Monday, March 28, 2011

The View From Here: First Day of Spring 2011

Welcome Spring, at last! But... what's this? SNOW?!?!?!?!? Hmmm, there must be some mistake. Especially since we hit almost 70 degrees the week before. Sigh...

My artistic rendering of snow on a tree branch:

Well, at least something looks bright and cheerful today:

and the crocus didn't croak either:

Monday, March 21, 2011

Moon Date

Yesterday the moon was the closest that it has been to the Earth since 1993. I don't remember looking at the moon back then, but I took out the camera and tried to get some shots of it last night. Of course, the camera didn't cooperate; but I did get some artsy shots of it:

and here's an artful plate that I made for dinner: oven baked tilapia with a sun dried tomato sauce courtesy of Lawry's, and a helping of Aloo Gobi (caulifower and potatoes in Indian spices - courtesy the Aarti Party show on the Food Network):
I forgot to add the cilantro garnish, but it tasted great anyway.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Look Back

This week I was going through my inspiration box. This is a large box that I keep that contains ideas, projects I started, thumbnail sketches, and various other stuff that I want to eventually turn into artwork. I found my sketchbook that I had used several years ago. It was during a time in my life when I was working at a non-creative job, and it was draining the life out of me. I was frustrated that I wasn't getting any creative work done. Then I read an article in an artist's magazine that described exactly what I was going through. The author of the article advised the reader to "create art right where you are, out of or in spite of the dull junk of daily life." It was then that I realized that I didn't have to be working at a creative job to use my creativity; I could draw the things I saw around me. Suddenly the mundane and ordinary objects around me became interesting. On my break times I began to draw the things I saw:

The reason I took out my sketchbook in the first place is because I thought there was room in it to draw the picture of tomatoes that I took a couple of weeks ago. But the sketchbook is full; I will have to find another one.
I'm going to work on getting some drawing time in again. I love knitting, but I also need to work on my drawing, scratchboard and painting. Just last week I was thinking about a watercolor piece that I'd like to create. It may take some time after I've completed the research I need to do, but I am going to put the steps in place to start the work.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The View From Here: An Afternoon at Round Valley, NJ

The weather was a little warm this weekend, so my daughter & I headed over to nearby Round Valley Recreation Area to spend some time together playing outside. This is the best time of year to go in my opinion, because it is free to get in before the season starts on Memorial Day. Otherwise it is $5 per car I think, and me being Mr. Frugal hasn't paid to visit the park yet. If it is up to me, we always go during off season:

They have nice picnic areas, and several play areas with outdoor gym equipment for the kids to play on:

Of course, Daddy couldn't resist getting on the swings himself!

Another nice thing about Round Valley is that there are several beach areas:

Plenty of room for nature walks, exploring God's creation and using it as a teaching lesson for my daughter. I know enough about the different kinds of trees and wildlife that I can point out certain things to her as we walk. Maybe next time we will bring a maginfying glass to take a look at the grains of sand, pinecones or bugs up close, or the other interesting tiny details most people miss.