Wednesday, November 3, 2010

OOPS...Now Where Was I?

I've been away from the blog for a while. I encountered a toxic plant resin rom a FireStick plant (Euphorbia Turicalli), got it my eyes and couldn't see for days. It felt like you poured gasoline and pepper sauce in em....absolutely excruciating. And it took a few weeks to be able to work in close detail. During that time, my brother-in-law and best friend left this life after an 18 month struggle with esophageal cancer. It really affected me (still does and will continue to) and I kinda got propelled into a major funk. Authors have an occasional "block" and artists do, also. I just got into a mood where I got home from work at the greenhouses, grabbed a couple of beers and read books....I think I've finished everything Ken Follett, Michael Crichton, Dan Brown, James Rollins ever wrote...and well into James Michener.

While in this state of retreat, I looked up one day and noticed I had two Flying Moleskin Journals to do...Ed Burton and Vern Schwartz. Pokey and Taco Belle, my pups, hopped on me and commanded in dog lingo to get moving. So I picked up my brushes and turned out Ed Burton's Journal with the two pieces. Below....First, the original "Rock" band, and the se
cond. three of my favorite artists.


Now...to get cracking on Vern's. I also haven't updated Windows to the Words, but that will be coming in a couple of days.

Speaking of Ed Burton....Ed sent me some of the neatest photos of pumpkins carved with unbelievable talent and imagination. It's a bit after Halloween, but these are just TOO good, not to share. Here's a couple of them.....

Pretty cool, huh? Cya down the road............ James



Wednesday, August 25, 2010


This month I had Sheila Tajima's journal for The Flying Moleskins project. Sheila's theme is "Things You Love". Well, aside from the "Four F's"..Faith, Family, Friends and Freedom, there's about 17 kazillion other things....like my pups, Pokey and Taco Belle and a hot shower and a comfortable pair of tennis shoes, and..... I could go on and on. But I settled for a T-Bone, super stuffed baked potato and a cold beer. So there.

Last month's challenge on Windows to the Words was frogs. I just realized I never posted them, so here they are. There were some very nice other submissions of the little slimers, and you can view them by clicking HERE
Also, this month (Until Labor Day), the Pooch Portrait Exchange is featured, with some delightful works.
It has been so-o-o-o hot, that I haven't h
ad a lot of energy left over to blog much.....waiting for that first cool spell. But I haven't been alone in my sweltering. Below are how a few local pooches coped with the heat........ Cya down the road....James

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Chipmunk Chew


Gary Kiemeg's Wildlife Challenge (Click HERE) for this month is the cute little chipmunk pictured above.

With puffy cheeks like that, he has to be a double bubble fan....so I painted him as above.

Aside from being miserably busy and busy being miserable (kidding)....I've had computer problems. You may have had problems such as I have had. Click the image below and see if your computer and you have had similar experiences.


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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Healthy Pelican = Flying Moleskins - RedNeck Shots

A couple of blogs ago, I pictured an oil-soaked Brant's Comorant (I think). I painted this Momma Brown Pelican and her two chicks the way our wild life should look. It's a 12 x 30 Acrylic on gallery wrap canvas with image extended on edges.

In the incredibly delightful "Flying Moleskin" project, I had Irit Bourla's journal, and her theme is "PLACES". Well....there are a lot of places. Over a thousand, I think. To narrow the choices, I just picked the four places I've lived...Texas, Louisiana, Costa Rica and Florida. And did a little cartoon-like vignette of each, showing a few highlights. It was fun to do and I hope she likes it.
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A few mornings ago, I dropped by an old red-neck buddy's place. He was in the middle of whipping up some breakfast......
He asked me to join him, but the eggs were a little too greenish for my taste, so I moseyed on over to the Blanco Cafe ...."The Bowling Alley (yes, that is the name of the cafe). I always carry my camera at the ready for spectacular shots, but all I got was these photos of things you're likely to run across in these parts..
.Cya down the road........................ James

Monday, June 28, 2010

Reflection...And Catching Up

Aside from computer problems, trying to get used to the heat, adjusting to my new greenhouse job, several artwork projects, and a general depletion of any available energy...I am wa-a-a-ay behind on blogging and blog-visiting. I hope to get back on track shortly....so I'll keep this one short.

Windows to the Words challenge for June is "Reflections" There haven't been many submissions, but the ones submitted are very nice...and you can view them by clicking HERE. And...there's still time to send one in...I'll post all entries received by Sunday, July 4. Pictured above are my 3 submissions. Next month's challenge is a dog portrait exchange, but I haven't received many dog pictures for that one. I hope to have at least a dozen or so....see more info by clicking HERE.

Instead of some humorous pics, I'll save those for next blog and leave you with an absolutely marvelous video my sister sent me. This short video has magnificent scenery, incredible wildlife shots, beautiful music and a truly inspiring message. In the midst of the Oil Spill tragedy, this video is so appropriate to remind us of what we have..and what we cannot afford to lose. Click CREATION CALLS.

Cya down the road....... James

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Well, I started working at Klepac Greenhouses in Blanco, Texas this week. I am in poinsettia propagation and production which will start this coming week. Klepac grows and ships over 200,000 each year. I only work mornings before it gets scorching, so I should have a good bit time for painting and blogging.

The Flying Moleskins project is so cool. It is so exciting to receive a new journal each month and be able to see and hold the artwork of the participating artists. It is thrilling and humbling. Gee, these folks are talented!!!! I had Dana Cooper's Journal this month and her theme is "Dreams". So I dreamt up a couple of ideas, and painted em in her Journal while I was taking a nap. Here they are:


I have been working on "Windows to Texas Wildlife" for several months, and I finished it up and entered it in Austin Artspace's competition, "What Texas Means to Me". And .... I also posted it on the "Some Texas Artists Like to Paint" blog. Its an acrylic on 20 x 24 canvas. It's fairly representative of Texas critters.


Also, on the "Some Texas Artists Like to Paint" blog, the additional theme of having a piece of artwork dealing with the tragic incident of the Gulf Oil Spill is featured. So I wrote a poem and did another painting/decoupage in acylics on 10x20 canvasboard called "Sorrow". Here it is.....


Cya down the road.......................... James

Sunday, May 30, 2010

After the Storm, Daddy Welcome Back and Greenhouses

A new challenge/collaboration blog was originated by Angela Elledge and nine Texas artists have thus far, joined in... Some Texas Artists Like to Paint. This month's (June) theme is "Texas Stuff" and a second theme has been added, "Oil Spill Sorrow" in which our group can submit artistic commentary on this tragic incident in the Gulf.


The above is "After the Storm" an acrylic on 12 x 30 canvas (image extended around gallery wrap. It is a departure from my usual style, and I kinda like it. It is my contribution to the Texas theme of the new blog.

POE"ART"RY... A New Series

I have been writing poems to fit the reference photo/art on the fascinating blog "Every Photo Tells A Story" for over a year now. And I write a little intro poem for each month's Windows to the Words Challenge. I like to write simple poetry. Every now and then, I actually write something halfway decent. So, working with an idea from a couple of friends I did the first of what I hope will become a successful series. First, I pick one of my better poems, and work in reverse, painting an image that is inspired by the poem. This first one I finished for Memorial Day, but it's actually more appropriate for Veteran's Day. I painted on a 10 x 20 canvasboard. Then I printed out the poem, trimmed it, and gave it an antiqued and stressed wash. Then I glued it to the canvasboard and Kamar varnished it. A decoupage...and I guess it's a mixed media.
Click images to Enlarge

"My Daddy, Welcome Back"
Acrylic, Mixed Media, 10 x 20 canvasboard

Back to the Shack...And into The GreenHouses

For most of my adult life, I've been a nurseryman and horticulturist, specializing in tropicals and greenhouse production. Located just outside of Blanco, Texas is a tremendous floral greenhouse operation... Klepac Greenhouses. They are introducing some new lines and have been looking for experienced personnel with technical growing knowledge. So, I'm starting June 9th, and we'll see what we can come up with. I'll still be painting and blogging, of course...but doing another labor of love for the benefit of my bank account. I'll keep ya posted.

I got a lot of stuff going (new Windows to the Words challenge coming and a "dog portrait exchange") and so I'll make this post a bit short. Besides, I got a tummy ache. This new Oriental restaurant opened up and I tried this chicken dish. However, when I got my fortune cookie...this message kinda got to me.


Cya down the road..................................... James

Friday, May 21, 2010

TripTych and Butterflies

I've been a bit snowed under trying to finish up several projects in progress, including a few commissions. The following triptych...one painting in three parts...is one of those commissions.


The family that commissioned this live on a ranch outside of Blanco, Texas. They wanted a scene above their breakfast nook that was colorful and interesting, and suggested incorporating elements of their landscaping and yard decor. This is the result. The two end pieces measure 24 x 24 and the center, 24 x
48.They positioned and hung it right away, and it does look spiffy... colorful, interesting and a conversation piece. I hid little things inside it for the grandkids to enjoy.... like the scorpion above and left of my name, and the eyes peeking out of the broken pot on the center piece. This was a fun project, but I'm happy to be finished.

The theme for this month's Windows to the Words Challenge is butterflies. And it IS a challenge trying to get the symmetry of a butterfly depicted and retain your sanity too. Above is my first submission, a White Admiral. Below is a Purple by Bonnie Heather, and you can see the rest of the artworks by clicking HERE.


My two cents worth. People love to disagree. They usually disagree because they look at the same thing from different viewpoints or perspectives. Whether it's Arizona laws or health care reform. attitudes change in relation to the angle in which we look at the situation. The inviting swimming pool below becomes a menacing wall of water with a simple 90 degree turn. Same picture...two drastically different perspectives. Maybe folks would agree more if they would look at a problem from every angle, before putting on the boxing gloves.


My next blog will be Wednesday or Thursday (May 26, 27). I will have two new art directions to show ya and details on a new career move. I sure hope you will drop back by.... Cya down the road ...James