Friday, March 25, 2011

Art Show Success PFF#39 Contest

 The Western Heritage Art Show was a success for me. It opened  Wednesday  the 16th at 7:00 PM with awards for the Lobby Show in which all sixty-two of us were allowed to enter one piece. I put the Pinned Ball Wizard in the lobby show, and hindsight tells me that I shouldn't second guess jurors, and I won't - next year. It wasn't a piece of Old Paper Art and probably should have been.

The rooms opened at the same time, and after being opened for ten minutes, I'd sold a piece. The same thing happened last year, when I sold a piece that I had included in  my ad in the program.

Thursday was just as good, and in fact the piece that I completed for the Quick Finish event  (a piece of mail art) in the evening sold for more than it sold for last year. The gentleman who purchased the piece brought it up to my room after the event and returned it to me. Charlie Russell's birthday was Saturday, and since I got my start by looking at his mail art over fifty years ago, I took it to the Russell Post Office on Saturday morning and had it canceled and then shipped it to its new home in Idaho.

Friday was another successful day in the room with two more pieces selling, and the piece I did for the Paint-Around in the evening sold for more than I thought it would. The event involved working with six other pieces and six other artists, with 10 minutes at the end of an hour to complete (or repair) your piece and frame it.  Below is a photo of me holding the completed piece before it was auctioned. I came in a disguise.

Fwench Awtist
Saturday was a big day for me. Two more pieces sold, but the highlight of the day was a visit from the author Jamie Ford that I posted about on Monday.

With the room open only from eleven until four on Sunday, I still managed to sell one piece. We were tired after being there until 10:00 PM every day, but I was wearing a big smile.

Now for the contest. 
The images at the top above are Thank You's for six of the pieces I sold.  I've posted about all of them, but not all of them are recent.  Add a comment to this post naming the titles of the blog posts for which these Thank You's were created. The first one to post the titles (or the dates they were posted) gets a piece of mail art. Happy Hunting! And make certain that you stop by The Best Hearts Are Crunchy where Beth Niquette hosts Postcard Friendly Friday. I'm sure you'll enjoy more postcard eye candy both old and new!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Jamie Ford, Oscar Holden and The Alley Cat Strut

Henry and Keiko's record

It's in the mail

Back on January 24th of this year, my brother-in-law Chuck Pefley put up a post about the Panama Hotel. Chuck generally posts a neat photograph that he's taken in and around Seattle on almost a daily basis. I follow him not only because he's my brother-in-law, but because he's an excellent photographer and a source for models for a number of my pieces of art.  I don't know whether he discovered the book Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet first and the hotel later or the other way around. It really doesn't matter to me whether the chicken or the egg came first. There's a fascinating story to be told about the Panama, and Chuck discovered it long before I did. Because the photograph he'd posted involved a gold leaf sign, I was hooked.

My wife and daughter and I were going to go to Seattle in a few days, but I managed to follow the link Chuck had given to the Author Jamie Ford's blog, quickly skimmed it and discovered a small but very meaningful connection which I planned on exploring - after returning home from Seattle. We arrived in Seattle to an empty house - Chuck was at work, and my sister was in Tacoma with my brother Dan, doing what she does best. After unloading the car, I was ready to sit down and take a nap (at my age, it's almost a necessity). I can nap anywhere and in my short trek to the couch, I spotted Jamie's book on my sister's desk, picked it up, and quickly fell in love. No nap. Book. GOOD book. Over the next two days I read it. I'm a history nut. This had some really good meat in a very soft shell.

Chuck took us to the Tea Room of the Panama Hotel for an evening cup of Rooibos tea, and I was able to experience first hand the basement of the Panama. More meat. The story sucked me right in. After returning to Chuck and Penny's that evening, I read the Author's notes at the back of the book. They're there for a reason. Jamie lives in Montana.

As a young man, my father had spent time at Fort Lincoln, south of Bismarck, North Dakota. My grandfather was an Immigration officer charged with guarding German, Italian and Japanese 'prisoners' at Fort Lincoln during WWII. My father also met my mother while attending Catholic High School in Bismarck, so I knew some of the story of the internments.

A key element in the love story which Jamie has written is a 78 recording of a Seattle Jazz legend by the name of Oscar Holden. I will not reveal the significance of the recording. Suffice it to say it is a key element in Henry's life, and in the belongings of thirty-seven Japanese families in the basement of the Panama Hotel.

I created the record label for a recording that does not exist, but because Jamie had brought some of my childhood family memories back to me, I gave him something tangible last Saturday that existed only in his creative 'storyland'. What I received from Jamie was a signed First Edition of his wonderful novel of love lost - and found - in the grooves of a 78 record. Thank You Jamie. You did my spirit good. There's more songs yet to be sung.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Western Heritage Artists Show


The Western Heritage Art Show begins on Wednesday, March 16th at the Holiday Inn in Great Falls, Montana. It's only my second year as a member, but it's the 30th Anniversary for this show, and I'm honored to be the Featured Artist this year. Hope Good, our Advertising Chairperson has put together a fantastic program again for us this year, and the first image above is of the centerfold page.

I met Christy Daniels at the Blackfoot Valley Art Auction in 2009, and we participated in our very first Quick Finish at that event. You have to see her sculpture to believe how well she captures her vision in three dimensions.  I shared a page in the program last year with her, and I think it brought us good luck.  At least I came out a winner, and it was primarily due to two images - my lobby piece which caught the attention of art fans as soon as they walked into the Holiday Inn, and the major piece in my little quarter page in the program was sold as soon as I hung it on the wall.

I'm hoping for the same results this year. The second image above is of my piece for the lobby show.   The title is "He's A Pinned Ball Wizard". I wish I could have displayed a bit more white space in the online image, but the fact of the matter is - the image just barely fit on my large flat bed scanner. The jar came from my mother in law, as did the antique wooden clothes pins. It's the largest piece that I've done in at least thirty years. I'm so happy with the results, I've decided to start tackling some larger pieces to augment my Old Paper habit.

The Ball jar in the ad above will be hanging in the same spot that the ad piece hung in last year. And just in case you can't read the room number in the program above, my wife and I will be in Room 219  just to your left at the top of  the stairs above the lobby. We met a lot of old friends and made a lot of new ones last year, and you can view a lot of good art (besides my own) in the process if you stop by this year. We also are going to participate in a new event this year called the Paint Around, which happens Friday Evening poolside at the Holiday Inn, beginning at 7:00 PM.  I'm not going to reveal what I'm doing for that event, but I am doing another piece of mail art for the Quick Finish on Thursday, since my piece last year was a real hit. We hope to see you there!   

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Baby Ruth Flies Again

Back in August of last year, I put up a post of a billhead which referred to a sale of Baby Ruth Candy Bars which I obtained from a Michael Popek of Forgotten Bookmarks via SusanE at This Old Paper. It was great fun to put together that post (and the image), primarily because I was to learn a great deal about the way that the candy was merchandised across the country.

The Baby Ruth candy bar was THE Gravy Train for a fellow by the name of Otto Y. Schnering, who not only knew how to make a good candy bar, he also knew how to promote it.

In 1926, Otto hired a barnstorming air racer by the name of Doug Davis to spread Baby Ruth candy bars far and wide - from the air. Davis had three Waco airplanes and two former military pilots with which he was barnstorming the Southern states and he called it the Davis Flying Circus. It was quickly turned into the Baby Ruth Flying Circus. Check the link above for more information about what became a sensation from the skies when Davis started dropping Baby Ruth candy bars tied to rice paper parachutes - in over forty states across the United States. The second image I've posted above is from a Milwaukee, Wisconsin, newspaper advertisement announcing a Candy Drop over that city.

Even more interesting than the Baby Ruth Flying Circus is the story of Paul Tibbits, who garnered a ride in Davis' Waco to serve as the bombadier for one of the Candy Drops in Florida in 1927.

Paul Tibbets was born in 1915 to Enola Gay and Paul Warfield Tibbets in Quincy, Illinois. In 1924, the Tibbets family moved to Florida. Paul was nine. On a warm summer day in 1927, barnstorming pilot Doug Davis, let twelve-year old Paul ride in his Waco 9 airplane and toss Baby Ruth candy bars to the crowds at Hialeah racetrack and Miami Beach. Tibbets always traced his interest in aviation to that day.

Do you recognize the name of Paul's mother?  Sixty-five years ago last August, Paul Tibbits flew the B-29 Enola Gay over Hiroshima, Japan, and will be forever remembered in history books, as will his mother.

I acquired the Curtiss Candy Company billhead several months ago, and I decided to do something about putting another Baby Ruth airplane on it. My art probably doesn't make you want to go buy a Baby Ruth, but you'll perhaps think of my art the next time you pay 75 cents for a nickel candy bar!