All the Pages Are My Days https://www.allthepages.org the online world of Mike Rodriquez Sun, 14 Jan 2018 03:04:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Wild & Free Watercolors https://www.allthepages.org/archives/2018/01/wild-free-watercolors/ https://www.allthepages.org/archives/2018/01/wild-free-watercolors/#respond Sun, 14 Jan 2018 03:04:36 +0000 https://www.allthepages.org/?p=9002 Wild & Free Watercolor Set
Wild & Free Watercolor Set

I tried out a new set of handmade watercolor paints for the first time today, creating a color chart that demonstrates how each color mixes with the other.

Wild & Free, created by DesignsbyRachelBeth and sold via her Etsy store, is a set of 5 handmade, half pan watercolors.

The colors include a middle yellow, two reds and two blues, holding close to a warm and cool version of each.

RachelBeth doesn’t provide any technical details regarding the pigments used, but does use some pretty descriptive names, including Meyer Lemon, Rose Gold, Strawberry Rhubarb, Country Bourage and Northern Blueberry.

The Rose Gold and it lives up to its name, with a strong gold-flecked overtone.

The middle yellow made a nice, golden orange color when mixed with the reds, and two very distinct shades of green when mixed with the blues.

The purples aren’t the most dramatic, but the Strawberry/Blueberry mix did turn out pretty nice.

It’s also worth noting the care that RachelBeth takes with her orders.

The packaging was very nice, starting with the bright purple wrapping paper and including a hand written thank you note.

The paints themselves came in a small tin and included a color chart in the lid.

The pans are labeled and have a small magnet on the bottom. I love that idea so much I ordered a small sheet of magnets so I can enhance my other pans in a similar manner.

Overall, I’m pleased with these paints. They wet up very nicely and it was easy to transfer lots of pigment to my puddles while creating the color chart.

I look forward to using them on a “real” painting in the future.

Wild & Free Inside!
Wild & Free Inside!
Wild & Free Watercolor Set
Wild & Free Watercolor Set
Wild & Free Half Pans
Wild & Free Half Pans
Wild & Free
Wild & Free
Wild & Free Color Chart
Wild & Free Color Chart
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Linocut Palette: Start to Finish https://www.allthepages.org/archives/2018/01/linocut-palette-start-to-finish/ https://www.allthepages.org/archives/2018/01/linocut-palette-start-to-finish/#respond Mon, 08 Jan 2018 16:06:22 +0000 https://www.allthepages.org/?p=8987 First Finished Print
First Finished Print

I’ve just completed cutting and printing my first original linocut design!

Previously I’d used images that were licensed for re-use under a Creative Commons license, but I really wanted to do an original design.

The simple watercolor palette I chose is a good design for a beginner. It has a bunch of straight (in theory) lines, with the only real fine detail in the bristles of the brush.

The quality of the cuts reinforces my beginner status, but like all endeavors, it takes time to become proficient.

In any case, it’s a lot of fun to exercise my creativity!

The sequence below outlines the basic steps.

I first drew up a rough sketch of my design, did a second refinement, and then drew the image on the linoleum.

After a certain amount of progress in removing unwanted linoleum (similar to sculpting now that I think about it: remove all the parts that don’t belong) it was time for a test print.

Next, the first keeper in a series of 6. After printing the palette, I painted in the colors with watercolor.

Finally, the entire set of 6 palette prints, followed by a set of covfefe cups I printed since I had extra ink.

There are more photos of the process and the completed prints in my Linocut Palette album on Flickr.

First Design Sketch
First Design Sketch
Second Design Sketch, Lino Sketch
Second Design Sketch, Lino Sketch
First Test Print
First Test Print
Lovely Studio Light
Lovely Studio Light
First Finished Print
First Finished Print
Lino Palette: Series of 6 Prints
Lino Palette: Series of 6 Prints
Colorful Covfefe Cups
Colorful Covfefe Cups
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Grand Canyon Hike https://www.allthepages.org/archives/2018/01/grand-canyon-hike/ https://www.allthepages.org/archives/2018/01/grand-canyon-hike/#respond Tue, 02 Jan 2018 02:40:40 +0000 https://www.allthepages.org/?p=8971 One of my peak experiences of 2017 was a hike I took in mid-December.

I hiked the Bright Angel Trail at the Grand Canyon, where I walked not quite a mile into the canyon, descending 600 feet along the way.

Mid-winter and the trail was, not crowded, but by no means empty.

This part of the trail is almost totally in the shade in the morning in winter, which made for a very pleasant walk in terms of not getting overheated.

The views were stunning.

Did I mention just how thrilling and exhilarating it was to see the top of the canyon receding in the distance?

It was awe inspiring!

So of course I took some pictures. Starting with 250 I first whittled it down to 75 photos, then 65 and finally ended up with 46 shots that I just had to share.

Seven of my favorites are shown below. I also created a video of all the shots, and it’s also displayed below. Finally, high resolution versions of all the images are available on my Grand Canyon Hike album on Flickr.

Grand Canyon Hike: First Tunnel
Grand Canyon Hike: First Tunnel
Grand Canyon Hike: Stunning View
Grand Canyon Hike: Stunning View
Grand Canyon Hike: Mules on the Trail
Grand Canyon Hike: Mules on the Trail
Grand Canyon Hike: Stunning View
Grand Canyon Hike: Stunning View
Grand Canyon Hike: Second Tunnel
Grand Canyon Hike: Second Tunnel
Grand Canyon Hike: Stunning View
Grand Canyon Hike: Stunning View
Grand Canyon Hike: View from Above
Grand Canyon Hike: View from Above

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A Very Long Day https://www.allthepages.org/archives/2017/12/a-very-long-day/ https://www.allthepages.org/archives/2017/12/a-very-long-day/#respond Sun, 31 Dec 2017 04:22:18 +0000 https://www.allthepages.org/?p=8953 On the road in Utah before the sun comes up and still driving through Kansas 5 hours after it goes down makes for a very long day!

We were headed home from visiting our daughter and granddaughter in Turlock, and had one more night on the road and then one more day driving.

A short day, around 4-5 hours.

But then, we passed through Denver hours earlier than anticipated and I guess the smell of home must have hit us, as we skipped our last night and drove all the way home.

14 hours.

800 miles.

Not recommended, and only something we’ve done a couple of times before.

But it was worth it to get home and we have one very happy Shadow cat!

Here a few of the photos taken during our very long day:

Sunrise on a Very Long Day
Sunrise on a Very Long Day
Sunrise on a Very Long Day
Sunrise on a Very Long Day
Scenic View on a Very Long Day
Scenic View on a Very Long Day
Approaching the Pass
Approaching the Pass
Rocky Mt Rest Area
Rocky Mt Rest Area
Rocky Mt Rest Area
Rocky Mt Rest Area
Sunset on a Very Long Day
Sunset on a Very Long Day
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Road Trip: Gallup, NM https://www.allthepages.org/archives/2017/12/road-trip-gallup-nm/ https://www.allthepages.org/archives/2017/12/road-trip-gallup-nm/#respond Sun, 17 Dec 2017 05:28:19 +0000 https://www.allthepages.org/?p=8941 The best green chili I’ve ever had was at the el Rancho restaurant in Gallup, New Mexico.

First recommended by my friend and colleague Brent Thompson almost 20 years ago, I’ve been fortunate to enjoy their chili at least 1/2 dozen times and can report it’s still as good as ever! It is also very hot! But oh so good.

Below are shots from around Gallup, including the green chili and the el Rancho Hotel.

Train at the Continental Divide
Train at the Continental Divide
Train at the Continental Divide
Train at the Continental Divide
Gallup Sunset
Gallup Sunset
el Rancho Green Chili
el Rancho Green Chili
el Rancho Hotelel Rancho Hotel
el Rancho Hotel
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Chocolate Dala Rudolph https://www.allthepages.org/archives/2017/12/chocolate-dala-rudolph/ https://www.allthepages.org/archives/2017/12/chocolate-dala-rudolph/#respond Mon, 04 Dec 2017 03:28:05 +0000 https://www.allthepages.org/?p=8929 I wanted to make something for dessert and I decided on a yellow cake with chocolate frosting.

But I didn’t want to make a full sized cake.

So I searched for miniature yellow cake and found a wonderful recipe! With minor modifications, that’s the cake I made.

Next, what to bake it in? I knew we didn’t have the two 4 inch pans as the recipe called for, but I figured an 8 inch square pan would work.

But then!!!

Sheryl came up with this amazing TACOL find, a Dala Horse cake pan! It was just about the perfect size, maybe a tad too big.

Dala Cake Pan from Ikea
Dala Cake Pan from Ikea

And here’s the result.

I know, Dala Horses aren’t usually chocolate brown, but I had to work within the constraints of my desires, so I decorated the cake Dala style, with the added touch of a Rudolph like red nose. Hence the title of this post.

Chocolate Dala Rudolph
Chocolate Dala Rudolph

And oh yes, it is good!

Looks Good Enough to Eat!
Looks Good Enough to Eat!
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Southwest of Denver https://www.allthepages.org/archives/2017/12/southwest-of-denver/ https://www.allthepages.org/archives/2017/12/southwest-of-denver/#respond Sun, 03 Dec 2017 03:14:23 +0000 https://www.allthepages.org/?p=8913 Here are a few shots from a trip to Denver we took early in November. The pictures were taken along the Lariat Loop Trail, which we picked up in Morrison.

Our first stop was at Red Rocks, scene of many wonderful memories over the past 30 years.

Fractalized Red Rocks
Fractalized Red Rocks

It’s hard to resist taking a break alongside a clear mountain stream.

Relaxing Mountain Stream
Relaxing Mountain Stream

It’s almost as if you can see clear to Kansas from high from above Golden at the Buffalo Bill Museum located in Lookout Mountain Park.

Coors Brewery and a view to Kansas
Coors Brewery and a view to Kansas

These striking towers caught my attention.

Striking Towers
Striking Towers

A lovely scene taken at the peak of the Golden Hour.

The Golden Hour
The Golden Hour
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Watercolor Swatches: Red, Blue and Green https://www.allthepages.org/archives/2017/11/watercolor-swatches-red-blue-and-green/ https://www.allthepages.org/archives/2017/11/watercolor-swatches-red-blue-and-green/#respond Tue, 21 Nov 2017 02:30:08 +0000 https://www.allthepages.org/?p=8889 Red watercolor swatch
Red watercolor swatch

Over the past month, I’ve painted watercolor swatches of 21 colors, representing 7 pigments each of red, blue and green.

I did this for a couple of reasons.

I wanted to practice creating different tonal values and I wanted to see each of the different colors compared to the others.

Turns out, it’s still a bit difficult for me to get 4 or 5 different values per pigment, as the images will show.

Still, it was good practice, and I did usually manage to get at least 3 values per color.

In terms of comparing the colors, it wasn’t until I painted out the red that I found I had many observations.

But first, we’ll start with the green paint-out. Not much to remark on as all the pigments varied quite a bit. I did notice the Viridian and Pthalo greens were closest in color.

Green watercolor swatch
Green watercolor swatch
Green watercolor swatch
Green watercolor swatch

Turning to the blues, same story. All different, as expected. The Prussian and Mayan (no pigment noted on tube) were the closest in color, but still different.

Blue watercolor swatch
Blue watercolor swatch
Blue watercolor swatch
Blue watercolor swatch

And then the reds. They spurred me to write up this post, given the number of observations that occurred to me during and after painting the red swatch.

First, the Scarlet Lake and Cadmium looked very similar when wet, though are more distinct after drying.

And it doesn’t matter what anyone says, so far I’ve not seen a pigment quite like Permanent Alizar Crimson. It’s just lovely!

The Winsor Red and Martin Graham Napthol red are very similar in appearance.

Turns out I don’t hate the Perylene as much as I used to think, but … it is NOT a replacement for Permanent Alizar Crimson!

Finally, I noticed that the Quin red yielded a nice pink when diluted.

Red watercolor swatch
Red watercolor swatch
Red watercolor swatch
Red watercolor swatch
Red watercolor swatch
Red watercolor swatch
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Behold Red Rocks! https://www.allthepages.org/archives/2017/11/behold-red-rocks/ https://www.allthepages.org/archives/2017/11/behold-red-rocks/#respond Mon, 13 Nov 2017 02:15:50 +0000 https://www.allthepages.org/?p=8869 Red Rocks Amphitheater, west of Denver near the small town of Morrison, is a majestic place to see a concert, or for that matter, just to visit.

Red Rocks!

Just to hear the name invokes fond memories for almost all deadheads, as the Grateful Dead were known for performing some amazing concerts in this unbelievable venue.

It especially holds a very special place in the hearts of those who were fortunate enough to see them perform there.

We were so lucky a few times in the mid-eighties, and a recent return trip brought back a lot of great memories, and of course I took some photos.

Entrance to Red Rocks
Entrance to Red Rocks
View from our old seats
View from our old seats
Stage right, the BIG formation
Stage right, the BIG formation
Lower formation, stage right
Lower formation, stage right
Another view: stage right formation
Another view: stage right formation
Denver behind the stage
Denver behind the stage
Red Rocks panorama
Red Rocks panorama
Red Rocks stairs
Red Rocks stairs
Stage left formation
Stage left formation
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Goodbye to Mugs https://www.allthepages.org/archives/2017/11/goodbye-to-mugs/ https://www.allthepages.org/archives/2017/11/goodbye-to-mugs/#respond Fri, 03 Nov 2017 01:06:19 +0000 https://www.allthepages.org/?p=8863

Bad news, bad news
Come to me where I sleep
Turn, turn, turn again
Sayin’ one of your friends
Is in trouble deep

Mugs
Mugs

RIP Mugs. Our 4 year old rescue cat had to be put down today. Between the diabetes, the feline HIV and his current infection, he had no chance.

He was, like all of our pets, special.

He adopted us when he was a (stray/abandoned) kitten, rubbing up against me when I was outside.

We weren’t ready for a cat, so for a few months, that was it.

But over time, he worked his magic on Sheryl, to the point where she was feeding him regularly.

A couple of years ago we had him fixed and brought him in to live with us.

Unlike most cats, he was not shy about showing affection and letting us know how much he liked having a home.

So it’s with many tears and a heavy heart we bid him farewell,

RIP Mugs.

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