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I just finished my third painting,, this time it is of the water hyacinths that live in my pond.... then I decided not to sell my paintings right now and then had the genius idea of making a pottery version of my new paintings,,,

 

So!  literally now I am plagerizing from myself!!!

 

anways making the pottery version turned out to be a bit more complicated,,, instead of using oil paint I am using the underglazes on the pot,, all of this requires a lot of thinking,,,, and its 95 in the shade,,, which makes thinking even harder,,,

 

so anyway this is what I am up to these days

 

my new work schedule is make pots one week and the next week,, do paintings and work in the garden [gardening is my favorite work!],

 

ok back to work,,, now I am painting the orange orchids that grow all over my yard


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I didn't visit the ''everson museum'' in Vienna,, it was the ''Leopold Museum'',, they have a great book of everything in the museum,,

 

that visit is what flipped on the switch in my brain ,, on how to paint [the actual skills necessary are not there just yet,,, practice practice practice]

 

anyways this is what I painted when I returned home,,, most exciting for me,,,,  I have decided to paint portraits of all the flowers in my yard,, that subject matter should last me the rest of my life,,,

 

after the Lily painting I painted a portrait of the bloom on my Voodoo Lily,,a most unusual bloom,, that painting is in the florida faience gallery  section of the website

 

ok I gotta get to the gallery,, I have farted around way too long and I need to get back to making potteries

hope to see ya this weekend at the Renningers Antique market


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2 weeks ago I spent 2 weeks visitng Europe w/ my daughter Lauren, as she was sent by Rollins college as a part of the ''Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space '' event.....Lauren invites me every time she goes and every time I say Yes! and then chicken out.

 

this time I actually went,,and my pals and business buddies Janet and Jeremy went across the pond and the same time and we met up and ended up hanging together mostly the whole time.

 

there is way too much to write about [we went to the  Czech republic, Austria and Hungary]  

 

the highlight of the trip was visiting the Everson Museum in Vienna,,, It housed a huge collection of furniture, silver, glass,paintings,sculpture, and pottery by the ''Weiner Werkenstatte'' movement of the 1900s,,, they were a group of artists and craftsmen[women too] who changed everything in what we find  ''beautiful''   even today we still see the same beauty in our own homes and museums,,,

 

Janet and I spent way too much time in the galleries of the work by Gustav Klimt... truly breathtaking!!  we both stood there looking and looking ,,, trying to figure out how Gustav was able to create these painting,,,, I know I left inspired as hell by his work,,, since then I have finished 2 paintings,   I finally feel like I know what I am doing with a canvas and paint

 

the WORST  part for me was the airplane and airports,, I hate both w/ a passion and the pain and suffering i endured on endless boring flights and hellish airports reconfirmed my hatred

 

I will tell you more whenever I see ya'll,, way too much to write about, and Janet and I have lots of phone pictures,, funny stories about climbing a cathedral tower, elevators, and so on

ok I am off to my painting class w/ Richard Colvin this morning,, I have made a few new potteries using my new/old glazes

 

Todays picture is of me in Prague trying to sell my pottery [it was a business trip after all]  the language barrier made it impossible for me to sell anything [my loud talking didn't even help]

 

 


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here is a picture of some new pieces I've made, using glazes that I haven't used in years [cos they tend to ''bubble'' and I always crave ''more color'']

 

But I got a comission for a piece using the old glazes, so I dug out the glaze recipe and whipped up a bucket of my old blue glaze [sort of an ''ole-timey'' arts and crafts kinda of glaze] and went back to my old way of glazing pottery  [I also made a batch of and old pale blue ''ash'' glaze,, sort of a southern style of glaze]

 

the glazes turned out good [one piece did have have to be refired do to bubbles]  and I am most happy w/ what I have made...

 

So I will be doing more [if they sell]

 

well my wrist is still bothering me,,, the medication does have its' side effects, so I take less or none at all and wear my wrist brace and magnets.

 

still going to painting class w/ Richard Colvin,,,  I am working hard at painting,, but it's like starting over from scratch,,, my eyes and hands and brain don't seem to be too coordinated,,, I know it is all ''practice, practice, practice''

I don't want to sell my paintings, I just want to have the skills of a decent painter to ''up my game'' in decorating my pots.

 

I am still working hard in the gardens,, mostly digging up the horrible ''invasive potato vine'' and killing grasshoppers,,,  but I have been harvesting some blueberries and have figs, pineapples, oranges and surinam cherries growing well,

 

AND [get this!]   besides battling ''goldfish eating bull frogs '' in my pond,,, last Sunday all the toads in the yard decided to start mating in the pond [lots of croaking and humping]  so I had to start scooping them out and relocating them to he woods,, also a possumn wanted to help out by eating the toads ,,,,,,,, such is ''circle of life''

Ok I gotta get to work  come and visit and check out my new [old]  potteries

 


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todays picture is of the 2 pots I did using my new ''skills'' from taking painting lessons from Richard Colvin!

 

It is all pretty complicated when painting w/ underglazes,,, and it took an additional touchup and refiring to get it ''right''

 

But I am most happy w/ the way they turned out,,, more ''painterly'' and less  of  my ''decorative'' style,,

 

I try to keep evolving ,, and after all this time, its' hard to keep changing ideas, colors, techniques, and so on,,, and still keep the customers happy

And I am off to my next painting class this morning,,, I am doing a real painting,, It is kinda wierd painting on a flat surface that stops at the edges,, a different way of thinking about composition

 

the wrist seems to be doing great with the new pills,,, however when I throw pots it still causes wrist paing for a day or 2,, I guess I just gotta be more careful.

 

In garden news,,, [great garden news!]  I found several Monarch butterfly cocoons and this week they hatched! so now I have several baby monarchs wobbling in the breeze going from flower to flower,, My plan worked!!!

also the dreaded invasive potato vine is coming back out,,, so I've been going around w/ a shovel and bucket and digging them up,,, I hope the potato-eating beetles will come out of hibernation soon and eat them up

 

but even worse ! there is a BIG bull frog in the goldfish pond eating the goldfish,,,, I have tried throwing rocks at him and even tried a slingshot to get rid of him,,,, next up is a BB gun,,, trying to chase him off is useless,, and the owls haven't ate him yet or the racoons,,,

whats wrong w/ nature?  isn't the ''circle of life'' suposed to get rid of him?!

ok thats all I gotta get to class


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Back to the Doctor this week for another round off ''Whazzup with Martins' wrist''

 

now it is decided I have tendonistus,,, we can do an MRI or try the medication for a week and see what happens,,, 

The new pills worked!!!   [so far]  not 100% yet but much better  [and my other wrist, knees and ankles aren't stiff in the mornings] Bonus!

 

I guess I will have to find something new to complain about

 

Went to my first painting class w/ Richard Colvin,,

I learned a lot from the first class,, sadly the painting I slaved over looked like shit,,   however I have enough new knowledge to begin to rethink the way I paint on my pottery

 

wierdly enough he showed Janet and I how to paint w/ oils,, but we used acrylics,, and ultimately I have to figure out how to paint w/ underglazes,,, Its a challenge folks!!

 

but lets face it , new skills worth learning never come easy,, and it all comes back to ''practice, practice practice!''

 

back to gardens and bugs,,,,  bugs are good food for birds and lizards,,, and most bugs if you investigate what they are , are actually useful,, [mud dauber wasps, like to eat black widow and recluse spiders!]  and I have found 2 monarch butterly cocoons,,,   I am EXCITED!

so stop w/ the bug killer stuff,, the exception being fire ants

gardenias and jasmines are blooming right now and the yard smells amazing [in the morning] one gardenia bloom sticks up the whole house,,

ok I gotta go get new pots ready for the gallery,,, todays pictures is of Ghost orchids ,,, which I didn't see at the everglades,, they don't bloom till July,, but when they do ,,, you can see them live on the Big Cypress National Parks website/facebook

 

ok off to work to sell the potteries


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Best news ever!  my nephew Brian and his wife Stacy had a baby boy on April 1st!!!  that makes me a ''great uncle''

I am most very excited for them,,, his name is James and he is most handsome and adorable

 

in other news,,, my wrist is still in unusable misery,, another trip to the Doctor yesterday and some new pills ,,, last weekend a friend mentioned he used his daughters'  toy magnet on his sprained finger and it relieved the pain imediately,,, so Janet dove into her jewelers' bag of tricks and made me a magnet bracelet for my wrist,, and I'll be danged if it didn't work !!! half of the pain was gone in a minute!!!!

but its still bothers me 24/7,, turning pots is just plain misery

 

left handed people live in a right handed world, so switching to do everything [butt wiping included] right handed isn't so bad,,, I have been trying to teach myself to throw pots right handed and I have sorta gotten the hang of it,,, but it is still too painful  and the pots look like ''beginners'' pots

 

So for the last month I have stopped making pots and started doing all the other things I never seem to have time to do,,,

     a trip to Georgias' Warm Springs [very cold, cool old stone cabin w/ cable tv]  and Calloway Gardens [very cold and most impressive]   But!! the butterfly conservatory was breathtaking,   it was like walking into a heavenly paradise,,, hundreds of butterflys flying everywhere of all different shapes and colors, I wanted to stay there forever

 

 we got home,  And then I washed all my  windows!!  I have so many windows on my house I can't even count them all,, but I did spend 2 days washing them inside and out,,, a lot of work,,, but the views from inside the house onto the gardens are most wonderful

 

then I started cleaning out closets and organizing all my collections of ''treasures'' into some sort of order and display

my pottery collection alone has catagories for ''American Art'', Southern potters, Florida pottery, even my pottery collection of my work,, it is all finally organized    there is still a lot of other  treasures that need to be ''curated''

 

my favorite chore is  working on expanding  and restoring the gardens around the house,, it is springtime and everything everywhere is blooming!! it is all very gratifying

my Monarch butterfly project exceded my expectations!  dozens of monarch catapillars ate every milkweed plant in the yard [I planted and propagated tons of the plants last summer] also hundreds of mini grasshoppers invaded the yard and had to be killed before they morphed into giant grasshoppers that will eat every leaf of every plant,,, and then there is a dreaded air potato vine just now peaking out of the ground ,that has to be dug up [in a perfect world the giant grasshoppers would only dine on the air potato vine and then we would all be happy.

 

more news,, I am taking painting classes from  my favorite artist Richard Colvin on thursdays,,, even though I am good at painting,,, there is always room  for improvement,,, Richard has a great brush stoke and sense of color,, I am most excited !  new skills lead to new ideas

 

I think that covers everything [Baby James, sickly wrist, gardening, road trip, pottery]  I'm back to digging  xomartin

 

todays picture is of a Seminole lady cookie jar,, holding a Roseate Spoonbill


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Its been awhile since I have written..  I have no excuse except that I am old and lazy. 

 

 It is at the end of the tourist season and the art market appears to be in a recession . and my left wrist has gotten worse, making it most painful to throw potteries.. I have been to the Doctor and taken xrays and everything,, and more Doctor visits to come.  My wrist hurts all the time and I am wearing a brace on it.. 

 

So I am teaching myself to throw pots using my right hand mostly,, it is like starting all over again  and I am taking the month off to do normal things that most people do,, which is not making pottery,,,, maybe my hand will get better

 

I am not lazing around feeling sorry for myself, I continue my efforts to turn my  yard into a ''tourist'' garden,, someday it will be open for visiting,,, lots of digging and planting and watering daily,, it is most satisfying seeing nature grow [and it can be done mostly one-handed]

 

Bob and I did make a road trip to visit the Everglades,  we stayed at the historic ''Rod and Gun Club'' and visited Clyde Butchers ''Big Cypress Gallery''.   We spent a lot of time at the history center in Everglades City,, lots of great stories and horrifying events

 

our next trip will be to Mineral Springs Ga.   hopefully the springs can cure my ailment... we will stay in a stone cabin,, visit the Calloway Gardens and [artist] Howard Finsters ''Paradise gardens''

 

you can see the theme of our road trips,,, cool old timey place to stay,, gardens,, and Art,,, also lots of eating out at resturants [Arbys!]

 

I suppose I should get to work at the Gallery,, I have lots of great pots for sale [I will put them on the instaface agram book thing this morning]

 

todays picture is of a picture I took in the parking lot of the '' Big Cypress Gallery''  very much in the style of Mr. Butcher,,, please feel free to download it and make a nice copy for your wall [bring it in and I will sign it!]

 

and I have a new picture of myself on the front of the web page!  It is me w/ my new everglades pal,, Mr. Panther

btw I have since gotten new glasses [just like Andy Warhols]

 

 


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its just been a miserable cold damp week to be sitting inside a closed up cement block building [no heat, flourescent lights]  trying to make wonderful potteries,,, see the results of this weeks work in the picture

towards the end of the week , my brain gave up on making ''beauty'' and somehow I made a vase that looks like a kentucky fried chicken bucket,,,,  and thats how it goes sometimes when you are all alone,,,alll alloonne

 

oddly enough Mandy pointed out that this wasn't the fist time I had done a ''KFC'' pot,,, years ago I did a sculpture of a gator in a small pool eating KFC out of the bucket?!  I did not remember

 

I did do a killer lamp w/ 10 bears picking oranges and  more bears picking oranges vases,,, and a cutey mammy alligator cookie jar [after all I am the ''king of campy pottery'']

ok I am off to the gallery,,, the weather seems nice today [no snowmobile suit]  So I hope to see you at the market this weekend


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I hope all of you are still alive and healthy and having fun....

 

I am having the best time of my life!  I have slowed down, stopped worrying, spending more time in the garden [my secret real passion]

 

For years I have been having terible pain in my wrists [making pottery will wear out a man after a coupla decades]  it got to the point I could barely turn a one pound pot on the wheel without a hand full of asprins,,, and of course being a man,, I won't go to the doctor until something is bleeding profusely or broken... anyways I went to my best ''doctor Young'' and lo and behold after a minute of  his feeling my wrists, he decided i had ''gout'' in my wrists [and maybe a bit of the artheritus]  he gave me some pills AND!  I 'll be damned the pain was gone in a day!!!!

 

so for years I suffered quietly [ok not that quietly] and in a day I was cured!]

 

So all in all it has been one of the best years of my life,,,, I am doing what I love and sleeping at night... So I can highly recommend taking this year and slowly start making changes about the things in you life that keep you up at night  or cause you pain,

 

Todays picture is of me riding an alligator ,, [he looks a lot bigger in real life] it has always been a dream of mine... also my daughter Lauren and grandson rode one too,,,   I even got our pictures taken on the gator and made into tshirts!!

 

ok back to unloading the kiln,,, I will be puttting pictures of my new tresures on instagram and face book this morning,,

Pots must be made!  [its the law]


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