Thursday, April 30, 2009

Fuel City--Great Eats--Elmer's too

It is different to work in someone else's house. I did manage to finish a few pieces over this week and I remembered to take them out to the drive way to spray them so I wouldn't stink up Laird's house. Those are the first images in this post. But next, we had to go fuel our bodies and Laird picked us up and we went to Fuel City for the most fantabulous tacos--they are a buck forty a piece and so yummy. I got 2 al pastor and 1 picadillo (they are known for that) both really good. Next time I am going with a bigger appetite and I am getting one of each of the 5 types they have. Fuel City--(I failed to take a pic--sorry) is really a truck stop down near downtown Dallas--on Industrial near the criminal courts buildings. It is very clean and very yummmy. Then, on our way back we noticed Elmer's (I did remember my camra at that point--guess I wasn't so hungry then...) They serve hot links... also very good (yes we had tacos and hot links for the same meal, but I mean, we were right there so why not?) That Guy guy on Diners and Drive-Ins and Dives has got nothing on us.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Lakewood Landing

I just got back from a yummy burger and a beer at the Lakewood Landing with Rees. I can't believe we've never been there in all the years we've been coming to Dallas. So what happened was I follow this blog by Jeb and he mentioned this place a few months back. I knew I wanted to go when I was next in Dallas, which would of course be this trip. I'll be able to trust Jeb's food recommendations in the future now and that is a good thing! I spent some formative years in Chicago with corner bars on literally every corner and was surprised other cities didn't have convenient bars available --I mean you have to drive to a bar in most places--how uncool is that? We always used to walk--that way you could have the extra beer and not worry about it. But, I digress, which probably means I shouldn't post after a beer but before... sorry, dear readers. (The Lakewood was only about a couple miles from where we're staying.) Anyway, the Lakewood Landing is an awesome bar. I love the dark room, a very cool jukebox, nice people, and a great burger, although I would have liked to try the cheese fries but my sister in law didn't come with me so I couldn't split a burger with her like we do at Snuffers. Mostly, what this post is about is that Dallas does have a handful of good bars--you just have to look for them!

PS JuneBug only went swimming 3 times today.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

JuneBug's vacation

So maybe you thought I'd been kidnapped by martians --or had some other catastrophe befall me since it has been so long since I've bothered to post. Relax, though, it is nothing more than laziness that has kept me from the computer. We're in Dallas at my sister inlaw's--who happens to be a great friend and the best aunt to JuneBug ever. See, she was kind enough to move a few years ago to a house with a CEMENT POND!! It is in the back yard and JuneBug reminds us pretty much every hour on the hour that it is still out there and probably a bit too full and she could help get some of the water out by jumping in after her orb (don't say ball in front of her or she'll go berserk). I captured a couple of pretty good pics of her jumps--only after taking about a million shots of the splash which occurs after she is already in--I guess I always did have slow reflexes....

We've completed the Southlake show and are hanging around for the Cottonwood Art Festival this weekend. I've been painting a few things which I'll be bringing to Cottonwood and probably posting on tomorrow's post. Southlake was incredibly windy most of the weekend but the rain that was forecast for Sunday afternoon mostly stayed away and I'm thankful for that. Rains in the forecast all week but I'm hoping it will clear up for the Cottonwood show--the grounds will be a guaranteed soggy mess, though, I'm sure. For those of you Dallas people, coming out ot the show, WEAR OLD SHOES!


Monday, April 20, 2009


I'm sorry for the long space between postings! We've driven to and done a show since the last time I checked in. We had to leave early because the weather forecast was for--you guessed it--more snow! So we finished our packing up last Wednesday, about 8 at night and headed out on the road for these 3 Texas shows. Got to Clovis at midnight, allowing us to arrive in Taylor the next day in time to have dinner with our friends Mark & Susan, who had so kindly agreed to take care of JuneBug while we did the San Antonio Fiesta show--despite the fact that their new rescue dog, Polly, had just come to them less than a week before. Turns out JuneBug is a food and water bully but otherwise they got along. So far, Polly hasn't picked up the fetching bug from Bug.

Our other Angel Fire friends, Jenny & Gerald, also met us for dinner that Thursday night. A regular reunion! Too bad I forgot to take any pictures!

The Fiesta show, held at the Southwest school of Arts & Crafts in downtown San Antonio was an absolute pleasure to do. I got a great booth space and the crowds were exuberant and fun and plentiful. I wish all shows were so pleasant! I've taken some pictures and manipulated them but now can't figure out how to get them from Rees' side of the computer--when I do I'll update the post. Then, maybe tomorrow after we head up to Dallas I'll tell you more about how great San Antonio is!! NOT the riverwalk but just about everything else!

Monday, April 13, 2009


Hope everyone had a great Easter weekend. Ours was uneventful except that it SNOWED THE ENTIRE TIME! Here is a picture of a piece I finished today. I took the picture on the easel board I work on and as you can maybe see, I do go out of the lines a lot. All the non-tan markings are oil pastels that have gone over the edge! I actually think the board is kind of cool--my only attempt at abstract work at all. Every once in a while I scrape it down with a drywall mudding knife to keep it smooth.
This shot is one of a favorite red barn I have been painting lately. I sort of liked the perspective from behind the oil pastels--you can only see the oil pastels that are in color order--the rest--in a bit of jumble--are invisible on the shelf below. Hah!

Friday, April 10, 2009

FUN! New Music!

I hope nobody missed me yesterday. I had the crud. You know, the stuff that makes you sleep 11 hours and then makes you take a nap--BEFORE NOON! But chicken soup --courtesy of my wonderful hubby--and bland food sealed the deal and I was back in action today. I did actually get a piece done yesterday only by the time I was done I was so exhausted that I had to nap on the couch--until bedtime

But, today, was a great day. Not accomplishment-wise (it was okay that way.) Rees had ordered a bunch of new cd's from amazon and I got to listen to almost all of them. I had some yummy music resounding around the studio. And, I didn't even have to pick them out. Rees' and my musical preferences overlap greatly--excepting maybe that Rodney Crowell thing--which I have come around on now that Ipodetta and I had a one on one with me explaining that she doesn't get to pick all the music and I only have to listen to him occasionally. But Rees knows mostly what I like and must have filled the amazon cart with me in mind.

If you don't like music or don't care about it, skip the rest of this post. That is all I want to talk about today.

Today started with M. Ward, who is one half of She & Him, at least that is what Rees told me but I haven't yet verified yet. I like She & Him but I like M. Ward more. Album was Hold Time
Next, the Decemberists--the Hazards of Love--they have some nice harmonies. Then, a flash back--The Velvet Underground and Nico--some cool sounds but Nico's voice is very dated but Lou Reed is Lou Reed and it did bring back some memories of college music . Next was Elvis Perkins in Dearland. Right now all I remember is that I really liked it. ( You must remember that I am actually working as I listen to all this and sometimes the music fades to the background as I try to solve an issue or puzzle on a painting.)

The next was Mark Olson and Gary Louris who were the main guys of the Jayhawks before they split up. Really liked the sound. Rees had mentioned reading that they got together again after learning that they were listening to some of the same old folkies, independently. NICK DRAKE, one of my absolute favorites, being one of them. One of the others was Bert Jansch. I listened to that yesterday and really thought it great--off the top of my head I don't remember the album and it is still out in the studio. Amazingly, several of the Mark Olson and Gary Louris tracks are extremely reminiscent of the Bert Jansch. How come no one ever turned me on to this sort of music earlier? I could have avoided listening to Rod Stewart and Bread and Queen and Earth Wind & Fire and Janis Ian and Harry Chapin in the eighth grade, or freshman year. It has been so long I can't really remember. Oh, well, at least I'm learning.

Then, The Buddy & Julie Miller album--Written In Chalk-- was the penultimate choice of the day. They are AWESOME. If you like Texas progressive at all--GO BUY THIS. I don't think you will be disappointed.

The final cd of the day was the new Niko Case album. Sounds like her, which is fine. I think I should have saved the Miller album for last. I find her nice for the shuffle play on ipodetta--yes, I named her--but a little too similar sounding to listen straight through. I think Rees likes that sound more than I do. But, overall, a highly skilled selecting of music I will listen to for some time....thanks, Rees.

One final question--comment-- if you only download music from the internet, how to you get the liner notes? I like them.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Little Bit of Everything

Yeah--we hit 61.4 degrees, although the mean weather gods have plans for more snow tomorrow and part of next week. Bug and I took a nice walk on the golf course. She took herself for a swim and caught (and released) a vole. All in all a very exciting hour.

Today was one of those days. I got out to the studio early--for me--as mornings are not my forte (neither are really late nights, for that matter.) The fire in the wood stove fired right up. Unlike yesterday where it hovered at 51 degrees until almost noon and I used about a half ton of newspaper to get it going. So I started work on a night panel--I sold one at the Woodlands and want to have a few for my upcoming shows. I thought I'd take progress shots but my camera battery died and I got lazy. Anyway, you can see the start of it in the last posted picture. I did finish the piece this afternoon.

The first 2 are pics of my studio as it starts to get really messy. I hate to take the time to tidy up but know I will have to before we leave in a week for San Antonio. I managed to prep a bunch more panels so I can get right on them. And, I photographed the cradled panel with the stain on the edges--still not totally dry but I still like the look. Unfortunately, though, the photo isn't very good.

On another note, my large main page piece on my website--"Through the Night"--finally arrived at its destination. And I'm so glad. Turns out the label came off the box and then got separated from the piece. But after taking a nice ride for a few extra days it arrived safe and sound. Moral of the story: Make absolutely, positively, unmistakeably sure that the label is attached well to the box. And also right your name and phone number on the actual cardboard. No, duh! Too bad I didn't follow that advice with this piece. Learned my lesson, though.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Home Again

We survived the Woodlands show. Lots of wind on Sunday but we stood tall. Otherwise the weather was pretty good. Crowds were okay as were sales. It is a long way to go for only one show and would prefer to be able to piggy back that show with another in Texas rather than doing the 1800 mile round trip for just one show. No matter--we missed a bunch of snow this last weekend and I don't mind that! Tomorrow we're supposed to reach 60 degrees! Yeah!

On another note, my summer schedule is coming together. As usual, we've overbooked the shows and now I have to decide which I can actually do. And, I got into Sun Valley--it is one of my very favorite shows to do and I am really psyched to be in again.

The above photo is one of the dusk pics I mentioned on my last post. Haven't done a piece using it as such but will this week.

Finally, I have a customer who had asked me to paint one of my cradled panels. She didn't want the bare wood edges and wanted a dark stain. I did that this afternoon and it looks pretty good. I've got to think about maybe staining all the edges! More work but it definitely looks more polished. I'll post an image of that tomorrow.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Reference photos

So, most of you can tell by my work that I am not always loyal to my reference photos. They--the photos--do inspire me to try different things, to check shadow angles, adjust perspective, etc. so I took a few on the way down here yesterday. I've got this sort of new fangled sony point and shoot digital that takes great pics--if you can figure out how to use it--really, it isn't just me. All the reviews of it say the pics are great but the menu is awful. Anyway, I managed to get some good barns, a few grain silos--although there aren't as many good ones on this drive as there are on our way down 287 to Dallas. I also got some interesting dusk pics-- you'll be seeing a few of those--I guarantee a slight departure from my normal work. Don't know if I'll have a chance to post during the Woodlands show but will be back as soon as I can. Wish me luck!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

All the way to Temple!

Texas, that is. We weren't sure how far we'd get because of the blowing snow and road closure due to SNOW this morning. So we opted for caution and left a little later than we would have so the plows would have a chance to clear stuff away. We really didn't encounter anything bad at all. Just lots of driving. Found a good taqueria in Lubbock for a late lunch--Joe's burrito joint in Littlefield is now a Chinese restaurant--rats. Wish I could remember the taqueria name. I need to do a better job of notating the good places.... Anyway, tomorrow is the rest of the way to the Woodlands, then the set-up, and the VIP party. I always say I'll got to those things but rarely do. I think I should as I need to do a better job of networking-bleh!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Woodlands-- Here we come!

Framing and preparing to go to the Woodlands Waterway Art Festival has left me with littler time for actual painting this week. I did get this piece finished- a 24 by 36 panel. I'm liking the white highlights in the sky on my most recent dusk pieces.

And, speaking of dusk, Music From Angel Fire has picked the piece they intend to use for this year's poster and program cover. It is a dusk scene (not this one) and I think it will work well. I'm really excited that we'll actually be in town for this year's event as we've missed most of the last 2 seasons because of art shows in Chicago, San Francisco and St. Louis.

Today is pack the van and myself day. After not doing a show for so long, I did a terrible job of packing for Scottsdale. Forgetting: artist statements (which I really have to update and change), the framed artist statement for the booth, mailing list sign in sheets, extra clothes, crocs--a must have for changing into for dismantling the booth. So maybe today I'll do a better job. I hope so! I'm also hoping that I get some painting done, as my show schedule is getting quite full! And I better order those art supplies or they won't get here before we leave again! Oh, yeah, Happy April Fools Day! March sure did disappear fast!