Saturday, October 3, 2015

SKETCHBOOK: "Return to Japan Festival"

I spent the whole day sketching at the JAPAN FESTIVAL in Overland Park, KS. It's held each year at the Johnson County Community College. Here are the results from my efforts.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Painting again...a New Start!

This is a very significant painting. Not because it is particularly very good (in fact, it's more of a "warm up sketch"). But it is the first time I have returned to oil painting in 5 years, since my wife Cathy died in 2010. Cat had been the one to get me started painting many years after I had been in college. And when we lost her, I also lost the desire to was just too painful. I participated in one Plein Aire event a month after she died, in her honor...but nothing since.

Three days ago, my daughter Jenni came for a visit.  She had planned a "dad-daughter day" together. She had told me to get my paints ready, but that's all she would say about it. So two days ago, we traveled to Summerset Ridge Vineyard and Winery near Louisburg, KS. Unknown to her, I had been to this place with Cathy many years ago. Nor did she know that I had not painted with oils since her Mom has been gone, until I told her while on the way to the winery.
I was VERY rusty, and wasn't sure how I would feel, with brush in hand. But I enjoyed it...and will definitely keep going with this. A huge thanks to all my friends and family that have been so encouraging to me. smile emoticon
Then last night, I had a fun time with my daughters, JenniCourtney and her boyfriend Clint Hudon. Jenni and I were talking about these classes that people take where they paint and drink wine. So she decided we should do our version of that...she called it "Brews And Hues"!! Instead of wine, she picked out a variety of beers. Jen and I hit the crafts store and I made little easels from leftover boards and saw-horse clamps. A great evening! smile emoticon (And for those who know me didn't drink any of the brews. But could have substituted root beer or tea! Ha!)

And so...for a season...I am just going to keep painting and see what happens. Now that I am retired from working at Hallmark, I've got some flexibility to explore whatever grabs me. This morning, I set up in my backyard and painted my geraniums. I don't usually paint flowers, but I couldn't pass up these awesome red blooms.

Friday, August 28, 2015

TRAVEL: "California Coast" Pt. 5

This will be my final chapter to this series. I just wanted to show you some of the amazing sights that I got to enjoy on my trip.  Above...some local color of Pacific Grove, near Monterey.

Welcome to Pacific Grove!

Gorgeous colors on a lovely day along the coast of Pacific Grove.

 Looking south on the beach at Pacific Grove.

 Some cool houses in Pacific Grove...and a wonderful "horizontally-inclined" cypress tree.

Waves along the beach of Pacific Grove on an overcast evening.

A beautiful day at Monterey Bay! Can you see the seals in the water with the gulls?

 Amazing rock formations along Pebble Beach, on the way to "Carmel By The Sea."

The famous "Lone Cypress" on the 17-mile-Drive heading towards "Carmel By The Sea".

A couple of the incredible views on the scenic Highway 1 near "Big Sur". There is a tiny bridge in the distance of both photos. The top pic is where I was headed...the bottom photo was looking back to the same bridge, as I was farther up the cliff-side road.

An impressive light house on a giant rock along Highway 1. You can see the huge rock in the distance in the top photo.

More amazing coastline views on Hwy 1 along "Big Sur". The drive here is breath-taking...and a little bit scary! One false move and off the edge you go!

The Juila Pfeiffer Burns Falls along Big Sur.

Amazing blue Pacific Ocean colors along Hwy 1.

You can just make out a fortress-like tunnel structure on the edge of the cliff that cars pass through on Hwy 1.

One of the beaches along Los Padres National Forest.

The sea elephants were taking a nap. I think these were all females, as the guys took off after mating season. Typical.

A couple of birds that I saw on my trip. I should do some photoshopping and put that ostrich on the wharf. 

A crazy piece of art on wheels in Santa Barbara!!

I hope you enjoyed coming along with me on my trip!