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Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Postman Always Rings Twice: Teaching Day January 28, 2012

Old Barnsdall Oil Co. Gas Depot, on Hollister, near Santa Barbara

Every now and then things fall into place. Wednesday's class location was changed at the last minute due to unforeseen  circumstances. (Construction Equipment)

Instead I opted to relocate the class down the lane near Ellwood, to paint this historic icon which is behind a fence, and slowly decaying.  Still, it was there for us to paint it's portrait.

Light and Shadow in Art, on location Jan. 25, 2012
I only know this building was used as a film location for the movie, "The Postman Always Rings Twice", starring Jack Nickolson. Then one of my students in class told me he use to work there pumping gas. (a long long time ago).

Another student then sent me this image of the gas station, taken not long after it was built. (Thanks Bill)
Now we can only hope to make each brush strokes count, as we paint away each moment; imagining the ghosts of the past...and it all comes together.

The postman always rings twice, because if we don't answer the first ring, we may be out painting. 

In two weeks I will be running this blog through my website: 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Chase Banksy on Fire January 27, 2012

Chase Bank in Flames by Alex Schaefer, seen on the cover of Artillery Magazine

During the L.A. Art Walk, I  got a chance to view a different  type of Street Art.

Stumbling into the Hive Gallery in Los Angeles turned out to be a surreal ordeal. Artists to the left, to the right, then to the left again...busy creating like bees. I bumped into this bearded bee wearing a hat. I took a look at his paintings; one depicting a Chase Bank of Fire. I remembered hearing about Alex last fall; that he was being investigated by the L.A.P.D. for projecting the Chase Bank on Fire

The Vincent Van Gogh look-a-like, plein air painter, Alex Schaefer,

Alex Schaefer Maulsticking it to the Bank
was a humble man with a sense of ironic humor and fiery personality...and this was the story he told:
His paintings depicting Banks on fire were, “was intended to be a visual metaphor for the havoc that banking practices have caused to the economy.”  The prompted a police investigation.  

He told me that somebody had called the police on him, and said they felt threatened by his painting. The police questioned him, and were curious as to find out his intention. They asked if he was a terrorist and if he was I going to follow through and do to the bank what was depicted in his painting(s). They even came to his house. Since this confrontation, his paintings have gone up in value.

I was interested in his process, and as he got going on his rant, he was more passionate about the social commentary depicted in his paintings, than the actual process of painting. His meek appearance disappeared and he became inflamed and wild eyed...spitting fire at the as he expressed his hatred for the capitalist system, hoping in some way his paintings would be instrumental in "bringing this whole system down!"

I was so inspired by his passion that I wanted to buy his painting right there on the spot. Alex was now a discovered street artist, like Guerilla Artists, Shepard Fairey, JR, and Marco.  However, being I was a stranger in a strange land I didn't have the cash on hand, and there was no ATM Machine nearby, I went on a search. When I eventually found one, it had been vandalized (ahem, Gratified)  so I  couldn't get MY MONEY OUT!! 

Inscribed on the ATM Screen was, "We are the 99%!"

So, I guess I wasn't meant to collect this street artist's work at this time.  Hopefully I will be able to do this soon before all banks are burned to the ground, and along with them all my money they keep inside. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Night Fall, L.A. Art Walk January 26, 2012

Had a strange surreal dream regarding a moon goddess.
Nightfalls in L.A. and the quirky come out. It was edgy, abrasive,  outrageously outlandish. Most of the art was expressing the morbid, morose, horrific. It made me realize the artwork produced in the bubble of Santa Barbara, is relatively tame.
The  Artwalk was  near the downtown financial district. 

It was fun; looking up seven floors to see these glowing hearts in a window.

The night evolved... 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

L.A. Art Walk, the Bradbury Building

Walking into the Bradbury Building was like strolling into a time warp. There are few atriums in the world which compare to this masterpiece. Completed in 1893, it has become an icon 19th Century Victorian Era Aesthetic with it's wrought-iron banisters and railings. It's perfect for Movie Making...

In fact, It recently appeared in the Sherlock Holmes movie, "A Game of Shadows". It's well worth the trip inside, even if the security won't let you past the first floor landing.

No matter though, there was more to see on the Art Walk. When leaving the building, I caught the image of Charlie Chaplin out of the corner of my eye.

In two weeks this blog will change to the location of my web site:

Monday, January 23, 2012

L.A. Art Walk Jan. 23, 2012

In Los Angeles, Size Matters. When the weather is good, it seems in a way like everyone is dancing, like, Zorba the Greek!

Even the buildings put on their prettiest facades.