Wednesday, March 31, 2010

It runs in the family, of course ...

My west coast sister (Long Beach) just sent me these pics she took at a reception for a student art show in which her soon-to-be-graduating son Scott had an entry, and in which he won a $25 gift certificate for his art! Yep, that's my nephew.

Above is a close-up of the winning picture, a graphite drawing of some Easter Island type statues. Pretty cool, if you ask me. Pretty cool even if you don’t.

And here’s Scott escorting my brother-in-law’s Mom into the reception. What a considerate, handsome, intelligent, athletic, artistic-type guy.

When I was talking to my sister on the phone yesterday. she told me that Scott, having mastered water polo, is now on to bicycling, and

plans to start training for triathlons in the near future. She says it’s kinda weird when your kids grow up and start doing stuff.

Scott: Yeah, me and my buddies are thinking about cycling across country
next summer.

All-righty then.

Back to the reception: here are younger brothers Brian* and Mike*, along with Grandma**, the artist himself, and Dad**, taking in the greatness & mystery that is Scott’s art.

*also loaded down with good looks, talent, intelligence and athleticism

** and just where did think all those good looks, that talent, intelligence and athleticism came from? ... yeah, that’s right ... it runs in the family.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Is this one of the most beautiful cat faces in the world, or what? I was over at my friend Ramona’s, taking pictures of her camelia bushes in full bloom, and her cat Biscuit appeared, just begging to be photographed. We had a great photo session there on the back steps until it was time for Ramona and I to hop in the car and head down to Lowe’s to pick out paint for a dresser she’s restoring.

Art Update: I have been working diligently on a large acrylic painting with a collage type feel ... in fact, I did a sort of collage in photoshop to compose it, and I’m using that as a guide to paint it. It’s an illustration for a poster advertising an event titled “All That Gllitters Is Not Gold,” and it has a lot of different textures. I’m having a real blast working on it. I think I’ll have it done in a day or two so I can post it.

I used parts of it that are finished to put together this logo for mail-outs:

Meanwhile, I’m also very excited about my new oil paints that arrived this week. I LOVE doing research on products I’m considering purchasing, and I finally narrowed down my color choices from approximately one gazillion to a manageable 15 or so tubes.

In one of her posts, The Pioneer Woman said that if it wasn’t so impractical for her to own 80 different patterns of china, she would own 80 different patterns of china. Well, I’m the same way about paint colors ... I love them all! Highly impractical to have them all, though. So I do research on all the different colors and what goes into them, and how they mix, and the colorfastness, etc etc etc. to help me make my decision. The part I love the best is the history of use of the different colors. Like Bone Black is actually made from charred bones, one of the oldest pigments - used in cave paintings.

And that the name Ultramarine comes from the middle Latin for “beyond the sea” because it was imported to Europe from the East, beyond the Mediterranean, and considered a very precious color. A lot of you already knew that. I always had the idea that it was called Ultramarine because it was super mega deep sea blue.

One of the cool things about life is that if you’re on your toes, you learn something new every day!

And now, I’m off to make art ...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Hittin’ the ground runnin’

You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:14-16

This is one of those days (seems I’m having a lot of these lately!) chock full o’ errands and a approaching deadline (wait ’til you see what I’m working on!), when I don’t have time to do a real post, so I point you to another interesting site.

A few weeks ago I discovered the art of David Mensing after I saw one of his paintings in a magazine ad. Wow! Beautiful, painterly, lively. And he has a blog which he updates once a week with amusing, thought-provoking writing. His article this week is great. You can find a link to his blog here on his website.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I always thought these little white bell flowers with the little green kisses were Irish snowdrops. But all the pictures I can find of “Irish Snowdrops” look different from these. Does anyone know what these are? Anyway, Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

OK. So. Friday morning on the way down to Natchitoches (pronounced "NACK-a-dish" for those of you not from around these parts ... oldest settlement in the Louisiana purchase territory) my fellow photog Sandra and I were laughing about last summer’s sunflower trip, saying we sure hoped there were more tulips today for the Bloomin on the Bricks Festival than there were sunflowers in Gilliam for the Sunflower Festival last June ... ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Well. We got down to Front Street, we parked and walked down to where all the tulips had been bloomin’ their little hearts out for last year’s festival and -- you guessed it -- not one tulip blossom. We should have guessed, since everything else has been blooming late this year. There were some that were oh, so close to popping their little heads out, but nope, not one was showing.

Still, it was a glorious day, and Natchitoches is quite picturesque, and the pear trees and tulip trees were breathtaking, and there were plenty of paperwhites a bustin’ out all over. We ate at Papa’s on Front Street (famous for their burgers, but I had a muffaletta - oh, yeah!), we went to Kaffie-Frederick (est. 1863, Louisiana’s oldest continuously operating general store - it’s huge, and they do have everything), and we stopped by to visit Sandra’s dad before heading home in the afternoon. All in all a fun day. I did take approximately one zillion pics (even some of the non-blooming tulips), but I went off and left my flash card in Sandra’s car, so will have to show them later! We might go back this week to try again for tulips.

Meanwhile, our place is resplendent with all kinds of little beauties this morning:

Friday, March 12, 2010


In a few minutes my good photog friend Sandra and I are heading down to historical Natchitoches to take hundreds and hundreds of pictures of the little town all decked out for their annual tulip festival to be held tomorrow. I’m really jazzed ... it’s going to be a perfect day, weatherwise: sunny, with a high of 64°.


Stand by for tulips!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Gather ye daffodils while ye may ...

It rained all through the night last night, but started clearing up midmorning. And it was a beautiful afternoon. I spent several afternoons this week cutting daffodils and making bouquets to give away, and today after the rain it seemed there were more than ever in the yard and out in the pasture.

Here’s Moustachio (named so because of his little orange moustache) “helping” me. He’s quite the guard cat, making super sure that nobody makes off with the cut flowers ...

After a while he relaxed and just enjoyed the sunny afternoon ...

After I got a couple of dozen blossoms from the yard, I ventured out into the pasture, where there were hundreds more ...

You may recognize the trees below from the painting “The Last Pecans.” I love these trees. I call them “the three sisters.”

And below is today’s haul, sitting beside the kitchen sink. While I was preparing this photo for posting, I noticed the three cans of Febreze in the background.

In a house with six dogs, Febreze is absolutely essential.

Speaking of dogs, here’s Trixie looking out the window in the breakfast nook where I’m sorting flowers by size and making my bouquets.

A perfect afternoon!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A sure path ...

Proverbs 3: 5-6 (The Message)

Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don't try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he's the one who will keep you on track.

Summer Path ©2003 Karen Mathison Schmidt
24 x 36 • oil on wood

Lots of busy-ness today -- all this week, actually! Appointments with the vet for pet checkups (4 of them!), with the CPA for tax stuff, with the eye doctor for new glasses, etc.

I’ve been thinking I’m going to start getting back in the practice of painting with oils (don’t worry, all you acrylic fans, I’m not abandoning them, for sure!) Above is the second oil painting I ever did, not counting paint-by-numbers as a kid. It’s certainly the largest oil I ever did. I’m kind of excited about seeing what will happen, and what comes through in these new works ... what being an artist is all about!

But first I have to finish that still life I just started ...

Later, taters!