The Happiness of Art Masthead
Illustration copyright 2016 by D.E.Uhlig
Illustration copyright 2016 by D.E.Uhlig

The Super Bulldozer

Some people have tidy offices and messy homes. I'm the opposite. (To be perfectly honest, I'd probably have both if not for my wife.) But there's something about my creative process which tends to produce a byproduct of chaos—as if a tornado had passed through an art supply store and scattered a billion random drawings on top for good measure. And then there's the ever-present stack of coffee cups, à la David Letterman, that I use as disposable water cups when I paint.
Illustration copyright 2016 by D.E.Uhlig
I've read and enjoyed articles like this one about cluttered workspaces and creativity, but I'm tired of the mess. So this weekend, I will attempt to dig myself out.
Illustration copyright 2016 by D.E.Uhlig
Don't worry, I still plan to watch the Big Game. (And yes, that's a Chiefs helmet. I may half-heartedly cheer for another team Sunday, but that's where I draw the line, as it were.)

Game Plan:

One of the most creative people I know—the very talented photographer Mark Feiden (if you haven't seen his photographs of the Kansas Flint Hills, do yourself a favor and check them out here)—told me years ago he'd developed a brilliant solution to the cluttered desk conundrum.

"At the end of each month," he advised me, "just push everything off your desk into a big box. Then close the box, label it by month, and voilà: clean desk!"
Illustration copyright 2016 by D.E.Uhlig
Anyway, that's my plan and I'm sticking to it. (And it may be one of the finest examples of 'right-brain reasoning' I've ever heard!)
"If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?" 
–Albert Einstein
Title: 5 Things
1. This past Tuesday was Groundhog Day. Punxsutawney Phil (not to be confused with Staten Island Chuck or General Beau Lee in Georgia) emerged from his home on Gobbler's Knob and failed to see his shadow, which means we can all expect an early spring. Or so they say…

Did You Know?

"On February 11, 2015, the Merrimack Police Department in New Hampshire issued an arrest warrant for Punxsutawney Phil for having failed to disclose the extreme amounts of snow that would ensue after Groundhog Day." [Wikipedia]

If you ever travel to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to visit Phil, don't go downtown for the festivities. "Hollywood made that up (the film wasn't even made in Punxsutawney). The real location is a couple of miles out of town, in a little clearing at the top of a wooded hill." []

By the way, here are 24 facts you never knew about Bill Murray's movie, Groundhog Day, including this deleted scene.
Illustration copyright 2016 by D.E.Uhlig
2. All the talk about football and politics in the news got me thinking about the late Hunter S. Thompson, who wrote extensively about both, often together. I read most of his books when I was in college, and even went to see him speak once in Lawrence in the mid 80's. 

The recurring Uncle Duke character in Garry Trudeau's Doonesbury comic strip was inspired by Thompson, and the author's long-time collaborator, Ralph Steadman, has been a major influence on my artistic style through the years. (Today's section titles are an homage to the master.)

Thompson's Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, '72 is a great read about life in the political trenches, but in some ways, I think I've outgrown his particular 'Gonzo' schtick. It seems like a lot of my early literary heroes turned out to be zeros in the end, at least in terms of their personal lives. This review of a recent memoir by the author's son is especially sobering: In ‘Stories I Tell Myself,’ Life as Hunter S. Thompson’s Son.

Anyway, here's a more positive piece of interesting trivia: early in his career as a writer, Hunter Thompson copied F. Scott Fitzgerald's entire novel The Great Gatsby, word-for-word, on a typewriter, so he could see what it felt like to type a great novel.
Illustration copyright 2016 by D.E.Uhlig
"Losing in New Hampshire was usually permanent, and winning was a guaranteed fast ride to somewhere—maybe the White House—or at least a fiery exit. Probably soon, but so what?" 
–Hunter S. Thompson
3. Two Russian cosmonauts completed a nearly five-hour-long spacewalk outside the International Space Station Wednesday, during which they tossed a ceremonial flash drive into space

Want to keep up with what's happening with the ISS in real time? Follow them on Twitter here. Here's Scott Kelly's feed. And here's Sergey Volkov's feed (one of the Russian cosmonauts who walked in space yesterday.)

Or if you prefer, Spot The Station will give you a list of upcoming space station sighting opportunities for your location.

Oh, and if you're feeling adventurous, you can give this workout a try the next time you're at the gym. (Space is weird.)
Illustration copyright 2016 by D.E.Uhlig
Title: Share

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Illustration copyright 2016 by D.E.Uhlig
"Quarterbacks shouldn't leave the pocket, because that's where the money is. Every politician knows this." 
–Jarod Kintz

We Have a Winner!

The winner of January's fine art print has been notified via email. (As of this writing, however, I haven't heard back, so check your email boxes, everyone! If I don't hear anything by Febuary 10th, I'll select a new winner.)
Title: Win a Print

Win a Free Limited Edition Print

Each month, we give away a signed, limited edition fine art print to one loyal subscriber of this newsletter. Current subscribers are automatically entered, so if you're not already subscribed, click here or on the button below. Winners are selected at random during the last week of each month, notified via email (so be sure to keep an eye on your inbox!) and announced in the first newsletter issue the following month. Here's February's print…
My Garden Fine Art Print

The Girl in the Moon™

This print started out as many do — a gift for one of my children.

  • SIZE: Artwork is 7 x 9.75 inches, double matted to 4.75 x 6.5 inches (fits in standard 8 x 10 inch frame).
  • EDITION: Artist proof.
  • MATERIALS: Hand-signed, limited edition, Giclée fine art print, matted but unframed.
  • PAPER: Printed on Hahnemuhle William Turner — a 310g, acid-free, natural white, mould-made paper with 100% rag content (highly archival).

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Signing up is easy, there's zero risk, the newsletter's free, and you may unsubscribe at any time. When you receive the confirmation email, click the appropriate link, and then just sit back and wait for your first issue to arrive!
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   Until Next Week…

Well, we've covered football and the Big Game (which I shall not mention by name), spring cleaning, Groundhog Day, Hunter Thompson, Russian cosmonauts and spacewalking. How's that for an eclectic mix? (This has gotten out of hand.) Oh, and politics! (Trust me, I will never actually discuss politics here—or at least if I do, it will only be in the abstract. This newsletter is intended to be a safe haven from all that silliness.) See you all next week!

PS: Thanks to my old friend Michael Goldschmidt for that link. (And yes, it's worth the click.)
Peace Signature copyright D.E.Uhlig
"Politics is an astonishing profession. It has enabled me to go from being an obscure member of the junior varsity at Harvard to being an honorary member of the Football Hall of Fame."
–John F. Kennedy

NOTE: For equal time, here's a photograph of Richard Nixon bowling.
RedSneaker Logo copyright D.E.Uhlig
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Photograph of D.E.Uhlig

About Me

Hi. I’m D.E.Uhlig. I’m an artist, author, husband and father.

For as long as I can remember, I have loved to draw. Years ago I gave my wife a hand-drawn card for our anniversary, and she loved it so much she made me promise to ALWAYS hand-draw her cards. Then our three kids made me promise to do the same with their birthday cards. And when I posted some of my drawings online, people began asking how they could purchase my work—so I created this newsletter. I believe in something I like to call “The Happiness of Art” and I hope it makes you smile.

Official Bio

D.E.Uhlig is an award-winning illustrator whose work has appeared in numerous publications including the Kansas City Star, Christian Science Monitor, University Daily Kansan, Editorial Humor Magazine, and World Policy Journal. Commercial illustration and design clients over the years have included Samsung, Sprint, and the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, among others—and his Starbucks RedCup illustrations have been featured on the company's Pinterest and Facebook pages. In 1989, Mr. Uhlig co-founded Uhlig LLC, a leading provider of cross-media publishing and communication services in industries ranging from residential housing to book publishing to cancer care. Mr. Uhlig is married with three children and resides in Kansas City. He is currently working on children’s books, ebooks and apps.

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Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.

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