Monthly Archives: December 2009

A Farewell to the Noughties

Today’s the last day of a decade, and even I, humbug that I am, thought I’d take a moment and reflect back on it.

In this decade, I graduated high school. I graduated college. I worked 5 jobs. I fell in love 4 times. I had my heart broken three times.

I had my first kiss, my first girlfriend. I lost my faith, I lost my virginity. I discovered scotch, and strong beers. I became a coffee addict. I started, and stopped, smoking kreteks.

In this past decade, I met all of my best friends. I decided I wasn’t an artist. I realized I was. I started three webcomics. I finished none of them. I co-founded Grimey Studios.

I lived at six addresses. I lost a cockatiel, and got another one. I discovered oil painting, and lithography.

I read House of Leaves. I read The Club Dumas, twice. I discovered I love cyberpunk. I read Transmetropolitan three times in its entirety.

I learned to cook. I learned to like spicy foods. I became obsessed with pork tenderloins.

In this decade I owned three cars. I turned 21. I became a man. I earned the name Zed Martinez.

I got my first cellphone. I got my first smartphone. My first laptop. I used Napster, then Bittorrent, and then got my first subscription music service. I owned two PMPs (but only after learning what they are).

And, I did so much more. This was a big decade. And yeah, a lot of it sucked (like eight years of the Bush administration), but, the stuff that made me who I am, that was good.

So, this’ll be my last post this year. I’m going to go to Ft Wayne and give Steph her painting and drink Old Curmudgeon. At midnight I’m going to kiss the woman I love. The so-called Noughties won’t be missed, but I can’t help but feel somewhere in there it was a good decade.

Girl Meets Boy, Day… Something

Well, since lovely Ms Aud was the only one to respond to my request for input, it should go without saying that her suggestion is the decisive winner and the setting for Girl Meets Boy, Boy Is Dick is now a high school, complete with lockers.

Otherwise, things are clearly starting to shape up, and while I’m gone for the next day to celebrate New Year’s with Steph and her boyfriend and with Aud, the paint should dry enough for me to start the light color glazes that’ll give this the same subtle character of its predecessor.

BTW, I was discussing with Roose earlier how I don’t consider this or its partner to be works of pop art. They both get dismissed as such quite often (or, constantly), but, pop art was a movement built in derision and irony, which tongue-in-cheek or more bluntly took things of a mundane or kitsch nature and stripped them of their societal context and reformatted them as art.

While I can see the overlap, thanks to the sign people and the “bombastic” nature of these works, they actually came about from an entirely different approach, one rooted in my training as a designer. I was looking to do work unlike most of my paintings, in that I wanted them to be very quickly deciphered and to reveal themselves not just as a static subject but as a slice of story. To that end, the very illustrative and simplistic sign people were my obvious vehicle for conveying this little vignettes of heartbreak.

New Sketchpad + Michaels’ Sale = WTF?

Me: So, the recycled (green cover) sketchpad is the same price as the non-recycled (brown cover) one, what kinda asshole would buy the non-recycled one?

Nick: I probably wouldn’t have noticed there was a difference, so, me.


Cashier Lady: That’ll be _______

Me: I thought these were 40% off.

Cashier Lady: Not the green ones.

Well. That answers that, I suppose. Still, new sketchpad!

Your Input Wanted! 24 Hours Only!

To the right there is the current snapshot of Girl Meets Boy, Boy Is Dick, the not-pop-art companion to this painting.

And, I’d like your thoughts. Last time, I went with a street and houses for the broken background. This time, you help me decide: where are these people? A mall? The beach? Keep it realistic (“Mars,” for example, is straight out), and tell me where you think they are. But act fast, once that oh-so-shiny paint you see in there is dry (roughly tomorrow night), I’m going to just nab the best thing I see in the comments or have Facebooked, emailed, IM’d, texted, or otherwise sent to me.


New Sketches, Maybe Upcoming Paintings?

Just thought I’d post this real quick while I wait on Aud so we can head up to Christmas with her family. Handful of recent sketches. The two formalized ones will probably see life in some form of painting. I want to go back to using my classic faceless people to work through ideas of attachment, loss, envy, and all those other emotions of the heart that I seem to ponder so much these days.

Two More New Paintings Up, It’s Getting To Be A Trend



Well well well, that’s four paintings up in the past four weeks, if I’m not mistaken. It’s almost like I’m ceasing to be a hopeless failure and more like a Good Productive Artist. Rock on!

Sure, it was a commission, and it’s got a private audience of two, but I was so delighted with the bizarre comedy of Brain SAMMICH! that I felt it would be a shame not to shoot it for record’s sake. So, while only Ms. Stephanie Hammer and her guests will be viewing exactly how awesome this painting is in the flesh, you all can rub your peepers over its pixels here on the site.

The other painting is one of the fastest I’ve done in many years, because I wanted to retain that energetic sketchiness the underpainting started. It’s also my first self-portrait in like, two years, and the only true one I’ve done in paint (though this painting arguably counts).

Vanity Affair

And, because I really think self-portraits are among the more egotistical things I can think of, I couldn’t help taking a satirical jab at them in it. Mind you, it creeps me the heck out (not to mention my coworkers and girlfriend. My friend Liz is disturbingly amused by it…) At any rate, however disturbing it is, it’s very brilliantly colored and explores a lot of new line work I’ve been getting into lately, so it may be just watershed or it might be kicking off some new stylistic explorations. We’ll have to see.

Oh, and while not technically a new painting now, the previous shot of Lipstick 66 has persistently felt a bit flat to me, so while I had the lights out I went ahead and reshot it to more accurately show it’s glory. Find that here.