Wednesday, May 15, 2013


I love that plants can survive some really cool mutations.
Fasciation. Google it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Homework and the art of not giving a shit.

Some things are so beautiful, that our eyes refuse to accept them, and we are caught in a short circuit of the senses. Our brains trip, and our eyes gasp to take it in. Art generally leaves me regretful. Like fast food. It seems like a good idea, but afterwards, you just feel gross, let down, and kind of wish you hadn't been so lazy to cook a real meal. A lot of art does that to me. It never reaches beneath the surface, aimed more at superficial emotions and causes, and rarely moving past the residual angst of adolescence.

The work of Marco Mazzoni is on a different level. It quietly explodes in your brain, rendering emotion useless. It's not often that something is so beautiful, it makes me want to stomp and crush my little plastic bin of art supplies into oblivion, in a fit of jealous insanity. Especially when considering this work was accomplished using the simplest of tools...the lowly colored pencil. Had it been crayons, you would be watching my story on the news. "Crazed man rams car into local art supply shop..."

Fucking brilliant work.

You can find his work here...
 Marco Mazzoni

P.S. I have not completely abandoned this blog. Only mostly, until school lightens up a little.  or..until I master not giving a shit about homework. I may practice a little bit right now.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Lisa the Mormon

Here you go, Lisa!
This is a drawing I did of a friend of mine about 12 years ago. She was always goofy, but I liked this picture for showing a more serene side of her. Lisa, I'll give this to you the next time i'm in southern california, if you're around.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sweet Sixteen + fifteen

I spend my time, as most people do, confining myself within an imaginary spiderwork of flawed perceptions. I button their plaid up to my neck, cinch their leather tight around my waist, and knot their lines, like anchors onto my feet. Like everyone who stands before a mirror, I see what other people see, but am not reflected. All day I squirm, seran-wrapped in expectations, with a crooked smile scorched over clenched teeth, to distract from the trembling anxiety pooled behind my eyes, the way feral creatures do, hoping to escape their kennels. It’s not until I shed it all, that the haze clears, my blood feels hot again, and breath comes to me, not in gasps, but in the cool tendrils of air stretched through unlimited wilderness.

I used to think wild places existed far from wherever I was, and to experience them, took great effort, expertise, and equipment to experience. I’ve hiked mountain trails, the way most people do, with heavy boots, stomping like a stormtrooper, punishing the wild earth for not being a sidewalk. Five years ago I started hiking barefoot, and have never regretted it. Even the shortest walks on the smallest trails became delicate and treacherous. Where I once crashed through brush like a steamrolling REI-sumo-donkey, I now experience every vine, flower, blade of grass, and thorn. The pace is slower, but more fluid, and much more involved. It’s a rare intimacy to no longer walk on the earth, but in it. I find birds, squirrels, and even deer no longer scatter at my approach, but linger like I am no longer an intruder. The anxiety of hyper-awareness that has no outlet in normal life, is perfectly in place amid the bushes and willow trees along the river. Every sound and movement has meaning and purpose. The wind through the cottonwood trees gives each leaf its own voice, and their swishing conversations remind me why I generally don’t give a shit what people have to say. There are no untruths here, only the true and honest melodies of life, with secret lyrics unlocked by simple interest.

The elderberry trees, called hunqwat by the Cahuilla, are ripe with fruit along the river. For thousands of years this tree has been harvested by cultures all over the world for its medicinal properties and delicious fruit, but seems mostly forgotten, or ignored. While the twigs, leaves and branches have higher levels of toxin, the berries and flowers are edible, and have historically been used to make wine and syrups. I spent the morning gathering clusters of the deep purple berries. Their ripeness is signaled by a dusty white coating, as if having been dipped in powdered sugar.

The clusters hang just overhead and out of sight of the typical trail joggers, focused on their feet, that frequent this trail. I forget sometimes how startling It may seem to the ordinary white women, trotting along in pink spandex, pony-tails flip-flopping, when they encounter a shoeless brown man standing in the bushes with a knife and a bag. I’m surprised I haven’t been pepper sprayed yet. “No, I’m just picking berries officer.”

I collected a bag full of berries in less than an hour, and have more than enough to last all year. The most difficult part is removing the berries from the clusters. A little shake will dislodge most of the berries, but any small twigs must be removed because of their toxicity and bitter flavor. I made three pints of elderberry liqueur that will be ready by Christmas, and three jars of elderberry syrup. The syrup tastes like a mix of blueberries and blackberries, and while at home on pancakes and waffles, works magic mixed with whiskey and ice. To preserve them, the Cahuilla typically dried them and stored them in baskets. I prefer the freezer bag in the freezer method.

In a few weeks the blackberries will be ripe, and hopefully I'll have time to scavenge and make something good.

Friday, August 5, 2011

staring problem

So, I've attempted to draw Amy's portrait. It turned out..OK. Her eyes are kind of wonky, but I think I got her goofy smile. I used the col-erase colored pencils that i like for sketching, but for this they proved to be a sunnovabitch. It's a lot easier to make corrections with regular graphite pencils. These things take off a lot of paper when you erase them. meh. Also, she kind of has crazy eyes, but so does the real Amy. It's been a long time since i've drawn an actual portrait. I need practice.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sometimes I finish things

Painting: Done
Math Final: Done
Bio Final: Done

The summer semester just started, and it's already over. I have two weeks to stuff with art, camping, fishing, lounging, margaritas, and Amy. I wish the northern california beaches weren't such freezing, jagged, sharky, tubs of misery. I miss the south bay of L.A.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A mess worth making

I've started work on a painting for the first time in almost six years. I had kind of hoped it would be like I'd never left, but my artistic hemisphere is muddy, and my hands feel like goofy lobster mittens. The brushes grab too little, and too much. Colors make no sense to me anymore, and my brain jerks between over thinking and under thinking, like a teenager learning to drive stick on the side of a hill. I don't realize how much I enjoy it until i walk away from it. The incredible mess I make of myself is fantastic. Gold paint smeared through an eyebrow, purple on the inside of my ear, and my hands, like i didn't even use brushes.
I'm having to relearn a lot about it, so I'm trying to stick to a color palette I'm familiar with, greens and purples. I'm not totally happy with how it's turning out, or where it's going, and the board is smaller than anything I've painted on before, but It's a good start I think, after a six year hiatus.