Crystal Lake

Here’s a summer photo from Crystal Lake in Ironton Park above Ouray, Colorado on the Million Dollar Highway. The peaks in the background are the Red Mountains, looming above the historic mining district. Time to plan summer vacations.

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Source: Crystal Lake

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Creating an Art Inventory

Creating an Art Inventory

After having new shelves installed in my garage, I’m finally getting around to organizing, um, a lot of years worth of drawings, paintings, and other artworks. I’ve been posting them for sale on POD and original sites online and I need a record of what is available where, as well as the dimensions, creation year, and current asking price for each. I just installed the new Office, and was considering creating a database in Access, but I use Excel spreadsheets for my taxes, and that is probably easier. This blog post give the details. 

Bad Bad Bad

I signed up for the Art Every Day Challenge, thinking it would be a refreshing break from my writing each day to do a drawing or painting. (I am participating in NaNoWriMo, the Poem a Day Challenge, and Picture Book Idea Month.)

Uh, I signed up for too much. I am not sorry though. So far, I am more than half-way through the 20,000 words I had left to write on a draft of my novel, I have more than 100 ideas for picture books, and I have written 12 new contemporary free verse poems.

As far as the Art a Day Challenge goes, I have gone out to shoot landscape photographs every day. It is a season of transition here in western Colorado. We have had the last of fall color, the first snow, some exciting wind that scoured out the haze, and a spectacular storm with billowing clouds. It would have been a sin to stay indoors, and I use photographs as sources for my other artwork.

I sell some of my photographs on Royalty-Free stock sites including Shutterstock, IStock, Dreamstime, BigStock, Fotalia, Veer, Depositphotos, Canstock, 123 Royalty Free and more, but I do not count my straight digital captures as artwork. I will see if I can post some new art tomorrow. Image

For now, here are some deer we spotted at the Grand Junction Wildlife Refuge near the Colorado River. They were watching us from a grove of cottonwoods. The image is cropped from a larger frame and is more than a bit soft, but I wanted to share them with you.

Autumn at the Wildlife Sanctuary

Autumn at the Wildlife Sanctuary

in their last days
autumn leaves
grow more brilliant
against the desert
sky while the pond
stays still
and the river
flows by.
People fall
out of my
life like leaves
and memories
molder
while the I
in my mind
is still
the one
who listened
to evening
sounds outside
the window
when I was four,
and, like the river,
hours flow by.

Just Playing Around and Enjoying the Weather

This post has been forwarded from my Posterous archive.
For the last couple of weeks, Alden and I have been enjoying the spring weather here on the Western Slope. We head out in the morning or at midday to eat and take a walk. We never know what we are going to see. The state park at Fruita recently opened a trail all the way around one of the lakes. It hosts many kinds of wild birds. I used the telephoto lens on my digital DSLR to capture some of them, but they weren’t very sharp. I modified them in Photoshop, then printed them out on drawing paper. I’ve had great fun modifying them further with watercolor pencils. (By the way, I have changed the title of the white flying bird. It is a Western Grebe, not a Caspian Tern.)
As you will discover, if you follow this blog, I have too many interests and am easily led astray. I say this because, though I have enjoyed this break, I need to resume work on an exciting new writing project.

Spring Snow Nature Poster from Zazzle.com

Spring Snow Nature Poster from Zazzle.com.

I sold a copy of this print on Zazzle today. It was taken near Duck Pond Park in the Ridges neighborhood of Grand Junction, Colorado. It was one of those pretty snows we often get in late March or April when the first green leaves, and sometimes blossoms are on the trees. The white fluff sits lightly on swelling boughs like grace, while cotton-like clouds drift in sweet blue skies.

Each time of year here is pure magic. This morning, we walked around a lake near Fruita, about ten miles from our home. Flocks of geese and several species of ducks were resting out near the middle under a warm November sun. They reminded me of myself on trips from Los Angeles, stopping over in motels to recharge, or, in the midst of a large creative project to, well, go buy stuff for Thanksgiving.

Conductor Print from Zazzle.com

Conductor Print from Zazzle.com.

Sold a copy of this print on canvas today. I painted the original from a sketch I did on a scrap of paper I had in my purse. We were at a concert of the Grand Junction Symphony. I did the painting as a demonstration of how to use a sketch at a workshop for kids at the Western Colorado Center for the Arts. The style is spontaneous and expressive. Though painted just a few years ago, it represents a return to my early figurative expressionist style. Paintings in this style were shown and sold in California under the name Gene Armstrong from Holly Wood’s (not kidding) gallery in Montecito and elsewhere. I often worked from small sketches. I enjoyed sketching people at produce markets, the beach, Stearn’s Wharf in Santa Barbara, the charming Miramar Hotel in Montecito, and on bus stops. Those paintings were done before I spent years in life drawing groups, so recent expressionist figurative works like this one are different.

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