Friday, June 14, 2019

SailMO Messabout 2019

SailMO Messabout 2019

A couple of weekends ago, I spent a couple of days up on Stockton Lake for the SailMO Messabout. It was good to see friends, old and new. A couple highlights - I got to sail an Iain Oughtred 'Sooty tern' and play banjo with a couple of other players around the campfire one night. A very pleasant weekend, in spite of a little rain and the lake being 17 feet over normal pool for this time of year.

SailMO Messabout 2019

My little sailing canoe

SailMO Messabout 2019

Michael's John Welsford designed 'Navigator' and Craig's 'Core Sound 17'

SailMO Messabout 2019

Tom's 'Sea Pearl 21'

SailMO Messabout 2019

Gene's Jim Michalak designed 'Piccup Pram'

SailMO Messabout 2019

Another Michalak designed boat, the first 'Mayfly 16' to be built

SailMO Messabout 2019

A J22, I believe.

SailMO Messabout 2019

A 'Weekender', forgot the guy's name that brought this one. Nice guy, though.

SailMO Messabout 2019

Dale's Iain Oughtred designed 'Sooty Tern'

SailMO Messabout 2019

SailMO Messabout 2019

SailMO Messabout 2019

Sailing my canoe

SailMO Messabout 2019

SailMO Messabout 2019

SailMO Messabout 2019

SailMO Messabout 2019

Monday, June 10, 2019

Phelps Grove "Art in the Garden" 2019

Phelps Grove ‘Art in the Garden’

I had an art show, yesterday, at the Phelps Grove neighborhood's Art in the Garden show. 20+ houses were on the garden and art tour, throughout the neighborhood. I had a lot more solid interest in my work this year and turnout was way up for the event. It was a really fun day to sit on a porch and talk art stuffs and get in a bit of watercolor sketching. I moved seven pieces of art, I believe, including the banjolele.

Phelps Grove ‘Art in the Garden’

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Eleven Months of Clawhammer Banjo

I’ve been playing the banjo right at eleven months. Last week, after practicing one evening, I was curious how much I’d learned and went through the books I’ve been playing from and these are all the songs I can play, in each tuning. They are more simple, novice versions and I don't always play them well, but I’ve learned quite a few, I think.

Standard G Tuning (gDGBD): Cripple Creek, Old Joe Clark, Wildwood Flower, Cotton-eyed Joe, Buffalo Gals, Handsome Molly, Barlow Knife, The Crawdad Song

G Modal/Mountain Minor/Sawmill Tuning (gDGCD): East Virginia, Rain and Snow, Wild Bill Jones, The Cuckoo, Cluck Old Hen, Poor Wayfaring Stranger, Muley’s Daughter, Red Rocking Chair, Darlin’ Cory, Sweet Sunny South, Shady Grove

Double C Tuning (gCGCD): Old Molly Hare, Little Birdie, Lynchburg Town, Old Blue, Groundhog, Sugar Hill, Cumberland Mountain Deer Chase, Down in the Willow Gardens, Black-eyed Susie, Cumberland Gap, East Virginia, Needlecase

C Minor Tuning (gCGCD#): Swannanoa Tunnel, Little Sadie’s

Monday, May 6, 2019

Artwork Update

Still slowly putting together art for a show in June - dogwood flowers.

Slowly getting work together for my show next month. I've had little free time to work on much. I have to get my arse in gear, though. Since I need three or four times this many pieces painted by June 9th.

Acrylic on wood

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

I had this rattling around my head at 5am

A parable of sorts. The subconscious is a funny thing...

On a street, could be any old town, somewhere in the Northern Hemisphere, sit two houses. Each house has a couple recently married, they seem to be happy. In one house, the English speaking one, He of Couple One has recently started a business, She has quit her desk job, having found out She is pregnant. Next door, at the native Spanish speaking house, He of Couple Two works at the factory down the street, She cleans houses full time, She is also expecting sometime soon. The neighbors sometimes wave to one another, but Couple One puts up a chain link fence at the property line.

Some time passes, Couple One becomes Family One. They’re doing well, business is good, they’ve got three healthy kids, He employs a dozen people under Him, She never went back to work, they attend a large congregation church on Sundays. It’s fancy, there’s coffee, a big screen or two and a band. Family Two, they’ve had a tougher go of it, He’s still employed at the factory, but keeps getting overlooked for promotion, She still cleans houses. They have an equal number of children. They attend a small traditional service on Sundays.

More time passes, Family Two, though poorer, through hard work, they manage to put in a pool in their yard. Family One takes notice, She of Family One occasionally gets some of Her girlfriends together, they just “pop over” to Family Two’s for what they call a “Girl’s Trip”. They take legs-down selfies by the water, holding fancy umbrella drinks, but barely acknowledge She of Family Two while they’re over.

Some weekends, spring breaks and summers, Family One sends their kids over to Family Two’s house to play, “but be home by dark, they’re not like us!” The FO kids, while there, tell the FT kids all about their church, why it’s better, why theirs isn’t, all while helping them build forts in their backyard. The FO kids go home feeling good that they’ve helped somehow and the kids of FT have to get jobs before their sixteenth birthdays to help make ends meet for the family, often paid under the table, well below minimum wage.

More time passes, the factory down the street shutters it’s door, He of Family Two loses his job. The family is desperate. They can’t feed the kids, maintain their home or find work elsewhere. Worse yet, they’re being threatened by their neighbors on the other side. He of Family Two, swallows his pride, goes to the door of Family One, having never been invited over, only invited to church on Sundays, He asks them if He might garden for them, do odd jobs or patch their roof for anything they could spare.

Family One shuts the door, calls the cops and puts up a privacy fence.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Crawdad Song

Been working on the Crawdad Song for a bit this week and last. Part of the song tab I don’t really know how to read, so I made a bit up on the third part ending. Probably the most complicated song I've learned over the last nine months of trying to play this instrument. Still loving the new Recording King Madison banjo. So much nicer than what I was playing, before.

My daughter inspired me to learn this song. She came home a few months ago singing it. She'd learned it in her music class at school. I figured it'd be fun to play it while she sang along. I'm almost there on playing it without stumbling. Once I have it down more fluidly, I might post a video of her chiming in. If I can talk her into letting me record us.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Folk-inspired Art Series

I spent some time in Mississippi and Louisiana, recently, along the Mississippi River, in and around the town of Natchez. While I was there, I was intrigued by a lot of the African American Folk Art that I kept seeing. Much of it untrained, simply composed and bright in color. The complete opposite of the landscapes and portraits you find in all of the wealthier white antebellum homes of the area.

In June, I've agreed to show some artwork in a neighborhood-wide art show called Art in the Garden. It takes place in the Phelps Grove neighborhood, here in Springfield. (I'll be on this very front porch.) Rather than just show a bunch of my older watercolor and pen and ink works, I've decided for the next two months to work in acrylic on wood and in a more folkish style than I normally do. I've not really painted in this medium much since college. Having fun with it, though. I knocked out three small works this week, hoping to end up with maybe 20-25 pieces by June 9.

The theme is "The Ozarks", inspired by southern folk art.

Missouri bluebird - acrylic on wood

Banjo player - acrylic on wood

Continuing the acrylic on wood Ozarks series. Inspired by the folk art I saw in Mississippi last week.

Acrylic on wood - NW Arkansas Scene