and then the second part was a reinterpretation of his older works using an orchestra.
I truly hope that they put out an album that includes those arrangements...that was excellent. Not to mention we got a nice light show with the Hollywood Hills in the background
This was my first visit to the Hollywood Bowl, and I have to say of all the places I've seen concerts...this is by far my favorite. I will return.