Monday, August 31, 2015

News: missed a week; ROAD TRIP!; Arborist shows in September & November

"Arborist Tempus Domum II"
commissioned by Francisca Mason 
Missed the update last week because I was waiting to confirm a thing that fell thru, & by then the week was over, so prepare for Setzer Studio Arts Giant Size Issue #1...

  • Arborist September show moved to Georgetown Liquor Co;
  • And we've added an exhibition in November at West Seattle Wine Cellars;
  • Bad news about both Trabant locations & what that means for "Everyone Can Be Redeemed";
  • FibroShark Hungry update;
  • & finally some notes about my health situation & a picture of my dog. 

Don't forget to click on the links at the right to follow me on Facebook & Instagram - & do go to HitRECord because that site is amazing!!!


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

News: Arborist show in September & other neat things

Arborist, Not Far From Tree
I woke up with "Sexy & I Know It" in my head. I'm only slightly embarrassed by the fact that I am listening to that song while writing this week's news update. But it's not like my neighbors have better taste in music than me so... whatever. Anyway, here's the news:

Find me elsewhere on the internets! Instagram, Facebook, Facebook, & now hitRECord (but I haven't done a whole lot there yet, so really you're better off looking around & finding inspiration & collaboration on the whole site.)


Thursday, August 13, 2015

What I'm really trying to say is...

Arborist Dreamtime
I started Arborist because I wanted to make something that people would trade me money for. I know enough about the art world to know that people like to spend money on pretty things that make them feel good - or at least feel something. Watercolor is really big in the industry right now, so I said "sure, I'll pick up a brush", since I'd already been drifting toward watercolor with FibroShark Hungry anyway.

The first Arborist piece I did was a Lyrical piece that quoted "Starship Trooper" by Yes. This was right after Chris Squire had died, & no doubt was part of my own little grieving process. Now that piece resides in the art collection of a very dear friend of mine, alongside a few other works I've given him over the years.

Yes lyrics inspired at least two more Lyrical Arborist paintings which, while pretty to look at, didn't really add anything to anything & couldn't be the basis for my quest to fucking sell some fucking art. Next was the Wee Arborist paintings that made a step for the evolution of my work, but did little more for me.

Finally I decided to combine this new series with the paper I had been making & experimenting with & everything clicked into place immediately. The first one I made sold within an hour. I was excited & surprised, but knew that I was on to something. One thing that I know from all my years in marketing is that having an audience for your work is essential, & that you have to chase the thing that your audience responds to.

So I did.
Arborist Gnosis

When it got to the point that this was really starting to feel like art, tho, I had to sit down & evaluate what it means. What is it that I am trying to say with this work? What part of the world is revealed by me making these paintings? Why does this exist and who is it for?

I started thinking about things like conservation & mass-consumption, but deep down at its roots (hehe), my work isn't about those sorts of concepts. My work is about pain. It's about loss. It's about trauma. I was reborn into this stage of my art career thru grief & suffering. To change direction in the middle because I wanted to make some money seemed a little like selling out.

Then it dawned on me: everyone can be redeemed. The medium of this work isn't "watercolor", it's watercolor on handmade paper. Paper that I made out of junk mail & detritus from my garden. That paper didn't start out as industrial waste* tho. It started as trees. Then was cut down, cut up, ground into pulp, bleached, ground up some more; processed & reprocessed until one day by chance it happened to land in my mail box. And then I cut it up & ground it up even more, but with an entirely different intent.

By adding a few more ingredients, applying a skill, & laying down some imagination, I gave what was once a tree the opportunity to be a fucking tree again. That feels like an accomplishment to me, but it also fits in with the rest of the work that I'm doing both at & away from the canvas. I know a lot of people who have been ground down & cut up by life. Most of them are doing the best they can with what they have, but I think a lot of them don't realize that they still have the chance to be beautiful.

Arborist Magnus
It's hard to know if you still have a spark of life when you're that far from what you thought you were meant to be. Pain, grief, trauma - life, sometimes - tears us apart & with enough of it in the right places, you can become something that you don't recognize. Like you used to be a beautiful pine tree, chillin out with all your pine tree buddies, and then thru no fault of your own you're trapped in a cycle of being torn up & thrown away. Unlike junk mail, however, our minds provide us the necessary bits of cleverness & creativity that can give us the chance to be trees again.

Maybe you don't need that now, but you might need it some day. So just remember: everyone, no matter how cut up & ground down, can be redeemed. That's the way of the universe.

*Because let's face it, mass-mailing campaigns are wasteful.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

News: workaholism as coping mechanism; someone send some fucking rain to Seattle

FibroShark's Words of Wisdom
It hasn't rained in Seattle for weeks. For a while it was awesome, but now it's just getting ridiculous. Especially because the air pressure keeps doing this thing where it pretends like rain is going to happen & everyone I know gets a barometric-pressure-change headache, but then it never rains. The webs between my toes have dried up, and I have sores all over my face that may or may not be related...

So art is happening a lot right now.

  • Continuing work on FibroShark Hungry (pre-order your copy here!)
  • More Arborist works too! 
  • And I made some paper with the Random Disco Flakes I got at the art store a couple weeks ago
  • I'm seriously not leaving my house until the mess on my face gets better & Netflix has a finite supply of entertainment, so expect some other projects to come up...
Instagram. Setzer Studio Arts on Facebook. FibroShark on Facebook. 

What's your favorite book?


Friday, August 7, 2015

News: lateness, PRE-ORDER FIBROSHARK HUNGRY, & some other stuff

A few Arborist pieces made it into frames & they look
So, this week's news post is late. I mean it's not, because I don't think anyone but me is keeping track, buuuut, it is. We're all just going to have to hug each other & get thru this tardiness together. In other news:

  • You can now pre-order FibroShark Hungry if you didn't already reserve your copy during the Hatchfund campaign
  • The Setzer Studio Arts Store is still open & you can still buy art there!
  • The Arborist series is coming along nicely, & people who would know are really enjoying it
  • Still making paper too... when I have the spoons
  • And I got a Tesla journal (Nikola, not the progressive rock band) for some reason

If you're not following me on Instagram, why not? If you're not keeping up with Setzer Studio Arts & FibroShark on Facebook, then how did you get this link? I'm actually curious. Post in the comments!