Saturday, July 13, 2013

:) Sisters

Hi, My name is Helen. 

I paint what you see in Word Weaver Art’s blog.

I’ve heard that at some point every artist should paint a self-portrait, so here’s mine.  This is me.  It’s pretty accurate.  I’m short, I have brown hair that’s turning gray, and I’m embracing that! I hope to always have a smile on my face.  And, finally, I’ve got on silver dangly earrings.  Last year when I bought a pair of squiggly silver earrings made by my friend Tana, I said, “These are not who am, but they are who I want to be.”  
Now I think they ARE who I am!

These are my sisters:

Sheila’s my oldest sister.  She’s the family historian through her scrapbooks. She’s dressed in her favorite color purple, and like her dress, she’s pretty organized, but she's a little squiggly!

Marcia is married to my oldest brother.  She’s a family musician who sings and plays piano and flute.  She’s dressed in her favorite color blue, and like her dress, she’s kind of polka-dotted! (She makes everyone feel special!)

Karen's my middle sister.  She’s a family entertainer who can put a party together and cook just the right thing.  She’s dressed in a bright orange, and like her dress, she’s all-the-way squiggly! 

Karen Lynne is married to my middle brother.  She’s another family musician who sings and plays piano.  She’s dressed in a red color that looks great on her, and like her dress, she’s striped.  (She likes lists and organization like me!)

Then there’s me at the end.  I'm dressed in my favorite color green, and like my dress, I'm solid. (What you see is what you get!)

And, next week we're doing something we've never done before... a week together... just the five of us!

Caribbean, here we come!  

If you're in my town, go visit Tana for a pair of your own silver dangly earrings!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Yellow Apples

Why do students give apples to their teachers?

I've been a teacher for 28 years and have certainly received my share of apples... apple mugs, apple ornaments, apple paper weights, apple note pads... I think my favorite though is when a little kid brings me a real apple, especially on the first day of school.  They usually have that sweet, sort of embarrassed kind of nervous little face like their mom has said, "Take this to your teacher and smile at her when you meet her."  I love that.  

I googled it and found a couple of possible reasons for the tradition.
     * During the pioneer days, teachers were paid with a room to stay in and food brought in by the students from their family farms.  Apples were harvested about the time the school year began.
     * Even before that, Eve gave Adam a fruit of the Tree of Knowledge.  (People usually imagine that fruit to be an apple.) Teachers represent knowledge... Apples represent knowledge... so... that tradition began a really long time ago, right?

When I went to my very first painting lesson on February 22, 2007, I painted a Tree, and I was so proud of it!  I couldn't believe I'd painted something that actually looked like what it was supposed to be!

On that evening, I felt kind of nervous like a little kid on the first day of school.  And, guess what... yep... I took an apple to my teacher!  I did!  I think it surprised her, but it was the beginning of a wonderful friendship.
About a year ago, she and her husband retired and moved to their farm in Oklahoma.  In June we got to visit them.  I'll always be thankful for our Monday nights of painting together. :)

To see her beautiful artwork, visit Dancing Brush.

[SOLD] And I love knowing my friend Laura has these yellow apples hanging in her office. :)

Monday, July 8, 2013


Do they make your mouth water?
Whenever I don't know what to paint next, I go to the refrigerator.  This time I had some strawberries that I'd bought at the Farmers' Market

I always struggle to set up my still lifes to make them look natural, like the strawberries just happened to be dropped there.  I think this one worked.

And photo-bombing the shots... Really Pounce?... This is the best place you could find to lay around?


Monday, July 1, 2013

Raggedy Ann

What makes certain toys life-long friends?

Some toys just last and last.  They last through lots of pretend, through years, and through memories.  Raggedy Ann is one of those, isn't she.  I think nearly every little girl has a rag doll of some kind.  I loved mine.  My mom made my Raggedy Ann and Andy at a time when fake fur was all the rage, so my Raggedies didn't have the usual yarn red hair... oh no... they had flame orange fake fur hair.  I didn't think they were the least bit odd at the time, but looking back, I bet they were a sight!

I made this particular little one 26 years ago while I was expecting my daughter.  She's been a good friend for a long time.  Now she sits in a place of honor on a shelf (with her friend Raggedy Andy and the Christmas Elf-on-the-Shelf, Leona) in my art space.  I noticed her the other day and decided she deserved to be the star of her very own still life.

You can see her here in the bassinet guarding my Amanda when we brought her home from the hospital.  (That's her friend Andy beside her.)

And here we impersonating her.  This was taken in my classroom with Amanda who was in kindergarten.  My little Andrew (hiding behind us) had a little Raggedy Andy costume to match us too!  (Now, at 22, he's horrified that I ever dressed him that way, but he was adorable.)

I listed this painting on Etsy but I have to be honest... I'll be a little sad when this little painting does get purchased.  I'll enjoy her in the meantime. :)