Sunday, December 16, 2007

Draft Beer - Seaside Heights, New Jersey

I have no idea why I am so attracted to these tacky signs "down the shore", as we say in Jersey, but I love the run-down, seedy look of the whole area. There is something very Hopperesque about some of these locations, and I feel as though they should be documented in some way before they are all gone.

One more thing, I have been "tagged" by a wonderful artist named Bob Martin who has been a great supporter of my work. When someone tags your blog, you are requested to list 5 little known facts about yourself and then tag 5 other artists. So, here we go.....

1) I am a distant relative of Charles Lindbergh. He was born on February 5 and I was born on February 8. Also very ironic is that I had a very close call on takeoff once in a cessna. The pilot was yelling, "We're not going to make it!!", over and over as he pulled the nose up over a very large stand of trees at the end of the runway. Needless to say, I will NEVER fly in a small aircraft again!!

2) I taught myself how to juggle after watching a friend of mine do it. I was able to juggle perfectly on my very first attempt. I guess I must have good hand - eye coordination. lol!

3) It is impossible for me to paint without music playing. Neil Young and Ani DiFranco are my personal heroes, by the way. They have both had as much influence on my painting as any artist ever has.

4) I am terrified of ketchup in certain situations. Let me explain....I can eat it on burgers and fries, but in any other context, it is totally revolting to me. I think this irrational fear is due to the fact that when I was going for my initial interview at Kerygma gallery a few years back, I stopped in at a local diner for a quick bite before I was due there. I was freshly shaved and scrubbed and dressed in what I felt was appropriate attire for a gallery interview. I reached for the ketchup bottle for my fries, and WHAMMO!, when I twisted the cap open, it exploded all over me. I have never been so mortified in all of my life. I couldn't move or speak for a few minutes, trying to comprehend this hideous turn of events. I rushed home to wash up and change clothes and made it to the gallery in time for the interview. The gallery owners got quite a chuckle out of this when I told them what had happened, and said that they would have taken me on board no matter what I was covered in! I knew right then and there that this was the gallery for me.

5) If I had been just a few inches taller, I truly believe that I could have played in the NFL as a wide receiver. Also, I was at both Super Bowls when the Denver Broncos won. I am not a Bronco fan, it just worked out that way. I find this interesting because John Elway once said in an interview one of the most fascinating things that I have ever heard. He was asked how was it that he almost never gets sacked from behind, and his response was, "I see the cast shadows of the defenders on the ground coming towards me." Brilliant!

As far as tagging 5 other artists goes, I will just list the 5 painters whose work I have the incredible good fortune to own.

Duane Keiser (8 paintings)
Mick McGinty (3 paintings)
Karin Jurick (4 paintings)
Jelaine Faunce (2 paintings)
Craig Stephens (2 paintings)

One last shout out to James Neil Hollingsworth, whose paintings are PHENOMENAL! I mention Neil here because I have been trying to acquire one of his masterpieces for years now, and keep getting outbid each and every time. RATS!! I will own one of these babies someday, if it's the last thing I do!

Thanks again to Bob for your kind words and support! Next time I'm in Arizona, we will hook up for lunch and a studio visit!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Red's-Point Pleasant, New Jersey

This is the neon sign at Red's lobster pot restaurant in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey. I don't believe that this place is in any danger of being torn down and replaced with condos or a strip mall or any other blight on the landscape, I just like the look of this sign. I am also quite fond of a good lobster now and again!
I have one more Jersey shore piece to do before I start on a few Cape Cod scenes. After that will be some NYC facades that are going to be tremendously fun to paint. I seem to be starting many new pieces at this point instead of finishing one at a time. I enjoy working this way from time to time, keeping everything fresh and spontaneous instead of getting bogged down with one piece at a time.
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