By November 15, 2018 Read More →

ArtView – Eleven Years, Memories and Observations

By Jim Christiansen

This edition of Modesto View Art View is my 11th anniversary of joining the in-print edition of Modesto View, usually page 7, at the invitation of my friend, visual artist and musician Chris Murphy. This past Art Walk was great, and though officially no Third Thursday, your usual Art Walk venues ignoring that and practicing something known as Guerilla Art. Usual venues will be open, or not, as we’ve had a year around 3rd Thursday schedule over 20 years now, where Third Thursday is the thing. Art Night, so either Henrietta Sparkman or Charles Jeffrey Newberry will be the featured artist at Barking Dog. The current cowboy related them by Carol David, much of it in encaustic crayon, featured this month, after featuring Escalon born, International artist David E. Webster put up one of his well-traveled installations. Tri-Chromatic gallery, even Chartreuse Muse and Mistlin Galleries do performance art.

I’m the founder of The Graceada Park Performance Art Project started in Modesto, where I focused on the great players of Modesto, and those unknown accomplished greats from my schools and University of California Riverside greats, I know as W.I.D., Worms in Disguise, that extends to some friends you may not know I have known all my life. This extends to my secret hobby in math and cosmological physics from Art History studies at UCR, in the thread of Leonardo and Michelangelo. Some people in LA area who know me well, wondered why I quit playing music and recording, as some friends here wondered why I’m manically practicing guitars, banjo, piano and tuning. Even professional musicians, artists and writers, have other hobbies, interests and family issues like my mental health crash following some legal issues, depression, and severe health problems. I’ve had all of them, and art therapy, music therapy, and writing, getting your truth out there, so you’ll contact the friends I know, will get you out of your milieu of Modesto and find confirmations of what else I do, as I promote the great creative scene I found here in Modesto.

For other guys in recovery with my cat Sam’s and my condition, is my long time associate Jullie Cox’s father’s issue, stroke, or similar cerebral hemorrhage condition. Chris Murphy’s recent heart issues, similar to my mother’s AFIB condition. Russ Owens has my father’s challenge, 30 years after some improvements made. Brian Friend after walking with me during the Heart Walk Modesto View sponsored, had heart surgery, is back up and working. So the sudden change when you make a breakthrough is exhilarating, somewhat hard for your own family at times to get used to. I’m lucky, 30 years later, I can play instruments again. Chris’ back in the pink. Big Earl’s looking great. Shad Harris knows what I’ve been through. Thanks to being on a Modesto View crew who really do the drill, understand how your best bet is play through it as best you can.

I’m the crew leader and event coordinator for the Riverdance Farms Pick and Gather, with ranch owners Bill Thompson and Cindy Lashbrook, and like Strawberry; we added a second festival on our calendar. November 3 and 4. I’ve booked myself on our shade house stage as a way to get used to face an audience, and try that out, with a stage crew of primarily left handed players rarely seen to play for awhile and getting our tools out, that complement our visual arts. Please come join us.

I recently explained some of the illusion tricks of the Tresetti’s mural, who is actually who, and who just a generic character, and how the illusions work. The woman I didn’t know I knew, who I got the eyes wrong, and changed after she left, not knowing who I was, is Kim Ricci. Tresestti’s never told her, she figured it out working with me on Art Walk. The ongoing sharpie drawings at Barkin Dog, adds more than just my drawings, but include Sarah’s sketches, that of our Publisher Chris Murphy, who when we draw the bands, side by side, uses my paper, one of my pens to do his way, me, my way, of the same song and band in set. Mark Navarro is the other artist with a napkin drawing similar to Van Gogh Starry night. We progress as we add more of our drawings at Barkin Dog, including not players, but the audience, staff, while the music playing. I’m a cartoonist. Enjoy November downtown, remember Modshop, and enjoy Thanksgiving.

There is a longer, more introspective version on line at

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About the Author:

Jim Christiansen, award winning watercolor artist, cartoonist and member of many art groups moved to Modesto in 1977. Born in Riverside, California, and attended University of California, Riverside. Jim often shows around Modesto, does a poster or two, and has been host of the art walk events at State Theatre and Jax on H. Jim has been writing the art notes column several years for Modesto View.