What a year! After making another six year foray back into the Santa Fe art market, selling ~500 of our paintings and accumulating a nice following of collectors, we moved completely online and back to the Kansas City area. Last March, as the pandemic was rolling out, we managed to hire a mover who packed us up and made the jump back to KC. Santa Fe was in serious decline with the shut down of tourism and a collapse in the retail art market. Many galleries will not survive there and I suspect Canyon Road will be a ghost town soon. Sad elegy to a once dynamic and open art market, I pity the American Indians who have relied on that market for survival for so long. Suzie and I found a great house with much more storage and in a great neighborhood. Two great studios and a nice area in the garage for the shop. Had to build new storage racks for the 400+ paintings we still have in inventory. Then, I had to re-photograph them all, document them and arrange where in each rack they would be easily found, What a job. The online business has proven to be slower, naturally, but with the elimination of the $22,000 per month overhead, it is much easier to manage. I took some major steps in learning much more about social media, video editing and especially, Blender! Learning Blender is kinda like learning how to land a 747 on an aircraft carrier where all the controls are written in Mandarin and being blind! It is an immensely complex software, but is certainly fabulous, once getting past the learning curve. It is a FREE download for Blender.org and if you want to learn the NEW NEW, try it a while. Amazing stuff. So instead of painting windows for businesses, I am making videos for window monitors that are now so ridiculously cheap. (40" smart TV for $200?...plug in the MP4 file on the USB drive and hit play!) The effects are incredible both in razzle-dazzle and in impact on traffic for small businesses with walk-by or drive-by traffic. Taking what I learned from making window splashes and making videos which are animated, the effects are truly bewildering. I sense this is where alot of signage is headed with the costs of led panels coming down and down! I am still painting pictures, like an addict. Love to paint, but also trying my best to learn new stuff. Gotta keep the old brain moving in a new direction. Once spring returns, I will probably go paint some more windshields (185,000 done so far to date). Good luck to all and stay healthy! www.Prestonmccall.com for the videos www.McCallFineArt.com for the paintings
-------------------- Preston McCall 10305 Eby st. Overland Park, KS 66212 text: 5056607370 Posts: 1563 | From: Overland Park, KS | Registered: Nov 1998
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We are all well. Got plenty of business with a new client buying new trucks, trailers and tanker. In January I had sinus drainage that turned into bronchitis. Because the shop I had been working in had some mechanics with COVID, I tested but got a Negative result. Doctor called in a Z Pack and all is well. Roger got it and took meds also. We have lost one uncle to Covid and the rest of his family got it and survived. We had other relatives to get the virus and survive. Dave, sorry to hear about your family. Praying for your families recovery.
-------------------- Judy Pate Signs By Judy Albany, Georgia USA 229-435-6824
Live simply...Love generously...Care deeply...Speak kindly...Leave the rest to God. Posts: 2630 | From: Albany,GA,USA | Registered: Nov 1998
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When I took Sophie to the orthopedic a couple days after her fracture (a 30 mile round trip), they ordered us out of their office when they found out we recently had Covid, and were very rude about it. I spent the rest of the day on the phone, trying to find someone who would see her. All wanted a negative Covid test and for us to wait another week or two. I didn't know if she needed surgery (the break looked pretty bad to me on the X-ray) and I didn't want to wait too long.
I contacted our doctor about a test and he told us that we were long past being contagious, but once a person gets Covid, they can test positive for 90 days.
I finally found an orthopedic who'd see her on the basis that it had been 21 days since the last positive test and 10 days since cessation of symptoms. Fortunately, the doctor said she wouldn't require surgery and she has recovered very well.
Since we were now well enough to get out and about, we went back to visit my Dad, who we hadn't been able to see in almost a month. It's a good thing we did, because the next day, he suddenly took a turn for the worse. He went downhill very fast and died six days later, with all five children by his side and singing (quite badly) his favorite songs. My sister in law, who doesn't like Marty Robbins, said that was probably what finished him off.
Dad was almost 98 and sharp to the end. He was a geologist and geophysicist and helped design the original ALSEP (Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package) that the astronauts left on the moon and worked on the curriculum for training the astronauts in geology. He was also on the Atomic Energy Commision with Top Secret clearance and helped work on the nuclear test ban treaty with the USSR and establish ways to tell if a signatory was cheating and spent much time at the Nevada nuclear test site studying tests. He also worked on the procedures for monitoring the dismantling and destruction of nuclear weapons. At the time of the treaty, the US had around 70,000 nukes.
Dad was extremely kind hearted (he did thousands of hours of volunteer work in hospitals and national parks) and when a family couldn't get there in time, would hold a person's hand and comfort him as he died. During most of his life, this scientist was agnostic/atheist and felt no spiritual need and would shut us down when we would talk God's Word to him.
About three years ago, he suddenly started thinking about spiritual things, asking questions and making connections he'd never done in the past. Two years ago, he asked for a Bible, the first one he'd had since he was a child. Before he died, he had read the Bible twice, was amazed at the wisdom therein, became a believer in a Creator, began praying, and became a deep student of the Bible. I lost my father but was gaining a brother.
-------------------- David Harding A Sign of Excellence Carrollton, TX Posts: 5131 | From: Carrollton, TX, USA | Registered: Nov 1998
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Sorry about your Dad Dave. I lost mine 20 years ago and now I'm on the verge of losing my mother. They put her in hospice a couple days ago. I'm over 1,000 miles away but myself and all my brothers got to see her just before she went into hospice. One of my brother's lives right there so we Facetime whenever we can. I had to take a southern route out of Dallas to Ohio to miss all the ice in Oklahoma, then I had to take the Northern route back home to miss the giant ice storm that went through Indian, Kentucky, and Arkansas. What a trip.
I am still alive. I tested positive last week. Since I am confined to the house I have built the new walk-in closet that my wife has wanted for the last 20 years, and repainted the bedroom. Today I am installing drawers in a cabinet that I am building to go in the new closet.
Four more days and I can get back to work!
-------------------- Don Hulsey Strokes by DON signs Utica, KY 270-275-9552 firstname.lastname@example.org
I've always been crazy... but it's kept me from going insane. Posts: 2341 | From: Utica, KY U.S.A. | Registered: Jan 1999
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Hi Everyone! I'm still in the game, despite some challenges. Had been caregiving my mom the past few years, and so I was not kicking out near enough work during that time. My mom passed in August of 2020, and I have been trying to build back up my biz.
Sadly, today my Roland VersaCamm sp 540v decided to check out. I am in the process of trying to get a tech out here to help, but they've already warned me that parts may be hard to get for such an old machine.
I really wanted to ride this thing off into the sunset, but I guess it's tired. LOL
I have a very lucrative print job in the shop right now. So I may be looking for a source to print it while I am down.
I don't know if I'll be shopping old printer parts, or newer printers next. Will keep you all posted. If I have to go to something different, I have no idea which direction to take. I'm out of the loop on newer equipment.
Any insight or feedback welcome. I want to be able to stay in business for at least another 5 years. I'm 62 now, and don't want to start drawing SS early.
Cheers all, and glad to see you on here! ~ nettie
-------------------- "When Love and Skill Work Together ... Expect a Masterpiece"
I know many you like signs365 but you should check out digital print solutions. 3 day production is standard but they also have 1 and 2 day priority and 5 day saver. I just did a window perf job. My cost was $183.11 plus frt. Would have been $211.47 from Signs365. Digital Print Solutions has produced my graphics perfectly every single time. They are located in Minnesota.
Dave, that's a lovely story about your dad - I hope you managed to write or record a family book of his anecdotes - the official secrets act won't be bothering him now!
We have my Mother's funeral this Saturday - I'll have to do the Eulogy... sad, but a relief from her Altzheimers.
Preston - I dabble in Blender when I need to convert STL files that our old version of Enroute objects to. It is an amazing program, with an appalling set of instructions!
Sign work for us trickled to close to nil, as most was associated with the tourism industry, which died when Covid hit. I'm back doing some horse-drawn vehicle restoration again...
Plus other weird and wonderful work - striping and scrolling old trucks and some gilding.
Digital prints: despite it being obsolete, I nurture our HP latex L260 along. I still have about 25 ink cartridges and 11 heads and 3 head cleaning cartridges to keep me going for a bit. The convenience is worth it, when you live out where we are.
[ July 18, 2021, 09:13 AM: Message edited by: Ian Stewart-Koster ]
-------------------- "Stewey" on chat
"...there are no limits when you aim for perfection..." Jonathan Livingston Seagull Posts: 7030 | From: Highgrove via Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia | Registered: Dec 2002
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