Tuesday, December 02, 2008

finished portrait painting

portrait ( with lolli'), 2008

30" x 30", oil on canvas

I finally finished my portrait. Sometimes my method of painting is difficult in that I want to continually work on something that requires a "drying period". The other part is that I have to visualize the end result though a series of seemingly unrelated glazes. Its like working on a puzzle where I know there's a picture there, but I have to put pieces in a certain order before I start to see the end.

I feel now its okay to start pulling out my Christmas albums. They were pushing the Christmas thing the day after Halloween ( Andy Williams floating in the air next to the 1/2 price Jack O Lanterns?).

One thing I do look forward to in the holiday season is the Rankin / Bass stop-motion Christmas movies. Paul Frees is one of my favorite voices ( he also did voice work with William "Cannon" Conrad on The Whistler radio show ). Pin It Now!

Monday, November 24, 2008

portrait painting part 5

This is my portrait with the shirt "sketched in" and the hair with more detail. I'm using a Maroger medium for this painting and its taking a little more time to dry. I think the humidity is screwing around with it.

I was watching ( well, listening to it) to The Road to Utopia while I was painting. There's a line that Bob has that makes me laugh every time. In this "Road" movie, the movie starts with Bob finally getting Lamour in the future ( they have bad grey wigs and make-up). As they're getting ready to go to bed, Dot hears a familiar singing outside ( from Bing... presumed dead), and she say's, " do you hear that, Chester ( Bob )? ". Bob's line: " Hmmm ... yeah, who'd be sellin' fish at this hour?". Pin It Now!

Friday, November 21, 2008

portrait painting part 3 ...and 4

This is a little more on my portrait. The hair is kind of "sketched in" at this point ( the underpainting is showing through more than it will be in the finished work).

This is a little more done with the background painted in. I let a little underpainting come through to warm up the tones. When everything dries a little, I'll get a little more aggressive with my glazes.

Okay, part of my painting process involves listening to music or... old time radio shows. One of the absolute best is one called SUSPENSE. Now some of these stories are pretty crappy in a Shakespearean sense, but listening to some of my favorite stars belt this stuff out is fantastic. Cary Grant, James Mason ( Captain Nemo and Barlow's "keeper" from 'Salem's Lot ), DeForest Kelly ( Yes, "Bones" does one too), and the king...William Conrad ( Cannon). You can click here and listen to all of these shows for free. Pin It Now!

Monday, November 10, 2008

November Challenge

Jelaine Faunce

"Global Warming", 2008

6" x 6", oil on hardboard panel

M Collier

"ICY" , 2008

6" x 6" ,oil on hardboard panel


"Penguin and a Joker", 2008

6" x 6" , oil on hardboard panel

This little wind-up penguin guy was the pick this month by M Collier. My first inclination was The Penguin ( the Burgess Merideth one ) and his pals...Caesar Romero as the Joker. This one was a little minimal for me. I am drawn to more of a thicker brushy style lately, but I think my execution is always different form what I visualized. The Joker card is from my set when I was a little kid ( '66 Topps). Pin It Now!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Portrait Painting part 2

This is the underpainting for my portrait. The figure will be monochromatic in this painting ( similar to my larger charcoal drawings). This neutral kinda leans toward the warm side.

I've been listening to my Yes albums in my studio lately. I had a little touch of the feeling I had when I was a kid , and would draw pictures at home and listen to my records. I wore the grooves off of some of them ( Spike Jones' Omnibust and The Coaster's Greatest Hits come to mind). Pin It Now!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Portrait painting

This is the under-drawing for a portrait I'm working on in a series for a show in March. I tend to be "sketchy" in the drawing ( I like to get to the action quickly). The next step will be a glaze over the entire painting which will obscure some of the drawing, but give me enough info to build on. Alla Prima ( painting that's done all in one shot ) has an immediacy that adds a real element of life, but glazing layers of paint allows for a more subtle tonal range ( at least for me). Pin It Now!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Iron Pear commission

"iron pear", 2008

12" x 12", oil on hardboard

private collection

This was an interesting commission piece that took some noodling around with to figure out. The idea was to join separate elements ( pears and iron) within the parameters of the fusion of two people ( and the little guys that followed). When I was painting the smaller pears I kept fighting the urge to make them alike. As I was "nearing the finish line", I ended up removing all of the little pears and thinking in terms of children. The "revelation" that nobody's kids are exactly alike ( with the exception of the Village of the Damned ) is one that I feel slightly stupid about now. Pin It Now!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

tomato plant

"tomato plant" ,2008

6" x 6", oil on hardboard panel

private collection

This is the first one of my tomato can series. I actually transplanted the little plant to this can a couple months ago and it took off. I was at my local "home store" ( they always say that on This Old House...even though Lowe's is a sponsor) and it was an impluse buy. I like all that little crap they have at the checkout. My favorite products-that-never-should-have-been-made-things are usually there. My current fave is the toothbrush that plays music. As if to say, "at no point in my busy day will music not be a part of my life...AT NO POINT!! Do you HEAR me?". I realize that it can be somewhat of a challenge to get a 4 or 5 year old to brush his/ her teeth, but this was an adult toothbrush. Do I really need to hear the Black Eyed Peas perform "My Humps" while I brush my teeth? Pin It Now!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

bit O honey... bees

There's some chat about the fact that the supercollider in Geneva could cause a black hole or some sort of other physical anomaly . Maybe this could unravel the fabric of time and space, and thus open up a pathway to alternate dimensions ( see "supersymmetric string theory". Things could be like the Star Trek episode "Mirror Mirror" where we are transferred to an alternate universe where we would meet our "alternate" selves. I imagine that my "Evil Otto" would:

- wear lots of yellow gold jewelry

-listen ONLY to Folk music

-wear sleeveless shirts ( like evil Kirk did) or have a little well-groomed beard ( like evil Spock did)

I romanticize my evil counterpart, but more than likely I end up just being the same guy ( with a great head of hair... this would be the "evil" part).

"bit O honey... bees", 2008

6" x 6", oil on gessoed panel

private collection Pin It Now!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

pixie stix commission

"pixie stix", 2008

12" x 12", oil on gessoed panel

private collection

This is a commission I recently completed. I had a problem finding Pixie Stix to begin with, but another issue was that the label had changed from when I was a kid ( we can thank the good folks at WONKA candy for that). Wasn't there some kind of elf guy on the label? I also added back the flavors that WONKA candy removed ( they have it down to three).

While I paint, I like to have either music or a movie playing while I work ( the screen isn't in my view, but I like to hear it). I was watching / listening to one of my favorite movies Our Man Flint. I know its a spy spoof in a sea of those kinds of movies, but James Coburn is fantastic as the super cool Derek Flint. One of the highlights is when he actually "speaks" dolphin. Also the awkward fighting is great ( imagine falling down the stairs...with another person). Awesome!

The best part is the music ( Jerry Goldsmith... This is a great OMS to have in any record collection). Leslie Bricusse actually wrote lyrics to "Your Zowie Face"? Nelson Riddle covered both the Flint theme song and "Your Zowie Face" ( one of my favorite songs ever! )

Oh, and he lives with three women that share him ( and oddly have no jealousy issues whatsoever). See? Super spies even have move evolved interpersonal relationships than "regular" people. That's why they're called "super" spies.

Here's a taste:

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Sunday, October 19, 2008


I remember cutting the grass at my Mom's house when I was 13 listening to Candy-O on my 14 lb Sony Walkman. Even then, I thought it was cool being able to listen to the song I wanted to listen to as many times as I wanted. It took a while to convert to the CD from vinyl ( and cassettes... which I never liked but...). Now, I'm getting the feeling that the push is being made towards MP3.

No more album art?

I thought that I was "settling" when I was getting the japanese mini-album versions of my favorite LPs ( there are some spectacular versions of the ELO catalogue).

-Fun Fact: The soundtrack to Xanadu has on the actual record label a "ELO side" and a "ONJ side". ONJ being Olivia Newton John. You don't get that sort of thing with an MP3 download.

"candy-o", 2008

6" x 6", oil on gessoed panel Pin It Now!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

October Challenge

otto lange ( me)

"trick AND treat", 2008

6" x 6" , oil on hardboard panel

private collection

M Collier

"greed", 2008

6" x 6" , oil on hardboard panel

Jelaine Faunce

"like cats and dogs"

6" x 6" , oil on hardboard panel

For the October challenge we ( M, Jelaine, and I...this time we were sans Neil) picked the pumpkin. I love carving them, but I get the most satisfaction out of the "traditional" triangle eyes / "Sleepy Hollow" mouth.

I have to say, I always think of the 1958 Disney The Legend of Sleepy Hollow during the Halloween season because...Bing was our narrator! "Ichabod...Ichabod Crane" ( Bing's voice was so low that only certain small animals could hear it in parts of the movie).

My little niece's elementary school has banned Halloween and substituted it for a "Fall Festival" in an effort "not to offend certain religious persuasions". Okay, I live in the "deep ( this is debatable) South", and the "word on the street" is that Halloween is...yes, "the Devil's holiday!".

Okay, I go out of my way not to discuss religion or politics, but seriously!

Really? The Devil ( an actual guy ) has some maniacal plan that hinges on children dressing up like "Hello Kitty" or "SpongeBob" and going door-to-door and asking for candy? Really? Grown-ups (people who operate motor vehicles and vote for Presidents) believe this? Really?

The only argument against Halloween would be that you teach your children that its okay to disguise yourself and pander for food ( incidentally, that other people have touched...when you weren't looking ).

Happy Halloween!!

Mine is sold, but contact the other artists for info on purchasing their work. Pin It Now!

Monday, October 06, 2008


The Adventures of Superman T.V. show from the mid 1950's is my version of "comfort food". There's a minor problem. Then, after much silly behavior by Lois and Jimmy, Superman comes in and fixes it. This painting is actually a little version of one that I was actually going to paint for myself ( eventually...).

How is it that every villain in contemporary cinema has a mastery of the martial arts equal to the skill of the hero? Not only is this totally retarded, but very unsatisfying. Ben Gazzara was actually a real challenge to Swayze in Road House? Road House being one of those truly exceptionally bad movies that you save for "special occasions". Some highlights:

-great dialogue where the gorgeous blonde female doctor marvels at the extensive wounds ( that the guy sewed up himself...) of an incredibly attractive male professional bouncer/ bar-straightener-outer-guy.

-scenes of the same guy doing tai chi outside while communing with mother nature ( and glaring at the villian across the lake).

- blind musician Jeff Healey "senses" Swayze through the sound of his fighting ( some guy actually wrote that scene down on paper). Healey also divulges to the audience that Swayze is "known" for his bar bouncing skills throughout the U.S. ( and I imagine parts of Canada).

The stars aligned when the writers of Road House penned this 1989 classic. Also, we get acting from Elvis Memphis Mafia alumni Red West ( this is his MySpace page...and coincidentally also the reason why I do not have one), Sam Elliot, and that guy from Emergency!

I realize that the first part of this little writing and the second part have very little to do with each other ( well, other than the fact that they are totally self-indulgent ramblings...).

However, I'm right about Road House.

"metropolis", 2008

6" x 6", oil on gessoed panel

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Tootsie Roll...There's more than one way to skin a cat

Sammy Davis Jr. sings EVERY SONG like its an epic! Like its gonna be the last song every sung by anyone...ever. His "The Lady is a Tramp" is, in my mind, the ONLY version. What every happened to the "triple threat" ( actor, singer, and dancer)? Is that what Richard Gere is supposed to be now?

Last week my little Chiquita got kicked off of a reputable online auction site due to its "mature themes". I suppose you don't need to be Freud to find something in naked lady and banana . To be honest, that composition came together kind of accidentally.

Can you take little children to major art museums to see renaissance artwork? Seriously, are a couple of nipples going send anyone into some sort of sexual whirlwind of debauchery? Aren't "grown ups" the one's cruising the internet for oil paintings anyway ( I haven't sold a single painting to any children yet...). Is it stupid to end every sentence in a question? This brings to mind Harvey Korman in Blazing Saddles when he looks at the camera and says " why am I talking to you?". Man, I really miss him!

Whatever ( this seems to be the only word to use anymore when you throw your hands up and give in...).

This week...I use ribbon to conceal the infinite feminine delights displayed. Yeah, I get it, Hitchcock movies are great due to what you can't see and what you imagine, but...c'mon.

Oh, has anyone ever needed to "skin a cat". Even stranger, has anyone ever needed more than one way to "skin a cat"?

"epic", 2008

6" x 6", oil on gessoed panel

private collection Pin It Now!

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Word on the street ( or word in this book ) is that the banana as we know and enjoy today will become extinct. I'm a big fan of the banana both as a food and as a cool aesthetic natural sculpture for kitchen decorating for the fiscally conscious.

Orginally, I was going to name this one "banana hammock". This would have been a literal interpretation as opposed to the stylish alternative to male novelty undergarments.

"chiquita", 2008

8" x 8", oil on gessoed panel

private collection Pin It Now!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Candy Stripe

When there is candy on someone's desk in a little bowl or something... is it rude to take one? I always thought it was sort of an "ice breaker" to show that you're comfortable enough with yourself that "Hey, I'll have one of those". I swear, I ALWAYS get the look. You know, the look like, "that candy is here for other more important people!!" I never know that I'm usually not one of those people. Ignorance is bliss.

However, I've noticed the converse is true when candy is placed about in a public place. Chili's, Friday's, Olive Garden or one of those always has the little dish of Starlight Mints by the door or at the register. I love watching people navigate that situation. "Yeah, I'll have mint...or six".

Right? If its free...take a lot of it. Do you think Cary Grant took complimentary mints by the handful at The Olive Garden? Actually, now that I think about it, I'm not sure that the The Olive Garden would have been the kind of place that Cary Grant would be "kickin' it".

"candy stripe", 2008

6" x 6", oil on gessoed panel

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Four paintings one subject

This is a little side project I was asked to participate in with 3 other artists ( a "moresome" of painting). These talented artists include Jelaine Faunce, M Collier, and Neil Hollingsworth. We were each given an object and 30 days to make a little painting. This is what we came up with ( hint: mine is the one with the white rabbit in it).

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

food stamp

This is an actual mental image from my childhood ( which also illustrates what a little moron I was). "What? They really have special stamps for mailing food?".

My parents and grandparents used to say someone was "on the dole" or someone was a "poor soul". Right after WWII, my great grandparents would take people in who were "transients" looking for work. My great grandmother Lil' put and end to that when she came home one night to find my great grandfather dancing in the living room with a lady "transient".

Another post WWII story about my great grandmother was that she replaced her front porch light with a red bulb because she "thought it was pretty". After several "transients" showed up looking for the "lady of the house", the red bulb was promptly replaced with the original white one. Sting would pen his classic Roxanne 40 years later.

"food stamp", 2008

6" x 6", oil on gessoed panel

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Slinky (the commission who cried wolf) $1.00 auction

This is an example of why my Dad gave me the very good advice of "get the money up front!!". This is the first commission where the guy stiffed me. So...I'm starting this painting off a $1.00...

When I was a kid, my dad used to drive to some subdivision in the middle of the night in Atlanta to dump garbage on somebody's front lawn. I remember the story being told to me later that "that guy screwed me otta three grand!!". I think this random garbage dumping went on for a few years. We reap what we sow...and so shall we reap, baby!

I suppose there's something to be said for a certain amount of effort and dedication involved in holding a grudge. This also illustrated to me that anger requires a certain amount of energy. Energy that I need for other things.

"slinky (homemade)", 2008

10" x 5", oil on gessoed panel

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

fruit loops 36" x 36" commission

Here's the underdrawing of a commission for a "really big" bowl of fruit loops. In this pic we get a little peek into the sloppy work habits of Otto. I tend to "tidy up" in the painting and have a loose sketchy drawing for larger pieces.

The interesting thing is the chair. This just might be the very chair that a certain Dan Williams may have used to fight crime in a certain fictional branch of the Hawaiian state police that ONLY answered to the Govenor ( does every state have this?).

One would have to watch an episode to see the actual chair. Hint: its in his little office ( with no door , I might add ).

Oh, season five Y'all!! In season five we get the "V for Vashon" series ( I totally remember this being a BIG deal for my parents when I was a kid), Danno shoots another child, and we get Duke ( Steve pronounces it "DEE-yuke" in one syllable...amazing). Pin It Now!

Monday, August 11, 2008

slinky (homemade)

I was in Lowe's yesterday ( returning items for a project that seemed like a "great idea" at the time). The music they have in my Lowe's is FANTASTIC! I actually could have been out in 2 minutes, but they were playing so many good songs I couldn't leave. Hits like:

-Supertramp's The Logical Song

-Kenny Roger's The Gambler

-and...Chicago's searchin'

Searchin' was actually playing while I was at the register, and it was the end part where everything goes really symphonic and there's a great drum lick. I was so into it that I peeped out the "searchin'" part in the high-sweak-annoying-Cetera voice. Just a little peep. Then, this is the weird part, the cashier says NOTHING. I mean it was kinda subconscious and kinda not, but I also did it like 18 inches away from her face REALLY LOUD. All I could think of to say was "you like Chicago? ... There awesome, huh?"

She looked me like I was retarded and said "$2.21 is your change, thank you for shopping at Lowe's".

There was No Reply at All...

"slinky ( homemade)", 2008

10" x 5", oil on gessoed panel Pin It Now!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Lydia the Tattooed Lady - commission

This is a commission that I just finished and I actually took a few pics while I was working.

The person only specified an interest in a tattooed figure. I, obviously, thought of At The Circus ...right?

"Lydia the Tattooed Lady ", 2008

6" x 6", oil on gessoed hardboard

private collection

I'm finishing up some larger commission and gallery pieces and I'll have some new auction pieces up soon. Pin It Now!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

"baby what a big surprise"

One time a guy asked me if I "liked Chicago". I said "do you mean the city or...?" and then I did a little fast high pitched trumpet noise thing with my mouth. He was talkng about the band. We both agreed that Chicago was cool up until the A.C. ( after Cetera) period. Chicago is actually one of my "tools to annoy" with. Doing the trumpet noise thing to the tune of "Twenty-five or Six to four" is one of the more effective tunes.

To be honest, I always like Chicago ( the city and band...with Cetera). I have a penchant for 70's "lite rock" also know by some as...crap. I like a little Gordon Lightfoot, Little River Band, Doobies ( yes, and some solo Mcdonald), and of course the one that I take the real beating for...Ambrosia. Another one that I like ( and like to make fun of) is David Gates and Bread. "I'd like to make it with you"? Good and bad...but mostly bad.

I'm afraid that in my quest to understand my enemy ( Al "year of the cat" Stewart) that I've been seduced by the dark side of AM rock. You win this round Terry Jacks!

"baby what a big surprise", 2008

6" x 6", oil on gessoed panel Pin It Now!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

black and blue

I never watch TV just to pass time ( mouth open, bag of Cheet-Os, etc). I usually prefer DVD collections of TV shows. I either :

-use it for a little backround noise while I'm painting

-use it to deliberately make fun of a particular show ( this is often best with a group).

-Or ( and this is the best one) I use it to reunite with an old friend.

My current "old friend" is Cannon . Paramount screws you a little by selling these in 1/2 seasons of roughly 12 episodes ( they figure you'll take less of a financial "risk" if you don't shell out for a whole season), but its totally worth it. Its one of the reasons I work hard. Its fantastic!

I'll go into Frank Cannon later, but I have to say that seeing 1971 in all of its desaturated glory was thrilling. He drove a silver Lincoln Mark IV ( with cool red leather interior) that was roughly 37 feet long. You get to see Tom Skerritt sans moustache and Boss Hogg sans a redneck accent. Awesome!

I love William Conrad from radio shows ( He did a great one where he was a cowboy that had to defend his ranch against a swarm of flesh-eating ants), but Cannon is his masterwork. He uses his fat in an almost charming ( and disarming ) way. He uses a Judo chop to incapacitate his foes AND...he scuba dives.

Here' the best part ( and it gets better and better every time you hear it!):

"black and blue", 2008

6" x 6", oil on gessoed panel

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

French Kisses

I remember when I was like 10 or 11 my parents took me to see "a big T.V. star" at the world congress center in Atlanta. I also remember two women getting into a physical fight over someone "cuttin' in line" while we were waiting. A couple years before, my parents had taken me to see Darth Vader. Most of you may not know this, but the real Darth Vader has a thick southern accent, "whut's yore naame littul bouy?". And see, I had always though that David Prowse was an Englishman. We live and learn.

I was always skeptical when we went on these "star" jaunts after the hillbilly-Vader debacle, but the fight got me kind of excited. Actually, it turned out to be another version of hillbilly-Vader only in a policeman's uniform: Sonny "Enos" Shroyer. There is no real point to the story other than my childhood had some periods of minor disappointment and that people will fight over anything.

Oh, the French word baiser in my picture is in the noun form. A common mistake that people make when using baiser is that they use it in the verb form. This can make for some occasional "confusion", but often enhances the meaning.

"french kisses", 2008

10" x 5", oil on gessoed panel

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008


I was at the gas station this morning, and two guys in a truck pulled up to the pump next to me. When the two got out ( one to go inside and the other towards the pump) the music from inside the truck was so loud it would have killed a small animal.

Okay, my questions are:

-Were these two guys having a conversation through the use of screaming ( awkward and frankly, a little weird)?

-Or, were these guys sitting in silence listening to the music at this level ( even more weird and frankly, a little stupid)?

Trix is one of my favorite cerals. A few years back they changed from the little multi-colored balls to a shape that represented each "fruit" of the corresponding color. I never understood why, but they've since gone back to the little balls.

"trix", 2008

6" x 6", oil on gessoed panel

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Monday, July 07, 2008

"good morning... fruit loops"

My mom was fairly militant about breakfast cereal when my sister and I were kids living at home. My mom is the original mom who "likes Kix for what Kix has not!". Occasionally, a Frosted Flake or Cheerio would grace the cupboard, but usually there was an element of bran present. I know she was looking out for us in a loving mommy way, but c'mon man... Grape Nuts?

One of the perks of being a semi-adult is the ability to select one's breakfast cereal. Most of the ones that I now select involve a rabbit, toucan, leprechaun or captain. Seriously, if you read the ingredients on the boxes, the margin of sugar in the fun-time vs. bleghhhh ones is small.

Okay, I'll eat an apple afterwards, but the captain sails with me in the morn'.

"good morning... fruit loops", 2008

6" x 6", oil on gessoed panel

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Monday, June 30, 2008


Here's one to go on the list of "things I could never actually see myself buying" : Hello Kitty Band-Aids.

And this would be an example of someone possibly , shall we say, "over analyzing" the previously mentioned item.

You know...these Hello Kitty Band-Aids do, in fact, make that cut feel a little better. Thanks...( Hello ) Kitty!

bruised, 2008

6" x 6", oil on gessoed panel

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Friday, June 27, 2008


The inclusion of children in my life has greatly enriched me emotionally, psychologically and intellectually. One great example ( and this is usually family-specific...which makes it even more special) is the extension and enhancement of your vocabulary with respect to the first words that the kids start using. Some of my favorites are pee-pop ( AKA popsicle ), bloo-bee ( blueberry) and my favorite...straw-bee. The funny thing is that as the kid grows up and starts speaking with more clarity, you feel the need to continue using the kiddy versions of certain words. "Uncle Otto...you don't have to say straw-bee anymore".

Man, I felt like Iron-Eyes Cody on the side of the road after having some car throw a bag of Burger King at me.

Actually, I invariably end up using some of these words when I speak to adults. "Work-job" is one I'm not giving up. This is a word that my little niece applied to anything that you would tell her "had to be done". The great thing about about her word "work-job" is that its very apt in the way that it intensifies ( by doubling it -"work" AND "job") the idea of doing something that sucks. True that, baby!

straw-bee, 2008

8" x 8", oil on gessoed panel

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Apricot ( nocturnal)

Actually, this being "the peach state" and all, its a very rare occasion that I do get a decent peach in the grocery store. Apricots are worse. So, when I'm going through the checkout, I'm usually more focused on Mr. "paper or plastic" than on the person ringing up my stuff. I always have to rifle through my bag to get my more delicate items ( apricots, raspberries, origami sculpture...) out from under the heavier ones ( gallon of milk, bag of rock salt, anvil...). Several times, the bagging person looks at me like I stole one of his kidneys when make any "suggestions" toward his trade.

The other thing I don't like is the whole "would you like this bagged" thing. If I buy $200.00 worth of grocery items, I'm gonna need a way to get it out of the place. And, I use the little bags for a lot of little household things. Its not like I'm running to my local wildlife preserve and throwing all of my plastic grocery bags directly into a stream. Maybe I'm reading too much into the grocery store experience.

apricot ( nocturnal), 2008

6" x 6", oil on gessoed panel

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Peach Tee

I am a really bad golfer and I'm okay with it. I think my crappy golfing bothers the people I play with more than me. I see it as an opportunity to wander around lush landscaping with somewhat of a purpose ( "I MUST get the ball into that hole!!"). There's drinking of beer involved, and you get to drive a cool little car. I think others take it a little more seriously.

I love it when the ranger ( this is denoted by some guy who generally wears a hat that say's..."RANGER") come's by in his little cart to tell us to "Hurry up!" or "you guys need to tone down the language!!".

Thanks, "Dad"!

I also love the onslaught of little "tips" and "lessons" from EVERYONE with a bag of clubs. Some guy makes it on the green ONE stroke ahead of you and all of a sudden he's Fuzzy Zoeller?

Another favorite is when I hit a bad shot into the woods or into a lake ( on every hole ), I'm dropping another ball. This always gets the "Hey, didn't you already use your Mulligan?". The usual response is ( in the same tone as the person asking ) "Yes, Mr. ScoreMaster...I have...and...I'm going to use another one. I'm probably going to use one on EVERY HOLE.".

As bad as I am, I love playing with my uncle Rocky. I remember one summer in Ohio on a pretty nice PUBLIC course ( Yes, there's a difference), we were riding in the cart to our next shot. I noticed that there was a guy in the woods, another fishing one out of the lake with a stick, and a guy driving past us going the other direction looking for his ball. I gave him a puzzled look and before I could get out a word, he said ( and this is one of my favorite quotes on golf ) "Man, don't feel bad...everybody sucks!".

Another funny golf thing ( funny to me anyway) from Rocky is when you screw up a putt, he often says "Nice Read!!...Robert Reed!".

It just occurs to me that 90 % of the things in my "arsenal of funny" are things that only I find funny. "Robert Reed" doesn't come across as a real thigh-slapper in print.

peach tee, 2008

6" x 6", oil on gessoed panel

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Sunday, June 08, 2008

raspberry sky

My sister and I used to spend the summer at my great grandparent's ( Jack and Lil's' ) house every year. They had a wonderful garden that we would pick fruits and veggies to eat for dinner every night. We would also pick blackberries and raspberries out of the neighbor's yard. His name was Joe Simms.

At the time ( early 1980's), Joe Simms was a 75 year old retired "carpenter". He smoked 200 cigarettes a day. He was about 5'7" and weighed about 94 pounds, and he wore the same dirty "wife-beater" undershirt with dress pants ( also dirty) every single day of the year. He was a carpenter and I assume his skill at his trade could be determined by the fact that he had roughly four fingers and a thumb remaining. He would hold his cigarette butts ( I say "butts" because I never saw him hold one over 2 cm long) between his thumb and pinky. To top it all off, he was a complete and total jerk. Always yelling at me, my sister, and my cousin to "get outta my Goddamn yard!!". I was like 10 or 11. This guy was a real cartoon character.

In my family, there is a thing called...a "Joe Simms" story. There are a million funny ones. Stories like the time he rode through the Wendy's drive-thru with his riding-mower because he had his driver's license taken away. The funny part is not the lawn mower through a restaurant drive-thru. The funny part is that they called the police on him becuase he had driven through with the blade down and inadvertently cut up the little cord that activated the speaker...and then attempted to evade the authorities.

One summer, my grandfather had shown us how to take a switch from his apple tree and fling apples with it ( he had a huge yard). One time Joe Simms yelled at us for flinging apples into his yard and said he was going to call "the cops on you little bast-edds". I ended up flinging one last apple as he was walking away and subsequently hit him in the back. We ran inside and lied to Gramma saying "everyone knows he lies...".

Actually, I think Grampa ultimately was the one who got in trouble for showing "the kids" the apple thing.

raspberry sky, 2008

8" x 8", oil on gessoed panel

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

"kiss me you fool"

This was originally "kiss me, my fool" in the film A Fool There Was (1915) by Theda Bara. She was a hot, Sharon Stone-esque husband stealin' lady who used her "worldly knowledge" to seduce married men. This would have been new territory for the movies.

I like to fit cliches into my everyday dialogue. I've been trying to work in "It's quiet...too quiet" or " Ahh...It's only a flesh-wound". I think I missed my big chance recently on the latter when I go a splinter in my foot from my deck.

"kiss me you fool", 2008

6" x 6", oil on gessoed panel

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

hot coffee

I drink a lot of coffee, but it's rarely hot. I'll pour it and start working on something, and it gets cold by the time I get to it. If I get "out coffee", it seems the attempt is made to make it similar to the temperature of the sun. This is not necessary. I've also been drinking it black for years. I don't want to get dependent on sugar / cream and not have any. I also think that if you get really good donuts or something that black coffee brings out the flavor a touch more.

I think that I've gone to such lengths to simplify my life that I over analyze these things.

Oh, Season Four of Hawaii Five-O comes out on the 10th. Its the last season with Kono. He'll be replaced with Duke ( formally generic-beat-cop-scene-filler-guy). My favorite thing is that Steve ( McGarrett) pronounces Duke with a little extra juice. He says DE-yuke, but fast. Hey, I need these things.

hot coffee, 2008

6" x 6", oil on gessoed panel

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

bowl of kisses

Hershey has returned to the word "KISSES" on the little papers attached to the Hershey Kiss. There was a period there where "You the Man!" and "You Go Girl" seemed to slip into the new and hip world of Hershey. That sort of thing is similar to the capri pant for men...a bad idea.

I remember as a child wanting to go to Hershey, PA. I thought is was sort of an amercian "Wonka" town where there was free flowing river of chocolate that you could gorge yourself on endlessly. Incidently, in my version of Hersheytown there would be gaurds that would immediately arrest your parents during your stay in an effort to prevent any "complications" that might prevent you from your chocolate bender.

bowl of kisses, 2008

6" x 6", oil on gessoed panel

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008


This is a funny thing I remember from my childhood. My Dad and his Mom always had somewhat of a contentious relationship. Soon after my grampa died ( Carl, a two-fisted drinking, gambling, carousing man's man), My grandmother started "dating" MUCH younger men ( 60's/20's ratio). This did not improve family relations.

Okay, we ( Mom, Dad, Sister, Grandmother and me ) were on a trip in Ocean City, Maryland having dinner on the boardwalk ( I was like 9 or 10). My grandmother ( rather flirtily with the waiter) said "Oh, Ha...Ha...I'll have a Diet Tab". Well, My old man in true smart ass form in his best Marvin Kaplan impersonation said "Oh yeah...Well I'll have a regular Tab". The look she gave him was burned into my brain. The how-dare-you-make-me-look-stupid-while-I'm-trying-to-flirt-with-some-stranger-in-front-of-my-grandchildren look. I always liked my Dad's willingness to call someone out in ANY situation.

enjoy, 2008

6" x 6", oil on gessoed panel

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

12 inch Lifesavers

I love this little statue of Superman. Its exactly what I think of as Superman( barrel chested and smiling). I spend a lot of time listening to music and radio shows from the 40's and 50's. The Superman radio show from the 40's is very different from The Adventures of Superman television show of the 50's. Superman is a little more...violent on radio. George Reeves would have found a more passive solution.

Another thing that's kinda funny about the radio show is that Clark Kent would change into Superman EVERY TIME he used his powers. George would occasionally break a door or use his x-ray vision without breaking out the cape. Clayton "Bud" Collyer was the radio voice of Superman and was absolutely fantastic. He would change his voice from a lighthearted and fairly timid Clark Kent to a rough and tumble tough guy Superman when he changed ( "hmmm...well this might be a job ...FOR SUPERMAN!!").

lifesavers, 2008

12" x 12", oil on gessoed panel

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Sunday, May 04, 2008

moon pie

The Moon Pie has some pretty sketchy lore ( It's like the Loch Ness monster of junk food). Apparently, Moon pie was "developed" by a construction worker framing his hands around the moon and saying, "Yeah, like about that big". Moon Pie was born in Chatta-Vegas, TN ( this was a term used by people I met in college from Chattanooga to point ot its lack of...whatever) around the turn of the century. The RC Cola / Moon Pie combo is in actual practice still to this day. I would advise anyone going to try this at home to pick up a shot of Insulin too.

moon pie, 2008

6" x 6", oil on gessoed panel

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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I heard it through the vitis vinifera

Oddly, I resemble the little Fisher-Price girl as a child, and as an adult I resemble the bald boy ( or Ziggy, Charlie Brown, or basically any round object with a face on it).

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

granny hemingray

I finally found something to do with these! I have a collection of about 100 or so of these glass insulators. I was at at local flea market and some guy had a whole table full. There were a lot of cool colorful ones in different shapes and sizes. I asked him what he'd take for all of them and he said, " Man, I'll give you $20.00 if you take them off my hands". I didn't realize at the time what I'd do with 500 lbs worth of colored glass, but...I knew i'd do something with them.
As you can see, they make excellent individual fruit holders ( that you can't at any point touch the fruit, glass, or thing supporting it).

granny hemingray, 2008

6" x 6", oil on gessoed panel

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Monday, April 21, 2008

"hey there...big boy"

I have some pretty good memories growing up. My Dad uprooted us from Cleveland to rural Georgia when I was three. Well, all of my extended family ( grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc...) still lived in Ohio so this meant a fifteen hour car car ride every holiday. Although that ride REALLY sucked, one of the many travel "bright spots" was stopping at Frisch's Big Boy on the way. You could determine that you were getting into Yankee territory when you started to see the signs on the highway.

Okay, not that the food was memorable in any way, but they always had Big Boy comics . This would give my sister and I something to fight over in the car for the remaining seven hours. Very important arguments like : Who got "the good one" without any grease stains. Now, my sister and I fought over a lot of important things over the years, but those comic book fights were some of the most impassioned. These fights ranking only second to who got more of the little plastic steak markers at the Western Steer ( you know the blue, red, and green plastic markers that said "WELL", "MEDIUM WELL", "RARE" to denote how the steak was cooked). By steak, I mean a piece of brownish meat with black "grill lines" printed on it. Actually, it just now occurs to me why my Mom got so mad at the fact that we would take those little stakes off of other people's plates after they had left their tables. It now also occurs to me how stupid I was as a little kid.

"hey there...big boy", 2008

6" x 6", oil on gessoed panel

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