Sheep, Dales, Watercolors

I think this bloke is from northern England so no doubt sheep are everywhere he looks, but his name is Wooley for pete’s sake! Sheep! Everywhere! (He probably sees a lot of these stone walls, in the Dales too.)

and this from the quote box:

The road to positivity is strewn with the abandoned vehicles of the faint-hearted. — Peter McWilliams

Poetry and Postcards and Watercolor

I work at my watercolor (not as often as I’d like) and I work at my poetry (this month very regularly indeed) and they often cross paths when I’m sending out postcards of poetry. These are the three postcards I made today. Sunny and Cold is the newest one, inspired by today’s bright blue sky and puffy clouds.

From the Quote Box – More Guidance

A man’s duty is to find out where the truth is, or if he cannot, at least to take the best possible human doctrine and the hardest to disprove, and to ride on this like a raft over the waters of life. — Plato

I spent part of this morning working on poems and then fetching sunflower seeds for the tiny but very hungry birdies. It was wonderfully pleasant to be out in the sun, temps in the forties and the sky so blue. Big puffy white clouds.

To divert myself from the world over the past few days I’ve watched quite a few instructional videos about watercolor. Last night I watched Frank Clark who walked through quite a few exercises, doing a landscape in one color, using simple shapes to suggest people, fruit and things like boats. He talked about sky, horizon lines and foregrounds. He uses goat hair brushes which are pretty strange but wonderful. Can’t argue with someone who can dash off a fair landscape in a few minutes (with hairdryer at hand) using 8 colors and three brushes.

I’m learning myself that most of the time things get done with bigger brushes so it doesn’t surprise me when I see these video guys using brushes that are 1 1/2 inches or bigger.

Anyway, I gathered up what I’d seen and sat down with the two latest paintings which were lacking proper foregrounds. I played around with my biggest brush a one inch wash and it did a pretty good job of being ragged and rough when dry. I played with holding the brushes by the far end and that just needs practice and repetition.

When those had grassy and melted areas here and there I slapped some blue and grey washes together and created a big bright blue sky with puffy white clouds sailing by. I didn’t let myself leave the foreground empty. That way I can start a new painting next time. No more dilly-dallying. Do the work. Keep making art. Do the work.

The artist and still today

In case you need to listen to a more inspirational voice today. I sure do.

The artist, however faithful to his personal vision of reality, becomes the last champion of the individual mind and sensibility against an intrusive society and an officious state… In pursuing his perceptions of reality, he must often sail against the currents of his time. This is not a popular role.  John F. Kennedy

From the Quote Box – Why Worry?

Worry is a useless mulling over of things we cannot change. — Peace Pilgrim

Mom and I, Snow and Snow

Mom and I went to Lowell to visit the New England Quilt Museum and arrived just in time for a blizzard. The museum was closed on Thursday but we did get in on Friday due to the New England-ish work ethics of one of the employees. We of course had brought lots of stuff to keep us busy and we spent the blizzard day watching the snow and the snow clearing crew out the window and binging on Pokemon and political stuff.

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Came home, shoveled out my driveway, went to work the next day.

Spent Sunday snowed in again.

Rinse and repeat!

Why We Must RESIST

In honor of President Lincoln, some of his most memorable words:

The Gettysburg Address

Abraham Lincoln

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war,testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate — we cannot consecrate — we cannot hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.