Saturday, October 29, 2011

Gargoyles, Otters, and Sir Isaac Newton

At my recent visit to Busch Gardens I took this picture of some beautiful orange halyconia.  I thought it was bird-of-paradise, but N just came in and says it is halyconia (only he's not sure of the spelling :)



If you click on the above link you will see a short video of three very cute otters and also some cute children who were watching them, enthralled, also from my visit to B.G.
After I uploaded this to YouTube, I was amused to see how many other videos of otters there were, also entitled "Playful Otters".  The word "otters" and the word "playful" just go together!


And here are some old sketches.  I've been going through my old sketchbooks lately.  It's odd how a sketch can bring back the past ... I used to sit in the 4th floor lobby of the university library between classes --- they had a comfortable black leather padded bench there --- and study.  There was a large glass display case in the middle of the lobby, and I used to look up and see this stone gargoyle crouching on a shelf inside.



It was some sort of medieval display; and in a small room leading off one end of the lobby there was an exhibit of medieval manuscripts.  During all the hours I sat there in the lobby I never saw anyone go into that small room to look at them.  One day I went in to see them.  I thought they were pretty amazing, but then I'm the kind of person who is impressed by antiquity.  I just think it's awesome to stand just a few inches away from a fragile thing like a piece of paper or parchment, covered with marks of ink (including some beautifully colored illuminations) and realize those marks were made by a human being who's been dust for centuries.  The man who made those marks is gone from the earth, but the ink and paper remains.  You can't help but wonder if he ever wondered... about time... and connections... In his time there were no cell phones, no planes or rockets or antibiotics or computers or any of the multitude of  gadgets we take for granted.  But the issues of the human heart were the same, and human creativity still uses ink on paper to preserve meaning.
Which brings me to Sir Isaac Newton, but unfortunately this post has taken longer than I thought it would, and I need to go make myself a mushroom omelette for supper now.  So Sir Isaac will have to wait til my next post.  :)PLAYFUL OTTERS

Thursday, October 20, 2011

New Blog

Well I have done a couple of posts now for my new blog.   Click on Elspeth's picture to go there  :)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Busch Garden Bird

Here is a very short video of a bird I took at Busch Gardens.  Not sure what it is, but it's a pretty common one here in Florida, I've seen them around.  I don't usually have my camera in my hand when I see them, though  :)  I like his long skinny red legs and his long skinny beak, and the way he walks with his long neck poking out at each step --- he makes me smile.



I have just found out that Etsy is going to start letting people change their shop names.  Neat!  This is supposed to happen on the 18th, and since I've decided (again) that I don't like the name I picked, I plan to wait til the 18th to start my new shop, when I can change the name.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Elspeth Peasemarchington-Smythe

I have been planning to open another Etsy shop and have a blog to go with it.  The blog will be the ostensible diary of Elspeth Peasemarchington-Smythe, a fictitious young woman living in the 1930s.   Here is a sketch of Elspeth:



This young lady has attitude.  She is determined to be a great artist -- in what genre or style is still undecided -- and her first goal is to reach the status of student at an art school.  

But it is the middle of the Great Depression, and her ambition will be very difficult to achieve.  Presently she holds the position of secretary to Mr. Samuel Hardy, a probate attorney in a small metropolis in the Mid West.  She answers the phone, schedules appointments, takes dictation, and types letters and pleadings by day, and sketches, draws, and paints by night in her small closet-like room at the Louisa Datchett Boarding Home for Young Women.  

Sometimes, despite her passion for art, she feels discouraged --  especially at night, after a painting session has gone badly, when she realizes afresh her need for tuition under accomplished teachers.  However, she always wakes up each morning with new hope and new determination to reach her dream, even in the midst of the Depression.  "Where there's a will, there's a way," she tells herself.  "Somehow, some way, I'll make it."

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Here is another video from my visit to Busch Gardens last week:   (click on link below to see it)









Monday, October 3, 2011

Ready to Expire

I got an annual pass for Busch Gardens last year about this time, and used it only once or twice....  it will expire this Thursday, so I thought I had better go and get some of my money's worth!  It was a beautiful day Saturday, sunny but not too hot, with a cool breeze.  Not too crowded, but plenty of people to watch (I am an inveterate people-watcher ---- the humans are just as interesting as the animals, really, and if I'd had enough gall I would have liked to have taken pictures of some of the people I saw, to paint).

Click on the link below the picture to see a short video of a roller coaster ride, seen from the parking lot.  Did I go on any roller coasters?  NO WAY!!!




Click on the link below picture to see a short video of the tram ride from the parking lot to the gate (this ride was more my speed  :)   Actually, I did go on the log flume and the sky ride