Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf at Big Cedar

Golfing legends Daly, Allen, Chapman, Frost, and caddies at hole 13 at Mountain Top Gary Player golf course
Sail it away! Mountain Top drive at tee box 13  with Daly, Allen, Chapman, Frost, and caddies

They call it Mountain Top! A links-style course designed by Gary Player and Johnn Morris – a splash of Scotland in the Ozarks

Jesper Parnevik and caddies at Mountain Top
Jesper Parnevik at Mountain Top, one of three venues for  Legends of Golf 2018

Legends of Golf Tournament of Bass Pro Shops at Big Cedar

Now in its fifth year of sponsorship, Johnny Morris and Bass Pro Shops rolled out the greens for another great Legends of Golf Tournament with PGA Tour Champions.

The golfers are paired for competition over 4-days (67-holes) at three Johnny Morris courses:  Top of the Rock (9-hole par-3), Mountain Top (13-hole par 3), and Buffalo Ridge (18-holes). Players compete for a prize fund of $2.4 million.

The tournament week begins with a classic pro-am tournament. A Civil War cannon is fired over Table Rock Lake to commence play.

Tournament proceeds contribute to foster clean water and air conservation and fund education for students at College of the Ozarks.

Golfers Tee Up in Sun, Wind, and Rain

John Daly tees off in a ribbed stocking hat and flamingo pants in chilly morning temps
John Daly tees off in a stocking hat and flamingo pants

Buffalo Ridge had a warming tent at the first tee box for 1st Round Groupings early Thursday morn due to chilly weather. Golfers walked from the tent to the tee box laden with gloves, jackets, and stocking hats.

Bernhard Langer broke out into a few jumping jacks
Bernhard Langer warms up with jumping jacks

Langer warmed up with jumping jacks before his first round of golf. Caddie daughter Christina dressed like a fluffy snowman in her jacket, ear muffs, and gloves. Tom Lehman’s daughter Rachael also caddied snug in a stocking hat for Thursday morning opening play at the Ridge.

Iron work decorates the stonework at Top Of The Rock
Top of the Rock: View from a terrace to the driving range and sink hole, AKA Cathedral of Nature

Golfer Pairing 

Billy Andrade & Joe Durant
Paul Broadhurst & Kirk Triplett
Olin Browne & Steve Pate
Mark Brooks & John Huston
Mark Calcavecchia & Woody Austin
Roger Chapman & David Frost
John Daly & Michael Allen
Marco Dawson & Gene Sauers
Dan Forsman & Mike Reid
Carlos Franco & Vijay Singh
Jerry Smith & Jeff Sluman
Paul Goydos & Kevin Sutherland
Jay Haas & Peter Jacobsen
Hale Irwin & Wes Short Jr.
Bruce Fleisher & Tom Jenkins
Lee Janzen & Rocco Mediate
Brandt Jobe & Scott McCarron
Miguel Angel Jiménez & José María Olazábal
Tom Kite & Gil Morgan
Davis Love III & Scott Verplank
Sandy Lyle & Ian Woosnam
Tom Lehman & Bernhard Langer
Larry Mize & Scott Parel
Andy North & Tom Watson
Mark O’Meara & Colin Montgomerie
Jerry Pate & Ben Crenshaw
Corey Pavin & Duffy Waldorf
Tom Pernice & Bob Tway
Wayne Levi & Glen Day
Jim Thorpe & Dana Quigley

Sunday and trophy time: winning duo Triplett and Broadhurst won by a stroke over Lehman and Langer. In a dream shot, Triplett sailed the ball from the bunker to hole it for a birdie on 18.

Bronze trophy for Legends of Golf is displayed at Mountain Top Golf Course in Branson
Triplett and Broadhurst names inscribed on the Legends of Golf tournament trophy

Snapshots from Legends 2018

Tournament with Top Spin: April 22-28, 2018

Big Cedar and Bass Pro Shops crowned this year’s tournament with a venue of family activities.

Over 8,000 attended the Tiger Woods Kids’ Golf Clinic at Buffalo Ridge. Children chimed out for Tiger to do a “Homer Gilmore”! Who would have thought? And fishing pro Bill Dance taught fishing techniques. Games, activities, and water tanks were set up around the grounds for kids to test their skills.

Dude Perfect media event, Buffalo Ridge
Dude Perfect media event, Buffalo Ridge

Sports media superstars Dude Perfect drew a crowd of 4,500 youngsters to Top of The Rock. And Chic Filet handed out free chicken sandwiches to the crowd, a perfect family day.

A little bit of country was on the program Wednesday evening at the Academy: on stage, Chris Janson and Larry the Cable Guy, topped off with a patriotic airshow and fireworks.

Name dropping: a Celebrity Shootout capped Sunday’s play with Jack Nicklaus, Kid Rock, Gary Player, Mark Wahlberg, Lee Trevino, Willie Robertson, Larry Nelson, Austin Dillon, Richard Childress, David Graham, John Paul Morris, Johnny Miller, and Larry the Cable Guy. Celebrity winners: Johnny Miller and Larry the Cable Guy

Kid Rock, Top of the Rock, Skins Game
Kid Rock sighting, Top of the Rock Pro Shop
Tournament Highlights

Tournament highlights for me are the golfers, the people, and the viewpoint of the courses.
GOLFERS – It was fun watching Gary Player golf with Jack Nicklaus and Lee Trevino at the Mountain Top Course designed by Gary Player.

PEOPLE – I was watching Tom Watson on the greens at hole one when out of the blue, a suit walked down the fairway inside the ropes. It had a chit-chat with Watson and walked back to the Chapel, the temporary media center and command central.
As the suit passed by, I heard Feherty’s voice. I smiled to see David Feherty from the Golf Channel at Top of the Rock, and it reminded me I was watching a high profile PGA tournament on the side of a mountain in the Ozarks.
I met amazing people who travel the world following golf tournaments, and had come to watch the PGA Champions. The conversations were great.
I met fans from my home state of Wisconsin who came to watch fellow Wisconsin natives Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly and I rode the charter with young fans and friends of Dana Quigley.

VIEWPOINT – The mounds of rocks, slices of mountains, flowers, shrubs, trees, ponds, waterfalls, stone bridges, geese … all create a landscape that woos me whenever I am at the Johnny Morris suite of courses. It is not uncommon to see fans simply standing still in the middle of a walkway, gawking at the beauty, snapping photos of the viewpoints — and the golfers.

Tournament Volunteers Party with Johnny Morris

Fresh flowers on tables at volunteer party
Another great tournament and my favorite year to volunteer.
At the volunteer dinner following the tournament, Johnny Morris and Tournament Director Kirk Elmquist surprised volunteers announcing a thank-you gift of either golfing at the new Crenshaw Ozark Nationals course or a family outing at Fun Mountain. Applause.
Dinner-on-the-lawn overlooked Table Rock Lake and Fun Mountain. It was an evening spent with fellow volunteers, barbecue, awards, music, and Johnny Morris, who shook hands and posed for selfies as we watched the sun set. It was memorable.

We meet again for a good game of golf in 2019.

Mark your calendar – April 23-28, 2019 – the next Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf  at Big Cedar. Visit their website in October to volunteer.

Play a Round of Golf in the Ozarks!

Ben Crenshaw eating a sandwich
Ben Crenshaw’s Ozarks National opens fall 2018

Golf on one of four Johnny Morris courses at nearby resort locations:

Golf courses nearby Branson:

When you jump on the shuttle and head out from the tournament, put together a round of golf with friends. Personally, I can watch only so much golf before I want to play a round on one of these beautiful courses.

Legends of Golf Tournament
Bass Pro Shops Shooting Academy
The Cathedral of Nature at Top of the Rock, aka, the Sinkhole
Chapel of the Ozarks
College of the Ozarks
Tournament Fan Fare

Big Cedar Legends Golf Tourney Plans 2018

End of Trails bronze in infinity pool at Top of the Rock
Welcome to Top of the Rock

Stars On The Greens at Legends Tournament

  • April 16-22, 2018
  • Big Cedar’s Top of the Rock

YES! I win the prize. In my 2017/Legends Blog, I amused myself with the idea Mark Wahlberg would play this year in the Celebrity Skins Shootout at Legends of Golf. Now it’s news.

A friend of Johnny Morris, Mark has golfed Big Cedar Buffalo Ridge and dove with the fish at the red-carpet grand opening of Johnny Morris’s Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium. Now he can add to his Ozark travels, playing in the Legends of Golf Tournament.

For the Legends Celebrity Shoot Out, Mark teams up with Gary Player. Kid Rock teams up with Jack Nicklaus, a winning duo in 2017. Other celebrities to grace the greens, Johnny Miller (1973 U.S. Open Champion) and Larry the Cable Guy; golfer Larry Nelson/Austin Dillon (race car driver)/Richard Childress (NASCAR team owner); golfer David Graham/sportsman John Paul Morris; Lee Trevino/Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame.

On Wednesday,  Tiger Woods demonstrates golf techniques to student golfers at Buffalo Ridge Springs and pro fisherman Bill Dance shows off his casting skills.

And Dude Perfect is center stage at Saturday’s Family Fun Day, along with pro golfer Bernhard Langer, recent winner of the 2018 Masters Par-3! Continue reading Big Cedar Legends Golf Tourney Plans 2018

Art of Our Presidents, Iconic Images Illustrate History

Presidential Portraits of the Obamas, Barack and Michelle
Iconic portraits by artists Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald: Kehinde’s oil on canvas of President Barack Obama and Amy’s oil on linen of First Lady Michele Obama

Art of Barack and Michelle Obama in the Smithsonian

Thanks to patriotic benefactors, two prestigious portraits now hang in the Smithsonian: Kehinde Wiley’s oil on canvas of Barack Obama and Amy Sherald’s oil on linen of Michelle Obama, our 44th President and First Lady. These insightful character studies offer a measure of creativity and embody the essence of why America fell in love with Barack and Michelle and elected them our First Family.

The unveiling ceremony, February, 12, 2018, was part of the Smithsonian’s  50th milestone anniversary of its Portrait Gallery.

Who do  you want to paint your portrait, Mr. President?

Can you imagine being the artist getting receiving a call from the White House? Would you paint my portrait?

After the unveiling at the Smithsonian, I Googled artists  Amy and Kehinde to follow their stories and art on Instagram.

The portraits exude energy and reflect a modern style, as a mirror to the Obama’s in real life.

BarackOil on canvas portrait at the Smithsonian of former President Barack Obama
Barack Obama at the Smithsonian

The dramatic background of flowers and greenery in the portrait of President Obama have meaning to Barack. Chrysanthemums are the official flower of Chicago, where Barack began his political career. Jasmine is emblematic of Hawaii, his birthplace and childhood home. And the African, blue lilies honor his late Kenyan father.

Oil on linen painting of Michelle Obama at the Smithsonian by Amy Sherald
Michelle Obama at the Smithsonian

Amy Sherald portrayed Michelle as one who “women can relate to—no matter what shape, size, race, or color. . . . We see our best selves in her.”

Michelle Obama was styled for the portrait wearing a dress by American designer Michelle Smith, of the label Milly. The geometric print exudes style and forward thinking, traits Amy sees in Michelle and ones she wanted to portray in her art. The halter-cut, bare-shoulder gown design is reminiscent of styles we saw Michelle wear as First Lady.

Former President Barack Obama’s portrait can be seen at the Smithsonian Institution in America’s Presidents gallery and Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s portrait for the First Lady’s Gallery is currently hanging in the Recent Acquisitions gallery.

Iconic Images of Our Presidents and their First Ladies in Art and Photography

My penchant to find iconic images of great leaders who graced the halls of the White House began when I viewed Khinde Wilde’s portrait of Obama and Amy Sherald’s portrait of Michelle.

  • Look Magazine commissioned Norman Rockwell to paint Richard Nixon.
  • The portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart is engraved on our $1-dollar bill. Martha Washington requested that Gilbert paint a portrait of George for her to hang on the walls in their home. That iconic image, aka, “The Athenaeum Portrait,” is seen every time we hold a dollar bill.
  • A portrait of President Donald J. Trump by photographer Michael O’Brien in the Smithsonian heralds Trump as entrepreneur and business man, before he became POTUS 45. A bevy of portraits, caricatures, and photos to come of Trump, for sure. I inked an unofficial Trump caricature, titled “Trump Card.”
POTUS 45, Donald J. Trump by Michael O'Brien, Smithsonian, President's Hall
POTUS 45 photographed by Michael O’Brien, 1990, Smithsonian
First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, painted by Eleanor Roosevelt by Herman Perlman
Eleanor Roosevelt
  • There are seven images of First Lady  Eleanor Roosevelt in the First Ladies Gallery, Much ado over a lady who shaped American culture and the Presidency of husband Franklin Roosevelt. My favorite shows her affable side, a tempura-on-illustration-board by Herman Perlman, whose art regularly appeared in The Washington Post.
  • Teddy Roosevelt charging on a white elephant in Africa illustrated by Flagg for Life Magazine
    Flagg’s iconic illustration of TR for Life Magazine, 1910

    President Theodore Roosevelt’s portrait appeared on the cover of Life Magazine in 1910. Painted by James Montgomery Flagg, it illustrates the dichotomy of a President who championed wildlife conservation and loved to hunt, particularly big game.


I prefer endearing character studies that offer insight into the lives and beings of historical figures to anything stuffy or pretentious. Down with portraits in front of bookcases, desks, windows, porticoes, staircases … with an Edwardian chair or velvet chesterfield looming in the background.

Not all Presidents make it onto our currency, but some do …

To see sculptures, photographs, and portraits of our Presidents and their first ladies as seen at the Smithsonian, take a Tour from your sofa!

Johnny Morris Wonders of Wildlife Awarded Best New Attraction

America’s Best New Attraction

Blue stairs lead to Great Barrier Reef Exhibit at Wonders of Wildlife
Crowd gathers to hear announcement at the Great Barrier Reef Exhibit

USA Today readers vote WOW America’s Best New Attraction 2017 – No Surprise There!

I was on the staircase, Jan. 5, 2018, all ears when Missouri Lt. Gov. Mike Parson announced USA Today readers voted Wonders of Wildlife, America’s Best New Attraction in 2017.

Quite the feat since WOW opened to the public on Sept. 22, 2017. 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 hoped to spot Johnny Morris among the dignitaries at the announcement, but he was traveling, fishing for Goliath Groupers with pro-fisherman Bill Dance. Parsons read a letter from Johnny, who wrote of his gratitude for the award and his thanks to the public who voted for and embraced this work of conservation.

The award announcement came with a donuts-and-coffee-bar and great fanfare. A banner dropped the length of the 37-foot aquarium at the Great Barrier Reef Exhibit to announce We did it! Inside the tank, a diver held a sign, “America’s Best New Attraction,” while curious fish swam by, no doubt thinking, “We did it!” Continue reading Johnny Morris Wonders of Wildlife Awarded Best New Attraction

Johnny Morris Wonders of Wildlife for Conservation

Johnny Morris Aquarium – Supersized

Larger than the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C., the Johnny Morris Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium opened to visitors on Sept. 22, 2017. Applause!

Nine years in the making, the aquariums and wildlife galleries at WOW are a testament to conservation.

Where in the world, other than the ocean, can you watch sharks circle a bait ball of herring … well, at Wonders of Wildlife.

Aquarium and Wildlife Museum – Grand Opening

Continue reading Johnny Morris Wonders of Wildlife for Conservation

Nightmare in eBay Town With Spooky Buyer

Antique art meets nightmare Buyer

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.

Packing with care Pharaoh's Horses with bubble wrap and customized foam cutout
Packing with care Pharaoh’s Horses

Hubby photographed the art for eBay and packed it for mailing: two of the five scary steps to selling on eBay:

  1. Photograph item,
  2. Write item description for listing,
  3. Package and weigh item for shipping,
  4. List item with proper information and photos,
  5. 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.

Pricing on eBay can be spooky

Continue reading Nightmare in eBay Town With Spooky Buyer

Circus Clown Poster Art to Make You Smile

Clowns, giraffes, tigers, lions, and elephants make great circus posters

A selection of our posters are on sale on eBay under my User ID swimyellowduck and in my Etsy store, Pazazz.

Circus World Welcomes Tourists

Continue reading Circus Clown Poster Art to Make You Smile

Laptop Art and Wicked Tuna, a Perfect Duo

Laptop art, perfect for binge watching Wicked Tuna

Laptop art Edvard Munch's The Scream in pixels as transformative art in a frame
Framed for hanging, my transformative art of The Scream

Often, I am busy on my laptop designing digital frames whenever I watch  Wicked Tuna on 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?

Continue reading Laptop Art and Wicked Tuna, a Perfect Duo

Transformative Art of Edvard Munch The Scream

Digital transformative art in pixels that references an oil painting The Scream by Edvard Munch
Edvard Munch’s oil painting inspired my pixel art, and hence my transformative art of The Scream

Why I Painted a Copycat version of The Scream

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.

Continue reading Transformative Art of Edvard Munch The Scream

Free Munch Digital Brushes and Scream 5 Contest

Munch The Scream 5th Contest Sponsored by Adobe

Transformative digital vector art of Edvard Munch's The Scream
My “Scream 5” in Pixels

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.

Download the free Adobe digital brushes to Photoshop or Sketch, and paint away. Update: Contest over as of August 1, 2017. See entries for Munch 5th on Behance.

Continue reading Free Munch Digital Brushes and Scream 5 Contest

Volunteer at Legends of Golf Tournament Bass Pro

panorama image of golfers on course with swans and waterfall in background

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.

Kid Rock Swinging Golf Club
Kid Rock styling in camo for the Skins Shootout with Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, and Lee Trevino
    • 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.
Medallion for service given to veterans, military, civil servants at the Bass Pro Legends of Golf Tournament
“Service Beyond Self” Medallion presented at the gate to military and civil servants by sponsor H.E. Williams Electric
  • 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 again 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.

Continue reading Volunteer at Legends of Golf Tournament Bass Pro

Easter and Springtime Collide

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.

Illustration of a cardinal sitting atop an Easter egg surrounded by dandelions and a lucky worm
Cardinal’s Easter Egg

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.

  • Matthew 26:1-28:20
  • Mark 11:1-16:19
  • Luke 22:1-24:53
  • John 13:1-21:25.

As it is written … the week of Easter

Continue reading Easter and Springtime Collide