Monday, August 31, 2009

A REST and something pretty.

So, I tried to get the gumption to paint again, but the past couple days I've just rested. Too much going on I guess. I've got to work on preparing all the things I've painted (I tend to just work and set them aside...), and I'm getting ready to fly to my parents house in Oklahoma to see how they are doing after the news we got about my dad. My daughter and her hubby are going too, so it will be good to see them as well. I hear we are building a retaining wall...haven't done that it will be a learning experience. I'm glad to be able to DO something for my parents though.

I have to admit I've been thinking a lot about the changes women go through in their lives. I suppose men do as well, but not being one I only know to speak about women. We are young and we fall in love and then God prepares us to have children and we do, and that is a change...everything is about our children. The fierce protectiveness (I'm thinking about my friend Jane Hunt right hard things are for her). We will do anything to keep our children from hurting. Then, before we know it we have to somehow let them go from our lives and let them grow up. We STILL feel the same, so the letting go is HARD. The things they go through as they grow up are harder to help them with, but we still feel their pain.

I've said it before, and I've heard it before and tend to agree...a mother is only as happy as her least happy child. Oh those emotions! And then we get older and there are changes...another passage. And, now the one I'm in...dealing with the mortality of our parents. I don't know how long God will give my dad, but I think about him when I was little, and how beautiful he is now, how fragile. This passage is about me taking care of THEM like they did me when I was little. And...letting go of them a little. I think it is only natural, but I'm fighting it. I want it to be like it was. Ahhh life! I think I'm fighting a little depression, and fighting that I feel it and can't just snap out of it. Arrrggghhh! I guess it will move into some sort of acceptance and then I'll get busy doing what is important. Perhaps we shouldn't fight the feelings. I do though...just like a little kid!

So, no painting. but I wanted to share something beautiful just the same. Anyone that wants to use this all the photos I post. I believe in sharing. So, anyone who feels inspired...have at it! These flowers are from my latest trip to the Botanic Gardens. They're cone flowers I think. Anyone know?? Happy Painting to you all!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

It is Finished!!

I couldn't wait until tomorrow so added on to what I wrote today. I just completed the cabinet. It is still wet, and I'm a bit dizzy from the fumes (I refused to take everything out for the 4th did it in the house!!) but happy it is completed! I had to darken the green stain, and put two coats of the brown stain on top, but am finally satisfied. I don't remember if it was 6 or 7 days...but many trips to HD and Ace and thanks to my sweet husband for drilling and cutting molding...and it is FINI!! YIPEE!! I think my next painting has to be something other than green...:)

Happy Day to you all!! Thanks for encouraging me along!! It helped get this DONE!!

They're Green!

It's been a little while since I re did any furniture. You'd think you could just strip down one thing and put another color on and be done; ha. There's making sure the color works with the wood you chose, there is new hardware, etc. So, I've got the stain on the cabinet. As you can see I chose a green that blends with some of the earthier greens in the paintings. I like it so far.

We had to sign up for HD TV service from dish network. It is complicated apparently. They sent a guy out yesterday. (The day I'd set aside to stain, so I stained while he was here). He had to replace our old dish and put a new one up. He called to me that he couldn't get a signal because a tree was in the way. He wondered if I couldn't cut the top of for him! Yep, if you know me from all my writings I was horrified! PLUS even if I was crazy enough to do it I would have to be 25' tall...hello Mr. Dish man...are you all in there?? Cut down a tree for a better television reception! That was out of the question. But, I sweetly smiled at him when I said it...So, he had to move the dish again. He did...Then he came inside to do all the inside connections and such...took out my hubby's office telephone upstairs for his phone reception...(I'm thinking I'll tell him after desert).

I had my new cabinet all figured out...what would go where...I was staining it. He says we have to put their receiver box with the new TV. Well...that messes up my plans...but I don't get frustrated, I just re figure stuff. Anyway...after about 3 1/2 hours the dish guy is finally leaving and I can finish my staining. I finished all but the top which I think will be a different color...a brownish to match some stuff in the painting and the other furniture. I happily left to get hinges to match the new cabinet knobs (see how they have a nature effect) (you can see them if you click on the picture to make it bigger) and 3/4" molding for the edges of the top. Came home with something that did NOT fit the profile one I took to HD that they assured me would work...and they didn't work. So, today off to Ace to get the correct ones or the spray paint to match (saw that on HGTV). THEN I can attach the top, molding, stain it all, add hinges and then seal the whole shebang!

So, this was the end of day 4 of the cabinet challenge. Sorry I didn't post last night...I pushed the wrong button on my new tv and spent a good little while figuring out how to get it back...aarrrggghhh! :) Happy Painting to you all today!! :) and welcome to my newest follower, Jeanne!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

DAY 3 for my TV Cabinet

Day 3 of Cabinet Challenge!

After shadows are laid in.

Step One after base laid in. Trees are added in as I like them.

Ha (I'm laughing now). I got up this morning at 5 a.m., made my lunch, got ready, programmed my first sub job in the GPS my son gave me for my birthday and headed down to the city. Got there way early so went to Starbucks; so proud of myself for being SOOO organized! I even threw in a small watercolor set and Dana Marie's two challenge post painting ideas to work on during my lunch time and free periods...SUCH A GOOD SAUNDRA! Went in, signed in, went to the classroom...and no lesson plans. No problem I say...I'm set if the teacher forgot...but just to check I went to the office to see if she left the plans with the secretary...Come to find out...I was there the wrong two days! My days to sub for this teacher are two weeks in the future!! ARRRRGGGGHHHH!! We all had a good laugh and I promised to return in two weeks. The good news is I met the teacher I am to sub for and we realized we'd met at orientation years ago, and I got a couple jobs from her for the future...AND the other good news is I got to come home and paint on my cabinet!! WIN, WIN!! (cept I probably appeared a bit goofy) (Oh well...that's artists right??) :)

SO...been working on my cabinet some more. The doors are just laid on the floor as they will be...just to get an idea how to proceed...The next photo is what it looks like after I lay in the shadows and light sides of the tree. Now they are waiting for all the aspeny detail!

The last photo is the process right after I paint the background. I lay in trees before I paint the shadows and lights. The pics are sort of backwards, but I think you get the idea.

Still considering green stain on bottom and stained a cherryish color on the top...we shall see. I have to find someone who will router the outside edges of the top...

So, now to read the instructions on the latest big screen we got just last night!! You can see the bottom of it in the top photo. Yep, we turned on our old dinosaur tv last night and the color was going out!! My hubby looked at me and said "I hate this tv!". I knew we were in for another trip and another try at a TV. This one is smaller; which is better for the room it is in...the other one was so big I felt a little like I was IN the TV. We decided to bite the bullet and get a Blue Ray DVD also...I need another degree to understand the set up!! We decided to take it a little at a time...WHEW...All this just to get me to paint our cabinet...OR...was it the other way around...I forget...

Anyway, happy painting to you all! I seemed to have LOST a follower, so we are back to 5 before the next thank you drawing...OK...who dropped out! :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Still at it, but changes are afoot!

Day one for panels 2 & 3 went ok. I've just laid in the background and a bit of collage thrown in for good measure. As I work these panels it is always in the back of my mind considering what I will do to the cabinet as a whole. I've considered a green stain on the bottom and a cherryish or darkish stain on the top piece. But, I may decide to just stain the entire piece...and then there is hardware to consider. FUN stuff.

So, the TV saga continues. Last night when we plugged in the old fashioned dinosaur tv so we could watch the color started going out! My poor husband just looked at me and said "I hate this TV". Who wouldn't after having a 40" for two days no matter how bad the picture was...and to go back to our little 19" oldie. I laughed because today he said let's go get a TV. So...back to the store. This time we settled on a 32" Samsung with a Blue Ray disc player. SURELY that will work! Of course we have to upgrade our satellite to HD, but we can still play our old DVD's on the Blue Ray...

This whole thing made us realize how technology had changed SO much in just a few almost can't buy an old standard TV anymore...and now Blue Ray is upon us...ahhh life! Anyone wanting to know about the 480 transmission and 720 vs. 1080 and what size TV it matters on can always e-mail me...I'm glad to share what pittance of knowledge I now have!

Another new change. Tomorrow and Friday will be my first two days subbing. It's back to getting up at 5 a.m. to get to school and home by 3. I'm still determined to paint every day...but it will be different...Please be patient with me as my life changes yet again. It's still dark when I leave, so its back to banging pots and pans on the way to my garage. I still don't want to be eaten by a mountain lion...Yep that was a post some time back.

For those of you who get to paint all day tomorrow (if there are any)...Happy Painting!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Just out of the gate

Day two of my cabinet self challenge. Well...we took the new TV back. We learned more than I wanted to about 480, 720 and 1080 and signals and, and, and...bottom line was we didn't like that particular model, and we need to research the blue ray thing and signal strength and other stuff I don't even remember! HA...

Here we are with this chopped in half cabinet and back to our little ancient television...but I still feel challenged, so off I go.

I like to do a bit and then lay it in front of the whole cabinet to think about what the other two panels will be. I spent a lot of time wondering if I should combine pines and aspen, and as of this moment have decided against it for this idea of a new piece! LOVING THIS ART WORLD!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Just left the starting gate!

Day one of my TV cabinet re-do and I wish I were farther along! With job stuff, and contractor stuff and kid stuff and parent stuff...WHEW! I'm just glad I got to sit down to work at all!

The picture isn't's raining here AGAIN :) and this is the best I could do today.

Obviously I decided to go with what has become my signature subject and approach...the aspen tree. I figured this is my cabinet, so do what I love most!! So, you may recognize the pieces I do from other pieces you have seen. STILL FUN!!

I'm having a may see something progress from this picture, or tomorrow you may see something entirely different...AHHH the creative process!!

Happy Painting to you all!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Challenge

You know how you have your day all planned out and then little, or big decision can change the course?? Yep...that was me this weekend! We went out for a little Starbucks and to get a magazine and just stopped by Ultimate electronics to "look" at the flat screens...and, yes, you guessed it...we walked out with one.

SO...that meant taking the old TV cabinet out to the deck and chopping off the top so the flat screen would fit on the ONLY wall that it would fit behind it, inside it, finding a new home for the things that were on top of it...well, you get the picture. I did drive around for 2 hours looking for a new TV cabinet before we decided to re make the one we have. Just didn't see what I liked...

WELL...the artist in me has a new to make it look custom. As I was driving home from my unfruitful search my creative side was churning around...ideas popped up and I was off and my mind that is...because when I got home we chopped and spent the next few hours setting everything up. As of this moment we aren't sure we picked the right TV...the blacks look like black holes...we don't think it is running at 1080 (not really sure what that is...but it makes a difference in the quality of the picture), of course that means reading the book (aaarrrggghhh) and fiddling with it. I am definitely NOT proficient in these matters...but I can read, so I'll give it a try.

To tell you the truth I am more excited about what I will do to this cabinet than getting the TV to work properly...In fact, I'd take it back and put our old one on it and try again another day when a wonderful salesman will come home with me and set it all up for me! Lazy? NO...just not too interested in taking my painting time to figure it out...ha!

So...this is the raw version of my next creative challenge to self. I wish I'd taken a pic of it before we cut it up...but you can get the had other stuff on top that hindered putting a 40" tv inside it...:)

Wish me luck...I think I'm gonna need it! What am I thinking you might ask...?? Yep, probably something tree...:)

Happy Painting to you all!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Wild Blue Aspen

A fun problem to husband named this one. I've done so many aspen paintings I get a little blinded when it comes to naming some. "Wild Blue Aspen" was completed today inspired by Aspen College and my tiny one called Night Aspen. I enjoyed the contrast of the white trunks against the dark blue background so wanted to do one in horizontal format. This collage is 8"x16" on wrap around 3/4" stretched canvas. YES you can do collage over stretched canvas! I don't do collage over a large canvas very often as it is chancy for keeping it stretched tight.

So happy to be so close to another thank you give-away...last I looked we only needed 4 more followers! Welcome to my newest!! Happy Painting!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

In Process

This is another aspen piece in process. I loved doing my Aspen Collage with the dark blue so much I wanted to do another with similar colors. The challenge with doing so many tree paintings is keeping things fresh and having variety. I already have the unity in the subject matter! I keep waiting to be tired of the tree, but at this stage in my life I'm not sure that is going to happen. I'm happy!

The first stage was to tint the canvas and next came laying in my papers. I enjoy the unique shape left between the top and bottom papers. Since there is to be a good bit of detail in the trees themselves I left the papers whole instead of tearing them. With the horizontal layout it seemed best to keep the texture to a minimum.

The next step was to lay in trunks with my homemade aspen paper. That is fun in itself to cut the pieces and lay them as I want them. With that very step the possibilities are endless. FUN! I can't say I like one technique more than the other...painting vs. collage...I can only say the one I choose fits the mood of the that is my stance on that...STILL! Arrrggghhh...alas...not the best for marketing...Sigh...But I'm happy in my work thus that struggle is on going.

It was my plan to be finished today...but, with my hubby gone it was time for another small disaster that took some time to get worked out. Today's problem was...trash in garage; car in garage...door won't open! I had to wiggle through a window, and try to release the door opener...couldn't get it to work...wiggle back...get a neighbor, who told me my spring was broken...Call the owner...after much sweat and a bit of a back strain we got the door up and trash and car out...YEA!!...but that took a couple of hours...whew!

The good news is there is always tomorrow!! Happy Painting and welcome to my newest follower. We are only 4 followers away from our next give-away!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pine Forest Completed

I finally finished my 4x4" contest give-away collage. "Pine Forest" is done like the others on fiberboard and is a combination acrylic and collage. When I do one of these I always feel like I am in a peaceful place. Good place to be especially lately! This painting will be added to the contest choices. Last time I looked we are only five followers away from the next give-away. For those of you who are new to my blog the contest is to thank my followers! When we reach 75 followers I will draw one name from you all and the winner will be given a chance to choose from the contest offerings on my sidebar! That is all there is to it! So, looking forward to getting to do it again soon!

Happy Painting!

Monday, August 17, 2009

One of my favorites

Getting back into things doesn't always take me that long. A little rest, a funny movie, some snuggling with my honey and I'm feeling much brighter and ready for my regular life. And, all the prayers are working I believe. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us...yes...a little scripture that I happen to believe!

I painted for about 3 minutes today...not enough to finish my little pine forest I'm working on, but 3 more minutes than I thought I would YEA!! So, I thought I'd post one of my favorite paintings from a couple years ago. It was purchased by a dear friend of mine...Kate C.

I love vignettes...seems fun to leave things for the viewer to complete in their minds. This branch is right off my deck. I love all things tree (as you all know!!), and this was just a beautiful bit of inspiration that came together just right for me and what I was trying to accomplish.

I don't remember what I named it...Kate might know, so for now let's just call it "4 Cones". Yep that'l do...

Thank you all for your kind words!'s to getting back to it! Happy Painting!!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Hard Times

We all go through ups and downs in life. At times like this I think of Vincent Van Gogh and the like. Life is hard sometimes. I tried to teach my children that life is messy sometimes, but if you truly love someone you ride that ride together.

Our family is riding that ride right now. Not only has my father's leukemia kicked back in with a vengeance, I am going through some other trials. I try to imagine myself an artist that hurts and can create art out of that, but sometimes it seems a little too big.

For any of you who know me through what I have written you know that family and love of those who have come into my life is all important. I love my father so very much. He came into my life when I was 5 years old. He took my sweet mother with two little ones in tow and made us his own. He is the most intelligent man, and a bible scholar to boot. I admire him. At 75 he still works as the assistant to the attorney general. He is known for his wisdom and knowledge. He is the go to guy when the others don't have an answer. He works hard and has often said to my mother that his family is everything to him. I admire that. In their nearly 45 years together he has always treated my mom with the utmost respect and he honors her every day he is alive. A private, quiet man my father...but his heart is as big as the world.

To be faced with the mortality of a parent is what we all eventually go through. It is simply my turn. It is my deepest wish and desire to be there for him and my mother now as they have always been there for me. When my little Michelle was born I almost died. Hospital stuff...infections and the like. I had no one else, so my parents took my two precious children. My mother painted a picture for me one day when I was in the hospital sorry for myself that I couldn't be with my two most beautiful children...She got up in the middle of the night to search for my missing father and daughter and found them in his study my 6'3" father sitting in the big rocker with my tiny daughter up on his shoulder...a protective hand over her little frame so big that you could hardly see her...both contentedly asleep. I hold dearly to those pictures of my many over the years. They helped my little ones feel safe at a scary time, and as a result both my kids feel extra close to my parents today. They call, and vow to take care of them, and they do. Sometimes it is hard to share my precious children with anyone; it was just us for so long, but I have great memories of the extra love they have had. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

I hope and pray that my dad can have much more time with us. I'm not ready for him to be someone different than my giant loving father who could slay any dragons I ever could imagine. I have to make time to feel sad and then get up and dust myself off and be there for him and my mom.

I believe in God. I try to hold to Him every day. This I learned from my parents. I was standing at my window the day last week when I got that call from my mom and there was the most beautiful rainbow. It reminds me that God is there and He gives us promises of peace and that if we hold to Him He will be there for us. I am trying. So, this is my dad's rainbow.

I've always admired Dean; an artist I know from his blog Deno's Den.He is a most wonderful artist with great eye! He always includes a scripture at the bottom of his posts. Thank you Dean. It really is true that you never know who you may touch. You have touched me.

I am preoccupied with my dear father and the other trials that Satan has decided to put on me at one of the most vulnerable times in my life. But, I am my parents child; they trained me well. I WILL be strong for my parents. I will continue to say to this very private man "I love you my dad". I will not let them down.

Thank you for letting me share this with my blogging family! Hopefully I will get my painting back on track and live with the peace my parents seem to have.

Happy day to you all!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Pines in process

Yesterday was a long day spent cataloging my completed paintings. I usually try to do all the wiring and sealing and finishing work to my art as I go, but I've been a bit lazy, so it all piled up. This is to be one of the little 4x4" contest give-away pieces, but I thought I'd talk about the process as I'm finishing it. I am enjoying putting in texture on my pieces so the beginning is texture and laying in darks and lights. I have a bit of an idea where I want to put the largest contrasts from the beginning. Next comes laying in the trees with my papers. That is as far as I got yesterday. I love waking up to something in process sometimes so I can look at it with fresh eyes and see where I want to take it.

This blog is about my art and my process. Today I wanted to talk a bit about that. As an artist I strongly believe all of life is part of our process to creating. We are lucky enough to see the world as a series of compositions; mostly I love that...occasionally I have to blink hard as ALL I see is composition, and I need to rest...but mostly it is an awesome way to view the world. We also have the unique ability if we are lucky to use our voices and our memories; our stories; to paint visuals that we can interpret should we choose. That is why I tell my stories, and try to paint pictures in different ways. As a teacher I use all the senses to try to inspire my students and I find it helps. But, I also tell stories because they describe a part of why I do what I do. Sometimes my visualizations are too close to my heart to produce artwork from, but the creation is alive in my heart, and for times in life when things are too close that is OK.

Today I am 52. That is just a number to me, and not much else. It is a marker. To me my age more describes a marker of greater wisdom (I hope) and greater insight. I love that God gave me a gift of wanting to create art, and a talent I love. I feel lucky. I know my choices to work in different ways hurts me in a marketing sense, but I have a great sense of fulfillment in the ways I approach art right now, so while I am waiting and hoping for a movement to begin that makes it acceptable to collectors to delight in the different moods of an artist I will try to be content with the end results of my work. In my simple way of looking at life I see that we all accept that as humans we are different from day to day depending on what we experience, so I am frustrated that when we want to express our art differently from day to day it is seen as a detriment. But...such is life at this time. So, for today I am happy as can be to be an artist, and glad for all of you! Have a wonderful day full of creativity! I'm off to the Cheescake Factory and a movie!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

"Rose Teddy"

The Book Cover that was our challenge.

"Rose Teddy" came from a new challenge blog started by Dana Marie called "Judging a Book by it's Color". In this blog we are given a book cover and challenged to create a work using the colors within the book cover. I highly recommend that you click over from time to time to see what the results are. For me it was a great challenge to think color and value within the color. "Rose Teddy" is 6 7/8" x8" canvas on panel done in acrylic. I decided to use as many of the colors as I saw them with only slight variations within the color. I enjoyed this little piece. It was very nice to stretch a bit today! This piece is available on my website. You can click on the title to get there.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"Sunflower Quad"

"Sunflower Quad" turned out to be a lot of fun to do. I enjoy very much slapping paint on in a seemingly random way, perhaps sanding things down a bit...adding texture and then looking at it from fresh eyes and putting down the finishing touches. I don't usually work in even numbers...but sometimes the composition just works and I am glad that sticking to rules isn't a hard and fast rule! This piece is 8"x8" canvas on panel. Seems it is turning out to be a favorite substrate to work on for me. I enjoy knowing it can be framed or can sit as is on a shelf or an easel.

I have been wanting to talk about my signature. I don't know if you have noticed, but I sign my work Lane. Lane used to be my last name. I was born with one name, my father left the picture when I was very small and my mother remarried, so I was a Johnson for a time. I married early in life and became that man's name, and then was a single mom. I went through a time where I was trying to fit with my life, so I chose a name I liked and changed it! So, Lane means a lot to me as it was the beginning of my OWN identity! I have to admit that it was so much fun to change my name to what ever I wanted that for a short time I considered changing my first name...You have to be careful as creating a new name is a heady thing...and for about 20 minutes in my life I considered "Hazard" as my new first name! THANK GOODNESS I had wonderful friends who shook me out of that phase quickly! HA. I am very proud of my married name. Lane is now my legal middle name. I've known my now husband for many years and I admire him and am proud of him, but my art is so personal to me, and reflects my own personal journey my husband is totally understanding in why I sign my paintings as I do. I do, however, sign my paintings with my first name when they are done specifically for my family. They like the "custom" signature that means something to them.

It is fun to be able to make decisions as an artist both in how and why and what we paint...even as to how we sign our paintings.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sunflower Quad Unfinished

"Sunflower Quad" is an 8x8" acrylic canvas on panel that I started this morning and had to dash out for a quick errand. When I came back I found it rather interesting in its unfinished state so decided to post it. As I've said before I find it a bit challenging to post a piece in process...makes for an interesting finish. I don't necessarily feel a lot of pressure, but I do find it a bit exciting. We shall see tomorrow what it became!

Just wanted to make a quick mention that we are only 5 away from the next thank you to my followers give-away. YIPEE!

Have a wonderful painterly day!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Platte River

I had to do a quick little piece that was inspired by my recent trip to Nebraska. I have to keep a sense of humor as I take photos from a moving car. My husband would probably gladly stop and let me take my time, but this was taken on a bridge for one thing, and the other...we would never get make do with my new auto focus camera! YEA technology!

"Platte River" is an 8"x8" acrylic canvas on panel. I love to lay in my skies with palette knife much of the time so I don't overwork them.

We had a bit of drama when I came home. My daughter called to tell me Jackson (my mom's cat that used to be Michelle's) was in the hospital!! At first we thought he had eaten a plant, but it turned out to be an infection. She was beside herself with worry...SO...knowing how important Jackson is to my mother (who was in California at a wedding) and my daughter I was preparing to turn right around to return to Omaha to help with any upset if there was something heartbreaking to deal with...BUT...happy to announce Jackson is now fine and on his way back to Oklahoma with my VERY happy parents that he is going to be OK...

SO...all the laundry and such took away my yesterday, and picking out my birthday present took a good bit of my morning...Yes, I've included a pic of the beautiful fresh water pearl necklace that my husband "got" me for my birthday. He is so thrilled with my choice...tee hee! It WAS his idea to get me jewelry and his wisdom to let me pick it out! Off to Helzberg I went and this is what I came home with...YIPEE!!

Oh yes..."Platte River" is available on my website.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Bow Down Final

"Bow Down" as it turns out was nearly finished. I decided the texture in the piece was more interesting if you can see it! I finished the flower and tweaked the shadow areas in the leaves. As stated yesterday it is 9"x6" on 3/4" canvas covered board. I took this picture at my last visit to the Botanic Gardens in Denver. They have a great sunflower area. What struck me about this was the relatively small bloom compared to the leaves. I know sunflower leaves are rather large, but this one seemed almost dwarfed. Being short you may notice a lot of my sunflower pics painted are from below, unless it is from a vase I arranged. I get a kick out of my ants eye view sometimes.

I would like to welcome my newest followers. Last time I looked we have 70; which is only 5 away from my next thank you to my followers give-away. For those that have been with me awhile you will know that when we reach 75 I will choose from one of you and give you a choice from the contest choices on my sidebar and will gladly mail it to the winner. So, we aren't far away!

I'm happy to report that my necklace has been found! It had fallen into a bowl of fiber balls that was nearby. I'm not sure how that occurred, but I'm thrilled I found it as well as didn't go crazy and start blaming everyone within ear shot! The handyman, however was released from finishing here due to his unreliability as well as comments. Sorry for him, but I guess we are all responsible for our own behavior.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Bow Down in Process...

I think my favorite flower to paint must be sunflowers. Perhaps because they have so much texture, or perhaps it is the vibrant color. I had a few minutes before all the clean up from the trip and returning the rental car to do just about this much. I wanted to use a good amount of texture that I don't think shows up unless you blow the picture up, so trust me...or click on it to enlarge it.

It is always a little risky to post a painting in process because as you all know it can easily go down hill and be scrapped, but it is a little exciting...a little pressure to complete it wonderfully!

I think I'm going to call this one "Bow Down". It is one of my acrylic 9x6" canvas on board pieces. In the reference photo there is quite a bit more foliage behind the flower. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to include it. I've painted this one before in a larger format without the texture, so I have a bit of a desire to do this one differently.

Coming home wasn't without a bit of drama (I'm beginning to believe I attract drama! HA)...Came home to a new toilet! (That is a YEA!)...BUT, someone was in my room upstairs that has all my jewelry in it...Yes...paranoid me...after all the, yes, DRAMA, with the handyman I didn't want him wandering upstairs and in my room, so I rigged my door to see if anyone went in...AND, the tiny piece of paper I had in there was not just on the ground, but missing...and so is the diamond necklace that my husband bought me to wear for my daughter's wedding!! I'm not freaking out just yet...still looking for it...but as Pooh would say "OH BOTHER"!! As of this moment I am still going to believe in the goodness of man, and hope I just didn't put it where I always put it and this is all just a mistake, and perhaps a little bird opened the door and saw my little paper and threw it away to keep the house neat?? How does that scenario sound?? Hmmm...

So, back home again...jiggidy jig...and after the clean up hopefully will be able to finish my painting! Art is truly my peaceful place! Happy Painting to you all!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I Miss Her Already

I MISS my little girl already!! I'm tired tonight after three days of concentrated family time and for some reason I can't write under the photos and I noticed I put them in wonky order...So I will try to explain...I think the two photos of my daughter and son-in-law are just cuz I think they are so wonderful...this was taken last weekend at a wedding they were in...Michelle was the wedding planner and Damon was a groomsman for his cousin...

Today while Michelle was at work I went downtown in Omaha with her mother-in-law whom I just love. We went to a placed called Hot Shops. It is an underground type co-op gallery place that was created from an old abandoned mattress factory. It is a huge building that has been broken down into different studios. They have a gallery...I think that is picture number 2...Very lofty place...quite fascinating! They had everything blowers, welders, painters, you name it!! That was quite fascinating! Thank you Diana!!

And the last pic is of the Platte river...another thing I think is beautiful about Nebraska!!

My parents left for California today...I was sad...always am sad to say goodbye to them! They left Jackson with my daughter and that poor little guy has not left their room...just sitting on their bed waiting for them to return!! He loves Michelle, but he is suffering a bit with separation anxiety...Poor Jackson!!

Tomorrow we head back home to HOPEFULLY a repaired house...I'll let you know!! I'll let the whole world know if it ISN'T finished!! :) Thanks for tuning in to my world a bit...

I'm already missing my baby girl...I'm sure those of you with kids who are grown understand how I am feeling tonight!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


This is the beauty I find in Nebraska...believe me I had to really look coming from the beauty of our mountains in Colorado!
Sierra...One of the family
Three generations
My beautiful Michelle and Jackson the cat...used to be belongs to my parents...Jackson was named for my grandfather...
The end of a very long but fun day...can't get out of my daughters Grand Prix...they thought it was funny...I had to wait for the pic before they would help me out!

Family is very important in my world. Getting to come to Omaha to see my sweet girl and her husband and my parents as they came through on their way to a wedding in California was a treat!

Story...Jackson the cat was a gift to my daughter when she was still in school at York. She married a wonderful man who has a father that is very allergic. Poor Michelle was so distraught as they live in the same town as her in-laws so she was going to have to give Jackson up...I couldn't take him as we tend to loose cats to the mountain lions so my dear parents adopted Jackson so he could stay in the family. Now Jackson is the king of my parents house...they LOVE that cat! Feelings were saved...

Sierra the dog was my daughter's and her husbands for about 2 weeks and they quickly realized they couldn't keep her as they both rescue came the in-laws...they adopted Sierra and LOVE her as well...

When I say this family sticks together, I really mean it! It is an awesome family to belong to...even the extended one we came to love through the marriage of these two wonderful kids...

It has truly been a great few days...One more to go and then back to...HOPEFULLY a repaired house devoid of the offending handyman I hope!!

I forgot to mention that any photos I've posted are free to anyone who may want to use the scenery or animals as reference material!

So...a very tired mom and daughter and wife signing off...I hope you are all having a wonderful day!

Monday, August 3, 2009


I could definately live here today...proof that York has a Starbucks!

Yep I went here...

Something I learned is a Nebraska thing...

A prayer chapel that used to sit on some land a few miles from the college...I have an old shelf from what used to be a dilapidated old building. Through donations it now sits on the campus and is absolutely beautifully restored.

So...we left York this morning for Omaha to spend some time with my daughter and hubby and my parents who just happen to be passing through on their way to California.

When I was in my early 30's I was a single mom living in Denver working as a secretary for a place called Jewish Family Services. The bosses son used to pitch pennies down my blouses. I hated that job, but didn't have my degree.

My daughter was going to a school that was mostly hispanic. She asked me one day for an english/spanish dictionary as they wouldn't speak english around her. Broke my heart. First I'd heard of it. She was in elementary school.

My son was in middle school. He was shot at one day when taking out the trash by our neighbor who was an ex Vietnam Vet. He came home from school one day and like a laundry list was telling me about his day...among the things on that list was "Matt hung himself"...tucked between what he ate for lunch and what his homework was. THAT broke my heart also...

The next weekend I drove to York Nebraska, asked everyone in town if there was a house for rent...enrolled in York College and we moved the next weekend. Best years I spent with my kids EVER! The college was small and the kids were in private school across the street...when they got out they walked to the student center at York and all the kids bought them snacks and such until mom got out of class...then we all went home to do our homework. I worked two part time jobs there while taking a full load, but I still remember it as the best!!

Oops my husband is calling for us to, to our hotel...More tomorrow!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Nebraska Day One

Dinner in view wasn't the paper tonight...but you'll understand as you read more...

Hay is being rolled about now, so we saw a BUNCH of this...

This was my view at lunch...we stopped in North Platte...My dear hubby loves to read the wasn't quite that bad...but he did read it on the table...:)

Corn Fields are EVERYWHERE!! Here it hasn't been harvested yet...My son's very first job here in York was detassling...His job was to go out and pull the tassles off the corn so it could be harvested...He was in middle school and just begged me to let him do this...He would leave before dawn and come home sometime after noon muddy from head to tow...But had the biggest grin on his face! I survived that summer...and then the next year my daughter wanted to do it...We had a very messy summer that year!! Good memories!

This is our view outside our hotel...Yep...more corn fields!!

Here we are in our hotel in York Nebraska. York holds SO many wonderful memories for me as it is the college I went back to as an adult to get my art education degree. York College is a small christian college here in the town of York which is about 8,000 strong...More about York tomorrow...I decided to come here as a single mom so my kids could have a safe place to live while I got my degree...

Today was our drive to York on the way to Omaha to see my daughter and mom. So, I thought I'd give you a sampling of what we saw on the way...:_ I didn't show you the pics I took of the thousands of trucks on the road...thought you would rather see the corn and hay!

Tonight at dinner we ate at a place called Chances R. It is a beautiful little restaurant in town that had a back lounge area with a fireplace that I used to go to while in school and sit by the fire to do my homework while my kids were in school...I'd get my ice tea and just sit...It was wonderful...Back then I was single and the men would try to stop by and visit (word gets around in a small town, so they all knew I was fresh meat from Denver)...but I was so serious about getting my degree and busy with two other part time jobs and raising my kids and dating my now hubby, so I wasn't interested...It was only on the day before I left that my friends threw me a party at Chances R that I found out I had been nicknamed the "Ice Princess"...hmmm...I think perhaps it was a compliment??

So, off to bed so we can be up early and off to Omaha...

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