Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Painting Something Besides Walls and Siding

Here's what I like painting. I like painting furniture. Below is some of my old artwork, and old news.

I don't remember what year I painted this one. I gave it to a friend. (I wish I still owned it). I walk by it almost everyday at work and see it in my friend's office. It photographed terrible. It actually is a very beautiful painting.

I sold a painting once to a couple. When they divorced I asked them to sell it back to me. Much to my surprise they sold it back to me. It hangs in my dining room. I don't know if I have a photograph of it. I'll have to photograph it I guess.

I painted portraits for a long time, but always enjoyed still life the most, and landscapes the least. I taught evening classes in my studio for some of those 20+ years. We painted everything in class: wildlife, florals, landscapes, still life. Lots of subjects. You paint things you like, and things you don't care too much for, and in the end you learn lots, and you have better skills
In 1994 I found myself feeling quite blue. I just finished two commissions; a portrait of a woman and her dog, and a portrait of a 1902 brick schoolhouse in Amherst. I was tired of deadlines. The work finished was my last. I put away my brushes and oils in my paint case--in my simple wood case covered with signatures of artists and art instructors I've admired. I don't quite remember who in the hell picked up all 16 of my studio easels--somebody got a lot of nice equipment for free.

Dec 2010 I'll retire. Perhaps I'll return to painting. I see former students here and there. We laugh. We talk about the good old days when we had class together. We talk about getting together and doing it all over again. I think it would be fun.


  1. Sorry, I think I signed up as a follower AGAIN...I have you on my blog list but wasn't sure if I was on yours...any way...

    I kinda understand where you are coming from. We moved to East TN almost 2 yrs ago to live in a 100 yr old farmhouse that was way too neglected. I am trying to turn it into a French Country style home. So far, so good. I know the tasks you are facing--your home is WAY bigger than ours. But, I believe that WE are where we are suppose to be at this time in our lives. Perhaps your farmhouse is where you are suppose to be at this time in YOUR life. Sometimes, we have to get away from the norm to see the beauty in life. Your painting skills are a gift. Don't ever stop using them. When the time comes to return to your painting/teaching will be rested and ready.

    I love reading your blog and looking at your pictures. I cant wait to see the next thing you finish up. I LOVED your bathroom and got inspired when I looked at it. The bathoom in this old house is pretty much a complete tear off and rebuild. We are saving that for last.

    Just wanted to let you know that I read your blog this morning! Have a great day.

  2. Thankful to see you painting again (or thinking strongly about it!!) I'm proud of you. I have a still life of roses and one of me, Gale and Jim---a composite portrait of pictures that hung on Mom's bedroom wall---Jeff has the originals of Jim and I. Keep up the good work. Sure enjoy your blog!! God bless you. MJC

  3. Great paintings you posted here buddy. I love to see its beauty. Thanks for passing this on here. Check out this one also Home Staging Photos

  4. Always enjoy when you have a new posting. I miss restoring antique homes and have enjoyed reading your restortation adventures. I would have the same am I ever gonna get this completed blues and would often "smaller" artistic projects to divert my frustrations. As soon as I saw your docorative painting it brought me back to my "Pricellia Hauser" and "Susan Schwee" days.

    I made more money for new (old) lighting fixtures and antique findings for the house by painting and selling pieces like your table. My first home was an old farm house we purchased in 1976 and the slate roof had fallen in on one side of the house. I recycled/repurposed the antique roofing slate as natural painting palettes for tole and decorativing painting qnd sole them throughout the historical society circuit in southeast Pennsylvnia. It was so much fun.

    Thank your for your lovely little post which brought this memory back. Sea Witch

  5. Hi Mary:

    Thanks for your encouraging words. I remember the (painting) portrait of you, Jim, and Gale (Dad). I don't remember what the still life (roses) looked like. I'm not sure what year I painted those pieces for you. Glad you enjoy your paintings.

    We sure love the antique spindle couch you brought us. What a wonderful thing you did for us. My, my, I'm so impressed to show that piece in our dining room. It means so much to me. The opportunity to use it, and to explain to guests that it once was in my grandparent's house, is a treasure more than I could have dreamed for. Thank you, thank you Mary for thinking of us and taking the time to haul it to Wisconsin all the way from Colorado. We send our love and appreciation to you and Cal.

    When will you come visit us? You really must try out our old clawfoot tub. It's a hoot.

    We only have one bedroom finished upstairs; two more bedrooms yet to replaster. We've finished 7 rooms and 6 more to go.

    Jon and I are seriously thinking about opening a bed and breakfast after I retire. Jon jokingly says he has a new idea for a B&B, where the guest makes his/her own bed and cooks their own breakfast on the wood cook stove. He laughs and laughs when he tells people that one. Also Jon jokes saying, people go to Dude ranches to climb on a horse and work the ranch, so why couldn't I offer opportunities for guests to climb on my backhoe and dig some really big holes, and push big boulders into the hole? (Backhoe digging is one of Jon's favorite things to do). Jon is so funny, and fun to be with. What a wonderful, loving husband he is, too!

  6. Your painted furniture is gorgeous. Painting a design on a piece of ordinary furniture (and yours looks far from ordinary!) brings the eye a whole new look! I love it.