This Land is My Land

This Land is My Land


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Thursday, June 30, 2011


Yesterday - Wednesday was as are all Wednesdays MY DAY OFF!!!!! Wednesday has been MY DAY OFF since I retired 16 years ago! It is also laundry day so I start the day out doing laundry and in between putting the dirty ones in the washer and the clean ones in the dryer, I ---------- you guessed it ------ I PAINTED!!!!

Sooooooo I started 2 separate paintings as sort of a "Show & Tell." In past posts I've spoken about my love to paint with a palette knife and the feeling of power and the gusto with which I can move that knife around the canvas. Painting with a palette knife for me is a very emotional and expressive experience. I always stand when I paint with a palette knife as I paint with lots of arm movement generated from the shoulders. I'm like a crazy man - but you knew that already!

I always paint with music playing and the choice of music and the volume is based on the subject of the painting as well as my general spirits.

My other style of painting is that of RENDERING. This I have to say is not a style that I overly enjoy as it aggravates the arthritis in my painting hand. Lots of cramping takes place and sometimes I have to stop painting for a day or two. I paint more with the fingers - hand and forearm for this style - I paint slower - and there is a tremendous amount of color blending directly onto the painting surface. However I still stand!  Rendering produces a very soft looking painting - almost taking on the look of a pastel painting. Softer - Quieter - Peaceful - Rendered.

I decided that I would do one of each style so they can be seen together and you my Blog Buddies can compare and contrast the individual styles.

Soooooooooo without further delay -------- OH ---- just a quick minute -------- a quick story that just flashed thru my mind. When I first started painting I painted with watercolor and did that for about 12 years. I was, for a short time painting in a style that produces vignettes - a style whereby the paint and the scene is only carried out to a portion (small section) of one of the four sides of the paper, with a lot of the white paper surface never being touch with paint. I was in an art show and a women was very interested in one of my vignette pieces. Her daughter was with her and she asked her daughter what she thought of the painting. The daughter said "I don't like it at all - LOOK he didn't even finish painting it!" Before I could explain the style, they both walked away! Ahhhhhhhh the life of an artist.

I KNOW - I digressed - I'm working on that issue - be patient!!!!!! I'm retired and deserve a break once in a while. When I use this retired line on my DW (RV lingo for Darling Wife) she says "Nooooooo ------- you are retarded!" Ahhhhhhhh the life of an artist!

OK off we go --- first the expressive - emotional palette knife piece done with spontaneity of color and form with an unending supply of gusto.

8 x 8 on canvas panel
"Bartlett Shadows"

As with most of my palette knife paintings there is not a lot of progression photos as these paintings develop very quickly due to the real estate (still have the sale of our house on my mind), that can be covered with the use of the knife.
The following photos will show the application of Globs and Blobs of color with thick juicy paint done as always in an expressive and emotional style.





I think you can see the thickness of the paint and the sweeping full arm strokes using a palette knife with spontaneity of color and form.
NO Terry that is NOT a FRUIT FLY on the pear!!!!!


Next will be the RENDERING painting which gave me way too many hand cramps - arthritis SUCKS!!!
As mentioned this piece will not have the expression or emotion of the previous painting and will appear softer - quieter - more peaceful in its presentation.
8 x 8 on canvas panel
A little Bruce Springsteen humor :>) 

Got to get the glare off the white surface taken care of quickly!

This will be a pictorial presentation of the development of color blended directly on the canvas surface wet into wet - done very slowly and softly with extreme caution not to create MUD!!  Sounds stressful doesn't it - IT IS!!!!

Add some BG & FG a few tweaks here and thar, dress up the highlights and we are TAAAA DAAAA -- DONE!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Hi - Just a short post - a friend on an RV blog posted a comment on the first post of this painting and said that he saw a "critter" at the base of the pine tree off center - to the left.  Well - I asked him he was smoking "The funny stuff" and he assured me NO!  For the life of me I cannot see any "critters" in the painting.  I don't put "critters" in my paintings as I feel they detract and I really do not like critters of any kind.

However the power of suggestion can weigh on ones mind and after a while I started seeing all kinds of "Friggin Critters"  Thank you very much Terry!!!!  :>(

The first thing I did this morning was rework sections of the painting -

Turned the tree on the very far left FROM an aspen into a pine and added some complimentary red to the forest floor.

As I mentioned to my friend Terry - I wish he had seen the Virgin Mary - I could have sold the painting on EBay, bought a nice big new RV and driven off into the sunset with my DW (RV talk for Darling Wife) singing "What a difference a day makes!"

If any "critters" are seen now ------- I shall SHOOT the painting!  :>)

(DEEP) INTO THE WOODS (Critter Free)


Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Hi Folks!

Today is a day that just got away from me.  Tuesday is for me always (creature of habit) the day for food shopping, Sam's Club and other minor errands.  So I normally do not get to my easel until after lunch and I'm a morning person and a morning painter.  The snow scene I did yesterday after posting it on my blog, I put it up on a web site that I belong to and post most of my work.  It was received very well and one person from Canada said they were disappointed at a winter scene as the part of Canada they live in had tons of snow this year and a very wet spring.  WELL EXCUSE MEeeeeeeeeee!!!! :>)

She also went on to say that she understood my comment regarding the wild fires and the associated smoke and could agree to a scene with clean crisp air.

So this afternoon I threw (literally) together a summer scene.  Up in the Sangre de Christo mountains which are quite near and very visible from our home, there are at least 150 Gazillion aspen and pine trees.  Trust me as that is a very accurate estimate!!!  I took accounting in college!! :>) 

The forest is so thick and so over-grown, (these wild fires will fix THAT!!!) that there are sections that very little light penetrates and sections that the sky is barely visible.  Very beautiful - quiet - and I love it up there.

Sooooooo once again we have a very, very quick painting that did not have progression photos done, as there was no progression it was simply "slam-bam-thank ya"
Blobs and Gobs of thick juicy paint scooped onto the blade of my trusty palette knife and before any of it could even start to dry - badda bing, budda boom DONE!!!

8x8 on canvas panel done with lots and lots of emotion-expression-gusto-rusticity and spontaneity of form and color.  If the only art you appreciate is Realism - WARNING-WARNING-WARNING DO NOT GO ANY FURTHER!!!!



Monday, June 27, 2011


Today is a strange day in that we have yet another wild fire out of control (zero % contained) and burning acre after acre of forest.  It is in a canyon (Pacheco Canyon) so no homes as of yet are in danger - they believe this fire was Set!!!  I wonder if perhaps the Senator from Arizona could of had something to do with this!!!!  We now have 3 wild fires in our surrounding area.  A very new one started 2 days ago and is in the area of the (SECRET) laboratories here in Los Alamos NM.  The other night we could see the flames shooting up about 40 feet into the air from the Pacheco Canyon fire that is in a section of the Sangre de Christo mountains that we see from our front courtyard.


Have to keep the doors and windows shut as well as the swamp coolers off as the smell of smoke gets sucked in and (you guessed it) THAT SUCKS!!

So I decided to do a winter picture as the air is nice and clean and crisp in winter - I don't like winter at all - however the thought of clean crisp air has made the smell of smoke bearable.  Did you know that most retired people are allergic to snow - oh yes - trust me - I know I have a very bad allergy - mostly it pisses me off - it is that type of allergy, along with being cold all the time!  what can I say --- I'm a princess :>) 

I did not take any progress photos as there really was no progress - at this point I need to slip in a quick story - YES I know I'm digressing!!!

My camera stopped loading pictures into my computer the other day.  So after a process of hit and miss, I determined the USB cable was faulty.  So we bought a new USB cable - NOT CHEAP (I am -- but it wasn't) anyways - it worked just fine --- however today it would not load photos in from my camera!  I now believe the USB connection at the camera is loose as the thingie does not insert all the way! So I loaded in the memory card from the camera into my computer by using our printer.  WOW - never have done this before and it took about twice as long to figure it out as it did to do the damn painting!!!

This painting was done in 15 minutes with a palette knife and Blobs and Globs of juicy paint - applied wet into wet very, very ( one more VERY ) quickly on an 8x8 canvas panel.  This is a very loose expressionistic style done with gusto, rusticity and spontaneity of form and color.



The city of Los Alomos has been evacuated!!  All 18,000 families have been sent out of the confines of the city as it is very possible that the wild fire will reach the city. 

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Not much going on today - we are having a yard sale - getting rid of some "stuff" in preparation of the happy-happy-happy day that our house sells.  It's good to clean out "stuff" once in a while.  When we moved here 4 years ago we had yard sales, made donations and then tossed "stuff" out!  Good rule of thumb - if you have not used it it 1-2 years get rid of it one way or the other!

Once the house sells,(prayers-prayers) it will be donation time for the larger items that we may decide not to store.  "Too much the stuff"

I'm proof reading my DW's novel once again as she has decided to self publish thru the publishing arm of Amazon.  I'm glad she decided to go this way, as I think in today's market it is the smart thing to do.

Doubt if I do any painting today - yard sale goes from 8-1 and then it will be "nappie time!"  After all I am retired!!!

I'll be so glad when our house sells and I can spend some in our RV, near a stream, with one eye on my fishing line bobber and one eye on my canvas.  Ahhhhhhhh what a dream!!!

Later my friends :>)


It's about 10:45 so after almost 3 hours we have made close to $300 not bad - traffic is starting to slow down but maybe another push before 1:00 closing time.  Not a bad take and this of course will be money towards our RV.  This RV adventure is something we are committed to and it will happen - it's just a question of when - this year or next year.  My now outlook of "If you can't control or change it - forget about it!"  Say that with an Italian accent and it really makes a lot of sense.

Later my friends.

Well, we did not get many more yard sale customers but a nice Spanish lady with her two small girls came by and she was looking for clothes that she could bring down to Mexico with her for her family who is still down there and of course is poor and needs her help.  One thing I will say for the Mexicans/Spaniards, they take care of family!  So we gave her some of the clothing that we had not sold and her happiness made our day.

Later my friends,  :>)


Wednesday, June 22, 2011


When the good Lord passed out BRAINS - I thought he said TRAINS and I asked for a SLOW ONE!!!!  :>(  DUH!!!!!

My painting hand is sore and cramping from my painting of yesterday with all its blending of color.  So today being my DAY-OFF - have I told you that Wednesday is my day off??  YEP - but I always work on my day off!  I did the laundry this morning and then I picked up the house (well - not the actual house - just the small messes inside the house) - then I vacuumed the floors - swiffed the floors and cleaned the kitchen counter tops.  My wife calls me Martha - NOT FUNNY!!!!!

I did this just in case we got a showing of our house today - that really makes me laugh as I think all the potential bottom feeder buyers crawled back under their rocks for a while as showings ain't happening!  I've adopted a new attitude -
If you can't control it or change it - FORGET ABOUT IT!!

Anyways - I digress again - got to stop doing that!  With all my chores done and not needing to chalk up any more "brownie points" with my DW (RV lingo for Darling Wife), I said to myself - "self what now?"

I started a painting although it is going slow as I have to stop and massage cramps out of my painting hand - I should be resting my hand but as I say I'm on a slow train!  One cramp was so bad I had to stand on my hand to get it to come out of its cramp - Holy Cramp or better said Holy Crap!!

Here is the results - no BG yet as I'm not sure what it will be.  No fancy words just down and dirty!  This is 11 x 14 on canvas panel with brushes and lots of blending wet into wet directly on the surface (in between cramps.)  This also is RENDERED as with yesterdays piece as compared to EXPRESSIVE STYLE.





Tuesday, June 21, 2011


14 x 11 on heavy linen canvas paper - Chroma Interactive Acrylics - rendered with lots and lots of color blending on the surface wet into wet. I felt like rendering this one as compared to palette knife or an expressionistic style. Ya gotta render once in a while or you forget how to!! :>) Of course my arthritis is now in full bloom in the painting hand - so tomorrow I rest it!

La Paz is a beautiful seaside city towards the tip of the BCS (Baja  California SUR) it is the Capital City of the BCS and is on the Sea of Cortez which is an Eco Wonder of our world.  We just love it there.  Blue is a very visible color down there, from houses to the ocean to walls - blue-blue-blue and all shades of it. In the patina part of the painting, I tried to create the look and feel of the desert of La Paz so in some ways this is a landscape - the desert at the edge of the Sea of Cortez.

OK - enough of the fancy artist talk - Blah-Blah-Blah!!  And you know me by now, I do not talk a lot!!! :>)

I begin as is normal for me (if I can even be considered close to normal) with a white sheet of heavy linen canvas paper in front of me on my paint laden easel, with the white of the paper of course blinding me!  So what do I do?  Throw paint onto the paper - CORRECT-

OK - now that I can see again we shall begin throwing color around.  This time as mentioned I am working in the mode of RENDERING as compared to an EXPRESSIVE style with strokes of emotion and gusto.  RENDERING involves for me the blending of colors directly onto the painting surface, wet into wet with ease of touch and a slowness that I really do not enjoy - however if one does not RENDER once in a while one can forget how to.  I love the softness that RENDERING gives to a piece.  It is almost the appearance of pastel.  I have actually RENDERED to such a degree that I have made the piece blurry to the eyes.
I won't do much more explaining as I'm sure you are getting bored and my job is to keep you interested in the process and the best way I feel to do that is through pictures.  Additionally the less I speak the less chance I will digress.  It's a win - win situation for both of us.
What I will do is add color as I say in a very slow soft manner with sissy like brush movements, being very careful not to created MUD by blending too much and blending the wrong colors.
This process of RENDERING makes the arthritis in my painting hand act up, and I end up with lots of hand cramps and pretty much rest my hand the entire next day.
I just heard a couple of yawns (how rude) OK CHARGE!!!!!!!!





Monday, June 20, 2011


My on-line system as well as Google Blog is not running worth a damn today.  Quest is going down hill IMHO as an on-line provider and google, it's FREE and they really don't care if it runs well or not.  so this will be short as I've lost the contents 3 times already!
I finished up my last painting of the Native American Water Vessel, putting in a FG/BG and tweaks and highlights.

24 x 18 on heavy linen canvas paper done with palette knife.


I'm pleased with the painting and I especially like the opening of the jug I think the depth into the jug is quite believable and painting depth on a flat surface is a trick in and of it self.  Would you like to know how to do this?

I'm not going to tell you how to create depth as this is my secret and if I tell you, I'll be looking at your paintings on your Blog!!!  So my lips are sealed and you know me-----I do not talk very much.  That reminds me of a story ----- JUST KIDDING!!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

South Africa Artist

Angelique is a wonderful artist living in Cape Town South Africa and is once again a Guest Blogger on my blog this week.

Following is a portion of her artistic statement.

"It is my intention to engage the viewer into a dialogue with the painting, letting go of any preconceived ideas and interact emotionally with it - the painting -, the message which is personal and different for every person.

My style is impressionist, contemporary, minimalist, expressionist sometimes abstract. My tools are mainly palette knives and other (hardware) tools, with the occasional use of brushes."

My paintings have been sold to collectors in Canada, USA, UK, South Africa and Germany

Member of SASA - South African Society of Artist
Member of BASE - Blouberg Art Society

I find her work to be on the fore-front of creativity and her use of color is extraordinary!

"Robben Island"

Check out her Blog - you will be pleasantly pleased - a visual feast!!!!!

Friday, June 17, 2011


On occasion I get questions via email or blog asking about some of my processes - by that I mean how I do things.
First let me explain some basic facts and I would not want this information to get spread around and be made available to everyone!!  So we will just keep it between us - OK - OK - You like -- I like!  Remember that guy on TV who use to use his hand - thumb and forefinger, with lips painted on them and pretended he was talking to this funny looking little mouth.  He use to be on Ed Sullivan Show a lot (for those of you old enough to remember Ed Sullivan.)  :>)
He had sort of a funny foreign name - I forget it now (starting to sound like the DR. visit the other day!)  Whoops I digress again - I've got to stop that :>)
As I've mention in the past I paint Alla Prima - meaning start to finish in one sitting.  I do this when the painting takes 30 minutes or 5 hours.  I love to blend colors directly on the painting surface.  I do not premix my colors - I don't even use a palette.  My process is the same for brush or palette knife - I call it squeeze-scoop-apply.  I squeeze the tube of paint, scoop the paint from the top of the tube and apply with brush or palette knife.  I sometimes put 2 different colors on the brush or on each side of the palette knife.  My methods are not very standard and people (especially painters)who watch me sort of think I'm crazy!!  it's an under breath whisper thing shhhhhh (what in the hell is he doing?)  I taught myself how to paint and not knowing any differently, this is how I taught myself and by golly it works for me!  I tried using a palette and I get all screwed up!

I started a painting today and it is mostly palette knife work and at times I have to stop painting and let the paint cure a tad and I tend to put in on thickly and the blending process can be touchy in that one can create MUD - YES ---the dreaded MUD - if blending too much wet into wet or blending the wrong colors together.  Did you know if you mix complimentary colors together such as red and green you get a GREY!!!  Pretty cool huh!!

Thus far this is where I am:  This sheet is 18 x 24 heavy linen canvas paper and I hope to generate a painting called "Native American Water Pitcher"  This pitcher is part of my Native American Pot collection which I am very proud of.  I am very fond of Native Americans and according to my Grandmother I am part Native American and we all know that Grandmothers DO NOT LIE!  RIGHT?  RIGHT!!  I could digress now but I will pass on the opportunity!  :>)
As in the past we will start with the BLANK CANVAS!!!

As always I throw on some color so I'm not blinded by the all white surface.  This is done with a big brush and I will add done in a very sloppy manner - I don't believe in staying inside the lines.  When I was a kid this irritated the teachers, so I kept doing it!!! LOL

Neutral Color

Now with palette knife in hand and a very concentrated mission of applying paint quickly wet into wet with gusto, expression, emotion, spontaneity and of course the ever present RUSTICITY - I slap it on glob after glob after glob!
I've mentioned before that things happen quickly with a palette knife as more territory gets covered more quickly - so PLEASE DON'T BLINK!!!


Once these globs and globs of paint firm up a bit, I will add some more color, do some tweaking and finish it up!


I had a bowl of blueberry yogurt with a whole bunch of fresh blueberried mixed in.  I just love blueberries and buy big containers of them at Sam's Club.  But that is a story for another time.
I threw some more paint around - added more color to give the pitcher a "rustic" look of "HEY I've been around - I've been used - look at me - I've got some age on me!"

Next will be the BG and FG and I think that may be tomorrow as I'm getting ready for a nap and the main portion of work was done Alla Prima so if I wait on the BG & FG no one will know the difference and we won't tell anyone WILL WE!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Path is more clear.

My wife Melissa who is a very wonderful writer has a blog which is listed on my home page.  She just put up an article Titled "Too much the foggy."  Please read it if you get the chance.  Reading this has made it clear to the both of us that we need to set aside the anxiety of selling our home.
We have adopted the new attitude of - If it sells - it sells.  We have vowed to stop thinking about the sale and get on with our daily lives.  We have requested that our broker no longer send any copies of the "showing reports" to us - all we need to see is an offer and then when one comes we will discuss it.  We have a bottom line on the price we will sell it for and that is FIRM!  Soooo when it sells - it sells!!

A good friend of ours in Arizona - where we use to live, Annette has been very supportive during our anxiety attacks and has given us a lot of wonderful advise and support.  She is a Real Estate Broker in AZ and fully understands the RE market which is much worse in AZ.  She also understand the frustrations that a seller feels. 

Sooooo on with life as normal - Real Estate issues aside and now I need to sit down and map out a course for my painting efforts which will most likely slow down a tad and also consist of purging my inventory.

Thanks to all of you for your understanding and support.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Those of you who follow this blog may have noticed that I've been somewhat down in the dumps of late. Broken spirits due to the Real Estate market that may very well be the cause of the demise of our dream to become full time RV-ers. That coupled with the anticipation of perhaps stopping or slowing down my painting output.
Two people that I do not know, Steve & his wife Evin, who I just met on the Internet on an RV blog that I participate on and follow sent me an email regarding the posting of my current state of mind. The email was very encouraging and I was very surprised that they start their day reading my blog and the biggest surprise was when they informed me that they love my art endeavors and asked that I do not stop painting.
Long story short - for now I am not planning to stop painting but may slow down my output if indeed I can. After painting for 16 years, it has become and in fact is a way of life. I thank these two kind people for their encouragement and very kind words regarding my work.
OK-----here we go again------enough of the whinny cry baby crap and back into reality. You know if our house does not sell - it's no big deal - it's bound to sell at some point so I've just got to sit my butt down and GET OVER IT!!! I will however say that had I known 4 months ago how the brokers in this area try to adjust their selling process to the economic times - i most likely would not have put our home up for sale.  But we are in it for the long term.  Our RV dream may be delayed - so what - we have a good life and a beautiful home to ENJOY!!!! This is my PEP talk to myself!
You know me, I'm a very quiet person but before I begin I must tell you a story as the mind can be the first thing to go - geezzzz I hope it's not anything else that goes first!! I had to go to the DR. today - he had switched me over to a generic drug at my request as the brand name Medicare decided to raise the price from $42 for a 90 day supply to $230 for a 90 day supply!! Friggin CROOKS! Where is AARP I ask you? When I got to the Dr's it looked like they might be giving away free things as the waiting room was full and people who had little computer looking devices - I thought hmmmm maybe a digital Rubik's cube festival. Long story short they were switching over to a new system so each patient had to re-enter all their medical history. Why the employees sitting around behind the reception desk doing nothing couldn't do it I have no idea - not a clue. I was going to ask them but they were too busy talking to each other. I went thru this 2 previous times with this Dr. and he never asked me any questions regarding what I had entered, like ringing in the ears and a few things I can't mention here - I mean like I'm 71 years old - I'm bound to have some problems! So this time I decided I would also answer some of the questions "For Female Only." This should determine if the Dr. really reads this info!! I can just hear him at my next visit "Richard can you describe your severe menstrual cramps to me?"
OK - I digress -Oh Ya that was one other thing I entered into the computer thingy but he never asked me about it. :>) He did ask about my forgetting things - like how often and what kinds of things do I forget - I told him I can't remember!! I'm mean DUH wasn't he listening to me??

This will be quick as I have forgotten what I was going to say so hold onto your seat and here we Goooooooo - Lift off.

I found another blank canvas - I use to hear that term and wondered what in the hell are they talking about! Landscapers use this a lot and the next thing you know a friggin botanical garden appears! Well, these are just Plums so don't expect too much!! :>)

 This is 11 x 14 and painted on a canvas panel using Chroma Interactive Acrylic (MY STANDARD INGREDIENT OF CHOICE) done with a palette knife wielded around with lots and I mean lots of expression - emotion - gusto - spontaneity of color and form without regard for the precise color of a plum as I really don't care about that. Plums are not my favorite fruit, so they do not get a lot of attention from me. I find them fun to paint to see what blending of color I can get to make an otherwise boring fruit interesting. Oh yes I must not forget that I put some RUSTICITY into this - Geezzzz did I ever mention that I love that word!!
A palette knife especially in the hands of a mildly depressed artist can give a tremendous amount of confidence and is also a tool to whip about while taking frustration out on the canvas. It is very empowering. I feel like an Iron Chef with my knife in hand so look out Bobby Flay - Dickie J is in town!

Fast painting --- Fast presentation:

WOW - i found another "blank canvas" I'll quickly sketch the outline of some plum like thingies. :>)

OK - got to get some color on this as the white is giving me a headache!  Things happen quickly with a palette knife as a lot of territory gets covered with a few swipes.

Working wet into wet you do have to be careful not to create "MUD" the idea is to keep the colors fresh so the art of blending is what this whole painting is about.  I think these little thingies need some stems!

Taaaa Daaaa - DONE!


Monday, June 13, 2011


It is strange if not funny if not sad how different happenings in your life can lead, control, (force) your feelings OR lack of them to control things that you do or for that matter don't do.
I love to paint and when possible I paint everyday. It has always given me great joy and a huge sense of personal accomplishment.
I've been painting for almost 16 years now, which is a long time - I started when I took early retirement at 55. During these years I've threatened to QUIT painting to the best of my knowledge about 50 - 75 times- NOT COUNTING 100 TIMES DURING MY FIRST YEAR :>). There was one time I stopped painting for 4 months, about 4 years ago, with the full intention of quitting.  As a lark I switched from watercolor over to acrylics. This switch has given me 4 years of additional enjoyment and personal accomplishment.
At this point I paint merely for the enjoyment of it and for personal growth and accomplishment. I no longer seek exhibits or contests or avenues through which to sell my work. I just recently cancelled a month long solo exhibit. This was a rather prestigious exhibit that I waited 2 years to get juried into for a solo exhibit. It would have consisted of approximately 30 pieces of my work.
In anticipation of selling the house and buying an RV I inventoried my works and packed them up into boxes to go to storage when we start our RV journey. Truth be told unpacking them for the exhibit would be a PITA but it could be done with some effort and patience. The disturbing other side of that is --- They would have to be packed back up again!!!! The exhibit was scheduled to start in October.
I sat down and asked myself WHY???? With the economy and the lack of consumer fortitude and pride of resilience the chances of selling any of my pieces would be close to zero if not zero - (truth be told I thought for sure our home would be sold well before October!!) So I said to myself - "Self why bother!" So I cancelled the exhibit.
In this economy art work is about the last thing consumers will buy. Hell - people don't even get their teeth cleaned every 6 months anymore!
My wife and I ran our own very successful gallery in East Boothbay, Maine for 7 years, selling my art work (watercolors at that time) and her beautiful photography. I've had some good success with the acceptance and sales of my work - however that said - at this point it has become more of a hobby with a gradual but steady decrease of (self) gratification. The gratification just is not matching the effort.
My heart and hands tell me to keep painting - my mind says it may be time to slow down and see how a slow down affects me.
I fight this realization every day and although I really don't think I can stop painting I also realize that I should slow down a bit and produce less. Over time a happy medium will need to be found.

Nothing planned at the moment regarding a slow down but the thought does come to the very front of my mind more often these days.

As I say regarding the sale of our house - TIME WILL TELL.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


All you hear today is bad news. The TV reporters love to spew out and over react to the news of the day. TV reporters LOVE to yap about over inflated - over emphasized happenings. They can take a simple story line like the market is down 10 points today and turn it into a story about the end of the FRIGGIN WORLD is but days away and if you do not own a gun or some poison then you should find a roof to jump off!! They play on the emotions of the public - with no regard for the public. They are grand standers with TV and millions of viewers at their disposal.
They really take joy in making news BAD!!! The latest overplayed news about the Real Estate market and how the BAD conditions have even worsened has succeeded in scaring the public once again and YES home sales have fallen again (after rebounding)! People need to stop watching TV - it's like misery loves company and the News Anchors really want the public to retreat so THEY can report MORE BAD NEWS!!! It's a Catch 21 and IMHO News Anchors SUCK and are harmful to the American Public.
Now - that said - it amazes me how many "OLDER" folks are out there (or at least were) out there looking for homes. They seem to belong to a category of people who have sold the CRYPT that they have been living in since Jesus was a baby and of course owned it outright and walked away with some money. They think they want to "down-size" which of course merely means that they would move from 3,500 sq. ft. into perhaps 3,300 sq. ft Why some of these "OLDER" people are even looking for a home to buy is beyond me. With all due respect - I've seen some of them and the "OLD FOLKS HOME" is not that far away!  They should be looking to RENT!! They seem to come from the "OLD STOCK" who believes you are not a success unless you own property!! A theory highly over-rated IMHO.
There are a goodly number of these "OLDER" people who think "MONEY TALKS!" They have a pocket full of cash and LISTEN-UP - they will tell YOU what your house is worth - after all IT'S CASH. For some reason they think because they have cash the seller should give his house away! They want some luxury - dont' be mistaken about that - but have no intention of paying for it - it should be FREE - after all they are "OLDER" and they have CASH!" I refer to these people as Real Estate Challenged - AKA STUPID!!  I want to be 6'8", have an NBA career and my own TV talk show - HOWEVER --- THAT AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN EITHER!!!

My spirits have been broken and I sometimes fear we have been living in a fantasy world - a dream of selling our home, buying an RV and hitting the road to enjoy our live - which for me with continued good health may be another 20 years. Of course I'm sure I'll do "my time" sitting in a chair in a hallway not knowing who I am or who you are and drooling down my new plaid shirt somebody gave me for my 90th birthday.
We WILL at some point end up getting our RV - we WILL get out there to see the USA, Canada, Mexico and we WILL enjoy the last years of my retirement!  My wife is 15 years younger than me so she has a while longer than I - although she does not seem thrilled about this - meaning that she does not relish the idea of spending her older age years alone - or at least that's what she tells me! :-> This is when our age difference starts to come into mind - whereas up to this point it was never even recognized or thought about.
Broken spirits Will not prevent us from attaining our dream - we are committed. It does however for me mean that if the house takes a year or two to sell FINE! ( IF MY BROKER READS THIS - HE WILL SAY - OH CRAP!!!!)  We can wait. It also means for me that I can't be thinking about the house or the RV as it is wearing me down and thus we have the cause of the broken spirits!
There are folks out there who say "put yourself out there - speak to the Universe and let them know what you want - don't be bashful - don't be afraid of asking for too much." I've done this for longer than I would like to think or admit and I firmly believe that the Universe has people they answer, people they ignore and people they enjoy showering with roadblocks, disappointment, and discouragement. WELL bring it on DUDES - WE WILL GET TO LIVE OUR DREAM!!!

Sooooooo MUCH LESS House and RV jibber/jabber on my blog as I am going to put these two issues out of my mind and let the chips fall where they fall "UNIVERSE" be damn - WE WILL MAKE IT HAPPEN!! (I have put the "UNIVERSE ON NOTICE THAT I AM NO LONGER TALKING TO THEM.
I am however going to BUY MORE LOTTERY TICKETS! :>)

When all else fails - revert to HUMOR

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Well folks, not too much going on today.  Our area in Santa Fe is getting beaten down with the smoke from that massive fire in Arizona.  It constantly smells of smoke 24/7 or as Jake on 2 1/2 Men says ----- 31!!! :>)

I've been up since 3:30 this morning as the smell was keeping me awake so I figured I might as well get up.  You can't keep the windows open to get a nice breeze so you have to keep the overhead fan going and I ask you---Who can sleep with a fan blowing down on them?  NOT ME!!!!!

I've about packed all that I can in ANTICIPATION :>) of our house selling one of these days.  If I pack anymore the house will start to looked abandoned!!!  When you put your house on the market the BUZZZZZZ word the brokers like to use is DE-CLUTTER.  This means remove all your personal things like family photos, pottery collections, nic/nacs, do-dads etc etc.  They don't want the potential buyer (PB) seeing your personal crap but instead they want the PB to visualize THEIR personal crap in the house and visually picture it as their home.  It's a nice concept------most of the "HGTV" home buyer shows we watch, the PB's can't picture their furniture in the home.  It goes kind of like - "do you think our bedroom set will fit in here?"  "Gee I don't know - the room looks smaller than ours - do you think it looks smaller?"  "Well I guess we could always buy a queen bed and sell our king bed - I just don't know - what do you think?"  "You asked me that already - now I'm starting to get pissed!"
Now I ask you if the PB's don't even know if their furniture will fit into the house - what difference does it make if my Native American pottery collection is displayed in its rightful display case, or if there is a photo of my wife and me on the deck of a cruise ship?  (It's not a clothing optional cruise!!!)
Our Broker is a prince among Brokers - the words DE-CLUTTER never crossed his lips.  He was very tactful and said "You might want to put a few of the "table top" items away and take down a few of the"" photos/wall decorations.  How polite is that!!!!  I like his style!
So until we have a confirmed buyer not too much more packing will get done.
However when that wonderful/blessed/fantastic buyer comes along, this house will be full of packing boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, wrapping paper etc etc!!!!  we will be packing 31!!!!! :>)

It will take me a day just to pack my studio up - so from that day forward for a while, no painting will take place until about 1-2 months AFTER we move out!

Well, I guess I'll go throw some paint at my easel and see what develops!  :>)


Thursday, June 9, 2011


I'mmmmmmmm BACK!  OR- as Arnold is saying these days:


Today is our 27th wedding anniversary so we are just kind of sitting around enjoying the day - Melissa is working on her next novel and I of course am painting.  Later today we are going to a little Italian Bistro for a nice lunch and then perhaps walk around the Plaza and go into a few shops and galleries.

I did the painting of those plums I found Tuesday at the grocery store.  I do not like plums at all but Melissa likes plums so they won't go to waste - (waste not want not!)

This is 18 x 24 on heavy linen canvas paper using Chroma Interactive Acrylics wet into wet - done very, very quickly using a large brush with gusto, rusticity and spontaneity of color and form.  I had fun with this one.  As has been my norm of late, I won't bore you with "artist jibber jabber" and get right to the creative process in my normal pictorial format.

Another blank canvas - I must cover this with paint!

Splash-splash-plop-plop throw on some color and then more color and more and more color color!

Time for some BG and FG work - as I'm sure you can remember, I like what I call movement in my foregrounds - splashes of color as well as upward and downward strokes of the brush to give direction suggestions and eye movement for the viewer to follow.  The BG to me is static and I really don't consider it necessary but I put it in
 because all the art books say I should!