Thursday, September 30, 2010

Kitty and Flounder-unlikely buddies

I came across this photo from 2006 the other night and put it on my desk top.  Now these 2 are gone and it makes me sad.  I loved seeing them play with each other.  Kitty would forget every once in a while that she couldn't really eat Flounder and I would have to remind her of that.  They were so funny.

It reminds me of what my son, Cliff, told me years ago about a lady he worked with.  She had a cat that used to sleep in the bottom of their bird cage and the birds would jump all over it.  I bet that cat had hours of grooming ahead of it. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Snydermille-never to go again-our family retreat

I just came across this painting that I did of Snydermille.  It's actually a good way to see how I use the under paintings.  This piece was done specially for my husband's nephew, Spencer, and his wife, Lisa, for a wedding present.  Snydermille is a large piece of property owned by our church and designated for my mother-in-law's neighborhood to use.  On the land was a huge building that could easily sleep 40 people.  The living room was big enough to have large tables (4 or more) set up, 4 large couches, a t.v., plenty of space to put up a few quilts and still have an area for the kids to play four square.  And the kitchen had 2 stoves and refrigerators.  In the bedrooms there were many bunk beds that the kids would drag around and make forts.  Once a year my husband's family would plan a get together for several days.  It was a chore getting everything packed but we had so much fun playing games, doing projects, eating, eating, and eating.

This little town is located right before you get to Park City ski resort in the Wasatch Mountains.  Surrounding it are the outlet malls and in Park City there are lots of fun things to do.  If you look walk straight up the hill from the building you will come to the Ski Jump for the 2002 Olympics.  In fact the FBI rented our retreat to stay there during the games.

We often involved our kids in projects for charity like the Festival of the Trees (benefited Primary Children's Hospital).  We helped make ornaments.  One year, when Kip was in the Navy, and on a ship we made gift bags for all the men on his ship.  It was unbelievably touching to hear how they loved their presents.  I think the kids maybe enjoyed it more than the men.

My in-laws, Marge and Tom, were the ones that arranged this fun for us every year and footed the bill.  They're both gone now.  So Snydermille is just a memory-memories of pinatas every year filled with treats.  I'm sure sad that we can't go there any more.  I won't miss the bugs that seemed to be everywhere and cleaning the place when we were done.  But the togetherness we felt was, well, PRICELESS.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Photos that are striking and could be a painting

I saw a story on my home page for MSN today about a guy that collects odd but striking photos of all kinds and ages.  It reminded me of a great one I took of Cliff, Grace and Charlie when we rented a house in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico.  They were in the pool when a big storm moved in.  I just had to post it for you all to see.  I love it.  In fact it's going to be my next sketch for now.  Maybe I'll do a painting of it some day.

Every once in a while you see a photo and it says PAINTING.

Of course I would change some of the composition to make it work better.  They're too spread out.  Incidentally, I did that with my last painting, "My Paradise".  I completely took the horse that's on the right and moved it from the left-then overlapped it with the horse with the kitty. It made it flow better.  Plus I used the "Golden Mean" when I organized the focal point.  I'll talk about that later (if I haven't already-must go back and check).

Friday, September 24, 2010

"the rape of europa"-i'm in shock!
Every once in a while I see a video that leaves me in shock and thinking for days on end.  Chris and I just watched this and it was fascinating but truly tragic.  It's about the stolen art during WWII by the Nazis.  If only it could be all found.  I've posted probably the most famous of those not recovered, "Portrait of a Young Man" by Raphael (valued at $100 million!  I think that's what they said).  There are so many that are lost still in this point in time.  What has happened to them all?  In the video they talked about when the generation that stole them passes away then their children won't know what the history was and they'll try to sell them.  Then they might come to light.  I looked around at my paintings and thought how awful it would be to lose them.  They're so much a part of me.  I'm always afraid of theft and fire.  Fortunately I keep transparencies and slides in our safety deposit box to prove what I have.  But losing the originals would be so painful.

Anyway.  If you want to be totally mesmerized I suggest you rent this video.  You will not be bored.  I guarantee it.  I said to Chris that his dad would have had a lot to say about this if he were alive and watching  as he was in the Italian campaign.  He must have seen a lot of this going on-the destruction of the art treasures.

Not too long ago a piece was discovered in our museum at the University of Utah that belonged to one of the Jewish families.  I remember it well.  The museum was wonderful about giving it back.  It is featured toward the end of this show.

Well, just when you think the world doesn't have any surprises-then you hear about something marvelous like one of these art objects coming to light.  I wonder how soon this will happen again.  One can only hope.  

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Dustin! Art and Frame Station genius!

Just got home from having "My Paradise" framed and, WOW, am I happy!  I just had to show you all the finished product before I hang it.  Don't you agree that it completes the picture?  I have to listen to Dustin because he just knows what is the best.  He's in Murray, Utah-just in case you want to know.

In other art project news.......I got set to start my sister's painting today and remembered that I left my acrylic paints in Baltimore so Cliff and Lorien could paint her pregnant stomach casting (yes it's the shape of her tummy and they paint scenes on it).  Well, he said today that they're not planning on doing anything.  So, the paints are coming back home where they belong.
Slowly progressing art project news-I have been making an attempt at the new mosaic for my kitchen but have to be so careful with my wrist.  Maybe I'm just not cut out to be a mosaic artist.   I just hate having physical problems.  It's so inconvenient, you know.  Oh, and here, also, is our neighborhood project.  Lucky me to have my drawing on here.  This one is of Thanksgiving Point, Utah.  The carousel is all topiary and my drawing doesn't do it justice.  It's so beautiful.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

And now for something different

Just thought you would all need a little comic relief !  One of Cliff's more intelligent poses.  No one would guess that he would grow up to be a very successful hair stylist in Baltimore.  In fact about 3 years ago he was chosen the best stylist in the city newspaper there.  Since then he has been on a t. v. show called "Split Ends".  He told me there is another one coming up but I can't remember what it's called.  Why did that little twerp have to move so far away?  He's the best at what he does and I have to go clear across the country to have my hair done by him.  That's just what I get for encouraging him to be an independent adult.  Hmmmmm.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Chris and Char take a hike!

Does this look fun, or what?  The guys really enjoy going on hikes together and this was one they took a few weeks ago to "Meadow Lake".  Fortunately they went without me because I think I would have been dragging.  It turned out to be kind of a hard hike at that.  Chris ended up falling against his back pack and cracking a rib.  That was the extent of their injuries and they said it was well worth it.  I love to see my family having fun!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Thinking of Kip

 Can you tell it's from my sketch book?  Ha ha.
9 years ago I was sitting in church and thinking about my son, Kip.  He was in the Navy and out to sea a lot of the time.  Part of that time was spent south of India during the 9/11 aftermath.  I'll back up. Kip joined the Navy just before he turned 21.  Nothing was going on much militarily for the U. S. in the world.  It was a safe choice and one way to get himself going in life.  We were very proud of him for making that decision-although none of us were big on the idea of enlisting in the military (I was very against it in the 70's because of Vietnam).  But this was a brave venture for him.  I'll never forget seeing him board the plane, walking through the gate, with his baseball cap on backwards.  You know-la de da-no care in the world.  What an awakening he got!  Boot camp was unreal but he made it through.  When we went to his graduation from it we were amazed what a different person he had become in a few short months.  Just amazed.  Although it was miserable a lot of the time (got sent to a room where they cranked up the heat and made him, and others, do exercises for hours-for him, just because he asked someone to pass him some food while in the galley)-he told us and we could see the accomplishments he had achieved.

So, he chose to go to school in Virginia Beach to learn how to be a radar tracker.  No big deal, right?  He chose Japan as the place he wanted to be stationed and his first ship was called the Vincennes (do you remember when one of our ships accidentally shot down an Iranian plane-I think it was-in the gulf?).  He said, "Don't worry, Mom.  We'll be the last ship to be sent into the gulf."  In August of 2001 there was a big emergency out to sea, just east of China.  All of a sudden things starting happening with the military.  It was active, big time.  Kip's ship was sent to this area and he said he now had to track hundreds of fishing boats.  It was incredible.

You all know what happened the month after that.  We didn't hear from him for weeks to see if he was alright.  That's when his ship was directly south of India for quite a long time.  We didn't hear from him much and it was often from a phone booth in an undisclosed location.  We didn't know about him being south of India for quite a few years after.  We didn't see him for 1 1/2 years.  Wow.  Such adventures.

One can see why I was thinking of Kip in church-praying a lot.  I call this drawing above "Thinking of Kip" because he LOVES to fish.  He could sit out by the lake by our cabin for the whole day by himself just trying to catch 1 fish.  We all went fishing at a "guaranteed to catch a fish" fishing hole where we caught a lot.  Kip cleaned all our fish.  Cliff and I tried to help but we spent more time over at the hose washing our hands.  Kip would eat all the fish that no one wanted while in scouts.  I have a picture of him when he was about 7 kissing a fish he caught at the cabin.

Now he's out of the Navy after 9 years, raising his son, going to school, and working part time as a mailman in California.  He's a terrific father and wonderful man that we are very proud of .

Friday, September 3, 2010

Blue is my favorite color and this bird knows it

A few days ago I was in the kitchen getting some stuff done before I had to start work.  The patio door was open and I heard squawking outside.  I thought it was just the friendly magpies and I love their sound.  So, I looked outside and saw a brilliant blue bird fly into the trees in the next yard.  Then 4 more flew by!  They were so gorgeous.  I ran inside and grabbed my camera.  Luckily for me one of them flew to a branch that was in the open and I got a perfect shot.  Again I don't know the exact name but I'd call it a blue bird.  Any of you know?  I just love birds.  Well, I love animals.