Le Garage Hermitque (the invite!)

•June 20, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Hey true believers!,

It’s your friendly, neighborhood, out-of-his-mind painter and I’m here to tell you all about an upcoming group show I’ve been given the distinct pleasure of taking part in. It’s called, “Le Garage Hermitique”. If you don’t know what that title is all about take a look at this earlier post from moi here. That saves me the time of having to explain the whole concept again.

Thanks. Now that’s over let me give you the formal invite so you’ll be sure not to miss it. We’ve got a great cadre of artists lined up each ready to show you their interpretation of the concept of Magic. Each piece a completely unique creation from a completely unique perspective.

I love it.

Here it is:

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The address (as if you didn’t know) is 4025 Tonawanda Dr, Des Moines, IA 50312.

My own piece hearkens back to the illustrations I gazed upon as a young man while thumbing through Heavy Metal magazine and Epic Illustrated (Marvel’s version of the same thing) in the magazine racks at the grocery store while waiting for my mom to pick up some household staples. Those publications really impacted my formative years and seeing all that amazing art therein drove me as a young man to continue to draw and paint the bizarre scenes I saw in my head. I daresay they were in part responsible for making me the man I am today… Take that as you will.

I was excited to be invited to take part in this exhibition. You really should see it.

It’s gonna be magical.

 

Cheers,

R

 

A Touch of Gold

•June 14, 2016 • Leave a Comment

I’m throwing my hat in the ring (a couple of times) for this year’s Des Moines Arts Week festivities. My first go-round will be with a group exhibition at the Salisbury House called, “Le Garage Hermetique”. I’ll get deeper into that in another post. Believe me… You’ll want to see this show.

As for myself I’ll be putting up a collection of my work at one of Des Moines’ newest men’s fashion boutiques, Lord Midas.

ReevesAtMidas

Lord Midas, you say? They’re new in town. Hit the link and find out. Come back when you’re done. We’ve got time.

Pricey? Yes. I’m no fashionista but if you’ve got a love for Italian shoes or other high-end leather goods you’re in for a treat. These are beautiful and well-made. Max has even offered a 20% discount during the reception so maybe it’s time you got some new gear.

I know Art Week’s going to be busy as all getout, but take some time to come down Friday, June 24th from 6-9pm and chat with Max and myself. Take in some Art. Maybe even take home some Art… amiright??

We’ll see you there!

Cheers,

R

 

 

 

 

Le Garage Hermetique (again)

•May 18, 2016 • Leave a Comment

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One more session for some tonal work and finalizing a few odds & ends then I’m calling it. Come see the final piece at Le Garage Hermetique in June at the Salisbury House.

Details to follow.

Cheers,
R

The Goddess Gets Some Color

•May 11, 2016 • Leave a Comment

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Got a chance to start laying down some color this week. It’s a work-in-progress so odds are there’ll be some significant changes before it’s all over.

I’m trying to limit myself to 3 or 4 sessions to completion. Going to give it a few days to dry while I work on other projects. Hoping to get it wrapped in plenty of time for “Le Garage Hermetique” in June.

See you then.

Cheers,
R

Le Garage Hermetique

•May 6, 2016 • Leave a Comment

The Scrolls of the Oracle Goddess

Nearly finished with the underpainting for this little ditty that will be going on display at a group show in June called, “Le Garage Hermetique”. The theme comes from the title of a serialized comic by the artist, Moebius, that was first published in the French magazine, “Metal Hurlant”… or as we know it in the states, “Heavy Metal”. I grew up reading “Heavy Metal” and the artwork was always my favorite part. It set the tone for much of my formative years.

I suppose that explains a lot.

This is my tribute.

Cheers,
R

Red #1

•March 26, 2016 • 1 Comment

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Keeping my pallet limited and my time brief. Trying harder to accept each piece with its imperfections in order to preserve its energy.

R

Back to Study

•March 9, 2016 • 1 Comment

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Been a few weeks since I’ve done much of anything. Not sure why. Whether it was the cold, burnout, lack of motivation, excuses, excuses, excuses…
I feel like I’ve got some paintings to get out.
Glad to be back at it.

Cheers,
R

Thoughts on Recent Events

•November 16, 2015 • 1 Comment

I wish I knew what to say to everything that is going on in the world. We’ve seen the ugliness and hate that a twisted variety of Islam can breed. We’ve looked at each other and seen the same hate in our own eyes, but fail to recognize it for what it is. Those who’ve read the Koran can see that there are parts of it that can be used to legitimize atrocity, subversion, infiltration, murder… Certainly they are there. I have read many of them myself. Similar passages exist within the Christian bible that people thump and swear upon. “Our” own pre-christian, Hebrew god gave license to his people to kill, rape, and plunder in order to expand their holdings and increase his glory. Christians, taking up the mantle of “God’s Chosen” used the same passages to legitimize the Crusades as well as our own expansion across this very nation with similar brutality. Is Christianity then considered a violent religion? No, because we cannot think of ourselves in those terms. We’re the good guys, right? We also have (somewhat) embraced the New Testament which, in part, tempers the fire of the old Hebrew god. Islam has no such testament. Perhaps therein lies a difference, but the Koran also espouses peace. If we choose to embrace this New Testament we must also embrace its philosophy of love, empathy, and caring. The Bible is not a salad bar. We can’t just pick and choose and call ourselves Good.

In our “enlightened”, Christian imaginings we believe we are a loving a compassionate people, but to truly be so is difficult. To open ones arms in compassion is to also open yourself up to attack. Do we change who we are and turn away those who are suffering because of the fear of danger? I can’t answer that question. I can’t think that I would, as a person, be able to turn away… but the danger of those who would masquerade as refugees to gain access to our softest points is truly there. There is no doubt in my mind about that.

We have a fight ahead. A terrible, awful, complex fight that will never end so long as people are divided by our religions, culture, politics. History has shown time and time again that those kinds of barriers are impossible to erase. There are people on both sides who believe the others must be wiped out AND (let us especially not forget) those that believe such people are a useful resource that can be employed to carry out far less religious agendas to sate their greed.

But then comes the question of peace. Peace cannot exist so long as people have differences that they believe are insurmountable. So long as they are afraid of not having enough. So long as they believe the “other” is different, dangerous, suspect. Maybe Heinlein had it right in the world he imagined during Starship Troopers: Militarily-enforced world peace. Soldier citizens. Total unity. Those who remember the Roman empire will remember they attempted to achieve that kind of peace. It involved slaughtering hundreds of thousands, absorbing cultures, wiping out civilizations in order to make the world Rome. The English tried it as well. “Make the world England” was their motto. In the end it was also brutal, corrupt, unsustainable. These stories go on and on throughout our world history. The dream of total peace is really just that. We will always have our differences. We will always tend to look across, fences, borders, and ideals with suspicion and trepidation.

I’m no expert in politics, international relations, terrorism, warfare, etc, etc, etc. I’m just a nobody. I never went to war. I never had to suffer through what so many of my friends did. I never volunteered to be sent to a part of the world I’d never seen to fight people I did not know for reasons that were not mine. I cannot understand the fight the way they see it. I never studied politics. I never majored in sociology. I fix computers. I make Art. Because of these things I am labeled as ignorant (not untrue), childish (certainly to an extent), uninformed (probably). I just seems to me that our peace, the Pax Americana, has come to an end. Our way has been shown to be unsustainable. We meddle. We war. We send aid and weapons with equal frequency often to opposing groups. We try to convince ourselves that it’s all for the greater good. Just like the Romans. Just like the English. Just Like so many others. As a result many many innocent people have suffered. Ourselves as a people included.

Certainly there must be a better way. I wish I knew what it was, but alas I do not. Religion will not save us. Politicians neither. I wish I knew what to do. What to say to my kids. How can you grow up in this world and not hate? How can you grow up and know who your enemies are? Who are your allies? Can you sort the seeds and throw away the chaff with any certainty? These things are too fluid. It seems like there is no front line. There is no “over there” anymore. There is xenophobia, paranoia, and extremism in spades.

Can you remain vigilant and be compassionate? I think maybe you can. Can you fight hate and not hate in return? I hope so. I have friends who have shown me that they have been able to make those leaps of logic and faith. I can only hope their philosophies become more widespread. Sadly I am not seeing much of that when I look at our world, but perhaps there is still time. Perhaps if we showed both atrocity and compassion with equal frequency… Perhaps the world news shows too much of one and not enough of the other. Perhaps our view is skewed. Perhaps our social media echo chambers are exacerbating the issue. I don’t know for sure. I’m certainly no social scientist.

I wish I knew. I’m sure there are many of you, my friends included who think you’ve got the answer (“Kill ’em all!” or “Save ’em all!”). You probably think I’m silly, naive, ignorant. Maybe I am. I certainly cannot solve the world’s problems. In that at least I acknowledge my ignorance. My inability. Perhaps more people should do the same before they speak out in anger.

My hope is that maybe just maybe there can be found some benefit to a perspective that still sees the world as a wonderful place with room for everyone. I place we can share and explore. Maybe there’s still room for that dream. Maybe that’s just naive, wishful thinking. I hope not.
But frankly anymore… I just don’t know.

 

Eat drink and be merry

You know the rest

 

Cheers,

R

 

Showtime

•September 16, 2015 • 1 Comment

Greetings and felicitous salutations!

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Gallery space. Indian Hills CC.

Gallery space. Indian Hills CC.

I’m very happy to announce the opening of my current solo show, “Oil and Dust” at the Indian Hills Community College gallery. It’s a beautiful space and the gallery curator, Mark, was a breeze to work with. Given the size of most of my pieces it took renting a UHaul to get everything there (and will take another to get it back). I got a few lessons along the way regarding the transportation of my work in a large vehicle.  Live and learn… live and learn. I tend to be a bit cavalier about how I handle my own work. No more, however. Nothing’s damaged, mind you. I just got a lot of food for thought along the way. Good stuff.

At receptions you get asked a lot of the same questions: “What’s your inspiration?”, “What is this art about?”, yadda yadda yadda. What came to mind this time around was just this: I’m compelled to create. It’s not a want. It’s a need. It’s therapy. I lose myself in the process. I forget about the world. Sometimes I’m caught in a silent war with the piece I’m creating. Sometimes I think through personal issues. Sometimes I don’t think at all. It’s meditation. Prayer, if you will.

What is it about?

That’s for the viewer to decide. Once I’m done with it the interpretation’s out of my hands.

 

Cheers,

R

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Message?

•September 4, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Hi All,

I usually stick to Art talk on my blog, but I do occasionally wander off into the weeds and write something personal. Some days I’m just getting up on a soap box. Sometimes I’m pimping my fellow creatives. Today is different. Today is very personal. I’ve been holding this in for a few weeks and have only told a handful of people because I’m still not 100% sure about it myself.

Many of my friends already know that my family lost our beloved Aunt Jo several weeks back. I posted my version of a eulogy on my FB page expressing not only her importance to me personally, but her importance to all of us. Here it is:

So that’s that. My Aunt Jo died this morning. It did not come as a surprise. For what it’s worth she had been gone for a while. As many of us know, Death can be a release for all involved.

I loved her dearly. She understood me when others didn’t. She helped me to see places and know about things that may have been forever at arm’s length to me. She had given me a place to live rent-free when the loss of a job had sent me across the state to find a new home for my family.
She was a good housemate. She loved her 2 cats and her dog. They were her constant companions. The cats and I had a friendly understanding. I did not love her dog. We ate bleu cheese with crackers, watched CSI and talked/debated/argued until 2am. I was afraid to ride with her in the car. Anyone who knew her felt the same. She could be funny as hell. She was a strong, fiercely independent woman. In the end though her mind left her. The cares of society weighed on her with increasing intensity leaving her feeling that the world was crumbling around her. Her memories fled. Dementia’s a bitch, kids. She had to lean heavily on her siblings to care for her as her mind and body failed. It was very hard on them all. I am intensely angry about the way it had to happen. I know there is nothing to be done about it. It is my shame that I was not there for her as I should have been in the end.

I know that her suffering has ended. She can finally be at peace.

Save your prayers and good thoughts. Keep them and use them on your own families and friends. Call them. Talk to them. Hold them close. In the end that’s really all we’ve got.

G’night, Jo.

On the tail end of a family road trip mid-August during a stopover in Indianapolis I woke up in tears from a dream. Not something I normally do. Truth be told I don’t think I’ve ever done that… ever. They weren’t tears born of sadness, but from an overwhelming flood of joy. You see I had a visitation. My dream as it began was not all that interesting as dreams go. I do remember some bits and pieces: A border collie (no idea), some people at a party, lots of noise. Then something changed. It was as if someone had hit PAUSE on the dream itself. The action stopped. Everything was frozen in place and there was silence. Then I heard a voice. The voice of my Aunt Jo with her standard greeting of, “Hiya, Kiddo!”. I turned and there she was as she had been in her younger life. She was practically beaming. She came to me, embraced me and picked me up off the ground. Something she could have never done in life. She set me down, laughed, and said, “I just wanted to let you know that I’m better now. I’m OK. I love you! Gotta run”. And with that I woke up: tears in my eyes and out of breath. I’d never had an experience like that in my life.

For those of you who know me personally you know that I grew up in a very religious household (Southern Baptist). These days, after years of agnosticism, I’m not so sure about what happens when you die. I guess I’m of the opinion that energy is never destroyed, but just changes forms. We exchange electrons with everyone and everything we come in contact with. That exchange has got to leave some sort of imprint on us… I’d like to think perhaps there was enough of her left with me to give me that relief I’d been seeking since her death. You see I don’t feel like I ever properly mourned her loss.

Maybe it was my own subconscious sense of self-preservation sending me a much-needed boost to alleviate my feelings of shame for not being there for her at the end.

Maybe it’s just because the subject of her decline and demise had come up a few days earlier.

Maybe she really did come to me to comfort me in the only way currently available to her.

Who can say for sure?

That’s dreams for you.

Cheers,

R

 
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