Monday, December 21, 2009

Just posting a few works of mine

I decided to post a few of my paintings not see on my blog. I hope you'll enjoy them.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

WHOOPS! Not a popular blog subject

Hi everyone. Well, I see posting the Santa pictures was not such a good idea as far as general interest goes. I lost a follower! Drat. Oh, well. I know I need to post some things that are more on the line of something else. I'm just getting through the holidays and then I'll get back to creative enterprises. My cat has been so sick on and off for the last year with diabetes. Now she's having other problems and I'm at my wits end with this. Hopefully things will settle down some in January (fingers crossed and toes and whatever else I can cross).

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Just a quick post....I've been so busy

Hi. I just wanted to show you a part of our Christmas tradition. Ever since our oldest was 18 months old we have saved and display all the Santa Claus pictures. Our kids have loved it! We do too. It shows so much of what's going on with them in their lives. Last year, I think, was the last with them all together and it was digitally put hoo. But that's okay. They have to grow up sometime. Drat.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

We had fun last week but it was soooo busy!

Well, Cliff and Lorien (Bumpkin and Lolly as I call them) are going to have a baby in May and we are soooo happy about it! It was so fun to have them here and rub Lolly's tummy. She's so slender there's only a slight baby bump and I mean SLIGHT. You'd never know from looking at her that there's a healthy baby in there. Next week they're finding out what they are having but none of us really cares. We just want to see that baby!

Kip was here also and it was so fun to see Brandon, our little grandson. What a cutie pie he is and we love him. Kip is the best father. We're so proud of him. Drat they had to go home. It's just too quiet around here without Brandon zooming the cars around and laughing

Uncle Charlie, as usual, had too much fun playing with Brandon. I mean-how can you help it? He's too cute? Char has always been so wonderful with kids and they love him. I always thought he should be a pediatrician but he has other plans.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A photo of the happy day!

Yesterday was the day for Gracie's wedding to Dave. It was a gorgeous November day and totally unexpected good weather. We lucked out big time. The only negative remark I have is that the bathroom situation at the Rehearsal Hall- Sundance, Utah, (where the reception was held) was ridiculous. They're outside and not close to the building. Not good with ladies and their high heels. They really need to build some in the building. Other than that, though, it was perfect. I wish I could rerun all the highlights of the day. Probably the best part was the sealing ceremony in the Salt Lake Temple. It was so spiritual and I wish that everyone could have witnessed it.

Friday, November 13, 2009

THIS Makes me so happy...Hope it does with you also

Well, you know me. I haven't done my homework yet but I will! I have spent about 3 hours trying to get our new/used car cleaned for our up coming event (Gracie's wedding on the 24th!). Actually it's my in-laws car and we decided to buy it since Marge passed away in March, Tom went to a care center. So it's our "go to the cabin" car.

BUT I just had to post this picture of Gracie in Kenya about 2 years ago. It makes me happy every time I see it and realize what a fabulous daughter I have. In fact I have 3 fabulous sons too. So, that's where a lot of my time and effort goes too and it should. After all, being a successful mother is one of life's blessings. I know I can't pat myself on the back yet because this life isn't over for me but so far they have turned out better than I ever could have dreamed. Lucky lucky me.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Two Wonderful Pics of Two Fantastic Events!

Just had to post these 2 very quick as I've got a midterm in a few days to really get busy studying for. Cliff and Lorien got married on Novemeber 1st in Baltimore in a beautiful little and old chapel on the McDaniels College campus. It was so romantic and fun to be there to see this happen. The ceremony was very romantic and they had a nice reception following. The cake was actually vegan and I think it's probably the best I've ever had...sooooo delicious!

Then we went through the Washington D. C. Temple with Gracie and Dave. Grace was going through for the first time. I'm so glad we were able to experience that. It was very special also.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Close up of the McCune Mansion-front door-separate painting

Notice the very cool lady pillars on the second story.

Alrighty. I found it.

Okay, don't tell anyone I'm not doing my homework right now....naughty

I thought those of you that got a kick out of seeing my painting steps for the Egyptian Theater painting would like to see one that is even more shocking. So, here is the McCune Mansion in Salt Lake City. It's a gorgeous old mansion built around 1900 by the McCunes. It's up on a hill very close to the State Capitol building. What I could gather from my in depth researching (as I told you already that I love to do) the McCune's Mansion is sort of a "nanny nanny na na" to the Mormons. As if to say, "Look at us. We have a prettier building and it's high enough to look down on you guys". After it went out of their family's hands it became the McCune Music Academy and many of the older generation took music lessons there. As you will see in the final painting I put a little girl climbing the stairs with her violin. Aparently Mrs. McCune sent her builder all over the world to get the finest materials. There is a whole second set of roof tiles to replace any broken ones. I believe that the roof tiles are from Holland. She incorporated many styles also from all over the world in her plans. Now it is a reception center and I heard that Debbie Reynolds filmed a made for t. v. movie in there. It's only the inside. As for ghosts there have been reports of children giggling in the ballroom upstairs. After a lot of hard work in trying to find a buyer I sold it to Philip McCarthy and owns the mansion now (that buy enabled us to go to the closing ceremonies of the Olympics and then some). He was one of the owners of the Salt Lake Tribune (not any more). A few years ago I went to a wedding reception and there by the front door is my painting.

Oh, the painting in the back ground is "Hot Date" and I'll post the final painting of that one also. Cliff, my son, is in that. It's the garden district of New Orleans.

Jeez, I uploaded the under painting example. Now I've got to search. Not doing homework....I'm really a bad girl but I'm kind of doing it while I'm uploading things (I know...I'm a dumb bell).

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My painting method presented in all it's strange glory

Well, I thought some of you might enjoy hearing about this commission I did quite a while ago for Rob King, the owner of Rainbow Gardens in Ogden, Utah. Rainbow Gardens is probably the biggest gift shop I've ever seen and started by Rob's family many years ago. Rob King asked me to do a painting commemorating the old Egyptian Theater in downtown Ogden built by his grandfather back when the grand movie theaters were so prevalent in the country. Back in the 1950's when Rob was a boy he had gone to the Saturday matinee every week. He loved the old place. Shortly before he commissioned this painting the old theater had been thoroughly restored back to all its glory. They had pulled out wall paneling and found all the original colors, etc. It was a labor of love. Unique to this theater was that the ceiling was pierced to allow light to shine through when the house lights were out to make it appear like the setting of the movie screen was out doors just like a drive in movie. The starry light would twinkle in the dark navy blue heavens.

I was honored to do this painting. It truly would be a labor of love. As usual I got to work right away researching the building. I interviewed as many people that I could to find out any insights that would give a good feel of what I needed to convey to the viewers. I always try to see if there are any ghosts-friendly or bad. Nothing came to mind about that.

I was set to dig in. First off I took many photos at the time of day that I feel sets off a building the best-when the shadows are the most interesting. Then I did a quick color sketch to show to Rob-just to make sure he liked the composition, etc. (I often sell those color sketches as they have a freshness that's quite delightful) My paintings always start with a brilliant under painting-usually the complimentary color of the final color but not always. It's especially noticeable in the view with the children that are crossing the street. I put layer upon layer with acrylics and then switch to oils to get the glazed colors and lighting that sets the mood I want to achieve. Each little brick is meticulously laid in. It's enough to permanently cross your eyes. Fortunately for me my husband is an electrician and he often strikes a deal with the wreckers to get unusual finds-such as my hospital operating room light that I often paint by. It's the best light there is for painting dark areas.

Often I have the most uncanny experiences that are quite eerie. When I finished this painting Rob couldn't believe that I had put an old green woodie station wagon in the front of the theater. I just threw it in there because I thought it added interest and dated the scene to the 1950's (along with the marquee). Rob said that his grandfather that had built the theater used to drop him off in the same kind of car and it was GREEN! How could I ever have known that? Strange right?

Well, I hope you'll enjoy seeing my method. It's not for the faint of heart. You have to be a "painting tough" to accomplish this technique.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Promised "Fateful Drawing"

Okay everyone. Here is the drawing I was talking about in my post about 9/11. I haven't looked at it in a long time and so wasn't clear about the details in it. But remember that I did this 2 days before 9/11. It kind of gives you the creeps, doesn't it? I had no idea what was going to happen. Also this is NOT my style. I don't know where it came from. I really think when I paint there's something inside that comes from somewhere else. I know there are plenty of artists that feel that way. By the way-a friend of mine said to look up Joel 2:4 in the Bible. Look that up and you'll see what she means about that too. Twilight Zone time...doo doo doo doo.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Well, I might as well dig up a few more drawings, right?

I can't believe how cool Photoshop is! I have Photoshop Elements also. Do I sound like a commercial? But it is fun. As I was adjusting the Laguna Beach drawing I slid one of the levers to the right and voile!......color that is so fitting for this piece. I actually did a painting of this and sold it but I thought it never fully reached the mood of the drawing at all. I guess it's because the drawing was so fresh. Plus I kind of like the descriptions I used to remind me of certain things for a future painting. Once in a while I will have a painting that I finish and say, "Oh, it's okay but not my best." I even (dare I say it?) have thrown paintings away. There's a few garbage men somewhere that have a few of these. One is a portrait of my husband and his old beat up "Rocket" car. Drat. I wish I had that one back. Luckily I'm a real stickler for taking pictures of everything before it goes out the door (unless it's so awful I can't stand it...there's a few of those). Anyway, I like these drawings-especially the one of Cliff in his Halloween greaser outfit. It's so Cliff. The other drawing of the dancers I just did one Sunday when I was bored. This struck me as very fluid. I did another one and maybe I'll post that one some time. If anyone would like to see my 9/11 prediction painting just let me know and I'll dig it up out of my files.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

REPEAT AFTER ME....Too much of a good thing.......

Alright. So, you can't throw rice at a wedding any more because of rodents. What do I have growing outside in copious quantities? Lavender. So I practically cleaned off all the blossoms from our 4 plants in front of our house. Then I put the bag in the laundry room next to the ceiling heat vent to let it all dry. Doing this was pretty good but not all of the flowers fell off the stems. So I had to remove them all. You just wouldn't believe what this did to me! My left nostril has run and run. Plus I've been sneezing constantly. It was so potent that I had to double bag it. And Gracie was afraid that it wouldn't be fragrant enough to throw at the wedding. I don't care if I ever smell that again. In fact I kept thinking of the Wicked Witch of the East saying, "Poppies will make you sleep. Nice poppies. Sllllleeeeep." Well, these were just as bad in another way. Oh what a mother won't do for her darling daughter soon to be married.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Gepettos-Have you been there? If not you should...YUM!

Charlie will be 25 on Monday......a quarter of a century! We had to go out and celebrate at our favorite pizza place in SLC. It's a blast to the past in the 60's-complete with the woodsie feeling and old posters. They even have live music on Friday and Saturday nights. Just thinking about the pizza makes me want to go eat another piece but good sense will prevent me since it's bedtime and I do have some willpower.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

How's this for a scary picture?

I bet a lot of you don't know where this is. It's the entrance we went through to get to the World Trade Center Mall. It's kind of a lousy picture and I even tried to lighten it but it just wouldn't work out. I think the picture wants to be eery looking. Anyway, we stayed there 3 weeks before 9/11 in the Embassy Suites Hotel across the street. It was a gorgeous contemporary style hotel. We loved it. For a week we were in and out of this area to go on the subway, up in the World Trade Center, eating, etc. I remember thinking how beautiful this area was and what a shame it would be if something happened to it (I understand that it's still there, thank goodness). How lucky we were to not be there on that fateful day. Even now I get the chills just thinking about it. When we went on top of the World Trade Center at night Gracie kept saying to me, "Mom, what if you had to jump off this building? What if you had to take a zip line from this building to the next?" I finally said, "If you don't stop saying that I will throw you off this building!" I had the creeps. The ironic twist to the whole thing is that when we got home and I went back to work I told people that I worked with, "If you want a really safe place to stay in NYC you should stay in the financial district!" Wow, so weird.

The funny thing about it is that a few days before 9/11 I was doing some free style paintings (very unusual for me) and I did one of strange looking people outside of some buildings and big birds flying around in the sky (I haven't looked at it for quite a while and should to get this straight). There was fire around everything and the figures had very tragic looks on their faces (some even had horse heads...a la Picasso). I was bothered by all the fighting in Ireland. It was at the time when the children were being harassed as they walked to school. I remember thinking how terrible it was. I was so upset over this and felt like the feelings in this painting really reflected that. So.....a few days after that...boom! It really appears that I had a premonition to what was going to happen.

I am a journal writer. I think journals serve so many purposes. One of these is that I think some day my grandchildren, etc. will find it interesting to see what my actual viewpoint is on the happenings in the world. So, of course, I wrote all about 9/11 and then continued to report regularly what was happening-things like, "It's now the 7th day and the fires are still burning. They haven't found anyone alive." That's just an example and probably not my exact words. One night I had a dream that I was standing on an island with a lot of people where the World Trade Center was situated. People were crying and hysterical. I looked out at the ocean and all of a sudden 1950 style Cadillacs in all different pastel colors started popping up in the water. The people that had died in the Trade Center were in them drinking lemon aides with smiles on their faces-as if to say that everything was all right after all and they weren't suffering any more. I think it was a spiritual way of setting my mind at peace.

Okay, well, I've avoided doing my homework for as long as possible. I really have to get back in there and start reading about arrowheads and such.

Just a little scary story.........

Friday, October 2, 2009

Happy Birthday to me and all that jazzzzzzzz

Okay. As you can see I celebrated my bday. As usual Chris got me my favorite cake: marzipan. If you haven't tasted it-well you've got to! It's so delicious. Charlie and I pigged out on it all week.

I transplanted a mother in law tongue plant and, whoa, what a surprise I found. It was in one of those self watering pots. I kept thinking it was drinking up so much water all the time. When I pulled the plant out of the pot I discovered why.....there was a monster living at the bottom! Actually it was a huge fat root that looked like a snake curled up in the bottom of the pot. On the end of it was a little plant starting at the BOTTOM! It was kind of creepy in a Star Wars kind of icky way. Remember the garbage room on the space ship where Luke, Princess Leia and Chewbacca are hiding in and a snake/monster is in the water? Then the walls start closing in? That's what it looked like to me...the monster in the water. There was only about a tablespoon of dirt in the whole thing. Bizarre.

I had to also include some of my experimental photos from today. I just love the way the sun shines through glass on our counter behind the sink. In fact I thought one of the photos would be a good subject for a kind of abstract painting. Cool, right?

Friday, September 25, 2009

A lighter side to my art

So, I thought I'd show a little of what I do when I'm not being a strict disciplinarian with my methods. I love to sketch-especially in church. Just thought I'd put a few of these up. Remember that they are just free sketches and not perfect by any means. I think doodling really shows a person's personality and can reveal a good deal of their mental outlook. When I taught art classes, adults and kids, for 11 years I always had them bring doodles. I bribed the kids with a treat if they would bring anything that they had fooled around with. Then in the back of their sketch book I had them paste an envelope to keep those doodles in. You never know when you will need a fresh idea and this is one way to get it. How many of you have doodled on your notebooks in jr. high in years past? Any of you wish you still had that notebook to look at? I wish I had mine. Back then the big thing was a denim one that we would cover with doodles. But I digress. I am a big believer in keeping the flow of art coming through to the paper constantly. It's also a good way to keep yourself warmed up for doing bigger projects.

Another note I took my first archaeology midterm yesterday. I have never studied so hard for a test in my life. I'm glad I did. It was very tricky and we'll see how I did. I don't care if I am older and this is not going to be a big career boost in my life now-I'm going to try my hardest to get good grades.

We also got our tickets to fly back to see Cliff and Lorien get married November 1st. We are so excited to have Lorien be a part of our family. She's such a cutie! Cliff is so happy and this makes us very happy. We will also go through the Washington D. C. temple with Gracie and Dave for Gracie's first time. That's another highlight in my life. Well life is way busy but never a dull moment and that makes for good times.