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The Fun Page

The Fun Page



Ongoing story of "My Journey in the Woods" by Thomas Pignato...USA

Ongoing story of "My Journey in the Woods" by Thomas Pignato...USA



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    The Fun Page The Fun Page Presentation Transcript

    •    Art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art art American American American American American American American American American American American American American Americal American American American American American American American American American American American American American American American
    • A collection of “Quips & Memoirs”
    • Come on in the House. only one rule if you have a gripe… “back it up, drop it off and let the garbage man deal with it”.
    • My momma maintained that I was born between the tock of the 13 th and the tick of the 14 th . Way to go momma… I been messed up ever since. My momma done good though…
    • The first words she spoke to me was… “keep smiling” Right on momma!
    • The goal of this page was to let you in on how it is that a guy like me can create the art images that I do. But can tell already that I’m getting way off track. Besides, there is no “way” . Magic is always an unknown . So let’s move on to something else.
    • Thought you might like to see some photos of me as time, related to certain creations, changed the way of my image. Some of the photos are totally out-of-focus… but it wasn’t the camera.
    • 2 nd grade classmate said that she didn’t like my butterfly painting
    • Born to create… and so it came to be
      • But not without the intangible influence
      • Of the dandy Muse energy. A bit spooky at first. But went with the flow and glow.
    • Nice Hair
      • Thinking pink dylan
    • S t i l l T h I n k I n g
      • pink
    • It was cold! Way too early in the am! Get a haircut!
    • What is it about youth that keeps people slim? Awareness of how we are perceived by others? A hard ride in the ego zone? Something going on there. Something definitely going on in the following photo. For all of my youth thru 50..ha…small stretch there…I thought that diet had something to do with death, so I wanted nothing to do with it. Still not ready to step into the unknown. Where the soul advances beyond this realm, has not fully been revealed to our knowing. Your guess is as good as mine.
    • Game Room Dr Jack & Grace Liggett’s home in Palm Beach “77”
    • Born and raised… in the year of “ The Wizard of OZ ” & “Gone with the Wind” figures. Photo…2008
    • In this next photo background, is the first ever whole wall/whole room concept design ever attempted by a hair stylist. It was along about this time…l976…that something profound was coming over me. Felt so compelled to create images using wood tones as the palette. The hair thing was becoming something of the past. Just like that. Make a living? What living? Create the art was all that mattered.
    • This image is of a small portion of the “game room” in the Palm Beach home of Grace Liggett, my dearest female “friend” ever. The piece “Space Grace” is in her memory. Grace and I were living proof that despite the wacky social atmosphere prevailing in Palm Beach, a man and woman could be close friends without entanglements. I cherished our relationship.
    • Portion of Liggett’s Game Room
    • More images of the Liggett’s game room. This 100 year old weathered oak was like cutting rocks! Wore out Jack’s dad’s table saw. Uh oh…what am I going to tell Jack when he returns from Europe?
    • After discovering forgotten photo images of some of the earliest woodart works, the “ first ever ” whole-wall creations happened in Virginia…not in Palm Beach. Dennis Geib, my unofficial photographer of the day has photos, we think, packed away in boxes, but says he isn’t about to go thru them unless I go to his house and help. Wasn’t planning on any trips to Richmond any time soon…thinking more of heading south to those lovely warm palm tree settings , than north to the frozen tundra. May have to go see Dennis…really want to include those earliest of woodart images in this webpage presentation. Me and Dennis go way back to the early 70’s. Dennis was my “designated driver” before there ever was such a thing. Plus, there are four woodart pieces in Virginia, that I can think of, that I do not have photo images of…or are in those Dennis boxes. Either way, to get them, I will just have to go there. Jack Turlington, there in Richmond, owns one of my very favorite works and the most “political”. Jack owns “The Eternal Struggle”. This piece represents the boycott of the Olympic Games by President Carter. Carter was a “Southern” President and I liked everything about him…except his stupid decision to boycott the Summer Olympic Games in Moscow. That was really stupid! “The Eternal Struggle” depicts that ridiculous boycott.
    • The Eternal Struggle will add clearer image later. Check back
    • Check back for clearer image “the Russian bird”
    • Ditto… check back “the American bird”
    • Check out what the million miles of band-sawing produced in the portfolio. And it isn’t over yet! I’m jamming on a new creation right now. A seven section “suite” The energy is flipped-out. I’m flipped-out. The abstract people will be flipped-out.
    • Completed “Odeo”…October “08”
    • Soon after, “Asian Influences” came into being. 18 feet of blank white paper on a desolate warehouse wall location, in the wee hours of some night, is very intimidating. What the hell was I thinking? So wired by the excitement and yet feeling overwhelmed by the anxiety of the moment, to feel a presence and look over my left shoulder to find an image of a guy standing there was a freakin gas! Cool looking French looking guy. He had a spiffy looking moustache goatee thing going and seemed real laid-back. He even seemed real. Freaky. This guy assures me that whatever it is that I am about to draw on all this expansive white paper was right on.
    • Oops … may still yet create this image in woodart of the lovely Di. Photo taken in “86”
    • Don’t know if anybody is paying attention, but I keep reducing the font. Otherwise it will take me forever to get said what I have set out to accomplish here. “Accomplish”…a good word I use as a direction home . Know what I mean? One cool element about “Asian Influences”, beyond the insane 50,000 pieces of wood and the flippant reflection of “tricky dick”, in the tree…you know, President Richard Nixon… visit to China … the filming of the just completed piece happened in a whirl of awe-struck TV crews and personalities. In a flash, ,both of the local tv stations, filmed/interviewed and hurriedly returned to their stations in time to edit the film presentation to be included in that days Six O’clock News! Wow! It seemed strange at the time and it still seems strange. Which accounts, I suppose, for why nothing ever came of this rather prestigious exposure.
      • Topical Funshine
      Reflections of Palm Beach
    • along the way I hooked-up with a woman who once told me… she never told me anything twice… except to pack my bags and get out!... that my “art was not meant to be sold”. Say what?! The keyword here is “meant”. Still wondering what it was she meant by that. Y I K E S !
    • From the hills of West Virginia
    • Certainly one of the way cool elements of my art experience has been that with each completed piece, someone in my small circle-of-friends has said that they thought the latest creation was “ the best ”. How many pieces this element actually entails I really have lost count. My job was to create, not count.
    • Being an “outsider” has many advantages. Probably the most important is the freedom to get from one point to another free of directives and other structured influences. I really don’t believe that it would have been possible to have created the portfolio of images, in the demanding “Woodart” style, had there been formal “instructions”. Too many do-this, do-that obstacles would have interfered with the dynamic energies of the Muse. Plus, some people are flat-out natural creative souls with the special built-in “gift”. There is no way “the Collection” could have come to fruition had my resume’ been filled with institutional credentials. Working in a vacuum, or better yet, lost-in-the-wilderness of an unrelenting determination to contribute worthwhile treasures to the American art stage. Between me and that dandy band saw we have soared like the Space Shuttle and cut as many miles as to the moon and back. it is safe to say that I have been in orbit for quite some time. Some thirty plus years. Got so down and out and practically penniless, that I resorted to twisting-up a sawdust doobie. Whoa! Don’t try that at home!
    • Created in them hills of WV …photograph in NC
    • This next image is of piece created especially for a rehab center in west palm beach. Upon installation, into the lobby walks a patient. At the very first sight of this image, this guy chokes as if he was going to upchuck, dashes to the nurse and asks for more medication. Beautiful! I know that we all stand on our own. But my mom was drowned in free booze from boozers like the guy throwing up. Mission accompli.
    • Installation in Rehab center…West Palm Beach
      • Late 70’s
    • From the rehab commission. Oh yeah…Dr Ronald Catanzaro, the director of the treatment center, loved the piece. This piece never received a “title” and even now not sure what a title could be.
    • From hair to wood . Used to think that I must have taken a blow to the head and lost my senses. From the git-go I excelled in the hair styling profession. Before the hair game I was employed at Pratt & Whitney Aircraft in their facility way outside of West Palm Beach, as a draftsman. Because of my military experience of receiving “secret clearances”, I also received “clearances” to various departments within Pratt. One day I go into the Vault to pick up some drawings relating to a rocket engine Pratt was developing…to go to the moon! The gal in the Vault liked me because of the thousands of guys who worked at Pratt, I was the only one who wore brightly colored ties…I definitely stood-out. So one day I am in the Vault, along with a bunch of other guys, who all had on the customary short-sleeved white shirt with a narrow black tie. All of them. When the gal strikes up a conversation with me I tell her “I’m going to California!” Don’t even know why I said that. Had no intention of going to California. Well, out of her mouth comes “you know what you should do?”…..”you should become a hairdresser!” Say what?!! I was ever bit as shocked at what she had said as all the other guys in that small space. Become a hairdresser?! I had gotten in and out of the Army with no holes in me, but what she had just blurted out, blew me away.
    • K e e p S m i l I n g
    • Within a few days I had enrolled in a beautician school. My dad almost cried when I told him. Well on the very first day in the school I read an article in a magazine….”87% of all male hairdressers are gay”. Holy freakin mackerel Andy!...What’s a nice kid like me doing in a place like this? I’m still wondering. Took on the task of becoming a licensed beautician…never used that term with my straight male friends…with fervor. The sooner I could get out of the school and start making money, the better. My poor demoralized dad was supporting me and was just as anxious for me to get-a-job, as I was. So I set an all-time record for completing the school demands and immediately went to work. Since I early on exhibited the flare of a creative stylist, I got a job at the Mr James Salon in West Palm. Considered “the best” salon at the time. By this time I had already envisioned going to Hollywood and creating hairstyles for Elizabeth Taylor. It took a star to style the hair of stars and my hair career was taking-off like the rocket engine Pratt & Whitney would just have to complete without me.
    • Did I say “rocket ride”? Forget about it. My first week in the James Salon earned me the grand total of $ 18.00 !! And get this. Before I could even get started in my new profession, a girl I hardly knew, became pregnant! There went the grandiose Hollywood dream. Back in the day, pregnancy meant marriage. Whew! How we ever survived those days…the marriage lasted five years and two handsome young boys…is beyond me. The second week of employment my earnings improved to a whopping $36.00, then to $72.00…I was on a roll! Then the “season” ended and I could barely bring home 50 bucks a week for the next six months, or five years, whichever comes first. It was all a blur. After a year, or so, I landed a job in Palm Beach proper. Doris Edwards, the salon owner is still one of my favorite people ever. There my creative expertise earned me more money and the clientele was very wealthy, often famous and on the list of “who’s who”. So when I went to work in the Lupe Salon in Southhampton, Long Island, NY, the clientele was a gas of wealth. Itching to “drop names”, but will only say that many of them bore names of the most prestigious corporate conglomerates in America. I was “styling” in high-places.
    • F u z z y f a c e early 80’s
    • Lupe also had a salon in Manhattan and I loved working and living there, but all the friends I made there urged me to return to Palm Beach. They were convinced that my foot-loose & carefree attitude, that was fine for the safety of Palm Beach, was going to get me killed in the dead of some New York night. I wasn’t totally oblivious to the severe danger of being out-on-the-streets of New York, alone, but I sure acted like it. On one occasion, a male model friend…yes, there are actually “straight” male models…at least this guy was…thru his connections…briefly introduced me to Andy Warhol, in Max’s Kansas City. A hangout of star-like people. Most of them wannabes. I remember thinking…”what does a freaky looking guy like Warhol do for a living?”. In many ways and in retrospect, I should have stayed in New York. My hairstyling career was on a rocket ride. My clientele loved my work and my oddball character. Being chauffeured in private limousines from one outrageous whole-floor condos to another…after work at Lupe’s day job…to do “comb-outs” for some of the most beautiful women on the planet was so sweet. Amazing how piles of wealth make a pretty woman even more beautiful. “those were the days my friend” was even playing on the radio. Having my pockets stuffed with 100 dollar bills for simple “come outs”…no wonder I smiled all the time…was like giving candy to a baby…poof!...and it was gone.
    • Looking back on that relatively short period of time in New York, I must say that it was a “gas gas gas”. Even rubbed elbows with Dylan at a big Tent Party in Easthampton. Never dreaming that many years on down the road I would create a woodart piece featuring a likeness of his image. “ Pink Dylan ” Lupe landed me a big-time gig creating hairstyles for a center-fold spread of Bride magazine. A challenge, to say the least. The building was filled with prima donnas from hell. In the mayhem of egos I managed to create “do’s” that have never been used on bride’s before or since. Haven’t seen those photo images since back then, but surely there was something that I came close to getting right. Shortly after this event and the city of New York turning into a living nightmare…garbage man strike, bus strike, train strike, police strike, firemen strike…is there anything left?...AND…stepping in a humongous pile of Great Dane crap, with my brand new 130 dollar Italian shoes!…I split for the clean calm of Palm Beach. Maneuvering thru massive piles of garbage bags being tossed from rooftops all along the streets was no problem. Just before I stepped in the stinky dog doo-doo, I had whistled at the beautiful girl who had let her frigging dog crap right in the intersection. To me it was like “what garbage?”…something about “oblivious”. More about just flat-out having a good time in the do-wa-diddy Big City.
    • Hang in there…I will get thru this “hair thing” and on to the Woodart saga. But I gotta tell you about opening Florida’s first-ever “Unisex Salon”. After returning from New York, I settled back into the good life of living in a cool alley garage apartment in Palm Beach. The alleys in PB are far more upscale than the streets of my birthplace…Dunbar, WV. The private beach at the end of Clark Ave, riding my bike to work on Worth Avenue, plenty of comb-out dollar bills to spend on the girls…placed me back on top of the world. To work and live in Palm Beach, as an “outsider”, fingerprints and mug shot had to be taken at the police department. No problem. Sort of stood-out like a sore-thumb. No problem. All the “narks” knew me by name and had pretty much figured out that I was relatively harmless. Mostly, my social engagements evolved around harmless pot…and they knew that. Here the story gets both ugly and funny.
    • The building in West Palm that I rented to open the Unisex Salon was a vacated Veterinarian's office. Obviously a “place of business”. After nearly two months of interior decorating to compliment the “new” salon concept, the most anticipated “grand opening” was at hand. But what was the name of this new concept salon going to be? Well a group of us were sitting around “socializing” and tossing out ideas, when “Sweet Earl”…I certainly wasn’t the only colorful character back in those fun early 70’s…comes up with “Mad Barber”. Sounds so corny now, but at the time we all thought it was funny and somehow apropos. So Sweet Earl paints a cool purple, green, gold sign. On the marquee outside it looked “right on”. The very next day, while I was being interviewed by the local “rock” radio station, in walks a madman. Literally. This guy was the President of the local Barber’s Union and was fuming mad about the “Mad Barber” sign. To tell you the truth, I wasn’t all that “sold” on the name anyway and was in the process of consoling the frothing-at-the-mouth madman. The radio guy jumps in with his two-cents worth about how this guy could go to barber hell. Getting between these two idiots, I convince the madman that a new name for the salon would be created.
    • Too late! The mad-as-hell barber freak just happened to be the barber for the City Planner…uh oh. The very next day, a guy comes to the salon and instructs me to go see Oris McDoodle. Oris? What the hell kind of name is that?! Sure enough “ol Oris” is another character. I swear, throughout his bullshit feeble explanation of how it was that the “zoning” had been changed overnight… i really did think, that from his goofy looking bowtie, i was going to be squirted with water. The whole deal was a joke! But the joke was at my expense. So I called an attorney/client who said “you can’t beat city hall”…find another building”. The air was coming out fast. And what happens next is still unexplainable. After living all those years in Palm Beach and being on a first-name basis with all the detectives, there is a drug bust in my apartment. At the time, I had two “temporary” female roommates…about to move into their own apartment in a couple of days. At 9:30 pm, on a quiet Monday night, the police ruined a beautifully painted door with an ax and found the two girls already in their beds. One of the girls had recently returned from a trip to Mexico and brought back with her a little wooden box with a marijuana leaf carving on the lid. Inside was one little tiny “roach”…which I had already told her to dispose of because it was too small do anything with anyway. On the nightstand was a “pill” laying out in the open. On the dresser was the bottle of remaining constipation medication from her doctor. In my bedroom was one of those ornate brass “water pipe” from India. Never even used.
    • As far as the police went…the “bust was a bust”. Being away from the apartment that night saved me from being hauled into the police station, along with the girls. The very next morning I phoned the main detective and asked him what was going on. He told me that “nothing is going on”…and for me to just “maintain”. No problem. Wrong! There was a major big problem! On the front page of the Palm Beach News (the shiny sheet, as it was known)… the very next morning , was a paragraph article covering the “bust”. Which read… Thomas Pignato was arrested for “conspiracy to commit a felony…possession of marijuana…possession of hard narcotics & paraphernalia”. Jesus God Almighty! Nearly everyone associated the “paraphernalia” & “hard narcotics” with heroin. To this day there are several of my former steadfast clients who never let me style their hair again. The demoralizing effect of this travesty was brutal. My savings had been spent on putting together the new salon and I was emotionally devastated. And all because of that stupid “Mad Barber” element. The worst of it all was how some of my clientele abandoned me after all those good years.
    • So I did what any red-blooded American boy would do…I tucked-my-tail-and-ran. From West Palm I migrated to Richmond, Virginia, via Nags Head, NC., following a great summer to get my act back together. “Penniless” is not the word for it…”flat broke” still doesn’t adequately describe how empty my pockets were at the time. But I still had the creative energy to style hair and from head-to-head I survived. In Richmond, a kindred spirit, Barbara Jean came to my rescue and helped me open Richmond Virginia’s first-ever Unisex Salon… Thomas Hair . Located a half-block from the college…VCU…and 16,000 students…all wanting new “do’s”…before the official “opening” even, I was off and running again. Now those really were “the days my friend”. Created some fabulous new looks for the early 70’s, including some spiffy “coloring highlights” right off the top. Life was good again. In Virginia, I got my first real taste of “living in the country”. Rented a tiny little house called “little lucky farm”…and the party was on. No longer was my pockets being stuffed with hundred dollar bills…but who cares?...life in the Virginia countryside was a little taste of heaven on earth. Money was the least of my interests. Something profound had happened to me back in Palm Beach and I never wanted to go there again…figuratively speaking, of course. Palm Beach is a lovely place. But my new best girlfriend, “Rosie”, the 750 lb pig, just wouldn’t fit-in in all that haughty palm tree opulence.
    • Life in Virginia was good…right up to the time that the building caught on fire and Thomas Hair went up in smoke. Aw damn! Another period of emotional tears & fears. The only rational decision that I could come to, was to return to West Palm Beach. My two boys, Charlie & Bobby were there and that was the upside. After floundering around a bit, with indecision, I sat out to open yet another salon. The Thomas Salon. The word didn’t take long…”Thomas is back”…and many of my tried-and-true Palm Beach clients even ventured across-the-bridge…reluctantly…and I was right back in business. Only this time, most of my clientele was made up of the children of those Palm Beach clients. Once again, the party was on. Back in Virginia, I had begun to dabble in creating whole-wall woodart designs. Just “something to do” …besides feed Rosie tons of discarded foods from the grocery store. Then something happened. Two things, really. Or three, whatever. First, only weeks after getting The Thomas Salon open for business, the boys mother…better mention her by name here, if I know what is good for me…Katherine…decides to move to Maryland. Oh geez! I loved living in Virginia and now my boys were going to be in the very same region. Just that quick, the momentum of the new salon began to wane. At that same time, my dearest Palm Beach friend ever, Grace Liggett, comes to the salon and asks me to go to her Palm Beach home and “talk some sense” into her husband’s stubborn mind. Now that was a switch. Me talking sense to anyone.
    • There at the Liggett’s home, in a torrential downpour, was a big ragged-looking truck loaded with soaking wet 100 year old oak barn wood and two desperate young guys, who had barley made the trip with the heavy load. Dr Liggett was refusing to pay the hapless pair for hauling the wood all the way from Virginia. After some convincing, Dr Liggett relented and paid the two guys and we off-loaded the wood behind the house. Soaked like it was, the wood looked like nothing more than landfill material. So I set about consoling Dr Liggett and assuring him that I could create a beautiful wall treatment with the wood. He didn’t believe a word I said. But dear Grace came to the rescue calming Jack down…a bit. Before getting after the big “game room” job, I talked Grace into letting me design/install an old weathered-wood motif in the small breakfast nook. Squeezing-in the time from my salon demand. On the first day I managed to cut one small piece and place it down in one corner…and left. On the second day I took that piece back down and placed another piece in a different corner…and left. On the third day I took that piece back down and was in the process of re-placing it when Dr Jack comes home for lunch. Upon seeing my progress…he lights up like a Christmas tree.
    • At this point even Grace was skeptical and fretting that she had made a big mistake. But soon I hit a rhythm and the work progressed very well. In just a couple of days the breakfast nook was a work of beauty. As the Liggett’s left out for Europe i could see the deep concern about what was going to happen with the much bigger “game room”. So was i. The wood was hard as a rock and needed bleached and scrubbed, then hauled over to Nolen’s pest control for fumigation. This time delay put some added pressure on me to have the job completed in the short three weeks. Determined to see the finished product look more than just “wood on the wall”, I set about creating beautiful design patterns that would compliment the “Heads” of African animals. The end result was classic woodart creativity and was a big hit with all of Grace’s friends and doctor Jack was delighted.
    • The lure of the woodart was for real now. Another commission soon followed and I was off and running from that point on. I had found a new passion. But I still never ever thought that this passion would lead to my complete abandoning of my lucrative hair profession. Then the third thing happened that set the wheels in motion that really did lead to the end of my hair days. My young insurance agent/client called one morning and asked to book a full day in the salon. He emphasized that the front door had to be locked, but didn’t hesitate to pay the 200 bucks. The “locked front door” went over my head. When the gang of young California/Hawaii guys arrived, there soon was a flurry of phone activity and “something going on” in the backroom. None of the guys had any real interest in having their hair cut. So when one of them called me into the backroom, I was shocked to see the back door wide open and a drug deal coming down. Before I could even begin to try to get some control over the situation, one of the guys hands me a doobie and says “take a hit”. POW! One hit and I was totally wasted! For the next two hours I spent “trimming” one of the guys long blonde hair. He was enjoying my state of numbness and howled with laughter at seeing miniscule bits of hair I had managed to cut. Not enough to fill a teaspoon. I was fried and happy to see them all finally leave.
    • Those three events rocked my world. Hours after the gang had left, I pondered on how incredibly stupid I was to allow those shenanigans to take place in my salon. The paranoia of being “busted again” was too much to bear. In the course of that evening I came to the conclusion to move away from the hair profession that had served me so well for so many years. What on earth was I thinking? To this day it is a mystery to comprehend how I could just up and let go of a steady income and become totally immersed in woodart with so little monetary compensation. And it probably wouldn’t have come to be except for one tantalizing happening. In the small rented warehouse space, in the still of the wee hours of night, isolated and filled with anxiety as to what I was going to draw on the expanse of over 18 feet of white paper up on the wall, there appeared the Muse. Whoa!
    • At the time I didn’t even know what the word “Muse” meant. To see this image of a French-looking guy, with a nifty goatee, standing there next to me, was, to say the least, exhilarating. I had already approached and backed away from the intimidating expanse of white paper, twice. The anxiety was beginning to get the best of me. The Muse was so cool and suddenly I felt artistically invincible. This imaginary image, with the reassuring smile on his face, with a wave of his hand, directed me back towards the wall and for the next couple of hours, really don’t know for certain, there materialized the layout of “ Asian Influences ”. By sunrise I was completely exhausted and still not cognizant of what had transpired. It wasn’t until later, much later in the evening, upon returning to my studio, that I discovered what I had drawn on all that paper. Disbelief, is but a small portion of the range of emotions. Right then, I knew that I was to begin an unknown long journey into the R ealm of the A rts.
    • this mantel is the first woodart creation using natural tones of wood as the palette. 1977
    • Detail view of mantel
    • Detail view of right side of mantel
    • Photo taken in Palm Beach 1986
    • Door covering for Sandy Wilson Kaupe in Palm Beach 1980
    • Gotta tell you this funny story about “Ellie”, who is in the photo with the “Kaupe” door. Let me make one thing very clear…Ellie was and most likely still is, a beautiful woman, with way more “class” than I could ever have…and her good looks were exceeded by her intelligence. Ellie grew up in Palm Beach. Her maiden name was “Rich”…how apropos is that! Ellie and I dated all thru the creation of “Asian Influences”. The final touches of the eye-of-the-rooster was at hand and I was anxious to slip out to the studio in the quiet early hours of a Saturday morning. By this time, the buzz about what was happening in my studio was attracting a lot of my rowdy friends to come see the art-in-progress and party! I was looking forward to the calm of that Saturday morning to complete the very challenging task of creating just the right “eye” presentation. On the Friday evening prior to the anticipated morning, Ellie and I had a date for an early movie and a spaghetti dinner at Testa’s. All of the “Palm Beach Kids” seemed totally “immune to prosecution”. The “drug of the day” was just that. “Wildchild” fit Ellie just fine. When I arrived at Ellie’s place on-time, she wasn’t at home. After waiting a few minutes, I decided to go on home and get a good nights sleep in anticipation of the big “eye” event the next morning. No problem. Arrived at my studio around 7:00am and dove right in on the “eye”. The panel, consisting of “loose” pieces of wood, that made up the image of the rooster, was down on the floor. Thousands of “loose” pieces. My focus was complete. Placing miniscule pieces of wood “specks” into the eye was coming along nicely. Hearing the roar of a vehicle and the grating noise of the tires sliding on the asphalt right outside the studio door did not deter my focus on the “eye”.
    • Hearing the mumbling and cursing of Ellie didn’t affect my focus either. The slamming of the studio door got my attention and I looked up to see the “up all night…mad as hell” Ellie, bearing down on me with fire in her eyes. She was muttering incoherently something about it being my fault that she had been partying in Palm Beach…all night long!...and being in her wacked-out condition. Thru all this I stayed focused on placing a piece of wood into the eye the size of a grain of salt. But when Ellie stepped onto the corner of the panel and knocked a hundred or so pieces onto the floor, I jumped up to encounter Ellie’s tantrum. POW! You got it. Ellie hauled-off and socked me right in the eye! Yikes! Pieces of the image went flying everywhere. Grabbing a hold of Ellie’s flailing fists, I dragged her screaming back out into the parking lot. A couple of spaces from my studio was a space occupied by a tv repairman, from West Virginia. So what does good ol boy Ron do? He hears the commotion and runs down and comes to the rescue of the fair damsel in distress. I got Ellie trying to kick me and Ron trying to free her hands. Geez oh flips! Finally Ron gets-the-picture and helps subdue Ellie’s wrath. After the dust settled and Ellie calmed down, as though nothing out-of-the-unusual had happened, I surveyed the damage. Oh my…wish I may, wish I might…there was no way to get all of the scattered pieces of wood to fit back in the image. There was no pattern to go by. 39 pieces of wood never made it back into the image. No problem. Ellie and I went for a stroll on the beach so that she could gather her senses…and I could thank my lucky stars that I only had one black-eye.
    • Wacky Whale from early on it is obvious of my unstructured free-spirit part of whole-wall installation in Palm Beach home of Doctor Burdette
    • Funky Fish “at the bar” part of installation in the home of Doctor Burdette “79”
    • Seems I was always looking forward in my younger days. There always was a new woodart challenge on my mind and the Muse energy was never far away. The big challenge was staying focused on the tedious time-consuming task of working with the wood medium. Kind of figured that one day I would move away from the wood element and become a painter. Still waiting on that day.
    • Earlier I mentioned being an “outsider”. This relates to “credentials” you see associated with the two billion artists who attended one school or another, gallery after gallery, museums all over the world. My own exposure. Guggenheim …no Museum of Modern Art … nope Smithsonian … coming soon NY Metropolitan Museum … no doubt National Museum of Rome … They are gonna love it Norton Museum … maybe Russian National Museum … the Russians are coming Hrvatsko Musejsko Drustvo … Biba will be “flipped-out” Musee D’Art Paris … oh yeah! National Museum of Uganda … ubetcha Beijing Museum of China …. ahh soo “Asian Influences” British Museum of Art … they will want it all Stowarzyszenie Muzeow Wolnym Powietrzu … yikes! National Museum of Israel … they will lay claim to “Rebekah Jersey” Last but not least. National Museum of Timbuktu.
    • Piece by piece, umpteen million miles of band sawing, high water, low water, no water at all, the journey unfolds. “ Odeo ” just came off the assembly line…ha…and my hopes of placing this piece for someone’s special Christmas gift fandangle are slipping away like the owl with the clutched vermin. As a fan of the musical group “The Cure”…check out the painting I created of Robert Smith, in the portfolio section, for my nephew Lance. I am not a portrait artist. But an artist I surely am. There are boxes of legal pad journal entries from many years of the dusty trail. Over time I will add to this “ fun page ” check back boogie love thomas
    • That’s it for now folks. C’mon back. will be adding to this page with oodles of new images and tales of the ongoing journey into the Realm of the Arts. January 2009 Do the “guest book” thing…if you feel like it.