Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sunsets and Politics

Ronald Reagan quotes about America
“Some may try and tell us that this is the end of an era. But what they overlook is that in America, every day is a new beginning, and every sunset is merely the latest milestone on a voyage that never ends. For this is the land that has never become, but is always in the act of becoming. Emerson was right: America is the land of tomorrow.” ~ Ronald Reagan

January, 2011 sunset

Monday, January 30, 2012

My secret source of healthy eggs

Vegetarians live longer
“I did not become a vegetarian for my health, I did it for the health of the chickens.” ~ Isaac Bashevis Singer, 1902 - 1991, famous author and recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature, 1978.

Followers of this blog know that I have a few secret places where I enjoy shooting. I have never disclosed the locations. Too beautiful to share except in photographs.

I also have a secret source of eggs. I can not disclose that location because there would not be enough eggs for me. The supply is very limited.

I have been a vegetarian for over thirty years, and up until two years ago, I have not had an egg in all that time. 

I have checked out many free-range chickens because chickens raised in factory farms are pumped full of hormones (don't believe what those advertisements tell you on the TV), live miserable short lives, and of course end up in slaughter/horror houses. 

In my search I have never been able to find anyone who did not kill their chickens for food until 2 years ago. I saw a posting on the bulletin board at my vets office and called the number. After the "interview" I was extremely pleased to find out that the chickens lived out their natural lives in pure luxury. They are pets, and when one gets sick they are humanely put to sleep by a veterinarian.

The owners have created scratching places, and there is always fresh chicken-pickings for them to snack on. And of course the feed is all organic. 

One of the gals eyes a corn cob, picked clean. They love their corn cobs. 

Only the finest accommodations will do. They even have a pond.

Not only are the eggs healthy, they come in colors! No special feed is used except the best organic brands. The gals are special breeds that lay naturally colored eggs. Red, brown, and blue/green.
iPhone photo

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Artist mix

Cat folk art painting, Vietnam folk art painting
"Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up."  ~Pablo Picasso

Today I am posting a commissioned painting. It was commissioned by a Vietnam vet (door gunner on a Huey), a cat lover no doubt. People around these parts know my husband is a folk artist, but few know that I too, am a folk artist. I began in the seventies and have sold hundreds of paintings. 

I seldom paint these days, but once I get my photos organized and some travels in, and get the house ready for market, I will get back to my roots, so look for my work on Etsy in the future (photos and greeting cards too!).

Back to the photo. Why is there a cat in the photo? Remember, I told you the person who commissioned the painting is a cat lover? He knew that I was a folk artist too, and so wanted me to put my touch to the canvas. Because cats are such a large part in the lives of those who love them, I made him the central point, and let my husband take over from there. He added some spiritual symbols to his normal icons because the owner is a minister. It is not the first time we have teamed up to create a painting.

Collectors look for 3 items in my husband's work: his White Dog; there was a white dog that hung around his hooch in Vietnam. He considered him one of his lucky charms. A fireball that he calls  "Message's from Nam"; the interpretation is left to the viewer, and a squiggly in the form of a "D" with two hatch-marks inside that represents his high school friend who was killed in Vietnam. This is placed directly under his signature and is the last thing to into  the painting. All of these symbols can be seen painted on the Vietnam-era Huey, on display for many more years at the Price of Freedom exhibit at the National Museum of American History located on the National Mall in DC.

And yes, I signed the painting but is hardly visible. My husband is the star artist.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Garrett County, Maryland folk art painting

Garrett County folk art painting
Today I am posting a painting by my husband. He has been a folk artist/outsider artist/visionary artist since 1994 (people call this style of art many things). If you check out tomorrow's post you will see one of our joint paintings.

This painting is of a working farm in Garrett County, Maryland, a place we frequent often because our son owns a vacation home in the area.  Folk artists take many liberties when creating a painting from real life. They see things others do not see. That is what makes them not only special but highly collectible. 

Of course art is in the eye of the beholder. One collector in Texas owns 12 of my husband's paintings and, I kid you not, he took down an original painting from one of the old master painters of the early 19th century from his fireplace, replacing it with one of my husband's painting.
This painting is 16x20 on stretched canvas, ready to hang. Email for price.

Three things go into his paintings: A fireball (sometimes several) that he calls "Messages from 'Nam" - he was a USMC door gunner on a helicopter from 66-67, and recipient of the Purple Heart. 

A white dog hung around his hooch in Vietnam and my husband claimed him as one of his many lucky charms; White Dog can be seen anywhere in a painting, in this case he seems to be helping in the fields. White Dog can be dominant in the painting or simply put, hard to find. 

The last thing that goes into my husband's paintings is a squiggly with two hatch-marks that appears under his signature, a tribute to his high-school friend who joined the Marines with him on the buddy program. His friend was killed in Vietnam, but his spirit lives in each painting.

Sometimes my husband adds a a Huey helicopter in his paintings. Though not in this painting, it is often requested in commissioned paintings, even non-Vietnam pieces, and is another item collectors look for in his work.

If you have ever seen the Huey helicopter display at the Price of Freedom exhibit at the American History Museum in Washington, DC, you may have noticed his three icons painted on the side of the door, as well as the POW symbol, folk-art style. My husband was part of the filming of a Vietnam documentary that involved the Huey. He painted the icons on the helicopter during the filming.

The exhibit will be there for many more years, so check it out - Price of Freedom: Americans at War. Exhibit is on third floor.

~ ~ ~

Huey091 is shown landing in our backyard in Georgia for the filming of the documentary. It is there my husband added his trademarks to the now-famous helicopter. We had 6 acres, but it was a tight land. Any more to the right and the Huey would have ended up in 100 blueberry bushes; anymore to the left would have put them into our dock and into the river. It took almost 30 minutes to land in that tight spot.

 On the National Mall

 My husband is shown in tan jacket.

Close-up of art work on Huey inside the exhibit. I have some great shots of the helicopter on exhibit, but I have no idea where they are. Perhaps I will come across them later, or you could just visit. Wink, wink. It is an awesome exhibit, and to think that helicopter is now on the third floor!


Friday, January 27, 2012

Birds of a feather...

Birds of a feather quotes
"I'd never just want to do what everybody else did. I'd be contributing to the sameness of everything." ~ Don Van Vliet

 Filtered photo ( I am now filtering a lot of photos for greeting card purposes).

Thursday, January 26, 2012

No Food, No Farms

No Food, No Farms, Rowlesburg,  WV Volunteer Fire Department
A snap from Rowelesburg, WV, worthy of a post.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Glass sunset

Glass sky photo
“Lost, yesterday, somewhere between sunrise and sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered for they are gone forever.” ~ Horace Mann

This was a really pretty sunset, but I decided to play with it, hence the appearance of glass or a flash bouncing off the heavens.

Dog Wolf plays the flute

Native American flute
This is a friend of ours, a full-bloodied Native American of the Apache Tribe, a truly wonderful person who knows how to talk to the spirits. And oh, how he can play the flute. Our home still sings from the notes he left behind. Love you, Dog Wolf.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Staunton, VA historic buildings

Staunton, VA historic buildings
"History is a kind of introduction to more interesting people than we can possibly meet in our restricted lives; let us not neglect the opportunity."   ~Dexter Perkins

Staunton, VA has over 1000 historic buildings. Kudos to preserving them.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Go Directly to Boardwalk

Boardwalk in Atlantic City
I may have landed on Boardwalk but I did not come away a millionaire. Had fun, though.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Lost Osprey Photo

Osprey photo
"The very idea of a bird is a symbol and a suggestion to the poet. A bird seems to be at the top of the scale, so vehement and intense his life. . . . The beautiful vagabonds, endowed with every grace, masters of all climes, and knowing no bounds -- how many human aspirations are realized in their free, holiday-lives -- and how many suggestions to the poet in their flight and song!" ~ John Burroughs

While cleaning out some files, I found this baby Osprey, photographed from our boat this past summer with a telephoto lens as we went whizzing by. Wonder where he/she is today?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Crisfield Fire, January 21, 2012

Crisfield Fire, January 21, 2012
I never enjoyed covering tragedies for newspapers, and I have had to cover many in my career. Last week, I took photos of an oil tanker truck that had exploded. Thankfully, no one was badly injured. 

Yes, I am still retired, but I don't mind helping out our local paper if I am in town. Read full coverage in Jan 25 edition of Crisfield-Somerset County Times.

Thankfully, no one was hurt. I always think of the people involved in tragedies such as this when I shoot, and in this case, the firefighters who were quick to contain this fire, a fire that could have taken down many homes.




What it's like to watch your home burn is something no one can imagine except those who watch their lives go up in smoke. My thoughts go out to the family.