My Latest Book – Organizational Aerodynamics

I’ve published a series of books lately and one of them is Organizational Aerodynamics – “…helping individuals, organizations and businesses creatively solve their challenges…”  I first began writing Organizational Aerodynamics in 2000 to help folks look at their world through new perspectives through the Art of Visualization.  Simply changing your perspective can change your world and my aim in this book is to show you how I’ve used this technique my entire life.  Organizational Aerodynamics is free on Kindle Unlimited and the paperback version is 245 pages.

Kindle link:

Paperback link:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1723281743/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i20

My Amazon Author Page:

https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/entity/author/B078RRS631?_encoding=UTF8&node=283155&offset=0&pageSize=12&sort=author-pages-popularity-rank&page=1#formatSelectorHeader

About this book:

It was through the process of visualization that I had the idea to write this book, in order to help anyone utilize the technique of visualization to improve their lives and the organizations they’re part of.  Visualization provides you with the opportunity to see anything from a fresh new perspective, explore alternative options, and open yourself to eureka moments of self-discovery in your life and in the organizations you participate in.  This process of visualizing something we’ve never before experienced, or hasn’t taken place – or doesn’t even yet exist – allows us to explore new and imaginative ways we can transform the world around us and create the world of our dreams.  It is this radical alteration of how we look at our world that can change everything for us – and it is the Art of Visualization that can make it happen!

About the Author:

I’ve written this book as a self-help motivational guide to teach you how to visualize your community, organization, business, family, life and world in brand new ways, so that you can creatively solve your challengesOrganizational Aerodynamics allows you to visualize your unique situation in a way that perhaps you’ve never seen it before, in order to refine and focus your energy on successfully accomplishing your goal.

The saying ‘our mind’s eye’ is a way of describing the fact that we often see what we’re thinking.  When someone describes something to us we often develop a mental picture of what they’re saying – even as they’re saying it to us.  So open your mind’s eye as wide as you can and free your mind to look at your world anew as if for the first time ever – and use the Art of Visualization to see new and unique solutions to solve and overcome your challenges!  Cheers!  Mark

Cheers!

Mark

My Original Artwork ~ Windowpane Moonlight

I’ve completed my latest painting, which I call ‘My Original Artwork ~ Windowpane Moonlight’ (18″ x 24″), and I’m pleased that the finished product captures my imagination from when I first thought of painting the Moon and Milky Way.

What was new to me, was the fact that this painting offered me the perspective of looking out at the night sky through a windowpane, as it has a border that reminds me of the condensation around a single-pane window in the wintertime ~ despite the fact that the image of the Moon and Milky Way are enlarged and zoomed in on in the painting.

I enjoy seeing photographs of the universe showing the wondrous beauty of the planets, solar systems and galaxies of deep space, so I’m sure this won’t be my last attempt of painting the universe ~ enjoy! ☼ 🙂

My Original Artwork ~ Windowpane Moonlight (18″ x 24″)

(Copyright 2017, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

'Windowpane Moonlight' (18" x 24") ~ (Copyright 2017, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

‘Windowpane Moonlight’ (18″ x 24″) ~ (Copyright 2017, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

My Original Artwork ~ Wildflower Sunset

I’ve finished my most recent painting that I call ‘Wildflower Sunset’ (18″ x 24″), and enjoy the fact that I’m taking my painting in new directions.  This piece was a joy to paint with its happy colors and flowers, and I’m sure I’ll be attempting more flower paintings in the future! 🙂 The tall blue flowers are Wild Blue Chicory (Cichorium intybus), along with Daisies, a single Fire Pink Silene virginica, Dandelions and at the bottom False Rue Anemone (Enomion biternatum) as ground cover.

My next painting is going to be of a night sky with a full moon and the Milky Way Galaxy.  I like the concept of painting whatever comes to mind ~ especially themes I haven’t painted before ~ enjoy! ☼ 🙂

My Original Artwork ~ Wildflower Sunset (18″ x 24″)

(Copyright 2017, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

Wildflower Sunset (18

Wildflower Sunset (18″ x 24″) ~ (Copyright 2017, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

My Original Artwork-In-Progress (Update 4) ~ A Medieval Fair

This is the fourth update of my Original Artwork-In-Progress ~ A Medieval Fair (18″ x 24″), and all that’s left to finish now are the jousting knights and horses! 🙂 I’ve added in all the townspeople and villagers, finding it quite a challenge to paint such little figures ~ but at the same time the process encouraged me to explore painting portraits some time in the future.

My next update will complete this current painting, and I’m pondering what subject to explore in my next painting.  At the moment, I’m considering painting a field of wildflowers using an acrylic watercolor technique ~ enjoy! ☼ 🙂

'A Medieval Fair' (18" x 24") ~ (Copyright 2017, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

‘A Medieval Fair’ (18″ x 24″) ~ (Copyright 2017, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

My Original Artwork-In-Progress (Update 3) ~ A Medieval Fair

This is the third update of my Original Artwork-In-Progress ~ A Medieval Fair (18″ x 24″), and I’m pleased with the progress so far. My next challenge is to paint in the townspeople and villagers watching the jousting tournament, and then complete the painting by finishing the knights and horses.

I’m looking forward to seeing the final result, and pondering what direction to take on my next painting once this one’s finished ~ enjoy! ☼ 🙂

'A Medieval Fair' (18

‘A Medieval Fair’ (18″ x 24″) ~ (Copyright 2017, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

My Original Artwork-in-Progress (Update 2) ~ Castle Hamlet

This is the second update on my latest Artwork-in-Progress ~ Castle Hamlet (18″ x 24″), and I’ve made some progress along the way.  I enjoy serializing my paintings, as it helps me understand both the process and the painting as I describe it, plus I can look back and see the painting’s development over time.

After my initial sketch on the canvas over a coat of white paint, I used an acrylic watercolor wash for the first time to set the sketch, and it worked out very well.  Without setting the sketch, the graphite pencil lines smudge easily, and while on earlier paintings I lightly painted over the lines with white paint, it made the lines difficult to see clearly.  So this watercolor wash is a new technique I’ve developed that seems to work very well for me.  Perspective and architectural lines don’t come naturally for me, so I need to at least have a rough sketch to follow to paint from.  I rarely stick precisely to the guide though, but it’s a crutch that helps me quite a bit! 🙂

You can see the difference in the watercolor wash in the middle of the painting, and especially in the last photo where only the sky and mountains are finished.  My next challenge is to fill in the front details of the cottages, as well as the stones of the bridge and bridge cottage, then I’ll fill in the space between the mountains and the Castle Hamlet with a forest, and flower gardens along the river! 🙂

Artwork-in-Progress ~ Castle Hamlet (18″ x 24″)

(Copyright 2016, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

Our Adventures in Cooking ~ Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner & Turkey Noodle Soup

I’ve always been the Turkey Meister in our family, and Thanksgiving and New Year’s are favorite times of mine to get to work in the kitchen preparing and cooking a turkey! 🙂 My wife’s the Turkey Noodle Soup expert, and together we stretch the holiday meal to last as long as possible.  I’ve decided to explain the entire process of how we prepare the turkey and make homemade stock for lots of turkey noodle soup afterwards! 🙂

My focus on preparing an oven roasted turkey is simplicity, as opposed to photographic perfection, in order to enjoy a moist, succulent turkey dinner, and to prepare stock for the soup.  I follow the cooking directions on the turkey packaging, and trim all the extra skin and fat away from the turkey in order to have a clear broth after cooking with minimum fat.  We oven roast chicken the same way, minimizing the grease and making clean-up as easy as possible.

The rinsed turkey neck and giblets are brought to a boil in a pot with seasonings (salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, Season All and a bay leaf), and then quickly returned to low heat/simmer for an hour to prevent boil over on the stove top.  The broth is used for making turkey gravy, and the turkey neck and giblets are saved for making the soup stock.  The turkey’s tail and wing tips are removed separately and saved overnight in the refrigerator for making stock the next day.

I place poultry (turkey and chicken) on a bed of celery, carrots, quartered onions and two garlic cloves for oven roasting, and for the turkey we use a double layer of vegetables and a half cup of water to start the broth collection in the bottom of the roasting pan.  For oven roasting a chicken, we use a single layer of vegetables as a base under the bird and a little water just to cover the bottom of the roasting pan.  The vegetables release a clear, flavorful broth during cooking, and after removing the poultry’s extra skin and fat, there’s little fat remaining in the broth.

I wash and dry the cleaned turkey, loosening the skin all around the breast and rub the bird with Extra Light Olive Oil on and under the skin, before seasoning both the meat and skin afterwards.  The olive oil moistens the meat and skin, and holds the seasonings in place. This year we used the convection cooking feature of the oven, which shortened the cooking time by at least a half hour, and avoided having to tent the bird in the final stages of cooking.

I baste the turkey every 45 minutes while cooking, using melted butter and drippings to drizzle over and under the breast skin, as well as over the wings, drumsticks and thighs of the bird.  We use a baking sheet to support the turkey roasting pan, as it’s heavy (ours was a 14.5 pound turkey), and the drippings are very hot, so use extreme caution when removing the turkey pan from the oven and placing it back in.  Also, make sure your turkey roasting pan doesn’t have a hole in the bottom, or the drippings will leak out and create quite a hot and dangerous mess.

Once the turkey is finished cooking (based on the pop-out thermometer and digital meat thermometer reading), remove it from the bed of vegetables and broth, and tent it with aluminum foil for 20 minutes until dinner.  Strain the vegetables through a colander (the spent celery can be mashed in the colander to add extra flavor to the broth), and carefully pour the hot broth from the turkey roasting pan into a large pot, setting aside a portion of the broth to slightly moisten the turkey pieces after the meal for refrigerating.

I peel and cube the potatoes early on in the process and let them soak in a large pot of cool water, until bringing them to a boil on the stove top.  My wife manages the turkey gravy, which isn’t hard to make from scratch, but first read a number of online recipes ahead of time, to be ready to make it as the rest of the meal is coming together.  She also warms the cranberry sauce (a mixture of canned whole cranberries, a little fresh orange juice, and some grated orange zest), and microwaves a pouch of vegetables ~ while I boil, drain and mash the potatoes to the right consistency with warm milk, melted butter, salt, and a little nutmeg, and carve the turkey.  With any luck, the meal all comes together within a five minute window time frame of final preparations ~ and then it’s time to serve it up! 🙂

After the meal, and during the cleanup process, I remove all the edible meat from the turkey carcass, and save all the bones in a bowl with the turkey neck, giblets, tail and wing tips to refrigerate overnight.  I chop the salvaged meat into smaller portions, and moisten it as needed with a little turkey broth set aside earlier.  Seal the pieces of turkey meat in airtight containers and/or freeze in portions for turkey sandwiches later.  A good portion of the turkey meat will be set aside in the refrigerator to add to the turkey noodle soup when the time comes.

The next day or two later, place the refrigerated turkey giblet broth, turkey drippings, turkey neck, giblets, tail and wing tips, salvaged bones, and fresh vegetables ~ celery, carrots, onions, leeks, parsley, a garlic clove, seasonings, and two bay leaves and a few peppercorns in a metal egg for later removal ~ into a large stock pot, and bring to a boil.  Once a boil is reached, reduce the heat and simmer for a good eight hours or so until cooked down, and then discard the turkey bones and pieces, and spent vegetables.

You now have a nice, rich soup stock for making your turkey noodle soup, but first it must be cooled and refrigerated overnight.  We divided the stock over a couple of pots placed on cooling elements to help cool down the hot stock, but if it’s cold outside, you can cover the pot and sit it on the back porch to cool quickly.  Don’t let the stock sit out at room temperature any longer than necessary before refrigerating.  Once cooled, you can freeze the stock for making soup later, or refrigerate overnight to make soup the next day.  If your stock has a layer of congealed turkey fat on the surface once cooled, simply spoon off the fat layer and discard in the garbage ~ never down the sink drain.

For making soup, first chop the vegetables (celery, carrots, onions and leeks) and saute right in the pot you’ll use to make the soup. Once sauteed, add in the stock you’ve refrigerated, small pieces of turkey, season to taste, and heat to serving temperature on the stove top.  We cook our wide egg noodles separately fresh for each meal in the microwave to then add into the soup, and garnish with chopped parsley when serving.  You can also add a bag of frozen mixed vegetables and purchased chicken stock as desired to lengthen the soup over more meals.

That’s the entire process we use for preparing our holiday turkey dinner, as well as stock, turkey noodle soup, and turkey sandwiches for many more meals to follow.  Here’s a photo gallery of our efforts this past Thanksgiving in reverse order, from turkey noodle soup to preparing the turkey ~ enjoy! ☼ 🙂

My Original Artwork-in-Progress ~ Castle Hamlet

I completed this sketch yesterday of my latest Artwork-in-Progress ~ Castle Hamlet (18″ x 24″), and started painting it in last night.  This painting is different for me in a number of ways as it’s a larger canvas than I’d been using before, and the perspective is unique as well.   I’m using a new technique to ‘set’ the sketch with a watercolor wash, to use as a guide for painting it in afterwards, so we’ll see how well it works as I make progress. I’m also trying to speed up the overall painting process, and not take weeks to finish a painting, as I had done with my smaller paintings.

I enjoy creating and painting Old World fantasy scenes, and this one follows the same pattern ~ an idyllic hamlet alongside the protective walls of a castle ~ let the adventure begin! 🙂

Castle Hamlet (18″ x 24″)

(Copyright 2016, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

My Original Artwork ~ A Photo Series

The other night I decided to photograph my artwork in my study, and liked the effect the light had in bringing out each of my painting’s details.  It’s been a fun artistic adventure for me over the last two years ~ along with the early beginnings of my painting aspirations, some 37 years ago.  My photo efforts fall short of the clarity I’d like to see in many of these snapshots, and someday I aim to have professional photographs taken of my work to sell as prints ~ but for now, it’s another step down the road towards my artistic dreams ~ enjoy! ☼ 🙂