Don & Sues Pizza has opened successfully this month. The local paper (The Newark Advocate) did an article on the grand reopening. Even though I have two paintings, and a mural in that location....they simply said that the new additions included "artwork". No mention of the artist, or the two paintings in addition to the mural. No mention that I have a painting touring Ohio last year, and again this year. Other folks are shocked at the deletion. I am not surprised. The new owner told me, he had given them my name and information. I haven't ever gotten any good press locally. It is OK, as it is better to not mention me at all than to make an error such as their lame story about the Granville Labyrinth two summers ago. It has always been a "revisionist" paper...no matter who owns it. I wrote to the author of the Granville Labyrinth story and corrected them within a week of their error. Of course, they didn't bother to publish a correction. They are not concerned with factual reporting, or even apologizing for their errors. Thankfully, I have always known intuitively that I should not concentrate on trying to change what people think....or write. I bought my last paper the day they published Grandma Sue's obituary. They reported that she was born in Frazeysburg, when in fact she was born in West Carlisle. They reported me as living in Frazeysburg presently as well. I have never lived in Frazeysburg LOL. In 2012 I lived with my sister who has a Frazeysburg address, but only from November to February I can't wait to move someplace where the local paper has integrity. Until then, I will just have to be content with word of mouth. Please go visit Don & Sues Pizza, and check out my "artwork". I worked hard on those paintings and that mural. I am very proud of them. I don't need recognition from a lame local yokle paper that I have always been ashamed of. If you are local....consider dropping your subscription to The Newark Advocate....and tell them why. Perhaps if enough of my friends and acquaintances do that, then maybe they will start factual reporting. I doubt it. That would be counterproductive to the revisionist agenda. I don't go to dry wells seeking water.
The right tool for the job. I was gifted this vintage set of letter stamps this year. This morning I am experimenting with spacing between words and letters...and the space below the letters. This is going to be close. I want to put the word Love dead center of my heart. Experimenting on copper is necessary to practice. I used a grease pencil to draw a rough grid. Not bad for a test run. The Beatles theme keeps occurring as I do this project.
Most of the time, I will not do a repair on something I didn't make. This week I made an exception and replaced the clasp on an old silver spoon bracelet. These old silver spoons can be flattened with a hammer, or squeezed in a vice. I will be working with old spoons this coming month. Hopefully, no soldering will be required until I can open up some windows and get some ventilation in my studio. My great grandfathers vice got some brass sleeve inserts for the jaws of the old vice. It took me an hour to make these, but they will save me time in the long run. It is much easier to not put scratches and dents into an object in the first place, than the hours it takes to remove them. I didn't want to mar the soft metal with steel, so this construct had to be in place before proceeding with the project. Brass is plentiful in my studio right now. These protective sleeves could be made out of copper just as easily.
Yesterday, I had a glorious lunch in Granville. I am delighted to have been able to also receive and retrieve Everything's Peachy that finished the VSA 2014 tour no worse for the wear. I am looking forward to getting that to the new owner, and onto the next project, and future paintings.
Syd went out a bunch yesterday. I had decided to set up a quick solder session while he was outside. Everything about silversmithing is dangerous to cats. The flux, the pickle solution, the fire. The space he has occupied this winter by the window, is my soldering area. We were OK while I was painting. There is not enough light in my kitchen these days to paint in the mornings. Soldering silver works better in a dark room, so until I can get my landlord to change some bulbs, I am going to just have to use low light for metal, and the afternoons when there is days end light in my kitchen....I will paint. I imagined there would be a day that the weather was so nice, that I could open up windows to ventilate while I soldered. It was almost that nice yesterday. I look forward to finishing these feathers, leaves and key pendant in the next couple weeks. The hard part is done.
As you might have guessed, I took some time off to do some writing. For the next few days, I will be finishing up my Sparta painting in order to substitute it for Old School which is now at Don & Sues Pizza for the month. Old School will go into the VSA 2015 tour and exhibition and I will begin tweaking Syd's world. As you can see, he is anxious to get started again. One of the book titles I am tossing around in my head is Saving Cats For Jesus. I admit I like it as well as Plein Air Painting in Chernobyl:) Both titles speak to the absurdity that challenges me daily.
Old School made it into the 2015 VSA Exhibition and Tour. Right now, it hangs at Don & Sues Pizza with EIEIO and my mural. This painting is for sale, but with some stipulations. Obviously, I want the painting to tour, so if my buyer can agree to that, then let the negotiations begin. As my readership may recall, I wanted to enter EIEIO into this years Exhibition, but it was not finished in time for the deadline. These two paintings were pretty much made at the same time. Oftentimes, I have left over paint, and will jump over to another canvas in order to conserve and not be wasteful. Old School was made from a 20 year old drawing, and EIEIO was made without a sketch. In a way, Old School felt more finished, and EIEIO could in fact have more added to it after reflection.
Everything's Peachy has finished the 2014 tour. I wish the weather were a little better today, as I am anxious to get this painting to the buyer. Yesterday, I did a little coppersmithing as well as work on 3 paintings in the works.
There is so little light to paint by in the early day, that I have had to turn my attention to other projects in the works until I get some decent light in there. Last summer I wrote a couple chapters of a short history of Perryton Ohio. I stopped that project for lack of pictures of the industrial revolution time period. I like pictures myself and need them in the books I use everyday. Another book I started writing a couple years ago is called Surrender. It sounds more conspicuous than it is. Surrender is an old word, that is two words...melt back into (Sur), that which comes from above (render). The techniques I use in my silversmithing are basic to complex. Part of the book is of course plans and exercises. The first exercise is a piercing and sawing project The slotted bracelet. This particular one was made by Kristi Kloss a metalsmithing instructed I had the privilege of working with for a few years at the Arsonal Columbus Parks And Recreation. I loved these two bracelets because one is naughty and the other nice:)
There is something about their ears that shows the emotions of cats. Syd was pissed this morning because his outside was unacceptable to him. Not a paw went out in the cold this morning. The light is terrible in my kitchen right now. I painted in spite of the low light, but am going to switch to late afternoon painting from now on. My landlord knows that the florescent bulbs are all but burnt out. She also knows I don't have a ladder or any way to get at them. I would guess she will get around to fixing that one of these days.
I worked on 3 painting this morning, and when the sun comes to the front of the house, I will continue to work on them. Tomorrow, I am told...Don & Sues will open. Hopefully folks who are interested, can go see my mural, and two of my paintings.
It occurred to me that I wanted to try changing the grays into a tan tone. I had a half gallon can of tan from my recent mural project. Yesterday morning I covered a blank canvas with the tan, for my next painting that will also feature Syd the cat. All but one of light bulbs are burnt out or just not coming on. My kitchen is lighted with florescent bulbs. Not the best light for painting. There are no windows in my apartment in the east or the south.
Once upon a time, I thought I might try my hand at writing a book. Silly me. This is the photo of the Lonagberger Basket that I wanted to use for the mural at Don and Sues Pizza. I couldn't find it in time. This probably best sums of my sentiment about the great big basket on St. Route 16. They should just build a whole theme park there. It would blend right in. This is a poem I wrote when I first visited the great basket, and I drew in the spider web connecting power lines. Who knows, maybe I will get around to writing that book someday.
This is an enlarger that I carted back and forth across the country since 1984. That was the kitchen in 1997 on Maholm Street here in Newark. I liked that space, but I was having horrific problems with "the church" and it was clear that I needed to get out of this county. I have lost most everything that is in this photo. My new scanner/printer is much lighter than the enlarger. I wonder if it will enlarge? One thing for sure, photography is way different than it was back in the day of film, developing, and photo enlargers. For years, I took no pictures, because I could not afford to have them developed. I lost interest in a thing that had interested me enough to procure and transport dark room equipment. More evidence that when I have the tools, I can do good things!
The fop floor of "the cedar crest mansion is where I resided while doing the Labyrinth project in Granville. Due to inheritance money, my SSI check was stopped for over a year, and I had to move out of this wonderful space. I had a living room workshop then, and perhaps had the system not punished me, I might have been able to really do something with my talents. I have always managed to have some workspace for art no matter where I have ended up living.
Syd and I were gifted a bran spankin new printer scanner a couple weeks ago. This is going to make my library trips less necessary and less frequent. As I reflect on 2014, I land upon it being a year of upgrading instruments having to do with sight. I have known for quite some time that I am losing some sight, and instead of grieving over that fact that can not be changed, I take it to mean that I need to use what is left of my sight while I have it. For sometime, I have wanted to digitalize my past photography. The job was too overwhelming to take to the library where they have wonderful scanners and wonderful librarians to assist. This summer I was gifted with the best possible pair of glasses that money could buy, that my medical card would not purchase. Rather than settle for something low quality, and fight with the system, I asked one of my friends to purchase them for me. It took 3 appointments to get those, but I enjoy the best sight possible each and every day. I am truly grateful for the generosity of friends who will help me see my way on this journey. Spring 2014 grant cycle enabled me to replace my camera that I had dropped the year before. I look forward to sharing my vision and visionary projects with the world in 2015. Happy New Year readership.