Friday, December 25, 2009

White Christmas in Texas

Seasons Greetings from Plano, TX. This morning we awakened to a white Christmas. It was a beautiful and somewhat unique sight for this part of the country. Merry Christmas and a blessed 2010.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Greetings from Deadwood, SD...brrrrrr.

Greetings from Deadwood, South Dakota! It is -5 degrees this snowy morning. There is lots to see in this beautiful quaint town, so much history. It has been a good and learning experience seeing this section of the country. I hate to admit that I did not know the little windmills in the fields actually were pumping water! My husband could not believe that I did not know this. I also learned the "little deer" were antelopes. I also discovered a new favorite artist, Jon Crane. I saw some of his work in a McDonald's of all places. I enjoyed his website.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloweeeen!

Happy Halloween! Often I hear people remark that they hate Halloween. The child in me still likes Halloween. I think the main reason is the creativity that is involved or should I say that used to be involved in preparing for Halloween. For weeks when I was in grade school I would be planning costume ideas. Halloween Eve was a very busy time for me, I would be busy getting my friends' faces painted and helping them with their costumes. I am not seeing that creativity now, it is so easy to purchase the entire costume and be on your way. Have a safe and fun Halloween!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tale of a Tablescape

Recently we had some dinner guests, it was time to prepare a magical transformation of our dining room table. The first thing I had to do was remove all my papers, paints and brushes, etc. because my favorite place to work is at the dining room table. (I felt better about this after seeing Susan Branch works at a similar table.)

It was now time to use my imagination and come up with ideas for the table using readily available items I already owned. I had a morning of memories. It was amazing how all my objects had such stories. The old damask tablecloth had come from an estate sale from my hometown in Clinton, Tennessee. How well I remembered the morning: My mother, sister daughter and I were on our way to one of our favorite places...the Keeneland horse races in beautiful Lexington, Kentucky. There were all in agreement when I suggested as we pulled out for the races, "Do we have a minute to stop by the estate sale over on Eagle Bend?" I remember we bought quite a few beautiful items at this sale including several damask tablecloths.

Thinking of fall colors, I had recently seen a burnt orange scarf somewhere in the region of my closet...a scarf I had never worn and still had the sale price tag of 99c on it. Perfect for a little table runner in an October color. Prowling in some lower kitchen cabinets I found some Myott's Bouquet dinner plates made in Staffordshire, England, once again there were some autumn colors in the floral designs. These I had found at a garage sale and they had been in my antique booth several years ago. I placed these on top of gold chargers which matched the 1950s gold tumblers that my mother-in-law gave me. The filigree Morroccan gold design on the tumblers added some elegance. Lennox Eternal saucers, salad plates, cups and saucers blended in better than I had expected with the Myott's Bouquet plates. The Lennox dinnerware was a gift from my mother, a retirement gift she had received.

Our wine glasses were gifts from my brother-in-law and make beautiful "music" when used in completing a toast. It must be their large size, they always bring comments about their size and there special ringing sounds. I prefer my damask napkins but decided to use orange paper napkins, printed designs on the napkins would have been too busy. The "silver" came from a yard sale in the 1980s, a set of silverplated 1847 Rogers Brothers. I remember getting the entire shoebox full of silverware for $5.00.

Real candles won out over some little orange battery-operated flickering Halloween candles. Real candle light can't be duplicated. Some roses gathered from our patio area completed the centerpiece. A few fake autumn leaves (Goodwill) scattered over the orange runner and I was finished.

As I was photographing the table, I was getting the table's reflection in the gold leafed mirror over the buffet. Once again, a rummage find at our church in Atlanta...$5.00. It was very heavy and old, I restored the missing gesso and completely gold leafed it again. I slightly grimiced when I remembered it cost over $100 to move this $5 mirror!

Don't be afraid to use your imagination, you never know what you might create.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Early Morning Walks

Texas has spectacular sunrises and sunsets. I am reminded often that Texas makes up for not having mountains in this area by its beautiful sunrises and sunsets.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Ten Year Old Safety Patrol Leader

This portrait of my husband Clint was painted a couple of years ago as a birthday gift. I worked on it for a few days while he was away on a business trip. He loved it and I was very happy about his reaction. He had told me how his self-esteem soared when a teacher chose him for the "Safety Patrol" leader. He was so impressed he chose to wear the white patrol belt on "picture day."

A guest/friend in our home loved the portrait, it resulted in 9 commissions for portraits of her grandchildren! She said she had been looking for someone to paint her grandchildrens' portraits.

Portraits are a labor of love, I did not readily agree to the large commission job of the nine protraits, I had to ponder it for a while. Not only is paint used as a medium in doing portraits...I always add some blood, sweat and tears.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Recently my husband Clint and I visited his mom who resides in a Georgia retirement village. We always have a good visit, good conversation and good food. Mom/Eileen (she is Eileen to me) is doing very well to be approaching 87 years of age. She stays very active with her many friends and social events. We enjoyed meeting many of her friends while we were there.

Her apartment has a beautiful view overlooking a waterfall. We enjoyed sitting in the evenings, overlooking the falls and hearing the flowing water. One could shut your eyes and think you were by a mountain stream. Mom/Eileen keeps up with the latest books and we always have our book discussions. I recently have come to realize we all three are wordsmiths. This time we were discussing the names for some groups of birds and animals. I just learned the phrase for a group of starlings is "an affliction of starlings." We missed the
trivia contest on this visit, it is always fun.

We enjoy hearing Mom/Eileen's stories of her family and growing up in Chicago. She has the most wonderful photo albums that documents her families' lives, photographs that go back to the turn of the century.

As always, it seems our time there flies past us. We had a great time and look forward to many more visits. Thank you, Mom/Eileen!

Monday, August 17, 2009

A Blank Slate

It seems every Sunday I will think of all the work I will be able to complete in the upcoming week. I was telling Clint the other day, "Right now we have no appointments, commitments or meetings scheduled this week." I was dreaming of doing nothing but concentrating on my art. Funny what happens when we make plans. Once again, yesterday afternoon, this week was to be "a blank slate." By Sunday afternoon the slate was no longer blank. This Monday morning from 8 to 12 noon, we are expecting a technician from Dish Network, we can't get a signal on our TV. (Spent 45 minutes on the phone trying to be "walked through it.") On Wednesday we have another commitment we have to keep. These are very minor irritations compared with some other life events. The best laid plans of mice and men...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Saturday Morning

Arising at 5 AM makes for a long day but it is so enjoyable to experience the stillness. While drinking coffee, I wanted to look up an item in the ASW (Art Supply Warehouse) catalog. For you fellow artists who are not familiar with this art supply company, none compare. I must have spent most of the hour enjoying all 427 pages. I can't imagine there being an art supply that is not in this catalog. It makes for very interesting reading. I especially enjoyed reading about the Lefranc & Bourgeois Company, founded in 1720. This French company provided oil color that was supplied to Chardin, Millet, Monet, Cezanne, Dufy and Picasso. Not many companies have been around nearly 300 years!

My husband Clint and I did our daily walk around 6:30 AM, we enjoyed a very unique sunset. As we were crossing a bridge over a small creek, we were startled but the sudden flight of a large heron that was below us.

After we returned from our walk, I was struck by our roses in bloom and made the photograph.