Friday, November 30, 2012

Grandma Lucille's Hands

 It has been a very long time since my last post but I have gotten alot done. Primarily bringing a new little beautiful life into this world. My baby girl was born in August and then after two weeks of recovery the 3 kids and I went to visit my parents farm in KY for 2 months while my dear husband traveled for work .  We had a great time helping with farm chores, getting to know new friends, and exploring at the cabin in the woods.
Before the baby was born I completed Grandma's hands and made several quilts.
I designed this quilt for my son because the kids room has a bird theme and he likes the color black. what better bird to go with black than these adorable owls. The quilt is machine peices and appliqued, machine quilted with hand quilting details around the stars and inside the window.
I am currently working on many quilting projects for christmas presents and getting into the swing of being at home with three little ones. I am eagerly looking forward to starting several new paintings soon, There were several great photo opportunities on the farm that might make nice paintings.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Lucille's Hands

A new Painting class session has begun at Reston Community Center and I was able to get some painting done, even though my worries were on the work that still needed to be done for my daughters 2nd birthday party the next morning.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Stuck, Stuck Stuck.

Stuck, stuck stuck. What an appropriate title for all aspects of my life these days. Artistically I have been feeling completely uninspired. I had a 3 hour gestational diabetes test today, requiring multiple blood draws. And I feel stuck in my messy house with no hope in sight for things to get better soon.

Since I completed the painting "Hogan the Bricklayer" I have not felt any inspiration to get back into painting. I want to very much but I don't have that "Lets get 'er done" feeling to drive production. When I do spend time in my studio I end up piddling around with scrap booking or just hanging out with no particular achievements. I am not sure exactly why I am in this slump or entirely how to get out of it. I am very much looking forward to having a regular painting class to attend again in June. The routine of pulling out my paints weekly with the time dedicated to painting and the expectations of others looking on expecting progress should help me get going. Hopefully I will be able to have the energy and still remain comfortable as my expanding Belly continues to grow.

I will probably be relying heavily on my neighbors kind babysitting in order to allow me to get to painting class. My husbands work schedule has expanded to ridiculous proportions. He works tons of overtime, has his days off canceled, and weekly is away on trips, all with hardly any warning. It is very difficult for me to not be able to plan anything involving him. When It seems like we might have a small window of time together they either call at the last minute with something he has to do or he is so exhausted from all of the work that he sleeps all day to recuperate. Sleeping all day is probably the hardest on me, because I keep waiting around hoping that the kids will get to spend some time with him, and becoming increasingly frustrated that he is in the house but unavailable.

I have been feeling major nesting urges but lack the time, energy or manpower to follow through. Keeping dishes done, kids fed and the house slightly picked up takes every ounce of energy I have. With no weekend breaks where I am freed up to devote more energy to projects, nothing else is getting accomplished. The messes are driving me nuts and I just want to tackle them but I never have opportunities to get to those piles of winter hats and gloves in the hallway  or the regular picking up of books in the kids room. I just would love to have my whole house clean, every little area of mess is grinding in to my nerves but I cannot get to it.

I cannot get comfortable at night. I have been sleeping in the Guest bedroom because I toss and turn so much my husband cannot get a good nights sleep and his snoring drives me insane as I lie wide awake beside him. I have found that I cannot fall asleep on our regular mattress even when he is away on a trip, but the guest bedroom mattress makes my hips ache. I guess It is better to be slightly rested and achy the next day than completely exhausted.  I guess it is not working tonight as I am writing this blog at 3:30 in the morning in an effort to get my racing thoughts out of my head.

Today's doctors appointment was very frustrating. I gained 9 lbs since last month and that is way too much. With the weight loss from the first trimester I am only up 7 lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight but rapid weight gain like that is not good. I was hoping to keep my weight gain about 15-20 lbs but at this rate, and three months to go that would not happen. With my first Pregnancy I gained 40+ lbs and it was very hard to get off. With my second pregnancy I had Gestational Diabetes and the strict diet helped me keep my weight gain on the low side.

Since I had Gestational Diabetes before, I decided to skip the 1 hour glucose test and take the 3 hour test. It is hard enough to find one day when I can leave the kids at home. Since my husband was available, although dead tired from working 36 hours without sleep, I was able to take advantage of the opportunity to stay longer and get the test over with. Apparently I was dehydrated because the nurse kept on missing my veins. I ended up getting STUCK 6 times for 4 blood draws. It was not more because after the first two extra punctures I was guzzling water like crazy. My arms are achy and bruised.

I have mixed feelings about getting the results. On the one hand I don't want to have gestational diabetes and I don't want to have to prick my finger 4 times a day to monitor it. BUT the regimented eating plan was very good for me last time and I need the motivation of a diagnosis to make me stick to it. I have very little self control when it comes to sticking to a healthy eating schedule unless forced. Perhaps If I do not have GD I should look on it as a spiritual exercise, and try to make this an opportunity to practice self control.  It is so hard when I just crave sugary carbs!

 The only thing I have gotten done in the last few weeks was creating this home management center.

I hope that I get a chance to tackle both some art work and some nesting projects soon, but frankly do not know when it is going to happen. Will keep you posted if I have any results.

And just one cheery picture to send you away. Not all is gloom and complaints, I have two wonderful children who surprise me everyday with sweetness and love and they have two great friends to share adventures with. Playgroup is a source of love and support that keeps me going when I feel down. Thank you Girls.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hogan the Bricklayer

"Hogan the Bricklayer" 16"x 20" oil on Panel is complete and framed ready for an upcoming show at the Lake Ann Reston Community Center. Now I need to finilize my price and hope that someone makes a purchase.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Sidewalk Paint

Today the kids enjoyed painting on the sidewalk with some sidewalk paint. It was easy to make, and kept them busy for about an hour.

1 cup corn starch.
1 cup water
food coloring

My son experimented with jump painting, and they ended up with a lovely mostly grey painting on our sidewalk.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Studio tour

The last several days have produced only minor painting work but I spent time in my studio organizing and straightening up. I am not sure any real organization took place but it certainly has more clear space and looks neater. These photos still make the studio look crowded and busy but the amount of floor space I cleared out makes it alot easier to move around. I also got alot of my inspiration and artwork hung on the walls to help keep me going.

Pregnancy has been wearing me out and I have needed some time off to rest and to get the kids together with their friends.
My husband has been traveling and working a lot of overtime so I am having a hard time getting into any sort of a routine. Both housework and artwork schedules keep getting blown off course by unexpected overtime and trips. I would love to get into a rhythm that can withstand the shifts in schedule and still keep me on track with all the things I need to get done.

Do you have any suggestions for me on getting into a routine?

Monday, April 9, 2012

The eyes of an artist

I am always amazed at the things we notice and pay attention to. When I worked as an architect and designed signs for one project I suddenly started noticing signs, everywhere. How many times a day do we read signs but never really look at them. Suddenly I couldn't not look at signs, I would notice what they were made of, the lettering used, how they were located on the site, how large they were.

When I designed lighting I began to notice all lights and would make comments out of the blue to my husband about the lights at the restaurant we were eating at.

Now that I am painting I see colors everywhere. I analyze them and think about how I would put them on canvas with my brush. It is really a wonderful way to see the world. It just is reminding me how we really do see the world with different eyes. Even from stage to stage in ones life we can see so differently.
This makes me think more about the way my children see. How am I forming their vision now when their mind is growing and developing so rapidly. If we teach our children to see and think about colors now will they have different vision in the future.
If we teach them to see Gods hand move in the world now how much better will they be able to see him in the future.
Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.

Mardi-Gras Gleenings begun

I started a new painting today based on a photo of my daughter at Mardi Gras in Mobile Al.
My mother-in-law wants me to do a painting from the photo but it will be a difficult photo to work from.
It has a direct and harsh because the photo was taken after dark. The smile while great for a photo will be difficult to paint. and parts of her arm are covered up in the photo by Daddy who is holding her.
I will also need to buy a moon pie because the one photographed is the wrong color and turned the wrong way for the painting.

I worked for about an hour or two and got some color blocked in but have a long way to go still on this one.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Hogan ongoing

Amazingly I was able to find some time to paint today while the kids were up and active. They played happily in the playroom which has been a welcome recent development. They also worked on a little coloring of their own on the easel in my studio. My son liked the painting of Hogan but wondered why I did not have the banjo in this painting.

Saturday, March 31, 2012


I was very excited to get photos from my trip to the farm in the mail yesterday. There are so many good photos from which to choose. I am very excited to work on several of them.

 I chose to start with a head and shoulders pose of my parents neighbor Hogan. He is such an interesting guy and could talk to you for hours if you had the time to sit and chat. I asked him to pose with some of his instruments and have pictures of him holding his banjo and some where he is sitting down with his guitar. He performs with several musical groups and is very good. The banjo he was playing he assembled by himself from various instruments.

I hope to paint him with one of the instruments soon but chose to start with this pose because I am not sure how large of a canvas I should use for a full body portrait.

I made this painting about full scale.

So far I have only been blocking in the shadows and starting to develop some of the areas in light. I was very pleased with the days work and am looking forward to working on it again tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Trip to the Farm

A last minute decision sent the Kids and I off to the Farm for a week.
They had such a great time running with lots of space and enjoying the wonderful weather.

Everyday they helped grandpa with cores and I had many photo opportunities to catch a yearly update of Grandpa's Barn.

I also asked my grandmother and several of my parent's neighbors to pose for photos for future portraits. I am very excited to get prints and decide on poses to paint. I feel like I have been waiting for pictures to work on for some time. The only painting I have been doing is on a lily which I started about three weeks ago.

Hopefully some new paintings will be underway soon and I will have lots of photos to share.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Works on Exhibit.

Two pictures will be on exhibit for about three months at the Reston Chamber of Commerce Building.
"Shades" and "King of the Coup"

Drop off was this morning and I am afraid I made a rather pore showing. I decided last night that the paintings really needed to be framed and since the store was closed last night I had to make a run this morning as soon at the store opened. I headed directly over to the exhibit and had to borrow a screwdriver to finish framing the pictures.

Coming into an exhibit drop off with two pictures needing framing and two squirmy children was not a great idea. Most of the people were understanding but the lady who seemed to be in charge seemed generally stressed and not too happy to have a 3 year old informing her that he was GI Joe. One lady tried to help by getting something for the kids to draw on but ended up scaring my daughter and got her started crying. The people getting ready to hang the show had to close the conference room doors to not bother others in the building. Luckily I was able to locate a pacifier.

I will certainly be better prepared for the next exhibit. And while I will still probably show up with two kids in tow, It we are only there for a minute to drop off it should not give them as much opportunity to create havoc.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Grandpas Barn

Grandpas Barn has been so much fun to work on. I loved adding he tractor to the barn because it took about 1 minute and is very loosely painted but I felt like it just worked. I love it when painting happens with minimal effort. It just feels so much freer.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Grandpa's Barn

Several days work on Grandpa's Barn have gotten me to this point. I have yet to start the areas of skin and the background is just under painting and layout at this point. I really like how it is developing at this point however and am excited to get more work done on it. After a dry spell creatively it is nice to feel like things are flowing again.
My son says he likes the painting but it is not beautiful yet because I have more to paint. It is always amusing to get his input. He recognizes himself and grandpa however so that is a good sign.

Friday, January 20, 2012

King of the Coup

I started a painting class last week and worked on a painting of my Mother-in-law only to be met with increasing frustration so this week to loosen up and have a little more artistic freedom I started working on this painting of the King of the Coup. Exactness is not as important when painting a chicken as it is with a portrait so this was a good opportunity to just have fun with the painting. There was so much blue paint on my canvas that I had to come to a stopping point or contaminate all colors with blue. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Getting back on Track

I am working on finally getting back on track after a busy month of house rearranging, Christmas preparations and many wonderful guests. I now have a studio room from which to work and some attempt is made to keep kids from invading that space with limited success. I guess I should be flattered that my children always want to be in whatever room I am in, but it would be nice if they could play on their own sometimes. Everyday I look forward to nap time when I have a chance to pull out paints and get to work.

"Babes on the Beach" went to its new home with grandma as a Christmas present.

 I have been working on some color boards to have some color mixing recipes. Yesterday I completed cobalt blue and Grumbacher red.

"Shades" is apparently a controversial painting in the family.  I love the painting because it shows so much attitude and character but it is generally considered unflattering by the family, So I have begun another painting of my Mother-in-law that will hopefully show how beautiful she really is and be a better representation of her personality.

I need to make a canvas run soon so that I can begin several other paintings I have in mind.  My dear husband gave me a gift card to support my hobby and I am looking forward to using it soon.