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Joey Veltkamp’s desire – kind of blue

Somewhere between Paint By Numbers and overexposed film negatives are the blue paintings of Joey Veltkamp. Boldly present and barely there, they are illusions floating on soap bubbles and gone.

The series started last year with 1977, below. (The last good kiss you had was years ago.)

joeyveltkampkiss.jpgBear is more recent. It appears to be a self-portrait. (I am the name of my desire.)

joeyveltkampbear.jpgHunter toys with the stereotype, with what it means to be male.

joeyveltkamphunter.jpgCowboy celebrates the fun. Note the underwear. This isn’t your grandmother’s cowboy.

joeyveltcowboy.jpgThese images and others are on Veltkamp’s flicker stream, here. He also fronts an excellent blog known as Best Of. Before Best Of, Veltkamp was known primarily as an illustrator. In Seattle, he was around but not central.

The blog allowed him to introduce himself to those who thought they already knew him. With his generosity, wit and ability to engage with the work of other artists, he raised curiosity about what he seldom alludes to – his own work. Partly due to all that engagement, his own work has improved. 

Those who bemoan the death of print and the rise of online journalism fail to realize how static print is. Before blogs, somebody like Veltkamp would have had few options to express himself. Newspapers had no room for him. He doesn’t fit their formula. I loved working for a newspaper, but I don’t miss the paper part. Let the trees live.


  1. Wonderful coverage of an awesome series.

  2. Joey Veltkamp is a local treasure. To know him is to love him!

  3. Thank you for not using the words “gay” or “homoerotic,” and letting sex be sex.

  4. Very nice. Also, I second Roy’s comment.

  5. Print may be static, but it paid the bills for those who wrote for it. I dare say you made a better living at the Seattle P.I. than you can make with this blog, if it provides a living at all.

  6. Yummy

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