Overnight Bag

Overnight Bag

Rear Window and the classic valise


What does your overnight bag tell about your personality?  If you haven’t even thought about what bag represents you and you quite often just throw your personals in the closest recycle bag, we would consider you in the low maintenance department or possibly a starving artist or homeless.  Grace Kelly in Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller, Rear Window, preferred the valise. See it sitting on the table in the picture above?  The bag was made specifically for the film by Mark Cross. In 2012, Mark Cross released for the first time an exact replica of the Rear Window Overnight Case—a must-have for fashionable film buffs everywhere. $3,995, Barneys New York.  This bag screams rich and sophisticated.

what's up Doc
Barbara Streisand in What’s Up Doc carried this one

Babs or sometimes Baby (that’s what I call her because we are so close) preferred plaid in What’s Up Doc.  This bag is hard to find so you may have to resort to Ebay.  It’s a Pendleton Brodie Tartan but currently the company is not making this beauty so you may have to go for a good condition used variety to mimic this retro-style.  To me, a person carrying this plaid-wonder falls into the hipster or yuppie category depending on if the human carrier has a beard or not and the number and variety of tattoos. Or they are hoarders of the 70’s and possess a dusty (not ratty, please) model plucked from their burgeoning attic stash.

Audrey and Loui Vuitton

If you carry this bag, you are an international jetsetter with a keen sense of style and grace. And I want to be just like you.  I love her.  Please let me eat pizza and not exercise and still look like Audrey.  Actually, I think she survived off of cigarettes and espressos which the Blue Zone project and my oncologist frowns on.  I mean really frowns on.

Or if you are not an international jetsetter, you most likely carry a lot of unpaid debt on your credit card because for most of us conservative Midwesterners, all of these bags are beyond our price point.

So, I share with you the image of my beloved overnight bag.

FullSizeRender (1)
Pretty in pink

I think I picked it up years ago from Stein Mart for less than $50.   It tags along with me when I visit C1 in Big D or to Austin for a meeting at one of our beloved state agencies  or to the Texas Hill Country with RM.  It holds up to three nights of personals and tucks away easily in the trunk.  And it’s pink with lots of compartments inside to keep my stuff organized. It makes a loopy grin pop up on face when I catch sight of its slightly stained and worn state, stored away patiently waiting for it’s next journey.   I quietly whistle, Leaving on a Jet Plane, when I pull it out to pack for my next big adventure. It fits just right in the overhead bin and I can always spot it in a sea of black.

What does your overnight bag tell about you?  Please share a picture and comment.


Local Gem on South Main in the Fort

Local Gem on South Main in the Fort

Texas Academy of Figurative Arts (TAFA) was founded in 2007 by Ron A. Cheek in Fort Worth. Prior to founding TAFA, Cheek studied at the Florence Academy of Art in Florence, Italy, earned a Bachelor of Environmental Design from Texas A&M and painted full time. In 2010, TAFA purchased and renovated a building at their current location in the near south side community of the city, located on South Main. This street also hosts Amphibian Theatre and coming soon many other hipster businesses based on the street renovation and construction already under way.

TAFA’s mission is to develop, educate and train artists in the figurative tradition, giving artists the skills to freely express their unique artistic vision.  What is figurative art? Below is a very basic illustration of the difference between abstract and figurative art.


abstract_figurative_comp (1)

But TAFA instructors teach the methods used by the Old Masters.   Old Masters refers to a range of the most seminal figures of European painters before 1800 like da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Bellini, and more.

The academic calendar at TAFA is divided into three trimesters. The Fall term is from early September to December (14 weeks), the Spring term begins in January and ends in April (14 weeks) followed by a Summer term beginning in May and ending in July (11 weeks). TAFA offers a teen workshop specifically designed for young adult artists scheduled for two weeks in the summer. Full-time tuition is $2,650 for 14 weeks of training and $2,100 for 11 weeks. TAFA offers a fee schedule for part-time and individual classes.  See their website for details.  http://www.tafastudio.org/

pretty lady
Pretty Lady

The curriculum provides a clear progression and development for any artist interested in academic realism.

Year 1: The emphasis is on accuracy, technique, and representing form through line.

Year 2: Focus shifts to techniques related to light and shade and also monochrome painting.

Year 3: Focus shifts from drawing to painting, specifically still-life painting and figure painting from life.

Year 4: Focus is now on design and composition, as well as the more complex figures, still-life and portrait painting.

Faculty includes the founder and director of TAFA, Ron A. Cheek, and Andrew Boatright, a gifted and passionate realist painter who apprenticed under the founder for several years. Find them on Facebook at Texas Academy of Figurative Arts.  We truly have some wonderful gems in the Fort because the people of our city support the arts with all our hearts, soul and pocketbooks.



Another lovely