Sunday, March 29, 2009

Gimme Dat Cookie...and A Glass of Lemonade

Marianne Ginsberg posted a digital artwork that she had done of a participation project from Wet Canvas. It featured the coatimundi pictured above. Being the snoopy visitor that I am, I had to check it out. So I joined up with Wet Canvas, went to the featured thread, and did a quick coatimundi myself. Known as pizote here in Costa Rica, they are awesome and endearing little creatures. I posted a picture below of a bunch of em I caught on film while at Arenal volcano one day.

They are all female..the guys travel alone. These are probably headed to WalMart. The thread was posted by Bob Cook, an artist from San Marcos, Texas, that I plan on meeting up with shortly. Hi
s Wet Canvas handle is tgsloth and his profile shows him cuddling a full grown bobcat, that is licking his face. How can I resist meeting a guy like that? If ya want to check it out Click Paint It Out.

Cathyann Burgess, the little sweetie, honored me with a Lemonade award. Well, you know that old saying...."When life gives you lemons...Order a Pizza". Or something like that. The award is for artist-bloggers with a positive attitude and gratitude...people who are willing to share their ideas, support and friendship. Cathyann...I am very flattered you think that of me...blush, blush. Thank you so much.

I am to pick 5 or so other artist-bloggers who fit that category, and pass it on to them. Those are....
Manon Doyle
Vern Schwarz
Lauren Maurer
Carol Nelson
Angela Elledge

These folks are to... (1) Post the Logo (2) Pick 5 or so other deserving artist-bloggers (3) List em and Link em (4) Drop em a notification comment and give em a hug, and (5) Sit back and have a cup of coffee...or a glass of lemonade, as the case may be.

More great children portraits on Windows to the Words Art...including Gwen Bell and Diana Marshall. Check it out...2 days left.

See ya down the Road..................James

Daily Thoughts ... Appreciate your failures, as well as your victories. For it through our failures, that
we are shown the path to victory.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Revenge of the Sushi

Dominique Eichi commented last night that she was waiting for "Jaws" to come out of the ocean and gobble these folks up. Dominique was kinda reading my mind, but I sent in the sharks from a different location. It did look like these folks were just having too good a time.

Only four more days to submit a drawing or painting for this month's Windows to the Words ART "cute kids". There are some really super works posted, including Michelle Burnett's painting which I posted yesterday.

My round trip flight from Costa Rica to T
exas and back (April 8 to May8) was only $420, including taxes. Actually, it was a bit more with Pokey and TacoBelle, but that is cheaper than I've ever seen. I checked American Airlines for Atlanta ($149 each way) and San Francisco ($189 each way) plus approx $50 tax. That's incredible. I was joking with my sister and told her I should invite you all to join me when I return to Costa Rica May 9. Four days in Bocas del Toro, Panama, three days in San Jose...for less than a guide included. Not the ritz. but not the slums either. I was kinda kidding, but, thinking about it, actually not. Would anybody be interested? Who knows...I'm going anyway.

Oh, and I remarked to Pokey and TacoBelle that they sure were a lot of trouble. They told me that they were worth it and to post this picture of REAL puppy problems. Yeah, they're worth it.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Passion For Painting

Dean Haven is a friend I've never met. Despite that, he is one of those rare folks that it seems I have known for a thousand years. Dean favored me with a "Passion For Painting" award. Thank you, Dean. I am to post this award, list 7 of my "LOVES" and pass this award to 7 other passionate artists who will do likewise. So here they are:
No Brainers
(1) My relationship with The Father
(2) My Family. My F
riends. My Dogs.
(3) Music (Moody Blues +). Art (Maxfield Parrish +). Books (The Shack +).
(4) The wonders of the Cosmos...within and without.
Lesser Known Loves
(5) To be warm when it's cold, and cool when it's hot.
(6) A big, juicy kiss from a beautiful woman. And comfortable shoes.
(7) Fried Shrimp

And the 7 splendid Artists I have chosen are.......
Annie Salness
Dominique Eichi
Deb Kierce
Dana Cooper
Marianne Ginsberg
Carrie Griesemer

Pokey and TacoBelle wanted me to post this picture because they thought it was funny. So do I. They captioned it "Bad Cat With Windex Bottle". I call it " One Nanosecond Before The Big Bang"

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Legend Of The Bluebonnet, WTTW Art, and Fine Art America

Getiing Pokey and TacoBelle all groomed and legal for their departure to the States in a couple of weeks. That, and a jillion things to do leads me to blog on the run. Hopefully, what's left of my sanity will follow along.

"Legend Of The Bluebonnet"

My home state of Texas (to which I will be returning part-time in May) has had it's share of droughts and wildfires in some parts. Where my sister lives, in the hill country above Austin, it had been so dry that you could pour a glass of water, and it'd be evaporated by the time you got it to your mouth. That was several weeks ago, and they have had a little rain relief since then. But, in the worst of it, my sister sent me "The Legend of The Bluebonnet" and told me I should do a painting about it. I did and that's it above.
My great, great, great aunt was Cynthia An
n Parker, mother of Quanah Parker. She was the little girl that was kidnapped when the Comanches raided Fort Parker in Texas. She was raised by the Comanches, became married to Chief Nokona, gve birth to Quanah Parker, and refused to return to the White Man community when given the opportunity. It's an interesting story. And so is "The Legend Of The Bluebonnet"...which I have presented below....

After a long drought had devastated the land, The Great Spirit told the Comanche people that they must make a burnt offering of their most valued possession. The chief's little daughter knew what her sacrifice must be. She held in her hands her beloved doll, with's its beautiful blue feathers that come from the bird that goes "Jay, Jay".
When everyone had gone to sleep, she crept from her tipi, and, using a coal, started a fire. She held up her doll, and asked The Great Spirit to accept it. She gently laid her precious doll in the fire, and watched with tears as the greedy flames consumed its body and the wondrous blue feathers. After the ashes had cooled, she gathered them up, and, turnin
g to the four winds, let them blow gracefully from her fingers.
In the morning, the tribe awakened to find the barren land covered with a blanket of blue flowers. The land became green and
lush again, and the little girl who was most unselfish of all was given the name "One Who Dearly Loves Her People". Each spring, in memory of the little girl's sacrifice, The Great Spirit blesses the land with the beautiful blue flowers named Bluebonnets.


"Kinda Like Falling in Love"
Dana Cooper

A sample of the art displayed on WTTW Art is this one by Dana Cooper. I picked one at random to display, because it would have been rough to choose...they're all great. Participating artists so far..... Dominique Eichi, Deb Kierce, Dana Cooper, Maria (Pencil Sanity), Sheila Tajima, Lauren Mauer, and David Larson Evans.


I love to paint. Whenever I finish a piece, I show it to Pokey and TacoBelle. They say "Fine and dandy, but what's for supper?". Most of us like to sell some of our work, but with the state of the economy and having to compete with Pizza Hut, Tommy Hilfiger and IPod, it can be tough. I'm exploring all venues. Aside from my Yimi site (which I'm shutting down) I'm on Yessy Art, Artists Rising and ArtFlock. Not great success. Sunday a friend of mine from Bocas E-Mailed and told me to check out Fine Art America. I did and was super impressed. I established a blog and gallery and have had many nice comments. And it is easy to navigate and construct, and seems to be ideal for sales. We'll see. You can see for yourself by clicking on the Logo.
See ya down the road.....James

Friday, March 20, 2009

EMPTY EASEL...And In the Beginning

I've had so many of my amigos ask me why I haven't put "The Wall" or "The Money" on my blog. Well, I put "The Money" on January 31's View From the Volcano, but I never have posted "The Wall". Not having any decent photos of "The Wall" except for this one with the bozo at the table blocking the view, I had to settle for this one.

History of "The Wall"

I originally came to Costa Rica to grow pla
nts and make a million dollars. My partner, Jim Harvey, has had a large farm in Costa Rica for 30 years...Cold River Ornamentals (Ornamentales Rio Frio). His farm is over 100 hectares (250 acres) where he grows crotons, schefflera, ficus, dracena and much more for shipping rooted cuttings all over the world. He also grow orchids (phaeleonopsis, mainly) and ships them all over from a distribution point in Florida. If you've ever bought tropicals or orchids from the major garden stores and probably started its life just outside my front door. I had plenty of great helpers to grow job was to watch. Bullfrog...I gotta be doing something. With all the time I had, I stared at the walls of my apartment. Blank walls. Hmmm...that won't do. So I bought some paints. And I bought some neat postcards of Costa Rican wildlife. I started painting "The Wall". And there you see it in progress. Pokey and TacoBelle approved whole-heartedly.

Money Talks...It Usually Says "Goodbye"

My friends from the farm and the little village I live in started stopping by daily to check my progress on "The Wall". My skill of the lingua de Espanol being limited to "Yo tengo hambre" (I'm hungry) and "Donde este banos?" (Where's the bathroom) it was a little awkward to converse, but we made do. One day, Justo, the foreman, came by with a old 5 Colone Note of Costa Rica and wondered if I could paint it. I did, and here it is. It has a very intriguing history and is worth a visit to my January 31 post on "View From the Volcano" to get the rest of the story.

Incidentally, this is a picture of my friend, Jim Harvey, owner of Ornamentales Rio Frio, on a good day. He thinks he looks like Paul Newman. Pokey, TacoBelle and I thinks he looks like Golda Meir. What do you think?

Several months ago, I subscribed to Empty Easel's newsletter. I get it every Sunday and see what's coming up for the week. Best subscription I've ever taken out, next to Playboy and Mad magazine. Empty Easel is an on-line art magazine started a little over two years ago by Dan Duhrkoop, a modest, but incredibly talented artist. Empty Easel offers practical advice, tips, and tutorials for creating and selling art. It also keeps up with the latest on social art sites and on-line art communities. It also features notable artists, competitions, and upcoming events. Dan writes much of EE himself, but has a community of artist writers what you read is straight from the horse's mouth. He also invites and welcomes article submissions. And it has so much, much more to offer. No Ads or Spam.
To me, it is indispensible. I recommend highly a visit to his site...just click the logo. And while there, go to the very bottom left of his home page and click on Dan's interview with My Art Space and leave a comment. You'll be glad you stopped by.

Several days ago I submitted an article to Dan which he is considering and I hope he will print. It centers primarily around Karin Jurick's "Different Strokes From Different Folks" challenge, but focuss
es on the marvelous "community of caring" that has grown from the seed of inspiration that DSFDF provided. Karin's flair for "care and share" has inspired me to loftier goals in my artwork and in the creation of Windows to the Words. WTTW is by no means a "copycat" challenge, but rather a tribute to Karin Jurick. I think Michelle Burnett's "Following the Masters" may follow in the same footsteps. I do know DSFDF has inspired a bunch of us. I took special pains in my article to illustrate the power of just one exercise...the year-end "Portrait Exchange" Adebanji Alade's creative mind and hands took hold of me and submersed me knee deep in slimy frogs, and I returned the favor by immortalizing him and his artwork on canvas...a true masterpiece to be remembered thru the ages..or maybe till next week, anyway. Adebanji and I E-Mail each other frequently. Inspiration has been delivered, artwork has been displayed, and friendships created. Thank you, Karin, for being you. What you've done may never be calculated in fiscal worth, but to me, the spiritual value is worth more than all the treasures in the Louvre.

P.S. If anyone wants a copy of the article, E-Mail me and I'll send it to

Have a Safe and Happy Weekend...Cya Sunday!
Your Buddy in the Rain Forest....James

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

ST. Patty's Party Part 1..Smile, You're On Candid Canvas

Mystery Artist Triple Header
(If you get stumped, click the portrait)

Victim Number One
I'd give you 3 to 1 odds that if you met this fellow in a bar, he'd be more than happy to buy ya a beer. He went and did something sneaky like changing his profile picture, but I notice it didn't improve his looks any. You may not know it from looking at him, but I must give him his due. He is ONE TERRIFIC ARTIST!

Victim Number Two
When I started to paint this old coot...Oops, I mean distinguished gentleman, I felt like I was looking in a mirror. Not that we resemble each other, but rather like someone I could sit around and swat flies with over a cup of coffee. Gonna meet him one day.

Victim Number Three
Doubt if you can guess this one, She's kind of a recluse. You seldom see her on the Blogger World scene anywhere.

Pokey & TacoBelle are In Love
Click TWEEDLES for the lucky dog and Click EVERY PHOTO TELLS A STORY for the poems they wrote each other on Edward Burton's Painting "Going Home" on March 16. So Special.
This is Part one of the St. Pattie's Day Party. Proceed to Parts Two and Three.

Part 2 of St Patty Party. WIP's of Portaits and Everett Raymond Kinstler

Portraits are fun, but also very challenging for me. Below are two of my 3 mystery artists for the "Smile, You're On Candid Canvas" feature. Not really works in progress, but rather two preliminary stages before the real work of detailing begins. I'm working hard to become better, but it's a struggle.

The human face is magical. I used to sit for hours on Jackson square in New Orleans watching people. There was a never-ending procession of emotions, memories, needs and purposes, all wrapped up in their temporary little "earth suits". Their faces were the windows to the wonders inside.

If you delight and are fascinated in the human face as an art form or a heart warm visit Ken Flett's Shaping Stones. His magical blog will take you along with him on his pauper's tour of Canada. The loss of innocence, the shadows of reality, the joy of hopes and dreams, the toothless grins and weathered faces will have you mesmerized.

Subject One

I am not a portrait painter yet. I hope to be one someday. I would like to show you 2 of the stages before the finished pieces that I posted On Part 1 of this multi-blog.

Subject 2

These are on 5 x 7 wood panels using acrylics. It was hot, dry and windy when I did these, making acrylics very difficult to use. I had to keep my spray bottle going frequently. Acrylics, I find, are difficult to use for blending. I may switch to oils for portraits, because of the subtle changes in the tonal values of the face.
The first stage is just getting the image on the surface and blocking in the basic colors. On the first stage I have 5 or 6 layers of paint. To get the initial image on to the suface in the proper proportions I fudge. These are 5 x 7's which are the dimensions of an image when you print out 2 to the page. I simply use graphite paper and trace the basic outlines with a
old pen or a nail. Then start blocking in the colors.

On stage two, I step back and see if I have everything fairly well in place. If not, I try to fix it. I have always had a big pro
blem. My left eye is lower than my right, and, if I work close up, without stepping back to take a look, my image has a drastic slope to the upper right like it was being sucked into a vacuum cleaner. There is a vestige of this in Subject 2. At this point, I lay in the tonal values and try to start approximating colors. Human skin has 15 million shades at least. From there I work the details till I'm fairly satisfied.

On detailing, I really have to ease off the pedal. Working with detail brushes, spotters and liners, I gotta try a little tenderness. If I can discern that the brush is touching the surface, I'm probably painting too hard. A technique I use to some success on my wildlife...beetles, frogs, b
utterflies, etc. is to do what I call "pixelling". Applying teensy tiny pinpoints of a darker color to achieve variations in value. Works in comic books.

I wanted to mention another thing about transferring and image to the surface you're gonna work on. When my friend, Jim, saw me tracing/transferring an image to a blank 8 x 10 canvas, he asked me if that wasn't "cheating"...weren't artists just supposed to draw it on? I asked him why he didn't use a screwdriver to drive a nail. "Cause a hammer works better" he replied. You use whatever tools necessary to make the task easier, and do a better job. In painting, the work begins after the image is transferred. For larger pieces, I use a grid. I used to do a lot of sign painting ...including Oil Sto
rage tanks and sides of buildings.
For medium works, I use an opaque projector, but don't have one currently.

So that's that. I'm about the last person in the world to give anybody a lesson in painting, so don't consider this one. I'm just sharing with you how I do it. If anyone has any comments or suggestions on how to work easier or improve my quality, I'm all ears. That's what we're here for.

Everett Ray
mond Kinstler

When it comes to portraits, my artists are Nelson Shank, John Singer Sargent and Everett Raymond Kinstler. But even great artists are human. And I have presented two portraits by Kinstler below that I have ripped off an old copy of American Artist. I hope I don't get ripped up for featuring them. STOP RIGHT NOW AND STUDY THEM BEFORE YOU READ ANY FURTHER. Did you see anything not kosher? If you look at the seated gentleman holding the cigarette, that cigarette hand is extending downward like a watch out of "Persistence of Memory" . And in Katherine Hepburn's portrait (which is exquisite because of it's striking resemblance with a minimum of detail), if she were to stand up, her right arm would touch the ground. I think I'm right in my perception, but if you disagree let me know. Particularly in the gentleman's portrait, the anatomically incorrect hand totally distracts from the otherwise marvelous piece. It's as if Michelle Obama walked into a Presidential Gala wearing a stunning Creation by Dior, but her slip is showing about 10 inches. Everybody would notice the slip.

This goes back to what I was saying about standing back and taking a good look to see if you're going in the right direction. You have to make the journey out and in. The same principle applies in our everyday lives, but I'll save that for a philosophy blog.


3 Part St. Pattie Party...View From the Volcano

Since I'm Irish, I thought I'd give meself a little surprise. Some excerpts from the continuing saga of my last trip to Panama.....

Part 1..."Bus or Ark?"

A Fellow Traveller Along the Way

...."I wasn't too concerned as we pulled up to the pick up point at three minutes after seven. Wasn't too concerned that is, until the bus barrelled by at 150 miles an hour".............

Part 2..."On Your Own in Bri Bri"
This is a boat similar to the one we used, except for three things... (1) This boat has a top, (2) This boat is much larger, and (3) This boat is fairly well built

....."The boat appeared to be constructed from what you might find in Home Depot's trash dumpster. It was powered by what looked like it had spent the best years of its life attached to a lawnmower."......

PART 3 "At The Border...And Going South"

This is a pothole compared to way the road was that day. That day, the road wasn't there.

This is the "Bridge From Hell" of the few bridges I've known that you can get a good view of the river, standing in the middle, looking down

...."To see what atrocious and sexsational photos this disgusting periodical is now flaunting, I have to inspect it daily. Actually, I have to inspect it several times to make sure I didn't miss anything.".....
Part 4 "Riders in the Storm"

"Adios, Ulysses...Wish I'd Gotten To Know You Better"

....."This gracious taxi driver was the proud owner of some unknown vehicle that was made in China about the same time they were making "The Wall".....

Part 5.....Coming soon

Thanks for indulging me. But you're welcome to come visit...the coffee's on. P.S. I'm really very British.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Following the Masters...A Bruno...and Some Spotlights

Michelle Burnett is a very talented artist. Michelle Burnett is a very smart, industrious young lady. Michelle Burnett is also a big sweetie. A few months back. she introduced me to an art challenge that posted a work of art from a Master painter and asked participating artists to render a painting from that post. She had done a superb piece (see her blog of January 30) based on a work by Alphonse Mucha. I went to that site to try my hand at the challenge, but it had bellied up. I told Michelle about it and joked that she should start a challenge herself, since she didn't have anything to do but sit around and paint all day. Michelle never knows when I'm joking, but she went and put together a SUPER challenge site called Following the Masters. The first challenge is "Narcissus" by John William Waterhouse. My rendering is above...and when you go to the FTM site, you'll notice that my painting looks suspiciously like Deb Kierce's. Deb's features a features a fox. Or it's supposed to be a fox. I had a cute fox kit picture, but through the magic of acrylics and worn out detail brushes, I have miraculously transformed the cute fox into a mutant wombat. And, if you noticed, I removed the large bouquet in her hand and replaced it with a smaller box of McDonald's fries. I patriotically did this in honor of National Bountiful Bosom Week.

Now we have my first Bruno Torf painting. I plan on doing a series of ten 5 x 7's of some of Bruno's sculptures. I have sorta adopted his cause, and if you want to know more, click his name. These are not for sale now, of course, but I hope to try to find a means to auction them off when I get finished with the proceeds going to help him rebuild.

You community of little "artful bloggers" are sure busy painting and caring. Two of you, namely Sheila Tajima and Carrie Jacobson have started a really meaningful project to help our furry friends. Operating currently under the name of Artists for the Animals, and developing a logo that caring artists can stick like a Post-it note on their blog, they are already steam-rolling along. In lieu of a logo, I have posted Sheila's "Bingo" as a poster kitty. Bingo is the firehouse's "guinea pig" to test the reactions of potential pooch pets and see if they're hungry for feline hors d'ouvres. Punch bingo for more details.

Spotlight Blog....Meandering Michael. Several weeks ago, I started participating in another great blog...Every Photo Tells A Story. After my morning "pep prayer, coffee, an
d dance with Matt, I wander over to EPTAS and see what Nancy has posted to write about for the day. And I write something. It's usually humorous, but often it's dead serious. Michael has usually already meandered there and left his droppings. He has a sense of humor that is almost as warped as mine...but he also has a serious side...and a heart of gold. I have been keeping up with his misadventures and ramblings...his delights and his problems...I almost feel like I'm part of the family....Him, Fawn, Jade and Halia.
But he's in the Yukon..a little too chilly for my taste as his photo shows. Michael wrote a neat poem on today's subject for
EPTAS, William Moore's "Invalido". But the post of March 12 "Looking Through The Window" is posted on Windows to the Words Writing. Check it's a tribute to his daughter, Jade, and her struggle with epilepsy...written in the language of EEG. If you visit his blog, be warned...he rambles 84% more than I do.

Windows to the Words Photo has a couple of new photos, including one from Maggie, and another from a friend in Panama. Need more...the kids wanna have a party. And Windows to Words Art could use a few more portraits.

SPECIAL NOTE...I don't like the term "Followers"...sounds like a cult...I use "blogalongs". And when I open my blog and see that list, my heart sings. Each and every blogalong is so very dear to me, and I try to visit and comment as much as possible. And I love to mention and praise and promote the blogs of others. ..that is really more important to me than whatever success I may achieve with my blog. I mean that. Sincerely. When I do plug another blog I call it a "Blog Hug". I hope more folks will do that...sharing is caring. And caring is what it's all about..the "whole enchilada".

And with that in mind, here's a great "Blog Hug". Visit "Every Photo Tells A Story" and view Edward Burton's Painting "Going Home" or ||March 16. (When you're there, you could read my poem "Tweedles" for that painting).

That's it for now. I won't post again till Tuesday. I have got to catch up on stuff and do some housecleaning. My dirty clothes are so bad that Pokey and TacoBelle are wearing clothespins on their noses. And my refrigerator....have you ever seen lettuce in its liquid state? I need a wife. Or at least a live-in maid. Or something. Cya....your buddy in the rainforest....James

Thursday, March 12, 2009

SUSHI TRAGEDY...and notes...and a New Blog Feature

When Karin Jurick presented us with a photo of a plate of sushi for this DSFDF challenge, I breathed a sigh of relief, thinking that maybe I could wade through this one without pulling as many hairs as I did on the last challenge. I like to put a little humor in some of my paintings, but I looked at the sushi and asked myself, "What on earth could be funny about a plate of sushi?". I love seafood, but as far as I'm concerned, the sushi could have stayed in the didn't need to die on my account. DIED? Some poor Mamafish's little scaly, slimer. How Sad...HOORAY!!! Inspiration. And here it is.

Note One...Blowing My Own Horn....My sister, my kids, several friends, and Pokey and TacoBelle have encouraged me to promote my other blog "The View From The Volcano". They think it's hilarious, but what do they know. All I know is I have fun writing it. I'm currently journaling my last trip to Bocas del Toro, Panama...a truly unforgettable experience. If ya get time sometime, visit there.

Note Two...Blowing YOUR own Horn...Windows to the Words is YOUR project...all I do is just punch keys on the keyboard. There are some nice submissions on WTTW ART and a couple on WTTW WRITING. But I've only had ONE blog submission for WTTW PHOTOS. Doesn't anyone have any cute kids? Any cute grandchildren? Any cute Nieces or Nephews"? Are the neighbor's kids THAT ugly? I'm standing by to be inundated by submissions..........

Note Three...Morning "Jump Start"... I start each morning about 3 o'clock with a prayer. Then a cup of coffee. Then I Google "Where the Hell is Matt?" What comes up are access to 2 videos....the one with Matt and the 4 Maori tribesman from Papua/New Guinea is the one I'm referring to. I punch it and dance along with Matt and the world for my "jump start" exercise to the magnificent music piece....Garry Schyman's "Praan". I have watched this video over a hundred times and it never failed to produce copious amounts of tears of joy. WOULDN'T IT BE NICE IF THE WORLD DANCED TOGETHER? Watch this video and see what I mean.

New Blog Feature... At the end of each blog, I'm gonna comment on something current of interest. And then ask a question for your comments. We'll see how it works.

MY COMMENT... As I'm writing this, I'm listening to how the world's wealthiest Billionaires have lost some of their billions in the economic mess. A billion is a THOUSAND MILLIONS. One million is more than I need.

QUESTION...Isn't, say, a hundred million dollars in your pocket ENOUGH?

Your buddy in the rain forest..........James

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

First Commissioned Portrait and Fabulous Blog Award

Great Blog Party (March 8) and so many thanks for those that attended. Back to work and time to get serious.....just kidding.

I've just started out with portraits. My only serious ones were of Adebanji, Ana, and my sister. Adebanji thought his was good, but I added a few years to his age. Ana won't let her portrait out of her sight. In fact she was so happy with hers that she....never mind. I wasn't happy with my sister's but she was. Course she's so nice and agreeable, she would say it's lovely if I made her look like Fidel Castro.

A friend of my associate, Jim, came to me and wanted a portrait of his wife, Mariella. So I took a few pictures, and showed em to him, but he said he wanted her hair down, not tied back like the photos. Next time she was in, I went to take photos, but my camera wouldn't cooperate. So I just looked at her and made a big production of moving her head around fluffing her hair around, so I could get "the feel" of the mood (yeh, right ;-)

Anyway, the finished project is shown above, along with the reference photo. I say finished, but I went back and detailed her right hand and a few minor touch-ups. He has seen it and loves it. I have no idea how much he'll pay me cause I'm leaving it up to him...I'll let ya's a 12 x 16 acrylic on canvas. My associate, Jim, commented that my female subjects were certainly well endowed, and asked if I was a dirty old man. Well...yes.

I was surprised and delighted when I got a message that I had been chosen for the "Fabulous Blog Award". R. Garriott was the bestower, and I am honored. I've admired R's work for its crispness, attention to detail and professional quality. If you haven't been to R's blog just click. The guidelines are that I am to list my 5 favorite addictions and then pass the award to 5 other recipients. So.....

My 5 Favorite addictions, aside from painting, are:

(1) Humor... To see a person smile and enjoy the moment means so much to me. There is, and always has been, serious things, sad things, and tragedy in this human life of ours. But we should never let those things blind us to the wondrous joys and delight around us. I try to be humorous in my blogs, and sometimes go overboard. So sue me. :-)

(2) Music... From DeBussy to Rush, Enya to ColdPlay, Enigma to Alan Parsons, Tangerine Dream to Yanni. I love music. Most kinds, but I mentioned in an earlier blog, Rap is only appropriate when I'm constipated. Far and above all others is The Moody Blues..they are masters. The music is great, but the words are sheer wisdom and poetry. Those that don't have music in their lives, just aren't in tune with the Universe, in my book.

(2 and a half) Reading...speaking of books, I make it a point to read at least one book a week. I'm currently rereading Daniel Quinn's "Ishmael" and "My Ishmael" ...if you ever wondered how we came to be the way we are, read them. And then Ken Follett is my all time favorite...I gotta meet him someday. And I can't forget Ted Dekker (The Circle Trilogy) ...the Stephen King of Christian writers.

(3) Nature... the world is full of wonders. Every day I wake up, I'm like a child, eyes wide open in expectation for what new and marvelous thing may come my way. I grow old, but I'll never grow up.

(4) My Family and Friends... as much as I love Central America, I'm too far away from my family. I have friends all over the place...they are truly cherished...worth more than all the treasures in the cosmos.

(5) My Faith...I put Faith and Family last, but they're first. Paul said "to pray without ceasing". In a way, I try to do that...some times I get so caught up in "The World" that I stray from "Father"...but I know He's never strayed from me.

Now...My 5 choices for THE FABULOUS BLOG AWARD (envelope, please)

OOH LA LA Design Studio

Daily Paintings by Jane Hunt



Artist Victoria O'Neill

Once again, thanks for the visits and great comments on the March 8 Blog Party. Pokey and TacoBelle got a doggie treat for each comment. Tomorrow they go on a diet. If you know someone who needs a smile send him over to March 8 .