Category Archives: Uncategorized

On the Lighter Side

Love Hurts Heart

Love Hurts Heart

It seems like there has been a flurry in my neighborhood to rush from selling inaugural memorbilia  to pushing St Valentine’s Day gifts.  Now I like romance but I’ve always been a tad irreverent towards St Valentine’s Day.  

I found this candy heart generator online.  What I love about this one is the goth heart generator option.  Now all this does is make an image of a candy heart for you to save but imagine the possibilities.

For the Goth black candy heart, the lettering color options are: icy

Poems bleed

Poems bleed

heart (blue), fiery heart (orange), blood heart (red)  and necro heart (black).  I’ve never been a goth so I couldn’t think of anything suitable to write (um that could be posted here).  I thought these were pretty funny so I figured I’d post them.

Wait until my twin sees the one I made for her.


Raptors Ahead, Caution

Raptors Ahead, Caution

Apparently, Zombies aren’t the only thing to beware of on the highways.  It seems some raptors are roaming wild as well.  Drive carefully.

note, ran across this somewhere on the internet can’t remember the source, but will try to track it down.


In Stiller Nacht

When I lived in Germany,   I sang with the Rhineland Pfalz International Choir (second soprano).  Lately, I’ve been thinking about a song we performed called In Stiller Nacht (In the Silent Night).  Although the title is similar to Silent Night (Stille Nacht) this song is one of the german folk songs that Brahms set to music.

I was told that the song was originally a poem which was written during the reformation in Germany by a an individual who was going to be executed the following morning.  This is what he wrote in the still of the evening.  It’s so very sad and yet, if you listen there is an incredible majesty and sense of longing in this song. 

In stiller Nacht zur ersten Wacht
ein Stimm beginnt zu klagen
der nächt’ge Wind hat leis und lind
zu mir den Klang getragen.
Von herbem Leid und Traurigkeit
ist mir das Herz zerflossen.
Die Blümelein
mit Tränen mein
hab ich sie all begossen.


Der schöne Mond will untergeh’n
dem Leid nicht mehr mag scheinen.
Die Sterne fein im Glitzerschein
mit mir sie wollen weinen.
Kein Vogelsang noch Freudenklang
man höret in den Lüften.
Die wilden Tier’ trauern auch mit mir
in Steinen und in Klüften.

My sister posted the following translation:

In the quiet night, at the first watch,
a voice began to lament;
sweetly and gently, the night wind
carried to me its sound.
And from such bitter sorrow and grief
my heart has melted.
The little flowers – with my pure tears
I have watered them all.

The beautiful moon wishes to set
out of pain, and never shine again;
the stars will let fade their gleam
for they wish to weep with me.
Neither bird-song nor sound of joy
can one hear in the air;
the wild animals grieve with me as well,
upon the rocks and in the ravine

Here is the youtube I found of the performance. It’s a home-grown video so there is some background noise, but it’s beautiful and very heartfelt and moving.  There are other verisions on youtube, but most the american ones don’t understand the context of the song and they really rush through it as a result.

Oh Dear

While cruising through the word press tag painting I found another LOLJesus type blog.

This one is called LOLChrist. I thought the funniest image was: Absolve

For those unfamiliar with the message, the translation is “Oh Hi, I absolve. OK, thanks bye.” It’s gamer speak or l337 speak.

It looks like Hazel Motes just put this site up so there weren’t a lot of images to giggle over.

I always wondered why the individual who started LOLJesus (and now Hazel Motes with LOLChrist) started the LOLJesus-type blog.  Are their intentions outreach to a younger population? I think these are pretty funny since they usually play on our perception of popular images (Ben Hur, The Robe etc) of what Christ was like. I like to think that God and Jesus have great senses of humor and that they approve.  I mean you know God has a sense of humor since he made Pandas and Platypus’.


Well the trip to Portland was fun.

I picked the kids up Saturday morning. We hit Powell’s Books downtown first thing. Then we did some shopping at Artist’s Media as well.

Afterwards, I took the kids to my in-law’s house and made reservations for dinner at Salty’s a local seafood place on the Columbia River (we had our wedding rehearsal dinner there and try to eat there once a visit). Since we were celebrating my Mother-in-Law Karen’s belated birthday I wanted to take her and Nick (her husband) as well as the kids to dinner there.

Karen took the kids to visit her family. I ran a couple of errands and then drove out to see my husband’s aunt and uncle as well as his grandmother. Stayed for a few hours and then we all drove back to Portland.

Dinner at Salty’s was nice, but they’ve gone pretty frou-frou. The seafood chowder was great as always and everyone really enjoyed their food. The Diver’s Scallops and the Smoke Salmon dinners were true standouts. Our waiter Jeremy was very nice (the kids really liked him and wanted to see him promoted!).

Salty’s had a jazz quartet playing on Saturday night. My in-laws love jazz and they knew several of the members of the group playing so they really enjoyed the evening. Me personally, I thought the band was a little too loud and it made conversation difficult. That’s probably sacrilege to say, lol.

Karen has mentioned to me several times that she wants to start painting with watercolors. So while we were at Powell’s I bought her a book on watercolors, and then bought her a moleskine watercolor sketchbook, small winsor newton paint set and an extra kolinsky sable brush. We gave it to her after her cake/candle arrived and she seemed to really like it!

With the kids in town I will try to paint studies of each of them. We should be all over so my posting will probably be a little sporadic as well.


The Sixty Minute Artist

I’ve been lurking around an interesting art blog called the Sixty Minute Artist.

The artist, Mr. Jerry Lebo’s premise is that as painter with a full-time job and large (well to me anyway) family and he must make the most efficient and effective use of his time. He can not putter about.Having read through his blog I realized he’d actually taken time off from work to paint full time in the past. He is a serious daily painter with a great deal to share and teach.

I really like Jerry’s blog because he is using the blog format to share with us the things he’s learned along the way.

Above Tesque, Jerry Lebo

Above Tesque by Jerry Lebo

What draws me to Jerry’s work is the boldness of the strokes he uses in his landscapes. They are lush and beautiful but spare as well. Spare and lush seem like diametrically opposed words to use when describing a painting. But if you look at this painting I think you will understand what I mean. Too get a better view of his brushwork, go to his sie/blog and look at the post titled “Location location”. I had a link here but it is not working. If you click on the painting, you will see a gorgeous closeup of this work.

I will add more about what I’ve learned at Jerry’s site later in the week. His site is well worth the visit.

On a Jet Plane…I fly to Portland Oregon tomorrow to pick up my stepchildren. Hopefully I will post more when I return. I am sad that I am missing a session with Robert Liberace and also with Ted Reed, but it can’t be helped.It’s a quick trip to Oregon, I return Sunday. I hope to get some time to paint both of the kids and to take them to a few museums while there are here, that is when we’re not exploring DC.I am in a pretty small apartment so it’s going to be very crowded with everyone here. But I haven’t seen them since December so I am really looking forward to it-crowded conditions and all.

Religion, painting and Cats (Artist David Oleski)

David Oleski

David Oleski is an artist who lives in Pennsylvania. I’ve always admired the way he renders forms. He has amazing lush brushwork and his work is subtly colored. I first saw one of his paintings several years ago on a visit to Washington DC. We were strolling in and out of the stores along King Street in Old Town Alexandria, Virgina. I saw two of his paintings in a gallery, one had three apples and one had pears. I loved the bright green apples. Up close they seem nothing more than shapes with thick paint, but if you stepped back they became these wonderful apples. I was enchanted.

At that time it never occurred to me to ‘google’ his name to learn more about the artist. But I stumbled upon a link to David’s website at Bill Sharp’s blog.

One of the things I love about David Oleski is he provides complete information about the materials he uses in his work. If you wonder why it’s important, believe me it is, maybe not to you -but certainly to your heirs who may inherit any works you’ve purchased. I believe an artist has the obligation to create their work with the best materials they can afford. I paint so I know how expensive the materials are.

Ok the religion and cats part. In the link for his technical information, David gives you all the details of the materials he uses, type of beer he drinks, the cigars he smokes and even mentions his dog and cat (Frank and Ojisan, respectively). Got to love a man that is very detail and has such a sense of humor! I thought what he wrote about his cat, Okisan was sweet and funny:

Ojisan eats Flint River cat food, and every Sunday I’ll crack open a can for him, just so he has some rudimentary understanding of the abstract concept of religion. It remains to be seen if it’s working or not.

I loved the wry humor in that statement! I mentioned it to a friend this weekend and she looked at me like I was insane.

Back to the materials.

Why is it important to understand the materials an artist used? Well part of the answer is that many of the materials artist use are toxic. Flake white paint contains lead and so does maroger medium. If you go to a museum and view the works you will see some contemporary oils (by that I mean they are from the 20th century) with cracks and damage. I am not a restorer but in every art class I’ve taken the artist emphasises the principal of fat-over-lean for oils. If you fail to follow that rule you will get cracking. If you paint acrylics over oil you will get these types of cracks. And we all know that crack kills.

Last year I bought a painting at a great gallery in Santa Fe, NM. At the opening I was so excited to meet the artist whose work I adored. We actually got to spend a lot of time together talking and I asked her what paints she uses. Her reply astonished me because she used student grade oil paints and has since she started painting. Keep in mind her work is priced up to several thousands of dollars. Although the piece I bought wasn’t that expensive it made me wonder how the painting would hold up over the next 30-60 years.

Last year I drove with a friend from Albuquerque to Cerrillos, NM. Cerrillos is a beautiful mining town turned artist community with the luxury of being close to Albuquerque and Santa Fe. When I spoke with one gallery owner/artist and asked him about the materials he used his response was, I don’t know-what ever is on sale. I was a little shocked, he had these gorgeous landscapes and the impression I had was the less it costs him to make them, the more profit he had. I waited a bit and browsed but eventually I left.

I may not be able to look at a red on my palette and tell you that it’s winsor newton or old holland paint. But I do know the manufacturers of the paints and solvents I use, the types and weights of the linens/boards I use and also the types of mediums I use.

What’s the difference?

Student quality oils means that there is less pigment and more fillers used when they make it, I was told when I started watercolor painting years ago to buy the professional grade. The differences were pronounced enough that if I learned using student grade materials, I’d have to relearn how the materials worked when I switched to the professional grade. So it made sense to start with the professional grade.

Professional grade materials have more pigment and fewer binders. The amount of pigment varies from maker to maker. For the reds Ted Reed recommends Winsor Newton, I love the Williamsburg paints made by Carl Plansky. I’ve also seen folks talking about someone in New York City who makes these incredible blue paints. I haven’t found him yet (I know he doesn’t have a web site – you order through the phone)

Friday Night Class 10 Aug

I’ve discovered the violet in the clouds was the result of taking a photo in low-light on this camera. I may have to take it back to the store which makes me one sad panda.

The model for this evening was one of my favorites, she’s really nice and she has some really dramatic poses. I was very happy with the silver point drawing. In person this image is pale silvery gray. It’s difficult to take a picture of this type of drawing because the metal in the silver point reflects light.  I also decided to delete the picture of the drawing until I get a better image.

On the plus side, the model loved the drawing and she also loved the picture I painted of her during Ted’s class (I showed her on my camera).  I asked her permission to post the silver point becuase her face would be clearly visible. 

It’s late and I am tired so ~it’s off to bed.