I'm Michael Barrett.
At Substack, I write semi-regularly about current art projects, travel, and things.
Meet me at Slim'sMarch 29, 2023
I have a rare Saturday to myself so I decide to treat myself to a coffee and a pastry. Maybe I’ll buy a croissant and bring it home, slice it half, and put a fried egg on it. I park near the center of St. John’s. It’s cold, it’s been rainy. I’m lazy. So I drove. Walking from my car I pass the dark alley which protects the secret back door to Slim’s.
Unhappy little cloudsMarch 20, 2023
I have had three free weekend days to get some real physical painting done and three times I have failed to paint clouds. I have two surfaces prepped and ready for paint. Two photos printed at 2 x 3 feet and mounted on wood panels. The two photographs were taken on a very foggy morning at Pacific City, OR. The kind of morning where the sky blends into the ocean and there is no horizon.
RabbitMarch 5, 2023
I first ran across Bobby Abrahamson’s photography in our local St. Johns wine shop. We came in for a glass and sat at one end of their L-shaped bar. I found a stack of books. I picked up a copy of “North Portland Polaroids” and started thumbing through it.
Dog foodFebruary 25, 2023
Each can of food (Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Urinary SO Loaf Canned Dog Food, 13.5 oz can, case of 24) is the start of four meals. First I put half a can of food each into two tall, screw-top plastic containers. About 192 grams goes into each tub. Approximate measure because the weight on the label is a lie. To each tub I add enough water to add up to 600 grams of water plus food. I use grams because the health of my dog requires science.
The painted wordFebruary 21, 2023
Notes on the virtual reality of paintings.
No notesFebruary 10, 2023
The symphony reminded me of college
Ephemeral mushroomsFebruary 2, 2023
A little this and that for a midweek update.
Practice, practice, practiceJanuary 29, 2023
My first full week back to work after the holidays had me in jury duty. I was hoping I’d get to hang out at the courthouse for a day, using the time to noodle quietly on some independent work projects. But I was chosen. I spent one day in the jury selection process two days on a trial. The case involved a man fighting a DUII charge. The incident in question happened sometime before the COVID lockdown. The courts will be working through their backlog for years.
Deep thoughts with a poodleJanuary 20, 2023
It’s 6am and I’m standing in the rain with my poodle. We arrived in Netarts, OR last night around 7. It’s January in the Pacific Northwest, so the sun set hours ago and it feels much later than it is. The rain came down hard on us the entire way over the coastal mountain range and immediately stopped once the two-lane highway deposited us outside of Tillamook.
Their mozzarella sticks are the bestJanuary 13, 2023
New painting from a portrait study, local landscape, stars, and birds.
I grew up in Charlotte, NC. I attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. After a brief stint painting murals and working in galleries, I completed a Master of Fine Arts at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. There, I began to experiment with web development, digital imaging, and large format printing.
After graduate school, I found my way into a software development career. I have worked primarily as a front-end engineer but I have also done full-stack web and service development in Java, C#, and Python. I have worked extensively with cloud providers like Amazon Web Services and has worked with container orchestration platforms like Kubernetes. Lately, I likes to say "JAMstack" in meetings to see if anyone notices.