Moving to Houston……

(Kendall Payne and myself at DCLA09 in Los Angeles)


Before we get to the big news, just wanted to let you see some highlights from the summer.


First, I was lucky enough to be asked as the artist in residence for this years DCLA09. DCLA is a youth conference held in Los Angeles and DC… hence the name.  I was there painting during the big rooms… where we sought to display the mega-narrative of the Bible through live art, speaking, music, video, design, and acting all mixed up over 3 stages. It was very challenging, but awesome.

(here's kind of what it looks like....)

I also helped run an art space and led seminars for students in the afternoons about what art can do and how we need to strive to make good art in the world.

(marquis laughlin, me, shane claiborne, mandy radford, 
francis chan, kendall payne, fred lynch)

I worked with the coolest people… and it was a real honor to be involved.

(leading seminar)

(people like pictures with me?)


The next great thing that I got to be a part of was ROUND 50.  The Round has been going on now for 51 consecutive months in the Seattle area.  It’s an amazing night of music, live art, and poetry all put into one fantastic event.

To celebrate the big 5 O, we had the Round at the Triple Door with Damien Jurado, Rosie Thomas, and Jesse Sykes as our musicians; Skye Graves, Glenn Case, and myself painting; and Buddy Wakefield spittin sweet poetry in between sets.


(Hurley - Patron Saint of Lucky Losers)

My summer project has been working on a series of illustrations for a book called  The Gospel According to LOST”.  Chris Seay is the author, a friend, and he asked me if i could make saint paintings out of LOST characters for the book where he runs through the lives of LOST characters and examines their struggles and redemptions in the light of our own spiritual journeys.  The book is going to be released in the late fall and I’ll keep you posted on the images…..

(Sayid - Patron Saint of Tormented Humanitarians)


It’s true. Holly and I are moving to Houston at the end of August. I’ve gotten to be good friends with the people of Ecclesia Church.  Chris Seay, lead pastor of Ecclesia, and I did some events earlier this year and got to be friends.  He really wanted me to come and visit and meet artists in the community. So as I was on my way to a gig in Texas, I stayed over in Houston for four days and got to get a feel for what’s going on in this community.  At the end of that time, I was asked if I would be interested in spending some time with this community, doing what I do, but doing it with them. Holly and I are pacific northwesterners for sure.  So I wasn’t interested right off the bat.  But as we put it to prayer and analyzed our lives of where we are at and where we would like to go… it seemed like the right move.  So we are going.  For sure for two years.  Maybe longer. But we’ll deal with that when the time comes…..

(Ecclesia's space is a full time bookstore, coffeeshop, art gallery, 
music studio)

So what will I do be doing?  Good question.  As I asked that to Chris, he said I will be their artist in residence.  When I asked what that looks like, he responded “doing what you think needs to be done.”

(recent thoughts about art in the church)

This is the perfect spot for me. If I was to nail down any trajectory I was on, it would be to live out what it means to be a visual artist in the church.  A few hundred years ago the church (whether good or bad) helped create some of the best art ever made.  But now, if you are in a protestant church and you are a visual artist, it seems the only thing you can help with is do logo design or paint noah’s ark on the nursery wall.  We lost the visual culture…. and people want it back. But unfortunately there is a long line of bad art and broken relationships that are in the wake of this journey.  From what I’ve seen, Ecclesia community gets it.  Most of the leadership is creatives themselves, who all spend time doing other creative things other than running Ecclesia.  So their offer is to come into the community, and do what I do.  So that’s what I’m going to do.  I’ll continue traveling and do the live stuff.  I’ll continue making work and we’ll see where that goes. But in my time with Ecclesia, I will be working with others and going to that quiet place by myself and creating out of what we do together and where the Spirit is leading us.  I’ve been waiting for this opportunity, and now here it is.

Holly and I will deeply miss the constant connection of our friends and family in the Northwest.  But come on.  We live in the most connecting world there has ever been.  And it’s only a few years.  So, we’ll see you on facebook, twitter, youtube, google chat, or see you when we see you!



Yep. The ladies I first ever did live painting with are coming back together for a one night great show at the triple door.  This will be my last hurray in Seattle for awhile, so if you want to pick up some art by me, see a great show, and feel all tingly inside for a week… hope to see you there.

730pm, $15, Click Here


I will be the artist in residence again this year at all the National Youth Worker Conventions.

Dec.27-31 | Urbana 09 | St. Louis

I will be heading up an interactive painting exhibit at the WorldVision booth during this years conference.

and just for fun….

At DCLA, they have a variety of entertaining things for students to be involved in… including rockband. And I love me some karaoke. Here’s what happened….

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Cafe Verite Ballard | Art Show Explanation

(EMPIRE, acrylic on canvas, 36" by 36", $450)

I currently have a show up at the Cafe Verite/Cupcake Royale in Ballard, WA. I have been working hard over the last 6 weeks… putting in some substantial time to make some good studio work. Most of what I create is in front of an audience and takes about an hour… that’s what I’m remembered for. But what I think artists are known for is their studio pieces, their portfolio.  So it’s important for me to take some time out every year to work on a series of paintings based on whatever I’m thinking about.  That’s what this show is.

Above is EMPIRE. This was the most recently finished painting I have done.  I needed to something funny as I was creating some heavy work and this is what came up.  Even though it’s to get a laugh, I do think it has some interesting comments on using power and military force to make people adhere to a set of beliefs.  If you put in a stormtrooper to a normal saint painting, it becomes funny, yes, but it can also stir thoughts about what are the belief agendas we promote through military pressure… even if it is in the name of God.  Remember, don’t think too much about it.  It’s supposed to be fun.


(FORGIVE THY BROTHER, acrylic on canvas, 48"x48", $675)

These next four paintings are based off  thoughts, experiences, or events that pertain to humanity’s interaction with God.

Forgive Thy Brother is about just that…. forgiveness.  Jesus says that we are to forgive or neighbor/brother just as our Heavenly Father forgives us… and if we cannot do that that He is reluctant to forgive us.  How do we do this when we can be so tragically hurt by someone else?  And it seems that the way to reconciliation with God is through reconciliation with each other.  Why is this?  Why is God so interested in us learning to forgive one another? Why can’t our hurts and grudges be justified in His eyes?  This was a very heavy painting to live with…..

(CONVERSATIONS, acrylic on canvas, 48"x48", $675)

CONVERSATIONS comes from my experiences being a surfer up here in the northwest.  The coast is a magical place and there is something about leaving the city, being out on the water that lends to it feeling holy.  Except for the dickheads who yell at you for being to close to them in the line-up. (apparently 4 people in the water is too much.) I feel like I’ve learned a lot about God from the ocean.  One is the ocean demands my respect.  It’s big. Beautiful. It has it’s own rhythm and character. Entering into that can be some of the most joyous experiences imaginable.  But the ocean can kill me, and I must play on it’s terms.  

(THE DEALING WITH DEAD FAITH, acrylic on canvas, 48"x48", $675)

This painting came out of a few conversations I’ve had with friends who used to have beliefs in a certain faith, but then, mostly after they graduated college, no longer believed in what they had.  Why is this?  I have my own thoughts about this and I would gladly share them with you if you like. But this painting is more about that place of coming to that understanding.  To holding the “spirit” of your belief and realizing that it’s dead.  

(THE HEAVENS AND ME, acrylic on canvas, 36"x36", $450)

This painting has a lot in it. From memories of living in Minnesota watching the geese migrate to what is that distant between the earth and the sky and where is God in all that.  Do what you will with it.


(KINGDOM COME, acrylic on canvas, 20"x30", $350)

This image has come up in some way shape or form a few times and I think it’s very strong.  So I decided to make a more iconic version of it using gold in the painting and aging it to look like an old relic of cultures past.


(YOU ARE STILL BEAUTIFUL, acrylic on wood, 36"x48", $650)

YOU ARE STILL BEAUTIFUL and FOR THE RAPED IN CONGO are both responses to a 60 minutes article I saw about the unprecedented amount of rapes that are occurring in Congo.  Rapes from 3 year olds to 80 year olds… it’s happening all the time and starting to become a normal experience in this conflict ridden society.  It’s a completely overwhelming tragedy and I’m glad for the 60 minutes article…. but what do I do with that? I have no army. I”m not a superhero. I don’t have billions.  I feel helpless to do anything about it.  And in fact, I probably can’t.  But I can paint… and I can grieve. So that’s what I did in these paintings. The woman above was raped and brutally traumatized.  The girl below is ten yrs old and was raped twice.  Both were victims of horrible events. Both had something taken away.  I wanted to let them know they are beautiful…. and what they have can never be taken away.  I wanted to give them the beauty they deserve.  I used Gustave Klimt as my muse for these two paintings.

(FOR THE RAPED IN CONGO, acrylic on wood, 36"x48", $650)

and last but not least….

(SEATTLE SKYLINE BLUE, acrylic on wood, 36"x48", $750)

For all you looking for the perfect addition to your living room collection…. here it is! This is a painting of the Seattle skyline from West Seattle.


So stop on by the Ballard Cafe Verite sometime during the month of July and see what it looks like in person.  In fact, on Saturday, June 13th, I’ll be hanging around the shop during the Ballard ArtWalk to shake hands, answer questions, and mostly look out of place if you want to make an event of it.

And… if you are interested in purchasing any of these paintings, feel free to email me at




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May | How do artists support large NGO’s?

I recently participated in WorldVision’s Acting On Aids Summit On The Hill and Sojourners Mobilization to End Poverty Conference out in Washington DC.  Both events were designed to ramp up people’s involvement with advocacy for the poor and to actually go meet with their states representatives to lobby for initiatives that benefit the poor nationally and worldwide. 

With Acting On Aids, I painted alongside fantastic Josh Garrels during an evening concert, painted with Scott Bessenecker from Intervarsity as he shared his thoughts on advocacy, and hosted a seminar with Josh about being a creative advocate.  This event was focused on college students from around the nation.

My involvement with Sojourners was a bit different. Their conference was a large event at the Washington Convention center and involved a lot of big named people from around the nation.  My part was small as Caitlin Beidler and I painted during the worship response time.  Not that I wasn’t thankful to be there.  It was a great pleasure to work alongside Martin Smith from Delirious and Vicky Beeching as they led in music.  Basically, good times all around.

Want I really want to write about was an interesting conversation that I had with Aaron Graham (one of the greatest people in the world) from Sojourners.  I’ve been thinking about this conversation and I would love some in put from you if you have any thoughts.

During my time in DC, I wandered down to the national portrait gallery and saw some amazing work. Currently they have a folk art exhibit that was very powerful in it’s portrayal of racism, sexism, and many other realities that we face in this country.  It got me thinking about the power of art and it’s role in society.  Along with that experience, someone shared with me this quote that I can’t remember word for word. But it’s by Daniel Berrigan and it’s along the lines of “if a movement isn’t creating/producing art, it’s not really a movement.”

So I’m talking to Aaron the last night of the conference and I share with them this quote and this thought: If this quote is true, and a group like Sojourners is doing a great work on poverty issues… trying to motivate the Church into action on such subjects, then how does and artist like me help with that? And how does a large organization like Sojourners utilize artists in their work?

Aaron had a great twofold response. One is that for most large organizations, the way in which they really only utilize artists is along the lines of branding and design.  This is a really good point, and I think a legitimate way that art can be a powerful communicator through things like film and design.  But as for artists like me and others, his second response is he doesn’t know. 

And I don’t know either.

Film and design are huge influencers in our society today, so maybe that’s all that large non-profits really need.  A lot of visual 2-d art like painting really just comes from the inspiration and particular desire of the individual artist.  There are paintings that we could probably just pick out that have to do with poverty issues that they could use to represent the work of a non-profit.  But it seems that great work really just comes from the artist wrestling with an issue and then trying to manifest that struggle. 

I guess large organizations could commission artists to do work, host art shows, stuff like that.  I’m sure there would be some push back from supporters wondering why they would waste money on art instead of directly putting it into the field.  Point taken.  I would push back and say a great part of the work of the NGO is to tell the story of why they are doing what they are doing and to touch the hearts of those who would support their work.  Artists are storytellers.  So they are utilizing the power of art storytelling. 

So that’s one idea. Anybody got any other ideas?

Questions I’m thinking about:

What does art from a movement look like?

How and why was it created?

Who made the work?

Who are our movement artists today?



1. Thanks to Holly Strand ( for most of these great photos over the weekend in DC.

2. A film crew from WorldVision was at the conference and took me aside and did a little interview about being a creative advocate. Here it is….



June 1-31 | Art Show | Ballard Cafe Verite

I’ve been working for a couple months on new paintings. I will be showing at Cafe Verite for the month of June, most likely having an artist reception on the second saturday of June, during the Ballard ArtWalk



Wow.  Round 50.  It’s been a long haul and the Round keeps getting better and better.  To celebrate, we are taking it out of the Fremont Abbey and going to Seattles swanky Triple Door. Here’s the line up:

Music: Damien jurado, Jesse Sykes, Seattle Rock Orchestra, and special guest

Painters: Glen Case (does the Easy Street Records murals, me, and one other painter

Poets: Buddy wakefield and Youth Speaks poet


Tickets $12 adv/$15 day. Click Here.



Cheers Ya’ll



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April Showers Bring….


Sometimes everything just comes together at once…. and April has been that month for me. Above is a photo from a show I did with the Classic Crime at the Showbox at the Market.  Really cool guys… and a super fun show.  Mostly I paint with really mello bands.  But being on stage shaking it while the rest of the guys head bang and jump around was a great time.  Admittingly… I felt a little old.  But I’m fighting that disposition, so don’t worry about me.

Earlier this month I was down at the Grove Church in Chandler, AZ working with them for several days.  They put on a 3 day conference talking about how we can look to Jesus for spiritual development as individuals and a community, and I created two paintings per day while Joel Stohl spoke.  Then I stayed for Sunday morning painting during three services…. and then finished off the weekend by doing a commission painting at someones house on Sunday evening.  10 paintings in 4 days.  Needless to say I was a bit exhausted when I came home. Here are some pics from that time (all of these were created within an hour)….

(painting on the back porch of my friends house... with help from their kids!)


In the midst of all this, I’m also working on some studio work that will be shown in Ballard in June.  Here is a piece that is still in process for that show….

(acrylic on canvas, 48" x 48")



Tonight! I’m painting at the Round tonight with awesome musicians and some great poets. 


The Vancouver Project is at the Green Bean Coffee House for this month.  If you haven’t seen it, stop by for a cup of joe and enlightenment.


I will be participating with Acting On Aids’ Summit On The Hill and Sojourner’s Mobilization To End Poverty.   I will be painting at various events and will be hosting a seminar on how utilize creative arts in the way of advocacy.


New work for a great venue.  Art opening to come….


For more info, pics, and other calendar events, you can go to

And I’m now on Twitter. If you want to get updates about my exciting life (whatever) you can add me at


Word up.  Keep it really real.


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Dwell Together

( I Will Be The Glory In Her Midst, 20"x20", acrylic on wood)

I was asked to participate in an art show in December of 09.  The theme of this show was to be around spiritual art.  Most art in my opinion is spiritual in nature.  Not that it has anything to say mind you… and not that it’s not crappy either.  But to create is to participate in a Divine activity.  yadda yadda yadda….

The show was cancelled unfortunately and rescheduled for February.  The show was nothing much to talk about… mostly a “growing as a human being” experience…. but I did work hard on these four images and I thought I’d share them with you.

(I Go To Prepare A Place For You, 20"x20", acrylic on wood)

My theme is based out of the meta-narrative in the Bible that God’s overall intention is to dwell with human beings on this earth.  It’s not about “going to heaven” and trashing and ditching this place and people in the process, but that His intention is TOGETHERNESS here.  This world. These people.

These four images represent specific passages that talk about this.  If you want to read more about the background of these images, I expounded on my thoughts in my blog –  click here.

(The Word Dwelt Among Us, 20"x20", acrylic on wood)

(Home In Its Branches, 20"x20", acrylic on wood)

Keep it real homies.


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Conferences, Ponderings, and an Upcoming Show

(48"x36", acrylic on panel, painted in 70 minutes @ Portland youth conference)

I’ve been traveling a lot these past two months doing a number of different things… from painting at a marathon in Carlsbad, CA to riding in a van with the Robbie Seay Band during an ice storm in north Texas.  Although at times my job can be frustrating for the uncertainty of constant paychecks, it certainly keeps me on my toes for providing an adventurous journey.  And for that I am thankful.


I was recently in Portland, Oregon for a youth conference where I was working with my friend Logan Martin and the good people in his band. This whole group is a delight to work with… and when you have down time in a different town, it’s nice to have good friends to spend your free time with.  One night we were at BJ’s restaurant, I was talking to my friend Brian who plays the rhodes in the band.  We were talking about a range of things… usually our favorite thing is new bands we are listening to… but Brian brought up the paintings I was making at the event (shown above and below). He dabbles in paint and he was going on about how much he loved watching me work.  Now painting is just old hat to me because I do it all the time. I see a talented guy like Brian who plays the keys amazingly and I think “sheesh, wish I could do that.”  What I’m trying to say is that we have a mutual admiration for one anothers talents.  He then was saying what he likes the most is that not only did he think my images were great and meaningful, but he loved that I was making them in front of 800 high schoolers. 

“Your art actually changes peoples lives.”


(48"x36", acrylic on panel, painted in 65 minutes)


Now please understand that I think that what I do is good for the context in which I do it.  But every artist has this voice in their head that tells them to “stop wasting your time and get a real job” and says “everyone is better than you”.  So I want to assure you that in no way do I think I’m some superior artist. But Brian’s words rang in my ears all night and throughout the weekend.


As I talked with students and encouraged those who are artists to make good art in their lifetimes, I  heard from them that they appreciated what I was doing and they appreciated me being there and giving value to their giftings.  Even the leader of the event told me that I had a part in the impact that the whole event was having on the students.  As I’ve been home (sick in bed) the last few days thinking about it, I have a huge sense of gratefulness in me.  I’m grateful that all this hard work over that last 5 years is paying off.  I’m grateful that my prayers have been answered in the way of wanting to be an artist but wanting to also to make work that in meaningful in the lives of others.  I’m grateful that allowing others to see the process of making art isn’t just some “neat” performance, but in some way it is connecting with people in a deep way.  



(48"x36", acrylic on panel, painted in 70 minutes)



Maybe you could care less about this and sorry for possibly being too self reflective in this post.  But I think all of us have a deep desire to know that we are not wasting our lives with the hard work we are doing.  In a field that has little to no monetary appreciation put on it, it’s a very hard journey to keep carving out time and sacrificing parts of my life to make sure that I keep making a space to create.  I’ve become convinced that this is what I will ultimately spend my life doing… no matter what.  And that’s a bit scary now at 31 seeing that my ladder to climb is something that I will have to create.  There are no outside structures providing a road map to success… or assisting me in that journey. But Brian’s words were an unbelievable booster for me to know that all this “un-knownness” is worth it. It’s doing something. It’s fulfilling something. It’s fulfilling.


So thanks Brian.  


(interactive response mural at conference)




February 20 | Art Show | Seattle

I will be showing at the Phinney Ridge Neighborhood Center through the Art on the Ridge program.  The theme is: “Think, Grow, Be…”  and I will be showing with other local artists. I will have all new work up and  it should be a cool event (no promises). Maybe see you there.

6532 Phinney Ave N. Seattle

Phinney Neighborhood Association Rm #3






Most of you know this and have probably already seen this but I was on the Price Is Right game show ten years ago and I finally put it up on line.  You can click here to watch it.

Until the next time… make space for art.



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New Paintings

("For The Raped In Congo", 48"x36", Acrylic on Panel)

I don’t know if you have been listening to the world news very much lately, but there are horrible horrible things happening in Congo.  There has been a war going on for years, and more people have died in that war than the number of people who have died in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq put together.  Crazy, huh?  But we don’t hear much about it.  Recently I was looking for something interesting to watch online and I came across a 60 Minute article on rape in Congo.  Rape is an awful tragedy in war.  But in the Congo, it has escalated to a level that is horrify.  It is being used as a weapon, and no one is spared. As old as 80… as young as 2.  Horrible horrible things.  Anyway… I encourage you to watch the episode so you can see for yourself what is going on there.


What’s hard about watching this stuff is that I can’t do anything about it.  It’s tempting not to want to know about these kinds of things because you feel helpless not being able to solve it. But in my own faith, I know that God knows these things, and I think He wants us to know what He knows.  But what can I do? 


I was listening to my ipod the other day… my Mello mix… and a Rosie Thomas song came on from her latest album (“These Friends of Mine”).  In one of her songs, she was talking about feeling such pain over some news… and she didn’t know what to do or how to help. But she’s a musician…. so she wrote a song about it.  That’s what she can do.  


I sometimes wish I was a politician, a millionaire, a lawyer, or a superhero.  Then I feel like I could do something to change the world.  But I’m not any of those things.  But what I am is a creator.  So this is what I have. This is what I do…. I create out of the news of the raped women in Congo.  I lament over the issue and work on a whole painting all week cause I don’t know how else to help.  


This painting above is my lament over the hardship the women of Congo are going through.  I pray for relief soon.


This painting and a few others that I have created lately are hanging at the Cafe Verite/Cupcake Royale in West Seattle.  The show will be up til the end of February.

"Wisdom" 30"x24" acrylic on wood

"Alki View" 30"x24" acrylic on wood


January-February | Regent College, Vancouver B.C.

January 23 | Party With a Purpose | Carlsbad, CA

An event highlighting all the sponsors and charities during the Carlsbad marathon.  I will be painting at the event and the part of the proceeds will go to  Heart For Africa.

Sheraton Carlsbad Resort, Sunset Ballroom, 6:30-9pm


January 25 | Carlsbad Marathon

I will be painting at the marathon as a fund-raiser for Heart For Africa.


February 5 | Art Opening | Seattle

I will be showing work with my friends Matt Whitney and Jeremy Mangan on the 3rd floor of the 619 Western building in downtown Seattle. Drinks. Music. Peeps. Art.  Good times.  6-930pm


February 20 | Art Show | Seattle

I will be showing at the Phinney Ridge Neighborhood Center through the Art on the Ridge program.  Theme: “Think, Grow, Be…”

6532 Phinney Ave N. Seattle

Phinney Neighborhood Association Rm #3



April 25-29 | Washington D.C.

I will be participating with Acting On Aids’ Summit On The Hill and Sojourner’s Mobilization To End Poverty.  More info to come…..


June 1-31 | Art Show | Ballard Cafe Verite


Make space for art.


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