Thursday, November 30, 2006

Front Page

When they were doing the interview and taking the pictures I would not have believed that that the story was going to run on the front page. Yes, maybe on the front of the local news front, but no a half page photo on the front page of the Journal Star. Right under an article about ex-Governor George Ryan( my pictures bigger) front page. You can't buy publicity like that, and it wasn't followed by arrest information. Chelsea has a class that goes over current events every Thursday and now she has to deal with her dad as one of the topics of discussion.( sorry Chelsea) Next I will be waiting for Fox News, the Today Show, or CNN to contact me for national attention I will keep you informed.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Media Blitz Begins

I have had some accomplishments that I have receive some accolades for, winning awards at various art shows, directing and appearing in plays at church, singing the National Anthem at the Chiefs games, and many offertory solos. But, now it seems that my fame is going to come from a lamp in my front yard. Who would have thought that a simple leg lamp would have such an effect on people. Passers by are calling radio stations from their cars to report the site, the local paper is calling for interviews and taking photos. I'm going to contact some of my sculptor buddies to start making my leg lamp tombstone.

Finished another one

Last night in my quest to get enough paintings for the Art Guilds Crimson Door Holiday Sale I managed to finish another painting. "Lion" is a painting of an ornamental feature on a building that I managed to get a blurry photo of. When I showed the photo of it to The Woman her response was "good luck". It looks much better than the photo that I took.
Happy Birthday Kristopher

Hope you have a wonderful birthday in England- see you for Christmas
Hope you got your gifts and that you like them. Mom and Dad

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

"Major Award Nominee"

Yes after going home at lunch today, it seems that my rendition of " The Major Award" has now been nominated for its own major award. I received a letter from the City of East Peoria's Holiday Commission notifying me that my holiday decorations have been selected to compete for some prize. How ironic that the Major Award could win a Major Award. ( As I am typing this I received a call from the East Peoria Courier to come out and do an interview and get photos for the paper- I hope the wind doesn't blow it over before then) Every day cars stop by and take photos of it, sometimes I've seen as many as four stopped at a time. Linda Wilmot says I should put out information about the blog site in front of it. ( That's not a bad idea)


Back to business

This weekend along with all the Thanksgiving activities and installing the Leg Lamp, I took advantage of the warm weather and stretched eight small canvases. ( the 8"x24" ones) It is now my plan to finish at least eight of these in between the large paintings( the "New Busch" painting is sketched out and ready to start in my studio) So Sunday after getting back from the workshop I started on the new set of small pieces. The first one was finished last night it is called "304". Tonight I finished the painting "Quality" So these two are both "paintings a day" and also brings the total number of paintings since Lincoln to fifteen. Not too shabby I'd say

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Let the Festival of Lights Begin

The leg lamp is up and lit for the opening celebration. The Woman and I spent Saturday at the encaustic workshop in Chicago. It was interesting, we made three or four pieces , I think The Woman was pretty good at it. I was too rigid, and just trying to paint, it is not painting as I know it. Had to stop at Portillo's for some Chicago food on the way home. All we had to do was follow the glow from the lamp home. We have had a parade of people stopping and taking photos and commiting how much they like the leg.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Pressure is On

The holiday season is official starting at 4:30 tonight. The workweek is short, the kitchen will be off limits, the pants will be unfastened, and then we will all take a nap. Some of us will hit the stores early Friday, but for myself it is "Go time". After years of persuading The Woman of the need for a "Leg Lamp" she has finally seen the light, and it's wearing fish net stockings. All we have to do is get it to stand up in the front yard, anchor it down, plug it in, and pray that the wind doesn't shred the thing to pieces.
The lovely Duncan couple are coming in from Des Moines so I might get some assistance with the installation process.
The Woman and I will not be in town for Saturdays lighting, as we are going to Chicago for an encaustic workshop at the WAG Gallery on Division Street. We will have to trust that the timers will do their job. Hope to have some images of the leg and the encaustic pieces sometime soon. Have a great Thanksgiving to anyone who looks at this.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Junk Box Wars

After going to WTVP and dropping off some paintings, I was talking to the gallery director at the Art Guild and he really pressured me to get him some of the small painting for the holiday season. I told him I didn't have anything planned for that evening so I would go home and stretch some small canvases. Upon my arrival home I was reminded that Kaleb and I had signed up for " Junk Box Wars " at the Junior High School. So off we when to create something out of a box of junk. The project was a marble maze, the marble had to roll down a course for time. Ours did a respectable 13.4 seconds ( not bad since the average was about 7 seconds), but some mutant teams had times in the 20's. The winner had a time of 25 seconds. Didn't get to those canvases but we had a good time in the hot and sweaty gym.

Monday, November 20, 2006

WTVP Tonight

Tonight I get to drop off paintings at WTVP Studios ( the local public television station) for a about a month and a half long show. The Art Guild and WTVP have got together to have a venue to feature local artists in the lobby area . I don't know if anything will come of it but it can't hurt getting paintings out of the house and in a public place. I just hope I don't get stretched too thin as I will still need even more painting for the opportunity at the Clubs at RiverCity and also an opening at the Locust Street Gallery in Delavan. Good thing I have some days off this week to maybe stretch some small canvases and get more done.

Leg Lamp Complete

After a few hours in the workshop the Leg Lamp is ready for installation this next Friday. Although I haven't had it standing up all put together yet, it looks pretty cool so far. The lampshade proved to be the most difficult part of the whole project how to make a six foot diameter four foot tall lamp shade that is sturdy enough not to be destroyed by the wind and rain, but still light enough not to make the structure too top heavy.

Friday, November 17, 2006


Fridays are always good days, not that other days are bad, just that they hold the promise of the weekend. When you can actually spend time with the people you love and doing the things that you want to do. But this Friday seems even better, maybe because next week is a short week and I'll have a nice four day weekend with The Woman.
Last night was the Bohemian Art Society meeting at the Rhythm Kitchen, The Woman and I went to the Clubs at RiverCity to look into the opportunity to hang art work in the newly remodeled lobby. It was a awesome space with lots of traffic, hopefully we can get the other artists interested enough to participate.
Then we went home and still managed to squeeze in ER .

Thursday, November 16, 2006

"Seattle - but not near as cool"

The weather here in central Illinois has been terrible, it has rained for what seems like weeks, the skies are overcast and grey, and the wind is gusting around 30 miles an hour. Not a good time to work outside, so we took it easy last night. Did manage to go and get some supplies to continue work this weekend if weather permits.
The Bohemian Art Society meeting is this evening, and I will need to go by the Clubs at Rivercity to look at possible space for artists to hang their work.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Operation Leg Lamp

As I stated in an earlier blog I needed to spend some time in the workshop last night. So after putting some new ball bearing drawer slides on the silverware drawer, I finally got started on the Leg Lamp (nothing says Christmas like the soft glow of electric sex), the high heel shoe is 24" long and working up from the base and constructing it like a kayak, I now have the framework of a 7 1/2 foot leg. Tonight I will try to put in the lights and stretch fabric around the frame. The center mast will raise allowing me to get the 12 foot high shade height that I would like to achieve. The Woman is excited about it, she was reluctant to allow this in her yard as she has a more pure vision of what Christmas is about. I can't wait to see the finished project, it seems to be working out just as I planned, sometimes I even amaze myself.

How about some Images

Even though I could not figure out the whole stitching thing I do have an image of the the White Sox stadium "U S Cellular".
The painting is 24" x 72" foul pole to foul, hope you like it.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

U S Cellular

"U S Cellular" is finished, again this weekends weather outside was less that desirable. It is one of the things that make central Illinois a painters paradise. I guess those artists in Seattle get a lot done too, and the coffee is good there. Next painting up is "New Busch" although I will probably not start until later in the week. I need to spend some time fixing things again( like the silverware drawer in the kitchen) and starting on the Leg Lamp. Maybe I'll even stretch some small canvases while I'm out there, you just never know. I will have some images as soon as I can figure out this new stitching software that I just installed. When the canvas is wide it doesn't photograph well, and I hope this will correct it.

Friday, November 10, 2006


The Woman is hooked on Thursday night TV, every Thursday her and her sisters get together to watch CSI and then ER. Last night it was at our house, which meant I was on popcorn and soda detail so they wouldn't miss a second of the riveting drama unfolding on the screen. At least I got to paint, I'm down to the outfield fence, on the home stretch. This is the most dangerous time of a painting because I tend to rush to complete it, not taking the time to put in those details that really will make it stand out. I need to just slow down at this point and not think about the next painting yet.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Art Guild Meeting

I met with the Peoria Art Guild yesterday and finalized dates for a "Local Color" exhibit at WTVP Studio( the local public television station). The show will be from November 20th until at least the end of December( about a month and a half), I'm unsure about what this will be like, but getting my work out in public is what it's all about. I also have been given a "Featured Artist" date at the Art Guild conference room( it is adjacent to the main gallery) for August and September of 2007. At the very least I should get some type of publicity from at least one of these events( one would hope).

Went home and painted lots of teal green seats in the stadium, still on track for finishing sometime this week or weekend.

I have actually put down plans on paper for the "Leg Lamp" and the proposed wheelchair ramp. Not really looking forward to the latter of the two projects but you have to do what you have to do.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Well last night I managed to get down to the seating area of "US Cellular" and I must say it is stunning. They say don't sweat the small stuff but in painting the details are what makes the painting spectacular. The concourse ring around the park is taking shape, I still think I'll put in the signs of the vendors though. Seats are next, lots of seats.
I usually watch TV in my studio as I paint, most of the time it is sports or the History Channel, but last night it was a movie. Meet Joe Black was on the AMC and I enticed Chelsea to come in and watch it with me. We shared a palette and both worked on our respective paintings until about 10:30. She had never seen the movie and it was fun just being together.
The election is over and now we will get to see that it doesn't matter who is in control of what. At least the commercials will be over for a while, until next time.
Today I get to meet with the Peoria Art Guild, as I'm trying to get some type of show going there, either a "Local Color" exhibit or at best a "Featured Artist". I'll let you know how it goes, they seem to be more proactive about local artists of late, I hope I can catch the wave.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Day

Thank goodness this day is finally here. My phone at home has been ringing every evening with an" important message " from someone that I need to vote for or against. I vote, even in the primaries ( the most important elections ), but is it just me or is it that the caliber of candidates is lacking. Why would these people spend millions of dollars on campaigning to maybe get a temp job that pays only a few thousand a year, they all must be crooks or nuts. Anyway at least it will be over tomorrow, and we can all see how this new group will put it to us.

Went to the board meeting last evening and then came home and painted a little bit. Should get a good night in tonight. Hope I didn't vote for anyone who doesn't like art, hate to see a user tax on paint.

Monday, November 06, 2006

What a Great Weekend

As I stated in my last blog, I now have some more building - home maintenance - issues to attend to at my parents home. I started the plans for the wheelchair ramp at work Friday and have a good idea of what has to be done. I will be working on a material list early this week and see when they want the work to begin.

The weather outside this weekend was overcast and spitting rain, that is wonderful painting weather. So I went to work on "US Cellular" early Saturday. The newlyweds came in this weekend from Des Moines, so that meant lots of running around for the rest of the family, but I was at home by myself. I would give a conservative estimate of being half way finished with the painting at weekends end, not bad for a 24" x 72" painting. I may be able to finish this week and start "New Busch" next weekend as long as the weather continues to be bad.

Tonight is the monthly board meeting of the IAL, I am starting to dislike meetings, as they cut into my studio time. I get all stoked up on a painting, can't wait to get back to it, I'm painting in things in my head all day long( I would say that at least a third of painting is thinking about what you are going to do next) and then I have to go and break the chain of thought with some meeting or other project.

Speaking of other projects - my mind has been also working on the "Leg Lamp" - it is something that I want to make for the front lawn as my Christmas decoration. The leg will be about 10 feet tall to the top of the lampshade and I expect to cause some accidents on the highway when it is finished.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Not So Fast

As I am painting last evening, enjoying the fact that I am back in my studio ( I have been out at the dining room table with the small paintings - not that I don't like being out in the dining room I do - it's just nice to start a large piece ) when I get called to the phone. On the other end was my mother, seems that she has decided that my father needs a wheelchair ramp to get into the house. Now don't get the wrong idea, but my mother has saying my father has days to live for the past 20 years. My dad is not confined to a wheelchair although he did have a lung removed about 10 years ago, and uses an electric scooter to get around outside. It is hard to imagine that he is getting old, in my mind he could still whip my ass. ( he is 75 now and not the guy I used to marvel at how strong he was - He will always be that guy with the bib overalls smoking a cigar 30 feet in the air cutting down some tree in my mind ) So tonight I will go over and see how we can construct this ramp thing, I have stopped by the City Hall to find out about the necessary permits and regulations. So depending on the degree of difficulty of the proposed site( I hoping to talk them into the rear of the house - off the side of a deck - even though this will mean entering the back door) I will be out of my studio again, and becoming my alter ego "Vinyl Boy" , at least for a little while.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

What a week

Since my last blog I have been somewhat productive ( I hate the word busy) . I have managed to finish the painting for the Lakeview Museum and mount it to the construction fence at the site. Although it needs some tweeking, little things like a frame and to paint the background a solid color that is not white, but it looks pretty good. Managed to stretch two large canvases for two ballpark paintings, US Cellular the White Sox ballpark and New Busch the world champion St. Louis Cardinal ballpark. These will take some time to finish so don't expect images too soon.
My employer Mitchell Favus turn 60 years old so we had a meeting of the minds here at work to determine what gift we would give to someone who can quite literally get anything that he would want. One of the ideas was to create a drawing featuring all the people that are employed at the big Mitchell Fabrics, which at first I was opposed to. But after some thought and one of the Vice Presidents suggestion that I think like a "Mad Magazine" parody, I settled on an idea. We could take famous paintings and recreate them with the different departments featured in each, this made it somewhat interesting and something that I thought was do-able.
We searched for paintings that would give the needed number of subjects for the departments ( we have 30 employees in four departments) . We settled for Renoir's - Dejeuners-canotiers for the office staff, Washington Crossing the Delaware for the warehouse staff, The Dutch Masters for the vertical blind department, and American Gothic for drapery hardware king and his wife who is a vice - president. Even with a plan I still needed to carry it out so armed with computer printouts of the originals and small photos of the employees, I set out to finish this in the two days I had before the birthday. Using pen and ink and colored pencils I managed to meet the deadline and hit a home run. Linda Wilmot would be proud of me, although the are not up to her level of expertise, they turned out quite good. After quickly matting and framing them they were presented yesterday and are hanging majestically in his office.
All of this took place in week that I actually had to apply myself at work( most of the time I am pretty spoiled here I am privileged to have a job that usually give me great freedom to do what I want do). But because of a remodeling effort in our shipping department and a vacation of our dock manager, I have had to really work at work. But with all things, the shipping department is finished and the vacation is over. So I think I will relax today so I can put in a full evening on painting, man it is good to be me..... well most of the time.

Web Counter