31 May 2009

Truck Bed - Little Squaw Resort

Here is an image from our Colorado trip last June. We stay in some cabins along the Rio Grande about 30 miles from Creede. It is an old Ford truck bed that was transformed into a trailer. We started packing today for this year's trip. Next week at this time we will be there. There is no cell phone service or Internet, so junky trinkets will close up shop for a few days beginning this weekend. Getting away from technology for a while is actually pretty nice. We will have our XM radio there in case we need some tunes or if I need to check the Cubs scores.

29 May 2009

Friday Favorite - Susan Bennerstrom Part 2

Susan Bennerstrom has new work out. She is wrapping up a show at the Terrence Rogers Gallery in Santa Monica, California this weekend. Such simple subject matter....huge results! One of my all time favorites! Check it out.

28 May 2009

North Texas Sky

Here is a small 6 x 9 oil pastel landscape that I did today. It is based on the sky I could see yesterday from my window at work. The sky was filled with small clouds that had purplish shadows. I have quite a nice view from my window at work...if you look over the parking lot.

27 May 2009

Wednesday Confession: Tejano Music & The Texas Tornados

I have a secret. I like Conjunto/Tejano music. I sometimes twist my radio dial to the local Spanish station and crank it up. Well, maybe not crank it, but listen to it at a normal decibel level. All you need is an accordion, a 12 string guitar, a bass, maybe an organ, and some drums.....and there you go.....of course some of the lyrics need to be in Spanish too....that helps. Today on my way to work I plugged in the Best of the Texas Tornados CD. This group consists of Augie Meyers, the late Freddy Fender, Flaco Jimenez, and the late and great Doug Sahm. There is just something about this group that screams out south Texas. Each of these guys has had success in other projects or solo careers before forming the Texas Tornados. I'm not going to go into a lot of detail on these guys because it would take more room than I'd like to use today. This was a very talented group to say the least. Doug Sahm is about as Texan as you can get. Flaco is basically the king of Conjunto music (that dude can play the accordion!) Of course how can you forget Freddy Fender? the #1 hit "Before the Next Teardrop Falls" & my favorite, "Rancho Grande"...classic. This is great summer music. Pop open a Dos Equis and enjoy.

Track List (Click to Listen):

26 May 2009

Sketchbook Entry - Interlocking Sculpture

This is a sketch I did a little while back of a small sculpture. I think the image came from a Collector's Guide from a few years ago. This would look cool in my future prefab modern home in Colorado.

25 May 2009

Memorial Day

This is one of my favorite photographs of all time. If you haven't read Flags of our Fathers, I strongly suggest it. It will put things in perspective. My grandfather fought at Iwo Jima so it really hits home for me.....it's amazing that I am even here.

24 May 2009

"Steal the Sideshow" - Del Mar Theater - Santa Cruz

Steal the Sideshow

One of my photos of the sign

My new painting, Steal The Sideshow is now finished....finally. I've been piddling with it for months.....or more like letting it sit around for months. The painting is from a photograph I took two years ago in Santa Cruz, California of the Del Mar Theater sign. I cropped it down to just two letters, the "M" and the "A" of the word MAR. The painting is acrylic on a 12" x 12" gallery wrapped canvas with an 1.5" edge. Now on to the next painting that has been sitting around.

23 May 2009

Saturday Nights in the Hill Country - Gruene Hall

There is no better place to be in Texas on a Saturday night than Gruene Hall. I wish I was there right now. Above are a few pics from last fall of the historic dancehall in my hometown. Happy Birthday Carrie!

22 May 2009

Friday Favorites - Dwell Magazine

I've always had this thing for architecture and design as far back as I can remember. I went to Texas Tech University and finished 2 years in their architecture school before I decided to switch majors and get into education. I'm also a huge fan of architectural artwork. I love to look at paintings of buildings, bridges, and homes. One way I get my monthly hit of architecture is through Dwell Magazine. Dwell focuses on modern architecture and design. Now some of the stuff in Dwell is a little too modern for my taste, but a lot of it is really appealing to me. I'm not a minimalist at all....I can't be, I'm an artist and I have trouble throwing things away.......so I can't always relate to some of the homes that have like one white vase on a white table. I have recently been dreaming up ideas about placing a cool modern style prefab home in the middle a Colorado mountain valley or somewhere in the Big Bend region. That would be cool! Maybe some day. I've been getting Dwell for about three years now and I look forward to it every month. It's a great way for me to keep up with what is going on in modern architecture through their interesting articles and outstanding photographs.

21 May 2009

Marathon Truck - Marathon, Texas

Here is a photo I took a few years back of an old broken down truck on the side of the road in Marathon, Texas. I love this photo. I had it as my screen saver for years. It captures how wide open the land and sky is out there.

19 May 2009

Del Mar Neon Sign Update

Well, I finally got around to working on one my unfinished paintings yesterday. I've been putting it off because I was dreading the small detail stuff. I still have a ways to go, but I did put a little dent in it. I did a few posts about this same painting a while back that are here and here.

18 May 2009

Did I just have the best pizza in Dallas? - Louie's Dallas, Texas

Louie's on Henderson

Thin and delicious

Saturday night before our trip over to the Ice House Cultural Center for the photography exhibit we made a pit stop to meet my brother for some pizza. The place we chose was Louie's. We heard about Louie's on the Food Network show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. This is one of my favorite shows. I've seen them all and take mental notes for future trips. Well, a few months ago they featured Louie's and the people they interviewed on the show were raving about how good the pizza was....saying it was the best in Dallas. We had to try it and did. Louie's is a small, dark, and cozy place. It was packed at 5:30. It's got and old school feel with a lot of Chicago memorabilia on the walls....my kind of place. We ordered one pepperoni and jalapeno pizza and one sausage pizza. The crust is buttery and super thin. I must say, it was awesome! We all kind of looked at each other and said, "Why haven't we been coming here the last 13 years?"....we've been missing out. Word to the wise, Louie's doesn't take Visa or Mastercard, just cash money and American Express. When you are in Dallas, you must check out this legit hole in the wall. Then you can ask yourself, "Did I just have the best pizza in Dallas?" It was pretty dang good to me. We will be back, that is for sure.

17 May 2009

Ice House Cultural Center

Last night my wife and I were able to get out and go check out a great photography exhibit at the Ice House Cultural Center in Dallas. My friend, Pernie's husband, Guy was a part of the show, so we wanted to make sure and check it out. It was a real cozy little gallery down in Oak Cliff in the middle of a neighborhood. The exhibit consisted of black and white photos from local photographers. There was some really nice work there. I took a few pictures from the show and also tried my hand at some black and white images on my way back out to the car. We also had some outstanding pizza before the show off of lower Greenville. I'll dedicate a post to that later.

16 May 2009

Half Price Books Warehouse - Part 2

I went down to the HPBW again to look for some good collage material for some upcoming projects. I had a pretty good day. I picked up about 15-20 books today. The weather was cool and rainy, but that didn't keep there from being a decent size crowd to deal with during the hunt. I picked up a couple of old atlases, an old anatomy book, a couple plant/gardening books, and tons of old sheet music. I'm going to make a strong effort to finish up the two paintings I've started and move on to some new mixed media stuff very soon.

14 May 2009

Boys Day Out - Golf and the Texas Rangers

Every year in May, some friends and I get together and go play golf and then go to an afternoon Texas Rangers game. Today was the day. Here are the highlights:

5:20 - Wake up
6:00-7:00 - Eat 3 pancakes, 3 fried eggs, 4 sausage links at IHOP.
8:00 - Tee off at Riverside Golf Course
8:35 - First and only par of the day on hole 3
9:10 - First banquet beer of the day.
12:00 - Finish round and change clothes in parking lot (flip flops and Cubby shirt)
1:05 - First pitch
3:17 - Rangers win on a 2 run homer in the bottom of the ninth!!! Great game!
3:30-5:00 - Traffic! (it's awful in Arlington) - took a brief nap
5:16 - Blue Moon at Stan's

All in all, another successful boys day out!

13 May 2009

Ryan Bingham - Roadhouse Sun - Sneak Peek!

We interrupt this normal blogcast to bring you an important special announcement. Ryan Bingham's new album Roadhouse Sun that comes out June 2nd is here to listen to in it's entirety. Sweet!!! Enjoy! Listen to "Day is Done" and "Hey Hey Hurray" and let me know what you think. Now back to your regularly scheduled blog.

Danny O - Daniel O'Connor - Magazine Collage Artist

" Lets Play Two" - Daniel O'Connor

In my classes I needed a quick 2-3 day assignment to do after our printmaking unit. I came up with something rather simple that would be a good break from the usual drawing and painting assignments that we have been doing lately. Cut up magazine collages were the answer. We are using Daniel O'Connor as our inspiration. I stumbled upon Danny's work about 4 years ago while I was searching for Chicago Cubs artwork. He has some fantastic stuff on his website! Above is my favorite piece of his.....The Friendly Confines....Wrigley Field. 36 more days and I'll be there! Not that I am counting down the days or anything. I'll be at the Texas Rangers game tomorrow afternoon to get a little taste of baseball. It's our annual boys get-a-way trip. Should be fun as usual!

12 May 2009

Travel Tuesday - Poe's Tavern - Sullivan Island, SC

I've been thinking about travel a lot lately. Summer is on the horizon and I've got some nice little get-a-ways planned in the upcoming weeks. Summer vacation is the one of the main perks of being a teacher, right? I like to take full advantage of my time off. As I thought about past summer trips, one came to mind rather quickly. It was our trip to Charleston, South Carolina. Beautiful architecture and historical sights everywhere. The food was excellent as well! One of the highlights was our evening on Sullivan Island. We stumbled onto a cool little hangout called Poe's Tavern. It was real laid back and had great food and drinks. We sat on the patio and talked while the ocean breeze cooled us off. It's named after Edgar Allan Poe, who was stationed there for a year or so while he was in the Army. If you've never been to the Carolina coast, you are missing out. It is really nice!

11 May 2009

Old New Mexico Chapel - Sketchbook

Here is a sketchbook entry from a little while back. I basically just came up with this image in my head and put it down. I imagine this scene somewhere in the foothills of New Mexico. It measures 5 x 7. I wish I was there now actually.

10 May 2009

Happy Mother's Day - Georgia O'Keefe Flowers

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there. I thought I'd put some nice images of flowers on the post today from one of the best.......Georgia O'Keefe. Enjoy!

I found a great website that sells Georgia O'Keefe reproductions on canvas!  The online store is called OverStockArt.com  They are awesome!
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08 May 2009

Old 97's - Taste Addison 2009

My sweet new shirt! Shiner Bock style!

Rhett and the boys tearing it up.

Alrighty, I just got back from the show and it was great. I mean really good. This is my band man. I don't really care about anyone else. Well, maybe Willie but you know what I mean. Old 97's played Taste Addison tonight in front of a packed crowd. The weather was perfect....nice breeze...perfect! Taste Addison is the best festival in Dallas every year...hands down. Great food, atmosphere, and of course music. Two dollar Shiners in a can.....are you kiddin'? Awesome. We've gone almost every year since we've lived in the Dallas area. We'll probably go again tomorrow. Anyway, let's focus on tonight. Old 97's played for about an hour and five minutes. They completely tore it up. I actually got to visit with Murry Hammond (bass player) before the show. We talked shop.....he said, "no new stuff tonight, is that okay?" I said, " just do your thing, I like the old stuff".....he responded, "you got it" I was in the front row of course with all the other diehards....good times. You can't beat a 97's show. I'm still pumped.
Below is the set list.

"Won't Be Home" - Leigh, you like this one right?
"Barrier Reef" - best sing-along tune as always
"Buick City Complex" - from Satellite Rides...good stuff
"Salome" - beautiful
"Crash on the Barrelhead" - Murray solo
"Dance With Me"
"Big Brown Eyes" - classic
"Early Morning" - good one from the new album
"Wish The Worst" - favorite song of the night.
"Victoria"- oh yeah
"My Two Feet" - great song on new album
"Smokers" - Murray solo
"Rollerskate Skinny" - one of my faves
"The Easy Way" - favorite song of new album
"Timebomb" - always the last song

Old 97's - Wreck Your Life

Old 97's are my favorite band. I'm going to see them tonight in Addison. If you've never heard of them make sure and check them out. Wreck Your Life is their second album. It's a great album for you to get acquainted with their unique sound....classic Old 97's if you will. My favorite songs on this one would have to be, "Doreen", "Victoria" and "Over The Cliff" This CD is money! Enough said. I'll try and post some pics from the show tomorrow.

Track List:

"Victoria" - 3:51
"The Other Shoe" - 2:58
"Doreen" - 3:43
"You Belong To My Heart" - 3:05
"Big Brown Eyes" - 4:25
"Dressing Room Walls" - 3:55
"W-I-F-E" - 3:32
"Bel Air" - 4:05
"My Sweet Blue-Eyed Darlin" - 2:15
"Old Familiar Steam" - 3:58
"Over The Cliff" - 3:19
"Goin', Goin', Gone" - 3:54

07 May 2009

Thursday Throwback Tunes - Jason Boland and The Stragglers - Pearl Snaps

I thought I'd let you in on what I was listening to today on my way to work. I listen to music on my way to work. No talk radio, no sports talk, no news radio, no financial get outta debt radio.....no talking please! I want tunes while I'm driving! The best tunes come from my CD collection or The Range. Today's selection: Pearl Snaps by Jason Boland and The Stragglers. The first time I saw Jason Boland and the Stragglers was at Bill's Records and Tapes in Dallas, Texas back in 2000. There were maybe 60 people there. Cross Canadian Ragweed was there in the audience and no one even knew who they were. Everyone knows now. I've been a fan of both ever since that day. I still think their first album, Pearl Snaps is the best. JB&S still play all over Texas......go see them! I've seen them at least a dozen times. I think my favorite JB&S show was in Austin at Stubb's BBQ back in 2002. They played inside after Willie Nelson wrapped his show up outside. It was an awesome show! What a fun night. Going to see Old 97's tomorrow in Addison....can't wait!

"And the rays of light through my Shiner Bock bottle make me wanna turn the key and put down the throttle.....and get lost down 35"
Pearl Snaps Track list:
1. Somewhere Down In Texas
2. Drinkin' Song
3. Pearl Snaps
4. Proud Souls
5. Ponies
6. Backslider Blues
7. Telephone Romeo
8. Devil Pays In Gold
9. If I Ever Get Back To Oklahoma
10. No Damn Good
11. Change In The Weather

06 May 2009

Texas Grill - Watercolor

This is painting I finished yesterday. It was done with Pigma Microns and watercolors. It measures 5 x 7. Its the sign from the Texas Grill in Ballinger, Texas. I used to eat there a lot during my college days. It was the mid-way point of my drive from Texas Tech to my hometown of New Braunfels. They had a really good chicken fried steak as I remember. I'll never forget the time I found a large carpet ball deep fried in my french fry basket. I tossed it out and kept eating. Good times!

05 May 2009

Happy Cinco de Mayo - Mexican Food Favorites

I've always thought it would be fun to be a food critic and give my two cents worth since I love food so much. I consider myself to be somewhat savvy in the world of Tex-Mex dining. I know you won't all agree with my choices....but it is my my blog and your comments and other recommendations are welcome....I'm always up for trying new places or debating food. Here is my list of top Mexican food places I've been to, categorized by food item.

Chips: Matt's Rancho Martinez - Dallas, Texas - Thin & salty.....perfect!

Queso: Herbert's Taco Hut - San Marcos, Texas - thick and spicy....not soupy.

Salsa: Hacienda Colorado - Denver, Colorado & Chuy's - TX - Both fresh and spicy

Salsa Verde: Luna de Noche - Dallas, Texas - Green, cilantro heavy addicting salsa

Guacamole: Red's Patio Grill - Plano, Texas - My wife swears by it!

Tortillas: Alamo Cafe - San Antonio, Texas - nothing beats a hot one off the comal!

Pastries: Mi Tierra - San Antonio, Texas - this is heaven for a sweet tooth.

Breakfast Burrito: Isabel's Cafe - Port Isabel, Texas - biggest tortilla you've ever seen!

Tacos al Carbon: Ricardo's - Allen, Texas - marinated all night in pico de gallo!

Enchiladas: Abuelo's - Lubbock, Texas - on the money and outstanding cheese!

Fajitas: Mi Cocina - Dallas, Texas - The sunset fajitas are awesome!!!! All time favorite dish!

Brisket Tacos: Luna de Noche - Dallas, Texas

Fast Food / Late night Tex-Mex: Taco Cabana - Hungry at 3 A.M.? Try the Super Tex Mex!

Now that you are hungry go out and get some Tex-Mex!

04 May 2009

Marfa Monday - Pizza Foundation

View of Marfa from the top of the courthouse

Looking for some solid pizza in the Big Bend region? Pizza Foundation in Marfa is all you need. PF sits on San Antonio street in a remodeled gas station. It doesn't look like much from the outside, but I promise you, they serve some of the best pizza around. They have outstanding salads as well. They also are open most of the week. A lot of restaurants in Marfa are only open Wednesdays thru Saturdays. So Pizza Foundation is a great place to eat early in the week if you are around.....or late in the week....it's that good, trust me. We ate there the last time that we were in town and couldn't get over how good it was. It's a must when you stop through town.

03 May 2009

Sunday Funday - Studio Peek - Lounge Vibe

What sits above my computer monitor on the wall of my studio? My sweet LOUNGE box lamp and my Texas Tech helmet plaque. These are two of my favorite things in my studio. Both are Ebay purchases from a few years ago. The LOUNGE sign is lit up as I write this. Nice touch.

02 May 2009

Cottonwood Art Festival - Richardson, Texas

Me and Jennifer Cavan

Cottonwood Park

Today we hit the Cottonwood Art Festival in Richardson, Texas. This is an art festival that happens twice a year at Cottonwood Park. It is a really great festival in a beautiful setting with hundreds of artists, tons of food, and good music. We make a point to get out there at least once a year. Highlights this year included visiting with one of my favorite artists, Jennifer Cavan. She is a very talented oil pastel artist with some great southwestern landscape paintings. She also has a cool blog. Another artist that I visited with was Brice McCasland. He had some great mixed media paintings that deserve a long look. Check these artists out when you get a chance.

01 May 2009

Marfa Water Tower - Soft Cut Block Print

Here is a small 5 x 7 print I pulled today. It is an image of the Marfa, Texas water tower. I may still work on it a little bit and clean some areas if I can. We are doing printmaking in my classes and I needed to do an example to show my students. If I print it on some altered paper or with a watercolor wash or something, I'll post those too.


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