Did you know that after a male octopus slings its sperm with a specially affected arm (not a tentacle, they are called arms) it then withers and dies? The female receives the gametes in her mantle cavity then finds a protected spot to deposit the fertilized eggs, after which she also withers and dies. Pretty depressing that right after achieving your reproductive goals in life, to simply sit back and die, never to see your offspring. This octopus is not even thinking about reproduction though, he is only thinking about how he still has six arms left without beer! That is like only having 1/4 of a beer in your human hands. It also might be a problem that this guy is underwater and I am sure that this beverage is leaking out into the sea. Better get on it you suffering cephalopod, and slurp the suds down your beak before it dissolves faster than you can say octopus ink. Octopoda are smart, and this guy proves it by choosing beer as his beverage of choice. Cheers to intelligent decisions! Drink beer! Be merry! Don’t spawn out too early!
This week’s beer-themed painting provides another opportunity for us beer nerds to learn about art history. This painting was inspired by Marc Chagall’s The Green Violinist. Chagall lived a long time from 1887-1985! That’s 98 years! Born in modern day Belarus, this Russian-French-Jewish artist experienced a whole lot of life, including the Russian Revolution, and Nazi invasion of France. Chagall’s timing was impeccably off, being in St. Petersburg during 1917, and in France in 1940. Fairly dangerous, especially for a Jewish artist.
His painting of the green-faced fiddler, painted 1923-24, is probably the most famous Chagall piece, although he did work in many different mediums, including book illustrations, stained glass, stage sets, ceramics, tapestries, and fine art prints. The Green Violinist is often considered the inspiration for the popular 1964 musical Fiddler on the Roof. Painted upon Chagall’s return to Paris from Russia, this piece shows his Russian Jewish roots, and his recent work as a set designer in Russia. In this Chagall parody, I simply put the green faced fiddler in a setting that shows off a large brewery. Just like in a good brewery setting with live music, the musician should have drinks on the house, represented by the pint on the rooftop by this magical violinist’s feet. Hence, the name of this piece is Beer on the House.
Cheers to finding the best music and beer! May your holidays be festive, and may your face not be green with envy, but your coat a luxurious purple!
This original oil painting, and 52 limited-edition, signed art prints are for sale at my Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.
I am a huge advocate for craft beer, and have taken the Beer Judge Certification Program class. So, along the way, I’ve sampled a fair share of beers brewed the hard way. One of the BJCP lessons focused on American Lager, and the lecturer mentioned how difficult it is for Budweiser, Hamm’s, and yes, even Pabst Blue Ribbon to make a true American Lager. During my brief stint working at the home-brew supply shop for a few months in 2006, I remember dudes coming in and asking why their home-brewed beer was not even close to their favorite macro brew. The answer is finesse. American brew served fresh, ice cold, and after a hard day’s work is probably one of the small joys of life that most American beer drinkers have discovered. While most home-brew is very inconsistent, varying between batches, generating unique flavors and well, being interesting all around, macro-brewed American Lager is incredibly consistent. Historically, the American public generally won’t stand for beer that has varying alcohol content, or surprising flavors. Although I prefer finely crafted products, microbrews and home-brews, I value the level of expertise it takes to make huge batches of consistent American Lager beer. It also has a nostalgic quality, bringing back memories of good times from my youth. Although I don’t get a hallelujah experience that I might from an uber fresh dank IPA, or a spot-on barrel aged imperial stout, it has a place in my heart, and I have consumed many a PBR late around the campfire. So, to show my love for this great American beer I made this painting and wrote this little poem. I also entered this piece into the PBR art contest, which did not call for poetry, but hey, I get poetic around the campfire.
I HEART PBR
– by Scott Clendaniel
My heart is beating with the love of Pabst Blue Ribbon
Each pulsation of a ventricle spreads the “Love”
rugged, American, sporty, bikes, ATVs, snowmobiles, and flatbed trucks
The sensation of liquid passion stemming from my core
the unending supply of goodness that comes from communal exuberance
Taboos be dead, and habits be damned, today’s a good change
drink to your health and drink to life because tomorrow is uncertain
but the next minute is excellent as a classic PBR was just handed to you
by a new friend
let the campfire burn to coals and the warmth spread to your toes
an old friend is with you till the end
the evening which went lasted to dawn
And the pumping of your heart continues
The original oil painting sold. Limited-edition prints are for sale at my Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.
This is the 101st Thirsty Thursday beer painting since the end of the Year of Beer Paintings in 2014. Today is another installment of Beer Art History 101. This week’s beer painting is a beer parody of Sandro Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, painted between 1484-1486. That painting was commissioned by the Medici Family of Florence, Italy. The painting is an attempt to recreate a lost Roman painting, and this is why the painting is not in the usual Renaissance style. You can see stylized lines, making the painting seem more like Greco-Roman pottery and wall frescoes. The painting of Venus rising from the sea as a full figured adult woman was inspired by the beauty of Alexander the Great’s mistress. The original painting, as described by Pliny the Elder, was considered a masterpiece that unfortunately was damaged beyond repair. Several of these paintings have been made, but the one we have today by Botticelli is considered the epitome of the concept. I was thinking that the glass in my painting is full of wheat beer. Now that Pliny the Elder has been mentioned, I am having a hard time not thinking of a West Coast IPA. Whatever its imagined style, you can say this is one beautiful beer that has arrived via clamshell. My version of this piece is called Birth of Beer. I would be astounded if I was at the beach and angels were blowing a beer the size of a full grown woman towards me on the beach. Cheers to beautiful beers!
This original oil painting, and 52 limited-edition, signed art prints are for sale at my Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.
Happy Thirsty Thanksgiving! And my 100th Thirsty Thursday beer painting!
Leonardo Da Vinci must have been a beer drinker. Here’s my reasoning: 500 years ago Italian water was polluted, and wine was too expensive and much too strong. Jesus was a bearded man who wore sandals, no doubt he drank beer too. Plus, 2,000 years ago the water was just as polluted and wine was even more expensive. Leonardo Da Vinci’s mural painting of the Last Supper at the Sante Maria Del Grazie in Milan is one of the most famous paintings in the world. I have had it on my to-paint-as-a-beer-parody list for months, but I was intimidated by all the details I would have to paint. It occurred to me it was time to make this painting when I realized that I would be releasing my 100th Thirsty Thursday painting on Thanksgiving, so it had to be remarkable in some way. When I think of great feasts, the Last Supper comes to mind. I’m calling this piece the Last Beer Tasting. According to the Gospel John, Christ told the disciples that one of the twelve would betray him. It is at this moment that Da Vinci depicts the Last Supper. The gospel tells us they had bread and wine, but maybe they actually had beer instead, which is a form of liquid bread? As a beer connoisseur it seems plausible to me. Anyway, don’t get too wrapped up in this painting. I don’t think that what is on the table should take away much of the overall meaning that Da Vinci originally portrayed. Of course the true meaning of a painting is only what you take from the experience you receive when viewing it. I hope you find this whimsical and not blasphemous. Cheers to the feast! May you be forever thankful for the bounty at your table!
This original oil painting, and limited-edition, signed art prints are for sale at my Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.
Deep black mahogany, as black as soot, with a flavor that won’t quit, but makes you want to come back for more. Barrel aged in whiskey barrels, nothing has quite the same flavor as a whiskey barrel-aged imperial stout. Firestone Walker’s Parabola is not one to be missed if you get lucky enough to find one. I was at Brown Jug Liquor Store in Anchorage, Alaska and I saw the fancy FW box being handed over to a gentleman. I inquired where I might also find the special liquid from the back basement cellar storage room. He went and brought me up a special bottle and I was surprised to find that the FW barrel aged ales were only $15 a bottle! For 14% beer that has been barrel-aged, that’s a good deal! Especially when it tastes as good as this one does! I opened this bottle on New Year’s Eve, and I believe it was a good choice.
I painted it with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background, because the landmark is between Firestone Walker’s two restaurants and tasting rooms. The Golden Gate Bridge is also the largest parabola that I have ever seen. The Eiffel Tower also has a sweet parabola at the base of it, but I figured it wasn’t Californian enough, and also much smaller. If you ever get a chance to buy a bottle of Parabola, I would highly recommend enjoying it as a picnic item on the rocks overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge. Cheers to Firestone Walker! An award winning, stellar brewery that distributes to Alaska!
The original oil painting sold. Limited-edition prints are available at my Etsy shop, RealArtIsBetter.
Today is the last Thirsty Thursday of the year! I hope you had a good time checking in on Thursdays. I won’t promise to post every week in 2016, but I’m not saying that I won’t. We do have some cool stuff planned, like our first Beer Art Road Show (BARS) that will happen in the Fall in California, where there is a plethora of world-class breweries to visit like Stone, Ballast Point, Russian River, Lost Abbey, and the list goes on. The last time I was in California was in 2009, and I had just completed the 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall project. Now I am more aware of just how special California is for beer, whereas back in 2009 it was more known for wine.
So the last Thirsty Thursday beer painting for 2015 is of Sip of Sunshine IPA. This beer is so tasty! Lawson’s lives up to its name, it does make the “finest liquids”. I was surprised to read on the can that this beer is brewed by Two Roads Brewing in Stratford, CT. I wonder why it’s not brewed in Warren, Vermont, where LFL is located. Nevertheless, I feel lucky to get to try a fresh one all the way here in Anchorage, Alaska. A beer art fan in New Jersey mailed me this can. Although we get some seriously good IPAs here, none are 8% and served in a can. Bitter Monk by Anchorage Brewing is great, but at $10 for a 22 oz bottle, I only drink it occasionally. I wish the BARS tour was in Vermont in the near future, but since I was there in 2014, I guess I should go to Colorado first.
Cheers to the New Year, and stay tuned for more beer art in 2016!
Unfortunately, this painting is not available for sale, because Lawson’s Finest is the first brewery to send me a cease and desist notice for using an image of their beer in a painting. You can read about it in this blog post.
Lightly snowing here in Anchorage, Alaska today on Christmas Eve. Beautiful, but cold. This week’s beer painting honors David Crewdson, a volunteer beer expert, who occasionally runs the Midnight Sun Brewing brewery tour. He called me one day in the summer of 2013, and said he had a dynamite idea that he would only tell me in person, and invited me on a brewery tour. I was in McCarthy when he called me, and since I was already planning to head back to Anchorage anyway, and MSBC is one of my favorite hang out spots, I told him I’d be there. After the tour, which I have done about six times at MSBC and countless times at other breweries, Crewdson presented his idea. He said simply with his arms waving excitedly, “Here’s the idea… Paint mountains in the beer foam, and call it Toast to Our Mountains!” I thought it was brilliant, and he said he didn’t want anything in return, because what good is a great idea if you can’t implement it yourself? So I put the concept to the test, making five original oil paintings that all varied, but all had at least one pint with foamy mountains, or the Anchorage skyline. I sold the last one just a few weeks ago. So I felt it would make a great Thirsty Thursday entry and painted a sixth Toast to our Mountains painting. The mountains in the background are the Chugach Mountains, which tower over Anchorage, and the one in the pint is Denali, the tallest mountain in North America, which I can see from my studio on sunny days, even though it’s 133 miles from Anchorage as the crow flies.
So I propose a Toast to our Mountains, and to David Crewdson — a man of honor, and integrity, with a fine mind!
P.S. I noticed that this year has 53 Thursdays, so stay tuned next week for a bonus, and last, Thirsty Thursday beer painting of 2015!
The original painting, and limited edition prints are for sale at my Etsy shop.
How many cans of Focal Banger IPA fit in an X-mas stocking? I guess it depends on how hard you try to find cans of this luscious liquid. I bet you could put half a case in the right-sized sock! I think that Focal Banger tastes pretty awesome, and I know The Alchemist of Waterbury, Vermont knows how to keep their beer fresh. One of the critical aspects of keeping an IPA in its beautiful floral condition is a short storage period. Long shelf storage can destroy a bright and lovely IPA, so long story short, don’t horde this delectable nectar. It says, “Drink from the Can” directly on each beer, because this practice not only prevents oxidation, but also prevents light contamination. I can only imagine how good this beer tastes on top of a Vermont ski mountain! I hope you get to live out my fantasy and sneak a tall boy into your ski parka for a sip of afternoon delight before heading down to the base of the mountain where you might consume more during an Après-ski session!
Cheers to the Alchemist, turning water, malt, yeast, and hops into liquid gold!
The original oil painting, and limited-edition prints are for sale at my Etsy shop.
If you haven’t already heard of Banksy, he is a world-famous, English-based graffiti artist who has been working in illicit and underground artwork since 1992. Nobody knows his actual name. He really gained some major world recognition around 2004, and in 2006 he was consistently selling works of art for over $50,000. Not bad for a guy who doesn’t have to buy his canvases. Anyway, I sampled this image from Banksy for this week’s beer-themed painting of a man throwing a bunch of flowers, which is a large graffiti piece of art on the West Bank barrier. The beer obviously doesn’t have the same connotation, but I thought it was about as entertaining. I call this piece, “Honey, Get Me a Beer!” Maybe more domestic than political, I think it has similar impact. Don’t be going around throwing pints of beer at your significant other. I think it might be more damaging than telling them to bugger off instead.
Cheers to Bold art and Bold Beer!