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My Beautiful Bride



54 Years Together
Woody's Blog
  January 2018



 
Holland America Cruise 2017


 
2017  Blog  began March 2007
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Our Mountain From Our Backyard
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January 17 - New Drawing:
             I started a drawing, this morning, for a new watercolor - this time the musicians are not in New Orleans - They are in Malaga, Spain, one of the early ports on our cruise. That gives me three paintings to work on at the same time now.

         We loved this city - Málaga is a port city on southern Spain's Costa del Sol, known for its high-rise hotels and resorts jutting up from yellow-sand beaches. Looming over that modern skyline are the city’s 2 massive hilltop citadels, the Alcazaba and ruined Gibralfaro, remnants of Moorish rule. Lots of steps to climb - but so worth it for the view.The city also has large well landscaped parks plus a fantastic shopping area where I found these street musicians and even a Dunkin Donuts shop.
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January 16 - Entering Exhibits:

             Today was the deadline to enter the Louisiana Watercolor Society's 48th International Exhibition - I'm hedging my chances by entering seven watercolors - perhaps the juror John Salminen will take a liking to one of them.


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January 15 - Remembering New Orleans:
             We appreciate the old being preserved - especially after visiting Europe. In New Orleans we were impressed to see workers removing old plaster to expose beautiful bricks underneath. We could easily imagine how beautiful this would look when they finished. But, NO - the next day they were covering these beautiful bricks with new plaster - what a shame. But, perhaps I can get a watercolor from these photos.
         
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Breakfast in the French Quarter with a beautiful lady - it could not be better
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January 14 - We love Madeira:
              Our last port in Europe was an island in the Atlantic. Madeira, it belongs to Portugal, it is comprised of 4 islands off the northwest coast of Africa. We were there on another cruise. It's known for its namesake wine and warm, subtropical climate. The main island of Madeira is volcanic, green and rugged, with high cliffs, pebbly beaches and settlements on deltas of the Fajã River. The capital was our port - Funchal has botanic gardens and is known for its harbor. If we ever get a chance, we would gladly spend a week there especially at Christmas and New Years. They claim the largest fireworks show in the world. We love Madeira.  My bride and I rode the cable to the top of Madeira to see the gardens. We visited with a Polish couple on the ride up and a British couple on the way back down. Both couples were in Madeira for a week - we could easily do that.


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January 13 - Progress:
             I'm actually making progress on my newest watercolor of street music from the French Quarter in New Orleans. I'm only painting on Friday mornings - if I'd clean up my studio space then I might paint at home.

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January 12 - MasterWorks New Mexico:
             I urge all New Mexico artists to enter the 2018 MasterWorks New Mexico Exhibition - this is the most prestigious art show in New Mexico. It is only open to artists living in New Mexico.
 
        This is the 20th Annual MasterWorks New Mexico Show. As always it is being held in the Hispanic Art Bldg. at EXPO-NM - It runs from March 30-April 21, 2018.  Prospectus is available on http://www.masterworksnm.org/
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Standard Size Entries are Due - January 27, 2018, at 5 PM

         NMWS Members: Please NOTE - ALL Standard-sized painting watercolor entries must be done online, through the New Mexico Watercolor Society website and payment may be online via credit card or PayPal. Or checks may be mailed to Ruth Vreeland, File Mgr. See mailing address on the MW prospectus on the NMWS website: 
https://www.nmwatercolorsociety.org

         If you need your watercolors photographed for entry - I will be at the Unitarian Church these Friday mornings:
 Jan 12, 19 and 26. Remember the entry deadline is Jan 27 -5 PM

My phone number is available, in the membership section on the NMWS website.
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Eating Good:
             Tonight's low carb dinner - who says you can't eat good on a diet - Oh, I forgot to mention that I have a glass of wine with dinner each night - everything is important: flavor, color, texture and presentation.


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January 11 - Diet Working:

             Only 10 days into my diet and I'm down 12 pounds - I'm going to stick with this and then keep the weight off. I feel so much better already.
         Dr Atkins - South Beach (Sort Of) Protean for 10 days - then ease up adding some fruit and salads. Mostly I totally avoid Bread, Potatoes, Deep Fried Stuff and all the goodies I love. For lunch, I'll have cottage cheese, then for dinner it's salmon with broccoli and sliced tomatoes. At night I have sugar free jello. Last night we had taco salad with out the chips.

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January 10 - Rembering Cagliari:
             One port we enjoyed on our cruise was Cagliari which is the capital city of the Italian island of Sardinia. It' s known for the hilltop Castello, a medieval walled quarter situated high over the rest of the town. We climbed the steps to the top and found a fantastic view. Lots of walking this dayand several beautiful churches to visit. That's our ship off in the distance.
        
On the 34th day of our cruise (Nov 23) we arrived in Cagliari, Sardinia. Cagliari is known for the hilltop Castello, a medieval walled quarter situated high over the rest of the town. Architectural highlights include the 13th-century Cagliari Cathedral. After a breakfast of crepes and strawberries - we were prepared for a long walk and a lot of climbing up the many, many steps to the top of the city.


     
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January 9 - Diet is Working:

             My 3 egg breakfast omelette works - the diet is working - I'm below 220 lbs - 17 lbs to go - I'm shooting for 203 lbs.






January 8 - Unitarian Church Exhibit:
             Please stop in to see the show at the First Unitarian Church on Comanche and Carlisle in Albuquerque. NE Showing of NM Watercolor Society Artists hanging at the First Unitarian Church. The show will be hanging until February 17, 2018. Opening reception was held yesterday.






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January 7 - MasterWorks of New Mexico:
             I just made my decision on what three watercolors I'm entering into MasterWorks of New Mexico. New Mexico artist - be sure to enter - the deadline is 5:00 PM on Jan 27th.



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January 6 - Steve's Demo:
             Todays demo at the NMWS meeting was about using Yupo with watercolor. Steve Maize is a past president of the NMWS and and accomplished artist in using Yupo.
        What is Yupo: YUPO is the 100% recyclable, waterproof, tree-free Synthetic Paper with attributes and properties that make it the perfect solution for a variety of marketing, design, packaging and labeling needs.
        According to Cheap Joes: Yupo Synthetic Paper is 100% recyclable, waterproof and tree-free. It is incredibly durable and stain-resistant. This extraordinary surface also resists tearing and buckling and it remains perfectly flat. 
Yupo provides visual artists with an amazingly beautiful canvas offering smooth, bright white opaques and wonderful translucents.
        Yupo gives a unique alternative to traditional watercolor papers. Because it's waterproof, using watercolors on Yupo gives a watercolorist the opportunity to lay down and pick up color, creating layers of interest for the viewer. Generally speaking use more color and less water. When finished, spray fix your watercolor painting. Your painting may be framed without glass, making it lightweight, easy to ship and hang.

       

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January 5 - Painting Today:
             I'm actually going to apply water and pigment to paper this morning. The MasterWorks of New MasterWorks New Mexico entry deadline is on Jan 27th and I won't here the results from WFWS till Feb 7th - So, I can't roll those entries over to MasterWorks - I need some new paintings.
         The liquid mask was applied before I start painting to preserve the white areas of the composition.
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Back to Painting Again:
             Here's the progress I made on my two watercolors this morning - painting with my friends at the Unitarian Church.

   







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Weight Loss:
             The diet I started on the 1st of this year is actually working. I've lost 7 pounds in the last 5 days - 19 pounds still to go. My normal meals, on this diet, Breakfast: 3 scrambled eggs with bit of ham and green chili, lots of coffee or tea - Lunch: Cottage Cheese - Dinner: Salmon, broccoli and red wine - Later: some sugar free Jello. Tonight it's a grilled pork chop for dinner. I'm keeping the meat to 4 oz per meal. After another ten days I'll start adding some fruit and salads.
         What I totally must avoid are: Bread, Rice, Potatoes and any deep fried food - all of which I totally love. So, No Apple Fritters, Cookies, Candy, Chips, Pasta, etc. I must stay away from stopping at Dunkin's Donuts, Cracker Barrel, and Weck's.
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January 4:
             One port we were glad to visit was Dubrovnik, Croatia - we were looking forward to seeing Dubrovnik since my bride is 1/2 Croatia. (3rd generation on her fathers side)

     

Dubrovnik, Croatia
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Sunrise Albuquerque:
             It's great waking up in New Mexico - So glad to be home again.



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January 3:
             These are the two watercolors I'm taking to the exhibit at the Unitarian Church. Twelve artists from the New Mexico Watercolor Society will have work on display there till February 17th.


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Starting to Paint Again:
             I'm finally getting back to painting - I started a drawing of Sara Gordon's daughter (Sara was a student of mine about 15 years ago) I do hope I remember how to paint. She's a beautiful young lady - I hope I do her proud. I also started on a second drawing for a watercolor - This time it's Street Music from our recent trip to New Orleans.

     
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January 2:
     
It was really great spending Christmas in Kansas City with our family. The snow is fun to see and shoot pics of Blossom in it - but, the temp was 1 degree when we drove away on Wednesday morning. What a delight to arive in Albuquerque on Thursday to warm, sunny 60 degree weather. Here is a pic of Blossom in the snow before it turned bitter cold. That's our beautiful grand daughter Tiffanie with us on Christmas day.

   
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New Friends:

             Here's a wonderful photo of dinner with our new cruise buddies at dinner on Halloween - Thank You to Robin & Tom for the photo and your kind friendship.





Barcelona Protest - November 5, 2017:
         We were fortunate to arive at the Sagrada Familia church when a protest was in progress. It was one of the most peaceful and dignified events I have ever witnessed. The Barcelona protesters were calling for the release of jailed Catalan independence leaders held in prison for their roles in the banned independence referendum. Wearing yellow ribbons to signify support in front of Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia church, while the jailed leaders’ families made speeches. The protesters crossed their arms in front of their faces. Each face was marked with a red X across the lips. Catalonia’s two main grassroots independence groups were protesting, under the slogan “Freedom for the political prisoners”, after their leaders were remanded in custody on charges of sedition. The protest is seen as a test of how the independence movement’s support has fared since the Catalan government declared independence on 27 October, prompting Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy to fire its members, dissolve the regional parliament and call new elections.

       

Barcelona Protest
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Camera Trouble:
            Early in our cruise, my Nikon's batteries were not holding a charge. I assumed they were old so I located a camera store in Lisbon and purchased two new batteries. Not much later I found out the new batteries would not re-charge in the camera. I found another camera store in Malaga, Spain and bought a new camera and it is also "red". Between the new camera and my i-phone I was able to get plenty of photos. Later I figured out that my Nikon no longer charges batteries. So, when we were back in the old US of A - I bought an external charger for Nikon batteries. It works great and I have 4 charged batteries now. So, I was able to use my trusty Nikon to shoot photos of street musicians over the 3 days we were in New Orleans on our way home. Now my bride has a new "hand me down" red camera which she is getting pretty good at using.


The photo shows Frani learning to use her new
"hand me down" red camera in Casablanca.

Rough Seas:
             The entire cruise was not all smooth - crossing the Atlantic was at times rough - It did not bother me - but my bride had a few bad days - next time we will take a much "larger ship". Larger ships are more stable. The pool on the Lido deck tells the story better than any words.


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January 1, 2018:
             Lots of Great Memories from our recent 50 day cruise on the Veendam. 78 days away from home really wore my bride out. Dion's Pizza (Double Sausage plus Green Chili) was our first dinner when we got home. Dion's makes the best pizza especially with green chili.

          
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Sale at Dillard's Today: 
             So, my bride had to go shopping. The line was a block long at 10:00 AM.


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Barcelona:
             Barcelona is a city of fantastic architecture - Antonio Gaudi had a large influence on this city - I'm so glad we got to spend two full days there. This trip we had time to visit his famous church - Sagrada Familia (still under construction), his apartment building (Casa Milà, better known as La Pedrera) as well as the Gaudi Park (Park Güell).

    

Antonio Gaudi  1852 - 1926
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Shadows:

             I love painting shadows - this shot is of tourists, in Barcelona, taking photos in front of Antonio Gaudi's apartment building (Casa Milà, better known as La Pedrera). I'm quite sure it will become a watercolor soon.









































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