This thing called abstract

The creation of abstract art can be a conscious or unconscious movement. Many times artists which start out with a blank canvas and many times have no preconceived idea as to what images will be there.

I would suppose the first act will be just to put some color on the canvas. It does not make much difference as to the actual color, but the starting color can trigger other thoughts of compatible or colors which break all of the rules. I myself like to have a color chart close by for reference.

The first motions need to be a sweeping, flowing motion. Just the act of this sweeping curvilinear motion actually might be setting the stage for the flow of the final image. With this sweeping flowing motion, it will set the stage for some smaller short strokes with different colors. Perhaps a dry brush or just a pallet knife will be used. Of course most any tool will become an extension of your thoughts when used in your hands.

Also the drawing of specific shapes just might trigger the use of a transition shape that you feel at the time should be added. If you think how squares and circles can be made into other complete images on their own, but can also add to the overall painting.

Of course abstract art can be in most medium, but some mediums are easier than others. I watched watercolor artists do an abstract painting while the paper was very wet. But when the blowers and places were covered up on the paper to dry slowly (so it could still be worked with a sharp object) the result was rather interesting.

As you are creating the painting you have to keep looking for the main element that you want the viewer to see. Will it be a dark area, light area, off to one side or right in the middle? Of course the rule of thirds (an image should be imagined as divided into nine equal parts by two equally spaced horizontal lines and two equally spaced vertical lines, and that important compositional elements should be placed along these lines or their intersections) can be a guide for you.

Of course some of the art you will be creating will actually reflect some of the other elements that you have seen other artists do, but will have you own unique way of doing them. You can also put lights in dark areas and darks in light areas.

Posted in art

The day before

Diamond T

Diamond T

I suppose having a holiday on a Thursday is a good thing. I gives you some time to clean up the house and recover from all of the taste tempting food you just had to try. For those who will also take a Friday off, it will be a long weekend. For the people who have some kind of a hobby, it will be a good time to get more of the hobby done.

Of course you can also relax in front of the television. Put your feet up and find your favorite channel, which is what I call “recharging your battey’s.” It is always good for your body to rest & why not watch something that is interesting?

But for some the holiday is just like any regular day. They are the persons who actually look out for us. Police, Fire, Doctors are just 3 of the first to come to my mind. Countless persons who keep the stores open, keep the restaurants open and are involved in a 7 day week business.

The truck drivers who are on the interstate moving what we will buy next week, who will be eating their turkey at some truck stop instead of with their family. My dear sweet aunt Elizabeth, who would drive about 50 miles to have dinner with us. She said “I always get behind a trucker to show me the way to your house.”

So here is a “Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone.”

Posted in art | Tagged

Secrets of the lake

When you first hear the words “Lake Elsinore” you imagine a quiet community with majestic mountains and expensive lake front homes. The kind of a place where the rich and famous might go to get away from it all.  But faced with hot, almost rain less summers and some mild, wetter winter it is a place you could often dream about. But today’s lake Elsinore is a far cry from a sleepily resort town in your dreams.

Established as a city in 1888 a natural freshwater lake about 3,000 acres depending on how much rainfall there is to fill it. It was the same year The National Geographic Society is founded in Washington, D.C.  The same year of the famous White chapel murders: The mutilated body of London prostitute Mary Ann Nichols is found. She is considered the first victim of famous Jack the Ripper. But how could this relate to Lake Elsinore?

During WWII it was an important place for the sky blue lake was used to test seaplanes, and a Douglas Aircraft plant, long gone was making wing assemblies for Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bombers was located in the city. The lake also hosted teams for Olympic training and high-speed boat racing in the 1920’s.

By 1950 the lake was in danger of going dry, but by 1960 it was back to its former glory. The level of the water is depended on how much rain falls. You would suppose with the lake level going down, some people might have been nervous that submerged objects might be seen. Of course I suppose no one will ever know what objects the crisp blue water is hiding. As a result of the “Great Flood of 1862”, the level of the lake was very high, so the Union Army created a post at the lake to graze and water their horses. But in just a few years 1862–65 drought, most of the cattle in Southern California died and the lake level fell in 1867, when practically no rain fell to nourish the thirsty earth.

Many of the famous homes still stand on the hills surrounding the lake, including Aimee’s Castle, a unique Moorish-style house built by Aimee Semple McPherson. Famous actor Bela Lugosi, known for his lead role in Universal Pictures’ film, Dracula, built a home that might still exist in the city’s Country Club Heights district.

But with all of the famous people who called Lake Elsinore home, you have many who were just a first name in the serial killings of 1991. The count was 17 in all, with some found in Lake Elsinore. Others were found in Riverside County if you need a name.

Of course a sleepy resort town does not need this publicity. People in the Chamber of Commerce are not happy and were very vocal. The merchants in the quaint 1920 style Main Street were not happy either. While it was bad for business, it removed some of the luster the resort town was trying to become known for.

History books tell of a leaked internal Riverside police memo, with a sketch of a man seen with a victim and wanted for questioning, got posted in the window of a print shop before sheriff’s investigators had even seen it.

But one of the facts that many of them were prostitutes strolling the short blocks of Main Street here had been grounds for complaints long before they were to become a number on some paper with the dry ink never to be changed.

The city likes to call itself the “playground of the Inland Empire.” More recently it has been changed to “Dream Extreme” which I suppose sounds a lot better. Two signs on a freeway overpass only cost $250,000 with half paid by the Outlets. The new words hope to make Lake Elsinore have reputation as a  destination for adventurous outdoor sports such as high-speed boating and water-skiing, off-road racing, hang gliding and skydiving to name a few.

But with a nice blue lake to help promote water sports on a lake that is unpredictable might be a problem. The city is stabilizing the lake and building plenty of parks. The designer outlet mall is in place for another shopping experience. Brick-fronted Main Street has being reworked to 1920s quaintness which is supposed to attract new customers. Then a 1992 tax vote to double the number of sheriff’s deputies to cope with complaints about response time.

Some bodies were found within a couple of miles of the First Southern Baptist church, whose congregation is mostly made up of the new families who might come here for cheaper houses and clean air and, perhaps, a safer haven to live in.

But we will never know if more than the 17 women killed by the serial killer might be hiding in the cool blue water of the lake. No one will ever know if any evidence is submerged in the deep water where only the fish go, who will never tell a secret.

Posted in Mystery

Looking, you

You, looking

The Rules: In this story the words that are in this type face is a man talking. The words in this typeface is a woman talking.

I was just a young boy going to a new school where I was a stranger. It was a cold winter day in this new place that I was sent too. As I was finding my place, I happened to open up a wrong door. You were hidden from my view, but I could hear your voice. You were reciting a poem that must have been part of your homework. Your voice was soft and sweet although I could not see you.

I closed the door quickly as the sound of your voice was tempting me to enter the wrong classroom. I was afraid of what might happen if they ever knew it was just your voice I was falling in love with. But on to my classroom, I was still thinking of your words that beckoned me.

I was there in my proper school dress that my Mother had just ironed for me. I somehow knew you were there wanting to come in as I read the lines of the poem we had to memorize. The poem was of the love of things that were big and small. Over the years, I have forgotten who wrote the poem, but it forever stayed in my heart like you did.

I was busy with my studies and the interaction of the pother students. But in those relationships I could still not get your tender words out of my head. I was a student that applied me and soon sports became the sounds that filled my ears. The sounds of being a part of a team that I would be allowed to wear a letterman’s jacket for all to see. Oh the sounds of the excited cheer leaders could not drown out the words you were saying although I could not hear.

My high school hours was filled with many books for me to read. I was told that what I learned from these books I would carry with me the rest of my life. My girlfriends were finding relationships, but I knew you were somewhere waiting for me. For in my heart I could see your image although we had never met yet. The president of my class was taking up lots of my time. But in the darkness of my room, it was your spirit I could feel. Many nights I lay sleepless wonder what you were doing and if you were safe from harm’s way.

It was time for me to leave. Much of the town’s people were there to give us a big send off. But just before I was to get on the bus, I thought I saw you in a crowd. You were wearing a small hat with some hair in your eyes. It was that small seconds that brought back to many memories I had of you in my heart. I knew you would never write me a letter, but maybe you would see some of the pictures I would send home of me in uniform. Perhaps my parents could somehow meet your parents.

I was there in the crowd with some of the other girls when some of their boyfriends were going on the bus. I was looking for you in the group, but you were so excited that you did not look my way. When the bus was going down the road, my hope of seeing you again faded. But for many nights you were in my prayers that you would be safe and come home to find me.

Many years have passed and I have some medals on my uniform. It is now quiet as I return home. My uniform is forever put away and a business man’s clothes are now what I wear. You might not recognize me in my short hair and a few scars that still need to heal. My company is local, but I am the one who is sent on the road. As I go from town to town I still look for you. Setting in the park in the big cities, I listen for your name to be mentioned. But I am sure you have also changed, but your memory in my heart is still strong that first day I listened to your voice.

I am now living in a big city, but I’m a small town girl. The work and everyday life give me little time to look for you. My business suit I wear is different than the comfortable clothes I have left behind. But I still dream of you in the nights especially when it’s raining. In the cold I dream of what it would be like for you to be there to warm me. Perhaps our house would have a fireplace that would give off a glow like our love. But a love that would never go out or dim.

I am now in a big city. I have learned to travel underground like a mole. But I still look for you in the cars that I ride in. I do not see you in the streets as I walk. Sometimes I don’t take the subway in hopes that you will be looking out a store window waiting for me to come by. My search in the dark night clubs do not prove any results. My friends temp me with many of the “down town” girls, but I know you are somewhere still looking for me.

It was a Friday before a holiday and for some reason the car I was riding in was in an accident. But it was you that kept me from being hurt. For at that split second I turned my head as I thought I saw you through a window. As I was pulled from the twisted wreck, I was strapped down for my ride to the hospital. The attendant said “e must of turned his head at just the right time.”

I was there in the crowd when they removed the bodies form the subway. Some were already covered, but some were not. I was far back in the crowd as I could not loot at the tragedy. I felt sorry for the people and in my heart wondered if you were one of them. In coming day’s I was one of the volunteers at the hospital. I was in the ward with the accident victims that were on life support. If course with the bandages covering the wounds it was hard to tell who they were.

Soon I could not take control of my emotions and I had to leave my work at the hospital. But they were all in my prayers that they would heal and go home to the loved ones who were waiting for their return.

I recovered from the accident in some time. It did not go fast enough for me, but I often wondered if you were there with me when I could not see you. They gave me some therapy and soon I was as good a new, but with a few more scars. Even in the hospital when I was able I was still looking for you. They would wheel me into the waiting areas where I would listen for your voice. I know your must have changed like I did, so I would not see your face.

With the tragedy of the subway accident I decided that I did not need to travel underground. So I took a walk-up near my work. It was good that I was getting out into the sun and I was still looking for you. In my dreams we were still doing things as a couple. I could feel you muscular arms around me, I could feel you breath as you whispered in my ear and I still prayed that through all of the time you were safe and would find me someday.

After the experience of the subway accident, my company said I should use a taxi in the future. So with my briefcase I was usually in the back seat of the cab. But over time I became friends with the drivers and soon was in the front seat. But little did I know that one final tragedy would be in my life. This day I forgot my wallet and my briefcase as I was riding.

It was a sunny day, so the walk to the market where I had store credit was a good idea. I left my wallet home and took off for the market in my house coat. I was only going to be gone a short time so I did not lock my door or take a key. Little did I know I would be the one in an accident?

The police came and investigated the accident. According to a witness the cab was stopped at the. curb. then this city bus ran a red light and hit the taxi. The poor person in the passenger’s seat went out through the window and hit a lady on the sidewalk.    

Of course both of them did not survive the crash, but the coroner listed both of them as John and Jane Doe.  Funny thing he did say to the newspapers, they both have a happy smile on their faces.


Posted in art, Mystery | Tagged

The house where I was born

I often think about the house where I was born. The grey concrete steps and the large brick fireplace. About the dining room so convenient to the kitchen with its bright yellow linoleum floor. Little did I know the path that my life would take?

Hello, my name is Jack and no I don’t have any experience. But if you hire me I am willing to start at the bottom and work my way up, if I am only given a chance. What’s that, well yes I do consider myself ambitious, but I will work hard for what you will be able to pay me…..

I have found out that I can live modestly, not waste my time and the time of the company. I will work hard and try to learn as much as I can in a short time while I am being useful. My friends consider me honest and  conscious……

I’m sure when I have proven myself; you will advance me when you feel the time is right. I understand that some time things must go their own course, but can also be helped along. Oh well thank you Mr. Moneywell, you will see that I am not afraid of hard work…….

You know for some reason I am always here to work on time, so there is no reason you can’t be also. You don’t want me to tell the boss, he may just decided to replace you. Of course I don’t plan for you to stand in my way. I plan to be a success in my life and maybe someday own this company. If you can’t tell I’m a man on the way up……..

I want a better job in this place and the best job here is to become the boss. I get tired of living in a small house where I only rent a small room to save money. My food is a selection of the daily specials at the restaurants that I walk to after work. Yes, of course I am saving for a automobile some day, but I won’t let that alter my plans I have…….

I have had enough of this scrimping and saving to get somewhere, I want to be rich some day and flash my money around like all of the other big spenders. I just want to be happy, but for some reason I am not getting ahead fast enough to suit the likes of me……

Well sir, I do like him. However I also think I can do his work more efficiently than he does. Perhaps I could find a way to make the company more profit. No, we don’t have a personality conflict I like him as a friend. Remember I told you I would work hard and study to be useful, Mr. Moneywell. I’m just saying that John is not doing his work as efficiently as he should.

Well thank you Mr. Moneywell, I want you to know I am only thinking of the business when I bring these small problems to your attention. Remember I have worked very hard in your behalf.

I want to thank the Board of Directors to making me one of the vice presidents. When I came to this great company, I wanted to just be a hard working part of it. I want you all to know this award and position only makes me want to work harder…..

Well yes it does seem like only yesterday I was here before you, the board of directors to accept my position of vice president. Now here I am again very humble to accept the position of president. I want you to know it makes me want to work all of the harder…..

No Sara, there is no way out. I know you gave me the best years of your life, but somehow it was not good enough. After all you must look at my position with the company. I am president and we have locations in every major city. I know from time to time you would go buy a new dress, but that was not enough. What that you say, When did I stop loving you? Well if the truth were to be known, I did have a different definition of the word than you did. Oh you were nice, but rather plain…..

Oh don’t be so dramatic Sara. You will have money, the house and you get the newest car. Honestly I don’t know what more a woman could want in your position……

Oh don’t worry about Sara. She has money every month; she has the 2 story house and that flashy car. All we have to do is worry about us……

I don’t care what you do Ben, I happen to own all of the controlling stock in your company. I suppose I don’t have to call you Mr. Moneywell after all of these years. Yes I know you built this company 45 years ago, I also told you I was a hard worker when I started. You see Mr. Moneywell, or should it be Ben when I was working hard for you, I was also working hard for myself….

So I can tell you this Ben, you will always have a position with us as long as you are alive. Remember when you made me president I made my mind up that by hook or crook I would have controlling interest in the business. I am sure we can find a perfect position where you can still see some of the older clients on a daily basis…..

Well hello Mr. Spendmore. No I am not the president any more, but you can still come in a see me. You will find me on the reception desk. No I am not bitter; we have offices in most of the major cities. Yes that new president Casey is a good man. I look forward to seeing you when you come in……..

You know I am sorry to hear the news. I haven’t seen Sara in a long time, but I am sad to hear the news. We were separated some years ago because of incompatibility.  Oh Mrs. Writeacheck, could you send a dozen flowers to Sara’s address and you won’t have to write any of those monthly check’s again…….

Oh okay if that’s the way you want it. Ben you and your friends have been working behind my back to take this place back over. Well Casey, you have not been taking care of business. It was all of the parties; some of the women were also taking up some of your time. That expensive boat that you would spend time on so you could have cases of your favorite brand delivered so you could un wind. What about all of my loyal co-workers?

Well Casey, it was not long ago that you managed to go behind my back and take over the company that I built. Of course you are going to tell me that was different. So I am sad to tell you that we don’t have a position here for you anymore. Oh I’m sure if you cut back your lifestyle you will do okay. You can stay on as a general manager on a commission only salary. We know what you can achieve. But somehow I don’t think you are smart enough to do that……

Well I am leaving and I don’t want any part of this company. I helped build this company to what it is today. What that you say, you had a part in that also. Well so you did and you can have it back……..

Hey Jackie, it’s Casey. I was just wondering if you would like to have some dinner after a few drinks. Oh I am sorry you need to go sit with your sick Mother. Yes maybe some other time…..

So Casey I did not think that I would see you again. But tell me what you wanted today. Well I’m not too sure we have any openings right now. But do give me some time, maybe a week and I see if we can fit you in somewhere……

Well Casey, I have talked to the board and we know your ability and could use you for an outside sales position. It will be strictly commission only, but we are sure a person with your ability could do well representing the company…….

Well I want to thank you Mr. Greenbucks for this order. I’m sure with a certified check I will personally deliver your order to the company myself. Here I am only staying is the Commodore Hotel while I am on the road, but I will be leaving in the morning to our head office to place your order….

Hello this is Casey and the front desk said for me to call you before I left. What do you mean you want to cancel the order? I thought we had a signed contract and you gave me a check. Yes I know we have a cancellation clause in the contract, but… Okay don’t worry you shall see me in a short time with the check……

Hello Judy, do you know who this is. Yes I know it’s been a long time. Well a lot has changed since we saw each other last. If course I have been thinking of you and the good news is that I am back with my old company. Yes they finally came to me and offered me a job again…….

So tell me do you still care about me after all of these years. You do, well that’s good. So suppose you fly out here and we get married and go to Mexico and spend a good time on our honeymoon. Now don’t say that, I have a certified check in my hand for $10,000 for just a starter…….

So how about you getting on a plane, pack some of you dresses that used to turn heads and we will have a great time…..

So tell me Judy, are you having a good time. That’s good, but don’t you think you should not gamble so much money. Well of course there is more where that came from, but maybe save some for tomorrow. I am going in to the bar, when you get done come and see me…..

Hello Judy, what do you mean you want some more money? Well we have enough for another week than we will have to get a job. Of course I suppose I should have told you about the check before this, but we were having so much fun. We will have to stay here because if I go back it will not be fun…..

It was the knock at the door that surprised me. How could of anyone known where I was. But I suppose it was good to get things over with and pay my dues to society……

I want to thank you for coming here to see me Ben, or should I say Mr. Moneywell. Of course here we don’t have names, just some numbers. Yes I know there was nothing you could have done, but if you could had of what would it have been? Its okay, I did steal the money….

Yes Ben they are treating me well. I am learning to set type in the newspaper, but it’s not likely I will amount to much when I am out of here. My fingers have ink on them and I wish that I could undo what I have done. They say that 5 years will go fast and to keep the faith….

They say I have another visitor, I wonder who it could be. Oh Ben I would like you to meet…I’m his wife and I want to talk to him. Well Casey I need to be going anyway……

I am sorry Judy that you had to get a job. Yes I know while I’m in here you needed to make ends meet. Also sorry our friends have gone away too. Don’t tell me where you are working, but I do want to thank you for the fruit that you occasionally send. When I get it they are all cut in half to make sure they are just fruit.

I want to thank you Warden, I have learned my lesson. Good bye to all of you guards in the grey uniforms that match the grey high wall that keep me here. Just 6 years of my life with time off for good behavior. I am walking out in to the sunshine to pick up where I left…..

Yes Ben it is nice for you to come and pick me up. I looked forward to you visits no matter how infrequent they were. My clothes are plain now, but I want to make up for lost time….

The first thing I want to do is see Judy. I only received some fruit, but I suppose that was all she could manage. What do you mean maybe that might not be a good idea? She is okay, I mean she did not die or anything. Well I am glad she is not dead, so let’s go see where she is living. You are going to have to drive. I can’t believe how wonderful the wind in my face is….

Why are we stopping here? I know it’s a nice place with the green hills beside the stream where I used to fish as a boy. I wonder if my old house where I was born is still there. Ben, you have a grave look on your face…..

Ben, I can’t believe that Judy married you of all people. Day after day I sat in that small cell dreaming of how it was going to be when I was released. Ben, I want you to know I am sorry I put my hands around you throat. You see moving all of the heavy newspapers made them strong over the years and it was  actually Judy on my mind that gave me the strength……



Posted in art, Mystery | Tagged ,

Small brushes

While I admit that wood carving is my first choice to let my artistic ability (what little there is) run free, I do however like to put down some color from time to time. Of course the weather does have some say in the scheme of things. In the little tin building I do my carving in, does get hot in the 100+ degree days.

So from time to time I find myself putting something on either paper, wood, canvas or maybe glass to fill the need to get the artistic expressions out. So recently I have been experimenting with some small canvas that I found in a box that was almost forgotten.


Paper red splash

I of course first did some sketches on paper. Of which you can see above. From all of the other pencil marks you can tell I am not sure of what I wanted to do. But after having the drawing where I could study it for a while, I then decided to transfer the same images to some canvas.

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Red splash in canvas

So here is the “red splash” on canvas, which will be a bit more permanent. I am using some acrylic paint that comes in those little plastic bottles from the craft store. I am not in love with a specific brand, nor would they ever want to sponsor me. In fact some times I like to be anonymous.

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Stained glass project

So after I got my brain in the “working on canvas mode” I decided that it wasn’t that bad of medium and went to work on another canvas. For my next one, I will make an attempt to make a painting to look like a stained glass picture. While I have done stained glass in the past, I think making a drawing look like one might be easier to do.


Posted in art

Putting it together

morning workout

Some bamboo flutes in the works

Well hello, glad you came by for a spell. I thought I would do an update as to what has been happening recently. Here in the Temescal Valley we have had some great T-shirt weather so much of the time has been in the workshop knocking some bamboo around to look like a flute. I again need to thank blue bear flutes for the excellent videos to help us.

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Heart shaped bowl

The bowl’s are also moving right along, with some of the early heart bowls ready to be sold. The above one is made from some older avocado wood that I have moved around for too many years. I like the smooth not reflective surface.

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Shop taken of tortoise bowl

Now of course the tortoise shell bowl(s) are also moving right along. They are also made out of avocado wood, which has been cut many years ago. So it is very hard to work with. But I am hoping that the work will be rewarded in the end.

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Pendant with captive bead

Many word workers accumulate little pieces of wood that you just don’t want to throw away. So I have decided to make some wood jewelry with that wood.  In the above picture you see what I think is walnut wood that I rescued from the fireplace.

I hand sanded it so the edges were thinner than the center and then with ink I added the design. Also in the picture is what I call a “captive bead” that is where I put the ends of the wire. I use “space filling glue” that almost guarantees it will not come apart and maybe injure someone. This above piece most likely will end up on some para cord about 30 inches.

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“See through” jewelry

I also have been making what I call “see through” jewelry. The first ones are in a random shape with the center of a cross missing. While these are made with a jig or band saw, you first have to plan ahead to know where you are going to make the cuts. Depending on the type of wood and the grain, you can cut the wood in half and carefully glue the wood back with out much notice. This technique makes it easy to work with the wood, but you have to be alert when you are gluing (not too much, not too little).


Posted in art, fashions, Jewelry, wood carving