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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

busy days

Had to work on another version of Paradise for Lunar Designs. A request from a new account near the Chesapeake Bay area. I like it.. tried to make the fish not look too tropical.. and the water more river like instead of the clear tropical waters. I have done several versions of this..started out with geese, then flamingos, then moose and now fish.
Orders are coming in, which is great. So I have been letting my newest piece of art sit while I get caught up. It's hard to not work on it.. it's coming along great and I am itching to get back to it.

Cold and clear this morning.. hoping to get out and take Marley for a walk. We had snow but not a lot, and lots of wind yesterday morning.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

morning grace

Yesterday was a wet and sloppy day as I ran around doing errands. The snow/rain was making the roads and walkways a sloshy mess and while you know the moisture is wonderful for our mtns, it's so wonderful to wake up this morning and see sunshine. Though I think this is just a lull before the another storm comes through. Oh well, enjoy it while it's here.

I finished the frog on The Tree of Life.. It didn't excite me as much as I would of liked, but then every art piece cannot be the best. I liked the different elements but think it's too busy. But I will let it go. Don't want to get too invested and overwork it, the kiss of death. But there it is.
I love the tree frog. He is the best part for me.
Started a new piece yesterday morning. It's a garden painting with birds, hollyhocks and Marley. I wanted to do a painting in memory of my dad. He loved his flowers and feeding the birds in his later life. He never met Marley.. we were going to stop by on Monday but he
died on Saturday. He saw a picture of Marley that I sent him on the internet. After dad died,
I kind of wished I could of named Marley Charley.. but we had already decided. And maybe Dad wouldn't of been that honored anyway!
I am planning to plant some of dad's favorite flowers in the garden this spring. He loved
hollyhocks and cosmos. I am also planning a shrine for dad which will be in the garden
so I will surround this with those flowers. Plus I want to add Sadie's memory there too.
I have an old blue phone box that I scored one day driving through Wendy's drive-thru.
It's about 3-4 feet high and will be a perfect shrine box for my art project.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Rainy Day

Raining today! But will probably turn to snow later..

I worked yesterday on the Tree of Life, and it really headed for the tropics. Think Taj's Hula Band was inspirational! I still have to paint the tree frog.. the white blob on the lower left is
his spot. I added the flowers at the bottom and then felt the piece looked like two paintings.

So I added the buttons through the tree to pull in the color of the flowers below. It made it look more connected and placed some flowers floating up around the tree. The leaves in the trees initially was going to be applied down with the gel medium but then decided I liked them simply tacked on their bases... more dimensional. I think the tree frog will add a live look to the painting. Plus frogs may be considered symbols of the unconscious because they live in the water. Frogs also represent transformation of the positive kind. So I think its a great theme for the piece. This revelation that occurs when I create, the muse that bubbles up for me, is what makes doing art so addictive for me. It's creating beauty with substance.
But alas, must jump into production today. Muse will have to wait patiently for me.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

cloudy art day

It's a very cloudy day, and there is going to be weather moving in. It's cold too. The dampness in the air. Brrrrr. Makes you want to hole up in your art studio and create. Which is what I have been doing.
I am working on The Tree of Life painting I wanted to do. I started doing the tree trunk out of an old skirt...cutting the rolled hem edges. I liked the color and the stitching and
the linear look. Then I made fabric prints from some gauze I had with transfers. I was able to
get a lot of different prints to cut out the leaves. Those I sewed on using embroidery floss doing the french knot stitch. Eons ago, I was an avid crewel embroiderer.
The flowers are painted onto dictionary pages that I will cut or tear out and apply to the canvas.
I want to add words through the tree. It's evolving on it's own. I like to work that way.
Listening to Taj Mah and the Hula Blues Band - the cd Sacred Island. Cloudy winter days make me long for the warm sunny beaches. Would love to be playing in the sand with Emalie today.
I miss her and the warm tropical air that just makes your skin feel so yummy. Winter skin
here is tough! I slaver on scented oils and lotions to keep from shriveling up!
Back to art and work.. doing both. While paint dries, I work. One of the really nice thing about having my art studio plus working studio combined. I like it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Horse For Emalie Final painting

This was a really very uplifting painting for me to do. I am finally coming out of my funk and dry spell from art. Thank God! This morning I added the blackbird, my alter persona. The horse is trotting happily along (Emalie) and I am flying overhead carrying the red ribbon. She is far away living in Hawaii, but I am always present in spirit with her.
Recently I learned about the good red road from another dear artist friend. The native American Indians believed in the red road of balance in life. He uses the red road image often in his paintings, and while I don't want to copy his use of the image, I wanted to acknowledge the knowing I have now. So only once I will use this.
tThanks, Renick. I have always known that balance is essential in our lives, and how easily it can be to lose. But having this red ribbon in my painting helps plant it forever. I someday would like to share this good red road story with my granddaughter Emalie.
It's a beautiful day here. The sky is that wonderful Colorado blue that fills your soul up
with color. I have a pile of work to tackle, but starting the day out doing art keeps me on the good red road. I have not been on that road for months and it is good to be back on track again. ta

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

a new dawn

Sigh... A wave of gratitude and relief plus the heartfelt joy of a new dawning for our country, for our world. President Barack Obama, our new 44th president took over the reins and hopes
for us....with us. I watched the ceremonies, while painting my new piece titled "A Horse for Emalie"..
I was smiling, I was crying, I was cheering between brush strokes. And the art that came from me was filled with the hope for our country, for our generations to come. And for our children and grandchildren. God give us the strength to make it better for all.

I used poppies in this piece because I always so loved the poppie field in the Wizard of Oz. The joy of the field and the looming hopeful City of Oz for our beloved characters, Dorothy, the Lion, Tinman and Scarecrow. We are those bedraggled souls, looking towards the future with hopeful eyes. Today we step into the light after 8 years of darkness.
Here's my work for today...still have more to do on the painting. But mostly want to say... blessings to all of us on this day of renewal!

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Remembering my grandmother's garden
We called her Bubba. Her first grandchild couldn't say grandma but instead said “Bubba” and it stuck. She has been gone for a long time now, but I remember fondly her garden. It was always blooming with millions of flowers, and fruit trees and the garden always had tasty treats for us. I especially remember her huge poppies, red and growing tall and strong.

Recently I took a trip down memory lane and drove by my grandparents' house. After my grandmother died, it was sold and I haven't been by the place in years. So with great anticipation, I drove up their little lane. It's an older neighborhood, and when they lived there, it was full of young families and years later, elderly. Hoping to find a resurgence of young families, I was dismayed to see the houses on the street sad and run down. I slowed down and gasped. The little house was sorely in need of TLC and did not even resemble the wonderful house from my girlhood memories. It was painted the wrong color, the yard was nearly gone. The big tree in the front yard was chopped off leaving an unsightly trunk sticking up about 5 feet. There just wasn't hardly anything left of the dear old place. Plus, it looked so very small from my memories.
I left, sad, and for days, could not get that image of the poor little house out of my mind.

I started thinking about all the wonderful elements of their house. The colors inside the home, the room layouts, the big dinners we had on holidays cramming all of us into the living room with tables jammed up to make a long dining table. And that lush garden out back. The cherry and plum trees and the huge Elm tree that overlooked the entire back yard. I recalled cherry pitting afternoons using empty cottage cheese containers that we would use to freeze up cherries for future pies. Bubba working at the pitting, and the grandkids scooping the cherries up. My cousin Tommy stuffing a handful of grass from the lawn into the bottom of one of the containers and then topping it off with cherries! I looked startled at him and then he winked and held his finger up and told me shhhhh!

A few weeks ago, I was helping my mother go through my recently departed father's library. She was getting rid of lots of books, and handed me a journal book that my grandfather kept for several years. After he passed away, my grandmother picked up the journal and wrote regularly for 5 years. Throughout the journal, both kept notes on the garden. What a treasure!
After reading the journal, and still sad over their house lost forever, I decided to create a painting of their house as I remember it. The big tree in the back yard, the poppies. I used the buttons in the tree, because Bubba always had jars of buttons that I loved sorting through as a child. I copied some pages out of the journal on the copier, and used them on the roof of the house. I painted a quilt pattern in the big window. This was their bedroom window that looked out into the garden. It was a large room and my grandmother would have her quilt group over to work on quilts on the big quilt rack that she had set up in the bedroom.

So their house is now reborn on my canvas and will have a special place in my studio. Working on the piece, helped me heal some pain from losing my father. This was the house he grew up in and later, the house he brought his war bride, my mother, to when he came home from the World War II. My parents lived there for a short time in the little guest house out back. I lived in the guest house my first year in college because my parents had moved to a nearby town for Dad's job. So many memories for all of us.

And once again, my art saves me.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Marley likes it

I am really happy with the way this turned out..

here's Marley appreciating all the attention~

his first portrait painted!

This is Marley. I did a protrait of him this morning. He is such a joy in our lives. We adopted him right before Dad passed away. In fact, Sadie directed me to go to the adoption center and despite all I had going on with moving, etc., Marley is a jewel of a dog. He is happy and so I painted lots of happy flowers around him. It is snowing today, and the spring flowers are really a cheery escape for me.

I am hoping someday mom will adopt a cat. She is needing the companionship of a pet. She says she will, but has to get things in order first. Not like me, who jumps into the spirit of a dog or cat. I just really believe having pets in our lives is so enriching and rewarding. I cannot imagine a life without pets.

Yesterday we went to see mom. She is having the family room painted and we helped her clear out the room for the painter. She had a pile of dad's books that she was getting rid of, and I took a pile home with me.

One was a diary book that my grandfather started in 1972 when he was 69 years old. He wrote in it till his death on June 29th, 1974. There is not a lot of information. A line, sometimes 2 lines, of the happenings. Notes on the weather, or where they happened to go for drives. Like: " April 23-72 Went up on Sowbelly Ridge to look for dinosaur bone. Found some, warm-dry." Then after his death, my grandmother takes over with her entries. They are more informative and wordy but still short. I haven't read through them all yet, but it is really a treasure to read their words. A bit of legacy passed on. I am really honored to have this. What makes it more interesting is the book he used is an actual account book. Used what he had which is the way they lived.

ta for now

Thursday, January 8, 2009

jammie day

Having a day of absorbing. Been surfing on the net, looking for inspirational ideas. Feeling lost again today. Am beginning to wonder if this is post stress from losing dad/caring for mom.
Hard to motivate myself. Which is so very unlike me. In the past, when I am up against this
stagnate feeling, rather than fight it, I give in. Let it play out But that doesn't seem to be working for me this time.
On an art note, looking forward to doing some new art.. waiting on the canvas's to arrive. Several friends have called with crisis modes which I have helped as best I could.
Okay off my pity pot. Take a shower, run to town, do some errands. get out of the house.
think that is partly starting to lock me down.
and take Marley for a walk. promised to do it everyday, good for the both of us.
oh I did get lots of photos organized for the family photo wall in the great room. need to pick up some picture hanging wire. can't find mine.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

a year later

LOVE that I have been not doing this blog for what? a year!?
Well, what a year it has been. Moved to a new house mid year, the house of our dreams, the
garage of Dan's dreams, and then my studio move. And in the midst of all that, my dear Dad
dies and leaves my mom lost and alone, to be followed by her falling and cracking her pelvis and 3 months of healing, most of that at our house.
Trying and challenging, yes. But all along, I felt Dad's presence knowing that I was helping mom and knowing it was helping him as well. Learning about myself, tapping into deep reserves,
and now, thankfully the worst is over. Mom is calming down and learning to live alone. And I am getting back into my world again. It is welcoming and wonderful. Though I have to say, I have days of feeling lost. I attribute this mostly to coming out of chaos and knowing I have to heal.
As for my art, it has been patiently waiting for me to come back full on. I have done some art,
little dances with it here and there. But today I ordered some new canvas and am planning on starting up some new art pieces for the upcoming Wild Women art show in June. Because it
is looming up ahead, and I know how incredibly fast this year has gone by. Not even in a blink
of an eye, gone.
I love the New Year. And especially this year, because we are getting a new President and I am feeling a great sense of good things coming in the future. And I think the hard times will make the good just that much sweeter.
I want to direct my art towards the essence of spirit, the love, the goodness, the purity of human spirit. Those are essentials that will live on after life. Losing Dad was hard, but I have not lost his sense of wonder, of enjoying the small things, of creating, of learning and of always wanting to know what lies beyond that next bend in the road. All of that still lives on in my heart. That is spirit. It never dies. It never fades. It is always there for us. That is my theme
for my art this year. To honor my Dad's spirit.
love and light