Monday, September 29, 2008

My First Canadian Painting

After spending the weekend with Carmen one of the things we did was discuss art. I shared my story about how I had created some art painting using found objects of crushed cans. She mentioned that she had seen an artist create art from crushed cigarette packs that littered some of the Toronto streets. As we spent time this weekend walking around in the drizzle and rain, I spied a discarded cigarette package lying in the street among the fallen leaves. After drying it out, a quick trip to Michaels for some art supplies, I created my first painting called "Toronto Smokes" in Canada. I used elements to remind Carmen of our walks, leaves, the cigarette pack, ripped newspaper that contains a graphic of the Skylon Tower, graphic elements to represent the city, steps, and time. The painting is small, 8"x10"- but it was created in my hotel room with limited suppplies. It is only a matter of time and the Canadian Seven invite me to become the first American to join them. (Wishful Thinking!)
Copyright 2008 William H. Miller All Rights Reserved

Oh Canada Fall

Spent this weekend driving around with friend, Carmen in Toronto and as you can see Fall is upon the Canadian residents here.

Copyright 2008 William H. Miller All Rights Reserved

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Cooking with Mike

Up North

I flew to Buffalo, NY this weekend, so I can drive to Toronto and work for two weeks. I escaped Houston without any power only to learn in the Cleveland airport from my landlord that the power came on Saturday.

This is a photo from the plane of Lake Chautauqua! Good Times and interesting shape.

This is a photo of downtown Buffalo as we approach.

Michael entertained me and we drove around Buffalo doing things he normally does on the weekend. We ate at Bettys, a restaurant within walking distance from his home. His friend, Gretchen joined us and for a long while we had the restaurant to ourselves. Great conversation, food, wine and dessert.

After a nice sleep with the windows open...we went to Ambrosia, a greek restaurant for breakfast. I took this picture of Michael and edited it in photoshop.

Now a nice dinner, homemade by Mike, watching some television and relaxing.

Copyright 2008 William H. Miller All Rights Reserved

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Another Day

Still no power
Another day at the office
Not much to write about
but more emails from friends across the country.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Getting back to Normal ?

Today, a little bit of regular routine. Wake up early, shower, and off to work. But this time you need to stop at every intersection (no traffic lights), dodge down debris, carry a flashlight since the parking garage has no power. About 30% of the people in my office made it to work - we all shared the different stories of who had power, who did not, who had ice, who needed ice, and more... can not say that things are back to normal, but working today in airconditioning, with internet access and phone is much better than being at home without. Still may be some time before people have basics covered (gas, water, ice, electricity, cable, internet). But working does somehow keep you distracted... that is until you have to head home.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Kindness of Strangers - Tuesday

Just a short post as the Internet Cafe that became a haven is now like a factory for all those with computers, cellphones, blackberrys and need a charge and some communication with the outside world. They are limiting users to an hour, which is plenty of time, but certainly not for some who planned on camping out in the cool airconditioning.

Yesterday, I met my neighbors behind me - I am still with out power, but they never lost power. Strange how the electric grid works. So after a knock on their door, an introduction, they agreed to let me run an extension cord from their front door to my back door. The cord runs into my kitchen and has my refrigerator hooked up. Back in the business of keeping items cool and making ice. Can not believe how a simple electrical applicance can be so important here.

I was able to return some kindness to them by giving their car battery a jump. Strange how you can live next to people and not know them until something like this happens. Now I have welcome faces on both sides of me and across the street.

The artshow that we planned for Team Tough as Jim has been cancelled until October (we are hopeful that Jim will be back in Dallas then).

Take care - Billy

Monday, September 15, 2008

More Ike -Monday

Here are some more pictures from yesterdays walk. No power yet. Coffee House has power and internet put is closing early due to lack of food and coffee. Food from freezer has been thrown out. Making soup from Frozen vegetables on the gas stove. No work today, but able to communicate some via internet.

Lots of perspective.

Lots Of Trees down all downtown
Blinds from building make nature's abstract sculpture.
The Chase Building next door to friend Jennifer's apartment building.

Night gameswith no power.

Love you all for you words of support.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Pink House After IKE

Just thought you would like to see how the Pink House and I survived Hurricane Ike, this was shot Saturday morning around 11am. It is now Sunday, approx. 2pm- I am seeking cool air, iced coffee and charging cell phone battery, uploading information to the blog and checking the internet.... Catalina Coffee a haven in the storm aftermath.

IKE at NIGHT Commentary

I posted this on You Tube and on my blog - not sure what it will sound like, but inside my house after the power went out and I was in complete darkness except for my hurricane lantern/radio and flashlight. Laying away from windows on a blowup mattress (my actual bed is located by two large windows) in the middle of the house. It was quite terrifying to just hear the sounds... the transformers exploding in the distance, the things hitting the roof, the windows, the creaking, the knocks, the rain, and that wind -howling, whistling, sounding like a train --- all in the dark. I can honestly say I had my first panic attack laying there. So I hope it captures it.



The beauty is that some places can be a haven in the storm. That haven is the local coffee shop with Internet access that has power. The rest of the neighborhood is without power, but the cafe is doing a briskbusiness and I am taking this chance to update the blog for my family and friends who read this.

As you can see this is the pink house (compare to the previous post) - can you see the tree that fell on the house next door. Not many branches and leaves left - the car is ok, just a bent antenna, and it has become a haven for airconditioning and charging the cell phone.

This is a picture of the Buffalo Buyou that if you look closely you can see the lights that light up the waling path...all underwater... they are normally 10-12 feet high -so the water is really high!

This is Washington Street & Sawyer-as you can see the line of cars as far as you can see, the police stopping traffic.... they are in line to go to the local Target which is open....but they are only letting a few cars at a time,
becuase their is a building that collapsed on Sawyer.

This is a few of the skyline....not sure if you can tell but many of the skyscrapers have windows out.
So here it is 24hours since IKE roared through. Now we are awaiting power, awaiting water, ---when the simple things in life are put in perspective. Thank you to all the friends and family that have made calls to me or my parents. As long as the Catalina Coffee Shop is open - I have place to visit get some java and some electricity and some internet!
XXoo Billy

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

X marks the spot

It's almost midnight, the winds are heavy around 40-50mph... all my windows are taped up with duc tape

The scariest thing is the sound. The noise of the wind is so ominus. The lights are flickering, so this might mean that power is going to go out soon.

Wonder what I will wake up to this morning, when the eye should be over us? That is of course if I can get any sleep.

Just Before Dark


While I have time and the computer has power and internet connection I am creating some digital images. This is one that reminds me of water cascading over rocks... appropraite given the water that will be flowing during IKE.

The curfew has started, the winds are starting but are small, no rain yet... it's going to be a long nite.

Copyright 2008 William H Miller All Rights Reserved

Something to past the time

The Pink House awaits IKE

This is the house today at 5pm
This is the house this morning at 8am.

Sounds like they are planning a 7pm curfew, and the streets here are very clear. Expecting to lose power at some point, and planning what to do if a window should break in the middle of the night. I have my camera battery charged and ready. Strange to still be hours away and not a drop of rain... already 45minutes away people have lost their homes to the flooding and tidal surge.


I created some IKE art from the satellite photo of the hurricane that is preparing to hit Houston.

Will be interesting to see what other photos and art get created this week. Just hope one of those items isn't a handmade sign for me to hold while I am on the roof of the house!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hunker Down Now

Looks like I am staying in Houston to ride out Hurricane IKE, where I live is High Ground as was not given status as a place to evacuate, not mandatory or even advisory evacuation. I have my water, batteries, peanutbutter, games and will be very happy as long as I have power & internet. I removed all the items on the front porch. Lots of caring friends and family have called to check in and offer me places to go. I hope to share more pictures as the weekend goes bye and pray that nothing too drastic happens on Lubbock Street at the Pink House. You can click the picture to see it larger. The good thing is that I do not live in an area that floods. Dealing with the wind might be the problem.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Studio Workout

I spent the weekend in the studio working. I finished the commission piece, that you see here. It is called "watermelon catalyst".
I also worked on sveral pieces in the studio. My friend, Armando came for a surprise visit and we painted together in the studio. Orginally I thought this was the 2nd Saturday, but it was not... that's next weekend.
The next three pieces are works in progress.... it was great to make so much progress on art.

Upcoming fall art shows at Winter Street, Art on the Avenue, Art Conspiracy, The Box Show all require new work. Art Chatter starts up again and I am looking forward to meeting with my art friends.

Sometime when you work, you keep pushing, photography allows me to understand and look back at the different versions, thus improving my internal thought process.

Working on this helped me de-stress from my corporate job. I often think about what it would be like to win the lottery - and I would just work on my art.

Copyright 2008 William H Miller All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Keeping Touch

I was reunited with an artist friend from Dallas - Jesus Chairez - this is his blog. .

We were brought together again becuase of a note I sent out requesting donations for Team Tough As Jim - Click Here if you would like to learn more and donate... this is in honor of artist & friend, Jim Frederick.