Sunday, 31 December 2017

They Do Not!

Here's one of the things we got for the holidays!

I don't know, what do you think?

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Thanksgiving Decorations

We did hand turkeys for decorations this year.


Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Current Knitting Project

Here is my current knitting project - Helene by Herbert Niebling

Unfortunately the color obscures the pattern.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Sundry Images Fall and last Flowers

I certainly live in a beautiful place. October was beautiful.

Even my lilies thought it was beautiful - they come up at the wrong time! It got too cold for them so I had to snip them and bring them inside.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Nobel Laureate Bob

So Bob Dylan is bopping around the country singing again and a colleague of mine had an extra ticket, so I thought why not! How often do you get to hear a Nobel Prize winner present on his topic? (I was going to say on one that "you" can understand, but that would be going too far.)

We were a good ways away, so we could just see little people on the stage.  That doesn't mean we couldn't enjoy a really good concert. Mavis Staples was the warm up act and at 78 is she is an amazing powerhouse of a vocalist. A former "Staples Singer" she has amazing gospel and blues chops and a voice that knocks you off your feet with its power, accuracy and beautiful timbre.

Here is my (illegal shot of the stage when she was singing.)

And here is a shot of what she really looks like!

The concert was well worth it for Staples alone. I am now officially a fan!

Bob was Bob, in his usual inscrutable way.

He sat on the right side of the stage behind his piano and you could see his little head bobbing up and down sometimes behind the various mikes and some minimal electronic scaffolding. His voice was in fine form, much better than I expected and superior to the sound in either of the video links I have included below.

Although some videos show him playing guitar, I understnad that his hands are bothering him so he doesn't do that much, nor did he play guitar in our concert. He alternated between singing at the piano (mostly his better known "greatest hits") and singing from a microphone back center stage, which he would lay down in a swoon and sing to like a 1950s lounge singer. The latter songs were from his album of crooner hits and here his voice was really beautiful and his diction was clear as a bell.

 (From a prior concert - he did not wear a hat at our concert and was clad all in black - but did have the pants with the stripes).

For his own "classic" songs, he did what he usually does in concert these days - changed the tunes and the words, so often they were hard to distinguish from each other. The arrangements varied, but never matched the original treatments, so one might not be quite sure which song was being sung especially if he was swallowing his words in typical Dylan style. This is in keeping with his (don't break the) fourth wall tendency. The concert simply starts with a song.  We struggled from the distance to discover whichof the figures on stage was  Dylan.  He rarely acknowledges the audience, never names the band members or indicates he is aware of our presence.  He sings for himself and as my colleague pointed out, because the tunes and words aren't the same, it prohibits the audience from singing along, creating a kind of alienation effect. It was a strong reminder, that he is a poet and not as much of a musician.  We were there for the poetry.

But of course he still slurs his words, so that sometimes presented a challenge. The old standards like Autumn Leaves were easy to understand, but the author's own works dared us to comprehend. A couple of times it was the interpreter for the deaf, or a snatch of a phrase ("Tangled up in bloo-ooh") that gave the song away, but the newest version of "Blowin' in the Wind" sailed right by me unrecognized, despite the fact that I have sung that song at numerous, numerous rallies and peace marches and could probably sing it backwards! Here is a much more melodic version from a prior concert, so extrapolate from this and you will have an idea of the  "Blowin' in the Wind" that we heard.

 I was surprised that he got such pleasure out of the Sinatra-like standards. I always thought he was critical of the more conservative crooners that were the fuddy-duddies of the day. It seemed almost like a teenager locked in his room living out his secret fantasy! If so, more power to him to follow his dream! The songs were beautifully performed and a pleasure to hear!

For those that want a taste of the new rendition of old Dylan fare, check out this youtube video from two years ago. It is his signature encore piece, "Like a Rolling Stone." 

Friday, 6 October 2017

Too much ink!

Another attempt

Today I tried deductive prints at home. I over inked my ground:

It looks better here than in real life - but it is too dark. Here is a self portriat - also a bit dark and this time muddy.

I'll keep practising.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Today's Print

Deductive Process (Much easier than Additive!)

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Experiment at home - Printing

First an obligatory image of the one of the children:

So I bought some litho ink and decided to try a print or two at home. I did an applied print today.

Here is the glass plate after I applied ink and took an image. I like it better than the print!

I need to apply more ink, but it is a beginning.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

This week's prints

I'm not that thrilled with these - didn't use a pencil which is my strongest area for this, and have too many lines in these prints.  The first here is my second print.

Updates - Knitting and Morning Glories

Here is my current knitting project:

I like the back (horizontal piece)  better than the front.

Today the morning glories were very floriferous.

And zinnias in the garden:

Applied Process Prints

So here are last week's art class prints. (The first one is always better than the second, even though I am trying to improve onthe first one, I guess I get tired and don't have the patience for the second one!)

Friday, 22 September 2017

I thought I couldn't grow morning glories...

Now they are growing everytwhere!
(And I mean everywhere!):

Even in my garage!

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Prints for today - based on a Degas Monoprint.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Ho Hum ....another self portrait assignment in another art class

A favorite assignment in Art classes seems to be self portraits. I know I should have assembled a collection of objects that represent who I feel I am, but I took what I thought would be the easy way out - yet another realitic representation. This time though I decided to use pen and ink (something Iam not so good at.)  I did at least 4-5 images that were so awful that I couldn't bear to look at them. They made me look so old and ugly.  Finally I got one that made me look like Anton von Leewenhoek, so, since I was thoroughly tired of drawing my self, I just pasted it into my journal and had done with it.  Today I decided to try one more time. Here is the microbiologist:

 I am certainly not that attractive, but I liked it better than the versions that made me look like Baba Yaga.

I think this one is more accurate.

Yup, that is pretty much me!

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Taking a Print Making class - first efforts

So, I'm sitting in on a print-making class and we did drapery today. Here are my three attempts today.

When I first did the above one. I was very dissatisfied, but the more I look at it now (especially after the second two, the more I like it, There is a quality of "ink" appkication that I really like. I felt like the pieces didn't hold together. It certainly does not look like draperies, but I actually feel like the pieces do connect in a meaningful way that suggests volume, even if they don't look like fabric and I like the image much better.

The image below was my second attempt. The sense of drapery is stronger. I fudged a bit on the white part (the original image did not have any lines on it. I used more line and used my brush to be sure that there were more striaght lines. I also took the image off the model and painted onto the glass looking at the image separately (rahter thanunderneath it, so I could see how the ink layered on the glass.

Both images feel quite abstract, but they do have a sense of volume and interconnectedness.

Unfortunatley the third image is compositionally inferior. I was freer in terms of what I used in the image and completely invented the right side of the image andit shows. It looks sloppy and generally boring. The left side also just sort of hangs off the page. I think I owuld like it better if it were compositionally more interesting.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Monday, 7 August 2017

On to Germany

So my plane home from Israel stopped in Frankfurt, so I thought I might as well stop and stay awhile. We said goodbye to Tel Aviv. 

(Spent the night in a cheap hotel near the airport - and it was not exactly the Taj Mahal. The fire alarm went off in the middle of hte night and when I tried to go down the stairs in my sleep-deprived state this is what I saw.)

I ended up having to walk to the other side of hte building to the the other stairs and by then I was told that it was a flase alarm. Lucky there wasn't a real fire.

I took off in the afternoon.

I took a lot of aerial photos. Here is what we saw when we left.

The sea is extremely blue and I am fascinated by the islands.

 Of course I never recognize anything, but I am always looking for older structures, The shot below has some kind of arena, but you can't tell how old it is. (Probably modern.)

Here is a blow up of that structure which comes from the middle of the shot above.

Of course Germany looks a lot different. I arrived in the evening and spent the night in a nearby hotel, the Meininger hotel.

It is a cute little place with hip decor.

I took the train from Frankfurt out towards my old stomping ground of Lichtenfels.

The wildflowers were in full bloom and I got to see many sights that Ihad visited back in the days when I was in graduate school. I'm pretty sure that this is the Staffelberg. It was a bit foggy, so you can't see the stone formations at the top very well, but it looks like the staffelberg to me.

This is SchloƟ Banz from the train.

When I arrived in Lichtenfels my best friend from college was waiting for me at the station! Her husband and I played duelling cameras!

We had a fantastic German lunch cooked specially by Frau Gareis.

You really can't beat Germany for great varieties of cold cuts and suasages and some of the cheeses are to die for!

Here is a part of the garden. (I so wish my climate in MInnesota was warm enough to have a Japanese maple.It really makes the lantern look at home.

We took a walk in the Frankenwald after singing the Frankenlied. (

It was lovely to wander through the wooded area again after so many years! 

We saw a snail and some slugs on the path. 

But what was truly beautiful was the rye in the nearby fields.