Friday, February 05, 2010

Blizzard if 2010

Maryland doesn't often get big snow storms, but I remember several blizzards from my childhood where we'd get three feet of snow all at once go. Our house, 11 miles south of Baltimore City, was on a dead end road, and since we lived on a dead end, it might take days, or up to a week to for that plow to come to us. That left my Dad, Mom and us kids to shovel the long drive by hand. One year we shoveled past the end of our drive and out into the road so that Daddy could drive into the field across the street. With tires on turf, he could finally get the traction he needed to get the car to the plowed streets and get it work. Another year, because of drifting snow, my sister and I were unable to open the front door. But somehow, Daddy got out and worked for hours shoveling trails just wide enough to walk through. I was young around 10 years old, and the side walls of the trails he dug were almost taller than I was. We let the dog out to go to the bathroom and never saw him again. That was Sparky, our Scottie. We never found a trace of him, and so thought someone picked him up. Much later, in the 80's, I remember my boss driving his 4-wheel drive to the top of the road, and me wading through snow up to my hips to reach his vehicle just so I could get to work.

So, it's interesting to be in Maryland now during the Blizzard of 2010. We could get 24" - 36" by the time it's all over. It was certainly beautiful to see around 5:00 PM today. Right now, gale force winds and wet snow are causing white outs and slippery roads. Last I looked, there was about 9" on the road outside my daughter's house, and the snow is to continue falling tomorrow at a rate of 1-3" an hour.

My easel is in the car, and I am under a blanket on the sofa watching reruns of Inspector Morse, and writing to you.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

New Website

"Paan Raja"
10" x 8", Oil on Canvas

I have been in Maryland for over a week now, working on cleaning out my Mom's house and readying it for sale. So what to do with any downtime???

First of all, I crushed my primary hand, my painting hand, in the car door, resulting in a trip to the emergency room. No breaks, thank heavens, but my poor hand that serves me so well, is bruised and still swollen and sore.

I remembered that I promised myself I would work on building a new website. The template one offered by Fine Art Studio Online. There's a learning curve, and things to work out, but I have been working a little for the past two nights, and making progress on that, but not ready to unveil it just yet, especially since I don't have access to all of my photos.

But I did have this photo above of a paan stall in Kumbakonam, India. I loved the colors of this scene, and the sign above that shielded the man from the sun. I tried to copy the Tamil writing at first (I started at the left of the writing), but I quickly ran out of room.

There are lots of paan sellers in India. Paan is sort of a "hand-built chewing tobacco", which starts with a betel leaf. Various things, like tobacco, spices, and gosh knows what else, are placed in the middle of the leaf, and rolled or folded up into a packet. Sometimes you might get a paan at the end of a meal. You pop it into your mouth, and chew away, and like with chewing tobacco, you spit. But the leaves are a gorgeous color green, and are fanned out in piles for sale, and it's always a treat to see the paan seller, even if you don't chew.