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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thankful: for Life, The Universe, and Everything

Billy Corgan of Smashing PumpkinsI've been tweeting "Thankful: for" updates for awhile. Things I realize I take for granted usually. There's so much to be thankful for in this Life. What is there to not be thankful for? All Life has purpose. If you look at everything without judgement, instead with love and understanding, it's hard sometimes to even differentiate objects because the world is so bright.

"Siamese Dream" by Smashing Pumpkins came out when I was in high school, probably around the time I started painting Vinyl Art. I was definitely one of those angsty teens to whom Corgan was speaking. I didn't really know it or acknowledge it, but his fuzzy voice and guitar echoed the fuzziness of my emotions. I didn't know what the hell was going on in the world.

I did latch onto music, fortunately. It's seen me through, really. I wouldn't be where I am, doing what I do if my Life's soundtrack had been different.

So that's why I do what I do, giving thanks to those who've created by contributing back to our culture as I can. I just said that in my monthly email newsletter, to which you can subscribe by emailing me. But it bears repeating. I am SO thankful to all of you who read my blog, check out my art, follow my updates and connect with my work in one way or another.

You help me give thanks.

Peace. And Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Am I Good?

Paul Brady

If you have passion for what you do, put yourself into it, care, then you've asked yourself this question.

Does it show self-doubt? Does it encourage discouragement? Does it mean you aren't?

I think all it means is that you're human. And humans are good. By definition.

Yes, like all artists and those who take care in what they do, I am racked by self-confidence issues every once in awhile (like today). It's not rational or reasonable, it's not predictable, it's not preventable. It's just an emotion that overtakes us who live.

Give it its due. Value its purpose. You needn't look outside yourself for the answer. You needn't look inward either for a response. That's its value. It is. As are you. Let it serve as a reminder that we are simply living, being the best beings we can be, and doing as we are.

You are, after all, the only you that will ever be. So, of course you're good.


SOLD - Paul Brady 11/20/09

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My Better Half, Musically

Dave Matthews
"I didn't just marry a beautiful woman, I married a record collection." - anti_tomwaits

Me too. My wife's taste in music has had a HUGE impact on what I listen to regularly now. All the modern British bands, the Black Crowes, The Jayhawks, Dave Matthews, Kings of Leon, The White Stripes, and honestly, The Rolling Stones are new to me since meeting and marrying my wife. I wouldn't have gone to any of the concerts we've gone to as well, meaning I wouldn't have done a lot of the travelling we've done.

This isn't to say I don't listen to what I used to as well, it's just that what I care about in music has changed. Words. Emotions. They matter as much or more than the artistry of the music now. Before I listened largely to ambient techno instrumentals and prog rock. Now lyrics matter. Voice matters for how it moves me. Jeff Buckley, Nick Drake, you know.

I'm just so dang lucky. And now we're going to have a baby! And the John Lennon nursery, totally her idea.


SOLD - Dave Matthews 11/19/09

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Happy Birthday To Me! Again!

Kelly Jones of Stereophonics

Last year I gave myself Amy Winehouse.

This year, Kelly Jones of Stereophonics. I recorded the album with my iRecord before painting this. Such a good album. Excellent on vinyl bought from Juno Records.

This is the official video for one of the best songs off this album. Watch it. Listen. Turn it up if you can. You'll understand why they're one of our favorite bands.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Giving Back(spacer)

Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam - (i) inspired by photo by Paul Martin
This piece is another for the fellow who commissioned these. This one is for his wedding's MC.

An artist friend asked if she could interview me. Today she sent me a list of really good questions about my art. Really good. I'll definitely share her post when she's got it up.

Answering her questions left me very excited about my artwork. See, I love culture. My parents exposed me to all kinds of creativity, both seeing and doing. I saw museums, plays, musicals, concerts. I did art, piano, writing, gymnastics. As I grew up, I kept adding to my creative aesthetic. Listening to Pearl Jam's "Ten" as a teenager, the perfect timing for the explosion of grunge in my life, left an indelible impression.

Contributing to that culture which has enriched my life is one of my main goals with my art, both Vinyl Art and Liter(art)ure. I love the idea of giving back. Getting to paint Eddie Vedder on the band's new album, inspired by a photographer's captured moment is a dream.

And goals and dreams do come true. I'm proof as so many projects I'm involved with right now have to do with giving and celebrating our shared culture. I hope you share it with me.


SOLD - Eddie Vedder 11/17/09

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Forecasted Shower

Peter Gabriel - (i) inspired by photo by Trevor Key
Nicole bought us some seriously cute, soft stuff for Abbey through my baby barter deal. And she wanted Peter Gabriel. Very cool.

Speaking of Abbey Grace, my wife's baby shower is coming up this Saturday. We're so excited because of the guest list. Far flung family are flying in, all spending at least one evening with us. Those that are also staying the night are planning a second round, late night party too! I get to be here for that part.

It'll be so fun to get to show off our nursery. We'd bought a whole bunch of the Carter's John Lennon Collection when it was available. Clothes, basinet, blankets, bouncer, playard, crib sheets, frames, bookends, stuffed animals - my wife stashed it away. Then once we were pregnant, we color matched the main colors and I painted the nursery. The sun is on the ceiling circling the ceiling fan with the ceiling and walls a soft sky blue. I painted John Lennon animals and flowers around on the grassy hills, with birds perched above the door and closet. Here's a shot of the crib and some of the painting taken from the rocking chair:

John Lennon inspired nursery There are more shots in the baby barter deal post. Once Abbey's born, I can tell I'm not going to want to leave her room.


SOLD - Peter Gabriel 11/10/09

Monday, November 9, 2009

Impishness On Fire

Fire Imp by John T. Unger

Last Friday was John T. Unger's birthday. I got this from him that same day, the piece he traded with me for an unframed Robert Johnson. This is Fire Imp #12 in raw steel, cut from scrap metal left over from his firebowls which are in turn made from scrap propane tanks.

I talked about John and the legal battle in which he's engaged. Since then, he's founded Defend Art, an organization designed to help artists nationwide with legal issues both financially and informationally. How cool. Good coming out of a really messed up situation.

If you haven't checked out this post of his, I strongly suggest you do now.



Thursday, November 5, 2009

'Tis The Season

Gord Downie, Miles Davis, Tom Waits, Bob Marley

As we near my wife's due date, time is getting wacky. It's almost my birthday! Then all the holidays. Man.

Imagine throwing a wedding into the mix?

The fellow up in Canada who has commissioned these pieces is getting married early December. My wife and I got married late December, but we did it in Vegas, baby! He's apparently doing the whole deal as these four are for his groomsmen. How cool! What a neat idea. All get basically the same thing, but personal for them. It adds that edge of thoughtfulness.

I am finding that my Vinyl Art makes for a great gift, for any occasion. People seem to feel much better about splurging on art if it's for a loved one.

I certainly know I'm thinking pretty much only about things to give Abbey once she's born!


SOLD - 11/05/09

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Show And Tell

Vinyl Art @ The Goodfoot

This past weekend, Vinyl Killers 7 was open and is now online. My 5 pieces are still available and can be bought online.

The show looked HUGE! Every year it keeps getting bigger. This year, Jason used my Tom Waits from last year for the poster. Very cool.

The nice thing about these group shows is the new audience that gets exposed to the concept. Recently it's become apparent how helpful taking advantage of every opportunity for exposure can be, online and off. Profiles with online galleries I created long ago have brought new customers while the new video has done the same.

All it takes is one person at a time. I've said that before, but it deserves to be mentioned again. I really don't pay much attention to the ups and downs of the numbers of people following me on various sites. That doesn't have any impact on my business. I sell work to one person at a time. Heck if someone sees my work online somewhere, gets the concept, and moves on, that's great! If they bookmark it, share it, or contact me, even better. But I don't expect people to follow all that I do. That'd take, well, as much time as I take doing it!

So I show you what I do, as I do it, and tell you about what's going on that's relevant. If you get hooked, cool! If you say to yourself, "Hey that's neat!" and think about it months later when figuring out a birthday present, awesome! If you go, "Wow!" and then tell all your friends right then, beautiful!

That's how the ripples spread, and that's how that one person connects. That's how I get to do what I do, that I love SO much. So thank you for what you do that helps. You, one person.