Dress Up Your Devices with My Art!

After a few too many complaints about the quality of their products, I have moved on from Society6 and am now selling through the company formerly known as GelaSkins. You can view my new shop here. (use code SUMMER25 for 25% off)

I had seen the prints that Society6 has done over the years at people’s homes, and thought they were pretty good. Perhaps Society6 should have stuck with them alone. The amount of people who told me they got orders refunded because of shoddy cheap products was finally getting to me (and that is just the people who told me!) I admit that both my iPhone cases cracked in a strange area — I don’t think I ever dropped it. I’m not a fan of my art on throw pillows, tote bags, or any of that nonsense. The other thing was Society6 didn’t have iPad cases or anything for Kindle. Well, as of now you can find skins for all those things, even Nook and other products!

I am getting something for my Kindle Fire for sure…

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I’m curious to know how well the prints on fancy paper, and on canvas turn out, so someone order a few and let me know!

I Almost Slipped On A Mason Jar

The other week I almost slipped on a mason jar rolling around on the floor in a dark club. I found 3 total on the floor that night! It was the one night I decided to go out without my cane, btw. I picked the jars up so no one else would fall on them. It was ridiculous.

For the love of fucking God, would bars please cut it out with this mason jar glassware trend already? It just tells me you are too cheap to get real glasses. Guinness in a mason jar is not cool, it’s bullshit. Are you really going to put that nice $6 IPA craft brew in a mason jar for me? Really? Dump that sucker into a real glass or I’m ordering a bottle next.

A snooty bartender with a rockabilly bump of a ponytail once saw my face and said, “what are you, like, unable to drink out of that or something?” AS A MATTER OF FACT YES BECAUSE IT’S WRONG.

Hey kids, when mason jars as glassware are being served at airports, are being sold at WalMart with stems, being sold at Walgreens for $8 when made of plastic, and now being made fun of on Pinterest:  it’s over.

In fact, here’s a little something my best friend and I came up with a couple of years ago!

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There is a running joke with my friends that I am the number one mason jar hater, ever. This is not true. They have a place in society at times; a country gin and tonic perhaps, an iced tea, or preserving food as was their original and intended use. I always saw them as best utilized in a garage, holding screws and bolts. However, a margarita in a mason jar isn’t cute (unless you are a woman with the IQ of a Tic-Tac), and neither is walking around with one at a rock concert. In fact, the ‘I remember we drank out of these and jelly jars when we were kids because we were poor’ line is something I hear most often by anyone over 30. I mean seriously are milk bottles going to be next? Are the music venues and twee artisanal establishments going to start serving cocktails or beers out of MILK BOTTLES?

One day when the world ends, I will be left in a post-apocalyptic landscape, with a bionic leg, a sweet Tank Girl or Mad Max wardrobe, and I will fight the remaining mason jars with all of my smashy-smashy strength! Sure, after the apocalypse mason jars might come in handy for something close to their intended use — and I won’t care!

No one needs hipster artisanal rhubarb after the apocalypse.

Arctic Circle to Kiev

A little out of my comfort zone, and I decided to go with a loose look to these. Part of a series of illustrations I’m working on for an upcoming publication; all locations from the Arctic Circle down to Kiev, and then some. It’s rough when you are trying to illustration something you haven’t actually seen the text for, either!

These are all 10×8″ oil on panel.

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If You’re Wondering How The Empire Is Doing?

I can tell you that Tina the Queena is looking after it just fine. I guess the new couch is just a glorified cat bed because she hasn’t left it in weeks.

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TinaandJack

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Art in Medical Arts: Show It, Don’t Tell It

Studying anatomy was never something that I took seriously or practiced much in art school. In fact, I kind of sucked at it. So as a result I’ve gone with a very mannerist approach with distorting anatomy of my figures here and there.  It is all very strange, considering my new fascination the last four years is with detailed and gorgeous medical illustrations of the 17th and 18th centuries. They reveal what fragile beings we truly are, and yet the macabre and gruesome nature of the subject is surrounded by baroque columns and fussy drapery worthy of an aristocratic country house. Although they might be gorgeous, these illustrations were meant only for an elite set of physicians, not the patient. Today, technology has made it easier for patients to have a doctor show them what is happening, not just tell them. This is especially helpful for someone like myself, who thinks in pictures, not words.

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My work changed drastically in two ways in 2010. The first was when I found myself creating surreal biomorphic organisms. Although I started from a place of abstraction, they became filled with strange hybrids of flowers, cells, and symbols that appeared like organisms from another planet. It was only later that I found out I had a tumor that had grown tentacles crawling through my body at an alarming rate. When my doctor showed me the scans, it looked almost identical to what I had been painting – tentacles and all. In the process of being treated for what was a rare and aggressive cancer, I wondered what it would have been like to endure the cures and surgeries of the past — especially as a women. Here at Cleveland Clinic I got used to being poked, prodded, getting naked, and having fingers in…well, all the places you could imagine! But, a few centuries ago if I were a woman of means, doctors wouldn’t dare do such things except a very superficial examination. Modesty over accuracy.

After having a chunk of my leg removed — as well as some interesting restructuring– my work changed a second way. I began researching medicine from the Middle Ages onward; finding paintings that showed even the “cure” for my particular cancer was still amputation. Artwork depicting Saints Cosmas and Damian were the first I came upon, and none of it was reassuring. This all bred a series which I called “Ephemeral Antidotes” was a good way for me to work out my anger and be even more thankful that what I was going through is nothing compared to old remedies and techniques. It makes one wonder which medical practices today will be viewed as cruel and obscene to future generations. Will we be lambasted in 20 years for chemotherapy? It is injecting poison directly into a person’s veins, after all, so how is that different from the doses of mercury people took for syphilis? The emotional content was too much to resist.

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Both series bring together a new interest in medical illustration, microbiology, disease, and the evolution of cells. I explore the particular roles that organisms, medicine, DNA, and hybrids play, all while creating from my own imagination and instinct. I have since painted yet more tissues and masses that resemble what is found to be growing inside me; perhaps this is a bizarre way of attempting to control the cells and viruses in my body.

Transforming those emotional impressions and having it stare back at me on an MRI has been quite an experience and highlights the importance of images for both medical professionals and patients. What the patient says is the truth, might not be what the body reveals as the truth. Perhaps this is why more medical schools are looking at applicants with artistic skills such as drawing and painting? Medical illustration has enlightened us that the human body is a machine; enzymes, cells, viruses, and tissues. I don’t know if each of these entities has a mind of its own, but I have learned to look objectively and be slightly detached when it comes to the viewing of human bodies and their inner workings; it lessens the rage I feel at times whenever my health takes a bad turn (a regular occurance these days), and helps me to understand my own body better. This is especially useful when I come upon an imaging tech who assumes I don’t know what I’m looking at. In fact, these days I’m often asked if I work in radiology, or am a nurse myself.

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A new section of my library is forming.

Once my surgeons and oncologists learned I was an artist, they steered away from saying in words what was happening to me in too much detail. Instead, they say, “Come over I want to show you these images because I know you’ll understand.” And it is true, it will be something I spot right away but would have been difficult to explain over the phone.

By the way, after all these years painting people and looking at medical art, I still suck at anatomy.

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Girls, Drips, and Altar Pieces: Artists I Like Right Now

Rogier van der Weyden

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Rogier_van_der_Weyden_-_Virgin_and_Child_(Durán_Madonna)

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Rosson Crow

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Handiedan

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(bought this print below recently)

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Los Angeles Trip Recap

A little while back I went and made a seemingly quick trip back to L.A. for my friend Susan’s wedding. It was a shindig.

In-between there was some epic record store shopping; tours of Highland Park; McDonald’s billboards that mimicked Raymond Pettibon artworks; Pauly Shore following us around Silverlake; a Mount Washington BBQ; slow dancing to Wooden Shjips new; a few glasses of wine at the 101; meet-up with my parents at Cat & Fiddle; a dinner at The Dresden Room; and a show at the old Spaceland …sorry I will always call it Spaceland, I have been going there since I was 16!

Ben hadn’t been back in 10 years, but that didn’t stop him from randomly run into some musicians from BJM and The Warlocks on the eastside! We hadn’t seen a lot of people for a really long time, actually. It was great to stay with our friends Hunter and Charity and to get to know parts of Mt. Washington. Looks like we will be making another trip out in February. Amazing how much one can like L.A. so much more as a tourist and not an inhabitant. Pro tip: Memorial Day = reduced traffic to the max! It was amazing, everyone had left town and it wasn’t a pain to drive on the freeways as much as it usually is. Amazing.

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Treat time.

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Henry loved Ben, but hated me at first. I get more respect from big dogs it seems.

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When you stay in the guestroom of a stylist, you find all sorts of things.

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Record store time!

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Yay, medical art in random shops!

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All goth all the time, even sometimes a record store will suit my mood (photo by Charity)

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I can’t imagine having to lug equipment up these stairs to play an in-store!

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This place was super cool and out early when the other stores were closed. Check them out www.beatcruiser.com

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Came upon artwork by Casey Weldon, even!

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R.I.P. Rik…

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I forget the name of the band, I only caught the last 2 songs, and then everyone but me ate from a food truck in front of Satellite and we danced to Neneh Cherry. Like you do.

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Mary the day of rehearsal.

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Proof I can go into a church and not go up in smoke! (Photo by Bianca White)

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Reunited after 10 years! Ben and his old boss and pal Lee from Dionysus. Lee walked me down the aisle and was the MC for the wedding reception. Funny because he met Suzi when she was the maid on honor at my wedding 13 years ago!

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Time for the reception, but not here…

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Here! Everyone has stories of shows they went to at The Palace. It’s now called The Avalon + Bardot but dammit it is ALWAYS going to be The Palace.

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And, I never thought I’d be on stage at The Palace eating in front of a crowd, but there we have it.

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I think this photo sums up the late evening at Bardot, yep.

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This is just a tiny video I took, but everyone really needs to check out the band The Neumans. They were amazing doing all sorts of covers.

Anyway, after all of that….

My mom had me make a reservation for brunch at a place near Hollywood and Vine that seemed pretty swank. In fact at first they told me they were booked (until I used OpenTable.com). When I walked up to the place, it had a velvet rope in the front…at 12:30pm. I said I had a reservation and was granted entry. The place was empty, but I heard music from the patio. When I got to the patio, it looked like a wannabe South Beach club and had a very loud obnoxious DJ thumping beats right at the table they were trying to seat us at. “Yeah, my mom will not dig this at ALL” I told the waitress, so they put us back inside. Empty, like I said. We bailed and decided to go back to our old haunt Cat & Fiddle. Note to restaurants: a velvet rope is stupid and makes me not want to give you business. Unless you are catering to 22 year-olds, lose that shit!

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The Best Western at the 101 had this lovely picture I woke up to in the morning….

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And her in the elevator….

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Across from my old apartment. Man, what the hell happened!? This place used to be so chic and wonderful. I’m actually appalled at how Hollywood has become. The high rise condos and the chain store retail that is even worse than before. I loved my apartment and location but I can see now we would have moved on eventually. The neighborhood had changed and not for the better.

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Oh Hai Dresden! Sorry, no Will Farrell sighting of him narrating “The Spoils of Babylon”.

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Awww, Dresden bar and listening to a hilarious cover band.

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Ray & Suzi and us and Charity & Hunter. Despite me being away so long and having only sporadic trips back to L.A., I’m at least very glad I was there the night Ray and Suzi met over a Thanksgiving holiday at a club some friends were DJing at. I think the whole wedding reception echoed the the way they got together. The groomsmen all wore Pucci ties worth a billion dollars, an epic garter toss to Led Zepplin, and Tony the Tyger DJ’d a few sets as well. A shindig indeed.

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Old CalArts buddy Lance and I at Verdugo. Because beer beer beer!

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Oh, in the end, Henry that little shit stirrer decided he liked me after all….

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Red Recorder. 2004? This got used for a few gigs and then was a limited print run. #music #illustration #drawing #recording #popart #artists #artistsoninstagram I think this was for a Beachwood Sparks gig in 2002, and it never got used. #art #illustration #beachwoodsparks #lariver #drawing #lineart #artists Almost done #wip #commission #oilpainting #art #artists #painting #artistatwork #portraiture #popsurrealism

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