Leavenworth KOA, Leavenworth, WA

I'm going to do some time at Leavenworth. I have a cousin doing time at Folsom, so maybe it runs in the family.

Back in the forest.

Now I'm in Universal Studio's Bavarian village back lot?
Damn, I knew I shouldn't have got rid of my lederhosen.

"Leavenworth was officially incorporated on September 5, 1906. A small timber community, it became the headquarters of the Great North Railroad in the early 1900s. The railroad relocated to Wenatchee in the 1920s, greatly affecting Leavenworth's economy.
The city struggled until 1962, when the Project LIFE (Leavenworth Improvement For Everyone) Committee was formed to transform the city into a mock Bavarian village to revitalize its economy. Owen and Pauline Watson, owners of a business on Front Street, formed the committee after visiting Solvang, California in 1958 and thought it was an excellent idea for Leavenworth.
Leavenworth is home to the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum, which opened in 1995 and contains more than 5,000 nutcrackers dating from prehistoric to modern. Leavenworth's annual Oktoberfest celebration is claimed to be one of the most attended in the world outside Munich, Germany. Leavenworth's transformation into a theme town was inspired, and assisted, by Solvang, California. Later the Washington town of Winthrop followed Leavenworth's example and adopted a town theme."

Just missed Oktoberfest. Okay with me because people act even nutty enough without beer. I'll go with the nutcrackers :)

Even McDonalds has gone sauerkraut.

Out this evening. Very charming at night. On par with Disneyworld, except that instead of the Disney tunes, polkas are playing in the streets. I had the movie Amadeus going last night, so for continuity, I ate at the Cafe Mozart Restaurant. I had chicken schnitzel. It was smothered in a wine-fondu sauce. No room for desert, but I'll hit that tomorrow.

Inside. I ate dinner to Eine kleine Nachtmusik. And a little bit of night music was appropriate.

Commission a painting done from my RV?

Okay, but you guys really need to build a Bavarian palace here.


I like the intimate areas at night. In December, this place will have more lights than Disneyworld has fireworks.


A river runs through it.

I like taking walks down by the river which is part of the property here. I took my flashlight with me last night around midnight and enjoyed the atmosphere of isolation.

Today by the river, an eagle swooped down and perched for a sniff of my chocolate aroma cigar. He looked just like the one on the back of the dollar bill. I wouldn't have minded except he kept giving me the eagle-eye :)

Walking distance from my RV is Safeway, who also had to be in on the Bavarian Alps building code.

I think I'll stay here for at least two weeks.

A friend sent me a link to a YouTube video. It's digital projection on architecture, just like the digital projector I have except this is a lot bigger. This is very clever and I hope Las Vegas follows because I think it's as good as the Bellagio fountains.


"One of Washington's premier 18-hole miniature golf courses. The amazing detail is a must see in this incredible miniature golf course in Leavenworth. There are incredible German theme buildings and a babbling brook running though a course complete with waterfalls, fountains, and waterwheel, all set into a spectacular setting with outstanding mountain views near the entrance to Tumwater canyon."

I managed to get out of this incredible, spectacular, outstanding, notoriously difficult sand trap with one putt :)

This is one of the features. That's a 76 gas station behind it. All the corporate logos here transform into Bavarian script.

Even Wells Fargo. Ah yes, Fargo had its origin in the good 'ol 1800's Bavarian old west.


I've been busy inside the RV. I set up an RV version of a painting studio. There are going to be a lot of rainy days, so an indoor hobby would be cozy. Different from San Francisco, I'll be working smaller here (probably 18X24) and in acrylics instead of oils. To help me with delicate flesh tones and soft edges is an airbrush. It requires ventilation, so I added a fan and six inch fan duct. You can see it poking through the curtain with a cord for the switch.

I built three levels of shelves over the opposite seat and then two platforms that extend out of the seating console: a lower one for materials, and the upper for the easel. They all mount with wing-nuts for quick disassembly.

My work light was a novel design. For any of you who have done drywall, you recognize the red plastic trowel knife box that joint compound goes into. I mounted three sockets inside and mounted the box on an adjustable lamp arm.

Then I fabricated a shade made out of that sun screen you put on your inner car window. The bulbs are color balanced – the type that photographers use to shoot natural light indoors.

Inside the cab area is this six inch vent that attaches to the skylight/vent. Inside the tube is a six inch fan that pulls air out of the RV.

This is the airbrush. The other end of the hose goes to a compressor in the cab shelf:


My Leavenworth Bavarian-style neighbors would be happy with my choice of table leg.
So my first task is to experiment with the airbrush to formulate my paints. I'll take pictures as I progress.


I'm going to be painting with both airbrush and regular brush. In my first experiments I'll be watching the three dimensions of control: value, edge, and line.

Everything expressed in the universe has three essential attrubutes: creation, maintenance, and dissolution. That's how vibration or wave works. To control the attributes found in my painting, I look to three of their sub-attribute changes: light-dark, soft-hard, and slow-fast. Also know as value, edge, and line.

I once put together a document for painting instruction. I have a few images from that time.

These are shots from traditional paintings which I found on the web. They clearly show the benefit of underpainting or a staining of the surface prior to the final application of paint. There are several advantages. First, your line is visible so that you don't lose your drawing until the very end. Second, your values of light and dark are layed in so that values can be accurately evaluated against each other. (When white is staring you in the face, a thing called simultaneous contrast happens where tones that seem darker are really lighter and visa-versa. The gray in the middle of each box is the same, but looks different when surrounded by a different value.)

Third, where two different colors meet, such as the man's shoulder to the background, the underpainting value is there to bridge the two areas. If not there, you would have a harsh meeting of two different areas. Then you'd have to be careful not to paint them too far apart or overlap too close. And attempting a soft edge would be difficult because you'd be working against an foreign invasive background value.

Fourth, when you put on your final finish color, you're not working against a different background color which takes a lot of paint to cover up. The underpainting actually draws you to a finish because so much of your painting is already set up.
Fifth, as you're finishing the painting, you can choose how much detail to close in on or how much to leave open to the underpainting. This helps focus the eye on what you decide is important. Rubens and Rembrandt did this extensively. Below is a Rubens where he simply leaves a lot of his underpainting in view (like the ear). It also gives the shadows more depth and transparency.
By my definition, this portrait is a cartoon. He had his own physical-type style to make his work instantly recognizable as his. I mean, if I was walking down the street and she walked past me, I'd do a double-take and think she had a serious birth defect :)

Here is a portrait I shot at The Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. Much less cartooney. The underpainting in the face is covered almost entirely with the soft opaque final flesh tone. You can see it where the face meets the hair. It brings a quality of luminosity to the flesh.

When I do my opaque flesh tones on top of the underpainting,
I'll be controlling not only the three attribute sets above,
but the two additional attribute sets of wet-dry and cool-warm.

In the portrait above, you can see how his forehead is cooler and drier color than his cheeks. If you acknowledge and engage all these attributes, you take the mystery out of how to control what could happen in your image. It helps to know that the universe (one turning as many differences) is one indivisible person's (your) perfect order, so that you know there is a way to take perfect control of your image.


First snow today.



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