Friday, March 30, 2007

Out Of Paint

Fortunately or not, I can't work on the Billboard every day. Sometimes I just do not have blocks of time large enough that will make rolling the thing out worth my while. Here's some progress I made on it a couple days ago before running out of paint. I rolled it out at 7:30am, sanded, primed and laid in the drawing until about 11am, took my dad to his radiation treatment and on a couple errands and was able to be back working on it from 2:30 to 5pm. It doesn't look like much progress, but believe me it is. I'm buying loads of paint today and am seriously going to try to finish this thing up in the next three days. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

“OFF THE WALL 3” Press Release

Here is the Press Release for the billboard show I'm involved with. In addition to a giant full size 14x48 foot billboard which will dangle somewhere in LA, I'll be showing a four by two foot remix for the the gallery opening/reception. This event is not to be missed! :

“OFF THE WALL 3” Turns Old Billboards into New Works of Art
Unique Indoor/Outdoor Art Exhibit Premieres April 21
LOS ANGELES—To celebrate Earth Day, Peter V. Schulberg, owner of the Los Angeles Eco-
LogicalArt gallery ( will host OFF THE WALL 3, a unique, indoor and
outdoor, fine art exhibition in which discarded billboards are transformed into spectacular works
of art. For the first time ever, original artwork will also be created on actual 14’ by 48’ recycled
billboards located around Los Angeles for the run of the gallery show which will premiere on
Earth Day Eve, April 21st , at 6 p.m
OFF THE WALL 3 will feature works by a two dozen
local artists who have created paintings out of vinyl
canvases made from recycled billboards. The work will be
on display both inside ECO-LA’s Los Angeles gallery and
on the building’s exterior, and include both new works and
a retrospective of the previous OFF THE WALL 1 & 2
Displaying large-scale artwork on billboards is not only a
novel concept; it will take OFF THE WALL 3 to
unprecedented heights. “Once again, ECO-LA is working
with cutting edge artists to turn ‘dead’ ads and the staid
gallery world inside out,” observed Schulberg. Traffic data
indicates that the original art billboards may be viewed by more than 250,000 Southern
California motorists per day. Los Angeles’ popular Getty Museum, by contrast, attracts on
average 4,000 visitors per day.
More than 60 artists participated in the two previous OFF THE WALL shows. The shows
attracted hundreds of eager visitors to the Eco-LogicalArt gallery and resulted in more than
$25,000 in sales of recycled vinyl art. “As an eco-bonus,” Schulberg noted, “approximately
10,000 square feet of pvc vinyl has been diverted from local landfills.”
The idea of turning old billboards into new works of art came to Schulberg in 2004 when he
learned that tons of billboard advertising is tossed into landfills every month. Schulberg, who
makes functional art from recovered materials, thought the situation cried out for a green
solution. He began experimenting with applying paint to the vinyl sheets used in billboard
advertising and invented a new stretching process so that the material could be used as canvases.
He then placed notices on art newsgroups offering free canvases and exposure on the exterior of
his gallery.
Schulberg compared the response to the movie
Field of Dreams. “I asked artists to work for nothing
on this weird new material for the opportunity to
have their work exhibited on the exterior on my
gallery—hostage to the heat, wind, rain, and a kid
with a paintball gun,” Schulberg recalled. “But the
artists, some who sell for thousands of dollars, came
and keep coming.”
Perhaps not surprisingly, the vinyl canvases proved
almost impervious to the elements. None of
artworks showed signs of fading, flaking or wear, even after being pelted by winter rainstorms.
Even local graffiti artists left the artwork alone. Schulberg notes that the vinyl canvases turned
ECO-LA into Los Angeles first “drive-by gallery.”
The warm response generated by the first two OFF THE WALL exhibitions gave Schulberg the
idea of expanding the show’s reach by returning some of the vinyl canvases to the place where
they began—that is, to actual billboards. With grants supplied The Vinyl Institute
(, a national trade organization representing manufacturers of vinyl
products, and Scion (, he then enlisted the support the Outdoor Advertising
Association of America ( and display heavyweights CBS Outdoor and Van
Wagner Communications to donate prime billboard space. As a result, “eco-logical” artwork will
appear on five billboards located around Los Angeles, including atop Schulberg’s gallery, during
the month’s of April and May. Once the billboards are taken down the art will be stretched into
conventional canvasses and offered to the public in a “back to earth” event at the gallery.
Schulberg’s hopes for his eco-logical art experiment continues to rise. With ECO-LA about to go
non-profit, and with hundreds of billboards getting “killed” daily he has plans to create a national
“renewable imagery” billboard art tour, of getting the material into public schools and to
providing free mural walls to the inner city kids. “It’s a green win-win whose time has come,” he
said. “But this new dynamic also recalls an old Shaker saying that is one of my touchstones: ‘We
do not inherit the earth from our parents; we are borrowing it from our children.’”
# # #
For additional information, contact:
Linda Rosner
Artisans Public Relations
(310) 837-6008
WHAT: OFF THE WALL 3, a unique indoor/outdoor art exhibit.
WHEN: April 21- May 20, 2007.
Wednesdays through Saturdays
11 a.m. to 6 p.m. or by appointment.
WHERE: Eco-LA Gallery
4829 West Pico Blvd (2 blocks east of La Brea)
Los Angeles, CA, 90019.
(310) 525-0676.

International Call for Artists

Found this in my inbox this morning. Sounds kind of cool A good opportunity for anyone wishing to take that leap into the realm of international artist.

grafisk vaerksted \ NAESTVED – The Print Studio for Artists - would like to celebrate its 20 years anniversary in 2008 by inviting you to take part in

Naestved International Exhibition of Contemporary Mini Square Prints

- and we ask you please to pass on this invitation to other artists.

The Exhibition will be an international survey of contemporary miniature prints to be held in April - May 2008

The purpose is in the first hand to introduce the Danish public to contemporary miniature prints from around the world while in the second hand to enlarge the collection of works within the grafisk vaerksted / NAESTVED and Naestved Kommune (Naestved Municipal County) and making the archives available for academic research, museums, artists, and print students alike. The works within this research archives can never be sold.

The Exhibition will initially be exhibited at Naestved Cultural Centre & Museum exhibition spaces and thereafter will become a travelling exhibition

We invite you to submit up to three (3) different prints. Works in all print media are eligible, including editioned, serial editioned, variable edtioned, open editioned, uneditioned, uneditionable, as well as digitally informed works.

Maximum dimension of the print is 8 x 8 cm. The Maximum size of the print matrix/substrate is 18 x 18 cm. (this maximum size includes both image and border areas). The original prints must be matted with plain white matt board. The outside dimensions for the matting / passe-par-tout must be 20 x 20 cm. for both the „passe-par-tout“ and backing board.

Official entry forms are not required for entry.

There is no entry fee.

Entries must be received by November 15, 2007.

Submit the following:

• Print[s]: Prints must be signed, have a title and an arrow on the back of the backing board indicating the top of the piece

• Short C.V. [includes email and web address if available]

Each print submitted should include the following information:

• Name of Artist

• Title of Work

• Medium [specify techniques/printing methods/ if mixed]

• Date of Work

Please note that submitted works will not be returned, but instead will become part of the research archives of grafisk vaerksted \ NAESTVED & Naestved County

Send all materials to:

Naestved Exhibition of Mini Square Prints

grafisk vaerksted \ NAESTVED

Sygestalden 15,

Groennegades Kaserne Kulturcenter

DK-4700 Naestved


• Please send entries in a sturdy package clearly marked „Print(s) for exhibition“ and the declaration „No commercial value“. Enclose sufficient postage for delivery.

• The Naestved Exhibition assumes no liability for works lost or damaged during transit. All prints received will be properly handled and after exhibitions retained and archived within the research archives of grafisk vaerksted / Naestved.

If the submitted works are not monoprints you are free to use the prints for other exhibitions etc.

A catalogue of works and exhibitions will be published at .

The Naestved Exhibition of Contemporary Mini Square Prints/The Print Studio for Artists is a non-profit, cultural and research-oriented event/studio and no profits will be sought from its submissions and/or participants.

For questions or comments please contact The Naestved Exhibition of Contemporary Mini Square Prints at

Your attention and dissemination of this information are greatly appreciated!

On behalf of grafisk vaerksted \ NAESTVED – The Print Studio for Artists

Torben Soeborg

PS: The Print Studio for Artists is situated in the provincial town Neastved in the Southern part of the Danish island Zealand, about 80 km South of Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Half Way There (Almost)

Here's an in progress shot of the piece taken from the roof yesterday evening after a few knee-crunching hours of work. The rectangle near the bottom is my palette, the two white things are the socks I've been wearing to walk around on it. I have sticky feet I guess.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


I wanted to say Thanks to Scott Bennett from Golden for being an available source of amazing information. Having worked at a couple Art Supply stores including one that manufactured it's own line of paint on site, I pride my self on my knowledge of artist's materials and how one might go about using them. I've had an issue with my paint sticking a bit as I roll up the billboard vinyl and I needed a solution fast. I had to ask my self, who could I contact that knows way more about acrylic paint and related materials than I do? I emailed Golden's technical support with my question at 10:30pm and by 8am the next day I had a response. If you feel the need to bump up on your artist's material knowledge, I recommend reading Art Hardware by Steven L. Saitzyk who I was fortunate to have as an instructor at Art Center for a class called "Property of Artist's Materials" I think the book may be out of print, but it's well worth finding. For much drier reading, The Artist's Handbook by Ralph Mayer is an amazing source of technical info all the way on down to the molecular structure of paint films and the reflection and refraction of the visible spectrum of light. Very cool stuff.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Whale Hunt

My work has always been about the world as I perceive it but has traditionally dealt with topics in a subtle and intentionally vague manner. Lately I have been thinking a lot about stewardship and trying to figure out how my work can positively affect things that are important to me. However, I think there are a lot of issues these days that need to be addressed by responsible people, so it’s taken me a while to figure out exactly how and to what extent I want to deal with issues in my work.

After some deliberation and lots and lots of sketching, I’ve ended up working on some paintings dealing with the human-ocean relationship. Here are a couple sketches that should give a hint of my visual version of the sea of along with a healthy dose of my usual imagery and themes.

While doing some research on turn of the century sea going vessels, I wound up looking into whaling and other destructive practices that most of us in America tend to think of as a problem that was solved long ago. Unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be the case as Japan and Iceland have continued this ridiculous practise using the “national tradition” and “culture” excuses, stating that killing a whale is the same as killing a cow which fortunately for several reasons, is not anywhere close. Here is a link to a film I stumbled upon regarding the slaughtering of dolphins, I highly recommend watching it, (and with the volume off) though it is not for the faint. I wish I had more to offer as to how one might put some effort into stopping this but alas I have no idea, I suppose that the more people that become aware of this the better. If I find something relevant, I’ll post it here.

With the images of dolphins being bled to death still fresh in my mind, the new issue of National Geographic arrived In my mail box yesterday with a very poignant couple articles about the vast abuse in the form of over fishing that is straining and thoroughly threatening the biodiversity of the worlds oceans. The short hand version of the article is that the appetite for fish in Asia, Europe, and the US, along with an explosion of commercial fishing and the utilizing of new technologies, has reached the point where scientists are questioning if some populations of fish are past the breaking point. Unfortunately, these are the fish I like to eat. So I think I’m going to have to swear off eating fish. I already don’t eat beef, pork or poultry mostly for health reasons, but now out of responsibility fish is nixed as well.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Enter The Dorks

For lack of a better name or any sort of verbal skills for that matter, I've been calling these things dorks. Made with a combination mono type silkscreen process, they were initially intended to be a series of faceless portraits of working stiffs wearing the various uniforms of one job or another, but as I continued to experiment with the materials, it became much more about the process than the product. I may or may not show them, as they differ slightly from my body of work as a whole, so I figured I'd debut them here first.

Dork Face

Mas Dorks

More Dorks

Other Dorks


Saturday, March 17, 2007

Work In Progress

, so here it is, a sneak peek at one of my current projects, A billboard! I worked with Peter at ECO-Logical Art last year for his "Off The Wall 2" show which involved a bunch of artists painting on used billboard vinyl. He's been working all year to get a hold of not only full 14x48 foot rolls of used vinyl but also the use of a couple billboards at various locations throughout LA. I'm not entirely positive on the specifics, but the vinyl is virtually indestructible and as far as I know gets tossed after the ads come down which is a damn shame because it could be turned into tents for refugees, back packs, wallets, or anything utilizing or requiring a sturdy fabric. I kind of fell in love with the surface while painting on it last year, and absolutely jumped at the chance to paint a full size billboard on the material. At some point in April, this thing will be put up for all of LA to see. The pressure's on, this piece will be viewed more times in a month than the sum of anything else I have ever created.

The first pic is mostly for scale the other one is a nearly finished section that represents about a fourth of the entire surface area. I'll post more stuff as it happens.

A couple guys who are doing a documentary on the project came by today while I was working and did an interview and took some shots of me working... strange. Being watched while I'm working is weird enough, but being filmed and asked to discuss process at the same time is real bizarre.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Smoke Moves Like Ghosts Through The Trees

Here's a shot for a window installation I created for a show in Long Beach CA, Called "Smoke Moves Like Ghosts Through The Trees" The name came to me a couple of years ago while climbing Mt. Pilchuck in WA. J. and I were following the trail to the summit and an old fire lookout impaled precariously on the very craggy peak of the mountain. As we slowly made our way over the damp moss and through stands of wiry pines, lazy low lying clouds rolled across our path and through the trees around us, life like wisps traveling by and on to some undisclosed destination. The phrase rolled around the back of my mind as we hiked on, with me imagining tree sprites, and living cloud-ghosts all happily inhabiting the mountain with J. the marmots and I. It was scrawled out and then forgotten for so many months. Almost all my show titles come to me like that, like disconnected disemboweled and deconstructed lines of a poem I have neither the will or the wit to write. They often flit around the back of my mind gaining momentum until they have the inertia to materialize, or get scrawled out and trapped between the chip board covers of one sketchbook or another, waiting to be unearthed and rediscovered often lying dormant for years.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Tiny Plush

Here it is, the smallest plush I've made to date. It was created for the Medical Experiments Toy Show which opens Mar 17th in Asheville, NC. It has been a drag packing and shipping larger ones that I've sent off , so I figured let's keep this one small. I started making These painted plush things a couple years ago more as an experiment in cheap and quick sculpture than for a love for padded forms and soft things. Weird thing is though, there is a giant subculture of artists and crafters making sewn, knitted and plush creatures out there. I've sort of fallen into a couple art shows entirely themed around or at least loosely based on plush as an art form. One such show, "Plush You" at Schmancy in Seattle, WA Has even spawned a book tie-in published by North Light Books which should be out in November. I have a tutorial in the book so you will have to wait until then to find out how I make these things.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Forest of Ice

These are a couple shots of a mini installation I created for Art Mini. This guy in NY had the incredibly genius idea of creating tiny galleries where in artists could create their own Installation piece, and because they are only 9x12 inches, budget or time constraints are not an issue. My piece, "The Forest of Ice" wound up being a diorama with the characters and the elements being flat cut out painted forms glued to a frame of balsa wood. The idea in it's most basic form came to me while I was putting together an actual sized installation piece in Robocon (May, 06) While working on putting that thing together I came up with a lot of stuff, mostly the result of problem solving. "The Forest of Ice" was originally intended to be a life size room-filling installation that a person could move through and interact with, but would be lit and viewed best from a couple vantage points (of course indicated by feet silhouettes painted on the floor) however, when the opportunity to make a tiny version came up, I absolutely had to. As someone who has done a lot of paintings, I've been interested for a long time in illusions or 3D space and combining 2D objects with depth in a field. I think it's the overlapping edges and the difficulty the human eye has in focusing on multiple items at once that makes the diorama as a system interesting to me. Of course it could be something far simpler, an homage to hastily prepared elementary school book report visuals made from construction paper, scotch tape and old shoe boxes, or even the older attractions at Disneyland like "Mr. Toads Wild Ride" and "Small World" where plywood painted with highlights and drop shadows make an almost believable stand-in for a 3D forms.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Figured it out

After giving it about twenty four hours of thought, I think that in addition to being a public digital diary complete with musing, swooning and rants , I'll also be using this blog as an excuse to show off things I'm working on that may or may not eventually make it on to my website, and for that matter may or may not otherwise have seen the light of day. Suffice to say, I'm always working on something, and usually something in addition so a few other somethings. The trying out of new ideas, cooking up art schemes, building mini-mock ups, and in general just plain messing around, is at points a minor subtext to whatever else I'm working on and at other times manages to overwhelm. I'm extremely easily distracted when it comes to new ideas and after a few years of coping with it and trying to figure out how much is just enough to put in to my R&D efforts, it seems like the best way to deal with this has been to simply work through the ideas, try stuff out, and make a couple objects to see what sticks.

Pictured above, My brother sharing a couch with an Ikea box/packing material woman. she is opinionated and passive aggressive which is strange considering she is cardboard and little else. It was late one evening, S. had just finished setting up his new furniture like the well designed particle board creations that they are. The boxes and packing materials were in a pile waiting for someone to muster the energy to dump them in the recycle bin. I've been thinking a lot about reusing materials and seeing the potential of normally trashed items to become something else lately, not that turning trash into art makes it any more useful, but if I can use previously employed and otherwise discarded materials to make things, then I'm going to dammit. Of course that raises the question about the archival nature of materials employed for the creation of art, which has a very specific and finite system and chemistry that has been established and tested over the last thousand years, and thanks to science been confirmed in the last fifty, but I'm sure I'll blab more about that later. Not to worry, the Ikea box woman didn't end up in a museum, rather she was recycled and is likely once more a box hugging the corners of some cheap particle board furniture.

The other Pic is a couple examples of books I've bound. I'm kind of a sketchbook fiend and after using much of what was already on the market, I decided to learn how to make my own so I could take advantage of the paper I like to use and keep them to a size convenient for me. Of course, after making a bunch of them, the book making has tapered off a bit because it's just so much easier to, purchase a new sketchbook when I need one. The book in the back is a sketchbook I made for S. and the one in the front is My entry for the International Flip Book Festival. When I have the time to figure out how, I'll make a little animation of the flip book and post it someplace, perhaps here.

Monday, March 12, 2007

This is Where it Starts

I guess it has to start some place, and presumably this is as good as any other.