My son Christopher is an aspiring filmmaker. In the fall of 2011 – not long after I began working with encaustic paint – we took a road trip together to my hometown of Redding, California. I had decided to create some images based on my hometown for my first public showing of my art. Christopher decided to join me and document the experience as part of a film school assignment. While the work – as well as the creative process itself – documented in this video is a bit dated now, it still captures a moment in time my son and I enjoyed together very much.
I can predict the future. And with alarming accuracy. My own, at least. This is how it will go down:
After a lifetime of dodging bullets – literally and figuratively – which includes thousands of miles acting as a unbelted navigator to a perpetually inebriated driver until age 8, major head trauma on three separate occasions before my 12th birthday, a romantic tryst on the edge of a bluff overlooking the Pacific as the ground gave way beneath, staring down the barrel of a bi-polar hunting companion’s 30.06, and dozens of other dramatic near misses – at some point in the future, I will find myself idling at a stop light, reflecting on my luck, good fortune, and a life well-lived, and the light will turn green. And I will forget to look left.
I filed the 2013 tax return for my art business today. The silver lining to paying these taxes? That I had actual art-related income to pay taxes on.
So, I just loaded the new CD from She & Him (Volume 3) into my MacBook drive to copy it into iTunes. While waiting for it to load, I strolled over to YouTube to play, and as I sat here idly watching the screen the suggested viewing queue on the right-hand side immediately updated to include a video of a Conan O’Brien interview of Zooey Deschanel. Coincidence? Unlikely. Disturbing? Somewhat. Inevitable? Without a doubt.
A friend – whom I adore – recently asked me if I was “under the influence. Again. “
It’s funny, I don’t recall ever being under the influence of anything other than music, love, pure joy, a beautiful woman – or some combination of those four. Despite my liberal leanings and “live and let live” philosophy, I am as ridiculously straight-arrow as they come.
Come to think of it, maybe I misunderstood, and she was referring to those four powerful influences all along.
As you are all no doubt aware, I have devoted the past couple years to my creative life. In the process, I have completed a modest body of work, most of it within the medium of encaustic painting. For those unfamiliar with encaustic (as I was until a few years ago), it refers to the use of beeswax as the base element – often mixed with dry pigments and/or oil paint – whfich is applied to a hard, porous substrate (in my case, a birch wood panel) and then fused, layer by layer, with heat (my trusty blowtorch), until the final image is complete. The encaustic medium (beeswax mixed tree sap) gives the finished work a luminous visual quality, and – assuming you maintain the temperature inside your homes under 170 degrees – they will maintain an archival quality for hundreds of years, as evidenced by the discoveries of ancient Greek encaustic paintings.
While my original paintings are for sale directly through me, I have also partnered with Fine Art America to sell reproductions of my work through their website. Various formats and sizes are available, including: stretched canvas, acrylic print, metal print, framed print, and greeting cards. Finding room in a budget for original pieces of art can be a challenge for all of us, and this partnership will provide an opportunity for all art lovers of all budgets to own something unique and beautiful for your homes and offices. I’ve also made some of my original photographs available for sale as well, and will continue adding content to this site on a regular basis.
With the holiday season just around the corner, this is the perfect time to order gifts for your friends and loved ones. Just click on the link below, and Fine Art America will do all the work to pack and ship your order anywhere in the world.
Enjoy perusing my site, and don’t forget:
Happiness is a warm blowtorch!
I could fill a book with just the self-censored posts that don’t make it to this website – a book nobody would care to read, I readily acknowledge, but one of sufficient size and incendiary content to fuel a satisfying bonfire.
Do you remember the first time you saw a real grown-up movie? You know the one. It was a bit age inappropriate – which made it that much more of a thrill. You probably didn’t watch it with your parents. In fact, they were probably a bit PO’d when they found out you’d seen the film in the first place. What was the movie, and how old were you when you saw it? Share your confession here.
For me, it was the 1975 Warren Beatty/Goldie Hawn hollywood satire “Shampoo”. I was 15. It was the first time I ever heard the word Fuck used in a film (a 16-year old Carrie Fisher) and I came away from that experience with an understanding there was another world out there somewhere that promised excitement and intrigue beyond what Disney’s “Million Dollar Duck” and my small-town existence had to offer.
My plan is to create a series of 16 paintings based on the music of R.E.M. Their music is multi-layered and emotional, with poetic lyrics that are rich in imagery yet allow for open interpretation – perfect subject matter for a visual artist.
The biggest challenge is paring their extensive catalogue down to only 16 songs that, taken collectively, will inspire my best work and due justice to the original music. I started with 64 songs and with the recent cut of “1,000,000” I have narrowed the list to 46.
DJ MJH is taking requests. What song would you like to see included?