Buzz Bomber on Approach

Hello wonderous wingmates. Actually got some time this weekend to work on the dragonfly and made a lot of progress. The eyes are mostly done, lengthened the body, and tweaked the wings. It is very close to being finished. The challenge is to see how this will transfer to the overhead film. From past experience, the colors do not transfer well so this may not work or need some more work to achieve. So looking forward to find out.

Life is Tough, Amazing, and Sometimes Just Funny

Hello fabulous followers. I wanted to share something I saw driving home from seeing my father. I was driving by a tree near the highway when a bird launched itself from a branch. However, it did not do so to fly off. It instead dropped like some feather covered ball even bouncing a little when it hit the grass. That seemed so odd to me then I saw what was either a squirrel or baby groundhog not far away running to the tree. I had to laugh at the absurdity of the of a bird dive bombing a squirrel with its body.

Anyway, what I wanted to mention here is a new problem weighing on me this week. The other day I received some bad news on top of the problems I have been facing with my father. My nephew, who has had a lot of problems with law enforcement and drugs, was arrested for assualting a police officer. Later we learned he had also beaten up his girlfriend.

This is the same nephew I had housed for a year during the worst of the Pandemic. I had hoped that he could keep his life moving forward. Unfortunately, has now taken it to the point of serious jailtime. He is just someone that needs to fight life not endure or embrace it. I have a pretty hard skin but it does bother me on several levels. Mostly feeling bad for my sister in Florida who has had to hear about my father and all he has been through over a phone line. Now she has to here about the son that has basically run away after doing a lot of family damage going to jail. She still loves him for all that.

So, yeah life really sucks some days. Thanks for listening.

Got Something Buzzing Around my Brain

Hello spectacular spongy meat-bags. Yes, work is seriously kicking my @#4%*^ which is why the content has been so meager. Also having to deal with my father’s failing health has left me a fairly angry man, making artistic endeavors or any creative activities difficult. Anyway, with my belly aching over, I have managed to put some quality time in on the dragon fly project.

What’s that you say? What happened to our little falcon and story project? Never fear, he is still there and the project is still on my mind, but I have to admit I reached a snag. In any of my works lately, I have found there are points where something goes wrong to my eye, causing me to doubt my ability to bring the project to a successful conclusion. With the Falcon, it was the feather effects on its head. My first pass just irked me. I looked at it knowing there was more and I hated it. I literally became unable to face the painting because of that. This is a phenomenon I have dealt with all my life and is fascinating given other problems I had in the work that I just pushed on through. Unfortunately, there is always one that knocks me out of a lot of projects for a while. I had hoped that the Convocation of the Eloquant would help loosen that up.

So, until then, I went back to work on the dragonfly. This had had its block come up with the wings and maybe a bit of the body. While it may not look like a lot of change, one of the biggest is that I have totally separated the upper and lower wings. You will find it hard to see in the image, but I have pulled the wings apart from the previous single solid drawing of both on one side. Then I corrected the individual wings so that they had no trace of the other in them, copied the appropriate pair, and placed them on different layers. Now the lower pair of wings are truly being seen through the transparent parts of the upper pair. More importantly, I can now have them printed on separate sheets to add more 3 -dimensionality to the overall project. All in all, there are six different layers to be spaced together for this project. I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Man Will be the Death of Man

Oh my fatalisticly fantastic followers, we are taking a chapter out of my childhood in Pennsylvania today.  The year is 1979, just two years after the glorious life shattering experience that was Star Wars.  You might know that I am a fan.

Well, in this year a little event happened just outside of Harrisburg Pennsylvania at a power plant on Three Mile Island.  I would not be surprised if a large number of you do not get the reference.  Not only does mankind collectively have a short attention span and memory, but also an infinite capacity to blind themselves.  We love to convince ourselves that we have learned our lesson and will do better.

Last night I watched Meltdown: Three Mile Island on Netflix and was shocked by how callously people with power and money involved will assume risks for the general population they have no right to speak for.  Besides the corruption at the NRC and the utility company, the democratic party was focused mainly on hiding the truth.  They were more concerned about the image of the nuclear power industry than protecting the people it served. I think the Catholic Church has had a similar misguided sense of priorities.

Sadly, this was during the presidency of one of the few presidents I still had some respect for, Jimmy Cater.   The truth is that time after time regardless of party, the powerful lubricant of wealth takes precedence over humankind.  In this case in my own back yard.  What really caught my attention was the actual severity of the disaster.   After Chernobyl and Fukushima, I was under the false impression that, while we had had our accident, we had handle things better.

From watching this show, I can see that it was only luck that kept us from being the first Chernobyl.   Three Mile Island’s core had started to melt down and only the realization there was a stuck valve that needed closed saved us from that fate.  It they had not figured it out, even where I live might have been a wasteland. 

Worse, just like Chernobyl, the people making the money from nuclear power showed that they really had no plan to deal with the problem and its aftermath.  What gets lost in the narrative is that they intentionally vented the radioactive hydrogen to avoid the Chernobyl scenario because they had no other solution. Radiation venting that was not properly monitored for reasons similar to Chernobyl, lack of proper testing equipment. Who bore the long term cost of the that, the residents. My guess is they still do not.  For one thing, it is easier to hide your head in the sand then do the right thing. For another, doing it right means it costs more and you might not be able to pass all the costs on to the customer. When it threatens to cut into profits, the morality of the activity breaks down.

So once again I have had to bring Atomic Joe out to remind us how stupid we really are. We, as a race, seem to have a terrible ability to separate wealth from wisdom, knowledge, and morality. We seem to perpetually equate wealth with the cream of our society no matter how many times it has been proven to be utterly false, no matter how many times we tell ourselves they are human too. It is simply mind boggling.

Here is a corollary idea that I have come to understand. The reason we are now as a nation having to pay higher prices for everything is not because of gas prices or war per say but because of all the mistakes the wealthy have made and not paid for. What I mean is this, the clean up of Three Mile Island was I believe stated as one billion dollars in 1983. Who do you think actually paid for that? The CEOs of the company owning the plant? No, if I am correct, they paid nothing. All the costs associated with this disaster were borne by the customers and the tax payers, of which, the middle class carries the highest burden. Especially now with the Republican tax breaks to the wealthy. Worse, this is true for every man made corporate disaster, national corporation bailout, and economic bubble brought on by Wallstreet. They make the blunder and the middle class pays for it. The FDIC backing of your accounts at your local bank isn’t the government, it is you. That is why we had to bail out the banks in 2008. Simple truth, the Federal Reserve is nothing more than the blood, sweat, and tears of the American Worker. It banks on our ability to cover their mistakes. The question is, have we learned anything? Answer, No.

Ta Da!

Good evening lovely followers. Well, here it is my little surprise for you. It is titled “Convocation of the Eloquant” and is just a fun little painting I wanted to do. There was no pre-planning or even a drawing to work from. All I had was the idea for the three foreground beings, not even in this form, but the transition from black to a red. I just made a black background, splashed some red on, and let the image create itself, since I was needing a break from the heavy projects that were getting bogged down by work. I had a lot of fun with this one and hope you enjoy it too.

Sniff … They Grow Up so Quickly

Well frolicking followers here is a quick update on story mascot. This has been the first time in a few days that I was able to work on this beauty and I went straight for the eyes. They are the most fun to do and can really change the look if you get them right. I am a lot happier with their appearance now that I softened the darker areas behind them, adding some texture around the face as well. The stare is really starting to kick in. I can’t wait to be able to insert this into the story to make a unique offering for my fans.

Bet You Did Not Catch That One

Good stormy evening from Pennsylvania, USA easter egg loving followers. I just remembered an egg I laid in my first collection of short stories “Mystics and Misfits” in the Dragon Dream trilogy. In the three connected stories the lead character, Jason, ages from the beginning of each story to come out older at the end. Basically, each story starts out with him at one age in our world going into a dream that connects him to the dragon realm. When he emerges from the dragon realm he is older than when he went in. The next story then ages him some more as he enters the dragon realm only to see him emerge again at an even older stage of life. The final story finds him deep into a satisfying career as a fantasy artist until he unravels the mystery of the dragon dreams and looks back upon his deceased body. I really don’t play up the idea in the prose but the idea is there when you look at the stories closer. I used it as a subtle nod to the changes in his life as he experienced the dragon dreams. I don’t believe I had any further thought on the matter, such as the specific dreams lasting for years until the next one took over, but more as a fun little unexpected quirk in a series of stories already filled with unexpected quirks. I hope this little insight to my collection will bring additional pleasure to those who have had a chance to read it.

Well Hello There

Good evening fantastic folks. I have decided to share with you the surprise part of the four page story I am preparing for you. The story I am preparing for you as a reward is “A Word in the Hand is worth Two in the Bush”. I believe I have talked about it before but as part of the project, I will be adding this little fellow at the end of the story. He is pretty far along but not finished and needs a few more props as well. I am creating this as a gray scale image so I can keep costs down. This little fellow is a Peregrine Falcon and plays a key roll in the story so it is only fitting that he should accompany it. My plans are to place the completed image at the end of the story and to send this off to those interested in a unique story telling format. The first twenty five to sign up will have theirs signed/numbered by me. I hope to have the project done soon so stay tuned for how to capture one of these beautiful birds for yourself.