Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Here's my horsy buddy-TREAT!


I just was reading one of my favorite blogs ( and read how they have just started learning how to ride horses.  I wanted to put my pic of Treat into my comment but couldn't figure out how to copy/paste it.  It wouldn't work.  So I thought I'd just post my buddy's pic and tell about it with a link to my blog.

So, Emily and Josh, I'm in love with this horse.  I grew up riding horses all the time when I went to my friend, Jane Garff's, ranch.  We had so much fun.  I wanted a horse of my own so badly but with a divorced working mom it could never be afforded.  I loved to go with Jane whenever I could.  I think she probably got tired of me asking when we were going to ride the horses but Jane has always been one of the kindest people that I know.  She humored me a lot.  We even did barrel racing and herded cattle (nasty horse flies!). 
"Deseret Livestock Ranch" - the ranch house (commissioned by Jane)

Jane's ranch was "The Deseret Livestock Ranch"-biggest in Utah-and it was sold to the LDS church.  They use it a lot now for Pioneer Trek, I've heard.

So we grew up and I didn't ride much at all.  I even had a scary experience in college when I was in a horseback riding class where my my saddle turned and I fell off (always always check the cinch!).  I had to get back on the horse to go back to the stables and ride down and up through a gulley first.  The horse knew I was shook up-so he proceeded to try to scrape me off on the bushes (didn't work).  Just keep this place in mind-Dimple Dell.
"Hot Date" (that's Cliff, my son, in New Orleans)

Many years later I was doing a print signing at Granite Furniture in Orem and a gentleman asked if he could trade me an Arabian horse for my painting of New Orleans.  I wanted to cry!  I had always wanted one but didn't know where I could keep it or if I could afford it.  I had to decline.

Recently a friend of mine, Becky, that owns 2 horses asked me if I wouldn't MIND going riding sometime.  I said, "Mind!  You must be kidding me!  When can we go!?!"  So I have become her new riding buddy because her kids are not available to ride and her husband has a bad back.  Wow!  So wonderful!  She's teaching me all the stuff I never learned-like saddling the horse, cleaning up, grooming, etc. etc. and she is so patient.  She's teaching me how to do everything properly.  Best part yet is that I get to ride Treat, a beautiful red chestnut Morgan.  I love him!  But now I'm finding out that Treat has some funny little quirks that I have to learn to work with.  Like he kicks out his back leg when he's first riding and that can be a little unsettling.  So Becky rides him around for a big until he gets his kick out of his system.  I didn't know that when you take the saddle off that horses love to roll in the dirt.  They paw the ground like a cat first. It's so funny to watch.

Now.  Remember Dimple Dell?  Guess where the stable is and the riding guessed it...across the street from Dimple Dell.  You can imagine what I thought when I learned that.  Memories are oh so cruel but I thought, "I don't care.  I'm doing this no wonder how afraid I am".  And.  I am!

Unfortunately I just had hand surgery in September.  So I'm a little out of commission for a while but I'm looking for some riding boots.  So, Emily, if you find a good deal or a second gently used pair in a 7 1/2 let me know.  Because I want them!

Emily and Josh have fun!  If I hear of my horseback riding opportunities I'll let you know.  Horses are so wonderful.  They're one of Heavenly Father's choice creatures.

"My Paradise" (mine all mine but I'll share with people I love and I know they'll be there too)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

We all love bonuses-right!?!

Gracie just told me today that if she gets 1,000 subscribers to her company blog she'll get a big bonus.  It's very fun and you'll be glad you did.  Who ever knew that office supplies could be this fun and you could do so much with them.  Please subscribe at: .  Oh and becoming a follower doesn't count.  Thanks!  It's my bday today and this would be a great present that doesn't cost anything.  She's my daughter, you know.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Snow Queen takes over the world or, at least, my mosaic

So the theme of this piece is the Snow Queen.  Do you remember that old Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale?  I'm not sure, exactly, how I'm going to tie it in as I'm reading the fairy tale right now.  My son, Charlie, loves that story and since I didn't do a graduation painting for him-it's going to be his.

When I finish all the edges I'll be able to post the final picture and tell how it ties in with the passage from the story.  Until then think of these crystal clear flowers as lilies floating on a pond that's streaming over the earth..........

Oh, just to remind you all of a few of my other heart mosaics I decided to post some.   All are named after famous literary heroines. The 1st one is Becky Thatcher from "Tom Sawyer" by Mark Twain.  The next 2 are labeled.  The 4th is Meg March from "Little Women" by Louisa May Alcott.  The fifth is Olive Chancellor from "The Bostonians" by Henry James.  The 6th is Lucy Manette from "A Tale of 2 Cities" by Charles Dickons.  The 7th is labeled and the 8th is last but NOT least Scarlett O'Hara from "Gone with the Wind" by Margaret Mitchell. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

9/11-comment, I must

So the 10th anniversary came and went.  I was amazed at how I felt just as bad as I did back then.  It was like it had happened just yesterday.  Even though it has been that long I still have terrifying flashbacks of Chris, Charlie and Gracie and I standing in a room in one of the buildings.  Not to say that we were in that particular room but we could have been since it was only 3 weeks before that we had been to the top of 1 tower.  I have this horrible visualization of us having to make a choice of staying or jumping.  Then I have to tell myself to not "go there" and jerk my thoughts away.  Have you ever had that happen?  When you had something happen or a possibility that is so frightening that you have to stop yourself from thinking about it?  Probably everyone does.  Maybe if I focus on it and wear out the scene I might be able to reduce the power of the bad situation.

Okay.  Time to get out my book on cd and listen.  Distract my thoughts and move on.   Like to the fact that I've got lots to do around here and sitting at this computer is wasting my time..............

Monday, August 22, 2011

Masking tape - useful when you can't wait all day for the glue to dry

Finally I'm at the end of adding petals with shards of glass.  Of course they were slipping all over the place and I needed a way to hold them there.  Only a few more pieces to add when this layer dries.  Then it's on to figuring out what will go on the outside edges of the mosaic.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Building the crystal clear flowers

I had to go back to the D. I. (Thrift Store) to get some clear glass to smash.  While looking I found plates that were a gorgeous violet and a plate that's sage green-all glass.  Anyway, I had a smashing good time (couldn't resist) and filled several plates with my new treasures. 

Building these flowers is not a day project because the glue needs to set for just about each layer.  If you notice that it looks white remember that it dries clear and I worked on it last night.  It's a delicate and dangerous process using razor sharp glass and I should be wearing some gloves (dummy) but haven't.  Anyway, they are going to be like a chrysanthemum type flower.  At this point I'm thinking 5 is nice and I started a new smaller one last night.

When finishing the outside edge it doesn't feel quite right to use more china.  It's busy enough already.  So I think I'm going to see if Chris can get me some kind of copper cording to wrap around it.  It will give some more zing but have the plain surface I want.
You can see from this photo that this is the effect I want-shimmering flowers that one doesn't notice at first glance.  The light will pop them out.  Any colored ones would have been too busy for this.

Excerpt from "Being an Artist" by Lewis Lehrman:  "Even though I'm my own boss, I feel guilty if I'm not painting"(quote by artist, Arne Westerman).  And look at me-here I'm working on this great mosaic but the nearby easels are haunting me!  Time to put pressure on my son and his wife to figure out what they want me to paint for their wedding painting.  I have to move on with that and my brain is already going crazy about new ones for Chris and I.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Grouting is a mess

As you can see I have put the tile on the wood with a tile adhesive.  Now I mixed up some grout with water and applied it to the tile with a Popsicle stick.  As I was doing it a few of the small bits of china came out.  I'll repair that after I've finished grouting.  It's easy to reapply them.  After I was finished grouting I took the same Popsicle stick and scraped off what I could from the broken china and glass surfaces.  It's really a gloppy mess.  So you'll want to wear rubber gloves and not one of your new shirts like I stupidly did.  Duh.  Now I'm going to let it dry for several hours to clean the grouting and make it look tidy.
 Okay.  I let it dry and started the cleaning process.  This actually took me about 3 hours on and off.  When I had sponged it all off I found holes where the grout had not filled in.  So I had to regrout several times.  I enjoy this process because it's so fun to see how it's going to turn out. 

One important thing.  It's not a good idea to just pour the mucky grout water down the drain as it can clog it.  I always flush it down the toilet gradually.  When I worked at a dental lab they had a special trap under the sink that the plaster from the models could filter down to.  Since I don't have that I use the toilet and that works just fine.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mosaic over the kitchen sink-Cooooool

This is a project that I've stewed about for quite a while.  Originally I was going to do a mosaic of Gerber daisies but I just couldn't make myself do it.  It just looked dumb and too normal.  I can't do that with mosaics.  My tendency now is to do more abstract things that have fun 3-D elements added on top. 

So I started over.  Actually I was seriously considering throwing out all my broken china and glass because it takes up a lot of room in my studio and it haunts me every time I go in there.  So I thought I'd at least do one more thing for now.  If I feel like I've had enough of mosaics after that I'll pitch it all.  I can always go back to the thrift store and buy more cheap. 

Back to the project.  I spent several hours last night in heaven working on the placement of this and listening to a very good book on cd.  My idea of a great evening.  Now I need to get my husband to cut me some wood to put this all onto.  I'm probably going to need some support bars on the back because this could be quite heavy when done. 

I'm so excited about this!  I think I'm going to do 3-D clear glass flowers on top.  Notice the 1 blue item?  That's a chunk of glass that broke in the shape of a heart.  I'm going to try to incorporate that on there somehow. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Jet Blue fun!

              This is what we've been doing a lot lately since we get the free flights:  TRAVEL! 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hot Cocoa-the rose that stays hot!

I was at Millcreek Gardens yesterday buying a miniature rose bush for a friend to honor her mother that had passed away.  I just could not resist getting this floribunda rose bush for us.  And by the way-if you don't know what a floribunda is then let me tell you.  It's a rose that has about 7 blooms on 1 stem instead of the tea rose that just has 1.  The tea rose is what you see in a bouquet.  I usually don't like floribundas as much for flower arrangements because they're more difficult to arrange but who cares when they're as gorgeous as this one.  Anyway, this prize winning variety is called "Hot Cocoa".  Hopefully you can see that it' a burnt orange in the middle and surrounding that is a mocha/orange/purplish color.  I read about them last night and people commented that they're very difficult to photograph and get the true color.  I had to play around on Photoshop because the initial photo was too bright and didn't show the brownish color.

Apparently this variety is very disease resistant and grows on it's own root ball.  Another thing I didn't know for years is that most rose bushes are really a lovely variety grafted onto a wilder rose root ball.  Why they do that, I don't know.  But I had a yellow rose (replaced by this yesterday) that had turned into junk the last 3 years at least.  For probably about 10 years it's was a beautiful producer and bugs and diseases didn't attack it at all but the wild rose took over and ruined it.  At that point you might as well just pull it out.  That's what the rose expert told me yesterday.  That's okay because I know I'll love "Hot Cocoa".  She said that I will really love this because they produce all summer even when it's very hot.  My kind of rose!  I have to bring them in the house all summer long and usually in the middle of summer I don't have much at all to do anything with.

By the way-the one I bought for my friend is called "Smoke Rings".  I really want to get that one also.  It's very similar to the other one and they would be so great in the same arrangement together.  For a miniature it's just delightful and that's next on the list along with...............  I may have to go get that today.

P. S.  Can you imagine how beautiful it would be to reproduce this color of rose with the glass mosaics like my rose in the middle of the last post's entry called "Scarlet"?  With the green rose leaves surrounding it?  Good thing I didn't toss all my mosaics covering my table in my studio.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sometimes letting your art "stew" can be a good idea.....

Top:  "Scout" from "To Kill a Mockingbird"
Bottom:  "Scarlet" from "Gone with the Wind"

Do you remember these broken china/glass hearts from about 2 years ago?  Well in case you don't-they're from a series dedicated to famous literary heroines.

You know how something just doesn't do it for you sometimes?  Well, I just started messing around more with these 2 broken china/glass hearts and I like them a lot better now.  They just needed some pizzazz.  I liked them so much they're hanging on the wall now in a grouping.  They were for sell but not any more.

I forgot that I had a black and white outer border on "Scout"  before.  It think that just had to go.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Okay! Now my painting is done.

After evaluating my painting after a few days I decided it needed some more splashes of "life".  It needed more color to reflect the sunset.  Now it's done and ready for the final finish and framing.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Baba Ganoush and tikka masala curried chicken-greek heaven!

At our house Charlie fixes the best Greek food.  It is so delicious with the Greek pita bread.  When Charlie cooks it's such a treat.  The same with Chris.  They just have a special flair that I don't have.  Anyway, if you can make some of this you'll be in heaven.  The Tikka Masala sauce is actually from a packet make by Sukh's Gourmet Indian Foods and the Baba Ganoush was from an internet recipe.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Finished! Red Butte Garden

So here it is.  I switched to oils. Did some veils and glazes.  I wanted the sunset version because I thought this would be more romantic.  It's for a wedding present, after all.  If you look closely on the sidewalk you'll see who it's for.  I hope they will like it and not stick it in a closet some where (could happen-one never knows).

Added bonus:  Look on the left and you'll see the actual original underpainting.  I was in a hurry and didn't have time to trim.  Kinda fun to see, though.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Grand Rapids Music video-very fun!

I was watching the news tonight and there was a story about Grand Rapids, Michigan. I didn't catch the full story but I think it talked about how that city was a dying city. In response to that the whole town put together the best music video ever. It is so fun. Here it is: 
Grand Rapids Music Video

Just sit back and ENJOY!

Grand Rapids Music video-very fun!

I was watching the news tonight and there was a story about Grand Rapids, Michigan. I didn't catch the full story but I think it talked about how that city was a dying city. In response to that the whole town put together the best music video ever. It is so fun. Here it is:

Now if I knew how to make this link work, I would do it. Just copy paste it in the address bar, sit back and ENJOY!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Red Butte Garden-5th step

This is the last step before I start with oils.  At this point I have only done acrylics.  The basic painting is where I want it but it definitely needs a lot more pizzazz and that will be brought about by lighting and veils of color.  I really like this final step because the painting comes to life this way.   A lot of that has to do with the Winsor and Newton Liquin that I mix with the oils as a medium.  That will add depth and vibrancy.

I wish I could say that I'm doing a lot of painting on canvas.  That's not the case right now.  I've been putting a lot more of the paint brush on the wall, floor boards, window trim and heat vents.  You get my drift here, don't you?  It's home improvement time.

At least yesterday we had a window in between rain storms to plant our vegetable and flower gardens.  I felt like we were in a race and it proved to be true.  As I worked this morning at my computer the rain just came pouring down.  If they tell us on the news that we still have to be careful with wasting water I'm going to scream.  Remember the days when you could hear the children outside laughing and running through the sprinklers?  What about washing your car in the drive way and hosing off the sidewalks.  Now you don't even see sprinklers running during the day.  It's all at night because that's the most efficient way to water.  No one would think of letting a hose run unrestricted.  Now we have to listen to those leaf blowers clearing the sidewalks and breath the fumes from them.  I remember when a broom and strong arms cleared off the debris.  Okay that was probably a 100 years ago.

P. S.  If you scroll down to the May 4th post you can see the previous steps.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

America's Favorite city! San Francisco! Well Maybe........New Yorkers?

Just read a comment from someone about how they are so sick of the nickname "Frisco".  Well I searched San Francisco nicknames probably in 1996 for my painting of California Street in that fair city.  I always thought it was a good title and still do but I don't think everyone would agree upon it being every American's favorite.  To a New Yorker that's blasphemy.  Probably holds true with New Orleans, LA, Chicago and Seattle.  What's your favorite?  I remember years ago seeing a big poster with a giant New York City and the rest of the country was miniscule.  I thought that was quite funny but I've been told that that's often how New Yorkers feel.  Well, I guess it's great to love where you live.  I happen to be a big fan our ours, Salt Lake City.  Well, usually.  Right now I'm so tired of the dreary weather and hoping to somehow have some summer this year.  It really doesn't seem like it will ever happen.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Sprout salon a la Cliff!

Cliff, my oldest son, is a great hairstylist and I was so excited when I saw his latest style ad for his salon, Sprout.  The model is the lovely Lorien, his wife.  Isn't her hair just the coolest ever?  I love it on her.  By the way-Sprout Salon, for all you east coast people, is located in Baltimore.  It's in the Hamden area.  Remember the movie "Hairspray"?  That's where the story takes place.  If you go to Hamden it has all these funky little shops with lots of "Hairspray" memorabilia, of course.  Sprout is right in the midst of the fun.  I love to go visit Cliff and be treated to their wonderful all natural products.  You've gotta go east coasters!  You will love it!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Red Butte Garden-1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th steps

 4th Step-Adding flowers and bringing out the individual plants by defining them.
Also brightening the path.  I'm working from a photograph and decided that the composition didn't lead the eye in.  So I reorganized it to have the path be more inviting-therefore creating some movement to an, otherwise, placid scene.  I plan to overlap plants over the path and shade it more.  As it is now it stands out too much.  I want the eye to be led in-not overwhelmed.

 3rd Step-Starting to lighten the plant areas and change some plant colors.

2nd Step-I painted the sky and used a mixture of Veridian green, emerald green, Cadmium red light and Burnt Sienna brown to establish the plant area.  I also blocked in the path using white, Ultramarine blue, Cadmium red light and a yellow.

1st Step-This is actually the beginning of my parrot painting but this painting started out the same way.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Lovely greens and parrots-it's done!

The final step on this acrylic painting was to layer on top OILS.  This is how I brought in the lighting that perked this painting up and brought it to a finished state.  As you can see I lightened the sky even more in the background and let the light touch the edges of the birds.  Because the birds were a darker value they popped forward.  This is really such a fun stage.

Now all that's needed is a title and final finish.  I left that off to take the photos because it's too shiny.

Below are the different steps: