Friday, December 30, 2011

ZOO LIGHTS with the family

 It was a COLD and WINDY night last night as we all attempted to go to our Denver Zoo and see what our city calls Zoo Lights.  Basically it is the zoo at night in lights! HA.  I'm laughing as we were at the zoo and the ONLY animal we saw was a hippo as he came out for a short jaunt in the water...Paxton was a cold little our visit was short...but I made sure there was a record of us being there...MY LITTLE BUNDLE OF GRANDSON! and his NANA!

 I think this is the first little family photo I have since Paxton was born! What a pretty family!

Paxton was a happy little camper when we got back to the warm car and he was able to shed the winter clothing!  Gotta love that boy!!
All this family time has made me miss that son of mine out in San Diego...This is his landscape on this December 2011...He's always so good to send me pics of those places he goes to unwind and relax!...I'm thinking a warm San Diego Christmas next year sounds really good!! 

Where ever you are...what ever you are doing I hope you are having a blessed day!


Thursday, December 29, 2011


It's family time for us this week as my daughter, son-in-law, GRANDSON and more family are here to celebrate Christmas with us a week late!  Paxton likes opening presents...His mom and dad are so patient to let him help!
We got him a little giraffe that plays soothing sounds so he can possibly sleep better...he really got into this! FUN DOINS! I think his wonderful parents are enjoying seeing him so interested!!
Of course his Nana had to get him a book that I recorded so he can always hear my voice...I was tickled to see he was fascinated with it as well...Look at his pretty mama!  SOOOO my blogger friends...I'm afraid that is what I am doing this week...playing and soaking up family!  But, all too soon they will be gone and I will be back at my easel!  Hope your holidays are going wonderfully...just like ours!!  HAPPY CREATING!

Saturday, December 24, 2011


You'll have to squint on this 2'x2' beginning drawing of a Santa I've wanted to paint like forever!...I had hoped to have him finished by Christmas, but, know how it is during the holidays!...I'm going to incorporate papers in the background of this one and am thinking of painting him in oil...FUN DOINS!

My favorite pic to little mountain man that's coming in just a few days to visit with his Nana...I can't WAIT!


Thursday, December 22, 2011


"Newborn Paxton"
6"x6" oil on canvas

Well...due to overwhelming love and nagging I decided to quickly revisit my earlier "failure" at Paxton's newborn portrait.  I'm glad you all nagged me...this is a better likeness, so I'll throw it in the pot for family to choose from...I played with his eyes a bit...I changed the background, I blended a bit and voila a little better!

I'm happy to report some earlier concern over his swallowing ability (a swallow test at the doc's office) has shown that he is fine...just a little thingy not fully formed...should be all good by the time he's a year old! YEA!  I didn't want to say anything cuz I was know how it is...but we are relieved and happy that they will be coming just after Christmas so Nana can get Christmas pics in front of our real tree (his first and only this year) of that precious baby!  Can't wait! Here are all of them together...:)
We are snowed in what else is's COLD and a little isolated...but will give me a great opportunity to start a big ole Santa head I've been wanting to paint forever for our house...I'm looking for great references...and SINCE the real Santa is so busy I may have to borrow from what I find on the web...wish me luck!!  Both for the painting and the digging out...

Yep, I'm goin nowhere until we find the rest of our stairs to the garage!!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Paxton about 1 week old...with his first toys
8"x10" oil on canvas

I took this pic of my grandson when he was about one week old...this is Paxton's very intent look as he sees his first toys hanging above him...I love this little serene face of his...I just HAD to paint it.  I DO think I will soften the toys a bit to bring him to the strongest focus, but I'm going to let it sit a day or so in my brain first.  WHEW...5 portraits...only one I'm not happy with...which I've had SO many letters about not giving up I WILL most probably play with it instead of trashing it...Thanks for all the confidence you all...and the challenge!

The holiday time is fast approaching and I still have tons to self imposed job is to paint a big ole santa face for our house...I'm dying to do a big one after all these little paintings...but, for now...we are temporarily down to just one I have to drive my dear hubby down to meet a client...HAPPY CREATING!!

Friday, December 16, 2011


Yes, it's that time of year when we sing holiday songs as we work and we decorate and we clean house for company and we mail packages...and, all the other fa la la la things that sometimes keep us from our easels...WELL, at least it is that way for this household! WHEW!  I've got the last Paxton portrait up on my easel patiently waiting for his Nana to apply paint to canvas...and I soon as I mail the last package and do some grocery shopping and finish decorating the tree! sheesh!  but, FUN DOINS all the same...SO...I thought I'd share some fun decor with you...(an also to prove I haven't been sitting on my rear end just watching old reruns of desperate housewives) (though there has been an episode or two)

If you knew me you'd say "Saundra, I see a few new things...but...basically it's the same" house looks a little Christmassy most of the year...I have a favorite Santa (I collect them) that has been on the shelf for a couple years...
to me he just looks like a colorful mountain man just coming in from a hike :) and he goes with my tree collection...:)

and, there is always a bit of greenery...though for the season I sprinkled a bit of holly berry in for good measure...

and, I love red birds...but I admit I don't leave out the birds that say "Merry Christmas"...but I DO leave out my photos of Paxton!
One of my favorite pics of him...looks like he is either whistling or saying "OOOOHHHHH Nana...your house is FUN" tee hee

I'm thinking of family as I put out my wonderful this little guy that was carved from an old wooden thread spool...a favorite gift from my mom and dad one year...
My dad isn't doing to well this year...but we are hoping to have him a bit longer...We're praying for you my dad!!  
So, as I leave you today...I wish for the red bird of happiness to light upon all of your shoulders...and I'm hoping the holiday season is giving you a little time for rest among the creative work you are doing either in or out of the studio!  HAPPY CREATING!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I'm not even going to enlarge this painting because it is a disappointment to me.  I didn't capture what I was going for and so I stopped working on it.  It is a lesson to me to be very careful the photo I choose to work from and to really focus on what I'm doing.  I admit I've been rushed to do these for the holiday season; which I LOVE doing...but as with you all there is a LOT of other things going on that make these types of things a rush.  Things wrong...didn't capture the mouth, and because of that it gives him a bit of an "off" look.  In the photo you see his eyes...probably shouldn't have painted this particular scene with the eyes looking up and off like the photo it's the painting, not so much...but I think mostly it is the mouth...and, quite frankly I lost interest.  I decided about this point that I wanted to do a different scene with more color and more, the last photo I'm going to paint of Paxton at this age I'll save until I actually DO the painting! HA

I don't mind sharing my failures with you...failure is a learning doesn't even FEEL like's more..."no, this one isn't working" and so on to the next! HA.  And, as I've said I'm not really a portrait painter...just a humble Nana who loves this little guy and family enough to do what I can! HA...

It's off to do some last minute Christmas shopping, but never fear...I WILL get this little boy painted at least one more time!!

HAPPY CREATING in this busy time of year!!

Saturday, December 10, 2011


"Paxton Mark Grimes...laughing"
6"x6" oil on canvas

I loved this little bit of my grandson...laughing...the photo was blurry and dark and...well, NOT a good image in pic...but I did my best to get him sharpened up.  His uncle Royce is good at making this boy laugh...a good memory!

I feel a need to do one of him when he was born...It took me a little while to find one with his eyes open...cuz, in the beginning he slept a LOT! HA...So, this is the pic I've chosen...
I just love that little mouth of his!  FUN DOINS!

My goal with this little project is to do several so those who want can choose their favorite...but, I think I'll make prints available so they can order any they want...

My next project is to try to make a quilt from my daughter's mission t-shirts from when she was at York Christian College...a great memory...IF I can get it done...HOW MUCH TIME DO I HAVE LEFT??  Am I crazy??  Yep...:) 


Friday, December 9, 2011


I realize that the entrance of my most wonderful grandson has captured my mind and heart these past few months, but I also still am SO proud and thrilled that I have others in my life that capture my heart and soul completely.  My son is one of those who will ever be one of my favorite people...I love him, I adore him, I'm proud of him...I'm his biggest fan...and wanted to brag a bit...He is quite the skater out there in San Diego...has won national competitions, and local...he is sponsored by several organizations and I found this on the home page of the Ska8 Kings this morning.  YOU GO JONATHAN!

My next challenge in the Paxton series will be a very fuzzy, very poorly lit, but very delightful smiling baby pic I took when we saw them for one short hour on our way home from Thanksgiving at my parents...WHEW...I know I'm not really a portrait painter per say...but I try...and I will try to make something special from this little vignette of our little boy!!  Wish me luck!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011


"Dave's Deer"
8" x 10"
oil on canvas

As I said, this is for my hunter outdoor neighbors who have been SO good to us this year!  Well, every year! They shovel, they save me from wild animals...they are just NICE!  They've gone the extra mile for us, and I wanted to say a special thank you.  

We had a couple of days of sunshine and I found it very hard to stay in the studio...Those 5 days of pure winter really affected my creative, two days of sun and I was recharged!  BUT...alas...the cold has returned...

Brrrr....outside my studio window...COME ON SPRING!...tee hee...  HAPPY CREATING!!

Monday, December 5, 2011


Yep...still working like crazy to do all I want before Christmas...This deer is for my mountain lion remover and snow shoveling neighbor!  As I wrote last time I took many photos of all his animals in his home and this one is on his way to being completed...REMEMBER...daily painting does NOT mean finishing one every day!  Stay tuned to see if he comes out ok.  You can see I work from top to bottom on my pieces...I find it MUCH LESS messy...I sketch some major lines and then go to it!

We have been experiencing some snow events...almost 4' in 5 days up here where I live among the trees...a couple days ago I was feeling cold and isolated and took this pic of one of my baby trees...
and then it snowed some more...and now my little guy is even colder...ME TOO!
The good news is I'm stuck in the studio so I can paint...the bad news is I'm stuck in my studio and can't get out to mail..."Red Buds" that sold over the weekend! sigh...come on SUN!
Whatever you do, wherever you are keep those creative juices flowing...close your eyes and think of something new to add to your creative snow a little something simple and revel in the success!! Either way...


Saturday, December 3, 2011


Paxton on his bumbo"
10" x 8" oil on stretched canvas

I was so tickled by my grandson's newest feat I had to paint him for the memory!  At nearly 4 months he's holding his head up so well he ridin his bumbo (I think that's what they are called)...a VERY independent young man...wants to hold his OWN head up!  I have a few little things here and there to touch up, but this one will have to wait until it's dry so I will stop getting paint all over my hands!  But, FUN DOINS!!!  I have one in mind next where he is laughing...keep a good thought for me as the light is terrible and the photo is a little blurry...but I love that face so I can't help it!!

ps...for those of you who wonder at my "portrait style"; that it is so different than the rest of my work...well...NOT being a great fan of portraits it has been YEARS since I did, I find I tend to slip back to my older, more tight style...just working so hard to actually get a, babies are so smooth and delicate I feel I shouldn't put lots of texture to these, I'm sticking to this more traditional style...IF I did them everyday I'm sure I'd loosen up...but, I have a feeling that they will like them cuz they are Paxton! lol

I also have a special painting to do for some awesome neighbors who are always snowblowing our driveway when we haven't gotten to it yet...and, for those long term followers, remember Dave is the one who "took care" of the mountain lion who tried to eat me a couple years ago...SO...One day when I was over at their house helping him with an invention he created (doing drawings for the patent) I noticed he had many taxidermy animals around the I took some pics...and, one stood, I will do a painting of this deer...(keeping the wood support OUT of the painting of course! HA), stay tuned! For those animal lovers out there...he is a very responsible hunter...:)


Thursday, December 1, 2011


"Red Buds"
5"x5" image size
10"x10" finished size
paper cast mixed media
SOLD (thanks Wendy!)

Found a bit of time to complete this fun contemporary take on acorns and their little bud balls.  The acorns are paper cast painted with oil and the beads are some ephemera I found at my local craft store.  The substrate on this is 300lb watercolor paper and stamped with my original oak leaf stamps for a rather abstract background that just gives you enough of a feeling to know it is among the tree leaves!  Put it all together and you have a contemporary take on acorns.  FUN DOINS! PS...I think I'm going to make this my Christmas Card...kill two birds with one stone kind of thing...:)

My little baby in Omaha's latest is he can sit in his boppo (I think it is called that) at the tender age of 3.75 mos!  He is very independent, and mom had to hold her hand very near by to take this pic as he still bobs about in the head...but he LOVES his boppo...and I'm just this minute thinking I may try to paint this...too adorable...stay tuned on which one is second in my Christmas paintings of Paxton series!


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