Friday night at the Feldhaus…

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Rich came home from work to find his new cd's had arrived! Take a listen HERE…Rich & Flint have been playing together for 17 years. They have and continue to play with numerous groups and other musicians but this is their first album with their new 2 piece band: "Devil's Ride" pretty exciting! CD's available for $5…email Rich to get your copy: hedbanned@yahoo.com
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Now for the Labor portion of our 3 day weekend: removing the scary carpeting from my studio and then painting the floor….the scariest part was not knowing what condition we would find the floor under the carpet – turns out it is pink cement…and a lot of it very uneven. We spent the evening tearing out carpet and clearing half the space for painting on Saturday. We finished around 10pm about the time my good friend (and favorite hat maker!) Eva May came over with her friend Sarah who is visiting from Sweden…Izzy & Alice got lots of puppy love!  Stay tuned for photos of Phase II on Saturday…Picture 11

Daphne Covington

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Daphne Covington of Atlanta, GA

As promised…below is a photo of the painting I purchased from mixed-media painter Daphne Covington, she came up from Atlanta to do the Port Clinton Art Fair. Choosing a piece was a difficult and I didn't have a lot of time to decide, but now that I've lived with it for a few days I am confident I made the right choice. Daphne was also very patient with my indecision, she is a lovely person and it is reflected in her art.

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It's strange, I never really 'got' abstract art and about the time I quit trying to 'get it' I got it…it's really just what speaks to you as far as color and composition go. When I see a piece that I like, it gives me a warm glowly feeling in my heart and chest, it makes me feel good to look at it. Sometimes what attracts me is a representational image that stands out in it, with this one there is a tulip and I love the little lollipop stick tree, the patterns of stripes and circles – but those things speak to me because they are shapes I love and use in my own work. You will see something totally different that is in reference to your own experience and taste. Okay that's my simple off the cuff thought about abstract art – but you  know, it really applys to any art or music, there is no right or wrong about it – I say if you love it, make the investment. Those of you trained and better educated are welcome to share your thoughts by commenting below!

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I hung Daphne's painting in my kitchen next to a beautiful water color collage created by my good friend Rachel Weaver-Rivera. It looks great on my peacock blue wall! That's my little kitchen Angel on the right, traded with a Chicago artist named Apache Wakefield.

The MIxed Breeds Note Pad Winner is...

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Congratulations to Rachel Tyler who wins a notepad…for sharing her top pick of my poster designs (I’ll be throwing in another little goodie as well!).  Most of you chose design D – I think my favorite is A…but we all know my love of over the top color is not the norm!  Thanks to all of you for giving me your feedback, this was a fun way to gather opinions –  I’ll let you know which one the Art fair Committee chooses.

Good Neighbor…

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Well I've had a day to recover after the long art fair weekend in Highland Park, the weekend was great and so much fun to catch up with my friend Laura in the evenings (Laura how is it I didn't get any pictures of you to post on my blog?) 

My booth was next to master of the dot: Tim McWilliams, he uses pointillism to create his striking large scale cityscapes and portraits…really neat stuff..He and his wife Lou are delightful people, and were such wonderful neighbors to have – working alone I don't get water cooler moments…it's always fun to find that camaraderie at the shows among other exhibiting artists. Tim was also one of the official poster artists of the show along with another pal of mine, Keith Grace. It was very busy so I was only able to get around and see the show in my section, but even there; ran into several other artists I know and met a few new folks whose work really spoke to me. I bought a great painting from one of them…I'll share that with you tomorrow. Hope the weather is as lovely where you are as it is in Chicago today!

Which design do you like the best? (your comment could = free gift)

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Looking for some feedback…Please leave a comment with your favorite color combo and I'll randomly choose one winner to receive a Mixed Breeds Notepad in the mail next week! You must comment by midnight central time Tuesday, August 26th.

Debuting My Art on the North Shore…

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Can't Make it? Check out my Upcoming September & October Art Fair Schedule! or visit my Etsy Store.

Ch ch ch changes...

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Fourteen years ago I exhibited at my first Art Fair … it was the Bucktown Arts Fest…I had no tent and sold my hand painted tile magnets and painted mirrors (displaying the mirrors on an upended futon frame)…I managed to dig up the photo below. It was great fun and of course a huge ego boost to be selling my art work! This was also the year that Rich & I bought our house in Bucktown which happened to be a 2 minute stroll from the art fair. Little did I know how that show would change my life. I made so many great friends and started relationships with so many people who have collected my work over the years. Another highlight was in 1999, I did the poster design for the art fair and got as close as I’ve ever come to selling out my booth.

Now it’s 2008 and time for a change, I will miss this very unique show and community event and I’m sure I will be back at some point but it was time to try something new. The art fair pundits say you should mix it up, you can saturate your market and karmic-ly it’s probably good to open up a space for a new artist to come in. (Sharon Sears will be in my old spot #33, I should probably supply her with some cards in case anyone comes looking for me!)

So this weekend instead finding me at Bucktown, I hope you will make the trip up to Highland Park where I will be exhibiting at the Port Clinton Art Festival – this is rated as one of the top shows in the nation and I’m very excited to be exhibiting my work for the first time in this community. For those of you who do get to Bucktown, I have many wonderful and talented friends still exhibiting there…among them Laura Nugent who is coming up from Kansas City to do the show for the first time…(and I’m so glad to have her staying with us) I hope she can snag a poster for me – Amy Arnold designed them this year – I just love her work (soft sculpture: peepwool) and was thrilled to see it in 2d on the poster.

Okay…time to get to work…need to make that Port Clinton E-blast announcement! You’ll find me in Booth #53!

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1995 – The year we moved to Bucktown & I started selling at Art Fairs.

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1999 I was the Bucktown Arts Fest Poster artist…I was 32 and Rich was in fact 33 in 1999. That was back when I wore cut-offs to the art fairs…you know a starving artist had to dress the part!

Teacher Steps Out…

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"Teacher Steps Out" © Jeff Condon

…is the title of this great piece by fellow art fair artist, Jeff Condon – he is one of the reasons I was inspired to paint on cardboard, that and whenever kids come to my studio that's what I provide as canvas…they can make nice size pieces of art at no cost and for me it takes the edge off feeling like I have to make something GREAT because I'm using canvas or wood that I paid for. Jeff does beautiful pastels and oil paintings of interiors and rural landscapes which I love but it was a fun treat to find these 'off the wall' pastels of women's legs on corrugated cardboard in his booth at the 57th Street Art Fair earlier this summer. Visit his website to see the rest of the paintings behind these thumbnails of his beautiful work…
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"Teacher Steps Out" hangs in my office with my cat painting by artist Cher Shaffer and Dot …the stuffed, hand painted dog that I made…hopefully coming to a store near you one day in the not too distant future!

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Helping out the Border Collies...

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I came up with this t-shirt design for Great Lakes Border Collie Rescue today…I hope they like it..I planned to go in a completely different direction but this is what my imagination served up this afternoon… I think it would be great on a shirt. I am so glad to be crossing some of these things off my ‘to do’ list…Now there are no more excuses for me to not go down and paint tomorrow! The danger of having the painting studio and office separate: I can’t just get up and saunter over to the easel to paint on a whim like I used to…of course on the flip side when I’m down there painting it’s completely uninterrupted, aside from silly Alice demanding some play time every now & then…and once in a great while Izzy checking in…my poor old girl is really slowing down.

Catching up with pet portraits…

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I'm way behind on my pet portrait and illustration commissions…catching up this week: Preliminary sketches above for Pippin, an Irish Jack Russell pup and Izak, a very sweet shepherd who sadly passed away this past year. I generally start by making drawings from their photos in my sketchbook, then I pick the best one, scan it and digitally clean up the lines, add the name and colors before the first presentation to my client. From their feedback I make any neccessary edits and color changes before actually painting the portrait on canvas. Here is a good link to my process, links to completed Pet Face and Narrative Scene Portraits and more info on how you can Order a Portrait of Your Pet!