Tag Archives: art

the barron

StoreyTalk_web[with Barron in L.A. at the Bert Green Gallery]

I don’t think that there is an artist who has inspired me more than Barron Storey. I am not alone in this.

There isn’t much that I envy of others, except, perhaps, to have been in one of his classrooms while he was teaching at The California College of the Arts. I am a public college fine art school drop out.

Too late now, I’m afraid, for all of that. I’m self-taught, mostly, and it’s through practice that I’ve become remotely proficient. Through much trial and failure. I suppose that could be said of most anything, in my case – lots of trials; lots of failures.

BarronSig_web[inscription in my Life After Black book, images excerpted from his visual journals]

In the midst of all of those, though, are the wild successes. Things that I’ve made that I can hardly believe came from my hands. Pieces I’ve written that I barely recognize as having been borne of my mind. But the proof, as they say, is in the pudding.

I think artists (ALL artists… writers, painters, actors, circus performers, musicians, sculptors, mimes, burlesque dancers, opera singers…) are speaking their truths, expressing what society so desperately needs to hear but seldom voices.

That is our purpose.


mango-oranges and the essence of happiness


I was out and about, walking the neighbourhood on this semi-sunny winter’s day. I’ll take a break from the rain where/whenever I can get it.

Home now – early afternoon and it feels like late afternoon, what with the “golden hour” glow. The days may be lengthening but it still feels like awfully short days.

There was a huge bear of a husky type dog parked out in front of Starbucks, and I couldn’t help myself – we visited. It’s ears and head were soft and smooth, while the rest was wiry and downright huggable. I’m glad it allowed me to spend some companionable time with it.

I’m getting ready to journal. I lit some white sage and waved it around the place, brewed myself a cup of coffee and I’m ready to start on some pages – or at least the first.

I’ve started with a quote from Thoreau (“There is no beginning too small.”), provided by Lisa Sonora Beam as the first of her free 30 Day Journaling Project. I have also sketched the three runes that I pulled the other day (kenaz, dagaz, nauthiz), as I contemplated this new year from its crest.

I’m feeling contemplative and feel the need to – well – contemplate. I’ve been out of touch with myself for a while. I need to reconnect.

I paid my rent. I picked up a bit of food.

It strikes me that I seem to appreciate things more when I have to consider (very carefully) where my money goes and what it is spent on. Like buying a mango-orange (because I’ve never had one before) and then cutting it up and savouring it, slice-by-slice, because I had to pull from the little I have to purchase it. I had to choose it in favour of something else. It’s sad that I must always be at the end of financial fluidity to grasp this… preciousness. Somehow, when abundance flows, the magnitude of my appreciation diminishes. I know that is my issue (perhaps not just mine but the world’s in general).

When I have, I seem to become desensitized and less grateful, or want else and more. When I yearn, I feel like I am missing out. But here, in this place of barely having but HAVING, there is the sense of fleeting and immense gratitude. Things taste better; feel stronger.

Again… if only I could hold this space when I am not so desperate, when abundance flows and I am still fully aware of the gifts, every single one.

Perhaps my chosen word for the year : FOCUS : will help me with this. Because focus connotes so much more than it’s meaning at face value and is applicable to much, from choosing projects, then working on them in a concentrated manner, to figuring out what I can contribute to the world and make a living from it, to… the delicate taste of a mango-orange rolling on my tongue.

I suppose happiness is not a constant – things ebb and flow and it is the way, but I think recognizing it when it’s there and holding space and appreciation for it when it happens, that is the key to it.


I was listening to this from Ray Charles yesterday. He mentions how he is grateful for his sense of touch. I am too.

When I was younger, under certain conditions, my sense of touch and my experience of colours intermingled (synesthesia). While I am highly sensitized to colour, I would say that touch is the sense that I am the most keenly aware of.

As an artist, using my hands -touch- in making visual art is an inexorable part of my creative process; it is what makes it a visceral experience.

Flora Bowley (who I only know through her videos) so aptly captures the spirit of this in her art making process. Go… check her out.

rainy weather, recaps & online dating


Well, the rain has returned. We had a nice little stretch of sunny spring goodness, so much so that the dandelions and all manner of other wild flora are blooming with abandon. I shouldn’t lament, but I will anyway, though I am now equipped with some rockin’ gum boots and a red hooded spring rain jacket that I managed to blow the two top buttons off of in less than a week. How’s that for superhero protuberances? Guess sewing is on the chore roster this weekend.

Speaking of superheroes… last weekend was the Vancouver FanExpo, this city’s version of Comicon wonderment, which I had the pleasure of attending.


It was (obviously) smaller than the (’08) San Diego Comicon, which is the only other con of this sort that I’ve ever attended, but it did the trick. I was slightly disappointed for the lack of representation from comic publishing outfits (of which there were only two: Arcana – a Canadian outfit, and Aspen), but the fans were out in great number, and they dressed for the occasion. Maybe next year I will too. (Or not.) But seriously… where was Drawn & Quarterly and any number of the big players who must *surely* have enough cashflow to throw some of it towards a booth to connect with the Vancouver fan base?

I found plenty of places to throw *my* money at, as there were many retailers selling books of all kinds of the comic variety, and the artists in the Artists’ Alley (like Diagon Alley, only different) had some pretty sweet art prints for sale. I made acquaintance with some new (and local) artists whose work I wasn’t familiar with, and picked up some small print zine-type stuff which I always love to find but can’t seem to outside of these sorts of venues (or at Meltdown Comics on Sunset, which is no longer just a hop in the car and a drive up the 405). I was also one of the few people going around with a sketchbook and asking for (free) sketches from artists. It’s not that I was being cheap (because I’m not) and I pretty much picked up something from each of them, in the way of comic books or graphic novels or art prints.

On Saturday I had the privilege of attending a Q&A panel with James Marsters and Juliet Landau (find them on YouTube), both of whom were lively and disarmingly engaged with the audience. I’ve never been to an unmoderated Q&A before, so that was interesting and quite delightful. The questioners (mostly) behaved. The lovely Juliet complained of allergies and puffy eye issues, so had on these awesome little sunglasses, and James was trim and dressed all in black looking very yummy. As Dru would say… “rrrrrr-uff!”

And finally, after sharing my newly acquired Process Recess volume 3 (which was one of my new acquisitions obtained at the con) with a gal sitting across from me during my ride home on the Westcoast Express a couple of days ago, come to find out that she is one of the mobile app designers at POF (Plenty of Fish) and we had a rousing conversation about all things art and online dating. She encouraged me not to give up on the process, which I had pretty much determined wasn’t working for me. In light of that conversation I asked a (male) friend of mine to write a profile narrative as if he were me – maybe I’m just not going about it the right way. Let’s see if it’s any better than what I’ve been able to come up with. I guess perhaps removing my Blowjob Princess award I received on one of those silly OKC (OK Cupid) tests from my profile was a good place to start.


Turquoise & brown… almost done

Watercolor on 400lb cold press Arches paper…
Still a work-in-progress… but closer to being done

The latest development on my turquoise-brown postcards. I think I’ll be doctoring up two of the nine cards once they’re cut up, but I think I’m done painting now. It’s funny… I just get bored with something and even though it’s not ‘zactly perfect, I’m ready to move on to something else. As my friend Sanaz from work would say: “It is what it is…”

Oh… the souffles never happened, but I did make some kick-ass crepes on Sunday morning for me and Gabriel. 🙂

Some collected pieces



(Click to see enlarged view in separate window)


I’ve slowly been collecting pieces of artwork from some contemporary artists, and these are the few pieces that I have. From left to right: Amy (Hernandez) Hay: Woodcut print entitled “Proud Love”; Juliana Coles: Mixed Media piece entitled “In Harm’s Way”; Sandra McCall: Mixed Media piece entitled “Window to my Art”; Eileen Straiton: Mixed Media painting entitled “Refusal”.


(Click on image for larger view)

I took Gabriel and his two buddies, Raza and Bhaktiar to the pool yesterday afternoon. It was hot and lots of people were out. After exhausting my other options (catnap, reading) I finally pulled out my Moleskine and did some sketching. These are twenty second gesture drawings… hard to get something down on paper when people are (almost) in constant motion. Well… that and the fact that I have come to realize that I really, really need new glasses…

It’s hot again today, so I expect we’ll be back over there and I’ll have more opportunities to sketch… or catnap…

Egads… my toe!

Well… I stubbed my toe last night, on my way onto the patio to drop the load of dirty clothes I was carrying into the washing machine. The darned patio door rail got in my way! 🙂 It’s ringed with purple today, and it’s one of three things… strained, sprained or broken… who could tell? Not much to do with a pinkie toe… except take some anti-inflammatories, put it on ice very once in a while and maybe down a margie with dinner tonight.

I received some more ATCs in the mail today. I love getting artsy things in the mail. Makes me feel loved (even if it meant that I traded, fair & square). I have some issues, as you may already have guessed. I figured I’d maybe post some of the older ATCs that I’ve done, for kicks ‘n jollies. This batch here was my very first swap. I’d never made them before and I was fully hooked. I got some very cool ones in return, too. I like the kind that are hand-made, or you can tell someone spent a bit of time on ’em, and added their “finger print” to them, if you know what I mean. What I find great about these things is that they’re small enough so that you don’t have to invest a WHOLE lot of time in them, but even a bit of time is sufficient to get some really cool real-honest-to-goodness art.

Alrightee then… I need to go take that ibuprofen I mentioned earlier… and maybe lay down a bit… I have a feeling we’ll be Mickie D’ing it instead of margarita-ing it, since tonight’s dinner plans will be established by my 9-yr old son, who worked really hard on his homework all week, and deserves a treat.