Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Playing Out - Painting Out

Asticou Gardens in bloom.
Yesterday we took off on a road trip to Acadia National Park on Mount Dessert Island in Down East, Maine. We got up, packed the car, filled Nellie's Ditty Bag with goodies,and off we went to play. I had also packed a bag with my plein air painting supplies, including my new lightly used thumbbox pochade that artist friend Renee Lammers had just gifted me.We ended not having time for me to paint, but I did get oodles of photos for future paintings.The gardens at Asticou were brilliant with their June splendor of azaleas mirrored on glass like waters. We picnic-ed in Acadia shade. Nellie got a walk in the woods to smell the not yet ready blueberry bushes and sweet cedar and pine. Acadia is my favourite place to be....ever.

The eagle  would not look at us.
We saw a eagle sweep and grab his lunch from Hadlock Pond.I tried to get a better picture of him but he would not turn his head towards us.But another feathered friend, whom we met in Ellsworth, was more than happy to come visit in our face.....Mr Crow was very truculent,looking for handouts and had no problem posing for photos.

This crow will be painted!
So though we had a lovely break from the farm and studio, today we are back to the same old and I am in the studio.....Les is mowing the lawns and orchard.....and it is summer in Maine!

Here is a quick little casein plein air painting I did ....sitting in my garden and trying out the Guerrilla thumb-box....what a neat little unit it is! I have gone back into this painting after I shot it here. You can see the current paintng on my website . I will be doing more paintings outside....I am ready!

"Sweet Spring Colors"     casein on canvas on board    6 x 8"

Monday, May 23, 2011

May Is Always Special

My Bleeding Heart

 Sometimes we miss the small details. Sometimes we miss the beauty and wonder that each day provides, while we hurry along with our daily obligations. I try to not take each day for granted. Each and everyday for me is a blessing. I am reminded of that on a daily basis...and especially in May..... I want to remind everyone that May is Stroke Awareness Month. This month always means more than the beauty of spring to me....it means the beauty of life.....and all the God given blessings that I see each day in my life and surroundings. I am a Stroke survivor [See my story on my Tuesday, May 6, 2008 blog post.] and proud of it. So when life gets too busy and full of details, I really like to take the proverbial time to smell the roses...in this case the Bleeding Hearts....and look what I saw!! A little guy who is way busier than I!

Busy Bee
 May is also special for me this year because I have a painting in the 57TH Annual Exhibit of the National Society of Painters in Casein and Acrylic [ I am a member.] that will be hanging in the prestigious Salmagundi Club of New York City! The show opens today May 23, 2011 and hangs
through June 10th, when their Awards night will take place. I am so honored to be included in this show ….!!!  And it is one of the only national exhibits that have a medium category for casein. This is wonderful! 
"Shades Of Black #9"  casein on board        12 x 12"

 That being said….Here is my latest ‘oil’, a small 8 x 6” painting of our JRT that I have titled ”Boogie Eyes”. Our Nellie often lays and looks at us with these eyes….big and dark…Boogie eyes! 

"Boogie Eyes"      oil on board     8 x 6"
 With rain still coming down, gray skies surround the farm…..I am headed down to the studio to finish a new casein…and work on another I have just started. I also need to start making notes about my method for painting in casein for a demonstration I will be giving in August in Saratoga Springs for Equidea Gallery.
I am busy….but what else is new?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Another Gray.....Horse and Day

"Gray Eating Hay"          Casein / ink on board              11 x 14"

After several day where we actually saw sun,we are back into gray spring weather that rains,brings fog and makes the trees blossom ,coloring our views with whiles and pinks. Maybe it is the spring colors that inspired me to depict this gray in a sort of spring like atmosphere....but I did and here it is. "Gray Eating Hay" is offered on my website.

Tilled garden
In spite of rain, the gardening still needs doing and we have tilled the garden  [while the sun shone] and then in the drizzle. I have planted my salad mix and my Cilantro and Basil. The Curly Garlic is growing tall and green. I use the green stocks in cooking and so enjoy them as the grow and show their curly tops. A fun addition to our garden! AND they expand each year! I am going to paint them, probably in oil on copper, when the tops are curling.

Some Tulips and Dandelions
My tulips are dotting the gardens.....and even the lawn is colorful with yellow dandelions....!!
How I love spring!

Plum trees in blossom

 The Plum trees dance like young ladies in Tu-Tus across our orchard. I need to paint them....I will paint them too.
Lots to do..... and no lack of subject matter without even leaving the farm. If the weather will clear I am going to plein air....right in my back yard at Cob Cottage.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Lot Of Crock

Cleaned up!

The studio had arrived at the point that it REALLY needed some help. I couldn't find paintings,  my supplies or any space to work in. So I took charge and went shopping. I bought a shelf to store framed paintings and supplies on. The building of the shelf  was a testament of how solid my husband's and my marriage is! Yes ,we got it up and working, through mutual agreement, and much holding of tongues....yes, a labor of love! It stands strong and  tall, and is already helping me to get my space back.

The Shelf of a thousand usages.

I moved some furniture around and gained some more space...I can actually get to my cupboard for supplies.What an novel concept! Brilliant!!

But I still have a huge sauerkraut crock, that my brother gifted me with, taking up space beside my  studio table...the spot where I like to sit and read...I am trying to come up with some constructive use for this mammoth pickling crock!! Ideas?!! No.. I will not be making sauerkraut.

Nellie and the "lotta crock!"
I am painting, in between other artist type chores and farm duty. My days are a bit easier, being down to the three horses now. And it is the season of more shows and changing out art works with galleries and shipping of new work.

AND I received the exciting news that the painting I sent to the National Society of Painters In Casein and Acrylic annual show was juried in! I am excited about this, as the painting will be hanging in their 57th annual show May 23 through June 10th , in New York City at the prestigious Salmagundi Club on Fifth Ave. The painting juried in is  "Shades Of Black # 9" , one of the paintings in my 'Shades of Black' series. I am so honored to be part of this show.

But I am painting....and here is one of my works in progress.....see? 
It is not a bunch of crock!!!    ;-)

Casein work in progress.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Maggie's Marvelous Adventure

Victoria and her filly Maggie.
 Thistlemead Margret was born on our farm 7 years ago. We had planned on pairing her with her mothe,r Trevallion Victoria, to be our driving pair. Maggie was a sweet girl from the get go. She was a beautiful foal and grew up into a beautiful full bodied Welsh Cob mare, but life got in the way.... and we never were able to put the two together, never able to continue her training after I suffered my stroke in 2006. It has been hard for us to let go and allow Maggie to go to a home where she could reach her full potential. But last weekend we said goodbye to this beautiful girl so that she can be ridden and trained by another beautiful girl, Gretchen Novak. Maggie will become a solid citizen and enjoy her life with Gretchen and with other Cobs...maybe even be a mom herself with a foal to call her own. And we know that Gretchen will keep us informed as to Ms. Maggie progress.

Young Maggie listening to my TWH gelding Duster, her best friend.

Maggie kissed Les goodbye.

On Sunday Maggie was picked up by Gretchen's mother and father. Les and I said our good byes and arrivederci's to her at the barn . Then Les walked her up our driveway where her trailer awaited. 

This scene will be a painting, for sure.
 Like a trooper she walked onto the trailer, as if she knew she was going on a wonderful adventure. Les and I watched as the truck and trailer took off down the road. A bitter sweet emotion, but lately it seems emotion as been in the forefront of our lives. Yet it is a blessing to know that Maggie will be loved.....we brought her into this life....and it was our duty to see that she has the best life possible. I think we have done that now.

I will try to capture some of the emotion in future paintings..........and I know I have a busy summer ahead of me. Maggie does too!