It's a weird and kind of cool thing to finally be old enough to collect social security. Today is my 62nd birthday - yeah!!! Got to get a new driver's license pix too. Lovely:-(

This morning my two granddaughters iced the cake they made with Grandpa last night and even put sprinkles on it. Not too much icing was on the floor when they were done, either. The cake is just beautiful, a work of art for sure.

Yesterday Tuesday morning's class completely surprised me with a huge party, complete with a delicious luncheon and cake and candles. We're doing it up right this year for sure.

This old painting of a very old John Deere tractor is one of the oldest I could find to help commemorate this dubiously historic day. It was one of the earlier 'tape' paintings that I tried, probably done in 1997 or so.

Every shape was developed by placing masking tape where I didn't want more paint. Each layer of paint dried before adding more masking tape. It's like batik in the way it looks with the paint oozing under the edges of the torn tape. The tape, used instead of wax to preserve and develop the shapes in the painting, is removed when the darkest values are painted. The textures that can be created this way are exciting.

Taping is time consuming - more so than wax batik - and yet the results are worth it. Next week I get a brand new right knee since my old sixty two year old one is in bad shape, so taping may be the process I choose to paint with during recovery. In the meantime, I'm looking forward to that first social security check!



"What's your favorite flower?" Brenda asked this week in class. Though I never answered her, I might have said that a rose is my favorite, or a daffodil or an exquisite Hawaiian orchid or wisteria or, actually, anything in bloom.

Bwc (before watercolor) my passion was gardening, and I went all out, planting and caring for hundreds of perennials in our yard, along with a delicious assortment of unique dwarf conifers and shrubs. My favorites then were the tiny rock garden plants that just peeked up from under a boulder.

This rose painting was just a demo for a class back in the 90's, to help the artists see how to paint better. Undoubtedly, the most important thing we can use for painting is our eyes.

It's not that perfect color or a special magical brush or a unique technique or even a good teacher. It's our eyes.

SEEING, not just looking, but really observing, is what makes artists be able to interpret and convey what they experience. Toss in some good composition and design, along with accomplished technique, add to that a lifetime of experiences and emotions that are unique to each artist, and art that no one else has ever done can be created. SO much fun!