Thomas Arthur Schaefer

Monday, July 31, 2006

If I Fail After This Day, I'll Be Pleased To Say It Was 'My' Failure

Working to be able to work. That's the price of freedom. Or as Orson Welles put it, "My contradiction in myself."

10:13 am - And in a quiet room, a letter changed hands - the deed now done. Beginning today, I lay the Wellian contradiction at my own feet.

11:15 pm - Working on the nonpareil logo paintings in front of the TV tonight.... it's Shark Week for god's sake!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Yaw, Pitch & Role

Spent the morning working on the nonpareil logo works and then cut out for the afternon to help out some friends. Then it was back at the nonpareil works again. Tommorrow I'm going to continue work on them, as well as attempt to prime as many of the new Donut frames as I can. I also need to order more balsa wood and more sprinkles/nonpareil... it never ends. You can never have too many supplies... but of course when you're having to watch your wallet... too many can be a bad thing.


Saturday, July 29, 2006

I've Got All Kinds Of Bait, But No Hook Yet

Studio killed the radio star... another busy day in the studio. Rocking out the Donut base frames with some help from Kanka & Blackmon. Lots of donuts in boxes all over the studio. Looks like there might be 6 dozen kinds, plus a few varients here and there. And these are the inexpensive works... the big stuff is coming along nicely. The purple peeps are all wrapped up and I've continued working on the large sprinkled logo works. They should be wrapped up middle of next week. I want to get another dozen donuts shipped to me from Dickies Donuts up in Buffalo. They make the best 'cherry' donut on the planet. We'll see if that happens... if so thats another dozen to add onto the list. As well as another large nonpareil logo work, making 3 in all.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Let's Block Out The Sun And Bronze Our Pale Frames

Last night I made a lot of progress in the show front. I built out a total of 36 new 'Donut' base frames and I have enough balsa left that I could easily create another 3 dozen of them if I wanted. Currently I have 54 'Donut' works and I could end up with 90 of them when all is said and finished. That would bring the total amount of works for this show to around 130 pieces. Frightening... I'm very interested in the idea of having that many 'Donut' works though. That would be 7.5 dozen donuts... that's a lot. But they would look realy good all wrapped in their own packaging and such. Just like a product in a store. So we'll see where we go from here. It's going to be another busy evening. Need to pick up more alcohol... maybe even a few assistants again. Hmmmm....
Also last night I began to apply the nonpariels to one of the 2 large icon works for the show. I still need to rig something together to catch all of the excess nonpariels. I'll figure that out this evening. The frameworks for the 2 'Adds' that I'll be showing go underway last night as well. The flat underpainting for the large Peeps work got finished up too.
Did a little donut shopping during my lunch break today and picked up a dozen fresh KK's 'Chocolate Glaze w/ Patriotic Mix Sprinkles'. And then I got 4 'Chocolate Glaze w/ Rainbox Mix Nonpariels' and the 1 'White Glaze w/ Rainbox Mix Nonpariels'. Good stuff...

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I Got Me So Down, I Got Myself A Pound


So the Jimmies got here today and I plan to finish up at least 19 Donuts this evening. Lots of trial and error ahead. Lots a dippin' ahead. The balsa wood should arrive tommorrow. So i'll be able to get with some more Donut frames.

It's time to make the Donuts.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Perfectly For Years The Struggle Of All Fears

Nonpareils are in full effect. Bitting on the freshy laid 'test pattern' for two of the large works at Sweet Tooth

Checkin' whos' got the goods-enough to become a 'Stripper'.

The studio at around 10:15 this evening.
The Music By Two At The Time:

So tonight is another studio night. Progress is evident throughout. Leeps and bounds on this eve. So progress report: There are currently 3 large works for the show and 1 mega work.. (welll it's justb that much more bigger.) This evening I built out the three large works box frames and primed them. There is a large Peep work in these three and with it, I began to paint its four color scheme - YELLOW>PINK>BLUE>PURPLE. The other 2 large works have been primed and are ready to have their frame edges treated. That should be fun... not sure how to go about it yet.
On the 'Donut' front, I took a few major leeps this evening into linking the actual donuts used with their real history via/v. the artists work cluttering his studio. It's hard to explain, but basiclly 4 of the real donuts vare related to their set of 4 - 5"x5" frames that they are being mounted to. The four box frames were originally designed as pedestals for a work owned by Newman from the 'Media Mail' series from 2000-2001. But they never made the final cut and were thrown from the work. They have a new life... they have a nice 'Donut-Glaze-Meets-Pollack' feel. The donuts are a set of 2 dozen that was purchased years ago by Newman and other Atlanta locals on Sunday morning. Perfect fit. The work will attempt to be sold as one... but we'll see.

JULY 25, 2006
BARKER - Strip Tease 01 (stuffed envelope)

Monday, July 24, 2006

Let's Go To Dinner Where We Can Drink Our Dinner Together Again

Building the framework of the large work for Sweet Tooth. It's called 'ACE-RAC' and measures 42" x 70" (106.7 x 177.8 cm).

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Saturday, July 22, 2006

This Boy's Bad News... But At Least He Makes The News

10 'Nip'L'Nip Bisects' ready to go out the door. The first of many products being produced in the studio for Sweet Tooth.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Stick A Fork, A Knife And A Spoon In Him... He's Done, Done, Done

Today I’m developing the labels that will go on the backs of all the work for the show. I have a heck of a lot of them to create though.
The title for the show has been chosen
Retroconsumerism I: Sweet Tooth
I’m still working out concepts for the invite card and poster... but I have some pretty darn clever ideas running through my head right now. I’ll probably brain-storm some more this evening with Kanka.
Last night I accomplished a ton of work and even decided to add another set of pieces into the mix. So where to begin. The ‘Nik-L-Nip Bisects’ are pretty much finished. I cleaned them and added brown paper to their backings. All that is left to do now, is affix the wall hanging brackets, add the labels to the back and sign them. So there’s at least 10 finished pieces. I completed building 18 ‘Donut’ frames, but I needed to order more balsa to complete the 3 dozen (36) total works I want for the show. There are going to be a set of 2 dozen that are chocolate glazed with rainbow Jimmies and then the other dozen will be 4 sets of 3. Each a little different than the others. I was able to build out the frames in record time last night because I decided that it was probably in my best interest to use my power saw to cut some of my wood instead of cutting them by hand with an X-acto blade (not the most efficient method, but that’s the way I always did it in the past). Needless to say the power tool usage was a ‘smart’ move. I still have to putty and sand the frames and then prime them. This weekend I will conduct tests on using Jimmies on the edges instead of hand painting them. I’m still planing on hand painting the dozen that are varied, but they are gonna cost you more at the show. Time is money...
I resurrected the first ever set of ‘Peeps Bisects’ that I did 3 years ago. There are 10 in all and they are all purple. Each has faded in different strange ways. I abandoned these pieces back then because of the fading, but also because I coated them with Polyurethane instead of the Polycrylic I used in the batch I created this year for the ‘My Peeps’ show. I was just never fond of how they turned yellow because of the polyurethane... it’s actually the same process the Nik-L-Nips went thru (but I still completed those). I think the other reason they were abandoned was because the polyurethane never set correctly and there were drips and globs throughout each work. The building of these works is a process in itself as Kanka would tell you (he assisted me on the last set - 3rd attempt). I didn’t get the technique right until I was on that 3rd attempt at trying to coat those darn marshmallow rabbits. Everything has to be done at once - dipping, straining, placing. If you let any time go over or under you end up with shredded peeps or peeps too saturated in poly that leave puddles. So to rescue these pieces I’m doing a few new things to them. First, I’m pin-striping the frames in purple and white and then the fun begins. This weekend, probably Saturday night, I’m going to burn each one of them and then re-coat the entire structure in polyacrylic. They should turn out bad-as-hell. I imagine them looking like mini car wrecks. All the mistakes currently in them will melt away into a perfectly unique set of paintings. I’m very excited about doing this to them, as it’s something I had envisioned a year or so back. I even labeled the box that they’ve been housed in with big black letters 'BURN THESE'. But of course I’m not burning them to destroy them like I’ve done other works. This time the fire and smoke will be my paintbrush and patina. It’s gonna be really cool.
But now on to another topic related to the show. I have this idea that the pieces need to really feel like store bought products. So much so that I’m considering shrink wrapping each work and affixing a price label to them. Almost like they were wrapped Twinkies in a convenient store or something. I just think this would look beautiful. And considering that I’m looking to have almost 100 pieces at this show (well in the 80’s possibly). I think that if each work was built in this fashion it would bond them together even more. Even setting them up on old grocery store racks... I mean this could just be the coolest looking thing ever. Of course, when I do ‘Retroconsumerism II: Fluoride’ next year, it’s going to have to be bigger than life. Maybe for that one I’ll rent out a real store... or even a dentist office... hmmmm.
Gonna be a busy evening ahead of me.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Show Me Yours' And I'll Show You Mine

Hmmm... 11 more days. Impressive. — But... will he last that long.

OHH YEAH... Whoever left the comment on yesterdays post... GREAT!!! Long Live the Jimmie!

Building little frames all last night... and late into the night at that. Also began the under-layer for a set of 4 identical drawing for the show — 12"x18". Then I think I'll do at least 2 other identicals at 8.5"x11". That's about it for last night... lots of busy work. Well that, a few drinks and PRW3.

Heard Raushenberg say something interesting last night too, in an interview he did back in the 80's that I dug up on the internet. He was talking about his early Red paintings and said that he pasted newpaper pages, mainly comicstrips, to the entire surface so that when he was to finally apply paint to the surface, the work would have no real begining, becasue the work already had an underlying structure. Or something to that effect. I just liked the idea that he thinks the works had no true beginning... that's an interesting way of looking at things. He also went on to talk about Albers and color theory for a good while too.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

It Makes Sense To Not Make Sense Especially When Making Sense Of Things Is What Makes It

Spent most of last evening hurridly scrambling to built as many 5"x5" wood box frames as possible for a large set of Donut works that I'm going to have at my upcoming show. Hours of cutting and glue'n balsa wood together and I'm not even hardly into the process. Anyone out there wanna come build these little bastards with me so I can move on to the other works I need to build for this show? ..... yeah didn't think so.
Anyways, that's what I'll be doing late into the evening again tonight, after I get back from have'n drinks with a friend. Maybe I can convince her to quit her job and come build these little frames for me. In a perfect world I'd like to have a few hundred of these little things on hand and always ready to go. But again, the issue with these is not in the building of them and it's not even the filling/sanding/priming. It's the pin-striping that is the real nightmare and these little suckes have (7) 1/8" stripes running around them. Maybe it's time to figure out a more efficient way of doing that step, but it still has to involve paint... no cheating with pre-printed paper. I thought of that before and decided that if I went the paper route they would become less special. Pehaps if I used hand cut colored paper though.... hmm. Well I have a few days to figure this part out, since it probably won't be until the weekend that I've finished the frames themselves. Once the pins are done the rest is a cake-walk. Ha... cake-walk - donuts. The other option that I thought of was to coat the outer edges of each with real Jimmies... the same that appear on the donuts themselves. Hmmmm.... that would save days of work, but would they be as special? And by special I should say hand-worked. The entire point of creating components from scratch with these works is that they become more of a unique piece of art v. a whole set of prepurchased manufactured parts slapped together. But then again, would that cause the works to be more in the ideal of a real Retroconsumist work, since everything was premanufactured. No. The current idea that by replicating the same elements again and again by hand makes the artist himself more of the manufacture of his product — since I'm esentially producing the same item, only multiple times. I like that idea better. It essentially plays more to the idea the Warhol spoke to when he stated that he wished he was a machine. Would his Brillo boxes have been as special if he had bought the wood boxes premade and then had an outside company do the screen printing on them v. he and his assistants creating everything by hand. Now of course what he was doing was far from a Retroconsumerist ideology. In Retroconsumerism, the artist has to use some personally purchased, personally used, mass manufactured product as the central idea behind the work. Then make that item a part of the work by incorporating it along with the process of the artists daily practice. Then, sell it again as a wholly new product in mass. You can't just create one work and consider it a Retroconsumerist piece. It's the fact that it is replicated again and again, that allows the work to enter into the modern day consumerist world as product unto itself. The retro aspect is the use of a real product as an imitative element as well as the works catalyst.
I've decided that I'm going to do a set of drawings that are donut based and then another set that is either Nik-L-Nip or Peeps or PBR based. Not really sure at this time. I still need to finish the box painting for the PBR-BB and Abortifacient Peeps works.. time, time, time.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Some People Complain. Some People Produce. While I Tend To Complain About What I Produce.

Damn... just saw this in the news — I was in this thing no more than a month ago. I put a marked where I was staying in the big triangle. Pretty crazy that Mother Nature.

'A spectacular blot of lightning strikes above the Luxor Hotel and casino during a thunderstorm in Las Vegas.'

So I'm still developing a plan for this show coming up. What I think I'm going to do is the following. I'm gonna stick with the set of works I've already pulled for the show. Ontop of that, I'll develop a few new works as well. More than likely a set of 4 new drawings and one large work. We'll see though... I need to get on it. And I'm sure I'll have some good give-aways as well.

[10] Nik-L-Nip Bisects (candy on wood base)
[3] PBR-BB (wood/glass cases)
[2] Abortifacient Peeps (wood/glass cases)
[2] Adds (painted panel in wood/glass frame)

[4] (NEW drawings)
[1] (NEW large painting)

Monday, July 17, 2006

Even In Times Of Desperation, I Can Find Solace In The Things We Need

So next month I've been given a solo gallery show (details to come) and I'm tasked with deciding what to exhibit. I have as usual a large amount of work to choose from, but nothing substantial enough to work by itself in a single show. Well, actually I do and I've layed it all out, but it's the same old Richie Rich syndrome - pleanty of work but no 'large signature piece'. I'm thinking that this is the task at hand... to create one of those large sig. works just like I did for that Richie Rich show 2 years ago. So... what is the idea for the show — Retroconsumerism I — but the subtile escapes me right now. All the work is 'food' based and I feel like the subtitle should celebrate the idea. For working out these title concepts, I'll sleep on it... but this show has to be fresh and totally new. No work from previous shows. I had that idea reinforced by a friend today — thanks for that.

So yup... there will be a solo show next month... along with some bands and booze. Yup yup... yall come round, it's a new beginin'.

Friday, July 14, 2006

When Things Seem So Superficial, I Like To Step Back, Grab Hold Of Myself And Shriek In Delight


Keeping with old music that I recorded with friends back in the day, here's a set of five tracks from a 'band' started with long time friend and correspondent K. Buttrey (1999 - 2001). It started off simply enough as jam recordings on a cassette and evolved to, well jam sessions with some better recording equiptment. We produced what could be called 3 albums, even though they are more our personal recordings of the sessions than anything else. The following tracks are off of the last album we did.
The last track was concieved and recorded in one day, but had many takes, unlike the other recordings which are all one-take-wonders. However, I must admit, of all the recordings, this is the most solid and closest representation of the directioin we would have went if we continued to play together... but who knows, we're still young.


1. Of Ipsirlateral Displacement.mp3
2. Brat Pack.mp3
3. Dislodge.mp3
4. The Gary Busey Incident.mp3
5. Momma's In The Kitchen With Glasses.mp3

Recorded live - Charleston, TN 2001

BUTTREY - guitar (bass on track 5)
SCHAEFER - drums (keyboard on track 5)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

You're Welcome To Condemn My Choices, As Well As Your Own


Being that it's July and all, I thought this was an appropriate thing to post this month. Download the MP3 kiddies and see what you too can record on the fly after a few cases of PBR. Granted... it's not the greatest thing ever recorded, but...


Christmas In July.mp3

Recorded live - Savannah, GA 2001

WILLIAMS - vocal, bass
HARL - guitar
STATTS - guitar
SCHAEFER - drums

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

In Crouded Rush Hour Trains, I'll Breath Down Your Neck Like A String Of Explosions


Hey USPS... you're a bunch of thieves. — Yet again!
Just got this e-mail from correspondent Kutzbach:

so, we got the buttons, however, i have a feeling that you put more than one in there. there was one lone mr. t button and a big hole cut in the bottom of the envelope. if i see my mailman wearing them, i'm gunna, i'm gunna... complain about it.


Kutzbach describes the work:

it has a straight slice about 2 inches long at the bottom. i'm just grateful mr. t made it ok. 10 buttons, man, that really does suck. this just smells of foul play. some "dude" in the mailroom just scored a bunch of cool buttons i think. bitches.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I'm Looking For A Town In A Place Away From The City And Outside The State


Do we even need a Tuesday anymore...

JULY 11, 2006
BONNANO - Reunion Artifacts (stuffed envelope)
BUTTREY - Reunion Artifacts (stuffed envelope)
CHAVARRIA - Reunion Artifacts (stuffed envelope)
YORK - Reunion Artifacts (stuffed envelope)

Monday, July 10, 2006

I'm Sitting In The Back Of A Black Car

Today's a busy, busy day...

JULY 10, 2006
BARKER - Hellion Fan Club (stuffed envelope)
BARNETT - Hellion Fan Club (stuffed envelope)
HARRIS - Hellion Fan Club (stuffed envelope)
KANKA - Hellion Fan Club (stuffed envelope)
KUTZBACH - Hellion Fan Club (stuffed envelope)

Sunday, July 09, 2006

I've Lost No Accounts Of The Wherefore Art Thou And I've Recently Decided I Never Kept Them To Begin With

I have to agree with myself... thursday was a smart decision. More later in the month... too many spys read this damn blog. Over 400 a day. Who the hell are you people... find a real blog for christ-sake. Ahh screw 'em. Let them rummage thru my trash for scraps of truth if they so wish. Yes... yes, let them rummage.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

When Class Is In Session Next Time, I'll Be Sure To Sing A Song

Just like a doctor, I'm golfing the day away...

JULY 8, 2006
BARKER - 2 Buttons (stuffed envelope)
BARKER - Ray Johnson 10 (stuffed envelope)
HARRIS - Ray Johnson 10 (stuffed envelope)

Friday, July 07, 2006

I Tend To Believe Your Lies Before I Ever Believe You Tell The Truth

JULY 7, 2006
BARKER - 2 Buttons (stuffed envelope)
BONANNO - 'My Peeps' Buttons (stuffed envelope)
CHAVARRIA - 'My Peeps' Buttons (stuffed envelope)

BATES - Meat Loaf (postcard w/ 1" pin)
BARKER - Meat Loaf (postcard w/ 1" pin)
BARNETT - Meat Loaf (postcard w/ 1" pin)
BEDARD - Meat Loaf (postcard w/ 1" pin)
BONANNO - Meat Loaf (postcard w/ 1" pin)
BROWN - Meat Loaf (postcard w/ 1" pin)
BURNS - Meat Loaf (postcard w/ 1" pin)
BUTTREY - Meat Loaf (postcard w/ 1" pin)
CALLAHAN - Meat Loaf (postcard w/ 1" pin)
CHAVARRIA - Meat Loaf (postcard w/ 1" pin)
CORDERO - Meat Loaf (postcard w/ 1" pin)
HARL - Meat Loaf (postcard w/ 1" pin)
HARRIS - Meat Loaf (postcard w/ 1" pin)
KANKA - Meat Loaf (postcard w/ 1" pin)
KUTZBACH - Meat Loaf (postcard w/ 1" pin)
LINTON - Meat Loaf (postcard w/ 1" pin)
LUDWIG - Meat Loaf (postcard w/ 1" pin)
NEWTON & GEIER - Meat Loaf (postcard w/ 1" pin)
NEWMAN - Meat Loaf (postcard w/ 1" pin)
NOBLE - Meat Loaf (postcard w/ 1" pin)
PEARSON - Meat Loaf (postcard w/ 1" pin)
STATTS - Meat Loaf (postcard w/ 1" pin)
STOUT - Meat Loaf (postcard w/ 1" pin)
SYLVESTER - Meat Loaf (postcard w/ 1" pin)
VICTORE - Meat Loaf (postcard w/ 1" pin)
VINSON - Meat Loaf (postcard w/ 1" pin)
VINSON - Meat Loaf (postcard w/ 1" pin)
WEISS - Meat Loaf (postcard w/ 1" pin)
YORK - Meat Loaf (postcard w/ 1" pin)

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Through Streets - Through Parking Lots - Through Your Unlocked Car

JULY 06, 2006
BARKER - 2 Buttons (stuffed envelope)
KUTZBACH - 10 Buttons (stuffed envelope)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

But I Don't Want To Go To Sleep... I Love You Too Much

Leave me alone blog. I had a 6am flight out'a Buffalo today and First Class drinking privilages just ain't the same at 6 in the morning... lemme tell ya. Well I mean they are the same... but when you're already hung over... let's just say, they ain't the same.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

You're More Sure Than Just That


True Patriots

These things are too much fun.

Parents just don't understand.

Drinks and such

Why I don't have children... frightening

Chillin' with the guy among guys

Everybody wants to be like Jim Schaefer... some more than others.

Me and my godmother.... Wait, where's Jesus in this picture then?

Monday, July 03, 2006

He Moves Pretty Fast For Such A Little Guy


Here's my niece Izzy eatin' some lunch in the backyard.

Here's some of the pictures that she took with her first HOLGA camera. Pretty great I think.

So last night we went to the local Drive-In... in our PJ's too. We watched CARS... what a fun evening.

JULY 3, 2005
BARKER - Buffalo Rats (stuffed envelope)
BARKER - Buffalo Junk (stuffed envelope)
BARKER - Buffalo Book (wrapped package)
KANKA - Buffalo Rats (stuffed envelope)
KANKA - Buffalo Junk (stuffed envelope)

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Still I Understand, This Never Could Be


FACT: Joe Franklin last updated his website in 1999. (Look into it yourself)

This is what I was told about the following program, minutes before it aired, by my gracious hosts. (Notice Chantel in the following pictures in a deep state of what I term as 'Cathod-Worship'.)

Chantel: "We felt as though we must be dead. I mean... this is something we've had to re-live week after week, for the past six months. It's some sort of penance we've had to endure week after week."
Donny: "Yeah it's so bizzare. It's like a damn David Lynch film. Once you're into it, you can't belive you're actually watching it and you can't stop watching it until it's over."
Chantel: "Yeah, and this happens every week!"

Who is this Ronnie Littell... or is it Ronnie Littel. You have to watch the end credits to understand the spelling discrepancies in her name and the show itself. Go ahead... GOOGLE her... you're not going to find anything about her — and if you do find anything real, I'll hook you up with a Schaefer 'Ronnie Littell'... err is it 'Ronnie Littel'... anyhow, an original painting.


Are You Joking... Ohh My God, I'd Kill Myself


Grillin' & Chillin' in the backyard at the Kutzbachs

Me & the coolest niece in the world, Izzy Blue fresh off'a her afternoon nap... I probably needed one too, looking at the hat placement.

Check out this little girl. Not only does she design her own Dora the Explora' cloths, but today, I taught her how to use a HOLGA — which she totally gets and she shot 2 rolls of film all by herself - 1 B/W & 1 Color. Clever little girl and she's only 3 1/2! I'm gonna have to steal her since I don't have one of my own.

Road Trip! A whole lot of head-boppin' on this trip. Papa Don was DJ'n the Hip-Hop as Mama Chan drove.

Mama Chan and Izzy at PIZZA PLANET!!! Yes, 'The' Pizza Planet, the creator of Pods. That's right Pods... you figure out what they are.

DRINKS! And an upside down Kandinsky.... only in Buffalo.

JULY 02, 2003
BARKER - Buffalo Bugs (stuffed envelope)
KANKA - Buffalo Bugs (stuffed envelope)