Clara's Online Art Gallery Page

What I post here will be low-res, scaled down versions of the actual artwork because of the ease at which images can get swiped...and I'm okay with that.

You can't go viral if you don't share, so I'm not a putz about people photographing my artwork in person, either, unlike certain others elsewhere in Enid with.  Go ahead.  But know ye that the actual product is even more awesome in person.

Edited to add that although the broader art market has taken a noticeable nosedive in recent years, UK's Guardian now has published an article about its definite death . I traveled to the historic Santa Fe art district in New Mexico this past summer and the decline there was noticeable, even among its stable of staple artists. I'm not talking about local hoi polloi art--I'm talking about big collector big ticket art such as is the sustenance of the likes of Santa Fe's Canyon Road district and that of Scottsdale AZ.  They are just ghosts of what they used to be and that fact is undeniable.

March 6 UPDATE: I just finished coloring in a coloring book I got at the Ag Fest, one that was printed up by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Yeah, I'm not an art snob, and you already know that I don't care what anybody else says about what I do--I really really really ain't half bad with a box of crayons.  Mind you, I didn't have anything to do with the designs on the front and back covers, or the drawings inside.  I just played with my crayons inside on the drawings and that's it.  So---here's the front cover:

Don't laugh so hard--it's based on an actual children's book. It's serious, and conveys an important message.  Here goes...

The front cover didn't have anything printed on the other side of it, but the back cover was printed on both inside and out...thus...

March 1 2016 Edit: I do upload art stuff to art communities on Google Plus these days, and so I think I should add the photographs that I submitted to the Sky Hunters group.  I'll begin with my Taos, New Mexico collection:


Commencing to sort through what's web-ready for upload to this page, so please by all means watch this space....and I just tried to go through Google+'s Picassa blog pic service and they've really cut that back.  Previous artwork that I've uploaded has basically been confiscated by Picassa, so I'm going to have to duplicate all of those in order to post them.  So I'll begin with the only image Picassa lets me access, and that's the dirt painting that I recently blogged about--the dirt painting of a glass goose-with-golden-egg sculpture.

Yeah, I like fine art alright but I like a little fun to go with it, too.  So this is what I've got tacked up on my bathroom door:

The Thinker Stinker
Once upon a time, I took the blog through a tour of my doodle book.  Yeah, some folks call it a sketch book, but I can assure you that these are doodles.  Well, most of them are. Some of them are just visual note-taking, too.

The next one is a color Xerox copy of an original I snail-mailed to a cameraman in Hollywood, a guy who was a regular on the pre-Internet BBS network called U'NI.  There was a bunch of us that congregated just for the purpose of posting groan-worthy jokes and various RPG scenarios (RPG isn't rocket propelled grenade; it's role playing games; Clara was a tipsy Irish leprechaun, for example).  Well, the cameraman went by the handle of Doctor is a color copy of what I mailed to him, and he has the original:

Doctor Bear (Lee Rizor), of U'NI BBS Network
The first piece of artwork I did at the request of somebody else was when I was in 6th grade and they just wanted a graduation scroll.  That got printed up on all the school's graduation programs.  I've still got a very yellowed, splotchy but original layout sheet of another program design I did for Southern Illinois University many years later:  Believe it or don't, I was also a singer in that same chorale (2nd soprano) some years prior; Robert Kingsbury was still the director, too...

Further back in history, in junior high, I was active in 4H and was preparing a project booklet for exhibition at the county fair with the club I was in, and my ink pen developed a leak, and I got ink spots all over the place with my inky fingers.  Well, I managed to make the proverbial lemonade with those proverbial lemons...

That white square is where I edited out my signature for posting online, as it didn't resemble the trademark signature I use now.
On the inside of that cover, I just kept doodling....

After high school came college, but I was heavily engaged in doing illustrations for shortwave radio bulletins such as NASWA, ASWLC and, briefly, SPEEDX...and when my basic undergrad English classes temporally collided with the disappearance of NASWA's satirist, Charlie Loudenboomer, I took to writing satire to pick up where Charlie left off.  Actually, the pen name Clara Listensprechen was born just before Charlie's disappearance as a means of poking fun at the English teacher, and then the Clara Listensprechen Report became a monthly feature in the ASWLC bulletin.  And in that period, designed my own stationery with the following, which is a preliminary draft:

Other things were happening at NASWA, though, and the Review of International Broadcasting was launched, and I did a few illos for that publication too.  The following is a rough draft of what actually appeared on one of RIB's covers:

Meanwhile, as I was making audio tapes of my very old record collection (78 rpm, of course) ...

Surprise surprise surprise--I was into novelty recordings.  And--surprise surprise--more drama going on in shortwave radio circles...a guy sent me a photograph of a group of guys considered to be the elites in the radio hobby ('s only a hobby, it's only a hobby, it's only a hobby...) and told me what drama was going on there, and told me that I couldn't keep the photo, please send it back.  Oh, in good faith I did exactly that...but not before I transcribed it to paper with pencil.  When I got a photo that I could keep, I pasted it on the drawing for reference.  Keep in mind that copiers, let alone digital cameras, were a rarity in this point in time.

Ain't I a stinka.

Anyhoo, because I was that far into radio, I was first enrolled in the Communications Department at SIU, wanting to get into it as a profession.  One guy in this drawing actually did: Dan Robinson, (relatively) recently departed from the Voice of America.  A fellow Saluki actually made it to the Voice of America, too: David Walcutt. We were neighbors for a while and I got to buy his coveted Barlow Wadley XCR 30 receiver, which I kept in use until I moved to Arizona--it was irretrievably damaged in the move, alas.

Arizona, home of the Grand Canyon--which has been painted to death by the greatest artists.  In daylight.  So I did something a bit different--I did a colored pencil drawing of what it looked like at dusk.  It's a whole different level of amazement if you've ever been there to see it in person.

Ghost Ranch at Dusk--Grand Canyon (colored pencil version)
There is a water color version of this,as it happens.

Then there is a set of 4 colored-ink mini mandalas, one for each of the seasons of the year; the set is called Minor Meditations.

2 of the 4 Minor Meditation mini-mandalas
Speaking of the Grand Canyon and speaking of sketchbooks...

View of Ghost Ranch from a different vantage point
Speaking of sketchbooks and mandalas...

And speaking of mandalas that bleed over to the other side of the page in a sketchbook...

Now, back to the watercolor sketchbook.

But I'm getting ahead of myself here, in the temporal sense.  Back on the ole shortwave radio farm, there was an AP news guy named Al Sizer (passed away some years ago) who definitely appealed to my satirist side when he invited me to participate in a quotes spoof co-written by the now quite cranky Ed Shaw back in the day when he actually had a funny bone in his body.  And yeah--history was always up my alley.

Speaking of the founder of the Review of International Broadcasting and NASWA...when Glenn first took over the Listeners Notebook, he got handed a copy of a copy of a copy of my first illo and I complained about it.  So I did up a fresh, new one for him because the original of the old one got lost somewhere in somebody's shuffle.

There was the matter of Dave Walcutt being a Log Report editor and I, taking advantage of the fact that he was also a neighbor, I got to doodle up his masthead, which I'll have to dig up. However, in that same vein, was me doodling up the Scoreboard report, thus:

...all the while, back in English class (this time I was in a Creative Writing class; as a frosh, I tested out of English 101 under the particular teacher who repeated the mantra "English is hard", got into English 102 mid-term and enjoyed it, but still kept with the Clara Listensprechen style satire even so; that particular teacher recommended that I sign up for Creative Writing, which I did.  And then, much to my horror and his, discovered that Creative Writing was taught by the same guy I got in English 101.  Oh lordy, oh lordy oh lord.

The satire got ratcheted up big time, to the point where we were verbally duking it the end of it all, I got an A+ despite hell and high water.  Somewhere in the middle of it all, we went eyeball to eyeball about his attitude toward English, whereupon he revealed to me proof in the form of his graduate study in literature involving James Joyce's "Ulysses", and he dared me to read it.  And I took him up on that.  In the interrim, I was making critical wisecracks about it and he finally got around to chuckling.  And with the weight of decryption that typically accompanies a heavyweight stream-of-consciousness drone of a tome as "Ulysses" was, I seriously doubt that if we hadn't done that reading concurrently with the wise cracks, neither one of us would have survived making it to the back cover successfully.  Teamwork is a wonderful thing.

In celebration, at the end of an essay assignment I handed in, an essay featuring Clara instructing a kid on the origin of the world "milestone" in an admittedly twisted fashion, I drew a sort of self-portrait:

College went well, but about 2 years in, it got to where media production took a back seat to technical stuff. I couldn't stop fiddling with the equipment, and so I changed major to electronics technology, and got a 2 year degree after which I got a job at a Cape Girardeau MO radio station, KFMP, which went under, but not before I landed the job on the Illinois side of the river again as a union Instrument Man at Illinois Power Company in Baldwin.  And then I had to drop out of the shortwave radio scene.  The following is the masthead for the last column I edited for NASWA.

...and the following is a preliminary layout of a design I submitted to the ASWLC for its cover:

If you're familiar with the old Spirograph, you'll recognize part of this as that. :D

I got out of the artwork biz for a while, except for an occasional surprise entry into Ralph Hill's cartoon book (traditionally, he kept one in the C&I shop.  C&I= Control & Instrumentation repair shop, & it got called The Seeing Eye just for fun).  Well, I was looking for more money, went hunting for big pay exotica but that didn't produce much by way of results, but then I was contacted by a Motorola recruiter.  The Schaumburg IL HQ got wind that I was looking, I guess, but what they recruited me for wasn't in IL--it was for the Semiconductor Sector in Phoenix AZ.  Flew out there for an interview, and the rest, as they say, was history.  Moved out there and worked there until they started going under, and by the time I found employment with the Arizona Relay Service (contracted to the now-defunct MCI), Motorola had abandoned even its SPS headquarters on 52nd Street, as that facility became a superfund cleanup site.

In honor of Ralph Hill and his cartoon book at IP, I kept a cartoon book for Motorola after Motorola's USA1 semi-automated factory closed down (it's what I got recruited for, with my boiler controls background) and got shuffled off to the Bubble Memory factory, which also closed down when the U.S. military demand for bubble memory devices terminated, and then I got shuffled off to Motorola's EMO (Electronics Materials Organization), tenure during which Motorola completely divested itself of its entire Government Sector, a point at which its nosedive  became irreversible. I won't post the cartoons from my Motorola Khartoumb Book because it's mainly insider jokes that the general public wouldn't "get".

Motorola's nosedive happened subsequently to their sending me to Arizona State for engineering tech training.  My transcripts from SIU got me out of undergrad studies for the most part, but in terms of  required classes which formed the basis of getting a grasp on the principles of digital imaging, they required a.......wait for art class.

Not your plain vanilla art class, though--and it wasn't drafting exactly, either. One of the exercises was to look at an object and draw it with topographical lines, draw it with scanned lines & such, and the following was the result:

What follows next is just a random collection of doodles.

What the duck doodle looks like now:

The next set of basic sketches were used to make a show-n-tell presentation explaining, in general, the basics of how silicon gets turned into the chips you're currently using in your computer...

Fast forward to recently, when I started to do a watercolor version of the colored pencil rendition of Ghost Ranch at Dusk.  I took a couple pics of the launch.

What the painting looks like now...

While I was in Phoenix, you bet I was a fan of the Phoenix Suns...but...of Sir Charles Barkley, not so much.  I already knew who was carrying Sir Charles' freight most of the time, plus that "who" visited the Dairy Queen near my digs on N. 16th St....

Suns point guard, Kevin Johnson. KJ. Done in colored pencil.
Oh, don't get me wrong--I was dabbling in digital arts, too, and posted those online on sites that no longer exist.  I hooked up with Simple Machines Forum group, did some digital designing with that as well as some modification coding.  Took to that like a duck to water, but you can't frame that and hang it on a wall in a gallery.  Trouble is, some of my sharp humor bled through even there...

That's a Clarakeet, in case you were wondering.

I've mentioned elsewhere in this blog that electronics technology with me goes almost as far back as my artwork does.  Almost. But it wasn't until my latter days in Phoenix AZ that I finally tested for and was granted my amateur radio license, which is why my callsign incorporates the Phoenix area prefix of KC7.  So as you might correctly gather, I designed my own QSL cards.

It's not KC9 for Illinois, and it's not KC5 for Oklahoma.  It's KC7, for Arizona.

Besides, I'm just as creative with electronics as I am with paints and crayons. To wit, my homebrew electronic audio cylinder player which permitted me to record a cylinder on audio tape cassette...


That's all I got for now.  I'll post 'em as I image 'em. No particular order from this point forward.

April 13 UPDATE:  I've been putting some work into painting from an unfinished painting that has historical link to this particular area of Enid, painted by a person who, as I do, have a partiality to the desert southwest.  Old faded paint re-sketched and painted afresh, and not finished. It's pretty rough but here's a preview:

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