Sunday, November 30, 2008


We've heard (repeatedly) George W. Bush's "empty" request after the 9/11 destruction and death, ... for us to go out and shop.
To our political leaders and their policy-makers and advisors, I have to say, "There you go again!"

These are times of crisis in our classical/conventional economic structure, but they are also opportune times.

Nevertheless, instead of calling for real change and for a transition to a Nature- and Land-conserving world-system based on ecological economics (involving ethical use of renewable energy), my perception (my reality--and that of most folks) is that leaders in all areas of the political arena are doing little thinking that is truly critical and creative ( ... thinking that is based on ecological principles and processes for moving toward sustainable community and livelihoods).

These conventionalists are crying for us to shop and consume, to continue to crudely rip through our natural resource base, and to keep on (unethically) rampantly releasing and transforming energy. They want the economies of nations of "haves" to grow!?!

These conventional economic attitudes and actions will continue to tear at the sustainable sociological and ecological fabric we might have remaining from past hunter-gatherer/sustainable agriculture-based cultures--and will rip away what is left of any real dignity we might still have.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Some Reflections on Sustainability from Jan 2007 (After My 62nd)

Is sustainability necessarily of importance to the people of Seguin?

I think it is important to current Seguinites and to future Seguinites—and this includes all people and other species. Diversity makes life “interesting” and really worth living for all life forms. Without sufficient quality water, rich top soils, and effective capture of daily solar energy by photosynthesizers—diversity is limited. And diversity is a basic tenet of sustainability.

The Renaissance, the Age of Reason, the Enlightenment have long since taken place, and many decision-makers realize we have the knowledge, power and responsibility to change the human and world condition toward enhancing rather than destroying biotic diversity, toward sustainability, and toward quality life for all. In addition, we know that asphalt and concrete and glass and steel and plastic--and other components of artificially built structures and environment (which are spreading over or indirectly extracting from climax ecological communities)--do not sustainably grow food, fiber or shelter—and do not produce the oxygen needed for many life forms, but rather produce excessive amounts of carbon dioxide and pollutants. Science, common sense, and intuition tell us we need to make some drastic changes away from built and financial capital ... to natural, and social capital. And that important change must begin locally—and right now!

Of course a major problem is that a significant percent of humans in the world do feel that at some level, they do have quality life—and they are satisfied, even addicted to the fossil-fuel dependent built-environment, and current political, social, cultural, and financial systems. They get more than their share of abundant calories and have the potential to select appropriate nutrients. They live, work, travel and exercise in a relatively comfortable temperature year-round. They have the muscle and power of wheels with more than one hundred horses (and some artificial horses can even be employed to give them needed exercise with a moving road or water stream). Entertainment and “education” is electronic and remotely controlled with their fingertips. Moreover, under these artificial conditions, they tend to forget and distance themselves more and more from Darfur, Afghanistan and Iraq; favelas, slum and ghettos; the horrific (non)living conditions of other cultures and ethnicities; eroded Land, air and water pollution, species extinction, desertification, Global Climate Change; or even the spiritually empty Mother, Father or Child next door. This is despite the fact and because of the fact--that it is right there on the radio or TV screen in their own little isolated and falsely “secure” industrialized home.

And it is these satisfied people with the power … that have The Power.
Nevertheless change toward more equity and humaneness for all humans and other species must begin locally and globally—and in the very immediate future. Perhaps it won’t be easy. However, it is doable--and can be fun.

Therefore, deep down, intuitively, using our common-sense and critical and creative thinking capacities and involving science, we know we need to change, and that we must start immediately. I (and many others) have some sound ideas for short-term and longer-term actions in Seguin (and for south central Texas, the U.S., the world).

These proposed actions (mostly attempts at getting us to conserve as a local and world community--and to make certain that "'ours' are sustainable livelihoods"!) are really nothing new. However, I do hope to personally work harder at realizing them myself until I pass away. And I hope others will really join in, and help to spread active lifestyles of “Conservation and Development of Sustainable Community” or “Positively Ethical Applied Community Ecology” long after I and they pass.

Buy Nothing Day

Remember that November 28th is "Buy Nothing Day" (November 29th internationally)!

Why not work toward extending it to "Buy Nothing Weekend" and "Buy Nothing Week", etc., etc.?
We've got to curb consumption in order to protect the natural resource base and Nature (and Homo sapiens et al. within it).

Sunday, November 23, 2008

George Bush should walk home (to Connecticut)

When I got in touch with someone I went through navy boot camp with, I thought it would be a good thing.

I even invited this person to contribute to this blog.

But "Salem" mistakenly figured I was in here as (nom de plume) a cigarette brand, obviously missing the fact that I was taking on the character in George Orwell's "1984," a banned book in some countries that is essentially about banned lives.

So he chose the name, "Salem."

No problem ... I get the joke.

Salem declined to contribute posts, instead sending me emails that are "baits" about why I should become a member of the absent-minded conservative party in the United States.

I tried to call this person a while ago, and he didn't have time to talk to me.

But the emails continued, and one recent missive was a reference to an article about how World Criminal and U.S. President (the worst) George Bush was being unfairly treated.

Here is a copy of my reply, and his subsequent analysis of my personal philosophy, of which he knows nothing.

RE: The Treatment of Bush Has Been a Disgrace


I couldn't read all of this story, will have to try later at home.

But I couldn't disagree more with the headline.

As far as I'm concerned, George Bush should have to pay for his own Secret Service protection after he leaves the office he has disgraced for eight years.

And he should be forced to walk home from the White House.

Not back to Texas, but to Connecticut where he originally is from.

George Bush is no Texan."


"I must assume you consider yourself to be liberal. I know of no other group so unforgiving. I think of you as a smart person and believe that if you herd another person as firmly anti anything as it appears you are you would wonder how and why. I would like to get together when we both have time and talk at length. I don’t expect to convert you to anything but would like to truly understand."

This is me, WINSTON, again with my "LIBERAL viewpoint.

I apologize (not really) if this is confusing ... but I am incensed that someone from the same country, even the same state, wants to brand me a Liberal because I want George Bush to walk home, to the state where he is actually borne FROM: CONNECTICUT ... not TEXAS.

I am a TEXAN ... George Bush is not.

Don't brand me a Liberal until you get to know me.

Until then, I'll proudly call myself a liberal, if you must attach a label to me.

And yes, I voted for Barack HUSSEIN Obama, and I'm proud of it.

Understand that.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Here we are at THE END of the 7 weeks of a painting a day- 5 days a week. Thank you all for the encouragement and advice you've given and for following along with this blog. I hope you've enjoyed the artwork and that it's encouraged you to pick up a pencil, paint brush,or something, and go create your own works of art. For me, it's been a great learning experience, and an exciting, exhilarating, grit your teeth, nerve tingling, challenge that makes me both sad and relieved to see it come to an end. Several times, in these past 7 weeks, when life was rushing too fast, I thought I was going to have to bail out on my goal, but, somehow kept putting one brush stroke after another until the difficult times passed. I've gained a good bit of speed since this series started, I'm proud of myself for sticking with it, and have 35 more paintings than I did before we started!
I'll be (leisurely) working on the 4 unfinished paintings (the Alamo, The Riverwalk, Gateway to the West, and Strutting his Stuff) Monday and Tuesday and will post them as soon as they're completed. The kids will be out of school for the Thanksgiving holiday and I'm going to spend some time with them. After that, maybe I'll start a new goal?
For all you artist's out there, Austin is having a tour of studios this weekend. I don't have the details on it - google it if you want to go too. My youngest daughter and I are going to go check it out.

Today's painting, Gomez and Mama, are some adorable donkeys that my husband's friend has and she sent a photo for me to paint them. Thanks so much for sharing the photos, Teresa!
I'm grateful to all of you for joining me in this part of my journey. BBC writers, Only Grrrl, mayahuel, Winston, paul bain martin, Enrique, pineapple, and Salem, thank you most of all. Now you've "got the ball"!
Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Season's Bounty is something for the upcoming holidays. It's a 6"x6" acrylic. I aranged the pumpkin, gourd, and corn on the desk beside me to paint this still life.
How time flies! We're almost at the end of our 7 weeks of "a painting a day" series with only tomorrow left. BBC writers, are your fingers ready to dance on those keyboards??? I'm going to take next week off and spend some time with my kids and grandkids. My son has been telling me he misses me, because I've spent too many evenings painting straight through. Then it'll be back to work (fun) as usual, although the artwork will be larger in size and they probably won't be completed in a day. Hopefully this fast paced painting has been like a speed drill for a typist. Now it's time to focus again on details and getting everything just right.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I took a chance today and did a 1 day portrait. Didn't know how it would turn out, but figured I didn't have to show the picture that it came from if it wasn't similar enough. My son had been in one of his guitar lessons and I was sitting around waiting from it to end when another instructor, Johnny, picked up his guitar and started playing. His music was awesome and while I listened it occured to me that he'd make a great painting subject and,I happened to have my camera with me. Johnny let me take his photo and gave his consent to let me paint his portrait. I showed it to him today, before it was finished, and he seemed to like it. Here's both the photo and the painting.

Latest Adbusters: Growth, "Socialism" and Redistribution of Wealth

Check out the latest edition of Adbusters , especially the piece on Herman Daly (born in Houston and graduate of Rice University before he moved on to "bigger and better")--

"Big Idea: A Steady-State Economy
The growth economy is failing and we have to attempt a steady-state economy. The steady state answer is that the rich should reduce their throughput growth to free up resources and ecological space for use by the poor, while focusing their domestic efforts on development, technical and social improvements, that can be freely shared with poor countries. "

Ms. Sarah

I received a letter from Sarah Palin today, ... inviting me to come visit Alaska!?! (I never receive anything from Alaska!)

I'm certain this mailout from the governor of the nation's largest state had the sole intent of helping her tourism constituency in Alaska. Surely this letter wouldn't have anything to do with Ms. Sarah's political ambitions and current attempts to maintain visibility and continue to capture limelight?
Ms. Palin will probably fizzle out.

But perhaps not! This is a strange country with some crazy voters. ... A bunch of them voted a couple of times or more for George W. Bush!??!
(I used to think about visiting Alaska. Palin's damped those thoughts.)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Mr. Turkey is back for the holidays and strutting his stuff in this stylized oil painting. I like this one, but am going to rework his tail feathers and then replace the picture here with the reworked one in a couple of days. I've already wiped the entire tail off once this evening and repainted it but, don't like the second one either, so it's getting wiped it off again as well and will be "fixed" in a couple of days. In case you're wondering, I cut that part of the photo out. :D Couldn't stand to show it.

Monday, November 17, 2008


A fellow artist and his wife invited us to attend a reception, talk, and display on Chocolate, with them at the Sand Antonio Museum of Art last night, and it was as DELICIOUS as it was interesting! There was lots of wine and luscious, decadent, incredible, chocolate samples there for us to enjoy. The company and the reception was wonderful! So, with thoughts of the discussion(s) , the enjoyable art, and the lingering taste of sweets on my mind, comes today's painting The Flavors of Color.

Friday, November 14, 2008


This painting is an 8"x10" acrylic of a blond maned horse up at my neighbor's ranch. She's such a beautiful animal that I slow down and take a good look each time we pass by. She doesn't especially like being stared at though and too often turns her back to me when the camera comes into sight. Well, it's Friday night and hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


This is painting #29 and it's an 8"x 10" acrylic of a cat we used to have. His name was Butterscotch and he was an incredibly loving, beautiful cat inside and out. Today was a great day to paint his portrait and now he's immortalized. Tomorrow's painting will be another surprise. Hope you like surprises!


This scene is a micro sized cityscape from Santiago Chile and was inspired by my husband who, with his childhood buddy, used to swipe tomatoes from the old shop keeper not far from his home. I'm still having a hard time picturing my husband stealing anything since he's Mr. Honesty, but I guess we all have our moments of doing something we shouldn't have at one point or another. :) Anyway,he CLAIMS they were never caught but told me that after I had already started the painting and I left it as is. It's more interesting like this. My hubby's dad told us the old man is still there and took a photo of him and his shop and sent it to us.
This is it for the Cityscapes for this week. I've run out of good photos and don't have the time to go take some better ones at the moment. The rest of this week and all of next week will be surprises.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


The St. Louis Gateway is a huge, stainless steel, arch that stands by the Mississippi river at the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial park in St. Louis, Missouri and represents St. Louis’ role as the gateway to the West. It stands 630 ft. tall by 630 ft. wide at the base and is supposed to be the largest monument in the U.S. I just found out that there is a tram system in the hollow insides that carries people to an observation deck on top of the arch. I've driven by that arch at least 6 times and never knew that you could go inside it! Thank you, Internet! This is an 8"x10" oil painting for the "painting a day" series.

Monday, November 10, 2008


This week's painting subject is cityscapes and todays' is of the San Antonio Riverwalk. It's such a beautiful place with so many sites just begging to be painted. I'm not sure if I'll do another San Antonio scene this week or not yet. This one isn't quite finished and, although I painted all weekend long, the Grand Canyon and the Alamo from last week are still waiting for me. The one of the Grand Canyon is getting close though. Tomorrow I'll be painting the St. Louis Arch and a part of the river along side of it. We only have 2 weeks left now of the 7 weeks of "a painting a day". Last Monday I was begining to think that I wouldn't be able to make it all the way through the series. Now I'm confident that I can paint the last 9 paintings and then I'm going to really enjoy taking a break. :)

Sunday, November 09, 2008


One of my aunts and a bunch of cousins live over in Albuquerque and we've gone to visit them many times, but we have only seen the Balloon Festival once - eight years ago - and it was a sight to see! We got lucky that time because some guy was giving tethered balloon rides to kids of all sizes. All my family got a ride in it except me, and, I was too embarrassed to go take the space that an actual kid could have had, and passed it up. The rest of them raved about it. I'd really like to see it again but with a better camera than the one I had then. My family has been watching the progress on this painting and the younger ones are saying they can barely remember it - if at all. Mark your calendars for September if you enjoy big balloons. Old town Albuquerque is a neat place to visit too and, if you can, plan a little extra time to drop down south a bit and see Karlsbad Caverns while you're in New Mexico. I saw the caverns when I was a kid but all I remember of it now is that it was also an incredible sight. If you go, take a few extra pictures for me. :D

Thursday, November 06, 2008


This was an awesome sight that I probably didn't quite do justice to. We were there 18 years ago, paid for a motorized raft ride around the coast line and, this fantastic sight was waiting for us. We moved along the coast and also saw some nude bathers, but, I didn't think you'd want to see that. :)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Today's painting is the statue of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln memorial, and, since it's election day, thought it would be a fitting subject since he was the one who did away with slavery so that all men could be equal. Too bad it wasn't for the women at that time as well. Way back when I was a kid of 12, my brother, Mom, and I went and saw this site and I remember standing at the base of the statue, looking way, way, up to into the face of that colossal man and thinking he must have been the greatest man ever to have such a towering monument made of him. This morning I read that the sculpture, Daniel Chester French, positioned Lincoln's fingers to form the letters L and A - possibly because he signed a federal legislation giving Gallaudet University, a university for the deaf, the authority to grant college degrees and the sculpture had a son who was deaf. The National Park service claims that is just an urban legend though. Henry Bacon designed the statue and Daniel French and two other men did the actual chiseling. What an amazing job!
This painting is (basically) finished. After the paint dries I'll touch up the face and make it look a little more like Lincoln's and then ad the words, "In this Temple, as in the hearts of the people, for whom he saved the Union, the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever", on the wall behind his head, as it is in the monument.

San Andrés Semetabaj and San Juan La Laguna--and Other Spots Around Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Excerpts from--Toward Integrated Pest Management and Sustainable Livelihoods in the Sololá Department, Guatemala: Report on Workshops During the Week of 10/12/08

Summary. Sustainable livelihoods and quality life in sustainable communities are a desired goal for the Sololá Department of Guatemala--or any region of the world. Production and the marketing externally of high value organic vegetables and oil crops using integrated pest management in a sustainable agroecosystem, and agriculture education and other cultural exchange is a means of increasing income and quality life. However, it does seem that for both the short and long-term, … robust and healthy agrotourism—and associated cultural exchanges--have more potential for introducing hard cash into the local Sololá economies. (Of course there are always risks of tourist-related social ills if wealth in local economy is not regulated and is not distributed equitably. Moreover, I do have concerns that agro- and eco-tourism are not really appropriate for developing truly long-term sustainable livelihoods and communities, i.e., ones that are ecologically sound, socially just and humane—and “forever”.) ...

Objectives. Encourage Guatemalan campesinos and associated collaborators to focus on the relative importance of insects in local community, … and then branch out to introduce processes of integrated pest management, sustainable agriculture and holistic management. Then in a facilitated participatory, site-specific, hands-on (and hopefully empowering) manner, explore means of realizing sustainable livelihoods/communites for all (including other species) for a long period of time. ...

Field Activities. ... In the workshops given over four days, a PowerPoint presentation was used (primarily as a handout to all of the audience members) in a participatory manner with the following captions, points and questions (translated and paraphrased herein) included along with various illustrative photos and illustrations:

# Name five types of living organisms. (Illustrating that we humans commonly focus on mammals, rather than bacteria, protists, plants and/or fungi—or even insects?)
# What is the dominate form of life on this planet? (Humans) Where do the most dominate of these humans live? (“The North.”)

# What do we mean by a “sustainable livelihood?” (“A livelihood comprises people, their capabilities and their means of living, including food, income and assets. Tangible assets are resources and stores, and intangible assets are claims and access. A livelihood is environmentally sustainable when it maintains or enhances the local and global assets in which livelihoods depend, and has net beneficial effects on other livelihoods. A livelihood is socially sustainable which can cope with and recover from stress and shocks, and provide for future generations.” . “ The sustainable livelihoods approach … is a way to improve understanding of the livelihoods of poor people. It draws on the main factors that affect poor people's livelihoods and the typical relationships between these factors. It can be used in planning new development activities and in assessing the contribution that existing activities have made to sustaining livelihoods.”

# What are the major challenges in your life? What are major “pest” “problems” with which you have to deal? How do you manage these challenges?
# Some integrated pest management strategies.
# Certain insect ”pests” are edible, and various human cultures, (including just north of Guatemala in Oaxaca) do eat them. [They can be a good source of lipids and protein—and Nelson Diarte (Project Coordinator, Guatemala Food For Progress) and I demonstrated the "enjoyable" eating of worms found in high numbers on broccoli foliage. … They actually tasted like broccoli.]
# Major edaphic, hydrological, energetic and biotic community components of agroecosystems which affect “pests”.
# Techniques for sampling for “pests” and their natural enemies in crops. (We went to the field at every workshop and demonstrated egg collecting, the use of sweep nets, and the use of hand lens and microscopes. Moreover, we made general insect identifications and discussed the fact that most insect are not pests—and that many are beneficial in various ways.)
# Examples of insects and insect life stages found in samples. Examples of insect parasitoids and predators.

# Basic integrated pest management of pests: Prevention; monitoring; action thresholds; cultural, physical, mechanical, biological, genetic/plant resistance, chemical, and legal control; evaluation, analysis, replanning, … .
# Holistic and ecological approach to integrated pest management. (The focus is not on the pest(s), but the ecological whole.)
# Sustainable agriculture. (Long-term protection of the natural resource base for quality life for all humans and other life forms.)
# Sustainable livelihoods and sustainable community. [Targeting the poor with education and socio-political/economic (and ecological) power over resources/capitals--in a participatory, site-based manner, with short and long-term strategies and tactics which yield real and sustainable results.]

# Ecology: A simple food web.
# Ecology: The energy pyramid and the Second Law of Thermodynamics.
# Managing ecological succession sustainably and for sustainable livelihoods and community.
# Ecology: The nitrogen cycle and other mineral cycles (conventional vs. sustainable agriculture).
# Ecological knowledge must be used to modify human social systems toward sustainable livelihoods and quality life for all—including other species.

# The area around Lake Atitlan is a beautiful and agriculturally rich area of the world! Consider agrotourism, especially for the “short” term. (Sololans can sell their cultural and ecological knowledge, and help their own community--and tourists--to better live with “pest problems” … in concert with Nature. … The mission of the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture at Texas A&M is "to employ agricultural science to feed the world's hungry, and to support equity, economic growth, quality of life and mutual respect among peoples." Therefore, I propose(d) that Sololans might do well in to improving quality life and achieve sustainable livelihoods, by selling their agricultural knowledge—both traditional and newly- acquired ecological, including knowledge of the beautiful morphology/physiology and life histories/ecology of regional insects.)

# Although it can be precarious to introduce numerous domesticated animals into an area, do consider some increased home use of chickens, pigs, sheep and goats, and cattle, etc. in your agroecosystems of the Solola Department. ...

I have traveled in a number of areas of Latin America, including in Nicaragua, Oaxaca and Tabasco and other areas in Mexico, Bolivia, and Brazil. Nevertheless, Guatemala was particularly striking and novel to me in many positive and some negative ways. In this area around Lake Atitlan the volcanic soils are beautifully deep and rich; the lake and volcanic mountains, and diversity of agricultural crops including coffee are fantastically scenic; women’s blouses (huipilles)and skirts (cortes) are beautifully colored and patterned, woven and embroidered; kids' kites are creatively made out of recycled materials; and folk work hard at cutting and back-carrying wood up steep inclines, or carrying other products/materials on their wonderfully erect feminine heads, or in getting around the mountain roads by bicycle or foot. The mixture of indigenous Mayan languages and Spanish (by the same person in the same phrase) is interesting, very different and enjoyable to hear. And everyone graciously greets you wherever you meet them! … Finally, it was refreshing to look over Lake Atitlan and environs during the evenings at Hotel Pa Muelle, San Juan La Laguna, while eating Nelson Diarte’s homemade vegetable salad made from ingredients from an adjacent public market (and having some enjoyable verbal exchanges with Don Alvino, the hotel manager, and watching his grandkids and young empregada play futbol).

On the other hand, the villages of Sololá are far from my desired goal of Zero-waste for my home of Seguin, Texas. Trash is prevalent of the streets of villages--and mounds of waste are dumped on mountainsides, and pollutants are leached out and washed down into the lake. Buses and trucks spew black fossil fuel pollutants into the local atmosphere. And wood-burning fires are used by all, with the air above the villages (and homes) commonly filled with smoke. This practice has also resulted in substantial deforestation. … Finally, during the evening I was packing for the trip back to Texas, I became mesmerized with a televised interview of Guatemalan human rights activist Rigoberta Menchú, winner of the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize. This wonderfully-thorough interview made me much more aware of the deep scars from past, and the socio-political/economic challenges (and holistic ecological challenges) Guatemala and the Sololá Department face. (Subsequently, I listened to some music/a video of Enrique Franco about Rigoberta Mencha —and it made me think a bit more about our North-Central American connections, and especially Texas/Mexico-Guatemalan connections.) ...

Some Concluding "Soft-Suggestions".
Local indigenous people should be more and more involved in coordinating the TAMU Borlaug Institute programs and decision-making in the future.
2. Continue to primarily target poor women and children (including with microenterprise loan programs?) .
3. Continue to research activities of previous Farming Systems Research-Extension work , efforts of CLADES , Sustainable Livelihoods and Local Development programs, Holistic Resource Management , and Natural Systems Agriculture , etc., and attempt to apply the appropriate components of these works--in a grassroots, site-specific, participatory, hands-on, and empowering fashion--in the Borlaug Institute’s Guatemalan programs toward quality life for all.
4. Consider attempts at facilitating more cultural and socio-economic (sustainability) exchanges of Spanish-speaking Mexican-American small farmers/entrepreneurs from Texas and indigenous campesinos from Guatemala. … Use these complexes of farmers to investigate processes for making robust, economically-viable, and socially-just and ecologically-sound agrotourism develop in the Sololá Department of Guatemala.

Perception Is Reality

The world isn't really any better today than it was yesterday.
But I feel it is!!!!!!!!! It is really great to be alive! ... It is a better world than it was yesterday.

(Sorry. But--as a U.S. citizen--I do feel considerably better today than yesterday. ... And aren't these paintings herein BBC absolutely wonderful!!??!!)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

THE ALAMO - also unfinished!

Well, I was thinking yesterday must have been some kind of fluke or something (me not getting the painting completed) because I really felt like Super Woman then and did again today. So, I painted another 11"x14" today - and didn't get it finished either! The Subject is the Alamo and it seems to be much simpler than yesterday's Grand Canyon so maybe the size difference is the make or break factor. I'm packing it in for the night. The lines on everything in the painting still need to be straightened, colors deepened, the trees are still missing and so are the people. I'm going back to the 8"x10" or smaller sizes from here on out until the 21st. Too bad. I don't like painting small. This is going to be one very busy week getting them all finished!

The Alamo is something that every Texas painter must do at least once or their status of Texan is seriously questioned. This is my first one. Since it stands for independence and fighting for what one believes in, It seems fitting for today - voting day. Did you go make your vote count? I voted for the first time in my life today because of an e-mail that went around a few weeks ago about the suffragists fighting for women's rights back in my grandma's time. Reading about what few rights women had back then was sickening and shamed me into going to vote - even though I'm not too sure just how much our votes count these days. I did it for my grandma, myself, and for all women.

Winston, glad you're enjoying yourself down there. Can't drive by the newspaper office here without thinking of you and wondering how you're doing.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Election Day: Hope You Voted

I took the Yahama out and revved it up and down the highway here for awhile. Wind coming off the Gulf of Mexico was a bit too cool for Hawaiian shirts, but that's the risk I'm willing to take.
Stopped in at the Gaff for a Killian's red, and eavesdropped on a conversation among fishing boat deckhands who helped a client land a 350-lb Mako shark. Every other word was effing this and effing that.
Hit the local VFW and watched a 3-ball pool tourney, where the winner walked away with a grand total of three dollars and some quarters.
Then we walked across the parking lot - I left my bike where it could collect some more salt air - and listened to a local folk singer.
I was amazed when she asked for requests.
I asked her if she could play a Uriah Heep tune.
Sure enough she came up with "The Wizard."
She must have been reading my mind.
She found it in some old scribbled notes.
I then asked her to play something from Ten Years After.
Again, she came up with what I was thinking: I'd Love To Change the World.
Third time around, I asked for something by Melanie.
She didn't have a song sheet handy, but she tuned in one on her computer.
She told me about a pirate who lives on the beach.
After this election is over (I'm covering it locally) I'm going to find Blackbeard.

Keep up the great works, Terrie.

Vote as many times as you can, everyone else would, if they could.

In fact, I voted via absentee ballot, and would have no qualms about doing it again.

They say that if the Washington Redskins won Monday Night Football, John McCain would win.
And if they lose, Barack Obama would take the prize.

Does anybody know the final score?

I was too busy listening to a rendition of "The Night They Took Old Dixie Down."

Can you hear them singing?

La, la la la...


Today's adventure is an oil painting of the Grand Canyon. Apparently I bit off more than I could do in a one day sitting though and will have to work on completing it in between the other paintings I'll be doing this week. That's right, it's not a one day painting. :O I should have taken a hint from some of those other "painting a day" painters and made a little 3"x4" of an orange or an egg, or something else very simple, but I felt like Super Woman today. So what happened??? Famous landscapes will be the painting subject of this 5 day set. Next week's topic is cityscapes.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

PLAY WITH ME! - # 20

This little guy is actually a girl. Her name was Leia - after the princess in Star Wars (only spelled differently)- and she was our dog for 13 years. She was part Corgie mix and part Australian Shepherd and sure was a beauty! She was also incredibly ornery. After someone asked me to paint a puppy I started looking through our old photo books and that sure take me back a ways! I would post the original pictures to share with you, but, we had a lousy camera back then and the photos are too hard to see -or is that just that I need new glasses? We had 7 fat, fluffy, rolly polly pups then and wanted to keep them all. We found homes for 4 and kept 3 of them. :O
I've spent the afternoon working on ideas for this weeks paintings. If you have anything you'd like to see me paint in particular, please let me know.

MOUSE ATTACK! - painting #19

I've spent the last few days making room for a couple of family members to move (back) in with us and nursing a 3 day splitting headache. I did paint, but couldn't stand looking at the computer screen long enough to get them posted. Sorry.

This puppy is modeled after one of our dogs when he was little. There's a wind up mouse that's driving him crazy and he's loving it. Someone asked me to paint this little guy, so, here he is!