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Wednesday, August 24, 2011


WILD GRASSES, 4 1/2" X 4 1/2", mixed media; a study

I don't play baseball--or football--or hockey, but I am warming up for the game. With gold spreading on the leaves in the woods, the flowers on the Sassafras trees turned to a fiery burgundy and the studio swept spic and span ready, I'm thinking about picking up the brush and batting my head against the art wall again. But I have mixed feelings.

I've decided I'm not really very good at it. I can draw. I can paint--if I'm patient and put my head to it, but what has become perfectly clear over the summer is that I did choose the right path for me in life. As my art instructor said years ago, "you are a designer."

Yes,I am.--Yes, I was. But life has changed.

A designer by calling, I like daily interaction with people. I like designing spaces for them that make them comfortable and happy in their castles. I like the idea that folks get up and go into their bathrooms, take a shower where I built it, dry off with the warm towel specified within their reach, slip into the robe hanging on the hook I hung to the side and then pad down to the kitchen to pour an espresso or a latte or an American brew from their fancy built-in European Coffee machine in the cabinet where I had it installed. (Note I didn't mention that before they did all that, clients relieved themselves in the toilet I put as close to their bedroom as the space allowed--very important in bath design and first thing in the morning).

I liked working with numbers. I liked working with space. I like when it all came together and everyone was happy. Best of all,I liked working along side my honey; we were a great team.

I'm sorry that part of my life has come to an end. But I do love art and my head is turning three hundred and sixty degrees. I love splashing the paint and dancing to the music without a care in the world--except composition,balance, craftsmanship, integrity of the process, of the materials, beautiful surfaces and all the things we think about when we're up to our elbows in Thalo, Dioxinine, Cadmium.

So, no more dabbling. I'm in the game full time. I just have one small problem: Speedy production. Inches are not me. Feet is where I'm comfortable. Production of a quality product with footage takes time. At this stage of the game, I don't have much of it. So while my real name is Mr. Earl, Speedo is my objective.



  1. I guess I would love the life of a designer. It seems so perfect, at least from the outside. You're a very "visual" person or at least that is my impression of you. I love "visual" people :-)

  2. Thanks Agnes--but you missed out on the Cadillacs singing and doo wopping to Speedo. I don't know why that song came to my mind, it really was a tad before my time. But it's a hoot.

    The designer's life is not all that glamorous. You must satisfy your client and sometimes the clients' aesthetics gets in the way as does floor joist, HVAC ducts and water pipes. You spend a lot of time researching catalogs for just the right stuff--and then it turns out to be too expensive for the budget or the mnf. only makes it once a year and you want it in six weeks. There are problems. There is no perfection. But when it all comes together on time and you walk through the space, you're rewarded with the satisfaction of having seen a drawing become reality. Its thrilling. I loved it.

  3. Is the photo of the bathroom an 'after' ? Hopefully, its not. I have always hated the john next to the sink... You will laugh but I read that airborne cooties from the toilet can get on things that are on the sink, such as toothbrushes..

  4. It's an after. That bathroom never existed before and was all the space over the garage would allow since the homeowner wanted two bedrooms and two baths,for each kid. The sink is a bit away from the toilet,plus the toilet is a Toto, the finest flushing, can suck down a small child toilet in the world. I've read that too, but it's BS--an article folks like Howie Mandel and Joy Bahar would latch on to. Besides, even though that lid is up,(we were testing the flush after installing it), the lid does go down, if you're concerned about such things. It's a pretty large bath that will accommodate a private toilet room.