Sunday, December 16, 2012

If Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery -

Then what is theft?

It seems somebody helped themselves to one of my paintings without paying for it.

I'm glad you like the painting, but does looking at it give you pleasure when you know it doesn't belong to you?  Or is your conscience so calloused that it doesn't bother you?  If that's the case, then I find it curious that a painting could move you enough that you'd be willing to steal it.

Or maybe it's a Christmas gift that you couldn't afford.  Either way, what you did is something you will have to deal with yourself.  I refuse to worry about it.  Christmas is all about a gift that nobody deserved, so merry Christmas to you, and I sincerely hope you enjoy the painting.

Sunday, December 09, 2012


Zoe found a nice spot for a few quiet moments.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Painting Lisbon

I could spend the rest of my life painting Lisbon and the surrounding countryside, and never run out of subjects.

This view of Lisbon has been on my mind for a long time.  I've been wanting to show the dome of the Pantheon (Yes, we have one too.) rising above some of the old tiled buildings that line the street as it follows the Tagus to the sea.  It's been on my worktable almost as long as it was on my mind, but not until today, while I am laid up with the flu, have I had the opportunity to put the final touches on it.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

More Revisionism (Updated)

In June of last year, I finished this painting of sardines.  It's one of two or three paintings, though, that never made it to the framer though, because I just wasn't sure about them.  As is the case with my previous post, I've gone back to work on this one.  In this case, it wasn't the composition that bothered me, but the color, or should I say, lack of it.  Here's the final version:

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Election Night Painting

I finished this painting back in March.  Well, I thought I had, but then again, I never felt inclined to take it to my framer, so maybe on some level I realized it wasn't done.

I dug it out a week or so ago, and realized the composition just wasn't what I wanted it to be.  The bottom right corner, even with its shadows, was too bare in comparison to all the busy branches everywhere else. The painting suffered from a lack of balance.

I had a four-day weekend last week, but spent it in bed with the flu, which gave me plenty of time to think about how to fix that imbalance, even if I didn't feel up to doing anything about it.  Now, on election night (It's night here in Lisbon, but we're five hours ahead of East Coast, US time, so there's no real news available yet, nor will there be any time soon.) The kids have homework and I was in need of something to keep me busy, so I seized the moment.  Here's the result:
I didn't change anything in the color of the sky, although if you compare the two photographs closely, it looks as if I did.  That's a photography issue that I'll address later.  I think the additional tree trunks in the foreground balance the composition better though, and now I think I can safely have it framed.

I generally don't think it's a good idea to rework older paintings, but there have been just a couple that have called me back, and I'm pleased with the difference.

Restore the Republic.

See instructions here.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

October Rains, Guincho

This is a fairly large painting, as watercolors go, but I had to post a small photo of it, or it wouldn't fit onto the format of this blog.  If you click on the photo, you can see a bigger version.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Stop What You Are Doing

And watch this:
It's short.  You can tape American Idol; you can resume your dental flossing; you can return to your sudoku - in a very brief, but very enlightening 13 minutes.

Then you can thank me.  I'll be waiting.

(Hat tip to Gatordoug.)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sketch Number 3

A further inducement to working quickly, and omitting extra detail - this paper is meant for drawing, not watercolor.  That means it doesn't handle water well at all, and too many brush strokes will actually rub it to pieces.  This is a view of Guincho Beach.

"Workplace Violence" Claims Two More Americans in Afghanistan

Because that's what it is, right?  If Major Nidal Hassan's attack on fellow soldiers in Fort Hood was labeled "workplace violence," then how is it anything else when Afghan "partners" shoot and kill their American colleagues?

I guess one good thing comes from redefining our terms; if everyone is dying due to "workplace violence," we can now say that combat deaths are trending down.

The Heart of the Matter

Is laid bare in this American Spectator article by Daniel Mandel.

...the Obama Administration has refused to associate terrorists attacking America with Islam. Administration officials have spent four years speaking of particular terrorists at home and abroad as isolated "extremists," even when Islamist terrorist connections ... were readily traceable.
You can't win against an enemy you are unwilling to acknowledge, and your culture cannot prevail against an aggressive, virulent, totalitarian philosophy if you will not even allow your defense officials, analysts, and security specialists to apply useful terms in the process of discussing that philosophy.

The Administration has also expressly disavowed the use of terms like "Islamism," "radical Islam," and "jihad." ... terrorist attacks themselves have been rechristened by the Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano, "man-caused disasters" and military campaigns against their perpetrators "in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and around the globe" relabeled by the Defense Department "overseas contingency operations."
This failure to recognize an enemy is bad enough, in and of itself, but it is compounded by the inclusion in our government of those who have demonstrated their committment to overthrowing it.  In his article, Mandel cites case after case where our own government has appointed advisors, spokesmen, and representatives from among the ranks of those sworn to elevate Islam over democracy.  This is without precedent in our history.  It is as if, in World War Two, we had allowed members of the German National Socialist Party to dictate to our War Department what terms it could use to describe them, and veto power over the training materials we developed to combat them.

Lincoln, in quoting the Bible, reminded Americans that a house divided will not stand.  Even less likely to stand is the house that shelters under its own roof those determined to destroy it.  And make no mistake; that is exactly what confronts us now.  Don't take my word for it.  Read for yourself how the Muslim Brotherhood has chosen to describe the "civilization jihad" against the west.
The process of settlement is a “Civilization-Jihadist Process” with all the means. The Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions. […] It is a Muslim’s destiny to perform Jihad and work wherever he is…
The most frequent response, when I mention these matters, is from people who assure me that, "Not every Muslim is a terrorist."  Nobody is saying that they are.  Nobody said that every German was a NAZI, either.  What must be said though, is that Islam provides justification for attacks against unbelievers, and that the weight of its theology is against us. There are Muslims calling for reform and denouncing terrorism but they are in the minority, and they are swimming against the current of their tradition.  Islamic law provides ample material to refute their calls, labeling reform as blasphemous.

I wish the reformers well, but if their efforts meet with any success, it will be in spite of, not because of, the incorporation in our government of those who would, if given the opportunity, place them at the top of their kill list.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Another in the Series of Sketches

Here's sketch number two, a view of the old stable below the Peninha Monastery.  Again, the point of the exercise was to force myself to dwell less on detail, and rely more on implication.  To try to force my hand, I used a large flat brush for most of this.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Red Carpet for the Muslim Brotherhood - at the White House?

Sure looks like it.
...Scores of known radical Islamists made hundreds of visits to the Obama White House...Court documents and other records have identified many of these visitors as belonging to groups serving as fronts for the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and other Islamic militant organizations.
The IPT made the discovery combing through millions of White House visitor log entries. IPT compared the visitors' names with lists of known radical Islamists. Among the visitors were officials representing groups which have:
  • Been designated by the Department of Justice as unindicted co-conspirators in terrorist trials; Extolled Islamic terrorist groups including Hamas and Hizballah;
  • Obstructed terrorist investigations by instructing their followers not to cooperate with law enforcement;
  • Repeatedly claimed that many of the Islamic terrorists convicted since 9-11 were framed by the U.S government as part of an anti-Muslim profiling campaign.
Pardon me for asking, but if Islamists have that kind of access to the White House, could that have anything to do with this?

(If you're reading this on Facebook and aren't seeing any of the links, please visit my blog, and follow the links.)

On Not Overpainting

When I paint, I have to work hard to avoid becoming a slave to detail.  The painters I admire most, like John Singer Sargent, manage to impart tremendous amounts of information by implication.  Because the information is only implied, our imagination supplies the details, which makes the painting much more personal, and much more effective.  Ran, over at Si Vis Pacem, has an excellent example.

If you try, as I often do, to convey every single detail, you not only run the risk of muddying up your painting with extraneous information, but you also deprive your viewers' imaginations of the opportunity to make the painting their own.  To remedy this, I'm working on a series of quick paintings, sketches, really, in which I will force myself to work very quickly, and to leave out much of the detail I would put into a painting I spent more time on.

I'll try to put most of them into this landscape format book I bought recently.  It's 57 pages, 7 inches high by 16 1/2 inches long.  It might turn into a complete mess, but then again, it might end up being a nice record of my progress - assuming I make some.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Cascais Alley

After the paintings of Venice and Peninha Monastery, in which I tried to be faithful to the tiniest details, it's nice to do a painting based more on an idea than an actual location.

The Other Tragedy of Fort Hood

The first tragedy is, of course, that cowardice and political correctness on the part of the Army and the FBI meant then Captain Nidal Hassan, who was known to be seeking and receiving guidance from a wanted terrorist, was not only retained in the Army, but promoted to the rank of major, and that, after briefing people with a powerpoint presentation on exactly what he was going to do, he gunned down soldiers preparing for deployment at a Fort Hood processing station.  He also killed the unborn baby of one of the soldiers, and severely wounded a police officer.

The other tragedy is that the cowardice continues with the attack being officially called, not terrorism, not an act of war, but "workplace violence."  If you think it's just a matter of words, consider this.  Although the soldiers were in uniform, and had reported to that station in preparation for deployment, and despite the fact that Hassan had been instructed by al-Awlacki that terror was an instrumental part of jihad - despite the fact that these people were wounded and killed in the line of duty, not a single one of them will receive a Purple Heart  or any of the benefits that should be attached to being wounded or killed in action.

Supporting the troops means more than sending care packages.  Sometimes it means something as simple as insisting that words reflect reality, and that political correctness take a back seat to the mission.

Thanks, Maggie.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Not About the Movie - CNN Knew in Advance That Violence was about US Policy, not "The Movie."

Do you have 12 minutes to spare?  How about just 7?  If you watch just the first 7 minutes of this clip, you'll see that CNN was interviewing leaders of the 9/11/2012 protest in Cairo as it happened.  Were they protesting the infamous movie?  Nope.  They were protesting the continued imprisonment in the US of the blind sheikh terror planner.

You will also see that al Qaeda had threatened to burn the US Embassy in Cairo to the ground, and you will hear what you probably know already - that when hundreds of people show up carrying the same signs and the same flags, you're not looking at a "spontaneous protest."

Why did CNN supress its own story?  It didn't fit the narrative.  It didn't work with administration spokesman Jay Carney's assertion that the violence was not in response to US policy, and it makes it clear that to anyone who was paying attention, the attacks should have been anticipated.

Tip of the hat to Conservative Treehouse.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Santuario da Peninha

Peninha Monastery sits atop the ridge that runs from Sintra, down to the sea.  From its highest point, depicted by this painting, you can see the 25 April bridge spanning the river Tagus in Lisbon.  If you turn around and look toward the Atlantic, you will see Cabo da Roca, the lighthouse that marks the westernmost point of continental Europe.  You can see one of my paintings of that here.

I'd been working on this painting for a couple weeks, but interrupted it to take on the painting of Venice, which you see below.  It's often hard to start back up on a painting once you've set it aside.  That was somewhat the case with his one, but it also happened that I got some ideas about changes I wanted to make while the painting was hidden away, and I think that made for a stronger finished product.

Now that this is finished, I can get to work on an image that has been waking me up at night demanding to be painted.  It will be similar to this:

I'll let you know how it goes.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Done. I think. - Updated

I think that's that.  I'll put this painting away for a couple days and then look at it with fresh eyes to see if I'm missing anything.  This has been a fun and challenging project, but I'm ready to get back to painting Portugal, and I have some portraits in mind that I need to get started on.

Update - Now it's done.  The bridge suffered from a lack of definition, especially in comparison to the objects behind it, so I sharpened some of the details and deepened some of the shadows to define it better.  Thanks Ran, for the suggestions.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

What I'm painting now - Venice street scene

Here's a look at my current project.  It's taking me forever to finish, but I don't mind because I'm enjoying the way it's turning out.  What do you think?

Friday, September 14, 2012

On Embassies and Diplomats

The Givler Doctrine says this:

1. A nation should expect no aid from people whose embassies and diplomats it fails to protect.

2. If the first head that appears over your embassy wall does not meet with a bullet, there will be more.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Michael Keifer - We Have Not Forgotten You.

On 11 September, 2001 I was in Amman, Jordan. I was the senior member of a small American military detachment getting a refresher course in Arabic at the Royal Jordanian Military Language Institute. At the time of the attacks, I was just signing onto my email account at an internet cafe in central Amman. I saw a news banner announcing that two planes had crashed into the towers of the World Trade Center, and I was certain that I was looking at an advertisement for a movie. Within two minutes, my embassy cell phone rang. "Get all your people to the embassy right away." I was told. That's when I knew it was no movie ad. 

As I was scrambling to get my colleagues together, 26 year-old Michael Kiefer was breathing his last in New York City. Michael was one of the 2,996 innocents who lost their lives in Al Qaeda's most successful attack on our nation. Maybe you remember it? In case you've forgotten, let me remind you by telling you about Michael, because Michael Kiefer is a shining example of what our nation lost in that attack.

To say Michael was a fireman does not do justice to the drive and the passion he brought to his work. Some people have a job they do and others have jobs that they are; by all accounts, Michael was one of the latter. From his early years he knew that he wanted to be a fireman. Childhood photos show him wearing a fireman costume, and people tell of how, as a boy, he was so accomplished at mimicking the sound of a siren that he once convinced his school bus driver to pull aside for a firetruck that wasn't there. 

Michael bought a scanner that he used to listen for fire alarms, and would ride his bicycle to watch the firemen work. Sometimes he rode so far from his neighborhood that he was brought back home by police escort. Michael earned perfect scores on his fire academy physical and written entrance exams, and began training in October, 2000. He graduated in December of the same year. He drew one of the busiest assignments, engine Company 280/ladder Company 132 Firehouse of Crown Heights Brooklyn. In achieving his lifelong dream, we could say that Michael Kiefer accomplished more in his short life than will many men who live to see a century, but that would be only half his story.

In addition to being a fireman, Michael was a committed Christian, beloved son to Pat and Bud, and older brother to Kerri and Lauren. He was saving his money to buy a ring for his girlfriend, Jamie Huggler. Son, brother, boyfriend. He was the kind of guy who dedicated himself to a job that would put his life at risk in order to save others. He was just one of 2,996, who died at the World Trade Center,11 years ago today, but in him was a reflection of all the strength, the selflessness, the goodness, that we love about America. On this anniversary of our nation's loss, take a moment to remember Michael. Say a prayer for the peace of mind of those he left behind, and give thanks that our nation can still be the home of men like him.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Edit Much?

An Article in yesterday's  is dramatically entitled

Obama Says Any Chemical Weapon Use In Syria ‘Red Line’ For U.S.

The authors, Margaret Talev and Zahra Hankir, imply that some hard lines are being drawn in Washington, and lead readers to expect that an ultimatum has been delivered.  Almost immediately though, the article departs from the message of the headline and begins to soften those hard lines.  
President Barack Obama said any discovery that Syria’s chemicals or biological weapons are being moved or used may shift his position of not ordering U.S. military engagement in that nation’s upheaval “at this point.”
But even this appears to be a misrepresentation of the President's words.  "Any discovery," of, "any"  movement, or "any" use is definitive, but the word "may" implies that things aren't nearly so cut and dried. "At this point," indicates that at another point - tomorrow, or after lunch, or next week - things may be entirely different.

By the time we get to the President's actual words, we see that things are even less clearly defined than the headline would have us believe.
A red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized,” the president told reporters yesterday in a news conference at the White House. “That would change my calculus."
The "red line" is not "any" use or movement.  The truth of the matter is that it will take "a whole bunch of use or movement." How much, exactly, is that? The amount is intentionally undefined, as is the reaction of the U.S. in the event that whatever limit constitutes "a whole bunch" is exceeded.  We go from the authors' interpretation of the President's statement, which is that," any use/movement" may shift U.S. policy of not engaging militarily to, the President's actual words, which announce that a "whole bunch" of use/movement will "change" my "calculus."  There's quite a difference there.

Doesn't anybody edit this stuff?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Cascais Staircase

Rua Manoel Vieira de Araujo Viana ends in a staircase.  The steps lead from the old neighborhood above Cascais Harbor down to Fisherman's Beach.  More than just a walkway, the stairs and the walls around them form a box that reflects light and casts shadows, all of which demands to be painted.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Update: Feds Have 4 Bullets per Every American

UPDATE:  Now the Social Security Administration has placed an order for 174,000 rounds of .357 caliber ammo - also hollow points.  

Let's review, shall we?

DHS - 450 MILLION rounds of .40 caliber hollow point
DHS (second order) - 750 Million rounds of assorted calibers
National Weather Service (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) - 46,000 rounds of .40    caliber hollow point
SSA - 174,000 rounds of .357 caliber hollow points.  

This is not a comprehensive list, but let's total it up anyway: 

That's  1,200,220,000 bullets!

The population of the United States is 313,847,465, according to this site, which means that, counting only the ammo listed above, and completely ignoring ammo belonging to the Department of Defense, various federal agencies of the most anti-Second Amendment administration ever, have roughly 4 bullets per every single American.  

I wonder how much they'd be buying if we weren't running a budget deficit?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Does the National Weather Service Carry Weapons?

Maybe the National Weather Service is just tired of jokes about weather forecasters.  Maybe they're sick of people who don't believe in Global Warming.  Or Global Cooling.  Or Climate Change.  Maybe they're onto  an exciting new cloud seeding program, that uses .40 caliber bullets to end droughts.  Either way, I think it's kind of odd that the Weather Service - Read that again, the Weather Service is ordering 46,000 .40 caliber hollowpoint bullets and 1500 paper targets.  Does the NWS even carry weapons?

An interesting point of trivia for those not experienced in the shooting sports: Hollow point bullets, which expand on impact with flesh, in order to do as much destruction as possible, are not normally used for target practice, because they're more expensive.  They're used for killing people, and normal, cheap, ball ammo is used for killing paper targets.  Another interesting point about hollow points - they're so effective that the US military isn't allowed to use them.  Hmm.

One has to wonder (not the least since one is paying the taxes that will buy these bullets) just what the heck are our friendly public servants at the National Weather Service up to?  Are they expecting years of drought or catastrophic storms that will tear apart the law and order fabric of our society, or is another government agency using them to make straw purchases to supplement their own?

I ask this because the Justice Department once made a few straw purchases of weapons in a little-known operation called Fast and Furious, so they're kind of experienced at that sort of thing.  I ask, also, because the Department of Homeland Security has also ordered about 46,000 rounds of ammo.  That's noteworthy enough, but if that order were doubled, as in adding their 46,000 to the National Weather Service's 46,000 (strange that they both ordered the same number, isn't it?) that might raise some eyebrows, might it not?

Maybe it's time to invest in a bullet-proof umbrella.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Tale of Two Paintings

Well, one painting, actually.  I set this painting aside over a year ago, and although I thought it was finished, I never framed it for some reason.
I had a look at it this weekend and realized right away why I hadn't framed it yet.  I still needed some work.  It was lacking in contrast, and the shadows needed some color.  Here's how it looks after a weekend of labor.
Now it's ready for a frame.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Window, Carcavelos

This is a 3.5 x 3.5 inch painting I just finished.  For some reason, peeling plaster and chipped paint always attract me as painting topics.  Portugal gives me a lot to work with.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Morning Glories

My client isn't expecting this painting until September, so I have some time to set it aside for a while.  After a week or two I'll look at it again, and see if I still think it's finished.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Chic-fil-A boycott - Epic Fail

Over at American Power Blog Donald Douglas catalogs the unanticipated effects of the ill-fated Chic-fil-A boycott.  Even on the left coast, restaurants were swamped with customers demonstrating their support, so much so that some of them ran out of food.

Now, how can I get Rahm Emanuel and friends to boycott my paintings?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Mayor Bloomberg - Pro Choice, as Long as the Choice is His

According to the New York Post, New York Mayor Bloomberg "is pushing hospitals to hide their baby formula behind locked doors so more new mothers will breast-feed."

New mothers won't be denied access to baby formula if they request it, but the city's health department is asking hospitals to keep it under lock and key, and to stop providing free gifts to mothers that include formula and advertisements for formula.  The idea behind all this is, of course, the notion that breast feeding is better for babies.  This may be the case, but is it really the job of the Mayor to make that determination?  And what about economically disadvantaged moms and single moms who rely on day-care for their babies?  Shouldn't they be allowed unfettered access to formula since it's much more difficult for them to breast feed? 

For a mayor who is staunchly pro-choice, it's clear that the only valid choices are the ones he presumes to make for others.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Cognitive Dissonance Surrounds Administration Position on Aurora Shooting

Today the President said,
"But I also believe that a lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals. That they belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities. I believe the majority of gun owners would agree we should do everything possible to prevent criminals and fugitives from purchasing weapons, and we should check someone's criminal record before they can check out a gun seller."
Three questions to consider:

1. In light of this statement, why did the administration force law-abiding US gun dealers to sell thousands of weapons to known criminals who everybody knew would put them on US and Mexican streets?

2. How would the media narrative change if it were ever discovered that the Aurora Colorado shooter used a weapon bought through Operation Fast and Furious?

3. If James Holmes killed 12 people in the Aurora, Colorado shooting, and Attorney General Eric Holder killed more than 300 in Operation Fast and Furious, who should go to prison first, and who should stay there longest?

(Not to mention the obvious points, which are first, that gun rights apply to private citizens - not soldiers - in order to enable those private citizens to protect themselves from rapacious government, and second, that there are already plenty of laws on the books that are meant to prevent criminals and loonies from buying weapons - laws that were flagrantly violated by the Justice Department to bring about Operation Fast and Furious.)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


It never ceases to amaze me when I start adding shadows to a painting.  They give so much depth and convey so much information about location and shape, and yet we hardly ever notice them, do we?  I'm a long way from finishing this piece, but I'm happy with the way it's taking shape.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Will Frey and Austin Zehnder are Rapists, But Don't Tell Anyone.

Bottom line: admitted rapists receive a slap on the wrist, and despite the fact that they took photos of what they did and distributed them, their victim is ordered by a judge to keep their names a secret.

She didn't.  Good for her.  There's no point in hoping these pigs will be ashamed of themselves now that their names are a matter of public record, but maybe some fathers out there will know them for what they are, and will keep their daughters away from them.

And I'm certainly not recommending this, nor would I condone it if it happened, but I suppose there's some small chance that they might get caught trying this again, and get beaten to within an inch of their lives.

At the very least, I hope colleges will refuse to admit them, employers will refuse to hire them, and they will eventually pay some small price for what they did, since Judge Dee MacDonald certainly didn't impose much of a punishment on them.

Monday, July 23, 2012

It's a Miracle!

The inimitable Bill Whittle.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Tall Ships Race 2012

The 49 participants in this year's Tall Ships Race have been in Lisbon for the last four days.  Going down to the harbor was like stepping back in time.  It's one thing to see one or two of these beautiful ships tied up somewhere, but to find so many in one place is another thing entirely.
Here, the cross on the sail of the Portuguese ship, Sagres, makes a nice foreground for the Cristo Rei statue on the other side of the Tagus.
The ships paraded under the 25 April bridge this afternoon, and now many of them are back in Tamariz Bay, just below the house.

They'll depart tomorrow for the next leg of the race.


Here's a look at the progress I've made on my painting.

A New Commission

Here's my current project; a painting of flowers that are common here. I think they're morning glories, but I don't know if that's right.  Any horticulturalists out there who can straighten me out?  Anyway, a client wants a painting of them so this is what I'm working on these days.   Obviously, I have a long way to go yet, but I thought I'd post this so nobody will think I'm slacking.  Or dead.  

I'm also talking with prospective clients about a portrait or two, and I recently finished this painting of a house.  The residents will soon be departing for another country, and they wanted a reminder of the happy times they spent in their Portuguese home.

This was a challenging job, because it was actually impossible to get this view.  The house is behind a wall, and the space between the wall and the house does not allow for a wide enough view to capture much of the house, so I had to cobble together a complete view from several different angles.  I took a lot of photographs to help with that process.  Here's a short video on the process:

Monday, July 16, 2012

What Limits a Gov't that Tries to Create Its Own Reality?

That question occurred to me as I watched this clip at the Libertarian Republican's blog.  The clip features Lt Col (USAR) Anthony Shaffer talking about how the Department of Homeland Security lists returning veterans, people who are concerned about government infringements on liberty, and people who think their way of life is under attack, as likely threats to the United States.

In other words, the DHS has decided that just about anybody who has read the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution lately and actually believes what they say, is a threat to our nation.  Guess who isn't a threat -- those who are trying to advance an Islamic agenda.  The Homeland Security report says nothing about the threat posed by those who feel called by Allah to subject the world to Shariah Law, despite the fact that just about every single terror attack faced by our nation and our allies has been due to Islamic aggression.

Here's where my question comes in; if the government came up with Operation Fast and Furious (Click here for the latest on this debacle.) not, as they claim, as a means of nabbing Mexican druglords, but as a means of bringing to life the administration's repeated (but disproven) claims that Mexican drug violence is caused by US gun rights, then what is to stop them from doing something similar to "prove" their assertions that patriotic, Constitution-defending Americans are a bigger terror threat than those who are killing in the name of Allah?

If a group of government agencies under the control of the executive branch is willing to break the law, force law-abiding gun-dealers to sell weapons to known criminals, and allow those weapons to enter a foreign country without the knowledge of its government, despite the fact that those weapons will be used against said government, and if that group of government agencies under the control of the executive branch is willing to allow hundreds of people to die, just to build the case against gun freedom in the US, to what lengths are they prepared to go against Americans who believe government must be brought back under the control of the Constitution? 

If they are willing to allow blood to be spilled for an abstract idea (gun control) how much more motivated will they be in defense of their jobs, their power, and their freedom?  When these people face being stripped of the priviledges of the ruling elite, and if they face even the remote possibility of prison terms, do you think they will hesitate to silence those who are trying to call them to account? 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Controlling Egypt does not make the Brotherhood our partners

I just had a look at the New York Times article,  "As Islamists Gain Influence, Washington Reassesses Who Its Friends Are" .

I should probably have left it alone, but I couldn't stop myself, and now that I've suffered through it, I can at least save you the trouble by summarizing it for you.  In a nutshell, the US doesn't know what to make of the "Arab Spring," which, instead of ushering in an era of happiness and prosperity, has inexplicably (if you live in Washington) been a springboard from which Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood are rising to power.  There seems to be a strong inclination within the Washington establishment to deal with title, rather than substance, so when it comes to who's in charge in Egypt, or Tunisia, or Yemen, the fact that they might previously have been sworn enemies of the United States now seems less important than the fact that they now receive their mail at presidential mansions. As Victoria J. Nuland of the State Department said, "It’s a new day in Egypt.  It’s a new day in a lot of countries across the Middle East and North Africa.”

Well, that explains that. 

Except, of course, it doesn't.  There is nothing new about the Muslim Brotherhood.  Their goals have not changed.  Their motto remains,
Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Qur'an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.
Nor is there anything new about Gemaa al Islamiya, and blithely saying, "It's a new day," does not make it ok that a wanted terrorist from that organization "was welcomed to Washington as part of an official delegation sponsored by the State Department."

A rise to power does not automatically confer legitimacy to an organization, even if that rise occurs through democratic means.

I'm reminded of a guy I knew in grad school, who told me about his thesis, which claimed that gaining political power would force Islamic organizations to become more moderate.  He confessed that he was having a terrible time finding evidence to support his claim.  I wasn't surprised, since most people know that power does not moderate; it corrupts.  He managed to finish his thesis and get it approved, and almost immediately HAMAS came to power and set about - not becoming more moderate, but killing off their brother Palestinians who had opposed them in the elections.

Despite this, we are assured by experts quoted in the Times that, "Americans should not assume that the rise of Islamists puts the United States in greater danger from terrorists. The opposite may well be the case..." Sure.  Because gaining control of a country will not encourage the Muslim Brotherhood that they are following the right path, and winning the presidency and the majority in Parliament will not be seen as a sign from Allah that jihad is the way.
This is what we are expected to believe.  According to Stephen McInerney, of Washington's  Project on Middle East Democracy,  the downfall of Mubarak “is an important step in combating terrorism in the region and undermining its appeal,” because now, "People can freely vent their frustrations and go to the polls to vote.” 

There are only two problems with that.  The first is that the people freely went to the polls and voted in a pro-terror regime.  The second is that Mr. McInerney seems to vastly inflate the importance of democratic processes in an Islamic society.
I'm sure that some will object to my labeling the Muslim Brotherhood as pro-terror.  They will have to get over that.  Reread the Brotherhood's motto, and keep in mind that jihad does not mean, as westerners are so often told, a peaceful process of reflection and self-improvement.  Islamic law, the Koran, the Sunna, and the Hadith are perfectly clear on this; jihad is the violent process by which the world must be made to submit to Allah.  If we needed any hints as to the leanings of Egypt's new government, we got them when the new president, Mohamed Morsi, called upon the US to release Omar Abdel Rahman, the infamous blind sheikh serving a life sentence in North Carolina for terrorism against the US.

So if the people of Egypt vote into power an entity dedicated to jihad, Americans (and Israelis, and anyone who loves freedom) do have reason to be concerned.  Being elected democratically does not automatically mean that a regime will rule justly.  This is why the US Constitution is so full of checks and balances.  In Egypt, where there is no constitution, the checks and balances are nonexistent, or at least, fluid, and all are subject to Islam.

And there is the greatest source of ignorance in this article.  As is the fashion, the authors refuse to acknowledge Islam's designs on the world of unbelievers.  With statements like, "American hostility to Islamist movements, in fact, long predated Sept. 11..." the article infers that Islamic hatred is the fault of the US.  The fact is that Islamic attitudes toward the US are hard-wired.  Whether we withdraw our troops from Saudi Arabia, renounce support of Israel, or submit to the construction of the Ground Zero Mosque, those attitudes will not change.  We remain the infidels, and Mohammed gave his followers very explicit, very limited instructions on how they must deal with us.

Mohammed also gave his followers explicit advice concerning their own government, and democracy does not enter into it at any point. 
"It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any opinion in their decision.   Surrah 33, verse 36 of the Qur'an"
Because Allah is the law-giver, it is a blasphemous usurpation for men to make laws of their own.  So while the Muslim Brotherhood may come to power democratically, it can not rule that way for long while remaining true to the part of its motto that says, "Qur'an is our law." 
Is it a "new day" in the Middle East and North Africa?  I suppose it is.  Not, however, because we now have common cause with the Muslim Brotherhood.  It is instead a new day in the Middle East because those who tolerated and were willing to work with us have been deposed, and those who hate us, and will continue to do so, have taken their places. 

Monday, July 09, 2012

A Funny Thing Happened When I was Reading the New York Times

Do I have to say anything else?  It reminds me of the old one about the retired comedians.  They sat around and, instead of recounting their material in its entirety, they just referred to their jokes by abbreviated titles, and everyone laughed obligingly.  All one has to do for a laugh these days is mention the Old Grey Lady.

But in case that's not enough for you, let me offer this: On the Times' 8 July Opinion Pages, we find, "Revisiting the Constitution," in which a collection of experts advises us how how they would improve on the work of the Founding Fathers.

The page is subtitled "Another stab at the U.S. Constitution." This is an  accurate description of the contents.  With suggestions such as "Do Away With The Electoral College," and "Get Rid Of The Right to Bear Arms," these are means, not to improve the Constitution, but to do violence to its intent, and to move us farther from the nation of free men and women we were intended to be.

This is not surprising, given that some of the contributors don't even seem to know the purpose of our Republic.  Rachel E. Barkow, professor and faculty director at the Center on the Administration of Criminal Law at New York University, tells us "We are a nation dedicated to liberty and equality." No.  Sorry.  I believe you're thinking of someone else.  " Liberté, égalité, fraternité," were the watchwords of the French Revolution.  We went with "Don't Tread on Me."  The Declaration of Independence

reminds us that men are created equal, and refers to "the separate and equal station," of peoples, (nations) but there was nowhere in our founders' minds the idea that this Republic would ensure equality in the results of individuals' pursuits of happiness.

Alexander Keyssar, Stirling professor of history and social policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School, gives short shrift to one of the greatest advantages of the Electoral College when he advises us to "Do Away With" it.  He briefly acknowledges that it prevents heavily populated states from choosing the president at the cost of more rural states, but infers that this is no longer an issue.  I suppose it doesn't seem like a problem when one lives in one of the coastal states, but I'm willing to bet there are quite a lot of people just a few miles inland who would disagree with that assessment.  His bottom line is that, " other country in the world has imitated our Electoral College." This, of course, is the backside of the, "but everybody else is doing it," argument, by which one attempts to make the case that, since nobody else is doing it, continuing to be the only ones doing it must place us in the wrong.  As everybody's mother will affirm, neither argument holds water.  Just as jumping off a bridge is not made mandatory by the fact that all one's friends have taken the plunge, refusing to jump is not rendered incorrect by the fact that everyone else is a lemming.  This kind of faulty thinking is why Harvard is as good an automatic punchline as the New York Times.

The most inane contribution comes from Melynda Price, an associate professor at the University of Kentucky College of Law.  Ms Price, who uses the personal pronoun four times in the first four sentences of her piece, eventually stops talking about herself long enough to come up with this gem: "The Constitution would be the only weapon needed unless there was an external enemy," which is her justification for doing away with Americans' right to keep and bear arms.  There is much more to say about Ms Price (The Price is wrong.) but it is low-hanging fruit, and I was designed for greater things.

Jenny S. Martinez, of Stanford Law School, decries the ill-defined status of treaties, and suggests that the Constitution be amended to instruct courts to enforce them upon the states.  This makes sense only if such treaties are already in line with constitutional principles, but many, these days, are not.  One gets the sense from Ms Martinez's piece that she believes treaty ratification should be an end-run around the Constitution, and I could not disagree more strenuously.

Even the Times, it seems, must respond to the force of the market place and occasionally dip its toes in the waters of ration and logic.  In what appears to be a nod to this principle, several contributors veered sharply from the course plotted by Barkow, Keyssar, Price, et al, and came dangerously close to presenting valid arguments.  Others departed altogether from the Times' Reservation, and made good sense.  These, I'm happy to say, offered suggestions that had less to do with changing the Constitution, and more to do with honoring its original intent.

Akhil Reed Amar of Yale University comes from the first of these two groups (the veerers, as opposed to the departers).  While he feels compelled to muddy Constitutional waters with nonsense about "fast approaching a time when those born gay have all the rights of those born straight..." his claim that the Constitution should be amended to allow naturalized citizens to become president is at least a debatable point that does not fly in the face of what America is supposed to be.  (Although if recent events are any indication, I don't think his is a very good idea.)

Among those contributors who departed the reservation altogether, Elizabeth Price Foley used the word, "restore," as opposed to "Do away with," or "Get rid of." She advocates the restoration of federalism or, as those lovable New York Times copy editors spell it, "Federalim." (This has since been corrected.) Foley teaches at Florida International University College of Law and is the author of "The Tea Party: Three Principles," which is why the copy editors probably didn't bother to spell check the headline they assigned to her contribution.  An especially important aspect of her contribution is the notion that federalism is about individual liberty. 

Michael Rappaport, a professor of law at the University of San Diego, writes of the need to amend the process for amending the Constitution so that state legislatures could hold constitutional conventions (as already provided for) that would be limited to debating the amendment topic for which they were convened.  This would allow the amendment process to be initiated outside of Congress, which means topics that Congress has historically refused to consider (term limits, line item veto) could be written into amendments that would be ratified (or not) by the states.  As professor Rappaport explains, this provision already exists, but requires adjustment to prevent a convention from becoming an open forum where everything under the sun is debated, instead of the topic for which the convention was originally intended.

Randy E. Barnett is a professor of legal theory at Georgetown Law Center, who proposes that the Commerce Clause be amended to restore (Again, there's that word I like so much.) "its original meaning..." and take back some of the power that Congress has assumed.  I'm all for it.

Pauline Maier, professor of American history at M.I.T. would amend the First Amendment, to clarify that the right of free speech is to be defended against encroachments by state, as well as by federal governments.   You may recall that it starts out, "Congress shall make no law..." which has been interpreted by courts to mean that, while the feds may not infringe on your "conscience, speech, press, assembly and petition," rights, other levels of government may.  At first glance this has merit, but I don't see how that amendment could be worded without interfering with some legitimate needs of state and local governments.  For instance, local fire marshalls often regulate the number of people who can gather in an enclosed space.  This arguably makes sense, as overcrowded facilities can become death traps in the event of a fire. 

Jamal Greene, professor at Columbia Law School, suggests term limits for federal judges, an idea that I believe has merit, but even if it were implemented today, it would be about two weeks too late.

So I expected silliness regarding the Constitution in the New York Times, and I was not disappointed.  But the funniest thing is that half - five out of the ten- of the opinions presented were not completely stupid, and of those, four were quite sound, in that they adhered, or seemed born of a desire to adhere to, to the Founders' original intent.     

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Happy Independence Day

Yes.  Independence Day.  Read the declaration.  Compare and contrast the signers' complaints with present-day circumstances.

Draw your own conclusions.

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.


The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:

Column 1


Button Gwinnett

Lyman Hall

George Walton

Column 2

North Carolina:

William Hooper

Joseph Hewes

John Penn

South Carolina:

Edward Rutledge

Thomas Heyward, Jr.

Thomas Lynch, Jr.

Arthur Middleton

Column 3


John Hancock


Samuel Chase

William Paca

Thomas Stone

Charles Carroll of Carrollton


George Wythe

Richard Henry Lee

Thomas Jefferson

Benjamin Harrison

Thomas Nelson, Jr.

Francis Lightfoot Lee

Carter Braxton

Column 4


Robert Morris

Benjamin Rush

Benjamin Franklin

John Morton

George Clymer

James Smith

George Taylor

James Wilson

George Ross


Caesar Rodney

George Read

Thomas McKean

Column 5

New York:

William Floyd

Philip Livingston

Francis Lewis

Lewis Morris

New Jersey:

Richard Stockton

John Witherspoon

Francis Hopkinson

John Hart

Abraham Clark

Column 6

New Hampshire:

Josiah Bartlett

William Whipple


Samuel Adams

John Adams

Robert Treat Paine

Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:

Stephen Hopkins

William Ellery


Roger Sherman

Samuel Huntington

William Williams

Oliver Wolcott

New Hampshire:

Matthew Thornton

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Senator Rand Paul - Showing Off?

I just read that Senator Rand Paul is putting forward a measure that would require senators to actually read bills before they vote on them.  That's all well and good, except for the fact that, if most senators could read, they would probably have found productive employment, instead of lolling around in the Senate.

Senator Paul's measure would delay a vote on a bill for a period of one day per every 20 pages of bill.  Call me cynical, but I think this is showing off.  Just because the senator, who is also a doctor, can read that fast, there's no reason he has to make a display of his extraordinary capabilities and make everybody else feel less special.

But let me set aside my skepticsm for a moment, and try to be constructive.  If the measure passes, how will legislators prove they've done their required reading?  I suggest a quiz, or maybe a book report.  Under special circumstances, like when bills include really long words, some might be allowed to build dioramas instead.  Of course all work would have to be graded by the Sergeant at Arms of each legislative body, with special care taken to ensure that it is all original, and not just recycled Cliff Notes, or purchased from some scurrilous internet "term papers are us" site.  (Note to self: buy rights to web addresses like "")

This will add considerably to the workload of the Sergeants of Arms, most likely necessitating the hiring of assistants and deputies.  This means that Senator Paul's measure might not just elevate the level of discourse, but could also contribute to lowering unemployment, as well.

Yes, the more I think about it, the better it sounds.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Palacio Marques de Pombal

The US community held its 4th of July celebration yesterday at the Palacio Marques de Pombal.  There were games and food and music, but I spent most of the time painting in a quiet, shaded corner of the property.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Driving Home

I've been in Bavaria for the last 5 weeks, and Norway for the two weeks prior to that.  I'm way behind on blogging, so to compensate, I'll refund the subscription dues of both my readers, and I'll try to post a bunch of photos, too.

This is a shot of a pair of storks, nesting on a bell tower in a village church in Spain.  I was pushing hard to get to Bavaria on time, so I didn't take a single photograph on my way there.  On the way back though, I tried to make up for it.

Over the course of those weeks, northern Spain turned from a beautiful green - except the fields of poppies, which were an impossible red - to shades of gold and brown.  I was surprised by the difference, but I suppose that's only because, up in the Alps, everything was still so green.

I did some painting in Bavaria, and even sold a few, but I struggled with the change of palette.  Portugal, even in the winter, and even with the sea, has far fewer greens and blues than Bavaria in the Spring.

Here's a shot of some of those beautiful golden fields.  Up in Basque country it was still very green, but it was harder to get off the highway and explore there, so I don't have any pictures of that area.  I'd love to go back and paint there though.  It's beautiful.

Here's the route I drove.

Monday, April 30, 2012

After the Rain

We've had a dry winter, but April brought us rain.  The skies have been dramatic, with dark, heavy clouds shrouding the sun.  When the light does break through, the colors and contrasts are spectacular.  That's what I wanted to capture with this painting.  I've visited the subject - the lighthouse keeper's shed on Berlenga Island - before, but I wanted to try it again, to show it just after a storm.

Monday, April 23, 2012

If I wanted America to Fail

All that is required for evil to triumph...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Window, Palmela

Here's a little (3 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches) painting I did this weekend.  I'm working on using stronger contrasts, and this subject, with its shadows and brightly lit surfaces, made for a good study.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Painting Palmela

Palmela is located across the Setubal Peninsula from Lisbon.  It's a beautiful little village graced by an imposing castle.  The white walls of the village reflect the dazzling sunlight and cast deep, cool shadows over the alleyways.  I like to paint places like this.  If I could accomplish anything I wanted with paintings, I would paint villages like this, and looking at the painting, you would feel the sun on your skin.  You would anticipate the welcome cool of the shadows.  Just from looking at the painting, your feet would know the feel of the smooth-worn paving stones, and your fingertips would feel abraded by the faded paint where it peels from the rough stucco.

Monday, April 09, 2012

What I'm Working on Now

Work has kept me much busier than I like to be lately.  That means that this painting has been sitting on my table for a couple of weeks now.  I'm finally making some headway on it again, which is good, because I have a lot of other scenes I want to get to, like these:
Al Fama, Lisbon
Palmela Castle