Michael Garfield – How To Live in the Future: Live Paintings & Body Art From Jazzfest & Shpongle's Texas Run

26 May 2010

Live Paintings & Body Art From Jazzfest & Shpongle's Texas Run

"We are the inheritors of a million years of striving for the unspeakable."

Unsurprisingly, West Coast vortices and innumerable synchronicitous diversions have kept the creative influx coming faster than my ability to report on it. That, and the problem of sending unreadably huge newsletters bursting with too much artwork to appreciate at once, is leading me to reconsider my publication schedule. As of today, I'll be doing my best to actually keep up with it all – and consequently posting shorter, more digestible, weekly updates.

So, this week chronicles a painting completed during my wonderful foray to New Orleans during Jazzfest, as well as two new pieces and a body-painting gallery from Shpongle's Texas run in early May.

Next week will bring an epic earthscape from the 41st Annual Whole Earth Festival, more body painting, and – finally – a new live album gathered from recordings of my concerts at the MAPS Conference, Sera Phi, The Whole Earth Festival, & Om Shan Tea!

If you have any questions, comments, raves, requests, or non sequiturs...you know where to send them. Thanks for your time and have a beautiful day – the kind of day that makes sense of the suffering, that brings breath into the body, that tingles your toes with the full force of raw red life, loving its way into the world through your tiny human frame.

• Imagery (check out the full gallery with price list)

Bliss's Butterflies
2010 03 26, 27 & 04 23, 24
Luna, Artmosphere, 12 Bar, Dragon's Den
(Gravity A, DS@STR, Beats Antique, Random Rab, Sidecar Tommy)
paint pens on canvas panel - 15"x30"
11"x17" prints & full-size giclee prints for sale (email to inquire)

This one came together patiently, gradually, element by element, all over the state of Louisiana. It was an interesting change of pace to just let it meander toward the sea...and toward the sea it did meander, ultimately landing in the home of a raw food chef in Santa Cruz. It was a trip to meet her in New Orleans and deliver it to her in person in California a few weeks later. Wish I had more to rave about the shows, but the first three of the four were honestly pretty much busts. The impromptu, underground-on-the-second-floor Jazzfest afterparty at the Dragon's Den, however – at which I got to open for Random Rab and Sidecar Tommy of Beats Antique (and after which, Rab told me I'd been "the perfect opening act") – was pretty great. I think the butterflies look like kites.

Dawn Over The Temples
2010 05 01
CoSM Benefit La Zona Rosa
(Shpongle, Nadis Warriors)
paint pens on cradled gesso board – 16"x20"
11"x17" prints and fullsize giclees for sale (email to inquire)

Another legendary benefit for the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, hosted by visionary artists Alex & Allyson Grey (who, this time, were whisked away by the winds before I even had a chance to say hello...Mercury was fully in retrograde at the time, no doubt about it). And my inaugural voyage to Austin, Texas, which was so long-awaited that my actually being there was surreal to everyone involved. Seventeen hours in the city, and five times that many friendships seeded. My friends and I ended up at an all-night backyard afterparty, at which I spent a few hours discussing the community implicit in this piece – the sangha, the coming together, that represents the true fruition of enlightenment. No wisdom is complete until it is expressed in the world, brought into the city, given to the market, tested against the critical insights of the people. This painting is the sequel to the Bicycle Day's "Seed of Awakening," a reminder that seeds eventually grow into plants whose roots all intertwine...that true realization is enthusiastically engaged in, with, through – and as – the world.

2010 05 02 Trees
(Shpongle, Nadis Warriors)
paint pens on canvas – 16"x20"
11"x17" prints and fullsize giclees for sale (email to inquire)

For my first gig in Dallas, I luckily chose a simple subject – because I spent about half the night face-deep in body painting. Thus, half of the night's work is above, in the form of a translucent frond opening up into the luminous night; and the other half is below, on my visual art page at Facebook, where you can see all of the beautiful people I was lucky enough to adorn with my penwork throughout the evening. One thing I'll say about the above image, though – and one of my favorite things about it – is that I used three different shades of black. Click on it for a better view and check out how the matte black background almost hides, but not quite, the glossy black "rain" and the bold final outline of the unfurling plant itself.

• Upcoming (click links to view Facebook event pages)

The Rite of Spring's 97th Birthday Party
@ The 1809, Kansas City, Missouri
Back in Kansas City from his West Coast leg of the Love Without End Tour, I'll be bringing some heart-activating acoustic guitar wizardry home to synchronize the hemispheres with a newly-alchemized depth of purpose and clarity. But the age of the lone wolf is over, and no reunion party would be complete without a full-bore, circus-level showing from the some of the heartland's shiniest human sense organs...with spoken word by Sara Glass, live painting by Mike Hooper, and many more demonstrations of local excellence.

Live Painting Residency
@ Wakarusa Festival's Interstellar Meltdown, Mulberry Mountain, Arkansas
My second year as the home-team artist for what will be the largest electronic music event ever to grace the Midwest...Interstellar Meltdown is one killer festival-within-a-festival, well worth the drive out to Arkansas' glorious woodsy expanses.

An Evening of Acoustic-Electronic Guitar w/ Animus Invidious
@ The Ancient Mariner, Manitou Springs, Colorado
My own acoustic "guitar wizardry" and the "guitar sorcery" of Animus Invidious are sharing a stage for their first, long-anticipated concert...an evening of music that weaves the new from the familiar and promises to plunge listeners into a parallel dimension of ecstatic musical mystery. Like a solar eclipse, you'll just have to be there...

Convergence: A Live Painting Exhibition
@ The Arvada Center, Arvada, Colorado
This exhibition, guest-curated by Colorado artist Keith “Scramble” Campbell, features twenty national and regional artists who paint in various music venues during live concert performances. The Arvada Center is the summer hub for these performance painters, many of whom will also appear in other Denver metro music venues.