Many years ago I went through a bird-painting phase. A couple of these have made great subjects for my Monday afternoon class. This Monday just past, I guided the group through creating a flamingo that had folded its long neck up so it could hide its beak in its wings. Here’s the group having completed their versions of Folded Flamingo.
“All the way” went to its Forever Home a few months ago. A couple days ago I was blessed with a pic of it in its new abode. We don’t get to see a lot of the surroundings, but it looks great in that frame.
As ever it is my pleasure to pass along the Cloud Appreciation Society newsletter. I know a few of my fans who will immediately think of the first photograph as a ‘JeniBate Sky’.
Quiver of Quotes came up with some interesting little used words, that piqued my interest for continuing the stream of sonnets. The flow had taken a break after having finally surpassed (in numbers at least) Shakespeare’s collection. Here was the one that came to fruition from The Quote’s list. And thank you as ever to wikipedia.org for giving me enough material!
The mystery of an armillary sphere!
How does it work? How does it turn around?
Rings built to represent what hangs in air,
or how it is positioned from the ground.
I wonder at the workings of the mind
that dreamed up such an engineering feat;
Ptolemaic turns on earth defined,
Copernican with sun at center seat.
Mankind has realized since he looked up
that stars revolve across the deep blue night
and puzzled at the turnings of this cup
and with the armil, tried to show it right.
Stargazers wonder at the skies so clear,
then track it with an armillary sphere.
About 15 months ago, ‘Jo’ took my absolute beginner’s class. Earlier in the month, she took the class again, not having painted very much in between. One of the things that I ask at the beginning of the class is what the student hopes to get out of it. It can help me tailor the class a little to hopefully cover any specific items. In this class Jo was lucky in that she was the only one, so we got to discuss her progress a little more.
She had indeed painted the day before, using watercolor crayons. The papers were tiny piece of printer or drawing paper – not the best surface. Jo expressed that she had had difficulty making out what she had painted afterwards and had ended up using ink to define the items painted. Towards the end of the afternoon, after the standard Shadows exercise, we looked at Jo’s paintings and I thought we could tackle one of them as a larger watercolor and make a more realistic painting.
Working a little larger does help. This time we used watercolor paper (Canson 140lb cold press) – about 12×9″. I drew a quick value sketch first on a scrap to outline some of the changes that we would make to make the little barrel cacti look more round, and the rocks “rocky”. The main adjustments were addition of shadows/shading to bring out the shapes of the cacti and rocks. I suggested a simple blue sky/purple hills/sandy mid-ground behind the cacti in order to make them stand out from it, rather than a green one of a similar tone. The cacti flowers didn’t come out as well as hoped – I’m not by nature a floral painter and they were a little on the small side to do much more with than a bit of impressionism.
Jo said her husband thought everything she painted was wonderful, but when he came to pick her up after the class and we showed him the before and after, there was no faking those eyebrows shooting skyward. Here’s the before (on the right! 🙂 ) and the after.
I do love staying in Airbnbs. The price is right and you get to meet some nice people. I have a few favorites and have made some friends. There is one particular couple I’ve stayed with about four times, I know where everything is in the house. They have three airbnb rooms. The last time I stayed there, they were away for the weekend and kinda left me in charge of the two young guys staying in the other rooms; I got to be the house Mom. They also mentioned that one guy had left a suitcase for later pickup in the garage.
The first night, I hadn’t been in long when the doorbell rang. It was Fedex. I signed for the package, put it on the hall stand and texted them that the package had arrived.
The second night, I hadn’t been in long when the doorbell rang. It was the former room guest returning for his suitcase. We found the suitcase in the garage and I texted them that it had been retrieved.
On the third night, I was microwaving my dinner and decided it needed to go in for another minute. HummmmmmmmFFFZZZZTTTT. Oh ****. I tried resetting the GFCI on a nearby socket, but no go. The microwave had been plugged into a socket apparently on a different circuit. A few sockets behind the stove were off, but the stove was on still and the microwave could be plugged into the GFCI socket and I could continue dinner. I texted them what had happened and said that it wasn’t a big deal, they could wait til Monday to fix it.
After dinner I went to put water in the freezer for the following day. Oh no, the fridge is off – plugged into the same circuit as the rest of the dead sockets! So now we’re on phone calls. Grabbing the flash light from my truck I followed their instructions to the breaker box, but wasn’t getting any joy from resetting the marked circuit breakers. There was one of the other guys in the house, and after we ascertained that he wasn’t going to lose anything when the internet went down, we rebooted the house electrics. Still no joy.
By now the couple are planning to abort their trip and drive home. However, the young strong man (they’re really handy sometimes) easily pulled the fridge out of its alcove and now we had access to the plug. Back to the garage and rummaging for their extension cords, we ran a line to another area that was working, and we were back in business except for…. the tripping hazard across the kitchen floor. So, warnings to both other guests that the kitchen light needs to be left on so we don’t trip on the wire, my hosts unpacked their suitcases and went back to their trip.
On Monday I taught my regular class at the Trilogy gated community. I caught a few students working on the last few stages of their exercises. They all want to remain anonymous so no faces! The last one is from one student who took it home and completed it later.