Daddy's Christmas Angel

Monday, March 28, 2016

The Demise of H2--How Sad and Disappointing

"Rising Gold, A Mysterious Image" ©Mary Montague Sikes
What a huge disappointment to discover that H2 (one of my favorite all-time TV channels) has been replaced on Direct TV by a strange channel called Vice. UFOs, Roswell, space travel, ancient aliens have always intrigued me. Over the years, I've read books, articles, and other materials on the subjects. I liked the idea of hidden information being kept in a dingy location called Hangar 1. Where was (is) it located? Who knew about it?

Some of the H2 episodes involved Mayan ruins and how those mysterious structures and cities perhaps were built by "Ancient Aliens". Fascinating stuff to ponder.

Many of the programs focused on the Southwest and mysterious places like the one in my photograph. Such a wild array of book ideas came to me as my imagination flourished while watching episodes about places hidden away in mountains and deserts. I looked forward to each new adventure. Now I no longer have that exciting default channel to visit when baseball games are over.

Are any of you familiar with the H2 programs that are now gone from Direct TV? Is there a way to bring back the H2 channel? The Vice channel is a shocking and disappointing change.

Monday, March 21, 2016

"So Many Hearts Dancing in the Air" - A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal

A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal 3-21-2016 My original plan for this year's A to Z Blog Challenge was to create a travel blog each day. I love to travel and then to write about some segment of the trip. I even added a TR to my Notes Along the Way entry. But then, I thought about how much fun it was in 2013 to create my Animals A to Z and to have a new painting every day. I loved what happened with those spontaneous little paintings that eventually developed into their own art show. Then, last year, I created a painting exhibition for Farrah Ferand, the heroine of my novel, Evening of the Dragonfly. Because I sometimes made a painting in two parts, I finished with only 19 paintings from the 2015 Challenge. They turned into a show as well and became a part of a book signing for more than one occasion.

How could I resist another painting challenge? I couldn't.

This year's theme is "So Many Hearts Dancing in the Air". I have chosen a large 24" x 48" canvas and have already made a grid on it. Each day, I plan to create a new little heart image, about 8" x 5", as part of a painting that will eventually feature 26 hearts dancing on the surface.

Blank Canvas with Grid for A to Z Challenge
I'm excited and already have titles for each of the alphabet heart sections. Prior to April 1, I plan to paint the edges of this gallery-wrapped canvas that is 1 1/2" deep. I might also add some paint to part of the background. This will be an acrylic painting with occasional mixed media to provide surface texture.

It should be fun. I'm looking forward to seeing how this new painting develops. I hope I can figure out a way to get rid of the TR so no one will visit my blog expecting travel instead of painting.

Thanks to all of the bloggers who have worked hard to make the A to Z Challenge such a popular blogging event.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Too Long Isn't Long Enough

"Sunset on Singer Island" ©Mary Montague Sikes
The palm trees glistened as the bright orange sun touched the edge of the horizon, then slid like lightening out of sight. Two weeks vanished in a moment while the vision of major league baseball players grew ever more familiar. The time was too long to be away, yet it wasn't nearly long enough.

"Why don't you move down here?" someone askled.

"I couldn't do that," I replied. I didn't explain that it is spring training baseball that calls me to Florida. The drills and practice games last only for four or five weeks. Once we went down for the last few games instead of the first and discovered that by then the players were weary of practice and ready to fly north for the "real" baseball season. The early games are more exciting because everyone is happy to be in the warmer climate and anxious to play ball. All the teams are even then and have great hope for the season.
"Before the Game, Cardinals Dugout" ©MMSikes

In addition to taking more than a hundred baseball photos with my Nikon camera, I also took numerous pictures of the Atlantic Ocean as the waves crashed along the beach of Singer Island. When the winds came, the ocean grew ever more beautiful and the waves more dangerous. In late afternoon, the beach sights captured me, and I dreamed of the colors I would use to paint those visions abstractly in gentle hues like those that filled my canvases long ago.

Such a contrast--the beaches of Singer Island and the playing fields of Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida. They both made my stay too long, yet not long enough. I didn't want to leave, but I could hardly wait to return home to my studio in Virginia where I will fill my canvases with colors I had forgotten long ago.