Tag Archives: story

returning to my roots with this project

haha I don’t have any roots. I’m a tumbleweed.

Once I drove Rt. 66 from Springfield MO. to Santa Monica CA. I was in OK. and I saw these dead looking shrubberies by the side of the road, which had no traffic. I thought they fell off a truck and wondered why they didn’t pick them up since they were on the road. Then I saw so many of them I thought, these have to be tumbleweeds.

This is my plan for the next painting, the second time I sketched it, this time larger. The chalk is sand and the chalk dots are sea oats.

That’s how you start a painting in the traditional process, do a detailed drawing on the paper or canvas. When I was sketching a few people walked across the path at the top of the meadow to the right of center and I decided to try to paint a figure in to give it scale. I had already sketched in some sea oats that rise up over the path from this view. I decided to erase them when I paint and put my person walking in that spot on the path. This step is the time to plan and change plans. If I started in a rush to slap down some paint without doing the sketch then the painting wouldn’t work out as I hoped. Where would I put my person in?

That’s the only roots I have, the traditional ways of painting that I learned long ago. Some times I tumble along in the breeze trying to paint like a modern artist. This time I’m going to use paint brushes and take my time on it, not skipping any steps.

plein air painting from a couple years ago and scary thing that was a false alarm but weird

The painting is long to fit in the window at Jerry’s Artarama. They asked artists to paint on canvases to fit in the store windows to block the view of the merchandise racks from the outside of the store. This was in front of a rack of paper so I thought it would be safe because they’d have to move a lot of paper to take it out of the window. It was in the window for a couple years and I wanted to get it back and rework the water but didn’t ask because I knew it would be difficult to get it out of there.

So, today I went there to buy some things and my painting was replaced by a tiger. I asked where my painting was and the guys didn’t know. The girl that arranges the windows would be out for a couple days. I gave them my phone number but expressed my concern about it with out acting too alarmed because I’m really cool in weird situations, but I was afraid it was stolen. The manager didn’t even remember the painting and he worked there for a year!

He went around the whole place looking for it and finally spotted it in a window behind shopping carts. You could only see the sky. The rest was blocked. No one would ever notice it. I was so relieved to see it. I took it home, never to be on display again! They still have some empty windows but instead they hid it.

Every time you put a painting out there you run the risk of losing it. Now, if I want to throw it away that’s one thing, but if it goes missing that would be kind of upsetting. I used to worry when entering shows in those huge sprawling non profits with back doors and no one’s watching that someone would walk out with one of mine. It did happen to a guy and the newspaper did a report on it. That artist said it was worth the loss for the publicity and sales he got afterwards but I know if it happens to me it wouldn’t make the news.

I wonder why the store didn’t just call me or email me and say it was time to pick it up? That I could understand. But hide it behind carts? Next to the front door where it was easy to slide out? Makes no sense. That also reminds me of the non profits because they liked to mainly reject my paintings but when they got hung they were in the hallway, or way up high, or next to the bathroom, or in a corner or some place I had to hunt for them, like behind a sculpture.

I’m really glad I got this one back.

It’s the view from the beach side at First Landing State Park looking out over the Chesapeake Bay at the bridge tunnel. This is a close up.

omg. I just looked at the back of the painting and someone had put a price on it of $40. This is looking more like a plan to rob me. That’s another weird thing because someone tried to rob me earlier this year and made off with a bunch of my art and I got it all back, except one thing I can remember which they didn’t return. That thing was a drying rack I made from stretcher strips and button twine. It’s possible they kept more of my art and I just don’t remember what I had because it was all my good stuff from so many years, since I regularly cull my collection and toss the old stuff I don’t want.

Now I feel like someone up there is watching out for me because I only went to the store because a fellow blogger told me to buy a different kind of palette knife.

So, Thanks to God!

Lucifer / If I wrote the story / spoiler alert

That’s Lucifer, 3rd from the left. Chloe is next to Lucifer in a leather jacket.

It’s my favorite series on Netflix so I was happy they came out with another season, but so far they’re only airing half of it, or 8 shows.

I think it would have been cooler at the end when God shows up if he’d have stayed invisible and just boomed out, “Do not maketh me come down there!”

Why isn’t God played by Morgan Freeman?

I doubt if the series will go on long enough to finish the story, but if I could write the end, I see it going in a certain direction.

First, Chloe should never have had sex with Lucifer. Yes, I know he’s hard to resist, but this will not go well for her. He can only cause pain and destruction. He is the devil, after all.

And she didn’t seem to be worried about getting pregnant with the devil’s spawn so we have to assume she’s on birth control, but it won’t work. I predict Chloe will have Lucifer’s baby.

One funny thing about the angel, Amandiel (on the left in the photo) and Linda’s baby, (Linda’s on the right) is that the baby cries all the time. Amandiel is a good angel and Linda, a human, is worried about being a good mom, but she likes to go out and get drunk with her girlfriends leaving the baby with Amandiel. Then the baby stops crying when he sees Lucifer’s devil face! The baby likes the devil face, which is scary looking.

I think if the story goes on long enough, Amandiel and Linda’s baby will be the antichrist and Lucifer’s baby with Chloe will be the second coming of Christ. That would be a twist. It might not go that far unless they have the kids grow up real fast like on soaps, since they already said they would end the series then they came out with another season.

Also, Dan’s daughter isn’t afraid of Maze’s demon face. (Maze is behind the bar and Dan is second from the right)

And Maze wishes she had a soul. She already has one. She suffers just like a human.

We should see the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse before this ends.

Horse V. Candy / feat art jargon and story

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This is a still life I painted with oils a few years ago. I used the same flower pot as I did in my most recent painting. It’s one of my model horses with a bowl of peanut M&Ms and a Rex begonia. It was fun because I arranged the M&Ms as if they were coming out to defend their fortress against the horse.

A couple weeks ago I read a post by one of my blogging friends, Judith, at art discoveries,  and she talked about art jargon which I find impossible to read. So many times I’ve tried to read an artist’s statement and been annoyed by meaningless jargon. I think, why can’t they be honest?! Why do they try to confuse people with a  meaningless statement? So I was amused to find out there’s a site that generates art jargon.” the instant art critique phrase generator.” It’s a bot. All you do is type in 5 numbers and it gives you meaningless bs! You don’t have to upload your painting. This is as random as the zodiac. These are some of the things I got from it by typing in zip codes.

“I find this work to be playful because the optical suggestion of the fracture makes the eloquence of this piece.”

“The disjunctive perturbation of the negative space specially undermines the distinctive formal juxtaposition.”

“As an advocate of the aesthetic, I feel the metaphysical resonance threatens to penetrate the exploration of the montage elements.”

“The subaqueous qualities of the elements bring within the realm of discourse the substructure of critical thinking.”

That sounds important and very esoteric! doesn’t it! And there I thought it was impossible to get a real critique these days!

I’ll tell you a true story about this painting. When I lived in Richmond and most of my paintings got rejected from the juried shows, I joined an art club, because when you enter with a group they have to hang your painting even if they don’t like it at that certain non profit, because the group paid for the wall space.  The first day when I wanted to join the group along with a few other artists, they wanted us to bring a piece of our art so they could see what kind of art we did. I took this still life. When I got there, I saw the others had leaned their paintings up on chairs so I did the same until the meeting was ready to start. A lady came in and threw her coat over top of my painting which I thought was kind of weird and I left it there and so did she. Then when it was my turn to talk about my painting I moved her coat. It seemed hostile to me. We had to wait in another room until they decided if we could join the group. I didn’t know if I’d get in but then they called us back and I did get in the group. When the meeting was over that lady was walking out in the hall close to me and she told me she’s the past president of the club for x number of years. I guess she was someone important. I said that’s nice, it looks like a good group. Then I entered shows with the group but I knew some didn’t want me to join. I got a weird vibe the few other times I had to interact. This isn’t my imagination. I’m neither an introvert or an extrovert. I’m just an ambivert, which is the correct term for someone that likes people but is ok alone.

Speaking of a weird vibe, I might go back to Fort Monroe and finish the drawing I started a couple years ago. The universe told me the guy that was planning to rob me over there got corona! hahaha Just kidding, the universe doesn’t talk to me. If I still get the weird vibe there, I’ll leave.

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.