Thursday, May 31, 2012

Red Lily

How many colors do lilies come in?

What a surprise when I drove home and found this gorgeous red lily!  I didn't even know I planted it.
Okay, I admit that sometimes buy a bulb on clearance or get a plant as a gift then just stick it in the flower bed and forget about it.  When I get surprises like this, I'm glad I do it.

 I haven't painted that much with red.  It was a little tricky to add the white highlights without turning it into pink.  I'm actually not even sure I did it right.  I think I'll paint another one just like it and practice the shades and highlights of red.  

I also know that I stress way too much over the greenery.  I work and work to get each leaf and blade of grass right, then I just go in and kind of fuzz it all out.  On my next one, I'm going to try to paint loosely from the beginning.   We'll see.

Click Beautiful Dreamer to enjoy a lovely Etsy treasury (collection of related art pieces and vintage items) that celebrates beautiful things. Then visit Christmas Reds for a beautiful bright collection for a wintry day.

I love painting on these chunky little canvases so that they look kind of three-dimensional.    Click "Red Lily" to purchase this little painting.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Copper Teapot

What's the recipe for copper?

a stripe of white
a stripe of cad yellow
a stripe of ocher
a stripe of cad red
a stripe of umber
Then smooth all those edges with a soft brush.
It's kind of a mini-miracle to watch those stripes become metallic reflections.

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
Those are a few of my favorite things.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Canadian Geese

What makes a good leader?

When I started working on my master's degree in the mid 1990s, the first (and favorite) class I took was called Educational Leadership.  As the name suggests, we learned about leadership styles.  Our teacher gave a homework assignment that has stuck with me all these years.  We had to answer this question.  "Do you want to be an elephant or a goose?"  At first it seemed like a silly trick question.  

I wasn't sure how to begin to answer that, but something kind of serendipitous happened that week.  My class at school read a story called Amy's Goose.  Although it's a fiction story, I was reminded enough about geese to begin to know how to answer the question.  Geese share the leadership role.  There's a reason they migrate all those miles in the shape of a V.  The goose at the head has to work the hardest.  After a time, he rotates to the back, and another flies up to take the lead for a while.  They work together.
After a little reading, I learned that when a poacher goes after elephants, he tries to kill the matriarch first.  Without her leadership all the other elephants panic and become easy targets.

I've never forgotten that analogy.  Although I may sometimes be bossy and controlling, I strive to be more like the goose and not only share the load, but surround myself with those willing to do their part when it's their turn.

This particular pair of geese, as well as their many friends, live beside the river that runs beside the fabulous restaurant called The Old Mill in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.  They seem to be neither bothered by nor interested in the tourists that walk all around them every day.  

Visit an Etsy treasury (collection of art pieces) celebrating the these lovely birds.  Click on Wings Over Canada.  Then enjoy another collection that uses the most beautiful browns called Looking for Autumn.  Random Favorites that Speak of Fall is another great fall collection.

Original Oil Painting on 12"x 12" Wrapped Canvas

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


How does your garden grow?

Maybe yours is...
"...with silver bells and cockle shells
...and pretty maids all in a row..."

But mine is...
"...with sunflower stalks that have no heads
... and only brown soil in the lettuce beds..."

So, I've been sentimental about how we love our deer that step from our woods into the yard then on to the pond.
So, I've smiled at the bunnies that try to sit so still as the dog and I pass on our evening walks.
Well, those deer and rabbits are not on my friendly list this week.  The deer ate the top of of every single sunflower, and the rabbits ate every last leaf of lettuce.

But look!  The first fruits of our labor!  Tomatoes!  Yea!!!