Saturday, November 30, 2013

Day 340. Bittersweet (SOLD)

imagine, you
picturing in your mind
hello and yes
sparkle, smile
clinking glass
all happiness
but it twists and turns
towards darkness while
light reflecting still,
not as expected
heart hairline break

14" x 17" Bristol Vellum

Friday, November 29, 2013

Day 339. Millicent Really Had A Nose For A Bargain

Stay safe out there all you bargain hunters!  Practice safe shopping. (-;  Remember to be kind and courteous and try, like Millicent, to only sniff out the real bargains.

Oh, and nothing says thoughtful gift giving like buying a piece of art for someone--or for yourself! Mwah!

Contact me at or on Facebook if you're interested in purchasing anything from my 365 Day project.  O.K., that's the end of my shameless plug. ha!  Also, if you're around Davenport, Iowa on this Black Friday, stop on by the Bucktown Center for the Arts for my gallery opening 6-9 p.m. this evening and running through the end of December.


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Day 338. Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  I hope all of you are able to enjoy a wonderful holiday with your family, friends, and furry companions.

I am grateful to all of you for taking the time out of your life to read this blog, comment, click likes, and send encouraging words electronically or in person.  Thank you God and universe for allowing me to see and have hands to express what's in my mind and heart.  Love to you all! (-:

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Day 337. Leaves As Cereal

Have you ever noticed the way fall leaves are like cereal?  There's big, brown, crunchy cornflake leaves; tiny little multi-colored leaves like fruity pepples; and all sorts of breakfast food varieties.  Plus, they all sound differently, too, as you walk through them.  I love it! It's a sonorous pleasure of the season.  Enjoy them while you still can; they're rapidly about to move over and make way for snowflakes.

Well, I had a great little clip of Ebert and me walking along, crunching through the breakfast cereal, but I can't get it to upload.  Ah, technology.  It was nice and goofy, too.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Day 336. Uncrackable Safe

The day started out really well, but after 4 p.m., the upward roller coaster sped out of control and careened down the track.  Getting yelled and cursed at on the phone by someone who owed money; not balancing; locking my coat into a lockable drawer--first time I ever put it there--WITH my only set of car keys in it; and then trying to open a safe 47 times to no avail, I left work 1 1/2 hours after everyone else, warming up my car in the parking lot at 8:45 p.m.  There's more, but I will not go there.

Well, it was more a good day than bad, so I will try to wipe out the second half as if it never happened!

But babies, right now I'm tired, so tired.

I know I recently referred to "After Hours" on Day 305 Petunias Long in Tooth and Teeth As Long As Fingers (10/26/13), but man, this evening I was Griffin Dunne--I couldn't get home...

Monday, November 25, 2013

Day 335. Giada De Laurentiis - Poor Finger!

A few months ago in September on a 93-degree day around Chicago, my mom, my cousin Beth, and I went to see Giada De Laurentiis while she was on tour to promote her children's books, "Naples! #1 (Recipe for Adventure)" and "Paris! #2 (Recipe for Adventure)."  I love Giada and have several of her cookbooks.  I think she's one of the highlights of the Food Network, and I couldn't wait to see her in person.  Plus, her almond eyes, square jaw and rectangular mouth just beg to be painted in some quirky way.  It all adds up to one beautiful face in reality, that's for sure.  I was prepared for the good looks, but what I was most surprised was how petite she was.  I know she's small, but her arms and legs were so tiny.  She doesn't look scrawny, even though she's thin, just a pint-sized beauty.

Anyway, here's my presentation of Giada with her two favorite ingredients, Parmigiano Reggiano and dark chocolate (or any kind of chocolate).  I'm going to throw in a pastry chef's favorite, Valrhona.  I think G-girl would be happiest if every recipe included these two items. (-;

In different lighting now wearing her "whisk" earrings:
Favorite Ingredients:

When I posted this last night, I FORGOT to include Giada's "Whisk" earrings!  The horror!  Do you like her with or without her silver accessories?

Here's our meal at La Sorella Di Francesca--you must eat Italian before seeing Giada!.

Pomegranite Martini


My Prosciutto-Wrapped Watermelon with Basil and thick Balsamic Vinaigrette 
I could eat this one dish for the rest of my life!

 Table Bread

 Olive and 4-Cheese Pizza

 Tomato Pesto Pizza

Fresh Buffalo Mozarella, Heirloom Tomatoes, Pesto, Balsamic Reduction

 Roasted Potatoes in Olive Oil

 Crème Brûlée

My Flourless Chocolate Cake with Cinnamon Gelato and Raspberry Sauce

Giada really wasn't that far away, but I just couldn't get my phone camera to work right  (uh, yeah. the fault lies with the operator!).  Here's a couple of blurry little pics of her.

P.S.  Poor Giada sliced her finger open on that Food Network LIVE Thanksgiving special on Saturday, November 23rd. I watched about the first 1/2 hour and then turned it off.  I'm glad I missed the human slicing and dicing.  I would have fainted sitting on the couch, let alone being on national t.v.!  Here's a link to her Instagram pic--I can't bear to have you see it unless you want to view it:

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Day 334. Black Walnuts (SOLD)

Both sets of my grandparents grew up during the Great Depression.  Having done so, their collecting balls of rubber bands that would eventually snap gummily of age upon the slightest stretch was unsurprising.

My paternal grandfather, in a similar vein, would collect black walnuts when he found them and would save them in a large brown paper bag.  It was an afternoon event as he carried the bulky bundle out to the sidewalk in the backyard.  I watched and as I got older would help to remove the thick outer green skins.  You would wait until they were a rotting black color and they would peel off fairly easily. Sometimes there would be little worms embedded between this heavy overcoat and the black shell underneath.  Eew!  I shutter to think of it now (and then, too!).  I would scream, give those few to him, and would tentatively move onto the next one.  By the way, this kind of aniticipatory wormy fear extended to August peeling of corn on the cob from their papery green covers and silky hairs.  My gosh, we '70's kids lived on the edge!

O.K., so back to the black walnuts.  My Grandpa Peacock would hammer, hammer away at those hard black shells.  I actually hated that loud racket and thought it was way too much hard work for the reward.  However, my grandpa enjoyed the process, whistling away, singularly focused on the task at hand.  And you know, those walnuts did have a wonderful taste...a tad more acidic and biting, but more flavorful, too, eaten alone or eventually in a coffeecake.  And as in most things, the hard work made them all the more delicious and appreciated.

Lately, in an alley across the street, the walnuts have been littering themselves on the scene and are in their final stage of availability to both squirrels and humans.  It made me think, I'm running our of time to get this painting done, so here you go, a green pair starting to decay on the branch.

Back at the end of September, I snapped a few photos of black walnuts littering the sidewalk one block from my house.  My Grandpa Peacock would have been happy at the sight.

Here's what I'm talking about--that rotted green color.  The perfect time to get those walnuts out of their outermost layer.  This photo is from hickory hollow farm blogspot.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Day 333. Makeup Monster in My Purse (SOLD)

Holly probably wouldn't have even noticed the barely perceptible movement of her purse if her friend hadn't been late.  She was simply gazing absentmindedly at it on the table, wondering what could be keeping her normally prompt lunch date.

At first she thought her mind was playing tricks on her, but wait!  There it was again--a very slight trembling, a little bit of a quiver of her Kate Spade clutch.  It wasn't her iphone on vibrate--that was already sitting on the table.  Could it be a mouse?  Holly fearfully reached forward, and with deft fingers belying their outward tremble, she snapped open her purse and looked inside.

Staring straight back at her was something she thought was an urban myth.  A makeup monster!!  She was applying her Albeit lipstick in "Vermillion" to her misshapen lips.  No wonder the tube seemed to be wearing down more quickly than normal.  There was her NARS blush in "Orgasm" and her smoky Urban Decay eyeshadow in "Oil Slick."  And no monster ever had such dark black, long, glossy lashes by nature.  Now, Holly knew why her Benefit Cosmetics "BADgal Lash Mascara" had been drying out.  She wasn't the culprit leaving the tube slightly unscrewed--it was this invading creature's fault.  And the gall it had--why it was wearing her missing pink pearl earring.  Unbelievable!

Holly's heart softened slightly, because she thought, at least this little monster took pride in her appearance.  But baby, cosmetics were pricey and this little goblin had to go.  Besides, it needed to find some cover-up, something in green perhaps to counteract those red, under-eye bags.

"Honey, I'm going to deposit you in heaven," Holly whispered to her petite green companion.  "We're going to have a little purse dump out in a place called Sephora.  You can thank me later."  The two friends quickly batted their glossy lashes at one another, understanding the need for glamour as only true, makeup fiends can.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Day 332. Bathroom Snapshot - Privacy Not Included SOLD

Bathroom Snapshot - Privacy Not Included

No privacy included at our house, even in the most delicate of situations.  
Always, I am surrounded by feline statues!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Day 331. Coco Before Chanel (SOLD)

I found myself sucked into a couple of French films tonight on the IFC (Independent Film Channel).  I DVRed the first, but was glued to my chair as 2009's "Coco Before Chanel" came on with Audrey Tatou ("Amelie" fame--another favorite!).  Well, even though I've seen it over and over and own it as well, I couldn't move.  I thought, I had better at least draw something while I watch or I'll be in big trouble in a few hours.  I attached a white collar to her outfit, an homage to the House of Chanel's distinctive style.

"Coco Before Chanel"

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Day 330. Mortimer Stopped in the Middle of His Morning Commute

Mortimer stopped dead in his tracks in the middle of his morning commute.  Had he unplugged his coffee pot?  The automatic shutoff feature had stopped working long ago, and he was constantly reminding himself to dislodge its socket from the wall.  Whenever he was sure that he hadn't performed this simple morning ritual, he would run back into the house and find that, why, yes indeed, he in fact had. 

But what if this were the day he hadn't?  He was already descending the train platform on his way to work.  He dreaded the thought of his neoclassic apartment being filled with the smell of burnt, fair-trade roast, but there was nothing he could do.  He would have to leave his fate to luck or luck to fate, as it were. 

"Perhaps I'll parlay my perturbations by stopping by Pottery Barn for a perfumed taper." 

Mortimer smiled briefly at his alliteration skills and then began his worry anew.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Day 329. Letting the Music Dictate

I started a larger painting on Sunday night, got about 2/3 of the way through, and stopped. I figured I'd have it finished by tonight, but the birth remains incomplete.  I haven't touched it, and I don't want it tainted by shortness of time.  As a result, I found myself sitting down tonight with no idea of what to draw.  I wasted time surfing the net, finding myself somehow watching Kanye West on a motorcycle with a topless Kim Kardashian in front of him.  I listened to the lyrics, and just thought, I must be getting old.

Cue Paul McCartney and Wings, "Band on the Run."  This I understand and love.  As soon as the needle hits the vinyl, and I hear those first notes coming out of the guitar, my spirits lift.  (And always, on the rare occasions I simply have the radio on in the car and you hear those notes, well, I'm floating above the road like Herbie the Love Bug.  Happiness guaranteed!  The day my spirit is unable to be lifted by that opening melody is the day I might as well hang it up.

Okay, so this painting has no meaning behind it, only a great album.  Like yesterday, I let the music dictate the direction of hand to paint to surface.  Here's who emerged.

The album in its entirety--you MUST listen to the entire thing loudly--so great.  Grab a piece of paper and a paintbrush while you're at it.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Day 328. CocoRosie - Tahiti Rain Song

Recenty I have been revisiting one of my favorite albums, CocoRosie's "La Maison de Mon Rêve" (the house of my dreams or my dream house). It was the sisters' first album, released in 2004.  Every song is a standout, but my favorites are "By Your Side," "Butterscotch," "West Side," "Madonna," Lyla," and "Tahiti Rain Song." Uh, yeah.  What was the point of listing them-I just listed the entire album-ha! Their music is described as Freak Folk.  Love it!  Rooster crowing, children playing, all sorts of weird things going on combined with beautiful melodies.

Back to the point, I picture someone capturing that mesmerizing rhythm in "Tahiti Rain Song," clapping the hands, tapping the feet, to hypnotic effect.  This fellow emerged while I was listening to the album, and this song in particular.  Mythical, moving, Native American sounding flute with an Afrocentric rhythm.

P.S.  The story of CocoRosie really is an amazing one. They are American sisters, separated, one going off to become an opera singer in Paris, the other a street singer in NYC.  They ended up in Paris together, reunited, and became CocoRosie, their nicknames merged.  I won't recount their whole story, but here's Wikipedia's link (Wikipedia-CocoRosie) as well as their website

Listen:  "Tahiti Rain Song"

Tahiti Rain Song
Oh sailor, oh sail me
Silver mast do impale me
Oh windless, oh windy
Remind me, rewind me
Oh laughter, oh laughless
Just sing this, just mean this
Infinity whispered to me
A mumble so dreamy
A soft sound so creamy
So dreamy, so dreamy
Infinity whispered to me
A mumble so dreamy
A soft sound so creamy
So dreamy, so dreamy
So dreamy, so dreamy

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Day 327. Global Storms Breaking Us

The weather is violent in the Midwest today.  We've had tornadoes 60 miles on either side of us, but have managed to only suffer heavy hail, downed limbs, and flying roof shingles.  So many homes and neighborhoods nearby have been flattened.  Even walking out a few minutes ago, hours after the worst has past, the winds are frightening.

Then, I think about the devastation experienced by people in the Philippines by Typhoon Haiyan.  I have been weighing in my mind for days on how I could pay some sort of respect to their suffering by means of a painting.  Today with the house windows shuttering madly, Mother Nature indiscriminately changing lives and abodes in mere moments, I am struck once again of how we are all preciously and precariously linked across the globe.

Here's my good friend, Don's house, after the tornado went through today.  Thank goodness he was at work when it happened.

Here's an absolutely unbelievable video of the tornado, with audio, of it coming, hitting a house, and going: 

Here's another helicopter shot--2 min. long showing 100's of homes in piles of splinters-just mind-blowing:

UPDATE 1/4/15:
Here's Don Keeley in the paper again, this time approximately 14 months later, FINALLY back into a new home at the same address, vinyl collection in tow;

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Day 326. I'd Rather Be in a Blues Bar (SOLD)

Here's a recent conversation my friend Lisa and I had.

Me:  "I don't know.  I just don't like stuffy events anymore.  I'd rather be in a blues bar."
Lisa:  "I'd rather be in any bar!"

Ah, ha, ha, ha!  Hilarious!  Good one, Lisa. (-;

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Day 324. Two Friends Out for a Joy Ride

I'm realizing that I often (well, at least 4 times during this year-long journey) draw myself or others in cars.  I guess that's because I feel free for adventure zipping along either on highway or backroad.  Also, I'm simultaneously listening to great music while driving along which pushes that feeling of freedom even further!  Who wouldn't want to keep revisiting places of great joy for artistic inspiration? (-;

Here you have these two happy fellows, having a grand old time on the open road.  
Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady are in the car behind them. (-;

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Day 323. Practice Up That Snowball Windup Pitch

Oh, it's been so cold the last few nights.  I know it will be warming up over the rest of the week...a balmy 63 degrees by Sunday.  But last night it was only19 degrees and tonight is cold, too!  Those chilly winds got me thinking, better practice up on that snowball windup pitch.  The big winter game is coming!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Day 322. Floyd Got Swindled

"What was this ridiculousness?!"

The expression on Floyd's face said it all.  He had been winning all night, and then suddenly his luck had turned, and he had lost it all with one lousy hand.  He felt like he was in a backroom sting, which stung all the more acutely with the realization that he, indeed, was in a backroom.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Day 321. Bang Bang Ax Man - If I Could Clone Myself

If I could have myself as my own BFF, I don't mean metaphorically or figuratively, I mean physically clone myself with my same personality, I think I would have quite a bit of fun.  For example, here's how a conversation today would have went:

Jill2:  Hey, I liked your drawing of Jack Lawrence from the Raconteurs yesterday (Day 320), but more importantly, OMG, that song!

Jill1:  I know, wasn't that performance phenomenal?  I try to get people to the blog to read the words and watch the video, but I know they're busy.  Not too many want to click that link.  STILL...I wish I could get brilliant musical performances out to people.  I love music SO much, I want to share it with everyone.

Jill2:  I know what you mean--like those opening chords of Brendan Benson.  Sooo moving.  And what about those arms?

Jill1:  Oh, Jill!  I'm so glad I know you, because I was thinking I'm the only one who notices those things.  The well-developed veins on a life-long ax-man.  I mean, sooooo sexy!  They remind me, nevermind.

Jill2:  Oh, honeychild.  I know exactly what you mean!

Jill1:  You do?

Jill2:  Mmm, hmmm. (-; (-;

Jills giggling together.

Jill2:  Oh my gosh.  What are we...12?

Jill1:  Oh, WHO CARES!  We're just appreciating the beauty of the man.

Jill2: Or rather, a man playing lead guitar with powerful, kaleidoscopic arms.

Jill1:  Yes!  The capability and mastery that lies within!  Anyway, people think I'm nuts already.  Besides, I'm just sharing this with you.

Jill2:  Well, I'm right there with ya'!  Yeah, don't put it out there for the whole world to see!

Jill1:  Yeah, but you know, as an artist, I want to be as truthful as possible.  I may have to do it.

Jill2:  Well, if you do, then post that video again.  Maybe you'll catch a few more people and share the beauty.

Jill1:  My thoughts exactly.  If only they'll read through our long dialog.

Jill2:  What the hell!  They were all short sentences.  You go, girl!

Jill1:  Love 'ya, baby! 

Jill1:  Oh, I have to give you a copy of this interview by Laura Barton from "The Guardian" with Brandon where he says: "The only thing I had ever known was trying to play like other people, but the blues guys were doing something new, they were inventing. There's a naivety about blues guitar playing that makes it hard to imitate. They'd bend notes but not do it perfectly. When they play, it's so much from the heart not the hands - it's not just about skill."  and

"I also picked up from blues this other quality that was scuffed, scruffy, flappy. It's hearing a person actually play guitar. Not like rock music, where if someone's performing a scale you can hear they're thinking it, not playing it."

"They say that in order to play the blues you have to sell your soul to the devil or be down and out, which is kind of true. It's the hardest thing to maintain, that naivety and that soul. Even the great blues players got worse as they got older, as they got more money. But that's just evolution. When you're young you can't help but play from the heart: you've nothing to lose."

Jill2:  Oh, that's fantastic!  That's true about life, in general, isn't?  "Playing from the heart, you've got nothing to lose." Love!

For the entire "The Guardian" interview, click here:Play from the Heart Brandan Benson

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Day 320. Bang, Bang - Jack Lawrence from the Raconteurs

It's getting colder.  It's Sunday night.  Time for Jack White, Brendan Benson, Patrick Keeler, and Jack Lawrence to shred the mundaneness and superficiality of your life away and get down to the grit.  Ah, pure to the core.  That beautiful guitar by Brendan.  Jack's acid vocals.  Love it so much!  Now if only Nancy Sinatra from the '60's in some white go-go boots could be up on the stage with them...  Jack would marry her for sure.

Bang, Bang by the Raconteurs - live in Lowlands (Netherlands)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Gallery Event November 29, 2013 Bucktown Center for the Arts

Last Saturday night I did a drawing of my experience hanging at a gallery.  I have a show coming up at the end of November--Black Friday--from 6-9 p.m.  Could be good or bad...people tired and cranky from being up at 1 a.m. shopping at God knows where or they could be ready for a little alcohol and art. (-; My opening corresponds with a Wine Walk so hopefully that will help matters.  We shall see.  Many of my canvases from my 365-Day project will be there (minus about 90 or so).

Stop on by if you're in the Midwest for Thanksgiving. (-;

Bucktown Center for the Arts (click for more info.)
6-9 p.m. Friday, November 29th at at 225 E. 2nd St., Davenport IA.
Suite 206, directly across from elevator on 2nd floor

CLOSING RECEPTION is on Friday Dec. 20th
The exhibition runs from 11/6 through the end of December.
The gallery is available for viewing during business hours (Wed-Sat 11-6).

Here's a few shots of the chaos beforehand.  I'm glad that part is behind me now!

Overhead decoration--hanging books everywhere--so cool.

Now you can understand my drawing from last week for clearly--we got home at 11:30 p.m.