I could post daily and never run out of thoughts, stories and images about nature! Every so often man literally bulldozes his way through nature, and my heart breaks with each tree that is needlessly destroyed. Years ago I witnessed this when the old-growth trees were felled on a petite island that once belonged to my grandfather. The owner, a close friend of our family, left the island to a well-known conservation group, so that it would always be a wildlife haven. The group quickly sold it, and the new owners toppled the timber like dominoes. Continue reading
Companions come in many forms, and some people often misunderstand my choice not to have a domesticated animal as a pet. A free spirit, I travel too often, and it seems insensitive to delegate the care of an animal to someone else when I am absent. I have the option of distant friendships with companions of the wild. Enjoy many of the creatures that have watched over me during my time in Central and South America! Continue reading
My friends James and Terri posted some images of weddings and mentioned the amazing amount some people spend on flowers. One Jekyll Island wedding cost $100,000 – just on flowers! (See: There Goes The Bride 2) I commented and ‘wondered’ if those flowers came from Ecuador, which prompted the question, “Does Ecuador export a lot of flowers?”
While sipping coffee, eating patacones con queso and drinking a fresh fruit juice at the Hostal Charito in Mindo Ecuador, I did a search and discovered some interesting data. Continue reading
Sarah Dettman’s friends and family helped with this Sunflower painting to help brighten a community laundry room. It’s my pleasure to present it to all of you out there in WordPress world! Continue reading
“The aspect of Nature is devout. Like the figure of Jesus, she stands with bended head, and hands folded. The happiest man is he who learns from nature the lesson of worship.” (Emerson)
Today’s Timeout for Art addresses nature, and my artist’s statement from a show in the year 2000 stated, “I am at my best when alone with nature.” Continue reading
The trip to the Amazon has been postponed, so today finds me taking a two-day time out in Mindo Ecuador. This morning I visited the Butterfly Garden, located three kilometers from town. What a delightful childlike immersion in nature I spent while trying to capture the elusive blue morpho with my camera! Continue reading
This week brought many creative challenges while I spent time with my friend Sarah Dettman and her family. From the hummingbird and butterfly murals, to the sunflower painting for their laundry room, my paint brushes have had a workout!
Yesterday while Sarah was speaking to a WorldTeach group, I sneaked back to the courtyard and left a smile for her to find later! She and her husband walked right past it several times before Eloy spotted it! Continue reading
Quito, Ecuador – Every equinox and solstice remind me to stop and ponder where I am on the planet, where I am in my life’s journey, and to consider how all of us play our roles on this beautiful planet in this beautiful solar system. Someone mentioned this past week that the sun is straight overhead (at the equator) during the summer solstice. I didn’t challenge their statement, but made a note to mark the sun’s position at high noon. Not being at home, this was much easier to record than the end-of-day images!
While critiquing the sunflower painting, I noted the strong mid-morning light and shadow when a surprise visitor ambled into the scene! After a fun photo session, I focused on painting!
A sense of high noon awakened me from my painting trance, and I hurriedly checked the computer to see the time: 11:59! Continue reading
“Draw on both sides of the line, not just what you’re enclosing. The shape you’re making on the outside is as important as the one you’re making on the inside.” (Leon Polk Smith)
From Quito Ecuador –
Tonight I’m taking a timeout from art for a timeout for art! A full day of painting leaves me tired, yet when I switch to pencil, I quickly float away in a meditative trance! It’s as if I am asleep with my eyes wide open! I could draw all night!
Quito, Ecuador – While the northern hemisphere approaches the longest day of the year, and the southern approaches the shortest, the sun consistently peers over the horizon around 6 in the morning and sets around 6 in the evening on the equator. I often try to squeeze a bit more from each day, as the above photo illustrates!
Before I resumed painting this morning, Continue reading
(Ecuador) The past two weeks have caught me hopscotching back and forth across the line of the equator! From tour groups to post-painting competitions to restaurant makeovers in the Jama (sea level) area, I traveled last week to Quito’s high altitude of 9,350 feet (2,800 meters) before retreating to Mindo’s cloud forest at 5,006 feet (1525 meters).
Rather than confuse you with who, what, when, where and why, I present this eclectic assortment of images from the past week. Continue reading
“You will find that if you really try to be a father, your child will meet you halfway.” – Robert Brault
“A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty. ” Unknown
“Sometimes the poorest man leaves his children the richest inheritance.” — Ruth E. Renkel
”My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.” – Jim Valvano
“There’s something like a line of gold thread running through a man’s words when he talks to his daughter.” – John Gregory Brown
“One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters.”
– George Herbert
Happy Father’s Day!
From the breakfast table in Mindo, I am pleased to lob you to Silvana’s report of the children’s parade in Jama! Z
Today my hometown Jama is celebrating its 15 years as official town from Ecuador. The biggest activity is a huge parade where participate all the educative centers, social organizations, and more. one day before there is a small parade with children from locals daycare and kindergarten, all children have to wear costumes. I wanna share some pictures I took in one of my favorite part of this celebration………
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“Unfortunately when I start to talk or when someone watches over my shoulders, my pencil either stops or I draw meaningless lines.” (E. J. Hughes)
In the Andean city of Quito, I am using a friends computer (with Spanish keyboard) and unable to transfer images from the cameras memory chip. Tomorrow night from the cloudforest of Mindo, I will most likely be online with access to this weeks images!
While painting at Restaurant Exclusivo last week, I often lost my concentration when others were standing nearby and talking, lauging, critiquing the painting in progress. I noted that my lines wavered in the direction of the bystanders and the direction my minds eye wandered.
My friends are accustomed to a “No Talking Zone” sign that I often display when I am seriously working. It helps remind them that noises pull my attention away from my painting!
Signing off for the day and will most likely see you Thursday night!
While Barbara and I were working on the magic carpet in April, Silvana wrote, “I would love to help with something I’m not a painter but I know cook .” (See BODEGA FLOOR IMPROVES) She chuckled and told us if one can easily chop an onion, they should be able to paint! By witnessing how she and Vania were naturals at painting, I would put them against anyone in an onion-chopping competition! So the gals can paint, and they can chop onions, but can they cook?
Aside from adopting words from other languages, Spanish doesn’t have words that begin with the letter W! Wifi, Whisky, Wafle (Waffle) illustrate a few of the escapes that took root in the Spanish language.
Here’s a beautiful song by Richard Shindell that my friend Michelle shared with me years ago. It doesn’t start with W, but it compliments the theme of learning Spanish.
An impromptu parade distracted us from painting last week; in preparation for Jama’s (Canton)15-year celebration, the town treated us to a dress rehearsal for a much larger parade set for later this week! Since I have no Spanish words to illustrate the letter W, here’s a sneak peek of the upcoming parade! Continue reading
With a smirk from my perch at the riverhouse, I bask in the memories of working with Silvana and Vania this past week. Not only is Silvana a quick understudy in creating art, but she is also a great writer, who entertains us with posts about the latest art project!
Chevere! Buen Trabajo! Good work, Silvana! You are a master of many trades, and you are intelligent and funny as well!
What means chevere? as our popular Ecuadorian Spanish dictionary chevere means great, cool, cute, pretty, well on our second day of work chevere has been the most mentioned word by people who have walked around our workspace and God!!! there have been many I would say that too much the point of causing hassle and deconcentration!
I must admit it has been inevitable since the restaurant was open for lunch, has not been easy to stay in different activities at the same time, attending a restaurant, painting, cooking, engage in worpress, take pictures to share (this also has its hard side).
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The past ten days have filled my life with power outages, a broken water line, private tours, a painting competition, watercolor lessons by candlelight, a dress-rehearsal parade, and the challenge of transforming a restaurant dining area. I’ve sharpened my pencils countless times, though I have had little time online.
Precision requires a sharp point! One more session will complete the above drawing. Instead of finishing the egret drawing yesterday, I focused on the cat for part of the restaurant’s new ‘artsy’ look!
Enjoy the evolution of a fun impromptu painting that was prompted by the suggestion, ‘What about a window with a cat – painted in the same style of the tables? Simple lines and basic colors.”
I veered a little off course! Continue reading
“Drawing is the basis of art. A bad painter cannot draw. But one who draws well can always paint.” (Arshile Gorky)
Jama Ecuador – 05/June/2013
The past week found me totally immersed in art projects and in society! The post-painting competition stretched from Saturday until Monday evening, and several of the most dedicated artists continued painting after sunset! Tapping into the pre-Columbian designs of the Jama Coaque Indians, the street artists displayed strong drawing skills.
Life remains at an easy forward motion here in Ecuador’s Manabi Province! The above image reflects the tranquil attitude of Sarah Dettman’s group that toured the area on Friday. After a picnic and a little practice at the art of hammocking, we met the other half of the group at Canoa Beach Hotel – an hour’s drive down the coast.
Early that morning Jonathan Hall and his part of the Ecuador Expat Journey group flew from Quito to Manta and drove to Canoa, while Sarah brought her new friends by land to Pedernales, over the line of the equator and to the Jama area. Continue reading