Saturday, November 28, 2015

Juice Box Boys

Juice Box Boys, one of whom wants to be a Train Boy.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving and Thanks for Giving

Yes, tomorrow at this time, this could be you! 

No matter where Americans are, they find time to give traditional thanks for the harvest they just had (Oh, sure! Like shopping counts) by eating too much food, surrounded by relatives, some they like, some they tolerate, and some they can't stand but won't say so until they've had too much wine. We're just nuts that way, but it's the American thing to do and we do it well. The Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving also but I don't think they eat as much as we do.

Thanks to our armed forces for giving us the freedom to celebrate Thanksgiving.
Khowst Province, Afghanistan



Saturday, November 21, 2015

Art Everywhere

Another Spiderman.  Susan really likes these little pieces, which are only about 4" high.  I just can't get excited about them although I love the magic of how the glaze changes.

Everywhere you look you can find art, even on the walls of buildings.

Sometimes, when I'm not paying attention, Susan finds time to make her own art.

Unfortunately, she doesn't find enough time - the newspapers, books, KenKen, other blogs, my blog - all get in the way. She finds it very hard to understand why anyone would want to keep on working instead of retiring with whole days to waste delightfully while doing nothing productive.  As we put it, we get up in the morning and have nothing to do. When we go to bed at night we've only done half of it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Flower Power

I put these flowers up in late June. Amazingly enough, they are still there! That's my old-man bike in the picture. It's so lame looking it will never be stolen.

Sometimes I just draw, sort of zentangle-like.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


 I can't think of any worthwhile title for this blog entry.

Bruce Plante, Tulsa World
 The Statue of Liberty, a gift from the people of France to the United States in 1886.

Steve Sack, Star Tribune
Just two nights ago we watched our Netflix movie, Diplomacy, and gave it 5 stars.. It was a heavily fictionalized but fascinating account of how, during World War II, Raoul Nordling, a Swedish diplomat, helped convince German General Choltitz that bombing Paris would be a horrific abuse of power. Part of his argument was the everlasting beauty of Paris.

We've been to Paris. It's beautiful and magic. Our hotel was just 2 blocks away from the Bataclan Concert Hall.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Remember: Veterans Day, November 11, 2015

To our oldest generation:
Thank you for believing that freedom was worth fighting for.
To our youngest generation:
Thank you for volunteering to serve to protect our freedom.

Today, as was true last Veterans Day,  less than 0.5% of the American population serves in our military armed forces. Here's hoping that today, Veterans Day, the other 99.5 % of Americans will take the time to thank a veteran and to thank an active duty service member. They've earned your respect and your thanks. 

How about a little historical context?

In May 1961, President John F. Kennedy authorized sending an addition 500 Special Forces troops and military advisers to assist the pro-Western government of South Vietnam.  This increased the total there to nearly 3,200 by the end of 1961.  By the end of 1962 there were approximately 11,000 military advisers in South Vietnam. By the end of 1964, the numbers had risen to 16,000.

On October 30, 2015, President Obama authorized the deployment of military advisers into Syria.

Don Madden, Da Nang, Vietnam, 1969

Friday, November 6, 2015


Little birdies, just a little bigger than an inch.

Leviathan? Just about one of the best movies I've ever seen.  Why is it that Hollywood has to make unrealistic James Bond movies when skillful artists can make movies that pose morality questions that are never answered. Or even could be.  The Felony is another close-to-perfect movie.  Neither one of these movies starts out strong but they slowly reel you in and end with a twist in the last minute.

Train Children, maybe heading your way.

It's been raining a lot lately so I haven't had much of a chance to send off Train Children, Train Toys or Train Flowers.  But stay tuned, they may show up in your town someday.

My neighbor, Loma, has a green thumb and can grow anything.  Our apartment balcony is one floor up and one apartment over from hers so we can look down at her balcony full of plants.  I made this pot for her because she took a plant from me that was in an emergency crisis situation -- Susan was going to touch it.  No, no, no! Susan is the kiss-of-death for plants so Loma did the Rescue Plant adoption.

The glaze on the pot is from a soda firing which gave it the blue-to-green appearance (it's not the lighting, its the pot colors).  My friend Yetta made the saucer for the pot because she's a thrower. Me, I'm a hand builder, as you can see from the pot.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween

Trick or Treat! Give me candy and give it to me now.  OK, I'll settle for a rum and coke.

Another Train Traveler:

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Everything But

Birdies, largest is about 3 inches high.

Susan's new addiction.  You know it has to be good when a person who doesn't like candy bars buys 10 of them and then hides them so I can't eat them.

More train travelers:

Monday, October 26, 2015

More Train Travelers

We had a lot of rain lately but I put these guys up before it started so I hope they traveled somewhere dry.

My friend Hank had his birthday recently and we made sure his cake had the appropriate number of candles.  He has beat the life expectancy statistics and tries his best to be a curmudgeon, which is sort of hard for him because he's basically a nice guy.

Say hello to Emma and Roger.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Train Power!

First it was Train Children.  Then it was Train Flowers. Now it's Train Toys!

They get some minor surgery to insert a long cable tie halfway through their middle so they can be fastened on the train.  No, the train isn't moving when they hitch their ride.  There is a stopping area not too far from where we live and if I'm lucky there might be a train there on the weekend.

Susan just shakes her head and mutters strange things when I come home on Saturdays with a bag full of stuff.  The best toys come from garage sales I find while riding my bike.  At one sale I saw a few and asked the little boy standing there with his mother if he had any more.  He ran back inside and came back with a whole bunch of them.  Of course I bargained the price down but I think his mother was glad to get rid of them.

There are still Train Children.

When I ride my bike now I'm prepared with flowers, toys and Train Children -- just in case a train is sitting.  If you ever see a train, look for them.  Susan yells at me to not look at them if we see them while driving.  She knows that if I ever actually see anything I had put on a train I'd probably wreck the car.

I'm still making birds.

Friday, October 2, 2015

I Draw, I Watercolor, She Sleeps

I've been reading Art Before Breakfast by Danny Gregory.  He was a speaker at ArtUnraveled in August and his talk sort of motivated me to ... well, read his book instead of making art before breakfast. No, actually, he was very interesting and I like it when I hear a guy talking about drawing and mixed media because usually it's women who predominate at the art events I go to.

Anyway, the other night Susan was already asleep when I was reading Danny's book. We drastically downsized a few years ago and the most comfortable chair for reading is in the bedroom. That's where my pillow, Pinky, comes into play as an eyeshade for her. Instead of Art Before Breakfast I made Art before Bedtime.

This is a little "fantasy figure" I made, he's about 3 inches high.  I was trying out different stamps and glazes and I sort of like him.

But this guy is a loser. He'll wind up being a Give-Away or maybe take a train ride.