Monday, February 28, 2011

new adventure

Okay, I lied when I said I was being lazy the other day. Realizing I was in imminent danger of having my artistic license revoked I've been working on a new Adventure. I bet you thought there'd never be another. This one is  called 'the art class' and is just next door if you'd like to read it.

ps: Be warned it has absolutely no redeeming cultural, political, or social value. It's just another of those silly situations I remembered from my wasted youth. I probably need a new hobby.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

lazy (me, not him)

It was just too cold and windy outside today to exercise the dog so I built it one of these.

Well, actually I don't have a dog but I've gone to look at this video
a few times now and it always makes me laugh.

Maybe it will work that way for you too.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

impossible dreams

Although I'm not much of anything when it comes to religion, I couldn't help but be impressed by a man who has devoted the past 50 years of his life to building a cathedral all by himself. The simple story is that he was unable to continue his life as a monk when he contracted tuberculosis and was ejected from his monastery by those who feared contagion. Another I've read is that he was so devout he fasted himself close to starvation and when he became ill the worried Benedictines decided he'd best not return. He did recover and resolved to build a cathedral on part of his family's farm near Madrid, selling off parcels of land to buy what he could and scavenging at building sites for what he could use. With no architectural training, or any drawn plans, Don Justo simply started to build.

Looking at the galleries of pictures on the website you can see pillars made from cement cylinders that were moulded in plastic buckets, concrete heads of Christ and the Apostles standing on spikes, a staircase built of misshapen bricks, and circular windows whose forms were made from tires. The rickety ladders and scaffolding are enough to make any building inspector cry in frustration but Don Justo has never had an accident.

I loved this quote by him, 'I appreciate the art in many things but all beauty now is ruined by money. There is so much confusion and distraction in the world so I see myself as a martyr. Every man should be a saint.'

El Loco de la Catedral from James Rogan on Vimeo.

It's nice to know there are some who try.
Best wishes to all who do.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

making waves

Painting waves in watercolor has always been a bit tricky for me but I decided to try again a few days ago. Since it's impossible for me to just paint nothing in particular I added a couple of characters who obviously have some sort of entertaining game going on between them. It's not perfect but it's kind of neat and I hope you like it.

The very good news I read today has been far more difficult to obtain than my forays into painting a pretend sea. It seems that after 23 years of Japanese fishing fleets heading of to the international waters of Antarctica to 'research' whales (more than 10,000 of them have been killed), the fleet is going home, hopefully forever.

For many years the Sea Shepherd group has been chasing and harassing the factory whale ships of Japan and it's definite that a lot of the kudos belong to them. It also must be noted that a lot of international pressure has been directed at the country's whaling industry. Chile has banned the practice in its waters and their navy closely monitors Japanese ships in its territory. Whale meat sales have plummeted in Japan largely because of international disapproval.

It's wonderful that the barbaric slaughter of these gentle and intelligent beings may be ending. Perhaps the next step will be to stop the US navy from using the Sonar that deafens the animals.

Hurray for all the wave makers that do it the hard way like: Ray McGovern, ordinary Egyptians, and your average Wiscontonian :-)

There may be troubled waters ahead but you have to admit there's enjoyment and great benefit to be found in surfing these waves.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

it's the end of the 'world'

as we know it,
and I feel fine.

No, I don't mean the end of the larger one we all inhabit but I must admit it did make me smile a few weeks ago when I read that the 'World Islands' in Dubai are showing signs of erosion and deterioration and are gradually falling back into the sea. The islands, 70% of which have been sold at enormous prices as the ultimate in luxury retreats, were created from dredged sand which is now dissolving back to whence it came. It's depressing to understand just how much of the real world's resources are being wasted to prop up the vanity of the super-rich so I take comfort where I can and this was a good one.

On the other hand, there are continuing developments in applied sciences that could make the world a better place and begin healing some of the damage that's already been done. One particular example was unveiled this week in Boston where artificial trees made of recycled plastic from drink bottles won the SHIFTboston urban intervention contest. We all agree trees are wonderful but it's not possible to grow enough of them in our cities to clean the air. The TREEPOD systems are capable of removing carbon dioxide from the air and releasing oxygen. Their design is based not just on regular trees but on the human lung. The giant white, translucent trees can be installed among existing trees or on their own and at night they can light up in a bright array of colors. Anything that can help solve two essential problems at once that's also beautiful gets my vote.

One of my favorite artists in the world today is Andy Goldsworthy who works entirely with the materials nature supplies. He once said, "I enjoy working in a quiet and subversive way":

Me too ♡

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Liberality of Liberality had very generously nominated Adventures Ink and Phantsy for a blog award called Trailblazers.

I'm not very good at the award thing and I'm very glad it appears to have come with only one requirement - that it be passed along. So far as I can see it began (in this neighborhood) with A Feather Adrift who passed it on to Okjimm who gave it to Penolan who bestowed in on Liberality. Each and every one of them are Liberals in the best meaning of the term.

In turn, I'm going to gift it to a guy who takes Trailblazing so seriously he travels all over the country by car, truck, and his very favorite conveyance - a motorcycle - to visit old friends and new. Spadoman is a proud veteran of the Vietnam War who embraced  peace and forgiveness. He has joined with Native Americans to learn and celebrate the teachings of the Great Spirit. He is generous to all he meets, takes wonderful photographs, and writes great Haikus. He's also a very kind and loving family man who takes great joy in his wife, children and grandchildren.

I'm glad to call Spadoman a friend and happy to be able to pass on the Trailblazer Award to him.

Friday, February 11, 2011

garden cats

Ah well, here I have a fresh new blog design and nothing new to show for it yet.  New things are fine and dandy but as I've admitted before, I don't always work very fast. If truth were told I sometimes hardly work at all - those times when procrastination rules or the times I find myself wondering why I'm compelled to keep painting at all. I guess the answer to that is I'm the only person who sees things as I do which should be reason enough, but it's not always the case, is it? A few years ago when I began blogging I'd pretty much stopped painting but what I did was post pictures of the ones I still had access to either in originals (that mostly live in my portfolio) and a few photographs of ones sold or left behind. I was amazed when you liked them and asked for more.

There is a new one in the works but it will be a few days more before I can show you - or it suffers a major mishap. These things happen. In the meanwhile here's one of those older paintings so there's something different to look at on the revised background.

I hope you're having a fine weekend and are seeing signs of Spring.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

bankster vs deadbeat

Whenever I tried to talk to co-workers in the US about fraudulent bankers actively encouraging people to take out home loans they couldn't afford they'd often try to end the discussion with the "deadbeat" argument.  This piece is really effective because the deadbeat concedes that from the start and focuses on the larger systemic damage done by the banks.

This video was on Zero Hedge yesterday morning and is much more fun to watch than a two hour presentation with graphs and pie charts.

By the way, did you know Morgan Stanley is the largest processor of food stamps in the US? Oh the irony.

and now for something completely cute - a baby beluga whale with his mom

You may notice I've changed the template for the first time in 3½ years. Now I'll be able to post larger pictures and also have the occasional youtube selections show to size. Please let me know if you have any trouble looking at the new format.

Time marches on :-)

Friday, February 4, 2011

wistful weekend

Here it is the end of another week and I've come up with yet another illustration. Usually I draw something and then start painting right away but somehow lately I've been more interested in getting the drawings down on paper while the ideas are fresh. Then too is the fact I've ordered new paints from a supplier in the US and am kind of holding out for their arrival. The figures here are pretty close to what they'll look like in the finished piece but the background is just lightly sketched to provide context. Once again, I hope you're able to view it okay now that I've darkened the pencil lines and changed the shade of the paper to my favorite pinkish shade.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Everything looks better with the tv turned off :-)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Crow in Egypt

It was very irritating to hear the US government in concert with Israel had suggested the Egyptian people weren't ready for democracy. Are we supposed to have forgotten Iraq and Afghanistan were ready once we'd prepared the ground? Naturally, my friend Crow has taken another detour on his way home. Some events he prefers to see for himself; the rest of us have Al-Jazeera and Common Dreams among many others.

This is not an anti-American revolution but a revolt against an American backed regime. It appears that another piece of the Empire has removed itself from control and that's a good thing. As Pepe Escobar said yesterday, "This is about the millenarian heart of the Arab world possibly on the verge of a seismic shift."  We should wish them well and look to their methods when our turn comes. The heart of the world longs for change.

I hesitate to write about larger issues in the political world because there are so many better equipped than I but I would like to share a song by another Canadian whose heart was forged here and honed in the US - Leonard Cohen:


It's coming through a hole in the air,
from those nights in Tiananmen Square.
It's coming from the feel
that this ain't exactly real,
or it's real, but it ain't exactly there.
From the wars against disorder,
from the sirens night and day,
from the fires of the homeless,
from the ashes of the gay:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.
It's coming through a crack in the wall;
on a visionary flood of alcohol;
from the staggering account
of the Sermon on the Mount
which I don't pretend to understand at all.
It's coming from the silence
on the dock of the bay,
from the brave, the bold, the battered
heart of Chevrolet:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

It's coming from the sorrow in the street,
the holy places where the races meet;
from the homicidal bitchin'
that goes down in every kitchen
to determine who will serve and who will eat.
From the wells of disappointment
where the women kneel to pray
for the grace of God in the desert here
and the desert far away:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

Sail on, sail on
O mighty Ship of State!
To the Shores of Need
Past the Reefs of Greed
Through the Squalls of Hate
Sail on, sail on, sail on, sail on.

It's coming to America first,
the cradle of the best and of the worst.
It's here they got the range
and the machinery for change
and it's here they got the spiritual thirst.
It's here the family's broken
and it's here the lonely say
that the heart has got to open
in a fundamental way:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

It's coming from the women and the men.
O baby, we'll be making love again.
We'll be going down so deep
the river's going to weep,
and the mountain's going to shout Amen!
It's coming like the tidal flood
beneath the lunar sway,
imperial, mysterious,
in amorous array:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

Sail on, sail on ...

I'm sentimental, if you know what I mean
I love the country but I can't stand the scene.
And I'm neither left or right
I'm just staying home tonight,
getting lost in that hopeless little screen.
But I'm stubborn as those garbage bags
that Time cannot decay,
I'm junk but I'm still holding up
this little wild bouquet:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.