Wednesday, April 30, 2008


How many times have I forgotten the amount of work that goes into various details of whatever project on which I happen to be working? Almost always. For whatever reason, I never seem to remember that detail work requires copious amounts of time and and an endless supply of patience. This clock for instance; someone commissioned me to build it. (I had built another one several years ago.) I glibly agreed that it could be easily completed in two weeks, forgetting, of course, all the precise detail work and steps required to properly assemble said clock. Precise means exact; if one aspect of this clock is even slightly off, then the whole thing is useless. I had to ask "the commissioner" for more time to complete the clock.

The face of the clock is an old saw blade. The frame around it is copper tubing. And there is an old gas valve attached to the top of the frame.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Macho Macho Fern

What a week. I've been working on a variety of art related stuff; too many things to tell stories about it all. Maybe I'll tell the stories some day.....

This is an 10" x 8" painting of a Macho Fern from my backyard. A dear friend asked for a leaf painting....hope she likes it.

Anna updated her blog recently. Her April 20th entry amused me immensely.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Rose Garden

My friend Joan and I painted together in the Rose Garden one week ago. This is another of the 10" x 8" paintings I've done recently.

The weather was lovely, a little on the chilly side for April in Houston. It would have been HOT if we had gone today. The last time I painted outside the wind blew the canvas right off the easel. That painting still has bits of the Japanese Garden embedded on it's surface.

The Amazing Reese reminded me about a useful tool he had created for me a while back. It's a little viewfinder that I can adjust depending on the size of the canvas. For instance, for an 8" x 10" canvas, one pushes or pulls in the sides so that the artist can focus on what will actually fit on the canvas. Because of this contraption, I was able to immediately focus on what to paint. Thank you, Reese.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Painting

It's a little 10" x 8". I've done several paintings this size lately.

Come back tomorrow to see another.

Friday, April 11, 2008

A Tube of Paint

$54.95 + tax. It's the most expensive tube of paint I've ever bought.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Part Anna/Part Amaryllis

Reese and I drove to Austin yesterday for the opening of the Austin Community College student art exhibit, in which our Anna has a piece! Here, Anna and I are posing in front of Anna's copper plate lithograph. She described the process several times, but I still don't understand. It's very complicated.

The name of the piece is "Parts." She has drawn various bicycle parts and equally random body parts and combined them in one drawing in and around each other....quite specific with the details. It's modern with a hint of the ancient -- almost da Vinci-esque, especially with regard to da Vinci's medical journal drawings.

This morning when I let Skipper in the back yard, I noticed these gorgeous amaryllis'. My mother-in-law Elise gave me this plant years ago, but never before has it bloomed (in our garden) like this. The story (without proper reference) was that it came from a Texas farm near Giddings. Elise's father's boss hosted a spring picnic every year. One year, the boss's wife dug some bulbs up and gave the amaryllis to Elise's mother (Grammy) who grew it in her garden. Grammy eventually dug up some bulbs and gave it to her daughter (my mother-in-law) who grew it in her garden. Elise gave one bulb to me when I was a more diligent gardener than now. There's not enough to share yet, but some day I'll pass it along, too. There's a little more to the story than that....but I can't quite place the small bit of paper on which the specifics are recorded.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

"Miss Sonya"

Miss Sonya runs a little restaurant in Negril, Jamaica. I'm pretty sure we ate something that day with ackee, maybe conch soup, or jerk chicken...or all of the above. The food was amazing, yet secondary to Miss Sonya's hospitality. She came out of the kitchen more than once to see how we were enjoying our meal, always with this big smile on her face.

This painting has been planned for just shy of two years. This is what I painted when I woke up and thought of my daughter asking is it some day today?

Painting this was more pleasure than work.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Canoe Buffalo Bayou

The bayous around Houston aren't exactly known for their cleanliness. When we talked to one of our daughters shortly before our canoeing adventure began, she said, "Are you crazy?!! Don't fall in! You'll end up with three arms instead of two." (I'm not sure if she was talking about us growing an extra limb, or perhaps bumping into someone else's missing body part....ew. Either is a legitimate possibility.)

Our canoe guide had a quite a lot of information to share. I zoned out for most of it. When he pointed to the same tree for the fifth time, and said, "Look, there's a crepe murder (myrtle)."...well, it got old fast.

Mostly we saw trash, large amounts of trash; trash on the banks, trash in the trees, trash in the water. But we also saw cute turtles, chirpy cardinals, scary snakes, a 4-5 foot long alligator, a beaver (I think), and poison ivy.

All in all, it was a pretty great day.