Life at the Ranch Part 1 (with photos)

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.

Sorg Lays in Oils

“All Your Bus Are Belong 2 Us -Oil Paintings and Writings From the Car Forest by Chad Sorg” is my art exhibition at Truckee Meadows Community College, Feb. 1st thru Mar. 23rd. Free to the public.

*details link OR click the picture.

I Want a Letter From You

Sorg & Orange

Hi guys. I’ve been painting like crazy lately. I’ve also been writing a lot as I have a show at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno coming up. February, and I’m showing both painting and writing on the walls there. I’m grateful for the opportunity because it’s kinda’ kicked my ass into gear.

Oil painting on canvas allows me to face my fears head on. It’s weird, I’m a painter but I’ve been avoiding painting a bit the past few years. I’ve gotten rid of sooooo much work of mine.. I’ve always been able to sell paintings so why should now be any different? I’m goin’ for it. I’m painting what I want to and the writing is important to me as well. I’m actually writing a book called Fishbowler.

Catchy name, eh?

But yeah, about writing, please write me. I’ll writcha’ back.. long hand. It’s so 19th century, I know, but someone’s handwriting can be so fun to look at. I write goofy letters, so please, drop me a line, ask questions, whatever. I like to inspire, so if that’s what you’d like from me, lemme’ know!

HEY.. didja’ know I went to jail? Yeah well, I don’t wanna’ talk about it here on my blog so if you’d like to hear the story about that, or possibly how it all went down during my presidency at the Chamber, just ask. My life is unique, I know this, and I love to share it with you!

Chad Sorg -End of the World

P.O. Box 53

Goldfield, NV, 89013

Bus Burn Painting, Oil, 12 x 16

Cat Sitting Fishbowler Part 3 -Journaling and Photos

Day 2, Evening

A record day on the blog site yesterday I think. Viewers are checkin’ up on me. It’s almost Christmas; lazy bastards -nuthin’ better to do. Suppose I’ll paint tonight.

(click these to see the slideshow blown UP!~)

Last night, cleared this little table and this day bed. I needed space for patient painting.

There are only so many places I could be in this trailer. I’ll list them all:

Day bed, here where I am now. Table & chair, about 2.5 feet from my head at the moment, where my booted foot is right now. Kitchen, starting about one foot past my foot and ending 6 feet beyond that. I’ll call it.. the pantry; that’s just beside the kitchen which is where the cat bowl is on the floor beside the old propane heater.

In these images, you’ll see some shot yesterday of the old high school, during my walk back to the camper. I wish to fishbowl from this building at some point. As you can see, the building needs some attention and I’m all about bringing the noise! It’s a cause I’d like to be involved with. There’s money for preservation if we can get the cause publicized. I don’t know if they really understand what fishbowling could do for them. Readers, please email me back if you have specific ideas where to find money for this historic and most beautiful school house.

Bedroom is beyond this room, about 7 ft. from my foot. There is a porch this is really just a space beside the camper, otherwise, this is the extent of the this abode. If I stand on my left foot, my left hand reaching one wall, stretching my right foot reaches the other wall for the width of this camper trailer.

The train I’m letter is just beyond that silver trailer over there across the way. Whiskers is purring. Stupid dog barks outside. Whiskers looks at me as if to say “should I be concerned?” This evening he showed me the food he prefers by jumping toward it (in the pantry) from the kitchen counter, 3 feet away from him. I’m thinking of offering Mister White Whiskers cat nip; I’m drinking a beer. Let’s PARTY Mister Whiskers!

Took some pictures, alot actually. You’ll see them taken from this end of the camper to that end. 12 feet in distance, I’d say. Time to play and paint. Cats don’t get bored; I like that.

This painting I’m about to embark upon, it’s horizontal in ratio and based on photos of a sunset I took a month ago. Orange, purple, electrified! Concentrated glow.

Day 3, Afternoon

There’s a pretty thick fog outside right now. It’s morning. I’m going out to shoot and then post on the blog here. Also, I’m out of tobacco. Probably walk home for that. I was puffin’ away last night while painting. BUT THIS PAINTING -it’s turning out really well and easy. Yes, no distractions really helps alot.

The 2 books of art I brought to look at are on Van Gogh and Monet. Vincent wrote such beautiful letters and his impoasto paint is impressive, the way he just does it and ends it. I thought of him last night while applying my goops of white and yellow. It’s hard for me to just stop. Thnx for the help, Vincent.

You have to leave this place every day to do your dootie. You know what I’m sayin’? Number two; but it’s great because that most basic of functions the body needs gets us out of our cave by necessity.

The windows of this thing are like chest level when standing.

Monet could get colors to harmonize and clash at will. Looking at his work, you see he only cared about color effects. I care about translucence.

I woke at 11 today. I had excellent sleep, worked late last night I guess. No clock in the camper so today’s filtered sunlight made it hard to tell the time ’til I checked my laptop.

Mister White Whiskers was out most of the night. He got the oily gourmet stuff for breakfast.

I did end up taking that walk home in the biting wind today. Took a couple dumps, downed coffee and gathered a few supplies: canvases, my easel, vodka, cool aid mix, socks, tobacco, color harmony book, hydrogen peroxide for me teeth. Zak and Alison are not home at the moment. They’re possibly getting a ride to Reno for Christmas, but have apparently not left yet. I like the clown head he laid on the table here. I like the sunlight in our house. A couple ATVs came for a quick visit to the Car Forest during my quick visit.

I’m bringing a few onions as well. I was thinking about Diogenes. See his statue in “Cat Sitting Post 1”. They say this philosopher only ate onions and lived naked in a barrel. He was the original cynic.

Maybe I’ll finish this canvas of the Tex Rickard house tonight. Probably record some CDs of my radio show for the parents.

On my walk home today, I was thinking of wants vs. needs. I like the simplicity.

Maybe A Not So Typical Thanksgiving Post

Clothes on the Line, Backyard

I don’t have a bed. I sleep on the floor every night. I do this by choice. It’s plenty soft, carpet, a big thick sleeping bag under me and plenty of puffy covers over me, layered. Each night, almost every night lately, I write a couple poems and rip the page from the notebook for safe keeping, then drift off to sleep.

During the day, each day, I manage to read about the object of my mind’s latest focus-labor relations, especially related to a historic moment that took place here in Goldfield between miners and employers in 1906/07. Teddy Roosevelt sent in troops to break the strike.

There’s a drawing of the men involved in that political skirmish that I’m working on for a magazine cover. The magazine is a poetry and prose based anarchist publication out of Houston Texas. It’s called Harbinger Asylum. I’m drawing these portraits in detail on a large birch wood panel. It will go on to have painting around it and many more faces, mostly characters related to the Goldfield historic experience. This will be the cover for the issue featuring the article I’m writing for them about the labor strike.

I’m painting on canvas again lately. I had sort of taken some time off from that to work on the car forest, burying cars, publicizing the place and getting ready for the big party, which turned out to be a small party back in August. Life just always gets in the way. Things have settled a bit and a few days ago I set up my little painting studio in my shower, since my bathroom is not workable. It’s a good quiet place and it’s easy to heat.

View From Our Front Porch

I love painting oils so much and I seem to forget just how much until I start doing it again. The older I get the more often I remember how much I’m in control of my life, but it’s always taking the first step that’s most important. Distractions are constant; edging them out is difficult.

Harmonica is a new endeavor for me, since Zak has moved here; singing too. There’s alot to learn in any art and it’s that learning that keeps me going.

Radio DJing is a performance for me. I get to explore music but also my own performance with voice and content. I have always loved doing interviews and it feels good to have myself involved with this community in this way.

Our House is The End of the World

A couple days ago, a folder full of quickly shot off images from my social media, i.e. Facebook days took me on a trip down memory lane. The dates on each image relayed the moments in my life that served as backdrop. It’s gets me back in the mindset of fishbowling and how it was an art of its own. Up to the minute content, distributed widely is something substantial and the amount of self exposure was something useful to explore. I must get back to fishbowling some day.

The cheap camera I now own was a trade. My offer was a router that a friend of mine needed for making picture frames and wood creations. It has afforded me another creative outlet that I’ve long been exploring and that is the capture of light, photography. Shacks and buildings and mountains and joshua trees have been the main event there. To say it’s beautiful here doesn’t nearly say it. There’s an essence to living here and the feedback from my blog site has been fun.

2007, Hotel El Cortez, the first year of NadaDada in my room, drawing on wood

Today is Thanksgiving and I’ve had my phone conversations with family back home. Soon I go back to our firehouse to help with preparations for the Thanksgiving feast where we’ll feed the town.

Mom, Dad, brothers, I love you. You must have done something right because for my life, the perspectives I’ve been privy to, I’m thankful for them. I feel like a well adjusted person. I’m thankful for my interesting friends; you’ve kept my life colorful.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Art Things I’ve Been Working On

I’ve been neglecting my art so I thought I should share with you some exciting developments in my art world. Living in this little town, it’s been of a more commercial bent. I have, however, been starting some new paintings on canvas and showing them at Lisa’s Goldfield Gift Shop. Here’s a sample of some stuff. Gimme your thoughts. Click on any image to see an enlarge version of it.

Zak and I have been doing odd jobs around town and here’s the flyer we use to promote that endeavor. I’m very proud of it, actually.

Mrs. Lubow is a sweet old lady in town we’ve been doing some work for. She had me paint the ceiling of her porch in Mexican colors. Not so much art, but my creative eye came in handy. Love that gal!

Here was one of those odd jobs: house painting. Mrs. Lubow had this whirligig for me to paint. She says it’s not a duck but I think it’s a duck. Here’s before, during and after. This was alot of fun.

The Historical Society owns this old train and my latest endeavor has been to paint the sides of it. Eventually it will say Goldfield Consolidated Mine Company. Here are some pics of it before and during day 1 and day 2. First grinding, then red/brown primer, next black, then lettering.. more to come.. I been workin’ on the railroad..

I’ve been researching like crazy about all things Goldfield, such as the Wobblies and the labor movement and also the Gans/Nelson fight. For an upcoming issue of Harbinger Asylum I’ll be illustrating the cover and writing an article about that notable labor movement event that happened in our city in 1907.

Seems ironic, but that train I’m painting.. it’s gonna’ say Goldfield Consolidated Mines Company, which is the mining empire that George Wingfield headed up and the very company that brought on the troops via President Teddy Roosevelt.

This is a rough sketch-just ideating.

Here’s a drawing of Joe Gans. I’m almost finished reading Bill Gildea’s book The Longest Fight and HOW EXCITING it was! Maybe some day I’ll write the screen play based on my friend Bill’s book.

Here’s the cover design I did for the newest upcoming edition of Harbinger Asylum.

While still president of the Chamber, I did this flyer for our event Beautify Goldfield where 17 volunteers offered their time to clean up the streets of our town-unprecedented local involvement. It was very successful and nice to end on a high note.

I did a street side sign for the Chamber of Commerce.

Not really art, but.. At the end of my tenure, the president of the Historical Society helped Zak and I move this printing press to the front of the Chamber building. OK, maybe it was more like we helped him and his forklift move it.

Here are a few thumbnails of a logo I’m working on for a new business out of Florida called Reel Down. A friend of mine from high school hired me for this job. Stay tuned for finalized design; I can’t wait to see it on Tshirts & such.

I’ve got some art hung in the Goldfield Giftshop. I created a sign for out front and Alison modeled a painting for me.

Here are a couple of the newest paintings I’ve completed. Prospector and Cig and one of The Goldfield High School.

I did a sign for the Car Forest, posted at the end of our street, Crystal Ave. south end of town, right on Highway 95. I’m a helluva sign painter, I must say.

This was a flyer I did that we put around town to try and get old vehicles to bury. Didn’t work. Oh well. Groovy flyer, though, I think.


Jeeze. It feels like it’s been forever.

Anyway, this is a new little oil painting I’ve completed. The high school in town is, well, let’s just say I’ve fallen in love with the place. I think I may need to fishbowl there soon if they’ll let me.

It’s an 8×10 inch canvas. The first of a new series, in which I’m painting the historic buildings in town. I believe my next canvas will be the Tex Rickard house. At some point, I’ll be doing the world famous Goldfield (Hotel). Maybe the Cook Bank building and POSSIBLY the Sante Fe Saloon, as well as Dahlstrom’s Garage.
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