Sunday, December 27, 2015

A Second Draft Pair Painting And The Gift

 

"The Grays" , casein on board, 12 x 12"  ©2015 www.kathipeters.com
 

 Again from our summer days spent at Acadia......the gentle drafts who work at Wildwood Stables, pulling their carriages full of tourists on the beautiful carriage roads of Acadia. These handsome grays wait as their carriage is being loaded.....ready to do their job. I did this painting in casein , and it is on board, cradled and ready to hang. The Grays.
 
 I have been sketching a lot lately. Some of my sketches are sketchy at best. Some end up being more 'finished', and I offer them on my website , as I have found over the years ,that some folks like the sketches, the drawings that usually end up as a painting, rather than the painting its self. "The Gift " is one of those sketches that falls into that category. It depicts a scene that any horse lover has seen many times.... The sweet moment when your horse reaches down to you, sniffing your outstretched hand in anticipation of a treat, an apple, a carrot...a gift. How appropriate for this time of year....the time of the year where we reach out and remember the gift that we were given a long time ago when a baby was born in a stable as the greatest gift of all.
 
 
"The Gift"  , graphite study , 12 x 9" © 2015 www.kathipeters.com
 
 
 I am busy this time of year. I'm finishing up the last of 2015 commissions and trying to get into the new year mode. We are still waiting on our snow......and until it comes I paint.
 
 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

New Draft Horse Painting ....Bigger Biggers!

 

 
The oil painting "Ground Driving The Belgian Pair " was actually painted a few weeks ago....but I am so slow at blogging about it. I guess I am slow about doing anything written, as writing is still hard for me since my 2006 stoke. There I have said it. I guess all the business part of being an artist is hard for me. But I can paint.....and I do a good job of cleaning stalls, so all is not lost! That being said, this oil depicts the most important part of ground driving a pair of horses....the pair themselves. This handsome pair made awesome subjects to paint. The painting is in my studio, and available on my website.
 
I've done some other paintings too.....Hope to blog about the new works soon.....and so I paint!!
 
 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

COB COTTAGE STUDIO'S HOLIDAY SPECIAL SALE !! NOW!!!

 

 "Bend To The Left" , casein , 12 x 12"  © kathi peters
 
As 2015 comes to a close, I am offering an eclectic mix of my work,  some large, some small....in different mediums, but all at heavily discounted HOLIDAY SPECIAL  prices for my much appreciated collector base...current and future. What the New Year brings is yet to be revealed, but new ideas are in the works at Cob Cottage Studio and will be revealed soon.
I hope you will find a painting or two that will tickle your fancy ……Maybe a painting that might make a wonderful gift of art for someone on your ‘Santa’s list’…..or even for your own wall. Thank you for looking…for shopping and supporting my art.  



 
 
 






Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A New Flower Casein Painting And Why Studies?

 

"Zinnias In Jelly Jar", casein and ink, 12 x 9" ©2015 www.kathipeters.com
 
I have been working back and forth with oil paint and casein paint. Each medium makes my " creative brain"  work in a different way. Each has it's own personality and temperament. Each creates its own challenges. Mixing it up keeps me focused on the work at hand. The last of falls zinnias provided a pleasing composition. My caseins provided the color pallete that I wanted. "Zinnias In Jelly Jar" was born. A happy painting to grace someone's wall.
 
"Yellow Apple Tree"  oil study , 6 x 6"
 
And then...... Why offer studies you might ask? What are studies? A study, for me, is a small [but not always ] work done in graphite or charcoal, oil or casein, in a quick capture, to see how I might want to approach a larger more detailed work of a certain subject or landscape. Studies are a peek into an artist's thought process, a closer look at what makes them excited and what moves their muse. I have found that many collectors like to collect these very personal unfinished works , rather than the actual finished paintings, and so I am offering them at a very reasonable price......in a special collection here on my website. They are offered unframed, no frills attached ....I hope you will find something there that will "excite" you......  in my Drawings and Painted Studies collection.
Here is a sampling...........
 

 
 "Study Of The Grays" , charcoal, 12 x 18" ©2015 www.kathipeters.com
 
"Birch Study" , oil on gessobord, 6 x 6" ©2015 www.kathipeters.com
 
 There are others....please check them out......I would love to help you start your collection of my work.
And so I paint..............

 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Old Family Relics And New Oil Paintings

 

"Paint and Patina" , oil , 12 x12"  ©2015 www.kathipeters.com
 
As I get older....and it seems to be happening too quickly these days,.....I find I am cherishing the bits and pieces of our family relics that we have around our small home. And feeling a need to capture some still life paintings , I set up a makeshift shadow box to set up my still life arrangements. Not fancy…..a background cloth to bounce light onto the subject ….and set about doing “Paint and Patina”, depicting two objects that have meaning for me, and hopefully to someone else.....my grandmother’s old teapot that age has graced with a lovely patina [ along with old dings and bumps] and my old painting knife that has been with me since my painting days in Italy. Two old well worn objects painted by a rather 'time worn' artist.  This is the first of many still life works.
So I paint.

Woman's Work

 

"Woman's Work" , casein on paper , 9 x 12"  ©2015 www.kathipeters.com
 

 
There's the putting to....and the unhitching. Driving draft horses is a lot of work. I admire the women who choose to do that for a living, or even for pleasure. It is not as easy as it all looks. "Woman's Work" is available.
This new painting is done in casein , and the design is simplified. 'Less is more' in my book.

The ordeal of readying the farm for winter is on going. Having only 2 horses this winter does ease the job a bit. Our hay is put in , and the stalls are made cozy for the chilled nights we have been having. I am almost done readying the flower gardens. The veggie garden is cleaned and what is left is for the gleaners ..... [the wild animals who forage through our fame and woods.] Our bird feeders are being kept filled, and they are in steady use these days. Mittens and wool caps are at the ready, when needed. They have been put to good use on the mornings of late. Fall is in full swing.....winter not far behind.

I paint in my studio......................

Thursday, October 15, 2015

New ..... A Downeast Lighthouse Painting


"Dice Head Lighthouse - Castine,Maine" , Oil  12 x 12" ©2015 www.kathipeters.com

My latest oil painting depicts the beautiful “Dice Head Lighthouse” of Castine, Maine. A summer road trip Downeast prompted a visit to this lighthouse. The surrounding trees, in the yard of the lighthouse, had branches draped with gray -green lichen. I was fascinated with the way it decorated the landscape…..and chose adding it for my first work depicting this interesting lighthouse. The current tower was built in 1829 out of rubble stone, remodeled in 1858 and has long since been dark, replaced by an automated light tower. The lighthouse is a delight to the eye.

Fall has settled in on our small farm. We are starting to put our carriages away for the winter, and getting ready to pull out the snow blower and put away the lawnmowers. I love the cool [some cold] nights and sun filled days where bright orange and yellow color washes the forested edges of our fields, dispersed by the dark greens of our spruce and pines. The horses are full of energy and playfulness. The yard is busy with the seed hording of our resident varmints and Nell is in hunt mode all day in full terrier tradition.

I am trying to find time to paint……………

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Revisiting Paintings Done With Another Approach

 


 
Sometimes an painting idea can be approached , painted and after the painting is done, the subject calls to be approached again but from another direction. This happened lately with 2 painting that I have done. One was initially finished very recently. The second was painted over the past winter. I learn something every time I do this, the reworking of a painting, changing out the medium , the format and stretching maybe with my vision. I am not alone with this 'reworking' of works. Many of the masters have done it over the centuries. I am in good company.
 
 "Among The Fields Of Gold" done originally in oil , was re-worked with watercolor......one version a full oil portrait, and the second done in a loose watercolor study with a more abstract approach. Each medium sort of dictated the approach for me.
 
 

 
 
The second painting that I felt compelled to rework in a cropped version ended up being in oil in a small square format. The original painting was a portrait of sorts, done in casein and more involved. The cropped version is featuring just the head of the horse, the rider cropped out, done in juicy oil paint.
 

 
 
The original work was done as a portrait of a side-saddle equestrian. Both works are featured on my website now.... "The Classic" and "A Lady and Her Horse" .
 
 
 
And now today I have three new panels that I  have  prepared for more paintings.....I am painting.

Drawn To Grey And Fields Of Gold

 

"Among The Fields Of Gold"  , oil on board,  12 x 12"  ©2015 www.kathipeters.com
 

The long awaited rain has poured down on our farm. The brook that lay parched all summer, is now flowing over its banks. What is the old saying? …. It never rains, but it pours!! Apropos for today.
 
 
Another oil painting is done.  ”Among The Fields Of Gold “ is a 12 x 12” oil with a bit of gold added…..It speaks to me of lazy hot days of late summer , when fields that once were green and lush are now dried and yellow, as fields of gold. I really felt a connection with this painting…….  Fall is definitely in the air now and I am sure my palette will show that as I work on new work.
 
I am in the studio today, as it rains to beat the band outside, I am painting.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Back Into Watercolor For My Latest New Painting

 
"Heading Out - Acadia"  watercolor , 11 x 25"  ©2015 www.kathipeters.com

"Heading Out - Acadia " is a new color painting,  finished last week actually....Another 4-in-hand turnout that captured my attention this summer, up at Wildwood Stables in Maine's  Acadia National Park. I captured them as they were eager to get out onto the carriage roads on their first visit to Acadia. I chose again to just portray the horses.....without the carriage, [a marathon type vehicle] as they went by....all movement and energy. Wonderful memories of an Acadia trip. If it were a commission I would have included the carriage and the driving party….but this is an original done with artist license.
 
 
 I am back into my oil paint now, working on some scenes of horses at liberty and some Maine landscapes.  We are also busy with guests coming and going on our Cob Cottage Farm. Summer is going too, but we have been blessed with some awesome summer like days lately...days that beg me to head out into my gardens and try to catch up on garden taming and transplanting. All too soon the cold weather will come all too soon. I will enjoy this weather while it lasts.
 
 
Also a quick reminder!!!.....Don't forget to take advantage of my ongoing Small Work Sale........it is still going on until I take it down. Strike while the iron is hot , so to speak. Some neat small paintings are included in the sale. I'd hate for you to miss out on a good deal. The small paintings make great gifts for the Holidays!
 
 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Ponies... More Ponies At Acadia


 "Ponies At Acadia" , casein , 9 x 12" ©2015 www.kathipeters.com

This is my latest casein painting done. The subjects , the handsomest four-in-hand of gray ponies,.... who I saw up at Acadia this summer. They were just coming back from a long drive. We were just leaving with our carriage, loaded on out trailer and were heading back from a month of driving at Acadia.
That leader pony, watching me, captured my eye.... I had to paint that inquisitive face. Why didn't I include the carriage and passengers? Because for me it was more about the horses......."Ponies At Acadia"

Most of today was spent in the studio as summer continues it hot muggy and frankly not too pleasant weather. I am not a lover of humidity and heat. But soon winter will come with its blast of frigid cold and snow.....I am hoping for some cool sun-filled fall weather about now. So for the time being I will be cloistered in my studio cave....painting.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Painting Pennsylvania - New Landscape


"McPherson's Barn-Gettysburg"      Oil      12 x 12"         ©2015 www.kathipeters.com


In March we went on a trip to Pennsylvania. It was a well needed trip, a getaway from our long cold snow covered Maine farm. We left our farm buried under 2 feet of snow and ice, but in the good hands of a great farm-sitter. We arrived in snow free Pennsylvania where green grass was starting to peek through ground and trees were leafing out. Like children we marveled at the early spring there, and then came home to our farm still covered in snow.  Gettysburg was one of our  PA. stops, and it was there that I fell in love with the handsome McPherson farm with its rolling hillside and historic barn. If you are interested in the Civil War, this barn has a story to tell. I painted it in it's early spring colors......walk on through the open gate and visit the barn. My latest oil done. "McPherson's Barn- Gettysburg"

I am painting today.....but am back to Maine's Acadia scenes.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

SALE Of Select Small Works

In a attempt to de-clutter the studio,  by re-homeing a few small paintings,......I am having a sale ....and it will be up for a limited time only.

Most of the work is NOW priced at only $100 , and some even lower than that. To be able to price them at this low price, I am offering them unframed , but will ship for free within the USA. There are paintings of horses, thoroughbred horse racing, dogs [Jack Russells and more], flowers and landscapes!
This sale will be posted on Facebook and Twitter page too, so don't miss out!
I hope some of this small gems can find new homes, new walls to hang on.
And I can get back to painting.......more!

Here are some of them:...........................
 "Spring Fling" Oil , 8 x 6"  ©kathipeters.com


 
 "Leaping Lizards" , casein on board, 5 x 7" ©kathipeters.com


Thanking you in advance for checking out the work.......And they are selling! .
Thank you so supporting my art!!!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Power and Strength , A New Oil Painting



"The Wheelers"  oil , 14 x 16" ©2015 www.kathipeters.com

Driving a team of four horses pulling a carriage is a sport of gentlemen. There is an old saying that a gentleman doesn't drive more than four. For me, seeing the power and strength of a smartly turned-out four in hand is a thing of beauty. I appreciate the scene in its entirety, but sometimes by looking at the whole, you can miss a piece of it that is special. That is what I did with my latest oil painting done. I honed in on a piece of the whole.  A four-in-hand team is made up of two pair of horses; the strong wheelers who are closest to the carriage and actually do the majority of pulling of the carriage, and the leaders who are usually the flashier pair, finer and brave to be out front.  I have taken a view of the wheelers, up close and in the draft, pulling their carriage. The driving lines to the leaders cut across the wheelers profiles, cutting the composition and providing movement across the painting. It was an interesting and exciting element and fun to paint and develop.  “The Wheelers” is now on my website and available.
 


Our Maine weather has been so hot and muggy this August. Perfect "stay in the studio and paint" weather. I am taking advantage of it and have more paintings in the works. It is a joy awakening every day to work that I love to do…… and so I paint!!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

One Painting Done And Three More In The Works


"Gotta Scratch" , casein on claybord , 16 x 16" ©2015 www.kathipeters.com

I am staying in my studio. It has become a very hot and muggy August here in Maine. My walkout basement studio is always cool in the heat of summer. So I keep painting. I have 3 paintings in the works at the moment. One oil painting and 2 caseins are filling my days inside, as the farm is hot and not so comfortable outside.

I finished a square format casein painting of an European Belgian horse...A "Brabant", a Brabant, is a draft horse breed from the Brabant region of modern Belgium. I love their short strong build, stocky bodies AND the color of their coats. The pink and purple in their shadows and highlights. I will be doing some more works  depicting these hefty workers.  "Gotta Scratch" is available , and looking for a forever home.

 The other paintings I am working on depict pairs , parts of a four in hand team that I had the pleasure of seeing on their maiden visit to Acadia, on the miles of carriage driving roads available for their pleasure. Did I say I love painting driving horses? I have been painting them for years. I will continue to do so.

I paint what I love......and am doing it today from the comfort of my cool studio......!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Art Shows I am In AND A New Painting ....Of A Goat!!!


Driving the carriage roads of Acadia  ©2015 www.kathipeters.com

Our two horses are back home grazing in their fields, after our July carriage driving marathon…. I am trying to catch up on gardening chores and in between the barn chores and gardening, I head to the studio and paint, order new paints and frames and get my creative mojo working.  I have done some new equine art work?  NO…..  Animal art ……..A GOAT?? Yes…... a Maine goat, no less.  

  "Maine Goat" , casein on canvas , 16 x 20"  ©2015 www.kathipeters.com


MY NEWS:  I have had 2 paintings juried into the new art exhibit, Mainly Maine  at River Arts in Damariscotta, Maine , that opens tonight.  With over 223 entries, by 92 artists from all over Maine, 105 works juried into the exhibition by juror Andy Curran.  I am honored to be one of those juried into this Maine show.
"Pemaquid Point Rosehips" , oil ob board , 16 x 16"  ©2015 www.kathipeters.com

I also have 3 works in the current on-line exhibit with Women Artists of the West’s show “Rivers, Tides, and Pools". A talented group of artists and not all the members are from the real “West”…….. Check out their great online art show!


AND the 2 person art show that I am in and NOW hanging at Equis Art Gallery in Red Hook, NY is up for a few more days.  "Summer Feature" highlighting the work of artist Patricia Powers and myself ,is a show featuring a mix of some of our older works and some new. I hope anyone in the area gets a chance to see this show. Then Equis Art Gallery is moving to its bigger and brighter new space in the center of Red Hook. THAT is exciting! I will post more about this as it happens!


And today…I am painting!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Dolce Castana......Missing Italy A Bit?

 

 
 "Dolce Castana", casein on paper, 9 x 12"  ©2015 www.kathipeters.com
 
Watching horses grazing in their summer fields always gives me a feeling of peace. All is right with the world, in that moment in time.
I titled this casein painting "Dolce Castana"  ..... It means "Sweet Chestnut" in Italian. Memories of Italy. I thought I had finished it yesterday,  photographed it and then looked at it on my pc monitor. I wasn't happy with the values.....so I went back in and finished it today. It is done.
 
 
I have been in the studio working while Maine is blanketed with hot humid summer weather. My studio gardens are growing too tall and blossoming like crazy. So I paint horses?
 
 
 
 
 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Plein Air Painting In My Garden


"Japanese Iris"  pastel on paper,  12 x 9"  ©2015 www.kathipeters.com


With the weather being wonderful...and finding a few days where I actually am able to get some uninterrupted painting time...I headed outside with my pastels to do some plein air painting. I didn't travel far. It seems I have been away from home too much lately. I just worked in my back garden....my studio garden. I don't have to lug my equipment very far!! I did a pastel of my Shasta Daisies in full bloom. Then I did another pastel of my "Japanese Iris" in all their splendor. I think I want to do more paintings of them while they are in bloom, but I might have to work from photos, as these days my painting time is limited.

Summer in Maine is short lived. I will enjoy our time carriage driving and the time I spend working in my flower gardens.  New flowers are blooming everyday! I will try to paint more of them.



Monday, July 6, 2015

My Gardens Are Growing & News

 


Summer has really arrived. …physically and figuratively! I sit writing my blog on the deck. A lovely breeze stirs the green heavily laden trees .The sun shines down on the farm encouraging the gardens to grow. The rugosa roses scent rises in the warm air, bathing the deck in their perfume. Birds are busy at the bird feeders that hang in front of the grape arbor, flittering back and both from the trees to the feeders. A humming bird flies by me as he makes his rounds to window boxes and hanging baskets filled with petunias, zinnias,nasturtiums, marigolds and begonias. Nell sleeps in the shade beside me. Mittens sleeps under the table, half in the sun, half in the shade. Life is good in the summer a Cob Cottage Farm.
 

Most days , weather permitting , we have been driving our Ginger Boys up at Acadia National Park National Park. Each year we wonder if this is going to be the last year of us being able to do this. I pray that it won't be… but we aren't getting any younger and everything is  getting so expensive too.... fingers crossed that art sales keep coming in and our life can go on.
My news on  the art front?  I have my painting “ Chestnuts  Two.” In the current art exhibit at River Arts Gallery’s Members Show. What a talented bunch of artists I am in the company with at River Arts!!!!  Hope you all can make it to the show.
 
Then I have decided to not have my sketches available for purchase anymore on my website and I will be taking off the ones left on my Sketches and Studies page, in a very short time. The ones I do have left up on my website are seriously been discounted! Don't miss out !
And over the next few weeks, I might not be painting much. Time to reflect on my current art work, spend time with my husband and enjoy our days carriage driving our two Morgans. It is a fun sport which  you can share with friends who don't ride or drive… we love doing that!
 
And I  love to paint carriage horses!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Carriage Driving In Acadia !!! And My Latest Oil Painting

 

 
There are so many roads to travel by bike or on foot up or riding horseback in Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island . You can even go by horse drawn carriage...a link to the past. By carriage is my favorite way to experience the beauty that is Acadia. My painting "By Bubble Pond- Acadia" is another way for one to experience that thrill from the comfort of their home......this latest painting is available and ready for it's forever home.
 
This next month will bring driving those Acadian carriage roads a daily joy for us. I will be filling my imagination with paintings that will be done after our driving marathon is over. Bear with me as I placate my muse.......fill my head with Maine scenery and horses and carriages. And in between ......my gardens will grow and lawn and fields will need mowing. Never a dull moment at Cob Cottage Farm and Studio!!   And I will paint!    
 
 
                                                   Little Long Pond , Acadia

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Pemaquid Point Oil Painting And A Two Person Art Show Coming Up!!


 

Maine is a beautiful state any time of the year. Even though our summer is pushing its way through the sweet cool months of spring, I remember scenes of our beautiful state that I want to paint. …..scenes-to capture that I have wanted to paint all winter, yet I was busy painting horses.


We took some friends down to Pemaquid Point Light House on their visit to Maine last fall. There was so much “eye candy” there that caught my eye. One of the subjects that really entranced me was the Rose-hips dotting the seaside landscape. The reddish orange rose hips against the White House and lighthouse begged to be painting. I recently finished painting that scene, capturing it oil. “Pemaquid Rose Hips” is available now on my website, on my ‘Not Equestrian Work” collection page.

Right now, my gardens are getting a much needed drink from Mother Nature. The rain falls and the thirsty earth is drinking its fill here in Maine. I wish I could send some of this rain to other parts of this earth where rain is so much needed. Our grass is growing like gangbusters and I am afraid weeds are too. I know where I will be once this rain spell passes. You should look for me in our gardens.
 


Shipping was on my plate this last week. I shipped works down to Equis Art Gallery, in Red Hook, NY, where I will be having my work hung in a two “man” show, along with fellow artist Patricia Powers. I will post more about this as it gets closer, but I am honored to be invited to be in this show in this summer!

I do have new work; I am working on as I try to get some ideas done before we start carriage driving our Ginger Boys every day. When we start doing that you won’t find me so often in the studio. Until then ………..I will paint!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

A New Watercolor And A Maine Art Exhibit


 
Our apple trees are laden with blossoms.
 
The month of May has been flying by, it seems. With so many beautiful weather days, I have been getting work done outside in my gardens and with our horses. In the studio I have been busy with a Maine landscape painting and several smaller works that I am still on the fence about. Contrary to popular belief not every painting done is worthy of being shared. Sometimes I have to sit on a fence a day or so after finishing a painting, before I send it out into the wide world for other eyes to see. I know I am not alone with this practice. Quality control at work! 
 
 
"The German Pair" , watercolor on paper, 9.25 x 14"  copyright 2015 www.kathipeters.com
 
I also did do a watercolor of two handsome driving horses. They are of the Polish breed called Heavy Schlesier. They originate from Schlesien, which is now a region in Poland, but before the World War it belonged to Germany. How big and strong they look, yet are wonderful driving horses. “The German Pair" “is available to purchase on my website.
The other work I have done might be added to my website…we shall see!
 
This month was time to clean up and organize my pastel colors. I did that and believe me it was no easy task. Now my pastels are all in one pastel box, organized and at the ready for my foray into pastel work. When THAT will be I don't know but soon ?!
 
 
 
Again this year I have work in the Annual Festival of Art at the Hutchinson Center in Belfast, Maine. The show opened May 21, with an opening reception at 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The show ran May 22 and 23, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday May 24, noon to 3 p.m. I hope you made it to the show. It always has an interesting mix of artwork in this Maine exhibit!
Life goes on at our ‘farmette’……..spring is in full swing with its bountiful display of blossoms and each day’s new color. At the moment….lots of green.
 
And so I paint!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

May I Be Thankful For May !?

 

 
It is the merry month of May. It also is a month of celebration as spring really arrives in Maine and  it is the month we usually have the vet come to give our horses their yearly checkup and annual shots. BUT  May will always have a miriad of meanings for me... because it is STROKE AWARENESS month.    But I digress…read my blog entry of May 19th, 2008 that explains a lot. ....
 
"What May Means To Me Or Why I Blog" written  5/19/2008


"May has always been a special month for my family…spring is in full swing, my husband’s birthday falls in May and of course so does Mother’s Day. But this year [and every year now] May has taking on new meaning for us, as it is designated as Stroke Awareness Month. And we are very aware about stroke. Now.
 
On July 29th of 2006, my husband and I, along with my sister who was visiting from California, were all headed from our farm in Morrill, Maine to my eldest brother’s home in New Hampshire to celebrate his 70th birthday. It was a surprise party for him and for the first time in a long time, my siblings and I were going to be together to party and have a good time. We arrived on time and I got out of our car to greet everyone, feeling so happy to see us all together. My sister-in-law, Bev walked up to me and started talking …I could hear her, but I couldn't make out a word that she was saying. I didn’t feel right, but was busy looking around at everybody when I realized I couldn't see my right hand or arm and I couldn’t figure out where they were…and I was still trying to understand Bev. She sounded like a slow broken record and her words were all jumbled to me. I looked around for my husband Les, and when I saw him I asked, “Where’s my arm? And he said “By your side? What’s the matter?” Then I guess everyone saw something was wrong with me. I remember them helping me into the shade of a huge tree on the grounds and helping to lay me down on the ground. I looked up at everyone… I didn’t know what was happening. I couldn’t really talk and tell them what I felt and a sea of faces looked down on me. But through it all a strange feeling of calm and peacefulness filled my being and I knew it would be all right.
 
I was suffering a stroke.
 
 
 I missed my brother’s 70th. To make a long story short…I was rushed to a hospital in N.H. and then was transported by ambulance to Portland, Maine, and admitted into Maine Medical Center. This was done in order that I should be closer to my family and doctors. Tests were started. The left side of my brain had been ‘attacked’ when the blood flow was interrupted or stopped due to a blood clot. A significant part of my left temporal lobe was affected and this left me with right-sided paralysis and Aphasia. Aphasia is a condition where language problems make it difficult to talk the way I used to and makes writing very difficult for me. Something that was so important to me in my life [I have worked as a newspaper reporter and fashion editor in the past…and wrote poetry.] .... was now something that was so difficult. My understanding and comprehension of speech were unimpaired, but speech itself became hard as my speech related muscles wouldn’t cooperate and my brain could not find the words to say what I wanted to. But what was more important to me, as I lay on the hospital bed with my family around me…could I draw??? I managed to get the nurse to understand what I wanted…. a pencil and paper. She brought them and everyone looked on as I sketched an eye, a horse head……….okay… I could live with the limitations I had a this point. I could draw, and this would mean I could paint. Life was good!!!
 
 
In the week that passed in between hospital tests, MRI’s and blood work, I sketched some, slept a lot, but I knew I needed to get home, to our quiet farm where I would be alone with my husband, see my Corgi and our horses, see and smell our gardens and get down to the business of getting better…. to getting ‘Kathi’ back!
 

This year and half that has passed has been difficult. Our horses became my therapy, as I brushed them while walking with a cane, my hand and arm gained strength. I cleaned stalls, needing the muck fork to help stand up with. Throwing hay and lifting shaving bags became my upper body strengthen exercises. I had a speech therapist come and work with me in our home, she helped me start to get over some the Aphasia problems…and an occupational therapist to help me get my hand coordination back. And I painted…and drew and I slept. I slept a lot. I still sleep during the day needing naps to replenish my energy.
 
I started a blog after my therapist suggested that I do it as an exercise to recapture my language skills. Each and every blog entry has my recovery in it. Metaphorically each of my paintings tells of my struggles and my victories...most in the form of equine art. But through it all, I knew that my attitude about what I was going through was more important to me that what had happened to me. My recovery depended on my attitude. I cannot control what happens to me in life, but I can control my attitude. And that is my life’s mantra now……….’if it’s gonna be..it’s up to me.’

And I have also been blessed with a wonderful husband who has been beside me through it all. Les has been the wind beneath my wings. So in a nutshell….that is my story. Why I blog.. and the road leading up to the beginning of my blog. That is my story and I am sticking with it."


 
So we are here today 9 years since my stroke. I have had several TIAs [small mini strokes] since 2006. I still have Aphasia, though mild now , I do have trouble understanding and writing numbers. I can't stand noise and confusion. I have trouble writing and figuring out spelling of words, which can be very frustrating! I do have central pain syndrome , which has left me with pain on my right side , 24/7........Yet when I paint, I feel no pain....only afterwards. I feel blessed to have been given a "new birth" ...and everyday is a gift to be thankful for!  I was a professional artist before my stroke.....and I still am. I try to muddle through the business part of being an artist.........the painting part is 'a breeze". I want to thank all my friends and collectors of my work for their past and continued support of my art.... Your support fuels my passion.
 
Sometimes life throws us a curve ball.........it's up to us to hit it out of the ball park!  
Carpe diem!  Who knows what tomorrow may bring.
 
 HAPPY MAY DAY!!!!!!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Spring Has Sprung..... With A New Painting


 
 
 
I have been in the studio a lot of late. I have been drawing and working a lot on tonal sketches. I feel I always need to be learning, and stretching my art.  I have also been stretching my hours in my day, as I work in the studio, the gardens, the barn and the house. And stretching my back , pulling weeds and raking the perennial garden as it awakens from its winter slumber.  I sleep well at night!
 
Spring is finally here in our part of the woods, and I have just finished a spring like painting of two chestnut horses in their field in its light spring colors before the green appears. They are busy horses foraging for any tiny blades of grass that might be poking through the warming ground. "Chestnuts Two " is a 12 x 12" casein on board. I have put it up on my website now.
 
If you haven't gone yet to see the River Art Gallery's latest exhibit I suggest that you head on down/over there and see "The Natural World". The show is wonderful with works from Maine artists from all over the state. I am one of the artists juried into the show. You won't be disappointed.  My painting "Ripe Arbor Grapes " is hanging there for your viewing pleasure. It looks much better in real life than the internet can display!!
 
 
 
In the meantime I will paint!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Back At The Old Farm, Old Memories, New Magazine Interview AND New Painting


 The family's stone farmhouse. 



With good intentions I have been promising to be better on posting my blog. And for lack of a really good excuse I keep putting it off. But we were away on a mini vacation where we attended a family wedding in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with a detour to Brandywine country to Chadds Ford and the Brandywine Art Museum to see the current retrospective art show of Jamie Wyeth and a look see at Gettysburg’s battle fields and old barns. We also went to the old village of Harmony to see my family’s old homes and gravestones. Lots of old memories relived.  I admit that it also was an epicurean trip too, with much good food and fine wines and local brews to fortify us all throughout. The downside of the trip is that we came home with the flu, and now through the worst, we are still recuperating. Time lost.



Upon arriving home to Cob Cottage, I received the good news that my interview with Equestrian Culture magazine was on line and available for folks to read and see a lovely display of some of my work. I think they did a bang-up job of layout ….. and it pleased me no end to see my work beside, and compared to, my creative heroes, Lucy Kemp Welch, Sorolla and Munnings! Hope you can take a look at the article and I would love to get your feedback on it and my work. Thank you Equestrian Culture !!



I guess the only painting I have finished since my last blog post is a 12 x 9” casein on paper, titled “Inspiration”. I was playing with loose and suggested movement in this small painting. I think I nailed it. It is available on my website.


 "Inspiration"  , casein  12 x 9" ©2015 www.kathipeters.com


I am back….. back working in the studio, finally! I am working on a 16 x 16” Maine landscape…… I have so many paintings that need doing………..and all before the gardens awaken from their long [too long] winter nap. And then carriage driving begins again. Ah………..I love spring!!!!