Sunday, June 24, 2012

Happy Birthday, Treven

Hi, Treven, I hope you were feeling well enough to enjoy your birthday. It has to be a bummer to spend so much time aching and feeling bad. I'm glad that bio-feedback is helping. This is the photo I took of you just before we headed back to Ohio last October.

Since your family moved 500 miles from here when you were two, I don't have memories of reading special books to you when you were young. I do have good memories of looking at the Anime style drawings you drew. Every time we visited you had a collection of new ones that you had drawn.

I was always happy when I could find a book that had drawing ideas in it that I thought you might like.  I remember finding some good how to draw hands diagrams in this book. I am not sure I sent you this book but I am almost positive I sent you the diagrams of the hands.

Enjoy your day.  Happy drawing until I see you again.  I expect Grandpa and I will visit you some time this fall.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Painting With Friends...Marsha and Me

Yesterday, Marsha Elliott and I spent the morning painting in my basement studio. We had  music to paint to...Old Time Gathering, featuring Hammered Dulcimer, Autoharp, Guitar, Mandolin, Fiddle and Banjo, then the Time-Life Treasury of Folk Music, An All-star Hootenanny 2 (Disk 1). Marsha brings her IPad on which she has the photo she is working from. I am always impressed with the confident way she works. She had this painting finished and signed by noon.

If you go to her Red Bubble site, you can see it there, also. There you can buy it as a card or a print. Her address is

While she worked on her painting, I worked on two but didn't finish either one. One thing that Masha does differently than I do is using a hair dryer to dry her painting so she can continue painting. I almost always paint on one painting until it needs to dry, lay that painting aside, and paint on another painting while the first one dries. I switch back and forth between two or more paintings. Just a different way of working.

  I painted on Camille's portrait, mostly on her hair. I took off masking and replaced it as I added various colors to her hair.

While paint and masking fluid were drying, I started a painting of a Great-Spangled Fritillary on Milkweed. Tom took the photo a few years ago at one of the county parks. I had put on the Masking fluid some time ago so it was dry when I started. Since I was putting on very wet variegated washes, this painting spent a lot of time drying while I painted hair on the portrait.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

More Ohio Orchids

Connie of Far Side of Fifty blog, whetted my interest in Ohio orchids after she told me that if I looked, she thought I would find Yellow Lady Slippers closer to Southwestern Ohio than Lake Erie.   And then, in one of her blogs she said that Minnesota was home to 42 species of orchids. That spurred me on. Maybe Ohio had more orchids than I realized.

Tom and I decided we would go to Cedar Bog which is really a Fen. More about that on another blog. We knew that we had seen Showy Lady Slippers there years ago. When friends came to visit and were agreeable to visiting the bog, we headed up toward Urbana, Ohio. The bog is close by. The Showy Lady Slippers (Cypripedium reginae) were past their prime. This is the freshest one we found.

According to the Cedar Bog website, Showy Lady Slippers may take up to 15 years to mature and produce their first flower. Some people get a poison-ivy-like rash from touching the hairs on the stems. A volunteer at the visitors' center told us where to find two other types of blooming orchids. The first one we found was a Grass Pink Orchid (Calopogon pulchellus) close to the boardwalk. It is listed as a Threatened species on the Cedar Bog wildflower list.

The third of the blooming orchids was the Small Purple Fringed Orchid (Platanthera psycodes). We saw two blooming plants. The flowers grow in dense-cylindrical racemes. We only had my little camera with us so this is the best photo we could get. The flowers were far off the trail. You can get a closer view by clicking on the photo but the individual flowers are somewhat blurred. This is an Endangered species.

We asked about the Yellow Lady Slippers because it was Connie's comment that started us thinking about Yellow Lady Slippers in Ohio, especially after my cousin, Lucille sent me a photo of some she had seen at Oak Openings, a Metro Park in the Toledo, Ohio area. Cedar Bog does have Yellow Lady Slippers but they bloom earlier. Tom and I have put Cedar Bog on our list of places to visit in Spring of 2013.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Portrait From a Photo, Part 7

I am continuing to use the same colors I have used in the past...mostly Cobalt Blue, Antwerp Blue, Orange Lake, Burnt Sienna. Here and there I have used a bit of Permanent Orange, New Gamboge, Alizarin Crimson, and Green-Blue. It is amazing how many variations just eight colors can provide. Here I have adjusted the shape of the jacket around the neck and added a bit of Alizarin Crimson to the upper lip.  The red spot on the end of the nose is Masking Fluid so imagine white.

Here I am concerned with giving the face a more three dimensional appearance.

I've added a bit of definition to the jacket and adjusted shadows on the face.

I decided I really wanted to redo the shadow side eye. I took off the mask that protected the strands of hair that fell in front of the eye and carefully adjusted the shape of the eye, the shadows and the strands. This time I laid in a background using mostly Cobalt Blue and an additional color, Ultramarine Violet. There were also traces of Orange Lake here and there in the mixture.

The following day, I continued to play around with the shadow side eye and the shadows on that side of the face. They still need more work. I added a wash of a mixture of Orange Lake Primary Red, and then a bit of Permanent Orange to get the color I wanted to strengthen the color of the tee shirt. Finally, I painted a stronger wash on the background using the same colors I had used the day before.  I also took the Masking fluid off the end of the nose.

The next time I paint on this, I will continue working on the shadows on the shadow side of the face and work on the hair on the sunny side. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Minor Remodeling in the Basement

Forty years ago, not long after we moved into this house, we decided we needed more storage space so Tom built this wall in the basement.

Tom decided built in couches would be nice since we often had friends and relatives who stayed overnight. The adults slept in bedrooms in the main part of the house and the children slept in the basement. We set up cots, too, so there were sleeping spots for four or five or six children. They could party downstairs while the adults partied upstairs. The children played with a variety of blocks and cars and trucks and dolls and board games or played dress up with the collection of old dresses, jackets, coats, hats, wigs, and Halloween costumes.

When Tom originally wired sockets on the wall, he put the sockets close to the floor. Over time he decided it would be better to have the sockets on the ceiling so there would be no danger of anyone getting electrocuted if the basement flooded. It does flood occasionally, though not most years.

On Monday, June 4, the  wiring was done.   Since Tom can no longer get to the basement, he asked a friend to do it.   And because Eric is young and agile, he volunteered him to help. Here is Eric pulling up the wires from the floor to the ceiling...the part of him that I could see.  Eric is six feet tall.  The black curve on the shelf below Eric is the wire that is in the process of being pulled up.  The plywood and 2 X 4 wall to the left of the photo is the back of one built in couch.

I got a better picture of him before he started pulling the wire up on the other end of the wall.

And here is Mark, on the other side putting up the sockets attached to the wires Eric pulled up for him.

When Eric came upstairs, he told Tom, "Grandpa, I'm glad you build strong shelves."

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Hug the Earth Festival, 2012, Songs and Activities, Part 2

Here is Marine Mark leading children in dance to the tune of "I'm a Tree". "I'm a tree, I'm a tree, and I'm growing very tall".

Doug the Drop leads the Water Cycle Boogie Dancers. "The watercycle boogie goes round and round. The watercycle boogie goes up and down".

The Everything Needs a Home singers..."Everything needs a home, a habitat, a place to roam".

Airy Larry, The Plant Man, leading the Roots, Stems, Leaves, Flowers, Fruits, and Seeds singers. "Roots, Stems, Leaves, Flowers, Fruits, and Seeds, Six plant parts that every plant and animal needs".

There were lots of other activities besides the big concert.

Mike Manning, The Rock Man, showed these children fascinating rocks and talked about how people used them.


The children panned for treasure and found some of the rocks Mike talked about. Here is what one child found.

On the other side of the park, workers from Ohio mining put on a skit which emphasized that everything is mined or grown.

One child was dressed up as a miner.

These children mined for Ohio ores in especially prepared sand hills.

Then they took their pail of rocks to a table where they could compare what they found with named samples.

All of the children played with , a huge inflated "Earth" ball, and all ate a picnic lunch with their classmates.

  On Friday, the younger students were treated to a visit from the Kentucky Reptile Zoo. They saw a variety of reptiles.


The older students had a special treat, a Ropes Campus where they could climb a "Cliff", walk high above the ground on ropes and zip down a Zip Line. Tom pulled this photo from a video.

Here are students climbing the rock wall.