The Good Life in Austin Texas

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Jackson Pollock's Birthday

Relaxin' with JacksonI had to Google something this morning and saw that the ever-changing illustration on the home page was a painting by this enigmatic master. Pollock always elicits a reaction, no matter who looks at his work. Everyone has something to say and the reactions are over an enormous range of opinions from the indifferent to outraged to praise for his genius. No one seems to ignore Jackson Pollock.

I have to say that I was just a curious observer until I saw his painting, Autumn Rhythm (Number 30) at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The painting is a very large canvas and I sat down on a small bench and just stared at the work of art. For some reason, I continued to do so for more than forty five minutes. I am not sure why but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I would include a picture but frankly it would not do any good because the size of the painting is what draws you in on a personal level. I had previously enjoyed the work of other artists that painted in genre of Abstract Expressionism and became interested in learning more about Pollock. I read a couple of books and watched a documentary and the feature length film with Ed Harris. He was a tortured soul of sorts and not always the best example of humanity but the man's story is fascinating. I am a fan of his work and like every other artist I enjoy I do NOT like everything single thing in his portfolio.

One of my favorite works by Pollock is, Painting (Silver over Black, White, Yellow and Red) and is on display at Centre Pompidou in Paris. A couple of years ago, my wife and I had the privilege of spending a couple of weeks in Paris and I was able to see that painting and two others by Pollock. We always enjoy traveling and museums in particular and she is extremely tolerant of my curious nature. Two other paintings are also on display, Number 26A, Black and White and The Deep (one of his last). I wanted to spend time looking at two of the works that were displayed side by side but in this case there was no bench so I just laid on the floor with my hands behind my head and looked. My wife took a picture and we still call it "Hanging out with Jackson". This is in no way any disrespect and I was just enjoying myself. Next time I may have to take one of those small folding stools in our daypack. For your amusement, click on this link for the opportunity to paint your own Pollock! You are guaranteed to have a good time!

Art is a subject about which all people have an opinion. Whether your tastes are for Old Masters, Primitive, Realism, Cubism or any other ism, check out what there is to see in your community. Art appreciation and support enriches our society in countless ways and I think that local art museums and artists that are in my town and yours are worth noting and would make a great Localism Post!

 

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49 commentsRussell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI • January 28 2009 08:40AM

Balcones Neighborhood Open House - 4511 Edgemont Drive

Sunday, January 25th 2008 I will be holding open another exceptional home in the Balcones area; one of Austin's finest neighborhoods. This is a wonderful and inviting one story brick home that has been renovated and updated. The floor plan offers great separation of bedrooms with the Master and beautifully appointed Master Bath located on the opposite side of the home. The remodeled kitchen features stainless appliances and a huge granite island that opens to the family room. A wall of windows overlooks the spacious backyard and gardens. The home backs to camp Mabry offering quiet and privacy.

                                               AGENTS, this is an excellent time to preview!

I will be on-site between 2pm and 4pm Sunday afternoon so please drop by for a tour of this exceptional  property. If you have questions or are unable to attend or to schedule a private showing, I can be reached at my mobile number listed below. Thanks, I look forward to seeing you there!

4511 Edgemont Drive

If you or anyone you know is anticipating purchasing or selling real estate in the Balcones Neighborhood or anywhere in Central, West or Southwest Austin or the Westlake/Eanes School District area, I would be happy to be of assistance. Let me put my nineteen years success helping upscale buyers and sellers in Austin's finest neighborhoods to work for you. Contact me for a private consultation at your convenience!

 

 

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31 commentsRussell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI • January 25 2009 11:35AM

Giving Back to Your Community as a School Volunteer

Russell as Healthy BearIt was 1993 and my previous broker asked if I would consider helping out Patricia Howard, the nurse at Eanes Elementary School with a little of my time on a special volunteer project. We had moved our family into the district a year earlier and though my children were only one and four years of age, I said sure. Little did I know that I would be involved with a volunteer effort that would last fifteen years and entail presentations to thousands of Kindergarten and first grade students at four different elementary schools in the Eanes School District. Patricia informed me that all I had to do was dress up in a bear costume as "Healthy Bear" and assist in teaching a program about the importance and health benefits of washing your hands. Here is the most inteteresting fact: The number 1 way germs are spread in the world is people NOT washing their hands! Reluctant but always game and exacting a promise that it would never get out and become public knowledge I agreed. I did think it was a bit weird at first and did not really want it known that I was prancing about in a bear costume before a bunch of school kids. (You know, with the likes of Krusty the Klown, Michael Jackson and others who had given those who volunteer with children a bad rap!)

My performances that week went fairly well in spite of a case of stage fright before a crowd of adoring 5 & 6 year olds and the fact that the costume made me sweat like a politician in church. I don't know what was so completely daunting because in a previous life, I had performed with several rock bands and engaged in all sorts of wild antics and well, that's another story... In fact, it went so well that Patricia "volunteered" my services to the other school nurses and counselors and before I knew it I was performing at four of the five elementary schools in the Eanes School District. Every January, I would take a few mornings a week and show up at the different schools and do the program. I made it into something fun and managed to mildly harass the teachers in some mischievous ways. I guess I was enjoying my influence as Healthy Bear and could not pass up the chance to have a little fun. I also made it a point to assign "homework" asking the kids to make sure that everyone in their homes engaged in regular hand washing protocol. I have to tell you there is nothing as relentless as a six year old evangelizing about hand washing (and I hear about this from clients all the time)!

Over the years I put in performances in all sorts of situations. One time between shows, I was on the phone with another realtor who was way out of line and I was responding in a direct and somewhat discordant manner. After I hung up the phone, the Principal and the school nurse were looking at me and one of them said, "So, what do you think that agent would a have done if they had seen you in that bear costume?" My answer was "she would have run or "not even" taken me seriously" so I am glad it was on the phone and NOT in Person. Over the years, I was Healthy Bear to both of my children while they were at Forest Trail Elementary and they were thrilled to know the secret behind the bear. One time the nurse made the mistake of asking me to transport the costume to Barton Creek Elementary and I ended up wearing it to the office and to visit some of my more "open minded" clients! This week, I started my fifteenth year as Healthy Bear but these days have narrowed down the performances to helping my friends Linda Kimbrough at Forest Trail Elementary and Bonnie Bucholz at Barton Creek Elementary . I will probably continue as long as either of them requests my services. I have to say that the Eanes School District has an incredible reputation and rightly so. The teachers and curriculum are first class and another contributing factor is the level of parental involvement. Friends and neighbors who take the time to show up and help in a thousand ways that keep the standards so high are what help make tour schools so spectacular. Schools everywhere are in need of outside, it only takes a little time and a willingness to help out! Have a great day and REMEMBER TO WASH YOUR HANDS!

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70 commentsRussell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI • January 21 2009 02:19PM

Westlake Open House-912 Calithea Road

This Sunday, January 18th, 2009 I will be holding open an exceptional home in Westlake Hills; one of Austin's finest areas and in the heart of the Eanes School District. Located in the hills of Westlake the home offers privacy, seclusion and exquisite views. Incredible quality materials and workmanship are featured throughout this beautiful home! I will be on-site between 2pm and 4pm this Sunday so please drop by for a tour of this beautiful property and to learn more about the area. If you have questions before next Sunday or to schedule a private showing, I can be reached at my mobile number listed below. Please stop by at your convenience, I look forward to seeing you there!

912 Calithea Road Austin, Texas

If you or anyone you know is anticipating purchasing or selling real estate in Central, West or Southwest Austin or the Westlake/Eanes School District area, I would be happy to be of assistance. Let me put my nineteen years success helping upscale buyers and sellers in Austin's finest neighborhoods to work for you. Call or email for a private consultation at your convenience!

Russell M. LewisPage copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape 

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38 commentsRussell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI • January 14 2009 12:36PM