Friday, April 3, 2015

Footprints Success


I had eleven Thank You cards to send after the Western Heritage Artists Footprints on the Trail Art Show and Sale this year. This first one was not a sale, but a gift. These folks bought the very first piece of old paper that I framed up and sold off the wall at an antique show here in Helena. They've been patrons ever since. They came to my room this year and gave me a color proof sheet from the second printing of "Good Medicine", which was a compilation of illustrated letters and envelopes by Charlie Russell. The proof sheet is old and brittle and stained in a couple of places, but it is like gold to me.


The second is to the patron who purchased My Brownie Baking Company piece which I did for the Quick Finish on Thursday evening, and a fun piece it was! He wanted the Chocolate as much as Uncle Sam did.


The third is to the patron who purchased My Breakfast Brownie piece on Saturday evening at the Art for Causes Quick Finish and Auction. And a lively auction it was! Our primary cause this year was Breast Cancer Awareness and we raised over $11,000.

To call this year's show a success is an understatement. And to top it all off, we welcomed a new grandchild to the family at 11:00 AM on Sunday, the last day of the show. Her name is Celine.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Cannon Crax for Virginia City


C. W. Rank & Company prepared for the 1904 4th of July celebration in Virginia City by ordering some 'crax' from the Passmore Paper Company in Butte, Montana. Don't you always go to your stationery store to buy your fireworks? Just another piece that I'll have in my room for the Western Heritage Art Show and Sale in Great Falls, Montana, from March 18th through the 22nd.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

I Want Your Chocolate!


For this year's Western Heritage Art Show & Sale, I will be participating in two events: The Quick Finish and Auction on Thursday evening, and the Quick Finish and Live Auction on Saturday evening. I have not yet decided which one of these I will be doing for which event, so I could use some assistance from the audience.


I realize that  these images are not really 'finished', but that's the idea behind the Quick Finish events. Potential patrons get to watch more than twenty of us put forty-five minutes to good use.

The Thursday evening event supports the Western Heritage Artists by raising funds to defray the cost of putting on the five day show. The Saturday evening event is called Art Competing for Causes, and this year we are supporting Breast Cancer Awareness along with other worthy causes.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Coaled Feet Too


This is the second of two letterheads that I acquired from the Waterworks Art & Heritage Center in Miles City, Montana, in the Spring of 2012. The Custer County Historical Society was forced to close their office, and the folks at the Art & Heritage Center allowed me to purchase any paper that I found that was of interest to me.

The letter itself is a bid submitted to the City for coal, delivered by rail from the mines mostly West and a bit North of Miles City by approximately 225 miles.

I completed the first of the two letterheads in July of 2012, and I posted it in early August. That piece sold in September of 2012 at auction to support the Waterworks Art & Heritage Center. This one will be going to the Footprints on the Trail art show and sale in Great Falls, Montana, opening the 18th of this month for four days.



Saturday, January 24, 2015

Sugar Coated, Nickel Plated Ceegars


The Morris Brothers were here in Helena so early their business didn't even have an address, save for Main Street. This is a piece of billhead/letterhead that I acquired by trade from a patron who purchased one piece of J. H. McKnight paper from me, and commissioned me to put my art work on another similar piece which he supplied.

The only thing that the Morris Brothers didn't sell was whiskey, although I doubt that the whiskey was very far from their front door.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Old School Canoe


In March of 2013 during Western Art Week in Great Falls, Montana, one of my patrons brought me a piece of advertising from the Old Town Canoe Company. Their request was that I put some of my art work on this letterhead. Included in the envelope with this sales letter were two pieces of canvas so that potential customers could see and feel the difference between the quality and durability of their competitor's finished product, and that of the Old Town handcrafted canoe.

I investigated old advertising of the period and tried a number of different designs using that advertising to come up with an image I was satisfied which would fit on this piece of letterhead. The harder I tried, the bigger the funk.

Somewhere in the back of my mind I had a recollection of a C. M. Russell illustrated letter which depicted a Kootenai Indian canoe. I have a copy of the Brian Dippie book, C. M. Russell, Word Painter. It didn't take me long to find it.



This is the (cropped) first page of a two page letter Russell wrote to Philip Goodwin in October of 1907. The canoe in the upper right hand corner was done from a model constructed by a fellow from Kalispell, and it is still in the Museum in Great Falls. Russell explained in the letter that since the model had no 'thorts' (thwarts), it was not of much use as a model. I was torn. I didn't stay that way for very long.

The patrons who commissioned me to do this piece were the very first folks to purchase one of my pieces of old paper art. That art depicted another C. M. Russell piece, the original which sold in 2008 for over $5 million dollars. I delivered Old School a couple of weeks ago. They're happy, and so am I.