Blog Archive


Adult Coloring Books

November 02, 2016 :: written in: All Blog Posts
  Many kids, including future artists like me, begin their pursuit of art by filling in the spaces in coloring books. I was not yet a teenager when it occurred to me that coloring between the lines was restrictive and unnecessary; in fact, creating my own lines was far more interesting. If one were to remain within the borders, why not go all the way and create those borders yourself? Why rely on someone else to create lines for you?   The kids on my block in the 50s and 60s expressed no such thoughts. They prided themselves on navigating the lines and adding proper colors where deemed necessary. Skies were blue. Grass was green. Trees were brown. Back then, coloring books were the domain of children, but today that’s cha ...

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Are You a Night Owl?

November 04, 2016 :: written in: All Blog Posts
I am most definitely NOT a night owl. I’ve always been a morning person. I wake in a good mood and my creativity runs strongest before noon. I seldom paint or write in late afternoon or evening.   Ben Franklin’s advice is sound: “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy wealthy and wise.” Well, I’m not wealthy or wise but I do go to bed fairly early—usually around ten o’clock. In college I had a reputation as an “early crash,” and many a dorm party took place around my slumbering body. During finals week at UCLA, I needed to stay awake the night before my Shakespeare final because I hadn’t read most of the plays covered on the test, but I was asleep by eleven. Bul ...

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Giveaway Update

November 07, 2016 :: written in: All Blog Posts
We’ve reached the halfway point for my giveaway; time for an update. Below is a list of those who’ve indicated an interest in owning this painting. Some of you have offered encouragement without directly stating an interest in participating so I might not have entered you. If you don’t see your name and want to be included, please let me know and I’ll add you to the list.   My goal for this giveaway is to increase my followers on the Blogger Follower widget, which can be found on the right sidebar under Chubby Chasers ( here ). Just follow the URL to the widget and click the blue box that reads Follow. The winner must be posted on the widget to win. A few folks have said the widget wasn’t working, yet se ...

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Are You a Germophobe?

November 09, 2016 :: written in: All Blog Posts
This election has made many of us sicker than if we’d eaten at a Chipotle or been bitten by a rabid dog, but this post focuses on a different type of illness.   The gym where I work out has spray bottles and cloths to wipe down sweaty machines after use. I do most of my sweating in the aerobics room not the weight room, but I always make a point of wiping down my machines anyway. I don’t mind doing so because using a machine dripping with someone else’s sweat is unpleasant.   This post was prompted by a middle-aged lady at my gym who takes this to the extreme. When she arrives, she wipes down ALL the machines before starting her workout, even machines I’ve just vacated and already wiped down. At first, ...

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Painting Children

November 11, 2016 :: written in: All Blog Posts
John Singer Sargent (1956-1925) was one of the last great portrait painters before the camera replaced paint and canvas as the best way to capture an impression of someone. Sargent was once asked to give a definition of an oil portrait, which he defined as a picture of a person with something not quite right about the mouth. Mouths are hard, and only a few masterpieces, like Sargent’s portrait of Henry James, attempt to show a person in the act of speaking.   Most people like paintings of children, but children aren’t easy to paint. They don’t tolerate sitting still for any period of time, much less multiple sittings, and when they’re coerced into sitting still they often get fidgety and look bored. Sargent re ...

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Straining a Relationship

November 14, 2016 :: written in: All Blog Posts
Caution: If you have a delicate constitution you might not want to read this.   Last week not only brought disappointing election results, but I lost one of my dental veneers. Fifteen years ago I decided it was time to fix my teeth, particularly the gap that made me speak with a sloppy sibilant “s”. Over the years, a few of my veneers have come off but I’ve always found them and my dentist was able to reattach them. This time I was eating a baked potato when I suddenly noticed a veneer was missing.   Although I was eating at the time, I hadn’t noticed biting down on anything hard and was sure I hadn’t swallowed it, but after checking the floor around our eating area (TV trays in front of the boob ...

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November 16, 2016 :: written in: All Blog Posts
If record-breaking auction sales are any indication, Impressionist paintings are more popular than ever, yet we might never have heard of the Impressionists were it not for one individual, someone who wasn’t even an artist. His name was Paul Durand-Ruel, the son of a picture-seller who became Paris’ premier art dealer.   During the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71) Durand-Ruel left Paris and escaped to London where he met Monet, also in England to escape the war. When peace was achieved, Durand-Ruel returned to Paris with a new passion for Monet and other artists who would later be known as The Impressionists.   Durand-Ruel held numerous shows, but the French public considered these new paintings sloppy and unprofessio ...

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Vanity Plates

November 18, 2016 :: written in: All Blog Posts
It wasn’t my smartest decision, slightly better than using a kitchen strainer for an unintended purpose, but Mrs. Chatterbox and I had come into some unexpected money and we thought…why not?   Mrs. C’s dad had recently passed, leaving her a fairly new, Titanic-size baby blue Cadillac. Mrs. C. was too young to be tooling around in her father’s caddy so I suggested she trade it in for something sportier, which she did—a BMW which we couldn’t have afforded without the trade-in. At some point we had a discussion about vanity plates. Our careers had been humming along without setbacks so we were in a position to splurge. But what should our vanity plates say?   Mrs. C. decided on “HAPPY GI ...

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In or Out of the Box?

November 21, 2016 :: written in: All Blog Posts
People often comment on how in sync Mrs. Chatterbox and I are, and it’s true that after being together for nearly fifty years we’re capable of finishing each other’s sentences, but in one regard we’re remarkably different.   It’s become a cliché, but for years people have been encouraged to “think outside the box,” to step outside your comfort zone to expose yourself to possibilities you wouldn’t normally consider. This has never been a problem for me. Truth be told, I’ve always had a problem with authority and have always danced to my own drumbeat.   As an example, while working as a display manager for a major department store, I was tasked with creating a kite dis ...

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Moosh-vega and Happy Thanksgiving!

November 23, 2016 :: written in: All Blog Posts
Thanksgiving is upon us and it’s at this time of year that we focus most on family traditions.   In my family, we have special words that aren’t found in the dictionary, words only those who share DNA with us can understand? A few weeks ago CJ was visiting and Mrs. C. fried up some chicken. After eating his fill, our son pushed away his plate and announced he’d had enough. I wasn’t finished eating and without thinking exclaimed, “Moosh-vega!”   “Are you having a stroke, Dad?” CJ asked. “What was that you said—moosh-vega?”   “It’s a Portuguese word your grandmother taught me as a child. Your grandmother’s family spoke it at Thanksgiving o ...

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Toilet Rage!

November 25, 2016 :: written in: All Blog Posts
Mrs. Chatterbox was upset when she returned from shopping at a Christmas bazaar. She explained that the bazaar had unisex restrooms, and when a man exited he’d left the seat up. She was enraged that this fellow had been so impolite as to not lower the seat himself, leaving it for her to do.   We’ve explored this topic before. It’s always bothered me that at public venues women are forced to wait in long lines to use the restroom while men can saunter into a men’s room and be out in a matter of minutes. Biology has a lot to do with this, but it still doesn’t seem fair. I think ALL bathrooms should be unisex to make it more equitable. Of course women need to feel safe, so all restrooms should have privacy ...

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Peculiar Pictures #54 & #55 & #56

November 28, 2016 :: written in: All Blog Posts
                                My mother, known to followers of this blog as Grandma Chatterbox, is having health issues that will require a move to a facility where she can receive better care. I’ve been too busy to write anything for today’s post, but here are a few more Peculiar Pictures from my illustration files.         Bait (Acrylic and collage)       Hitting the Target (Acrylic)         Rolling the Dice (Acrylic)     ********************************************           Giveaway painting     On ...

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Fanning the Flames

November 30, 2016 :: written in: All Blog Posts
Eight years ago Mrs. Chatterbox and I decided to downsize. We gave up our big hundred year old home and purchased a townhouse. It’s a nice townhouse, and one of the features I admired about it was its large stone fireplace. I’ve always felt a home should have a fireplace and this one was particularly attractive.   I consider myself a fairly intelligent person, and as an artist my eyes usually ferret out details others miss, but this time my eyes failed me because there was something unexpected about our fireplace, something I hadn’t noticed when buying our new home.   We’d been in our new residence a few months when the builder called to say it was time for an inspection to be sure everything was workin ...

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