Thursday, March 06, 2008

Stuff from the past week

Well, it's been a busy week here in Lake Woebegone ... ooops, that's somebody else's line ... I keep meaning to get this blog caught up but stuff keeps piling up and I don't, so it piles up higher, so I still don't, you get the picture.

Last week I hung my exhibit of the "Old Times" paintings at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville. The show looks pretty good. It's so nice to get these pieces off my racks and onto somebody else's wall where they can be seen. There will be a reception next week (Friday, March 14, 6-8 pm), along with an artist talk (also known as me blabbering incoherently about the works), so if you're in the Knoxville area next week, you're invited to stop in. In the meantime, you can see 'em on my web site. All the "Old Times" paintings are in Knoxville except three that have been sold, one that's in my Chapel Hill gallery, and one that was a bit too risque for a church.

I've been able to spend a good bit of time in the studio this past week, which is exhilarating. Got one painting that's close to being done, another that's about halfway there, and will start a third tomorrow. All of these are a bit different from most of my previous works. The underlying subject is still war, but not overtly so. My satirical side is coming out again, so these new works are along the lines of "Pleasantville": funny musings on what American life might be like if combat was as normal in this country as it is in, say, Baghdad. No, I don't have any photos of them yet, so I'll shut up for now and let you wonder what in the hell I'm talking about.

In my non-art world, this has been an eventful week. For the past three years, I've been doing a courier run for Sun Trust Bank here in Asheville. It's a pretty skate job: run bags around to our various clients, shmooze a bit, run the bags back to the branch. Took about an hour a day and it paid my studio rent and utilities in the months when my art income didn't ... which is about 10 months out of the year. But last Friday, I was told that Sun Trust corporate headquarters had decided to terminate the contract ... and since I'm just a sub-contractor, that was my last day. Bummer, but in the big scheme of things, not a big deal.

Then my truck started acting up. Kept getting a "chirp" noise from the engine compartment at medium to high engine speed. Thought it was the serpentine belt, which was worn so we replaced it, but then yesterday it did it again and then the "check engine" light came on and the truck started running rough. Uh-oh. So $700 later, the dealer had it fixed. Bummer again ... I had big plans for that $700, mostly involving lots of likker and wimmen ... yeah, right!

A couple of days ago, we had a big storm blow through here. Big winds, too ... enough to blow down a 40-foot maple tree right in front of our house. I mean RIGHT in front of our house. Fortunately, it fell sideways and didn't hit anything, not even a bush. Poor ol' tree, it's had a rough decade. When this house was built nine years ago, they dumped a lot of dirt over half the tree's root system. And if that wasn't bad enough, they gouged a big chunk out of the bark. So the tree's been struggling and frankly losing out a bit more each year, to the point where it might have died last fall. Well, it's certainly dead now. And the vultures are circling. We've got several neighbors hitting it with their chain saws and building up their stocks of firewood. They hauled off about a third of it today. Makes my cleanup job easier, that's for sure.

So if you're wondering why I haven't written in the past week, there ya go.

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