Friday, June 21, 2013

Quiet places

When Roadie first came to join our family a couple of years ago, he was still busy being a puppy. 

It wasn’t long before things started disappearing from the house and re-appearing disheveled, disassembled and/or shredded to pieces in the back yard. Things like books and plants and headphones and sofa cushions and pillows and DVD covers and socks and potato chip bags out of the recycling bin and flowers and pillows. Did I already mention pillows? Especially pillows. Roadie was really good at reminding us that the things of this world are only temporary.

Because all of our dogs are inside-outside pets, we wanted Roadie to learn how to behave in the house. So we went around the house gathering up and putting away anything we didn’t want utterly destroyed during this “training and maturing” phase, which in a large breed mix containing Catahoula, Lab and Great Dane could last up to 3 years or so. This meant that almost every single pretty thing in the sunporch and parlor had to be put up for a while. Gone were the books, the magazines, the throw pillows, the flowers, the candles, the little pictures and cute little boxes and vases. Tables and shelves became empty. Except for a very few shabby things we didn’t really mind getting torn up, left out for training purposes so Roadie could learn the difference between his toys and our things-not-to-be-touched, my quiet places became pretty sparse ...


But I knew that deep down Roadie really had the potential to be a GREAT dog, and that one day I would be able to get all those accessories back out of closets and cupboards and cute up my quiet places again. 

Well, here we are two years and 60 pounds later, Roadie is going to be three years old October-November-ish, and he is a great dog. 

Pretty much. 

He’s still very exuberant when company comes, or when the girls next door come out to play, but for the most part he’s calmed way down. WAY down. He has successfully completed the home-schooling course, “How To Tell The Difference Between A Dog Toy And That-Which-Is-To-Be-Left-Alone.” He has his certificate, and now it’s time to see if he can apply this academic knowledge to Real World Situations.

Soooo ... holding my breath and trying to act casual, little by little over the last week or so, I’ve been re-introducing a few accessories into my quiet places.

Here’s one of the doors leading from the parlor out to the sun porch. As far as Roadie’s behavior with all the newly re-introduced flowers and accessories, so far so good. He’s been ignoring them just fine. Only once did I have to stop him with a stern, “Hold it right there, Mister!” when in a bout of after-dinner playfulness he grabbed a pillow off a chair and started out the door with it. Instead of looking at me with a “catch me if you can” glint in his eye and racing out into the yard for an impromptu game of keep away, he immediately dropped the pillow and came over to me with a silly sheepish grin on his face. Progress!

On a side note, I just noticed that there is mud on the door frame, and I want you to know I could have Photoshopped it out or cleaned it and taken the photo again, but I left it here for all to see. 

After I post this I’ll go down and clean it up. 
But for now, it’s evidence that “Here there be dogs.”

This is my favorite room right now. And of course no quiet place would be complete without a few dogs and/or cats lying around. Here’s Blue lounging on the settee.

This is Andy’s favorite place these days, right in the middle of the doorway.

Here’s my little reading desk, an old enameled metal kitchen table which was retrieved from the attic. This is really a doorway out to the side of the house from the sunporch, temporarily sealed closed until we can replace the exterior door which blew off. It’s a good place to hang this painting I love from UK artist Gill Barron, fairly famous Painter of Everything. Don’t worry, there are big trees all around, so the room stays shady all day. No direct sun hits this beautiful painting!

I’m planning a decorative painting project on one of the walls in the parlor, so I’ve been leafing through my favorite visual home d├ęcor references, English Home and Casual Cottage Style, for inspiration. 

And now it’s time to get back to work ... can hardly wait to show you the paintings I’ve been doing, but that will have to wait just a bit as they are surprises for the recipients.

Meanwhile, make yourself your own quiet place, or “cute up” the one you have, and enjoy a few moments of quiet solitude before jumping back into your work with both feet!

Roadie Schmidt, aka One Great Dog

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Flash auction!


Lavender Sweater  © 2013 Karen Mathison Schmidt, artist
6 x 6 inches • oil on museum-quality, archival GessobordTM
private collection • Seattle, Washington

You would think that it’s Christmas time and not the middle of summer (well, okay, technically the beginning of summer) because I’ve been working on several top secret commissions that I can’t show yet because they're going to be surprise gifts. One of them, involving three paintings, is pushing me way out of my comfort zone, but I’m loving it and very excited to be able to show it when the “Top Secret” designation is lifted. 

Anyway, I haven’t had time to work on any new paintings for auction, so I’m putting this one of Ray up for a “Flash Auction” ... only three days, so be sure to get your bid in if you would like to have this original cat painting!

Also, prints are now available for this one that sold literally right off the easel. Just email me at if you would like to purchase a signed and numbered Limited Edition (available in three sizes):

Quietness and Confidence  © 2013 Karen Mathison Schmidt

And Happy Father’s Day to all you dads!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013



Quietness and Confidence  © 2013 by Karen Mathison Schmidt, artist
24 x 30 inches • oil on 2" deep cradled GessobordTM
private collection • Shreveport, Louisiana

This one was an interesting journey, and sold before I even finished it!
More about this later ...
sweet dreams!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

In quietness and confidence ...

This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:
Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved.
In quietness and confidence is your strength.

ISAIAH 30:15

oak tree oil painting • 24 x 30 inches • WORK IN PROGRESS

Not quite finished but it’s getting there! Today I worked on the dappled light on the driveway, adding deep shadows and highlights to the tree trunk, and defining the leafy areas and branches of the tree on the right by painting the negative spaces where the sky is peeking through.

The oak tree painting continues ...
plus probably my favorite of the California impressionists

WORK-IN-PROGRESS • 24 x 30 oak tree landscape painting

I love painting trees. I really don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it. I’m going to try to finish this one today.

German-born California impressionist William Wendt (1865-1946) is one of my absolute favorite artists. I’ve been studying his later paintings of the glorious California landscape, paying special attention to how he used bold, broad strokes to simplify the shapes of the hills and trees. Beautiful.