I don't claim to know what makes art "art," much less what makes good art "good." But, to steal an expression from Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, I know it when I see it. John Lee is an aspiring artist living in Pennsylvania who paints under the moniker of Clohnart. John is one of January's oldest friends, and one of my newest, and this coming week his work will appear at Gallery 831 in the Brewery District.
Last summer, John and his family visited us over the Fourth of July weekend and brought along a couple of his paintings to share. The arrangement was that we could put them on display in our home and make them available for sale to anyone who visits us who is interested. We've had these two pieces on display in our home since then and, if I'm being honest, I hope for selfish reasons that nobody ever is interested. This first piece, titled Twice Finished, was January's pick and sits on the bar in our dining room, right next to where I work most days. I'm not going to wax poetic about the brushstrokes or the technique used, but all I can say about it is that I have enjoyed its presense in my work space for the past eight months.
This was my pick, titled Double Cycolps #2. If I'm being honest, the main reason that I picked it was because it was his most recent work among the offerings he brought that day, but time has convinced me that I made the right choice. It sits on our mantle, between our cardboard buffalo, Beatrix, and our two ceramic owls, Schmandy and Lucille. I think the four of them really go together well.
John Lee will be displaying more of his work this coming week at Gallery 831, and the opening reception will take place this coming Saturday evening from 7-10pm. I'll be there, and I hope to see some of you as well. January and I will be bringing Lucy, so I'm sure it will be very family friendly if you want to bring any of your little ones as well.
If you want to learn more about his work in the meantime, you can check out his web site at http://clohnart.com. He also posts some of his latest work to Twitter at @clohnart as well as on his Instagram account of the same name.
Hope to see you this Saturday!
Follow the Brush - Featuring the work of John Lee (Clohnart) and Rachel McFarlane
Gallery 831: 831 S. Front Street, Columbus, OH 43206
April 27 - May 4, 2012
Opening Reception: Saturday, April 28, 7 - 10pm
One year ago today, I took the first of around 300 photos of myself. The goal was to take a single photo every day, but I know I missed a few days here and there. January introduced me to an iPhone app called "Everyday" that makes this super easy, by giving you reminders and helping you line up your shot with guides. At any point, you can compile all of the photos into a video, so I thought today would be a good day to finally use that feature. I would like to present you with roughly 300 photos of my face, in roughly one minute of video
If you watch closely, you can see my beard grow to a ridiculous length, over and over, until I finally give in and trim it up. You can also follow the transitions from the "don't give a crap because I work at home" to my quarterly "going into the office so I'd better get fancied up" ensembles.
I couldn't have done this without the support of all my devoted photobombers. Here are just a handful of my favorites.
Lucy made her photobomb debut on day 2 of this project, and has shown up on a regular basis ever since. Second only to Lucy in frequency of appearance is our cat Frankie. January is in surprisingly few shots, but she did make a cameo when we were in Prague, driving into the city.
My good friend Mark made a brief appearance when we were in Las Vegas this past Fall, and Kurt made a very slight cameo while shooting a picture at this past year's RBI Tournament. Finally, a shout-out to this random coffee shop girl who I'm sure thought I was just some creeper trying to get her picture. Joke's on you, ma'am!
Check back next year for the exciting sequel -- Two years of Andy in one minute: Twice the photos, twice the speed!
We are celebrating a pretty major anniversary this week. Five years ago, January and I drove down to Chillicothe -- twice -- to pick up our faithful canine companion Gus. We couldn't let the week go by without a sharing a few of our favorite Gus stories.
The earliest, of course, was the actual adoption process. January found an ad for "Teddy," a tiny little border collie puppy who needed "a family to give him a good middle and end" and she was immediately smitten. Up to that point, I had been pretty adamant that we not get a dog until we got our house situation figured out. One look at those brown eyes, though, and I couldn't say no. January followed up with the owner and we were presented with an adoption application. Following are a few choice questions for the intense process:
Would you take him out to pee or leave her unattended?
Would you walk him outside of your home?
If you moved to a place that doesn't take dogs, what would you do?
Will you love him forever?
Really hard hitting stuff. We passed the application process and drove down to pick him up on a Friday night. After two hours of waiting and not a dog in sight, we drove back home crestfallen. We finally got ahold of Teddy's owner who told us that she fell asleep and forgot to meet us, and could we go back Saturday night? We of course did, and discovered that "Teddy" was being taken care of by a 14 year old girl who kept rescuing puppies from the pound and finding homes for them online. We could have guessed from the application questions, I suppose. We brought him home, gave him the more appropriate name of "Gus" and haven't regretted it once.
Right from the start, Gus has never been one to let something as ordinary as walls or fences keep him contained. Within the first few months of bringing him home we had to address the challenge of keeping him in our yard. He's a regular Houdini when it comes to wriggling through loose boards and squeezing under fences. It became a pretty regular thing to get phone calls from numbers I didn't recognize saying "Hi, I think I have your dog." It started with the house across the street and continued slowly down the street, getting closer and closer to High Street. We did finally manage to lock down his wandering ways before he made it all the way to High Street, but that just bolstered his determination to push his boundaries in other ways.
Confrontation: The first of many
We gave it a solid effort in that first house -- a rental -- to keep him contained to the first floor. We didnt put up a gate or anything, but we made it perfectly clear that he wasn't to go upstairs. There were several occasions, though, where we couldn't find him for a few minutes. He would always show up again on the first floor, but we were pretty sure he had wandered upstairs and then snuck back down when we called. I do remember one evening, though, when I was upstairs in the bedroom playing some video games. I heard something scuffling in the hallway and as I turned to see what it was, I see this tiny little fluffball notice me. At first he was so excited to see me that he started ambling toward me, waggling his entire back half. It wasn't until he made it to the bedroom door that he remembered he shouldn't be up there, and turned to slink away, hoping I would forget the whole thing ever happened.
In the past five years, Gus has gone everywhere with us. When we drove cross country to spend January 2009 in California, Gus came right along. And although he was really good for the drive itself, there was one particular stop along the way that didn't treat him very well. Day four: Monterey, California. We were all so excited to see the ocean, and after days and days of the likes of Utah, Wyoming, and Nebraska, Gus was the first one in the water.
He ended up drinking about half of the ocean in the 30 minutes we spent on that beach. Now, this is a family blog, so I won't be too graphic, but let's just say that wasn't the last we saw of all of that water, and we dealt with a very sad, very dehydrated puppy for the rest of that evening.
When we found out we were going to be adding a new member to Team Soell, everyone asked how Gus was going to deal with not being our little baby anymore. We insisted that just because we were going to have a baby, that didn't mean that Gus' position as trusty canine companion was being eliminated. More than a year later and not only is Gus still our trusty companion, but he's Lucy's trusty companion as well.
From the day we brought Lucy home, Gus has been extremely protective of our little girl. Lucy has learned a handful of words over the past 4-5 months -- mama and papa, among others -- but the word that she says most frequently is still puppy. In fact, when she's upset, cranky, or just overly tired, Gus is our go-to guy to cheer her up.
When we picked this guy up five years ago, we promised to give him a good middle and end, but I'm pretty sure that we're the ones who have gotten most of the "good." So here's to the best dog in the world, Augustus Theodore J Junior III, and the next five years. May it be filled with cats to chase, steaks and table scraps, and children that only try to ride you every-so-often.
Another letter posted a little later than intended, but the video took more work than I expected. At any rate, enjoy this look back on Lucy's twelfth month — and her first year.
Twelve months ago, you came along and turned our lives upside down. I didn't know it could be so fun to watch a little lady grow up and discover what it means to live in this world, but I can't imagine life without you anymore. There is so much more I could say about this past month -- about these past twelve months -- but I think the pictures and videos we have taken say it better than I could.
Happy birthday, little Lu.