Monday, January 1, 2018

2018 Art

My art in the year 2018

Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca)

painted in watercolor by the gracious permission of wildlife photographer Richard Cronberg!  The bird is the smallest dabbling duck in America!  Dabbling means they upend to get at food below them.  Therefore, you will usually just see their rear-end tail feathers above the water as they feed!

Male Double-Crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)

in breeding colors!  

This bird lives along inland waterways, coastal areas, across North America from Alaska to Florida and on to Mexico.  It is an all-black bird but gets a small double crest of black and white feathers in breeding season. The use of DDT hurt their population but they are making a come-back!  With grateful appreciation to photographer Rocky Ledward for allowing me to paint this beautiful bird in watercolors!

Female Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)

This young female is wondering, "Why do all of the guys now have tufts of white feathers on their heads?  Painted in watercolors with the gracious permission of photographer Rocky Ledward!

The Happy Couple!

                                            Zadi May!

"If I am thinking correctly," said Winnie-the-Pooh, "a new baby is probably, undoubtedly the grandest gift that could ever be!" And as far as I'm concerned, Pooh is correct! 

Eliza Blu!!! how do you do!!!!

Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana)

painted in watercolor by the gracious permission of wildlife photographer Richard Cronberg!

Baltimore Oriole Icterus galbula  - (painted in watercolor by the gracious permission of

Canadian photographer Deb Johnston!

Show Off the strutting turkey!

painted in watercolor by the gracious permission of James Barnett!

The Sneeze Machines!
Sneeze scientists searched and finally found the place where all sneezes originate!  For their next step, they will seek to find a cure!  Hold on just a sec...."ACHOOOOO!"

Rainbow, rainbow, rainbow!
One of my favorite poems is "The Fish" by Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Bishop.  At first, she did not like this work and called it a "trifle" in a letter to a friend. There are many reasons why I love this poem!   To me it is about life's problems.  The fish has given up in the poem.  He has given up on living.  He had fought off many a foe and fisherman.  Yet, now the fish is ready to give up and concede his life.  He has accepted his fate and not fought this one last battle.  Life is like that for many of us.  As we approach the end of our lives, we should consider how much more there could be if we could strive just one more time.  We fight as well as we can against the stacked odds against us.  At one point, the way we view life, its obstacles, internal struggles, and the lack of will to survive are all defeated when we let these problems go, fade away, and when mercy is shown to us just as the fisherman did to this great, grunting weight in this fine poem!  If everything becomes, "Rainbow, rainbow, rainbow!" we will realize that eternity has just begun, and we won't have to worry anymore.

Where's the finish line?
We thought the race was over as everyone was all jammed up together.  But we couldn't
find the finish line or an official.  With bewildered looks on our faces, we wondered if a
prank had been played on us.  Or, did we take a wrong turn during the race?  As we all
turned to look at the one who had led the pack throughout the race, we noticed his
expression of shock to have caused this racing disaster.  As he ran off due to the looks of
some of the racers, he set a new land speed record which should stand for many years.

Pickled things!
Pickled things you never see as they happily morph along!  Mr. Pickles might see them on the pickleball court if he can hop fast enough!

Getting along with friends isn't always easy!  I try to think of a little sign my grandmother hung on her wall that said, "If you want a friend, you must first be one!"  I try to be friends with people I meet.  There have been times that I can't agree with everyone on all subjects, but I still try to get along with them.  I once knew a married couple that loved to cause trouble and create problems between friends.  I had to end that relationship.  Here I am discussing matters with my friends.  I know we are all different and don't look or think alike, but if they truly care about being good and kind to everyone then I will count them as my friend!

Being a meanie in public!
If you criticize, rebuke, or reprimand to severely in public, you may find that others listening to your
outburst may come over to teach you a lesson just as hard as the one you gave!  There is an old adage
which states, "Praise in public and criticize in private!"  So, if you don't want to be attacked or ridiculed yourself, then learn from this wise saying!

Ambulating the levitating way! - Creatures that can hover or levitate may have an advantage over others.  But, we all move the best we can!  And, as long as we can get to where we want to go - isn't that all that matters!  I just wish that the ones that can levitate weren't so smug about it...

The Slippery Slope of Life!
A slippery slope makes sledding easy!  But, some of us really didn't want to slide.

The Dividing Line -
We certainly disagree on many things on this planet!  Every side strongly believes in their ways!
But, all sides can't be right.  It is hard for me to understand when I correct a friend and prove what
he believes to be false, that he won't be happy to learn the truth.  I appreciate friends that do thank me
if I can show them they are wrong.  I, myself, would want to be corrected if I am wrong in my beliefs.  One big problem is with friends that believe they are right and try to show me their side of the discussion when I know they're wrong...  I guess I should just smile and nod so we can get along!

Time to remove that tree!
"The best way of spreading Christmas cheer is singing loudly for all to hear!"  What?  Christmas
is over?  Then, I'd better take down the lights and remove the tree!   Is it too late to eat some
black-eyed peas and turnip greens for luck?  It is?  Oh my!  I'm always too late!

Our New Word club got together to learn the word for the month, "Cacoethes!"   Which means,
"An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable."  Here we are all jammed up together to 
demonstrate our understanding of this word!  Can someone please untangle us!!!

Bug music!
Have you ever considered the music of bugs?  We were invited to a bug concert.  They described their music as "mellifluous" which meant it would be sweet and musical!  However, most of us just couldn't understand the words or sounds they made.  Perhaps you have to be a bug to understand their songs!

The Awkward Pause...
The time when you run into someone that calls out your name, but you can't remember who they are...

I'm standing steadfast in my beliefs despite the criticism of the world!  Even if I am faced with seemingly overwhelming forces!  After all, the world will only go one way, and I don't want to go in that direction.  

Cacoethes Scribendi!
Me and my friends just read the poem "Cacoethes Scribendi" by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. and have the uncontrollable urge to write!  Too bad we don't know how to write - especially with all of the unusual things that surround us!

Fishing Techniques in the 53rd Dimension!
Though sometimes they find themselves as the actual bait!

Speaking to oneself!
Words spoken while seemingly alone are seldom heard by others.  But, it is best to keep your eyes
open when blurting out unretractable, offensive mutterings!

Angry mutant bananas!
When bananas get mad, they mutate!  They are angry because so many brothers and sisters have been pealed and eaten!  Try to imagine a large group of angry Piranhas and you'll understand.  And don't even mention the Centerville National Banana Pudding Festival to these guys!  Or, are they just overly ripe, and no one wants them?  Sometimes it is hard to say...

Too much Yakking....
Is there anything that can't be known?  It certainly is harder to get to the truth of a matter when so many are yakking loudly away about their own particular opposing beliefs and view points.  And to quote, yet again, my old philosopher friend Charlie O, "Truth can not be found in falsehood!"

The Gossip Column!
A talebearer may reveal secrets that might be true but could also be false.  Words can wound and hurt deeply into a person's heart.  Fire can burn wood, but not spreading gossip can quickly put out a flame and cause strife to cease.  Usually gossip can say more about you than the other person!  So, please think before speaking about others!  As Bob Dylan sang in his song Positively 4th Street, "You've got a lot of nerve to say you are my friend!"

Macbeth Act 2 Scene 2
Our troupe of actors tried yet again to get through a play without a mistake.  But we just can't seem to
finish without a show stopping error.  We were in Macbeth Act 2 Scene 2 when our actress portraying Lady Macbeth said, "I heard the owl scream and the crickets cry.  Did not you speak?"  Our actor only had one word to say, "When?" but he replied, "Huh?"  After the onslaught of vegetables, we packed it all up for another day.  At least we can make soup tomorrow!

Floating along in life!
I love the slow, quiet floating along on the raft of life!  The peaceful stream sings a soft lullaby as we go!  Birds are chirping!  Butterflies are flitting!  But because it is so quiet, I can hear a distant roar....  Surely with all of this calm, there isn't a high waterfall just around the bend?

2018 Birdy Meeting!
The Birdy leadership had discussed not sending out a questionnaire this year before the annual meeting, but some still felt they should try to reach out to birds of the world and get their input.  Return replies were, "We want Alfred Hitchcock's film 'The Birds' shown more often on the tube!" "How long before the Red, Red Robin comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin' along?"  "Who would win a match-up between the Baltimore Orioles and the St. Louis Cardinals?"  "Why don't Ducks duck?"  "Why weren't there any birds in the movie - Bird on a Wire?"  "Why do some people want to kill two birds with one stone?"  "Why haven't we seen Larry Bird lately?"  "Why is a catbird seat an envious position as birds don't like cats let alone sitting with them?"  "Why is a person crazy as a loon when most loons are very wise?"  "Why are birdies not mentioned in major sports except for golf and badminton?"  The Birdy leadership decided they had been hacked again and needed their computers scanned for viruses after the crazy returns...

Bungle in the wrong jungle...
Jethro might consider that bungling can only happen in certain jungles and not in every one!  Ian must realize that the secret language of birds may only be understand by the birdy population but does have meanings even past a dawn chorus!  And he should know that the passion of the play did cause a certain concert goer to freak out and run off thereby missing the opening and the rest of the performance.  That poor guy even missed the phone call when you said, "It's for you!"

Ever Onward!
Onward we go to try and reach our destination!  However, time keeps throwing potholes, pitfalls, and stumbling blocks along our way.  We keep falling down but continue to get up and press on toward the goal!  We will make it!!!

Fishing techniques in the 53rd dimension - part 2
They think they have improved the bait, but are they safe from the huge lunkers that
dwell deep beneath the surface of the water?  The answer will depend upon how strong
a tug on the line they get!  Too big a tug, and we may never see them again!

Tee's Cap 2018
Tee has been retired now for almost five years!  He still thinks about his former job and his students!  He finds it hard to stop thinking about art lessons and trying to make them even better, although he does know his teaching days are over.  He still is very concerned about corruption which caused one of the sweetest, smartest teachers he knew to quit.  He wanted to turn the offenders into the state officials, but his friend said to let it go and she would retire.  So, another great teacher bit the dust and went into retirement.  Maybe she can start playing Pickleball!  After all, "Pickleball is cheaper than therapy!"

The little virus tries again!
The little virus mutated and tried to dance again.  This time he tried ballet to see if he'd be left alone.
However, the anti-bodies were waiting just off stage.

Philosophy 101
We all have our own ideas of what is important.  A study of the thinking processes and beliefs of our times
reveals that though our particular modern life has more conveniences than previous ancestors would ever
have dreamed of, we really haven't changed at all especially when we consider the discipline of our world still
remains lost in the cave over the many years of human existence!  Is this a fundamental truth about humans? 
Very few humans try to understand the nature, causes, principles of reality, knowledge, or what should be important human values.  Perhaps we need to go to class and learn!

Bully in the way...
I was just strolling along when a bully said, "Get out of my way!"  Would you step aside
or call for help from your much larger friends?

Sometimes it seems our conversations are hopeless.  Round and round we go and never seem to solve our differences.  There has to be a way to understand each other and the many view points that are opposite of what we believe!  Being kind to each other is a good way to start!  We should try to understand and learn from each other!  Please give it a try!

The Rainbow Connection explosion!
"Kermie!" said Ms. Piggy.  "Do you think I'm pretty as a rainbow?" "Ribbet!" replied Kermie.  Which translates as, "Why are there so many songs about rainbows?  Rainbows are only illusions.  Sometimes, sweet sounds call sailors to crash on the rocks!"  He used the word "ribbet" so that he wouldn't have to tell her how he really felt!  Sometimes, discretion is the best way to use words!

                    Happy but for the wrong reasons...
I once had two friends that thought it was so funny to cause trouble between people. They both loved
to see the strife they caused!  In this case, being happy and laughing at the problems they created was
not a good way to seek joy.  I eventually had to remove them from my list of folks I called "friends."

Surfing hazards
Catching a good ride can be fun unless you are person that was going up at the wrong time.

Not a stop for the train they call the City of New Orleans!
This is one station where the train they call the City of New Orleans refuses to stop.  The engineer always breathes a sigh of relief when he has gone 500 miles past this station when the day is done!

Truth is truth!
Truth comes from the smallest to the largest!  Accepting truth is up to you!

When a dream becomes real!
Everything seemed fine until I woke up and the dream was still going on!  Just have to hope for
a happy ending to make everything work out as my dreams can take many different paths!

The world and directions...
Why have we as humans always gone in such different directions?  If only we could work together,
we would accomplish so much more on this planet!

                              Talking so loudly that you can't be heard!
Human languages often lose something in translations.  Sometimes, the one who talks the loudest
may not actually believe in what he says and only use emphasis to try and influence others that he
is right.  Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "What you do speaks so loudly, I can't hear what you're

                                              Mr. Know-it-all!
When a person says, "I know it all!" how do you convince him that he's wrong?  Especially in a way
that won't hurt his feelings.  If he knew it all, then he'd know he's wrong!  Alessia Cara wrote in her
song "Seventeen" that she was just too young to understand and thought her father had lied about
time when he said we are like blades of grass that wither away.  However, she was young and now
knows that time cannot be frozen!  And although she thought she was a know-it-all, she now
understands that she just didn't know enough.

                                                  Fear is a liar!
At first, we were scared of everything.  But, then some learned fear could be overcome and proceeded to teach us the solution to not being afraid!  One suggestion was for us to listen to two songs!  One song, "Be Still" is by the band The Fray and was also used as a theme song during Abby's recent departure from  the TV show NCIS.  This song lets you know that even if you think you are alone, there is One always with you!  The other song, "Fear is a Liar" is by Zach Williams and gave us the wisdom to not listen or give in to fear!!!

                                                 Alien Technology?
We came to look at some new objects that had appeared in our neighborhood.  There were many opinions voiced about what these things might be.  "Alien technology put here by beings in UFO's!" some exclaimed.  "Mutant plant formations caused by radiation!" was another suggestion.  All of a sudden we looked around and realized that we were also strange looking.  As we walked away someone muttered, "Maybe we are mutants from another planet!"  "Namaste!" said one of the objects as we walked away.

TV Show Concerns!

Our dislike of the way current TV shows are broadcast caused us to go to the source to protest!

We want to know why the shows we love last for 6 - 8 weeks, but then won't come back on for at least another year.  We tend to forget what the show was about by that time.  We want the TV executives to know we are upset!  We will refuse to buy advertised goods until they rectify this problem!  The main exec came out, laughed at us and said, " We don't care!"

Dark Matter/Gray Matter/Empty Matter/Doesn't Matter?
"Dark Matter" was a syfy tv show that I really loved!  The bigwigs or small-brain-wigs (as they could be called) made the decision to not continue the show for a fourth season.  Oh well...  There are so many shows that begin and then disappear after one season that I probably should just give up and listen to music!  My friends and I are trying to portray the show in this scene.  Do you think we got it right?

Looking toward the future?
Which way should we look?  Time goes by in one direction, and covers us with mortal dialections.
We have problems understanding this concept.  Being human isn't easy!  Dialectics can have different meanings and linguistic phenomena problems.  One refers to refers to a variety of language usage that is a characteristic of a particular group. Which can be a problem due to regions, nations, and world beliefs.  In this drawing, most of us were looking in one direction while one guy wanted to go the other way.  We looked in the direction in which we thought time would approach.  He was certain we were looking the wrong way!  "Follow the crowd!" I always say.  Surely they wouldn't lead us off a cliff...

On this world but not of it

So much confusion, chaos, and madness going on in this world.  I stand away because I just do not want to be a part of it.  I will observe and try to do what I can while I meander through existence without failing or falling.  There is still good being done, and that's where we should concentrate our efforts!!!

Conversations that just shouldn't be overheard!
Sometimes being in the wrong place may cause you to hear something that you just didn't want to know about! I know it has happened to me!  One time I was in the right place, but someone said the wrong thing!  And now on TV, I'll see something that I just don't think should be out in public!  Am I in the wrong place while watching TV?  I can at least change the channel, but then I'll see it again on another channel!