Thursday, October 19, 2017

Roofing Repairs: Not Music to My Ears

I Knew Roofing Repairs Would Start Today

I knew that roofing repairs meant noise early in the morning. I'm a night owl, so I was unhappy with this knowledge. I'm currently listening to banging. drilling, and I'm not sure what else as I try to write this.

Roofers at Work, © B. Radisavljevic

This not only drives me crazy, but it also disrupts my sleep. I normally blog and network until about 2 am. I normally sleep until about 10 am. The noise started this morning at 8:30 am. I'd like to finish this post before I leave for a doctor appointment this afternoon, but even with white noise on, I can't escape that loud banging from right over  my head. Of course the roofers are currently working right over my office.

Two More Days?

My husband, who decided we had to get this done so we could beat the rain that might come this month, said this would take three days. This morning he said they might finish today. I hope they do -- for the sake of my sleep and sanity. I'm a peace-loving person who hates loud noises. I especially hate them as alarm clocks. Going to bed earlier doesn't help because my body clock can't be changed that easily.

I think this would be a good day to drop by the other house after the doctor appointment and pick up my scanner and precious photos that are still stored there. I want to move them because we are more likely to have fires in that area than in the city.

A photo walk in that area might also be good, since I haven't been to my favorite vineyards yet. Some are sure to be ready to harvest.  Maybe I'll even eat lunch out -- after the doctor weighs me. Maybe I'll start my friend Beverly's new book, Death Takes a Spin,  over at the other house. I was going to wait until after the blog challenge was over to start a mystery, but I'm writing ahead to cover it. I suppose I could even start reading at the gym. I haven't been there for ages.

The Mess

It seems whenever a repair needs to be made, whoever does the work makes a mess while it's in process. Some clean up their messages afterwards and some don't. At least this mess is materials that will be used. I won't know if the workmen will leave any debris until they are gone. Meanwhile, my neighbors probably aren't happy about these materials being stacked right on our property line.

Repairmen Put their Supplies and Trash Anywhere Convenient for Them. 

Looking Foreword to Peace and Quiet Again When This Is Over

For now, though, I plan to escape the noise while it lasts. I hope by tomorrow I can go back to a normal schedule without the noise or the unwanted wake-up thumps and bangs.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The World Beyond My Office

My Reality Has to Go Beyond What I Can See on my Computer Screen

Sometimes when I have a lot of writing to get done, it's hard to remember a world beyond my office. Yes, my husband interrupts to ask me to find things or do computer tasks for him. The phone rings and sometimes I have to answer it. But when I'm alone in the house and no one enters my office door but me, it's easy to forget there is a world outside the house when I'm working inside.

The World Beyond My Office

Most of the day I'm happy to have the time for productive work. But when late afternoon rolls around, I get antsy. I look outside my office window and see the tree above. Something happens inside me that almost catapults me out the door. Maybe it's the knowledge that a gorgeous sunset is on the way and I need to photograph it.

The World Beyond My Office

Maybe it's hearing the train whistle and knowing it will soon be roaring on the other side of the river overlooking the park. Of course I need to take a picture.

The World Beyond My Office

Sometimes I take to the garden and pull a few weeds, prune, or deadhead a few flowers just to get out into the world beyond my walls. Sometimes I even discover something new that God planted, like these seedlings nestled among the weeds, behind the Lamb's Ears. I believe they are either borage or mullein, but I won't know for a while. They may even be clary sage. They all resemble each other at this stage. When I know for sure I'll know what to do with them. What I do know is that they aren't weeds.

The World Beyond My Office

I can do most of these activities without leaving my yard. All of them help me ground myself and connect to my Creator and the world around me.

When I'm Especially Restless I Need to Go Farther 

That usually means I take a photo walk in Larry Moore Park like I did Saturday. I usually take these walks in late afternoon or early evening before dark. That's when I feel like I will jump out of my skin if I don't go somewhere outside.

This is a scene from my Saturday walk. Unfortunately, it was too dark to capture a photo of the bunny ahead of me on the trail. I came home from that walk better able to relax and get a good night's sleep.

The World Beyond My Office

Another easy walk is the Charolais Corridor Trail. I get a new perspective every time I walk the trail, depending on the season, the time of day, and who else is on the trail. I've been walking this trail since it opened a few years ago. This photo of the east entrance was taken on January 30, 2013 when the trail was still almost new. The trail begins on South River Road and ends on the western side across from the entrance to Larry Moore Park and the Salinas River Trail.

The World Beyond My Office

 Sometimes it's the practical matters that make me leave my office -- those pesky doctor appointments, labs tests, or errands. I often choose the early evening to shop. That's what I did tonight to get out. These appointments and errands aren't as much fun as photo walks, but I can still find nature in the landscaping, and the sky is always above as I walk to and from my car and wherever I'm going.

A Dose of Nature Usually Settles My Restlessness

Those sunsets I see between my trees every night help a lot. The sky always helps me remember how big my universe it and how powerful the One who controls it. I feel much less confined after a healthy dose of sky. And I can see sky anywhere I go outside.

The World Beyond My Office

Where do you go when you get cabin fever and need to get out of the house?

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Meet Vincent Bernardy: Musician, Painter, and Artistic Recycler

Vincent Bernardy is a New Resident Artist at Studios On the Park 

I met him for the first time during the October Art after Dark Event. His assemblage works are so unique that after you've seen a few of them you wouldn't need a sign to know they are his. He seems to love creating things related to construction, but he doesn't limit his subjects to that. He does like bold colors. You can see that in the assemblage behind him.

You can also see that he has fun mixing his media.  Vincent shares a studio  with others, so what's on the shared desk isn't necessarily his. I'm guessing those toad abodes are somehow connected with studio mate Anna Meyrick who speicalizes in mosaics and ceramics.

Anna used to share a studio with Eve Provost Chartrand. My favorite source of news at the studios told me that the reason Eve left is that she thought she didn't know enough about art so she left to teach it. I had to chuckle at that, but I knew what he meant.

Meet Vincent Bernardy: Musician, Painter, and Artistic Recycler

An Overview of the Art in Vincent's Studio Corner

Meet Vincent Bernardy: Musician, Painter, and Artistic Recycler

When I first saw this corner, my first thought was "This guy really loves tools!" That large assemblage on the upper right side especially fascinated me. I asked Vincent about it. He told me he doesn't like to tell people what his works mean to him, since he wants each person to come at it with their own fresh perspective. If someone tells you what a piece of art is supposed to represent or mean, it limits what you might see for yourself. He did finally share his perspective with me, but I won't tell you what he said. It would be really interesting if you look at it and share what it means to you in the comments below. See the full frontal view of this piece, as well as Vincent's other art, on his webpage

The Tools

It's obvious that Vincent likes to use tools in his work -- not just to create it. As I looked at these, I thought what great gifts they might be to your favorite carpenter or handyman. What may not be obvious is that those screwdrivers actually are real and removable. One could actually use them and put them back. What a functional work of art -- especially for the person who can never find the right screwdriver when he or she needs it. Not only that, as you can see, you can also use it to hang smaller pictures. Only your imagination limits the uses.

Meet Vincent Bernardy: Musician, Painter, and Artistic Recycler

The assemblage below also has another use. Technically, it's a coat rack. Look carefully and you'll see the hooks. The shadows will give you a hint as to where to look. Notice how carefully the screwdrivers are arranged to show off the various colors and sizes.

Meet Vincent Bernardy: Musician, Painter, and Artistic Recycler


Vincent Bernardi takes his music to many local venues. You can sample it on his YouTube channel. The song I liked best was "Rodeo Clown." He teamed up with Jade Jackson for this one. I met her for the first time when she was performing at Sculpterra one day in 2010. Here's a link to the video I made while looking around the tasting room while she was performing. It includes a brief interview with her at the end.

You can connect with Vincent on Instagram or on his website.

Meet Vincent Bernardy: Musician, Painter, and Artistic Recycler


Monday, October 16, 2017

Will This Tree Survive?

A Cottonwood Tree with a History at Larry Moore Park

I have been observing this particular cottonwood tree since about 2004 as I pass it on my walks through Larry Moore Park in Paso Robles It's shape is so unique you can't miss it. It stands alone near where the trails in the park intersect. This is how it looked on October 14, 2017. I will now share the photos I've been taking through the years for comparison.

As you can see, the tree is in bad shape. See how much bark is gone? Very few branches are still alive, if any. Every storm breaks off more branches. It looks as though this year the city may finally be taking better care of the tree.

A Pictorial History of the Cottonwood Tree

This is my first photo after my mom moved near the park and I started walking there. I was still using a camera that left a lot to be desired. You can see that even back then park maintenance was inferior. Most of the tree is dead, and most of what's green is mistletoe.

My First Photo of the Cottonwood, August 9, 2004

My pictorial history has a gap between 2004 and 2010 when I got the computer I use now. It seems a lot of photo history has vanished. But we will pick it up again in 2010. I have put the dates on the photos for easy comparison.  I'm not sure when the picnic table was put under the tree. I think I may see it through the branches on the right.

By March 2011 there is definitely a picnic table and the branch covering it in the 2010 photo no longer has leaves, even though it's March. It's very likely the leafy branch suffered storm damage. Or all the leaves died over winter and are just beginning to come back. The branch at the top right appears to be beginning to get leaves. The bright green is mistletoe.

It's now January, 2012. The shot below looks north toward the trail that goes east to west through the park near the river. You can see the trail and the back of the sign that faces the trail -- the same sign you see in the picture above that faces in the opposite direction.

Below is a cropped version of the photo above for a closer look. It's hard to tell if I'm seeing the top of an intact picnic table on the left. Again, the green is all mistletoe.

By December 2013 vandals have carried off the top of the picnic table leaving only the supports. It appears there are some leaves on the tree.

It's now August 3, 2014. The tree is happily in leafy foliage again,  though the mistletoe is still bothering it. The picnic table is gone, and it appears some of the dead branches have also been carted off. Perhaps the homeless who were living in the riverbed took it to use for firewood.

It's now October 2014. There are some remnants of the picnic table. The leaves have turned brown and the mistletoe has taken over again, but even it is beginning to die, especially at the top.

Here's a closer look. You can see the spot where a branch broke off.


It appears I did not get many walks in the park in 2016. We had to make a lot of day trips that year that took us out of town.  The closest I can get to 2016 is this photo taken on January 9, 2017 between rain storms.

I end this history of the cottonwood tree this month, on October 14, 2017. I'm hoping this tree will last a few more years. I hope you've enjoyed the journey.

Is there a tree you have watched closely over several years?

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Burned Out!

California is Still Burning, but I'm Burned Out

Burned Out!
What's Left after a Small Fire in the Larry Moore Park, © B. Radisavljevic

I pray for the firemen and my friends too close to the fires for comfort. Some have had to evacuate but were able to return home. I've only had one fire get close enough for me to see from my yard this year, but it was minor, by the freeway, and put out before it could spread. Someone was dragging a chain and it sent sparks to the dry grass beside the freeway. It's good when a fire burns out or is put out.

I'm Burned Out

It's not so good when I burn out. There's simply too much going on here to pretend I can do it all. I'm remembering all the reasons I told myself not to sign up for another blogging challenge, but my self didn't listen. So here I am trying to do more than I can handle again. Tonight I'm going to revert to the blog requirement for City Daily Photo Bloggers. Post at least one photo from my city of Paso Robles.

Were I to try to do another post on an artist while in this burn-out-state it would not be fair to him. He's an artist I want to do a good job for. So I'll post another photo of day dying last night at Larry Moore Park. I took a much needed walk there last night to energize myself. I left during early dusk. I ended the walk when the sun was almost down. I took this photo near the end of the walk. I'm looking toward where the Salinas River would be if there were any water in it.

Burned Out!
End of the Trail at the End of the Day, © B. Radisavljevic

Burned Out! A Bad Case of Writer Burn-out

Good night, or good morning, depending upon where you are in the world today.

When is the last time you felt burned out?

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Meet Jordan Hockett at Studios on the Park

Jordan Hockett is New at Studios on the Park

I first met Jordan there on October 7 while waiting for Art after Dark to officially start. He was moving between studios setting things up. I finally caught him in his own studio and he confirmed he was an artist in residence -- not part of a set-up crew. Of course, artists in residence often do seem to be the set-up crew for a lot of events, so there's that.

Once I figured out Jordan belonged in that studio and I saw his work, I asked him to pose in front of the painting he's currently working on. You can see he likes abstract art. He gets some of his inspiration from tribal art in Africa and Mexico.

Jordan got some of his training as a student at the Atascadero Fine Arts Academy. He uses many different materials to express himself in art, and is proficient in both painting and sculpture. Find out more about him on his website.

Jordan Hockett Has a Zazzle Store

Here's where you can find all his store products there in one place.

Here are some of the designs that might give you an idea of the diversity of his work on Zazzle.  I'm sorry about all that white space, but I don't know how to get rid of it. Zazzle puts it in.

Jordan's Abstract Paintings

 Here are some of the paintings hanging on the wall of Jordan's studio.

These are some of his  smaller paintings with lower price points. This image is the correct size to pin on a Pinterest board.

Jordan's Halloween Jack-o-Lantern Sculptures

Jordan made these unique Jack-o-Lanterns and has been teaching classes on how to do it. The last class is this afternoon at 1, on Pioneer Day, but here's what he's been teaching people to do. I'm guessing it's at Studios on the Park. Class size is limited to eight. Cost is $60. All you need is to bring a pumpkin.

Which of Jordan's works do you like best?


Friday, October 13, 2017

Big Changes at Studios on the Park

Guess What and Who Are Missing at Studios on the Park?

If it's been a long time since you were last at Studios on the Park, one of the first things you will notice is that the entrance has changed. You will notice these two differences the minute you walk in.

Big Changes at Studios on the Park

Yes, the car is no longer facing you as you walk in. It has disappeared.

The Printmasters studio, which used to be near the back of the building where the  Paso Robles School District Gallery is now located, have moved to the front. They are replacing the Earth Sea Pottery Studio that used to be in that front showroom. The Printmasters have been settled in their new home for a couple of years now.  Why does it just seem like yesterday to me?

More Has Changed at the  Printmakers Studio Than the Location

Robert "Rosey" Rosenthal and his wife Barbara have moved out of the area. Rosey had been working with the Printmakers at Studios on the Park for as long as I can remember. A little bird told me that the move had something to do with distant grandchildren. Rosey and Barbara are both missed. I took this photo of Rosey in the new studio location in December 2015.

Big Changes at Studios on the Park

When I arrived at the Printmakers studio Saturday night, Robert Simola was there to greet me and other visitors. Earlier in the evening he'd been wandering around the other studios. If you want to know the latest about what's going on at Studios on the Park, he can give you the information you seek. He has been a great help in explaining who has left and why and where they have gone.

The books below are illustrated by longtime studio resident Helen K. Davie. Click any cover to get more details on the books. They are part of the popular Let's Read and Find Out series of children's science books. I used to sell them, but now you can find all the books Helen illustrated at Amazon, and the rest of the series as well.  The series is quite large and features the work of many authors and illustrators besides Helen.

If you have small curious children, check out the entire series. If you buy one of the books Helen illustrated, I'm guessing she would autograph it for you. You could even bring your child in to meet her. I believe Helen also sells the books in the Printmakers studio.

In the photo below, Robert Simola sits surrounded mostly by Helen's prints. They are on the wall behind him. Her books are displayed in front of him.

Big Changes at Studios on the Park

The new resident of the Printmakers studio is Betty Wick. I haven't met her yet, but you will see her work on the wall on the left of the photo below.  The printing press is at the center of the room, though it's currently almost disguised as a display for its output. Stop in and see it some time. Maybe one of the printmakers will demonstrate it for you. It's impressive in action.

Big Changes at Studios on the Park

As you can see, resident artists come and go from Studios on the Park. I will explain the transitions in each studio separately as I get to it. Stay tuned.

Big Changes at Studios on the Park. Visit the Printmakers and see the printing press they use.

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