Seersucker blues

Back when I was 27, I bought a Seersucker suit. It’s a classic spring suit, pin-striped, 100% cotton and one of those clothing items that you just don’t see too many people wearing anymore.

I remember getting the suit at Mister Guy, buying a dark blue dress shirt to go along with it and a purple paisley tie to top it all off.

First time I wore the suit was to a friend’s wedding down in Houston, Texas and I loved the look.

Unfortunately, Seersucker suits aren’t something you wear to too many occasions – if it’s too hot, the suit gets uncomfortable. Really, it seems like springtime is about the only time that it’s Seersucker time. Which is why every spring, when Easter rolls around, I pull the Seersucker out of its garment bag and see if I can somehow manage to get my now 57-year old body into a suit that was sold to a 27-year old man.

Last year, I had been working out hard throughout the winter months and when springtime rolled around, I was only a few pounds north of what I weighed back when I was still in high school. Putting on the suit was no problem even though it seems as if my body has shifted a lot of that weight to hover around my waist.

This year, I’m further north of last year’s north. You might even say I’m approaching the Canadian border as far as north goes regarding my weight.

I haven’t broken the suit out yet to see if I can somehow wedge my body into it.

I won’t do that until Easter Sunday morning.

So I still have a few days to shed a few pounds. It’s important that I get myself into that suit.

The Masters comes around every spring and so does the wearing of the Seersucker – a tradition unlike any other.

My recent appearance at the 33 March production

This past Friday night marked my official return to the art world as I was one of 30 artists who had three select works on display at the 33 March production at the Old Orchard Gallery in Webster Groves.

A good time was had by all.

Having my work on display is always kind of a weird feeling – particularly when you see people walk up and stare and then start commenting on what they’re seeing. The two distinguished gentleman in this photo are two long-time friends and though they may appear to be contemplating the deeper meanings of “The Floating In-Between”, it was nothing more than a staged photo.

That wasn’t the case for many people, though. I had quite a few people come up and ask me where I got my ideas for these paintings. The answer? It’s hard to say. Rene Magritte is by far my favorite artist. I have four different books about him, most of which I bought to see his magnificent works. But I also read quite a bit about him as well. Rene enjoyed painting things that couldn’t be, yet seemed as if they were. I like that concept. He was a major leader in the Surrealist movement – though most people, when they hear the term surrealism, think of Salvador Dali and his dripping clocks and barren landscapes.

Magritte was more playful with his works. If you’ve never seen them here’s a link that provides a quick overview along with a few of his paintings:

On a scale of 1-10, with Magritte being a 10, I would barely merit a 2. But I’m okay with that.

I love to paint and that’s really all that matters. The fact that I’m able to share some of the things I’ve done is fun – and I’m glad I jumped at the opportunity.

My work seemed like it had just as much right to be there as many of the other things on display. It was a fascinating, eclectic mix of paintings, photography and I think there was one sculpture on display.

There were some bright and colorful works. A few disturbing ones as well. And overall, a wide range of work and people who showed up for the event that made me glad that I got to be a part of it. puts these shows on every month. This one will be on display through March 30 so if you’re in the Webster area, drop by and give it a look.

One thing I know – the show has inspired me to keep going.

I’m currently working on a canvas which has been very frustrating. But I’m determined to turn it around. And when that one is done, it will be on to another one.

Art happens.

And it’s fun to be back in the game.

If you’d like to see more of my work, I’m slowly adding some of the paintings I’ve done to my Pinterest page which you can visit here:

On display at 33 March Production

I make my return to the art world next Friday night, March 20th at the 33 March Production in the Old Orchard Gallery at 39 South Old Orchard Avenue in historic Webster Groves.

It’s been a long-time since I’ve had any paintings on display. For Catherine, our youngest, it’s been an entire lifetime.

I’m not even sure what the date of my last art show was – it was some time in the 90s – I think maybe 1994. Catherine will be 17 in July and I know that the last painting I had finished was before she was born.

So yeah, it’s been a while.

The painting shown here is called “The Floating In-Between” and was done in 1990. It’s 36″ x 48″ airbrush and acrylic on canvas. I’ve always liked it for the total simplicity of the painting as well as the meaning behind it.

My premise was simple. Between youth and old age, we float – going from one thing to another. There’s the innocence and playfulness of youth, expressed in the form of a rocking horse and in our later years, we rock again, content to go back and forth in a rocking chair. In-between, so much happens – marriage, kids, getting jobs, losing jobs, getting new jobs. There is joy and sadness, ups and downs, memories to cherish and those we’d just as soon forget.

But enough of explaining the inner meanings of this particular painting.

I’ll have two other recent works on display, both considerably smaller but they were still very enjoyable to paint.

They’re all for sale.

When asked why I would want to part with any of my paintings, my answer was simple. Art is meant to be shared. And I’m not doing a whole lot of sharing with probably about 30 paintings from my past, combined with 8 newer ones just sitting around in our basement.

If somebody chooses to buy any of these, I’ll gladly sell them – knowing that someone else may get some enjoyment out of my art.

I hadn’t really been looking to display my recent works – my game plan had been to try and get up to about 10-12 new paintings and then perhaps see if there might be any interest in what I’ve done.

A few weeks ago, I joined Their mission is to “provide creatives of all disciplines in the greater St. Louis area opportunities for self promotion, inspiration, and connection through our free social network and public events.”

A few days after signing up, I got an invite to submit three works of art for display in their non-juried show that I think they have every other month. You pay $33 to display your works and list them for whatever price you want. If you sell anything, the money is yours to keep with no gallery fee involved.

“Why not?” I asked myself.

So if you’re not doing anything next Friday night, March 20th, come on out to the Opening. It goes from 6-10 pm and all the art stays on display through March 30th. I think the significance of  ’33 March’ is that they have 30 artists who each get to display 3 pieces.

If nothing else, you’ll get to hob-nob with some local artists, enjoy some music and some nice finger foods, too.




What wearables are you wearing?

“So what’s a wearable?” you ask.

For many people, myself included, it’s a Fitbit – one of those bands that wrap around your wrist that measure your steps each day – and if you want it to, the number of calories you take in, the number burned, the hours you sleep and even how well you slept. And that’s just for starters.

Fitbits are getting more and more advanced. They need to – because the market is getting more and more crowded with wearable technology.

Currently, there are close to 300 different wearable technology products in the marketplace. Plenty more are on the way.

Apple is getting closer to launching its Apple Watch – perhaps as soon as later this spring and then we’ll have a whole new set of Dick Tracy imitators talking to their wrists to communicate where they are and what they’re doing and using their wearable to pay the bill, text their friends, measure their heart rate and tell them whether they should go left or right at the next corner to find their way to whatever uber-hip place they’re heading to next.

Cell phones will become so yesterday.

Well, not for a little while at least as you actually have to have an Apple smartphone in order for your Apple Watch to function beyond merely being a watch.

It’s weird. Cell phones made wearing watches seem obsolete as all you had to do was check your phone to see what time it is and these days, it seems no one goes anywhere without their phone in hand or at least in pocket. Now the cell phone may get wiped out by the watch. Which will in turn be made obsolete by some other form of communication.

Google is still trying to recover from their soft launch of Google Glass – the eyewear that allowed you to video what you were seeing, or take photos, get directions or a variety of other tasks – all while wearing a very weird looking set of glasses that didn’t really function as glasses – in fact, if you wear glasses, you wouldn’t be able to wear Google glasses at the same time.

My first look at Google Glass reminded me of the Steve Martin movie, “The Jerk” where he turned into a millionaire thanks to the invention of his Opti-Grab glasses – that ultimately caused the wearers to become cross-eyed.

I could see similar things happening with Google Glass – with them somehow causing your right eyeball to endlessly look up and to the right or perhaps there might be all sorts of lawsuits emerging because people were checking their emails while walking into open sewer holes or wiping out trying to record what it’s like to go cliff diving or hang gliding or whatever.

It’s interesting that the early wearers of Google Glass were called Glassholes.

It’s not easy to be an early adopter.

Rest assured, though, Google will figure it out. And soon, we’ll all be wearing something that measures our heart rate, our steps, our breathing, our pulse, our caloric intake and that provides directions, advice, reviews and instant contact with all our many, many friends on LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, SnapChat, twitter, flickr, digg, stumbleupon, reddit, mixx, gather, diigo, newsvine, connectedy and whatever other social network we use to avoid actual human interaction.

We live in a connected world.

If only we could all get back to connecting one-on-one with people.

No wearable device necessary.

Information contained in this post came from an article written by Sam McMillan in the March/April 2015 edition of Communication Arts magazine and from numerous Google searches.