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Monday, June 11, 2018

Jephyr - Oil Painting Again! Eagle Painting Preview

Eagle Painting Preview - Copyright 2018 - Jephyr - All Rights Reserved
Eagle Painting Preview - With Background Elements Digitally Hand Painted Painted Over An Original Sunset Photo
Copyright 2018 - Jephyr - All Rights Reserved


I'm painting with oils again! : )

I've been saying for a LONG time that I wanted to return oil painting—and although I've worked with a lot of various media over the last several years (pencils, pastels, oil pastels, digital painting, animation etc)—I haven't done ANY oil painting in ages.


It's sad to admit that I was more than a little concerned that all of my paints had dried up—and wondered if I could even get the tubes open.

 : )

Finally one day I sat down and decided to see if I had any good paint left—and set about organizing and trying to open all the old tubes I had lying around.

Once time years ago—I discovered that if you just take pliers and start trying to twist the caps off—the whole tube will start to twist with it—and will eventually tear it—leaving the paint to squeeze out of the torn tube—(and with no way to seal it again)—ruining any remaining paint.

So I sat down with a razor blade—and carefully went around the dry paint gluing the caps on.  Once I'd removed most of that paint—I took a small screw driver and gently worked it under the caps—slowly working them loose.

Then I'd gab my pliers and test to see if I'd loosened the cap enough—and would repeat the steps above if necessary.

After some effort—the first cap came off without damaging the tube—and I found that the paint was still perfect!!

So with renewed enthusiasm I worked on every tube I had—and after a bit had every cap off—and had my palette filled with dabs of colorful paint.

A Look At My Palette
A Look At My Palette

Since then I've been painting an eagle on a 10" x 20" canvas—as you see in the photo below . 

I created a concept for its background on my computer—digitally hand-painting a craggy old tree and cactus over a photo I took of an Arizona sunset (see image at top).

Here's a look at my easel and what I have so far:

Oil Painting Progress So Far

 I hope to be able to post a photo of the finished painting soon!


Thanks for stopping by!

See you again soon!

God Bless!

Monday, May 21, 2018

The Movie—Darkest Hour—Is BRILLIANT!

Trailer Below



Sir Winston Churchill Portrait

I've felt utter disappointment with so many movies over the years.

Super heroes running around in goofy costumes—endless car chases and fighting—bullets flying and piles of dead bodies—fill way too many of them for my taste.

Often they are overflowing with extremely heavy handed moralizing as well—which almost always pushes a narrative that grates against my beliefs and principles.

Many plots are drab, pointless, incomprehensible, or just plain silly—featuring characters uttering stilted dialog in far fetched scenarios—and I'm beginning to hate that CORNY faux Shakespearean/English accent that's put on by far too many hugely over-rated actors who populate these abysmal films.

Sch-pahhh-tahh!   : )


If I sound bitter—I'm not at all—because occasionally a film breaks through all of the nonsensical movie-making dreck—and shines like a bright light in the "Hollywood" darkness—reminding me that good movies are still being made!


Just recently—I was able to finally see Darkest Hour—staring Gary Oldman.

Oldman first came on my radar many years ago—when he played a ruthless drug dealer in the movie True Romance.

There are some very violent scenes in TR—and language and situations that would melt poor granny's hair—(so a word of caution if you haven't seen it yet)—but Oldman's portrayal is completely amazing—adding depth and believably to a character—that in a lesser actor's hands might have been over-the-top or cartoonish.

Nothing I'd seen of him since then however—had equaled that performance IMHO.


But I began hearing good things about a recent movie he starred in called Darkest Hour—and figured I'd want to see it.

When I finally got the chance recently—I was absolutely blown away by it!!

Oldman is so convincing as Winston Churchill there is little wonder that people are already talking about awards for his performance.

If you've ever seen old footage of Churchill—you know in a moment that Oldman perfectly captured his voice and mannerisms—walking, standing and speaking like him—and the make-up artists allowed him to perfectly complete this transformation.

Gary Oldman in Darkest Hour & Winston Churchill - Image: Focus Features/Getty

The actors surrounding Oldman are ALL superb—and the casting was ideal for each of their roles.

The direction, story/plot, sets, cinematography, lighting, and editing, are all phenomenal.

In the words of a YouTuber—"Every Frame [Is] A Painting"—and I found myself marveling about the film-maker's choices regarding the staging of actors within stunning and often atmospheric locations.

And finally—the musical score completely complimented it all—never drawing attention to itself other than to add emotional intensity to scenes.

Darkest Hour is a truly BEAUTIFULLY made film!

Screen Shot From The Darkest Hour - Showing the Beautiful Atmospheric Lighting
Screen Shot From The Darkest Hour - Showing the Beautiful Atmospheric Lighting

Brief Plot Summary

The film presents the historic time period around Churchill's rise to Prime Minister of England—and Hitler's attempt to take over Europe and Great Britain.

Some have rightly drawn comparisons with President Trump—in the sense that many of the people in power then in Great Britain—including even those in Churchill's own party—were not happy (to say the least) with his ascension to Prime Minister—and many (directly and indirectly) were working to remove him—and/or thwart decisions he made—and negotiate a "peace" deal with Hitler.  

Imagine how differently our world would look without Churchill's determination to fight on.

The film portrays Churchill agonizing about his decisions while being buffeted by those around him—spending sleepless nights—and bearing the "weight of the world" on his shoulders.


Troops being evacuated from Dunkirk, May 31, 1940
Troops being evacuated from Dunkirk, May 31, 1940

There are plot references to the British evacuation of Dunkirk during this time—which was also made into a movie recently.

While that film was very poorly made—seeing it did give me a greater understanding certain plot points in Darkest Hour.

So I'd recommend learning a bit about Dunkirk before watching Darkest Hour.

There are several documentaries about Dunkirk on-line—and of course many articles about it all over the internet.

Or you could slog your way through the painfully awful movie made about it........

; )


OK—so I have strong tastes—that much is clear.

But in case I haven't made my opinion about Darkest Hour obvious—I LOVED IT!

Thanks for stopping by!

See you soon!

Ciao fer now.............