Friday, September 28, 2007

Heeeeeeere’s Louis!

Basket Case © 2007 Karen Mathison Schmidt
6 x 6 • acrylic on gessobord
Gloss varnish for protection and ease of cleaning • sold unframed
CLICK HERE to bid!

This is Louis (pronounced Lewis), who lived next door to us before we moved out to the country. A beautiful black kitty with auburn highlights in his fur, golden eyes (though one eye was a little on the greener side), sometimes he would come over for a play date while his servants/owners were gone to various work and school activities. Most times the play dates turned into get-into-everything-he-could-find dates. I walked into the front room one day to find him here in our dog Trixie’s toy basket. Maybe he thought that’s where he belonged, since he was one of Trixie’s favorite playmates. And even though Trixie is about six times his size, Louis had no trouble holding his own with her!

Trixie and Louis were best buds, and often whenever Trixie and I would go for a walk, Louis would tag along with us, just like a little dog. A few times he accompanied us all the way around several blocks. I’ve never seen a cat do that before. Sometimes my husband would really crack me up by saying things he imagined Louis was thinking, in a voice that sounds like Phil Hartman impersonating Frank Sinatra. What a cat! We love it out here, but we sure do miss our neighbors!

Here’s a closer detail of the painting:

Thursday, September 27, 2007

In progress ... another cat in a basket!

Here's the painting I started today ... it still needs a little more work, but I thought I’d post the work in progress. This is Louis, aka ’Mokey (“Smokey” without the “S”), who lived next door to us before we moved out here to the country. More on him when I post the finished painting, maybe later tonight!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Don’t try to cross that river until you get to it!

Joshua 1:9

Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

North of San Antonio © 2007 Karen Mathison Schmidt
6 x 6 • acrylic on gessobord
Gloss varnish for protection and ease of cleaning • sold unframed
CLICK HERE to bid!

Here’s the passage I want to share today out of my little 1884 book of daily devotionals; I hope you get a blessing from it as I have.
Watch your way then, as a cautious traveller; and don’t be gazing at that mountain or river in the distance, and saying, “How shall I ever get over them?” but keep to the present little inch that is before you, and accomplish that in the little moment that belongs to it. The mountain and the river can only be passed in the same way; and, when you come to them, you will come to the light and strength that belong to them.

– M. A. Kelty

Here's a detail of today's painting:

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Ray, Watch Cat Extraordinaire

Neighborhood Watch II © 2007 Karen Mathison Schmidt
5 x 7 • acrylic on gessobord
Gloss varnish for protection and ease of cleaning
SOLD • private collection, Jacksonville, Florida

Here’s Ray, ever vigilant - well ok, occasionally vigilant - keeping tabs on the neighborhood squirrels (and the dachshund next door) from the comfort of his favorite chair.

This one was fun to do ... it includes three of my favorite things:

1) a vintage kitchen chair with delicate metal scrollwork;

2) a blue ball pitcher that I found in one of the closets when we first started cleaning out the house in preparation for moving in; and

3) Ray

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Neighborhood Watch II in progress ...

Just a quick post to show this little painting I started today during my studio time. This one is 5x7, and I’ll list it on eBay when it’s finished ... probably tomorrow.

I really like how it’s turning out ... I think I might do a larger version of this one as well - we’ll see!

Monday, September 17, 2007

“Her children arise, and call her blessed ...”

Enid Townsend Platt


Last week God took my mother’s mother home to be with Him.

Family and friends from Colorado, California, Louisiana, and Texas gathered in San Antonio for her memorial service. Her pastor shared the good news of the Gospel, because it was her request that God's merciful plan of salvation and grace be presented at her memorial, for those who may not know. We sang her favorite hymns and shared our memories of Grandma – a time of mixed emotions, joy and sadness and laughter through tears – as we said goodbye to Enid – friend, Mother and Grandma - who will be greatly missed.

She was born Enid Townsend in Kansas in 1911, the first of eight children. She married Fred Platt when they were 19 years old, and they were married for 65 years when Grandpa passed away. Their wedding ceremony was performed by her father, a Quaker minister, and she liked to tell that before the wedding her father said, “I’m going to tie this knot so tight that NOTHING will be able to get it undone!’ I guess it worked!

My mom was the first of six children born to Fred and Enid; they had five daughters and one son, 20 grandchildren and about 30 great grandchildren ... I say “about” because I haven't had my coffee yet and I may have lost count somewhere along the line! And as of right now, one great great grandchild on the way (congratulations to my cousin Debbie, who will be the first of our generation in the family to be a grandparent!)

Fred and Enid lived in Oklahoma and Colorado until the dust bowl and hard times drove them to Southern California, where Grandpa went to work driving a dairy delivery truck, and where they raised their family and lived until Grandpa retired. It boggles my mind to think how the world has changed during their lifetime!

Saturday I took part in a choir retreat, and over lunch I was telling some friends about the memorial service and about Grandma ... one of them said, “What a wonderful heritage!” I heartily agree ... I’ve been very blessed with a strong Christian heritage, from both my father's and mother's side, and I thank God for that!

Grandma was a woman of strong faith, always ready with a kind word for everyone. All her life she was truly a blessing for her family. I’ll close with this passage from Proverbs 31:10-30, which was read at her memorial.

A woman of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.

Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.

She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.

She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.

She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.

She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls.

She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.

She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.

She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.

In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.

When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.

She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.

She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.

She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.

She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:

"Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all."

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A Basket Full O’ Ray

Basket Full O’ Ray © 2007 Karen Mathison Schmidt
5 x 7 • acrylic on gessobord
Gloss varnish for protection and ease of cleaning • sold unframed
CLICK HERE to bid!

Whenever I’m painting I keep the tubes of paint for my current palette in a basket on the floor beside my chair, and occasionally I’ll toss in a used paper towel, to be recycled after it dries. On this particular occasion, when I turned to reach down for a new paper towel, this is the sight that greeted me ... Ray, making himself at home in my work basket. I didn’t hear him come in because when he does things like this he goes into “super stealth” mode. I laughed out loud and immediately reached for my camera. Here’s the result: A Basket Full O’ Ray.

And yes, his eyes are really that green!

Monday, September 10, 2007

... and now, for something completely different ...

I don’t usually go surfing around the net unless I’m researching something for work (it just eats up WAY too much time, and I’ve got a life to live here!) - but I just stumbled upon this pretty cool video: Morphing 500 Years of Female Portraits in Western Art.

The description under the video: “500 years of female portraits in Western art, from DaVinci to Picasso. Kinda creepy, but cool.”

It takes a couple of minutes to watch, but it’s pretty mesmerizing!

Cat Nap

Catnap © 2007 Karen Mathison Schmidt
6 x 6 • acrylic on gessobord
Gloss varnish for protection and ease of cleaning • sold unframed
CLICK HERE to bid!

Well, last week I spent way too much time working on a certain landscape painting - it was getting to the point where I was reworking it to death and getting nowhere with it. I know most of you artists out there know exactly what I’m talking about - I think it looks terrible, and I haven’t decided whether I’m going to try to change the direction I’m going on it or just jump ship altogether. I finally realized I was just spinning my wheels (let’s see how many other transportation-related metaphors I can throw into this post!), and had just decided I needed a break from it, when I glanced over at Bailey, who was napping on a sweater I had tossed on a table earlier. Something clicked, and here’s the result ... a loose, fun, illustration-y little painting that was completely fun and relaxing to do!

I think I just might do a few more of these little ones to clear my palate (or palette - ha!) before getting back to the larger ones for my show in November.

November! Yikes!

Happy Monday, everyone!