Saturday, December 15, 2018

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Hawaii #3

Before we know anything more about Hawaii here is something exciting that you should not miss.
This is an article about lava pouring into the Pacific Ocean from an active volcano and what dangers are involved in that occurrence.
Here is a link to some close up footage.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Hawaii #2

Hawaii is in Oceania a geographic region comprising Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia.  It spans the eastern and the western hemispheres.

There are eight main Hawaiian islands, seven of which are permanently inhabited. The island of Ni'ihau is privately managed by brothers Bruce and Keith Robinson; access is restricted to those who have permission from the island's owners.  Access to uninhabited Kaho'olawe island is also restricted.

"Kahoʻolawe has always been sparsely populated, due to its lack of fresh water.[7] During World War II, Kahoʻolawe was used as a training ground and bombing range by the Armed Forces of the United States. After decades of protests, the U.S. Navy ended live-fire training exercises on Kahoʻolawe in 1990, and the whole island was transferred to the jurisdiction of the state of Hawaii in 1994. The Hawaii State Legislature established the Kahoʻolawe Island Reserve to restore and to oversee the island and its surrounding waters. Today Kahoʻolawe can be used only for native Hawaiian cultural, spiritual, and subsistence purposes"... Wikipedia

Kaho'olawe Now considered a sacred site.

Sunday, November 11, 2018


On to our next destination in this search through our country.... it's Hawaii.  Probably the most unique thing about Hawaii is it's location, no where near anything else.

From Wikipedia....
Hawaii (/həˈwi/ (About this sound listen) hə-WY-eeHawaiianHawaiʻi [həˈvɐjʔi]) is the 50th and most recent state to have joined the United States, having received statehood on August 21, 1959.[10] Hawaii is the only U.S. state located in Oceania, the only U.S. state located outside North America, and the only one composed entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean.[11]

And a postcard to get you in the right frame of mind.

but don't miss this song and these images ....

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Praying in Georgia

Right now in Georgia there is a lot going on politically.  The Republican candidate for Governor, who happens to the Secretary of State is being sued because he is allegedly overseeing illegal suppression of absentee ballots thereby disanfranchising many African Americans.  His opponent Stacey Abrams is calling him on it and a U.S.District Judge has just ordered that the ballots not be discarded without further investigation.
Full story.

This 15 story high mural by Sam3, a Madrid based street artist on the Comfort Suites Hotel feels to me like what many Americans are feeling about the upcoming election.  PLEASE GOD LET THE DEMOCRATS WIN and end this lawless attack on Democracy everywhere!

Monday, October 22, 2018


Meanwhile I have been working on illustrating a book about one year in a 5 -6 year old.  And I began an Instagram account with some illustrations.  story influx.

georgia whatever

I am way behind in my Georgia blogging.  So much is happening there and here as well.
This is the image I have decided to use for part of my Georgia postcard.  Jimmy Carter is always hopeful.

Thursday, October 18, 2018


Here is something that happened in Georgia just last weekend.  Neo Nazi planned riot.  Protesters gathered wearing masks.  This was a big mistake as there is a law which prohibits wearing masks - originally passed to keep KKKers from wearing hoods.  The protesters were arrested.  Since the Neo Nazis were not wearing hoods they were not arrested.

Link to story.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Georgia #2

Here is an interesting little art story from Georgia.  Murals painted for the Agriculture Building in 1956 by George Beattie were taken down by republican Commissioner Gary Black in 2012 when he was elected to be the Commissioner for Agriculture. He didn't like the portrayal of Native Americans as heroic figures. I wonder what replaced them? I can't find any info on that part of the story.  Perhaps photos of Gary Black?  This is a good video of an art historian talking about the murals in an historical context.  Interestingly enough, although he is generally positive about the work, he indicts Beattie for his voluptuous portrayal of the Native American women.

Here are some murals that are currently on display in Georgia.

Monday, October 15, 2018


Georgia named after King George is the last and the furthest South of the original Thirteen Colonies.  It was also one of the original seven Confederate states and the last to be restored to the Union in 1870.  It has been known as the Peach State and the Empire State of the South and Atlanta the state's capital and most populous city, has been named a global city, which means it is a node in the global international financial network.

To get you warmed up down there where the peaches are fine,

Here is Ray Charles with Georgia on my mind with plenty of shots of the State.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Other work

I have to admit to being a little weary of all this traveling around the country.  I will continue however with Georgia next on the list.

In the meantime I have been working on some illustrations for a new children's book.  I went to a symposium of the society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators to learn how to get something published.  It was very interesting.  I discovered that one needs to restrict the number of words in a children's picture book to from 50 to 2500 with the less the better.  The book should be from 32 to 64 pages long.  I brought some of my previous illustrations along and was told that I should not include photos as I did with some pages from OLIVE AND STICKY BEAR like this.

Although this critic was not too keen on digital illustrations (she is a water colorist) she did approve of the illustration below and suggested I go with my strong point, which was the addition of fabric patterns.

As in this illustration.

So I have tried to digest all of those limitations and recommendations and begun making some new illustrations.  All of which can now be seen on my new INSTAGRAM account which is something it is very important to have apparently.

Once I get several more illustrations for the book finished I will make a postcard to be sent to art directors from publishing houses.  Apparently you cannot send an unsolicited manuscript without an agent to anyone anymore, but the art directors will look at a postcard for as long as it takes them to walk from the mail room to their desk.  If they like it they may look you up.  If they don't, into the trash it goes.  So you have about 6 seconds to make an impression.  I think I may make several postcards and send them all the same week so if one image doesn't hit the spot the next may do the trick....and I am nothing if not an old dog trying to learn new tricks.

As I post the illustrations please let me know which ones you think might grab someone's attention!

Friday, October 12, 2018

Florida #10

Well here it is way into October and Florida is not really finished.  I sent out my newsletter with the Florida postcard and there were several responses that made me rethink it.

Here is the original painted postcard which I think says what I want to say about Florida.

Here is what was suggested by one person with a stormy sky, red tide, and the top of Mar a Lago in the sea added.

Here is another suggestion from yet another contributor.  All of the above with a dead fish.

Someone on Facebook didn't like the ones with Mar a Lago as she felt that made it seem as if the man facing the tide was Trump...and she feels we see enough of Trump all the time and he should not be brought into every image.

My original intention was to have the man represent "everyman", facing the see alone.  The word Florida, which is usually portrayed in postcards as being filled with fun stuff, is here empty as the tide comes in.  I am going with the first image for my postcard.  But I would love to here what you think.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Florida #9

I'm afraid I have not given Florida as much time as it deserves, as it played such a key role in two Presidential elections.   Here is a good report on why Florida is so important in Presidential elections.

And here is why Florida went for Trump in the last election.  Just 56 percent of Florida voters younger than 30 turned out in the last presidential election. Among voters 65 and older, turnout was 82 percent. If younger voters had turned out at greater numbers Hillary Clinton would have defeated Donald Trump in Florida, and won the state’s 29 electoral votes.

Meanwhile I have been thinking about this job of painting the states and decided from now on I am going to work on a painting that can be a postcard, since after all, this is Postcards From Merion. (and I love postcards).

Here are a couple of ideas I thought of for Florida but decided not to paint.  I have not quite finished the one I decided on, so stay tuned for that exciting news.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Florida #7

There is a lot of Florida history that I am not covering so I will just sum up some stuff and try to note some interesting tidbits.  In the 19th Century the Spanish were in control of Florida.

At that time many people from the backwoods of South Carolina and Georgia who were of English and Scots Irish ancestry gradually moved across the border into Northern Florida.  The Spanish could not affectively patrol the border so these immigrants came in great numbers.

These were the original "Crackers".  This word originally means "boasters" and goes back to Shakespeare's time.  When boasters frequently cracked jokes.

 William Shakespeare's King John Act II. Scene I. (1595): "What cracker is this same that deafs our ears/ With this abundance of superfluous breath?" (substitute Tweets for breath and it could be from today's news)

Many of these Crackers became cowmen.  There are three distinct types of cattle managers.

Crackers:  Florida cowboys did not use lassos to herd or capture cattle. Their primary tools were cow whips and dogs. Florida cattle and horses were smaller than the western breeds. The "cracker cow", also known as the "native" or "scrub" cow, averaged about 600 pounds (270 kg) and had large horns and large feet.[4]

Vagueros were originally from Spain and used horses to round up cattle.

Cowboys are Vagueros who evolved because of the conditions unique to the United States which included very large herds of cattle and shipping cattle in large trains across the country.  These cowboys often used poles to poke the cattle onto the train.  This is where the word "cowpoke" comes from.  The cowboy also often had other jobs around the ranch besides herding cattle and participated in rodeos and of course starred in more movies than there are Buffalo.

This fine painting is in the public domain with no artist attribution.
(Note to artists - SIGN BIG)

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Florida #6

Today I am busy so just pasting in some interesting tidbits from Wikipedia.  You will notice there are a lot of postcards in these posts.  There is a method in this madness which will only be disclosed at the end of the month.

Florida attracted numerous Africans and African Americans from adjacent British colonies who sought freedom from slavery. In 1738, Governor Manuel de Montiano established Fort Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose near St. Augustine, a fortified town for escaped slaves to whom Montiano granted citizenship and freedom in return for their service in the Florida militia, and which became the first free black settlement legally sanctioned in North America.[24][25]
In 1763, Spain traded Florida to the Kingdom of Great Britain for control of Havana, Cuba, which had been captured by the British during the Seven Years' War. It was part of a large expansion of British territory following their victory in the Seven Years' War. A large portion of the Floridano population left, taking along most of the remaining indigenous population to Cuba.[26] The British soon constructed the King's Road connecting St. Augustine to Georgia. The road crossed the St. Johns River at a narrow point called Wacca Pilatka, or the British name "Cow Ford", ostensibly reflecting the fact that cattle were brought across the river there.[27][28][29]...Wikipedia

Siege of Pensacola by Augusto Ferrer-Dalmau

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Florida #5

I don't usually go into the flora and fauna of each state but Florida has so many unusual inhabitants it seems worth noting.
Florida is the only continental U.S. state with a coral reef, called the Florida Reef.  It is also home to the American alligator, American crocodile, American flamingo, Florida panther, bottlenose dolphin and manatee.  These can all be found in Everglades National Park.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Florida #4

In 1538 DeSoto landed in Florida thus beginning the profound influence of the Spanish in Florida culture and architecture.  The relationship in Florida to African Americans is a bit different from the other states we have visited. Interesting how many paintings of mestizos and mulattos there are.  It must have been either quite ubiquitous or fascinating curiosity at the time.  Also interesting how mannered the poses are, heads held to the side in a gesture of what?  Just the style of the artist or some sort of comment?

"Some Spanish married or had unions with Pensacola, Creek or African women, both slave and free, and their descendants created a mixed-race population of mestizos and mulattos. The Spanish encouraged slaves from the southern British colonies to come to Florida as a refuge, promising freedom in exchange for conversion to Catholicism. King Charles II of Spain issued a royal proclamation freeing all slaves who fled to Spanish Florida and accepted conversion and baptism. Most went to the area around St. Augustine, but escaped slaves also reached Pensacola. St. Augustine had mustered an all-black militia unit defending Spain as early as 1683.[25]"...Wikipedia

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Florida #3

The earliest people in Florida were the Paleoindians who date back to 13,000 to 20,000 years ago.  If you are interested in the slow development of culture before European contact here is a good resource.  When the Spanish arrived in the 1500's they found a variety of indigenous people. This is what happened to them.

"Europeans encountered many groups of indigenous peoples in Florida. Recorded information on various groups ranges from numerous detailed reports to the mere mention of a name. Some of the indigenous peoples were taken into the system of Spanish missions in Florida, others had sporadic contact with the Spanish without being brought into the mission system, but many of the peoples are known only from mention of their names in historical accounts. All of these peoples were essentially extinct in Florida by the end of the 18th century.
Most died from exposure to Eurasian infectious diseases, such as smallpox and measles, to which they had no immunity, and others died from warfare: with both the Spanish and English raiders from the Carolinas and their Indian allies. Others were carried away to slavery by the Spanish (in the 16th century) and by the English and their Indian allies (in the late 17th century and early 18th century). The few survivors migrated out of Florida, mainly to Cuba and New Spain (Mexico) with the Spanish as they ceded Florida to Britain in 1763 following the Seven Years' War, although a few Apalachee reached Louisiana, where their descendants still live."  Wikipedia

Here is some Seminole art from the Reeve's Collection.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Florida #2

The word "Florida" is Spanish for "Land of the Flowers".  It is the one state I think everyone can locate on the map as it sticks prominently into the seas on our East coast.  The Gulf of Mexico is on the West side, the Atlantic Ocean on the East side and the Straits of Florida to the South.  Much of the State is at or near sea level and it has the lowest high point in the Union.

Here is a cheery version of the Florida Song with lots of photos complete with bathing beauties and alligators.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018


It's September so we are off to Florida. 

A lot of people retire to Florida.  Our President retires to Florida quite often and we can only hope he makes it a permanent condition in the near future.

I am thinking of changing my painting routine a bit, or perhaps including some real postcards of my design in the mix of work from the states.  I love postcards and I suppose because of email very few people send them anymore.  It might be a good way to combine more than one image from each state.  Here is an old one from Florida.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Another Delaware artist

Graham Dougherty is another artist from Delaware and he is still very much alive.  He doesn't seem to have a web site however.  Here are some examples of his paintings.  I like the way he uses soft blended color with just a hint of geometry.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Artists from Delaware

Ellen Bernard Thompson Pyle (November 11, 1876 – August 1, 1936) was an American illustrator best known for the 40 covers she created for The Saturday Evening Post in the 1920s and 1930s under the guidance of Post editor-in-chiefGeorge Horace Lorimer. She studied with Howard Pyle and later married Pyle’s brother Walter...Wikipedia

Here is some more personal biographical information from the SATURDAY EVENING POST website.  She was widowed young and supported her large family with these illustrations.