Thursday, December 27, 2018

Hollyhocks & Daisies (Gray House)

It makes me happy when a family member wants one of my paintings. 

Original Oil Painting on 12"x 24" Wrapped Canvas

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Yesterday's Merry Christmas Post

Hi, If you receive my blog posts through e-mail and just read them there, you missed something yesterday.  
The little video doesn't show up on the e-mail.  You have to click the title "Merry Christmas from the Eatons" to be taken to the blog where you can see it... And... yeah... it's worth it! :)
Or click the link here.
"Merry Christmas from the Eatons"

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Merry Christmas from the Eatons!!!

Merry Christmas from the Eatons!!!
If you get this in your e-mail feed, you have to click on the link to come to the blog page.
 Otherwise, you don't know there's a video to watch!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Hollyhocks for Anne

Before sharing the story of this painting, I have to share the story of its painter and of its owner.
       ... 1991...
When my kids were little, we moved into a cozy little cul-de-sac neighborhood.  We knew some of the neighbors well and some only by sight, but our all kids played on the sidewalks and in the front yards.
       ... 1998...
I was a part of a month long summer institute with National Writing Project.  When the contact information sheet came around on the first day, I noticed that the lady across the room had written the name of my tiny little street on her line. We were neighbors! How did we not know each other! 
       ... next 20 years...
Anne and I immediately became friends. We taught in the same school district. We shared a deep passion for writing and for teaching writing.  Through the National Writing Project, we both taught professional development workshops and led writing institutes for teachers.  My kids attended the junior high where she taught.  
Life happened... We raised our kids. We taught hundreds of other people's kids.  I moved across town.  I started painting.  We both retired. We kind of lost touch.

       ... last month...
There was a 20 year reunion for those of us who'd been active in the National Writing Project.  Not only was it so good to see Anne again, she had a paper in her hand with a little note about something she wanted. She'd been to our by our art show, fell in love with one of the paintings that had sold, and asked if I'd paint another and if I'd make the coloring work with a grouping of Hummels that had belonged to her grandmother.

Why did this painting speak to her?
I asked Anne if she'd tell it in her own words.
     There grow Hollyhocks at the home where we abode, and there came a mighty Rain, with a great Wind, and the Hollyhocks were Beaten Down so that they lay flat. And Keturah said, Behold how they begin to lift themselves again.  And she put her hand under one of them, and lifted it gently, as she would have lifted a little child that had stumbled and fallen, and the Hollyhock stood up.  And she lifted another likewise. And Keturah said, it is even so with Folks. Therefore we made a covenant that as we walk where the storms of life have beaten, we will Lift Up every flower of God that hath fallen, and not trample upon it nor despise it, but seek to make if fit to bloom in the Garden of God.  (William E. Barton Safed the Sage. Paraphrased)  
I shared this parable at the 50th Anniversary of my great aunt and uncle who epitomized this in their lives.  Hollyhocks grew in Oklahoma where I grew up, and Helen's beautiful painting reminds me of my rural home and the lesson of the Hollyhocks.
Lovely words...
     Lovely thoughts...
          Lovely friend... 

 Original Oil Painting on 10"x 20" Wrapped Canvas

Monday, December 10, 2018

Teddy, The Horse That Loved Peppermints

Teddy, the Horse Who Loved Peppermints

The story of how this painting came to be begins with another painting.
Three years ago, I painted a little peppermint around Christmastime, and I got to enjoy seeing it hang on my own wall for a couple of years.
When it sold in springtime, I thought it was a little odd... until the person who purchased it explained the reason...
It was a gift for her friend who had recently lost her beloved horse who loved getting a peppermint for a treat.
How thoughtful... it warmed my heart.
I assumed that was the last I'd ever hear about the little peppermint painting.
... But no...
A few weeks ago I got a message. "We received as a gift one of your pictures of a starlight mint.  Our beloved horse Teddy loved them...  I was wondering if you'd be able to painting a picture of his face... so we could hang them together..."
What an honor!
What an absolute honor!

I told Wendy that I knew the story of the paintings, but she knew the story of Teddy.  I asked her if she'd be willing share that.  I know you'll smile as you read her words below.

8:54pm EST
Teddy, the Horse Who Loved Peppermints 
Teddy.....the friend a middle school girl had when she felt abandoned by her peers.....he’d listen and walk and trot and gallop and take walks through the woods of Camp YNoah. 17 hands tall. Great for adults and gentle enough for children, so he was used a lot. We leased him for her 13th birthday and bought him when it was time for him to retire from camp work. We moved him to Merestead Farm where he had a stall to stay warm in the winter and got special food because of his needs. He lived out the rest of his life being cared for and pampered with his friends Shrek, Glenda , and Ellie. When turned out, he would start to walk away even if you would call out for him to come back. Start to open a starlight mint, and he would stop in his tracks and turn.......silly boy. Silly wonderful gentle Teddy. Loved and missed dearly.
Original Oil Painting on 12"x 16" Wrapped Canvas

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Forest Friends - Uli

I opened the invitation to my niece's baby shower, shopped around in her baby registry, saw a kind of a forest friends theme, and...

I've had so much fun painting these little name art canvases.
This one's special because we look forward to his arrival in a few weeks and we love Uli already.

Just for fun, here are some of the others.

Original Oil Painting on 6"x 12" Wrapped Canvas
Click "Custom Name" if you'd like to purchase a custom name painting.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The Grass Is Always Greener...

Patience the Cow
The grass is always greener... when you water it!

She looks patient, doesn't she.
I always think of cows as patient.  I supposed that's because of one of my favorite descriptive paragraphs in the world... When E.B. White describes the barn in Charlotte's Web.
 "The barn was very large. It was very old. It smelled of hay and it smelled of manure. It smelled of the perspiration of tired horses and the wonderful sweet breath of patient cows. It often had a sort of peaceful smell - as though nothing bad could happen ever again in the world. It smelled of grain and of harness dressing and of axle grease... But mostly it smelled of hay."
He just makes you want to be there.

Cows have a way of staring right into your eyes. 
Do not have a staring contest with a cow... She'll win. 
She's patient. 
Look at that expression. 
She's saying, "You are standing at my fence. Please just take your picture and moooove along. Go on now. I'll wait. I'm patient."

Original Oil Painting on 18"x 24" Wrapped Canvas.
I've been talking to her since I painted her eyes.  I'll probably keep talking to her on my wall until someone decides she belongs on their wall.  
Click "The Grass Is Always Greener..." if you 'd like to purchase this big patient cow.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Little Robin Redbreast

I hope mamas are still teaching  nursery rhymes to their babies.  
I'm so glad my mama taught them to me.

I just never know what will trigger a memory that's been buried for decades and bring it to the surface.

     Little Robin Redbreast
          Sat upon a rail.
     Niddle nobel went his head. 
          Wiggle waggle went his tail.

     Little Robin Redbreast
          Came to visit me.
     This is what he whistled,
          "Thank you for my tea." 

     Little Robin Redbreast
          Sat upon a tree
     Up went Kitty Cat,
          And down went he.
     Down came Kitty Cat
           Away Robin ran
     Said Little Robin Redbreast,
          "Catch me if you can." 
     Little Robin Redbreast jumped upon a wall.
          Kitty Cat jumped after him, and almost got a fall.
     Little Robin chirped and sung, and what did Kitty say?
          Kitty Cat said, "Mew, mew, mew," and Robin flew away.


I did this Little Robin Redbreast as a part of a painting challenge for Paint and Draw Together.  I love looking at all the images that are exactly the same and completely different at the same time.

Original Oil Painting on 6"x 6"x 2" Wrapped Canvas.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Pink Tulips on Gray (Palette Knife)

Here's my third try, my third YouTube lesson on this series of painting tulips with a palette knife. 

It seems like I ought be feeling more confident.  
Nope... Each stroke gives me a tiny anxiety attack.  

One of the things that I love about oil painting is that it's so forgiving; if you mess up with a misplaced brushstroke or color choice, you can just blend it, scrape it off, or paint over it. That doesn't seem to be the case with palette knife painting.  If you lay a slice of paint down in the wrong place, you just figure out how to make it look like a leaf that you wanted there.

The process was different.  
It was fun.  
I liked the final products.  
I'm going to enjoy seeing them hang on my own wall for a while.

Original oil painting on 10"x 10" wrapped canvas.
Click "Pink Tulips on Gray (Palette Knife)" if you'd like to purchase this little painting.

Purple Tulips on Yellow (Palette Knife)

As I started my second YouTube lesson on using the palette knife to paint tulips, I thought I'd be more comfortable and a little better at it... Nope... Still hard.  Every stroke is its own little scary event.  It seems to help if I make sound effects. For a leaf, "Psshhhhhtttt!" works pretty well.  On the other side maybe, "Whhhhsshhh!"  When going back in to fix a wrong spot on a leaf, just a little "Ffffffttt!" seems to do.  The flower strokes require more vowels.  A quick, "Uuuuhh!" or an, "Eeeek!" or an, "OoooKay!"
Painting with a palette knife turns out to be a noisy process. And, no, that part wasn't in the lesson.

I cannot wait until this one is dry so I can run my fingers across it and feel the textures of the paint.

Oil painting on 10"x 10" wrapped canvas
Click "Purple Tulips on Yellow (Palette Knife)" if you'd like to purchase this little painting.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Red Tulips on Purple (Palette Knife)

There's a lesson on YouTube for just about anything you might want to learn.  This palette knife lesson was so easy to follow.  And there are three, so we'll see if I get better on the next two.

I love the textures of a palette knife painting.  It just begs to be touched... only I can't... yet... It has so much paint in places, and gobs of oil paint take soooooo long to be completely dry.

The thing that mesmerizes me about a palette knife painting is that if you look at any small square inch, it's just a mess, but when you take in the whole image, it has its own beauty.
I remember something that my art teacher said. "The eye sees what's there, but the mind takes over and fills in the gaps."

Oil painting on 10"x 10" wrapped canvas

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Art Show at Red Kite Coffee House

Join me for the fun!
The room started started blank.

But... one picture at a time...
 Art began to cover every wall.

Finally, all 59 paintings hung in place.

 Time for a sign.
Some flowers...
 Some food...
Some poses...

Some gifts for the music guys...
Then it was time for friends!

It's a party!

Look in the back... See the lady looking up at the beach painting?
That's Olga!  That's her walking by the ocean at sunset.  I took that picture on the beach in Indonesia and knew it would become a painting.

Oh my goodness!  So happy to greet friends!

Great food...
Great music.
The little card beside each painting tells the story behind that painting.

This lady right here... She taught me to paint... 
Note cards and artist information...

 Family... so glad to have them share this evening!

When this handsome guy turned 16 and got his drivers license, I thought maybe I could get a hobby... then I took my first painting lesson. 
Laughter... Smiles... Art... Food... Music... Friends... Family...
A happy night, indeed!

The best painting partner!