san francisco

New Poster: John Prine at the Warfield

Friendlies, 

it's always cool to get a phone call out of the blue from a record company. I got one of these calls a few weeks back from Oh Boy Records, John Prine's record label, out of Nashville, Tennessee. The fellow on the phone told me that Mr. Prine is touring for his new record The Tree of Forgiveness (get yourself a copy here), and he asked me to create an image for his upcoming show at the Warfield. 

He said something about a tree in heaven that doubles as a bar. I was thinking about a recent trip to a friend's property close to the Sonoma Coast, where we sat under this lovely old oak tree. So I used her as the basis of the sketch. 

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Here's the final below. I'm pretty happy with it. 

 Here's the final. 
 Here are some images of the printed poster courtesy  End Hymns  Printing Company.

Here are some images of the printed poster courtesy End Hymns Printing Company.

I have a funny history with John Prine; I was asked to create a John Prine poster for a Fillmore show some years back, and our band covers one of his songs that he sings with Iris DeMent. See the video for that song below as well as a cool little film about the new record.

Honey, we're the big door prize. x

Ellingson & Wertz at Mule Gallery, San Francisco

Hey Everybody, I'm excited to announce that I will be showing along with illustrator (and mensch) Josh Ellingson at the first-ever show at Mule Gallery in the lovely North beach district of San Francisco from January 20th through February 26. The opening is on February 5, from 6-9 pm. This event is part of North Beach's First Fridays gallery walk. Join us?

Josh Ellingson & Michael Wertz Jan 20th-Feb 26th, 2016

Opening Feb 5th, 6-9pm Mule Gallery 80 Fresno St. San Francisco, CA 94133

I'll be showing a bunch of the Some Wags prints : see below. All prints are framed & ready to move. We'll also have a small collection of unframed prints for sale.

See you there?

xm

An Interview with Mrs. Vera

Inspiration Korner: vera

I was lucky enough to catch a word with Mrs. Vera (David Faulk), who is an amazing San Francisco artist and personality. David and Michael Johnstone (who created the photos above) are the fearless leaders of the Verasphere (pictured below). Here's the Verasphere traipsing down the runway for a show at the DeYoung museum. Each year for Pride, they splash San Francisco with enough color to make a rainbow blush. Read the full interview with Mrs. Vera after the photo.

verasphere

All photos: Michael Johnstone

Dear Mrs. Vera, I hear you're a fan of the comics. Can you give me a few of your favorites?

It's been a long time since I read EVERYTHING...the completist/collector(former) in me misses that era of possible comprehensiveness, a ship that has long since sailed. I always was drawn to writers who could build long story lines and develop sub plots, and growing up for me that was Steve Englehart, who could really hit the head on stories that were pure fantasy but socially relevant and just soapy enough that they seemed ABOUT to become adult (gosh JUST LIKE ME!). At 13 that was Avengers, Dr. Strange, he took a whack at most of Marvel's and a bunch of DC's titles. I could not get enough, for years, but now relentless continuity just exhausts me, and I can't afford it anyway. But I still love the mythic qualities of superheroes and power struggles. Mrs. Vera is all about the fighting of crime and the leaping over of tall things, mostly grass, but still...

There are SO MANY great books out today, I'm astounded, having waded through decades of material half-heartedly in search of something to get excited by. I think the medium, it's writers in particular, have really come into unassailable artistic legitimacy, elevating the field higher than I'd imagined possible, and the art has evolved so much since my early days. It is all so much more sophisticated. I'm very writer-driven at this point still. I think Jonathan Hickman does amazing, and varied work really utilizing the medium. East of West, Manhattan Projects. His Fantastic Four was delightful, and his Avengers work is fascinatingly worked-out and intricate. Saga is amazing, and funny as hell. I like to use humor in my work, and I like it in the work of others as well. I thought Young Avengers was a hoot, and The Wicked and Divine is especially fun, because I'm a million years old now and the dialog is so, well, satisfyingly hip and young and clever. Joss Whedon's writing for same reason. Velvet and Lazarus and Hawkeye are like perfect screenplays. I've loved everything the Luna Brothers have done (Alex and Ada, Girls(so messed up!), The Sword. The list is HUGE, it's a renaissance really. Morning Glories, Silver Surfer (Michael Allred is such a stylish blend of down-to-earth and out-of-this-world), She hulk is a hoot, Rachel Rising a disturbing hoot. Grant Morrison always delivers. Darwyn Cooke too. Astro City. I like sprawling but contained universes. I could go on and on, so instead I'll mention two things I used to love, but found I eventually couldn't look at one more panel of! I LIVED for Cerebus, for years, but came to hate the book for reasons I still can't formulate to my satisfaction. It was like a descent into poor mental health that I just stood by and watched (yikes!). I also cannot read another X-men story. PLEASE don't ask me too. It's like watching ghosts playing tiddly-winks for ghost grapes. I'd buy THAT, of course. Zot was a masterpiece too. Wuv me some Wuvable Oaf. Oh lordy, the beat goes on....bottom line, comics have never been smarter.

What's your new studio like, and what can you do there that you couldn't do before?

San Francisco, I still love it and feel REALLY lucky to be here, but it's been rough making it work the past few years. I lost my Studio space- full of paintings- and had to move ALL of my Mrs. Vera kibble and kaboodle out of my apartment, and then lost my apartment. Visual Aid closed, the closest thing I'll probably ever get to gallery-esque representation, a huge loss to myself, and more importantly, the city. Anyway, It's all in a shipping container one can drive right up to now, but it has been three years of down-down-down-down-down-down-sizing and, well, depressing unproductivity. But I found a great place, and my apartment shares a wall with my partner-in-crime Michael's flat, in an amazing building in Hayes Valley. It's like a very poorly written sit com, and I have a feeling our dogs will get a spin-off series if anyone happened to tune in. Michael and I have been together 22 years, collaborating on the photos and costume shenanigans, but never actually lived in the same building until now. It's all TOO perfect, and I'm happier than I've been in years. I hasten to point out that this is NOT the San Francisco 2013-2015 Real Estate experience of ANYONE else I know, and I have a positive dread of being some poster child rainbow story of the moment because of my uncommon good fortune. At the moment I need to archive, I need to paint again, Mrs. Vera needs new outfits, I need to get GOING again. All of which can be achieved in my new space!

I think of Mrs. Vera as a summertime creature. What is wintertime like for Mrs. Vera?

I came to THIS planet to escape the summer of my home planet, which is 80,000 years long, but it looks like your beautiful Ice Age is Kaput. I only look like a 'Summer' because of the horrible accident I had as a child in the spray-tan factory, and also maybe because I lack the ability to sweat, and bees love me, and one of my feet is shaped just like a cinderblock-sized Ice Cream Sandwich. Go ahead, try and guess which foot! I'll never tell, a Lady needs her secrets after all.The best thing about winter, since you ask, is that you can make jello molds outdoors without running up your electric bill, and you can also pretend it's going to rain, probably, and people around here don't look at you as if your crazy. Okay, now I'm just projecting. Most people avoid making any kind of eye contact with me at all, during the winter, but that's just because they are jealous of my AMAZING silver diaper! Want me to make you one for the Pride Parade this year?

And Thanks, ever so much, for noticing I'm alive! It confirms my Doctor's theory that I am, so that's ONE less thing for me to worry about. I'm crossing it OFF the list!

**

Thank you thank you thank you for a lively lovely interview Mrs. Vera!

xm

Subscribe to the Wertzeen

Friendlies: I'm attempting a little experiment over here. We (the royal we) have created a monthly inbox zine called Wertzeen. If you sign up, it will arrive, like a magic mist, in your email inbox. Once a month, and no more than once a month. It is a zine without the paper: a zeen. We’ll keep you informed not just of our illustrative scribblings and meanderings but also of the happenings of the Bay Area creative community. It will be good fun, and it means you no harm. It is free and easy. If this interests you, click on over to this page.

I'm posting issue #001 tomorrow, and I can't wait.

wzeen

xm

Dog Dreams and Whatnot at Paxton Gate Kids

Friendlies,

the kind folks at Paxton Gate Curiosities for Kids asked me to show the original letterpress prints for Dog Dreams, so I've installed those prints plus a few extra in their front room. The show will be up through January 2014, so visit the Mission, grab some gifties, and check the shop out. It's a goody-goody. The framed prints (yes, the framed Dog Dreams prints are for sale) are priced to move! Paxton Gate Curiosities for Kids is located at 766 Valencia Street in lovely San Francisco, California.

Thank yous due to Carolee Wheeler for framing and Jim Winters for helping me hang the show.

The Peculiar Scholarship of Doctor Bedcannon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE SAN FRANCISCO'S SUBTERRANEAN STAMP SOCIETY MATERIALIZES AT SFMOMA!

The Elsewhere Philatelic Society is proud to announce the unveiling of “The Peculiar Scholarship of Dr. Bedcannon”, #7 in the Psychedelic Philatelic Adventure Series (collect them all!). In conjunction with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Koret Visitor Education Center, the EPS cordially invites you to experience the galleries of SFMOMA as Dr. Bedcannon INTENDED THEM TO BE EXPERIENCED. Have you ever wanted to question an institution's extant reality? Dr. Ytterbium G. Bedcannon has! You'll follow in his footsteps as he recontextualizes every object within the museum to match his whimsical and questionable views.

Bedcannon's walkabout can be enjoyed Thursday through Tuesday, in the Koret Visitor Education Center (2nd floor), from January 15, 2012, until such time as the SFMOMA grows weary of its urban whimsy (likely a day in August).

red_bedcannonn_announce

The Elsewhere Philatelic Society (est. 1895) is an interactive fiction project set in various locations throughout San Francisco and the East Bay, and is inspired by the Games of Nonchalance project.  It endeavors to engage players in an on-going adventure storyline, to encourage them to observe and produce street art, and to explore urban areas in new and unusual ways.

new prints & books & tees up in the shop!

Hey kids, It's been a busy summer in the silkscreen studio, and finally I can share some of the work I've been producing. There's a mess of new stuff to peruse on the shop page: the collaborative book by Mister Jim Winters and myself, Queen for Two Weeks, numbered and signed and packed up pretty in a cellophane wrapper. The super-tall-and super-fifties Sutro Tower screenprint. The longer-than tall Lake Merritt (featuring the also-longer-than-tall Lake Merritt Monster). There is also a photograph of an attractive young man modeling the t-shirt design (it looks just like the Sutro Tower print) I did for therethere.

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xm

Dog Dreams Release Party - You're Invited!

The Imprint of the SFCB is excited to announce the launch of Dog Dreams, an artist's board book written and illustrated by Michael Wertz. Dog Dreams imaginatively reveals the hopes, wishes, and ambitions of over a dozen dozing canines through playful imagery and rhyming text. The book is letterpress-printed in two colors on a Vandercook proof press on French Muscletone paper and is part of the Imprint's Small Plates series issued in 4" x 4" format, numbering 100 signed copies. Come join Michael and the Imprint crew in celebrating Dog Dreams' publication on Thursday July 29, 6-9 PM at the San Francisco Center for the Book. 300 De Haro Street (entrance on 16th Street), San Francisco CA 94103 | http://sfcb.org | 415.565.0545 you're invited.

Please bring your (leashed and friendly) dogs.

Can you make it? Say yes!

xm