Went drawing in Newtown yesterday with Sue. I brought my big spiral bound pad of nice paper and Sue had one of our Landscape shaped sketchbooks. We had gone from a hazy sun over to a general overcast but we were drawing anyway. It was still cool and we have snow in lots of places and some turf visible here and there. So we drew pines for almost an hour or so. Working from in the van is the most comfortable way this time of year. I needed about fifteen minutes more and I’d be in the vicinity of done. Usually I’m pleased when the sun comes out but on this day – it totally changed my perception of the trees that we were looking at. So we packed it in. Drove around a bit and saw some nice but fleeting color scenarios that literally morphed before your eyes. That put an end to those also. Then we started seeing deer. Seems that anytime I bring my camera while drawing Plein Air (on location ) the camera is more of a hindrance than a help. But every time that I leave it home I have lots of shot opportunities and wish for it. Last evening at dusk, from one spot to another we must have seen 25 deer. They were all does and in herds of perhaps 8 or 9 animals each. They were after some fresh shoots of grass in those turf areas I guess. For those ruminant animals this has been a very long, cold, winter eating buds off the ends of limbs. Next few days will be warming up and hopefully they will find more food. It was good to get outdoors.
Yesterday I was doing my drawing with a graphite stick and a couple regular pencils as well as some mechanical pencils. No erasers were allowed. Anyhow… I drew the pines until that light changed and I wanted to move elsewhere to find new subjects. Will be doing this more and more as it gets warmer. I will keep drawing and will keep everyone posted about when I will be putting some of my Starfish series up for sale as well as my old Ford Tractor drawing. Lots to stay busy with at this point.
March 06, 2014 4:53:21 PM
There used to be a few commercials with a mustached actor in an Apron who played the picky “Sam Breakstone.” A character who was always high strung… and ended up being attacked by a Jack Russell Terrier in his store. Humorous stuff. Multiple commercials – same guy, same little dog going nuts. He also played the proprietor of a Dunkin’ Donuts and would stagger around at all kinds of odd hours to “make the donuts…” Make the Donuts…
“Neil used to head for the darkroom saying “make the donuts…” Loading film holders and such”
Last week I lost a friend that I’d worked with during my entire Advertising career. I mourn the passing of Photographer and my friend, Neil R. Molinaro, most recently of Reading, PA. Neil and I worked on some sweet projects together. Neil did a great job working with me for many years. I guess the biggest thing that Neil ever shot for me was when SmithKline Beecham had Tagamet gaining the indication for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) and I had sold a concept of a dragon breathing fire up the patient’s esophagus to cover the feeling of severe Acid Heartburn.
This offered an opportunity to build an enormous burner to duct propane through a coil to be ignited as a huge flame issued from the Dragon that a prop maker built for us. Neil always had a good bit of pyromaniac in him and this project intrigued him. I believe he put up a large set of 4 x 8 foot fireproof panels and had those in turn covered with foil. Each time he’d fire off that burner you’d hear the foil crinkling and waving in the hot updraft. That whole series was fantastic thanks to Neil’s great work. That was done for Salthouse Torre Norton in New Jersey in conjunction with then Art Director Gail Berlese. They are called McCann Healthcare or such now.
I grew up in Summit, NJ and in July there was a big Carnival held by the Mount Carmel Guild in Berkeley Heights, NJ. It was a couple weeks after the Fourth and it made any fireworks afficionado very happy. The Grand Finale at those shows was nothing short of a military firefight. OMG. Fireworks that you felt as well as saw. Impressive. I looked at one of the guys getting ready for the show soon after I’d met Neil and he was there holding a flare over by the mortars. I don’t remember his full tie in with the show but there he was.
Neil and I had always meant to go Fluke fishing together and never did. Neil used to keep a small freshwater rod there in the studio and would go fish in the creek beyond their parking area in Cranford. It was just since New Year’s that Neil and I found each other again. I’m out here in Bucks County and he was Northwest of me out in Reading, PA.
I’m going to miss Neil – I’m glad that I knew him. I was at his Wedding with my ex wife just the day after severe thunderstorms and tornadoes rolled through Westfield blocking all the roads and taking out the power just the day before. I was glad to see Kelley in Facebook and Gia and Taz… (his daughters) – I remember the toddlers but these are ladies now and are so recognizable to me. Very pretty women. They look like their Mom.
It’s a shame that it takes something horrible to bring out the good memories. I had unfinished business with Neil and I am doing what I’m supposed to be doing now… drawing everyday… it was some starfish today… I’m glad that I knew and had the chance to work with Neil. He’ll be missed. Somewhere, somehow – he’s out there “making the donuts…”
March 04, 2014 12:22:14 AM
Bought five Starfish and a Sand Dollar at Sunset Beach and have a few drawings going from them. My Starfish are of the “sugar” variety and after close observation I can see that they are covered with tiny tooth-like points set in a pattern on their backs and on their arms. They have bumps that have the raised tooth-like projection dead center on them. I’m fascinated by the way that five keeps being a natural sequence number. Five legs on a Starfish… Sand Dollars also have several patterns with five elements in their top centers. If you cut an Apple in half you can see that there is a five pointed star in the core cross-section.
We made it back to Cape May Lighthouse just as it was getting dark. I shot some images with the camera resting on the roof of the van while I captured some nice uncompressed Tifs. Concerned that I might have had some noise in the shadow areas… I turned on the camera’s noise reduction that processes the images again and smooths the possible static right out. The lighthouse beacon was on and rotating. Looked nice.
The best part of Cape May was that there was no snow cover there. We had at least a foot and a half of snow here at home and a fairly intense case of Cabin Fever underway. Yesterday, Thursday, we had a couple of unexpectedly loud claps of thunder and brilliant lightning along with some squalls that were part of a frontal passage. Today, Friday, there were some Severe Thunderstorms around and we had a flood advisory and another flood watch at the same time. We also had a Tornado Watch in effect all across the area. Chance of snow on Sunday night… and again on Tuesday and Wednesday… We’ll see. Once again – a heckuva Winter.
Oh yeah… The Cat pulled one of my Starfish onto the floor where Rudy the Westie decided that it must some sort of treat and ate half of it. The Cat loves to get the Dog in trouble when possible. The Westie doesn’t go up onto the tables – but the Cat… Gravity is just a concept to her. So in total… I have about five drawings on their way. Two Starfish, Ford Tractor at Churchville, miscellaneous animals and a historic building in Newtown, PA.
February 21, 2014 10:52:15 PM
The records broke today in Philly. Four six-inch plus snowstorms in one winter… The Lady Cardinal just looks down at this mess and is glad that Bill is stocking the big bird feeder with Nyjer (thistle seed) that the finches love. Takes 20 pounds of the grass seed sized seeds. High in quick burst calories, it warms the little guys up for flight and keeps them warm. Snow, sleet and rain then back to snow – more snow with a Clipper on Saturday. Bird Air Traffic Control must be very busy… Valentine’s Week Continues. February 13, 2014 4:16:04 PM
Yes it is Winter for sure. I heard yesterday that throughout 5 affected counties here in Pennsylvania there were still maybe 35,000 customers without electricity. Worst of the remaining outages remained in Chester County followed by Montgomery County and last but not least… there were still outages here in Bucks County. Unfortunately, the National Weather Service has today issued a Winter Storm Watch involving up to two feet of snow – ice storm possibilities and even standard old rain and wind. Whatever we get and however much of it will start on Wednesday PM (day after tomorrow). Not looking forward to it too much. We went to get special food mixture for the Sun Conure yesterday at Bird Paradise in Burlington, NJ and while we were there a gentleman brought in his large Parrot as they still didn’t have power. Tropical creatures need warmth. So do we. We all have damaged utilities and damaged foliage… now that we have electrical normalcy to a point… what happens if it all goes down again? Not a pleasant thought. We are in a salt crisis in this area. It’s gone. We’re out of salt and we got another 2 inches of snow last night.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed as to it being simple snow and not too much of it at once. No matter what – we’re going to have snow cover here for a good while in the Northeast. Stay safe. Plan ahead. February 11, 2014 12:02:14 AM. Valentines’s week.
It is shortly after 4:00 PM and starting to occasionally flurry very lightly here in Holland. It feels like things are finally starting to get back to normal. That was the longest siege from ice in a few years. Village Shires down the road from here had their pines leveled by an earlier ice storm a couple years back. All of us are still stunned by the damage left behind by Hurricane Sandy. Cleanup continues from that monster. When something else like this happens to trees or utility structures you have to consider that “it had even survived Sandy”… or in the other vein of thought – guess it had been weakened by Sandy… so it came down. Now we have a new yardstick to measure the big ones by – “It wasn’t anything compared to Sandy.” or whatever name the next huge storm will have. Just can’t be too sure anymore.
Saturday, February 08, 2014 4:07:59 PM
Schools are closed once again Friday here in Northampton Township and the area looks forward to more snow on Saturday and Sunday. The Council Rock School System is currently dedicating three schools for use as shelters. Warmth is available and you can charge your digital devices. Coffee and Hot Cocoa are available. Bucks County is not alone in the suffering as we enter day three without electricity. Some were told that power wouldn’t be returned until sometime on Sunday. We went to the pharmacy and all of Middle Holland Road was stop and go traffic – unheard of around here. Newtown/Richboro Road was closed just before the bridge across Neshaminy Creek at the Mill. Had to pull a u-turn and go back up to the bypass. We went on out and eventually came in Second Street Pike through Richboro. It is still reported on KYW News that 5 counties are disaster areas. Strange to hear them say that there are too many closings and traffic problems to cover them all. About 357,000 customers are still without power at 9:30 PM Thursday night… and the peak outage was said to be near 715,000. There is also no guarantee that any power that you might have right now will necessarily be there continuously as some areas may need to be shutdown in the pursuit of overall restoration. An expected low temperature of 19ºF concerns everyone.
There were rumors of a monster storm brewing and while there will be snowflakes this weekend it appears more likely one to three inches of snow will be seen Saturday afternoon and again on Sunday night. Next big storm potential still looks to be next Wednesday. We’ll see. Stay warm. I’m drawing a new piece of artwork and look forward to finishing it and starting the next… February 06, 2014 10:07:15 PM.
Nasty 24 hours… While I was writing last night it just started pouring freezing rain at 1:00 AM or so… Not much snow mixed in. Good old 28ºF. As mentioned below, the winter pattern is really pretty well established. We received the call from the school system at about 5:45 AM. Schools were closed. Power went down maybe an hour after that. Our electricity came back up around 2:15 this afternoon here. We are a rarity. Schools are still closed. They called after dinner with a recording that said that the schools will be closed again tomorrow. Most of the schools had no power as of tonight and if they got it back – they had plans to use those schools as shelters for the massive number of people that PECO says are still without power. They said that somewhere near 660,000 customers were in the dark (at peak) and it would be days until it is all fixed. Looking across the back is another neighborhood and I saw their lights going out sequentially this early morning. It is still pitch black over there as I look now at almost 2:00 AM. The change tonight is that now the wind is howling too. Got to be gusting up to 35 mph or so and sustained somewhere around 15 mph…
The forecast is for snow again on Saturday and Sunday… We’ll see. AND if that gets stale we are looking long term at snow next Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. We had a very mild winter last year and now we are just seeing a balancing of the natural elements. I hope that people are comfortable and snuggled in under lots of blankets. We have no idea if the lights will be on tomorrow morning. That is just the way the seasons hit anymore. February 06, 2014 2:01:48 AM
It’s the anniversary of my first date with Sue today – February 5th. We had met in New Hope and walked around the galleries and had a nice lunch out. As soon as I saw her I fell in love. Our date started at Starbucks in New Hope – right there in the old bank building as you are on the ramp to the bridge across to Lambertville. A couple good sized coffees. We spent four hours together that day. Really nice. We had met on Match and talked about Art. I’m glad that we did. Looked all through a bunch of galleries and stores. Even that place near Coryell’s House that had John Lennon and Jerry Garcia artwork. (backed up to the creek that runs past the Bucks County Playhouse – with the great big Carp swimming around in it). Our weather was a lot nicer that day than it is here today.
It is pouring freezing rain outside right now and 28ºF. We have a Winter Storm Warning in effect here per the Weather Channel info screen since early this morning. I had thought that this was left over from the last snow on Monday morning as I’d just defrosted and scraped the car off before I came in and went to bed last night. This whole area will be under the influence of foul weather again. I hear the sleet mixing with it and there is a wintery mix forecast. In case we don’t see enough snow – there is one of those storms that they speculate about way in advance like Godzilla coming around Saturday night or Sunday and that might just be massive. I generally enjoy these storms but this year I’m not getting much out of them. They cut into my art time and I just want to get some more pieces done to post online and have for sale.
It’s getting late but I’m trying a couple of new things and wanted to keep up with my postings. Locate your shovels just in case. As it is… they plowed the van in and more ice makes it even easier to remove. All we need now is a couple more feet of snow. Nope.
The primary lack of response is involving SlimStat and my photo software called NextGen Gallery – now owned by Photocrati. I noticed that the Internet Explorer browser was the one that was a bit sluggish. It actually failed on me last night when I was looking at my spot ads for the Omnis Web Hosting folks and my Fineart America Ads. I had used Ultimate TinyMCE Pro to setup my block of copy and in the Chrome Browser it was flawless. In Explorer my hard returns to separate my blocks of copy were missing. I’d used Google webfonts and thought that maybe they were the problem. I highlighted the text again and went back over to the font Trebuchet. I got in between my sentences and backed up till there was no longer any space and then I re-broke the copy and saved it. when I looked at the text in Explorer again… no differences – just a big chunk of text.. I reloaded the page and cleared the cache. No difference.
I had a look at this blog in my Chrome Browser and again it was just fine. I had quite recently had some similar problems with sluggishness. I went right in and disabled the plugins that I mentioned above and things seem to running okay now. My real concern is just being able to post some design work and recent drawings and paintings that I’m putting online. Working to get it all adjusted. Meanwhile I’m going to keep those plugins shutdown and prepare to jettison if need be.
February 02, 2014 10:44:57 PM
Seeing all these hit statistics coming in with 404 Error results - I apologize to you… not my idea of fun at all…
The search engines are going to take some time to catch up with the new ionosphere blog content or lack of content in many cases. After the recent updates by WordPress and plugins of a photo nature all conflicted with one another… it just took me and produced a mess of my website. About January 24th of 2014 – I received an email warning from my web host that my database use had become abusive. I went in and shutdown the offending activity that had already become a nuisance to a level that it needed the traffic suspended. That database was fried. At the peak of my recent difficulty – the blog couldn’t even load my homepage and I had to trick the system and back in stealthily and access the dashboard before it knew I was there.
So I was dead in the water… and bit by bit I removed my graphics that were quite salvageable using WS-FTP. I had galleries that I had uploaded to my install of “NextGen Gallery” and I was able to save them pretty well. What I plan on doing from here on is to let the missing blog go ahead and be gone and just move forward as possible. What I would like to do is blog and talk about my new Art projects. The Art is available on demand through FineArt America and this afternoon I’m drawing the front grill of an old Ford Tractor that sits in front of the Churchville Nature Center. I started it yesterday afternoon and hope to have it finished pretty soon maybe early next week. The Sunflower drawing that I have for sale in Black & White line drawing needs a bit of color so I’ve been experimenting with that and will mask off all the petals around the seed head and airbrush some middle tone to get that Sunflower color and then work backward into it to first add my shadows and then go back and pull the highlights out.
Sue will be headed back home from her visit to Tucson, Arizona tomorrow and it will be awesome to have her company again. The animals are great and entertaining and so is Caroline but I’ve missed Sue. She picked a good day to travel as it sounds like there could be some foul weather here on the east coast between the Superbowl and next Wednesday. Talked to my son Jon a couple times recently and it was great to hear from him. With any luck we’ll be able to get back together soon with he and Liza, his fiance. He is a portrait that I’d like to do… maybe even in his truck. Jon works in pest control and travels from North Jersey to Philly taking care of business for his company. He has really turned into a good, gentle person… not that he wasn’t before, but he’s getting to be a real pleasure to hang with. Glad that he’s around.
Oh well… ionosphere blog… I’m glad that the situation is able to be repaired but content wise, most everything is gone for good. So we’ll just have to look forward to new art, new comments, all of it. Missing material is no fun… So please bear with me for a while. Thanks, Bill
Want to buy the www.ionosphere.com domain? It is now for sale. Feel free to make an offer.
Moving forward to get the blog back up and functional. I have new art to show and talk about but the website really went kind of bananas and I’m very glad to have an opportunity to start fresh. More content will appear tonight and hopefully I can get my theme back in here.
I have art available on FineArtAmerica and through my Artist Website William C Beauchamp here… So more to come hopefully tonight.
That is the good thing about WordPress. Seems like all of this is going to go back together just fine. It is the Ultimate formatting console that I’m concerned with and getting NextGen Gallery both regular version and pro to function properly.