Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Wishes....

I found this Amarylis, stuck in between other pieces of work, and I just had to add a little, something, something to it, to spice it up a bit. I realized that I did not have any winter painting to put up in my studio.....which I do to greet guests that visit. (Mostly, I like to greet myself with something new for each season). So this is it!

I hope that you are enjoying the week. I fell asleep at early last night, so missed the Eclipse. My Daughter-in-law stayed up and saw the whole thing....can't wait to hear what she thinks. No doubt, she is sleeping at the moment..... but, well worth staying up to see.

So....HAPPY HOLIDAYS, MERRY CHRISTMAS.... HAPPY NEW YEAR (I will be back before the New Year, I am fairly certain). All my best wishes....

Monday, December 20, 2010

Winter's Moon....

I was unable to get a good photo of the Moon this evening, but I tried. The skies have been overcast all day, so to have it shine tonight is a wonder. If I can stay up, I would love to see the eclipse tonight. I had fun with this photo....very blurry, but intriguing, don't you think?

The Moon with out a flash

The moon with a flash, and
some adjustments and cropping

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Loveland Museum Gallery shows studio Botanica

Yesterday, I went to Loveland with my Art Group to see a most wonderful exhibit. If you live in the area, and you love Botanical art (which would probably be why you are reading this blog), then you should try to get to this exhibit.

Loveland Museum is at 503 North Lincoln Ave (or Hwy 287 and Lincoln Ave.) in Loveland, CO.
They ask for a donation of five dollars, but it is only a suggested donation. However, to support the arts, I think that is more than fair. The exhibit is downstairs, in a wonderful room which happens to show the work beautifully.

I know most of the artists. Each one is unique in their technique, style, and medium. There are watercolors, colored pencil, oils, and etchings, as well as combinations of the above. The work is done by several instructors at the Denver Botanic Gardens Botanical Illustration Program, and several graduates of the program. All are working artists.

What a treat! We spent two hours in the museum because there is a lot to see through out the spaces, upstairs and downstairs. We are fortunate to have these wonderful exhibits in Northern Colorado.

I have scanned the brochure of the exhibit for you, which I hope that you can enlarge, as there will be demonstrations through out the time of the exhibit, as well as classes available.

This exhibit is really worth seeing!!
Of course, I love the artists in this exhibit.
However, there was some work that
I had not seen before which was a true delight.
So, if you live in the area....GO!
Support the Arts!

These are the lists of Demonstrations
and classes available, while the exhibit
is going on. Well, worth checking out.

Post Script:
I have been trying to get on the blog, once a week, during the holidays. That has been harder than I thought. One of the very important parts of the Holiday, for me, is visiting with friends. So, I have been 'playing' and eating out.... running to Loveland, and generally celebrating the most important aspect of the Season......the people.

This has been such a hard year for so many friends and family. From politics to health, work and finances - it has been a rugged path for most of us. The highlights of Nature, Good health results (after scary diagnosis), good healing, and small moments of joy, seem to sustain most of us. Once in a while, you get a big thrill.....like the celebration of Marriage....which we enjoyed. That makes some of the other stuff much more tolerable.

I hope that what ever faith you practice, it will bring you Peace and Blessings this Holiday season and in the coming year. For me, all faiths bring value to my life..... but at its core, Kindness and caring can carry every person to a better place. So, Hugs, and more Hugs to all of you, who have followed this blog through thick and thin. (been a lot of 'thin' these past weeks, so a double thanks for continuing to check in).

I will try to write another blog this next week.... then the kids come for a visit, and I will be taking a break until after the New Year.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Bit of This and That

I can't quite focus in on the holidays here. Hanukkah came a bit too early for me this year, and there isn't any snow.... in fact, the temperatures are way above normal (let's say, in the 50's and 60's here).... though, I think I have been eating a few too many of the Hershey's Candy Cane kisses (not for the faint of heart). I can always get into celebrating with sweets.

So, my mind is meandering a bit.....

This morning, I walked around the upstairs with my camera in hand. I thought that you might enjoy seeing what is on my book shelves, for starters. I have so many books. Piles and piles of them...so, I am showing you a little sliver of what is on the shelf. In between the books are my white notebooks, from classes at the Denver Botanic Gardens Illustration Program. They are filled to the brim with ideas and work done for every class. They are also scattered betwixt and between all my other books.

My interests are varied....from Children's books
to Nature journaling.
If you look closely, you will see the "Dick Blick" catalog
tucked in there....for those 'wish lists' of art supplies.

The bird books came from my Mother-in-law.
I treasure them.
The sunflowers were stolen from a field,
by a friend, while the rest
of my Art group cheered her on from the car.
We kept the motor running for a fast getaway.

Why do I have the Sunflowers
(instead of my brave friend?)
Well, because,
I am suppose to be drawing them.
(January, perhaps??)

I have gone back to the drawing board
(in colored pencil)
to work on the Fairy Slipper.
This drawing is only about three inches tall.

And Last but not least, I have put my favorite
friend, Chauncey, in the living room with
a few other pieces, to decorate for Christmas.
We do more of a secular holiday theme, as
we celebrate the season. The bowl will be
filled with pine cones and greens.

So, I better get back to business and finish decorating the house..... but I will be back to share more tidbits of my scattered 'Holiday' mind. Wishing you the best this week!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

At the beach....warming up!

Hello after a long absence. We took a break and went south to warm our bones and celebrate Thanksgiving with family. The weather was perfect. We had sunshine and warm breezes every day. I love the beach. It calms me.

I love the Holidays..... but they get a bit frenetic at times.... and the beach just takes me to a good place. I haven't even looked in my studio. Haven't wanted to, as yet. I want to spruce the house up for the Holidays.... celebrate Hanukkah...and get ready for Christmas. We do both in this household.

So, for those of you who celebrate Hanukkah; "HAPPY HANUKKAH".

looking for sharks teeth and shells in the waves.
We invested in a much better apparatus,
which I will try out next time I visit.

Blue sky, soft clouds, sand between the toes,
laughter of children and grownups.
It feeds the soul with calm and contentment.

And..... for my quote of the day.....

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience
in which you really stop to look fear in the face.
The danger lies in refusing to face the fear, in not daring to come to grips with it.
You MUST make yourself succeed every time.
You MUST do the thing you think you cannot do".
Eleanor Roosevelt

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Celebrating Fall Colors

I know that I will not be at the computer for awhile, so I am loading you up with different colors of Fall, in hopes that by the time I get back to blogging, it will be a new season to celebrate.

I have painted or penciled about three of the Spotted Coralroot..... and this last one is in watercolor. My client really wanted a watercolor, so I went ahead and did one more. It is not finished, but I am growing a bit weary of doing it, so I probably will not show this one again. I can only work for a few hours on some of these projects, as the light in the studio at this time of year, begins to toy with my color. Things happen that I don't always like. I will work some more on this, with a mid-December 'finish' date, for my client.

Spotted Coralroot

Our back yard gives us quite a work out in the Fall..... as you can see below, the leaves don't drop until mid-November, and then they all plunge in one big 'swoosh'. I always hope the wind will carry them away, but we haven't had that kind of luck with our leaves.... so it's raking and bagging most of them. This would be so much fun if we had little ones to jump in the piles. It's not so much fun for two"oldies but goodies" to do it. However, the fresh air and a sunny day can make all the difference, when it comes to raking.

...and this is only half of the leaves that fall...

Next up, a small project for the next season. I have started the "Paper whites" (Narcissus) in a bowl, so that they will be blooming in time for the Christmas/Hanukkah Holiday Season. The roots have really taken off and I expect that it won't belong before that wonderful scent fills the air in the house.

A wee bit of a head start on the next season
while celebrating the Fall.

And last, but not least, I wanted to wish all of you an early "Happy Thanksgiving" from my house to yours. If you are traveling, be safe. If you are with family.....Celebrate. If you don't have family nearby, or you can't celebrate with them..... find someone to share the day with.

I think I love Thanksgiving so much because it is about what we can give to others and the sharing of gratitude for what ever blessings we do have. Plus, I do love the warm colors of Fall. It's Natures last "Grand Hurrah" before Winter sets in.

Best Wishes from our house to yours....

Monday, November 15, 2010

Not my photos.... but FALL AT IT'S BEST!

I cannot claim to have taken these photos. My 98 year young, Aunt, sent them to me this weekend. I was astonished at the beauty of Butchart Gardens ( www.butchartgardens.com/ ) in Victoria, B.C. I can only tell you that Colorado does not have this kind of color, which delights the eye. I just had to share it.... and I thank whom ever took these photos, and I hope that they do not mind my sharing them with all of you.

Now, I think I want to take a road trip to Victoria, B.C., in the Fall. I would love to spend a day.... NO... a week in these gardens, with my paint brush. I will put it on my 'to do' list.

Can you believe the colors?? Oh my...

So very perfect in every way

I could sit here for hours and meditate
or paint.

I can't keep apologizing for my lack of posts..... I can only tell you that too much is going on right now. It's all wonderful, but personal stuff, and it's taking up a lot more time than I ever imagined it would. It should resolve itself by February.... but until then, I am afraid that I am going to be more sporadic with posts.

I have been working, so will show you some stuff tomorrow.... then, I will be away from posting for a bit. Hopefully, you will be patient with me.

My Son is going to work with me in the coming months on a website and I hope to have my art work available for sale some day soon. I will sell original pieces and sets of cards. Something to look forward to, in the new year.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Breathing space...

I have been working on my Bromeliad all week, and now it needs some breathing space....

I like to photograph and print out my work, just to see what it needs..... and it still needs work.
But, I will let it sit a bit.... before I get back to it.


The weeks are flying by.... where does the time go. I have several art projects to re-do or complete and paintings to pick up from a local business that has been showing my work for four months. I am re-thinking that..... four months is a long time to have your work in one place. I think I prefer a shorter experience.... but we shall see.

In the mean time, the house got cleaned ...... thoroughly, this time.... and some sewing projects that I had been working on for two years, were completed this week. That is saying something, for me. This weekend, we head outdoors to work in the yard.... trimming the junipers, and raking ('til the cows come home!).

I am also learning how to edit a video. We have the ONLY video of our son's wedding, and it needs editing. So, slowly, I am trying to do that.... we shall see. It is definitely harder than it looks even when the program tries to make it simple. This is good for my brain... stretching...always stretching... to learn new things.

I hope your weekend is a good one and you have fun at what ever you do. I also hope that you can stretch your brain... learn something new.... hug someone old.... and laugh a little.

Monday, November 1, 2010

At work on the Bromeliad

My euphoria is abating..... well, just a little bit. (Thanks, Mervi for your comment!). I thought that I would just pop back to work and get a lot done last week, but actually, there were many things to do to tie up the wedding celebration. Also, I was writing on my table tops, through the dust, which reminded me that houses do NOT clean themselves.

However, towards the end of the week, I was finally able to sit down and paint. I have quite a way to go on this piece, but I am laying down the washes and getting form and color show. It is not an easy thing for me..... I need to put down darker washes, earlier in the painting. Instead, I seem to paint with trepidation ....layering in light glazes.... I must get bold and brave with my paint.

This week, I promise..... more than one post. Again, thank you for the patience.


Monday, October 25, 2010

They lived Happily Ever After.....

My friends and family already know..... but I wanted to share with my blogger friends, as well.
I found a rubber stamp, not too long ago, that said, "They lived Happily ever after.... and then they had to go to work". I loved that, and I put it on the envelope to my son and daughter-in-law (oh joy, I can say that now!!). For, this weekend, they were married.....

The rain was coming down,
but they decided to 'go for it'
and see if we could beat the torrents
which were expected in late afternoon.
So, gleefully, we all set out for
Tilden Botanical Gardens, in Berkeley, CA......
a most perfect place ever......

We ignored the fog and rain, as we climbed higher & higher.

We arrived at the magical place of tall Redwoods,
where it was surprisingly dry and comfortable.
We felt protected as our Son & Daughter sang
and played the songs that they wrote.....
describing their love and journey, to this point.

Now, our tears were adding to the raindrops...

And so, they stood together
with a bouquet, gathered and put together
by Mothers and Sister-in-law

And we wrapped them in a blanket of love,
And they danced with feet so joyous

And then they had to go to work...
(Well, not until today).

We did continue this celebration
in a dry and cozy place
filled with laughter, love, and
good wishes.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Fall Stroll around the yard

I thought I would share some of the photos from the extended Summer, that we are having. Certainly, the flowers are growing more pale, yet, they continue to bloom. We have yet to have a hard frost, which, compared to last year,, is an "Amazement" So, take a stroll with me....

The Clematis are showing a bit of 'wear & tear'
but they continue to bloom.
Amazement #1

The Hawthorne Tree is bursting with berries
This is it's third year at our house
but the first real burst of berries.
Amazement #2

The Nasturtiums and "Mums" just keep
coming forth with luscious Fall color

These flowers will adorn my Son's Bride
as he marries his beloved
Joyful Amazement #3

P.S. Working on my Bromeliad.....and I almost had the first wash completed this morning, in class. Hopefully, I can photograph it next week, when the first stage is complete. You can watch this one a 'In Progress".

Monday, October 18, 2010

What is that squirrel clucking about???

A couple of short posts this week..... work is getting done, but early stages are mostly pencil drawings, so will share more later. Instead, I wanted to share my back yard buddies (better known as the local squirrels) that have eaten most of the Russian Olive tree (their personal favorite dining tree). Last week, they were especially loud in the back yard.... and when I looked outside, walking calmly through the yard was the local Fox.

The fox looked well fed and his coat caught the rays of the sun and fairly 'glowed' as he sauntered through our yard. We knew that he was in the neighborhood, but lately he had been frequenting the neighbors back yards, and we had not seen him in quite some time. So, I grabbed the camera (whew... had to run upstairs..and then back down,....) and I only caught the back side of him. Still, it was a nice break from work, and a delight to have him visit (even though the squirrels were not nearly so thrilled..).

Hope your day is a good one.

Monday, October 11, 2010

New Class on Bromeliads

I am currently taking a course in watercolor, painting bromeliads. Since I have been working with mostly colored pencils, lately, I am definitely out of touch with my painterly side. So, I am spending a lot of time practicing my painting strokes, and it's quite a struggle. I found a great Bromeliad to paint.... at the clearance area of Lowe's. There aren't a lot of Bromeliads to be found locally, right now. However, I am thrilled with mine, and I think it will prove to be the appropriate challenge for me.

My "Clearance" Bromeliad and my practice sheet

Up close and personal on the practice sheet.
Yikes, my painting needs work.
I want to just start over with colored pencil...

Arches 140 #, Hot Press paper
and a good #6 watercolor brush
and practice, practice, practice.....

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Nature's Bounty

The weather is changing rapidly. Believe me, I am not complaining, because at this time last year, we had inches of snow on the ground and it never let up until May..... but Fall is definitely in the air. Today is a cloudy and cool day..... and there is talk of frost in the coming week....so we picked the pumpkins last night. I will have so much fun arranging and sketching, and then, hopefully, eating these delicious treats of nature.

Just thought I would share the photos with you before I wash them up and cut a bit more of their vines. Enjoy your bounty.... what ever it may be.

What a bountiful year of Curcubita's!

A closer look at all of the goodies!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Redwood Grove

Hi ...... I am shocked at the lack of time I have these days, and that I am hardly getting online to check e-mails, much less, write my blog. With many things tugging at my shirtsleeves, I find that time is a precious commodity right now. So, "Hello" to you.

I am taking a class right now in Bromeliads (most famous..... Pineapple!) in Denver. It is keeping me busy and out of trouble. I will put my homework sheet on the blog, as soon as I take a photo of it. (Oh, how the domino's must fall... to get another blog written).

So, why am I sharing the lovely photos below? Because my son will be married in this Redwood Grove in the very near future and I can't wait. I think that it is the most beautiful of all Cathedrals... and couldn't be a more perfect place for nuptials. I am so thrilled at the choice for this upcoming celebration. So, here it is..... I share it with you in celebration of Nature and love. Both are grand.

The sun peeks through the top of the trees.

What a Majestic place...a perfect spot for a wedding!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

At work this week......

Thought you might enjoy a snapshot of what I have been up to this week. This flower was discovered by me, this summer, at a garden tour. I immediately fell in love with it and tried to find out where to get it (in this particular color of blue). I took a ton of photos and hoped that I could plant it. I discovered that it is called Montana Bachelor's Button (and, no doubt, many other names)......that it is invasive and most gardeners end up not liking it because it takes over.

Well, I still love it.... and I will try to find a spot for it next year. All I could find this year was a purple version... which did not fare well in the yard. The joy of the garden is in the discovery of the next plant you find.....

Montana Bachelor Button
(common name)

Enjoy your weekend!!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Aspen are in their Prime..... another touch of Fall

I feel like I am apologizing each time I blog..... only because, I am averaging about once a week, and I am not getting the work done in my studio. We have had too much on our plate.... but I always think that I would rather be busy, than bored. (You CAN be busy and bored... but I never want to be that kind of busy).

We had the chance to take a walk in the Foothills this weekend, with friends who were visiting from 'out of town'. Since they were coming from sea level, we took them on a hike that was a bit lower.... which meant that we got to see the Aspen in their prime. wow! Amazing!

The days have been wonderfully warm and inviting for hikes and the like. I wish the Fall season could last for a much longer time. I just savor each and every sunny day.

The trees are in their prime...grasses starting to turn, as well.

Splendiferous Aspen trees!

A high country pond..... wish you could be there.

See you sooner..... I hope..... with something to show for my time......

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It must be Fall.....

Well, the pumpkin vines have taken over the garden. I have been trying to peek in between the leaves to see what has been hiding and growing.....

Look at this sweet pumpkin, just waiting to be picked. I am going to let it grow just a bit more.
I am watching for the frost..... don't want to spoil all the hard work.

There are also lots of baby boos still growing amongst the leaves. C'mon.... hurry..... the snow will be here soon....

And look at this beauty! I didn't discover it for a very long time, because it blended right into the mass of leaves. Oh, My, I want to pick it so much, but I am being very, very, patient.

I still am not caught up from travel and sickness..... so haven't even been into the studio this week. Yikes!! I hope to see it tomorrow.... and show you something soon.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The A-Maize-Ment of Recovery...

I really was working last week, but then a bug found me.... a nasty bug..... and I was down for the count. I seem to find the 'cold bug' when ever I step onto an airplane! Yikes...... but regardless of my bleary, buggy state, I managed to sit up for a few hours and finish my "Maize".

Each kernel was a piece all by itself, which was quite fun. I do plan to frame this one, and hopefully, I can put it up to enjoy this Fall.

I do not have any fresh ideas for work, at the moment. I start class again in a week, so that will indulge me in the world of Bromeliads. I can't wait. Until then, I will check around the studio and see what needs doing. I certainly, always have unfinished projects around to complete.

We are starting to have a taste of Fall, and I checked out the garden..... BIG SURPRISES AWAIT! There are three really big pumpkins, and some gourds, and 'boo' pumpkins growing like crazy. Since, I don't especially like to share space with the snakes, I have been very careful about stepping into the space to really see what is under the leaves.... but I think we have some fun pumpkins waiting for us.


Monday, September 13, 2010

We took a break and went to.......

Well, this is a huge hint, for sure. We had been planning this trip for a long while, and despite what you see above, once the fog burned off, the weather was perfection. The days were sunny and the nights crisp and foggy.....

We were able to spend some time with our younger son and his fiance....and help with some wedding plans. Though they want to have a very small, intimate ceremony, they do want it also to be very special, so we explored beautiful spaces to have a wedding ceremony. They came up with this.... which is amazing and wonderful. It's Nature's Cathedral, I think.....

Tilden Park Botanical Garden, in Berkeley
Redwood Grove

We were also able to head to the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco, to see a wonderful Impressionist Exhibit. It was closing that weekend, but the good news is that they will be having a follow up exhibit, starting at the end of September. So, if you are in the neighborhood, go and see it. Of course, I love the Museum.....think it is extra special just to see.

Don't worry..... there is another exhibit of Post- Impressionism
on it's way to Golden Gate Park...and the DeYoung Museum.

So, now, it's catching up and back to work. Hopefully, I will have some work to show you by the end of this week. Thanks for coming by..... things will be sporadic this Fall, but I will definitely try to post, once or twice a week. Thanks, too, for your support....as we celebrate this special time in our lives.