Category Archives: Art

Sold!

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Finally sold a painting! Have had about 10 paintings hanging in a swanky bar downtown for six months now. Got an email asking if the piece was for sale, conversed via email and settled on a price. And then comes the drama.

Told the bar owner’s assistant that I sold the piece. She was mildly upset because when we hung all the paintings six months ago, she had expressed interest and (may have stated outright) that she wanted to buy the piece for herself/ the bar. But I had totally forgotten about that. When I got the email asking if the work was for sale, I was more concerned about coming up with a price.

Today the owner of the bar called me and asked if I would reconsider the sale. He was (somehow) under the impression that his assistant had already paid me and the bar owned the piece. I told him I would feel pretty crummy backing out of the deal; the buyer had literally just sent the check in the mail. I gave him her number and suggested he plead his case to her. I haven’t heard back from anyone.

I feel terrible about how things have transpired.  My main takeaway here is be sure to communicate better with others. I could have avoided this whole mess if I had consulted the owner and/or his assistant first.

Next time I’ll have a plan on how to properly sell work.

 

Price List

Hello Rockhoppers,

This is weird, but welcome to my blog. I couldn’t figure how to fit all the images in a single email (or document), so I decided to put it here.

I wanted to thank everyone for their kinds words about my work. And thanks to Stefan for allowing me to hang my stuff up in his home, and extra thanks to Elizabeth for coming up with the idea. It was great to show people my work instead of it just sitting in a pile.
I build, stretch, and frame all my canvases. Acrylic on canvas unless noted. Sizes rounded to nearest inch.

its problems

de -its problems                              about 14 x 14                                         $ 180
*wooden panel

An attempt to replicate the line quality of predigital television when viewed up close. It was difficult and not as successful as I would have liked.
OUTPUT

OUTPUT                                              25 x 25                                                     $ 190

Based on a child’s scribbles in a coloring book. Choosing a non-human subject as a change of pace.

lie down down you

lie down down; you                          21 x 27                         $ 425  / $ 750 pair

Do you remember?

Do you remember?                         21 x 30                            $ 425  / $ 750 pair

Weaver series
Old photographs offer a peek into the past and show how life was lived in simpler times. As such, they make for great source material.

At a Goodwill store where they sell things by the pound, I found a huge cache of photos of a single family spanning the early 40’s to late 90’s.

Whether there are no more relatives to inherit the photographs, or no one wants them, I find it sad that a whole lifetime of memories would be thrown away. So I “adopted” the family.

Over the images of the Weavers, I added text based on the heritage of my actual parents: the neon yellow text in Do you remember? is Thai, and the white text in lie down down; you is Portuguese. While not that “deep,” this is a turning point of sorts. These are not just graphic images,  these pieces have some personal meaning.

 

DSC_0562, 30 x30

 

DSC_0627                                           30 x 30                                                       $ 285
*wooden panel on silkscreen frame

Five kids from my Mom’s village in Thailand. The girl in front is a relative. This was a foray back into colors after doing so many monochromes. It was also an attempt to use a new medium of paint – acrylic semi transparent stains that are intended for decks/ porches etc. On canvas, they function like a glaze. Working with 4 stains and a few other regular paint colors, I was able to achieve some nice color effects.

 

Juk 2

Juk II                                      23 x 32                                      $ 300
framed with scavenged wood

A more finished piece using the same semi transparent stains and limited paint colors. Same kid from DSC_0627 (far right).

 

Final Coat, 45 x 61

Final Coat                                                45 x 61                                                $ 1800
frame is heavy

Based on an image taken from a 50’s DIY book. Second time I painted this image, but this time larger and with slavish attention. Attempt to create a full range of value using only one color (and white). Sort of a gimmicky touch, but the surface of the table that she has painted has a opalescent glaze that makes it stand out when seen in person.

 

Eve Drone

Data Entry Girl                22 x 35                 $ 300

Instead of trying to create the illusion of depth, an attempt to simplify and flatten the form using a limited palette of muted colors. In terms of subject, style, and color harmony, a successful piece.

Catherine

Catherine                             25 x 37                                 $ 425

Based on a photo I took, one of the few paintings with a person I actually know. Tried to capture the essence of the blueish purplish color of the hoodie. Couldn’t devote the same energy to the trees, left them terrible.

 

Some Shit

bitchin’                                       23 x 23                                               $ 175

Based on vintage year book photos using colors that mimic the look 3-D images.

Two parties expressed interest in this piece. Parties can arm wrestle for it, I can auction it, or duplicate the painting and sell it for the same price. I am open to suggestions.

 

Lazy Dog

THE LAZY DOG                                         32 x 32                                           $ 300
*wooden panel, framed with scavenged wood

Based on a vintage yearbook photo, chosen for the ridiculous hairstyle. Monochromatic with a focus on using value to create depth.

 

David Robinson

David Robinson                                 25 x 25                             $ 325/ pair $ 600

Ronald Robison

Ronald Robison                                 25 x 25                            $ 325/ pair $ 600

(AKA Stud and Dud)

Based on yet more vintage yearbook photos. This reminded me of my friend and myself; we were alphabetic neighbors in school and as a result, became friends. He was the “stud” and I the “dud.” I wondered if the these two had become friends as well.
“Stud and Dud” references an episode of the Simpsons, which my friend and I were huge fans of.

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College                                                     23 x 31                                                 $ 200
*wooden panel, framed with scavenged wood

One of the 50’s DIY series. Monochromatic with an attempt to create as little value as possible.

 

Untitled
Chairfixer                                                  24 x 29                                                 $ 325
framed with scavenged wood

One of the 50’s DIY series. The execution of the figure was less labored than usual, and looks more fluid as a result.
Text obscures figure to the appropriate degree.

 

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uggest                                            about 23 x 32                                                $ 285

Based on vintage image from a knitting catalog.

 

TROUBLE OR MALFUNCTION

TROUBLE OR MALFUNCTION                        50 x 26                             $ 600

Originally intended to be just a landscape, perceived problems with accuracy lead to overlaying other imagery. Background image is a based on a photo I took in Portland.

 

under the circumstances / Diptych

under the circumstances                                  74 x 25                               $ 1500
diptych joined by piano hinge

Ultramarathon of figure painting, based on an image culled from the internet. Limited palette of five or six colors.

A few other pieces that were not shown.

Juk 1, 24 x 14
Juk I                    14 x 24            $ 100
A “throwaway” piece done between more “serious” works.

 

70's Family

That 70’s Family                              24 x 37                             $ 200

Based on a found photograph. Love the hair!

 

success with roses
Tamara                                                21 x 34                                                    $  250
framed with scrap wood

Based on a photograph I took of an old friend.

 

du pain

Du Pain                                                   44 x 25                                               $ 280

Avoiding realistic figures, based on kids drawing. Trying to loosen up and do something different.

 

Final Spin

Final Spin                                            50 x 26                                                     $  450

Part of the Weaver series. Based on a photo when Pat Sajak and Vanna White visited the old folks home Mrs Weaver was staying at.

 

Art Four

ART FOUR                                            26 x 32                                                $ 200
Unique frame style, it’s octagonal

Collage style with main image based on photo of a friend.

*   *   *   *   *

Whew! That’s it. If you’ve made it this far, thanks for checking out my work again. If you are interested in a piece or have questions, please email me at shutupbecky@gmail.com.  I’m flexible and we can work something out. I’d love to get more of my work out into the world.

Treasure Uncovered

The other day I headed out for a run, unsure of where exactly I was going. I wanted to run to the Powerlines, but it was really hot and there’s no water available there. My measly 2L bladder would be half empty by the time I got there. The flat trail  would be mostly shaded, so I decided that would be a wise choice.

I decided to run past 1604 and explore a bit. I had followed a Hash trail out there on a run long ago, but didn’t get too far. I wanted to see how much further the “trail” would go.

Running under the bridge, I  was amazed at all the little mud bird houses built on the underside. Then I passed the spot where eons ago I drank many beers at a Hash “circle.”

As I rounded the corner, I saw the familiar junk pile. I knew that this spot had been used as a dumping ground before.

Main pile on the left side.
Main pile on the left side.
Pile on the right.
Pile on the right.

I plucked a 5×7 photograph off the ground.

This was the first photo I found.
The first photo I found.

 

As I scrutinized the junk, I could tell this was new stuff that had been dumped recently. My instincts kicked in: I am a scavenger. I have a fascination for looking through trash, junk, rubbish, – whatever you call it – for things that I can use somehow. As an artist,  I see value in things that might seem worthless to others. And as I poked around, almost immediately I struck gold.

More photographs. Old black and white photographs!! And lots of them. Before I knew it, that one photo had mushroomed into a  huge wad. At first I thought I would keep just a few because I could fit only so many in my pack. But the photos were all gold – I’d find a way to carry them all. No way was I leaving any behind. (At least not any black and whites, I did leave some more recent color photos behind.)

By this point, my running brain was totally switched off. All I cared about was finding more photos, I was a junkie searching for my next fix in the pile. But I knew I had to stop at some point, if for no other reason than the sun was getting low and worse- the mosquitoes were starting up. I found three or four small concentrations of photos and then it seemed like that was it.

At this point I figured out this guy died and they just dumped this stuff. Whoever did this just wanted to clean house. They were probably not related, otherwise they’d have kept the photos. Or maybe they were related and just didn’t care. Either way is sad.

I tried to roughly organize my haul in order to compact it. I found a Manilla envelope and stuffed in the photos. Then I stuck the envelope in a large Ziploc bag to protect it from my sweaty self. I could carry the whole pouch in front of me tucked under the bands of my pack. It made my chest retain heat, but it stayed put and more importantly, kept my hands free.

As I ran home,  I got some weird looks. I’m sure people wondered what the heck I was carrying. And yet even if they knew what was in the Manilla envelope, they would probably ask: “What the heck are you doing with photographs you found in a dump of some random dead person?”

And I asked myself the same thing. Why do I do this?

* * *

Grand total: about 150 photographs, (several of which are stuck together and awaiting separation,) one negative,  a few postcards, a letter, a note, a Mason’s card, a certificate of birth, and 3 lottery tickets (whose numbers I intend to play one day.)

There are many more interesting images I’d like to share, and ultimately, I will organize the photos into an album.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another Flower Gallery

Ran for three and a half hours on 50/50 trail and pavement. Recent rains have got the wildflowers all up in a tizzy! I’m trying to document as many different types of flowers as possible. These were all shot today on the same run. Nuts, right? There were so many flowers, it was ruining my running rhythm; I’d stop every few feet to take another picture.

Focusing on iPhone is a b!tch. It’s so hard to tell in the bright  sunlight. Getting it to focus on the right thing is especially tricky.  I preset the AF/AE lock and then try to frame the image, but often can’t find the right focal range. More practice, I guess!

The run was tough. When I started, there was some awesome cloud cover. Sadly, it burned off quickly and the humidity set in .

I ran in my Hoka Stinsons for the first time. As much as I want to like them, not the best initial impression. Definitely issues on uneven trail surfaces. Unfortunate, as the reason for buying them was to save my tootsies from the rocks at Bandera.  Need more miles before rendering a final verdict, although I’m paranoid this will mean that I won’t be able to return them.

Also using Tailwind for the third time. Lemon something or other flavor. I’m not sold on the efficacy just yet. I bonked pretty good today. I left the house with only 400 calories, about half of what I should have had for a (planned) 15 mile run. After I consumed my bottle of Tailwind and two gels, I stopped at a gas station and bought a Gatorade and a Reeses peanut butter cup. I never do that. The Reese’s was righteous, and it helped a bit, but I was still dragging.

The weird thing is how tired I felt after only 10 miles or so. I thought to myself, “You think you’re tired now?? Wait till you’ve been up for 20 hours and you’re at mile 80. How the hell are you going to manage that?” Either I exhausted my glycogen yesterday, I didn’t consume enough calories during the week, or something, but this shouldn’t have been as hard as it was. Which reminds me, I want to start my running diary. That sounds so…

For the day, did a lot of walking and finished with 14, a mile short of goal.

Things Change…

Depending on where you live, you might notice the trees turning colors. The trees around here are definitely changing. Not anything super spectacular, but low key Texas style. Maybe that’s what is inspiring me to make a change. Or maybe it’s just because I’m tired of hearing that question, “Do you have a website?”

You may or may not know that I am an artist- I make paintings. I’ve been half-assing it for a long time. I’ve also been unemployed for a while now and it’s really getting me down. But I don’t want to work a stupid job – I want to do something I actually enjoy doing. However, finding a job where I just paint and build stuff all day is probably not going to happen. At least not easily, and not without some blood, sweat, and many many beers.

So where am I going with this? Well, I am going to try and full-ass it as an artist. I want to put my work out there, and that requires a website. And while it would be great if I could make money talking about my running, I know that if I focus on presenting my art, I can sell it. So I am going to be shifting the focus of this blog. It’s not going to be just about running, rather it’s going to be about…. uh… stuff? Yeah, that’s pretty vague, I haven’t quite figured it all out yet, but I will.

However, I have decided to ditch the Shortcuthills moniker and promote myself as Shutupbecky. I love the name- it’s loads snappier and makes people get weird, or laugh or both. I have had the name as an email since 2000, so I feel like the name is a part of me. It’s my alter ego, pen name, stage name, code name, however you want to call it. So yeah, Shutupbecky!

*   *   *   *   *

I’ll leave you with a few pieces I did last week.

A quickish "sketch: painting
A quickish “sketch: painting. (The stuff on the sides isn’t part of it.)
Kids in my Mom's hometown village in Thailand.
Kids in my Mom’s hometown village in Thailand.
Juk. Same kid, same image as the first painting.
Juk. Same kid, same image as the first painting.

I need to start taking better photos-  which is to say NOT USE A PHONE…

My Legs Still Work!!

I tried running the day after the race, but that was just not happening. My quads felt like limp celery and my mystery foot pain had returned with a vengeance. I couldn’t manage even one mile. Which is hilarious because on my calendar I thought I’d knock out a seven miler easily.

I did bike around town that day, and that was fine. I went and spent a good part of the day at the Art Institute. They had built a whole new wing for the contemporary art since I’d last been there. Sadly, I felt like it was the same paintings they had before, just housed in a new place. Still it was cool to see real artwork in person again.

Tuesday was a travel day and I was still holding handrails to descend a flight of stairs.

Finally, today my legs felt better. I could walk like a normal person. I went out for a run and manged to nab a seven miler easily. I felt like I was trucking and that was nice. But I could tell that my muscles were still damaged and would need some serious repair. My goal right now is to eat as much good food as possible to get my body ready for the 26th.

It may not have been the smartest thing to do scheduling two races so close together. But I’m already signed up. Now the only thing to do is to do it!

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The light to dark rules! Though a good bit of detail is lost in the photo…
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Love the greyness and the small dot of orange.
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The detail on this piece is ridiculous, every dimple, hair and vein stands out, it makes the woman appear so repulsive. It’s a great painting.
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Love the hair!
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This guy is a big deal. Paints/draws like a four year old – Love it!
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One of my favorite paintings by one of my favorite artists.

Lighthouse 20M Results Bad and Good

Perhaps it’s time to schedule an eye exam.

Two ten-mile loops. Easy peasy, right? Actually, it was super easy.

While it had rained the night before and the threat of mud was high, there was very little mud to speak of. The most mud we encountered was on the walk to the start. The course had a few tiny hills, but it was mostly flat and super runnable. Had I known how fast the course was, I definitely would have signed up for the 50K.

One of the worst parts of the day was when the 50K’ers took off. There was a huge crowd of people, then BANG! They take off and there’s like four other people left. It totally felt like the party just left me behind. And I would have to wait a whole freaking hour for my start.

More people eventually showed up and it seemed like we had our own little party ready to roll. The gun went off and the fun began. I wasn’t really trying, but I got ahead of the crowd pretty quick. However there were two guys ahead of me that were hauling. I tried to keep them in my sights. But the gap widened at mile 2.5 when I had to stop to take a sh*t. After that, I never saw the dudes again.

I cruised along, feeling good and strong. Even though I forgot my handheld in the car, it wasn’t a big deal since there were 4 aid stations per loop. I was totally fine without it and actually glad that I wasn’t carrying water.

For a several miles, it was like I was the only runner. The two dudes in front were just gone, and there didn’t seem to be anyone behind me. Finally, at about mile 5, a guy catches up to me. I  slowed down because I was confused. The fence line I was following ran perpendicular right into another fence. I was like, “What the?!” But then I saw there was an ever so slight trail following this new fence line. And then a hundred feet later, the trail disappears behind some trees. Again I was unsure if I was still on trail. I expressed my doubts to the other guy, he seemed unconcerned. Eventually we saw a big sign with a big arrow, which was perfect.

Trail anxieties relieved, I started talking with the guy. Mike from Boston, just moved to Austin, doing the 10 Miler. It was nice talking to someone after running alone for what seemed like forever. Mike probably felt the same way. We ran for several miles, talking about -what else-  running. About mile 8, he said he was taking off for the finish. I was sad to see him go because it was nice having company, and even nicer having another pair of eyes finding the trail.

When I got back to the start, I saw Mike. I asked how far out the two guys were. Turns out, one was a 10 miler, so there was only one guy ahead of me, although I had no idea how far ahead. But with 10 miles, there was still a chance. Mike had finished second in his race.

The second loop went by quickly. I started passing the slower 50K’ers. I was hustling along. One thing that struck me: I don’t push myself hard enough. Or more accurately, I’m not sure what I am actually capable of. I filed that away for a later training date. I’m nearing the finish and still feel like I have plenty of gas in the tank. Although I’m worried because I seemed to have missed that one section with the fence line business… Or did I just not pay attention?

My Garmin has my finish at 2:30:32. And only 19.52 miles. Oh $%^#!! I did miss part of the course. I tell the three people working the race. They seemed unconcerned and/or unsure what to do. I look at the tiny map on my Garmin and I can plainly see, yep, I missed that right turn. (Later, on Map My Run, I saw that I fudged up not once, but twice, and unintentionally cut off a half mile. A HALF MILE.) I told the lady who handling passing out the medals that I should be disqualified. While it would have been nice to place, it was a 20 mile race, not 19.52.

The more unsettling thing of all this was not having my name listed on the web page official results. No DQ, or even an asterisk. Nope, I was not part of that race. Oh well.

The next two days I redirected that bummer energy onto canvas. Finished two paintings in two days. Maybe I’ll sign up for a 5K and get lost…

bitchin'
bitchin’
THE QUICK BROWN
THE QUICK BROWN

Another Painting “Well—”

IMG_2173

15″ x 21″. The girl is painted with an asphalt based roofing adhesive.

I had used a material like this before, and really liked how dark it seemed. It was a bit hard to work with, as it wasn’t thinning very well. It took awhile to figure out how to make it work. It was fun trying something new, I will def be using the material again.

Don’t think it is as successful as the previous painting. I put in the text before finishing the face appropriately, and don’t want to go back in to rework it. But it’s nice to bang out another little piece, especially a semi-experimental one.

The frame is scrap molding that I had just the right amount of. It’s all rough looking, I’m not sure if that roughness should be fixed or not. Likely it will not be. :)

 

WORLDS COLLIDING!

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In regards to the previous post of Shutupbecky’s phototstream:

Don’t be afraid, Shutupbecky is my other (snappier) screen name. I wanted to share more photos without having to re-upload them to my blog. Most of the pictures I’ve posted recently were taken with my iPod and the quality makes me cringe. So if you’re interested, you can see some better quality, albeit non-running related, photos I took on my trip.