Monday, March 10, 2008

I'm in a Documentary and I didn't even know it.....

So the other night I'm driving home with holly and i get a text message from Tara Ward that says, "did you know that you are on MTV right now?" Then i get another one from the manager at the green lake bar and grill that says the same thing. I call Tara back and ask her first, "why are you watching MTV? and second, what do you mean i'm on MTV?"

Turns out that it was an episode of True Life and they were showing a smaller version of a documentary that recently came out called "A Map For Saturday."

I met Brook in August of 2005 at a hostel in London and ended up hanging out with him and my friend Brian Ulrich for the day. He told us his story of quitting HBO and setting out to travel the world for a year... and documenting it the whole time.

well, lo and behold... it became a film.


Monday, February 25, 2008

"i want to be indiana jones when i grow up."

this is exactly what i said when i was 8.
it's still true today. i'm stoked for this film!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

orphans and art

african collaborative pieces from november 07

these are pictures of a series of collaborative paintings i did for a show at the urban artworks gallery in alpharetta, GA back in november of 07. the whole show was a benefit for heart for africa and the show was called "faces of hope."

my wife and i got to go to kenya with heart for africa in july of 07 and we headed up art education programs with the orphans. one of the things we wanted to do from this trip was to bring back some art from the children and be able to sell them at the show in order to raise more money for them.

now i've been in some conversations with worldvision and other organizations about selling art made by children. it's a good idea... i think it hits the heart... but i just don't think it works. why? well because i don't think people wanting to buy art are going to fork out a lot of money on something that looks similar to the work in their kids classroom. maybe i'm wrong... but i don't think i am.

so how do we solve this?

i was showing a bunch of other pieces at this show. these panels that these kids had painted on were just sitting around my studio as i was making other work for the show. in this process of just being there, i had this idea. if people were going to buy my work because they liked it (along with a number of other reasons), then what if i could add my purchasing momentum to their work? i was there. i had them make these pieces and i took their picture. i'm wrapped up in this story as it is.... so why not add my interpretation to these kids and their story?

so i matched up the paintings and their pictures, and i painted on them. an instant collaboration.... from over 10,000 miles apart.

and that's where these paintings came from.

we would like to do more of this someday. get more artists involved and do a giant collaborative show with the orphans. we'll see what transpires.....

Saturday, February 09, 2008

surf the puget sound!

If you are a surfer and you live in seattle, you have to drive 2 1/2 hours to get to the nearest break.
but.... on really windy days in the puget sound, you can find places that have a small little break.
and just to ease the itch, you might find tim wicks and myself frolicking in the small waves of edmonds in our own "secret" spot.
here's a little video.....

Monday, February 04, 2008

Church Art

My dad, who is great but sends trying not to be lame forwards, sent me this article by Chuck Colson... which is a really great comment. Thanks Dad!

Made for Beauty | January 31, 2008
Art, Worship, and the Bible

The neighbors watched the new church building go up in just one month—and what a sight it was! The church was a squat, square building made of unrelieved concrete. On the inside was garish red carpeting. A massive parking lot surrounded the church.
Nothing could possibly have been uglier—and the fact that so many Christians build church structures like this reveals how far Christians have strayed from the place beauty and art are meant to have in our lives.
As the late Francis Schaeffer notes in his book, Art and the Bible, we evangelicals tend to relegate art to the fringes of life. Despite our talk about the lordship of God in every aspect of life, we have narrowed its scope to a very small part of reality. But the arts are also supposed to be under the lordship of Christ, Schaeffer reminds us. Christians ought to use the arts "as things of beauty to the praise of God."
This is exactly what God commanded regarding the building of His Tabernacle. As Schaeffer says, "God commanded Moses to fashion a tabernacle in a way [that] would involve almost every form of representational art that men have ever known." In Exodus 25, for example, God instructs Moses to make for the Holy of Holies "two cherubim of gold; of beaten work shalt thou make them."
In other words, God was commanding that works of art be made: a statuary representation of angels.
Outside the Holy of Holies, lampstands were to be placed—that is, candlesticks of pure gold, decorated with representations of nature: almond blossoms and flowers.
And then we have the descriptions of the priestly garments. Upon their skirts were to be designed pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet.
Does God value beauty for beauty's sake? It seems He does. Consider the two columns Solomon set up before the Temple. He decorated them with a hundred pomegranates fastened upon chains, as God commanded. These two free-standing columns supported no architectural weight and had no engineering significance, Schaeffer writes. "They were there only because God said they should be there as a thing of beauty."
And this brings us back to those ugly church buildings we often build. No wonder non-Christians often remark on the ugliness of our churches—an ugliness that is off-putting to anyone sensitive to beauty. We have forgotten that beauty is not achieved, as some argue, just to draw people into the church, but because it is a form of praise to the God who designed and created magnificent mountains, delicate flowers, and our beautiful children.
No doubt you have seen churches that have crossed the line from beautiful to garish, where opulence is more valued than true beauty. Indeed, historically, the Protestant reaction to opulent church furnishings was to seek beauty in simplicity. And that is fine too. But every congregation, no matter how small its budget, should ensure that its facilities, humble though they may be—and in some parts of the world, they are very, very primitive—nonetheless, are tasteful and reflect the beauty of the Creator.
The God we worship glories in beauty.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

new 5 Spot painting

I used to work at the 5 Spot restaurant on Queen Anne in Seattle. And even though I don't work there anymore, they still let me make paintings for their festivals. They have a new festival every 3 months, where they have a theme with special menu items and the whole restaurant gets redecorated. It's very cool and it keeps a awesome restaurant constantly awesomer.

This seasons theme is Route 66. I picked the skyview drive in as my painting subject. And above is what I came up with.

Now I know I have done a steve zissou before.... but i'm really not obsessed with the movie. i really like it, i think the characters are all really cool, and i think the film has a semi-cult following. that's my reason for making a movie poster for the skyview drive in.

so here it is for all to love! be sure to go to the actual restaurant to see it in person!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Carlsbad Marathon & Sometimes Arting is Awkward

This last weekend, i painted at the Carlsbad Marathon in Calrsbad, CA.  60 people were running for Heart for Africa, raising money to build a school in Swaziland for 200 orphans.  Heart for Africa ended up being one of the official non-profits for the marathon, which is huge.  I was invited to come down and paint at this event in hopes that the paintings i made would be auctioned off and most of the proceeds would be donated to the El Shaddai school.  

Everyone who was involved is great and holly and i had the best time down there.  my props to caroline mcgraw for putting all this together and all her tireless work for the children who have very little hope in africa.  she is doing all she can for them, and it is an inspiration to anyone to see the joy in choosing to do what God really said about taking care of orphans and widows. and to the mcgraw family, you guys rock!  thanks tom for letting me use you wetsuit and board for a great time in the water.  shaun and ian, "bien sur, je vous veux!" lauren and christen, you're my D O double G's.

Some thoughts:
I think with anyone who is an artist and especially if there is a performance aspect to your work, you are definitely going to come across moments that are awkward and embarrasing.  I like what i do, and i think the creating in public places is a very cool and engaging thing.  but it works better in certain situations than others.  it works well with musicians in a concert setting, with speakers, in churches or music halls... but at 730 in the morning in a parking lot during a marathon... it just felt a little out of place to me.  now understand, i might be one of the only people who feel this way.  many people expressed enjoyment, wonder, and thanks that i was there and that they loved my work.  in fact, the woman who puts on the 3rd largest marathon in the nation came up to me and said how much she enjoyed me there and i was invited to come back next year.  pretty cool.  but as i was painting african orphans on sunday morning, on bleachers in front of a stage with a cheesy cover band playing, while people are stretching out all around me, i couldn't help but feel a little out of place.

there was one point when all of our group was at the finish line cheering on the runners, and i was there by myself, that i particularly felt this way.  i was there and there was this thought like "what am i doing here? this is so wierd..."  but even though i was feeling this way, what could i do?  this is what i'm here for, and i have to do it.  

in most every painting i've ever done, there is a point at which i hate the painting and i want to quit.  it's actually a very normal part of painting.  in fact i think it's a very normal part of creating.  i even  think about marriage too... when there is this time that you want to give up and start over... but if you keep going, you can create something better than you ever imagined.  this happens with art, i've learned.  whenever you come to this spot, you have to keep going. if you don't you never know what will come out.  if was easy to get it out, everyone would be an artist.  the difficulty is to keep going to bring that creation out.  that's what makes great art... the perseverence to keep going.

anywho, i wanted nothing more than the permission to leave the steps.  but i knew i couldn't. so i just kept going.  the organizer came over to me.  the paintings were all made.  and then they will be sold and the money will go to orphans in africa. and who knows what else.....  

you only get to find out in completion.  

i never knew that being an artist would make me experience so many moments of vulnerability and awkwardness.  but through all that, it has opened doors of success and achievement.  it seems like these two go hand in hand often.  that's good to know as i keep going.....