Monday, December 31, 2007

Listening To See If Everything Has The Same Heartbeat

In this performance the artist wandered the streets of downtown Olympia with a stethoscope. He would occasionally stop to listen to a window, a building, or a bench and then his own heart. After pressing his stethoscope to a rock, his sister and a rack of clothes he was asked to explain his actions. He answered, "I'm listening to see if everything has the same heartbeat, so I can learn." The artist then placed the stethescope to his sister's head and declared, " sounds like a lightening storm!"

Friday, December 07, 2007

Interesting, but we still aren't getting a pet

I'm thinking of an animal with a long tail and lots of fur.
-hmmm.... how about another clue?
It starts with a "g".
- a goat?
No, it says- ooooooooooooh!
A ghost dog!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Lesser known symbolism of the color yellow

(Looking at a Mark Rothko)

Papa, does red mean Rothko is warm?
Does blue mean cold and maybe lonely?
-It can, yeah.
-What would you paint if you were an abstract expressionist?
I would paint a yellow painting. It means bananas and also you feel kind of weak.... or weaky........ or something?

Surrealist Poetry Night at the Cabaret Voltaire

Papa, come quick!
My bathwater smells like diamonds!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Provenance can be hard to establish

Grant asked me to take this picture to document what we assumed was an unknown Claus Oldenburg in Baker City, Oregon. It turns out that it is not one of Oldenburg's giant public sculptures of everyday objects, but an actual 20' tall swingset. Whoever designed this thing either shared Claus's interest in gigantism, or seriously has never stood next to a child. Do you see that the seat is at about the height of Grant's head? I tried it out and could barely handle the G-force generated by mellow swinging, so we hopped back in the car and headed for Olympia before any enormous Eastern Oregon children saw us in their park.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Girl With Hair Ribbon- after Lichtenstein

Grant has been very interested in Lichtenstein as of late and is often found thumbing through his worn copy of The 20th century Art Book at night studying his work.

Here we have a study of Lichtenstein's, Girl With Hair Ribbon. Lichtenstein faithfully reproduced an image from a commercialy printed comic strip, down to the Benday dots. The artist's hand is concealed as much as possible, altering the original only by means of scale, method and materials. Grant however, starts with Lichtenstein's reproduction and deconstructs it, showing his hand at every moment. His Benday dots are random and distorted, nothing more than an acknowledgement of their presence in the original. The smooth and precise application of color is replaced with rough scratches of crayon spilling across the image. While Lichtenstein sought to elevate a cartoon to high art, Grant works backwards and takes Lichtensteins painting past its comic roots and back to the origins of the comic- grafiti scrawled on a wall.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Robot Music

In this pencil on found paper drawing, three robotic figures amble across the page, their images are reflected in a mirrored surface below while energetic dashes punctuate the air around them. This piece was created while listening to Mike TV from the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory soundtrack. The marks were all made to the beat of the music. The artist drew until the rhythm was too much, danced for a minute or two then came back to the drawing before surrendering to the music several more times. Grant calls this technique "drawing a song".

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Competition Begins

(Grant, while cutting white felt with little scissors)

I'm making better art than you.


Yeah, because I'm making soap bottles for a brick house that no one is going to live in.

-So, that means you're better than me?

Yeah, because it's called "mantrees", that means it's kind of stretchy.

-Hmmm, that sounds kind of crazy.

(without looking up) My art will be the greatest!

(this was after viewing Jared's latest project.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Summertime Lyrics

By request, I have tried to transcribe the Summertime lyrics to the best of my ability.
If you can figure out any of the missing lines feel free to submit them.

He hoped that ever would never end
and he hoped that summer would never end
It's summertime, summertime!
He'll get back as soon as he can
He'll get back as soon as he can
Oooh yeah, yeah he's (something ) the beach
He eats the food that he wanted
He liked that food that he wanted

Thursday, August 23, 2007

It's Summertime!

The other night the artist watched as I recorded a guitar track into GarageBand on the computer. I went downstairs and when I came back up I found him as you see him in the photo above; headphones on (plug dangling at his feet) and piano in lap. Grant had somehow figured out how to start recording and had added a track to my song. We sat together and listened and I was treated to a brilliant piece of low-fi avant-pop.

"He hopes that summer never ends, and he hopes that summer never ends", he sings over a manic toy piano and soft acoustic guitar melody. The artist pushes the structure of modern songwriting to its limits. After the guitar ends, the piano continues for several minutes before fading into a moment of silence and then the sound of a balloon being blown up for several more minutes, which is in turn followed by 2 minutes of dead silence and then a short conversation with the artist's teddy bear.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Slippery Slide of Zoom

A surprise visit to the artist's studio this morning yielded this gem. I was so excited that I rushed to get it online. It is a present for his mother on her 30th birthday. Knowing that the 30th birthday is quite a mile stone and a departure from youth, the artist depicts the excitement and magic of a playground slide to remind his mother of her younger years.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Last night Grant informed me of his plans for a conceptual performance piece in Europe. He told me he was going to run away from home because I wouldn't make him a quesadilla for dinner.

- Really? Where are you going?

- SWITZERLAND! And I won't eat pasta EVER!

- What will you do there?

- I will stay in bed, and I won't get up EVER!

Then he walked off and went to sleep in the guest bedroom, apparently prepping himself for his slothful art in Switzerland.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Visiting Great Grandma

A plastic tube snakes across the floor between a pair of sandaled feet and a green velvet chair. A woman's leg is visible in the upper right corner. Who are these people, where are they and what is their relationship? What is the tube connected to? The title mentions his great grandma, could it be the tube to her oxygen tank? Our perspective is the perspective of a 4 year old boy. We are left out of the conversation as he seems to be. He passes his time studying the minutia of the room; the texture of the chair, the mystery of the tube, shoes. The photographer seems to be more interested in the cramped composition and flat perspective than he is in the banal subject matter, but the fact that he is able to pique our interest in the scene is a testament to his skill and clever eye.Like William Eggleston, Grant takes photos of seemingly mundane scenes and imbues them with a sense of mystery and life.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

...and this is your brain on art. Any questions?

-Grant, please don't eat that candy, you haven't had dinner yet.

- But Papa, this is an art-lollipop, and art lollipops don't have sugar. They are tasty and sweet and they have colors and lines on them.

-You still can't have it.

-Did you know the Easter Bunny likes to hide ice-eggs?

- Are you on Peyote?

-Look Papa, it's sunny again!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Paint Them All and Let the Critics Sort Them Out.

-Grant, what's that a picture of?

-I don't know, I just see paint.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The World is Changing

Here is Iggy's request for her commissioned Granteeny-

"The contest came at a timely moment corresponding with the death of an
artist of a different genre: Kurt Vonnegut, who died this past week. I
would like Grant to draw the end of the world as depicted by Vonnegut
in his novel Cat's Cradle.

In the event that the artist and/or his dealer are not familiar with
the story, what it boils down to is that a scientist created a crystal
called Ice 9 which, when it comes in contact with water, immediately
freezes the water. Obviously it is very dangerous, but efforts to
control and destroy this crystal fail. At the end of the book, the
world and life in general are destroyed when the crystal gets out--
and all of the water in the entire world freezes in a spectacular
chain reaction, beginning on an island in the Caribbean. For colors:
Ice 9 is said to turn everything a freakish blue-white.

Grant is free to interpret the characters and imagery of this scene
according to his own genius, and the adding and mixing of colors is
encouraged. I am sure that Grant's portrayal of this literary
masterpiece will help us further understand its meaning, and
understand the life and death of Kurt Vonnegut in this time of tragedy
as we honor him. I am excited to see what I can learn from Grant about
this celebrated novel and author."

Grant could not have been more excited by this subject matter. He obviously hasn't read any Vonnegut; his parents think he is still a little young for that level of existential angst. While making this work, we both learned a lot about hot and cool colors. Grant learned that blues and greens are usually cool colors, and I learned that red is cool too, because; "yes it is!"

Grant calls this piece, "The World is Changing". The marker drawing depicts the Earth from the vantage point of outer-space. The Earth is encircled by a ghostly blue ring constricting around it. This is the Ice 9 as it reacts with the water. Frozen rivers cross the still green landmasses and the oceans turn eerie shades of blue and light violet. Rays of light bounce of the Ice 9, and the world becomes an icy prism.

Friday, April 13, 2007

And the winner is..................

Iggy Enigma! The number was 43. I am shocked that someone guessed it exactly. Iggy, please email me ( and let me know what you would like young Grant to create for you. Please be specific, are there any colors you would like the artist to use? Imagery? Would you like one of his abstract works, or a portrait perhaps? Would you like him to draw while eating a popsicle, to maximize the staining possibilities?

Congratulations, and thanks for entering. We will get back to our regular routine of posting and critiquing, once Grant's sister is in college and I have something resembling free time.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Contest #2

Granteeny has been in Denver for the past week or so. He was invited to speak at a symposium on the theme of "the Time Warp Trio in Contemporary art". Unfortunately, his grandparents gave him the Cars DVD and he watched it on repeat for three days straight, thus missing his time slot at the symposium.

In order to help the artist learn a little more discipline and follow-through, his dealer has asked him to take on a commission. This is how it will work; there will be another contest, the winner of this contest will be able to commission a work from the artist. You may choose the subject and overall color scheme. The artist will most likely ignore your requests and draw something about the Time Warp Trio in whatever color stains his clothing the most. You will accept this with with no right to sue for breach of contract and he will recieve no payment for the commission. Sounds fair right?

Grant is thinking of a number between 1 and 100. Submit your guesses, and whoever comes in closest wins. The winner will be decided on Friday afternoon.

Friday, April 06, 2007

GRANT IS FOUR TODAY! This year for his birthday, Grant will recieve a Magic School Bus party, a bike (shhh, don't tell him), and I will play alligator with him until I throw up, he wets his pants from laughter, or one of us slips on the wood floor and has to get stitches.(alligator consists of me chasing Grant around the house screaming "chomp, chomp! I'm an alligator!) I wil also read him four books at bedtime instead of two. Happy birthday to the world's greatest living artist!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

It's Just the Boys

Three totemic figures stand side by side on the page. They are rendered in a neoprimitive style, like an ancient cave painting on notebook paper. The artist identifies the figures as the boys from the Time Warp Trio, but the religious motif is hard to dismiss. Are "the boys" standing in for Christ and the thieves on the cross? The figure on the right even wears a cross on his chest. Recent statements made by the artist also point to a religious interpretation; during his evening bath the other night he asked if anyone knew what the word "sacterfize" meant. Michelle asked if he meant "sacrifice" and he said, "no, sacterfize. That is when you put your finger in this tube (he gestured to the pump from a shampoo bottle he was playing with) and then Jesus sprays water at your bum." It must be a german word, they have one for everything.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

You and Me Playing Catch

This one is open to interpretaion, please feel free to analyze it yourself and share your thoughts.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Everything Gets Mixed Up

"That's paint, it collapses together and makes new colors."

Three puffy dinosaur stickers are pasted over a background of washed out finger paints. The colors bleed into each other, the artist's small finger prints overlap the large prints of his father, and the dinosaurs wander through the middle of it all. The orange and the pink dinasaur walk together to the right, while the smaller purple one seems to sulk off to the left. Could they have had a falling out, some misunderstanding? Everything gets mixed up; age, pigments, communication and media all combine in this collage. Are we doomed to be misunderstood and mistaken? The ebullient colors suggest the artist believes there is some hope.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Splat

The Splat is a monochromatic exercise in mark making. Multiple deep plum splotches surround a loose structure that has been described in quick, light lines. The splotches seem to have been made by pressing markers down as hard as possible and leaving them there while the ink bled out staining the white desk top, upsetting both the artist's mother since she had to clean up the mess, and his father since those were his good markers. This is clearly conjecture, of course. I can say with some certainty that it is unlikely that the artist will revisit this style, if he knows what's good for him.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Candora is a robot and he has a broken foot and he had a big tube accident because he wasn't supposed to warp in there, he's from Egypt, Africa

Leaving the drawing aside for a moment, let us focus on the title. Grant often provides poetic titles for his work, see "When the sun grows up he'll get blue", or "A bear walks to food" , this title on the other hand is so descriptive and accurate that there is almost no need for an image. If you were to think of a robot named Candora, would you imagine him any differently? What would a big tube accident look like? I can't imagine anything other than a blue spiral shooting from a robot's trunk. He hobbles ackwardly in his cast through a sandy toned page, just as the references to Egypt, Africa and broken foot demand. His drawing trancends culture and experience, an eskimo and a wall street trader would call the same vision to mind upon hearing the title.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Endurance Performance

In a performance reminiscent of Chris Burden's early work, Grant explores his own endurance by attempting to keep one hand on the wall while he sleeps. It is not known how long he managed to keep his arm outstretched and his palm against the wall, since the audience was tired and had to get up early for work.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Your kung fu is still no match for my color theory

-What are you doing with your crayons Grant?

"When you put all of the colors together it makes a pattern, and that is called a language."

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Grant did this tape piece after seeing my show the other day. He calls it a tape shadow, but I have to admit that I don't really understand what he means. It doesn't seem to represent any "real" shadow I could find. It's certainly not the shadow of my wallet. I'm afraid he is so far beyond me at this point that he is mocking me with my own ideas.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

An Alien Named Can Penrod Chan

This is a quick sketch the artist produced today. On the right we have an alien Grant has identified as "Can Penrod Chan". The green alien is also named Can Penrod Chan though they don't appear related at first glance. The green Can looks like a cross between a pig with a toupee, a spider, and Alf. The blue Can seems to be a raindrop/spider hybrid. Maybe Can Penrod Chan is like Smith on their planet, or maybe our idea of what relatives look like does not apply to their species.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A Message From the Artist

There aren't any new posts because my dad is being selfish and focusing on his own little show. I'm still cranking out the work, I'm just waiting for someone to put them on the computer for me. So for now, here is a picture of me threatening my papa if he doesn't put my drawings on the internet.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Granteeny will be back up and posting shortly. At the moment the artist is focused on personal matters.

Friday, January 12, 2007

And the Winner is....................

Here is how the winner was chosen. I called Grant at his studio and read all of your names to him. Actually, he ran from the phone so his mother read all of your names to him. He was then asked to select the name he would like to send a drawing, and he chose BEX! Everyone put in a valiant effort and their were some very persuasive arguments, but in the end it came down to the whim of a three year old. I should disclose that a couple of years ago, Rebecca gave Grant a Wiggles tooth brush and he still remembers it. This may have been a factor in his choice, but the official rules do not prohibit bribery (especially when it shows so much foresight). Please email me your address and your choice of artwork and your prize will be sent of post haste.Thank you for your participation in the 1st annual (or bimonthly, who knows?) Great GRanteeny Give Away.

Time Sensitive Material Enclosed

I will announce the winner of the Granteeny drawing at 4pm Pacific time today. So far as predicted, there are only 3 people in the running. If you would like a contemporary masterpiece by a child prodigy you need to comment in some way shape or form. I might chose the winner, Grant might chose the winner, or long suffering wife and mother, Michelle may chose the winner. Either way, I promise it will be fair yet completely arbitrary. 4:00!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Act Now, Our Operators are Standing By

Grant is tired of only seeing his work in museums or in private collections, so in an effort to get his work out into the real world where it can be appreciated on the walls (or fridges) of fine homes like yours, we hereby announce a contest. The winner will receive in the mail, an original Granteeny drawing or painting as yet to be determined. The only catch is, I can't really think of what the rules should be. Maybe the contest should be whoever comes up with the best contest parameters wins the contest. Or....maybe whoever gives the most compelling reason for needing to own a Granteeny. OK, it is basically open season. I will chose a winner based on undisclosed rules and reasoning. So, make up some rules, make up a reason, tell me where it would hang, if you comment in anyway you are in the running and then I will arbitrarily chose a winner (if the past number of comments is any indication that leaves about a pool of three possible winners). Maybe I will chose the best comment, the comment from the farthest point on the globe, the tallest commenter, the closest blood relative; the possibilities are really endless. How does that sound? I've just upped the ante, the winner gets to chose which piece they would like (unless I really, really love it and then I will say it is already in a private collection and is unavailable). Perfect! Game on. Oh, the winner will be chosen on Friday.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Hey! It's a mustard wall......and a ketchup booth!!!

The young artist refuses to take a break from his work even at meal time.