Sunday, June 28, 2009

Across the field

A block over to the West from here we get this view. How can we help but being inspired. Awesome. Today is another one of the great summer days. Probably in the high 80's or low 90's. My kind of day.
I'm headed out to the store on the bike to return some defective merchandise and buy some storage containers.... little ones in which to store artist's oil colors.
Be kind to everyone today. "I've learned...that being kind is more important than being right" . This is an anonymous quote sometimes attributed to Andy Rooney, however, he did not say or write it. ... but I've learned it from experience.
Be kind to everyone today... make their day a lot better and yours will be too.
6x8 oil

Friday, June 26, 2009

It was a good day at Tahoe

We needed to go up to Lake Tahoe because Carol had a meeting at her job ... always best to try to combine things ... so we combined the business trip with going up for some pictures. As we headed out the highway the sky looked like you see in picture one. Hey.. we are not going to let a few stormy clouds dampen our day .... we kept on going. Soon there was a bright spot in the sky .... ahhh ... things are looking better. to the north the sky was blue and had fluffy white clouds instead of the ominous black clouds. Once we arrived up at the lake the sky appeared cloudy to the south... but hey! ... look over there towards the north ... fantastic!
Not oo many people on the beach or the hiking/bike trail.. too bad... it was sooooo nice.
check out the river boat. A few minutes later there was a very long line of happy people walking up the gang plank ready for their Lake Tahoe cruise and dinner.
finally there is a picture taken on the drive down Kingsbury grade. Notice there is sun up there lighting up the sides of the highway but the valley seems to be in the dark shadows. Shadows come and shadows go... just like the dark clouds in life. We got down to the valley and settled in. Caorl went to the batism of the neighbor boy. I saw the sun flash out again and headed for the wetlands. Got some interesting shots which I'm planning to convert into paintings. See ya from the easel ..................... Smile... the clouds will soon be gone and the sunshine will once again warm your heart.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Current Crops

At rest your brain is responsible for 20% of your total energy expenditure even though it accounts for about 2% of your body weight. That even means people like me ... and we always wondered where the energy was going all the time. What would ever happen if we found our brain actually in use and not at rest? Guess some of us will never find out. :-)
I will continue sketching no matter where I am. I just happen to love where I am.... wherever that is. There is always something good to see and experience. As I ride the bike or drive around ths valley the beauty never ceases. All the changes have some goodness.
This 8x10 oil sketch was inspired during the bike ride around the valley.
Next post will be fotos from the quick trip up to lake tahoe yesterday. I was trying to do that this morning but there was a computer problem uploading the pictures..... not to worry ... there is always another time.
Smile... your day will go even better,

The Irrigation ditches are full

Who would think something as plain as an irrigation ditch would even be interesting at all ... but they are. they bring the water to the fields... they provide drinks for the animals and birds .... many times there are nests along the edges .. and they add some sparkle to the scenery.
This is a 6x8 oil from the bike ride.
Today we are off to Lake Tahoe for the day. There is never a visit to Lake Tahoe that is not a great day. It is a short trip ... about 13 miles to the top of the grade. The view is always exciting. Maybe I'll get some interesting shots and a sketch or 2.
You have a good day

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Some roads go no where

Ever think you are going down the road to nowhere?
During our lives we have many choices of which "road" to take. The choice is ours.... right or wrong... we make those choices ourselves. ... and then sometimes the road simply heads off into the unknown ... a foggy haze ... a mist sliding off the mountian side...which may take us years to figure out. ...... but then there is the road that is clearly headed in exactly the direction we wanted to go and it is taking us there quickly and surely. What a relief!
That does not necessarily mean there are no ruts, bumps, rocks and hairpin turns. Nope. Life is much more fun when there are challenges.
If you find yourself on the freeway of frustration slow down, pull off at the next ramp and check out a local nature park.

This evening while out on a bike ride, I came across a local park which was also a wetlands preserve. Fantastic. The many times I rode past there in the Winter it was not much of anything. Not even much water. What if I had never gone back to take another look?
Today the water table was high; the flowers were in bloom; the cattails were getting tall; there were many full bushes and the grass was plentiful. Ducks were swimming and the Geese, surrounded by goslings, were pecking for their dinners. I saw a whole new world there. I will return and take pictures, sit on the bench and sketch... and just enjoy the peaceful view .... surrounded with refreshing smells of flowers, a cool breeze off the High Sierras while beimg uplifted by the cheerful songs of a variety of birds.
Go out there and let some cheerful birds perk up your life.
6x8 acrylic sketch

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Unocchio's 6 Mile Bike Ride fotos

The 6x8 oil sketch was inspired by the ride out into the countryside.
Maybe the next one will be a knife painting.
This area has certainly grown and expanded over the past 30 some years. There was a time when "out in the coutry " was just over the back fence by the irragation ditch. Now there are sub-divisions everywhere and we need to look a little to get out into the country ..... NEVERTHE LESS .... there is still some rural area here and some of the developed lots are 20 acres +/- ..... that makes it a little more enjoyable. Since you were not here and could not go on the ride I took the time and space to give you a foto tour taken on that trip.... some even while ridng .... next best thing to having been here. Take a deep breath from your diaphram ... breath in that fresh air ... imagine the birds singing and chirping ..... hear the water bubbling and flowing in the river and irrigation ditches and let's go ......
This time of year the river is usually still high from the rains and the snow melt run-off ... but this year we had much more rain in May than in the past 30+ years ... so there is plenty of water. The hay and alfalfa is growing well. You can see that as we take our bike tour. Everywhere the ditches are filled and several fields were flooded. Notice that the grass crops were cut in many fields and even bailed already in some. Perhaps this year they will be getting 4 cuttings.
I didn't shoot every barn in sight ... just a few of the older ones and those of some interest. The newer "ranches have large luxury homes and brand-new classy barns. I'll shoot those some other day. the old farm houses and barns are disappearing quicker than we'd like.
Down here in the central valley there are hills on all sides. I tried to get that feel for you by shooting in all directions. You can see there are hills in the background no matter where you look. This is not the scene one would expect for that desert place called Nevada...... this is a fertile valley with horses, cattle and crops. The air is clean and it is peaceful.
Yesterday it was about 79 and today it was low 80's. Still good biking weather. Who knows, I may be able to get out there again tomorrow to smell the freshly mown alfalfa and listen to the red-winged blackbirds warning me away from their nests.
It's good to get out ... at least go for a walk in the cool of the morning or the cool of the evening

Monday, June 22, 2009


Maybe the sky could be red ... who knows what they will dump up there. Well, today it was bright blue most of the day but as we rode our bikes in the afternoon a few darker clouds come over the High Sierras ... didn't rain on us but we rode a little faster for the rest of the trip. Temp was about 79 ... so nice.
Yesterday's ride was 6-8 miles around the central valley. Got some very fine fotos. I'll share some of them with you tomorrow.
This is another 6x8 acrylic on canvas board. If you haven't done a few 6x8's give it a try. Sometimes out there on a plein air trip these little guys are just the trick. .....quick and capture the mood and feeling of the moment.
For those of us still learning it is far better to paint 30 pictures at 1 hour each than spend 30 hours on one painting.
You have a good day ..... break up your routine today .... go do something you've been wanting to do .... smile and be happy while you're doing it.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Biking Today

Today is another fine day in Carson Valley ... sunshine and blue skies. Friday when we went into Reno I picked up the supplies I needed to repair the flat tire on my bike. I suppose I could have plastered on a tube repair patch but I have not had much luck with those ... it seems that more sooner than later I have another flat tire. Here on the desert there are a few green plants ... and many bugs and animals to eat them so in self defense the plants grow horrendous horns and thorns. If you need any I am an expert on finding them. :-)
I repaired the tire by replacing the tube with a self-sealing tube containing "slime" ... for you who are unfamiliar that is a bright green goop that looks and feels like slime.... comes in a plastic bottle. It is squeezed into the inner tube, then the tube is inflated and you go for a ride so that it spins and slides all around the inside of the tube. After that you are supposed to be immune from flats. yeh. Somehow for me it does not always work that way. This time around I placed a protective layer of slime-brand plastic between the tire and the inner tube then used the inner tube that had slime in it already. Think that should do the trick? Let's hope. After the repair I went on a quick ride to Minden and back. Repairing the tube is not all that bad but somehow I sure do enjoy riding the bike a whole lot more. While it was down I cleaned, shined and lubed the bike and the moving parts. Ahhhh ... it is now shiny and very quiet. The bike says, "Thanks, I sure did need that."
Not far from here... a very short bike ride ... the Carson River meanders thru the valley. We stop often just to enjoy the sights, smells and sounds by the river. The river is always a favorite sketching spot. Go out and visit a river!
Oil on 6x8 canvas board

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Springtime in Carson Valley

How can we not love Springtime? Well, maybe Summer will be here in a few days according to the calendar but either way ... Spring or Summer .. they are both grand!
I enjoy eating outside during the good weather. It feels so good sitting in the sun.
There is my setup ... next to the garden ... where I can watch the plants grow and the birds fluttering back and forth.
So here is my breakfast .... well at least the end of it. You do not see the 2 eggs and sprouted multi-grain bread that disappeared prior to the arrival of the fruit. So I only eat a half banana ... Carol eats the other half. You did not get to see the suppliments either..... hey.... who wants to see suppliments..... ya seen one ya'v seen em all ... but fresh fruit ... now that always looks good ... each piece is different. Maybe these will end up on a sketch on the blog someday.
Eat lots of fresh vegies and fruit every day.... they taste good.
6x8 acrylic

NADA DADA Motel Art Show - Reno

Carol's daughter, Nicole, let her know that she was showing her art in a show called "Nada Dada Motel" ... of course, we said.. "What's that?" The show was in Reno for a week. Even the New York Times sent someone out to cover it. "Once upon a time in the Old West"
Old fogies sit at home and go nowhere ... even if there is some great event right in their town or general vicinity. ... so we probably would have missed this one (like maybe many other neat things).
The same day we went to Reno to see the NADA DADA Motel Art Show there was happening the Tour de Nez .... a cycling shindig of some sort .... Baron loves it but missed it this year because of working commitments in San Francisco. All we got out of the Tour de Nez was a quick glance from the car window as we circled downtown Reno a dozen times trying to find the Nada Dada Motel ... which, of course, did not exist. That is the name of the art show ... for which there were no signs .. unlike the "special event" Tour de Nez.
We finally found a meter spot, parked and got out on foot ... aha ... I peeked over a block wall and there it was!!! ..... Nicole's art wagon ... big as life .... parked behind the motel block wall a few feet from where we had parked. Great! We're there.
Touring downtown Reno was not a bad thing. Look at those pictures. Could it have been a better day? ....... and the interesting views. It was an excitng day in downtown Reno with all those folks coming to experience the Tour de Nez and, of course, soak in the Nada Dada Motel Art Show. What a fine time .... we might have been at home staring at the monitor or doing some other inane un-activity. It is so nice to get off the ass and just go out there and do something different once in a while.
The main part of the Nada Dada Motel Art Show was in the very old Hotel El Cortez. No, I did not get a shot of the front door but you do see one of the hotel building (kinda) from down the street ... then there is the shot in the lobby showing the stairs going up to the lounge, library and rooms. Each artist rented a room with the overflow going to the motel 1/2 block away and directly across from the St Vincent Church. To see the show we wandered from room to room where are work was displayed and snacks were served. Not all rooms were rented by artists... some had permanent tenants ... of course we barged in on one of them right at the start of our tour. Hey, what can I say. Some of the people you see in our pictures: Rebecca Kerlin, Nicole Bommarito and Carol Bommarito standing in front of Rebecca and Nicole's work ... ... www.bommaritostudios; Erik Holland with the tall hat ... he was elected "mayor" of the show; the "Bee Lady" Dominique Palladino who had live bees in a display box and decorated the entirety of the walls with pages she took out of a Bible ... wow .. notice the wall behind her.. she nailed each page to the freshly painted walls of the refurbished room .. heh heh ... it may take her a while to patch those holes and repaint the room... ; then there is the "Rose Lady" whose theme was... "stop and smell the Roses"... good idea ... and a quite colorful display; Woodrow Barlettani is a local cartoonist who is published in the local newspapers and has been in the area a long tiime ... loving every minute of it. We have included a few more examples of the wide variety of artists who participated. Sorry we could not include everyone...... but if you did not make it to the Nada Dada Mootel Art Show you missed a good one.
Check your local events calendar and go out there and snoop around a little. There is so much to see and do. It'll perk up your life a lot adding inspiration, zest and new horizons.