Saturday, July 31, 2010

Bright Yellow Sunflower

Nothing says summer like a sunflower!

I grew a great crop of sunflowers in my garden a couple of summers ago. They bloomed just in time for my nephew's wedding party that was held in my backyard. Luckily I snapped a few photos that day because I caught a squirrel climbing up a stalk and helping herself to the seeds the very next day!

Original Oil Painting on 12"x 12" Canvas Board

Friday, July 30, 2010


What's the best part about setting up a fruit still life?

Well, eating it when you're finished, of course.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

First Snow

What do you suppose these two little ones were thinking as they looked out their window to see a blanket of white?
Aren't they sweet!

"First Snow" has been featured in several Etsy treasuries.  (A treasury is a collection of related art pieces or vintage items.)  What an honor to know that this little image has made people smile in so many different ways.
The curator of a Groundhog's Day treasury must have thought the little ones were looking for Mr. Groundhog, and I bet they were!  Click Groundhog... Please Come Out and Play Today.
There are two treasuries that celebrate dogs in Dog Days of Summerand another Dog Days of Summer.
 Little Girls' World is a treasry about little girls and their best friends.
Another is also called First Snow.

Original Oil Painting on 12"x 12" Wrapped Canvas

"First Snow" can be purchased in several forms.

Contact me if you'd like to purchase this image as a giclee, a print, or note cards.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Lake at Nunnely

So many memories...

Picking blackberries on the bank - tossing rocks into the vines to scare the snakes away and chewing Juicy Fruit to keep from eating the berries while we picked.

Skipping flat rocks from the spillway.

Picking daisies.

Checking trot lines with Grandpa.

Checking the turtle trap with Dad.

Laying out covered with cocoa butter to help soak up the sun - who knew at the time that that was a bad idea?

Eating fried fish under the trees at family reunions or church picnics.

Riding on the tractor to help Dad count the cows or check the fences - the cows would never be still long enough for me to count them!

Taking my good college friend for a walk here the first time he visited my home... he held my hand - p.s. We just celebrated our 25th anniversary.

Original Oil Painting

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tiger Swallowtail on Echinacea

Where do butterflies go when it rains?

I don't know the answer to that, but I know that this little guy was ready to play only minutes after a huge summer storm ended. He seemed to enjoy being photographed. He posed again and again for me.
I'd just spent two hours in an art museum seeing fine art, but you know what? This butterfly was the most beautiful sight of the day.

This little painting has been honored to have been featured in an a couple of Etsy treasuries (collection of art and vintage items) The most recent one celebrated Oklahoma art in a collection called Homemade Oklahoma..  Click "Flutterby Butterfly" to enjoy another one featuring butterflies.

Click the following link featuring a necklace with a lovely tiger swallowtail photograph glass pendant.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


This little painting was done through a challenge for I love the concept of this site - an image is presented then artists are invited to share their art based on that image. It's so interesting to see the diversity in style. I felt proud like a little kid to see mine posted right alongside the artists' pieces.


Saturday, July 24, 2010


If you're any good at fractions, you may notice that the slices in this little painting could not be put together to equal a whole apple...




Friday, July 23, 2010

Lake Ouachita

This could be the most special place on earth. For my family it is. We've spent 4 days here every year for over 20 years. In the beginning there were 2 G1s (That's Generation 1 - my mom and dad.) 10 G2s (That's Generation 2 - my siblings and their spouses and my husband and me.) and 12+ one on the way G3s (Those were the grandkids.) Now, we number 43 - The 13 grandkids have grown up, brought in new in-laws, and 7 wonderful G4s! We know that there will be more of those on the way!
So... if you need a cabin at Shangri-la Resort on the week we're there, sorry. We need them all!

I submitted this image to In the Moment to represent the word "tranquil."  I'm not sure how this can be, but through all the loud family fun, there's also an underlying sense of calmness and peacefulness.  It's even possible to find moments of silence.

To enjoy beautiful Etsy treasuries (collections of art pieces and vintage items) click Small Things with Great Love which celebrates the colors of the earth or Summertime... and the Living is Easy which celebrates the colors of the sky.  Then click a springtime collection called Rebirth The Everchanging Seasons.  


"Lake Ouachita" can be purchased in several forms.  Click if you're interested.
8" x 10" Giclee

And... one more thing! I found a wonderful Etsy shop dedicated to decorative and nostalgic lure boxes. Yes! There's even one for Lake Ouachita. Click the link to see. It's called Nostalgic Arkansas Lakes.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sweet Pickles

Bread and Butter Pickles

cucumbers...............10 pounds
sugar.......................10 pounds
canning salt............ 1 box
alum........................ 1 heaping teaspoon
apple cider vinegar.. 1 gallon
cinnamon sticks/bark
whole cloves

Phase 1
Make brine with water and enough canning salt to "float an egg" in a bucket. (Place egg on bottom of bucket of water Add salt until egg floats.)
Remove egg.
Add clean whole cucumbers.
Cover with a plate and weight them down.
Cover bucket with a towel.
Let them stand for 2 weeks. (Yes, they will look disgusting by 2 weeks!)

Phase 2
Remove the pickles from the brine.
Wash well in clear water.
Scald out your container.
Put new water in bucket.
Add 1 heaping tablespoon of alum. (This makes the pickles crisp.)
Add the sliced cucumbers.
Let stand overnight.

Phase 3
Drain alum water.
Cover with apple cider vinegar.
Let stand overnight.

Phase 4
Drain vinegar.
Add 10 pounds of sugar. (Yes, 10 lbs!)
Add cinnamon sticks/bark.
Add bags filled with tablespoon whole cloves. (Make the netting bags out of 6x6 square of netting with whole cloves in the middle. Close the bags with a bread tie. The netting keeps the whole cloves out of the pickles.)
Let stand for a week. (Stir the sugar, cinnamon sticks/cloves every so often as it makes the syrup.

Phase 5
Put it in jars.

(Thanks to my sister who grows enormous number of cucumbers and makes the best pickles with a crisp crunch and an extra zingy flavor.)

"Sweet Pickles" was featured in an Etsy treasury (collection of art and vintage items) celebrating the culture of farm life.  Click "Hey, Good Lookin'!" to enjoy the treasury.  Home for the Summer is a collection that will give you a peaceful sigh. Click A Trip to the Farmers Market for a happy, colorful, and yummy treat.  Finally click Screaming Pickles for another fun treasury all about pickles. 

It also enjoys a spot on the October challenge celebrating "labor" on In the Moment Challenge.  Have a look!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hand in Hand

It's easy to imagine a fairy tale...

Once upon a time two little princesses in shining white dresses went down the path behind their castle. The birds were singing, and the squirrels and rabbits scampered about as they stepped into the forest. They were planning to collect a basket of berries and flowers - a surprise for the queen's birthday...

You make up the rest - just as long as they all live happily ever after.

This painting has had the honor of being  featured in several Etsy treasuries (collections of art and vintage items) Together is a Great Place to Be and Just the Two of Us celebrates a special bond between friends.  Childhood Dreaming and Let's Go Picnic! are two others.    Happy Birthday Mama reminds us to appreciate time with loved ones. Click  Arkansas Artists  to enjoy the treasury celebrating artists from my state. Or, click Friends for a collection to make you smile.  It was also a part of a sweet treasury that went along with my "fairy tale" idea. And, Journey... will remind you to enjoy the trip.  Enjoy a valentine treasury called Love Is in the Air.  There's one more that features the deep rich color of the background.  It's called Get'n Me Some Green. 

The original hangs on their granddad's wall, but giclees are available for purchase.
8"x 8"
12" x 12"
8" x  8" print

Monday, July 19, 2010

Wedding Flowers

This flower and berry arrangement makes me sigh...
It's not the color combination or the arrangement of flowers...
It's the memory...
Love, contentment, laughter, tears of joy...
Friends and family gathered for a beautiful day...

This grouping was placed on the side of my daughter's wedding cake.
Simple... elegant... lovely...

The painting "Wedding Flowers" can be purchased by following this link.

Visit the following link to enjoy a treasury celebrating the citrus-like combination of colors.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Dwarf Balloon Flowers

What a brilliant purplish-blue color!

These fantastic little flowers greeted us on the terrace of the Lodge of Mount Magazine State Park in Arkansas. The terrace is the most peaceful place - flagstone rock below, pairs of rocking chairs every few feet, butterflies and wildflowers all around, and a view that goes on for miles and miles.

Follow this link to purchase this chunky little painting, "Dwarf Balloon Flowers."

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Red Barn in Summer

I wonder why barns are red...
This was one of my first attempts at painting barns. There's kind of a storybook tone about this one... maybe a little too perfect, but a place I'd like to imagine is real.
I imagine there's a black and white milk cow named Daisy, a brown horse with a white blaze between his eyes, three sheep that are puffy white, a pink pig that never gets muddy, and a rooster that crows at sunrise.
Oil Painting on 16"x 20" Canvas

Friday, July 16, 2010

What next.....

All the gardening and rich, fresh flavors and colors it brings has inspired me...

Hmmmmmmmm...... what to paint next? what to eat next?

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Garden Salsa:
Tomatoes ................15 quarts
Bell Peppers .............3 quarts
JalapeƱo Peppers ...1 quart
Onions .......................2 quarts
Granulated Garlic......1/2 cup
Salt .............................1/2 cup

Puree the vegetables in a food processor.
Mix all ingredients in a (very big) pot.
Put into freezer zip bags.
Enjoy all year.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Stargazer Lilies

Stargazer lilies have a special place in my heart. I once bought some stargazer lilies for my mother for Mother's Day. They grew and flourished every year. When she and my dad moved from their home of 40 years to a new one, it was one of the plants that they dug up and brought with them. The transplant was successful because it continues to make me smile each summer when it blooms.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Gardening with Grandpa

I suppose that there were always rocks and weeds in Grandpa's garden, but I didn't have to paint them in, did I?

I have great memories of the garden. When I was very small, I got to ride on Prince, the big brown mule, while Grandpa plowed the long rows. (I know that tillers were usually used by that time, but Grandpa and Prince worked the rows just as they had done for years.)

My strongest memories from the garden involve dealing with its produce. Strawberries to slice and cover with sugar to freeze... Peas to shell... Beans to snap... Cabbage to shred and salt for kraut... Tomatoes to blanch for canning... Egg plant to, hmmm, I don't remember what we did with the egg plant...

This particular painting was done based on an old black and white photograph sent to me by my aunt. The photograph was developed in September of 1960. There were actually 4 grand kids in the garden. (Look carefully behind the guy in the front.)They were far enough away and just blurry enough not to be sure which ones they were. I'm going to choose to believe that the two in my painting are my brother and sister... can't be me... I wasn't around yet in 1960.

Summer Memories will take you back and make you remember when... Visit Ahh, Dirt Beneath My Nails Again,  Grow Your Own Food, Find Me in the Garden Part 3 A Green Thumb, Almost time to Get Your Hands Dirty, or Soon Enough, Etsy Treasuries (collections of art pieces and vintage items) that celebrate springtime gardening. Or, visit one of these treasuries - I Do, Do You?  or  April Trends. There's Farm House for a wonderful collection celebrating farm life.  It was an honor to see my painting with those of Sunday Fresh Finds: Etsy Fine Landscape Art.  Then, visit Happy Birthday Grandpa or Grandparents.  It might make you want to give your own Grandpa a call.  Finally enjoy the buildings in Funky Structures and Not.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Thinking of You

There's really nothing funny about this still life, but it always makes me chuckle when I look at it. You see, I began by painting the curtain, the table, the peach, the napkin, the knife... and then life changed for a while. I fell (not a glamorous story - tripped over a suitcase) and broke my leg. After a few days of lying in the bed, I felt ready to sit up and thought painting was one thing I could do if everything was carefully propped. I finished the painting - the flowers and vase. Look again. Do you notice any difference in the styles? Yeah... like a different person painted that part. Hmmm... I suppose those pain medications took out some of my realistic precision and added artistic freedom. And, no, I'm not asking which style is preferred. That bottle of pills is long gone, and with it went the loose style that I strive to capture again - drug free, of course!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Flower Girl and Her Kitty

Oh, how this little sweetheart kept us laughing. The air was usually filled with her voice.

Her little friend there was Daisy. Well, actually we only called it Daisy for a short time. I'll never forget what our vet said at our first visit. "Did you say this kitten's name is Daisy? Hmmm... maybe a better name would be Tom." Oops... kind of hard to explain that little mistake to a four year old! Daisy very shortly became Dandelion. And, Dandy was a good little family member.

As for this little one... in the blink of an eye, she grew into a lovely young lady.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Caribbean Flora

Lovely... Brilliant white and pink blossoms....
These grew on the gate of a sea turtle farm on Grand Cayman Island.

It seems that everything is just a little too bright to be true in the Caribbean.

Have a look at these lovely items that have used the plumeria flower as inspiration.
A handmade guest book
Children's barrettes

Friday, July 9, 2010

In the Tree

I've always thought of this as my "Zacchaeus Painting" - after the little Sunday school song.
Zacchaeus was a wee little man,
And a wee little man was he.
He climbed up in a sycamore tree,
For the Lord he wanted to see.
My wee little man was quite proud of himself for climbing up in a tree - although I don't know if it was a sycamore!

I post this picture today because this little one is on my heart. You see, I blinked two or three times, and he grew up! This morning I got a message from him. Yea!
He's working with a team in partnership between Habitat for Humanity and the International Mission Board. They're building houses on an island in the Philippines as they share the love of the Lord.

He is still climbing to new heights, for the Lord he wants to see!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Blow on It!

I wonder who decided that the dandelion would be a weed instead of a flower. I'm pretty sure that this little one believes she's holding a flower.

Original Oil Painting on 12"x 16" Stretched Canvas

"Blow on It!" can be purchased in several forms and sizes.
Contact me if you'd like to purchase this image as a giclee, a print, or note cards.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


A cherry is one of my very favorite fruits. I have almost no self control when there's a bowl of cherries in the house. Well... a bowl of cherries just doesn't last very long in my house.

This little painting was done through a challenge for Rookie Painter.  I love the concept of this site - an image is presented then artists are invited to share their art based on that image. It's so interesting to see the diversity in style. I felt proud like a little kid to see mine posted right alongside the artists' pieces.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010


What is this little guy thinking?
What are these geese thinking?
Is it a confrontation or a game?
Are they interested or annoyed?
I like to think that they're just getting to know each other. Maybe the geese are teaching the little guy a few goose words. I want to believe that they even understand each other for those few magical minutes.

I love the process of painting.
First comes choosing the subject. For me it has to be an image that stands alone to tell a story. That's followed by deciding on the best canvas size, drawing in a few key shapes, and blocking in some color. Like most kids, paintings have to go through an ugly stage. Maybe this is when they (both the kids and the paintings) need the most love! I do love that ugly stage. I've learned to trust that eventually blobs of color will take shape and empty spots on the canvas will become forms. The frustrating part comes when it seems right, but there's just something not right. For a second opinion, I hold it up to a mirror... oh, the shadows are missing or going the wrong way! Or, I look at a photograph of it on a computer screen... oh, there are no highlights! Or, I show it to my painting mentor... oh, yeah, the edges are too harsh! Finally it just needs to be left alone and not looked at. I think that's when the painting fairies sneak in and... voila...
The funny thing for me is that once a painting is finished and I've given the satisfied sigh... I'm over it and ready to move on. I'm ready to sell it or give to some who wants to enjoy it. I want to have an excellent product, but it's the process that I crave more of.

"Honk!" has been a little different, however. I still love looking at it and imagining what was going through the little minds of that little boy and that gaggle of geese!

Original Oil Painting on 12"x 16" Canvas