Friday, August 8, 2008

First The Good News – Then The Bad – Then The Good

Two weekends ago Joanne and I went to Picton, Ontario for our friends wedding. CONGRATULATIONS to Neal and Miranda!!!

I was an usher at the wedding – so I had to look the part. This is the first time I’ve worn a blazer and the first time I’ve had a flower pinned to my chest. This photo is for my mom – I’m sure that she’ll be stunned and amazed!


And the reunions continue…

Just last weekend, Jo’ and I spent a night in Mooretown, Ontario – just south of Sarnia – partying with friends from my childhood. Ken and his twin brother Jim are now both living with their families in British Columbia. Ken and his wife were married this spring in BC but because Ken’s relatives and Laura’s relatives are living in Southern Ontario they decided to have a reception here.

Our friend Joe – who lives in Utah, USA – made a very special trip to attend the reception, as well. All four of us have been friends since we were in Kindergarten – and that’s a long time ago. It was great seeing my friends again and meeting their children. Throughout the evening we became known as ‘The Kindergarten Krew’.

At about 5 am – just before the sun was coming up – only Jim, Ken and myself were still awake to keep the campfire burning.


Monday morning arrived and so did a letter from the London Arts Council. I had been waiting on this letter for several weeks and when it arrived I knew that it held disappointment – cuz it was too light to contain the contract I was hoping for. Suddenly, my plans for the next five months were in ruins.

The proposal for funding that I had submitted would have seen me painting a series of six small murals along the bike path that travels along the Thames river. This project would have been completed over the next four months during the days when I wasn’t teaching my ‘Art For Earth’ classes. This funding would have sustained me until January. It was a perfect plan.

What really bothered me about this situation was that it was the second time in four months that my ‘community art’ proposals have been rejected. It wasn’t the rejection that bothered me so much – tho’ it was a bit of blow to my ego – it was the fact that I lost so much money in preparing these proposals. Hours and hours spent researching ideas, getting letters of recommendation, and preparing the proposals totaled close to $1500.00 in lost time. Photo developing, gas, parking and so on totaled close to $500.00 in lost money – from my pocket.

You can see why I was bummed out! I hate wasting my time and this experience was a complete waste of mine.

So now I’m in a tight spot. I’m committed to my art classes during most of the school days – the prep work that I have to do often sees me working until the wee hours of the morning and now I have to find a job that I can fit into all of that. Since I hate wasting my time – I didn’t – and one hour after I received my rejection letter I was actively looking for work.

I knew that my options were limited so I wasn’t expecting to find anything glamourous. I quickly realized that I would probably be working in a warehouse, or cleaning company or even delivering newspapers at 3am. Yesterday, I was hired by a cleaning company. The job only requires a few hours each evening and on Saturday.

It may not be the most exciting job, but it will get me through the winter.

With that situation neatly dealt with my new focus is on getting ready for my upcoming art classes. Of course my prep work is getting the canvases ready, paintings designed, paints mixed and fun homework sheets for my students – but the thing that I like best is getting all the presents for the students ready.

My house looks like a cardboard factory blew up!

Every student that I have ever taught has received one of my personal art prints. To get these prints ready I first collect a lot of cardboard and cut it down to sizes just a bit larger than the art print. On the back of the cardboard I place photocopies of news articles, or stories, or poems that relate to the print. Then I shrink-wrap them to protect them until they are ready to be framed.

I am really excited about these new prints – yep! Cuz they’re new. The five images that you see above have never been made into prints before. It’s expensive creating these prints so I am always excited when I can add new images to my print collection.

Here is one of the new art prints for you to see. Click on the following link to read the story about the creation of the original painting:
I spent five hours, yesterday, getting my first batch ready. It was a great way to spend the afternoon. It had rained the day before so the air was nice and refreshing as it blew through my apartment. My record player kept me company as I listened to a few vinyl albums.

This was my playlist for the afternoon:

The Pretenders – Pretenders II – side B
Van Morrison – Veedon Fleece – side A
The Rolling Stones – Some Girls – side B
The Who – Hooligans – side C
Love and Rockets – Earth + Sun + Moon – side A

Well, I’m off to my new job!

Until again,


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