Caroline & Rudy joined me for Christmas. It was a very nice Christmas Day.
Nice to hang out with Caroline and good ol’ Rudy. Not a real fan of TV anymore. In Red Rock the only stuff I’d watched lately was North Woods Law, Yukon Men, or one of the other programs on Alaska, so I am enjoying the absence of television overall. We’ve got a real mess in our news. Since we can’t have a good productive budget and get out of things what you put into them, it seems like the national preoccupation will now turn to running scared at home and worrying about what the next disaster will be. I don’t even want to listen to that anymore. I’ll keep drawing and minding my own business.
I sure enjoyed seeing my step-daughter Caroline Fruchter today. This girl is my friend and I have enjoyed her company for Christmas Dinner. We had a nice spiral-cut Smithfield Ham and Kraft Mac ‘N Cheese and Cherry Pie for Dessert. Loved it. So glad that she came to visit me in Tucson. I appreciate her coming very much. Thanks for giving her a lift Alan.
Over the past few days… including this evening in the Laundromat. Yes – Bill doing his laundry in a laundromat. Hey -It wasn’t bad. I was the only one in there most of the time. I’m getting ready to pick up a few things from the Walmart Supermarket across the street. Got a long list and will do multiple staged trips. I want to get back to a couple drawings tomorrow. If I can drag myself out of the LR and into the BR – I might sleep a little better too. Then I’ll have more energy to do some more stuff in the Laundromat. Permanent Press $2.00 for 30 minutes to wash. Ran two loads at once and put the clothes in the same dryer on Permanent Press heat settings. It runs on $2.00 and takes a full hour. They give you – Whites, Permanent Press or Delicates so that the temps in both Washer and Dryer don’t shrink your stuff. Will go back there tomorrow again. Very nice.
I’ve run into a some friends since the year began even since Thanksgiving that I was glad to see again. Was glad to hear from Baird Manuel who was my next door neighbor in Summit, NJ while I was still a kid growing up. Not a big fan of Facebook, I don’t hear from him regularly – and when I do it is by e-mail. That is just fine. I remember Baird and his toddler sister Sarah. Bless their hearts – both of Baird’s folks are still alive and doing pretty good. That’s great. I saw my old friend Laurie and was very glad to have made contact. She is a wonderful creative artist. She posted an image on Facebook and It has that same spirit and fingerprint that I remember so well about her work. I understand that Anne is out there somewhere. They were both good friends in High School and it literally took years to contact her. She never got the stuff. Then one day there is Laurie… a friend suggestion. Well that is great. Now I have to track down her sidekick Anne and just say Hello. Been way too long. I’d mention their full names and what these folks do but I don’t have permission to tag them here and need to talk to these folks before I can brag about how very well they are doing. So proud. Also met Linda Wolf who is a great photographer – Linda Wolf Photography of some of our favorite Rock and Blues legends. Really beautiful work and prints available through her studio and gallery. I think you’d find her work very entertaining and collectible. I know a grownup who would love that Leon Russell with Signature Tophat…
Was looking at the global reach of this blog… Above is a Google Maps representation of todays hits. I reloaded and we had more hits. It really gets around. Got new people registering to become blog users and I check each one individually. If it doesn’t go back to a spam source in Russia – that is really a bit of a surprise. I’ve spoken about that before and if I see a bunch more of the fake registry so that they can spam from my account… I’ll shut it down again. Then they can sit there and look at the pictures. There have got to be creative types coming in and looking. Can’t they risk a few words? Email address? It will never be online… Just a comment.
I will have to get some more drawings and scribbles up. I have a linear portrait that I’m working on and I am also working on a vintage Ford Tractor from back in Pennsylvania. I love to draw. When I moved here to my apartment, I opted out on TV. The streaming media that comes in from online is pretty awesome. I have some concern about Chromecast with my dual band modem. I’ll just have to experiment – and I will always keep in mind that the Chromecast module is just another network device…Running around trying to get organized. Doesn’t happen overnight. A whole new life.
Maybe we should do a Podcast about Art and how it is or perhaps isn’t a discipline for you… Are you following a Zen sort of vibe with the Art? I am almost having a full Astral Projection while working on these projects lately. Place and time have become somewhat irrelevant. It is very interesting and quite spiritual.
Clicking on the ARROW within the white Circle will let you hear what my voice sounds like… No big deal really. I have not needed a light on in this room since I put the tree and lights up. Got a little wreathe up to my right on the wall. Looking forward to seeing my nice Stepdaughter Caroline who is headed in from points afar.
My friend Jim Novotny sent me an interesting looking package that’s under the tree… and yesterday evening when I picked up my mail I had a very nice little tree and some wrapped packages from Cousin Tina. Very, very thoughtful. Thank you. I’ll see everyone on Facebook and please feel free to write this blog. Merry Christmas to all. All indications point toward this being the best one in years. It is indeed a nostalgic time of many years and currently a reassessment of how life is going. Time to appreciate what you have and maintain it if you care for it – or perhaps start thinking about your New Year’s Resolutions and setting a new course. Got my tree up and I feel much better with it there.
Now if my Mom were only around to make me some Christmas cookies and Jean to make some of her Scottish Shortbread and the various other Holiday Sweets. Sigh… Those are the memories that I have coming back. The Shelby Kentucky Eggnog… It was just like having a can of whipped cream with each cup. Fruitcake… Can’t remember the last time I had any of that. Like eating lead or similar… very heavy but a nice treat. Poundcake… All of those Christmas things. Candy… The works. Merry Christmas from Tucson and for my Hispanic friends Feliz Navidad !!! Memory is interesting isn’t it? Yes indeed. I used to tear up a get sad every time I heard a Christmas Carol after my Mom passed in 1994. It has taken me a long time to come around. I will try them again this year.
I even went so far as to avoid church services, etc. It just really hurt too much. Now some newer things. Guys… I’ll go buy us a shovel if you ever feel like burying the hatchet. I really don’t have a lot more to add. It is not my fault. Grudges will kill you. I would like to thank Jim, Tina, my friends on Facebook and Dr. Bonnie Kelly who gave me people to share my feelings with and keep me from just going nuts. I haven’t gone nuts and I am aware that I can only trust one person. The one that I see when I look in the mirror. Christmas will be what I make it here. I feel pretty peaceful and what more could you ask for? Happy New Year 2016.
Seem to have that “Commenting” problem repaired now. I spent a long while writing a comment recently… just to have a couple conflicting plugins tell me that I’d “posted it previously” and dump it on me. I was quite annoyed. So now Artists, we can talk and share ideas. No not gateways directly into advertising. I’m sorry but based on history… I don’t have very good luck conversing with Art people or others who are just interested in what I’m doing. We should not have anymore big trouble. As long as it is Art that is the topic of conversation. Please talk to us and share your thoughts and opinions. That would be wonderful. Thanks for reading this. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you. If you’d like to share some artwork we’ll put it up for all to see. Talk with us about Christmas and about what you like to draw.
Yes it is snowing — all across the blogging areas. Snow showers with a light accumulation expected…
12/20/2015 4:31:31 AM Tucson, Arizona
I combined a couple of my drawings to make a Christmas Tree. I did another self portrait of me as Santa and I thought it looked a little too correct. So I shaved that thing off. Raining in Tucson today – a fairly unusual event. You can hear the instrument landings at Davis Monthan Air Force Base. Loud and might be even be very marginal VFR getting squeezed in… low. Merry Christmas. The drawing at the base of this image is one of the first done in this apartment. Many more to go.
Tonight it is done. Over with. Unfortunate for sure and tragic…
I am getting a notification that I’ve “already posted my comment before by the WordPress program” itself. It denies the possible posting so – I get that nothing is going. The comments that do come in are also appended to an IP address with no message. Looking like some of the spam that has come through. I am sorry because it sucks to put that kind of effort into writing your thought and the program throws it away. Really sorry. I found this last time I looked… in the Tech section of WordPress – so perhaps my combo of plugins is the cause… don’t know? I’ll get my IT guy on it… Oh Yeah – that’s me. Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to all. Will change it all again tonight. I’m in Tucson now – my friends. I’ve got the beautiful box that Ellen Guenther made for me once upon a time on my board. Got my board up. Today I was granted connectivity again but the work that I put in to link all the different flavors of Windows fell flat on it’s face.
12/09/2015 7:37:08 PM TUCSON, Arizona or just ZONA
Was having a hard time with getting an older All-in-One to come back and be useful but after a substantial amount of coaxing it finally did what I wanted it to. Did it well also. That’s good. Hope everyone has a great meal Thanksgiving with people who don’t give you indigestion. I can draw an image just like the one below for you if you like? Let me know… please.
The woman in the drawing is Georgia O’Keeffe a stark woman of the west. The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum is located in Santa Fe, New Mexico. My friend Eileen sent me this image through my buddy and I liked it enough that I just started drawing it. When I was done I wrote a note to my friends on the drawing. I’m looking to settle into the more populated part of the area for the time being. Red Rock was very nice and so quiet that I can hear the cat snoring. Spaghetti for dinner tonight. Up until and afterward I’ll be looking at rentals online. So just as coming to this part of the US was a big change for Georgia, it’s a big change for me. I really do like the place and I’m hoping that I’ll meet some nice fellow artists and find out about Art groups that meet.
I’d like to let all the creatives in Tucson and surrounds know that they have a new Art resource and hopefully I can draw or design something for you? I’d also like to let The Universities know that I would love to help with classes. Art Supply stores – I’m interested and enjoy gallery and and studio surrounds. Most of all though I’m writing and drawing some books. Since I can’t get back home for now, this will have to be it. I love working in a shared studio environment. Chit chat, although sometimes from my disembodied voice is always welcome. I’ve been listening to books to keep myself entertained while in the Zen of drawing.
I want to thank Jim for all of his support and caring that he has shown over the past four months. I have Thanksgiving coming up and I have to look a pretty good distance to find something to be thankful for. I’m thankful that I had parents who loved me growing up best they could. I’m thankful that I can make pictures. I miss my brother for all of his punny jokes and wish he hadn’t died in 2007. I’d like to thank Rudy for keeping me company all those days, nights and overnights. I celebrate Zoey the Tabbys stick to it ness for thinking day or night – that If Dad was getting up… it was dinnertime. I’d like to thank God for keeping me alive and reminding me that no matter what happens – the sun will rise tomorrow morning. And it sure will.
This morning I finished a small self portrait that I thought would be a little different than my usual topics. Complete with 3 weeks of fuzzy beard growth trimmed to the area of just the mustache and chin areas – I should be back to where I was last Christmas in no time at all. I hope that everyone had a very nice Halloween and that all the kids got the kind of candy that they were looking for. I’ve got to go get some sleep. Things to do tomorrow (today).
5:10:20 AM 11/01/2015
Today, Friday October 23, 2015, I finished my drawing of 5 Starfish that I acquired at Sunset Beach on Cape May, NJ. I spent a good bit of time working on this image. The finished drawing is 30 inches wide by 38 inches tall. The Starfish are each about a foot across in the drawing. A friend had mentioned an interest in a Starfish image and I liked the idea of working on them. So – I set it up and drew. Based on the amount of detail in each of them – it was a pretty big endeavor. I’d work on it and have to put it down and do something else. Eventually I came back to it and today I brought it to completion. It is available in a variety of forms through FineArtAmerica.com. Archival Giclee art prints, these images will around a long time. Lots more artwork to work on.
10:28:56 PM 10/23/2015
I took the Sunflower that I had drawn and hand printed as well to send out for another occasion years back. The washes went down nicely and the color looked pretty good. I embedded the Adobe RGB Color profile and it looked real nice. It looked real good on my Facebook upload and parked in it’s entirety on FineArtAmerica.com for sale. Very pleased and ready to proceed with the next piece. Have at very least another five images to roll out.
I spent this weekend – actually continued my week – drawing my “Marana, Arizona Farmer’s Co-Op Market Hen” to a close. I also wanted to have it done as well without any type in particular – so… I finished up both versions and posted them on FineArtAmerica.com. I like it alright but the weekend reminded me of how much this place is like the ISS. In orbit with not much nearby. Biggest difference is that there are more people to chat with up there. I really enjoyed looking at all the possible combos of things with the Marana Hen. I’ll put some of those up here to look at.
It got me. It really got me. Plastic was the villain… a caution “coffee may be hot” sort of double whammy…
Have you ever wrestled around without your glasses on – in the bathroom and been looking for the perforation in the clear safety seal tape on a cap? And then you find it – in all of it’s heat-shrunk glory. A little stronger than you’d expect and then – WHAT WAS THAT? The tape was gripping a brand new totally FULL bottle of anti-tartar mouthwash. As soon as that seal gave way the flimsy bottle discharged like a balloon. I laughed and went and got some face towels to mop it up with. Almost nailed the house phone, the cell phone and an electric trimmer. I’m so glad that it didn’t look like india ink and was only less than windex color blue. All down my front and I was really lucky that I did it before my shower. I can hear the stuff on the spin cycle in the wash right now. The next thing that I’m grateful for is that they didn’t sweeten or flavor it with anything that had a surface viscosity. No stickiness and not slippery. The plastic bottles that wrap around the earth in the Brita Commercials – some are substantial. Some are almost like a membrane. I remember the evolution of the Two Litre Coca-Cola bottle. Tried to get those feet to work and then those black butt caps and… I don’t think we’re done yet. I have in the past actually seen warnings about putting the bottle down on the counter to open it… but that was the very last thing on my mind today… But the first thing all over me. I’m sure that they get letters and it’s perhaps even funny to them. There must be some real stories…
09/16/2015 12:00:32 PM
Found a good handful of KohINoor Rapidographs that were dating all the way back to perhaps Parsons or Colonial Homes era. I had a couple that were free moving and the rest all had dried ink in the pen barrels. People used to have things that lasted more than one use and you had to cleanup or you ended up with what I found here. I’ve been soaking them in Windex for about 2 months. FW Ink in Black is a wonderful ink. Nice dense black dries to a waterproof line and is easily reproduced from or painted over with watercolors. I used to airbrush with the stuff – and without a mask. Intro to pneumonia part One. So these inks are pretty permanent – labeled as Acrylic it still is breaking up bit by bit. I drew on one of my Strathmore Drawing Journal pages and the flow isn’t just perfect yet and the paper is perhaps a little soft considering my favorite substrate is Strathmore 3 ply plate finish illustration board. Good stuff. But this triple 000 pen seemed to be cutting into the paper a bit. I just drew whatever was there in the living room and this is a Native American of one sort or another. So the pens work fine and are retailing for about $40 a piece now with good savings for buying a kit of perhaps 8 pens. When you only draw with a couple sizes the kits of multiples will have sizes that you just will never end up using. But these… YES they will be added back to the art supply militia. More to come for sure. They are alive.
Tote Bags are now available from FineArtAmerica.com-Art released of a Steer out on Park Link Drive north and east of Red Rock
As of the past couple weeks our print supplier has expanded their product line and added some nice Tote Bags for sale. Perfect for beach gear, a picnic in the woods, or heading out with your Plein Air Landscape painting equipment to add another fine piece of art. As with all of the their merchandise, each FineArtAmerica product comes with a money back guarantee. We released the Park Link Steer and the bag looks quite nice. Adding a picture of it and a couple more as well. The Tote Bags start at 13 x 13 inches, there is a 16 x 16 inch bag and the largest is a roomy 18 x 18 inches. This is a very reasonable price for this offering and while we hardly see any profit with this product, I’m glad that anyone who is interested in a piece of this art can acquire it. I’ve seen the Greeting Cards and they look great. Customizable with whatever verse or comment that you see fit, they are available individually or in packs of 10 cards and packs of 25 cards. I’d like to repeat that all of these products come with a money back guarantee. I think that’s pretty responsible.
Worth a visit any day. The spectacular, one and only…
Nice chunk of rock. Some decent looking caves cut into the rock walls across from Interstate 10. It is a good rock. I did some modified contour drawing from the car in my Strathmore Drawing Journal in pencil. I worked right across the spiral bound gutter. It didn’t matter. It was fun. We were parked next to the Shell Station in front of the Dairy Queen. Nice vantage point to see the caves and various cactus growing on the rocks. You can see the Saguaro all the way up. That’s something. I do look forward to getting a pass that will let us go in anytime for a year. This place (Arizona) is really flipping my Art switch. I would sure like to get around to the back side of the mountain. I see fissures that are apparently seismically active on the maps. Right around the base of the peak. Much to investigate. Even our battlefield is there in Picacho Pass. The most westerly skirmish or “battle” of the Civil War took place there along the base of the mountain. It took place on April 15th of 1862 and lasted for an hour.
I’m very pleased and flattered to say that my recent drawing of the historic Mission San Xavier del Bac, just south of Tucson on the Tohono O’odham Nation, was included in the SAAG (Southern Arizona Arts Guild) Accounting Allies, LLC Show #4. In addition, last night the work won the Accounting Allies, LLC Popular Choice vote and received a gift card from Michaels Arts & Crafts. The most popular question at the Artist’s Reception was “How long did that take?” I can tell you that it took almost all of my art time for the better part of a month. I’m real happy with the way it turned out and sure it could be better but I learned from the drawing. During discussion with the other artists at the event I speculated that it might be interesting to do the “terra cotta” portion of the Mission perhaps to the size of a headstone. I saw a number of things at the Mission that I do indeed want to continue drawing and working with graphically.
I also take pleasure in announcing that this original is no longer available as it was acquired by a most discriminating private collector last evening. The event was beautifully showcased and hosted by Accounting Allies who will continue displaying this show until September 9, 2015 during regular office hours. For information call (520) 742-4475.
05/15/2015 7:50:46 PM MST
We went out Saturday afternoon and got some supplies for yard enjoyment
Driving along Park Link Drive out in the middle of nowhere – I finally saw it clearly. A full grown, little bit scruffy, grayish tan, Coyote. We hadn’t seen another vehicle while heading toward Oro Valley for maybe 15 minutes. There he or she was. In all of it’s National Geographic splendor… Calmly walking along the small embankment between the road and the open desert. We had seen some of the open range Longhorn cattle among the Cholla and creosote plants. Only a couple as compared to other times that we’d seen 30 or 40 in total. The big Saguaro Cactii are flowering in crowns of white sitting atop each individual trunk.
I hear Coyotes on many occasions as they greet each other and celebrate pack kills just out beyond our neighborhood. That neighborhood ends about 500 feet from here so it isn’t surprising to hear them. They may own the night but you hardly ever see them during the day. We heard a very rowdy pack over in the Picture Rocks portion of Saguaro National Park. While driving out of there that afternoon we saw the posterior of a larger Coyote going away from us. More the size of a German Shepherd. More robust – healthier weight. The Coyote that I saw yesterday was smaller. Genetics. Food supply. Who knows?
I listen to a scanner regularly to keep tabs on the status of things. We had a major thunderstorm last week and I was listening to Commercial aviation chatting with Air Traffic Control to avoid “buildups” (thunderstorm cells)… I’m also hearing a good number of unwanted reptilian guests needing removal. The Rattlesnakes are active and moving around again. As long as I can see it it before it sees me, I look forward to seeing a nice looking diamondback. There aren’t too many rocky areas nearby. More red dusty sand. The snakes like their rocks. I study the satellite images and see many indications of farming attempts in the areas history. Rhythmic indication of plowed rows or even orchards. Slowly being buried under a blanket of time and sand. Since very little changes in the desert, this may be what was done up until the Dust Bowl. It could be much older than that. Avra Valley is an area of ancient farming and canal building to irrigate crops. You couldn’t go buy a shovel at the Ace Hardware Store back then. It was done by hand. So interesting around here. And those satellite or aerial photos of the desert… trails from a couple weeks ago or the same trail that was used hundreds of years ago? Looking for old roads is fun. Wish I had a metal detector. If anyone wants to trade for Art or Advertising design – speak up.
The Art is flowing. I have a piece hanging at Southern Arizona Artists Guild (SAAG’s) Accounting Allies Show in Casa Adobes and will be there into September. I have several pieces hanging at the University of Arizona, Tucson hosted “On Our Own Time” show that is part of the National Arts Program in the Union Gallery – 3rd Floor. Lots more art coming shortly. Probably 10 or more pieces cooking.
Ready for an Aerial Rapidograph refueling… After Dad took us all out for a Mother’s Day meal for Sue and Bev we went around the corner to Arizona Art Supply and got a nice fresh bottle of FW Ink. I used to snort FW and Dr. Martins from my Airbrushes. Hung a shower curtain across the sun porch doorway and remember looking through a literal fog of ink. Every color you can imagine. Just like when I’d blow my nose later. Really ugly stuff. Those were advertising comprehensives back then. I get about a thousand miles to the bottle of Ink. The one that I’m using now drew for Colonial Homes Magazine in the late 70s – early 80s, Jim Novotny MNR – Johnson & Johnson, Rolls Royce, etc. I love doing these drawings. Anybody else use Pinterest? I do now and I was looking at some inspiration and hit Alphonse Mucha – the master of Art Nouveau. Great drawings. Inspiring. All women are beautiful but my gosh, his ladies and their attitudes… Magnificent.
Been working on new pieces to put up for sale. It would be wonderful to get a commission to keep me busy for a while. We could surely utilize that cash flow. We went to Arizona Art Supply the other day and bought some different rice papers. They will be used as a background for images of Sue’s Jewelry. That will be a nice piece. Need to get back to work now.
I found a nice stash of Rapidograph pens. I have a few going at any point in time. Got the clogged nibs taken apart and soaking in a glass full of Windex. Once the ink dries it is generally quite waterproof. The soak in the Windex breaks it down a bit. Lots of carbon. I’ve done some pieces lately that have heavy detail in them. Need to make sure that ink is flowing well. Have a couple of tractors that I’m working on. An old Ford and an old International Harvester. Got a Hen underway based on visiting the Marana Farmers Co-Op with Sue last weekend. Got a Prickly Pear Cactus and some grass around it.
Took a break from a big piece with Starfish in it. Need to move forward with the Starfish so that decorators can plan a new wall at their beach house. Might look real nice in Ocean City, NJ. Lots to do.