Next month, I will have a show of labyrinths and snowmen at the Lane Gallery. The theme is "Winterfest." I hope you can join me at the reception on December 7 beginning at 6 PM. The address is 2627 SE Clinton St in Portland. If you want to know more, check out the website at www.gilalane.com
To get ready for the show, I have been exploring ways to make labyrinth paintings that will be more affordable than my first ones. I realized that a lot of the time involved is in developing the design. I decided to try four labyrinths that are the same design, but interpreted differently. This is the first of that series. I am really happy with it. It is based on the Chartes labyrinth, which is the most well-known.
Next month, I will have a show at the Lane Gallery. It will feature labyrinths and snowmen. When I recently talked with the gallery owner, Gila Lane, she suggested that I bring in some snowmen cards and she will have them on display as the "season" approaches. Of course, all Winter is snowman season!
So, this is this year's snowman card! I'm celebrating my "big show" at Lane Gallery. The artist reception will be December 7. Save the date!
The snowman is very happy about being at the Lane Gallery. Lane Gallery is at what we call Clinton Junction--near the intersection of 26th Ave and Clinton in Southeast Portland and right next to the Press Club. It's a fun place featuring local artists. Instead of "open" and "closed," the sign is "Here" or "Not Here." This is how the Lane Gallery looks from the street:
Recently my friend Patty visited Mexico and I was surprised to get a beautiful silver and amethyst bracelet she bought there. I couldn't think of how I could display it, and so found a picture of a hand with a meditation mudra and so painted that. It fits for Patty since she is someone who meditates regularly. She is also co-leader of a Centering Prayer group I go to. I tried to paint my own hand, but found it too hard. This is a beautiful bracelet and is much more delicate that it appears in the painting. Thanks, Patty. You are always so thoughtful.
Halloween is coming up. I am ready for it and, thanks to my friend Nancy, I have some great "Mistress of Darkness" tattoos (temporary, of course) to use. They have hearts and black flowers and vines and black blood dripping down. The picture above is my little painting of just one of them. It was quite a challenge. There's also a spider that I didn't even attempt to draw! They will be great fun in the next couple of weeks. When I made the "thank you" card for Nancy, I added this sketch is on the back:
It's Fall now, and I can really see it in the long shadows and the sharper air in the mornings. Portland is beautiful at this time of year. So, now we turn to pumpkins and back to school and scarecrows. Here's a little scarecrow who is really a crow himself. I put him on some bunco score cards that I made for my friend Kathy. She is in a bunco group and will be the hostess for the October meeting. I've never played bunco, but she assured me that I did the cards right.
I'm in a big process of downsizing, and have been frantically "editing" my stuff. Things are slowing down a little and I want to get back into more painting. A few more thank you cards are coming up.
Recently, I helped my daughter Jen move from Fair Oaks to Paso Robles, both beautiful areas of California. Fair Oaks is east of Sacramento and Paso Robles is near San Luis Obispo. It;s not the subject of this blog, but Jen heroically drove a u-haul with a transporter behind carrying her SUV. B=Great job!!!
Jen was leaving a very supportive church community in Fair Oaks where she was a teacher in a Lutheran school. One of her friends there was Alice, a truly sensitive and engaging woman. Although I had been to Fair Oaks many times, I had only met Alice briefly. She was a neighbor of my father, so we also had that connection. While on this recent trip, Alice joined Jenifer and me for a dinner at the Olive Garden. I, of course, wanted to pay for the dinner because I wanted to treat Jen and because I wanted to thank Alice for the friendship she had shown for Jen. After the meal, as we prepared to leave, Alice "just happened" to have an Olive Garden gift card for me. I was happy to get it, and told her I would send her a thank you note. As readers of my blog know, I make a little watercolor painting on a card and then write a message on that card as a thank you. This one for Alice doesn't have a restaurant scene....it is a scene from the front yard of my cousin's house in Italy---so Italian!!!! Old buildings that have been added to again and again, vineyards, country roads, trees--some of the things I like about Italy. Lots of memories from that and now, lots of memories of a good Italian dinner with Alice. So, thanks, Alice...your card will be in the mail.
...and so far, I hadn't painted any sunflowers. Well, in my world you paint sunflowers in Summer--it is just something you do. I am grateful that my friend Nancy lulled me out of the complacency of forgetting to paint sunflowers and brought me some when she came for dinner a couple of days ago. This is a note card painting, so it is small, but I kind of like it. I am not thrilled with how I did the "signature/logo" in the lower right, and will give that a little more thought. It seems to work with this composition, though. There were actually five sunflowers, but I focused on my favorite three. This was kind of fun, and I loved going with a darker value background. Thanks, Nancy. I needed to paint those sunflowers! I'm not limited to just one sunflower painting in the season, but at least I did one.
I'm still working on labyrinths, but not with as much intensity as I was on the first ten. Here's one that was inspired by my thought that a labyrinth could be constructed that would look like a rose when viewed as a total image. It took four tries, and this is the result. It is watercolor with gold edges and is 22" x 22". Hope you enjoy it, and don't get lost in the pattern!
My artist friend, Kathy Allegri, has been teaching a series of watercolor plein air lessons this Summer. They all have been very enticing, but I have had a schedule that didn't let me go until yesterday. I am so glad I found that opportunity. It was great!
We went by limousine from Portland to a winery in Hood River. It turned out that the winery (Marchesi Vineyards) grows Barbera grapes which are most special to me because they are the ones I harvested with my cousin Jane Davis in her vineyard near Bologna in Italy. Jane died a couple of years ago, but her family is keeping her La Verde Collina wine label and vineyards going. I love everything that brings me back to her. What a lovely woman she was. So....that was great, with great feelings...but it got better.
Kathy did a superb demonstration of her ideas about the scene, and got us started on our paintings. We had a great variety of scenes and all were compelling.
We painted for a little while, and then took a break for a wonderful lunch provided by our limo driver in a very intimate dining room created for us in the wine tasting area. It was SO Italian!!! Then, we had a tasting of the Marchesi wines...also very Italian. Of course, I bought a bottle of the Barbera--maybe I should have gotten two, or three, or???? Well, I can always go back.
Meanwhile, back to the plein air painting. Kathy had demonstrated a technique that was new to me. She used burnt sienna to do the drawing and the basic lay-in, instead of drawing in pencil. I tried it in the painting above, and ended up filling in the other colors with what I call the Velasquez palette--burnt sienna, yellow ochre and ultramarine blue. It helps that they are also favorite colors of mine. I'm pretty happy with the painting, but think the background tree trunks are distracting. I'm trying to decide if I should "knock them back" with another wash of ultramarine, or just call it "done." The biggest argument on the side of "done" is that the day was completely perfect---leave it alone and enjoy! Oh, and it helped to be driven back to Portland in a limo!!! Thanks, Kathy...you know how to host a paintout!!!!
I just returned from a great trip to California. There wasn't much time for painting, but I helped Jen move from Fair Oaks to Paso Robles. It was a great adventure, with her driving a u-haul and her SUV on a trailer behind. I followed in a rented car. Got in some nice "face time" with sister-in-law Sally, nephew Ben and his family while in Paso Robles, and visited with almost 99-year old Louise Reynolds.
Also got to spend time with friends....that was great! I visited Virginia before and after surgery, had a nice dinner with high school friends Annette and Kathy, stayed TWO nights with Sheryl in Mill Valley, and then got to see Kathy's new Sacramento apartment. Lots of good memories to store up. Before leaving Saturday, I made a quick stop at Discovery Park, where the American River and the Sacramento River join up. I made this quick gouache sketch. The sun was beating down, but it was fun to be there and record this scene.
Origami cranes....symbols of peace and healing...and also very beautiful. My friend Nancy gave me a particularly unique crane. It's an ornament that looks just like a paper origami crane, but it is made of resin and so is permanent. It is beautiful. The colors are very subtle. This card is a collage of a watercolor painting of the crane over some metallic gold origami paper.
Nancy and I have some history of folding cranes. Neither of us is very adept at crane folding, but we can do it. We had a situation in which I was supposed to teach it and Nancy was one of the "students." We still find it amusing---I still can't fold one without a "cheat sheet!" Our experience was good for lots of laughs....and we still find it amusing.
I also have various cranes that have been given to me over the years, including a mobile that has 80 cranes that was a present to my dad for his 80th birthday. When he died, I couldn't part with it.
So this little crane will bring me happy memories....and a few giggles.
My friend Jan recently took a trip to Eastern Europe...and this is what she brought back. It is a beautiful hand-painted egg with a distinctive design. The red is much richer than I show it. I did the painting with marking pens and used a yellow watercolor background. That yellow keeps showing up. It always looks kind of sunny to me. The little sprig of flowers on the front is repeated on the back. Jan collects eggs and so I know this is a very good one....it certainly is pretty. I think it came from Prague!!! I looked up information on line and found these eggs really are used as Easter decorations and are called kraslice. This one came a long way to Portland, Oregon.
This gift was a total surprise, and very treasured. I had a high school reunion last year and it reunited me with one of my high school friends, Annette. I agreed to do a memory book for our reunion and it turned out to be a big job, but it was rewarding to connect with my "inner teenager" and reconnect with the "mature" versions of many of my high school friends. As the chairperson of the reunion committee, Annette was my trusted adviser as I worked my way through the memory book project. This project was finished a few months ago.
Imagine my surprise when, totally "out of the blue," Annette sent me a message recently telling me she'd like to know when I was going to be home because she planned to send me something. I have to admit that I thought it might me something left over from the memory book project.
The package arrived and it was an amazing necklace Annette made from beads from Kenya with copper findings. My little painting does not do it justice. You need to know that the original does have copper highlights, though they don't show up in the picture. Annette composed this necklace in a way that it always lies just right when I put it on. I have been wearing it a lot....people enjoy seeing it and, of course, I like to tell what it is.
Thanks, Annette....how thoughtful of you to remember me in a way I will always treasure. I treasure our renewed friendship, too!
If you could get rid of yourself just once, the secret of secrets would open to you. The face of the unknown, hidden beyond the universe would appear on the mirror of your perception. Rumi
This post is more about the "why" of producing art than the art itself. Since the beginning of the year, I have had a profound interest in exploring my own spiritual orientation. It's a mystery and I'm still looking. I consider it a great adventure, though it is internal instead of external. My spiritual base led me to a "centering prayer:" group. I have to admit that I initially rejected the idea of prayer. However, by keeping myself open, I learned that centering prayer is very close to zen buddhist meditation, which I practiced in the 60s. So, it was kind of like coming home again to my true spirit, and I am very comfortable with it. I am learning that centering prayer is another way of getting in touch with my spirit.
My friend Patty is also in the centering prayer group. She is actually the one who got me interested in labyrinths....and readers of this blog know how much labyrinths mean to me. For my birthday, Patty gave me a book called The Mystic Heart. The author, Wayne Teasdale, is a monk and a mystic. He writes about the common elements of the world's various religious traditions and of an underlying universal spirituality. It is a compelling idea that is a little too complicated for a blog or, at least, a blog about art!
Suffice it to say that making art is, to me, a spiritual practice. I am learning from the book that a "call" to paint one thing and not another is actually a kind of universal acknowledgement of beauty or harmony. When I see something in a certain way, I just feel compelled to express that, and art is the way I have chosen.
This is reinforced in meditation, when I reflect that I am one with all things and yet my own experience is unique. For me, it is another reason to create art.
Thanks, Patty. This book opens up a whole realm of ideas about spirit and the mysticism of the beautiful world we inhabit. When I reflect on it, I am amazed!
One of the very fun things for my birthday was getting a gift from Jen---three sets of earrings---turquoise flower with a sparkle in the center, light blue glass drops, and a hamsa design. They are nice and go great with jeans...my favorite Summer-wear. What was really fun was that she put them in a handmade card and packaged it all in a decorated bag:
Well, for me it was...that little gesture lifted me out of a funk about the whole birthday thing. It was very sparkly and pink...and I am not sure my little rendition of it did it justice. It was spectacular, really...and VERY sparkly. That doesn't show up on line. As I like to point out (thanks to Virginia)---"You can never sparkle too much!" I almost pushed the envelope wearing it at Camp 18....but that was part of the fun.
Celeste also gave me something that has become my constant companion...a beautiful little planner/journal/notes/todo list with wonderful illustrations and quotes. This is my rendition of the cover:
"Write everyday" is the message of the top bird...and I do!!!
But wait! There's more....the bag my birthday goodies from Celeste came in was a work of art in and of itself--with many colorful candles:
Plus, there is a pen that has a sparkle on the end of it (I didn't even TRY to capture that) and a birthday cake when we were at Camp 18.
Birds...candles...tiara...cake....I think my birthday was great! And Celeste is very thoughtful. She didn't even mention my actual age! She gave me these on our plein air painting outing at Camp 18. It doesn't get any better than that!
I had a great outing on the day before my birthday with Carrie, Celeste, and Eileen. We went to Camp 18, where there's a lot of old logging equipment, a creek, a huge lodge, and lots of birds. We've gone almost every year for my birthday for several years now, and we always make a fun day out of it, with breakfast in the lodge, and painting on the grounds for the rest of the day. Celeste and Carrie gave me little bird figurines because birds are a favorite gift for me to remember these outings. These ones seem like they are friends having a little chat, so I painted them together. The little chick with the yellow hat is from Carrie, and the imaginatively painted one is from Celeste. We had a great breakfast, and then set up to paint. It rained off and on the whole time we were there, but we were able to find a shelter and painted what we could out of the rain. Carrie gave a watercolor demonstration. Kathy Pugh joined us a little later. Before leaving, Celeste and Carrie brought out a surprise birthday cake. What fun! The painting is in gouache. There is more to come!
A beautiful rose arrangement arrived on my birthday afternoon. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was from Virginia. The card of course affirmed that. Speaking of cards, Virginia sent me two!!! Both very nice, of course.
Virginia is so thoughtful in making sure that I am treated like more than a friend. "We are family!" She is a beautiful woman and an inspiration to all who know her. I am so grateful for Virginia and her role in my life. It is more than gifts and cards...Virginia gives support and love and always seems to know exactly what I need. I am so fortunate!
I just had a birthday and it was fun to get phone calls, cards, and gifts as well as many hugs. I'll be making posts of thank you cards for the gifts on this blog over the next few days...maybe even weeks. My family and friends are very generous to me.
I got TWO fresh flower arrangements. This one is from my daughter Louisa and her family. There are two kinds of orchids, tiny ferns, sweet william bunches, bamboo, dramatic leaves and little green chrysanthemums. Very nice!
I really wanted to have a certain electric tea kettle and I put it on my Amazon "wish list." The system works! I got just the one I wanted....it was also from Louisa, Peter, Griffin and Sophia. Here's my little sketch of it on the back of the thank you card:
The blue curved line on the lower right is the cord.....for serving, the kettle lifts off the base and is cordless. Makes me want to sing "I'm a little teapot...short and stout" with Sophia!
This painting is in a show of "Man Cave Art" at Art on Broadway in Beaverton. A celebration in the month we honor our fathers and the guys in our life. It's done in the style of Thomas Kitchell, which was a real challenge. I thought it looked easy until I started! This piece is call "Hot" and it has a companion piece, "Cold." The artists' reception is Saturday at from 6 to 9. Hope my Portland area friends can come and see it.
The Art Wall Committee at First Unitarian Church is having a show of our own. Usually, we jury other artists for shows and don't get to show our own work. For June and July, as a special event, we are showing our own work.
Showing with me are Harriet Levi, Lynn Thomas, Igrid Wagner, Joanna Zondervan, Joanne Booth and Lynda Byers. We heard a lot of postive comments yesterday at the unveiling of the show, and I sold the little painting above. It is small, 3 1/2" x 5", matted to 5" x 7". Let me know if you want to see this show. It is open Sunday mornings from about 9:30-12, and other times by appointment.
A few months ago, there was a Facebook challenge to make a handmade gift for five of your friends who asked for it. My step-daughter Elizabeth, who is always very creative, met the challenge and said she would make a handmade gift for the first five who responded to her (and then agreed to do it for five of their friends, by the way). Knowing that something from Elizabeth would be very special, I said "Yes!" to her and was one of the first five who asked for a handmade gift from her.
What Elizabeth made is pictured above, though I didn't do it justice. She made a pillow with the outlines of the hands of the people in my immediate family---my beloved Jenifer, Louisa, Peter, Sophia and Griffin. She portrayed it with my pair of hands kind of holding them. It is very meaningful and also fun at the same time. Elizabeth really knows how to hit those heartstrings--I'm grateful for these special people and also grateful for Elizabeth recognizing what means the most to me.
I did make a little card, but this one is done in marking pen. I couldn't make watercolor work for it. I had to use my"artistic license" on the edge. The print of the words "faith, hope, love" is smaller and far more intricate, but I had to do what worked for doing the card. Also, I ended up elongating things a little. The pillow is actually square. I love it all, but I find it especially endearing that my "girly girl" 4-year old granddaughter Sophia showed her fingernails painted! Elizabeth used drawings that were sent to her, so they are originals of those people. Griffin is "all business" and made his hand as a complete image....closed at the wrist. I also love how Elizabeth showed me as an anchor and Peter as a central figure. Our immediate family is small, but our love is big. I really appreciate Elizabeth's being able to know that...and then to give me something that shows it.
Now, I have to do a handmade gift for those who responded to me on the Facebook challenge. One of those is Elizabeth. She set the bar pretty high....hope I can reach it!
A couple of weeks ago, I went to a potluck dinner at my friend Patty's house. We have a group of four and we get together once a month. It was great fun and we always try to find dragonfly gifts--small things....just for fun. Patty gave me a metallic dragonfly sculpture. My painting doesn't do justice to the metallic dragonfly sculpture Patty gave me, but I still like both of them--the little sculpture and my little painting. There are some metallic gold highlights, but they don't show up in the photo. Thanks, Patty.
Today, I sketched with friends Carrie and Eunice in my little neighborhood haunt, Multnomah Village. We went to a couple of galleries where artists we know were showing and then decided to do some sketches. We set up at the Lucky Labrador Pizza and Pub, which is a nice spot with outside tables and umbrellas. I wanted to sketch a dog but, even though the restaurant is "dog-friendly," we didn't see a single dog. There wasn't even one walking by. The sketch above needs a dog. The guy was pretty good, and I love the umbrellas...but wanted a dog in the foreground. Oh, well, we also sketched dumpsters. Here's my version:
And I also sketched Carrie's beer. Beer is something I needed to do for the Urban Sketcher's Scavenger Hunt. She may have gotten it so that I could do the sketch. She is that kind of friend. Her sketch kit and book are in the background. The ashtray is unfortunate. We unwittingly sat at the smoking table.
As readers of this blog know, I recently completed a series of labyrinth paintings. Actually, it's an exaggeration to say they're completed as a new one is "on the easel" now and I have ideas for a few more. But the first 10 were really done as a set and I think they stand as a series.
I decided to make them into a little book, and here is a picture of couple of the pages. It is all pictures of labyrinth paintings. The only words in this book are the titles of the paintings. The color is great and it was really fun to do. The picture above doesn't really do it justice. It an edition of one. I'll be packing it around with me,so my Portland friends can see it. In fact, they will have to beg me not to show it to them!
Carrie, Celeste and I went on an urban sketch outing at Jamison Square in the Pearl District yesterday. We are doing a "scavenger hunt" sketching project. There's a list of things that need to be sketched to complete the hunt. One of the things was someone in stripes. I had so much fun sketching the young woman above. She had two kids running around and a big spouse who sometimes stood between me and her. She was always busy with her family and she also had her own things going on. She changed from hair hanging down to a ponytail, put on a hat, rolled up her pants so she could wade, and all sorts of things. I just loved how vibrant and confident she was, and she "rocked" those stripes.
I also sketched a bicycle, which just happened to have a baby trailer attached:
It was fun to be out in the sunshine...sketching with friends.
Yes, Louisa and Peter celebrated Peter's 50th birthday with a trip to Scotland. I was intimately involved in the trip because I stayed with Griffin and Sophia while their parents were gone and made sure they kept up with their daily routines. What fun for me to drop in on my grandchildren's lives...and also to be able to visit some of my favorite galleries while they were in school.
The gifts brought back were exquisite. There are some sterling silver earrings in a celtic design---I portrayed one, but didn't do it justice. They are really beautifully crafted, and very nice. Louisa also brought back a big silk flower that can be either a pin or a hair ornament and I have been having a lot of fun with it! There's more--a book that I didn't even try to capture that shows various artist's responses to the Parliament Building in Edinboroguh. The Parliament was built in the years 1999-2004, so it is actually very modern. The artists did a great job of portraying the various aspects of the building....historical, contemporary and futuristic.
Recently, when I saw Nancy at a potluck dinner with a few of our friends, she surprised us by giving us a little plant for the garden. The choices were marigolds or this cosmos. I chose the cosmos because I have been growing some marigolds from seed, which are doing very well. I love it and it is in a beautiful little planter that kind of matches the color of the blooms.
Thanks, Nancy, for this little reminder about Spring and growth.
A few weeks ago, my artist friend Eileen surprised me with a beautiful necklace and treated me to breakfast. It is made from a special yarn that has squares (which looks like facets) of thread colors and then they are woven into strands. The colors are the full spectrum. I just so happened to be wearing a frog jacket when she gave it to me and they looked great together. Since I mentioned it, here's a picture of the frog jacket:
Every frog is different, and the back has some, too:
The colors of the jacket matched the colors of the necklace Eileen gave me. Actually, since then I have learned that lots of things match that necklace. It is a pretty fun thing to have.
Eileen is a special sort of person--very thoughtful. She said she gave me the necklace to thank me for putting her paintings into our shows at O'Connor's while she was on a trip. I would have just done it for her as a friend, but it was very nice to actually be thanked. So now, thank you, Eileen, for the necklace and breakfast and also the chance to talk about my unique jacket, too!
This is something very different, requiring a little explanation. Eight of us in the Portland Plein Air and Studio Painters had a special project. We each brought one object and then put them all in a box. Each one of us got a turn at taking the box home and making a still life. The box itself was my inspiration. It is from Zimmerman's Deli. Here's what the box looks like:
I decided to use the style of the box and then interpret our objects: an African bust, a straw hat with a flower, a blue bottle, a copper colander, a straw-covered wine bottle, a thermometer, and a scarf. You don't see the scarf because I didn't actually paint it...I just interpreted the flowers on it. I did omit one of the objects, a canning jar. The "rules" were that we had to use at least six. The box was just an extra bonus. So, that's my "take" on the project.
My "take" and the seven others are currently on display in O'Connor's, which is the restaurant where we have our weekly meetings. They are all very different. That is what made the project fun. The show is up until the first week of June.
This is fun and I have some news. I met with Gila Lane at Lane Gallery and Studio today, and brought in some labyrinth and snowmen paintings. She had already seen them on my website, but it is always better to see them "in person." She liked them and we agreed that a show in December would be fun. So, I will have a show at Lane Gallery--with my name on the wall and all that. More on that later. Lane Gallery and Studios is on SE Clinton Street, near 26th. It's a nice little neighborhood! Thanks to Celeste Bergin and to Susan LeMaster for helping me get this going.
Many years ago, I got a beautiful hand-tooled leather sketchbook cover. Somehow, over time, it got pushed aside and replaced by my favorite "Aquabee Sketchbooks." I recently re-surfaced it and decided to start using it again. It is so pretty! I did a little on-line research and the company, Oberon, is still in business and making these: http://www.oberondesign.com/Journal.php Mine is in the 6" x 9" size, and I think I got it in the 1980s. The designs are a little different, and they also do covers for Kindles, iPads and all sorts of things. Beautiful!
I bought a new refill and now will be using it regularly. I decided to take the lead from my friend Carrie and do a front page. I'm not posting that page here because I'm not happy with it. I did it in dim light at O'Connor's Vault in Multnomah Village while watching a band. I may re-work it, but for now I just need to get the sketching started.
Here's one: the lead guitar player for the Jack McMahon Band.
I haven't been sketching much and need the practice. That was a fun way to get it, and I'll do it again.
I am sad to say that I totally fell behind in my Christmas thank you notes and the project of making a little watercolor painting of the gift on a card that becomes the thank you note. Since it is getting to be late March, now, I am just going to admit that I had a lot of great gifts and felt very well-loved. Having all my daughters here was a special treat.
About a month and a half ago, though, I started to paint a card from an eagle kite that Catherine gave me. I love the kite and I liked the design of the card....showing just the head in profile and part of the body and wings. The "flashes" of red are fun. So, I finished it and here it is.
Catherine, thanks again for that special kite to add to my collection. You know how much I also loved the white flower petals for the bath. They recall the fortune-teller in Cuba who had told me to bathe with white flowers, not soap. I can fantasize every once in awhile that I am following that romantic advice....even though the petals have soap in them and I'm not really ready to give up soap anyway...even for fragrant flowers!
I finally completed this painting of my daughter Jenifer. It began it several years ago, after I took a workshop with Ted Nuttal. I struggled with it and finally got some advice last week from my good friend and mentor, Kitty Wallis---she said don't be afraid to go darker. I did as she suggested, and I like the result. Kitty might say to go even darker than this, but it is enough for me. Jen likes it, too...so it's done. BTW, she's still just as pretty as that great day we enjoyed in the Columbia River Gorge when I took the photo I used as a reference.
January and February kind of flew by for me, and now it is March and I am still working on my Christmas thank yous. No, I didn't get a horse....thank goodness, really. I think my life is busy enough without that responsibility. What I got (from Louisa and Peter) was a ticket to see the show, "Cavalia." It was truly amazing. It's a cross between Cirque de Soliel and a very classy horse show. There were acrobats as well as horses and it was all very beautiful. The thing I liked the best was a woman straddling two horses and controlling another pair! Four all together. Very fast and smooth. Thanks you, Louisa and Peter. It was an amazing show.
They are really a lot of fun. I decided I wanted to paint the pattern of the socks, not the socks. And, it was exciting because they have sparklies and it gave me an opportunity to paint sparklies. I didn't capture the intensity of the magenta. They are truly something that "shows" when I where them. Thanks, Carrie, for giving me something to celebrate the fun side.
Well, it can never be too often. Just in time for my holiday festivities. I got this beautiful candlelit arrangement from Virginia. It really added to the warmth of a great time with a houseful of daughters, grandchildren, my brother, sons in law, and a Japanese exchange student. It was a lot of fun and, as readers of this blog know, we also assembled a family art show.
Virginia also gave a "little extra" to help with art supplies. Well, she always says it's for whatever I want, but I know I will spend it on art supplies! I already bought a dvd that goes with a book I already had about Expressive Figure Painting. Very inspirational!!! Having fresh flowers always is, too. I did this a week or so ago, but am behind on my blogposts. I'll send this card to her with a thank you note.