Friday, June 23, 2017

Country Road in Autumn

Don't you just want to drive down this road real slow in a truck with the windows down and the radio on a country station?
Yeah... I do. 
But it has to be on this exact day... no longer hot, but not cold yet... the day before some of the leaves wouldn't have turned, and the next day they'll have begun to fall.
Hhhhhhhh.... just makes me sigh...
A car or a cow or a person would just stifle my mind's imagination for this scene.  
I'm wondering... 
Who lives down the road?  
How much farther 'til 'we're there?  
How far away is the nearest store?  
How often is this road traveled? Do you have to pull over if you meet another car?
Are there cattle behind that fence? or a horse? maybe a donkey!
What sounds would I hear if I was there? birds? crickets?

I love the peaceful tone; however, I have to say it was odd working on an autumn painting in June!  I've heard musicians say how weird it is to record a Christmas album in July.  I guess it's kind of the same.  😉

This was the second project Cheri had for us during our painting weekend at Welcome Home Retreat.  Lots of lessons from this one... perspective...vanishing point... light source... claiming freedom from the reference photo... using bits of sky color in other areas of the canvas...

And, just for fun... As I began working on this post I realized something.
I wonder... If we have a third workshop... ??? Oh, dear... you do not want to see my third painting... It was a white cup on a black background... not good... not good at all... 
My first painting ever
February 2007
Our first  painting workshop
 February 2017

My second painting ever
March 2007
Our second painting workshop
 June 2017

Original Oil Painting on 9" x 12" Wrapped Canvas
Click "Country Road in Autumn" if you'd like to purchase this painting.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Robin's Nest with Two Eggs

Our back porch has become our favorite "outdoor living space" (as they call it on HGTV). No matter what season or weather, there are always birds chirping.  I'm not sure which bird says what, but I love hearing them.  I don't know where they hide their nests, but I love knowing they're there.

This nest was the perfect get-back-into-it project for me after a couple of months without painting.

AND... what a wonderful weekend!  I got to be a part of a painting workshop taught by Cheri Wollenberg at Welcome Home RetreatIt was a perfect balance of laughing... learning... relaxing... creating...!

The technique for this one didn't involve a paintbrush for a long time.  We used rubber gloves, scraps of cloth dipped in paint, and then an eraser.  

Lo and behold... it worked!


Here's a little peek at the relaxing part.  Don & Jackie prepare such delicious meals and take such good care of us while we're there!

Click "Robin's Nest with Two Eggs" to purchase this little painting.
Original Oil Painting on 6" x 6" Wrapped Canvas.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

My First Day of Retirement

I haven't painted or written on my blog in over a month... 
Life has just... well it's just kept me from it.
😊It's at the end too, but just in case you don't make it to the end... 😊

I've been retired now for about 24 hours.

Has it sunk in?  No.
Am I completely emotionally drained? Yes.
Have I got my thoughts about it together? No.

I've been shown so much love.
I have felt so humbled and so honored.

I have always believed that writing is the physical act of organizing thoughts, and right now my thoughts are a scattered, jumbled mess.
Honestly, I don't think I'm quite ready to gather them.

So... for today, I'll let pictures rather than words tell the emotions.

It began before I was prepared for it (or I would certainly have worn something besides a school t-shirt and jeans!) when I received appreciation for my work with the intern program from the University. 

Oh, how I love working with interns, and how many have become wonderful teachers!

Whenever anyone would say, "You can never be replaced!" my reply would be, "Then I've failed as a mentor because I've worked really hard to train countless young teachers to do just that."

...With my two interns from this year.  They are going to be such fine teachers.

My district provided a beautiful banquet to honor retirees.

I got to invite my most important people to join me.
Of course, my favorite...
He really is the best.

My dad. He's 90.
So glad he could come.
He and my mother taught Agriculture and Home Economics for 20 years.
My son and daughter-in-law.  

I missed having my daughter and son-in-law. Maryland is just a little too far away.

My people...
Melanie - my 4th grade teaching teammate, my friend
Mona - our school secretary, my friend
Julie - my 3rd grade teacher down the hall, my friend

My assistant principal came to support me. Love her so.
Wow... once my fourth grader, now a teacher and mentor herself.
 My former principal, now assistant superintendent.  I learned so much about professionalism from him.
My first principal, way back when I was just a student teacher.  He took care of me.  
 Then...When I got to the school early the next morning...
This was right in front of "my spot."

Later that day...

Surrounded by 56 of my favorite people.
To reveal this...

And just when I think I cannot possible cry any more...
Click for a little video of this...
love, Love, LOVE!!
These people... my school family!
Love them so...
After I warned that if they ever noticed the stone missing, they might think to check my own garden at home...

At our fourth grade graduation, they presented me with another to keep...
... and yes... I cried again...