Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Largest Cats in the World

Yeah, ten feet long and 550 pounds.
My usual joke about painting an animal doesn't work here...there is no way I would appraoch a Bengal Tiger with a paint brush.
"Here, kitty kitty kitty. How about PINK? Wouldn't you Love a pink tail?"

A bit rough, but not bad. Internet capture for the photo, but so inaccurate, I won't link to the photo.......
(why dishonor the photographer, eh?)


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Long Ago, and Far Away.......

from a perspective unexpected, and for that, also a fail. Unless, of course, you happen to like lighthouses or phallic symbols. The structure is 175 feet tall, the largest in the state of Florida and second only to Cape Hatteras (North Carolina) in the united States of America. Due to my ineptness of dropping a memory drive and losing some 600 GB of photos, music, paintings and drawings, writings, and various other trivial matter, I have very few photos left of this place. I have heard that I may be able to retrieve at least part of the information lost, but it is an arduous path, and I am thinking I'm the only one who cares about it. My very favorite picture is lost, and I should just face it that she is lost as well.

So, what alternative do I have to paint these scenes? The interweb, as Judi Dench would say in the
Best Exotic Marigold Hotel...a marvelous movie that pries us away from the past and onward into the only place we can count on. The here and now.
In the end, everything will work out well. And if it doesn't.... It is not the end.

Ponce de Leon Inlet Light
16" x 20" (acrylic)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

slower than van Gogh, faster than Homer

I'm painting the Gulf Stream, a favorite of mine, but I dare say it may not make it to the April Show. And, that's alright, because as I was studying the story behind the painting HERE, and discovered that he had fist started watercolors of it as far back as 1885. He finally started the painting in oils around 1889, and sent the "finished" painting to Philadelphia in 1900. Upon it's return (about a year later) he painted on it more, and congratulated himself on the improvement.
So, now I don't feel so bad about improving a few other pieces I have had that never did sell.
For example this, which also had a larger impressionistic sister....

Tetons in the Morning 
16" x 20"

The painting before had overemphasized the light from behind instead of relaxing the light somewhat. The sun is actually higher up, and therefore will show more (reflected by clouds) detail and color in the face of the mountains and trees. In other words, as human eyes relax when seeing something bright, this painter also relaxed the overzealous brightness, too. Improved? Yes, I'm sure of it, and, at this point, I can only apologize for the cheapness of my camera. In person, the trees at the very base of the mountain are also better seen.

In trade for a canvas, Elise Tomlinson, a fantastically excellent artist from Alaska, sent me oil paints, the likes of which I had not ever bought myself. Thank you, Elise. Turquoise? Holy cats, I've been so danged cheap, I made my own turquoise with ultramarine blue and white with a hint of veridian. I suppose that would be one of the reasons I would run out of my base colors so fast...along with them being weaker in strength. (read that last phrase as "cheap")
In any case, where I had geared myself up to create a plethora of pen and inks (of which I had sold upwards to one all last year) indeed even buying several good inks, extremely fine brushes (where I had almost always used bristle on my oil paints) and paper, plus built my own light table....these past weeks I have been banging away on prestretched canvases with new colors and new products that are ...WOW! Very different from my previous painting.
So, it isn't unusual for someone like me to see if I could meld into ancient paintings, hit the very colors I needed, and improve small points...all in the spirit of improving...

Yosemite in the Fall
16" x 20"

Again, the lower right hand corner was so dark, one could barely make out the trees. I knew they were there, and I knew why they seemed darker, however, not everyone goes to Yosemite National Park in the Fall, so, it just looked like a dark corner.

But, onward and (being as it is the only direction to go) upward....I'm painting up a storm. Today I'm setting aside the Gulf Stream and forging ahead on my path of bringing light into folks' lives. It is work. I have to forget my own emotional trials, however, just as in comedy.......

all great comedy is born of pain.

(of course, being just a lil faster couldn't hurt, now, eh. Two weeks to the hanging party)

d=^))

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Lazard Opening

 (Donated to Southside High School, Fort Wayne, Indiana)
He didn't have a plethora of games come down the pike. They were more stinging rebuttals of poor moves made by the opponent, but this one was such a sweet number.
1. d4      Nf6
2. Nd2   e4
3. dxe4  Ng4
4. h3      Ne3

Where White resigns as he must lose the Queen to save the kingdom, and, well...here's the story:




The Queen's anger knew no bounds, at times, and to be sure, this was one of those times. She slammed the King's door behind her as she flew out of his private chambers.



The guards were startled when she flew out but her growling left no doubt in their minds to not disturb her.

"I'll teach him to underestimate me!" she indignantly cursed as she stepped quickly down the long hall way, and then stopping for a moment...looking both directions, then stepping into a Pawn's room. Her Pawn, as a matter of fact. The Queen's Pawn was her tightest confidant, her right hand for any of her explosive attacks, her go to Pawn, and, well, he was a sweetie when she was upset, like now.

"HOW DARE HE!?" she crowed at the Pawn, who was already fetching a cup of tea and two lumps of sugar for her. "After all these YEARS!?"

And he handed her the tea cup, and as she took it, he did something no other Pawn was ever allowed to do...he reached out and put his hand on her shoulder. She reached up and put her hand on his hand as he knelt down before her, looking at her with those deep, blue eyes she had so longed to fall into.

"How may I be of service to you, my Dear, my Beloved Queen?" and without a break in words or movement, reached forward with his free hand to take the spoon from her cup. "Your very breath is my command."

"I need a victory on the morrow," she sipped a bit, and continued, "I know that an attack is brewing to the North. The Black army has been rumored to have some form of new techniques, and I want to squash it before it starts."

"Most enterprising, my Queen," he said, "On the morrow, we shall be assembled for you." and he searched her face for signs of fear or excitement. One would mean a hard battle, the other would mean a possible early victory without many losses, and a successful endeavor rewarded with good wine.

He saw excitement.

"Will the Queen need my assistance later?"

Covert as many ears permeate the castle keep.

"Yes, I think so. I would that you see to my security in my private chambers. Walk at midnight that you won't be heard. Step lightly, and I'll have the door left open."
...and she left. "This shall be an interesting day with a magnificent night," he thought to himself. "Just hope the battle will go as easily,"
.........................................................................................................

At four AM anytime of history, any place of the world, one can tell from the "feel" of the day. Night turns into day right around 4, though to tell some folk that is just plain harder than it's worth, and anyway. They still won't believe you no matter how well you say it.
But at four AM, the Queen's door opened just a foot or so, and out slipped a shadow, closing the door ever so carefully, and stood waiting until the first chime of the great hallway clock. Now there was a thing to be seen...Beautifully framed with walnut and the panels of some sort of purple colored wood from the orient, but the chief thing was the chimes. Solid steel, and three tones which broke out like the ringing of pure bell tones through the hallways of the entire upstairs quarters, and at first ring, stepping quickly, rapido excellente, down two halls and then left four doors, and open, and for a moment, there from his door, the Queen's Pawn looked both ways down the hall...nothing, and then the last chime.
.......................................................................................................

The sounds at five AM are an interesting cacophony of night changing into day workers. Bakers leave, cooks arrive, security marching out of place even as new security fills in, the keep is well secured. Always. In the hallway during the hustle of movement, the King and Queen dine at their leisure. Well, "leisure"...a description open to interpretation, I suspect.

As the King sat eating, the Queen laid it out plainly. She would be in charge this day, it was her day, she was by GODgoing to lead the troops in a magnificent rout of the Black Armies!

"Yes dear," he replied, because, after all. He did love her. Her fire and determination, her guile and intrigue. But all the woman did was rant over this campaign or that, emphasizing the wins, fading away at the losses.

As they ate, the Queen's Knight came into the chambers, with groveling knees and a hope at some day impressing the King to replace the Elder King Knight. More often than not, the Queen Knight would showboat around the King in that same empty headed attempt at being in the King's personal guard. Sadly not realizing that the King didn't LIKE showboating.

And here was the Queen's Knight again, sucking all the air out of the room with his intangible concepts and promises of quick victory. The King excused himself and stepped back into the kitchens before anyone could complain. Stephan, the head cook was back there eating breakfast with his staff, who all started to rise, but the King called them off, "No! Sit! Eat as you please. I am just an imposter of the King. Leaving the braggarts to sparkle the damsels, eh, Stephan?" an easy laugh.

"Yesir, and dazzle them till they do as we wish? Does that day come?" He had a day with the KIng, and they also climbed about in each other's lives for a time.

"No, Stephan. She listens to HER voice, not mine, I think!" and that easy laugh, and the whole table realized he was joshing of the Queen, and they all laughed.

Truly a younger looking fellow than his age, and as robust of Life as ever. His eyes sparked with good times, though Stephan knew the face would grow dark a bit by noon. Major battles always brought the same two at the door.

The victory or the loss mattered not. It was the loss in the war that mattered.

And a wise King knows that even the enemies have the same sorrow, and so it is a shared "ceremony" this war thing.

But now? The laughter would not be groveled to, and so he also made his way to the troops where he would trade banter and laughters with them who would go to war for his word. And they knew him special for that. This is the King that picks up ALL the wounded from the fields, and repairs as best as can, and sends them home after war is over. This is honor..no.

This is Honor.

By eleven AM, all would be on the road for the Great Field of battle. Short enough march for both Armies... near two miles. And one could see the castle of both Kings from the Great Field. These were the ancient wars.
Now IS the  Dawn of Time, again.
.....................................................................................................

The King's eyes squinted from the brightness of the day as he searched the horizon for any mischief. Hot wind blowing dust along the ground, not a cloud in the sky, and so quiet that one could hear the kildeer's "skree skree skree" across the plains over yet unplanted crops. Both armies stood motionless.

The Queen prodded her Pawn and he leaped forward two squares and announced the intentions of keeping peace in the land, and that the Black armies should disband and return home...

And the Black army laughed...and out leaped the King Knight...

The Queen's Knight saw the spot open up for his entrance, and landed he did ...right in front of the Queen! His horse reared back, and Knight clung to the saddle and neck of the wild, great horse, eyes tightly shut, hoping for the best...

The Black army then sent a Pawn out to stand against the Queen Pawn, and the Queen Pawn, without regard for life or limb, stretched out and struck the Pawn down, and then stood facing the King Knight...thinking all the while, "maybe I should have stayed home?"

The King Knight leaped out to the space so many Knights had occupied since the Dawn of Time, and, once sitting at g4, stood mocking the Queen's style of Knight...still rearing back in front of her.

"Get this filthy beast to calm down!" she screamed, "I can't see what's going on!" And when she did see the King's Knight from the other army mocking her, she motioned for the King's Rook Pawn to divert the Knight into the center where it would be easy target to her many attacks...

The King Rook's Pawn did as he was told, the Black Knight, however, did NOT move center. Instead, he landed at e6, not two steps away from the King himself!

How can this be!?

And then, to her surprise, her great King held up a white flag of surrender, and it was over. The war had ended with but one loss? And that was the Black King's Pawn???

She looked back across the great field, and saw the Black King smile, and start withdrawing his forces...victorious, but not haughty. A winner, but not a braggart.

"But, why did you quit?" she asked the King as they headed back to the castle. You have won many battles with less than a full force,"

"Ah...my Dear," ...he answered slowly... "I saw that there was a chance to lose you, or the battle and kingdom, and I feared to lose you. I would give my kingdom over many times before losing you," and he reached out and touched her arm.

Well, she was truly in a trance, then. Though losing to a small force such as that they left behind, she somehow felt that she had won something.

And that night, the King served her from head to foot, a feast as if they had won, cheers from the crowds at home for their safety and well being, and, perhaps, just a little too much wine, as well, for she felt giddy and playful to this great King she had married so many years before...

"Oh, Alphonse...you smooth talking King, you," she giggled like a small school child.

They stayed in their bed chambers for extra long the next morning, and breakfast was brought to them when they signaled for it.

The errant Queen Pawn and the Queen's Knight were sent farther North to seek a land heard only in rumor before. Replacements, though still green and without battle notched on their belts would learn well.

(I told you I was a romantic, yes?)

Sunday, March 31, 2013

After the last post, I painted another

So far, I like the first couple the best.

a direction?

easier to do a rough in pastel
went from random to specific...




got hungry for a banana split




OK, not really...
Would you believe I finally finished the Strawberry Sundae?




OK, a few days behind, eh?
Let's see...where was I ?
Oh yeah, "new direction?"


that looks too dark...
but I still like it, so, what the heck, fire up another one, eh?
This one came from a specific plot on a board...