Posts filed under ‘Live Art’
Last Saturday was Made In Milwaukee’s “Creatures & Creators” event at Turner Hall. Since I fall under both categories, it was inevitable that I’d be asked to paint live art there. I was up in the balcony with the rest of the artists. I was the only one, however, who painted rappers.
Because you’re dying to know my process, know that I took 12 small canvas boards, painted them orange first, then added a different white blob shape on each one. I then did my best to turn each blob into a rapper that seemed to fit it perfectly. No sketching. No pre-drawing. Just straight paint to canvas.
(SOLD) Run DMC were the first two I painted. They’re also the only two I technically painted as monsters and rappers, because I apparently love complicating the process for myself. I abandoned this idea immediately after these two were finished.
Somehow, I managed to NOT take a photo of the Slick Rick one I painted. Which is a shame, because I was pretty happy with how that one turned out. I’d take a pic now, but it went home that night with a very excited buyer. (As did most of these.) Big thanks to everyone who adopted these tiny MC paintings. Big thanks to everyone who stood around and tried to guess the rapper as I was painting them. One of the most fun live art gigs I’ve done in a minute!
Drum roll! It’s my two paintings from Friday’s Bay View Gallery Night show at Club Garibaldi. Both are still available, if you feel like giving ’em a good home.
Big thanks as always to the Made In Milwaukee folks for putting on great events like this for almost a decade now, and for letting me be a part of all of ’em. Equal thanks to D’Amato, MC Oneself, The Rusty Ps, Sat Nite Duets, and Fatty Acids for giving me great music to paint to. There’s another one happening in September. Consider that your advanced notice!
Normally, I paint two or three pieces at live art gigs. That way, folks coming and going throughout the night have a chance to see a piece come to completion. (Or close to it, anyway.) Saturday night, I scrapped that, and spent the entire 4 1/2 hours painting one 18″ x 24″ piece instead. It started with the white hand and head above. Then the tiny details started coming in. The rest is history.
(click on the images to see ’em a little bigger!)
Most of the images came straight out of my head, ’cause there’s a lot of crap in there just dying to get out. Most of the words, however, are me messing around with the lyrics of the songs that Why B and E.Rich were playing. (Can we all agree that “rap patrol on the cat patrol” is better than “gat patrol?”) Did I mention I love painting when those dudes DJ? I do. ‘Cause they make your favorite DJ’s idea of a party look like a bridge tournament.
As always, big thanks to Nate and the Rogues Crew, for making Rogues Gallery one of my favorite places in MKE to both drink and paint. Same goes for Why B and E.Rich– two of my favorite DJs to paint to. And high-five to Fred Kaems for painting alongside me. Hassle him to share what he painted that night.
We did equal parts talking and painting at this event, because there were a lot of great people attending this thing. (Sara! Sean! Brenda! Marta! Maynda! Angie! Theresa! Dylan Effin Thomas!)
And then there were the incredible sets by Group Of The Altos and John The Savage. We HAD to stop painting and watch them.
Here are the two finished pieces we did. Love ’em? Let me know. They’re looking for good homes. Both measure roughly 16″ on the short side, and 22″ on the other. And both are made with acrylic paint on thin wood.
There’s a Rick Jameson Experience EVERY month here in Milwaukee. But the one on Saturday, September 3? That one was special. Not only because it was Why B’s (a.k.a., “Rick Jameson”) annual 21st birthday celebration, but also because we had to bid farewell to one of Milwaukee’s absolute best people AND DJs, Kid Cut Up. He decided to move to Los Angeles because he was tired of the reasonable cost of living we have here in the 414.
Why B decided I shouldn’t just paint at this event. I should paint Chuck’s. Three pairs– one for him, one for Kid Cut Up, and one for Rufio, who takes care of not only us on stage, but also the few hundred drunks who inevitably show up to these things. And who am I to say no to the birthday boy?
These were the first three pairs of shoes I ever customized. Here’s hoping they aren’t the last.
On Friday, August 5, my rent was due. Also: Childhood Revisited happened. You know– the annual group art show where a bunch of really talented artists (and me) make paintings of the things they loved as kids? Yeah. That. And this year, instead of making art to hang on the walls, I decided to paint live instead. Why I’ve never done live art at this particular art show is beyond me. It’d save me a heck of a lot of time.
Anyway, let’s see what happened:
Normally, I just paint whatever pops in my head while I’m standing there in front of the panel I’m painting on. But since all the work in the show was childhood inspired, I used that as a guideline. Naturally, Sesame Street was the first thing that came to mind. As a kid, I’m pretty sure I watched enough Sesame Street to qualify it as a legal guardian. And though Bert wasn’t necessarily my favorite, it would have been cliche to draw Big Bird. Plus, I already painted Oscar a few weeks back.
Next up: SAD BEASTMAN! This was my favorite piece of the night. I watched a lot of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe as a kid. I even saw that crappy live action movie they made with Dolph Lundgren. Beastman wasn’t necessarily one of my favorite characters, but he was always second fiddle to the main villain. That’s got to weigh heavily on a person. Even a beast person. To know that your job has zero chance for advancement? What kind of life is that?!? So I made him sad.
Third painting of the night: HISTORY’S MOST FAMOUS FRENCHMEN. At this point in the night, I started thinking about how the human body is something like 3/4 water. Why was I thinking about this? Because it was easily 6,000 degrees in the club. 7,000 by me, because of the lamp I was working under. I was working pretty fast, to finish this painting before I completely evaporated.
I ended the night with Animal, from the Muppets. He kind of looks like Sweetums, too, except Sweetums only has two big bottom teeth, instead of a bunch of small ones. Did I mention I watched The Muppet Show a lot as a kid? A couple of girls who walked into the club not knowing there was a show came over and told me how much they liked this one. They had no idea who it was supposed to be, though. These are the times when I feel old.
On the flip-side, I discovered two new artists I’m now officially cupcakes for. Check these out:
1. “…and it tastes great, too!” by Ellia Ana Hill
Adorable, right? And it’s CUT PAPER. That’s right. Paper. Cut into shapes. Then glued. Your computer can’t do that. (Don’t send me links to 3-d printers either, nerds.) There were three of these– all I Love Lucy themed– and if I hadn’t just paid rent, I probably would have bought this on the spot.
2. “Chewbacca in Bed of Flowers” by Cara M. Corder
This might be one of the greatest things ever made. Seriously. If I owned this, I’d hang it on the back of a door so that every morning after I got dressed, I could look into it as if it were a floor length mirror. I would pretend THIS was my reflection, and therefore would live every day knowing I look the most handsome.
I tell you, kids. It would be wise to head down to Moct and check the entire show out for yourself. And when you, too, fall in love with these, drop me a line. We’ll talk about how great it is in person. And if you’re interested in buying any of the live art, drop me a line. Rent’s due in a few weeks.
In all my years of doing live art, I’ve somehow managed to never paint on a Monday night. But there were a lot of reasons I did:
1. Nate from Wicked Hop/Jackalope asked me to.
2. DJ E-Rich would be spinning. (It’s his Bangarang night.)
3. Kid Cut Up would wind up on the tables at some point.
4. Jackalope is starting a Bags league (also known as “cornhole,” also known as “throwing a bean bag onto a board with a hole in it.”) and Nate wanted me to paint one of the boards.
Except I wound up painting two. Fred and Steve from Grape Street did the others, and seeing them ahead of time pretty much meant I had to BRING IT. So I tried. Here’s what I wound up painting:
And board #2….
Goonies never say die!