Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Top Secret

Recently I was reading the local newspaper and came across an article about a local company (not at liberty to mention name) that is celebrating it's 100th anniversary. On the back page of the article I noticed the old photo of the company was provided by that companies archive department.

I also received an invitation to enter the Peoria Historical Society Show this April a few days previous to this, so I was already thinking of what I would enter. Being the Art Ho that I am - I should do something pertaining to this milestone. The only problem is that you can't just use images in the paper for paintings and you need very detailed photos to blow them up to the size I paint.

So I sent an e-mail to the company and to my surprise they sent one back - It gave me a link to follow and fill out detailed reasons for my request to see and or use their corporate archives. After several days I was told that they were giving it to legal to look over.

Then I get a phone call.... This is the archives and when can you come in. I was in shock because as I have found out since being there I'm one of the few outsiders ever to be in the bunker. Yes it is a bunker - 12" reinforced concrete, wrapped in a rubber membrane to keep out water, climate controlled (60 degrees and 40% humidity), separate gas fire suppression system bunker. I was allowed to see and examine photos that are over a hundred years old and received permission from the corporation to use them for a painting. I only hope that I can meet expectations .. but I almost always do.

After the painting is finished part of my deal is to return the images and to destroy any copies that I have on my computer. A small price to pay for maybe a future painting .. I'm already thinking of the workers on the balcony image......maybe next year.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Into The Fire

With all the recent headlines in the local news, it seems I picked a great time to release this information on my blog (And also to most everyone that I know in the art community - as I have sort of kept it quiet these last few months)

I wrote a few months ago about not wanting to end up like Joe Peshi in "Goodfellas" (who was executed just when he though he was making to the top) I was asked at that time to become a member of the Peoria Art Guild board. It seems that they wanted to get an artist voice on the board and my name came up and I accepted. I considerate an honor that I get to represent the local artists in voice and vote .

Then the news broke that the Guild would be scaling back some of its services as the economy has taken its toll on the finances. What a firestorm of differing comments from "they are closing their doors" to "everything is wonderful", the truth is always somewhere in between.

The economy has taken a big bite out of the operating budget of all organizations and as they cut back on donations to not-for-profits (like the Art Guild) there is a definite trickle down affect on those organizations. This also amplifies any short comings in the system that already exist. Some of the services that the Guild had provided at little or no profit (some were really losing money). I was being bombarded with all the information from the past years as I was "brought up to speed" before my first board meeting last night.

Yes- the cat is out of the bag - I am now a board member ( to some of my art friends they may be thinking it is the Dark Side of the Force) but this is a good thing. And I cannot stress this enough - The people I met last night -REALLY CARE - about art and artists in Peoria - They are some of the most intelligent business people in the city and may have been active in supporting the Art Guild their whole lives.

Sure this is a rough spot in the history of the Art Guild - but when your 130 years old your allowed to stumble around a bit.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Tonight after work I have to go and donate platelets - It's not that I want to go after work but there is really no good time to go. It takes about an hour and a half to two hours and I was going on the weekend - But that just sort of ruins whatever day I do it on. So I might as well just get it done on a weekday.

Every time I think about not doing it or putting off to another time I think of some random kid sitting in the hospital waiting for his platelets and not getting them - So I off to make the donation.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Spoke too soon....

As I was finishing up the last post I reviewed the remaining sample programs ( Three color books - a selection of beautiful coordinating fabrics in three varied palettes) It seems that they are huge and as I check on the LTL shipments coming in next week I see a six ton 90 case monster shipment that will hit my dock on Monday! Ouch!

But my mind is on this weekend and the day of love - Oh - and also Chelsea's 19th Birthday!!

I think I have the Valentine's Day thing covered but The Woman ( also my valentine) have to get a few things for The Baby Girl.

Why worry about tomorrow - or Monday!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Getting down to desk

The pile of things to-do has been slowly eroded to a more manageable stack I can see portions of the wood grain on the desktop peeking through. I'm down to three color books ( that means nothing to any of you ) and this sample season will be almost done.

I've had some time to get ready for the upcoming workshop that I'm hosting here at the big MF (Mitchell Fabrics) . I've stated in previous posts that I'm extremely lucky to work at Mitchell Fabrics - Mitchell was the first person to really get me to pursue painting for profit and has been a huge supporter and instrumental in getting me introduced into the art community. I have arranged for the use of the facility on Saturday February 20th for a workshop on on-line applications. This ( I hope ) help artists get ready for applying at the larger show that require on-line applications.

I've also sort of cut down on the caffeine lately - staying away from cola and drinking water with meals and also when I paint in the evenings. I don't know what the benefits will be - I'm sure that water is probably better for me physically - But dozing off and jabbing a paint brush through my big head probably wouldn't be good either.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Snow Storm

As I'm getting ready to leave work, everyone is concerned once again with the weather. It's like the only thing that people have to talk about. Which leaves me to wonder what do people in Hawaii talk to each other about. They don't even have a sports team!

The Woman and I would love to find out - It's our goal to be homeless there!

OK We would like a little house!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Colonial Bread

Sometimes I even amaze myself - This is a really cool painting and I can't wait to see the faces of the people in Des Moines as they see it for the first time this summer. If you like it online you really should check it out in person!

Oh I Forgot

It seems that I forgot to post the image of the finished "Capital Reflection" so here it is. And now I can start working on the finishing touches on "Colonial Bread"

I should easily finish this one today and hopefully I won't wait so long to post the image!

Friday, February 05, 2010

The Scarf

With Valentines Day fastly approaching, I'm thinking I should probably be thinking of a gift for The Woman. There are many sale flyer's littering the paper, touting sales of various type of merchandise. I need something special - as unique as The Woman.

My mind goes back to an art show that I went to in Springfield IL one fall - The Woman and I were there meeting artist and putting together a mailing list for a summer show we were working on. We spent the day walking through the show and grabbed a nice afternoon lunch at a tea room that we had heard about at the show.

During our tour of the show I noticed that The Woman had spent a long time looking at a particular scarf at a display, talking to the weaver about how it was made. I got the weavers card and made a mental note.

In the following weeks I contacted the weaver and purchased the scarf for a Christmas gift.

I placed the scarf in The Woman stocking and she received it with other gifts - But - the scarf was special because I noticed that - she noticed it.

Guys we have an opportunity to do the same thing right here in town - Take your significant other to the Jewelry Show at the Peoria Art Guild - Watch what she is interested in - trys on - or ogles over. Take the artists card - If you can't secretly sneak back and buy it then. Take her to a nice lunch and surprise her next weekend.

You'll be glad you did. ;)

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Almost A week.....

Sorry about the delay - sometimes life just happens and you really don't have time to tell about you just need to enjoy.

Lots of activity since last Wednesday ... The Woman and I have prepared some great meals - last weeks Sesame Chicken with Egg Rolls was pretty good. ( The Woman is a little upset with this as she and some teachers are doing some "Biggest Loser" thing at school and she had to pay last week - sorry baby) - Got some painting in and Colonial Bread is nearing completion.

Saturday was the end of the month and that meant DEADLINES - I had to complete a couple of applications - one to the Art on the Square in Belleville IL - Ranked very highly in Sunshine Artist - the other was one in a suburb of Chicago - the later was the problem - I had to burn a disc and submit it with my application- I started the application and hit the burn button and nothing happened - so in my stupid little mind the problem had to be that my burner was broken - So I took the computer apart and was going to clean it and replace the drive. In an over zealous frantic attack of ignorance I pulled off the chip from the mother board ( don't do this at home ) Of course I also bent some of the pegs and other stupid things - So after spending the next few hours correcting my initial mistake, I had it back together and found out the the discs I was using were the real problem and the drive was working just fine. I got the application in the mail that afternoon - but I was really stressed and didn't paint.

Sunday - a day of meetings - First The Woman and I went to church. Then I was off to the CI Creative meeting for Art Works in Central Illinois - Great meeting - about 80 artists and art leaders showed up to talk about how we can work together to create something special in the area. Then that evening e-group meeting.

Monday - was Monday and then we are at today .... How will it end?

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