Archive for February, 2022

Mountains and Elk

Bennett’s Branch of the Sinnemahoning

I was enroute to paint the mural mentioned in last entry. My usual way to travel to this area is to cut across very rural roads through the Quehanna Wild Area. This early morning was to not be any different.

The roads do not have any winter maintenance, but that didn’t deter the jeep. We began the travel! Most of the roads were passable with fresh snow over existing ice, but the snow gave traction. However, there were a few areas where I hoped to not meet anybody else doing the same as me.

I entered the Caledonia Pike where a little maintenance had occurred. I would see one vehicle on the short section I traveled, and it was an eighteen-wheeler. What the heck! I exited and would drive along the Medix Run. No problems.

Upon reaching my destination at Driftwood, Pennsylvania, I smiled for the entire back of the jeep was white with snow.

While staying in Driftwood and the traveling about later I would see two flocks of turkeys, two deer, squirrels, a groundhog walking on frozen snow and about thirty elk. The first day at the Driftwood Senior Center I would watch seven elk feeding and bedding for over two hours. the second evening I watched three elk wandering around eventually crossing the railroad track.

The time arrived to leave the center for the mural was complete, so I travel around looking for photo opportunities. I would park wherever I could and walk around to take photos of the mountains and creek…beautiful country.

Interesting ice formation

Dent’s Run

I traveled up and along Dent’s Run until the road was nothing but ice. I elected to turn around rather than hance a mishap.

Elk track

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A Mural at Driftwood

Hmm. a trip to the high country of Pennsylvania…

Last autumn I received a message from Linda Burrows of Driftwood, Pennsylvania. She is the director of the Driftwood Senior center. Within the message was a question; asking if I might be interested in painting a mural at the center. At first, I was not sure if I wished to take on such an endeavor, after all the largest painting I had ever completed was on a forty-eight-inch panel and that was painted horizontally.

The art was to depict a tree known often as a Memorial Tree. Names of past members can be placed on the limbs as a permanent memorial. Linda wanted a more realistic tree on her wall with some scenery. Traditionally, memorial trees are often done as a silhouette. The mural was to be memorial in honor of a man who had helped much within the center and was loved by all. His name; Wayne Johnson. I would paint an image of Wayne fishing a native trout stream.

I would ask some questions and eventually agreed to do the art. I tried to figure out my needs to paint such a large piece. The wall area is seven by seven.

I messaged her with a very rough sketch for the art and she agreed that was along the line as to what she was thinking.

Linda was gracious when I said I would attempt the project but needed to wait until 2022 for hunting seasons were coming to reality and we had holidays to contend with. Weather would play a part, too.

After a very cold start to the year a break was reported and the trip to Driftwood was on. I was on site for several days. I was blessed to meet some very nice senior citizens. I even begged them with an offer several times. the offer was for someone to pose nude…there were no volunteers, but some laughing with comments.

I worked long hours on the project working from around ten A.M. the first day for almost twelve hours. I cleaned up and tried to sleep and after about two hours of sleep total, I arose and began at two thirty in the morning through the day until around six thirty. I cleaned up and laid my head down to sleep at eight o’clock and was out immediately.

One aspect of this task that I hadn’t planned for was the pain of lifting my arm overhead and climbing a small ladder and painting from the floor. I was aching a lot, but I stayed true and ignored all pains the best I could.

I woke up the following morning a little after four and began to finish up followed by removing all the necessary items to do the job. I swept and mopped the floor since I had time before people began rising around nine.

Linda arrived followed shortly by the wife of Wayne. When the two came away from the art I could see tears in the eyes. Of course, I had some mist, too.

Leaving the center was sad for me, for I truly enjoyed those in attendance. salt of the earth kinds of people! This country needs more people like the Driftwood Senior Center patrons.

As a plus for the painting, I saw seven elk the first evening and three on the second evening while walking outside for breaks. I would see many more after leaving the site.

Thank you all at the Driftwood Senior center for their kindness. The address is: Driftwood Senior center; 7806 Bridge Street; Driftwood, PA 15832. The phone is: 814-546-2331.

If interested in seeing the art contact Linda at the center for hours and details.

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In recent days I completed my seventh CD entitled, ” COUNTRY CLASSICS FOR BOB.” I began planning for this venture last summer, I believe.

Bob Miller is my stepfather. He has had some bad issues to deal with in recent years. In December of 2018, he was within inches of being killed in a freak woodland incident. A tree fell grazing hm and breaking his ankle. He still has hardware in his leg from that time.

The following spring in 2019 another issue came to be and by early summer it was confirmed he had cancer. We were told the cancer was terminal. However, here it is in early 2022, and Bob is still with us. He has been taking chemo seems like forever. The treatment makes Bob weak and frail, but he is able to still keep functioning.

Bob has always loved country music, so I decided to do classic country music as a form of dedication. He loves the music and sings along with it.

Bob’s first fall gobbler. I was honored to have called the bird in to range.

The song selection features country songs performed by the likes of: Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash; Ray price; Charley Pride; Eddy Arnold; Mel Tillis and others.

All the instruments involved in this CD along with vocals and harmony vocals were completed by myself. You’ll hear the sounds of acoustic and electric guitars, bass guitar, mandolins, keyboards, strings, drums, trumpets and piano. The songs have anywhere from eight to twelve individual tracks combined into one song, so it is easily to see a lot of time is involved with the making of a CD.

Those interested with obtaining a CD can get one with a ten-dollar donation to pick up. Add another five dollars if to mail. My address is: 481 Butler Road, Kittanning, PA 16201.

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Very recently I decided to paint a Cardinal. I sketched the image on a gessoed panel I had leaning against a wall. A short break when I began slapping the paint. The idea of including Dogwood blossoms came as an afterthought.

I have included a few “progress” photos.

The sketch on a prepared panel.

Two hours in the “slapping paint” process.

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