Monday, May 30, 2011

On This Memorial Day...

My dad was recently approached by a man who was a total stranger, who asked him if he served in the military?  My dad said yes, but wanted the man to know that on his way to the Phillipines, the end of WWII happened.  He still went to his post and spent time there.  The gentleman reached out, grabbed his hand and shook it with gusto ~ thanking him profusely for his service. 

On this day when we give remembrance to those who have served and those who gave their lives ~ I think about how times of war bear no layer of duty or toll, date or situation.  A service to our country should be noted of ALL individuals who served, no matter the rank, no matter the depth, no matter their current station in life and without regard to their beliefs or current convictions.  They are all Americans ~ who gave of their time, of their lives, they made a commitment.  They are all heroes in my heart.  
T H A N K  YOU!!    


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Baby Chick 911

Oh my, I may have gotten a start to my chicken population about a year or two before I thought I would.  This baby chick had to be helped to be hatched by my neighbor's this AM. The mother and several other hens were pecking it after it hatched...now it's in my studio - under a floodlight, at 86 - 90 degrees. I am doing the quickdance to read all I can about what to do, have an email into my friend in Oregon about baby chick care.  It seems to be ok, but I want to provide him/her with the chance to survive.  Placing his mouth in the water, which is in a little yogurt lid...hubster will see if he can get him some chicken food...he seems like he is ready to eat.  We have rehabbed bird babies before...nothing along the poultry line before.  911!!
If anyone has some advise or wisdom - it's appreciated!
Update - my friend, Danni, said that since they are 'flock' birds, I need to get it a buddy and maybe two since they can be fragile and you never know what you have got - so I got two Banty's - and hey, that's what the newbie is - they all seem to be getting along - it is touch and go for the newborn I think...I will keep you posted.  They are in a big box, with medicated chick food, waterer and pine shavings - heat lamps and warmth is the key for the newbie right now.  Cross your fingers.  And yes, I am officially now - "The Chicken Mama".  Funny how these things start.

Where I Stand Sunday

On my sidebar you will find two other bloggers who publish their "Where I Stand Sunday" posts - just about every Sunday.  Both of them are awesome artists who live in Michigan.  Lynn's post the other day hit the nail on the head as far as what I am up to these past few days in the studio.  In her "the importance of - just because" she simply states it...as an artist who mainly focuses on a larger area to make a difference (or a living in most cases) in the art world...one gets to the point of veering off that runway momentarily to pursue a few other creative pursuits, and I am no different.
I recently purchased a "Cinch" bookbinding tool.  It's the neatest machine for those who are into making their own books - I thought of sketchbooks (which I am 'all about' these days) and little journals...the sky is the limit.  Here are two I recently made.  The covers are from "7 Gypsies" and can be purchased at most local scrapbooking stores.  The insides are my own idea.  The small one has white with purple grid on them - one sided...the larger one has a ledger that I purchased and copied to fit the inside of both front and back and copied it onto buff colored cardstock.  Talk about fun!

Image from We Are Memory Keepers



I love the distressed look of the covers. 


Also in the 'where I stand' photo is my package from Lynn's Etsy store.  I ordered a thermofax for screen printing of a recent drawing of which I am excited to experiment with this next week ~ and some screen inks.  I have had lots of experience with silkscreening, back in 'the day'.  I used to silkscreen on fabric to use in a one of a kind handmade garments and also spent several years silkscreening a logo, numbers and names on the front and back of motocross jerseys for a local Yamaha dealership where I lived.  
Vintage image from Aztec Family Raceway, C. Springs
Stay tuned for the results on my new silkscreen adventure. 

I am also working on a watercolor in my sketchbook right now of my daughter when she was a little kid - of course - at the motocross races.
Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing.

Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on.
There are several others who also write this on Sunday, see sidebar.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Where I Stand Sunday (actually Saturday this week)

I knew that perhaps it would be raining here today, Sunday, so I did a "Where I Stand Saturday" instead.  If it isn't raining today, it's ok.  I found something much more interesting to write about on Sat.
Always my 'awareness' happens when this guy comes around, as he is laying down some heavy-duty chemicals in the air and I heed that dogs and people need to go inside.  Figured out he was dusting way before he got to the airspace above us, so dogs went inside and I stood down on the driveway to try and capture
some close-ups as he flew over. 
(This will age me)..but I remember watching "Sky King" when I was little, and this so reminds me of that show...just the sound of the engine as he swoops down and speeds up to altitude again...

In these photos you can really see those sprayers underneath the plane...(click on a photo to enlarge)
I wonder about the job of crop dusting/aerial spraying...it would seem to me to get a bit redundant...I'm thinking you'd better be aware at all times..and not take it for granted what you are doing.  These guys do this all day, when the weather cooperates.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

An Acrylic Painting of My Dog - Herman

Herman On Patrol
6" x 12"
acrylic on wrapped canvas
This one goes around the edge..
which is a good thing because his tail was important when he was checking out the world around him.   Right now this painting is traveling around the house ~ hanging here and there ~ for a last look on any fixin that should occur. 
I started out with the canvas painted with a mixture of red oxide and burnt sienna.   I like the way it enhances the edges.
and I always forget to take 'step by steps' as I go, so here it is, already in progress.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Relativity

Yesterday, we spent the afternoon and into the evening under t-storm and tornado warnings.  It rained, it hailed, the winds swirled from all different directions.  The morning after a weather event like this, I like to take my Nikon out to capture the damage...and I do mean damage.  The photos below will show  the aftermath of  about 3 1/2 " of torrential rain and flooding waters. 

Our world is 'downstream' and many things found their way to us, which we never imagined.  In farm country and pastures there is always debris.  Many floatable loose logs are now in new areas - down spillways, over and under the bridge, up on the banks of the creek.  The ground is extremely spongy. 

Some of the road is washed away at the bridge.  The shale in the roadbase is now down over the edge of the road scattered across the property.  Our dry pond is now about 3 feet deep.  We are never prepared for the surprising force of nature. In perspective, our experience is nothing like the floods of the southern U.S.  or the tsunami's of the Far East...but it is 'relative' to our lives, all the same.
 Many of these areas in the photos are usually dry.

This is the pond.

The pond spilled over the road to the creek.

But the cornfield ate away at the bank and brought along a large log that was stuck there for several years and was a natural 'water slowdown'.  Not anymore..

There is a fence underneath that debris.

Prairie grass laying flat shows that there was a fast spilling waterfall
in that area last night.


Today they are predicting more of the same ~ and of course, LIFE goes on...


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

FOURTH BLOGIVERSARY!!

(photo of one of my daughter's great flower arrangements)
Happy Blogiversary to me!  For 4 years I have kept this blog going...surprised myself, I must say.  Wish I had some time and energy to plan a 'give away' or some celebration but just haven't had time lately to put that together.  Maybe for my 5th...
Thanks to all of you who have hung in there with me these past few months...my art process has been sporadic and blogging on a regular basis has taken a
backseat to just 'living' and being more with my mom and dad this past month. 

One constant feature has been my "Where I Stand Sunday' posts.  I don't think I have missed one, and if I did, I added it on another day of the week.  I don't think I will be quitting this blog anytime soon and know that "Where I Stand" is not what it's all about.
As the title description above states this blog is a
"periodic journal of life as an artist living in Kansas". 
It's an important link to the world for me...art and otherwise. 
Hurry back - I know there will be more time to paint soon.   

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Where I Stand Sunday

Spring was here and then it disappeared.  Cold and rain, which I am not complaining about, often makes me think of soup in the crockpot.  A friend recommended this site, so upon looking there found this recipe Crock Pot Minestrone Soup and this morning into the crockpot it goes.
We are ready to put the garden in, but the wind needs to stop howling and the sun needs to come back out.  Maybe this next week.  Going from the high 90's back to the 40 and 50 degree weather makes you keep all your seasonal clothes ready and waiting. 
Taking some art to hang in Osborne at Harvey's again this next week, as well.
Just finished varnishing commissioned work to be sent to owner's this week!



Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Pastel on Art Spectrum Paper

"Woodland Emperor"
5" x 7"
pastel on Art Spectrum
aubergine sanded pastel surface
I took several photos of this Emperor Dragonfly while working in the vegetable garden one day.  He was almost hidden among the flora with his green, blue and brown color.  Once I saw him, I felt like I had 'found Waldo'! Then I decided to do a pastel of the photo!!

Sometimes I like to draw with pencils, colored pencils or pastel pencils - shown below.  This detailed piece needed those pencils...as it was a small one for an 8" x 10" frame.
Several times, I have purchased electric pencil sharpeners to try them out to keep these pencils sharpened, but I always go back to the way I was taught to sharpen them - with a knife to whittle down the wooden outside and a sandpaper block to make the pastel/lead a sharpened point. 

The latest sharpener has a problem with 'staying on' once you put a pencil in the barrel of the sharpener and then remove it. I don't think there will ever be a perfect solution to this issue, as the pastel lead-like substance tends to crumble easily. 
All in all, I miss doing mostly pastels with my art. They were about my only choice of medium at one time. 


Monday, May 9, 2011

Now Stocking My ETSY Shop

In the sidebar you can click on my name jopwall below "Etsy" and go straight to my shop.  I took all items out of my shop before I went to be with and help my mom.  I now have some new items listed there.  It was good to clean the shop and start fresh.  Several items include 'free shipping'.  
I will be adding some newer paintings  in the days to come. 
Thanks for looking!   http://www.etsy.com/shop/jopwall

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Where I Stand Sunday - A Day to Remember

I have been waiting for these irises to open and this morning - there they are!
To all my family, and friends...
And most importantly to MY MOM..
she gets to go home for a few hours today.
Being gone from your home with hardly any connection except the people who stay there
for five + weeks is a long time to be away at any age.
I am happy for her. Hope she soon gets to go home and stay there!
M A Y   Y O U R   D A Y   B E   T H E    B E S T ~
T O D A Y   A N D   E V E R Y   D A Y 
T H R O U G H O U T   T H E   Y E A R!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Dog Portrait Commission Finished


Teddy
12" x 16"
oil on canvas
This commission is a long distance one.  Always more difficult if I haven't really seen the dog.  The photos were excellent and with emails I think we got it right.  She is a champagne colored Chow Chow. 

Being home now is a good feeling, there is so much to take care of on a farmstead.  I know my blog and my art have suffered...but I will get the paint flowing again within the next few days/weeks. 
This time away from 'always in the studio' and my lack of presence online
was absolutely necessary at this time. 

Spring has been slow to get here.  It has been dry, in fact we are considered to be in a drought.  Cellar is almost dry, haven't heard the sump pump in a very long time.  And wouldn't ya know it, they are predicting temps in the 90's Sun. into Tues. 
Time to dig out the small AC for cool night's sleeping I think.  

Mom is hanging in there.  Each day she gets a wee bit stronger.  She has a great support team!  We are all crossing our fingers that she continues her healing and feeling better than she has in a long while.

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Letter to Someone

Dear Whoever You Are,
Many days ago, I went to the CVS pharmacy store in Shawnee, Kansas to get some enlargements made on the self-service Kodak kiosk.  I took my little black and white jumpdrive with lots of my photos on it, as well as some quick additions to enlarge for some better look at commission photos.  In my confusion with the machines not working right and my having to switch back and forth from one machine to the other and then back again...I left my jump drive (it cost me $29.95) in the last machine I used. 

When I called the photo department upon getting home without it, they didn't see it left in the machine.  You probably could use a 2GB jumpdrive for your extra storage, but know you took away some of my ONE and ONLY shots of our sweet dog Herman who we lost in November.  As you looked at the photos on this drive, you would have seen many of my ONE and ONLY photos of my granddaughter Scarlett.  If you found it and had turned it in to the sales counter, I would have all of those many ONE and ONLY precious photos, which mean absolutely nothing to you.  Silly me for not backing up those photos. 

If you read this, just know that had I found your jumpdrive, I would have so understood how irreplaceable the content on that drive was and turned it in for you to return to the store to find in safe keeping.  I know there is no substitute for these important memories.  You could still return it, no questions asked.  Thanks.

Sincerely,
Pattie Wall

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Just Another "Where I Stand Sunday"

Packing and getting ready to go back home for awhile. Mom is making very slow progress, but progress all the same.  I have a new and revised admiration for nurses, specialists, doctors and therapists - hospital and skilled nursing facilities in general. What a difficult and sometimes thankless job. Knowing that we will all rely at some point on health care providers, we need to give them much more credit. Mom has had the best! We feel fortunate to have made it this far! Each day is a small step - each day we are hoping she is that much closer to maybe coming back home.


My auto is packed to the gills...a few added provisions of items not found in my part of the world and it changes the loading pattern.  Oh well, it's packed in tight so nothing will shift on corners for certain! Dropping off my submission to the "Kansas 150" art exhibit in Topeka.  More info to come.

I have mixed feelings about leaving.  No one told me what a big job it is to do daily "nursing home visits and family care" - now I leave my dad to do it all...it drains you mentally and physically, but has to be done in this case.  Hang in there Dad!
Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing.
Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on.
There are several others who also write this on Sunday, see sidebar.