Friday, November 27, 2009

FUN DAY on the Mountain!

Mt. Evans on Thanksgiving Day

Yesterday was a Thanksgiving I will remember with a smile! We went out to eat and then came home for a hike. It is rare to have such a beautiful day on the mountain this time of year, so my hubby and I took advantage!

We decided to have a tree for Christmas this year from "our" mountain. We live on 5 acre sections in this neighborhood and we are lucky enough to have an unnamed forest behind us so we can go pretty far up. There was a little snow left, but it was warm and so up we went. We spotted several trees we will choose from. This is a special year as we plan to move off the mountain this summer, or at least to a different spot. For those of you who have followed this blog you will understand why. It will be hard to leave this beauty, but the mountain lions, isolation, bears and SNOW depth make it a difficult existence...Mrs. Grizzly Adams I am NOT...:)
On the top of the mountain we had a glorious view of Mt. Evans...from the other side we have an equally wonderful view of Downtown Denver! Awesome!!

We weren't alone up there as you can see our buddy that was not too far away...and also the little bear tracks we saw in the snow...I think it is bear...and, baby or gotta know mama was not far away! OOOOOHHHHH scary, but also a little thrilling. I may be talking differently had we actually seen our little/big? footprint friends!

Coming down I am always happy to see our mountain cabin come into can see how we are nestled in those trees...some of them have been painted from my studio window.

And, yes, we found the tree we plan to share with my daughter and her husband when they are here for Christmas!...FUN TIMES!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Strength and Inspiration

We Three
My wedding

In one week I get to see my son for the first time since he and his sister stood up for me at my wedding 3 years ago. I have some beautiful memories; some visual inspiration that keeps me going missing him so much. I've been thinking a lot lately about what motivates us, what inspires us in our lives and in our work. The life my children and I lived together are some of the strongest motivators and inspiration I have.

I decided to move to York Nebraska and go back to school when my children were very small. It was just us three trying to make it together. It's telling; the things that help us make decisions. My children were my inspiration to try to finish my degree and do better...for them first, and for me.

It was a quick decision. My beautiful little daughter had to go to a school near our house in Denver that was 95% Hispanic. The children did not speak much english at that school, so my enterprising daughter asked for a spanish/english dictionary. She tried, but the kids made fun of her. My son went to a middle school near my work at that time. He came home one day and told me a laundry list of things he had done that day, and tucked in that list like it was an english test he had taken he told me his best friend had hanged himself. Later that evening our neighbor who was an ex Vietnam vet shot at him when he was taking out the trash. It was that day I decided to get my children out of there and do better by them. We drove to York Nebraska that weekend and I walked into the Christian college there and told them I needed a degree in some type of art. That led me to my teaching degree. We went home and packed up and left for York the next weekend. I drove the city, went into every store in town asking anyone and everyone if there was a house for rent. It was a bad time of year for housing in York, but I found someone who said something like their sister knew a friend who had a cousin that was moving out of a house. And that was it. We had a little house, I had school, my kids got a scholarship at the little Christian school across the street from the college and there we were. A new beginning. We had a wonderful old gentleman who owned the house that built my son a bedroom in the basement with safety windows in case of a fire and never raised our rent. Life just worked out. God was there for us. As He always has been.

After I finished at York we moved as there were no jobs near there. We began again. By then my children were in middle and high school and we lived in Lubbock Texas. There was a good church there and, again my children excelled. I moved to Lubbock to be near my brother. We pulled in one day in a U-Hall that I drove 10 hours using one of my high heels upside down as I couldn't reach the peddles. I had no job, no house, nothing but a good church and my brother. Once again I hit the pavement looking for a house, a job...and in less than a week I had a temporary job until school started, a teaching job lined up and a house. God was good.

Not long after we got word that a dear friend of my children had suddenly died while playing basketball at York College. Nick was another big brother for my daughter and one of my son's best friends. We were devastated. All I had to do was see my kids faces and we jumped in the car to make it to York for the funeral. There were about 8 boys that ran together while in York. I remember when they were so small their feet didn't touch the ground when they were sitting on my couch. It was a wonderful life for my children, and now we had lost one of those boys. We got there in time for the funeral. The parents were so devastated that they couldn't plan the funeral, so those boys did it for them. Music, everything.

The day that Nick was buried is stuck in my mind and heart forever. He was so young, so many people from all over the country had come. Those boys left were all so silent, all standing together in their suits that were too big for them...the heat of August and there they were in wool suits standing near their friend.

The picture in my mind that I will never forget is after we had all walked away from the graveside I looked back and saw those boys all standing around their friend for one final goodbye; still; each with one hand on the casket; heads bowed. They were praying together, tears falling from each one. They, all shared something again; loss of a friend. They were older after that. My children were both different after that day, older, wiser and I was sad that they had to grow up like that.

I say all of this because I really believe that ALL of our experiences combine to make us who we are. They can destroy us, or we can learn and grow wiser and more caring. It is our choice. My family means everything to me only after God. My children walked some really tough roads with me and they have come out the other side. Parts are scarred from things, and I see wisdom born from loss sometimes too, but we came out together, and I am proud of them. I am THANKFUL for them. I am thankful that we all have this day to try to do the best we can with what we have. I hope you all have found inside your hearts something to be thankful for, if it comes from the life experiences we have to teach us the value of our lives, then more the blessing. I am also thankful for all of you who have been there with me for nearly a year now. God bless you all and Happy Thanksgiving!
One of my long time blogger folllowers and I think of him as a blogger friend Dean H. who is the author of Deanos Den blessed me with the Kreativ Blogger award. This is the third time I have had the honor of this award and I'm grateful every time. If you have not visited Deanos Den please click on the link and stop by to see his work. His paintings have always been inspirational and beautiful, and the added bonus is he leaves us each time with an inspiring scripture to go with it. It's one of the reasons I enjoy Dean so much. I find it absolutely wonderful that he finds something from God in every amazing work he completes! Thank you Dean!

As per the rules that go with this award we are to write seven things about us. Dean wrote about 7 things he loves...I think I want to do the same on this day when we have so much to be thankful for and can name things about us that we are or that we love.

Having done this three times now some may be the same, only this time I'm going to elaborate a bit. I will be choosing 7 other wonderful blogs in a later post as I want to give that some more thought!

1. I love my God because He IS the author and creator of love. Without love in this world we would all be so much worse off as we try to maneuver through life with it's joys and sorrows and challenges.

2. I love that God gave us a manual if you will on how to apply our love so that as many as possible can have a chance to have eternal life. One of my favorite things is to study His word to find out how to be the best Christian woman I can!

3. I love my parents who gave me a foundation for all I am, and gave me the chances in life to do the best I can for others.

4. I love my husband who I've known for half my life now. I love that he hangs in there with me through everything.

5. I love my children who were given to me for a very special reason. God knew what would be and He gave me these two to love and cherish and pass along the hope that is within me for them.

6. I love that I have been blessed to wake up every day knowing that each day is a new adventure, a new opportunity to do and be the best I know how to be.

7. I love that through all the struggles in life that have been that God gives me the peace that passes all understanding; He gives me hope; and he gives me the wisdom I ask for each day to make it through whatever comes; and that He gave me a way of expression that delights and astounds me every day as I paint and create whatever is my hearts desire!

Thank you all for tuning in when you have moments. Having this avenue to get to know you all just a little is such a blessing! Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Snow Bird

"Snow Bird"
4x4 acrylic on fiberboard with texture

I could have called this snow beeper as it is the side view of the quirky little bird from yesterday's post, but settled on "Snow Bird" instead. This is one of our contest choices; done on a 4x4 fiberboard that I also added a bit of texture to as well.

Got up this morning and saw two completely different colors in the sunrise by just moving over a bit...Thought I would share the beauty!!

Tomorrow will be eating and cleaning and napping, so I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving today! And...for those of you who have time...Happy Painting!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Little Beeper
6x6 cradled board
I waited too long to take this photo. I think it is a bit dark. Makes sense as it is nearly dark outside! I call this Little Beeper because that is what my husband calls them. They sort of beep. I found this little guy funny as he has a flat beek...sort of reminds me of a duck bill. I may wake tomorrow and do more...if I do I'll post it...but for now it is too dark to really see well. This is the first of my bird series. Autumn Leaves and Kate C. sent me some fun bird pics that I want to include in the series...Even a turkey in the bunch! FUN! I decided to build up a bit of texture on the cradled canvas piece to add interest to the negative space. I rather like the texture. I've prepared a 4x4 in the same manner and will probably do a small bird on one of those as well. I don't know why birds all of a sudden...They just spoke to me. I now certainally have several to choose from. Thank you Sherry and Kate!

These days I am thinking a lot about my children. What they have gone through in their lives. Heartaches and happy times. I'm getting ready to fly to San Diego to see my son; the first time in three years to get to hug him! I've been thinking about an event in our lives that greatly impacted tugs greatly on my heartstrings...maybe another day I'll share it. Seems like it isn't going to go away until I do...Aaahhh the visuals that come to mind. But haven't decided if I want to do that to those mother's and father's hearts out there...:) I really do think of you all as a family of sorts.

Til then though...happy days to you all! Remember I will be talking about a give-away before Christmas...Coming soon! Tune in!

PS. Welcome to my newest follower!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

SNOW PINE, and a new challenge...

I had to do a companion piece for my Pine Top contest choice. "Snow Pine" is another pine top after the snow...I have been so sick of snow lately I haven't done any landscapes, but I have to admit that I like the contrast of the white snow against the greens of the trees. "Snow Pine" is another 4x4 acrylic on fiberboard covered with canvas. It has the slots on back for hanging or can be set on the little easels I offer for these.
My husband's son came to visit over the weekend. Scott is a pilot and gets to fly in from time to time. It was good to see him and find out he is going to ask his girl to marry him in the near future...BUT it is a shhhh...:) I had to share a pic of he and his dad...a nice looking couple of men!!
As a surprise for Scott and his future wife I decided to attempt to paint their new little baby they named Molly. Yep, another challenge. I don't think I've ever painted a dog before. I did a color pencil of one a long time ago, but this is a bit of uncharted territory for wish me good luck...and...I've got to decide which color to use for the base...hmmm...what do you all think?

Sunday, November 22, 2009


This has certainaly been the year for company for us. My step son is here today to visit so I doubt I will have time to paint. But, as you know about comes first!

My nephew is serving our country in Iraq right now and he found me on facebook the other day. I have been so worried about him, so to be able to talk back and forth has been a comfort. Casey is a wonderful young man and I wanted to share a great picture of him and remind us all that we need to keep these young men and women in our prayers as they are fighting for our freedom! I love you Casey!

And...had to share another sunrise I caught yesterday. I am never bored with what God gives us as presents to delight our hearts!

No doubt tomorrow I will be back at my easel. Happy Painting everyone!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Pine and Aspen Completed

"Pine and Aspen" is a 5x7" collage on canvas. I made just a few additions to this piece that, even though they may seem small were important to the composition and focal area. I added one aspen on the right and a pine, but worked to keep them in the background so as to bring more focus on the pine and aspen on the left. The strong horizontal with just a slight upturn were important to draw the eye to the right, and the very light suggestion of pine boughs on the right helped to unify the piece. This painting is available on my website.

I want to thank Autum Leaves for sending me several bird pics AND a link to others! Because she sent me pics and a link I am putting her name in the next give-away three times total. Any others who wish to send me pics I will add your name more than once into our next drawing.

In a post coming soon (as soon as my hubby gets them from the storage) I will be adding a few things to a give-away I will talk about soon that will come in December...right around the corner!!

Until then my blogger friends...HAPPY PAINTING and welcome to my newest followers!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pine and Aspen

I thought I would show another piece in process. I enjoyed the abstract beginning and have decided to keep a focal point to the left with the pine. I sit in my studio and can see all my trees from two different windows. I can't help it but to try to portray them in as many different ways I can. I love the process! I don't mind showing things before they are finished. It's all a learning process, and if it helps then that is a bonus!

Where to go from here...hmmm...I'm not sure, but plan to play again in the morning. I know I want to keep the feel that I have going right now, so it may be small bits here and there. I think this one needs to rest for the night and let me see it with fresh eyes.

So, a request...I'm wanting to do a series of bird portraits...close-up. If there are any bird lovers out there that have a bird pic or two I'd sure appreciate it! I have a few, but it doesn't hurt to have a bigger pool. A lot of our birds have "flown the coop" as the raccoons and squirrels take great pleasure in emptying out our bird feeder every day...Those rascals! I spent yesterday trying to catch one in process so I could photograph him...but they are FAST! Anyone with a bird pic they don't mind sharing just e-mail it to me at I'll put your name in the pool twice for our next give-away!! This next give-away will be a little special...I'm hoping it will be near Christmas...tee hee...we shall see!

Hope you are having a great day where ever you are!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Christmas Cactus

The Christmas Cactus ended up being about the bloom instead of the whole plant. I played with several different compositions and came up with just the focus on the flower itself. I put a very light green for the background so as to really make the red bloom pop. This is a 4x4 acrylic on clay board for our follower give-away choices. I admit I am a bit intimidated by this flower, and that drove me to at least play with it. The funny thing is I started out with a different size...this 5x7 small canvas began as the cactus and ended up being this awesome background that I will decided later what to do with. Fun stuff how things are always changing.

The past couple of days have been subbing and chasing squirrels. The sub calls have been at 5 a.m. Those calls catch me so unprepared to take my paints I just barely get out of bed, showered and down the mountain to work. That was frustrating, but one must work when one can!!
The rest of the time has been chasing this little squirrel. He/she absolutely loves making as much noise as possible trying every which way to get at our birdseed! I have put in a request of my husband to move the feeder as this little guy has gotten VERY good at emptying it out every day...He is getting fat! Thought you'd enjoy this little pic! Happy painting!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Nebraska Players Completed

I'm calling this piece finished. I may, since it is going to be sitting in my studio until Christmas, take another look and fine tune this or that as we all do when we continue to look at our work! HA. I decided to continue with the loose strokes I began on the jersey's and it works.
I kept some of the same colors in the dark area up top so Damon can hang it below the Memorial Stadium if he so chooses. The two seem to fit together fine. Nebraska Players Completed!So, we got another 12-15" of snow last night! Sigh...Last year at this time we'd only gotten 1". This year so far we are up to 60"...Did I sigh yet? Sigh!! The good news is I didn't have to fact..

I was able to walk out on our deck in my Reebocks..

And, other good news is my Christmas Cactus is blooming again...pretty! Wanted to share! I call it my alien flower...I can't ever paint it properly as it always looks like an alien...duh...thus the name.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Nebraska Players in process guessed it...another sunrise

I'm moving down with the Nebraska Players. I want to cover the canvas before I move in for perhaps more layer of color, defining the crowd just slightly as I think this piece will work nicely under the Memorial Stadium painting. I am playing with skin color and next will tackle their behinds...:) I think I need to work on the shape of the helmet in the is just a little off, but that will be after I lay in my base colors. Damon didn't want player names on this so it would be more timeless, so I think just an impression of them will work fine.

I got up this morning and actually walked up the rocks behind my house. I am a little frustrated with my camera as it doesn't capture things exactly as they are, but it is close, so I had to share the beauty I woke up to today. Tomorrow we get more snow, so the scenery may be quite different.

Happy Day to you all!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Nebraska Players detail and yep another sunrise!

I've begun the process of laying in value and playing with detail just to see how it can go. For two days I've been fighting a canvas that wasn't stretched properly apparently as it kept buckling! And I think I got this at one of our primo art stores here called Meiningers! Very dissapointed. I FINALLY think I've got it solved thanks to double the number of canvas strip pegs...So, I got to play with laying in some beginning color. My goal is to get as much paint on the canvas as possible and then go back and play with some amount of detail. But, I couldn't resist seeing how the helmets would look with numbers and playing with a bit of red with light and dark...FUN.

So, I am constantly amazed at the sunrises we have here...even though the scene is the same, I am blown away by the color! The first pic was early on, and then the beautiful blues show through...Had to share!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Son-in-Law challenge and another great sunrise!

Oh I go again with another challenge for my son-in-law for Christmas. This one isn't linear like the Memorial Stadium, but a challenge none the less. This is from another pic I posted some time back of Nebraska players. Damon doesn't want names so it will remain timeless. I have "zoomed" in on the players so the painting will be a bit custom. I've also moved them around a bit...I decided that you all were so helpful and supportive on my last big challenge that I would bring you in from the beginning! This sketch is merely a beginning so I can see where I need to adjust things...I already see a problem with sizes...but I'm telling you...some of these guys necks are SO big I'm having a hard time really showing it...ha...I'm sure I'll get over it and begin to see them as shapes so I'm not tempted to make things smaller...even those shoulders! WHEW! So...hopefully I will knock this out way quicker than my last challenge...but I'm sure I'll do my best...You may have to click on this drawing to see it...and, as always...thoughts are always welcome!

I couldn't leave you with a drawing beginning, so thought I'd share my latest sunrise...BEAUTIFUL skies we have here in Colorado!!

Happy Painting to you all!!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

"Pine Top"

Pine Top

I was happy to have the where with all to do another little 4x4 fiberboard covered with canvas acrylic for our follower contest. This one I call Pine Top because that is what it is! I realize my days living in the mountains may be coming to a close in the next few months, so I feel a special need to find as many views I see every day to keep me cozy when I move away. I am loving this method of painting and then covering over a bit to give a more disheveled appearance....I accidentally found this when I reworked "Lone Pine" back in March.

Remember when we reach 100 followers I will choose again from all of you so you will be able to pick which little gem you want...

So, this morning I drove into town to visit my favorite Starbucks before grocery shopping and was lucky enough to get to see another type of Colorado color we see from time to time...This lone balloon was hovering near my Starbucks and for once I remembered to bring my camera! I would love to ride on one of these one day, but for today it was a thrill to just see one! Enjoy!!

Later today I'm heading off to my favorite art store, Meiningers for a free demo on acrylic painting. I have been asked by a local art guild to do a workshop on acrylic painting and a demo or it always helps to see how others do I look for fresh perspectives on this excellent medium. YIPEE!! Inspiration is right around the corner!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

"Aspen 3"

Aspen 3

Still getting back in the swing of things so wanted to do another in my series of aspen collage pieces on fiberboard for our contest give-away. As in the others I have used my handmade paper for the aspen.

November Sunrise

This morning we had a fabulous sunrise that I wanted to share with you all. Enjoy and Happy Painting!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

"Pine Shadows"

Click on painting to see detail

I want to thank all of you that sent me supportive thoughts during this little glitch in life I have been experiencing. You are all so important to me. It truly feels like a family of sorts as I have said before. I absolutely love being able to communicate with people from all over; sharing ideas, supporting one another and being of a similar mind through our love of art. Thank you for being there!

So, a few things today. I added a few darks and lights in this pine collage and now will put it in the finished area and move on. Thanks to those who suggested names. Doing SO many trees I sometimes can't see the forest for the trees when I am trying to name them. I finally settled on Pine Shadows for this 8x16 collage on canvas and added it to my website.
Yesterday was literally the first day I felt I could set my worries aside and do a small piece. This will go into our contest choices. You all were on my mind so much that I just wanted to do a little something that one of you could choose from. Plus, I think starting small was a good beginning to getting back to work! This is called "Snow Pines". It is one of my 4x4 collage pieces done on fiberboard with slots for hanging so it would work hanging or sitting on one of the little easels you can choose from.

These pics were taken the other evening as we watched the moon come out full and then the clouds begin to cover over the foothills across from our house. It wasn't but a few minutes before the clouds completely covered the foothills so they could not be seen at all. It should have been Halloween...looked mysterious and a little spooky...But, I wanted to share a different kind of beauty that God gives us everyday!

Thanks again from the bottom of my heart!! I'm still plugging along trying to weather this "glitch", but I feel happy that I am able to work now! Happy Painting to you all...and welcome to my newest followers!! You are ALL appreciated!

Sunday, November 1, 2009


So, for the next few days I have family issues I must deal with so no painting for me...Hopefully things will settle down sooner than later and I can get back in the saddle! I'll miss you all!!

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