Monday, August 29, 2011

An Oil Painting for Today


"Geraniums"
10" x 20"
oil on deep wrapped canvas

This painting will always have a special meaning to me. I began it just as I got the call from my dad to come to KC, that mom's fight with cancer was at an end.
(I miss her soo much..)
It was sketched in and the background was started.
Everytime I walked into the studio this last few weeks, since returning home, I have wanted to get going on it....the last several days I have been able to. 
IT FEELS SOO GOOD TO BE BACK IN THE STUDIO IN FRONT OF MY EASEL!! 

State of the Art: Kansas

You are invited to attend the Friday Art Walk from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at the Southwind Gallery in Topeka, this Friday, 9/2/2011.  Artists (including me) will be available to discuss their art and sign your purchased book.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Where I Stand Sunday

Garden has again suffered this summer, mainly from no one able to tend it
and the heat.  Go ahead, you can say it ~ "Out of Control"!
Most seeds that grew were not planted this spring...like this one, it came up where I usually plant sunflowers.  It's almost ready to rain in this photo and now it IS raining!

I have had several deer fly bites, which I am allergic to...so we have a fly exterminator jar.  You can see the black stuff almost filling this jar - they are flies.  It's so gross.

We have had a good crop of anaheim peppers and green peppers.
I planted these last year, but none came up.  Froze the seeds, and planted them again this year.  Now they are everywhere!  They are birdhouse gourds.  I will have a nice crop in October and November which I will hollow out and
paint and hang from trees in the spring!

Sometimes, if you aren't watching, they start growing between the fence wires.
So do these volunteer mini-gourds.
These are all volunteer and I swear we cleaned out the garden
good before planting this year.

The popcorn is growing nicely...but wait...
what's that I see on this one.

Looks like I may need to spray some Sevin again.

Ants are eating some aphid looking bugs on this cob...only one I see, but it is on the outside row of the crop and near the sunflowers...which have lots of ants.

And then there is these three guys...one guy and two gals.  Notice how small the banty hen is ~ compared to the chick that we got from the neighbor standing behind her.
The little one is Chickenator, Harlough (behind) and Queenie the Bantam Rooster.

I swear when I look at this chicken, Chickenator,
 I see the missing link to dinosaurs - don't you?
There are pieces of zucchini in the pen, they love them!

Love to watch Queenie puff up - like the fighting cock he could easily be - but he seems mild-mannered for the most part. Earlier we took a hike to catch grasshoppers for them...they don't seem to want to jump into their chicken run, so we bring the hoppers to them. Always fun to watch - it seems the biggest usually gets the catch...the little hen gets leftovers, but we manipulate it so Chickenator gets at least ONE.

Chickenator, you need to keep your feathers.  You are too small to lose even ONE!
Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing.
Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on.
There are several others who also write this on Sunday, see sidebar.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

While in the Rockies

It seems that I am really behind in my blogging.  I have been sooo busy this summer ~ not painting...which is just the saddest thing to me, but it can't be helped.  I am spending time doing things I want to and need to do. Spending time with family is important...more important than painting ~ at times.  All artists have these moments of revelation. 

When my granddaughter, Scarlett, was born in NYC 4 years ago, that's ONE DAY after my husband's birthday, I knew there would be a collision of those two days...eventually. This year we addressed these approaching dates as one.  It feels as if the planets came together almost. It was suggested that there be a 'camping' trip formed with these dates in mind.  'Nough said..Colorado high country it was.  We wanted to meet at an obscure and not well visited campground and we knew just the place.  Our favorite camping spot, Sugarloaf, in the Arapaho National Forest, between Dillon and Kremmling, near the Henderson Mine. 

The kids, his and mine, were able to be together once again...it had been awhile.  The granddaughters, one of mine and two of his, got to meet for the first time.  Significant 'others' got to meet one another for the first time. We had a great time for the weekend. (That would be last weekend.)  It was perfect, in fact!
We took our diesel pusher, hubster's son brought his camp trailer, and two other families stayed in tents at night.  The weather was rainy the first night.  It was welcome in our camp.  We have lived in 100+ degrees for so many days in Kansas.  Cooler nights were awesome sleeping weather.
AND...of course, my experience with camping trips is made extremely superb by the presence of not-often-seen critters.  First morning, before all the rest of the crew arrived the next day, we woke up to this young guy standing at the side of the RV.
I about fell out the window, taking so many photos. What a special treat!
Once the kids arrived, we were busy telling them about this youngster.  Well, what do you know, the next morning, this guy shows up.
Again, my traveling camera went along the road and across following him with my telephoto lens.  What a magnificent beast!!!
Growing up in Colorado, I have never experienced moose, until we camped here several years ago.  Each year we have seen a few of them here.
After breakfast, hubster was cleaning the grill...and then someone said, "The moose is back!"  Watch the sequence - hubster knows not to mess with them...he was just passing back through to the forest on the east side of the camp.



OK time to get back out of the way..and let him pass.

I am just beside myself that I have lots of space on my sandisks and that my telephoto reaches way out on these shots.  I have material to paint from for the winter!
Here's Bailey fetching sticks in the cold river...
Our three granddaughters - Scarlett, Karli and Shelbi May.
and a group shot - for posterity!
My daughter suggested we make it an annual event.  I am up for that!









   

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Where I Stand Sunday

Meadow mushrooms - a foot large!  And there were more than this...growing in the appropriate area ~ the orchard.  That area of our land reminds me of 'fairyland' - where, if there were a place where spritefull fairies should live here in farm country, it would be here. 
Beautiful...
simple....nature.
Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing.
Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on.
There are several others who also write this on Sunday, see sidebar.



Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Chickens on the Move

I'm back home now. It has been a few 'trying' and sad weeks for me and my family. Losing mom has been extremely hard. Saying goodbye was even harder. She was laid to rest near the town where she grew up, a little town in southeast Missouri.  I hadn't been there myself in about 23 years. Funny how some things change and some things are the same. Was so good to see members of my family that I hadn't seen in that long, as well. I am learning to live with the reality that my mom is no longer with us. Thinking good thoughts and remembering good times are at the forefront of my days. But life is sure different...I miss you mom - more than words can say and as I go through my days, I know she is nearby. 

Upon returning to home we needed to move the chicken coop to a fresh area. DH designed and welded a couple of axels for wheels from an unused lawn tractor to make the coop 'mobile'. Two wheels on the front and a 2 x 4 placed underneath some hooks on the back for leverage to pick it up and wheel it to a new area.  The back of the chicken coop does not have beefy enough uprights to add more wheels there.  This whole idea was an afterthought, when we found out how heavy the building was once we were through building it...ugh!  This move wasn't as easy as it looks as it was still heavy, but it's moved and the chickens seem happy to have some fresh grass. Something we are trying to do lots of ~ is catch grasshoppers and throw them in the run for them to catch and devour. Guess who usually gets them? Harlough, the wonder chick...who is now a big fat hen! Here are a few photos that show how we spent most of the morning yesterday.  I tried to get some better photos of the chickens, but they were intent on staying in the shade after the move, it was hot and the bright sun too warm. Today we are having some much welcomed overnight and morning RAIN and cooler weather!!


We had to move the 'run' slowly - as we were unable to coax them up into the house once they were out.

These are the nifty hooks that we got off of some old utility poles we had. Don't know what they were used for but they make great hooks to put the 2 x 4 into and lift.

New grass area - the old area will no doubt soon regenerate
with all the fertilizer left behind.
Chickens are fun to raise. They are easy animals who don't need a LOT of everyday care.  Just clean fresh water and food.