Saturday, September 7, 2019

Flamingo II

Fun facts about flamingos
  • That backwards bending knee is actually an ankle!
  • They live 20-30 years!
  • Their feathers are colored differently based on on what they eat!
  • They build their nests out of mud!
  • They spend a quarter of their day cleaning their feathers!
How about that!

This particular flamingo lives at the Tulsa Zoo.  

Original Oil Painting on 10"x 20" Wrapped Canvas
Click "Flamingo II" if you'd like to purchase this painting.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Lady Mondegreen, A Black and White Cow

I'm snackin' light now
Crack a slight bow.
Just whack and bite now
Dragon fight, Wow!
I'm packin' right now
A stack of bright towels
A black and white cow!
This is the story of my life... making up words to fit, never mind whether they make sense.
I named this pretty little heifer in honor of my new favorite vocabulary word:
mondegreen - when a word or phrase is created after mishearing a poem or song lyric
Sylvia Write coined the word in a 1954 article for Harper's Magazine when she admitted to hearing the words of an old Scottish poem incorrectly as a child. She'd heard and imagined,
     "They have slain the Earl O'Murray And Lady Mondegreen."
Only that wasn't it!
It should have been:
     "They have slain the Earl O'Murray and laid him on the green."

This... is... MY... word!
It seems that there is no end to my lyric mess ups  mondegreens!
My poor husband just shakes his head and sighs when I sing along with the radio.
"Seen my sheriff broke and laid low..."
nope... it's
"Seen my share of broken halos..."
so sorry Chris Stapleton

"Whoa-oh, Johnny go..."
nope... it's
"Whoa-oh, China Grove..."
so sorry Doobie Brothers

"Hell fire up...'
nope... it's
so sorry Oak Ridge Boys

"Odor Uptight..."
nope.... it's
"Hold her up tight...'
so sorry Alabama

"Lookin' for my lost jiggery-zaw..."
nope... it's
"Lookin' for my lost shaker of salt..."
so sorry Jimmy Buffet

"Go smell a policeman..."
nope... it's
"Warm smell of colitas..."
so sorry Eagles

I could honestly go on and on and on and on with these.
And, yes, I realize that I sing words that make no sense at all.

I have to admit that I'm kind of jealous of Sylvia Write. How cool would it be to get to invent a brand new word!

I've decided that I have a disability, and it needs a name.
If dyslexia is difficulty with letters and reading and discalculia is difficulty with numbers and math, then my word will be dislyricia, difficulty with lyrics and songs.

So, exactly what does this all have to do with the cow painting?
Well, she is a lovely lady cow who needed a name.
I tried dozens of names, but none stuck.
When Ron said, "Call her Lady Mondegreen," it made me laugh out loud... My new favorite cow named for my new favorite word!

Original Oil Painting on 10"x 10" Wrapped Canvas
Click "Lady Mondegreen" if you'd like to purchase this little painting.

Monday, September 2, 2019


There's an elegant simplicity about an image of garden harvested vegetables. I love my little garden.  It's almost finished for the year, but it's been a pleasure to go out and fill my little bucket each day.
 The jalapenos have been so generous.
Do you need some?
Pretty, pretty purple peppers.
Try to say that three times!
When I look at my kitchen counter in July and August, I just can't help myself.  It's too pretty not to snap a picture... Then scrolling through my phone photos, I see all these random photos of food on the counter. I thought I'd share.  Enjoy!

Original Oil Painting on 6"x 8" Wrapped Canvas
Click "Jalapenos" if you'd like to purchase this little painting.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Santa Nutcrackers

I have a lot of nutcrackers that I've collected over the years. Some of them are quite ornate and fancy, but this one is probably the simplest one that I have.  He's also my favorite.  From Thanksgiving to New Year's, he stands on the windowsill beside the fireplace.
It was fun to paint him in four different ways.

Original Oil Paintings on 6"x 12" Wrapped Canvas
These were painted for an upcoming Santa-themed art event, but for now they're available in my Etsy shop.  Click here if you'd like to purchase one.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Whimsical Santas

Four Friendly Fellas with Fancy Frosty Facial hair
Wore their Funny Felt hats with a Fine Festive Flair!

Thinking about Christmas in August?? What??
Well, it seems like I'm always painting "in season" when the mood feels right, but by the time I finish, the season has passed.  This time I got a head start.  My art friends and I spent the weekend at Welcome Home Retreat where I had a three goals:
  • GOAL 1 - Finish 4 of Whimsical Santas all with the same image but in different styles.
    • DONE
      • I am so intrigued by style. I asked each of the other artists and crafters there which they were the most and least drawn to.  Everybody had different opinions and different reasons for them. I love that.
  • GOAL 2 - Finish 4 Nutcracker Santas all with the same image but in  different styles.
      • I got distracted by everything in GOAL 3.
  • GOAL 3 - Enjoy every minute.
    • DONE
      • Rocked in the red rocking chairs on the porch while watching the turkeys and chickens.
      • Ate amazing food prepared by Don and Jackie. 
      • Sat in the hot tub until our fingers were wrinkled.
      • Tried to learn to play the Bob Ross board game.
      • Helped my partners create their own Bitmojis.
      • Talked, laughed, and relaxed.

Original Oil Paintings on 6"x 12" Wrapped Canvases
These were done for an upcoming Santa themed art show in November; however, they can all be found for sale in my Etsy shop until then. Click if you want to purchase one.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Who's the G.O.A.T?

Who's the Greatest OAll Time?
  • Garth? or George?
  • Kermit? or Mickey?
  • LeBron? or Michael?
  • Tom? or Peyton?
  • The Beatles? or The Eagles?
  • Michelangelo? or DaVinci?
  • Dolly? or Taylor?
  • Dr. Seuss? or... Well... no one comes close there...
Ok... that little exercise had nothing to do with these guys, but it was fun to come up some G.O.A.T.s for the list.  

These 3.5 goats were my dad's neighbors a few years ago.  The teenager who lived next door to him raised goats for his 4-H project.  They were funny and friendly. And who doesn't love a funny goat!

So... if you're wondering about the 1/2 goat on the left... When I was taking the picture of the other three, he literally butted in and photo bombed the shot.  

I worked on and "finished" the painting without him, but I never felt satisfied with the painting as a whole.  My painting partner / daughter-in-law said, "Put that other half a goat in!!" Turns out he's the star of the show... the G.O.A.T!

Original Oil Painting on 14"x 18" Wrapped Canvas
Click "Who's the G.O.A.T?" if you want these funny guys on your own wall.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Tweet! VI

I love this little bluebird.  He's been such a good friend and partner.  How could I have ever known when I first painted him how much of a helper he'd be.  
Whenever someone asks me to help them learn to paint, I have a couple of go-to images that make great first paintings.  Because I usually paint along with a first-time painter, I've put this little guy on the canvas six times now. I love him every time. As soon as I put that tiny white shine in his eye, he greets me and I welcome him back to the studio.

Original Oil Painting on 6"x 8" Wrapped Canvas
Those painted by my friends, co-workers, niece, great-nieces, and daughter-in-law are priceless.
If you'd like to have mine for your own wall, contact me.  It will be available for sale in November.  This little bird will be helping my art partner Julie and me teach some beginning painters in a workshop in October.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Stargazer & Buds

I love stargazer lilies.  They smell wonderful. They are so beautiful that you just have to stop and look closely. And, they remind me of my mother.  I gave her a stargazer lily plant one year for Mother's Day.  After enjoying it inside for a while, she planted it in the yard where if flourished.  After a few years when they moved, they dug the stargazer plant up and replanted it where she continued to enjoy it each summer.

This particular stargazer belongs to a friend from high school.  He'd posted a photo of it on Instagram, and I knew as soon as I saw it that I wanted to put it on canvas. Thanks for sharing the photo, Travis!
He sent me a photo of the same lily taken a few days later...  Wow...

Original Oil Painting on 8"x 10" Wrapped Canvas
If you'd like to own this little painting, click "Stargazer & Buds"

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Animals in Silhouette at Sunset (Kid Project)

If you ever need a great painting project to do with kids, here's a good one.
Last week I did it with 23 5th & 6th graders during our church's Bible school week.  They came to me for 30 minutes for 4 days.  The final products... Well, see for yourself...

Every single one of them was a work of art to be proud of.

Before I put all the supplies away, I had my two sweet great nieces over so that they could each make one.  They're going to be in kindergarten and second grade.  How do you suppose theirs turned out?  Beautiful, of course.

Here are the steps if you're doing it all in one sitting:

  • With a 50 cent chip brush, paint the yellow strip then blend the orange on either side of that then blend the red on either side of that. 
    • Use a dry brush.
    • All strokes horizontal.
    • Don't wash the brush in between colors.
    • Turn the canvas upside down if it's hard to reach the top.
    • Don't forget the sides.
  • With the same brush wiped clean (or a new brush if you want), use black to paint the grass.
    • Use a dry brush.
    • All strokes punched upward or dabbed.
    • Go into the red.
    • Turn the canvas upside down if the lip of the easel gets in the way, then dab down instead of up.
    • Don't forget the sides.
  • Use a blow drier to make sure it's dry. (Then go outside and check the chicken coop for eggs, pick tomatoes and cucumbers out of the garden, and give it just a little more time.)

  • Mix some white and yellow to paint the sun in the yellow strip.
    • A sponge brush is great. (A chip brush will work fine, or a piece of sponge will work fine... just messier.)
    • Tape a circle stencil into the yellow strip.
      • Just a circle cut out of a piece of cardboard or paper
      • Masking tape, painter's tape, clear tape... whatever you have
    • Press, press, press the paint on to the area. 
      • Do not bounce it on the canvas. 
      • Do not stroke it on the canvas. 
    • Use plenty of paint.
    • Remove the stencil 
    • Dry again if your next stencil will touch the wet part.

  • With a clean, dry sponge brush (or brush or sponge), paint the animal.
    • It's easier if you take the easel away and do this step flat on the table.
    • Tape the stencil as above.
      • Use a Cricut if you have one to cut the stencils.  If not... good old fashioned scissors will work.
    • Take off the stencil and say, "Wow!"

I did it a little differently when I did it with a large group and over four sessions.  
  • Day 1
    • Yellow and Red
  • Day 2
    • Orange and Black Grass
  • Day 3
    • Yellow-White Sun
  • Day 4
    • Black Animal
Original Acrylic Paintings on 16"x 20" Wrapped Canvas.
Giraffe - For Sale on Etsy - Click Here
Wolf - For Sale on Etsy - Click Here
Moose - For Sale on Etsy - Click Here
Elephant - For Sale on Etsy - Click Here

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Imagine a Place...

Imagine a mountain range...
     ... of cliffs and rock walls.... 
          ... that rise up from the ground...
                   to meet a moody blue sky...

Imagine a forest... 
...where the trees stand strong...
     ... branches still bright with reds and golds ...
        ... the ground littered with the leaves already fallen ...

Imagine a stream...
... winding through woods in graceful curves...
       ... reflecting the colors from above...
             ... and stones that line its banks...

Imagine a place...
... that makes you squint in wonder...
     ... "Who lived in that castle?...
              "Where do those steps lead?"...

Imagine a story...
... with a wand hidden in the grass...
      ... or a golden ring in the shallows of the stream...
            ... or a doorway ruin at the forest's edge...

Imagine yourself...
.... standing before that door...
       ... if you stepped through...
              ... you'd probably end up on the other side...
... Imagine... What if...

"Mom, could you paint something for our new living room?  Maybe it could be like a forest... or a stream... maybe some reflections... or a path... kind of dark-ish or moody... and maybe a castle in the background... like on some mountains... kind of rough, not exactly realistic ... pretty big so it could go behind the couch... lots of reds would be good... with golds or oranges.... oh, and maybe some ruins like old stairs or a doorway... rocks are good too...."

Ummmm... That's a lot going on... Ummm...   I'm going to need to think about this for a bit... But somehow, all those fragmented ideas knitted themselves together to become this painting.

Original Triptych Oil Painting on 16"x 12, 16"x 16", 16"x 12"