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.
How 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 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.
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. Further information about this dog food is available at the Your Dog Advisor .
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.
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.
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
Poachers 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
Poached 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.
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 turn-around 01
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!
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.
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!
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…
First, here is another study of huckleberry watercolor paintings. Loose backgrounds paired with detailed treatments to the berries is what I am experimenting with. “Why is that?”, you may ask. Ultimately, it is the berries I am looking for, when I am up there. Blurred backgrounds and focus on the berries is my way of trying to produce that same reality. While hiking, my eyes constantly rove left and right searching for a particular shade of purple.
Hiking to Pick
Secondly, hiking I love, but berry-picking while hiking is like having your cake and eating it too! Add a camera into the mix and we start to use words like heaven to describe the outing.
These berries love steep ground, or ground that has seen a lot of abuse. We find them where a wildfire has cleared and left the rich ash on the ground for regrowth. Also, we tend to find them where select logging has cleared areas so the shrubs on ground level get more light. I always notice a lot of logs to step or climb over as we spend a day discovering these tasty little gems. Additionally, we use our nose to find huckleberries. These berries have such a sweet smelling aroma that drifts on the breeze as you walk. Sometimes, we just follow our nose and find them. This is a short video of a place I picked some berries up at 49 Degrees North Ski Resort this year.
Unfortunately, stuff happens and I am unable to be there. The Inn is a great historical building (red brick school building) in the heart of downtown Coeur d’Alene just one block above the Hitching Post. If you are in the neighborhood please go check it out. After all, this show is my inspiration to do huckleberry image studies in the first place.
Peer to peer teaching is so very valuable. This year I was fortunate to be able to paint with Ron Stocke for a weekend workshop. His style of painting is so inspiring. It reminds me of the much freer painter I used to be in my youth. This inspired me to return to a freer style and quit trying to render picture perfect images.
Sharing Talents Peer-to-Peer
Similarly, I painted another day with a friend and fellow artist (peer), Becky Gromlich, at her studio where we did some birch trees together. During this one day workshop, she showed how certain steps can make this kind of tree painting so much easier. It was so very helpful, to learn this.
Till then, I never realized how much fun these trees can be to paint. Birches and larches are no longer things that I face with trepidation in a layout. She opened me up to painting trees more often with vigor. Here is one I did shortly after her workshop.
Later, using these same skills I painted many birch trees using house paints in a landscape mural up at the 49 Degrees North Ski Resort. Using the same steps with a different medium.
This watercolor entitled, Muley Deer C1919, sold at the SWS (Spokane Watercolor Society) Member Show last year. It was painted using the same kind of approach for the trees combined (Becky) with a freer style of rendering for the deer, learned from (Ron Stocke).
Here is another watercolor entitled, Yellow Rose J3218 which is another example of the freer style of watercolor (Ron Stocke). It was inspired by a beautiful rose blossom I picked in my garden earlier that day.
As an artist, I benefit a great deal from fellow artists who share, helping to expand my skills and creativity. Additionally, I have found that it is easier for me to learn from a working (painting) artist (peer) than a school teacher type of person.
Finding My Peers
The SWS group that I belong to surrounds me with exactly this kind of inspiring artistic talent. The Spokane Watercolor Society is a club full of amazingly talented artists, sharing friendship along with many watercolor methods that they know and it has been a wonderful blessing to me. Artists always seem to need to strive for growth in all kinds of new avenues and this open friendly club provides a very healthy circle of inspiration to me as I grow.
Here is an example of historic photography in my family. These are my Great Grand Aunt, “Cordelia Canniff”, with her Mother and child. I know where I get it from, cause this looks like fun to me. Just wondering….
What are the age restrictions for driving?
Do you think the roads might have been a little bit muddy?
Photographs are a form of art that preserve views of our humanity. A visual form of historic storytelling. Each old photograph allows us a glimpse into life long ago. Words could not describe the spirit evident in their faces. I am touched as I gaze at the noble facial structure of Chief Joseph‘s portrait. I bet that a lot of persuasion was required to get the Chief to allow his portrait taken. We are fortunate that the photographers were successful. Their perseverance allows us the ability to see his personality, dress and culture perfectly.
I used to be the only fool carrying a camera with me, during the “stone-age” of my youth. People would make fun of me for this fascination until I showed great shots I got. This the view from the rim of the Kalaheo Side of the Kalalau Canyon in Kauai (Hawaii’s Miniature Grand Canyon).
This habit is life-long for me, here is a typical view of me with camera-in-hand in the 1990s. In modern day society, everyone carries a camera around in their cell phone so I am no longer the unusual person in the crowd.
Filter the Volume
The costs involved in the use of the medium of film, nurtured a natural discernment of the importance of a subject before taking a picture. This narrowed down the volume of shots taken. Additionally, there were the considerations of the developing cost of the film and print which created another sorting of the images effectually filtering the collection a second time. Buying a camera, and learning how to use it narrowed the photographers down to people with an invested interested in the field. This investment along with the costs involved in the film and development created a filtering process which greatly narrowed down public photography to the “most excellent shots in the batch”.
Identifying Stored Images
Estate sales, illustrate many avenues of photograph storage. documentation, filing and storage of shots is handled differently by each individual who points a camera. Some, simply leave volumes of unsorted and forgotten envelopes in boxes, while others carefully place shots into highly organized photograph albums. Some photographers take the time to identify each print with notes written on the back to identify the people, places and things being recorded. This printed method of history storage is dying. Boxes of photographs are being replaced with digital storage. Cloud, phone, tablet and disk .
Getting quite ancient myself, I find that I am focussing on downsizing, and minimizing everything. I gradually go through and sort out the stuff collected throughout my life. Within my household, I find that I have inherited multiple boxes of photographic memories from deceased family members. These gifts have assigned me the onorous task of sorting through photographs from a time long long time ago, electing to discard duplicates, un-identified, or out-of-focus shots in the process. Reducing the volume, but, still preserve the best and most important.
(of a task, duty, or responsibility) involving an amount of effort and difficulty that is oppressively burdensome: he found his duties increasingly onerous.
It is important to try and pass down family history. I scan, reasonably repair and post to my own family tree on https://www.ancestry.com. The plan is to scan, then save to disk. Subsequently, pack up and send originals to the most closely related family member still alive. Hopefully, I will not burden any loved ones with having to go through a similar task when I am gone. End goal is no boxes of photographs in my studio when I pass.
Thank you to my relatives with manners and consideration!
I appreciate the past relatives who had the good manners to let me know who and what I am looking at. Those Grandparents, Aunts & Uncles, Moms and Dads, siblings who took the time to scribble an ID message on the back, are absolute life-savers for the person working on family history preservation. See my great great great aunt’s photograph, who had been ID’d because of a little note on the back which allowed me to see who she was on the family tree.
I suggest that the same consideration should be taken with digital files documenting family history that we are accumulating. We should be removing duplicates, bad shots, and storing them in retrievable methods.
Have you ever noticed how a single good photograph can instantly trigger teleportation back into a memory? The camera was a magical invention. Photography has had that amazing power for hundreds of years, the ability to capture a memory. This thought is elegantly presented by the lyrics in an old favorite song of mine, “Photographs and Memories” by Jim Croce. Song writers are a special breed of artist too!
I was processing photographs on my computer this morning, you know, naming and filing or discarding if it is out-of-focus or a duplicate. I opened a family folder and instantly began touring my past and, before I knew it, an hour had passed. There were some kleenex involved with the images of people no longer here or are far away. Here is a picture of my cousin Jeanie and her husband Lawrence taken years ago. I feel these people are never around for long enough. They were just here visiting for a short time and I miss them a lot.
People change a great deal throughout their lives. Here is a photograph of my 3-year-old son trying a lemon. What a great facial expression!
Next, is a shot of he and I taken in the Colorado airport in his twenties. Sorry for the graininess of the second image (“low-res” cell phone) camera. Truyly, time changes everything. Those two shots don’t even look like the same person, which is amazing.