Sunday, June 29, 2008

Where I Stand Sunday

Here I stand on my parent's deck over the geranium plant. Mom usually has tomato plants, but not this year, she gave up because something kept eating them. They live in suburban Shawnee, Ks., but there is still evidence of lots of wildlife around. She saw a deer in the early morning across the street, in the field, when getting the newspaper one morning. Last year I remember a marmot getting caught in the neighbors window well, animal control had to come get it out.

The job is coming to an end. Wednesday is my last day. I have really enjoyed it, and learned some interesting skills!

My daughter, her husband and my granddaughter will be here on Tuesday from Brooklyn. We will be going to our "Annual Gray Family Reunion" on Thursday in S.E. Missouri. It is always a very special time for our family to be together. I won't be able to post my next week's "Where I Stand" on that day, as I won't have internet access readily available, but will post it on Tuesday when I get home to No. Central Kansas.

What will I be doing next Sunday? Watching my granddaughter, Scarlett, while the kids go "floating" on the Current River. She is crawling and standing up with help. I can't wait to see her! I will be back online with my blogging every day - or hope to. I miss my blog neighborhood! But, it's been a special time to be with mom and dad, here in the city. We have had a memorable time together. And that extra income, will allow hubster and I to maybe take an RV trip before summer is over, or help buy some of the materials we need to finish the kitchen remodel. Thinking of Colorado mountains. I miss them!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Morning Marauder

Here I am hurrying to get a post in today...yesterday AM, before leaving for work we watched this guy, jump into the neighbor's bird feeder, that he had just fixed and replenished with bird food. What is funny - is that in the yard, which you can't see - is a ferocious beast known as the Pomeranian. Now if my Herman (the coon hunter dachshund) was here, he would have been all over this guy as he hit the ground!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Where I Stood This Week

This is to you - who work on your feet all day -
I have been working 10 - 12 hour days and I feel your pain!
I am working at a place where the people are really nice and
they appreciate the good job you do. Rare.
Here I am standing on the packing room cement floor on
top of the padded floor mat.
I've stood here the last 11 days straight. More than I have worked in awhile.

Sunday off, so hope to have a painting to post soon. Yeah!

Here is where I stood last night at my brothers for a dinner get together; Mom, Dad, Eric, Crystal, me and Scott, Will, and Teresa. You can see where my brother was standing again...he's a funny guy! We had fun. We always do! The floor looks funny because I 'photo shopped' out the shine, and I was tired and didn't spend a long time on it, but didn't want you to have the flash shine off the floor blinding you which it was.

This is me, my brother Scott and my dad on Father's Day. Just got these photos off of my brother's camera last night.

"Where I Stand Sunday" (although today it is a little different title today) is posted weekly. It helps chronicle the "journey". Too often we take for granted where we stand and what we are involved in. Used as a "vehicle" for journaling and a glance at "human geography", I; along with several others; note this day, in this way. I invite you to check "them" out, their blog addresses are in the sidebar to the right, to compare and contrast the human events of Sunday in different parts of the country and maybe the globe! If you would like to join in (and I encourage you as it is a great writing "prompt"), please leave a comment below with your blog address and we will note it in our sidebar! Thanks for looking!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Where I Stand Sunday

I used to dance -
standing on top of my daddy's feet
when I was a little girl.
He would glide my around the room
as I pretended to fly through the air
to a song that only he and I could hear.
I love you Dad!

Everyone knows the saying "Two Left Feet"? Well, here they are! Actually my brother's bare foot, couldn't resist being included. We had steaks on the barbecue, Sat. night in Shawnee and will see my nephew and his 3 kids at my brother's today for more celebration - for DAD!
In honor of Father's Day, to those who I know as fathers..Happy Father's Day, to my dad, and my husband, my brother, my son-in-law, my stepson (who will be a father by the end of the summer), my nephew, my friends - who are fathers! This is your day, so get out there and enjoy it!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Back Among the Workforce

My boss has her eye on the Fed Ex guy, and when he comes to pick up our packages, the others have decided to use a code - they say "poodle ears" to let her know that the Fed Ex guy is in the shipping department. I heard "Poodle Ears!" once today. Ha! It is a really fun place to work, so far, and the people are very nice and friendly. I like to hear over the intercom - "Job well done people, keep up the good work!" I have never heard that at ANY job I have ever had. I get a little time in the engraving department tomorrow. Right up my alley!
I am really enjoying this job and my body and mind are soooo tired tonight, after 9 1/2 hours!
Oh ya, tornado sirens went off here tonight as soon as I got home. So, got to eat my leftover dinner in the basement storage closet with mom and dad. The warnings lasted about 20 minutes or so, it is still raining, hours later, very hard.
Word is...the kitchen remodel is continuing without me, back at home.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Intermittent Blogging at it's Best

Staying in Kansas City for a month while on contract, working with a company - that pays me a wage. Starving artists have to make a living, too. Have my art supplies with me. Will be posting paintings and sketches still, although not as many, probably. Stay tuned and leave comments to let me know you are there.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I checked back through my blog and I don't think I have ever posted this pastel I did of hubster last year. It is one of my looks just like him. The lighting made for interesting contrast/shadows on the left side of his face.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Last Chicken In - Is a Rotten Egg!

We are at the end of our stint of being 'chicken sitters'. Lots of fun, watching and playing with them. The trickiest part was keeping the roosters out of the laying hen pen at night when we put them away...they went into the chicken house and to chase them out was like separating out a fish in a tank full of guppies!

Two of the big bad roosters, below. They remind me of the "Jets" in West Side Story! I hear that song, yah, "here come the jets.." in my head as they strut around the barnyard.

Click to enlarge photos.

Bathed in Light

"Bathed in Light" 8" x 10" oil on canvasboard (NFS)

Well folks, no chicken painting, however, after taking a workshop with Karin Jurick and Carol Marine (see my sidebar to view their blogs) this past spring, I was inspired to take some museum photos while in NYC in April and attempt to paint art viewers in front of masterpieces like Karin does. It was a real challenge (but awesome fun) for me today. This is my daughter, and my granddaughter asleep under the baby blanket being carried in her Ergo carrier, at the MOMA in front of "Three Bathers" by Picasso. It is so big in real life!

Now, my understanding of the difficulty lies in 'that' rendering of the masterpiece, to be good enough to pass for what it's supposed to be, yet - to paint it in a way so as not to distract MY viewer from my intended focal point, which is the viewer of the art piece, my daughter/granddaughter. (Did I make that clear, hmmm.) One thing I learned about pseudo-abstract 'Picasso hands', is they are easier than realistic hands! The hands on these women are large and very masculine.

Maybe it turned out so well, because I used my new Guerilla box set-up. It's very cool! It lets me rest my painting arm on the box - for those steadying moments on smaller canvas. Hot diggity!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Where I Stand Sunday

Bard Rock and Rhode Island Red,
make good names for colors in my paintbox.
Buff Orpington and Maran,
and Araucana's bluish eggshells,
a mixture of sounds from the chicken coop,
welling up into the damp morning breeze.
The pullet-zer prize goes to these future 'layers',
as I accommodate the barnyard pecking order.

Being a farmer means up with the rooster, you know. That is sometimes difficult for me. Another 2 1/2 inches of rain last night. Horses seemed stranded on a dry little island, but moved themselves across the waterway created in the flash flood. Just like we do, they try to find tufts of grass and weeds to step on as they glide across the mucky and slimy mud.
These chickens are the pullets, not ready to lay yet. They are my neighbors chickens, I guess that makes us "chicken sitters" (careful how you read that). They still "peep" and are more than friendly. Guess they were raised in their "chick" days by children. You can see one standing on my foot. They let you pet them and hold them. It's more than fun!
Older hens are in another pen, their feathers plucked out by the mean and nasty roosters, who don't get to stay in the enclosure with them anymore.
Those hens are not very pretty, but good layers all the same. My favorite pullet is a little Araucana, she is the white one in this picture, sort of a runt and kind of picked on by the others. We give her special attention.

If the work inside the house slows down,
I may steal away to paint another chicken painting
within the next few days,
as I took lots of good source photos this morning.
although I AM painting (walls), I miss the "done on canvas" kind!!!!
In the meantime,
I get close to the idea of my own chickens, for next year.
The benefits are large...weed and pest control, plus eggs..and entertainment!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Drawing Day '08

Oops, just discovered that tomorrow is Drawing Day, '08. Check it out all you artists. I have lots of chores to do today, but by the end of the day, I hope to get my contribution ready to the hopeful 1 million drawings done - in the world. I will probably upload mine to Flickr and my sketchbook blog.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

New Equipment

Nothin' says lovin' - like a new set-up for "plein air" painting. This just came UPS yesterday from Judson Outfitters in Livermore, Co. I got a 9 x 12 guerilla (paint) box, a wet canvas carrier and a heavy duty tripod, a few extra accessories and I am ready for the outdoors! But first I have to appease the "kitchen remodel" gods. I opted for this set-up versus the Soltek easel, which was only the easel, and not the great Guerilla box plus easel for a little less $. Lightweight, portable, quick set-up and value was what I went after. This stuff has many cool features, especially for adapting to different sized canvas. Only 79 more days til Guatemala!

We avoided the bad weather last night, it ended up all in was severe! We could see the thunderbumpers and the lightning. We are under a tornado watch right now until 4 PM. It's very windy and skies are grey, otherwise, I would be out there test driving my new 'stuff' (but oh ya, after I appease those 'gods' I mentioned) :-}!
OH ya, BTW, these are the same items that Carol Marine paints with. Anything - to make her wonderful painting talent 'rub off'!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

No Place for Sissies

Well, this is the tornado that "clocked" Kearney, Nebraska (100 miles from here) last Thursday.

Thanks to NOAA, and our weather scanner and our weather radio (boy, are we prepared - or what?) we have determined that we are in for another evening of dodging the weather, hopefully. We are located in about the middle of the little box extending from the Nebraska border. Just got back from picking up some electric fencing supplies for the sweet corn...but I told the cashier, that depending on tonight's storm, we may be bringing it all back for a refund. Hopefully not. There is supposed to be baseball sized hail and 70 mph winds, flash flooding...don't know where the water will go, the ground is so saturated.
There is an old lake that was dried up in Smith Center, and it is now overflowing the spillway/dam.

This is a friend's husband looking over the road washout, here in the county. Guess a farmer came upon it, there was a haybale in the way, he got out of his truck to check it out and good thing, cause he would have gone right in the wash. Whew.
Speaking of farmers, we also get to play farmers for a couple of days with the chickens and the horse across the road. So, yes, we are prepping for tonight's "event", could start by sundown, don't know, we are to be under a "flash flood" warning until...get this...Saturday. Hmmm.
I CAN swim if I have to.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Tuesday Tickle Day

Many of you teachers know that Tuesday is referred to as "Tuesday - Tickle Day" in the world of elementary kids, particularly in K-2. I am going to be tickled, all day. If you subscribe to Robert Genn (see my sidebar) you should read "The Early Morning Club". It's perfect!
My neighbor's granddaughter is coming by today to have me look at a piece of art she is working on. I will try to get something done in the studio, today, myself.
Every day, we listen to the weather scanner and hear about impending BAD stuff, but it doesn't show, as my brother pens them - "the weather guessers". We spend much of our time, covering up the vegetables, and uncovering the vegetables. We sure don't need any more moisture.
Hot and very muggy yesterday. I don't remember being that drenched since we were in Kentucky several summers ago in the RV visiting Mammoth Caves, with no AC, because we couldn't hook up to electrical. It wasn't offered and the generator on the POS we owned at that time was louder than quiet. In this park they had a rule of no loud generators and I don't blame them.
Wish gas wasn't soooo expensive in the diesel dept., we can't RV at all right now. Guess we could pull it out and sit in it and pretend.
Have a very artful day!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

A Painting for Today

"Three on a Couch" - 11" x 14" oil on gessoed masonite

My three dogs are pretty good friends. You will often find them together on this loveseat, although depending on the configuration that occurs as they join the group, it sometimes doesn't work out...not enough room. Hasty Herman is the black and tan dachshund and he is 7. Chaco is the red dachshund and he is about 5, and Bailey is the Weimaraner and he is about 4. I really enjoyed painting this one, I was successful at staying "loose". The colors worked for me and I like the smooth surface to paint on.
I get a kick out of the pest control person, they call the gray dog a "Weisenheimer". I think I remember being called that once. ha!

Where I Stand Sunday

We share the land, wildlife and I...
it's where I stand -
overlooking my sweet corn field.
Whitetail deer, young and old
make their way to an elusive existence.
Future fences will be a challenge to breech,
tails a flyin'.

Yes, the corn has popped it's little head out of the ground. Rows and rows of it. If you are getting tired of my flip flops, too bad, I don't wear anything else these days. Getting hotter and hotter as summer approaches. We made it past the anniversary of last year's 'home demolisher'. That's a good thing! This little hoof print is from a young deer. The larger deer was polite and made it's way around the perimeter of the field. Ha, like that will continue to occur. I have lots of ideas and photo images - stewing in my little head, so one thing is for certain - I will be in the studio today. It's cool, but damp, out there. Plays hell with my matboard and unframed pastel pieces, so I will be working on getting them into the big tablet of vellum that I slip them into to keep them flattened.

Happy 17th Blogiversary to ME

 I would like to admit, it's still here, I'm still here and it's still worthy of my attention - although sporadic.   Here are a ...