Gabriel Roberts

The Art and Comedy of Gabriel Roberts

February 2016 Desktop Calendar Background

Good day friends! Welcome to the month of February. Months like this one only come around every four years. That’s right, it’s a leap year! Wow. A whole extra day at the very end of the month. It ought to be a holiday. Or some sort of free-for-all all-you-can-eat two-for-one extravaganza. Well, we’ve got a whole month to make plans. Here’s a new background for your desktop:

February 2016 1920x1200

This is a photo of a pedestrian bridge here in Cochabamba, Bolivia. I’ve scrawled the dates of the month on the side wall like graffiti, and circled the Sundays in green. Sunday the 14th, Valentine’s Day, is surrounded by a heart. Admittedly, this is not a very convenient calendar. If you want a clearly legible calendar, please see below. If you never use this background as a calendar or appreciate the challenge of discerning which day of the week the numbers correspond to, click one of the following links to download the background:

2880×1800, 2560×1600, 1920×1200, 1680×1050, 1440×900, 1280×800

Here’s the legible version of the background, which I’m calling “February 2016 B”:

February 2016 B 1280x800

Here are the links for version B:

2880×1800, 2560×1600, 1920×1200, 1680×1050, 1440×900, 1280×800

For the record, this month marks five years of the desktop calendar backgrounds here at gaberobertsart.com.
Wishing you a wonderful month!

Cochabamba: Painting Pictures Episode 45

Cochabamba

Brought to you by the Magical Elves of Communal living: From Cochabamba, Bolivia, a solo roller with a musical finish: budgeting bolivianos, not getting sick, travelling travails, waitress attitude, mean dogs, and why that can of tuna is half the price.

Click here to download the episode and subscribe to Painting Pictures via iTunes:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/painting-pictures-gabriel/id846291943?mt=2

Here’s a permalink to the episode:
http://gaberobertsart.com/podcast/?name=2016-01-26_cochabamba.mp3

View from Cochabamba Studio

View from Cochabamba Studio

Here’s the first painting I’ve made here in Cochabamba: the view from one of the windows in my studio here at Sustainable Bolivia.

Below are step-by-step images of the painting in progress:

Continue reading

I’m in Cochabamba

cochabamba

Cochabamba. I’m one week in to a three-month artist residency at the volunteer organization Sustainable Bolivia. How I’d ever have found this place on my own I have no idea.  Ever since spending a year in Barcelona and learning some Spanish, South America has been on my mind as the next destination.  As it turns out, I’m not as much of a world traveler as perhaps I thought I would be.  It’s been 8 years since Barcelona and aside from a brief trip to New Zealand, I haven’t ventured out of USA/Canada.

I’m in the “figuring things out” stretch of time here in Cochabamba.  One week in and I have figured out how to walk the city without getting run over, where to buy fruits and vegetables, and how to safely cook and eat without getting sick.  Everybody keeps telling me that I’m going to get sick at some point, but I refuse to believe it.

I can’t really believe that I’m here.  It seemed such a leap.  Bolivia?  I’d believe it when I was there.  It started to feel real when I got to Lima, Peru, and departing the airport, riding through the busy streets, I took in the bustle, the bright colors, the thick air, the sounds.  A whole world of life existing here of which I had no idea.

Briefly I wondered what I was doing here.  So clearly different: run-down, polluted, dangerous even. I’d launched myself into it as if on a lark: “Oh sure!  I’m going to Bolivia”.  Did I really take the time to consider what this entailed?  Was I ready to live in a 3rd-world country?  Since when am I a bold and adventuresome traveler?

I considered the effort I’d put in to get down here, considered the fact that I was already here, and I decided I’d better give it a go.

Continue reading

January 2016 Desktop Calendar Background

January 2016 1440x900

Here we go again folks! 2016 is off and running and we’re getting into some pretty strange territory here. Two thousand and sixteen? Twenty sixteen?!? It’s the future!

This month’s calendar features a photo of Montreal. I loved the way these construction cones stood out so brightly against the white. It’s an especially hot orange.

Please click one of the following links to download the background for your computer:
2880×1800, 2560×1600, 1920×1200, 1680×1050, 1440×900, 1280×800

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday filled with love. Here’s to 2016 being the very best year in history.

Stacking Leaves: Painting Pictures Ep. 44

Stacking Leaves

From Carmichael, CA, a leaf-stacking sojourn where I discuss green waste, unsalted butter, tooth cavities, chopping garlic, and coughing at concerts.

Click here to download the episode and subscribe to Painting Pictures via iTunes:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/painting-pictures-gabriel/id846291943

Here’s a permalink to the episode:
http://gaberobertsart.com/podcast/?name=2015-12-18_stacking_leaves.mp3

My New Floormats: Painting Pictures Ep. 43

Painting Pictures with Gabriel Roberts My New Floormats

Check it.  A new solo podcast from Carmichael, CA, where among other things I discuss: the relentless monotony of suburbia; passing people on the street; squash soup; bringing back the VHS; paintings for sale; my sweet new floormats, Kaiser Permanente ain’t special.

Click here to download and subscribe via iTunes:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/painting-pictures-gabriel/id846291943?mt=2

Here’s a permalink to the episode:
http://gaberobertsart.com/podcast/?name=2015-12-10_my_new_floormats.mp3

“View from McKinley Pond” Painting on Display at Bistro 33 in Sacramento

I’ve got a small painting on display at Bistro 33 in Sacramento.

View from McKinley Pond - Painting by Gabriel Roberts

“View from McKinley Pond” 13×9 inches

I made this painting one day in October at McKinley Park in East Sacramento. The painting has been sold, but will remain on display through December 21st, 2015.

Here’s a picture of it framed:

View from McKinley Pond FRAMED

McDonald’s “We Need to Talk” Ad: More Nonsense for a Dumber America

I’ve written before about a McDonald’s ad that makes America dumber.  Here we go again…

There’s a new McDonald’s ad that shows a young man receiving a text that reads “We need to talk”.  A montage follows of close-up shots of a woman—presumably the sender of the text—saying “We need to talk” in different tones; one tone implying that she’s breaking up with him, another implying that she’s pregnant, etc.

Then, over a shot of the young man looking puzzled upon reading the text, large words read “Avoid misunderstood texts.  Meet in person”.

The happy couple are then shown eating McDonald’s and talking and laughing.

The idea of meeting in person and not dealing with sensitive issues over text message is all well and good, but the ad sets up this dichotomy—meeting in person vs. texting—and fails to represent it in the actual advertisement.

The texting that is shown is a woman sending the text “we need to talk”.  We are supposed to believe that this is an easily-misunderstood text message, and an example of why we should meet in person.  Curiously, no matter what the young man might read into this text, he is merely speculating over what she’s going to say when they meet in person. In other words, her text says “let’s meet in person”.

While initially—thanks perhaps to his fears and insecurities—the young man may have the wrong idea of what she’s going to say, this is a text message that, fundamentally, cannot be misunderstood.  There is no way to read such a message and come away with any understanding besides the following: she wants to have a conversation, and NOT through text messages.

Misunderstanding the text message “We need to talk” would require reading it and thinking something like “She wants me to eat more citrus fruit”; in other words, you would have to be a complete idiot. Here is a much better example of misunderstood text messages: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naleynXS7yo

Somebody had the idea of selling McDonald’s as a great way to have a casual face-to-face meeting, akin to “grabbing a cup of coffee”.  They liked this idea of a low-pressure, easy-breezy meeting and paired it perfectly with some inexpensive chicken and fish sandwiches. They got a good-looking pair of vaguely international-looking actors and a really nice shot of them eating sandwiches and smiling.  Unfortunately, they didn’t stop there.

McDonald’s decided to take it a step further and tap into the popular “return to roots” sentiment that’s in the air these days: “Darn technology! Darn Facebook and text messages!  People texting while driving! People can’t even have a face-to-face conversation any more! RAWWR!”.  People LOVE this idea because it gives them something to feel united about.  “Returning to our roots” and taking our faces out of our cellphones for a moment is a cause as shining and perfect and vague as “The Children”.  Verizon is all over it: http://creativity-online.com/work/verizon-home/44593

So, once they had successfully tied their sandwiches to “returning to our roots”, all McDonald’s was left with was depicting a relatable pitfall of technology—specifically, what happens when you don’t meet in person and instead try to sort out sensitive issues over text message.

Well, shoot, nobody could quite think of an example of this, so they just went with “we need to talk”, because, obviously, this can mean lots of different things. Nobody noticed—or cared—that this is, in fact, an example of a text message used to arrange a face-to-face conversation.

In their effort to represent concept A versus concept B, they couldn’t find a good example of concept A, so they decided to use an example of concept B instead, and present it as an example of concept A.

“On to production!”, they said.

It seems to me that the machine that creates McDonald’s ads is so complex, so insanely enabled with funding, that they’ve long-since left behind a time when an actual person sat down and pitched an actual idea to actual people who listened and had actual conversations about the idea.  Perhaps the entire production is now coordinated via text messages.

Who cares? You might ask.  It’s just a McDonald’s ad!  What difference does it make?  A big difference, I say: the difference between sense and nonsense.  When something as completely nonsensical as this is presented without a hint of irony or awareness—and broadcasted on such a massive scale as a McDonald’s ad—everybody who sees it gets a little bit dumber.  Especially the children!

Painting for Auction at Elsewhere Studios Masquerade Ball

Main Alley (windy day) - painting by Gabriel Roberts

The small painting “Main Alley (windy day)” will be on display in Paonia, Colorado at Wisehart Springs Inn this Saturday during the 2nd annual Elsewhere Studios Masquerade Ball.  Along with a number of other paintings by local Paonia artists, “Main Alley” will be auctioned off to support the North Fork Community-Supported Art Library.

This painting is on Rives BFK printmaking paper and measures 6.5×11 inches.  Here are some pictures of it all framed up in recycled redwood:

Main Alley 1Main Alley 2Main Alley 3Main Alley 4

Sadly, I won’t be attending the ball this year, but I’m glad that my painting will!

« Older posts

© 2016 Gabriel Roberts

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑