“That’s so CRYPTIC! (New Crypto Art!!!)” by Richard F. Yates

[This piece was originally posted, 8 Mar. 2020, on the Steem Blockchain, because my BLOG there is my main gig. HOWEVER, because I’m all about SHARING, I thought I’d let you non-Steem folks have a look, too! ALSO—Steem is fracturing at the moment, and a new thing is coming this Friday; a large portion of the Steem community is jumping ship and starting their own chain, called HIVE. It’s weird… Meanwhile, here’s some art stuff!!! —RFY]

Greetings folks,

It’s Saturday, and I spent today working on ART junk! I cut up a bunch of cardboard boxes that I’d been stockpiling (some came from my older daughter, who dropped a bag of cardboard boxes off a few weeks ago), which I will eventually use for drawings and other art bits. Today, though, I drew on a teeny tiny piece of cardboard and on my thumbnail. Then, I photographed and digitally manipulated these drawings, ending with TWO works of crypto art (and two written things, which are both odd, but hopefully funny!!!)

THEN I sent the works to MakersPlace where they were tokenized on the Ethereum blockchain as unique digital collectibles! Each one is being issued a single time, will not be reprinted, and are available on a first come, first served basis! Once they’re gone…they’re gone… (It’s kind of sad, really. But is anything ever TRULY gone, when it comes to the internet? Yes. Some things are…) To see these or any of my other fancy digital works in their natural habitat, check out my MakersPlace store / slash / gallery! It’s like dipping your head into a steaming bowl of idiosyncratic outsider soup! (But in a GOOD way…)

Here are the two new pieces along with the “descriptions” that I provided:

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

“It’s Really More of a Thumbnail Sketch”

[Highlighter and ultra fine point Sharpie on thumbnail, with digital embellishments and colors. 2020.]

When I eat oranges, the peels stain my fingers and nails, and they make me smell like citrus. The Moon doesn’t like that scent. In addition, the tiny demon that lives in my thumbnail and would rather have blood than oranges—although he likes Doritos, too—gets really angry and tries to escape. (We hope this never happens.)

Treat yourself kindly. Eat oranges, even if they stain your fingers and make you smell like cleaning products and piss off fingernail demons. Oranges are good for you! Blah! Blah! Blah!!!

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

“Liberty…And Then It Was Gone”

This little figure clearly lives in a (very tiny) dystopian future—with rather poor resolution. (Poor guy.) See what MIGHT happen if we don’t do the things that we need to do to keep things like this from happening! It’s SO important. (I can’t stress it enough.)

Hopefully, this conceptual micro-piece has given you a tiny bit to think about! Don’t let THIS happen to US!!! (Whatever it is that happened…but, whatever it was, we all know it was BAD…)

[P.S. – Having visions is fun!]

[P.P.S. – These images are ultra fine point Sharpie on found cardboard with digital embellishments, “animated” with a free, online gif animator program.]

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

That’s it for this batch of crypto bits! Like I mentioned above, check out my MakersPlace store / gallery to see all the other weird, fun stuff there! I bet you’ll chuckle, at least a bit—or say to yourself, “I could do THAT!” And, if you do say this to yourself, then I seriously recommend that you DO IT! I love seeing other people’s artwork, too, so let me know if you have crypto art of your own available! (Drop a link in the comments!!!)

Okay, now I’m going to watch some more of The Mandalorian… Later!

—Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Holy Fool)

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“Thirteen Hiccups (That Refused to Rule the World)” by Richard F. Yates

The point of creation is… The last click of the clock. My goodness! How frightening! The ceiling was drooping, perhaps from the pressures of…

Spider-like, the community scuttled about producing potholes and listening to vibrations and echoes. Webs everywhere… But we knew that Kool aid powder with a little water could make our hair spiky and blue!

We had our plan… And it was good…

Let’s see what the toothsome bridge trolls found in the lake today…

Not necessarily in this order:

1. “‘Miscommunikation’ Slide 34” (26 Feb. 2020)

2. “‘Liberty…And Then It Was Gone’ Slide 2 (Alt.)” (7 Mar. 2020)

3. “Still Life (With Man Ray Eyes)” (8 Mar. 2020)

4. “Gitzy Beast” (26 Feb. 2020)

5. “It’s Really More of a Thumbnail Sketch” (7 Mar. 2020)

6. “Moon Thru The Trees From The Backyard Gate” (10 Feb. 2020)

7. “Portland’5 Center for the Arts Lobby Ceiling” (14 Feb. 2020)

8. “Tiny Drawing” (1 Mar. 2020)

9. “Communication Comics #911” (20 Feb. 2020)

10. “‘Horace Crumpeteater’ (Pre-Color)” (8 Mar. 2020)

11. “‘Why?’ Slide 6” (28 Jan. 2020)

12. “It Used to Be a Beach (In Black Light)” (24 Jan. 2020)

13. “Breakfast” (5 Mar. 2020)

I’m happy with quite a bit of the art and photography and writing that I’ve been producing lately. I was worried that I’d lost my direction, that I’d slipped a cog—but my cogs are still turning. I’ve been painting and drawing and photographing and putting letters on paper and typing bits into computers. These are all things I enjoy doing, so I’m glad that I’ve had the chance to DO them, lately.

The WORDS are a free-write / slash / poem that I just composed based on the nonsense phrase that I came up with for a title. I enjoy juxtapositions and jarring bits and fragments. (Maybe you don’t, and that’s okay.) The IMAGES are things that I’ve created in the last few months that I’m fairly proud of. Some of them come from animated gifs, some are photos (taken with my phone), and some are digital art, often created by embellishing photographs of artwork that I drew or painted or assembled using digital editing techniques (usually on my phone—but not always…)

I like to make little gestures. They are simple, individually just minor bits of whatever, but the accumulation of a number of these creates a larger body of work, eventually. I’ve made THOUSANDS, literally, no-joke, not exaggerating, THOUSANDS of drawings, paintings, sketches, zines, photos, collages, stickers, poems, crypto-art, books, blah-blah-blah…over the last four decades—-but I’m not done. I’m not coasting. I’m still making new. I’m still having fun. It’s still enjoyable for me (and hopefully gives you a bit of a chuckle! That would be nice.) I’ll keep making, perhaps inspiring others to make things, until I can’t anymore.

Until then, let’s keep going!

Later!

—Richard F. Yates

(Primitive Thoughtician and Holy Fool)

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“Read a Damn Book – 174: Steaming Mad”

Greetings Citizens! Today, I’m bringing a “classic” work of subversive literature to you for your consideration. Mad magazine has recently ceased publication, but for more than six decades, it was THE source for my juvenile laughter (especially in the ‘70s and ‘80s), BUT does the humor still hold up? Let’s find out!!!

[This is a photograph that I took of the actual book that I read. The image is included for review purposes only!]

Albert B. Feldstein (Editor) – Steaming Mad (1975)

Steaming Mad is a compilation book, collecting a number of “skits” or “gags” or comics, or whatever you want to call them, from the regular issues into a pocket-book format. (I hesitate to call these “comics” because many of them are illustrations with blocks of text, closer to a picture book than a true comic—see Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics for more on this distinction—I suppose I could just say cartoons??? Nah… Jeeze. It’s not really worth arguing with myself about this…)

Anyway, I have a whole stack of these little books, (I reviewed one other volume a few months ago), and I wanted to read something funny now, so I grabbed THIS book, hoping for a few laughs… And it provided a few…

Feldstein, the editor for this collection, was one of the key writers for E.C., the comics company that created such infamous titles as Tales from the Crypt and Vault of Horror, the kinds of titles that scared the shit out of parents in the 1950s, which led to congressional hearings about indecency and eventually spawned the Comics Code Authority. The CCA was a self-censoring agency, which evaluated every comic that hoped to be distributed to newsstands and grocery stores and such, and provided a stamp of approval to books that were boring and safe and sanitized. This essentially KILLED E.C., as everything that was interesting about their books was suddenly outlawed. Feldstein created Mad as a humor book, instead of a horror or crime title, and he remained the editor for decades. In addition, he brought a number of E.C. artists with him to the magazine, including one of the greatest comics artists to ever hold a pencil, Jack Davis. Mad originally started as a comic book series, but when the Comics Code proved too strict, Feldstein switched to a magazine format, so that they didn’t NEED the Comics Code Authority’s sticker-of-approval to sell to newsstands. (Magazines were held to different standards, thanks to “adult” mags, which sold well.)

Now on to THIS particular book… The content is fairly typical Mad material—spoofs, satirical pieces, and gag cartoons, with mostly GROANER jokes. Unfortunately, the material has dated pretty badly. (If the punchline of a joke is someone getting shipped off to fight in Vietnam, the material is a bit past its expiration date.) Some of the jokes would probably be difficult for modern readers to relate to, but this is because the Mad creators made a lot of topical jokes, which were appropriate for when the material came out. This collection was released in 1975, but the comics and stories in this volume come from magazine issues released in 1968 and 1969! That’s some OLD jokes…and no, they don’t all hold up. The collection starts with a story / slash / series of gags called “If Comic Characters were Psychoanalyzed,” written by Frank Jacobs and drawn by Bob Clarke. Clarke does an excellent job of copying the art styles of the comic characters they are parodying, like Charlie Brown, Dagwood, and Donald Duck, but the HUMOR is very dark—more depressing than funny. Plus, how popular are comic strips, like Beetle Bailey or Mary Worth, today??? I’m not convinced that younger readers are going to get this bit (and it’s not that funny even if you DO get it…)

What this book DOES have going for it, though, is the art. Some of the best, most interesting artists who ever contributed to Mad are represented in this book:

Jack Davis
Antonio Prohias
Morton Drucker
Sergio Aragones

[All of these images were photographed by me from the pages of this issue. They are included for review purposes only!!! People need to SEE this artwork to understand how great it is!!!]

So, even if the jokes are a bit dated, the art is still excellent. It’s all black and white, the pages are shrunken down from the original sizes that they were printed in the magazines, but for a pocket format book, it’s nicely put together—and a quick read. I would imagine most folks could probably read this, cover to cover, in an hour or so, AND there are a whole bunch of these books out there. (This one is marked as #39, so there are a LOT to find! Several dozen, at least…) If you like satire and parody, and if you can find one of these books at a garage sale or second hand shop for 50 cents or a buck, I would say, YES, grab it. The jokes are pretty bad, the humor is dated, the parodies are about pop culture items that ain’t really that POP anymore—but the art is brilliant and funny, and personally, I think that’s enough.

That’s my thoughts! Now, go read a damn book…

—Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Holy Fool)

[P.S. – This review was originally posted on the STEEM blockchain!!!]

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“Breakfast Bunny Bowie Blondie” by Richard F. Yates

Howdy Humanoids,

My name is still Richard F. Yates, and I am writing to you because I like to write, and it’s more fun to pretend I’m writing TO someone rather than just talking to myself. (I’m usually kind of mean when I answer myself, so I’d rather talk to you folks.)

Today, I started off with BREAKFAST:

It’s not the most filling way to start the day, but it does help keep me out of the emergency room! Handful of pills, banana, and a bowl of dry cereal (Honey Nut Cheerios and a few biscuits of Frosted Mini-Wheats.) I’ve lost 16 pounds since the nasty day when I found out I had high blood pressure (like DANGEROUSLY high—over 200 diastolic!) Turns out, a lot of the stuff I loved to eat was BAD for me. (Too much salt. Too much sugar. My cholesterol was okay, though, which is weird…) HOWEVER!!!! I’m not letting these newly discovered health issues destroy me!!!

Moving on!

To set the TONE for today, I decided to put on one of my favorite films of all time, How to Draw a Bunny.

This is a documentary about (sort-of) Pop Artist, Ray Johnson, who was friends with a lot of folks in New York back in the 1950s, ‘60s, and ‘70s, but who committed suicide (by drowning) when he was 67 years old. Johnson was a unique spirit, a collagist and a postal artist, who LIVED his art (and, possibly, died for it as well.) Unfortunately, although many of his friends and acquaintances ended up making a lot of money and becoming famous, (Warhol, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, John Cage, etc., etc…) Johnson never seemed to crack into the popular consciousness. Which is horrible. His work is fascinating, funny, and bizarre, and it’s made from detritus and debris and pop culture scraps, making interesting images out of nothing—out of garbage.

Interestingly, Johnson actually DESTROYED a lot of his own work during his lifetime, but he did it for a reason:

“It gets to some point where—what can you do with it after you’ve done it? That’s why I began putting everything into envelopes. I had this stockpile of materials, so I just put them into envelopes and mailed them off to everybody, everywhere…What does one do with one’s sculptures or one’s paintings or one’s drawings? I solved that problem by chopping them up into little pieces and mailing them to people…” (Ray Johnson from How to Draw a Bunny).

The film is fantastic (I’m watching it for the second time, today, already—and I’ve seen it a hundred times before this), and it includes interviews with dozens of well known artists, producers, curators, photographers, and even the police chief in charge of solving Johnson’s death. It has a mystery vibe to it, but it’s also completely about the ART. One of the best documentaries about an artist I’ve ever seen.

Some Non-Com updates, if people haven’t noticed yet, I’ve added an image gallery to the site that collects drawings, digital works, photos and other stuff into an easy to navigate format. I think there are about 50 or 60 images in there already. I’ve also finally connected a “Books We’ve Made!!!” link, so all you great (and wealthy) people can buy all the Primitive Entertainment books you could ever want! (They make wonderful gifts for arty types, or confusing and annoying objects that you can give or send to people who you don’t like and want to cause great distress!) I’ve also updated the “Upcoming Events” page with all the out of town trips, concerts, and other happenings we’ve got scheduled for the next few months. If you’re going to be in the area where we’ll be adventuring, feel free to send us a note, and we can try to find a coffee shop or bar where we can get together! Might be fun to put some faces to a few names!

LAST, Mariah and I have finally purchased to “newest” works by David Bowie, Blackstar (2015), and Blondie, Pollinator (2017).

The Bowie was his last work before his death, and it’s DARK. I expected it to be, and that’s the main reason I waited so long to get it. In TONE, it’s very similar to Low and ‘Heroes’ (which I reviewed a few weeks ago), but with a touch of trip-hop or something similar in the mix. It almost sounds like Tricky or Massive Attack were an influence, and maybe Twin Peaks or some other David Lynch score, were melded to the experimental, dreamy, dark, and aggressive Berlin era materials. The Blondie album, on the other hand, is much more upbeat and fun. It has a rock ‘n’ roll flavor, but still has a lot of synths in it, and Debbie Harry’s vocals are still strong, though her voice is deeper now, and almost has a biting hiss to it, similar to the delivery style that Beth Gibbons uses in some Portishead tracks. The Bowie CD might take a few listens to get used to, but the Blondie is fun right off the bat. I recommend both but be prepared for a deep trip with Blackstar, and expect more of a party feel with Pollinator!

That’s it. I’ve got to try and write a BOOK REVIEW, now, before I have to get ready for work!!!

Later skaters!

—Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Holy Fool)

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“To Do List (8 Feb. 2020)” by Richard F. Yates

This morning, I sat down with my notebook (and the notes that I’d sent myself on my phone), and I wrote up everything that I could think of that I wanted to complete, both short- and long-term goals… Here’s what I came up with…

[Felt pen on found cardboard with digital embellishments. 2020.]

SHORT TERM

—Order Uncle Randy’s books (and restock some of the items I’ve sold recently.) (TODAY!)
—Deliver Mark’s contributor copy! (I still haven’t given a copy of my book to the guy who drew the cover for me!) (TODAY or TOMORROW!)
—New Spook Show 2020 review! (I want to start my Halloween movie reviews early this year.) (In the next few days, I want to have a review written.)
—Make some MUSIC / BEATS for Ellie’s songs. (My younger daughter, Ellie, has been writing songs, and she bought a sampler / drum machine, for us to use to make music. I just haven’t DONE much of it yet…) (Early this week I want to start programming, and I want a song saved on the COMPUTER by next weekend.)
—New music playlist / review. (Sometime this week.)
—Add “Books for Sale” page to the NON-COM-ARTS site. (By next weekend.)
—Finish new painting. (Already sketched. Just need to paint it.) (Sometime this week.)
—Finish 10 paintings. (Have 10 paintings ready to sell on Etsy by March 1st!)
—Set up ETSY store. (By March 1st!)
—Finish reading MAKER book and review it
—Finish reading HACK + SLASH book and review it
—Finish editing READ A DAMN BOOK book (By next weekend.)
—Finish editing SNAKE book (By March 8th.) (Collecting all the SNAKE cartoons written by Richard O’Brien and drawn by me.)

LONG TERM

—Lose 35 pounds (by June for our San Francisco trip.) (According to the scale this morning, I’ve already lost 6 pounds since last week. I’m hoping for another 35 by this summer.)
—Finish 31 Spook Show 2020 reviews. (By Halloween 2020.) (I’ve wanted to do 31 reviews every year, but I’ve only ever managed 10 per season…so far. THIS year, though, I want 31!)
—Finish writing RPG rules. (Started this about two years ago, but it got tossed on a back-burner while I worked on a other projects. It’s about time to get back to it…)
—Start writing RPG modules. (THESE should be fun!)
—Compile and edit short fiction collection.
—Catalog all the Primitive Entertainment Workshop posts. (All 7,000+)
—Finish editing STEEM book
—Make new mail art / zine project (and send to all the “regular” folks, like Mr. O!)
—New podcast episodes

And that’s the plan. Start pecking away at these projects and try to get as many completed as I can, starting with the top two. I have some dates set, but I also want to leave some leeway for stretching out—so if I want to spend more time on a painting, I can. This is all about getting things done, but they have to be WELL done, too. I want to be happy with my work.

Okay, let’s get this party started…again… (WOOOO!!!)

—Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Holy Fool)

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“The Story of a Painting (and Other Weird Stuff…)” by Richard F. Yates

What you are about to read (should you have the GUTS to stick with this piece) is a series of posts from my Steemit blog about the creation of my painting, “Dance of the Subconscious,” from the original sketch to the final product! I’m also including the things I was doing AROUND creating this painting—because that’s the kind of thing I like. CONTEXT! Let me know what you think of this method of creation. What’s YOUR process? Mine is messy and halting, but I’m happy with the finished image… Ready? Here we go…

“Work in Progress – New Painting!” [20 Jan. 2020]

FINALLY got into my new studio today for a couple of hours and started working on a new painting!

No title yet, but I’m thinking it will have something to do with “dance.” The painting is acrylic on an 8×10 inch canvas over an ultra fine point Sharpie sketch. Here’s what it looked like before I started swishing paint around…

The finished project is going to feature a lot of black light paint on the main figure and the moon (and maybe the signature / mirrored initials.) Not sure when I’ll have the chance to complete this little beastie, but when it’s finished, I have about a dozen more canvases to attack!

Meanwhile, today, while I wasn’t painting I was trying to figure out how to use the new Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator 33, the “Knockout!”, that Ellie just got. The PO-33 is a tiny sampler / sequencer!

While experimenting, I ran a line out of the PO-33 into my U.E. Boom 2 speaker, and it sounded pretty good! (The weird cassette looking object in the back of the photo on the right is a notebook that my older daughter found for me! People like to buy me notebooks…possibly because I might be the ONLY person they know who still uses a paper notebook! Ha!)

Unfortunately, the machine proved a bit complicated for me, but I’m going to watch a few more YoooTooob videos and try to figure it out what I’m doing. Elise, who bought the machine, has been writing songs and wants me to put together some “beats” for her to perform over. (This is new stuff for both of us, but we like to learn new things!)

That was today’s adventures… Hopefully, I’ll have something new to share tomorrow!

“Painting Progress and Upcoming Events Schedule” [23 Jan. 2020]

I managed to sneak a bit more time into working on my new painting. It’s coming along! Still needs some work, but I’m starting to SEE the final image coming into focus (in my head, if not quite on the canvas, yet.)

Meanwhile, we’ve also got a bunch of STUFF coming up in the near future, almost all of which will end up as material for posts! Here’s our rough schedule:

— 25 Jan. – Unpublished Writers Fest @ The Clark County Historical Museum, Vancouver, WA. I’m really looking forward to this event (which is only a couple of days away at this point!) A mini-reunion of the WSUV Writing Center’s “Dream Team” has been cobbled together around this event, so besides sitting at a booth and talking about self-publishing, I’ll also get to see several old friends! (AND Mariah and I are planning on getting crepes from our favorite crepe shop while we’re in Vancouver, so DOUBLE COOL!)

— 14 Feb. – Peewee’s Big Adventure with Paul Reubens @ Newmark Theatre, Portland, OR. Reubens himself hosting a screening of Tim Burton’s iconic first film! Ellie (the younger daughter) bought tickets for Mariah, me, and herself the day she found out this was happening.

— 29 Mar. – Food Booze Music and Flea Market @ Erebus, Kelso, WA. I’m not 100 percent sure that I got my name in early enough to get a table, but I hope so! Erebus is a metal/punk bar in Kelso (which USED to be a sports bar that played mostly hip-hop music, although when I DJed there, my playlists were mostly new wave, techo, and industrial music.) I haven’t actually been IN the building since it re-opened as Erebus, but I’m HOPING I’ll get a table!!!

— 20 May – Die Antwoord @ The Portland Memorial Coliseum, Portland, OR. My brother and I bought tickets for this show almost a YEAR ago, because it was SUPPOSED to happen back in September of 2019, but the show was postponed…for EIGHT MONTHS! I haven’t ever seen Die Antwoord live, but I’m hoping the show is worth the wait!!!

That’s all we’ve got schedule with hard dates, so far. I’m going to keep my eye out for little cons and festivals, both for events to check out AND for opportunities to vend. Ellie and I REALLY want to check out PAX Northwest this year, and Rose City Comic Con is a fur-sure deal, too, because it was a lot of fun last year. There are also several local events that I’m keeping an eye out for: Long Con (at the local library), Nano-Con (a science-fiction event), the local summer Art Walk, Squirrel Fest (which is about SQUIRRELS, but usually well attended), Cowlitz Gamers Fest (a video game show with lots of retro gaming representation), and so on…

Plenty of opportunities to get out, meet some folks, see some interesting art (in whatever form that art might take), and perhaps share my own stuff with the populace! Just gotta get out there and do it! (And don’t forget to make time for crepes every now and then!)

“‘It Used to Be a Beach’ (New Painting and Library Book Sale Finds!)” [24 Jan. 2020]

[“It Used to Be a Beach” – Acrylic on canvas. 2020.]

So while I’m working on one thing (that OTHER painting I keep showing progress photos of), I’m also often working on side stuff. While my latest colors are drying on my main canvas, I finished THIS one. It’s actually a bit darker than what the photo shows, but I don’t have the proper editing software on my phone to match the pic’s colors with the paint…so… Yeah. You get this slightly too bright image. (Sorry.)

Meanwhile, you should see what this thing looks like in a black light! (That’s a good idea. Be right back!)

[Photo taken in the bathroom sink—because the edges of the painting were still a bit wet AND because the bathroom is the only place in the house that has a power outlet and no windows. It’s kinda sunny here today! Weird… Oh, and the purple-blue glow all around the painting is the porcelain sink reacting to the blacklight. Looks cool, if you ask me. I should take MORE blacklight photos in the sink!!!]

In other news, Mariah and I hit the Longview Public Library’s quarterly book sale, yesterday.

We usually hit the sale on Saturday for “whatever you can stuff in a bag for two bucks” day, but we’re going to be out of town (at the Unpublished Writers Fest)—plus, the books are often rather picked over by day three of the sale.

Here’s what we grabbed:

Mariah likes reading about royalty (both literal and Hollywood—folks like Spencer Tracy and Liz Taylor), so she picked the Diana books, as well as the mystery novel and the Albom. I found Time Bandits (which I used to have on VHS) and Gosford Park, the latter being a clever murder mystery starring Maggie Smith and a bunch of other people…but mostly Maggie Smith.

I ALSO grabbed a Mel Brooks / Carl Reiner CD in which Brooks pretends to be a man who has been alive for over 2,000 years. VERY funny stuff. My books are a couple of sci-fi tales and that silly How to Talk to Your Cat About Gun Safety, which I hope will be funny!

The whole pile came to a measly FIVE BUCKS! Half the price of a single paperback book bought off the shelf at a supermarket or bookstore. (Of course, if any of these items had been released with a SMART CONTRACT attached, then Mel Brooks, Maggie Smith, and Douglas Adams [or a reasonable representative in his case] would have gotten a cut of this sale… But perhaps that’s a discussion for a different post.)

There you go. More painting done, hit the library with the missus, and now I’m off to make the bed and do some laundry. (No baby today, if you were wondering. Her dad had the day off!) Whatever—let’s just keep on moving!!! Later, kids!!!

“The Dance of the Subconscious” [27 Jan. 2020]

[Acrylic and ink on stretch canvas with blacklight elements. 8×10 inches. 2020.]

The Consciousness, as tri-limbed Cyclops, trapped in perpetual night, but choosing to make a Night-Club under the Psychological Stars out of the experience. The music of Emptiness. A Stage where the Self is allowed to Move and Shake without fear of judgement—or tripping.

Just like Billy Idol was looking for!

So…there you go. It took almost a week (over a week???), but I finally finished this dang painting! That makes two complete canvases done! When I get to about ten (perhaps six or seven paintings and a few books and/or prints), I’m going to try my hand at Etsy again. I really do enjoy making crypto-art and digital works, but there’s also something to be said for creating a PHYSICAL object. Fun stuff!

If you’ve created a painting recently that you’d like to share, drop a link in the comments, and I’ll try to give it a look!

—Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Holy Fool)

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“Unpublished Writers Day + Some Self Promotion!” by Richard F. Yates

Sorry! (Not actually sorry…) I didn’t post anything yesterday, but I think I have some good excuses: I was really busy, out of town for most of the day, and I’m old and fell asleep on the couch as soon as we made it back to town! (Like I said…SORRY! That’s two times in January alone that I’ve missed posting. I hope you folks can forgive me!)

So, what was the big deal with yesterday? Let’s get into it…

Early in the A.M., Mariah (aka “The Boss”) and I crawled out of bed, tired as a couple of floops, and prepared ourselves for a day on the town, and eventually hit the freeway, heading south towards Vancouver, Washington, for National Unpublished Writers’ Day. Our first stop, however, before getting to the main business of the day, was Mon Ami, a coffee / slash / crepe shop on the main drag in the ‘Couve!

[Mariah and a great, mustachioed skeleton inside the shop!]

The food was great! (I had a buckwheat crepe with smoked turkey and cheddar cheese), AND we sat at the “Iggy & Tom” table!

[I took this photo of the photo on the wall right next to our table!]

Aside from selling coffee and crepes and some booze (one lady ordered a mimosa while we were there…at 10:30 in the morning!!!), they also sell works by local artists. It’s a very cool shop.

After chomping our breakfast, we zoomed out, and made our way to the Clark County Historical Museum.

The event that we were attending was National Unpublished Writer’s Day, in conjunction with the Brautigan Library of unpublished manuscripts, which is housed in the research library at the Clark County Museum. The Brautigan Library is overseen by John Barber of WSU@Vancouver (who did a great job with this event!) (I should have gotten a picture of him!!!) I did get some photos of Dr. Kandy Robertson, Director of the Writing Center at WSUV, who invited me to the event, as well as Joe (one of the tutors at the Writing Center), Josh (a good friend of mine who used to work with me at the W.C.), and Mariah!

[Dr. Robertson and Joe (one of the WSUV tutors.)]
[Notice my spread of books for sale! Dr. Robertson was kind enough to share half of the WSUV Writing Center with me. The REST of the table held handouts on writing and revising works—and several of the current tutors manned the table, taking turns, and talking to visitors who were seeking writing advice! I chatted with folks about self-publishing!]
[Mariah and Josh (a former WSUV tutor who worked way back in the era when I was still there!)]

In addition to getting to visit with some of my favorite people on Earth (including several folks who I didn’t get photos of—SADLY), I also did pretty well selling books!!! I think I sold four copies of my newest novella (and gave one away. I TRIED to give lots of stuff away, but people kept paying me… I’m a TERRIBLE capitalist…) I also sold a few other books, and I gave away quite a few prints, some zines, and even a couple of Angry Old Guy Digital Tender(ness) bucks (worth .33333 of nothing each!)

It would be an injustice if I didn’t mention that the Clark Country Historical Museum has a VERY cool exhibit going on right now focused on music, music instruments, and music playing machines, which I am KICKING myself for not getting photos of… I was too dang busy talking and carrying on, and I didn’t think about it in time. (Maybe we’ll go back before the exhibit comes down…)

Anyway, it was a fun day, and a few of us former Writing Center tutors have decided that we’re not going to wait three more years before getting together again! In another weird twist, Dr. Robertson asked me if I wanted to come back to the Writing Center in the fall for one or two days a week… I just might do it! (And if I do, one of the OTHER tutors who used to work there said HE might come back, too. It would be FANTASTIC to get to work with my good friend, Richard O., again! He is one of my favorite collaborators!!!)

In other news, I’ve also spent some time, recently, working on my online PROMOTION. On my NON-COM-ARTS blog, I added several new pages: a links page, a gallery page for some of my artwork, and a schedule of upcoming events! I’m working on making the NON-COM site the HUB that can point folks to all of my other works. It’s more fun MAKING things than PUSHING them, in my opinion, but it’s essential for an artist / writer who is trying to make a LIVING off his (or her or their) creative work that people be able to FIND that work!

Promotion—it’s a pain in the ass, but somebody’s got to do it!

Alrighty, folks, thanks for stopping by! Keep making stuff!!! (And if you don’t make stuff, yet, it’s time to start!!!)

—Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Holy Fool)

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“To MAKE NEW or PROMOTE EXISTING Works???” by Richard F. Yates

One of my biggest failures has been my inefficiency at PROMOTING my newest works—because before I’ve even finished most projects, I’m well on my way towards working on the next one. Before I’d even uploaded my newest book to the self-publishing site (I use KDP—if you know a better means of self publishing, I’m willing to listen to your reasoning), I was already onto my NEXT book project. (Technically, I have about three partially completed books and a half-dozen IDEAS for future projects ALL vying for attention in my head…)

I make a new drawing or painting or take some new photograph (and digitally tweak it until it squeals) every day, and each of these visual bits usually has an accompanying WRITTEN component along with it, and I post these works on my STEEMIT blog. One a day. Every day. Always. (In the year and two months that I’ve been on Steemit—and acquired enough “Resource Credits” to do what I wanted to do—I think I’ve only missed, maybe, three or four days. That’s out of nearly 400 days. I take a day off (not very often by choice) once out of every hundred days or so…

But that means I have this MASSIVE amount of artwork and written work just sitting there, not doing anything. I post it, I share it to a handful of places (Facebook—so my family and friends can see what I’ve been up to— and Twitter, maybe Instagram, maybe Ello, maybe WordPress, on rare occasions to Medium), and that’s it. DONE! I rarely think about or look at these pieces again, even though I’m usually pretty happy with what I’ve created. (My tastes are simple, so I’m easy to please, I guess…)

What a waste. Shouldn’t I be promoting and pushing and whoooping up my work? I mean, it takes time and effort to make a new visual piece every day, and then it takes even LONGER to write something to go with it. I’m quite particular about my writing. I don’t like putting out work that’s full of typos or mistakes or that’s just plain boring. I WORK to make sure my stuff is funny or interesting or informative or clever… Again, it takes time and effort to conceive, write, structure, edit, and rewrite a piece—even something that’s only a few hundred words can take several drafts and edits to get it to where I’m happy.

So shouldn’t I be DOING something with all this WORK? Blogs are GREAT! You get to conceive, develop, create, and share directly with an audience, who can then get right back to you with feedback (whether good or bad), and this is all fantastic stuff. But when you put out 30 pieces per month—shit stacks up rather quickly! Particularly clever or interesting work gets buried, and I’m the first person to admit that not EVERYTHING I make is perfect, that not every joke lands, that not every monster looks that monstrous enough… And I often wonder if the daily format is the BEST format for an artist / writer who’s trying to go BIG (while staying home!) (What I mean here isn’t that I want to become “rich and famous,” just that I’d like to make enough from my creative work that I can ditch the crappy delivery job—and that won’t be easy because I actually make pretty good money from the tips alone.)

Thankfully, I have other avenues of attack—places where I can take some of these artworks and stories and turn them into something a bit more substantial than a BLOG! There’s crypto-art, which has a certain charm (and I’ve had more success SELLING this rather unknown asset class than I imagined I would), there’s print-on-demand work (stuff like Redbubble or Threadless), there’s all those BOOKS that I’ve made by collecting my art and stories together and putting them on paper pages, there’s print and poster making (and I have a lot of fun with this format), there’s zines, there’s physical art (like paintings and sculpture and mailart), direct sales (like with Etsy), and there’s VENDING at cons and fests and fairs (which I’ve just started experimenting with), and so on…

But each of these things are EXTRA work—sometimes with actual PRODUCTION COSTS, for materials and printing, beyond the mental effort and time… Which are a gamble when you’re just an unaffiliated, outsider art-prankster.

So these are the concepts I’m wrestling with in my head lately. How much payoff (emotional, economic, cultural) is there compared to the EFFORT involved in the various creative acts… I have a LOT of material under my belt at this point. (My OLD blog, The Primitive Entertainment Workshop, had over 7,000 posts when we finally filled it up—and I’m going to guess, conservatively, that I produced about 70 or 80 percent of that content! I could COAST on old work for years, making prints, collecting written work into anthologies, and not have to pick up a pen or paintbrush again, until I was well into my sixties! But that’s not likely to happen. I LOVE writing. I LOVE drawing. I LOVE painting. I LOVE photography. I LOVE making jokes and being snarky. I LOVE sharing my fun experiences out in the “real” world with my friends and loved ones. I LOVE reviewing books and songs and music, and then SHARING those things with everybody who’ll listen.

I can’t imagine that I’ll ever give up PRODUCING CONTENT, until I CAN’T anymore… But maybe I need to cool it down a bit a spend a LITTLE more time on the PROMOTION of the stuff I’ve already made. I have boxes of drawings and paintings in my closets and in the garage—just sitting there. I have THOUSANDS of digital artworks and photographs on various hard-drives and blogs and websites—just sitting there. I have THOUSANDS of pages of poetry, stories, reviews, travel journals, and rants in notebooks, on blogs, on hard-drives, and on scraps of paper in boxes—just sitting there… DOING NOTHING. NOT being read. NOT being looked at. NOT being laughed at or enjoyed.

And as we all know, “CIRCULATION IS THE KEY TO HAPPINESS!”

Maybe I need to adjust my schedule a bit…

Let me know your thoughts on NEW WORK vs PROMOTING FINISHED WORK. I’m curious how other folks divide their energies…

—Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Holy Fool)

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“Artist Wishes He Had Time for Art!” by Richard F. Yates

I’m an artist and a writer—but lately, between renovating my new art room, trying to get ready for next weekend’s Unpublished Writers’ Conference, working on my online presence, and all of the other LIFE stuff out there… I really haven’t done very much writing or drawing or painting lately. [Sad face…boo hoo hooo… HA! Not really. I’m a “roll-with-it” sort of dude…] Still, I’m hoping that all of the effort that Mariah (the “Boss”) and I have been putting in these last few months will pay off in the long run!

Meanwhile, I’ve tried to keep my nose to the grindstone, and I FINALLY (about 10 years too late) came up with a BUSINESS CARD!

What do you think? I’m pretty happy with it. Mariah said I should have dropped the “Holy Fool” from the card because, as she said, “It sounds like you’re pushing some kind of religion.” But I AM the HOLY FOOL. Remember, it was just over ONE YEAR AGO (on 22 Jan. 2019) when I had a visitation from the Winged Serpent, who told me that my mission in life was to make people laugh! And I’ve tried to keep that destiny in mind while I’ve been working ever since…

So… Business cards! CHECK!

In addition, as I was sitting at my computer, I also crunked my way through the photos on the machine looking for bulletin board pics. We have a large cork-board in the dining room that we fill with pictures, and that we switch out every month or two, usually right about the time Mariah redecorates for the next holiday. Keeps stuff exciting! (Plus, when we take the old photos down, I put them into sleeves in a three-ring binder. Eventually, I might switch those over to a scrapbook or something. We’ll see…) Here’s what I had printed (while I was printing my business cards.)

Mariah and I also, finally, took all the extra cardboard boxes that we’ve collected (since Christmas and from all the new bookshelves and stuff we’ve bought lately) to a recycling drop-off center. (We also had to clean up a bunch of Styrofoam peanuts that one of the boxes HAD in it, but that somehow blew all over the driveway and backyard… Gah!) On the way home from that trip we stopped at the craft store, (we had a GREAT coupon!!!), and I picked up a BUNCH of art supplies…

I’d say I’m DEFINITELY ready for some painting. (Again, I didn’t get in there today—just too much stuff going on…) I’m curious to try the black canvases that I found. I’m HOPING that I end up being able to create something like a Velvet Elvis (however unlikely I am to reach a HEIGHT like that…) I also grabbed some new black light reactive paints, a few new brushes, a cool ruby-red glitter paint (I LOVE novelty colors), and some staples, like Champaign gold, black, and a rich lemony yellow.

For my canvases, I also chose 8×10 inches, primarily because I’m planning on selling these pieces and I wanted something that wouldn’t cost so much to SHIP! I’m looking at checking out Etsy again, as well… We’ll see.

BUT, before I start selling and shipping pieces all around the world, I suppose I should probably start PAINTING THEM! [Ha!] So, I probably ought to get off the damn computer and start sketching…

I’ll talk at you folks again tomorrow!

—Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Holy Fool)

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“Rene Margarita” by Richard F. Yates

[“Rene Margarita.” Digital drawing over photograph in situ from today’s holiday gathering. 2020.]

Today, my family and I FINALLY got together with the Joneses (family friends for decades) for our holiday gift exchange. We met at a Mexican restaurant called Guadalajara, which is a frequent gathering spot for our two groups.

Naturally, I get a little ARTY whenever I’m taking photos, and today was no exception. Here are a couple of the quirkier scenes that I spotted…

In my opinion, it’s important to have these types of get-togethers to keep the bonds between our families strong. We had fun, and most folks liked their food. (I had pollo en mole, which is usually my favorite. It’s chicken in a chocolate and cinnamon type sauce, but the recipe this time wasn’t my favorite. I’ve had this dish at dozens of restaurants, but today… Let’s just say, I didn’t bring my leftovers home.)

ANYWAY, it was a fun time, but all good things must end, and eventually Mariah and I moseyed out the door.

Keep you friends (and family) close! (And always carry a camera!) Thanks for letting me make a bad pun and share some of my pics!

—Richard F. Yates (Holy Fool)

[This piece was originally posted, today, on my Steemit blog.]

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