Wednesday, October 3, 2012


I have been toying with the idea of sculpting from the picture of my husband when he was a little boy.  I thought it was so cute and had done it as a fabric wall hanging several years ago.

He is sculpted of air drying clays and stands about 16" tall.   I tried to capture the little bit of "devil" that was in his eyes.  I don't know if he really thought he would catch something or not.  When you look closely, you can see a mouse peeking out of his right front pocket, and a frog from the left.  In his back pocket is a sling shot.  After it was dry, I faux painted it to look like bronze.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


I have been wanting to do this painting for a long time now.  I have many good memories of riding the "horse" that my father made for us - the saddle on a barrel. 
This painting is done from two old photos I had found of my oldest three siblings having fun on their "horse."  The pictures were taken before my family moved to the "big house" on the farm where I was born.  The house in the painting is the house my family lived in for the births of my five oldest siblings.  Tight spaces!  Anyway, this has been a fun one to do.  The "horse" also made the move to the other farm, so I had many opportunities to ride it.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Today was a long working day, but I feel I accomplished a lot.  New monkey - much better than the first.  It was fun today embellishing the two.  I've had this "stuff" lying around for many years now, and it feels good to find something to use them on.  The headpiece for the elephant is a very delicately beaded collar, and the neck piece is from a length of beading that was probably at one time around the bottom edge of a lamp.  So that's it for the retreat.  The rest will have to be done at home.  I should be home late Monday.

Friday, May 11, 2012


I'm finally starting to figure it out.  The elephant is nearly finished, so tomorrow I'll start working on the monkey.    
Today I decided I didn't like what I had done with him previously, so will start a new one.  Tomorrow will be the last full day of work here, so I'll have to really stay at it.  The creative juices are flowing now, so hopefully things will finally start coming together.  The eye is a wonderful old broach from my collection, which even includes eyelashes.  What a lucky find!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


I think today went fairly well, considering I'm still not sure just how everything will look when finished.  I decided to just start on the elephant and see where it took me.  I can remember my mother singing the song "The Animals Had a Fair," and this wall hanging is loosely based on that and will be shown in a group show relating to the circus.  I found the fabric for the elephant in Spring, TX, and the rest is coming from my "stash."  I also have lots of odds and ends of buttons, beads, and other assorted treasures for embellishments, so the finished piece will be quite heavily "encrusted."  I'm sure it won't be finished when I leave, but it should be far enough along that I will want to finish it right away when I get home.  Tomorrow is a "shop hop" day, so there will probably not be any sewing done.


We arrived here yesterday afternoon, and all I've accomplished so far is to press some fabric, get the sewing machine set up, and tried to restart the creative process.  Today I will see what will happen.  This is a beautiful place along the Mississippi River about 35 miles south of LaCrosse, WI.  The building holds 10, and there are seven of us here.  All the women are from varied backgrounds and interests.  So much fun getting together with people you haven't seen for a year and catching up.  It will be a good week, I'm sure!

View from the living room window high above the Mississippi.

My pile of fabric ready for some inspiration.  What will it be?

Monday, April 30, 2012


I just received pictures of the painting hanging in its resting place in Spring, TX.  I think it's looking pretty good there and look forward to seeing it next winter when I go down to paint another scene.

This whole experience has taught me so much.  One important lesson is to plan something that large out so that I don't end up redrawing and repainting several times.  That process works well for me on a small canvas but not a good idea on something this large.  I also learned so much about mixing colors on the palette before beginning to paint.  It is really amazing how many difference color combinations a person can come up with using just a limited palette.  The colors I used were:  ultramarine blue, cerulean blue, sap green, alizaren crimson, cadmium red light, cadmium yellow, lemon yellow, yellow ocher, and white.

Thanks again, Ray and Dee, for giving me this opportunity.  It stretched my mind more than you will ever know.

My next project is a wall hanging for a circus themed show fellow artists and I are working on.  I will be going to a quilting retreat in DeSoto, WI, next week, so have to put my creative thinking cap on so that I can at least have a good idea of what I will need to take along.  I'll try to take pictures while I'm working.  This was fun to do, so will probably be able to keep this blog going.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


WOW!  Finished. Signed and Sold.  An artist can't have a better feeling.  It will seem a little sad though, tomorrow, when I leave Texas and won't see it again until next winter.  I will receive pictures when it is hung, and I'll post them on here at that time.

I have learned so many things through the whole process, many of which I will try to put into words and post on here at a later time - probably when I post the next pictures.  Anyway, I'll be heading north tomorrow and should be home Tuesday night, and then on to the next projects.  I'm posting two pictures - one of the three together, and one with me (and most of you know how much I just "love" to have my picture taken) to show the size.  I am still having a hard time believing I actually did this.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

DAY 53

Last full day of painting.  All three panels are now lying on the floor and the edges are painted.  I'll take tomorrow off to do some sightseeing.  Then on Saturday I'll go in and set them all up together so I can get a picture of the total painting.  There are a few drips to fix up and possibly some color matching to do from panel to panel, sign it, and it's finished.  That wall where they've been looks so bare.  Almost sad!

The picture today is just of the left panel, as the other two were on the floor with wet edges.  In order to avoid some of the light reflections, I had to take it from an angle.  The blue in the sky is not as bright as the picture shows.  I think it's just the reflections.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

DAY 52

I am nearly finished.  Just the top edges of the three panels, the bottom of one, and some touch ups and small changes.  The lighting where I am working picked up the texture of the wet paint brush work on the left panel, so it looks much lighter than it really is.  When the paint is dry, it will look much darker and more colorful.  After tomorrow I should be able to get a good picture of all three panels.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

DAY 51

Very productive day today.  I was finally able to get to the left panel and the sky is looking great.  Tomorrow I should be able to finish the left panel, and then on Thursday I'll paint the top and bottom edges.  That means it will be done with a day to spare.  One day to spend some time checking out some other places in the area.

Monday, April 9, 2012

DAY 50

I can't believe I've been painting on this for 50 days already.  Time has flown by, and it will be finished by this weekend.  Today I was able to nearly finish the right panel, so tomorrow I will be working on the left one.  There are so many things I want to see here before I leave this weekend, I'd better put in some serious time when I am at the garage.  So far, I'm happy with what is happening.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

DAY 49

Another gorgeous day in Texas.  It's been in the 80's but really doesn't seem that hot!  Painting went very well today.  Monday I should be able to complete the right canvas and maybe even begin the sky on the left one.  The end is in sight.  Can't wait to see the finished painting.

Friday, April 6, 2012

DAY 48

What a wonderful day today.  I finally figured out which brush to use and how to apply the paint.  One would think I hadn't been painting most of my life!  Just so I haven't forgotten it all by the time I do another large painting..  Guess I'd better write it down.  Anyway, I very much like the results.

DAY 47

Because of my absentmindedness, I am a day late on this.  I left the camera where I paint, so was unable to post last night.  It was a really good day of painting.  It is so exciting to see the color in the sky develop and the clouds all taking their places.  Looking forward to another day of fun.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

DAY 46

Today was a great day.  It is so exciting to be adding so much color to the sky and seeing it come alive.  I was only able to take a picture of the center and right panel today, as the motor coach is again parked in the garage.  But since I didn't paint on the left one, I guess you can get a better idea on what has been done.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

DAY 45

I can't believe how time flies when I'm painting.  I painted for 6 hours today, and don't feel like I really accomplished a lot.  I worked on the clouds on the center panel, making some progress, but it seems to be going so slow.

Monday, April 2, 2012

DAY 44

Back to work after a two day weekend.  Saturday was a beautiful day to attend the home and garden show here.  I saw so many wonderful things that would make any home a wonderful place to spend time - if you had the money or wanted to spend the money.  I guess I'll pretty much be happy with what I have.

Today was heavy rain again, but it didn't interfere with painting.  Center panel sky and clouds again today.  Fun!

Friday, March 30, 2012

DAY 43

I did something drastic today.  I painted out most of the white clouds and started repositioning them.  I think I'm going to like this much better.  Again, I'm learning so much about clouds.  I study them whenever I see them, but haven't been able to get in on a beautiful sunrise here.  That would help tremendously.

I found out today that I would be staying another week, so don't feel quite as much pressure to finish now.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

DAY 42

Another great day today.  I know why I enjoy painting skies so much.  It takes me back to lying in the grass on the farm and trying to find pictures in the clouds.  How nice and peaceful that was!  Anyway, I really did enjoy working on the sky today.  Most of my time was spent on the center panel.  Nearly finished with that - just need to work on the larger clouds.

By the way, the white at the bottom is the sheet on the floor.  I forgot to straighten it out before I took the picture.  Also, don't bother to enlarge this one.  It's blurry again.  And I don't think I changed the settings from yesterday.  Maybe my hand was shaky - I don't know.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

DAY 41

What a fun day.  It was great to get back to the sky and start to see it develop.  Today you can really see a difference from the previous day.  This means the end is near.  It will feel so good to accomplish something so large.  Tomorrow more sky.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

DAY 40

Wow!  Day 40 already.  How time does fly when you're having fun!  And today was fun.  I worked on the grassy area on all three canvases and am really happy with the results.  Tomorrow afternoon I start working on the sky again.  Can't wait!  I have lots of ideas for what I want to do!

I don't know what I have set wrong on my camera, but will check it out again tomorrow to find out why the blurring!

Monday, March 26, 2012

DAY 39

Today was a beautiful day, but spent it inside painting.  I worked on defining the trees and developing the colors all across the three panels.  Tomorrow I should finish the lower half so will be able to lower the paintings to the floor and start working on the sky on Wednesday.  I'm very happy with what I did today.  I do have to apologize for the photo.  I'll have to work on my settings tomorrow to get rid of the blur!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

DAY 38

I'm back.  What a great weekend.  Bluebonnets and other Texas wild flowers were in full bloom and it was a beautiful day Saturday.  This afternoon we went to Houston to a huge art festival and saw wonderful new and different art.  Now tomorrow I have to get back to work.  This picture is from Friday, which was a good painting day.  Another day and a half and I'll be back working on the sky.  Really looking forward to it.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

DAY 37

Life is good down here in Texas.  The sun was shining all day long, a light breeze, low humidity, and in the 80's.
On top of that, I had a great day painting and I'm sitting here blogging with a cup of chai latte.  Who could ask for more.  I think I'm finally catching on to painting trees.  The only problem is I'll have to go back and work on the trees on the center and right panel so they look like they were painted by the same person as the trees on the left.  So it goes!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

DAY 36

Wow, I can't believe this is day 36 already.  I have finally begun the tree line on the left panel.  It's amazing how much I've learned since I started the tree line on the center panel.  Having a good time!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

DAY 35

Heavy rain again last night and this morning.  I didn't get in to paint until this afternoon, but worked late to make up for it.  I worked on the middle ground and the top of the tree line on the left panel.  I think it went quite well.  Tomorrow - trees again.

Monday, March 19, 2012

DAY 34

Today was one of those days when you just don't want to quit.  One brush stroke leads to another and another.  That's when painting is really fun.  A person probably can't see a lot of difference from the last day, but I painted on the left side of the center panel in the middle ground; and on the left panel along the skyline and down almost to the tree line.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

DAY 33

Today was fun.  I actually spent time painting something other than trees.  Next week I'll be getting back to them on the left panel.  I worked on the middle foreground on the right panel.

Friday, March 16, 2012

DAY 32

I am so glad I was able to paint today.  Yesterday, when I arrived back at the house, I did something really stupid.  I know there is a rise in the concrete going into the garage, but completely missed it and fell flat onto the concrete.  I didn't break anything, but bruised (I think that's all) my upper rib cage near the sternum.  It is really sore and my arms are very stiff, but was able to drive in and paint.  I'm sure it will take a while to heal, so will just put up with it.  Thankfully, I was able to sleep fairly well.  Guess I'm more aware now and it shouldn't happen again!

I think I am finished with the trees on the right panel and tomorrow will paint on the grassy area and and above the trees.  Hopefully, I can finish the bottom of that canvas and be able to start  Monday on the left.  Nearing the end!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

DAY 31

Today seemed confusing.  Sometimes everything went wrong, and then again things would go right again.  Worked on the right panel, tree line.  I will be so happy when the trees are finished.  Really looking forward to getting back to the sky.  I can't reach it, so might as well finish the bottom so I can put them on the floor so I can reach it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

DAY 30

Really good day today.  I worked mostly on the center panel, in the grove of trees.  I finally figured out what to do with it and am liking what I have done.  I also did some redrawing on the left panel, so now feel like I really want to tackle it.  It was a long productive day.  And, cousin Bev and husband are back, so had visitors and someone to do lunch with.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

DAY 29

Today was a long day but very productive.  I am still hoping to be able to finish the bottom half of the right panel this week.  The challenge is to be able to gradually go from the more detailed center panel to out of focus on the extreme right.  I'm hoping I can make that work.  I've learned so much on this project!  Don't know what it will be like working on smaller canvases, but I'm looking forward to doing that again.

Monday, March 12, 2012

DAY 28

It finally warmed up today - and no rain!  It was a good day for painting, too.  I think I finally have the bottom half of the center panel about where I want it, and I was able to start working on the right panel again.  Looking forward to tomorrow!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

DAY 27

I'm really getting tired of this weather.  I think it was warmer in SD today than it was down here.  It was 58 at 5:00 and the sun never did come out.  At least it wasn't raining so hard, and I was able to get in to paint.  I worked on the bottom of the center panel today and I think I'm getting it.  When it's dry, I'll have to go in and lighten up parts of it that I'm not really happy with.  Next week, I'm hoping to finish the bottom third of the right panel and hopefully get a little time in on the left panel.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

DAY 26

I was able to put in a good long day today.  No distractions, and things went well.  When things are clicking that way, it's hard sometimes to leave it.  I'm not sure if I'll be painting tomorrow or Saturday.  There are storms forecast, and I really don't look forward to making the drive when it's pouring rain.  Time will tell, I guess.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

DAY 25

Well, I didn't push myself as hard as yesterday, but I feel I did accomplish quite a bit.  For those of you who think the painting looks finished, when I am finished with the bottom third of the painting, I will drop the whole thing down to the floor so I can reach the top two thirds.  The sky actually needs a lot of work yet.  The oranges will spread farther over to the left, the sky will be lighter, and the clouds really need a lot of work.  For those of you who think they look like ice bergs, you are right.  At this point they are just blocked in.  There will be much more definition, more blending into the sky, and more color.  Keep watching.  There are lots of changes yet to come.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Today was a good day and I'm thinking I just might get the painting finished.  Center panel again today.  I'm thinking that is the most important panel, and there will be more detail to be painted.  As I go out from the center, there will be more blurring, just as when you look at something - you don't bring the side view in any kind of detail.  Hopefully, I can make it work.

Monday, March 5, 2012

DAY 23

Wow, twentythree days of painting.  That means I should be half done if I only take one day off a week.  Guess I'd best get going a little earlier in the a.m.!

I spent the day blocking in the color on the left panel.  When that is dry I'll be able to begin painting in more colors.  Much more fun to do that!  Anyway, I was happy with how things went today.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

DAY 22

Today was a very long day and I'm ready for a day off.  On Monday I'll start working on the left panel again.  Time for a change -  I'm tired of looking at all that raw umber and think I'll feel better about things once that is covered up.  The center panel is the most important as that is where I want the eye to go.  Then I need to make sure the eye is led around the rest of the painting.  Really looking forward to getting to that point.

Friday, March 2, 2012

DAY 21

Today was a good day.  I've begun showing reflections of the morning sun on the trees in the foreground.  I think I finally have it figured out but it is a long process.  Once I get this down on the center panel, the other two panels won't take as long.  Thanks, Raymond, for the opportunity to learn so much.  It's all a process after all.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

DAY 20

What can I say about today?  Painting went well.  I'm beginning some of the large blocks of color on the bottom of the right panel.  I'm also experimenting on different areas trying to show the sky reflections on trees and grass, etc.  I guess I should get up early some morning and go watch the sun come up.  Only problem is, it's usually foggy in the morning and finding an area where I could really see it would be difficult.

When I got home and picked up the mail, I found a notice from the Montgomery County photo enforcement program telling me I had run a red light.  On the video it showed that the light was green when I started around the corner, but it turned red before I got through.  Didn't realize there is no yellow on the left turn signal.  Expensive day today.  Guess I'll be more careful in the future.  Anyway, here's what has happened today in the studio:

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

DAY 19

I'm so happy to be down in Texas where it reached 86 today, instead of up with the snow and wind.  Doesn't sound good!

No wiping out today, but you really can't see much difference from yesterday.  Working on the trees again and the reflected colors from the sky.  A lot of imagining going on here!  Oh, well, it keeps the mind working!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

DAY 18

It's a good thing we have an extra day this month.  After painting a couple hours, I ended up wiping out all that I had done.  Actually, I think the painting is better because of it.  Today I worked on the lower part of the center panel.  Tomorrow will hopefully go better.

Monday, February 27, 2012

DAY 17

Time is flying by.  I can't believe I've been here nearly two months already.  That means only a month left to work.  It's been cloudy all day, so was a good day to work.  I'm hoping to bring the left canvas along to the same point as the center one this week.  So far, I'm happy with what is happening.

If you would like to see the picture larger, double click on it and you will have a much better view.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

DAY 16

Yesterday was a beautiful day, and it felt so good to get away and just see the area.  Thanks to cousin Bev and her husband Don for a wonderful day exploring and checking out a fabulous fabric store that really got my imagination going.  I'll have to go back there with some ideas before I head home.

My sister Faye left this morning, so I spent the afternoon painting.  Things are going well, and if all goes as planned, I shouldn't have a problem finishing before the end of March.  You probably all know this, but just in case, double click on the picture and you will see it larger.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

DAY 15

Green has always been one of my favorite colors, and I'm discovering so many new shades of green.  It really makes painting trees fun.  Tomorrow I am taking the day off, as it is my sister's last day here.  By Saturday most everything should be dry so that I can go into the trees and add some of the background peeking through.  Also, hopefully, I can work on the bottom of the center panel.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

DAY 14

What a beautiful day today, and I've spent most of it inside.  Oh, well, I'm sure there will be more of those to come.  I've decided to concentrate on the bottom of the center panel, then move to the right, and finally the left panel.  Since I am rather new to landscape painting and haven't painted many trees, this is really a learning experience for me.  It is fun mixing the different shades of green and then moving the paints around on the canvas to see what happens.  I took a workshop in Sedona, AZ, last fall with Betty Carr.  I learned so much about mixing greens - which has really helped me today.  So far, I'm happy with what is turning up.