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Hey Everybody!

I hope you have all shrunk back to normal size since eating too much turkey last week. We had a "small" family gathering of about 20 this year and I ate more bacon wrapped stuffed shrimp than I could count. Like most families, we celebrated by shoving as much food in our mouths as humanly possible. It was glorious! This past Thanksgiving was a big deal for me because it marked my 10th Anniversary of quitting my day job and opening my gallery in that weird little upstairs office space in downtown San Luis Obispo. I might get a little sappy here, but I had no idea what journey that path would take me on. It's been a truly wild ride. A lot of you have been with me since that very first "Homecoming" show. Literally, 100’s of paintings and prints have found homes among you. You’ve voted me “Best Artist” in SLO County a few times. You’ve commissioned me to paint things I never thought to paint like truck tail gates, antique bathtubs, vintage desks, cell phone covers, lamps, jackets, pillow cases, on a few occasions your pets, welding helmets, and even scantily clad ladies that were seen by 100’s of people. The city of SLO even commissioned me to paint a skateboard deck and an electrical box. It’s because of all of you supportive fans that I’ve been able to make a career out of this. I can't even find the words to illustrate how truly blessed you all make me feel. 

In other news, I recently finished a 48" x 60" commission painting that I'm very excited about. The owner hasn't seen it in person so I don't want to post any photos of it yet, but I will be showing it off at the "Holiday Show" this Saturday. I love doing commission work, but it's rarely ever seen in public or in an art show because it usually goes straight to the buyer. I am very happy that the owner of this painting is letting me hold onto it for a little extra time so I can show it off. If you haven't seen or heard about my recent fundraising campaign on Indiegogo through my barrage of Facebook and Instagram posts then you might consider yourself lucky because I can't seem to shut up about it. Long story short, my gallery partner, Neal Breton, and I basically got kicked out of our studio/gallery in Paso Robles back in July. Since then I've made a makeshift studio in the back of my garage, which is far from ideal. 

This campaign is really important to me because I recently found a new space that is great for working in, but it lacks the retail environment that I've been accustomed to for the last 10 years. It's an industrial warehouse, so there is nothing in the way of foot traffic, which is totally new for me. I really want it to work out because having a dedicated space to work in is important for a myriad of reasons. With this campaign I am hoping to increase my internet sales by pre-selling as much artwork as possible so that I can survive without having to run a retail venue that's open to the public. Not that I don't love the public, but downtown rents are high and I've noticed that my artistic output is far greater when I don't have to worry about business hours and the other one hundred things that running a store entails. Please check it out and if there is anything you can do to help whether it's picking up a $5 button pack, a $30 painting or even sharing the link on Twitter and Facebook it will be much appreciated. For reals! You can see the whole project at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/owls-octopi-kitties-fat-birds-bunnies-oh-my/x/4885211.

I'd like to wrap this up by sharing one of my new favorite paintings with you. For a few years I've been making what I call "Blockhead" paintings, which are small paintings on wood and I use the rectangular shape of the wood for the shape of my painted character. Well, I recently discovered that I can use that very same technique for the owls that I paint. Needless to say, painting these "Blockhead Owls" has become my latest obsession. You know, other than that crazy addictive "Serial" podcast. This one called "Night Owl" is currently my favorite. 

It's the background that does it for me. I really like how the combination of colors came together. It's one of the backgrounds I paint where I start daydreaming about strictly being an abstract artist and it's almost hard to paint one of my characters over it. Eventually I push that crazy thought out of my mind and paint my character over the abstract background and I'm always glad I do. This one, along with two others are my newest paintings and are all available in my shop.

If you've made it this far down the email you totally deserve a bacon wrapped stuffed shrimp.

Thanks so much!

- Jeff

instagram: @jeffclaassen
blog: http://www.jeffclaassen.com/blog

 

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