20acrecarcass | The Art of Jake Keeler


January 2013

Dangerous Abe: The Bearded Gar – Day 1

Gar Eye
Gar Eye

The mural is off to a great start…well, to be honest, it’s almost already done.

The patrons of Dangerous Man Brewing Co. chose a gar to be the subject.  To which I say, “thank you citizens.” When the word was official I immediately got started on some gar sketches, and put my materials together for a Monday-mural session. The image came fast and I decided right away that I would keep this mural simple…just a shortnose gar with a beard.  No fuss.

Gar sketch
Gar sketch
Gar sketch
Gar sketch

Along with touching base with the crew at DM, I also shot an email off to Twin Cities Live about the plans.  During the Lucidchrome mural, they expressed interest in doing  story on the brewery-fish-murals once I had scheduled the work with the third brewery.  They got back right away and we set a date to do a shoot and interview this Thursday. I’ll post a link here once the story airs.

With all the pieces in place, sketches made, and materials chosen I headed to DM this morning through slushy streets.  I arrived a bit after 9:30am and got to work right away.  Coming in to work on a mural of a bearded gar seemed like a completely logical thing to do there.  The vibe was right.

This vibe, along with a smooth wall, and perfect colors to play off of, helped speed this first day along.  I was organized, focused and the juju was flowing.  I had to stop at about 2:30pm, simply because I wanted to keep some work for Thursday when we do the TV spot and allow myself to sleep on the mural for a day or two before I said, “done”.

I’m stoked about how it’s looking so far. I even gave it a title: Dangerous Abe – The Bearded Gar

Here are some images from Day #1

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Dangerous Man!

Stoked to announce that I’ll be rocking the third mural in my Brewery-Fish series (working title) at Dangerous Man Brewing Co. in NE Minneapolis MN.

Put a Beard on It
Put a Beard on It

Continue reading “Dangerous Man!”


Lucidchrome - done
Lucidchrome – done

Lucidchrome is finished.  I’m extremely happy with how it turned out.  A huge thanks to everyone at Lucid for hooking me up with the wall and opportunity.  The hunt continues to find the third and final brewery.  Cheers to beers and big paintings of fish.

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Weekend Nugs 1.19.13

skull and axes
skull and axes

1. Blogs of interest

Adrift – great stories, photos and videos from TC resident Andy Weaverling.  He also writes from time to time and has an article about fishing for big browns in close quarters in the current issue of American Angler.

Currents – photos, videos and insights about fishing the amazing trout waters of the Driftless Region, and some excellent coverage of forays into warm water critters like carp, gar, and smallies.

2. Gettin’ my art out and about

Recycled Minds – I’m going to be their featured artist in February.  Check out the blog..tons of great articles, writing and thoughts about what is moving and shaping our world.

Great Waters Fly Expo – the dudes at Allen Fly Fishing are going to parading some of my art off at some upcoming fly fishing expos around the good ol’ USA.  In March, they come to my home-state for the Great Waters Fly Expo, and they want me to be on hand showing off my work, maybe signing some t-shirts and bringing my electric aura to the booth.  If you live in MN, come on down.

Familia skateshop -what?!  Got an invite to show with homies once again.  The show is tentatively planned to open June 22nd and run through much of July.  I plan on showing drawings of skulls and fish…shocker.

3.  Westy 12 video

A while back I got together with my good buddies Michael Dawson and Chip Walton.  We had a very overdue tasting and rapping session.  We drank, we rapped, we deemed overrated (well, at least I did, and perhaps off-camera).  Westvleteren 12 is a great beer, but not on the top of my list.  If you are into 3 dudes sitting around drinking and talking about beer, check out the video!

Lucidchrome – Days two and three

tools of the trade
tools of the trade

Two more days on the Lucid Brewing mural completed. A fourth day is certainly in the plans, and possibly a fifth to make any last minute touches.  What I thought would only take 3 full days has now stretched out to 5, not-so-full days, over the course of about 2.5 weeks.  In the end I’ll put in the raw hours I expected to, but not the level of efficiency and time management I was hoping for.

Lemme’ tell you something citizens – I hate when projects get protracted by small hurdles, little inconveniences, and short work days.  I really hate it.  Like, it is the single most defining pet-peeve I hold. When something gets held up, and/or falls off the rails completely due to real life drama, needs and/or demands I find it acceptable and workable; you gotta handle your business, I get that.  But when things get drawn out due to an informal approach, little hiccups, lazy planning, hangin’ out, and letting things develop at their own pace…the stage is set for frustration down the road.

The emergence of the 4th and 5th day on-site is entirely my own fault, due to taking on some other commitments, late evening meetings, and lack of good diet and exercise (read sleeping in after one too many); not real life shit, just secondary and tertiary noise and activities. So, I owe this frustration to me, myself and I.  Which makes it all the harder to swallow.

Now, with that said, I have enjoyed this project and think the end result will be awesome.  I may only scorn this child in the present due to the fact it’s keeping me from making other work, pursuing some other projects, and generally taking up time.  Over the years, I will grow to appreciate it’s lagging along and smell-the-flowers ways.  But for now, to paraphrase High On Fire – time has come to wield the axe.

I’m ready to bang this out, get it done and move onto some new work.

Lucid, and everyone that works there have been very accommodating, supportive and generally rad….so I’m feeling good about the home in which the painting will live.  Further, they have hooked me up with generous amounts of liquid thank you’s, and for this I am truly appreciative.

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The highlights for day two and three are thus:

1.  The reaffirmation that despite work getting into what I call the “fugly, junky, muddy, ruined” stage, I always drag the original vision out and carve it into something that meets my expectations.  I’m always enamored with the initial sketch; the essence of the image.  In some cases work stops right then and there, as it should.  But for murals like this, some raw hours and development of imagery, layers of color, texture and depth are needed.  The process can be humbling and instructive.

2. In a fortuitous turn, a camera crew from a local TV station happened to be on-site during day two.  They were including Lucid in a piece about new breweries in the Twin Cities. While there, they took notice of the mural.  As it turned out, they were headed to Pour Decisions later that day, so we got to rapping about the mural project Into The Maw, and after some follow up emails, they are going to do a story about the murals once the third location is picked.  Did I mention I’m doing a third mural of a fish at a local brewery?  No?  Ok, well, that is now happening.  More on that later.

3. Everyone at Lucid is stoked on the piece, and one of the owners Jon took to my suggestion that the chromer should be saying, “The swing is the thing, the tug is the drug.”.  Everyone wins.

Day 4, and possibly day 5 will come and pass this week.  I’ll post the final work and some final notes by the weekend.  I mean, as long as I don’t let stupid shit get in the way.


LucidChrome – Day One

Two hours into the project - good start.  The mural is the first thing you see when entering the brewery.
Two hours into the project – good start. The mural is the first thing you see when entering the brewery.

I’ve started a new mural, second in a series being done at local breweries, and also as an extension of my Winter Chrome series of drawings and paintings.  When I finished Into The Maw at Pour Decisions Brewing Company last Fall, I immediately wanted to do another.  I hadn’t done murals, and/or large scale paintings for quit some time, so Into The Maw was as much of an experiment and pursuit to reclaim some lost ability and honestly, confidence.  Once found, I was hungry.

I put the conquest of another mural aside to focus on exploring the subject of Winter Steelhead as a subject for a body of drawings and paintings.  I started working through smaller works, then larger drawings, and eventually ran out of wall space in my basement studio.

Continue reading “LucidChrome – Day One”

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