Tag Archives: Gift for Husband

Time to Start Thinking about Commissions for the Holidays

Today is already the middle October!  I’m so sad that I haven’t been able to have open studio gatherings to see you all.  We’re going to figure something out for the December party we normally have.  Since, I think we can only have about 5-7 people in the studio safely at once, we may schedule visits if you want to come in to sample a little homemade brew and shop for holiday gifts.  I will announce that possibility as we get a bit closer, and depending on the status of C-19 cases as winter weather sets in.  We haven’t even gotten through Halloween yet, so I assume most of you aren’t in the right mindset for that as of yet. 

What I do want to talk about right now is COMMISSIONED artwork.  I have had a nearly perfect record with successful commissions.  I just finished a piece for a local fire fighter who works just down the street from my studio.  He wanted a painting to commemorate a trip with his girlfriend to Orca Island in Resurrection Bay.  The painting was supposed to be a surprise, but he told his girlfriend about it when she was having a bad day, and she cried!  The only problem with commissioning a painting for a holiday gift is I run out of time to get them all painted, so getting in early is better.  In 2016 I completed 24 individual paintings that my patrons commissioned for holiday gifts.  I felt like an elf that year, and my beard started to twinkle with a bit of varnish by December 15, the last day possible for paintings to dry in time for the 25th.  I suggest you look through the pictures of your favorite trip this year, or last year (considering a lot of us have been hunkering down and not going anywhere since March).  It always brings a smile to see people so excited to give the gift of a special painting!  Cheers, and I look forward to seeing what you bring for me to paint! 


Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #153. Course Clear!

Well, today is day 4 of my semi-Sober October.  Normally I just roll through life drinking as much beer as I feel like without getting horrendously drunk.  I find I am successful at not driving under the influence and also not making a fool of myself most of the time.  My doctor said for my weight and stature I should not be consuming more that 14 regular, 5% ABV, 12oz beers per week, which is 2 per day.  I think I average about 3 per day, just because most of the beer I drink comes in pints, or has a higher ABV and, well, I am Alaska’s Beer Artist.  So I feel a cutback is necessary to allow my liver to regenerate, and I found from past experience that October is a good month for sobriety.  Technically you can still experience Oktoberfest, since it starts at the end of September, and then there are no real beer holidays until Halloween which is on the 31, so by then you are ready to go.  It really isn’t that hard this time around.  I guess I’m not that addicted to alcohol.  As I stated before, I am going semi-sober this October.  The 14 beers are cut to 4.  The intent is not to drink during weekdays, without binging on weekends.  The end goal is to have superb health throughout my life and enjoy beer until I am ancient…right.

So this Thirsty Thursday beer painting brings an important lesson.  Mario and Luigi toasting Oktoberfest beers.  I call this painting Course Clear.  My Mario performance has been enhanced without the beer.  I am playing better, getting farther and beating more bosses when I drink sparkling water instead of IPA, my favorite beverage.  Who would have guessed?  Not surprisingly this makes gameplay more fun.  So if you have to take a break, whether self-imposed as in my case, or for whatever reason, and you find yourself wondering what to do if you have to take an alcohol break, consider playing video games.  I’m sure your gameplay will be enhanced.

So I propose a toast to Mario Brothers (yes, I am raising my cup of green tea)!  The Japanese game about Italian plumbers eating magic mushrooms, and tasting pretty flowers.  Cheers!

The original oil painting sold. Limited-edition prints are available at our Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #153. Course Complete! 8"x10", oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel. Maria and Luigi drinking beer.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #153. Course Complete! 8″x10″, oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel.

Down to Earth Session IPA by 21st Amendment Brewery

What happens when you send a reluctant chimp into space and then let him return to Earth?  The answer is one happy monkey chillin’ at the beach sipping on session-able IPAs.  21st Amendment Brewery has been making a great session ale for years, but when I stepped into its San Francisco pub and saw that the Bitter American has returned to Earth, I couldn’t believe my eyes, nor the delicious taste on my tongue.  I have a love for simians of all kinds: apes, monkeys, chimps.  There is something primal about watching the animal that we are most closely related to.  I feel that humans often reject the instincts that our tree-swinging cousins embody.  The simple joys in life are what makes life worth living.  Having a cold brew, or three on the beach is one of those things that I simply do not want to skip.  A nice cool dip in the Pacific Ocean followed by a refreshing sip brings you Down to Earth in a way that this monkey finds simply refreshing!  I hope you enjoy this painting and have a cold one for me in the heat of the sun!

This original oil painting, and limited-edition art prints are for sale at my Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.

Down to Earth Session IPA by 21st Amendment Brewery. Oil on panel, 8"x10", by Scott Clendaniel.

Down to Earth Session IPA by 21st Amendment Brewery. Oil on panel, 8″x10″, by Scott Clendaniel.

Husky IPA by Alaskan Brewing Co.

Hello sports fans!  No sport is bigger in Alaska than Dog Mushing.  In fact, it’s Alaska’s official state sport.  And the Iditarod is the most famous dogsled race in the world.  The Iditarod celebrates a historic relay in which 20 mushers and over 100 dogs rushed a much-needed batch of Diphtheria serum to Nome 92 years ago due to an outbreak.  Aviation technology was not yet advanced enough, or widely used in Alaska at that time, so sled dogs were the most reliable and fastest delivery method.  This year the route is starting in Fairbanks due to poor trail conditions in Rainy Pass.  True to its name, it’s impassable on sleds due to lack of snow.  According to the official Alaska State Balladeer, Hobo Jim, “It’s going to be an easy year.”  He’s right, because starting in Fairbanks skips the most dangerous section of the trail, the Alaska Range.  We have plenty of snow in Anchorage though, which will make the ceremonial start much better than the last two years when they dredged up some kind of blackened gray snow that was so dirty it looked like mashed up Oreo cookies.

I painted this husky pup holding the new Husky IPA from Alaskan Brewing Company in honor of this epic race.  Hanging out in a snowbank, this dog is keeping his beer cold outside along the trail as his bigger brothers and sisters are hammering the Iditarod trail.  Seriously though, beer lovers, keep your dogs away from your tasty adult beverages as you don’t want your dog sneaking your beer at every chance.  It’s bad enough keeping a race husky well fed, don’t get them started drinking your craft beer too!  Cheers to a safe trip down the old Iditarod trail for all 72 mushers!  I hope you all finish and have a Husky IPA when you get to Nome!

The original oil painting sold. Limited-edition, signed art prints are for sale at my Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.

Husky pup enjoying a Husky IPA by Alaskan Brewing Co. Scott Clendaniel. 11"x14", oil on panel.

Husky pup enjoying a Husky IPA by Alaskan Brewing Co. Scott Clendaniel. 11″x14″, oil on panel.

Commissioned Paintings for Holiday Gifts

Every holiday season I get a lot of requests for commissions, so this year we decided to cap the number of paintings to only 10.  Somehow that list filled up quickly, and as I finished them one by one, more orders came in.  In total I ended up painting 25 commissioned paintings.  Each one was approved and accepted by the patron (sometimes after minor changes), and arrived in time for the holidays.  We mailed paintings to many places around the country like Texas, Virginia, Oregon, and a couple were even mailed to Belgium.  They were commissioned as gifts for spouses, co-workers, significant others, parents, and close friends.  Each painting had a special story behind it, and I loved being in on the surprise.  My favorite painting was the portrait my brother commissioned of his wife.  I suggested a parody of the Mona Lisa with personal touches that symbolized important parts of my sister-in-law’s life.  Her reaction was priceless, and we got it on video (see below).  We take a picture of every painting that leaves the studio, so here is a slideshow of the paintings I made this holiday season (click on the pictures to view a slideshow).  They are all oil paint on wood panel, framed in a natural ash wood frame.  If you’d like to commission one, just let me know.


~ by Maria Benner

Today I placed an order from RedBubble.com for two t-shirts with Scott’s beer art screen-printed on them.  Last month we were sitting at the bar at Lagunitas Brewing Co. in Petaluma, CA, and admiring the bartender’s shirt, which had Starry Night with a beer pint on it.  Scott painted a similar beer parody of Van Gogh’s famous piece, and so we decided it would be a good idea to license Scott’s paintings so they can be on shirts.  Well, after doing some research, I found RedBubble.com, a commerce site that prints artists’ works on clothing, mugs, laptop cases, clocks, and many other consumer goods.  They also handle all the shipping, and communication with customers, and we get a percentage of each sale.  The artist can set that percentage to any level, but that number affects the retail price, so it can’t be too high.  So I opened an account, and uploaded Scott’s series of famous paintings with beer.  We also created a new 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall Poster, a calendar, and a Beer Art History poster.  One of our friends in Oregon ordered the Great Beer Wave of Kanagawa shirt, and said it was high quality and the screen print looked great!  I’m looking forward to receiving our shirts in the mail!  I’m going to upload many more paintings, not just the beer-themed ones.  I’m having so much fun seeing Scott’s art on merchandise!


Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #101! December 1, 2016. The Birth of Beer.

This is the 101st Thirsty Thursday beer painting since the end of the Year of Beer Paintings in 2014.  Today is another installment of Beer Art History 101.  This week’s beer painting is a beer parody of Sandro Botticelli’s Birth of Venuspainted between 1484-1486.  That painting was commissioned by the Medici Family of Florence, Italy.  The painting is an attempt to recreate a lost Roman painting, and this is why the painting is not in the usual Renaissance style.  You can see stylized lines, making the painting seem more like Greco-Roman pottery and wall frescoes.  The painting of Venus rising from the sea as a full figured adult woman was inspired by the beauty of Alexander the Great’s mistress.  The original painting, as described by Pliny the Elder, was considered a masterpiece that unfortunately was damaged beyond repair.  Several of these paintings have been made, but the one we have today by Botticelli is considered the epitome of the concept.  I was thinking that the glass in my painting is full of wheat beer.  Now that Pliny the Elder has been mentioned, I am having a hard time not thinking of a West Coast IPA. Whatever its imagined style, you can say this is one beautiful beer that has arrived via clamshell.  My version of this piece is called Birth of Beer.  I would be astounded if I was at the beach and angels were blowing a beer the size of a full grown woman towards me on the beach.  Cheers to beautiful beers!

This original oil painting, and 52 limited-edition, signed art prints are for sale at my Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.

Beer parody of the Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli.  The Birth of Beer by Scott Clendaniel. 14"x11", oil on panel.

Beer parody of the Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli. The Birth of Beer by Scott Clendaniel. 14″x11″, oil on panel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #98, November 10, 2016, Bourbon County Brand Stout by Goose Island Beer Co.

🎶Hey, Chicago, what do you say? The Cubs are gonna win today. They’re singing… go, Cubs, go!🎶

Good news Chicago, Bourbon Country Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co. is only a few weeks from its release date.  This Fall has been full of surprises, but the Bourbon County stout is a staple that we can rely on.  It has been over 100 years since the Cubs have been World Series Champions, and the curse of the goat is over.  Phew!  Cubs fans can sigh in relief.  I know most of the people in Chicago are upset over this current election result, but I hope you listen to my favorite president, Barack Obama, when he said that we are all on the same team.  Hillary, a Chicago native, even told us to give the new President-Elect a chance, and hey, if he screws up, we have our Constitution to back us up.  So let that black cloud of doubt go.  Like the curse of the goat, this too shall pass.  Another candidate will run in four years.  Part of the beauty of America, besides our baseball, is that for over 200 years Americans have watched the change of political power without any violence.  So pop open a bottle of Bourbon County stout and rewatch game seven of the World Series on TiVo.  America will weather this and possibly still be great when it’s all done.  THREE CHEERS FOR THE CUBS, and another for Bourbon County Brand Stout.

The original painting sold, but you can purchase limited-edition, signed prints, or order a custom beer painting at my Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #98 by Scott Clendaniel. November 10, 2016. Bourbon County Brand Stout by Goose Island Beer Co., 14"x11", oil on panel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #98 by Scott Clendaniel. November 10, 2016. Bourbon County Brand Stout by Goose Island Beer Co., 14″x11″, oil on panel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #93, October 6, 2016, Panty Peeler Belgian Tripel by Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

I painted this week’s Thirsty Thursday beer painting in response to the recent heat that Midnight Sun Brewing Company has received over the name and label design of Belgian Tripel called the Panty Peeler.  I remember first tasting the Panty Peeler at the original facility on Arctic Blvd in 2003 when the beer was called Épluche-Cullote, French for Panty Peeler.  In 2008 the name changed to Panty Peeler, because Americans were confused by the French name.  This beer is now available on draft at the Loft at Midnight Sun Brewing, in 22-oz bottles, and in cans. Midnight Sun has won awards for this beer, the latest being a silver medal in the Can Can Awards in the Belgian style ale category.

So, the beer is sexy, the design on the can is sexy.  Everyone knows sex sells.  But is it sexist, and does it promote “rape culture”, as some critics have recently claimed?  I think not.  The term “Panty Peeler” is a bit ambiguous.  The Urban Dictionary defines it as, “something said, or done that is almost sure to get a chick to sleep with you.  A candlelit dinner with rose petals could be a huge panty-peeler.”  This does not have anything to do with rape.  Promiscuous?  Yes…  Criminal?  Absolutely not!  Courtship is part of sex and is completely natural.  People who are looking for sexism and rape in anything and anywhere are in denial that women can choose to have sex.  Consensual sex does not mean rape.  Women enjoy sex too.  Everyone knows that alcohol is an aphrodisiac.  In my mind a delicious Belgian Tripel is aptly named Panty Peeler.  Shame on you, prudish party poopers, for taking an innocent, whimsical product and linking it to a heinous crime.  I stand behind one of my favorite breweries, and the wonderful people who run it.  It would be sexist not to.

This original oil painting, and 52 limited-edition prints are for sale at my Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #93 by Scott Clendaniel. October 6, 2016. Panty Peeler Belgian Tripel by Midnight Sun Brewing Co., 14"x11", oil on panel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #93 by Scott Clendaniel. October 6, 2016. Panty Peeler Belgian Tripel by Midnight Sun Brewing Co., 14″x11″, oil on panel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #78, June 23, 2016, Sockeye Red IPA by Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Sockeye Red IPA is a hopped up beer that was a hop bomb before IPAs were even popular.  About 20 years ago this beer was brewed by Mark Staples at Midnight Sun Brewing Co. to feed the desire for a spawntastic IPA at Humpy’s Great Alaskan Ale House, a downtown watering hole.  At 5.6% and 61 IBUs this beer was an immediate success.  Inspired by the Alaskan fishing scene, Humpy’s has always been a beer hub of Anchorage, with over 40 taps, a pizza joint, and a new music venue all connected into one downtown campus.  This place is where you would want to spawn till you die.  Sockeye Red IPA is available in ever convenient 12 oz cans, as well as in the original offering of 22 oz bottles.  This IPA has long been one of my favorites.  Be like this Sockeye and snag yourself a little piece of Anchorage brewing history.  Cheers to the big, bold Sockeye Red IPA!  

This original oil painting, and limited-edition prints are for sale at my Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #78 by Scott Clendaniel. June 23, 2016. Sockeye Red IPA by Midnight Sun Brewing Co. 11"x14", oil on panel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #78 by Scott Clendaniel. June 23, 2016. Sockeye Red IPA by Midnight Sun Brewing Co. 11″x14″, oil on panel.