Thursday, September 29, 2011

Plein Air Painting

Hey Friends, I'll start this post with my Favorite Little Man above, Mr .Nic, such a happy boy.
Excited about SpongeBob and wearing Elmo Slippers! He loves to sing and dance too !
Today I finally got to meet up with friends for some Plein Air Painting !! Last week was too rainy. I just joined up with this group of crazy women and I love it already.
They weren't interested in painting the landscapes ! They were experimenting with new ways of slinging and pouring paint on unstretched canvas. I painted 2 small pieces and they are pretty bad. I didn't even think to photograph them for you. I've wanted to seriously knuckle down and paint from life for a long time BUT It's HARD !!! Maybe to hard for me but I'm not giving up after just one go. I used acrylics and it might be easier w/ oils 'cuz acrylics dry so o oooo fast.
Can you see the canvas' laying on the ground? Now they will pick out an area of the canvas and stretch it and then paint on top. Can't wait to try it myself but I need to order in some supplies.
This group is trying to find a name and several are on the marque, but not firm yet.

And I forgot to post about the reception held at Second Helpings last Sat. morning, to thank the artists that painted the table tops for their new cafe. I'll post some photos soon.

Happy Trails !

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Hey Friends, I'm posting a few photos from the hike I took Tuesday. It rained the entire day, so I was hiking under an umbrella. I'm sure the critters thought I was the oddest hiker they'd ever seen. The photo above is of one of the prettiest spots in the whole ravine or maybe it would qualify as a canyon ?!
And this photo of the lake is at the lowest spot. Look at that color and I didn't alter it in Photoshop at all. There is a lot of sulfur in this area of Virginia so I'm guessing that's the reason for such a beautiful shade of aquamarine.
And this photo was taken from the very top of the tallest peak. Doesn't look so high but it is. And it took a while for this TuTu to get up there.
This was taken from the same spot, opposite direction. Foggy! These Blue Ridge Mtns. are beautiful. Hoping to get some paintings started soon. I'm thinking I might do some of the compositional work from the photos and go back to this spot to do the actual painting. Just wondering if my colors might be a little truer. Oh, this last shot is 2 photos merged but I don't know how to clean it up.

Getting out there with nature is one of the best things you can do for yourself. If you're alone you won't have to worry about if the other person is tired, bored, hungry, etc. But if someone wants to tag along, you just might inspire them to keep walking too.

Happy Trails.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Commission Work

Hey Friends, Yesterday I had my favorite little man for 4-5 hours. The photo above is Nic in the swing and I'm laying on the ground clicking away. I was after reference photos for my swing paintings! He was pretty entertained by me laying on ground. He is such a sweetheart.
I thought I'd show you what I've been working on for a while. I haven't painted with oils for a long time so I'm pretty slow. I'm catching up now, I think. The photo above is the initial block in. Already I'm not happy with it. Everything is in a line. And even though that's pretty much how it is in real life - it doesn't make for a good composition. S0000-0-0-0-------
Here I've painted out the arbor bench and made the pond bigger. This seems to give more of an aerial perspective. So now I"ll put the bench back in, lower in picture plane and rotate it to the right. There will be 2 children and a dog in here also. And the pond doesn't look exactly like this, but I wanted to see inside so the beautiful Koi and plants show up better. The lady that commissioned this painting has worked real hard to landscape her yard and it is beautiful. Hope I can do it justice.
Happy Trails.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Gallery 108's 10th Anniversary Party !! !! !! !!

Hey Friends, Just wanted all of you to see the crowd and the good company we enjoyed at Gallery 108's Tenth Anniversary Party today in the Downtown Historic Market District of Downtown Roanoke, Va. Wish you could have been there.
Ten years for any business is nothing to take lightly. All of these artists have worked VERY hard to keep this gallery thriving for the past 2/3 years.
Not only because of the "economy" but also all of the renovations being done to this little district. Mainly the Historic Market Building itself, which is right across the one lane street and next to the gallery. ALL of these little streets have been blocked by construction. Few people made the journey through all that debris to get to the gallery.
Now the Market Bldg. is about to open again and the streets are clear and clean !!!!! So maybe things will get back to normal. Maybe they will even get better - Now I like that thought !
And just so ya know (in case you run into this fella above) He wanted to see my "Release Forms" for using his image on my blog ! You have to be on your toes around some people.
So - I'm just praying that I'll be ready when the business picks up. Yikes! I'm not fooling anybody - I've never been ready for anything !
Happy Trails.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Tenth Year Anniversay Celebration at Gallery 108

Hey Friends, Some photos I took Wednesday at the Gallery 108 in downtown Roanoke, Va. The shot above is the left window. Notice the face with the 3-D glasses?!
This is the window on the right. I always have a hard time taking a decent photo of these windows. Didn't even try the big main window. Some time I'd like to go by there at night and see what would happen with all the glare and such.
Here is the main stage upstairs with the main or majority of the 3-D images hanging. It's probably hard to see but at the top of photo is a little sign that says"It's a new dimension". This show is about looking at art with the glasses you normally would be wearing at a movie !! It's pretty cool. With the glasses on certain colors will appear to be floating or hovering out from their place on the painting. Mainly the HOT colors and it seems exaggerated with the use of Thalo Blue and green. Hope some of you can make it to the show. The big celebration party is Sunday August 21, 2011 4:30 to 7 pm by invitation only and only because wine will be served.
Some city law says when a spirit is served you must know their name or age or something. So if ya want to come, zip me an email and I'll put your name on the list.
AND - TA Dah - My favorite little Man in the world - The handsome Mr. Nic !!! Trying to master the 3-D glasses so he can critique the new works !! His fav was the big red heart floating on the sea.
And now he is ready to play hide & seek !!! Have you ever seen such a cutie pie !!!
Happy Trails !!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Morning Walks

Hey Friends, Love my morning walks !!! Every morning some Doves are perched on wires. In the very same spot. Usually two, sometimes three. I try every morning to get a photo. This one isn't too bad. One day all 3 will line up just right, just for a photo.
Much further into WildWood Road, I came across this beautiful scene. A dry creek bed. The stones here in Salem, Va. are gorgeous ! BUT then................................
When I looked directly down (I'm standing on a little stone bridge) at a small puddle of water, that seems to be churning !!! I'm thinking must be a spring making the water move !
UH - Uwwwww.......Yukkie............YUK.............YUK.............Sorry folks .... I can't stand SNAKES!
I know they're good for something, but I still can't stand the thoughts of them. And I hate to look at "em. Can you see it in the upper right??
I'll post something a little more pleasant next time. Have a great weekend.
Happy Trails.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Hey Friends, I'm posting this, mainly, for Lillie. We went for our walk to the pond and I told her I saw a little brown wabbit nearly every morning sitting beside the pond. So as we are walking, she is praying,( with eyes closed and still walking) that the bunny will be there. I believe she thought she would be able to catch it. As expected, there was no bunny. This was an evening walk and I see the wabbit on my morning walk.
I explained, the wabbit had gone home. It has to be real careful about getting home before it gets dark so the coyotes and foxes can't find him. That made sense to her and she was glad the wabbit was safe.
SO o o o o o. Lillie !!!! Here is that silly Wabbit !!! I saw him this morning .....I Love You.

Happy Trails.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

New Books !!!!!!!

Hey Friends, A quick post to let you know I'm still hanging on. Doing well inspite of the 100 degrees that keeps hanging on too. Still walking, early in the mornings. Still loving it !
I just bought the two books pictured above, from Mr. Schmid's "Stove Prarie Press" site.
Fan-tab-ulous !!! Love their work. A tiny bit disappointed in Ms. Guzik's book. It is so minimally (is that a word?) illustrated. And I know she has painted a bazillion pictures so they could have included more. As it is there is one pictured on one page, nothing on the backside of the page except titles,etc.
Of course Mr. Schmids is big in size (love that) and lots of paintings pictured (love that) and it cost 3 times as much as Nancy's.
So the point is they could have done more with her book for a little more money.
Blah Blah - Like I know anything about making money or paintings.

Hope every last one of you are having great summers ! School will be back soon.
Happy Trails.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Are you a Walker?

Hey Friends, I've been walking every day for about 5 weeks maybe. This morning the Family of deer were out and about. First Mom crossed the road. Then .................

This baby came busting through. It looked scared. I guess Mom was too far away. Then ........

This baby came ambling out. Seemed pretty unconcerned that Mom was so far ahead of him. These critters are so pretty. But they are little monsters in the garden.

I walk about a mile. That's about all I can take. The heart and or lungs don't seem to be much better than when I started. I will not give up 'cuz I know it takes forever to change anything !!

Speaking of change, I've been wanting to join DPW for a long time. I keep sitting on that fence. Not getting any younger so I better do it NOW! Right after a shower and a full day of shoe selling. No rest for the wicked.

Happy Trails

Saturday, July 9, 2011

New Art Works at Gallery 108

Hey Friends, I know I didn't post these last night, as promised, But my sister was here when I got home from the REAL job and we had to visit. So-o-o-o the photo above is an Art Card made by the one and only creative Mary Ann Meador (she is featured in the last post also). The verbage is a fortune cookie promise and it says " You will always get what you want through your charm and personality"...... How cool is that? There were several more in the basket.

The painting above was created by Susan Egbert just recently. She and artsy-fartsy friends were plein air painting at a B&B in Montgomery county called MAISON BELIVEAU. Go ahead and google that. It's a beautiful place and they grow a lot of lavender, I was told. She used water soluable oils for this piece and if you could see it in person you would love the textures.

Sorry I had to include this - I LOVE IT! I can't write at all, can't even make some words rhyem (can't spell either) so why am I always drawn to stuff with words. I think I'm really secretly depressed and look for the uplifting stuff. It was created again by Mary Ann. can you tell I like her work? Also she is the president of the League of Roanoke Artists and works hard at this job.

I meant to load these last 2 photos vice versa. These were created by Suzanne Sellers another super creative woman. She is a teacher at a nearby school and sorry I can't remember the small stuff. I think she makes a lot of her papers but she also buys some. But look how she uses them!

These are just gorgeous in person. And they are right up my alley in terms of fantasy or make believe. At one time they were close friends of Tinkerbell.

So you guys get on down to the market. Shop around Gallery 108 and then go over to the farmers market and get some tasty stuff for dinner. You won't be disappointed.

Happy Trails

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Day at Gallery 108

Hey Friends, It was my turn to MAN the desk at Gallery 108 yesterday. It was a good day! For the lovlies that don't know, Gallery 108 is in downtown Roanoke, Virginia, on the market and the market building that has been in a very long state of renovation - IS almost ready to open!!! Just a few more weeks to go - Yay!
One of the artist in this co-op is Miki Overcast. And she stopped by with her beautiful (handsome) son named Joshua. Somehow He did as I asked, when I told him to kiss his Mom.

This is a closer view of a painting by Bonnie Mason. She works mainly with oils. Beautiful!

This is a closer view of a Mary Ann Meador. She works in all media and they are joyous depections of everything she sees.

Mary Ann and Bonnie are the featured artist this month. The show is called "More than Places" This is just a glimpse. Hope some of you can stop by for this show and some artists had some new work that is really NICE. I'll try to remember to post those tomorrow.

These photos are of the windows and they are usually difficult to get a decent shot of. the beautiful assemblages above are hand crafted by Heather Brush. I have not met her yet and hope to soon. Love the "Shiney Moon" piece and there is a tree made of Domino's.

And the other window has Linda Overstreet's lovely quilted work. I apologize for the sorry photo Linda. Her book covers and journals and hand bags are wonderful gifts for anyone. Think of the book covers on a Bible ! And girls love journals.

Check back to see some new works that I'm especially fond of. As for myself, today I put base colors on a lot of small canvas' and wooden panels. I think the panels are MDF boards. Will be my first try on this surface. Should be just like masonite.

Happy Trails

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Fourth of July - Half of 2011 left!

Hey Friends, It's July 2nd ! Exactly one month since my last post. What a PUTZ. I've been busy traveling the world and taking photos to paint my memories from ! In my dreams.

I don't have an excuse for being absent except "the dog ate my photos". No, seriously, I feel like I may be OK now. I think my paint mojo may be back any moment now. I sure hope so. Also hoping I'm a better painter and everyone LOVES my new work and they are all fighting to buy it. Because I have a ton of medical bills to pay now. Boo Hoo, you say, poor little artist. Get a real job? I have one and still can't afford insurance.

Enough already. The photos were taken at 2nd Helpings Gallery. This is the outdoor cafe. Artists are painting whatever they want on the tables. The bottom photo is my table. I painted it Tuesday before going to work at the real job.

For all you lovlies that don't know Roanoke, Va. I painted the Mill Mountain Star. A local land mark you can't possibly miss. It's especially captivating if you can fly into Roanoke at night. That's my interpretation here. It's been a 100 years since I flew into Roanoke at night and saw the STAR, but I still remember it. (I think!)

If you make it into Roanoke visit the Rescue Mission's Recycle store, the Art Gallery and the wonderful cafe. The food is fab. 540-491-9405 - Call them for directions.


Happy Trails.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Roanoke's Famous Taubman Sidewalk Art Show

Hey Friends, I'm busy getting my ducks in a row for the BIG show this weekend!!!
The 53rd Annual Taubman Sidewalk Art Show on the streets of downtown Roanoke, Va. happens this weekend. YES, this weekend - June 4 & 5 - Sat & Sun !! Yippee !!
Now make plans to be there. And help support the arts and maybe an artist, too.

That beautiful little face you see up there is just gracing my blog, has nothing to do with the Sidewalk show. I just wanted you to smile.

Stop and say Howdy, I'll be in a tent beside Billy's Ritz old rest.
Happy Trails

Friday, May 27, 2011

Happy Memorial Day

Hey Friends, Haven't been here for a couple of weeks. I've had a health issue I've been dealing with. I won't get into trying to explain, but I'm positive I'll be just fine and life will go on for a bit longer.

I haven't painted too much lately. The swim suits above mostly. I have been getting ready for the annual Roanoke Sidewalk Art Festival, No. 53 !! June 4th & 5th. Hope some of you can make it this year. There is always a boat load of beautiful paintings and sculpture to enjoy.

This has been such a rainy spring. Maybe we can get by with just one dry weekend !! Have a wonderful Memorial Weekend.

Happy Trails

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sponge Work

Hey Friends, I was wondering - Does painting with a sponge count as REAL art? Some people use their fingers, some use a stick, some even use drips or a spoon. So I think it's OK to use anything you want, not just a brush.
I have such a hard time getting a soft edge with acrylics. So I thought of giving a sponge a try. I like it. These clouds look softer than anything I've produced so far.
This is my favorite hill. It's behind our house and I usually have some animals out there. But I was more interested in the clouds this time. The forest is casting a nice shadow there on the right.
We are supposed to have more storms this evening. That would be a good time to catch some drama in the sky. I will probably be at work by then and miss the whole show. And I'm pretty certain Mom wouldn't like to be out there taking photos for me.

Got another great idea for another series from a sweet woman that works at the Little Gallery at Smith Mountain Lake ! Love series !! Last week I delivered new work to the gallery, so if you're in that area of Virginia, stop at the Little Gallery-it's a lovely place with a boat load of great art and jewelry and sculpture. And then go fishing.

Happy Trails

Saturday, April 30, 2011

New Ideas !!

Hey Friends, I know it's a bit odd - me posting twice in one week but........I had a couple of ideas (yeah-that's odd too!) and was wondering what others thought.

Yeah, I'll probably do this anyway 'cuz I'm a bit hardheaded. I thought of 2 new series for paintings. First is the "Good Dog" series. My daughter had to put her dog "Ebony" asleep last week and then I saw a collar with GOOD DOG cross stitched on it and Boing a tiny lightbulb came on. So the Dalmation mix above is the first, testing the waters, so to speak.

I like it a lot and I've already painted my daughters dog too. It's not dry or I would have scanned it, to show you. I can see the fun coming up !

The second idea I thought I might call "BEACH BUTTS" or is that too crude? A friend gave me a couple photos of her boys from their last beach trip. I like the way it turned out. I have a hard time painting loose so it really stokes the old fire when I accomplish loose brush work. I ran out of the studio so I wouldn't keep fiddling with it. I drive myself crazy being such a noodler.

I can already picture a couple of paintings with babies I know.

So tell me what you think and have a wonderful weekend.

Happy Trails.