Friday, June 29, 2007

My Poor Neglected Blog

The week off from the studio turned into two, however, the appraisal was conducted today and we feel confident regarding the re-fi. The exterior of the house was totally repaired and painted as well as a ton of work inside. New doors, molding, baseboards, lighting, even new drapes - the list goes on. I'm quite pleased but exhausted and very sore. After what seemed like 900 trips up and down the ladder, my hips are killing me. We worked 14 hour days steadily for over two weeks and learning as we went along.

old house"Before"

house painting"After"

art studioThe landscaping is really coming along and I've got Michael to thank for that. He installed some solar uplights in amongst the palm and banana trees. Lovely effect after dark. Those double French doors open to my studio which was converted from a former garage. And that bloody sod we broke our backs laying is gorgeous.

So, it's no more outside projects for me until next October. We couldn't have picked a hotter time to paint the house. It's done, it looks fab and I'm taking several days off before heading back to that salt mine of a studio where the work beckons and the workaholic answers.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

House Painting

Hate to neglect the blog but it's been one of those weeks when I had a lot of obligations, meetings, etc. I'm taking off all next week from the studio to paint my house. My reasoning was, "I'm a painter, I can paint the house, how hard can it be?" Well, now I know. This is the first and last time I'll be attempting this project. As I complete the trim I'm humble and respectful of house painters.

Today, Michael and I laid sod. Another foolish project to attempt. Besides that it's getting very hot here in Central Florida, we have bodies that have endured a lifetime of physical demand and abuse from all manner of vocations on the racetrack. It's bad enough that I arise in the morning bent over stiff with pain without hauling sod around the yard for two days. Before and after photos to come.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Absolute Insurer

The news media and blogosphere has pretty well covered the race with glowing comments on the deserving Rags to Riches and kudos to valiant Curlin. I'll spare you any more. Yes, it was a spectacular, historic race.

Am I the only one who choked on their beer during the pre-race interview with Steve Asmussen when he stated that he accepted the trainer's responsibility rule, thought it was an important rule and that it should never be changed? Was he for real?!! Was he coerced, threatened, blackmailed or was it a a requirement in a deal for his re-instatement? Perhaps there was a gun pointed at him off camera?

Steve-o, you looked a bit squeamish and uncomfortable uttering those words and you visibly winced when you mentioned that the "illegal substance" that got you ruled off for six months was 750 times the legal limit. Rather a contradiction of sorts. The drug was Mepivicaine, a Class 2 drug considered capable of affecting performance (a local anaesthetic). So, if you didn't administer the drug, who did? The vet? A disgruntled employee? Maybe someone who just doesn't like you and would like to make your life a living hell?

The interview concluded stating that three security guards are posted outside Curlin's stall 24 hours a day. Hmmm, must be that trainer's responsibility rule keeping Steve awake at night. Also, curiously, we haven't heard much of late regarding the New Mexico ruling he's appealed in which his horse "Boots are Walking" tested positive for
Acepromazine, a Class 3 substance. Is this part of the negotiations i.e. will it just go away?

Friday, June 08, 2007

Shuttle Atlantis Launch

atlantisJust minutes ago! We watched the launch from the peanut field at the end of our road. Ocala is approximately 120 miles from the Kennedy Space Center.

space shuttleAtlantis trail in the sunset.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

New Painting

It's finally completed! I've been working of this piece forever (in between projects) and now we have to contend with the very real logistics of weight, size and of course, the diagonal format. Our house is too small to assemble it for photographing so we carted it over to my good friends at the FTBOA. Puzzle pieces on the floor and then upstairs to their gorgeous gallery to shoot down below. It's still destined to be professionally shot, but we wanted an image to begin marketing.

horse paintingNine canvases of various sizes. I took my inspiration from an old b&w photograph that I've had for years. I carefully considered a graph with negative space. Half inch equaled one foot. Dimensions are approximately 13.5' x 14'. We couldn't eliminate the angle, even from hanging over the upstairs railing - the pros will do that for us. Michael just left to discuss the project with the photographer, Cheuvront Studios. Al and Allen are actually looking forward to taking this one on. Ha!

horse racingThe floor of the FTBOA. It looks like a wall.

My intention is to take this genre painting and crossover to the mainstream. I'm attempting something fresh, edgy, and innovative. Asking myself constantly, " do I present this tired old subject with a new approach that won't alienate my clients and still stay true to myself?"

thoroughbred racing
Scale photo. I'm about 5'6".

Friday, June 01, 2007

Dishin' It Out

Chef Randal White in front of my tile mural "Sneaking Off".

Unsuspectingly, today I perused yesterday's local newspaper looking for movie listings. I leafed past this photo and then double-backed, recognizing my artwork! That's certified executive chef Randal White receiving make-up in preparation for the taping of a new cable show "Dishin' It Out". Wow! (of course, we're on satellite)

Yes, Chef White is a celebrity in these parts but he holds down a steady gig as head chef at Arthur's of Ocala Hilton. The show is taped at Sag Harbor Kitchens who commissioned the tile mural from me. It looks outstanding installed as the backsplash of a Viking stove and beautiful custom designed cabinetry.

Way, way cool.