Looking for Me? You’re in the Wrong Place! Go to www.tebeau.com.

I'm not here. I'm over there.

I’m not here. I’m over there.

Greetings, Fellow Web Traveller (or spambot, whoever you are),

As of November 2012 I’ve moved my blog over to my main website tebeau.com, the hub of all things Tebeau and dot-commie.

Please go there post-haste for all (much, anyway) of me, including my store (to buy prints and originals), my blog, a gallery of my artwork and all that other stuff.

Thanks, and be appropriate at all times,

John

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Filed under About John Tebeau

Mark Roth: “Joan of Arc Riding My Little Pony”

Painter Mark Roth lives and works in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan. This week, thanks to Hurricane Sandy, he’s one of several thousand New Yorkers without power. Well, electricity. He’s still plenty powerful. In his honor, I give you Mark’s video of his 16 month long process creating the vibrant Joan of Arc Riding My Little Pony, backed up by—who else?—Carl Sagan, auto-tuned. Enjoy.

More of Mark’s work (including his excellent new Grass Paintings) on his site Tinsquo.com

Mr. Carl Sagan, ladies and gentlemen! CARL SAGAN!

 

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Filed under Artists, new york

Janis Joplin Portrait Contest

“Janis Joplin” by John Tebeau ©2012

Aww, she was a li’l hellcat, she wuz. Yeah, boy, Miz Joplin… boy, she could shore put it away. Southern Comfort, boy… that stuff, that stuff could eat the rust clean off a ’39 Ford tractor, boy….

Okay, okay. Enough of the twisted vernacular. Let’s leave that to Larry McMurtry. This is about a contest. Freaky Friday trivia, a regular feature of ours here at Tebeau.com. I’ve got six interns toiling away here in our offices and we have to keep them busy. So, let’s go.

See, Facebook—that paragon of commercial modesty—disallows filthy, filthy contests on their hallowed site, so I have to offshore fun stuff like this to WordPress, where I guess they don’t give a damn what goes on. ‘Slike the wild west out here. Yee-haw.

So for a free 11″ by 14″ signed print of a Janis Joplin portrait I made, answer me this:

What is the best worst way to drink Southern Comfort?

Just post your answer in a comment below. Consideration will be given for the worst best way to drink it as well. You be the jury, I’ll be the judge. Not eligible if your name is Joe Rudy, who won last time. And be sure to “like” John Tebeau Art on Facebook for more dandy fun like this. Also, please take a look at my new website tebeau.com for more of my art—old and new—for perusal, sale and general wonderment. Thanks, and happy Friday!

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Filed under freaky friday, portraits

Things I Learned Out West

Here we are, back in Brooklyn— “Where New York City Begins!” according to the official party line (what does that even mean??)—after five weeks out west. What do I have to show for it? What did we learn on this little sojourn?

Optimism
Colleen noticed it first. A spirit of optimism blows across San Francisco like the clean foggy air coming in from the coast. A strained metaphor, perhaps, but listen: the people out there, especially a lot of the techies and artists we met, are fresh, invigorating and in motion (Like the wind! Yeah? Yeah??) They’re doin’ it, without reservation and the stereotypical East-Coasty tendency to look on the dark side, and it makes you feel good just being around them. Their attitude is youthful (regardless of actual age) and productive and upbeat and open. It was life-affirming being there! Being among these optimistic San Franciscans who ride out the fog and the chill and the underlying daily threat of the San Andreas opening up and all going pa-loop into the sea… and they look at the best around them as they constantly put their best out to the world. And it comes back to them, too. Oh, we saw that plenty. Which brings us to…

Giving and Receiving
Well, if you know your Deepak, you know about this one from Chopra 101. But it’s true and real and it bears repeating. When you give, you get. When you give openly, people will give openly to you. But here’s the thing: you also have to receive their generosity openly and immediately, with no reservations. Seems a lot of times people don’t want to “be indebted” to someone when they want to give something. Pick up a lunch tab, say, or lavish you with sincere praise. Seriously, how many times is your first reaction to generosity to say “No, no, no. No. Thank you. Not necessary! Heh heh.” Or to downplay a compliment, or even reject one? That’s SELFISH, man. (gettin’ my hippie on, here) You’ve just denied someone the opportunity to give. And when they give, they will receive. Maybe not from you, and maybe not that day, but it will come around. Loosen up. Go with it. Smile and say thank you. Be all West-Coasty about it, and receive openly. Then give some, just as openly, even if it’s only conversation or a smile. It’ll make your day.

Creative Discipline
We lived with a bunch of tech guys in The Haight and those guys work. Hard. They’re starting businesses and inventing software. They’re clever and driven and productive, and they don’t dink around when something needs to happen. They’ll code late, till 4 or 5 a.m. if they have to, and they get the job done. And the artists I met out there? Some of the most dedicated, motivated and focused among all the people I know. They have businesses to run, by Jove! Deadlines to meet! Clients who are counting on them! That was good for me to see. Creative discipline. Oxymoronic? Nope. Practical.

Mission Burritos: They RULE
Aw, yeah, give it up for these suckas from SF’s sunniest neighborhood! They put NYC to shame. SHAME.

SF (non-Chinatown) Dim Sum: It, Too, RULES
Same here. Three for a dollar! Four for a dollar! FIVE for a dollar! You gotta be kidding me. Ridiculous (and delicious) meal for two out in western SF, with soft drinks: $13. Sweet mother of….

Jim Carrey, ladies and gentlemen! Mr. JIM CARREY!

Openness
This is one that Colleen helped me learn. When you’re open to possibilities and situations (even ones you might be inclined to decline), and you’re flexible and not ready to say “no” like a moody two-year-old, good things happen. Lucky people say “yes.” Lucky people are open. Like when the dumpling delivery guy we didn’t know offered to take us in his SUV to the best dumpling house in the world (best in the world, I tell you), or when the couple asked us to come all the way out to San Jose for dinner (which was a blast and featured an embarrassment of excellent wine, no less), or when we randomly bumped into the guy we knew from Ann Arbor, and even though it was mighty late we stayed up to hang with him and had a great time, sleep be damned. All that happened because we said yes.

“Right-on!” and “Rad.”
Two sayings that the kids out there just love. “Right-on” is said with a slight emphasis on “right” and a little up-speak in “on.” Hard to describe, but specifically Californian. Rad is just “rad.” And it’s back. Everything’s rad, baby. Everything.

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Spell Paintings: the Process of Desire

I’ve mentioned spell paintings before – they’re one of my specialties. They operate sort of like vision boards. They’re artistic representations of elements one would like to see flourish in one’s life. You think about what you want/need/desire and you discuss it with an artist. Namely me. I render (we hope) an eye and soul pleasing design, rich in symbolic imagery, and then I paint it in appropriate colors. You hang it on the wall and see it every day. It seeps into your subconscious. You dream about it. The symbols work their magic. Before you know it, the elements of the painting are part of your material world. They have manifested. The spell painting is a success. If you’re careful about what you want. We don’t get into monkey’s paw territory if we can help it.

And spell paintings work, too. Make no mistake. I’ve seen it happen more than once.

This is a spell painting I made for my wife, Colleen. Let’s walk through the process with some visuals here.

First, we talk. She tells me what she wants to see manifest or increase or flourish in her life and I listen. I make notes in my sketchbook. I let it stew.

First sketches

Step two: I make lists and cull images and refine the sketch, which, if successful, will resonate with power and magnetism.

More sketches

Step three: the painting is completed, framed, and hung in a prominent place, to be seen often. In this case in the bedroom, across from the foot of the bed, easily visible before retiring and upon rising.

Finished spell painting.

Step four: things come to fruition. In this case, piano lessons, New Orleans, parties with friends, good food and wine, creative writing for fun and profit, good luck and the buoyancy of excellence, rising to the top like cream, etc. No dogs . . . yet.

piano…

NOLA…

goodness….

Spell paintings work, chum. Don’t let anybody tell ya different. Contact me when you’re ready to change your life.

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Filed under original art, spell paintings

Here’s a Guy Doing Something Different

with Paul at his opening at Dizzy’s

Paul Catalanotto has 17 years as an artisan plasterer under his belt, and now he’s working as a fine artist, along the lines of Michelangelo… only smoother. Frescoes of a sort, with more polish. He tints his plasters first, then works them into art, meshing the different-colored plasters together to create abstract — but plausibly figurative — paintings. Or frescoes. Or walls, kind of. They’re heavy and substantial and he polishes them till they’re smooth as glass. When you look at them you might see (if you’re me) an impressionistic night scene of the city, as seen from Queens. Or maybe not. That part is up to you.

Paul’s job is to turn plaster into beauty, and you can see what I mean at Dizzy’s on Fifth in Park Slope. They call themselves the finer diner, and that they are. I’ve enjoyed every meal I’ve had there, including a well balanced repast of beer and bacon during happy hour at the bar. Oh yes… baskets of bacon on the house during happy hour. You eat bacon, you get thirsty, you buy more drinks. Everybody wins.

Paul’s work will be up on the walls at the corner of Fifth Ave. and President St. in Park Slope through November 3, courtesy of Spring and Michele at Radar Curatorial.

“Westeastern” by Paul Catalanotto © 2012

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Filed under Art Shows, brooklyn

What I’m Reading Now, If Now Were About Two Years Ago

Paul Madonna’s fabulous book © 2007

I picked up Paul Madonna’s All Over Coffee a couple years back during a visit to San Francisco. Bought it at the fabled City Lights Bookstore in fact, right there on Columbus Avenue in North Beach. Historic store, historic neighborhood.

Madonna’s brush and pen and ink work is revelatory. I’ve never seen anyone capture both the subtleties and the power of light so well USING ONLY BLACK AND WHITE FOR PETE’S SAKE. How does he do it? Practice. And a great eye. And practice. He describes his learning process (and much more) in the book. I appreciate an artist who shares his process. It’s both encouraging (because since he wasn’t always that great, there may be hope for us mortals) and enlightening (ahh… so THAT’S how he did it!).

Paul Madonna © 2007

This book is a collection of work Paul did for the San Francisco Chronicle. Ostensibly, it’s a comic strip in which disembodied voices provide text to go with gorgeously rendered scenes of San Francisco, arguably the most scenic city in the U.S.

Madonna nails the feeling of San Fran, sometimes with just a clipped view between buildings, or the very top gables of an unmistakeably San Franciscan Edwardian mansion. It’s absolutely uncanny how good he is. All Over Coffee. Check it out.

My favorite one: a house on Ashbury and Page in the Haight (Paul Madonna ©2007)

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Filed under Artists, books