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Woody's July 2009 Blog
blog began March 2007

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Watercolors on Display (7/30):
           Today, I'm hanging three watercolors at the Jewish Community Center off Wyoming. This exhibit is another one of the NMWS "Alternate Spaces" exhibitions. We have hung at the JCC before and the reception for our art was wonderful there. We plan a public opening on Sunday, August 2nd from 2 to 4 pm. We always have great refreshments supplied by the artists. Plan to show up on Sunday - you will enjoy it - come by and see the art and meet the artists who created the work.

you can see which watercolors I've had on exhibition this year at:

Buying Beer at Walmart:
           I'm all in favor of a business being required to be careful about to whom they sell alcohol to - but this is downright silly. My wife and I stopped at a Walmart Super Center yesterday to buy rye bread and some swiss cheese to make our ruben sandwiches for dinner. The couple ahead of us in line were refused when trying to buy a case of Corona. The lady wishing to purchase the beer was around 30. She produced proper ID. The clerk then asked her mother, who was with her, for her ID. The lady, well over 50, was not carrying any identification. So the clerk put the case of beer under the counter - saying she was required to have proof of age from all people in a group. Come on now - I buy beer and wine often, I'm over 65, and I get carded most of the time. But no one has ever asked my wife who is often with me for her ID as well. Has the law changed ? Or is this just Walmart's rule ? What's going on here ? With this sort of logic - if a family wants to buy beer with their groceries - do they need to leave the kids or grandma in the car because they won't have the proper ID ? Besides, it's against the law to leave the kid's in the car.
      I gave away 20 tomatoes on Tuesday at the museum - over the next two days we picked 22 more tomatoes. I'll take a box with me tomorrow when I go painting so they don't go to waste.
Museum Movie Today (7/29):
           Back to the dollar movies today - this time it's "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian". The first "Night at the Museum" was a hoot - so this one should be good too. But then, we are only investing one dollar each - so we won't be out much. This version being at the Smithsonian includes Amelia Earhart played by Amy Adams. Amelia Earhart is of course a Kansas girl and one of my childhood heroine's. Amelia Earhart was born on July 24, 1897 in Kansas. We paid way too much - last week because we went on the wrong day and had to pay $1.50 each - but we got our money's worth seeing the Tom Hanks movie: "Angels and Demons".

Amy Adams as Amelia Earhart

Art and Politics:
          My own museum experiences lately, as a docent, have been very light. Our team showed up yesterday without a scheduled tour. It's summer and we do tours for  mostly school kids - with school out there are few tours. I did have a delightful lunch with Rona (Church Street Cafe of course) where we discussed politics. I volunteered to visit Senator Jeff Bigaman's office next week to be part of a concerted but gentle effort to get decent health care legislation to the Senate floor. 
Bigaman is on the Senate Finance committee where rumors have it that important points are about to be dropped from the legislation.

Shopping at Dillards:
          The movie has to wait till another day. My error this morning was showing Frani the Dillards Ad in the morning paper. They were giving an additional 40 % off of anything already marked down - so we went shopping rather than to the movies. I have to admit she (and me too) picked up some bargins. She scoured the 70 % off sales racks and then got the additional 40 % off that price. I tried to tell her that 70 % plus 40 % equals 110 % - so Dillards should be paying us money for each purchase. She would just not believe me.
Home Grown Tomatoes (7/27):
           Farmer Frani has two tomatoe plants among my cactus plants. Today we picked more delicious red ripe tomatoes. My hand was bleeding from bumping into the Spanish Saber plant. We have tried bacon and tomatoe sandwiches, tacos, taco salad, and tonight we are having chopped tomatoes over tamales. Any suggestions for recipes to use up these tomatoes would be welcome.

             Todays Crop

Barcelona, Spain
Virtual Paintout (7/26):
           Take a look at the work from artists in the virtualpaintout posted on this blog:
           Artists don't need to travel far this summer to paint places around the world.  I just discovered this way of painting using google street views a your subject. To enjoy this virtual way of traveling go to the google map at the bottom of http://virtualpaintout.blogspot.com - then get a larger view of the map - next drag the little yellow man to some spot on the map - you get a street view - move around, explore to find something interesting to paint.

The July Virtual/Paintout is Barcelona, Spain

Open for participation from
July 1st till July 31st

Barcelona, Spain

Woody at 66
Pavina's Cherry Pie (7/25):
          I'm sure she baked this pie just for my birthday - Pavina, one of my art students, back in KC, is still creating masterpieces. She created this beautiful cherry pie from scratch - even pitting the cherries herself. I want to take some of the credit for inspiring this beautiful young culinary artist.

"Thank You Pavina"
<<<   I took the photo on the left with the camera on my little i-mac - perhaps I should take one each year to document the changes.
New Watercolor Website (7/24):
           I just finished building a new website. It's to promote the Western Federation of Watercolor Societies (WFWS). Eleven Watercolor societies make up the group. We rotate the annual juried exhibition between organizations. This is my first year as delegate for the New Mexico Watercolor Society (NMWS). This has been going on for 35 years now. New Mexico started the WFWS in 1974. Now we have a website: http://www.wfws.org/

         If you are into watercolor and want to enter the juried competition - first you must be a member of one of the eleven local watercolor societies to enter this annual juried exhibition and you must enter only through the delegate of your local society. It will be my job as NMWS delegate to take in all of the digital entries from New Mexico members and forward them on to Utah. The 2010 exhibit will be in Salt Lake City. The 2009 exhibit was in San Diego. Deadline for 2010 entries is November 15th, 2009.

          NMWS will host the WFWS exhibition in 2011. We are in our planning stages right now. In 2010, it will be my job to present New Mexico's plans for 2011.
Happy Birthday to Me (7/23):
           Well - it feels pretty good to be 66 - My plans for today is to walk 3 miles with my beautiful bride and then go downtown to buy us tickets to see the "Riders in the Sky" concert at Albuquerque's beautiful Kimo theater. Cowboy music can really be fun - reminds me of all those western movies I went to as a kid.

Riders in the Sky

Happy Birthday Mr D:
           It's great to be getting birthday greetings from young and lovely past students of mine back in KC. Reaching out with my facebook page has it's rewards afterall. Thank you Maggie and Pavina. Too bad I can't get a birthday hug from across the miles. Cyberspace greetings will just have to do.
Maggie                             Pavina

Kimo Theater

Judy Chicago
Judy Chicago (7/21):
           Judy Chicago will be our keynote speaker at the annual NMAEA convention in Ruidsoso on November 6th and 7th, 2009. She will be presenting her K-12 Dinner Party Curriculum. To learn more about it go to: http://www.throughtheflower.org The fall conference of the New Mexico Art Education Association is always full of great presentations and workshops - but this fall will be special with the addition of Judy Chicago. I'll soon be posting more information on the web at http://www.newmexicoarted.com/ Anyone interested in art and art education should plan on attending this years conference. I will be doing my collograph printmaking workshop in Ruidsoso.

The NMAEA is now on facebook - CLICK HERE to join our group.

NMWS Meeting (7/20):
           Tonight is our monthly New Mexico Watercolor Society (NMWS) meeting. At the board meeting, prior to the membership meeting, I'll report on the progress we are making toward hosting the big Western Federation show in 2011. We have our choices of jurors narrowed down to four. Our organizing committee meets on August 3rd to decide who we will choose as our juror. The NMWS never has a membership meeting in August - but I will need to put out a newsletter, in the middle of August, for the month of September.
          I'm to pick up my two watercolors from the exhibit at the Four Hills Country Club today. We have several "Alternate Spaces" exhibits, each year, around the city. No juror involved, the artists get to choose what gets hung. We have another
"Alternate Spaces" soon at the Jewish Community Center. These are always great venues. The Jewish Community Center was a good selling venue last year.
           Midday today - Frani and I are taking in a movie. It's at the Dollar Show - of course. The Tom Hanks movie: "Angels and Demons" is playing. It's another Ron Howard film - that little Opie Taylor has turned into quite a movie director. We are on our retirement budget so Dollar Movies are a regular fare for us.

Ron Howard

Frani Working
Cross Stitch
New Watercolor Framed (7/19):
           I've started to frame my new watercolors. The two watercolors I framed yesterday are titled "Two Roses" and "Two Poppy Centers". The watercolors will be on display at the Jewish Community Center during the month of September. I took these photos with each painting leaning against the edge of our fireplace. I'll have a total of three watercolors in that exhibition. I grew both the roses and the poppies, in these watercolors, in my own backyard here in Albuquerque. The third painting is one titled "Taos Horno Shadows" which I've exhibited before.


            "Two Roses"                   "Two Poppy Centers"

Sunday Morning:
           I know it's really a hot summer when the air conditioning comes on before "CBS Sunday Morning" is over. With the low humidity in Albuquerque we can open the windows at night to let the cool outside air in. Most days the AC will kick on before noon reminding us to shut the house up again. But, the nights have been hotter of late so the day heats up much quicker. It's my Sunday morning routine to watch CBS Sunday Morning. This morning they are of course talking about Walter Cronkite. There will never be another trusted news person like him not because there are not good reporters, but because the news has changed. It's too much fluff now - too much entertainment. They spend way too many hours telling us what the average joe blow is saying on Twitter - Tweet, Tweet, Tweet. I want serious news about real issues like education, health care and poverty. If they interview someone I hope it's a person with real credentials - even if I disagree with them.

Sunday Morning Sun
Margaret's New Book (7/18):
           Frani and I had a delightful couple of days to visit with my favorite cousin and her husband Eric. We tried to get them to take Blossom home,with them, to Colorado Springs - but no such luck. While they were visiting I fixed some bugs on Margaret's web site for her. She now has published a fifth book which I'll put a link to here on my blog. Margaret writes historical novels under the name of MJ Brett. For years she taught high school students to write - after retirement she put her skills into practice writing her own stuff. Below is a photo of all five covers.

click on the books above to get to an order page

MJ Brett's
first three books
House Guests (7/16):
           My cuz Margaret and her hubby Eric are headed this way on their way, back home, to Colorado Springs. They were in Las Vegas at some sort of convention. Margaret was out there hawking her new book. She has written several historical novels under the name of M. J. Brett.  I got her web site started for her and may have to help her with it when they are here. I see that her latest cover photo is not showing up on her site. She was a teacher in Germany and draws on her experiences there for her stories. You can check her novels out at http://mjbrett.com/ It is always good to visit with her and Eric, as long as we don't talk politics. I learned long ago what not to mention - I'm just too liberal (almost socialist) for her taste.

My Cuz the Writer on You Tube
talking about her newest book

Experimental Geography

 June 28 – Sept 20, 2009
I'm A Bad Boy (7/14):
           I was starting to enjoy facebook - adding old friends and new one's to my list of friends. I even found some of my old Middle School students of mine - grown up now. But then I posted information about my lesson plans, which I sell for $17 - almost giving them away. Now facebook has decided to punish me by blocking my posting for"a few hours or a few days". The message says if I continue to post I'll be permanently blocked. So, I wait ??? How long ??? When I'm back on facebook you can find me at: http://www.facebook.com/woody.duncan1
         There are other things to entertain me - I have a planning meeting tonight about the Western Fed watercolor show in 2011. This morning we took students through art and sculpture at the Albuquerque museum. On Monday, we heard from our new Art Curator - Andrew Connors. I was quite impressed with his ability to explain our challenging new exhibit to the docents. I do believe we must have gotten a good one. An online blog called the Local IQ said: "Experimental Geography, the new exhibit at the Albuquerque Museum, will, if nothing else, challenge the accepted notion of what geography is. A traveling exhibit of works by 19 artists from around the globe, the show leads viewers into a realm that exists somewhere between the worlds of science and art."

Folk Art Faces
Folk Art Festival (7/12):
            I went up to Santa Fe this morning to discuss our upcoming Fall Conference with New Mexico Art Educators. This was a meeting of the board of the New Mexico Art Education Association (NMAEA). We met at the "Flying Star" restaurant at the Rail Runner station in Santa Fe. I'm on the board simply because I maintain the website for New Mexico Art Teachers. I'm missing from the photo because I'm behind the camera, as usual.

From Left to Right is - Phyllis, Roni, Mara, Michelle and Ken

Art Education News:
          Two important items: First - The New Mexico School for the Arts, today announced that Frank Marchese has been hired to head the new school. The school will open in the fall of 2010 as a statewide residential charter high school dedicated to artistic and academic excellence. Next - the most important announcement - Judy Chicago has agreed to be the keynote speaker at the NMAEA Fall Conference, November 6, 7, & 8, in Ruidoso, New Mexico. Keep checking the NMAEA website - http://www.newmexicoarted.com/ - for more information about this year's fall conference. Stay tuned also for information on "The Dinner Party Curriculum Project" which is a K-12 art curriculum and very important to Judy Chicago.

Folk Art Market Faces:
          After the meeting, I went to the annual Folk Art Market on Museum Hill. I did not go to shop or admire the art from all over the world. I went to photograph interesting faces which might make good subjects for my watercolors. I only posted one face today - sometime later I'll make a web page full of faces.

Woody is on Facebook
to join me - go to


Woody is on Facebook
to join me - go to

Conversation Around Art Education (7/8):
           This morning, seventeen thoughtful people sat around Barbara Lohbeck's living room, in Albuquerque, discussing how we might promote greater interest in education through the arts in New Mexico. Barbara is a mover and shaker in both the art and education communities in New Mexico. Hopefully today's gathering will be only the first of many where we can exchange ideas and eventually take actions to promote art programs in the schools state wide.
          One major topic of discussion today was the New Mexico School for the Arts, opening in the Fall of 2010. It will be a (9-12) high school providing the highest level of education in the arts for New Mexico Students. The campus will be in Santa Fe, but the students will come from all areas of the Land of Enchantment. It will be a residential school, located in Santa Fe, open to talented students regardless of geographic location financial circumstances. The school has funds from the state legislature to assist in this first year of organizing. NMSA is a public/private partnership comprised of the New Mexico School for the Arts, a state charter high school and the School for the Arts – NM, a nonprofit art education institution. The school will operate on a mix of state and private funding. Keep an eye open for more news about this fantastic new school.
           Don't send an application for a teaching position yet. The Principal (soon to be announced) will hire all staff at both the School and for School for the Arts – NM, the partner non-profit art educational institution.  Interviews for Art Chairs will be held in fall 2009.  Interviews for academic teachers and additional art teachers will be held in spring 2010 to begin in July 2010.

           As I hear more information about the New Mexico School for the Arts, I will post it on my blog. We all wish this new school lots of success.

Reading About John Wesley Powell (7/7):
           I'm half way through "Down The Great Unknown" by Edward Dolnick. I find it fascinating reading especially after just visiting the Grand Canyon. It's a recounting of John Wesley Powell's epic adventure of floating the entire length of the Colorado river system in 1869. Ten men set out in four wooden boats from Green River Station, Wyoming Territory. They would follow the Green River downstream until it merged with the Grand to become the Colorado, and then they stay with the Colorado to wherever it takes them. John Wesley Powell, their leader, is a skinny, one-armed civil war veteran. Powell lost his right arm at Shiloh. The narrative follows these brave men as they battle the unknowns of the Colorado river.
          Downstream of the Confluence with the Green River, the gradient of the Colorado increases, and the result is what Powell aptly named, Cataract Canyon. In 1869, Cataract Canyon extended downstream for almost 50 miles with a drop of over 400 feet. This area today is partly flooded by the upper reaches of, current day, Lake Powell. Even today,
Cataract Canyon is still one of the most feared sections of the river. In 1869 they portaged (carried) or lined their boats and supplies around many of the worst rapids. What I found most unbelievable was that they climbed up the steep canyon walls several times - often carrying a barometer to determine the height of the cliffs. Whenever they stopped, the one-armed Powell would go exploring, noting the geology. This book is great reading, and a wonderful way to learn about the early American West.
          You can read a Biography of John Wesley Powell (1834-1902) by Clicking Here.

click on map
a larger image
Web Pages Document Our Trip (7/6):
           Below are links to each day of the triplets trip west to see sites like the "Painted Desert", the "Petrified Forest", the "Giant Meteor Crater", the "Grand Canyon", "Zion" and of course my favorite "Bryce Canyon". Even after we got back to Albuquerque - we drove South to check out the "Very Large Array".
          http://www.taospaint.com/WestDay1/June23.html      Meteor Crater
          http://www.taospaint.com/WestDay2/June24.html      Grand Canyon
          http://www.taospaint.com/Tower/DesertView.html     Watchtower
          http://www.taospaint.com/WestDay3/June25.html      Zion
          http://www.taospaint.com/WestDay4/June26.html      Bryce
          http://www.taospaint.com/WestDay5and6/June27and28.html     Navajo Bridge
          http://www.taospaint.com/VLA/June30.html              Very Large Array
          http://www.taospaint.com/Animals/OnOurTrip.html    Animals

click on the dish
to see the
Very Large Array
Looking Back to Zion and Bryce (7/5):
           I just finished a web page about the day we spent exploring Zion National Park. We stayed three nights at the Best western in Mt Carmel Junction, Utah. From there we were about 20 miles from Zion and 70 miles from Bryce. That location is also about 90 miles from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. We opted not to visit the North side of the Canyon this trip. It rained after we had walked down to the bottom of one of Bryce Canyon's beautiful trails. To see our photos from Bryce Click Here.

Click On the Photo Above to See Our Day Exploring Zion

Click On the Photo Below for Bryce Canyon

16 mile traffic
backup on I-40


click on the backup
to watch us suffer

Tiffanie's Cross Stitch
Farmer Frani's Tomatoes (7/5):
           In a couple of weeks we will have lots of delicious home grown Tomatoes. Frani planted two small plants and now they are full of at least 30 tomatoes. I put up sticks to support the plants a couple days ago. Soon we will have bacon and tomato sandwiches for lunches.

click on tomatoes to see her garden   >>>

           Grandma got Tiffanie hooked on Cross Stitch and now she is getting really good at it.

<<<   click on Tiffanie to get a larger image
Animals We Saw (7/4):
          Click Here for a web page with photos of some of the animals we saw on our trip west through New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. Tiffanie took this fantastic photograph of these Buffalo on our way to Zion National Park.

Click Here for more pics
of animals we saw.

Photographer Tiffanie

Our Trip West - Day Two:
          CLICK HERE for a web page about our day at the Grand Canyon.

<<<   click on photo
              for more pics of the
                  Grand Canyon

Click on the Tower
to see inside
We Visited Mary Colter's Watchtower
before we left the canyon

Frani at Meteor Crater
Our Trip West Re-visited (7/3):
          I put together a web page with a few pics from Day One of the trip we took west last month with the triplets. CLICK HERE to see sites like the "Painted Desert", the "Petrified Forest", the "Giant Meteor Crater". Each day I'll try to re-create one additional day of our trip.

            Even on Day One, we encountered early monsoon rains - but most often it was off in the distance. The pic above was shot from high above the Giant Meteor Crater.
Watercolor Exhibitions (7/2):
          I just mailed off my entries to the Mississippi Watercolor Societies Grand National Exhibition in Jackson, Mississippi. Since we plan to travel to Jackson this October, I thought I'd try my luck with the juror down there. I entered three new watercolors that I've never entered anywhere before. The three images are below and on my 2009 Watercolor Page. That's the 3rd version of "Little Miss Sunshine" I've tried, but the other two are totally new.

"Little Miss Sunshine"

"Sunlit Shack"

"Blossom With Ball"

          Yesterday, I received notice that I have a watercolor in the Taos National. I'll ship the painting off tomorrow. The exhibit will be held at the Millicent Rogers Museum in Taos from August 9th, through September 30th. This will be my third time being accepted into the Taos National.

going to Taos

Tess at Zion

Tiffanie at Zion
Back From Our Tour of the West (7/01):
          I have not posted for a while because we took the triplets west in the mini-van to explore some of the West. In the next few days I'll post pics from our visits to sites like the "Painted Desert", the "Petrified Forest", the "Giant Meteor Crater", the "Grand Canyon", "Zion" and of course my favorite "Bryce Canyon". Even after we got back to Albuquerque - we drove South to check out the "Very Large Array".

<<<  On each side of the page are three smiling faces at Zion  >>>

VLA "Very Large Array" Pie Town, New Mexico

          More photos from the different parts of our trip later - after Poppie has had a chance to rest a bit. Now the triplets have to go back to Kansas to cut the weeds that grew while they were in New Mexico.

Timothy at Zion

Grandma and Poppie

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