Sunday, June 22, 2014


What happens when a bunch of hens start clucking?  Cacklephony.  Ah, ha, ha, ha! (-;


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Phyllis, A Winter Day, and Her Easy Chair SOLD

Here, finally, is a commissioned piece for my friend Phyllis Natanek.  She belongs to a local art league we are both in, and she is a wonderful artist (as is her husband, Richard.)  She had the idea of what she wanted, and she composed the poem as well.  It was just up to me to figure out the final details, how to incorporate the poem, and inject my style.  She probably thought it was never coming her way.  In truth, I have been working on it on and off for quite awhile.

I had spent a lot of time on a previous version, and even though it wasn't working, I kept at it since I had already invested so much time.  No wonder I could never complete didn't feel "right."  I finally abandoned it, and began this more "wackadoo" version which fits me much better.  I just spent about 1/2 hour going through my computer images, but I guess I never did take a picture of that first, realistic attempt.  Check out my last image her, and you can see where I had drawn over the first picture (I actually painted white all over it in frustration, but you can still see the former outline.)  I'm not sure if you can see it, but I put texture into that blanket to give it some fluffiness.

Okay, Phyllis.  Thanks for hanging on so long! 

My initial attempt, lines faintly visible under a white overcoat, and then the genesis of the final version.

Here is one of Phyllis' most recent paintings:

'Oblivious to Alien Fungi and The Storm, the Dung Beetle Soldiered On'.
Acrylic on Canvas. 18 x 24.

Photo: 'Oblivious to Alien Fungi and The Storm, the Dung Beetle Soldiered On'. Final version. Acrylic on Canvas. 18 x 24.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Enervating Return

I'm tired. 

Maybe it's because we had an all-day event at the hospital yesterday (all's well now).  That procedure combined with an art show last week has me moving in slow motion, or as my former Spanish student Morgan used to say, "walking through pudding."  And it's hot out...muggy.  I say to myself, I just want to be quiet in this pudding state. 

I was starting to formulate words for this post while I walked my dog.  A song started playing in my head from the 1996 movie, "Picture Perfect" with Jennifer Aniston and Kevin Bacon.  The two are sitting at a tennis match at about 34:57 when you hear:

"Now I'm quiet, quiet as a mouse can be,
but inside my head it's loud as a cavalry." 

(By the way, no matter what way I Google this with "Lyrics" or "soundtrack," I can't figure out the name so help me if you know it.)  Regardless, this was way too chipper of a melody to go with my feelings.  Then I smelled the heavy scent of petunias in the sticky night and saw lightning bugs hovering lazily over the grass, and I thought, "Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air."  Yes, that reflected my feelings better.

Anyway, perhaps this is why I'm finding myself in my last two posts drawing tired, gritty men at the end of a long journey.  This latest painting looks to me like a Chinese warrior (but he doesn't look Chinese) coming home, snowflakes or swirling buds lending a dreaminess to what awaits him.  It's been quite some time since I've seen Zhang Yimou's, "House of Flying Daggers," (2004), but that's what it reminds me of.  By the way, if you haven't seen that movie, it is magical, mystical, tragic, and painfully beautiful.  Do yourself a favor and watch it.  I think I'll re-watch it myself soon, followed by a long sleep to shake this ennui.

"House of Flying Daggers"

The Eagles - "Hotel California"

Friday, June 13, 2014

Upcoming Art Show - Cantigny Art in Bloom

Hello, darling people!  I have an art show this weekend, June 14th and 15th at Cantigny Art in Bloom in Wheaton, IL (outside of Chicago).  I'll be posting upcoming pictures soon!  Why am I up at 12:40 a.m.?  Because no matter how prepared I think I am, there's always more, more, more to do!  Here's some more info. in you're in the vicinity--Oh!  And I'll be at booth 74!!

Cantigny is a 500-acre park and part of the Chicago-based McCormick Foundation. It is home to two museums, formal gardens, picnic grounds, restaurants and 27 holes of championship golf. 8,000 people expected.
1 S. 151 Winfield Road, Wheaton, IL 60189
Saturday, June 14th 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, June 15th 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

Click here for their website:  Cantigny Gardens
And in keeping with my continued artistic diligence, here's a little blast from the '70's. 
Andrea True Connection, "More, More, More"
Can't you just smell your Coppertone Suntan lotion
sizzling away in the sun
with this playing on your transistor radio? 
Oh yeah!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Painted birdhouse (No longer Available)

Below is a birdhouse I painted as a donated piece of art work for an organization named "Shine."  It puts a spotlight on young artists and their instructors.  Here's their link for more information: Shine and other artists who are involved.

Mine includes one of my all-time favorite French sayings, "Petit à petit, l'oiseau fait son nid."  In English, "Little by little a bird builds its nest" or every bit helps.  I prefer to think of it as a reminder to any sort of step at a time!  I have another painting in mind for that saying, so it will be appearing again in a completely different form.

I took some pictures indoors and some outdoors so here are versions of both.  I still don't think I captured the colors on camera like I would have liked to have had.