Sunday, February 27, 2011

Eric's Birthday

This is Eric at his brother's birthday party. Somewhere in my boxes of photos, I am sure I have a picture of him at his own brithday party eight months earlier.

His mom took him to the Junior Senior Prom in 2002. She was a chaperone. She told me he wasn't happy at all when she bought the suit for him.  He told her it made him look like a dork. Evidently, enough juniors and seniors were wearing suits so he was happier about the suit when this picture was taken.

Here he is on our mower.  He is a big help to Tom and me.  Mowing is only one of the chores he does for us.

His favorite sport is soccer. Have you ever tried to get a good picture of someone playing a sport? This is the best of the recent ones that I have taken.

Eric and Courtney won the Intermediate B division (12-14 years old) of the the 4H dog show at the 2010 state fair.  For being a state champion, Eric received a silver cup and Courtney recieved a dog leash. Eric scored 229 out of 230 points.  Courtney did well, too.  She scored 100%.

Happy Birthday, Eric, from Grandma

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Monarch on Purple Coneflower

This 7X5 watercolor took me much longer than I expected. I am thinking of repeating the scene but using the watercolors in a different way.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Importance of Being Earnest

Fifty years ago is on my mind for more than one reason. It was fifty years ago that I saw The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde as a college production. I thought I would enjoy seeing it again and I was right.  Tom and I saw the Sunday afternoon performance put on by The Drama Workshop in Cincinnati.  If you have never seen this play, let me tell you it is surpremely important to be Earnest. However, not everyone is Earnest.  And that state of affairs leads to a lot of amusement for the audience.

Go to the website listed under the title page of the program  to see photos of the play taken by Kasmira Kit.  Here is the photo I took of two of those who helped put on the play.  Ray, our son, is listed in the program as one of the two Master Carpenters and Gretchen, his fiancee, is the Producer.  They are both listed as members of the Running Crew as well.  Running Crew...I see all sorts of possibilities with that job description. 

Tom and I have seen lots of interesting productions from the group. The actors and actresses are generally excellent. Many of the people who  perform in the plays or help with the productions have been involved with theater  in the Cincinnati area for years, sometimes doing professional theater as well as community theater.

The Drama Workshop is on Facebook or you can check out the following website for more information.

If you live within driving distance of Cincinnati and enjoy theater, you will enjoy their productions.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

One Dozen Red Roses

For other people, February 22 is George Washington's birthday.  For me, it is the day Tom sent me roses.  I was a college senior and determined to graduate.  Graduating was my goal, not getting married.  I wasn't even sure I wanted to get married.

I didn't know Tom  knew what dorm I lived in.  He and I had been dating on and off  for four years.  According to him, we were more often off than on.  I know I took his fraternity pin and returned it. Later I took an engagement ring from him...returned that, too.  At the time the roses arrived, we hadn't dated for over six months.

His story is that he decided to try ONE MORE TIME.  His best buddy told him buying the roses was the waste of good money.  The same money would buy all the beer the two of them could drink on an entire weekend.

I couldn't throw the roses away.  I knew he didn't have money to waste on roses.  Every day for a week I looked at the bouquet and at the end of the week, I sent him a thank you note. 

This November we will have been married fifty years. 

This morning the doorbell rang.  When I answered it, a florist was there with one dozen red roses from Tom.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Skunk Cabbage

Our area is in the midst of a February thaw. We aren't so foolish to think that spring is really here. We have had snow and ice bad enough to close local schools in late March. Still there are years when signs of spring show up in February. Stephen and I found rosettes of old fashioned Live Forever on Tuesday and even the tips of the Mystic Lily leaves.

Yesterday the two of us hiked at Brukner Nature Center after school. We had two goals. Were the Ohio Buckeye leaf buds swelling and was the Skunk Cabbage up? The first thing we discovered were trails still covered with snow.

We continued on. The Wren Run Trail leading to the swamp, the home of the skunk cabbage, looked better.

The swamp didn't look too promising at first glance.  But we looked hard.  And we found a green "witch finger".  Long ago a second grade girl on a nature walk I was leading told me that was what the first signs of skunk cabbage looked like.

We kept on searching and were rewarded. We found a maroon spotted spathe. Maybe the next time we visit the tiny yellow flowers inside will be visible.

And maybe next time the Ohio Buckeye buds will be swelling.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Portrait and Figure Studio

Last week I went to Portrait and Figure Studio at Hayner Culural Center in Troy, Ohio.  A group of area artists gather there to paint portraits and figures from live models.  We share the cost of the model.  These models are clothed.  That is important to add because in the typical college figure painting class, the models are nude.

These are my quick warm up sketches.  I choose to work in watercolor although many of the artists work in pencil or pastels.   The sketches are between 4 and 5 inches tall.  They are painted in 3 or 4 minutes since I never seem to be quite ready to start when the timer is set for 5 minutes.

Below is the longer pose. The model stood for 20 or 30 minutes, then took a break. I had between an hour and an hour and a half to work. This is watercolor on Fredrick's Watercolor Canvas which is a forgiving surface to work on. As long as I don't use staining pigments, I can wash off the color completely if I want to change my painting. I really like the canvas for figure and portrait studies. This portait is about 11 inches tall.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Monochromatic Color Studies

I chose a photo I took of the Iddings log house at Brukner Nature Center and took out details that I found distracting, primarily saplings.  I plan to use MaimeriBlu Orange Lake and Green Blue for six value studies.  The colors are not exact compliments but make a warm brown when mixed.

This is the first study using suggestions from Stephen Quiller's book, Color Choices. The task was to use no full intensity colors.  I often work this way so this study was easy compared to the other studies. I will post those another day. So far I have three of the six completed.

If you read the Random Thoughts blog, Partly Read Books and Elusive Glasses,  you can see the cover of the Quiller book under my glasses.

I am thinking that the Monochromatic Studies will make me more aware of what I can do with varying the values in a painting.  

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Snow Sculptures

Winter Worship

There are artists at work in the park, using what they find to create praises to the snowy weather.

Snow Happy

Snowman and Son

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Stephen's Project

Our grandson, Stephen, stays with us for a couple hours after school on most schooldays.  Sometimes we do projects.  Here he is holding his latest completed project.  Below are the directions and the only required tool, a Phillips screwdriver.  The truck mechanism works well.  It dumps trash into the back end with a hand operated cargo lifter.