Friday, February 20, 2015


Here is a vineyard full of juicy grapes and warm sunshine.

10" x 8" x 0.5" acrylic on canvas

The winery up the street from us has a tiny vineyard.    I like to head up there for their "hump day happy hour" or for their painting events.  
photo credit:

They were also the sister winery of the place where we had our wedding reception (many years ago).
our reception at Wm. Graystone
Wm. Graystone Winery is in the Brewery District in German Village.   (Oh, I just checked, and now it's called Graystone Wine Cellar.)
I loved our cake.  real grapes!

I like going to winerys and tastings and finding new favorites.  That Blindfold wine we got for Valentines day might be my new favorite white blend.   It had a buttery finish (like I know what I'm talking about).  Better wine seems to have an awesome after-taste.  I guess that's what they mean when they describe the "finish"?  I love all their descriptions, like, "Leather notes with an oaky finish".  Ooh!

Which reminds me, if you haven't already, you gotta read about the pranksters who replaced a store's wine descriptions with really off-the-wall ones:

So funny.  Check it out.

Do you have a favorite wine?  Do you like sweet or dry?

Monday, February 16, 2015

Far, far away

Here is a tranquil place, far far away:

8" x 10" x 0.5" acrylic on canvas
You know, when I'm already drudging through winter, the world news is particularly hard to take.  What the sam hill is going on?  Buncha evil crazy crap.

I stumbled upon another blogger / blogspot blog, and the post on her front page was like gold.  I love it so much, I just need to quote it:

evil is finite. 
Think about it. 
Evil is the antithesis to creative power.  It is in opposition to life, to love.  It destroys.  It doesn't build up.  It implodes and extinguishes itself when it can no longer survive parasitically on life, on truth.  When reality can no longer be denied then evil perishes in the flames of its own lies.
(Anna Valerious) 

She goes on to say

Celebrate life.  We celebrate life by living it.  We can only be said to be living life if we are living in reality.  Reality and truth are synonymous.  Yes, sometimes reality sucks, but to live in lies never ends well.  Choose truth over lies even when truth is painful.  Because truth is eternal.  Lies are finite. 
I can't stop re-reading those words.  Awesome.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Stop and smell the roses

Roses roses roses!  Today is all about roses.

today's roses from my valentine.  they smell amazing

Here is a delightful clip of Gene Kelley:

"Moses supposes his toeses are roses.  But Moses supposes erroneously."

And here are some swirly roses that I gave up on:
8"  10" x 0.5" acrylic on canvas
They are a part of my February failure series, so just deal with them.  I'm still looking through pictures of our flowers from last summer.  And still not happy with my attempts at abstractified paintings.

one of our roses from last summer.  they also smell amazing.
We planted knockout roses and regular roses a couple of summers ago.  I wanted the sweet smell of the "real" roses, but also wanted to hedge my bets with the easy care knockouts.  Ironically, the knockout roses died, but the regular rose bush is still going strong.

It's crazy blustery outside today.  We're gonna crack open this Blindfold wine and dig into the chocolates.  Hope you are having a happy Valentines Day!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

February failure phase

I'm going through a phase where everything I paint looks like utter crap to me.  And I still haven't tried my new oil paints because...   I guess it's easier to do what's familiar?  I blame February for sucking the life force out of me.  As Nate reassured me, "It's hard to be fabulous in winter in Ohio."

So here's one I just did that I'm not super jazzed about:
10" x 8" x 0.5" acrylic on canvas

A fluffy bumblebee on a coneflower.   For inspiration, I was looking through some old pictures I took last summer.

Man, I miss summer.

I struggle to find my own style or viewpoint or whatever.  I want to do an impatient, messy, impressionist type thing.  But then I get caught up in the details,  and then bored and unsatisfied.  I need a big red "Abstractify" button, kind of like the Staples "Easy" button.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Mono no aware

 Still longing for spring, so I painted some cherry blossoms last night.

10" x 8" x 0.5" acrylic on canvas
For painting inspiration, I looked at some old photos Nate took in Washington D.C.:

Wikipedia says that
In Japan, cherry blossoms also symbolize clouds due to their nature of blooming en masse, besides being an enduring metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life...

I can dig that.  It goes on to say that this concept is"mono no aware"
Mono no aware (物の哀れ?), literally "the pathos of things", and also translated as "an empathy toward things", or "a sensitivity to ephemera", is a Japanese term for the awareness of impermanence (無常 mujō?), or transience of things, and both a transient gentle sadness (or wistfulness) at their passing as well as a longer, deeper gentle sadness about this state being the reality of life.

Ain't that the truth.  Take in the clouds and blossoms of life while they last.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

February wallpaper

Okay, winter haters:  if we can just get through one more month, it should start looking up.  Time to dig deep!  Punch winter in the face.

Count down the days with some February wallpaper.  Click the thumbnail image of the size / ratio you want, see the full-sized version, then right click to download it.

1920 x 1080 (16:9)

2560 x 1024 (5:2)

2560 x 1600 (16:10)