Monday, October 31, 2011

TOPS - The Spinning Wooden Kind 1

I've been busy making art that involves a story. This is the first of four tops that I've placed on a billhead from the John D. Zernitz & Company, dealer in Toys Fancy Goods and Druggists' Sundries,  210 & 212 East Madison Street, Chicago, Illinois..  It's addressed to C. W. Rank & Co., Virginia City, Montana, and dated November 3, 1900. The Turn of the Century had just occurred eleven months earlier.

Stay tuned for the rest of the story.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Pulse - Seth Apter

Some time ago, Seth Apter host of The Altered Page Blog invited me to participate in a survey (which he entitled The Pulse) of over 140 artists. It was an honor for me to be included among them because it gave me the opportunity to not only be recognized in a larger art blog community, but it also offered all of us the chance to see (and visit) art blogs which wouldn't be available if we just rested on our own artistic benches on Art Street.

When I first began my new artistic journey in early 2009, I began looking for other artists on the web who were doing something 'different'. Because I have always used colored pencils as a tool, I was comfortable creating two dimensional art - and making it look three dimensional. There are so many artists using textures and layers of color in their work, and Seth's survey gave me a new outlook on mixed media. I found myself spending more and more time looking at what I call "Eye Candy", created by artists who were willing to explore their approach to art, and they were way outside my comfort zone.

I've also continued to search out artists who were telling short stories, and I've found more than a few. Make certain that you stop by Seth's blog, for he's a large voice willing to go the extra mile for all of us. I also wanted to include here another artist that I didn't find through Seth, but I found while exploring other art sites.

The above is a mail art Thank You to a lady who inspired my Marble piece which I posted back in June. Her name is Teresa N. Fischer  She has a web site HERE,  and also hosts a blog HERE, which oftentimes I find as interesting as her web site. The reason? She often includes a little narrative about the subject of the painting as part of her post. I asked her about a month ago if she'd ever done any antique wooden tops, only to discover that she hadn't. She did have some tops however, and volunteered to take photographs of them for me, which I thought was really neat. So - she got a Thank You. She'll get another when I finally put the Four Tops to the old paper I have. Got any tops?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Goodkind Brothers Whiskey Bottle

In November of 2009, I posted an image of a piece of Goodkind paper upon which I had depicted a small bottle with a Goodkind Brothers label still affixed. Usually with bottles this old which had paper labels on them, the labels don't survive.

I have in my possession scanned images of two different Goodkind Brothers labels. The provenance for these labels is unquestionable, but to say that they were ever used on whiskey bottles is an entirely different story. They came from a sample book of a lithographer who not only produced labels of this type, but also labels for various other products as well.

This bottle should probably be called a flask. It does not stand on it's own all that well. It's a 'dug' bottle which was recovered locally. The owner graciously allowed me to borrow this bottle and the pewter cap, and he also gifted me two other larger bottles upon which I'm going to place the second of the Goodkind Brothers labels. Just like this one, I'll fill it with Ancient Age whiskey, take photographs of it to use for models, and then I'll post the image of the finished product.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Oscar Holden - Seattle Jazz Legend - PFF#50

In March of this year while I was frantically preparing for the Western Heritage Artists show, I had to obtain the American Jazz stamps and get them canceled. I knew what I wanted to do for the art work, and it was pretty much settled by the time I had arrived back home. However - other art projects got in the way.

Three weeks ago I started putting it together. Since every one of my covers is hand-drawn and "painted", I had to do a template I could slip into the twenty-three blank envelopes that already had stamps and cancels. I use that template on my light table, using a pencil to produce the design on the envelope. I then move to my drawing board and using colored pencils and a Rapidiograph pen, I produce the cover.

I began that exercise with a design for a cover I'd done some years ago, and it is the same basic as the one I posted in February of 2009. That cover was an Event cover which I'd franked with a pair of Duke Ellington stamps. I did not use gold leaf on these covers, as I wanted to stick with the color scheme of the Jazz Forever stamps. The black piano keys were a what I wanted to highlight on this one.

Although I knew nothing of Oscar Holden until late January of this year, after reading the fabulous book Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford, I was pretty much looking for anything I could find about him. It didn't take me long to find out he played the piano. I included his name and the title of Jazz Legend, although he is known as the Patriarch of the Seattle Jazz scene.

Make certain that you stop by The Best Hearts Are Crunchy for Postcard Friendly Friday, hosted by Beth Niquette for more colorful Mail Art from around the world.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ball Blue Fruit Jar paper

You may recall that I posted an image of a Ball Jar I called The Odd Ball several weeks ago. My art on the old piece of Ball Brothers letterhead was not just an accident. Larry Munson, who lives South & East of where I grew up in Northern Montana, gifted me that piece of paper. I have been waiting for the proper stamps to arrive, after purchasing a sheet of the American Glass stamp issue, Scott #3325-3328 from a seller on eBay. The stamps arrived today, although I had finished this cover several days ago. I will add the address to this cover and get it into the mail to him today.

The other fellow in this equation, Bruce Schank, who has a fabulous web site and collection of Ball Fruit jars (including the Odd Ball) will be getting a similar Thank You from me with a slight delay in it being posted. I have a show opening at the Custer County Art & Heritage Center in Miles City, Montana this coming Sunday. I have been asked to do a live demonstration of my art, and I intend to complete Bruce's cover during the opening reception.

Did I mention that I owe a debt of gratitude to both of these gentlemen? They've been very gracious in sharing with me not only their time, but gifting me the paper and taking numerous photographs for me. I'd like to thank them properly, and perhaps one of these days I will - in person.

The other person I'd like to thank is Marianne Dow. She put us all together in one way or the other.