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,


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?"

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.