Thursday, December 12, 2013

Busy week with no computer

I have had a very busy week of Christmas preparations. I have been staying out of my studio mostly and instead of painting have been focusing my creative energy on Quilted Christmas Presents. I hope this post does not spoil any surprises.
I did get a painting started that is a wedding present for my good friend Sarah. Her wedding was so unique and beautiful I want to capture a small part of what made it so special. The beginning stages of the painting do not even begin to show how cool this couple is, but I hope that once colors and textures start being added it will truly capture something special.
I finished up some long overdue baby shower presents, before the baby outgrows them, I guess I had better get them delivered! The dress is an altered onesie and will fit for a long time. The other is a quilted faux chenille burp cloth. It may have been too much time spent on something for a baby to spit up on but hey, It is fun to make something special for babies.

Last year I was working on place mats and table runners for Christmas presents but only managed to complete the ones that were for my Husbands family since I would be with them for Christmas. This year I am trying to get a few of the other ones I had planned / promised completed.
My mom asked for a set of eight place mats. She loves mushrooms and so when I found some perfect backing material at the store with mushrooms I knew what her place mats would be. I picked eight different varieties of mushrooms and appliqued them to the batik background.
I use an iron on fusible applique method with Steam a Seam 2 and them sew over the edges.

I also used a fusible batting and ironed the quilt sandwich together instead of basting with thread or pins. This method is so easy and works so well. Sometimes I use the basting spray and have been very happy with that also.

Morel mushrooms and a glimpse of the mushroom backing

A detail of my grass quilting pattern.

My 1 year old watched the process and decided she needed to help also, suddenly sewing forward became more difficult.

Binding sewn on and ready for hand stitching on the back.

 I have also been working on a few more quilting projects. I have one table runner complete, three more nearing completion, one half done and three just started. Also my first quilted purse complete


The kids have all been enjoying art projects at the table. I love to see them happily engaged in creating together. Goose was so excited to be sitting at the table in a big chair for the first time this week. Unfortunately she has also been climbing up a lot to explore the top of the table and any thing else she can use the chair to reach.

Enjoying the Snow

Friday, November 29, 2013


This little darling is at least mostly complete. I am not sure what the title should be. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A little Chicken, and a big turkey

It felt great to get back into the studio today and to start a new painting. I have had a busy week with counting votes for the peoples choice Treasury of Art show, celebrating an anniversary and preparing to host thanksgiving. Painting is so relaxing for me. Evenings when I paint seem to fly past and it is soon midnight and time to head to bed but in the morning I feel so much better rested than if I had stayed up late doing almost anything else. I think when I paint I sort of escape into a different brain space and it refreshes me instead of making me tired.
This little painting of my son has been calling to me for a while now. The reference photo was taken this summer at my parents farm. He was so proud and happy to be holding this sweet baby chick.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Treasury of Art

One of my paintings was accepted into the juries Treasury of Art show in Vienna this weekend. "Hogan the bricklayer"

This is one of three events that I went to two years ago that got me back into painting after years of not painting anything. It is such a encouragement to be included in this great show this year.
On Wednesday I went to a live portrait painting demonstration by Jonathan Linton. He was the judge for Treasury of Art two years ago and I would love to take classes from him and learn some from his marvelous technique.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Thank you

I want to tell all of you who have been supporting me through your kind comments, prayers encouragement and purchases a big Thank You. It is such a joy to paint when I hear your appreciation of what I have been doing. On days when it feels overwhelming to sit down at the easel after a long day of dishes and squabble management, your support pulls me there and encourages me.
I went in to my final live painting class for the session and saw that my first non commissioned sale has been paid for and taken home. I was slightly saddened to not get a chance to say goodbye to this little gem, but also very happy that someone else will be enjoying it.
Sales certainly help with covering the cost of painting supplies. Now I need to decide which items I will reinvest the money on. Please help my efforts grow. Recommend my work to your family and friends.
 Pelicans Perch Complete 9x12 Oil on Canvas

2 hour Live Painting Session

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The tea is brewed

"Tea for Two" is complete
Today the kids and I went to a local farm to hang out with friends and we took our sketchbooks to draw something that we saw. Both of the older kids settled down for a little sketch time but I had to lend out my sketchbook to cover one that was forgotten in the car so I did not actually get to draw.
This is certainly something we will have to incorporate into a regular practice, I love when my kids draw.

A few views from the farm today.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Tea for two

Tonight I started a new still life inspired by my daughters imagination. She can pretend for hours and tea parties, art and the color pink are her current favorite things.
It took me a while to get the composition of this still life nailed down. I started with no crayons and a strawberry shortcake seated at the other cup. I like this better because it includes the viewer in the tea party and improves the composition.
I did not get it completed in one night like I did last nights but it is well on its way.
I started with a different colored ground under this painting and prefer the red ground under the paint from last nights painting. The colors on this painting are more vibrant which suit the subject but I just don't like them as much.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Grandma's Legacy

Today I set up and painted my first still life. I chose things that I received from my Grandma Hall. My Grandmother Hall had a beautiful house full of amazing spaces. The window sills were filled with colored glass and the attic contained perfect childhood treasures. I remember so many favorite locations in her house.
However she also was my strict Grandmother. She expected my dinner plate to be cleared and if not it would reappear for breakfast. We were not allowed to slide down the stairs on our bottoms and she did not understand my jokes. I was the youngest grandchild and I always felt she enjoyed the older grand kids more. By the time I was around 8 years old she was developing Alzheimer's and I don't think we ever really got to know each other.
She had done many paintings when she was younger and studied art in college. Several of my paint brushes are actually handed down from her. I like to think that if we had been able to know each other as adults we would have had a lot to talk about and would have gotten along famously.

In other news, My painting of my daughter on the beach "Tide pool" has been spoken for. It is currently in a show at the Vienna Arts Society and will be going to a new home at the end of the show!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

"Big Shoes to Fill"

"Big Shoes to Fill" oil on Canvas 12x24 Baby shower present for my sister in law is mostly complete. I will look at it over the next few days and decide if any more changes are needed.

And a few shots from my daughters final ballet class of the session. My son danced along from the sidelines.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Home Maker

I have always wanted to be a homemaker, now before those of you who know the usual state of my house laugh, let me explain.
I did not necessarily desire to wash endless dishes and fold laundry and mop floors (although I do all of those things for my family.) I wanted to actually MAKE my home.
I became an architect as part of this goal. I wanted to know how to design and construct all elements of my own home. I dream of one day owning that perfect house that was designed specifically for the needs and desires of my family.
I also want to be able to make the large majority of the elements in that house. I have learned quite a few of the skills necessary to do this. I have done pottery so I could make a set of my own dishes. I can sew so I could make quilts and curtains. I have designed and built furniture so I could furnish the house.
I can paint so I could fill the walls with paintings.

Many talents, but some days I just wish I were better at being the other type of homemaker. I wish that picking up came more naturally and that I had a perfectly clean house. I am not sure that the two kinds of homemaking can go perfectly hand in hand.

The beginnings of a baby shower gift for my sister in law, I have been working on in for a week or so and will have more of it to show you once my camera battery recharges.
Halloween ready

The kids learning where our food comes from

Monday, October 28, 2013

Jessica Week 2

This week Jessica posed for my life painting class again. The picture is taken with very poor lighting but here is my 2 hour pose.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Chipped Edges

For some reason my children have decided that getting a chipped plate to eat from is lucky. They cheer at dinner when they get one of our slightly broken dishes. They actually would bicker over who gets the broken plate if I allowed plate swapping. I asked my son why he liked to get a broken plate and he told me that it was special because he broke it.
As parents so many things are not perfect. Clothes get spit up on, floors get nail polish stains when a little one discovers that the polish is unsupervised. Movies skip because they have been scratched and handled by little hands. So many time I look at all these imperfections and wish they could be fixed or avoided.
I need to remember that they are special because my kids caused them. They are proof that my life is fun of love and hugs and laughs. They show that I am surrounded by children who love me unconditionally and who need me completely. 
What a great gift from God to help me look at the chips around me and recognize the blessings that come with them. There are chips in my own life that I know God looks at and loves anyway because they were caused by one of his children. All I can do with those chips is accept the mistakes that caused them and celebrate the lessons that were learned.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Somedays it all comes together.

This portrait has been daunting to work on. I am not sure if it seems so hard because it is a commissioned piece and I have a deadline to meet or if it is because I did not take the pictures for it. I have not spent a huge amount of time on it but I have spent a lot of time putting off working on it.
I think it is done now, I hope that the client is happy with the outcome, because I am now loving this little moment.