Monday, February 14, 2011

Some Link Love Part I--the planet of Austin, TX

Forgive me if my last post was a tad self pitying. It needed to come up, like a stubborn lumpy hairball stuck in the throat. (My poor elderly Stevie cat has been struggling with one for days. It was interfering with her being able to keep food down, and she needs every calorie.  We both celebrated when it finally shot out this morning like a wet bullet.)

Soooo. Moving on.

My plans this week are continuing to catch up on domestic & other "stuff" I've been dodging. (I wish I had a wife to do this stuff for me. I'm straight, but all artists need wives-- regardless of gender ) I do want to get some art in here too though. There are some "dreamscape" works on paper I want to get back in & finish. Also on the list is a self portrait (because I need to work on some oil painting,  preferably with the figure and I'm my own cheapest model...besides I think it is a good grounding exercise for artists to do on a regular basis), and a few paintings that have been out calling out softly & plaintively for me to finish them. I'll try to tackle one a day.

(oh, and sending off a dvd demo reel & portfolio to a very unlikely and sought after job that I likely won't get, but will kick myself if I let the opportunity pass.)

Until those are posted, I'd like to leave some cool links to an eclectic & very subjective mix of creatives and other folk I look up to.

First, some fellow active talents I have the pleasure to have personally known on the planet of Austin, TX :

A link to The Boxing Lesson's Myspace account . That is the band behind my two animations. They have some free music uploaded on their site, check it out. Also, vote for them in The Roaries! Best Male Musician: Paul Waclawsky & Best Female Musician: Jaylinn Davidson.
 (Also, vote for The Glitoris for best DJ. I have no idea who s/he is. But S/he deserves it for name alone.)

The Boxing Lesson are managed by The Loyalty Firm run by Ryan Cano (who also fills in as drummer as needed for the duo). I appreciate all his hard work and getting the word out there on the animation/TBL music collaboration.

Eric Power lives up to his superhero name. His animations are magical, whimsical and endlessly entertaining. One of his earliest projects was Dark Side of the Moog  for The Boxing Lesson. His sweet and touching Tatooine (music by Jeremy Messersmith) was just selected for a short film viewing at SXSW this year! Congratulations Eric! Here's his site .

Jamie Panzer has a knack of finding the art in places and situations that would be overlooked by many. His sharp eye and sharp wit can be found on his fine art and graphic design sites.

The Inheritance is a fusion of gypsy and some dark backwater Texas folk that I find irresistible. I discovered them by accident when going on a long evening summer walk and hearing raucous spirited old world accordion, violin, steel guitar, clarinet, & bass coming through the neighborhoods near Flipnotics at Barton Springs. I came in for a glass of wine & found a dancing, stomping chaos in the middle of what normally would be a polite-sit-and-watch-over-your-herbal-tea-on-a-Sunday-night show. I've missed their recent performances due to finishing the project I've been documenting, but want to catch another show soon.
 Jorge Sermini  is a writer, actor, and filmmaker who I met at an unusual gig (no, I'm not elaborating) a while back. At this gig,  I did get the opportunity to watch many cuts and revisions of his new movie, a dark psychological mystery and thriller  In The Shadow . Witnessing the stages of edits has been a fascinating process, like watching a sculptor cutting away at a mass, revealing the core. It is a gorgeous looking film that will have you buying a ticket to Puerto Rico upon leaving the theater. Jorge also gave me a technical hand in prepping a few pivotal scenes for my recent animation.

Geoff Sebesta is an artist who (with his girlfriend Gewel Kafka) is part of Austin Sketch Group . It is a group who hang at The Hideout for coffee and draw Sunday nights,  like what I've been doing solo or with a buddy as I work on small dreamscapes and ideas for animation over at Once Over, Mozart's, and Cafe Medici. They are celebrating their published collaborative graphic novel this month.  I may unofficially sit in on some of the Sketch Group sessions sometime soon. From what I gather from his reading material and blog, I suspect Geoff is one of those fascinating & intimidatingly big brained types.

(I met him recently from a gig where we proctored an exam of nearly 4000 young strapping firemen wannabees who flew in from around the country to take a screening test in a huge room at the Convention Center. The visuals stuck with me. It looked like one of those surreal school anxiety dreams, with desks going off to a vanishing point....morphing into another type of dream that is more pleasant.)

Jamie Lynn Teer is a local actress, model and talented baker. I hired her about a year ago to warm up to draw action poses from the figure again. She had a wonderful energy I strove to capture in the drawings. And she brought me cookies too! (she is a kick ass baker and barista for Hot Mama's, ) marghhhh.She is in several films coming up this year, one starring Nicholas Cage.

Scott Gordon is a photographer who finds the abstract beauty in the real world around us.  He moved back to Austin from NYC (a refreshing change) recently to pursue his photography full time. We hung out often during a previous rollercoaster trip (for me) in the Austin art scene some years back. He always had a more levelheaded approach to dealing with it than I could manage.

Not exactly Austin, but in nearby Bandera, TX resides Dusty Pendelton. He distills the dreamy stillness of the late afternoon/early evening of  Texas landscape in gold,dusty pink & violet (not limited to those-- mind you, but I'm trying to convey overall body of work) toned oil paintings. I also met him during aforementioned rollercoaster trip. We were exhibiting at the same gallery and he bought quite a few of my paintings when they were overlooked by most ( and dismissed by a so-called authority in the scene at the time that they "weren't viable" works). I appreciate his support of my painting, and respect the consistency of  his own work habits through all the bumps and challenges he has weathered.

John Garrett is an Austin landscaper with the core of an artist. I met him after answering an ad for a technical gig. I didn't get it, but I got to hone my portrait skills out of the encounter. We compared our Northeastern art school backgrounds and he had mentioned Storm King Art Center (A magical place I visited as a teen while taking studio art college credit courses one summer in Saratoga Springs, NY. ) as an early inspiration.

Taking better care of my health these past few years has energized me, which in turn has helped my mood, creative output, appearance, and confidence. I credit much of this to my discovery of Efficient Exercise which incorporates the Superslow weight training method combined with some other techniques for effective, efficient, safe gains in strength and overall fitness. This method of working out is beneficial for the frailest to the most active athlete. The trainers are the polar opposite of the "meathead" stereotype. They are a brilliant group of men and women who are passionate and dedicated to the research and education of healthier living habits to slow aging, prevent disease, and create a better quality of life. Follow EE trainers Skyler Tanner's and Keith Norris' blogs. Right now they are in the middle of Project Transformation , documenting 10 men and 10 women of varying degrees of fitness through 10 weeks of their 2x weekly workouts. My dear friend and first on my list of links, Jaylinn Davidson, was selected to participate in the program and she has already noticed beneficial results.

Well, I hope that is some sufficient attention to what is/has gone on around me. I get in a myopic state and forget all the talent condensed in this little world down here.

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