Friday, July 17, 2015

Chapters 1 - 2.


SMILE, PEOPLE DON’T LIKE YOU

It had been a while since I’d hung my wares on a wall. It was my first art opening since getting back from the west coast, and things were up in the air as per usual. A young gentleman who turned out to be my saving grace for the months to follow was in attendance, and he purchased nearly every large piece I’d painted in the last six months. He mentioned he had heard my name on the lips of locals and it was never in a positive light. Why he deemed it necessary to get a jab like that in prior to his purchase still escapes me. Perhaps he thought he could elicit melancholy and I’d be more inclined to negotiate, and then saunter off with my tail between my legs and drink heavily from the shame of giving in. Such was not the case.

He told me he came to the show in hopes of getting his hands on as many pieces as possible now before I blew up and he couldn’t afford them anymore. I let him know that was the nicest thing a collector had ever said to me, even though it was preceded by the strangest thing a collector had ever said to me. I’ve dealt with numerous individuals simply looking to make their wall complement their couch, but thankfully that wasn’t the case here- he seemed to truly appreciate the work. Although, if the bills are past due you’ll bite your cheeks and smile like a whore for the housewife who will never know what cadmium is.

I swiped his card and my bills were paid for a bit. Money is a large part of life when you brave the leap from hobby to career. The pretentious, well-read, technique-laden, judgmental, crotchety, critical imposters who claim to be the real artists will tell you time and again that sales don’t matter, it’s the work that matters. And it most certainly does. But what they’ve either failed to recognize or failed to experience in their lives is that passion alone doesn’t pay the rent. You work twice as hard for half the pay- if you’re lucky. And if you don’t have a nine to five to accompany your drips and splatters, you need to toil and sweat blood- unless you’re looking forward to ramen and tuna for the rest of your days, in which case keep at it. Because this is a sales position, and unlike most it is strictly commission. So we can bump gums about artistic integrity until our faces are flush, but unless you’ve dipped your feet in the pool, you haven’t earned the right to say the water is cold.

I thanked him for his sizeable purchase; we shook hands and began to part ways. But not before the perversity of human nature sunk its greasy talons into my psyche and I stopped him. I asked out of curiosity, who it was that had made an attempt at character assassination. He refused names, and would only say that they were local artists. Not one, but several.
 

For the first time in my life I knew I was doing something right.


HAPPY ANNIVERSARY

The first and last time I smoked opium was an accident on my part, although deliberate on someone else’s. I’ve never been keen on recreational supplements, save for the marijuana haze I finally came out of after college. Even that upsets me the older I get, not because I disliked it, but because the only thing in life you can spend and never get back is time. There was an enormous amount of time pissed down my leg because of leafy greens.

I’d been with a friend most of the day on a weekend and we didn’t have much going on so we stopped at another individual’s house and smoked a bit. It wasn’t long after that we suspected we’d been sabotaged, but for what reason? Sick amusement by a third party? Much later, he would confirm our suspicions that there was something special in the dose in question, but we didn’t need his confirmation. All we needed was to get home before things got out of hand so we could deal with this in a familiar environment.

I was dropped off at my place where luckily no one was home, and laid on the couch while I cursed the shithead who would do this to anyone for any reason. I felt like I was on a canoe in the middle of rough waters, and that if I remained in pitch black with the lights off, everything would be fine. I finally gained control of my head space once again until I remembered I was to meet the girl I’d been dating at a restaurant for our second anniversary dinner.

To begin with, let’s marinate on the concept of anniversaries. If you don’t have a ring on your finger, are they necessary? How much stock is put into the arbitrary designation of the day you first locked eyes at a pep rally? Friends of mine couldn’t care less about their own birthdays, let alone some non-legally binding agreement straight off the reel of an after school special. But I digress.

When I arrived, the restaurant was dimming lights and locking doors, as closing time was approaching. It was no intention of mine to be late, but when shapes are shifting minute by minute before me, I couldn’t care less about the face of my watch- I need a familiar song and something stable to lean on while I ride it out. I caught the hostess in time and pointed to the front door. I could see my date, the only one in the place, waiting with pursed lips for me to get where I needed to be thirty minutes ago.

I sat down. The imminent speech was delayed when the waitress came to my rescue and said they could fix us a small plate if we hurried. So we ordered, and when she headed to the kitchen the floodgates opened. An astounding wave of humiliating statements about my childish behavior and lack of punctuality filled the area.

I pled my case with her and let her know that, although it was ultimately poor judgment on my part, there were shades of grey. I hadn’t planned for this and I was incredibly sorry, of course I was. I told her the entire story and after much groveling she was sympathetic.

I got up to use the restroom and the ocean waves hit again; when I looked down at the brick below me it was morphing into fantastic shapes. I scurried into the men’s room and locked myself in a stall where I would eventually throw up something awful. It resembled blood, but by this time most of the things in my field of vision were red. I had lost all concept of time. I could’ve been gone a minute, but it was just as likely thirty.

Either way, when I returned to my dining room seat, the pursed lips were once again present; her compassion dissipated by my extended stay in the restroom, and my plate of food had gone cold. My girlfriend’s plate was empty, no doubt from the dangerous combination of hunger and impatience. I began to regain my senses and calmed down.

We left the eatery and I wished her a happy anniversary, and apologized profusely once again. She didn’t say much, just nodded her head a time or two, eyes darting in every direction but mine. We got into our cars and headed home. I didn’t sleep well that evening, and I can only assume she didn’t either.

Not long after, for some reason we began to drift apart.

Monday, July 6, 2015

"Lowdown On Lexington" Limited Edition Print Now Available

"Lowdown On Lexington"

Limited Edition Giclee' Print on Archival Matte Paper

18 x 18" (Includes 3" White Border)
Signed, Stamped, Numbered Edition of 100

Ships in high-quality, resealable poly bag
rolled inside heavy-duty tube.

$150

(Free Shipping)
All orders processed via PayPal.
* PayPal account not required to purchase. * 


Thursday, June 25, 2015

"Guarded" Limited Edition Print Now Available


"Guarded"

Limited Edition Giclee' Print on Archival Matte Paper

18 x 18" (Includes 3" White Border)
Signed, Stamped, Numbered Edition of 100

Ships in high-quality, resealable poly bag
rolled inside heavy-duty tube.

$150

(Free Shipping)
All orders processed via PayPal.
* PayPal account not required to purchase. *


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Introduction


My self-published book "The Slow Dime" sold out some time back, but for those who missed out and were curious, here's a snippet. The first few pages. If there's enough interest, I'll post more chapters in the future. Thanks again to everyone for the support thus far. Enjoy.


TESTIMONIALS



“So, I was enjoying a DMT trip the other day, and midway through, my roommate comes home. He's moving around in the kitchen, being loud, and it throws my shit off. I had just taken the hit, so the engines were firing, but I hadn't lifted off. I opened my eyes, and decided to just soak in the visuals while waiting for my roommate to settle into whatever it was that he was going to do. He's got that painting of yours with the beaked bird-like animal, and he has it hanging downstairs in the living room, to my left. I'm rambling, but my point is this: If you haven't already, you need to look at one of your paintings while Dimitri has hold of you. I almost went insane. Good Christ, I was like Howard Fucking Hughes for twenty minutes. ‘Look at the painting look at the painting look at the painting.’ But in a good way. Anyways, I wanted to thank you for one of the more enjoyable DMT trips I have ever taken.”

-Anonymous



“Shaine, I would like to apologize for being an asshole. Regardless of how I felt, I shouldn't have spoken to you like I did. I said your work is ‘shit’- it is not. I've checked in on what you've been making a few times here and there and think that your work continues to improve. I really like the new piece, very fresh. I know that you are on a genuine search and not only respect, but encourage you as an artist.”

 -Anonymous



“Shaine, go get ‘em. Paint hell and the road back. You’re beautiful and nasty. Fucked up and menacing. Picture-perfect and skewed.”
-Anonymous



“Nothing has ever worked out for you, and it never will.”

-Anonymous



“You’re an ungrateful piece of shit, just like your father.”

-Anonymous


INTRO
 
It’s a strange thing, this book-writing endeavor- very narcissistic at first glance. But then I pause and realize many of us have become egomaniacs to varying degrees due in large part to social media. Making it the scapegoat of the generational disconnect and the inability to make our mobile devices take a back seat to real life has become a cliché at this point. But like all clichés it fit nicely into that slot for a reason.

We humor ourselves on an hourly basis that everyone needs to know what we’re up to. Who in their right mind truly gives a shit that you just “got your hair did” or “bought some banana bread” or “hate this town?" Apparently droves of people. Forty-six thumbs up indicate that people took time out of their day to think about the mileage goal you met on your treadmill, process it, and respond with a finger and click. Armchair activists like myself are the guiltiest parties. It’s a pathetically wretched addiction but few of us will admit to just what degree.

I got involved out of curiosity when my then-girlfriend began talking about these social networking sites regularly. Insecure artist that I am, I was drawn in when I learned there were other men on these websites. Better looking men with “real jobs” and “ambition.” I would make inquiries as to who Brad was and why the fuck she wanted him to have a nice day. I couldn’t admit it to myself at the time, but my subconscious knew this was rapidly becoming better than any televised drama. This new online phenomenon was everyone’s life movie for the world to see in real time, and it was also the catalyst for me becoming a mess of a man, relying on assumptions that people cared about mine. I anticipate a day in the future when we scoff at the notion of a status update.

However, for someone in my position it’s a double-edged sword. These online acquaintances have landed me more business than I’d ever thought possible, and for that I am grateful. In days past an artist would have to shuck out money he or she probably didn’t have to shuck, and send off a tangible portfolio to a record company, gallery, or other corporate entity and hope for a response validating their strife and trials up to that point. Now you create something, and are instantly validated or shunned- it is a submission on amphetamines.

My point is that taking time to relearn the virtue of patience by writing and editing is no small task because this is the age of immediate gratification. I’ve longed to assemble a book for years because there was once a time when I enjoyed writing as much as I do painting. I have a high affection for story telling considering my strange life experiences; so pairing writing and fine art seemed reasonable. And at the risk of sounding like a guidance counselor, I hope to let those reading this know that odds are everything will turn out fine, and that you can turn your back on negative misery and open your eyes to an entire world of optimism.

This volume contains works of art I’ve produced from days past and present with peculiar accounts entwined. The stories pale in comparison to many far more devastating than mine, and will no doubt leave some wondering what the fuck any of them have to do with drawing and painting. And the answer is, in a word- escapism. Things were bizarre, tense, painful, and very emotional growing up. I thank my parents for the gift of life, and I truly hope they find whatever it is they’re looking for. But unfortunately sometimes you have to sever ties with individuals you consider unpleasant to be in a healthy, happy, productive mental state. And even more unfortunate is that there is no polite way of breaking that news to them.

I didn’t have a terrible childhood. I wasn’t beaten and I never went hungry. But my father’s love of alcohol and narcotics, and my mother’s love of control and intimidation, took its toll. Most days felt like I was walking through an emotional minefield. Although things could be good, it could change at any moment with either one of them. A messy divorce only amplified the problems. And when I finally found myself becoming open, honest, and comfortable with our child divorce counselor- the only adult male I’d felt any connection to in years- he died tragically in a plane crash. So to escape a tension-filled environment if only in my head, I began to draw regularly. And if the tone is to be set early on, one of my first illustrations was an escape route map to my grandparent’s house, indicative of how I felt about the state of affairs.

My grandparents on my mother’s side are truly phenomenal people who assumed many of the duties my parents were either unwilling or unable to perform. They are without question the nicest individuals you could ever hope to meet; they would give anyone the shirt off their back, or a place to stay with a hot meal if they needed it. Most grandparents have a tendency to spoil grandchildren, and in my case I sometimes feel they overcompensated because they saw the writing on the wall early on with my parents. But who could know for sure?

It seems common amongst many my age to have thought that no matter what, everything would work out perfectly, and if it didn’t someone would be there to take care of us. We were coddled and conditioned by someone at some time to feel this way. Today there are trophies awarded simply for showing up to the spelling bee, and I’ve experienced these spoils in perpetuity. It’s a problem for any child, because it will carry over into adulthood and worsen exponentially. No one should hold a false sense of entitlement, but often you don’t realize that until you meet the individuals in the real world who quickly extinguish that notion for you.

These are not tales of woe intended to encourage empathy, because I am certainly not the hero of my stories. I was, and still can be, a self-important asshole. I don’t like that about myself and am putting forth great effort into changing it. I take full responsibility, but never being told “no” or that I wasn’t good at something didn’t help. I’ve done stupid, irresponsible things and have taken advantage of people, have embarrassed others and myself and feel terrible about it in hindsight. I’ve been arrogant and altogether unkind. But the older I get, the more I recognize the finite amount of time we have to make an impact in the best way possible.

As a self-employed individual with a lack of health insurance, every minor chest pain or muscle twitch now sends my thoughts reeling to the darkest recesses of my brain. I used to be free from care and now I’m a mild hypochondriac. So in an effort to get myself together and suffocate the arrested development that was my twenties, I’ve cut out all toxic relationships, family or otherwise to focus on getting healthy, working hard, and being a decent human being. And I’ve come to discover it’s easier than it sounds.

Attendees of my receptions ask about the ideas behind my art, what I was thinking, what I was going through, and although I do answer them it makes me uneasy. Not because I’m trying to be a prick, but because when you see something on canvas that elicits a reaction, that feeling you have is an incredibly sacred and personal thing. The answer can remove subjectivity from the equation and force the artist’s story into the viewer’s head. Consider the things an artist might divulge, thus ruining your initial fondness for the work and making the conversation quickly nosedive into a pool of awkwardness. This doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. And sometimes, there just isn’t a story. Or the story would take hours to tell. But since several events that actually did influence much of my work are on an endless goddamn loop in my head, writing them down in this book is the closest I can come to explaining where my work started.

Not all of the writings relate directly to any one piece, but I share them to give a bit of insight as to how an innocent ball of clay was shaped into a professional artist and an amateur author. Chances are, this will be a mashup of tangents the likes of which have never been seen, but that’s simply how my restless mind works, so please bear with the process.

People told me they enjoyed my work but couldn’t afford it, so I began producing prints. The same people then said they couldn’t afford my prints, so I began producing posters. This book is my last ditch effort at people pleasing. The price of this heap is roughly the same as any print. But now you possess a large number of my finger paintings, as opposed to just one to hang on your bathroom wall next to the commode. So drink it in and have an open mind, a tolerance for the occasional foul word, and patience. And if you can’t laugh at everything, don’t laugh at anything. I sincerely hope you enjoy yourself.

-Shaine
 

Monday, March 30, 2015

"Wicker" Charcoal Edition


"Wicker" Print (Charcoal Edition)

Available through April 30th, 2015.
Giclee' Print on Archival Quality Paper, Limited Edition.
Edition size determined by quantity sold at close date Thursday, April 30th.
8.5 x 11" -Includes White Border

Orders ship rolled in plastic sleeve and mailing tube.
All orders ship 1-2 weeks after close date.

$39 (free shipping)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

"The Slow Dime" Spoils

"Caught In The Grip Of The City"
Acrylic on Canvas, 2012

But it seems common amongst many my age because we were coddled and conditioned by someone at some time to think that no matter what everything would work out perfectly, and if it didn’t someone would take care of us. This is a time of trophies the size of milk cartons awarded simply for showing up to the spelling bee, and I’ve experienced these spoils in perpetuity. It’s a problem for any child, because it will carry over into adulthood and worsen exponentially. No one should hold a false sense of entitlement, but often times you don’t realize that until you meet the individuals in the real world who eclipse that notion for you very quickly.

These are not tales of woe intended to encourage empathy, because I am certainly not the hero of my stories. I was, and still can be a self-important asshole. I don’t like that about myself and am putting forth great effort into changing it. I take full responsibility, but never being told ‘no’ by anyone in my life or that I wasn’t good at something didn’t help anything. I’ve done stupid, irresponsible things and have taken advantage of people, have embarrassed others and myself and feel terribly about it in hindsight. I’ve been arrogant and altogether unkind. But the older I get the more I recognize the finite amount of time we have to make an impact in the best way possible.

-Excerpt from "The Slow Dime," 2015
 Available for purchase HERE through March 1st, 2015.



Wednesday, January 14, 2015

"Maude"



"Maude"
Giclee' Print on 80 lb. Archival Paper
Open Edition Print
Hand-Stamped

11" x 11" (includes white border)

$40