Monday, January 31, 2011

How's your week going so far?

Smile doesn't matter ... remember the good things... forget the bad ...BUT .. just remember, you can endue all those trials as long as you have someone to tell the story to. :-)

The Portrait Society of Reno is having a show in February .... check it out at the Scenic Nevada Art Gallery right next to the Reno Art Museum on Liberty Street..... there will be at least 19 artists displaying their work ... they actually let me in ... I delivered my paintings today ... Natalia, Larry the Jeweler and Scooby.
Open house is thrusday 4:30-8 PM ... drop in if you are close... there are some great artists in the group.
Got a snack ready, then decided to paint it first ..... enjoy

My grapes  6x8  oil on canvas panel

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Life is made up of a series of choices ... take your pick .... you are going where you choose.

To love what you do and feel that it matters -- how could anything be more fun? -Katharine Graham
That is a good basis for choosing your occupation .... if you are not there consider planning a change.... of course, during a depression you make have to make longer range plans.

Thankfully, occasionally we get to choose our breakfast.... pick one or eat 'em all  :-)

Breakfast Choices oil on canvas panel  6x8

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Get enthusiasm

Enthusiasm will probably get you a lot further than talent....... get excited about something today!
In your excitement and enthusiasm you will most likely learn something .... if we keep learning new things everyday we are on our way.

Paulette in her 30's costume
Oil on canvas board 9x12
You saw her profile yesterday

Oh yes, and yesterday we talked about almond butter  ... hope you tried some ... costco sells it .... and to relieve those who are still totally confused ... that small painting was almond butter on a fresh celery stick .. we are looking at it from the rough, wide end that was down near the roots. Heh Heh.... sorry if you couldn't figure it out.... it was not meant to be a puzzle or mystery painting... it just worked out that way ... I knew what it was :-)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

All it takes is courage

Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace.-Amelia Earhart

School is wherever a person is.... it might be in a building ........ but more than that it is more likely to be in the mountains or a valley .... it might be in the streets of a city .... it might be among the trees or fields of flowers ... it could be on the sea shore .. it could be listening to other people talk and thinking about what they say..... it can be in books or DVD's ........ to study, listen and learn is your option ... it can be done anywhere.

I have great respect for the folks who sit as models for the Portrait Society of Reno..... They must strike a pose ... remain there without moving for 20 minutes ... then they get a 5 minute break .. then it's back to the pose .... this routine goes on from 9 to 12:30. Sometimes they stand... sometimes they sit... either way it seems like a very difficult task to me. Hat's off to those folks.

Paulette posed for us this week. She made her own 1930's dress and decorated a hat to fit the period.

oil on canvas panel  9x12

Good food is good for you

When you say something to someone they may soon forget what you said.... but remember forever how you made them feel with what you said .....
Praise people in public ..... if you must critisize, do it in private ... one of the keys to happiness ... this will make you happier and the person you talk to.

There is some question about the health value of peanut butter ..... but organic, raw, almond butter is claimed to be of great nutritional value .... AND, it tastes good ... use it to replace peanut butter in your diet.

Oil on canvas board 6x8

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What's for lunch?

Happiness does not mean there will never be bumps in the road ..... happiness is reaffirmed whem you solve your problems.

Went out for a nice walk today, sunshine, blue skies and warm weather.... the geese were flying, the llamas were standing there staring and the horses were mucnhing grass in the field. Great to be able to get out for a walk.
There will always be something to paint... simply open the refrig door and grab something.... I enjoy painting food ... heh, heh..then eating it. Actually these are part of my salad fixin's ... you just can't see that the backs have been removed and I ate part of  them already :-)

oil on canvas panel 6x8

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sometimes think more before acting

Where we are at this moment is not as important as where we are going ..... set your goals and work at them daily.

Sometimes we think we know where we are headed with something but it needs to digest and rest a bit .... step back and take a look from afar ..... look at it tomorrow .... think about it a little... let it settle in the mind overnight .... then look at it again .... the picture may become quite a bit clearer ... then maybe take action .... sometimes wait even a bit longer before taking action .... see what magic happens .... same things apply to painting :-)

Here is Frank again .... the 3rd painting from last Wednesday.... I try to get 3 sketches in during the live model session then tweak them later.

Oil on canvas panel 9x12 monochrome

Friday, January 21, 2011

Happiness is Success

Some folks think success is getting what you want and happiness is liking what you get........ but isn't success really the happiness you get from liking whatever you get and whatever you have ?

Happiness is success... anyone can accumulate things ... even if things of very different value.... not everyone seems to live a stress-free life of happiness.

Todays adventure here was a little knife exercise .... there were also some adjustments to a portrait sketch and I began another painting of the Canadian goose making a soft landing ..... there it sits on the easel.
It's hard to believe the week end is here already ... heh heh ... some feel it took too long to arrive.

Oil on canvas pad 5x7 Knife painting
Acrylic on canvas panel 12x16

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Inspiration, genius and gifts

Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying.- Brian Dyson
... that means you quit. Don't quit.
Enjoy what you are doing today no matter what.

In addition.......
Don't carry a grudge. While you're carrying a grudge the other guy's out dancing. - Buddy Hackett

Here's Frank again...... what a character. ... what a good person.

Oil oncanvas panel  9x12

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Are you free?

You are free the moment you do not look outside yourself for someone to solve your problems and pay your bills :-)

No one should travel down the road of life without leaving something more behind  than that which will disappear when the dust has settled.

Frank is  a well respected maker of fine jewlery; he participates in historical events in costume and shoots a muzzleloader just for the fun of it. He also poses for the Portrait Society of Reno. He only has one eye since he was 14. Don't let some real or imagined disability slow you down. Go for it.

Oil on canvas panel 9x12

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Geese were landing

I would not sit waiting for some vague tomorow, not for something to happen. One could wait a lifetime and find nothing at the end of the waiting. I would begin here, I would make something happen - Sackett's Landing
Yeh! That's what it's all about. Make something good happen today ... just do it :-)
The geese fly around here on a regular basis ,,, but that doesn't mean we can always be there when they land ... take off..yeh ..... just approach them on the pond and they take off if they are there. One day I was over at the golf course and just lucked out... I had my camera and they wanted to land. Gottcha ....
A Soft Landing.

Oil on Canvapaper 6 x8

When one has a goal

Living a life is much like climbing mountains - the summits are always further off than you think, but when a man has a goal, he always feels he's working toward something. - The Lonely Man

Look around you .... praise those who try even if they did not at first succeed .... trying is the first step to success ... a little praise and encouragement will help them reach their goals.

While out walking or biking I generally take pictures ... looking back thru the archives transports me to other places and times .... then I am inspired to paint those places. This is right down the road a piece ... I did not have to return there today to paint ... I used the foto.
Take a few more fotos.... they help jog the memory ... you may appreciate that a little more after you pile on many more years :-)

Oil on canvas pad 5x7

Monday, January 17, 2011

A new Week

I am painting every day even though I put time in on the computer to get the accounting down... plus a little exercise .... and clean up the emails...... maybe, the paintings don't all come out acceptable but then

If your life is free of failures, you're not taking enough risks. -Anon
Ahhh, I guess I take lots of risks :-)

I like the mountains, the rivers and the rocks ... I keep doing more ... there is always the hope that someday I can do it well .... nevertheless, it's always fun... and ... I can dream on about visiting there one more time ;;;

Forever the dream is in the mind, realization in the hands - To The Far Blue Mountians

Dream on until you turn it into realization with your hard work and dilagence.

Oil on canvas panel  11x14

Sunday, January 16, 2011

January is half gone

What a lovely day... temp is 65 right at this moment ... very fine for January.

I believe in the three L's in the order they come up: Living, Laughing and Learning. I feel that these are the basics to life and if we are both living and laughing a bit it is so much easier to learn. There is so much to learn. Every day should offer at least one lesson either from experience or shared experience. I wish that people took great pleasure in learning and sharing what they learned and discuss ideas with others. It is super to get closer and closer to various truths about life and even less important truths about life. How challenging to be open to the possibility of unanswerable questions. How great it is to keep an open and searching mind. When I feel this happening in my life I feel like I am looking out towards the stars and infinite space. Awe and fear are there, but also the riches of curiosity and adventure.   Morgan Green ©

This is the other monochromatic gesture portrait from Wednesday live model sitting.

Oil on canvas panel 9x12

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Your success is based on where you started

It's not how far you fall, but how high you bounce. -Anon
Yesterday was a bright sunny day... it felt warm .... so off to the Protrait Society of Reno for more live model painting .... then a session at the fitness center.
Today is also a great day.... and it's raining and warm... warm is relative ... but it feels warm to us.
These are a couple of gesture paintings from yesterday.

Oil on canvas board 9x12

Oil on canvas board 9x12

Monday, January 10, 2011

Up the Road

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear. -Mark Twain
Sometimes we fear the most foolish things ..... have courage ... even if it takes a glass of wine first :-)

The neighbor's farm - Oil on canvas panel  5x7

What is a majority?

One man with courage is a majority.-Andrew Jackson
Ok... pick 'em up and rush out with courage for today... see what happens. :-)
Another of those gesture paintings ..... but I took a few minutes back in the studio for touch up.

Scooby oil on canvas panel 9x12

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Portrait Society Meeting

Many people have great ideas. What doesn't occur to many of these people is that they can turn some of these ideas into great realities.  -Morgan Green

Today was another meeting of the Portrait Society of Reno which has been meeting non-stop for about 50 years ... it was my first time attending .... very informal ... 9 to 12:30 ... a live model ... arrive; set up your easel; paint ... that's it. Today there about a dozen people .... last week 5 artists ..... sometimes only 3 and once last year 1 person :-)

Live models present their own challanges. The artists attending painted in wayer color, oil, colored pencil and pastel. I used oil and as you can see below one was monochrome and the other was a very limited palet. I did 3 gesture paintings ... 2 here and maybe the other later.

Turn your dreams into realities.

Oil on canvas panel 9x12

Oil on canvas panel 9x12

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Why not just get started?

The beginning is the most important part of the work. -Plato 
........ perhaps that is because sometimes it takes the most effort to just get started. .... go ahead... you wanted to do it.... just get started ... overcome the inertia .... push off .... you'll feel a whole lot better.

Oil on canvas panel 6x8 knife painting

Life is tough. Buy a Helmut.

Sometimes life gets tooooo busy... there are too many things going on ...they all seem to race through our minds at the same time........ relax. Meditation can help you to relax .... but how to get all that stuff out of our minds and relax ... here is one person's solution:

For today's meditation, we turn to an EarthRain subscriber,
Kathy W, who shares some helpful insights and techniques:

Chet, I have a suggestion...

Some people, like me, need transition. Going
from many thoughts to no thoughts except the
breath is too big of a step.

So, knowing myself, and knowing I needed
transition, I created my own beginning
meditation practice when I started. Here's
what I did:

For the first week, I sat with a list of
4-5 things to think about. It included my
favorite place to be (my happy place), my
favorite song, my special friend -- good,
peaceful, happy things. Whenever my mind
wandered, I would open my eyes for a moment,
look at my list and refocus. In between each
subject, I made a point to concentrate on 5
breaths, in and out.

The second week, I focused on connecting with
the rhythms of nature as I meditated. Wind,
water, day and night, the ocean tide. I
realized how "slow" nature is and how cyclic.
and how it seems in its season to almost stop
for a period of time. This helped me to
connect with the need to slow down, the
pleasantness of slowing down. Again, when
it came to mind in between thinking about
water and wind, etc., I would notice breath,
this week 8-10 breaths if I could.

The third week, I made the switch. I focused
on breath. And when the old feelings of
boring slowness would creep in, I would allow
myself to bring back my special friend, or
wind for a short time ... and then refocus
on breath.

So, the point is, I gradually transitioned
from many thoughts to thoughts that were more
akin to breath to fewer thoughts to breath and
by six weeks, I could sit for 20 minutes
noticing nothing but breath. That was three
years ago and now - 30 minutes 4-5 times/week
is my regular meditation regimen.

I really admire people who can make the
switch cold turkey, but I couldn't. And
rather than beat myself up over it, I chose
to do it differently, gradually.

Thanks to Kathy W for sharing with us her excellent
approach to learning to meditate.

Until next time,
Chet Day
Editor, EarthRain Meditations

Maybe this is not exactly the method for you but it can give you a starting point or some new ideas for your own meditation, relaxation method.

Sometimes I simply turn on an old movie for relaxation .... usually puts me right to sleep ..... OK, some do not put me to sleep right away ... some I save scenes for painting references.

oil on canvas panel 8x10

Monday, January 3, 2011

Dreaming of Palm Springs

Sometimes we think we are doing little good in our lives.... but ....No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. -Aesop
There you have it ... any act of kindness you do today... no matter how small ... you have had a successful day........ does that include saving a bug?
On these winter days we can look out the window and dream of those warm times on the Southern California desert that other folks are the kid that went down to Palm Springs and lounged around the pool for a few days while the rest of us were up here freezing our asses off ... heh heh

oil on canvas panel 11x14

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Winter Wonderland

We're having winter this week .... a winter wonderland ... it's so nice to look out the window at the gorgeous scenery and see the bird and rabbit tracks across the snow .... somehow I do not often get to actually see them dancing thru the new fallen snow... but the tracks are there :-)
Still remembering coming thru the storm yesterday.

Oil on canvas pad 9x12

Saturday, January 1, 2011

1 Jan 2011

Greetings on 1 Jan 2011 ... my oh my how time do fly :-)
Hardly seems like a year could fly by so fast.... had a nice peaceful New Year's eve here... hope yours went well what ever you did.
The 10-day weather forcast said we would have some snow today.... they were right .... I thought it would be a light dusting like last week... heh heh ... a little more than a light dusting..... but it was beatiful, as usual.
Now they tell us that we may have snow for a few more days :-) ..... nice. ... and it is very cold out there so we won't have the quick melt off .... ok with me ... Jim came by and shovelled off the deck ... normally I wait for the sun to do the job. 
I did get out in the storm a little .... it's fun out in a storm ... that is as long as I get in before anything turns blue.
In a storm everything is grey of some sort... depends on what is reflecting. I spotted a pickup stopping at a stop sign .... this tells it like it was ... slick, tough going for anyone out there. This is a small knife sketch.... no brushes, just take a knife and smear the paint on the canvas.
You have a good year... think of all the good things that you made happen last year ... then plan some good things for this year...
Stay warm, dry and happy.

Oil on canvas pad 5x7 knife