June 24, 2013

Morning Roses

Morning Roses in Glass 

For awhile there, I was feeling a bit embarrassed about what I LOVE painting.... 
Flowers.  
Always and forever, flowers. 
But then I remembered Monet, his Giverny and how he planned and worked his garden for the sake of his painting.  He made no apologies..... thank God.
So, here I am, owning it, announcing it, nope, I'm going to shout it.  
I love flowers!!!!

I who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday, this is the birth
day of life and love and wings; and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth

now the ears of my ears are awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened.
--e.e.cummings

June 22, 2013

The World Wide Web or Just My World

I love the web, the blogs and lovely websites, Instagram, Pinterest and even Facebook.  I've been encouraged in my art, tried new recipes, had some great sewing projects and have even reunited with old friends, heck because of Facebook I was able to "meet" my husband.

And sometimes I hate these places.  On certain days I think it's best not to even turn on on my computer, because all these places can make me feel pretty down.  It seems like everyone has it together and I don't, I'm missing something, I'm behind, I'm not good enough...  and so on.  I want to be a place on the web where someone can come and be encouraged to create, slow down and not compare.  And here's the reason why.
  1. Life doesn't favor others and not you.  I believe life can get yikky and sticky for everyone. Period. (How do you like those G rated mommy words?) And it is during those not so great times we really learn who we are.  We learn to paint in the chaos of life - metaphorically and literally.
  2. You can train your eye to see beautiful things in your home and in your life.  Stop and look and SEE - you will find something pretty in your own life.  This helps with the comparison thing that makes me crazy.  I remember on one particular yukky day, a friend came over to drop something off and she just smiled and said, "Your home is so cheerful, I love coming here."  That floored me because all I could see was what messed up, dirty and not finished. 
  3. And I think the web in so many ways is a fantasy land.  Whether it's other people posting all the fabulous meals and pics of them and their families around the world on Facebook, or the perfect house and garden on your favorite blog, or an amazing painting just finished and sold... it's just one little small part of a story.  We don't see the tears, fights and problems surrounding that perfect Facebook family or the team of people it took to style that perfect room posted on Pinterest - including a professional photographer taking the pics.  And we rarely see the stacks of unsold, not so good paintings in the corner or in drawers of the artist's studio.  You can use photos to tell the story you want for yourself or for others to believe and sometimes it's what you need to believe as well. But it is in your power what you will use to tell your story.   
Just keep these things in mind.  There was a time I toyed with getting a better camera, trying to take better pictures so I can post on my blog... but why.  I'm a painter.  Learning to be a good photographer would just take time away from the art.  So excuse my bad pictures and know I'm creating my world, the fantasy if you want, in watercolors.

But the reality is that the painting above is just a Shatto milk jar that I put the last remaining of my zinnias in after rabbits devoured all my efforts. And I painted this in my sketch book one very tired morning when Daisy was first born and I was sad and struggling with this very new, unfamiliar thing called Motherhood. 

June 14, 2013

Let me see...

Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. 
-- Thomas Merton

Today I was racing around in my constant, continual, never ending effort to get everything done, in place... right.  And it hit me, I'm going to miss out on so much if I just don't slow down and learn to let some things be.  I love to have everything in it's place!  I love it!  I seem to breath easier.  But then things get messed up again and usually the very next day.  I'm learning to paint in the mess.  To let it be, and just paint.  But more importantly, I'm learning to let things be and play with Daisy, talk to my husband and sit still.  Breath.  Look around.

When I teach students, one of the most important things I do is encourage them to sit still and JUST LOOK at the subject matter for several minutes before they dive in.  Look at where the light hits, the colors change and the shadow grows.  Enjoy the object before them and don't just look at the flower, apple, bowl or whatever they are painting as a task to complete.  Let the act of SEEING shape your creative endeavor and not that pressure to complete and perfect a "work of art".  Art begins with seeing.  And I know as as artist and a human being, I need to sit still and take notice because I do think life becomes richer when I am still and paying attention.   

June 12, 2013

Daisy Reviews her Momma's ABC Picture Book


video

Daisy's ABC Watercolors - A BOOK!!!!!

Ta - DAAAAAH
This is the cover of my ABC book.




And this is a quote I love and pretty much has inspired the 26 little paintings in this book.  I worked on it one little nap at a time and must say it was lots of fun.

Here are a few of my favorites.


D is for Dog.  
This dog is Max. He was my first dog. My "step" dog.  He came with John when we married. We had to put him down this past March because he had bone cancer.  It was very sad and Daisy probably won't remember him, but I will tell her all about Max, the sweetest dog ever when we talk about the letter D.


S is for seashells.  
I love saying, "Sally sold seashells by the sea shore."  Daisy looks at me like I'm magical when I say it.  



Z is for Zinnia.
I love many flowers but this flower is in my top ten and I have painted zinnias a bazillion times.  They are so easy to grow from seed and I love them in vases around the house.  Such cheerful flower too plus they come in so many bright colors and sizes.  I do believe life is better at the end of a hot summer because of zinnias.  

If you would like to have your own copy of this little 6"x6" book.  Click here to go to my Etsy shop.





June 1, 2013

Daisy's First Birthday


We celebrated Daisy's first birthday last weekend with friends and family and of course 
homemade chocolate and lemon cake! 


  All the flowers came from my garden.  Having your own garden really makes decorating a breeze.  The flowers seems to celebrate with us


 This little bit of joy had a great time and her Mama (me)  
really enjoyed decorating and planning this little shindig.


We had a puppet theater which I made from a large cardboard wardrobe box. (Thanks Bobbi for saving this for me and dragging it to my house.)


My nephew and niece... great puppeteers!

Bubble chasing

 Daddy helping Daisy catch some bubbles.

Ball eating contest, which Daisy won.



 
 And of course cake and kisses.

 

Daisy's "sister" cousin Shiloh who was born 6 months before Daisy is the 
sweetest little girl you might ever meet.

Daisy's friends and her oldest cousin.
 
Happy Birthday our sweet little girl and gift from God.  
 
 And a HUGE GIGANTIC  thanks to my lovely, talented friend Krissy who is a professional photographer. (Her website is here, MCK Designs.)  She snapped all these pictures while I was wiping up messes, pretending to be a rabbit at the puppet show and holding a crying Daisy.  She really captured the essence of this happy day. Thank you!

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