Monday, November 29, 2004

Weekend's Over...

Saturday... a little bit of Christmas shopping. Tried to cash a check from a client, but there's still not enough money there. Took a few photos for the Stencil project from Ireland. Home by noon. Walked the dawg. Worked on my collage to Greenfield... just about ready to send. Stuffing other envelopes... nothing much.
Sunday was a nice walk over to the Plough... did the crosswords with Julian... the walk home was in the rain but I was prepared with a poncho and piece of crap umbrella that we'd bought in Italy. Again, nothing special.
Today Lowell and I started a new job. Prepped this office for an English woman who's a professor of theology at Harvard. An old client that have a few eccentricities. She and her husband have the most beautiful but minute way of writing. (He's some kind of old fashioned printing guy... also at Harvard) I swear that the notes that they leave for me are writtin with script that is only 3 mm high. We'll be priming and painting tomorrow.

Friday, November 26, 2004

The Past Few Days...

Tuesday, I started Lowell and Paul on a a painting job... a couple of water damaged ceilings. From there I went to Cambridge to hang yet more pictures... about 25 this time. The woman had just had her place renovated and wanted to change the arrangement a bit. Fairly straight ahead.
Wednesday, I went to do an estimate for a painting job that won't happen until June!!!
Then on to paint a wall for a favorite client. She was out of town, but I have the key and the alarm code. Stopped in at the Plough, nothing special to report.
Thursday was Thanksgiving... Sylvia had to work and I spent a lot of time cleaning up the joint. Walked the dawg, washed the kitchen floor, a couple of loads of laundry... tried to find the surface of the dining room table. In the process I got distracted, working on a collaborative collage that I'm doing with Greenfield. Went out to photograph some stenciled street art for a project by Fan Mail. When I got back Syl was home! They'd let her off early... cool. More cleaning and all. I cooked some duck legs with vegetables for Thanksgiving dinner... thank you, duck.
Today, was out to pick up the gear from where the guys had painted the ceilings. The stuff had been put in the garage. Hit the button, opened the door, no problem. Loaded up the van. When I hit the button to close the door there was a big bang... One of the cables that holds a big spring for the door had snapped. Good thing I was out of the way, if I'd been hit by it I'd be a gonner. Tried to cash the check they'd left me but there wasn't enough money in their account. Back to hang more pictures at the place I'd been on Monday... (I've gone through $60 worth of picture hooks this week) On to the Plough, where they were putting up the Christmas lights. And home to this and the weekend... ahhh...

Monday, November 22, 2004

Hanging Pictures...

It looks like my primary occupation this week will be installing artwork.
Started out today by taking the van back to the shop... some other fluid was leaking. It didn't look like coolant this time. Turns out that some hose with transmission fluid had come a bit loose. Probably knocked a bit during the radiator replacement, but no one is admitting to that. Doesn't matter as they let me go for free again. Heck, they should name thier boat after me with all the money I've given them for other repairs.
So, I went to see one client who really had no idea where she wanted things hung. She moved to a smaller house and had a big old pile of pictures. (I should really charge more when the client wants ME to decide where things should go). We sorted out the better pieces, that were more appropriate for the public areas... living room, dining room, etc. Reserving the more personal and intimate pieces for bedrooms and hallways upstairs. I hung most of our decisions for the ground floor, 16-18 pieces. The client had a meeting and I had another appointment, so I'll go back on Friday.
The next client had about 8 pieces that she pretty well knew where she wanted them placed. (she needed some reinforcement) That was fairly simple and I was out of there in an hour. Also gave an estimate for painting the master bedroom.
To the Plough for a pint with a very jocular group around the corner of the bar.
And home...

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Here We Stand...

Nothing much until yesterday...
I was helping an art consultant with a presentation.
She assembles the artwork on the third floor (second for the Brits).
I was carrying things down and lost a step on the stairs...
a ceramic piece, wrapped in bubble, flew out of the box I was carrying and broke.
To my rememory the first piece I've destroyed.
Not a great way to start the day.
Everything else went well. She sold tons of stuff to the client and I didn't harm any other artworks. (this is decorating... it really has nothing to do with ART)
At the end of the job, as we were settling up... I offered to pay for the piece that I'd broken. She let me off, telling me that I'm carefull, it was an accident, etc. Still made me feel like a clumsy jerk. Turns out it was a piece that she owned and was trying to flog off on the client. (purchase price $100)
Today started out with a call from the art consultant that wants to try out some of my work... 6 pieces she wants to try... a good thing.
Up to my sisters for a birthday party for her 3 year old... good to see most of the family. Syl works both Thanksgiving and Christmas so we won't be joining them then. Somehow we got onto looking at where things were made... China won. Only one piece of clothing from USA and only one from Europe... all the rest from Asia or South America or Mexico.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

A 1 Memory

Probably the oldest one I have.
A 1 Memory
Originally uploaded by jstangroom.

Where'd That Go ???

I could have sworn that I posted a small blog on Sunday... well, I can't find it.
Wrote about snow (4 inches), Plough (the usual), finding 51¢ (good day) and that was about it.
Just a couple of average days at work, since then. One interesting note is I've heard that an art consultant is interested in presenting some of my paintings to a client that buys a lot of art. I haven't heard from her directly, but was told this by another artist who's work I will be transporting to this project. I've worked with here before... moving and installing artwork. That worked out fine. She asked me to send her slides and unlike my usual laziness, I did. Looks like it might have paid off. Keeping my fingers crossed for the moment. Selling art instead of putting it in the post... the silly things we do.

Friday, November 12, 2004

A Couple of Good Days...

So, I went down to get the van yesterday and Vinnie says, "No charge"!!! Imagine that? I don't get these kind of breaks often.. I cherished it and it made my day. Out to paint with the guys for the day... we pretty well finished the ground floor. After work I had to go hang a picture in Newton. Big it was, 5 feet tall and at least 8 feet long. Some kind of digital photography thing mounted on some kind of plastic. The frame was over the top lot's of wood with inlaid brass Ganeshas from India. The image was a Buddhas head in the landscape and was supposedly manipulated fronm 30 photographs. It took some time to get the photo into the frame... but really no time to get the whole business on the wall... it fit brilliantly and looked great. The guy wrote me a check, without asking what I wanted and paid me about 3 times what I would have asked for. (this WAS a good day) We also made a plan for me to fix 3 water damaged ceilings. A toe hold on more work, I hope.
Today was out in Lincoln to paint... fine tuning what we'd done yesterday. The check was there, in the appropriate amount without me asking. A few little instructions... nothing that we wouldn't have done anyway. The guys were itching to go, being Friday... but they'd given me thier hours and I had to hold them to that. Michael never showed, claiming there was work he had to do at home... more likely it was because it's his birthday.
Anyway... to the Plough... where I only meant to have one pint... but Mark bought me one, then Derek came in and I thanked him for serving in the Marines (having not been around yesterday, Veterens Day) finished that and came home.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

But I Just Replaced the Radiator...

Up and out to Naida's (a favorite client that refers me to all her friends) for som touch ups. I could have done the lot with a Q-Tip rather than a brush. Except for one ding in the middle of a wall... my touch up looked like a bulls-eye. I'll go back and repaint the whole wall next week. Then over to see Marjorie, who is redoing a loft space and has a sand blasted wood ceiling and beams that are water stained. I doubt that I can come up with a reasonable solution for that. I found a parking space... had to make a u-turn to get to it. As I got out I realised that there was coolant everywhere...pouring out of the front of the van. I figured that I must have blown an hose, and there was enough coolant on the ground to know that I'd better not try to drive. Looked at the job. Back to the van to call AAA (same as RAC) took them an hour to get there. Meanwhile, I didn't have enough change to keep the parking meter going and I was hungry. I didn't dare walk the block to get a sandwich... the meter maid would surely get me. Luckily a newspaper blew down the street... I read it and did the crossword. Tow truck finally arrives and we go over to Vinnie's. Tell him what's up and walk home, where Syl let's me borrow her car to go out to Lincoln and help Michael. (Paul had his own car problems this morning, so he and Lowell had already bailed out). On the way out Vinnie called and said it was the radiator. Luckily it's under warranty... but that won't cover the labor. Should be ready 8:30- 9:00 in the morning. At the job, Michael had found a whole clip of 9mm bullets on top of the built in shelving. The client was quite happy to have us take them away (Michael knows someone that can use them). (there's a find for you, Swap) Painted the built in unit and the shelves. Came home to type this...

Tuesday, November 09, 2004


This is the painting that I gave to Newton Art Center... Please excuse the shadow and clumsy cropping.
Originally uploaded by jstangroom.

More Running Around...

Started out the day by putting my painting in the frame and stamping the backside (should have documented that for Obscure Obverse... next time). Off to hang a picture on the door to a loo... I hate doing that... they always move around as you use the door, and she doesn't want me to use security mounts which would stabilise the piece but make big holes in the door. From here it was downtown to pick up a piece that I'll deliver on Saturday. Out to see how the guys are doing, painting... Seemed OK, but I'm sure they're not getting enough done. On to deliver the artwork below... and on to spend my afternoon installing pictures for a client in Cambridge. Some good stuff, A little Pissaro print, a Lautrec print... some junk as well... all, horribly framed. Supposedly this will be rectified and I'll have to install it all over again. Tried to convince the client that we ought to finish painting the areas that we'd started. Dunno if I got anywhere. (y'know living in a several million dollar house, with real art and claiming broke). We fitted out the living room, his office, waiting room (they're both shrinks) and started working on the hallway... when it became obvious that the client was getting tired, and confused. I'd hung three little pieces... went on to hang another, turned around and she'd replaced all the pics in the group that I'd just done. I convinced Meredyth (who I was working with) that it was time to move on, as we had another client around the corner. Went over there and did that... simple, outfit one piece and hang it. To the Plough to check in with the guys... and home to wrestle with trying to put that pic on my blog...

Monday, November 08, 2004

About Time I Posted Another Blog...

Been a bit busy getting this painting finished for the Newton Art Center benefit thing. Seems like the only time I make a painting these days is when I'm asked for one. On that note, I received an invitation today, to make a painting for a show in Wisconsin. The theme is "Magnificent Extravagence: Artists and Opulence". Dunno what I'm going to do about that... I do tend to paint in an obsessive manner, though.
Work has been fairly straightforward... I've been putting in full days, rather than running around to other projects. Trying to light a fire under the guys as I think that they do produce more if I'm there working away. I'm getting a bit nrevous on the price I quoted for this one so I've gotta get us to hammer it out.
Saturday I took Syl to a library book sale that I'd seen a sign for... collecting her collage materials. She came out with a good armfull... a few that I'll try to read before she takes the knife to them.
Sunday... the usual walk to the Plough (found 7¢). Fumbling with the crossword, about 3/4 through, when Julian came in and we finished it. Walked home via the art supply store to get some gold paint for the frame of the Newton Art Center piece. Worked on the painting.
Today was another day of painting trim...home to fine tune the picture (it's due tomorrow). We're trying to get a decent photo of it to add to the blog... Syl does all that. Fighting the glare of the flash and distorted colors. She's good... it'll be close to the painting.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Things Happen...

So, Bush wins... not what we wanted, but what can we do. We must be different than the rest of America, here in the northeast. Morality was the swing, they say. My sense of morality is surely different... lying and opportunistic war can't be good. Gay marriage doesn't affect anyone else. Stem cell research, abortion... shouldn't these be included in the personal decisions that the Republicans espose ??? And the economy is crap. Anyway...
Arafat is dying... don't really know what that will mean... but, it will mean something.
I put in a full day on the job... I might be fooling myself, but there seemed to be a serious increase in production. We essentially painted the ground floor/basement in a day. Not quite done, but close. Considering that it took them 5 days to paint 2 rooms and a hallway upstairs.
Syl's blog blew up or something... she had to rebuild from scratch... no idea what she's lost.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Since I Last Posted a Blog...

Friday I was moving art around all day. Started by getting up a rental truck,picking up an exhibitions worth of artwork and delivering it to a gallery. Fairly simple, that. Returned the truck... took myself to lunch and went on to the next job that was a presentation with an art consultant to a residential client. Loaded up my van (the artwork is stored on the third floor (second floor for the Brits) so I got a bit of exercise. Drove to the clients home, unloaded the work, unwrapped the work, held various pieces up against the wall in numerous locations throughout the house. The art wasn't heavy but the arms get tired with the isometric workout. They bought a big pile of stuff, but it all had to be packed back up... some going to the framers and the rest back to the third floor. It was 8:30 by the time I got home. Knackered, but it was a good payday.
Saturday was errands and the start of a painting for the Newton Art Center benefit show (due next week!!!) Wish I could get the paint to dry faster.
Sunday, to the Plough... did a lousy job with my crossword. Home to dole out candy to the costumed extortionists. Helped Sylvia make some kind of chicken soup. Fell asleep on the sofa.
Today was a simple day of painting... trim (glossy work). Windows, doors, baseboards. We did two rooms and I swear that I covered more surface than the other two guys put together. I did the smaller room by myself (not that there's much diference... they each have two doors and a window) and went in to help finish the other room which has a bank of built in drawers. Anyway, that bit's done.