Monday, December 22, 2008

Before 9 - couple months off for...

It has been about 2 months since I last posted an update on this painting.

... probably due to lots of exciting things going on at Toastmasters (see my TM blog for more about that) along with an evening class (for business).

It is good to get back to painting and I'm looking forward to having some time over the holidays to make some more progress.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Businesses with Personality !

As many of my readers already know, we like to see businesses with personality !

Here is a great example (as featured in Business Pundit blog) .....

Walk into a high dollar hair salon and you might be offered a glass of wine to go with your $60 haircut. IF you have an appointment that is. Walk into a Bishops Barbershop on any given Tuesday (no appointment necessary) and suck down the suds during your $12 buzz cut.

Rivera didn’t invent the idea of a different kind of hair salon. The niche is includes SportsClips, which features TVs blaring ESPN and stylists in NASCAR gear. Then there’s Cartoon Cuts, where kids get hosed down by a nozzle that resembles an elephant trunk. But Rivera’s joint is different. Partly on account of that beer, and partly due to the street art he supports which creates the uber-urban vibe. But mostly it’s because of the personality Rivera has infused into his brand.
The real test will be if Rivera can maintain the personality of his creation as he tries to franchise the concept to other cities.

Keep you eyes out for a Bishops Barbershop in your city !

(and leave a comment below if you know of a business with personality!)

Monday, October 06, 2008

"How and Why to Be Unreasonable" by Tim Ferriss

I am a big fan of "doing the impossible" and really enjoyed the video below by Tim Ferriss, author of "The 4 hour workweek" speaking at the DO Lectures.

What do you think? What REALLY BIG goals do you have?

Before 8 - first "color" added

It is amazing how a few extra minutes that might have been wasted can be turned into progress.

The small progress this time is the addition of gray to the painting. It did not take long ... as a matter of fact, it was done while I was waiting for my dinner to cook...

... in the microwave !

The end is in sight... hopefully this painting will be posted to the gallery soon !

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Painting Sold at Silent Auction !

The painting by Wheels shown here was sold at a silent auction held during the Division A Toastmasters contest hosted by WestConn Toastmasters.

The painting is acrylic on canvas titled, "Fall in VT" and is 11 x 14 inches. It was created in 2004 and was donated to the silent auction.

The winning bidder, Anne Swartout of Ridgefield, CT , was also the Chief Judge for the Division A contest held on September 23rd in the Wooster School Library!

Congratulations Anne and special thanks to Carmine Coco De Young who organized the silent auction along with the refreshments at the contest!

Before 7 - after six weeks off

I had not realized how long it had been since I last worked on this painting... Aug.10th was the last update.

What happened since then?

Well, I went to Chicago (and did about 3 minutes of standup comedy at the Chicago Center for the Performing Arts open mic night).

I went to Montana for a family reunion.

I went to NH for a couple days with my Dad & sister.

And lots of Toastmasters activities!
As Lt.Gov.Marketing for District 53 Toastmasters, I am in charge of many activities (and I can't help getting involved in others too). It is alot of fun and all of it is a "growth experience" so I don't feel too bad that the painting progress is slow.

Besides, there haven't been too many comments on this blog, so it's hard to tell if anyone is paying attention anyways! (If you are reading this... leave a comment and let us know what you think of this blog.)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sometimes the Art just has to come out...

Jeff Hanson is an young artist featured in an article by Debra Skodack for the Kansas City Star.

He started painting and selling notecards, some of which "from his own driveway". International rock star, Elton John has even taken an interest in Jeff's art and asked him to paint pictures for his AIDS Foundation “cluster homes” in South Africa where "pregnant HIV-positive women receive medicine so their children will be born HIV-free".

While this could just be a story about an artist being discovered by a rock star and introduced to the world stage, it is much more.

Jeff is only 14 years old, has learning disabilities and is legally blind. He sees spots within his field of vision ... but his art must come through!

What's holding you back from fully engaging in your art? What are you using as an excuse?

What if you could find a few minutes a day? What could you create?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Dream Big... but start small.

Dream Big.

You don't get passionate about daily chores like taking out the garbage, do you?

You need a bigger vision. A bigger goal.
A destination that promises incredible rewards, experiences and personal fulfillment.

There's nothing wrong with that, is there?

But why isn't everyone achieving their BIG DREAMS immediately?

Bee-HAG it:
By definition, a really Big Hairy Audacious Goal ("BHAG" as author Jim Collins and Jerry Poiras called it in their book, "Built To Last") is like an island or a mountaintop. No easy way to get there.

It isn't until you have identified or outlined the path to your BIG DREAM that the real journey can begin.

Passion & Path:
If you don't have a passionate goal... and a view of the path to your goal... it is very easy to fall into an EASY life.

In America, it is actually TOO easy. You can eat yourself to death with all the excellent and tasty food that is easily available in America.

Discipline = Progress
Success requires discipline. Making the choices that may not be comfortable... but the ones that move you towards your goal.

Tony Robbins defines that Fulfillment as the act of PROGRESS towards a goal. Progress requires discipline to follow the path to your goal.

And progress starts small. VERY small. Insignificantly small.

How long?
Start small and build your discipline until ... well until you die. Once you experience the feeling of progress you won't want to stop at your initial goal... you will reach for bigger and bigger goals!

How Small?
If starting small is so powerful, what is the smallest unit of action?

It is your "rituals" or "habits". Here is a good post on how to improve your rituals. Tony Robbins calls it "NET" time for "No Extra Time" !

For today...

Today is the day to DREAM BIG

... and Start small.

Start here.

Start NOW.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

No more complaints...

experimental german treatment called kwitcherbichenWhen I saw this cartoon, it gave me a good chuckle... and then it reminded me that complaining, or even just negative thoughts, don't help make the situation better.

The sooner I recognize, and accept, the current reality ... the sooner I can begin to figure out a way to change it.

I would also add that the "experimental German treatment" works especially well with an old American Indian remedy...

Kwitcherbichen and Giddyup !
[Any resemblence of the person in the cartoon to this author is purely coincidental.]

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Before 6

The weather was TOO nice this weekend ... but I still managed to paint a little more on the "Before" picture.

I was surprised that I still have a good amount of black to do... and since much of it is in odd places on the canvas, I have found that it is easier to do in sections and let things dry (so that I'm not putting my hand in wet paint and tracking it all over the place).

Oh, I should add that I have started walking with slight bursts of jogging. I will have to work my way up to really running... but at least I won't look as much like the painting !

Saturday, August 09, 2008

How is your "Shine"?

I saw this article from Duct Tape Marketing and even though it is about marketing and business, I really liked the concept of "shine".

...This 3rd strategy element is something I call “Your Shine.”

Essentially this is the illumination of your marketing and life vision in what is ultimately a highly personal and unique way.

You already know that line that separates your business and your life is so thin that without a vision for how one will serve the other, perhaps neither will serve either.

And that’s what I believe holds people back from building truly
remarkable businesses and equally remarkable lives.

So what does this shines thing look like? I don’t know exactly, but I do know it has nothing to do with balance.

First off, balance is impossible to achieve and it’s wrong thing
anyway. Building a business and a life that shines isn’t about balance, it’s more about blending the right notes to create a certain kind of dynamic harmony.

See, the beautiful thing about harmony is that only you can determine the kind of music that excites you.

Your Shine then is your personal understanding of your organization’s ... higher purpose or reason for being that syncs perfectly with your personal goals and values. ... You and only you can decide what “higher purpose” means, the only point I’m making is that without this driving vision or “this is why I do this” it is far too easy to get knocked off track the first time you
suffer some setback or criticism of your dream.

A firm grasp of this thing I call your Shine is what gives you the courage to stay with what you believe.

So the parts of your Shine, your harmony and by their very nature parts of your marketing strategy are:

  • Your personal, business, strategic and tactical long-term and short-term goals

  • Your marketing vision - the higher purpose of why you do what you do that helps you throw off the desire for a homeostasis kind of balance in search for a much more dynamic kind of harmony

  • Your vision story - A detailed description of a day in the life of your business if, in fact, your marketing vision was being fully realized and that your business was indeed allowing you to create a remarkable life - in a word, a
    life that Shines.
Once you create Your Shine as part of your marketing strategy you may find that the other elements of your strategy, your ideal customer and your core difference, are much easier to get your arms around.

The most exciting thing I’ve witnessed when people take the time to really get this idea, is that all of a sudden marketing gets really easy, because they have a guiding light that drives every single marketing decision.
It doesn't just apply to Marketing.

Have you got your Shine On?

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

If it's worth doing, it's worth SINGING !

It has been a while since I posted something from Seth Godin (my favorite marketing author & blogger), but when I saw this post, I just had to pass it along...

Sing it!

I spent some time a few days ago listening to a nascent band
performing classic rock songs.

The first group sang a note-for-note rendition of a song by the Stones. The notes were right, but nothing else was. The singer
didn’t know what the song meant. And the musicians, they just stood there. No energy, no smiles, no connection. It could have been a funeral with a great soundtrack.

A concert isn’t about the music, is it? And a restaurant isn’t about the food.

The funny thing is that learning to Sing It is a lot easier
than learning how to play the guitar. For some reason, we work on the technique before we worry about adding the joy.

If you’re going to go to all the trouble of learning the song and performing it, then SING IT. Sing it loud and with feeling and like you mean it. Deliver it, don’t just make it. When you
answer the phone or greet me at your office or come to a meeting or write something, don’t bother if all you’re going to do is do it. Sing it or stay home.

I had composed this post in my head, when, in a scary example of blog synchronicity, they announced the next song. One by Bluë Oyster Cult, of course. And yes, the announcer demanded that the guest on stage give us
more cowbell. More cowbell indeed.

As a speaker or artist, how often do we get trapped by the mechanics of what we are doing and forget that a good part (probably the biggest part) of the value comes from our emotion and connection with the material.

In other words, how we SING IT !

Are you singing today? Why not?
Leave a comment below and tell us !

Monday, August 04, 2008

Before - 5 Weekend of Progress

Again, some rainy weather this past weekend helped speed my progress on the current work.

It was also a good rest between working out and working in the yard... but, unfortunately, the sun came out on Sunday!

As the painting starts to come together, I'm starting to think about the other colors that will be added soon... I have some gray but I'm not sure if I'm happy with the current shades of blue or purple that I have.

In a few days, we will see what I decided.

Any thoughts or questions about the progress so far?

Leave a comment below !

P.S. I also created a self-portrait this weekend and added an electronic thumbnail version of it to the NoteWordy Artist page.
Check it out...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Updated web pages !

It is official!

The primary pages are up for the new website !

We look forward to hearing what you think and any ideas you might have to make it even better.

Please send us an email or leave a comment below !

Dave Wheeler

Before - 4 ... Progress due to rain

I made some good progress on the painting this weekend due to a rainy day on Sunday here in CT.

Since Saturday was so sunny (and taken up with a great full day Toastmasters event), I was ready for a change of pace and the rainy weather on Sunday really helped make sure that I relaxed, took care of a few errands and did not overextend my sore back. (which I probably would have done if it was sunny and I worked in the yard).

Boy that sounds boring!

... but it really wasn't.
I got caught up on a bunch of things and really got into "the groove" with the painting... but I guess you had to be there !

Stay tuned for the next update ! I think I am nearly done with black paint which means color is just around the corner!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Before - 3

Progress has slowed on the painting.

I hate it when "life" gets in the way of my art!

In particular, I've been doing quite a bit for Toastmasters (see my TM blog here) as well as work.

I've also started cleaning up the yard at my house. Maybe "cleaning up" does not give you a true idea of the full scope of what is needed.

I am hacking down overgrown brush, dealing with poison ivy, avoiding prickly bushes and, in general, trying to make at least a little progress towards a good looking environment.

It's all about progress! One way or another !


Thursday, July 10, 2008

A comment on my art?????

I found this site called "Artintimity" via Neatorama blog and thought that the concept of art on toilet paper was too crazy to not pass along...
Artintimity is a collaborative, artistic and original photoblog concept where people from all horizons express what they are thinking about…while sitting alone in a toilet.

Of course, it could also be a commentary on the state of what we consider "art" nowadays...

What do you think?

Is it "Art" or something else that's associated with toilet paper?
Should we coin the term and start talking about ... "Art de loo" ?
Will the Louvre hang it and if so, where?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Before-2 plus "dark art"

I probably should have said this sooner...

This painting is "acrylic on canvas" and it measures 24 x 36 inches.
I expect that it will not include a frame when it is offered for sale ... but you never know.
Some readers have asked that I post a picture that shows the pencil work better... so here it is. The overall picture is pretty dark, but it should give you a better idea for the basic layout of the painting.

Any suggestions?

Any questions?

please leave a comment below !

Monday, July 07, 2008

Before - 1

Here are the first faltering steps toward completion.

There is going to be quite a bit of black on this painting, so I figured I would jump right in and start there.

The concept behind the painting is to evoke the feeling of hopelessness and despair associated with being overweight.
If you could see the author, you might think that this is intended as a self-portrait ... but the person in this painting has much more hair (on his head).

You can also see what happens when I just want to use up whatever amount of paint is on my pallette before quitting for the day. (That's the amorphous blob toward the middle of the painting.)

Sunday, July 06, 2008

New Art started... "Before"

Wheels has a new painting in process and you will be able to see it as it progresses by tuning in to this blog....
This painting will be titled, "Before" and is part of a series called "Before & After".

The picture to the right is the blank canvas with the pencil lines added. "Before - Zero", so to speak.

It is also one of the first paintings to be auctioned off on eBay by the author.
While this "in-process" painting is being done, there will be other previous works offered for bidding via ebay so be sure to add this blog to your "Blog Reader" !

(Google has a pretty good blog reader in case you don't have on yet.)

Monday, June 23, 2008

In tribute to George Carlin ...

This picture is a tribute to George Carlin (who passed away on Sunday).

The picture is a variation of the one posted by Jessica Hagy on her blog, "Indexed"...
Special thanks to my sister, Janet, who gave me the idea (after seeing Jessica's blog post).

In Janet's words,"although to be accurate there should be a line on the graph that looks like someone giving you the finger. True George Carlin style!!"

We saw George Carlin in person on May 2nd at his show in Northampton, MA. It was a great evening of fun with my sister, my Dad & I ... all of us great fans of comedy and George!

The world will miss George Carlin's unique perspective and incredible sense of humor !

If you haven't checked out Jessica Hagy's blog, you might want to go to the main page and check out some other entries...

Other tributes to George Carlin...
Psychology (last interview)
Comedy Central (video tribute)
If you know of more, please leave a link to them in the comments !

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

April Fools !!! (read this blog entry)

You know the great thing about blogs?

Google indexes blogs in about 5 minutes so you are able to use a blog to pull an April Fools or practical joke on someone.

The key is to use a search term or string of words that is unique so that your post will come up first when your "victim" searches to get the "real story".

For example, my niece just passed her driver's test for her driver's license a couple weeks ago so if I put something like "Wisconsin driver test recalled" or "Recall of Wisconsin driver test" or "Wisconsin driver test problem" or "WI driving test" the odds are that my blog post will pop up at the top of a Google search !

I can improve my chances by adding tags such as "Wisconsin Driver Test", Wisconsin Driver Test Recall, recall, driving test and Grafton (where she might have taken the test).

Let's try it .... (I just posted this and will wait a few minutes to see if it works).

It worked ! Now to put my plan into action with a telephone call ....

April Fools Alex ... from your Uncle Dave !!!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Where in the world is.....?

Have you ever wondered what it would look like if you plotted all the places you have visited in the world? Where have you always wanted to visit? has a neat tool (under their "Fun & Free section, I believe) that allows you to plot locations across the globe and display them very quickly !

Here is an example for Dave Wheeler...

It is interesting to see that although Dave has traveled extensively within the US and parts of Canada & Europe, he has yet to go to Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Guess where his next vacation might be?