February 28, 2011

Four Wheels Move the Body, Two Wheels Move the Soul by Olympias

At 5:00 this morning, I was abruptly woken by a loud clap of thunder...to find one hellious thunderstorm going on outside. Naturally I had to get up and watch! What a light and sound show!!  And naturally...I couldn't get back to sleep afterwards...so I've been up awhile...

Which is okay...because I found that one of my photos, "Heritage" has been included in a new treasury by Olympias! If this treasury doesn't want you to get on your bike and ride...well...nothing will! (I know I certainly would like to get mine out today!!) My thanks to Olympias for including my pic in their newest treasury, "Four Wheels Move the Body Two Wheels Move the Soul." Do check this one out soon!

February 25, 2011

It's the simple things...

"Afternoon" in Italy!

Isn't  there a song out there....I think by the Rolling Stones....that has lyrics that go "you can't always get what you want, but can get what you need"? (Or something like that...) In any case, this happened to me late yesterday afternoon. Feeling gloomy because of the weather and "frustrations in the studio" I checked my Etsy convos before shutting down my computer for the afternoon...and there it was! A convo from my friend, Angela, who lives in Italy and who recently bought my painting, "Afternoon". In her convo, she left a short note about my painting but more importantly attached this pic showing the painting in its new home!

Now let me tell you! My spirits just soared!! Not only knowing where the painting now hangs but also the fact that Angela took the time to send me this picture. Life is good, isn't it!!! Thank you so much Angela for doing this for me. It means a lot.

I hope everyone's weekend is good. We're forecasted for cold, wet weather for the next couple of days...my wife just left for a long weekend with her sister who lives in Virginia...so it will be a quiet weekend inside for me. Just maybe I can make the painting I'm working on do what I want it to do!?

February 24, 2011

A Rainy Thursday

A gray and gloomy day...the mail seemed to be uninspiring...then I found it! Something from Misty! What fun!!! This pic shows the front and back of her collaged card...cool stuff!!

And this pic shows the card unfolded....

On the inside/backside of the card Misty even took the time to write a nice note. Now this is what mail should be like...I do love mail art! Thank you for brightening my day, Misty!!!

The rain just keeps on coming! This past summer and fall we were in an "official" drought...now we are getting too much rain!! More tonight and then over the weekend...several inches possible and with some snow! possible in the morning. Oh well...a good day to work on my paintings and a couple of new projects that I have in mind! Stay warm and dry everyone!!!

February 22, 2011


Talk about a gloomy day! Woke up with all sorts of those little aches and pains that afflict ones body and spirit. Had a bunch of "necessary" chores to run this morning...got them done but they took all my motivation away. It's not that I don't have any fun projects to work on...lots of those...but just can't get motivated today to do any of them! Oh well...maybe it's time to find a good book or an old movie to watch. Thought I'd share this "Classic Peanuts" comic with you. Found it amusing as I'm doing my usual struggle with a new painting right now...

On a fun note, I just read my blog friend, Erika, latest posting about her Hong Kong project. What fun! You need to read this posting at: http://atinyrocket.blogspot.com/2011/02/hong-kong-project.html. Good luck to you, Erika...I hope you make it!!

February 21, 2011

More Mail Art To Share!

More wonderful art keeps arriving in my mail box...this is a really cool thing....to find treasures in amongst all the junk and bills. Makes walking out to my mailbox worthwhile!! Like this one from Aubrey which raises the bar as to what I come up with next! (Which is a good thing...I love a challenge!)

And...this valentine arrived in my mailbox on Saturday...and I'll have to admit I don't know who it is from except Trader Joe's has their heart. This is a very fun postcard...thank you to whoever sent it!!!

The ink has finally dried on my latest batch so I can move on to the opposite side. I hope to get these out later this week....so keep checking your mail!!

February 20, 2011

Sunday Funnies

You know...when I was a kid....yeah, here it comes so get ready to roll your eyes like my daughters do...the newspaper comics were GREAT! Particularly the Sunday funnies!!! Pages and pages of comics that had something going for them. Dick Tracy, The Phantom, Lil Abner, Pogo....just to name a few. Today...hardly worth reading most times. We've all gotten too "politically sensitive". 

There are, occasionally, a comic panel that strikes my fancy...and I clip those to post on my bulletin board. Here are a couple that I've liked. Thought I share them with you...just in case the funnies you read this morning just didn't make it....

February 19, 2011

February 18, 2011

A new treasury to check out!

You're invited to join the Kiva16team by mimxoxo

It is so nice to find someone else who appreciates black and white photography! All my photography friends have gone "digital" and have become enamored with "color". You need to take some time and enjoy the photos in this beautiful treasury...including my pic, "Jar and Books". My thanks to mimxoxo for putting this treasury together and for including my pic!! Check this out at:

February 17, 2011


The sun came out this afternoon, the temperature was close to 70 degrees. Everything else could wait. First blossoms of the season! So what if it may snow on Tuesday....this afternoon was good!!

February 15, 2011

Monday Meanderings

So okay...it's not Monday. I had meant to do this posting yesterday, but just didn't do it. Keep putting it off...other things got in the way....good intentions and all that...

Last week was spent "on the road"...my car needed servicing...doctor's appointment...meeting with the attorney who is handling my father's estate....this and that...nothing else got done 'cause the day's rhythms were out of sync...finally the weekend brought some time but then my oldest daughter came home for the weekend with boyfriend in tow...so much for the weekend!

So...Friday and then Monday brought more Mail Art to my mailbox! This is starting to become more and more fun! Here's what I got on Friday from Erika:

Valentine from Erika
And yesterday, I got this postcard from Felicity:

My thanks to both Erika and Felicity for these great pieces!!

I'm working on a new set of mail art pieces right now using mailing tags as the base. I'm kind of making it up as I go, but they'll be double sided and I'm playing around with glazes and rubber stamps. Could be interesting!!! I'm not going to post any pics of these until I get one side done.

Oh! I also found out on Friday that my painting, "Afternoon" that I sold and shipped to Italy back in the middle of January finally was released from Italian customs and delivered to the buyer! And...the feedback I received from her was wonderful...full of praises for the painting and my talent!!! I needed those types of strokes big time. I have had a new painting sitting on my easel for several weeks now...base coat applied to the canvas and preliminary sketch done...but I just couldn't bring myself to go much further. Hearing from my Italian friend was just what I needed...so I started! Here's a quick snapshot of where it's at right now:

The picture doesn't do a good job showing some of the lines in the sketch and there's really not much going on yet...but it is no longer a "blank canvas"! I'm going to try to do some things I have done before in my paintings...like developing the background more and using a "formal composition" so I'm going to take my time with this. I'll post another picture sometime showing my progress.

Warm weather over the weekend has given a dose of spring fever. The rest of this week promises to me in the 50's and 60's...not quite warm but getting there. The new SI Swimsuit issue was on my local newsstand today...looks like a great season!

So much for my meanderings....time to do some work on my mail art pieces!!

February 9, 2011

Challenges: Cloth, Paper, Scissor's Fabric Swatch Reader's Exchange

"Leaves", David Hayes, 2011

Late last year, after finding out that I hadn't made the cut for one of Cloth, Paper, Scissors reader's challenges, I decided that I was going to enter everyone I could as a challenge to myself...and to push my "envelope" a bit. And I've been doing just that to some success! I was named a finalist in their Artisan of the Year competition for 2011 and just found out that I'm finalist in the "Stencil Garden" reader challenge. I didn't make the cut for their calendar competition but I remain undeterred!

The current challenge, "Fabric Swatch Exchange" was one that I almost didn't do. This involved creating a 18"x36" swatch of fabric, cutting this into 9"x9" blocks to be exchanged with other participants. Now...I usually don't work with fabric...this is something my wife does -- she's a very good fiber artist -- and I just wasn't sure I wanted to tread into this turf. But...what the hey! Why not!??

So...I asked my wife to rummage through her fabric stashes...which was liking asking for blood...but she did it for me! Came up with a section of black fabric and a nice section of burlap. And off I went! 

Taking the black fabric I first sponged printed color blocks using acrylic paints. Then, using a leaf linocut that I had made for another project, I overprinted the color blocks...creating "Leaves" which is above. Once dry, I cut this into the required 9"x9" blocks and shipped it away. Done. That was easy!!

Looking for a real challenge...I taped down the burlap and pondered...what to do with this?? Taking up my brayers and sponges...and printer inks I created a free-form pattern over the entire surface. Now...this proved to be a near disaster as the printer inks were too "tacky" for the burlap and I quickly gummed up the brayer and the sponges with fibers from the burlap. Then...it took forever to dry!! But...finally it did and it was on to the next step.

Going to my stash of papers, I pulled out a sheet of marbled paper that was given to me sometime ago as a gift. Cutting out along some long patterns of swirls, I moved these around until I was happy. Then I glued them down using a wheat paste/PVA combo. Everything was looking good!

What to do next had me stumped...so I took a bit of time to consider. I knew I wanted to use fabric but wasn't sure what. Finally I decided upon some scraps leftover from curtains my wife had made.

Cutting this into strips that reminding me of stalks, I knew what I had to do to finish! First I had to glue these "stalks" down using my glue combo. This created a bit of a mess...but I had a lot of fun swishing the strips down, playing in the glue all the while!

Taking more of the marbled paper, I cut this into flower-like shapes...and using more of the fabric, I cut centers for my flowers. Again, using my glue combo, I put these down on top of the stalks. Once everything was dry, I used a Sharpie marked to add highlights to the flowers. I let everything dry for a couple of more days...cut it into the blocks...and sent it on it's way to Cloth, Paper, Scissors.

"Alice's Garden", David Hayes, 2011

Now...there isn't a "competition" with this challenge...but maybe one of my swatches will be featured in a future issue of the magazine and make it into the "Main Book" of swatches that they'll showcase. Nonetheless...I found that I enjoyed working with fabric...and glad I took on this challenge! If you'd like more information about their challenge, here's the link:

I plan to try again for their Artisan of the Year for 2012...and any other reader challenge they may have. I'm finding these to be a good way to keep me out of my same-old-same old routines!

February 6, 2011

I Have More Mail!

Nothing like getting Mail Art on a dreary, cold Saturday afternoon to cheer a person up! I had just gotten home from the Saturday life drawing class that I have been going to for years and years....we have a new instructor who may or may not be a good thing...too early to tell...and wasn't feeling all that up. Checking the mail, I found Erika's Mail Art! Ignoring everything else in the stack, I had to take in the front of the envelope and then the back. Wonderful!!! Then...very gently so as not to ruin anything, I opened it and found the coolest collage inside!

Very nice!!! Thank you so much, Erika for brightening my day. Getting Mail Art is so exciting. I can't wait to see what might be in the mail tomorrow!!!

Erika has a great blog, atinyrocket that you need to follow...if you aren't already!!!

Love, Hearts and Passion...by MissieRabdau

Here's a big shout-out and thank you to MissieRabdau for including my print, "I Love You" in her newest treasury. You need to check this out at Love, Hearts and Passion for some great Valentine's Day gift ideas!

February 4, 2011

Keeping Things in Perspective...

"Pensive in Green"

Just over a year ago (January 15th, 2010 to be exact...) I left teaching after 14 and half years. Just had enough...knew it was time to do something else. That something else was to allow myself to be an "artist". Why not...I've been in advertising, in banking, in education...why not...art? But that's another discussion and I digress...
It has been an interesting year and while I have had my doubts, the beginning of this year has shown that my efforts are paying off. My "art" has had me named one of Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine's finalist for their Artisan of the Year award and I just found out that a small piece I submitted to one of their "challenges" was also accepted as a finalist. I also just learned that another collage will be featured in a zine sometime in the future...details to come. So my work is starting to get some recognition. My Etsy sales, while still not where I'd like them, are starting to pick up so that's giving me hope as well. (I don't ever expect to make a living from my Etsy sales...just enough to cover my costs...) My sale yesterday of a small painting, "Pensive in Green" is particularly satisfying. It's not what I made on it...which wasn't much...but the fact that it sold two days after I listed it! Somebody is actually looking at my shop!!!

In any case, I'm feeling pretty good about becoming an artist. I might just start admitting to this when people ask what I'm doing now...

Last night, feeling good from the sale of my painting among other reasons, I settled into my favorite chair to start reading the latest issue of Art in America. This is a magazine I've read for a couple of years now to help give me a perspective on the art markets around the world. Now granted, most of the discussions are about the high-end shows, auctions, and galleries...but still interesting. So I'm enjoying the articles and the ads...and as always happens...I come upon an ad from one of the auction houses showing various pieces that will be offered in an upcoming auction. My eye was drawn to a watercolor painting. Now this turned out to be a small work...something like 6x9 inches in a very abstract style. Nice colors...nice composition. Then I looked at the "estimated price"....$60,000 to $90,000! Wow!  

Now...the artist wasn't someone I recognized...and I won't show my ignorance by saying who it was...but $60,000 for a 6x9 inch watercolor? The painting I just sold, also a watercolor, measures 8x8 inches and I sold it for a mere $8 (plus $2 s/h).  One wonders...but as my wife reminded me, it's not what you do, it's who your  agent is. I guess. Maybe someday "Pensive in Green" will fetch $60,000 at auction. Maybe I'll be around to see it happen. In any case, I will continue to paint....even for $8.00. It's worth it.

February 2, 2011

Mountain Range & Mist

"Mountain Range & Mist" by Kim Mclaughlin, 2010

Venturing out to my mailbox yesterday in the freezing rain, I muttered to myself about how it was hardly worth it as I sorted through the bills and junk mail...until I found...Mail Art!! There it was with it's Tampa, FL postmark...an envelope from Kim Mclaughlin inscribed with a "Happy Mail Art" greeting on the back flap. Inside... a wonderful painting by Kim. To say that this instantly brightened my day would be an understatement. Isn't it funny how getting something wonderful in the mail can just change the whole tone and tenor of one's disposition. Her painting certainly did this for me! Thank you so much, Kim. This painting is fabulous!!!

Kim's paintings can be seen both on her blog and her new website...you do need to check both of these out at: http://happylittletreesstudio.blogspot.com and http://www.happytreesstudio.com 

Thanks again, Kim for your wonderful piece of Mail Art!!

February 1, 2011

Bananas in a Blizzard

Snowstorm No. 4

The big buzz around Cincinnati over the weekend was the impending winter storm. Would we get hammered or would it just be an icy rain event. Looks like that the "Cincinnati effect" worked and all we're getting is icy rain, rain, and then maybe some snow. Now...Chicago...that's something else! My brother and his family live up there...my neice posted on her Facebook page..."bring it on!!" (Like her attitude...) So when I checked my Etsy activities this morning and found that one of my photos was included in this fun treasury I had to smile. Talk about having the right attitude about it all!!

My thanks to Meiniac for including my photo, "Snowstorm No. 4" in their newest treasury, "Bananas in a Blizzard". You have to check this one out...it's too much fun to past up!!!