Thursday, November 17, 2016


For several weeks now I have struggled to come up with a theme idea that I felt comfortable with for a n upcoming art show.  Themed shows can always add an extra challenge but with that challenge comes growth as an artist. This particular show is one that I am actually somewhat in charge of.  

The artists of City of the World Gallery located in the 18b Art District of downtown Las Vegas is having their first ever library show. Mr. Darren Johnson, the Gallery Service Coordinator for the Clark County Library District suggested a possible "Mob Theme" and with that it was decided to bill the show as "Vivid Las Vegas- An Artistic Review of the Historical and Colorful Las Vegas Past."

While I may have been instrumental in coming up with that theme, it is the last thing that I really would consider painting for myself.  So I have been sketching a vast number of Las Vegas characters including Wayne Newton, Elvis Presley, Oscar Goodman, showgirls and gangsters trying to come up with something I could get excited about.  

Then just the other day it hit me.  I really only needed to combine my painting style with something that reflected Las Vegas history.  HOLY COW!  The idea hit me like a herd of stampeding Holsteins! What could be more down my alley than painting cows or in this case a long forgotten casino that was remotely associated with cattle.  The Holy Cow Casino and Brewery that once stood on the Northeast corner of Sahara and Las Vegas Blvd.  

I can only recall going in there once and that was to walk around their gift shop full of cow memorabilia looking for a unique gift.  I don't recall if I purchased anything but I do remember that I thought it was one of the more interesting casino gift shops I had walked through.  Of course that is probably because even back then I liked decorating in a farm motif.  I always said that my decorating style was "Barn Yard" and that way the dirt and dust seemed more natural.

So this is the composition I came up with.  A replica of a bottle from the Holy Cow Casino used to display some freshly picked daisies.  I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out.  Painting glass may look hard but it really isn't and I like the soft mottled background so commonly used in still life compositions.  I considered adding several different varieties of flowers but in the end decided that the simpler the better for this piece.  I'm not even trying to think of a creative title and am just calling it "Holy Cow Bottle with Daisies".  Pretty original I think.

So I hope that if you are in Las Vegas on December 15 you might consider making a stop at the Flamingo Library and checking out the show.  This piece will be there along with a number of others.

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