January 16, 2012 § Leave a comment
I was digging through my messy flat file and came across an old painting that made me laugh aloud. It doesn’t have a title because it’s a personal piece that I never intended to sell. But it has a good story, a story that I’ve shared at speaking engagements as a little insight into my private life.
This painting is a portrait of sorts. It’s a time capsule of a summer spent living with my boyfriend in an old shotgun house north of Atlanta. It must have been 1989. My boyfriend was a cute, Cajun from Louisiana. We’ll call him Chris. The rental house was at a four way stop where Hopewell, Cogburn and Francis Roads intersect. (It has since been relocated down the street but my cat Spensor is buried under the magnolia tree at that corner, hit by a car). The house was over 100 years old in the shotgun style – four equal sized rooms with a wide hall in the center with doors at each end for circulation. Its called a shotgun house because you can shoot a gun standing at any doorway or window and it will go straight through the house without hitting a thing, exiting out the opposite side.
Our landlord lived next door. A good church fella and gardener. We had to lie and say we were getting married because he disapproved of us living together and wouldn’t rent to us otherwise. He was a nice man. He would leave tomatoes at the kitchen door. We were sure he was insulting us because they were always bruised and misshaped, as though he was giving us the crap fruit that fell to the ground. Probably a punishment for living in sin?
Chris was a fun guy. He was different – I had never dated a dyed in the wool red neck. I had to live with camoflague clothing, rifles, duck decoys, stuffed deer heads, fishing paraphernalia, pick up trucks and lots of dirt. Red neck boys get down and dirty! We lived together for years and seldom fought except over a particular issue – my cats.
He hated them and did everything imaginable to make their lives miserable. His favorite trick was to stomp his feet and watch them bolt. Each episode was even funnier to him when I screamed and threatened and even tried crying to get him to stop (ass).
One early morning he really pissed me off stomping at the cats. But in my moment of rage I was also inspired. I created this painting to commemorate the moment. I am washing dishes (no dish washer in 100 year old rentals) in the kitchen (yes the walls were tourquoise and the floor fake brick linoleum) with my sweet cats Ted and Vinnie. Then the little devil Chris invades our quiet moment to torment Vinnie who cries out in horror.
I showed the finished piece to Chris. He was never a fan of my art and often suggested I paint ducks because “duck paintings sell, no one wants those weird paintings!”. He wondered why he was naked. I suggested he was missing a more important detail. Yes, he naked but he was naked with a teeny tiny weeny. This portrait would be his penalty for tormenting my cats. A portrait that would outlast both of us and might one day hang in a museum (in my wildest dreams!). I informed him that for the rest of my life I would take every possible opportunity to relay the story of my boyfriend with the tiny weeny who tortured my cats.
I’ve been telling this story for 23 years. Don’t mess with my cats!
p.s. “Chris” and I remain friends and I wouldn’t post this if he didn’t have a great sense of humor – for an ass!
April 12, 2011 § Leave a comment
I was lucky to share 14 years of my life with a wonderful dog, Alex. Alex was a black lab and had a vocabulary of hundreds of words. He was a great duck hunting partner for my boyfriend, Chris. He was a day to day companion for me. I worked in advertising for many years and would only accept jobs that would allow Alex to come to work with me. He was a very special dog.
As he aged, he spent a lot of time under my drawing table. I began to include Alex (sometimes my other labs, Pumpkin and Francis) in every painting. It was my way to pay tribute to his company – to include him in my other passion – my paintings.
Alex had many human friends and I haven’t previously explained his role in my art. So I’ve included a few older paintings and wonder if you can find Alex?
Alex has been gone for many years but he’ll always hold a special place in my heart and in my art. You can read more about Alex at Aunt Mel’s Animals.
February 7, 2010 § Leave a comment
In the early 90’s I was a self-employed designer. I wasn’t a great designer, but I was fast and inexpensive. I did pretty well until graphics software did me in. But during this time, one of my customer’s was a small label in Marietta, Georgia – Ichiban Records.
I did a lot of production work, helping to design covers but my favorite pieces are the ones I illustrated. Attached are a few of my early illustrated album (yes, I said ALBUM) covers.
January 30, 2010 § Leave a comment
I was digging through my flat file searching for a good pad of drawing paper when I stumbled across a sketch pad from High School. Inside I found several of the cartoon horses I used to draw endlessly. I seldom took notes during class. Most of my note pads were full of drawings and I drew a lot of horses. Most of the cartoon horses were drawn with a blue Bic pen, my favorite. But there are a few drawn with a black marker. During the summer I would draw cartoon horses on note cards and sell them to the neighbors, not unlike the postcard packs for sale at Shop Eberhardt. I even submitted one to Horse & Rider magazine and was thrilled to have it published in that magazine. I wonder if anyone out there still has one of my cartoon horses?