Sunday, January 27, 2008

Where I Stand Sunday

Today I stand in the grassy area in the middle of the circle drive.
In summer I mow this area often, because the grass grows very quickly.

This one spot is usually home to hundreds Blister Beetles, which are harmful to horses. Last year I saw a toad in the area, probably eating them, and you know how it is for toads on my property, if you have been reading my blog. I was on the riding mower at the time.

The snow is melting and there is what seems to be "terminal" mud, but soon enough, it will all dry up and the grass will green and the bugs will return. I actually saw a mini grasshopper yesterday, it jumped out of a grassy open spot onto the snow. I was shocked! Before I could get my camera to take a photo, it was gone. I imagine it has been living under the ground? Have to research that one.

I am enjoying the opportunity to stand outside for long periods of time, breathe in the air, let the sun warm my back and look around. Dogs like it too, they lie in the sun near the house. It has been months of hard, cold, icy winter. I think we are ready for spring to happen. My neighbors pregnant cows made it through the icy cold and one had it's calf last night. It is OK, as my neighbor was down drying it off at 11:30 PM. Still one to go who can't even lay down it is so preggers. So, cross your fingers that it doesn't go in the 'deep freeze' temperature wise.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Painting for Today

"Poppies" 8" x 10" oil on canvas board, SOLD
Usually I don't paint 'flowers'. This photo (of course there aren't these growing right now) was in my source file. Don't know if I took it or if it was one that either mom or Teresa took. It's been awhile. I loved how it played out with the darks and the highlights/lighting. Couldn't get the shine out of the right side of the photo, as the paint was still wet and the northlight was shining very bright off the snow.

I am growing to like oil painting more and more, and that's a good thing, especially where I live, the moist air plays heck on my pastel and sand papers, they warp and twist.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

On Being Authentic and Original

Steve Jobs says:
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

This idea resonates in an artists' head, also. It's a challenge to be "original". It's very easy to get caught up in the "fashion" or "trend" of the day, especially when you are attempting to market your work. You look upon others' success and think, "I can do that, and one better." Only most of the time, it can be read as the same vision. The 'tweak' needs to be extreme, almost as if the idea you are emulating needs to transform into 'future abstraction' - to the avant garde. Creativity, ah yes, creativity! It's a friend and an enemy, all at the same time!

There's an old and very dear friend in Colorado, that I consider to be so very creative, almost all of the time. She is a mover and a shaker and then some! We aren't in contact very much, she is so busy teaching and has set up her own "power library" model in her school. But when I get really stuck??? I am forever forced to ask myself, (although I used to tap into her mind and thoughts often), "What would Wendy do??!!" Kinda like the WWJD reminders, only mine is WWWD! Everyone needs the power of a "Wendy", there are a lot of them out there. So, no, that wouldn't necessarily be 'original', but 'trying on' her style of creative thought helps to lessen the floundering!

Monday, January 21, 2008

It Really is HOARFROST!!

Wow, 6 posts since Friday. That's cause I have more going on right now. But truthfully, it must be to ward off "cabin fever" with the intense cold! Ha!

A type of hoarfrost is on my window pane in the kitchen most mornings lately. It is the "Jack Frost" that you think of. Hoarfrost comes in other forms. I recently experienced some "radiation frost" on the fencing around the dog enclosure. It was really neat, but being in a rush to leave, didn't have time to take photos. Thanks to my sister-in-law's research I have an explanation here. See Teresa, you are sort of a "guest blogger" in a way.

"Hoarfrost consists of crystalline structures that grow from water vapor evaporated from liquid droplets suspended in air. Once hoar-frost crystals form, they can remain as long as conditions for their existence are favorable. Looking at hoarfrost crystals closely, they occur in an intricate variety of forms--needles, cups, plates, fern-like and feather-like--depending upon the temperature at which they developed."

Other than looking at hoarfrost today, I need to engage myself in some domestic affairs in the house. Although my house is tiny, it can become a "housekeeper's nightmare" if I don't keep things picked up. Right now, it looks as though a couple of hermits live here. Good thing is, no one sees it but us. Some days I see it and some days I don't. That's what's also nice about being where we are, I don't have to keep up appearances and can really paint when the mood strikes me.

In the meantime, I have unleashed a monster, hubster is really diving into his "Photoshop" past time. I love it when he has some new techno trick to show me! He's definitely learning! A new blogger may be in the wings! Stay tuned!

Note, one more interesting thing, the other day I put "hoarfrost" in my title and that day I had 43 visits, usually I have about 9 or 10. Don't get me wrong, I love visitors! So what's up people? Let's see how today goes.

Oh, and one more thing, BTW have you seen the movie "March of the Penguins"? If you haven't, like me (I know that one was out a long time ago) but let me have a little "Maltin moment" here...the photography and documentation are awesome! I was truly captivated and in wonder at the life of the Emperor Penguin, which I already knew about from teaching 1st and 2nd graders about in a "Penguins" unit, but WOW, it was very enriching to see that they had captured it so well with a movie camera.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Painting Today

I know that I keep changing background templates, but I have finally decided to stay with a dark background for awhile, it highlights the art - best. I finished an oil painting of an agave I had a photo from when mom and dad lived in Phoenix. We visited the Botanical Gardens and my camera went bananas. Anyway, I love to paint and draw these. The light and shadow juxtaposition is challenging! I got some new colors in KC, which I was able to mix with my usual palette and got amazing results. If you are interested in buying this original oil painting you can do so at my ETSY shop.

"Phoenix Agave" - oil on canvas board, 8" x 10"

Where I Stand Sunday

Today, as probably in many households, I stand INSIDE the warm house, in the early morning, still in my PJs. The dogs have been fed and they often return to slumber land which is where I want to be, but I am already awake and ready for the day. I am standing over the couch where Bailey, the Weimaraner, is snoozing.
Football is on, says hubster...oh boy.... That means I will be in the studio for the afternoon. I am working in oil right now and I really have a thing for paint and paint viscosity. I like when there is a buttery consistency to it. I love to play in paint. Ask anyone, when I paint (that is painting anything) I get covered in it. I came to Kansas with several good pair of jeans, only have one or two pair left in a year that aren't painted on.

"Where I Stand Sunday" is posted weekly. It helps chronicle the "journey". Too often we take for granted where we stand and what we are involved in. Used as a "vehicle" for journaling and a glance at "human geography", I; along with several others; note this day, in this way. I invite you to check "them" out, their blog addresses are in the sidebar to the right, to compare and contrast the human events of Sunday in different parts of the country and maybe the globe! If you would like to join in (and I encourage you as it is a great writing "prompt"), please leave a comment below with your blog address and we will note it in our sidebar! Thanks for looking!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Pheasant's Running

Oh ya, forgot to show you what was on our driveway yesterday afternoon. There was a flock of about 20+ pheasants meandering across the front of our property. I had to photograph them through the windows, because when I went out to photo them, they flew quickly away. It was fun to watch them. Dogs went crazy of course, so we had to eliminate their vantage point from the living room window, by closing the curtains and encouraging them into the bedroom, where the windows are higher off the ground. These pheasants have been seen now a couple of times in front of the house. I am glad that pheasant season is over. I want them to stay around, they are beautiful!

The Learning Curve

It's cold here, I am not complaining. It is a good time to do some "Photoshop" instruction. Hubster had some OOLLLDDD photos that he wanted to enhance and save, so the two of us messed around with Photoshop this morning. Old photos taken "in the day" (34 years ago) are hard to enhance. At least you can correct with red, blue and green channels, which is what is wrong with them most of the time. A little out of focus and a little dark and then the skies are always so blown out! Here is a favorite of his. He always talks about this "splitty" that he and buddies went to Mexico in for two months. Campin' on the beach, having many adventures along the way, including breaking down in the middle of nowhere and no parts available. Had to leave it and go back to US to get parts (scary thought today, eh?) He would like to have one just like it, and we continue to look for one. Does anyone out there have an early 60's (like about a 1963) one for sale? Ha!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Small Road Trip and Prickly Hoar Frost

If you have missed my blog, it's because I haven't been blogging. Ha! We took a quick trip to see family in KC. Stayed at mom and dad's and saw brother and his wife. It's really nice living closer to family than before! Dogs had to go to a kennel and are trying to get their re-entry wits about them. They lose their voices and need to catch up on their sleep, as you can see, so you can imagine what goes on while they are there.

While there it snowed. We try to plan around the weather, and had a dry trip back home.
Here is hubster (posterized) cleaning off the truck.

And here is mom, dad and me - I like to posterize photos, it makes them "zing"!

Upon arriving back to home, the "hoar frost" was gone. I am waiting for it again, so I can take a photo of it. Don't know what hoar frost is, look it up on Wikipedia! It's a very cool thing.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


OK, I have been officially accepted into NCKAA. Onward. There will be at least 3 shows per year with this group, so one of the perks is I will be able to actually show and put 'for sale' signs on my work without being in a gallery, not that I wouldn't like to be in one. The people are uber nice, very serious and professional-like and from ALL over the place in this area. I guess that is what I will get most out of it, is the affiliation - although that isn't the correct word, I guess it is 'connection', everyone needs it, don't you think? They meet four times per year. (So, D. in Quinter, contact me. I don't have your email address.)
Also, got accepted into a workshop in Texas in the spring with two of my favorite artists, so I am excited about that little trip. Besides we will explore the east coast (and beaches, love the beach) of Texas while there. Never been there. More excitement on the horizon! This life and journey is slowly opening up to be what I wanted and expected it to be at this point. It all takes time.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Where I Stand Sunday

Today I stand near the running board of my pickup truck, checking the gas gauge, getting ready to pack and load 4 big pieces of art and being ready to drive to another town to submit my art for a "jury" of my peers. We have constant mud, hence the muddy looking garage floor surface and running board which is really dark gray.

Also, I am posting the latest oil painting from yesterday and this morning. Some time ago, I attempted to paint this still life arrangement in a much bigger version, it didn't make it off the easel. I painted over it. So, I composed it down to a "cut out" view and like it much better. I really like the little orange pot in the foreground, it is terra cotta and has a ceramic glaze on it, the light shines off of it in those parts. I never have put a plant in it, because I think it would ruin it. And amazing to myself, I think I painted five days in a row this week! WooHoo!

"Painted Pot" - oil on canvas, 6" x 6"
For Sale - it's in my Etsy shop.

"Where I Stand Sunday" is posted weekly. It helps chronicle the "journey". Too often we take for granted where we stand and what we are involved in. Used as a "vehicle" for journaling and a glance at "human geography", I; along with several others; note this day, in this way. I invite you to check "them" out, to compare and contrast the human events of Sunday in different parts of the country and maybe the globe! Would be great to get an international POV (point of view). If you would like to join in, please leave a comment below with your blog address and we will note it in our sidebar! Thanks for looking!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Looking Back at Yourself

This self portrait is done in the only ink I could get to come out of the bottle, it is "peat brown" by Winsor Newton. I don't do much pen and ink, several bottles have dried up, but I have had this photo of myself hanging around the studio for some time and today was the day I was inspired to give it a try. It is a black and white photo my brother, a photographer, took. I have always liked it and always thought I would DO my self portrait from it. And today, that is what happened, even though the ink had "greeblies" in it.

I would like to try more self portraits. As I grow older, I really appreciate how I used to look, LOL!!! I am certainly older and wiser...and better! If you have done a self portrait, you know what I'm talking about!

The most frustrating part of the day was that I went to town, first to get a printer color ink cartridge, unable to find one at the only two places that would have them...Duckwall's and Computer Solutions. And black ink (as in "artist" ink) at Duckwall's. The good thing is, there is a new ALCO store (yippee) opening at the end of February. We will all think we have died and gone to heaven!! And they better carry color ink cartridges for MY printer and "artist" ink for my art!!! I don't want too much.

Oh ya, don't forget to feed the fish.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Need to Color

"CATCASSO" acrylic painting on Ray-Mar board, 6" x 8" For Sale at my Etsy shop.

I have been thinking of the activity of "coloring", as in 'coloring books'. My daughter and I have often sat together and used the big honkin' pack of crayolas and colored until we had several pages done. I haven't taken the time to locate my coloring books, know where my crayolas are, so I soothed my urge by this painting. It is from an original sketch I did when I was in H.S. Friends, that was a LOOOONG time ago. But I never throw anything away, anyone who knows me will tell you that!

I was really into Picasso at one time. This is inspired by that style and the fact that I had a cat, at the time. There is more to the drawing, but I simplified it, just so I could "color" it with paint. It was fun! It all took TWO coats of paint.

Hubster cleared the roads and walks this afternoon. It is really wet underneath the snow. More sunny this afternoon, than this morning!


As we started to wake this morning the digital clock and air cleaner (yes, I have an air cleaner, cause I have an old stinky house) kept flickering, I knew it was supposed to snow overnight and sure enough we had about 3 inches and lots of wind and at 7:18 the power went out. It was still dark. I ran to the computer power strips because the power would come on and then off and then on and then off. It plays hell with electronics. So power strips off, next was lighting as many candles as I could and spread them out into different rooms, cause it was still dark. Then my asthma kicked in, too much candle smoke I guess. Fed the starving dogs, LOL.

Snuggled up with dogs in laps in the living room for a little bit and decided, as the house got colder, to just go back to bed and wait for awhile. And as I always do, start wondering - where would modern humans be without provided electricity/power. After about an hour, luckily, we are with power. Hubster was just about to go out to the garage and get the generator up and runnin.

We have, as I am sure many people do, lots of things to reset once the power returns. Had breakfast and are on with the day. Lots of power driven appliances in our day - taken for granted. Weather is supposed to pass through and be gone by tomorrow. Heard on the weather scanner that it was 76 degrees in Grand Island, Ne. (about 100 miles away) on this date in 1990. Balmy!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Birthday Celebration!

Our oldest dog had a birthday today. Happy Birthday to Hasty Herman! He is 7 years old. We tried to do the birthday hat thing with a picture of all three dogs. Ha! Anytime you put something around the heads of the dachshunds, they get all excited, because that is the way their halters go on, and they know that when the halters go on, we are going somewhere. The next issue is getting them to sit together - WITH the hats still on, ha! Not!!!! Anyway, this is the best we could do. Here is Hermie in his birthday hat. Now it's time for them to share a "Puppy Paws" ice cream treat for dogs!!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Sidetracked Again!

Well, as I said yesterday, I had good intentions of continuing on with (maybe) stained glass, but a lazy morning sitting in front of the TV, changed all that. I always have my knitting sitting on the kitchen table lately, and it got the best of me. I have seven more little blocks of garter stitch to finish, so I can then put together a patchwork garter stitch baby quilt.

You see it all started when my daughter shared her exciting preggo news, one year ago in January. At the time, we didn't know if it was girl or boy, so grandma got some appropriate colors for the quilt. It's a sage green, a creamy yellow and a varigated bunch of "circus" wild color to compliment.

I can't believe I am almost to the assembly part. Go figure, it took me over a year to finish about 60 little squares. But hey! I am on a roll!!

Stay tuned for finished product. Hope that doesn't take another year! I really would like to get on with some new projects and new colors of yarn. My granddaughter, Scarlett, should appreciate this quilt some day! Hope she isn't a teenager before I get it done!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Drying Out Process

The plains are in a drying out process, only to be inundated with more wet weather/snow tomorrow and Thursday and looks like every two days or so. When you look at the weather in the Northwest, it's no wonder. Bring it on. It's really "gushy" out there, getting muddy in fact. I know winter hasn't sung it's last song.
Matting, framing, cutting glass, etc. is DONE! I haven't lost my touch with that task yet. I've done myself proud. Guess I don't dislike it so bad anyhoo. Oh ya, and if I had lots of problems and it turned out sh---y, well, you would be hearin' it, ya.
I was surprised I still have the touch with cutting glass. I cut a 1/2 inch sliver off of a 16" piece. Guess that encourages me to do some stained glass. I have kept all my supplies from that activity from years ago. I have lots of glass. I remember "designing" for one stained glass artist. She did a very large piece with "sea otters" in it. It was quite intricate. The pieces I did were all for commissions. Time to do my own. Just no big windows to display it in. Oh well, it's fun anyway. Destroys fingers, though. With snow coming, lots of time for that one. Propane bottle is full and studio is warm!
Art ON!!!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Where I Stand Sunday

Today, I stand in my studio...TCB (Taking Care of Business). Creative time later, I have to get some matting and framing done for the pieces I am taking to the "jury" event next Sunday. This is the part of art I don't like that much. It's too careful and precise and expensive. When cutting mat boards, have to be careful not to goof up, cause I only have a limited supply on hand and with glass, the same. This didn't used to be such a biggie - back in the day, I guess it is because I was getting ready for a show, or I had SOLD a commission AND....frame stuff wasn't so pricey and being in the metropolis, it was easy to stockpile. But now it is a pain. Wa wa wah. I told myself I wasn't going to complain as much this year. Hmmm. Onward.

"Where I Stand Sunday" is posted weekly. It helps chronicle the "journey". Too often we take for granted where we stand and what we are involved in. Used as a "vehicle" for journaling and a glance at "human geography", I; along with several others; note this day, in this way. I invite you to check "them" out, to compare and contrast the human events of Sunday in different parts of the country and maybe the globe! Would be great to get an international POV (point of view). If you would like to join in, please leave a comment below with your blog address and we will note it in our sidebar! Thanks for looking!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Getting Involved

Last month I attended a meeting of the "Solomon Valley Palette Club". It was their Christmas Party. We met in Gary Ozia's gallery in Downs, Prairie Wind Gallery. Gary is a painter and a pastel'er'...awesome work! We exchanged little 'art' pieces. Gary got my "Kira's Horse" (see Dec. 12 post) and I was the recipient a great pencil drawing by Larry Zvolanek of Osborne. There was time for critique of what people brought at the close of the meeting. This club is for all artists of all calibers, from beginners to beyond. There are about 25 members. The club is assisted by the Downs Art Council. Gary, being more busy than he has been in the past with galleries, painting, showing etc., is stepping down as the groups newsletter - facilitator. I volunteered to take over. We meet each month at different people's homes or galleries. It's a fun group with really nice people and helps promote art for people in the surrounding communities! I am excited about the challenge.
I am also thinking about starting a small group instruction in pastel in Lebanon, maybe in the spring or summer, I am going to call it "Old Hands at Art". There are a lot of retired people there, who would enjoy learning something like pastel. I always thought I would retire someday in an area where I could do this. Now here I am, quicker than I knew, promoting artists and art!
Meanwhile I am getting ready to be juried into (hopefully) the North Central Kansas Artists' Association, a group for more aspiring professionals. So, got some matting and framing to do. That's on the 13th!

Some of the members of BOTH groups - at a class held in Logan in November, Kathy, Joyce and Jan.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Blog On...

Wouldn't it be grand? Just to sit around and enjoy all this champagne together? Well, the thought is there, friends and family!
Happy 2008! Cheers to a meaningful and fulfilling life with another year to look forward to! And if you aren't looking forward to it??? You should be!
I have a thought hanging next to me at the computer. It says,
"It's Never Too Late to Be What You Might Have Been." George Elliot
I have lived by this for the last year, and intend to keep doing so!
And if you aren't blogging - give it some thought. It's ONE way to look back at your year, your life and a great way to record chronologically, your "day to day" and feelings, without paper, without photo albums, a very "green" activity.
And how does one celebrate New Years Eve, living in the middle of farm country? I went out on the porch at midnight, and yelled to the clear night sky, at the top of my lungs..."HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!" No one heard, no one cared...but the birds that roost in the very large Evergreen tree right at the corner of the house stirred quite raucously! Ha!

Happy 17th Blogiversary to ME

 I would like to admit, it's still here, I'm still here and it's still worthy of my attention - although sporadic.   Here are a ...