Broken Promise

Back in 2011 I made a promise that I couldn’t keep. My daughter-in-law asked me to make her an intarsia hummingbird. Like always, I dove into the project only to learn that I was not skilled enough to make a hummingbird out of wood. Hummingbirds are tiny. This month I searched the internet for the smallest bird on the planet, only to find out that the Ruby Throat hummingbird is not the smallest. There is a species that is found only in Cuba called the Bee Hummingbird. It is almost half the size of a ruby throated humming bird. Nature just raised the bar on me.

Over the years, I have acquired more skill in Intarsia, and some better equipment too. I decided to give the bird a try. I began by finding the old pattern I had from 2011. The bird on the pattern is huge I thought. Not a realistic hummingbird but one that would be relatively easy to cut. I searched for more patterns only to learn that most intarsia artists make the birds large, almost like I am looking at the bird through a microscope.

I never found a pattern that I liked so I set out to make my own. Google images has pictures galore of humming birds and I found one that was in the correct pose for my piece. I matched the bird against a hibiscus flower which is one of its favorites to feed from. I made a pattern for the flower, a single bloom, and another for the bird, in scale or as close as I could eyeball the true size.

One problem I had with the bird pattern was to get a good photo of the wings. When a humming bird hovers and stands still his wings are beating at 200 strokes per second. Yep you read that right it is 200 hundred strokes per second not minute, they are a blur. For someone like me who is trying to copy the bird in wood that means I have to find some really slo-motion pictures to get an idea of what they look like while beating. I finally decided I can make the wings look like whatever, and no one can challenge me because no one will ever be able to see these wings standing still. That took some pressure off of my mind so I could proceed.

The next challenge was in trying to make something that tiny in two dimensions but looking like it is in three dimensions. I started out that way but changed my mind when I could not see the beauty of the bird in clunky two dimensional wood. I had to make the bird in three dimensions. the next challenge was to determine how to position the bird so it looked real against a flower. When a Hummer hovers up to the flower to suck the nectar out of its stamen he is virtually motionless and not touching the flower in any visible way. I could not see how to put the two forms together in a way that the final product would be believably real. The only way out was to make a flower, and a separate hummingbird and to design a way to make the bird seem like it was hovering in mid-air just microns away from the flower stamen. I won’t divulge my secret, but I made it look real.

When I finally began this work I was coming off a piece titled “Three Roses” which wore me down. The pieces were very tiny and delicate and there were too many of them. I thought the humming bird would be a vacation piece. My initial estimate was two to three weeks. I jumped into the pattern and made it quickly, then selected the woods and began cutting. In about a week I had the flower and the bird cut from the woods. I set it aside for what reason I do not recall, but it sat from May until November, and then I took it up again. And I spent three more weeks finishing the bird and flower.
As in all art work the frame is important in order to showcase the center piece. I decided on a rectangular frame with an elliptical opening for the art. I am an amateur wood worker even after seventy years of practicing. The damn frame almost broke me. The simplest of all cuts became a nightmare, the 45 degree corners. For the life of me I could not get the 45 degree cuts to match when put together. I think I was at 44. 85 degrees and not 45.00 degrees. The end result was a frame that had large openings between sides. I started with an 18 x 14 size frame and before I finished it was down to 17 x 13. I had to continue to trim the pieces until I could get the corners to match perfectly. Since I only make one or to frames a year I will never be able to afford the precision equipment I need to make forty-five degree cuts perfect. The result is in the photos below. I’m still deciding whether my daughter-in-law will get the work.

Enough talking it is time to unveil the masterpiece. “Hummer Breakfast”

Day 48-SIP-The Three Roses of Padauk

Who is leading? If my recollection serves me correctly President Trump announced the COVID-19 Task Force Guidelines on March 16, 2020. Within forty-eight hours the Mayor of Frankfort issued the same guidelines under his name. Four days later on 20 March 2020 our State Governor issued his version of the same.

I began writing my Covid-19 diary on the 16 of March, the same day the president announced the guidelines. What I see here is a chain of command from the National level down to the local community, but the State lagged in making decisions. Could this lag also be the reason why Illinois has the most debt of all the States? Could it be that is the reason citizens are leaving the state as fast as they can? It is the reason that I have considered leaving many times, only to be sucked back by personal responsibilities?

Anyway, it is a beautiful sunny day in Illinois today, but a might on the chilly side at 46 degrees and it’s windy making it feel even cooler. The sun is making the plant life explode and life is returning from the deep winter sleep. Tulips bloom in abundance, the daffodils are already gone as are the magnolias. The grass is Irish green and the trees and shrubs are about half way open toward full leaf. As soon as I post this non-sense I’ll join many others on a walk along our bicycle path fully masked.

This morning I cleaned my shop as I do after completing a project successfully. My routine is to hang the new work in the place of honor with lighting for a few weeks or until I get tired of it and replace it with something different. In the meantime, I will begin a new piece with fewer elements which should be quicker to complete. This latest was supposed to be that project, but it evolved into one with one hundred pieces and short equaled forty days. My goal is to get ‘short’ down to seven days max. There is a lot of room for improvement ahead.

The Three Roses of Padauk

Buy It Back

I have a piece of advice for the artists lucky enough to have Ivanka Trump putting their art on her walls. If you don’t want her to see your art, offer to buy it back at the price she paid for it!

I would think you would want her to see it just to make her upset that the world is now using her to promote your piece of shit art works. Frankly, after seeing some of the work she has hanging I am appalled at her lack of taste. Of course it makes sense to buy it back so you can work on it to make it worthy of showing.

Just in case you are really interested:

“Who are some of your favorite artists?”

Ivanka Trump: “I love Christopher Wool and Cy Twombly.”

“There are also so many great younger artists that I really love including Wade Guyton, Nate Lowman, Alex Israel, Dan Colen, Joe Bradley, and others.”

Frankly, after viewing  some of their works I will stay away from them. I sincerely believe they paint with the brush hanging out of their anus and swirling the paint onto the canvas with gaseous relief.

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REALLY?

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It looks like the artist hung a piece of canvas on a wall outside, and let people stick their used gum on it.

I’m Taking Orders

Since September I have been burrowed in my wood shop creating works of art. Actually, the art is by Judy Gale Roberts whose patterns I used to craft her vision of flowers. At this point I am ready to take orders for any or all the flowers I have executed in wood. The only warning I have is that if you have to ask what the price is you cannot afford one of these pieces. I am getting quicker in my execution, and my skill level is improving, but it still took over forty hours to make each of these seemingly simple designs. Here they are:

Sunflower-September, 2015

Sunflower-September, 2015

Rose, October 2015

Rose, October 2015

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Phalaenopsis Orchid, October 2015

All orders received will be delivered in the future. Specific dates cannot be made since I don’t know when or how I will be able to work on your request. If I commit, I promise to surprise you with a beautiful flower from the 2015 Monet Vision- Wood Flowers

A Bloodless Takeover

It amazes me that we watch a total invasion of Europe on TV news, and there is not single shot being fired as the Muslim world descends upon the rich socialist countries. When Hitler did his thing he used tanks and trucks and Jeeps loaded with armed soldiers to occupy France. The muslims are wise enough to do it without any weapons. The have only their feet for transportation. Evidently they watched TV a year ago when the thousands of kids walked across the Mexico-USA border to find homes in the USA another rich socialist country. I give the muslims credit, they learn fast.

Instead of chasing these people back to their home countries they welcome the muslims with open arms. Why? Because Europe needs the population to keep its economy going. Germany has a huge problem with native birthrate; it is almost nonexistent. Without an influx of new people Germans will become extinct. It is the same in the USA but we will take a few years longer to go completely non-white. Our kids are having a great time enjoying procreational activity without the responsibility of rearing children. Where did we go wrong? Lets blame Hugh Hefner for starting the sexual liberation movement. Capitalism is also to blame. Some evil pharmaceutical company decided to invent a drug to prevent pregnancy, and that ushered in the woman’s liberation movement. I have to blame women also because once they were in the driver’s seat in controlling pregnancy they suddenly wanted to be like men, and do the same things. Women now do the same things as men, but they forgot what the sole objective of having two sexes is all about making babies. Liberation also opened the closet doors for all homosexuals to come out, and to demand marriage licenses; we know how many kids they produce.

The result is that foreigners invade Europe, and Europeans will lose their countries as a result. Closing the border after the crowd is in, is too late.

caliphate-bear

Moving into Europe right behind all these the refugees will be ISIS, and the Caliphate will dominate the entire continent as they tried to do during the Ottoman Empires. They will occupy Europe until Europeans wake up and chase them out. Oh, I forgot, Europeans quit having kids in favor of jobs. What that means is Paris will most likely become the European capital of the new Caliphate. The Eiffel tower is replaced by a huge golden domed mosque. London will offer the London Eye ferris wheel to form the base of the dome of their new mosque. Only the USA survives because they were smart enough to let only Central and South America to invade. Since the people coming from there are mostly Christian there will be an all out war between the imported Muslims who will have a field day slaying the free flow of Christian infidels

The Vatican will have to move to Argentina to get away from ISIS. There, the Pope will pray daily for forgiveness. After all he is partly responsible for starting all this bullshit, and for creating world turmoil with his new doctrine of global warming. Pope Francis will commission an Inca style pyramid in the middle of the Vatican plaza now situated in Buenos Aries to honor the god of Global Warming Fire. ISIS will invade Argentina, and take over the new pyramid for use in slaying infidels by decapitation; then using the heads to fuel the fire god’s eternal flame.

Last year I read an article by Pope Francis in which he recommended all Catholics to read a book written in 1907 by Robert Hugh Benson titled The Lord of the World. I read the book. The plot involves a new smooth talking charismatic much like Obama whose sole goal is to destroy Christianity, namely the Catholic Church. I’ll save you the time to read it. The new guy is successful, and kills off every last Priest, Bishop, and Cardinal on earth thus ending the Church period. I think Pope Francis has a self fulfilled prophecy to do the same. If not Francis, then Europe for sure has a desire to convert to Islam.

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