Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Up Against the Pecha Kucha Clock

Several people have asked if I could post my Pecha Kucha Dallas presentation on line. So here it is, 20 slides, 20 seconds each. Pull out your stop watch and see if you can beat the PKN clock...

Tonight I'm taking you on a rambling journey of Flashbacks, Visual Connections, and Unintentional Concoctions.

Welcome to my slightly dyslexic world of Art-O-Vision.

When these Hummels came into the conservation studio, I was trying to quite smoking for the fifth time. They were coated in 30 years worth of second hand tar and nicotine. 

Sometimes when you make a tough decision, the world backs you up.

This pre-Columbian artifact was broken in half. Inside are fingerprints so clear that the FBI could use them for identification. 

This isn't a cold ceremonial artifact, it's a direct link to a once living person.

This is my childhood home. 

They say you can never go home again. 

Well, a few years ago I moved back into this house. So I can tell you from personal experience that it's much more surreal the second time around.

Every time I dig in the yard, I dig up toy guns, G. I. Joes, army men, and the tools that I borrowed from my Dad. 

Yeah, I'm just now returning them to the tool shed. Sorry it took so long Dad.

When I dug up this small ceramic turtle, suddenly it was the summer of 1966. I was 4 years old, sitting in the gravel driveway with the turtle in my mouth, squashing ants with a stick.

This is one of my Dad's paintings. It was in "deep storage" for over 40 years. 

When I pulled it out, I could see it hanging in our living room. I was just a tot, and I remember thinking it looked like fried eggs in outer space.

This is some of my work. A small work on paper, a lacquer panel, and a page of doodles, the kind you make while your listening to someone talk.

These were all done before I rediscovered Fried Eggs in Outer Space.

These abstract drawings were done for a show at Gray Matters. At the time, I was a senior art conservator, spending my days restoring gilded frames, chair legs, and drawer pulls.

In this project I photographed lots of buds and seeds. The photos were used as building blocks to generate the abstract shapes on top. So, those shapes would not exist without the information contained with in the photos below...

A few months later, I came across this almost direct photographic translation of one of the abstract shapes.

I spent a week at the Untitled ArtSpace in Oklahoma City producing a series of block prints that were totally non-representational.

It was all about creating PURE abstract shapes...

Yeah, apparently while I was up there in Oklahoma, I was channeling the creative spirit of the ceiling fan down here in my bedroom.

So much for purity.

Art Basel Miami! Developing Art-O-Vision. 

5 days of nonstop art viewing. 

On the first day, Damn I saw a lot of art! By the end of the fifth day, you have gone beyond burnout. Everything looks like art. 

I highly recommend it.

Vermont Studio Center, where each month a new batch of 50 neurotic, self absorbed artists and writers are let loose on the small northern town of Johnson Vermont.

I drew, painted, sculpted, photographed, shot videos, blogged, and talked Art Art Art 24/7.

It was very unnatural...

...Unlike making art in my studio at home.

All the distractions are actually part of the creative process. They allow ideas time to gel and ferment. 

SculptCAD Rapid Artists. I was 1 of 14 artists that spent 3 months learning how to create sculptures on a computer... 

The top row are the actual sculptures I created using the program. They're plastic resin sprayed with black velvet, so they are soft to the touch.

But I really like how the photos below have squashed the sculptures back into a 2D space.

This being my newest work, I really don't know what the epiphanies are yet. But with my niece graduating high school and my nephew graduating college, I assume they are about liver spots.

Thank You

Well, there you go. To much info, to little time, but a lot of fun to do.

All of the Pecha Kucha Dallas events have been held at small venues, Sons of Hermann being the biggest so far. The 150 seats at the last PKN Dallas, held at the Dallas Center for Architecture was sold out in just under 2 days. The small size of the audience makes each event feel like you are sharing something special with a bunch of friends. Of corse the small sized also means that a bunch of your friends have and will miss out on the event.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Pecha Kucha Dallas After Glow

Pecha Kucha Dallas was last night, 11 people gave their 20/20 presentations, and all of them were wonderful. Well, at least the ones I can remember. I was the 7th presenter that night, so I don't really recall to much before my turn, and then afterwards I spent some quality time breathing.  

With the 6.40 minute formate, the audience gets a good taste of what each presenter is like. The time also causes the presenters to talk quickly and precisely. This energy is picked up by everyone in the room, so the intermissions and after mingling is always rewarding. 

When I got up on stage, seemed like the first slide was over before I said hello. After that I just rambled on through to the end. I got some good laughs, can't remember what from, or if I even said half the stuff I had practiced. But it was GREAT fun. I'd do it again for sure.

Here is the list and links of presenters:

Here is the tag to all my PKN vol. 3 postings

And here's a little press on the event:

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Pecha Kucha, Game Shows, Butterflies and My Lucky Turtle

Pecha Kucha, Who would have thought the combination of 6.4 minutes and an unpronounceable word would result in the trashing of so much paper and so few hours of sleep.

I have spoken in public quite a few times, and I have lead classes before too, but there is something about having to squeeze your ideas into a 20 second, 20 slides formate that has given me a bad case of butterflies.

One of my friends said I should think of it like being on a game show. That was a good idea at first, then realized that when simply asked for somebody's name, I will blank on all the names of all my closest friends as well as most of my family members.

Remember the game show Family Feud, where two families would compete to win big prizes? There was always one member of the family, Uncle Eugene, who would be doing the deer/headlight thing all the way through the program, then suddenly jump up at the last minute and shout Rutabagas!!! Thus destroying his families dreams of side by side washer and dryer for their communal mobile home back in Arkansas. That's me, everything except the Arkansas thing.

In Alan Alda's book Things I overheard while talking to myself, he says he could whip out a new story for MASH in just a few hours, but if asked to give a 10 minute speech at a graduation ceremony, he would agonize over every word for weeks. So perhaps that is good to know... perhaps not.

I think I'll take my lucky ceramic turtle with me for support.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Submitting to the Urge to Pecha Kucha

I sent in my Power Point to be formated for the up coming Pecha Kucha Dallas event. So that means I am going to be 1 of 11 people asked to present a 6 minute and 40 second presentation (that's 20 slides, 20 seconds each. Check out the links to get the whole idea). Here is a link to show you how to pronounce Pecha Kucha.

This will be the 3rd PKN Dallas 6/24/10. Each event has been held at a small donated venue. This time it will be at the Dallas Center for Architecture. The 150 seats sold out in just a day or two, so I didn't get the chance to notify my friends about it.

Each presenter is free to speaking about any topic as long as it stays within the time limits. With 4 artists, 2 art conservators, an architect, a furniture designer, a comic book writer, and a muralist, I assume the focus will be on art and creativity. But who knows, at the first event, one presenter spoke lovingly about his collection of Puma Sneakers.

I'll be rambling on about small personal epiphanies; moments of insight, clarification, and confirmation.  Rambling being the most accurate description in that last sentence. It has been fun sorting through old photos and memories to put together my 6.40 minutes of fame. It has also been weird seeing these moments organized and prepped for public display.

Hopefully I won't be the last one to be called up on stage.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Adding a New Blog to the Blogville

Turn Turn Turn by Mekhala Bahl
Dear Ada,
If you are writing a letter to a special someone named Ada you might start that letter with "Dear Ada" and then writing about all the wonderful things you have seen, and how much you wish Ada was there to share them with.

Well, this is pretty much what Birdie is doing with the blog Dear Ada, except that there are very few words and lots of photos with links to artwork that Birdie thinks Ada would like. Who is Ada? The author says "Ada was a very important person I grew up with and shared a love for art, nature, design and culture. She was the most positive, curious, interested person I've ever known and this blog is a bit like a series of letters or notes to her."

Birdie has been posting these art notes to Ada on a regular basses since August 2005. The artists represented here tend to be emerging artists from a wide variety of locations across the world. The scope of  the artwork is from abstract to representational. Sculpture, craft, painting, printmaking, weaving... There is a lot of drawing and works on paper which is quite alright with me. The blog also has Book Love which is Birdie's list of recommended books.

I am adding Dear Ada to my Blogville list of blogs I follow. I hope you will visit the site and follow as well.