I am so honored and excited that this happened. I met Gail and Diva Zappa in LA at The Brewery Art Walk in 2014. Gail saw this artwork which was part of a 250 panel installation that I did at The Back Space in Portland Oregon in 2012. It stuck with her and she contacted me a month later and told me she wanted it for the cover of a new release of Frank Zappa's work from the 60's. This painting is part of a previous series that I did in 2004 or 5. I added it to the I am Drawing a Blank series after I ran it through the table saw to make it square. Sometimes the path a painting makes is more interesting than you would suspect. I will look for this paintings brothers and sisters and post them later. You can purchase the album on amazon with the link below.
I have been burning the candle at all ends. Maybe even a little in the middle. Maybe I just left the whole thing on the stove. Here is a sneak peak of what you might see at the show. Please come to the Lightbox Kulturhaus on the 4th of November after 6pm. If you can not make it email me and we could arrange a private showing. go to the facebook event at or the Lightbox Kulturhause page for more info.
Lightbox Kulturhause is located at 2027 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland, Oregon behind Tiny's Coffee house. We will have a late night dance party!!!!!
These are the stages I went through to finish this piece. You get an idea of how the seeds were planted early on for figure and ground and story. Painting for me is a bit like carving. I start with a rough block. I also want to be entertained while I paint so I don't want to know what is going to happen. If I were to plan and draw it all out before hand the painting might be better in a traditional sense but I would not enjoy the process as much. What does this painting mean? I have not titled the painting yet so I am not really sure. I am still learning from it. I find it fascinating to focus on one area of the painting and watch the changes.
Someone asked me recently "How do you know when an artwork is finished?" I answered, "When it is sold." On deeper examination of this seemingly sarcastic comment I want you to look at my process. Painting for me is not about making paintings. The paintings are by products of my learning about painting. The painting above for example. I thought I finished this painting in 2011. I showed it a bunch of times and each time I took it home and changed something. The last time I showed this painting it got damaged. This spawned another change. If it is in the studio it is fair game. Every painting can be painted on more. Even if it is perfect, especially if it is perfect.
The Yellow Land
This is the latest version but not yet completed version of The Yellow Land, the painting I started live at What The Festival. I have had it home for a month now and it is so close to being done. Little things to make right. It already has a home, thank you Jem. I will be sad to see it go so soon but I know where it will be living. I call my approach to live painting "Painting With Sharks". The painting is my scuba gear and my shark cage. It keep me alive and breathing in the middle of the world outside of my studio where there are so many other amazing things to interact with. Thank you people of What The Festival, and Mount Hood, and the rain, and the wind and everything else for helping to inspire this work.
I started this at What The Festival This year. I have been adding oils. It was a little to festy for me but now it is becoming less dogmatic and more intense and fluid. The main character is still morphing. He-she has had 4 or five faces already. Foreground and background are becoming more solid but still ghost like. As of this point the mouth has closed and the eye has shifted. Four feet by six feet.
What The Festival this year was great. I must have put in 50 hours of painting despite the cold and rain. Saw some good music and was able to interact with so many amazing people. Next year I want to get a dome. The weather is a bit of a challenge. These three paintings are just beginning. I have them in the studio now and will post the changes and finished product later. Each piece is four feet by six feet on panel. I each piece was mono color in the beginning. The blue painting is the only one I have introduced color into.
soldier making angels
oil on wood panel
Just finishing up a painting from last year. I was in Mexico for six months and it was waiting for me when I returned. It was easy to see what needed to happen with the long break. At the same time I am listening to a new book. It seems to fit the mood of my painting at the moment and I love the steam punk sci-fi philosophical prose. The story seems to be flowing in the direction of creating a parallel world where automatons exist and a weapon has just been created that can destroy or remake the world and there are mechanical golden bees as the delivery system. A good read or listen.
“Joshua Joseph has no real hatred of modern technology - he just mistrusts the effortless, texture less surfaces, and the ease with which it trains you to do things in the way most convenient to the machine. Above all, he mistrusts duplication. A rare thing becomes a commonplace thing. A skill becomes a feature. The end is more important than the means. The child of the soul gives place to a product of the system....For anything really important, Joe prefers something with a history, an item which can name the hand which assembled it and will warm to the one that deploys it. A thing of life, rather than one of the many consumer items which humans use to make more clutter; strange parasitic devices with their own little ecosystems.”
― Nick Harkaway, Angelmaker