Saturday, April 28, 2012

These are what I did at the paint-out. Tried bigger but messed it up royally!!! So I had a 6"x6" sq. block of watercolor paper and did these instead. It was great fun. I got a really good response to the silo painting. I did cheat and use some ink but I like that..just be grateful there is no glitter on them! Now the one that flopped..there are no guarantees that it won't end up "dolled up". Unusual for me to do strictly watercolor..these are a departure but I felt good doing them and can see me doing a lot of plein air, square paintings in the future. I can see that I can get to doing more mark making and not worrying about realistic depiction. I so wanted to stay in bed at 6:30 but needed a shower and to feed the animals before I raced down to Provo to make the entries for Utah Valley Art Show, then I headed N. to get to the paint out by 10 am and wouldn't ya know the north bound freeway entrance was closed!!! I had to follow detours that led me north gradually to another freeway entrance..even with that..I was early.. This 26 mile section of freeway has been under construction for 3 years and it is still bad to drive. So I was glad to see I wasn't going to be late after all. The Utah Watercolor Society made me welcome as their newest member and we did a little critique but not for long..the breeze was quite cool although the sun was out and it is a beautiful day. Wouldn't you know that sleep came easily at 6 am..and by the time I got to the paint out my neck and shoulders were stiff and sore from being "up tight!" Still it was something I needed so I knew I had to go. When I got home I let the horses out to graze the tall grass..Hubby will mow tomorrow. And I got on my fantabulous bike with my new green bag and bike lock cable and rode the short distance to the library. I took out 2 Stieg Larsson mysteries..had read the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo already and so got the Girl who kicked the hornets nest and the girl who played with fire. I became a fan of the International mysteries while not being able to sleep much. I also got The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova..never read her books before but it looks good. One kitty mama has moved her four babies up to the deck. They are sooo cute! And some more babies were born last night in the rafters above my tack room...So much for the spay neuter program..just more added to the queue! Hope you all have a wonderful afternoon. I feel like painting some more!!! I haven't felt that way for a while!

Friday, April 27, 2012

today I actually got to the studio. Got together watercolor equipment for a paint out tomorrow. Picked out another piece to take to the show entry tomorrow.
The paint out is at a TRAX station in Salt Lake county. There is a big hospital and also some interesting industrial facilities..should be fun..hope to have something to show for it.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Today I rescued my 2 "rejects" from the Springville art museum. I didn't have time to see the actual show and will go back to give it the time I am sure it deserves. I was introduced to a young curator and she retrieved the art for me and then looked at them carefully and gave me a bit of a critique. It was welcomed as I am always up for constructive criticism. She agreed with a laugh that they were not totally representational or abstract but somewhere in between. She has a masters in curator whatever from an Ivy league school so no slouch and I did appreciate her point of view..which was very positive yet helpful.
she felt there needed to be more definition the rock cliff but other than that, nothing. I sent off the chicken map to NY today and sent a proposal to Utah Arts Alliance. These are what I sent as part of an idea to do a whole show of 2 and 3 dimensional work about trees. the first is the Ancient Trees which is above..
I also want to do some sculptures incorporating parts of the tree branches we have weathering outside with yarn, beads,paint, found objects. Now I get to worry about the Peeps being out in their first storm!!! Their light is on but it is really windy and supposed to get cold and rainy.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Happy belated birthday to me...

my birthday was on the 14th and yesterday I got a box from my Mom.
this is a "green" bag the local grocery where my Mom shops sells. It is by Don Drumm and artist from Akron, Ohio..I think it will look terrific in my bike basket or trips to farmers markets!
a dvd of westerns..she knows what I like..the duck is a family joke..time to take ducks out for a photo shoot!
A book of poetry by my Aunt Ruthie and her sister Maryann..octogenarians in their first foray into the world of self publishing. And you can buy it from!
here is the book jacket photo of the authors..Maryann is on the left, Ruthie on the right. Ruthie was married to my Dad's brother Chuck. She and Chuck would drive in a red convertible with their white hair blowing in the wind. When they were first together they traveled the road like Kerouac. Chuck was an artist and was an art teacher. They had 3 sons. Chuck died about 6 months before my Dad. He was a WWII vet. Ruthie is very active. She and Maryann are a hoot!! The chicks are in their new digs and seem very happy. I just need to peep proof the yard and they can go out to play. I have not been to the studio for a while..trying to get yard work, coop work and gardens done..still need to get the vegie garden started. Even though it has been in the 80's we don't plant until Mothers could freeze still. On the 28th of April (Sat. the Utah Watercolor society is meeting at 10 am to paint an area I have always wanted to paint. The same day entry for the Utah County art show is 10am-12! That is 20 miles south of me and the class is 20 miles N. of me and I am trying to figure out how to get this done!! I wonder why the entry for the show is only in a 2 hour window? I may do the class and paint out instead..but I would like to enter the show!!! Yikes!!! I will be in the studio tomorrow. Alisa's son Will is being home schooled and I have agreed to give him art lessons. I am going to have him paint background color on paper, while the sheets dry..we will talk about artists and types of art he likes, look at a few books, then we will walk down the road and draw the water tower just a block from the studio on the colored paper. I have a sketchbook for him and plan to get him a set of pencils and erasers from Michaels on my way up. I will give him a sketchbook assignment..nothing onerous..and I just baked some cookies for him and his sister! Should be fun!!!

Monday, April 23, 2012

A beautiful day..started with feeding the animals and discovering 4 very curious playful kittens in the shed. I knew they were there but hadn't seen them yet. This was the litter that the spay neuter clinic wanted me to let die so we could get the mommy spayed. 2 grays and a tabby and a black one. The 3 apple trees are in bloom. More blooms than I have ever seen. These trees are very old. Too tall but the windfall is a favorite for wildlife and the horses. I stood beneath one this morning to take photos against the sky and the hummmm of the bees was overwhelming. I could have stood there all day !!
Then i went to the overgrown already front yard and looked at the tulips and the lilacs. The aroma of the lilacs was what put me to sleep last night!
Yesterday Hubby began to enclose the old kennel building for the new chicks. He built the kennel several years ago and it worked well for the German Shepherds..but I prefer my doggies inside so it hadn't gotten much use. We began to put the chickens in it when we found the small coop too small. Problem was that it was not raccoon or cat proof..but if they got in the chickens couldn't get out and were snatched from their perches!!! The raccoons could get into places where my husband thought they couldn' amount of telling him otherwise worked until we were down to the 2 hens we now have. It is always trial and much error with the out buildings and enclosures. Long ago I told him to think as if he were building for elephants!! The horses can be hard on fencing and buildings, the raccoons can into gates and through small holes, it is a game of outsmarting the animals. I didn't have much money and so was able to buy 3 sheets of particle board. I hate particle board but at least this area is not too exposed to the weather and hopefully a good coat of paint will keep it from disintegrating over time. Just need to get those chick babies out of the spare room..they are too big for their box!
so today we will be able to put the chicks out.. I get to buy poultry netting today and some compressed bales of hay. 4 tons of hay made it through until this morning. The other thing I did this weekend was a map! I have been following Arthouse Co op on Facebook. A part of the Brooklyn Art Library. They have many projects that anyone can participate in. The best known is the sketchbook project. Every year they accept 2000 participants and the sketchbooks (which they provide for a $25.00 fee) are displayed all over the country in a traveling display. Then they become a permanent part of the Brooklyn Art Library. You can have the sketchbook digitized and put on their files for another $35.00 but I decided not to spend the money. Anyway I will be in the 2013 Sketchbook project. In the meantime I have participated in a few free projects. One was a 4"x6" project. Your flat artwork is sent to the Co op and then after they are displayed, every artist/participant gets one in return.
this is the one I did. Back to the map. It is to be a map about anything. So mine is called "The Not So Secret Life of Chickens". The map has to fold up to 4"x6", and you send a SASE to have returned to you.
the next project is a free one that involves doing some art, putting it somewhere for others to see or take home..more on that one later..have a great day!!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

ahh rejection..keeps ya humble

well..another year and another rejection from the Springville Salon..I am beginning to understand the feelings that the Impressionists had with rejection after rejection to the Paris Salon..whoa..not really comparing me to those guys, or Springville to the Paris Salons..but you get my drift! 251 works got in out of 935. So I guess I am in good company although that does not minimize the sting! But the good news is that my friend Nancy Vorm got in. She does nice abstracts and encaustic. It does seem if I encourage her to enter a show I want in she gets in! So we have a symbiosis going on here..which is fun. I will pick them up and take them to the even smaller Utah County show...strive big, go small...sigh It rains today and I feel just like the gloom for a bit.. is where you will find my friend..look up her site.

Monday, April 16, 2012

A bicycle for my birthday...

Yesterday my oldest son Shane and his girl Alisa brought me my birthday gift. A bicycle!!! I have had a mountain bike but truth be told I am a miserable bike rider.
But this awesome gift was what I never expected and really love!!
First a pic, then my bicycle goofy stories

When I was a Dad took my tricycle(a hand-me-down from older brothers) and in order to make it mine he painted it my favorite color which was kelly green!
I loved that trike and for decades my Dad kept one of the fenders hooked to the rafters of his basement workroom. I suspect it has been tossed by now.

The neighbor across the street then let me have their son Kenny's bicycle when it was time to learn a 2 wheeler. That is how it was in the 50's and early 60's. Neighbors lending to neighbors.
Then one Christmas Dad and Grandpa got my sister and I matching bicycles..Green!!!
As we got older we were lucky to get our own cruisers. Back then they weren't called cruisers because everyone but the rich kids had these. The rich kids could get bikes with gearshifts! Mine was a pretty blue..same color of my favorite pickup truck I bought when I was 55! brother Ed was able to get a bicycle with gears because he worked a paper route with 300 customers and shoveled snow all winter for big bucks!
He used that bike for the paper route. We of course envied him because Akron, Ohio is a hilly place and regular bikes gave you a workout everyday.

Flash forward several years to Utah and married. Hubby and I began the trike/bike thing for Shane. We decided to get matching Huffy "mountain bikes" so we could all ride together with a seat on one of them for baby Thomas. Shane proceeded to get hit by 3 cars while bike riding over the years. One stopped and was so distressed we had to call the ambulance for her. Bike destroyed..boy fine. The next two incidents he was riding with friends and hit by women in cars who sped away..classic hit and runs. 2 bikes destroyed, one broken arm, many cuts and bruises. Thomas decided he didn't want to learn to ride a bike and never did!!! We gave his tiger striped vehicle to my friend's youngest son who rode it for years.

I dusted off the bike a few times was very wobbly and one time just laid it over and tumbled off into a yard with nice cushy green grass..this is where everyone laughs, so go ahead!

Back in 2005(?) I was visiting Ohio and my oldest brother Tom, his then wife, Angela, my sister Kim and I took a catamaran ferry to Pelee Island in Lake Erie. It is in Canada and I had always wanted to go there. We rented bikes to ride around the lovely little island with wonderful sandy beaches. The bikes were weird and the sand on the roads threatened to dump me several times! Needless to say my siblings got great joy out of watching me ride!

In 2008 I was in Europe with a study abroad group. We decided to rent bikes in Amsterdam, take the ferry over to the dikes and we rode 18 miles...yes it was flat, but those bicycle seats were murder!!! Note..I have never ridden a bike that far..not even close! One mile in and I was in pain and not really enjoying myself..I did make it the whole trip although I could not keep pace with the youngsters. No worries..I amazed them all by jumping out of bed the next morning and no aches just ready to go! Next time..scooters!

About a year ago Shane's girl Alisa and her best friend Irene got these cruisers for a great price. Alisa sold hers eventually to get a BMX which is what Shane and her son,Will, are into. Irene put hers in storage after getting pregnant and moving. Shane and Alisa got it from her and gave it to me!

I rode it yesterday around the rural big block I live on. It needs 40 acres to turn around. And the seat had to be adjusted for my stiff knee..but I loved it!!!Wish I could use it to get to my studio but that is too far away. But with the basket..I can go grocery shopping!!

more pics and the neighbors sheep had their lambs

Have a wonderful day and thanks for all the birthday greetings!

Saturday, April 14, 2012


today is my birthday. The first thing out of Hubby's mouth was..I am going to the store, getting fixings for chili so you can make some for my barbecue tonight at work!!! I had to hurry up and get some coffee in me so I didn't snap at him...Getting prickly in my old age! What does it say about me when I am looking forward to my day alone..since Hubby and youngest son are going to be at work all day?
I went last night to help an artist friend with her open studio, part of a gallery stroll. She was anticipating a crowd because she had been invited to do caricatures of some news people on the early show on tv. She is good at it but the crowds never descended. Too bad. She wanted me to take the money for her sold artwork while she worked the room. I really think it is a good idea as I am sure I lost some customers because I was wearing too many hats at my open studio.
Colleen also does very traditional watercolors but her technique is very good. She had bought some of my bookmarks and then gave them back to me framed professionally!! How sweet!
And she did a fun caricature our our friend Nancy, who does encaustic and abstract paintings. Nancy gave me 3 sheets of lovely paper made from rusted rice paper..awesome.

and this is how it looked this morning

and Amy wanting to play