31 December 2008

Wednesday Works - Star Chart Collage

This is a collage I did a few years ago. It is a combination of a star chart from an old atlas and some magazine clippings. The movie scene clipping is James Dean in the movie "Giant".......filmed in Marfa of course. Have a great New Years Eve!

30 December 2008

Tuesday Tunes - Deathray Davies "The Day of the Ray"

One of my favorite Dallas bands is the the Deathray Davies. I discovered them in the late 90's when the opened for the Old 97's at a show in Deep Ellum. This is their third album titled "The Day of the Ray". They put on a great live show. You should check them out.

29 December 2008

Marfa Monday- Thunderbird Hotel Neon

This is a colored pencil drawing I did a few weeks ago of the neon hotel sign at the Thunderbird Hotel office in Marfa, Texas. It is a drawing of a night scene with the glowing neon. The Thunderbird Hotel is a real cool place to stay when you come to Marfa.

28 December 2008

Sunday Funday - Agave Wheat Beer Label

Beer is fun right? Here is the coolest, most artistic label of all the beers that I had in Colorado over the week. I like the print like quality and I'm always a sucker for skulls in sombreros. My brother-in-law had the mother load of Colorado brews stashed in the snow. The label was cool and so was the beer. It's made by Breckenridge Brewery in case you wondering.

27 December 2008

Studio Saturday - "Big Catch"

This is a little collage painting I did a couple of years ago. I took a couple of old books and made a collage that looked interesting. I then painted an image of a young boy next to his big catch. I decided to do the image in black and white and put a very colorful background in behind. It was a simple little time waster, but it turned out kind of neat.

PS 8-3 in bowl picks so far.

26 December 2008

Friday Favorites - Masonry Stars

Masonry stars are one of my favorite things as you can probably tell by my user icon. I have done numerous sketches and paintings of the beloved masonry star. I've got two large paintings in my home that I did of these stars. We also have some real masonry stars hanging up on our walls as well. You can pick them up at flea markets and junky little iron shops. The picture above is of some stars I sketched in my sketchbook last year.

25 December 2008

Throwback Thursday - Frisco Collage

Merry Christmas! This is a collage I did a few years ago. I took an old book page and transferred a Frisco railroad line image that I had photocopied onto the transfer paper. I used the same techniques found in Jonathan Talbot's book. I made about 3 different versions of these, using different book pages. I'll post those later. In the meantime enjoy your Christmas day with friends and family!

24 December 2008

Wednesday Works - "Alamo"

This is a small collage I did a couple of years ago. I used a couple of different artist's techniques on this one. Claudine Hellmuth is one of the inspirations as well as Jonathan Talbot. I first took a small 5"x7" canvas and glued down a page of an old atlas index with acrylic medium. I peeled off a layer in certain spots. Then I glazed it with the acrylic medium. I then used a technique from Talbot. I made a photocopy of the Alamo onto a special transfer paper. Then you put the image face down on the canvas and use a special hot iron to transfer the image to the canvas. After that I rubbed off the back of the transfer paper with a wet sponge and let it dry. Then I painted the area around the Alamo. I finished it off the word "determination" across the door that was cut out from an old dictionary. I finished it off with an acrylic glaze medium. It's kind of a laborious process but well worth the outcome. Give me a holler if you are in the area and I'll show you how to do it. Claudine Hellmuth and Jonathan Talbot's books are great resources.

23 December 2008

Tuesday Tunes - John Denver's Rocky Mountain Christmas

When I got married about 12 years ago, I was introduced to a new Christmas tradition by her family. They always decorate the tree and open presents while listening to John Denver's Rocky Mountain Christmas album. I'm actually in Denver right now as I'm writing this....what a coincidence! It originally came out in 1975. I was 3. You should check this album out...it has really grown on me over the years. I especially like "Please Daddy Don't Get Drunk This Christmas". That song has been remade by two of my current favorites...the husband and wife duo, Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis. Here is the track list. Merry Christmas Eve Eve!

1. Aspenglow - John Denver, Denver, John
2. The Christmas Song - John Denver, Torme, Mel
3. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer - John Denver, Marks, Johnny
4. Silver Bells - John Denver, Livingston, Jay
5. Please, Daddy (Don't Get Drunk This Christmas) - John Denver, Danoff, Bill
6. Christmas for Cowboys - John Denver, Weisberg, Steve [2]
7. Away in a Manger - John Denver, Traditional
8. What Child Is This? - John Denver, Dix, William Chatte
9. Coventry Carol - John Denver, Traditional
10. O Holy Night - John Denver, Adam, Adolphe
11. Silent Night - John Denver, Gruber, Franz
12. A Baby Just Like You - John Denver, Denver, John
13. Jingle Bells - John Denver, Paxton, Tom
14. White Christmas - John Denver, Berlin, Irving
15. The Music Is You - John Denver, Denver, John
16. Perhaps Love - John Denver, Denver, John
17. Dreamland Express - John Denver, Denver, John

22 December 2008

Marfa Monday - Food Shark

This is a Ebony pencil drawing that I did a couple of months ago. It is the Food Shark truck in Marfa, Texas. The background was made up from my head, but is similar to the surroundings in the Big Bend region. Food Shark serves lunch daily near downtown Marfa by the railroad tracks. It is truly a must when you are in town.

21 December 2008

Sunday Funday - Del Mar Sign Part 2

Another late night for me. I watched a little football. Everyone fell asleep except me of course. I moved into the studio and decided to add the first layers of the shadows. It's still early in the process, and I've got a feeling I'll be doing a lot of small detail touch ups on this one! So far it's going well and I'm pleased with it. The thing about painting is, that if you mess up, you can always paint over it until you get it right. There is security in that. Sorry for the let down on Sunday Funday....not as fun as you wanted I'm sure.

PS I went 3-1 in bowl picks Saturday.

20 December 2008

Studio Saturday - Del Mar Sign early stages

Well, I'm finally on my Christmas break and I decided to kick it off with a late night painting session. I took a picture of the Del Mar Theater sign in Santa Cruz, California two summers ago. I cropped a couple of neon letters in the sign and drew it up this afternoon. Since I'm not real patient, I went ahead and got started on it. I'm excited so far and hopefully I can get a little more done before we leave town. I guess we will see.

19 December 2008

Friday Favorites - Danny Heller

Danny Heller is a painter who likes to do paintings of Eichler homes, modern architecture, and suburban scenes. I found him a few months ago on the web. I love his style and subject matter. I like the fact that his paintings are simple in nature, but show a nice realistic view of suburbia that we can all relate to. Danny has definitely become one of my favorite painters.

18 December 2008

Throwback Thursday - "Man on the Box" Collage

This collage was done about 5 years ago. I used an old map, Mississippi State yearbook from the 50's, old magazines, an old engineering textbook, acrylic medium, acrylic paint, and a 5" x 7" canvas to complete the collage. I attached the old map and textbook pages down to the canvas with acrylic medium. Then I cut out the man from the yearbook. After that I created a box from magazine clippings. I glued them down and started to paint the layers. When the paint was dry, I sealed it with more gloss medium. It took me literally an hour or so to complete. It was a creative trial at a canvas collage. A few years ago when I began selling some of my collectibles on Ebay, I decided to sell a piece of art as well. This was the piece! I wasn't in love with it. I had no attachment to it. I had to see if there was any interest in small collages on Ebay. Well, after a week, and about 5 or 6 bids. The "Man on a Box" collage sold for a whopping $20.50. The lady that bought it was from New York and she said it looked great hanging in here office! That was cool. I was real happy since it only took me a little while to complete. This is the only artwork that I've ever tried to sell on Ebay. It is also the only artwork that I've ever sold. Not to say that I wouldn't sell any of my current stuff......I would for the right price. I get kind of attached to my work and have a problem parting with it. One of my future goals is to start doing some small work to sell on Ebay or Etsy.

17 December 2008

Wednesday Works - "Lido Motel"

This is a painting that I did in late October. I actually drew out the sign onto the canvas on the last day of school last year. I believe the Lido Motel is in California. It was going to be my summer project. I never really got around to it this summer. I did put a sky in last summer.....but then I changed it after some consulting with my buddy Craig Gould. The colors just weren't right. Anyway, in October, I painted from 11 AM to 6 PM straight one day and knocked it out. It is truly one of my favorite works so far. It is one of the largest pieces that I have ever done. It is 24" x 36" acrylic on canvas. I had it in a show at the local Irish pub - Lochrann's in Frisco a few weeks ago and it has even been used to help stage a house in the area. The house sold if you were wondering.....but after my painting had been taken down. So this piece has definitely has got me inspired to do some more big neon signs.

16 December 2008

Tuesday Tunes - Old 97's - Too Far To Care

In 1997, my mom gave me a CD. It was the soundtrack to the movie Hope Floats, starring Harry Connick Jr. and Sandra Bullock ...... Anyway, she thought I'd like it because it had a song on there from a musician I like named Jack Ingram.....Well, needless to say I smiled and said, "thanks mom, this looks great!" When my parents left town that that day, I rushed down to the CD World on Greenville Avenue to trade it in. I walked up and down the aisles looking for a CD I might want to replace it. I saw the Old 97's album "Too Far Too Care" as an employee pick. The cover art was cool! I'd seen their name around in the Dallas Observer weekly paper. So I went for it cold turkey. It changed my life. After about 2 weeks, I went and bought their two previous CDs and saw them play at Trees in Deep Ellum. The rest is history! The Old 97's are my favorite band without a doubt. In the mid 90's they were known as the pioneers of alternative / twang rock country. They put on the most energetic live show that you've ever seen. I've seen them about 10+ times and they have never disappointed. Check them out if you've never heard of them. It's an employee pick!

15 December 2008

Marfa Monday - "Marfa Tower"

Well, I've got some new ideas as to how I want to set up this blog. I think what I'm going to do is designate different themes for different days. Here is what I'm thinking:

*Marfa Mondays - all things Marfa and the Big Bend region
*Tuesday Tunes - A look into some of my favorite musical interests
*Wednesday Works - A look at some of my more recent artwork, or what I'm working on now
*Throwback Thursday - A look at some of my older artwork......at least 5 years old
*Friday Favorites - My favorite artists, websites, blogs, or pieces of artwork
*Studio Saturday - I'll post some interesting items found in my studio/collectibles room
*Sunday Funday - Random......could be anything

So, let's kick it off the first Marfa Monday with a recent painting that I did of the Marfa water tower. I took the picture and put it into photoshop. I went to the filter tab and changed it up some. Then I drew it out on a 2' x 2' canvas. Then I chose some colors to go with it. I wanted a bright bold red sky, but I wanted the water tower to be rather simple. Anyways, I really liked how it turned out. We have it hanging in our living room. I may do a few more in this style of some other Texas towers. Who knows?

14 December 2008

Texas License Plate Artwork Part 2

Well I was able to swing by McKinney Trade Days yesterday to pick up my sign. I picked it up from Raymond's wife. She was running the booth. She informed me that she would be putting a website together for all of Raymond's latest works. I'll keep you updated. Here is a picture of the Texas piece hanging on our wall at home. Yes, that is a Christmas Elvis bust on the table beside the chair. We were lucky enough to receive it as a white elephant gift a few Christmases ago. It's actually not a Christmas Elvis, we just put the Santa hat on him. He's our holiday mascot.

13 December 2008

Collage Drawing

In my Art 2 class, I have my students create a collage from magazines that I have in the classroom. Then I have them take the collage and draw it enlarged. They then complete the work by adding value with Ebony pencil. Since my class only has 8 students and I was getting a little bored at the time.....I decided to do one with them. As an example of course for next year. I cut my collage images to fit a star shape. The theme? Texana of course! I threw Joe Ely in there along with Whataburger, the Alamo, and the Y-O ranch brand. I then broke all the rules and laminated it! It is a sample project after all.

12 December 2008

"Down at the Horseshoe Lounge"


This is a painting that I did about a year and a half ago. It is a painting on an old Texas map. I glued the map down on to an 8 x 10 canvas using acrylic medium and then drew out the sign. I think the map background adds a cool and unique look. The Horseshoe Lounge is a little dive on the south side of Austin. I've always liked the sign, and thought it would make a great painting. It was my first attempt at doing the old neon signs. I have done quite a few more since. I'll post them later. Slaid Cleaves has a song called "Horseshoe Lounge". It is usually in my head when I look at this work. Good stuff.

11 December 2008

Texas License Plate Artwork

My wife and I recently went to McKinney Trade Days in McKinney, Texas. We stumbled upon a guy on the last aisle of the event that was making artwork out of license plates. His name is Raymond and he is incredibly talented. When I saw his stuff, I was blown away by the attention to detail that he puts in his work. He told me that he was in the courthouse to pay a ticket one day and he noticed some license plate artwork hanging on the wall. He told me that he thought he could do better work. Raymond has a background working in the auto shop. He never once thought of himself as an artist. He started making these a few months ago, and the demand has been overwhelming. He has completely sold out the last few times that he's been to First Monday Trade Days in Canton. Anyway, we had him make us a personalized one with our birth year plates in the state. It's in the picture above. He does all kinds of different pieces ranging from guitars to Texas school logos. Pretty cool stuff. I'm still trying to arrange a time when I can meet up with him to pick it up so I can hang that sucker up on the wall at home!

10 December 2008

Ryan Bingham

If you haven't heard of Ryan Bingham, then you need to check him out and give him a spin. I found out about him last spring, and I've been hooked ever since. He's got a real unique voice. It sounds like he has smoked a few packs in his young life. I listened a lot to Ryan's new album "Mescalito" when I was painting the Marfa Sky sky redo....make sense?? I get inspired by lots of music. I'll keep you posted on what's spinning in the studio.

"Marfa Sky"

Well I thought I'd kick this blog off with one of my favorite recent paintings. I actually hated the first sky that I put in, so after about 2 years I used my artistic license and changed it. Now I am at peace with myself. It is a 24" x 24" acrylic on canvas. I'm really happy with how the colors came out.


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