Another Busy Week

And not accomplishing much of anything. ūüė¶

I’ve been working on all the usual stuff around here. Still looking for work. Spending hours filling out online applications for any offshore job I happen to see posted. I’ve been talking to one company for a couple of weeks now, but they don’t seem to have any idea of when they might (or might not) need me. It’s very frustrating, but at least they’re still talking to me. That’s more than I’ve had in over 18 months now!

We finished up working on one apartment and got it ready to rent. I thought we had it rented before we even finished working on it, but that fell through. I think it will go pretty quick (I hope so). I’m still waiting for the roofers to fix a leak and the levelers to honor their warranty (good luck!!).

I have one more apartment over there that needs work, but I need to wait til the rents start coming in before I can afford to start on it. It doesn’t look like it needs as much work as the last one, but I never know what I’ll find once I get started. ūüė¶

I had some good friends come down and visit. We pigged out at the Chinese buffet and had a good time catching up on everything.

Other than that, I finished 2 paintings in class on Tuesday. I took them both to Hobby Lobby to get them framed. One of them was finished in time for me to enter it in the People’s Choice show (I’m always amazed at how many really talented people we have around here in this area). The other won’t be ready for at least another week. I think they both turned out OK, but especially with the lighthouse, not really what I was¬†trying¬†to do with them.

I wasn’t quite finished with the lighthouse when I took this photo. I’ll get another when I get it back with the frame.

I went to my usual political meeting Tuesday night. We’ve decided to re-start our project to get the BWA to¬†remove the fluoride¬†from our drinking water. It really doesn’t do anything for your teeth by drinking it. It only helps if you apply it topically (like with toothpaste). It’s really not at all good for you. Yeah, I know, most people will read that and think I’m just another tin foil conspiracy theorist. I think there’s more than enough evidence to show it’s not really necessary for good teeth (or any other reason).

So, I spent some time researching that. I also got a writing assignment for Great Escape Publishing. Whoo-whoo! Another byline!! I really need to find the time to query more publications. But that takes a HUGE amount of time! I was very hopeful when I applied to¬†Big Grey Horse¬†when they said they were looking for Texas writers. I think they would’ve contacted me by now if they were interested. ūüė¶

I’ve been working on my yard the last few days. In between the rain. I’ve got the front yard about 25% finished now. It makes a big difference when I pull all the clematis vines off and put a little mulch out. All my citrus trees are starting to bloom. The grape vines are starting to leaf out. The strawberries are coming back!

Today I took a break and went to the movies. I go to the matinee when it’s cheaper. I wasn’t sure what to watch, either Logan or Get Out. I decided to watch¬†Logan. It was pretty good. One of the X-Men movies. A pretty good action movie featuring Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine fighting the forces of evil in the shape of another mutant (Boyd Holbrook as Pierce).

I don’t want to spoil it, since it really was pretty good, but it’s not all blood and guts. There was actually a pretty good story. I’m sure there will be more sequels down the road. ūüôā

Tomorrow is the biggest day of the year around here.¬†St Patrick’s Day Parade¬†at Surfside Beach! I have to get up early so I can get down to the beach in time to check everything out before the judging. Take a¬†look here. Once the parade starts, I’m done with that! Time to wander off to the various parties. ūüėČ

I hope the weather cooperates. It’s calling for 90% chance of rain tomorrow. ūüė¶

Catching Up

I’ve been busy for the last week or so. I was lucky and got to work for 3 whole days last week. I’m scheduled for 3 more days this week and one more day the week after that! That’s the most work I’ve had since I went on that¬†delivery job¬†as AB down to Colombia (in August)! I hope it keeps picking up, but right now it looks like this little spurt will be it for a while.

Offshore things still look pretty grim. I did hear of one company hiring, which is great news, but even tho I’ve sent them my resume, I don’t think they’ll even look at it this time around. Looks like they’ve hired a crewing agency to fill their positions and since I’ve already ‘contacted’ them, I won’t be one of the people considered.¬† Continue reading

Goreme Open Air Museum

I’ve been busy the last couple of days. I’ve been touring around Cappadocia. Late last night, I returned to Istanbul. Today I decided to take a little bit of a break. Tomorrow will start another week of early mornings and long days as I head off into Africa. ūüôā

On arrival in Cappadocia, I was loaded into a van with a few other world travelers. One man from Chile, one from Malaysia, one from the Netherlands and a couple of couples from other places in Turkey. We were going on the ‘Red Tour” today.

In addition to the weird and other worldly landscape of the area, the most interesting part (to me) was the¬†Goreme Open Air Museum. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site and definitely worth a visit.

The museum showcases an ancient religious center, full of rock carved dwellings, churches, monasteries, nunneries, etc. Our tour guide¬†Vaysi¬†was very good. He explained everything in English and Turkish (and sometimes Spanish for the Chilean guy). Vaysi also speaks Chinese and Portuguese if you’re interested. ūüėČ

I was impressed with the¬†frescos. Many of the churches had frescos of Jesus Christ, the Saints, and many of the important events from the Bible. Plenty of them are still vibrant after thousands of years. Too bad they don’t allow photography inside most of the caves (they worry about the flash harming the frescos and don’t want to deal with separating out those who don’t have flash on their cameras- people like me). ūüė¶

 

It was amazing how the people managed to build all these places so long ago.

The entire area is covered in hundreds of meters of volcanic ash, some of it is ‘tuff’. Tuff is a soft, easily carved stone. The people in this area have been making use of this property for millennia. They’ve carved homes, churches, even entire cities out of the stone. Some people still live in the ‘cave houses’. The hotel I stayed in had rooms carved out of the rock (mine wasn’t one of those).

I wondered how they managed to climb up and down so high every day. How did they get their food and water and everything else they needed all the way up to those caves? Personally I found it exhausting just walking around to the lower ones. We spent a couple of hours exploring the highlights. There was a lot more to see if you wanted to spend all day wandering around.

Ongoing Arts

It’s been a busy couple of days around here. I got an email last week about today’s¬†Sunset Sip¬†going on tonight in Freeport. I was interested in entering some of my art in the show. I found out the information I needed a couple of days ago.

I spent all day yesterday getting my photos ready. Signing them, matting them, and framing them. I met the lady in charge of the operation (Jennifer) yesterday afternoon in her Freeport office. She has some stunning artwork from previous events decorating the place.

She kindly showed me to the Heritage Ballroom, and then helped me set up in the entry. I brought my big painting of the underwater scene I had painted one winter when it was too rough to go outside on the tanker. I’ve had it hanging on my living room wall ever since. I do¬†really¬†like it. I think it turned out pretty good, especially considering I was using the ships deck paint (and a little wonky from the fumes on the last part- after I had to move it to my room).

Most of the rest I’m bringing are photos. I’m also in the show at the¬†Brazosport Art League ¬†Gallery next to the college. I’ll pick up the ones I have there now and¬†bring a few more¬†to enter there.

Once I do the trade at the BAL Gallery, I’m headed to a photo shoot with the¬†Brazoria County Models & Photographers¬†out in West Columbia for the Day of the Dead. That should give me some awesome photos! The models are all great to work with and I always have a lot of fun. I hate to cut it short, but I’ll have to, in order to get back to Freeport in time for the¬†Sunset Sip.

I’m looking forward to this event. I’m sure to meet lots of interesting people. I hope I get a chance to wander around and check out everyone else’s work. They’re having a zydeco band, a¬†brewery, a¬†winery, and all kinds of food.

I’ll have to tend to my booth, so not sure how much time I’ll have to look around. After all, I do¬†really¬†want to sell some things too.

PS- if you like my work, please let me know. I can have it uploaded and put on all kinds of things. Check it out…https://society6.com/captainjillsjourneys/collection/jill-friedman

County Fair- Contests

This year I entered a contest at the¬†Brazoria County Fair¬†for the 1st time ever. I’ve been wanting to get involved for years, but I never managed to get ready in time. I was always busy working offshore, so I was never prepared when the time came.

This year, since I joined the Brazosport Art League, I got an email reminder in time to join in. I entered 3 pieces. I won prizes for 2 of them! I was really shocked when I got the call.

Sunset Arch- won 1st prize

Sunset Arch- won 1st prize

Leaves- won 2nd prize

Leaves- won 2nd prize

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I helped with the intake of art. Getting everyone’s information and helping to hang the art. I was really impressed with how so much of it was so good. One old guy brought in some ducks he had carved. They looked real. He said he spent a couple hundred hours on them, carving each feather, painting each detail. He won 1st prize in sculpture. He definitely deserved it! ūüôā

I really enjoyed the whole event. Helping out, I got to meet so many interesting artists and learn about their work. I went to the awards ceremony and got to learn a little about how the judging worked. Afterwards, I spent the rest of the night at the fair.

It may be corny, but I still like to wander around and check out all the animals on show. I like to watch the rodeo. I like the greasy fried fair foods. Gimme a corn dog and a funnel cake or some fried Oreos and I’m happy. I don’t do the rides anymore, but I like to see how much fun people are having. Same with the games. I always like to listen to the bands and watch the dancing.

I missed my friend Chris’s¬†band¬†on Friday night. I was up in Houston with the¬†Sail la Vie¬†club on a dive bar tour. ūüôā

I didn’t realize until I went to pick up my artwork that the fair was already over for this year. I hope I’ll be better prepared next year. I do want to enter the photography contest next year, and the fine arts again too. ūüôā

red starfish

red starfish

PS- All my art is for sale. Photos, paintings, etc. If you like one of my photos, let me know. I can upload it to¬†Society6¬†and have it put on t-shirts, mugs, phone cases, towels, clocks, pretty much anything. I’m entering another art show this weekend in Freeport. Sunset Sip. ūüôā

Maritime Monday for September 26th 2016: Encore Performance

This weeks Maritime Monday is a good one. I do love art of all kinds, and especially maritime art (of course). This week there’s a very nice showcase of artists who liked to work on maritime subjects down through history. There’s also a mention of a new group, the “Sea Sisters”. I’ll definitely be checking them out. A neat article about the elevators on the Three Gorges Dam (I was excited to be able to cruise through there before the dam was finished), what an impressive project! Thanks to Monkey Fist and gCaptain for sharing all this great stuff!

The World’s Largest Elevator Can Lift 6.7 Million Pounds of Ship sploid.gizmodo ‚Ķ

Source: Maritime Monday for September 26th, 2016: Encore Performance ‚Äď gCaptain

Another Week at Home

It’s getting harder and harder to motivate myself. If you’re wondering where I’ve been lately, why I haven’t been posting much. I really just haven’t felt like doing anything. It’s getting really hard to make myself do anything that I don’t feel like I ‘have’ to. ūüė¶

It’s not like I’ve just been lying on the couch watching the boob tube. I¬†have¬†been out and about. I went to visit a good friend on Monday, spent the afternoon and evening over there. I brought over a¬†Cottage pie¬†(with hamburger) and we had dinner together.

She’s also been having some computer issues, but we actually managed to fix hers (it was only the printer). Mine are still not working right which makes it even harder to try and do anything online. ūüė¶

I also got around to applying to Dominos as a delivery driver. They called me Tuesday morning while I was at work up in Houston to come in for an interview.

So, Tuesday was pretty busy. I had to get up at 0430 to get to work on time. Afterwards I met another friend for lunch (great big plate of Chinese food). Got home just in time to go to the weekly political meeting at the Italian place (we moved from the Greek place cause it went out of business).

Yeah, I overdid it on the meal plan Tuesday. ūüėČ

Wednesday I had an interview at Domino’s to be a pizza delivery driver. I’ve been a good customer of theirs for years, but never thought I might wind up on the other side. I don’t know yet if they’re going to hire me, but it sounded like they might.

I got home in time to sign on to the teach English webinar. I try to listen in every week. I’m still hoping to do some teaching as soon as I can take care of all my Coast Guard license stuff this fall. I’m really getting frustrated with the situation here.

I’d like to go use that TEFL certificate¬†I earned¬†back in February, but since I have to be back here by September, I don’t think it’s practical for me to even try. So, I hang out here at the house and wait. I spend a¬†lot¬†of time doing online applications. Many of them for companies that are just trying to ‘prove’ there are no Americans to do the work so they can get a waiver and hire cheap foreigners. Those places never respond in any way, they’re just scams.

I spent most of the day yesterday on that kind of thing. Filling out online applications (they¬†all¬†take¬†so¬†long!)- and then went up to Houston for another ‘networking event’. For some reason, I was not getting a good vibe there and left early. It was pretty much a waste of time going all the way up to Houston for that, but there really isn’t anything down here in any way related to my previous experience, so I go to those things any time I think there might be even the¬†slightest¬†possibility of meeting someone that could help me find some sort of work.

Today is the first day all week that things have sorted out, I have some time and I’m not falling asleep sitting here on the couch. ūüôā

I went out this evening to the reception at the Art League gallery. They’ve opened a new show:¬†Art Through the Ages. Some of that stuff was REALLY good! I especially loved the¬†Klimt, but then I’ve always loved his work. Check this out…

 

I liked it so much, I even made a bid on it. The group projects are all for sale by silent auction. ūüôā

PS- those photos are not mine, I took them from the internet

Paints and Politics

Tuesdays are usually busy days for me. I get up early so I have time to check email, take out the garbage, eat breakfast and get out of the house by 9:00.

I’ve been going to take painting classes at the Art & Science¬†Center¬†every Tuesday morning (if I’m not able to go to work in Houston). I’ve missed quite a few classes, but I can still see some improvement.

I have only completed 2 paintings so far. I’ve started a few others, but not close to finishing them yet. I don’t really like any of them very much so far. One friend of mine told me she really liked one abstract (mess) I was working on. I thought about it for a while and then turned it into an alien jungle scene. Kind of reminded me of something¬†Rousseau¬†might have done. Here’s the before…

I had it framed and gave it to my friend. I wasn’t all that surprised, but she liked it better before I added to it. She thought I ‘ruined it’. Here’s the after…

Which one do you like best?

The other one I’ve finished was the 1st one I started in this class. I’ve really been trying to learn how to paint water. I found a picture in one of the art books in the classroom and tried to get the technique down. It didn’t turn out much like my reference, but I think it wasn’t too bad for my first try.

Today, I was trying to finish up a couple of others I’ve been working on for a while. This will be my last class since I’ll be at the¬†TBEX¬†next Tuesday. I still have a long way to go on both of them, but I think they’re shaping up nicely.

I especially like this one (below), the photo doesn’t really do it justice. ūüôā

I really get the feeling like I’m out there on the water. I wish I really was. ūüôā

So, that’s what I do Tuesday mornings.

Tuesday evenings I go meetup with my friends from the local¬†Campaign for Liberty¬†group (ex- Ron Paul meetup group). We like to talk politics over dinner at a local restaurant. Lately we’ve been meeting at the¬†Bella Roma¬†on highway 332, next to the old skating rink. They serve large portions of pretty decent Italian favorites (pizza, pasta, etc). I usually get either ravioli with Alfredo sauce or the Philly cheesesteak sandwich. The Italian Cream Cake and Cheesecake for dessert is good too.

Lately we’ve been talking a lot about how we’ve managed to come so far from our beginnings as a free country. Last week we were watching a slide show, but as we kept stopping to discuss various points, we didn’t finish the whole program before they started closing down the place- it didn’t help that we had one¬†extremely¬†socialist guest. ūüėČ

I do like to argue, but this guy put me to shame! I think the only thing we all agreed on was that the ‘banksters’ were screwing us and the entire world.

The more I learn about what’s really going on, the more frustrated and depressed I get. At this point, I think the only way possible to really¬†live¬†as we’re meant to- is to get completely out of the ‘system’. I don’t know how to do that, or if it’s even possible any more. All I know is that I’ll never accept the way things are now (even tho I feel like I’m beating my head against the wall most days).

So, I go to the meetings on Tuesday nights, just for a change- to talk to a few people who mostly do ‘get it’. Yeah, we still argue about things, we still struggle to understand- but we try mostly to inform people. We’ll never fix what’s wrong with this country or the world as long as the vast majority prefers the status quo.

Yeah, OK- call me a ‘conspiracy theorist’. But what if it’s¬†true?

Texas Gulf Coast Art Festival

After another miserable day struggling with the computer all day, I had to get out of the house for a while today. The Center for Arts & Sciences was having a festival this weekend and it sounded like fun.

I got up early and headed over for todays start (11:00). The weather looked threatening but I was hoping the rain would hold off.

While I was wandering around the outside tents, the rain started coming down like cats and dogs. It was pouring, water was going everywhere and the poor artists were trying to keep their supplies out of the rising tides around the parking lot.

Inside, things were much less hectic. The Art League Gallery was still showing the photography of the kids for the Migration Celebration. Some of those photos are really stunning! I really liked the close ups of the chameleons and dragonflies. ūüôā

I learned about a new thing called ‘zentangle‘. It’s kind of like doodling, said to be great for stress relief. I’m sure I can use some of that right now. I might just give it a try.

About a dozen artists were set up inside the Dow Theater. I liked the blown glass and some of the jewelry. There was one lady (Connie Colten) who had lots of little mermaids and pretty little plants (ivy and such) that I was really tempted by.

I talked to painter Jimmie Bartlett for a few minutes. I really liked his paintings of the maritime world. He had one set up behind him of a shrimp boat and a stunning sunset. I would have bought that one if I was still working!

While I was waiting for the rain to subside, I took a look at the items to be raffled off. I took a look at ‘featured artist’¬†Robert Ruhmann¬†who was working on his paintings just inside the doors. I really liked his subtle cool colors and smooth style. Lots of blues and greens and natural subjects- palm trees, beaches, rivers- all very calming.

The¬†E-Flat Porch Band¬†was jamming’ out in the corner, playing some cool blues and toe-tappin’ music to keep everyone in a good mood.¬†Caliente Twang¬†had been playing outside when I arrived and I really wanted to hear them play, but they had enough with the rain I guess. They were gone by the time I got back outside.

The rain took a break for a little while, so I headed back outside to see all the artists I had missed earlier. There were potters, woodworkers, photographers, painters, fabric artists (very nice), people who worked with colored/fused glass, jewelers, metal workers, etc. There was a lot of really interesting stuff on offer.

All the artists were very friendly and happy to talk about their work. Some were local, like Jimmie Bartlett (Van Vleck) and Kathy Castro (Alvin) who had some very nice abstract paintings. Some were from farther away, even out of state (it was a juried show).

They had a couple of food trucks with the usual festival foods- hot dogs, fried oreos, etc, and there were booths selling coffee, sodas and even beer, but the rain put a damper (literally) on the ‘food court’.

I had a good time there today. I really hope the weather doesn’t discourage them from doing this again next year. It’s great that they have so much going on over the whole weekend. Everything from a “Run for the Arts”, to art projects for the kids to make, to classical music concerts. I love all the different kinds of music they brought out, and all the different kinds of art. I think it’s great to see Brazosport doing more of this sort of thing. Sucks to have to go to Houston all the time to do anything interesting!

Malecon

After class yesterday, we went to the beach for a bit. Then shopping for ‘appropriate clothing’ for the classroom. Then we met our teacher back at the school to take the bus to the Malecon and Old Vallarta. (I don’t know how to put the accent marks).

S takes a dip in the ocean

S takes a dip in the ocean

The Malecon was nice. It wasn’t very crowded last night, but there was a good mix of local families and tourists from all over. We walked down the cobble-stoned ‘boardwalk’ and checked out the interesting artwork along the way.

They had sculptures (real and fake- people made up and pretending to be statues). They had sand sculptures along the waterline, some breaking up from the weather over time and some newly made.

sand artist finishing his creation

sand artist finishing his creation

There were plenty of bars, restaurants, shops and food carts (which looked delicious!). I noticed shrimp BBQ, corn on the cob and in cups, tacos, burritos, fresh fruit juices, flans, even what looked like cheesecake. YUM!

I will be back!

We walked by a park where our teacher told us they held a farmers market on the weekend and a coffee-shop/bookstore (English and Spanish). We walked up into town a couple of blocks and saw a very interesting shop with fantastic art by local indigenous people.

Some of the art was made with yarn, some with beads. Some were sculptures, some were flat and hung like paintings. The colors were brilliant, vibrant and imaginative. Inspired by the hallucinogenic visions given by the peyote cactus.

We were on our way to dinner at Derby Burgers. I think we were all starving by then. ūüôā

They had a large selection of burgers, even a vegetarian option or two. They all came with a choice of sweet potato fries, regular fries or salad. I had a steak burger (without the steak sauce). The sauteed onions and mushrooms were a perfect complement to the juicy, perfectly cooked (med-rare) burger.

We all cleaned our plates. No complaints, but the Aloha Burger (with pineapple) was unexpectedly spicy.

We were all stuffed and since we had class in the morning we were ready to head home. I got in about 2300. Too bad I stayed up til 0300 on the computer!

Skulls

Today’s prompt for Just Jot It January is: skulls. I know some people are really into them. I’m not. But I have seen some really cool artwork done with skulls. I mentioned this one before, it was just fantastic!

plasticine on wood by Grupo Mondongo

plasticine on wood by Grupo Mondongo

This group of Argentinian artists created this huge skull (its a couple of feet taller than I am) out of plasticine. It’s incredibly detailed, full of all kinds of images out of our common culture. Historical figures, religious figures, movie stars, etc.

They must have spent ages putting this thing together. I wouldn’t have the patience, but I’m glad they did. ūüôā

It really is a beautiful work of art.

Check out this video I found on Youtube (warning: some nudes, explicit sexual images, in the art shown, don’t watch if you’re going to get upset over that kind of thing!). It’ll give you a better idea of their work. I’m very rarely impressed by modern art, but these guys really impressed me. I would love to see more of their stuff!

PS- the featured image for this post is another art installation at the MFAH. It’s in the tunnel between different parts of the museum. It’s called “The Light Inside” by artist James Turrell.

Ogden

I was in New Orleans a couple of weeks ago for the Workboat Show. I always try to go if I’m not working. It’s interesting and New Orleans is always a blast. ūüôā

This year, the schedule was a little off, also I’ve been laid off and no idea when I’ll get any work. It could be months. Years even. I was hoping to find somebody hiring at the job fair. Or, talk up some of the recruiters at their booths. So, I went to the show, but I cut back. I didn’t stay as long as usual. I didn’t spend as much money as usual. I was only there 4 days instead of 5-6, but I still had a good time.

I flew in Wednesday and flew out Saturday. I had hoped to be able to do some tourist stuff on Friday since I had all day free. I wound up spending all day long driving down to Fourchon and back to pick up some paperwork from my last ship.

So Saturday morning I had to return the car. Lucky for me, I saw on the way that they were setting up for the Krewe of Jingle Christmas Parade. I was planning to spend the day in the WWII Museum. I had heard it was really good, especially the movie (Tom Hanks).

Because I really wanted to see the parade, I skipped the WWII Museum (I thought it would be worth more than 1-2 hours) and went to see the Ogden Museum of Southern Art instead.

It’s nice that all those museums are so close together. Almost right across the street from each other. There is also a Civil War museum right there and a contemporary arts museum there too. I’ll have to do those and the WWII Museum next time. ūüôā

The Ogden Museum was interesting. They had an exhibit of photographer Bill Yates that was pretty good. They displayed a bunch of black and white photographs from a skating rink (FL in the 70s), reminded me of when I was growing up over there. There was another exhibit of Michael Meads that I really liked. A lot of those were huge drawings/paintings, mostly in black and white but very intricate. (Not allowed to take pictures of those exhibits).

I started from the top (nice view from the balcony) and worked my way down. Four floors, pretty compact. They had painting, photography, pottery, sculpture, glass and more. They had an exhibit by some school kids that I really liked. Made out of garbage (plastic) and painted. Sculptures of fantasy creatures and interesting objects. I thought it was very creative and nice to recycle.

They had some of the more traditional museum type paintings, they also had some strange stuff that really got me thinking about ‘what is art?’.

Some of the things they had I could see really took a lot of effort, a lot of thought, a lot of creativity, a lot of talent. I could see why someone would want to put them in a museum (and probably pay a bunch of money for them).

"Victim of Silence"- Mark Messersmith 2011

“Victim of Silence”- Mark Messersmith 2011

detail

detail

But some of the things they had on display I thought “WTF???”. Why in the world would anybody want THAT hanging around? Much less pay anything for it! Why would anyone consider it ‘art”?

mud & paint on plywood by Jimmy Lee Sudduth

mud & paint on plywood by Jimmy Lee Sudduth

Those items looked to me like anybody could make them. A child could do better. A MONKEY could do better!

Why are these things sitting in a museum? What makes them worth it? What makes them ‘great’? I’m assuming if they’re in a museum, they’re considered to be ‘great art’. Why do the curators pay high dollars for these things when the majority of people who see them think the same way as I do and wouldn’t pay 10 cents for them? What makes them art and your kids refrigerator specials not?

So, what does make art?

And what makes ‘great’ art (worth of a spot in a museum)?

I’m really curious. Come on with your comments…

Mural- Dixie Friend Gay

I made an earlier post about this mural. I just LOVE it and all of her work that I’ve seen. I thought it was another¬†good one for the Daily Post’s Photo Challenge “Intricate”.

My¬†photo doesn’t do it justice. This mural is just STUNNING. I took this a couple of years ago when I was at the Maritime Education and Training conference at Texas A&M University in Galveston (Texas). There is more to it than just the part I could get in this picture. It’s HUGE.

It’s actually a mosaic, made of millions of little ceramic tiles. The¬†artist Dixie Friend Gay¬†made it. I’m not sure how long it took. There’s a better picture of how it all looks in this link. And another one to more about her¬†art.

I think her mosaics are just incredible. I wonder that her work isn’t more well known. I think it deserves to be. What do you think?

Laundry Day

Photo 101: Edge & Alignment

Here’s my entry for the Day 18: Edge assignment. I think it’s ‘edgy’ in more ways than one. ūüėČ

I took it at the Houston Museum of Art. It’s in the tunnel between the 2 parts of the museum. It changes colors (slowly) and it’s really neat to watch when people are going through it.

I haven’t seen anyone fall off the edge yet, but I checked it out and you wouldn’t fall very far. ūüėČ

Intricate

Here’s an entry for the Word A Week Challenge from Sue¬†over¬†on her A Word in Your Ear Blog¬†. The word of the week is: intricate. I had these pictures on my blog already, I think they are a nice example of ‘intricate’. I had already done a post about these very intricate designs made from sea shells. They call them Sailors Valentines. ūüôā

Sailor’s Valentines

While I was home last time I went to see what the local¬†painting class was all about. I’ve been wanting to try it for a while, but haven’t done it because it lasts for 4 weeks and I’ve never been home to be able to start and finish the whole class in one hitch at home.

Since I was home a little longer than usual (and had to pass up the trip to Panama I was hoping to take due to paperwork issues), I called the lady who runs the class to ask if maybe I could take 1-2 classes each time I’m in town.

She was very nice and told me that would be fine, and invited me to come in to the next class just to see if I thought it would work for me.

I showed up late and just watched for a while. I met everyone there and wandered around to see what they were all working on. Everyone was very friendly and helpful. They all had their own projects to work on. Everything was very informal.¬†The instruction is for either pastels or oil painting. I’m really more interested in watercolor or acrylic, but I figure it will still help me a lot to learn the techniques and most of those should transfer over to whatever medium I choose to work with.

The class meets weekly at the Brazosport Center for Arts & Sciences. After the painting class was over I spent a little time looking around the facilities. I’d been there before, but not for years. There’s a museum, a planetarium and a theatre. They also have a gallery where they feature art by members of the local art league. They had some really nice paintings in there, some beautiful portraits and some seascapes with birds I really liked.

I went through the museum again. They’ve really added a lot since last time I was there. They’ve always had a fantastic shell collection. It’s one of the largest in the country. They have some pretty good fossils. I noticed the megalodon jaws, (they were giant prehistoric¬†sharks!) the minute I walked in the door. They’re hard to miss since they’re about 6 ft accross and at least that tall!

They have a really nice collection of moths and butterflies. I tried to take pictures, but I just couldn’t get any good ones with the way the light reflected off the glass. I did get some good ones of the ‘Sailor’s Valentines’. Since Valentines Day is coming up soon, I thought I’d post about them. Here’s a picture I took of one.

The Sailor’s Valentine is typically a box covered with shells formed into some sort of ‘romantic’ theme. They were supposedly¬†by sailors who would pick up shells in their far off travels and then make these pretty little boxes¬†to present to¬†their loved ones when they got home. It was a pretty big thing back in the 1800’s. They fell out of style but are making a comeback now. The ones I saw at the museum are alll made by locals (not sailors)¬†recently, as hobbies.

They just seem like a lot of work to me. I guess the sailors must have had a hell of a lot more leisure time back in the old days!! Then again, their hitches usually lasted for years rather then the month or so most of us (American) sailors have to stay out for now. The crews from other countries aren’t nearly so fortunate as we are. Some I know of have to stay for a minimum of 2 years(!!) before they’re allowed to go home. ūüė¶

Here’s a picture of my favorite one from the exhibit. It’s not so ‘romantic’ and could be for anything. I really like the flamingo. ūüôā

‚̧ Happy Valentines Day! ‚̧

 

Mural- Dixie Friend Gay

I saw this challenge from Sue over¬†at her ‘A Word in Your Ear’ blog. The word of the week is: mural. I have a few photos of murals. Actually some of mine are a little different, most people think of murals as paintings on a wall. I have some of those, but I also have some murals made in different mediums than just paint.¬†This one is one of my favorites.

My¬†photo doesn’t do it justice. This mural is just STUNNING. I took this a couple of years ago when I was at the Maritime Education and Training conference at Texas A&M University in Galveston (Texas). There is more to it than just the part I could get in this picture. It’s HUGE.

It’s actually a mosaic, made of millions of little ceramic tiles. The¬†artist Dixie Friend Gay¬†made it. I’m not sure how long it took. There’s a better picture of how it all looks in this link. And another one to more about her¬†art.

I think her mosaics are just incredible. I wonder that her work isn’t more well known. I think it deserves to be. What do you think?

Around Aberdeen: Day 1

I made it to the rig on Monday. I’m settling in here at my new job. So far everything is going as well as can be expected. I’m learning the ropes here. Nothings really much different on the ship itself or it’s operations.

The big differences are just in the way they do the paperwork. They DO have free fall lifeboats on this vessel. I didn’t notice that from looking it up online. So, I guess there really was a good reason for them to send me to the class last week. ūüôā

I did have a good time after all. The course was better than expected. I got a chance to look around Aberdeen after the end of class each day.

The first day was spent just wandering around town. I walked down the main road til I saw something interesting. The first thing I saw was the seamans center (it was closed) and the Fishermans Mission.

Yes, of course it was interesting to me, I’m a seafarer! ūüėČ

I stopped in to chat with the man who was running the Fishermans Mission. We compared notes on the situation in the UK and the US regarding fishermen and fish stocks. Seems things are pretty much the same. Not enough fish, getting harder to catch, much harder to make a living, more and more regulations, less and less people joining the industry.

I found out the seamans center didn’t open til 1800 and planned to stop by on my way back that night.

Further down the road, I found the Maritime Museum. Yes, it looked interesting, but it was closed on Monday. ūüė¶

I hoped to stop by again but would have to hope to get out of school early since they closed at 1700.

I wandered around the downtown area for a while. The city was involved in an art project called “Wild Dolphins“. Different artists were given ‘dolphins’ to decorate as they saw fit. You could pick up a map to follow the trail to find them all. There were quite a few scattered around town.

I found lots of interesting old buildings, pubs, restaurants, shops, the tourist information center, and Castlegate with its Mercat Cross (and Spiderdolphin). ūüôā

As I was gathering information at the tourist center, the ‘Queens Baton’ and its entourage came running by. Scotland was hosting the Commonwealth Games for the first time in many years so they were running around this ‘Baton’. Kind of like the Olympic torch.

There was a buzz about it at our school, they were looking forward to the attention of the press. Our instructor even got to launch the free fall lifeboat to carry the torch down the River Dee while the BBC filmed the whole thing.

It seemed to be a major event all over the city, everyone I spoke to mentioned it. They seemed very happy and excited about it.

I walked by Marischal College and a statue of Robert the Bruce (King of the Scots). I turned the corner and discovered the St Nicholas Kirkyard. That was a pretty cool place, a quiet old church surrounded by big old trees and gravestones green with moss. I saw plenty from 1600, 1700, 1800 and even earlier. I always thought people back then died much younger, but many of them lived 60+ years (according to their epitaphs).

I found myself on Belmont Street, an area of cobblestone streets and old buildings, re-purposed to bars and restaurants. It was a pretty lively area to hang out, relax and enjoy the day. I wish had more time to spend out and about town. I would have liked to relax over dinner and drinks in a few of these places. ūüėČ

I was getting tired and my feet were getting sore. Walking for hours in flip flops is not really the most comfortable way to do it, but I wasn’t ready to buy a new wardrobe yet and was told my luggage would arrive by the time I got back to my hotel, soooo… no shopping (yet).

I just made my way back to the hotel, to be ready for another day of exploration in the morning. ūüôā

11th Annual Photo Contest Winners

Announcing Our 11th Annual Photo Contest Winners | Photo Contest | Smithsonian.

I don’t know how the Smithsonian judges ever manage to narrow down their choices. They have so many just stunning images to pick from every year.

This year is no different. I’ve been flipping through their choices for finalists and runners up in the different categories and I would have a really hard time making up my mind.

I think I would pick this one…

Photo by Ken Lee (finalist: travel)

If only because I LOVE the night sky and it’s SO hard to get good photos of it. There’s so much light pollution now. Also, I really love science fiction and the way they’ve set up those giant bugs just really does it for me. Lots of creativity and excellent camera skills. I love it! ūüôā

Click the ¬†link and check out all the other photos. It’ll be worth your while. ūüôā