Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Anniversary of my mother giving birth to me

Yesterday I celebrated the end/beginning of another year on the planet. Can't do that without thinking of my dear mother, Charlotte, gone ten years but never forgotten. She gave me my start, of course (with some help from Dad). My office mates treated me to lunch, cake and presents. Maya cooked dinner for me and Lauren and Joe. There were more presents and Dove Bars (mmmm... dark chocolate over vanilla...). Rose will come this weekend for continued festivities. (Love them kids!) So now I feel celebrated, but alas, have no profound philosophical pronouncements about having another birthday. Except maybe this: Getting Old Sucks.
One good thing that happened on my birthday: The Democrats Won! Including Webb for Senator from Virginia, defeating that poser and apparent racist Geo. Allen. The bad news is that stupid 'marriage amendment' was approved, by over a million Virginians who forgot to read the damn thing and voted 'yes' probably because they are repulsed by the idea of gay sex -- which isn't what it is about anyway! Now the lawyers are laughing as they will have plenty of work from anyone who wants to have any sort of contract with a person they happen to love (or maybe even with someone they don't love!).
Oh yeah, I've joined a group blog, Breakdancing Godzilla. Check it out!!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Happy Halloween


In honor of Halloween, I'm posting last year's photo of Jinx in her shark costume! Maybe I'll get a better picture of her this year! She doesn't mind dressing up TOO much - but it is a rare thing. When I was a kid, we never dressed up the dog, but we did dress up, usually in home made costumes- I remember being a beatnik, a hobo, a gypsy...and we went out trick-or-treating TWO nights in a row - first on Beggar's Night, and then the next night, which was actually Halloween. We got a TON of candy! No wonder I have so many fillings in my teeth!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Quebec City

There is an old walled city, Vieux Quebec, filled with old row houses, shops and restaurants of all kinds. The narrow streets wind up and down hills, seeming to culminate at the old Chateau Frontenac, billed as the 'most photographed hotel in the world.' But instead of showing you a photo of the CF, I've posted one of the St. Jean Gate in the wall. I walked through here each day, past ice skaters, punk kids, street musicians, and some beautiful architecture. That IS a pile of snow on the curb (scraped from the ice rink) and the sculptural door is the entry to the skate rental.

Quebec City and the Musee des Beaux Arts

For about 4 days in Mid October, I took a [business] trip to Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. There was a meeting to go to for two of the days. It was great to be in Canada, and in Quebec, testing my French. I did pretty well, and the locals were pretty friendly and tolerant of my attempts. I went to the Musee des Beaux Arts and saw a beautiful collection on native sculpture (Inuit carvings in antler, bone, soapstone, serpentine, etc) of polar bears, birds and native life. The museum also had lots of Quebec and Canadian art, as well as an exhibition of Impressionists with pre- and post-Impressionist works as well. Here's an outdoor sculpture.

The Beach in Black and White

I still love black and white film, and using a non-digital camera. When we went to the beach I took both cameras I have - neither one of them is a great camera, but still fun. I miss my old Nikon EM! The vastness of the Atlantic Ocean is only imagined.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Other Blogs

OK, I'm confused. I cannot figure out how to list links to other blogs, so I'll put them here. Maybe another blogger can give me a hint about how to post the links so that they appear in a list on one side of the page. Is it possible I chose a template that doesn't allow this?.
Ohyouknowocto-The Mine Shaft
Auspicious Jots
Randy Fitzgerald

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Smoked Paper - Part 2

When you lift the paper off the burnt material, you have beautiful and subtle grey-black and amber marks on the paper (rinse the paper off with a hose). The element of chance governs the patterns; you can control it some by how you lay out the straw, or what materials you burn. But it is always a surprise. You can do the process more than once to get an effect that you decide is "done." Once the paper dries, you can use it to paint or draw on.

Smoked Paper

In September 2006, I participated in a workshop on Smoked Paper with Ray Kass and Stephen Addiss at the University of Richmond. These two guys worked with John Cage and all three have used this smoked paper technique. First you soak some straw (or other substance) with mineral spirits. Then you light it on fire (Careful!!) and quickly lay a sheet of wet paper over it. The paper should be a fairly heavy watercolor paper or rice paper. Then you quickly smother the fire by laying a large sheet of masonite over the whole thing.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Mother Ocean

Something I really love is to go to the beach. Here I am on the Atlantic coast of the Outer Banks of North Carolina in August 2006. There is just nothing like standing on the shore, looking out at that great expanse of water -- it really puts you in your place as a small component of our huge planet. Very grounding and good for me.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Here is Jiinx again. She is a rescued dog from FURS (Friends United for the Richmond Shelter). I have had her about 2 1/2 years, and suspect she is about 4 years old. She might be a Lab mix, or the Vet says she could be a Catahoula Leopard Dog (the state dog of Louisiana which comes in this size and many colors). Before I got her, she was abused, tied up, and may have broken free during Hurricane Isabel in Sept 03.

A blog is born...

I have crept into the 21st century, beginning a WEBLOG of sense and nonsense, art and pictures, late night musings, early morning thoughts and whatever. A public sort of diary is a new concept to me - who will read it? Who will care? How long will it last? How will I feel about it? (Now I'm sounding like a shrink...)