Friday, May 31, 2019

Snowball Bush Growing Over the Fence

These lovely flowers are coming from our neighbors' yard.  I love the way they look cascading over the fence, so I took this picture. When I was growing up back in Pueblo, we called this a "snowball bush".  I looked it up, and sure enough, the name of the shrub actually is Viburnum snowball bush. 

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Rose Garden at Lynch Park

This is a photo that I took at the beginning of May during an afternoon walk at Lynch Park.  This is the Rose Garden, a sunken garden within a brick wall.  In the summer, there will be roses here, and also some weddings.  Tonight I cropped the original photo to get this composition.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Edy and Her Father (Edited Snapshot)

This week I have been editing family photos for a project for my Aunt Edy's 100th birthday (today).  Lots of people contributed photos for this project. This one was sent in by one of Edy's granddaughters. I don't remember ever seeing this picture before. This is of Edy with her father, who died before I was born. The snapshot was about 2 x 3 inches, if that. It was in good condition but I wanted to see more.  So tonight I cropped it to center the image and to get a closer look.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Convoy to France (Photo by Hy Zagon)

I found this photograph among the boxes of my dad's pictures, sent to me a few months ago by my cousin Rori.  In addition to lots family photos, there are a few military photos,  souvenirs, and documents. The original version was a good photo to start with; I did some retouching and a bit of cropping to remove faded edges. On the back of this photo, my father wrote, "The convoy to France from the motor vehicle vessel." He must have had a sense when he took pictures like this that he was participating in history.  From the honorable discharge card that I found among his things, I learned that he was a teletype operator. That's not a particularly high risk MOS, relatively speaking,  but still, war is always risky. My father was a peaceful and soft-spoken man. He did not like conflict. I know he was afraid when he was in the army because he told me so, years later when he was facing cancer surgery. My father met my mother when he was stationed in Pueblo, Colorado, shortly before he went overseas. And then went overseas to do his bit against the Nazis.  And unlike many others, he came back. He rejoined his new wife, and started a family (yours truly). I am grateful he came back because otherwise I wouldn't have known him, or anyone else in fact, because I wouldn't even exist!) But I am posting this on Memorial Day in honor of those  who weren't as lucky, who didn't come back. I owe it to my father to try to follow his example and stand up to tyranny and prejudice whenever I can.  And we owe it to those who lost their lives to remember not to take our freedom and our democracy for granted. 

Front Porch Memory (Rescued Snapshot)

This week I have been doing a lot of photo editing for a tribute book and video for my Aunt Edy, who turns 100 this week!  (This project was Top Secret until quite recently, but the book and video have already been delivered.) This is one of the photos I worked on for this project. This image began with a small 2x3 inch snapshot that was so dark that it was hard to identify the people. I used iPhoto and Painter to clean it up, retouch it, and adjust the value and contrast until the faces could be seen clearly.  It was worth doing. This is a photo of my Dora Katz, my maternal grandmother who lived with us*, and my Grandfather, Ralph Katz, who died before I was born.  The play of light and shadows makes me think that they were sitting on a very familiar front porch, the house I where I grew up.
*I grew up in a big house that was home to my extended family: my parents and I, my cousin and her parents, and my grandmother.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Closeup of Lilacs at Long Hill

Flickr was down yesterday and this morning, so I couldn't post. Today I am making up for lost time by posting twice.  These are some of the lilacs we went to see at Long Hill on Wednesday.  

White Blossoms at Long Hill

On Wednesday afternoon, we drove over to Long Hill Gardens to see the lilacs.  But as we walked toward the lilacs, I realized that the flowering fruit trees that line the main road were still in bloom.  This is because of the cool, wet spring we are having.  I have never seen the flowering trees and the lilacs bloom at the same time.  I got up close to one of those beautiful trees and took this picture.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Pink Trees at Lynch Park

This is a photo that I took yesterday during a late afternoon walk at Lynch Park, here in Beverly, MA.  The light was wonderful as it played on the pink flowering trees behind the wall of the Rose Garden, a formal sunken garden within Lynch Park. The engraved stone plaques on the brick pillars say, "Whosover enters here let him Beware"... "For he shall nevermore escape nor be free of my spell."  Lots of people have wondered about this quotation.  I tried to find it on Google, and found it in a book called "The Lure of the Garden" by Hildegarde Hawthorne, written in 1911. The full quotation, which follows a paragraph about the pleasures of gardening, says: "Indeed, it might not be amiss to inscribe over every garden the legend, "Whosoever enters here, let him beware. For he shall never more escape, nor be free of my spell." So the inscription refers to the spell gardens cast upon us.  In any case, this scene cast a spell on me, so I took this picture.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

First of May at Long Hill Gardens (for Art Fest Beverly show)

This is an oil bar painting that I did a few years ago, based on a photo that I took at Long Hill Gardens, here in Beverly, MA.  Yesterday I delivered it to Endicott College for the Art Fest Beverly show. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Purple Lilacs, White House, and Black Shutters

Here's another spring photo. There were lilacs growing in my childhood home, and the aroma of lilacs always takes me back.    I liked the contrast of the lilacs against the white siding and black shutters, so I took this picture.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Front Yard Magnolia after the Rain

Here's a little bit of spring closer to home.  Last year, around Mother's Day, we planted two magnolia trees in the front yard.  This is the first time we have seen them bloom.  I took this picture right after it rained.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Flowering Tree at Long HIll

Another image from last week's walk at Long Hill.  So many things were in bloom that I almost missed this gorgeous tree. Almost.  Today I cropped the original photo to get this composition.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Rustic Stairway at Long Hill

Here's another photo from Thursday's walk at Long Hill.  I like these rough stairs down to the trails, with the rhododendrons in the background. Today I edited the original photo to get this composition,

Friday, May 17, 2019

Robinson Crabapple at Long Hill

Yesterday we went for a late afternoon walk at Long Hill, a former estate and gardens* which is now open to the public. We have had some warm days followed by a long stretch of cool weather, so everything seems to be in bloom at once.  I liked the look of this gorgeous deep pink tree with the house in the background. (This building was once the house at the center of the estate, but now it holds the offices of the Trustees of the Reservation.) I know this is a Robinson Crabapple because this tree has an identifying tag, like many of the trees at Long Hill.
*Also known as Sedgwick Gardens

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Magnolia at Lynch Park

The weather is still cool here, but that keeps the blossoms on the trees longer.  And that makes it seem like everything is blooming all at once.  This is a photo that I took back on May 8, during a walk at Lynch Park.  I love the combination of magnolia blossoms against brick.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Flowering Quince and Telephone Pole

Crazy day, just time to post this quirky little photo from a recent neigborhood walk.  I love flowering quince, had some in my yard back in Lawrence, Kansas.  So when I saw some flowering quince trying to climb up the telephone pole, I leaned down to get this picture.  

Monday, May 13, 2019

So Long, Pearl

This is Pearl, the wooden codfish I created for the Codfish Auction that benefits Marblehead Festival of Art. Over the weekend, I got Pearl ready to go: did some cleanup on the edges and reverse side of my fish. I signed my name and Pearl's name on the back. I also attached hanging hardware, and tried it out on my own wall to make sure it would balance.  And I took this last picture.  This morning I went to Marblehead, MA, to deliver Pearl for the auction.  It's not goodbye, just so long, because I will soon be able to see Pearl at the auction, which is on line. 

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Two Sisters (Reposting)

Back in the 1980s, not too long after my mother died, I painted this watercolor portrait of Mom and Aunt Edy, working from an old black-and-white snapshot.  I grew up in an extended family household, with my mother, my father; my aunt, uncle, and cousin. I am reposting this on Mother's Day, to honor my mother's memory, and also to honor my Aunt Edy, who also was part of the committee that raised me, and who in many ways has been filling in for my mother since 1984.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Mother's Day Flowers (with Prisma filter)

These flowers came today, an early Mother's Day present.  It's a lovely bouquet with many sentimental favorites: roses, peonies, hydrangea. Of course I took a picture.  Then I made this version, with a Prisma filter.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Pearl (Codfish Project)

This is Pearl, the wooden codfish that I have been working on.  As you can see, Pearl is decorated with painting strings of pearls.  I tried to make those pearls look three-dimensional ( a bit of a "trompe l'oiel" effect).  Today I added some shadows, and also added one last pearl, under Pearl's chin.  Although I may still make corrections, I am willing to say that this project is finished. Pearl is headed for the 2019 Codfish Auction held by Marblehead Festival of Art. Some 50 area artists are given a wooden codfish cutout to decorate, and the decorated codfish are displayed in downtown Marblehead, and then auctioned off. (The auction is online, so people can bid from anywhere.)  I have become quite fond of Pearl, and I hope she will find a good home.

Thursday, May 09, 2019

Pearl (Codfish Project) as of May 9, 2019

This morning I worked on this project. This is Pearl, the wooden codfish that I am decorating for this year's Codfish Auction to benefit a Marblehead Festival of Art.  Today I began by cleaning up yesterday's work which was out the pearls and evening out the basic color.  Then I took a leap of faith and began to add shadows, going for a 3-D (trompe l'oeil) effect.  Up to this point, all my codfish designs have been surface design, with no suggestion of depth. But I have been thinking about this and today I decided.  I started with some purple shadows under each row of beads, and then added pink shadows on the pearls. I also painted in Pearl's eye.  I had original planned to use some gold ink to outline Pearl's body, but I decided against it. Gold outline would work well with a "flat" design, but would work against the illusion of depth.  So instead, I used purple shadow to suggest the outline of the Pearl's body.  So now this is basically what the finished version of Pearl will look like, though there are still small changes to make and mistakes to fix.

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Pearl (Codfish Project) as of May 8, 2019

This is the wooden codfish cutout that I am decorating for the 2019 Codfish Auction to benefit Marblehead Festival of Art. This year I named my codfish Pearl because I am decorating her with strands of pearls.  Although this photo may not look too different from yesterday's post, I spent about 2 hours this morning working on (all those) pearls, using some very small brushes that I got for this project yesterday. I am softening purple outline of the pearls by with translucent white paint. Still to come: some pink shadows on the pearls, possibly some purple shadows under the pearls, and some gold ink to highlight the outline of the fish.  To be continued. . . .

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Pearl (Codfish Project) as of May 7, 2019

This is Pearl, my decorated wooden codfish for the Marblehead Festival of Arts Codfish Auction.  She is decorated with strings of pearls, which I began painting today. Wow, a lot of pearls to paint! To be continued. . . .

Monday, May 06, 2019

Pearl (Codfish Project) as of May 6, 2019

Pearl is the wooden codfish that I am decorating for the Marblehead Festival of Arts annual Codfish Auction.  Local artists participate, but the auction is online and folks can bid from anywhere.  This year, I am decorating my codfish with (painted) strings of pearls (hence her name). This morning I mixed up some periwinkle blue and started painting the background.  I am happy with the color. Next up, gotta paint all those pearls!!! To be continued. . . .

Sunday, May 05, 2019

Pearl (Codfish Project) as of May 5, 2019

This is the wooden codfish that I am decorating for the Codfish Auction, a fundraiser for Marblehead Festival of Art. This year, my fish will be decorated with painted strings of pearls, and I have named my codfish "Pearl". Today I inked the pattern with gray fine-line sharpie, making corrections along the way. To be continued. . . 

Saturday, May 04, 2019

Pearl (Codfish Project) as of May 4, 2019

Pearl is the wooden codfish cutout that I am decorating for the Codfish Auction, a fundraiser for Marblehead Festival of Art.  I am going to decorate my codfish with (painted) strings of pearls.  Yesterday I drew a rough scaffolding on my fish.  Today I added the pearls.  I used pencil over gesso, a horrible combination because the graphite smears.  So I cleaned it up with a little more gesso.  I will need to make corrections, but I am happy with the pattern.  I am still deciding on the color scheme, considering perwinkle blue with irridescent white pearls (maybe a touch of pink) and gold outline.  To be continued. . . .

Friday, May 03, 2019

Pearl (Codfish Project) as of May 3, 2019

Pearl is the name of the wooden codfish that I am decorating for the Marblehead Festival of Art Codfish Auction. I am going to decorate my fish with a painted pattern of strings of pearls.  Yesterday I put gesso on my codfish, and today I used pencil to draw a rough outline for the pattern. To be continued. . . .

Thursday, May 02, 2019

Trying Out Pattern for Pearl

Pearl is the name I have given to the wooden codfish that I am decorating for the Codfish Auction to benefit Marblehead Festival of Art. I plan to decorate her with a painted design of strings of pearls. Yesterday I posted my revised design. This photo shows Pearl "trying on" her costume. I really enjoy creating these decorated codfish. Some 50 area artists are participating, and the decorated codfish will be displayed in Marblehead and auctioned online. You can bid from anywhere in the world.

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Pattern for Pearl (Codfish Project)

This year will be my fifth time participating in the Codfish Auction for Marblehead Festival of Art.  Some 50 area artists are going to decorate wooden codfish cutouts, to be displayed in downtown Marblehead and then auctioned (online).  This year, I am going to decorate my codfish with strings of pearls and I have named her Pearl.  I have made rough sketches of the pattern, but today I revised the pattern and redrew it on graph paper to make sure the spacing is going to work.  (Although I think of these surface patterns with straight lines and even spacing, without fail the pattern has to be adapted to the curves of the fish.)  This drawing looks a bit rough (pencil and blue Sharpie), but the design is better now and I think this pattern will work.  If you want to see where this is headed, here is "Bela Bacalhau", my codfish from 2016: