Friday, January 29, 2010

Notes from an Easel-Part 67-Disambiguous Foresight

Title: Disambiguous Foresight (Visions of the Afterlife)
Size: 11 " x 14"
Medium: Acrylic on canvas

Whilst I'm happy with the way this one turned out, the color didn't quite translate the way I envisioned it in my head, so I'm keen as mustard to transfer this and the last piece to scaled up oils. Working these pieces as comps first is really helping me flesh out the vision of this series, and giving me an ambition for what I'm hoping to achieve with it.

I've managed to paint five of the promised six paintings this month-although I shouldn't be too hard on myself since I've juggled two shows and a 36" x 42" fully painted commission in between. Out of those five, I've sold three, and at least the two that I mentioned, shall be repainted for the Big featured show in October.

The show at Mosaic is being extended to the 19th of February too, so anyone who missed the chance to see the pieces should definately catch what is currently the best art exhibit in the city.

I also have two further shows scheduled-another featured show at the new Thumbprint venue, which will run from March 13th, and then on April 7th, I shall be showing and raffling a live painting for the Keep-A-Breast foundation at the Belly Up.
Full details are up on my Appearances page, but I'll repost flyers here, closer to the date.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Notes from an Easel-part 66

These past few days I've been ensconced with commissions, but I felt the fact that I gave myself some studio time to begin a new piece warranted an update, so here are the beginnings of my next skull in the series.
Distracted from my mission, the yardstick of milestones has plagued me the last several days.Its the usual guff that reminds me of the leaps and bounds that former paragons had achieved at half my age. Picasso had completed his Blue and Rose periods, set the world of new isms alight with Les Demoiselles d'Avignon and was a few years short of Guernica by the time he was 40.
Having broken ground with albums such as Ziggy, Low and Scary Monsters, Bowie's career was already in creative freefall by forty.
And yet, I console myself that Henry Miller didn't write Tropic of Capricorn until he was almost fifty, and Goya (the greatest artist of all time imo) didn't do his best work with the Black Paintings, until he was completely deaf, and half mad in his eighties.
I imagine its relative, propelled by impatience for some kind of recognition and an appetite for utterly undistracted emergence. Not that I hold myself in such esteem you understand, I shrivel in such shadows, except...blah, blah, blah-no answers here-move along.

In the midst of keeping a roof over ones head, I let my attention wander to a biopic on Rauschenberg today. He likened art to trickery,literally consigning much of contemporary art as a blag with that knowing grin of his. If only Vincent had known. I often see Vincent as the ultimate martyr-posthumously, art would only ever be the contrived suffering of Ron Ethey or the shabby little suicide of Rothko. Even Pollocks death seemed paint by numbers by comparison. Fuck you Vincent and your miserable stereotype. Fuck you Rauschenberg and your privelidged cynicism.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Head Candy-the elevation of nothing

According to Rolling Stone, John Meyer is the master of the low brow Twitter bon mot.
Ricky Gervais meanwhile, thinks its undignified for adults.
Me-I'm just not so self obsessed that I want to constantly elevate the mundane minitue to the status of "event", so I'm afraid my twatting days are destined to be stillborn.
I will however tell you nuggets such how besieged I am by irrational melancholy when it rains for three days. Or how the seafood at San Diego's Oceanaire restaurant is so succulent it ought to be R-rated. Or how intoxicating I thought my wife looked tonight, and how I wondered what she sees in me.

Do you get a complete picture of my day? Is it all encompassing or just merely one facade of a multi facet?

Watching Sophie Calle on Ovation today, I was left with the notion that the currency of art has become like that of a Twitter apeterif. Trying to redefine the diminutive and trivial to relevance. A momentary sketch of the moment, enigmatic- perhaps, insubstantial-certainly.

The elevation of nothing-rather like this post.
Here are sketches from the last few days.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mosaic Gallery Grand Opening-San Diego-featuring David Gough

I’ve deliberately taken a few days to assemble my thoughts about Saturday's show. Not only to soar above the inevitable comedown but to try and find some cohesion in the whirlwind that was the night. Unfortunately, my camera was not up to the challenge and as a result, more than half the photo's look as if we were caught post nuclear flash. As hugely disappointed as I am that I shall not have a solid visual record of the night, I am happy to say that was the only shortfall.So many friends who had said that they would come-did, and I met so many people who were genuinely interested in my work.
It was a humbling, vindicating experience.
Add to which I sold art-which was wonderful.

I have several people to thank-firstly fellow wall sharers-Shay Davies, Mee Shim and Rich Walker and Mark Jesinoski for being hugely gifted and rising above ego to be a pleasure to exhibit alongside.

To owner Mos and all the lovely staff at Mosaic for being so accommodating and keeping me well watered throughout a very busy night.
To all the friends who came out especially in support to see me-too innumerable to mention, you are diamond. To my wife Lani for being beautiful and patient and my rock-I love you.

To those that bought art, you are the people that help me keep doing it.

And finally to my great friend, fellow journeyman and organizer Mark Jesinoski-thanks for having the vision and determination to put together a grand first show.Cheers.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Mosaic gallery opening featuring David Gough

The suit is trimmed and the beard pressed-or should that be the other way around? I wish I could approximate the way Ethan Hawk looked in Great Expectations, but shall have to live with my Edward Norton's grizzled, older brother look.

Because people are there to look at me and not the work on the wall right?

My wife however promises to steal the show, with her deliciousness.

Regardless, I shall be working the floor from around 4pm, which is as much as I can muster competently right now, except to say that if you are reading this, and live in San Diego, then you should come to The Mosaic Grand Opening tonight, because it promises to be the best art show you will see in this city this year.

Saturday, January 16, 2010 5:00pm - 10:00pm
Mosaic Wine Bar,3422 30th North Park, San Diego, CA 92104

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Notes from an Easel-part 65-Life after Death?

In light of the tragedy that continues to unfold in Haiti, it's difficult to be so trite as to post anything substantive from the warm comfortable safety of a roof over ones head. Which is why it is so abhorrent that a supposed holy man, should leap on such a devastating catastrophe, as a grotesque opportunity to admonish an entire nation with what amounts to an underhand, superstitious, poisoned, racial barb.
I hope at the end of your miserable, self righteous existence, that you get to meet the smiting, bigoted, Old Testament monster you so revere Mister Robertson.

There are however, positive ways to contribute something other than ones own despicable agenda, Paypal and Ebay are fund raising for Save the Children, and unlike the bloated church coffers, anything you donate is taxable:

Make a Donation Here

Perhaps enlivened by the vitriol, I have produced what I think is one of my strongest pieces to date. I had intended to put it on Ebay, since its a preliminary comp to a larger scale for the show in October, but if there is room in the exhibit, I'd like to include it this Saturday.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Head Candy

Mark posted a sneak preview of the hanging today, and it looks splendid. As my personal guest list grows, I grow ever more nervous at being the guest of honor, as I begin to realize how many friends I've made here in the US. It shall be something to stand in a room of familiar faces, surrounded by the last three years-perhaps even a little vindicating.

I began a new piece this evening, which is in no real state to view for the moment, but I am very happy with the first daubings, to the point that I shall probably choose it as a piece for the show in October.

For the moment, I am exhausted so here are two sketch book pages from the last few days, which include hand studies for a proposed work and poses for a commission.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Notes from an Easel-part 64-kiss of death

There's something that encompasses the deadly illicitness of dark passion with this piece.The brittle, stark, cream skull, dark blossoms from its orifices against a bleeding crimson sky, hangs like a terrible longing. I'm exceptionally happy with this one, Lani called it sexy, and I think the brush work is some of my best yet.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Head Candy-please mind your head.

Are the vistas of my mind a twisted labyrinth of death valleys, dark caverns ruminated by brittle skulls phantasms and ruin? At times, it seems that way,and yet so incongruous today was the flash of the surface reality.
I guess I spend so much time in my head, that the palms and warm salt air of Pacific Beach seemed like some sort of Epsom salt to the congested warehouses of my mind. Whilst the rest of the world freezes beneath the third Ice Age, I spent my morning, killing time on the way to see a client, sketching through crinkled eyelids at the sun. The legion of honey skinned girls riding beach cruisers on the boardwalk, or walking rats on a leash. The old queens aging disgracefully on roller blades-it all seemed so reassuringly, superficially normal. I do not take enough time just to be.

Talking of brains that hurt like a warehouse, this geezer turned 63 today. For thirty years, he's been the soundtrack and aesthetic yardstick of my life, and although these days he's probably best known as that old bloke who stole 'the Man who sold the world' from Kurt Cobain, he also made some of the most influential and groundbreaking music that shifted the soundscape of contemporary rock forever. Mssrs Gaga & Lambert would not be a blip on the radar without this guy. Here's a little known nugget from the sixties, written whilst Ziggy was still in utero called 'Conversation Piece'

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Notes from an Easel-Part 63-Kiss of Death.

Found my second wind today, and spent the afternoon in the seclusion of my studio, working up a new skull piece. I've wanted to put the stark white of bone against a blood crimson background for a while-it has a Valentines chocolate box appeal I guess, so I'm calling it 'the Kiss of Death.'
However, three days in, and I've been neglecting my daily sketch, although preparations have been so frantic, I've barely been able to doodle on a post-it.Suffice to say that they shall be reinstated tomorrow.

Here is a picture of my cat Ronin then, looking like butter wouldn't melt in his maw. Would you believe that this is the same cat who terrorizes his sister Pepper, steals my brushes, walks on my wet canvases and laid a sloppy stank egg on my rug yesterday morning? Snow white demon from Hades on cocaine.

Speaking of lethal white powders, I am told that my hometown is currently in the grip of a suffocating blanket of ice, not felt since the bitter winter of 81.
, my heavily pregnant daughter-Emma-, trekked an hour through the tundra to her art college to discover it closed before walking back. It alarmed me terribly when I found out, but that's the kind of tenacity and determination that little girl is made of-she reminds me so much of myself, and I am incredibly proud.

Tomorrow I ought to be able to complete the new piece, before the weekend and our next stop at the Hive in LA.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Head Candy-Best Laid Plans

Following a few last minute touch ups, tweaks and a peddle to Aaron Bros for frame clips, the (partial) sum total of three years work, lines the wall of my hallway, awaiting transportation to Mosaic. It's always oddly unnerving letting them out of the house, but of course 'letting them out' is entirely the point, and rather like dutiful little soldiers,one hopes that once on display, they will hold fort.
I'm hugely excited by this showing, I think the company is stellar, and I owe a huge tip of the hat to my bud and fellow artisan Mark (Jesinoski) for inviting me.

Tomorrow however, the business of business, shall be my return to normalcy with a withering plop.The immediacy of looking for some more regular and steady source of income, bares it's sneering face again-at least whilst I'm touting around looking for illustration work. Let the fun times roll.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Showboat-putting peices together for Mosaic

With days to go before delivery of around twelve pieces, here is the flyer with the details for the Mosaic Show. Grand opening is on Saturday the 16th January, and I do so hope people will come that night. I sent out around fifty invitations to people I know through Facebook, but still have to send out a newsletter. time willing-I also want to put together a catalogue as well as replenish my inventory of prints.
Added to which I am working on a commission, which my beautiful wife-Lani, helped me with, by sitting for me for some sketch poses-it will be a relief to have something to show the client tomorrow.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Head Candy

I'm finding real gratification in my proliferation at the moment-I don't see too much of compromise to quality either, if anything the reversion to acrylics just allows me the luxury of revision quicker, and of course the fluidity of painting faster gives the line a freshness that perhaps I've been missing with the meticulousness of oils.

The fervor I'm feeling with my work again, is as addictive as any drug, its euphoric and misleading because I know the downside to the natural chemical low after a period of creativity. I need to manage it better and work it to my advantage, because I can't afford to be thrown to the mercy of a mood regression.
Still, I've not been this prolific in a long time-perhaps I am realising that with less time ahead than behind me, I can no longer afford to fuck about-time is simply running out, and I have wasted so much of it, lost to the contemplation of predicament, when I should just have worked through it.

Tomorrow, I am working on publicity for the show on the 16th, along with a commission and speculating a new piece-busy as a proverbial bee then.

Before I forget, here is today's sketchbook post.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Head Candy-post decade fatigue

I didn't sleep well last night-around four hours in all. The rest of the night I tossed and turned, my brain overloading on gristle, like a meat grinder choking on offal-the neurotic paranoia of every interminable, awful endpoint. The silence of the universe is amplified by sleep deprivation, convincing you that a terminal empty existence awaits you if you don't just get an hour. I look like shit, and it shows in my daily sketch-the bags under my eyes hang like a turkeys wattle.
I tied it together with the remnants of yesterdays scrawl- three enticing beach 'babes' flying into the sky on a magic beach towel. Feeling like a Romero castoff, it was the best I could do.

All was not lost, I worked into the evening last night on the piece for the Hive-it's coming along splendidly, and a good solid eight hours willing, I ought to be able to complete it tomorrow. I'll post the resultant when I do.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Notes from an Easel-part 61

The first day of the new decade has gotten off to a grand start-best laid plans have secured a commission, the new piece has already garnered interest from two potential buyers, and I have another featured exhibition confirmed for March-bringing the total to four big showings this year.

The first begins here in San Diego, from January 6th at Mosaic gallery/wine bar, with an opening reception on the 16th. So far, I shall be showing around ten pieces-perhaps more depending on if I can squeeze another piece in before
Wednesday.Mosaic Gallery at Mosaic Wine Bar
3422 30th North Park, San Diego, CA 92104
call: 619-906-4747

I am also showing at the Hive at the group show in LA again this month, opening on the 9th.The plan is to paint something this weekend, so I have my work cut out for me already. Details to follow.

Today we took the opportunity to enjoy the California winter sun, at beautiful La Jolla shores. In between reading chunks of the Gonzo biography my wife bought me, I sketched the collected throng of afternoon bathers, although the crisp breeze made it too cold for actual paddling.

From our house this evening, there was the most breathtaking blazing sunset and as Lani made hotdogs and chile fries we listened to 80's tracks, and I felt blessed by the beautiful, awesome simplicity of it all-this first day of 2010.

Here's Perfect Day by Lou Reed with a great animation: