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Friday, September 11, 2009


While working in Chicago in my early art years in the advertising business, I learned some very important lessons. Lessons I have used throughout my artist life.

You see everyone was fighting for their position. A position that gives them some authority and possibly more money.

We art directors worked in teams on design projects, not leaving any stone unturned.

About 7-10 art directors would get the same assignment from the client via the account exec and were allowed to work on it for 2 t0 3 days. We would all go into our little corners and work away.

After three days we would get back together and proceed to present our concepts. Each art director would make his own presentation separately and wait for comments from the others. Like in all the movies we hoped that ours would be the shining star, and we would be called "Mister" by everyone in the firm.

For some reason some of the older and wiser ADs would wait to be last with their presentation. I always wanted to be first...pick me...pick me. Problem with being first everyone is fresh and full of comments. By the time you finished, you were really beat up.

The ones that presented last compared our bad concepts with their great ones.

Get the strategy. They always won.
I studied this behavior for several months before I finally figured it out.

I was purposely late for one of our sessions. That gave the last presentation.

That was not enough. On other presentations I was very vocal, especially the ones who had used the system. Not only was I vocal I was vicious. I tore their concepts apart piece by piece knowing what mine were and that they answered all the important questions .

I won ...

Talk to you later....

"Mister" Cloyd

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Whenever I show my paintings publicly I have funny things happen. I have had some people pull out some fabric and hold it up to the painting to see if it matches. Some pull out a tape to see exactly what the size is. I have even had them ask me to put a little kitten in the foreground.

Here's one...
...boy, that looks just like a photo. ( If that's what I wanted it to look like I would have used my camera!)

Things like this don't bother me much anymore. I just think, they know not what they do.

My favorite...

...A friend of mine when we were starting our family days, told me how much he liked my work.
"We've been looking for a wall hanging but don't know what we want. We'd like to borrow three or four of your paintings to see what we like, would that be ok".

"Of course" I said anxiously hoping to sell a painting. "Come over and pick what you want."

So he did,

"I'll let you know, "he said as I helped him load up his car.

I was quite excited that he liked my work and was going to buy one.

Several weeks went by and I hadn't heard from him.
I called and asked if he'd made up his mind. " Not yet", he said, "give me a little more time."

Not a problem I told him.

Several more weeks went by and I hadn't heard. Thinking that I needed a decision, I would have to be more forceful. I called him, worrying not to upset him but needed a decision.

"Have you made a decision yet?", I ask.

After a long pause... ..."Ya, we decided to buy a clock."

Be tough...

Talk to you later,

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I grew up in a small town in Idaho. The population was around 700 people in 1955, and it is still around 700 people. Not much changes. When I go back, I see all my friends that I went to school with and I know most that live there.

Business was done with a handshake. You knew who you could trust and who you couldn't. It was a simple surrounding that gave you a calm attitude to everything in your life.

I now live in San Diego, California (around 3.5 million people), what a difference. I go places and don't see anyone that I know. People are just faces and clothes that walk by you. You treat each other as objects that just happen to be there. You could be anywhere in the world and see the same scene.

When I do a painting , my work reflects more to my basic roots than to anything else. I like to paint calm pastorial scenes that are of my past. I try to juice them up with color and make them as exciting as possible but they all reflect on who I am.

Be honest with your work. Don't try to do things you havn't seen or experienced.

I sometimes laugh at artists who live in New York City and try to paint western art. They are too far apart to be real.

You are who you are. Make the best of it.

Talk to you later,


Monday, September 7, 2009


Should we try to paint every hair on the dog? Some painters do a very good job at this and I admire them for their tenacity. You often hear... it looks just like a photograph.

When this world was put together it was well planned and so complex right down to a small blade of grass. How can we do better than that.

Our job as an artist is not to duplicate this masterpiece, only create the allusion of it's beauty.
That can done in many ways. The expression of a subject matter will change every time someone paints it. That's the freedom of our expression. We each have our own style and ideas, and no two people will do exactly the same thing.

So don't be afraid to express your self in your own way. Your ideas are as good as any others.
Paint bold and simple...

...let the cameras pick up on all the hairs.


Talk to you later,

Cloyd Bedke