Happy Thanksgiving

November 22, 2017
This was one of my first illustrations after opening my illustration business. I was happy to comply with the client’s desire for a Norman Rockwell “Thanksgiving” scene but I was disappointed when the clients (who I can’t remember) informed me they only had enough money to publish it in black and white. This is painted in acrylic on canvas. I really should colorize it, if ...

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November 20, 2017
Now that the temperature has dropped in Portland, I’m unable to paint in the garage. I could use a portable heater, but the light just isn’t good enough to paint by. When I was a kid I tried to paint indoors and when I took my work outside my colors were terrible, jaundiced and pasty. Besides, I don’t like leaving my RAV out in the snow and ice. I was feeling antsy ...

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Four Hundred Million and Change

November 17, 2017
By now most people have heard about the record breaking sale of Leonardo da Vinci’s painting Salvator Mundi (Latin for Savior of the World), which was recently hammered down at auction for $450,312,500, making it the most expensive work of art ever offered for sale. The previous record was held by Picasso, whose Women of Algiers smashed auction records a few years ago, selling ...

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Night Shift

November 15, 2017
Since returning from his honeymoon, our son CJ has been working the night shift at a nearby police department where, as a mechanic, he services police vehicles. This got me thinking about the only time I worked graveyard, back in the early 70s during a break from college. My mother worked at the Almaden bottling plant in Los Gatos, California, and she pulled a few strings to get me a job, just as she had for my older ...

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Sexual Tsunami

November 13, 2017
Because of all the salacious stories hitting the media, one might think humans discovered sex about a week and a half ago and it’s still something mysterious and uncontrollable. Many actors and politicians have been caught in scandals threatening to end their careers or worse—prompt criminal charges. It’s difficult to separate who’s actually been victimized from who’s seeking their fifteen ...

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Four Bits

November 10, 2017
I’m just going to come out and admit that I’m oddly shaped. My legs are short but my torso is long, so long, in fact, that whenever I’m seated at a group gathering I’m always the tallest person present, that is until I stand. Because my legs are short I experience a problem when sitting that most people don’t have: change is constantly spilling out of my pockets. The last time I gathered ...

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Look at What I Found!

November 8, 2017
One of my favorite blogging friends, Val the Victorian at Unbagging the Cats, often posts about finding pennies that remind her of her late mother. Because of her, I’m now looking for pennies, and several days ago while exiting the Goodwill during my weekly quest for oil painting frames, I looked down and spotted something in a plant divider between parking spaces. It wasn’t a penny, but it did catch my attention.
Mrs. ...

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November 6, 2017
Mrs. Chatterbox recently asked a question that I tried to answer truthfully, but my response prompted a conversation I’d like to have discussed in a broader arena.
Mrs. C. made a trip to one of her favorite clothing stores and selected a blouse (women call them tops). At the register, the cashier said, “This is a popular top. I’ve rung up four of them today.”
Mrs. C. admitted that ...

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Peculiarities #7

November 3, 2017
In 1972, I joined a few of my UCLA buddies on a trip to the Nuart Theater in Santa Monica to see Harold and Maude. When the movie ended we walked down the street and passed an antique/junk store. A wooden gumball machine in the window caught my eye. It’s hard to explain why something calls out to you but this gumball machine spoke to me, wanted to go home with me. My ...

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The Execution of Marino Faliero

November 1, 2017
As a student of history, I’m forever seeking historic parallels with our tumultuous times, and I see such a parallel between a fourteenth century event and our current political situation.
When Thomas Jefferson was pondering appropriate words for The Declaration of Independence he looked to one of the few republics existing in the world at that time—Venice, an independent nation with a long ...

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Do You Believe in Magic?

October 30, 2017
Magic; an extraordinary power or influence seemingly from a supernatural source.
Halloween is upon us, and with it comes costumes and a celebration of things that go bump in the night. From an early age I was attracted to mysteries and the unexplainable. My first experience with magic came during a school field trip to a San Francisco museum where I saw my first Rembrandt. I knew ...

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Up Close

October 27, 2017
An old adage tells us that seeing is believing, and the next best thing to seeing with your own eyes was a photograph. Cameras came to define an ultimate realism. Of course this was before computers could digitally alter photographs. When I was an art instructor, students would ask me how to paint realistically. I’d ask them to explain what they meant by “realistically.” They’d say, “You ...

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