Fishbowler

I make art in strange places and blog about it.

Tag Archives: Car Forest

Who Was MichaelMark Rippie?

I’ll speak of him as if he were dead. I got this idea from Mark Twain, the opening of his autobiography. He introduced the book with talk about how he’d need to write as if he were already dead. Exposing such blatant and intimate “privacies”, he’d have to write as if he were already gone.

For the sake of my writings, I’m going to just assume Mark Rippie is dead. One cannot be too careful. At the time of this writing, no, he’s not dead, but being incapacitated as I’m told he is, I don’t think he’ll be reading my words–though he might, so who knows. I’ll write as if he’s gone already.

You’d have to be inside the relationship that he and I had to understand the man’s views at all. His ex-wife seems to understand him and I know that she can’t handle being around him. I can’t stand being around him and I don’t think there are many people at all that do know him and can stand him. Quite simply, he’s not a nice guy. But knowing him as I do, I know that this is not a fact that he’d mind me relaying to you–in fact he’d actually love it. That’s Rippie.

Having said that I’ve gotta’ mention the huge amount of gratitude I have for Michael “Mark” Rippie’s vision. We did end up doing just exactly as he had in mind to do. It was his land and his cars–at least I think they were his–and I just helped him. He said he’d make me famous. Yeah I’m getting some notoriety from what we did. Maybe wealth will follow, we’ll see.

If you’ve ever been around a sociopath you might understand that certain people see the world in a way that only suits their own needs. If you suit their needs then you will be used to facilitate things. I did that. I’m an artist with an interest in outsider artists and environments. Mark Rippie was a determined visionary and certainly an outsider. “Artist” is an arguable label so let’s make it simple: yes.

Is a desert rat unskilled and burying cars with a backhoe an artist? If he’s got someone to publicize him then I guess he is, yes. Besides, I was always the artist. He was the visionary.420081_299463073453366_43964780_n

My friend Zak moved out to Rippie Ranch too because Zak’s the strongest guy I know. I knew he’d be useful to our endeavor. Zak’s got a little girl (6 years old right now) and Goldfield was a great place to raiser her for awhile. She saw a different kind of life than from that in the city. He’s also pretty creative himself, Zak, so it was an effort between the three of us building this car forest.

I met Rippie one day driving thru Goldfield. I let him know how much I appreciated his erect car I spied off the road a bit. Quickly I saw his vision for a whole “forest” of these cars and that very day we met he invited me to come and help him make this happen. He needed an artist to make art out of them once they were standing and in return he’d pay me in room and board. This was around 2004 or 5. I had a driving job installing art shows across the state of Nevada working for the state of Nevada and the stars aligned when Rippie and I met that day.

He pushed the shotgun scabbard aside and I hopped on the back of his four wheeler. His beard is long & frizzled grey and a dingy rolled cigarette stump never leaves the corner of his mouth. He has a revolver on his hip at all times. Even though he talks exactly like the dirty redneck from those movies who”ll blast a hole in ya’ and then rape your corpse, I was game for an adventure.

He said he intended to break the Guinness Book Record; “Carhenge up in Nebaraska has 27 cars stickin’ outta’ the ground”. It wasn’t until the fall of 2011 that I moved to Goldfield full time to live in a dingy trailer beside him and his 7 dogs, but before then I was able to stop and paint a few cars en route through Goldfield for him through the years. He had about 10 in the ground when I got there.581240_354856787913994_930104443_n

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A video from the car forest, 2005 or so:

MichaelMark Plays by nadasorg subscribe to this page to be alerted of the rest of this series.

A Selected View of Sorg Paintings from TMCC

I’m afraid this blog post is a bit disordered but it’s time to give you a preview of what you’d see at my exhibition at TMCC right now if you were there. Show’s on till March 23rd. I apologize for photo quality. I guess you’ll just have to go see them in person.
Yeah, I’ve been focusing more on landscapes and, obviously, cars sticking strangely out of the ground. I’m very interested in finding homes for these paintings so please get ahold of me. I’m including my price list for these paintings in case you’re curious. Email me if interested: bigfishbowler@gmail.com. God knows I wanna’ sell a painting to someone who’d like to own it.
As always, click an image to see it blown up.

 

Cat Sitting Fishbowl Stint pt. 5

Christmas Eve Went Like This

Just got back from dinner at Carl & Patty’s; spaghetti and garlic bread. Good company. Others were there as well, Dave & Patty. We all have radio shows on KGFN. We’re all friends. It’s nice having friends. I miss family. I know they miss me. Gotta remember to cal them.

Work on the Tex Rickard house is rigorous. It’s clean, clean. Super clean and being done in glazes so this means it takes time, painting the details right and I don’t rush it. Days turn into weeks with this one.

There are bricks and shingles. My oils lay down in various ways so the tricks come out. I don’t want to have to outline every single brown shingle or every red brick. That’s the challenge here.

So I worked on a different painting after that ordeal. It’s interesting we get to publish our thoughts as we’re painting them, these days.

So this other painting, it’s very van Gogh. Vincent burped out color, almost impatiently, but his drawing style showed up on the canvas as well. He drew into paint, that’s what Picasso did alot as well. This painting is like that.

I had said to myself the other night that Vincent would have not liked the desert; it’s hard to exaggerate colors here. Colors are a bountiful gift and this painting sings. It’s friendly and delightful, but the sky is overcast and the landscape is not sun drenched.

An indulgence I dip into is lots of blue, in the ground, in the buildings, on the walls, the shadows of everything, blue. I love playing with that. I let myself go with this one.

I had started with blocks of color I let dry over night. It was a very brief underpainting so then I was able to let loose and render forms with that color already there for ground areas.

The white was also dashed off unbridled in a few spots. There’s a camper in this painting and it stands out, even beside the red broken down car beside it.

I could walk you to this spot. It’s right by my house and not a typically beautiful location, looking toward some shacks and trailers, but the ridges miles behind, that’s nice to see as a back drop.

So it all lined up nicely in the photo I thought, so this painting came from the lines of that photo shot a month ago.

I call this painting, tentatively and in jest, yes, Fruit Cocktail Desert, yes desert. It’s so bright and lively. Saturated desert scene.

 

Christmas Day (and Night)

For lunch I was invited to have dinner at the Dinky Diner. I walked down there and it was a full house. Completely full of locals there for Christmas Dinner together. It was such a great thing. For those of us with no family here it was wonderful and the feast was excellent. Small town excellence.

It’s kind of always on our mind, the solitude here. Goldfield is not just out in the country, it’s very remote desert. It’s 4 hours to civilization. Alot of us keep to ourselves and that’s how we’ve ended up here. I’ve done it all and so have many others so we know what we’ve got in our little town.

I took a coffee to go and said my Merry Christmases, hugs and off I was, back to the little camper to paint.

Once nestled in, another canvas was started late Christmas night. It’s the other standing bus at the Car Forest. By the way, I did forget to call family until it was too late. That 3 hours time difference slipped my mind.

I had called this hill One Car Hill because for a long time it only had the one car, which happened to be the first car I ever painted here, years ago. Now it’s burnt. Someone lit it on fire, probably Rippie and the paint was all burnt off but you can barely see a head from what I painted so long ago. Anyhoo, a yellow pick up was added to the hill top and then the big white bus started to stand there.

But the way they’re situated, the way they stand, the way the other two cars stand in front of the bus, it’s as if they all sprouted from the same seedbed. And the thick fog that day, behind the cars and concealing the ridge behind, it makes for a great painting. We’ll see.

But I started on that one Christmas night.

While I paint this bus, I think of the End of the World party and how much has changed here. We had 100 people visit that day but only 20 came to camp around our house. Port-a-potties were not needed. Nice burn though, damn nice burn. The rain let up and Rippie lit it up for a small crowd. Las Vegas newspaper was there. Jeeze, that was 6 months ago.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

LIGHTNING and THUNDER at the Car Forest!

Ron Pinkerton came to the Car Forest a few months ago.

He was out there 2 nights in a row, shooting after sunset in the wind and rain and lightening, lighting the cars and shooting shooting shooting. I saw him out there with his flash very late one night as a storm came thru and went.

it really was a spectacular moment for Ron to be here shooting. If I remember right, Zak saw him downtown with his big camera and he was pointed in our direction. Really awesome guy and these shorts are almost too good to be true. The guy knew his shit and must be some kind of Buddhist or something to be patient as he was.

click thru and look at these shots blown up on Ron’s Flkr page. TELL him how frickin amazing these are!

The Gatekeeper
Blue Moon Rising (aka Bus-ted)

Order Your Car Forest T Shirts Online! (NO LONGER AVAILABLE)

We’re getting visitors every day from all over the country. A couple from Massachusetts drove 8 hours out of their way to see our cars just the other day, and a photographer was out in the rain and lightning the other night, (see THUNDER post) getting some shots.

(NO LONGER AVAILABLE)

The colors available, still, are Heather Grey, Corvette Yellow, Stone Blue or Light Pink. Black screen print design depicts our glorious bus and with the words:

International Car Forest

of the Last Church

Goldfield, NV.

Up to XL $15.00 USD. They’re pre-shrunk so you don’t have to allow for much shrinkage. FREE SHIPPING!

Car Forest T shirt YellowOops.. Who's This? Car Forest T shirt Grey  Car Forest T shirts Stacked Car Forest T shirt- 11 Left

Here, Alison models her pink T. She’s 5 years old and the size of her shirt is Kid’s M. This was just after we noticed she picked up some spray paint herself… it’s kind of a cool abstract painting.. I was not at all happy with her. We’ll work on it together in the spring. I’m making her do some preparatory drawing first.

I’m modeling my yellow shirt, which is a Large and a little big on me. We found some rusty wire on the ground. I’m thinking a miner used it to hang his coffee mugs from the ceiling of his shack.

(NO LONGER AVAILABLE)

 

…sorry.

Virtual Tour of the Car Forest and the town of Goldfield

As a network of artists, NadaDada is a yearly art-in-motels event (so far only) in Reno motels, but we’ve been featured in shows in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, as well as other cities. We’ve gotten some major publicity all over the world, including the New York Times. Next year will be our 7th year.

So far, including performers, over 300 artists have participated. Vincent came to participate in the Reno event, I think it was, 2 years ago.

Thank you sooooo much Vincent Cascio!

Thank you sooooo much Vincent Cascio!

It’s nice having talented friends…

Vincent Cascio is a fellow NadaDadan and friend of the Car Forest here
in Goldfield. He came for a visit last weekend and shared his passion
for photography with me over a couple beers.

I really really think we need a way to get him back down here to do a
more in depth feature of the business owners and sights of Goldfield.

DON’T MISS THIS! click the following link to watch. Click and drag to pan and zoom around!
http://fusion.realtourvision.com/22362

 

Turns Out, I’m not the Hero of Goldfield… not quite yet

54 photos of our End of the World and Goldfield Days, taken by Teresa Roberts. So, kick your shoes off and take a listen to tonight’s Audio Sorgfield episode #13 while enjoying.

I’ll paint a practical picture of what the End of the World Party was like.

As I’ve already been talking about in other blog posts, I was disappointed with the outcome. Not many people showed up; like 20 or so, to camp.

It rained and our bands were very disappointed, in fact, upset that they never got to play. A duo came to play that hailed all the way from San Francisco. We did get to burn our bus and I’ll tell you about that in a minute. A nudist with no belly button was here. A couple girls that we’d never met before came down from Reno. Their arrival, with others, was at about 2am. I walked all the way out to the bus with no shirt on to greet them. That must have seemed odd.

A very good friend who’s bound to a wheelchair showed up with another friend and his girlfriend; they were a lot of fun to hang out with and Zak and I were very happy to be able to accommodate. An archaeologist came from Idaho to stay for a night in her tent.
It was all so weird and almost dreamlike. Friends camped in the yard or in their cars in the driveway. Ms. Button took a bunch of pictures for us and we did sell a handful of T-shirts. A film maker friend stayed the weekend as well to document our party. A couple ghost hunter friends came down from Reno to visit as well.

Conversation hinged on UFO’s, mining, and the over-zealous local sheriff’s department who kept a close eye on us. The musicians sat in our covered patio and drank vodka, ate cheeseburgers from our grill and talked music.

At one point, a brand new white corvette came rolling out from our CarForest’s dusty roads. I went out to greet the driver who happened to be a guy who I’d heard of but never met before and involved with our local radio station. He flew out from Minnesota to be here and I enjoyed talking with him for a little bit. It was a rental car; we had figured that. A handful of friends showed up or rolled through. A gay couple from a neighboring ghost town swung by and I’m glad to have made their acquaintance. Goldfield will never be the same.

The town’s yearly festival, Goldfield Days, was going on this same weekend and I’m proud to say a lot of locals came out to see the CarForest. It was such moody weather that on the one hand, I was proud to show off Goldfield’s meteorological drama, but then again, the rain really put a damper on our party. The amps never came out of our big black Suburban which died on us on Saturday. Our school bus stage was never used.

I rented 3 port-a-potties for the weekend and one was used only once by a small child that showed up on Sunday with families of 4 wheeler fanatics from Southern California. It got me thinking, I believe we should buy one bathroom facility to have here permanently in the future.

I’m proud to say that articles were written in 2(!!) Vegas periodicals, Nevada Magazine’s website, local area newspapers, Reno News & Review and also multiple blogs online. We even have a production company from New York City that wants to make it out to see a bus burning and air it on a cable network! I’d have to say I’ve done my part for Goldfield, Nevada.

We got a ton of publicity all over the state and beyond. PR could not have been done any better, thank you very much. Of that, I’m very proud. That’s why it’s puzzling that the results were so lackluster. It’s a long way to Goldfield, I guess. Goldfield is famous now though.

The weirdest part was the days after the party. People are still showing up. We’ve opened up a floodgate of visitors! Just today, visitors from Massachusetts drove 4 hours, one way, out of their way to come down to Goldfield to see the Car Forest.

Around noon, I was sitting at the General Store and this great panoramic photographer that I know pulled up and said “Chad! We came to see the CarForest!” Vincent Cascio is his name and I can’t wait to share the digital vistas that he takes. (By the way, he’s looking for a Reno gallery to show in, hint hint..)

He said, he wanted to share the photos he takes in town with Goldfield’s Chamber of Commerce. “Oh great, Vince, we’d love them. I’m the President, actually.” It was a small town moment.

Torrential downpours came and having seen the End of the World signs still at the road, a mystical wanderer showed up at our doorstep. She just got out of the Goldfield jail and she had alien prophecies to share with us. She’s a shamanic healer, of sorts, and the most independent loner I’ve met in a long time.

The archaeologist talks of future wishes to base herself in Goldfield, by the way. We’d like that. She’s artsy and smart and cute. She enjoyed the rusted debris in our back yard and I can’t wait to hear what she says about the volcanic rock surrounding our home.

We had wanted to fill Goldfield Days with the campsters from our End of the World Party. We wanted to be heroes to the town. I have to realize, success is sometimes more obscured than we’d like. We did a very good thing. These writings help me digest it all.

In this melancholic, mystical, post-apocalyptic mood, I finished a parable I’d been working on for 6 months about a snake that rules the world through greed. It ends on a positive note. I recorded it last night for Episode 13 of my Audio Sorgfield. Every episode is unique and this one has a hero theme.

6 months of planning, promotion, and physical labor went in to the making of this party. I had vowed to stay in bed for 2 days after it was all over. Basically this whole week I’ve done that, save the couple times I took long walks up the surrounding hills to discover new terrain and old ruins. At night I’ve been able to enjoy the stars with a clear mind. I’m not even thinking about the next party yet.

Multiple times a day now we see people cruising up to look at the cars. The greatest accomplishment gained from throwing this party is that, now, a floodgate of visitors has opened up. I think it’s time to paint a big sign with a donation box and words saying “Buy a Car Forest T-Shirt downtown at the Goldfield Giftshop!”

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Wanna’ email me? bigfishbowler@gmail.com

Bus on Fire

Bus on Fire

The International Car Forest of the Last Church sustained damage. The authorities didn’t need to be called, but showed up anyway. It seems the fire was seen from across town and the Volunteer Fire Department of Goldfield showed up any way.

The fire chief was reported to say “No problem, Chad, we’ll get it put out.”

It seems the villian in question who perpetrated such heinous perpetration on his own property was Saint MichaelMark himself.

The fire was allowed to go out by itself but GOD DAMN some great shots were taken that day!

See more details for the ‘End of the World Party (the FAR END)’ on Facebook (click photo for link up) or right here in upcoming on Fishbowler. Actually, it’ll take you to my upcoming exhibition of oils at TMCC, which includes an oil of this very photo.

Sign in to follow blog, top right.

August 17th weekend, dry camping (glamping), 10 minute walk away from festivities going on concurrently at Goldfield Days.

Asking $25 donations per person camping, kids are free.

Painting Last Night (with updated photo of Skull Car Painting)



It takes an environment devoid of distraction to paint. There is always distraction. For me, that would be Facebook.

I work from photos I’ve taken here at the car forest. For the most part, the painting is accurate to the photo, though sometimes, little changes are made, details of which, I won’t bore you with.

I’ve been getting started painting past midnight lately. No reason to adjust my schedule for anyone else.

At NadaDada Motel, Vegas, I’ll be showing paintings like these and other stuff from this here desert resort. May 4th weekend, 2012.

My show will be called All  Your  Bus  Are  Belong  2  us.

Watch the following slideshow to see the skull car as the painting develops. It’s not done yet but the finished canvas will be shown here when it is.

More to come, stay tuned, and as always, please share my endevours far & wide and SUBSCRIBE!

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Van Gogh paintings with Tilt Shift applied for 3D effect (bloggiestbloggyblog.com)

Snow Post 2

It only snowed one night but I got some great shots that next day. Virgin snow in Goldfield. Please share any shots you’d like to. Ask me if you don’t know how.

And for your information, there are about 30 cars in the ground, right now, and we’re looking for artists to come and help me paint these things. I can even putcha’ up. Enjoy these photos.

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