Monday, April 30, 2007

Great blue heron

The great blue heron is the bird that got me hooked on birding. We were driving in May around a wildlife preserve which cheap binoculars and a heron was close and looking at the water. It darted, grabed a ten inch fish and swallowed it in one fast gulp. Like watching the Nature channel.

It was a beautiful spring day and by pure luck, karma., we stumbled intgo migrating birds everywhere. Started an addiction. One of various.

Monday Update

Took images to downtown photo printing shop - first time used higher end printer in a while.

Get them back Wednesday - three eight by tens and one eleven by fourteen. All full frame. Excited. Hope results are good.

Shop is on 17th Street, in the old neighborhood, where we lived before first child. It is in the photo district.

I miss Manhattan some - used to living in the suburbs now. Bad lawn and leaky roof.

Sunday, April 29, 2007


Collage, full frame of two closeups of retaining wall.

Sons of the collage.

KT Tunstall

At Target store today - truly horrible record department. Is this where America music is headed? I mourn for Tower Records, a place you could find things from artist not covered in People magazine.

Target had no Moby, but had at least five copies of the Paris Hilton CD. Lot of Hillary Duff CDs. These disks stood out because of lack of product.

Bought "Eye to the Telescope" by KT who is Scottish but sounds like she sat for a long while alongside Bonnie Raitt. Interesting but I am not in love with her music, yet. Still worth watching.

A pic of KT. On target. Should I jump on the star bandwagon?

Would have paid four dollars less if I bought the CD at Amazon. I shop Amazon and dislike the iTunes store. MP3 quality at over a dollar per song? Can only be copied a few times? Never bought anything there. Not one song.

Maybe something out of print, someday.

Minor dabblings

This one with face tones corrected - possibly too bright, not sure. More spray. Confetti.

This one with selected use of spray cut and pasted in, skin tones per orignal in prior post.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Back dabbling with internet images

There is no place like home.

"Stage Left"

Spring Day

The white ornamental plum trees near my house are in perfect peak bloom. Look as lovely as any Pissarro in the early morning low light. As I drove to a soccer game I realized how for me impressionists like Pissarro capture permanently something I will get to see maybe sixty times in my life - the one day in spring when a mature ripe flowering tree is as beautiful as glorious as numbing as a truly stunning woman. These days, if you are observant and if the weather and lighting is correct, are as rare as anything. Visual natural lotto.

Most people miss it. Ephemeral but on canvas. Oil pigments properly presented always provide something missing from photographs of blossoms.

Far from anything glorious - here is a little sketch:

First Shot

This was the first image "finalized" and because the couple is in the center is may be too static a composition, particularly once painted.

I do like all three, though. All three, see the two in prior post, seem valid and interesting.

I took a slice of another photograph provided which has background of graphic art created by the future bride. "GIMME A KISS" with colors reversed. Prophetic or demanding?

Friday, April 27, 2007

"Is it love that brings you here or love that brings you life?"

I have heard the song below at a number of weddings. Although Catholic in tone the performance and words are in fact ecumenical, although paternal. Hopelessly romantic, I still believe in importance and magic of love, including love at first sight.

I am working on potential wedding present. Hope it will turn out to my satisfaction. And if so, that it be enjoyed.

"Enjoy" is such a great word.

"He is now to be among you at the calling of your hearts
Rest assured this troubadour is acting on his part.
The union of your spirits, here, has caused him to remain
For whenever two or more of you are gathered in his name
There is love. there is love.

A man shall leave his mother and a woman leave her home
And they shall travel on to where the two shall be as one.
As it was in the beginning is now and til the end
Woman draws her life from man and gives it back again.
And there is love. there is love.

Well then what's to be the reason for becoming man and wife?
Is it love that brings you here or love that brings you life?
And if loving is the answer, then who's the giving for?
Do you believe in something that you've never seen before?
Oh there's love, there is love.

Oh the marriage of your spirits here has caused him to remain
For whenever two or more of you are gathered in his name
There is love. there is love."
My, no our, wedding day was the happiest day of my life. My, no our, first son's arrival was the most magical.

My versus Our. Our equates love.

Earleir version of pic, really a cut and pasted variant of both's images "biological mother:"

In the end, the image is to be painted on so picture used needs more to have compositional bones than details.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

"Untitled, entitled"

The need to create and unrelated ramblings ending up in woods in a small tent suddenly believing in god

Realize it, my need to create art, is stronger than other cravings. Lucid eye opening revelation.

Need inspiration. Back to MOMA.

Regarding pics below, I like the first and the last and the ones in between are like a car pile up. Sometimes the images get worse before better. Like a head on disaster where everything, everyone, is a casualty. EMS then rushes in....Need to pull it out of the trash or out of the hat or out of somewhere less civil.

Been listening to Tori Amos. "The Beekeeper" is relatively safe and melodic. Will listen to it again. Seems happier. Is that good?

Bjork and Moby. Bjork is manic cute serene brainy. I cannot underestimate brains and vision. Moby "Hotel" is brilliant.

The thing about cities is we lose the stars. Everyday lights block out their very existence not to mention their in-your-face magnificence. We artificially enlarge our worth by denying the volume of our universe. Go up on mountain or a desert far from humanity and in the pitch black look up. What you will see there may lead you to pray. I may be repeating myself here. But since no one reads this, who cares.

That is one exquisite beauty of camping in the back woods- hearing crickets and acknowledging our role in the universe.

Monday, April 23, 2007

easier than anything I will do again

Click on it to see larger sized. Wayward step children in the creation process:

At home alone, just like the movie, for a few minutes - listening to "Songs Of Kristofferson." Great songwriter for a period of time. Then fame, movies or something drained him.

My wife asked tonight why I stopped painting with acrylics. Good question. I fall into ruts overnight. Tomorrow.

Tori Amos

Listening to soft "The Beekepper" and "StrangeLittleGirls" today. Some of the covers on "Strange" are eloquent.

Quirky and elegant. Perfect for my mood today. Her piano playing heals me and her bright eyes are so smart whip adorable....

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Open to Everything Happy and Sad

Working on larger image when this popped up on Paint screen - quick cut and paste and then heard Moby song in iTunes for the first time. He sang "Open to everything happy and sad. Seeing the good when all is going bad...Hold unto people they're slipping away."

Back To The Everglades

Another reflection. Trite? Not full frame as I used to prefer to work exclusively, but my little family pocket Nikon camera does not allow me the camera be an sure fire extension of my eye.

So I crop a bit now....cropped vision, you might say.

Oh, no - an alligator. Everyone photographs the gators. Maybe we are drawn to them like we are to rubber necking at an accident on the interstate. "There is me, but for the grace of god."

And I am not a holy man, but as a scientist I know that an alligator facing the other way is a good thing. So a toast to good things, even if trite.

Let more things be good. A reprieve with time on for good behavior. Blessings.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Fish or Cut Bait

This pic transformed:

Using Microsoft Paint, Microsoft Office Picture Manager, and Nero PhotoSnap.

Paint with larger file size is done is smaller sections - the program cannot reduce below 100 percent. Working like it was quasi braille. Luckily sometimes I am not at all anal retentive.

Someone smack Bill Gates. Bill, are you reading this? Improve Paint. Today.

Keys Pastel Study

Bit bored, not sure if this is any good - cropped and color balance edited. Odd quality to the reflected light. Sometbning to do.

I wonder if anyone will ever read any of this?

Glorious Day in NYC

Beautiful warm weather - the air is warm yet crisp. Went for short stroll at lunch and into Museum of Modern Art. Museum flooded with school groups - grade school through junior high through high school. Museum shop had a line that would have taken 40 minutes to get through.

No way will I endure that. I am as likely to stand on line for long as I am be able to fund the purchase of a Van Gogh. Well, I would stand in that line for a week for a real Klee, Motherwell, or any Kline. Not for a Warhol, unlikes I am allowed to resell it immediately and then get out of the rat race.

No one calls it the rat race any more. What kind of race is it?

Days like this I love New York. Remember not to go to MOMA on Fridays until summer unless you wish to relive your youth and all its ripe ready to pluck promises.

Happy weekend. Catch and hold unto something nice.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Beauty, Continued Today and Forever

I find Penelope beautiful and I would never describe her as merely pretty. Her nose is too large for judgment by anyone vapid enough to hold a caliper to determine the proper proportions for the ideal feminine portrait.

She is not idealized and in her imperfection lies the depth of her perfection. She is stunning because she breaks the mold - shatters it. She is gorgeous because she takes that which is flawed in each of us and recombines it to a chilling effect.

Her nose is a counterpoint to her large expressive eyes and to sublime lips and a proportioned chin. The combination makes her unique. Add to that her personality and intelligence - so alive and charismatic that you want to be near her to share the excitement of experiencing the vitality of her exhaled breath.

Few super models models are truly stunning, able to be mined into art. Most models just sell product. Jean Shrimpton was immortalized by Richard Avedon in the 1960s. There are remarkably few photos of Ms Shrimpton on the internet. She was a free spirit and did not like being a model. She was one of my first crushes.

I have always respected and been in awe of Christie Turlington's poise. She is a chameleon, gives the camera more looks than anyone I have gazed at. She is five or more women. Half latin. Very smart. She was one of my last crushes.

"Town and Country"

Once again, less is more, no?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Internet and a New World

Found a lovely image on the Internet of woman sitting alongside a stream. Late fall or early spring - I think it is early spring. It should be spring.

Not sure it is finished - I like to post work in progeress and it has been a while since I played with Paint. Slightly earlier version:

As I type I am listening to an amazing song by Bjork - "New World."

Train-whistles, a sweet clementine
Blueberries, dancers in line
Cobwebs, a bakery sign

Ooooh - a sweet clementine
Ooooh - dancers in line
Ooooh ...

If living is seeing
I'm holding my breath
In wonder - I wonder
What happens next?
A new world, a new day to see

I'm softly walking on air
Halfway to heaven from here
Sunlight unfolds in my hair

Ooooh - I'm walking on air
Ooooh - to heaven from here
Ooooh ...

If living is seeing
I'm holding my breath
In wonder - I wonder
What happens next?
A new world, a new day to see

I aqm facing back, but going forward...

I love and despise by Blackberry. This morning I had the thought above on the train. Typo aside I would say it is true. Thank you.

On way to train near my corner I was almost run over. Guy jumped into his pick up truck, revved engine and started pulling back. I was right behind the car and started screaming and waving my arms. He stopped, pulled down his window and I started cursing at him. He kept apologizing and I kept calling him names and he asked why did I not accept his apology and I responded he needed to learn from his mistake.

How many of us learn form ours? And for how long do we retain wisdom gained through misfortune?

I was listening very loudly to my iPod when this happened. The song playing was "Romeo and Juliet" by Dire Straits. A love song on a love song play list I created a few months back when it was the middle of winter in New York and one could walk out in a light coat. Great song set, if I say so myself.

I have a lot of time. I think too much. Like I have thought about which day of the week I would die, which month of the year, which season, AM or PM. Different odds with each.

But, I had never thought about the song that would be playing when I died....AM or PM is a safer fifty-fifty bet. Please laugh.

So the thoughts for today are "I aqm facing back, but going forward...and which song will be playing when I die."

Please laugh, again. With sugar on top.

Just Wondering

Always wondered what Wonder Woman really sounded like - an angel I am sure....things you dream about. Day and night.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Last Vacation Picture - Tomorrow Back to Work

Mrazek Pond, The Everglades

I remember once standing at Mrazek Pond and looking down to see a five foot alligator three feet from me. Stepped back quickly. Another time I saw a nice wood duck there, male - again, right at my feet.

This time there were blue winged teal, a white pelican, great blue heron, great egret, white ibis, yellow crowned night heron, tri-colored heron and coots (as I recall).

Also the nastiest little gnats in the grass nearby. They are there every time.

Mrazek Pond is famous for bird feeding frenzies when the dry season starts and all the fish in pond become concentrated. I have never seen it but here is a picture of a number of egrets.

Saw a number of beautiful great egrets - with their bridal veil flamage on their backs. The very feathers that almost made them extinct form hunting to feed demand for fashionable lady's hats at the turn of the 20th century. The great egret is the symbol for the Audubon Society. A favorite yet common bird. I have painted a few.

Tomorrow I go back to work - LIRR train and subway. Phone calls and work emails and meetings and time sheets. Not sure when I will have time for a good cup of coffee.

Grassy Key

Photo, looking down at tidal pond, taken by my eleven year old son. He got a digital camera for Christmas. We saw a Reddish Egret in this pond. There were a large number of Palm Warblers in the area also.

The Reddish Egret we saw was the white phase. Below is more common phase.

Grassy Key is best known for a Dolphin Institute where for a hundred dollars a tourist can swim with a dolphin.

At the Foot of Seven Mile Bridge

The Seven Mile Bridge south of Marathon is the longest bridge in the USA. We had stopped there because there was a kettle of immature frigate birds flying above - eight of them - moving slowly towards Key West. Following drunk tourists, I am sure.

Below is a picture of mature male off Internet. Frigate birds are large graceful birds. Male has large red breeding throat pouch and is otherwise all black. Best places in United States to see them are the Keys and a bay off San Marcos Island on west coast of Florida near Naples.

As sunset approached we walked a bit on the older bridge along side Highway 1. The older bridge, built after World War II, is now used for fishing. Below there were large fish with top fins breaking out of the water as pursued prey. Tarpons we were told. I had thought they were dolphins because of their large size. Very white.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Marathon Breakfast

If you ever spend time in the Middle Keys, eat breakfast at the Stuffed Pig, near south end of Marathon. We have been going there for years - the first time we had no kids and ate breakfast before sunrise to go birding. There with fishermen at that time.

This trip we had a much later breakfast and sat among vacationing families. They now have an outdoor seating which is very pleasant. Inside it is 1955 decor with 2007 prices.

The night before we ate at a restaurant called The Cracked Conch. At the adjoining table were two retired couples who had spent the day fishing on a party boat and had close to fifty grunt fillets. We talked a bit and they offered us some of their fresh caught fished - fried and blackened. It was tasty and firm. Excellent.


Coral Gables Public Library.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Last Reflection for Today

The Everglades Visitor's Center