I have a book that Mom gave me when I was very young of illustrated Aesop’s fables. I recently re-read the entire thing and thought I might like to paint my own interpretations of some of my favorite fables.
This is the first one I’ve done in that potential series. As with many of my paintings, I like this because it makes me laugh.
“Aesop’s Lion and Ass” acrylics on 12×24 canvas; completed Fri Sep 13, 2019.
My paraphrasing of Aesop: Lion is minding his own business, when this donkey wanders over from his own green pasture just to bray complaints at the Lion, about what? Who knows? Lion doesn’t speak Ass. While Lion knows he has the sheer power to instantly slaughter the annoying dumb Ass, Lion is wise and knows it is not worth his effort nor the ensuing mess to respond. So Lion continues to mind his own business until the dumb oblivious Ass gets tired and leaves the arena, where it seems he is getting in too deep for his own ass.
Moral: “It is better to ignore rudeness than to be annoyed by it.”
Gallery of acrylic paintings by cjo
More Aesop’s Fables, as interpreted by cjo
Snake and the Crab:
Always honest Crab begs his deceitful friend Snake to “Straighten up and be honest, give up your crooked ways” Snake refuses to act right, so Crab strangles his hopelessly deceitful friend Snake in his sleep. Looking at Snake’s outstretched body, Crab says sadly, “This would not have happened if you had lived as straight as you died.”
Moral: Good and Evil cannot live and work together.
Kite, Mouse, and Frog:
Crafty Mouse & Strong Frog are fighting over who is Master of the Meadow, so intent in their struggle, they don’t see Kite swoop down to carry them away in her talons.
MORAL: Those who quarrel may easily find themselves in trouble.
Fox & Eagle:
Eagle snatches Fox’s pup as a snack for her eaglets, Fox begs Eagle for mercy for her child, and Eagle denies it. Clever Fox finds a fiery stick, climbs the tree, and threatens to destroy the nest & the eaglets (her own pup doomed otherwise). So Eagle has no choice but to return Fox’s pup to her unharmed.
MORAL: Expect to be treated the same way you treat others.
I am pleased an honored to have participated in Tapestry Dance Company‘s Weaving Art into Life Project 2020.
I created this original acrylic painting, which i call “Dance Around Austin!”, on the reverse side of a 4×4 section of practice dance floor to be auctioned off as a fundraiser for Tapestry, a truly unique Austin Arts institution.
Dance Around Austin!
In my dance floor art project, Dance around Austin! I have depicted many diverse Austinites celebrating life through various forms of dance, literally all around the skyline viewed from south Austin’s Long Center which is home to many of Tapestry Dance Company’s performances. The title is also a command, so get get out there and DANCE AROUND AUSTIN!
Fun Opportunities to See and Purchase Pretty Cool Art by cjo!
February 8, 2020 Saturday; South Austin.
Oglesby House Concert – Live Music by Bob Livingston
Call Chris for more info: 512-762-6102 or visit our Facebook site
Join us for a fantastic evening of live original Austin music by our friend Bob Livingston, member of legendary Texas super-group the Lost Gonzo Band, and currently with The Lost Austin Band; member ofWest Texas Walk of Fame. Texas Music Legends Hall of Fame. Come find out WHY!
Visit www.BobLivingstonMusic.com for MORE!
BYOB & Pot Luck dishes are encouraged; some food, beer & wine provided by hosts. No Cover Charge, HOWEVER generous donations to the artist are encouraged!!!
Original artworks by Christopher Oglesby also are on display throughout the house & available for sale; you could take home some Pretty Cool Art!
February 29, 2020 Saturday; South Austin.
Oglesby House Concert – Live Music by Brandon Adams
with special guests Wade Parks and Sean Lewis
Call Chris for more info: 512-762-6102
Singer/songwriter Brandon Adams, of Brandon Adams & the Sad Bastards, brings acoustic sets of his original West Texas rock and roll music to our South Austin living room. Brandon has invited along his friends legendary songwriter Wade Parks, who is celebrating a new album Guarding the Old Ways, and Sean Lewis of the band Rattlesnake Milk. Stay tuned for more details!
Enjoy live music, fine art displays, a classic car show, a custom motorcycle show, and dozens of fun attractions and highlights. Check out the Taste of Austin Food Garden, with delicious cuisine, and cold domestic and craft beers. National recording artists will be performing throughout the afternoon and evening on the main stage, as well as juried visual artists presenting the heritage and the culture of our great city. And best of all, admission is just $5, with children under 12 years admitted FREE. So, bring the whole family for a fantastic weekend of fun!
Picture yourself in the Texas Hill Country, alongside a gorgeous meandering river with waterfront cabins, selling your art and kicking back in the shade of an ancient pecan orchard. It’s not a dream. It’s Wimberley! Now in its 12th continuous year, Wimberley Arts Fest has gained a national reputation among artists. It is a fine arts festival organized by artists for artists. Now in its 12th continuous year, Arts Fest has gained a national reputation among artists. It is a fine arts festival organized by artists for artists. Sponsored by the Sponsored by the Wimberley Valley Art League’s 200+ members and art loving volunteers, the level of attention to detail, both in planning and in services for the artists, is top notch. We have many returning exhibitors who appreciate our organization and the fabulous location. Aside from the river and the orchard, there is plenty of shade, plenty of onsite parking, great food trucks and continuous live music throughout the festival’s 200+ members and art loving volunteers, the level of attention to detail, both in planning and in services for the artists, is top notch. We have many returning exhibitors who appreciate our organization and the fabulous location. Aside from the river and the orchard, there is plenty of shade, plenty of onsite parking, great food trucks and continuous live music throughout the festival
Memorable scenes from popular movies and television are modern equivalents to ancient oral mythology, defining many of our metaphors for common hopes, dreams, fears, and belief systems. So following all great art traditions, I believe that these iconic scenes are appropriate subjects for paintings. Also, cinematographers and directors compose the scenes and lighting with great care, often with as much artistry as great masters of painting.
Pretty Cool Art and Painting Local
I will paint pretty much anything I think looks cool, but I usually focus on my mantra of “painting local”, so often when I choose to paint a scenes from a movie or TV, the subject has soe connection to Austin or Texas in general. Slackerand Dazed and Confused, directed by Austin Film Society founder Richard Linklater and set mostly in Austin, are popular subjects for me. Coen brothers’ The Big Lebowski is also well represented. From Dusk til Dawn TV series by Robert Rodriguez, Sugarland Express, Honeysuckle Rose, Giant, and Mike Judge’s “Office Space” all are subjects, as is the hokey 4 For Texas set in some psychedelic Hollywood Rat Pack version of Texas. But my eye is not only drawn to subjects set in Texas; strong women often strike my fancy as artistic subjects, and simply well constructed scenes.
NO COVER but CASH DONATIONS are highly encouraged!
POT LUCK MEAL – Share some food with us! BYOB – We’re drinkin’, so bring yours if you want.
ABOUT PRETTY COOL ART
We have more than a hundred original paintings by Christopher Oglesby hanging on the walls of our home, most are for sale. Oglesby House Concerts are a good opportunity to see Pretty Cool Art up close, and house concert guests have the opportunity to negotiate special prices for original artworks.
I work in Austin Texas USA, I mostly paint subjects related to Austin and Texas, and often show my work in and around Austin.So I am pleased to have been selected as Featured Artist for the 2019 Art City Austin Festival in Republic Square, downtown Austin.
Featured Art City Austin artist Christopher J. Oglesby
Christopher J. Oglesby, Pretty Cool Art by cjo
Primary Medium: Painting on canvas, mostly acrylic paints but occasionally oils; pencil and charcoal drawing, also.
Tell us about your upcoming exhibition (if applicable): I show at many art festivals and markets in Texas and the southwest, predominantly in central Texas where I live and work.
What are you working on now? I am always working on a new painting, and I maintain a rather thick file of ideas for future subjects to paint. I usually spend about a week or so to complete an average size painting (for me usually 11×14” to 18×24”), and when I’m done I get another canvas on the easel ASAP.
What draws you to your medium? I believe in “painting local” scenes from my neighborhood, community, and local popular culture; and I like to tell cool stories with paint, often from personal experience. My brand name is Pretty Cool Art (by cjo) www.prettycoolart.com . I don’t focus on one particular style because I am always interested in trying something new; however, I tend to use bright abstract colors to make realistic perspective, light, shadow, and reflections.
How long have you been an artist and how has your practice changed over time? My grandfather was a professional artist and lithographer who recognized my talent at a young age. While focusing on other professional studies in school, I have always created art for my own personal satisfaction. Five years ago in 2014, I retired from a career in law and public service enabling me to make creation of art my full-time business. I was very familiar with water color and oil painting, and have always been a competent drawer; however, I have taken several continuing education courses provided by Contemporary Austin Museum at Laguna Gloria particularly in acrylic painting, which I enjoy using now in many ways; I find that I now use acrylic paints sometimes likes oil, mixed with gel mediums for thick coats of color, and sometimes as watercolors, for light colorful washes.
In your opinion, what does the Austin arts community need as the city continues to grow? This may be unrealistic in the Austin of today, but “affordable & community supported gallery space” is the answer. Something like the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, VA is what I have in mind here.
ABOUT CHRISTOPHER J. OGLESBY
The author of a book about creativity, and producer of more than 100 successful music events, artist Christopher J. Oglesby now creates, promotes and sells his own Pretty Cool Art based in South Austin Texas USA.
Christopher Oglesby grew up in Lubbock Texas and received his Bachelor of Arts and Doctor of Jurisprudence degrees from Texas Tech University. He moved to Austin in 1992 where he pursued a career in law and government administration, including a stint in the Office of the Governor of Texas, and then more than twelve years managing a not-for-profit trust for people with disabilities. During his spare time, in May 2001, Oglesby created www.virtualubbock.com, a website dedicated to West Texas music, art and culture. Subsequently, in September 2006, the University of Texas Press published his book “Fire in the Water, Earth in the Air: Legends of West Texas Music” (UT Press, 2006), which received the 2007 Certificate of Merit for Research in Recorded Popular Music from the Association for Recorded Sound Collections. Oglesby was a featured author and speaker at the 2006 Texas Book Festival.
While promoting his book “Fire in the Water, Earth in the Air” Oglesby began producing music shows, featuring many of the artists in the book including Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Jay Boy Adams, and Bob Livingston of the Lost Gonzo Band. Since then, Oglesby has produced more than 100 successful music events including South by Southwest Showcases, a weekly local music showcase in Austin, and many private house concerts.
After a lifetime of enjoying his artistic talent as a hobby, in 2014, Oglesby began his career full-time painting and selling his artworks and created his brand Pretty Cool Art by cjo. He’ll paint anything he thinks looks cool, especially local entertainers and events, food and drinks, unique scenery, pets, friends, and iconic scenes from TV & Movies. Oglesby has completed several commissioned works in private collections and gladly accepts most commission requests.
Oglesby has artwork in many juried art festivals, galleries, exhibits, and fine dining restaurants across Texas and the Southwest. Oglesby’s original artworks are in private collections in Seattle, Los Angeles, New York City, Washington DC, Denver, Colorado Springs, Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans, Lubbock, San Antonio, Dallas, and Austin.
Gonna Be a Busy Spring Art Season for Pretty Cool Art!
Where to Find Pretty Cool Art in the Austin area:
Fri – Sat March 15-16, 2019; 1pm – 9pm, both days SxSW Pop Up Event – “Still Whiskey Rocks Austin“ 440 E. St Elmo Rd | Still Austin Whiskey Co. @The Yard
During South by Southwest Festival, both days include a craft musicians market where Still Austin Whiskey Rocks goers can shop merchandise and trinkets; delicious customary themed cocktails named after the bands and hit songs by the bands; food truck Pairings on site serving tasty dishes all afternoon and into the evening, variety of items including sliders, specialty grilled cheese sandwiches and bruschetta. Plenty of parking on site.
Trouble in the Wind; Balto; Boogerins of Brazil; Shadow of Whales; The Slants; Transit Method; DJ Stefan Aronson; Jon Pattie; Bridget Boyle; Alex Winters; Clara Bellino; Vanessa Silberman and Austin Freeman; Various Blonde; Sick/Sea; Cat Jaguar; Reen and the Renegades; The Korkus; Color Candy No Wristband or Badge Required!
Sat March 23, 2019; 6:00 pm -10:00 pm Conception Art Show – Austin
979 Springdale Road | Friends and Allies Brewing Company BUY TICKETS
Conception Art Show – Austin 2019 is a “pop-up” event presenting the work of 35 local Austin artists. Featuring live music, complimentary appetizer hour, and a cash bar. Guests will have the opportunity to purchase something original for their home or workplace without incurring a gallery commission.
This immersive exhibit, active in 12 cities around the U.S. is the brainchild of New York City Business Journals, “2016 Woman of Influence,” Rachel Wilkins. Conception Art, founded in 2011 in NYC, hosts one-night ‘pop-up’ art events in 12 cities around the U.S. while additionally providing guidance and support for artists and makers looking to sell or promote their work, both online and in person. “Bringing art to life in a way you can truly connect with is paramount to us here at Conception.” – Conception Arts Co-founder, Rachel Wilkins explains.
“There are few other opportunities like this. The environment is unique and the art is wonderful” – Dallas Style & Design Magazine (September 2017 Issue)
Sunday April 7 2019; 2pm – 5pm Austin Musicians Art Market 1509 S. Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704 | One2One Bar
This cool South Austin event happens the first Sunday of every month and features original art and other homemade wares made by some of Austin’s coolest musicians. enjoy the Bloody Mary bar, too!
Sat & Sun April 13-14, 10am-6pm both days Art City Austin 2019 Republic Square, Austin TX USA
Art City Austin Festival – COME TOGETHER and celebrate the convergence of Austin’s diverse art scene. Shop and browse at Art City Austin’s Convergence Fair – an art market of up to 80 visual artists, designers, installation artists, artisans and makers showcasing and selling their wares. Enjoy a weekend in the park featuring the art of local musicians, performance artists, live food demonstrations by local chefs, food trucks, boozy bevies, kid activities and interactive experiences.
About 100 booths nestled among the pecan trees and cabins; food truck aromas will beckon you to relax and have a picnic overlooking the river. A beer and wine booth will help you enjoy your picnic even more. Live music plays continuously. Dogs on leashes are permitted and Arts Fest is proud to include WAG, a Wimberley animal adoption group, with their dogs as one of our exhibitors. A large variety of media. All exhibiting artists are selected by invitation, all are experienced and talented. It’s a great way to enjoy the Texas Hill Country and Wimberley, “a little bit of heaven.”
Many personal favorites of my artworks include paintings of coffee. I like coffee. I like to drink coffee. I like the way coffee smells, how it tastes, and how it makes me feel when i drink coffee. I buy my coffee beans from local Austin coffee roasters, including (but not limited to) Casa Brasil, Little City, and Spokesman. I grind my own beans and use a Chemexto brew my own.
Pretty Cool Art – Coffee
I paint pretty things that I think are cool or look cool. Obviously, one common artwork subject of mine is coffee. I find it interesting how the coffee in each of these Pretty Cool Artworks appears different from the others, reflecting the many moods and styles of coffee drinkers.
My personal favorite coffee painting features what appears to be black coffee in a simple diner ceramic cup and saucer, and a spoon recently used to stir in some sugar, apparently.
Featured in this artwork is some iced coffee. “One Water, One Coffee, One Beer“: The perfect refreshing combination after the mile walk from my home & studio in South Austin to the nearest coffee house/pub, which happens to be Spokesman Coffeeon East St Elmo. Spokesman roasts their own blends of coffee in house, and also provides an eclectic rotating selection of Austin’s local craft beers. They have a nice shaded garden outside on the side. Spokesman also serves healthy and tasty breakfast and lunch fare.
And here is some homemade coffee with fresh cream. This painting is titled “Good Morning!” What a nice way to wake up. This fresh cup of comforting coffee and the face of a sweet kitty will happily greet you each morning for years after you hang this original painting in your home.
Austin TX USA October 6-7 – Art @ The Domain Festival 2018
“Recent Austin Scenes That Don’t Look Like This Anymore”
Austin artist Christopher J. Oglesby is showing for sale several Austin-themed original acrylic paintings, including: recent Austin scenery which already do not exist; Austin celebrities; memorable scenes from Austin-related films; musicians & musical instruments; beer, wine & coffee, and more! Signed prints of select artworks also are available. Facebook Event Link – Please Share!
Art at The Domain
Art @ The Domain in Northwest Austin is a small boutique Art Festival featuring 85 fine artists and contemporary craft artists along Century Oaks Terrace, a beautiful street lined with retail shops, lofts and luxury apartments right in the heart of The Domain. This juried two-day art festival features fine art and contemporary crafts in 14 media categories. Join us for a weekend of fine art to delight your senses!
Gallery of Featured Artwork, Art @ The Domain 2018
I have never done an extensive collage, and I don’t know what inspired me to do so other than the fact that I was at Target a few weeks ago, and colored paper was on sale. “Maybe I could use cut & torn paper instead of paint?” I thought. I bought the paper and some Mod Podge.
I now had to consider, what image do I “paint” with this paper? When we got home, I saw a framed color cartoon poster by Texas artist Ben Sargent, which I had bought in 1986 celebrating the Texas Sesquicentennial; it is a poster of Sam Houston anachronistically leaning on a pickup truck, looking out over an expanse of Texas, with the word Texas in the sky, and the name SAM on the license plate which is dated 1986. Since the poster is a cartoon, the colors where all pretty basic and delineated, so I thought that image appropriate to riff on for my winging it attempt at collage.
I happened to have in my garage also a large kinda tacky print on artboard which I had bought at a thrift store years ago simply because the frame looked like something I could reuse on my own work. So I popped the board out, charcoal sketched the outline of the image, then just started tearing and cutting paper.
My final image is modified some from the original Sargent image by which I was inspired; I made the truck to look like an old Ford my dad once owned which I really liked; the man is not intended to be Sam Houston, and some of Houston’s regalia is omitted, and his suit is converted to Levi’s jeans & jacket; i also think he might be of Mexican heritage; the license plate is my signature & this year’s date. Note that I used actual wire for the barbed wire fence and the hay bailing wire, mostly because I didn’t want to attempt cutting paper that thin & also i thought it would look pretty cool.
When I was done, I put the board back in the original frame. Tada!
Title is “West Texas Sunrise”; dimensions of artwork is 20×24″, gold frame is 26×30″.
In honor of the Texas Sesquicentennial from which the original image was inspired, I am willing to sell this collage piece for $1986 Grand Total, includes frame, tax, shipping & credit card fees.
See & purchase your favorite of many original Pretty Cool Art paintings by artist Christopher J. Oglesby during several public and private events in Spring 2017, and you can get prints, books & other cool merchandise, too!
Pretty Cool Art Spring 2017 Calendar
Sat. Feb 25 Austin Modern Home Tour
Artists Christopher J. Oglesby will host a private collection of his artwork featured in a modern home in south Austin (address TBA). The Austin Modern Home Tour features an array of amazing architecture by some of Austin’s most innovative and exciting architects, designers and homebuilders.
Sat. March 4 Oglesby House Concert featuring Doug Strahan
Oglesby House Concerts are private events in the home of artist Christopher J. Oglesby; all interested people are invited to attend upon request via our social media sites. Sat Mar. 4 features guitarist & songwriter Doug Strahan of Chili Cold Blood, Memphis Strange, LA TAmpiquena, The Good Neighbors, etc.
Fri. – Sun. March 31 – April 2 Art City Austin at Palmer Event Center
Art City Austin is Art Alliance Austin’s art fair and festival, returning for its 67th year on March 31st – April 2nd, 2017 at the Palmer Event Center in downtown Austin Texas. Art City Austin is unique in its pairing of an art fair featuring 25 contemporary art galleries with an art festival featuring 125 self-represented artists from across the country. Chris Oglesby will feature many of his Austin & central Texas themed paintings.
Sat. & Sun. April 22-23 Lubbock Arts Festival at Lubbock Memorial Civic Center, 1501 Mac Davis Lane Lubbock, Texas
This is the second year in a row that Chris Oglesby is proud to participate in the Art Waddle, a festive outdoor event held on neighborhood sidewalks and yards on the second Saturday in May. In 2017, the Waddle falls on May 13. People stroll streets at their own pace, chatting with artists, making friends and enjoying the day, perhaps partaking of a refreshment offered by one of the artists.The Waddle is held in the “Flats,” Boerne’s funkiest neighborhood. Over the last decade the Flats has become a diverse, reinvigorated zone where modest older residences mingle with new and imaginative architecture. It’s a place for the creative side of Boerne.
Sat. May 20 Oglesby House Concert featuring Wolverton, details TBA
Set of Fourteen paintings inspired by still-shots from “Slacker” – Richard Linklater’s 1990 classic film about life in Austin
I have completed a series of fourteen paintings based upon still shots from the 1991 seminal Richard Linklater film “Slacker” set entirely in central Austin. The titles of each work in this series are lines from the movie spoken at that particular moment in the film or a description of the unspoken action portrayed. I have transcribed the time-stamp number from the DVD to the back of the canvases to identify the precise scene.
This series of fourteen paintings will be appreciated by fans of the movie “Slacker” and long-time Austin residents. Austin is a much different town today in the 21st Century than it was in 1990, much more crowded and busy now than the simple slow life which the film’s title implied of those times. Anyone who lived in Austin during the ’80s & ’90s recognizes that much of the Austin portrayed in “Slacker” has gone with the wind. Slacker is filled with scenes evoking fond memories for long-time Austin residents.
The Slacker Series is intended to be a unified work and will be sold only as a Set of 1 Paintings; the individual paintings are not available to be sold separately.
I’ve always intended for this series of paintings to be viewed in a serial manner somewhat like the Stations of the Cross. While some scenes I chose to use what might be considered more obscure, I tended to be interested mostly on each scene’s particular lighting & composition. However each of the thirteen scenes seems to me as representative of many of the basic themes of the movie, when viewed as a whole.
Here is a brief summary of each scene in the series.
“There’s Always Something Bizarre Going On.” (01mins:42secs) Title is line spoken by man in the back seat of the cab, who is played by director Richard Linklater. The character is telling the cab driver about a weird dream he just had on the bus ride into Austin. The eighth I painted, April 22, 2016.
“You Know About the Suppressed Transmission, Don’t You?” (14mins/03 secs). The title line is spoken by the man with the Bloody Mary drink in his hands. He has followed the young man out of Capt. Quackenbush’s Galactic Coffee Co. on to the Drag. He is speaking about transmissions from the Apollo astronauts on the moon. The third I painted, October 14, 2015.
“I’ve Got Some Band Practice in About Five Hours So I Figured I’d Mosey On Out.” (24mins/04 secs) The title line is spoken by the man at the bottom of the stairs. Notice that he wears no watch on the wrist he is looking at. The second I painted, August 24, 2015.
“Getting Down to the REAL Madonna” (27mins/57secs) This is perhaps the most well-known scene in the movie; the woman in the hat is showing the woman with her back to us what she claims is Madonna’s PAP smear.
“The Next Person Who Passes Us Will Be Dead Within a Fortnight” (31mins/58secs) Title line is spoken by the woman in yellow. The strutting man on the left has no idea what these ladies are saying, and we never find out in the scope of the film what happens to him but he does have some bad luck in the following scene. The first I painted, August 19, 2105.
“Free Cokes” (37mins/55secs). This free-enterprising youths have figured out how to get free sodas from the machine, as many of us did when we were children. The diet sod seen in the following seen was sold to the frowning man in the next scene. The fifth I painted, February 23, 2016.
“Wanna Soda?” (41mins/48secs). The frowning man bought the soda from the kids in the previous scene, then gave it to the woman who promptly says the title line when offering it to a beggar on the Drag. The sixth I painted, March 1, 2016.
“Hey, Look at Me. I’m Making It.” (55mins/50secs). Title line is spoken by the man with two cigarettes being interviewed on camera. Notice that the woman with notepad appears to be writing but does not hold a writing implement. They are standing outside Les Ami, an old Austin landmark. The eleventh I painted, July 29, 2016.
“If You’re Here to Steal Something, You’ve Come to the Wrong Place.” (59mins/04secs). Title line is spoken by the gray-haired man on the right who has just returned home to find the man with the gun, who was there to burgle the house but was caught reading the fascinating historic documents near the window. The seventh I painted, April 14, 2016.
“It Says, ‘Withdrawing in Disgust is Not the Same Thing as Apathy’.” (1hr/11mins/42secs). Title line is spoken by the man in the hat, involved in the burglary ring with the armed man in the previous scene, who has just drawn a random card with affirmative statements printed upon them, offered by the woman in sunglasses. The obscured woman in the background is creating a demonstration of her menstrual cycle. The tenth I painted, June 29, 2016.
“Saturday Morning Cartoons is Just a Bunch of Values and Junk Thrown at You; Take Scooby Doo…” @1hr/15mins/03secs. Line is spoken by the man in glasses. Best I can tell, this scene appears to be in the original Trudy’s bar in north campus area? The ninth I painted, June 14, 2016.
“I Just Read, Work Here, Sleep, and Eat.” (1hr/30mins/03secs). Title line is spoken by Austin performance artist & musician known as Wammo, the cross-armed man. He has just read a script by the woman at the bar and is commenting on the value of creating art. The fourth I painted, December 16, 2015.
“Free Weapons Giveaway Program” @ 1hr/34mins/00secs. Title line is spoken by the long-haired man, who is shouting into a microphone attached to a speaker on the roof of his car. He is encouraging everyone to violently kill each other. Passersby point and laugh. The twelfth I painted, August 17, 2016
To purchase this series of 14 paintings, click here.
Watching Slacker, Then & Now
My Austin Slacker Cred
Having lived in Austin for almost twenty-five years, Richard Linklater’s seminal film “Slacker” is one of my all-time favorite movies. But the first time I ever saw Slacker, I hated the film. However, like Austin, everything changes with time.
I had spent the summers of 1990 & ’91 working and playing in Austin, then after graduating Texas Tech a leaving Lubbock for a brief sojourn in Washington DC, I returned to Austin in August 1992 as a mostly permanent resident. I had less than $30 in my pocket and no car but lifelong friends from Lubbock offered a futon in their living room, and I quickly landed a minimum wage job working at the front desk of the Driskill Hotel on 6th Street.
I had many friends in Austin, most with an advanced degree or two and everyone either under- or unemployed; many were aspiring writers, artists, dancers, musicians & entrepreneurs. My friends mostly congregated in an un-air-conditioned pre-war frame house on East 35th street owned by the father of some friends from Amarillo, so the rent was low for the 3 or 4 people who were always living at the two bedroom house.
We spent a lot of time listening to records, reading books, writing & singing songs, swimming in the creeks, and scrounging up enough money for beer and other diversions, such as video-tape rentals from Vulcan Video. So we had all heard of a cult movie made in Austin a year or so before, the name of which seemed to be hanging on everyone we knew, “Slacker.”
Vulcan Video on the Drag
It was probably Sally Milton who went to the trouble to rent the videotape from Vulcan Video, so one afternoon we sat down to watch the locally-made film everyone was talking about.
When the movie was over, I arose from the dog-haired covered couch and announced that was the worst movie I had ever seen because a movie should be a diversion from one’s own life and that movie was EXACTLY the way our life was at that time.
Those exact same crazy people were wandering in & out of our living room initiating the same inane cosmic conversations, so I felt I had in no way been taken away from my current situation and so that was a waste of my time.
By the way, one of those friends ten years after the making of Slacker was named by the Austin American Statesman as the first runner-up in a contest searching for Austin’s truest Slacker; I told him that because he came in second place, he actually won because what true Slacker wants to win a contest?
I now own the Criterion Collection Director Approved Special Edition Double-Disc Set of Slacker, which also contains documentaries about the making of the movie and locations in the movie which no longer exist as they were, interviews with the actors and original screen tests, etc.
Slacker now is recognized as a seminal film affecting a generation of do-it-yourself filmmakers including Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarrantino, Kevin Smith, Wes Anderson, etc.
I Love Slacker
I have seen Slacker dozens of times now. For the exact same reason I hated watching the VHS tape almost 25 years, I now cannot get enough of it because Slacker does accurately reflect what our life was like in Austin Texas then: slower moving, more deliberate, less to worry about – in short: nostalgia.
To purchase this series of 14 paintings, click here.
On Thursday September 15, 2016 after the Walk of Fame induction, we will celebrate the 10 year anniversary at Tornado Gallery (1822 Buddy Holly Ave) with a book signing reception featuring live music by some of the artists in the book including Cary Swinney, Wade Parks, and other unannounced special guests.
I the author will have copies of the book for sale to sign, and guests also may bring their own copy to be signed.
I donated my research materials to the Southwest Collection at Texas Tech University earlier this year, and the Southwest Collection will have a display on site at Tornado Gallery commemorating the book’s publication.*
Since the book’s publication and the commencement of Pretty Cool Art, I have painted several artworks based on subjects in the book.
When the book was published we had a book signing party at Stubb’s in Austin and many musicians featured in the book showed up and performed. Perhaps the highlight of my book signing party at Stubb’s BBQ in Austin on November 12, 2006 is captured in this moment. Jay Boy Adamsis one of the musicians featured in my book, an incredible southern rock guitar player who had two albums on Atlantic before mostly retiring from performing in 1980 when he started a tour bus outfitting company which transports many of the biggest music tours on the road: Springsteen, ZZ Top, Shania Twain, Ringo Starr, etc. For many years, the Jay Boy Adams band was the opening band for ZZ Top on tours and after his set at each show, Jay Boy was Billy Gibbons personal guitar tech, keeping BFG’s guitars strung and in tune.
So the night of my book signing party, Jay Boy shows up with a full band in one of his buses, parks right outside Stubb’s. After many amazing performances that evening, murmurs go ‘round that Billy Gibbons is in the room. Bob Livingston, who was running the stage, said Gibbons wanted to get on stage and play. I said, “Let him.” Gibbons borrowed Lubbock guitarist Steve Lotts’ Strat and played one blues number with the band . I was sitting on the side of the stage dumbstruck. Jay asked me afterward what I thought; I said that, other than when I got married, it was the greatest moment of my life; truly amazing moment.
If you don’t believe it happened, here is some video from that night:
Here is a gallery of more West Texas Art by Christopher J. Oglesby that are inspired by West Texas Music:3333
* The Crossroads of Music Archive, located in the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library at Texas Tech University, is proud to announce the opening of the exhibit: Fire in the Water, Earth in the Air by Christopher J. Oglesby. The exhibit honors the upcoming tenth anniversary of the book—Fire in the Water, Earth in the Air: Legends of West Texas Music by Christopher J. Oglesby. Curated by the archivist for the Crossroads of Music Archive, Curtis Peoples, Ph.D. and fabricated by Lyn Stoll, the exhibit is a small collection of snapshots highlighting some of the artists found within the book. Some of these artists include Tommy Hancock, Terry and Jo Harvey Allen, Joe Ely, Kimmie Rhodes, and others.
The exhibit happened after Chris Oglesby donated his research materials for the book to the Crossroads of Music Archive earlier this year. While processing and inventorying the collection, a decision was made to construct an exhibit to showcase the book. During the selection of materials, Chris informed Curtis that the tenth anniversary is September 1, 2016. Chris and Curtis are now working together to plan an event to celebrate the tenth anniversary release of the book; the date is Sunday September 15, 2016. A smaller traveling exhibit will be featured at the event along with live music. More details about the event will be forthcoming, so stay tuned.
The fixed exhibit is located in the Coronelli Globe Rotunda at the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library located on the Texas Tech campus at 15th and Detroit.
New Signed Prints are now available! All new selections are $55 plus tax & shipping.
– Full print paper size is 16×20*; white border containing Pretty Cool Art logo and details about the original paintings. You can frame either with a mat covering the textual information or leave the text visible to show where you got it. The artist will sign the front border. *[“Eight Craft Beers” is printed on 12×24 paper.]
“Naomi & Wine”
Naomi is our cat who we got from the Austin animal shelter. She was designated as a “desperate house cat” because she was older and had a bad rap sheet; they said she she would bite and does not get along well with other animals. Naomi pretty much chose us, and we got her with no charges because of her desperate status and we had to affirm that we did not have other pets. As soon as she got home, Naomi made it clear she was a barrel of laughs, and she only nibbles on you when she wants attention. I have dozens of photos of Naomi doing adorable things and showing off her personality. Here she is on our sofa contemplating my wife’s glass of wine.
“House Concert Gear”
This piece is the featured work in the April 2015 exhibit at Tornado Gallery in Lubbock. My home has long been known affectionately as the Lubbock Music Consulate to South Austin. My wife and I have hosted about a dozen public house concerts in our living room, and the common theme has been all the artists have been from Lubbock or have some association with Lubbock music. Our first house concert was Amanda Shires with Rod Picott in 2009; that night I declared Amanda would be the Next Big Thing From Lubbock (which is always a thing) and that has since proven true with a big career in Nashville and her marriage to Americana music hero Jason Isbell. We’ve hosted Bob Livingston of the Lost Gonzo Band; Colin Gilmore & Jon Notorthomas; Lubbock legend Junior Vasquez and his daughter Tori Vasquez (who I’d venture to say is the new Next Big Thing From Lubbock); and many more excellent musicians and storytellers right there in our living room, which is a treat like no other which everyone should experience.
My brother-in-law David is an excellent amateur photographer with a great eye for composition and light, and he regularly takes pictures at our events. This large painting is inspired by one of David’s photos of musicians’ gear before our 7th house concert on Feb/12/2011, which featured The Prairie Scholars aka Andy & Jessica Eppler, Lubbock natives who are now firmly ensconced in Longmont Colorado, and our good friend Doug Haines aka Doctor Skoob, of Lubbock via Texas Tech who is now a master of literature in North Carolina.
“A.M. at Ann Richards Bridge”
This is a view I see almost every weekend when my wife and I run the 5 mile course around Ladybird Lake in Austin. This spot is on the south side of the river, where people gather on summer evenings to watch the famous bat colonies take flight. This scene is around 10a.m. with the morning sun reflecting on the buildings downtown.
One very nice comment i received regarding this painting is from my friend Rick Klein, who wrote to me: “yr art always knocks me out! original, non-pretentious, soulful like Texas music. – Rick Klein“ Rick was one of the founders of the New Buffalo Ranch Commune near Taos, which operated from 1967 to 1979 , and inspired the commune scenes in Easy Rider (though Dennis Hopper didn’t film there). He’s a pretty cool guy, to say the least.
“Indian Lodge Sky – Fort Davis, TX”
Fort Davis State Park in the Davis Mountains of West Texas is home to the remarkable Indian Lodge Hotel, which was built by the Civilian Conservation Corpse during the New Deal and is now operated by Texas Parks & Wildlife. The building is in the style of an adobe pueblo, features a wonderful swimming pool, and is located in one of the most remote nature areas in the State of Texas. McDonald Observatory is visible from the peak above the Lodge. Some of the clearest, bluest skies in the world!
*NOTE: “Eight Craft Beers” is printed on 12×24 paper. This is another from my series of “cubish” beers, most of the images inspired by snapshots taken by my wife while we were on tour of the breweries of Portland OR. Quote from Patrick Beach of the Austin American Statesman: “Oglesby describes this style as ‘cubish,’ as in semi-realistic shapes and perspectives splashed with surreal and borderline-neon colors. Through his eyes we get a chance to view the familiar and commonplace afresh. You’ll never look at a pint glass the same way again.”
My wife and I host house concerts as part of our continuing effort to encourage appreciation of local live music, beverage, and food. Many of my paintings have been inspired by these events or by the musicians who have graced our living room with their fine performances. You can click on any of the images here to view or purchase.
We fully support the house concert concept and encourage you to do so, also. Please try to enjoy some live music at least once a month and pay the artists like any other fine artisan. We are fortunate to have some of the best music around performed right in our living room.
If you would like to attend a future Oglesby Hose Concert, send me a message, either email or through social media, and I’ll supply you with details.
View Pretty Cool Art at a House Concert
I have around one hundred of my original paintings hanging on the walls of our home, most are for sale. Our house concerts are a good opportunity to see Pretty Cool Art up close, and you might find a good deal.
What is a House Concert?
Many of you probably have attended some fine house concerts but for the uninitiated, here is what you can expect at your first house concert.
Unique Intimate Music Performance
A House Concert is an intimate live music performance held in the privacy of the host’s home. Usually, the crowd is smaller than a public music venue, and guests have received private invitations. The audience is seated in a comfortable home environment, rather than a noisy crowded bar or club, and the audience is expected to be seated and pay attention during the performance, as in a seated auditorium. This is a great opportunity for performers to communicate directly and intimately with an audience who will respectfully appreciate the performance.
Guests are expected to pay a cover charge gratuity, a donation, with the money going directly to the performer. Most “true” house concert presenters do not operate with a profit motive. House concerts are a safe and fun way for a performer to make money for their performance by dealing with an appreciative host and audience rather than worrying about the traditional business hazards of dealing with public live music venues and promoters. Believe it or not, some venues do not have the musicians’ best interest at heart. We LOVE our artists and give them the respect they very much deserve!
Food & Drink
Most house concerts feature food or a meal. Many house concerts are “pot luck” with guests bringing dishes to share but often the host will provide light food and drink. Alcohol is either provided for no cost by the host or guests may BYOB. When the artist is not performing, guests are encouraged to socialize and enjoy themselves as at any other private party.
Oglesby House Concerts
If you love original music by Texans with heart and soul, or if you simply have wanted to see the Oglesby’s living room which has been called the unofficial Lubbock Music Consulate to South Austin, then y’all come on over and see us, kick off your shoes and enjoy a night of South Austin magic. Feel free to BYOB and to share your favorite potluck dishes!
A feast for the senses with good friends.
Upcoming Oglesby House Concerts
2/27/16: Colin Gilmore
3/26/16: Bob Livingston
Past Oglesby House Concerts
7/11/09: Amanda Shires & Rod Picott
9/18/09: Lesley Sawyer with Brian McRae & Aaron Hatmaker