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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Waiting for the Snow

We are about to be hit by our first major winter storm for the season the day after xmas.  This scketch was drawn a month ago.  It was in a side lot at the new Walmart near home.  When I was walking home from there in the rain I saw them.  They looked so lonely sitting there waiting.  Every shopping center here has these guys parked there and ready.  I was intriqued by the reflections.  Tonight they will be happy with all the snow coming they will be working through tomorrow. LOL  

Sunday, October 14, 2012

@ Church

 I have not been able to post for a while now because of the computer industries practices.  What I mean to say is I own a all in one scanner, printer,copier.  All of the ones out there for sale now are like this.  The problem is they are built with all the circuitry going through the ink cartriges. That means that as soon as the ink runs out not only does the printer not work but neither does the scanner.  So there I am stuck not being able to post to my blog.  What I wouldn't give for a stand alone scanner to avoid this problem.  Had to spend money at the FedEx store to have a piece scanned for a publishing gig.  And it was a bad scan at that.  Anyway, on to other matters.           
     Both Juli and I are getting more involved in our church.  She is in the Bell choir and I sing in the other Choir.  Our church has two chapels.  The original,built back in the 1950's and the new one just a few years ago.  The Choir meets every Sunday morning before service in the old chapel.  It has the feel I grew up with for churchs.  And, of course, the accustics are great.  We practice for 1/2 an hour then head down to service.  The cross is wonderful piece to look at while we're there.
      We gather in the Gym and the pastor prays over us then we all file in.  Yes, 
       I wear a big robe.  But, as tall as I am there is about a foot of legs sticking out below it.  I am greatfull I stand in the back row.  I do get a few quick sketches in, but I stay attentive to the service.  I have the sermon notes to prove it.  LOL.  Last Sunday was the annual world communion.  The Choir always goes first so I was able to scribble out the one below.  Both the pastors conduct the ceremony.  And it took just a few minutes to get everyone in the service done.  Doing these quick sketches also help me stay attentive.  I am sometimes sleepy.  But, doing these help keep my mind sharp and alert.  When the pastor starts her sermon I have no problem following her.  I quess I am just wired visually.  Todays service she talked about developing healthy relationships.  How most of the time the conflicts in our lives come from our selfish desire for something we don't have. 
     Anyway, today we had our last class for membership in this church.  Next Sunday we will going through reconfirmation in the service.  Once done we will be members of the Aldersgate United Methodist church.  It's been a few years since we've been members anywhere. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

37th World Wide Sketchcrawl

 This is the first World Wide Sketchcrawl that I have been to and it was a lot of fun.  Of course, since I travel by bus I was up at 7am to catch the first bus by 8am(which never came).  I was forced to walk to the other route and catch that one.  It was well below 40 degrees when I left home.  So by the time I got to the bus stop I was freezing.  But, I still got downtown on time for my transfer.  I was the first to arrive at Village Gate Center to meet everyone else at the Dark Horse Coffee Shop.  By the time I got there I needed the coffee and something to eat.  Others were getting there as I was waiting for my order.  After getting what I needed I joined the group to help pull together tables.  At first we spent the time sharing our sketch books and supplies.  Two of those there had been to the Urban Sketchers International Symposium in Santo Domingo.  So they talked about everything they did there.  It was still cold out so we worked for an hour and a half in the shop. However, at some point someone suggested we head outside since it had warmed up.  It took a while to gather up all our stuff.  We setup across the street in the sun and did 
 another hour of work out there.  The top sketch was of the coordinator of this groups sketchcrawl.  She was Zoned out for a while drawing a funky looking bench.  I got the same bench below in the street scene of Goodman ave.  It also seemded to be the time of day for all the local residents to walk their dogs.  It was a steady stream of them back and forth.  At one point I stood up to look away from the sun to give my eyes a rest.  That is when I saw one man walking a tiny dog through a tunnel of trees.  I quickly threw down the sketch you see below.  Someone mentioned lunch and we all crossed back over to go to Selenas' Mexican
 Restaurant.  I was funny watching 6 people around the table talking and drawing instead of eating.  What a great way to loose weight.  Draw the food don't eat it.  Finally we decided to walk down to the Memorial Art Gallery(the local art museum).  We only had a few minutes there but I did concentrate on the buildings' tower.  Very intricate and this drawing doesn't do it justice.  Will have to go back and redo that at a later date.  We all broke up at that point and went our own way.  It was great getting to know new people and fellow artists.  The network circle keeps growing.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Anderson Alley Artists Studio Lofts

     If you did not know it was there you may miss it.  The Anderson Alley lofts are in the back half of an old building on Goodman st.  The front of the building is occupied by the 'CITY' newspaper.  They are studios for rent to artists.  I found it when I was unemployed and working with the states dept. of human services to help me find a job.  I noticed the sign for them one day after doing what I had to for the day.  So I went over to check it out. 
     they have a turn of the century elevator that they use for bring in and out large pieces of work so I skipped that and walked the stairs.  Long hall ways ware lined with studios of all sizes.  Some of them big and are shared - some small.  The age of the building gives it the feel of being perfect for artists.  the floors are the original wood floor that creek.  Paint and stains are everywhere.  And the smells of the chemicals we artists use permeates it.  I feel at home there.  Just can't afford to have a space there.  So I go to visit the other artist there.
     Most of the outside is covered with vines and during the fall it is wonderful to see the reds and yellows mixed with the greens.  it is the work space I dream of and at the moment that is what it is - a dream.  Oh well.  So I sit here at my drawing table in my bedroom and do most of my work from here.  One day I will graduate to this but for now I go to keep the dream alive.

Friday, September 7, 2012

 So, continuing with the landmark theme here are a couple of sketches of the Hojack Swing Bridge here in Rochester, NY.  It is slated for Demo next month.  There is a group here trying to save it.  It was built in 1905 and served the railroad right up to the 1970's.  What I find interesting is that it is already designated as a national landmark yet the Coast Guard has ordered it torn down.   Anyway, I am documenting the bridge on the chance that the group trying to save it loose.  I would love to get permission to go out to it and get some close ups. It fascinated me the first time I saw it.  Blunt industrial look, lines ad intersections everywhere.  The group leader tells me it is still as strong as the day as the day it was finished.  They don't make them like that now.  One of my friends tells me how he and his friends used to sneak onto the bridge when it was still in operation.  Every day the railroad would turn it to keep the bearing loose.  He would get onto it just before they moved it, just as they would sound the horn.  Then they would sit it out till the bridge came back to shore.  The electricity is still
running out to it to light the hazard lights.  Recently someone snuck onto to it and put a pink flamingo on the top.  Of course the ducks and geese love it out there. For as ugly as it is it is also a beautiful structure.

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Landmark Society of Western NY is a non-profit organization that works to preserve the architectual history of the region.  They are based out of the Corn Hill area of Rochester.  Of course, in keeping with the groups main theme of preservation they are HQ. in this wonderfully restored home.  Many of the houses in that area are just as interesting and I will eventually reproduce them here too.  But for the time being I wanted to post this image.  It is the first time in a long time I have worked in cross hatching or line only.  So it took me a little bit to get into the groove of it.  It helped me stretch myself and I will do more of this kind of work since it reproduces well and takes less time then my stipleling(dots). 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

A day at the Rochester Market

 I met with my group of fellow artists for a day of sketching. Well, 4 hrs of it at least.  Juli and I went there with Melanie(a friend of Julis') - she to shop, me to draw.  I got out at the gate to the market and met up with my group at the Java's Coffee shop there.  We all sat outside around a couple of tables.  It was a hot sunny day and we kept moving to get the best possible spot in the shade.  I loosened up with the drawings of some of the others sitting around having coffee.

 It was a bit hard to get started.  But once I did I took off.  It was an place with lots of people moving around and staying still long enough for me to get started on them but I got a few.  So I switched to the cars near by.  Again - good but not inspirational.  As every body started to go I decided to walk around the market - to get that inspiration.  I got it back at the entrance.  The only problem was - to get the drawing I did I had to stand out in the sun a bit.  Started to sweat a bit.  So once I had the bones of it down I went to the bakery there to sit down inside and work some more on the piece.  A couple of guys there commented on my work and bought me a pastry and some water.  We did some
networking and had a good time talking. 

After that I walked back downtown to catch the bus.  Almost all the way there I came across this home that I have admired on many occasions so I stopped again and got the bones of it down then got to the bus stop and got my ride home.  It was a long day but a fun one.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

John Payton Project X 2

Shortly after getting back from vacation my cousin was at it again with his band.  He and his band were, again at the Dinosaur BBQ.  We made it there with some friends this time and got to jam with them for a bit.  Of course - we had to leave early again to get home but still it was a lot of fun.  The first sketch was done on site with little time to do it in.  This time I tried to get most of them together.  During the concert I walked around with a camera and took some snap shots.  Even went to the restaurant owner to get permission to go up on the stairs to get some shots from above. Those I used to get the views you see in the second piece that I did at home.  Wanted to do a montage
of them.  Their bass player was missing that day so I did not get him in the image.  But I will work on it some more - at another time.  Wanted to get the sketched look but still do something more formal.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

At the PIG ROAST in Ithaca 2012

 The Pig Roast.  It was the main reason for having the vacation this year when we had it.  There was a good crowd there. And my cousin Jay and his crew were responsible for the work done to cook it.  It was held on his property since he had the space for it and he had the roaster that he built for it.  I was told that he does several of these a year that other people pay for.  There was a big drum hooked up to a smoker.  The pig itself I did not want to draw.  But I was fascinated with the setup he had.  It was covered in heat induced rust.  Such a wonderful color.  Setup right next to his pond.  When it came time to take out the pig they were surrounded by several members of the family taking pictures of them carrying it to the table.  Everyone had brought a dish or two to add to the meal and we were stuffed is short order.  After the meal the family listened to the speachs' about the new family book that was getting ready to go to print and the costs' involved.  The orders went out for copies of the book then we spent some more time getting caught up.
Juli, Richard and I went over to pet and talk to Jays' two horses.  They were gentle and loved the attention.  But mostly they were impatient since it was their feeding time.  I walked around a bit and caught sight of Jays' well digging dereck.  From the look of it it was the same one that Uncle Harlod used to dig mom and dads well.  It may have been on a new truck but the rest was the same.  So I took a moment to put down the basic shape and then worked on this drawing later.  We left the next day back to Rochester so my sister could give her presentation to the church about her ministry.  It went well and we said our goodbyes to her since she would be back in Germany within a month.  It was a good vacation but I was glad to be back in my own bed.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Middle of Vacation 2012

 Getting a little side tracked moving my work to a small desk in my home. I have not made a post for a bit. But, here are the images I did on tues. and thur. On Tuesday I got Richard to go on a one mile hike down Nelson rd. to the old Four Winds Farm. The walk down was pleasant and we ran into Debbie Jewel at the first inter section(she driving up to aunt Graces'. Richard and I stopped at the old cemetary tucked into the side of the road. It was a tiny one.
 We continued on to the farm. I went to the house across from them and asked the owner permission to walk through them. They said yes and we did. They have just recently gotten new roofs and the rest of the interiors seemed to be in good shape. I talked to the roosters and they we went and petted the 2 horses they had. The hike back was slow(all up hill). We ran into Debbie again at the intersection(she driving back home). But it was a good hike - regardless of the heat.
That wed. I spent working on Mom and Dads' yard,weeding and pruning and trimming. I was soaked to the bone in sweat.
 Thursday Dad drove Richard, Juli and I around the city to some of the sites to get pictures and what not. The suspension bridge at Cornell is one of my favorite places to go. Because of the number of people that have jumped from this one the school has had to put up fences every where. They don't obstruct the view but it is a constant reminder of what lengths some students will go when at their lowest. Still the views from there is fabulous. It is weird feeling the bridge sway under your feet but the wind was non-existent that day so it wasn't too bad. From the middle of the it looking up stream is
the view you see here. I was limited to what I could draw since we had to jump from place to place and had to get back home. Of course we had more camp fires. The one above was at my uncle Ern's place This was the one that almost got rained out. Most of the night was spent under the awning on their porch, but still I went out to the fire to roast my hotdog. It was tight on the porch with everyone up there but still fun.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Third Day of Vacation

 On Monday 7/16/12 we were scheduled to go to the Cook Dairy farm outside of Ithaca. Three van loads of family and my wife Juli and friend Richard trekked out to visit the farm. We were greeted by the farms' dog barking. We all made a bee line for the rows of baby sheds. There some babies that were only a couple
 of days old. Some were very shy but others were not. We pet some and let them suck on our fingers. It was so cute. from there we moved on to the feeding barns then on to the milking barns. The image above was the milking barn. The smell was hard to get used to. This cow was soooo ready to be milked and was just
 laying there waiting her turn. All the little kids loved climbing up into this tractor. It had radio and cd player, air conditioning and rumble seats. All the parents went crazy taking photos of them. The owner climbed up with them and turned it on. the kids loved it. I was fascinated by the weights clamped on the front to keep the tractor from flipping up. The big tires
cost him $1,500.00 each. I was drawn to the grain silos that he had there. They were much smaller then most that I have seen but the shape caught my attention. The last thing that really drew me was the mini John Deere dozer. What caught me was the fact that it was not green but yellow. Such a compact design. It was well used since it was covered in dried mud. The door in front reminds me of the first car my parents had that had its' door in the same spot.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

First day of vacation

I left for our vacation to Ithaca, NY straight from work. Had to wait for my father to get there to pick me up after getting Juli and sister Vicki. That night was just about getting caught up a bit. The next day was a day to be quite before everyone else arrived. It was announced that there was to be a camp fire at my uncle Georges that night so we made our way around 7:30 pm. I pulled out the sketchbook to throw down the top drawing . That is my older sister Linda on the left with Gail on the right and Lindas' dog Drew in between them. It was the perfect way to start the vacation with a camp fire.

That night I went back to my sleeping arrangements. Since there was going to be 12 of us in the house my friend Richard and I slept in the shed on air mattress's. I sat there and threw this down of the shed and one of the beds. It was very cool and comfortable.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Getting ready for the Work from Home program

 Before going on this year's vacation I began packing up my desk. It took me over a week to get my stuff home. But it was a bit of work. A year and a half left me with a lot of stuff. Some of it I gave away, some I sold. But the majority of it I brought home.

I decided to do a few more sketches of the view from my desk. Marybeth tried to ignore the fact that I sat there drawing her. I sit in the back of the call center. This is the view looking to the front.

Just before leaving for vacation they installed the new phone system that the entire company is switching to. It will take some getting use to but not till after vacation. I will be posting sketches from that over the next few days.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

On this 4th of July I want to put out a call. After all the damage done to the city I lived in for 12 yrs., Colorado Springs, I was devastated watching all  the coverage. I have hiked through that area quite often. I even saw one of the homes that had been in the annual Parade of Homes that Juli and I had toured burned to the ground. While most of the big homes had the insurance to cover their loss there were still people who lost everything. I want to start a fund raiser for those affected there. I will be going through my works from Colorado and sell prints of them. The originals I will put up for auction. But I have no idea how to do this. I have no way to get the prints and don't know how to set this up online. So I am putting this out there for help. Please contact me and let me know what I need to do and where to go. I will begin to make postcards that are 4"x6" in watercolor. Like I said the originals I will auction then sell prints of the same. The one above is one I did for my daughter, Bekah, for her birthday. So she has the original but I will sell prints. Thank you for your help.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Nina and the Pinta

 On 7/1/12 I made my way down to the Port of Rochester to visit the floating museum of the full size copies of the Nina and Pinta, 2 of the ships that Christopher Columbus sailed to the new world. I got there around 4:30 pm. I was disappointed that, unlike other tall ships that come into port, I could not walk along the pier to draw the ships without paying $8. So I stood under the ticket tent and drew the view you see above. I was struck by how small they were. And they were full size. The guy at the ticket stand mentioned that the Santa Maria was never built because it was too big and too expensive. It was still facinating from my view point but after an hour of drawing, standing up, I was sore and tired. The details gives you an idea of the extent to which they went for authenticity. There were running lights and other items that are legally required for a modern vessel but the rest was the same as the original. Both ships seemed to be over crowded with ropes. I smiled when a little kid came up bouncing up and down yelling "Pirate Ships!" Then smiled wider when his parents tried to correct him(he wouldn't have any of that).
From there I walked down the pier in the other direction towards the beach and sat down in the shade to do some further work on the drawing. But across from me was the Coast Guard station. I decided to sketch it out too. These two drawings are the first I drew out one scene on one whole or two whole pages. Of course using watercolor on paper not meant for it meant I have very crinkled paper. That is why the sketch books that I have made - to use once I finish this one - I made out of watercolor paper. I will be using one of my hand made ones during my vacation on the 14th.

Friday, June 29, 2012

John Payton Project

So - while chatting on line with my wife she mentioned that my cousins' band was gong to be playing at the Dinosaur BBQ that same night. Later I end up finding out that my other cousin was going to be there too. So I break down and tell my wife that I would meet her there after work as long as I could draw them. I get there and end up waiting till 10pm before they start playing. It was loud, and as soon as they started the floor was over crowded with people singing with them and dancing. My cousin John was thumping away on the drums and bobbing his head like a true head banger. Unfortunatly, as soon as I tried to draw him the crowds filled in around him and I had to draw him in bits a drabs. As soon as a space opened up, up front, Juli and I ran up there and I drew the other members of the band. At 11 we had to leave to catch the last bus home. Juli ran up to John to hug and kiss him goodbye. That made him have to introduce us as his cousin and my wife to all the stuned people. The lead singer then had to pipe up with "If you see a mountain walk through the room it's most likely a Payton." That made everyone laugh. What made me laugh, though, was watching My cousin George(whose bigger than me) dancing without a care in the world. It was a fun night and worth loosing 3 hrs. of sleep.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Today was the first meeting of the Rochester Sketchers. We met across the street from the Eastman theater. Our group organizer did not realize until the day before that it was the beggining of the international Jazz Fest. Band after band on stage playing music. We got there before the days program started. A lot of time was spent introducing each other to each other but soon we got into what we came for - draw. I felt comfortable but poor Juli was a bit bored until one of her friends from her writing group showed up and they got to talking and then the music started. That is when the crowds flooded in. I thought that would give me plenty to draw but suddenly the people I tried to draw were blocked by others but I just shrugged and moved on to others. Juli and I were the last to leave. We went to our church for a special meeting of Danny Cahill. The winner of season 8's season of the Biggest Loser. He now goes around country as a motivational speaker. It was a good day over all-weather-music-drawing. .

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

This past weekend I got a lot walking. On saturday I walked down to our Rite Aid to pick up a perscription for my wife Juli. This took me 35 min. to get there. I got in some sketching inside the Burger King while there but from there I walked down to the Port of Rochester. That took another hour to get the spot you see above. It was an overlook set up for turists. What struck me was a painting on display there by Christopher Blossom. An artist that was famous for his nauticle paintings from the early 19th century. This painting was a veiw of the port from that very same spot done around 1830. The light house, railroad station, tracks and road are in the same spots today. So I had to draw the same spot as it is today. On tuesday I went in for my teeth cleaning. The last time I had them cleaned was about 3 yrs ago. So it took a lot of work. I was clenching my hands together to keep from flinching. I studied what I was seeing - sitting in that chair so I did not have think about what she was doing to my gums. When she was done I went next door and sketched the next image from memory. She used a sonic water pick for this session and it left me soaked. But I still have to go back in 2 weeks for the rest of the work.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

I'm amazed with the range of expression and emotion that can be shown with an economy of line. The more I work with it the less I have put down to properly portrait the person or object I am drawing. I realize that making it look like the person or place is not the objective of the work. But in the field of representational art it becomes a means of evaluating the quality of the work.

What I am trying to show is a bit of the emotion behind the image. That is far easier with people the places or objects. However, the simpler work seems to be expresive. Color is were I am trying to do the same but am still working through the techniques. Mostly I am working in water color pencils but also standard water color and colored pencils for detail work.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sketching to see the world

I have discovered the one step in my art career that has been missing-sketching. I have always been good at rendering. Other professionals in the field have told me that my work is years ahead of most artist trying to depict a scene realistically. That I perfected years ago. But where I fell short was in the emotion or expression in my work. Most of the time my work would take weeks to finish. A very slow process. So picking up my sketchbook and drawing the people and places I see every day on a daily basis was acary to me. But, last Nov. I finally did just that. keeping my work to what I can get down in the time I have on scene or shortly there after has forced me to loosen up my work. Some pieces I still took the time to get the detail down but with a understanding of quick work has helped me become more expresive. I will never get away from doing more detailed work(that is just my style). But, having any where from 30 seconds to 1 hr to finish my work has done wonders for my work and my view of the world around me