Happy Holidays!

December 25, 2012

Got My Mold

November 13, 2012

So the thaumatropes never got cut. They might someday and I'll post them if that happens. I used the last blank postcard to make that birthday card for my sister, but then I got 30 more cards! I think I will stick to the six word limit. I cast some new carousel horse candles. One is below.

Happy Birthday Melody

November 11, 2012

I'm not very good with watercolors. Happy birthday sis. Hope you like your M.C. Escher inspired birthday card when it finds your mailbox.


October 11, 2012

I'm still in Chicago. I'm working with Adam Chau a bit between all the other jobs and happenings. Here we have Adam with a new, big, inkjet print of the boxing gloves. I'm, of course, more excited about the thaumatropes were lazer cutting tonight!

Hi I'm in Chicago for a couple weeks.

September 24, 2012

I hope they've all made it by now. Realistically who knows, but here are the rest of the cards. Allen West out.

More Cards

September 21, 2012

Everyone is getting their postcards. Crisis averted? I'm still working out the new site organization, but I think I'm getting closer.

Post from Allen?!

September 13, 2012

*Update* Someone did get a card. It took nearly 2 weeks to get from maine to connecticut. I've gotten packages from china faster, but at least they're getting there.

So this hasn't been confirmed, but as far as I can tell no one has gotten any of their postcards. Wow. So I will start posting them online. At least people can see what they should have gotten. I'm starting with ones that have had over a week. It's shouldn't have taken more than 3 days, but I'll keep hope alive a bit longer.

This one was the only spelling mistake I made(that I know of). I should be disappointed, but I'm horrendous at spelling and feel pretty good about only making one mistake.


September 8, 2012

I'm restructuring the site. Basically images/projects will be organized by medium rather than a particular project. If it goes terribly then complain and maybe I'll put it back, but I expect this will be much better once it's finished. This page wont change at all. I'm still undecided about including commissions and whether or not to mix them in.

Postcards happened! I finished 9 by the end of August. That left 1 blank and 3 rejected. The reject covers just weren't good enough to bring the level of joy or wonder or maybe confusion that I was hoping for. Unfortunately I forgot what order I mailed them in so I'll start uploading them soon. I just don't want anyone to see their card here before they see it in their mail box. In the mean time here are some scanned old camera lenses.


August 22, 2012

I was moving into my new apartment and found a broken carousel horse candle from my mold project last christmas. It's a bit morbid, but I really like them. Oddly enough I didn't find the mold. I hope I find it soon. I want to make some more for fun and to remake the image below with a complete one.

Also update on postcards. 3 complete 5 half complete 1 started 4 blank. I probably wont finish them all by the end of the month, but I feel pretty good about what I'm getting done. If there are 2 or 3 left I will still consider it a success and just do them in September.

Post from Allen

August 12, 2012

I happened across some blank postcards. I love postcards, but have a sort of mental block when it comes to sending them. This month I am attempting to break a small hole in that block with perhaps a metaphorical ice pick? On the front I'm doing a random drawing. Most of them wont make much sense. Then on the back I'll write 6 word headlines/stories. None of them will make sense. As I don't want to spoil it for anyone I will upload them here 4 or 5 days after they've been sent.

I realized as I was making one today that it's been largely inspired by a good artist and friend Gabe Mangold. He doesn't really have a website so I can't link you to it, but seeing his work in person is so much better anyway. I hope you get the chance.

detail of one of Gabe's recent drawings (sorry it's a little blurry)

Cats! Dogs!

June 29, 2012

Two drawings of mine will be at Pinecone and Chickadee This next first Friday. It's a themed show featuring cats and dogs. If you're in Portland on the 6th of July you should come by and see the show. Oh did I forget to mention there is a price cap fitting with Portland's general art for everyone mentality. If you want to collect some work from local artist you'd be hard pressed to beat the prices for work this good.

(Obligatory) Allen West

May 16, 2012

Updates for Allen West.
First. I'm using my name here and there to attempt to improve search ratings. I still cringe every time I type in the third person, I have some pretty heavy competition including a notorious politician, an olympic tennis player, and a heavy metal guitarist who have my name.

Two orchids seem to have suffered through the winter and aren't recovering. I'll baby them a little bit longer, but I expect to have them on the light table for their mug shot pretty soon. It's sort of a hollow victory, but I can't help be excited. It's been a long happy stretch of flowers and growth and separating plants into more plants, but that project doesn't move forward until I f*ck up.

I've been mostly knitting and drawing and doing 2 minute designs like the one below. Further below is the shark which is one of my attempts to recreate a vision I had upon waking a couple months ago. It was sort of like dreaming a still image. Since then I've been joining sharks at the face in several mediums, but haven't satisfied my need to recreate that figure so I will do a few more drawings and then hopefully find 2 identical shark stuffed animals that I can doctor.

The web project is standing still. I went into the project with three goals. To make a gallery program that could easily be used by an average computer user, to make it free, and to make it super clean aesthetically. After careful consideration it has become apparent that that project wont every be user friendly enough to meet one of it's three goals without me hosting it and charging money. I am still installing it for a few friends who will test it once they have a free moment. I also will release the entire application for free, but I can't commit to providing active support. It's a little sad, but I suppose I gained a bunch of useful skills in the process and if I find an interested partner who's to host it for free. I may be able to truly complete the project. Once the test sites are being used I will link to them from here.

Subject 'S' for Shark

May 3, 2012

NYBG Orchid Show

March 25, 2012

During my brief trip to NY my father took me to the Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Gardens. I definitely found some good material for a drawing or two, as well as next years christmas list. Most plants had more flowers on a single stem than all my orchids have had combined, which made it a rather impressive show. The show runs into April so if you can get there I recommend it. It may not be the same as flying all over the world to various tropics, but it's a beautiful exhibit and has a great variety of colors, flower types, and growth types to show how diverse the orchid family is.

On a side note, this is the first photograph I've posted that I didn't take so I thought I'd start with good habits and credit my dad, Anthony West as the photographer.

Bleep Bloop

March 14, 2012

While I've never been a fan of fan art, I couldn't resist a video game themed show. Especially since I've been spending a fair amount of time using Graphics Gale, a pixel art program. There is a free version of the program (that's what I've been using) if anyone is interested.

The show is called "Bleep Bloop" and opens the next first Friday here in Portland. For more information about the show click here. After much debating I decided on silent hill 2, 8-bit color, and a resolution comparable to early nintendo games. A preview below. Work in such a limited environment has been pretty fun. I'm thinking about going all the way and making something with only the 4 colors available from the original game boy.


March 04, 2012

Allen West has not dropped of the earth! So here is an update about what has been going on.

Meghan holding a lace panel I've made for a baseball cap.

Christmas burned me out pretty bad with knitting, but I've since finished an awesome hat to go with a beautiful scarf, an elegant pair a mittens and now have a pile of things to be photographed. Not yet finished is the lace piece above, but It's 80% done.

I am looking for a new photography assistant. I'm sure finding one would be easy if I could pay them, but in the mean time I have been making all kinds of progress with a web project. If you are familiar with Cargo Collective, Other Peoples Pixels or Indexhibit(my site is built with this one.), then you might know what to expect when I say I'm building an Online Gallery cms for Artists. My aim is to solve as many issues that I find with those sites user interfaces as possible. Once complete I plan to release it as a program for free. I should be beta testing it with one or two artists this month. So more news on that later.

Super Secret Mold

December 14, 2011

The super, secret, special, Christmas Holiday mold is finished. It has been temporarily decorated to look like a dinosaur face by my partner in creation Meghan Howland.

In Bloom

December 8, 2011

It occurred to me people might be getting the wrong impression only seeing my dead plants. I thought I might share an image of my Rhyncholaelia digbyana orchid in bloom. It flowered just last night and is currently filling my room with a very strong flowery scent I can't hope to combat.

First Friday November

November 7, 2011

Every first friday in Portland the galleries open late, street performers band together, and craft sales are at an all time high. I made a point to see the Cursed New England show by Xander Marro at the SPACE Annex as well as Gideon Bok's paintings in the main gallery.

Piece by Xander Marro

We also wandered into Rose Contemporary (formerly known as Whitney Art Works) and the new gallery seems to be maintaining the tradition of professional exhibitions. Best of luck to the new owners.

The ICA was in the middle of their annual Art Auction. Had I an extra $1200 I certainly would have left with a painting from Justin Richel. Two small works from Nicole Duennebier peaked my interest as well, but having seen her paintings as large as myself I don't think I could settle.

Piece by Justin Richel

October underground

October 16, 2011

I managed to take a break from web development projects for cupcakes and sacred and profane. The cupcakes are pumpkin and ginger. Sacred and profane is a big event on peaks island every year with awesome art, exciting performances, and excellent food. All in on and around the 'Battery Steele'. The web stuff doesn't look very pretty so I wont show photos, but I promise it's cool, and I'll give it away once it's all ready to go. There is also a large painting, some knits ready for photographing, and some other projects in the works, but all in good time.


September 10, 2011

I'm back in the U.S. now. I'll be making my way back to Portland soon. I wanted to formally thank The members of the kunstler-bund and the city of Speyer as well as all the friends I've made this summer. The last four months have been much more than I could have expected, and all because of the support I received. I feel as though there is just a lonely courtyard left, but only until the next show.


September 07, 2011

I was at the sensory museum in Wiesbaden yesterday. They had all kinds of fun experiments with perception and smell and acoustics and fun stuff. The highlight is definitely their dark-bar. It is a completely blacked out cafe with a blind waitstaff who guide you to your seats and serve coffee and cakes. It was a pretty surreal experience.

Holy Crap Venice! Holy Crap Biennale!

September 06, 2011

I don't know how to be brief about this trip so I just posted extra pictures as compensation.

The show is OPEN

August 27, 2011

Last night was the opening for the villa show and I believe it was a great success. Our sponsor had a large tent outdoors for wine and speeches. I have no idea how many people came, but the villa was full. I've made a page in the project section with the four works of mine in the villa. Later I will expand it to include some of the other works that I made here in Germany, but didn't end up in the show. Thank you to everyone who came. If your in the area and haven't seen it, there are more events during the next few weeks while the show is open. The list of events is here.

Kunst in der Villa Körbling

August 22, 2011

The exhibition is this friday. 26 artists are participating in the show, which will be taking place in the villa, from the cellar to the attic. And, the surrounding area. It's a big deal.


August 11, 2011

It was a beautiful day in Heidelberg yesterday.

We saw the castle, an apothecary museum, a wine barrel the size of a small house, an awkwardly modernized, baroque church some neat shops and cafés, and plenty of the narrow cobblestone streets I will no doubt-ably be attached to when I depart. We also visited the gallery of the artist group there and luckily caught a colorful exhibition.

The castle is unfortunately another victim of an old war. It is still an impressive thing to behold, but is in a permanent state of somewhat broken. The French had a habit of burning down German buildings and I'm sure the Germans did their share of damage. Much of the land here has changed hands several times and not always peacefully. The castle is not without it's more pleasant stories including one of the young virgin who was to be married to a man she did not love. She threw herself out of the window in desperation, but was save by angels. There is a foot imprint deep in the stone where she landed. I assume she wasn't forced to marry after that.

The Dom

August 08, 2011

This Cathedral is at one end of the main street of Speyer. When it was built, it was the largest in the world and still maintains it's significance. It's pretty beautiful on the inside too. Also, it houses several relics which range from leg bones (pictured below) to fabric pieces from the saints.

Strasbourg, France

July 24, 2011

Yesterday was a beautiful day in sunny Strasbourg. I visited the cathedral and the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art as well as a few small markets and dining establishments. I greatly enjoy the narrow, awkward streets in Europe. Mostly because I don't have to drive on them, but in Strasbourg the streets have carousels on them so they have clearly taken it up a notch.

The Cathedral is incredibly detailed, not unlike Notre Dame. I'm pretty sure every exterior wall is completely covered with engravings, stained glass, and gargoyles. I will take some pictures of the Dom here in Speyer. There are reliquaries.

I wasn't allowed to take pictures of Franck Scurti's work, but I wanted to. His solo exhibition, Works of Chance, at the Museum was thoughtful and hilarious. Their permanent collection was hit or miss for me, but I can probably say that about most modern art.

Pretzel Fest

July 10, 2011

Every year the city of Speyer host the Pretzel fest, a four day festival that ends with a parade. Near the center of town the festival grounds were set up and was much like a large carnival combined with a large beer garden. For the record I approve of this combination. Today large floats, marching bands, dancers, acrobats, sports teams, and many other groups put on an impressive display while dishing out candy, toys, wine, beer, and many pretzels through the town.


July 7, 2011

I thought I would put up an in-progress shot of the solaria. I'm tracing the wallpaper onto the bulbs. Next I get to cut out the shapes then etch the glass. That last bit will be the fun and rewarding part. After that there is still more to do, but it isn't as interesting. Tonight I'll be at the opening for Christoph Anschütz then Pretzel fest. I will definitely talk more about that later.

Technik Museum

July 1, 2011

I was at the technical museum here in Speyer and that place is packed with one hundred years of history from around the world. They have cars and small planes in the main hangar and seperate areas for space exploration, marine equipment, models, and an Imax theater. The centerpiece across from the actual U-boat was a 747 on top of a tower. The plane was at an angle which made walking through it and across one of the wings a bit disorienting. They even put a slide coming down from the tower.

Inside the main hangar. Lots to see.


June 24, 2011

So the culture night turned out well. It was a bit rainy, but that didn't stop the gallery from getting really crowded. I also went to the new show at the local museum and got some German sausage at the Domhof that night. Later I visited a high school during their project week where I painted and knit with the students in Schifferstadt. I didn't take any pictures of any of that although it was all tons of fun.

Today I went to Ludwigshafen to see the show "Artisits For Freedom" with Martin Eckrich and brought my camera so I could post something. The show was selling work and donating half to a childrens' charity. There was a big range in the quality of the work and a few too many digital images printed on stretched canvas. (I always find those to be pretty tacky. Maybe I think people are trying to pretend they painted it, or elevate it's status without improving the work.) There were some paintings on Aluminum by Nicoleta Steffan that I appreciated as well the work in the photograph below. Martin had already sold some of his paintings. Ovarall I would call it a success.

Detail of work by Prof. Dr. H. W. Menges

Culture Night

June 10, 2011

The Gallery is full once more. This time for the Culture Night in Speyer. The event is like if first friday happened only once a year. So much bigger and it goes untill 2am. The Culture Night isn't untill next friday, but I'm impatient and posting early.

"Wasp Clock" will be showing next weekend. It's running all day now in the gallery.


June 4, 2011

I've spent the last three days in Stuttgart, the largest city in the Baden Wurttenburg region. I visited The Architectural University, The Mercedes Benz Museum, The Cube, and the Staatsgalerie.

The Mercedes Benz Museum Started at the beginning (with a horse) and proceeded through time as you circled from the top. The museum didn't just show off cars. It gave a much larger context by guiding the visitor through world events and explained how those events shaped the company and the car.

Mercedes Benz Museum, outside and top floor

Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, or "The Cube", stands across from the palace in the heart of Stuttgart. While I was there much of the museum was closed because the exhibitions were changing, but their permanent collection was open and featured the painter Otto Dix. Down stairs was a separate exhibition of works by Micha? Budny, and several other artists.

The Cube

The Staatsgalerie I regret leaving for last. I had a train to catch and had only two hours to rush through the impressive collection. I was also able to catch one of their temporary exhibitions. "Kriegs Zeit" of wartime drawings and prints. Coincidentally Otto Dix was featured again, this time with Käthe Kollwitz, Max Beckmann, Ludwig Meidner and George Grosz.

The Staatsgalerie, One of the courtyards

Welcome party

May 31, 2011

This evening I was welcomed officially to city by the Arts and Cultural Mayor of Speyer. There is a photograph of me posed next to the new plaque of all the invited artists since 1988. I will try to hunt this down and post it. Other than that, not much to report. The wasps are varnished and ready. I've finished half the lace panels and bought a retro hairdryer.


May 28, 2011

I finally made it to the flea market. It happens twice each week just over the train tracks. The interesting thing to junk ratio made it worth going back to next week. There was an old electrical battery doctors used briefly that might require more investigation.


May 26, 2011

A photography competition in Speyer resulted in beer labels, a lovely exhibition (although one photograph was printed and taped uncut to the wall. I don't know.), and some cash prizes. They haven't started selling the beer yet, but one of the judges gave me some labels to take home. Then, I went food shopping and the cashier gave me WWF stickers. I am learning some animal names. That frog in the top-right corner is called "Weißlippen-Baumfrosch."


May 23, 2011

I went to see a bunch of performances in Karlsruhe with Martin Eckrich, sculptor, painter and performer. The old building had been re-purposed for artist studios. In the attic, performance after performance continued through the night and merriment was had by all.

Two Shows

May 21, 2011

Last night, one the Künstlerbund, Andrea took me a painting exhibition opening and a second opening in an apartment complex.

The first was in the Wilhelm-Hack-Museum and was a huge solo show for Cornelius Völker. Displaying some of the last 20 years of his paintings. I could not understand the speech as it was quite German, but the paintings were impressive in both scale and style. The subjects were diverse and included people (cropped, not portraits), messy desserts, guns, books, cocktails, chocolate bars, hair-dos, and what I believe was a jar of white asparagus.

The second was a KingKong contemporary art project called Public Images - Private Views. The group received permission to install art pieces in the empty apartments of this large complex. There were also some pieces outside including the sculpture, a replica of one of the apartments, (below) and a performance, showing the unusual intimacy generated by living is such a confined and relatively public space.

In Speyer

May 19, 2011

I have been here in Speyer, Germany for exactly 2 weeks now, staying above the gallery (below). I will attempt to regularly post the goings on here from now until September. The residency I am a part of has been running every year since 1988. I am the first American to be invited. You can see in the picture the work of Christine Fischer is showing for one more weekend. Also there will be grapes growing from those vines soon. This area of Germany known as the Pfalz region makes "riesling" a type of white wine.

Accepted Kuenstlerhaus

March 2, 2011

It is official. I'm going to the Kunstlerhaus Speyer. Exciting I know. The best part. Ok not the best part, but awesome anyway. German outlets provide 220 Volts. CFL's here I come.


Jan 1, 2011

Happy New Year. I have recieved an unofficial invitation to stay at the Kuenstlerhaus in Speyer, Germany for this Summer. It's sound like a wonderful residency. If you speak german, check out their website. Kunstlerbund Speyer.

Space Installation

October 18, 2010

Preparations are underway for an Installation in the Front window of Space Gallery.

New Declaration

September 23, 2010

I have declared this the news section.

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September 11, 2010

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