Johnny Morris Wonders of Wildlife, Voted America’s Best New Attraction – No Surprise There!
Walking down the blue staircase at Wonders of Wildlife is ethereal. I was on the staircase, Jan. 5, 2018, to hear Missouri Lt. Gov. Mike Parson read the formal announcement from USA Today that Wonders of Wildlife was voted America’s Best New Attraction in 2017.
Quite the feat since WOW opened to the public on Sept. 22, 2017. So, two months on the books, and it received more votes than any other new attraction 2017 AND in the history of USA Today in that category.
Of course, I was hoping to spot Johnny Morris among the dignitaries at the announcement, but he was traveling, “on assignment” getting more Goliath Groupers for the aquarium with pro-fisherman Bill Dance. In Johnny’s stead, he wrote a letter for Parsons to read at the ceremony.
The award announcement came with great fanfare and a donuts & coffee bar. A banner dropped the length of the 37-foot aquarium at the Great Barrier Reef Exhibit to announce We did it! and inside the tank, a diver held a sign, “America’s Best New Attraction,” while curious fish swam by. Continue reading Johnny Morris Wonders of Wildlife Best New Attraction
We sold a dreamy framed print of Pharaoh’s Horses on eBay. My husband remembers seeing it on the wall in his grandparent’s parlor, and we were hoping to find someone who would treasure it, which we did … but first came a nightmare eBayer.
Hubby photographed the art for eBay and packed it for mailing: two of the five scary steps to selling on eBay:
Write item description for listing,
Package and weigh item for shipping,
List item with proper information and photos,
Ship sold item securely to Buyer.
Selling on eBay with fingers crossed
Even before my nightmare saga, we had misgivings concerning the pitfalls of selling online due to the drama of mailing fragile antiques.
The frame had a delicate gessoed border. The wood frame had a fragile veneer. And the rolled, antique glass was fragile. Hubby cut round foam spacers for the inset glass and customized the packing materials for travel into the great unknown, the postal system.
Laptop art, perfect for binge watching Wicked Tuna
Often, I am busy on my laptop designing digital frames whenever I watch Wicked Tunaon the National Geographic channel. If I end up with something to show at the end of the program, I justify the bucket of time I dumped watching TV.
After I completed my first pixel art of The Scream, Edvard Munch’s iconic masterpiece, I thought it needed a frame. So, I made a frame for it while I watched Wicked Tuna, and I recolored my Scream from Munch’s classic palette to my favorite Jelly Bean palette of colors.
I’ve asked myself, Why do I binge-watch Wicked Tuna?
Normally, I would term my digital recreation of Edvard Munch’s masterpiece The Scream a copycat, but today to recreate the art or photographs of others in a surprising or unexpected way is termed “transformative art.” Transformative art has a fair use copyright standing in many cases.
My transformative art of Edvard Munch’s The Scream came about after watching an Adobe Live downstream featuring a Photoshop Contest with free digital brushes, designed by Kyle T. Webster. Kyle designed the brushes after seven Munch brushes curated at the Munch Museum/Oslo.
I downloaded the digital brushes from Adobe for Photoshop, and had dreams of creating a piece of digital art in the Munch style for the Adobe contest. I made my sketch, and started to paint with my Wacom pen.
However, my computer is a dinosaur, with a slow processor. Every stroke I took with the Munch brushes was like watching a swath of color slowly populating across my screen. As grand as it was to play with the Adobe Munch brushes, it was far too tedious for me, so I abandoned my sketch.
The Scream by Munch has proved itself a timeless classic due to its original expression of a universal theme, panic. Munch painted from life. He was walking with two friends on a bridge, and suddenly he heard nature screaming at him and deafening his thoughts. It was a singular experience that found its way onto his canvas.
Munch painted four different versions of The Scream. One hangs in Oslo at the Munch Museum.
Edvard Munch’s The Scream is one of the most recognizable paintings ever. One of his four renditions of The Scream hangs in the Oslo Munch Museum, which houses the largest collection of Munch’s works in existence.
Also, the museum has curated seven of Edvard’s oil brushes. Adobe recently commissioned artist and art teacher Kyle T. Webster to replicate digital versions of Edvard’s brushes for Adobe Photoshop CC and Sketch.
These brushes are available to you free to download. Adobe sponsored a contest for a Scream 5 in July 2017, and offered these digital brushes for artists to create a unique take on Edvard’s original work.
I like to Volunteer at Bass Pro Legends of Golf, and thought you might want to know why. Think green lawns, sandy bunkers, legendary pros, media, eclectic crowds, divine landscapes, swans, boats, ponds, and waterfalls — christened with rain — all that at the PGA TOUR® Champions Bass Pro Shops® Legends of Golf® at Big Cedar® Lodge, played on premier courses at Top of the Rock and Buffalo Ridge.
Why I Volunteer
Volunteer? Friends and family chuckle when I volunteer at the tournament because it cost $50 to volunteer and it takes 3-5 days of my personal time. Some think I am starstruck, but – no. Volunteering for me is the big picture of what this extraordinary event brings to me personally, to golfing, and to our area.
The tournament is held in April, my birthday month, and it’s a gift of entertainment to me.
It supports Missouri tourism and conservation.
Love the color green, and the most beautiful greens in the Ozarks sprout in the spring.
Love hearing the birds, watching the swans, and walking the beautiful courses that host the tournament.
You never know what to expect. This year Kid Rock played in a Skins Shootout with Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, and Lee Trevino. You had to be there. I’m banking on Mark Wahlberg next year.
I volunteer to celebrate the conservation efforts of Johnny and Jeannie Morris to make golfing a premier event in the Ozarks. [Fun fact: Golf became an Olympic sport back at the 2016 Games in Rio.]
I like crowds and meeting interesting people.
Top of the Rock overlooks Table Rock Lake, an idyllic setting.
The tournament expands each year. (Johnny Morris recently announced his purchase of the Legends of Golf franchise for another four years.)
It’s meritorious to volunteer at this prestigious golf tournament that not only celebrates golf but also raises money for education at College of the Ozarks.
Finally, you get back much more than you give, thanks to the generous support of Johnny Morris and the tournament sponsors.
Easter arrives at springtime. For me, spring brings marshmallow Peeps, chocolate bunnies, daffodils, dandelions, colored eggs, egg hunts, fishing, hiking, boating, canoeing, ball caps, flip-flops, summer clothes, summer colors, golf, tennis, camping, traveling, friends, flowers, sun glasses, plein aire watercolors, graduations, parties – and family.
Is it Easter yet?
Living in the Ozarks means I enjoy the best spring offers. Our lilac bush is blooming, and we bought a new lawn mower that’s still in the box. Too early to mow.
Spring comes with sounds. Canaries, titmice, woodpeckers, robins, and cardinals are daily sites at our bird feeders. The canaries made an early return from their winter’s journey, adding splashes of yellow to the backyard. Titmice and woodpeckers stick the winter out in the Ozarks. As well, some robins and cardinals winter here. All we have to do is step outdoors or open a window to hear spring.
We have a squirrel nesting in our back yard – and a possum!
Best of all, spring is when we celebrate Easter and the resurrection of Jesus Christ and His gift of new life evermore.
Slow down for Easter
Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, just came and went.
I say to myself as I do each year at this time, “Let’s not rush through this epic event.” Do some bird watching. Watch Mother Nature wake up from her winter nap. Journal an Easter Bible Study.
This week read the Gospel records on the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ that changed history forever.
Pixel Animation and Motion Design are mesmerizing and fun to watch on web pages if you like text and art dancing around your website like I do.
So, I made my first pixel art animation, Fishy, Fishy in the Sea. Plot: Fish are happily swimming on an idyllic day when a seemingly peaceful air balloon floating overhead is piloted by a fisherman who pulls out a fishing reel and plunks a lure into the water. Water splashes. Fish scatter. End of story. The animation loops endlessly.
Famous Motion Designers Demonstrate Their Work Process, Live
Earlier in March, AdobeLive from Paris streamed video of motion designers working with animation. Designers included: Made By Radio; Alexandra Lund; Lucile Patron; and Cyril Izran. During the 3-day broadcasts, the designers worked in their favorite Adobe animation programs and with their favorite tools and plugins.
During Lucile Patron’s video on Day 1, I caught the bug to design a pixel art animation. I wanted to join the party. During the live stream, hosts Rufus and Michael encourage viewers to submit samples of their animations and motion design for critique and to win a year’s subscription to Adobe CC.
Digital art and design just got more creative with Adobe Creative Cloud. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I subscribed to Adobe CC. Buying a subscription was happenstance because I needed a current version of Dreamweaver, which now resides on Adobe’s Creative Cloud.
Now I am walking on a cloud. I grab free fonts from TypeKit, play with color palettes at Adobe Color CC, share my portfolio online and follow my favorite designers on Adobe’s Behance, integrate Adobe iPhone and iPad apps with Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign, etc.
The sky is the limit. Adobe even provides templates to put up your website if you have a URL. I made a PatriciaWiskur website with Behance in a matter of hours, thanks to Adobe templates.
Discover the Adobe Community on Behance.net
To top it off, you can watch tutorials on Behance Live and YouTube/Adobe CC channel.
My favorites are replays from AdobeLive, France, with Michael Chaize, Creative Cloud Evangelist, and Rufus Deuchler, Principal Manager of Creative Cloud Evangelism Adobe. They film artists and designers from London, Amsterdam, Paris, Barcelona, etc., as the artists work in real time.
Michael and Rufus are engaging moderators. Not only are they Adobe Creative Cloud experts but also artists, photographers, and designers who bring substance and humor to the creative sessions.
Favorite Adobe Live Streams from France
Adobe Live gives an inside glimpse into how the pros approach an art project. Filmed live from Paris and California, the Adobe team films artists who work from concept to finished art, using sketch pads, iPads, Apple Pencils, computers, tablets, and Adobe CC. The live streams are lengthy, two-hours each, and provide a rare insight into an artist’s working style.
These are some of my favorite Adobe CC streams from Paris, that you can replay on YouTube:
Maite Franchi: creates three illustrations from sketches with Adobe Illustrator, working with symbols, original color palettes, and design tips; then adds texture to her art in Photoshop (watch Maite’s AdobeLive YouTube video to see how she executes her bird house in Illustrator and Photoshop)
Pieter Ceizer: demonstrates typography and hand lettering – Pieter is a superstar from the Netherlands now living in Paris, with clients such as Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, Coca-Cola, etc. Visit his website or see him on Instagram.
Swerve from the UK: free-lance designer with his own popular YouTube tutorial channel and eclectic style
Tina Touli: London based illustrator. In three sessions Tina creates a poster and pamphlet design to celebrate the 30th year anniversary of Adobe Illustrator – must see all three videos (link to the third of three session).
Illustration Tee-Shirt Art Streamed Live from San Francisco
In February, AdobeLive streamed from San Francisco, with talented U.S. designers and their creative process, during a 3-day marathon that included portfolio revue, tee-shirt art, drawings for free subscriptions to Adobe CC, and tips and resources. Check out replays of the event artists on YouTube/Adobe CC or Adobe Live:
Buffalo [AKA, bison] roaming the range in old western films is shear movie magic. I loved the pivotal movie moment when cowboys would ride over a mountain top and see herds of cattle or bison below with the soundtrack playing in the background…Oh, give me a home, where the buffalo roam….
I found those films fascinating in my childhood. Beloved cowboys Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, and Hopalong Cassidy named their horses, carried a guitar strapped to their saddle, made grand entrances into a saloon, and rode down trails amidst rolling sage brush.
Flash forward to the Ozarks today. Thanks to brilliant conservation, you can ride or drive to a mountain top in Missouri and Arkansas and see a herd of bison below in a nature preserve like Dogwood Canyon or spot them grazing along a ridge, like Buffalo Ridge Golf Course.
Famous Sculptor Designs Most Famous Buffalo
Renowned sculptor James Earl Fraser, artist of the famous End of the Trail bronze, also designed the buffalo on the collectible Buffalo Nickle (minted between 1913 and 1938). The Fraser buffalo on the nickle is the most famous buffalo of all.
Of course, there are the beloved Buffalo wings, Buffalo Bills, and Buffalo, NY.
Bison roaming Ozark mountains and nature preserves remind us to conserve nature and to celebrate our pathfinders, cowboys and Native Americans who once slept beneath the stars.
Little known facts about the American bison
American bison is the formal name for the American buffalo.
In addition to being a major food mainstay. the American Indians found a use for nearly every part of the bison: buffalo robes, tools, utensils, and implements for hunting and war; hides for canoes and various styles of portable huts and teepees.
American bison are gregarious. It was not uncommon for herds to grow to 1,000 bison and for herds to migrate together and form a herd of two- to three-thousand.
Known as herbivores, they snack on grass every two hours, moving between snacks to greener grass, throwing in a nap along the way.
The American bison have distant relatives in Europe.
Mason and Dixon journal about spotting bison when they surveyed the Mason-Dixon line.
Bison share international lineage with the Asian water buffalo and the African buffalo.
The average bison weighs over a 1,000 pounds.
They are protective of their space. Stay out of it, or you may find a 1,000 pound buffalo charging at you.
The average lifespan of the American bison is between 15 and 25 years.