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.

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Last evening began…

…with a look toward the east, from my studio window…

...as a storm alert had been issued.

…as a ‘storm alert’ had been issued.

I moved to my north window and began watching the skies, as heavy clouds moved in.

I moved to my north window and began watching the skies, as heavy clouds moved in.

After a drenching but brief downpour, the weather settled a bit as the sun, almost at its northwest quadrant peak, commenced its 'end of another day' light show.

After a drenching but brief downpour, the weather settled a bit as the sun, almost at its northwest quadrant peak, commenced its ‘end of another day’ light show.

Colors warmed, from yellows to golds...

Colors warmed, from yellows to golds…

...and finally to soft pinks, softer oranges and deep umbers, signifying the first day of meteorological Spring was, indeed, a glorious day!

…and finally to soft pinks, softer oranges and deep umbers, signifying the first day of meteorological Summer was, indeed, a glorious day!

Compared to other areas, Chicago ‘got off easy’ in the last forty-eight hours, for which we should be truly thankful.

Please…remember the residents of Oklahoma City and its surrounds in your thoughts and prayers.

Their losses are painful, as they sift through rubble, seeking remnants of Life.

This morning

After being abruptly roused at 4:30 AM from a not-long-enough sleep by a “flash/boomer” directly overhead, I reluctantly got out of bed to check if there had been a power outage.

Thankfully, NOT!

Rain poured down loudly against the windows, accompanied by continual flashes of lightning and rumbles of thunder.

Later, the morning looked like this:

Not a hint of the thirteen story Farcroft building just a block and a half away...

Not a hint of the thirteen story Farcroft building just a block and a half away…

*

...nor the highrise of downtown Evanston!

…nor the highrise of downtown Evanston!

I walked in what had by then become a light rain to the bus shelter…

...where this was the view of Loyola Park, and proceeded to my appointment--which I eventually found had been cancelled.

…where this was the view of Loyola Park, and proceeded to my appointment–which I eventually found had been cancelled.

Lots of flooding in and around Chicago this morning–five or so inches of rain made for a hellish commute, with many underpasses holding several feet of water…and a few cars!

While walking back home (the rain had stopped and I need the exercise!), puddles were everywhere, such as this one, where heavy equipment is parked:

18APR2013-4

Closer to home, even the  Daffodils suffered the effects of the heavy downpours:

18APR2013-5

Poor, sodden little things!

From My Window: Another quickie storm last evening

Heavy clouds moved in fast and most of the lightning took place over the Lake Michigan (just beyond the trees on the right).

Ominous-1

Surprisingly, there were no tornado sirens, though the weather was perfect for tornadoes.  Downtown Evanston (just to the left of center on the horizon) totally disappeared in minutes as rain blew against my window.

Ominous-2

Storms such as this one are truly frightening, as they quickly plow out over the lake and have the potential to turn back and cause great damage.

Another 80 degree day…

…has brought us these lovelies:

These are blossoming so early, I feel we are being teased…a lot.  This is Chicago, and March is normally a dismal month.  I’m certain we’ll see a heavy snowstorm or three before May.

The real capper is this flowering crab, less than two full blocks from the shore of Lake Michigan:

For the past few moments, there has been distant thunder.  I fear a storm might destroy the delicate magnolias….