Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I’ve been working on finalizing a means of putting a price on paintings, and keeping a permanent record of the information. Over the past few years my approach to everything art-related has been inconsistent. Here is a sampler of new, finalized information:

The Ohio River at Otter Creek Park, 2002, 30x36”, oil on panel 775.00

Field on Hwy 22, 2005, 18x24”, oil on panel 365.00

Germantown Houses, 2004, 16x20”, oil on panel 365.00

Tree Sketch—Miles Park, 2003, 9x12”, oil on canvas, 160.00

Untitled Tree (Joe Creason Park), 2003, 9x12”, oil on canvas, 160.00

Category B artwork:

Riverfront Plaza Construction, 2003, 18x24”, oil on canvas, 50.00

Joe Creason Park, 2001, 16x24”, oil on panel, 40.00

I have heard recent allegations that walnuts, especially the fruit of the black walnut tree, and specifically the husks, can be made into a very nice drawing ink. What better to go with my improvised drawing tools than some home-made ink? A co-worker told me that she has walnut trees on her property, and at this very moment, last autumn’s nuts are rotting all over the ground in her yard. That is exactly what I’m looking for, I think. She has offered to bring a bunch in for me. Helga, too, has reported that there is a walnut tree in her new yard.

Monday, April 09, 2007

I painted outside last Friday. It seemed a very iffy proposition at first, since it was very cold and windy. Finally, though, late in the morning, with the temperature climbing into the 40s, I decided to throw myself into it.

I selected a spot over at E. P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park. It was sheltered from the wind, in a low-lying area among the trees. It snowed much of the time I was out. Mostly it was light flurries, but sometimes it was snowing pretty hard. Despite the weather, there were bumblebees flying around me. Nuts.

The painting looks good so far. I worked for about three hours before some minor family crises sent me after my wife and children. I'm eager to work some more.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Even more haunted by jawas

The other night Kim was watching “Dancing with the Stars,” and it suddenly caught my attention. One of the stars, formerly a member of ‘N’Sync, was dancing to the Star Wars theme. But not the regular version; he was dancing to the Meco 1977 disco version of the theme.

Far out! My brother Kevin and I used to lie on the floor and listen to that on our parents’ stereo console.


I had never realized that the album was such a hit back then. Our friend Mike, from up the street, heard the album. "That's not Star Wars!" he informed us. He had the actual soundtrack. He was right, but his album lacked a cool picture of two astronauts bumping booties on the cover.

When I visited my pals in Harvard, IL, last week, I had the opportunity to play Lego Star Wars on the computer with their 4-year-old. I sucked at it. Every time I died, he would look at me and tell me to stop kidding around. He thought I was messing up on purpose. After watching him and his father play, I realized that he only died when he was horsing around, and his father would tell him to knock it off.

I also got to sit and play Storm Troopers with his action figures. He has lots of Star Wars toys.

And speaking of Storm Troopers,


(Thanks, Loraine)

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


Erin just became potty trained. She pretty much just did it herself. Of course, that doesn’t mean there aren’t accidents.

A conversation reported by Kim:

Erin: “I peeped in the chair.”
Kim: “Oh. OK. Were you sitting in the rocker?”
Erin: “Yeah. Unfortunately, I peeped all over.”

"Peeped" is an Erin-ism, by the way.

Yesterday, the high temperature was in the mid-80s. Erin played in the sprinkler. Today, it wasn't supposed to get much out of the 40s (I think), and the lows may drop below 30 over the next few days. Maybe this will help my allergies a little. I wonder if I should cover my tulips? Or the coreopsis, or the coral bells?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Transporter question

Here is a question that I find thought-provoking and a little troubling.

Imagine that someone invents a teleportation device, sort of like the ones they use on Star Trek. This transporter can “beam” you over long distances, and do it cheaply, so that anyone can put a dollar in a slot, step onto the transporter pad, and in a fraction of a second they’ll materialize at a chosen destination. Lunch in Madrid, dinner in Tokyo, a play and dessert in London.

But here’s the catch: The technology works by totally vaporizing you with lasers, which analyze you down to the molecule and record the information. The data is beamed at the speed of light to the destination, where a machine takes the data and rebuilds you from a storage tank of material, duplicating you exactly, down to the molecule. The process takes a tiny fraction of a second.

In essence, one machine kills you, and another machine builds a duplicate that is in every identical to the one that was vaporized.

Would you use this transportation technology?

People who know me well know that I’m a pretty hard-core materialist. I consider the “self” to be the sum of our material being. Our experiences, thoughts, and emotions arise from our physical bodies. As such, it seems to me that the “self” would be unchanged by being destroyed and then immediately rebuilt. If I am derived from my physical makeup and experiences, then “I” am not really destroyed, I am just swapping old molecules for new ones.

But I can’t get past the fact that the first machine kills you. I don’t know if I could bring myself to use such a machine.

How many of the atoms in my body were there a year ago, or ten years ago? Would the transporter simply speed up the rate of turnover? If there is a soul, would it leap to the new body?

Monday, April 02, 2007

On Saturday, March 24, I drove to Harvard, Illinois to visit some friends. I had a very good trip. It had been a year since I had seen them. We pretty much just hung out, and for me, that’s a lot of fun. Their kids are cute and fun to play with; we spent a lot of time outside since the weather was so nice; they gave me food and a place to sleep; and I got to play a couple of new games. As seems typical, I also walked away with some loot (Kelly gave me some miniatures, some miniatures bits for assembly, and some little plaster treasure chests he had made from Hirst Arts molds.)

They have three cats, yet I managed to sleep on the couch without sneezing. At all. I don’t know why some cats make me spout like a sputtering fire hydrant, and some have no affect.

I was greeted, upon my return to Louisville, but lots more green than when I had left. Spring causes the gardening painter within me to pop forth like so many aesthetic sneezes. Spring also causes the sneezes to pop forth like dandelion buds. Spring triggers lots of sneezy art poppings, and my garden is my palette just like my palette is my garden. To celebrate, I ate the yellow off a dandelion. I recommend it. The green parts are bitter, but the yellow is sweet.

I have planted some onions, peas, and kohlrabi. Inside, in trays, I’ve started rosemary and basil. I have some cilantro in a pot that I need to move outside.

All the perennials are coming up. Asters, glads, tulips, hostas, coral bells, hollyhocks, daylilies, and coreopsis. Hooray! I still need to plant tomatoes, watermelon, and gourds after the weather warms a bit more. And just as much as warm weather, I need more room. The perennials I planted last autumn used up a lot of my garden space, and the watermelon and gourds aren’t exactly small-area crops.

I plan to paint on Friday. I don’t know where I’ll go to paint. The trees right now are wonderful to look at. I need to decide very quickly where I will go, so that I don’t waste time on Friday by hunting.