Thursday, August 25, 2016

It's Been a While

Playing without a Full Keyboard, oil, 24x18
I finally completed a painting, thanks to a deadline--I had committed to a group exhibit last year and was determined to have at least one new piece.  This has been on my easel for about four years; it's from a photo of me at a piano recital (probably the last time I wore ruffles) and the sculpture watches me from on high when I'm at the kitchen sink.  (He got changed a bit).  I got stuck on this painting because, in its earlier state, the girl in ruffles looked old and I considered leaving her that way because my mother said I was born 50 years old--I thought maybe it was meant to be.  Two weeks ago I sanded the old face off and repainted most of it.  The exhibit was hung yesterday.  This is water soluble oil so it was dry enough to frame.
The last couple of years have not been easy; my husband was very ill and passed away in April.  In July, I had to make the decision to say goodbye to my dog Willie; he had been diagnosed with liver cancer in 2015.
It's been nineteen long months since my last post--I hope to paint and blog more often.  Thank you to my blog friends who've emailed and said you missed my posts.  I've been following your blogs and FB posts.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

2015 Not Off to a Good Start

I think I said that 2015 had to be a better year than the last one.  Not true.  My husband was hospitalized at the end of January--most of his stay was in the ICU--so many tubes and IVs and blood tests..  He was transferred to a skilled nursing facility Wednesday, the 11th.  With physical and occupational therapy, we hope he'll gain strength and come home soon.  He has improved and is eating a bit (southern food is not his favorite).

Our children were with us--daughter returned to snowy Boston Wednesday, but our son is staying for a while.  They were such a tremendous help at the hospital; one of us was there around-the-clock (and we even had a few laughs).

Blog friends, I have been following your posts--but have had little time to make comments.  I'm waiting for normal to return.  

Friday, December 26, 2014

The Day After

'Twas the day after Christmas and all through the town
gifts were being returned and prices marked down.
Not interested in shopping, I took a walk by the lake
and there I spied Santa--he was taking a short break.
He still wore his hat but had ditched that red suit.
I waved and he nodded, then off he did scoot.
After a sleepover in Clarksville, he's off to The Pole.
In a year he'll be back and gifts he will dole.
     (If you're good!)
  - - - -

It's been a rough year. First I had a problem with neuropathy--burning legs, elbow pain, numbness, even pain in the eyeballs. I'm not diabetic; I learned that it was caused by a prescription--statins--which I'd been taking for years. I stopped taking them and the burning/pain/cramping stopped; I felt great for a few weeks in July--so good that I moved the summer furniture from the workshop back porch to the deck. That's when the tick must have latched onto the back of my knee. In August I was diagnosed with Lyme's disease. I finished four months of antibiotics a few weeks ago and felt like myself again. Two weeks later our dog Willie began limping. He came home Monday after surgery on his OTHER knee and bladder surgery for stones. What a year--a lost year.

  Hope you had a wonderful Christmas. And here's to a Happy 2015!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

O Brother

O Brother Bob No. 4
I had a photo of my brother, the collector--taken about three years ago--with a flash (not a good idea).  I thought I'd do some quick practice portraits with Tombow markers.  Unlike my iPad apps, there are no undo or erase buttons.  This No. 4 took forever because I really wanted just ONE to be recognizable.  The picture behind him is a selfie he sent me as a joke when he added another camera to his collection--he and I never throw anything away so he should know better.
O Brother Bob No. 3

No. 3 includes a few of the many paintings he has hanging at his house; however, the woman in the actual painting doesn't really look like she's ready to attack.  Behind him is my recollection of a painting by K.A. Colorado, a very nice artist Bob brought by for a visit in the Fall.  The book is a big, beautiful one on Francis Bacon, a gift from Bob to me.
O Brother Bob No. 2
Bob is a book collector/seller and gave me some titles of his favorite books (and a few I made up).  I screwed up his right eye so he's being socked by his Blue Boy sculpture (which is actually about four feet tall).  Okay, the punch works on several levels because he was Mom's favorite child!

O Brother No. 1
So this was the first, drawn upside-down quickly with the markers.  When I turned it upright, I thought, "Oh, Lordy--he looks three sheets in the wind."  This one was based on the actual photo--he's sitting in front of a beautiful hand-painted screen--filled with flowers, with the modern lamp just behind him.

Bob is one of those truly nice guys; I'm lucky to have him as a brother and neighbor.  I tried Tombow markers because I admired the work of Jean Spitzer.  My work is zilch compared to hers, but it was fun.  These are 14x10 and on hot press w/c paper.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Arty Dreams

Brain to Earplug Transfer, created in Procreate app
I dreamed that, while I was sleeping, a painting unknown to my conscious mind was being transferred from my brain to the end of my earplug.  When I woke up, I actually looked--nothing, not even wax--very disappointing (so I had to invent this one).  I'll try again tonight.  Ha.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Wishes from Clarksville VA

(inside greeting)
We're ready for Christmas
with our pretty main street.
There's a tree with lights
and the shop windows are neat.
The decorating committee gave it their most
and wreaths are hanging from every lamp post.

Welcome to Clarksville, dear Mr. Claus.
I tried to be good but I have a few flaws.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

I have been AWOL from my blog for a while but I managed to create this Christmas card, get them printed, folded, addressed and in the mail Saturday.  This is a photo taken with my iPad during the summer; then, in my desktop Corel Photo/Paint program, I converted it to a watercolor.  Next, I sent it to my iPad and, using the Procreate app, removed parked cars, painted a nighttime sky with stars, added street lamp lights and wreaths; then painted Santa and the dog.  Text was added in Corel Draw.  (The dog was inspired by Big Ben, a mixed black lab, who was featured on our Lake Country SPCA site last week--he and many others need homes.)  I posted this on FB yesterday and, somehow, this scene touched the hearts of many who live/lived here, and brought back memories.  Some of their comments brought a tear to my eye (it is that time of year).  Clarksville is a beautiful little town, especially, at Christmastime.
I wish you a wonderful holiday and I hope to find more time for art and blogging in 2014.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Sundays in Southern Virginia

After Church, created in "Paper" on iPad
This has been on my list of things to paint for about ten years.  I thought I'd try a simple sketch using pencils in this app; it's done from memory or imagination--and it took days to finish.  It was done, I thought; then I spotted Dad's Bible on my book shelf.  It wasn't black like I'd drawn but a deep red.  I had given it to him--that got changed; then the color of the chair cushion had to be changed.  The made-up chairs (the one on the left looks like the type we had in our store) are in the grass because I thought a baseboard, floor and rug under them would be too many horizontal lines.  Mom probably wouldn't like this because her shoes and pocketbook absolutely had to match.

Even before my dad studied for the ministry, Sundays were busy.  Mom fried the chicken (one of us kids stole the liver) and we went off to church for Sunday School and preaching.  We came home to "dinner" of fried chicken with gravy and biscuits, of course, lots of fresh vegetables and dessert.  Afternoons were spent napping, pitching horseshoes (I'm still a champ), or visiting relatives.  After a light "supper," we went back to Church.
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Friday, October 25, 2013


Listen, created on Ipad app, "Paper"

A new app, more play.  I don't know the meaning of this--I was playing with a face, a hand appeared and I left it.  I added a bird and a few red lines.  Is it a blue bird of happiness or is it removing brain cells?

Paper is the name of the app and it's based on moleskin sketchbooks (I never draw in my paper ones).  It began as free with pen and ink--then add $6.99 for more tools and colors, then another $1.99 so I could mix colors. Where can you buy such fun for $10?  This sketchbook is almost filled but I can delete and go back to clean pages.

I read about this on James Gurney's blog.

Okay, this link takes you to something called "Book."  The app is downloaded as "Paper 53."

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

He's Not Heavy------Yet

Toting Willie, created in SketchbookPro
Willie is recovering from his knee surgery but I carry him up and down the front porch stairs.  I don't think he can make it up the stairs and cool weather will be here soon--might have to install a little ramp for him.   Every night, I notice the shadows cast by the street lights.  I've studied them, moving to the left; then right.  Willie wonders about the dance and my neighbors probably think I've been drinking!
This was fun but would have been much easier with pencil and paper (I have to try every option in the iPad apps).  I hope to get out to my workshop/studio soon. 
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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Poor Willie

Poor Willie, graphite on paper
Cleaned up and colored with SketchbookPro on iPad
September has not been a great month.  My six-year-old dog Willie ruptured a ligament in his right knee two weeks ago.  During his weekly Thursday trash-night walk on the leash (his favorite activity), he jumped up onto a low wall, turned and screamed--I carried him home.  After x-rays under sedation, he had surgery Tuesday and came home yesterday.  I am his nurse, forcing pills down his throat; later I'll be his physical therapist.  He is so sad--pink bandage covering stitches on the back leg, shaved upper leg, chartreuse bandage on the front from the IV, and the cone.  He heard me taking the trash down tonight so I carried him to the street for a short two-and-a-half-legged walk in front of the house.  
Willie, age 4
We thought Willie was lazy when he'd stare at us--waiting to be lifted onto the sofa; didn't know he had bad knees.
I do realize that we are but specks in this world of floods, earthquakes, fires and mass killings.  May everyone have better days. 
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