Archive for August, 2011

Well, we’re going into day 4 without any power. Honestly, it feels so much longer then that. The lack of lights, internet, running water, and flushing toilets is starting to get me pretty darn irritable, I have to say. I think the main issue is cleanliness that gets to me. Eric and I were able to jump in my grandmother’s pool yesterday to rinse some grim off, and then, oh glorious days! Our friend Andy got power back and offered up his shower for us to use! So I’m sitting here now, freshly scrubbed and feeling a million times better. This isn’t the first time I’ve gone quite a while without showering, and I can’t help being so thankful for warm running water every time I step into a shower.


I really shouldn’t complain at all, we were very fortunate with this hurricane. There was no real damage done to the house… On Sunday, when the power first went out, the pump in the basement wasn’t working and we all scrambled around for a few hours, bailing water out of the low point of the basement. We live right next to a swamp and have a pretty soggy backyard. But Nick and I were able to get the emergency pump hooked up to his car battery, thankfully.


A ton of branches covered our yard after the storm, and something must’ve hit the windshield to our car, because a long snaking crack is slowly making its way across the entire thing.


On Sunday we were trapped on our road for a while, as trees had crashed over the entire thing on both sides of us, taking down power lines with them. Connecticut Light & Power is still predicting another week without power to come, and we’re not exactly on a very important road at all, so I don’t doubt that we’ll be one of the last areas restored.


If we’re still without power by Friday, Eric and I will be able to escape it by heading up to our next Pocket Vinyl show!! We got a spot opening for The 123’s at The Starving Artist in Keene, New Hampshire! It looks like a pretty sweet place, and I’m really excited about this show.


Place: The Starving Artist, 10 West St, Keene, NH 03431

Date: Friday, September 2, 2011

Time: 7:30 pm

Price: FREE! Free shows are always the better then not free.


So, hopefully we’ll see a few of you up that way in a couple days.

Also, for my birthday (which was the 26th) our friend Andy took some band photos for us, and they turned out super awesome!



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August 24, The Space

Well, like I said, we had our first Pocket Vinyl show of 2011 last night! At The Space in Hamden, Connecticut. It was a little over an hour from where we’re living now. I sort of wish it was closer, because it seems like a nice chill little spot to hang out and get to know some more local bands. But the distance is a bit far for us to travel to regularly, especially with having to cut way back on our spending even more then usual recently (we just dumped a huge chuck of money into the car. We can afford it right now, but it was more then we actually spent on the car, and it means tightening our belts quite a bit.

I think one of the biggest downsides of The Space was the fact that it cost people $10 just for audience member to get in the doors. I dunno, at the level we are $3 – $5 is more then reasonable, free is ideal; when all you want is people to just be interested enough to come hear/watch you play.

Plus, and Eric and I laughed about this with another band touring through from Philly, we feel as though we’ve used up most of our “friends” tickets when it comes to show attendance. You know, you ask friends to come see a show, but if you keep playing the same areas two or three times, friends get to the point where they’re like “ok, I saw your show once already, I’m not coming out again.” Which is of course understandable. But it also means we can’t count on bringing out a crowd to a local show.

More on last night though. We started with discovering that my turpenoid can had tipped over in the trunk of the car. It didn’t ruin anything real important, but I need that stuff to clean my brushes and thin my paint. Basically, without it I can’t paint. Usually on tour we carry an extra bottle to refill with, but I’d forgotten it last night. Luckily, the manager of The Space let me into their paint closet where I found an old bottle of paint thinner. It reacted much differently then the stuff I’m use to using, but it was definitely a show-saver!

We thought we’d be starting the night out, but we were actually third on the bill, with this talented singer/violinist kicking everything off. It’s funny, even though we’ve already played 30-something live shows, because it’d been 8 months since our last one we were both kind of nervous and made a handful of dumb mistakes. It’ll be nice to reach the point past that again.

The guys immediately after us were the Philly band I mentioned, Controlled Storms, with a very tight atmospheric set. They’re on a short tour, and it was fun swapping a few stories and getting insights on different venues we’ll be playing in the future. Hopefully they’ll be some guys we bump into later on as we make our way down towards their direction. Philly is one of my favorite places to play.

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Ok, maybe we’re a little late to say we’re “kick starting 2011”, at the end of August already. But hey, it’s been a really busy year! Anyways, because of school, a couple weddings (one featuring us! haha), a honeymoon, moving into a new house, and now a litter of 8 teeny beautiful kittens, we’ve had to push Pocket Vinyl touring back quite a bit. And actually, real touring doesn’t begin until the end of October-ish, once we’ve been able to find loving homes for all 8 of these kittens sleeping in the bottom drawer next to me.

But, that doesn’t stop us from picking up a good handful of local shows during these next couple of months! And the first one is tonight! Details:

location: “The Space: an All Ages Music & Arts Venue” in Hamden, Connecticut 

doors: 7:00 pm

line-up: Pocket Vinyl, Ada Pasternak, Erik Krieg, Controlled Storms, Sean McVerry, and Sam Leigh (And it looks like we’ll be going on first)

cost: $10

Also! Big news that I haven’t shared on here yet: PocketVinyl.com is now up and running, thanks to lots of hard work on Eric’s part! On there you can:

Look at every past painting we have done at all our past shows!

Watch all our music videos!

Get info about songs from our last album, Protagonist, and listen to individual songs!

Get info about songs from the “PV EP” and listen to individual songs!

Get info about songs from the “Pocket Vinyl Christmas EP” and listen to individual songs!

Check out the PV Store to purchase music, art, t-shirts, and children’s books illustrated by your’s truly!

Upcoming shows and where we’ll be headed!

And photos from live shows!

And just a whole ton more stuff!!

I guess that’s about it, I should be going to get ready for tonight’s show. I hope we get to see some of you at shows soon! Take love.











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A few weeks ago some of my very good friends, Brian & Amanda, got married. I was honored to get to be in their wedding and a few weeks before that, Amanda had been in mine. Besides some typical wedding gifts, I also knew that they wanted some art to decorate their new apartment, so I painted them a little 1’x1′ board in a special portrait of the two of them:

First, the charcoal sketch. Eric found a closet filled with painting from my senior show when I graduated from Houghton (the senior show where him and I really met for the first time) and decided to dust them off and hang them all over the house. It’s been a few years since I painted in the styles I did all those paintings in, and having them decorating all the walls now inspired me to get back into it. One thing I use to do but hadn’t recently was to sketch the painting in charcoal on paper first.

Did you notice that patterned triangle in the first image? I took that and rubbed it so the charcoal dust came off onto the board, repeating the pattern 8 times to complete this background.

Also, you can see a teeny glimpse of our studio that Eric set up for us in the basement here.

I love using background patterns in paintings, but with the rush of painting on-stage during our live Pocket Vinyl shows, I never am able to. I’m going to try doing that a lot more with painting at home.

Background completed!

Doing the same thing I did with the background pattern, I rub the charcoal image into the surface, then I decided to outline it in a slightly darker blue, just so I can help not getting confused with that loud background.

Much different then the live paintings, I’m building this one up in layers, allowing parts to dry for a little bit before building up more. Even though it’s oils, I’m doing it so thin that it’s at least mostly dry in 15-30 minutes.

Adding more volume to the faces…

Adding in the fish bodies, Brian’s hair…
More hair, eyes, details…

Building up the fish bodies in thicker paint. The thicker it is, the harder it gets to layer…

More detail on the fish, and bubbles!

And now, basically done!

The finished, in much better lighting. And because we were dealing with our own wedding, honeymoon, and settling into our house, I was horrible about getting this done and hadn’t even started it until 3 days before we left for their wedding! But, still pulled it off, including making it ready-to-hang.

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Well, as I’m finally finishing up on posts from projects I completed months ago, here are the final steps and completed painting I did of caribou and northern lights, for one of my friends and co-workers from JSMS (following this post):

I touched up the northern lights some.

Painted in the fur.

Adding highlights…

Details, and pretty much done!

Completely completed, and hanging on the wall!

When the commissioner picked it up, I took one last photo of her holding it.

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It has been ages and ages since I’ve done anything on here! I’m sorry, for anyone who was interested in seeing the final end of this big group of paintings I’d been working on. (But I think you’ll forgive me, since I got married and had that to distract me for a while from updating this blog.) This is the LAST of the 16 paintings, the caribou ones. Finally! So I have these, I have that other caribou painting I completed, I have a wedding painting to update with, I have a huge art giveaway coming up very soon!! So look out for that. And I have getting married blogs. I’ll be trying to keep this together a lot better then I have been.

Anyways, on to the caribou! I hated the caribou. Which is the main reason why you didn’t really see any of them until now. But I’ll let the images do most of the talking here:

Blocking in colours.

Those faces….

Blending and my least favorite caribou.

I used three different combinations of blues for all of these in this series.

This series took a lot more then the other two.


Painting and a good cup of tea always go so well together.

Still missing details.

This is the only photo I have of myself working on these.

Details going in. I kept fiddling with these because they weren’t coming out just right, in my opinion.

Just about completed.

Now, here are the three paintings, finished, that my commissioner will receive.

And here are the close-ups of each of the pieces:




And finally, all of the five all together:

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