Monday, February 28, 2011

words of the day

And the same black line that was drawn on you, was drawn on me and its drawing me in.....dylans son
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words of the day

My friend owns the local diner in my hood. He told me today "you know alex, you dont answer to nobody" I thought about that for a minute and said " no, I dont" and thrn he said " and you never will" it kinda hit home. I dont answer to nobody. Never will, never have
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a day off

Im taking a day off. For me a day off is a visit to the mausoleum I am working for, a trip to  the art supply store, about 10 watercolors and some busy work. I am not etching today nor am I painting..just some watercolors..Im worn out

I went numb when I learned to see

What we've got here is failure to communicate.
Some men you just can't reach...
So, you get what we had here last week,
Which is the way he wants it !
Well, he gets it !
N' I don't like it any more than you men.

Look at your young men fighting

Look at your women crying
Look at your young men dying
The way they've always done before

Look at the hate we're breeding

Look at the fear we're feeding
Look at the lives we're leading
The way we've always done before

My hands are tied

The billions shift from side to side
And the wars go on with brainwashed pride
For the love of God and our human rights
And all these things are swept aside
By bloody hands time can't deny
And are washed away by your genocide
And history hides the lies of our civil wars

D'you wear a black armband

When they shot the man
Who said "Peace could last forever"
And in my first memories
They shot Kennedy
I went numb when I learned to see
So I never fell for Vietnam
We got the wall of D.C. to remind us all
That you can't trust freedom
When it's not in your hands
When everybody's fightin'
For their promised land


I don't need your civil war
It feeds the rich while it buries the poor
You're power hungry sellin' soldiers
In a human grocery store
Ain't that fresh
I don't need your civil war

Look at the shoes you're filling

Look at the blood we're spilling
Look at the world we're killing
The way we've always done before
Look in the doubt we've wallowed
Look at the leaders we've followed
Look at the lies we've swallowed
And I don't want to hear no more

My hands are tied

For all I've seen has changed my mind
But still the wars go on as the years go by
With no love of God or our human rights
and all these dreams are swept aside
By bloody hands of the hypnotized
Who carry the cross of homicide
And history bears the scars of our civil wars

We practice selective annihilation

Of mayors and government officials
For example to create a vacuum
Then we fill that vacuum
As popular war advances
Peace is closer

I don't need your civil war

It feeds the rich while it buries the poor
You're power hungry sellin' soldiers
In a human grocery store
Ain't that fresh
And I don't need your civil war
I don't need your civil war
I don't need your civil war
You're power hungry sellin' soldiers
In a human grocery store
Ain't that fresh
I don't need your civil war
I don't need one more war

I don't need one more war

Whaz so civil 'bout war anyway?

guns and roses

one man art machine of genius

Sunday, February 27, 2011

how to be a succesful artist

Here is my view. Talk a really BIG GAME, open up your big mouth and tell everyone that you are the best thing since sliced bread..Humbleness is a farce. After you open your big mouth to everyone (including the media) you will be in such a dire and painted corner that your only choice will be to come up with the goods. You will be the proverbial kid thrown in the river---sink or swim. You may drown but you will be IN THE RIVER---- 98% of artists remain on the shore with the toes of timidity dipped in for temperature. There is no wisdom on the shore....all wisdom lies mid stream. Failure isnt a big deal, you will probably fail but the only true sin is not jumping in with both feet and a full heart.

a different drum

If my boat crashed on an island and I had one song on one CD it would be this one...This sums it all up for me, my life, my dreams my passions...

How to Blog

►  2007 (1073)

Here is a list to all my blog posts. If you start something you better damn well give it all you have.. No half measures. People sometimes ask me for art advice etc and I tell them to do this..start a website a blog etc.. If they half ass it, I drop them like a bad habit. I will go to the end of the earh for you if you are my friend but if you half ass it, Im done. There is no room in life for half hearted anything. Put all your chips on the table or go home.

My favorite poem

The Red Wheelbarrow

William Carlos Williams

so much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white

I read this when I was  16 and It became an obsession of mine. I still love this poem and will continue to love it until I am interred with my bones.


See this IQ chart? My IQ isn't even on there. So I am literally "off the chart" send me money and cans of spam. I dont charge for my genius but I damn well should...the first person to send me a can of spam will get a full oil painting painted by my is my address..409 east 74th street 3b NYC 10021

The gov should pay for people with genius IQ's to just be...just to walk around and think..genius should never have to toil in day jobs. Geniuses are like the village shaman, they will heal humanity. They gave us lightbulbs and tube socks. Most people are modest. Modesty annoys me, I like to sing my own name when I walk alone down the streets of life.

best quote ever

"Obama is a coward in a cheap suit" charlie sheen

I hate celebrities and plastic L.A.  but Charlie Sheen cracks me the hell up I would have a beer (or twenty) with that dude.


Today I am going to paint a portrait of my ex girlfriend, Monika. She is a beauty for the ages and still somehow manages to be a close friend of mine. Will post later.

lightbulbs to transmit data

The gov/ new world order has decided to take away your incandescent bulbs. They brainwashed you into a green unthinking blob of stupidity so you would give up your bulbs to make al gore happy. Now the bulbs they are going to give you are going to be able to "flicker" By this I mean they are going to be able to transmit data..coded data..yes, this is true and no I am not crazy. It has been proven that the flicker rate of TV's are able to put people in hypnotic trances (The reason why I cant communicate with 98% of the zombie populace) but these new bulbs are going to pulse and flicker and wreak havoc on your little pound of grey matter. The flicker rate of fluorescents have been proven to cause many health issues--blood sugar, diabetes etc...I have all the scientific studies---get off your ass and google this yourself. These new lights will not only be able to ruin your health, they can send data to your computer. Welcome to the future, zombie.

I decided to link one article so you dont think I am making this up..there are thousands of articles out there.

insane or genius

I met a french girl in a restaurant who told me I was either a genius or I was insane..she couldnt decide. I prefer genius, it is much sexier than insane. Genius has passion, Insanity is like an old dirty mattress left on a curb, people walk away. Genius has humour, insanity is like old sushi. I prefer genius, just as a child prefers dessert to vegetables.

free drawing by gardega

The first person to read this and email me gets a free drawing..a good drawing, not a crappy one. I am in a damn good mood! so happy to be back home in NYC!

get on it!

wall murals nyc: by gardega

I am never happy with my own work. All I ever see is my own defects. When flowers look in the mirror they only see the warts...For some reason I am happy with this painting. I only had two days to paint it. I look at everything as a time battle. Paintings are only done when you have to hand them off. I can noodle a painting for another 10 years. Because of this I look at art like this "not a bad job for the time you had" All my illustrations are like that. 5 am deadline panics delivered still wet. This wall has a certain something I like. I can see the flaws but I got myself in the zone a bit. Art is like the DMV..... NEXT!

Photo by gardega

So much depends on the black bicycle, cold and alone, blanketed with snow.

the average british male

The Avg. british male spends eleven years in front of the TV and spends 10,500 hours in a pub. I am not avg. I dont watch TV because I am a working machine of art devastation. TV insults my brain, I dont like my brain insulted. Most people are so dumbed down they dont mind TV, they sit there and watch beer commercials with open mouths and drool on their lap. My brain is geometrically aligned with the cosmos and it doesnt let itself be numbed. I do plead guilty to liking old pubs, old pubs are, too me, little vacations from my overactive mind. In old pubs my wheels slow a bit but I still draw ideas on napkins...VIVA GARDEGA

Saturday, February 26, 2011


yourdribble every day.  It make me lmao;  If you will.  And no, its not spelled right. Its ornery.

words of genius: dylan

Well, my heart's in the highlands, gentle and fair
Honey suckle bloomin' in the wildwood air
Bluebells blazin' where the Aberdeen waters flow
Well, my heart's in the highlands, I'm gonna go there when
I feel good enough to go.

Windows were shakin' all night in my dreams

Everything was exactly the way that it seems
Woke up this mornin' and I looked at the same old page
Same old rat race, life in the same old cage.

I don't want nothin' from anyone, ain't that much to take

Wouldn't know the difference between a real blonde and a fake
Feel like a prisoner in a world of mystery
I wish someone would come and push back the clock for me.

Well, my heart's in the highlands, wherever I roam

That's where I'll be when I get called home
The wind it whispers to the buck-eyed trees of rhyme
Well, my heart's in the highlands, I can only get there one step at a time.

I'm listening to Neil Young, I gotta turn up the sound

Someone's always yellin', "Turn him down"
Feel like I'm driftin', driftin' from scene to scene
I'm wondering what in the devil could it all possibly mean.

Insanity is smashin' up against my soul

You could say I was on anything but a roll
If I had a conscience, well I just might blow my top
What would I do with it anyway, maybe take it to the pawn shop.

My heart's in the highlands at the break of dawn

By the beautiful lake of the black swan
Big white clouds like chariots that swing down low
Well, my heart's in the highlands, only place left to go.

I'm in Boston town, in some restaurant

I got no idea what I want
Or maybe I do but, I'm just really not sure
Waitress comes over, nobody in the place but me and her.

Well, it must be a holiday, there's nobody around

She studies me closely as I sit down
She got a pretty face, with long white shiny legs
I said, "Tell me what I want," she say, "You probably want hard boiled eggs."

I say, "That's right, bring me some."

She says, "We ain't got any, you picked the wrong time to come."
Then she says, "I know you're an artist, draw a picture of me."
I said, "I would if I could but I don't do sketches from memory."

Well, she then, she says, "I'm right here in front of you, or

haven't you looked?"
I say, "All right, I know but I don't have my drawing book."
She gives me a napkin, she say, "You can do it on that."
I say, "Yes I could but I don't know where my pencil is at."

She pulls one out from behind her ear

She says, "All right now go ahead, draw me, I'm stayin' right here."
I make a few lines and I show it for her to see
Well, she takes her napkin and throws it back and says, "That
don't look a thing like me."

I said, "Oh, kind Miss, it most certainly does."

She say, "You must be jokin'," I say, "I wish I was."
Then she says, "You don't read women authors do ya?" at least
that's what I think I hear her say
Well, I said, "How would you know and what would it matter anyway?"

Well she says, "You just don't seem like you do." I said,

"You're way wrong."
She says "Which ones have you read then?" I say, "I've read
Erica Jong."
She goes away for a minute and I slide out, out of my chair
I step outside back to the busy street but nobody is goin' anywhere.

Well, my heart's in the highlands with the horses and hounds

Way up in the border country far from the towns
With the twang of the arrow and the snap of the bow
My heart's in the highlands, I can't see any other way to go.

Every day is the same thing, out the door

Feel further away than ever before
Some things in life it just gets too late to learn
Well, I'm lost somewhere, I must have made a few bad turns.

I see people in the park forgettin' their troubles and woes

They're drinkin' and dancin', wearin' bright colored clothes
All the young men, with the young women lookin' so good
Well, I'd trade places with any of 'em in a minute, if I could.

I'm crossing the street to get away from a mangy dog

Talkin' to myself in a monologue
I think what I need might be a full length leather coat
Somebody just asked me if I've registered to vote.

The sun is beginnin' to shine on me

But it's not like the sun that used to be
The party's over and there's less and less to say
I got new eyes, everything looks far away.

Well, my heart's in the highlands at the break of day

Over the hills and far away
There's a way to get there and I'll figure it out somehow
Well, I'm already there in my mind, and that's good enough for now.


I have official hit the wall. Five twelve hour days some longer and I am done. Cant paint anymore. Just told my client. Back to NYC. Packing it in. Damn good week of progress. Time to wash my brushes.
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If life gets hard you can always remember to put on a david hasselhoff cd.
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walls 5 and 6

Face up or you better back down, hit the target or you better hit the ground. If I could only reach that dial inside. N. Peart
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wall number 3

Worn out. Shot. Tired. Exhausted. Toast. I burnt myself out. Going home tonight. Sunday will be a day of nothing. Brunch and drinks braindeadness. Big week of etching next week. Need day to re-charge
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Almost done with another wall. Gonna hit a fourth one today then hit the road back to nYc. My own home, own bed, clean socks.
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words of the day

Its cold comfort, to those without it, to know how they stuggled, how they suffered about it...if their lives were exotic and strange, they would likely and gladly exchange them for some a little more plain, something a little more sane...N.peart
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4am thoughts

I woke up at 4am last night with a blistering hangover and I started to think about my favorite painting (the school of athens by raphael) I was thinking about the geometry of the masterwork. I think I have the geometry solved. The brain of gardega is Like a 1974 maroon gremlin car with a ferrari engine. It looks like shit but its under the hood that counts. My genius came from the streets, not from some brain dead professor dropping the worms of idiocy into my beak. Professors are dangerous people, they are uni bombers in twead. Beware of professors. The only true teacher is reality and nature, and raphael...
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I wasnt feeling the love of art this morning so I did a shot of absinthe. This to most people would seem insane at 7:00 but I am alexander. I like to push the envelope. Somehow I have learned the fine and gentle craft of pushing the envelope just so it doesnt fall off the table. Art is made on the edge, art is dangerous, she has a fiery I but I comfortable with her, I have learned her dance moves. Ill do anything to psyche myself up to a good day of painting. If Im not feeling the fire then my painting will be lifeless and there will be none of that ( as the british say) time to rock some walls hoo rah.
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true story

I heard on the radio yesterday that a homeless man found his daughter on twitter. They decided to meet yesterday in Bryan Park. I thin it very nice that she decided to meet him at his place...
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words of the day

Moonrise, thoughtful eyes, staring back at me from the window fright or hindsight, leaving behind that empty feeling inside.-----Neil peart
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we've got oceans of wine

We've got warehouses of butter
We've got oceans of wine
We've got famine when you need it
We've got designer crime. Roger waters

I drank an ocean of wine last night but I got my ass up at 6am, I am ready to rock and roll and to paint for 12 hours. In the news today, dolphins are dying in gulf of mexico. Couldnt have anything to do with the millions of gallons of toxic dispersant BP dumped into ocean could it. Notice has the media wont cover the BP oil as it stands? No coverage of underwater oil client gave me the only compliment that matters to me last night. He told me, Alex, you work your ass off. I would rather hear that than be told I am a good and talented artist. That is what matters to me. I will out work any artist I know. My rule is a drawing or painting every day and if you dont do this you are not an artist. Go flip burgers. A lazy artist is a dead artist. All hope hinges on sweat equity. Time to paint!!! Rock and roll, where my red bull?
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Friday, February 25, 2011

new wall

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victim nation

I was just listening to a radio station as I paint. People with addictions were on talking about AA and the like. The essence of what they were saying is that you have to admit you are powerless and that you have no control. In my mind, that is the exact kind of thinking that led you into your mess. Man up. I wouldnt want to be alive if I had to accept I was a victim of anything. I would prefer death to a victims life, a powerless life. There is no point in wasting perfectly good oxygen if you are not living but rather walking around without guts.
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charlie sheen

By nature I am a libertarian. My hardwiring as a human has been constant since I was eight. My basic nature is leave me the hell alone. I dont care what you do, I dont judge what you do. I may comment about it but I respect each persons individual path. I believe that men should be left to their own devices to create their own reality and no god, or government or empire should interfere witht his personal freedom. For some reason artists tend to have a herd mentality which is, to me, antithetical to being a free and creative human. I ask nothing from anyone except to be left alone to create my art and reality as I see it. I am a bit dismayed that so many people are judging charlie sheen, he has the right to live as he sees fit. This is essential to a free society. Humans are generally afraid of life and the idea of living free from the chains of society or others peoples accusing eyes is too much. Men cant handle freedom, it is a horrifying notion and that is why men spend half their lives constructing their own cages and the other half of their lives living in their cages. To go with the flow, to conform, to not rock the boat, this is the way of most people and it is the way of sheep. This is also why humans have always killed their saviours. Time to paint.
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too much rope

Technology, in my mind will be our undoing. It is the too much rope syndrome and we will eventually hang ourselves with the noose of progress. Progress has no patience and Pandoras box is open, the genie cannot be put back in the bottle. I think the great danger lies in mans reliance on technology and his loss of the ability to survive without. If the great switch is ever turned off man will be lost like a babe in the woods and the wolves will circle in fast. Methinks.
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alex thinks

I just found an email from the mother of an artist I skewered on my blog a few weeks ago. She was defending her son. She seemed very nice and it was a pleasant, classy email. I forget that people read my dribble. I really do, when I go on an art rant I write it for myself and forget that people read my stuff. It takes me aback sometimes that a person from another part of the country or world reads what you type in your apt. On 74th street. I write my thoughts out for therapy so I dont pay for a couch or take medication. Nobody wants to upset a mother, mothers are right up there with angles and puppies. I dont mind slinging stones at other artists because many deserve the Gardega treatment but I sometimes forget it may be actually read. Such is life. I stand by 98% of what I say but I guess I could go easier on other artists but my nature is to tell it like I see it for better or for worse. It is part of my ornary nature. Did I spell ornary right?
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On the news

I was watching news this morning and I saw a protestor had as his protest sign a picture of Ayn Rand. I saw it and recognized her immediately. This led me to think about how the brain recognizes faces. Isnt it strange that you can recognize a face that was photographed from 100 feet away on a moving protest sign? Perhaps this has to do with the importance of being able to distinguish between strangers and family as an infant. Facial recognition is important to human survival. Perhaps there was a time when humans had an advanced sense of smell and less visual prowess like dogs. I would like to know more about the part of the brain that recognizes faces. I think visual memory is in the very rear of the brain but I could be wrong. Any brain surgeons out there?

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Thursday, February 24, 2011


13.5 hour day. Shot. Tired. I did two hours of hand lettering to cap the day. I never do hand lettering but after 12 hours your hand eye is on spot and I banged out the lettering in a daze and rocked it. Too tired to take off my shoes...ill bet i fall asleep in my boots.
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a days work

Today I managed to get a fair amount done. I finished my impy jester and tightened up the monkey. Going to take a break and try to put in another three hours, maybe finish the whole wall tonight. Im a bit tired today but I have another three hours in me. today will be 12 hours of painting and then a glass of wine.
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mural detail: by gardega

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the shuttle launch

I have a bad feeling about todays shuttle launch. It is the 39th launch. 39 is divisible by 3 to 13. It is the last flight of this shuttle and I hope it is safe. The last of anything always makes me nervous.
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Dont be a gimp when you paint an imp...paint like a man dont paint like a wimp.
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imp descending a staircase

Today I will paint and blog my mural process. The reason I blog is because I started blogging. If you start something then get on it. The world is littered with things started and left on the doorstep of sloth. I have a lot of unrealized projects but they all get done by hook or by crook in the end. Get er done!
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a word on supplies

Here is my daily layout of supplies I use to paint murals with. The top row of colors are acrylics and the second row is my oil paints. I use a wooden palette for my oils and a disposable paper palette for acrylics. I start my murals in acrylic and finish them in oil glazes. I also use a flexible curve...important to own a few of them. I use turpentine and linseed oil for my oils. I also bring a tape measure, a triangle, a t square, and a square. I always bring a sketchbook and pencils a dozen sharpies, tracing papers, a camera, a projector, new brushes for every job (will go into colors and brushes on sunday) sandpaper, gesso, dropcloths, watercolors and more basically enough moneys worth of supplies to take charlie sheen out for a night on the town. You can get by with less colors, maybe ten..but I prefer many colors..sometimes I think a cerulean blue would go nice here or a cobalt blue for a sky and it just doesnt work for me not to have as many colors..I just made a list of another dozen colors I new favorite color is raw sienna. Raw sienna and white makes a color of the gods, throw some alizarin crimson in there and you can paint the flesh of angels. Be sure to have a range of pencils, soft to hard lead. Also bring sharpies..they come in very handy. I use them for many things and outlines. My dirty little secret. I use sketchbooks for everything, laundry list, bills, sketches and i tape pictures I am using in it. If you paint a bleu grey dress on a figure in acrylic and the n when it is dry you glaze alizarin crimson over it with a linseed oil glaze you can make a thing to behold. Glazing for me is the desert after a meal of hard work. The best part of art is after all the hardwork is done, the drawing is correct and you are basically having a good time..the problem with art is that it is like the iceberg most of the hard work is hidden below the ocean of genius and the part above water is what people see. Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% persperation. Everyone wants to be a genius until they find out she looks like hard work and comes dressed in the overalls of labor. Genius is seldom found in the cafes where artists are usually found posing in black. No matter how good you are as an artist if you have worn out brushes you are doomed. You must have new brushes. I go through brushes like charlie sheen goes through...nevermind. I paint better with new brushes and I paint better when I lay out my supplies neatly. After lunch I clean up and re-lay out everything fresh. Tin foil is a great makeshift palette in a pinch. Wrap cardboard in tinfoil, it works great. Always bring rags or buy a box of disposable rags. I clean my brushes three times becuase I use my brushes for both acrylics and oils. Never leave brushes in water or turps etc. The tips bend...lay them on their side after you dip in turps or water. Always bring tape! Blue low tack tape and masking tape. Thats just some notes on supplies..
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How to paint with an axe

I was talking to a guy yesterday as I was painting my wine cellar murals. He was a really nice guy and he told me his daughter was an artist in art school in pennsylvania. He told me he will be happy when she graduates and he doesnt have to pay her rent and she doesnt live off his credit card. I told him it was really nice that he did this for his daughter. He obviously loved his daighter and told me thats what dads are for. He also told me that last week his daughter needed a certain paint she couldnt find for a school project so her dad went to an art store in NYC and bought the paint and drove it all the way to Pa. After he left I thought about my art school days when I had to decide if I was going to have a slice of pizza or buy a tube of paint. I used to flip a coin for "pizza or paint" every time I went to an art store and would watch kids fill up their basket with daddies credit card i would get so pissed because I was lucky if I could afford a tenth of what I needed. This planted a certain seed in me, a fire that has never left me. I vowed to myself if I couldnt afford the right stuff I was going to make up for it in two ways. Passion and hardwork. I once had a kid laugh at me in art school because I didnt have a real palette and I didnt say anything except to myself that I was going to outwork him, out paint him and get myself a name. I heard three years ago he was working for wester union. I kept my word. I took pleasure in hearing this. An art teacher once told me that you shouldnt paint with an axe to grind. I not only paint with an axe to grind I paint with an axe. I have a shed full of axes that need grinding. I once had an ex tell me her new man was an artist and that he was the son of a millionaire, the only thing I cared about was that I had to be a better artist than him when I saw his work it looked like a thumbless third grader did it so my fears went away. I am hard wired like this and I am honest about it. I am driven by a fire that started in my belly ages ago and it never left me. When I was seventeen I wanted to learn glass etching to pay for art school so I went to a guy who did it and he threw me out of his studio when I asked him to teach me. I vowed that i was going to master the art on my own destroy him and take his clients. I did this in three years time. 15 years later I was writing articles on art for a magazine and they asked me to write about an artist, it turned out to be the guy and I reminded him of the day he threw me out. I wrote the article and his art looked like it was puke on the black and white checkered floor of an 80's disco. I showed him my glass work and he couldnt speak. I am the kind of person who will spend fifteen years to make something happen. I wont give up, ever. When I lock into an idea ill eat nails if I have to get it to happen. People tell me this is not a way to be and not a way to make art. I say my ass it isnt. Whatever fire works for you, go with it. If its is axe grinding or happy tree hugging, go with it. I am so on fire with ideas and passion for art I cant even sleep past five AM my brain wants to get up and make art. Sometimes artists will knock you, I had a friend of mine come to an art show of mine and tell me I havent improved. He hasnt painted in 15 years and has never had a show. Ihave had dozens of show. I made more paintings last year than he has made in his career. This is just how people are. I dont pay heed to other artists, they dont mean much to me. (Minus a select few) most artists are all talk, no action. Put up or shut up. In short, my point is whatever drives you is noble, dont judge it. My engine runs on a mix of anger, passion, conviction and gut fire. If I had daddies gold amex in art school I would probably be working at western union. I dont ever wish other artist ill, that is bad karma. I just have to be better than you. If I cant be better than you I am at the very least outwork you and maybe in 10 years I will be better than you. Any artist who tells you they dont want to sell their work is a liar and any artist who tells you they arent competitive is a liar. I am honest, I tell it like it is. Believe in yourself and others will do the same. Failure isnt a thing to be feared, not trying is the only sin. But alas, I have rambled long and said little and I have to go hit the paints...wheres my axe?
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Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Today was 10.5 hours of non stop painting. 10.5 hours of painting when it is going well feels like three hours. When it is going bad, it is like 3 days. Today things went really well. My client is really happy. Going to dinner and drinks to celebrate. Sometimes I give myself credit mostly I look at defects in my work. Today I got a lot done and it works and doesnt suck so I am happy. When painting is going poorly it is a bad level of hell where I dont like to dwell. I dont paint like a robot, i take it personally and when it isnt going well I cant sleep and you dont want to know me.
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I've been had cream!

Hey folks! Do you have an embarrasing bumper sticker on your car from a politician you had hope in and you were left holding a basket of empty dreams that you were sold? Try new Ive been had cream! It takes that ole bumper sticker right off your bumper with no effort! Is your candidate a warmonger, torturing, lying, snakey, over-spending weasel like the last one you voted out? No problem! Just apply youve been had cream to your bumper and your neighbors will be none the wiser that you were suckered! Only 9.95! Just apply our cream to your broken dream called a bumper sticker and wait 15 minutes..Bingo. No more Scarlet letter on your hybrid to show that you, my friend, were back to our show..
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Work is the key to good fortune
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Sometimes when you are doiing an underpainting you have some moments in art where you like what you have in some odd abstract way. I have seen a million art students and artists destroy a great image by overworking it. The reason for this is tone deafness to beauty. They cant see the magic in front of them so they fiddle a thing to death and ruin it. Musicians do this a lot I know musicians who cant play a three minute song of beauty it has to be 7 minutes of self glorification to show the world every single note they now. Simplicity is the holy grail of art. It isnt easily come by. It took me my whole life to learn to not over work images and I still do it. Hemingway broke down wrting to its simplest form and out of the came complex genius. Picasso broke down art to its basic formsand made genius but he opened pandoras box up for every nitwit moron to grab a brush and play with themselves so we have jasper johns in a museum. I love picasso but I hate his legacy. When I go to the MOMA it is like the exorcist going to church, it burns and I have to run to the holy temple called The Met to heal my soul. Back to art lessons, added some backround color to bring the figure foward and now white highlights as well. I am a little self indulgents as I came in early with my whites but I know how to handle my horse. I sometimes jumpl ahead because it makes me feel better as I am impatient and when my blood starts pumping I paint better.
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words of the day

Beauty is no match for gravity..gardega said that
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Okay, now I am blocking in shadowss on figure with a wash of burnt sienna and i am tightening the drawing as needed. This art is line based, art nouveau as opposed to form based (like rembrandt) I like both sides of art but I am better with line.
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how to blow up a drawing using a grid

Okay so now I have started to brush in a figure. If you look closely you can see the wall is gridded into six inch squares. Make your grid nice and square, not sloppy. Dont be lazy. Measure twice, cut once. As you look at your source drawing you can see it is easy to scale you must number your grid the same as you did the original drawing. So for instance if a face fall in a certain box on the oringinal drawing you can look at your large grid and put it in the same box. Some people use letters for one side of the grid to save confusion. For instance a face falls on grid g7. It really helps the drawing go up and is a fun excercise. I hope this makes sense, easy to do, hard to explain
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art lesson by gardega: how to scale up a drawing

One of the biggest issues I deal with in art is transferring a drawing to larger scale. Be it a small sketch I have made of a saint to a ten foot window or in this case a transfer of an old french drawing into a mural for my client. There isnt a problem or an issue I havent dealt with in my many years in the art trenches. I can make a perfect oval or ellipse with two nails and a shoestring and dont think I havent done that many times. Today I am going to show you how to scale up a drawing using a grid system. This is as old as art itself, well maybe not caveman old..but damn old. The two pictures here show the drawing my client picked that I have gridded out. The grid is one inch boxes and I may break it down to half inch boxes. Half inch boxes just help keep it accurate. The wall is 5 foot high so in this case, one foot equals two inches. I will grid the wall out and photograph. Another issues is that the wall is not a square wall, it is a trapazoid. This isnt a major issue, it is a minor issue. I will simply adjust the drawing. I f you use a projector, which I own you dont deal with grids. I own a projector but I dont mind a grid approach. It isnt much of a time difference. It keeps you on toes, so to speak. I am going to document my whole process from sketch to final paint. Not easy on a gphone. Follow today for process.
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Good day painting yesterday. Put in about 12 hours. Then some red wine and a little absinthe. Those who know anything about absinthe know that lautrec and his circle were all absinthe drinkers. There is the famous painting of the absinthe drinkers by degas. I believe that was his. I wouldnt drink too much of that stuff at anyone time. But it was a good evening and im ready to paint again today. I will be back in NYC on saturday or sunday. A big part of painting is doing your homework and prep work. I hate prep work, my nature is to just attack I call this method point and paint. Point and paint can cause problems a also bring rewards. There is a lot of re-painting when you paint off the cuff. Happy accidents are the reason we have 75% of our science advancements including the discovery of benzene and polio vaccines. Dont be afraid of happy accidents in art. Let chance guide your brush. Pray to God but row away from the rocks. Time to make the donuts.
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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

lock and load

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Since I am in Long Island I have decided to reflect on my life. I am sitting with my morning large redbull at 6 AM and getting ready for a day on my mural. It is 19 degrees outside, god bless the Northeast. I was born in huntington hospital under the sign of Sagitarius, the most philosophical of mis-spelled signs. I dont remember my birth but I take it on my mom's word that it happened. I was born with low birth weight, I was under 5 pounds but I chalk that up to my impatience as I was born weeks ahead of schedule. At six weeks I got my first parents wanted me to have a good work ethic. At two my parents moved to the south. I am not sure why. We lived in alabama, tennesee and finally Texas. Moving would become a common thread in my life. I think I have a gypsy gene, a cowboys need to ramble. I have had more addresses than lindsay lohan has had problems. Im only at home when I am on the fly. I need adventure, excitement and the thought of living in a 2 mile radius of where I
grew up is a terrible thing. I am only at home on the fly. If I am living in NYC I am less restless, it is the only place that suits my hardwiring. I dont feel I should be elsewhere when I am in NYC. I have friends who live in Long Island who hate NYC, this baffles me. The suburbs are a place to escape from, not flee too..If I had a family I would raise my chickens in the suburbs I suppose but I dont so I wont. I am a surrealist rooster by nature.
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Monday, February 21, 2011

gardega update

Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated...I have been buried in projects..such is life. I recently had an article on my painting of the Huntington Light house...I have not seen the article, I have heard it is out there. I am packing for a week of mural work in Long Island. This should be the final and  home stretch on this project. One week in someone's house is all I can stomach, even though the people are great friends of mine etc. I need my own stuff around me, my own bed. I cant sleep in beds that aint mine. I recently converted a book by a DEA agent into a movie and the project has grown some legs and people are putting up some money and filming begins soon. I cant say anymore at this point but I think casting begins next week. I am dead-lined as usual but I am learning not to have a heart attack about things. Artists must learn to not have heart attacks. It will be good to get the mural finally done and focus on my etching deadline. This winter has lost her sense of Humor at this point and like a drunken house guest needs to just go away to where she came from. As far as the work goes, the Mid-East is doing her best imitation of dominoes, Wisconsin is taking dancing lessons from Egypt and The Presidents budget is going to sink us into a debt hole that we can never dig out of. I am always amazed at those who think gov. is good at running anything...go visit the DMV, or the post office..If the post office was a private business it would have shuttered its gates decades ago. But I digress, there are more important things to think about, like the fact that after repremanding egypt for killing the internet our gov. passes a bill to give the the power to do the same. The fix is in, dont bet the horses and dont chew with your mouth open. I think that if there is a hell it has Dave Mathews music playing around the clock and the only food is veggy burgers. A short well lived life is something worth having and considerably better than a long life of safety and hedged bets. Be bold or go home and remember the highly defective habits of highly ineffective people. I used to be a great speller but spell check has rendered as useless as steak to a man with no teeth. The good thing about life is that you never really no wheat the hell you are doing, you are a drunk at the wheel of a borrowed car doing your best not to run over children and old ladies. The best laid plans of mice and men are worth a dollar ninety five at wal- mart. Read a lot of books because it helps your brain to avoid stagflation and play a lot of chess as well. I suggest the kings gambit as an opening. I am getting better at that one. The world is, in truth, controlled by a small handful of secret societies so if that helps you understand why nothing makes sense, that may help. I blame the gnomes of zurich--they are real--you can google them...alas, I have typed a lot and said very little except to remind you that alot is never one word it is a lot and it drives me crazy to see it as one word. If you have children dont let them draw, give them medical books and law journals and there is still a 75% chance they will mess things up. Is it veggy or veggie? One never knows, The truth in life is that it is not what you say but how you say it. A well spoken moron will be better received that an ill spoken genius. Most marriages are failed and the people are just hanging on like cats on a screen but I know a lot of second marriages that seem happy. I havent said much and there is a train to Wrong Island with my name on it and I must know go find well and If I can blog from my phone I will...People tell me I am crazy but it has kept me sane and I have yet to need any big pharma pills to keep me happy or healthy. A few glasses of wine and a good book or an easel and Im good for hours...thats all...

Friday, February 18, 2011

she lives with a broken man


Her green plastic watering-can
For her fake Chinese rubber plant
In the fake plastic earth that she bought
From a rubber man in a town full of rubber plans
To get rid of itself, it wears her out

She lives with a broken man

A cracked polystyrene man
Who just crumbles and burns
He used to do surgery for girls in the eighties
But gravity always wins and it wears him out

She looks like the real thing

She tastes like the real thing
My fake plastic love

But I can't help the feeling

I could blow through the ceiling
If I just turn and run
And it wears me out

Thursday, February 17, 2011


I was a wrestler for most of my junior high and high school days...I was an okay wrestler, not terrible, not great...The most important thing about the experience was that I never quit. I stuck with it from 7th grade to 12th grade. It taught me lessons in life that I carry to this day....Never quit and you have only lost in life when you give up. It taught me to be tough and endure and be strong. And it even helped me tackle a subway thug who stole a women's Iphone last year without even think about the chance of getting my face handed to me. Wearing what is essentially your underwear and going out to face a guy who wants to break your neck (without team mates helping you) is a scary thing. The only thing that really teaches you in life is fear..your parents dont teach you much and (if the truth be known) school doesnt teach you much and your friends dont teach you much...fear is the great teacher in life...that is the sand in the oyster that becomes a pearl, those are the lessons that last 20 years...the point of the article linked has minor relation to my post here but it struck a bell with me because I used to wrestle.


Between what happens to you (the stimulus) and our response to this stimulus is a space and in that space lies all our human freedoms.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Solar Activity

Astronomy is a very minor hobby of mine. I used to do lot of reading about the universe and then I got fixated a bit on studying the sun. I even followed the daily sunspots for years. Sunspots are great magnetic storms on the surface of the sun. These storms are millions of times the size of the earth and they can wreak great havoc on our communication satelites and if bad enough can cause world wide blackouts of the grid. We are just leaving a long solar minimum of 11 years (that seems to be the cycle of sunspots activity) we are now entering a time of high solar activity. If solar flares are bad enough things could really get bad here on our big blue ball...There is a major flare heading towards us right now, in fact. Read the following article:

Los angeles (CBS)

After the initial blast of radiation accompanying the coronal mass ejection (CME) — the first of its magnitude to occur in the new solar cycle of activity — a huge cloud of charged particles is headed toward Earth and is expected likely to arrive on Feb. 17-18.
Among the many potential disasters that can come from a massive CME: disturbances in the planet’s geomagnetic field that may lead to malfunctioning telecom and GPS satellite equipment.
While forecasters predict no major impact on our telecommunications infrastructure, scientists have pointed out the sun is now ramping up ahead of an expected solar maximum around 2013.

new work by gardega

Monday, February 14, 2011

art update

I installed my second etched window on saturday..have to go back today to put in last panel as we had a scaffolding issue.Will photograph. feels good to get those things in, they aint easy to make and they aint easy to install..they are easy to break, though.

things that keep ya going

I recently had an email from a girl in illinois who wants to use one of my ballet paintings for her 8th grade project...This to me is awesome...things like that make your day and make you feel like art is worth the struggle in the end...the internet is an amazing thing we take for granted.

random interent photo of the day

people's favorite artists...

I asked some friends online who their favorite artists are...

Fiona wrote:
"Alex Gardega"

Gianluca wrote: "oh definitely jasper johns, YOUR all time favorite :P"

Brandon wrote: "Tiepolo,Rembrandt,Vermeer,
Turner,Repin,Sargent,Piazetta,Gruger,Kley,Klimt, Barlowe,Colani,Frazetta, Rackham and NC Wyeth. Got more, but just woke up/" 
Donna wrote: "Chagall-stained glass" 

Bret wrote: "Vermeer,H.R. Geiger,Van Gogh,Dali,Monet, I like Peter Max but really only cause I met him at a party and he was pretty cool...Lots more for many reasons-Art of all kinds makes life worth living.Evidently,I went to school with a an excellent artist...who knew?"

Saturday, February 12, 2011

words of the day: come talk to me--gabriel

The wretched desert takes its form, the jackal proud and tight
In search of you, I feel my way, though the slowest heaving night
Whatever fear invents, I swear it make no sense
I reach through the border fence
Come down, come talk to me

In the swirling, curling storm of desire unuttered words hold fast

With reptile tongue, the lightning lashes towers built to last
Darkness creeps in like a thief and offers no relief
Why are you shaking like a leaf
Come on, come talk to me

Ah please talk to me

Won't you please talk to me
We can unlock this misery
Come on, come talk to me

{Chorus 1:}

I did not come to steal
This all is so unreal
Can't you show me how you feel now
Come on, come talk to me
Come talk to me [x2]

The earthly power sucks shadowed milk from sleepy tears undone

From nippled skin as smooth as silk the bugles blown as one
You lie there with your eyes half closed like there's no-one there at all
There's a tension pulling on your face
Come on, come talk to me

Won't you please talk to me

If you'd just talk to me
Unblock this misery
If you'd only talk to me

[ From: ]

{Chorus 2:}

Don't you ever change your mind
Now your future's so defined
And you act so deaf and blind
[And you act so deaf so blind]
Come on, come talk to me
Come talk to me [x2]

I can imagine the moment

Breaking out through the silence
All the things that we both might say
And the heart it will not be denied
'Til we're both on the same damn side
All the barriers blown away

I said please talk to me

Won't you please come talk to me
Just like it used to be
Come on, come talk to me
I did not come to steal
This all is so unreal
Can you show me how you feel now
Come on, come talk to me
Come talk to me [x2]

I said please talk to me

If you'd just talk to me
Unblock this misery
If you'd only talk to me
[Chorus 2]

Friday, February 11, 2011

waterloo sunset

one of my favorite songs of all time


I was cleaning my cabinet this morning..( I do things like that--- 6 am cleaning of my cabinets) So I see a sticker inside the cabinet that says "certified cabinet" I am so glad my cabinets are certified. I am not sure I would sleep quite right if they werent so. If they arent certified as cabinets, what are they? Fish tanks? And who is the guy that determines if it is a cabinet? "Hmmm, yep, it has a door and shelves! let me slap the ole certified sticker on her." does he get benefits at this job? Is he still alive? Maybe certified cabinets feel superior to non-certified cabinets...maybe its snob thing. One thing that is certified was the time you wasted reading this, you cant have that time back.

tell us what you really think, alex

I have a friend who says this to me quite often...I believe is saying what I think and feel, I dont believe in whitewash, PC, lying or kissing ass. I am not here to please everyone on earth--- In fact, there are some people who take offense to my opinions. I am fascinated by the fact that people are afraid to stand up and voice opinion--their lives become Milquetoast, their art--the intellectual equivalent of pet photography. We live in a time of fear...fear to stand out, fear to speak out, fear not to tow the line of accepted wisdom..Much to my dismay the Left is more guilty of this groupthink conspiracy than the right. I thought the left was supposed to be open minded and accepting but it has handcrafted a basket of reality that is so tightly wound that there isnt an inch of room for one to think outside of it lest one be cast out. I stand for the freedom to say and think what I want and if it offends you then the problem lies in you, not I. If you want to control a people, control their language. we are suspended in is our intellectual oxygen.

Matt Hirschfeld sucks

I read a story in the New York Times yesterday about a kid who is copying the style of the famous illustrator Al Hirschfeld..The story made me so angry I think I was having a stroke on the subway. At least my eye was twitching I am sure. There is a kid who has the same last name (he claims to be a distant relative) and now he is ripping off the late al hirschfields style and the worst part about it is he isnt even drawing the lines with ink, he does them on a computer. (please note the above picture is a legit hirschfeld) I wish him to the 9th level of hell. If you look at the kids lines they are so lifeless and dead (ala the computer) it almost made me sick. ON some level I see the decline of the world in his digital and lifeless lines...How can you dishonor an artist like that...I will post the article soon. I cant even go deeper into this story i may hit my computer.

here is the times article that almost gave me an an-your-ism.

here is the lil bastards website.

I am sure ole Al Hirsfeld is spinning in the grave ...maybe it helps him knowing some people care about his legacy

words of the day: carl jung

The debt we owe to the play of imagination is incalculable.
Carl Jung

tornado cloud photos from the web

Alice in Winter Watercolor

12  x 16 inches on arches paper to purchase