Saturday, May 30, 2009

Life Cycle

Life Cycle

My apologies for not posting for a while, but Blogger's little robot thingys decided that my spam needed to be blocked until I could prove that I am a real person. So, I was locked out of my blog. It seems to be working again today, finally. Of course, they didn't let me know what was wrong for a few days, and, again, they didn't let me know that it is working again. I just happened to check, and here I am.
This is a little watercolor done with Indigo Blue and Brown watercolors on 300# watercolor paper. I did add a little touch of purple to the painting.
I just wanted to get in a short post today.
Bitsy, my 23 year old cat, is not doing well. And, at the same time, my aunt, whose home the cat came from, is also at the end of her life. I'll be going to the nursing home shortly.
I just wanted to get in a post to let everyone know that I'm still here and haven't abandoned my blog.
I would ask that, if you haven't subscribed to my blog, please do so. It makes it so much easier for you to receive- and for me to send out. And, that way, you are assured of getting the blog when I post.
Thanks for reading and sharing!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Calvert Trojan
8.5" x 11"
I drew a lot of these as a student at Calvert High School, years ago. I thought I would try it again when I set up a group on Facebook and another on Yahoo for former students of CHS.
I noticed that the official logos drawn by other students and companies do not show a chin piece on the armor. However, I distinctly remember drawing that piece to cover the chin and connecting to another piece over the ear.
The bottom drawing is my first one done last week. I thought it came out looking too feminine, so I drew it again. This time, I tried to be more conscious of giving him stronger features and making the lines more bold. I used a Pitt pen on both drawings, but went over the lines with a Sharpie marker on the top drawing. It shows up much better that way. Maybe I will do it again and add some color.
I looked back at my two old yearbooks for 1953 and 1954 to see if I had one of my Trojan drawings in there. But, the Trojan drawing was a stock logo, in one; and, in the one where I was art editor, Jimmy M. did the drawing of the Trojan. I did a Trojan horse with the football team, and the end piece with two graduates on it.
I guess I have a male and a female Trojan in my drawings above!
These are on 8.5" x 11" paper.
If you went to Calvert High School, you might check out joining CHS_Trojans on Yahoo or Calvert High School Trojans Alumni on Facebook. Click on the buttons in my sidebar to join.
You can share your pictures, stories, and memories on those sites, as a member.
I read an interesting blog entry today on Journeys in Art. One of my favorite movies is "Lust For Life", the story of artist Vincent Van Gogh. I have watched that over and over for years, along with "The Agony and the Ecstacy".
This blog talked about the latest research that points to Gaugin cutting off Van Gogh's ear lobe with a sword during an argument.
Greta Watkins is preparing her portraits of people in downtown Bryan to show June 5 at Art 979. This is a part of Art Step, the downtown Art Walk. The address is Art 979/Village Cafe, 210 W. 26th Street in downtown Bryan. Village Cafe features organic food from locally grown produce for breakfast and lunch.
Greta is the owner of The Frame Gallery in downtown Bryan.
Also coming up in June is the Texas Scottish Festival in Arlington June 5-7. Click on the logo in my sidebar and that will take you to their webpage with schedules and more.
And the Texas Reds Festival is another big event in downtown Bryan in June. See my sidebar for more events and dates.
Save the Calvert City Hall!!!!!!!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Swine Flu

Swine Flu
8.5" x 11"
Thankfully, so far, we haven't all come down with the dreaded Swine Flu (or number and letters whatever the politically correct are calling it now). They said it had characteristics of swine, bird, and human influenza. I wanted to do something about the thing that was a big item in the news, and spread concern around the world. So, I did my little version of the Swine and Bird Flu.
This little piggy and his birdie friend are laid up in bed with the flu, while humans check on them through the bedroom windows. Two people protect themselves with masks, while one visitor wonders what to do and if he should worry.
This drawing is on acid free 70 pound white drawing paper. It was done with a Pitt pen.
The size is 8.5" x 11".
I haven't added color to this one, yet. I sort of like it as a simple cartoon style drawing. I may add color to it, yet.
We haven't had the Swine Flu, but I've been dealing with a rash on my face, arms, and chest since Wednesday. My eyes were so swollen, I was getting concerned.
I joked with my grandson that I had big bags under my eyes, that, at one point, looked like someone deflated them and they started wrinkling!
Don't know what it is. It isn't poison ivy, I know. The others think it isn't contagious or someone else in the house would have it too. I've been taking benadryl and sleeping. It seems a bit better today. I thought it started when I had my arm on a clean towel that was very rough from being washed without a dryer sheet. That made my arm itch in one little spot, and then it spread to the other arm and my face by the next day. Very strange.
My mother used to say that I was like the princess in the story, "The Princess and the Pea". Way too sensitive to things! I couldn't stand a wrinkle in my sheets, or to touch things like paper or velvet. Rough towels and wash cloths are like using sandpaper on my skin. And that isn't because I am old. I've always been like that.
Enjoyed watching some old movies on TCM today with Margaret Rutherford. I don't like mysteries or scarey things, but I do like the Miss Marple movies that starred Rutherford. I was kind of sleepy, still, from the benadryl, so I just watched the movies while I tried to wake up.
Speaking of movies, I heard that the new "Star Trek" movie has some spectacular special effects. One person talked about going to see it in an IMAX theatre. That should be something to watch. However, I can't get too excited about Star Trek movies without William Shatner as Capt. Kirk, especially as he was in the first tv programs.
If you know anyone with an interest in Calvert, Texas, I set up a group on Yahoo and another one on FaceBook just for them. I also set up one for former students at Calvert High. Please let anyone know who might be interested in joining, and sharing pictures, memories, comments, etc.
Save the Calvert City Hall!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Remembering Mothers Day

Remembering Mothers Day
8.5" x 11"
mixed media
(Prismacolors and watercolors_
Early Sunday morning sun glistened on the curtains of my bedroom. I could hear my children outside my window. They were up early and outside planning a Mothers Day treat for me.
I smiled and looked out at them moving in the back yard.
The best things are the ones that are created just for you.
I wondered what they had planned for me. I didn't want them to know that I was watching. They were being very independent today.
I didn't think they would cook breakfast. I would do that, and then we would dress and go to church. After that, we would come home for Sunday dinner and, maybe, their grandparents would come for a visit in the afternoon.
Pulling the covers up around my face would conceal the fact that I had been awake as they entered my room.
"Here's a card for you. I made it myself." my son said as he handed me his construction paper card.
My daughter handed me her handmade card.
"What do you have behind your backs?" I asked.
"It's your Mothers Day present," my son said. "Close your eyes!"
"Okay." I closed my eyes and heard them walking beside my bed.
My daughter handed me some wild flowers, with fresh dew still on them, that she had picked in the yard.
At the same time, my son put something sort of wet and creepy feeling into my hand. I screamed and thought sure he had found a snake in the yard. A wonderous thing to a little boy, but a scarey thing to this woman.
"Take that out of here!" I kept screaming.
"But, Mama, it's only a nice little green frog," he explained.
He looked hurt.
"I'm sure it is a very nice frog. But he would be happier outside with other frogs. That was nice of you to think of me, but he really belongs outside."
They went outside to find a good place to release the frog.
We had breakfast, went to church, had dinner at home, my parents came to visit and went back home.
That was a most memorable Mothers Day for me.
Now, years later, my grandson picked out a Mr. Bean movie that we will watch later. My daughter slept late, my sister came by on her way back to her home, I've washed clothes, fixed lunch for my grandsons, taken care of the cats, and plan to give Bitsy, the cat, a bath. My grandson made a card for his mom and the oldest one bought her a present.
Happy Mothers Day to all you mothers and grandmothers. I hope that your day has been one to remember.
I did the picture above with a Pitt pen on 70 lb drawing paper and added Prismacolors and some watercolor to give it color. The paper is acid free.
Happy Mothers Day!!!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

National Day of Prayer

National Day of Prayer
8.5" x 11"
watercolor & ink
This is the piece of art work that I did for the National Day of Prayer. I didn't get to post it on that day, but wanted to share it.
Unfortunately, some in high places, thought that this day was not important enough to observe.
With all the problems that we have in the world today, we need all the help that we can get.
National Day of Prayer was done on 70 pound acid free white drawing paper using Winsor Newton watercolors and a Pitt pen. It is 8 1/2 x 11".
If you have an interest in Calvert, Texas, or went to school at Calvert High School in Calvert, Texas, you might be interested in joining the Yahoo or Face Book groups started for these places.
You can click on the Join button in my sidebar to join the Yahoo groups.
On Face Book, you have to belong to Face Book. Then, go to Groups and search for Calvert High School Trojans or Calvert, Texas.
As a member, you can share photos, comments and memories, links, etc. I have added a few to get started.
I'm thinking of donating a painting or two to get a fund started to save Calvert City Hall.
Surely the needed funds to repair the City Hall can be raised through fund raising, grants, and donations.
What can we do? We can't lose that building.
Thanks for reading and sharing!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Save The Calvert City Hall

I was horrified to read Gracia Casey Thibodeaux's article on the website, Fort Tumbleweed. The article tells that Calvert's Mayor, Marcus Greaves, and the City Council, are planning to bulldoze the old City Hall and replace it with one of those awful metal buildings.
The City Hall was damaged by an arsonist and more damage occured as they tried to extinguish the fire.
The article said that they city cannot afford the million dollars that it would take to repair the building, so they plan to bulldoze the building.
As far as I have heard, there has been no effort to call on people to donate or help raise funds to restore this grand old building. I feel sure that there are grants, etc. that could help, as well as contributions from private sources. I had only heard one person say that they didn't think that they could save the building. It would be too expensive.
Calvert cannot afford to let go of any more of its wonderful old structures.
Gracia's article tells much more of the history of the building and plans.
She asks people to write to the Mayor, the City Council, and anyone else who might have some influence to save the building.
Calvert does have a National Historic District, and there might be some help there, through the state, etc. Maybe they could ask the George Bush Library for help with fund raising.
They certainly need to know that there are people who would like the building saved and do not want any of those ugly modern metal buildings.
At this time, the offices are being housed in various buildings downtown.
I haven't heard anything about the progress in catching the idiot who set that fire.
I hope that each of you will pass this on to anyone who might be interested or have some influence, or ideas on how the City Hall can be saved. And let the Mayor and City Council know that this important building is worth saving.
There are certain places in town that we all cherish and the City Hall is one of them.
Dances, pageants, and programs were held in the upstairs. I remember seeing a sea of Singer sewing machines upstairs at the end of WWII, when my mother went there to get a sewing machine for $10. They had been rationed before that and you couldn't get one for any price.
It's where we voted and heard speakers.
The Red Cross met there sometimes.
Men went there to get their classifications and information about going off to War.
The small jail was a place that was a holding place for criminals or those who just got a little too rowdy or drunk. It was a place we were warned to stay away from.
The Calvert Fire Department , at the back, housed the fire trucks and gave the volunteer fire department a place to meet and have their mulligan stew nights. The fire hoses were stretched out between fires, on wooden racks behind the building. A metal tower held the fire whistle that summoned people to fires and told us what time it was. It also was used to call the City Marshall or call firemen to fires.
The City Marshall had an office on the north west corner. Tile floors and old oak furniture. The City Council and other civic groups held meetings there at night.
The City Secretary's office on the southwest corner held a huge walk in safe. This was where we went to pay water bills and any other payments including a dog license. This was where I went with my friend, Edie, when her father was City Secretary. We also would visit with Marvin, in the back, who took care of the jail and other duties.
Walking from town on a hot day, it was a pleasure to walk up the cool concrete steps of the City Hall, between the white columns, and enter the hall lined with cool small tiles. After cooling off at the City Hall, we went from tree to tree, seeking shade. We might even stop off in the park to try to find a breeze in the bandstand, and get a drink of water from the concrete water fountain.

It wasn't until recently that I found that my great-grandfather's name is on the cornerstone of the City Hall. Emil Conitz Sr. was one of the members of the City Council when the City Hall was built. C. O. Shelander was also related.

I do have special memories of this building, like many of the places in Calvert. And I'm sure that many others do too.

So, do what you can to help, please. Thank you!

I intended to post something about the National Day of Prayer, which Washington D.C. chose to ignore this year, yesterday, but I got some kind of rash which has spread to my face and my eyes. So, instead of posting, I took Benadryl and slept.
With all the problems in our country and the world today, we need all the prayer we can get. That certainly sent out another wrong message.
My eyes are still very swollen, and my face is swollen and red. I haven't been outside in the poison ivy, so I don't know what it is.
My eyes are nearly as bad as the time that I sunburned the insides of my eyes while on duty at a track meet at Wood Field in Hearne. That time, they were swollen almost shut for 2 weeks.
Between the purple spot from Macular Degeneration in my left eye, cataracts, and now the rash, I'm not seeing really well. I guess I will take more benadryl and sleep, later.
I've set up groups on Yahoo for Calvert, Texas and Calvert High School Trojans alumni. And the same groups on Face Book. If you have an interest in Calvert, or went to school in Calvert. I hope that you will join. I set up 2 separate groups because some people are on Face Book, and some don't use that site-thus the Yahoo group. I have to approve members to make sure that we don't get spammers, etc.
There are pictures on all the groups, and you are invited to add your own, as members.
Save the Calvert City Hall!
I tried to add the top photo of the cornerstone at the City Hall to the bottom of this post. Instead, it went to the top, and left this huge space at the end of the article. I tried to move it seveal times, but it wouldn't move and left even more space at the bottom, each time. I wish I knew how to fix this. My apologies. Scroll down to add comments and read more.

Look in my sidebar under Interesting Sites for Fort Tumbleweed. Scroll down to the history of Robertson County and under that, Calvert, for the article about the City Hall. I tried to add the url here, but it isn't adding, for some reason.
You can also just search for Fort Tumbleweed Calvert, Texas and find it.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Studio Helpers



Several people have been sharing pictures of their studio helpers, from Linda Blondheim's Studio Dog to a Face Book friend who shared a picture of his black cat, lounging.
I used to have Toto, a Cairn Terrier, who sat under my feet while I was at my desk. I still miss putting my feet on her silky fur. She died at age 17. We got another dog, Pluto, but that is a one person dog. He stays with my daughter constantly.
But, the cats migrate toward me at meal time and nap time, for them, which is a lot of the day.
I covered my drawing table, in front of my window, with newspapers, for painting. Of course, the cats like to sleep there, or just look out the window !
In the photos, there is, at the top, the visiting, solid black tomcat, named Ike. He came to our door the night that the rain started as Hurricane Ike was moving in. We gave him shelter for a few days, then he left. But, he comes back several times a day, to eat Iams cat food, drink, and nap. Then he leaves. He has found a way to get into the house around the bathtup pipes, so, if we don't open the door when he wants to come in, he just makes his own way in and out of the house.
He is a large, gorgeous cat, like a small panther.
Long ago, when dreaming of things I wanted in the future, I thought I would like to have, not an ordinary Cadillac, but a solid white four door Jaguar with white leather interior. And, instead of diamonds, I wanted emeralds. And I wanted, instead of a fancy dog, a gorgeous panther. I guess we sort of have a panther, now. Ike is solid black, with green eyes, and very quiet.
In the center photo, during nap time, I put a couple of soft blankets on my bed, and Bitsy takes a nap there. Bitsy is 23, and still hanging on, though she is a sick lady with renal failure. She has lost so much weight, but she is still Bitsy and can outrun me!
Simba has been sitting on the back of my chair while I am either on the computer or at my drawing table. He is in the bottom photo. Simba is the king of the house-the Alpha male. He is very smart, and cuddly, usually, keeps the dog and everyone else under control. In the photo, he is on the back of the chair which is covered with one of my painting shirts to keep the little claws out of my leather chair! You can see Ike curled up on the table in the background.
The window is a good place for cats to watch squirrels and rabbits romping in the yard and Oak trees, and the birds that like to perch in the Crepe Myrtle in front of the window. And it is a good place for me to watch the changing light and shadows, and the occasional car that passes by.
My human helpers are not so interested anymore. They are more into computers and games, these days.
Have you had the Swine Flu?
I don't like "politically correct", or numbers, so, to me, it is going to stay the Swine Flu. Once I've learned something one way, it's hard to change to fit someone's whims. I heard a story today, on the news, saying that a worker from Mexico, in Canada, spread the Swine Flu to the pigs he was working with. It's all very confusing, to people all over the world. Now they are saying that the flu may be dying down some, but could return, even changed, and worse in the fall.
Personally, I don't want the flu, swine or otherwise. We're washing hands more and hoping that it doesn't get worse. The people who seem to be having the worst time with it, are those who already have some medical problems.
Esther Read's granddaughters made the cutest video about Swine Flu! It should be put on You Tube or somewhere.
Have you done a picture about Swine Flu? I did one a while back and put it on my blog, but that was about having the flu long ago. I'll have to do something about the current illness.
I think it was Geraldo Rivera who was reporting about Swine Flu last week, and he said that, everytime he does a segment on the flu, or hears a story about it, he starts feeling sick-sore throat, feverish, etc. I am that way too! My throat starts hurting every time they talk about the flu! But, in a little while, with another story, I'm cured! I'm not usually that easily influenced.
Hope that you all stay well! Go away, Swine Flu! -And allergies!
I've been reminiscing by looking through old Trevalcs, the Calvert High School yearbook. That started as I was looking for old pictures to use on the groups I started for Calvert High School Trojans alumni on Yahoo and on Facebook. If you went to school in Calvert, join the groups and share your pictures. I enjoyed seeing the addition of a photo of the Calvert Cemetery, with several memories from growing up in Calvert. Remember walking past there, between the park and the cemetery, at night, after a movie at the Eloia, or a football or basketball game at the school?
I walked from the Eloia to my house, near the school, at night, or back home after visiting a friend, a few times, and I was plenty scared! I almost ran from street light to street light. I think the worst time was after watching one of those scarey movies about space, and then having to walk home in the dark. I just knew that space ships with monsters were going to appear from out of the stars and swoop down from the school to my house! I usually convinced a friend to walk at least part of the way home with me, but that didn't get me past the park and cemetery with protection.
Of course, we just had to walk through the cemetery during Halloween parties! Well, that's another story.
During the day, it was a peaceful place to walk and spend time. The iron benches through the cemetery and some of the stone benches were nice to sit and rest on, especially on a hot day.
I've already shared our experiences of giving wild flowers to people who were coming out of the cemetery after funerals in an earlier post. You can find those under Older Posts.
I also started a group for people who are interested in Calvert, and that is where Judy R. added the cemetery picture and memories. That is an open group for anyone to join on Face Book.
Thanks for reading and sharing!
There will be no meeting of the Brazos Valley Art League tomorrow, but, instead, there will be a luncheon at the Art Center on May 12th. See their newsletter for May or the website for more information.
They are also having the Lone Start Art Guild Convention starting on Friday at the Brazos Center. More information about that, too, on the website and in the newsletter, as well as the LSAG website.
I added two links under Interesting Sites on my sidebar. One is a link to the trailer for the PBS series, "We Shall Remain" -The Cherokee.
The other is a link to the website "Der Familiename Konitzer/Conitzer. This is the very interesting website from Germany for those interested in Polish/Prussian/German genealogy and information.

Join my Followers or my groups, if you haven't already. You can also subscribe to my blog, if you haven't done so already.
I appreciate your interest!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Getting Ready for Saturday Night

Getting Ready for Saturday Night
8.5" x 11"
Girls in a dorm, getting ready for Saturday night dates. Girls are busy checking themselves in the mirror, putting on makeup, fixing hair, deciding on what to wear, talking about the boys who will be calling for them soon. Music drifts through the suite from a radio.
One girl, in the foreground, waits. Is she waiting for the phone to ring for her? Perhaps her boyfriend is elsewhere and can't come to see her this Saturday night. Could it be that she is hoping that the girls will ask her to come along, with their boyfriend bringing a blind date for her. Or maybe she has a big problem to think about.
Will she spend a Saturday night, almost alone in the dorm, listening to romantic music on the radio, while the other girls are out dancing, going to the movies, or partying?
Will she spend the evening catching up on studying or writing a paper?
Could it be that she might spend this Saturday night washing her hair, playing solitaire, or Hearts with other dateless girls?
Perhaps she will spend the evening writing a letter or talking on the phone to that boy, so far away.
Or maybe, she will stay in her room and worry about her problem.
Possibly, the phone might ring down the hall, and she will rush to get dressed and go out and have a good time, with almost everyone else in the dorm.
What will Saturday night hold?
After I had decided to share this drawing on my blog, I found a new blogger who is writing about her dating experiences. I do remember a lot of mine, but the experiences are not new, by any means! I'm sure that the new blogger is young.
I hope that you got to go to First Friday in downtown Bryan last night. So much to do. And, if you are on campus at A&M, they are running a shuttle so that students can go more easily.
If you didn't get to go, plan on going next first Friday. I'm sure that it is a lot of fun.
My computer has been acting up again. I spent hours and hours trying to select and make a slide show of pictures from the last Sketch Crawl. I put those pictures on several sites including the Sketch Crawl website, Flickr, Brazos Valley Sketchers on Face Book, and BrazosValley_Sketchers on Yahoo. But, I haven't been able to do that slideshow. It hung yesterday and I lost it all, so I gave up and just scanned some pictures. I guess I will have to post them in small groups.
Nothing, computerwise, worked very well yesterday. It seems worse since I added IE8. That changed everything over to Yahoo instead of Sudden Link. More computer problems to try to figure out!
I did start on my blog, several times, but just gave up the whole business and shut off the computer.
If you are stork watching, there are several eggs in the nest in Poland. Be sure to look at the sites under Stork Sites in my sidebar. They are very interesting to watch. You can get attached!
Enjoying my blog? Why not subscribe, if you haven't already? Or add your name to my list of Followers? Thank you to those of you who have done those things!