Happy Hallowe’en!

from the edge of the Hedgerow, where entangled vines grow, hiding doorways to Magic Realms… I made these two Hallowe’en themed prints for Jenny Fares’ Halloween Poster ART Show, now ongoing at the Pulp Gallery and private club underneath the Orange Peel: 


 featuring the King of all HOONs GaLoobe de Vampir and spacial guests Squeen Jellyberg, the Rocket Bull (Holy Cow) and a little dancing Skelleton and also some Pumpkin headed Goblins throwin’ strawberrys…

and WoW, the Holy Cow sparked inspiration for this straight fromanother far-away land!

WNC Black History Matters

I am thankful to have this report. Please read it if You have time.

Ami Worthen

darin waters and dewayne barton Conference organizer Dr. Darin Waters with DeWayne Barton of Hood Huggers International.

Last week’s African Americans in WNC conference was as informative, upsetting, inspiring and energizing as I had expected. From Sen. Floyd McKissick, Jr.’s educational and insightful keynote to the presentation of the incredible Isaiah Rice Photography Collection, the conference brought great value to all who attended. Luckily, David Forbes from the Asheville Blade was there live tweeting much of the event. Click here for a Storify of tweets and other coverage of the event, you can learn quite a bit from it.

The conference, with was sponsored by UNC Asheville, the YMI Cultural Center, and others, offered our community a potent antidote to the invisibility of African Americans in this region. The talks refuted myths and illuminated new perspectives. The power of this cannot be underestimated. In an area where racial disparities in economics, health, education, criminal justice…

View original post 350 more words

it’s Summertime now and I got that itch…

I wanna head North again! Jason Krekel and I will be heading to Maine two weeks from to-day to begin the Lake-a-Day-Cycle for 2105 and to join the Blue Bunny ALL-Stars UP in Maine for Our annual REunion, there. This year marks the Cicada REunion, 17 years since We first joined the Blue Bunny (Abbott Vaughn Meader) and Tim Krekel in Maine for the Blue Bunny Grass Band Maine Tour and we are gonna keep it going, for at least one more year, so join US!

the Maine Tour of 1998, July 26th - August 8th.

the Maine Tour of 1998, July 26th – August 8th.

Cicada REunion Flyer

the Cicada REunion POster for 2105.


it’s been 17 years since Jason Krekel, Ami Worthen, Cailen Campbell, Jay Sanders, Sarah Griscom and I (among others) joined Abbott Vaughn Meader and Tim Krekel UP in Maine for the Blue Bunny Grass Band Summer Tour.

also see more of Jason Krekel’s Artwork here: www.krekelart.com

February Again!

the title borrows a bit from Regina Spektor’s song “Jessica”, which is quite lovely to hear. We are into the second calendar month of the year 2015 now and I have been busy making drawings and preparing for an Art Show in Raleigh, NC in April at the Simkin Gallery there. I have been posting these drawings on a Secret Group Page on Facebook but as that one has an even smaller viewership than this blog, I thought I’d include a few here for You to see:BananaSlugSombrAiroplane BustofSirWalterSoandSo CloudTypespART1 CloudTypespART2 FirstWallHangingInternINK Print KingofALLStorms ModernCurlyPantsREdrawn PersonfromPorlockUPgrade Print ScrambleCampbell SemiTractorwithLongHornsRE ShedandSomeoneTripleSundae LeafMandala

so enjoy the Mid-Winter and these ARTs from me!

Mid Winter Blog

I am contemplating posting an entry in these wee hours. Here I am in the darkness, staring at the glowing screen, the almost half-full Moon having sunk into the barren hills to the west. Thoughts fill my head. I am wide awake. I believe this is my first post of the new year, almost at the end of January. I don’t like to wish time away but I don’t cherish January and while We are in the Sweet Spot of Winter, it can’t melt away into Spring soon enough. I’m riding on a fairly productive wave, anticipating an UPcoming Art Show in Raleigh, NC in March, at the tail-end of Winter, so I’ve got that to look forward to before Spring. I feel the cold sneaking into my bones and I have to keep warm and fill not only my belly with warm food and liquids but my heArt and mind with warm thoughts and feelings, too. Feel Your mind filling up with warmth, I repeat it into the void, that darkness that goes from the backside of this tiny remote device on into forever, I whisper it a third time just for luck… Outside my window, Stars twinkle in the clear, black night, the jewel-like indicators of unbelievable brightness from Eons away. What more can be written about the Stars or the Moon, lights in the darkness are Our salvation, at least I know they are mine. How many Winters have I endured? Forty-four and a half, so far. How many more will I endure, before I finally make my way permanently to some warmer zone? Who knows. Good night to You out there. Good luck staying warm and safe and happy.


Walrus Mandala!

I just completed this commissioned work for a Long-time Friend and Collector, to His specifications. It is one of the more unusual Paintings I’ve ever done and goes into the series of Marine Mammals, which I dearly Love!

Walrus Mandala

All of these elements went into making the painting, which begins as pen and ink drawings and then I organize them and make a color-study on my computer. Usually those beginning colors are just suggestions and new colors are added before the painting is complete.

Walrus Elements

Walrus Elements 23

Sometimes even an incidental Art-piece is created. In this case it figured heavily in “the Earliest Days of the Miracle Wave” painting.

Incidental ART Piece.

Chinese Birthday/New Years Dragon pART 2.3

I have been working on a slew of Commissioned Paintings this Summer, as well as some just for Fun.

Here is the recently completed Chinese Birthday/New Years Dragon pART 2.3:


Thirteen and a half years ago, I travelled for the first time to the Island of Jamaica, with Snake Oil Medicine Show and I painted the original (then titled) New Year’s Dragon,

New Year's Dragon

even though it was the year of the Monkey. The next year We returned and I was asked to make a T-Shirt design for the Chinese New Year Party. Thus, the second version:


So as You can see above the 2.3 version is clearly inspired, and yet somewhat different than the first two.

I was asked in January to make a next Dragon and I am quite happy with how this one came out, thirteen years later.

Art pARTy¡

Parts One through Twenty-three.

Join the Art pARTy¡ Fun mix-up of imagery here with the off-kilter scanning of this colored-pencil and ink drawing, featuring one of the Art pARTy¡ Heads that I make, inspired by the Moai of Easter Island.

Join the Art pARTy¡ Fun mix-up of imagery here with the off-kilter scanning of this colored-pencil and ink drawing, featuring one of the Art pARTy¡ Heads that I make, inspired by the Moai of Easter Island.

Since the Year Two-Thousand I have been drawing these Heads. Here is an original sketch and the first painting in the series.

Original Sketch.

Original Sketch.

painted in 2000 by Phil Cheney. Acrylic on canvas.

painted in 2000 by Phil Cheney. Acrylic on canvas.

Join to-day!

Join to-day!

A drawing of the two large Papier-mâché Heads I built in the early days of the 2000s.

A drawing of the two large Papier-mâché Heads I built in the early days of the 2000s.

the Pond Farm Brothers at the French Broad River Festival in 2009 (featuring the Art pARTy¡ heads).

the Pond Farm Brothers at the French Broad River Festival in 2009 (featuring the Art pARTy¡ heads).


the Sweet Spot of Summer pART six.

We took Sunday off, it was Our day to chill at Maranacook Lake, before the LONG drive back to Our Home, nestled in the super-green Blue Ridge Mountains of Western NC. After We finally got out of the Easy Street Lounge and made Our way back to Bobby Watson’s Camp, somewhere deep in the Summer Night, We got to sleep. The next morning, fueled by bacon and eggs, We played a special version of “Dancing Bobby Watson’s Song” for Bobby et al. on His front porch, overlooking the Lake: it’s Dancing Bobby Watson’s Song.

performing a special version of Dancing Bobby Watson's Song.

performing a special version of Dancing Bobby Watson’s Song.

On this day, as well, We got to spend some time with some of Maine’s Finest Residents. The Attendees of the Performance the Night before were a Who’s Who of What’s What in the Maine-frame but the raucous activities and the mad-cap status which overflowed from the Easy Street Lounge (formerly the Speak Easy, owned and operated by Joey Gagne long, long ago), made it hard to concentrate on Anybody for very long. We were also set to embark on a Pontoon Boat ride all up and down Maranacook Lake and before that, Krekel and I took some personalized Paddle-boats out to Blueberry Island…

Paddle Boat Commander. Blueberry Island Docked in a tiny cove. Mid-Lake swimmer.

We were lucky to get to visit with Lindon, Greta Joseph, Scotty Perrow, Andy and Darlene (Bobby’s neighbors and owners of the Pontoon Boat “pARTy Barge”) and Sheila Meader. We also got to eat Lobster Rolls and Ice Cream before turning in for the Night. In the morning We were leaving at first light to head South after a brief but action-packed tour of Favorite Friends and Locations on the Eastern Tip of the Nation!

Pontooning on Maranacook Lake!

Pontooning on Maranacook Lake!

Pontoons Slicing. IMG_6032 IMG_6057

Sheila Meader with Krekel and I. I got Abbott's Hat and Krekel got His beads.

Sheila Meader with Krekel and I. I got Abbott’s Hat and Krekel got His beads.

IMG_6077 Scotty and Greta



Tiny Elf and Friend.


the Sweet Spot of Summer pART five..

Another velvet smooth morning on the BIG Lake. The crazy show went on in the ten o’clock hour after a BIG Dinner of stuffed haddock plates, rib eyes and yes, even caesar salad… they were out of that and beef medallions but Liz Munster still had romaine lettuce, vinaigrette and beef tips (close to medallions). I think there’s a cormorant on the floating dock, the closest one, on the corner, the rest are ducks, that are sunning there. Yesterday, the wind blew in from the left, which I reckon is North. Tiny mosquitoes are visiting no-doze, a lot of loud lady-voices pierce the otherwise pristine morning air. Birch trees, with their green leaves in the sunshine, all the time. We really got soaked on Kineo and they really kicked the ass of bluegrass all the way back to the Mountains of Western North Carolina. We had surprise X-Factor Guests, Rich on Drums, Arthur on a Paul McCartney Bass (from the early Beatles’ days), Bobby Watson on the Sax (no doubt), Peter Re on the Keyboards, and Christina, Abbott’s second or third Wife, the only Lady on stage, also on Keyboards, and Jason Krekel rockin’-the-Fuck-out on Guitar and Fiddle-playing and singing all the songs. I even got to sing on some that We had rehearsed. There’s the recap if You missed it or had forgotten. This is the fifth installment of the Sweet Spot of Summer…

In the cool on the porch of Cabin Five, looking out into the wonder. Across the Lake a pine-clad monolith sleeps, or a resting ancient Whale, stuck here since the Seas receded. I can think of worse places to be stuck… except maybe in mid-Winter. I don’t see how there’s enough wood in Maine to keep all of these Folks warm. King told Us that they turn everything way down low in the B & B. When You come to Maine, You’ve got to do it right, don’t go straight to Moosehead Lake, take it slow and steady as she goes. The Nautical is infused in these deep Woods.

On Saturday morning I swam in Moosehead Lake, at the little beach of the Birches, finally, right before the hour of high Noon. I jumped off the floating dock, too. Krekel went in first and inspired me to, as well. I had been collecting the rocks on the shore, which is an infectious pursuit, and by doing so, I was also collecting warming light energy from Our closest Star, the Sun! Once I built up enough warmth to go in the water, I did, slowly at first, wading out to my mid-section, then diving into the cool, clear water, filled with sparkles both above and below the fishy surface layer. When We went to check-out at the Main desk, a Fellow with red hair and beard, and wind-blown like the rock-face of Mount Kineo itself, said to Me “Hey good job last Night!” and before I could even say “Thank You!” a Lady behind the counter, who I’d never even seen before added: “Yeah… pourin’ Bee-ahs down His throat!” and I hadn’t had a single beer that whole night. I think I had a sparkling water.

This was the day of Our Gig in Hallowell, Maine, back to the Spiritual Captial, again. To the Easy Street Lounge, where it’s “a Hare Bit More Colorful than the rest” (to say the least) but before that, We had to get back to Maranacook Lake, to Bobby Watson’s Camp. Bobby invited Jason and I to eat Lobsters that afternoon and We were gonna get to eat two each, plus (You guessed it) corn-on-the-cobb!

"no Chicken Lobsters!"

“no Chicken Lobsters!”

Moosehead Lake

Moosehead Lake on a Saturday Morning.

The drive back down was lovely, We took a right once We crossed the Moose River, near Liz Muntser’s Headquarters, and headed toward Jackman. We weren’t going all the way to Jackman, though, there was a short cut, another Logging road, but much shorter than the one We took on Thursday. Just a drop-down to 201, with Krekel navigating by reading the Map that We got from King on Wednesday.

the cut-off to 201.

the cut-off to 201.

the pARTy Barge.

the pARTy Barge.

Oh, Thank Gravy! We made it back to Maranacook and a quick dip We took in the lake by where the pARTy Barge is parked, then to Lobster eating We embarked. Bobby Watson, Tina, Don, Lindon, Darlene and Andy were there with their Lobster Bibs on. We were “shuckin’ those Lobster Bugs!” according to Lindon, who lives nearby in the Summers. We also had the Steamers, which are Clams. After the Lobsters and Clams and more Corn, Krekel and I took the winding country road around between the Lakes and over a big hill down towards the Kennebec River. At the bottom there, next to the little alley-way, which runs between the shrubberies by the River, is the downstairs entrance to the Easy Street Lounge. Giant flowers as big as Your face are popping out in every color from the trellis that protects the back porch below the decks of apartments stacked haphazardly above for several stories.

Easy Street Lounge.

Easy Street Lounge.

Jason Krekel and His ALL-Star Band!

Jason Krekel and His ALL-Star Band!

the Easy Street Lounge is “a Hare Bit More Colorful”, all right. It may well be the most color-full spot in a very color-full Town. Hallowell is perhaps the cherry on top of the BIG pile of whipped cream that is the State of Maine. Inside, the World’s largest collection of Paint-by-Numbers Art hangs on the walls, along with other odd items, including the entire collection of Blue Bunny paraphernalia left to Our host Bruce Mayo by Abbott Vaughn Meader. Bruce is also a painter, himself, and many of His own works also adorn the walls, the halls and the bathrooms. A cozy spot, even when the snow is piled high and the river is frozen over out back. We were lucky enough to get a gig there last Summer and even luckier this year, as the only date available in ALL of August was this very night, August 9th, 2014.

Mister Spock by Bruce Mayo.

Wise Men.

Jesus Clock.

Illuminated Peacock.

Moonrise over the Kennebec.

  Moon mirror in the bathroom. by the banks of the Kennebec.



Jason Krekel and Bobby Watson performing at the East Street Lounge.

Jason Krekel and Bobby Watson performing at the East Street Lounge.

It was a blast to be a part of this Creativity Outfit, representing the Entire East Coast. I continued to work on my painting of two Elephants and some super-natural activity, outtakes from the OUR Fest Artwork. We got to see a tons of Old Friends at the Show, Scotty Perrow joined the Fellows on the Drumkit, He first appeared with a Bongo and later was heckling Us when I sang one of Abbott Vaughn Meader’s Songs.

and other implements of Cosmic Significance.

and other implements of Cosmic Significance.