Original Quote Paintings LLC is a family-run business based in Las Vegas. Almost every member of our family is involved in the arts, including visual arts, writing, and performing arts. One such person named JJ Mae, who lives alone with her cat in Northern California, loves art and the written word, and she has been putting pen to paper all her life - just for the love of writing.

Book Title

Rocking Chair

Several years ago, two family members discovered that JJ Mae had a large shoebox full of sayings and quotes she had written. Upon examination, we were shocked and intrigued to find these gems were full of unusual content such as innuendo, whimsical play on words, edgy humor and thought-provoking messages. Definitely content outside the shoebox!

The family convinced JJ to add narrative to the quotes and write a book, which she did. The book is titled, This is What I Think About This and That. The book is copyrighted, of course, but true to her nature, JJ Mae had no interest in publishing it.

Knowing her love of art, the family discussed the idea of using the quotes on paintings. What if we created visions based on the quotes and found an artist who could make these visions come to life? The quote would explain the painted image, and the image would explain the quote so that everything would come together in one unique and exciting piece of art. And even more enticing what if we started a business and brought these unique paintings with quotes to the public?

Before discussing this concept with JJ Mae, the family wanted to research the competition. We thought it was important to see how many pieces of art we could find in the marketplace that contained collaboration between an author and artist, especially in a collection of work. We found plenty of paintings with quotes from famous authors such as Albert Einstein or Eleanor Roosevelt. We also found instances where the artist personally wrote a quote and then painted it on the image. But we could not find any examples of published works where the same author and artist collaborated in a collection. That was so encouraging that the family made the decision to bring the idea to JJ Mae!

One week later we sat down with JJ and explained our ideas for her quotes and our unique business. We promised to consult with her on decisions every step of the way. Most importantly, we vowed to produce the highest quality oil paintings possible. JJ Mae took some time to think it over and then replied, They must be real - and yet surreal. That was a special moment - and Original Quote Paintings LLC was born!

The Story of Quote Paintings - click here to return to the beginning


Now that we knew our company would be a reality, it was time to find our Artist! The family had very strict parameters: He or she must be extremely talented, must paint in oil medium, must be experienced and HAD to be enormously versatile and able to paint almost anything we needed. But finding just the right artist would not be an easy task! The search took many months from thousands of Internet sites to gallery visits and art shows.

All the effort was worth it when we found an artist online named Dan Budde (pronounced Buddy) from the small town of Clinton, Iowa. Dan has been a commission artist for over 30 years. ("See About the Artist and Author"). What caught our attention at first was his use of color and lighting. And talk about versatility! As a commission artist, Dan was asked to paint many different styles and subjects, so his ability and talent seemed endless.

We needed to see Dan's artwork in person, so we called Dan in Iowa and told him our family wanted to commission a painting. We gave Dan no hint that we were a business in case our choice was the wrong one. We provided him with an idea and a detailed vision with a surreal theme, and 3 weeks later the 18 X 24 inch demo painting arrived.


Every single member of the family knew right away that we had found our artist. The attention to detail and beauty of the oil painting was more than we had even hoped for or imagined. Dan Budde made the unique vision we gave him come alive and that was just what we needed!



It was exciting to find our artist, but we still had no idea if he would be open to our unique concept or be available to work with us. The family agreed that we could not present our quotes and business ideas over the phone or email we needed to travel to Clinton, Iowa to meet with Dan Budde!

But who would make the trip? That decision was made when the hierarchy of the company became definite. Judith, Marcia and Steven were working members, with the rest of the family acting as consultants. LLC officers Judith and Marcia would be the ones making the trip to Iowa.

We called Dan with the premise of commissioning another painting and asked to meet with him to buy him dinner and get to know him. He was intrigued and a bit confused, saying, Nobody has ever traveled this far before to commission a painting from me! But he agreed to meet with us.

Our meeting was scheduled at the very end of December during what turned out to be one of the worst cold spells Iowa has ever seen. To make matters worse, we had not driven in snow for years! We flew from Las Vegas to Moline, Illinois. The visibility at the small airport was limited, so we were really relieved to land safely. From there we rented a car to make the 45-minute drive to Clinton, Iowa and checked into the hotel. It was actually hard to sleep that night knowing that the next day we would meet Dan Budde, and the future of Original Quote Paintings LLC could be determined.


The airport in Moline, Illinois is blanketed in snow.

Clinton sign
Judi at the Restaurant

Judith braves the cold at the Candlelight
Inn Restaurant.

Dan and Marcia

Marcia and Dan at the Candlelight Inn.


Before our meeting with Dan, we spent a little time driving around the town of Clinton, which we found to be both charming and friendly. We had scheduled an early dinner meeting, so when it was finally time we drove to the idyllic Candlelight Inn Restaurant on the banks of the Mississippi River. As we pulled into the parking lot we noticed a tall man carrying a large 24 X 36-inch oil painting under his arm. It was obviously our artist Dan Budde! When we met in the restaurant he explained that he thought we might want to see an example of his latest work (stunning by the way). We settled in, ordered drinks, and began our meeting that would turn out to last over 6 hours!

The night was so intense and yet exhilarating that it is almost a blur. After getting to know each other better over dinner, we told Dan the story of JJ Mae and showed him four quotes. Our nervousness was allayed when he laughed and smiled and seriously studied each one.

The visions we planned to present were the most challenging. After all, this was a complete stranger except for a few previous phone calls. How would he respond to painting surreal images of an oversized leather couch on a hill, horses with human faces, a modern mirror emerging in winter or a man and woman speeding toward another world? Would he understand the concept that the quote reflects the image, and the image must reflect the quote?

We began explaining each vision and the concepts we had in mind for each Quote Painting. As we spoke, Dan brought out a large sketchbook and began to work his magic. This was the most fun of all as we tapped into our creative sides and saw our visions begin to come to life on the sketchpad.

It would be the start of many draft sketches to come, but we were in awe of what we saw on paper that night. You will have to let me know when I need to break the rules, he said. No problem! After experiencing the creativity that flowed, it was hard to get down to business but we talked for several more hours about future possibilities and working together.

When it was time to ask Dan if he wanted to be our artist and paint our very first collection of Quote Paintings, we held our breaths. We were still aware that this was a huge commitment. It didn't take Dan long to decide. He looked at us and raised his wine glass for a toast. We did the same. To Original Quote Paintings clink, clink, clink we had an artist - and we had a deal!

The Story of Quote Paintings - click here to return to the beginning


We returned to Las Vegas basking in the glow of a meeting that could not have gone better. We sent Dan our final visions, and he started sending us sketches. Soon he was busy painting Collection #1. This was such a creative period! It was like Christmas morning when the originals arrived via FedEx. Promises to Fulfill and Get Going came first, with Dream Destroyers and Man and Woman delivered several months later.

But reality set in very quickly because it was time to tackle the huge task of figuring out how to put the quotes on the oil paintings. The entire family agreed that we were not going to take the easy way out and simply Photoshop the quotes during the giclée printing process. The quotes must be put on the originals using the highest quality process - But how?

There were many questions: Did we want our artist Dan to use cursive and paint the quotes on the paintings? The answer to that was no. Instead, we wanted the quotes to be consistent on every Quote Painting, with a font that was not overused but looked classy and a bit whimsical. This was a tall order!

Rocking Chair

Figuring out this problem took way more time than we anticipated. But finally we stumbled across a company located in Placerville, California (about one hour east of Sacramento) that makes custom made quotes. We knew we were on to something! The company is run by Sheri Hoeger who, along with her husband, makes handcrafted stencils. These are not the stencils we remembered from years past with cutouts! These stencils are flowing and beautiful. Sheri is actually an artist herself who has been featured in numerous books, magazines and on television.

The problem was that the Hoegers make quotes to order and then send the materials to customers with instructions on how to apply them. There was no way we were prepared to paint the quotes ourselves on our precious originals! So we called the company and asked to speak to Sheri Hoeger. She took our call, and this was a really interesting conversation! We asked, If we hand deliver our 4 paintings to you in California, would you personally paint the quotes onto each oil painting? She said she would think about it and call us back.

Sheri returned our call, and we reached an agreement for her to personally do the work. But she was not sure if the stencils would damage our oil paintings when they were removed. So Dan sent a 16 X 20-inch test canvas, and Sheri went to work testing the process using the exact high quality Gamblin paints that Dan uses. It would take about two nerve-wracking weeks before we heard whether this was going to work. We had put all our hopes on this solution with no Plan B!

Sheri called and gave us the exciting news: When the stencils were removed, the oil had NOT come off in the process, and the test canvas was not damaged. It was going to work! Every person in the family was relieved, and we shared the good news with Dan. Shortly after, we made an appointment with Sheri to drive the paintings from Las Vegas to Northern California. Another trip was in the works!



Road trip! The driving distance from our office in Las Vegas to Sheri Hoeger's in Placerville, California (almost one hour east of Sacramento) is about 10 hours, so we stopped at a hotel along the way. We still remember the hotel clerk's face as we lugged four gigantic boxes on a cart to our room for safekeeping.

Boxes on Cart

Marcia can barely be seen above the boxes.

Road trip! The driving distance from our office in Las Vegas to Sheri Hoeger's in Placerville, California (almost one hour east of Sacramento) is about 10 hours, so we stopped at a hotel along the way. We still remember the hotel clerk's face as we lugged four gigantic boxes on a cart to our room for safekeeping.

The next day we set out for Placerville, and Sheri Hoeger was outside to meet us when we arrived. First she showed us the impeccable stencils crafted from the quotes we had sent her. Then she measured the area on the paintings where the quotes would be placed. Also, Sheri and her husband had already custom made the signature of JJ Mae, and we could not believe how perfect it looked.

Sheri decided she would need at least a week to do the work and to allow the quotes to dry. Amazingly, she also determined that she would use 4 coats of paint for each quote - So they will last forever, she said.

Sheri Hoeger prepares to measure a painting

Sheri Hoeger prepares to measure a painting.

It was time to go, and Sheri sensed that we were nervous about leaving the paintings for such a long period of time. But she could not have been more reassuring. Don't worry, she said. They are already like my own babies!

We stayed with family in the area until it was time to pick up the paintings. It is hard to describe what a pivotal moment this was for us. If the quotes did not look perfect, the entire collection would be ruined. We walked into her studio and Sheri had all 4 paintings displayed in the sunlit room. They were not only perfect, they were stunning. We were frankly emotional as all three of us hugged in celebration. Finally, the dream was fulfilled and 4 original surreal paintings became Quote Paintings!


After leaving Sheri Hoeger's studio, we headed west to San Francisco. Months before we had made an appointment to meet with one of the top art consultants in the country Alan Bamberger. We arrived in downtown San Francisco on a cold April day. The wind was so fierce we had quite a time carrying all 4 Quote Paintings in their huge boxes up the stairs to Alan's Victorian-style office.

When he walked in we got right down to business. We described our concept and then unveiled all 4 Quote Paintings. We were relieved right away when he smiled as he studied each piece. The best comment he made was, "In my over 30 years of studying art, I have never really seen anything like this." After that, Alan advised us on marketing, sizing, pricing, enhanced limited edition, giclée printing and much more. We tried to take notes, but we could hardly keep up!

The meeting was well worth the time and money. Although we had extensively researched and studied the art business ourselves, we knew Alan's expertise and positive feedback on Quote Paintings would indeed propel us forward!

Alan Bamberger

Alan Bamberger


When it comes to making a beautiful and perfect giclée print, it all begins with a great photographer and ends with state-of-the-art equipment. We searched with determination to find the very best, and all roads led to Ron Finley and Penguin Digital Arts in the town of Westlake Village outside Los Angeles. Ron has produced work for top companies, celebrities and artists from all over the world. He has also won an Emmy and a Cleo award. So it was time for another road trip with our Quote Paintings from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, and we would need to stay there three days for the entire giclée process.

Ron Rinlely looks over a sample before priinting the larger gyclee prints

Ron Finley looks over a sample before printing the larger giclée prints.

The Ron Finley Studio is just as we imagined, with retro-type orange furniture and paintings all over the walls. We walked into the work area, and equipment was everywhere with computer monitors of all sizes and huge bright lights pointed toward a large scanning area where our Quote Paintings would soon be displayed.

We were able to stay at the studio almost all day to watch the process, which was a fascinating experience. It was necessary to allow the giclées plenty of time for printing and drying, so we spent the next several nights at our hotel.

It was truly another milestone for us and another emotional moment when we went to pick up our giclée Quote Paintings. They were breathtaking! Every detail and brushstroke was brought out in the museum-quality prints on canvas that Ron presented to us. Following a long-held tradition, the first four off the presses were marked on the back as Artist's Proofs, and they would be sent to Dan. The rest belonged to the company, along with the images on a digital file.

We arrived back in Las Vegas to begin a whole new chapter now we had the highest quality product possible, and we would soon embark on the journey to launch Original Quote Paintings LLC and share our unique visions with art lovers around the world!

The first 24x36 inch Quote Painting comes off the printer

The first 24x36-inch Quote Painting comes off the printer.


For our family, the day of launching would be the moment our website was up and available to people all over the world. Although a website must be updated and additions made, for us it would be a new beginning. Second only to our Quote Paintings, our hearts and souls are represented by our website. This is where our remarkable business journey and personal stories are told.

The night of the launching, the family gathered together in one place. We had hors d'oeuvres, we had drinks, and we were filled with anticipation. We got the call from our website designer Lawrence Keeney that we were up and running worldwide. We got the call from our website designer Lawrence Keeney that we were up and running worldwide. We gathered around the monitor and searched on Google for "". And there we were!

We clicked on the link and up came the images! It would be impossible to describe the scene. There were cheers, tears, hugs - and Steven, who is 6 foot 4, jumped so high with joy he almost hit the ceiling.

Right after that we called Dan so we could share in the excitement together. The only problem was that we should have enjoyed the hors d'oeuvres before we saw the website because we were far too excited to eat. Original Quote Paintings LLC was officially launched!

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