Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Damn Cat!

Hardy died in Dorchester, Dorset, on January 11, 1928. Eva Dugtale washed his body and prepared it for burial. Hardy's ashes were cremated in Dorchester and buried with impressive ceremonies in the Poet's Corner in Westminster Abbey. According to a literary anecdote his heart was to be buried in Stinsford, his birthplace. All went according to plan, until a cat belonging to the poet's sister snatched the heart off the kitchen table, where it was temporarily kept, and irreverently ate it.

This anecdote caught my fancy and stirred gruesome imaginings. To think that one’s body part would end up being snagged by the fangs of a house cat and gulped in small mouthfuls into its belly are horrifying.

Worse yet, are the superstitions that the human heart is the seat of love and devotion, and should be cut out of the body and buried it a tiny tin casket with kittens playing on the top. A most Victorian mind set.

Hardy, as you remember, wrote several novels, but caused such an outcry of protest with Tess of the D’Ubervilles (1891) andJude the Obscure (1895) that he turned to poetry for the rest of his life.

I have painted Hardy and the family kitty for my own amusement and am selling it online at

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Big Nasty Redhead at My Side

I was concocting my latest piece of art with the Santa Ana winds blowing through my studio windows, I thought of Newman’s song “I Love LA”.

Everyone else seemed to know who Randy Newman was. My very cool, rad, Technorati Entrepreneur son introduced his music to me last summer. My kids know a whole lot more about some things than I do. (It wasn’t always like that during, as Newman would say, their “Baby Days”!)


Hate New York City
It's cold and it's damp
And all the people dressed like monkeys
Let's leave Chicago to the Eskimos
That town's a little bit too rugged
For you and me, babe

Rollin' down Imperial Highway
With a big nasty redhead at my side
Santa Ana winds blowin' hot from the north
And we was born to ride
Roll down the window, put down the top
Crank up the Beach Boys, baby
Don't let the music stop
We're gonna ride it 'til we just can't ride it no more
From the South Bay to the Valley
From the West Side to the East Side
Everybody's very happy
'Cause the sun is shining all the time
Looks like another perfect day
I love L.A. (We love it)
I love L.A. (We love it)
We love it

Look at that mountain
Look at those trees
Look at that bum over there, man
He's down on his knees
Look at these women
There ain't nothin' like em nowhere
Century Boulevard (We love it)
Victory Boulevard (We love it)
Santa Monica Boulevard (We love it)
Sixth Street (We love it, we love it, we love it)
We love L.A.

I love L.A. (We love it)
I Love L.A. (We love it)
I Love L.A. (We love it)

Come visit me and see the rest of my art. Here's the link:


Sunday, February 15, 2009

What's With the Fruit Paintings?

Remembering that the camera wasn’t invented until 1825, realism in art was supreme. Beginning artists practiced realism with arrangements of fruit -- fruit was handy and inexpensive, and once arranged it didn't wiggle, sneeze, or cause your wife to be suspicious of what was going on in your studio. A major consideration!

Historically speaking, if you could paint realistically you were considered a bona fide artist. In fact, the world renowned Académie des Beaux-Arts, which dominated the French art scene in the middle of the 19th century, would only put its stamp of approval on realistic paintings.

In 1863, Emperor Napoleon III decreed that the public be allowed to judge the work themselves, and the Salon des Refusés (Salon of the Refused) was organized.
Everything in painting changed then and the work of artists like Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Sisley, Cézanne, Degas, Cassatt, and Manet were shown and accepted.

Photography encouraged painters to exploit aspects of the painting medium, like color, which photography then lacked; "the Impressionists were the first to consciously offer a subjective alternative to the photograph". (Thanks Wikipedia.)

Still life paintings of fruit are still as popular today with artists and art-collectors as they were centuries ago.

You can buy either of these prints at
A live link is at the top of the page.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Tricky Financial Bastards

By now almost everyone is experiencing some effect of the financial meltdown. It was a series of events that got us to this place. Alan Greenspan put too much trust in human nature – there just weren’t enough rules in place to keep this from happening. Those techy trading kids kept coming up with schemes to make money, which their elders just didn’t get, and technology enabled financial contracts to be created that no one could understand.

I’m a painter. In college I discovered that history was so easy to learn by just studying the works of artists. Artists can’t escape the times they live in and it shows up in their work.

As our personal retirement stock portfolio has dwindled, the “Tricky Financial Bastards” painting rose to the surface of my consciousness. Grinchy green was the foil for the guys in their black Brooks Brother’s suits. Their faces are blanching with shades of gray and expressions of grim remorse for being caught with their fists in the till.

In addition to the painting, I have created a high end greeting card with a blank liner for you to send your pithiest comments. Ask yourself:

Do I want to fire my stockbroker?
Should I correspond with my taxman?
Should I send condolences to relatives victimized by Madoff?

If you answered yes to any of the above, then this is the card for you! You can buy it in my etsy shop. You can also buy a gorgeous print of “Tricky Financial Bastards” for only $17.00

The link is on the top of the page and here: