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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Grass Hopper Nocturne August 13, 2011

While driving to and the San Fernando Valley from Santa Barbara, sometimes two to three times a week while obtaining my Masters Degree I would spot intriguing subjects to paint along side the freeway.

I eventually got out to paint these pumping units or as I like to call them, "Grass Hoppers", near La Conchita, along with my friend and fellow Nocturne painter, Donn Longstreet, (Great Great Grandson of Confederate Gen. James Longstreet)

On Wednesday, November 18, 1998, It was a cold and quiet night. Except for the sound of the 101 Freeway and and the motors pushing the pumping unit, nothing stirred, but something was up!.

Donn and I got to the location and set up to paint, the grasshoppers were rocking up and down.  My challenge was going to paint a moving object so it looked correct. Just then, the grasshopper stopped moving, and remained still in that position the rest of the evening. I literally had a Still Life to paint.

We finished; exhausted, around 10 pm, packed up, and headed back to Santa Barbara. We could see the glow from a fire lighting the sky in Santa Barbara. Donn, an SB County Firefighter, learned Stearns Wharf was ablaze and burning up, so while I went on home to bed, Donn had to gear up, and go fight the fire on Stearn's Wharf for the rest of the night. Bummer for him. Bummer for Santa Barbara.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Smoke Shops Chiefdom August 10, 2011

Someone took a stump and carved this statue resembling a Pale-faced Native American Chief. Who knows how long ago, where, or when it was created, or how many coats of paint it has received, but there it was, staring timelessly out into space.

I find the whole concept of Wooden Totem Poles depicting the American Indian rather intriguing. Maybe it reflects a time when the Indians would be seen hanging around the Trading Posts bordering the new frontier.    After the Indians were rounded up and confined, and the wide spread belief that, "the only good Indian is a Dead Indian", was held by the multitudes expanding Westward in Manifest Destiny Mode, scarecrows like this (stereotypical savage heathen in a war bonnet)  were harmless replacements for the, "Real McCoy" so to speak.  Who knows what emotions it evoked in people...throughout time.

He looks like he wants to speak (or maybe send smoke signals), or cry a thousand tears; possibly from the fact he's stuck outside the barred windows of some seedy smoke shop in Downtown L.A.'s Arts District. 

The more I stared into his wooden nickel eyes, I imagined wanting to sit down with him, smoke a peace pipe, and listen to this grandfather's stories about what it was like to live on the land.

Smoke Shop Totem
Image: T. Van Stein

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Crystal Ball August 9, 2011

When living life on the edge, as an Artist, Visionary, or Ideatian I find myself looking deep within for the answers to my questions. The trouble is, with every answer comes a thousand more questions. So, after a while, I quit asking and just be.

Visiting the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History I came across this Anthropomorphic Oracle; Deep, Black, Shining, and Clear. This I shall use as tool to symbolize the intuitive portal to enlightenment; a conduit, transmitter, generating conductor for metaphysical transformation...and all that other esoteric woo woo hyperbole. 

Keep your eye on the ball

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Find Art Stolen August 7, 2011

Meredeth Abbot "Thunderheads" 8x12 2011
I am in an art exhibition called, "Front Country" at the Faulkner Gallery, in Santa Barbara.  It is a collection of artists from the Santa Barbara OAK Group with paintings for sale depicting the front country of Santa Barbara. 50 percent of the proceeds of the sales are to go to benefit the Friends of Franklin Trail Project.

In the 21 years that we in the OAK Group have been together we've raised well over a million dollars for various organizations dedicated to preserving landscapes as open space.

On Thursday night, August 4, 2011 we had one of the paintings stolen from the exhibition.  This is the first time ever an original painting was taken in a heist, from one of our shows. The painting, "Thunderheads" by Meredeth Abbot. It was listed at $900.00, and was graced with a $200.00 Gold Frame.

The police have been notified. Security tapes are being reviewed. There is a remote chance it will be found.

Whomever it was who took this painting off the wall of the gallery had damn good taste in art, and a lot of Gaul stealing it right in front of others in the gallery appreciating the presentation.

Front Country will be on exhibit August 4-August 28, 2011 at the Faulkner Gallery in the Santa Barbara Public Library.