Sunday, September 19, 2010

The latest artwork

Recently I have been moving into a more abstract expression of the landscape.  Instead of copying nature I think that this is more of an emulation of nature.  Click on any one of them to see the full image.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

last chapter of the Europe Saga

Prague is maybe one of the cheapest places I have ever visited. It looks like a beautiful city that everyone just kind of up and left one day. The Crown (their money) is not worth anything. Therefore, when you eat a nice dinner with wine and desserts it costs about 1000 crowns which only comes out to about $40 USD for 3 people. I couldnt believe how little everything costs there. Next time I will plan to stay in the Czech Republic longer. The city itself was very dirty but still extremely nice and the people were the most friendly of the entire trip (thanks Paul and George). Well except for maybe Ireland. Prague also has a very nice art collection. I cant wait to get home and back into the studio as I am filled with all kinds of ideas. After Prague it was time for some good 'ol fashioned relaxation. Off to Berchtesgaden
or as I like to refer to it as, Bush Gardens. This is the place where Hitlers Eagles Nest still stands. It is a place of pure beauty and it is amazing to think that so much evil could have resided in a place with this much beauty. I am no history buff and this section of the trip was good for me as I was able to learn many things about European and American history. After the trip to the top of the mountain to see the Eagle's Nest it was time for a nice relaxing swim in one of the most beautiful mountain lakes that I have ever seen. The air was clean and perfect and the water was nice and cold. It was a beautiful day to be alive. After “Bush Gardens” and Salzburg it was time to really get out into the wilderness and head off to
Werfen, Austria
Werfen is a place of pure peace and beauty. This is a place where I would love to reside for a few years during my life. It is a small town of 3000 people right in the middle of snow capped mountains. The valley consists of a raging river that is a light sky milky blue. The rivers here turn a strange milky blue from, what I devise, the sandstone that they are running along. This color ads a strange feeling to the landscape. A kind of cross between poison and purity. It is hard to tell if the water is extra clean or might hurt you when you enter it. Either way it is amazing. While in Werfen be sure to visit the worlds largest ice caves. You will have to ascent to the top of a mountain in the blazing heat but when you arrive in the ice caves it is a wonderful 30 degrees Fahrenheit. The beauty within these caves makes you feel as though you are no longer on the planet earth. I love this feeling. After the trip to the ice caves spending a night in town relaxing and watching the final match of the world cup is just what was needed. The next morning a trip to that castle on top of the hill was in order. Hiking up to the castle was again a bit of work but of course it was worth every second. You could almost feel as one of the nights standing guard. I cannot see how anyone ever could have made it past this castle. Not only did they have weapons but the birds were also on their side. While at the castle there was a show with eagles and hawks that were used for tracking and hunting. It is amazing the size of these birds that they are able to tame. One more night in Werfen then it is off to See Matthew Barney. In
Basel, Switzerland
I am on the train writing this now on my way to Basel but for those of you who don't know who he is I will include a link to his video later. Barney is a video artist that myself and many of my friends have come to love. I saw one of his videos in Toronto many years ago and it has always had a place in my mind. Don't watch this clip with any children around as it can be a litte strange and may confuse them. As a matter of fact if you are not an art person it may do the same ffor you. Just try to experience it for its visual beauty if nothing else. Don't try to read to much into it.
Well some time has passed since the last time I wrote.... I was on a train and well we missed our stop and ended up in a small town with a nice lake right by the train station where we were stuck for 2 hours. Sometimes there are happy accidents. It is very hot these days and the lake was a welcome addition to the trip. Swimming out from the shore I think was probably the best thing that could have happened . The Barney video was everything that I had hoped and more. His videos are filled with video and audio stimulus that entice the senses.
One of the beautiful cities thus far. We spent most of our time here simply walking around enjoying the mountains. Unfortunately my camera was dead for most of this part of the trip. Imagine a valley surrounded by beautiful snow capped mountains and in this valley is a quaint little city that still holds onto its traditions. We met some great friends here from Australia and spent the day taking a tram to a mountain lake. This like this lake here are not like they would be in the United States. There was a high dive and people drinking and the occasional pair of boobies.... all good things... there was, however no lifeguard in sight. In the US we must follow all of these rules out of fear of being sued if someone gets hurt. The laid back attitude is a welcome relief.
After Innsbruck we headed straight to Venice on quite possibly the hottest train in the world. This is no exaggeration. I think I lost about 5 pounds on this ride... 5 hours in the devils crotch. When we arrived in Venice it was time to find our hostel and try to cool down. Now, whoever designed Venice was a genius and an evil bastard. There are more dead ends and backwards turns than there are straight roads. It is a labyrinth. I fell like the whole time David Bowie was watching me through his crystal ball. Goblin King, Goblin King...... I took 3 ice cold showers that night and I dont think that I ever did get to cool down. The next day we picked up our packs and headed out on the search for some internet. Now in the age of computers you would think this wouldnt be that hard. To the contrary, I think there are about 3 internet cafes in all of Venice. Lonely Planet says that there are more internet cafes than you could ever need. When did they write this. 1998 or so. Anyway we found some internet eventually and got a hotel at a nice looking bed and breakfast for more money than we were able to spend. So its time to try and find it.... here we go again its now about 110 outside and we are carrying around 50 lbs or so on our backs.... good times.... so as we pass our hotel about 15 times we finally leave sonja with the packs and head out on our own to find the it. It turns out it is one block away and the map might as well have been in Greek but that would have made it easier at the point. Well, the complaining stops here as the fun begins. We all shower cause we fit in perfectly as we smell like a mix between vinegar and dirt. After exploring and getting lost, which is the way Venice should be experienced we end up back right were we started without even trying. The good part of this is that the locals are setting up for a nice little festival with barbecue the usually festivities.... We decide to go back for a well deserved nap and head back out for dinner where the band is setting up and everyone is eating. For 5 euros we get a grilled polenta and some ribs with fries. This reminds me of home.. We were told of a large fireworks show that all of the locals go to on Saturdays at San Marco Square. I like fireworks. Well fireworks is not the word for these. It should have been called WWIII or the apocalypse. It was a straight 45 min show that went non stop with at least 10 cannons firing off a constant stream of fireworks. It was unlike anything that I have ever seen. Bravo Venice. There was a turnout for this show of probably 100,000 this is not an exaggeration. I was happy, soaked to the bone and starting to get a little tipsy. Good times. The next day it was time for Nick to leave us. This makes me sad. We decide that to make up some money we would all sleep at the airport and see nick off at 6 am. It was a nice night hanging out and just relaxing. I didnt sleep more than an hour or so. The next morning I went back to Venice to wait for the night train and sleep out on the steps of the train station with the 50 other people that had the same idea. It was cooler today and was a nice day to just sit around and relax. Around 9pm the night train arrives. It is 2 cars. No beds just seats in with 6 people to a booth. I can not sleep so I do the next best thing, find a friend and have a few beers. Excellent. I will sleep eventually. I arrive in the morning in Vienna sweaty and exhausted, find a hostel and hit the sack for a few hours.
Vienna turns out to be a beautiful city. I have only this one night here and meet up with some new friends and head out on the town. I have finished with art galleries for the remainder of my trip. It is time for a solid vacation or holiday as they say in europe. After a little research I find a nice little place in Czech Republic called Tabor where 2000 crowns equals $50 and you can get a 5 course meal with drinks for about $1500 crowns.... I am in.... I am now sitting in my private room in a hostel with a swimming pool situated near a lake and beautiful river for $12 usd a night. Czech Republic, you are my friend. I am here for 8 days having a nice rest before I head off to Zurich to stay for 3 days at a nice hotel before heading home. I am going to enjoy every minute of my stay here. Well I am coming to the end of my trip. What will I write about next. Time to get back to work, but not before heading up to Buffalo and the Adirondaks for a week kayaking. Its a tough life I have.
Well In about a month I start work on my graduate thesis and graduate show. I think I have enough inspiration and thoughts to write about now. Mission accomplished. I will keep this blog going with thoughts on my thesis and life. I could use some feedback anyway. Thank you to everyone for all of your support in my travels, it has been a life experience I will never forget. Till next time
I saw my first jellyfish in nature on this trip... i think im in love
stop looking at me
hey.... who's there
peeeeeuuuu you guys stink
nick was in love
what are you staring at
are they going to kiss?
walk like and egyptian
fun with shutter speeds
to good new friends
when rivers converge
beautiful..... see that mountain lake down there
This is that mountain lake
from the top of the castle bell tower
the ice caves
dont look down
just pure beauty
and some more
and some more
nick on the train
castle in Werfen
ice caves
i could live in here
near the entrance of the ice caves
this is the guy that came during christmas.  not for the good boys and girls but for the bad ones
the castle at night
America F*#K YEAH
I love the mountains
great bird show.... this is one I caught taking flight
They threw him a chicken
The town where we stayed in Werfen
venice canal
High tide in venice
good times
a bridge in the park in Berlin