November in Plainfield, New Jersey

Lonnie and Sylvia in park (small)I am visiting my sister and her family in Plainfield, New Jersey.  This year the trees still had fall color in the remaining leaves. I took several pictures walking in the park.  I asked Peter Vietze, my sister’s husband to take this picture of Sylvia and I.  I ran through the neighborhood twice during my visit.  One morning the temperature was 50 degrees and in a few days it was 28 degrees.  I enjoyed running through the streets looking at the bright red and yellow fall leaves on the trees. I am working on another portrait of a woman. I am working on getting all of my work in the gallery

Dean the Deer Hunter, on the Lone Worm Ranch

Deans Truck is Stuck (small)Dean is Sylvia’s son. He is a nice guy and has helped make the Lone Worm Ranch a well irrigated and maintained place. Tonight he was hunting and he shot two deer. Sylvia and I were just getting to leave the ranch after spending the night. Dean had been hunting all day Saturday and was out in the evening trying to get a deer. When Sylvia and I were just about to leave we heard two shots. A short time later Dean came to the house all excited as he had just shot two deer.

I offered to help him load the deer in his truck so we headed to the back woods where the deer lay. Dean was in the process of turning his Dodge 4 X 4 truck around and got stuck in the deep sandy mud. Dean the Deer Hunter, on the Lone Worm Ranch (small)The mud was the result of about 5 inches of rain that had fallen the night before. We had to get the deer so Sylvia called for a tow truck and Dean and I went to the red barn and got the wheel barrow and headed across the 30 acre pasture to the edge of the woods.

After taking pictures of Dean and the deer, we loaded them into the wheel burrow and hauled them across the soggy pasture back to the house. It was a good work out for me and my heard was really pumping as we raced to the house to beat the advancing darkness.

I have never witnessed anyone skin or gut a deer. I held the light as I watched Dean work quickly to cut each deer’s belly open and clean it out. It was the same process that I have done when I have cleaned fish only larger. I also noticed that dead deer die with their eyes wide open.

The tow truck arrived and Dean’s truck was hauled out of the mud bog and we all left for Austin around 8:30 PM. It was quite an adventure for us all.

The Runner

This is my second drawing that I completed in my hotel room in Cincinnati, Ohio. I wanted to capture the feeling that I have when I am running. This picture along with the self portrait that I drew last week are two pictures that have a common technique. Most of my pencil drawings are worked on until I get completely tired of them. I work to get everything finished or just right. These two pictures still have some rough edges and show some sketch like pencil lines. I like drawing on the 13 x 17 size paper.

So what I am doing is drawing faster and focusing on what I am drawing so that I can finish the drawing quickly. Sometimes I like not knowing what I am drawing, but those drawings are harder to finish and take longer to complete. I want to get to a point where I can have nice drawings that convey what I want with minimal amount of color work. I want to develop a quick light style of drawing to complement my very meticulous style of drawing.

Running in Miami Ohio on Sunday

So what motivates me to go out and run 10 miles before watching a football game?  Well for starters it is the way I feel at mile eight when Little Feat came on my iPod singing Feets Don’t Fail Me Now.  Somehow after running the first two miles that seem like death at mile eight I feel like I am invincible.

Running is really a basic activity that involves putting one foot in front of the other faster than when you walk.  As an avid cyclyst I know what it is like to ride 100 miles in one day.  Today I saw a lot of cyclist on the trail, but only two other runners besides me.  If I had my bike I would easily ride the whole 50-60 mile length of this flat railroad bike trail. What I am so proud of is that in February 2005 I started running after 20 years of telling myself that I could not run because of my knee.  I started off training to walk a 5k race and I ended up running the whole distance in April 2005.

So now this summer I have started running 10 miles regularly.  I have never in my life run over 6.5 miles (10k).  For me this is a huge accomplishment of what I can create as a possibility and make it real.  I have proven to myself that I can create possiblities and make them real in my life around my job.  Challenging your physical body at the age of 55 for me is real sweet.

California Woods Park in Cincinnati, Ohio

Lonnie in California Woods (small)Today I went for a hike in California Woods Park.  I wanted to get a chance to hike in a park with some trees and trails.  Cincinnati has several nice parks so I want to see a few this weekend while I have the time.

So here I am standing by some giant ash trees. When I lived in LA as a boy the house that I grew up in had a big ash tree in the back yard.  This is the first tree that I remember climbing and hugging.  Today as I walked through this woods I saw so many ash trees and my mind was lush with the memories of how my brother and I could be on top of the work when we were in the South Central ghetto of LA when we were in our tree.

I take pictures like this by placing my camera on a timer.  then I pick a spot on the ground or on an object to take the picture.  I press he button and then run to a spot that I think Lonnie in California Woods with Giant Ash (200 wide)is in focus and wait.  I like taking pictures like this because they are fun and produce random results.

One of the random results that this type of photography produces is that I get to see what I look like.  It is amazing how much attention I pay to what I think about how I look based on how I feel.  When I check reality and see what I actually look I see what everone else sees and it is quite the surprise.

So on the inside I feel one way but on the outside I look totally different.  I am very aware that my external appearance has a big impression on how people think about me, but I always get amazed with how different I look when I take random pictures of myself.  Usually when someone else takes a picture of me it is at a special occasion and I am dressed up.  When I take pictures of myself it is usually when I am working on the ranch or hiking by myself. 

These self portraits taken with my camera are the ones that I treasure becsue they document what I look like. I hope that my children will be able to look at these images and my writings and get a better idea of what makes me tick.

Ohio Self Portrait, What is Possible

I am drawing a portrait that may be a self portrait.  I have been working on the drawing in the hotel after my training.  I never know where a drawing is going until after I finish it.  this drawing depicts a male with dreadlocks and a checkered shirt. I started the drawing on Wednesday and I worked on it Thursday after class from about 4:00 PM until 2:00 AM on Friday morning.

This is the second portrait that I have done in recent years.  I have a limited arsenal of things that I like to draw that can be easily recognized in my art, but portraits of humans is one that I like.  Usually my drawings are so abstract that they mainly consist of wild blends of color that leave the viewer with the task of figuring out what they are looking at.  That is the main goal of my drawings, I want to draw nothing that the viewer has seen before and at the same time draw something that allows the viewer to feel that they see something in the drawing that is familiar.

Drawing a self portrait is something that I have not done in a long time.  I think that the last time that I drew one it was a pen and ink drawing and I may still have it.  My hair is about as long as it was when I was in my twenties back in the 1970’s.  I believe that artist draw themselves for several reasons.  One reason is that they want to continue to explore how to create art from the human face.  Another reason is that they want the viewer to see how the artist sees themselves.  Currently I have chosen to draw myself because I am at a point in my life when I feel very peaceful and confident with my being me.

Happy in being me does not mean that my life is a bowl full of cherries.  There are several aspects of my life that I would like to transform, but for the essence of my being I am confident enough to sit in a room and draw a portrait of myself and like it.  There is a saying that you have to get up each day and look your self in the mirror.  When I talk about looking at yourself in the mirror and drawing yourself I am not in the realm of vanity.  I am looking at myself in the realm of self awareness and confidence that I am who I create and that my possibilities that I create are real and possible.