Sunday, April 29, 2007

Tim Young Art In Grand Marais

My paintings can be seen in Grand Marais at The Pie Place (open all year), The Wild Onion (opening May 10), The Angry Trout (opening May 3), Chez Jude (opening May 1), and Betsy Bowen Gallery (Spring Art Underground, opening Memorial Day Weekend) , with exhibits coming this summer at The Coho Cafe (August) and The Johnson Heritage Post Art Gallery (July 27 through Labor Day).

restaurant openings signal spring is finally here

Photo by Joan Farnam

Chris Nies, above, and his wife Brigette are opening “The Wild Onion” restaurant in the Harbor Inn on May 10. The couple, with the help of Musa Abdel Rahmen, have renovated the space and will decorate it with some of Tim Young’s paintings, above. The menu will be “simple, honest food,” Nies said. “You should be able to pronounce everything on the menu.”


Kivioq is an Inuk adventurer who travels across the Arctic facing various hardships, both real and fabulous. Kivioq was a man with many lives. He was a hero in many legends of the Inuit and he got into many adventures with creatures that lived in the Arctic.

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Wild Onion

I have 22 paintings on display at a brand new restaurant opening in Grand Marais on Mother's Day weekend. It's called THE WILD ONION, and is in the Harbor Inn Motel. This exhibit will be seen by a lot of people, and I think it looks great! I'm very excited.

Open The World

You're The Sound Of The Morning Air

Floating In The Forest

I think this is a better shot of the painting, and shows it in its frame at Chez Jude. I've added two other paintings to the collection at Chez Jude, as seen in the next post.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Warrior Is A Child

This and the following 3 posts are framed acrylic paintings on paper, and are at Chez Jude in Grand Marais. Chez Jude: Contemporary bistro cuisine, featuring the freshest offerings of the season,
served harbor side in Grand Marais. Catering to your every whim with custom-designed menus for all occasions.

Floating In The Forest

Music From The Attic

Are You A Dreamer?

Monday, April 23, 2007

Music For Tourists

I love Chris Garneau's music! His CD "Music For Tourists" came out this year. Here's a review I copied from elsewhere:

Music Review: Chris Garneau - Music for Tourists
Written by Brewmaster
Published April 09, 2007
See also:

Brooklinite Chris Garneau’s full-length debut Music for Tourists, took a year and a half to complete and was released in January by Absolutely Kosher. Piano laden and driven by his soft, tender voice, one is instantly overtaken by his fragility and vulnerability.

Song after song resounds with sparse melodies, that when paired with Garneau’s whispering vocals, seem fit for a dream world, his voice taking spectral flight into the air and wavering between a whisper and a breathy staccato. He is commonly compared to Sufjan Stevens and Regina Specktor while the influence of the record's producer, Duncan Sheik, is clear in its unabashed emotional honesty. The album draws the listener in with emotional narratives waxing from despair to what could be considered severely understated light heartedness covering topics such as self doubt, eventual death, and Hamburg Helper.

What first drew my attention to Garneau was the song “Relief,” which recalls a past relationship that unfortunately didn’t work out. The lyrics “I love the way you dance / we can work well out/ don't you miss your chance / the pain will all grow out” tugged at my heart strings and as he goes on to state “I will be the same / I'll be the same goodnight” my mind couldn’t help but wander into memories of past loves I hadn’t thought of in years. The video, shown on his MySpace page is set at a diner full of lost souls and tyrannies and seems so dissolute that it almost made me want to write lost friends of mine a letter (or at least look up a few while logged on to the stalker friendly site).

The most buzz the album received was from the hidden track, a piano cover of Elliott Smith's "Between the Bars.” Some hate it for taking a favorite and changing it while others love its original spin. I am in the later group, finding that Chris stays faithful to the sparse style of Music for Tourists, making it a lovely way to enjoy a beautiful song in a new way.

However, this sparse style can get in the way when listening to the album as a whole. While alone each song stands as a beautiful creation that sparks emotion, when listened to together Music for Tourists, blends together with similar melodies and Garneau’s minimal vocal range allowing the listener's mind to stray from the things he is singing about to such mundane topics as what to eat for dinner.

For example, on “Black and Blue” Garneau almost induces tears when he evokes a Jeff Buckley tone singing “We hurt the same / the same black and blue / I want to catch my death of cold / cos i'm scared I'm growing old / don't return the love I give/ your still my favourite.” Yet this tear was held back as the emotional floodgates were put back up as the next track began in the same slow and sullen way and I was lulled into a numbness that left me thinking about the project I left unfinished at work.

I had the pleasure of seeing Garneau on Tuesday night at New York’s Mercury lounge and was hoping that his live performance would draw my focus a bit more. He was joined by three cellists and a drummer, yet most of the set featured only the piano’s slow melancholy. His band mates had bland expressions and it was hard to determine if they were pensive or just plain bored.

That isn’t to say that he isn’t wonderful live. His voice is just as ghostly and ethereal and his small stature and angelic good looks add to the delicate nature of his music. At times his voice did rise above a library appropriate level giving a glimpse of a remarkable talent just waiting to break through. It reminded me of camping: the moment when the fires flame starts and it is so small and so warm you stand there watching and wishing it to blaze into a monstrous bonfire. I almost wanted to shout “Sing Chris, sing like your playing a concert for the hard of hearing,” but I controlled myself out of respect for a singer who most certainly will mature into a great talent, and of course, anyone in the crowd who may suffer an auditory challenge.

My final conclusion: Like a good piece of cake, Music for Tourist is good on the first bite but leaves you feeling a bit queasy if you eat the whole thing. It’s a wonderful debut and a great album to listen to on shuffle. He shouldn’t be missed live either but expect to leave feeling a bit downtrodden with no solid explanation of why — whether it's because you want to take him home and make him sing loud or because those moments when he captured your attention made you crawl into the dustier corners of your mind.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Vintage car is stalled in time

SUSAN HYLTON World Staff Writer
Tulsa World (Final Home Edition), Page A19 of News

A crane hoists a Plymouth Belvedere into a time capsule on the Tulsa County Courthouse lawn in June 1957.

Click on a thumbnail above to view photos.
Residents who saw a '57 Plymouth Belvedere buried nearly 50 years ago are eager for its unearthing during the state Centennial celebrations.
A time capsule containing a '57 Plymouth Belvedere with a bottle of tranquilizers in the glove box will be unearthed sometime during Oklahoma's Centennial celebrations in 2007.
The car was buried June 15, 1957, on the Tulsa County courthouse lawn as part of Tulsarama celebrations during the state's semicentennial.

According to the original plan for the time capsule, the person or his or her heirs who guessed closest to Tulsa's population in 2007, wins the car and its many contents. The Chamber of Commerce conducted the contest, and the guesses are recorded on microfilm and buried with the car.

Wayne Carr was there the day the Plymouth was buried. He was the 22-year-old chief clerk of the Election Board. But Carr, 69, said he didn't enter the contest to win the car.

"I didn't figure I was going to be alive then," Carr said. "I was just a mere lad at the time. I had 50 cents in my pocket. My salary was $250 a month."

No one really knows what condition the car will be in, but great pains were taken to help ensure it received a proper burial. Newsreels of the time show the car being lowered by a crane into a concrete-lined hole before a large crowd. News clippings say the car was wrapped with plastic and chemically treated foil and paper and encased in a steel capsule that was painted and welded shut.

"I was there when they buried it, and I want to be there when they open it," said Tulsa County Commissioner Bob Dick. "I'll be excited to see all that was left in there and if it held up over the years."

When it went into the ground, the Plymouth was thought to be ahead of its time.

"It was a road hog with high fins on the back of it. It was futuristic-looking," Carr said.

The car is expected to be loaded with mementos. Sunray Mid-Continent Oil Company buried 10 gallons of D-X Boron fuel and five quarts of D-X motor oil -- just in case gasoline became obsolete.

Newsreels show men preparing to place a case of Schlitz beer in the car, along with maps and photographs.

But organizers felt it wouldn't be authentic without the contents of a woman's purse, and that's where the pills come in. A woman apparently emptied her bag, which contained a bottle of tranquilizers along with bobby pins, two combs, a compact, cigarettes and matches, an unpaid parking ticket, a tube of lipstick, a package of gum, $2.73 in bills and coins and, of course, a plastic rain hat.

The car also contains a letter from local official Dale Watt to his children; civic records of Tulsa Mayor George E. Norvell and former Mayors George H. Stoner, Dan Patton, Olney F. Flynn and Lee Price, and many other items, including written prayers, newspapers and flags.

A $100 savings bond set up with the former Home Federal Savings and Loan Association was also buried with the car. Officials do not know what it is worth, but believe it would be honored by the Bank of Oklahoma.

The Plymouth was buried on the lawn at the southeast corner of the courthouse, about 100 feet north of the Denver Avenue and Sixth Street intersection. The bronze marker resting on top of the burial site is surrounded by a concrete/rock walkway.

The Buried Belvedere

"This is the sort of thing that could happen only in Tulsa," spoke Lewis Roberts Jr. during dedication ceremonies marking the observance of Tulsa's Golden Jubilee Week. "TuIsarama!" chairman Roberts' made his remarks as citizens prepared to entomb a new 1957 Plymouth Belvedere Sport Coupe as part of a time capsule buried on the southeast corner of the Tulsa County Courthouse lawn.

Why would anyone want to bury a new car? Roberts was asked. "The 'Tulsarama!' committee," he replied, "decided on the event after looking for a method of acquainting the citizens of the twenty first century with a suitable representation
of 1957 civilization."

"In our judgment," commented W.A. Anderson, Jubilee chairman, "Plymouth is a true representative of automobiles of this century - with the kind of lasting appeal that should still be in style fifty years from now.... Tulsans think big. And we feel we can over come any technical difficulties we encounter [burying the Plymouth] including the possibility of striking oil in our excavation!'

Supplied through the cooperation of the Plymouth Division of Chrysler and Tulsa Plymouth dealers Wilkerson Motor Company, Cox Motor Company. Vance Motor Company, Forster Riggs and Parrish-Clark, the Belvedere has remained buried since June 15, 1957.

As part of the "Tulsarama!" festivities, citizens of Tulsa were asked to guess what the population of Tulsa would be in the year 2007. The guesses were then recorded on microfilm and sealed in a steel container buried with the car. When the car and artifacts are excavated, the person whose guess is closest to Tulsa's 2007 population is to be awarded the Belvedere. If that person is dead, the car is to be awarded to his or her heirs.

And what, exactly, will the lucky winner get when the car is unearthed in 2007? No one is really sure. Sitting on a steel skid, the white and gold car was wrapped in a cosmoline-like substance to help preserve it and then buried within a concrete bunker (The car was lowered into the vault several times prior to June 15 for photo shoots, one such photo ad appearing on page twenty-five of Life magazine's July 7 issue.) Twenty years after the cars burial, questions were raised as officials began to wonder if the vault would maintain its integrity for fifty years. Its location (marked by a bronze plaque on the courthouse lawn places it close to modern traffic. Buck Rudd, deputy chief of building operations for the county court house, mused in 1987, "There's a lot of traffic going by only 15 or 20ft from that thing. We've been curious to know it vibrations from the heavy traffic might have caused it to crack. If moisture starts getting in there, it's going to cause things to deteriorate over fifty years time," Rudd continued. Unknown to the committee - or anyone else then - 1957 Plymouths were terribly prone to rust. Asked what type of maintenance was done on the time capsule, Rudd replied, We just cut the grass on top of it."

While some lucky person may (or may not) win a brand new 1957 Plymouth in the year 2007, the winner has several other prizes to look forward to, among them a $100 trust fund accruing interest until the year 2007. Included with the Plymouth is a 5 gallon can of gasoline, a jar of Oklahoma crude oil, and in the glovebox, fourteen bobby pins, a ladies compact plastic rain cap, several combs, a tube of lipstick, pack of gum, facial tissues $2.73 in bills and coins and a pack of cigarettes with matches - all items that might have been found in a woman's purse circa 1957.

The car's glove compartment contains two other interesting items: a parking ticket (unpaid!) and a bottle of tranquilizers. Depending an the Belvedere's condition, the tranquilizers may be the most important part of the package.

rethinking things today

Happy Birthday Denison and the unearthing of the Tulsarama Plymouth have more in common in my mind than I originally thought. I listened to Denison's podcast today in my car while driving to St. Paul, and it literally brought tears to my eyes. First of all, Denison is an excellent storyteller, there's no arguing that. His podcast is every bit as wonderfully produced as THIS AMERICAN LIFE, and a "driveway moment" at that. But the story itself is so cool, too. Both the Nick Drake story and the buried car are time capsules. Nick's by way of his beautiful recordings, and The car was seen as a method of acquainting twenty-first century citizens with a suitable representation of 1957 civilization. They mourn something that is lost. A time. Innocence. Or the idea of it. Some things in life are just meant to be, and I would like to treasure every moment when it is here, because everything is temporary. Kids grow up and become encumbered adults. Cars rust away. People die. The moments tick by, and soon we realize they are years and decades ticking by, and they can't be reclaimed. That sounds sad until you realize the gift in it. The gift is that it will be gone, and that makes it so much more precious right now. And yes, I am a dreamer.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Happy Birthday Denison

This is totally different than the buried car in Tulsa, but it's another news item that touches me. Denison Witmer is a beautiful singer/songwriter, and I'm sure he's a beautiful soul as well. Here's a quote copied from his page

What's All This? As of today (November 4, 2006), I am 30 years old. I'm throwing my own birthday party. You are all invited. I have decided to give you a gift: 30 new recordings of songs from my entire catalog, a few covers, a few unreleased songs, and a some podcasts of stories from my touring and my life in general. This is my gift to you free of charge. However, the purpose of Happy Birthday Denison is to serve as a fund-raiser for my favorite charities. Every year, I will be adding content to this site on my birthday. In exchange for the content (songs, etc), I am asking that you donate money to the charities I have chosen. Please donate whatever amount wish. The content on this site will always remain free of charge. All donations are received as a goodwill exchange.

The the charities I have chosen are Partners In Health and Musicians On Call.

I love that he sat down and recorded all these songs alone with his guitar, and I love that he's offered them up as his birthday gift to us. I also love that he is asking for donations to charities he cares about. Please listen to his music. Please donate to the charities. Go see him and Rosie Thomas on tour if all possible.

One of my favorite news stories ever

I can hardly tell you how much this story has captured my imagination! I hope there is a lot of media coverage of it, since I won't be able to attend in person. For more information, visit Read more about it in the following post.

Tulsa's Buried 1957 Plymouth

On June 15, 1957, a new gold and white 1957 Plymouth Belvedere Sport Coupe was buried in a time capsule in downtown Tulsa, OK. The time capsule was part of Golden Jubilee Week: Tulsa's celebration of Oklahoma's semi-centennial. The car is buried under the sidewalk in front of the Tulsa County Courthouse, approximately 100 feet north of the intersection of Sixth Street and Denver Avenue.

The car was seen as a method of acquainting twenty-first century citizens with a suitable representation of 1957 civilization. According to event chairman Lewis Roberts Jr., the Plymouth was chosen because it was "an advanced product of American industrial ingenuity with the kind of lasting appeal that will still be in style 50 years from now."

The contents of a women's purse, including bobby pins, a bottle of tranquilizers, cigarettes and an unpaid parking ticket, were added to the glove compartment of the car shortly before burial.

Other items included in the time capsule were:

10 gallons of gasoline and 5 quarts of oil
A Douglas Aircraft Co. aerial map of airport facilities and legend
Statement from Tulsa council of Churches and prayer for greatest good next 50 years a recently completed history of churches in Tulsa and a directory of the present churches
Statement from board of education - historical data related to 50 years of education in Tulsa and copies of "School Life" all-high school publication issued by Tulsa high schools each month
Statements from Mayor and Chamber of Commerce officials
Flags which have been flown over the national capitol, state capitol and in the county and city
Other aerial photos of the area
Statement from Tulsa Trades and Labor Council
Statements from all former mayors of the city - their record of service and civic accomplishments in the city, state and nationally.
As part of the "Tulsarama!" festivities, citizens of Tulsa were asked to guess what the population of Tulsa would be in the year 2007. The guesses were then recorded on microfilm and sealed in a steel container buried with the car. When the car and artifacts are excavated, the person whose guess is closest to Tulsa's 2007 population is to be awarded the Belvedere

Sunday, April 08, 2007

New Job

This week I'm starting my new job as the Deli Manager at the Cook County Whole Foods Co-Op.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

10 x 10 acrylic on canvas.

Black Bear Cubs

In my town, we have a tall sculpture of two bear cubs on a tree trunk. The area is known as bear tree park. In the spring and summer it's not that uncommon to see bears from our cars.

Mountain Lion

It amazes me that big cats like this live nearby. I've never seen one in the wild, but people say they are here. Acrylic on paper.

Red Fox

This slightly deranged red fox is Acrylic on watercolor paper. When we were kids, Red Foxes were my brother's favorite animal. I don't know if he still likes them, but they still make me think of him.


Acrylic on watercolor paper.


Ever since I played "Bob The Raccoon Boy" in the Kevin Kling play "Lloyd's Prayer", I've had a special affinity for raccoons. This is acrylic on watercolor paper.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Black Capped Chickadee

I've painted a few chickadees before. I keep thinking of the B-52's song "Song For A Future Generation" and the line "I like tomatoes and black-capped chickadees."

The other raven painting

There's a raven in flight a few posts down.

Pileated Woodpecker (head)

I have these living near my house. I hear them more than see them though. One day I was walking along a path, and there was a pileated woodpecker on a tree very near me. It just stayed there for a long time.

Pileated Woodpecker


Ruby Crowned Kinglet

I guess it was a couple of years ago now that Holly and I were going into the Bluewater Cafe in Grand Marais. The city had put out wooden planter boxes, and we noticed a little bird perched there right in front of the restaurant entrance. Holly picked it up and it perched on her finger for a while. Someone passed by and identified the bird. It was so beautiful with that vibrant crown. Before long, it flew away toward the harbor. That's the experience that this painting brings to mind for me. Songbirds are like little jewels, and it's really amazing to see them close up. This painting is acrylic on a 12x12 canvas

A Downy in flight

Downy Woodpecker

Last fall I posted a photo of a Downy Woodpecker on my dying birch tree. I've just done two Downy paintings along with a few other local birds. Once the old caboose is moved away, I'm afraid that old birch has to be taken down so it doesn't fall on my house. I'll miss seeing the woodpeckers. This is acrylic on a 10x10 canvas.

Bluewater Cafe Map

For the last several days, I've been working on the map at the Bluewater Cafe in downtown Grand Marais. In 1991, wallpaper was stripped off the wall revealing a map of Lake Superior that had been painted back in the 1950's. It was a freehand map, and definitely not one to be used for navigational purposes! In fact, if the shape hadn't been labeled "Lake Superior" one might not have any clue as to what it was. So the owners asked me to re-do it. In the years that followed, a pipe or two broke behind the wall, causing damage to the plaster. I returned along with a student I was mentoring, and we did some more painting to cover the damaged area. Over the last few days, I've cleaned the wall, patched areas with joint compound, painted out the background to the original base color, and have repainted the whole mural. The photo on this post shows what the map looked like before starting this latest incarnation of the Bluewater Map.