Pussycats Painting

I love the way Sandra illustrates animals.  If you want to check out more of her work,  check out the following link:   Sandra Boynton, Artist

sandra boynton

I love this drawing by Sandra Boynton!   The composition is dynamic. She uses 6 or so colors to illustrate this piece.  I like the different positions of the two cats.  The “girl” cat is focused on preciseness whereas the “boy” cat is dancing on top of the paper.  This cartoon says a lot about the whimsy of cats and also makes a statement about the differences between girls and boys as they’re learning to do tasks.  That’s not always so clear cut, of course.  It also illustrates different styles of painting/drawings. One type is a person that likes to “paint within the lines.”  Another type just likes to “let it all hang out.”  Go with the flow.  Both styles are important and appropriate; it depends on what kind of image you’re working on and how you feel at the moment.


Two Wolves in a Balkan Castle

PTDC0271This piece is based on a photograph of a Serbian castle.  I was in Sante Fe, New Mexico, in December, a couple of years ago.  Since I was in New Mexico, I started thinking about wolves again.  I like the watercolor because you can see the sky through one of the windows.  I also like the two perspectives of the wolves.

Music–Gregory Porter

Last fall I began listening to our local jazz radio station, WCLK, at Clarke University, Atlanta, one of the black historical colleges in Atlanta.  While I was listening to “Morris in the Morning” and listening to his soothing voice, I heard a voice that called me.  It was a song about holding on to something that you don’t need to cling to. The past couple of years have been a bit trying.  Something about Gregory Porter’s voice is comforting and profound.

The first track is “There Will Be No Love Dying There For Me.”  The lyrics are uber poetic.

He sings about the 4 flowers in the Asian vase.
“I asked the old lady for 3 flowers and she gave me 4.”   

He mentions the “bones of love.”  So full of imagery and provocativeness.

By the way, on the morning of the recording, the NPR journalists had just learned that one of their journalists and friends had been killed in Afghanistan.  This music was super healing and touching for them.

It is definitely good medicine;)


I Believe in the Power of Nature

I Believe in the Power of Nature.

In 1971, there was a solar eclipse that was clearly visible in the Eastern United States.  My father, who was very interested in nature, suggested that we go to the Okefenokee Swamp in Southern Georgia. This is a nature preserve, which also has a rich history.   So we drove down, and this about 5 or 6 hour drive.  We stayed at a motel the first night.  So the next day around noon we went to Laura Walker State Park in Waycross, Georgia.  The road into the park is a long straight road with tall pines along both sides.  So the solar eclipse started to happen, and it started to become dark, so we pulled off the road and walked a little bit to the side.  Now, mind you, there are a lot of alligators down there, but where we standing was relatively dry, so there were no alligators. The moon started to move across the sun and we had these rudimentary devices to view the event. I can’t remember what we used because now it’s relatively easy to find appropriate glasses to view an eclipse, but back then you had to be very careful.

While the moon was traveling across the sun, the sky was turning dark and the animals started to be very active.  Birds were chirping, singing and communicating.  Okay, tweeting!!!  Frogs, or at least I thought they were frogs, were croaking.  The best thing was wolves started howling and howling. It was a magical, fantastic experience.  I will never forget it!

Have you had any experience with a natural phenomenon that made a profound impact on you?

My Father

Don’t have many pictures of my father, Joe I (stands for no name apparently) Shipp. Can’t find any at all the moment. He was a good man although he struggled with anger when he was young. His mother was apparently incapable of emotion. His father and younger brother died of yellow fever in the 1920s, apparently from a damned up Pumpkin Vine Creek in Paulding County. It was a hard life. He was drafted but was dismissed. He didn’t want to go to war. He rode the trains to California like his heroes. He was an amateur boxer. He first met my mom, Retha, in Hiram, Ga. Continue reading