2016 is (mercifully) over with many wondering, what the hell just happened? A year overshadowed by an unusual election and far too many tragic deaths.
Reflecting on personal artistic accomplishments, I managed to produce 17 new illustrations, a personal best in a year. Most were for an August solo exhibition at Fifty24PDX Gallery in Portland. I did some traveling with my beautiful wife Noe and her amazing family. We explored Northern Italy and relaxed on the beaches of Hawaii. We attended the Jehly wedding in Brooklyn, GPS'd our way through Tennessee and I found my way back to St. Petersburg, Florida to assist a long time friend with his largest mural.
Here are some 2016 highlights:
February was filled with warm fires in the stove and new drawings for up coming shows.
I was hired by Zevia to produce a limited-edition can design for their Ginger Root Beer flavor, released at Expo West (an enormous Natural Products convention) in Anaheim. In conjunction with the can design, I painted live in their booth during the 3-day event.
Unfortunately, I didn't finish the painting in time so Zevia kindly shipped it to me. The painting was too large for my studio so I set up a make-shift painting area in the living room. Here's the painting almost complete.
The spring of 2016 brought some beautiful sunsets to northern California. These moments help me remember to appreciate the beautiful world we live in.
My cats spent the year doing what they do best.
In May, Noe and I attended a co-workers wedding in rural Tennessee. A great time was had by all. Cheers, George and Ali!
Things I love about Tennessee:
1. Most people are either going to or hosting some type of garage/parking lot/roadside sale.
2. The BBQ is delicious.
3. Everyone is out-of-their-way polite helpful and it's impossible to get lost here.
We had a little time to explore southeastern Tennessee, spending a night in Chattanooga before heading home.
Two weeks later, it was off to witness my long time friend Chris Jehly and the marvelous Madelyn Sutton tie the knot at a movie theater in Brooklyn. Guests were treated to an original screening of Pee Wee's Big Adventure. So much fun!
Later that month, I knocked out this electrical box near Jack London Square, organized by the City of Oakland and Athen B Gallery.
June started with a Bernie sighting in Cloverdale, CA. I got excited about the possibilities of Bernie Sanders as president. Although I didn't agree with everything he promised, I was intrigued by his energy and the change he inspired in so many.
Later in June, I spent a week at this villa in the Barolo region of northern Italy.
Remnants of a Roman Coliseum in Verona.
The northwestern coast of Italy was breathtaking.
And so was Venice (although way too touristy). Here's an illustration based on a photo I took while exploring alleys and canals with Noe.
A mural I did a few years prior found it's way into the Pokemon Go phenomenon.
Before I knew it, August and my exhibition at Fifty24PDX in Portland had arrived.
I created a new body of work for this show, taking the better part of a year to produce. It was the longest I'd ever spent on a show. An absolute grind, but a mentally rewarding experience when the work was finally displayed.
This was the first time I did an installation as a part of the show. There was a theme through out the work of magical orbs floating amongst the elements. I hung 3-dimensional orbs in the gallery, giving the feeling you were inside the drawings while you viewed the exhibit.
Some artwork from the exhibit:
"Float On" - 12" x 32" mixed media illustration on watercolor board.
"Metamorphic Decay" - 18" x 24" mixed media illustration on watercolor board.
"Mystery of Multnomah" - 14" x 11" mixed media illustration on watercolor board.
"Old Town" - 8" x 10" ink and colored pencil illustration on recycled paper.
"Space Balls 2" - 11" x 14" pen and ink illustration on bristol board.
"That's No Moon" - 18" x 27" mixed media illustration on watercolor board.
This drawing was the highlight of the show for me. I started this two years prior and worked on it off and on. There were times I put it away with no intention of finishing. It was just too much, but I battled through and eventually saw it to completion.
August included a mural project I curated at Jameison Ranch Vineyards in Napa.
The beaches of Hawaii were a nice way to unwind after a busy month of August.
September kicked off with this star-studded group show at 212 Arts in New York City.
Print release coinciding with the exhibition:
I found my way back to St. Petersburg, Florida to help my favorite spirit animal, Alex Pardee paint a mural for the Shine On Mural Festival.
While in Florida, I released this print "Acid Rain Dance" with Cass Contemporary in Tampa.
Back from Florida, I departed for Portland to pick up the Fifty24PDX show and knock out this mural for long time friends, Blacklist Tattoo.
October and November rains were welcomed and I spent most of my time working on new drawings.
"6th and C Street" - 15" x 12" pen and ink illustration on Bristol board.
"Dairymen's" - 15" x 12" pen and ink illustration on Bristol board.
"RO Shelling" - 15" x 12" pen and ink illustration on Bristol board.
"Mutual Relief Building" - 15" x 12" pen and ink illustration on Bristol board.
I painted an interior mural at the Marqeta headquarters in downtown Oakland.
The holidays were warm with friends and family.
I look forward to a happy and healthy 2017. Resolutions to sketch everyday and spend more time outdoors.
Cheers to you and yours,