Saturday, January 7, 2017

2017 Art

My art in the year 2017

The Grigsby Siblings!
When you have great parents you become wonderful adults!

The Seafarer (watercolor 16 X 12 inches on Arches watercolor block)

Baby Grant Go! -  he's a happy baby!

Cousin Ray Burch

Green Heron (Butorides virescen) Butorides is from Middle English butor "bittern" and Ancient Greek -oides, "resembling", and virescens is Latin for "greenish. (wikipedia)

Painted in watercolor with the gracious permission of photographer Rocky Ledward!

Smooth-billed Ani (Crotophaga ani)

Painted in watercolor with the gracious permission of wildlife photographer Rocky Ledward!  The Smooth-billed Ani is rare to the USA but are sometimes found in Florida.  A communal nest is shared by the females which lay up to nine eggs each.  Nests have been found containing 29 eggs but rarely will more than 10 hatch.  Three broods may occur in one season and the previous young may help in raising the new hatchlings!

A Blue Jay for Christmas! (Cyanocitta cristata)
(painted in watercolor by the gracious permission of photographer Rocky Ledward!)

American Rubyspot Damselfly (Hetaerina americana)
This beauty can be found in many of the lower 48 states except for Washington State and Idaho, and is the most widespread of the North American Rubyspots.  It is also found from Mexico to Eastern Canada.  Many thanks to Canadian photographer, Deb Johnston, for her gracious permission to paint this beauty in watercolor!

The Very Blue Jay! (Cyanocitta cristata)
"Are you talking about me behind my back?  I don't like that!  It also hurts my neck
to turn my head around like this!  So, stop that!!!"
(painted in watercolor from a photograph by Rocky Ledward!)

Tony (1988 - 2008) he is greatly missed by his family...

"Hollywood" the horse!
He was greatly loved by a young lady for many years...

Baby Roman - his mother sings to him, "I'll love you forever!  I'll like you for always!  As long as I'm living, my baby you'll be!"

Fall leaf 2017

Tangled up in blue?
Nope!  No blue here! At least not the color blue.  But many of us are tangled up in what the new year may bring.  And that is making some of us very blue indeed!  I talk to friends who see things so differently than do I.  Sometimes it takes a disaster to force people to see.  I know it took a flood for my grandmother's family to leave Johnstown, Pa.  Sometimes in life, you have to be hit over the head, fall off a cliff, or wake up to reality before you can see you are going in the wrong direction...

Rainbow Stew!
There are a lot of colors in this "stew of life" on our planet, but Merle, even if I misquoted him, would never want to eat any even with a free Bubble Up!  

When Nessie came to learn!
To put it in her words, "I thought I'd finally found someone to explain existence to me!  But after careful observation, I understood that he could only explain reality from his own point of view.  So back to the Loch I go!  If this is the best wisdom that can be found on our planet, then I should have just stayed home and listened to my friends mistakenly try to explain what they think is going on!"

                                  Contemplating 2017
Why are we here?  Something either fooled us to go in this direction, or we just couldn't avoid the time and circumstances that led us to this destination.  Still, here we are in this mess and somehow must figure out how to solve this new experience!  So, we will take a deep breath as chaos calls and hope for the best!

Choir Practice!
Good morning Choir!  I understand that you have selected "The Choir of the World" as your name.  To warm up for the first time, let's all hit a middle C note! Ready?  Begin!  BRRRGRRGHATTT!  BEEP! BEEP! HONK! HONK!! SPLAT! BLECH!  How could all of you try for one note but everyone hit different notes?  I can see that we have a difficult path before us if we are to improve!

                                A whisper...
A whispered thought or rumor may travel a lot further than you think.  It is therefore best to not be a talebearer because quite often rumors are not true!

Attention gatherer
The one that draws attention to himself can sometimes cause you to stare in disbelief, quickly look away, or love what you are seeing!  It just depends on one's view doesn't it!

Defenestration means throwing someone out of a window.  In Prague in 1419, several town officials were thrown from the town hall which led to a war.  In 1618, also in Prague, two imperial governors and their secretary were thrown from the Prague Castle which started another war.  Here we are having also been defenestrated and seem to be in some strange land.  But I do know we weren't in Prague when this happened, and I don't want a war!

Pouring out my heart!
I opened up and poured out my heart to my friends.  That is - until I heard laughter.  Now, I may need counseling!

Third Eye Blind!
Are we not able to be clairvoyant, or are we afraid of what we might see?

Bad cell! - When a plant cell goes over to the dark side of the force and causes trouble!

Too many tales... - Stories told more than once quite often change in their meanings.  Sometimes, it is opposing perspectives in life that lead us to form opinions that differ from others.  However! The core beliefs of what is true and right never falter or waver.  I can only advise you to listen and look at both sides before choosing what is correct and which could lead to misfortune!  And while you wonder which side to choose, please consider an old quote from Aesop, "No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted!"  Try this small thing while you wait!

Tied together!
We are tied together on this planet in so many ways!  Everything we do influences so many others.  We must find ways to exist with each other despite our differences.  I love to learn about other cultures and would love to visit their countries!  But until we can set aside our many differences and learn to enjoy and appreciate how we co-exist on this tiny planet, we will falter.  And, I don't want that to happen anymore!

The Blue and the Red! - In Ireland, we Irish sometime talk about the Orange and the Green, but here in the USA, we choose different colors! Why can't we blend our colors together and make Violet?  I've always been partial to a green/yellow mix and especially turquoise!  But those colors don't seem to work in our situation.

"Sitting in my dream wondering where you are.  Will you come around to be with me?
We could live our lives away underneath the deepest sea!"

The Parade! - The die has been cast and the parade has begun!  For now, we are slinking along slowly, but very soon things will start moving too quickly.  And then I hope we can step out of the way of the stampede!
The Swamp...
We drained the swamp and then brought in a lot more swamp and some nasty critters.  It is now a much bigger and better swamp!  It's like making a blanket longer by cutting off one end and sewing it back on the other end!  That makes for a longer blanket as it does for a larger swamp!

Not following the crowd... You can follow the majority of people, but sometimes you may find the best things in life by looking the opposite way!

Our Leader -
There goes our leader!  His spokesman says he is doing great!  Some agree with that and some don't.  We'll just have to wait for time to tell to see who is correct I guess!

Gamboling along!
We are just gamboling along for the fun or it!

2017 Annual Birdy Meeting!
As they usually do, the Birdy leaders sent off a questionnaire asking all birds around the globe to send in pertinent questions that they felt should be discussed this year at the meeting. The results that came back only made the upcoming meeting more difficult to plan for.  The replies were:  "Does everyone really know that the bird is the word?  And why is it only one bird is the word?" "Are Blackbirds being blamed for the actions of Starlings and do Blackbirds really sing in the dead of night?" "Can wet birds really not fly at night?" "Can Bluebirds really sing the blues?" "Do Mockingbirds hurt other birds' feelings when they mock them?" "Can a Bird of Paradise really fly up someone's nose?" "Are Bird-brained individuals good or not?"  "Does a Red Robin really make a good hamburger even though every one says, 'Yum!'" "Is it hard for a Red Red Robin to go Bob Bob Bobbing along?" "Do parrots get in trouble for living in Margaritaville?"  "Are Wood ducks really made out of wood?" "Why are there so many more hawks in Washington, DC than anywhere else?"  After reading the replies, the leaders realized that their emails had been hacked and the replies only came from one individual.  So, they decided to give up on this year's meeting and flew off to cause trouble at the feeders in the area.

We went looking for alternative facts!   But all we found was the meaning of a new word to us - "solipsism" which comes from the Latin "solus" which means alone.  This means that for some there is nothing real outside one's own mind!   I know we all definitely want to see if there is reality outside our own minds!  So off we go again to find some sanity!

The Joke!
The joke he told using the word "Floccinaucinihilipilification" just wasn't funny to us.  Perhaps we just didn't understand the punch line.  Maybe using that word in a joke is worthless!

The Way You Look!
Looks aren't everything!  What the heart contains is the most important aspect of a person!  Try to understand that you may never know the weight of burdens a person may carry in life.  So, try to look to the heart of the matter instead of just the outer shell.

There is one in every crowd!

The Lost Easter Egg!

We are on the hunt for a lost Easter egg!  It is supposed to contain a special prize.  We thought that we had found the lost egg until it yelled out, "Leave me alone!"  I guess we'll have to keep looking...

The Final Act

I had just finished my heartfelt soliloquy when the rest of the cast joined me on stage for the final scene denouement as our voices joined together for the finale!

Right-Lookers look left!

This is the time when the Right-Lookers realized they could also look to the left!  Now, if they can just remember that when crossing the street, they must look both ways before crossing!  Otherwise, they might get hit!

Tee's Cap 2017

Tee waves his cap at us as he sings a song.  His singing voice just isn't as good as it used to be.  But as he'll tell you, "It's not the voice that matters, but the impact of the words that count!" 

We wish Tee a lot of luck as he continues on in this world!

Some races aren't fair!
I recall the story of "The Tortoise and the Hare" and how being slow but steady won that race!  However, there are some races that just aren't fair!  The event depicted above is such an example.

My friend!
Sometimes I wonder about my friend!  He truly believes everything he hears.  He believes that the earth is flat.  He keeps looking up at the sky which he thinks will fall because he overheard Chicken Little.  He loves to talk about the Little Red Hen planting a garden, harvesting the crop, and making her own bread.  He clicks on everything he sees on Facebook and believes it all even though it gets him hacked a lot.  I do care about my friend but as long as it makes him happy to believe such things, I won't correct him!

A Fish Proverb!
I am trying to understand an old proverb or tale which states, "The fish out of water flops a lot!"
I think I can understand that a fish will flop until it is dead.  However, a dead fish just can't prime a water pump after he stops flopping!

The Blatherskite!
We all went to hear a person listed as being a "Blatherskite."  Here we are returning from this event. 
We didn't enjoy the experience.  Later on, we had an eucatastrophe because J. R. R. Tolkien said we could!

Have you ever looked in a mirror and wondered which image is real?  To find truth, you must always look to the one that does not lie!

Enough already!
I think we've all had just a little too much of this nonsense!  So stand back as I'm about to tell you how I feel!

The Grumpys meet the Complainers... It wasn't a happy meeting....

Pointing in a direction! - We certainly have many directions to pursue as we travel in life.  Some people indicate to us the paths we should take.  While deciding which way to go, be careful you don't listen to the guy that wants to lead you off a cliff!

Go Preds!!!!
a mosaic made with tiny pieces of colors cut from magazines.  (8 1/2 X 11 1/2 inches)

Life Lessons!
I tried to explain to the kid that the path ahead was dangerous and scary!   And, he must be strong, brave, smart, and work very hard as he became an adult if he wanted to make it in this world.  He just didn't get my lesson on life and fell over the very first stumbling block that was in his way.  The old saying, "A smooth sea never made for a skilled sailor!" seems appropriate.

"Vanity of vanities!  All is vanity!  And, a grasping for the wind!" sayeth the Preacher.  One of my favorite singers, Plumb, sang, "There's a God-shaped hole in all of us, and it's a void only He can fill!"  The shape of that hole is all that should matter to us.  Not the outside.  Not giving in to vanities.   But only what we  decide to use to fill that space within us will truly matter in the end!

Our "Flat Earth Society" came together to discuss "roundness".  We believe in flatness and not roundness and debated Einstein's theory that space and time curve around like a circle if you could go far enough into space.  One of our members quoted an old limerick which made us all laugh so hard that we quit debating this problem!  "There was a young lady of Wight, who traveled much faster than light! She departed one day, In a relative way, and arrived on the previous night!"

Hornless Unicorn scam!
We paid admission to see "The Exhibit of Unicorns that have lost their horns!"  But, all we saw were horses...  I wonder if we can get our money back?  One friend commented, "If we'd wanted to look at unusual things, we should have stayed at home and looked at ourselves!"

There is an old saying, "It's all downhill from here!" which means things will get easier.  However, we've been going up and down for such a long time that I think we are all tangled up!!!

"When the going got tough!" we gave up...

Exploring the Coriolis Effect!
Apparently I thought I was in the a different hemisphere as I seem to be going the wrong way down into the maelstrom...

The Choir tries again...
We got back together, but in an instant remembered why we broke up.  We all sing in different keys at the same time.  And, I mean we sang in every key there is - plus some I've never heard before!  We need Cathy O. to help us!

The Hunt for Cousin It!
We were asked to go on a hunt for Cousin It, and thought we'd found him until we saw a nose.  Now, I'm thinking we are on some kind of strange "Snipe Hunt..."  I think the giggling coming from the bushes confirms that notion!

We rounded up all of the cranky folks and put them together.  Let's see if they can sort out their differences!  We'll come back in a week and see how they are doing!

Don't make fun of others that are different because in some ways,
you might also fit in that category!  Learn to be nice to all!

Imitating my friend!
I try to look and act like my friend, but I just can't get the eyes right!  They say, "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!"  So, I want to get this right!

Bird Bullies (revisited)
It's not always the one with the biggest mouth or the loudest voice that is correct!  And sometimes, if you eat the small ones for lunch, you might miss out on an aspect of your life that is missing and will never return as that tiny person had the answer you so desperately needed to complete your life!

Not normal times...

We are in a time when nothing seems normal.  We discussed the movie, "The Ninth Configuration" 
which won "Golden Globe" and "Saturn" awards, and wondered if we were in a tenth configuration. 
I guess it just had to happen!  

The Swampy Sewer!
After we came out of the swampy sewer, we morphed into something new!

Contemplating the mysteries of Time!
Here I stand thinking about how mysterious time is while the Sirens sweetly sing in the background.  But! I really think they are trying to lure me into crashing upon the rocks!  Be quiet Sirens!  I need to concentrate!  All I can think of is that old sage's message, "Time goes by in one direction, and covers us with mortal dialections.  It's a friend or an enemy, but it won't let me be!"

Herding Cats!
Some things can't be led or herded.  We use the term "herding cats!" because it's futile to attempt to steer, control or organize certain kinds of animals.  Hmmm ... perhaps a certain group of humans fits into this category...

The Impossible Maze!
If I got in, surely there is a way out!  But, some of this maze looks like it might try and hurt me before I escape!

Not Wanted...
He said, "We don't want you around here anymore!"  At first, my feelings were hurt. 
But, after looking at him and my surroundings, I realized, "There has to be a better place with
nicer people!"

Our theater troupe tried to perform Shakespeare's play, "Love's Labour's Lost" but on opening night when our actor portraying Costard tried to say his line in the fifth act containing the word, honorificatbilitudinitatibus, he failed so horribly that the cast broke down and laughed so hard that the play couldn't continue!

Helping wet birds fly at night! - My friend Larry is very concerned about wet birds because they can't fly at night!  So, birdie engineers worked diligently on this problem and finally came up with a solution to help wet birds fly at night!  Fly on little birdies!!!

Pointing Fingers!
How often do we blame others for things we ourselves do!  Many times there is a large log in our own eyes while we point out a very small twig in another's eye.  As the wise old sage said, "When you point a finger at someone, always remember that three fingers are pointing back at you!"

I fear that I've sat for far too long in one place!  I don't think I can even move!  I'm not sure if I have
arms and legs anymore!  If only I'd kept active and played Pickleball!

Aliens among us!
If there were Aliens among us, would we recognize them?  I have heard that they are very good
at blending in and disguising themselves!  And, their UFO's are so difficult to photograph!

Why do some get more than one vote?  Do they have more arms than I do?  Or, is my arm too short to be recognized and counted?

What goes on around me while I sleep...

The Right Way!

Even though the right way was pointed out, most of us kept looking in the wrong direction... There's a reason that a Merry-go-round is fun but never gets anywhere.

Telling my life's story!
I sat and told my friend the story of my life.  It is a long tale, but I didn't have anywhere to go.
Sitting is about all I can do these days anyway.  When I finished, he looked a little shocked! Perhaps
I talked a little too long, or was it the subject matter?

Time marches on...
Time is moving on and won't stop!  That is, until "There is time no longer!"  A hard concept to
understand.  Or, I could have said, "No more delay!" But, I'm not certain what will happen then.
Did time stop or keep on going? Maybe Doctor Who could explain how we should view time. 
He would understand that there are fixed moments of time that would still exist despite the
occurrences of time that stops or keeps on going!  Even Daleks need help sometimes!

Big Fish!

Big fish are smart and difficult to catch!  Survivors learned early on that being crafty helped avoid
being caught and eaten!  The ones that lived and grew understood that hiding around underwater
structures could protect them.  Above is such an example.

Nose to nose!
"Heaven!  I'm in Heaven!"  Right now we are nose to nose, but soon we'll be "dancing cheek to cheek!"

Words of Wisdom!
Sometimes when you least expect it, true words of wisdom may come from the most unlikely of sources!  However, there are some who refuse wisdom and knowledge.... An important question for you is, "Will you accept wisdom and knowledge or refuse it?"

Good advice!
Sometimes the one with the quietest voice can have the most influence!  Nothing is more confusing than when a person gives good advice but sets a bad example.  So listen, observe, and follow the one who is surely correct!  As Davy Crockett once said, "Be sure you are right and then go ahead!"

Follow the leader!
"You didn't say, 'Mother may I?'"  But then sometimes, it is not in your best interest to follow the crowd anyway...

Mashed Potatoes!
We are all mashed together on this planet!  If we were all one type of potato, then it would be so much easier to understand what exactly is going on!  But, we are a mixed batch of creations who need to quickly learn how to work together to solve our many problems!

The Choir tries again!
The Choir must be very distracted as they are singing in more keys than actually exist!   Help us Cathy O!

The Planet Earth Conference!
It is time for the people of this planet to come together in peace without hating each other! 
We are all so different in our beliefs, but we must learn how to help each other and work
together to help our species in the struggles that beset us!

With those we do not know...
Sometimes in life it doesn't matter where you go as you'll be with people that you do not know!

The Little Virus
The little virus leaped for the joy of living!  That is, until his movements drew the attention of local antibodies!

The age-old question revisited!
We decided to test a new theory to an age-old question, "Which came first - the chicken or the egg, and why did that particular chicken cross the road?"  Our theory is, "A chicken saw an egg on the other side of the road and crossed over to see why an egg was across the road before the chicken arrived."  But, alas, we couldn't test the theory as we couldn't find an egg, a chicken, or a road!

No Forward Progress!
We keep trying to move forward, but our efforts are halted at every turn!  It's like a maze where once you are in; there isn't a way out!  Without any forward progress, our morale is sinking low...  However, our determination shows we will keep trying as we haven't given up yet!

Reality! Please pinch me!
Is existence a theory?  Do we really exist? Let me pinch the tender, back part of your arm!
Did you feel that?  If you did, then you exist.  Do I need to pinch you again?  Well then!  Get out
there and do what is right!

The evil has been seen...
These three are some of the ones that hold to the tenet, "Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil!"  This is a wonderful principle to follow! However, due to current factors their new concept is, "If you hear evil, see evil, then speak about it, and try to stop it!"

Seeking reason in this world...
This is how I felt when I realized very little made sense.  I know that somewhere
there are answers to explain why tragedies happen to us, and I will go off on a quest to
find a solution!  With an answer, we can stop the continuation of these problems!

My friend John!
My friend John said, "I encourage you to dwell on the good things and not the bad!"  He added, "This will make you feel better!"  Those are good words to learn and use in this mixed-up old world and are very important!  Because of my friend, I will try to think on the good even with all of the nonsense surrounding me!  Thanks John!

Merry Christmas 2017! 
(mosaic made with pieces cut from magazines)

Apologizing can be hard but is so very important in relationships if you have caused any kind of discomfort to a friend. Sometimes just saying, "I'm sorry!" is all that is necessary to re-cement a deep, continuing friendship!  I know because I've seen it work!

Dreams part 1
You can never get to the end of Pi unless you use a fraction.  A fraction is only a part of a thing.  And in poetry, if you leave out a part of the poem it probably won't be a good work.  "The dream you don't study is a letter from God that you don't open!" as my cousin recently told me.  I had three bad dreams lately.  I am learning to interpret and deal with them.  "Work with a dream like it is poetry!" my cousin added.  There is poetry in not getting to the end of Pi because the soul is where the outer and inner world meet and time should go on.   The bridge between worlds will only open when necessary.  Since Pi can not be solved without a fraction, I will divide my dreams up and deal with them!

End of the year meeting
Here we are at the end of 2017.  Some saw turmoil.  Some saw peace.  Some sang with joy.  Some
were too astonished by the world to even consider singing.  Some were shocked at the events that occurred.  Others thought things were great!  Some seemed to be oblivious to the good or the bad.  We had so many opposing views that I wonder if we see with the same kind of eyes.  Well, I guess we'll just have to see what happens in the new year!

The Greens!
One day everything looked just a little too green.  As a certain frog once sang,
"I got the Greens!  I got the Greens real bad!" Or, maybe I'm just feeling
a little under the weather.

Howling at the moon!
I wonder if the moon can hear us?  At least the neighbors could as they called the police.

Outdoor Theater!
The musical was going well until Act 4, Scene 3.  One of us had forgotten which scene he was in and burst out into the wrong song.   In the ensuing silence, we could hear the audience breathing and the crickets chirping.  Let me tell you that wasn't a good feeling for us!

Pondering my path through life
I'm considering my next move through the many difficulties of life.  If there weren't so many twists and turns before me, the way would be much easier.  Still, I must be certain that each step I take is not into a pitfall!  If I can just make it past the prickly valley, cross the impenetrable plains, and climb over the impassable mountains, then perhaps the next step in my progress will be easier!

The New Year 2018!
We all have to look to the new year.  Some are happy at the coming prospects.  Others are very apprehensive.  Those that really worry me are the people that are oblivious to everything that is
going on.  And, what isn't Harry Reed telling us about UFO's?


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