Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Rosh Hashanah

The Jewish new year of 5780 starts on Sunday evening (at sunset) on September 29th this year. The Jewish calendar is a lunar one, but Rosh Hashanah is always the first day of the month of Tishrei, the days start at sunset, the month starts on the new moon. The Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar so the lunar calendars have to add days periodically to catch up. The Jewish calendar adds a whole month (called Adar 2) every few years so the Jewish holidays will always be in the right season (Passover in the spring, Sukkot in the fall etc.). Every year I take a photo or painting of mine and create a new card. I have one customer who has been with me for years and picks a picture from my website and has me create a JPG image for him to send with his words on it. That reminds me to create one for us.

We are in the month of Elul now which is a time of reflection. I sent this old poem to several people who loved it.  I know I posted it many years ago, but here it is again. The rabbi reminded me that Moses ascended Mount Sinai in the fog too. I definitely miss hiking, but I try to stay in a positive mode and I'm appreciative that I can walk every day in my neighborhood in Boise. Next summer we hope to go to northern Idaho and see the mountains there.

I am "guest artist" of the month at ArtZone in Boise, a co-op gallery. I was invited by one of the artists. The space for the guest artist is small so I only put up a few small paintings. I went to the reception and people said nice things. I don't really expect to sell anything, but I can always hope.

I tried to  paint from my photo at the Hyatt Reserve in the alla prima style in my last class, (painting all in one session). The original photo is in the post of Aug. 21st.  I enjoyed my classes, but don't have the patience to paint for 2 1/2 - 3 hours any more.  I'm thinking of going more into an abstract style instead of trying to make things representational.  I liked the bright colors I worked with on my painting of the moray "peek-a-boo" (in my last post).

May we all have a happy, healthy new year. I will continue to pray for peace too.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Summer's Ending

I didn't do much painting this summer, but I had fun in my class last week, playing with sponges, brushes and acrylic paints. I'm calling this one "Peak-a-boo". 9 X 12 on stretched canvas. I really enjoyed playing with the colors, but it was very messy working with a small sponge. If I try this again, I'll use something bigger.  That is a moray eel peaking out (worked from my son's diving photo).

On a more serious note, I finished this in class, from my photo in Alaska. Orcas (killer whales) and sea stacks in Kenai Fjords.  This was not a fun painting, but a challenging one.  Oil paint, 14 X 18 on stretched canvas.  I bought several larger size canvases at a sidewalk sale this summer. The local art store has a sale in July every year.  I enjoy looking through the bargains and always come home with something.  I'm not sure what I'm going to paint on the larger canvases.

I'm looking forward to fall and some cooler weather. Boise is very hot in the summer, but I appreciate the winters here, very little snow. It's much easier for me than all the winters I lived in New Hampshire.

Next week I have an exhibit going up in Boise at a co-op gallery. I will be "artist of the month" of September.  I'll post a photo and more information after I put up the paintings on Sept. 3rd.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Good morning

I haven't been doing much painting this summer, but I started taking a few classes again. This is an oil painting I finished in my class, Sea Stacks and Orcas (Kenai Fjords, Alaska). You can look at my Alaska photos in the last two posts and see that I combined two different photos into one painting. It is 14" X 18" on canvas.  I will post to my website later this week.

Meanwhile, it is very hot in Idaho. I took a short walk this morning with a friend to a reserve nearby. Even the ducks were resting.  The top photo shows the foothills around Boise in the background.

This is not an abstract painting, but an underpainting. My son is a diver and took some beautiful underwater photos. He gave me permission to use one and I will be working on it in class this week.
It will eventually look something like the photo below. I will probably do this one in acrylic paints. The moray is peaking out so I might call it "peak a boo" like the game we play with babies.

I am looking forward to fall. While Idaho is very hot in the summer, I do appreciate it in the winter. I don't have to struggle with the ice and snow the way I did for 40 years in New Hampshire.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Alaska, Part 2

After our 6 day land tour, we boarded the Celebrity ship, Millenium in the port of Seward, Alaska.  We learned that there was a big earthquake in Seward in 1964 and tsunami. They rebuilt the port and lots of cruise ships were there.  Our room on the ship was very comfortable, food was excellent (we ate at the buffet most of the time), but as an introvert with social anxiety I was not interested in the drinking and gambling.  I did enjoy the shows and walking around in the ports.  The photos above show Juneau (which is only accessible by ship or plane, not road).

Our next stop after Juneau was Skagway and we learned about the Klondike Gold Rush in the 1890's. I enjoyed the museum and the video at the visitor center.  I bought Jack London's book and reread it. It was more meaningful now that I had seen this place. I had read these books over 50 years ago and did not really remember them (Call of the Wild, White Fang).

The mountains all around these places are beautiful as is the rest of Alaska that we did get to see. Crows and ravens are very noisy. Lovely flowers in gardens. We watched a fun show in the theater on the ship with great dancers and singers, disco music. I miss dancing and hope eventually I will be able to do that again.

We stopped at Icy Strait Point and walked into the village, Hoonah. We watched carvers working on a totem pole. It takes them 6 months to carve the images using only hand tools. They only make poles that are commissioned.  I met and talked to a couple of other artists too.  I liked the car sticker with the "I'm not lost, I'm exploring."   That's how I've felt since we moved west and there is so much more to see.

We toured a canning museum (fish canning). I saw some crabs and starfish in the shallow water.  They looked pretty much the same as the ones I used to see in the east.  I couldn't imagine living here in the winter with hardly any sunlight and temps 20 below.  The houses and school looked nice and well taken care of.

Our last port was Ketchikan. We walked around and enjoyed another museum and more totem poles.
We learned the story of the "Married Men's Trail" which apparently went up the hill to the brothels and was a quick route to run out of the brothel if there was a problem.  We did not go into the brothel museum.  The next day on the ship was the last one and then we arrived at Vancouver.  We had a four hour bus ride to Seattle to catch our plane, then back to Idaho.  Vancouver looked interesting and I hope we get to go there for a tour in the future.