Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Thoughts on Memorial Day

Another long holiday weekend has passed by. Like most holidays, the extra time was spent with my family and painting. We enjoyed some time downtown at the City Garden, running through the water, climbing on the rabbits and getting ice cream from the wonderful people who operator the awesome Fire and Ice Cream Truck. We even took the kids to their first movie in a theater, walking out I asked my son if he enjoyed the movie, “no, but we can try again” was his reply. My debit card was not pleased. I was able to sneak down to The Tap Room and catch a nice set from Catholic Guilt along with Bunnygrunt and the always excellent N. Nomurai. A few hours each day was also spent painting. I was able to finish up a small commission and continue work on the Royale pieces. On Sunday we did some yard work and I removed and re-installed some landscape bricks on the side of my house. By Monday the heat had really set in and we decided to take the kids to another park in Soulard that sometimes has a fountain of water running for the kids to cool off. Unfortunately they didn’t have the fountain running and we were really feeling the heat. We decided to hoof it back home but not before my son slightly twisted his ankle while running and got a nice cut on his foot. He toughed it out though and walked all the way home. While walking home I got a sudden craving for duck fried rice and decided to just keep on walking up to Park Chop Suey and get a full order. When I got there they were closed for the holiday. Ugh. On the way home I noticed some guy had set up a trailer on the side of the street and was selling BBQ. I was tired, hot and hungry so I bought some rib tips and a hot dog for my wife. It was terrible food.

Memorial Day wasn’t going so well, we were all hot, tired and one of us was injured. After the kids were cleaned up and settled, I went back to working on the Royale pieces. By chance I was working on the Iwo Jima photo that hangs in the Royale. It dawned on me while listening to Dylan’s “Masters of War” that it was rather appropriate to be painting soldiers on Memorial Day. Right about that time my son wandered down to my studio and asked what I was doing. I thought that would be as good of a time as any to try and explain to him why he had a day off from school. He understood fighting and war but when he asked if we were currently fighting any war, I had trouble explaining what exactly the “The War on Terror” was. He did understand though that we currently have troops in multiple countries and fighting is no fun and he should be thankful for those who serve or have died or have been killed. Regardless of your political views, I think everyone can get behind supporting those who choose to serve their country in the military. It’s unfortunate our elected leaders don’t do more to ensure the soldiers don’t fight needlessly and are thoroughly taken care of after the fighting is over. But that’s neither here nor there. All you can really do is try to teach your children to be respectful of others. The long weekend ended with a viewing of Stanley Kubrick’s “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb”.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Going down my “blog roll” I noticed an update by “Trashcanvas” which is Tim Rakel of the bands Union Electric and The May Day Orchestra. It appears Union Electric will be playing with Arrington de Dionyso on Friday Jun 3rd at a newish venue called Jefferson Warehouse. In addition to this being Arrington de Dionyso's first ever show in Saint Louis, Union Electric will also have advance copies of their new 7 inch on marbled purple vinyl for sale called “Tunnels”. Tim approached me a few months ago about painting a cover design and the above picture (taken by the awesomely talented Michael DeFilippo) is the result. Tim sent me lyrics to the song “Tunnels” and gave me some rough ideas to work with. I had a large piece of plywood laying around my studio and used that as the surface. Started out with spray paint, switched to oil, then acrylic and then back to oil to finish it. The process was completely different than what I usually do and gave me lots of ideas of how to approach painting in the future.

now playing – Tunnels

Friday, May 13, 2011


A quick, small piece of an old graveyard down in Southeast Missouri. Some of the graves date back to the mid-1800's and even earlier. I have a few long lost relatives in this one.

now playing - Not Dark Yet

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Long Day

It's been a long day yet despite it's length, two hours was found for painting. Sometimes it reminds me of that Bowie song "Ashes to Ashes" when the lyrics go -

"Time and again I tell myself
I'll stay clean tonight
But the little green wheels are following me

Of course he was talking about whatever drug he was on at the time, but this could be applied to just about any addiction and painting is very much an addiction. It's pretty much done daily and when not done everything is off kilter and unbalanced.

now playing - Bjork