Almost 30 years of self-employment of some sort or another. I can't remember ever being ripped off...until now. I've had several customers that thought I was about to rip them off and they made it clear that they would get me before I ever even tried to get away with it. (New York and Boston Snowbirds) I always wondered at how they could be so jaded and suspicious of others. Well, now that Larry is in to me for $1200 for hard , hot labor and refuses to take my calls I guess I'm starting to feel like a squint-eyed easterner. And as I look upon the emaciated forms of my young children battling for scraps on the kitchen floor it's doubly hard. Chalk it up to live and learn...and thank God I gave up packing heat a while ago.
One thing that never leaves me feeling ripped off is a view like the one above. A cool scene replete with grape vines and eucalyptus trees. This nifty new painting is available. Click on the link at the top right of the main blog page here to see and bid.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
I've promised hillbilly pictures of knock-kneed, toothless, cross-eyed, bearded trash collectors, and you thought I was kidding? What greater proof do you need? This picture of me and my trailer was taken next to a 40 yard roll-off dumpster, all full of someone else's refuse. Many a time I've seen our brood off to the weekend yard sales with my words trailing behind in a plaintive and futile echo..."Remember kids, one man's junk is your dad's junk too" I don't like clutter and having a lot of stuff around clogs the arteries of life. But we do have good sun tans right about now (high today 109) and just a bit of clutter scattered around our desert compound makes for good conversation and some dandy bonfires come fall.
I guess it goes without saying that the foreclosure market is really hopping and it seems we have truly found a recession-proof business that takes advantage of other people's misery..or cleans up after it, whichever you prefer.
Last week I was attacked by hornets. Several stings to the torso, leg and arms. Thankfully none hit me in the face. They hurt and swell up pretty good, even seem to get a bit infected but hornets are wimps when compared to Africanized bees. Now those bad boys really know how to swarm and don't let off their attack very easily. The little hornets just let me fall out of their nest in the date palm branch cluster twelve feet up, trip over my fallen ladder and run directly at my two sons and a couple of my workers without even a feint at real pursuit. I figured if they're gonna get me they might as well get everyone. No, they did not follow and to my dismay, no one else in my crew of misfits was able to enjoy the first-hand encounter with nature the way I did. So continues the odyssey of a painter fallen on semi-hard times. Next post I will once again display my prowess at sky-gazing interpretation with a nice fresh oil painting.
Saturday, June 4, 2011
I mentioned a new job in the last blog entry. Fear not! I've not abandoned my paints altogether... but hopefully for sanity's sake I will be able to leave behind the humiliation of unintentional obsequiousness displayed in my recent auction prices that compete with snakes' bellies and other grovelers. You see, even the Play-Doh Fun Factory of landscape painters has a level to which he will not stoop, or so he'd like you to believe. Yet, as my yard takes on a distinct Sanford & Son hue I am reminded once again of the words my favorite uncle muttered..."A man's gonna do what he has to do when he's got a hungry mouth to feed." Bob Dylan ...and that there might be a bit of sinking left to do. That said, as I've stated on numerous occasions, I really like the fact that us common folk are able to buy fine art. Internet marketing has afforded a bunch of us this pleasure and for that I truly am thankful.
We (la familia nostra) have recently embarked on a new mission that alternately wears us out and has us staring blindly at the sun drooling and blistered while filling us with great joy and a sense of ultimate purpose and destiny. Single handedly we have been cleaning out the trashed, misused, abused and foreclosed houses of the greater southwest. Had I the energy, I could easily regale you with the most interesting and humorous anecdotes regarding America's love affair with high debt and it's resultant effect on the poor houses that bear the brunt of all the ne'er-do-wells that had no business owning a home in the first place. To be sure, there are folks who endure awful and difficult circumstances that end up losing their homes. But some of these places make the aforementioned sit-com look like the residence of Janitor-In-A-Drum. I will post pics and stories of our Beverly Hillbillies truck and trailer loaded to the sky next to photos of new masterpieces that can't help from pouring off my brush! I've always been about The "study of extremes". Stay tuned.
Friday, June 3, 2011
As milestones go, I guess this one is fairly significant. Much more so than the overdone fan-fair of the middle-school jump to senior high or the, now celebrated, 6th grade matriculation. To some, however, these dates are important and to that sentiment I'll tip my hat. It's been a while since I've tangled with anyone under 45 who could hold up to being compared to Captain Kirk, Thor or even my own dad. In my day, men you could run the river with were in abundant supply. Men who's tears flowed when they read "Where the Red Fern Grows" and who's indignation burned like white hot magnesium strips pilfered from eighth grade science class at the mention of the word homework. So, you guys that have never carried your own finger, loped off by the lawnmower, into the emergency room and take offense at my heroic references to yesteryear, take to heart my goading and turn your small, short lives into something of value. Keep all your promises even when it hurts. Remember, when it comes to marriage vows, calling ducks or making your house payment, there is no "plan B". Commitments fulfilled are the only things that breed character...and ALWAYS keep the lawnmower blade sharp. It's much easier to sew that thing back on if the cut was clean! Of course, had I done my homework maybe I wouldn't be scrapping out foreclosed houses and mowing lawns for a living!?!? So, congrats to the grads...and to all those who accomplish great things while striving for even greater ones. Remember, if you aim at nothing you're bound to hit it.