Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Little girls from outer space

Space granny was poised to excel at the impudence rally. She had a 14 joule suffusion wand with more low gear plasma settings than any other wands used by ultra-senior space citizens who entered the competition. The problem with suffusion wands is that the overthruster transfer barrel never worked correctly on any of the pneumatic models and the glyco-hydron worm models had poorly crafted wooden handles.

Of course many would argue that the uniformly low quality of the suffusion wands leveled the playing field. When that was said, they immediately had to remind everyone that this was merely a figure of speech, since level playing fields are grounds for immediate disqualification at impudence rallies. Interestingly enough, disqualification only applies to the rally itself. At impudence rallies, it is impossible for any of the contestants to be anything less than overqualified. When a disqualification occurs, the regional rally representative travels back in time to a point three weeks prior to the time when Tooggie McBeelfuton came up with the idea for the rally. This “Ambassador of Winning Ways” convinces him to open a lemonade and assisted suicide stand. This banishes the rally into nonexistence from the perspective of Tooggie. Of course, this only happens once.

Space mom was poised to take the blue ribbon at the lemonade and assisted suicide rally. She had a 28 speed blood atomizer with a lazer arm griddle with more splizzon settings than any other blood atomizers used by other middle aged soccer moms who entered the competition. The problem with blood atomizers (especially those with griddles) is that the anti-static formanizer gets gummed up with embalmoplast.

It is not uncommon to hear people say that the low quality of the blood atomizers used at lemonade and assisted suicide rallies add a charm that would otherwise be significantly lacking at such an event. Plus, a suicide that only takes a few minutes doesn’t draw in the big crowds. If crowds of sufficient size cannot be drawn, then the event must be cancelled. The event is canceled by traveling back in time to the point where Bret Frarvere’s parents would have conceived him and starting a heated argument that will last nearly ten weeks. No title is given to the person assigned this task, because anyone can do it, really. This stops Bret from being born, so he can’t kill Tooggie McBeelfuton and steal his lemonade and assisted suicide idea.

Tooggie was never cut out to run a death related business anyway. So, after being in business for only two weeks he finally closes his shop and begins pouring his lemonade on the ground screaming, “behold the tainted lemonade of death!” When people see this they are intrigued and ask if they can pay him to join in the lemonade dumping game.

As it turns out, Tooggie has got “IT”. IT is what all salesmen need, IT’s the ability to sell anything even when one is not trying. By the end of that day Tooggie had pocketed twenty trillion dollars, which was a lot of money on earth in the 1750’s. Of course, Tooggie moved to outer space with his space girlfriend and was able to live there three weeks before being evicted. He came back to earth with a renewed vigor and some interesting sales (s)kills he had learned during his 3 weeks in space. Of course, earth had changed tremendously during the time he was gone because 3 space weeks was actually 49,000 earth years. Fortunately, his old high school friends were still there waiting for him. He would visit them every day at the museum of natural history. While at the museum he would sometimes wander away from the group and see what other displays were there. He came across a journal that just happened to be opened to a page that had his name written in it. He broke the glass and grabbed the book to read it. Shortly thereafter he was grabbed and the book was taken from him. He was taken to a penal enlargement colony where he was given plenty of time and space to think about what he had done. Of course, they had already scrambled his brain waves so he had absolutely no idea what he had done. He thought long and hard about his situation but he had no comprehension of the passing of time so what was actually 85 minutes seemed like an eternity or no time at all. But upon being released he realized that the world was very different from what he remembered. This is not because anything was actually different, he simply didn’t remember anything. After what he thought was a large meal - but turned out to be a very short cab ride - he was back at the museum of natural history. He was quickly arrested again because he had mistaken the place for a public toilet. After being allowed to finish peeing on the display with his friends in it, he was taken to a processing area where he was forced to process chicken feed. Then he was taken to a holding area where he was forced to hold a large bowl of rotting grapefruit - but was actually a medium sized bicycle tire. After he passed these two tests, they lead him to a large box of cabbage - which, even though he was wrong was exactly what he thought it was. He was forced to eat all of the cabbage in the box, which he found to be much easier if he imagined that the cabbages were really live kittens. After eating the cabbage kittens he was ready to commit lemonade, because he was thirsty. No such a thingy was to be allowed before the brain scramble. After the brain scramble he started to remember things. “The past three hours were pretty wacky”, he thought. He waited in stir for the required 85 minutes and was back on the street.

Since his attempts to read the book with his name on it were thwarted the first time he decided he needed to acquire the information from within the system. So he quickly built a small inflatable resume out of twigs, berries and a small sample bottle of Epinephran he had received from his grandmother who was desperately clinging to her failing pharmaceutical business. After a brief demonstration to the museums board of directors showing how the resume could be used to dredge canals or get him a job, they bought the resume from him for 8 tennis balls. He took the deal and went to the government and bought it with the tennis balls. He still had one tennis ball left over so he used it to play squash for a while, just to be a badass. Then he donated the final tennis ball to the charity of his choice.

After leaving the charity a large group of small girls with strong arms and deep pockets attempted to nickel and dime him to death. He was able to dodge the nickels and catch most of the dimes which he used to buy a large house with small windows and medium-sized doors. This house was immediately placed on the register of historic places and he opened a bed and breakfast. The bed and breakfast wasn’t as successful as his grandmother’s floundering pharmaceutical business. So he decided to check in on his government and see how it was doing. It turned out that his government plan was really taking off. He decided to flood all the streets with applesauce and not only did the people love it, the hornet and bee population skyrocketed. He could do no wrong.

One day he got off his high horse and rented a dune buggy to better relate to the man on the street. While driving around the town he remembered his motivation. He did all this so that he could read the journal with his name in it. He went into the museum and told them he wanted to see the book. They said that it was a government owned facility and he would have to ask himself about it. So he asked himself. At first he said “no”, but he knew it wouldn’t be long before he changed his mind, because he knew that this was something he really wanted. He waited a while to build suspense, then he said, “Okay, read the book”, he was so happy that he felt the desire to kiss himself on the cheek, so he told everybody to just hang on there for a minute while he got in his time machine.

He took the time machine back in time a couple of minutes so that both of him could have one. Then they switched time machines and both went a few minutes further back in time. When they saw him standing there they both ran up to him but decided to stop and explain that they were going to kiss him. He said, “Don’t you me’s know about time paradoxes?” To which they responded, “yes, we do. We know they’re great for a laugh.” “Oh, me” he said, as he opened the book and began to read aloud from it. “Wait” said the audience, “you haven’t asked you yet!” To which he replied, “this has gone on way too long, we’re going to have to start skipping some parts.”

As it turns out, the book didn’t have any information that would have helped him win back his original destiny. It was just a book of random names made up by a group of little space girls as a party game. The book ended with coded information regarding the location of the next slumber party.

Everyone cheered. The reading was a huge success.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Is this an art blog?

As you know if you've read a few of my posts, there is no theme at all to this blog. Unless that theme is that I write whatever I feel like writing. But sometimes a few posts in a row are similar. So, these little promotional pieces will probably be showing up for a while. So here is a link to my latest drawing on my gallery.

The image is called "Hand To Mouth" that is just for reference though. Really, it's self titled. But if I called everything "eponymous" I would be creating more difficulty for the people who might buy my work.

When I was young, I always thought that I would need to move to the "big city" to sell my work. I really wanted to show my work at galleries. By the time I was 18 and living in Minneapolis - which had a thriving art scene - I spent whatever time I could find hanging out anonymously in the downtown warehouse district. This is where the galleries all seemed to live back then. I was shocked to see that I didn't fit in with the whole art scene. Almost all of the artists were too heavily swayed by opinion. It seemed to me that they were trying to ride dead ideas until they rotted out from under them. I had insulated myself from culture (which was very easy where I grew up) and yet I had seen all of this before.

To me art was always expressing a thought I had, and thoughts I had were generally new and unique. It was easy to see that the majority of these artists had some real talent, but that talent was hidden beneath layers of "skill". I never wanted to see a display of skill. Skill CAN be great, if it doesn't obscure talent, but how many artists do you know of who can really do that? There aren't many, alive or dead.

Don't misunderstand me. There was some really cool work on display at many of these places as well, and some of it by the same people who did the trite stuff. I just expected to see something fresh, and my own drawings and paintings were the freshest things around. After spending 11 years in Phoenix, I long for the old Minneapolis art scene. Now, I'm in the high desert in the middle of nowhere, and I never once took an opportunity or even an offer to do a gallery show. I always said, "I don't have the right collection to show". When offered money for my work, I've always avoided the subject. So many people have said, "I really want that!" only to get the reply, "well you can't have it".

Well, an artist with real foresight would have acted on the inevitable moment that has now arrived. ART CLUTTER. I threw away all my work that I did as a young kid. But at some point when I was about 16-17 I started to hang on to some of it. Now, I still own almost everything I have drawn or painted since then. I don't have most of it on display, it just sits in boxes, taking up space. So, now after all these years, I'm willing to sell it.

I used to have several of my paintings up in my office at work. People always would ask excitedly, "who's the artist?" I would tell them that it was me, and they would hire us to do their web site. This worked exceedingly well with the women, but men would often hire my team based on the fact that I was 1) clearly great at my job, 2) creative. So I did sell my art in a sense. Or I used it as a sales device to sell my commercial art.

Above is just a picture of one of my old offices with a couple of my paintings in the background. I also insisted on real plants. People don't buy web sites from plastic plants.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Self Promotion....

Here is a link to my latest gallery. I've gone against my galleries of the past and put in very large pictures. This gallery is my first real attempt to sell my original work, thus the much more vivid pictures of the drawings. This gallery is super simple and clean. It's all about the images and getting to them quickly.

Xymyl Gallery

Here's a little art story to go with my little gallery opening....

When I was 8 years old my grandmother gave me a large book about birds. It was full of good quality illustrations. And I appreciated the gift. Then my grandmother told me as we were leaving, "Remember to send me drawings of those birds." I was shocked! Nobody had told me this wasn't a gift. She got me vested in ownership of the book, then out of nowhere switched gears for the hard sell. I can't remember anymore, but I think she gave me a quota. So once again, a seemingly thoughtful gift turns into a rent-to-own plan. I felt terribly undervalued. That's just typical though. How many people really GIVE you something?

I still wanted to make a go at my indentured servitude, because I really wanted the book. It was a 30 or 40 dollar book. And I had no money to buy it. Wanting to get out of this pickle as quickly as possible, I began to churn out drawing after drawing. The following is one of the first pictures my grandmother got. It certainly was not my best work, it was a payment to the rent-to-own store. It was money.

It didn't take long for me to get truly angry about the way my creative integrity had been compromised over this book. I was literally going insane. After a few more of those, the pictures started to look more like this...

I was very frustrated because I was still being forced to draw birds. It didn't take long before I physically could not draw those stupid birds. I thought to myself, "she can repossess her book if she wants it."

I waited, but she never came to get the book. I started to feel like drawing her some more pictures. Then I remembered that any garbage I could churn out would be much more meaningful than what she did. Yep, paid in full, overpaid really.