Wednesday, June 6, 2012

LATVIA--Virtual Paintout

I've been touring the northern European country of Latvia for the past few days.  Latvia is a beautiful and intriguing destination just across the Baltic Sea from Sweden, just south of Estonia and north of Lithuania.  Okay, I've been traveling virtually using Google Earth, but I think the satellite and street views are a great way to explore the place.  My purpose was to find a location to use a resource for The Virtual Paintout.

"Bus Stop at St. Geory's by Eileen Black   8x10 watercolor

After "wandering around" through the country I settled on the bus stop in front of the colorful  St. Geory Orthodox Church in the city of Bauska.  The church was constructed in 1881 and designed by the Latvian architect J.F. Baumanis.  It is currently in the process of being restored.  One of the photos available on the site shows the tower on the right surrounded in scaffolding.  Information provided says it is open during services.

I've found this a great way to learn about the world and sharpen my painting skills at the same time.  I'm hoping my painting will soon be accepted and will appear on the Virtual Paintout blog for the month of June.
(update:  it's there!)

I found reference to the Virtual Painting while reading The Art of Urban Sketching by Gabriel Campanario.

I got it to help inspire me to go out and do some sketching.  The book doesn't tell how to sketch on location as much as it just shows sketches done by artists from places all over the world.  Not a real page turner--kind of like having someone show all their photos from their vacation--but still fun in small doses.

Monday, June 4, 2012

THE FARMER AND THE QUEEN (in honor of Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee)

by Shel  Silverstein

"She's coming," the farmer said to the owl.
"Oh, what shall I, what shall I do?
Shall I bow when she comes?
Shall I twiddle my thumbs?"
The owl asked, "Who?"

"The Queen, the Queen, the royal Queen--
She'll pass the farm today.
"Shall I salute?" he asked the horse.
The horse said, "Nay."

"Shall I give her a gift?" he asked the wren.
"A lovely memento for her to keep?
An egg or a peach or an ear of corn?"
The wren said, "Cheap."

"But should I curtsy or should I cheer?"
Oh, here's her carriage now.
What should I do?" he asked the dog.
The dog said, "Bow."

And so he did, and so she passed,
Oh tra lala lala,
"She smiled, she did"  he told the sheep.
The sheep said, "Bah."

Sunday, June 3, 2012


Three years ago I brought home a small poppy plant from a local garden nursery.

Last year there were three huge blossoms on the plant.

This year I have quite a crop!

 I wonder what kind of ads I'll get on my Facebook page 
if I do a Google search for opium poppies and the manufacture of heroin.