The Illustrated News of Record

Everyday my local paper posts the 911 calls from the day before. Most of them are pretty ridiculous as there are a lot of senile old people and meth addicts around here with little to do but report their delusions to the only people who will listen, the fuzz. My friend Michelle, newbie to the area, found reading the News of Record to be one of the most amusing past times around and would post her favorites regularly to her facebook page. It wasn’t long before our resident genius and rabble rouser, Richard, suggested that we make something artful out of this. The conversation went something like this:

It went on a bit more, but that is all my screen could capture and I am sure you get the gist of it. So now you will find the doodles of all sorts of people illustrating the Tuolumne County News Of Record here at: Otherlode is a site that has yet to fully blossom, but this may be the first step. Check out the Illustrated News of Record as soon and as often as possible. It is filled with gems like this one by Joel Wilde:

Artist Survey #18: Peter Nordstrom

Peter is a crazy cat I met through the recent Alley Art Show. He is one of the very few (if not only) local artists creating the style of art that he does. He spends a great deal of time on each and everything that he creates and it is obvious in the final product. Read on to learn more.

{Arahan Heart}

{Love Death}

{Harbinger of the Apocolypse}

Name: Peter Nordstrom

Location: Sonora, CA

Medium(s): magic sculpt, super sculpey, found objects, acrylic & oil paint

What do you consider yourself (artist/designer/other)? Sculptor & Painter

Where can we see your work (place/publications/url)? My House (by appointment) &

When did you start gaining interest in artistic forms of expression? Around 2006, once I discovered new mediums of clay and what I was capable of creating and expressing through sculpture.

Who/What inspired your interest? I desired to create new forms that couldn’t be found elsewhere. Other’s artwork and McFarlane’s monster toys were amazing but I had so many images and ideas in my mind I wanted to bring to life. Recently it has been H.R. Giger as I love his style: the darkness, eroticism, and attention to detail. He is an example of someone who isn’t afraid to show anything and everything; a true master of art and himself (in a good way, like feeling comfortable and understand who he is). I also really like Alex Grey as a visionary artist, and I like the realism of Da Vinci, and the sculptures of Michelangelo. Kris Kuksi was my inspiration for using found objects; his work is very impressive and elaborate; something I want to create in my own work, but in my own style, vision, and expression.

What is your day job? I work part time for my step dad, answering emails and taking care of online orders when he needs help. He is in the business of curing uncurable diseases through alternative medicines, and I fully support this movement against the pharmacies who are only interested in treating the symptoms and not the disease. Other then that, I am doing art every minute I get.

Why do you create? I feel the need to bring my imagination to life in a 3-D sculpture, as a form of expression or some kind of emotion; like a better way of understanding myself.

Is there any recurring theme in your work? My personal work is normally quite dark, erotic, macabre, and very detailed. It often encompasses the interaction between male and female, often love, pain, longing, fear, or other emotions that can’t be said but only felt.

What do you want from your work? I want my work to represent my feelings both emotionally and accurately in regards to the images in my mind. Trying to bring my imagination to life is a true challenge and it keeps me motivated to get every detail perfect. Kind of like OCD.

What do you want viewers to take from your work? I would hope that they understand the complexity and hard work that I put into each piece, and perhaps have some personal emotional reaction; whatever it may be. My artwork is personal to me, so if a viewer likes or dislikes isn’t that important. But I do appreciate it when others find beauty and meaning in my work; it makes me feel like I have accomplished something great for myself.

How often do you work on personal projects? Almost everyday, sometimes an hour, sometimes 8 hours, just depends on other obligations and how much energy I have.

How often do you work on commissions or commercial work? Not very often, I don’t take many commissions because I don’t really enjoy creating someone else’s ideas. I don’t like doing art for money, as I feel it isn’t as true to the meaning of what art is to me. If someone wants something made that I also find very interesting or challenging then I may take them up on it. However, my artwork is very complex and I charge a lot so the average person isn’t able to afford it. I do create art for my friends and family as gifts, as this means a lot more to me then selling something to a stranger.

Does your art support you financially? No, I’m not concerned about selling my art right now, it’s just a form of self-expression and if I wanted to make art just to sell then I wouldn’t enjoy it or want to make it.

Do you feel preoccupied with your art, do you think about it often during the day and night and do you anticipate your next session? I think about it 24/7. Sometimes I forget to eat or do things with friends and family.

What do you do in your spare time besides your art? I play tennis, card games, cook, work out, spend time with friends and family (when I remember!).

Which musicians are you currently interested in? I’ve had what most would probably label an obsession with Tool since 1997 (the depth of the music, lyrics, art, meanings behind their work; like understanding oneself, the earth, universe, relationship with others, deeper love and connections, spirituality, the completeness of the self through accepting the dualities in life, like good/evil, right/wrong, light/dark, love/hate, male/female, etc.). Recently I’ve been engulfed by Skinny Puppy and other projects by their band members (The Tear Garden, Cevin Key, etc), as they are deep spiritual trance-like in emotion and dark industrial journeys of music. Music has a large influence on my mind and ideas, which I use and express through art. One example is the Love/Death sculpture I did a few years ago, the emotion is from a relationship that was very passionate in love but also painful in separation, and the black/white and character design is from a Skinny Puppy music video of their song “Candle.”

Are there any events you are looking forward to attending? Just the Summer Art Explosion, and any other artistic events in the future!

How long do you generally take on a piece? The larger pieces usually take 100+ hours over one to two months. The piece I’m working on now has been ongoing for a few months, but I’ve been sidetracked with other projects and constantly changing the design, so that is slowing things down. I am also putting a lot of emphasis on anatomy, movement, and fine details; which takes a long time too for such a large project.

Have you jeopardized or risked the loss of a significant relationship, job, educational or career opportunity because of your art? Well, I quit my full-time day job to focus on art because I felt like I was already dead not being able to do what I loved. I was at the top of my class throughout school yet didn’t find any meaning in mathematics or other subjects, so when I got to college I studied art, philosophy, psychology, anthropology, and biology. I didn’t attend further education as I found most of what I was learning was outside of class; through personal research, and just creating new sculptures I learned way more then anyone could teach me. If I ever reach a plateau, or point where I can’t learn any more by myself, then I will seek new teachers and environments to get me to new levels.

Do you work on multiple projects at once? Yes, but I try not to, as I get distracted and sometimes have trouble finishing pieces; so I try to focus all my energy on one piece until it is done. Sometimes I like to balance between sculpture and painting so I don’t get overwhelmed on just one medium.

Do you have trouble parting with your finished work? Sometimes, but most of my work is for myself. I’ve made sculptures for family and one in particular for two of my friends who got married that I feel are some of my best work, so it is sad to see them go but I know they are really appreciated and loved.

Alley Art – This Weekend

The time is upon us. This weekend the greatest collection of bowling pin art ever assembled in Tuolumne City will be displayed from Friday the 21st through Sunday the 23rd at the Black Oak Casino Bowling Alley. My jaw drops further with each pin that is submitted. There is a mass of untapped artistry and creativity that is going to be released upon this county like the latest oil spill; staining everything in it’s path with awesomeness. Many of these creatives have never shown their work publicly so you have no idea what to expect. Do yourself a favor and stop by, grab a white russian and take a gander.

Art Community to Honor Celebrated Local Artist Evelyn Sullivan

Art Community to Honor Celebrated Local Artist Evelyn Sullivan with Tribute Art Show of her work at JG Design Studio in Sonora

Friends of celebrated Jamestown artist, the late Evelyn Sullivan, will be holding an exhibition and sale of her work at JG Design Studio on October 10th -11th 2009. The show will celebrate the artist’s creative energy and the many styles and media that she worked with. From ceramics, painting, computer generated images and, of course, her wonderful found-object creations, she worked with it all. Evelyn Sullivan was a victim of cancer and passed away in January of this year.

Sullivan described her relationship with her art:

“My creative mind seems to work in bits and pieces, every object I see I visualize a work of art. I’m a free spirit experimenting with different materials, found objects, not limiting myself to one medium. My works vary from realism, to abstract, to the very humorous. I find the challenge in creating a work of art most gratifying, and most humbling. For the past two years my digital camera and computer have been a new learning experience. These pieces evolved from this process which I find very exciting.”

The show will be open from noon to 5pm, Saturday and Sunday, October 10 th and 11th 2009. Works will be displayed indoor and on the street-side entry to the studio.  The pieces will include new watercolor, sculptures and stacked ceramics not previously displayed, along with digital images that Sullivan was working on for the past two years.

The exhibition is sponsored by Judy Grossman’s Studio, JG Designs  and by Don Hukari, who collaborated with Sullivan on the popular Christmas shows at the Bradford Building during the 1990’s until 2005. Bill Sullivan, Evelyn’s husband and now curator of Evelyn’s work, is helping to select pieces for the exhibition. Evelyn Sullivan’s many friends in the art community are joining in providing refreshments for a fun celebration. The public is encouraged to attend and view the artwork of Evelyn Sullivan!

JG Design Studio is located at 226 West Jackson at Seco Streets, Downtown Sonora.

The Return of the Returning Show!

Good news everybody! I have recently been called upon by the Central Sierra Arts Council to resurrect the exhibit of young local artists, known as the Returning Show! The collection will be hung at the newly remodeled Stage 3 Theatre in downtown Sonora, CA. Many of the artist from the previous show will be displaying new works along with some new talent not yet seen in by the art community. The show is slated to run from September 18th–October 18th so don’t miss it. The reception will most likely be on Friday, Sept 18th with more art and an after party at the Frog & Fiddle (located right across the street). Negotiations with Fantasy Metal Island are in the works for the musical entertainment. I will post any new information for this event as I get it.

Here is a glimpse at some pieces I am working on that will make their appearance at the show:


{more linoleum icons for monoprints}


{Tucker v UTL : mixed media : collaborative piece in progress}


{I… I think I just saw something in the bushes…}

Forest Stearns & LURV!

Come check out some sweet images from home-town-artist turned bay-area-bad-ass Forest Stearns and get your dance on to DJ and electronic sets by NISIS, LURV & DJ ILL TONES. I know I will be there.


Artist Survey #9: Corey West

Corey is a local artist who’s work has exploded in our county. She is a really hard worker, attending all of the festivals and craft fairs in the county. She also beautifully frames and mattes work. I go to her for all of my presentation needs. Even Jesus was prepared by her!




Name: Corey West

Location: Sonora, CA

Medium(s): mixed : watercolor, acrylic, ink, collage and found objects

What do you consider yourself (artist/designer/other)? well- good art has good design – so shouldn’t artists be designers as well?

Where can we see your work (place/publications/url)? Ventana Gallery (Sonora), San Francisco Design Center (Hinc Showroom)

When did you start gaining interest in artistic forms of expression? I don’t remember not having interest in artistic forms of expression.

Who/What inspired your interest? It has always been there, but my dad helped me grow my interest by encouraging it.

Where do you first remember being exposed to art? It has always been around me.

What is your day job? I work in my studio full time – painting and custom framing

Why do you create? That is hard to answer. Creating art is such a part of me… it is who I am. I can’t imagine not creating…

Is there any recurring theme in your work? Not necessarily.

What do you want from your work? I want my work to inspire me to keep learning and growing.

What do you want viewers to take from your work? There is a lot, but basically if I can make people smile, give them inspiration – I am happy. My work is happy – there is so much doom and gloom out there and if I can portray a happier life then I am doing my job.

How often do you work on personal projects? As much as possible.

How often do you work on commissions or commercial work? Often, but even the commercial work and commissions I have a way of turning them into personal projects (makes it much more fun to do).

Does your art support you financially? Pays the studio bills, but that is all for now.

Do you feel preoccupied with your art, do you think about it often during the day and night and do you anticipate your next session? If I am not in the studio painting I am thinking about what I am going to work on next.

What do you do in your spare time besides your art? I don’t have spare time. I take care of my baby and run a business where I do framing, painting, make purses from repurposed fabric, jewelry…so there is no free time.

Which musicians are you currently interested in? I listen to my baby’s musical toys more than anything so the only thing stuck in my brain is the abc’s!

Are there any events you are looking forward to attending? A friend of mine is working on opening a gallery in the Oakland area and showing my work…I am very excited about that.

How long do you generally take on a piece? It varies. Anywhere from a day to a week sometimes more.

Have you jeopardized or risked the loss of a significant relationship, job, educational or career opportunity because of your art? I have never been in a situation where it would be an issue.

Do you work on multiple projects at once? Yes.

Do you have trouble parting with your finished work? No. My work is very personal, but once it is done I move on. And besides, if I am ever going to make a living at this I have to be willing to part with it.