Sunday, May 31, 2009

adam graves final

Here is the final version of my charity piece for Ronald Mcdonald House.

oil on canvas 5 foot by four foot.

Friday, May 29, 2009

art show photos

Here are some new pics I was given tonight from a great photographer. I am very happy to have these pics as they make up for my wine fuzzy memory and stress of the night and show.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

process driven vs. result driven

One can look at art as one can look at other processes in life and biz such as sales etc. It took me a long time to see that an artist is most effective if he or she is "process driven" as opposed to result driven (i.e if you sell your work etc.) you cannot control the outcome of a painting after it is done (by this I mean whether it sells or not or what happens after it "dries") you can only control the process of the picture. Make the most of the process---the journey through the piece and let the result be what it may. The point of meditation is the moment, the journey, not the arrival. The same is true for a work of art and the same is true for life.


One of the greatest paintings of all time. I will explain this later.

Monday, May 25, 2009

adam graves

While everyone was out barbecuing and enjoying the sun I spent three days, alone and locked up, working to finish my Adam Graves painting for charity. I finally got it to a place I am happy with and I am confident I can "bring her home" and turn in a decent piece of work. I spent 8 hours to get the face to look like Adam Graves..almost there..It is for kids with cancer and for a hockey legend so mucking it up is not an option..this is a cell phone photo... I am not a big sports guy but I was inspired by the great work Adam does with kids with cancer and selfless service is good for Buddha nature.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

tony soprano

I was in a children's book store in NYC and Tony Soprano was in there talking business with two suits about books. I run into a lot of celebrities and I am not impressed---- I would like top meet Velasquez or Dali --that would impress me. I think he should call his book winter, summer, spring--badda bing.

artists studio

I was walking down the street past the art studio of Chuck Close. His door was open (the slated gate was down) I stuck my cell phone between the slats and took this photo. He is a wheel chair bound artist and a nice guy--- I met once a long time ago. His work is much better than most of the hacks from his generation, it actually has some skill. I waited for a few minutes at the gate but there was no sign of life anywhere. I would kill for this studio.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

quote of the day

The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire; the size of your dream, and how you handle disappointment along the way.

Monday, May 18, 2009

in progresso

Here is a 5 foot canvas I am painting for Ronald McDonald house for charity. This is the hockey legend Adam Graves---He does a ton of work for kids with cancer and it is nice to do something to help the will be done in two days. Silent auction is in June, I believe he will sign the piece as well.

words of the day

"Painting is just another way of keeping a diary."
~ Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Spanish artist

man at the by gardega

Friday, May 15, 2009

Thursday, May 14, 2009

cell phone photo--by gardega

words of the day

Froggie Went A-Courtin'

1. Frog went a-courtin', and he did ride, Uh-huh,
Frog went a-courtin', and he did ride, Uh-huh,
Frog went a-courtin', and he did ride.
With a sword and a pistol by his side, Uh-huh.

2. Well he rode up to Miss Mousey's door, Uh-huh,
Well he rode up to Miss Mousey's door, Uh-huh,
Well he rode up to Miss Mousey's door.
Gave three loud raps and a very big roar, Uh-huh.

3. Said, "Miss Mouse, are you within?" Uh-huh,
Said he, "Miss Mouse, are you within?" Uh-huh,
Said, "Miss Mouse, are you within?"
"Yes, kind sir, I sit and spin," Uh-huh.

4. He took Miss Mousey on his knee, Uh-huh,
Took Miss Mousey on his knee, Uh-huh,
Took Miss Mousey on his knee.
Said, "Miss Mousey, will you marry me?" Uh-huh.

5. "Without my uncle Rat's consent, Uh-huh
"Without my uncle Rat's consent, Uh-huh
"Without my uncle Rat's consent.
I wouldn't marry the president, Uh-huh

6. Uncle Rat laughed and he shook his fat sides, Uh-huh,
Uncle Rat laughed and he shook his fat sides, Uh-huh,
Uncle Rat laughed and he shook his fat sides,.
To think his niece would be a bride, Uh-huh.

7. Uncle Rat went runnin' downtown, Uh-huh,
Uncle Rat went runnin' downtown, Uh-huh,
Uncle Rat went runnin' downtown.
To buy his niece a wedding gown, Uh-huh

8. Where shall the wedding supper be? Uh-huh,
Where shall the wedding supper be? Uh-huh,
Where shall the wedding supper be?
Way down yonder in a hollow tree, Uh-huh

9. What should the wedding supper be? Uh-huh,
What should the wedding supper be? Uh-huh,
What should the wedding supper be?
Fried mosquito in a black-eye pea, Uh-huh.

10. Well, first to come in was a flyin' moth, Uh-huh,
First to come in was a flyin' moth, Uh-huh,
First to come in was a flyin' moth.
She laid out the table cloth, Uh-huh.

11. Next to come in was a juney bug, Uh-huh,
Next to come in was a juney bug, Uh-huh,
Next to come in was a juney bug.
She brought the water jug, Uh-huh.

12. Next to come in was a bumbley bee, Uh-huh
Next to come in was a bumbley bee, Uh-huh
Next to come in was a bumbley bee.
Sat mosquito on his knee, Uh-huh.

13. Next to come in was a broken black flea, Uh-huh,
Next to come in was a broken black flea, Uh-huh,
Next to come in was a broken black flea.
Danced a jig with the bumbley bee, Uh-huh.

14. Next to come in was Mrs. Cow, Uh-huh,
Next to come in was Mrs. Cow, Uh-huh,
Next to come in was Mrs. Cow.
She tried to dance but she didn't know how, Uh-huh.

15. Next to come in was a little black tick, Uh-huh,
Next to come in was a little black tick, Uh-huh,
Next to come in was a little black tick.
She ate so much she made us sick, Uh-huh.

16. Next to come in was a big black snake, Uh-huh,
Next to come in was a big black snake, Uh-huh,
Next to come in was a big black snake.
Ate up all of the wedding cake, Uh-huh.

17. Next to come was the old gray cat, Uh-huh,
Next to come was the old gray cat, Uh-huh,
Next to come was the old gray cat.
Swallowed the mouse and ate up the rat, Uh-huh.

18. Mr. Frog went a-hoppin' up over the brook, Uh-huh,
Mr. Frog went a-hoppin' up over the brook, Uh-huh,
Mr. Frog went a-hoppin' up over the brook.
A lily-white duck come and swallowed him up, Uh-huh.

19. A little piece of cornbread layin' on a shelf, Uh-huh,
A little piece of cornbread layin' on a shelf, Uh-huh,
A little piece of cornbread layin' on a shelf.
If you want anymore, you can sing it yourself, Uh-huh.


If your last name is Gardega then you have no choice but to be an artist. It will not do for one with my last name to be a banker or a baker or a lawyer. Nay, If you are born into gardega you are born to paint and scribble your name across the wide earth. If I was a baker I would be fired my third day as each day I would make different shaped bread and If I was a banker I would arrange my money according to the most eye- pleasing bills and would be shown "the door" yet again. If I was an attorney I would spend all my money to build a home in the shape of a pyramid with an egg atop it that would probably be a hard sell if I ever moved and my clients would all wind up in jail because I would lose their files.. Gardega is not a name for sensible shoes, it is a name for one with one paint spattered shoe and one large red clown shoe.

"To be born with great potential is a terrible burden"---charles schultz

Gardega says this is one of his favorite songs, ever

welcome to china

welcome to a kinder, gentler and censored internet.

we are being "eased in" to a totalitarian, big brother society. PC is just a kind word for thought control and will soon be subject to arrest for saying anything deemed objectionable or hurtful to others. Welcome to 1984 and beware of thy neighbor--they may just rat you out to the state..keep watching american idol---- "idle"

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

On The Easel...

Here is the piece I am working on. It is a charity piece for the Ronald McDonald house. It will be sold in a silent auction in June. It is a lot of work to paint a 4 foot by 5 foot canvas but it is a damn good cause. My whole life revolves around not having enough room. In Long Island I had more room but I would rather live in the city in a smaller space. Soon this will be graced by a portrait of the hockey legend Adam Graves and it will bear his signature as well---I think that is the plan.

my write up

I was in a book store yesterday flipping through a book about the infamous Bernie Madoff. I opened to a full page that just happened to be about my hot sauce. I got a chuckle but I didn't buy the book. Above is the Amazon link to the book. (I think I was on page 189.) I have somehow managed to link my name with a great historical crime and event. I am a footnote on the steps of a modern Tammany hall and it makes me very happy. One simple idea and it grows wings and the wings dry and with a gentle shove it takes flight into the collective reality like a pigeon to the sky.

I was going to say I was inex-- linked to madoff but I cant remember that brain fails me.

St. Regis

I went to the St. Regis hotel yesterday for my yearly visit. I stayed for an hour and I studied the Maxfield Parrish mural very carefully. Every painting shows its share of secrets and techniques, I recommend a visit to look at the amazing and humorous work of art. It was cleaned a few years ago so it is a sight to behold.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Birthday Party

I will be having a drink tonight in the King Cole Bar in the St. Regis to celebrate Dali's birthday. If anyone wants to meet me there in my yearly tradition I will be there at 7 or 8pm. Dali lived in the Saint Regis for many years and held court at the King Cole bar where Maxfield Parrish's famous mural hangs behind the bar. I will be the guy with the sketchbook at the bar.


A special happy birthday to the genius that was/ is Salvador Dali. Born on this day in 1904. A man who had the courage to speak out against the lie that is modern art and post modern art.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

watercolor of the day--rain spirit

22" x 30" watercolor and ink on Arches paper.

The Palm Kitchen--finished watercolor

Here is my finished watercolor from yesterday. This is from the kitchen of a restaurant I used to bartend in. I know this view like the back of my hand as there is no kitchen door and the bar is next to the kitchen. I traded many a drink for food into that kitchen. That is Tony in the back (the grill man) and Alberto in profile. I am not fond of painting architecture and interior etc. as I prefer organic shapes but I like to branch out on occasion.

for sale..

gardega age 6

Saturday, May 9, 2009

watercolor of the day--The Palm

Here is an unfinished watercolor of the kitchen at The Palm Restaurant. I need to unify my darks and tone down some details..Watercolors are tough because they are not fungible, you cant go wiping out whole sections and repainting..

New Website

It is still a work in progress and will be a growing thing, a living thing. I thought it was at a stage where I can now share it. I am not one of those artists who are afraid to show works in progress..I like the idea of letting people watch the birth pains of art and painting.

...Rebecca Keast is a great designer if anyone needs webwork I will link her website soon.

Do as I say not as I do

The Government (under both Bush and Obama) has displayed such high levels of hypocrisy that I need an oxygen mask to protect me from the foul germs of hypocrisy- flu. Bush was supposed to be a conservative and instead spent like a drunken sailor in port after four months on the drink. Obama is going to tell us to drive hybrids yet his car before coming president was an 8 cylinder Hemi Chevy which burns fuel at the rate of air force one. Speaking of air force one, the insane flyover of a post 911 NYC pretty much takes the cake for Government Hypocrisy. The fuel alone for that "photo op" cost $50,000 and what about the global warming and pollution! And we are supposed to wlecome global carbon taxes and lessen our carbon footprint? I am so fed up with hypocrites on the right and the left-- I will remain a staunch independent until I die. I never joined anything in my entire life, not boyscouts-- not anything. I wont no part of any government that lives by this credo---do as I say, not as I do.

on god and infinity

People sometimes ask me if I believe in God. That is a tough question. I do know one thing--- a persons strong belief in something (whether true or imagined) is what really matters. Perception is the best map we have of that squishy concept called "reality." If you are a paranoiac then it matters not if people are really out to get you, in your reality they are out to get you. So if you believe in God then he exists for (all intents and purposes) Evolution is not proof there is no God, God is obviously a supra genius and evolution could have just been another of his "paintings" like sunrises and chickens. I do know, however, that the universal intelligence (aka God) is beyond the realm of the conceptual. It is an experiential thing that cannot be conceived--- You cannot tell someone how to run a bicycle. The question I battle with most is thinking about the idea of infinity there has always been something (the universe) and it will never end. Where did it come from? The big bang came from somewhere and the idea that there was always "something " and will always be something, infinitely gives me vertigo.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I am delayed on my watercolor, I have to head downtown on biz.



Today I sold these paintings to a new collector in Seattle. Duality is one of my "rain series" so it is fitting that it will hang in the Pacific Northwest. The cave fish is a bio-luminescent dream that I have had since childhood. One day I read I poem by Jim Morrison (a hero of mine) "in the womb we are all blind cave fish." The same day I read that I sat down and painted this painting. Morrison was a genius and a clown, all genius's wear the mask of a clown to hide the "Big Fear. "
My Lost Souls--Sleep of Reason is a hard puppy to let go of. I am attached to that painting like pup to a mother. I will be a good art-dog and make more puppies.

watercolor a day! viva gardega

In two hours I will post my first Watercolor Of the Day..shes a real looker!
Bernard Baruch - "Vote for the man who promises least; he'll be the least disappointing."

update on website

New website is delayed a few days....My designer needs more time. Patience is an important trait but I credit my survival in art as partially due to the fact that I have zero patience. I like to get things done but it is important to have patience. I see both sides of this timeless coin. It would be possible to be eternally patient and never step out on the ice of life but rather watch and study it from the shore.
wheres my website!!!!?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


I am buried knee deep in the muck as usual. Here is the schedule I am facing.

Finish studies for 4 Saint Joseph carved glass windows due may 17.

Finish 5 foot Adam Graves painting for Ronald Mcdonald silent auction--may 15th.

Cast/ replace a glass lamp section for a major hotel.

Two book covers--- ASAP.

New website--- launches tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009





Here is the brain of Alex...Not too many people get MRI's for simple curiosity. I am sure I have visible head injuries from my rough and tumble childhood/ teenage years. I wasnt able to get a reading--- they were only allowed to give me the scans...I am curious about the section I circled I think it is probably not a good thing. Looks like a crack in the interior if my skull.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Leonardo Learning---Modern "art"

I took this photo of a subway ad- board that has seen better days. As I passed this I realized it was a nice visual and that it also proves a point. This is "accidental art" art that is "unintentionally" art. I have seen a million attempts by artists to be abstract and "random" and try to re-create such an item as this but even the best of "modernistos" only succeed in making "muddy muck. " The perfect beauty of this piece can only exist because it wasn't meant to exist. There was no thought, no ego, no fool with six thumbs and a weak intellect trying to make art...As I remember this exists in the 15th street F stop--- prospect park. I only take credit for the snapshot...

my favorite artist

(aside from Dali and myself...)

gardega's theme song.

11 year old musician

New Website...

My new site will launch on was delayed a bit and Wed. looks very doable as a deadline.

Leonardo Learning----Photography

Most photographers I know are obsessed with equipment and lenses and lighting and the like. For them it is 85% technique/equipment--- 10% luck and 5% soul. I prefer natural lighting bleeding in from a window in a darkened room and a simple camera or cell phone. (this is from my cell phone.) Everything for them is exposure this and ratio of thirds that etc etc. It is all fish-soup without fish and one might as well take a photo of an empty bucket. They are so busy getting excited about new cameras and lenses they do not see the genius of a simple image waiting quietly in front of them. In art school kids would scream "look at that surface, it is painted just like glass!!!" he sands the canvas 50 times!!!" and more often than not the painting would have the same warmth of glass or the same audiorty warmth as an anonymous wall of digital sound, no reverb no warm tubes, no life. Flat and all the genius has been thoroughly and methodically sanitized away.

I am not anti-photography or anti- techie--- I am PRO-SOUL!!!

This is a photo I took yesterday with my cell phone...I call it Man With Raven...

Quote the Raven "VIVA GARDEGA, who has created a digital Vermeer without being Vermeer... Nevermore to Modernism and fish soup! "

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Sacred Crabs

The five crabs of genius crawl slowly into the light of Genius.

The crabs are SYM---BO---LIC of zee five sacred realms!!

1) Persistence

2) Hard Work

3) Intuition and spirit

4) Independence

5) Solitude

lemmings and wannabes and copyists

Every time I come up with a work of genius and or media exploration their is always a slew of lemmings who try to copy me and come up with half-baked attempts to be GARDEGA. You cannot be GARDEGA any more than I can be Dali. I used to get upset but now I just roll with the punches and laugh at the best that the avg. artist/ fluoride heads can come up with and they still manage to get some press picking up the crumbs of my genius and feeding them to the media pigeons. There is a big gap between monkeys and man and there is a large gap between Gardega and other artist. I alone have the opposable thumbs of genius and accept lame copyists and idea stealers as part of the territory. Concepts are a dime a dozen-- GREAT concepts are not available to most artist so the dip their bread into the yolk of my ideas and try to pass off as their own..fools


I was in the National Arts Club in NYC yesterday...It is a truly esteemed NYC art institution and a true landmark. I was invited to become a member which is one of the greatest moments of my career thus far.


Friday, May 1, 2009

Gardega in Page Six

Here is a photo by the great NYPOSTER Victoria will. I forget what article this was for. (Willie Nelson is the owner of this painting now.) Every time I see a photo of myself all I can see is the stress and lack of sleep in my eyes..too far up to the river into the Mekong delta, captain Kurtz. Being an artist is not for the the thin skinned, the price is heavy and the victors are few. All odds are stacked against you and it often reminds me of Orwells view of the future "A black boot stomping on the face of humanity for eternity" that is what being an artist is like. The thing I have in my corner is an insane stubborness and total lack of any other marketable skills (barely fit to bag groceries if I dont have a pencil in my claw) I recommend pet portrait photography or some other cheesy quasi- artististic pursuit, less stress, more rewards and you can always afford enough black paint to cover your mirrors so you dont look yourself in the eyes when you brush your happy yellows in the morning.

Leonardo Learning---TASTE

alex at age 15--GOOD ART
FAIRFIELD PORTER at the age of "who cares"----TRES MAL
BAD ART--not worth finding out the name of the artist..the visual equivalent of sleeping with bedbugs.
Mark Twain - "Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please."

(the same goes for painting)

Alice in Winter Watercolor

12  x 16 inches on arches paper to purchase