Category Archives: Austin

A look back at the Blue Genie Danger Derby

The Blue Genie Danger Derby
Blue Genie Danger Derby

Here’s a look back at one of the crazier art events Ian Shults and I put together for Blue Genie Art in Austin, Texas.  The Danger Derby is a no-rules pinewood derby race featuring a 120′ track fraught with dangers the entrants must overcome – a firepit, blowtorches, swinging anvils and swablades. Continue reading

Review: The Accidental Gentrifist Looks at the Really White Vigilante

Reprinted from the Austinist, a noble experiment in documenting a city and its social stratas that ended a couple years ago.  I met lots of people who sweated and worked hard to make the website interesting, fun and provocative, and Benjamin Reed‘s 2007 review of my satirical comic book started a long friendship:

DECEMBER 17, 2007

The Accidental Gentrifist Reviews Tales of the Really White Vigilante

Gentrification

Benjamin Reed

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My Onion Interview

Onion Interview
In 2007, I took some time off from painting to work on a book.  Unbeknownst to me, the story I was about to write was a bit more autobiographical than I ever wanted to admit at the time, and the project took on the format of a comic book.  In November, shortly after the book’s publication, I was interviewed by Sean O’Neal of the AV Club, and my interview appearing in the Onion. Continue reading

The Last Supper: An Oil Painting Commission

Last Supper Oil Painting Commissionoil painting commission

A few months ago I was commissioned to paint a version of the Last Supper for a client.  I visited the space, came up with some ideas that would fit the room, including scale and colors, and after a few months of painting held up by an unheated studio in the winter months, this is what the finished result looks like.

The oil painting is on canvas, on a hand built stretcher and the actual size of the painting is 11 feet by 5 1/2 feet. It was an incredibly fun painting to design and paint. When hung in its space, the painting can be seen from its left from the outside, front and center from the main entrance, as well as from its right from a side entrance.  When approached from the right side, an optical illusion is created as the table in the painting appears as a square and ‘unfolds’ as the viewer walks towards the center of the room, extending to its full size.

Further down the page you can take a look at the installation and how the painting looks in situ, located in a nice residence in the western reaches of Austin, Texas.

Last Supper Oil Painting Commission Continue reading

New Art Project Coming Up!!!

A New Art Project That Should Result in a Grand Show in Kansas City
art project
While taking a nice Sunday morning walk on 39th Street, the rumblings of my empty stomach were replaced with the rumblings of an idea for a new, exciting art project that will culminate in a large, collaborative group show featuring artists from Kansas City, Austin, and parts unknown.

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My farewell to the Austin Art Scene

Austin Art Scene

Just before my final show in Austin, I was asked some questions about the Austin Art Scene by Robert Faires, the Arts Editor for the Austin Chronicle.  In the midst of setting up the show as well as packing up my belongings before heading to Kansas City, I exchanged some emails and fleshed out my thoughts about my experience in Austin as a self employed artist.
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Austin Arts Hall of Fame – Double Inductee, 2014

The Austin Critics’ Table announced their Class of 2014 inductees into the Austin Arts Hall of Fame and Blue Genie Art and Big Medium were named, alongside the Rude Mechanicals.

I’ve had the pleasure of working side by side on tons of projects with both groups, along with curating shows at their spaces, advising on the East Austin Studio Tour, and putting together the Blue Genie Danger Derby.

It’s been a great time working with such talented folks in both camps, and I appreciate all they’ve done for me as well.  It’s great to see Blue Genie and Big Medium get the attention they deserve for everything they’ve done to the Austin art scene over the years.

To read more about the Hall of Fame inductees, check out this article from the Austin Chronicle.

I even made it into both pictures:

Big Medium, Austin Arts Hall of Fame

Big Medium photo by John Anderson

Blue Genie Art - Austin Arts Hall of Fame

Blue Genie Art photo by John Anderson

Artist Interviews – Coming Full Circle

Unearthing some artist interviews…artist interviews

While spending a few hours updating some old stories from past versions of my website, I ran across an old series of artist interviews that I did in 2006.  It was a rather interesting time capsule to see just what these folks were thinking and what has transpired since.  I’ve reposted the artist interviews and included links below, and I plan on catching up with each artist and post a new interview for each, to see what has happened, how their thoughts have changed, and what the future looks like for each of them against the radically changing backdrop that is Austin. Continue reading

Last Supper

Back At It!

Jan 2014 – Winters in Austin are not very hard.  Even the coldest snaps and random and rare ice storms inflict a mere trifle of discomfort and inconvenience onto Austinites.  This winter has had a couple of rough cold and wet patches which hasn’t been great, but the worst has been the weather’s affect on the Blue Genie studio.  The cold concrete soaked up every ounce of cold and made the inside temperatures way lower than the outside air, which put a damper on the progress on my painting commission.

However, with the better weather,  I’m back to work and it’s moving along again.
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“I Can’t Draw Stick Figures”

I can't draw a stick figure
“I can’t draw stick figures” – along with the inability to draw a straight line, are the two most common refrains I hear from folks when I tell them I am an artist, as well as from beginning students who finally take the step to learn to paint or draw. Continue reading