Sunday, March 30, 2008

Cold Day in New Mexico

8 1/2 X 5 1/2 Oil on Flat Canvas $100
includes shipping, insurance and mat
I make no bones about the fact that I love New Mexico. I like camping there as well as shopping and just passing through on the way to Colorado.
We didn't take our yearly Memorial Day trip to Cloud Croft last year - life got in the way. But we are going this year and I'm already looking forward to it. We usually go in the summer, but we have passed through in the winter on the way to skiing in Colorado. You have seen snowy days like this - sun going down, still slightly overcast, no harsh shadows - everything just kind of mellows into the cold, cold, cold.
2 Corinthians 11:27
I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Round and Round Reasoning

6 X 8 Oil on Masonite $125
shipping and insurance included
SOLD to a Texas Collector
Round pen reasoning - if you've owned horses for more than a day, you've probably heard of this training method. I've used it personally for 20 years and found it useful for both training horses and other mammals (I'll let you use your imagination as to WHICH mammals!)
The basic concept is to let the animal himself choose which avenue to take - the easier one to compliance or the more difficult one which results from non-cooperation. No punishment is involved - but a reward of comfort (or safety) is used when the asked-for behavior is attained. And ultimately, the animal comes to associate safety and relief with the trainer. I have had horses that responded in 5 minutes and one that took hours in the first session. (I no longer own THAT horse!)
On the surface, this method looks simple, but the trainer still has to have a good sense of body language and animal behavior as well as the ability to follow through consistently. And being in reasonably good shape helps, too, because this usually happens in a pen full of deep sand which not only tires the animal, but the trainer as well!
This painting is of my friend Ken, and his good gelding, Doc. Ken is relatively new to the horse world - at least the full time ownership part. He searched for a long time to find this fellow and I appreciate him sharing this image with me to paint.
Proverbs 13:21
Misfortune pursues the sinner, but prosperity is the reward of the righteous.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Go Away Kid, You Bother Me

6 X 8 Oil on Masonite $135
includes shipping and insurance
SOLD to a collector in Memphis, Tennessee
Our Border-Collie-Wanta-Be, Georgia, loves to play with the horses, but PJ just isn't up to it right now. Eleven months pregnant (yes, that's the gestation period for horses), she really doesn't feel like playing right now. But Georgia doesn't understand. When we go out to check the horses, Georgia usually comes, too, and runs and jumps and "herds" them. I don't always understand the rules of their game, but they do, so I don't interfere.
Yesterday, PJ absolutely refused to play. She pinned her ears and shook her head and looked like a big sister being bothered by an aggravating kid brother. Georgia finally gave up and took off after Easy instead - he's always good for a romp.
I guess I'd be in a bad mood if I was pregnant for eleven months, too......

Isaiah 29:13 The Lord says: "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Spring Morning Still Gestating

5 X 7 Oil on Masonite $100
includes shipping and insurance
SOLD to a collector in Wenatchee, Washington
My little sorrel mare, PJ, was due to foal Easter and she hasn't popped yet. I'm checking on her several times a day now and will start doing the same through the night. I KNEW I was too old to deal with foaling anymore! Tomorrow is my 56th birthday, and a new baby would be a lovely present - do you hear me, PJ???!!!
We have coyotes in the neighborhood, and I have debated whether or not to pen her up every evening. It has been my experience that most of our foals have been born at night or really early in the morning. She has her buddy, Easy, with her, though, and he doesn't let her out of his sight for long. Plus, a pasture allows more walking and is cleaner than a pen - both healthy reasons to leave her out.
Stay tuned.......
Psalm 143:8 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Flashy Paint

6 X 8 Oil on Masonite $125 includes shipping and insurance
SOLD to a Texas Collector

This pretty paint is "Snoopy" and he belongs to my walking buddy, Pat. She and her hubby, Ken, retired and moved to Morgan Mill several years ago, embraced the country lifestyle and found them a couple really nice horses to enjoy as well. Ken's horse, Doc, is a solidly built black - flashy, and built really nice. Pat had her heart set on something colorful and searched for many long months to find Snoopy. She recently shared a bunch of pictures she had taken of her "family" and I have plans to use at least 4 of them - and paint one final one to give to them in thanks for sharing. I never run out of models where I live!
Philemon 1:6
I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.

I had to show you this cute anole lizard, too. Some people call them American chameleons. Several years ago I caught a jar full of these cute critters at my uncle's house in Louisiana (don't worry - I was very careful not to injure them or let them get overheated) and I released them in my yard, hoping they would thrive in our little irrigated oasis in the middle of hot and dry Texas. The first year I would occasionally spot one or two large ones - a few made it! The following year, I prayed they made it through winter, and when I spotted my first one the following spring, I rejoiced! And then at the end of summer I saw my first teeny baby anole - they were happy here! My mother has them in her backyard in Dallas and they are tame enough to invite onto your hand - mine are, too. I spotted this one yesterday warming himself on the ceiling lumber for the studio. And when I looked close at him, I noticed that he has a forked tail - GET THE CAMERA! After I took his picture I herded him onto my sleeve and released him near the Koi pond. If nothing catches him by the tail, I'll be able to tell him from the others this summer.
Used to be you could buy these lizards at the State Fair - alive in cellophane boxes. I always wished I could buy them all and turn them loose. They were always thin and frightened looking. Hopefully that trade is outlawed.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

First Foal

8 X 10 Oil on Canvas Board $135
includes shipping and insurance
SOLD to a collector in South Pasadena, California
I needed to paint today and new life seems an appropriate subject. My heart has a hole in it from the loss of my little dog, and I will try to fill it with positive thoughts and actions. When one life ends, the void is immediately filled.
Our farm is surrounded by horse breeding farms, and there's a wealth of foals of every color and breed. My mare will be having a baby soon, too, but until then I will content myself with painting other's young 'uns.
This mare lives on the farm where I found Easy, my racehorse that doesn't want to run. She's a lovely gray Quarter Horse and had this teeny filly foal that grew into an adult bigger and faster than her dam. When she was born, though, she could run under her mom without touching her belly and her owners didn't expect much of her!
Sometimes our lowered expectations fail to come through, and good things come from unexpected sources. I will continue to hold this thought in my grief.
Psalm 10:14 But you, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand. The victim commits himself to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Loss of Companion Dog

My little doggie companion for nearly ten years died today after a very short illness. Mike surprised me with Kibble for Christmas in 1998 and she has been by my side almost constantly since. She never met a stranger and greeted customers at our oil change shop for 8 of her precious years. I cannot imagine not hearing her scratch the door ever again. Stricken suddenly with SARDS (Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration) last year, she went totally blind nearly overnight and never really adjusted well, but we adapted to her needs and she figured how to communicate them to us.
I am nearly overwhelmed with how sad I feel, but I know it will pass with time. Jesus mends broken hearts and he will mend mine.

Break Time

Studio construction is moving along quite briskly. Mike has been staining/oiling the yellow pine boards that will be the ceiling, and I spent the weekend plastering walls and will paint them all day today after I deliver food to the Wesley Foundation in town. Our church combined with another little Methodist church feeds the college kids at Tarleton one Monday a month. It's a true joy to be able to commune with 60+ college kids who are so appreciative.

My little dog Kibble is quite ill, too, and I will be taking her to the vet first thing this morning. I have a busy day/week ahead of me, so I probably won't be painting for a while.

God bless you all - He is Risen.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Get A Horse to Get to Blanco

6 X 8 Oil on Masonite $100
includes shipping and insurance
SOLD to a collector in Alaska
I just can't resist old trucks on the side of the road. If you have traveled down Hwy 281 from the Heart of Texas toward Fredericksburg and Blanco, you have seen this truck on the West side of 281. We have passed it many times and each trip I have thought , "Next time, we will stop and get that photograph".
How many times have you said to yourself "Next time I'll...."? Eventually the "next times" run out.
Jesus didn't have many "next times" after that Thursday when he sat and had supper with the disciples. His "next times" were just about spent, and he knew it. You know, we don't have that luxury, knowing when our "next times" run maybe we should do it today...that thing we have put off. Play Scrabble with your kids, clean the garage just because you know your wife would like it, go to church with your mom, call a friend just to listen, or tell someone you're sorry. You just don't don't know how many "next times' you got.
1 Corinthians 11:25
In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me."

For a limited time, I am offering some of the 6 X 8's framed in a cedar frame handcrafted locally. The cost is $12 and that includes mounting and shipping. You painting will come ready-to-hang! (Some other frames also available)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

New Day - New Beginning

6 X 8 Oil on Masonite $100 SOLD
I will have to paint a rain picture today. Texas has been dumped on! We've only received a couple inches here, but my Mom in Dallas has had over 10, and folks are getting washed away. It's still raining this morning, so the brick guy cannot work on the studio again. Taping and bedding is nearly complete, though, so I will be able to get in there tomorrow and start texturing the BIG wall. Mike is supposed to go to the lumber place and pick up the pine for the ceiling - I think we may have a weather issue, though and have to delay a day.
This little painting came to me as a vision, and I painted it yesterday afternoon very quickly after working all day on the appaloosa. I have a neighbor friend who is planning to retire this summer, and we warmly congratulated him and his wife when we heard. This friend never sits still and most who know him well have speculated as to whether or not he would EVER retire. Retirement is difficult and even inconceivable for some folks - it's a scary door to step through - and I know from personal experience. But, oh, what can be waiting for you on the other side! So much of life consists of choosing which door to open and bravely stepping through...
2 Samuel 10:12
Be strong and let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God. The LORD will do what is good in his sight.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Who's the Teacher?

18 X 24 oil on canvas Contact Artist
I have been frettin' over painting this horse for a couple months now. He belonged to precious friend of mine. She raised him from birth, showed him to championship level, used him to teach greenhorns to love and trust horses, and trusted him to carry nervous humans who had no idea how good horses can be. He died last year and I want to honor his memory with a painting. I will probably paint "Onton" several more times before I get him right. This is a second attempt. I foresee several more. In the meantime, those of you who love appaloosas (I had two, myself) will appreciate the attitude that this breed has. Not only are they flashy, but their hearts can be even bigger than their image. I have never met one I didn't like.
Proverbs 22:4
Humility and the fear of the LORD bring wealth and honor and life.

Monday, March 17, 2008

We're Waiting!

6 X 8 Oil on Masonite SOLD

I met one of my patrons this weekend – over the phone. Chris lives in California, has an artist’s soul and loves artists. She is very generous with her praise and appreciation for us daily painters. Unfortunately a number of packages were stolen from her porch recently and they included several paintings from me and other daily painters! Chris lost 2 paintings from me – one of Easy asking “Where’s Dinner?” and another of a rooster with 2 hens – “Bigamist”. I have learned a lesson here – always insure paintings. Always. Even if they are on masonite and practically indestructible. There is still chance of theft.
I have had a very busy past few days, but have kept Chris in my mind and painted this little painting for her this evening as a small token of my thanks for her patronage and concern for us daily painters.
Chris, as soon as this is dry, it’s coming your way! Thanks and blessings.
Psalm 35:9
Then my soul will rejoice in the LORD and delight in his salvation.

Friday, March 14, 2008

London Bridge in Arizona

8 X 6 Oil on Masonite $125 postage included
I normally use only my own photos as references for my paintings, but a good friend's recent trip to Arizona provided me with some lovely views of both the Grand Canyon and the London Bridge. Yes, as you may recall, the London Bridge is now in the US - at Lake Havasu City, Arizona and it has become quite a tourist attraction. I like to deviate occasionally from my landscapes and horse/cattle paintings, and this was a lovely diversion. Thanks, Ken and Pat!
Proverbs 27:9
Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one's friend springs from his earnest counsel.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Big Bend Cactus

6 X 8 Oil on Masonite $125 includes postage
I am getting the urge again - to travel to Big Bend. I'm not sure when the cactus start blooming, but I really need some photos! For those of you who haven't experienced Texas yet, you need to understand the nature of a trip to that part of Texas. Big Bend National Park is in the far SouthWest corner of the state and is the northern part of the Chihuahuan desert of Mexico. I live in the "heart" of Texas - about 70 miles southwest of the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex - and it is a 2 days journey to Big Bend pulling an RV. You can do it in a day, but it's tiring for us old folks - and besides, getting there is half the fun. Once we are there, given the nature of the trip, we "need" to spend at least 3 full days there, so we are talking about a week away from home - at least. And since we are in the middle of the studio construction, it's just not possible to be away that long. Oh well - life is full of compromises, isn't it?
This view is from the road going into the Chisos Mountains - the mountain rainforest area that climbs 7800 feet in the middle of the park.
Genesis 2:9 And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Dave's Hay Barns

6 X 8 Oil on Masonite $100 postage included
Another image from my daily morning walk. My neighbor, Dave, built several new hay barns/shelters a couple years ago and started putting up lots of hay. It turned out that he was brilliant to do so, because our area of Texas has been suffering from drought for quite a while. Dave, in the meantime, has been like the industrious ant - working like crazy while the rest of us grasshoppers party and have a grand time! His cows haven't gone hungry, and he has profited well from the rising cattle prices. GO DAVE!
Dave takes his stewardship of his farm seriously and it spills over into both his personal and his business life. We could all learn from him...
Proverbs 25:21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Looking For Strays Takes Good Eyes

12 X 16 Oil on Canvas $200 includes shipping SOLD
I have traveled all over Texas and seen many ranches - large and small. I cannot imagine caring for cattle on thousands of acres. The logistics of keeping track of so many animals boggles the mind - even with today's machined innovations. But can you imagine doing it a hundred years ago from the back of a horse? I have lost cows on our little ranch. They have calved in a draw or behind a clump of cedars - and if they are still and quiet, we can't find them.
Before we had the luxury of 4-wheelers, trucks and airplanes, cattle were on their own to follow Mother Nature and when it was time to round them up, cowboys had to be hardy souls to not only to know where to look, but to also be able to persuade the reluctant to join the rest of the herd.
This cowboy has the advantage of a high point of view. I like that point of view, myself...
Proverbs 5:21
For a man's ways are in full view of the LORD, and he examines all his paths.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Dave's Cow

5 X 7 Oil on Masonite $100 SOLD
I walk with friends every morning at 8:00 and our route takes us by a pasture full of black cows. I rarely walk without my pocket camera and yesterday was no different. Cows usually stick together - whether it be eating or napping - they usually do everything as a group. This cow, however, had separated herself from the rest of the herd to get a drink - her herdmates were way across the pasture surrounding a big bale of hay munching happily. Most people wouldn't notice (or care), but I did and got a lovely picture in good morning light. The girls I walk with are used to me snapping photos and asked if I was going to paint her that day. As soon as I got home I did...Dave raises some really nice cows.
John 4:10
Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Up Against the Wall

6 X 8 Oil on Masonite $125
Today's painting's title somehow seems appropriate for election day! So many lives are thought to be hinged upon the results of today's outcome at the poles. Meanwhile, Easy stands in the winter morning sun by the barn door waiting for his breakfast. His life won't be affected by who gets to be on the ballot next November.

The studio windows are all installed and working properly. Two of the four high north windows can be opened - if I can get up there! The peak of the interior ceiling is 19 feet, so we are working on a remote motorized opener.
My wonderful electrician neighbor worked all day yesterday in the cold blustery winter weather (it snowed last night!) and got a bunch done. I still need to make another trip to Home Depot - the bathroom ceiling heater/exhaust won't fit where we want it, so I have to find something else.
The air conditioner is supposed to be installed today, then we can close off the attic opening. My kitties have discovered that they can crawl on the roof, into the top of the bathroom ceiling and over into the opening into the attic. I kept hearing meows coming from the attic and discover them in their new hiding place. The three of them are carbon copies of each other and act en masse - the Three Musketeers of Catdom.
Proverbs 28:28
When the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding; but when the wicked perish, the righteous thrive.

Monday, March 3, 2008


6 X 8 Oil on Masonite $100 unframed SOLD
$130 framed
I recently visited a shooting range to practice shooting a handgun. Yes, many of us Texans, including women, are quite proficient with firearms! The range was set up at a neighbor's farm and the yard was filled with chickens and one magnificent peacock (you'll see HIM later!). I can never resist shooting (with a camera!) birds of any kind, so here is another proud rooster with a part of his harem.
Another fellow Daily Painter suggested that since these little paintings are sometimes difficult to frame, she offers her patrons the opportunity buy her paintings framed, and I will do so as well. The framed price includes the extra shipping and insurance.
Genesis 2:19
Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.