Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

The LORD’S lovingkindness indeed never ceases,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.” 


Here’s how our Andy is ringing in the new year. 

This is my progress so far on my first painting of this great big beautiful hunk o’ dog. I’ve had so much fun this afternoon working on this, I kept thinking, what took me so long?

Seriously. It’s about time!

A great big thank you to all of you for your fellowship and encouragement 
throughout the year, and best wishes to everyone for a wonderful 2012!

Happy Painting to all my fellow artists out there, 
and as a very dear friend always used to say to me
(quoting a song from Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George): 

Give us more to see!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cheery colors on a dreary day

“The whole world, as we experience it visually, 
comes to us through the mystic realm of color.”


“Color has taken possession of me; no longer do I have to chase after it. 
I know that it has hold of me forever... Color and I are one. 
I am a painter.”


Today, a dreary day here in northwest Louisiana, is the shortest day of the year  -- in fact, it’s barely 5:00 in the afternoon and already almost dark. The good news is that starting tomorrow we’ll have more and more daylight for a good six months!

*pause while I do the “now the days are going to be getting longer” dance*

Meanwhile, here are some shots of color to brighten your midwinter afternoon. As promised, these are more photos from my outing in the Norton Art Gallery gardens last Sunday afternoon.

So grab a cup of hot tea and take a color break ... Enjoy!

It was very quiet that day ... I only came across a handful of people enjoying the solitude 
while everybody else was out enjoying the shopping.

Quelle inspiration! 
I’ve already started on a couple of large paintings from these ... woo-hoo!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Joy to the World!

Spent a wonderful afternoon taking pictures in the gardens behind Norton Art Gallery. I’ll share more photos later.

Gotta run ... tonight is our choir Christmas concert at church.

Later, taters!

Friday, December 16, 2011

From Roadie with Love

Hey, Mama Kelly! Thank you for bringing me to live out in the country with Andy and Blue and Trixie and Sophie and Andy (did I already say Andy?) and Buster and Matilda!

 I sure am having fun!

 I still think about you sometimes, though.

 Like today.

Happy Birthday, Mama Kelly!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Reparing a wool scarf:
just one example of the multitudinous
things I’ve been doing instead of painting

 This is my pretty Irish lambswool scarf.

 This is my pretty Irish lambswool scarf with a big bite chewed out of it.

 Bad Roadie.

 Look how pretty it went with my red coat, too.

Bad, bad Roadie.

So, after getting some dressmaking advice from Mom, I hit three fabric stores today and found a bit of fleece that was oh-so-close to being a spot-on match for the green of the scarf. 

While I was getting my fabric cut the saleswoman who was doing the cutting asked me what happened to the scarf. When I told how my 78-pound Catahoula-Lab mix puppy got hold of it and chewed it even though I kept it all folded up on a coat hook that had to be at least six feet up from the floor, she and the three ladies waiting in line behind me nodded like they knew exactly where I was coming from. One of them said, “Yes, they sure do get into things.” And I said, “They sure do.” Made me feel better to know they seemed to understand about the trials involved in raising a large-breed puppy. We are not alone.

When I got home I used one of my gessobords that was still wrapped in the plastic to put underneath this project in case there was a mess from the Liquid Stitch I was going to use, then I cut the chewed section out into a rectangle.

I then cut a slightly larger rectangle out of the fleece and used Liquid Stitch to glue the piece to the back side of my scarf.

I took a piece of the baker’s wax paper I use on my palette board and put it on top of the scarf, then added a stack of heavy art books. By that I mean art books that are heavy, not books that are about heavy art.

 Tomorrow, after drying for 24 hours, the patch job will be finished and, hopefully, with a bit of strategic draping, the patch will hardly be noticeable.

Lucky Roadie. 
Lucky, beautiful Roadie.

Good Roadie for chewing a piece of wood instead of a scarf
or a silk flower or a Braveheart DVD or a pillow or Paul’s good headphones.

Thank you, Roadie, for reminding us how temporary are the things of this world.

MATTHEW 6:19-21

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A warm gift, warmly remembered

Last night was freezing, and this morning we lit the pilot light for the gas logs in our bedroom fireplace and turned on the fire for the first time this season, trying to cozy up this drafty old house a bit. Although technically winter doesn’t begin for another couple of weeks it sure feels like it’s already here since we’ll be having below-freezing nights for the next few days or so.

I just pulled on some thick wool socks and cozy jammies and I’m getting ready snuggle up with Paul and a cup o’ hot chocolate (and I’m sure a dog or two, or three or five) ... we’ve been saving up our recorded “Jeopardy!”s and are going to have a mini-marathon (4 shows in a row). Just about my favorite TV-time thing to do. Later on we’ll turn on the electric blanket to warm up the sheets a bit before bedtime. That always reminds me of when my Mom and Dad gave us the blanket four years ago, before we had really had any work done on the house. We were living with 2 circuits of electricity, no heat except a couple of little space heaters, which we used in the living room and kitchen, and that meant a really, really cold bedroom at night in the middle of winter. It was so nice to jump into a warm, cozy bed courtesy of that electric blanket. 

Here’s a blog entry I wrote back then:

Ode to an Electric Blanket

On long winter nights 
when the whole world is frozen,
this gift keeps us warm
from our heads to our tozen.

Thanks, Mom and Dad!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Thanksgiving surprise

We went to the beach for Thanksgiving. Navarre Beach, Florida, to be specific.

This was the house we rented for the week, along with aunts, uncles, my parents, brother, sister and brother-in-law, nephews, cousins and their kids. Fun!

This was the view out our back door. Navarre Beach is a very narrow strip of land just off the Florida Panhandle in the Gulf of Mexico. Our house was on the Santa Rose Sound side, but just a short walk from the Gulf side.

The day we arrived, the water in the sound was smooth as glass. Like a mirror. I’m glad I took these photos then, because the next day was windy, making for choppy water in the sound. We had beautiful views, delicious meals, fun time spent together, and one big surprise. Early in the wee hours Thanksgiving morning my youngest sister (who was expecting their fifth son) and my brother-in-law, who actually live in nearby Pensacola but were staying at the beach house we all rented, drove to the hospital (my aunt who’s a doctor went along on the 45-minute trip -- just in case!) because little Thomas, our newest nephew, decided that Thanksgiving day would be a good time to make his entrance into this world. So my sister and brother-in-law missed Thanksgiving dinner, but they had a real good excuse, I’d say.

Here’s three-year-old Eli, formerly the youngest of four brothers, now the next-to-youngest of five, waiting for his Dad to come back from the hospital for a short visit and a shower before returning to be with Erin and the new baby. Remember when you could fit on a windowsill?

Here are all the kids fueling up with a pancake breakfast Friday morning before trooping off to the hospital to greet the new arrival. We had a lot of grown-ups, too, but for some reason my camera always gravitates toward the kids.

In the picture below, it looks like five-year-old Joshua is trying to use
 his telekinetic powers to make the maple syrup come to him.

Here are the kids in the waiting room at the hospital, 
waiting for word that it’s okay for everyone to come in to visit the new baby.

Notice how they’re all being very nice and quiet and still. 
Oh, wait. They’re kids.

And now, baby pics! Of course there are hundreds more, and at least one with every other person in the room holding little Thomas, but here’s just a couple of samples.

Thomas with youngest big brother Eli, and oldest big brother Zachary.

And Thomas with yours truly, and Grandpa (my Dad).

By the way, there was a dry-erase board in the room, too ...

... and whenever there’s a dry-erase board in the vicinity ...

... kids HAVE to draw on it. It’s kind of like a rule.

Everyone’s an artist!