Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tumblr

I have moved my blog to Tumblr for the time being. It seems to be more compatable with Facebook and twitter and other accounts that I have. For the most up to date news, please visit bensharkey.com find me on Facebook, or follow me @bensharkeysings on twitter!

Much Love,
Ben

Tumblr: http://bensharkeywrites.tumblr.com/

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Durer's Rhino





Durer's Rhino4'x 4'
Oil on Canvas

Yeah, yeah, I know.... it's been a while since I've written in this blog. I even think I say this every time because it's few and far between when I actually do post some stuff. My guilt has gotten to me so I feel that I should post something. When I started this blog, I thought that I would just write about my music and my journey to achieve a dream. Well, The "journey" doesn't always have to include music specifically, although the "journey" does have a lot to do with how music is created. I'm not exactly sure where I'm going with this but my rough point is that: This blog doesn't really have to be fenced in.... I guess. I'm assuming that whoever reads my blog is probably reading it to learn more about the guy who sings on youtube. So since art and my paintings are a big part of who I am, I would like to share a painting that I did with my readers. :,P With that being said, this painting is called Durer's Rhino.

There's a few different concepts behind this piece, but they all have to tie in with imagination, and the subconscious.


The Process: I use a little bit of oil and mix it with a lot of turpentine so that they separate from each other to form a cloud-like texture.

Remember when you were a kid, or even now, and you could see images in the clouds? That's what this painting is based on. After the paint dries, I went through and outlined all of the images that I found on the canvas. The key is to not say "no" to yourself when doing this. I didn't edit anything, all of the images were a part of my subconscious and my own imagination.

It's interesting for me to look back at all of the content of this piece because it seems that most of the figures and shapes are a combination rather than exact representation of physical or imagined imagery that I've encountered in my life. So for me, it seems that this painting may be a mirror of sorts, of how the subconscious mind may store information. Logically you may think that the mind stores information in an organized filing system, instead it may store bits and pieces of the same memory throughout several areas of the brain. Maybe it's easier for the brain to access memories that way? I have not done enough research on how the brain actually works so this may be common knowledge or, just a theory. :,P



The Rhino: I picked this particular rhino because I was reading about Albrecht Durer who was a German print maker who lived in the late 1400's and early 1500's. He read a description of an Indian Rhino and came up with this drawing. Nowadays we have access to so much information that almost nothing is left to the imagination. It was a different world back in Durer's time. People from northern Europe only heard stories about the beasts of Africa or of India and Asia. Only a little bit of imagery was actually available. Today, if we want to know about something, we simply "google" it. We literally have the world at our fingertips. So for someone to read a description of an animal such as a rhino and come up with this rendering... it just fascinates me. Especially since it is pretty close to how a rhino actually looks.


Another Idea:In art school they teach us the names of different principals of art in terms of composition as well as the ways of balance in a piece. If I didn't include the rhino in this painting it would be a crystallographic composition which is a balance that has no real focal point. However, I have put emphasis on the rhino in this piece. This painting is really meant to be seen from two distances: close, and far. From far away, you see a non intrusive painting of a rhino. The painting almost looks textile in a way that it only provides a single image that appears to have texture. Up close, you begin to see hundreds of images that you can spend a fair amount of time trying to find and interpret. The reason I have for this is to provide something pleasing to the senses but not demanding from afar and something a lot more rewarding when you're closer. A lot of things in life are rewarding if you take a closer look, This is a sort of treat for people that stop and smell the roses.
I've always thought that paintings should be given more attention and I'm drawn to renderings that not only have a story, but have a hidden message aswell. Have a look again, try and find as many images as you have time for. :,P


If you'd like to learn more about Durer, here's a link to his profile on Artsy.net

https://www.artsy.net/artist/albrecht-durer

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My Funny Valentine - Ben Sharkey

I haven't really posted anything in a while. I've been pretty busy with work and music outside of youtube. On October 11th I had a show at Cliff Bell's in Detroit, Michigan. The proceeds of the event went to the Suite Dreams project which benefits children of serious illness. I have the footage from the event but but it may take a little while to edit the video from the two cameras and the audio together.

Anyway this video "my funny valentine" was taken at my bassists house the night before a gig that we did at someone's house. It was a surprize birthday and the night was a lot of fun!

I have another gig coming up on November 21st at Crave Lounge in Dearborn, Michigan. Crave is celebrating their 5th year being open with live jazz, Dj Matt A to and guest DJ John Grammatis (Chicago) Percussions by Danny Shamoun. Should be a fun night! Lola and I are sharing two sets with a few duets, it will be an interesting fusion!

There a few more things on the horizon, I'm working on booking more gigs locally and looking to broaden the scope a bit by hopefully venturing off to chicago then who knows what's next... maybe New York? L.A. and Toronto? Then over seas? :,P I don't know how successful those visits will be without an album out, so I'm slowly putting things together for that aswell. I'm also working with a few producers on some special projects so be on the lookout for some stuff you may not expect from me. :,)

Stay tuned!!!

Peace and Love,

Ben

Friday, August 28, 2009

JAZZ IN THE CITY



It seems like I've been dreaming of something like this for a long time now.... on October 11Th, 2009. For the first time, I'll be singing with a "big band" at Cliff Bell's in Detroit, MI. I've loved the sound of a big band ever since I found a copy of Harry Connick Jr's "Red Light, Blue Light" album in my roommate's CD stack. That was my senior year in High School. I never really was into jazz that much before hearing Connick. Little did I know the impact that big band sound would have on me.

The closest I've ever been to singing with a big band is singing along to an instrumental. haha! I've had a few performances with smaller ensembles, but one horn doesn't compare to a horn section. I'll have my own horn section in this show and it will be really hard for me to wait until the October show.

This event is actually meant to be my 30Th birthday party, but I really don't care too much about that. I find that ever year, birthdays are less important as they were when I was a kid. you know.... when toys were first priority. So I guess that doing a show rather than having an actual party is probably a little out of the ordinary, but that's just my style.






What I care about is that I get to perform some great standards as well as my own originals at a really cool Jazz bar in town, that is rich with history (check out the website for more info) hopefully I'll bring the club more suburbanite patrons that wouldn't normally come to Cliff Bell's. A lot of my friends haven't even heard of the place nor are they enthusiastic jazz fans/listeners. If you know me, you know that I'm a huge advocate for the city of Detroit and want people to come downtown and experience the city and I want to try my best to support all of the little gems that are hidden and scattered throughout the urban landscape.

I'm also particularly happy that all the proceeds will be going to one of my favorite charities: Suite Dreams Project. It's a non profit that creates healthy, and happy environments for children with serious illnesses. I've donated my art, and have participated in events for this charity in the past and I'm happy for this opportunity to even do a little more for the cause.


The talented Lola Morales will be joining me at Cliff Bell's. We've performed a few times with each other before, and have even done a video together on Youtube. She's been teaching me a bit about the biz, and I've been counseling her about social networking. It's been a good trade off. lol! She has a really sultry and warm voice, I'm really excited to see her set at the beginning of the night, we will also be performing a duet later in the evening.

It's going to be a great night! If you happen to be in the area and would like to go, tickets are available on neptix.com. However, if you can't be there, I'll be sure to have it recorded and posted for everyone to see and hear.

-B





Tuesday, March 10, 2009

PhotographybyAvery.com

All right! well I have a few more followers so I guess that means that I should probably post another blog hmm?

Ok.. so if you're a friend of mine on facebook you might have seen some new pictures. Funny story actually....

One rainy day in February, I checked my youtube messages like I usually do. To be honest, answering mail can be fun and it can also be a bit overwhelming. I can't always respond to short emails that are chit chat like... "Do you IM?" (I wish I had the time but I don't) When I open my mail, I'm hoping for a break like any other artist... someone saying "We at Warner Bros. want to sign you" LOL! Hey, why can't I dream? Well I have gotten a few really cool emails for some good opportunities. One of which was from PhotographybyAverie.com. Avery found me while looking for Michael Buble videos on youtube. Turns out she was coming up to Detroit to hang out with a friend and also trade some tips with another photographer who is based in MI. So she emailed me asking if I'd like a photo shoot.

Youtube is a very interesting place which is made up by very interesting people. You never really know who you can trust and who has other motives. So I checked out her website and she seemed professional so I gave her a call. We confirmed everything and set the date.
I wasn't really sure if it was too good to be true or not. but I hoped for the best.

Things worked out! We shot at various locations throughout Detroit and shot a couple changes in my home. She was very fun and it was cool to hang out with another artist. I took her to some of my favorite spots around the city. If you know me, you'll know that I am an advocate for the city of Detroit and don't want anybody to come here and leave thinking that Detroit is as dark and gloomy as the roomers state. I think she left with a good impression.

The pictures: I haven't gotten all of them yet, but every time I get one I get all excited about it. She's actually really really good. I'd love to just post them all as I receive them. But I think I'm going to hold out a bit. I'd like to save them for some promotional stuff like maybe a FULL CD! ha ha! (That's another Blog)

That's it for now.. gotta get back to work. I hope everyone is well!

Much Love,

Ben

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Update, Nov 13




Hi there! I don't think my blogs get that much traffic so that's why I haven't really posted in a while. Sometimes I just get in the mood to write and I checked my (I don't even know what to call it... Dashboard?) Profile. I guess that I have two followers at the moment. lol! I'll take it! You've gotta start somewhere huh? Well that gives me a little more motivation to keep up with the blog.

So I guess there are a couple topics to cover; one is.. I'm really flattered to have my own fan club! It is run by a friend all the way in Brazil. (Thank you Claudia) officialbensharkeyfanclub So that's an honor! It let's me know that people care enough about my music to take their own time to promote me and that's really encouraging. Claudia also created a myspace fan club and a facebook fan club aswell.

You might have heard that I recently went to the studio to record a few acoustic originals the LP is titled Try As I Might;
  1. Actually
  2. Try As I Might
  3. Won't You Come Back to Me
  4. When I Think of Love
  5. Sway (cover)
I really would like to get these up on itunes so that they're available for everybody. The issue I'm having is that I would love to have all five up and ready... but I am trying to find out how to get rights to "Sway." The second thing that's holding things up is a photoshoot. I'd love to take some nice pics for the CD.

This wasn't the whole purpose for the studio session though. I really did it to send out to publishers and record labels as well as talent management. the thing that is holding that up is CD duplication. What is holding the duplication up is the fact that I need some photos and a design. Soooooo..... I really need to get off my arse and get some photos taken.

There is a lot of work that goes into this biz.. I wish things were easier. I'm coming to realize that I'm more of an artist than I am a businessman. Today for example.. I could have taken my lunch break from work and looked up some contacts to send my songs out to.. but instead I am working on a new song. LOL! I really wish that there were more hours in the day.. But I'm sure that a lot of us feel that way.


Other news: I was written up recently in a local magazine "6 degrees magazine" I'm Shocked! I don't know if it will get me more exposure or not but we'll see.. any press is good press. The thing is (here comes my vanity) I don't like the expression on my face for the photo. It was after work and I was tired. LOL! The article was brief but very good! It covered both my art and my music;




" Armed with a "deep-rooted love for the city" of Detroit and an overflowing amount of artistic ability, Benjamin Sharkey is ready to leave his mark on this town any way he can. An avid artist in both the visual and musical sense, Sharkey became a YouTube sensation by nearly topping the 2 million total video views mark and has more than 5,00 subscribers tuning into his
original and cover performances, featuring most notable his keyboard and acoustic talents.Sharkey is confident he can reach his peak as an artist housed in Motown and maintains this optimism despite the problematic economic times facing the state. " I see Detroit as a place for the opportunity to start something big. This city raises some pretty amazing and talented people. Unfortunately a large amount of them leave the city. I don't want to be one of them; I have faith in the city and i see it's potential. "playing into that belief is the impressions his patrons leave with him after experiencing one of his paintings or musical pieces. "It's nice to know that a part of me will play a part in their daily lives and I helped make their environment more authentic to their Being."

Alright well there is more to share but I should get back to work so I will share more later. I hope everyone is well. Stay tuned!

-Sharks

Thursday, August 14, 2008



Welcome! So for the past few months I have been working with some friends of mine to open a really cool shop in Royal Oak, MI. (Suburb of Detroit) I've designed the logo and the design of the flyers. What I'm really excited about is that I was able to do a painting for their amazing store. There really isn't anything like this place in Michigan. It's the first of it's kind, I mean, there are lots of shops here but nothing that is as hip and edgy as this. If you're ever in the area, you definitely need to check it out. The Annex has everything accessory: Hats, Jewelry, scarfs, and shoes. It even has accessories for your home: Frames, mirrors, coffee table books and candles. Not only does it have cool inventory the interior is amazing and was designed to feel like "home."


I consider myself to be pretty lucky to be a part of this store. It really is a breath of fresh air for the area. Annie Leblanc and Dougie Schwartz (Owners) really had the most creative input of the store, but I definitely added my two cents and then some. The painting above the mantle is the first of a series of paintings that I plan to finish hopefully in spring '09.


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