Saturday, March 8, 2014

ArtBar: All Work and no Play Makes Jack a Dull Toy...

Recently, I got the go-ahead and privilege to join the local art community in my hometown, Aurora, Illinois in its monthly "ArtBar" events at the Two Brother's Roundhouse. Staged on the first Friday of every month, "ArtBar" highlights local artists who feature (and can sell on the spot) works of almost all medias imaginable. The depth of talent is immeasurable and the art/craft beer/pub food community who attends is abundant and enthusiastic.

So, when my girlfriend, Tracy surprised me with a date night to my first "ArtBar" last month, I was excited. Then I got hooked. This was a gang in which I wanted to be a member. When director Javi Terrazas gave me the "thumbs up," I was amped!

The neat thing with "ArtBar" is theme. Every month, participants create pieces inspired on a specific theme. Last month, the theme was "pin-up." This month, the theme was "toys."

With that, I give you my piece, "All Work and no Play Makes Jack a Dull Toy..." (acrylic, watercolor and Copic art marker on Bristol Board, 11" X 14" image matted to a 15 3/4" X 19 3/4" custom-stained frame). Basically, I took an old jack-in-the-box toy and based the garish clown inside (one most of us were afraid of. Admit it; those things are scary as hell to a kid) on Jack Nicholson's character from horror classic"The Shining," Jack Torrance. So, you have three elements of "Jack" going on here. I'm not saying it's the cleverest thing in the world; it pretty much wrote itself!

(Look, it's a unhinged clown...and he's standing next to his painting.)

And just so you know, if you're into horror/toy-based whimsy and this sucker doesn't creep you out, it's up for grabs for only $150 (check, money order or PayPal only please. Shipping included but only if you're here in the continental United States!). If interested, don't hesitate to email me at And if you have your own ideas for something you'd like, whether it's for you or to give as a gift, I'd love to do a commission for you.

Next month at "ArtBar": posters! I'm already fired up, Howlers...

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