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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Hotel Art

I really enjoyed viewing the artwork in various hotels and motels along the way.  Slanted snapshots were my attempt to prevent flashbulb glare...

(OOPS)






BEAR: Up Close, A Bit Stuffy

This bruin was in the lobby of the Days Inn at the top of a hill in Sutton, West Virginia.  The morning I was to leave, drizzle and fog had drifted in over the hills and valleys.  I puttered around, putting off my departure until the mist had lifted somewhat.




Map of West Virginia
Stained Glass Depiction of West Virginia - Looks like a Blue Turkey!

Rest Stop Monument

This monument to the Combat Wounded was at another rest stop along the highway.  It seems I've read part of the poem somewhere before.  I left the biker to his thoughts, although I wondered if he had a story to tell...




Sutton Side Trip

My traveling companion lit up like a Christmas tree when she saw the tall Shoney's Restaurant highway sign.  Nostalgia attack.  So we took the next exit.  Drove to the right.  No Shoney's.  We turned around and drove to the left.  Still no Shoney's.  The road entered the quaint town of Sutton, West Virginia.

Following a creek, it lead us through the historic downtown section.

The road narrowed, and narrowed, becoming an ancient brown brick road.  (Not quite OZ.)  Said road was only wide enough for cars parked on both sides and one to ride down the middle.  We took turns with on-coming traffic.  It was SO bumpy with pits and frost heaves (I presume)- we were both needing to get to a rest stop sooner than later.  Of course laughing didn't help the situation any...

Looks Fairly Level.  Wasn't!!!
Drive No Further!!!

Interesting Road Name?
A gravel road leading up a steep hill to a secluded cemetery beckoned me to explore, until I remembered how plentiful ticks can be and how unpleasant discovering and removing them always is.  Been there, done that.  Nice gate!



Adventuring: West Virginia


The hills and valleys are verdant as trees unfurl their leaves, flowers bloom and farmers work the fields.  The air was fragrant and humid.

Dogwood?

Can Anyone Identify These Similar Pink and White Blossoming Trees?

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Adventuring: Pennsylvania

Last week I had opportunity to make a North - South trip, reversed directions and came back South -North.  Along the way I took some pictures, picked up some colorful travel brochures, and brought back a Southern Drawl.  It was so easy... and I didn't even know I was talking Southern until I stopped at an auto parts store and almost said "Ha y'all!"  Total mileage:  Approximately 1400 in five days.  Phew!

This Is How They Can Tell It's Cold Out- Indicator Turns Blue
One highway rest stop was built atop an old mining cave where there was a tragic accident.  This is the monument to the coal miners who lost their lives.

Someone had painted a mural, which was displayed along one wall inside the visitors' center.





Thursday, May 14, 2015

Gifts of Currie

Today I have received the sad news of the passing of one of my MMSA exchange pen pals.  The earth is diminished somehow when one of us moves on.  She and I shared emails and art, but mostly she gave me a glimpse of her heart.  Some of her many wonderful qualities were
A JOY FOR LIVING
A POSITIVE ATTITUDE
A THIRST FOR LEARNING
A GENEROSITY OF SHARING
A GIFT FOR CREATING WONDERFUL ART
AN ACCEPTANCE OF WHATEVER LIFE DEALT HER

I sent her some mail art 1+1/2 weeks after her passing.  I did not know, but I somehow sensed that soon, very soon, we would have to say "Goodbye" to a very special person.  I'm not ready to say "Goodbye," but maybe "See you later?" would suffice.

Here are some scans of some of the artsy tidbits she shared with me after a house-cleaning about a year ago:














"Rest in peace, dear sweet Currie,
you will be sorely missed
yet ever in our hearts and thoughts,
and Mail Art albums!
So glad to have had the opportunity to know you."


Bounteous Blossoms

Today I wanted to capture the beauty of pink clouds adorning our crab apple tree.  The sun made them glow, but the wind was teasing them to bob and dip so that I doubted I would get a clear picture.  Still, here are three views I wanted to share.  Last year only one or two large branches blossomed, so this year's profusion is a welcome sight.  Close, closer, closest- glorious Spring!










Sunday, May 10, 2015

Thank You Dr. Seuss

"Sometimes the well of creativity seems..." dry?  I decided to just start.  Just do something!  So I sprayed water on a large sheet of watercolor paper, dabbed on yellow watercolor paint, smeared it around... Then added more water and blue and green paints along the the top and bottom edge of the page and let the paint drip down.  After cutting it into postcard-sized pieces, I auditioned some circles punched out of magazine pages. Nothing was jumping out at me.  I let it sit a while.

A day (or three?) later, I decided to glue on the circles.  But something else was needed.  I augmented the watercolor background with watercolor pencils and wet-smudged, then outlined shapes (like stems) with coordinating roller-point pens, adding details (thorns, grass, leaves).  I also wrote about the process inside the stems and flower head shapes.

The blank spaces bothered me.  My old fall-back:  rubber stamps for fill-in.

After inking the PC edges for a finishing touch, I think I sort of like the results- some more than others.  These postcards will be used for some informal mail-art exchanges.  They are most certainly quirky, odd, different than anything I've done before.  Enjoy!


Flower Heads With Text

A 3-Legged Creature with Bush Tail?

Ukulele?  Dulcimer?