Saturday, February 23, 2013

Oh gee you silly goose!

About a week ago, the Squaw Creek Reserve posted on facebook that their numbers of geese went from over a million one week, to down to just over 100,000 in a little over a week.  They guessed it was the geese trying to be ahead of the front that came through our area late last week.
I was really amazed at this number, how SO MANY geese knew to leave. 
Later I was thinking about this number as I came home and looked up.  It's not often this time of year that you see no geese at all.  We even have a small grouping of snow geese that lives in the field across from our house this time of year, and even they were gone.
It seemed really strange and kind of eery for them to be gone.
Thursday the snow came, and although it struck Kansas City pretty hard, Maryville was fairly unscathed.  Yes, we had snow, but nothing major that we couldn't handle (about 4-5 inches).
Friday morning, that was a different story.  I woke up in the morning to a flock of geese flying over my house honking and it made me smile to know they were back.  Despite me thinking they were the worlds dumbest creatures (I never see them fly south, just "around"), I was wrong.  They knew when to come back when the coast was clear and they didn't need a meterologist to tell them to go clean the shelves of snow shovels, bread, milk and rock salt.
Friday, driving home from work, I see down my road not far from my house some movement.  It was a sea of white dots moving across the road and that's when I knew they were back, in full force. 
Walking up my steps I looked up again and some were flying so low it almost seemed like you could reach up and touch them.  A sea of geese everywhere.

So let me give you some advice.
Next time you see 3/4 of a million snow geese bugging out of town.  It's time to go buy milk.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I have a problem.. I'm turning into a Pott head.

So a about a year ago, I got really tired of hearing references to Harry Potter that I really didn't "get".  Quite frankly, unless your pop culture reference is to the Brady Bunch, Friends or Michael Jackson, I'm probably not going to get it.  I'm quite "dated" I tell ya.
So anyway, I vowed that I'd finally read at least the first one in the series and set out to get download it on Amazon.
Road block.  It seems that, at the time, JK Rowlings decided that she only wanted people to read the books by actually holding a book.  She was pretty adamant about it.  The thing is, I have a kindle and didn't want to have to sit up with a light on at night (which I'm pretty sure Gene wouldn't tolerate) to read a book.
I checked back about a month or 2 ago, and voila!  You can now check them out on amazon for FREE.  Yep. *free*.
As my father-in-law says, you know what's better than a Harry Potter book?
A FREE Harry Potter book.

Just so you know, that's totally how they rope you in.  By the third book, I was in the middle of the month, a good 14 days away from another check out (only one per month) and I was dying to know what happened next.

So, needless to day, I now have an account at
Yep, me and a bunch of 14 year olds.

It's ok, now I know that there are things like hats, and tshirts and phone cases and pajamas but most of all, they have wands.
I really want a WAND.  OK I ADMIT IT.

I have a list of people I want to turn into a frog, and I really need a wand for that.

I see myself in the future doing some watercolors of wands and owls.

I also want an owl.
Preferably a little one like Pigwidgeon.  Someone make that happen ok?

Because Gene thinks he's annoyed at my little kindle light shining in his face NOW?  Wait til I have an owl in my bedroom sending notes back and forth to all my friends. 

Joke's on you, I have no friends.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Aspens, owls and deer, a work in progress

This is what I've been spending most of my evenings doing this past few weeks.  Painting, a glass of Moscato, sometimes watching Sherlock Holmes.  Man I'm a dork.  But I've found it's a much better way to spend my time then surfing the internet or watching TV.

I thought you might like to see what goes into the process of

Draw out my trees and animals, mask out what I want to save.

Masking takes several hours to do. Plus masking fluid smells like a rotten mouse in a dirty gym sock. blech. I then taped off my margins

This is the fastest part. Laying out the wash. Only took about 15 min to get this far.

After it dries (my watercolor board warped - no biggie), I start laying in more details.  (Sherlock BBC playing on my kindle as I paint!)

Giving the leaves more texture. It's the beginning of dozens of layers.

The fun part! Removing the masking fluid. It's very cathardic.

You can see the tree detail here. I guess I didn't take any pics while painting the trees. Which takes FOREVER. Especially since there's several dozen trees here. And I'm anal about it.

Trees are done! Time for the critters

My owl in the tree is finished.  I love this little guy.  So cute.

Final touches on the flying owl. Kinda proud of this pic... shot upside down so I could shoot with my left hand. LOL

Beginning washes on my deer.

Ahh... instant gratification, pulling off the tape when finished!  It's very much like an instant frame!

Finished flying owl.

Finished deer.  Well, almost I think.  I really feel like they need something else so I might do some more touch ups.

It's 40 inches long, 20 inches high. Biggest piece I've done (and probably will ever do).

Click here to see it larger.

I did this painting this time, just because I felt like doing it.  I'd been pressuring myself to work on show pieces and I wasn't doing as well.  I decided to cut myself some slack and I enjoyed the process much better.  I've also decided to start working on some pieces for a book I want to do.  It may or may not ever happen, who knows but I'll share some of the pieces as I go.  I'm thinking if I have fun with it, and create some pieces I love, then a show will just happen, and maybe that book will be a great tie-in for a show.

I keep having people ask me how much I'll sell it for, and this I have not decided.  Not sure if I even want to sell it, which is really bad for a buyer because that means I'll mark it on the high side.  If you make me give it up, I'm going to make you pay for the priveledge. LOL.

I'm not very good at this sales thing am I?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Fake it til you make it - how to be an "artist"

One thing about moving into a space that has been empty for a while (our shop was nothing for around 5 years), it will definitely need some updating and TLC. 
One thing about this shop that I really HATE is this hideous air condition (wall unit) sticking out of the middle of the wall.  WTheck am I supposed to do with that ugly thing?
Maybe I could throw some mud at it and call it "inspirational art".  Although I highly doubt anyone would find it inspirational.
We needed to keep it so it was be accessable in the summer time.  After all, there's a fair amount of glass here (ha) and it's going to get hot in this office in the summer.  I'll actually probably appreciate this A/C unit a little more come July.   In the meantime, It needs to be prettier.
I came up with the idea to make a box and paint it then hang a large print on it.  Boom!  Done.
However, once I started to paint it .... this happened:

I was liking how the paint was streaky and showing layers of color so... I left it.
We hung it on the wall to just let it percolate a little while and we both ended up liking it.
I guess I'll pretend like it's inspirational art after all.  I shall call it "the cool box" (puns intended.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

I swear, I really do shoot weddings

I haven't posted a wedding for a while and just finished editing this one a few days ago.  One of my favorite weddings yet.
Go see!

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