Thursday, October 28, 2010

Home Art Show - the Inauguration

We had our inaugural home art show this past Sunday. Called "Light, Paint & Ink," it featured my photography, Tina's oils and watercolors and Ellen Shipley's monotypes and wood prints. It turned out pretty well. The weather cooperated and we had a nice day. The rain held off until we were all finished and everything was put away.

This is the view down our driveway as we were nearly ready to start. As you can see I had a lot of rather large aircraft prints and one giclee. Our friend, Tom Hacker, is in the background helping us set up.

Tina had some rather large paintings as well. This is the view further down the driveway opposite the tent above.

This is the view from the tent. As it turned out I was asked to take detailed photos of a sculpture. Since it is a limited series, we decided to display it in case anyone was interested in purchasing a piece as the artist is a good friend.

The figure is a highly detailed rendering of an Imperial Japanese Navy pilot from World War II. Sculpted by Don Lynch, now living in Canada, it was commissioned by another friend, Gary Nila, who is an avid collector of Japanese World War II uniforms and accouterments. Gary has done a couple of monographs on the subject, which I had the honor of doing the contemporary photography. More on that in a later post.
We also had a table set up to display the Invenature Cookbook, of which Tina and I contributed, and flyers for Kindle books by another good friend, Mel Gilden.

The idea behind the show, besides trying to sell our art, was to provide a dry run for a potential art-in-the-park venture. The Pro-Panel walls were newly purchased by Tina for that future endeavor and this was the learning phase on how to set them up. The art looked quite good on the walls. Aida King and Mel Gilden are looking at art.

Another view of the panels, this time with my photography hung on the panels. Karen Hilb is checking out the layout. Karen was our cashier and was a tremendous help.

Another view. Mel is skillfully avoiding my camera. Tina is in the background.

We were blessed to have plenty of help. Gary Charpentier is to the right of Mel's shoulder. Tom is checking out the loose art bin. Some of my black and white photos are on the left wall.

Ellen took a different route. She already had a sun shade, so she and her husband Bill decided to fabricate her walls. It turned out pretty well. This view shows some of her Paleo-Mythos prints. They are quite good.

Some more views of her set up. As you can see we had lots of chairs set out so people could come and relax and chat.

More views of our panels. We were quite pleased with how the worked out.

We set up the snacks in the Secret Garden. A funky red and white checkerboard tablecloth was used and the drinks were chilled in the ice chest. We also had some wine. Ellen, Laurie Perry, Tina and Karen provided cookies, cheeseballs and crackers, fruit and especially pumpkin bars (thanks Laurie!). We also had sandwiches, which made the rounds.

The back edge of the yard was lined with chairs. It was a very pleasant setting and people enjoyed being able to lounge about.

Steph Grush manned the snacks area and did a fabulous job!

Craig Kaston (right) and Chris Eisner share a conversation. Chris' husband, Steve, is behind Craig. Knowing them, they were discussing airplanes in general and the F-4 Phantom II in particular.

Lynn and Maryanne Jenson peruse the loose art bin. I had my smaller airplane photos in a couple of tubs on the other side.

Ellen holding down the fort at her tent while folks relax in the chairs. We were quite pleased to have Tina's dad, Bill, show up for the event. My cousin Bob Chang chats with Steph.

Fortunately, we did sell some art. Tom was particularly generous. He's getting his purchase from Karen and Roy King looks on.

More views of the art on our walls. As we started to sell pieces Tina went into a seller's frenzy and started filling empty spots with more of our art, some of which were hanging on our own walls! If somebody wanted to by one she was game. We could always replace the pieces with more of our art. But it was pretty funny anyway.

The sky grew overcast the later in the afternoon it became. Karen is now wearing her jacket. The rain started shortly after we closed down. It was a case of great timing. I don't know who Tina had to bribe to get the good weather for the show, but we lucked out.

Through it all our male cat Nicky (short for Nikolai) guarded the back door. He was a very good cat and did not try to go outdoors. I think he like being the king of Bubblewrap. He seemed to enjoy being snuggled up in it.

All in all, we all did well. We all sold some art, and two cookbooks as well! We're looking forward to doing our first art-in-the-park sometime in the Spring, as well as doing another backyard show around this time next year. We had a great time! Hope you all can join us then.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sky Shadows

I try to pick my window seats by how I think the sun angle will light the clouds and ground features. Sometimes I guess wrong and it still works out.

The starboard (right) side is usually a good place on a West-bound
flight. It works really well on the Denver-Las Vegas route. However, I forgot we were going Denver to Phoenix on this trip. That meant a more Southwesterly direction, with the nose a little to the left of the sun's position in the sky.

When that happens the features usually get washed out by the harsh light. Fortunately this time there was a lot of cloud activity. Big, billowy clouds get a dramatic look when heavily backlit, especially towards the golden hour of the la
te-afternoon. I really like the shadows cast by the clouds.

These two shots, taken moments apart, give a hint of the ever-changing vista just outside the aircraft. I love it - it's the only thing worthwhile (aside from the faster travel time) about flying these days. If I didn't have a view I would go crazy wondering what I had missed.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Evie Swings and Bubbles

Evie seems to have adjusted really well to the arrival of her baby brother. It also helps to have two grandparents around to entertain you while Daddy is at work and Mommy is going to the doctor with Eoin. There is nothing like undivided attention to perk up a four-year old.

So on that particular day we picked Evie up from pre-school and took her to the park. The swing was about the first thing she went to. Note that she is still using the smaller child safety swing with the bucket seat. There was another set with the regular style seats, but she did not want to use them as she was afraid of falling out if pushed too high. A reasonable fear, to me. I think she inherited her excess caution from her grampa. I was not known as a dare-devil then or now.

Nevertheless, once safely ensconced in the bucket, she wanted to go really high. With Nana T pushing from behind and Grampa Tony pushing from the front she attained a good deal of height - and loved it!

And in case you hadn't noticed, she picked out on her own and wore to school that day her Dodger t-shirt that we got her on their visit to L.A. this past June. All is right with the universe, even if they did have a suckee season and the Giants (shudder) finished first. Oh, well....

The park adventure concluded with a bit of bubble blowing with her new toy that we bought her on our trip to the Central Coast over Labor Day. We wanted to bring her a gift so she wouldn't feel left out with everyone cooing over Eoin, so we got at battery-powered, trigger-activated fan-blown bubble blower. Say that fast five times. Despite the unwieldy description it worked great and made a prodigious amount of bubbles. Even the homeless woman under an adjacent tree was impressed.

Needless to say Evie loved it. And we loved it because it wasn't as messy as hand-blown bubbles! We were using a rental van, after all. :-)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Meeting Eoin

Well, that was another extended break that went on longer than intended. Several events conspired to occupy my time. One of them was the 8 day visit to Colorado Springs to greet the new grandson, Eoin Michael Cotter. As you can see, he and I got along famously.
Even Nana T got into the act, although once again she did her famous party trick by managing to evade every diaper change opportunity. Grampa, on the other hand, had lots of practice learning to change baby boys - something that I've had very, very little experience at in life. I consider myself experienced now.

Evie continues to enjoy her new baby brother. Just wait until he gets into her stuff; then we'll see how happy she is.

Actually, I much prefer this state of contentment. Siblings have enough problems living with each other. Getting started on the right foot is very important. So far so good.