Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year)

The Hebrew words say "a sweet new year" - part of the traditional greeting. The holiday starts tonight at sundown. May it be a year that brings good health, and peace to all.

Honey cake is traditional - also apples with honey (for the "sweet" part). I enjoyed baking this morning.

Round challah (instead of the regular braid) with raisins. More for the "sweet" part. The round shape reminds us of the crown ("keter"), a symbol for God as "king". There are other explanations for this as well.

If you would like to learn more about this Jewish holiday, there is good information online. Try this Wikipedia link or Chabad.

Friday, September 23, 2011


Today's lunchtime visitor. We have a bird feeder in the backyard, but the dove just appeared to be hanging out on our railing. The sun wasn't out, it's overcast today, so I'm not sure what that was about. Anyway, I took a picture through the kitchen window which had the screen down, using the zoom lens. I'm surprised it came out as well as it did.

I drove out to the next town to visit a friend and noticed how pretty the leaves are. Autumn is here and I'll be taking more photos soon. Hoping to do more painting this weekend. Despite being retired now, I am constantly busy. I'm happy with the  busy, though. Even got some orders through my website, filled them and mailed them out.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Art and Ducks

Red Rock Canyon, acrylic painting 6" X 12", on board. I just have to varnish this one. (Click on the picture to enlarge it.) Finished it in my class on Tuesday. I did the mountains with palette knife. That was fun and I would like to learn more about painting with a palette knife. I had done an earlier 8" X 10" painting from this area (my photos) but I enjoyed doing the panorama style painting more. The other one focused more on the yuccas in the foreground. This view is more about the mountains themselves.

Finished this one in my class too. I had started these two paintings before I was back in my painting class. I couldn't get the feel of dappled sunlight. The teacher said this would probably have been better with watercolor. I agree, but I'm trying to learn to paint with acrylic paints now. Anyway, I still like it. This is the largest acrylic canvas I have tried, 12" X 16". This painting was done from a photo of koi swimming in the pond at Red Butte Gardens, Utah.

We are part of a committee hosting Gershon Peleg from Society for Protection of Nature in Israel this week. We took a walk today to show him Dorrs Pond. The trees are just starting to show a little color. I don't think he was used to our cold morning (48F, 7C), but he had a hat and jacket and enjoyed the walk. It's a beautiful, but windy day today. It's starting to warm up now. We'll be having a large group for dinner tonight, but I've already cooked (vegetarian Mediterranean style stuffed cabbage) and this is a potluck dinner so there will be lots of food and good fellowship.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Steam Boiler

I didn't feel like painting the other day. I did a little illustration from one of my Idaho photos. This is the old steam boiler we saw in Idaho City. I used a Sakura Pigma pen for the outlines and Caran D'Ache watersoluble crayons for the color on Bristol Smooth paper. Originally I was just going to sketch a little, but then I decided to put some color on the sketch. If you are playing with these crayons, it would be better to use hot or cold press watercolor paper. Since I only used a little water, the paper did not buckle. This was a fun project and a nice change from my attempts at landscape painting.

You can see the original photo in the August 25 post below.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sad day today 9/11

stretching out my arms
     to float on the water
carried away in my dream
     gliding silently
past birches and sumacs
to rest in a cove
     but only for a moment
for life flows on
never stopping
     never yielding
through the rapids
     and onward
while I search for
     another moment
          in still waters

Psalm 23
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul.

This is an old untitled poem written after my divorce in the 80’s. I put it in a collection called “red poppies and green clover”. There is also a free download of a 1990’s chapbook on my website.  Life does go on, but we remember the past and learn from it. Sad day today.