Friday, October 02, 2009

The Mess

I've been volunteering at The Mess for the last couple of months. It's run through Youth for Christ and teaches art to homeless and at risk youth downtown. They meet every Wednesday at First Christian Reformed Church on Talbot street. An open meal is served at 5:30pm and the art kicks off at 6:30. And the other day I made #6 on thier newsletter.

"6. the Wall was officially unveiled last night. After 3 weeks of training by local graffiti artist Richard (tag name “Battle”) Phillips, we opened up a “free wall.” This is a place where we can learn, practice, and express ourselves (legally) through spray paint. Over 20 people added their painting voice to create the art you see on the left. We will be doing this weekly at the Mess."

They really like me at Youth For Christ and the director asked a staff member to put out a feeler to see if I'd be interested in working for them. I like my current job but I'm still gonna try and be a part of whats going on at YFC (just not in a 40 hour work week way). On a side note the director knows Joel Stigale who I worked with in New York a few weeks ago.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Piece #61 part 2

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests
Luke 2:14
Painted with Static

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ig hurst ta chew

A while ago I met this writer... for the sake of annonimity call him "Dave" (dave is not his real name). I saw him again a month ago and he was real ticked off at me, it turns out I had gone over one of his tags on a wall and he was upset. I appologized but he wouldn't accept it and said he was goin to start destroying my work and the work of the people who were writing with me that day. I appologized again and told him he could go over me but to leave the other guys alone. He didn't really want to talk to me and left. He came back a little while later with a jug of silver paint and splashed it over some of my work while we were painting and said "there's plenty more where that came from".
We finished up, took pictures left and in a few days my piece was splashed with silver paint but thankfully thiers were left alone. So a week later I go back and paint over one of the destroyed pieces and write "love your enemies" next to it. A few days after that I go back to the same spot and start painting annother piece because the guy I was with wanted to paint there. Well we start laying out our paintings and who should come by but "Dave". Dave does not want to talk Dave wants to fight. I explained that I meant no disrespect but he grabbed me by the throught anyways. I was thinking of fighting back at that point but suddenly something popped into my head and said "do not resist an evil man". Dave threw me on the ground and kicked me. I told him I wasn't going to fight him and he stomped on my head and pushed me into a bird crap puddle (that part was gross). I got up and tried to talk it out with him but everything I said made him more upset. He came after me again I started walking away and he punched me from behind in the side of the head. I told him I still love and respect him. He told me to get out of the alley and not come back. I was still trying to talk it out with him when the guy I was painting with (who was pretty silent up untill that point) said "lets just go" we packed up our stuff and left. I've never felt so good after getting hit. I felt a strange peace while I was getting hit and I felt good about what went on that day. The only down side is that it hurts to chew.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Piece #69

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves
Romans 12:10

Monday, September 28, 2009

Piece #68

Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'
Matthew 22:37

Left to right: Me, Static and Reber

Sunday, September 27, 2009

AuGGust 2009 walls

with Amp, Cowboy, Sonz, Pyksy and Camer

with pyksy

with cowboy

at the oasis:

with Cowboy, Camer, Pyksy and Amp

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Piece #67

Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
Psalm 34:14
left to right: &&&, static, me, doc and bif.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Piece #66

My salvation and my honor depend on God ; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.

Psalm 62:7

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Blazefest 2009

I'm not going to break it down day by day but immediately following the trip to Saskatchewan my lovely wife Tara and I drove to Schenectady NewYork where I taught graffiti lessons all week as part of an outreach with youth for christ called blazefest. This is the 3rd or 4th year that I've been out and it was a great week of ministry and painting. Back from previous years were Rayski, Bam Bam, Ms. Natalie and the YFC crew along with some new instructors Verbs, DJ promote, Craig Nice the incredible MC, B-Girl Stella, B-boy kiddoh, Minus1 fdc, and Joel Stigale. It was a lot of fun Minus helped me teach graffiti and it was great to meet up with DJ promote who is also a graffiti writer and was one of the guys I looked up to when I started writing graffiti. durring the days I taught high school and middle school kids the art of graffiti and respect for property and at night we went around to different neighbourhoods in Schenectady and had kind of like a concert and preaching time it was really cool. Joel thought I was gonna get myself shot when I painted over some gang graffiti, Tara danced up a storm, kids got saved, and they gave me free paint at the end. What else can you ask for? Oh yeah, no bad press... Check!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Saskatchewan Trip: Day 9

The rain had come down last night and ruined alot of what we had been working on but the guys had to leave so I agreed to do my best to fix what was ruined, we ran out to a paint store got some grey paint and I started working right up until it was time to catch my flight out. We left straight from the wall to the airport and took a non stop flight back to toronto which arrived at midnight where my buddy Jamie picked us up and I drove from Toronto back to London that night.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Saskatchewan Trip: Day 8

Today was the last day of sheduled painting so I got a real early start (5am) on the day and walked from the billets house to the church. The church is in a bad part of saskatoon and along my 5 minute walk I was propositioned by a prostitute. I was so shocked that all I could do is say "no thank you" and keep walking. I've met alot of prostitutes before especially when I worked with the homeless youth but I had never been propositioned before. I've counselled former male prostitues but walking away like that - not saying anything, not at least trying to make it better... I just felt helpless and so saddened for this girl and so powerless to help her. I tried to ignore it as I got to the wall and started to paint - to think of the goodness of God or something but I couldn't, it was nagging at me I felt at the edge of tears crying for this girl and the life shes living mixed with regret and a strange uneasyness. I started painting the portrait of the alcoholic when cowboy came over and started to show me some tips (cowboy is a fantastic artist) he started working with it and he told me a little bit about his life and eventually asked if he could finish the portrait and asked if I wouldn't mind working on painting the face of the prostitute. It was so cleansing such a release to identify with the pain and to paint out of that fear and despiration. The feeling of appathy disipated as I painted, spreading the message that there is hope for this situation. I changed the source picture to look more like the girl who I met earlier and after I was finished I felt more at peace and whole maybe.

We kept working late into the night, amp camer and I. Sonz and Cowboy had gone back home and pyksy was with her children. I was the last day and we had alot of work left we stayed up till 1 or 2am. I got back to the billets home and heard rain as I fell asleep.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Saskatchewan Trip: Day 7

Painting, painting and more painting sun up to sun down, this walll is huge there are six of us working on it but it's still very large. I finished up my section and camer and cowboy let me loose on doing some other major parts to the wall which was surprising and fun, Tara helped with the filling in of some of it and it was a great day.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Saskatchewan Trip: Day 6

We drove from regina and went to Saskatoon. As we were driving we noticed that we needed to stop for gas so we eventually pulled off to a gas station... that was closed for renovations and they said the next gas station was 120km away. There was no way we were going to make it 200 km on the gas we had, so we prayed. As it turns out the guy at the hardware store was wrong and there was an open gas station 10-15 minutes down the way (phew). So we filled it up and got back on the road... going the wrong way. Camer had pulled off and started going the wrong way down the highway I was the first to notice and started screaming, Cam pulled off and in a tone fitting a californian asked why I was so tence. Amp had also noticed but just quietyly asked barely audibly "yo, dude are we going the right way?" We arrived in Saskatoon alive and roughly on time met up with the people from the church and Sonz. We started laying things out but we had a few little hiccupps from the church pastor who wanted some things changed at the last minute. Camer patiently went through it with the pastor and agreed to some changes he suggested the crew wasn't peticularily happy but we started sketching out the changes and eventually started painting. I took my time and didn't really start doing too much I was taking it easy and just letting Cowboy and Camer and the pastor make the decisions. At one point cowboy looked over at me and asked my why I hadn't started and I told him I was just taking my time. I figured that honestly camer and cowboy would be painting most of the wall and that I would run out of things to paint and eventually just stand around waiting kinda like I had earlier on in the trip. So to make sure I was painting for the next 3 days I was gonna take those three days to do the one section entrusted to me. However, both cowboy and camer suggested I really move fast and then start on such and such. We met our host family but to be honest I was exausted by the end of the day and I felt really bad about not making small talk but I just crashed on the bed they provided they seemed really nice though.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Saskatchewan Trip: Day 5

Today was a really relaxing day I spent the day with my wife shopping and going to the jazz festival (not that we like jazz peticularily) Camer and Amp got tattoo's from the sister of the guy who runs the Oasis she offered to give us all free tattoo's but I opted out because tattoos are really permanant and thats just not something I'm gonna do at a moments notice.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Saskatchewan Trip: Day 4

The oasis is super cool. It's this really old anglican church in the bad part of Regina that is in the midst of an overhaul. Check out the video and you'll get a better idea of the day.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Saskatchewan Trip: Day 3

We started off in the morning by loosing the keys to the school whichis a big deal because when that happends the entire school has to get re-keyed and all the locks changed. We all searched the house for an hour but in the end my wife saved the day and found the keys. We started painting the school today and we had two more changes scince the 3 from yesterday. Its a public school so we are not allowed to paint anything christian. Ironic because we're painting a room based on diversity and its ironic because there is alot of native american spirituality and they wanted quotes from religious people like gaundi but nothing christian, wheres the dirersity? I think christianity isn't trendy enough or maybe you can be influenced by any religion but can't acctually follow any religion. Anyways five of us painted 3 different rooms, one at a time. To me it felt kind of constricted doing somebody elses design with people staring over my sholder making sure I didn't mess up thier idea or do something too original that a school principal, teacher or parent wouldn't like. It took a long time and at the end I was tired but the five of us had to paint 20 personalized canvases. I'm not a big fan of canvases and again it felt like work. Tomorrow is supposed to be better were painting a place called the Oasis which sounds like a really cool place more up our alley with more individual and religious fredom. And I refuse do anymore canvases this trip or paint anything just to earn money for a job!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Saskatchewan Trip: Day 2

Too much confusion today we were supposed to paint a school today butthe principal kept changing her mind about what was going to happen,it was very frustrating to be told what we can and can't paint, andthen having that change at the last minute, and then have that allchange again. Cam and Cowboy took over and designed outlines for threewalls (which was originally supposed to be one). I got frustrated withCam cuz he was only asking for cowboys input and I really felt leftout of the loop, Cowboy is probably the best writer of us all which isunderstandable why he's taking a lead role but it didnt feel like acrew it felt worse than a job and I felt like I was second string onthis project. I could tell my wife wasn't having a great timeeighther. There was also some questions and concerns about money andus splitting up to do seperate jobs and things at that point were justhectic. So we all stopped and prayed we all calmed down refocusedstopped thinking about jobs and the product and we started to get aglimpse of why were all coming together in the first place. I thinkmost of realized that we had eighther a bad attitude or messed uppriorities. I can testify that I had both especially the bad attitude.The lady who we are staying with right now is super sweet and hasarranged all these sponcers for us. Our meals have been sponcered byQuiznos, Tony Romas, Sparkys Pizza, Great Canadian Bagel it's crazythe amount of high quality food we have been recieving for free. Andour paint has been sponcered by Rona, two different canadian tires andCloverdale paint. I must mention that Cloverdale gave us approximently$5000 in spraypaint, 750 cans on two skids, I've never herd ofanything like this happening before, it was a total blessing.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Saskatchewan Trip: Day 1

We (me and my wife Tara) got up early and drove to toronto wherefriends of ours were going to drive us to the airport. We had a good lunch with Jamie and Cam and then spent most of the day in theairport. In winipeg we accidently went down the wrong escalator andwhen we tried to back alarms went off and security came over to usinstructing us that we'd have to go through customs again. We travelto the gate and my wife accidently goes back down the same escalatorand I had to go get her at customs. We got picked up after our planewas delayed slightly. We met up with cowboy, camer1, amp and pyksy.

Monday, August 03, 2009


Well a while ago I met with Doc, who's just starting out writing graffiti. He doesn't bomb or tag and is more interested in the art of piecing. He was stoked to meet me and talk with me anyways, I've been taking him out and going over to his house too over the last month or so and teaching him stuff. He's been practicing in his garage and developing the can control techniques I've been showing him. He painted the Jesus piece in "Piece #60" based off an outline I gave him and he filled in the hearts and piece in "Piece #58" He's been getting alot better because of his humble teachable attitude and has been an absolute joy to teach.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Piece #65

Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us
Hebrews 11:35-40

All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
Hebrews 11:13-16

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Piece #64

Brony (top left), Static (top right), Me (bottom)
How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!

Psalm 133:1

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Piece #63

Left to Right: Static, Me and Me

Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen.
Psalm 72:19