Thursday, July 29, 2010

First Day

This was the second time that The Woman and I have been to New York - but this was the first time for the kids - Chelsea had not even flown yet! We tried to do things that was new to us but also things that they may want to experience also.

One of the most lasting memories that The Woman had of the first trip was our ride to the hotel. We rode in a shuttle van - driven by what could have a relative ( or stunt double ) for Tony Soprano on the then popular HBO series. He was cursing and yelling at other motorist and at one point even drove up on the sidewalk to get through traffic.

How could I top this!

I decided that The Woman needed to arrive in style - So when we arrived and she asked if I had called the shuttle I said yes - But when we when outside the shuttle wasn't there.....

This driver was wearing a suit .. and lucky for us he knew how to take a photo .. he never drove over a sidewalk either ... but I think The Woman liked it.

Back From New York

I took some time off ( mostly because of the generosity of the patrons at the first shows this year) to take the whole family to New York City for my wife Tina's (The Woman) special birthday. Thanks to people buying my art I was able to celebrate with them on Times Square in the city that never sleeps.

We had a great time and I got some great new photos of things to paint - but I must say that I'm going to be so glad to sleep in my own bed this evening!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Still Working

Even though I have an upcoming trip to the big apple - I still am putting in quality time in the studio. The new canvas is really cool. A friend stopped by last night as I was working and was amazed at the way it looks. I'm not sure I want to bring it out yet so I may not put it on the site when it is finished.

This new style may allow me to turn the corner and get in some higher quality shows next year. Not that the shows that I have been doing are not good quality - but I want to experience the Madison - Des Moines - Indianapolis shows.

After the New York trip I will be acquiring a new tent - A barrel Trimline with Flourish Mesh panel - I think it is time that I get a big boy tent.

I will also be working on the Lincoln commission. And even more paintings for the Peoria Riverfront Show!

Man I hope we don't run out of B-1 !!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


The Womans birthday is coming up - it's not just any birthday - it's a sort of milestone one . She really doesn't want to make a big deal about it - just wanted to be away with her kids and not be hassled by people making a bigger deal of it than it already is.

So what do we do - we plan a trip to New York. Why not the kids haven't been there - The Woman would just be another face in the crowd. We could ride in a carriage in Central Park just see the sites.

So doing due diligence to the itinerary of the trip - I have sought out tickets for various events, some for art - Tour of the new Yankee Stadium - some for fun.

One of the many fun things to do is to see a show - none of which would be cooler to see than the king of late night David Letterman. I went to the web site only to find that the tickets can't be bought - they must be earned. You can hang out before the show and if your interesting enough ( I would suppose this is the procedure - it seems better than throwing lawn jarts ) get selected to attend - or you can put your name on a list to win them - only one catch - you must answer the trivia question correctly.

A few months ago I dutifully put my name on the list.

Yesterday I received a call from a gentleman - lets call him Bill - "Hello I'm with the David Letterman show and did you sign up to win tickets to an upcoming show" - Yes I did , was my response . " Do you have a pen and paper - I am going to give you a number to call to take the trivia challenge - and good luck"

I called the number only to get a voice mail message - Hi this is ______ please leave your name - dates your calling about - and phone number - only leave one message - repeat - only leave one message" So I did just as instructed .

I must be honest I was a little nervous - I watch the Late Show - since the NBC thing when they brought in Leno instead of Dave - I've even been a bigger fan. But this is trivia - what questions could they come up with and how difficult could this be.

I turned to the web - before ________ called me back I was going to immerse myself in everything Letterman. There is a huge amount of information about Mr Letterman on the web - way too much to take in in the short time I had - I was cramming - like for a final that I had to ace.

_________ calls and we start talking - She asks me questions about my trip - just getting to know me a bit. Then after a minute or so on the phone I get the question - .......

I have , since the excitement has subsided , realized that the whole process is a vetting system. If your giving tickets away you want reasonable cool people in the audience . Just like if I was standing outside waiting to see if I could enter - The whole phone test was to see if you were worthy of admission. The question could be hedged to weed out undesirables.

That is why I was surprised that my question was what it was - "What was Dave's High School locker combination "

Little did they know that I had contacted Broad Ripple High and it was ** - %$ - @*

Friday, July 16, 2010

Route 66

I have just recently taken on a commission with Lincoln Hospital to paint three images from the area, mainly some of the old restaurants that used to be along Route 66.
The Woman and I spent a hot Thursday driving along the Mother Road and taking a step back in time to when there was no Interstate Highway and every town had there own little attraction to lure drivers in for a bite to eat or to stay the night.
Our first stop was to the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce to get our bearings and to check out any images that they might have for my paintings. Then it was off to get some photos of the buildings the way they look now.
We had to stop by Hallie's on the square in Lincoln for the original Schnitzel sandwich - a huge breaded piece of pork ( The Woman and I shared one - the restaurant even put it on separate buns) I would liken it to a tenderloin but not as thin. It truly was an awesome sandwich .Bring cash as they do not accept credit cards.
We then left with our bellies full to continue on our trek to Broadwell - and the Famous Pig Hip - which is now a museum to everything Route 66 - Ernie Edwards ( the now 90 year old founder of the restaurant was waiting to tell his story and show us even more old photos) After we had sat and talked with Ernie and Fran (his third wife-he says he wore the first two out) someone comes in. A random lady from Colorado driving Route 66 and just stopping to see the museum.
The Woman and I continue our journey to Atlanta IL - there in the middle of town is huge Paul Bunyan holding a hotdog and too our amazement on this now 95 degree day with oppressive humidity there were yet again more people out taking photos and just driving the road.
As for The Woman and I we could hear our pool calling so we headed back home.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Short Holiday

As many of you know The Woman ( Tina) is a teachers aid and has the summer off , this is a blessing and a curse. The blessing is that she doesn't have to go to work at the school during the summer - the curse is that she is at home working all summer. It seems that if your off work people just assume you have nothing to do but things for them.

Because I get to go to work all year - I'm not troubled by these requests.

I have the opposite thing happening - I get so focused on things that I have to get done for upcoming shows that I don't get too concerned with the household things.

It is a great system - The Woman takes care of me and the house most of the summer while I do other things.

But for the next couple of days I'll be taking a break from the day job - sleeping in a little - fixing breakfast - sure I have some plans to get some work done but mainly it's just hanging out with my girlfriend!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


In Illinois ( as other states I presume ) you can get vanity licence plates - In Illinois ( unlike most other states ) we are on the brink of bankruptcy, so the state has seen fit to raise the fee on those plates ( along with everything else ) to help make ends meet. This is a small price to pay for those who need the reassurance that those plates can provide to their ego.

As I was driving in from lunch I noticed that a car had stalled on the right hand side of the bridge - so cars are merging into the left lane. This is not a problem for most of the drivers as the vehicle is clearly visable on the bridge.

For most of us accept for some guy in a Sebring Convertable ( the same car that Micheal Scott from the Office drives as a statement ) he comes flying up the bridge only to get angry because no one would let him cut in .

As we all passed the poor stranded vehicle Mr Scott ( as we will call him now) come roaring past. As he does I see his vanity plates " Z MANN 1"

How can people pick plates like that - This guy wouldn't be Z Mann in a woman's prison - He might as well picked "STUD" -

I on the other hand take a different approach - I like the self deprecating option - Because if people think your an idiot everything you do amazes them . So for mine ..........

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sugar Creek Update

This weekends show in the newly redeveloped "Uptown Normal" was a great time. The weather was acceptable ( It was hot - it's also July in Illinois - it's supposed to be hot ) - without big storms or huge wind gusts. The crowds of people where very knowledgeable about what they were looking for ( I even saw a couple with a tape measure - looking to fill a space on their wall - artists love seeing this as they know they are looking to buy).

I opted for a premium booth and was lucky enough to be on the circle ( a new feature at the show - a round-about that connects North and Beaufort Streets ) which was an excellent call. The show has always been tight ( not any room between booths - your space is exactly ten feet wide) and when you are on a street that vendors on both sides and then factor in the people ( many of which will run into friends and stop and talk and slow traffic even more ) it can get stifling.

Your neighbors can also be a negative in a tight show. I was very fortunate to have two of the coolest neighbors in the place. Tim and Pam Frye ( Ceramics ) were on my right ( and buffered me from a not so nice neighbor) a wonderful couple - nice to talk to during slow times (not many of those). On the left was Anne Landers (Melted Glass ) - She showed up late - sold out both days does a great impersonation of a deaf person and kept The Woman and I entertained most of the day.

D P Dough's ( a restaurant that the owner actually came out and spoke to and delivered food to us - we love that ) had the most wonderful menu of unique calzones (they are great to eat at an art show as they don't get all over - unlike a funnel cake that once your done it looks like you've been cutting up a kilo of coke behind your booth) Between the three booths we tried half the menu and didn't find anything that we didn't like.

All in all - it was your average Sugar Creek experience - A great show!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Beautiful Forecast

The forecast for the weather at this weekends show is excellent!! The humidity is going to be gone the sun will be shining and the people will out in droves ! Hope I have enough prints - I better get on that tonight.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

My Apologies!!!

It has come to my attention (As I was driving past the Peoria Art Guild entrance at lunch -because of construction on Kumph and Jefferson and happened upon someone leaving) that I need to give a shout out to Stacy Peterson (no not that one- they still can't find her - cops are good hiders) No the Stacy Peterson that works at the Peoria Art Guild - that told me about the Wilton Candy Kitchen.

I thought that the hook up at the very least of a print of the painting that comes out of the visit would be sufficient - but evidently not!!

So thanks - I would not have know about this place without your guidance!!

Also seems there is a big meeting about the Riverfront Show in September tonight that I should attend - at least for a minute.
New Project

I will be starting a new project as soon as Sugar Creek is over.

I have been contacted by the Lincoln Hospital and they are commissioning me for three paintings. The paintings are of three local landmarks and are well within what I would normally paint. Although there is a certain amount of pressure in commissions - you have to able to deliver what the customer wants when they want it.

The time frame is acceptable - I just need to get started - sorry I will not be sharing these images on-line until after the fundraiser for the hospital - as they also purchased the copyrights.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Back to work

The fun and festivities are over for the Holiday weekend and it's back to work - Well - I was secretly working this weekend too.

I was on a mission to finish a new painting for the upcoming Sugar Creek Show in Normal IL. I had a plan - We purposed that the swimming pool was opened every day at 12:00 noon. This way The Woman and I had some time in the morning to get things done.

Several days though I did squeeze even more time out, as people arrived and I may have hung out in the studio for a little while longer.

But the mission was achieved - the new painting "Normal" is finished and I will have time the rest of the week to make prints.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Weekend is upon us

Hope every one is safe and happy this Independence Day weekend. Have fun - be careful - celebrating our freedom!!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Forth of July

The Forth of July is coming up fast - I'm working diligently on a new painting that I'm wanting to have for Sugar Creek on July 10th and 11th - but I'm afraid that with the festivities at the pool I may slip up this weekend.

The forth is a great holiday - you don't have to do so many things - work/buy gifts-cards-flowers/ visit people/ it is always summer and there are usually fireworks at night.

I have invited a lot of artists and friends over to swim and hangout - It's good to take a break and relax every once in a while. I still have a few evenings and the mornings before revellers arrive to work on the painting.

Web Counter