hey….it’s a start….it’s also fattening….

I’ve been reading that in order to improve your painting skills….you should paint everyday. Nothing big….a small work….a couple of inches by a couple of inches. Okay.  That said….yesterday I was thinking I have been eating way too many carbs.  So chicken salad for dinner….no croutons (you know, those things that make salad less sad)….with a big cup of coffee (decaf) for dessert.  And scrambled eggs for breakfast.

Now to start painting a small work.  Usually I have a difficult time deciding what to paint.  This morning….no problem. I’ve been painting with oils….but today thought I’d give acrylics a try….God they dry quickly.   Oils you can push around for hours….sometimes days.  But acrylics want you to get your butt in gear….because when they are done (dry)….so are you.  At least that is my limited experience.

This is what I was inspired to paint today….



A chocolate shake from the 5 & Diner.  I’ve only been to one (several times….okay….repeatedly) in Arizona.  I don’t think there are any 5 & Diners up in the Pacific Northwest.  Just as well.  Carbs would be the least of my problems….having my own gravitational pull would.

In truth, I didn’t quite finish this small work….for several reasons. The first being I don’t much care for acrylics. I swear one potty break and the painting was dry.  The other reason for not finishing the painting….my husband offered to take me to lunch….at a different diner….where I had pancakes.

To sum up….I don’t like acrylics but I do like carbs.


A New Year

An actually conversation from yesterday….

Husband:  Let’s go to Cafe Rio for lunch.

Me:  But it’s Shrimp & Corn Chowder day at Wildflower Bakery.

Husband:  We can go there tomorrow.

Me:  But it won’t be Shrimp & Corn Chowder day tomorrow….and tomorrow is Three Cheese Cauliflower Soup day at Kneaders Bakery.

Then it dawned on me….

I know I’m not young….but holy crap….I’m can’t be this old.

It’s bad enough that I’m a little too knowledgeable of soup rotations at various restaurants….but you don’t even need teeth to enjoy them.

Back to blogging….because as I’ve said….everyone needs a hobby….ideally not soup rotation related.







This 365 photo experiment is not as easy as I thought it would be.

I’ve missed a few.

No excuses….but one caveat….I’m older.  Being older, and for no reason other than, when Mother Nature and Father Time gang up on you the results can be unpleasant.  That’s a whiney way of saying….yesterday I felt achy.  You wake up and wonder if you’ve walked in your sleep and in your somnambulant wanderings….got hit by a bus.

Decrepitude aside….yesterday I’d been noodling a daily prompt from….PhotoBlog.

The prompt was Space.

I thought and thought….had some ideas….rejected them all….so when evening came, along with the realization that my creativity combined with crankiness culminates in bupkis….I was disappointed in myself.  But not so much that I wouldn’t indulge myself….Hey! I was feeling poorly!….I flopped on the sofa and watch television at it’s finest.  I watched San Andreas.  If you didn’t get a chance to catch it on TNT last night….you should know it was awesome in it’s overblown crappiness.  I love disaster movies.  Earthquake, Volcano, Airplane….love ’em….the cheesier the better….tv should come with more cheese.  But Sharknado….really?….I couldn’t bring myself to finish it.  So awful a choice it should come with a walk of shame.

After San Andreas, I was exhausted but now in love with Dwayne Johnson….

who can do everything from piloting a helicopter through crumbling highrises to navigating a small boat over an incoming tsunami while dodging the twin propellers of a capsizing giant freighter….plus….he can hold his breath under water for like 10 minutes!  I was also delighted to find that a frequent Saturday night indulgence was on two hours earlier than normal.  Svengoolie.  Like Vampira and Dr. Morgus of old….he hosts late night horror movies…only now at 10:00 pm….which is nice….if you’re older.  But last night he came on at 8:00!  The Powers of Cheesy TV must have known I was under the weather as well as the weight of two pugs….making it hard but not impossible to reach for my camera….conveniently parked on the coffee table.

Last nights Svengoolie offering was….



It has all the elements required for cinematic success.

Your sleepy desert town….

A UFO (always initially mistaken for a meteor) plummeting to earth….

A close up of said meteor….so the viewing public could see it’s no meteor and the string is barely noticeable….

Two people (always the two most attractive people in town) who happen to be stargazing that evening….

An Alien….may be malevolent….or indifferent….but always cheesy….

and though some of the town folk do get taken over by the alien….they look normal but act strangely and sorta menacing….I’m hard pressed to be harsh with the alien because….

IT LEAVES A TRAIL OF GLITTER!!!….What is not to love!

All in all….an evening well spent.  And….fulfills my daily photo prompt of….Space.

Okay….it’s a cheap attempt….but I had a headache.




Prompts & circumstances

Left to my own devices my creativity peters out.

Photography and other art classes worked for me because they pushed me to tackle things I normally wouldn’t have taken on.  Plein air painting?! ….ya mean outside?….IN FRONT OF PEOPLE!!??

Then I discovered Prompts.  Then I discovered how many people contribute them….thank you Internet.

Prompts….nudges….idea incubators….call them what you will, it’s kinda like putting your brain on a creative scavenger hunt.

Works for me.

There are numerous prompt compilations, but I this one grab my attention ….


Saw the Structure one yesterday morning and for the rest of the day thought “hmmm structure, structure structure, how could structure be interpreted?….hmmmm”.  Then it hit me….literally.  I ran smack dab into a spider web.  And after that frantic dance known only to arachnophobes as OH DEAR GOD IS THERE A SPIDER ON ME!!?? was over….I had my structure.

I am an arachnophobe.

I have a studio creativity pit in the basement….and this scenario has played out several times….

me (running up the stairs):  “PACK UP! We are moving!”

Husband (not looking up from latest Car & Driver magazine) :  “Spider in the basement?”

But still, as long as they don’t surprise, stalk (oh yes they do), or try to suck the blood from me while I sleep (or anytime for that matter), I find them fascinating to photograph.  And the circumstance I find myself in is….spiders love my house.

This one….Charlotte….was building a web on the underside of my deck railing….probably having mistaken one of my pugs for a pig.

She is not my Structure picture….she just put me off eating crab for a long time….the similarity being glaringly unpleasant.

This represented Structure to me….

Builder & building.

Nice large aperture….fuzzed up the woods in back nicely….but this guy too was on my deck.

I know spiders are beneficial.  And not all of them send me into a stampeding frenzy….just the ones with visible meat on their exoskeleton….guh….that made me shudder.






It’s awesome

I cracked and bought a new camera….a Nikon D500.

I hemmed and hawed….weighed pros and cons….necessity vs. luxury….and finally thought….

screw it….I’ve more time behind me than ahead of me….so it’s a go!….I make more and more decisions lately using that logic….and, so far, haven’t regretted a one.

By the time I got the battery stoked it wasn’t quite evening but the light was waining….


85mm f/1:1.4

Are there star filters anymore?

A little later….

same lens….tripod mounted, mirror up….and just spitballed the time until I got something pretty.

Last night was beautiful and clear….tonight will be a different story.  We’ve had muted sunshine today due to forest fires.  When British Columbia is on fire the prevailing winds have given us scratchy throats and husky voices but beautiful sunsets….

My little town

Like most small towns near Seattle, my little town struggles with growth while trying to retain that small town feel.  The powers that be tell us we are almost grown out….there is very little room left for growth.  My inner Emmet Watson rejoices!  But knowing when growth can’t go out it goes up, I worry.  Apartments and condos are people concentrate, and those are the only options left.

I’m a late comer to my little town….I’ve only lived here for 15 years.

My original little town, about 25 miles south, exists in name only.  Its history and my tangible memories plowed under by prosperity….and that’s prosperity with a capital P.  Driving down Memory Lane in the original my little town, is becoming pointless.  There are fewer and fewer structures left that would trigger memory.  Most of the homes of family and old friends, deemed worth far less than the land on which they stood, have been replaced by, in modern parlance….McMansions.


Boo hoo.

This isn’t the first time this has taken place.

Near my house are a couple of tributes to previous inhabitants that probably disliked the changes they saw coming their way as well.





I wonder who will come next.


iPhone cameras have an upside and a downside.

On the upside….it’s easy to carry everywhere you go and the focal length is short so it has depth of field for miles. On the downside….I’m less than thrilled about the low light result….kinda noisy.  But I was even less thrilled about the small bat that was flitting around in the low light.  I took this pic when I was hunkered down hoping he wouldn’t notice me.  I became kinda noisy when I thought he did.