This Land is My Land

This Land is My Land


HELL YES they are for sale!!! I believe in "Affordable art for the masses!"

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Monday, October 31, 2011


Good Day Blog Buddies,

Well, this morning I took my DW to work and then I went food shopping.  I KNOW!!!
It is only Monday and I always do the food shopping on Tuesday!!!!!  As I mentioned before, I'm trying to be less of a creature of habit and more of a free spirit and do what I do when I do!!!  :>)

After food shopping I had to go to Sam's Club and then to our storage facility to get a couple of things out to use in the UNIT ON THE HILL.  I also stopped at the local art store and picked up some much needed paints.

I have not mentioned ED (my plein air easel) lately as he has been behaving quite well - until this morning!!!!  I started a very quick painting after all my errands were done and I of course was working with vim & vigor!  ED seemed to feel he was being bounced around a bit too much and started to complain!!!  I hate COMPLAINING!!!!!
So I asked Ed if he would like to go plein air painting with me at the Grand Canyon?
ED - too quickly responded YES without thinking so I said "ED - I have a little story to tell you."  I said "ED--on average each year 2 and 1/2 people fall into the Canyon!!!  If you have any complaints to register, perhaps we could change that statistic to:

2 1/2 people PLUS ONE EASEL!!!!!!!!!!

Needless to say ED had no complaints and said "JR---- PAINT WITH AS MUCH VIM & VIGOR AS YOU WANT!"  He also suggested that we skip the painting trip to the Grand Canyon :>)

Soooooo now that ED is all squared away - this is a very, very, very quick painting done on 9x12 rolled canvas, using a palette knife with shooshes of globs and blobs of thick juicy paint applied with expression, emotion and spontaneity in color and form.  In other words ----- ME being ME!!!

Some detail for the detailed oriented blog buddies - God love ya!!!!

Enjoy the day my friends.

JR  :>)

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Hello Blog Buddies,

As I mentioned in a recent past post, my DW was going to cut off my 11 year old pony tail - at my request!  So we went to Sali Beauty Supply and bought a nice professional barber clippers and attachments.

Well, today Sunday 10/30/11 OFF WITH MY TAIL!!!!!!

Following are progression photos of this process and I have to say that I do not miss the pony tail and it is a change as is our whole life changing with our decision to sell our home and to buy a 31 foot RV.  ONWARD & FORWARD!!!!!

My tail before the chop off!!!


Some TWEAKS made


My DW did a wonderful job of cutting my hair!!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Hello Blog Buddies,

Well, Melissa's book signing went very, very well - she sold 35 books!!!!  WOO-HOO!!!

As I mentioned in my earlier blog, the movie star Ali MacGraw (Love Story Fame) as well as many other film credits,  was going to be at the signing as she and Melissa have become friends over the past 4 years.

When I mentioned this, I heard some under tones in my audience, of "Oh Ya - I'll bet!!!  I think he is fibbing!!!"  I did not say anything as most of you know I don't like to make waves or cause a commotion ----however - that said - to those Nay Sayers - I say "feast your eyes on this Nay Sayers!!!!!"

That my friends and Nay Sayers is Ms. Ali MacGraw at the book signing today.  I met her, shook her hand and had a very nice conversation with her.  She is a very lovely and charming person.

She also bought 3 of Melissa's books!!!!

Tomorrow Melissa is going to lop off my 11 year old pony tail and give me a Buzzzzzzzz cut - or at least that is the plan - whether I show up is still in question!!

We are also going for our annual Autumn walk along Canyon Road.  Canyon Road is about 2 miles or so long and is lined with some of the most wonderful art galleries and I will add a LOT of art galleries are along this road. 
We  go down there a couple of times a year and spend a couple of hours gallery hopping and then go down to the Plaza for a nice lunch.  It's TRADITION!!!
This time we are going to Cafe' Paris - now the name implies French and yes they have some wonderful French dishes as well as other foods.  My personal favorite is the chicken burrito!!!!  It is without a doubt the best chicken burrito I have ever had - anywhere - (and I've had a lot of them)!!!!!

So I hope your Sunday will be as pleasant as ours and remember let some sunshine into your space and enjoy life.

JR  :>) 


Hi Blog Buddies,

Well this afternoon my DW Melissa has a book signing and surrounding it is some excitement!!!  Through Melissa's involvement in Yoga, 4 years ago she met and became friends with the star of Love Story - none other than Ali MacGraw!!!!  OH YES - NO LYING GOING ON HERE!!!

Ali will be at the book signing this afternoon.  I made some brownies to add to the refreshments and I've also been designated the official photographer!!!!  :>)

One never knows, I could end up getting an offer to be the personal pastry chef or photographer for Ali MacGraw - WOW!!!!!  :>)

YO - the lady in the first row middle seat - you are right that will never happen!!!  Thanks for shattering my day dream!!!!!  :>(

Soooooo with all the excitement, there will be no painting today!!!

We went to Sali Beauty Supply yesterday, bought a professional pair of barber clippers and tomorrow will be the chopping off of the 11 year old pony tail and in its place a Buzzzzzzzzzzzzz cut!  Being a creature of habit, this is a big step for me!!!!  The way I figure it - if I don't like it - I can let it grow back in - (I hope!)

I went to Sam's club the other day and almost bought a supply of shampoo - WHOOPS - no need with a Buzzzzzzzzzzz cut - I've already saved $15!!!!!  Over the course of a year - that's $60!!!!  At $20 per month for a hair cut - over the course of a year that's $240!!!  The clippers cost $90 so only a 4 1/2 month pay back.

The first year savings is $210 and that equates to approx. a 5 day stay at a nice RV park or even a longer stay at a nice National Park!!!!!!

HEY - BOZO in the 3rd row the word is not CHEAP - IT'S FRUGAL!!!!!

CHEAP is that suit you are wearing!!!!!!!  HAR-HAR-HAR!!! NOW GET OUT!!!!

OK my friends I'm off to get dressed up nicely so Ali does not think I'm some Yahoo with a pony tail!!!!

JR  :>)

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Good Morning Blog Buddies,

Well. today marks the beginning of month 2 in our UNIT ON TOP OF THE HILL!!!  Only 5 more to go and then it's RV TIME!!

After our tour of the RV manufacturing facility, designing the interior and signing the contract for the purchase of our RV as well as writing the check for the down payment, we both felt such joy and happiness and it certainly was a WOO-HOO moment for us!

Since arriving back in Santa Fe, I've wanted to do a painting that portrayed the visual sensation of that feeling.  Therefore, I did a very quick palette knife painting on gessoed rolled canvas that to my eyes expresses that joyful moment and for me freezes it in time.

Upon showing the painting to my DW Melissa, she agreed with the effect of the visual presentation - said she loved it - and said 'That belongs to me!!!"  So this painting is now part of her personal collection and shall reside in our RV!!

12 x 9
Painted with lots and lots of emotion, expression, joy and a heart filled with happiness.


The lady in the last row - 2nd seat in from the left - do you have a question?

Ahhhhh - very good question.  For those of you who could not hear her - she asked "What kind of a flower is that?"

My answer is "It can be any kind of flower you want it to be."

My belief is ---- visual pleasure - visual stimulation comes from within, in that being able to see into, through and around an object d'art while visualizing a story is the pleasure of the viewing process.

As I say - "An artist needs to leave unfinished portions so that the viewer is free to use their imagination to finish the presentation."

Enjoy the day my friends and let the sun shine in.

JR    :>)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Hi again Blog Buddies,


Well, today I did the food shopping and some errands Sam's Club - Staples - Lowes etc.

So that kind of chewed up my morning and at 3:00 I have to go pick up my DW from work so not too much painting will get done today - that's OK - I need the rest - I don't like doing errands - I'd rather do the laundry!!!

I was all set to sketch out a still life but heard that there might be a chance for snow tonight up in the Santa Fe ski basin - so into my mind comes a vision of a snow scene I photographed last winter up on the High Road to Taos.  So the still life will be another day as I in the mood for a snow scene.

This is 12 x 16 on heavy linen paper.  I started this out as tho it was a water color - let me explain:

First I got out my Tony Van Hasselt (TVH) big brush - ( I love that brush! )  Next I saturated the top 3/4's of the paper with nice clean water and then I quickly brushed in 4 different colors of blue for the sky and then threw in some white and grey.  This pre-wetting of the paper - and I mean it was saturated with water, normally provides a very "watery" effect - that said, I loaded up my TVH brush ( I love that brush ) with GOBS & BLOBS of thick acrylic paint and spent a lot of time blending the 4 colors plus the white and grey so they became one but yet individual.  As I have mentioned in the past, I NEVER pre-mix paint - I always blend it on the surface I'm painting on.  In this way, I can control it to eliminate the chance of "DREADED MUD" and I can better obtain the blended appearance yet retain as I say the individual colors.  The blending process is done very quickly and softly with a very light touch.  The brush bristles sort of gently KISS the surface I'm painting on.  Damn this is starting to get rather interesting!  Oh well, I digress!!!!  Have not done that in a while - I forgot to!!!!  OH MY here we  go with the memory thing again!!!  :>)    

At this point, I can't continue any further as the paper is still way too wet to try and apply any more paint so I will continue this tomorrow.

Thus far we have the beginning of a New Mexico winter sky:

If you look closely, you can see the 4 colors of blue and the white & grey - blended but yet individual.  That's me, I like to blend in but yet be an individual.  I'm not a "group" person I'm more of an "Individual contributor.'

OK - enough about ME ---- I'll try and finish this up for YOU guys tomorrow.

In the meantime if it's cloudy - you can still let the sun shine in your space!

JR  :>)

OK - I'M BACK!!!!!

I finished up the painting I started yesterday after doing just the sky.
After cleaning the house this morning and baking some brownies for a book signing my DW is having I started putting in some ground cover using the "dry brush" technique which is exactly what it implies the brush is only slightly-slightly damp and the strokes are for the most part an upward stroke done very quickly in sort if a staccato upward shoosh!  :>) 

HEY - you in the middle row in the end seat on the right - NO-NO-NO I would not make some one a good housekeeper!!!  I help my DW out and she helps me out - we are all about team work!!!!  She works 3 days a week - I'm fully retired and most days I paint so it only stands to reason that I do some stuff around the house as I say - SHE IS WORKING!!!


OK - back to what I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted!!!

After the ground cover I put in some snow on the ground and blended that upward into the ground cover and also put in some shadow color in front of the ground cover as the light is coming from the right.  Some tweaks in the ground cover and FG and we have:


Ground cover detail

Done very quickly with lots of color blending with brush using expression and the suggestion of winter atmosphere.

OK - going for a walk now - they are predicting some minimal snow 1" or so for tomorrow - however 6-8 inches in the higher elevations.  
SORRY but that really SUCKS - I love to paint winter scenes but I do not - do not - do not like being in a winter climate!!!
Once in the RV our intent is to:


OK - have a great day - make sure you do something for yourself today as well as something for your DW or DH

JR  :>)


Good Morning Blog Buddies,

Well several folks have inquired into my comment about getting run over by a car!  Therefore I have decided to let you guys in on the story.

My parents were in many ways over-protective of us kids.  At some point in time - I seem to remember it was about the time of my being in the 4th grade, I was allowed to walk to school by myself!  OH WOW --- I'm a big boy now!!!

My mother gave me some instructions just prior to my first "WALK ALONE!"  She said "Now remember to count to ten before crossing the street."  They gave you instructions like this back in the olden days!  :>)   However as well intentioned as that was --- what she forgot to say was "and count to 10 LOOKING BOTH WAYS before crossing!"

Long story short I looked to the right - counted to 10 just as I was instructed to do and proceeded to walk out into the street!  BAM-THUD-SCREECH!!!


No friggin surprise I realize now but then - DUH!!!!  Both of my shoes were ripped off during the impact - I got up ran like a crazy person and found a hiding place in the basement of the school.  I proceeded to count my fingers and toes and rub my hands on my head expecting to find a gashing wound spurting buckets of blood!

Longer story shorter - the fellow who hit me had seen me run to the school and of course a search party was organized and after what I remember to be an eternity, they found my hiding place.  I was taken to the hospital - checked out and deemed not to be injured other than pride and a few scrapes and of course shoeless!

Now the good part.  It seems the fellow who hit me or as he testified I WALKED INTO HIS CAR --- owned a shoe store - how lucky can one little kid get!!!!!!

Soooooo longer story shorter - he gave me a new pair of shoes and since I was trying out for little league baseball, he gave me a pair of rubber spike baseball shoes!!!!  It was like I won the lottery!!!!

My parents of course were worried but at the same time happy to have save the cost of new shoes and an added bonus of a new pair of baseball shoes!!!!  :>)

There it is - my story of getting run over by a car.  From that point on everytime my mother told me to do something ------- I question the logic of it and tried to 2nd guess if any instructions had be left out!

Have a good day my friends and stay on the sidewalk!!

JR  :>)

Monday, October 24, 2011


Good morning Blog Buddies,

Well today we start the beginning a our 4th week here in the UNIT ON THE HILL!  Time passes so fast - this means we only ave 4 1/2 months left before we move out of here and fly out to Indiana to pick up our beautiful 31 foot RV!!!!  WOO-HOO!!!!

Well, this morning I did the laundry - Tuesday was my normal day for doing laundry for the past 25-30 years so I decided to mix it up a little and start doing in on Monday.  For me this is what you would call living on the edge - I'm a creature of habit - however that said - when we start RV-ing, we will not be on any kind of a schedule so I need to learn how to be flexible!!!!  Trust me -----From Tuesday to Monday is a big move forward for me!!!!

Today is a beautiful day - bright sunshine - blue sky and a nice crisp 53 degrees at 10:40am.  After I finish this post I'm going for a nice 45 minute walk and check out the hood.  We now live close to the city so if I walk in the wrong direction I'm in the middle of traffic!!!  As a young (stupid) boy I was run over by a car (long story) so I tend to stay away from traffic!!!  :>)

My mind and painting arm is caught up in the colors and scenes of autumn.  We go up into the Sangre d' Christio mountains a lot. During the summer the Aspen trees are all aglow with little green leaves and even tho they bend in the wind, they give the appearance of being straight and strong!  In the autumn, the leaves turn a brilliant yellow, some orange and some light red.  After the leaves all fall off, the Aspens appear to be very frail and seem to bend further in the more gusty winds.  They give the appearance that they need protection.  This is where the mighty pines come in - protectors of the aspens - the pines act as a buffer against the winds and provide some protection to the frail aspens.

This painting is 16 x 12 on heavy linen paper using a palette knife and brush.  It was done very quickly - once again with emotion, expression, gusto and spontaneity of color and form.  Although done with spontaneity - the colors truly represent the colors of New Mexico autumn.

OK - here we go - fast and not a lot of blah-blah-blah!!!

First I put some quick pencil lines to represent aspens and pines.

Working from the FG into the BG, and using my palette knife I put a thick layer of several colors onto the surface of the mighty pine trunks - wait a tad for it to start drying and then using my hair comb I create the texture of pine bark.

Next I use the edge of my palette knife to create bark on the aspen trunks as well as adding some color to the trunks.

OK - the BG and FG is going to go pretty quickly as I want to go for my walk - I'm back on a "health kick" eating better - eating less and getting in some exercise.  My annual checkup gave me some food for thought!!!  I want to lose 10 pounds and get to the point that I can walk very briskly for one hour without feeling tired or stopping on the way for a short rest.  Over the past 7 months with the stress of selling the house, we let our exercise and diet go by the wayside and now it's time to pay the piper!!!

OK - that said - time for some BG and FG and tweaking and generating some ground foliage (clutter) to give the indication of autumn as well as some very faint trees in the distant BG for some sense of depth.

OK - BG done - now time for the FG and a tweak here and a tweak there.

Golly - Gee, Autumn it is and the mighty pines are sentinels with the upcoming winter duty of protecting the frail aspens.

Enjoy the day my friends and go for a walk and enjoy the fresh air.

Until next time -- JR   :>)

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Good Morning Blog Buddies,

Last night we attended a silent auction at the La Fonda Hotel in downtown Santa Fe.  The auction was put on by an organization called CORNERSTONES.  I've mentioned them before - they are an organization devoted to saving and restoring old historic buildings and this is IMHO a very, very good thing.  Each year they have an auction.  Part of that auction is the silent auction of paintings donated by local artists.  Most of the time I donate 2 paintings but this year being a "DOWN SIZE" year getting ready for our RV Adventure, I donated 6 paintings.  The auction was a lot of fun and we met some nice folks - the food was wonderful and we enjoyed our selves very much.

Today being Sunday, is a day of rest - not doing much - just hanging around and taking life easy!!!  We like to practice doing this as we want to become very proficient in this process!!!  :>)

Don't forget Melissa's book and use the following link to check into it and to download it from Amazon E-Books.  YOU WILL LOVE IT - TRUST ME!!!!!!

Enjoy the day my friends.

JR :>)

Saturday, October 22, 2011


That's right folks, you heard it here first. HEY YOU IN THE BACK ROW! You DID hear me, RIGHT???

My DW's book, The Christmas Village, is now available on as an e-book for Kindle. So all you RV-ers who have your little Kindle thingys, YOUR TIME HAS COME.
Here's the link: The Christmas Village E-book for Kindle

Also you with those NOOKIE things, her book is available for download from SMASHWORDS.
Here's that link: The Christmas Village on Smashwords

I can't make it any easier for you people, so, go on now, all of you, go download! HEY YOU IN THE BACK ROW! NO PUSHING! Geez that guy is rude...

Her book has been getting wonderful reviews - and from total strangers no less!
(Read them here: REVIEWS)

And don't forget to watch the very cool book trailer video that is getting rave reviews - can you say VIRAL, people??? YOUTUBE VIDEO

Exciting Times! Happy Reading!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Good Morning Blog Buddies,

I think that perhaps today will be a quiet day.  My DW has a hair appointment this afternoon and I've got to do some research on insurance for the RV.  Several companies have been suggested by our RV manufacturer - such as Progressive, Reliance and of course there are many more.  Not all insurers offer RV insurance and you need to make sure you choose one who has a vast amount of experience in insuring RVs.  I have about 6 places I'm going to check into and try and get ball park estimates.  It is never too early to research something!!

I may start a painting today when my DW goes to the hairdresser as this would keep me out of trouble - not to say that I get into trouble - however I could always fall over and perhaps break something!!!!  :>)

I like my Dr. - however in times of economic down-turns like NOW, one of the first things that people do without is dental or medical services.  Trust me - it's a proven fact!!!!  IMHO providers of services start to come up with "innovative" ways to replace that lost income.  On the other side of the coin and this observation amazes me, being one who enjoys a good meal and an outing - in these economic times one would think that restaurant activity would be at an all time low.  To me, getting my teeth cleaned and a check up every 6 months is more important than a meal in a restaurant.  We just returned from Indiana and without exception the restaurants out there seem to be as busy as ever!   The # of cars outside and the activity inside was just amazing - even during the week!  It is the same here in Santa Fe.

Well that said - I need to eat breakfast!!!!

Later my friends - enjoy the day and Eat to LIVE ------ don't live to EAT!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Hello Blog Buddies,

Well, I had my annual physical this morning - that is always worth a few laughs!  I mentioned to the Dr. that we had sold our home and come April we would be taking off in our 31' RV.  Wellllll. HOLY CRAP was that ever a mistake!!!!!  The good Dr. says "well we'll check out everything today since you are leaving the area!!!"
HOLY CRAP did he ever check out everything - but I won't go into he details as I'm still walking around on my friggin TOES!!!!
He did a balance test - I thought I did great on that - but - OH NO!!!
The good Dr. said "for someone your age (71) you did not do very good.  He then suggests some test that they can give to determine why my balance is not as good as they feel it should be - ( I HAPPEN TO BE VERY HAPPY WITH MY BALANCE!!!) and he adds we can put you into REHAB to correct this condition.  HOLY CRAP!!!!  REHAB - I'm 71 - not 91!!!!!  I say

He did an EKG and some other tests.  When all was said and done we agreed that other than the balance thing (which I question as I may be a bit dippy and unbalanced - however I can stand up without falling over!!! Geezzzzzzz!!!! 

OK - I did another "QUICKIE" today - no smart remarks are necessary!!!!  This time I did a still life - why???  Because I'm the artist and it's my choice :>)

I'm happy to report while doing this painting I only fell over once!!

:>)  HAR-HAR-HAR just kidding - REHAB!!!  What was he thinking?????

OK - very quickly without a lot of explanation as I'm tired from my physical ordeal this morning!

I quickly sketch in an apple and a pear using this time a palette knife.  A fellow that I communicate with via my blog and an RV blog that I met him on said he was glad to see me using a brush again - referring to my painting of yesterday --- so today I used a palette knife - after all, I'm the boss of myself!!!! This piece is
 10 x 8 on sketch canvas

Lots of texture is present by using the palette knife and a lot of paint gets applied very quickly as compared to a brush

I wanted to keep my RV friend happy, so I do a bit of tweaking and refining using a big brush - 1 1/2 inches wide - my Tony Van Hasselt brush  - I love that brush!!

We have the finished piece without a lot of blah-blah-blah - just about 15 minutes of slapping paint on with lots of vigor - emotion- expression with very little regard for perfection!  This is expressive painting - this is fun painting done with a large degree of emotion and spontaneity - the juice of life.!!!

Have a good day my friends and live it to the fullest!

:>)  JR

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Hellos Blog Buddies,

While unpacking my art supplies and setting up my "painting spot" I came across 2 pads of 9x12 containing individual sheets of primed canvas.  HOLY CRAP where did this come from????  I have no knowledge of buying it and I have no idea of how long I've had it.  I'm going for my annual health checkup tomorrow so perhaps I shall mention this memory loss to the DR.  YA - RIGHT!!!!  When I go to the Dr. and he asks how I feel, I always say "I feel great - no problems - no worries - I should not even be here!!!!"  If you tell Dr's anything else you will be x-rayed - poked - stuck and in general jerked about until something is wrong - even if induced by all this man-handling!!!!

So - I continue on from whence I left off.  I said to myself - "SELF" what can you do with this treasure you just found?  Weeeellllllll, these individual pieces of 9x12 canvas are perfect for sketching - and I mean quick - down & dirty sketching.  Every so often I do very quick sketches - some times plein air and other times from my  memory contained in this very mixed up brain of mine!!!! :>)   

These sketches are fun to do and a good way to loosen up - to my way of thinking a painting can never be loose enough - ya gotta leave somethings for the viewer to finish - otherwise - go buy a camera and become a photographer.

That said - which I just said - sketches can also lead into a bigger painting of the same basic scene.  In a sketch you can work out problems - pit-falls and general organization of the scene.

I have a good friend - a professional painter - Tony Van Hasselt - my idol as a watercolorist.  When we lived in East Boothbay, Maine our home/gallery was a 5 minute walk to his home/gallery.  I admit it - I used to stalk Tony - as I say he was my idol!!!
Long story short - one day he gave me a brush - I cherish that brush as it was one that he used when doing his paintings.  It is like the brush is magic - I can feel tingles when I use it and my hand seems to have a mind of its own!  It is like touching a vortex - crazy????? PERHAPS  however none of you out there have touched it soooo-----ZIP YOUR LIPS and try to understand and appreciate what I'm saying! :>)

Any-hooooo I used Tony's brush for this painting and when I say a "QUICK SKETCH" I spent no more than 10 minutes on this - working totally in a wet into wet style with vigor - expression  emotion and no regard what so ever for exact color as this was from memory and as we all know my memory is not all it should be!!!  :>)

This is a photo of the brush - it is a Muslin brush with natural ox hair and the hair is 1.5 inches wide and 1.5 inches long.  It is made in Germany.  Sign painters use very similar brushes in their work.  I love this brush!!!

Other than the wooden portion of the handle and the ox hair, the rest of the brush is COPPER!

Well, as I say this was what is commonly referred to as a "QUICKIE"

HEY - you in the front row - 2nd seat in from the left - that is not the type of "QUICKIE" I'm talking about sooooo as they say on Southwest Airlines when the plane pulls up to the gate --- GET OUT!!!!

What a nerve - and in mixed company too!!!!!

Any-hooooo now that he is gone----- it is a simple landscape - (needs some tweaks here- and thar) but the concept of it is done and could be transformed into a larger painting perhaps 18 x 24 or so.

Until next time my friends - enjoy your days.

JR  :>)

Good morning blog buddies,

Following is a link to an article which speaks to the 31' NEXUS RV that we have contracted to have built for us.

This is a review by MOTORHOME magazine.  Additionally at a recent RV show - which is huge, all the RV manufactures bring their latest rigs to display and show-off.  NEXUS won an award for the 31P which is the unit that we bought.  It is my understanding that NEXUS will be featured on a segment of HGTV in early January.

NEXUS is a new company in the RV market - however - NEXUS is a company run by some very, very savvy and talented RV experts and the units are crafted by professional craftsmen and craftswomen who have on average at least 10 years + of creating RVs.

NEXUS is lead by experts and the units are crafted by highly talented craftspeople.  This is a winning combination and thus far the sales of NEXUS RVs will certainly cement this statement.

Well, things are starting to get back to normal after our move out of our home and into the apartment and then our trip to NEXUS in Elkhart Indiana.  So now we can begin to settle into somewhat of a routine.

I hope to start painting more often now that we are getting settled in so you should start seeing a combination of paintings and RV-ing.

Take care my friends - JR  :>)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Video Book Trailer!

Hey folks, check out the video book trailer for Melissa's -aka- DW's book, The Christmas Village. It's on YOUTUBE, so I want you all to view it a hundred times so it can go viral.  It's so cool. Okay, here it is:


Hi Blog Buddies,

Well, back to reality - did some laundry today in the laundry room on the bottom floor of our UNIT ON THE HILL.  I miss not having our own washer and dryer but as we keep saying to ourselves - IT'S ONLY FOR SIX MONTHS!!!  Actually it is longer as our RV will not have a washer and dryer either.  Oh well - this is good practice for me!

We took some photos of a same size RV ( 31 feet ) as we are having built, so the following pictures are only to give an idea of what ours will resemble.  We are not having the bed in the over the cab section - that will be an entertainment center in cherry wood cabinets and will also provide extra storage.  In the center of this entertainment center will be a 32 inch HDTV with DVD player and surround sound. Therefore we will not have the windows in the over cab section as you see in the pictures.

The cabinets are beautiful - they are hand crafted out of real wood by Amish cabinet makers who live in that area of Indiana.

The living room slide out is 10ft long by 2ft deep

A nice electric awning and of course a ladder to the roof

My DW - Melissa at the front of the Ford 450 V-10

A practice shower

Melissa waiting for lunch at the dinette


Nice comfortable leather couch and there is a leather swivel captain's chair across from it.

All in all it is a beautiful RV, with all the comforts of home, the cabinets in these photos are maple but ours will be a very rich looking cherry wood.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


During the past year my DW, Melissa and I have had a slogan regarding the purchase of our RV.
That slogan was "WE'RE DO'IN IT"

Well-Well-Well -  that slogan has changed to "WE DID IT"

We arrived at the NEXUS RV Executive offices in Elkhart Indiana at 9 am Friday 10/14 and stayed until 1:30 - went to lunch - returned at 2:30 and stayed until 5:30.  During that time period - close to 8 hours, we were taken on a tour of the manufacturing facility and the show room by the President of Nexus.
The President Claude Donati escorted us through the construction of an RV from the time the chassis is delivered until it rolls out the opposite end of the factory as a finished RV.
I have been researching NEXUS RVs for 6 months now and my research showed that they were a strong-well managed company.  It also showed that the NEXUS RV was an extremely well built RV.  Well, after our tour and examining the exterior top to bottom, side to side and the interior top to bottom and side to side, what I observed was:
The NEXUS RV was not only what my researched found it to be BUT - the NEXUS RV was in fact much more than my research showed - it was SUPERIOR to what my research show - it in fact simply stated is, FANTASTIC in every way - a SUPERIOR product - well built with many-many innovative-state of the art techniques & construction processes inside-outside-top-bottom-and sides.
  We met workers at each station of the construction process who had 15-28 years experience in building RVs for other long time RV manufacturers who did not survive these economic times.  The experience level at NEXUS is outstanding.  As Claude explained, they are using "just in time production techniques" - such as the Toyota production model uses - make it in house if you can do it better and more cost effective and outsource when you can't - do not bring in product until you need it.  NEXUS uses local vendors and suppliers - developing strong loyal relationships within the community.  Examples of this are the local Amish cabinet makers who craft the solid wood cabinets and use metal slides - NOT the plastic ones attached with staples.  The solid wood cabinets are constructed with solid tongue and grooved and glued joints.  A local furniture maker produces all the couches, dinette seats etc - what better quality control could one ask for!!!  All inventory is stored inside climate controlled buildings, not piled up outside in a storage area or up against the building.  I have never seen such a well organized production line, not to mention neat and clean.  The entire operation was just unbelievable in terms of organization and the dedication of the workers was amazing.  The workers are not on piece meal so they care about what they are doing and what they are producing - they are not just pushing thru as many widgets as they can in order to get a pay check.  Non-piece work equates to QUALITY! 
Watching the workers assemble their various parts of the whole piece, I'm standing there looking at one-piece fiberglass residential showers, residential microwaves- just to name a few of the quality products used in the process.  The roof for example is light weight STEEL trusses as is the studding with in the walls.  The insulation is rigid foam - so much better than fiberglass bats.  Better insulation and it also adds stability to the wall structure.  The underside of the RV has yet to be rated for R-value but the owners feel it will exceed the industry standard.  The roof is a one-piece fiberglass roof which have very healthy pitch to each side.  There will not be any standing water on these roofs!!!!  The light weight steel used in this innovated production adds but a very small amount of weight to the overall RV.
 I have never seen such a well organized production line not to mention neat and clean.  The entire operation was just unbelievable in terms of organization and the dedication of the workers was amazing.  My DW, Melissa and I have never more happily written a check for a down payment - it was a complete joy to write this check!
In my opinion if you are looking for an RV - one of superior quality and professionally constructed using some of the most innovated processes in the marketplace today, you would be remiss in your search if you did not research the NEXUS product line.
From the owners - Claude Donati and David Middleton (who both have very extensive backgrounds and successful histories in the RV industry), to the professional and talented craftsmen who create this product I do not think you could find a more professional team nor a more professionally constructed product.
We have completed a sales order & agreement for a 31 foot Class C Phantom RV with a living room slide out 10 feet long by 2 feet deep.

Our RV will go into production January 2012 for delivery March 2012.
 Very,very,very exciting!!!!  WE DID IT!!!  

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Hello Blog Buddies,

Just a short hello - we left Elkhart this morning and on the way out we stopped at SHIPSHEWANNA which is a lovely community in the heart of AMISH county near  Middlebury Indiana.  It was very nice - lots of nice shops to go in and my DW got 4 or 5 Christmas presents bought!!!!  Lots of those Amish horse & buggies going up and down the roads - just our kind of place.

From there we continued down the interstate and arrived at our Best Western right off of I-69.  We are a short distance from the Fort Wayne International airport from which our flight will leave tomorrow morning at 6 am for Dallas/Fort Worth.  We then catch a flight from Dallas/Fort Worth to Albuquerque NM and drive back to Santa Fe.

Our journey to find and design our RV is almost over and now we sit and wait for our RV to be built - how exciting is that!!!  We'll be back here around the beginning of March to pick up our RV and drive it back to Santa Fe!

:>)  JR

Friday, October 14, 2011


Good Evening Blog Buddies,

During the past year my DW and I have had a slogan regarding the purchase of our RV.
That slogan was "WE'RE DO'IN IT"

Well-Well-Well - today that slogan has changed to "WE DID IT"

We arrived at the NEXUS RV Executive offices at 9 am today (Friday) and stayed until 1:30 - went to lunch - returned at 2:30 and stayed until 5:30.  During that time period - close to 8 hours, we were taken on a tour of the manufacturing facility and the show room.

I have been researching NEXUS RVs for 6 months now and my research showed that they were a strong-well managed company.  It also showed that the NEXUS RV was an extremely well built RV.  Well, after today's visit and examining the exterior top to bottom and the interior top to bottom and side to side I was surprised to find........
The NEXUS RV was not only what my researched found it to be BUT - the NEXUS RV was in fact much more than my research showed - it was SUPERIOR to what my research show - it in fact was simply stated, FANTASTIC in every way - a SUPERIOR product - well built with many-many innovative-state of the art techniques & construction processes inside-outside-top-bottom-and sides.

We have completed a sales order & agreement for a 31 foot Class C Phantom RV with a living room slide out 10 feet long by 2 feet deep.

Our RV will go into production in January 2012 for delivery March 2012.

Very,very,very exciting!!!!  

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Yo Blog Buddies,

Just a short post -we arrived in Elkhart Indiana this afternoon (10/13).  We had to get up at 3am to get to the airport 2 hours before our flight - which is IMHO a stupid thing to have to do!  The flights were not all the long - Albuquerque NM to Dallas Fort Worth TX and then to Fort Wayne Indiana.  It's not so much the length of the flights as it is the WAITING FOR THE FLIGHTS!!!!!!!

After arriving in Fort Wayne and getting the rental car - we had a 2 hour drive (in the rain) to get to Elkhart.

However ---- tomorrow we begin our long awaited dream of seeking out our RV!!!!  We meet with the manufacturer tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday -- very exciting!!!

We grabbed a quick dinner tonight - Applebee's which we both love - I got the cowboy burger which is one of the best burgers I've had!!!

Soooooo busy day tomorrow and if time permits I shall put up a short post to let you guys in on our progress!!

Later Dudes,

JR  :>)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Hello blog buddies,

Well, after setting up ED I could not resist throwing some paint around.  As you know I was biting at the bit to do so but had to do some things to get ready for our trip to Indiana to design our RV.  So I rushed thru those tasks and found the time to throw some paint around.  Where there is a will --- there is a way!!

A week of so ago we had a dusting of snow at the UNIT ON THE HILL - however up at the ski basin they had a friggin BLIZZARD!!!!  From what I could see - a good 6 inches and------most of it is still visible!!

This is my interpretation of "EARLY AUTUMN SNOW IN THE SANGRES"

It is 10 x 8 on canvas panel and was painted with vigor using a palette knife.  This is painted in an expressionistic style with emotion and of course expression - which is why they call it expressionistic - DUH - see how quickly I catch on!!!!  :>)

Excuse me - you, Sir in the 4th row - you have a question? -----------------------

Good question!!!!  When I have not painted for a while my strokes with brush or palette knife become very hesitant - tentative - my arm does not move as freely and I over think design-composition-color etc etc.  Sooooo that being said ---which I just did ------- I always do a very quick painting using a palette knife and I put no thought into the colors chosen, or to the exacting shapes or positions of objects.

Moving on ---- I did this piece very quickly with gusto, and perhaps an exaggerated movement of the "KNIFE ARM."  In this way I build up my confidence quickly and my hesitation with the absence from the painting process very quickly disappears.

First I throw in a quick sketch and then apply some paint in a very "I don't care" manner.

In addition to a palette knife, when creating pine trees, I slap paint on - 2 or 3 different colors and use my hair comb as a blending tool - it gives great texture.

I now throw in some dark background around the trees as the forest up in the Sangre de Christo mountains is very thick.  I also toss some light orange on the trunks as that is the light side with the light coming from the right - also the yellows/oranges from the aspen foliage has a reflective effect on all that is near them.

Google Blogger - or Google Blooper as I call it is as usual not running very well - so I'm going to speed this up before I lose my efforts in trying to get this posted.  It is worse than Microsoft or as I call it MicroSLOP!

I do tweaks here and there being careful not to create MUD as this is being done wet into wet - I don't like waiting for paint to dry!!!!  I throw in some snow and some shadows on the snow from the tree trunks and surrounding "things" and I toss in some vegetation as this is the first snow so not all ground cover will be covered with snow.

Following is the completed painting with all those things done to it that I mentioned in the above paragraph - pretty COOL ---

I would like to add that ED behaved reasonably well during this painting session.  His attitude has improved considerably since his trip to the "DUMPSTER!"
He did complain once that I was using too much force with my application of paint and he was afraid he might get bruised!!!!  I said "ED---I have to go to the dumpster ---- want to go with me?""
ED said no-no-no JR---I'm cool!!!!

I'll be gone for a few days with my DW and we will be designing our RV

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Hello Blog Buddies,

Well, I finally got off my --- and setup my painting space!!!!!!  Doubt if I get a chance to paint B4 we head out to Elkhart Indiana to seek out our RV - but when I return, watch out - I will be throwing paint around with wild abandonment!!!!

This is my PAINTING SPACE just a portion of a room in our TINY UNIT ON THE HILL but it is plenty of space for me.

The main purpose of the posting is to show ED to you folks --- you remember ED --- part of my plein air team!  ED of course thinks he IS THE TEAM - this dude has a lot to learn!!!!!  Since we moved in, he has been stored in a closet and 4 times he has gotten out of the closet and climbed up onto one of the kitchen counters - I should say THE KITCHEN COUNTER - (small kitchen)

The other day I took him out to the dumpster, showed him the inside of it and actually set him down into the dumpster.  HOLY CRAP - did that ever change his attitude!!!  All I heard over and over again was "PLEASE JR I CAN'T GO INTO THE DUMPSTER - I CAN'T LIVE IN A DUMPSTER - I'M TOO YOUNG AND TOO GOOD LOOKING TO BE IN A DUMPSTER - I CAN'T DO TIME IN THE DUMPSTER - WHATEVER WILL I DO - I'LL BE AFRAID TO SHOWER!!!!!  :>)

Well it now seems ED wants to play MY WAY!!!!!  I did not enjoy doing this to ED (like hell I didn't!!) however he had to be put in his place - I'm the artist he is merely a tool by which I create my art and as I mentioned B4, I have a backup easel - ED does not know this and I'm holding onto that as my ace in the hole!!!

Well anyhoooooo this is ED ------- ED these folks you see out there are my blog buddies and I will only tell you once - treat them with respect!!!!!

OK time to pack for the trip to Indiana to seek out our RV - our new HOME!!!!


Monday, October 10, 2011


Good Morning Blog Buddies,

Well we are starting to pack again - this time it is a carry-on bag for our upcoming trip to Elkhart Indiana to design our new RV!  We have been planning the RV for close to a year now and we have been planning the trip to Elkhart for about 6 months now.  did you ever notice that when you plan something out - the closer it gets the more nervous you get???  I worry about the airplane - I'm not a big fan of riding on an airplane so I start to get all nerved up about the ride.  I also get nerved up at going to places that I've never been - familiarity is very heart warming.  Now all that said once I get on the plane - I'm fine - well I'm OK ----- once we get to where we are going I'm relieved and I'm OK. 
As long as we have been planning the RV, and as long as I've been doing tons and I mean tons of research, I'm getting nervous about the RV.  Are we doing the right thing going out on the RV road full time - did I research everything I could - did I get the right information from my research - did I forget anything that will prove to be important - is a 31 foot long RV going to be too long driving down the road - should we think about a 28 foot instead - WELL all that said I know I've done the best I could and over a year ago when we decided to put the house up on the market and started planning our RV adventure, our slogan was --- WE'RE DOIN' IT!!!!  We also adopted a slogan of " make it easy - keep it simple" and we have been doing just that.  We are the kind of people who once we decide on something we DO IT!!!  We step up and MAKE IT HAPPEN!!  So am I worried - NO - not worried --- just pre-flight - pre-RV purchase jitters - kind of like going to the dentist - you get all nerved up over nothing!

If we forgot something in our plans we'll just figure out how to correct that issue.  Very rarely do we ever say "MY BAD" rather we say "I'LL FIX THAT!"

Sooooooo Wednesday night we drive down to Albuquerque - have a nice dinner at PF Changs -we love the orange chicken with brown rice,  stay at an airport hotel and fly out early in the morning - this is -----------------


More to follow my friends.  You know what they say don't you????

OH------ you don't - well I was hoping you did because I have no idea!!!

Later my friends,  :>)  JR


Sunday, October 9, 2011


Good Morning Blog Buddies,

Well, Sunday is automatically a day of rest for us - we used to sit around and read the Sunday paper and read the travel ads.  These days we sit around drink coffee and write our blog - search the Internet and catch up on email.

Today we are going to a reception for Artists.  Each year here in Santa Fe an organization called CORNERSTONES asks artists to donate paintings for auction to generate funds for their various projects.  CORNERSTONES is a company that saves historic buildings and renovates them so they stay functional and history is maintained.  I really believe in this cause and last year on into this year and perhaps the next few years they are saving a very, very old church here in Santa Fe - one of the oldest.  It is the San Miguel Mission considered by many historians to be the oldest Mission in the USA.

Since we are downsizing getting ready for our RV Adventure, I donated 6 paintings to the auction this year.

Each year a couple of weeks before the auction CORNERSTONES puts on a catered luncheon for all the artists who have donated paintings for the current year.  The luncheon is normally held at some of the most beautiful private properties here in Santa Fe.  I'm talking about multi-million dollar homes with multi-million dollar views.  The owners of these homes are very generous to donated the use of their home for this function. 

The food is fantastic and all of the paintings donated are displayed in the home during this wonderful function.

I have to say that I will miss this next year as we most likely will not be in the Santa Fe area.

Well, got to get my self looking nice for this function and believe me that can take hours!!  :>)

I've had a ponytail for almost 5 years now and it's starting to become "Old Stuff" that being said I'm considering getting a BUZZ CUT!!!  More on that later.

Well my friends - until we meet again - I wish you well.  And remember -------Hmmmm I forget.   :>)  JR

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Good Morning Blog Buddies,

Well, today my DW and I have chosen to take another day of rest - I guess you could say that we are practicing for our activities when we start full time RV-ing come April.  One of the activities we hope to perfect is the art of relaxation and the other activity high on the list is that of napping.  :>)  Hey - you in the back row - left side - I heard that and no we are not lazy do-nothings!!!!  You can leave now you JACKWAGON!!!

Well - thank goodness he is gone - I don't know why people blurt out stuff like that!!!  I'm glad I'm not like that!!!!

OK now back to important things Me and my DW----------------------

We went out to breakfast this morning - there is a restaurant in SF that we have been meaning to try but just never have.  It is call Tecolote and Guy the host of Diners-Drive-ins & Dives did a show from this restaurant in 2007.  I had been told they have the best blue corn pancakes around.  Blue corn can be very, very dry  however I had these this morning and they were perfect - nice and moist and I had blueberries added to them.
My DW had scrambled eggs with potatoes, sausage and a side 1/2 order of french toast. I have to say that my DW makes much better french toast!!!  This was very plain, lacking taste and had NO cinnamon of vanilla added - THEIR BAD!!!!

Well I'll bet that smart mouth person who left the room a while back will be sorry he missed this dissertation!!!!  HEY - you on the right side - don't start in with me!!!!!!!!  Best to zip your lips dude!!!!

OK - now more about us - a restful day is planned (we've earned it) so later this afternoon we'll go to the movies and see THE IDES OF MARCH nice cast and the previews looked very good.

I hope to get my studio setup next week but most likely won't paint much as mid-week we leave for Elkhart Indiana to select how we want our RV built.  There are only a few options that we want so it should be a fun trip - the trick will be not to get carried away like kids in a candy store and pick too many options.  My DW will have to restrain me!!!!
Well, until next post I wish you all happy - healthy days ahead and remember as you go through life - "He who hesitates - is in doubt."  Enjoy life my friends  :>)  RJ

Friday, October 7, 2011


Yes, indeedie, my Blog Buddies,

My DW Melissa Ann Goodwin has published her novel!!!

******The Christmas Village******

Is a BOOK. And the book is available in print NOW on

Please check it out by clicking on this link:

And please tell your friends to tell their friends and so on!

Thank you my friends!  JR  :>)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011



Hello Blog Buddies,

Got quite a bit of rain yesterday and last night - we need it as we are in a drought that has lasted years and years!!!!  I have a fear of rain - yep there is such a thing - google it
"fear of rain" - so I'm a big fan of droughts!!!!  When I say fear ----- when it starts raining real hard, I have to fight not to become a basket case - my fear is sometimes overwhelming.  My DW says I should seek counseling - but as I tell her counseling may teach me how to deal with this fear but the underlying effect would be a new fear of being POOR from spending all our money on counseling!!!!  I'll live with it!!!

Did the food shopping today - a day late but it will take a few weeks to get back into the norm of living since moving.

Tomorrow we are returning to the house we just sold, in order to meet with the new owners and go over some of the items regarding the home and how somethings work etc etc - oh yes and when to put the rubbish out!!!

Our trip to Elkhart Indiana is coming up next week in which we will go out to the RV manufacturer, talk quality and kick some RV ass ---- whoops MY BAD -------------
Kick some RV Tires!!!!!!  I would expect we will sign a contract to have our RV built and ready for pickup around the end of March.

OK time for my yogurt lunch - yes - I'm back on my diet as all this stress for the past 7 months with trying to sell the house has brought about a 10 pound weight gain!!! :>(

Later my friends.    JR  :>)

Monday, October 3, 2011


Hi Blog Buddies,

Well today is Monday and we are about 95% settled in and things are starting to get back to normal.  Melissa went to work this morning at the Yoga Studio and I--------- WELLLLLLLLl it's Monday and as we all know-----Monday is what???  You in the back row --- you are 100% correct it is HOUSE CLEANING DAY!!!!!!  The Unit On The Hill is 1/2 the size our home was and there are no hardwood cherry floors to clean and polish so my house cleaning chore is cut in half.  As a matter of fact much less than HALF!!!

We were suppose to get a 5x7 storage area with the UNIT - but that is not ready yet so I've got snow shovels-lawn chairs and many boxes of odds and ends in the dining room which is suppose to be my STUDIO!!!!!  HOLY CRAP I"M GETTING PISSED!!!!

I'll give them until Wednesday and then my artistic calmness will leave my aging body and I shall go down to the front office and ask PRETTY PLEASE!!!!!!   :>)

I really am a pussycat but I love to pretend to be ornery and crabby and if anyone tells you any differently they need to speak to me directly and can assure you I will straighten them right out!!!!!

I'm biting at the bit to paint!!!  Can you tell??????

We just bought a GPS a Magellan Road Mate Pro 9165T made for RVs.  I'm charging it now and will play around with it tomorrow.  Of course as with all things today it came with a"Quick Install Book-let"  The Booklet is not worth the paper it is printed on as all 5 pages are nothing but CRAP-OLA and provide no instruction what so ever in how to use the FRIGGIN thing!!!  I went up on - line to see if I could print off a User Manual.  I was asked to enter the model # and of course it responded that it had no knowledge of that model!!!!!  The website is just so much more CRAP-OLA!!!  What has happened to companies today - they just don't seem to give a CRAP!!!!

Well I'll tell ya right now if I can't figure it out my DW Melissa will because she has patience and is very smart!!!

OK - I'll check back in with youse guys in a day or two and I hope to be painting again by the middle of next week - as I'm sure you folks are getting real tired of the CRAP I've been posting - although that said I happen to find in QUITE INTERESTING!!!!  :>)


Saturday, October 1, 2011


Hello Blog Buddies,

Well----we declared today a day of REST!!!!

We went to our favorite coffee shoppe ECCO this morning and had a nice mocha and a treat!  We then went up to the Ski Basin and sat in a nice clearing among the pines and aspens and just relaxed!  My DW Melissa proof read the latest draft of her novel and declared it to be ready to publish!!!!  HOW EXCITING IS THAT!!!!!   She will email the publisher and say "PRINT IT DANO!!!!!"

I managed to fall asleep while enjoying the fresh air and my pines and aspens this morning.  I felt totally exhausted after SITTING for about 20 minutes so I guess I needed the sleep.  We have been going NON-STOP since Tuesday - I've never worked so hard in my life (well---once before when I was on KP back in 1959) and I never want to work that hard again!!!!  TRUST ME I WON'T!!!!!!!

My DW stuck in there like a trooper and did more than her share - I think she could see that the physical labor was starting to get to me after so many day's and hours.  This I think gave her a second wind for which I am greatly appreciative!!!  LOVE YA DW!!!!!!!

Well, I feel another snooze coming on so I shall sign off and just rest my eyes!!!!  :>)