inspired by the lavishly colorful and expressive portraits of jeremy okai davis, i decided that today's painting would be a portrait, modeled after a little photo of gunther i have pinned to the wall at my table easel. it's a photo i look at every day, taken back in the old days, when the lucky dumpster first opened and the sparsely filled shelves were red and green. those days, gunther was spending a lot of time in edison helping wes & andy remodel their building into a gallery while living in his van. gunther would work his ass off, dry-walling or sanding or doing whatever kind of grueling manual labor to make a buck, and he'd come over often and we'd eat meals together and walk the dog and sit around campfires like good friends do. gunther always lived like a gypsy. he always had a positive attitude, and was uncompromising in his lifestyle choices. he lived without fear, and for the sake of fun, and for the love of his friends. i look at this image of gunther every day, in it he's grinning that trademark crooked grin, giving me and you and everyone in the world the proverbial "thumbs up". this image makes me smile, rubs a little gunther off on me, giving me the confidence to get through another one and keep on laughing. i miss you gunther. boy do we all. you were a great ball of fire.