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Here’s a look at some the painting and sculpture projects that I’ve had the pleasure of working on for Portland’s own ACME Scenic & Display.

The Ice Age Exhibit at The Columbia Gorge Discovery Center in The Dalles, Oregon features this life-size mammoth, easily one of the largest pieces I’ve been a part of.  Scott Foster, the immensely talented local artist and proprietor of good: a gallery, sculpted the maquette for this piece.

The Happy Hollow Park and Zoo in San Jose, California had a massive scenic and signage redesign including these happy critters who now live in the children’s play area and gift shop.

This Nike retail display was my first professional interface with the brand giant; a resume requirement regardless of industry for any Portlander.  Shown on the right installed at Jack’s Surf in Huntington Beach, California.

Happy Valentine’s Day!
Making his blog debut, verge speaks to you of 爱.

Ai (愛) is used as a verb (e.g., Wo ai ni, “I love you”) or as a noun, especially in aiqing (愛情), “love” or “romance.” airen (愛人) originally “lover,” or more literally, “love person” is the dominant word for “spouse.”

The center of the traditional chinese character for love (愛) is heart (心), the simplified character 爱 is made only from the surrounding character, meaning “accept,” “feel,” or “perceive.”

Verge is happy to live in Alabama, Australia, California, Florida, Italy, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Ontario, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Virginia, and Washington State.

If you’d like to invite Verge to your place, you can get ahold of him here:
etsy | society6 | RedBubble | Flickr

Taurus Burns is a ninja of a painter; quietly slaying canvases all day with efficiency and style.  I had the good fortune of meeting Burns years ago in his studio at 555.  His paintings have a studied color and light while maintaining a certain fluidity and ease.

Some of his work feels like perfectly rendered snapshots of Detroit, including a series of over 200 such cityscapes.  Other pieces have more apparent layers of symbols and parables which he rewrites with compassion and sharp wit.

Treat yourself to more beautiful work at paintdetroit.com.

Do you remember that one time you made it backstage and met the singer/dj/flutist who was socially disappointing?  Or that writer who was better on paper?  Sometimes the art that we love is made by folks we wouldn’t like if we knew them.  Sometimes bright, heartfelt, awesome, positive work comes from people who could be described the same way.  Carl Oxley III is one such artist.  He is the Happiness Company, and he’s a nice guy.

Detroit doesn’t enjoy the same kind of prestige as its big city counter-parts on those other coasts, but it does have a creative community working together with respect and a lot of heart.  Oxley has collaborated with the city’s finest, exhibited in the full range of the cities venues, and left his mark on more than a few corners around town.  In his own words; “I believe art should be accessible to everyone. It is extremely important to me that the people who enjoy my work the most, can afford to take home the piece they love.”

Carl Oxley III just wants to see you smile.  You can check out his gallery at popartmonkey.com, buy some art on his etsy, and look over his virtual shoulder via his facebook fan page.

My time as a printer at VGKids probably came into play on this piece.  I built up the green mother-board background pattern through layers of ink and acrylic washes before stenciling the labyrinth of reflective silver figures.  I knew the result would depend on several interlocking process, and documented the different stages of development.  Loosely based on the pages of the kama sutra, these robots find a variety of ways to express their physical affections.

10 inch square, 1.75″ deep
acrylic, ink, and spray paint on reclaimed hand-made wood box frame with a protective gloss varnish.

robo-sutraThe box-framed surface and underpainting had probably sat in the studio for about a year before finding it’s way back to the easel; as the annual “robot-love” exhibit at good: a gallery was around the corner.  I began skething robots as blocky iconic couples, as a skyline, as lovers, composing different positions in illustrator and organizing them into the square.

robo-sutra
When I got to a composition I liked, I printed out two copies the size of the physical surface.  One print was cut for the silver of the robot bodies and registered to the painting.

robot sketch

robo-sutra

robot silver stencilUsing a light coat of contact adhesive on the back of the stencil, I laid down silver spraypaint.

On the second print I drew out the line work in a way that made the robots positions readable, trapped the silver border, and kept the stencil intact.

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Here’s a Haiku about getting ready to live in a temporary city in the middle of the Nevada desert:

you can smell the dust
on your hands and all over
packing up the car

The last time I found myself in that situation I was pleased to have already contributed some dang art to Burning Man 2011.

Black Rock City’s “Least Best” Newspaper The Shroom asked me to work up DJ Passive Aggressive for the two on-playa issues:


My partner and I had fun painting two side panels and a stair riser for Portland’s ThunderBridge; one of 22 regional collaborations for Burning Man’s Circle of Regional Effigies (CORE), and with all of them burning together, one of the largest fires I have ever seen.

 photo by suzie starr

thunderbridgeI volunteered with the ARTery department, mostly as field-ops (kind of like Placement for art).  Before the event they took submissions for logo design’s and the ARTery staff selected these dang designs for the team and for the 2011 event:
ARTery

Last but not least, it was an honor to design Black Rock Spatial Delivery’s shwag for the “Rites of Passage” theme:

BRSD

I’m happy to have provided some dang art to so many of my favorite people and groups that have been throwing down in the desert for years.  Thanks to the Portland C.O.R.E. crew for doing most of the work and letting me steal three panels for thier bridge.  Thanks to ARTery for the excuse to chat up artists and for letting the new guy draw their logo.  Thanks to The Shroom for my first published comic strip. Thanks to BRSD for being the best camp on the playa, and huge thanks to k8 for all of her patience, help and visual expertise.