Banana

I had a breakthrough of sorts last weekend in my enactment of water color layering.  I can only describe the process as an act of faith — that is, of trusting that the object of the painting will eventually look the way one wants it to (it really does not come into focus until near the end).

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I also enjoyed noticing that the banana (the real one in front of me) had some orange glow in it, a revelation that occurred only after an enforced relaxation of my thought process and a simultaneous deep-looking.

Weekly Love Affair.3

Bell & Ross dials have always piqued my interest, though they are usually square in shape (a hallmark of the brand).

However, B&R has lately offered some round dial beauties and this chronograph is just amazing to look at — I really want it.

Bell & Ross

Note that many chronographs are too thick off of the wrist, but this appears to be more streamlined, which puts it dangerously close to the top of my wish list.

Bell & Ross side view

Beautiful Manhattan from the air

I grew up in western New York, a seven hour drive from New York City, and visited my grandparents in Queens twice a year. Manhattan became an obsession from as early as I can remember, and even after having lived in Manhattan for many years (I no longer do) I still remain mesmerized by it on a deep level.

On a recent flight home I took the following photo, which after seeing it later seemed to reflect the mystery and beauty of the city.

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Water Color Journey

I’ve embarked in earnest on a water color painting journey, something I’ve threatened to do for years but until now couldn’t quite get started on.

A major inspiration has been the artist Stan Miller. I’ve watched his 20+ videos on YouTube and I’m now “off the couch” and at the table. Here is an amazing demonstration of his skills and teaching, and if you are an amateur artist (or not) you will marvel at what he does here.

My grandfather was an extraordinary artist and I owe any talent I have to him, I believe.  But talent by itself is not sufficient — one must develop it, build fundamentals, and then refine x 1,000,000 repetitions. There is no shortcut.

And so I’ve been following Stan’s exercises, such as learning how to go from light to dark and vice versa, and how to use the water and the paint to build gradations of complexion. Here is my practice:

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The face is a simple lesson the power of getting the “value” right — Stan loves that word, “value” — meaning its level of darkness against neighboring paint. But of course he is right, as the face takes shape even without detail, which is his point. A detailed painting with values that are off (e.g., not enough contrast) will look lousy.

Although I humbled myself and did these exercises as a first order of getting started, I could not resist applying some of the techniques to a subject that I happen to be obsessed with: George Washington, our nation’s first president.

And so I thought I would try to apply the lessons on “value” and using only one color to a portrait of GW, in this case wearing a Christmas hat.

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The face drops off the bottom of the page because this was not supposed to be a serious attempt. In any event, I am on my way and look forward to continuing the journey.

Weekly Love Affair.2

This just in from MeisterSinger — The Peter Henlein edition.

I love this watch, and only 15 are being made (image courtesy of monochrome-watches.com).

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MeisterSinger is known for watches with only one hand that tells the time in five-minute increments around the dial (no seconds hand either).

Here is an example of one of my favorites of the brand:

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In the Peter Henlein edition, the brand has added the effect of two hands in a creative and ingenious way — the inner ring of Roman numerals and a second accent on the meistersinger-peter-henlein-up-closecentral hand that points to the inner ring in order to indicate the hour.

And in order to attain COSC certification as an excellent time keeper, a seconds hand was also added, which I think is great because it provides the only continuous movement one can enjoy in a non-skeletonized watch.

I did not see information regarding the thickness of the watch (that is, how high off the wrist it wears), and I hope it is no more than 12 mm and preferably 10 mm. In any event, it immediately became the week’s love affair.