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09/29/19 10:34 AM #6241    


Lawrence Foster

Thanks to you all folks who commented publicly and privately about the Kenilwoth Aquatic Gardens photos and sketches I posted recently.   Over on the User Forum I just posted 14 more photos from that visit I made there back in 2013.  There are more dragonflys, a turtle and a frog - Oh, my! - so I hope you enjoy. 

09/29/19 12:47 PM #6242    


Michael Boulware


You obviously have a love for U.S. History and are knowledgable about the subject as well. You are accurate about the fiscal policies of Jefferson and Hamilton. Their political differences evolved into our two party political system. Hamilton favored a federal bank, strong central goverrnment, government should help stimulate business because strong businesses provide jobs for everyone, trade with England, and his support centered mostly in New England. This political philosophy became the Federalists.

Jefferson favored staes' rights; a loose union of the states, he favored an agrian society, the more direct elections (pure democract) the better, he favored trade with France, and his support came from the south and west. This political philosophy became the Anti-Federalists.

New immigrants sided with the Anti-Federalists. In order to survive, the Federalists passed the Alien and Sedition Acts that extended the time for citizenship to 14 years9Alien Act), and if you spoke against the government (sedition) you could be prosecuted. Eventually the Supreme Court declared these laws unconstitutional. 

Lets see, Federalists did not like immigrants ( 'Build a Wall"), and we should not say anything against the government (" Fake News, Witchhunts") . History repeats itself ?

09/29/19 02:16 PM #6243    


Mark Schweickart

Frank's bidding us all a fond farewell is why earlier I had lobbied to keep our political views to ourselves rather than expressing them on this Forum. I feared it would degenerate into hard feelings, and so it has in his case. It's not that I am going to miss Frank's rants, not at all, but my point was that it was clear to me early on in our political discussions, way back when, that none of us were making a dent in the opposing viewpoints, so what was the point beating that dead horse? It is not that I embrace censorship, it's just that there is plenty of room on Facebook to do that sort of arguing, whereas, when this Forum sprang up a few years ago, it gave us a nice place to reconnect, reminisce, plan future gatherings, etc, so it struck me as being a bit of a shame when we let our angry, political selves into the mix. On the other hand, I suppose without Frank's particular form of abrasiveness present to make our heads explode, maybe the rest of us can continue to argue our positions without it degenerating into personal attacks that result in hurtful name-calling. 

Speaking of future gatherings, is there truly interest in a number of us meeting in Barcelona next year? I have never been to Spain, so I would certanly be interested. I read somewhere recently that Barcelona is so inundated with tourists in the summer that there is talk of actually instituting a tourist tax to try to keep the crowds down during the summer. I am sure Donna can speak to this. If this is correct, what would be a good time of year to visit?


09/29/19 02:31 PM #6244    


David Barbour

Thank you, Mike, you're a gem.  Don't ever leave us.


09/29/19 06:43 PM #6245    


James Hamilton, M. D.

Relax and Take a Walk in the Park(s)

If you have not yet checked out Larry's other photos of Kenilworth Aquatic Garden in D.C. which he posted on the User Forum, I recommend you do so. They are some of the best close-ups I have seen. Tom McKeon did and suggested it looked like a nice place to take a walk. I agree!

We all have the need to refresh ourselves away from the stresses (and politics) of the day and I think a nice communication with nature is a good way to start. Those of you who live in the Columbus area have some beautiful places to accomplish this and the best time of the year is in October: not too hot, not too cold, not too rainy and those deciduous tree leaf changes are fantastic. Although not true this year, I have found myself in Columbus in the fall several times in the past few years and visited some of my favorite places with camera in hand. So, take a deep breath of that fresh, crisp autumn air, forget about what irritates you the most and visit these places. And they are all FREE!


(Unfortunately this gallery of pictures did not hit at the precise peak of color, but they were close.)


Indian Run Falls Park in Dublin

The vegitation here is so thick that you feel like you are in a jungle.


Highbanks Park

The paths lead back to a 100 foot drop down to the Olentangy River (which you can barely see through the yellow leaves in the first picture below).



Hayden Falls Nature Preserve

A gem of a ravine that empties into the Scioto River. If it is wet the wooden staircase that leads down to the walkway can be slick. We old people need to be careful!

I will add something about Hayden Falls: it is my most visited of these three places. I have had the opportunity to photograph the falls itself during various seasons and  everthing from zero (dry), frozen, full flowing and soft flow. I have shared some of those images with you on this Forum in the past. One of my favorites was chosen by NARFE (National Active and Retired Federal Employees) to be on the cover and the month of June in their 2020 calendar. I entitled it "Teardrops".

Since this calendar was distributed to NARFE members across the country, in a way I hope more people can discover this Preserve but, on the other hand, it's solitude has always been one of it's best attributes.

And, while you are seeking out the colors of fall, don't forget those Clintonville Ravines from Overbrook on the north to Walhalla on the south!




09/29/19 11:53 PM #6246    


David Mitchell

Mike B,

Your post was terriffic! You gave much more clarification on these two men and the heritage they each left to us.

I was not taking a position, only trying to relay my understanding of your earlier post. 


Without going in too deeply, or without getting too political, I strongly oppose buidling a wall.

(In fact, I think it's simply nuts - an utter boondoggle!)

As I mentioned almost a year ago, I think the money could be far better spent to combat the "problem" by realistic an practical assistance at the very sources - such as the desperately poor Hondurans of the northern provinces of Honduras (mostly Mayan descendent minorities -  who are neglected, mistreated, and almost completely unrepresented by their own government.

(added later - AND HUNGRY!)


And today, there is so much power in the hands of the local gangs, that those people live in nightmares not unlike thoe of Syria and Iraq - only the type of weapons and the scenery are different.

One young congressman has argued that both sides of the "wall issue" should shut up and just go stop the gangs. Worth pondering.


It's my understanding that Honduras, Guatamala, El Slavador, and to a lesser extent, Nicaragua have become such poor, crime-ridden, corrupt, and violent cultures because of generations of our own meddling in their socio-political economic systems. Back in the early 20th century, we let companies like United Fruit Company deal ruthlessly and without regulation in the raping and profiteering of those people for the priviledge of making profits from the banana trade. I beleive we actually assised in assasinations of freely elected leaders (whose only crime was to want their own country), and helped place the control back into the hands of Mafia "Robber Barron" families like the Samozas of Nicaragua - who did nothing more than rape and pillage their own countires - under the guise of being "opposed to Communism". 

But as a reaction to that, we have left the door open for the left-wing guerilla movements of those areas, such a s Daniel Ortega, the former Sandanista leader, who, as the present leader of Nicaragua, (who also fought a corrupt and violent right-wing goverment) now poses as a "democrat", but holds power over the entire governemental apperatus.


I have a good friend who is in and investment group that plunged a lot of money into a real estate development in Nicaragua back when peace had "broken out" (when was that? back in the 80's? - the lady in the wheel-chair that got freely elected ??). He tells me how the Ortega Goverment has blocked almost everything they try to do. They have come to a complete standstill and had to lay off hundreds of well-slaried employees. And meanwhile Ortega pays for hundreds of buses to bring the poor people in from the rual villages, feed and house them for a few days during the elections, and surprize, surprize - re-elect him. He has completely strangled the economy, while he resides in a huge mansion in the capital. 


In these countries, we see examples both on the left and on the right, all serving themsleves at the expense of their own working class citizens. 

It is my opinion that politics and power can be so corrupt - on either side -  that merely trusting the so-called "party line" over facts and real solutions, will ultimately lead to more severe division, more government waste, and failure. I have always felt that somewhere between the extremes of "Left" and "Right", exists a hundred small points of truth that might actually be worth trying.  

In case you have misunderstood me;

I think I have made myself quite clear in past posts (trying to get away from that topic), I have no respect for, or allegience to, a narcisistic "whore-mongering draft dodger". I may lean somewhat to the conservative side on most issues (not all) - and less so than I once did before a man named Cheney broke my trust. But my fundamental principles of basic morality are not for sale, not even for "thirty pieces of silver".

Not even if it means "winning".

09/30/19 12:09 AM #6247    


David Mitchell


I also enjoy your art work. But as I suggested before, I think your black and white line drawings are superb - somehow more powerful than the paintings.

There is just something about them?   

09/30/19 06:54 AM #6248    


Donna Kelley (Velazquez)

Beautiful work, Jim.    Larry's photography shots and yours are a treat to the senses. Thanks for sharing.

Mark, if some of you decide to visit Barcelona next year I would be happy to help organize it from this side.  October is usually a good month for the weather and fewer tourists.




09/30/19 09:01 AM #6249    


Lawrence Foster

Thank you to all the folks for your kind words about the Kenilworth pics.  I was fortunate to be in a beautiful place and I do enjoy sharing the beauty of this world as I come across it.   

Dave your feedback about the pencil sketches (which I appreciate) and Janie's also from over on the User Forum are prompting the following.   

There is something about the pencil sketching that also resonates with me as it does with others.  I do struggle with colors at times when painting.   Originally I started doing sketches as a sort of rough draft so that I could then duplicate it with colors.  But over time I think that what I like about sketching is the amount of control I have over the pencil and how the lead forms distinct shapes on the page.  Paints are harder for me to control and blend and shape.   (Sidebar:  If anyone just started doing a Freudian or Jungian psycho-analysis of that last statement about how I may be trying to understand and control things in my life (past and present) you can save yourself the time.  I have been down that path lots of times over the years and I still do go down the path now and then!  For me it's a fun journey and I am still learning.)  Okay moving on now...  

A couple months ago I had a thought about how artists might see their creations.  I have always enjoyed Impressionist painter Claude Monet.  His loose painting and interpretive colors cause the viewer to make adjustments with their eyes and with their brains to understand what the image is showing.   As a result the viewer becomes interactive with the painting and it "speaks" to the viewer.  Next time you go to an art exhibit realize you are doing a lot more than just standing there looking at a painting.  Not all paintings will be ones you like but you will be having a "conversation" with it.  And with just a slight touch of the A.D.D and "Senioritis" that we all are developing it could be a fun conversation!  

Another artist I like is photographer Ansel Adams.  To me he is very much the opposite of Monet.  Not just that his images are in black and white but also that they are so very sharp and distinct - not like Monet's soft blending of shapes. 

So my A.D.D. kicked in and I wondered, "What if Claude Monet had the artistic vision that Ansel Adams had?  What would his paintings look like?"  And from that thought I made the following two sketches of Monet paintings.  And I will likely do more.  Once I have maybe a half dozen sketches I will flip the coin and look at Adams' black and white photographs and try to paint them in Imprerssionist colors and style. 

First is Wheatstacks (end of Summer 1890-91) and then is Tulip Fields, Rijnsburg Windmill.   

Wow...what a trip this has been so early in the morning.  For me this has been a great way to start the day.  Hope you all have a good day today - and everyday.  



09/30/19 10:43 AM #6250    


Michael McLeod

Really good work Larry. I think this is the most impressive work I have seen you post.

I have just finished a chapter of a book I am co-writing after working on all year long, and I have the strangest feeling of freedom being somewhat of a disconcerting shock - like I am a critter just released from a cage, blinking in the light. 

09/30/19 12:08 PM #6251    


Mark Schweickart

Donna – October would work for me. Janie, Clare, and you other organizing-type folks, what do you think? Any takers? (Obviously, not this October, as in tomorrow, but next October. Or will we all be too panicked by the upcoming election in November to be able to enjoy ourselves?)

Mike – What's the book about that you have been working on?

Larry – Good sketches, although I have to admit, I was taken aback by the way one of the windmill propellers seemed to be oddly bowed. I googled the Monet painting I saw that it was done this way as well. I think that in the Monet, maybe this is done to try to give a sense of the propellers spinning, and it works (sort of) due to his use of color in the air around the various blades. No doubt, this would be harder to duplicate in black and white.  Do you think this is what is going on, or is there some other explanation for that one blade being so oddly shaped?

Apropos of nothing – If you haven't been following the Ken Burns documentary on PBS about Country Music, I would highly recommend it. Boy, when that guy tackles a subject, consider it tackled. The visuals he comes up with from his deep dive into old photos and film is amazing, and of course the music incorporated is terrific (assuming you are not put-off by country music, that is).
Another recommendation is in theaters now -- Judy, starring Renée Zellweger. I know it has gotten mixed reviews, but I thought it was quite powerful, especially the way Renée performed the songs (apparently not only doing her own singing, but her songs were filmed live, not to playback). Very impressive, the way her old songs (not that she wrote them) seemed to speak to the pain of the moment. It's not a happy film, but quite a good one in my opinion.

09/30/19 12:18 PM #6252    


James Hamilton, M. D.


As an Ansel Adams and Larry Foster fan, I think you should do (if you have not already done so) pencil sketchings of his Yosemite photos. His images of El Capitan and Half Dome would be great subjects for your medium.

Jim ​​​​​​

09/30/19 12:34 PM #6253    


David Mitchell


Dear fellow

Monet, and Adams. You are checking all the right boxes with me. 

I believe Adams either invented (or at least advanced) the "Zone System" of photography. He learned to manipulate the dynamic range beween the highlights and the shadows - both from the camera and in the darkroom (which is all done digitally in camera now). I got to study his work in some photograpy classes years ago (before digital cameras). Love what he did.

* (perhaps the "Zone System" was the brainchild of Matthew Brady in his brilliant - if brutal - Civil War photography? I'd have to go back and check.) 

As for Monet and his French Impressionist bros, it's all my favorite choice of painting. But I would throw in an  American Impressionists. Have you ever seen any Winslow Homer? Well, he's really sort of half way between Realism and Impressionism - if there is such a thing.

 I love his sea coast stuff - both in the boats, and girls waiting on shore. 

Here's a bit of his own humor. Most of his stuff is serious.


09/30/19 01:25 PM #6254    


Michael McLeod

Mark: It's a series of profiles of Rollins College graduates over several decades who have gone on to fame and fortune, or at least have some sort of interesting life-story material to talk about.

Nothing too fancy but the money was good.

09/30/19 01:38 PM #6255    


David Mitchell


Thanks for offereing cover for those of us cowards to come out and admit we actually watched the Ken Burns Country Music program. I thougth I'd probably like it, but I was wrong. I loved it!

Sooo many wonderful insights. Hank and Patsy, The Carters, Johnny, and Merle, Dolly and Waylon, Kris,  Tammy, and and Brenda Lee, and one of my favorites, Country Charlie Pride.

"Is anybody goin' to San An-tone,,,,,er Phoenix,,, Ar-izona?

But I finished it with a serious question - so I'll ask it here in this bastion of world wide knowledge, this court of world opinion.

They had a late episode (maybe the last one) where they rushed us through a lot of the modern people - George Straight, The Judds, Kathy Mattea (another favorite), Garth Brooks, Randy Travis, etc.

My question is, WHERE IN THE HELL WAS CLINT BLACK? Did I miss something?

Please respond if you know. I am dumbstrcuk that he was omitted.

09/30/19 03:34 PM #6256    


Lawrence Foster

Jim:   I have looked at the Ansel Adams Yosemite photos and I do see some great ones of the Dome, El Capitan, and the various water falls there that intrigue me.  I also like one of his other ones called Lonesome Pine - Sentinel Dome.  It reminds me of the other Lonesome Pine/ Lonesome Cypress at Pebble Beach photo.

Mike:  Thank you for the encouraging feedback.  It is good to hear.

Mark:  Great thoughts about the windmill blade (bottom left) that is curved.  I too looked it up on the internet and then I blew it up as large as I could here on the computer to see if I was missing something or what.   I like your idea that he did it that way to suggest motion of the blades and movement of the air.  I just had not thought of it that way - well said man!  Of course it may be that he really wasn't doing that at all.  It may be that he had come up with the idea after drinking a "Colt .45 malt liquor" somewhere down on the winding roads of Overbrook Drive and he was just buzzed when he got to that part of the painting.  Not saying it really happened like that but ...  wink  Oh, I am not saying that I must have a bit of mead or a rusty nail to drink every time when I draw or paint, but sometimes I do enjoy a small bit of tipping and sipping while I'm drawing and painting.

Dave:  Homer Winslow is another artist I have enjoyed seeing.  There is a good collection of his work at one of the smaller Smithsonian museums called the Freer Art Gallery as well as at the National Gallery of Art.  There is also a lot of Whistler's work there too that is much better than the portrait of his mother, which is good. 

I found a good article about the "zone system" of photography at Wikipeidia that you mentioned Dave.  I had not heard of it before so I looked it up.  It is similar to gradation of black and white drawing that I have become familiar with but it is a lot more technical!  Way beyond me!  There is also a gradation used for colors in painting that has a similar structure to the zone system photography.  It was a good read.  Thanks for pointing it out to me.  

Dave, I also find other Impressionist movements very enjoyable.  I just started off with Monet becasue he is the one credited with starting it even though it really was a group of painters who did so.  If I remember correctly the movement got its name when a critic wrote about the exhibit that was being put on and satirically named it after one of Monet's paintings titled "Impression, Sunrise."

Okay, signing off for a while.  Time to let others join in.  Once again, thanks to allfor your feedback and comments.


09/30/19 04:08 PM #6257    


David Mitchell


Let me distill about 900 pages on the technique known as the "zone system".

In the old "film " days, the idea was to over expose the original photo, and then under-develop in the darkroom. This improves "dynamic range" - the shadows are more visible and the highlights are not "blown out" (too bright). The new digital cameras are able to do this for us if we know the right settings. 

Brady used it. Adams mastered it. Many others have tweaked it.

09/30/19 08:53 PM #6258    


Mark Schweickart

Dave – My son has been working on the post production of Ang Lee's new movie, Gemini Man, that will be coming out in a couple of weeks. He mentioned that it will be screening in different formats depending on the capabilities of the projection systems in the various theaters. He suggested I look for ones projecting in 3-D at 60FPS and HDR, the latter standing for High Dynamic Range, which apparently is something fairly new digitally, but obviously from your comments, also something very old conceptually. The film also boasts being the most elaborate in using the new de-aging effects, as Will Smith portrays both himself at present age and at age twenty. Derek (my son) speaks very highly of the technical aspects of the film, but in all honesty is not all that impressed with the basic story line. I can't help but feel that it is a shame for them to put that much effort into a rather mundane script. But who knows, it may be better than he said, but probably not. I will report back once I see it.

09/30/19 08:53 PM #6259    


Mark Schweickart

Larry – here's my favorite Impressionist painter story (true story). In 1865, when a 24 year old Renoir was just getting started, he and Claude Monet would sometimes paint together in a wooded area in the countryside about 60 miles from Paris. One day, while there alone, Renoir heard a crashing through the bushes in the distance. Investigating, he found a man suffering from exhaustion, slowly pulling himself from a stream he had collapsed in. This was Raoul Rigault, a self-styled revolutionary, who had been imprisoned for denouncing Napoleon III in some of his writings. He had managed to escape from prison and was furiously on the run when Renoir found him. Renoir listened to his plight, decided to help him, and went back to his place in the local village to fetch food, as well as an additional easel and canvas. While he was gone, he had placed Rigault at his own half-finished painting on his easel there in the forest, gave him his painter's smock to wear, and coached Rigault to say, if any authourities came looking for him, that he was Claude Monet. After a couple of days of recuperation, the fake Monet, went on his way.

Fast forward to 1871 – Renoir is in Paris, and doing his best to ignore the chaos that has engulfed the city during the Communard Revolt, and the fighting going on in the streets throughout the city. He decides to make his way to a quiet area on the banks of the Seine, where he sets up his easel, and begins painting a scene of the river and a bridge in the distance. Some passing Communards see him, and become convinced that he must be a spy watching the traffic on the bridge. They attack him, throw his painting into the river, and then drag Renoir into the river as well. Suddenly a Communard Commander rides up on horseback, and demands to know what is going on. "We are drowning this spy," he is told. The Commander turns out to be Raoul Rigault, who recognizes Renoir, and fortunately for all of us who love Impressionist paintings, put an end to their attempts to drown his old friend from the forest. Thank you, Raoul.

09/30/19 11:28 PM #6260    


David Mitchell

Some of you might find this interesting - or NOT - (ranging from funny to disturbing).

Today (Monday) Justin Beiber and his bride of a year, celebrated a "formal" wedding ceremony at nearby Palmetto Bluff, just outside Bluffton. The video below is long (watch as little or as much as you like) but gives some idea of the style of this pricey community in a nature preserve on the May River that I live across from - and can see across the river, with its 5-star Hotel Montage.

My second job - limo driving - takes us there often to drop and pick up at the Montage hotel or some of the multi-million dollar residneces. The wedding couple insisted that the entire 20,000 acre resort be shut down for the wedding. He actually paid hotel guests to leave early and the hotel ordered them to cut short their vacations and leave by noon yesterday (Sunday). And get this, local residents of the village were told they were not allowed to use the facilities on site (5 restaraunts, 3 pools, golf, world-class shooting range, kayaking, boat docks, horse stables, tennis courts, 4-lane bowling alley, etc.)

So we had the busiest day ever, driving a number of parties from the hotel to the Savannah airport.  

The place is a very expensive, very shee shee, yet extremely understated, and low key. Only 2,000 acres of the entire 20,000 are allowed to be developed. And virtually all of the homes and buildings are "Low-Country Cottage" or similarly rustic. You'd have to see it to understand how posh, how tasteful, yet how remote it is. 

* My take: for a fraction of the cost, he could have fed thousnads of homeless, or paid college tuition for hundreds. 

Added later: I just now realized the father of the bride is Stephen Baldwin.     zzzzzzzzz!

10/01/19 08:54 AM #6261    


Lawrence Foster

Mark -  Your story about Renior, Rigault and Monet is wonderful and gave me a good laugh.  I had never heard it before.  I got a kick reading it, thanks for sharing it.  

And here is one last - rather one more art thingy if any of you are interested.  I have a blog page that I update once a month with a piece of art and/or photos.  It is at  I posted another pencil sketch and accompaning photos.    


10/01/19 05:29 PM #6262    


Thomas McKeon

Joe so sorry to hear about your brother our prayers are with you but your brother is in a great place 

10/02/19 11:08 AM #6263    


Michael Boulware


So sorry to hear about the loss of your brother. It is comforting to know that good people go to heaven. 

10/03/19 07:56 AM #6264    

Joseph Gentilini

Thank you for all the messages of sympathy on the death of my brother.  THANKS.  Joe


10/03/19 11:29 PM #6265    


Michael McLeod

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