Reliving moments from Blood On The Walls

Just a few of the more than 200 friends, family members and work associates who attended opening night festivities at Blood On The Walls at 1900 Park.

Just a few of the more than 200 friends, family members and work associates who attended opening night festivities at Blood On The Walls at 1900 Park.

Last November, I learned that I’d be having my first gallery showing in more than 21 years. It would take place at 1900 Park – Creative Space and Gallery and would feature at least 30 of my modern art and surrealist paintings, accompanied by the music of Tom Jr. and friends.

I was truly excited but March 3rd was a long time away back in early November. I began compiling a to-do list, starting with the overall invite. Initially, we were going to title the event “The Tom Blood Experience” – but since Tom was only playing for the opening night reception and because that title seemed a little self-serving to me, I opted instead for “Blood On The Walls”. It was simple. It was memorable. And it pretty much described what attendees would see – lots of paintings by Tom Blood, hanging on the walls.

The holidays came and went. I developed the invite and then began pushing it out, setting up a Facebook event page as well as personally inviting friends, family members and work associates both past and present. Tom Jr. began his portion of the event as well, working with several of his musician friends to plan the evening’s musical entertainment.

People began to RSVP, starting slow, but as of last week, the number eclipsed 200 and I was fairly confident, even with multiple no-shows, that we would have a great crowd on hand.

Tom and I made the painting selections, narrowing the number of choices down from more than 50 to what I thought might be a too many number of 40. It turned out to be just right. I created explanations for each of the paintings, trying to give viewers a glimpse into my thought process behind the painting and I’m glad I did as I thoroughly enjoyed watching people read the captions, then look back up at the painting.

It’s kind of unnerving when you see so many people staring at art that you created. But that’s why art exists – to be viewed and enjoyed and interpreted. It was so refreshing to unleash some of these paintings, getting them out of my basement and into a gallery.

It felt like they belonged.

The show officially got underway at 6:30. By that time, we already had more than 20 people wandering around. I was raffling off several items from my http://tom-blood.pixels.com site and the jars quickly began to fill.

People kept pouring through the doors. Cousins. High-school and college buddies. People I’ve worked with through my many years in advertising. Fellow parishioners from St. Gerard-Majella. Tom drew his own crowd and it was such a cool mix of people.

Tom and his musician friends made some magical melodies.

Tom and his musician friends made some magical melodies.

I wanted to talk to everyone – which made my attention span almost gnat-like. Every time I’d be talking to someone, someone new would enter and tap me on the shoulder or give me a hug.

At one point, I stepped off to the side and just gazed at the crowd. Though it wasn’t wall-to-wall people, it was crowded everywhere you looked. The band was jamming and I smiled to myself, knowing that, like all things, the evening would come and it would go.

By the end of the evening, I had lost my voice. Already, I was looking back, wishing I would have made an appeal for people to toss in a few bucks for the great music that was played. I wish I could have personally thanked every single person who came, (though I certainly tried.) I wish I could do it all again and savor the joy and warmth and friendship and soak in all the many compliments I heard throughout the night.

But the Opening Night Reception of Blood On The Walls is now in the past.

And all I can do is press onward and keep painting to assure that the next event comes a little sooner than 21 years from now.

Thanks to all who made this special night one for the memory books.

I shall return.

To see some of Tom’s work, visit http://tom-blood.pixels.com – there, you can order prints or a wide variety of items featuring Tom’s artwork to turn ordinary items like iPhone cases or pillows or tote bags into conversation pieces.

Blogging takes a back seat

Maybe this was inevitable. My blogging rate has been on a steady decline the past two years. Though I have vowed to blog more in earlier posts, I’ve done the exact opposite.

I don’t want to talk about politics. There’s more than enough negativity out there as it is and I’m not interested in stirring things up.

I don’t have that much to say about sports right now. The Cardinals are already on a ledge with the loss of Reyes. The Blues are doing their usual thing of stirring up hope when in reality, they probably won’t get past the first round of the playoffs. Stan Kroenke and his endless greed is old news. April 4th will determine if we get an MLS team or not and I’d probably lean not though I wish it would go the other way.

I’d like to talk about the great progress St. Louis has been making recently. At least we’re staying out of the national spotlight and I know there are great things going on in this metro area but it seems like it’s always one step forward and two steps back or maybe a little side shuffle instead.

I could talk about the work I’ve been doing – lots of video production, some new broadcast campaigns I’m working on in sync with an agency and a few new business pitches here and there – but I haven’t really created anything earth-shattering.

Then there’s my art which I continue to pursue and I’m gearing up for my first solo show since 1994. Opening night is set for Friday, March 3rd at 1900 Park – Creative Space and Gallery. It’s now less than two weeks away and there’s still lots to do.

Every day that goes by without posting something makes it that much harder to do the next. It’s so easy to just say no.

This blog post was like a Seinfeld episode. If you read it all the way through, you realize you’ve just read something about nothing.

I’ll try and do better on the next one but if you made it this far, thanks for coming along for the ride.

 

Getting ready for Show time

Blood On The Walls is the aptly named title of my upcoming solo art show at 1900 Park - Creative Space and Gallery.

A portion of the invite created for my upcoming solo art show.

I’m glad there’s still a fair amount of time until my first solo art show since 1994. I’m going to need it.

The Opening Reception will be on Friday night, March 3 – still more than 40 days away yet it seems much closer than that to me. Once I had heard that 1900 Park – Creative Space and Gallery was willing to give me a solo show, it sent my planning wheels into motion.

That was back in early November which now seems like a long, long time ago. I knew that I needed to wait until after the new year came and went before pushing out in too big a way. But now that January is in its final week, it’s time to start ramping up the planning.

Invites were created and a good deal of them have been sent out – but not all of them as my list continues to evolve. Since Tom Jr. is going to be the featured musical entertainment the night of the opening reception, we were initially calling the evening, “The Tom Blood Experience”.

Though I liked the title, it didn’t quite seem right to me. Plus, the show will be up throughout most of the month of March and just calling my artwork ‘The Tom Blood Experience’ wasn’t making sense to me. When you have a last name like mine, you might as well capitalize on it – thus ‘Blood on the Walls’ seemed to be an interesting and memorable name for a collection of my artwork that would be hanging on the walls.

So I went with it.

I intend to try and showcase some of the many objects that my art can appear on as well – pillows, iPhone cases, greeting cards, tote bags – the bright, colorful and often quite weird subject matter of what I paint just might be a good conversation starter. So I’ve ordered a number of items that we’ll have on display the evening of the event.

Here's a little card that a husband or boyfriend can send to their significant other as a means of apologizing. I wrote some copy for the insides that turns this into a pretty cool card and will have it on display at the show.

Here’s a little card that a husband or boyfriend can send to their significant other as a means of apologizing. I wrote some copy for the insides that turns this into a pretty cool card and will have it on display at the show.

Something's Wrong with America throw pillow. No, I won't have this one at the show, but there will be another one that looks pretty cool.

Something’s Wrong with America throw pillow. No, I won’t have this one at the show, but there will be another one that looks pretty cool.

So far, the biggest challenge is figuring out just how many people are going to show up. That’s always your biggest fear – “What if we have the show and nobody comes?”

I don’t think that’s going to happen. Rather, it’s trying to figure out, “What if we have the show and everybody comes?” 1900 Park isn’t a huge facility. Still, I think they can handle a crowd and I’m sure they’ve had big turnouts before.

So we’re trying to figure out a food and drink allotment and be ready for anything.

Choosing which particular pieces I’m putting into the show remains a work in progress as well. There will be more than 30 paintings on display. Just how many, I’m still not quite sure. But each one will have a title, a price tag and a brief explanation as to what in the world I was thinking when I created it.

I'll try and give some kind of explanation as to the meaning of this painting at my upcoming show at 1900 Park on March 3rd.

I’ll provide some kind of explanation as to the meaning of this painting at my upcoming show at 1900 Park on March 3rd.

There’s a lot more that’s going to go into this show. Tom Jr. has to work out his playlist. We’re ordering specially made t-shirts for the event (that will also be available for online purchase), There might be hand-outs and who knows what else.

So as of now, time is on my side. I’m excited about the opportunity. And even though February only has 28 days, it’s going to be a long, long month.

2016 and beyond for BloodLines Creative and BloodLines Art

So on this last day of 2016, I take a few moments to look back on the year and try to project what lies ahead for 2017.

Business wise, it was a good year. Not a great year. But a good year. I worked with a variety of new clients, lost an established one and still maintain ties with a long-time relationship which is very rewarding.

Though not a paying ciient, the invite that I created for our SLUH 40th Year Reunion was great fun and so was the Reunion weekend.

Though not a paying ciient, the invite that I created for our SLUH 40th Year Reunion was great fun and so was the Reunion weekend.

I created a number of videos, helped re-vamp one client’s website and we’ll soon be launching a new branding effort for another one. I began blogging for one client, worked on some PPC ads and I’m in the midst of working on a new TV and radio campaign as well. (Sorry for not naming client names – I only do that when I have permission and for this particular piece, I’m not even bothering to ask.)

On the art side of things, I was happy with the progress I’ve made as a painter. I created 11 paintings in 2016 – I don’t exactly churn them out, but I do stay at it and I continue to try and improve my brushwork, executing a variety of ideas that come from all places but always seem to circle back to Magritte in one way or another.

This painting was probably my favorite one that I created in 2016. It will be one of more than 30 on display at a solo show coming up in March.

This painting was probably my favorite one that I created in 2016. It will be one of more than 30 on display at a solo show coming up in March.

I began to more actively market my art this year as well. I now have two websites devoted to my art: http://bloodlinesart.com and http://tom-blood.pixels.com

The first site looks nice but has basically been useless due to a lack of promotion on my part. The second site enables you to take your art and have it show up in the form of pillows, tote bags, iPhone covers, coffee mugs, greeting cards and a variety of ways to order prints. That site continues to draw about 25-50 visitors a day and I’m approaching more than 8000 views since I started it back in July. The sales effort though has been somewhat disappointing – I’ve made enough to pay for the site but that’s about it.

Nuts and Bolts - one of my 'stick' paintings looks really cool in the form of a pillow and I've sold a few of them in 2016.

Nuts and Bolts – one of my ‘stick’ paintings looks really cool in the form of a pillow and I’ve sold a few of them in 2016.

There are more than a million works of art on the website. So I’m not overly surprised that my work isn’t selling like gangbusters. I don’t do art for a living. I do it for fun. I do it because I can. And I will continue to try and get better with each painting.

Prospects for 2017 look solid for both BloodLines Creative and BloodLines Art. Currently, I have a number of projects already in the books, some that will be on-going thru the Spring. I’m hoping to have my website fully optimized by the end of January and then I’ll begin more aggressive new business pursuits.

I hope to ramp up my blogging efforts in 2017 and have them be more focused on advertising and art. I dropped off the blogosphere and I’ve lost a lot of regular readers. Hopefully, I can earn them back.

I’m going to be ramping up for my first solo art show since 1994 over the next two months. It’s going to be at 1900 Park – Creative Space and Gallery. It’s both an art gallery and a music venue which will be awesome as I’ll have more than 30 works on display throughout the month of March. Opening night is going to be on Friday, March 3 and feature the music of Tom Blood, Jr.

More on that will be coming.

1900 Park will be the site of my first solo art show since 1994. Opening night will be on Friday, March 3rd.

1900 Park will be the site of my first solo art show since 1994. Opening night will be on Friday, March 3rd.

I have learned in this business that you never know what’s around the corner. You do your best, try your hardest, be honest with the people you work with and have fun in the process and generally, good things will happen. I have been blessed to work with so many gifted individuals through the years. I continue to learn and explore new ways to market – but bottom line, whether you’re doing a website or online ads or developing a trade show booth, you still need big ideas to stand out, get noticed and acted upon.

I’ve still got a lot of those.

Happy New Year and I’ll see you on the other side of 2017.

 

Greeting cards for sale

Some of my artwork provides unusual visuals for a variety of different kinds of greeting cards.

Some of my artwork provides unusual visuals for a variety of different kinds of greeting cards.

I decided to expand my list of offerings on my pixels website (http://tom-blood.pixels.com) to include greeting cards that have actual messages on the front of them. Will they sell?

Time will tell. Currently, I only have four options from which to choose but there are more in the works. I got the idea of adding captions to the greeting cards when looking at the thousands of choices available on the site – <a href=”http://pixels.com/shop/greeting+cards” style=”font: 10pt arial; text-decoration: underline;”>greeting cards for sale</a>

There are all kinds of striking images – but very few of them actually had any message on the outside. Those that did didn’t always seem specific to any one topic. <a href=”http://pixels.com/shop/greeting+cards/modern+art” style=”font: 10pt arial; text-decoration: underline;”>modern art greeting cards for sale</a>

Seeing that I’m a writer, it made sense to add a few captions to some of my paintings that could then create for some very interesting messaging about topics that aren’t always found in the greeting card aisle at your local store.

The featured artwork would make for a great birthday card for anyone entering middle age – that nebulous time frame between youth and old age. (Hence the rocking horse and the rocking chair.)

Here's a little card that a husband or boyfriend can send to their significant other as a means of apologizing.

Here’s a little card that a husband or boyfriend can send to their significant other as a means of apologizing.

The greeting card featured above would be a nice little ice-breaker as a means of apologizing for any potential wrong-doings done on the part of a husband or boyfriend. Would it be enough? No, but at least it could maybe break the ice and being able to personalize your message on the inside might help even more.

Here’s another painting that I have created multiple captions that I’ll soon be posting.

Know someone who lost a job or broke a leg or just had a run of bad luck? Here's a great greeting card you could send.

Know someone who lost a job or broke a leg or just had a run of bad luck? Here’s a great greeting card you could send.

I think if you search for contemporary greeting cards, you won’t find many expressing this particular thought, even if you check the contemporary art greeting card section. (<a href=”http://pixels.com/art/paintings/contemporary” style=”font: 10pt arial; text-decoration: underline;”>contemporary paintings for sale</a>)

Here’s another card that would be a fun one to give for someone’s retirement …

Here's a fun retirement card that is sure to stand out.

Here’s a fun retirement card that is sure to stand out.

You can order these cards one at a time. They’re blank on the inside and on the site you can either type in your own message or order the card and write it in once it gets sent to you. Turnaround time is generally less than a week and they’re pretty affordable, too. Soon, I’ll have more on my pixels site so consider bookmarking it and coming back to visit from time to time – I always have new art work in the works.

So check them out and who knows – you might find the perfect occasion for sending one.

MySLArt.org 33 October Show

Tom Jr. and I in front of my 3 paintings at the My SLArt.org 33 October Show

Tom Jr. and I in front of my 3 paintings at the My SLArt.org 33 October Show

It’s always fun to have your art work on display. So participating in my fourth MySLArt.org show was a treat to be a part of and getting to meet and talk with other artists who are kind of in the same boat I am always makes for an interesting evening.

I was impressed with the variety and quality of the entrants in this month’s show. There’s truly something for everyone at these events and they’re a great outlet for artists who traditionally may not be quite gallery-worthy yet – and for others that certainly are.

I enjoy seeing people walk up to my paintings, looking closely at the details and oftentimes, talking with others about what in the world is going on with what I’m showing.

It’s also fun when people come up to me and say that my work reminds them of Magritte.

That’s probably the ultimate compliment to me. As a painter, I am a novice, still learning, still trying to get better every time I start on a new canvas. Talking to other artists at the event, that’s their quest as well.

The Juror’s Choice award went to Noelle Wagner – and deservedly so. One of her works was featured as the key image for the invite and it was even better seeing it in person. Gorgeous stuff and she got my vote!

Photography by Divine XO Photography

Photography by Divine XO Photography

Hat’s off also to Ulysses Sebastian, who received the Visitor’s Choice award for three compelling photographs that had a lot of people talking. I spoke to Ulysses (who recently changed his name) about his work and about his pursuit of creating photography that made a difference. That’s really what it’s all about – pursuing your passion, putting yourself out there and always trying to get better.

I love to paint and even though the canvasses continue to stack up in our house, that’s okay.

My best paintings are still ahead of me.

A big pillow fight on Pixels.com

Something's Wrong with America throw pillow

Something’s Wrong with America throw pillow

The last few weeks I’ve been totally occupied with trying to launch a BloodLinesArt product line on http://www.tom-blood.pixels.com where you can see a range of my paintings that are now also for sale on a wide variety of items – greeting cards, tote bags, iphone cases and throw pillows, just to name a few.

For some reason, I love seeing my art on throw pillows and that has caught a lot of my attention.

I’ve had this website for not quite four weeks. In that time, I have amassed more than 1500 views of my artwork and yes, I’ve also had a few sales. But like anything, you’ve got to do your homework if you want to succeed and I have a lot more homework in front of me.

Last night, I discovered that I had been vastly underusing the key words that you use to describe each painting. You’re allowed up to 500 characters and with the majority of works that I have on the site I was using about 30. So I dug a little deeper and saw that I should be using descriptors like surrealism throw pillows for entries like these two …

One of two throw pillows that would look awesome on a couch! This one is called 'Night'.

One of two throw pillows that would look awesome on a couch! This one is called ‘Night’.

This one is called ‘Day’. Imagine having these two side-by-side on your couch.

A little more homework told me that this is a very crowded market. And you’ve got to do everything possible in order for your work to be seen. There are literally millions of items for sale. For example, I would love to sell more of my paintings – I have quite a backlog of them – but I’d be just as happy selling items that have my paintings on them. So you’ve got to resort to certain tactics. Here’s one: a link to the surrealist art painting page: <a href=”http://pixels.com/art/paintings/surrealism” style=”font: 10pt arial; text-decoration: underline;”>surrealism paintings for sale</a>

Copy and paste that link into your browser and it will take you to that section. It will also put a few of my samples in the third row!

But what about selling more throw pillows with some of my surrealist paintings on them? Copy the ‘http: through surrealism’ link into your browser and it will help! <a href=”http://pixels.com/shop/throw+pillows/paintings/surrealism” style=”font: 10pt arial; text-decoration: underline;”>surrealism paintings throw pillows for sale</a>

I have a wide range of work. Some of it is kind of experimental. You might call it modern art. Others might call it abstract. I just know that this is a really cool looking pillow.

Nuts and Bolts - one of my 'stick' paintings looks really cool in the form of a pillow!

Nuts and Bolts – one of my ‘stick’ paintings looks really cool in the form of a pillow!

But to get it seen by anyone, it needs a little help: http://pixels.com/shop/throw+pillows/paintings/abstract

I like this one a lot, too. It just so happens that there is a link to Jackson Pollack throw pillows that might get it seen by more people looking for such a thing: http://fineartamerica.com/shop/throw+pillows/paintings/jackson+pollack

http://fineartamerica.com/products/purple-splatter-thomas-blood-throw-pillow.html

http://fineartamerica.com/products/purple-splatter-thomas-blood-throw-pillow.html

Bottom line, I’m fighting for attention. I have a long way to go. And a lot more homework to do. I would love to see sales of some of my art take off – it’s possible.

Problem is, you spend more time trying to market what you’ve done than you do working on whatever’s next. We’ll see what happens.

For now, can I interest you in a throw pillow?

 

Extending the BloodLines brand

Besides being an owner of my own advertising/marketing agency, I have two main hobbies: golf and painting.

I love doing both though it seems that this year, my golf skills are in the deteriorating mode.

Painting on the other hand, is getting slightly better since I picked it up again a little under two years ago. Since that time, I’ve done 18 different paintings.

And sold one.

That brings the total number of canvases in the Blood household to somewhere around 60-70 paintings. Long ago, when I had several gallery showings I sold about 12 paintings overall. I have never painted to earn a profit. I paint because I can and something tells me it’s a talent (miniscule though it is) that I shouldn’t let go to waste.

At the same time, all these paintings sitting around in our house, many consigned to the storage area of our basement where they sit around collecting dust really aren’t doing anyone any good at all.

So recently, I’ve been trying to up the ante to put a little more effort into selling some of my works. I joined ArtLoupe, which has been very good to me, showcasing a number of my paintings via their tweets. ArtLoupe is an app that’s a free download for your phone https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/artloupe-buy-and-sell-fine-art/id1027498940?mt=8 and it features new artwork daily. I have quite a few paintings on display but I’m not quite sure how to find me. Maybe you can figure it out.

Another effort that I’m just now beginning to have some fun with is my new Fine Art website: http://bloodlinesart.com/

It made sense to use BloodLinesArt as the name of the website. Eventually, it will link back to BloodLinesCreative.com and even though the two are separate, they’re still related.

I really like this new site, especially when viewed from my mac. If you take a visit and click on ‘Works’ you can see a lot of my paintings. Click on View all and the entire roster loads on the page. Then you can click on any one of them and they come up on screen nice and big. I really like my “Nuts and Bolts” image on the site – the photography shows up amazingly well and you can see what a strange piece of art this really is, featuring hand painted nuts and bolts embedded into a sea of blue.

All but two of the pieces are listed as being for sale.

To date, no inquiries though I plan on adding an e-commerce element to the site later on and I’ve also been contemplating turning some of my paintings into t-shirts and other assorted wearables or offering posters of them as well.

All in an effort of doing a little house cleaning.

In the near future, I also plan on contacting a number of local galleries and seeing if I can’t convince someone to offer me a show once again. The shows I had back in the early 90s all made money for the gallery owner and for me and I think the same would occur again if given the chance.

Art is meant to be seen and enjoyed and from what I’ve been told, people really enjoy my art once they see it.

We just don’t get a lot of traffic in our basement.

Snotes on the rise

It’s been a while since I’ve written about Snotes – not because nothing has been happening but rather, I’ve been too busy working on the account to have the time to blog about it.

Snotes stands for Secret Notes. It’s a form of anamorphic messaging that has been around since the days of da Vinci but thanks to a patented technology, allows a user to create a Snote by typing in their message on the Snotes generator that lives on snotes.com and in under a second, your message is magically created – able to be sent via email or posted on Facebook or texted to your friends.

This is an actual Snotes LoveKnots necklace featuring Chris' initials and mine intertwined together.

This is an actual Snotes LoveKnots necklace featuring Chris’ initials and mine, intertwined together.

The fun thing about Snotes is how many potential uses they have. One such use is shown in the necklace you see above. We call them Snotes LoveKnots and we’re just now beginning to take orders for them. What you see in the photo are four sets of initials – CMB, THB, CMB, THB that are intertwined together and put into a sterling silver necklace. It can also be done in gold and there are a variety of ways we’re working on to showcase the letters – raised, with colored backgrounds and with different borders.

A lot went into turning this concept into reality. We had to develop a way for the laser cutters to read the pattern that is created when four sets of letters are intertwined with each other. It took a lot of experimenting and a lot of back and forth but it’s finally been figured out and an initial batch of necklaces have been delivered to a number of people who are now getting asked, “That’s a cool looking necklace. What is it?”

It’s exciting for the wearers of the necklace to explain that it’s their initials and their husbands initials. Or maybe the initials of their grandkids.

Monogrammed jewelry is a big business in the U.S. – and this is a whole new way to do monogrammed jewelry.

We’re not just talking necklaces, either.

Snotes LoveKnots can go on bracelets, ear rings, key chains, belt buckles. And that’s just for starters.

Imagine a bride and groom using a Snotes LoveKnot on their wedding invitation. And then having it on the napkins, glasses and even the cake at the reception, followed up by Thank You cards and personalized gifts for the bridesmaids and groomsmen with their names and the date of the wedding.

If you’re interested in an even wider range of how Snotes might be used, visit http://snotes.com/licensing-opportunities/ and explore our three key categories: Business, Consumer Products and Education.

We are truly excited about the potential for Snotes. Teachers have discovered the fun of using them in the classroom for games and quizzes and are making plans on incorporating them into next year’s lesson plans.

Our website visitation has been exponentially growing.

In about three weeks, we’ll be attending the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas. We have a very cool looking booth that will showcase our full range of Licensing Opportunities. We also have prearranged meetings with some major companies that have shown interest in partnering together that could potentially accelerate the growth of Snotes in ways that might be hard to fathom.

Snotes are on the rise. It’s going to be fun to see how this story continues to unfold.

 

 

A return to the MySLArt.org 33 Show

Last March I decided to begin showing some of my art again and was happy to be chosen for the MySLArt.org 33 Show.

Every month, 33 artists get to display three of their works in the Old Orchard Gallery. There’s an opening night reception and the show stays up for a few weeks and it’s always a very eclectic mix of art. I was thrilled and honored at the last show when I received both the People’s Choice Award and the Juror’s Award – one of the few times that has happened at their shows.

So I’m entering again. Two relatively newer works and one old favorite. All three are quite a departure from my surrealist pursuits and after hanging the pieces tonight, it was fun to hear some of the comments on all three.

My tribute to Jackson Pollock done my own way.

My tribute to Jackson Pollock done my own way.

The featured image in this post is called “Nuts and Bolts”. I’m not really sure this is a painting. But it’s definitely art. When our family was in London, the boys and I made a visit to The Tate Modern Gallery. There you’ll find all sorts of modern art – some pieces absolutely amazing, others leave you scratching your head. I decided then and there that I was going to explore some utterly simplistic concepts and see what happened.

One of my initial thoughts was to see if I could come up with an extension of the first painting I ever sold back in 1984 at my first gallery showing. I was so thrilled to have a show and even more amazed when the gallery owner, who took a flying leap of faith on my unproven works, came up to me and said, “Well, you got your first sale!”

“Really?” I asked. “What was it?”

The gallery owner replied, “Sealed for Your Protection” – and I was amazed. That painting came about because I had a small canvas sitting around and I didn’t know what to do with it. I decided on a whim to smother it in every paint color I had, globbing it on with a palette knife, making a colorful mess of the canvas. But that seemed kind of dumb. Looking around my sloppy painting area, I noticed that I had all these little tabs from the tops of airbrush paint bottles. I picked one up and looked at it. It read, “Sealed for your protection”.

Perfect. I stuck about 60 of them into the still wet globs of paint and they literally dried around the tabs. The tabs truly were “Sealed for your protection”.

I took that basic premise and started anew and decided to do word combos. The first one that popped into my head was nuts and bolts. I had an old can full of nuts and bolts, passed on to me from my dad and I decided they needed to be painted. So over the course of three evenings, I hand painted about 40 nuts and bolts, questioning my sanity along the way. But when they were all done and I laid them out on the blank canvas I couldn’t wait to glob on the paint with my trusty palette knife.

I love the end result.

So I continued on with “Nickels and Dimes”. This time I tried spray painting the nickels and dimes but the paint didn’t adhere so I went back to hand painting each nickel and dime. I like it but not as much as “Nuts and Bolts”. Next on the agenda was “Salt and Pepper”. I searched online for salt and pepper packets but couldn’t find what I wanted so the idea was stuck in neutral. I told Tom Jr. about my plight and he surprised me one day after a visit to a local diner with about 60 packets of salt and pepper.

That one is also on display at the show and it drew rave reviews tonight. For awhile, I went back to exploring more surrealistic concepts but recently a whole flurry of word combos popped into my head, demanding to be done. I just finished my most recent one called “War and Peace”.

My latest 'stick' painting is also my new favorite.

My latest ‘stick’ painting is also my new favorite.

 

I love this piece of art. Again, whether or not it’s a painting is debatable. But it’s definitely art.

I invite you to stop by next Friday night, April 29th from 6-10 pm at the Old Orchard Gallery in Webster Groves to see all the art on display at the MySLArt.org 33 April show. Every one I’ve been to so far has been a good time. Please. Do drop in. And ask me to tell you the story behind “Purple Splatter”.