Author: johnjsstudio

Sometimes You Just Have To…

Every once in a while, you will come across a piece that just needs to be drawn or painted. And this piece is just such a piece. It is a rendering of a photo by Scott Schuman of the late New York Times fashion and society photographer Bill Cunningham. He didn’t start out as a photographer, but picked it up in his thirties when a friend gave him his first camera. He would ride his bike around mid-town of New York snapping street fashion. He said, “He who seeks beauty will find it.” For years people thought he was just a crazy guy riding around the city in the snow, the sleet, the rain, but he was always out there looking for beauty. Maybe we should all be like Bill Cunningham and jump on a bike and go looking for beauty.

May be a drawing of one or more people and bicycle

Reuse, Repurpose and Recycle

Over the Christmas holiday, we can get a lot of “stuff” that may seem useless. One such item, is the large popcorn container. And every year I look forward to getting a new one and discover new ways to reuse it or recycle it. Now, if you are lucky to live in an area with a popcorn store, you may be able to make it back and get it filled with your favorite popcorn blend. Other uses that I have found for these containers are to use them as a storage unit. They are a great way to store various items that you do not want damaged.

This year I did something a little different with my popcorn can. I repurposed it into my whittling container. That’s right a “whittling container”. Now, stay with me on this. Presently, it is the winter months. We have less hours of day light and it can be rather cold outside. I like to whittle outside and let the chips fall where they may. But during the winter months, I am not as likely to be outside whittling. So, the alternative is the whittle inside. That presents a problem of wood chips everywhere. That tends to irritate my better half. Like the old saying states: “Happy wife, happy life!” So, to maintain a happy life I needed to find someway to contain my wood chips. Thus the popcorn can. I can sit in my living room chair, or in what ever chair I choose to sit and and not have chips all over the house. Just whittle right over the can. Problem solved.

I also purchased a waiters apron with pockets. I tied this around my popcorn can and have a convent place to store my safety glove, sandpaper and knives, all in one handy container. With the basic black apron, it looks nice, not goddy. And I can set it in the corner out of the way. Several problems solved.

A Whole New Year!

Well, it is 2012! And glad 2020 is over. The Christmas decorations are all packed away for another year. All the Christmas goodies hav been eaten at the expense of the waistline.

So now it is time to get down to producing artwork. Have made some runs to the local art store to get some supplies. Have looked at some new art format and styles to take up this year. All in all, it looks like an exciting year ahead. So here is to a better, safer and healthier 2021.

Going Out On A Limb

Every once in a while, you have to go out on a limb. I did that recently with changing up my canvas. I switched over to a leaf. Fall is here and leafs are abundant, I decided to give something new a try. Paint a picture on a leaf. I must confess it was a challenge that you do not run into with normal water color paper. The rough and delicate surface makes the process much more difficult, but not unobtainable. It was fun and is another avenue for my art work, but I am not going to dive head long into doing all my work on a leaf.

Strawberry Hill

These are a couple renditions of two landmarks on Strawberry Hill in Kansas City, KS. The first is of the neighborhood market that was just about a block and half from my grandparents house on the hill. It was a great adventure to walk there with my grandma. Everyone knew each other, not like at the big box stores today. There was a pride in the store. As the old neighborhood died off the store closed. But, the neighborhood is coming back. Which is awesome, they are also celebrating the ethnic background. Some years back I was working in the neighborhood and had lunch with a client at a little deli. The owner saw my last name on the credit card and said, “With a name like that I must have had ties to the neighborhood.” I smiled with pride and said I did. The last time I was back in the neighborhood several years ago the ol grocery store was coming back as a neighborhood bakery and coffe shop. I hope it is doing well. Rock on Strawberry Hill! Keep those old memories alive and make some awesome ones in the future!

The second is of St. John the Baptist church on Strawberry Hill. It was the center point of the neighborhood. It was a vital part of the community of immigrants. My Grandmother would walk the few blocks to this beautiful church for Mass every day for as long as I could remember. It was a stable rock for the Strawberry Hill community to celebrate weddings, funerals and other life celebrations. I can still hear the accordion polka music. And hear the older ladies whistle in jubilation. And could they whistle! And I can remember the church being all decked out for the Christmas season. It was so beautiful! And as we come into the Christmas season, please be kind to each other!