Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Slow as I Go...

"Aspen Grove Closeup - near Gould, Co."
8" x 8"
oil on wrapped canvas
There seem to be so many things that get in the way of creating these days, must be the season beginning to change.  Lots to do, little time to do it.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Where I Stand Sunday

Just about every morning lately, we have to check the driveway out in back of the house, to see who goes there, as the dogs go absolutely crazy when these visitors are nearby and I am not one to alarm wildlife, if it can be helped.

These are taken through the screen on the kitchen window and the fence in the dogyard.  I am working on getting closer to them, which probably isn't good for their protection...they get used to humans and they are then closer to the hunter.  For whatever good it does, I have "No Hunting" signs posted on our land. We have really enjoyed watching all 19 of them everyday - growing up and making their way through our property and on to the next two farms and back again.  I wish there wasn't anything called "hunting season" as they will be easy pickens come Oct. 1.  And it just seems so pointless to sit a watch them every day and then one day, BOOM, be able to take their live's away.  We aren't hunters but I am such a hypocrite...and here's why...I have to admit, there isn't anything
more tasty than deep fried wild turkey hors d'oeuvres at
 Aunt Jane and Uncle Ray's, it's just that "I" won't ever provide that 'offer'. 
Would I rather eat them or look at them? - definitely LOOK!
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. If you'd like to join me by posting a photo on Sunday of places you've been on your blog/photo hosting site/website, leave a comment on this post telling me where I can find you/your photo and I'll add a link to my sidebar so others can find you.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Show and Tell

If you aren't able to enjoy the colors in the Rocky Mountain high country, then here are a few views from last week.

A view of the Gore Range from Ute Pass.

On Grand County Road 3...

The lake at Colorado State Forest/No. Michigan campgrounds.

Williams Fork River, you can see the beetle kill on the left mountain.
Then...yesterday I worked the gallery in Grand Island.  Something new for the gallery, and a very good idea...a wedding last night.  Spent the day checking in artwork for the upcoming Miniature Show and moving fixtures around to accommodate the wedding party.  P.S. the couple met at the gallery.

Linda's bouquet...

Part of the centerpiece for the serving table.  The roses were very cool, they had dark red stripes in them, I am sure my daughter or Manda or my stepdaughter could tell you what kind of roses they are...all are fantastic florists themselves!  One of the gallery directors was in charge of this occassion and she did a fantastic job!!
Now, today I need to begin reorganizing and cleaning my studio - anyone want to come help???

Monday, September 21, 2009

Painting en Plein Air

"Scenes from the Forest #2- Sugarloaf"
pastel on Wallis paper
9" x 12"
This is one of the plein air pastels I did while in Colorado.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Where I Stand Sunday

Some times, things aren't so pretty around here, like going into the cellar/crawlspace and checking the "pest" stiuation.  Last night we heard a definite gnawing underneath the house?  in the walls?  somewhere....  Since we were gone for awhile and things get awfully quiet around the farmstead, we figure with the seasons change there is probably a migration from outdoors to indoors for some of the local critters, found some new entrance areas we didn't know were there.  Sure enough there were signs of mouse activity.  We have a large bag of litter on the floor, which last time we were down there, it had a few holes in the bag, but now the entire top of the bag is gone (great nesting material) and it looks as though there has been a barn dance in the exposed litter.  Hope it's not rats.  I  really hate rats.  New poisons and sticky traps had to be set. I don't like killing the "little" guys, but they can devastate your home - so quickly if "unchecked".  We saw where they were bringing the sunflower birdseed in to the cellar and dropping off the shells into the sump pump casing. 

That's it - in the blue, where I found a very cool, pristine colored perfect frog.  There have been colorful salamanders around there, as well. 
 I leave them alone, they seem to work it out.  I know they don't climb up into the walls and chew and try to gain access into the house.  My neighbor offered a cat or two, but with these dogs???  The cats wouldn't be around too long.  
Have heard some "rat vs. dog" stories starring "rat terriers". 
May have to let Hasty Herman, the famous "badger" dog, take care of those bigger guys.

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. If you'd like to join me by posting a photo on Sunday of places you've been on your blog/photo hosting site/website, leave a comment on this post telling me where I can find you/your photo and I'll add a link to my sidebar so others can find you.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

As Seasons Change...

Hubster and I just returned from a very relaxing and enjoyable 12 days out in the RV.  We haven't gone very much in the RV lately, busy and diesel fuel prices finally dropped over the last couple of months, so then it was a matter of - when??  We planned our trip to Colorado, for one granddaughter's first birthday and then we were just planning on nothing but driving to an area, staying for awhile and moving on when the mood struck us. We didn't really get any further (for any length of time) than our first camping spot, which was "Sugarloaf" campground (near the Henderson Mill) between Silverthorne and Kremmling, Colorado.   

  We have stayed here before about 5 or 6 years ago, so knew which campsite to go for, and go for it we did and stayed there for 6 days. We were the only ones there except for 2 days there was one other camper - way at the other end of the campsite loop. 
This is WHY we chose this site, it sits right on the bend of the Williams Fork River.

On our last visit to this area, a moose came right up out of the water in a rainstorm. 
At this time, this year, it is hunting season for muzzle loaders.  We knew going into the area, that our attention would be in contrast to other visitors.  We were asked on one occasion, by some very heavily camoflaged and orange capped individuals - "Have you seen a bull moose in the area?" Of course, we hadn't at that point, but on our way back from a photo op and supply trip...this is what we encountered...shhhh, don't say a word!!
(on the move!)
A cow and a bull crossed the road right in front of us.  I was so excited about the prospect of catching them on camera that I had many photos with too much "camera shake", but at least I caught the massive size and powerful muscles these animals display.  They were just too cool for words!
Then of course, the mountains (and I am sure any other local wildlife) were aware of a couple of "out-of-the-area" visitors...
BaileyHasty Herman and Chaco
If you have visited Colorado this summer, you know that there is a pine beetle infestation that has left many lodgepole pine areas quite devastated.  It is apparent that the problem is out of control.  We estimated that about 60% of the trees in this area were dead.  Here is what a lot of areas looked like, sad as it is.

The brown/orange you see in the foreground show those very brittle and dry pine needles.    To our dismay, this campground just wasn't as beautiful as it once was, due to the need to cut down all the trees in the camping areas.  Dead trees fall and catch on fire easily.  If there were lightning strike, the whole forest would probably go "poof".  This area was made for wheelchair access via a boardwalk and special campsite features.  The boardwalk is all but falling apart...this situation a part of the economic downturn and the recession - no doubt.  Trees have been cut down, but just stacks of them and stacks of "slash" litter the campsites - and have been there for quite awhile.  It's like there WAS a plan and then that plan got scratched. 
U.S. Forest Service needs some help...wish it weren't coming to this, but seems that it is.
 I took along my pochade and my new pastel set-up for some plein air painting.  It amazes me, how you really have to be aware of the changing light, especially when painting in mountain areas, as you can imagine a cloudy/sunny day, how the sunlight drifts in and out of shadow. 

More later....

Friday, September 18, 2009

There's no Place Like Home, but I think I was in a very close 1st...

Back home today - 12 day road (RV) trip.  Some plein air, some R and R, some hiking, some just breathing...more to come.  Looks like the poll shows - what little voting was done, that "frames that complement the artwork" is what was most popular.  It's hard to say when there were only 11 votes...which tells me there aren't many readers right now. Oh well...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Take Time for a Quick (ART) Survey

In discussions and on posts of other artists on the internet, I often run across the subject of "framing" art.  It has come to my attention that many artists stick to one kind of frame for awhile. Whether you are an artist or an art consumer, take a half minute to take the survey in the sidebar.  Thanks!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Where I Stand Sunday

Yesterday, I made a new pastel holder for my pochade box - to paint "plein air".  It is made out of balsa wood and glue gun and little boxes, some of which I had to make.  I chose out the minimum amount of pastels, enough to fit into these boxes.  I hope it is enough...although I know I can mix on site if needed.  I also taped 6 pieces of Wallis paper on foamcore that will fit into the 9" x 12" slots on the pochade, so I am ready to go!!  Then....there is my new (actually used) D70 Nikon, with its 300mm lens attached...what a cool thing that is!!!  Here is a closer look of my little pochade addition...

It's hinged, I will remove the little boxes of pastel and close it up. It's nice to extend the pallette holder so the pastel trays can balance on it - allowing for a little more room for pastels. It all goes on top of a really heavy duty tripod. 
And here is a photo or two that I took with the D70 and the longer it, love it, love it!!! Herman turned out grainy - why?  I have the ISO turned up to 1600...oops.  The corn is my popcorn drying in the sun...that was an experiment this season...soon we shall try popping it.  If you know me, you know that's my 'FAVE - oh right' thing!

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 ...