Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Basket of Peaches (Mini)

Advice of the day: Never buy peaches unless they smell peachy.  
I look forward to the middle of summer when they're the perfect combination of sweet-tangy and softly-firm. 

This is a mini-version of a Basket of Peaches that I painted before.  I did this little one for the art exchange group that I'm a part of. There are a dozen or so members that are from a few different countries and a few different states in the U.S.  Most of the members are people I no nothing about, but this quarter I was paired with NelviaI can't for the life of me remember exactly how Nelvia and I became connected, but we've enjoyed a blog-friendship for a long time. Now we have a piece of each other's artwork!

Original Oil Painting on 5"x 7" Canvas Board
[GIFT - Artist Exchange]

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Reaching for the Stars

When I was asked to do a painting of my friend's granddaughter, she said I could choose the image.  There were about 5,895,421 gorgeous photos... okay, maybe only 50... to choose from.  They were all lovely, but this one was different.  It seemed to be an unplanned snapshot of Fiona filled with joy, leaping and twirling like only a young girl will do when no one is watching.

I asked my friend if she'd like to write something. Of course, she said yes...
Thank you, Helen, for creating a special memory painting for the magical moment in the life of granddaughter, Fiona, age 14.  This one was captured at her e2019 Bat Mitzvah party in Santa Moica.  You chose this photo, one of many expressive ones taken by Jenifer Whalen (jenniferwhalenweddings) to tell a story of Fiona.  The chosen title "Reaching for the Stars" epitomizes all those dreams she has for her future!  Love all the amazing stories your paintings tell!"
**I know I just called her "my friend." There's a reason. I have two women who I consider life changing mentors in my life... and they're both named Cheri!
Cheri Wollenberg is my art mentor, painting teacher, dear friend.
Cheri Olmstead was my writing mentor, teaching partner, dear friend.

**Thank you to @jenniferwhalenweddings for taking the beautiful photograph that I used as a reference.

Original Oil Painting on 12"x 16" Wrapped Canvas

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Peacock out for a Stroll

In April my granddaughters (and their parents) moved from 20+ hours away to 6 minutes away.  Instead of getting to see them every month or two, we get to see them every day or two. My heart overflows with the joy of that.  
A couple of weeks ago, we took a day trip to the Tulsa Zoo together. What a wonderful way to spend the day!  The 9 month old was just happy. In the stroller or being carried, she didn't care.  The 21/2 year old was happy to watch the squirrels, to push the big buttons that opened the doors, to follow the geese on the sidewalk, to climb on big rocks, or to watch a turtle... Never mind about the big animals. (ha ha ha)
At the very end of our day at the zoo, this peacock came walking up to us as if he knew us.  I think he was saying, "Would you like to take my photo?  Here, let me turn this way. How about this way? I hope you've enjoyed your time here."

My weekly at challenge was Fins, Feathers, or Fur. My peacock friend made it obvious I should go with the feathers option.

Original Oil Painting on 11"x 14" Wrapped Canvas
Click Peacock out for a Stroll if you'd like to purchase this painting.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

My Deer and Our Love/Hate Relationship

Two days ago...  
Aren't we lucky to have deer that watch us each evening as we walk?
One day ago...
Those stupid deer have helped themselves to my garden again!

Monday, June 7, 2021

Do You See a Mural in My Future? (Eeeek!!!)

Last month my art studio (a.k.a. The Fonzie Room... the room above the garage) got a complete make over.  I wrote about that HERE. 

Now it's Ron's turn with a new shed.
The characters in this story are the men in my life: 
my husband, two brothers, brother-in-law, and dad.
First they ripped off the back of the garage!
Dad is almost 95. He was there to supervise.
He kept a pretty close eye on the boys...
... and on their work.
Yep... that's Dad using the skill saw. (... sigh...)
So many ladders...
It's always a relief when everybody's back on the ground.
Now... Walk with me.  We'll go around the garage.
There's a look inside the in-progress shed.
Here's the back wall. 
Or... Is it a great big canvas?!?!
This morning I dutifully painted the whole thing the color of the house...
You know I've always been a fan of Mr. Plumbean's house!
(If you haven't read The Big Orange Splot, you should probably just click on over to Amazon and get yourself a copy.)

Shall we vote?
⌧ Leave it plain.
⌧ Go for it!

If you're wondering if it would bother the neighbors...
Just deer, raccoons, possums, squirrels, and birds.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Gently Down the Stream

[Serendipity - the occurrence of pleasant events that happen by chance]

In 2016 we had a vacation that was filled with serendipity. It began with a trip to Cooperstown, New York where the Baseball Hall of Fame is located. That part was great, but the serendipity began as we left.  We'd found a bed and breakfast lodge not too far from there which seemed like might be a nice place to spend a few days.  

It all started with checking in.
"We have a wedding party that would like to use the whole lodge, would if be okay if we moved you to our cabin? No extra charge." 
Ummmmm... Yeah!
The whole property was just one relaxing surprise after another....
   Row boats on a placid lake...
   Ducks with babies following behind...
   Nature trails with swings to rest on...
   Flowers in bloom everywhere...
   Hammocks in random places...
   Weather in perfect mid 70s...
   Peaceful... Relaxing... Soothing... Restful...
Why would we ever leave!

One morning we decided we would leave to eat some place local.  We asked the teenager who took our order what there was to do nearby.  "Oh, not much really... unless you want to go to Woodstock.  It's about 15 minutes down that way."   
Wait... Woodstock?  You mean Woodstock, Woodstock? 
"Yeah, there was a big concert thing there a long time ago.  There's a museum and stuff."
Ummmmm.... Yeah!
(I'll save our Woodstock adventure day for another painting, another story.)

Here's a sample of our restful time at Lake Joseph, New York. 
No idea what this is, but they lined the forest paths.

...Literally lined the forest paths.

"What are you looking at?"

Row, row, row a boat... any boat.


Even the animals were relaxed.

Places for naps everywhere.

Swings for taking breaks (although no breaks were needed).

This makes my 20th weekly painting challenge with my friend and art mentor.  The challenge was "A Sunny Day."  I hope there's a calming feeling from this painting of a sunny day on a row boat.

Original Oil Painting on 6"x 12" Wrapped Canvas

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Inspiration Collaboration - June 2021

Spring brings the colors and smells and sounds that we've longed for all winter.  
Maybe one of this month's inspiration images will inspire you to join us. 
Create some art of your own!

Click HERE to read the thoughts behind each one.

It's easy to be a part.  Click HERE for instructions.  
We look forward to seeing what you create!

Monday, May 24, 2021

Peanut Butter Cups, Butterfinger, & Butterscotch

Well, just yum, yum, and yum! Right?!

Yes, of course I ate the missing half of the Reese's.  And, I not only ate the bite from the Butterfinger, I had to do it twice because the first bite wasn't pretty enough for the painting. A very enjoyable part of the painting process, I'd say.
No, I didn't finish either the Reese's or the Butterfinger.  I like those just fine, but I don't love them. Ron was happy to enjoy the left overs though. If, however, I'd been doing a painting of a Baby Ruth and a Zero there would have been no sharing!
Now, about those butterscotch hard candies.  Apparently butterscotch isn't popular any more. There weren't any to be found in either the Walmart Supercenter or the grocery store.  I found some in a bag of party candy mix at the Dollar General.  I intend to enjoy sucking on every single one of those myself.

My art challenge for the week was "Butter___"  I thought I'd paint a butterfly on a buttercup... until I realized what a tiny yellow not-much-of-anything flower that a buttercup was. I thought I'd paint a butternut squash, but it's the wrong season to find them. I would not have wanted to take a bite out of my still life props if I'd used a butternut squash anyway.

Original Oil Painting on 8"x 10" Wrapped Canvas
Click Peanut Butter Cup, Butterfinger, & Butterscotch if you'd like to purchase this little painting.

Friday, May 21, 2021

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Stone Chapel

A little stone chapel nestled on the edge of the woods...  It makes me wonder... How long ago was it built?  Who built it? Who worships there? How many couples have been married there? Does the stained glass make a lovely pattern across the pews when the sun shines through?

I painted my little stone chapel in response to Sara's Little White Church from this month's Inspiration Collaboration.

Original Oil Painting on 8"x 10" Wrapped Canvas
Click Stone Chapel if you'd like to purchase this little painting.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Her Favorite Shoes

It's been a MONTH since I've painted!
Well, I did paint the walls of my art studio. I don't think that counts.

There's a long list of regular life stuff that has kept me away from the easel, canvas, and brushes. Just like anything else, I guess, you get out of the routine and out of practice.  I waited for the art muse to show up and inspire me to get back at it... She didn't. 

Since the art muse didn't appear, I let my granddaughters provide the inspiration. They moved from the East Coast and have been temporarily in the house with us for the last month.  We've loved the pitter pat of their sweet tiny feet.  

My weekly art challenge stretched over an extra week, or two... or four.  The challenge this time was "Shoes."  Being without an idea, I went to Walmart, found some darling little girl shoes, set them up like a still life right there at the end of the aisle, took some photos, and was ready to paint when I got home.

Original Oil Painting on 8"x 10" Wrapped Canvas
Click Her Favorite Shoes if you'd like to purchase this little painting.

Friday, May 7, 2021

My Art Room Make Over

73... The number of trips up and down the stairs it took to empty my art room.

New lights... New paint... New floor...

Would you like a 30 second tour now that it's (almost) finished?

730... The number of trips I made up and down the stairs to bring my stuff back.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

May 2021 - Inspiration Collaboration

We hope one of this month's inspiration images will inspire you to create some art of your own. Sometimes it's the image that gives an idea, and sometimes it's the story written for it that image that gives the inspiration.

Click HERE to read the thoughts behind each one.

It's easy to be a part.  Click HERE for instructions.  
We look forward to seeing what you create!

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Sunrise Ablaze

Sara's inspiration image for this month's Inspiration Collaboration was the most gorgeous and fire-y sunrise. I snuck on over to her blog post and found that she'd taken a photo of the sunrise from her kitchen window on 25 different mornings.  Each photo was exactly the same... and completely different at the same time. I noticed that one of those photos took this view a little lower and showed a small cottage in the trees. I did a little cut and paste to put those two images together.

Next I did a rough painting that would act as my guide through the collage process. Then I made designed papers that would eventually make up the sky. I had some brown designed papers left over from the previous project. And, I realized later that I would also need to make some with greens for the foreground. Finally it was time to snip... glue... study... snip... glue... rearrange... snip.. glue... turn... snip glue... look again... snip... glue... squint... snip... glue... snip... glue...

If you're wondering, yes... I did stress a lot over it looking like the house was on fire instead of the sun rising behind the house.  I made a few changes to push the fire further back.  In the end, I embraced the issue by giving the piece a fire-y title.

I committed to do three of these collages before I would let myself decide whether I loved the process or whether it was fun but not something I'd do again.  

Here are some things I decided, learned, and discovered:
  • Using the Gelli plate to create the designed collage papers is very freeing and expressive.
  • The process requires lots of stuff out and leaves the art studio a huge mess.
  • I like having a plan for what I'm going to work on then creating a palette of the colors that will be a part of that piece rather than just randomly making papers. 
  • I'm challenged to think through the value of each colored snip of paper needed to show form and shape.
  • Mistakes can be glued over or painted over.
  • The final product is just going to be kind of funky and wonky... and that's not a bad thing.
  • Yes. I will do some collage again.
  • No. I don't think it will become my main art love.  I'm not throwing out the oil paints and brushes.
Original Mixed Media Collage on 9"x 12" Canvas Board
Click Sunrise Ablaze if you'd like to purchase this piece.