Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Inspiration from Jane Austen....

"Jane Austen Garden Floral"
Watercolor 11"x 15" sold

When first reading Jane Austen as a teenager, I was quite fascinated by the pass times of the women in the books. They painted delicate landscape or floral paintings, they made music, they wrote poetry, they embroidered, they arranged flowers, and other wonderful activities. I loved the idea of "taking a turn" around the room... So much of the language was so appealing and gentle. A few years ago I decided to reread all the novels and found them to be even more delightful than I had remembered. I still found their activities to be wonderful. During the summer of reading, I indulged in a dainty floral of my own....

House Finch

""Yellow House Finch on Cosmos"
Watercolor   10"x 10"   sold

For many years I had wonderful pink Cosmos growing at the edge of the garden, As the flowers faded and the seeds appeared, they were always a favorite place for these wonderful, small bright yellow birds to come for dinner. Soon the cats in the neighborhood began to think of it as their very own fast food restaurant....They would sit on the ground beneath the flowers, nicely camouflaged by the foliage, wait until a bird came to eat seeds, then conveniently reach up and grab a colorful meal.

Above is the entire composition. The detail below shows more accurate color.

"Squash Blossom with Cosmos"
Watercolor on Arches Paper  10"x10" 
Until I noticed the stunning beauty of the blossoms on squash vines, I had little appreciation for the motif in American Indian jewelery and other art work. Now, I think I begin to see the reasons. In my vegetable garden, I now happily anticipate squash blossoms appearing in the summer!

Watercolor painting7 x   9 3/4 "  sold
From a memory of a bus trip between Provo, Utah and Burley, Idaho on a snowy evening many years ago. The bus was uncrowded and very quiet in the snowfall. I spent the time sketching farms and scenes as we proceeded. There would a scene appear, then immediately disappear. I would record it as quickly as possible, then begin watching for another magical view as the snow continued to soften everything.

The little painting is in a lines matte with a small white liner.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My birthday...

Tomorrow I turn 70 years old! Imagine, seven decades behind me! That is reason to celebrate for a week or two, don'cha think?

SO from today through June 7th, 8th and 9th, all my paintings will be over 50% less and I will choose at least three to be 70% off.

Unfortunately I have an additional reason to throw a Celebration Sale.... Monday I learned that there is a leak in the water line between the water main and the house. So far, the water bill is six times my average rate. Next month promises to be even more. I could probably handle that, but the thing needs to be fixed.

The plumber's estimate came in at a bit more than ten times the amount of my Social Security check – possibly more than I receive for the entire year. I have used all my savings each year to pay property taxes. While I have a credit card available to pay part of it, the credit limit is somewhat less than the bill will be. All this left me bewildered, sad, in tears, and quite paralyzed on Monday.

But a good night's rest, some advice from a friend, and some intense prayer and thought yesterday brought me to realize first, that this is only money, I can get through it, I can turn it into an exciting adventure, and I may as well make it all a party and invite you to participate!

So if you have ever thought you might enjoy living with one or two of my paintings, please make it now....

There are two ways you can join in the party. First is direct purchase on my Blog through Pay Pal. Shipping will be free for you. Today I will go over my Blog and lower all the prices and change the “Buy Now”buttons to “”* amounts. If you have never purchased through Pay Pal, it is simple, quick, safe, and quite a kick!

*“” means Plumbing Emergency Price.

Second, if you are in the Burley area, our regular 1st Thursday Artist Open Studio event will be Thursday, June 7th (nice fit, don't you think? Seven Decades for me on the 7th of June....).

I will also hold two days of additional Open Studio on Friday and Saturday.

Also I will be posting and offering in the studio watercolor paintings, original screen prints, drawings and whatever else I can find at special prices from $7.00 to $70.00. Greeting cards will be 7 cards for $7.00. And a few other goodies to eat. Chocolate will definitely be included in some form...

Please understand that I intensely feel that the only excuse for purchasing original art is the love of a specific piece and the joy it can bring into life as one enjoys the work from day to day. There is something about hand work (crochet, quilting, knitting, crafting, ceramic, painting... and more) that adds warmth and vitality to ones life. As there is a difference between a recorded music and a live performance, there is a difference between a real painting and a photo print of a painting.

If there is a piece of mine which gives you warmth in photo, you will love living with it! If there is nothing that grabs you, don't feel obligated in any way.

Come celebrate and party with me anyway!

Another way you can play is to forward, repost, or send this on to all who might be interested! Thank you!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Grandmother's Garden

Lilacs, Bleeding Heart, and Lily of the Valley in Grandmother Miller's Spoon Dish
Oil on Canvas Panel 11"x14"

There are very few reminders of my Father's parents here. There are a few of Grandfather's books, a glass vase given to his Mother by my Father, and this porcelain spoon holder. Each is a sentimental treasure.

The spoon holder no longer  holds water, (I must line it with plastic to use it as a painting source), and has several weak spots, and age spots. I especially love to use it to hold Sweet Peas as models for painting. Sweet Peas are also a very old fashioned flower. I still plan on planting some this year.... But then I always plan to and have not gotten it done for several years.

Both these wonderful spring flowers and the mementos from Grandparents lives provide a cherished link to these people who I never knew but who were important in shaping my life. Decisions they made decades ago brought me where I am now. I revere them. I love them. I appreciate all they did. I wish to commemorate their lives in the only way I know, painting. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

World's Best Neighbors!!!

Jim's Stone path.....                            Dave, Hannah, and Edie spreading .....             Wonderful Mulch!!!

More dream's coming true!!!! I have the world's best neighbors!!!
Last week, Jim, who lives just west of me, started my Meadow of Wild Flowers by planting a wonderful drought tolerant rose (which will have single pink blossoms) AND by placing the stones to make a circular path through the flowers. I love it! He placed them so interestingly it is a joy to walk on and a visual treat by itself!

This morning my dear neighbor, Julie (who is not in any of these photos... Ooops...), and her two daughters showed up with a large load of precious mulch and proceeded to spread it! They added three more loads as the day went on. Dave, as you can see, got in on it too and really accelerated the process.

All of this was accomplished with a miserable wind blowing... I admire each of them and their ability to work regardless of uncomfortable wind. They all did it lovingly and happily!

It looks so great! Now it is ready to plant! Other neighbors brought lots of packets of wildflower seeds!

How blessed can one  be?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Each Life...

The past days have been days of faith, prayer and even hope all under a shroud of sadness.

A week ago I learned of the death by his own hand of one whose family is dear to me.

Then this last weekend an acquaintance whom I greatly admire accidentally, while driving, hit and killed a small child. The little boy was the son of friends.

Each of these lives were fragile, tenuous, and precious.
Each life is truly fragile, tenuous and precious.

My life is touched by many individuals and groups. Who is less important than me? Who is more important than me? Do I owe another anything?...

As I see my neighbors, bankers, sales people, church goers, friends, family members, clerks, artists, farmers, students, office workers, transportation workers, customers, other drivers, children, older people ( not many of these any more... I became the old one lots sooner than I expected...), I have been poignantly reminded, especially this week, that each one is dear to me. I wish to learn to accept each as they are at this minute without appraisal, with love and respect. I wish in some way to communicate that love and respect without intrusion

I too often see another as too glamorous, too sloppy, too big, too skinny, too slow, too fast, too smart, too dumb, too neat, too tattooed, too right, too wrong, too rich, too poor, too religious, too sanctimonious, too worldly, or too judgmental (a funny one...).

I feel that the manner we choose for living counts. I choose to accept, respect, and count each life as precious. I have great hope that I may become kinder, more accepting of each one I meet, more appreciative of the battles that each faces, more accepting and respectful.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

May! Time for Lily of the Valley...

Broken Creamer with Lily of the Valley
Oil on Cradled Panel   8" x8"  sold

Breezy Spring days like today leave me feeling low on value contrast...Too windy and cold to work in the garden... So I grabbed a few Lily of the Valley and started to paint.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Surprise Crab Apple Blossoms!

Crab Apple Blossoms
Oil on Cradled Panel 8"x8"   sold
A few blossoms appeared again this year! Such a pleasant surprise! For many years is has bloomed very profusely but only every other year. A dear cousin cleaned all the dead wood out and pruned it nicely a few years ago, since then, it has become a bit stronger... I wonder if it will someday again bloom every year?
The surprise blooms gave me incentive to try to capture joy I feel when I see these very PINK flowers.


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