What in the World Has David Been Doing All Summer?

Summer is officially over and I know some of my art fans have been wondering what I’ve been up to since I haven’t been posting much new art around here.

Well, I’d like to introduce you to my latest, creative endeavor… Chop Shop Wear! Yes – I’ve taken my creative eye and applied it to a fashion idea that I’ve been percolating on for awhile. In a nutshell, Chop Shop Wear is a fashion “chop shop” where we acquire previously-owned men’s luxury-brand shirts and chop shop them (cut them up), re-purposing the material to make pockets for one-of-a-kind pocket shirts.

Some of you know that I’m most comfortable in shorts and tee shirts all year long. But, I also love me some luxurious, designer shirts, especially when I can buy previously-owned ones for a few dollars rather than spend hundreds for a new shirt. Case in point – I’ve had a long-sleeve Versace shirt in my closet for years that I purchased at a thrift store for $5. With a bit of research, I discovered that this shirt originally retailed for over $400! But, I rarely wore it until I started thinking about how to re-use the cool fabric on something I’d wear all the time – like a tee or polo shirt. How about cutting up my $400 Versace shirt and re-using the fabric to make pockets for some fun pocket tee shirts. Or pocket polo shirts. Or hoodies!

Chop Shop Wear - One-of-a-Kind Pocket Shirts!
Chop Shop Wear – One-of-a-Kind Pocket Shirts!

Fast forward through the summer… learning to sew, buying my first sewing machine, figuring out how to creatively “chop shop” luxury shirts and making pockets from the material, developing and testing prototype shirts, creating an initial Chop Shop Wear brand and logo… and officially launching Chop Shop Wear!

Whew! I invite you to check it all out – I’ve created an online store — www.chopshopwear.com — and stocked it with lots of great pockets to choose from. And just for being a blog reader of mine, please feel free to use a special savings code, “ChopFriend” at checkout to save 25% off your entire first order!

And that, my friends, is what I was up to this summer!

Chopping some previously-owned, designer shirt fabric into one-of-a-kind pockets.
Chopping some previously-owned, designer shirt fabric into one-of-a-kind pockets.

Denver, CO –> Columbus, OH…. Did I Get Lost?

Dear Art Fans –

Where do I begin?  Well, perhaps I’ll start with where I ended up…. Columbus, Ohio.  Nine months ago, the cats and I made the two-day drive from Denver to Columbus to join my partner, Steve, in our new home.  Steve had received an opportunity to transfer within his company to the regional office in Columbus and, since we had been talking about “going on an adventure” for awhile, we jumped on it.  And landed smack in the middle of Ohio.

While Steve’s new job got off to a great start, I quickly became deeply involved in helping care for my 85-year-old Uncle Jack.  The court here in Ohio appointed me his legal guardian and I spent much of the Spring and Summer travelling up to Cleveland to help care for Uncle Jack’s health and finances.  Sadly, my Uncle Jack passed away at the end of the Summer… may he rest in peace!

So, now I’m making art in my basement studio that I’ve set up.  A lot of pent-up paintings are now flowing.  They’ll be showing up here soon, so stay tuned for more posts from Columbus!

Out of the Studio: Red Door, Coal Room Demolition, Camping…

I notice that I’m not the only blogger that has taken some time off this summer from regular blogging.  At the beginning of the summer I knew that I would have some out of the studio time in July and August to work on home renovation projects and travel a bit, including a solo camping trip to one of my favorite spots in Colorado, just outside of Leadville.

So, in my effort to get back into the swing of things, I thought I’d post a few snapshots from the last 2 months of a few of my outside-of-the-studio activities!  I’ll share more about my favorite camping spot in another post.

After 11 years in our home, I tore out the original coal room from 1899 in our basement.
After 11 years in our home, I finally tore out the original 1899 coal room from our basement.
Red doors might be cliche, but we've always wanted one.  The "right" red is tough and I got this one on the first try: Behr "Heirloom Red".
Red doors might be cliche, but we've always wanted one. The "right" red is tough and I got this one on the first try: Behr "Heirloom Red".
My camping perch above Turquoise Lake and Leadville, Colorado.
My camping perch above Turquoise Lake and Leadville, Colorado.

What, Exactly, Makes a Knockoff?

I came across a few of my older paintings in my studio today as I unwrapped works from storage to hang in the upper reaches of my studio space.

Several, in particular made me remember the two times in my 5-year art career that I’ve heard someone utter a disparaging remark about my art being “Rothko knockoffs”.  So, I’m wondering (and asking you, dear reader): “What, exactly, is a knockoff”?

I should mention that Mark Rothko is one of my most favorite artists.  And yes, my art has been influenced by him.  I should also mention that the paintings in question are not of my “elementals” or “fossils” series that surely couldn’t be accused of being a “Rothko knockoff”.

So, I dug up some examples to see what you think – are these “knockoffs”?  Or are the just “inspired by”?  Are they something else?  What would make these a knockoff (style, composition, color)?  Why do I care?  Would anyone else care?  So many questions!  I might have to do some research into this… in the meantime, I sure welcome comments and thoughts!

Alexander Julian, watercolor on paper, collection of the artist.
Alexander Julian, watercolor on paper, collection of the artist.
Firmament Study No. 2, watercolor on paper, private collection.
Firmament Study No. 2, watercolor on paper, private collection.
Summit, watercolor on paper, private collection.
Summit, watercolor on paper, private collection.