Saturday, April 30, 2011

Friday, April 29, 2011

A find

During slightly trying times such as these (Kentucky Derby time), it helps to remember the good things that befall us. Yesterday I found a silver coin in circulation at work-- a 1942 S nickel. That's the first silver I've pulled from circulation in a year or two.
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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Full double rainbow

A rare treat; wish I had something other than my phone camera.
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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Falls of the Ohio - nearly complete


The walnut ink drawing is nearly done.  There are a few tiny problem areas I'm looking for a way to resolve; one of the easiest will be to make sure the bridge supports appear a little more vertical.  I might not be able to fix all of it, but I can live with it even if I can't.


I'm quite happy with the outcome.


I also need to erase the pencil lines (in case you are wondering why I have numbers written over the bridge, it's because I had to number the vertical support beams in order to keep track of them as I drew them and shaded them.  It was very easy to get confused as to which beam was which as I looked back and forth between my drawing and the reference photo.


One of the last things I did was lightly brush in the buildings of downtown Louisville in the background.  It took me a while to decide how to do it, but I'm very happy with how they came out.


Monday, April 25, 2011

20 worst recorded Ohio River floods

From the Army Corps of Engineers:
Historical Crests for Ohio River at McAlpine Upper

(1) 52.15 ft on 01/27/1937
(2) 42.10 ft on 03/08/1945
(3) 41.70 ft on 02/16/1884
(4) 41.20 ft on 03/12/1964
(5) 39.50 ft on 02/16/1883
(6) 39.40 ft on 04/02/1913
(7) 38.76 ft on 03/07/1997
(8) 36.40 ft on 01/22/1907
(9) 36.00 ft on 04/19/1948
(10) 34.10 ft on 03/23/1933
(11) 33.40 ft on 03/04/1962
(12) 33.00 ft on 05/10/1961
(13) 33.00 ft on 03/23/1943
(14) 32.40 ft on 02/22/1882
(15) 31.90 ft on 12/14/1978
(16) 31.80 ft on 03/10/1955
(17) 31.60 ft on 03/29/1936
(18) 31.50 ft on 03/13/1967
(19) 31.50 ft on 03/22/1963
(20) 31.40 ft on 02/07/1950
With a little more rain, we just might make it to the top ten this year.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011

Falls of the Ohio WIP

The background is mostly done.  I've been concentrating on the foreground lately.  I'm working on bristol paper, which isn't great for wet media, so some of the paper on the right where I brushed in the river has become a little messed up.  Not a big deal, though.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


You know, I sort of liked my Halloween costume.  I thought it was kinda cool.
This is about 9,000,000,001 times cooler:
It makes me want to weep with joy, it is so beautiful.

Painting and other time-sinks


Attached is a photo of some panels I've gessoed in preparation for painting.  The raised one, which is a birch painting panel I just bought, is for the portrait commission that I must start.  The other two are particle boards that I wanted to have ready because I really want to get some other painting done.  The scenery has been so pretty.  I also had the idea that I might simultaneously work on another portrait on my own for additional experimentation and practice—it might help smooth my way, since I don't want to screw up the commission, and I haven't done a portrait in a looooong time.


I don't know why, but yesterday I started thinking about fishing.  I used to go pretty frequently, but I haven't been in a long time.  Now it's been five or six or seven years.  There is no way that I'd be able to go very often, but I wonder if I should try to go a few times this year?  Should I get a fishing license?


I have fond memories of combined fishing/painting trips with friends.  The combination never really worked out too well:  As long as there was a line in the water, it was hard to concentrate on painting.  I did, however, manage to get some painting done, including some good ones.


It was fun fishing for catfish that way.  I'd have a line out on the bottom with a nightcrawler, and a bell attached to the pole.  Then I'd set up my easel close by.  I could paint, and as soon as I heard the bell ring (ding-ding-ding), I'd drop my brush and run over to the pole and crouch next to it, ready to pick it up.


Usually, nothing would happen, so after a few minutes I'd walk back to my easel.  I'd pick up my brush, and then: ding-ding-ding…


A good way to spend an afternoon.


Most of my friends and family don't like fishing, but there are a few who do.  There's one in particular I used to fish with a lot; now I want to call him to see if he's been lately.


My favorite thing about fishing, by far, is the excited, tense feeling that comes right before a fish takes the hook.  I love how it feels, for instance, to be fishing on the bottom for catfish, and to see the pole jerk or bend slightly, telegraphing some unknown fish's interest.  Or watching a bobber, after a long period of stillness, suddenly begin to bounce or move.

 I find it hard to justify the time for fishing now, though, because I should be working on art.  I already have other hobbies: metal detecting, coin collecting, gardening.  I don't have enough time for those.  But I guess fishing doesn't need to be a hobby, it can just be an occasional excursion.  Hmmm.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Falls of the Ohio drawing update

A couple of new photos.  It's getting there.  I'm getting a little (pleasantly) busy: I also have a small double portrait oil painting commission, a new house drawing I have to start soon, and a small drawing commission from Kim.

Tafel throws a party

 From the Wave 3 web site.  I thought the renovation celebration/ house fire juxtaposition was interesting.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Falls of the Ohio WIP

I've been making a little more progress on the walnut ink drawing. Above is a detail; below is the full thing. It's coming along all right. I really like now the ink looks in the close-up; I like the varying values of the pen strokes and varying line thicknesses. That's my favorite part of working with this kind of ink.

I (heart) astronomy photos

That's the center bulge of our Milky Way galaxy looming on the horizon.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Sunny windy Sunday

I got my first sunburn of the year yesterday.  It's not bad. They rarely are for me, but I can feel this one a little on the back and sides of my neck.


The girls and I worked in the garden for a while.  We planted some snap peas, chives, and asparagus, but most of the time I was out there I was just trying to prepare the soil.  Since I've been quite lax in the past about using mulch, grass and weed roots pervade my designated garden spots, and I try to get rid of them as I go.


I've never tried to grow asparagus before, and I'm looking forward to it:  Not only do I like eating it, but I think the plants are attractively large and interesting.  I hope they do all right.


I still need to plant some garlic bulbs and spinach, and I need to get the tomatoes and broccoli going in the starter trays I just bought.


After we worked in the garden, we all went to Robsion Park to ride bikes and fly kites (photos in posts below).  It was a good kite flying day.  Usually when I think it's a good kite flying day I still can't get a kite to stay up very well at all, but we had more success yesterday than usual, despite the fact that Len spent a huge amount of time trying to get strings untangled.  The girls rode their bikes quite a bit, and I wasn't sure they were going to stop before I dropped.


Sunday, April 03, 2011

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Flying kites at the park with Grandpa Len!
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Saturday, April 02, 2011