Creations in Stone

Stone RDP.

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning was STONE
It happens that blogger Keith H posted photos he took while visiting what’s left of the English Castle of Corfe. If you want to see STONE in large quantities, hop over to Keith’s Ramblings and have a look. Not just the castle, but the whole town is well blessed with stone.

As an artist, I’m very fond of drawing and painting stone. Artists as a whole love textures and stone gives us lots of opportunities to paint, carve, and design.

Image by Ulrike Leone — Pixabay

We’re fond of clouds and waves for the same reason: these things offer so many textural possibilities on which we can work out our creative urges. Quilters love finding new patterns; those who work with yarn aren’t content to produce same-old flat fabric, but work in a variety of ribs, knots, cables, shells, fans.

It also happens that on one of our calendars this month there’s a picture taken in the U.S. Grand Canyon. No lack of colourful rock there!

Image from earlofoxford — Pixabay

These stones tell the story of water gushing through that land with tremendous force, carving channels in the rock, creating canyons. As these torrents gouged through the soft stone canyon walls, they made fantastic layered textures before settling into a peaceful river. Today visitors look down at the river snaking among the canyons it created and they marvel at the things water can do.

I’ve held feathers in my hand and studied their complexity of colour and texture; I’ve looked through a wildflower book and marveled at the many leaf and petal shapes and colours. From thorny wild roses to fluffy dandelions and fat, fleshy sedum, I find such variety!

Fur, feathers, scales, limbs, horns, tails…shapes and colours galore decorate our world. All these tell me that our Creator loves textures, too.

“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” Revelation 4:11

Times And Seasons

Another Week Joins Misty Yesterday

The clouds that sneezed on us earlier this week — 3mm or about 1/10″ in fact — have rolled away, the sun has come out with a blazing heat — moderately — and the combines are lumbering across grain fields again. I was out after supper watching one chomping its way through the field behind our neighbour’s farmyard; mostly watching the moving light and listening to the motor roar. Darkness comes so early these days — it’s 8:30 and very dark already.

While I was outside in the dusk I saw three cranes fly over. I thought I’d heard the unique croaking of sand hill cranes, but it seems so early for them to be here. Maybe they follow the sound of the combines? I still see the odd mourning dove but almost all of our other birds left a few weeks ago. The hummers left August 28th and we haven’t seen robins or warblers for several weeks. Did they get weary of the smoky air and move south? We’ve had relief from that lingering smoke for a couple of weeks, but I noticed some smell in the air again this morning.

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning was PING PONG. A very apt prompt for me because it feels like my mind ping-pongs a lot, mainly between “I just don’t feel like it” and “But I really should.” Today “I really should” won out and here I an doing a blog post again. When I sit down with my morning coffee and try to plan my day, my thoughts start to ping-pong from one “Needs doing ASP” to another five or six in that category and my energy wants to drain away. I’m sure you organized types will have no idea. 😉

I’ve been enjoying painting — and yet even with such a pleasant hobby there’s some serious ping-ponging. I’m very much a fan of Malcolm Dewy and the painterly or impressionist style he demonstrates in his You Tube videos. I’d like to paint like that! I also admire the works of Ian Harris and Clive5Art, who paint more realistic pictures. Bob Ross-type scenes. Yes! I’d like my pictures to be that realistic, too! So when I pick up a brush, I land somewhere in the middle, neither as impressionist, or as realistic, as I’d wish. Here’s my “Park.” As you can see, too much sharp detail for a Van Goh.

However, I’ve already let analysis and indecision ruin a lot of productivity and fun in my life, so I’ll just squash those bouncing ping pong balls and get at it. 🙂

El Condor Pasa?

I’m going back to the world of art to do a response to Crimson’s Creative Challenge #142

El Condor Pasa

“Here’s your study for today.”

Art student: “I have to paint that!”

Tutor: “Easy peasy.”

“But it’s so bleak!”

“Then add some interest. A fence, a river, a bird even. Create! Go wild with that brush.”

“If you say so…” He grabs a brush and starts dabbing.

After the last brush stroke, he calls his tutor over.

“How’s this? Ready for the Louvre?”

Tutor: “Um… Definitely unique.”

“I’m calling it, ‘EL CONDOR PASA’.”

“Looks like a robin hunting caterpillars.”

“Robin? Caterpillars! Ouch! We artists are sensitive people you know.”

“Yeah. So I’m here to toughen you up before the critics start firing their big guns. Try again…aim for something more abstract.”

The student grumbles, sets his masterpiece aside and sets another canvas on the easel. Splash, splash goes the brush.

Later…

“How’s this?”

“Definitely better! You’ll be a Van Gogh yet.”

Child Critics

Being busy getting ready for a trip, and planning to do a mini art show soon after we get home, I’ve decided to re-publish a couple of quick tales from past posts.

Satisfying the Discerning Reader

One woman tells of how she summoned up courage, took the plunge, and became a writer of children’s stories. After all she read dozens to her three young children; she should be able to write them, too. So she penned a few and sent them off.

Joys untold! One of her short stories was accepted and published in a children’s ‘Annual.’

One evening not long after the edition appeared she took the book upstairs when the children were getting ready for bed, informing them she was going to read them a story she wrote herself. “And, see, it’s published in this book now!”

Her three youngsters listened patiently as she read. “Well, did you like it?” she asked after she’d closed the book.

They looked at each other and were quiet for a bit. She watched the wheels turning in their little minds and sensed all was not well. Then the youngest of the three answered, “Well, it was a really good story, Mom. But tomorrow night can we please have a real one?”

Why Isn’t It?

A grandfather took his little grandson to the art gallery one day. With program in hand they wandered through looking at the various displays. They came to one picture and both stood there silent for awhile, trying to make some sense of it.

“Whatever is it?” the little boy finally asked.

Grandpa consulted the program. “It’s supposed to be Sunset over the Lake,” he said in a doubtful tone.

The boy looked at it for another minute. “Well, why isn’t it then?”

These stories….
have been retold from old editions of The Friendship Book of Francis Gay, published yearly in England by D.C. Thompson & Co. There are many interesting little stories & poems in these books and you can often find them at Second-hand shops or used book sales. Current editions can be bought in most bookstores at the beginning of the year.

Grandma’s New Passion

The Ragtag Daily Prompt for today is SPRUIKER. An Aussie word meaning (carnival) barker, or hawker of goods (like at a fair or flea market.) My fantasy tale shall carry on from yesterday’s description of pour art.

Grandma’s New Passion

My husband and I were strolling through the farmer’s market yesterday when we heard a shrill spruiker a couple of rows over. I turned to look and saw a teen girl in front of a really colorful display of art. She was calling to passing shoppers: “Pictures, beautiful pictures. One look and you’ll fall in love with them.”

Curiosity aroused, I tugged my husband over to that booth. The girl was delighted to have an audience. “Can’t you just see one of these beauties on your wall…for only $20.

We spent a moment gazing at the marbled canvases, with every color of the rainbow drizzled or splashed across in random patterns.

“Um.. What are they supposed to be pictures of?” Jaycen asked. My practical husband doesn’t go much for abstract art.

“All kinds of things. Fields, trees, flowers…whatever. Wouldn’t you love to have one on your wall? You could have your visitors guess what it represents?”

“You have such a variety,” I said. “Someone has been very busy.”

“You can say that again! Last month my grandma discovered “pour art” and got so enthused about it, she’s made hundreds. She keeps trying to get the perfect picture.” The girl rolled her eyes.

“Oh, yes. I had a grandma like that, but her thing was afghans. All of us grandchildren got half a dozen. I suppose your grandma has gifted you well, too?”

“You got it! We have two or three on each wall. So does everyone else in our area. When Grandma started buying paint in five-gallon drums and canvases by the truckload, Mom said we absolutely have to do something. So she rented this booth and I’m stuck here trying to sell as many as I possibly can.”

“You do have a problem.”

“I sure wish she’d go back to making quilts. She’s doing a dozen pictures every day.” Her tone became desperate. “You want one, don’t you, people? Or two or three? Only $20 each. Even if you don’t like them so much right off, they’ll grow on you.”

Soft-hearted sorts that we are, we bought a couple. We just grabbed two at random. They’ll grow on us.

Image by delta1 at Pixabay. Here’s an example of pour art where a few drops of silicon oil have been added to the paint-medium mix. That’s what gives it the bubbly look. Creators call these CELLS and when you tilt the canvas, the cells stretch out into odd shapes.

Delight + Dismay

Monday Morning Catch-Up

Delight: A beautiful sunny morning. I saw a hummingbird at our feeder at 7am.
Dismay: I’m missing the swallows. Used to be, morning and evening, I’d see a dozen swallows swooping and diving, cleaning our yard of pesky mosquitoes. So far this month I’ve seen two tree swallows and, twice now, a lone barn swallow.
Some people regard barn swallows as pests. “Dirty little birds, dropping mud here and there. Wish I didn’t have to clean up their mess.” Never considering how swallows clean up our air, devouring thousands of mosquitoes and other bugs every single day.

Delight: All kinds of birds come to my watering/bathing dishes all day long.
Dismay: Can they ever splash, especially the robins! Dishes need refilling several times a day. I don’t mind, actually; the show is worth the effort.

Delight: I’m finally getting another blog post written!
Dismay: I’ve lots I’d like to write – and posts I’d like to follow – but I’m having a hard time disciplining myself to get at it.

Delight: Last week I finished different painting projects and varnished half a dozen. They’re ready to go now.
Dismay: This new hobby takes time and money. On Friday I left another generous sum at Michael’s for more paint and canvas.

Delight: Someone encouraged me to sell them and even suggested a selling price!
Dismay: Perhaps no one will buy them? I’m not a pro, you know.

The same someone reminded me that we have other artistic sorts here who sell stuff and they aren’t PROFESSIONALS, either. Sign makers, candle makers, soap makers, bakers — we all do the best we can and it’s up to buyers if they want what we offer. So I’m encouraged to try.

Delight: Last week I studied online about the art of “paint pouring,” the different methods used, etc. And then I gave it a try!
Dismay: For the first picture I used some old Mod Podge I had sitting around as a pouring medium. Not so smart. The picture’s fine, colour-wise, but the texture is like someone sprinkled sand on the canvas.

Delight: On Friday’s trip to the city, I bought some proper pouring medium and a few more canvases. Mixed up some paint, several colours separately in cups, and gave it a try. Actually, I mixed up too much paint, so did a second picture.
Dismay: The second picture being an afterthought, I hurriedly mixed up more paint and it wasn’t mixed as carefully as the first cups. So the result had a few lumps.

Delight: Hey, the pictures were okay. The second one, on a 9″ x 11″ canvas, came out looking like six pink flowers spaced out nicely in a beige and turquoise flowerbed. This would have been a perfect illustration of Friday’s RDP prompt: Not a pair. 🙂
Dismay: One important instruction about pour art: When you leave your pictures stand overnight to harden, be sure the surface they’re on is level. Otherwise the picture may shift; paint may flow off the canvas one way or the other and you may see a much different picture in the morning. I could say I spent $25 Friday night to discover that the desk in my sewing room isn’t quite level. My “flowerbed” now looks like a dipsy tulip. Artists, beware!

Delight: I’m not giving up anyway. 🙂 I’m so enthused about my new artistic hobby!
Dismay: Much as I’d like to – I can’t spend all day painting. 😉

Delight: My operation was a great success and I’m pretty much back to normal in my activities.
Dismay ?: It’s time to catch up on all the housework and pull weeds in the flowerbeds.

Delight: Though the spring was drought-dry and dust was flying, farmers seeded their crops in hope. Now some badly needed rains have come to replenish our land. The seed is germinating and we’re all hopeful again.
Dismay: June is half gone already!

Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning: SEED