Monday, October 31, 2011

No injuries or deaths at WE energies bluff collapse.

great news from a breaking story here...good thing there were no injuries or fatalities.

Apparently a 120 yard wide, 50-80 yard deep section of bluff collapsed around 11 this morning at the Oak Creek WE energies plant sending tons of debris sliding 200 feet into a nearby lake. The company reports that no injuries or fatalities occurred even though around 100 employees and contractors were on site at the time of the collapse. Read more and watch the news report here.

Mt. Before-Rushmore

Ever wonder what the mountain holding the four faces of great president's looked like before it had the faces carved from it? Well take a look at this gallery of some interesting "in process" photos of one of the largest sculpture projects ever undertaken in history..

and get a brief rundown of history, controversy, continued plans, and the future of the momument here at our good friend wikipedia.

The Tower

This is "The Tower." It's my newest piece, made over the weekend based off of the oil drilling tower structures made around the turn of the century and symbolizes a variety of things from brute strength, to the industrial revolution, to the "oil era" and everything involved with that idea. It is supposed to be a symbol of power, superiority, and in some regards tyrannical rule. Like an ancient monolith, celebrating the Gods for their kindness, "The Tower" praises current man and his perceived dominion over nature...notice the "aura" of power only extends so far, and the reign only so long...

The Minis

THE MINIS are a new series that I started Saturday that is based upon extremely small scale, and limited pallete. I'd like them to mostly be black, white and a primary (though I broke the rule with the first one), on wood, and at the most, four inches tall. They are meant to be spur of the moment, engaging, simply, and disposable. All three of these are already spread across the east-side with the hopes of either people taking them, moving them, or even noticing them. It's not to get attention, not to get money, not to get fans...simply my easy idea to spread art to where it is seldom found for most people...everyday life.

Along with the "Placement" project which has seen over 20 pieces of larger scale go out around the city, this series is about getting art to the people in an unexpected yet unobtrusive way.

I Believe

Came up with this Idea a few days ago...thought it was relatively funny and could make a decent shirt!

Friday, October 28, 2011


Just thought I'd throw out another call to watch my most recent time-lapse of "the crystal ships! Watch it! ENJOY!

Assessing a Decade of Art

Take a look at this article by Mary-Louise Schumacher about the decade since the art museum added the Calatrava. Have they stuck to their mission or fallen short?

As You Slipped Out Of View

This song has a good mood for this piece...

New Ai WeiWei exhibit focuses on his absence.

A new exhibit by famously detained chinese artist Ai WeiWei recently opened in Taiwan and the artist says that his inability to attend is part of the exhibit itself. While I obviously won't be going to Taiwan to see the show, I think the commentary on the restrictions of the artist and his ability to still create a new and cohesive show despite his detainment are powerful ideas that push the boundaries of what his government seem ready to confront, despite their efforts to silence the artist. Take a look a the article and the work at the link below.

ArtMilwaukee Awards!

Well this is awesome! Any artist or friends of artists, (or especially friends of me) should take a look at this and submit/vote for your favorites in all the categories. Looks like it'll be a bunch of fun and make sure to go to the Jamboree coming up on Nov. 3rd!

Just FYI, I think I'll be submitting "The Crystal Ships" "He Had Gold Running Through His Fingertips" and am going to make a new "professional quality" time-lapse of a new piece for the "multi-media" section...I'd encourage you to vote for me, which would be awesome, but really it would be great to see just a great turnout in general! go here to vote:

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Crystal Ships - Making a Painting part. II

Check out my time-lapse of the recent piece, "The Crystal Ships" currently on view in all it's glory in my humble living room. The lighting, once again, proved to be a bit of a problem but it was kind of a last-second decision to make the thing so, with that in mind, enjoy!

NCAA Approves 2,000$ "Cost of attendance" for Football/Bball players

So apparently the NCAA isn't opposed to paying long as they don't call it payment...
The NCAA Division 1 Board of Director approved a set of proposals on Thursday that includes legislation where student-athletes (in football and basketball) are able to receive additional aid for the full cost of attendance up to $2,000. 
"This is certainly not pay-for-play," NCAA president Mark Emmert said.
more below:
First of all, I can't wait to see how fast every other student athlete comes out of the woodwork screaming "favoritism." Secondly, I can't wait to see all the feminists coming out screaming "sexism" and "equality" and Thirdly, I can't wait to hear about the lawsuit over Title IX restrictions, which require both women and men's sports to have equal scholarships across the board...
And then I found this gem of knowledge which is pretty much exactly how i feel about  the "oppressed student athlete" discussion...
There are a few things I need to say about this. First of all, student-athletes don't go to school to make money, they go to learn. Playing sports is a secondary objective, or at least should be a secondary objective. I think we have lost focus on what a university's purpose is.
Players get the following along with a hefty scholarship: clothes and gear, housing, meals, use of various facilities, better healthcare than your normal student, a nutritionist, the chance to travel, the chance to play a game in front of thousands. And one thing not many people mention. Student-athletes graduate at a higher rate than normal students, probably due to the structuring of their schedules, extra semesters (summer classes, redshirt years), free tutoring, computer labs specifically for their use. They also have a great opportunity to keep playing, if they are good enough, after college and make millions. They get their own social niche, the prestige of playing, and on and on and on. If playing in college was so terrible as so many people make it sound (we have to study and play and exercise) than why do so many kids dream to do it.
Am I supposed to feel bad that under the current system, the average college athlete leaves school with ten thousand dollars of loans to pay off? I'll have around sixty thousand. Ten is nothing. Oh, and I take fifteen to twenty hours of classes on top of fifty hours of work a week (which is for scholarship, an internship, or volunteer which means for nothing). No one is clamoring to see that I have some spending cash.
Also, student athletes can work in the offseason. If you are smart about saving it, you can survive while in season.
And here's the thing. I'm not opposed to student-athletes getting some extra help. Playing and going to school at the same time is tough. Some kids come in with nothing in their pockets and do have a legitimate argument for why they could use a little more assistance. But all students need some help. This garbage about the trials and tribulations of the student-athlete is at times both offensive and embarrassing. A group of people who are given so much will complain about how tough they have it until they get more, at which point they will complain that it's not enough, so they can get more. There are so many people who would love to go to school but can't afford it, or who will leave with massive debt, or who scrape by. It's sickening how much we dote on student-athletes. Be thankful for what you got, and if it's truly not enough, the NCAA will work on it. But to paint these kids as the oppressed pawns of greedy and exploitive universities is just absurd.

That's off a message board so I don't know who wrote it...but pretty much spot on guy! 

Out Getting Ribs

This is a piece I worked artistically for the first time last night. It's come together over the last couple days by painting strips of wood black, leaving an abstract pattern of black lines, drips, and stains over the canvas where the strips were not present. Sort of an unintended masking which left very interesting intersections, composition and dynamics, completely void of any planning and thought. I thought the quick dashes of color complemented the "sketchy" quality of the lines, and the overall subtlety of colors created a very natural look.

The name "Out Getting Ribs" actually comes from the piece of the same title by Jean Michel Basquiat, brought to my attention in the movie "Basquiat" where the note is posted on his studio door  as he mourns the death of his friend Andy Warhol. A powerful juxtaposition of the simplicity of the statement with the intensity and diversity of the emotions felt at that moment...

The piece is somber and simple and it's quite different from the pieces I've been doing recently. It's a bit melancholy with a dash of anger...It's frivolous and immense at the same time and that division, that uncertainty with the piece is what stands out to me at the moment.

New Micheal Crichton!

Hooray for posthumous releases. My first literary obsession (I read Jurassic Park first when I was about 12 saw the movie even earlier) is back with his newest and presumably last full novel, "Micro." Take a look at the new page and watch the trailer...It's actually got pretty good motion graphics too! Personally I think the US cover, full bleed red with a dark bug silhouette, is better than the UK "eye" cover...but that's just me...
The colonies' cover
The King's cover

Tubular Bells

I know I'm in the minority in this situation, but i grew up listening to Tubular Bells, or how most of you know the tune, the theme of the exorcist. Believe it or not, the actual song is an hour long and is much more beautiful, expansive and eye-opening than you'd ever imagine if "the exorcist" is the only way you know the song. It was recorded by Mike Oldfield in 1973 and was the first release of the then brand new recording label, Virgin Records (yes THAT virgin records) and gained instant success all over England, becoming a cornerstone for the success of, now billionaire, owner Richard Branson. Oldfield composed and played all 26 or so parts throughout the recording, only adding to the impressiveness of the piece. It's estimated as selling upwards of 15 million total copies to this point and is the 34th best selling album in British history...

It has been re-released many times throughout the years, including bonus material, reworking the instruments and adding new parts, however the iconic original has stood the test of time to be one of the most accomplished recordings of the 20th century.

Take a listen, you really should...

You're All Fur Coat and No Trousers!

I dunno if a single person finds this line from "Beerfest" nearly as funny as I do. In fact, I dunno if anyone other than me and a few friends find the British guys as some of the funniest characters in the movie. Anyways, check out beerfest if you like really dumb movies and here's my cartoon of a great quote which we should really start using more often as a culture...


Happy belated birthday to this fella. Don't know if you've heard of him, but in terms of art, culture, and the entire idea of perception, he's a pretty big deal. If you've even taken a breath in the last 100 years, in some way you've been impacted by what he did around the beginning of the century..the 1900's one. Womanizer and asshole aside, Picasso was a raise a glass and tip your hat. He may have been a dickhead but he changed the way we see the world.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Support your right to have the opportunity to be informed. Support the Shepherd and Free News!

New Student Loan Forgiveness..release that breath you've been holding

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but everyone release that breath you've been holding...I don't think it's quite as good as it sounds...

I admit, I've been reading articles for a bit, trying to figure out exactly what this new plan means for students and recently graduated students, and I'm still a bit hazy...but at least this article seemed to help a bit...

Some main points that are a little disappointing...
- You don't meet the requirements if you took out your loan before 2008
- You don't meet the requirements if you don't take out a loan next year
- You will not apply if your loans are in default

It's also only government loans and there's something about how this is already a policy...again, I haven't had the time to totally try to digest everything and figure out what it actually means so I'm saving opinion for later...

and theres a lot more stuff that i don't understand quite on it before you celebrate too much

and here's a general press release:

Don't like exercise and want to lose weight...get fatter

So apparently, since the requirements of many insurance companies restrict weight-loss surgeries to the very obese, some less obese people have, instead of trying to lose weight the good-old-fashoined way, resorted to eating more...That's right. If you don't qualify for a weight-loss surgery, the apparent solution is to get fatter so that the insurance company will pay for your surgery.

I have a few problems with this. First, it does nothing but enforce the problems that got you to where you are to begin with. Ya, sure, some of its genetic and all that, but a lot of it is lifestyle. Some people go into the surgery thinking it's a miracle cure that will make them eat less...and that's partly true. But if you continue the same habits of stuffing your face, the surgery, eventually, won't'll end up re-stretching whatever got stapled and back in the same boat as you began. You won't be "free" of who you were before the surgery until you change how you deal with food and lifestyle.

Secondly, it undermines the entire reason why you SHOULD be losing weight in the first place. Yes, we all want to look good, but in all reality, looking good doesn't count for much. If you look good but  are out of shape, are depressed, or have sore muscles or joints, I would be willing to bet you "looking good" doesn't FEEL as good as you thought. If you feel like shit, who cares what you look won't be playing the part and that will reflect more than a smaller waist and a bit of makeup. Looking good can boost your self esteem, but what happens when you don't look your best? What happens when no one's looking? What happens when something bad happens and you revert back to old habits to make you feel better? You'll realize that looks weren't and aren't the only problem...feeling better has much more involved than just looks.

Lastly,  once again, it takes all responsibility off the individual. Oh, I can just continue eating like a moose and when I wake up in three weeks I'll be skinny? Hell ya, let's do that.

When I decided to lose weight a couple years ago, I set up a routine, changed my eating habits, woke up earlier and worked out every day. Every time I saw the scale go down I was happier, every time a mile time lessened I wanted to do better. Every time I upped my workout, I wanted to see what I could do next. It became less about losing weight and more about motivating myself, more about KNOWING that I could do better, more about confidence...IF i could have just "lost the weight" without the preceding 2 or 3 months of work, ya it'd be easier, ya i'd look better but I would also have no respect for what I had accomplished. I wouldn't feel better about my abilities, I wouldn't have been proud. Maybe most people either don't care or don't realize that they are missing that, but the confidence gained was less about weight-loss and more about knowing what I could accomplish. The confidence ended up being what I thought about, not the new-sized pants I got to buy...

I realize not everyone can up and go to the gym every day. Not every CAN push themselves to lose the weight, and sometimes, there's no alternative to weight-loss surgery...but for people who are not morbidly obese, can move, and have the ability to fix things themselves, to purposefully eat more, gain more weight, and be happy with that choice as an alternative or equal to making hard choices that create an overall healthier lifestyle is just depressing and that attitude, frankly, is one reason why people are obese in the first place...

Help The Shepherd Out!

Unfortunately, people disagree. It's an inevitability. But how you react to those disagreements really tells people the type of person you are. A person interested in the best for everyone would work with that person to try to hammer out some agreements..try to work on the relationship so that it results in what is better for everyone as a whole. Unfortunately...that's not the easy road and many people end up just dismissing the opposite viewpoint, cutting it from their lives, and to some extent, demonizing those who hold that viewpoint.

Recently, Roundy's stores has decided to pull The Shepherd Express from all of it's area stores,  cutting the distribution of the paper from 192,700 readers who regularly shop at a Roundy's location. If you believe that, no matter what you personally believe, everyone has the right to read or not to read whatever they want, please  call "Chairman Bob" and politely ask him to continue providing the Shepherd to the public in Roundy's locations...

Take a look at the most recent Shepherd to see the call to action, or read below. Thanks for the support and thanks for helping the Shepherd in any way you can.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Most Powerful U.S. Nuclear Bomb to be Dismantled

The U.S.' most powerful atomic bomb, put in service in 1962, will begin to be dismantled ahead of schedule as part of an attempt to lessen the amount of nuclear weapons on the planet. The bomb, named B53, was 600 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

The Crystal Ships

Did a bit of work on it last night and I think its done...big fan myself

The Crystal Ships. (click image to enlarge)
36"x60" acrylic, ink and pastel on canvas
Created between Saturday Oct. 22nd & Monday Oct. 24th, 2011
(Time-lapse to come)

The PC Police take on Halloween

And they don't want you to dress up as any other race for Halloween. Read the article below and then continue if you's not a fun subject.

First of all...I get it. The costumes are in bad taste, it's not positive, and it doesn't help anything involving race relations. But with that said, I have some problems with this campaign.

First, I realize "minorities" in the US deal with this problem more than anyone else, but there is some political incorrectness with this whole execution. First of all, there are no white people...No I don't mean Americans, I mean, how many drunken kilt wearing Irish Leprechauns do you see every Halloween? How many big-boobed german girls in lederhosen do you see? How many beret wearing frenchmen with pencil mustaches are walking around? The point is, there are other negative costumes that reflect poorly on any number of "cultures" and the fact that they didn't include them, presumably becaus they are white, defeats the entire purpose of the campaign. In other words, making fun of a culture is OK if it's majority is white. Do I personally care? No, I think most "political correctness" is completely overblown and actually calls more attention to the problem than the solution, but for a campaign to oppose these specific examples and leave out some very prominent others hurts the legitimacy in my opinion.

Secondly, especially with the two posters shown above, I think the campaign is making the costumes more culturally offensive than the costumes themselves. Does a middle-eastern student really identify with the terrorists that share a common homeland? Is the middle eastern culture really that of a guy wearing a bomb? Are all japanese people represented by a person wearing a geisha costume? Do all japanese people feel that a geisha is a symbol of their culture? If so, should I, as a white american, take offense if someone dresses as a radical evangelical? I would hope culture has nothing to do with radical religion and I don't identify with it just as I would hope any person would be able to do the same with their culture.

Look...its halloween, not a political statement. Is it in bad taste? yes...but that doesn't mean its a deliberate attack on your culture. I personally would never wear a costume like the ones they picture, but I would also never assume that any of those people were purposefully offending anyone or projecting their costume into symbolizing an entire culture. Almost all halloween costumes are a butchering of some type of cliche or stereotype and to single out a few as "racially motivated" while forgetting others is incomplete at the least, and hypocritical at the worst. All I'm saying is that if you agree with this movement, support its cause, and promote it's ideas, we better not see you walking around as a southern pregnant hick, a drunk german beer-lady or a kilt wearing Irishmen...and if you might want to take a look at the definition of "hypocrite" before you yell at the geisha walking down state street.

If anything, these posters should say "this is NOT my culture, it's a costume. And thinking they are the same is not OK."

Things I learn as an artist #8

16. if you accidentally shatter something glass, don't try to catch it because even if you succeed with the catch, you lose with the fingers.

Modern Medicine

I hear all the time about how people hate doctors, don't trust them, hate medicine, and would rather let "sicknesses take their course" over taking some over te counter drugs to fix it up. Even more, I hear about all these "magic cures" that take care of EVERYTHING. You got a cold? take this thing that has no legal information whatsoever. Hungover? drink this thing that says it cures it. Stuffy nose? don't take psuedophed, that's what they use to make meth. Eat this all natural cookie...guaranteed to cure.

And I guess it's just really depressing to me. Yes, some doctors suck, some doctors are not the most moral people and you DO have to watch out for what they prescribe or diagnose. They are people doing a job, not infallible medical judges. You wouldn't take the word of a car salesmen without checking out a car model's ratings and history would you?

But with all that said, I think the malice toward them, and the resulting cozying up to "natural" cures results in a great disservice to all our great advancements in medicine and a dangerous de-education of the public toward their own health. I know people who take "Emergen-C" over straight vitamins and cough/cold medicine. I've known people to buy "weight-loss tea" instead of listening to the doctor's order of simply walking or running a couple times per week. And in the article below, the original writer even infers that our body "initiates" illnesses and we simply need to find out why the body "released" the sickness or disease in order to cure it. Oh...and this guy gets to post his "professional opinion" on the Huffington Post as well.

I guess I just use this guys article (if you care to read it, it's linked within the article below) and mostly the response (linked below) to show just how outlandish and, while possibly convincing, easily disproven his ideas are. Just keep an eye out. Not all real doctors are bad, and not all "natural" doctors are bad. Not everything works every time and that's no reason to say it's "bad." If you aren't sure about something, the best thing to do is research from reputable sources...

I guess the whole point here is to say, once again, don't believe everything you are told and be responsible and informed about whatever you are doing. Maybe alternative medicine IS the right choice for you...but you shouldn't make that decision because you saw it on TV or because you just don't like should make it because it's right for what's wrong with you. Harboring "beliefs" can blind you to facts when it comes to things like this and the best way to approach it is the same as how a student should approach a new subject and teacher...teach me facts, express your opinion, but I'll use my own brain to form the opinions I follow.

Monday, October 24, 2011

7 Billion is A LOT!

So the world population is getting close to 7 Billion people...ya...that's with a B. Check out these photos...kinda makes you think we should probably get a handle on this whole thing huh?

MIAD Alumni Show

Thanks all who came and the artists who exhibited. the show looked great, the gallery was mostly full the whole night, and Gallery Night was a great time. I only sold one piece so that was a bit disappointing, but swiftly counteracted said disappointment with a couple trips to the bar. Congrats to the sellers and buyers and really, Overall congrats to everyone. There was some very good work and great pieces from every corner of art.

That's all my stuff. I had about 20 pieces up, one small guy sold and a lot of people took my business cards which is positive, though now I need more business cards's a vicious cycle

Here are some quick, badly taken photos of some work that I liked...(not that if you aren't in here I didn't like you're stuff, just that I was walking through pretty quick and can only take about 15 pics on my camera thanks to a lack of memory card).