Post #20: Santa Cruz Life

Left Coast

I've now been living in Santa Cruz for a solid two months and after all the hoobla with the Kickstarter and moving I have to say, it was ABSOLUTELY worth it. The beaches here are always reminiscent of paradise, the Sequoia's stretch like skyscrapers, the grass is emerald, the lushness is without equal, the warmth is embracing, the people are friendly and the skies are sapphire. I've been hiking a lot, painting constantly, doing a few commissions and illustration work, and getting together my first art show in California- Being the featured artist for the month of April at Kind People's Collective in Santa Cruz. I'm BEYOND excited to get my work shown in a heavily trafficked area- I'm very optimistic and confident my work will sell. I've taken YEARS to hone my craft in Maine & Massachusetts and now I feel I'm really putting all that work together for the public to enjoy. I also got a large portion of my inventory shipped to me JUST in time for the show!

Prepping for my first art show in California!

Our ambition should be to rule ourselves, the true kingdom for each one of us; and true progress is to know more, and be more, and to do more.
— Oscar Wilde
When you do what you fear most, then you can do anything.
— Stephen Richards

Here's a poem I wrote the other day (untitled):


Sailing tar rivers like we’re Lewis & Clark,

Sap and syrup swirl until slime eats bark,

Moss mountains marble and twist the surface of Sequoias,

Brought through brothels, couple of cocktails,

Cocky adolescent’s with thirsty cocks chasin’ tail,

Bailing on what would be a jailed existence,

My whole generation a product of escapism,

Pace on a prism, ideas acidic in nature that echo rhythms, 

Prepped to find someone listening to visions,

Yoda’s and mystics, Gandalf’s and Dumbledore’s,

Kicked in the doors of perception and found a fractal form,

A core of apples and oranges, pairs of banana bandana’s,

Tare a camera in half because they can’t realize that their sight is fact,

The light gets whacked, bent like slipping out of misdemeanors,

Missed demons in lairs, demeaned laborers who built manors,

Terrifying tenors who bellow out tense troubles over bass and trebles,

Tasted the yellow, blue, and the red,

Black and white lost in fields of parasites who feed on those that bled,

Feeding on the interrogation of the nation,

A place complacent with being watched constant,

No consent, impatient livin’ in decrepit FEMA tents,

No regret, just trying to live without acclimating debt,

Asserting that we’re the best, people that work rise to set,

Lie to the rest so that you can conquer money and the internet,

Been so wet that fire’s gave up on me,

Dampened spirits like drowned ghosts that can’t be freed,

Been so burnt that river’s were revolted by me,

Holstered with hand-weapons, holding the helm, helmet in hand, guarding the hold,

Hardened because boldness has brought about bravery,

Was taught about the heraldry, underdogs, Robin Hood and the royal navy’s,

Knew which one ended up on the right side of history,

So I’ve been glowing since infancy, trying to be extraordinary,

Heroic was all I’ve had, war’s taught me who can be bad,

It exposed the whores who never had-

To fight was never written into their repertoire, 

Never been too far from the battle, always smelled gunpowder around the corner,

Coroner’s just neighbors who have weekly bag duty,

Bagged to join the duty, called up, did the dirty, got hit, sent home in baggies,

Had to laugh it off like taffy, only the saltiest who crossed the salt water felt at home,

The time just a stain on the fabric of a flag that stood for freedom,

Boys never allowed to boil slowly, but rather were burnt out before bounty,

Never knew treasure, reward, spoils, or a present in their present,

They lost essence, and since the economics haven’t been fixed,

We’re in a state of comatose, at the brink of a burning wick,

Time to reignite our dynamite and blow a hole in the unstoppable tricks,


Each man had only one genuine vocation - to find the way to himself....His task was to discover his own destiny - not an arbitrary one - and to live it out wholly and resolutely within himself. Everything else was only a would-be existence, an attempt at evasion, a flight back to the ideals of the masses, conformity and fear of one’s own inwardness.
— Hermann Hesse

Here are some of the illustrations I've been working on recently:

I'm going to print up some t-shirts with this design on it if anyone is interested!

Update on the Kickstarter Project:

I'm currently working on the NYC painting, and I'd say I'm about 2-3 hours worth of work left until it's finished, then I'll start right in on the Savannah painting! I morphed the original idea to be more of a ball of New York as the hub of all things- as it feels like when you are there.

I do believe in an everyday sort of magic — the inexplicable connectedness we sometimes experience with places, people, works of art and the like; the eerie appropriateness of moments of synchronicity; the whispered voice, the hidden presence, when we think we’re alone.
— Charles de Lint

Also coming soon, my new psychedelic hip-hop album:

Great ambition is the passion of a great character. Those endowed with it may perform very good or very bad acts. All depends on the principles which direct them.
— Napoleon Bonaparte






Post #19: Palmdale to Santa Cruz

Day X


We woke up as early as we could for our last leg of the journey- both of us ITCHING with excitement. The day ended up turning into a scenic extravaganza of wildly beautiful country. It included many different sections, starting with the last stretch of desert scenery as we left the valley opposite of Los Angeles, going by the edges of Los Padres National Forest, seeing our first great stretch of green trees again. Soon the roads became mountainous again and the hills started to raise as we entered wine country. It resembled something from an Italian village mixed with Japanese, Spanish and American influences. The vineyards were miles and miles long with orchards set up by hand by swarms of people roaming under the hot sun.

Soon it got dusk, a grapy dusk, a purple dusk over tangerine groves and long melon fields; the sun the color of pressed grapes, slashed with burgandy red, the fields the color of love and Spanish mysteries.
— Jack Kerouac

The grass became psychedelic green, saturating more and more as we kept going north. The towns were quaint and small- no huge stores or franchises it seemed, nothing but local coffee shops, deli's, and fresh fruit stands. Seriously though I can’t overstate how much beauty is here, the lush flora only blooms more wild and exotic as you travel north and towards the Pacific Coast. The people become more spread out, there isn’t an urban sprawl with buildings that block the sky like in the East, rather the architecture is Spanish and Italian-inspired and woven into the natural scenery instead of the plow-it-all-down method the East Coast adores. 

The people and cultures also change from the more old-fashioned, suited-city look that New York employs. Rather it becomes a juxtaposition of Silicon Valley hipsters, Portland Oregon-inspired refugees who promote L.L.Bean, forever-chill surfer/stoners, the ragtag Deadhead, a huge Central American population, a huge Asian population, the occasional businessman and a dash of crazy thugs (though that is found everywhere, regardless). It’s a schmorgesborg of coastal styles that intertwine in a beautiful way.

Sometimes you wake up. Sometimes the fall kills you. And sometimes, when you fall, you fly.
— Neil Gaiman

As you leave the wine country you start to get to this area that I didn’t know existed and is hard to describe in a way that accurately makes you feel like you were there. The area is just north of Bakersfield in what is a essentially a giant valley between the Diablo Range and Coast Ranges of Southern and Central California, right before you get into the Santa Cruz Mountains. It is EXTREMELY lush and fertile, the green makes the green back home look grey. It’s amazingly refreshing and the air smells permanently like a flowering Spring where you can’t help but feel at peace. This area is called the Skyline Boulevard and can be described as what Ireland would look like in a fairy tale in the most tranquil dream. The hills fly high into the skies on what was a pearlescent blue day, with cattle roaming happily and freely in meadows that never, ever end. It HONESTLY doesn’t seem real, it’s as if California has been hidden away from the rest of the world and only a few (million) have figured out that utopia is actually here. You know the old background that everyone had on Windows XP? The Meadows that seriously look photoshopped but are in fact a picture? Yeah that’s EXACTLY what this looked like. It was incredible.

How is this real?

What’s meant to be will always find a way.
— Trisha Yearwood

After about an hour of driving that slowly fades into a mix of California forests, more vineyards, farmland and mountainous passes. The views are akin to something out of Jurassic Park as you began to get out of this large low land into Salinas, descending upon the Monterey Bay region.

She's cute.

We stopped in Salinas briefly for some In-N-Out, as being Easterns we’ve heard nothing but raves, but had yet to try it. And yup, it’s everything it says it is! Extremely rich flavor, fast, and nothing tasted artificial (or was, everything is fresh, never frozen), it somehow walks the line between tasting like your dad’s BBQ and McDonalds, it’s amazing to say the least haha. Every Californian must know this by now of course though, so this was simply just our first hand experience.

We continued on into the bay going through Prunedale and Watsonville. At this point both of us were jumping out of our seats in excitement and overall joy at not only being in our new home, but also in how truly beautiful it was up close. It just honestly doesn’t look real, the colors are just thriving, the plants are all foreign, exotic, jagged and flowing, the sun is peaking in the sky, the birds are swarming- all the life is gyrating around. It looks like the Caribbean meets Hawaii meets Maine in the summer plus the planet from Avatar and downtown Portland, Oregon rolled into one with a vibe that is undeniable. It’s like a Star Wars planet swirled into a travel magazine cover, populated with skateboarders.

Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

The haven of Santa Cruz is nestled into the northern tip of Monterey Bay and after crossing through Aptos and Capitola you enter the heart of it. The downtown is a sprawling garden-filled cityscape complete with a boardwalk, pier, beaches, adobe-style modern stucco houses, palm trees, redwoods, and willow trees. The day was sunny and as perfect as can be and we enjoyed the sunset arriving into our new hometown with a beachside walk (and getting to touch the Pacific Ocean for the first time!), some super nachos from a local taqueria and the last hotel on our journey.

We made it! 

Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson


This whole 10-day journey from Lamoine, Maine to Santa Cruz, California was crazy, just to say the least. It really opened my mind to how long and expansive the US is and how much there is to see, yet so quickly we’re here and then it’s over. There's just SO much to explore, and I haven't even kind of touched it- it's ungraspable to see it all. With that thought, I just can't understand why people stay in the same town they were born in and never really leave. The world is seriously our oyster, and it isn't as bad as you think- We all have that paranoia in us, but it truly is unfounded. We have to wake up and go out. Adventure is our purpose. We can't let it run past us. With all the bad moments on the trip, especially Baton Rouge and northern Arizona, it was absolutely a life-changing experience. I’m now in a place full of young, energetic, lively, intelligent, beautiful people- I don’t understand the draw to staying back home when the world is so big and places such as Santa Cruz exist. Although I’m now calling this place home, I don’t know if it will be forever and I know for certain I will want to continue traveling as I’ve caught a bug I doubt I can shake.

Let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.
— J.K. Rowling

Post #18: Williams, AZ to Palmdale, CA

Day IX


A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.
— John Steinbeck

We woke up, surprisingly, in a winter wonderland- I thought we left Maine?

We left the hotel very early. We just wanted to get out of dodge- but not before some food of course. We stopped at an old fashioned 50’s styled diner. It was some Route 66 diner but the name escapes me (Apparently I'm a horrible food critic, haha). The whole morning could be visualized as an Aspen retreat or some small town ski-town- Not at ALL what I expected of Arizona, but apparently elevation is far more of a factor that I previously understood. We had some very good breakfast plates, very reminiscent of hometown food and then we got on our way.

If my ship sails from sight, it doesn’t mean my journey ends, it simply means the river bends.
— Enoch Powell

This day would turned out to be a mesmerizing drive down through the southern tip of the Rockies and through the Mojave Desert. We never had time to go to the Grand Canyon and honestly it fucking sucked, it was THE place I looked forward to the most… but it’s okay, I guess another time. Again, the descent was full of amazingly varied beautiful scenery, we went along Interstate 40 across complex mazes of never-ending highways. It definitely was the Route 66 sort of views that you see in movies and mixed with the air and warmth, it created an umber and red-toned road trip experience that I won’t soon forget.

Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.
— William James
All the world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming.
— Helen Keller

We crossed into California this day and felt a buzz of energy as we did, knowing our new home was now within the state. We started passing fresh fruit stands, California rest stops under the mountains, and flat desert land encircled in the fading blue aura of the Sierra Nevadas in the distance. You get thinking on these long coast-to-coast road trips about all the people you pass and what their lives are like- Everyone from immigrants to cattle farmers to trust fund babies driving Bugatti’s, and it really solidifies an idea of purpose and the variation of life. Do we all have different purposes? Are we all “programmed” for different lives? We all operate on almost polar opposite levels, yet are all intertwined as dualities, living side-by-side with other forms of life. There is no better or worse form, just simply different forms. We all have problems, just different ones. We all are coexisting as this giant harmonious web of buzzing people all trying to just get their stuff, pass through and get along. On the way I noticed almost NO negativity or hate or major accidents or anything too dark, besides maybe a pissed off customer at the iHop in Carlsbad. It really shows you how much co-habitation and togetherness happens constantly and that even if there is darkness out there, for the most part it tends to happen a lot less frequently than the nervous mind of an adolescent naively may think.

I truly believe that everything that we do and everyone that we meet is put in our path for a purpose. There are no accidents; we’re all teachers - if we’re willing to pay attention to the lessons we learn, trust our positive instincts and not be afraid to take risks or wait for some miracle to come knocking at our door.
— Marla Gibbs
When you wake up every day, you have two choices. You can either be positive or negative; an optimist or a pessimist. I choose to be an optimist. It’s all a matter of perspective.
— Harvey Mackay
Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.
— Helen Keller

Anyway, after only 6 hours of driving we made it to Palmdale California. We grabbed some general tso and chop suey and went to our hotel. Our hotel was just a normal old Ramada, but the toilet had a phone, and that was some boss shit haha. Nice little feature. After drinking some brews and relaxing we passed out around midnight, MORE than excited for our last day of driving tomorrow.

Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.
— Vincent Van Gogh

Post #17: Carlsbad, NM to Williams, AZ.


SUNDAY, JANUARY 31st 2016.


We started the morning off with a sunrise on our spot near the Carlsbad Caverns, packing up our tent and then heading into Carlsbad center to get the oil change- it was MORE than past due (We got WAY too lucky), and then we grabbed some iHop.

Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.
— John Quincy Adams

After a weirdly long, even lackadaisical oil change (about an hour and a half) we got back on the road and headed on our way, to what we THOUGHT would be the Grand Canyon. Little did we know but this was going to be our longest and worst drive of the trip, although potentially one of the most beautiful.

We left Carlsbad and headed north towards Albuquerque where we started rising in elevation and crossing through breath-taking mountainous scenery intertwined with red-rock desert landscapes- Its hard to imagine before you actually see it (Especially being from the East Coast). The hills dipped and dived for miles and as we got closer to Arizona the skyline became more jagged and Dali-esque.

The other side of Albuquerque.

We made it into Albuquerque sometime in the afternoon, and grabbed a TON of some delicious nachos at some small place in town, full of jalapeños, fresh cut vegetables, and steak. WAY TOO GOOD. Then we hopped back on the road.

The city itself of Albuquerque was very interesting, the architecture, art and sculptures found throughout were really cool. There was a sculpture made of what looked like old airplane parts into an abstract, spike free-form and although abstraction isn’t my favorite it was definitely fitting in its location. There was also lots of parks and flowers, and murals everywhere. All-in-all it was an intriguing city, and I would definitely be interested in visiting it in the future for a longer stay. As we left Albuquerque and headed northwest to the Grand Canyon we crossed into Arizona. The scenery became even more dramatic and exaggerated with the canyons dragging lower and the mountain roads waning higher. This is also when we started to hit some weather.

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.
— Henry Ford
No one really has a bad life. Not even a bad day. Just bad moments.
— Regina Brett

It only began as rain, just some light sprinkling but then it became heavier and heavier as we rose in elevation. Eventually it turned into hail and became far more pronounced, leading us to slow down considerably by the time we were in Flagstaff.

If you want to see the sunshine, you have to weather the storm.
— Frank Lane

We switched from Hannah driving to me and by the time we got back on the highway, it had turned to nothing but snow and was only accumulating faster (Unfortunately, due to us panicking the rest of the night and feeling shitty about not seeing the Grand Canyon, we didn't take anymore pictures the rest of the day). After less than 15 minutes the roads were completely shit- nothing but slush, packed snow, sliding cars, car accidents, less than a foot of visibility, dropping temperatures and no signs of an exit. It was nothing short of a clusterfuck.

There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.
— Willa Cather

Luckily within half an hour I was able to catch up to a line of semis that had their hazards on and were going 15 mph. I stayed behind them the rest of the way, helping my line of visibility incredibly. Due to the weather our GPS and our phones couldn’t find service and so we could only drive slowly and hope an exit with lodging would come up soon. After missing the first exit, driving another 20 miles, calling our original hotel for recommendations on what to do (we had to cancel that reservation- with no refund of course) and going past 2 more exits because they had no indication of lodging, we FINALLY saw signs for a little town off an exit called Williams in Arizona. We pulled into a Hotel 6 after maybe an hour driving through the eye of the storm, along with a few other cars looking for a safe haven. After just a horrible time navigating this terrain, we wanted nothing other than to grab some water and go to bed. We went to the vending machine, Hannah stuck in $2 and hit the water button, and out drops an orange soda- Hahaaa... it was almost comical at this point how much the universe was trying us. We went into our room, got in bed, tried the TV out, and no signal. Then we tried the wifi- no signal. After all that, click, the lights go out….

The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.
— Vincent Van Gogh

Fortunately enough there was a generator and the power came back within a minute or so. But after all that we just went to bed- This day had definitely beaten us. 

Post #16: San Antonio to Carlsbad, NM



I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy.”
— Sylvia Plath

Definitely one of the prettiest drives on the way- full of red rocks, sandstone, cliffs, desert, and etc, and with only 8 or 9 hours of driving it wasn’t terrible at all.

Somewhere in the Texas Panhandle.

We saw a bunch of industrialized farming on the way and I gotta say it’s not exactly a nice view- It stuck out quite hard amongst the other scenery. Just rows and rows and legions of dirty pigs and cows all stuffed into genocidal pens. Other than that it was a nice change of pace from the South, where it seemed everyone around here was a little more relaxed, more into letting travelers feel welcome, and less of the industry and roadside, rundown gas stations.

Once we hit the southern edge of New Mexico what became very obvious was how much wind was going to be a factor- it is EXTREMELY windy out there, like unrealistically windy. Basically the whole area looks like rolling hills, something you might imagine Nebraska looking like- where people used to hunt Bison- That type of place. And because we are true outdoors-people at heart, we decided to camp near the summit of this beautiful overlook on BLM land near Carlsbad.

...and then, I have nature and art and poetry, and if that is not enough, what is enough?
— Vincent Van Gogh

The sunset was one of the most magnificent ones I’ve ever seen and that’s NOT an overstatement- it was breath-taking in every sense. The colors were psychedelic and swirling in clouds that overlapped over layers of rolling green and red-tinted hills.

Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.
— Henry David Thoreau

After some windy frustration with setting up the tent, we got it up, I got a fire going with some down wood and dried cow dung found nearby (Thanks Les Stroud and Survivor!). We had grabbed some extremely overpriced lunchables at the local convenience store (Exactly what every camper needs!), some beef jerky, and we had some leftover liquor to make the sleep a little bit easier. 

Once the sun set and night fell, and we got our food in, we realized this tent wouldn’t make the night if we didn’t secure it better, so I went out and collected all the rocks I could to strap this tent down, both on the inside and the out. Once that was done, we had this lantern strapped at the top of the tent inside and with the wind and swaying of this light, it definitely felt like we were two stowaways on a little boat getting thrown and ripped through the ocean- It was exhilarating. Due to the flat ground and all the rocks obstructing our sleeping space, we both only got a few hours of sleep here and there, mixed in with the CONSTANT rattling of the tent- SERIOUSLY, the wind is INSANE there, just remember that. All in all though, it was one of the most fun nights we’ve had on this trip for sure- Definitely one of my favorite. The outdoors were just so alive.

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
— Marcel Proust

Sunrise, the next morning.

Post #15: New Orleans to San Antonio.

Day VI


Started our day off by getting up and leaving as fast as we could, hitting the swampy, bayou-filled highways of Louisiana. Unfortunately for us we hit horrible traffic in Baton Rouge, where they for SOME fucking reason decided to close off the entire westward interstate and bridge. So any and all traffic was just siphoned down into the city with no signs or directions for traffic flow. So of course everything came to a standstill and gridlock ensued. After some maneuvering and map work we figured out the only other way out was on a bridge on the other side of town. This little sidetrack took us across an oil landscape that resembled something from a Mad Max movie. The amount of pipes, tubing, pumps, and just industrial structures that rose across this scene was insane, unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Miles and miles of Haliburton, Exxon, and BP logos dot the scenery. It’s something that really can only be fathomed if it’s in front of you- I’ve seen this in books before, but NEVER understood the vastness and the seemingly destructive effects it has to the environment. The pictures don't even do this area "justice". But there is no way that this could be sustainable or “good” for the Earth, or anything other than making money for those who controls it. It’s a very odd part of this world, to see SO much obviously destructive shit be built, and just shrug it off as the “only way”…when by the way, I passed MANY solar and wind farms, specifically in California that were FAR less obstructive, both visually and environmentally- but this is all just an aside.

Driving out of the hell that was Baton Rouge traffic. 

The development of civilization and industry in general has always shown itself so active in the destruction of forests that everything that has been done for their conservation and production is completely insignificant in comparison.
— Karl Marx

After 2 hours of delays, we were able to join back up with the westward interstate, and continued on our way. We crossed into Texas on this day, and saw our first heavy stream of farms, cattle, and stretches of deserted fields. It can get quite gloomy here as you essentially just wanna pass through, with only the few stops here and there for gas. It might all just be in my head, but it definitely feels more depressing here, all-the-round lonely and approaching creepy.

If the rain spoils our picnic, but saves a farmer’s crop, who are we to say it shouldn’t rain?
— Tom Barrett

Eventually you get through that, and make it into more rocky, desert type land, which due to the fact I’ve never seen, was far more interesting to my eyes. There are these white sandstone type of canyons you start to carve through as the bayous fade out, and are extremely impressive. 

Entering into the Houston city-sprawl.... You can't tell really here, but this was somewhere between 16 and 20 lane highways....INSANITY.

Once we made it to the GARGANTUAN sprawl of roads that is Houston and navigated it safely, our hunger hit us and we decided to grab some ribs at a little roadside BBQ Pit place- very old fashioned, I think the established date was 1935. The ribs were very simple, but not in a bad way AT ALL, it was just primal, basic ingredients, a few spices, cooked in a pit, smoked for hours and served up on a plate for you. You get those with a little silver cauldron of made-there BBQ sauce- differing from the normal sticky, dark BBQ sauce I’m used to. It was a more spicy, almost broth-like sauce, but again, VERY GOOD. You get that with a side of just plain white wonderbread, pickles, onions and a tall glass of water. Seriously, one of the best, most authentic meals I’ve had on the trip- now if I could just remember the name of the place,  I could recommend it for you!

After filling up on the ribs, we left for San Antonio, passing through more of the same sort of Texas scenery- Cattle, oil drills, and desert- Only this time it was nighttime, so we couldn't really see much. We arrived in San Antonio at 9 pm, grabbed a hotel and met up with one of our good friends, Liam. We hung out, laughed, caught up and planned for the apartment we all are hoping to get in Santa Cruz. After a few hours, he left, we ordered some pizza, had a few brews and passed out, excited for the new scenery tomorrow!

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all of one’s lifetime.
— Mark Twain

Post #14: Savannah to New Orleans

Day V


Somewhere in southern Georgia.

Our longest drive to date, taking us the coastal route through Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Mobile, and ending in New Orleans. This was our “deep south” day, and as expected the highways were littered with billboards of christian themes, sayings, alligator BBQ’s, and live tigers. The drive was about 11 hours or so, with stops for gas, food and coffee. 

Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.
— Ibn Battuta

Although this wasn’t exactly where my roots stem from the people around were all very nice, nicer than I expected, giving me praise and good wishes for my trip as they saw my car's license plates in more than half the gas stations on the way. One old man specifically in a gas stop on the side of the Highway in rural Florida told me his son just left to go UP to Maine, and that he suggested, "Just take the i10 west till you hit LA- it's beautiful country." It definitely brightened my day.

It’s pretty incredible to have this wall broken down which I’ve had built up my whole life thinking that people were inherently negative, mean-spirited, or wish ill upon you. Of course, I’m not naive and I know there is dangerous and bad people out there, but for the large, LARGE majority everyone is just a human that wants to just enjoy their day peacefully and positively as they can.

No place is ever as bad as they tell you it’s going to be.
— Chuck Thompson
Florida/Alabama Sunsets.

Florida/Alabama Sunsets.

The heat got more intense as we journeyed down and across the Gulf Coast. Another part I noted on the trip was how much more pervasive the oil companies and industry is down here, where there are literally skylines of oil rigs for as far as the eye can see. It becomes FAR more prevalent as you pass through Tallahassee.

Driving into New Orleans.

Due to the length of the drive we didn’t arrive to our hotel- Hotel Modern, until 5 pm. Once there we received some complimentary drinks, and after the very hipster bartender told us he was out of our first 8 options, I ended up on an apple brandy and Hannah got some lemon raspberry concoction.

Our Hotel Bar.... I'm assuming it used to be a brothel?

After the bartender showed off his seriously impressive skills- seriously, NOT sarcasm- throwing ingredients in the air, slicing, chopping, mixing, shaking, and some ninja-precision chop-stick powers, we headed to The French Quarter.

We hopped on the Trolley and made our way to Bourban Street. The french influence is very obvious here, with cobbled dark side alleys, street musicians, gold-lettered restaurants, and an ever expansive sprawl of drunken people- seriously EVERYONE- tourists, locals, and the homeless, spiraling into one beautiful display of degeneration.

We found some little old bar (the name escapes me), got a few screwdrivers, some garlic wings and gumbo- It was fucking good, no lie. 

I drink to make other people more interesting.
— Ernest Hemingway

Now that we started getting wavy, we headed to the liquor store enjoying the sights, smells (HA! sarcasm), and just general debauchery on the way. The city is such a breath of Europe- or at least what I can imagine it is. The cobbled streets, lantern-lit alleys, "pirate-ous" people, and raw energy of a city swimming in jazz, cajun food and liquor. It's a beautiful dark dream- something similar to what Edgar Allan Poe might describe. I did very much enjoy it though, it sparked a good feeling of a mixture of the laissez faire attitude promoted there and the sense of freedom that the west seems to bleed- something I also noticed as I continued on westward (With California being the culmination of that ideology).

...... I got things to do.

We loaded up and headed back to our hotel, giggling and enjoying the ridiculousness of us “kids” out here “adulting” so hard. We got back to the room, kept getting twisted until RING RING- alarm clock. It was tomorrow. Time to drive to San Antonio. 

Thirteen: DC to Savannah

Day IV


We woke up and got moving by 9, heading out of Richmond, Virginia towards Savannah. Since we took the i95 we got to see a good portion of Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Virginia was pretty run of the mill, with some rural mountains and a change of trees, which became even more pronounced as you head deeper south.

North Carolina had the most littered highways, where it resembled more of a gutter than a highway shoulder- very odd coming from a state with essentially pristine highways. Also, there was at least 5 or 6 dogs and a few cats as well found right on the side of the road- something I can’t remember seeing anywhere else ever... Very weird. It was all probably just a coincidence, but it was curious to say the least.

As you start to get into South Carolina, you see more and more billboards of religious sayings and bible verses. All of the stores of different as expected- Publix instead of Hannaford, Chik-Fil-A instead of KFC, Hardee’s instead of Burger King. Chiggers, swampy scenery, dreary trees, willows, and palm trees all started to spring up as you continue down the coast- getting us both to get a little giddy- the first signs of warmth!

It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.
— William Shakespeare

We decided to grab a hotel as it wasn’t the warmest out yet and we didn’t get to Savannah until after a while after sunset. We grabbed some beers downtown and enjoyed a few hours of drunken fun amongst the Palm Trees before falling asleep- It was our first 8 hour driving day and so the night wasn't TOO eventful. 

The bridge into Savannah, GA.

Savannah, GA.

The trip started to become much more vivid and real in this part of the journey, with both of us getting into areas of the world that NEITHER of us have ever been into. Tomorrow would be the day that we go across Florida, Alabama and into Louisiana....places we haven't been with our parents, with our friends, no one- It was a complete step into the dark- Something both frightening as hell and yet something I beg everyone who can, to take. It is a wholly unstable experience, where in it you learn how to truly find real courage and how to navigate chaos. Something we must all learn, willingly or not. 

There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be...
— John Lennon

Twelve: NYC to DC



Sunrise in NYC.

We grabbed some coffee and food in the morning, taking one last look at Times Square and the center of the megalopolis before packing up, grabbing the car and heading out the beast. We had some magnificent views of the skyline as we exited the city, taking the Holland Tunnel and i95 out through northern Jersey.

What I realized is that to support such an insanely huge city is ALL of the surrounding area is devoted to the industry, manufacturing and upkeep of this structure. So you’ll see nothing but power lines, factories, billboards, rows and rows of developments and never-ending (literally) lines of buses filled with 100 people per, up to 40 miles outside New York. The amount of people, the size, the complexity, is something you just can’t get until you see it. It baffles you. You realize how many of us there REALLY are, and how many different opinions, thoughts, choices, and goals we all have. It really makes you think, “I can’t believe anyone can get anything done here.” But they do, and in triple fold of what I feel you believe you can accomplish when you only come from a small town. This view and vision is really mind expanding (sending the true vast size of it) and teaches you that it requires intense determination if you want to achieve anything.

Energy and persistence conquer all things.
— Benjamin Franklin

With that said, we headed down the i95 through some very sparkling places in Delaware mixed with more industry (something you get used to driving across the country- it’s EVERYWHERE).

Hannah drove into DC and although nervous, she handled it perfectly, we got to our hotel in Richmond, Virginia right outside DC at around 2, we dropped our bags off in our room, had our other little treats and headed to the Metro.

We road down probably the biggest escalator I’ve ever seen, it was so long and steep it gives you this sensation of warping, as if you are just moving flat and forward, but really you’re going down at a 40 degree angle- it fucked me up for a second for sure. The metro was quick and we got to the Smithsonian stop, hopped off, and headed to the museums, unfortunately though the recent storm that hit them had stopped everything, dumping more than 20 inches on them 2 days before, so all the Smithsonian were closed. It didn’t deter us though as we knew all the memorials and monuments were still open, so we took a long walk around the Capitol, down the mall to the White House, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Reflecting Pool.

The visit felt very full of a sense of destiny, a purpose or meaning to see all of these very old historical monuments and buildings- I don’t like the word patriotic, but it’s probably one of the only times I’ve felt my version of that idea.

The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.
— Albert Ellis

It was also quite romantic, walking up the mall at sunset, and back down it as a nightly stroll. We took the metro back to our hotel, arrived there around 10 or 11, and then knocked out before one of our bigger drives tomorrow. 

This turned out to be one of my most favorite stops due to my overabundant love of history, especially of the founders. Even if it was cold and snow-ridden, we still enjoyed it to the fullest. I definitely recommend it for anyone who has even a slight interest in American history. The funniest part is we didn't even hit the Smithsonian's because they were closed and those are the best places to visit! Haha! Oh Well, next time I guess...

Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.
— Thomas Jefferson

Tenth: Leaving Maine

My kickstarter was successfully funded the day before the campaign was finished! Ending with $6833 from 34 backers! 

It's been over a month since I left my last post, and it's ONLY because I've been so beyond crazy busy I haven't had a moment to organize my thoughts, compile my entries and get them online...but now I can! 

The Kickstarter campaign WAS successfully funded since I last left an entry, and so since then I've been doing all I can to prep the rewards for backers and get ready to being the trip. In the months before leaving I've been finishing all the ink drawings, mounting them in a professional way, and sending them out to the backers while planning the future paintings, the trip itself, scheduling and the financing of it all. Here's examples of some of the ink drawings the backers received...

Now, the crescendo of my Kickstarter Project!


I was FINALLY leaving with my girlfriend to go on this US road trip and come up with 5 new 36 x 48 inch paintings to accompany the first one of  MDI, Maine that started this series off. To say I was excited was an understatement. The goodbye was teary eyed and hopeful, we left my parent’s house, with both my girlfriend Hannah’s family and mine seeing us off. They were VERY excited for us though and it was nothing but positivity and happiness (and LOTS of packing).

The car all packed up!

Saying goodbye to our cat Leo wasn’t the most fun either, but luckily we will see him in a few months once we have our place in California (still unsure if we'd have an apartment or not). After that it was just another regular 5-hour drive to my sister’s place in Quincy, right outside Boston proper. It was a relatively normal trip, as I’ve driven it countless times both by myself and with friends and family, though nothing to complain about.

Coming into Boston on the Zakim Bridge.

Boston Skyline from Saugus River Bridge.

We enjoyed a few hours of visiting with my sister and her husband, who are expecting a baby in the next few months- weird thinking I’ll be an uncle- one of those things that won’t be real until the baby is in front of me. As a late Christmas present/early baby shower gift I did a mural of a playful farm for them; they seemed to love it.

Mural I did for my sister's baby's room. 

After that Hannah and I relaxed, enjoying the last bit simplicity before our first big trip tomorrow (as neither of us have ever driven past Boston by ourselves). The anticipation and the weight of the moment was definitely heavy on us in this moment- lots of anxiety, nauseous, fear, ideas of different possibilities and outcomes, excitement, curiosity, and eagerness all swirled into a roller coaster of emotion. We knew what we wanted and what that took, so only the motion of moving forward was acceptable.


#PrayforParis #PrierpourParis

Over 150 Dead in Paris today; A horrible loss.


Before getting to any of my work this week, I wanted to mention the atrocity that is still currently happening over in France as I type this. Sometimes, the world is ferociously dark. Over 150 people were taken captive and killed in a hostage/terror-type situation that unfolded at the Bataclan concert halls in Paris. I couldn't be more remorseful for the people of France, for our brothers, for humanity. It's astonishing to still see this radicalized anger and aggression aimed towards peaceful, civil people. Life isn't just some game, once these poor victims are dead, they're dead, and that's it. It's atrocious to see this, that whatever the motives of the attackers were, to still go through with and instigate these crimes. So many lives were taken much earlier than needed, and I'm sad to still see this happen. Our world is in a fluctuating state, one that could end in turmoil or togetherness, but it's ultimately up to us, humanity- how we will react, how we can prevent this in the future, and how we can outgrow these psychopathic tendencies of a naive species. I'm sending all my love over the Atlantic. 

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.
— Thomas Paine

Studio Work from this Past Week

I've finished up a ton of work this past week, including a new stand alone piece of a Eurasian Eagle Owl, a background for another owl piece in the future, the background of a new dreamscape piece, finished an older landscape, patched up and fixed an old oil painting, and finished a tryptic landscape of Gulf Hagas in Maine. Not to mention the sketches as well. Here is all the recent work below...

"Three Islands." 18 x 24 inches. Acrylic Paint. For Sale $200.

"Eurasian Eagle-Owl." 20 x 30 inches. Acrylic paint. For sale $400.

"Blue Man." 20 x 30 inches. Oil paint. For Sale $150 (Damaged, recently repaired this week).

Prep for another owl painting coming soon!

A new dreamscape painting in progress.

A sketch from this past week.

Another recent drawing from my sketchbook.

Gulf Hagas Tryptic. Recently finished.

My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.
— Thomas Paine


Just a few lines reflecting on my current state:


Floral prints in backgrounds of rooms that echo cultural tid-bits,

Lips slip in and out of dreams and scenes that bleed into peaceful hills of green,

Critical to be less aggressive, or otherwise end self-destructive,

Need to be impressive but stressors mess with the active,

Passive only to other loving entities,

Meant to be free, sent to Earth to create like Neptune did the sea,

I bet I'll be worth more than casinos when my body drops six feet below,

Heat under rows of rowboats that float through magma rivers,

Find the source like your life depends on it, till your lip quivers,

Stickler for crunchy pot stickers, weed with whiskers and Snickers,

Whiskey and shaved pussy, cats and flannel sheets stained with liquor,

Tick-tock on the clock till the alarm rocks the hungover noggin' to stand quicker,

I hate to bicker, used to drown in it though,

Sad to be found long-winded full of white people woes,

Then I dropped that harder than I dropped out of debt slavery, 

I mean child idiocy, I mean college, 'cause financially I couldn't stand on my feet,

Met defeat when Boston buses almost hit me blacked-out on bourbon, 

Rum, and any handle I got my hands on, I was pretty hand's on,

Found foolishness and lost that addiction, rehab to my consciousness,

Down with pity shit, up with wittiness,

Video all my day's memories to collect followers like I'm Moses,

Can't part a sea, but can retweet to half a G,

Three-peat like MJ the G, and keep livin' like it's the 23rd century.

My Kickstarter Project!

With Only One Week Left, it Looks Great!

70% Funded! $4800 of $6800! 7 Days Left!



Thank you ALL so much for sharing, liking, retweet, posting for, and donating any little bit you can to my Kickstart Project. It's literally been a dream come true to see this all bloom right before me. Whether we hit the goal or not this has been an amazing growth period for me and shown me so much about how to put together a great project. Though I think we CAN fully fund this project, and I'll be on to sending rewards to all the backers, finalized plans for the trip, and leave January to start this how thing! I'm SO excited and again you all have been so amazing I can thank you enough!!! 



And keeping in line with my first 2 Thomas Paine quotes, here's a third to wrap up all the parts of this blog post- The Attacks in Paris, my new paintings, planning of the road trip and my crowdfunding Kickstarter Project. 

We have it in our power to begin the world over again.
— Thomas Paine



I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.
— Pablo Picasso
Gray Fall Days

Gray Fall Days

Hello everyone!

Update on My Kickstater: We've Raised $4300, 63% with 14 days left!

First, just a little update on my Kickstarter project that is currently live: 

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR DONATING! This is ABSOLUTELY amazing and is blowing my mind how receptive and awesome everyone can be. In just 3 weeks we've raised $4300 out of the $6800 goal needed to fund this project! ALL THANKS TO YOU GUYS! It's been incredible how helpful and support everyone in my community and abroad have been by sharing this video on twitter, instagram and facebook, and donating even just a little bit. Together we can complete this! With 63% funded and 14 days left I KNOW WE CAN! So lets continue the roll of sharing, liking, helping any little bit you can! This has seriously been a dream of mine for longer than I can remember, and I can't honestly even describe what it means to see it become possible. 


Click the image to link to my Kickstarter Project Page!

Click the image to link to my Kickstarter Project Page!

WE ARE NOT THERE YET THOUGH! We still have to raise $2500! Once the funding is hopefully completed on November 20th, I'll immediately send messages to all the backers with a short form to fill out to figure out what rewards they'd like in their level, and if they donated $50 or more- I'll figure out what portrait or idea you want formed into these paintings. I'll also be getting addresses for shipping the rewards that can be sent now. I'll hit the road the first week of January, finish the series up around the end of February, get the prints done and ship those out March 2016! I'll be posting updates the entire journey, and letting all of you know how it's going and behind the scenes art and time-lapses of the creation of each piece, on location.

I've posted mock-up drawings of the future paintings-to-be-painted. Just some preliminary sketches that give an idea of the style/format/conceptualization I'm going for. All of these will be subject to change though of course, due to the input from the donors. Here they are below...

Mock-up sketch of the 'New York' painting, all subject to change due to donor's input and contribution. Click the image to link to the Kickstarter Project!

Mock-up sketch of the 'New York' painting, all subject to change due to donor's input and contribution. Click the image to link to the Kickstarter Project!

Mock-up sketch of the 'Farms in Georgia' painting, all subject to change due to donor's input and contribution. Click the image to link to the Kickstarter Project!

Mock-up sketch of the 'Farms in Georgia' painting, all subject to change due to donor's input and contribution. Click the image to link to the Kickstarter Project!

Mock-up sketch of the 'Austin, Texas' painting, all subject to change due to donor's input and contribution. Click the image to link to the Kickstarter Project!

Mock-up sketch of the 'Austin, Texas' painting, all subject to change due to donor's input and contribution. Click the image to link to the Kickstarter Project!

Mock-up sketch of the 'The Grand Canyon' painting, all subject to change due to donor's input and contribution. Click the image to link to the Kickstarter Project!

Mock-up sketch of the 'The Grand Canyon' painting, all subject to change due to donor's input and contribution. Click the image to link to the Kickstarter Project!

Mock-up sketch of the 'Sequoias & San Fransisco' painting, all subject to change due to donor's input and contribution. Click the image to link to the Kickstarter Project!

Mock-up sketch of the 'Sequoias & San Fransisco' painting, all subject to change due to donor's input and contribution. Click the image to link to the Kickstarter Project!

Finished 3 Commissions Recently

I just finished up a series of 3 commission paintings for a client that used a series of pictures from his Summer that I then took and formed together into 3 individual pieces that can stand on their own and as a coherent unit, simultaneously. They complied memories from musical festivals- including Great North, the Peach Festival, Electric Forest, Harry's Hill and inspired by many other music festivals in the northeast. They are all 20 x 30 inches, an done in acrylic paint. Here are the 3 pieces, completely finished below...

In My Spare Time

I've recently just been sketching some ideas and I also took a more traditional approach, by simply rendering a bottle. Going back to doing still life's, basically just working on my classic foundational skills- ALWAYS good to brush up on. Here are those sketches below...

Just keeping everyone updated on my studio work and day-to-day stuff! I'll be back soon!

^Kickstarter Video to Anyone Interested!^

Just wanted to post it before I left for anyone who can't find a quick link!

Landscape Painting Across the US


Drawing is the honesty of the art. There is no possibility of cheating. It is either good or bad.
— Salvador Dali

Lucky Number 7

My Kickstarter Project has raised $3084 in 12 days!!!

Thanks to a special, GIANT, anonymous donation of $1000 and a bunch of other donation on top of that, we've raised $3084. With 21 days left we've still got a bit to go, and with 45% ALREADY FUNDED, we are looking VERY GOOD! I CAN'T THANK YOU ALL ENOUGH FOR THIS SUPPORT!!! You are all amazing and this is so far blowing my mind with how much we've collected and put together. This is SERIOUSLY a dream come true, and I CAN'T WAIT to get started on the road trip and start painting landscapes across America. I've always loved to travel and only now am I seeing a really viable way to get that idea done, while simultaneously promoting and expanding my artwork. 

Click the photo to go to my Kickstarter Project Page!

Click the photo to go to my Kickstarter Project Page!


I'll be drawing out the preliminary sketches for the other 5 paintings in the Kickstarter series and have them up on the project page and post them here as well so people can get an even better idea of what I'm going for. 

 I'll be posting a ton of examples of the ink drawing rewards that everyone who donates $10 or more will be receiving.

Also, I have 2 new series of paintings outside the Kickstarter that I'll be diving into soon, one of them will be colorful bottle still life's done on a black acrylic background. The second will be a series of paintings reflecting the major Greek myths. 

ALSO, I've recently finished adding all my listings onto my Etsy store. It now features 45 original paintings done by me and for sale for anyone who enjoys my art!

My Etsy store featuring 45 of my original paintings RIGHT NOW! Click the photo to visit!

My Etsy store featuring 45 of my original paintings RIGHT NOW! Click the photo to visit!

 Click the photo to visit!

 Click the photo to visit!

 Click the photo to visit!

 Click the photo to visit!

 Click the photo to visit!

 Click the photo to visit!


FINALLY, I'm finishing up a series of 3 commission paintings for a client. This is the last of the 3, in progress on my easel...

Love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well.
— Vincent Van Gogh

Number 6

Inspiration does exist, but it must find you working.
— Pablo Picasso

The Kickstarter Project is Going Great!

We've Raised $1923 in 10 Days!

I'm EXTREMELY excited for how the project has turned out. After ONLY ten days we've raised almost 30% of the funds, and are steadily climbing everyday. I've been working on the rewards for the donors, planning and mapping out the designs for the other 5 paintings that I will be posting on the Kickstarter as official update soon as well.

An example of the reward for people donating $10 or more to my Kickstarter Project

An example of the reward for people donating $10 or more to my Kickstarter Project

Also the project was listed as #2 ranking for painting projects on Kickstarter just this morning, and was also featured on a second blog for trending projects! This is all AMAZING news and I only hope it can keep up! 

My Kickstarter Project ranked as #2 in the painting projects section

Kicksp Blog featuring my project as a trending Kickstarter this week


Also, I've been finishing up some commission work for a client, here's 1 finished, and 1 almost finished.

This is the finished commission piece.

Another commission piece that is ALMOST done.

A little poetry before I go...


If darkness is a destination, I was born there, 

If hope is just a dream, it's the only one I want to sleep through,

If battle is the only means for peace, how do you find truth?

If the light is forgotten, the people lose evil's proof,

Editing history, now imagine if Satan was the editor,

Who knows who's right or wrong, left or right?

If we're already lost, who can find the stranded?

If we need guidance, who can lead who's never been led,

Cycles spin like washers and rims, nature and whims,

Thoughts never stopping, mouth always yawning, 

If mortality exists, why do we sprint to 401ks and retirement homes?

If morality exists, why do we hide secrets and face failure all alone?


My Kickstarter Project 

Here's a link to the project page if you're interested in more I'll Paint Your Story!





After ONLY 5 days, we've raised $1532!! 

So far this is surpassing my projections for how well we'd be doing and HOPEFULLY it can keep going! I've been trying to get it out to as many people as possible and really spread the word but I still need your help!

Click the picture for a direct link to the Project! 

Click the picture for a direct link to the Project! 

I'm constantly working on drawings for the rewards, as well as new work and and a batch of 3 commissions on the side right now.

The 3 commission pieces I'm working on for a client. 

The 3 commission pieces I'm working on for a client. 

A Little Poem...


Irises twinkle like speckled night skies, 

Time at a standstill, moments similar to test-taking,

Invested in forsaken thoughts,

But left those alone like abandoned homes, 

A man with a whim to take on what's against him,

With four limbs pointed in every seasons' direction, 

Traction studded with mud splattering soft palette-tones,

I'm bolder than I was supposed to know was possible.


At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since.
— Salvador Dali


Another day in the studio! Just been CONSTANTLY busy trying to get my Kickstarter launched, along with listing up all my original artwork on Etsy, and all my artwork for prints on fineartamerica. ALSO, I had to start 3 new paintings for commission that are due at the end of next week, and require the utmost tedious care. BLAHHH, lets just say I'm exhausted. 

Anywhere here's a photo from todays studio session...

Energy and persistence conquer all things.

— Benjamin Franklin

BEFORE I GO, I just wanna leave a few lines of poetry. I might start doing this everyday...


To find the root is to meet the source of the fruit,

Red coursing through the meat of the brute,

Playing strong against fiddle-heads 'till you hear the flutes,

No sign of loot until the warriors buckle their boots,

Glued to pixel tubes and foreign boobs,

Booed off stage by the unlikeliest enemy,

I'm part of humanity so I've never found serenity, 

Been addled by problems further than Mozambique,

Toes wishing they were feet, swishing in the creek,

Diminished by low interest and wages that don't interest,

You, unless you're Me, ego-fed 360 degrees,

Feast like Feds on bodies that've dropped,

It's a carnival of corpses that wish they'd never rot.

First Post!

Just wanted to write a quick little post for anyone out there paying attention. This is my first official website for my artwork, and I'm EXTREMELY happy and proud to be putting together and up for my fans! It'll all be a lot smoother as time goes on, and if you need any help just comment, or email me. I'm going to be writing on here actively a lot, especially once my Kickstarter is launched, so I can keep people updated, so get ready!

I wanted to leave a quote that has always resonated with me, especially now....

The greatest emperor’s crown themselves.
— Unknown

Thank you for everyone who has helped me out so far, bought art, or supported me, it's beyond appreciated.

-Israel Fickett