a closer look

here's the pochade box i put 2gether for this outing. acrylics, oil pastels and a quiver of pens, pencils & markers. but in a limited palette to explore small outdoor abstracts. even though i snuck in a few landscape studies... the binder clips held down the postcard size sheets.


hazards of painting en plein air

kyle & i endured sisters arguing if he was painting a dog or cat. "dog, cat, dog, cat, dog, cat" (but in mandarin). no, it's a SEAL!

another family w/1 precocious art progeny, thought kyle's yet unpainted, but nicely gessoed cardboard was a perfect substrate for him to place leaves on. he kept carefully rearranging the leaves, several in corner w/a parking garage ticket in the middle, trying an all over cover, whilst dealing w/his younger brother removing them. AND when kyle joined in and moving a leaf, he carefully put it back to where he had it. the kid had natural talent and passion. too bad it will b squashed and pushed into medical school...

then there was the eccentric who drove them all away, who asked "hey, want to see the angels i paint?" no, not really.

all of this was expected, and yet we decided to paint out among the public. we want to go back for more: figure out where it goes, to react to people—i found myself painting a bunny since the sisters were only interested in kyle's work and not my abstract explorations. but nothing prepared us for the above hazard.

painting en plein air @sj mlk library

that's kyle (pellet) painting on cardboard, above my pochade cigar box & contents. we are just north of tower hall @sjsu, @the southeast entrance of the mlking library. we started painting around 12:30pm pst so we have until (civil) sunset or whenever campus police decides...


i took the pledge

I Took The Handmade Pledge! BuyHandmade.org

well, i did. awhile back, too. why?

because it's better for all of us. no, really. you get great one-of-a-kind gifts from me. i get wonderful one-of-a-kind gifts from you. nobody has the same things as everybody else. everybody is treated individually—special. think about it. & have great black friday.


grand opening!

my esty shop is now officially open: mbseigel.etsy.com
finally eh? i think so. this is where my cigar box paintings will now be available worldwide. (in addition to the pacific art league gallery in palo alto, kalifornia.) i will also have my 5 x 7 inch panels available @etsy in the coming days.


dale @the de young

well, i saw the chihuly show the thu after it opened, but never got around to blogging about it til now. & if you haven't seen it yet—it's not traveling anywhere else—it's @the de young museum for another month. yep, i recommend it, even if you're only mildly interested in chihuly or glass. it's comprehensive: 11 galleries of 4 decades of this sculptor's work. chihuly's collection of native indian baskets and blankets alone is worth admission. just don't bother reading the museum's explanations on the gallery walls. in the meanwhile, here's a overview that might further whet your curiosity.



"superlight is the lead exhibition of the 2nd biennial 01sj global festival of art on the edge, the largest & most significant festival of art @the intersection of creativity & technology in america." a mouthful.

that said, this post is just a review of shih chieh huang's commissioned installation, "twilight zone," for this biennial @sjma's "superlight." more posts coming re the rest of the show & 01sj.

i was blown away by "twilight zone."

in a dark cubby, strange glowing, clicking, pulsing, moving, inflating creatures whir & spin from in front of you to the ceiling, resting in clustered pods in corners, transparent tails inflating, deflating, brushing against your face.

while there are many other techie exhibits in this show this was far & away the strongest aesthetically.

& it becomes more interesting upon closer inspection, too, as the creatures are of common parts: computer cooling fans w/built-in temperature messages that display on the spinning blades, black lights, & perhaps black light LEDs, fans reversing direction so they inflate/deflate plastic bags/tails, fans spinning soda bottles filled w/glowing liquids, that wind and unwind, movement sensors, phone answering machines that cycle through messages, power, adapters/cords, tupperware containers, zip ties...

watching & wandering through the creatures was an artistic, sacred experience for me. not kidding. i used LEDs as art materials years ago; in my halloween costumes, in my risd portfolio, @risd... so this was a powerful manifestation & inspiration to restart & find my own path w/LEDs.

i spoke briefly w/shih chieh huang. he was very down to earth, explaining the longer bag/tails were not umbrella bags/covers as i had supposed, but custom made w/a plastic bag sealer.

he was inspired from research he did @the smithsonian on deep sea creatures, the animals that live between depth zones. regardless, his creatures worked on such a visual level of abstraction that they could be deep sea creatures, or the submersibles that look for them, aliens, spaceships, metaphors for the coming singularity or just beautiful objects.


portfolio beta

well, i did it. sort of. the 3 images on the right column link to my picasa web portfolio, incomplete as it is. but it is a start, as i promised on tuesday. thanks in advance for looking thru them. in meanwhile, look forward my post on san jose museum of art's newest exhibit, "superlight," which i managed to get to the preview last saturday night after svos.


report! & promises

untitled, 2008
acrylic on cradled wood panel
12 x 12 x 2 inches

thank you
to everyone who stopped by the pacific art league in palo alto this weekend for my silicon valley open studio (svos). i've much to relate about art, buying art, interest in art, what the heck art is for anyway—from my many conversations w/you all. a lot of common questions, which i answered commonly enough, yet better answers are beginning to form. for future blog posts.

for now, 2 things learned w/2 promises:

1) "your blog is useful for learning about art, what motivates you, etc, so please keep it, but you really need a portfolio up there, so i can see @a glance what your paintings look like." no argument w/that. just never allotted the time to upload one. i can paint, or i can work. sometimes, i can blog. regardless, look for my portfolio soon.

2) "i'd really love this painting—& i'd buy it, if it was bigger, much bigger, maybe 4 feet wide." this from well over 10 people, who were looking through my 12x12 & 5x7 inch paintings.

well, i was informed that people who visit svos were looking for inexpensive pieces, so i thought these 2 portable sizes would be appropriate. c'est la guerre/vie.

i've been slowing painting larger anyway (5x7 to 12x12 inches). & been worrying about logistics: moving large stretched canvases about, storage space, etc. but my friend donguri said just paint & work out the logistics afterwards.

so time to move to a larger substrate this week. i doubt they will be direct scale up copies, as i'll be exploring & working the medium w/larger brushes, different body movements, etc. expect to follow progress.

as for those small paintings (whether realist or abstracts) i'm not abandoning them. there seems to be a synergistic improvement which happens when i go back & forth. a different kind of focus. so they may seem different, but to me they are all part of the same exploration.

until the next post, thanks again for visiting me @my 1st svos.


kaleid gallery

yellow sky dusky trees, 2007
golden acrylic on wood panel
5 x 7 inches

okay, okay, i can't believe i forgot to announce this one, but between finishing taxes & getting ready for silicon valley open studios next weekend (10-11 may), i managed to get juried into a community gallery in san jose, ca.

they just looked through some of my work & voilĂ  i'm in! starting this fri—tomorrow!—for 3 months. wow. so please, please join me every 1st fri of the month for an opening reception, 7-9pm. thanks to kaleid i'm now part of san jose's south first fridays gallery walk.

kaleid gallery
88 south 4th street
san jose, ca 95113
408 271 5151



no, i don't mean food grilled japanese style. i mean etymologically, the czech, slovak & polish word for serf labor, & the subject of san jose museum of art's current exhibit, robots: evolution of a cultural icon

i was pretty hyped to go—been watching battlestar galactica, & 2070 to boot these days—but it's a conservative exhibit. now it's still a worthy exhibit—worthy of their admission price. but i wanted more: roombas scooting around, darpas running laps, or robot competitions. heck, even 1 agv would have been fun. it's a good thing chassis the beer pouring robot was there that night serving.


the studio is now open!

well, sort of. but not my real studio, which is in my tiny kitchen, but i'm participating in this year's silicon valley open studios on the weekend of may 10-11 @the pacific art league in downtown palo alto between 11am-5pm. i will be there w/3 other PAL artist members.

here is my SVOS artist profile

this free local event is where "every year, during the 1st 3 weekends in May, >300 silicon valley artists open their studios to the public." & where the public gets the opportunity to experience art being created within silicon valley's diverse neighborhoods. there are free map guides available @these locations. there are also free preview exhibitions this month @2 locations (i'm @the expo daily location), where you can view representative pieces to determine which studios you might be interested in visiting. you can pick up map guides there as well.

in the meanwhile, please drop by the pacific art league on the weekend of may 10-11 & say hello. you can see us work, browse through art, & if you purchase a piece, 10% of the sale is automatically donated to the league, a venerable 87 year art institution.

silicon valley open studios site 89:
pacific art league
palo alto, ca 94301
11am-5pm, 10-11 may 2008