Thursday, July 31, 2008

On The Drawing Board: Tiger Tat

One of the finishing touches I've added to my latest is a tiger tattoo. It's not something I planned at the start; in fact there have been a few things I added or changed from my initial idea. The tattoo is one of those things that just adds to and enhances the direction the painting took me.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

On The Drawing Board: The Latest Buzz

A nice rainy day with not a lot of other obligations or business matters to attend to, allowed me to spend quite a few hours on actual art work!

It felt great and I needed a nice relaxed day. I also needed to put things back into perspective. When it comes to my art work, I have found that I do it because I enjoy it. When it's not joyful it just becomes a job. I have to feel passionate about the pieces I do. I can't feel obligated to produce more, or try and churn out images that I think will appeal to buyers. I just have to do what I want to do. That's something I've always tried to maintain. My mind may get distracted by outside forces from time to time, but I just remind myself of what it's about, not money or pleasing others, but rather about enjoying what I am doing and that puts me back on track.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Well Hung

A few pics of the gallery with my work hung on the first day of the show. I don't have any pics of the reception, since a certain boyfriend, forgot to take pictures.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Appreciating Art

When the Lyman-Eyer Gallery took me on and decided to represent me, I did not know what to expect. Exhibiting is one of the aspects the art biz that I have not ventured into very often. I knew of the Lyman-Eyer Gallery and also knew that it is one of the leading galleries that deal in male figurative works in this region. I knew my track record and that I've have done fairly well over the years considering that people are buying my artwork over the Internet and not seeing it in person. I was pleased to learn that the gallery owner knew of my work. I know I have my own book, appeared in others, have my own calendars and been in numerous magazines, but it's really hard to gauge how well known my work is.

So what would this union of my art and a major gallery bring, especially in this economic climate? Well, happy to say it's gone beyond my expectations. The gallery started displaying my originals in mid June, and as of today has sold 9! I've always priced my work on how well it's selling. As an artist that's really all you have to go by. Of course one likes to think each piece is a priceless masterpiece but it's really the buyers not the seller that makes that determination.

In just a month or so with the gallery I can already see how my work is being elevated, valued and appreciated, and it's happening quite quickly. Over the years I've made modest increases based on how quickly my inventory is moving. Yet selling 9 at the gallery and another 6 through my website, is like nothing I've ever experienced before. I'm excited and nervous. It's a funny business, Art.

Looking back at sales of originals over the years, I am really amazed. Just 4 years ago framed originals sold for an average of $1000-$1200. This year it looks like they will average $2700-$3000. I certainly 'appreciate' my buyers for giving me the opportunity to earn a living with my work and am happy that their investment in me will be worth their while.

Work & Playlist: July 18, 2008

  1. "Stamp Your Feet" - Donna Summer [Weeks at #1 -2]
  2. "Out There on the Ice" - Cut Copy
  3. "Juliet of the Spirits" - The B-52's
  4. "Fly Away" - Erasure
  5. "Unreal" - Yello
  6. "Wow" - Kylie Monogue
  7. "Apologize" - Michael Christopher
  8. "Pocket Full of Sunshine" - Natasha Bedingfield
  9. "Say My Name (Damien J. Carter Mix)" - Discobrothers ft. RuPaul
  10. "Carolyna" - Melanie C
Green denotes new entry into the top 10.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Server Error

I am sorry, yet again, for the shoddy performance of my webhosting company, EMC. If you tried to access my or site over the past 3 days you most likely encountered this:

Server Error

The server encountered an internal error and was unable to complete your request.

JRun closed connection.

As is always the case, they were fixing or tweaking something without notifying me. Every time they fix what isn't broken they manage to make the site not work. Of course this always happens when I have something going on. This time it was the pre-order of the 2009 calendar, (and thanks to the dozens of you who did manage to place your orders). The site went down a couple times on Tuesday, then was down for 15 hours yesterday. This morning it's down yet again.

Yes, I've bitched about EMC for their buffoonery and their pompousness (they always seem to know best even when they are wrong). Now I'm not a sadist. I have a new hosting company. But rather than just move the site over, Mark is taking this opportunity to build a whole new site from the ground up. So we want to make sure it's ready and working before switching over. But, I cannot wait to not have to deal with EMC ever again.

So if you're wanting to pre-order the calendar, buy something else, or just browse my site, rest assured that it will be back up. If you are on my newsletter list I'll be sending out an email to let you know when things seem to be okay. I had planned to send one out today... we'll have to wait and see.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

On The Drawing Board: Fresh Cuts

For the past couple of months I have been preoccupied with doing special works just for the show, and have tried to keep a lid on those pieces. Now with the show over I am glad to be back to my old routine and am looking forward to sharing what I am working on, on a regular basis.

This is something I came up with a couple weeks ago and am finally able to get started on it. My initial inspiration was military in nature but the more I thought about it the more I realized a shaved head is more than a fashion statement or practical. The military and other groups use it as a means of unifying, sometimes imposed other times by choice. I noticed a lot of the 'bears' in P-Town sported a buzzed noggin' as well.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

"Escape" a Summer Hit

Well, thanks for all the notes of support and to everyone who made it down to the show this past Friday. I had a great time meeting and greeting many new faces and some familiar ones. A few more sales during and since the reception has brought the total to a whopping seven originals sold since bringing my work to the gallery just under a month ago. Some framed prints and numerous print orders have been made through the Lyman-Eyer gallery too.

It was fun, despite my shyness and aversion to meeting people, but a little white wine, and Jim Lyman the gallery owner keeping things moving made it just great.

After the show, Edward and I were joined by four friends, Andrea, Colleen, Melitta and Lauren, at the Mews Restaurant for an exquisite meal...and more wine. I think our table might have been haunted though. The light at our table would dim and brighten, go out completely then come back on. Our cute Latin waiter, Roberto, thought we were crazy (or intoxicated) for a while, but he finally saw it too.

Perhaps my dread of art receptions is waning because I am looking forward to doing it again!

An ounce of Pretention...

Now I know not everyone will love my artwork, they may not like it, understand it or appreciate it in any way, and I am fine with that. I am not doing it to please the masses. So when I heard that one of Provincetown's newspapers, The Provincetown Banner had passed on covering my exhibit, it didn't really bother me. The gallery owner told me they don't usually cover exhibits that run less than two weeks anyway, and with my last minute venue change I was lucky to get the time for the show that I did. However, I have had brushes with the Banner in the past so I know they have a prudish attitude when it comes to anything sexual, especially male.

When I heard that two of the women, I believe it was the editor and arts editor, poked their heads into the gallery with my show hung, turned up their noses, derogatorily remarked, "this is soooo Tom of Finland" and promptly left, is when I got ticked.

Like I said I could care less if they put me in their pretentious paper. But, I am appalled by the fact that these two 'women' running a paper in gay mecca P-Town would so off handily dismiss the work of Tom of Finland. Like his work or not, most gay men would recognize it whether they know who drew it or not and it has had such an impact and been a mirror to gay culture. I have gotten many comparisons to Tom's work, and while I see vast differences, I am certainly honored to be in his company. The fact that they have no understanding of Tom's work and didn't even bother to try to understand mine seems a bit brash for a GLBT community and an artists community.

It's these overly pretentious types that have always soured me on the 'art community', but at least in contrast, I have always found other artists to be open, welcoming, and receptive to my work, whether they be male or female, work in male nudes, landscapes, or abstracts.

I also have pleasure in knowing that they made the same omission when Steve Walker had his first big showing in Provincetown. So I'd much ra ther be in the same company as Steve Walker and Tom of Finland than in the P-Town Banner.

I have found out that the member of the Banner staff who made the actual comment was not one of the editors but an ad rep..

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Sweet death by High Fructose Corn Syrup

I know this is completely off theme, but it's my blog and can do what I want! :-)

Experts are finding that "high-fructose corn syrup" (HFCS) is making us fat. Scientists at nutrition research centers are saying that it's a huge problem. The stuff is banned in Britain and Seattle-area food cooperative PCC Natural Markets has removed all products containing the controversial ingredient from its shelves. I just cleaned out my own fridge and pantry.

Exactly what is "high-fructose corn syrup"? Well, it's not the same thing at all as the natural, healthy fructose in honey and fruit. "High-fructose corn syrup" is a highly refined, artificial product. It is created through an intricate process that transforms cornstarch into a thick, clear liquid. White sugar and "high-fructose corn syrup" are not the same. Industry advocates for corn growers say that they are the same. But nutritional science studies say that there is a big difference between the two. They say that "high-fructose corn syrup" is worse than sugar.

This manufactured fructose is sweeter than sugar in an unhealthy way, and is digested differently in a bad way. Research has shown that "high-fructose corn syrup" goes directly to the liver, releasing enzymes that instruct the body to then store fat! This may elevate triglyceride (fat in blood) levels and elevate cholesterol levels. This fake fructose may slow fat burning and cause weight gain. Other research indicates that it does not stimulate insulin production, which usually creates a sense of being full. Therefore, people may eat more than they should. Indications also are that the important chromium levels are lowered by this sweetener which may then contribute to type 2 diabetes. Obesity is a contributor too.

The worse news is that HFCS is found in so many food products. As you might expect it's found in soda, jellies, cereals (even Special K & Smart Start), and ice creams to name a few. But it's also found in things such as Cool Whip Lite, Reduced Fat Wheat Thin, pickles, Nutri-grain bars, ketchup, Breyers Lowfat Strawberry Yogurt, Powerade, cough syrup etc.

Why so much HFCS? Well for one, it has a long shelf life and two, the US Government has imposed such high tariffs on imported sugar that High Fructose Corn Syrup is a cheaper alternative. These tariffs I imagine are to protect the corn farmers.

Childhood obesity more than tripled between 1975 and 2005. HFCS was not part of the human diet until 1975.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Feature in the Denver Gayzette

If you're in the Denver Colorado area pick up a free copy of their leading GLBT magazine the Gayzette. The July issue features Rope on the cover and an interview with me inside. If you're not in Denver you can download a .pdf copy of the issue.

Another New Work: Blue State

The color blue... the bright beautiful sky, the cool spray of the seacoast, a feeling of serenity and tranquility, a sense of true freedom and a 'live and let live' attitude. It is a calm and peaceful moment, your Zen. Your mind relaxes and you drift into a Blue State.

Blue State
is another of my paintings done specifically for my upcoming show. To purchase the original, contact the Lyman-Eyer Gallery. Full size limited edition gallery, limited edition studio, and open edition portfolio prints are available for purchase. The Day of Issue sale is on until around Midnight ET July 2, 2008.

New Work: Rope

A measure of a cowboy's worth is his abilities at roping, a practice tracing back to the great horsemanship traditions of the Spanish conquistadors, to the cowboys and vaqueros of the Americas. This skill is at once delicate and rough, utilitarian and entertaining.

I released Rope last week. The original (which already has a buyer) will be one of the star pieces at my show next month in Provincetown, but limited edition Gallery and Studio prints are available for purchase.