Another new app

My photos from my IPhone were too large, that was why I had to go in and edit the photo to add to my last test. I downloaded Iresize from the App Store to be able to make the photos smaller on my IPad. Let’s see how well it works.

I carved these stamps a while back and made a mandala out of them. I resized to 800 pixels and it up loaded fine. Hopefully it will publish fine also. If that is so, it was a well spent 99 cents.

Awaken Your Creative Spirit

In April I attended a three day workshop in Cincinnati with Carrie Schmitt. It was a group of women who loved to paint, loved Carrie and her way of creating and we formed new friendships. I really love this picture!

A flower bar where we chose a bouquet of flowers to interpret and paint in our style.

my interpretation.

Beautiful wings were painted and we had our pictures taken in front of them.

Fun Picture!

Carrie and myself on the last day. She is as beautiful inside as out. This is the second year that I took a workshop with Carrie. Last year I flew all the way to Oregon. This was just a three hour drive. So grateful for the opportunity.

The Wizard did it

My friends Theresa and Toni and me drove to Indianapolis to see the Broadway play Wicked. It was at the Murat Theatre. This is half of the side.

The other half of the side, pretty impressive.

Beautiful stained glass windows.

Another circular one. The story is about how the Wicked Witch came about. Truly, none of it was her fault. It was a clear cut case of people treating people wrong who are different. The girl was born green, she had to deal with that her whole life. She had a bullseye on her from the beginning. Then people making false accusations against her and the crowd going along with it. In the end she outsmarted them so that she may live a normal life. The actress who played GL…..ENDA did an excellent job. The whole play was so enjoyable and had a good message. The next picture is a video because my Iphone was on live by accident. We had to stand in line to get our picture taken with the poster. It was a good time with good friends!

Books, Binging and Movies

For those of you who know me or have followed me, you know my love affair with books. I download some on my devices but I really do miss the feel of them. Here is a recent one that was purchased. Much of my Amazon points are used for books, and enjoy going in, buying it, getting them in two days (prime) and not paying a dime, Such a simple luxury for me. My goal list has decluttering on it, and I get a lot of inspiration from books. This should tell me to just “let it go”, which is hard to do sometimes.

This book was pulled out from a pile in my closet. Doesn’t this just have the cutest cover? I never finished it the first time, life just took over I bet. It has very thoughtful stories in it.

A pile of books by my bed. The top three are new. “The Red Tent” has become a favorite. It was read a few years ago but I wanted to revisit it again. “Still Me” and “Colonel Roosevelt” are the third books in a trilogy.

Favorites from workshops I have taken and biographys of Chip and Joanna and The Busch Sisters. My sister in law sent those to me….I love, love biographys! “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” needs to be picked up and finished. I must have gotten bogged down with something in it, and I like the book but it must have been a slow part.

This movie I was searching for on Amazon Prime and Netflix but it was not open for watching yet, so I just purchased the DVD. Very enjoyable, I have watched it twice so far. It’s a keeper. While searching I came across a documentary called Packed in a Trunk-The Lost Art of Edith Lake Wilkerson. It was very good also and I had to watch it twice to catch everything and answer questions. Movies we have watched as a family was The Expendables 1 and 2 but still have the third one to go. A group of mercenary’s headed by Sylvester Stallone are hired by people to do rescues in of course, unconventional ways. Lots of explosions and death but I think the amusing parts are when Chuck Norris, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis show up out of the blue. One of the ruffians looks at Sylvester Stallone and says “who is going to show up next….Rambo”? I didn’t think I would ever say this, but I look forward to watching number three.

So this little character started my life of Binge watching. My Oldest, Sam gave to me at Christmas, this figure. I was very perplexed, I had no idea who it was. So I had him explain it and when he said Superhero I was hooked. I love Superhero’s! The Netflix account is his so I had not looked into it because I had an Amazon Prime account. Well this has opened up a whole new world. I had watched all they offered of Green Arrow, then Flash, then The Crown, which was fabulous! When I finished each show, I was kind of depressed for an hour, after realizing I have to wait till the current season is over to watch them in succession. I am now watching Flint Town which is pretty good too, but I can stop after one show, it doesn’t take over my life, like the others.

 

This pile here, is the last of my thrift store books from vacation last year.

This book has short stories, poems and beautiful artwork by G. Webb and Ron Evans.

Much to my delight, I have an autographed copy by G. Webb. What a find!

One example of the watercolor paintings. He has a gallery in Gatlinburg, TN.

This book I picked up in Northeast Harbor, on Mount Desert Island in Maine. She lived in Philadelphia and was a bit eccentric. Wouldn’t let me just look, I asked about an old botanical, she showed this, had an 8.00 price tag. Said she was surprised about that and it should be more. She was overwhelmed because she then had many more customers come in. So I picked this up and it’s pretty cool.

A former owner had an address embosser and he was H. Conrad Meyer, from Chestnut Hill in Philadelphia. I did a little investigating and found that he used to be the Vice President of Foote Mineral Co. which was closed in 1991 and is now a Superfund Site to be cleaned up. That’s all I could find though, but very interesting.

The plates as they are called, are very neat and it was first published in 1934.

This one was picked up in the Vermont thrift store. I liked it since our destination was Maine.

This also came from Vermont but I had visited Oregon earlier in the year. I hope to go back some day, there is so much to see that I missed.

Unconditional Love

Last year I painted this mixed media picture of a cat with all different designs and colors, because cats come that way. This cat is lying in the grass and batting at a feather. There is a monarch butterfly and a bird, all the things that cats like to chase. It is titled “Cat Love” and the inspiration was about all the cats I have had in my life. My first cat I remember…Tutor…when I was very young….to the six cats we have now. Yes….six. My sister Linda bought the original but so many look at the print and sing the words, or other cat lovers just go awwww, because they understand and feel it.

Pavel….came to our porch one cold March day. Hungry with an infected bite on his back. He is named after a Detroit Red Wings hockey player,

Here are the other five, (from bottom left) Pookey, Sophie, Lily, Mama and Miggy. Each one has a story. They were all interested in this new toy and see that sock? Lily is always dragging them out and doing her special sock meow. We find them all over the house.

When I was at the Louisville show, October 2017, a customer asked when I was going to do a picture for dog lovers. So this is the dog I used for the painting to complement the “Cat Love”. Her name is Mackie and she is in our cousins family. She is a Labradoodle and I love this picture with her nose so close to the camera. I bet she was interested in some snacky snack.

I also used her on a postcard to benefit Artlink here in Fort Wayne. Artists donate a handmade postcard that patrons can buy for their fundraiser.

Very early stages of the painting. It is on a 10 X 10 stretched canvas. I am using pieces of textured wallpaper and attaching them with gel medium.

The elements that I want to include have been added to be painted. Texture has been added through stenciling and paints. The nose and eyes have been painted in.

The completed painting, “Unconditional Love”. No matter who you are, your dog loves you. This dog has adoring eyes, a squirrel to chase, a leash to go for a walk with, a spiffy red, white and black ball to play catch with. Along with all this she is thinking about dog treats. Dogs are your companion, they need to be treated kindly and we need to take care of the animals. This is why I decided to donate $5.00 to the Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control for every print that I sell of this painting. I am only making 2000, so they are a special limited edition group. Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control have many good programs in place to take care of the strays and animals relinquished to them. Just recently they treated a dog with a bullet wound, many animals get adopted through retail rescue, they have a community cat program that spay and neuter cats and then put them back in the area they were found and make sure they have shelters and food. This way the cat population gets under control. These are just a few programs and I am sure there are many more. I do know that they will always need food and veterinary care. So if you would like to help, a print can be ordered in my Etsy shop. If you would like to see the other programs that are going on at FWACC click here. I know they take volunteers too.

 

Organize and Maintain

The words of the year…..Organize and Maintain. It may take me all of 2018 before I accomplish my goal. I am working on organizing my photos on the computer. I have 12,000 and I started moving them around and it was not going smoothly then I (AH HA) remembered my photoshop elements program that has a photo organizer on it. I got them all copied into it (that’s how I knew I had 12,000). Now researching how to tag, categorized, save to an external drive also, so I don’t lose them. It has been a real joy looking at pictures that I forgot about, like this one. I painted this for a religion class-Religions East and West-for extra credit. I believe the word was beauty and this may be a Chinese Robin on a Dogwood. This painting must be in my portfolio folder.

I took a black and white photography class where we used the darkroom and developed our own film. The assignment was to take a photo that was not good and color it using different mediums. My husband with his sports and teams that he likes. I think I used marker, pen acrylic ink.

One year I bought these vibrant geraniums to sit in front of the garage. I love this red.

Red tulips from our garden.

This was for a 2D class. We were to do a color wheel in an unusual way. I took fabric I had and made a small quilt. I need to find this also, I don’t think I quilted it! With the color wheel then I put neutral borders. It was fun….now where is that quilt! Oh and other items on my list to organize….email messages, I started out with 32,000 emails. I am making new folders and the sweep button really works well. I have basement storage space I want to utilize better, a pantry that needs organized and my side of the closet needs a lot of attention.

Violet Grace and From the Garden

Earlier I did a post on this painting. It was a commissioned painting for a friend, Melody. Instead of flowers she asked to have memorial painting for her friend Laura who had a grandchild pass away. They have been friends for nearly 50 years.

Because of Laura’s long hours she works as a nurse they were able to finally get her and her painting together at the hospital. I understand that she was very touched with her Violet Grace. She looks like a nurse that I would love to have take care of me, what a lovely lady. Thank you Laura for your dedication! To read more about this painting look at the post A Memorial-Violet Grace in November 2017.

I wanted to share this beautiful frame that Melody found to put “From the Garden” print in. It is just perfect and breathtaking. Melody worked with my husband at the Indiana Department of Revenue and has been a huge supporter of my art. Thank you Melody. Both the painting and prints can be found in my etsy shop.

Artlink Regional Artist Exhibition

Last night was the opening reception for the Regional Exhibition. An artist could submit 5 entries and one of mine was accepted, “From the Garden”.

Here is is on the far right. It looked pretty on the wall with the other two.

The next pieces are ones that I thought noteworthy. This one is called “Blacklist”. The subject matter is the Holocaust. Inside the little doors on black paper are names. Up close the children were very mesmerizing. Not a light picture but done very well.

This is called “View of Florence”. It is done with very thick oils. It took everything I had not to touch it. I was wondering if all the layers of oils were even dry.

This one is called “Fungal Bloom IV”. It is made with Fungus, gold leaf, birch plywood, spray paint.

“Moon Garden” on a 36 X 36 Canvas. All Acrylic Paint done beautifully.

You understand as well as I do. That’s all I know.

Beautifully done with Fabric.

“Twister” acrylic paint and PVC panel.

My husband renamed this piece-Mob taking their work home. It was just sitting on the floor…Quirky, but a definite conversation starter.

This is a woodcut, that was hand colored and glow paint was used for the light coming from the flying saucer. It is called “I want to believe”.

Burning – encaustic and mixed media. I thought these pieces were noteworthy and I feel honored that a painting I created is hanging with many other artists in a gallery.

Best Buttercream Frosting and Cat Shenanigans

The Christmas Baking is underway. I have used this cut out recipe for 37 years now. We received it along with others for a wedding gifts and it’s the gift that keeps on giving. This is a triple batch. They are so good you could eat them without frosting and they do not need cooled before I roll them out.

This is the best tasting homemade buttercream frosting I have come across. It is not too sweet, it is smooth and I love the different flavorings that it calls for.

 

RECIPE: 1/2 cup Vegetable shortening… 4 cups powdered sugar… 5 Tablespoons water…. 1/2 t. salt…. 1 t. vanilla…. 1/2 t. almond flavoring…. 1/4 t. butter flavoring.¬† Mix it together until smooth and creamy.

I was trying out some torn paper flowers that I am going to use in a painting soon. They turned out fine and are fun to make too.

The next few pictures are the cat shenanigans that have happened this week. If you saw these on facebook, please bare with me.

 

She was stealth. Plugged in the iron, turned my back and turned back around, there she was. 

Look at me, look at me. Just keeping everyone company up there.

I pulled this from the archives. It’s amazing to me that this little kitten in June.

Has turned into this big guy a few short months later.

I love this picture! We have this tree in a box window that looks out over the front of the house. It’s a favorite of the cats.

This little guy is the cat above and below. They stay kittens such a short period of time.

I am invisible.

He needs to be careful, he is growing so fast he might not be able to get out!

Love to see this big tree it makes the room so warm. I have a time getting the angel on top though. I have to remember to attach her to the top first before we add the last set of branches. Yesterday watched the classics, Rudolph, Frosty and then Elf. That one always makes me laugh. I am going to put in : It’s a Wonderful Life today. Gotta get those cookies frosted! Hope your preparations are coming along well.