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Archive for March, 2009


Color or No Color – You Be The Judge

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Several months ago I was contacted by a “mom” that wanted a special gift for her son for his anniversary.  She was quite passionate on presenting a special gift for a special day.  This particular mom got the privalage of officiating at the ceremony that joined her son with his new wife.  The event happened on March 21st, 2003 and it was the first day of Spring.

Well, spring here in Chicago today is non-existant and we are gearing up for another snow.. My thoughts on that sentence is.. filled with $%^&W#$^$^% explicit language.. but my problem, not yours.

Anyhow, after going back and forth with Jan – the mother of the groom – we decided on a photo.

The only thing collectively we really couldn’t decide is whether to add color to this, I have been successful adding a slight coloring to a grey scale drawing.  I did Tommy Katona and When It’s Shinin’ Blue and it turned out pretty well from what I am told.

But this particular scene, came on a chilly Maine Morning, the color of the ocean was deep yet the blue’s still shone through, the color of the sand, was a dark amber, but where it began to dry was a lighter peach.  So, the story goes, Jan and I communicated back and forth as the drawing was developing.

The final outcome, with color, was not as she expected, and I have not a single issue when folks are not completely pleased, so I decided that I would re-do it, completely in gray scale.  The jury is still out on my favorite and Jan is framing them both.


Categories : Pencil Sketches
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Someone makes you smile

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What makes you smile? Have you ever really thought about that? Yeah, of course, rum makes Buck smile, a cold Corona will make me smile, but really, what makes you smile, what gives you a warm & fuzzy?

I shared a story somewhere online ages ago, but couldn’t locate it, and it falls into this category, of what makes me smile.

Leon makes me smile – he is a worker for Lake County Public Works Department in Northern Illinois, all I know about him is that.. his name and his job….. he works in the area where I grew up, where my parents still live and where I pass through on a weekly basis..

Leon is African American in a predominately white area, when he looks up from whatever task he is performing at the time, he has a smile and a wave for passing cars… I always made sure that I would honk my horn when I passed by, and his pearly whites would show through an ear to ear grin.  A calloused hand would always flutter in the air.. until.. one day.. I was side by side with Leon, and he said.. to me..

“I am so sorry, I can no longer wave to you, someone called in and complained that I seemed “to friendly, it scared them, and if you don’t see me around here, it is because they are going to transfer me out of this area.”

I sat in my car as the light turned green..and couldn’t comprehend what Leon just told me.. I told him to please pull over so I could understand this.. that is when I learned his name…


My husband is a Public Works Employee.. and trust me, I have heard stories.. I would hope someone would give him the pleasantries of a smile and a wave.. so I had a bit of compassion for this situation.  I wrote to the county, and I wrote from my heart, how asinine could that be, they would punish someone for doing his job as a public servant.  Wouldn’t you much rather deal with a happy public servant, than one that’s copping an attitude..

Well.. Leon is still in the neighborhood, and after this, he asked me to pull over.. and explained the story, I carried a copy of the letter I wrote in my car for a few months, and I got to give it to him.  I got a big hug, and a thank you… I saw Leon today, we passed in different directions.. but he made me smile..

His smile and his attitude is infectious, and as I drive through Leon’s territory, I always look forward to seeing his bright yellow truck and hearing a honk.. knowing, this person and I, even though we don’t know one another on a personal level, our lives have crossed and we find a smile.

As the sun sets tonight, think about… what makes you smile!


Categories : paintings, Thoughts, Tropical
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Pride and Joy Stevie Ray Vaughan

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pride_and_joy_stevie_ray_vaughan1Well you’ve heard about love givin sight to the blind

My babys lovin cause the sun to shine….

Well who would have guessed there was a picture of Stevie that I hadn’t seen..this was a commissioned piece for Barry in New Jersey, and after doing the pre-lim concept, I realized that I was drawing the wrong dang picture.

Getting so fired up because I found a fellow SRV lover, I didn’t read the fine print.. if I would have, I’d have realized that the Album “In Step” was re-released and held other photo’s.. after running to the library, Best Buy, Walmart,  and countless other stops along the way, I have to thank to my friends at Musician’s Plaza & The Stratocaster Forums, for sending me the picture from the re-issue of In Step…Barry sent one, but it was to grainy to see the detail.

This drawing was a pleasure to do, In Step has the song  “The House is A Rockin”… one of the best lines is…

Walkin up the street you can hear the sound
Of some bad honky tonkers really layin it down

Not knowing the man, but knowing some that did,  we could all learn from him the lesson of love.. he says in Pride and Joy…

My babys lovin cause the sun to shine…

Put into perspective that we all are here on loan, not knowing when that loan will expire.  There are little annoyances that happen to us on a day to day basis, there are struggles and issues, no matter who we are.

If we learn to live within our means, and within our boundaries, we will be a much better person and the music that we create from being here, will cause the sun to shine.  It will make an impact on someone, you may not get instant gratification from it, but your memory, kindness, legacy and the music that you created within someone’s heart and mind will forever “dance across their soul” .


Dallas Cowboys Release Terrell Owens

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terrell-owensDallas Cowboys Release Terrell Owens

The move to cut Owens comes a season after the team gave him a four-year, $34 million extension that included a $12 million bonus. When asked about now cutting the receiver, one Cowboys source said, “It was the right thing to do,” alluding to the fact that the team is trying to create a more harmonious locker room..

A more harmonious locker room? With that amount of cash, who wouldn’t be harmonious?

These type of stories just amaze me, with the nightly news being filled with stories of folks loosing their homes, unable to feed their kids, yet, there is this amount of cash swirling around the locker rooms across the country.

I continue to wonder, how we got into such a crazy mess…

Is this type of mess all because of ego?

What makes one person worth a 12 million dollar bonus? And another person worth only 50,000 a year?  You can only live in one room, so why is it that over the last decade people needed 30,000 square feet of living space?

I would really like to understand how these salaries can be at such a premium when so many are struggling.  I’d also like to understand how at these salaries, why people can’t get along and why they continue to screw up such opportunities..

Categories : Pencil Sketches
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