Thursday, November 12, 2015

Necklace of the Gods... Lo-Fi-Gods that is -- 11/12/15

A friend of mine suggested that my Lo-Fi-Ga miniature woodcarvings would make a cool necklace, so I have created a prototype. What do you think? I've already made a couple of pairs of earrings for my wife, but haven't shown them off yet. This isn't my first experience in the jewelry making world. Many years ago I worked part-time at "Gypsy D's", one of the cornerstone small businesses in the 1980s and 90s in the Ghent area of Norfolk. We handmade much of the jewelry that was sold there back then, so I know my way around a ring mandrel and round-tipped pliers. It may be time to dust off those old skills.


Saturday, October 31, 2015

A NASA Photo Op One Hundred Years In the Making - 10/31/15

I've been working as a contractor at NASA Langley for ten years, which is exactly one tenth the time that NASA Langley, well Langley airfield has existed. The official anniversary date is July 17, 2017 and according to this article on "On that day, one hundred years earlier, construction began on the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory. It was the nation’s first civilian aeronautics research facility."
Can you see me now?

I feel fortunate to work in such an amazing place full of history and hope for the future. The researchers and scientist I've had the pleasure to work with (I'm a multimedia specialist in the video department, so we get to work with a wide range of people) are as passionate and dedicated a group as you'll ever find anywhere. It's quite common to see a researcher retire, only to show up the following week to continue work on their project because they want to solve the BIG PROBLEM. Not because they'll get rich or famous, just because they can't quit until they figured it out, whatever "it" is. And the things they figure out advance the quality of human life, whether it's safer airplanes or satellite tech that gives us cell phones and accurate weather forecasts or creating spacecraft that allows us to explore our universe. All of those incredible achievements come down to a person applying their brain and heart to finding smarter, better ways to do things.
The obligatory selfie

So, on a drizzly Tuesday in October, we all took a break from the routine and stood together to mark this moment in time and recognize that the people make the place. I'm proud to have been a part of it.


Here are a couple "behind-the-scenes" photos as everyone gathered together in front of the hanger.

The official photo was taken from a hovering helicopter from the Air Force Base next door. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

It Always Looks Better In Print...

You can find an article on my neo-primitive, miniature woodcarvings in the October issue of VEER Magazine. The piece is called, "Unmasking Small Works of Hal Weaver" and ties in with the "Small Works" Exhibition at the Charles H. Taylor Art Center in Hampton. The article is online, but I always like to see ink on paper, which is quickly becoming a rare thing. 

Full disclosure, the publisher/owner of VEER Magazine, Jeff Maisey is an old friend and longtime supporter of my art and the arts in general here in Tidewater.


Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Black Stallion - 10/23/15

Another day, another strange sighting on the drive home. This time I came upon this weird tri-wheeled vehicle that reminded me of cheesy sci-fi action flicks from the 1980s. I caught the name across the rear, a "Stallion". Apparently the base model is only $33,995.00. That's a lot of money to get rained on.  

This guy was towing a little matching trailer that must have been empty because it was bouncing all over the place. Here's a shot of the back and if you look closely, you'll spot the trailer hitch. If I had one of these, I'd wear a Batman outfit when I drove around town.


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Halloween Shotgun - 10/21/15

My intentions were good. I started the year off declaring I'd post an "image-a-day" and after an enthusiastic launch, was quickly overcome by all the usual suspects and then the shame hammer stopped me cold. But today, while driving home from work, I glanced to the vehicle to my left and saw a human skeleton riding shotgun and immediately recognized the manna that had been laid at my feet. Here was my chance to jump back into the "image-a-day" blog post, so here we are.

I love Halloween, mostly because I love the horror and monster genres. The candy ain't bad either....


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

It Ain't Easy Being Green - 9/28/15

This morning I found this Green Tree Frog resting comfortable on the roof of my car. He was a tiny little guy and I'm glad I noticed him before jumping in and driving off, otherwise he may have wound up in the middle of the road. I carefully picked him up and he grabbed onto my hand with his little grippy fingers. I walked him over and set him down on a bush, I guess I should have found a tree. I'd never seen a frog like this in the yard and it made me happy to know that green little fellow is out there.


Monday, September 28, 2015

On the Cover of the Rolling Hampton Arts Magazine! - 9/27/15

Last Saturday I went to the mailbox and was pleasantly surprised to find one of my woodcarvings on the cover of "Diversions - Hampton Arts" magazine. The reason why it has taken a week for me to write about it here on the blog, is that I posted this photo on Facebook last weekend and all the "Likes" and comments there satisfied my never-ending hunger for social media attention. So why bother writing about it here on a blog that few people actually read? Because the blog is better equipped to function as a chronicle, because of the hashtags and easier time-specific navigation. I also feel more comfortable rambling on at length here, as opposed to Facebooklandia where the short post seems a better fit.

"American Tiki" made the cover  because the "Small Works" show is coming up next month at the Charles H. Taylor Center and I've been asked to be a part of it again for the third year in a row. I'll always be grateful to James Warwick Jones for introducing me to the "Small Works" exhibition as it has led me to working in miniature, which I find is a good fit for the limited amount of time and space I currently have for making art. I hope to one day return to making bigger pieces, but for now I'm enjoying "getting small".


Thursday, September 10, 2015

"Ale Kuls" - Lo-Fi-Ga #03 - 9/10/15

Here is another Lo-Fi-Ga woodcarving from last fall that I did for the "Small Works show at the Charles H. Taylor Center. He is the first, but not the last skull I'll carve. Halloween is just around the corner after all.
This piece sold at last year's exhibition and I hope whomever acquired him has given him a good home. New owner, if you read this, please take a minute and send me a photo of "Ale Ku's" in his new environment. I miss him!


Sunday, August 30, 2015

"Mas" - Lo-Fi-Ga #2 - 8/30/15

August has been a good month for making art. I've made more time to be in the studio and this is a good thing. I've also spent some time organizing photos of the Lo-Fi-Ga pieces and entering their stats in the database. Looking back through each of the twelve, I realized that I've never blogged about "Mas", the second Ga I created October 19, 2014. He sold last year in the Charles H. Taylor "Small Works" show. I'm glad I got a full series of photos of him because he wasn't around long. Do yourself a favor and never put a piece of work in an exhibition without getting some photos of it.


Sunday, August 23, 2015

"El Roja" - Lo-Fi-Ga #10 - 8/23/15

Introducing Lo-Fi-Ga #10, "El Roja". Is he an alien? Is he a Mexican Wrestler? Is he an alien Mexican Wrestler? He is a Lo-Fi-Ga and his domain is the top rope body slam! 

I recently finished six new Lo-Fi-Ga carvings; all they lacked were bases and names and to be added to the database. I use a program called Flick! that is no longer produced, which is too bad as it was reasonably priced and easy to use. It certainly isn't much fun doing data-entry work, but necessary if you want to be a pro. All the information comes in handy and if you can enter each piece of art as you complete them, instead of waiting until you have a pile-up, it's much easier to keep on top of it. 


Friday, August 14, 2015

The Skinny Buildings of Japan - 8/13/15

On a side street in Numazu, Japan
I am still digesting my trip to Japan. Everyday that I was there was filled with too much detail to process in real-time. Going back through my photos I found a series of shots that I took of skinny buildings. Real estate is a premium in Japan, so buildings are slotted in on the slimmest lots. 

Somewhere in Tokyo, Shibuya maybe?

The Japanese are also masterfully efficient users of space, so I'm sure these buildings, though compact, have fully functional interiors.

Shinjuku, Tokyo

I fell in love with this brick apartment building, though not as skinny as the others, I couldn't resist the Smart Car tucked in so cozy.  

SakeStand - Shibuya, Japan

Sorry to say that I did not get to sample any Sake from this marvelous SakeStand. Notice the umbrellas; yes it did rain a lot while I was there, but that didn't slow me down. 

The skinniest building in Tokyo

The skinniest building in Tokyo is a slight wedge of a noodle restaurant, perched somewhere in Harajuku. The place is so small that the kitchen spilled out the back door into the alley behind the place. No, I didn't eat there either. Next time.

The Littlest Bunker
The last place is the "Littlest Bunker in Tokyo". When I saw this joint I fantasized about owning a hideaway like that. Some tiny place to hang-out and listen to music and read books between trips to the conveyor belt sushi restaurants or noodle stands.

I love Tokyo and Japan!


Monday, August 10, 2015

M-78 - The Latest Lo-Fi-Ga - 8/9/15

Today was a good day. I spent some solid time in the studio catching up on some mundane, but necessary tasks. I've been having a lot of fun carving new Lo-Fi-Ga figures and they've been stacking up. The boring bit is fabricating the bases and doing the final finishing work. I guess I need an assistant. The good news from today's effort is I have doubled the number of Lo-Fi-Ga pieces in the world from six to twelve!

This new one is called "M-78". Is he a secret agent? Is he a wrestler? Maybe a secret wrestler? He is marked and mysterious and blind.


Sunday, August 02, 2015

My Eight Mile - 8/1/2015

 Yesterday I got out for an eight mile hike. It's a route I know well in the neighborhood. I have mapped out several routes of varying lengths that begin and end at my front door. I'm fortunate to live in an interesting area with a beach close by and a park only a mile and a half away, so the walks are not just a bland sidewalk stomp through suburbia. I've been thinking about the passage of time lately; how quickly time moves through me or am I moving through time? How my walks and runs and hikes are small journeys that slip away before I can focus them to a point in my life. I wanted to do something to document what an average walk like this is like because one day, I may not live here anymore or I may not be able walk eight miles. I do know I am getting older and the old body will waste away sooner then I expect and the eight mile walk will be something I'll miss. So, "Hello there elder Hal Weaver in the future! Remember when you would tie on the old hike boots, plug-in the ear buds and stride on strong and springy legs down the lane? If not, then here's a little reminder of this time in the summer of 2015. Enjoy old boy!"


Mile One - The Happy Mailbox - Those colorful reflectors always catch my eye.
Mile Two - Bayville Park - I love the tall pine trees in this park.
Mile Three - Pleasure House Point - Great nature area that I did not hike through on this route. Note- mind the low hanging fingers.
Mile Four - The Lesner Bridge - Here's the construction gantry lurking through the trees. The new bridge will be ready June 2017.
Mile Five - Live Oak Trees - Also in the Pleasure House Point  Nature Area.
Mile Six - I Got Fat Hands! - I must have had a lot of salt in my system as my hands ballooned up.
Mile Seven - Random Crepe Myrtle - My neighborhood is full of these beautiful trees and the bloom is on!
Mile Eight - The End of the Line - This is not my house, just a little cottage behind our house.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Dreamtime - The Japan Trip - 7-25-2015

It has been a lifelong dream of mine to visit Japan and hike Mt. Fuji. With my fiftieth birthday falling this year, it seemed appropriate to finally get this dream trip done. Besides, who knows how much longer I'll be in good enough shape to hike a mountain. I diligently saved (and hacked) as many frequent flyer miles as I could and managed to score a business class pod; Washington DC direct to Tokyo. The trip last two weeks and I did indeed hike to the Top of Mt. Fuji, spent time in Lake Kawaguchiko, Numazu and Tokyo. In the following weeks, I'll be posting about different parts of the trip, but for now, I want to share some photos from the trip. Here's the link.
Photos from the Japan trip on Flickr.



Japan Summer 2015

Monday, July 20, 2015

Monster Hail! - 7/19/2015

Yesterday evening, we had a surprise storm whip up. There had only been a 20% chance of rain, but that quickly went to 100% when a late afternoon thunderstorm ripped through our neighborhood with little notice. It started with some light rain, but quickly intensified with high winds and a torrential downpour. Then the hail started. We heard it before we saw it. There was a drumming on the roof that made us look outside and we were shocked to see quarter-size bits of ice coming down. A few pieces were more then two inches in diameter! That's the biggest hail I've ever seen. Here is a little unedited clip of the stuff coming down.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A Meager Harvest - 7/14/15

Back in May I planted some radishes. Here's the post when they first started to pop up. Fast forward to now and a few of them have survived, so I have started to pull'em for salads. This was the first one. Although it is misshapen, it taste delicious and I may put in more and see if I can get a second round in before the days get too short.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

There Goes the Neighborhood, UP! - 6/24/2015

The neighbor across the street is rebuilding his place. The old place was falling down and kind of scary, so we were glad to see it go. The lot was vacant for seven months. During that time we had an unobstructed view of the Cheasepeake Bay, then the building began. We were told the new building wouldn't be any higher. Yeah, right! The old place was only three stories and this one is four. It'll be interesting to see if it starts a trend in the neighborhood. OK HW

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Say Hello to My Little Friend - 6/22/2015

I found this lovely little green snake on our patio tonight. He was perched up on this plant and looked comfortable. I wondered if he was trying to catch some bugs.


Monday, June 15, 2015

Blind Willie - Lo-Fi-Ga - 6/15/15

Last fall I started my series of "Lo-Fi-Ga" carvings. Tiny, forgotten gods that are coming back to set some things right in the world. The motivation was an exhibition of miniature art at the Charles H. Taylor Center called "Small Works" that's done every year around November. Last year I submitted two Lo-Fi-Ga pieces and a small woodcarving called "Maya Bird". They all sold before the show opened, so the curator, James Warwick Jones, asked me if I had anything else, so I created two more Lo-Fi-Ga carvings. "Blind Willie" is the one of those and he sold too, so I haven't seen him since the show. I love blues and jazz music and was thinking of the faces of some of those old musicians when I did this piece. "Blind Willie" is the god of the late night steam whistle cry from a westbound train.


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Hopping You have a Jiang-Shi Birthday - 6/12/2015

So I had a birthday recently and it was a "Big One" by most standards. I turned 50 years old. How I got here and the speed it happened is a discussion best left for another time. Even though the official day was last weekend, the party is still going on. Today I received in the mail an awesome package of hand-drawn birthday cards from my older sister and her daughter (my niece) and my great nieces. It did my old heart good to see those sweet bits of colorful construction paper magically transformed into birthday cards by toddler's hands. What I'm sharing with you tonight is what my big sis did for me. She sent my 3,000 yen for my upcoming trip to Japan and did this fantastic drawing of an Asian Jiangshi or "Hopping Vampire/Zombie". She is a better artist then she knowns! I love this drawing. Thank you sis!


Friday, June 12, 2015

Summertime Traffic at the HRBT - 6/11/15

I commute everyday through the HRBT and in the summer, the traffic is often a nightmare. Today's one of those days.  


Tuesday, June 02, 2015

A Sideways Grin - 6-1-2015

I did this Lo-Fi-Ga a couple of weeks ago and posted him on Instagram, but forgot to put him on here until tonight. I don't have a name for him yet, in fact have a  bunch of nameless heads rolling around the studio. For now I'm calling him "Sideways Grin", a line from an old Tom Waits tune. He's lying on a stack of unfinished bases, which I need to sand and paint, etc., the kind of easy, mindless work that's good to do while I wait for the muse to return.


Monday, June 01, 2015

Rise of the Radishes - 5-31-2015

Well, actually so far, it's just one, but I'm excited anyways. We never do a big garden, just a few small things, but it is still fun to eat veggies you grew yourself. This year, we have some Better Boy Tomatoes, Basil, Rosemary and Radishes, which I'm growing from seed. I like growing Radishes because they are easy to grow, come up quickly and taste great on a salad. I threw about a dozen seeds in this pot, but this is the only one to sprout so far. Stay tuned for the full crop report to come!


Friday, May 29, 2015

Speed Art - 5/28/15

Janet and I attended a wonderful art social event at the Chrysler Musuem's Glass Art Studio in Norfolk, Va, called "Come Art My Party" and it was a bit like speed dating. The price of admission was 3-5 images of your art and during the evening each artist was given one minute to show their stuff and talk about it. I thought it was an effective and fun way to build community. I enjoyed seeing such diverse work and having a chance to share my efforts. I choose my Lo-Fi-Ga" series and folks seemed to enjoy the idea and scale of the work.

Most importantly, connections were made, met new artists and enjoyed talking with them about their art and getting acquainted. One person I chatted with was William Sprueill who shared his moody, black & white human figure photographs; his website (Bonehead Art and Media). I also met Robin Rogers, who works at the Glass Studio and he and his wife Julia are glass artist and currently have a show at the TCC Visual Arts Center in Portsmouth, Va called Percipient Minds that will be up through June 24, 2015.

Thanks' to Charlotte Potter and the good folks at the Glass Studio for putting the event on. It was an inspiring evening that fed my creative soul.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Choose a Different Path - 5/26/2015

Met my old friend Casey of COGfoto for lunch today at a Sandy Bottom Park. I'm grateful for a break from eating at my desk and it's good to catch-up. It feels good to get outside and after lunch, we usually have time for a quick walk around the lake. Today we took a different route that led us to a long row of these incredible, Thistle-like flowers. We both saw an opportunity for today's blog post, so hauled out our phones and got a couple of shots. I think it's interesting to see how we each shot the same subject. Stumbling across these flowers made me glad we tried a different path.

If anyone knows what that flower is, please let me know.subject.


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Furiosa - 5/25/15

I saw "Mad Max Fury Road" over the weekend. It was an intense orgy of action and weirdness and I loved it. George Miller is a student of cinema, a lover of the silent era and it shows in the masterful design of the ballet of death and the relationship of humans against a desolate wasteland. This film made me think of "Lawrence of Arabia" and John Ford Westerns. The production design was straight out of "Heavy Metal" magazine, in fact by my estimate this was the most Heavy Metal movie ever! But all that aside, the image that stayed with me the most was the Charlize Theron character, "Imperator Furiosa" with her black warpaint and tragic, liquid blue eyes that seemed to always be somewhere between rage and sorrow. Today's art time was spent carving a new Lo-Fi-Ga inspired by that character. It's not meant to be a portrait, I just loved the style of black make-up covering the top half of the face and those blue eyes. This is the first Lo-Fi-Ga that I've painted, all the others I left totally natural. So what do you think of the paint?


Monday, May 25, 2015

Romaine Will Never Die! - 5/24/2015

Last week my mother told me about growing more Romaine lettuce from the "butt" of an old head and I had to give it a try. All you do is trim the root end a little and place the core in a little water. It took a couple of days before I saw the sprouts, but now they are going strong. I did some research to find out what's next, (SPOILER ALERT - you plant it in dirt), so that'll be next. Give it a try it's easy!


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Hello Stranger - 5/20/15

A new Lo-Fi-Ga was born tonight and I have no idea what to name him. Got any suggestions?


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Alien Roadkill - 5/18/15

I found this alien carcass in the parking lot in front of the laundromat tonight. This poor visitor from another world had a "Close Encounter of the Last Kind". Perhaps I should do an autopsy on him.