31 March 2009

Psychedelic Concert Poster - Old 97's

In my classes at school, the students are doing a psychedelic concert poster for a band. My student teacher came up with the idea for our last project on design. I'm doing one as an example to give the students an idea as to what is expected of them. Above is my drawing on the watercolor paper. Mine is not too crazy because I tend to take the safe route a lot. I'll post the progress of the poster as we move forward.

30 March 2009

Marfa Water Tower Sketch - New Pens!

I went out and bought some new pens a couple of weeks ago. I wanted to get back to the basics and do some smaller drawings. My art time is limited balancing my family, job, and activities. I picked up some Sakura Pigma Microns on the recommendation of a fellow blogger who does the Daily Draw. These are really great pens and I can see why so many people enjoy using them. I had some back in college but I didn't really pay much attention to the brand or anything. Above is the first drawing that I did with the new pens....I think I'm gonna like these. The drawing is on a 4 x 6 note card.

29 March 2009

My 1st Cyber-Award! - A Passion For Painting

What surprise I received yesterday when I logged in and noticed that I was awarded my first cyber-award----A Passion for Painting---- Can't wait to see my brother's comment on this. The very talented painter Tom Pohlman was nice enough to pass this along to me. Tom's blog is full of wonderful southwestern themed oil paintings. He's the real deal. Please check out his site.....it's well worth your time. Thanks again Tom. I'm glad I have a least one person reading my ramblings. Apparently there are some rules that go along with this prestigious honor....they include: 1) Mentioning the sender. 2) Listing 7 things I currently love 3) Listing some other great artists. Easy enough....I was struggling for ideas today anyway......and it's too nice outside to sit at this desk too long.

Here is my list of things I love (in no particular order):
1 My family
2 BBQ chicken with Bob Gibson's white sauce.
3 Watching the Cubs play on WGN.....7 days until opening day!
4 Doodling, Painting, Drawing
5 Hiking in the mountains
6 Playing catch with my son
7 Taking road trips west

List of great artists that inspire me: Craig Gould, Jennifer Cavan, David Imlay, and Susan Bennerstrom and check out my lists on the right.....all very talented and entertaining blogs.

28 March 2009

Estate Sales, EBAY, and Cowboy Boots

As the weather begins to get nicer (today doesn't count.....very cold and windy in Dallas), I begin to think about one of my favorite weekend pastimes........estate sales. I have been an avid estate sale hunter for the 13 years that I have lived in the Dallas area. I get my Thursday and Friday morning papers, a black ball point pen, a highlighter, and my Dallas Mapsco and sit down for 30 minutes or so to plan my trips. I have gotten very good at this over the years and I rarely come home empty handed. A quick stop by the ATM for some cash money and I'm off. My personal collections consist mainly old Southwest Conference memorabilia, old Texas beer stuff (Lone Star and Pearl mostly),old sports magazines, art books, western stuff, and any other things that catch my eyes. I also buy stuff at these sales to sell on EBAY. I buy up Dallas Cowboys memorabilia and other sports teams stuff that I don't care much for, and sell them to diehard fans. I've got a pretty good grasp on collectibles and their values. Above is a pair of Ralph Lauren cowboy boots from the 70's that I found in a women's closet in Preston Hollow (older upscale Dallas neighborhood). I paid $10 for them even though the sign on the closet said, "all shoes $1"....I plead my case to no avail...it was still a good deal and I knew it. I got home and put them on EBAY and had like 35 bids on them.....a week later I had sold them for $127.00. I thought I would share some of my EBAY success stories periodically as the prime estate sale season revs up......the thrill of the hunt is what makes it fun!

27 March 2009

Favorites de Friday - DeRidder

We discovered DeRidder about 10 years ago. It is the most amazing store that I have ever been in. It is huge! It has the most eclectic collection of imported goods and antiques that I have ever seen. I mean where else you pick up some antique snow skis in Texas? And be able to choose from like 100 pair. They have gigantic statues, a warehouse of armoires, stacks old license plates, antique glass, cow skulls, print blocks, and everything in between and I'm not even kidding. This place will blow you away! We got our one of a kind armoire and coffee table from DeRidder years ago......we love them. DeRidder is in Forney, Texas off highway 80......look for fighter jet out front....no I'm not kidding......you have got to see this place to believe it. Probably the best store in the Southwest in my opinion.

26 March 2009

Throwback - Sun and Sand Motel Sign Watercolor

Here's an older watercolor image I did of the Sun and Sand Motel sign in Santa Rosa, New Mexico. I shared a scratch board image of the same sign a few weeks ago. I am planning on doing a few more small scale ink drawings with some watercolor washes.....I really like the way that they turn out.

25 March 2009

Jury Duty = Furniture Painting

Well, I had jury duty today and I was not selected...too bad. I have never been selected in my 3 tours.....maybe next time. As soon as the word spread that I was going to be available around the house my wife pushed off one of her projects on me.....I knew this would happen. I didn't mind though. A few months back we bought this hideous side table at McKinney Trade Days for like $10 or something. It was baby blue with red and white country style stenciling on the top.....sick. We've been discussing the color to paint it and I was given the final decision this morning....so I painted it. It actually turned out looking pretty good. We are still going to distress it some, but that can wait for another day. I also went out in the rain and picked up some new acrylic paint and another set of oil pastels.....I had a gift card left over from Christmas that was burning a hole in my pocket....thanks mom! Overall it was a great jury duty day. It's nice to ease back with a four day week after spring break.

24 March 2009

Tuesday Tunes - f2 design

F2 design is one of my favorite concert poster designers. They actually make true prints! F2 is out of Lubbock, Texas. The "hub city" baby! Above are a couple of posters from my faves. Thrift Store Cowboys is a great west Texas band that you need to explore. Get on F2's website and check out their concert posters! Sweet!

23 March 2009

Sketchbook Entry - 100th Post!

Here is a sketchbook entry I did from last school year. It is a drawing of a guy riding his bike. I drew it from a Dwell magazine cover. Dwell is one of my favorite magazines. I look forward to it every month. It has the best of modern architecture and design. Super rad stuff in there.

22 March 2009

"El" Painting Update

I added some shadows to my sign painting. I'm about to get started on the bulbs and interior of the letters. I'm hoping to get this one finished pretty soon. It's back to work for me tomorrow......spring break has came and went like a flash. Now I can get more focused on this blog stuff. I've got a full week ahead that includes jury duty on Wednesday..... Any suggestions on how to get out of that?

NCAA bracket so far as of 1:36 PM 33-10. 2nd place in my group behind little bro.

21 March 2009

Tales from the Deep South - Slaw Burgers, BBQ, etc.


These signs are everywhere!!!!

Well, we got back in town today around 12:45. I had just enough time to get out of the car unlock the door and basically leave again....my six year old had a soccer game at 1. We made it just in time and it's a good thing we showed up....with him they had just enough to play. I have had lots of hours on the road and plenty of time to think. I've seen some funny stuff in the last week. Here are few things I pondered:

1) In Tennessee I am skinny.

2) Sun Drop is the drink of choice in southern Tennessee.....didn't try one but it is neon green.

3) I did have some of the best ribs I've had in a while in Birmingham, AL at Dreamland BBQ. Served with a spork....a very underrated utensil.

4) The official mascot of Alabama and Tennessee should be the flashing arrow signs, if I saw one I saw 500.....it is the marketing tool that is the most effective....I guess.

5) Arkansas has a place that brags about their 100ft. salad bars....that's a long sneeze guard.

6) At a truck stop, a guy was bragging to us about how he had won 3 watches and 4 bracelets from one of the games where the rail pushes quarters off the edge of the angled tray...my son was mesmerized at his skillz.

7) The Natchez Trace Parkway is one of the prettiest drives around....50 mph speed limit though.

8) Slaw burgers are all the rage in Lincoln County, Tennessee. Honey mustard dressing with some chopped pickles and shredded cabbage on a burger...not bad..I had 2 yesterday.

18 March 2009

Tennessee Update - Slick Pig BBQ

Well, I've certainly had a lot of time to think while I've been here...it's real low key. Lots of visitin' and hanging out. We were lucky enough to make a trip to one of our favorite pork BBQ places in Tennessee. It is called the Slick Pig BBQ. On Tuesdays they have .99 cent pulled pork sandwiches. I had 3 of them with their famous hot BBQ sauce. If you are ever in Murfreesboro, Tennessee try and make it out to grab a sandwich or 5.......those things are awesome!

16 March 2009

Trip Highlights So Far

Lincoln County Theatre in Fayetteville, Tennessee

Miles traveled : 800, 677 to Birmingham, AL...the rest to Fayetteville, Tennessee
Waffle Houses Spotted : 30+...they are everywhere!
Favorite Town Name: Chunky, Mississippi
Best Meal So Far: Tie = Ribs at Dreamland BBQ or Shrimp and Grits for brunch at Village Tavern
Highlight of the day today: About to go to Wal-Mart in Fayetteville, Tennessee

More to to come. I've got some great pics to share and some delicious food moments

13 March 2009

Friday Favorites - Wrigley Field

I'm gonna be brief today. One of my favorite places is Wrigley Field. There is no better place to watch a baseball game. The smell of brats cooking, a clear Chicago sky, a cold Old Style, and the belting out of "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" during the 7th inning stretch is heaven to me. I have only been to Wrigley Field once for a game....even though I feel like I know the place inside and out from the countless WGN Cubs game broadcasts I've seen since I was a kid. Why do I have a spring in my step and a smile on my face today? Well, maybe because it's the day before spring break starts or maybe because I just booked a trip with some friends to journey back to the friendly confines in June. We are going to watch 3 day games on back to back days. I can't wait!

I'm leaving for Birmingham, Alabama en route to Tennessee tomorrow morning. Hopefully I'll be able to find an Internet connection up there where I can make a few posts. I'm looking forward to some regional food favorites such as pork BBQ and some more pork BBQ. I fill everyone in on anything that catches my eye......adios!

12 March 2009

Throwback Thursday - Do Ya Know? Do Ya Know? Do Ya Know?

I'm feeling random today. Its now been raining for 2 days straight here in Dallas, thank goodness, we need the rain bad. Parts of Texas have been in a terrible drought for months now. Spring break starts in approximately 20 hours....that will be good, spring break is usually fun....We're heading up to Tennessee to see some family. March Madness is kicking up again, which I really enjoy. My Texas Tech Red Raiders beat the Texas aTm Aggies last night in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament, in what some would call an upset. Not me, I saw it coming. That got me thinking about my teenage years and how excited I would get for the NCAA Basketball Tournament. I'd fill my bracket out and watch every game. Like most other kids in the 80's, I had a thing for Michael Jordan. Above is a sweet image of the poster I had hanging above my bed in high school. I really can't believe I don't still have it....I've kept everything else, considering that I'm a pack rat. Where are you....Mars Blackmon???

11 March 2009

Past Spring Breaks 3 - Spring Training - Arizona

Sedona, Arizona

Hohokam Park - Spring home of the Cubbies

Probably the most memorable and fun spring break that I have had in recent years was back in 1998 on our trip to Scottsdale , Arizona. As many of you know, I am a huge Chicago Cubs fan. The Cubs have spring training at Hohokam Park in Mesa, Arizona which is a suburb of Phoenix. I had always wanted to go see them during spring training and I finally made it. We watched them play the Angels and got to witness Kerry Wood throw out his arm...he was never the same after that day. Did I jinx the Cubs and Kerry Wood that afternoon? I don't know? Highlights of the trip include:

Taliesin West - Frank Lloyd Wright's western retreat and school for architects. This is a must see for any FLW fans out there.

Sedona, Arizona - couple hour drive north of Phoenix- multiple art galleries and beautiful red rock hills and cliffs. We bought a bright colorful Stephen Morath print on our visit.

Old Town Scottsdale - numerous art galleries and great restaurants. Camelback Mountain sits in the background and completes the package.

Hotel Valley Ho - this is where we stayed and it was within walking distance of all the action in Scottsdale. It has a great retro feel to it....I would highly recommend it. It even looks like they remodeled! Sweet!

This was a great trip! Can't wait to get back.

10 March 2009

Past Spring Breaks Part 2 - Music Edition

Music plays a big role in my life. I can't sing or play an instrument, but I have a great appreciation for those that can. That is why I enjoy going and watching live music. I thought I'd share a few highlights from some of my past spring breaks that had a musical twist. What comes to mind first is the Texas Music Revolution or TMR. TMR is an annual concert put on by KHYI 95.3 "The Range"....DFW's local Americana/Texana radio station. TMR is always held in March during a spring break weekend out at South Fork Ranch (The ranch from the old TV show Dallas). Some of the musical acts that I have seen over the years at TMR include: Kelly Willis, Bruce Robison, Charlie Robison, 1100 Springs, Max Stalling, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Randy Rogers Band, Jack Ingram, Hayes Carll, Radney Foster, and Chris Knight...to name a few. This year's concert is on Sunday, March 22nd, 2009. Listen to KHYI live online anytime you want....just click here. This is always a great spring break event to attend. Support the local music scene!

09 March 2009

Past Spring Breaks - McDonald Observatory

Since my spring break starts next weekend, I thought I'd post a few interesting spots that I have visited during spring break over the past few years. Spring break 2006 took the family to the Big Bend region of Texas. One of the highlights was the McDonald Observatory in the beautiful Davis Mountains. We went up to the observatory on a Saturday evening to take in a star party. During a star party they open up the domes and fix the telescopes on planets or other sights in the sky. There are also amateur star gazers that set up their personal telescopes for the viewing public. The night that we went was a little chilly but we were still able to enjoy the views through the multiple telescope options. It is a beautiful drive up to the top of the mountain and well worth the trip because of the scenic vistas at the top. Star parties fill up fast, especially during the busy seasons. There is a reason they decided to place the observatory out here in the Davis Mountains.....it is dark. Watch out for deer on your drive home.

08 March 2009

Sunday Runday

Well, I'm still here. Saturday was a beautiful morning for a 5K in the Metromess. I met my goal of under 28 minutes and felt great afterwards. My Ipod - Nike + reading had the race length at 3.3 miles instead of 3.1. I need to recalibrate that thing.....when I looked at it during the race I thought I was going to shatter my goal....but I guess my readings were off.

Official results: 27:52 - 135 out of 531 - 6th place in my age category......out of 12! hahaha

I ran my first 5K in November with little training and ran a 30:14.....so there is improvement.
Now I'll search for my next area race and set some new goals.

P.S. Happy Anniversary Carrie! It's been a great 12 years!

07 March 2009

Alamo Drawing

Here's a quick drawing I did yesterday. I used sharpie on a 4 x 6 note card. I'm running a 5K this morning. That is why I am up so early. So wish me luck. I've been training since January.......kind of a New Years Resolution thing. As I write this I can hear the wind howling outside.....hopefully that dies down. If I post tomorrow you will know that I have survived.

P.S. On the running tip. I go get fitted for some new running shoes last week by some professionals at a specialty running store in Dallas and find the perfect pair of shoes. The sales lady lets me know that they are on sale for $110, originally $125.....what a deal right?? NOT. I go on my way, get home, look em up on EBAY. Find a slightly used pair....that look brand new in the pictures.....and I proceed to win them yesterday for............................$19.00! Did I mention I love EBAY? They'll be here next week.

06 March 2009

Remember The Alamo Y'all!

Henry Arthur McArdle, Dawn at the Alamo, 1905, oil on canvas, 84.25 x 144.75 inches
This painting hangs in the Texas State Capitol Building and is huge!

The famous Bowie knife!

"Come on boys, the Mexicans are upon us and we'll give em hell", said Col. William B. Travis 173 years ago today, March 6th, 1836 around 5 AM. It was all over before the sun rose on that crisp south Texas morning. The initial Mexican assault was pushed back by the heroic defenders, but then as the Mexican columns joined forces at the north wall for the final push the massacre began. The mass of humanity was overwhelming.....it would be over soon....and it was. By 6:30 AM the sun rose on the battlefield and the extent of the devastation was revealed. My favorite defender? Jim Bowie. He was laid up on a cot in the barracks. I like to think he maybe got a shot or two off as the enemy rushed the door....maybe used that Bowie knife on some folks. Who knows? Most of y'all know the story, if not, do some research or watch the movie "The Alamo". Many historians claim it is the most accurate account on the big screen yet. The John Wayne version is entertaining but has some major flaws....I've seen it 25+ times....being a Texas history teacher for 6 years back in the day, it was a staple of our curriculum. We'd watch it to pick out the mistakes. Go down to San Antonio and see the Alamo....it's a right of passage for all Texans.

Then go do some San Antonio stuff like:

1) eat Eggs Mexicana for breakfast at Taco Cabana (they are on every corner)
2) tour the Mission Trail (beautiful Spanish mission churches south of town)
3) go eat lunch at Alamo Cafe (best tortillas in the world!)
4) drink a Lone Star Beer or a Pearl (both originally brewed in SA up until a few years ago)
5) catch some live music ( I suggest John T. Floore's Country Store in Helotes)
6) dinner at Bill Miller's BBQ

Remember the Alamo! and God Bless Texas!

05 March 2009

Throwbacks - Old Kansas Sunflower Road Sign

In honor of the Texas Tech upset victory over the Kansas Jayhawks (defending National Champions) in basketball last night.....I thought I'd share a Kansas Sunflower highway sign that I have hanging in my studio/office. I bought this about 7 or 8 years ago at Canton First Monday Trade Days from a vendor that specialized in old signs. I think I paid $15 or so. What a deal for such a swell sign! This sign hangs above the window for now. Maybe one day it will be on display in the main part of our house for all to view. Pending wife approval of course.

04 March 2009

The "El" - Work in Progress

Here are the latest pics of my painting that I started on Sunday afternoon. I've still got a lot of detail painting to do. So far I am very happy with it and I'm excited to see the finished result. I will be doing another one of these using different colors sometime soon.

03 March 2009

Tunes on Tuesday - Robert Earl Keen - Gringo Honeymoon

I first saw Robert Earl Keen in Lubbock, Texas in 1993 at the Depot Warehouse. A Texas Tech student named Pat Green opened for him. Maybe you've heard of him? I even met Pat that night....he greeted us at the door. The show was great! REK became one of my favorite singer/songwriters at that moment. I don't know, maybe I got caught up in the the entire crowd belting out "The Road Goes On Forever", a song I wasn't real familiar with up until that point that made me want to jump on the REK wagon. I bought up a few older CDs and became a fan. In 1994 REK released Gringo Honeymoon. I burned a hole through that CD as it became a staple of my late college years. The title track is about venturing over the Rio Grande down near Big Bend to find solitude and love. Go get this album if it's not in your collection.

Here is the track list:

"Think It Over One Time" – 3:50
"Tom Ames' Prayer" (Steve Earle) – 3:23
"Gringo Honeymoon" – 5:19
"The Raven And The Coyote" – 5:12
"Lonely Feeling" – 8:30
"Merry Christmas from the Family" – 4:45
"Barbeque" – 4:41
"Lynnville Train" (Robert Earl Keen, LeRoy Preston) – 5:03
"I'm Comin' Home" – 3:47
"Dreadful Selfish Crime" – 7:34

02 March 2009

Happy Texas Independence Day!

On March 2, 1836, The Convention of 1836 declared Texas' independence from Mexico. The meeting was held at Washington-on-the Brazos on a cold, blustery day. The Alamo was under siege by Santa Anna's army and it is unknown if the Texians in the Alamo found out about the declaration before their final day. We like to think they knew and had a real purpose to fight for. Texas has more recently declared independence from the national music scene, Nashville in particular. Buy Texas Music!
My favorite songs with "Texas"or "Texan" in the lyrics:

"Texas In My Rearview Mirror"- Mac Davis (Lubbock)
"I Like Texas"- Pat Green (Waco)
"Luckenbach, Texas"- Waylon Jennings (Littlefield), Willie Nelson (Abbott)
"West Texas Teadrops"- Old 97's- Murray Hammond (Boyd)
"Amarillo Highway" - Terry Allen (Lubbock)

Here are a few more, but not all.

So go out tonight or this afternoon and get you a chicken fried steak and a cold Shiner or Lone Star and enjoy your independence. God Bless Texas!

01 March 2009

Washer Boards

I can't think of a better way to kick off the first day of March than to talk about one of my favorite spring and summer games. "Pitching Washers" I used to pitch washers back in college every once in a while. I got away from it for years until I played them again at a buddy's bachelor BBQ party about 6 years ago. I was hooked. I went up to Home Depot and picked out the supplies to make my very own custom washer boards. Now there are many different varieties of washer games. Some people play with holes in the ground made of PVC pipes (pits), others use 3 hole boards, one hole boards, angled boards, and some with back boards. Whatever your preference, it's a fun game! You basically score similar to horseshoes in a way. Washers in the hole gets a certain point value and washers on the board gets you a point as well. Points can be negated or cancelled out if your opponent matches you. First one to 21 wins. A good friend of mine from high school has a washer pitching tournament in his backyard each year in July. It's a pretty fun time! Above is a picture of my custom Texas Tech "Double T" angled one hole boards. There is an informative website called Bombat Washers that shows you boards from all over the country, tournament info, rules, and everything else you would ever want to know about pitching washers. My boards are even featured on the website. If you have never played before I suggest you go out and make you some boards or buy some online.....it will be a guaranteed hit at your next BBQ or get together.


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