Thursday, August 30, 2012

Summer's End

August is winding down. What few neighborhood children there are here have gone back school. The university students are back, which makes the local merchants happy, especially the bar owners. The mornings are crisp, the skies are that August blue, and we actually had a very nice, rainy day at the beginning of the week. The tomato plants are full of green tomatoes which had better hurry up and start turning red before the first frost hits.

I have become slightly addicted to the IPad, finding it ever so handy to look up things with on the spot, so to speak. Say I’m watching a movie and I wonder who that actor is. Instead of getting up and going to the laptop. I just reach down by my throne, pick it up and zoom to IMDB and there it is. I have downloaded “Ulysses” to read. One of those books one is supposed to have read before one turns 85, and have at least started it. Who knows if I shall actually make my way through Joyce’s arcane allusions and ya hadda be there jokes and puns? This is not an annotated version. We’ll see.

Still painting but I am running out of photographs to paint from. I have a lot of them, but not all are suitable subjects. I haven’t tried any landscapes yet. Probably should. The local library has pout out a call for local artists for a new gallery they have started. It’s basically a wall under the stairs, but I think I’ll check it out.

Here are the latest, hot off the palette.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Painting and IPad

Still at it, painting away in Amish country. The house above is in Geauga County, on Bundysburg Road.  I love that name. I wonder if there is a Bundysburg somewhere up there. There is one part of that road that provides a stunning view in the fall. It is on a hill and through a gap I the trees you can see in the distance a group of farms below. I may try a picture of that, since I have a number of photos I have taken over the years.

The yellow barn is in Stark County, just before you get to Holmes County. I have always liked that barn. I don’t think it is an Amish farm any more, but is definitely an Amish barn. The front part of the little shed next to it has that yellow brick that is common down in Holmes County.

Besides painting I have been playing with my IPad. With Sally’s help I have downloaded a couple of interesting free apps. I’m waiting for a clear night so I can use the one which shows you what you’re looking at in the night sky. The night of the Persiaed showers was too cloudy to see anything, which is not unusual around here, not that I would have needed the app to see that. I Miss the starry skies of my youth, before we lit up the darkness and created light pollution….at least here in Northeastern Ohio.

I’ve used the IPad to watch a couple of movies on YouTube. One night I watched “Death in Venice,” featuring music from Mahler’s 5th symphony, that beautiful Adagio movement. I used to do my Tai Chi set to that. As long as I was in the Mahler mood, I watched a zany bio flick about Mahler by Ken Russell. Totally surrealistic, with the beautiful Michael Powell (he also played Jesus Christ in another movie) as Gustav. Fine music along with the craziness’ of Russell’s interpretation of Mahler’s life.

I am not doing this on the IPad. With one finger typing it would take me all night. But I do enjoy wasting time with it. Oh, I did Facetime with my German daughter the other day. Great fun. John said we should put in at the table and have her join us for Sunday dinner.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Birthday and Techno Geezerdom

I turned eighty freaking five this week. It was quite a pleasant birthday. Emily made a really lovely “Happy Birthday” video which she put on FB and also sent to everyone in the known world. As a result,  I received a lot of very nice Email from friends and family from all over. That was a really nice surprise. John brought me back a fine little book from Canada, where he had been attending a Celtic folk festival. The book is about the Group of Seven, Canadian painters from the early 20th century whose style is similar to that of Gabriele Munter, the German expressionist whose work I am emulating (trying to, that is) in the Amish paintings I’m doing. Polly sent a lovely bowl of sunflowers. John and Sally and I went out to a fine dinner at the Bistro, a new-ish local restaurant with pretty good food and a stylish ambience, located in the site of a favorite family eatery, Missimi’s ( child friendly joint with spaghetti the specialty).  

The day after my birthday a package arrived for me and in it was an IPad, from Emily and family. I spent a few fruitless hours trying to get an Apple ID, fruitless because it refused to accept my Email address. A phone call to Apple got that sorted out and now I can go anywhere on it. I expect to waste huge amounts of time playing with it. The best thing, for me, is the ability to enlarge the print so easily and eventually download books. And also to play with the Facetime app with the far off Petrou family….much better than Skype.

I am determined to continue painting. These are pre-IPad, of course, but I have some subjects lined up. Just ordered more canvas board and gesso from Cheap Joe’s, a terrific online art supply place I have used a lot in the past when I was taking art classes at KSU a few years ago. The book about the Group of Seven has given me more ideas, so I shall have fun and do crazy, wild things with paint.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

What I'm Doing

And the Holmes County obsession continues. The one above is on a trade above the village of Charm. Somewhere I have a photograph of the village school, with the name “Charm School” sculptured in sandstone above the entry. I’ll have to fig around to find it. It is right in the village, rather than our on a country road, and is not strictly an Amish school. I have always loved that school sign. Charm is a neat little village with a pleasant restaurant, an antique shop, an Amish shop and a few other businesses. At one house in town, the Amish owner had a cage with two very fat and beautiful squirrels and a fenced in yard with deer. I think he hopes that tourists will stop and from the size of the squirrels, they do. From Charm, you drive up into the hills to Doughty Valley and that’

S the road on which the farm with the red barn sits.

The one below is that Amish meeting which I saw but did not photograph, so this one is done from memory. The Amish generally meet at their homes, and you will see dozens of buggies pulled up in the yard when there’s a meeting. This one was at a church, so it might have been a particular sect which does use meeting houses or church buildings. It was near a very small village on the border of Holmes and Columbiana counties. It was a study in green, black and white and left quite an impression on me. I used a small color pencil sketch of this scene on a previous blog.

I think what I’m going to do next is a painting of the men at the horse auction in Mt. Eaton.

Maybe I’m doing all this because I can no longer hop in the car and go down there when I fell like it. It’s a beautiful place. Then again, we have an area closer to us in Geauga County and I have taken a lot of pictures up there, too.  Watch out.