James McAvoy on the X-Men: First Class Shoot, His Co-Stars and Superpower Envy

The fact that X-Men: First Class is only five months away from being released in theaters and director Matthew Vaughn still filming pick-ups and re-shoots has left many wondering how the movie will possibly be ready in time. Even actress January Jones, who stars in the movie as Emma Frost, the mutant telepath with the power to make her skin diamond-hard, recently admitted that she had “a lot of questions” about how the movie would be able to make its release date.

Now, actor James McAvoy, who stars as Charles “Prof. X” Xavier, the founder and leader of the X-Men, has also weighed in on the time-crunched First Class shoot. In a recent interview with Collider, McAvoy said that being rushed is nothing new in the movie business and offered an explanation of how the movie will be able to be completed on time, also commenting on his co-stars and his movie superpowers.

I don’t think I’ve ever made such a big movie, in such a short period of time. It’s nuts, really. But, we’re getting it done. No movie has ever got enough time. It doesn’t matter how much money you’ve got, and it doesn’t matter how much money you’ve not got. You never finish on time. You’re always up against it and you’re always working up until the end….that’s what it is with every single movie I’ve ever been on. It just feels like the usual. It’s more about whether they can get it ready in time for the release date. They’re working on the editing now, and they’re working on the special effects now. They’ve got a big department working 24/7 on it.

The above article has to do with one of my art pieces: “James McAvoy’s Flushed Cheeks


San Diego Weather

After the Weather Channel reported on the terrible weather conditions across the nation in the Winter of 2010/2011 they turn to a computerized voice that reports the current conditions in our area: “A High Surf advisory has been issued and it is currently 65 degrees under a clear sky.”

There is a joke about Southern California weather that I have reintroduced and made into a quick comic: The easiest job in the world is to be a weatherman in San Diego California.  You have a news anchor and a weather reporter at any time of the year that have the quickest discussion on the air as the news caster asks, “And now weather man Bill.  What’s the weather like here in San Diego, Bill?”

Weatherman Bill responds, “…fine.  Back to you.”

Last time I was in Oklahoma, it was in October and it rained… a lot.  It rained to the point that I just stood in the front door looked, mouth agape, up at the rain as though it was alien in nature.  Rain in San Diego means a sprinkling in the mourning for about ten minutes and that is it.  It rained in Oklahoma to the point that one evening at my Grandparents home that I was worried about the trashcans that were just rolled out into the street.  On the local Oklahoma news, a flood warning was in affect around their area and my Grandfather just calmly sat in his chair reading his newspaper.  I asked about the trashcans, as the street was now a low tide river.  My Grandfather just smiled and said that if the trashcans did float away, someone else’s trashcans that would wash and replace them.

The Sleeping Tractor

As told by Erle W. Adams (December, 2009)

twincity2While working on his Aunt and Uncle’s farm (possibly Alva Adams), young Erle Adams was asked to work the night shift at his aunt’s farms.  The uncle did the daily shift of plowing the fields and he left the night plowing to hired hands.  During the depression and the rural area that Erle Adams grew up in, jobs were scarce and you did help the family when you could.  It has been suggested that the seasonal and daily clock of the rooster ran farm life did not always agree with Erle as he intimated in a statement from his aunt.

The task at hand for pulling the plow with the tractor was an easy enough job, just time consuming.  You lined you tractor wheel up in the tread of your previous route and drove in a circle outward until the field was plowed.  Lights were placed on the roof of the tractor so one could see ahead as well as turn the lights to look about as you drove.

The work of his day job at his father’s Adams General Store as well as schoolwork took its toll on Erle W. as he dozed off in front of the wheel.

imagesWhen Erle awoke the following mourning, he suddenly realized his mistake and looked behind him at the field.  A zigzag path had been plowed through the field that would of made any alien crop circle creators jealous.  As fast as he could, Erle plowed away at the field in a not so careful design or path to cover his tracks of his sleeping tractor.


“Kurdt Kobain’s Primal Scream of Angst

"Kurdt Kobain's Primal Scream of Angst"

“Kurdt Kobain’s Primal Scream of Angst”


In the pages of Rolling Stone magazine, a magazine that I have faithfully read and kept every issue since the fall of 1993, I came across this image of the man I soon came into being associated with as my altered sate of being. Kurt Donald Cobain performing on stage wrenching from his very soul every note and word that he feels it to be necessary to chant out. The stage lights cast down on his unwashed hair that cover most of his face as the outline of his small shoulders are seen draped in one his legendary sweaters. This was my first attempt at pastel.


Of the many icons of my youth and the stages in life, it is Kurt Cobain that I have the most trouble looking at. His music can be played non-stop through out my life and yet his face has caused me to pause from time to time. He was a handsome man with a charming smile. The only time I was able to see him perform was on Saturday Night Live in 1993 with Charles Barkley, RuPaul and Sebastian Bach of Skid Row.

Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana

Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana

RuPaul was a friend of Kurt as well as Skid Row was one of the bands that Kurt liked as a youth. After performing “Heart Shaped Box” and “Rape Me,” the show ended, as it had for its entire run, with the whole cast and guests waving goodbye. At this point, as an artist, I had noticed Kurt’s square shaped hands. It was not until I had read “Come As You Are” that I realized Kurt so slight of frame do to his stomach ailment. His hands looked large in contrast to his small arms. His waving and grinning at the end of the show was all the more unique in his eating a pastry and being dwarfed in height compared to Barkley and long time friend and band mate, Krist Novoselic.

Rolling Stone no. 674, January 1994

Rolling Stone no. 674, January 1994

Close to my graduation from high-school and for my eighteenth birthday I walked to the local mall after school with a friend and fellow Nirvana fan and purchased “Cobain” fresh off the printing press. The book had a collection of the various Nirvana articles that Rolling Stone had done through the short career of Nirvana. To this day, it still urps me that the only Rolling Stone magazine I do not have is no. 674, January 1994. As a favor I let a friend borrow it only to never have seen that guy again.

Not having much money in my teenage years, I did not have a lot of posters and this compelled me to make my own.   This pastel depiction of Kurt was an attempt at a Nirvana poster.

“Where there is a Will there is a Way”

"Where there is a Will there is a Way"

"Where there is a Will there is a Way"

After the death of his mother, Princess Diana, I could not help but sense how much rage could have been in the young prince William.   Over the years, William has grown into a man that like his mother is willing to help everyone he can.   The expression on his face, as he listens intensely at someone at what I can only guess as a polo match, is one of those edges of anger and passion that I foresaw in his youth.

There is a bond between he and his younger brother Harry that is one that comes from a loss of a parent where the idea of family shifts to looking out for one another.   The brothers are friends that a serious presence when entering a room.   Seriously, one interviewer mentioned that just the shear height of the two boys is enough to make one take a step back not to mention that they are the second and third in line for the crown of Englan

Becoming a man with Pearl Jam

By Tim Benjamin (11-17-09)

Pearl Jam's 1991 debut album Ten

Pearl Jam's 1991 debut album Ten

Growing up in the nineties as a teenager with no real moral compass to direct me I did have a few in the music world.  After my father left three days before Christmas of 1991, the following Christmas was a cold bitter after glow of the shattering of my family and what I had thought to be normal.  The following Christmas of 1992, my brother gave me the cassette of Pearl Jam’s debut album Ten.  This gritty and studio based beat rumble and rattle album shot through my ears as I drove the dark streets with my brother to and from my father’s homes.  Forever, Ten will be the soundtrack album of my family’s destruction.  The aftermath of my father leaving left my mother forever damaged and the track “Why Go” was in my mind the song of my mother battling the world. It was later revealed that Vedder’s lyrics were inspired by his long-held hurt in discovering at age 17 that the man he thought was his father was not, and that his real father had already died.  I had another male leave me in 1993 and that left me with Kurt Cobain who died the following year.  The absence of a male role model and the vacuum of how to feel or how to deal were left to what was left of the grunge movement.

"Kurt Cobain's Primal Scream"

"Kurt Cobain's Primal Scream"

The importance of the influence of Kurt Cobain’s primal scream of anguish cannot be under or over stated as my loyalty to him.  Thus, the dilemma of the death of the last of the men of my early teenage years.  Cobain’s and his widow’s criticism of Pearl Jam did not help matters in what I should do with myself. .  Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain angrily attacked Pearl Jam, claiming the band were commercial sellouts, and argued Ten was not a true alternative album because it had so many prominent guitar leads. The collaboration of Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament and Soundgarden’s singer Chris Cornell and drummer Matt Cameron in the formation of Temple of the Dog in 1990 would of proved that since Chris Cornell, a mentor to Cobain of Vedder’s promise and worth.  Cobain later reconciled with Vedder, and they reportedly were on amicable terms before Cobain’s death in 1994.  At a concert following Cobain’s death, Vedder stated that he and his band would not be here if not for Kurt.

"Not For You" CD single art

"Not For You" CD single art

As my personal heartbreak in my freshmen year around Christmas of 1993 took affect, the Pearl Jam album Vitalogy (1994) was released and the track “Not for You” was a secret yell at the person that broke my heart.  The song with or with out its true meaning were both wrong with what I felt but I had something to scream with.   Many evening I spent running in the cold night air listening to the album as loud as possible as my breath was seen in the streetlights.

1996's No Code

1996's No Code

As my senior year rolled around, I had my brother leaving to join the Coast Guard.  As friends went, I had a good friend in my older brother.  Always busy and had great friends that took me in as one of their own, and in the end I had another male leave me.  The same year Pearl Jam released my personal favorite album of theirs, No Code.  Poignantly was the track “Off He Goes” in which Vedder wrote about himself “being a shit friend. I’ll show up and everything’s great and then all of the sudden I’m outta there…”

"Off He Goes" CD-Single art

"Off He Goes" CD-Single art

This fleeting relationship more than a shit friend is how I felt about my brother and many other men in my life that I feel I scare away or they have better things to do than hang out with me.  The double side is those that I wish to be better acquainted with some but I can only muster enough courage to talk briefly talk with them than I have to run away.

A Vedder Jam

eddie_vedder_vedder_jam-IMG_2437-thumbA Vedder Jam

Color Pencil on Strathmore 11” x 14”

November 11, 2009 – 12 hours

The name of the alternative rock group Pearl Jam came from the introduction of their new singer.  After the original singer of the Sub Pop band Mother Love Bone died of a drug overdose, the bassist and founder recruited a San Diego surfer named Eddie Vedder.  After Vedder had covered the final formulation of the band and all original planned tracks for Mother Love Bone, he wrote a couple new songs as well.  This plus a few other factors gave Vedder the ability to add his input into a new name for the group.  The name was conceived as a band decision however it was fettered through Vader’s family.  Vedder said that the name “Pearl Jam” was a reference to his great-grandmother Pearl, who was married to a Native American and had a special recipe for peyote-laced jam. (1) – Tim Benjam

(1) ^ a b Neely, Kim. “Right Here, Right Now”. Rolling Stone. October 31, 1991.

"Eddie Vedder" 1996

“Eddie Vedder” 1996

It should be noted that the color version of this portrait of Eddie Vedder was done 0n November 11 – 17, 2009 which are important dates both in the country of America and in my life span.  The original sketch was done in 1996 and has spent close to to fifteen years in my portfolio.  The revision came as I had grown uncomfortable with the light sketching style that was the norm of my life in the late nineties.

After stubbornness and the love of color in my art urged me to do a really refined portrait of Mr. Vedder.  After smoothing out his hair and trying my best to recreate that slightly stained and faded coloring to his grunge style shirt, I started on the background of Red and maroon.  Somehow Eddie Vedder will for ever be in a marron coloring in my mind.  Blue and purple blotches began to arise and the idea of jam came to mind.  In all it was a stones throw away from Pearl Jam’s name.  Also Vedder in the place of Better stated that I felt this Eddie portrait was “A Vedder Jam.”

No Comments until all Spam is Eliminated

Due to the never ending amount of Spam and false hopes of actual comments about anything I have added to this blog about my art, I have disengaged the comments option for the time being.

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Thank You to those few that have actually  commented.