Monday, December 25

The 4 Questions Quiz

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4 Jobs I've had:

Custodian... or how I got through college, truly a philosopher's profession
Custodian again... I had 17 different custodial routes actually... long dark hallways late at night
Tour guide...
Substitute teacher... started me thinking about art for children's books

4 Movies I could watch over and over

Jeeves & Wooster
Amadeus
Sense & Sensibility
Cold Comfort Farm
Or any movie with a pastoral estate basically... for escapism's sake.

4 Places I have lived (apart from where I live now)

Denver... that's where I grew up and it still seems as close to home as anywhere, though I've lived in Seattle longest.
2 Manhattans: Manhattan Kansas where I got a driver's license at age 13... and New York City's Manhattan, where I could lean out my window and see the Museum of Natural History down the street.
Washington D.C... that's where I went to high school. Fabulous museums! I'd bus down to the Mall every weekend...
Salt Lake City... that's where I got my degree in English. A part of the world that seems forgotten, fabulous and forbidding....

4 TV shows I love

The Reclaimers (history, travel, antiques & commerce)
Ask This Old House (useful information!)
Mystery... Morse, Miss Marple... anything tweedy & chintzy & intriguing with crunchy gravel drives
Seinfeld. Seinfeld's TV address (West 81st street) was just 2 blocks from my old NYC address.

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4 Places I have been for vacation:

Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park,
Banff, Lake Saranac, Arches, Zion, Escalante
Dinosaur National Park (rafting down the Green River)
Olympic National Park

Hmmm.... do I detect a pattern here?
I like wild places? I can't afford Paris?

4 Websites I visit every day:

I visit way more than that!

4 Favorite foods:

Cheerios
Mandarin oranges & green tea
Coffee
Salmonburgers with red onions
Anything easy to fix... preferably with a toaster.

4 Places I would rather be:

In a log cabin in the woods
In a log cabin by a lake or snow capped mountain
I always wanted to try one of those gated suburban Shangri-La's... just out of curiosity... island kitchen... decks galore... gigantic yard... 2 acre cedar roof... woods for my backyard.
A farmhouse in Tuscany or Bordeaux... 18th century preferably

Painting at the top is one I did about 10 years ago...

Tuesday, December 19

The Halcyon Days

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Here we have it, the famous windstorm of '06. You'll note that the 100 foot tree is snapped rather than uprooted. Just imagine the force that must have taken! 8 hours of non-stop tree-toppling-nerve-wracking-up all night wind. This was preceded by a deluge of 2" of rain for an hour which had me sweeping 200 gallons of water across my basement floor to the drain for 2 hours. It needed a good mopping. I'm lucky my power didn't stay off more than 20 minutes... since 1/4 of the city has gone 3 days in freezing temperatures without any electricity.

And today's main problem?... finding a parking spot at the shopping center... not to mention finding the elusive perfect gift.
Xmas! Such a pain! Who needs it?

Best rule I've discovered... "Buy the first thing you see". It works about the same actually. This whole Xmas illusion is created by advertising.

How about a Holiday devoted entirely to engaging in irritating and expensive tasks to be performed in overheated, overcrowded spaces... with a ticking deadline and multiple impossible obstacles to overcome before finally making it to the finish line whereupon in the emotional spotlight of the season one is rewarded with a feeling of personal failure and the impossibility of things being the way you'd wished they might be?

No wait... they already have a Holiday like that. They call it Christmas...
LOL! At least the brandy & eggnog ought to be spot on.

So there... Scrooge has spoken.

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Actually I'm very much looking forward to the timeless days of the Holiday. Working on a great new book... which will relish all the timeless days it can find.

The Halcyon Days, my favorite... that time between Xmas and New Years. The Halcyon Days encompass the fourteen-day period centered on the Winter Solstice when the sea is commanded to be calm and the wind light by none other than Aeolus, keeper of the winds and one of the lesser Greek deities.

Whew! I'm ready for that...

Tuesday, December 5

A Splendid Evening

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I had a splendid evening out at a recent gallery opening here in Seattle, which featured a small part of the gallery with illustrations by moi!

The Fountainhead Gallery on Queen Anne hill in Seattle was the location. A collected Holiday show of illustration by some local Northwest artists was the featured exhibit... up all this month. There were gorgeous paintings by Richard Jesse Watson from some of his recent books... including 'The Night Before Christmas'. I'd never seen any of his originals before, but the colors are quite stunning in real life. Published artwork can never quite match the originals... as I've discovered from personal experience. Also Jesse Watson junior was there, along with Pier Morgan and Max Grover, who couldn't make it in person. A great collection of local children's book artists.

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Anyhow, it was lots of fun to sign some of my books and generally hob nob with artists and patrons. I even sold one piece that night! What a nice surprise. I was very flattered just to be invited to particpate.

I'd love it if some day I could just paint on canvas and see my work hanging in galleries. I suppose it's just a matter of putting in the hours to make it all happen. But that's the problem with being a Sunday painter... usually I'm so tired from making images the other six days of the week, by the time Sunday rolls around I'd rather do anything else but make more pictures. Then there's the additional problem of getting spoiled by all the fun of sloshing paint just for fun without jumping through all the hoops of doing an illustration. Makes coming back to the drawing board a challenge sometimes.

Oh well.. some day maybe...

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