Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Freaks Come Out

thanks tons to everyone who came over and partied. it was much more fun than we had even hoped. seriously - thanks. the food, drinks, and laughs were all superb. i can't decide which pic i like more:

it's official, i'm hungover.


a few attendees forwarded more pics. here's a couple other faves...

and also, while talking about the party today, we think we're going to try and get back on bed jump dot com . I was thinking it might be a good idea to bring my Blinky costume to Bloomington-Normal for the 11th Annual Coach and Jeremy Birthday Bash. If I could manage to get some decent air on a bed, it could make a good photo for the site. We'll see if it works. If you want to see the first time we made it on the site, click here.

Friday, October 26, 2007

art exhibit: "...and i am blue..."

the McLean County Art Center has an interesting opening tonight from 5 until 7 - "...and i am blue..."
works in the show don't exceed 15 inches in any dimension, and all content relates to the title of the show. other medium-sized town art centers could try this and i'd be rather uninterested, but the caliber or artists in and around bloomington-normal, with the ISU and IWU communities, should make for a great show. tons of old friends are in this.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

and so it goes

every year when autumn comes, i get more active in the studio. for the last five nights in a row, most of my time has been spent down there, working on several things at once. but it never fails. everything i began last week has gradually turned to shit.

for the last couple years, i honestly think i've made maybe one or two interesting works of art. this is something i can't seem to shake, and it's downright maddening. i literally smacked my head into a wall down there the other night, out of an intense frustration and need for a release. it just ain't happening, and it sucks.

regardless, it feels good to work and work and work at getting things right. a friend of mine and fellow artist once likened the relationship he has with his work to one similar to some bizarre addiction - you keep working and working at it, no matter how brutally it drains you. see the little red item on the floor? this might end up working very soon. stay tuned for details.

oh, and i might ad, i think it interesting to say there's no doubt i've been listening to tons of Thoughts of Ionesco while down there.
very suiting.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Black Hawk College Car Show 2007

I've told a few people I was thinking about posting pics of my favorite cars from the Quad City's Vintage Rods show a few weekends back. I've always been partial to 55, 56, & 57 chevys and 60s-era chevelles, but as i've hit my early 30s, more and more streed rods have caught my eye. As always, click on these images for a larger view. Here you go...

A very clean and well-done 39 Ford:

I believe this is a '41 Willys (not sure about the year). After our '56 chevy was done for many years, my dad always wanted one of these as a project car. We never got around to it because of his multiple back surgeries:

a '67 Chevelle SS with a narrowed rear end underneath. If I have this correctly, this car was garaged in a home right by my friend Kevin's house - not far from where I grew up. I could be wrong, but I think the father died, and a guy my age took the car on as a project in his dad's memory.

A nice '67 Chevelle SS. I don't know the history of this car.

Just a simple, clean '66 Nova I liked. I'm more into the 67 design, but the two years are very similar. When I first downloaded this image off my camera, I laughed out loud. Look just above the roof. It looks like there's a mini-me version of my dad mounted to it, but he's just in the background wondering where his hotdog is.

It's gotta be Steve Doye's '55:

And finally, this rod. like i said, i'm not well-versed in early 30s cars. this must be a '32 or so, 5-window ford coupe, with what looks like a stretched front end. if anyone knows better, let me know. regardless to say, it blew a lot of people away. wow:

Friday, October 12, 2007

Tonia Bonnell + Print Conference Reunion

This past weekend my wife and I went back to Bloomington-Normal for the tail end of "Frontiers in Printmaking" - Illinois State University & Normal Editions Workshop's first attempt at an internation print conference that I know of. I was part of an alumni exhibition, so we hit that first. Damn... tons of old friends from even up to 10 years ago... it rocked. Very fun. And my friend Tonia Bonnell , who lives in Denver now, and I traded art. I got hooked up with this very nice piece:

Syncopated Movements (var. 5)
engraving, chine colle

I had to adjust the levels of the image in Photoshop to make things stand out more online (the actual piece looks more nuanced and subtle). it's pretty damn nice. like her work? here's a really good write-up from a few years back that explains where she's coming from, figuratively and literally:


Artist Tonia Bonnell’s rural upbringing makes its voice heard in Enunciated Murmurs

It was two years ago that I first met Tonia Bonnell; she was assigned to be my teaching assistant in a fine arts course. I immediately sensed that there was a sense of a different culture about her—yet she had no accent besides a slight American twang from her home state of Illinois. She looked like every other fine arts graduate student in her uniform of blue jeans and baggy T-shirts. And yet, I could not get over the feeling that there was something exotic about her, as if she had come from a different world. “Perhaps she dropped into Edmonton on a tornado, like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz,” I mused. “After all, Illinois and Kansas are not that far apart.” But despite my subtle prodding, I could not discover anything in her background that would stand out as unusual—nothing, that is, until we met again to speak about her graduating exhibition Enunciated Murmurs, currently on display in the Fine Arts Building Gallery, a show that is her final visual presentation for her Master of Fine Arts degree.

It was only then that I realized that the mystery of her background had been right in front of my eyes all along. It was simple: unlike most of us who were bred, born and raised among the cement walls of urban centres, Bonnell grew up on the open prairie. “I have always been surrounded by open fields and sky,” Bonnell says. “The town I lived in had 250 people. I knew everybody.” That was it! I thought. Bonnell radiates that same mysterious composure that I’ve often observed in farmers and other rural people who are used to treating others like human beings and not life support systems for wallets. These are people who are used to working themselves to the bone and then waiting and unwearyingly watching for clouds of rain to form across the horizon.

Only for Bonnell’s community, those clouds took a particularly ominous turn. “Where I am from, you always get tornado warnings,” she recalls stoically. “We aren’t afraid of them; we look for funnels in the sky. They seldom happen.” Bonnell spent a lot of time out on those fields looking at the sky. Her grandparents, who were farmers on both sides of the family, often took her along when they worked. “Driving up and down these roads takes so long, but you do it all day, dawn to dusk,” she recalls. “Depending on the weather, they have to get it done.”

Growing up in that rural community taught Bonnell a different way of looking at the world. “[In farming] there is no sense of building up to a climax and ending,” she explains. “There is just continuous repetition.” This was a lesson she incorporated right into her art; Bonnell’s prints are built up out of thousands of repeated marks that take her days, hours and sometimes months to accomplish. “It strains certain parts of the body,” she says without a trace of complaint. “I think that the repetitive mark-making allows me to block out some of the information-loaded society.”

Out of this myriad of abstracted marks emerge atmospheric images that drift across a white page like grey rain drifting against the wide expanse of a clear sky. But viewed from another angle, they seem more like gusts of wind, drifts of snow or quickly approaching clouds. Bonnell’s images are gentle, ethereal, but their delicacy seems to disguise a hidden power—like sunny days that either warm seeds into sprouting or slowly, relentlessly desiccate fields. “You know clouds are intangible, yet they can visually cover a big mountain,” Bonnell explains. In some of the prints, Bonnell’s gently billowing “clouds” take on clear signs of their supreme power: they form the foreboding shape of a grey funnel.

Although Bonnell has come far from her rural, mostly blue-collar community into the intellectual ferment of one of North America’s best printmaking departments, she hasn’t lost the sense of her roots. “Eventually I would love to return to a rural community,” she says. But that may not be possible now that she is a few days short of getting her MVA degree, which will allow her to teach at a university. Whatever happens, she says, she will always return to nature. But wherever she ends up, I doubt she will ever forget the lesson she learned on her grandparents’ farm as she watched the sky for signs of funnel clouds and felt part of something larger than herself. “As a human being, you can’t always control it,” she explains with the composure of a seasoned farmer. “We don’t always know it’s coming.” V

taken from

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Whose House?

yes. what you just watched was indeed Run DMC on Reading Rainbow.
hahahahaha. that's so damn fresh. hilarious.

seriously though... why did rap music and hip hop in general take a nose dive towards "dissin' hos" and gangbangin' and shit like that? man... depressing. i can't get enough of the stuff i grew up with in the 80s. Run DMC rules.