Radio Station Mural

Debbie and I were asked to do a children's mural for a wall in the General Manager's office (Al Knickrehm) of WIXN of Dixon, Illinois.

General Manager, Capt. Al.

Our student artists: Joel, Abby, Molly

Debbie showed pictures of old-time radios to her classes of 5th and 6th graders. They then drew them out and painted them as imaginatively and colorfully as they wished.

Debbie and I then sorted through them to find the most appropriate for the office wall. We then sketched their drawings in pencil on the wall, composing them into a flowing and interesting mural.

On Friday, at noon, after filling up on Al's pizza, Debbie, me, and 3 great kids (Joel, Molly, and Abby), took to the wall and painted each radio. Once we all got accustomed to what we were doing, it went along like a dream.

After the kids' parents picked them up at 3 p.m., Debbie and I continued on outlining and highlighting the radios.

This makes 8 ... count'em 8 ... murals we've done around the city of Dixon.

Below are the pictures of the day. Click on any image to enlarge.

Debbie and Joel getting started.

Debbie & Abby trying to stay out of each other's way.

Completed mural view 1.

Completed mural view 2.

Sorry...Overwhelmed is the least of it

This is the initial watercolor sketch by Debbie Thompson for the background of "The Mural Project 2"

I've been going in three different directions these last few weeks and haven't had time to blog. I know...sounds ridiculous, but what can I say?

My job with Affinity AV (now a division of TDG Communications in Deadwood S.D) has been giving me lots more hours and taking up my only studio time. As an artist, it sucks, as a person with bills and a daughter in her senior year of college, it's a Godsend.

The inn, my other business, is picking up because of tourist season, wedding season, etc. So on my days off from AAV, I work there and do their website stuff. Don't know why I say "their stuff." It's my other business! Tells you how I feel about it anymore. The thrill is gone. You know, it's the job where you stomach hurts more the closer get to it. But, once I'm there and working with my clientele, I actually enjoy it. It's just putting on the cute clothes, heels, makeup, and smile that take the toll.

Debbie, Arin, and I started the 2nd Lee County Juvenile Probation Mural a couple of weeks ago. We're on our last week now. It's been a real task, but very rewarding. Most of the kids seem to enjoy it .... others, not so much. Oh well, different strokes for different folks. It beats picking up trash on the highway in 90 degree heat. I've started a mural2 blog to show our project.

Go to:

After the mural painting tomorrow, I have been asked to show my work at a Sauk Valley Bank's newest facility in Dixon for the upcoming month. So I have to go hang a show! I'm pulling out as many paintings as I can find since I haven't been producing much in the last month. There are a lot sketched out, but that's about it.


The freakin' weather. The midwest has been deluged with rain, bad thunderstorms, tornadoes, and now flooding. We've lost six, count 'em, 6 trees and have had downed live wires twice.


Although we haven't had to water. And my tomatoes are going nuclear!

Juvenile Probation Mural Underway

We had our second painting day today with the 5 teens that we're working with in creating a mural for the waiting room of the Lee County Juvenile Probation office. It is 10' x 20'.

Debbie, Arin (her daughter), and I are the artists supervising and teaching. Kinda fun so far. The kids seem to open up and relax the more they work on this.

The kids finished their individual tree paintings and then the 3 of us painted the background. Tomorrow we sketch out the kids trees and Friday, they will be painting them.

I've started a blog just for this project. It is in Wordpress. First time using it and it was okay to use. Still have a way to go on Wordpress, but like the looks of the templates better than blogger (which is what I use).

Getting out and about

future painting, 30" x 24", oil on canvas

Today will be busy with meetings and design work. Jack and I (my boss from Affinity AV, a web design firm) are going to Fulton, IL (on the Mississippi River) to meet with a potential web site customer...we're just in the talking and getting-to-know-you stage. We were to go yesterday, but we had a snow storm that made traveling rather dicey. Sun's out today and the world is a beautiful white! It's even warming up to 12 degrees today!

When we get back, I have to put my graphic design hat back on and work on a new Memberbship brochure for The Next Picture Show gallery in Dixon. Oh yeah, and another show postcard. My mind is starting to get that loud buzzing sound again.

In the next couple of weeks, my friend, Debbie, and I are planning on starting our 3rd mural at KSB Hospital in Dixon. We'll be working with some of her 5th and 6th grades students. Keep an eye on this blog to see the progress of this project.

The picture above is my next canvas for a figurative study. So far I have it sketched out. I'm still working out the composition bugs....stay tuned.