Saturday, October 27, 2012

Little Houses, Purple Hearts

I just finished this little house. It was a birthday gift for a very good friend. This was a tough project. She gave me a shoebox full of things that belonged to her father. He was sent over to fight in WW2 and died July 4, 1944. She was in her mother's womb when he died, and he didn't know he had a child on the way when he was shipped out. Well, he never knew he had a child period, and his child never got to know him.
Originally she said I could glue the purple heart on it and paint it black.  I couldn't do that, so instead I rebuild the original box it came in (because it was falling apart) and turned it into a door.  Some of the objects glued on are from my collection since she didn't have enough to cover the house. The roof lifts up and inside are some items I couldn't embed, like the official letter from the government and a card he had made for her mother. The chimney is his brass lighter, the roof is a feather hat that belonged to her aunt. I built all of this, the house and the stand. It was an honor to be entrusted with these items, but honestly I've got to say, the purple hearts our government gives out should be solid gold for the price paid in order to receive one. They are really kind of cheap looking. Don't get me wrong, I have great respect for those who go and fight and get injured or killed, I just don't agree with all of our endless wars.
The title of this is: "Daddy Johnny Comes Home."

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Makin' New Animals

I'm busy, busy, busy. Cutting up old books full of animals, Oprah and Vanity Fair magazines, and any other pictures of animals I can find.  Getting ready for a 45 minute workshop that I'll be giving at the Texas Art Educators Conference in San Antonio next month. I'll be there teaching and selling Ampersand Art products.  I put if off long enough. It was much easier just coming up with the idea, now I have to put it together. This is one of my first finished pieces that I'll use to illustrate the process. Let's hope I can write a good lesson plan and present it in a understandable way. Just another "performance". This is either a Prairie Dog or some other rodent with a sweet little Doe head. Red tie and Red Fez!! I'll also be doing a scratchboard workshop called "Scratch Happy." That one is a piece of cake for me!
Meanwhile, I'm taking Dog Scratchin' books tonight to the For Pets' Sake meeting and to Petco on Saturday during adoptions event, to sell a few. So far I've raised about $100.00 each for the above group and the Fayetteville Animal Shelter.  I'll give them both a check at the end of the month. I hope I can bump them up by having more sales. If you are interested in one or two or more, you can contact me or just send a check (I'm old skool) to PO Box 8963 Fayetteville, Arkansas 72703.  Books are $25.00 each and I'm donating $2.00 of every sale to animal rescue groups.
Ok, that's it for now. The show at the Anne Kittrell Gallery on the campus of the University of Arkansas until the end of October. Open M-F 10am-6pm
Next dog event will be in Austin, TX Nov. 13th at Wally Workman Gallery from 6-8pm.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Book and Art Debut at Anne Kittrell Gallery

The day is finally here. I've got boxes of books, the art is on the wall, and I'm fixin' ta get myself prepared to meet and greet folks tonight. The reception starts at 6pm. I hope the gallery is packed. I promise I won't panic and bolt from the room. My friend Megan Chapman (a brilliant artist) will be helping me with the book sales so I don't have to focus on that while I'm talking about the book and signing. Thanks Megan!
I need to forget all of my fears and just be happy with what I've done with my life in the last 10 months. Sometimes I forget how to do that. This sweet little creature above looks like how I feel right now. Her name is Monica. She's in the book, along with her story. She died recently, from breast cancer. Her people (John and Richard) who rescued her, say that she was a puppy mill dog that might have been thrown into the river if not for their taking her in. You all know how I feel about puppy mills and the people who operate them. I don't believe in using animals as products or "currency" to be used up and thrown away. I'm hoping to sell a lot of books tonight so I can give two large checks to a couple of local rescue groups. 20% of the proceeds tonight will be split between the Fayetteville Animal Shelter and For Pets' Sake (a Springdale Ar group who do great work).  So come out tonight if you can. Stay tuned. I'll be in Austin, TX next month on the 13th at Wally Workman Gallery for an event.
And thank you all!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Pugs And Such...

Here's a sweet little Pug face on my drawing table tonight. I don't know who this is, just part of the collected images in my download file. I must have snagged it off of the internet, maybe facebook. Anyhow, I'm back to sketching dogs and, tah dah, cats (in preparation for the next book). And, oh yeah, The Dog Scratchin' books are here! They are beautiful. I'm happy, but also, in such an Aries way, ready to be on to the next thing. Must remember, first things first. Get.These.Books.Sold. (and of course give a significant number to rescue orgs) The big opening of the show is at the Anne Kittrell Gallery this Thursday night the 11th from 6-7pm. Wonder how many books I can sell and sign in that time period. Seems kind of crazy to me. Most gallery openings that I've been a part of go for at least two hours, and then some. Hope we don't get thrown out. Or maybe I hope we would certainly keep things interesting. I expect it will be a whirlwind of fun.
Ok, that's all for now. The weather has changed, coolness is here, finally. My heat is on, and I've been building cabinets, little wooden totes, and "franken-furniture" to sell at my new favorite store, Warehouse 54 in Springdale, Ar.
I wonder what's next?