Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Darkness falls on this blog from time to time, lurkers, but don't worry. I'm still alive. September is a boring month anyway, isn't it? October is where it's at. I started a new series in an attempt to paint like an adult:
I'm not sure what I'm calling this series just yet, or how many I will be doing, but they are far more personal than most of the things that I paint. A lot of meaningful symbolism will be embedded in these works.
I'm also still largely interested in painting pretty pools and other fun stuff like cacti:

A studio visit to my good pal Nick Wilkinson always seems to inspire me color-wise, but confuses me in that his body of work can be so different but make sense in the same way through his use of different mediums. I look at these two paintings and they could have been done by two different people. My work is schizophrenic and although that's bad for gallery owners trying to sell my stuff, it's the only way I can continue to paint, which has been very difficult this year. I just want to give up and be an accountant. 
In other news, Jeff and Bret and I are planning a holiday group show at Fiasco! Gallery's new location.
Yeah great work guys holding down that wall while I paint something
The show will include several local artists, an awesome DJ, a food truck, and some local beer. It's on December 6th, from sundown to about midnight. You should really go, it's good for you to get out of the house now and then. I'll post the address everywhere in due time, for now just keep your pants on and remember that something is going down on the 6th of December.
There was a show at Casita Del Pueblo in Whittier this month, not many people attended it and it was weird/awful to be back in a town I spent a brief moment living in. At least I like what I painted for the show:

There are some really great artists in this show, there are some really great pieces. I was lucky enough to co-curate this annual affair, and despite some resistance I think the walls looked pretty good. What do I know, I'm not some jerk from LA anymore, I'm a jerk who lives in a podunk town on the central coast of California.
Luckily, aside from the holiday-ish party in December at Fiasco!, I have no other shows to do. I am burned out and hate painting so much if it had a face I'd spit in it. Maybe if you're reading this you have purchased work from me, thank you, good for you. I don't think I'll be making much work next year and the year after that I hope to make even less. Does that make them more valuable? According to what I know about comic books and beanie babies, yes. 
If you're reading this and you hate me, I guess you were right about me and you win. Congrats. Happy Holidays everyone!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


I am happy to announce that you can now see a couple of my paintings in Fiona Bleu Gallery in Morro Bay. I figured if Jeff is cool enough to show in there, I should just barely make it in riding his thai-iced-tea-stained coattails. I don't have a picture of the gallery, but I did just take this pic with FBG owner Rowan Chase:
this picture of Rowan from Biz Buzz and I go way back

I also will be showing some of my pool paintings at Sans Liege tasting room in Pismo Beach come September. I guess my paintings wanted a coastal vacation. 

Worry not, SLO locals, or SLOcals as some people say, you can still catch me painting away at Huckleberry Market. Oh, you want a link? Here you go.

More news sooner or later. In the meantime, buy something cheap I need money for coffee:

yours truly,

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Hello Lurkers-

It's been a minute, I know...but check this out:

I was delighted to be asked to be a part of Flower Pepper Gallery's "Extravaganza" in late July, where Walt Hall, Jon Measures and I were painting for real life in front of curious gallery goers.

Huckleberry Market opened, a project I am excited to be a part of. I am the resident artist & illustrator there, where I will be working part time trying to sell all kinds of fun stuff, including plants selectively picked by my good pal Nick Wilkinson, owner of Grow Nursery.

I took a part-time job at the first job I ever landed in SLO (er, re-took?)

I am painting the wall of Artisan, the coolest eatery in Paso. 

Don't judge me it's not even close to being finished in this picture.

Jeff is painting a wall too, isn't that precious?
Hi, I'm Jeff, take my pitture

Saturday, August 2 marked my last Art After Dark in Paso's Studios on the Park. Why? Well, I've been asked to leave for trying to make things better, or at least trying to make the powers that be treat the people paying their rent treat resident artists like people and not cows. Fascism is heavy, man. I just want to pay rent and paint stuff for cool people. I highly recommend NOT putting dollars into the pockets of Studios. If you happen to be in town for the weekend, walk right by "suggested donation" box and give those dollars to the artists you see (that don't have the last name Laddon).

So, some good stuff, but also some bad. It's been a great summer for painting pools & tennis courts!

A great big thank you to those lovely people (mostly from LA and SF) who have made this a successful painting sales season. You are keeping the dream alive! Talk to you soon about my next advenutre!

instagram: @nealbretonart

October 4: 138 Skulls Group Show
Casita Del Pueblo, 13100 Philadelphia Street, Whittier, CA
Opening reception October 4, 6-9pm

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Greetings Lurkers-

How's the heat treating you? Don't answer that, I don't know if I care to talk about the weather right now.

Oakland was a blast, thanks to all those who came by ONLY. If you didn't come by, don't try sneaking off with any accolades. Big ups to Katie, Cortney and Julie for being such good sports. Also, superstar painter Nic Rodriguez came by to paint live like a real person. It was pretty cool.

That was then, this is now. Check out this show coming up:

Flower Pepper Gallery & Walt Hall present
A Summer Type Show (actual title may vary)
Date: Saturday June 28
Time: 6?
Address: 121 E. Union Street, Pasadena Calif., 91103

Featuring: artists! Walt and Jeff and me and other cooler people.

Check out my Square shop, it's got fun stuff you can buy while sitting on a bag of frozen peas in your unmentionables. It's easy (the shopping, not the sitting part, though that is easy too)!

My mom has a new cat in her life. Watch the video below and get 15% off anything in the Square Store that makes you happy! Excite!

See you at the show, lurkers!

ps: instagram!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Greetings, Lurkers-

Happy Mother's day to those who happened to have given birth to something out there. I spent Mom's day with my mom in the garage, nicknamed "The Vault" because it holds everything I have ever collected. Sports cards, Japanese robots, GI Joes, comic books from the 80s and 90s, it's all there. At least it was cool while we were in there sorting through boxes of stuff that I can hock for art supplies and gas money. If you like any of the aforementioned nerd manna, feel free to email me inquiries here.
I am hitting some old stomping grounds this year. Come on by and say hi/pick up a piece of art/slap my face for breaking your heart:

June 6th: The Fiasco! Gallery Travelling Circus
17 Jewels Salon, 4801 Telegraph Road, Oakland, CA.
Opening reception, June 6th,  6-9pm.
Featuring: Jeff Claassen
Running until: June 30

June 28th: Summer Group Show
@ Flower Pepper Gallery, 121 E Union Street, Pasadena, CA
Opening reception June 28, 6-9pm.
Featuring: Jeff Claassen, Walt Hall
Running until: tbd
this lil' 8x8 entitled "Eskimo Summer" will be on display at Flower Pepper gallery in Pasadena

September 5th: Group Show
@ Rise Above Printing, 4770 Telegraph, Oakland, CA
Opening reception September 5th, 6-9pm.
Featuring: Jeff Claassen, Nic Rodriguez, Ty Hjortland
Running until: tbd

October 4: 138 Skulls Group Show
@ Casita Del Pueblo, 13100 Philadelphia Street, Whittier, CA
Opening reception October 4, 6-9pm

I've updated my Square Store, you can view/buy pieces from my latest series The Lonely Iceberg there. Also, I have some other allegedly cool stuff on there to buy as well. Pay my bills!

Thanks for clicking, see you around.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

May/June Events in Oakland!


So nice to see you. Here's what's happening lately. Lots of upcoming events involving me and my pals. 17 Jewels Salon in Oakland has decided to be nice to me. Not only are they showing Jeff and I in their space in June, but in May they gave a show to my good pal Nic Rodriguez. Here is the skinny on that dude:

Tracy, California artist Nic Rodriguez has only been painting canvas for 5 years, but has always had an innate ability to craft amazing compositions in dozens upon dozens of sketchbooks. A proud graduate of continuation school, he taught art to his fellow students. Despite "settling down" as father and husband, Nic's quirky sense of visual humor and social commentary remains unchanged. With roots in graffiti art, he explores the underbelly of everyday life through his dynamic figurative linework and bold color choices.

Here are some examples of his work:

All Bay Area friends would have a great time hanging out at 17 Jewels Salon at 4801 Telegraph on Friday May 2 from 5-9 pm. Snacks provided by Laced Cakes Bakery, even! 
Scheduled to appear: yours truly! I'll be helping my pal Nic make sure his paintings aren't crooked and he doesn't say the F word in front of families. Come by and say howdy and have a cupcake!
I will also be delivering some artwork to some awesome Bay Area people who stopped by Fiasco! Gallery. With help from some nerdy woodshop/engineer friends, this piece is now powered by a plug and not batteries!

Now if I could only find the contact info for the guy who bought it...

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Call To Art Enthusiasts

Hey Lurkers- Here's a rant Jeff and I wrote for the folks tuned into the Fiasco! Gallery page. Your continued support is appreciated and still needed as another amazing gallery, Vale Fine Art, closes its doors in a couple of days. This is unexpected and bittersweet news. I feel like I am really hitting my stride as a curator, the Vale show was one of the best things I've done, especially coming off the Savages show at Studios on the Park. Hard to consider myself a successful curator when sales are so inconsistent. Curator reads to me like "dude who hangs rad artwork that totally flies off the wall for $$$", and right now I'm just "dude who hangs rad artwork". 
An article about the group show written by Erin Messer can be seen here. Thanks for digesting the word soup below.

So, you’ve come to the shows. All of them. You’ve danced, you’ve nibbled snacks, you loved the work on the walls. You’ve complimented the artists, you’ve even brought friends and family to the show to see what’s going on in what we can now call an “art community”. You’ve told us that we have put on a great show. A lot of work went into creating the event, so we are grateful. Without you, events aren’t fun or memorable.
Here is the heavy part, though-- while you being there is important, what’s more important is that you show your support with your money. It almost sounds shallow and might be insulting, but your compliments don’t pay the rent, and don’t pay for more work to get done. If everyone walked into their favorite restaurant from now on and only told them they made the best meal, they would close. Galleries in this county don’t show the work that we want to see because we don’t financially support it enough. If buying a painting you are obsessed with sets you apart from that new pair of shoes or going on a couple dates or even if it means you don’t get to buy food from the fancy grocery store this month, then so be it. Now is the time to make a difference.
Hopefully some of you reading this get it, and have supported. Cities like Portland and Oakland sell incredible, affordable and accessible art in salons, yogurt shops and cafes. Only a handful of artists in this county can say they have sold in such places. People who have coordinated these shows gave valiant efforts to work things out with artists, musicians, caterers and business owners. Lena Rushing, Anna Weltner, Laykin Hamilton, Brigham Baker, Leslie Clark Grey, Nick Wilkinson, Neal and Jeff  have been putting on shows in this area for more than five years now. Most of you reading this have taken part in some way--you’re an artist, your girlfriend/boyfriend/friend paints, your brain loves color and your mouth likes beer and cake.
We are glad you showed your support, the people who own the gallery are impressed that we can pack in a place. They aren’t impressed when you leave without buying something. Invest in the future of a vibrant art scene by talking with your wallet. Artists work hard and most I’ve asked would rather show their work on the wall of a nice gallery (where people come to see art exclusively) and not a retail place that sells something else to pay their bills. If you want to support the artist you know, buy something from the gallery they are showing at. No one is saying you shouldn’t buy direct from your artist friends, but when an artist gets a decent show at a good gallery, do more than come by for a hug and a handshake.
This Saturday in Paso Robles at Vale Fine Art, pieces by Walt Hall are available for $125 and up. Walt Hall is an amazing artist. We think so. Juxtapoz thinks so. Look him up.  I know that if you don’t have a job, spending $125 is impossible to think about when you have rent hanging over your head, but to those of you who have the means, what gives? In the most black and white of terms, this is how venues that show contemporary or cutting edge work die out. The lack of financial support makes gallery owners cut and run to bigger cities.
No violins will be playing when Vale closes their doors after this Saturday, April 19th to open somewhere more lucrative. We’re not asking for a handout. You give money, you get a painting, not a vague sense that you helped, somehow, probably. Everybody wins.  If you need to feel good about your money, support not only a local business but a person who creates. Do so while looking at an awesome new piece to hang in your bedroom/in your office/over your toilet that you bought from a gallery setting.
We here at Fiasco! welcome an open dialogue about this subject. Here are some topics we would like your opinion on:
Do you appreciate/support these shows or are you coming as obligation to a friend/family member?
Do you have a desire to own/collect original art/limited editions?

Have you seen art you loved/wanted, but did not buy it? What stopped you from buying it?