Last night…

…this wondrous storm came rolling in slowly from the west.

21JUL2013 Storm NW

You can see a heavy rain falling at lower camera right, such a heavy rain that the view of downtown Evanston was almost not there at all!

21JUL2013 Storm N Downtown Evanston

* * *

Many of you know I am also a painter, and I have been spending some amount of time in the studio, working on a project dedicated to my deceased younger son.

I’ve had his business card for all these seventeen years, and needed to do something with the Chinese characters which translate to:

Gold(en)

Silent

Man

Its progress was interrupted last year by my nine days in the hospital and a fairly long recuperation time.

Recently, I pulled it out, and struggled to find a ‘good’ direction…of course, it’s not finished yet, as I have many other projects going on, but I feel you’ll get the idea?

The border was taped off, then stippled in with a mixture of regular joint compound mixed with flexible white glue (SOBO brand), a combination I've used for many years, beginning way back when I was a Scenic Artist.

The border was taped off, then stippled in with a mixture of regular joint compound mixed with flexible white glue (SOBO brand), a combination I’ve used for many years, beginning way back when I was a Scenic Artist.

The characters are painted in a pointillistic manner with Liquitex Deep Hooker’s Green Heavy Body acrylic…it took four passes to get this texture.

The border was then given several coats of acrylic polyurethane, which, while still wet, I sifted some variegated gold leaf pieces over.

The border was then given several coats of acrylic polyurethane, onto which, while still wet, I sifted some variegated gold leaf pieces.

I then carefully washed with a thin Venetian red, but still was not getting what I wanted to see…so I brushed on an oil-based deep gold, then sponged it off–NOW I was getting somewhere!

The last step (I hope!) will be washing in shadows along each edge of the border in the Deep Hooker's Green...I may or may not also add a drop shadow of the same to the characters.

The last step (I hope!) will be washing in shadows along each edge of the border in the Deep Hooker’s Green…I may or may not also add a drop shadow of the same to the characters, which need a bit of touch-up…and possibly add a bit more selectively-placed gold leaf to the border.

Here’s the entire 12″ x 16″ work in its current state:

I know my dear friend Ng Tom in Hong Kong has been patiently waiting to see this ouevre...it shall be finished soon, Tom, and of course I'll post it, completely framed!

I know my dear friend Ng Tom in Hong Kong has been patiently waiting to see this ouevre…it shall be finished soon, Tom, and of course I’ll post it, completely framed!

* * *

You might also want to visit Tom’s blog, that’s how I see the world, just to understand a bit more of the beauty in Hong Kong.

In less than four and half hours…

…the New Year finally arrives here in Chicago!

It’s been a very sobering year for me, health-wise, and yet, an extremely exciting year, as I’ve gained so many wonderful followers…some of whom have become great friends!!!

Though thousands of miles, and different continents separate us, I wish you all the blessings I possibly can put out there for a very much more prosperous and happy 2013!

My graphic may seem a bit somber, as 2012 certainly spun by quickly, almost too quickly, but I hope you can feel the celebratory undertones in the lovely golds!

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I send you all my best regards,

and thank you all so very much…

for making this a very successful year for my work!

After all…each one of you helped, so give yourselves a little pat on the back for that!

I truly appreciate ALL of you!

On a short walk yesterday…

…around noon, I found this in a neighbor’s garden.  It may bring hope to some who feel there is little or none, or at the least, some cheer, as I feel a Christmas Rose is a gift more precious than gold!

A Christmas Rose, in all it's splendor!

A Christmas Rose, in all it’s splendor!

May you all have a Happy Christmas Day,

and the beautiful blessing of Good Health in 2013!!!

P.S.:  This one’s for you, dear Francis, at Niltsi’s Spirit!!!

Giving Thanks

What to be thankful for today…and every day?

I am happy and amazed to still be alive, to be able to post for you this morning.  It’s been a long haul for the past six months since my hospitalization in May for that nasty Pulmonary Embolism.  My wonderful doctor called yesterday to let me know my ‘numbers’ were  great (I must take Coumadin for the rest of my life and have blood tests every 3-4 weeks to ensure that the ‘clotting level’ is between “2” and “3”–mine is at “2.3”, YAY!).  His call came while I was just about to break the eggs for this:

My Pie!

There was enough filling left over to put in a dish and bake separately, so I had a taste last evening…oh, YUM!…since I haven’t baked a pie in over 25 years, I figured it might be a bust!

But, there are more important things to think about than eating today, and one of them is how much I appreciate ALL of you, the ‘followers’!  It’s YOU who keep me going…YOU who help me get out and photograph, even when I don’t feel like going out…YOU who write kind comments, and post at your own blogs (many of which I follow)!!!  I thank you….

Whether or not you’re in the USA (and many of you aren’t), please take a moment today, and every day, to be thankful for what you have been given…a beautiful planet to inhabit, glorious Nature all around us, and a sun that continues to rise each morning…

…and set each evening…

…no matter what!

H a p p y  T h a n k s g i v i n g  t o  A L L !

Because my followers and readers…

…are such wonderful human beings, I figured I’d try to say thank you, somehow.

But Stephen Sondheim is surely a better lyricist than I could ever be, and Bernadette Peters has a voice much better than mine (these days) and so much ‘staying-power’ on the Broadway stage (where I once wanted to be), I decided to present this…and the thanks is from my old heart:

 

Not A Day Goes By

(Stephen Sondheim)

Not a day goes by
Not a single day
But you’re somewhere a part of my life
And it looks like you’ll stay

As the days go by
I keep thinking when does it end
Where’s the day I’ll have started forgetting
But I just go on thinking and sweating

And cursing and crying
And turning and reaching
And waking and dying

And no, not a day goes by
Not a blessed day
But you’re still somehow part of my life
And you won’t go away

So there’s hell to pay
And until I die

I’ll die day after day after day
After day
After day after day after day

Til the days go by
Til the days go by
Til the days go by

Spending some time remembering, fondly

Actually, there were THREE of us back then:  Me (the resident ‘last great broad’ and video genius); David, the producer/director and video genius; and Jeffery, the owner of the video/audio business and guitar/video genius.  And yes, we were all ‘geniuses’ because we knew how to pull off great videos in a very short amount of time.  We kicked butt, even if it meant a 40-hour day…we worked out of love, and it showed in the final product.

I lost contact with David when he left Milwaukee (and Jeffery’s business–a long-lasting spat).  I have had little, yet somewhat positive contact with Jeffery, a McCartney look-alike, after our business relationship kind of fell apart a bit over 10 years ago (tell me, just how much can you do for someone, business-wise, for no pay?).  And, Jeffery never realized just how much I so totally loved him as a best friend…he was soooo blind.

So, this tune reminds me of days now past, not to be ever forgotten, because I know good times/bad times, there is nothing like a friend…and I seem to have lost these two.

Because…it’s been THAT kind of a day

 

Holding Back The Years

Holding back the years
Thinking of the fear I’ve had so long
When somebody hears
Listen to the fear that’s gone
Strangled by the wishes of pater
Hoping for the arms of mater
Get to me the sooner or later

Holding back the years
Chance for me to escape from all I’ve known
Holding back the tears
Cause nothing here has grown
I’ve wasted all my tears
Wasted all those years
And nothing had the chance to be good
Nothing ever could yeah

I’ll keep holding on
I’ll keep holding on
I’ll keep holding on
I’ll keep holding on
So tight

I’ve wasted all my tears
Wasted all of those years
And nothing had the chance to be good
Cause nothing ever could oh yeah

I’ll keep holding on
I’ll keep holding on
I’ll keep holding on
I’ll keep holding on
Holding, holding, holding

That’s all I have today
It’s all I have to say