Saturday, July 25, 2009

Something's in Retrograde

Today our Congressman, Democrat Tom Perriello, visited MacCallum More Museum and Gardens in Chase City VA. I showed up at 2:30 and learned that the Congressman had arrived early and had already toured the museum and my art exhibit--he actually signed the guest book. I had met him when he was campaigning but did not see him today. I talked with some interesting people walking through the exhibit--tomorrow it will come down.

Perhaps one of my planets is in retrograde because I did not see my favorite friend at the Gardens today, either. I have checked on this little guy for two months--he's not blind, he's changing colors. Last week, most of the green had disappeared. I heard him today but there was no photo op--maybe he's not a Democrat.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I'm not sitting under the apple tree

Several years ago I planned to sit under the apple tree and paint a branch laden with fruit--I changed my mind when I actually walked under the tree. I had seen squirrels scurrying up trees with apples and birds pecking at them on the ground; I had forgotten about insects. My en plein aire painting became an en-workshop broken branch painting--Apples on a Dropcloth, acrylic on linen/duck/canvas, 24x30--a neighbor bought it.

Always wait for these apples to turn red before eating (I learned through experience).

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

New Painting (maybe)

This is a drawing from February 2004, and I don't need to check my journal to know that it was made during a particularly trying time. The drawing has been hanging on a clipboard for five years; now it is the basis for a painting. I always feel that the intensity gets lost the second time around. Perhaps it's the right brain/left brain thing--one feels, the other copies--so the painting is quite different (and it might get trashed). No title yet but I'm thinking "the sapper," lurid colors, and lots of paint; I've worked on it for several days.
The drawing was inspired by an iron "jack" I bought at auction for $4 (I've been told it's a tank baffle, so my street will be safe when the tanks roll in). It sat in my MD yard for several years until I realized it was a perfect bird bath base! My neighbors then approved and wanted one just like it. I moved it here to VA, painted it red to match my tin roof, and it sits outside the kitchen window--I enjoy watching the birds bathe--brown thrashers, robins, cardinals, chickadees, juncos, mockingbirds; occassionally, bluebirds.
In my workshop are three nests which fell from the maple trees--I can't seem to part with them--filled them with egg-shaped stones once and used them as a centerpiece. Nature amazes and provides.
The red stop sign in the drawing? I dropped my marker and needed to cover the spot. There are no accidents.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Nine-foot Snake!

Living near the lake, seeing snakes is not unusual. This sighting is: A nine-foot astrological diamond-back copperhead cottonmouth with golden fangs. The snake is on my back porch.
As I returned from my arrowhead search along the shore he said: "Why are you bringing that stick home?"
I said: "It's not a stick--it's a snake."
He said: "Well, put it away."
That's how things end up in my workshop--the snake has been in the corner for five years.

The golden fangs? I finally found a use for my old gold crowns-- ca. 1970. Copper shavings from my staircase railing (2005) cover his head.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The lasting effects of drinking Buffalo Lithia Water

The painting is Buffalo Bottle, acrylic, 18x24. I donated the painting to an SPCA auction several years ago; a neighbor bought it--now it's part of her collection. The tree is in my back yard.
As everyone hustled around doing Fourth of July things today--boating, parading, swimming, and cooking out--I watched from the porch; then had dinner at a local restaurant. Growing up, our celebrations were minimal--fireworks (and accidents), laughter and bandages.
Living only a mile from Buffalo Lithia Springs might have contributed to our laid-back demeanor; surely, our well water also contained a bit of lithium (and we filled bottles at the Springs). I googled some ads which first appeared around 1886: "Nerve tonic, Anti-dyspeptic & Restorative.........Far Superior to the Lithia tablet." Stories circulate about people who were mentally fine until they left Buffalo Springs. I think I was okay when I lived in MD/DC; well, sometimes a bit edgy.
My water bottles are empty--tomorrow I'll make the seven-mile trip to the Springs for refills.