As promised, I teach you how to strech a canvas. I also make you look at a few of my paintings.
As always, please remember to see my art work, all paintings at @Art of Sorg on Facebook.
As promised, I teach you how to strech a canvas. I also make you look at a few of my paintings.
As always, please remember to see my art work, all paintings at @Art of Sorg on Facebook.
This comic book was not going to draw itself so Laurence and I took up the job about ten months ago. It’s a sci-fi story about aliens taking over. 3075 is the year it takes place so maybe it’s an optimistic sci fi then. The planet (and mankind) survived. We call ourselves Mad Monk.
Blood sweat and gel inks have us cross hatched into a hopeful bliss and this fuels us each night to draw more. We’re making something good. Twenty one pages finished means it’s just five more to go. We’ve slaved over the details, keeping it all low tech and high in love. Black and white is as pure as we could make it. Our name together is Mad Monk. This is an art book. We draw together on the couch in the artists’ lofts overlooking the river at the center of town.
I hadn’t even gotten the pages home yet. Kind of priceless really and it’s a safe assumption to say most artists would guard it like gold. It’s not something I own, it’s something I’ve created, with Laurence, we did. I should have been more careful. They fell out of my bag by the river. I’ve traced my steps three times and a few people told me it hasn’t come their way. Homeless people don’t want to talk to me. They “don’t know nothin’ about no papers,” or another guy gave a swat of the hand and swoosh.. “I’m busy”.
I did, however, get to speak with a few folks. I got the word out that it’s worth ten bucks for anyone who found it. One lady showed me her tits and that was fun. Another guy pulled me aside for something that seemed to be something related to advice. There was alot of bumping of wings. What I call elbows he calls wings. There was a little laughing in the places where I couldn’t understand him and soon after I’d hear words like “That ain’t funny huh.” As long as eye contact is kept guys like this stay manageable.
By the way, a homeless friend, who I met over this, got hit in the head, popped with a 2×4 last night (hospital stapled him up) and before that he spent 3 days in jail over ‘jaywalking’. Truly, what is jaywalking? Reno’s bringin’ down the Nazi hammer on the homeless and I’m not in agreement with this forced ‘relocation’ program of theirs.
Anyhoo, these are two pages that will be redrawn. Much more fortunate would have been to find the drawings at the coffee shop with the cute girl behind the counter.
I’m goin’ into the Fishbowl tomorrow for 40 days. Laurence will be visiting so you’ll have to tune in to see what we’re working on. And bring me some food!
A glimpse of Laurence a year earlier:
At 5:33 the morning hung, still dark, as I came to a waking state. I like the mattress low, right on the floor, and that’s where I awoke to a hollow sound that did not echo, my windows were all open and it was the only sound on the ranch. It was my desire, humming. It’s not always there but today I was ready to go make art. Now, how to get coffee before 6:30? That’s my question. It’s a new rule up at the ranch house.
I might be some kind of sun worshipper. I’m afraid of the sun. Trust me, you don’t wanna’ see him pissed off. The sun’s wrath motivates me. I get out of bed before he can boil me and lately noon has been the stopping point for my morning shift. It’s just too hot after that to be enjoyable.
The art behind the art is motivation–the art of motivation–and it’s an ongoing balance with the sun playing a pivotal role, affecting my motivation. Art’s parent is motivation but from where does motivation come? Maybe I have an internal sun spewing rays of motivation. Do we wait for inspiration or create it?
I have to trick myself like a stoner surfer dude into history class sometimes. “Hey there’s no birthday cake here!” Using the ego to make art well is part of that motivational art form. Like tricking the Sun into hiding behind clouds, it’s about atonement or overcoming the ego. We create to get past the self. If I can make something I’m in awe of, this puts me in a humble spot. I’m thankful.
These moments of victorious struggle or perfect harmony fuel me, past the ego and onward toward bliss. I see it as sex magic because it all springs from my creative center. I suppose it’s a tantric ritual of my own. I cultivate this creation into being. There’s ego but it’s gone beyond, beyond itself. Not resistance, acceptance instead, and it leads into transcendence. I’m here to make something that’s bigger than myself.
Leonardo DaVinci drew and painted horses. I recalled the image of their labored execution, so I looked them up. I can’t believe I hadn’t looked up his horses before now, and fer god’s sakes now that I’m looking at his I see that one of his horses had inspired me without even knowing it. I had it lodged in my head, this twisted horse, that or I like the same challenges he does–or in fact I’m just Leonardo reincarnated. Maybe I shouldn’t joke about things like that.
These Containers Won’t Paint Themselves
My new wireless headphones have been a godsend in terms of allowing me to float away. There’s the art but there’s the environment which allows for that art. We create the perfect art making environment, that’s the idea. Art making is an escape, it’s the great escape, and one’s unique fantasy environment should be created for the artist’s own freedom. This notion I’ve become more and more attached to. Now I’m completely convinced that it’s a need for the artist to have his environment just so, just to the artist’s own liking. Results are best this way. Facilitating this space is important. I’m learning how important it is to stand my ground for my creative space.
I’ve been doing realistic portraits lately. These new canvases are small, eight by ten inches, 9×11, featuring bright solid colored backgrounds behind the heads. I painted Jean Michel Basquiat on a purple grey canvas. Next after him was Georgia O’Keefe on Red and then Pablo Picasso on orange. For now I’ll stick to the artists but I want to do the Dalai Lama and Noam Chomsky eventually as well.
Realism scrutinizes. Practice makes perfect. With these I’m seeing the progress I’ve made. It’s paying off. Each painting progresses often outside of my control. Colors come together as long as you’re methodical about it. I can feel it when it’s right. The brushstrokes dry on their own time usually over the course of a couple days and in between are periods of sticky paint layering. The behavior of paint as the canvas cures is the variable duty action. Get it while it’s hot.
I’ve worked on this one single skill selfishly my whole life and in doing this for me I hope to accomplished something for everyone. To be a painter is to say “I’ve changed. Once again, I’ve changed. Nothing stays the same. We can evolve.”
Bowie’s death inspired a lot in me and still is as I write this. My awareness of ideas felt piqued by his art. These ideas are of the subject of death and transcendence. The Buddhists say we should practice our own death everyday. For me, each portrait is a meditation and this one took me to interesting places as my important figure of creativity passes on early January of 2016.
My meditations with Mr. Bowie’s work has pierced me deeply on the subject of living my art, I kiss it farewell into the world as something I leave behind to outlive me. My art will endure because the paintings cause desire in their audience. Well, I mean they’re supposed to do that and I hope they do. I didn’t give my life to my art, my art has give new life to me, extended, expanded life. Reciprocation. We need each other as creator and audience. And then there’s reinvention like Mr. Bowie. Tune to the flow.
There are the songs which talk of space travel
the courage to move toward the unbound
elaborate on feeling the loneliness of space
being out there all alone in a tin can.
The untethered one gets lost
but at his own command unattached
Left to one’s own device
we create, we build
Finding fast motion was a godsend. Here’s 2 videos, quickly.
Riding the bus across town today, I’m going for canvases. A book of Charles Bukowski’s letters to editors accompanies me. The letters are so personal it touches nicely a nerve to see how he was. I’m sitting in the back enjoying the sights and soaking up this man’s mind. I’ll need to pick up a pen before the art store.
It matters who my heroes are. Who is more “every man” than Bukowski? It tells me what’s important to me. I study the photos of the writer seated at a humble desk facing a wall with plaques, he’s in his underwear and with a drink. Scotch was it? Sacrificing for the art is an important concept and we’ve seen plenty of examples of the wrong way to carry out that notion. Bukowski is one of those who died younger than he should have because of the drink and the smoke which were the comfort he allowed himself. Other things like wives and lovers could go to hell but these two, they would never leave him and his typewriter.
So many of us want to speak for others but that’s not going to get us to the finish line is it? Riding the bus today has me on the subject of collective action and how does a project get carried out? How do humans do big and good things? The like-minded unite, right? People come together in agreement. Perhaps their agreement is centered on something rejected–something their group dislikes–but their aim is to achieve something. The concerted effort is what reins in the change sought after. Some individuality must be sacrificed for the collective and that is a voluntary action. It’s an agreement entered into.
Is this a gift? Is it altruism to enter into this agreement with a group to collectively enact something? Is there personal gain expected from the agreement? If it makes you happy to help the under-served, then this happiness is a fair outcome. It’s a harmonious goal. This is compassion. Win/wins do happen in life.
The only way to make myself a bigger person is to let go of more ‘self’. Debts and balances can’t overshadow what’s right. “You owe me” is not a mindset cohesive to healthy inter-dependence. Healthy co-existence depends upon a sane level of true compassion and compassion is not keeping track.
So often we see a power battle ensue while objectivity evaporates from existence. It’s a subject important in politics, love, and life. All interactions happen in relation to compassion. Some have no compassion at all.
Even Bukowski’s compassion comes through in these letters of his. Most of them are in regard to rejection letters he’d gotten but you can see that literary imagination and courage light him up and he expects these to light others up as well as he accepts his fate, continually. Such is his craft. It’s his gift to the world. Bukowski sacrificed himself, in ways, to his art. I’m grateful.
At the very end of that one you see my just start to paint Bowie, that was the night I learned of his death and started painting.
The next one is painting Bowie but sped up. It’s so much better in fast motion. There will be a part 2 of that theme.
Here’s the previous post, Part 2:
I lumber from bed
in my wild orange box cabin
five days moving forward
each moment toward commencement morning
making my waking here fruitful.
This one, the sky box,
will eventually house the workers
whose spaceships touch down here,
buses don’t run out here
to Iveson Ranch
with its glorious sunsets and its crunching mix of souls
and its ancient Indian remnants on the ridges
the hoo doos.
First I had to kill the rust who were grazing here.
for two days loudly I did that
Early afternoon the rains came in
so either I napped or I drew.
It was the blue that got me started.
Bright patches would shine through and I knew
that color would scream to be obscured.
And deep greys were important to me too
because rain clouds here are a treasured gift
from the hoo doos?
But without the pinks
none of this picture would hold any hope
and it was the sky’s change from moment to moment
that this picture was all about.
These days, the daily grind here is more about entertainment,
the biggest desolate desert party in the world,
and instead of hunting mule deer into the canyon for the tribe’s dinner
these tribesman celebrate the burning of a giant wooden effigy.
Those working at the ranch were either using air chisels
to mend windmills or cookin’ stew
for the off roader party
about to roll thru for the weekend
couples in campers
no more deer hunting.
Journal from my 6 days at Iveson Ranch
Day 1: Grinding steel all day. This box has some cancerous rust to get rid of. Whatever.
But tonight we watched a show, The Voice, because these guys have gotten into it. That’s fun. The rooting for your favorite, it pulls you in. This kid blew me away. His skill was astounding. He sang Stevie’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” and I love Stevie, but this kid BROUGHT it. He had it. He just did. Confidence, poise. But goofy looking and even that, he made work. Talent, ya know.
So I did these black & white drawings and watching this show is what pushed the drawings. Talent; it’s all a practice. If I want to be good at something–if I am good at something, I practice.
I’m wanting to write about sleeping. I just woke up an our ago. It’s a rain day. My first night I stayed in the guest room up at the house but last night I moved to my new home for this week, the orange container cabin. It’s many fruity colors actually; yeah, maybe I should call it “the fruity cabin”. It wasn’t warm but last night was damn cold. No heat source here other than me. 2 sleeping bags was a good idea.
This unit is painted indescribable colors: grey/lavender, orange, pale yellow, silver-brown. So yeah, I guess they are describable. See the pictures of it?
But when I stepped out to pee in the morning a cat meowed behind me and when I turned to see him, he was stretching his “good morning” at me. He was in the compartment on the side of a neighboring empty camper where the battery was to be stored. It’s just the right size for a ranch cat to crash in and my guess was that this is a regular spot of his. I hadn’t known he slept there last night, I woulda’ invited him in.
We find our place in life, the rancher man was telling me last night after steak dinner. That’s Eddie. He said we don’t always find it right off the bat and we might have to switch gears but there’s a place for us all.
It’s still not raining this morning but grey skies impede me. I’m almost hoping for some drops so I can continue hibernation without shame. Instead, though, I’ll move back to grinding for the second day. Hard disk or wire wheel?–we’ll see. Hell, maybe I’ll end up pulling some paint out today after all.
I can’t get away from this book this morning though. Cowboy poetry and paintings. Our resident Scottsman cowboy (Eddie) highly recommended it. He lives this life fully, having lived many other lives fully already.
I do understand why… this kind of life. It’s a certain culture to belong to–those that would appreciate the solitude of cow pokin’ or whatever they call it. Ranch life, even a modern ranch with its motor repairs and backhoes, it is a special existence. Nature simply fills up life more.
It’s strange to think that rust is a life form. It eats.
Anyway, we’re sitting in what was once the river bed. I like how rivers move through the centuries and you can tell where they might have been a couple hundred years back. The canyon still drains through here even though a ranch or two upstream diverting water.
The deer were run up through here. In close quarters, the Pauites would hunt those deer and feed their families. The water is great here. This spot is a pocket of life & life feeds on life. We don’t like to think about it like that these days but that’s part of our problem, being so detached from the natural processes.
The Indians had the solution to having limited numbers of hunters in the form of what we call the hoo doos. These “hoo doos” stand in formations made of dark rocks on ridge tops overhead, lining the valley and canyon floors around here. When running animals between ridges the hoo doos served as stand-ins to guard from above so the deer or whatever animal it was didn’t get away. They were fooled. It was very systematic and apparently successful, proven by how many of these are left meticulously standing today.
I painted the hoo doos on the last unit. That one’s going to be Eddie’s home, once the craftsmen finish the inside for him. Its a landscape all the way around and I think it looks pretty damn good–effective.. buoyant colors. This oil enamel technique of mine is dialing in.
These cabins actually are very temperature efficient. The steel is very thick and then they’re insulated in here. Drywalled and trimmed nicely. This unit has 2 beds, bunks, and a nice huge shelf/table. My dad actually helped with this one last year in the fall.. maybe it was summer.
I’ve got to get artists out here. This ranch can room 15 comfortably. This place is exactly right for creative making. My surroundings have engulfed me–it’s official.
When I come back from painting all day, I’m still wearing “painter eyes” and everything is being scrutinized closely of color. The form of my surroundings becomes delineated and I render edges to everything. Nothing is lost; this is not a lament. I would say that reality becomes questioned. What am I really looking at? Does the paper I’m writing on tonight really have yellow, grey and tan mottling to it?
There are prevalent batches of color staining my arm, mostly shades of blue/grey. My calves are sore. My back cries. This bed is plenty soft. I’m gonna’ end this writing abruptly and catch some Z’s now.
The following are some random notations I don’t feel like editing into their proper placement:
at one point, explaining, I pointed Eddie up to the clouds and said “Not like those–too easy.” My technique grows more streamlined with each piece but at times pure poetry was to pull me through.
The horses watched from start to completion. Who knows, maybe they crtiqued me with my impressionisms.
Every time I find myself rendering a painted sky I muse that once a year the two will match. As above so below.
The clouds and I both conjure up poetry. When there is nothing our motivation is to render poofs of something. We find ourselves with rhythm and alliteration to abbreviate the scene. The form of the score adheres where pattern & repetition presents in present tense. Precipitation, drama in quarantined sections rendered to push eastward or westward in Z’s and V’s.
Everybody’s ecstatic about this finished unit. It feels good to hear them say I’ve outdone myself.
This Is Not A Journal
so I won’t get into it
I want to be alone sometimes
now, for instance.
Nothing can cure this
but being alone.
Everything is so much easier
when I’m just alone.
I think of women:
I want to be alone.
I don’t think of them.
But these women though
they are the genesis
They are where stress comes from.
Women ARE stress.
“Are you mad at me?”
If I say yes, it’s on me;
if I say no, it’s on me;
either way I pay.
Imagine a tangle
black sticky fatal tangle
like from a swamp
or an alien trap.
THAT’S a woman.
I want to be alone on Christmas day, even
because with me
there’s nothing to it.
To deal with anyone right now
that’s more than I deserve to deal with
and take care of
That’s more than I want.
But this woman
who I call
an alien swamp trap
she’s free to say the same of me:
so it’s not about the battle of
it’s not about “the others”
it’s just the way
for someone like me,
I hate to bring an acronym into it
like clinical cyborg
but this is it
what I am, statistically,
and who I am
and how I came to be
I could choose this to be
will never ask
“Are you mad at me?”
I’ll end this riff
Christmas day 2013
but I hope you find it funny,
the frustration of man
because we’re only human
and I know this ’cause
I see our specie
on the categorical tree
just above chimpanzee.
From My Little Artist Desk
From my little desk at the back of the living room
quietly drawing army guys in battles
between the crosses and the stars
with TV crews on the sidelines
reporting on the malay
and on thru the schooling years
when I refused to take art in middle school
because I knew better
I didn’t want to become
& up thru high school
where I made my art teacher cry once
with my snotty attitude
Mr. Platt I liked better
he was laid back
& would give passes during classes
(I got a blow job once on the way to Dairy Queen)
and the murals I painted
yearbooks my art graced
and into college
when I took all the prerequisites
up until Life Drawing
which was exciting
but the model was
and didn’t strip down
and then I quit
to start my airbrush shop
with my best friend
we lined up hurricane insurance
but it all fell through
and then at 23
I’d be an artist
no matter what
because I knew
it would be
an uphill, lifelong struggle
but I knew
this was me
Back to college
this time in Tempe
a logical choice
all the while still painting
and that feeling
in that most productive period
the feeling that
I’m doing this
and I’m in it
for the long haul
and this was just the
I’m proud that I could see it then
that this would never end
now as the middle man
were like to deal for
but mostly a view
of this job, this career
this is an industry
with tricks of the trade
which amount to selling high ticket luxury items
to the upper middle class
The floor got ripped out from under me
How noble, really
was this shit?
To be an artist
granted, an American,
but still an artist
it had a veneer
that doesn’t hold up
when you work on
pricing for the market
I looked back to the college years
when my appetite for knowledge
the stories from biographies
in getting to know artists
gave me belonging
and recognition of the fact
that these were weirdos
to rise from the ranks
with their name in lights
and this all came back
it’s an ego stroking
the whole thing
And so then it was
came into being,
a study in how comforts
effected my art
I became a wanderer,
a Saint Francis in mobility
renouncing all my stuff
and in that same timeframe
we started NadaDada
and it was in that
that I glimpsed again
what it meant to be
an artist again
in regard to community
and in just what capacity
We belong to a lineage
our creative output
is our family,
true, but those who come
the creative makers
who have followed our lead
have a need
for the example we share
This is the gift we give:
sharing the keys
to self empower
because this is a powerful thing
to reflect and examine
through the power of passion
which is something
and so unharnessed
This power–passion–is dormant
in every moment
from within every point
it can be made
this for multiple reasons
but to enrich
We take this energy
and we make it work for us
is the method
in the alchemist,
and along the way
both poems by Chad Sorg, 2013
Chickens prefer heavy beats. Day three or so, an art car, The Serpent Queen, was getting carpentry updates while I worked on the paint job of these storage units near the shop on the grounds.
The chicken coop sat not far and people working on their feet were all around and we had music. From where I was, away from the boom box, saws and routers I heard the rooster chiming in with his minimal harmonic chords. The first time the sound was so good, such great timing that it seemed as if it was part of the mix. The next track also featured the rooster’s r-r-rr-rucrrrruhku-u-uuuu and that’s when I was certain that the sound was coming from the chicken coop 100 feet from me. The cock didn’t care for classic rock. I decided I gotta talk to a DJ about this barnyard phenomenon.
It seems a spaceship contraption found a good landing pad behind our place. “That’s the Funk Yeah. It only plays funk out on the playa” I was told. The Funk Yeah was in disrepair and it needed a space mechanic. Ventilation tubes of steel line this thing in a sort of X wing configuration and it has a satellite dish for shade above the driver’s seat. I don’t know. It looks like a Star Wars kinda’ thing, you know,when they were on the desert planet with Jabba–a hover vehicle look like that. Underneath it was a Chevy van with the top chopped and with silver Tattooine embellishments. I wasn’t aware it was a space funk mobile.
Burners have the right idea. The collective knowledge between these ratty dudes is astounding. Over bacon and eggs this morning Douglas, Clown and Ocean were talking about a doomahincky used for movement detection–mercury switches versus some other thing. I don’t know but these guys get together and use their brains to make stuff and this kind of collaboration is what I’m most impressed by. They’ve got the right idea. When they put their minds to it they can build a city. Plus there’s the whole topless women thing. And lasers.
National Weather Service is broadcast everywhere. “60 mile an hour winds and it’s about 16 miles north of Gerlach.” We deduced that JB’s warning us about this now meant the wind would be picking up in about 10 minutes here at the ranch and we’d better all get our stuff tied down for the afternoon. It had been perfectly calm and sunny until that moment. He was hoping it was wrong but like a good clock, the information was accurate. Out here the weather is not just a subject for small talk.
The Black Rock Desert hosts the world famous Burning Man, in which 50,000 people come to camp and party. This alkali lake bed is the biggest expanse of flatness on Earth. Iveson Ranch is about 7 miles from the edge of it in a lush canyon. Burners always seem to be here.
I’m here because storage units are being converted into living spaces. What I’m painting on these storage boxes with this enamel paint is acid woodgrain®. It’s alot of paint and the colors are from cream sickle to candy. I’m learning to line them sharply and draw shapes out more. Sharp edges but first I’ll build up some texture layers.
Burners are an interesting breed. They’re modern day hippies, often going by names like Pixie or Ocean, but the new twist is that they wear utility pouches, headlamps and goggles. They’re usually work oriented people occupied by creative projects that revolve around partying. The good times endeavor does not diminish the fact that the work is serious and complex requiring organization and money. There are also desert rats here, some guys that mine gold but know construction.There’s a big white bus that looks like a ship called the Serpent Princess parked just near my painted boxes and they’ve been playing the best music while constructing a dance floor above the roof of it. This is the funnest summer camp ever!
I’ve been 4 times to the burn, which makes me a burner I guess. But I’d never call myself that. When asked if I’m a burner I usually say no. I feel like a tourist next to these guys but I’ve helped build and maintain more than one camp. A sign camp once. Another time I camp I helped build was called Simple Camp, named right on the spot, though it wasn’t so simple. sprawling areas of shade. I wore a plaid skirt and when people said “nice kilt” I would reply “God dammit It’s not a kilt, it’s a skirt!”
The wind came so I put lids on my paints and secured brushes and rags. We broke down my table and latched the doors of the barn. I had to weather the storm out so right now I’m relaxing in our accommodations.
The walls are orange in here which is mild mannered in relation to the outside of this unit. I painted the outside in hot colors. This was number 3 or so. It’s nice to be able to stay in one of these. We’ve got 3 beds, 3 windows and a door and this is quite a comfortable place to stay. It’s a luxurious way to camp really. We’re surrounded by steel. This is glamping.
The view stretches past the pastures for 3 ridges to the West, all continually varied in color. JB fixes these storage units up with nice livable interiors for burners or ranch hands to stay in. We don’t need air conditioning but it’s hooked up in here. I can’t imagine what oceans this thing has crossed in a past life, now it lives here in this desert. You hear of these things falling off ships like giant dominoes. They’re not. They’re substantial.
My dad is staying here this week with me. He came to visit in town so we both came up here for this job. He always fixes stuff and builds and makes improvements to his surroundings like Bob Villa. This works out extremely well here. The ranch needs people like him. He’s been helping alot. He’s not the only carpenter here, but he is the best carpenter here. My dad can beat up your dad!
There are two deer 20 yards from me right now thru my window by the fruit trees. This canyon is to be a natural preserve so there’s a no shooting policy here. It’s a haven for wildlife and this is one reason it’s a special place. A mountain lion was spotted here last week. It was drinking from the little pond in front. It was a little mountain lion (the size of a St. Bernard) and they tell me that means that momma’s close by.