Anthony Pedersen sat in his painting shed and took stock of all that had gone wrong. He was divorced years ago, he battled a drinking problem, and at one point, he lived in his car. That was after an art gallery told him his work would never sell.
A death in the family last week pushed him to the brink, and Pedersen, surrounded by his paintings, considered taking his own life. But what to do with his art?
“I thought, ‘Maybe I should give away all these paintings before I do that,’ ” Pedersen said.
That idea bloomed into a scavenger hunt, of sorts, fueled by social media.
Pedersen, 36, under his artist name Octopus/Caveman, seeded Orange County with four paintings Friday and Saturday, then posted photos on Twitter with hints to their locations. They included a plea to send photos once they were discovered.
“I only ask that you give this painting a good home,” wrote Pedersen, an intake manager at a law firm by day. “I’d love to see my painting with its new owner. Have a great life together.”
The response was almost too fast for Carrie Murphy.
She awoke at 3 a.m. Saturday and was scrolling through Twitter when she saw the clues. Murphy jumped in her car and drove 30 miles to a Rainbow Donut shop in Westminster. The painting had already vanished, she told The Post on Sunday.
Yet Murphy, an artist herself, was undeterred. She reveled in the hunt, despite the distance from her home in Laguna Niguel. Drizzle splattered her windshield as she set out for the next clue: A painting of a green man left against a wall at Ocean View High School in Huntington Beach.
That, too, was a dry hole, she said.
Pedersen had planted the other paintings hours later. One, depicting a robot with a beating red heart, was left against a sign outside Cyprus College near Anaheim. Murphy loaded her son, along with her husband — fresh off a flight from Thailand — into the car and roared off to the college.
The painting was gone, Murphy thought. But it had been blown over by the wind and lay flat on the grass. She picked up and held her prize: an Octopus/Caveman original.
“It was the most exciting thing. It felt like the lottery,” Murphy said. “And knowing it’s a treasured piece of art … it gave me so much joy.”
A man discovered the fourth painting at a park in Huntington Beach. “hello thanks you so much for the painting it was [such] a weird coincidence that I found it,” he wrote on Twitter.
Suddenly, the rejected artist had found an audience after returning to the studio only last year.
Pedersen paints with “the cheapest stuff you can imagine,” he said. Paint and brushes come from Walmart. He is a self-taught painter, and when he sits down, he has no firm idea about what spills out.
He may go through several paintings, one layered on top of another, he said, before he creates something like a lovelorn robot.
Murphy inspected the painting’s edges and discovered those layers of experimentation and process. “I will have to find a special place for it,” she said. “I know there’s a lot of history on that canvas.”
The gratitude has moved in a cycle. Murphy contacted Pedersen and told him what her find meant to her. He explained his bout with depression, and that his idea had sparked a deep satisfaction in his own work and what he has done for Murphy and others.
“I told him, ‘I hope you realized how much joy you are providing,’ ” Murphy said.
“I was really moved. She seemed excited about it,” he said. “Her joy in finding that was fantastic.”
Pedersen is working through what comes next. Maybe an expansion to San Diego. Pedersen thought perhaps there was a way to connect the paintings and the location in a more deliberate way.
But that process will come later. On Sunday, he left a vivid yellow abstract work at a parking garage in Claremont — number five in a growing series.
Leon Redbone, the singer who built a career out of performing ragtime, vaudeville and American standards with a sly wink and an unmistakable, nasally voice, died Thursday. He was 69.
A statement on Redbone’s website confirmed his death, though it did so with a sweet bit of humor and joking that he was actually 127 years old.
“He departed our world with his guitar, his trusty companion Rover and a simple tip of his hat,” his family said in a statement. “He’s interested to see what Blind Blake, Emmett and Jelly Roll have been up to in his absence, and has plans for a rousing singalong number with Sári Barabás. An eternity of pouring through texts in the Library of Ashurbanipal will be a welcome repose, perhaps followed by a shot or two of whiskey with Lee Morse, and some long overdue discussions with his favorite Uncle, Suppiluliuma I of the Hittites. To his fans, friends and loving family who have already been missing him so in this realm he says, ‘Oh behave yourselves. Thank you… and good evening everybody.’”
Often clad in a Panama hat and big, dark sunglasses, Redbone rose to prominence in the mid-Seventies, though he always had an air of mystery about him, famously refusing to answer questions about his age and background. He was reportedly born in Cyprus, but moved to Canada in the Sixties and began performing in Toronto nightclubs. He eventually hit the folk festival circuit, which is how he met Bob Dylan, who praised Redbone’s enigmatic aura in a 1974 interview with Rolling Stone.
“Leon interests me,” Dylan said. “I’ve heard he’s anywhere from 25 to 60, I’ve been [a foot and a half from him] and I can’t tell. But you gotta see him. He does old Jimmie Rodgers, then turns around and does a Robert Johnson.”
Redbone kept things characteristically strange when Rolling Stone profiled him several months later. When asked if his parents were musicians, Redbone joked that his father was the long-dead Italian violinist Niccolò Paganini and his mother was the 19th century Swedish opera singer, Jenny Lind. When asked where the first place he ever played publicly was, Redbone threw on a W.C. Fields voice and cracked, “In a pool hall, but I wasn’t playing guitar, you see. I was playing pool.”
“The remarkable thing about Leon Redbone is that he’s so accurate in every aspect of his presentation – from his scat singing to his yodeling to his authentic nasally slurred vocals to the unerring accuracy of his Blind Blake-styled , ragtime-piano type of guitar playing,” Rolling Stonewriter Steve Weitzman wrote in 1974.
Redbone soon notched a record deal with Warner Bros and released his debut album, On the Track, in 1975. The album offered up endearing takes on classics like “Ain’t Misbehavin,” “Lazybones” and “Some of These Days.” He would release two more albums on Warner, 1977’s Double Time and 1978’s Champagne Charlie. His 1981 album, From Branch to Branch (released via Atlantic) featured his sole Hot 100 hit, a rendition of Gary Tigerman’s “Seduced.”
Though Redbone never achieved huge commercial success, he developed a cult following thanks in part to frequent appearances on Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. He also appeared in commercials for companies like Budweiser, Chevrolet, All laundry detergent and Ken-L Ration dog food, and sang the theme songs for Mr. Belvedere and Harry and the Hendersons.
Redbone continued to tour and record albums throughout the Eighties and Nineties,though his output slowed as he got older. In the 2003 film, Elf, he voiced Leon the Snowmanand recorded a rendition of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” with Zooey Deschanelthat played over the film’s closing credits.
Redbone released his final studio album, Flying By, in 2014, and announced his retirement from music due to health concerns a year later. In 2015, Third Man Records issued a double-album compilation, A Long Way Home, that collected Redbone’s live and studio solo recordings, dating back to 1972.
“He’s just amazing,” Bonnie Raitt said of Redbone in 1974 before nodding to his enigmatic past. “He’s probably the best combination singer-guitarist I’ve heard in years. I’d like to know where he gets his stuff. I’d also like to find out how old he is.”
Leon Redbone, who burst onto the pop-music scene in the mid-1970s with a startlingly throwback singing style and a look to go with it, favoring songs from bygone eras drolly delivered, died on Thursday in Bucks County, Pa. He was 69.
His family announced the death on his website. A specific cause of death was not given, but Mr. Redbone had retired from performing in 2015 because of ill health.
Toting an acoustic guitar, his face generally half-hidden by a Panama hat and dark glasses, Mr. Redbone channeled performers and songwriters from ragtime, Delta blues, Tin Pan Alley and more, material not generally heard by the rock generation. His music defied easy categorization; he was sometimes described as a jazz singer, other times as a folk or pop or blues artist. He sang in a deep, gravelly voice that combined singing and mumbling, but he also deployed a falsetto of sorts on occasion.
He began turning up on the coffeehouse circuit in Toronto in the 1960s and developed a cult following. He broke through to a larger audience in late 1975 with his first album, “On the Track,” which included songs like “My Walking Stick,” by Irving Berlin, and “Lazybones,” by Hoagy Carmichael and Johnny Mercer. His sound was unique for the era, as The New York Times noted in a January 1976 article about the record and its producer, Joel Dorn:
“Redbone, who in his nightclub appearances plays the role of a grinning, almost catatonic folkie, will undoubtedly confound many, but Dorn has certainly given him his due in a completely ungimmicked musical setting.”
The album earned Mr. Redbone two appearances on “Saturday Night Live” in 1976, during the show’s first season. Fifteen more albums followed, most recently “Flying By” in 2014. Mr. Redbone also sang the theme songs for the television series “Mr. Belvedere” and “Harry and the Hendersons,” was heard on various commercials, and provided the voice of an animated snowman in the 2003 movie “Elf.”
The Royal Gorge Bridge & Park opens the new Royal Gorge Via Ferrata for Memorial Day Weekend, 2019. This is a one-of-a-kind mountaineering experience using trained guides, climbing lanyards with carabiners, steel cables and iron rungs. This is a perfect adventure for those who would like to try climbing or those who are advanced climbers. The Royal Gorge Via Ferrata has routes of varying degrees of difficulty. The Royal Gorge Via Ferrata provides a unique experience due to the sheer drama and vertical foot advantage of the Royal Gorge.
Dave Carman working the Hilti SDS Max. 36 inches into Pikes Peak granite!
Adventure Partners Attractions via ferrata “brain trust” on R &R at the Gorge.
Packing up the circus. Next show, Jackson.
el jefe, Mike Friedman ~ Managing Partner @ Adventure Partners
Good Morning, Jerry,
We are in Berkeley visiting Nori’s friends. Last night we went to the 50th reunion book signing of the Berkeley “Battle for People’s Park”. Many of the original activists were there. It was held at “The Art House “ a very funky 60’s vintage shop full of photos of the riots and times by Gerald Adler who was there as a photographer for the Berkeley Barb. He still has the same wild Afro. This poster is for the big event on Wednesday.Ralph (Tingey)
Among her various creations, Rengetsu is perhaps best known for the exquisite vessels that she crafted for both the sencha and the chanoyu traditions of tea drinking. However, she also created a great number of bottles, flasks and cups for another beverage – sake. As with her other ceramics, Rengetsu’s sake wares are adorned with her poems inscribed in her exquisite calligraphy, resonating playfully with the mood of sake drinking. (Meher McArthur, The Sake Wares of Otagaki Rengetsu, Black Robe White Mist.
becomes an elixir
for perpetual youth
and long life.
Sake Bottle (Tokkuri) with lid