Sunday, December 27, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Sweet Farmer loves, loves a decorated home so I fussy everything up for him and me because we have time to sit cozy around the wood stove and admire this pretty place he built with his own hands and I decorate with lots of love.
My penguin family is one of my favorite things so I placed them in a winter wonderland atop my entertainment center.
This is fantastically intricate cross-stitch my Mom made for us in 2003. I'll never forget the day that Sweet Farmer realized that each of those tiny little x's represent stitches that were made by my mother's tragically beautiful arthritic hands and crippled fingers.
This village of Santas were all hand-carved by my very talented father. He's done so many and I gathered them up like treasures when he first started when nobody cared so much about them. Now, everyone is scrabbling to get the next one he carves. I'll probably never see another one now that they're wildly popular and so many grandkids, but I'm so happy to have this collection.
This is Gus, my oldest grandson, preparing for his part in the live nativity. He took it as seriously as this expression illustrates.
And this is Cash who says, "DEAR SANTA, I WAS FRAMED".
Monday, November 9, 2009
I asked Sweet Farmer while I was giving him a morning neck rub- "Where would you be today if you could be anywhere you wanted to be?"
Friday, November 6, 2009
For instance, why I do I like this version better (digitally altered)? The composition and design elements are much more interesting to me. Am I crazy? The other seems so elemental.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I always wonder when I finish what was the mind wondering, or rather, what was it expressing? I'm sure the white tree stands for aging or wisdom, possibly? Everything else is up for grabs. It reminds me of those kinetic images you see on the inside of your eye-lids when you close your eyes. I love those images. If you've never paid attention to them -you should, it's like your own little art gallery or built in kaleidoscope.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
My art may be digressing a bit I'll admit, but I think I missed or skipped over a crucial period of just pure playfulness. This month of scary, daring stuff has been good for me.
After I struggled over the church painting, a good blogger friend, who must have recognized that I was agonizing too much over my art (actually many of my friends saw that in me and suggested I let go)suggested I read, "Life, Paint and Passion". Thank you so much Anetka for taking me there. It has been a great reminder that the process is as important, or more so, than the product.
If you didn't care what anyone thought about what you wrote, painted, dreamed- what would you dare to do? We were taught very early to live in our square bland boxes of no imagination. Many can no longer respond to the gift of creating. It's like it went to sleep or was buried deep in the recesses of doing it "right" and doing it "this certain way" by "certain rules". This month for me is about taking back the joy of simply putting words to paper, paint to canvas and let that white void be a playground of wild abandon. I've got to dare myself and scare myself, and climb out of my box, and question everything. There is NO ONE to impress, if you really think about it.
Thank goodness I've reached the age of digression.
P. S. Linda at Vulture Peak Muse gave me a beautiful award that honors our sister-hood in this blogging community. She knows I don't like chain-letter type awards - but this one is special because I truly do feel that the people I've met through blogging have been a very special group of ladies that have encouraged me and thrilled me with their endeavors and everyday lives.
Thank you to all those "regulars" that add their sweet comments and enrich my life by small little affirmations. Thank you for taking the time to stop at my front blogging porch to smell my flowers and wish me well.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
It is rare that you will ever see an actual photograph of me on this site. Not because I don't think I'm pretty. I'm very pretty on the inside (little known fact that I won Miss Congeniality at the Miss Fort Stockton pageant), but photographs always show the outside and that can be quite ghoulish.
But since it is my month for scary, daring things- I thought I would share my pic for October.
No, actually this is a very fun little photo site called picnic where you can download your own photographs and art and add fun Halloween effects to them. It can be quite liberating for those who have a ghoulish side that never shows up in photographs.
No, actually this is the real me -just ask Sweet Farmer on one of my bad, evil days. But then, he likes me bad and scary sometimes.
Monday, October 12, 2009
I hope you can see my little bat friend in this art. I have really been into bats lately- maybe because things are a little batty around here. Two or three more weeks of "EXTREME Farming- The Reality Show" and we'll be back to a slower normal.
But anyway, little time for my art so recently I painted this bat in my journal. I swear to you it was the ugliest painting I had ever done. I thought about putting it up on a post because after all I'm doing scary things. They say that painting a really ugly painting can be very liberating. It was. I said, "So there, I don't give a rip - I just wanted to paint when I was too tired, too frazzled, and with little time. But honestly, the little bat kept calling to me over the next few days and saying, "come back and play with me".
So, I couldn't fix the painting because he was done with gouche watercolors in blacks and greens and oranges. So I took him a messed with him digitally and I like the little fellow all psycho-delic.
I've said before that art is one of those things in my life that I can change the reality at any given time and it is quite empowering. So I can go from Yuck to Yeah with a few quick tricks.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Regulars here know how much I love driving my Caterpillar Challenger winnower (cuts hay and small grains). Well, this is what happens when you leave an $80,000 machine sitting on the edge of a circular field with a large pivot sprinkler worth $100,000 going around the field.
Monday, October 5, 2009
This isn't good but it was fun. It's a little mixed media piece in my journal. We have been working really hard on the farm, getting the last cutting of hay out and planting fall crops so I haven't had much time for my art.
My calender for this month has a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt that says: "Do one thing everyday that scares you".
To go along with my spooky theme, I think being scared and scaring ourselves by stepping out of our comfort zones is a good thing to be reminded of and practice every now and then. I scared myself most of the month of September as I finished that painting for our church foyer and Sweet Farmer also taught me how to plant with a Global Positioning System. That scared the beejeeweez out of me because I could just see everybodys fall crop failing because of me. But I learned it and he was so proud of me that he took pictures.
I learned just in time as two of our farmhands quit because they wanted to move to Las Vegas and one has rotator-cuff issues and the other got sick with pneumonia last week -that leaves me and Sweet Farmer at one of the busiest times of the year.
Sometimes being a little scared and learning something new makes all the difference in our future successes.
I think I'll continue scaring myself through October, at least.
When was the last time you scared yourself by getting out of your comfort zone?
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Good. I did this drawing with colored pencils when I was first learning to draw about 3 years ago. I actually painted this same design on my face for Halloween one year and put my blonde hair in a banana clip and sprayed my "mane" black. (Not recommended if you are truly blonde- it takes forever to come out even though it was temporary hair paint). No one recognized me. It was crazy fun.
Anyway, I've spent weeks painting doves and trying to make something beautiful that I've decided that I will devote October to my darker side. Not as in "evil". I have many sides. I think that's why my art is all over the place. I love to paint wild, wonderful, wacky things because sometimes I just have to let that wonky weirdness in me howl at the moon. And what better time than spook month- October.
I challenge you to share some wild, wonky stuff and and come howl at the moon with me.
Monday, September 28, 2009
This piece taught me that I had romanticized a lot of the artist's process - that he happily painted his huge canvas, knowing exactly where he/she was going and whipped the final product out with joy and glee and a delight to all. It is a wrenching process, a struggle, a long, long climb and finally you reach the top of the hill and you have to sit down and rest for a moment, catch your breath, before you can really enjoy the view.
All I can hope for is that it brings beauty and joy to the space, and honors and blesses those I love.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
OKay. Honestly, from the bottom of my heart- I reeeally need your help.
As some of you who follow me know, I have been commissioned to do an art piece for our new foyer at my church. I know in my heart of hearts that I am not ready for this. I've said it many times to those who asked it of me but they are just sure that I am the one to do the painting. So I said "yes" expecting that God will help me. Trusting Him a lot more than I trust myself. But God will find me working and with your help....
Many of you have seen versions of this piece because I have been practicing for the canvas. This one is on watercolor paper and is about 16 X 20. On Friday I start the 30X40 canvas which, by the way, will also be the largest piece I have ever done. It will take me several days. It will not look exactly like this but this piece holds the essence of what I will try to achieve in the larger piece.
This is where you could be sooo valuable to me. I want you look at this piece and give me your totally honest opinion. I need to see what various reactions will be as this is the way different people from my congregation will view the painting. I know everyone won't like it. YOU DON't HAVE TO to be my friend. What I honestly need is some real critique, real opinions. I have no teacher close, no art student friend - I'm by myself -and I need to bounce this off several someones. Would you please consider commenting and giving me your impressions and opinions, if you are an artist- real suggestions and critiques? You've done it for me before, but I've never needed it as bad as I do now. I would be immeasureably grateful.
By the way, the foyer has been decorated in wood tones, copper, stone elements and has a lot of east light. The decorator person (also a church member) asked that I use some metallics if I could fit them in.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
(These are all polymers that mix with acrylic paint for different textures and different results.)
All these, and some new acrylics and a museum profile canvas box (10X10)made for a very sweet day yesterday. For the life of me, i wasn't smart enough to photograph it to show you all the fun textures and molded stamps hidden throughout the painting.
So many of you have followed this journey with me of learning to draw and paint. You've seen me
make lots of studies of popular artist and try to re-create, in a more humble version, something of what I saw in theirs. But now, I'm trying to create without looking at anything - painting intuitively, they say... and it's a lot scarier but so rewarding, when after much effort you begin to see something that would actually attract you if someone else painted it. All the studies and all the practice have helped me to begin to make my own stuff. I'll always be a student, but I feel like i'm looking over my safe nest, getting strong enough to take flight. Your encouragement has meant everything....without it, i'm certain i wouldn't have had the courage to keep pushing myself out of the nest.
But if this isn't something that makes you smile, maybe you will enjoy what is playing on my front porch as we speak.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
I thought I would take you along with me for what I thought was a really fun day. (I apologize for the quality of the videos, i'm still learning)
Although we have 3 hired farmhands, during fall planting season everyone is needed in the field. Sweet Farmer put me in the new tractor and taught me how to work the GPS system and I rolled in hay seed that had been spread by foam over this large open circle watered by a pivot sprinkler. All I had to do was turn the tractor around at each end and then set it on its appropriate row and it would DRIVE ITSELF!! I had my hands in my lap the rest of the time- check it out- no hands on the steering wheel. And as odd-chick-farm-girls do, I was listening to an educational podcast from TCU on imperial Roman history and video podcasts of a drawing tutorial. Where else can you go to class 8 hours a day and sit on your butt with your hands in your lap and still make money??? Not a bad day, huh? Although the field is bland, what you don't see is all the interesting things I found in the clods as I travel along at about 7 mph watching all the birds, especially hawks, that come and scavenge off the top of the new ground.
The next day I had to cut a beautiful hay field in my Caterpillar winnower. When you stepped into this field you would be overwhelmed by the smell of the blossoms, a lilac/lavender smell and it was a sea of green around me with thousands and thousands of yellow butterflies flitting over the top like twinkling lights. There were also lots and lots of Monarchs making love. Then swallows come out of nowhere like little black bats and would catch themselves a snack among the fabulous smorgasbord.
This is not really a good sign in the field as it means these yellow butterflies are attracted to the blossoms and then lay eggs that hatch out to worm/beetles that eat the hay. It will eventually have to be sprayed for this problem or it will diminish the crop significantly.
But for today, it made for an air-ride seat over the green stage of a unique ballet. I hope you enjoyed the free admission.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
I watched a trailer of a video that I wanted to buy. A man named Cheng -Khee Chee was dashing beautiful delicious color on very wet paper and then taking it off and then adding dimension and detail of his favorite subjects - coys. It was only minutes but I had to try it. What did I have to lose but a 1/2 sheet of 340lb watercolor paper?
I decided to paint a horse - go figure. But I wanted to give up control and let the horse come floating out of the picture like this talented man's coys came to life before my eyes.
So I painted quickly, intuitively.
I painted with a bigger brush. I put massive amounts of color on and then I took it off. Crazy, huh?
I stopped myself and walked away even though I was having so much fun. He was still sorta damp when I took the picture. (click him to get more detail)
And don't laugh at this one... I kept my blurry reading glasses on so I could keep some softness.
And I like him. You don't hear me saying that very often. But he doesn't have all those hard edges and tiny bush strokes that I don't like. I didn't draw him, and erase him and over-draw him again - he just came out, because I trusted myself. I TRUSTED MYSELF!! Can you party with me right now!! Can you slap my butt while we do the happy dance? This is huge!! ....now i'm feeling uncertain....like maybe you won't like it and won't see what i see....that it's really better.., i think.... BUT, i'm gonna trust myself and push the publish button. .... and then wonder, is he finished....., is he just interesting to me,.... like is he good today, but not good tomorrow... hmmm...i'm already tired of looking at him... he just told me he didn't care whether i like him or not... he is what he is... He is what he is... today, and I'm enough today.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
I also really enjoyed putting hot pink spots from the paint-ball gun all over the old tin barn until it looked like a Betty Boop backdrop. Now that was funky.
And, the time that Gus woke his little brother up from a reeeeally good nap, I totally understood why the little fellow beat the crap out of his older brother until his own little hand hurt. I wouldn't do that, but I totally get why you would feel like doing it.
But truly, when you are totally exhausted after being completely wound up, and you lay your little head on the pillow, I totally get that you finally think about the ones who cared for you all day, and in the dark remember to say so sweetly, "hey, i really, really, love you."
Hey, buddies, "I really really love you too!"........ and I get you, I totally get you.
Friday, August 21, 2009
If I could I would have taken a picture of my own self sitting on this bench reading my Kindle while my 7 year-old grandson was mowing my yard for the first time. It makes me smile. There are several reasons I taught him to do this job. He really likes to drive motorized things and he really likes to work so this job suited him well. But, okay, there is a selfish old woman inside everyone including me, and this picture makes me smile because I envision this child taking care of me and spoiling me in my old age like I've spoiled him. ..... but truly, it's not the reason I spoil him.... or is it???
Now the little one...he's like trying to train this kitten he's holding - which I call Obie and he calls Garfield, even though I tell him all the time that this kitten's name is Obie (but the kitten actually looks more like a Garfield).... and he just laughs...wickedly...like he knows I'll change my mind.
But he's funny as all get out and I guess that will count for something in my old, old age. He told me yesterday that he was God and the cat was Moses and that I should listen to them.
So I said I'd try.