From the Quote Box

The world is indeed a mixture of truth and make-believe. Discard the make-believe and take the truth. — Ramakrishna

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Photos as Reference

Long time readers may attest that I take a fair number of photos. It’s true. Not all the photos are great – some are taken to capture a bit of light or something interesting or just as an aid to memory. Lately I’ve been taking more photos as reference.

I was thinking about this as I watched a youtube watercolorist show how he auditions and “edits” photos. He prints them out and doesn’t worry about sharpness or perfect lighting. Obviously there was something about the scene that grabbed his eye but it doesn’t mean it is a composition worth painting. He uses a really soft pencil and a white pencil to move trees around, add some shadows, establish where the light is coming from, all the while considering how the eye will move in and around the image. (If you like his video, watch this one next for some amazing cloud wet in wet painting)

When he was done, the view was indeed more interesting to look at and still bore a strong resemblance to the original photo but it wasn’t the same.

All this is a way around to saying these two groups of photos aren’t the best I’ve taken but they were taken to show the scene. The sheep photos have some really dark ones because I wanted to show the clouds. The sunset photos aren’t very crisp because I only had a few minutes before it was too dark to shoot and I didn’t have time to set up a tripod so I was bracing against things. But, I hope the ideas will be useful.

Local Sheep, Landscape and Clouds//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

sunset 16 August 2017//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Words from Tolkien

Where will wants not, a way opens. — J.R.R. Tolkien

and this perenniel beacon:

It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule. – J.R.R. Tolkien

and my oft-quoted:

…the night-sky was still dim and pale. There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach. His song in the Tower had been defiance rather than hope; for then he was thinking of himself. Now, for a moment, his own fate, and even his master’s, ceased to trouble him. He crawled back into the brambles and laid himself by Frodo’s side, and putting away all fear he cast himself into a deep untroubled sleep. – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King, Book II, The Land of Shadow.

From the Quote Box

I am in the present. I cannot know what tomorrow will bring forth. I can know only what the truth is for me today. That is what I am called upon to serve, and I serve it in all lucidity. — Igor Stravinsky 1936

History Redux

It’s hard not to have flashbacks to the days of hearings re Agnew and Nixon in the Watergate days.

For those who weren’t alive then, it was riveting and scary and comforting, the later because it seemed without much doubt that the system would stand to undo the wrongs that were being revealed.

That’s what we need most now – reassurance that this “bull in a china shop” as he was recently described will not undo this experiment in democracy. That the government will stand and not stand for those who would undo it.

Kindness – From the Quote Box

There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness. — Dalai Lama

Wednesday Night

Came home today and sat down to paint. Step by step we reach our goals, right? Added quite a bit, managed to leave a lot of white areas where there would be flowers and realize deep in my heart that dark colors are really something I need to get comfortable with. Very odd since in fabric I’m all about the darks.

Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans. Aim high in hope and work. Remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will not die. — Daniel H Burnham