Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Wyandotte Art Festival

It's the 50th anniversary of the Wyandotte Art Festival, and my second year in "Retro Row". I set up today, with only a few minor snags. I ran my battery down last night from loading the car - it took two hours to stuff it all in there like a sardine can, it's rather an impressive sight! I couldn't close the hatch all the way, leaving the dome light on, so I undid a battery cable, the cheap thin one I had replaced only a month ago. Bad move it turns out: I didn't know it at the time, but that new cable had so much corrosion in less than a month I couldn't get a good connection and my car wouldn't start this morning! I plugged in my battery charger and hooked it up, but even after an hour I still couldn't start the car, so I called a friend and he came over and we jumped it; it started right up. I was running late at this point, but it was all right, I really didn't have to rush, which was nice. While I was driving my car kept cutting out like it had done last month when the timing belt went, so I was nervous the entire drive to the set up. I figured the problem out (that it was probably a bad connection on the cable I had removed and reconnected) when I was half-way through my set up. Fortunately, I had some cheap nail files in the car, so I used them to sand the cable's connection and the battery's terminal, reconnected them and voila! Problem solved, my car ran fine the whole way home, no more radio cutting in and out, yay! I had some dinner, I was starving since I hadn't eaten anything other than a few lettuce leaves from my garden early this morning. It was delicious (pizza). Then I noticed that the art store was closing in half an hour, called and asked them to set aside some stretcher bars for a couple of prints I ordered last week (that I *still* don't have, I'll explain below), and dropped everything to run up to the art store. So, I hop in my mustang, and start for the store. I made it five blocks and hear a quiet "pop" and then some grinding noise like I just ran over a coat hanger and it got lodged in my wheel well. I immediately pulled over to check what the noise was, and to my surprise, I had blown my right front tire less than a block from the freeway entrance! I had been going 75 miles an hour on that tire only an hour before! Not the best feeling, a bit unnerving! So, I pop off my hubcap, get my lug nuts loose, call my friend, again, to bring me a floor jack since I can't jack my car in the front with the scissors jack (it's too rusted at the jack points, I have to use a floor jack). I wait, but not long, and while I do, I call the art store and tell them I can't make it, so they tell me they'll hold my stretcher bars. How I'm going to get them I have no idea since I'll be in Wyandotte the next four days from 9am - 10pm for the next four days. I get the flat-blown-tire off and put on my thin, but full size in diameter, spare. Now I have to drive to Wyandotte on a spare in the morning; I looked up seven tire stores near there to call in the morning to try and find my 15" uncommon tire- it's small by today's standards, and I want whitewalls, I'm a purist! I'd drive my VW (my winter car), but the painting I want to bring is too big to fit. I'm hesitant but tell myself it will be ok. hm.... Even though I was trying to get stretcher bars, I don't have the prints yet because the store that does my giclee prints ran out of ink and the delivery of new ink is two days late, but I am supposed to be able to pick them up tomorrow at 10, they're meeting me at the store to open it up just for me. Wow! I guess they like me. I sure do like them, they do great work. State of the Art in Ferndale, MI. I recommend them to everyone who needs framing or prints done.
Earlier today while I had my mustang parked so I could unload and set up, another artist's assistant without much experience set a grate-wall up and didn't fasten it, so when the wind blew it fell onto my mustang and chipped my paint in several spots badly. I just came in from touching it up. I have cans of paint for my car laying around, I usually paint the chips and such in the fall once a year. Maintenence, eh? I try to take care of it since I can't afford another, hah hah. It looks ok, and I don't mind tooooooo much, as it was a lousy paint job from way back when that someone else had done for me, big mistake. Still, damage is damage, but it's ok, I hope. My only concern is exposed metal likes to rust, and the guy that did it rubbed it with his fingers, and even licked them and then touched it again, ew, all salty from sweating - it was hot as heck today, we were all salty. I asked that no one touch it - trying to keep it dry and salt free, the very things that will lead it to rust, sigh. He probably just doesn't know, not everyone does body work I guess, or think about how the salt is a catalyst for oxidation. ah, well.
I've spent my evening trying to find ways to solve some fairly minor problems. My only real concern is getting my art fair stuff back home on Saturday, I need the mustang, it holds a LOT more than the VW, and I'll be tearing it down alone as usual, and at 10 PM at night. I don't want to make two trips, gah!
Also, since I ordered the prints to sell at the fair, I'd really like to have them to sell, as I have to pay for them.
Insignificant problems, really. Life is pretty good for me right now. :)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Hazel Park Arts Council Fundraising Event

I've spent the last two nights hanging out at Phoenix Cafe in Hazel Park where they're hosting a music and art event to raise funds to continue to promote art in the city. It's located on John R *just* south of 10 Mile Road on the East side. There's lots of parking in the back, too. What an incredibly fun time I had! WOW, I was pleasantly surprised at just how cool a spot the Phoenix Cafe is and how hard a great bunch of people are working to make something wonderful happen right here in my own backyard! Hazel Park hasn't always had the best reputation, but with the economic downturn, it's left a lot of property vacant that now can be got for a song and they're working towards turning much of it into artist's studios! YAY! Everyone knows that getting artists into an area improves it and makes it a viable cool place to live and hang out! The turnout last night was amazing, live bands kept us entertained all night long, and I am thrilled to have several of my oil paintings hanging on the walls with a number of other very talented local artists. I'm joining the Hazel Park Arts Council so I can be a part of this amazing movement and help out as much as possible! Everyone here is working together towards a common goal that benefits everyone - and anyone who knows me knows I've been trying to get something like this going for years now; I am SO excited! I have to say THANK YOU to Steven Gamburd for inviting me to be a part of this, he's worked hard to make it happen, and all I can say is I am VERY impressed! With the amount of talent in this region, the accessible real estate here, and the will to make it happen, all I can say is sometimes dreams do come true!
Come on out and check it out: the Phoenix Cafe is open from 6 - ? hosting this incredible show tonight and tomorrow, May 29 & 30, 2011. They also have regular hours, too. I'm going back, oh, yes!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Charity begins at home

I quit my part time art framing job of three weeks yesterday when the Carbon Monoxide levels indoors where I worked got to be too much for me - they did have a garage bay door open, but up against it was a diesel truck that had been running for quite a while, and they also had a propane hi-lo forklift running, too. No where was the CO monitored, and I began to feel a bit lightheaded, so I headed outside immediately and decided to quit my new part time, $8 an hour job. There were other problems there, too, like the potential of me crushing my hands if I became distracted just once while using the table saw - it had hydraulic presser feet to hold the wood in place, and these were mere inches from where my hands held the wood in place to cut it. I also found it unsatisfactory that there was no safety glasses provided for cutting the glass, or dust mask for the sawdust, or saftey on the staple gun, or...
You see why I quit.
Anyway, back to the title of this blog. Now that I am free to persue my full time art career again, I naturally woke up very early with excitement on this fine Saturday morning and a great idea has taken hold of me:
Donate 20% of all my sale profits to HAVEN, which is a shelter for victims of domestic abuse. They are a wonderful help for women, and an organization I myself have had contact with once upon a time.
I am going to spend the next hour or so working on my website to reflect this, and have decided to be transparent about it and post every donation amount, no names, just the figures, and keep a running total so everyone can share in the joy of this endeavor. I usually only earn around $500 a month, so with the love and support I'm already getting as an artist let's see how much I can give to HAVEN!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Dirty Show

Once a year (sometimes twice) the Dirty Show takes over Bert's Warehouse Theatre in Detroit with hundreds of erotic works of art, performers and denizens of Detroit. As usual, yours truly volunteers to help out with the show, and this year I was asked to do set design, which I jumped on with the speed of light! Jerry Vile, the show's organizer, Satori Circus (one of the performance artists) and I sat down and discussed the design inspired by Pagliacci's opera: I painted two 12 x 9 cloths to look like a circus tent in the spirit of the opera. I also painted two large walls to resemble the feeling of a well to do home, complete with crown moulding accented with nipples in pink, chair railing and some bold blue square accents framed in black mouldings. Carl Lundgren helped me paint because it was such a large project and we had such a tight deadline to meet.

My good friend, Adam Owen Layne, a talented artist who also shows at the Dirty, sent me a link today, you can see my painting in it. How cool is that? Here's the link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0fe6hU-5QY&feature=player_embedded

And, of course, I have a painting in the show, called "Tunnel of Love" It's four feet square and hung in the best spot in the show! Wooo! :) I hope to see everyone there!

Don't forget you can always check out my Events page on my website for all my upcoming shows!