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Multitasking artist shows how to do it all
January 19, 2007 / 2:22 PM / 11 years ago

Multitasking artist shows how to do it all

LONDON, Nov 2 (Reuters Life) - People keen to capture their inner artist, tone their bodies or learn to cook but who are a bit short on time can now do it all -- at the same time.

<p>"Still life of an apple" by John Kilduff, completed during the TV show "Let's Paint, Exercise, and Blend Drinks." REUTERS/Handout</p>

In a weekly show made for local cable television in the Los Angeles area, a man in a suit shows how to paint, exercise, cook and answer the phone, all at the same time.

Perhaps not surprisingly he doesn’t do any of these things very well, but he does do them at the same time.

John Kilduff's parody of TV's multi-makeover mania (www.letspainttv.com) is attracting a bemused cult following, thanks to video upload site YouTube.

"I don't know if it's the messy suit, the short breath, the cheesy visual effects, the rude callers, the creative energy, or all of it combined but this may very well be the funniest cable TV show ever," writes blogger Steve Hardy here.

Titles include “Let’s paint, exercise and blend drinks,” “Let’s paint, exercise and eat pie” and “Let’s paint, exercise and cook pancakes.”

“I know this world’s tough, it’s hard to be inspired to do anything and get off your butt, but if we can just wring, wring (the creative juices) out of you,” says Kilduff, warming up on the treadmill as he embarks on a study of a chocolate meringue pie.

He plans to eat it as he paints it, and offers viewers regular updates on the speed of his treadmill.

Kilduff, who at 41 is studying for a fine art degree, has experience as a TV shopping channel host, and has been performing in local cable TV programs - mainly skits -- for about 10 years. He injects mounting urgency into the painting process.

“Come on baby!” “You’re a real work of art!” “We’re trying to get you excited about doing something creative with your life!” he cries as he sweats, puffs, soaks his canvas, spills food, and fields occasional abusive phone calls from viewers.

”All the shows I’ve ever seen about how to paint tend to be boring and dry,“ he told Reuters by telephone. ”I guess I am mocking ... all these home- and self-improvement shows. I thought: “Why not try to do it all at once?”’

Kilduff acknowledges that the quality of work he produces on the treadmill is variable.

“The art gets a little messier. It takes a special person to really appreciate it,” he said, adding that his current art teachers alternately advise him to give up on the painting, or give up on the show.

“I’ve been able to make a living out of painting for the past 20 years,” he said. Who buys his work? “People who can afford it. Lately the paintings have been selling in the $1,200-$3,000 range.”

But so far, no viewer has phoned in to say they are imitating him at home.

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