In an obscure history museum in the small town of Craig, Colorado, I came upon the art of Gerard Curtis Delano, who painted western themes in the early 1900’s. Delano used simple forms and rich colors, almost chromatic, especially when depicting the bright colors in traditional colors of native American colors. The museum had several prints of his work. I had never heard of Delano previously, and would have probably not even remembered him, had it not been for what happened next.
As I came around one display, I encountered his work, Mountain Men, depicting two mountain men riding a makeshift raft down a river. This was an original, 30″ x 36″. The image I have linked hardly does justice to the rich pastel colors, which make the water so cold and atmosphere so misty. What really exited me was the action implicit in the scene, and the feeling of being there, achieved by the low angle of view.
No prints were available. Research shows that it sold in 2013 for $74,750. Still, it is a new favorite of mine.
Mountain Men by Gerard Curtis Delano
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly on Dame’s Rocket
I’ve been watching a meadow full of purple wildflowers. I’ve visited several times over the last few days to take pictures and paint. I did a plein air morning study
, that I’ve posted on my art blog. It turns out that the beautiful voilet stalks are Dame’s Rocket, which is considered an invasive species.
A field with large patches of Dame’s Rocket
I went back again in the afternoon, and I was surprised how many butterflies and bees were out. The first picture in the post is an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly (Papilio glaucus).
There were also orange-banded Red Admiral (vanessa atalanta)
Red Admiral Butterfly (Vanessa atalanta) on Dame’s Rocket
Then, on the way home, a wild turkey crossed the road. Couldn’t find it in the butterfly book.
Wild turkey crossing the road.
April 21 at 9am. Morning sun.
April 21 at 1 pm. Overcast.
April 23 at 6:30 pm. Evening sun.
Assignment was three paintings of the same object, using brush.
Study 1. 9am April 14. Morning sunlight, no clouds.
Study 2. 7pm April 14. Overcast.
Study 3. 6pm April 17. Declining sunlight, mixed clouds. (Started sunny, finished cloudy).
Painting instructor wanted three 60 minutes 6×8 studies of the same subject at different times / days. All knife work.
Serious family chat over Google chat
Our family is spread all over the country: Utah, Minnesota, Ohio, and Virginia. But, we can still get together virtually. Google chat is what we use. Silliness abounds. These are some clips from the last chat. Everyone trying to make each other laugh and out-do the others in silliness.
Cragun Family ringing Bells for Salvation Army Kettle Drive
One of our family’s Christmas traditions is to go ring bells for the Salvation Army’s annual Kettle Drive. Salvation Army does a good work, and it’s easy to support their effort.
Of course, we try to have a little fun with it. We perform a little Christmas music using sawn pipes struck with kitchen utensils — sort a poor man’s bell choir. It’s a challenge, and a little disjointed, but you can usually recognize the tune. This year, the table knives were accidentally left at home, so we made do with car repair tools. (See the screwdrivers and pliers?)
In the photo left to right: Amoray & Nathan, Christian, Leanne, Eric, Catherine. (I’m taking the picture.) Each year Eric dons his Elf costume, which usually gets some smiles.