First official National Park poster sold to Georgia legislator!

Thank you art patrons who bought art Saturday at the Mountain Conservation Trust fundraiser. Also, thanks to Georgia state legislator Rick Jasperes for buying the first of 200 signed limited edition prints of my Chattahoochee National Park poster! Stay tuned for news of the official exhibit opening at park headquarters in Roswell.

chatt-poster-36%22x17-email-72 november-cloud-study-72


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Celebrate art today!

And help protect the North Georgia mountains.

For those who are on the mountain today, stop by the Laird house 2:00-6:00 for the Mountain Conservation Trust annual picnic. Also on display, Walter Cumming’s National Park mural.

November cloud study 72


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Confederate battle flags in Croatia and Germany

Last month, near Split, Croatia, I did a huge double take at a large, painted confederate battle flag on the side of a building. “Hey Johnny!”  I asked our Croatian kayak instructor/guide. “Do you know what that flag means in the U.S.?”

He explained that it was the flag of a soccer team in Split and also was used by certain gangs in Dubrovnik, though he said was pretty sure it had no political or racist meanings. In 2010, on a solo bike trek from Paris to Berlin, I saw another  confederate battle flag flying from a boat on the Mosel River near Koblenz Germany. I later learned that, because it is a felony in Germany to display a Nazi Swastika, some neo-nazis may use the confederate battle flag instead of a nazi flag as a political statement.

A1 teez parks 1

A1 teez parks 1

On German airport security: Passing through airport security in Frankfurt Germany was a stark contrast to Croatian security or even Atlanta. Despite the menacing presence of    big, fit looking, German police, armed with assault rifles, and sporting fashionably long hair cuts (a la Alex’s “droogies” in Clockwork Orange) the security check point was hi-tech, almost medically precise, and the most civil, polite, security behavior I’ve ever encountered.

We were clearly and gently guided through to the chief inspector at the X-ray machine. He wore latex gloves, smiled politely and proceeded to unzip and unpack each item of my pack with the slow and careful precision of an obstetrician aiding a birth. He then returned each item carefully to it’s exact place, smiled and said very politely ” I hope you enjoyed your stay in Chermany.” The last time anyone in law enforcement was that kind to me was in 1975 when a Nebraska highway patrolman near Omaha picked me up hitchhiking with a guitar and a backpack, dropped me a better location, and drove away with a loving “GOOD LUCK!” on his bull horn.





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Mark your calendars! This Saturday!


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Hot off the easel!

I just finished this pastel for a commission for a friend but it also happens to be my second in a series of National Park posters. Stay tuned…


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IT’S FINISHED! (My National Park Service Assignment)

Exhibit ribbon-cutting at Park Headquarters in Roswell this fall (to be announced) .


“A painting isn’t finished until the check clears”  – Andy Warhol

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Sea Kayaking Croatia with NOLS alumni (part 2 of a series)

How NOLS has changed since my 1975 semester


Chewing tobacco, belching and farting contests, loud profanity, a tacit “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on smoking weed and sex are no longer the standards for acceptable NOLS behavior today as they were in 1975

The NOLS methods and language of 2016 were new and a bit baffling to me but must have been even more confusing to our Croatian kayak guide, Gollam “Johnny” Valera.

Johnny is, likely, the most extraordinary outdoor guide I’ve ever met. A very fit, tan, muscular, 27-year-old, square jawed, blue-eyed native of Zagreb, Croatia, he is a survivor of, not only, war torn Croatia in the 1990s but also of an abusive father. He ran away from home at age 15. He soon started his own business as the first “legal” body piercer in Croatia. He is currently finishing a masters degree (in history and biology?). He also has qualified for the Croatian national whitewater team as solo slalom kayak competitor.

Choosing the opposite paths of his abusive father and his drug addict younger brother, who is in jail in Germany for dealing drugs, Johnny does not drink, is a world class athlete, and is soon to be married in December to a wife he methodically found through months of internet research an hours of dating conversations.

A master chef, attentive host, emergency medically trained and a loquacious and high-energy guide, Johnny speaks with flawless English and a thorough knowledge of American pop culture. When Johnny starts talking, he won’t stop unless forcibly interrupted. But his dialogue and stories were never boring. In his unique Australian/British/Croation dialect, his piercing, ice blue eyes would dart and connect wide-eyed with everyone in earshot. Here is our last conversation when he dropped me at the Dubrovnik airport:

Me: “So Johnny, did you know that the word “therapy” is used in the U.S. to describe almost any activity as a mental health exercise: “Art therapy”, “Talk therapy”, “Outdoor therapy”, this list goes on…”

Johnny interrupted excitedly in his British/Cockney brogue. Other than his ‘th’ pronounced as a “d”, his dialect could have passed for a Brit from Brighton. “Oh yeah! I’ve been trained in psychotherapy as a guide!”

“One time, we had an autistic kid who threatened suicide wid some broken glass! What could I do? Punch him out!? Knock him out to save his life? ‘E finally calmed down. Oh! And anudder time” his eyes locking with mine “a kid got stung on his tongue by a bee dat was in his snorkel! I hate snorkels. His tongue swelled up and he was turning blue from suffocation ! I had to cut a hole in his windpipe wid my pocket knife to save his life!


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Trump support in Germany. A live interview

Here are some live journal entries from Germany yesterday.




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Live from Germany

Hey can y’all read this?
I’m having trouble posting my journal entries.



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Live from Germany

Hey can y’all read this?
These are live entries from my sketch book here in Germany. Not sure if I’m doing this right on my iPhone 5



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