Thursday, December 6, 2018

Endings and Beginnings

Hello friends 

it has been quite the year for me.  I have filled my life with family, adventures, enlightenment, and at times despair.  Yes, it is not a perfect world, where no one dies and no one suffers.   That thought was a challenge for me this year, as I lost dear friends, saw untold suffering, and started to see the aging of myself and others.

I have been so lucky to have a good life, a measure of good health, laughter and love of family, plus no disasters in our area.  But, others weren't so lucky, and it has been hard to know how to help friends who are struggling right now.

Mostly, I am grateful.  I have worked hard this year on my art, and it has brought me so much pleasure.  I have renewed friendships with High School friends.  I have supported dear friends through life's hardest journeys.  I have found a way to stay more healthy, through daily walks and Yoga.  I have a partner to walk with, and laugh with, and vent with, as needed.  He is healthy and near my side, every day.  I am grateful. art work this month!  Instead, I decorated for Thanksgiving...then, put that all away and decorated again.    We celebrate a bit of Hanukkah and a bit of Christmas in our house, as we share many faiths in our family.  So, I do up the house, and celebrate these special times with the kids, whenever we can find time to gather.

The 'outdoors' still feels like Summer, with plants and flowers blooming all around.  Our garden is happier when it is just a touch cooler.

our palms follow us all year long! do the black bamboo.
This is my favorite planting - a place of zen.

The bright red of the hibiscus
is a lovely pop of color in the garden

Or neighbor's lemon tree is overloaded with fruit.
We are definitely sharing  in this abundance.

Our Honeybell oranges are getting ready for juice time.
We like to share carafes of OJ, with our neighbors.

They come back for seconds and thirds!!

we even have a few key limes left on our tree.
pie or drinks....
whichever is your favorite!!

We are experimenting with coffee beans.
If we are lucky, we may get ONE cup of coffee out of this first batch!
We planted these for our kids, who know a thing or two about coffee.
They will harvest and prepare the beans
and share the results.
(we do have demitasse cups, just in case there is only a sip for each of us)

The Pool is surrounded by succulents and bougainvillea.

We purchase Poinsettias each year to place by the front door.
Some neighbors can get them to grow in the soil and come back each year.
We don't seem to have that kind of green thumb.

I thought that you might like to see the inside of our house, which I rarely share.  I do love to celebrate this season, with cards and letters, decorations, friends, and family.  What ever it is, the festive approach to the darkest and shortest days of the year, is a most enjoyable thing.  We also add lots of twinkle lights around the house, so that we can sparkle through the season.

This year we received this beautiful Amaryllis for Thanksgiving.
It was ready to bloom, and we have had EIGHT flowers from it.

We are in the midst of Hanukkah.
We have many menorahs, gathered over the years.
They are tucked behind and around the main menorah,
which is lit every evening for 8 days.

I keep lots of candles nearby.
dreidels are also ready for play.

We like to decorate the rest of the house in a secular fashion.  Growing up with the celebration of Christmas, has never left me, so I still like to enjoy it just a bit. 

Soldiers watch over the sweet treats that are around this time of year!

We have our own elves on our shelves.

An old favorite made by a forever friend
This is one of my treasures

The table is ready for a celebration!

This tyrollean cottage came from my childhood, when our family
received it as a gift from friends in Switzerland.
I have found the trolls and Mr. & Mrs Santa over the years.
The plate is from a visit to Pennsylvania, many years ago.

home made, gifts and memories remind me of
our long ago lives in Germany.
Each one is a treasure.

Of course, Monsieur Le Pig is ever present to delight us.
He is dressed up and ready to help me cook for the holidays.

    Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus

It all sort of flows together 

So, there you have it....our holidays from head to toe....inside and outside.  It allows me to be creative in a different way, and take a small break from painting and drawing.  As 2018 ends and we enter into the New Year of 2019,  I hope for Peace and Kindness in our world and good health for all.

I will be back next month with some art work 

 Please take time out for:

Peace - Harmony - Laughter -  love.

Friday, November 9, 2018

November notes

The Mid-terms elections have come and gone.....though, in my State, much is still undecided.  But, more people than ever got out to VOTE, which is wonderful.    Our political environment is still proving a challenge for me and my stress levels.  I am ever hopeful of better things to come.

In the meantime, I have taken up Yoga, to calm and balance my life.  I hope that it helps.  Right now, I am just feeling new muscles and aches, but I really like it, and I think that I see small (teensy, tiny) improvement everyday, in my well being.

It was a good month to get out my colored pencils, paints and pencils and get some drawing done.  I did a lot of sketching in front of the television, while watching a new favorite show.  I used my studio time as a way to find peace and serenity from the 'news of the day'.

So, here is what I have been up to:

pencil sketch (H, 2H, B)

pencil sketch

pencil sketch

We took some time out and went to St. Petersburg, Fl, to the Chihuly Museum.  It is a small jewel with blown glass beautifully displayed.  The movie that is available, is quite long, but if you are a fan of Dale Chihuly, just sit down for and hour (or two) and immerse yourself in the life and art of glass blowing on a large scale.  I would go back in a minute and sit through that film all over again.  The glass presented in the museum was just as amazing, though smaller than his museum in Seattle.

Each tube is blown by a skilled glass blower - with Dale's guidance and encouragement.

Perfect spheres were blown and placed in a boat.
I have seen this presented at the Denver Botanic Gardens; the Seattle Chihuly Museum
and in St. Petersburg.
Each one has been unique to it's surroundings.

Home again, to our back yard - the orchids are blooming!
You may see this painted at some point.
The blooms can stay for two to three months!

Colored Pencil Work

Fritillaria imperialis in colored pencil

This one was just fun to do and it went quickly.
That doesn't always happen.

a quick colored pencil drawing
of Peppers - a fun exercise.


Water color sketch of peppers
As you can see, I need a lot of work in water color.
I am going to be working on this a lot more in the new year.

Thought I would throw in an oldie
I did in colored pencil several years ago.

Curcubita in colored pencil

and last but not least,

a long ago watercolor.

I hope that you have the privilege  of spending time with friends or loved ones.  Gather those around you and have a pot luck or what ever, to celebrate the season's harvest..and each other.  Life is precious and the glorious food of the season is well worth celebrating.  


Every month

As long as there is gun violence,
I will post this candle

Monday, October 8, 2018

The Texture of Life

I love texture.  I love to see it and absorb it and then translate it.  It reminds me of my life at the moment....filled with textures that I am trying to absorb and translate.  I will let you know what I find out???

Wavy Stripes 

iron beehive
Russian Museum - Minneapolis, MN

This past month I took a journey back in a High School gathering, in Minneapolis.
Two years ago, I had gone back to celebrate a significant High School Reunion.  Honestly, we all had so much fun, we decided that we really didn't want to wait too long to we took the nearest "0" birthday (as I like to call them) and had a significant "Birthday Bash"!  A lady never tells her age, so you will just have to guess how old we all are.    I promised myself that this time, I would just celebrate friendships and explore Minneapolis, and the areas where my family had lived.  

I also chose to visit some of the wonderful sights of Minneapolis.  First up was the American Swedish Institute, which I have always wanted to see.  It's a mansion,  really, that is magnificent, all by itself, but imagine my surprise when there was and exhibit of Gudron Sjoden!

The creativity of the displays were astonishing.
I was taken away with this paintbox, in which they used Scarves
as the paint along with these gigantic
 paint brushes.

I knew nothing about this woman, but now I am a huge fan of her work.  She is a painter and a textile artist, with a funky and fun, clothing line.  Her use of color just takes my breath away and it makes me want to go wild with my painting.  I know....that will never happen!

This quilt is filled with texture and line and COLOR!

see what I mean?  lots of color and fun in the clothing line.

This photo is pretty dark, but can you see the crown?
the embroidery?  and that slip? 

Paint brushes were used as the heads.
Also, She uses three strong color palettes:

This is her creative process
Patterns, Texture, Color, style

I think that Gudron must be a wildly happy person, filled with the joy of life.  She projects this in all of her work.  There were also a few more quilts that I will share, just because I love her work so much.  

You can go on line and find her clothing and work.  She is also on instagram, which is fun!
So if you need a lift and want some colorful ideas for clothing, or art work,
remember her!

I will now share what I have been working on for the past month.  I finally......finally, finished up my rock painting.  I seem to get slower with my work, and sometimes a piece just doesn't hold my interest, but eventually, I complete it, whether I love it or not.  The good and the bad and the ugly all have a place in my heart.  I did try to capture the textures of the rocks.

"Rocking Maine" 

After I completed the rocks, I went in a totally different direction.  I took out some watercolor paper (cold press 140 lb - which is not what I would ordinarily use), my watercolors & just threw out a painting.  Here is the result:

My Cala lily kids

I decided to repeat it in colored pencil.
I will share that next month

I will leave you with these chiming bells that were at the Walker Art Center outdoor Sculpture Garden.  We enjoyed a sunny, breezy afternoon there, and the sounds captured my heart.  I hope that this blogger video works, as this is the first time I have tried it.  

Minneapolis is a wonderful city and we explored all of it.  But what it really comes down to, in most cities is the people, and Minneapolis has wonderful people.  It may get cold there in the winter, but the hearts of my high school friends, and everyone else we met in this amazingly diverse city, had the warmest hearts around.  



Of course, I have a preference, and if you know me, you will know exactly what I would prefer, but voting is a privilege that we have in the United States, so take time to understand and study the amendments - then go to the polls and vote.    Your government is all about YOU and what YOU want and need.  If you don't vote, you can't complain.  That's all.

And lastly, lastly:  


In loving memory
Bunny G
1951 - 2018
She epitomized all that was good in the world
I will miss her more that she will ever know.