The Witch Doctor is In

I’m crafting intention for a new video to post for my Kickstarter but for now I wanted to keep it simple.

Here are two ink commissions from the Kickstarter incentive, recently completed:

Both of these were intuitive narratives and it’s exactly the kind of storytelling that I want to be honing in on. I’ll open up more about this in my video and in future entries.

Every evening I play the fiddle that was given to me last summer. Recently, after hours of waltzing strings to the moonlight, I had a sensation of devoting myself to this instrument as much as I can and I came up with an imaginative gesture of promoting a debut album called ‘The Witch Doctor is In’ – in jest, at first, for although it gave me the giggles I very sincerely would love to shape my winter around the arts and especially my favorite synesthesia of all: MUSE-IC.


“Communication breakdown to rebuild the communication breakthroughs.”

Heart of Alaska

Back in May I was commissioned to paint the enormous, gorgeous topography of the Cook Inlet for Bjorn Olson‘s feature documentary, Heart of Alaska.

Heart of Alaska – Trailer from Bjørn on Vimeo.

Last night was the grand premier at the Islands & Ocean’s Center in Homer, Alaska and these maps were on full display. What a sincere honor it was to have been asked to create these pieces for so groundbreaking a story; groundbreaking in that it is a true story with two tiny heroes and their big hearts. Children as a focal point for a momentous and universal message is brilliant, in fact, I would personally prefer that everyone took  more time to listen to and consider the perspectives of our up and coming little people. They deserve our full attention. They have not yet been squandered by the illusions and unnecessary pressures that warp our perspectives in the adult world and, I might add, have so much to teach us if we gave them the time they deserve. Being an intrepid outdoor adventurer myself, I couldn’t help but be enamored by the spirits of the parents and the brave inclusion of their children but especially the wild and well-rounded personalities of sweet-hearted Lituya and sharp-minded Katmai as they rolled through the challenging landscapes. What a pair. What a compliment. What inspiration. You can read more about this family and their efforts at Ground Truth Trekking and let it be my sincerest recommendation!

Bjorn paid some immense respects to the amount of work that I poured into these maps and although I am deeply appreciative for this notation, the bigger heart in me struggles with so much credit – after all, how could I not give everything to these? The topographic details of recreating the Cook Inlet came from tracing nautical maps for accuracy but the artistic, flowing interpretations arrived from natural means of matching the breadth and personality of the landscape with a personal style that conveys the earth as a living, thriving, beautiful and worthwhile entity – a real and true and present paradise for us and our generations to love, cherish, and care for. The art speaks for this message.

It is for that reason alone that I devoted my entirety to the project because I believe so much in the cause (and: Bjorn is a badass and I respect just about anything he and his equally rad lady do). If there is anything I could ever give art for it would be to entice awareness to the wonders in our environment and especially to our empowerment, choices, and influences within it as a species that shares it with the rest. It is our responsibility to do something.

Having been a part of the film with my visual contributions permitted me the opportunity to view the documentary in its infancy before last night’s official debut. I was able to pick through the rough cuts as Bjorn submitted them but I felt it would be better to wait until the film was ready for a collective audience. Bjorn was wholly dedicated to the fine tuning of his craft and Heart of Alaska is his biggest and most determined effort. I am relieved to have waited. There was much anticipation over experiencing the music of this film and let me just break down all my bullshit formalities with writing this entry because … DAYUUMN. With my respects paid to the visionary director and the heroes, I’ll now flail in fangirl delight over the MUSIC of this documentary because Mark Teckenbrock is an undiscovered genius for manipulating melody! The Pacing! The Moods! The complimentary aural atmosphere to the overall storytelling was perfection and this is coming from a person who has suffered greatly from irritable, glorious perfectionism so I couldn’t help but be moved by every precise timing of the score. It got me all kinds of emotional at various intervals. When will it be released on vinyl? Because I want it! And I don’t even possess a record player!

There is one more showing tonight at Islands & Oceans and I will be in attendance again in support of the film. For those who are wondering: the original maps are for sale and so far I lack the funds to make prints of them.

So much talent and hard, dedicated work gathered for the conjuring of Heart of Alaska. I couldn’t possibly feel more  privileged to have been a part of it. I anticipate the opportunities that are forming far ahead and I will greet any chance to speak for the earth with eagerness.

Kickstarter Redux + 3 Fresh Paintings feat. Dead Birds.

KICKSTARTER!  // It involves inexpensive ink drawings to springboard my efforts to follow a stronger intuitive flow and build my skills with illustrative narrative.

In the meantime, I finished three new 10 x 10 inkwash paintings for the Bunnell Art Center‘s collective show, opening November 20th. This triptych will be on display and for sale. Follow my updates on instagram for more work as it arrives.

Decomposition01 Decomposition02Decomposition03

Spoken Word.

This piece came about in the early hours of the morning: restless in the quiet hands of dawn after an exhausted sleep of spastic dreams, the product of a series of overwhelming days and the persistent threat of the ‘rest and relaxation’ that I always harp to take for myself but never really do until I’m blindsided by my own fatigue. But some part of me must be addicted to the stimulus from chaos and I have been swearing by it for as long as I have been cursing myself by it too. Turns out this moon sign in scorpio really takes the death / renewal to maddening extremes. But  I consider this most recent relapse as a result of this Kickstarter because ever since its launch my thoughts have been toiling over the details of how Art has been both a burden and a tremendous gift over my lifetime and I am expressing it in a wholly different way than I ever have before and it spooks me. My inner psychologist has wrestled with what sort of “creature” I become when I do my art and I feel that I am reaching a peace with it now after years of hiding and doing everything else but giving into it. All I can do is be a respectful host, somehow, by delivering the art in whatever mediums necessary.

Though my relationship with Art was the underlying element that brought this whimsical piece of writing together, I also wanted to pepper it with core points of what is important to me in the message that Art strives to teach. These themes, in specific death, consciousness, and vitality are the headlining topics of my three books – the likes of which I am carving time and attention to illustrate.

This piece carries the swift tempo and impassioned cadence of beat poetry / spoken word and maybe one day I will perform it, but for now, use your delicious imagination:

Everything is held together with stories,” he thought. “That is all that is holding us together, stories and compassion.” ~ Barry Lopez, Winter Count (1981)

In my recent years of reckless overdrive and gypsy transience I recognized that I am, in fact, a very hard, very righteous worker: shining with an intensity that I could not immediately identify until I crash landed wherever I ended up on my relentless pursuits. It is genetic to be so strong and brash. My mother was raised in grit and selfless sacrifice on a dairy farm and my father could never stop flying for fresh horizons. I may have been a sensitive lackadaisical dreamer in the naivety of my childhood but I made means, however awful and awkward and ungraceful, to overcome my own laziness by honing in and opening to the experiences and influences around me. These were my choices. So the fact that my muscle memory has been all about the burn-out for as long as my blood can remember – firing full and fast at every new challenge that my heart knew was worth pumping for – is not entirely new, even if my relationship with it has shifted to be accommodating rather than resistant. But I did not believe in Art and I did not work for it. It was always a natural and uninvited thing: a cloak for loneliness as much as it was a way of making friends, a thing to be manipulated and used when shit was tight. But I was too crazed for malcontent adventure and heretical achievements to give it the time. All those years of courting chaos is stubborn to change, but if it’s one universal truth I fight for now, it is that change is constant: change is inevitable; change, an often tangible thing, is the seed for conscious revolutions for dynamic evolutions. The sparks of these manifestations is awareness and willpower, processed in mutual symbiosis by all living things at various intervals in macro and micro, the infinite number of life cycles depicted interwoven in the flower of life, translated through our unique networks of cyclical communications ad nauseum through sharing soil and stars and spinning through space in the gravitational pull towards a black hole: all are keys and allegories to the survival of the fittest by simply Being Here Together. However, it was Art that sculpted my belief in ‘something’ deeper and greater that assists in the unwinding of this complex spiral and it is in my sincerest belief that these elements already co-exist and are the fibers that thread this colorful tapestry together. Each one of us is woven into it for as long as our bodies are designed to return and recycle, so must our mindsets be in reflection and balance with this inarguable fact. Why are all these efforts made to be out of our bodies, rather than wholly in them? We cannot be imbalanced in favor of one over the other! We become trapped: stagnant and wasteful and inconsiderate and full of OurSelf, we forget the thrill of challenge in the faces of our many fears – especially at a common inability to surrender to mortality. Art, and in all the efforts that I made to escape it, in all the ways that it terrified me, plucked me viciously from my comforts and commanded that I face everything that I shoved in its way, and because of that I learned to conquer and I learned to fight – all in the name of Art, for the right of expression that everything deserves and does. So you see? I could not be lazy even if I wanted to. I don’t know how I do it or where it came from and I am content with this mystery because all I truly know is the nature of Now and that one day I will die and I am A-Okay with that. This, even above connecting dots of wyrd synchronicities, is the most important thing that Art taught me as it blazed through my warm mammal hands and rattled my cold reptilian reality on a frequent basis. All I could ever do was to just get out of its way. Perhaps in the language of a more analogical brain whatever genius I may possess can be broken down by labels of lunacy: crafted by emotional traumas and neurotic tendencies for perfectionism. Cool! That sounds edgy as fuck. In the end, who cares? Art has shown me that by being open and undefined to the plethora of ideas that have been crafted to better understand our incredible, awe-inspiring environment, I can, and have, grown with it. Every tool I have ever needed to greet my personal gift for Art is available to us all through our collaborative feats of brilliant creations and I am fortunate to have it when there are those in deeper realms of suffering that I could never possibly know; and it was Art, by its unshakable power that refused to let go of my hillbilly brain, that I turned my warrior heart to the cause to be a part of the progression and not the regression. It is my fuel because I care so damn much. I care about our children and their voices. I care about the tribe. I care about the empowerment of individual to be a creator in their life for a greater, sustainable good. The aspiration to live harmoniously with the necessities – necessities akin to night and day for example – I believe, is not foreign or unique. I implore you to spend quality time in a true wilderness and you will feel it there. My choice to build personal meaning pushes me to do something about Them – Those – They – whoever and whatever is out there that might need my help in the best way I can give it because it was given to me – and as far as whatever ‘me’ or ‘I am’ goes – we could just be bundles of meat compressed by the forces of space and nature, inventing meaning only out of need and painting the face of unknowns in ALL of our vastly genius means because of it. Sure! Why not? I’ll work with it and not against it either way even with the impression that the precise vernacular of written language can be limiting to the deeper language buried in our guts. So I’ll sing this war cry for the symbiotic relationship of Nature and Cosmos because it can’t be denied: for I am cut of its colorful cloth, for I eat of its flesh, for I live at its whim and to have Art is an Act of some common… what? Delusion? Collective Consciousness? Divinity? Yggrdrasil? Allah? God? Words, words, words! What is with all of this powerful assignment to words! I’d rather tune in with the needs and abilities of my body to compliment the powers of my willful mind so that I can feed the generations that are arriving in the wake of our selfish mental wars. For I have a story to share through Art and it is by faceless/shapeless/fierce Love that I find the will to tell it and perhaps… perhaps by Doing so I will plow grounds for anyone to find a way to tell theirs, so that greater understanding can be achieved, and if not, then I’ll know that at least I didn’t give up, spit venom, or condemn anyone else outside of my own silly, temporary, tiny blip of a fathomless existence – that some deeper, older, familial memory coded within me will know that I fought, and that I fought hard and fully and with all of myself  – and I howled from my very core at the frontline with claws drawn and banners raised – All in the name of Art.

Rebuilding and Renewal.

It’s been a long time since I  scrawled my musings on the interweb. One fall night, moons ago, I disappeared so that I might one day rebuild: and today begins the tedious tinkering towards that patiently nested vision. I Am Ready.

Pouring time into a website does not interest me anymore so this will be plain and simple until the bare bones can be pampered with love and muscle. Why wait to write, meanwhile?

I’ve grown fond of the fun fuss of instagram and post anything and everything of my many endeavors there. I am open to fulfilling an online journal plump with new ideas, rewarding inspirations, and punny introspections – all flavors of my own blonesty. See what I did there? Blog + Honesty = Blonesty. Eh? Eh? I STILL GOT IT! All those years of waxing teenage wangst on Livejournal are finally paying off.

Whether you found yourself here through the exhausting upkeep of my frequent shapeshifts or you are entirely new – let me say, wholeheartedly: Thank You. Thank You for following, for supporting, and for believing. It makes a difference even now and I am so deeply grateful.

Alright! Back to work! More to come!