Saturday, March 28, 2020

Chickie Bags

I know I should post my latest painting... if only I had a finished painting to show.  You'd think during this time of quarantine, I'd be upstairs in the garret studio just painting away...Nope...It seems to be hard for me to plunge into creativity when my mind is filled with such serious things as the news is filled with. I actually do have two paintings started but... SQUIRREL!  My friend, Sandra from mmmquilts calls that a DrEAMI! (Drop Everything And Make It!) when you just forget what you'd planned to be working on and get sidetracked by a whole new project.

Aren't these little drawstring bags the cutest!  What are they for, you ask?  Hmmm... Of course, each of my two sweet grandbabies might need one. Otherwise, no specific reason other than filling quarantine time.  Oh, it does make my heart sing, though, to use up old scraps and make something out of nothing!

Because I wanted something just plain happy and fun, I downloaded the pattern, Oliver Owl, from an Etsy store, Winter Peach, and got busy.

I hope you are staying safe wherever you are. 
I hope you are doing something creative to occupy your mind.
I hope you are finding moments of joy each day.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Sunshine Orchids

My calendar says that I should be teaching a group of seniors this week.  They should be working on a pretty orange tiger lily on a dark background... But, the class, like everything else has been cancelled or postponed until whenever.

Since we have to be home anyway, the quarantine allows for some extra time to paint.

Have a look at the submissions to Paint and Draw Together this month.  Since they were also painting orange flowers on dark backgrounds, I thought I'd join in the challenge. It's always fun to see all the paintings that look exactly alike and completely different at the same time.

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

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Flamingo Flower

You know that funny house plant with the red flowers that aren't like flowers but more like red heart-shaped leaves? Your aunt probably has a huge one in her sun room... mine does. You probably look longingly at it when you visit... I do.
Well, I bought one, and it has a name...Anthurium... Hmmm... That doesn't exactly roll off the tongue.  But wait!  It gets better!  It's sometimes called a flamingo flower. I... Love... That...

This pretty little flamingo flower was going to be the answer to my dilemma.  I knew I'd paint a still life with a red flower and its shadow as a response to the Inspiration Collaboration March Image; however, I had a problem. I do not enjoy painting flowers.  I'm not good at them. I avoid them. (I don't mean big petal ones like lilies and sunflowers. I like those.  I mean the  fluffy, usually red ones like peonies and roses. I'm terrible at those.) Crisis averted! A red flower that's not a red flower!

Thank you for being my model, my pretty little flamingo flower!  I hope I can keep you alive!

Original Oil Painting on 11"x 14" Wrapped Canvas
Click "Flamingo Flower" if you'd like to purchase this painting.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Basket of Peaches on Blue

There's just something about a basket of fresh peaches that gets me every time.  I want to pick one up and take a deep breath to smell it.  If you see beautiful peaches in the grocery store, go ahead... sniff one.  If you don't smell a thing, put it right back where you found it. If the vendor at the farmers' market has peaches, go ahead... smell them. Then hand him your money and let him put them into your reusable cloth bag. 😉

This isn't the first time I've painted a basket of peaches.  My inspiration is "Basket of Peaches" done by Joseph Decker in 1885. It is my favorite painting in Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.  His may be worth a million dollars more than mine, but I love them both.

Original Oil Painting on 11"x 14" Wrapped Canvas
Click "Basket of Peaches on Blue" if you'd like to purchase this painting.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

My Space

            This is my space....

♫  ♩ 
     Computer and painting and whiskers on kitten...
          Window to backyard and great chair for sittin'...
               Journals to write in and cell phone that rings...
                    These are a few of my favorite things.
                                                                                    ♪  ♫

Let's see what all is in my space...
It starts with a comfortable chair. My computer and phone are always near.  The little round side table has a drawer with pens and pencils and highlighters.  There's a photo of my husband and pup and another showing the Twenty-third Psalm.  There's a pretty little purple and green box for stuff... markers, bookmarks, notepad, etc.  Each of those journals has its own special purpose.  It's my goal to write something every day. There's a little green quilted cow that lives on the wall and makes me smile.  The painting behind my chair changes according to what is my favorite painting at the time.  And from the window I can see my outside favorite things... chickens, garden, flowerbed...
There is one really important thing that missing from the photo and the painting.  See that little brown cord that seems to come from under the chair?  It leads to an old blue heating pad that's always in the chair.  I highly recommend having one in your spot!  (It just didn't look pretty for the photo!)
Painting of "My Space" in my space.
Buff and Olivia... my office mates

"The Snug" photo by Sara Harley
Sara challenges me to paint things I would never have thought to paint. 

This is one of the Inspiration Images for March's Inspiration Collaboration. There are so many directions you could be inspired to go with this image, but for me... I knew I would paint my space.  

We'd love for you to be inspired and submit your art. Click and see what you think.

Original Oil Painting on 12"x 12" Wrapped Canvas
Not for Sale at this time.  Maybe I'll hang "My Space" in my space for a while! 😁

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Inspiration Collaboration - March 2020

Four new Inspiration Images are up for March!

It's easy to be a part of this creative community.
  1. Click over to Inspiration Collaboration to get a better look at the four new Inspiration Images and read the stories behind each one.
  2. Choose one that inspires you to create.
  3. Make it!  (Make it with paint... or wood... or yarn... or fabric... or words... or a camera... or clay... pen and ink... or... )
  4. Take a picture of your art and send it to us!
You'll find everything you'll need to know  when you click Instructions for Submission.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

You Can't Miss It!

"Barely There"
photo by Sara Harley 
When I first saw Sara's Inspiration Image for January's Inspiration Collaboration, I thought, "Wait... I don't see anything!" Then I looked closely. There's so much to notice, but it's "Barely There."

There's a shoreline with trees and other vegetation.  There are so many houses. Everything is subtly reflected in the water. Sky and water seem to be one in the same but they are cut in half by the strip of life.

Oddly (or maybe naturally), my mind went in the complete opposite direction.  

I'm fascinated by people who choose to paint their houses loud colors. (By the way, my house is a calm khaki tan that blends in with the trees.)   I'd recently seen a show about the brightly colored houses in Scandinavia where so much of their year is colored white. It reminded me of the bright blue beach we stayed in which was next to houses of every color. Then I thought about the random orange or purple house I might drive by on an otherwise fairly normal-colored-house neighborhood street.

If you know me at all, you know that the next place my mind will go will be to some children's book that I love. Have you read The Big Orange Splot by Daniel Manus Pinkwater? (If not, click the link right now, head to Amazon and spend the $6.99 to get it!) 

Mr. Plumbean lives in a perfectly perfect neighborhood where all the houses look nice and tidy and perfectly alike... until... You'll just have to read it to see how that big orange splot gets on his house and how he decides to fix the problem!! 

I think that Mr. Plumbean would LOVE Inspiration Collaboration where creativity and individual style is recognized and celebrated!

Click the link and go have a look.  
You are welcome to join in.

Original Oil Painting on 6"x 12" Wrapped Canvas
Click "You Can't Miss It!" if you'd like to purchase this little painting.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020


Someone new will be joining our family in a few months!!
We can hardly wait to meet our little Josie!
**FYI - Her middle name, Avis, means "bird."

So fun doing these little name paintings!!!

Original Oil Painting on  6"x 12" Wrapped Canvas

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Self Portrait (Painting #500, 13th Birthday as a Painter)

I'm Helen.
I love purple and green. 
I love old comfortable tee shirts and jeans.
I love wearing silver swirly earrings.
I have brown eyes that have been turning green over the years.
I have brown hair that has been turning gray over the years.
I'm an artist. 

My art mentor and friend,Cheri, said that every artist should do a self portrait at some point.  I tried to argue that I already had... sort of.

This is me...
...back when I still painted my hair brown with some gray mixed in.
The swirly silver earrings are there.
There's a big pink smile, and I'm wearing green. 
It's a self portrait.
This is me...
 I'm a VW Beetle kind of girl...
I drove this red one for 10 years.. Now my VW is deep jade green.
It looks like I'm wearing purple in this one.
It's a self portrait.
This is me...
 Dear, precious Sweet Blossom the Possum...
She was the main character of hundreds of bedtime stories for my kids.
The saga of her life, stories, family, and friends was pretty much a

 retelling of my own, only in her forest home. She was me.
It's a self portrait.

None of these, however, was what Cheri had in mind when I went for a lesson in her Oklahoma studio.  
I painted my first painting with Cheri on February 22, 2007.
Cheri and I painted together again to celebrate
my 10th year as a painter on February 22, 2017

It was fitting that I'd begin my 500th painting with her guidance... and she was determined it was time I did a real self portrait.

Original Oil Painting on 8"x 10" Wrapped Canvas

Friday, February 21, 2020

Favorites #7 - Paintings I'll Never Sell

I've finished 499 paintings since my first lesson on 2/22/07.
I want to share some of my favorites this week.
Paintings I'll Never Sell
(If you'd like to read the story behind the painting, click its title.)

Summer Trees

Flower Girl & Her Kitty

In the Tree

My Boys

Beauty and the Beach

Sweet Blossom the Possum

Ten-Year Tree