Saturday, December 12, 2015

I'm just an artist. I have a small in-home studio, nothing special, nothing unique. Not a very lucrative way of life, a starving artist so to speak, one that has to work a second job driving a school bus four days a week. Sometimes I wish I was good at something else, something more important like a teacher or a nurse, someone who helps people. But I have a built-in passion to paint . . . I love it, so I do my best to bless people with it. I know I don't make much of a difference or change another's life, I'm just an artist . . .

I want to make a difference, a significant difference, to bring a smile to someone's face, to brighten another's day, to bring joy to a sadden and broken heart, to be a pleasing aroma to God. I'm just an artist . . .

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

We have the privilege of dining with friends this Thanksgiving and are really looking forward to it. I'll be making dessert; my favorite thing to do. This year I'm making a Cranberry-Walnut Pie. I have a dutch apple pie also. I'm going to surprise our friends with a little hospitality gift for having us in for the holiday.

I recently found this jpg of a painting I did as a going away gift for a friend who was moving out of state. I had totally forgotten about it and decided to get some giclées made and keep one for my set. The title of the painting is "Some Kind of Wildflower in my Heart" after a book of the same title to remind my friend of the main character in the book "Birdie."

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Hi Friends! The weather here in our area has been just beautiful since last Friday, warm temperatures, very spring-like. I'm loving it. I wish it would stay like this all winter here. This is one of the reasons we would like to eventually move south. Not exactly sure where, but we're looking around the Asheville North Carolina area. There are a few other areas we're looking at also. I'll let you know when we make our choice.

Took some fall photos over the last two weeks, just looking for landscape painting ideas. I was taking a few shots of local train tracks, when I turned around to get back in my car, I was amazed by this view that had been behind me. It was just beautiful with the sun sparkling through the trees and onto the road. The photo below is a shot I took from my back porch at the onset of a severe thunderstorm, hoping to capture lightening bolts, which if you look close enough you can see two streaks near the top center of the photo. I would like to get some nice bird shots here in the near future, just haven't had too much time this week to get my camera back out.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Good morning blogger friends!

It is a very rainy cold day here in Karns City Pennsylvania, a typical early fall day. I can say I'm not prepared for the winter months ahead. I love the beauty of the snow but not a big fan of the deep cold that comes along with it. But like anything else to do with the weather, its out of my control. :)
I have been reading an awesome book titled "Flash" The Homeless Donkey Who Taught Me About Life, Faith, and Second Chances, by Rachel Anne Ridge. This is one of the best books I've read in a long time; it is powerful. I would encourage you to read it, it will bless you immensely.

Just a couple of tidbits from the past few weeks; my husband opened our garage door to get the lawn mower out to mow before we left on vacation and there curled up was a very young rattle snake. It didn't have its rattler yet and was about 2 1/2 feet long. He didn't look that big until he uncoiled and snapped at us when we tried to sweep him out of the garage with the broom. Unfortunately he slithered off to the back of the garage and hid. We can't find him and he wasn't around when we got back from vacation. We do proceed with caution when opening up the garage. Trust me I don't want to get bit!

On our drive to South Carolina we stopped at some friends Mark & Anita in Myrtle Beach had lunch with them and played Hand & Foot (a card game). Of course us girls won! From there we went to Seabrook Island SC for our week vacation as well as for a wedding (renewing of vows) of our dear friends Rick and Val. It was a beautiful island not too far from Charleston. The house we stayed in was right on a golf course and about 5 minutes from the beach. We went swimming in the ocean (which I really miss here in PA), visited Charleston, went for a carriage ride drawn by mules Porgy & Bess, shopped, and bought a few little items to take home, a sweet grass basket, and a hand woven wire basket. We had an all-around great time.

Oh its back to driving school bus, not sure if I'm ready or not for that. I like the kids, teacher and monitor but the long bus run is the pits. I am, however, looking forward to get back to my art studio and paint some of the photos I took on vacation. A few were of marshes and egrets, Spanish moss, and palm trees. I will have lots of work to keep me busy over the long winter months.

Well better get back to reality and housework, oh yes and lots of laundry. Have a blessed week all!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Good Afternoon Everyone! It is a beautiful sunny day here. I've been working on the invitations to my Honey of a Party to take place in August. Here is a few shots of the front of the invitations.
When they are completed I will cut them apart and work on the back side of each card individually. I will also put a wash on the front four corners to add a little more color.
To the right is a shot of the full sheet of watercolor paper (I use Fabriano 140 lb extra white block). The photos below are just closeups.
I ruled off my sheet for six invitations then found the center of each card and worked my sketch from the center marks. After all of the cards were drawn, I then used a light wash of Davy's Gray, Cobalt Blue and Purple Lake to go over my pencil marks. Then erased the pencil. This way the invitations come out clean and free of lead. I don't want pencil showing through the watercolor it looks unprofessional.
I have two important things to say about that. First if you look at paintings done by the watercolor masters you don't see any pencil marks from the underlying sketch. So that leads me to the conclusion that even the masters didn't want their sketch to show through their paintings. This also leads me to the conclusion that artists either couldn't cover up their sketch lines, or just chose not to bother and liked it, and the world of art has actually approved it.
I just thought it odd that somewhere along the line the rules changed and pencil was allowed to show, in fact, it is now considered an actual part of the art itself. My personal opinion about the matter is that if the masters could do a watercolor without their sketch lines showing through than so could I and I succeeded. Both processes work for the individual artist, that is the freedom of art!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Good morning friends!

It is a chilly morning here in western Pennsylvania. Needless to say I was quite disappointed—its supposed to be spring!

I am planning a "Honey of a Party" for a few of my good friends. I came across these cool plates at a gift shop in Wexford, but they only had one package of four, not enough for what I needed. So I got on line and found the same plates on Amazon for about the same price and bought them. What is so cool about these plates is that they are are Melamine Picnic Paper looking with honeybees on them. I did purchase some napkins at the gift shop that I thought would go nicely for the party. I decided that I would paint the tags for the gifts and place cards for the table with honeycombs and honey bees. As soon as I finish I'll post the photos. My neighbor has honey bees which I will buy some of his honey to use as favors and will fill a small froggy tote from Thirty One with some sweet gifts for each of them. I haven't quite decided on those yet but thinking something natural and hand made like soaps and lotions from a local artisan.

The menu is also planned: there will be chicken salad with pecans, red grapes and apples on croisants, along with munchies. For dessert I will make a blackberry peach cake. Oh and Carmela iced tea. I'm excited and love to entertain, especially my friends. I want my friends to know how much I appreciate each of them. Friends are priceless and do much for us.

I'm starting a couple of new paintings, they're in the sketching stage. One will be a lighthouse to add to the series I've started and the other will be a surprise. I do have ideas for a third painting as well and it will be a bluebird if I can get a good photo. I have five bluebird boxes, each with a family in them. Just have to be able to get up close and personal for the shot.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Had a wonderful day. My sister-in-law and her fiancĂ© and My hubby and I went up to Benezette in Elk County to see the elk and check out all the changes in the area. We haven't been up to camp and that area for several years. We had a great time. Here are some fabulous elk pictures.

This first picture is right in Benezette before we reached the Benezette Restaurant where we had breakfast. As you can see she is quite pregnant and will most likely have her baby around the end of next week or the week after. The other elk photos were taken on Winslow Hill down in a small out-of-the-way valley. There were 23 elk there altogether.
I couldn't believe they allow me to get as close to them as I did to take photos.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

It was such a beautiful day here in western Pennsylvania. After an awesome sermon at church this morning we headed down to Trader Joe's then up to Whole Foods. I love Trader Joe's sprouted bread and orange chicken, along with some other goodies. We love buying our fruit at Whole Foods because it lasts days longer than fruit bought at Walmart or other grocery stores, so does their lettuces and other fresh veggies. I do buy most of my veggies during season from local farmers but during the late Fall through early spring its Trader Joe's and Whole Foods.

After we had a late lunch we strapped our bikes on the back of the Honda and headed to Foxburg for our first bike ride of the season. It was just gorgeous and a slight wind was blowing along the water. It was a great ride with the exception of a sore butt from not riding since late October. It felt wonderful getting out in the fresh air and back on my bike.

Have a blessed week everyone!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Oh my gosh I think Spring has finally arrived. My perennials are peeking up above the earth which means I need to get myself out in the flower beds and get things cleaned up a bit. My bluebirds arrived the last week in February and took up residence in the houses they left last fall. All but one house is occupied. I love watching them flutter about gathering bugs and coming to the meal worm feeders my hubby made for them. Its a real trip when they start bringing their young ones to the feeder. They sit on top of the feeder quivering with their mouths open waiting for momma and papa to bring them worms. We did have some wintering bluebirds that decided to stay this winter rather than head south so they are still here and nesting. The Red Breasted Gross Beaks and Oriels should be arriving pretty soon and then the hummers start to arrive. I have anywhere from 30 to 50 humming birds every year. Its like having my own star wars under my porch. I have 3 2-cup feeders and I have had to fill them everyday to accommodate all the hummers. I love it.

I look forward to mornings that are warm enough for me to once again have my coffee on the porch. Its nice and peaceful and I enjoy watching all the beautiful birds at the feeders. This is a treat that I originally picked up from my grandmother, she just loved feeding the birds and I loved watching her as a kid. I know why she loved it so much, I do too.

Have a Happy Easter my blogger friends, I will chat with you again soon and hopefully have some great pictures to add.


Monday, March 16, 2015

Spring temperatures have felt good this past week and our hope of its soon arrival will be a blessing for sure after all the snow and cold we've had this winter. It is a very welcomed sight. And I know even though
this spring weather is tapping on our door winter is still winter and we could get hit with another storm before spring settles in.

I have two paintings I'm working on together, which is fun. I love to paint. I have one I want to do as soon as I'm done with these two. I am mulling it over in mind as how I want to tackle it. We'll see as I progress with it what I actually do.

I will leave you with this cute curious little doe picture, sent to me by my dear friend. It was taken by their outdoor camera. Sweet!

Enjoy the warm weather! May your days ahead be showered with blessings!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Good morning blogger friends!

I have somewhat kept you updated on status of my ailing mother-in-law, Phyllis, since she has been in Hospice. She went home to be with the Lord on Tuesday shortly after noon time. She is very much missed. Thank you for your prayers.


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Hi Everyone!
I have recently finished a new watercolor of Peggy's Cove Lighthouse, Nova Scotia, a second in the series of lighthouses I'm painting.

I have also been learning to crochet. I'm not doing too bad. I've crocheted four scarves so far and they look pretty good. There is a small group of us artists who get together quarterly to learn new arts or crafts. This new year, 2015 we will be working on projects to give as random acts of kindness. Random Acts of Kindness day was developed by Susan Kuhn on Facebook as an event to show kindness to someone, here is her excerpt:

"The Friday after Thanksgiving is dubbed "Black Friday"...a day filled with shopping for "good deals"... while a lot of people are simply trying to save money on big ticket items...there are those who forget the Spirit of what this season is about...and those are the stories that headline the news...the fist fights, the trampling, the yelling. So I am asking everyone to go out of their way to brighten a stranger's day with "Random Act of Kindness Friday"...2 weeks after Black Friday, December 12, 2014. Even though many of us do acts of kindness every day...why not dedicate a day where we have as much "kindness giving" on this Friday as we do "deal getting" on Black Friday...maybe pay for the person behind you at the Drive-thru at Dunkin Donuts, maybe stand on a busy Main St and pass out flowers to people walking by, maybe brush the snow off a row cars in your work's parking lot, maybe leave some scratch off tickets on a person's windshield, deliver some hot coffee to some people working outside...who might be the one bright spot on a person's pretty crummy day. So join this "event" to pledge your act of kindness and share on your page. Would be nice to get as many people to "join" this event that patron stores and malls on Black Friday. Feel free to share ideas for people looking for something to do as their act of kindness...get your kids in on it too!"

Next year "Random Acts of Kindness" day will be on December 11th so mark your calendars. But wouldn't it be great to practice random acts of kindness on a regular basis?
Have a blessed week everyone!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Good evening my blogger friends I hope you are enjoying this wonderful brand New Year. My hope for you is that you will discover, be challenged, and take risks and find your dreams.

I belong to a book club of four other women and myself making five of us. We have been friends for more than 20 years doing a Bible study together weekly. We decided at the beginning of the summer of 2013 to start a book club and I must say it has been one huge blessing for me. I have read some fantastic books to date, but my favorite is the one we just finished titled "The Blue Bottle Club" by Penelope Stokes. It is the best story I have ever read and I recommend it highly, but be prepared for an amazing adventure within your heart.

Blessings to you all on this third day into the New Year!  :)

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year my blog friends!

Blessings to you and your families, may your new year be full of joy, peace, contentment, new challenges and new goals!

My most important goal this year is to use the gifts, talents and abilities God has given me to bless and encourage others. To have an attitude of gratitude in all circumstances, and always do my very best in everything I set out to do.

Happy New Year!