Tag Archives: story

the Peachoid / I 85 at Gaffney South Carolina

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not my photo.

It’s a water tower. Interesting info that was new to me has recently been disclosed by my daughter.

I’m planning an art project which will be a pastel still life featuring representations of celestial bodies and I was talking to her about how to represent the moon.

I drove past this a lot of times on my way to Atlanta, GA. and never realized, people call it the Moon over Gaffney. It’s funny. Millenials  love to use emojis  and the peach emoji represents a butt. A butt represents the moon. So people driving past the giant peach thought of a giant butt. It has been repainted.

One time I took Amtrak to Texas when my sister lived there and as the train was speeding through Georgia and I was staring out the window, I saw a bunch of bare butts on the hill next to the tracks. Some kids were “mooning” the train. I’ll never forget it. I was traveling alone and sitting there cracking up. I stood up to see if anyone else in my train car saw the kids mooning the train but no one else was laughing, so maybe they didn’t see the moons. We passed it so fast.

The giant peach goes to show how public art can mean different things to different people. I decided to draw a peach in my still life. Not every one will get the connection.

This project might take some time. It’s too hot outside for me to enjoy drawing in plein air. I’m only now in the planning stage of my next art project, and I like taking my sweet time doing art, which is not the modern way of doing art. The modern way is to make it look spontaneous. I refuse to conform to that nonsensical attitude. I’ll show my progress on the still life as soon as I get something down on paper. Meanwhile, here’s an inspiration, the giant peach / moon.

I’ve seen a lot of ospreys lately

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I lifted this photo from free stock because I’ll never get a shot this good.

That 10 nights I stayed at the oceanfront when my lease was up at my old apt. and I didn’t know where to go, then that same day they announced VA needs to go on lockdown, so I went to a hotel with a good view, I saw an osprey fly past my balcony 3 different times with a fish in it’s talons. Another time I saw the bird on top of a street light pole eating a catch.

Then I moved into this apt which is quiet and safe and has a real private balcony with 2 big old cedar trees blocking my view of an empty baseball diamond out back, and I saw ospreys flying around.

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Yesterday I saw 3 huge birds on that pile of sticks on top of that light pole on the left, and there’s another smaller pile of sticks on a pole on the right with an osprey hanging around. A bird is on top of the “nest” on the left but it’s not showing up in my photo and you can barely see the bird on the right. That’s as far as my camera can zoom in.

I didn’t even notice the pile of sticks until yesterday when I saw them flapping around it. I thought I saw a little white head popping up a few times. I don’t know for sure that the stick pile was there all along because we had a gale force wind here on Mon. How did that pile not blow down? Or did the 3 birds just make that since the day of the big wind? I didn’t see them on top of the sticks again yesterday but this morning I saw one fly in and the other one leave.

At first I thought it could be that the 3  birds going to the sticks on the left were last years chicks who haven’t paired off yet but want to practice their nest building skills. I don’t know. This morning I saw one fly from the pile on the left over to the smaller pile on the right.

Also, I was sitting on the balcony at the oceanfront hotel and 2 pigeons landed right in front of me on the railing. I looked at them. They looked at me. One flew away then the other flew away but came back again. I think they were searching for me because pigeons like me, but that’s another story. Once I gave a pigeon shelter from a storm and it hung around my house in Richmond for a week or so.

It was a tame banded pigeon hopping around on my porch. When the storm came up I opened the door and the pigeon hopped in onto my foot and I put it on a shelf where it stayed overnight. The next morning it was easy to catch and put back outside. I got the number from the band and looked up the owner. The pigeon escaped from a bird show in Richmond. (one of those trick ” rolling “pigeons)  It was pretty. I fed it for a few days but then it was gone. The guy told me a hawk probably got it.

That’s the wildlife report from VA Beach today, and a brief story about a strange bird encounter.

I’m making good progress on my pastel of Rudee Inlet, but I’m posting this so my blogging friends won’t worry if they don’t hear from me. I’m safe. My stuff is safe.  I’m still healthy. I hope you all are ok too.

the Cow is OK / pastel

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Dang, This is hard to see. My lap top is acting all crazy, still working but the flashing horizontal lines are on it. I think dirt got between the display and the keyboard. It might go away. It did before.

This is another old favorite that did not get stolen. The skull is a souvenir from my 1st solo adventure driving across country in 2002. I drove rt.66 from Springfield MO. to Santa Monica. At Flag Staff I took a detour to go to the Grand Canyon for one night. I bought a bag of carrots in Flagstaff because I was hoping to get on the mule ride but they were all booked up so I went back to 66 and headed West. In Arizona I was looking for wild burros but didn’t see any until I got to Kingman. The burros were all there and smelled the carrots in my car. They had their snotty faces all over my car before I could park it. I barely got out of the car and they mobbed me for the carrots. It was a scream! Then I shopped and bought this skull. It rode on my backseat the rest of the trip because it was too big to fit in the trunk.

When I got home I drew the skull about 6 times in different combinations of pastel colors.

Then I saw a funny article in the weird news section of a magazine I was reading. The story goes like this:

In Fla. there was a flood and a cow was just standing there in the water. Drivers were slowing down to look at the cow and it caused a traffic jam. So many people were calling 911 to rescue the cow that they contacted the farmer who told them the cow is ok. Then DOT took a big sign out there and put it by the side of the road saying, “The cow is ok”. Then the cow moved on and the sign was still there causing a traffic jam because people were looking for the cow.

My daughter, Sarah and I got on a laughing jag over the story. She insisted I call my skull drawings the cow is ok.

Now I’m having a little problem with my computer. I think it might fix itself because it did before. If I miss something don’t worry about me. I’m in a hotel with a good view. I’d like to ride out the crazy right here. I don’t know.

 

underpainting for magnolias / story

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My life has been weird so far. I see a lot of strange things, people tell me strange things, weird stuff happens around me that leaves me thinking w.t.h. just happened. Normally I don’t talk about it because I don’t want to worry others, but this is too much. I’ll tell you what happened yesterday.

I was home working on my painting and taking a break to heat up some food in the microwave when I heard a LOUD bang! I looked around but had no idea where it came from. I was blaming the guy upstairs when I heard a knock at my door. It was a guy who looked scared so I opened the door. He asked me if I’m ok. I said yes I’m ok, what happened? He said he was cleaning his gun and it went off! (the idiot) I asked him where the shot went and he said about 5 feet behind me. I looked but didn’t see a bullet hole. He said it must have gone into a beam. The guy wanted to come in and talk to me. I said no. Then he offered me $500. He was afraid I’d call the cops. I don’t want to call the cops on my noisy neighbors, I think they’re soldiers and soldiers get a pass from me on the noise. The guy was very worried and kept apologizing over and over. He offered me the $500 three times. Normally I wouldn’t accept money but yesterday I said ok, I’ll take the money. It would probably be a $500 fine if I reported it and he would get in big trouble if he is in the navy, but I didn’t ask. So then he went back to his apt and got the $500 and brought it back up to me. He kept saying if there’s anything I need, to knock on his door any time.

Now this is only one story. Imagine if I told you hundreds of weird things like that. You’d think god was f—–g with me. I don’t know what to think. I’m not saying some supernatural power has any interest in me, but I certainly see a lot of coincidences and random flukes of the universe.

One funny thing about it was that when I was drinking my tea yesterday morning I was thinking about how there’s no need to worry about getting cancer from smoking. I’m smoking whenever I want to because there’s a million ways to die and I’m not afraid. I was giving myself a big pat on the back for being so fearless. Then my neighbor was probably worried I’d freak out.  I never freak out. I’m so calm it’s ridiculous. I should be a zen master.

This weird stuff that happens to me, I can’t keep it out of my paintings. There’s a dark and dangerous part of life that I stare straight at. I don’t try to put it in my paintings, but I can see it in there. I think the viewer can see it too but not identify it. It gives an interest to the shadows in my paintings. It’s not too scary for the viewer because they don’t know my weird life stories.

This is only a start on the painting. I’ve been packing to move in the end of March. I’d stay, but they’re making everyone move out one block at a time for renovations. Then the rent will go way up. I like the apt and no one is really bugging me, but the guy upstairs is noisy. It’s just not worth it to pay $200 more a month for the new appliances they’re putting in.

Hopefully the weather will cooperate and I can get back out to paint in plein air and finish this before I move. Or maybe I can paint it at home. I’ve made good progress on packing and still have plenty of time.

Spanish moss

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How’s this working as an abstract?

From far away it looks soft. Long ago I heard or read, I forget which, that one of the original British invaders of VA. saw this and thought it might make good stuffing for a mattress. That guy got a lot of bug bites. After that, no one tried to use it for mattress stuffing and they all headed upstream.

I used the magic of art and drew the invisible bugs. What are the bugs and how many are in this sketch?

A – 0

B – 1 to 10

C – 10 to 100

D – 100 to 1000

Holly Receptors In The Brain Of Your Plein Air Artist / mixed media

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I could have titled this, “Deciduous Holly” but then the art viewer would dismiss it as just another drawing of a twisted bush. Allow me to interpret it for you.

A few years ago my daughter lived in Atlanta GA. and when I visited her one time we saw a show called “Bodies” at the Atlantic Center. These Chinese mad scientists had taken some John Doe bodies in China and dissected them in unique ways. They injected bright dye into the nervous system then eliminated all the rest of the body’s tissues so all that was left was the neon nervous system in 3D body shaped plexiglass.  They did the same thing to the blood veins. Imagine a clear body where the whole nervous system is visible. I found it a little disturbing. One display had an arm sliced across sections and spread out so you could see the bones, muscles and other guts of the arm going down the extended length of it. I thought if I had a few of those arm cross sections I could use them as coasters since they were in plexiglass and colored so nicely with no smell of death.

Coincidentally, they were running ads on TV for a pill that supposedly stopped the “nicotine receptors” in a smoker’s brain from working. If you wanted to quit smoking, you could take the pill and quit the habit / addiction of smoking. I wondered what the nicotine receptors looked like. I doubt there are really nicotine receptors in the brain at all. I guess if an artist challenged a mad scientist to show the nicotine receptors the scientist would slap a brain out of a jar of formaldehyde onto a plate and make some cuts into the gray matter and say, “There are your nicotine receptors”. Then later, I heard of opium receptors or some other bad kind of receptors in your brain. It seems like there are receptors for all kinds of things in your brain. Everyone started jumping on the brain receptor band wagon. Then there must be receptors for other things that give the brain pleasure, like eating hard shell crabs, or looking at a pretty bush in the winter.

These days, a lot of times I draw trees with bare twisted branches and it reminds me of the neural network of the brain. And when I stood in front of this bush to draw it, those holly receptors went off in my brain giving me a feeling of pleasure. The red dots on my sketch are the holly receptors. The art viewer might see the red dots as merely berries and be bored with the sketch, because that person wants to see not only a tree, but the suffering of the artist depicted in the sketch, or some story illustrated through the art. They would never know this is an illustration of the holly receptors in my brain if I didn’t tell them. This is where you, my WordPress friends, have an advantage over the other art viewers out there. Because now you know some of the things that went through my mind when I worked on this drawing, but if I frame it or use this sketch to do a painting, others won’t see the receptors.

dragons on silk scarf / oil paint sticks

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Dragon one says to dragon two, “Gurrrl, how you doin?”

Dragon two says, “I’m good. How you doin?”

Dragon one says, “I’m fine. Lets go torch that big flock of sheep.”

Dragon two says, “Lets torch the castle instead. We can get their gold.”

Dragon one says ,”Good idea. Lets go.”IMG_2170

These are the new templates I made using my concoction of corn starch and Elmers glue piped out of a cake decorating bag onto foam  core. The foam core warped as it dried. I’ll try to find something that won’t warp for my next experimental template.

Diana Fauve / oil

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It seems a little ironic that my first subject to try fauvism is Diana because she’s the goddess of the hunt and fauve means wild animal.

Matisse said you should use color to express emotion and I thought he!!, I’m not emotional. Then I remembered the plaque at the museum said Diana represents the feminine ideals of independence and chastity so I thought about those things when I was working on it and picked colors I like to work with.IMG_2078

Yesterday when I got home from sketching at the museum I knew my sketch wasn’t right. I wanted to correct it but not go back to the museum so I taped my sketch to the wall and taped a piece of charcoal to a yardstick so I could stand back and do it again. The first try I taped a sharpie to the yardstick and that sketch looked real bad. Almost human. So I tried charcoal and got this sketch which looked better than the sketch from the museum. You can see places where my charcoal on a stick went somewhere on it’s own.

I tried two more but this one was the best so I used it for my painting. I’ll do the charcoal on a stick practice again. I’m pretty sure Matisse did it thousands of times. It’s good to stand back from what you’re working on and you can’t really focus on any certain little thing too well. It seems like you have to draw a bunch of lines and pick the one you want. IMG_2081.jpg

Here’s a few fauve portraits for you. The one on the left is Matisse, Madame Matisse. Then portrait of Matisse by Andre Derain. Then portrait of Derain by Maurice Vlaminck. On the right is portrait of Vlaminck bu Andre Derain.

It looks like your sketch doesn’t have to be 100% accurate. That’s a nice thing about fauvism. I don’t know if mine fits in with this fauvism thing but it was kind of fun and easy to do. I’ll probably do another one from a marble bust.

An interesting story about Matisse is that he cofounded an art school with some other artists but he didn’t want to be paid because he didn’t want it to be an obligation. He went on Sat. and did the critiques. He must have been a harsh critic because another teacher said it took him all week to build up the confidence of the students and on Sat. Matisse would destroy it.

On the first day of school the students were so excited to do fauvism they hung all their bright fauve paintings in the room and when Matisse came in he was mad and told them to take all that garbage down. Then he made them sketch busts! The students were not happy.

Path Through Sand Dunes / blue pastel, charcoal and chalk on orange paper

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Let me tell you about a very strange encounter I had with dogs on the beach.

Dogs really love me. I don’t know why. I like dogs but I’m not trying to find dog friends. I can’t even count all the times dogs have run hundreds of yards ahead of their masters just to meet me. I always ignore them and continue walking. I don’t look at them or talk to them or pet them. They put their wet noses on my hand and go back to their owners. I guess dogs can tell I’m not afraid of them, but I think it’s bad manners of the owners to let their dogs run up to strangers on the beach, or anywhere.

The other day I pulled into a parking spot for the beach and saw a bunch of people with big breed dogs at the entrance to the beach. They were just milling around. There were a couple kids no taller than the dogs and the dogs weren’t barking or jumping. I thought it must be a meeting of the big dog club. A couple of the dogs were big enough for the kids to ride. If I had a dog that big I’d make him a harness and train him to lug my stuff.

I decided to walk through the dogs and people to get to the beach. As I went down the cement steps two of the dogs went with me. One x large black dog and another brown dog of retriever size followed me onto the sand. It was real windy so I put down my water bottle to zip up my coat. The dogs stood beside me on the sand and a man was calling the black dog named Zeus, but Zeus didn’t go to his owner. I still didn’t look at the dogs and I called up to the man, “He’s mine now!” The man said, “You can have him!” So, I turned toward the beach not looking at these two dogs who were walking beside me. The people stayed at the top of the stairs and yelled for their dogs and for me to wait. This is funny because I ignored the dogs and the people yelling and walked down to the water with the dogs following me. When I got to the water I turned around and sent the dogs back to their owners. I walked on alone for a little while, but it was too windy. I guess that’s why the other people didn’t go down on the beach after their dogs.

Does that seem weird to you?

I wonder why there isn’t a leash law around here. If you swear on the beach you can get fined $100, but people don’t train or leash their dogs. Some of those dogs are smarter than their masters. It would only be fair if I walked off with their dog and held it for ransom. Right? I could catch one every day.

Chloe by Jaume Plensa @ the VMFA / story I made up about her

That’s me in front of Chloe modeling a top I made. Do I have a story for you.IMG_1902Does Chloe remind you of a movie like Avatar or Cocoon or something?  She’s an ET.

She’s a goddess from the planet Eatme. A lot of ETs from Eatme are in Richmond and they phoned home that it’s nice here so Chloe decided to come on down for her vacation. She has a giant UFO about a mile wide that she landed outside of Richmond totally flattening a lot of woods, soybeans , buildings and also blocking 95, causing a huge pile up of cars. A cop put a parking ticket on her ship but she’ll never pay it. That’s how it is with foreign dignitaries.

She got out of her ship and started walking into Richmond up the James River. She didn’t want to cause further damage, but still kept stepping on cars, so the river was easier to walk in. The armed forces sent out helicopters to try to communicate with her but she ignored them until they got too close, then she blew them away in a giant breath of air that smelled so sweet it was intoxicating to the pilots. One pilot radioed in that he wondered if she was married, and dispatch radioed back, “Repeat that Delta Niner.” It’s like all the guys fell in love with her when they inhaled her sweet air. So they sent in some tanks, but she laughed and turned them upside down.

Then they called in Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith. They’re our heroes with the most experience dealing with ETs. Tommy and Will got on top of the museum because Chloe started walking up the Boulevard and they shot her with enough tranquilizers to stop a whole heard of elephants. All the ladies wanted to kill Chloe. The scientists wanted to study her dead or alive, but the men wanted to keep her alive and talk to her when she woke up.

The VMFA was setting up a conceptual art piece in the yard by a Chinese artist, Sum Young Guy. (his real name) They had dug this 100 ‘ hole for Guy’s installation and they were awaiting the art piece’s arrival. So they decided bury Chloe up to her neck in the hole and keep her prisoner there. They tied her up like Gulliver and used a crane to lower her into the hole gently.

She looks peaceful enough asleep, doesn’t she? When she woke up there was hell to pay. She let out an ungodly shriek that people heard for 15 miles. All the ETs in town ran to the museum and dug her up. She shot laser beams out her eyeballs and destroyed the museum and a lot of priceless art. The generals were yelling at Will and Tommy because they didn’t know about the laser beam eyes.  Then she went on a rampage destroying everything.

That’s the last I heard from Richmond. I was in my car and out of town as soon as I got my picture taken with her. There were traffic jams and accidents everywhere.IMG_1900 Chloe’s kind of flat from this side.

Here’s a pic of another giant ET head buried up to it’s neck. This one is on Easter Island.

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