Catching Up


Oil on Canvas

I was going through old discs tonight and found a cache of paintings that have long since passed to others. This one struck a nerve – old friends, good times. And a looser style.

I don’t get in the studio much anymore. In my new job I get to be creative, and to also exercise my technical skills. I was hire to organize the shop, pick up trash, and to assist in the various departments.

14519856_10154590537317838_4022376401464986718_nWell, I am now in charge of the flatbed printing department. But that isn’t lasting too long, as they realized that I have many years of technical repair experience, and are now trusting me as the new repair technician for all of their printers.

Now these are not just any printers, they print on media up to ten feet wide and however long the media is.

Last night I was on site helping to install new cables and printer boards and print heads into one of the printers, a $150,000 behemoth that is not big enough or fast enough.

This morning I had to perform an emergency repair on the Scitex flatbed printer with items I purchased at he local Home Depot.

At Cabana’s in Cape May

The company is growing faster than they imagined. I can’t be the repair person for the machines and also run the flatbed printing department. I am no longer allowed to collect the garbage – though I still do.

I am loving my new job. But I miss the studio. And looking back at some of the paintings that have long since passed through my hands, I long to get back to the creative spirit that allowed me to paint with abandon.

I wasn’t concerned with proportion or realism as much as I was with reality. What is reality? Reality is the moment – what you see, yes, but more, what you feel and experience. How does a painter express music? How do you share a night of drinking?

These paintings are now in other hands. I never kept great records – when a painting passed from my hands to another, I was grateful that they shared my experience. Something that I captured on canvas sparked an emotion in another. Maybe I was able to communicate a moment in time in the same manner that Hemingway did in the Sun Also Rises, or that Bukowski did in his poetry. Maybe they misunderstood my intent in the painting, and saw something completely different. Who knows?

Somehow they caught my emotions, and were touched. But the pint of impressionistic/expressionistic paintings os not to tell a story, but to share an emotional experience. There needn’t be a story behind it, no explanation. The explanation is in the painting itself. I try not to dissect my paintings, that is up to each individual viewer.

Feelings on Kaepernick

Feelings on Kaepernick

He has every right to say what he wants, to salute or not our flag, to stand or to disrespect our anthem.

I have every right to call him out on hypocrisy.

I identify with my Irish roots. I identify with my English roots, my German roots, my Viking roots. I am proud of my heritage. I am also proud that I was born in Levittown, PA, USA – I am a US citizen. I salute the flag. I cross my heart and stand and remove my hat at the national anthem. I am not always proud of what my country has done. I am ashamed, often. I speak out. I am vocal. That flag, and the Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence, and the anthem reinforce the ideal that I enjoy free speech to speak my political mind.

We are a diverse country. I am not a blind patriot. But it is pure disrespect to diss the flag and the Constitution that give us the right to speak our minds. Do not trample the flag, do not disrespect this country when you have an open forum to fight for what is right!

When you are raised in white privilege and earn millions of dollars a year, do not tell me you are oppressed. Stand up and actually fight for the oppressed. And be thankful that the flag is flying proudly, allowing you that privilege.

Gil Bears

Gil BearsGil Bears
Oil on canvas

Gil Bears was a neighborhood tavern in Millville, NJ. Gil was bartender at Larry’s Bar back in the day.  The story goes, Gil ran numbers. Gil finally stockpiled enough cash to buy his own liquor license – I think it was $5,000 at the time. He converted the first floor of his house into a bar. Continue reading »

Tee Shirts

tee shirtNo. I didn’t design this. But I did do most of the printing.

After a two-month hiatus, I began a new job two weeks ago.  A real day job. After two and a half years working hoot owl, I had to force a change. I worked at a big box retailer. I am not going to talk shit about them, because they were there when I needed them. The paycheck paid the bills. ALL of my bills.  The child support situation and ugly divorce that haunted me is now closed. Settled. I no longer have to be subject to dehumanizing hours. Continue reading »


smallest bar in key west webThe Smallest Bar in Key West
Oil on Canvas

I sold a couple paintings two weeks ago. The cash came in handy during a two month respite from the daily ordeal of gainful employment. Working night-shift for two and a half years finally took its toll – on my mental health and my physical health. I had an upper respiratory issue for well over eight months that is only now receding. Continue reading »

Apache Tears

Apache TearsApache Tears
Oil on Canvas

Apache Leap, near Superior, AZ, has historical significance. Apache warriors, pursued by the US Cavalry, lept to their deaths from the cliffs rather than surrender.

At the base of the mountain, one can still find obsidian stones locally named Apache Tears. Apache legend has it that the stones are the tears from the widows and children. Continue reading »

The Dog Run

the dog run

The Dog Run
oil on canvas

The Dog Run is a pseudo-dive bar in Apache Junction. In the summer months, it is a locals bar with several pool tables, dart boards, karaoke and a decent kitchen that closes early. During snowbird season, their fried cod all-you-can-eat specials crowd out the locals. Continue reading »

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