Sunday, January 31, 2010

TEXAS - Bluebonnet Venture - BURNET

I'm a native Texan. Some folks would consider that an excuse. But, me, and many (millions?) of other fellow Texans consider it an honor, a privilege, and a proud heritage.

Texans have a strange habit. When somet
hing... a word, or a thing, or a person...or anything, comes to be identified with Texas,
then Texans w
ill attach and hold on to it with a savage a sense, they will "brand" it as their own. There are exceptions, of course, like Dr. Phil, Janet Reno, and J.R. Ewing. OK, J.R.s not so bad. But you mention the Alamo, jalapenos, chili, The Lone Star, roadrunners, George W ?, or Z.Z. Top...then you have a genuine Texas item...treasure or oddity. And so it is with the Texas bluebonnet...the state flower of Texas.

The Legend of the Bluebonnet

I posted this last year after I painted it. My sister had wanted a painting like this which is based on an old folklore tale called "The Legend of the Bluebonnet".
Well, The Texas Bluebonnet festival is coming up here in Burnet in April, and I am "re-producing" her painting and hoping to improve on some aspects of it. She, and several of my friends, read my poems on Every PhotoTells A Story and wanted me to write a poem telling the st
ory of "The Legend Of the Bluebonnet." So I did. And I printed it below. They liked it, and we're working with some other folks to get note cards and prints done that incorporate both the painting and the poem, in hopes of having them ready for sale at the Bluebonnet Festival, in addition to future Texas gift shop sales...if there shows promise. What do you think?

For many months, an evil wind,
Swept across the land,
The skies held back the living rain,
And turned meadows into sand.

Antelope and buffalo,
Wandered off and died,
The tribe was deep in peril,
"Oh, help us," mothers cried.

The Shaman had a vision.
The Great Spirit from Beyond,
Sent a message for the people,
To say what must
be done.

"The things that you hold precious,
The things that you hold dear,
Must fuel a fire of humility,
For your greed that's grown so clear."

The great chief's daughter heard this,
And sadly went her way,
To fetch her beloved "doll-child"
Made from feathers of
the BlueJay.

The "doll-child" was a gift to her,
When she was one year old,
From Grandmother who has gone away,
That she loved with all her soul.

That night when all were sleeping,
She crept out to the blaze,
And placed the "doll-child" in it,
Tears streaking her young face.

Next morn she scooped gray ashes,
Of her bright, blue-feathered friend,
Then brought them to the mountaintop,
And let them scatter to the wind.

Sweet drops of rain began to fall,
And kiss the sun-parched earth,
Plants burst forth in showy blooms,
A celebration of re-birth.

Bluebonnets spread cross Texas,
In the meadows, growing wild,
As a reminder of that gift so great,
The love of a little child.

------James Parker

Burnet, Texas...Bluebonnet Capital of Texas

The second weekend in April, (April 9 - 11) for 3 days, is the Texas Bluebonnet Festival in Burnet. Last year, about 25,000 attended. This year's event looks to be a good one, too. Burnet is a picturesque, historical city and you can find out more about Burnet and The Bluebonnet Festival by clicking HERE. The city of Burnet was designated by the Texas legislature as "Bluebonnet Capital of Texas" so...if my little poem and painting notecards and prints have any future success...Burnet is a good birth place for that venture. And...if you find your boots walking around Burnet...stop in James Parker Art's on.

And, Finally.......

Satellite Picture of Texas from Space

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

Monday, January 18, 2010

Flying Moleskins - WTTW - Music to Paint by

Dominique Eichi had a bright idea a while form a small group of artists and begin a travelling sketchbook project. So she did, and it kicks off today...THE FLYING MOLESKINS (click here) There's a little over a dozen of us who got a sketchbook, did a little work of art in it, and will pass it on to the next artist. At the end of the circular journey, each of us will have our own journal, filled with the work of our fellow artists...a treasured memento. Below is the cover from my sketchbook...

And, my theme is wildlife, and this is my send-off artwork....

The first submission for the current Windows to the Words Challenge "Kids & Their Pets...Matching Sets" is from Liz Pearson, from South Africa, called "Puppy Love", and here it is...

And Back to the Flying Moleskins. Edward Burton chose "Music" as his theme and painting a magnificent Jazz artwork (see it by clicking HERE). Ed says he has the tunes going all the time while he's painting. I do too. I was wondering how many of you all out there, listen to music as you work? Leave a comment and let us know what you listen to. Would be interesting.

Most of the time I listen to The Moody Blues. But three of my favorites are Enya, Yanni, and Enigma. And I
have (hopefully) attached a selection from each of them. If you have a chance, lend me an ear. Lemme know what you think. Click on the Names.

Enigma - Sadeness

Cya down the Road.................... James

Thursday, January 7, 2010

NEW YEAR....Lots of New Stuff!!!!

Wow...where to begin? First, the two pictures below are the WIP end pieces of a triptyche I'm doing for a beautiful residence here in the Texas hill country. These measure 24" x 24" and the middle piece will be 24" x 48". The paintings incorporate some of the garden decorations and plantings surrounding the home. I should be finished by February 1...with luck.

Next, Dominique Eichi has begun a project that about 20 of the old-time DSFDFers are working on....a travelling Moleskin. A moleskin is basically a sketchbook. Each artist has a new one in which he/she will create a beginning artwork of a favorite theme then send the sketchbook on to another artist who will render an artwork on that theme and send it on until it makes the circuit, and returns home to the original artist. At that time, each artist will own a true treasure of original art from future Michaelangelos, Picassos, Van Goghs, O'Keefes, etc, worth millions ;-) You can keep up with the progress by checking The Flying Moleskins site.

Windows to the Words is getting a facelift and adopting a new and simpler format. The first challenge of the new year was provided by the incomparable master artist, Edward Burton. ...Kids & Pets...A Matching Set. This is a super cute challenge that should be a lot of fun. Check it out by clicking HERE. Below are 3 photos from that challenge.

WOW or Windows of Wonders is my "just for fun" hobby blog...featuring funny, beautiful, incredible, inspiring and mind-bloggling pictures and videos.
I now have 15 blogs posted with a han
dy access menu on the sidebar. Below are excerpts from two of the posts. You can link to WOW by clicking on the peek-a-boo kitten at the top of this site or just click HERE.

The Invisible Man
This talented fellow paints himself to blend in with the background.

Skinny Stupid
These young ladies think super-skinny is super-sexy. Duh. Incredible. Incredibly Sad.

I've been able to go to a few shows and galleries, and attended a watercolor Demo by artist Jack Moss of Llano. He is outstanding. And I've managed to finally set up my Etsy and Artfire shops (both are James Parker Art...clever, huh?) I also got around to setting up my sister's ETSY and Artfire shops.... Mag's Marvels. Aside from beautiful quilting, she is getting quite talented at Raku and fused glass. She's gotten me pretty interested, too. We've been slumping wine bottles and creating fused glass/dichroic glass. Below are a coupla samples.

Running long again, but I had to mention the Gallery/Shop/Studio in Burnet, Texas. I have the west side for artwork display and a little painting area, plus the back for a larger work space, and my sister (and a few friends) have the east side to display their wares. Works out pretty neat. I posted a few pictures as a WIP, and by springtime it should be a showplace.

And Finally....My Holiday Gift to You. I think many of you all have seen enough snow to last for a while, but this Video of "December Snow" by Justin Hayward and the Moody Blues is marvelous. I hope you can find time to click on the picture of Justin, below, and sit back for a moment, relax and enjoy.....James