Monochrome Painting Finished

portrait Diane Conkright A0220
portrait Diane Conkright

Monochrome

Here is the first of the monochrome portraits all finished. I am very happy with the look of this and hope it ranks well in the monthly challenge program at the next meeting. It is a veritiable challenge to get depth and shape in using only one color. I believe it was done using Ultramarine blue or cobalt, now I am not sure. Some day soon I have to go ahead and mark my watercolor wells on the pallet. The only sure fire way for me to keep the names straight. Honestly, I just dab into whatever color feels right to use rather than knowing which color should be used scientifically. It is the artist (lack of) logic in full force.

SWS Meeting

Can’t wait to go to the Spokane Watercolor Society meeting scheduled for January 18th (Saturday) at 10am at the Spokane Art Supply Classroom here in Spokane, Washington. Truly, a case of, “birds of a feather” hanging out together. It is so much fun to visit with other artists and compare methods. I haven’t been able to attend any meetings for quite a while. Health issues prevented me from doing much of anything for the past half year. It is great to be feeling better and I am hoping to be able to get out more now.

I’d be glad to have you come as my guest to explore your interest in watercolor painting. You’d probably like to come check out this meeting with me. It really is a great help to be able to hook up with others interested in art, as you are. Email me here if you are so inclined and we will work out the particulars about where to meet, driving or carpool etc.

Today is a happy painting and writing day for this person.

Jenka and Lottie

Jenka Lottie Isaac Ben 05
Jenka Lottie Isaac Ben 05

The amazing thing about this whole series of pictures showing Lottie take her turn are the changing facial expressions and reactions of all the people as they watched. Jenka affects the whole group and this game got the whole family going. In this first image you can see avid interest as Lottie selects which piece she is going to take.

Jenka Lottie Isaac Ben 04
Jenka Lottie Isaac Ben 04

With the middle of the column already pretty unstable, it was getting difficult to remove pieces without making it fall. Nerve racking. The boys are surprised at which piece she chose.

Jenka Lottie Isaac Ben 07
Jenka Lottie Isaac Ben 07
Jenka Lottie Isaac Ben 08
Jenka Lottie Isaac Ben 08

They watch the piece move. Look at the intense expressions while watching with anticipation (including a tongue).

Jenka Lottie Isaac Ben 10
Jenka Lottie Isaac Ben 10

She does it without having the blocks topple over and it blows Isaac’s mind.

Jenka Lottie Isaac Ben 11
Jenka Lottie Isaac Ben 11

Lottie is feeling truly triumphant! Yay! La Dee Dah!

 

 

Young People and Jenka

Ben Jenka 13
Which one should I try?

Young people playing Jenka for New Years. Pictures that show youthful expressions playing games.

Ben Jenka 15
This one.
Ben Jenka 16
Ooooooh.

Even though the tower shakes, he keeps slowly pulling the piece out.

Ben Jenka 13
Stay up there, come on.
Ben Jenka 18
Whew! Got it.
Ben Jenka 19
I did it! Wow! Can you believe it!
Ben Jenka 20
Gosh.

What lesson does Jenka teach?

Trust that even if life places a task that looks virtually impossible in front of me, I can still succeed.

Hurley’s and the Kids in Snow

Hurley and Isaac 1Snow Favorites

Hurley did not forget his kids or their favorite snow “ball” game. When the snow came, they were all outside having fun and he jumped up over and over and never tired of chasing every snowball thrown.

Hurley Isaac Ben 05 Hurley Isaac Ben 03How many team members are that dedicated to catching a ball? Especially, when the ball continually dissipates into a million pieces, every time you catch it. Dogs are truly the most dependable friends and never hesitating to have some fun.

Hurley and Ben 2 Hurley and Ben 01

 

Hurley Loves Snow

Hurley 03
Hurley 03

Hurley is a Golden Doodle (half golden retriever and half poodle) who loves snow. When we got him he was skinny and loosing all of his hair (more than half his coat). After getting him checked out at the vet, we paid for an allergy blood test and found that he was horribly allergic to many things (17). Look at all the red boxes on this graphic of his test results.

Hurley Allergies
allergy test results

After first getting really overwhelmed… the vet said, “First pay attention to eliminating allergens with sensitivity numbers over 200, especially in food. Many times doing that will greatly improve things avoid others if you can.

Foods to Avoid:

Corn, Rice, Peanut, Oat, White Potato, Green Peas.

The vet gave us a list of food sources that costed anywhere from $4 each meal or more. Whew! Fifty dollars or more a week for food, is just not affordable for us. Hurley is generally a great dog, but we are not millionaires. Pete checked out the internet and found a solution on www.chewy.com. This brand “Victor Dog Food”, suited our needs perfectly and at a good price.

Before we did the allergy test, I was beginning to think that maybe we were dealing with some horrible disease that was going to claim him in the near future. He had ear infections over and over. There were itchy sores similar to “mosquito bites on steroids”, wherever his hair had fallen out. Nothing seemed to improve, with salves, and medicine for his ears. He was constantly dragging his body on walls, handrails, to scratch and was always licking his paws and chewing for itch relief.

Eliminating his worst food allergies by getting him food without those items in it. We have seen a transformation as he improved incredibly and amazingly fast. He is now a whopping 120 lbs. (from a sickly 80 lbs.). Things have greatly improved since we found out what Hurley is allergic to. We have to limit his portions now to stop weight gain. His hair is thick, fluffy and soft and he  loves to go roll in the snow outside because, I think he is a little too hot. Here is Hurley outside loving his roll in the snow.

Hurley Loves Snow 01
Hurley Loves Snow
Hurley Loves Snow 02
Hurley Loves to Roll in Snow

 

Research Before Drawing

I routinely conduct research about whatever it is I plan to draw, to be able to correctly illustrate things. Searching for the general facts, like sizes, colors, friends & enemies and next finding good photography. First, I envision the character realistically. Next, heavily simplifying the lines. Next, the challenge becomes giving them some human capabilities while retaining realistically identifiable specie characteristics. Here are some sketch examples.

rhino research sketch 4 rhino research sketch 6 rhino research sketh 7

I had no idea!

When I did the research on rhinos I found that I was totally oblivious to their plight. I had no idea that they were so close to extinction. The White Rhino is one of 5 quickly disappearing species of Africa, and Eurasia. Rhinos live in tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannah, shrub lands, forests and deserts. Unfortunately, with numbers dropping so drastically, many remain only in wildlife reserves now. The main factors driving the rhino population to extinction:

  • increasing human population creating less and less habitat for them
  • wars and militia massacres
  • greedy poachers

rhino research sketch 5Poachers kill approximately 3 rhinos each day to sell their horns for highly inflated profits. Poachers are the worst threats, very much like drug smugglers or cartels. Honestly, money is most important thing to them. Insidious criminals with no conscience.

Research the Horns

rhino research sketch 8Poached rhino horns are purchased by two major markets in the world. The Chinese and Vietnamese mistakenly believe that magical medicinal properties exist in rhino horn. Not true. Rhino horns are made of “Keratin” which, is what human fingernails and hair are comprised of. If, Keratin is a magical medicine, we don’t have to kill the rhino’s for it. Honestly, anyone needing “keratin” can simply chew on their own fingernails or hair and get the same results.

This horrific act of killing rhinos and harvesting their horns, makes me ashamed to be a member of humanity. I wish it would stop.

Grow-Up & Gravel

Are the Woelk’s growing up?

Duh! For years we have acted surprised when Spring arrives. We curse the fact, that just when we need gravel, all roads have restrictions (spring thaw). Remember the mud last Spring? Our driveway was a mud bog for two weeks, we were unable to refill our propane, etc, etc, etc. It was virtually impossible to drive up to the house and unfortunately, it was just as difficult to navigate by foot. You really know things are bad when your boot stays stuck in the mud producing the frozen barefoot feeling we all love. Check out, “Spring Has Sprung“. gravel on driveway 01

gravel on turn-around 01

Gravel

Toners Sand and Gravel delivered 5 loads of driveway gravel last week. Starting with the turn around area getting a full load all it’s own. That is where the propane truck got stuck last year in deeper than knee-deep mud. Intense!

gravel on driveway 05
Second load of gravel dumping
gravel on driveway 03
Pete’s second load of gravel done

Pete was home to show them where to put the loads. He used the tractor to smooth it all out on the driveway and now it looks really good.

tractor smoothing gravel
Pete on tractor grading gravel

Thinking Ahead

It feels good to be ahead of a problem instead of chasing-it-after-the-fact. In our 60’s, it really is about time for us to grow-up, right? Good Job Woelk’s!

Max and Hurley Returned!

Dogs, Got Me Again!

….  said the foolish freaked out doggy Mom in Elk WA. If I’d waited 10 more minutes there would not have even been a post about the dogs. LOL!

MINUTES!  after posting the missing dogs post, guess who walked through the dog door smiling and happy as can be. The two missing munchkins did! What a happy homecoming.

Hurley & Max homecoming

Here is what those two look like after running and playing all night around the neighborhood. They wagged tails, ate breakfast and now it looks like they are down for the count. Snoring already.

 

 

 

Woofer’s A.W.O.L. in Elk WA

If you see these two…

Hurley, golden doodle
Hurley, golden doodle

Please call or text at 509/329-8207

Thanks!

Max, Swiss Mountain Dog-pit bull

Early yesterday afternoon, a coyote howled in the distance and both our dogs took off at a dead-run in hot pursuit. They have stayed out all night and are still not home this morning. I am getting worried because they have never stayed out all night and they rarely will miss morning and night food times….

Both dogs weigh about 80 lbs and are VERY FRIENDLY. Hurley is a tall blond or red-headed Golden Retriever and Poodle mix. Max is shorter but the same weight because he is all muscle. You will notice that they have black collars with a little invisible fence kind of a box unit on it. Evidently, I don’t have the shock correction set at a high enough level to convince them to ignore a coyote.

BTW please don’t tell them that I plan on giving them a bath when they get home, cause I know with the rain and snow they are going to be a muddy mess. A human need to know thing…