Saturday, February 18, 2017

Figures 1, 2 & 3

I recently started a monthly figure-drawing night at the studios. Here are a few of my drawings from this month's session. They are also the basis for a new series of paintings. More to come.
Model: Nova Da'mour

No. 1, Reclining, charcoal on newsprint, 11" x 14"

No. 2, Seated, charcoal on newsprint, 11" x 14"

No. 3, Reclining, charcoal on newsprint, 8" x 10"

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Liberty for All T-shirt

I was incredibly touched by the lovely response this image received from participants of the Women's March on Washington (St.Pete and other states). I proudly carried my painting as my sign during the St. Pete march. Prior to that I had requests from a number of ladies to use the image as/in their posters. I gave permission to all who wanted to and made a high resolution image available to the public. Imagine my joy when I saw other marchers holding up "Liberty for All". 
Many requested a t-shirt and here it is!



You can purchase your very own "Liberty for All" tee from my Etsy store now. Just click here!


Monday, January 30, 2017

And the Nominees Are...

I'm thrilled to say I've been nominated for a Favorite Local LGBT Artist at this year's WAVE Awards.
Sooo...if I'm your favorite Tampa Bay area artist, or just the gayest you know you know what to do! Your vote is so very very very appreciated.


Vote here: http://www.watermarkonline.com/2017/01/01/2017-watermark-wave-awards-tampa-baysarasota/

Partnership with NOMAD for LGBTQ Youth

I am honored to partner up with NOMAD Art Bus for this upcoming project.

In the Spring of 2017 I will lead alongside co-lead NOMAD instructor artist Sara Norine James a group of approximately 10 LGBTQ Youths on a 5-week expressive arts program. The workshop will take place at Studios at 5663. For the first 4 weeks Sara and I will provide instruction and guidance as the students create stylized self-portraits. All creative decisions will be made by the students.
On the fifth week an exhibit and opening reception celebrating the youth participants and their works will be held at COVE, where artist Derek Donnelly and Public Art Project will graciously provide gallery space. This will be the first (of hopefully many) artist-led programs directly impacting and benefiting immediate and neighboring youth and community held at the Pinellas Arts Village.

-10 student participants, ages 12-18 per session (approximately)
-Two teaching artists
-One 2hr session per week
-Five week session (1-4 instruction/creative and week 5 exhibit/reception)

Workshop Schedule:
Instruction/Creative
Thursday March 23, 6-8pm
Thursday March 30, 6-8pm
Thursday April 6, 6-8pm
Thursday April 13, 6-8pm

Gallery Exhibit/Opening Reception
Saturday April 22, 3-6pm 

There is no cost to participants. All materials, instruction and guidance as well as artist reception will be provided. This project aims at facilitating free expression, confidence and self-esteem. The workshops provide a safe environment for creative social interaction and sharing.

Project contacts:
John Gascot, jgascot@gascot.com
Sara Norine James, saranorine@gmail.com


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Friday, December 30, 2016

The Best Worst Year of My Life

Of my 44 years on this earth this past one has undoubtedly been the most bizarre...and fruitful...and confusing...and disturbing...and wonderful?

In January I moved into my current art studio in an office suite turned art venue in what is now known as the Pinellas Arts Village. I became Gallery Coordinator for Studios at 5663 and began serving on the Artist Selection Committee for the arts district. In the meantime I took on curating the art and artists for a few venues on site and in downtown Saint Pete. I applied for my first ever artist grant. I was not awarded it, but learned a great deal in the process and have already applied for next year's round. I began volunteering, leading groups of LGBTQ Youth in expressive art sessions.

Musical genius and iconic creative Prince died, leaving me and so many stunned with shock and to learn a new kind of mourning many of us were perhaps unfamiliar with...that of someone we never actually knew. Prince's music, style and persona shaped so much of how I viewed life and what I aspired to do with it. His songs gave me permission to be me. They transcended gender or sexuality and made me feel one with the world. A day without Prince music in my studio is rare.
But Prince was not the only one taken from us in 2016. The deaths kept coming and many of them ruthlessly chipped away at the youths of us Gen-X'ers. Right up until these last few days, which took George Michael and Carrie Fisher. At times it seemed the year would not allow us to catch our collective breath.

This year's election barreled over us like a reckless tank, crushing everyone in its path, inciting blatant racism, misogyny, homophobia and xenophobia and tearing apart long-standing friendships as if they'd never mattered to begin with. Bernie Sanders filled the hearts of  Liberals like me with energetic hope for real change. We were saddened when he conceded but then many of us readied ourselves for another historic presidency...this time by a woman. Instead we witnessed a cartoon character of a contender who against all reason became our next President elect, leaving us with not an embarrassment of riches, but a richness of embarrassment.

But, politically speaking, many lessons were learned as well. I learned that some Liberals can be equally dismissive and hateful and that some Conservatives can step up to the plate and show kindness and respect...support, even. I ventured into many grey areas. At my favorite pub I stand before a giant confederate flag and sing along to old tunes and look upon a crowd of many colors, sexual identities and orientations. Yes, it can be confusing and I am hopeful the flag will someday be gone, but I know that I am welcome there. There's a pride flag there as well, on the door and not as large, but it is there. And there's drag bingo as well...as I said...confusing. It is a place in transition; a crossroads, of sorts. Grey areas are real.

This was the year homophobia and hate came to my door and into my home, literally. While not a "crime" technically, the cowardly anonymous hate letter my partner and I received invaded our privacy and the sanctity of our home. I have been the subject of disapproving stares and unkind words as well as exclusion due to living true to who I am...but I never had that hate follow me home and walk so effortlessly through my doorway.

If I knew who the small person who wrote the misinformed and misguided letter I would thank them today. I would, because if not for their bitter act we would not have come to know so many of our neighbors who stood beside us in support. From such ugliness, camaraderie and fellowship were born. Never will I keep quiet or cower in the face of hate.



This was also the year I was selected to showcase my work at an event for an internationally renowned museum and painted my first (of I hope many) mural in the city of St. Pete. But among all of the good that out-weighed the bad and weird one cannot be surpassed. 2016 was the year when I said "I do." before close friends and family to the love of my life. It only took us nearly 20 years...but I would wait another 20 if I had to. No amount of celebrity deaths or orange imbeciles winning the White House could overshadow making a life commitment to one's soulmate and knowing that while many may still disagree, our union is legally binding and recognized the same as any other.

The year twenty thousand and sixteen taught me much about myself, what I can endure, overcome and achieve. It also showed me that kindness and joy is abound in the oddest places, if you bother to look. All in all 2016 was a mixed bag of treasures and turds. Here's lookin' at ya, 2017!

Last Painting of 2016

Well, here it is...the last painting of 2016.

Ouch, acrylic and ink on canvas, 11" x 14"
Original and prints available

This year leaves most of us in need of a little healing. I could think of no better (or hopeful) symbol for that than E. T. the Extraterrestrial's glowing finger. Silly, I know.
Prompted (because "inspired" feels an odd word) by what feels like unprecedented cultural loss in 2016, of generation x youth, specifically, expect a series of Save the 80's Latin Pop paintings and a group show art call in the coming weeks/months.