Friday, April 17, 2009

Day ONe Skate Shop and Art Space

Friday May 1st, at 6 p.m will be the opening for my first solo show . The show will be held at Day One Skate Shop and Art Space in Bridgeport , Ct.. Much of my youth was spent on a skateboard, and many of my early Illustration influences came from old school skate deck designs. In my old age of 30 I still continue to search for Animal Chin, but sadly after all these years he remains a mystery.  So having the opportunity to show at a skate shop is pretty exciting for me, skate boarding is a part of my roots and always will be.  One of my paintings that will be on display depicts a guy on a skateboard winding through a busy NYC street, and is a reflection of my first few trips to NYC  as a teen. I am hoping to have this image printed on skate boards for the show.

The show will also be a launch for my book Norton B. Nice in which I authored, Illustrated, designed , and published. 
In addition to all of this it is my birthday, so I hope a lot of people are going to come out and enjoy.

For more information visit 

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Watercolor studies and more monkeys

In my last blog post I talked a bit about traveling in South East Asia, staying in a place called Tonsai bay, and Monkeys . So I figured I would share this little video clip. Also in this post I decided I would display a few of the many  watercolor sketches I did while staying in Tonsai.The first painting is a sketch of my outdoor bathroom in the jungle which was also mentioned in my last post. The one which was usually visited by monkeys, snakes, frogs, and who knows what else.

New Compositions

  Recently I traveled to San Francisco with my MFA group. Each time we travel to a new place we are required to create a piece of art work that somehow relates to our trip. So the top image is a sketch for that assignment. I wanted to do an image of one of the many street performers that are throughout the streets of San Fran.. I did not want to just create an image of the performer simply standing in the street, nor did I want it to be just a close up portrait of a random performer.  It is important for me to capture more than just the person but I wanted to capture a feeling of the wild streets full of people, trolly cars, wild pastel buildings,  and whatever else. The image of  downtown San Fran will be painted within the reflection of the trumpet which will lend itself well to creating an image  of the windy streets of San Fran and also the distorted style I enjoy working in.

The second image is for my Forth thesis painting and depicts my interpretation of Tonsai Bay in Thailand. Tonsai bay is an amazing place, for a rock climber and artist like myself it is a paradise for sure. Mornings are spent climbing many of the limestone formations that shoot out from the beautiful blue sea. When it gets to hot in the afternoon one can relax on the beach and take a swim. Once it cools of again in the afternoon it s time to climb once again. Rest days are spent painting on the beach.When the day is over most spend there nights in a bungalow located within the jungle in hills close to the beach. Bungalows in Tonsai cost anywhere from 10 dollars to 500 dollars in the fancy resorts on Railay.

I usually go for the 10 dollar deal of course, which has always been just fine. When living in a bungalow you are sharing space with spiders, goats, gecko's, snakes, centipedes and of course the Thai oversized tree rats known as monkeys. Although these little devils are quit cute and fun to watch they can be quite nasty. My friends bungalow was ram sacked by a bunch of these cheeky little creatures on a few different occasions. Inside it looked like a bomb went off. Everything was thrown about, electrolyte drink mix, cereal, climbing gear, bananas , you name it , and they even stole a few things. Rumor has it that a friend of mines Ipod was stolen once by a monkey raid.

I myself have had a few run ins with them as well. My bungalow had an outdoor bathroom.
Perched a top it many a mornings was a rather big monkey. If I came near him he would hiss, show his fangs, and once even tried to pee on my head. So needles to say I at times was not able to take care of my business until he was done with his.

There have been other reports of climbers being attacked while climbing , and also rumors of monkeys dropping rocks done from the cliff on top of people at the local bar that sits below the cliff. As nasty as they can be I still certainly get a kick out of watching them, and after all they were there first. 

So the illustration is going to be of a climber being heckled by a few monkeys.
One will have a camera and the other may have an ipod, in which maybe they looted from some poor saps bungalow.Both will be laughing/snarling as they heckle and drop things upon the climber. The bungalows below will have some signs of the modern world, such as a radar dish or cell phone tower.We of course in the year 2009 are beginning to see more and more development in remote places such as Tonsai. So I hope to make a bit of reference to that by depicting the monkeys with the camera and ipod, and technology  in other areas of the composition.
This is a theme I hope to explore more of. Globalization and its effects on remote places.I hope to question what things will be like in 50 years from now. It makes me question or not if places like Tonsai will be able to with stand its high number of visitors amongst its fragile jungle environment.