News

Upcoming Show at Converge Gallery January 19 2016

Converge Gallery is currently hosting a preview of the upcoming shows for this year. I am having a show in July which is Titled "You're Messing with the Wrong Guy" It's an exploration of the "tough guy" archetype in our culture and how that has evolved...or not. I am injecting the show with my usual sense of humor so it promise to be thoughtful and funny.


Martin Luther King January 18 2016

A nervous, young Martin Luther King Jr gives speech on the life cycle of the butterfly to his third grade science class, but tells a joke first to lighten the mood


Let's all Celebrate Curt-cation December 09 2015

At a time of year when much of the world has taken time out to reflect on the things that they are most thankful for, I, as per my nature, have gone in the opposite direction.  For the past ten years, during the week of thanksgiving, I have declared what has come to be known in our house as “Curt-cation” 

I got married later than in life than most people do.  Rather than leave a lot of children behind to fight for whatever resources might be left, it was my intention to leave behind a body of art work that would speak for me and let everyone in the future know what I was about.  Those plans were spoiled when I accidentally fell in love with my wife and had some children.  I also fell deeper into an abyss of responsibility and pragmatism, but let’s be honest, I was always in that

Curt-cation is a made up holiday, celebrated by me, and loathed by others, wherein I attempt to live what I refer to as “my ideal life”.  I leverage three days of vacation, from my work-a-day job into a full week dedicated to living life as a full time artist.   Everything I do is in the name of art and I come and go as I please.

As you can imagine, my wife is less than thrilled with “Curt-cation”.  She has to jostle a turkey and kids that are out of school on vacation, and I am nowhere to be found or depended upon.  That is for the other 51 weeks of the year.  No one ever said that creative types are easy to be around.  Quite the opposite. 

Rest assured, however that Karma, as always is always right around the corner waiting to kick you in the pants, since Curt-cation has never really gone off without a hitch.  It’s seems that every year, there is something that rains on my parade, whether it be out of town guest disguised as family members who stay at the house when they visit, or family who decides that November is a more economical month to get married than June, or even the landlord of my studio (who happens to be my father) decides that this is the week he is going to put a new roof on the building.

If you start a commission by this Halloween, you get a free print of that possibly two October 27 2015

If you get started on a commission between now and midnight on Halloween, I will give you a signed print of that commission for free.  That's a $25 value!!!  If you are one of the first 5 people to get started, I will give you two prints of that commission for free.  That's a $50 value and is like getting three gifts for the price of one.  

Go get started now

Click Here!!!

 


The Art of Gift Giving October 16 2015

Go commission a gift now!

 


Setting up the tent September 18 2015

This is a video of me setting up my tent this summer.  It's starts off pretty dark, because I blow into town pretty early if I can.  It also stops before I am officially done because It was getting busy and I was afraid that someone was going to take my phone.

Most popular piece this year September 17 2015

Every year there is one piece that rises to the top in terms of popularity.  This piece was by far the most popular in my tent in 2015.  I am in the process of listing all of my new pieces on the Website from this year.  I will be listing a different one each day until all of the new ones are up.  

I wait until after the festivals are over to list them for several reason.  The first is because I am just too busy to do it in the spring when I am getting ready.  If I wait to list them I have a pretty good idea of which ones people like the most.  Also it give you a reason to stop by and see me when the Art festival comes to your town.

Up until now, the best place to see my new work, before the festivals come around, has been on Instagram.  Moving forward I am going to be listing my new work on my Patreon account.  Patreon allows you to sponsor me at different levels and be a true Patron of the arts.  I get to have somewhat of a consistent income, and in return, you get to see my work first, or a free print, or I will do an original piece of art for you.  I'll be posting more about this later, but you can click on the link and get more info if you like.

 

Thanks,

Curt


I'll Be At the Columbus art Festival This Weekend June 10 2015

I'm very excited to be going to Columbus Ohio. for the Columbus Arts Festival this weekend.  It's just as great as the Central PA Arts Festival in State College only everyone is wearing red instead of blue.  I am trying some new things in my booth this week.  I will be doing live demonstrations during the slower times this weekend, and will have a display set up so that everyone can try the sgraffito themselves.
Starting tonight while I am packing, I am going to Live tweeting the festival @clothespinref . Come down and see me, I am in Booth # 55 on the Rich Street Bridge.  I also have some Ohio State University specific pieces that I am going to be debuting and am very excited about which will also be on my website very soon.  Also, don't forget to enter my contest.  The winner will get to work with me to make one if their inside jokes come to life in the form of an original piece of art.

What one thing would you want your children to remember? February 16 2015

You have spent all of these years parenting. I’m sure there are thousands of things that you taught some of which they remember to varying degrees. But if you had to choose, what one thing do you hope sticks with them? What piece of advice do you want them to remember the most? What would the “takeaway” be from having you as a parent?

Of course, I want my children to know that I love them, and that may be the most precious gift I can give them to carry with them throughout the rest of their lives, but the thing I want them to really know is that “everything is a learnable skill”. Whatever they set their minds to can be achieved. It may not be easy, It might take a lot of work, but if one person is doing it then you can to.

What would yours be?

Why not celebrate the most important thing that you want them to remember with art that is going to hang on their wall and reinforce the idea for the rest of their lives.

You know that I do art with the funny ideas that come from my head, but I bet you didn't know that I've started doing art with the fun things in your life too. Let me help you give the coolest gift you are going to give in the next year. One that is guaranteed not to go in the re-gift pile.

And, if you do it before Thanksgiving, you can pick out a free print valued at $25 from the web site as a gift from me

go to my page now to get more information. http://clothespinreferee.com/products/commission

How did you meet your significant other? November 11 2014

Your next great gift idea

My wife and I, sort of, always knew each other because our parents had been distant friends, but we never really started talking until I friend-ed her on Myspace.  Does anyone still use Myspace?  Of course not, because Facebook came along and crushed it.  So sometimes we lovingly kid each other about how wonderful it would be if only Facebook would have come along sooner.  That's our inside joke!  It’s how we met.

I bet you have an interesting story about how you met, or a fun inside joke between the two of you. I also bet that you have to get that person a gift in the near future.  If you don't have a significant other, I bet you will be looking for a meaningful gift for someone within the next year.

You know that I do art with the funny ideas that come from my head, but I bet you didn't know that I've started doing art with the fun things in your life too.  Let me help you give the coolest gift you are going to give in the next year.  One that is guaranteed not to go in the re-gift pile.

And, if you do it before Thanksgiving, you can pick out a free print valued at $25 from the web site as a gift from me

go to my web site now to get more information. http://clothespinreferee.com/products/commission

I can illustrate an inside joke between you and a friend, commemorate a special moment between a parent Heck, I could even do your families Christmas card this year.   It might be one of the coolest gifts you ever give, because it has meaning and they are going to remember you every time they see it.

Thanks Again,
Curt


Central PA Art festival August 28 2014

I had another great weekend at the Central PA art festival in State College, PA.  It's always one of my favorite shows, if I can get into it.  I understand that it was ranked number one of the top 200 shows in the US by the people who do that sort of thing.

The weather cooperated, for the most part, right up until the very end.  Even so it managed to let me get packed up before the big deluge came.  I did have to set up my stuff to dry off when I got home.

My booth was on the Cover of the Centre Daily Times with some people form Pittsburgh enjoying my work. The photographer waited until they were laughing each time and then let the shutter run for about ten quick pictures.  They were annoyed after the third time this happened, an I can't blame them because it was kinda creepy.


Port Observer Article August 28 2014

I was feature in an article in the PortObserver last week.  Check it out.

http://www.portobserver.com/comedic-and-compassionate-the-art-of-curt-miller/

 

 


FAQ June 10 2014

These are the questions I am most often asked when I am at the different art festivals:

What is my process?
My work is created using oil pastel which is a sort of waxy crayon. I put a layer of a light color down first and then a darker color over it. I use a stylus with a round metal ball on the end to cut into the darker color which reveals the lighter color and impresses some of the darker color at the same time. The technique is called Sgraffito (which, I am told, is Italian for scratch). If I do the “scratching” in one direction, it gives the piece a woodcut effect

Are they all my ideas?
Yes. I pride myself on that. When I first started doing this, there may have been a few that borrowed from common phrases that we are all familiar with, but I don’t promote those. I often hear or see ideas that I wish I would have thought of. I collect those for a possible later project but they will not be billed as being my own original thoughts.

Where do the ideas come from?
It’s hard to say. If I specifically sat down and tried to think of them, I’m not sure anything would come. They mostly come to me as I am driving or listening to talk radio or in conversations with people. My mind latches on to a notion and then takes some empirical leaps and bounds to arrive at something absurd or that most people experience in their daily lives, but haven’t taken the time to think about

You must be a fun guy to hang out with?
No. In fact it is quite the opposite. I am more likely to be quiet and I can be rather dull to be around. At least until you get to know me or I become more comfortable around you. There are funny people who pull things from the moment. I have to take the moment and digest it fully. Only then do the gems appear to me.

How did you get started?
I have always done art. I find that it relaxes me and is easier than being around people. It has been a constant friend and has helped me out of a lot of situations including some debt that I had amassed in my younger days. I started doing stand-up comedy after a rough break up with a girl who was doing stand-up (but wasn’t very good at it) I had a moderate amount of success with that but decided that I couldn’t handle the rare circumstance when I “bombed”. After I quit doing stand-up, the ideas kept coming and eventually just merged with the art.

Do images or ideas come first?
Typically the Ideas come first. I carry a recorder around so that I won’t forget them. Later, when I go over the recordings, only about one in ten ideas is worth doing anything with. I then assign an almost arbitrary image.

Which one is my favorite?
“Bob had a small head”. It’s the one that stared all of this

Do I do this full Time?
No I have a day job in sales, which, believe it or not, probably contributes more to the success of my art than anything

What is the clothespin Referee?
Another time my friend…another time


Take me on vacation May 07 2014

1.Contact me about sending you a clothespin Referee "action figure" (or make your own based on the included image)

2. Take a picture with the Clothespin Referee in front of something on your vacation.

3. Post it on Instagram @clothespinref or send it to me at curt@clothespinreferee.com so that I can post it on my Facebook page or other clothespinreferee related media.

 

The best image sent to me by the end of Summer Sept 21, 2014, wins a custom 4x4 oil pastel in the Clothespinref Style. You can commission an inside joke or have a caricature done. Whatever your imagination can fit into a 4x4 space. Just a hint, If you take the clothespin referee to Machu Picchu or Mt Hua you automatically win

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Up and running April 06 2014

Up and running....I think.  The New E commerce site seems to be working well.  This has been a long time coming and should make it easier to keep the content relevant without undergoing a Major site renovation every year.  Always much to learn.

 

Enjoy

 

Curt