Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Pastel for an Upcoming Show

"Chrome, Smoke and Flames" - Art and the Automobile
opens this Sunday, September 2, in Russell, Kansas at the Deines Cultural Center.  Unbelievably, I am ready to go, ahead of schedule.  I have always been a 'last minute' kind of person, but lately I have been working on changing that.  I figure, I need the least amount of stress and that 'hurry-up' feeling, cause these days I can't 'hurry' - it just isn't physically possible. 
This is my last piece, of the total of 4, I am taking to the show.  It is done in pastel - on three separate pieces of Canson pastel paper...
  and put into a triple mat opening - and a gold metal 13" x 26" frame.
If I got paid by the hours I spend on framing, I am not asking enough for my work.
This matting and framing took me hours.  The photo below is just the mat and once the glass goes on, there is no escaping the glass glare in a photo.
(Click on the photo below to see a larger version of it.)
 The "Portis Taxi" is located in a nearby town.  It is a 'late 1940's Plymouth fastback',  very clean, a beautiful car.  I loved doing those tedious little black and white checkers...what a neat auto. 

This show runs through October 14th.  If you are in the area, hope you can drop by.
Hours are different than above...Tues. - Fri. 12 - 5, Sat. and Sun. 1 - 5.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Where I Stand Sunday - and Just Thankful That I Can

When you fall and break an ankle as bad as I did last February, you start making yourself walk with a little more attention being paid to how you plant your feet on different surfaces.  At this point - I am doing OK.  Some parts of the day (we are talking just minutes at a time) - I walk with a gait - so good - that you can't tell I am ailing (the pain is still there).  I can go uphill pretty good, but downhills are the scariest, even simple inverted spaces on the lawn area. 
I have made it a point to ask in a surveying kind of way, to everyone who I would trust with this question...
"What kind of shoe would be best for someone who has gone through what I have and is worried in the stability of her ankles?"  It had to be low top, I have screws in the outside part of the ankle that higher topped shoes would bother - and I don't plan to have the hardware removed.  Before I got an answer where I could try on and test a shoe, I purchased a pair of black AVIAS that are 'slip-resistant'. 
They aren't very good-looking, but I have been wearing them to pull weeds - that is a whole 'nother story in and of itself.
My brother-in-law is a PT in Cali.  I asked him.  He said "Keens".  While in Sante Fe, we shopped REI.  I bought a pair - I trusted him. I have worn them almost constantly since.  I even put them on when I get out of bed.  They give me 'high confidence' that I won't be turning my ankle out of them on any surface.  They are such solid shoes, very rugged..not the prettiest or daintiest, but I like the way they feel.  Besides, I don't have dainty feet.
I used to wear Danskos, before I broke, dislocated and smashed my leg bones - I will never wear them again.  I will probably not do a lot of things ever again - like run, climb mountains, ski - that kind of thing. 
I have more surgery to face in a month or so (getting rid of the 'floating particles', bone fragments?, cartilage and scar tissue that has formed in the front of my ankle, where it bends - hence the pain, popping joints and inability to walk very good at times).  This surgery will require another 4 - 6 weeks of 'downtime' for me..but for now, I have art to do and I am doing it today, all week and the next week and so on.  That's what I am doing today.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Some Artsy Design Work for a Webpage

This week I was commissioned to do some cutesie/cartoonish/designed drawings for a webpage that was being created by a friend who owns a petsitting business.  I took the challenge, as it is something very different from what I usually, refreshing and gave me a chance to use my do some drawings and enhance them in Photoshop.  Here are 5 - I have done. 
Bright colors - simple images...all the same size.  Ooo, this'll date me, but this activity brought back memories of a time when I designed and lettered title placards for pastries in a bakery case...and that was before personal computers.

An Invitation

This show is one I have been doing work for off and on this past year.  It promises to be a good one.  If you live in central Kansas, or you are traveling I-70 from 9/2 to 10/14, stop the Deines Center.  "Art and the Automobile" is it's subtitle.
Open Tues. - Fri. 12 - 5 and 1 - 5 on Sat. and Sun.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Where I've Been Standing - Time Flies

Whoa!  I have been unbelievably absent from my blog the last few months.  Here's why...after enduring the heat of the midwest during the month of June and part of July, we thought it would be a great idea to use the RV (we so dearly pay for) and "fly the coop" - "get the heck out of Dodge" - "look for greener pastures (and that ain't no lie)". So off we went - WEST.  Here are a few of the 1267 photos I took on this trip.  Boy, do I have painting material for winter studio time!  We were gone 28 days and went 4668 miles - give or take, because we towed my Jeep and went touring in it, as well.
 Our journey WEST started in the mountains of Colorado.  Last year we held a 'birthday' campout for us and our kids and families.  Same this year.  Everyone had a great time.  Our three grandaughters are growing fast!
 This is our campsite. We were here for about a week and the kids joined us for a couple of days on each side of the weekend.
 We are always excited to get to view the local wildlife each day.  This particular day there were three of these guys to watch.
 The whole crew (minus my son-in-law - who had to work). 
 (My sister-in-law and her horse)
Next our journey took us to New Mexico ( to visit with my in-laws and to visit DH's 95 year old mother).  It was a good visit! 
All the brothers were together to be with their mom. 
DH and me on our annual trip to a 'day in Sante Fe" ate a great Mexican fare at Maria's!  His bro and my step daughter were with us.
 From there we winded back to Colorado, into Wyoming - stopping in Idaho in Montpelier and then near Glenn's Ferry.  We stayed at an RV park near Glenn's Ferry (historical site) that was part of the Carmila Winery.  I did some tasting there and bought some great wines to bring home!
 From there we went on ~ to Oregon.  This is Mt. Hood from the highway that leads into Portland.  I didn't take any photos of the Oregon and Idaho fields, but they were just INTO wheat harvest, where our's had been over a month before.  Interesting to think about the difference in the growing seasons.
 Our favorite stopping place is the beaches of Oregon.  We stayed four days and nights right on the beach (well, just over the sand dunes) at Cape Lookout (3 Capes area) near Tillamook, Oregon. Love it there - but it's the busy time for this particular campground - Cape Lookout.  We didn't have nearly as much fun as we usually
do - due to the abundance of people.
 However, you can't beat those Pacific Ocean sunsets.
 We took the 3 Capes drive that we have never taken in the other two times we have visited there.  Many lighthouses dot the area. This photo is one.  I couldn't go down to see this one ~ the incline was too steep for my ankle, but DH was able to come back with photos so I could enjoy it that way.  AND...I will have to say I went many places, I didn't think I could go - it was challenging at times. I still don't always walk the best...but I do most of it without help of any kind.
 The last day we were there, I walked on the beach barefoot.  I went into the water, too. It was so nice and cold.  Good for what ails you...
good for the mind and soul, as well!
 We met so many interesting and friendly people.  A lady was walking the loop with her Macaw, named Myah.  Myah and I hit it off.  She is a lovely bird.
 We left the Cape Lookout area and headed south down Highway 101, into California.  Destination? Klamath River, where it joins the ocean.  Here are some highway photos along the coast.

 We stayed one night at the Oregon Dunes area.  Lots of ATV/OHC activity.  In 'the day', this would have been a fun place to play! 
 I bet if you live on the west coast the lumber industry is taken for granted, but I was amazed at the 'wood product' areas and it's evidence up and down the coast.  I appreciate the 're-forestation and management'
that seems to occur when one area is cut down - they replant it, post when it was planted and you can observe the regrowth. 
 This fellow snuck up on me quick...but I was able to snap a clear one.
 Above is a lovely spot where we spent time. It is at the Klamath River RV Park.  This was our view right outside our RV front window, and of course, we spent a little time sitting out in the open there..just drinking in (oh, did I say drinking?) the view.  Much time was spent touring the area.  A part of the Redwood National Park is nearby.  These trees are so magnificent and awesome. We couldn't get enough of the trails and special sideroad/dirtroad trips one can take!
These trees are SOOO big!
 History - and more history - can be taken in. I am standing at one end of a bridge that was wiped out in the 60's by a flood on the Klamath River.  It must have been a great bridge with all this neat concrete work.  There was a bear on the other side of the entrance here.  From this landing place, we began our trip back Eastward.  We saw lots of northern California and again some Oregon forest areas, then back to California and down to Nevada.  As we made our way East from Susanville, Ca. into Nevada we joined  the "Loneliest Highway in America" (Highway 50), seeing 4 different wildfires as we went.  Devastating. Sad.
In some areas we traveled through - very smokey and a little scary. 
 Back into Utah, we reconnnected with what we were escaping - HEAT.  We had troubles overheating with the RV. Didn't stop us, but kept us on our toes to manage the heat from the cockpit (which included turning OFF the AC and turning on the Heater) - you have to understand how a diesel engine works with it's air flow and coolants, etc.   DH we made it back to Colorado -
without too much discomfort. 
 Of course the 'grades' we traveled accompanied with "the heat (110)", didn't help and you have to take into consideration OUR load...pulling a 'toad' (our Jeep Cherokee), as well.
However, this is NOT a 'toad', but evidence of our last stop, where we had started.  Just couldn't get enough of the quiet and peacefulness back in the Colorado mountains.   I think we are so spoiled, living where we do, in a very unpopulated area.  And this place, being in a similar area, we just love it. These 'guys' were right around our camping spot off the river this certain afternoon, eating the willow leaves. 
We found a Jeep trail and followed it up the mountain about 5 miles.  It was very scenic and pristine.  I walked aways back down the path to capture a scene on my camera - and, of course, my little Chaco wanted to know where I was..he can't stand for me to leave him.

 I didn't get as much painting time in ~ as I would have liked. There was just so much to do and see this trip and we were definitely NOT on the clock but ready to take in wherever we went.  I let my camera and memory do alot of the cataloguing of images.  I did paint at this stop both times.  I took watercolors on this trip, instead of oils. Not my choice for plein air, but less mess in keeping it somewhere and not spilled,  when we traveled bumpy and winding roads.  By the way, the Western US roads aren't fairing too well in our book.  I think someone needs to pay a little more attention to our infrustructure in the U.S.A..  Nevada's roads are the best
(wonder if it's all that gambling revenue?)
Southern Colorado roads and Northern New Mexico's are  the worse.
This is our final photo from the Colorado mountains.  We would like to travel this trip again, next year, if we can put it together. It is OK being back at home - temperature wise, we have only had to use the AC one day out of the last seven - so we really DID escape the HEAT.  Some people are 'snowbirds' escaping the snow, we must be 'sunbirds' escaping the heat, huh? 
Or is there another name for that?  I wonder...
On MY bucket list is a trip to the EAST coast - maybe I will win the lottery someday to afford that one.  Fuel was our biggest expense this trip.  Up around average $4.00 per gallon/diesel, the nearer the coast we traveled. 

Something that I missed while I was traveling, was the Olympics.  I saw 'opening night' in Montpelier, Idaho and we saw several evenings if we were staying at RV parks along the route where we had electric - sporadic at best,
but we did a lot of 'boondocking'
(not hooked up to electricity or utilities in any way) as well,
this trip - so I missed much of it. 
We spent up to 4 days at a time,  with only battery power or generator.  On those days, I felt like a traveling'gypsy'!  If it weren't for my studio HERE in Kansas, I think I could live in an RV and do the traveling away from the weather I didn't care for - hoping to find that 'perfect spot'!!!  I love my studio, and couldn't trade it for anything else these days, except a studio in a cooler place...ha!
For now, it's back to the studio!!!