Artist Profile – James Shay

James Shay is a Marin-based architect and painter. I’ll level with you and tell you that when I first saw this painting, which is one that we have, I did not like it that much. My wife wanted it and it basically turned into a “whatever” moment. But in the years since I have grown fond of it and it has come to define the room that it is in.

The aspect of his work, and I don’t even know if he’s widely known or more regional, that I’ve come to appreciate is the texture. His paintings are done with casein, a protein extracted from milk, and tempera and he uses a variety of scrapers and abrasives to achieve a worn look that warms the paintings considerably. I can’t quite explain why I’m so attracted to this painting now, but that’s the magic of art and it doesn’t need to be understood.

I tend to gravitate to sculptures, glass, carvings, furniture and other 3D forms of art, I’ve never had much interest in paintings. But this painting has been a lesson in art for me because of the way I have grown around it rather than having it fit some predisposed preference I carry with me.

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The Politically Correct Neighborhood Watch

This column came knocking at 8:10 p.m. Saturday.

“It’s Earth Hour,” said one of a gaggle of seven young neighbors holding candles on our front porch.

“Why are your lights on?” asked another, eyebrows furrowed, glaring at me with 120 watts of disappointment.

[From Susan Greene - The Denver Post]

I wonder when “Go Fuck Yourself Hour” will be held?

Anger Management

Apparently there are a lot of angry journalists… if this were the 1980′s this site would be called angrysteelworker.com and in the 1990′s, angrytextilefactoryworker.com.

AngryJournalist.com is for the underpaid, overworked, frustrated, pissed off and ignored media professionals to publicly and anonymously vent their anger. Share your story. With any luck, you’ll feel better.

[From AngryJournalist.com - Why are you angry today?]

Business, and journalism is a business, constantly changes at the hand of technology, economics, and consumer behaviors, it is what it is. It’s hard for me to by sympathetic because many of the wounds are self-inflicted, I remember a cocktail party I attended around 1995 where a group of people I was talking with worked at a local television station in their news room. I asked what they thought the effect of the Web would be in how they used technology.

They literally laughed it off, scoffing that the Internet would never be a mainstream news distribution vehicle and it wasn’t likely to change the way they worked either. I had a fascination with the web at that time but no inkling as to it’s potential impact, so I asked the question more out of curiosity than any preconceived notion looking for validation. It’s funny the things you remember vividly after so many years, but perhaps I do because this group of local news pros were actually quite young, all in their mid-20′s at the time.

The history of journalism and technology is being written every day and while it’s likely that this period of time will be recalled for tremendous turmoil, it’s also likely that it can be written as a time when new brands emerged and growth returned. The good ‘ol days, were they ever so, ain’t coming back, that much is clear.