Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Can't Think of a Title Today...

So, my mail art friend, Wayhuni, from Jakarta responds to my e-mail asking if she's OK as if it was a New Years greeting and like nothing had happened in her neighborhood. Interesting, that. She is on Java rather than Sumatra but you'd think that she'd have known what my query was about.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Back to Normal ???

OK, kids... Christmas is over... time to get back to the blogs and mail.
Here we all had a very nice Christmas, (even if Syl did have to work). Syl and I stopped by the Plough on Christmas eve... a small group of orphans spreading holiday cheer. We sang some carols, even though John Lincoln Wright wasn't there to lead us as he's usually done in years past. We got through it. Home, where Syl and I exchanged gifts... she gave me the hat that you can see on her blog. Fairly low key. Saturday I went up to my folks for the obligatory holiday mayhem. All the siblings with all their progeny... the nieces and nephew are all maturing too fast. An odd family tradition (that I may well have started) ensures that someone will outfit the whole gang with a cheap toy that shoots harmless projectiles. Once the gifts are opened the room becomes a free-for-all war zone as we try to knee-cap each other... or, better yet, shoot each other in the bum. This of course, leads to projectiles decorating the tree and lost under furniture. Digging around in my chair, I came up with bits of plastic that had been aimed at me from 3 different years!!! Surprisingly, we've never broken or spilled anything or sent anyone to the emergency room.
Sunday it snowed a bit, making my walk over to the Plough a bit more of an adventure. Very small group, but often that's the most fun. Home to cook the holiday meal that we never quite got around to on the holiday.
A lot more snow this morning as I got back to work. Dug out, picked up Howard and drove over to his gallery, where we met Lowell and Paul. No trouble parking right out front (unheard of on Newbury St.) Sanded, patched, sanded, primed gallery walls and started painting. We'll be done early tomorrow... which is good as the lot of us are planning to see Three Stooges films at the Brattle Theater in the afternoon. We're so decadent.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

So, Christmas is coming...

I've only got the faintest of ideas about what's happened this past week. I DO know that there's been Christmas shopping, Christmas lights, a Christmas tree and Christmas parties. Overwhelming... I've been working all this time, as well. A painting project with Stephen... emergency art deliveries and installations. Sylvia is much better at this than me... and she's taken care of most of the gift things. Thank you, Syl. We've had a few COLD days... cold enough so I couldn't open the driver side door of the van. Luckily I still think that I'm young and can contort from the passenger side into the drivers seat. (I'll probably pay for that, later). I got one of those nice "25" envelopes from Ruud... my outgoing mail still sits on the table, waiting for the last little enclosure. Sylvia works on Christmas (the life of a nurse)... and I'll go up to my folks by myself for a couple of hours. Anyway... Merry Christmas, all... keep in touch.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

So This Is What Cell Phones Are For...

Friday I ended up with a job picking up and delivering some "area rugs". One of these "area rugs" turned out to be 9'x12', big enough to carpet a complete room in most peoples houses. Upon delivery I learned that I was to be part of a team that would rearrange the furniture and install the rugs. Carpenters, a security alarm guy, the woman of the house and myself spent about an hour and a half placing these things. Moving chairs, tables, etc. from all over this very large house... testing distances from the couch to the coffee table, lining things up and when all were satisfied we put the knick knacks back in place.
Saturday, as I was doing some errands and Christmas shopping when I got a call on my cell. A gallery on Newbury Street wondered if I could possibly pick up and deliver a painting. I balked at first as I kind of had a plan for the day. a few minutes later I realised that I had an empty van and who can't use a few extra bucks this time of year... so I called back, hopped in the van and did the job. Phoned ahead as I was nearing the gallery and Jeremy came down with the picture... I double parked and we loaded it in just before the meter maid could give us a hard time. I had the piece delivered to the client within an hour of the original call. I hope that someone took note of that. Turned out that it was to a residence that I'd installed a few pieces in a week or so earlier. (hadn't met the people, working with a decorator).
Sunday was the same as always.
Started a small job with Paul for a lady down the street, on Monday. Had Lowell and Paul finish it today, while I went to work on something for Stephen. Some of these guys are going to be on thier own as the painting work slows down. I'm doing my best to find them something to do.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

It Went Like This...

I bundled up my paintings... I wasn't sure which ones Helen wanted for the presentation, so I took 9 that seemed to work together, figuring that she could take what she wanted and I'd hang on to the rest. She decided to present them all. I loaded up the van with all the other work that she had and drove it out to the site. I met up with Helen and Michele at the loading dock and emptied it all out... They took care of things from here. I went off to do several other jobs, including delivering some bicycles for a "Bikes not Bombs" project... I also cleaned and reinstalled hardware at the last painting job. A pint at the Plough and home. I hadn't been home long when Helen called, telling me that they were keeping 8 of the 9 paintings !!!
She got the prices from me and asked for a 10% discount... you think that I'm going to say "no" ? So far, all of this has been done with no paperwork, whatever. Helen tells me that I'll have to send an invoice but she has to send me the form. Pretty good, that. Good timing, too... as painting jobs are scarce just before the holidays.
Tuesday I had to pick up a painting on my way to gather the work that Helen hadn't sold. Loaded all that up and took it back to her office. From here it was some Christmas shopping and other errands.
Today was another day of delivery and installation. Started out by picking up some stretchers and delivering them, along with a painting that was being returned to the artist. Conley, made me come up to his studio to see his newest Indian inspired paintings. Great stuff... animals that he's stolen from Mughal miniatures. He also gifted me with a nice ceramic bowl made by one of his friends... a Christmas gift, I guess. On to Fenway Studios (the first purpose built studio building in the country) to pick up a piece that was going to an art consultants storage facility. I had a little down time and did errands on Charles Street... including checking out a small exhibit of Conley's Japanese inspired paintings. Out to Lincoln to reinstall and fix a warped painting. Then on to Weston to deliver and install a two part abstract piece that was to be simply hung on nails (not my favorite way)... I had to find the studs in the wall and the stud finder that I'd just bought was off by about an inch or so. Made two or three extra holes... but the picture covers them... Isn't that what pictures are for ? To cover the holes in the wall ???

Friday, December 03, 2004

Horseshoe #1

This painting from 1994 was shown at Wustum Museum of Fine Arts, Racine, Wisconsin... probably in 1994.
It's one of the ones I'm hoping to sell on Monday.

Horseshoe #1
Originally uploaded by jstangroom.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Mid Week...

Yesterday, more painting in the morning, with Lowell. In the afternoon I was hanging pictures again. Working with Meredyth, for this therapist couple who need some serious therapy. Rearranged a handful of pictures that I'd hung a week or so ago. Installed some new stuff. Everything is going fine untill we get to the last bit of wall... Meredyth and Mr. Therapist have a plan to put a little collection of black and white prints on it... made sense to me. Poussin as you come out of the dining room, flanked by Reginald Marsh, Rafael Soyer, other 30's prints (pretty good stuff). Mrs. Therapist was getting tired again and didn't like the plan. Abort that mission. Meredyth, wisely realises that this session is done for and we adjust a few things in the living room, while Mrs. Therapist gets ready for her next client. While Mr. Therapist and Meredyth are trying to place something in his office... Mrs. Therapist tells me that having all this artwork around scares her. As we leave, Meredyth says, "she's 50 something and she's tired? I'm 70 and there's lots of work to do here!"
Me... I just do what I'm told.
Today was a big day of moving and making sure that things were under control. Started out picking up artwork from an artist, then picking up from the Museum School... out to check on the painting job and deliver some supplies. On to rent a truck. Delivered the artists work to an art consultant, picked up a whole exhibition from a gallery and delivered that to the appropriate artist (getting drenched in the process). From here, I returned the truck and went to see a REAL nutcase client who had just (thankfully) sold her house and wanted me to do an inapproprite patch job in a water damaged ceiling. No go, there. She did get me to take away some old paint... and I yelled at her as she was adding items to the pile that she wanted me to take away. Scared her, I guess... I don't often do that, but she was going way over the top. My compensation for this was a few, dirty old frames and one of her worst artworks. Thankfully, some other guy arrived with some other business and I could escape. Delivered the piece that I'd got at the Museum School and went to help Lowell clean up.
To the Plough for a much needed pint and home.
Tomorrow you get pictures...