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First of all, if you don’t follow the title, you can read part one here — that will get you up to speed on this particular post. Because of new opportunities on the horizon,  I am rushing to complete many projects I have had on the back burner.

And my motivation for writing this ‘Part II’ is that many of my friends and colleagues have asked me how I completed ‘Dawn in Leonardville’ in such a timely fashion. Looking back, I am amazed that I was able to do it at all, and as quickly as I did. It was the biggest piece I have done to date, and I did it while I worked full-time.

I’ll just say this — setting a deadline with a financial boost for completion by that date helped a great deal. Also, FEAR of not hitting that deadline is a GREAT motivator as well.

This commission and the completion of another piece of mine has led to me landing a Solo Show this coming April, here in Chicago’s Wicker Park. With that ‘Plug’ for myself being said, I am going to be super busy in the next 8 weeks preparing for the Sunday, April 17 opening at People Tapas and Lounge, 7-10pm — if any of my loyal readers are in Chicago or want to plan to come up, any and all are welcome. I am planning on having a few new pieces up and pesky unfinished pieces completed for the show, including ‘King of Procrastination,’ which I have been tweaking for the past 12 years. In finishing it, I might implode into a wormhole vortex… maybe it would be a good idea do finish that later.

So Let me explain my approach to starting ‘Dawn in Leonardville,’ which was the title I thought of about one fourth of the way thru completing the piece. In part I, I mentioned that I convinced my Patrons who commissioned the piece that for shipping purposes and a variety of other reasons, executing the painting divided into 6 two-foot square canvases was the best approach. In my mind this was a logical, inexpensive and smart way to achieve their goal of an atmospheric art piece, the large size they desired, for what turns out to be a combination formal dining room and library.

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Anyone out there have friends who send you emails to justify their position and belief system? Trying to convince you, you of the opposite ilk, to come over to their side of the coin?

I do… And feel free to share your own experiences as comments on this post. Since I suppose I am a part of the ‘silent majority’ per se, and one that speaks out more often than not, with opinions I have formed from my research and investigation, I have certain pals that occasionally and consistently, mind you, send me emails with assorted links of videos & snail mails even – with articles cut out, highlighted and personal notes stating their opinions.

To me, this is the healthiest of activities, and one aspect of what life is all about. If I have an opinion and have held it all my life, and something new comes up to refute that, I am happy to hear any new knowledge with an open mind. And in the United States today, I believe we need much more of this honest, truthful and factual dialogue, minus the hidden agenda and preconceived prejudices.

One of my most recent creations... based upon a scene I witnessed in Wicker Park 2 summers ago.

Two examples – and I’ll lead with one that is cultural and really pretty hilarious, because this particular pal o’ mine, whom I have genuine affection for, not only hammers me on a regular basis for just about everything I think & believe, but is also very good-natured about it as well. I recently completed a painting I call ‘People – an Homage to Hopper.

Self Promotion aside, I like Hopper… he has his shortcomings, his human side, flaws… but he did what he loved and stuck to it besides the pressures from the art world at that time.

Needless to say, my nameless pal sends me this email with this link, paraphrasing it down to a PG-13 language:

edward hopper sucks…: http://thesmartset.com/article/article12141001.aspx?parm1=value peace and love,  anonymous pal

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In this economy, you have to set yourself up to take advantage of every opportunity you can get… especially when you’re a Starving Artist. This is a quick story of how I was lucky enough to land a great commission, reconnect with an awesome family, and expand my horizons as an Oil Painter.

Last year around November I got a friend request on Facebook from a super-nice gal I knew from High School, who was a year or two younger than me. After the usual “normal” Facebook pleasantries, I noticed she was a runner, and a marathoner at that. In my glory days, I fancied myself a distance runner, and ran cross-country and track during high school.

But I also had an exceptional coach, who pushed my abilities well beyond my limited running talent. In my response to my new Facebook pal, I made the small talk of offering to critique her training schedule, and share some of my insights, pointers, etc, etc, based upon my coach’s superior training philosophies. With all of this friendly info, I also included a link to my blog, which has my artlinks off to the left. Much to my surprise, within about 72 hours I received a very animated response, with positive  aspirations of not only the running info, but also her digging on my artwork – both the digital and especially my oil paintings.

You know what ‘They’ say… ‘They’ say timing is everything… but luck comes into play as well. But I had put myself into position to “land” a potential Patron of my Art. She and her husband were in the middle of remodeling and expanding their house back in my hometown, and wanted to fill it with some original art. That was music to my ears of course, and we arranged a time to discuss the project after the first of the year. Even though I was anxious to start, they were not ready to chat about artwork until they were in the homestretch of finishing up the construction, which was pretty substantial. Read the rest of this entry »

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