Monthly Archives: November 2013

My obsession with clouds and skies continues

Slide4I am constantly taking pictures of clouds and colored sunsets. I have discovered the Cloud Appreciation and the Cloud Appreciation Society on facebook and now currently am contributing my photos on their sites. Some of the work on that site that I have seen is fabulous.

Slide3There’s a person on that site, who sets up a tripod and gets these wide angled shots that are breath-taking.

I on the-other-hand, shoot out the window of a moving car usually or running to get a better shot of a sunset. I now collect them by color so enjoy these and I promise loads Slide1more as I am compulsive about this. On the bottom here, you can read into these cirrus clouds whatever fairyland character you can think of. I see dragons and sea horses, I see whispy bits of fairy trails. And I thought the cumulus clouds were the most interesting to find animals and things within them. Maybe my next book will be “This Cloud’s For You!” and you can look and see what you think it looks like. Slide3 It’s just fun to shoot and see what you get sometimes. lines, swirls, bunched up, l;aid out, pink, yellow, purple. You name it, you can capture it.Slide5


Depth is not difficult if you know the rules

Slide2 Slide3 I have been thinking about doing this for years, but had the opportunity last week when I woke up in Laguna Woods, CA. and found a very foggy morning had misted over my Mom’s house.

From morning until night, I took pictures of the same thing, over and over as the time and the weather conditions changed.

The collages all clearly show how you can paint a scene and show depth. Click on any of them to enlarge them and use the left arrow on top to go back.Slide10

Slide11Look at each of these carefully, cover some up and see what has to be done. When you change the sky color, other things change too. I especially loved how the roof colors changed.

You will find some of it is redundant, but since I took the photos, I had to share them with you.


The very last photo set on here will show you a day that I observed a big storm coming in over Lake Erie in Port Clinton. A storm was rolling in and the sky turned a fabulous deep blue. It wasn’t until I saw the photos afterwards that I saw how that effected the red roof and the rocks.Slide4 Slide6 Slide7 Slide8 Slide9

So when you paint, try the same piece showing different sky or time of day, or even a different season. It could add some pizzazz into your work when you specifically  try to paint depth. Slide13 Slide14 Slide15 Slide16 depthspacec depthspacesmdepthspaced


My “Storybook Homes” paintings & poster elaborated

When I spent one year Spring and Fall painting these fabulous house portraits. I stopped wherever I saw a house that had more than two kinds of stonework (and/or bricks in patterns). I always like textures and interesting repeated shapes so those were the kinds I looked for. The stucco ones were not my cup of tea but oh, those the English Tudors and the French ones with slate roofs  made my day.  My husband got me a cell phone, (as I had been protesting that I hated being accessible that much so I refused to have one), but he wanted to know where I was painting so he could bring me lunch!

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Anyhow, I would go out on a sunny morning and paint but he would make me call and tell him where I was since I was alone, and lunch always looked great when he brought it to me. The only scary place was the house that was surrounded by Oak trees and I could hear the acorns falling so I quickly deserted that one.

Slide9 Slide10 Slide11 Slide13 As I painted, people would come over and sometimes hire me to come and do their house. The Tudor with the high chimney on the bottom left corner, was Paul Newman’s house I found out! I also had a request from the Shaker Hts. (OH) Historic Society who asked me to have a show with the 40-some pieces I did that year! (Who am I to turn down something like that?) So they had a show and the opening was a snow storm and only a few people showed up. But I did hear from some of the people who saw their house in the show.

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This was my idea for the Shaker Hts. Centennial poster contest.Presentation1

“Sound Off Music” a science program 4 kids

Slide1There are four methods of musical instrument making in sound theory and they are: String (Chordophones), Air (Aerophones), Material (Idiophones), and Stretched Skin (Membranophones). Please note these are not the same as the orchestra instrument classifications. (Percussion is where the last two sections fit into). Use these principles and make instruments with kids using recycled materials. At the Cleveland Children’s Museum, where I won an award for this exhibit, We had a whole section with tubes and boxes and metal lids, etc. I went to a second-hand store and picked up various kinds of different sized materials also. I had milk glass, wine glasses, pots, coffee mugs, & found some old jugs too. You might hang a string across a table and hang chimes or a cymbals set, a washboard, etc. I had wooden spoons and metal “hitters” to tap the various items to produce sounds. remind kids to be gentle but try to guess if the pitch will be high or low.

Slide3 Stations for Sound Off Science: stretch rubber bands across nails on a wooden board. Place a set of metal crescent wrenches across a sponge-type material so they will vibrate. In your water table, set up the same sized pop bottles or jars and funnels. Have them fill the jars with water and make 8 different “notes” use a wooden spoon to tap the glass. Try to blow through tubes (across the top, different lengths make higher or lower pitches.

Slide2Line up different sized red clay flower pots turned upside down and a set of measuring bowls are great also because they are different sizes so the little ones will be higher notes and the bigger, lower notes. If you have a hair dryer hose, you can swing it over your head and the faster you twirl it, the higher the note (the air column gets shorter).

soundation1Concepts:  AIR: size & width, height, (plastic, glass, metal, wood)

STRINGS: tightness/looseness, (thick and this rubber bands)

MATERIALS: size, width, length (try some wooden boards) we had a bamboo chime hanging with different lengths as a chandelier at the museum exhibit. Also if you have a few different xylophones use them to point out how the notes differ going up the scale. Sing a scale with kids too, any eight lined poem becomes a song this way.

STRETCHED SKIN: large or small surface, looseness of skin (drum heads, tambourines, hand drums as long as it is stretched and not plastic) I found if you heat a drum head you can tighten it up and make the sound higher. Hold it over your stovetop and heat the center carefully. Keep hitting it and you cabn feel it getting tighter. I had a very large drum and we placed torn paper on it and made the paper dance.

If you are ever in Phoenix, AZ. go visit the Musical Instrument Museum. It has every instrument in the world by country and you can hear them as you walk by the different walls that exhibit the pieces from around the world.

The collages are from my new book I am working on, “Connec-TABLE Science.” I do have it with a publisher at the moment but haven’t heard anything yet.  The book is 140 pages filled with of gorgeous colored pictures of my life’s’ work with children teaching art and science (plus music). Check on my website for the Children’s Museum layout and ideas for tables with more ideas. “Why Is The Sky Blue?” is on or through me, in the educational section

Beach Scenes, love ‘em or leave!

Slide4Every time I go to the beach, I am thoroughly entertained. These are photos that remind me of the fun when I get there. I posted one of them on my facebook page and got all kinds of emails about it! The four guys standing in a row (below) were there for ten minutes before I asked if I could take a picture of them! The others I tried not to include faces, especially of kids. You need permission to take people but it is not always possible to get it. So be aware when taking people pictures, wait until the face is not apparent.

I recommend that you too carry a camera and see what is “beached” on the sand and the surrounds!

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Of course these oldies of my grand daughter are classics. I love  the reflected light on the ocean, the textures of the sand, and the on-the-go attitude she always had when I photographed her. (PS- she is no longer fun to photo at 11! I need a new model I think!)