Friday, June 29, 2012

Wave Series, Wave #2, April 3, 2012, 1:56 P.M.

I made a series of pastel wave paintings earlier in the 2000’s. However, those waves viewed at a distance, are more scenic, some bordering on panoramas of beach, sky, and waves. Instead this new series is based on my fascination with the complexity of breaking waves. Like snowflakes, the architecture of a splash is never repeated. I can sit on the beach mesmerized and lost in time as I watch waves break. Often I have to shake myself in order to lift the camera and begin to shoot. Then, I sit or stand in the water so as to be close to the breaking waves, and shoot hundreds of images. I guess I need a telephoto lens, so I don’t have to stand so close, and I’m saving my spare dollars for that purpose.

In this particular image, I was fascinated by the spiking splash. It looks like the internal workings of a lava lamp or like splashing hot wax. Of course, logic says that all liquids should behave in similar ways. Never the less, so far I don’t have other photos of breaking waves that echo the appearance of this one. The wave was a small one, on a very calm day, and I’ll have to wait for another such day, with almost flat-water, to find such a wave. That kind of day is unlikely in the wide-open north Atlantic, and probably won’t happen until I’m in a more protected beach location.

I’ve rubbed – for the first time in a few areas on the background wave because I couldn’t get the gradual gradations of value I wanted with mark-making techniques. Normally I don’t like to use the more traditional rub, smear and blend pastel techniques because these also dull the color, and I’m an intense color freak. The rest of the painting was created with direct marks made with broad or sharp edges of the pastels, often blending together to make new colors through repetition of marks. The result has a hyper-real appearance from the distance. However as one approaches the painting, the variations in mark-making become more and more apparent.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Fast and Furious


I created this graphic artwork based in part on the old Absolute Vodka advertising campaign, and in part on the current strange FOX TV news campaign to discredit Eric Holder and through him, President Obama. That campaign claims the Obama administration is trying to destroy our 2nd Amendment rights by exporting guns to Mexico thus amplifying the Mexican drug wars. The alternate reality they are weaving is (such a bizarre stretch!) that Obama's/Holder's "Fast and Furious" is designed to create a wave of liberal revulsion that will in turn result in attempts to take away U.S. citizens’ guns.

First, Bush II started operation “Fast and Furious, “ not Obama.

For some obscure reason, Holder has supposedly seen fit to cover-up the Bush program that President Obama inherited.

 And, do people actually believe this cockamamie BLEEP? To answer my own question – YES! 

 So, I’m asking -

"FOX news, FOX news viewers, including other networks that have been hoodwinked into the FOX la-la-land, as well as our No job creating Congress  - What are you Drinking?"

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Cape Henlopen Panoramas

 The weather was cool and windy, and we had company this past weekend. Rather than doing the standard beach, sun,swim and tan thing, we visited Cape Henlopen State Park bundled up in our jackets and sweaters and took a picnic “lupper,” a combination of lunch and supper. We smuggled champagne onto the beach in our cooler, had Brie and crackers along with thick chicken salad sandwiches with Vidalia onion and tomato slices. It was simple, tasty and (as my grandparents use to say) my sufficiency was fulfilled. However, before having our lupper, we drove to various locations on the cape, took pictures of sand, ocean, dunes, and one another. I played with my iPod and took video as well. Today I’m putting a brief panorama of our beautiful cape on my journal, and I promise that in the future I will do a much longer and more detailed movie of The Cape, including images, artwork and video about Fort Miles, the World War II military instillation from which our modern state park was created.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Celandine poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum)

(I think)

These gorgeous yellow flowers seem to glow with a special intensity. They bloom helter skelter in my garden in early to mid-June every year, and reseed themselves. I have been able to make them come up where I want them in succeeding years by shaking the spent blossoms over prepared soil. I went through illustrated lists of flowers on the Web and found this, Celandine poppy, to be the closest in appearance to my flowers. However, the photo shows leaves that have curved edges with light fuzz on the backs, and my flowers have leaves that are narrow and more pointed. So, I’m not completely sure about the identity of these bright sunny flowers.

I cut one of the blossoms from the plant and placed it on a black sheet of construction paper to make the first photo. I also include a photo of the flowers blooming in the garden.

Saturday, June 9, 2012


This most common of flowers grows in gardens, fields, and roadside in zones 1 through 10 (homerocallis fulva). However, it is not native to North America having been brought here by British colonists in the 17th century, and has its origins in the steps of Asia. Dig up a root and move it 100 or a 1000 miles and it will spread, creating thousands of glorious new blooms every year. These flowers came from a root in my great grandmother’s garden. With each succeeding generation the roots made their way through Plymouth Massachusetts, to Bucks County Pennsylvania, to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and finally to my garden in Delaware. Not that it matters as I could have dug up a root from any local field or roadside patch. Never the less, they grace my gardens beginning in late May through mid-June faithfully every year. The USDA lists the orange daylily as an invasive weed! If so, it's the most lovely invasive weed on God's green earth! Every June the blooms seem to shout, “welcome sunshine!”

I shot this photo in intense mid-day June sunlight at f-stop 18, 250 shutter speed, and the woods in the background created a natural dark ground. It was necessary to remove one small brilliant spot of competing blurred green. The other darker green spots of foliage blended naturally into the background, and I felt no need to remove them. I did nothing else to the photo other than crop it to the square format I desired. I find that the square format donates an equanimity and peaceful continence to the presentation of this series of flower photographs.

Monday, June 4, 2012


We had not been in Delaware during May since 2004, and I hadn’t seen the Campion blooming in all that time. So, the intense magenta-rose color was a surprise when the flowers opened this spring. I, of course had to take pictures of it, and here are two of the results. I cut one blossom just below the petals, and placed it on a black paper, shot it in direct sunlight, and had to manipulate the background (adding some dark dark rose in order to make the dark ground work more harmoniously with the blossom. I also had to do some cloning and layering with Photoshop in order to clean up some of the blemishes, though I left others that looked natural. Another artist may have removed all the blemishes – it’s a judgment call.

It was necessary to photograph the Campion because the little blossoms are so spectacular massed in the garden, and on their own. What an amazing color!