Saturday, July 30, 2011

This one's for my boys!

When we talked to our kids, before we headed up to Grand Teton National Park, my older son (not a kid anymore, but always my kid), asked about the town of Jackson Hole.  He wanted to know two things..... if the theater was still there (where he went to see a movie with his Dad, while his little brother took a nap)..... and if the antlers were still in the downtown square.  

Well, of course, both were still there.  If you look closely, you will note that Harry Potter was visiting last week.  Movies delight children, as well as, adults... but the old movie theaters are the best of the memories.  I am grateful that Jackson Hole has kept some of old, but wonderful treasures.  This theater is one.

As for the Antlers in the Town Square.... they are most definitely still there.  I wanted to take a photo of them and it took a good ten minutes, because so many people wanted to pose in front of them.  So, kids, these photos are for you.  Some memories of times past, when we had our great adventures in the outdoors.... and a few fun adventures inside a treasured theater.

See, it's still there!
A great piece of JH history
(and a bit of our family's history, as well)

One last look at the Grand Tetons
taken from Signal Mountain

Here they are!....
Each corner of the square
sports the Antlers.
Great memories of childhood.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Celebrating the flowers in the Park

When we head to a National Park, I often, do not get time to sketch.  We are too busy exploring.  I always intend to do it, but I end up choosing to carry a lighter load....without pencils, sketchbook and some source of color.  

So this time, I just took a small camera...with no sketching materials at all.  However, after we spent the morning at Signal Mountain, I was itching to sketch the flowers.  We popped into the mini-mart at the campgrounds and this is what I found:

1 green steno book
1 pkg. 8 Crayola crayons

We scrounged around the car and found a pencil....#2...sort of sharpened...and I was off and running.  Now, let me tell you that crayons are fun, but they don't translate the color exactly, so I had to add some notes....but it got the idea across, so I can go ahead and do a bit of work in the studio.  Actually, the steno book turned out to be a the lines helped me to align the flower. take a peek...(sorry, did not draw the Penstemon).

Big Red Penstemon
(Husker Red)
Sorry....all you C.U. fans!

Sketches of flowers
previously seen

Indian Paintbrush
(This was very pink and
was hard to capture with the red crayon)

Here is the Paintbrush
in all it's glory

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Rain Day.....on to Jellystone

 Mid-week, the rains were expected, so we headed to "Jellystone" as we prefer to call Yellowstone.  That's were we saw all of the Bison....and then went on to climb above Yellowstone Falls.  It is a beautiful part of the Park with many rich landscapes.  It was also very warm in the morning (as we hiked) but cooled off in the afternoon and then started to pour and drop 20 degrees in a matter of minutes (this was later in the afternoon).  It was just a delicious day.

The photos are all out of order.... sometimes, I do that..... but you can get the idea...

We climbed a trail that dropped off a good bit.
I am not one for cliffs or heights,
so my sweet hubby took many of these photos.
Still I managed to hike this with only a few prayers.

Mud pots greeted us through out the park.

I love the smell of sulphur springs
gurgling, hot mud pots...

From below, you can see rainbows.
But up above, you can see the Majesty.

Can you see a bit of the rainbow?
The spray is probably two stories high.
The sound is brilliant from where we
were hiking.

Monday, July 25, 2011

On top of ol Signal (mtn)

Early one morning, we drove up to Signal Mountain and took some photos.  You could see the mountain range, as well as the valley and river (lakes, too) below.  There were a few flowers that were smiling that morning, so thought I would share these photos today.

Just a little note:  it was about 47 degrees up at the top of Signal Mountain at 9:00 a.m......but it warmed up quickly.

The morning moon was out;
the lake was calm,
all was well with the world.

The beautiful valley below

I loved the texture of the trees
on the grasslands, below us.

Arrowleaf Balsamroot
greets the morning sun

Sunday, July 24, 2011

More photos of the Wild West

This was the view from our Cabin window
We stayed at a small cabin
at the Jackson Lake Lodge
What a treat to be staying inside
Grand Teton National Park.

It looks like we are out in the wilderness

This is better than a traffic light!
Mom & Dad were in no hurry
and Junior was just a wee bit nervous...
But, what a 'photo op'

Baby Bison scrambled after Mom & Dad
until he/she was safely on the other side of the road.
Then, they all relaxed and cotinued grazing.

Wild. Wild West

We headed to Yellowstone, which is connected to the Grand Tetons and only about an hours drive through the park.  It was a beautiful morning and storms were expected in the afternoon, so off we went.  

Wouldn't you know..... as soon as we hit Yellowstone, we ran into (almost literally....) a herd of Bison....better known as Buffalo in the wild, wild West!

Love these guys.... so mellow
(well, I was in the car!)
They love to wallow in the mud
when the mosquitoes start bugging them
(that was an intended pun).
They still had their winter coats hanging off of them...
it's been quite a cool and wet Spring in the Northwest.

There were so many people "cruising America"
Many were from outside the United States,
which I love.  Every time we popped out of the car
we could hear many languages, other than English.
  What a way to see the Wild West!!

Hanging out by the lake.
Can you see the little one towards the back?
More on that sweet baby, later.

How about that Traffic?
It didn't seem to bother Billy the Bison (at all)
He just took his sweet time crossing the road.

People stop for all wildlife and sometimes,
forget that it IS wildlife.
That's why we have called ourselves "Tourons"
(if you need a translation, let me know).

Saturday, July 23, 2011

On a Journey North

We headed North to Wyoming, to cool down a bit, hike, chill out, and relax.  It was a great break and as always, good for the soul.  I love the Grand Tetons and Grand Teton National Park.  It is smaller than Yellowstone, with less (obvious) wildlife, and wild flowers that will knock your socks off.  The views aren't bad either.  These Northern Rockie Mountains rise up to meet you, every day.  We were lucky enough to be able to stay inside the Park at our favorite place.  It was quiet and restful and for a short break, it was just perfect.

In the next few days, I will show you more photos..... letting them speak for me.  

A view of the range and Jackson Lake

Flowers on the trail around Jenny Lake

Wasn't it nice of them to
put a sculpture right on the trail??

Clouds gathered for a rainstorm.
Flowers, flowers, everywhere!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Two Posts today..... TGIF!!

Our Art group is trying to stay employed, stay healthy, and get together on Friday mornings.  It's not always possible, but we have been working really hard to make it happen.  With the sketchy job market, several members are having to prioritize and WORK!  We are just grateful when we can manage to get most of us together.

Today was such a day.....only one person had to work early, so we put our paintbrushes, colored pencils and water color pencils to paper and got to work.  It felt good to get some work done.

You will notice that our Hydrangea's have a definite purple cast, rather than blue..... just can't get that soil to a happy place, here in Colorado.  Still, I am thrilled that they grow, no matter the color.  

So, here is the unfinished piece..... just the show you what I have been up to this week.  

Friday Art group
water color pencil sketch

We have had torrential rains, lots of lightening (which turns off all of our computers for long stretches), and a bit of flooding (though not at our house, thank goodness).  Usually, Coloradans are praying for rain, but after nine days of storms, I think we are good for a bit.  It's hot and steamy....which is NOT normal for this dry high plains part of the country.

Have a great weekend.  I hope it's not sweltering, storming, freezing, or too extreme in your neck of the woods.  Everyone deserves a nice break, don't you think?

I am sending you all hugs..... Be Well!

Getting some work done...

I have been wanting to print out some new cards, and avoiding the process.  It is hard to get the printing done in a cost effective manner, and to have the colors come out just the way I want them. 

 A while ago, I had some printing done and had all of the work put on discs.  However, when I went to re-print from this disc, I had lost some of the information.  It's a long story, but let's just say that the technical expertise at the printers was less than stellar.  However, after having dealt with a BIG NAME printing company and spending over two hours and many, many, many (too many) dollars printing a set of cards, I went back to the less stellar printer, who worked with me on another disc until we were both happy with the result.  This extra service and help came at 1/3rd the cost of the BIG NAME company.  Isn't that interesting?  From here on out, I will work with my new bff at the 'newly stellar' smaller printer.    

Some lessons are learned with a bit more difficulty.  The business side of my art is the hardest part for me.... a continual learning curve, you might say.

I am glad that the weekend is here!

Plus, my new glasses are in, which just might help me with future drawing.  I went retro with big ol' circle glasses...... time to step out and stretch from 'tradition'!!


Monday, July 11, 2011

Why. oh why......Does Summer fly by...

I realized that a week had passed since my last blog entry.  What was I doing?  Where is the time going?  Why does the Summer pass so quickly, when those cold months of Winter seem to last forever?  

If you just happened to watch the Woman's Open Golf Tournament on television this weekend, you would know that Colorado is having a few weather interruptions these days. It seems that we are enjoying the most beautiful mornings ever....... and then around 3:00 in the afternoon, the sky darkens, the clouds billow, and the lightening & thunder take over.  We end the day with a torrential rain (gully washer, as we like to call it) and then the sun steps out to say, "Good evening".  

So, I have been out and about in the morning......and by the time I get down to work in the studio.....the lighting is all wrong.  Also, I must admit to some home projects (like steam cleaning all of the carpets....i.e.moving all of the furniture around), some fun outdoors stuff (golf, walking, biking, time with friends) and a few adventures (actually getting to go to the US Woman's Open Golf Tournament in Colorado Springs).  It's my summertime bliss.

I did manage a few days of work last week, so I will let you have a peek......

still working away at the peony

A close up of the work.....

Alas, the flowers have moved on......

Monday, July 4, 2011

Friday, July 1, 2011

......And the last of the garden tour photos!

Ah..... the last of the lot.....   the Garden tour is over!  Are you sad or glad?   I am a bit sad, because I do love to visit and revisit these amazing flowers and gardens.   Of course, you can just pop back to the blog any time and capture the essence of the garden tours from this year.  I think I enjoy that the most, when it's in the middle of Winter and I am dreaming of the garden.

Our little Art Group has been plagued with distractions for the last few months.... and today, we managed to get together for the first time in four weeks.  It was much needed and fun.  I did a water color pencil drawing of a geranium..... just sketching and putting color down without hesitation.  I forget how much I enjoy just letting loose and playing with my watercolors.

Well, the 4th of July weekend is upon us.  There will be much to do.... from biking to hiking.... from local concerts to picnics..... and of course the grand finale ...."FIREWORKS!!!".

I love it all!   I hope that your weekend is filled with lots of Summer Fun.   

Enjoy these last photos from the Park Hill Garden Tour:

Rhododendrons are so hard to grow here
and this one was perfection

This patio was literally
excavated out of a hill.
It is now a lovely room that
opens to a very private gated patio.

The owner of this house took a pick ax
and went down three feet, to excavate
this beautiful water garden.
Not only was he a creative designer
but a committed gardener!

Two Clematis

Last, but certainly not least.....

Yet, another gardener, dug out his back yard
to create this lovely space.

What I loved most and appreciated, was that all of these gardens were a 'hands on' experience for the Owners.  They had their own vision and did the work themselves (with the exception of the top excavation for the patio).  The results are so much more personal and loving.  
Enjoy your weekend!  Let the Celebrations begin!!

Just enjoy the garden....

Have a very Happy Birthday, America!
Happy 4th of July

Today is July 1st (hope you said "Rabbits") and I will not be posting again until July 5th or so.  So, I am leaving you with more photos to enjoy.  Have a great weekend.

California Poppies


I believe this is a Begonia

Fire bush Tree