Friday, October 30, 2015

Willi Sheller at Liberty

8-1/2. Oil on panel, 12" x 12". $595. [buy now.]

During our first trip to Liberty on Seattle's Capitol Hill, we had the experience of meeting Willi Sheller. "Meeting" is probably not the right word. "Being entertained by"? Not sure how to explain it, but the minute I mentioned the book project to him, he disappeared behind the bar for about twenty minutes, then reemerged with this:

Meet Tikitty. It's hard to tell from the photo, but the cherries in the lime adorning this tiki drink are on fire. When I could stop laughing long enough to try it, I found it was delicious. 

After that Willi brought out some more serious original libations, including the 8-1/2 (illustrated above), which he said he named for his favorite Fellini film that he'd never seen. Then, he killed my cucumber phobia with his Pimp's Cup, a twist on the Pimm's Cup using local BroVo Jammy vermouth. Here is the painting, which is an homage to what happened next:

Pimp's Cup. Oil on panel, 12" x 12". $595. [buy now]

So, what happened next was that I tried to figure out how the hell Willi had made the intricately woven garnish on my 8-1/2. I couldn't do it, so he went to the bar, grabbed a cutting board, some tools, and a few pieces of fruit, and proceeded to spend several minutes demonstrating garnishes.

Please keep in mind that, a) I am not a videographer, and b) I was at least two drinks in at this point, and not expecting to make a video. I did my best under the circumstances, and here are the results:

For another video and an actual photo of Willi, join me after the jump.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Yuletide 2015

Solstice Party. Oil on panel, 8" x 8".

I'm coming back to Yuletide!

Last year was my first time at Yuletide and it was a big success, so I am thrilled to have been juried in again for 2015.

This year,  Spokane Art School's holiday art and craft sale will take place at the Downtown Public Library located at 906 West Main. The event kicks off with a private party on Thursday, November 12 (get tickets here), then opens to the public Friday and Saturday, November 13 and 14.

I will bring lots of new work including framed and unframed original Mixology paintings, giclée reproductions, and my original Mixology classic cocktail books as well as my new book, Mixology with a Twist.

Here are the details:
Where: Downtown Public Library, 906 West Main*
When: November 12 – 14, 2015
Hours: Thurs. Nov. 12, opening party, 5 – 8 p.m.
       Fri. – Sat. Nov. 13 – 14, 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

*Please note that there is parking beneath the library building, as well as on the street and at several   
nearby paid parking lots and garages.

Monday, October 5, 2015

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Bitter Honey and Spice, November Rain)

Bitter, Honey and Spice. Oil on panel, 12" x 12". NFS.

Mixology With a Twist is almost done! All of the paintings are done, too... and in several cases, more than once.

As these things happen, the book progressed, and so it evolved. The paintings' style became more consistent over weeks and months. Which is great. Except that the earliest efforts now looked out of place. Worse yet, they didn't do justice to the amazing drinks they represent.

So, back to the drawing board I went. Repeatedly. Bitter, Honey and Spice (above) is the third iteration of the illustration that is now, just maybe, fit to represent my favorite cocktail from Eugene, Oregon's Izakaya Meiji Company.

But for all that, B, H, & S is not the record holder for bad paintings. It comes in a distant second to Curtis Day's November Rain (below), which I painted no fewer than five times. Five!

November Rain. Oil on panel, 8" x 8".

As much as I love the drink, it almost got cut from the book owing to the creative block it inspired. Thankfully the fifth time was the charm. I used a bit of reflection trickery to bring some color into the almost-black drink set against Casper Fry's signature brick wall, finally making it pop.

Both original paintings, along with thirty-one others, will be on display at Mizuna for the Mixology With a Twist First Friday book release party.

In the meantime and against my better judgement, I have posted most of the rejected paintings below the fold (two versions of November Rain were so bad they were never photographed).