Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Channeling Jules Verne

The EIM for the week is "underground."
This me, underground. See? I really do exist.

This is Team LoudandStinky geocaching in a lava tube, Flagstaff back in 2005. Photo by Sr. G.

We've been talking about doing it again, at least "Stinky" wants to. So we'll go soon and report back. It's always chilly in there--40 degrees year-round, so it'll be a welcome diversion from our heat. It's just funny that it's been a topic of discussion and here we want to go "underground" for the EIM.

I was thinking of sharing a photograph from Antelope Canyon, but my old hard drive just crashed and with it...about 25,000 photographs. UGH. This is from the Travel Channel:

The canyon always finds its way onto bucket lists, most recently on AOL. Go ahead, there's some cool stuff there.
I feel blessed that I've seen all four of them listed in the States. Moving along...

And I found in today's news, a brand new World Heritage Site, Dolmen de Viera, in Andalusia, Spain is an underground tomb from 4,000 years ago. Pretty interesting!

I've been mostly bouncing around this internet thingie. Too hot to do much else. I dragged myself from underground and started heading to the "exit," the word for the TwobyTwo. I was trying to channel my inner rocker and create something along the lines of "In through the Out Door, " by Led Zeppelin. I always thought that album cover art was really cool. Especially the paint-water-and-it-changes-colors part.
Hmm, no.
What I found was a "documentary" on street artists called "Exit through the Gift Shop." Paintings associated with the film show lab rats, so I went this a-way:

Exit Strategy
Having seen a massive lab rat once try to escape our school, it just kind of, almost, makes sense.
Thanks for stopping by. Stay cool. Have a brilliant day!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Rhymes with Ice

There's now a humongous fire on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Started by lightning three weeks ago, it is, to my minds eye, out of control. Tons of heavy equipment, 500 firefighters and support personnel (helicopter pilots, and others) and a million dollars a day to fight what was a nine-acre (now 13,000 and counting) fire.
It's in old spruce/fir forest headed to open grassland and just claiming earth in it's path. Zero contained, it's expected to burn for Two. More. Months.

This photograph is from that internet thingie here.

Why do I go on? Because we were just there.

We planned our summer get-away back in February and we were already late in getting a reservation then, grabbing the last available camping spot (it's a big celebration for our National Parks System--the centennial, so rezzies filled in quickly). While driving to the rim last week, we saw smoke from a hundred miles away and wondered if we'd have our little vacation.
We went anyway.
After all, Gil earned his lifetime park pass months ago and we had yet to claim it.
I asked the first park ranger we saw for details on the fire and her response was, "What fire?" She couldn't see the fire for the trees. From where we stood, the tall Ponderosa forest hid all signs of smoke.
As it turned out, we had four glorious days of blue skies and cool, crisp air (80s, no humidity), a respite from the desert heat we have returned to. From where we camped, the fire was about 10 miles to the northeast is all. I spent three nights trying to capture the sky from our campsite, particularly a single branch of a mighty pine.

I gazed at that one branch pondering last week's Diva challenge from Suzanne Fluhr (CZT and world traveler) to embrace Peace. If I had been home, I would have used the olive trees for inspiration. I have yet to get around to drawing this, now that we're back to "reality."
But I'm liking the photograph for inspiration as well as meditation, like a giant "Om." It's not the greatest picture I've ever taken as the wind was blowing 30 mph (helping that fire over there) and the branch was never still.
Perhaps I can still tackle this image to draw as this week it's about "movement!"

In the meantime, I'll play with the EIM. My current offerings for "spiral:"

I drew a "fake" Spirograph (remember those? I used to love em!) in Photoshop and dug up a fractal image and a strangely similar nautilus shell and a spiral nebula.

I'll get back around to the various artistic endeavors. While we as humanity try to digest the recent events across the planet, I try not to infuse my work with tragedy or politics. The title is a reference to France, even though it doesn't.
For whatever reason, the fire has gripped me tightly. Words, and pictures, which usually spill from me, somehow fail me.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Putting My Heart into It

I was kind of ahead of myself, again, last week while I was speaking of "rain" before the EIM this week. The week before last we had rain and have had none since. This is our rainy season; we should be getting rain.

Instead, this is what we're getting:

We're not even getting virga, also known as phantom rain--it doesn't even touch the ground!

I'm not so secretly praying for rain as we're tinder dry and forest fires are a reality. So far, so good.

Other than that, this is what I have to give to you, my world, this week:

It's a collage specifically for the Two by Two. And a personal statement and challenge to do what I must.
What is YOUR "must?"
Have a brilliant day!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

And the Rocket's Red Glare

The weather has been fabulous for this spot in the desert. We had rain (for ten minutes or so) a couple days in a row, which made the air just plain steamy.
Then it rained.
The Navajo have ten different names for rain and while I don't know what they are, I can easily identify a few. There are drizzles and showers. We have one we comically call twelve-inch rain--that's where we get a few splatters 12-inches apart. Then we have fat rain--big, burly splats of water that hurl themselves towards Earth and bounce off the ground.
It just rained, pure and simple.
Then the air cleared, just glorious. One hundred degrees and deep cerulean skies. And more of the same all week long. Perfect.
I have to get out and yank the weeds that were patiently waiting for a good soaking. They multiply before my eyes! But not until I take care of these little artworks....

These are for last week's IAST.

The first was the happy result of trying the #heftyhack that the Diva proposed a couple weeks ago. After many an attempt, I used Prismacolor brush-tip markers and kosher salt to create the watercolor background with "Ahh" fireworks. The second is a more traditional piece with my trusty Sharpie, Derwent charcoal and General white charcoal for highlights. The pattern "Floatfest" floats just above the surface.

Moving along to the inchie of the week...the EIM word is "computer." We are surrounded by them. I watched a program two weeks ago that showed the computers that helped put the man on the moon--with a whopping EIGHT megs of RAM! I don't think I knew what computers were in 1969, let alone RAM. Now here I am with 2,000 times the computing power at my fingertips.

That said, I give you the first known computer punch card created by a Mr. Korsakov in 1832.

The concept of which just begs that whole dangling chad debacle (2000 presidential election, Florida). This is an example of swinging door chads (and a single properly punched space):

Supposedly, there are some precincts that still use punch cards for the voting process. That's as scary a concept as thinking I could launch a rocket from this computer.

And while the Diva's proposal this week was to show our true (country's) colours, this was having none of it. I tried the Star-Spangled approach, humming the anthem all the while. I started with "the bombs bursting in air" and kept coming around to..."and the skies are not cloudy all day," (which has nothing to do with anything other than our beautiful weather). Doesn't explain this one wit:
It was supposed to be stars and streamers, fireworks and all that. Yeah, well....I guess I used that all up for the String Thing.
Hopefully, not a discouraging word is heard. Be sure to check what other crazy and tangly people are up. Always a treat. Have a brilliant day!