Lifting Up the Lasters

c.m.l. art
If my memory serves me right (and it may or may not), we first met the Lasters – C.M.L, Grace Kelly and Ruby – in March 2007 in Seale, Alabama at an art sale/party called the Doo-Nanny.

We journeyed to that remote event on the recommendation of Robert Seven, and for his invitation we are forever grateful. That year, the Doo-Nanny art sale happened during the day up near the mayor’s office by the highway. We were blown away by the art we saw and the colorful artists who made it. We felt like we’d discovered our people.
charles laster

Later that night, a party was held on Butch Antony’s back porch. The evening began with everyone watching homemade films projected on a sheet hung from a tree. Then Krekel, Joe Edel and I played music for the small but fabulous group gathered there. There was plenty of dancing and shenanigans. It was a magical.

We’ve never been the same since discovering our Doo-Nanny family that day.
grace kelly and ruby

The Lasters are an important part of this family. Talented artists and enthusiastic music lovers, we connected with them instantly, and we continue to be admirers of their art and how they move through the world.

Making a living as an artist can be very challenging. In a sea of mass produced junk, handmade art with heart often gets lost among the waves of trash. However, sailing around the country in an art car full of love, the Lasters have held true to their vision as artists, navigating the ocean of modern culture with humor and faith.
lasters art shack

The Lasters help to make our world better through their creativity and authenticity.

Now health troubles are amplifying their struggles. You can read about their current situation, and make a contribution to help them on the “Help the Lasters Relief Fund” Indigogo page. There is also a “Love the the Lasters” Etsy page fundraiser you can support.

Art lifts up our souls – and so sometimes the right thing to do is to lift up the artists.


photos by me


spontaneous short snippets


melancholy crickets
playing their last tunes
before the chill of autumn
sends them to their doom



the goat’s name was bucket
on a barrel he did stand
he seemed awful friendly
until he bit your hand

bucketon art

what is the point
of a a swirl in the sky?
the effort to hang it
to catch someone’s eye?

what is the point
of songs gone unheard?
of plaintive lyrics
sung only to birds?

what is the point
of a simple verse?
of rhythm and rhyme,
moroseness and mirth?

what is the point
of throwing time
at questions that simply
aren’t yours or mine?


Krekel Art

Jason Krekel’s birthday was this week, and in celebration here is an overdue post of a video that was made as a DVD extra for our friend Austin Vince’s Mondo Sahara movie (Krekel created lino cut art for title credits). You can follow along on Krekel’s artistic adventures at – new paintings and toys and prints posted regularly!

And here’s Jason Krekel on his snowy birthday…
jason krekel

Miracle Wave


My friends are my biggest inspirations. I am currently extra impressed by the artist efforts of Phil Cheney. Phil recently went to Connecticut and did two giant paintings. The biggest, The Earliest Days of the Miracle Wave, is 10′ x 17′. He also collaborated with musicians Meredith DiMenna and Emil Nomel on a recording of an original song. This weekend The Earliest Days of the Miracle Wave will be on display on the outside of the Nest Arts Factory. Here’s the trailer for that event – the final, longer video and full song to be revealed soon:

Phil is truly manifesting grand things. Phil’s wonderfully written posts about his adventures, and pictures of his art, can be found at


Map Your Memories

map from mapping manhattan
I found out about Mapping Manhattan: A Love (and Hate) Story in Maps from my friend Alabama Chanin’s blog. It’s so inspiring!

New Yorker Becky Cooper walked around NYC handing out a thousand blank maps of Manhattan, addressed to a P.O. Box. She then created a beautiful book from the submissions.

I love the whole vision of this project, capturing stories and memories and in relation to the places that hold them.

Cooper continues to collect and post maps on her tumblr.

On that site she writes: “Maps are more about their makers than the places they describe. Map who you are. Map where you are. Fill the map with a story or paint your favorite cup of coffee. Map the invisible. Map the obvious. Map your memories.”

Sounds like an art project to undertake.



Map by Louis Phillips.

Fall Colors

The Equinox is past, and the air is whispering autumn.

Fall in the mountains is a vivid joy, and I am impatient for the leaves to turn.

As I watch the subtle changes around me, I am reminded of this painting by Judith Cheney, the mother of my oldest friend Phil Cheney (who is also an artist). It adds to my anticipation of WNC in October. I love the happy perspective and color palette. For me, Judy’s paintings inspire a spirited outlook on the world. I am lucky to have a few of them in my house!
judith cheney fall painting