Monday, May 28, 2012

In Remembrance of Memorial Day


By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Where I Stand Sunday and WIP

A lot of times when people have accidents ~ they return to the scene where it happened.  Many people who fall off horses - get back on.  
This is the spot where 107 days ago, I knew my life had changed for awhile.  I wish I had a picture to show you. It all happened so fast.  Slipping on an icy surface where the outdoor mat that was frozen to the surface - broke loose, my ankle contorted the way of those football leg injury video clips, dangling from the end of my left leg bones ~ it was a freakish sight. I was in terrible pain and shock. 

I pass this scene just about EVERY day.  It's right outside the back door. I used to get butterflies in my stomach when I walked over this backstep.  I am much better now and just glad that I can maneuver this area ON MY OWN.  The new ankle brace is so lightweight, but still keeps my ankle stable from inadvertently 'inverting' it.  I can invert it when I want, but the muscles are still rehabbing and not ready to do it free will.  I still gimp sometimes...I will use 1 crutch or a cane when it all gets fatigued.  Physical therapy (and surgery, AND my husband) have saved my life. There are some of the best PT's out there in the town nearby.

So - I am happy!!  I am looking forward to each day being able to 'look and feel' a little better when I walk.  'Heel to toe' it goes.  It still swells quite a bit, but that will probably go on for the next 260 some days.  By this time next year, I intend for this to be all a blur. 

Yesterday, I got back to a piece I started around Thanksgiving.  It is being done from a photo my daughter took of my grandaughter (far right) and her friends standing in the bright sun - trying to catch grasshoppers. I love their little faces...so intent on finding one, pointing at them - or holding one in their closed hands to add to the 'hopper jar'. 
I have some tweaking to do. This one is being done in pastel and is large.  Don't know if I will return to it today or just set it at the top of my table and look at it for awhile before I jump back into it.



Here is where I started from ~ yesterday..


And this is how it started Day ONE..
I always have to get some of the 'lights' in ~ on one like this.  It keeps me going.

P.S. Be sure to stop by Etsy and see My Treasury created with Wild Horses in mind!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Updated Listings and NEW Items in my ETSY Store

CHECK IT OUT!  NEW ADDITIONS TO AND
REVISED LISTINGS WITH NEW PRICES AT MY ETSY STORE!!!
I have just spent the entire morning updating, shelving and marketing my wares.
All listed there are original works of art by me.

As an artist - I tend to have a plethora of art that needs to 'move on' and I have a need to be able to acquire some new frames for shows- which takes money of course, therefore I have a category for 'items that need to move out'.  I have had my Etsy store for over 5 years and
Etsy will be celebrating their 7th year soon!!
I guess you could call my special category a 'clearance sale' and although some artists would argue this 'price reducing' as belittling your work...one of my goals as an artist is to PUT 'FINE ART' ON PEOPLE'S WALLS - SO THEY MAY LOOK AT IT AND HAVE GOOD FEELINGS FROM IT. 
ART THAT YOU LIKE ~ SHOULD MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD!!
Please stop by and be a 'looky loo'.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

An Oil Painting of Cattle

"Pletcher's Cows"
8" x 8"
oil on Ampersand canvas panel
(Just off the easel, so still has that wet look.)
Began this one with my favorite tone on the canvas..a reddish/orange earthy oxide.
Ahhh..will post again when the paint dries a little.
Part of the "Backroads of North Central Kansas" series. Other paintings can be seen HERE on my fine art website.
Really hot today - and awfully dry.  Come on rain.

Monday, May 21, 2012

An Oil Painting of an Old Farm Silo

"Red Brick Silo"
6" x 12"
oil painting on wrapped canvas

I have started a new project.  I am going to call it
"The Backroads of North Central Kansas"
I have added a link on the sidebar as well as one you can click on HERE - to view additional works of art that were specifically painted from North Central Kansas.
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO VISIT THERE AND OTHER PAGES ON MY WEBSITE.

Since moving here - I have wrestled with calling it 'HOME'.  Before that, I lived in Colorado most of my life.  (The older you get, the harder it is to relocate.) 
Every time I travel through the state of Kansas, I go different ways so I can see
other sights to attempt to appreciate the beauty that could be found here.
Everyone says - "Kansas?  That flat place?" 

Of course - the main route through the state is I-70.  And until you get to the Flint Hills area of that stretch of road, there isn't much to see -
but flat cropland and livestock
(sorry if I have offended any 'natives').

I decided to narrow my sightings to the area where I live, especially while I am still rehabbing my ankle.  In just my county and the adjacent counties, there are lots of backroads full of history and interesting things to see, photograph and paint 'on site', when the wind cooperates.  So, that is what I have decided to focus on for the next month or so, maybe more, depending on how it goes. I have several paintings that I can add to the group.
Stay tuned for reminders of them.  See first paragraph - above.

I found this old red brick silo on Y Road around 250 Road in Smith County.
The scene of this painting is painted around the edges of the canvas -  
therefore - no frame is needed.

It feels so good to be back to painting in oils.
I love the smell of oil paint and Gamsol (the brush cleaner). 



Thanks for stopping by - be sure to check for the next "Backroads" painting.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Where I Stand Sunday

Almost a third (probably) of my day is spent walking without crutches now.  As I have said before, 'gimping' is frowned upon, so when my ankle and foot have had enough and my body starts lightening up on my left leg, it's back to cane or crutch.  Pool therapy is helping mostly.  After I do my water exercises, I am sore for that day, but the next day is usually a good one - so that is today!

Been trying all morning to work with 'Colour Lovers' (a site where a creative community shares colors, palettes and patterns and also has a component to sort out and ID colors in a photo) which assist in color wheel applications via my laptop.  Having no luck downloading a photo that has so many greens in it, which I wanted to sort out.  Got out my iPad and 'lo and behold' they have great apps that are simple to use for that same purpose. I have just downloaded apps named 'Colorschemers' (from Colour Lovers) and more user friendly and appropriate for my needs - 'Glidden Professional Color Concepts' - both 'free' apps. 

Another great app for the iPad from http://www.outdoorpainter.com is 'ValueViewer'. I find my iPad invaluable for painting time at the easel.  There are many 'helps' out there, if you need them.  What apps do you use for artists on your iPad?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Blogiversary

Today is my blog's - "blogiversary".  I have surprised myself that it has been in existence for 5 years now. 
As they say, "a lot of water has gone under the bridge since then."
Lots of people have giveaways and special contests on their blogiversary ~ honestly, if I can just maintain this blog right now, I am doing good.  Spending much of my time at physical therapy - trying to get my ankle back to near normal again - if that is possible, and some days I wonder. 
My Dad has been in the hospital this week. They have done lots of tests, however, finding nothing that is causing him some fatigue, weakness and some blood issues. 
We DID RV this past weekend to Milford Lake in Central Kansas.
Here is a Mother's Day sunset from there..
TO ALL THOSE WHO VISIT ON A REGULAR BASIS, I THANK YOU FOR STOPPING BY.  MY READERSHIP IS SORT OF 'IN THE TANK' LATELY, SIMPLY BECAUSE THERE AREN'T MANY POSTS RIGHT NOW.
Artwise, now that I can sort of walk and move around without crutches, I am getting some paintings that have already been posted here ready for some shows later in the summer.  Matting, framing and finishing takes time away from continuing to paint.  Trust me, I do have some goals in mind and some plans for an 'artful summer'.  Check back in with me - it will be worth your time.
  
 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

This is my first Mother's Day without my mom.  She passed away last July from cancer. 
I realized during her lengthy illness that I would really miss her when she was gone.  That is an understatement.  My mom was my 'life's sounding board'.  I catch myself in times of difficulty wanting to call her up and just talk.   She could always turn a sour experience into one that I could glean 'goodness' from,
to make me a better person. 
One of her favorite reminders - although not always in these exact words -
"It could be worse." 
She was a giver. Together with my dad, she always wanted the best for me and my brother.  She sacrificed material things and being a part of great happenings for herself, so we could have more, always giving, always being considerate of everyone else.  As time goes by, I realize more and more what an incredible woman she was.  Even in her last days, she never complained, never showed weakness in her spirit.
I only hope that I am as strong a woman in my coming years.  I would have welcomed her caring and concern during this period of injury and healing.  However, deep in my heart, I still hear those words..."It could be worse." 
Miss you MOM, love you forever.
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY.  

A BIG ~ P.S. - Since Friday I have been walking most of the time without assistance from crutches, wheelchairs, or walkers.  92 days after this incredibly life changing accident, I am walking again. 
It is a little painful and awkward and
I still have a brace on my leg and ankle,  but all the same -
WELCOMED and wonderful!!!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Where I Stand Sunday

Taken with my iPad - sitting in our RV.  Testing 'systems' to see if they are ready to make the maiden voyage of 2012.  Spent a few nights in the RV on the garage pad to check out the best sleeping arrangement for my 'still giant needs' when I sleep..extra pillows, a wedge for my back, motoring around in a small space with crutches,  getting up and down the steep stairs (I feel like I take along as much stuff as one does for a 'toddler'.)  For sleeping, I tried out the 'pull down couch/bed' - didn't get to sleep until 3:50 AM two nights ago, the recliner (gave that up after about an hour) and settled on the bed last night (restless sleep - I have not been able to sleep on anything but my back this whole time - due to my right shoulder dysfunction.)  If you don't know what I am talking about click HERE to read more.

"It's not easy being 'Pattie' these days"..as my DH tells me.  He says that as I now have three spider bites - got them over night and swelling up and itching at those sites.  Don't think they were brown recluse...I know what kind of spider they were, I see them often.  Let's not talk about the number of insects showing up this year..miller moths, the ticks are thick, ants, and spiders..gnats that like to fly up your nose when they swarm around your head.  This stuff doesn't usually happen this early and in this kind of populations. Heard from lots of people about the miller moths.

Staying 'in state' this trip.  Looking forward to going out of state soon!  I am going to 'plein air paint' from the huge front window (oops, more equipment - snicker), or maybe get out on the grounds with a wheelchair (oh no, not the cumbersome wheelchair?) to take 'sitting' rests in.  Taking a few steps on my own without crutches, but they don't want them to be 'gimpy' - so have to use crutches most of the time for now. 
More and more periods of time where there isn't a
'locking up' feeling or discomfort (or should I just say "pain")/swelling. 
These periods of feeling like I can do this,  
will begin to occur more often eventually - looking forward to that time. 
Physical Therapy peeps say I am doing GOOD! 
My favorite activity which I get to do twice this next week is the Therapy POOL.

Feb. 8th ~ to now ~ is a long time - there are more roads to go down -
'patience' the doctor said.  That is my middle name.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Farmstead Sights

Not doing any art these days, seems my time is spent doing PT exercises, trying to help deal with things that are required when you live in the country and the seasons change quickly...in general, not taking the time, I guess.  This is a photo of an old windmill - just off my property. That pump wheel gathered the water from the well. It doesn't work anymore.  So many things in this part of the country are abandoned and just LEFT there.  Reminds me of how life must have been - once upon a time in the Midwest U.S.