Thursday, July 21, 2016

Yellow VW Beetle

Everybody has a VW story in their lives, right?  My best friend in high school had a candy-apple red one. Oh my, we had good times in that car.  That's probably why I drive a red Beetle now.  I love my bug and painted it once as kind of a self portrait.

This little yellow Beetle belonged to my friend, Nancy.  Her mother brought it brand new in 1970 and drove it for the rest of her life.  Then Nancy drove it until just this year when she passed it on to another family member. Lots of memories there... still there... only with a little painting on the wall instead of a little car (without good heat, air, or radio) in the driveway.

That's Nancy's story of the car, but let me tell you MY story of Nancy.  32 years ago, I was a 5 foot 0 inch, 105 pound, bright eyed 20 year old who thought I wanted to be a teacher.  I was assigned to spend 9 weeks as a student teacher in her 4th grade classroom.  On my very first day she said, "We've been reading this book, The B.F.G. Why don't you take over." That was my first time ever in front of a class of 4th graders... and I've been there... hmmm...  (178 days x 31 years) ... my goodness... over 5,500 days since.  
Over the course of time, we lost touch but then re-found each other when she saw and liked some of my paintings in a shop here in town.

Thank you, Nancy. Thank you for getting me started on this life of reading and writing with 10 year olds.

Original Oil Painting - 8"x 10"

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Longhorns in Bluebonnets


These lady longhorns are going to hang in a very special place.
Welcome Home Retreat is a unique place in Weatherford, Texas for women to come together for weekends of creativity and fellowship. Its mission is to provide an environment of beauty that inspires creativity.

But if that's not special enough... The owner of this fabulous place is my very own sister!!!   Her specialty is scrapbooking where families' memories are captured for future generations. Sheila's dream to have a venue to encourage and observe guests as projects are begun, continued, and completed is becoming a reality.
She wants Welcome Home Retreat to have a "Texas feel with a feminine twist."  So... how about a painting of longhorns walking through bluebonnets!!!  

Click to visit the site of Welcome Home Retreat!  Book a weekend!!  Maybe I'll see you there!

Original Oil Painting - 16" x 20" 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

My Summer Distractions.... Garden Harvest vs Does & Fawns

I love summer... 
Pick... wash... sort... cut... slice... chop... stir... taste... mmmm...
(Little known fact... I just happen to make the best salsa in the world... It's true. Click the link then give it a try!)

I spend a lot of time with a knife in my hand... but I get sooooooooooo distracted!
You see... I look out the windows and have all these little friends that live in my back yard!  

I call this mama LaFawnda with her little one Moe. 
They're just checking to see if it's ok to step out of the forest into the little clearing of my yard.

This is another mama and her fawn.  I need a name for them!

For my birthday this spring, I asked for a deer lick.  Best big brown block of a birthday present ever! They're hanging out beside it.

If this doesn't take my breath away every time!  Lulu and her twins, Liza and Opie.     They spend a lot of time helping themselves to our grass.

Now, how can I accomplish anything when I can watch this sweet family!
That's Liza with the heavy mascara.
I call this one Tina. She has a big scar down her side, but she is gorgeous.  I don't think she has a baby.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

My Atelier ... a.k.a. The Fonzie Room

Although my blog doesn't appear to show it, I HAVE been painting!  I've been working on a really, really big project. No... not on canvas, even bigger!
My art space has gone though a transformation,and I love it!  It's brighter, lighter, and whiter! The ceiling fan lights and lamps are gone.  The green walls are gone.  My brother installed fabulous new lighting, and I painted the whole thing a crisp white.  Did I already say how much I love it!

I love seeing artists' creative spaces.  So, I'll share my (new and improved) one.

This is my spot. Let me give you a tour.

  • Paint palettes on Styrofoam  plates because I never graduated to a fancy palette.
  • Foot stool because I'm short.
  • Computer that's got paint splatters all over it because I use it for reference photos. 
  • Easel with what I'm working on. 
  • Trash can because I'm a pretty tidy painter
  • Drawers with brushes because I tend to accumulate so many.
  • Wet wipes and dinosaur-head cat squirter because she sometimes needs a reminder.
  • Drawers for my paints and supplies because I'm pretty organized with them.
  • Basket of rags because painting is messy.
  • Cards and special things on the wall because they make me smile.
Here's the view from the other side.
  • A wind chime hangs above where I sit.  I like to make it sound when I finish a painting, or am frustrated with a painting, or just want to jingle it.
  • My sewing machine.
  • My serger.
  • Special things on the wall that hold memories.
  • My Cricut (which I LOVE and am just learning to use).
  • Boxes of all my hoarded crafty junk very useful artsy/sewing supplies.
  • Painting shirts on the back of the door.
  • The window where you might look out and see a deer.
  • Paintings that are waiting to be purchased to their forever home. 
  • My big easel for large canvases.
  • Three stations where my friends paint on Tuesdays during the school year.

And here's the other end.
  • Where Ron hangs out while I paint.
  • Some special toys and books from childhood.
  • The other wall where I hang paintings waiting until they're sold.
  • The elliptical that we use often, but should use more.
  • The other window where, again, you might see a deer.
  • A shelf with more memories and more useless stuff crafting/sewing materials.
  • The television.
  • And finally the shelves filled with... well more junk that I just might need for that next project.
My creative space is called The Fonzie Room.  If you're from my generation, you remember the show Happy Days... Fonzie lived in the room above the Cunningham's garage.  That was what we called this room while the kids were growing up and teenagers using it for all their kid shenanigans. 
After they moved out and we shoveled out their junk reclaimed that space for ourselves, I tried... I really, really tried to change the name. I called it The Atelier. I even made a little sign and hung it beside the door.  (It's french, but if you can't remember how to pronounce it, you an just say in your best Southern redneck "I tell ya'" and that's almost right. Anyway... it didn't stick... I gave up.  It's The Fonzie Room, and I love it.