December 24, 2008
But I did manage to finish some things up. First and foremost the cupcake mittens and hat I made for my niece turned out fabulously. Now I just have to get her to keep them on. She loves chewing on the cherry. I just love making these little knits for her. I have a very small window of opportunity where she will willing wear the things I make.
I'm headed out the door - over the hills and through the woods - to my parent's home to celebrate Christmas.
December 16, 2008
This Christmas I'm missing my grandpa. It's been nearly three years since he passed but I notice his absence more than I did right when he died. I painted this angel on the hymn we sang at his funeral "Angel Band". For so many Christmas is a blue and dark time. I hope that somewhere in the darkness you find a shimmering star. Just look... you will find it.
December 4, 2008
But for those of you whom I have not met in person and would like a Christmas card from me, I would LOVE to send you one. Just e-mail me your address if you feel comfortable with that. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. I don't collect addresses, save them, sell them or anything like that. However, if you don't feel comfortable with that, I will e-mail you a copy of the card. I'm one of those people who LOVE receiving and sending mail so this is really fun for me.
December 3, 2008
Over the years I've collected, been given and even have made some Christmas things that I really love. I made the plaid Christmas pillows that BabyKitty is posing in front of and many of the old looking cross stitch work you see here. I even painted the little wooden Santa and varnished him to look old. Now, I guess he is old as I've had him for nearly ten years.But one of my most favorite Christmas pieces is this little miniature manger scene I bought from a Filipino woman who made them at an art fair I went to many, many years ago. I'm just surprised I haven't lost any of the little pieces. And of course, the best Christmas decoration of all - Baby Kitty. She looks great with red and green and knows it.
December 1, 2008
TAAA dahhhhh... A couple hours later after the kids were done and they went home to show their mom their paintings, two of my "adult" friends decided to create their own little Christmas painting. They knew what to do because they had watched me teach the little ones. What made me sad was just how they "judged" themselves and their work the entire time they were painting...
"I can't draw a straight line."
"My painting stinks."
"I can't do this..."
Like the children they were first time watercolor artists. But unlike the kids, fear of not doing it right, or perfect, or like mine showed in the art. This made me sad. Are we so worried about the outcome that we absolutely do not enjoy the process? Why can't we just see what we can do and who cares? After much begging, I ended up doing a sketch for each of them which they filled in with color. I talked one of my friends from throwing away her little watercolor paintings, convincing her she would like them later. Somewhere between 8 and 38 we just lose that ability to just give it a try and enjoy. See what happens. Then celebrate what you create. ALWAYS celebrate what you create.
November 29, 2008
November 23, 2008
November 8, 2008
Yippeee! Thanks to everyone who wrote me and reads my blog. I hope there is 100 more posts!!!!
The past two days I've been part of a holiday open house at a friend's home here in St. Louis. She makes and sells great beaded jewelry. It was so fun to do because you just enjoy talking to the women and there's no rushing, hurrying pressure to shop and scram like you feel at a mall. You have a glass of wine some crackers, take your time, chat it up with a new friend. It's just a fun experience. I've seen more and more of these holiday shopping open houses spring up and think they are such a great idea. In fact I'm participating in another one in two more weeks!!!! So for the next week I'll be busy painting and matting lots of my pictures.
Last Sunday I decided to take the afternoon and paint once again at the botanical gardens. I can not recall a fall so vibrant and colorful as this one. Maybe because it's the first one I've experienced in ten years. So I gathered my traveling paint kit and off I went. I found a perfect place in the grass - after much looking and pacing - then and set up my little studio in the leafy grass and of course put my ear phones in. It was busy in the gardens and I was somewhat secluded. Usually something fairly odd happens to me when I paint in plein air in a public place. Thankfully only falling leaves interrupted me when they dropped on my paper or on the palette.
November 1, 2008
Here are examples of each of the months. Each calender has a cover and back and is attached with a single red ribbon so you can tack it to your wall or hang on a nail. Like this...
Don't forget to submit your name for a chance to win an original watercolor from me. Click here to see the winning watercolor and what you need to do to get your name in the drawing.
October 29, 2008
October 28, 2008
So back to Lafayette square - BEEEEautiful. I really really really hope to live in that part of town one day. I love the tall majestic French brownstones. After New Orleans, this place screams French. And when you walk along the old brick sidewalks for a minute there you might think you are in France. Needless to say, it's a great place to walk around and even better place to paint. I have several paintings in the works, but haven't finished them ...yet.
October 27, 2008
So if you've been reading my blog - thank you! And in celebration and thankfulness for this blog and the people that take the time to read it and comment, I'm going to to have a little giveaway of this original geranium watercolor painting (7"x8"). So if you want to enter in the drawing please e-mail me your name and address, I will write it on a piece of paper and put it in a jar. Then on Friday, November 7 I will draw a name and send it to the winner the next day. Exciting, huh? You can only enter once, I will confirm that I got your info. You can enter by e-mailing me at email@example.com. Can't wait to see who wins!!!!
October 22, 2008
October 19, 2008
It's been a rough week not just for me, but most of my friends - jobs, health, matters of the heart... I've had a hard time painting this week, and I think everyone who does any craft has a hard time creating when life doesn't seem to be cooperating with your plans, hopes and dreams. After all, when you create you are saying, "look something from nothing!" And quite frankly I've been wondering what can redeem this nothing, these losses, these questions and uncertain times. Press on! Do just a little! I finished this fall still life this week. With very little hearts and even less hope. But still, it was an act of hope and faith which dried up my tears and helped me start a new project.
October 15, 2008
Several years ago I bought a fish for BabyKitty to entertain her. But mostly she was just enchanted by this little fish. She liked to watch it not sure what to think of it all. I gave this painting to a friend in Los Angeles last year for her birthday. For some reason, this was her favorite and I wanted her to have it. This woman has an amazing sense of style, a great sense of humor and has really gone through some hard life situations. I was just flattered that she liked it. Currently she's going through some health issues - which are really "life" issues. What next? What should she do? How? When? But forget about the "why" question because that will never be answered with any satisfaction. This picture kind of reaches in and like my cat and the fish, all we can do is watch to see what happens next. What else is there left to do?
October 5, 2008
So upon my return from the night's "festivities" I looked at my blog and noticed the jump in visitors and I realized that there are probably lots of people searching on the internet for understanding, answers, hope or maybe just plain distraction from all the buzz. Here we all are wanting some hope, some beauty, something other than the questions. So I offer you this... CREATIVITY... and that takes many, many forms - not just in art but in math, in economics, in psychology and I thank God above for the diversity of creativity. Just when I don't think I can paint any better or learn something new, I'm always surprised at what comes out. So yes, it looks rather bleak right now, but just know that there are many creative souls at work in this world for the good - how it works I don't know, but I believe it does. My part remains the same, I still paint because it's what I know to do. I would do it if no one ever saw a single one of my paintings or if I never sold one either. I paint, I remember, I hope...
September 30, 2008
September 22, 2008
Well, not sure if it's a happy Monday yet. It's too early to tell. But I think my newest geranium will at least help you move in that direction.
Last week I started working at this great floral shop in Clayton. I just love the atmosphere and being around flowers all day (pics to come). THANK GOD FOR FLOWERS!!!!!! This little job has been fun, but the best part about being having a little structure in my generally free spirit non-structured life is that it requires me to be more conscious of my time and getting things done. I really do get more done when I have more to do. Sounds strange.
Also I'm getting close to reaching my 100th Post here on GerAmyUm. I have no idea who reads this besides my mom and dad. But please check back in the next couple of weeks because I'm going to be giving away an original watercolor of a geranium of course!!!!
September 20, 2008
September 16, 2008
For the last couple of years I've been praying the same three things for my life. 1. A home with a garden 2. A husband and 3. Making a living with my art. (in no particular order - because the order changes with the weather) I have worked hard and come so close to all three but never to the point of crossing it off the prayer list myself. Perhaps it an answer to prayer when you know that only God could have made that happen and no amount of hard work or personal effort could have brought the answer. That's when you know its from God.
Okay, enough of the spiritual side of life today. On my to do list is to finish another painting for the GerAmyUm book and complete a painting I started of Lafayette Park and make beef stroganoff. That's it!
September 11, 2008
I Saved a Life Tonight
By Amy Woods
(September 12, 2001 - 1:30 a..m.)
I saved a life tonight
Covered with ash, eyes blood shot and unseeing
I was just going to work
Same as always
Never the same again.
I saved a life tonight
Hero in yellow with so much to carry
So strong, so able -- promising life
He climbed to hell and I ran down to heaven.
15, 23, 46 flights, thousands of steps
Sweat smelling of hope running down his back
Heavy breath then …
Able no more.
I saved a life tonight
Unable to take another step
Exhausted and red unable to breathe
I slung her over my shoulder
Ran like a tiger. Strength from God.
I saved a life tonight
Alone in my room – safe and comfortable
Close my eyes. I can’t watch anymore.
And in the night, now still with no sound.
I heard the voices grow. Each asking “Why?”
I found them and carried each to his home
Mother, Father, Wife, Husband and Child
Crying with joy
Holding their own.
And when I was through
Nothing was left
But steel, ashes and
Four twisted jets
And the "Whys" piled high in the middle.
I wrote this seven years ago after an entire day of watching the news alone. My husband at the time was not in town - he was a federal marshal and I'm not sure where he was called to but I was keenly aware of how alone I was. I had not cried the entire day but then around eleven that night, finally broke down when I watched a young reporter lose it on air. I'm really not a poet but for some reason I wrote this and this is the first time I am sharing it. I took this picture of the Twin Towers on my first visit to New York City in 1996. I went there on a Saturday - not a soul was there and laid on the ground and looked up to take the shot.
I will never forget September 11.
September 9, 2008
September 8, 2008
sustenance, and healing
that my spirit, like my body,
is constantly in need of.
I am made whole again
- my self is given back to me -
in solitude and silence.
So now I seek to silence the word and thought
by being conscious of the sounds around me,
or the sensations of my body,
or my breathing
I am energized by love.
So I recapture
the times when I felt loved,
cared for, and treasured.
And I see myself going out in love
to those who are in need,
and every living creature.
I come alive in times of creativity.
(--From Anthony De Mello's book Wellspring - A Book of Spiritual Exercises.)
August 30, 2008
When I was a kid... oh boy, here we go... we didn't have a computer until I was in high school and it was hooked up to a small television and I vaguely remember our first video game system Atari. Technology was like politics or show business, just somewhere else - like in a different state. It wasn't until I was a junior in college that I used a word processor to write my first paper. Most everything I did was by hand and in large part still is - except for this blog. (However, I do list my topic ideas for this blog by hand in a notebook.) So in the spirit of writing by hand the rest of this post will be written in my handwriting...