Saturday, December 31, 2011

12/31/11 - last post for 2011, year of the rabbit

And so here we are at the end and I swear on my high fiber cereal I never thought this year would end; I also never thought the shit streak I hit at the end would turn around but it has done both (end and correct itself) simultaneously. Not only did I struggle thru litany of self imposed goals this year but I breezed thru a bunch too and I managed reach almost every single one... even if it was done a bit sideways.

 Man, I can't believe I bought a pickup, went to NY twice - got to see Times Square, have coffee and tiramisu at Sardis, rode over the Brooklyn and Washington Bridges, saw Grand Central (!!!), Occupy New York, McDougal Street, several real Basquiats, met with all kinds of gallery owners but met a man who believes in me enough to book me in a one man in Brooklyn; took the same class twice at RISD, tried for 7 months to make a website that would actually work (and kinda failed at it), ended up having someone put together a website for me; re-illustrated and printed my book Scootertown twice in under 3 months, went to Tanglewood and finally got to see Prairie Home Companion, bought a kayak - found out I love kayaking but hate the growth in the water, saw both Mary Chapin Carpenter and Garrison Keilor live,  was in at least 7 shows this year (maybe more, I kinda lose track), took on a fight with an over-privelaged bully and predator, took a day trip to Martha's Vineyard; developed a whole new way of painting,, it goes on and on. I did a lot this year but now I have to look at the coming year - what do I want? Where do I want to go and be? What will my goals for the coming year be and how am I going to reach them? There's a lot to think about but because of the strides I made this year I've learned what different level of success can feel like and I know I want more.

Time to pull out pen and paper and start making my to do list for 2012 - it's gonna be a magical year. I just know it.

Follow my next blog: A (water) Rabbit's work in the year of the (water) Dragon

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Packing, cleaning but mainly waiting. Waiting for the pendulum to swing back up again and trying really hard not to get into "mischief" in the meantime. Year of the rabbit seemed to get me so far ahead but right now I don't feel any further ahead than I did last year at this time.

No, that's  a lie - I have had a lot of success but I've been sorting thru all my receipts and it's daunting, all the things I've done to get where I am right now. I think I'd better sit down and list out my what I set out to do and what I've accomplished in 2011, then I have to get to work on organizing 2012 - fail to plan, plan to fail or so they say.

One of my biggest accomplishments for 2011: I did not drink even when I really, really wanted to and could've justified it, I mananged to control my impulse(s). That's pretty fuckin' amazing.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

12/10 - I'm a round peg and I don't have to try to fit in a square box anymore.

Tag Gallery is a new gallery space situated above Thuro skate shop 362 Boylston Street, Brookline MA Owner Gabe Holm moved from Warwick RI to the Boston area a few months ago in order to restart his business and I feel really fortunate to have been invited to participate in this first show - it might sound odd for me to have work in a skate shop place but sometimes unusual opportunities pop up that are too good to pass on and I'm really psyched to have been asked. Unfortunately, water and electrical issues and the year long struggle with my landlord (Nick Helgesen) over my work/live studio has prevented me from making as much work or the variety of work I'd planned but.... there we are.

All that aside, I'm so glad my work appeals to guys like Gabe and his gallery manager Joey (who also manages Boston Gallery 303)  - it leaves me feeling like there are no rules and the world is wide open to what I want to do. I'm not relegated anymore to painting any one picture  in order to garner shows, press or sales. Living on Cape Cod most of my life I had somewhat resigned myself to the understanding that when you live by the ocean you can only paint a few things: lighthouse, boat, sand dunes, water. That's it and that's all you should bother to submit to any gallery or gallery space. On the Cape there seems to be a belief  that the buyer's eye and scope of understanding is limited to sea side trite and that individuality is only permissible in exotic places like NY.

 However, with my new pals, art encompasses a much broader scope. No rules, no structure, no expectations, no limits.  You can mix media and build things no one has seen before -  guys like Jeremiah and David at UGLY Gallery in NB (who gave me a massive boost this year!!!) and all their patrons have taught me I don't have to be a round peg desperately trying to fit in a square hole anymore. I feel free to follow my own ideas. That's pretty incredible after years of not quite fitting in.

Anyway - here's some pics of the first show being organized and hung at Tag:

NB artist and musician Joel Monty and Tag Gallery manager, Joey, start the hanging.

Blemished Lily head sits on the floor behind the fellas while they discuss the best way to hang Monty's cat series.

Monty's cat series being hung by NB artist and musician Joel and Joey.

Some of my work including a double side illustrated board and an original work by NB artist David Guadalupe.

On the lower left - an original work by David Guadalupe, on the right a Monty hiding behind "Run Rabbit Run" one of several skateboard collages I made specifically for the show, Tag Gallery and Thuro.

A small pile of my work including "Civil" a hand inked, b and w silk screen print, "Angelina's wheels", Ik ben hier" a skateboard collage, " I know you can see me" a 4 board collage, and "I am here" an abstract on wood board"

Gabe Holm, owner of Tag and Thuro, getting ready to hang "Dysfunctional Objects". " "Ik ben hier" in foreground.

Gabe hanging one of Monty's works

Gabe hanging "Dysfunctional Objects"

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

12/07 - Hey, what ya doin'?

So, for the past week I've been up to a my eyes in bullshit and work. I won't focus on the bullshit bc that's got a ways to go before it's over so I'll focus on the work I've been doing to get ready for a show at a new skate shop and gallery in Brookline MA called Thuro.
My pal Gabe had the shop in Warwick but just moved it up to huge space at
362 Boylston Street, Brookline, MA - several rooms, two levels the second being a space he's gnna use as a gallery. I'm really excitied an proud to be a part of his opening - Gabe's a good guy, hard worker and he stands by his word and having a working relationship with him is far more important to me than having my stuff hang up in a more traditional gallery setting. He's forward thinking, inclusionary,generous and trusting - and he's just nice. he's the type of person I appreciate being around. So I looked at this oppportunity as a super fun challenge - what could I come up with that's venue and costomer appropriate?.....well, i loke painting and illustrationg skateboards already so....
I think I came up with somethign new: deck collages or skateboard collages. I illustrated and painted masonite and drywall with chalk, aerosol, marker, acrylic and oil paints, attached a variety of othr materials and then mounted the boards. I really had a blast figuring out the project and here' a few of the results:
"I know you can see me" board collage - skateboard quad (shown at UGLY Gallery this past Aug) mounted on masonite, chalk, aerosols, marker, acrylic and oil paints, and other materials.   

"ik be hier" (I am here) board mounted on 3' x 4' masonite, pencil, aerosol, chalk, acrylic and oil paints, and other materials.

"Run Rabbit Run" board mounted on drywall and 2' x 2'  masonite - pencil, aerosol, marker, acrylic paint Damar varnish.

"Who we were" waiting to be mounted on masonite and paper - pencil, aerosol, marker, acrylic paint Damar varnish.

"Good dog" - waiting to be mounted on 2' x 2' Masonite and wire messh - pencil, aerosol, marker, acrylic paint Damar varnish.

Detail  "I know you can see me"

Detail "I know you can see me"

Detail "I know you can see me"

This is actually one side of a two sided board but I don't really ahve a name for it yet....I also haven't figured out how to hang it or place it....I want the viewer to be able to turn it or look at the side rthey like without me making the decision for them....this is a toughy.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

12/03 Combating shitty-ness

Combat lesson #1: when you're feeling shitty because some F-d up, shit ball shits all over your shit don't be shitty to others. Do something nice for someone who's feeling shitty instead.

Walked around downtown today after delivering some copies of Scootertown: Run Rabbit Run to UGLY Gallery this morning. I needed to give Bugsy a chance to walk thru the holiday stroll. He loves being around people and seeing kids.

It was nice and holidayish but on every corner there were (and always are) homeless people. And in my mind, no one gets left behind especially in a holiday celebration and you, your organization or community are only as strong as your weakest link. So I played merry for a while today and now I feel a little better than I did this morning.

Combatting shittyness one blanket and hot chocolate at a time.

If you're reading this and you can spare a blanket or a jacket or gloves or a hat or sweatershirt or a fleece pullover or a snack or a scarf or a piece of fruit  - find someone who could use the lift and give them a gift. Don't be shitty.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

11/29 - paint on my keyboard

Sad about what's going on with my rental but today I feel like I can make a little headway in getting ready for my show at the new Thuro skate/gallery location in Brookline. Gabe, the owner is a really great guy who asked me to be a part of his opening months ago but he just secured a location so this  a little last minute but oh well. I keep my word.

A few years ago there was no way i'd hanging my work in a skate shop/gallery. Being an artist on Cape Cod I thought I learned to conform my opinions of things based on the norm and fine art galleries are perceived to be the only tru measure of an artist - since moving off Cape, I've begun to realize #1 the audience for my work is young, #2 young upstart artsist don't show in galleries necessarily and #3 being given the opportunity to show in space like Gabe's and have someone like Gabe see my work as valueable enough to be included in his world is a gift. Plus, I love being included and, once again, I've been lucky enough to fall in with another group of guys who are INclusive and not EXclusive. So inlclusive in fact that he's allowed me to bring some New Bedford guys along to be included in the opening show!

So today I'm gonna:
  • Walk Bugsy
  • Come back to the Cave, clean up a bit
  • Get back to producing work for Gabe's Dec. 10th opening of Thuro. Pics will be posted asap.
And I'm gonna put the slumlord problems to the side for now...howveer, I wish the lights worked inthis place. It's hard to see.
To visit Gabe, his shop, gallery and potential studio space go to:  
Thuro 362 Boylston St, Brookline.

Friday, November 18, 2011

11/18 Gettin' ready

For a while I didn't think things were gonna gain traction but now things are a hefty old train. Luckily, sometimes anyway, I have a pretty good feel for what may be coming and I'm good at orgainzing things so I'm prepared - I know that's cryptic and makes no sense...

Regardless, I have about 3 weeks to get ready for my next show (yikes) and about  6 weeks to figure out where I want to move to and find a new place to live, sort thru the rest of my stuff, move my paintings to storage, sell my fridge, closests and anything else I don't need, get my drawing table and then clean up whatever mess I've made in the Cave. That should keep me busy.

What will I use for inspiration? ......that's what.
Oh and .... cannot get this outta my head.

Note: don't forget to cancel cable and gym membership.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

11/17 Occupy Life!

Okay, so I haven't posted much this past week or so - there's a lot going on and nothing I can really talk about but suffice it to say: things are moving forward now....slowly but moving forward.
  • We have a date for the reception in Brooklyn: April 6th
  • We have a date for the Boston show: Dec. 9th-ish
  • The book has been getting circulated around two different foster agencies in 2 different states.
  • I'm almost done producing big paintings for Brooklyn and will be moving on to making smaller works
  • I've sent out brochures to several new (to me) galleries in New york
  • I've sorted thru and reorganized my stuff, moved what's left to a smaller storage unit
  • And am almost ready to make a decision about where to move to next
I can't believe how quickly this year has gone by but I feel I've done the best I could've done with what I can control - I've torn thru my to do lists and archived varying levels of success.  I think my only real failure has been not losing any weight - and I've kinda given up trying for right now, deciding instead to focus my will on other projects. My great success however, has been not letting anyone or any thing influence me enough to stop working at my goals. I've kept my focus and I didn't veer. I also didn't start drinking or drugging again which was a huge achievement for me under the circumstances - I think out of my years on earth so far, when I look back, this is the one I will be most proud of. I did it, I changed my life.

My hope is that in the next 6 weeks, by the end of the year: I'll be moving to a new city, have at least 3 more spring shows lined up in NY and Boston, a deal in the works for the book(s), and an income I can depend on. I've also gotta start working on next years to do list.....phew, what a time this has been.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


We scheduled my first NY show today! 

Thanks to Maxine, event coordinator at ReBar,
CAM owner of ReInspire Brooklyn
the show will be hung in
the Walkway of ReBar
Brooklyn's hottest eatery/cinema/bar/gallery throughout April 2012 but
opening reception is set for Friday April 6th.

I'm VERY grateful to Maxine, CAM and the kind, supportive folks at ReBar for giving me my first big break.....this is what I've been working for.  :  )

Monday, November 14, 2011

11/14 - for no particular reason

The old broad painting sans Braveheart at 7 am-ish

11/14 Monday - Neurrigabe gogo dut

Been absent from things for a bit do to pain but I was able to tackle a canavs that's been confounding me for MONTHS.  It came to me as pasrt of a collab project with my friend John Boucher - he loves to cover his canvas' with a teal colour which is what got me - teal with purple swipes. I've stared at it looking for a pattern or puzzle I could do womething with but it just baffled me till I added my ususal base - flat black. After the black was applied the project was a breeze.

Black on teal laytex

Chalk sketch, aerosol and heavy acrylic from the tube

Oils, more chalk, oil pastel, more aerosol

And fini! .....for now.

"Ek het ongebreidelde entoesiasme wat nie verlore gaan, maak nie saak wat jy doen vir my" (Afrikaan)

In English: "I have unbridled enthusiasm that cannot be lost in you no matter what you do to me"

Friday, November 11, 2011

11/11/11 Friday

I think today is supposed to be some sort of magical day because of the numbers. We shall see...

Regardless, I haven't posted in a bit, nothing to say really. Things are still in a holding pattern: shows aren't firmed up yet, the book is on hold till I can get my drawing table delivered, I've been cleaning out my storage unit but my spine has gone a tad haywire and so I have to stop till I can walk and bend properly, the roof to the Cave still isn't repaired which leaves my landlord in complete violation of court order, he could be arrested if I so chose to pursue. Not horrid news (for me anyway) just a series of events or lack of events that leave my plans stilted which, as a  consequence, leaves me jammed up and anxious and the severity of the RSD pain prevents me from sleeping more than a couple of hours at a time.

My plan for today was to take everything that's left from the first storage unit and put it in a smaller one (a much smaller one) but with my spine acting up I just can't.
Plan B: Walk Bugs in the woods - again, spine interruptus.
Plan C: switch out paintings at Muse - ditto.
Plan D: go to AS220 and silk screen designs - see above.
Plan E: workout - having a hard time putting my socks on.
Plan #345: lay down in front of fast moving bus or eat a cupcake.

Maybe  I'll do some more mail outs to galleries, reps and publishers instead. I hate my plans being jammed up like this.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Not feeling quite right today. I feel jammed up and anxious and have a terrible foreboding feeling. Have work to do and have my to do list to get thru but we shall see.

First step - just get thru the morning.

Monday, November 7, 2011

11/07 What's up smock?

So for the past few days I've been cleaning house - cleaning out my storage unit, the Cave and my my truck of crap. Years and years and years of crap. Since my truck got broken into, and the thugs stole something that was incredibly valuable to me, I've been on  a mission to just purge myself of stuff. However, depending on the time of day and my mood, it all matters in a way but I know I don't want to carry all this stuff around with me forever. It gets very weighty.

Purging is liberating, depressing, exciting and really hard. Some of this stuff defines who I am but it also defines who I was which is far less fun. Some of the stuff brings back horrible feelings, some of it is hard to get rid of because I feel a certain loyalty to the spirit of it and the time it came from. I think, just having those thoughts, technically makes me a hoarder on some level which is why whenever I have a strong feeling one way or another towards an object I toss it. There's a reason for the strong attachment(s) to the stuff but I'm trying to keep in mind - it's just stuff and no thing should hold that much importance in my life...except for my work.

That said, even though I've gone thru about 4 dozen boxes of stuff so far I still have a lot of stuff. It's annoying. How can one person have so much stuff? It's not keeping me safe or helping me in anyway. It's costly, demanding, exhausting and just dumb. But then again, it feels so good when I make it go away. I may not want the relief I get when I purge to end for a while. Okay that sounded bizarre.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Saturday 11/05 - Another one, in steps - not finished yet

Black prep, chalk, aerosols

Thick black acrylic right from the tube, more aerosol, Ttanium white Gamblin oil

This painting is about econmoy of paint and showing respect to negative space. The swathes of blank canvas help to give color more impact, give the viewer visual directions and convey a quiet, underlying rhythm and tension.

A tiny bit of color.

To view more work go to:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

11/01 - "Waiting"

Finished "Waiting" last night. The work is part of a show I have coming up in 2012 at the ReBar's Walk Way gallery in Brooklyn. Exact date TBA. For more info go to ReInspire Brooklyn at

Start 10/14/11 - black prep, chalk  and aerosols.

An hour after initial set up later

Work resumed for a bit on 10/24

...and again on 10/30

But si! Fini!!! 10/31/11

The lighting in my studio is just terrible so please be patient.
Regardless, the panels are not meant to sit close together but instead they're meant to be approx 4" apart OR in completely different rooms...I'd LOVE to see them split apart and displayed in seperate rooms. The eyes are a bit off kilter because I wanted them to be off putting. The panels were painted seperately and not togther as one unit.


To view more work by Beck go to: