Friday, December 16, 2011

Crafty Fest 2011

I will have a booth at this year's "Crafty Fest" in St. Petersburg. Crafty Fest is a Indie Holiday Market run by Artpool Gallery that takes place the weekend before Christmas. This year there will be over 30 booths full of local people selling all kinds of handmade goods. I will be there selling a lot of my smaller paintings and a few of my larger older ones. Crafty Fest takes place tomorrow the 17th and Sunday the 18th from 11am to 4pm each day. See you there!



Friday, December 9, 2011

Wicked Winter Wonderland Show

I have three pieces in Artpool Gallery's "Wicked Winter Wonderland" show. It is at Artpool's brand new location at 2030 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg, FL, right across from Haslam's Books". The opening reception is tomorrow night, Saturday from 8pm to 12am.



Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Chewy Van Gogh No. 2

Here's another portrait of Chewbacca based on a Van Gogh painting:




Chewy Van Gogh No. 2, 2011

24" x 30", oil on canvas


The background and posture of Chewy in the painting come from one the several portraits Van Gogh did of his friend and mailman, Joseph Roulin. I tried to paint the table, chair and background as it was in Van Gogh's original painting, but Chewy's fur wound up looking more stylized than expressive. Below is the portrait of Joseph Roulin I was using for inspiration.




I was going to do a whole series of portraits of Chewbacca based on Van Gogh's six paintings of Joseph Roulin, but I think I'm done with this idea. No more Wookies!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

How Bad Do You Want It?

This is a great inspirational video that makes me realize I probably don't want it all that bad.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Chewy Van Gogh

Chewbacca is the star of my latest painting:


a painting of Chewbacca

"Chewy Van Gogh", 2011

20" x 24", oil on canvas


I based this portrait of Star Wars' Chewbacca on Van Gogh's "Portrait of the Postman Joseph Roulin". At least the background of flowery wallpaper is based on one of Van Gogh's many portraits of his beloved postman. It would've been too much for me to try to paint the whole painting like Van Gogh, but I did try to loosen up and paint in a more expressive style. I painted quickly, and the whole effect for me is a painting that is "unfinished". But I am resisting the urge to embellish it any further. Below is the portrait of Joseph Roulin that inspired my Wookiee portrait.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Abnormal Art Show

I took some work up to St. Petersburg yesterday for an art show. The Art Pool Gallery is having an art show celebrating scary or dark art this month. The reception for the "Abnormal Formal" is this Saturday, the 22nd, from 8pm to 12pm. There is also a fashion show there that goes along with the art show at 10pm the same night. Should be interesting.



Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sarasota Punk Fest '99

I recently purchased a video capture device and, I've been capturing some old VHS tapes for myself and friends. I captured some footage of Sarasota Punk Fest 1999 for my friend Hal at Forever Escaping Boredom Records, and I posted the sets to Vimeo.



Reversal of Man:





Jiyuna:





Neuman Portentium:





Portrait:





Spirit of Versailles:


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Popped Culture Mention

Well, well, looks like one of my paintings actually got posted on a popular website. Popped Culture is a new one to me, but they do have a Technorati authority of 486. That's 485 points better than me, so I guess it can't hurt. Maybe it's time to make those Matlock t shirts now.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Snooki and Her Pet Unicorn

a painting of Jersey Shore's Snooki with a baby unicorn

"Young Lady with Unicorn", 2011

24" x 26", oil on wood



I finally finished my copy of Raphael's "Young Lady with Unicorn" with its more contemporary young "lady". I always liked Raphael's teary-eyed baby unicorn, and I've had it in the back of my mind to try and do a copy of his painting for a while.




Contact Forms Part 1

Well, I've been fooling around with my website this week. I added a cute little redirect page from my old domain at clogginsart.com to my new one at chetloggins.com. I had both domains pointing to the same webfolder, but I want to phase out the clogginsart.com domain. For now the old domain still has a higher search engine ranking, so that's why I have the redirect page.


I also finally made a contact form for my site. Making a "simple" contact page has turned into the hardest thing I've ever done in building my new site. Since I have a Microsoft package with my hosting company, I had to try using ASP to send the completed email form. I had no experience with ASP, and I couldn't even get the script my hosting company provided me to work and neither could technical support. So it appears if I want a real functioning contact form I'm going to have to move my site to a Linux server and use PHP. That means my site will probably be down for a few days.


In the meantime, I have a simple html email form with a very simple mailto: function, which defeats the point of having a contact form in the first place (hiding your email address). This "simpler" version also doesn't work properly. As I have it now, people fill out the form fields, click send, and the form opens up their email client (if they even have one) and sends me a blank email. I tried both the "get" and "post" methods. With "post" it would show the completed form fields in the email client, and then it looks like it sent it. But I get nothing. At least with "get" I get a blank email with the sender's address.

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Blob From Brno

I just found out that Czech architect Jan Kaplicky's radical blob design for the Czech National Library in Prague will finally be built after all. But it won't be a library. It will be a bus stop. I wrote about Kaplicky's struggle to get his design built a couple years ago on this blog, so I was very interested when I heard that his blob design was finally going to see the light of day.


Apparently Pepsi sponsored some kind of design competition for public art in the Czech Republic, and the winner adapted Kaplicky's controversial design for a new national library into a simple bus stop. Petty bureaucrats in Prague may not have liked the design for the library, but it's alright with Pepsi. The Blob is the "choice of a new generation"!


The bus stop blob is supposed to be completed by the end of the month, and what makes it so interesting for me is that the new bus stop will be in an area I am personally very familiar with. The Blob will be among the blocks of apartment buildings in the Lesna suburb of Brno. I lived on Sramkova in Lesna for six months back in the winter and spring of 2005, and my wife still keeps her apartment there.


Below are pictures of the proposed Czech National Library, and the proposed new bus stop in Brno's Lesna estate:










And here is a map of Lesna with my wife Jasa's place marked, the walking route I always took to go buy groceries at Billa and the new home for the Blob:




Thursday, September 1, 2011

JCopia Review

I recently received a request via email to do a product review on my blog. I did one of these software reviews last year: http://clogginsart.blogspot.com/2010/10/snapit-review.html, so I decided to try my hand at another one. This one is for Jiteco's JCopia 4.7.5466. JCopia 4.7 captures streaming video or audio and saves it as a file to your hard-drive.


I downloaded the program from the link in the email I got, and right off the bat, I was a little miffed. After the initial download of a very small (1.5Mb) file, JCopia required an additional download of .NET Framework 4.0 (48Mb) before it would install itself. Once I had allowed the .NET Framework download and JCopia had installed itself, I clicked on the icon to open it, and a little dialogue box came up and instructed me that I must now download the WinPCap library. What!






At this point I gave up. It always makes me a little suspicious when a new program keeps asking me to download more large files before it will operate. I know that JCopia probably runs on the .NET Framework, and it probably just needs a packet capture application like WinPCap to capture that audio and video streaming over a network, but WinPCap can also be used to gather and analyze all network traffic. I just don't know enough about Jiteco, the creators of JCopia, to give their little application anymore powerful controls over my system or network, and their official video doesn't give me anymore confidence. Who's narrating this? Borat?






Okay, this guy obviously has a heavy Russian accent. I'm sorry to be prejudiced, but Russia still has a terrible reputation for malware, spam and botnets. I'm always wary of anything on the web that looks like it originates from Russia. They still have a ways to go to live down their cybercrime image.


Besides, when it comes to capturing streaming video, I already have a great application, and it's free. RealPlayer. Since RealPlayer 11 they have added the ability to capture streaming video from tube sites and the like. If you have version 11 or later (I think 14 is the latest), you automatically have a free streaming video downloader as an addon to your browser. I know it works well in IE and Firefox. When I recently upgraded to Firefox 6.0 Firefox said the RealPlayer Downloader addon would no longer work, but it does. When a streaming video loads in my browser a "download this video" option pops up in the corner of the video, and if I want I can click on it.




RealPlayer has worked great for me so far. And there are many other free options. Youtube even gives you the option to download any of their non-protected videos. You just type save in front of the youtube address of the video you are watching and youtube gives you the option to save the streaming content as an .flv or an .Mp4. For instance: http://www.saveyoutube.com/watch?v=nr-SZXIVvuo lets you download a cool video of singing kittens. Actually, on second thought, I don't think saveyoutube.com is affiliated with Youtube, but even though it doesn't supply identity info, it appears to be safe.

Monday, August 29, 2011

I Won a MacBook Pro!

Uh, not really, but I did receive the following email from the "CEO" of Craigslist, Jim Carre:


Attention Recovered Wingback Chair,

My name is Jim, Chief executive officer of Craigslist. We have recently partnered up with The apple company regarding a one-time promotional event today, we are giving away complimentary MacBook Pro to randomly selected people who have submitted an advert that use Cl. You've been selected as one of our most recent winners for today. We randomly choose numbers to match up with ads on C-list and your advertisement matched with our latest drawing.

We have now joined up with Apple to market their most popular product yet, the Apple MacBook Pro. Once again, we have been operating this promotion for one-day only. All you need to do is CLICK HERE to check out our website created for this promotion and type in your email to get yours for free. Just be sure to enter your email so we may locate our records to ensure that we have reserved one for you. That is it!

Congrats on winning a free Apple MacBook Pro (valued at $2,499.00). In case you've got any query or considerations, feel free to email me back. However, you need to claim your free MacBook Pro first to make certain one will be set-aside for you prior to the deadline ends. We do understand that you may not receive this e-mail until after the deadline, however, we suggest you check out the website and enter your email to see if we still have got yours on hold, which we often-times do because others haven't claimed theirs in time.

Jim

CEO, Craigslist



Well, this email had me going for about a second. I must be getting sloppy in spotting these scams. When I moused over the "CLICK HERE", I could see the link's address in the bottom of my browser window, and for a minute it looked like the official apple website. But it was apple-promo.org not apple.com. Also, a quick google search reveals that the actual CEO of Craigslist is Jim Buckmaster and not Jim Carre, as it said in the from portion of the email. And of course I found it very strange that the CEO of Craigslist would use a hotmail account. The email was from takakorrhv@hotmail.com. Nice try asshole! Obviously this is just another phishing scam. You can read more about it here:


http://www.fightthescams.com/2011/04/24/ceo-of-craigslist-scam/.


It always surprises me how stupid these scammers must think people are. A little research by this guy on the actual name of the CEO of Craigslist, and a more legitimate sounding email address might have made the difference here.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I Used To Be Like You...

When you're young people look at you and think how wonderful your future will be. Maybe you'll be a doctor or a lawyer. Or maybe all you'll ever be is a hobo with a shotgun! With today's wintry economic climate the later is becoming increasingly more probable.





Friday, August 26, 2011

Those Grizzlies

I finally saw Werner Herzog's excellent film, "Stroszek", the other night. It had been on my list for a long time, especially since I heard that Roger Ebert said it was "possibly the best movie ever made". It was very good, but not "best ever" good. The scene below got me a little nostalgic for that old park they used to have here in Florida when I was a kid. They had to shut it down in 1980 after all those kids got mauled. You know the one. The one that had those grizzlies...





Sunday, August 14, 2011

Ay Kay Fowty Sem!

I live in a manufactured home community (trailer park), and I see a lot of tacky garden statuary. I think I've finally found the lawn ornament I need outside my place. Check out this machine gun welding gnome I saw on Etsy:











And then to be completely obnoxious, once I've filled my front yard with all this menacing kitsch, I can blast this song all day long:



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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Commissar Vanishes

Okay, here's another book review that's vaguely art-related. It's for David King's The Commissar Vanishes: The Falsification of Photographs and Art in Stalin's Russia. This picture book tells the history of the Stalin era in the Soviet Union with a chronological collection of doctored photos and artwork. These are photos the author collected himself, many of which were never published before. We get to see the original photos alongside the photos that are were manipulated according to Stalin's wishes, either to put the dictator in a better light, or to remove a person or groups of people who fell out of favor with him and suddenly "disappeared".


This is way before Photoshop and the photo doctoring is all done with scalpel and airbrush, usually very poorly. The resulting images are both chilling and sadly humorous. In the photos below Stalin stands with three other party members celebrating the destruction of Zinoviev's anti-Stalinist opposition, then with two members, then just one, and finally the "Red Tsar" is alone in an obsequious portrait painted from the original photograph.





Below is another example. Now you see him. Now you don't. Watch NKVD chief Nikolai Yezhov disappear.














And Stalin didn't like this humble worker, who is helpfully pointing the way for the "Boss", in the same photo with him, so he had the poor fellow airbrushed out in the official published version.






















There was also something called "Personal Responsibility", which meant that not only could Soviet citizens not be caught mentioning the names of people who had suddenly "disappeared", but they could not keep books or publications of any kind with photos of "enemies" of Stalin's regime. Citizens had to black out offending photos and names themselves on any piece of property they had. Below a dutiful citizen has violently removed Trotsky's face. Stalin tried to have the revolutionary's name and image removed from history. So many photos and paintings of Trotsky were destroyed or unpublished that the author of "The Commissar Vanishes" dedicated a whole new book, which is again filled with images that David King personally collected, called "Trotsky: A Photographic Biography" to the maligned leader of the October Revolution.




















Below is one of the saddest images from the book. A propaganda photo of Stalin with a six year old girl, who is cheerfully presenting the dictator with a bouquet of flowers. The photo became an icon. Stalin later had the girl's father and mother murdered. In the original photo there was also a smiling man present at the ceremony in the background. He was airbrushed out after Stalin had him murdered.






Also in the book are many examples of Soviet Social Realism meant to glorify Stalin or distort history. Stalin is painted taking part in key moments of the October Revolution he did not actually take part in and among the common folk, whom he despised being around. Here we see a painting of Lenin being cheered as he rolls into Petrograd on April 16, 1917. Even though he left no trace and was never remembered being a part of the historic event, Stalin can be seen in the doorway behind him.






My favorite painting from the book is below. Why not let "Uncle Joe" and First Deputy Premier Molotov take the kids out for a stroll in the countryside? Lol.





"The Commissar Vanishes" is an incredible collection of images that illustrate better than any text could the surreal horror of one psychopathic leader's complete control of a nation and its people. To bad Stalin didn't have Photoshop. Distorting history nowadays is a lot easier. Alles klar herr kommissar...




Saturday, July 23, 2011

Trotsky in Mexico

I recently finished reading Trotsky: Downfall of a Revolutionary by Bertrand M. Patenaude. The book is about Trotsky's final years in exile. Patenaude concentrates mainly on Trotsky's time in Mexico from January 1937 until his assassination in August of 1940.


Leon Trosky's assassination with an ice axe by NKVD agent Ramon Mercader is one of the most famous in history. We've all heard the jokes about Trotsky in Mexico and his death by "ice pick", but I for one never knew the whole story. Like, what was he doing in Mexico in the first place.? So when I saw Patenaude's "Trotsky" at the bookstore I felt compelled to read it. It describes his life in exile after being kicked out of the Soviet Union by Josef Stalin in 1929, his subsequent life on the run from Turkey to France to Norway and finally to Mexico, the only country left that would accept the man whom Winston Churchill once called "the ogre of international subversion".


"Trotsky: Downfall of a Revolutionary" is packed with almost every detail of Trotsky and his wife Natalia's stay in Coyoacan, at the time a small town on the outskirts of Mexico City, now one of the capital's 16 boroughs. But what could have been a boring tome crammed full of trivial minutia only academics and fanatics would be interested in is instead a fascinating book that reads like a spy novel. Trotsky and his retinue of bodyguards and secretaries must be ever vigilant against Stalin's agents. The once revered leader of the October Revolution is a marked man. He survives a raid on his home that leaves 70 bullet holes in he and his wife's bedroom and has to be wary of things like poisoned food, and even exploding potted plants and exploding boxes of chocolates.


But Trotsky doesn't just try to stay alive. He spends every waking hour trying to defend his name and his reputation against people who don't just want to kill him but to vilify him and erase him from history. He is the star defendant in absentia of the Moscow show trials, which accuse him and others of terrorism and sabotage, and which Stalin uses to blame all of the young Soviet Union's many problems on Trotskyist subversion. Trotsky writes and writes and with the help of Trotskyists in New York and Paris continues to publish his "Bulletin of the Opposition", which he uses to defend himself, pointing out the many lies and inconsistencies in the insanity of the show trials and to stoke the flames of the real international revolution he is sure will come.


So what the hell has this got to do with art? Surprisingly, a lot. Most people have heard about Trotsky's affair with Frida Kahlo. It was her husband, the legendary muralist Diego Rivera, who begged President Cardenas to grant the embattled revolutionary asylum. Frida went to meet Trotsky and Natalia when their ship arrived in Tampico from Norway and rode with them on the train to Mexico City.



Natalia, Frida and Leon


Here is a rare video of Trotsky giving his thanks to President Cardenas and the Mexican people soon after he arrived.




"Before the cock crows twice Stalin will have disowned him three times"




Anyway, I was on the subject of Trotsky's brushes with famous artists during his time in Mexico. Besides Frida Kahlo, with whom he had a very brief affair and Diego Rivera, who arranged for his asylum in Mexico and even gave him a house to live in, it was David Alfaro Siqueiros, another famous muralist, who along with a gang of thugs sprayed Trotsky's bedroom with machine gun fire. And when surrealist writer/poet Andre Breton came to Mexico to visit Frida and Diego it was Trotsky that helped Breton write the "Surrealist Manifesto".



"Between the Curtains", a painting Frida dedicated to Trotsky, and which hung over his desk during his stay at the "Casa Azul"



Trotsky featured along with Engels and Marx in one of Diego's murals



Siqueiros' "Portrait of the Bourgeoisie"



some more of Siqueiros' fine work



Rivera, Trotsky and Breton


By 1939 the last of the Moscow show trials was over, and so was Trotsky's usefulness as a scapegoat for the Soviet Union's problems. Stalin was done playing games, and he instructed Sudoplatov, the deputy head of foreign intelligence, to begin operation "Duck". Sudoplatov was to arrange a special task force for the "liquidation of duck".



"Duck" deep sea fishing in the Gulf of Mexico


During the late 1930's Mexico was flooded with veterans of the Spanish Civil war, many of who were loyal to Stalin and had been recruited by the NKVD while in Spain. It wasn't long before Spanish Civil war veteran Ramon Mercader joined "Operation Duck" and after seducing a young American Trotskyist named Sylvia Ageloff, whose sister had been one of Trotsky's secretaries, became its most valuable asset. Mercader used Ageloff's connection to gain access to Trotsky's compound, and eventually he gained the "Old Man's" trust enough to be left alone with him. And the rest, as they say, is history.


You can see the author of "Trotsky: Downfall of a Revolutionary" speak in a lecture about the book and the myths of Trotsky's time in Mexico below.






And finally here is Frida Kahlo's portrait of Leon Trotsky. He is painted in front of his beloved cactus garden.



Frida Kahlo's portrait of Leon Trotsky

"Frida Kahlo's Portrait of Leon Trotsky", 2011


20" x 16", oil on canvas


Who do you sell a painting like this to these days? Christopher Hitchens?




Sunday, July 3, 2011

Travis Bickle Wins Wimbledon!

I just watched Novak Djokovic rout Raphael Nadal for the Wimbledon title, and throughout the whole match I couldn't get over how much Djokovic reminded me of a young Robert De Niro. Give him some Ray-bans and an olive drab jacket, and Djovokic would be the spitting image of De Niro's classic anti-hero character, Travis Bickle from the movie "Taxi Driver". Maybe for the U.S. Open Djokovic should sport a mohawk.


Thursday, June 30, 2011

SWFL Lives! Number 3



I'm excited to once again be part of Howl Gallery's "Southwest Florida Lives!" show in downtown Fort Myers. This is the 3rd Annual one, and the third one I've been a part of. Reception is tomorrow night from 6pm to 10pm. See you there!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

My 100th Post!

Well, gentle reader I can't believe it! It's my 100th post already! Wow, two and half years of blogging and it really snuck up on me. I just wanna say thank you to all my followers. I couldn't have stuck it out this long without your support and kind emails and comments. It really is a friendly, friendly world!


Friday, June 24, 2011

My Kiss Army

Well, I finished another Kiss portrait earlier this week to round out my quad of portraits based on the four members of the hard rock slash glam band. Behold, my "Kiss Army"...




I tried to be as faithful as possible to the way that Paul, Gene, Ace and Peter were portrayed on their respective solo LPs. This was supposed to be me and a few of my friends in ironic portraits, but as time went by, it was proving hard to pin down anyone I knew to be the final member, drummer Peter Criss. So representing Criss' solo album we have uh, Ben Matlock, Andy Griffith's character from the long running legal drama, Matlock. I don't know. Sometimes I get an idea in my head, and well, this time I saw it through. Right after I finished with the "Matlock" painting, Peter Falk died, so I guess maybe I should have done "Columbo". Besides, Columbo is more widely known than Matlock, and where do you hang a painting of TV's Ben Matlock? Well in a "Matlock" apartment, I guess.




Anyway, I'm not really huge Matlock fan, and I'm certainly not a Kiss fan, although I love their whole concept. It's Kiss people not Insane Clown Posse! There would be no ICP without Kiss. I keep hearing younger folks referring to the above portraits as a take off on ICP, as if me and my friends (and Matlock as well, I guess) are rabid Juggalos (What is the deal with Faygo btw?).


As I was saying, I was never a Kiss fan. The main thing I'll always remember about the band is the 1978 made for television movie, "Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park", an absurd movie where the four band members have to use their "special powers" to save a small California amusement park from destruction by an evil inventor. I distinctly remember a baby sitter I had at the time telling my parents that my siblings and I shouldn't be allowed to watch the Saturday Night Movie, because she said that "Kiss" stood for "Knights in Satan's Service" or some such nonsense. The only thing the "satanic" movie did was bore the shit out of everyone and make the band look like outlandish clowns.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Rock Out With Your Matlock Out!

For my latest painting I gave America's favorite endlessly syndicated legal drama "Matlock" a Kiss makeover. Cantankerous, homespun attorney Ben Matlock gets the power of the cat, a la Kiss drummer Peter Criss.


a painting of Ben Matlock as a member of Kiss

"Matlock (Catlock)", 2011

18" x 18", oil on cradled panel


It's been more than 15 years since the show's final season on ABC, and Matlock can still be seen almost every morning in every city in America. You can usually see two reruns a morning if you try hard enough. I catch an episode from time to time and always wonder how I manage to make it all the way through such a mediocre Perry Mason ripoff. The show's appeal relies heavily on Andy Griffith's down home charisma. He's likeable even as a crotchety, hotdog munching, cheapskate defense attorney, who insists on a $100,000.00 retainer fee before he takes a case.


I always liked the "Andy Griffith Show", so I guess that's why I occasionally sit through a Matlock episode. Andy Griffith is great, but my favorite North Carolinian has to be Shelby, North Carolina's own Robert Elmore, aka "Uncle Goddamn" from the cult favorite Uncle Goddamn videos. It's not exactly like Mayberry in this small North Carolina town.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Brobee Portrait

a painting of Brobee from Yo Gabba Gabba

"Brobee (Black as Thunder)", 2011

14" x 11", oil on canvasboard


So I decided to do another painting of a Yo Gabba Gabba character. Brobee is the emotional one. He has a lot of trouble hiding his sadness and frustration. He wears his heart on his sleeve, but he always pulls it together for the team when things get tough.


For instance, I remember seeing Yo Gabba play Pittsburg, or was it Cleveland a couple years ago. The band was only halfway through a set, and Brobee was on the mic doin' "There's a Party in my Tummy", when his fucking mouth starts to fall off. Stage hands rushed in to help, and the band hesitated like they wanted to stop for minute, but Brobee was all like, "I don't give a fuck if my mouths falls off." Then he just waves the stage hands away and finishes the song all punk rock with his fucking mouth just hanging there. You gotta love the Brobster! Check it out, my friend caught part of it on his cellphone...


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Washing Machine Drummer

Here's another post about a drummer. This time it's a washing machine. This video went viral almost a year ago, but I just saw it, and I had to post it here.




Synthgear hosted a remix contest last August. The best mixer got a copy of Ableton Live.


Here's Rodney Anonymous of the Dead Milkmen's remix...

Possessed washing machine by rodney-1


And here is the winner's entry...

The Washer - Zware Shag d&b mix by maarteh


I don't know why, but I got a kick outta this. I must have too much time on my hands. If you do, here's the sequel...


Monday, May 16, 2011

Dale Crover on Howard Stern

The "King of all Media" gave a little press to one of my favorite bands last week when he interviewed Melvins' drummer Dale Crover. Crover also made the cover of Modern Drummer this month. May '11 has been pretty good for Dale so far, but I'm sure Howard only decided to interview Crover after having Dave Grohl on the week before and finding out Grohl was Kurt Cobain's second choice as drummer for Nirvana. Stern just had to get the guy on the phone who turned down a chance to be Nirvana's full-time drummer.






Howard thinks that Crover should be agonizing over his missed opportunity at fortune and fame, but I really believe him when he says he's happy with his decision not to join Nirvana. Howard doesn't understand that for the Melvins it's about the love not the money. I think even Kurt might have been happier as a side project of his favorite band, the Melvins. Below is an old clip of Dale with Kurt and Krist circa 1988.




Speaking of side projects, there was Melvana, a brief collaboration between members of the Melvins and Nirvana that produced one 7".






You can download it here.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Skeletor Portrait

painting of Skeletor from Masters of the Universe

"Skeletor (with Paisley and Love)", 2011

14" x 11", oil on canvasboard


It's Masters of the Universe arch villain Skeletor. I found a good pic of a Motuc Skeletor action figure online, so I couldn't resist trying to do the "Evil Lord of Destruction's" portrait. I was never a big fan of the cartoon. I was a little too old to be watching it, but I still remember it being a big part of mid '80's television. I especially remember Skeletor, and his laugh, and although he was supposed to be menacing, he had the most ridiculous whiney voice. He would always spend way too much time cursing everyone and belittling his own minions. How could Skeletor's evil horde possibly defeat He-Man when they had their self-esteem crushed by Skeletor's constant insults.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Yo Gabba Gabba Hey!

My nephew's favorite thing to say for a while seemed to be "Yo Gabba Gabba". I've watched the show a couple times with him, and have been struck by its bizarreness (however, for me the creepiest and most surreal childrens show still has to be the BBC's "Teletubbies"). Of the six main characters on "Yo Gabba Gabba" the one that strikes me as the oddest is Muno. He looks like a giant one-eyed sex toy. I've run across blog posts on the internet that try to prove that the whole show has a sex toy theme. The phallic Muno is the most glaringly obvious example, but some say Muno's buddy Foofa is nothing more than a giant buttplug with a flower and eyes.


Anyway, kids still love the show and when DJ Lance Rock spins the music everybody loves to dance...




Yes, by day Muno dances his dance for the suits at Nickelodeon, but he hunts the night...


painting of Yo Gabba Gabba's Muno

"Moono", 2011

14" x 11", oil on canvasboard


I shouldn't say it, but I'm not overly thrilled with the outcome of this one. My painting enviroment wasn't the best, and when I started this piece I was using a new "green" paint thinner I bought at Home Cheapo. Kleen Strip's new "green" paint thinner was the cheapest, and sometimes you get what you pay for. It's supposed to be non-toxic and safer for the enviroment, but it is not safe for oil painting. It will ruin your brushes and slow your drying times considerably. I threw it out after I noticed my brushes fraying and losing their shape and my paint taking forever to dry. I don't know what it's made from but Kleen Strip Green Paint Thinner looks like milk and should not be considered a substitute for real good olde-fashioned toxic paint thinner. It's nice to be green when you can, but if you care about your brushes or your craft stay away from this shit!