Thursday, September 23, 2010

Guinness or Grappa? This Summer's Toughest Decision.

I am, as Iggy Pop describes himself, a 100% red-blooded American dog. That's just a fact.

However, my ancestry is distinctly Islander...specifically the British Isles. As far as I know the genetic soup from which I sprang is more an Irish stew than anything else. I've always enjoyed the benefits of my Irish heritage: a quick wit, an inherent appreciation for beer, pluck, a song in my heart and a skip in my well as an amazing capacity for brooding and a knack for cursing.

But recently I've considered making a switch to Italian. Most of the time I'm mistaken for Italian anyway. I'd argue the food is better, the fashion sense more refined...not to mention the cars. I suspect I'd have more luck with the ladies. Both have famous tempers and world renown boxers--so that's a draw. But I think the major factor in this decision has been that Italy has been good to me. Very good.

For 15 years I've been painting Tuscan murals, Italian frescoes, and applying Venetian plasters nonstop. Our clients have a passion for Italy that inspires them to paint their whole houses in an attempt to capture the essence of Italia. Most recently we've been commissioned to create a faux stone hallway, marbleize giant pillars, and paint a variety of Italian themed murals. Nearly every project has been somehow Italian affiliated or inspired.

So much so that I've created an entire portfolio of just Italian themed work. Click HERE to see. In addition I've added a ton of other pictures to the rest of the portfolios as well as adding a new Testimonials page to share some of the great things our clients have said to us. Click HERE to read them. It's been a very busy...and very Italian...6 months.

Of course I'd never really trade "Erin Go Bragh" for "Italia Per Sempre"....I'm just not hairy enough. But I will say unequivocally "Thank You!!" to Italy and all it's fans that have supported and inspired us through the years.

Please take the tour and let me know what you think of the updates. And remember.......Abbondanza!!!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Don't whine about it...Wine about it!

Greetings and Salutations!

Forgive the impersonal nature of this post. I'm reaching out to my friends, Romans and countrymen to share a message from the Universe. It is this....drink more wine. I don't know why....maybe the Great Magnet has a vested interest in the preservation of the world's vineyards. Perhaps it's a message during these trying times to savor the good things in life. Or maybe my latent alcoholic Irish genes are just expressing themselves in some strange Dionysian fantasy, but I spent all last week surrounded by wine.

Coincidence? I think not.
We completed an overhaul on a wine cellar. All week I was moving bottles, staring at photos of vineyards, imagining myself with Monica Bellucci in a countryside convertable...that sort of thing.

In case you wanted to see what the before and after looked like I posted it on our website:

Simultaneously I was making a last minute donation to the Florida Poodle Rescue's annual charity event. themed!....Behold! "Poodle in Wine Country" Click here to see:
So, you know....just think about it...Let me know what you think.....Have a great weekend--and as always--if you likes what you sees, sends em our way pleez.....
Thank you for your support.... Bartles & James, and Robert

Thursday, March 18, 2010

So You Say You Want a Revolution?!?!

"Nothing ever changes!" "Same ol' S**t, different day" "You can't always get what you want"

I agree. Sort of. We hear these ideas parroted pretty much 24/7. These old and crusty mental treats have been chewed on by the populace since the first caveman realized the red chicken tasted just like the white chicken.....and that chicken tastes like pigeon...sort of. When we tune in to the media we see politicians gridlocked (they love it!), trouble in the Middle East (shocking!), and commercials for the latest diet craze or pill (because the old ones obviously didn't work) among thousands of other examples of brain cramping inefficiency. It's frustrating when things seem wrong, out of control or lost in Limbo.

The idea of Change for the sake of Change seems like a pretty viable political slogan. I think someone should try it ;)
The truth is that things do need to change....and they will. Naturally. And they will contiue to change all the time. Sometimes Nature can use a little push now and then, but you would be surprised how quickly and easily the tides will shift from low to high if you follow Mr. McCartney's advice and just "Let it Be".

Right now my yard is sunny and filled with the scent of orange blossoms where last week it was just chilly gray skies perfumed with a hint of my neighbor's barbecue smell. I didn't have to yell at the tree to hurry up or protest with signs or motivate it with cheers. The time had just come. When the time is right and the conditions are ripe you will find your foot in the next step before you even know it. I think that cultural change, political change and personal change grow in the same way. Create the right conditions for the soil and flowers bloom by themselves.

Why do I bring this all up? Because it is time to spring forward and try something new. Dye your hair, try some sushi, go to a line dancing class....or not. Maybe it's time to paint the house a little bit. I encourage you to see what kind of profound change is possible in your home or business with Painted Poetry. Sometimes even the smallest change can make a huge difference.

Click here to see a portfolio of some of the before and after pictures from our projects: HERE!

We purposely strive to make changing your environment easy as possible. We help you pick the right colors, coordinate with your accessories and endeavor to create the biggest visual bang for your hard-earned buck. We also know that your time and schedule are important. At Painted Poetry we do our best to be in and out as quickly and quietly as possible.

Again, why bother to change? I'll tell you why....In part two.....

You Say You Want A Revolution...AGAIN?!

I'm certain that you crave certainty. And I'm certain that you crave CHANGE . I'm also certain that in order to create a change you probably want to be certain that it's a good idea. Or if you aren't certain you want a change you can certainly agree that change can be good sometimes. And certainly if you aren't certain that the change is good that you can change back to something you feel certain about in the future. Certainly.

The good thing about paint is that unlike other forms of change it's the easiest to, well....change. It's almost completely risk free in that regard and is probably the fastest way to change how you feel about your environment without literally moving and changing your environment. But again, why change your home or business? I told you I'd tell you why and here is the scoop: I learned from reading about restaurants that the most important factors for a successful restaurant were not food, service, overall value or even a super hot hostess. The real success factors are physical ambiance.

Weird right? Lighting, music/noise, seating, colors and location in an interesting area have more to do with your enjoyment of a meal and repeated patronage than even the tastiest treat. Well, that and booze. The reason ambiance is so important is that it makes your entire body feel good. The right lighting can make your husband look more like George Clooney and less like George Jetson. The right background music can subtly influence you to "Get it On" as Marvin Gaye would suggest rather than "Kick Out the Jams" which you might feel compelled to do while noshing at a biker hamburger joint. The high-backed seats will make you feel more cozy and intimate, the place will feel more alive with a couple of plants, and in the right part of town you will feel like your are snugly nestled in literally "the place to be".

How many times have you not bought some clothes you were trying on because the cheap, stark lighting in the dressing room made you look like a pile of quivering goose fat stuffed into tube sock (what, just me?). Or, conversely, have you ever been in a charmingly lit bathroom and thought you saw a movie star in the mirror--even if it was Steve Buscemi. You get the idea. It affects you.

So I ask you, how might your own home dining experience be bettered with some toasted-bread tones on the dining room walls? Or would your marital romance be affected by your own private Italian view instead of flat, white walls? Would your restaurant or office feel more friendly or unique with a makeover? How would that affect customer satisfaction? How would you start your day if the colors in your bathroom made your skin look radiant?

We can transform your space into an oasis of visual harmony with color and texture (furniture not included) with the same easy grace it takes an orange blossom to pop. Again, it's time for change. I'm certain of it.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Ode to the King!!!

Exactly 12 years ago my life was a picture of lameness. My family had finally splintered and morphed into an episode of the Jerry Springer Show. I was living in a mobile home in the Ocala forest with my stepdad (I had moved to be nearer the punk band I was in). I had no girlfriend (it was slim pickins in Altoona--my lowest moment was watching the bouncing beauties training in their cute riding outfits at a nearby horse ranch) and, not able to find a viable art gig, I was depressed and destitute. I found myself working the night shift in a metal factory nearly an hour from home. Every night I spent 8 soul-strangling hours arranging thousands of tiny metal pieces for processing--for a sweet, sweet $6 per hour.
My boss was a googly-eyed close talker who would drape his veiny arm around my shoulder and deliver my assignments in an intense machine gun burst of words (ahhh cocaine). In the station next to me was a plump Latina with doughy cheeks and an upper lip forested with thick sprouts of dark hair. She was a delight. I considered her my cellmate. Each night, despite my attempts to ignore her with my headphones she would regale me with tale after tale about her no account, abusive boyfriend (ironically for us both because she was keeping me from hearing the stories of no account abusive boyfriends from the callers on Loveline). I couldn't always hear her to catch the details, but I always enjoyed her warm, thick clouds of dragon breath that melted the air.
My only joy at the time was the two hours of Loveline each night that crackled and faded in an out of my dilapidated headphones. Adam Carolla and Dr. Drew entertained and informed millions of lost souls between 10PM and midnight. I tuned in religiously. Each night Adam would rant about whatever beastly thoughts would dare to cross into the traffic of his mind. Like a broken slot machine he just poured out a steady jackpot of comedy gold. Offering both sage, real world advice and ridiculously innovative solutions (attack crows, crotch-sniffing STD dogs, Recylarolla, etc.) Adam preached the gospel of common sense without a hint of sanctimony or latent hypocrisy. Love him or hate him he is as honest and refreshingly authentic as a human can get--which is especially rare in Hollywood.
What meant most to me were Adam's stories about his early life. We had a lot in common. Wacky, wandering family (check) depression (check) miserable, demeaning jobs (double check) and the burning frustration of being young, smart and rudderless. His advice of "get a job and fight to keep it" was about as close as I was going to get to career advice.
Since then I've worked countless hours building and painting and struggling and exploring whatever artistic jungle paths I could carve out. All the while there has been one voice heating up my headphones while I toiled--Adam Carolla (aka Ace Rockolla). Recently he celebrated the 1 year anniversary of his pirate radio style Podcast . I sent him this portrait I painted of him as a thank you for being literally the "voice in the wilderness" for me, and for his general, overwhelming awesomeness. It is stuffed with personal jokes and references that only his fans would appreciate.

I got the idea of painting him as a knightly king after hearing him joke about it on an episode of Loveline with Jay Mohr. You can see a slideshow with the original clip HERE
for a better explanation.
Admittedly I went a little crazy with the gold-leaf, but I think it worked out pretty nicely. To see the full portrait just click HERE Now that he has children of his own I hope it comes in handy for them to ward off the nightmares that come galloping up in the darkness. Or at least he finds it a funny addition to his garage.
Either way, I say with the deepest respect to the shimmering warrior-poet of the airwaves Thank you and...MAHALO!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Why I Like Making Things Look Like Wood

I get a secret thrill when I paint Faux Wood . It's as though some weird forest poetry is being written by invisible elves dancing in the brushes. What is it about taking a boring white garage door or Pillar and transforming it to look like natural wood that is so peculiarly satisfying? It just feels right.
I think this is because at heart I am a hillbilly. Although I love the flat, swampy vistas that are Florida's face, my blood is more acclimated to mountain air. Beaches are beautiful, yes, but I prefer rustic paths guarded by armies of oaks and prairies giggling with wildflowers. Rocks and snakes and icy rivers charm me more than surf and spray.
So when the opportunity arises to reclaim some visual territory from the Machine that is eating our villages (read prefabricated homes and McMansions), I pounce on it like a cougar. It feels like making a deposit in the bank of humanity to see doors converted to “wood” and pillars turned back to “stone”. Nature's first trick is that of camouflage. looks good. On the professional side it serves to coordinate the doors with the garage doors. The hues and tones of cabinets and newly-painted wood Pillars virtually sing with color harmony. And you don't even want to know what real wood is gonna cost you, both in a gut-kicked bank account and wood-maintenance drama. So, the best move is to have us come us work our mock Mahogany Magic .
Try it, you'll like it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Painted Poetry Pet Portraits and Posters Pack a Powerful, Painterly Punch!!

Perhaps you've perused our public portfolios at and were positively pleased as a pickle to peek at our Pet Portrait Pictures . Pretty projects, eh, Polly? We at Painted Poetry are pretty proud of our pet portrait paintings. To purchase a print please place your pointer HERE pronto to pay a visit to our online store POP ART PARTY , where we presently promote our professional pet portrait products.

Perhaps your primary purpose in popping in to the pet portrait portfolio is to purchase a personalized painted portrait of your pooch  or Pomeranian princess. Perfect! We are pleased as Polynesian pomegranate punch to produce a priceless present for your partner, Papa or pal.

Process? Pricing? Proposals? Pondering the possibilities? Please post your particulars post haste. Email us here: GUESTBOOK

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Faux painting...the Most Dangerous Job On Earth?

I think when most people think of the world's most dangerous jobs they instantly think of the classics: arctic crab fishing, international spy, industrial logger, professional killer, return desk clerk at Macy's after know, the usual. But did you know that the faux finishing industry is one of the most challenging and fraught with peril? Its not all soft sponges and moist cheesecloth.
I've been bitten in the lip by a moody little Shih-tzu named Princess. I've narrowly escaped construction workers battling it out with rebar over a woman. There have been some serious coffee spills in the morning....dangerously hot coffee! We've witnessed some of the most horrific “plumbers crack” episodes from our fellow contractors. And speaking of cracks, have you ever cracked open a can of paint that has “turned”? It's as though a vicious skunk demon is waiting to punch you in the nose.
Then there are the emasculating effects of your male friends ridiculing you for painting so many unicorns. I'm currently addressing that in therapy.
So next time you see your friendly neighborhood faux painter busily tea-staining your aunt's reading room walls, give him or her a Clint Eastwood style nod of respect. They deserve it.