Saturday, March 20, 2010

Challenges - Marilyn Rea Nasky - Perception

Gary Keimig is one excellent artist. Gary Keimig is also one photographer extraordinaire. A couple of weeks ago, Gary posted this photo of a bighorn sheep on his blog. Sheila Tajima, who is always 3 steps up on everything, spotted this and asked Gary if she could paint it. Dean Haven followed closely behind and asked if he could paint it. Bringing up the rear, I finally found it and wanted to paint it.

And so I did and that's it above. Gary got so many submissions he dedicated part of his Daily Painting blog to posting them, and you can view them by clicking HERE. Gary is considering a monthly wildlife challenge, and I think it's a GREAT idea.

Michelle Burnett's challenge, Following the Masters, called for renditions of artwork from the Italian Renaissance Masters. I chose Raphael with a portion of The Madonna in the Sistine Chapel...the two little cherubs at the bottom of that piece.
The expressions on the faces of these two lead me to believe that Raphael had quite a sense of humor. These little cherubs have captured the fancy of today's society and are featured on cards, posters, and even U.S. Postage stamps. Just what are they thinking? Well, it probably isn't Peter Pan and TinkerBell, but that's what I had in mind.


There are some wonderful Texas artists in the blog community...Virginia Vaughan, Nancy Medina, Gwen Bell, Denise Larue Mahlke, Angela Elledge, Camille Olsen, Karen Hargett to name just a few. Marilyn Rea Nasky is a talented, established artist from Volente, Texas, who is just getting her feet wet in the blog forum. I was fortunate to attend her recent acrylic demonstration at the Highland Arts Guild in Marble Falls. Aside from showing us some helpful techniques and tips, she conveyed a delightful sense of humor and flair in personality. I was able to chat with her a while, and mentioned viewing her main website and events blog. I told her about the camaraderie and "sense of family" existing in our blog community at Blogspot...a laid back and easy format that is fun, informative and functional. So she has just begun a more informal blogspot which you can go to by clicking HERE.
Marilyn has spent some years living in The Southwest teaching and reaching out in the Navajo culture. Th
e last few years she and her family have been on Oahu in Hawaii. She now makes her home over by Lake Travis and devotes her painting talents to the sights and scenes of the Texas Hill Country. I have presented two of her works below...

Moon Dance 1

22 x 30 Watercolor

Agave Midnight (from the Agave series)
20 x 20 Chroma Acrylic on Canvas
You can learn more about Marilyn and view her stunning works at Light Within Studios and In the Studio with Marilyn Rea Nasky.

I could write a thousand pages on perception and not even expose the tip of the iceberg on that subject. It is said that what we perceive is what we believe...and for the most part, that's true. The catch is that what we sometimes perceive isn't always true. Edward Burton send me this gag photo a while back. It illustrates the point.Study this photo for just a moment...particularly the area just below the camera. Your first perception might be "Ohmigosh, that girl in the back isn't wearing any panties!!!" Well, you perceived's the camera girl's armpit. How we perceive things has always been a fascination to me, such as DaVinci's "Last Supper". We have, over the years, taken the artwork at face value as an honored religious painting, when there are a multitude of "quirks" embedded within it that we don't perceive, simply because we are looking at it as a whole composition, rather than a amalgamate of smaller, individual artworks. But...that's another story for another blog.

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

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bountiful Birds and SPRING!!!!

Pictured above are two more of my contributions to Windows to the Words March challenge.... "For the Birds". This challenge is the "most attended" one yet...with over 30 entries. And the artworks are great!!!
Like this one by Karen Hargett. You can view more enchanting bird works by clicking HERE

Deadline for entries to this challenge (contest...there are prizes) is April 1... so there's still plenty of time, and your work is very welcome.

I'm finishing up a couple of commissions and working on Michelle Burnett's "Following the Masters" and Gary Keimig's "Wildlife" challenges... so a short blog (was that a sigh of relief).?

But the sights and sounds and smells of S
pring are popping up all over.... as you can see by the following:

The neighbor's dog is ready to help out in the garden

The geese are flying North (the strange flight formation is the geese' way of saying "Luv ya, Texas....Cya next year"And, as the poet said... "In Spring, a young man's fancy lightly turns..."

Cya down the road..... James

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Going to Peaces

This is my addition to Camille Olsen's journal for the Flying Moleskins project. Camille's theme is Peace. At first I was stumped about what to paint to depict Peace. I could see John and Yoko riding on Cat Stevens "Peace Train" singing "Give Peace A Chance"...but after I thought about it for a few seconds I couldn't see it. With my warped sense of humor, I started to get a can of green peas, throw em in a blender, paint em, and call it "Envision Whirled Peas". Fortunately, that one didn't stay afloat either. So I just started painting without a notion of what I was doing and finished it without a notion of what I did. That's it above...a potpourri of Peace stuff...peaceful scene, a dove, a peace lily, a peace symbol, and a Peace rose. Unless you mistake the fall foliage for a major forest fire, the painting's not too bad.

With a flying start, this month's Window to the Words Challenge, "For The Birds", took off faster than a beagle on a pork chop. There's already over a dozen talented entries which you can view by clicking HERE. My rendition of a wood thrush is pictured above. Birds seems to be a very popular theme, maybe because Spring is busting out all over, but my birdseed bill is sky-high.

And, if you're a bird affecianado, check out the "Incredible Bird Photos" like the one of a woodpecker, above, on "WOW - Windows of Wonders" by clicking HERE.

There are three other new posts on on "The Shoppers of Wal-Mart", which I wouldn't recommend if you don't like nightmares and having dark, disturbing doubts about the future of mankind. But...the post of "Forever Friends" is a delightfully touching story of a real "odd couple" who found life and h
appiness in each other. Your kids and grandkids would love this one. The photo below shows the two, and you can view their story by clicking HERE.

And Don't Miss This One...It is truly incredible...STREET PAINTING!!
The photo below is NOT a photo trick...that street is painted!! check it out by clicking HERE.

I am a big kid. I get up each morning, eager to see what new wonders might be waiting. I revel in finding new things, seeing new stuff, making new friends and cherishing old ones, My soul and spirit is strengthened by humor, uplifted by beauty and inspiration, tempered by compassion and sorrow, and defined by that mixture. I like to share that recipe, and that's the reason I started WOW...Windows of Wonders. I invite you to join me as I post the weird, the funny, the beautiful, the inspiring, the touching, the awesome and everything in between.

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