Passions of an Odd Chick

Monday, November 24, 2008

Three Good Reasons

I will give you three good reasons why I have not been a good blogging buddy lately:




I went and got him (my youngest grandson) last Monday. His mother joined us Thursday night. He has not stopped singing, talking or giggling at me/with me as "Papa Greg" and I play tag team.. He is thankful when you hand him a cup of water, wipe his butt, or butter his biscuits for breakfast. He wakes us up saying: ""wake bup- its tumurtime- the tun is tignin". He still thinks the world is a friendly, happy place with new possibilities everyday and that everyone is good and wonderful and his new best friend. He says he wants to be a lawn mower man when he grows up. But I think he should be a politician. He can talk you into anything - he even had Papa Greg jumping on the bed with him. That's when I knew he could rule the world. He sure rocks ours!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Great Adventure!

I'd like to introduce you to someone so interesting. This is Bob Jones from the UK. (I apologize for the bad photography.) He has ridden two horses from Canada, through the Dakota states, Nebraska, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico and will end in El Paso, Texas. He came through Roswell, and then Dexter and landed in Hagerman (he had ridden 17 miles that day) to stay the night in our part of New Mexico about 2 days ago. Many of our friends gave him shelter, hay, and took him out to eat for great New Mexican hospitality.
His wife is keeping a wonderful blog of his adventures and stop-overs.

I visited with him about the beautiful weather he must have experienced in the last week through New Mexico and he said in his beautiful British accent, "that it was nice, but a bit hot for him". (our weather has been in the 70s and very dry) He did say that he loved the cool mornings.

He was a little sunburned (he's very fair) and little weather-worn but congenial and appreciative for all that people have done for him as he's made his way. His horses are getting tired but still healthy, and he hopes to sell them at the end of the trail in El Paso.

For those who love great adventures- you'll love visiting his blog.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Fresh and Green and Crisp

Ever since we returned from Colorado, from a vacation of healthy food, hikes and horseback rides, I have felt a life-change coming on. For several months, I had been praying about my diet and improving my health and I have been reading things that would encourage me. I will be 50 next year, and at that mile-stone, I want to be in the best physical condition achievable and I have set some goals toward that plan. This beautiful salad (in my new pottery bowl) represents a more healthy way of eating for me and new way of looking at food and fuel for my body. It has taken a lot of energy to learn more about healthy eating (not diets) and to buy healthy food and to prepare healthy food. And I must say, I am enjoying this journey immensely. It is another new passion on my list. It is creating something new in me. Like the freshness of the salad, I am feeling green and crisp and downright sexy again. I have given up junk to gain the treasure of energy, health and good digestion. Food has never tasted so good and it takes much less than it use to to satisfy me. Saying goodbye to some things in our lives is sometimes the best gift we can give ourselves.
I would love to hear if you have a passion about healthy eating - or not........ or the things you must say goodbye to to enjoy a more healthy life - mentally, spiritually, and physically.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

An Art Show

Things got busy around here and I've had little time for computer fun. I just got back from working a booth at the Roswell Potter's Guild. Artistsans from all around this area have a chance to sell their jewelry, art, hand-crafts, paintings, pottery, etc... once a year and it is well attended. I, and about 10 others from my art guild had a booth, and I'm displaying a couple of paintings of my own. Many people commented on the economy and that purchasing art would be too much of a luxury for them right now. Although I believe art is a necessity in our lives- I understand about purchasing high-dollar paintings. I encouraged people to try to make their own, and that especially in depressed, economic times, to surround themselves with their handmade art to add beauty to all the bleakness and harsh realities. I feel sorry for the artist (especially the older people) that are depending on their art selling so that they can keep painting. I think I would find a way to paint even if it was scratching a mural in a cave dwelling or drawing with chalk on my sidewalk. Above, is a little sketch I added to my journal. It was the view I had of another artist's booth who sold pottery and made beautiful crosses. It will serve as a great reminder of the day and artists I met, and the new and old friends I saw today, and the beautiful art that refreshes my soul.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Well, I promised myself and others I wouldn't post bad horse drawings. I've always been so judgmental about bad horse drawings myself that I couldn't bear to be such a hypocrite. But here I am....... but if I didn't post my early attempts, you might never understand the struggle someone goes through to get a horse right. It's not easy.. and I am ashamed of myself for ever being so critical of those who tried. Isn't that the way it is? Until you actually get in the ring and fight the fight the other guy always looks like he's losing... you never really know how tough it was to beat that great contender. Great things don't come easy for most of us. Most of us make it by sheer determination and heart rather than talent. And some day someone looks at what we do, and says, "you make that look easy"..... and they can't imagine that you have a thousand bad trys behind you. Well, I have one less behind me. And I'm one closer to that really exquisite horse painting I see in my mind's eye. I would love to hear some comments about what others are one step closer to after many, many trys.. or even those that made it to the finish line.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I have been so inspired by others drawings, sketches, and paintings of the fall that I couldn't let this Fall of mine pass without a journal page memorializing it. And I added some poetry by one of my favorite poets: Edgar A. Guest.
I want to come to autumn with the silver in my hair,
And maybe have the children stop to look and me and stare;
I'd like to reach October free from blemish or from taint,
As splendid as a maple tree which artist love to paint.
I'd like to come to autumn, with my life work fully done
And look a little like a tree that's gleaming in the sun;
I'd like to think that I at last could come through care and tears
And be as fair to look upon as every elm appears.
But when I reach October, full contented I shall be
If those with whom I've walked through life shall still have faith in me;
Nor shall I dread the winter's frost, when brain and body tire,
If I have made my life a thing which others can admire.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Looking For Answers

I've worked on this watercolor for a couple of days. The cowboy, you may recognize, is a familiar subject matter that I keep going back to -this time making him a large painting. But when I got finished, he was just a little boring standing there on such a large screen. And then.... I saw the image of the cross in front of him and began to paint that in and it felt right finally to finish the painting. And then there's always - What to name it?- for me, a significant part of closure and I realized the painting contained the same question. Here a man confronts the cross, and says, "Who am I? Where am I going? What's my life all about? .......... so I named it "Looking for Answers".

Friday, November 7, 2008

The big picture

I've never been one to enjoy drawing or painting landscapes but this was a drawing I had to finish that I started when we visited Lost Valley Ranch when I went to see my son. I'm still marinating in the memories of that place and the wonderful time we had there.

Things are slowing down at the farm and Greg and I are both beginning to discuss our winter projects. He'll work in his shop and I'll create in my kitchen. It's always a peaceful, more relaxed, very creative time for the both of us and I'm looking forward to it and the holidays and time with family.

I have been so inspired and grateful for all the positive things I've seen with the results of the election. Admittedly, I didn't vote for Obama. I was concerned that he was all talk and just a man of promises with nothing in his background to prove his integrity. But seeing the hope and gratefulness of African Amercian people and seeing the hope of the whole world really of what America can do - well, it's given me renewed peace that God can use this man to improve the lives of many Americans. He now has my complete respect and loyalty and prayers as the man God put in power. My trust is still in a higher government that sets all rulers in place for whatever purposes He deems necessary. I stand in complete faith that He knows exactly what He is doing.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Favorite Study

I hope you're not getting tired of cowboys. This was a sketch I did last night from a photograph I made of my sweet farmer. I've always liked his backside profile. There's something about the way he plants his feet when he looks out on the horizon. And his strong girth and towering height are like a brick fence, a sheltering wall. I always wonder what he's thinking when I watch him from behind standing so still. His whole stance speaks to me of the graceful waltzer and the gentle giant that he is. And there is always that moment.... when he turns around and responds to my approach, and the mystery of his mood and the countenance on his face. No wonder he's my favorite study.

For those who consider themselves non-artist, I wish everyone could study a loved one like they were going to draw or paint them. I think you really see things about that person you might have missed in casual glances. It's amazing what the right brain will reveal. Everyone who has their whole brain intact can draw. It's not a gift - it's a learned ability - that adds incredible dimension to your life. Just try sitting down and drawing someone or something you love. Take your time. If you let go of what you need to see on paper to drawing what you intently see - with no judgment, I promise you that you will be incredibly astounded.... the act of truly seeing a thing from your right brain is the gift (not the talent) after all. But... you'll never know until you try.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Tweaking through a sketch

This was a hasty sketch of Robert Duvall from Lonesome Dove, or rather, Captain Augustus MaCrae. His friends called him Gus. I think he would make a good guardian angel painting for Gus, my grandson, who was actually named after this character. He's going to take a lot more practice but the practice is fun and something that's very relaxing for me. You can lay a drawing down and come back to it and see immediately new things that you should add or change. It's funny how your mind needs space from a problem to work it out. And actually, was it ever really a problem? It wasn't. It was just a growing pain in the process of maturing the whole picture.
I was thinking maybe we all need to create a little space in our lives and our perceived problems. And then when we walk back into it - it's very possible that we will know better what to do - whether to erase, place a bold stroke, or leave it alone. And maybe, if we quit perceiving everything as problems and began to see them as stepping stones across the big picture of life... , the added depth in our own life drawing -we'll quit stressing and let the real Artist of our life just keep tweaking on us until He says we're finished.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Trip to the Mountain Top

To love and be loved is to feel the
sun from both sides. -David Viscott

I've been to Colorado to see my son. He works on a resort ranch called Lost Valley Ranch. It was a wonderful visit with him, and a refreshing and restorative time for my soul and great couple time with Greg.

Tucker is happier and more peaceful than I've ever seen him and it did my heart good to see him in his home turf - healthy physically, mentally, and spiritually.

We ate healthy food cooked by a 4 star chef, and rode horseback and hiked everyday. The place has no televisions and no one has cell service. It is rated a 4 diamond resort and the staff take excellent care of you. I highly recommend it.

And the scenery of Colorado never fails to take your breath away. We took a slow drive home on the scenic routes. This was Phantom Canyon, a place between Cripple Creek and Florence, Colorado.

Sometime, I feel like my heart will burst because God's blessings overwhelm me on a daily basis. But on my walk early this morning back on my own home stretch (working the saddle sore out), I let the tears flow as I closed my eyes for seconds and I expressed my gratitude and through my teary vision, I saw the most brilliant sunrise up ahead. I decided then that I won't dim the brilliance of this time in my life any longer, either guilty that others are struggling, or fearful that one giant disaster is waiting around the corner. Nope, I told the Lord this morning that I will open the blinds and let His blessings fall full down upon me and bask in the glow of this blessed time in my life. I know I can't always remain on the mountain tops like I saw in Colorado this last week, but I can embrace the full journey, especially the one today. I have nothing to fear in my tomorrows, if He chooses to give me life again. It is all good because He is good.