Archive for November, 2008


Figure 1. The Meanie.



So this guy is not nice.  He (and his brothers and sisters) play a crucial role in an epic tale about a land called Hopenot.  I’ve not actually written anything about it (I’m not a writer), but- I see this place in my mind.  The people who live there have faces to me, and I’m excited to show them to you in the future.

(quick post)…more to follow soon.


Children’s Hour- Blaine’s Sketch

Blaine's Sketch- Children's Hour Show

This sketch is from an amazing memory.

11/30/07- The Children’s Hour Show at the Limited Addiction Art Gallery in Denver Colorado.  I went that Friday night with my friend Dale and 2 of his sons, Will and Ben ( I call them Willis McPratt and Benny).  Anyway, we get there and it’s crazy.  The gallery is pretty small (imagine a room twice the length of your living room) and at least 200 people (probably even more than that) were circulating in and out of this place.  There was a DJ, and food, and…wait.  What is that?  What is going on in the corner over there?

And then I became a giddy high school girl, because in the far corner of the gallery was my favorite artist- Blaine Fontana (see links list)- this was actually no surprise. I knew he was going to be there, at Limited Addiction- artists are usually present on the opening night of their show.

The surprise was that he, and the 3 other artists that contributed to the show (Tim McCormick, Jophen Stein, and James Naccarato) were all painting live- rotating themselves between the 4 canvases they shared.

I was totally geeking out about it. (seriously)


I should have prefaced this story by sharing with you that I had met Blaine once before.  He came through Limited Addiction with a solo show in the April of the previous year.  After that night I was kicking myself that I had forgotten to bring my sketchbook.  My hope was to have him sign it (again, geeking out).  Okay so- back to the present, with sketchbook in hand, I approached the corner with the painting.


Watching the four of them paint was an opportunity I’ll never forget.  I could go into why, but this would turn into a Hallmark card, and I don’t want that.

Okay so, Blaine smokes- Thank God.  You see, it was during a smoke break that I got to meet him the first time the year prior.  I was eagerly anticipating the nicotine depletion to reach the red zone, because it was then that I would atta-…  ask him to sign my sketchbook.

Did I tell you drunk people bum me out?  Well they do, because when Blaine took his smoke break, he was cornered by 2 (yes, 2) fully drunk people.  This one lady was stumbling around waving her drink at him and telling him how “amaaazing” his work was, and her boyfriend was there too.  He was the slurrer. “Your stuff iz da bess.  I luvvvv it becaush you like beaksssss.” 


Yes.  From time to time Blaine will paint a character with a beak.  Apparently- those were this guys favorite part.


I waited for them to finish before I approached him…

Wow. This post is getting pretty long. Sorry about that- in the end here’s what happened:  Blaine not only sat and talked with me that night; he drew a complete sketch in my sketchbook.  Willis and Benny also got some original artwork out of the deal.  If you care to hear the story more in detail, let me know- maybe I’ll elaborate more in a future post or something.


Every time I look at Blaine’s sketch, I wonder what this guy is thinking about.  What do you think?



Fare Thee Well

Fare Thee Well

Okay, my buddies should appreciate this one (because it’s one they haven’t seen yet).  This is a new piece I painted it today.  It’s a story about a journey- growth and leaving home.  The caption on the bottom reads this way: “Let this be the place where stumbling blocks become stepping stones. Fare Thee Well”.  I don’t usually put text into my pieces, but for some reason, it felt right this time.

When did you leave home?  Is it still where you left it?

Fare Thee Well (detail)

Did you ever have one?


Something Pretty

mandys-rose(Mandy’s Rose)

Mandy’s favorite flower is a Lily.  Geez, I can be a dork sometimes.  The woman likes Lilies and I painted her a rose.

Honestly though- it’s a normal thing: wanting, or liking, or needing one thing and getting something else.  Lucky, most flowers are received well by flower-starved wives. 

This past weekend, Mandy and I went to “A Weekend to Remember”, a marriage conference put on by a group called Family Life.  They do a lot of teaching, but that’s not where the “meat” of the conference is.  Really it’s in the down time, when you and your spouse are processing all the things that were talked about.  I’m probably making it sound sterile- it’s not.  Real people share their lives in hopes of improving the marriages of the many who listen.

There were about 350 couples- some married 40+ years, some married 40+ days.  All of us sat together to listen to what was prepared for us.  There were lectures, activities (one done in small groups)- there was even homework.  Anyway, there was this exercise that we did, that prompted us to write love letters to our spouses.  We were told to go to different areas of the hotel and spend about an hour with a pencil and paper.  For the record- you don’t need an hour to write a love letter, but sometimes it takes an hour to figure out what you want the thing to say.

            As I wrote in silence with 9 other people, I heard a husband stomp past the room we were in.  His voice rose then faded quickly; I could tell he was shouting at someone behind him.  No later did this register when I heard the broken voice of a crying woman begging him to come back.


            Guys can be so cool sometimes can’t they?  Boy, I bet he really taught his wife a lesson- yelling at her in front of everyone.  She was the one that wanted to come to this thing, and now he was done.


It kills me to think he said his vows with that mouth.  And when his bride was young, she dreamed about marrying a prince that would cherish and protect her.  What happens from point A to Point B?  Remember when things felt “right”?  When she smiled every time she looked at you…Is it true?  Do we really just forget?  Is love that fleeting?

I painted this rose over a year ago.  Maybe it’s time for another. (A lily this time)


The House that Tony Built.

house(House)- previously known as “untitled”

I no longer own this piece. It sold at a sale this past summer.

More than any other of my pieces up for sale, this one got the most inquiries- and to be honest, this piece was one of the few that really prompted me to start this blog.  I still don’t get it.  I have no idea what the story is for this one.

When I paint something that I don’t understand, I usually stare at it for a while.  Typically, I decide to paint over it, but my wife said she liked this one, so I kept it.

Thank God it sold- otherwise, I’d still be staring at it waiting for it to talk to me.

Now to you- what the heck is this painting about?



hydeRobert Louis Stevenson first published The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in 1886.  You basically know the story by now- most people do.  The idea was that within one man was two personalities.  One was civil and refined- polite.  The other was a physical manifestation of the ID- sheer primal urge set loose with no boundary or remorse.

 The eerie thing about the many transformations that took place inside the story, was that the further the story went, the less we saw of Dr. Jekyll (the gentleman) and the more we saw of Mr. Hyde (the monster).  More disturbing still was that the more Mr. Hyde “came out”, the more developed he became.  Eventually, there was more of Mr. Hyde than there was Dr. Jekyll and the monster reigned.



standThis is the story of our hero the orphaned elephant.  And though he is old and weathered now, at an early age he once roamed with authority and great power.  As a child he rolled in the mud as the hippos did-joining their pod for a season.  In his adolescence, he danced in the fields with the hyena- attempting their laugh under the night’s bright moon.  Companionship was found with the local crash of Rhinoceroses during his adulthood years- many fond memories now fading.

That was long ago.


Now after wearing the badges of the hippo, hyena and rhinoceros (amongst others), our hero, the orphaned elephant, knows that he is and always was an elephant.  This truth is the badge he now wears- not in pride or arrogance, but in desperation.


The hunter has but a few rounds now, and he is confident that he will meet his mark.  The elephant, tired and broken clings to all that he knows as truth, and stands.

November 2008
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