Friday, March 13, 2015


Back in 2001 our junior college, Ricks College, transitioned to a four-year university and was renamed Brigham Young University-Idaho.

 We have been under a constant state of construction ever since.  Housing has been a major part of the development with campus buildings and infrastructure following at a rapid pace.

In fact our little town is still suffering a bad case of growing pains over a decade later.

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This morning I walked around the corner and saw another demolition site.  I think this will become a much needed campus parking lot. This is looking southeast on Center Street with the post office to my back and the campus on the right.

 This is a view behind the post office.  Huge five story apartments have replaced a lot of private homes just north of campus.  You can see a parking garage and the lights for the football stadium in the center of this picture.

 A few yards farther on the corner of First South and First West, apartments tower on both sides of the street.

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 It was shock to see the building where I worked for several years, on the corner of Main and Second East, reduced to rubble.  This is looking northeast with Walgreens behind me and the court house on the left. I haven’t learned what will replace this brick office building.

 The building where I spend so many hours and its chestnut and pine trees are just—gone!

 I could hear the roar of a chainsaw and looked east toward the hospital to see workers taking down more trees.  One dropped while I took these photos and I suspect they will all be gone by noon.
 Up on the hill south of campus, concrete is being poured this morning for the new Science and Technology Building.  The original building where DH taught computer technology for over thirty years is out of the picture to the right and the Benson Building is behind me.

That’s a LOT of concrete and it’s going down on the deep lava bedrock of the hill known as the Rexburg Bench.

 As surprising as it is to see landmarks disappear, it is also amazing to see how quickly the new construction can go up.

 Here’s another vacant lot looking northeast across from Kennedy Elementary School.  It used to be the location for Squires Brick and Stone. 

For all the new stuff in this town, we still don’t have much of a selection of places to eat.  However, there is a new Maverick gas station just off the center exit where we can get donuts and warmed-over hot dogs.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

EGGS FOR BREAKFAST--Coo, coo, kachoo

Eggs are difficult subjects!  They don’t sigh or fidget while posing for their portrait, but replicating their round surface on a flat sheet of paper is a major challenge.

After taking a few photos to settle on a composition, I did some color sketches to try out different pigments.  With watercolor paint, every color has different qualities such as transparency, sedimentation and staining ability.  I settled on some blues and browns I thought would work and then did a color study in my sketch book.

 This was almost more of an undertaking in procrastination than anything.  Plus, I’ll still have something to keep if the final product goes off to live with a new owner.

I finally put a line drawing on a piece of 11x14 inch Arches watercolor paper, covered the eggs with liquid masking and floated in a background wash.

 When that dried I added more color.

 The next step was to put in a few shadows.

 It took quite a bit of time to add the details of the colander.  I let the whole thing sit over the weekend before I worked up enough nerve to take on the eggs with their tricky highlights and shading.

 I put it up for sale on my Etsy site.  The price I’m asking is absurdly low.  I won’t even make minimum wage for the hours involved, but when my work sells I’m motivated to paint more.

Sunday, March 8, 2015


My mother was the youngest of a large family.  She was in high school when her brother, Ward, joined the navy and spent time on a battle ship during World War II.

Ward sent photos home to his little sister and she put them in a photograph album which I inherited when my parents passed away.  Some of the photos show sailors doing their duties aboard ship and others are of young guys just grinning for the camera.  I don’t know a lot about Ward’s time at sea but I could tell he got to go ashore in New York City.

The snapshots from the city were probably purchased at a souvenir shop and mailed to his little sister.

 In 1944 the Empire State Building dominated the skyline, seen here behind the Brooklyn Bridge.

 Now it takes a little searching to find the famous skyscraper.

 I don’t know if Uncle Ward got a chance to go to the top of the Empire State Building but he sent back photos.  Here is the view at that time to the north with Central Park in the background and the Chrysler Building on the right.

 I’ve never visited NYC but I can see from this recent photo that a lot has changed since then.

 The view from the observation deck south in 1944 shows the Brooklyn Bridge on the left and way off past Lower Manhattan to the right is the Statue of Liberty.

 Same view today with the new One World Trade Center building just right of center.

 And as a reminder of why we appreciate all those who leave home to defend this great nation, here is a view of the same place before September 11, 2001.

Most of these recent photos are borrowed from:  Some can be seen in greater detail by clicking on them.