Friday, June 25, 2021

Signs of Summer

One of my favorite signs of summer is seeing the little hummingbirds show up at our feeders.

I know there are many different kinds, but we only have the little green ruby-throated hummingbirds here in Northwest Arkansas. I love hearing their little hmmmmm and seeing them dart in for drinks. 

Our particular little guys are an opinionated bunch.  We have four feeders... all just alike... all hanging in a row on the back porch... all containing the exact same nectar water stuff... And, do they visit them all equally? No, they do not.  They like the third one.  What's up with that?  Oh, they visit the other three, but the third one is always the cool hangout spot.  It's like the restaurant with Coke while the other three have Pepsi.
Even if we switch them around, the third one empties out first. Go figure...

I did this painting for this month's Inspiration Collaboration submission.  Signs of Summer was my response to Sara's photograph Signs of Spring.

Original Oil Painting on 5"x 7" Wrapped Canvas
Click Signs of Summer if you'd like to purchase this little painting.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

The Road + The Wind = The Ride

Would it surprise you to know that a Harley lives in our garage?  How about that I have biker boots, a leather jacket, and like to ride?
I have to give all the credit for the idea behind this painting to that guy right there who lets me ride behind him.

The art challenge word for the week was "Road."  I thought about it and said, "I've got nothing... zero spark of an idea..." Without hesitation, he said, "What about painting the road with the view from the motorcycle?" Hmmm... genius!

Ok, here's a bonus.  This is one the of dozens of the reference photos I took. If you look at the bottom of the chrome, you'll see the reflection of Ron's face. Just below his chin you can see my hands and phone as I was blindly snapping photos of the road hoping I'd get a usable shot.

Original Oil Painting on 9"x 12" Wrapped Canvas
Not for Sal
e At This Time

Tuesday, June 22, 2021



Five new tiny little members of the family here at Serendipity.
Imagine a big cotton ball... That's about the size and weight of these little chicks. But, you'll also need to imagine that cotton ball peep peep peeping and skittering around after mama.
Three days ago I brought these babies home from the farm supply store.  That night after dark, I carried them out to the coop where Dolly was broody and patiently sitting on the fake eggs.  One at a time, I slipped each baby under her.  She'd look... give it a peck... scoot it under her... wiggle her feathers in contentment.  The next morning she was proud to show off her new family.  They spent a day or so in the nesting box. Then she brought them down to the ground in the coop and started teaching them. After a day of that, she brought them outside the doors of the coop to explore a little further.
They never stop peeping.  She never stops clucking.  I guess that's how they converse. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Basket of Peaches (Mini)

Advice of the day: Never buy peaches unless they smell peachy.  
I look forward to the middle of summer when they're the perfect combination of sweet-tangy and softly-firm. 

This is a mini-version of a Basket of Peaches that I painted before.  I did this little one for the art exchange group that I'm a part of. There are a dozen or so members that are from a few different countries and a few different states in the U.S.  Most of the members are people I know nothing about, but this quarter I was paired with NelviaI can't for the life of me remember exactly how Nelvia and I became connected, but we've enjoyed a blog-friendship for a long time. Now we have a piece of each other's artwork!

Original Oil Painting on 5"x 7" Canvas Board
[GIFT - Artist Exchange]

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Reaching for the Stars

When I was asked to do a painting of my friend's granddaughter, she said I could choose the image.  There were about 5,895,421 gorgeous photos... okay, maybe only 50... to choose from.  They were all lovely, but this one was different.  It seemed to be an unplanned snapshot of Fiona filled with joy, leaping and twirling like only a young girl will do when no one is watching.

I asked my friend if she'd like to write something. Of course, she said yes...
Thank you, Helen, for creating a special memory painting for the magical moment in the life of granddaughter, Fiona, age 14.  This one was captured at her e2019 Bat Mitzvah party in Santa Moica.  You chose this photo, one of many expressive ones taken by Jenifer Whalen (jenniferwhalenweddings) to tell a story of Fiona.  The chosen title "Reaching for the Stars" epitomizes all those dreams she has for her future!  Love all the amazing stories your paintings tell!"
**I know I just called her "my friend." There's a reason. I have two women who I consider life changing mentors in my life... and they're both named Cheri!
Cheri Wollenberg is my art mentor, painting teacher, dear friend.
Cheri Olmstead was my writing mentor, teaching partner, dear friend.

**Thank you to @jenniferwhalenweddings for taking the beautiful photograph that I used as a reference.

Original Oil Painting on 12"x 16" Wrapped Canvas

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Peacock out for a Stroll

In April my granddaughters (and their parents) moved from 20+ hours away to 6 minutes away.  Instead of getting to see them every month or two, we get to see them every day or two. My heart overflows with the joy of that.  
A couple of weeks ago, we took a day trip to the Tulsa Zoo together. What a wonderful way to spend the day!  The 9 month old was just happy. In the stroller or being carried, she didn't care.  The 21/2 year old was happy to watch the squirrels, to push the big buttons that opened the doors, to follow the geese on the sidewalk, to climb on big rocks, or to watch a turtle... Never mind about the big animals. (ha ha ha)
At the very end of our day at the zoo, this peacock came walking up to us as if he knew us.  I think he was saying, "Would you like to take my photo?  Here, let me turn this way. How about this way? I hope you've enjoyed your time here."

My weekly at challenge was Fins, Feathers, or Fur. My peacock friend made it obvious I should go with the feathers option.

Original Oil Painting on 11"x 14" Wrapped Canvas
Click Peacock out for a Stroll if you'd like to purchase this painting.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

My Deer and Our Love/Hate Relationship

Two days ago...  
Aren't we lucky to have deer that watch us each evening as we walk?
One day ago...
Those stupid deer have helped themselves to my garden again!

Monday, June 7, 2021

Do You See a Mural in My Future? (Eeeek!!!)

Last month my art studio (a.k.a. The Fonzie Room... the room above the garage) got a complete make over.  I wrote about that HERE. 

Now it's Ron's turn with a new shed.
The characters in this story are the men in my life: 
my husband, two brothers, brother-in-law, and dad.
First they ripped off the back of the garage!
Dad is almost 95. He was there to supervise.
He kept a pretty close eye on the boys...
... and on their work.
Yep... that's Dad using the skill saw. (... sigh...)
So many ladders...
It's always a relief when everybody's back on the ground.
Now... Walk with me.  We'll go around the garage.
There's a look inside the in-progress shed.
Here's the back wall. 
Or... Is it a great big canvas?!?!
This morning I dutifully painted the whole thing the color of the house...
You know I've always been a fan of Mr. Plumbean's house!
(If you haven't read The Big Orange Splot, you should probably just click on over to Amazon and get yourself a copy.)

Shall we vote?
⌧ Leave it plain.
⌧ Go for it!

If you're wondering if it would bother the neighbors...
Just deer, raccoons, possums, squirrels, and birds.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Gently Down the Stream

[Serendipity - the occurrence of pleasant events that happen by chance]

In 2016 we had a vacation that was filled with serendipity. It began with a trip to Cooperstown, New York where the Baseball Hall of Fame is located. That part was great, but the serendipity began as we left.  We'd found a bed and breakfast lodge not too far from there which seemed like might be a nice place to spend a few days.  

It all started with checking in.
"We have a wedding party that would like to use the whole lodge, would if be okay if we moved you to our cabin? No extra charge." 
Ummmmm... Yeah!
The whole property was just one relaxing surprise after another....
   Row boats on a placid lake...
   Ducks with babies following behind...
   Nature trails with swings to rest on...
   Flowers in bloom everywhere...
   Hammocks in random places...
   Weather in perfect mid 70s...
   Peaceful... Relaxing... Soothing... Restful...
Why would we ever leave!

One morning we decided we would leave to eat some place local.  We asked the teenager who took our order what there was to do nearby.  "Oh, not much really... unless you want to go to Woodstock.  It's about 15 minutes down that way."   
Wait... Woodstock?  You mean Woodstock, Woodstock? 
"Yeah, there was a big concert thing there a long time ago.  There's a museum and stuff."
Ummmmm.... Yeah!
(I'll save our Woodstock adventure day for another painting, another story.)

Here's a sample of our restful time at Lake Joseph, New York. 
No idea what this is, but they lined the forest paths.

...Literally lined the forest paths.

"What are you looking at?"

Row, row, row a boat... any boat.


Even the animals were relaxed.

Places for naps everywhere.

Swings for taking breaks (although no breaks were needed).

This makes my 20th weekly painting challenge with my friend and art mentor.  The challenge was "A Sunny Day."  I hope there's a calming feeling from this painting of a sunny day on a row boat.

Original Oil Painting on 6"x 12" Wrapped Canvas

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Inspiration Collaboration - June 2021

Spring brings the colors and smells and sounds that we've longed for all winter.  
Maybe one of this month's inspiration images will inspire you to join us. 
Create some art of your own!

Click HERE to read the thoughts behind each one.

It's easy to be a part.  Click HERE for instructions.  
We look forward to seeing what you create!