Monday, November 24, 2014

Yo, Yo, Yodels!

Many of you may be unaware of this, but at one point I was a famous rap artist. I went by the name of 2Quarter, because I was so poor I didn’t have two quarters to rub together. The second track on that cd is one of my favorites. Titled “Shemp is not for Rent”, it’s the story of a man who could never live up to his brother’s fame. Poignant, yet rhyme-y, this ballad is sure to melt the heart along with any cheese left lying around. But with the success of my first album Unsolicited Advice, I had to change my name in order to keep it real. Now with my second cd due to be released next week, Gloating Critic, I go by my new rap name, P-Stream.

Gloating Critic is an autobiographical collection of songs that deals with the rough childhood I had. Although, the way the music industry is headed it may be my swan song. Sad isn’t it? And I had so many more things to rap about too. I never even got to my puberty years.

We lived in the hood (excuse me da hood), otherwise known as Levittown. We had only one car, except for my dad’s company car, and I had to walk to school, except when I took the bus or my dad drove me. We didn’t get a color TV until 1971. It’s no wonder I’m screwed up with angst. We didn’t even have a hot water tank. Well, not a large one anyway. That’s the subject of the fourth track “Who Flushed the Toilet!”. Here’s a sample of the lyrics.

I’m taking a shower
All nice and warm
Feeling just like
The first day I was born
When all of a sudden
To my surprise
The water turns icy
Oh me oh my.
Who Flushed the Toilet!
I’m turning blue
Who Flushed the Toilet!
Grandma is'at you?

Speaking of grandmas, I was so envious of kids brought up by their’s. Instead, I was the product of an unsuccessful divorce. In the beginning of summer each year my mother, who was always angry with my father, would take us to Jones Beach and not return until dark. This is the subject of my next song “Where’s the Damn Sunscreen?”.

I’m building a castle
It ain’t a big hassle
But after eight hours
My skin’s hanging like tassles!

Once I get back home-a
All I do is moan-a
Spread on the Noxzema
I think I have carcinoma!

Where’s the Damn Sunscreen?
My back is peeling
Where’s the Damn Sunscreen?
My head is reeling.

It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘a day at the beach’. Yes, this may be my last rap cd I put out there, but I’m going to keep fighting the good fight. Meaning simply, ignoring pleads from critics to stop. I already have three tracks written for the next one tentatively titled, Liver Spots and Weekends, including this one: “You Can Eat Your Cake and Donuts too”.

I like Ring Dings
And Yodels
And Drakes Cup Cakes
Someday I’ll diet
And lose this weight.
We buy jeans at Penny’s
In the husky collection
Never fade Ranchcraft
Are far from perfection.
Riding my bike
Is no small deed
Cause the one that I got
Only has 3 speeds.

Oh well, I guess the world will have to find a way to survive without it. Until then, just take my advice: Stay real, stay cool, and stay home, because there is already too much traffic and is going out so important?

Happy Thanksgiving!

I started working on a new style mostly using pencil and ink.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Do not go gently into that horrible, horrible abyss

 Like an emotional tornado, another birthday has left a path of destruction in my psyche.  After a wonderful time with family I lie in bed staring at the ceiling wondering how many I have left. I came up with seventeen, if I’m lucky. I based it on very specific scientific data. My left ear lobe has grown two millimeters. A sure sign the end is nigh. When you get down to it and do the math it’s not a pretty equation. And yes there is something wrong with me for doing such a calculation, but you knew that already. Psychiatrists have a name for this: coo-kooism. In German it’s Loosenroochsinmitthead.

Thinking about my own demise is nothing new. Even as a kid I worried about it. And who would blame me when they build the monkey bars at my school over a parking lot? I’d pictured myself slipping off and splitting my head on the cement. Hey, it isn’t my fault it’s the asphalt! I don’t have a death wish. I have a life wish. But wishes don’t come true, unless of course it’s a death wish.

I had minor surgery about a month ago, very minor. My wallet became permanently attached to my ass for lack of use. The wallet that is, not my ass. During a typical test beforehand they took some blood. As I lay there I couldn’t help think ‘this is it. I go in for some routine fix and they find elevated white cell blood count, a strange anomaly, or something far worse’. I’m not one of those brave sorts that could handle that. I really admire the person when faced with such news to carry on for the family’s sake. I’m taking a completely different route.

The day they tell me I have something terminal that’s the day all hell breaks loose. The first thing I’m going to do is not wear my seatbelt. And it doesn’t stop there. I’m not looking both ways when I cross the street. I’m eating dessert first and then if I have room my dinner. I may even start smoking a pipe. Not just any pipe. One of those huge Sherlock Holmes mothers you can see from fifty yards away. And I’m going to let my hair grow too. Since I lost most of it that ought to be interesting. I’ll look like a six-foot, two, land anemone.

Next, I’m going to go through my studio and find the ugliest artwork I have and personally hand them out to people I know but don’t really like. I’ll tell them my sad story about only having weeks to live, and how much they mean to me, and blah, blah, blah. What fun I’ll have looking at their faces stare at this crappy art wondering what to say to me. Then I’ll tell my friends this plan and give them art. The second tier kind that’s slightly better and look at their faces that tell me  “did I get the crappy art or is this the good stuff? I thought we were friends?” I can hardly wait…whoa, I take that back.

When the end is near, I’ll sell all my possessions and live my remaining days as if it was a Burning Man festival. I told you, I don’t expect to go with any kind of dignity or self-control. And I’m okay if I don’t need to live a long life. It just needs to be longer than my dog’s, a few choice family members, and the guy who cut me off last week on the I-25. Is that asking too much? Maybe I’ll give myself a present this year and not obsess about it. Maybe.

Be on the look out for this artwork coming to you sometime not so soon, I hope. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Camargue To My House

 Inspired by a recent trip to France

In 1485, Count Champignon who lived in the Duchy of Milan suffered what was then called mentis testa or “crazy head” and is now referred to as vertigo. His wife, the Countess Carmine Ghia, was a duplicitous but highly resourceful woman and advised the Count to meet with her personal physician who was known only as Dita di Burro.

The doctor explained that the only way to be cured was to go to the Camargue region of France where a very wise and very old hermit named Phil, could heal him. The Count insisted he could not be away from his fiefdom that long and was perplexed on what to do. It was then that the Countess suggested he just send his head so his body could remain home and rule. As you could imagine the Count was not exactly on board with this idea, but the Countess assured him the doctor had learned to separate the head from the body and keep both alive for several days. “You have to be back in a fortnight otherwise they will remain separate forever. This three-day journey should pose no problem,” said the doctor. The Count’s dizziness was unbearable and he sent for his trusty servant, who he called Servant not ever having learned his name, to make ready for the trip.

Meanwhile, the Countess was making plans of her own. “With a small bribe to Servant they won’t be back for a month. By that time it will be too late and I can finally rule as I was meant to.”

After a surprisingly short operation, the Count’s head was removed from the rest of him and gently placed in a velvet-lined birdcage. “This is a rather odd sensation,” muttered the Count.

After the fourth day on the road the Count began getting nervous since they hadn’t arrived at Phil’s house yet. The Count asked repeatedly, “Servant, are we there yet?” but would always receive the same answer. “Just a little further.” On the sixth day they reached Phil’s house and knocked on the hermit’s door.

“Who is there?”
“It is I, Count Champignon, and I have need of your talents. Will you let us in?”

But being from the Camargue he would not give a straight answer and went back to sipping his black coffee laced with anise, which is the preferred drink of the region.

Meanwhile, the Countess had problems of her own. The Count’s body, being free of thinking, would not leave the Countess alone for a minute. All day and all night the Count chased her around the castle trying to gain her amorous favors. This left her so exhausted she had no time to rule the fiefdom.

Finally after several hours, Phil stood up and gestured Servant to bring in the Count’s head.

“This is a problem. You have no body.”
“No, no,” the Count explained. “I suffer from mentis testa and was told of your great skill in this manner.”
“These things are part of life as we rush towards our inevitable death,” Phil said with great French malaise.
“But can you help me?”

And with that he shook the Count’s head as violently as possible. When he stopped, the Count found himself completely cured. The Count had Servant pay Phil his two pounds of espresso beans, and a carton of Turkish cigarettes, which is his standard fee.

“Come loyal Servant, we’ve not a moment to lose.”
“I have a name, you know.”
“Quickly, ride on!”

Servant knowing how angry the Countess can get in these her after child-bearing years, decided to take the old swamp road, which is as slow as it sounds and would insure a late arrival. They came to a river that was impossible to cross…and waited.

“Why did you take this road Servant?”
“The other was too dangerous and this one much shorter,” he lied. “We just need to wait for the ferryman to bring us across.”

For Servant had noticed a placard posted in the last town telling how the ferrymen were on strike due to their three hour lunch breaks being cut down to just two. However, in short time drifting out of the fog came the ferryman.

“Ahh, there you are good fellow,” said the Count.
“You’re back!” said Servant with great surprise.
“Oui. The strike she is over,” mubbled the ferryman.

Now Servant was stuck between the Count and the Countess and it was more than he could take. He broke down and told the Count his wife’s plan. The Count thanked him for being loyal and promised a reward if he got him home in time. Once across the river they made their way quickly back to Milan.

Back home, the Count rushed to see the doctor with only moments to spare. His head was reattached to his body and he immediately had Servant executed for now he could no longer be trusted.

“But what about my reward?”
“I decided to pay all your funeral expenses. Guards!”

He then threw the Countess in the dungeon for thirty days to teach her a lesson, where she was only to happy to go.

“Finally, I can get some rest,” exhausted, she collasped on her prison cot.

After several months things settled down with the Count back on his throne. And as it turned out, it made little difference whether the Count had his head on straight or not when it came to ruling his fiefdom. In fact, many who have lived under his rule proclaimed the place was never run better. Which explains an old Milanese saying, “The best politician is a headless one.”

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Here Comes the Sunburn

The first warm day, I mean truly warm, that first day after a long and cold winter, well, there’s really nothing like it. You put on a pair of shorts that have been stuffed in the bottom of a draw since early October. Maybe even go barefoot to grab the paper from the bottom of the driveway. That slight crack from windows that have been sealed for months, rolled down to let fresh air back into your house. The smell of honeysuckle blooming along the fence. The warm cup of coffee you sip outside on a cool morning that promises to heat up as the day goes on. That’s the day I live for. That first warm day of the year with the promise of more to follow.

It’s also when I can take my dog for walks. Of course, I could do that in the winter, but neither of us wants that. She’s over fifteen now, half blind and just as deaf. Her life now is spent submerged in a blurry world, muffled, and full of obstacles that were just simple steps before. Winters are spent sleeping by the fire. But that changes with the evitable switch from snow blower to lawnmower.

And while she is only slightly more active, I on the other hand relish working in the yard. Well, maybe enjoy is a better word. Most men that I know don’t mow their own yards. They don’t even have their kids do it. The first cut of the season brings a fragrance back into your head as my shoes acquire a soft green patina, a quiet residue from the wet grass. I used to mind mowing, but now I enjoy the time. It has becomes a Zen-like exercise. The steady pace, weaving back and forth in a 21 inch wide self made labyrinth. I guess it might not be environmentally prudent to still use a gas mower. However, the drone of the engine allows me to separate from the rest of the world for forty minutes.

Speaking of droning, wearing headphones while I mow, I get the chance to sing somewhere other than the shower. I was once described as a very gentle singer, refusing to hit a note. At one point I was embarrassed if anyone heard me, but not anymore. It’s not that I got any better. I just don’t give a crap. In years past I would stop whenever the mower did. But the way I figure it if I have to listen to one neighbor’s dog constantly barking, or the other’s kids screaming, or the old lady that lives behind me yelling at her husband then they can listen to me imitating a cat in a meat grinder. With songs like “Please, Please, Stop”, “I Have A Burning In My Ears”, and  “Take Me To The River And Throw Me In” how can I go wrong?

And then there’s the cars, motorcycles, construction trucks, lawn service trucks, delivery trucks, garbage trucks, trucks pulling other trucks. Have they been there all along or is it just the fact they saw me opening the windows? I’d like to shoot the guy who invented the leaf blower. He’s probably the one working out at the gym. You know raking is an aerobic exercise too, pal.

Don’t get me started on the kids off from school, outside in their yards, playing no less. When I was their age, I spent summers avoiding my parents like any other depressed kid from a dysfunctional family. Kids today are too damn happy if you ask me.
I can’t wait until the little noise makers are back in school. When the brisk air of autumn fills the air and the windows close with a ‘shunk’. When the last leaf is raked and carted off. When my sinus cavities are free of pollen. When the mosquito’s life cycle has ended and my poison ivy stops itching. That’s the day I really live for. I can’t wait for winter.

Piece from my new chapter book. Here is a scene where some mice feel threatened from burrowing owl. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Climate Change

Did you ever have one of those weeks when something good happens there is an equal and opposite crappy re-action? That’s the way it’s been for me lately. I noticed my back was finally starting to feel better as I sat waiting in the urologist office. Later in the week, I finished a sketch, which I thought was pretty good, during a model session when the proctor came over and asked me if I was sure I was right-handed. Maybe my life is just mimicking the weather here. It was 70° at sunset yesterday, but I woke to find three inches of snow on the ground. Which leads me to my next theory.
States seem to have their own personality, much like a corporation can have its own culture. I think much of this is due to their climate. Back in New York, it was tough and grey most of the year and it seemed to alter the general mood of the populace. It has a badass reputation and deservedly so. On the other hand in Minnesota it has the opposite effect. The people are as friendly as the weather is hostile. In Florida, where the air is heavy with humidity life seems stagnant. It’s not the heat but the futility.
If this new theory of mine holds water it might explain Colorado. I find it unwise to store either shorts in the winter or coats in summer with the five-day forecast resembling a rollercoaster. With the influx of families from both coasts, this traditionally red state is turning blue in certain areas, and holding on tight in others. It is becoming a state with a split personality.
For instance, Weld County, which is very conservative, voted down offering recreational marijuana, and was so incensed on how times were changing that they tried becoming the 51st state. However, the small town of Garden City, population 241, located in Weld is selling it and filling their coffers to the brim with new taxes and jobs that the struggling town needed. A Pot Oasis in the Red Desert it’s no wonder there’s a referendum to change the state motto to “Dude”.
Long time residents offer some unique traits. Many are all smiles and will do anything to start a donation pool. But don’t ask a friend over without having at least one vegan dish or face being blackballed from the community. There’s deep down resentment brewing as if it was 8am in a coffee shop. How did I figure that? If you are looking for facts you’ve come to the wrong place. However, I offer this tidbit. Many drivers go five miles under the speed limit in areas where it is impossible to pass them, highways as well as rural roads. They seem to get a certain pleasure out of this from the looks on their faces as I accelerate by. The state created a new law designating left-hand lanes for passing only and drivers are subject to fines. Who says government doesn’t work?
Passive-aggression fits the bill nicely for those that don’t want to be seen as unfriendly, but are seething with hostility. The In-Your-Face anger found in New York is becoming a distant memory. Even as I write this I struggle to remember what it’s like to curse out a stranger or even how to flip the bird. One day it will be gone completely. One day I will be very sad.

This pencil sketch (not the one mentioned above) was from a live model session in February. I decided to enlarge it and turn it into an oil painting. I’m fairly happy with the results, but I do think it still falls into that category of 'almost'.

Monday, March 17, 2014

A few tasty morsels

In case you haven‘t noticed by now I like to give unsolicited advice and offer theories no one is interested in hearing. So much so that I plan on having my headstone engraved with all sorts of tasty morsels I didn’t have time to get to before the Big Sleep arrived. The bottom of said stone will say “Continues on Back”. That’s the whole point of this blog, to avoid building a mausoleum.
Some are simple observations such as; Cameron Diaz is this generation’s Angie Dickinson, or perhaps that Post-Modern Art is the middle child of the art world. Someone notice me! I’m scribbling all over the wall! I guess we can’t expect much after a world war.
And some are a little more developed, like what’s the difference between a sport and a game? I’ve heard arguments surrounding this topic over the years. It usually centers round a personal preference for one or the other. Apparently, games sit on a lower rung of the entertainment ladder. Let me solve this quandary right now. Tennis: sport, bowling: game, car racing: sport, golf: game (although it does come close). The difference isn’t popularity, physical agility, or even difficulty. It only comes down to one thing. Is your opponent on the field at the same time trying to get you to lose by the use of physical force? If they want to make ice dancing a sport, then every team needs to be on the ice at the same time, skating to the same piece of music with a driving base section. If someone should skate into an opposing team, well, I know I’d start watching. That’s why golf comes close, but a player doesn’t alter his game in order to win as they do in racing. Having to wear protective clothing or pads is a good indication too.
And then there is the topic in which any answer is potentially the wrong answer, women. There are all kinds of books on relationships with women written by all kinds of ‘experts’. But none are experts because no expert exists, including myself (that took a lot to admit). The biggest mistake is one I already made, namely generalizing females into one inclusive category.
I do know one thing. Having both daughters and a son I can tell you girls are much harder to raise. There is no comparison between the enormous social pressure and table etiquette at your six-year-old daughter’s tea party with Mr. Fuzzylips, her stuffed bear, and throwing a football around with your son. With boys you just need to teach them three things: hold the door open for your mother, your sleeve is not a napkin, and try not to be an asshole when you grow up.
When my daughter started dating I have to admit I wasn’t entirely prepared mentally. I resorted to quoting from that great sage Charlton Heston when he shouted “Take your filthy paws off of her you damn dirty ape!” Eventually, she wised up and had them meet her at the local coffee shop.
I’m okay with it now. Not due to any kind of maturity on my part, but because I picture my little blossoms later in their lives going through menopause. Now I just look the guy with a smile and think, “That poor bastard doesn’t know what he’s in for.” I call that mellowing out.
And it doesn’t get any easier or give you any more insight to your spouse. My wife accused me of not being romantic. So last night I opened a bottle of wine (red of course), and said: “Why don’t we just sit and talk tonight?” It might not sound it, but I was very sincere and knew beyond a doubt this was the right course of action. Instead she told me to “Just shut up and put on a movie”.  Of course, next week I can say the same thing and get a completely different response.
See? There is no reason to this lunacy. But it is a madness that needs no cure. Every week brings a new response, a new surprise, and a new daze look from behind my eyes and I’m fine with that. Because looking for an answer is not the answer to a happy marriage. In other words, just shut up and put on a movie.

And yet another plein air. Super windy today, but did the best I could. When my old professor told me I had to do about 500 of these in order to get any good I thought it was just a figure of speech.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A short story about a couple of old friends.

The stairs up to the studio apartment cause her shoes to have a slight tack that sounds like someone snapping gum. She stops at the fourth floor where an old grey cat lays curled up in a small triangle of sunlight that is hitting the worn wooden slats of flooring. She is out of her element here. Tall, statuesque even, with shoulder length white hair she is past her prime but just as sexy as when it was jet black. She wears a white thigh-length dress that shows off her still powerful and shapely legs. Apartment 4D. She lifts her gloved hand, ready to knock when the door opens.
            “Hello Diana,” he says.
            “Hello Clark. I see you are adjusting to retirement.”
He stands in front of her his belly poking out pass a soiled red robe. His hairline seems to have relocated to his chin. Long peppered whiskers dangle with remnants of past meals. The afternoon sun makes its way through torn blinds and filthy windows into an apartment littered with papers, unread mail, and empty pizza cartons. An unwatched television drones on in the background and the smell of unwashed clothes hang in the air like a curtain. She crosses the threshold.
“It’s not exactly a fortress of solitude, but the rent’s cheap,” he shows an uneasiness that is rare for him.
“I should hope so. What happened?”
“What do you mean?”
“This, you, all of it.”
“Funny story. You know that radiation Lex was always sending me? Well, it seems to have had some (looking for the right word) residual effects. Speed…strength…pretty soon it’ll all be gone.” He fiddles with the couch clearing a spot for them to sit. “Hell, I can’t even shave myself anymore. I’m practically human.”
“Practically. But why live like this? You must have money saved?”
“I didn’t plan on retiring Diana.”
“What about all your possessions?”
“All of it? Even the diamonds?”
“All gone. Most went to my lawyers. Apparently, I did quite a bit of collateral damage over the years.” A stack of bills marked ‘Past Due’ is piled high on an end table.
“But this is no way to live, Clark. Not for you. Why won’t you at least move out of here?”
            “The paparazzi would love that. They’re staked out 24/7 down there, just waiting to get a shot of me.”
She looked down to the street below. A stretch limo is sitting in a handicap parking space. The litter cover sidewalk is empty of people.
He shuffles into the tiny kitchen and plugs in a small heating coil to warm up. Reaching for a glass coffee pot he begins to wipe it with a dirty rag, which only makes it dirtier. He lets the water run from the kitchen sink until it turns from a deep rust to a pale yellow.
“You want some coffee? I’m putting a fresh pot on.”
“No, I’m good.” She makes her way around the one room studio, careful not to step on any leftover food. “Why don’t you give Bruce a call? I’m sure he would love…”
“I’m sure he would, but I’m not taking charity, especially from a smug psychopath like him. I’ll be fine. Have you been reading my blog?” he asks with the most enthusiasm she has seen since she arrived.
“Ah, yeah. It’s really great. Clever.”
“What did you think of the last one?”
”Last one? Which one was that?”
“You know, the one where I compare reality shows to cave paintings.”
“Oh that one. That was one of your best.”
He stares at her. Although, his body has betrayed him his mind is sharp and alert.
“You didn’t read it did you?”
“I meant to.
“Have you read any of them?”
“Clark, I’m sorry. I didn’t want to hurt your feelings.”
He plops down into the red upholstered chair, the arms of which are worn threadbare. The chair tilts to one side due to a broken leg and clunks down.
“Maybe I better go. Listen, I have to fly back home in a couple of weeks. Why don’t you come with me? We can take my plane.”
“Fly inside? No thanks.”
The coffee percolates and he rises to turn it off the bitterness filling the air. His hand accidentally touches the hot coil.
“Damn. I still have to get use to that,” He laughs and puts the tip of his finger in his mouth to cool it off. He pours himself a cup.
She gets an idea. Wiggling the toe of her high heel into a loop of electric cord strewn across the rug she wraps the cord around her ankle. She makes small talk with the big man to distract him. Suddenly, she screams and falls backwards. In a flash he’s in from the kitchen and catches her in his arms before she hits the ground. She smiles up at him.
“You still got it Clark.”
“Not quite,” His eyes point over to the kitchen and the broken coffee mug he let fall to the floor, “but thanks for trying.”

Back out on the sidewalk the woman puts on her orange Chanel sunglasses. She turns and looks back up to his apartment, lets out a long sigh, and heads towards the waiting limo. The smoke colored windows let in very little light. She steps inside where an old man sits. His long arthritic fingers lean on a kane for support.
“What did he say?”
“You were right,” she answers him. “Driver we can go now.”
With a life filled with pain and loneliness, saying goodbye to her friend for the last time was the hardness thing to do.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

New Year, Same Old Me

Ding Dong the Holidays are over! The house is quiet, the decorations are put away, and the next houseguest won’t be here for another couple of weeks. It’s almost February and I’m still going strong with my New Year’s Resolution. Who would think not giving a damn would be so easy? 

My son and his girlfriend headed back to New York last week. Everyone was a bit under the weather during they visit so we didn’t get to talk as much as I would have liked. She recently returned from Amsterdam. The home of Van Gogh, Rembrandt, and Vermeer filled me with many unanswered questions. For instance: Did she prefer the nights in Holland or the Hollandaise? And is there any way you can go out to a restaurant in the Netherlands without going Dutch? I have more, but I take it from your silence not to continue.

Also, Downton Abbey has started up again. I thought it would never get here. The costumes, the sets, the dramatic pauses, it all means one thing: I have at least one hour free for the next several weeks while my wife and daughter are watching. There’s nothing like an English melodrama when insomnia flares up. Even our pilot lights had to be relit.

Now I can get back to my favorite sport, sitting on my ass. Which, of course, should be worked into everyone’s exercise routine. And why not? We are becoming more sedentary with each generation. Embrace your derriere, metaphorically of course. Literally can get you arrested in thirty-eight states and all U.S. territories, except of course Puerto Rico.  If God didn’t want us to spend so much time on it, why did He make the gluteus maximus the biggest muscle in our body? It just makes sense, and isn’t that what this blog is all about? That’s not a rhetorical question. I really need to know.

I might even have a glass of wine while I write this. Don’t worry dear reader; my manliness is not in jeopardy. I promise it will be a red. You will agree that all white wines are feminine, and that includes Chablis, Sauternes, white burgundy, and don’t get me started on Zinfandels. You may be tempted to order a white on a first date if you are in any way nervous or clumsy and fear a spillage. But it will go from her thinking, “Hmmm, I never had a date admire my shoes before,” to a very suspicious “Hmmm, I never had a date admire my shoes before.” Reds are the only sexy wines to order. If you do order a white order a chardonnay. It’s the beer of wines.

Once again I rambled on too long with nothing much to say. For now I hear closing credits downstairs, which can only mean one thing, the end of another installment of As the Clock Clicks. I guess I’ll just have to start my drinking earlier next week. Until then, save the last complaint for me.

Below is a simple painting test I did while the weather is too cold to venture out for plein air work. The camera on the left was done with a graislle underpainting and a series of glazes. The one on the right is a direct painting with the same lighting setup. I worked from a photo for both pieces, so not to have the drawing become a variable. By the way, that is my very first camera growing up.