Big Cedar Legends Golf Extravaganza 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 Extravaganza 2018

Presidential Portraits, Artists Create Iconic Images for History

Presidential Portraits of the Obamas, Barack and Michelle
Kehinde Wiley’s oil on canvas of Barack Obama and Amy Sherald’s oil on linen of Michelle Obama, now hanging in the Smithsonian

Barack and Michelle Portraits Unveiled at the Smithsonian

Presidential Portraits of POTUS 44 and Michelle Obama: Thanks to benefactors, two new prestigious portraits are ready for viewing at 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 former first lady.

I was wowed at first sight of the paintings. 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 that call?

The Obama’s selected the artists for their portraits while in the White House in 2016. When the paintings were unveiled in 2018, I immediately Googled  Amy and Kehinde and clicked to follow them on Instagram.

The portraits exude energy and reflect a modern style, reflecting 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 element in the portrait of President Obama is a pattern of flowers in the background.  The flowers are the singular historical or symbolic element in the painting. Those flowers have meaning to Barack. The chrysanthe­mums are the official flower of Chicago, where Barack began his political career. The 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

Mrs. Obama’s portrait artist, Amy Sherald, portrayed the former first lady 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 the artists sees in her subject and ones she wanted to portray in her art. The halter-cut, bare-shoulder design accentuates Michelle’s beautiful arms and shoulders, a popular style Michelle wore as First Lady.

Once again, we are delighted with the unexpected

It is refreshing to see creative portraits of national, historical figures. Nothing stuffy or pretentious; rather endearing character studies. Before the unveiling, I had braced myself for rather formal portraits, possibly in front of a bookcase, desk, window, portico, staircase, etc. Or possibly by an Edwardian chair, a sofa, or perhaps, a blue-velvet chesterfield. Instead, insightful, artistic art portrays Barack and Michelle with a measure of creativity to embody the essence of why America fell in love with them and elected them our First Family.

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

Who would you choose to paint or model your portrait?

  • 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 had requested that Gilbert paint a portrait of George for her to hang in their home. Soon famous, “The Athenaeum Portrait” is now seen every time we hold a dollar bill.
  • Our current President, Donald J. Trump, is honored in the Smithsonian’s Presidents Gallery [entrepreneur and business man] with a photo by Michael O’Brien. A succession of portraits, caricatures, and photos to come, for sure. I inked an unofficial Trump caricature, myself.
Photograph of POTUS 45, Donald J. Trump by Michael O'Brien, in the President's Hall
At the Smithsonian, POTUS 45, photographed by Michael O’Brien, 1990
to see sculptures, photographs, and portraits of our presidents and their first ladies as seen at the Smithsonian: take a Tour from your sofa!
First Lady Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian
First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, painted by Eleanor Roosevelt by Herman Perlman
Eleanor Roosevelt

There are several paintings and photos of  Eleanor Roosevelt in the First Ladies Gallery that show her courage and political prowess, but I find the insightful, tempura-on-illustration-board by Herman Perlman, memorable. I enjoyed seeing his caricatures in The Washington Post, and enjoy the humanity of this caricature of a beloved and historical First Lady.

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.


Johnny Morris Wonders of Wildlife Best New Attraction

Johnny Morris Wonders of Wildlife, Voted America’s Best New Attraction – No Surprise There!

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

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

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

Pixel Art Animation Tutorials AdobeLive

Pixel Art of fish swimming in sea with an air balloon overhead that turns out to be a fisherman
Fishy, fishy in the Sea

Pixel Animation, Lesson One

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.

Continue reading Pixel Art Animation Tutorials AdobeLive