Saturday, October 17, 2009

Ask Stape

Dear Stape:
My husband quit his good paying job in the fast food industry and does nothing but paint pictures along the side of the road all day, with his layabout friends. He has gotten paint all over the interior of the Volvo, on our furniture, children and family pets. When he finally does come to bed at night, he smells of turpentine and seems to have lost all interest in his natural responsibilities as a husband. He is no longer the good provider I married, and I recently caught him hiding a sketchbook full of drawings of naked women, some of whom I believe may be in my bridge club. Our framing bills are enormous, our mortgage is unpaid and my job as a thoracic surgeon is barely paying the bills. Recently I caught him cutting up my delicate lingerie for paint rags. I also believe he is taking hair off the cat for some purpose. Please help me, I am at my wits end, what can I do?

signed; painted into a corner

Dear Painted;

I suggest two quick ones behind the ear. Take that Bub! A man like this will never be worth anything, he will paint and paint and complain and rationalize his failures. He will always require more and more care, soon you will be doing his taxes, running errands to the art supply store, phoning dealers, and postponing creditors. He will go on long painting trips and come back smelling like cigars. It is better just to end it now rather than allow yourself to be dragged down to HIS level. These guys never grow up and have a normal life. Get yourself a REAL man.

Dear Stape

I am an artist in a large Midwestern city. Some time ago I joined a gallery that didn't like my framing. They suggested that since they were a frame shop, they could frame my paintings at a discounted price. The gallery owner told me I could pay him for the frames when they sold my paintings. I didn't really like the frames they chose for the paintings, but they felt that it would appeal to their clientele who like orange driftwood frames with linen liners. When I visited them several weeks later, only one of my paintings was hanging and that was in a dark corner at the back of the gallery.However they said that someone almost bought one of my paintings that morning! Now a year later I want my paintings, since they are unsold and the gallery owner says I have to pay the 475 dollars for each frame to get my paintings back! What should I do?

signed; Choppped and mitered in Minneapolis

Dear Chopped:

There isn't much you can do now. I would consider leaving the paintings with the gallery until they offer you a better deal on the frames. But they stung you long ago when you agreed to their framing proposition. They have made you into the customer. If someone does buy your paintings the gallery wins because the make two sales, one to the customer and one to you. If no one buys the paintings they still sell frames, to you. The next time don't buy your frames from a gallery that is showing your art. The galleries job is to sell your art, not to turn a profit on you. Be a seller not a customer!

All kidding aside, I am going try a new feature in this blog. I am going to call it "Ask Stape". I encourage you to submit questions on painting, methods and materials or the marketing of art to my e mail at I will use the best of these in a periodic post on the blog. I am going to figure out a way over the next week or so to put a picture and an invitation to submit questions in my sidebar.


Gregory Becker said...

That first one is so funny and you killed me on the picture. I am gonna be thinking about that all day.
Your blog is my favorite one by far. Thanks for your dedication to it.

JT Harding said...

LMAO ...well, you can always fall back on a career as a photoshop wizard if the "ask Stape" columnist doesn't work very funny, I'll have to think of things I'd like to ask ya!!

armandcabrera said...

That picture looks like Zappa and monty python got together for a photo shoot. Great post as always.

willek said...

Last night at a party, I told a young guy about your fantastic blog. Imagine his dismay when that image pops up as the first thing he sees!!! Not to worry. I already emailed him to keep scrolling down to get to the good stuff.

The picture, by the way bears an uncanny resemblance to one of ourdrawing group models.

Philip Koch said...

Got up this morning, took one look at the picture of our cigar tot'in columnist and went back to bed.

Knitting Out Loud said...

And no one mentions Groucho Marx? I hope "Ask Stape" is inundated with questions. A great addition to your blog.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thank you. I am glad you are out there reading it.

Stapleton Kearns said...

As I have said before, I know NOTHING about photoshop. I like the crude look it ave me in that photo though. It would have been less effective had it been too slick.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thanks, It is odd to think that I am doing these ridiculous posts in a blog on the very academic subject of traditional painting. Ives Gammell would be deeply shocked.


Stapleton Kearns said...

If he was that young he probably wouldn't even remember the advice columnist whose manner I am aping. Things will heal somewhat tomorrow.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I thought the picture looked rather elegant.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Now I have to figure out how to put an ask Stape feature in my sidebar.

mendacious_valkyrie said...

Dear Stape,

I have a photograph you might like to use. It is an aged picture of a tall amd slender young man doing something called "The Chicken Act." I think it would be an excellent addition to your blog.

Can you enlighten us as to the meaning of the term "Evil Stapleto?"

Many thanks.

Stapleton Kearns said...


Hello again. Evil Stapleto was an inside joke I had with a lover about thirty years ago, which of course, only she would know. It was derived from an old college ID that placed Stapleton after Kearns. Because all of that was too long for the space allotted it read "Kearns,Stapleto. I was occasionally called upon when a teacher took attendance as Stapleto.
The picture on the ID looked so dangerous and deranged that we referred to it as the evil Stapleto.

JT Harding said...

who is KT?

Stapleton Kearns said...

KT is a typo for JT

Who is Alex Katz?

JT Harding said...

ummm...a famous cartoonist?