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.

Categories: biographical  

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.

Categories: paint Tags:  

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!

Categories: sketches Tags:  

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.


Categories: paint Tags:  

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.

Categories: sketches  

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.

Vanity Affair, Finished

Well, I think that’s a wrap for Vanity Affair, I don’t want it to start getting that over-worked feeling, I want it to retain its youthful sketchiness and bright, bold colors.

Also, since I used a lot of OMS and Galkyd on this one, and not my usual stand oil, it’s pretty dry already, so tomorrow I’m going to try and get it and Steph’s painting (properly titled Brain SAMMICH!) shot and up in paintings.

Next up, Girl Meets Boy, Boy Is Dick. Stay tuned.

More Thoughts on Retouching

So, I know it’s popular right now to cry foul at any retouching and it hurts our ideas of self-perception and blah blah blah. And, by and large, I agree. That said, I usually come out on the side of supporting mild to moderate retouching, especially for studios purposes. How far is mild to moderate is–of course– the real issue of contention here. And it’s not a hard line, so I can’t define it. In general, I believe in allowing retouching to correct for stupid things introduced by bad posing or lighting. I believe in retouching as a way to convey what a person looked like when you were there, and not just how a frigid moment of compressed 2-D perception looks. I do not approve of this (give it a moment to load and it’ll animate between before and after:

Privacy in America: Get Over Yourselves


By Wildcardz Designs

OK, so, I jst saw this shirt and t set me off. Not because it’s not funny, it is. I love a good parody of technical stuff, that’s part of being a geek. No, it’s because people continue to have it in their heads that Google Street View somehow violates their right to privacy. This is connected to the false harassments a lot of photographers suffer these days, so it’s something of a sore spot for me.

Unless I’m mistaken, and please, if you have a degree in law and know otherwise feel free to correct or clarify me, but unless otherwise posted your default rights to privacy in America go about like this:

If you are in a public or public-owned space, or are viewable from a  public or public-owned space without otherwise establishing a reasonable expectation of privacy (tall fence, hedges, enclosed shack, private residence), then YOU ARE IN PUBLIC.

For those of you a little slow on the uptake, that means that in general if a friggin’ van driving down a road happens to record you doing something on a sidewalk, the problem wasn’t the van but you forgetting you were in public. Use your heads, people.

Also, to bring this back around to photography, try to remember that photography is at an all-time popularity high, and that if you’re in a public space then you don’t have the right to get upset with someone taking your picture (although you have some recourse if someone tries to sell images that depend mostly on you without your permission.) This extends to everyone, even kids.

Stop assuming everyone has evil or unlawful attentions, people. Please? Be reasonable, think before you get up in arms. Most people with a camera are just people, not terrorists or pedophiles. Stop assuming we are.

Joerg Colberg Talks About Print Sizes

For anyone who knows how I keep my fingers on the pulse of certain arenas of art, it should come as no surprise that I once again fall back on Mr. Colberg, whose Conscientious blog is the final word in the art photography scene as far as I’m concerned. And, he just recently put up a post speaking about his thoughts on modern photography, print sizes, and the art market, and I happen to be so in concurrence with him that I’ll just send you to him rather than trying to sum up the things he says.

OK, fine, maybe a pull quote to entice you:

It seems that there are basically two factors that go into the size(s) of a photograph: Artistic considerations and business considerations. It’s very important to keep these two separate, for reasons which hopefully will become obvious in the following.

What is a the right size for a photograph? That’s not such a bad question. In fact, it’s a significantly more complicated question than in might seem. If you take a photograph, it usually (or maybe “often” would be a more cautious word to use) turns out that there is an optimal size, a size at which the photograph works best[ ... ]. A photograph can look terrible if it’s printed too big or too small. And there is no general rule for this, it depends on the photographic body of work in question.

OK, now shoo, go read the whole thing here.

Categories: photography