Thursday, November 5, 2009

Guinness to Haggis

Wow! I just returned from a two week trip to Ireland and Scotland. What a fantastic time! This trip was a dream come true--on my bucket list. Went to Scotland first--to Oban and the Isle of Mull. What a beautful place! After a few days there, traveled to Ireland--Galway, Ennis, Aran Islands, Donegal, Belfast, the Slieve Cliffs and Giants Causeway. I got to meet my family in Ennis--a fantastic group of people who made me feel so very welcome! My only regret is that I couldn't stay longer and get to know them better. All the more reason for me to go back!
I shot over 1700 photos--lots of reference material for paintings. Now that I'm back, I need to sort through them all and hit the canvas!! You can see some of the photos on my Facebook page, or on the blog here. And watch out for some new paintings in the not-too-distant future!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I love working in the garden, but this year, for some reason, it's been more difficult for me to get out there. Just this morning I was thinking about how beautiful the gardens were when we first moved out here. They've been sorely neglected lately. So today, though my studio is also screaming for attention, I've decided to tend to the gardens.

In keeping with my "painting a day" theme (okay, so I haven't actually painted anything new today) here's one I did last year that won the People's Choice award from an on-line painting group. It's called "Hibiscus." It's a watercolor, which I honestly don't do much these days. I tend to overwork them. This one I did quickly, though, as you can see by the soft edges and the colors flowing into each other. In my opinion, that's the point of watercolors--fast and loose. I think having worked with oils for so long makes it difficult for me to resist the tendency to layer on color after color. In this case, though, I managed to hold back and it worked quite well.
Different subject: I'm sure I'm not the only one this happens to: while listening to some old music last night, a flood of memories were triggered by one particular song. Next thing I know, I'm scrambling for my notebook and began working on a poem. It's still very rough, but when it's finished, I'll post it.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Back to Work

I'd really like to get back to doing a painting a day. I never have actually accomplished that, but I need to try. One thing that became apparent to me this past week, with the gallery's Christmas in July sale, and several of my paintings at the restaurant in town, is that my inventory is getting pretty low--and with the two newest pieces going to the fair for two weeks, I need to get some new work done. Besides, I'm sure visitors to the gallery are tired of seeing the same old pieces there month after month. Plus, it'll be my turn soon to have the front window, and I'd really like to have something new to put in there.

On a good note, I received notice yesterday that one of my prints sold at the July sale--so that's a good thing!

Meanwhile, here's something I did a couple of months ago for a friend.

It's a logo for a small (and I mean, very small) organization she has started called Joey's Memory Tree.
About a year ago, a lady came into the gallery and asked if I could do a portrait of her rescue dog, Joey, who had died. She had also decided to place a Christmas tree in one of the local feed stores in memory of Joey and had made all sorts of little pet-related Christmas decorations for it. She asked if I would be interested in helping, so I painted some decorations for her. The idea was that people could purchase a decoration in memory of their pet and, in its place, put a star on the tree with their pet's name on it. Well, this idea has sort of taken off, and just a few weeks ago she was invited to set up her tree at a pet adoption event in town. So she asked me to do a logo for her to be used on the promotion material and t-shirts. The result is the image to the left. And below is the portrait I did of Joey. Without ever having met this little guy, I fell in love with him, and I'm so glad I had the opportunity to paint him and get involved with his legacy. ( I gained a new friend in Robin, as well...)
And now, it's back to the drawing board--literally. I need to paint.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Stormy Saturday

Woke up to thunder and lightning this morning, with the Great Dane, Max, squeezing in between us on the bed. 176 lbs. of coward, that's our Max. The other two dogs, Ringo and Charlie, couldn't care less about storms.

The storms cleared and the sun came out long enough for the Jubilee Youth Sidewalk Art Contest to go on as planned. I was one of the judges for the elementary group entries, and we had a 3-way tie for 3rd place--so we ended up giving 2 honorable mentions. There are some wonderful budding artists out there and I think the little ones went away happy with their prizes.

Ever had so much to do that you end up doing nothing? I think that's where I am today. Yardwork, housework, artwork--all need attention and I am so exhausted from running around this week that I have no desire to do anything. I need to though--the weeds are growing, the dust bunnies are multiplying, and those paintings do not paint themselves. I have three weeks to finish my portrait entry for the state fair, and at least a week of that will be needed for the paint to dry. Should have done it in acrylics. Oh well. Then I'd have just kept putting it off and I'd still be rushing to finish. On the other hand, I think I do my best work under pressure.

Rain storms are moving back in. I think I'll curl up with my book: New Moon--the second in the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. I love this series! What about the work I have to do, you ask? Hmmm....I think a little book-time might be good right about now--besides, what better way to spend a rainy afternoon than curled up on the couch with a good book surrounded by my three furry friends? (And maybe my husband, too....)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Rainy Wednesday

Woke up to gentle rain this morning. I like that. If the weather continues to be cool like this, Kentucky will break a record for low temps in July. So far temps here haven't gone into the 90's once. If the trend continues, it will be the first July ever (since they've been keeping records) with no 90-degree days. I can live with that.

No time to paint again today because I'm heading off to the library for a nice lunch with the Jubilee Youth Art Show committee members and the woman who is judging the show. We had over 270 entries this year and I had my first real good look at the work yesterday. We have some truly gifted artists in the schools. I hope some of them, at least, will continue to pursue their art. Lots of talent here in Shelbyville!

Speaking of talent, the gallery to which I belong, Shelby Artists on Main, is having a Christmas in July sale, so I need to haul out some of my older work and bring it in. I'm not a big fan of marking down artwork, but with the economy the way it is, people just aren't spending their hard earned dollars on expensive paintings. Actually, these days, prints and notecards are what's selling for me. But I need to free up space in my studio, so offering a discount on the older pieces might help move them out. Or not. (:-D)

Hope to upload pics of a couple more new pieces later today. Check back tonight if you're interested!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Is it really summer here??

Wow, the weather here in Kentucky has been so wonderful this past week. Not humid at all, cool nights, sunny, warm (but not too sticky) days. My kind of summer!

Today, I'm off to haul artwork submitted for the Jubilee Youth Art Show to the library, where it will be on display for the next couple of weeks. We have over 200 entries, 2-D and 3-D. We have some very talented youngsters here in Shelbyville! I'm glad I'm not judging this one. I'll just stand back and enjoy.

Still haven't spent any significant time painting, but I'm hoping to get to it tomorrow--if I'm not exhausted from mowing, that is. Meanwhile, here's another painting I completed awhile back. It gets a lot of grins.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Time Flies

Wow--I guess I've been neglecting this site. It's true, life gets in the way while you're planning your life. I have been so busy lately! Summer is flying by and I haven't had time to catch up. My gardens are sorely neglected (although I am slowly making progress with the weeding, and despite my neglect, the veggie garden produced some great turnips, onions and garlic so far!). I've done two art shows, with another two coming up. Two state fair entries--one is finished, the other nearly ready. Most importantly, I just spent a week in Georgia visiting my daughter and grandkids and had a wonderful time! Ashlyn and I made a fairy village out in her yard under a big pecan tree, and Jaden and I played soccer (well, I mostly served as the goalie). The week passed so fast!

This morning I'm heading off to a nice little restaurant in town called The Bistro, where they have chosen five of my paintings to hang there for awhile. Yay! I needed that little ego boost.

So...I better get off the computer and get my butt moving. Later I'll try to get some photos uploaded of new work.

Well I made it to The Bistro, got my paintings hung, along with paintings from several other artists at the gallery. The Bistro has been remodeled, and looks very nice--and the paintings from the gallery just add to the ambiance. Turns out the owners are artists, too, and some of their work is hanging as well.

Got a new cellphone today, so of course, instead of painting and/or doing yardwork, I spent the entire afternoon messing with it. I really need to get away from all this technical stuff--if it's not the computer, it's the camera or the iPod or something else. Imagine the work I could get done if I didn't allow these technological distractions! Ah well.

Here's a photo of one of my latest artworks:
This piece was used as a sample for a pet portrait gift certificate that was raffled off during a pet adoption event a few weeks ago. Another pet portrait gift certificate is being given as a door prize for the Jubilee Youth Art show this weekend. And, lucky me, I will be one of the judges for the Youth Sidewalk Art contest, which is one of the events during Jubilee week--which leads up to the Shelbyville Horse Show the first week of August. Isn't this puppy just the cutest little thing?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Busy, busy...

Well so much for the idea of doing a painting a day. Not working. I've been caught up in the usual stuff--bad weather, running errands, fighting a nasty cold. I have two paintings that I'm working on at the moment, but seem to have lost all motivation. This happens quite frequently. I start a painting, get about 3/4 the way through it, and something takes me away from it and I lose the initiative to get back to it. All is not lost though--instead of painting, I've been writing, which is also something I love to do and for a very long time, it has taken a back seat to painting. A friend once told me, when asked how she finds time to do all the things she loves (which included painting, writing, music, gardening, etc.), to just go with whatever is nagging me at the present time. Sometimes it's painting, sometimes it's writing--but each will come to the forefront when it needs attention.

So that's what I'm doing, and right now writing is taking precedence over painting. With that in mind, here's a very short poem I wrote the other day--not going to win any writing prizes, but I like it:

The Artist
My brush, like dragonfly wings,
flits across the canvas in flocks of color.
I paint poems.
Ah...I feel better now....seriously, I am working on a novel and do write an occasional poem. I'd love to have one or two published someday. We'll see. Meanwhile, it's very cold here but the sun is shining and my tulips and daffodils are starting to poke their heads up. Spring is right around the corner and that means yard work. Ugh.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Long Time....'s been awhile since I've updated this site. I guess it's a good thing to be busy. So what have I been doing these past few months? Well, there was Thanksgiving, with the grandkids visiting, Christmas, a couple of commissioned artworks to do--oh and I'm still learning to play the dulcimer. I've fallen in love with that instrument and play it every single day, sometimes for hours at a time. Our group played for several organizations during the holidays, and although I was invited to play too, I decided to sit out until I am a little more proficient at it. I play a mean air dulcimer though!

Hmmm...what else is new. Well, my daughter is officially engaged now. And her fiance was just sworn in as a volunteer police officer. We're very proud of both of them. It's getting cold here--going down to about 4 degrees, windy--typical January weather. A few snowflakes, but nothing significant. I wouldn't mind a foot or so for maybe a day or two--then it would have to melt! :-)

Sad to say, but that pretty much brings us up to date! Here's my latest commissioned piece--a pet portrait in memory of my friend's beloved dog Joey, who crossed to the Rainbow Bridge last January.