Monday, November 26, 2007

Secret Glimpse At My New Show

Here is the first of a new body of work for an art show at Northwind Gallery in January and Sweet Laurette's in February. It is new and playful. In fact, the title of the show at Northwind Gallery is Playground. As I was working on lots of weird art trying to find the spark, I could not figure out the playground thing. Then it dawned on me that MY playground is the ocean and waves. And so I did this biographical show about my life as a Northwest Surfer.
Enjoy. Shaka.

"Tunnel Vision at North Beach"
Ink and Acrylic on Wood Panels, 36" x 36"

"Deliberation at Stumps"
Ink and acrylic on curved wood panel, 23" x 18"
"Deep Creek Delusion"
Ink and Acrylic on wood siding, 11" x 28.25""Brown Point"
Ink and Acrylic on 70's era peel and stick Linoleum Tile, 12" x 12"

"Usually Missing From The Washington Surf Scene"
Ink and Acrylic on Surfer Magazine, 8" x 10.5"
"Waxing Slow To Postpone Drowning"
Ink and Acrylic on Surfer Magazine, 8" x 10.5"
"Out-Waiting The Sun For The Last Wave At Elwha"
Ink and acrylic on shiny Wood, 15.5" x 17"

Waking


I begin
and end
in darkness
or light.
My soul
forever.
The brief
time
life
gives
is not enough.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Teenager Behind the Wheel

Buckle up.
Yeah, to be fair, Clay is fine. You have no worries when he is driving. He is so careful the thing I yell most at him is to speed up. Can you freakin believe that?

Clay is so good, he goes with me to Library Visits and helps the little kids with the activities we do after my presentations.
Clay takes such good care of his little brothers, I am sure he will be their Hero forever. He is a gentle, hilarious soul. If he can handle having such a maniac dad, I am sure he can accomplish anything.

My Glory

Taj is truly my son. His focus is amazing. He will paint or draw or build legos or blocks for hours and hours without break. In fact, it can be quite difficult when you want him to brush his teeth or clean his toys up or anything other than the task he has given himself. But knowing that I was like that makes me smile to think we may have another crazy artist in the family.
Finlay doing his part to keep up the family tradition.

My beautiful people. My glory. My pride.

Monday, October 22, 2007

My Art in a Box, ahem

Here's a little ditty I call
My Art in a Box

Step One: You finish the art


Step Two: You put your art in a box

Step Three: You say goodbye to the art
Step Four: You wait for a while


Step Five: You check the mail all the time
Step Six: You open the box even though you know aint nothin in there but junkmail and bills


Step Seven: You check the mail seriously, all the time


Step Eight: You open the box, until one day you find something besides tons of junk mail and bills stacking up


Step Nine: Your little 8 ounce bundle of joy arives



Step Ten: You show off your bundle to anybody and everybody, you take walks with your precious and you stop strangers on the street to let them look at how beautiful your precious is, and hey, dont forget the pictures


Step Eleven: You take good care of that bundle

Step Twelve: You spend all day with that bundle


Step Thirteen: You love that book but at some point, you gotta let it grow up on its own, and you have to start your next little bundle

Monday, October 15, 2007

Thank God for Garage Sales and Good Jazz

This morning for some reason I jumped out first at a garage sale we were stopping at, much to Mariah's surprise and annoyance. You see, she is the queen of treasures found. She can go to a goodwill and bring home a Bently. Same goes with yard sales. I look out the window at mildewy boxes of trash, thinking no way and then she comes back to the car with a ............. (insert whatever hard to find thing I just asked her about getting the night before).

But not today. I jumped out and felt the tractor beam pulling me right over to a box of records. And wouldn't you know it? There were a bunch of wonderful vinyl treasures. A few Coltrane, Art Tatum, others and several really cool, old Miles albums. I am liking Blue Haze especially.

So, here is a new Miles painting in honor of my great find today.

The Two Deaths of Miles Davis. Acrylic on Canvas

And while I am on the goodwill subject, listen to this. One day this woman told me that she found one of my paintings at the goodwill in Seattle. She ran into me at a show I was having at the Sunlight Cafe. It was a huge portrait of Erykah Badu I had done several versions of. I sold each of those paintings for probably $1000 or more and she got it for $30. Now that's what I'm talking about.

On the subject of selling art, this painting was just sold to Greg Neri. He is starting a JJW collection down in Tampa.

This painting, La Fille D'Afrique, will accompany John Coltrane and the Astral Vortex


Saturday, October 13, 2007

Oh Jeez, Hot Men of Children's Lit Strikes Again

Here's the LINK: Hot Men Of Children's Lit #44

I suppose I should comment. Greg's response was so damn good, I felt I couldn't come close. But then I found this pic of Greg and I by the pool in LA and I couldn't resist.

The Mighty Chess Rumble


Seriously, people, this is my favorite book yet. Mad props to Greg for penning it so well. It is not preachy or didactic, just painful, real and joyful. I have read books in "dialect" or whatever, before and they can come off as very distasteful. This book feels more like a slow freestyle, rapping through the pages of a diary. It feels like part graphic novel, part picture book, part diary of a thug, part poetry. I don't know, I just love it and want to see it get some love out there. (speaking of love, Time Square is a pretty good place to start:)


Please help this book get the recognition I feel it deserves. Buy one for yourself and more for gifts. Ask bookstores and libraries about ordering it. And have Greg and/or I come do a presentation or signing at your school, library and bookstore.

Thank you,

Jesse

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Pumpkin Patchin

I wish I would have known then what I know now.
All those days and nights of turmoil as a teenager wondering why I was even alive and why I should care. Stressing as an adult about what I should do with my life and how I was going to make any money to pay my bills or keep from being evicted. Now, when I am around my family, all of the worries I have inflicted upon myself just dissipate like the marine layer when the sun comes out full strength.

This was one of the best days I have ever had. One of those days when God pulls back any dark clouds and shows you what you really have.
And it cost $4.
It required no schooling. It took zero planning.

Like the eternally wise song from the Gladiators says,
The Best Things In Life Are Free.


We took a long and gorgeous walk through a tall corn maze and though Taj started out running dangerously ahead of the pack, after 45 minutes he took Finlay's lead and became an incredibly heavy piggy for Daddy's back that made the last ten minutes of being maybe actually lost even more "exciting".


Though Mariah was never worried. And, indeed, she almost never is. I should be so lucky.

Then we went hunting for a couple pumpkins to become decorations and later Brazilian soup.
Taj found a perfect one right away and lugged his own little piggy around until his arms got tired.


When I looked back and saw that he had not only dropped his load, but was kicking it with a malevolent delight, I asked him what was up.

Taj: "Mom said I am suppose to kick them." (Not True)

Dad: "Why, Taj?"

Taj: "She just told me I have to kick them. Ok, Dad?"

Huh.
Who knows? Finlay, you better not get any ideas.

Trapped in Regret

Yeah. Ok, I admit it. I run off half cocked. Always have done it.
The whole Trapped in the Closet thing that I wrote earlier was based on seeing a portion of it. And, I guess now there are tons of them coming (for as long as they will make money and for as long as R can rhyme simple words together). The second part, 12-22 or something, was good. I liked the story even though it was apparent I came in on it in the middle. It was like walking into a circus soap opera after days without water. Highly psychedelic.

However watching the first part undid much of the magic for me. It was much dumber. Like he started off with a crazy, psycho idea and did a few solo, then when he got some love from real movie people, they hooked him up with big concepts like, oh, a plot not determined by what rhymes with . . . (not gonna lie to you, I heard him say that is how he came up with the story in the first place. "I just let the rhyme lead me. Like run rhymed with gun, so I gave the character a gat.")

Still stand by my first opinion of it. It is some crazy, messed up, ludicrous shit, but I have never seen anything like it before. Proppas on that. At least.
But, yeah, it is not high art.

So now it is off my conscience. Go see whatever the hell you want to see. Don't blame me.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Undercover Redneck

boo!

Trapped in the Closet... ahem...

Check it out. I was flipping through and landed on IFC because I saw R Kelly's name. I thought it was gonna be some scand'lous bit about the man's freakiness. But it was the movie, Trapped In The Closet.
Don't go judging a book by its cover or a movie by its title. I couldn't believe I was watching it. It is an exercise in storytelling. At first you turn it on and say, what the hell am i seeing here? Then after five minutes tops, you completely forget about the format and you are in to the story. The story has taken you out of your world and brought you into its own place.
This is the MAGIC of lots of different performance art. Theater. When I see a play, I always start out a little red faced and tingly for the actors for some reason, but if it's good I forget all about the fact that there are real people standing feet away from me saying lines they have memorized. The story takes over and completely brings me in so that I am not even aware that I am hungry or have to pee or whatever. This happens with good books, music, lots of media. And now, even insane R&B monologuing has joined the magic.

If you get a chance to see Trapped In The Closet, please do, if not just for the fact that you are watching a movie where the soundtrack is entirely one man sing/talking every character's lines. Crazy! And this is something that is so rare you remember it instantly: I have never seen anything like this before in a movie. It is more like an opera, except that it is one dude's voice for everyone. Old ladies, preachers, pimps, hos, kids, crazy crazy crazy.

My one aside is this. If he goes on to make lots more of these to cash in he is killing the art form. Leave it be, Freaky man.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

My Finlay


Finlay Shaka
This is one tiny kid. Taj was such a BIG baby that it makes Finlay look even smaller.
He is very funny, being the youngest and smallest Watson boy ever.
He has to muscle through Clay and Jackson's prison-rules-wrestling, Taj's race-car drive by's at hazardous speeds, and mom and dad's sporadic marriage-battling.
He is one tough cookie. I'd hate to be that corn :)

Tribute to the real Reggae Fathers

These are really old paintings I did back a while. A good example of how my talent has grown the more I do this. So, while the technique and skill may have lacked in some of these, the vibe was there.
So I put them up here to just show some love for the soldiers who worked out the music from the ghetto and raised the child of reggae into the man it is now.

Joe Higgs

Big Youth

Winston Rodney (Burning Spear)
"Knowledge is power. If it is not applied properly to create, let there be no doubt, it will destroy." - Haile Selassie I

Horsemouth
"Just as a farm that is not taken care of cannot be free of weeds, so also is the development of a society." - Haile Selassie I

Bunny Wailer

"Education and the quest for knowledge stops only at the grave." - Haile Selassie I

Pablo Moses

Don Carlos

"Develop a healthy pursuit of life and do not limit your efforts to satisfying your selfish desires." - Haile Selassie I

The Mighty Diamonds

The Itals