Two Down

Two Down

Two down, and two paintings to go for International Print Competition.  The due date is in the end of May, but it’s never good to wait for the last minute on these things.

Last night I started on the third painting.  So far, the list includes:

  • Are You Coming to Bed, Dear? – a social commentary on game and Internet addiction. (done)
  • Don’t Stand So Close to Me – based on the song by Police – a male teacher with a female student who is coming on to him. (done)
  • I Shoot RAW – a humorous take on the question, “Do you shoot RAW?” (in progress)
  • undecided

PPSNYS Focus Convention

We’re going to the PPSNYS Focus Convention later this week.  I’m glad it is a little closer than New Jersey, and I hope it is a good convention.  I have my anxieties about it since they’ve been dwindling in numbers.

I was reading some of the reviews of the venue.  It’s funny, Yelp has only bad reviews about the place.  (I guess they haven’t paid Yelp their extortion fees.  Yes, Yelp extorts business owners.  You can’t trust their reviews – especially the bad ones.)  Google on the other hand, has a mix of good and bad.  I guess we’ll find out later this week.

Cold Month

March has been a cold month.  It’s been about a week since it last snowed, but the freezing temperatures have kept the snow from melting.  Spring starts on Thursday, hopefully that will start turning things around and it will start warming up.

I was noticing the garden.  I’m thinking it is going to be off to a late start this year.  Last year we didn’t get a lot of tomatillos.  I’m going to suggest to Elizabethe we move them back to where we had them two years ago, and to plant more.  We can always use more green sauce.

Leaves Blowing

Leaves Blowing

I love autumn, however I hat leaves blowing in to my studio (and house).  My shop vac in my studio has a small hose that doesn’t always get the big leaves.  It makes vacuuming the studio difficult.

One of the guests keeps tracking leaves in through the kitchen.  Oh, well.  Soon they will be gone (the leaves, that is).  If it is dry Monday I will suck them up with the lawn tractor.

Clean for Shoot

I got the studio clean for my shoot.  I even wet mopped the concrete floor in the camera room.  Spring comes and I plan to rotate the rug on my office.  It is worn where my chair rolls back and forth.  If I rotate it I can get another 7 or 8 years out of it.

My shoot went well.  Of course, anytime a client is on time, it’s a good shoot.  That’s one thing I can take pride in… studio sessions are always good.

Starting Tomorrow’s Dinner

I am starting tomorrows dinner.  I plan to make spaghetti squash with a butternut squash sauce to go over it.  The sauce will be like a stroganoff sauce with mushrooms, onions and meatballs.

Thinking about the squash theme I’ve decided to make a mock pineapple upside down cake too.



I think moderate is going to be the word for our weather this year.  We had a moderate winter, and spring seems to be about the same, which makes me wonder if we will have a moderate summer too.

Today was one of those days you would have expected to reach the mid-70s.  Instead, it hovered around 68 most of the day.

copyright 2016 db walton - Moderate
Old Change Bridge Foundation in Macedon

I bought groceries for Elizabethe’s Mother’s Day dinner tomorrow.  I’ve decided to fix salmon over a bed of angel hair pasta with an alfredo sauce.  For the side dishes, a salad, asparagus, bread and carrots.

After I got all that done, and after a short nap, I headed down the Canal Trail to take a few pictures.  The weather was perfect for being outside.  It wasn’t too cool or too hot.

copyright 2016 db walton - Moderate
A Boat Leaving Lock 30

I keep waiting for the flowers on the trees to bloom.  The crabapples look like they are about to open, but they’ve looked like that for a week or more.  The same with the lilacs.  (In fact, this weekend is the lilac festival in Rochester.)  The tulips and daffodils are in bloom as well as dandelions.

Plug for Workshop

This is a plug for my 2016 workshop.  It’s September 13th-16th and you can read more and register here:

This workshop is for people who are serious about learning how to paint using their computer.  It’s not an automatic program that does the work for you, but a software package that allows you to PAINT with various mediums.  Here’s a sample of something I painted…

copyright 2016 db walton
A Still Life Painting

During the class we’ll learn how to paint various subjects.  It will be informative, fun and hands-on.

Springs Last Day 2015

copyright 2015 db walton
Palmyra Farm Land

Springs Last Day 2015

It is springs last day in 2015.  There was a while at the start of this year that many of us wondered if we would ever see spring again.  It was a cold harsh winter.

The day has been spent dealing another occipital headache.  While it isn’t as bad as they were a couple of weeks ago, it is still burdensome.

I drove out to Marion, New York, to pick up a framed print.  I managed to get a few pictures along the way.  Even then, I thought it would help relieve some of the headache… it didn’t.  So, I’m calling it quits for the day.



Thar Warth

Thar Warth

Yes, Thar Warth because if you’re going to say, “May the Fourth be with you,” you might as well be consistent with the lisp.

This morning was our First Monday Event (see Palmyra Photographic Workshops).  Our theme was a nature walk along the canal.  I saw this reflection and thought… A WATERCOLOR PAINTING…  Get it?  Water – color – painting?

copyright 2015 db walton
First Monday Photo

It’s kind of cool flipping a reflection upside down and seeing the wavy water patterns.  It’s natures way of painting.

There were only two people besides myself who came to the event.  It’s too bad too.  The weather was nice and so… spring-like.  Or, should I say it was bucolic?

I came home and got side-tracked and nearly missed my doctors appointment.  In fact, I was late.  He was nice about it.

After that, I hit Happiness Garden for our monthly Chinese dinner.  This time I ordered more veggies.  It was soooo good.

Elizabethe’s fortune said she was about to have some domestic chores.

Duh!  We just ate dinner.  Of course there are dishes.

I laughed and thought, now there’s an idea.  Obvious fortune cookies.

For example:    “You will be hungry an hour from now.”

Walking My X-T1

Walking My X-T1

Some people walk their dogs.  Walking my X-T1 was my thing to do today.

My X-T1 is my new camera and I hopped in the car and went for a drive with it.  Okay, I said I went walking with it.  I did… when I got out of the car to photograph something.  And, towards the end of my little drive I had the strength to go for a walk into the Sacred Grove where I took some photos.

So, you want to see what the Sacred Grove looks like “early in the spring”?

Here it is…


copyright 2015 db walton
Sacred Grove Early Spring 2015

We don’t get leaves on the trees until late spring/early summer.  The buds are just starting to appear.

So, when you think about the First Vision, think of the grove looking more like the above photograph.  But, no matter what time of year, the Sacred Grove is always a wonderful place.

After all, the Smiths lived there for a few years.  I would imaging Joseph and his family visited the grove often all through the year — not just the spring.

In 1820, they were coming out of a mini ice age.  Well, the winter of 2015 was a mini ice age for us.  In 1815, the eruption of Mt. Tambora put the world in a mini ice age.  How interesting that it was 200 years ago.  Anyway, given the climate conditions this last winter, the grove may have very well looked like this in the spring of 1820.

In the seven years I’ve lived here, the trees leaf out and the shade canopy starts around June 1st.  The full canopy isn’t developed until July.

No Dinner

No Dinner

No dinner for the missionaries tonight.  Well, I mean, we aren’t feeding them tonight.  Someone else is.  Somewhere along the line someone took one of the Sundays so we’re feeding them mid-week this week.

Our new site directors spoke in Sacrament Meeting today.  They were serving as mission president in Sierra Leon and the mission was closed due to the Ebola outbreak.

Matt taught both Sunday School and Priesthood today.  He does a great job and sure knows how to present using is Mac and iPhone.

I decided to watch a few episodes of Chopped.  I like chopped because of the out-of-the-box thinking that takes place.  And… sometimes the lack of creativity too can be learned from.

For example, one episode they had lobster and they had vegetable cream cheese.  To me, I’d be combining the two, transforming both in to something new.  Yet, nobody thought of that.

I would have fun on Chopped.  Elizabethe tried to apply for me, but at the end of the process, their web site crashed.  Weeks later, I attempted to apply for Chopped.  Again, at the end of the process their web site crashed.  I can now see why they keep re-using some of the contestants.  It is difficult to apply.

We woke to 3″ of snow this morning.  Yes, it is supposed to be spring, but the snow is still coming.

Cold Wind Blows

Cold Wind Blows

The cold wind blows the snow around.  Brrr… It is so cold I can hardly stand being in the kitchen.  (We don’t have heat in the kitchen.)

I went out to the sitting room where it is not being heated either.  The thermometer said 34F.  That’s exactly what I keep the refrigerator at.  Brrrrrrr….

While I’m itching to get outdoors and do something, this weather is additionally prohibitive.  It’s crazy cold and icy out there.  I’ve got a few sit-at-home projects I’m working on, but I’ve always been an on-the-go and outdoors person.  In the mean time, I’m making a list of things I want to do.

Elizabethe was assigned to be at the Family History Library tonight.  I went with here and they had one patron show up for about 30 minutes.  But, Elizabethe managed to get a lot of genealogy done.

Visiting Palmyra, New York

If you plan on visiting Palmyra, New York, now is the time to make your plans and reservations.  We have plenty of openings through the spring, summer and fall currently, but these do not last.  So, plan ahead and book NOW.  (see our main page at

If you really want to treat yourself to something special, when you book your stay, book a family portrait at the same time!

Here is a list of reasons you should stay at the Beckwith Mansion:

  1. We are walking distance from the E.B. Grandin Building and Alvin Smith’s Grave
  2. We are walking distance from Palmyra restaurants – Mark’s, Nima’s, Acropolis, Athena’s, and Happiness Garden, as well as Duncan doughnuts.
  3. We are only 2 miles from the Temple, the Smith Farm and the Sacred Grove.
  4. We are only 5 miles form Hill Cumorah
  5. Although we are not a bed-and-breakfast (we are classified as a tourist home under New York State laws), you can use our kitchen to prepare foods.
  6. We have a lovely yard with a patio, BBQ and a fire pit.  (You must supply your own charcoals or wood.)
  7. You can browse our library and read some fascinating books about Palmyra and its rich history.

Spring Day

Spring Day

“It was on the morning of a beautiful, clear day, early in the spring 1820″, wrote Joseph Smith.  Today was a beautiful spring day, so I thought I’d take a walk through the grove and take my camera.

copyright 2014 db walton
In the Grove

This time of year the leaves are just starting to come out on the trees, and the ground is still bare in many places.  That said, it is late spring.

So, what does the Sacred Grove look like in early spring?

copyright 2014 db walton
Sacred Grove on April 6, 2011

I know there is a popular LDS blog where this brother states the First Vision must have been March 26th, 1820.  I will be the last to put any specific date on it, and in March of any year, it is going to be quite barren in the grove, this March date is pure speculation (even though he took a research approach to arriving at this date.)**

In a discussion with some brethren regarding the use of some of my photographers, I pointed out to them that in early spring the grove is quite barren.  It was then one of them said it is a belief held by many (at church HQ) that when Joseph Smith, Jun., wrote that it was an early spring day, he may have been speaking from the observation of a 14 year old boy.  That is, it was green, flowers were blooming (which would put it mid- to late-May), bees were humming (which would put it late-May/early-June), and birds were singing (which could be anytime of year here).

Many of the paintings we see show the grove as it would look mid- to late-summer.  So, I leave you with pictures of the grove on a spring day (late spring), 2014.


copyright 2014 db walton
Sacred Grove, May 24, 2014


**Reasons I believe Lefgren’s conclusions aren’t accurate:  Temperatures and climate in this area vary drastically.  As one missionary pointed out, it can be raining in the grove and sunny at the temple (across the street).  Some of his research was based on data gather at Sackets Harbor which is no where near Palmyra, and although he contents Sackets Harbor and Palmyra are in the same weather pattern, anyone who lives near Watertown, NY, can tell you Palmyra and Watertown weather patterns are as different as night from day.  His exercise is interesting, but should be taken as a theory, and not doctrine or fact.

Tuesday Now

Tuesday Now

It’s Tuesday now.  Time tracking must be one of those things that goes as you get older.  Time definitely goes faster as you get older – – there’s no doubt about that.

The day was warm and sunny, but came tonight, the lightening and thunder came and it started to pour.  My phone started buzzing and vibrating like I never experienced before.  I thought, “What in the world”, and when I  picked it up, it said, “Severe storm warning”.  I never knew it did that before today.  It was wild.  I wonder if we were under attack if I’d get a similar warning.

Because of some web site glitches with a client, I had to upload their photos today. (Tried several times last week, and their site was down.)  I got them all uploaded which was a big relief.  One more item of my “to do” list.

Tuesday Now
Studio in the Spring

Another task I had on my list was to purchase hosting for the chamber of commerce web site.  I did, and it asked for a domain name.  Once I entered it in, I had a panic attack thinking… Oh, crud, what if they transfer it over right now.  Well, they didn’t, and I got it all ironed out as to how it will all work out.

We kept pretty busy in the temple tonight.