When Your Car is More Famous Than You Are.

Last week, I was painting away at my home studio when there was a knock on the door. After realizing that none of the other people home were going to answer it, I proceeded downstairs and opened the door to a delivery driver who was dropping of lumber at the construction site next door. “Can I help you?” I asked. “Tell me about your car,” he requested. I explained the basics, answered the standard questions, and gave them permission to take some selfies with it. He offered to trade me his truck, I said no.

You see, I am the proud owner of a yellow Echo3 electric scooter, pictured above. And people love it. Driving around heads turn, people point, we get noticed. My wife’s Covid office overlooks the driveway and all pandemic long she has watched multiple people a day stop to take a look.

One night I was out at a bar with some friends and ran into another friend from the neighborhood. She introduced me to her companions as “the guy that drives that funky little yellow car.” Her friend exclaimed that she new it, in fact, at a neighborhood meeting earlier that year, someone giving a presentation showed a slide of my car and said, “we need more of these.”

I ended up with my Echo 3 because friends Klare and Jeremy decided to open a business importing them. They had brought in a couple of early models and we were excited. We wanted one. When they finally brought in an actually shipment, we were one of the first to committee. And we have no regrets, it’s a fun little vehicle great for tooling around the neighborhood. My kids like it when I do school drop off or pickup in it because their friends think it’s pretty cool. My wife has found it is the perfect vehicle for driving her paddleboard to the lake. Plus, so easy to park, there is always room. Did I mention, it’s just fun!

The standard questions-

Yes, it is electric. We do plug it in. The solar panel holds the charge, I feel (and have been told) if we got a stronger panel it would charge it enough for local driving.

It goes 35MPH, due to a regulator that was installed to keep it a legal scooter.

It can go 40 miles on a charge. We have not gone anywhere close to that distance.

It sits three adults. When our kids were little we got all four of use in, if my wife sat in the back with the kids and I drive.

It has a Bluetooth stereo, a fan for air-conditioning, a heater, and it the alarm speaks Chinese.

It’s registered as a scooter so we only have to register it every two years and the insurance is like $5 a month.

It’s name is ‘ello’, because every car needs a name. It’s yellow. And my children felt that is how British people say Hello. And it’s the kind of car that would say hello in a fake British accent (it’s fun remember.)

No, you can not rent it for your buddies bachelor party (different door knock.) Too much liability.

Echo3 can be reached through their website- https://echo3.energy/ They are located in Denver’s Santa Fe Art district.

About the painting

It is my first attempt at a gouache. It is pronounced gwash or maybe goo-wash. I didn’t pay attention in french class because I was afraid of my professor. She yelled a lot. “Eric, Français, Français.” Cercle vicieux.

I bought the paints a few years back, about the time we bought the Echo3. The connection formed in my head that this should be my first gouache painting/ Then years passed. This year, I have been working on finishing the unfinished and doing the undone. This includes trying lots of new things. I liked the results so, I am currently planning on doing more Gouache.

‘ello’

8×10

Gouache on paper

See Ya in the Funny Papers

My older cousin introduced me to the Legion of Superheros when I was 5 or 6. I was hooked instantly, who wouldn’t love books about characters endowed with powers beyond mere mortals. He also introduced me to comic collecting. I remember sitting in his room and pulling the comics from the storage box and carefully removing them from their individual plastic bag.

Soon,  I had a comic book habit, not a bad one, usually a couple a week. I would walk or bike to the drug store, the grocery store, or the convenience store, (my town had one of each.) and spend my allowance. The X-men books were my primary weakness, but I also bought a lot of Spider-man,  Superman, and The Legion of Superheros.

During one trip to Denver, my cousin let me tag along as he made a run to Mile High Comics. Ten year old me was beyond excited to be in a VW Bug hanging with teen boys, doing what teen boys do.  And, then to add that we were going to a place I had seen an ad for in every comic I had ever owned. It was Awwsomeee!

In my teens, I gave up comic book collecting, though comics stuck with me. I even imagined being a comic artist. The first computer illustration I ever did was of members of the X-men. I still have my copy of Drawing the Marvel Way.

In college, I found that my fellow art students that wanted to draw comics, drew comics all day long (some of them succeeded!) I loved painting! The dream changed! I sold of my collection for a disappointing amount of money. Oddly, it turns out that everyone else was collecting those same X-men comics.ash mile

About a year ago, I had an Uber driver whose day job was at Mile High Comics. He told me their main store was now on the edge of my neighborhood. I was intrigued.

About a month ago, I saw a newsfeed about Mile High Comics in my hood. I decided it was time to go! I grabbed the kids and drove to their warehouse location.

It was Awwwsomeee! Rows and rows of comics! Great art everywhere! My kids had fun! I even bought them a couple of comics. I saw issues of comics I once owned. They were now worth more than I sold my collection for. So it goes!

I no longer want to draw comics, though I do see their influence in my work. Dark outlines and large color fields. Plus, the characters in my paintings are often endowed with powers beyond those of mere cows and chickens, at least in my mind as I paint them.

dad mh

 

 

Cartoons and Field Trips

Last couple of weeks have been field trip week for my family.

My daughter took a trip up into the mountains. Her lunch bag is shown above. A few years ago I started a tradition of drawing a cartoon on my kids sack lunches. Five minutes of effort for a smile, it’s a great deal. Plus, it is one of the few times I draw cartoons.

My daughter also went to see a performance group The Silhouettes and my son went to the Children’s Museum. These trips also called for fun lunch bags.

bags

I like drawing cartoons. When I was in high school, I wanted to be a cartoonist. I doodled cartoons  for my friends. I doodled cartoons on my notes. I even had a short stint as the editorial cartoonist for The Thunderbird, my college paper. I dabbled with cartoons for an independent underground zine- The Thunderground. My press credentials for that paper still hangs in my studio.

Alas, I was unable to devote the time I wanted to art and had to choose, cartoons or painting. Painting won!

Coincidentally, while I was drawing my daughters buffalo lunch bag, this video showed up in my inbox. And I was stoked!

You see, I also took a field trip. I went and watched a lecture with Disney Legend Floyd Norman.

Norman the first African American illustrator at Disney was speaking at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design as part of the VISITING ARTIST, SCHOLAR, AND DESIGNER PROGRAM, sponsored by the Clifford Still Museum and Alamo Draft House Theater. Norman gave a lecture detailing his time at Disney and Pixar. He also discussed the changes in animation technology over the last 50 plus years.  As a separate part of the event, they showed the documentary “Floyd Norman: An Animated Life.”

I did not pack a sack lunch for my trip. However, I was reminded of an important message I learned in elementary school, field trips are fun, like cartoons!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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