Friday, May 30, 2008

Learning to Dance With Four Feet

20 X 24 Oil on Stretched canvas
Contact Artist for Price
When Dandy was first learning to walk, she treated her legs as if they were abstract glued on appendages. Her first attempt to lay down after her first meal was hilarious. One leg would buckle and then straighten up. Then another. Finally she could stand no longer and just flopped down.
The first time she ran was even funnier. She careened into her momma and the sides of her stall. When she got a chance to really run in the pasture, there was no stopping her - except when she stalled out and studied her legs as if to question what they were and how they worked. It was as if she was at a dancing studio and leaning the two-step (or in her case the four-step!).
She didn't give up, though (obviously), and now she runs like a gazelle. Practice make perfect. Well, not always PERFECT, but practice does improve. And that's what I'm trying to do here. Practice, practice, practice. And I'll be happy with whatever little improvements I think I'm making.
My studio is nearly finished, but so many little details are left. And I have a huge pile of really bad to mediocre little paintings that I would love to burn just to get them out of here. Some I have already gessoed over so I can paint something entirely new.
I have also discovered that there is a HUGE difference between paint brands - both in consistency, speadability and pigment content and mixture. You would not believe the difference between Ultramarine Blue among 3 major paint suppliers. I need to establish some consistency here.
One of my favorite instructors told me 2 years ago: "If you devote 5 years to really studying and painting and learning, you could become a really good artist." I am nearly halfway there....
Psalm 23:4
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Don't Let Him Get Away

6 X 8 Oil on Masonite board $125
Shipping and Insurance included
I spent the morning re-organizing and culling old photos. I found some from a cutting workout that I attended several years ago. My friend, Travis, occasionally rents a bunch of calves and invites her friends to chip in, and then we all get to work our horses all day. This painting is a composite of three different pictures - calf, Travis and another friend.
Travis' horse is a Quarter Horse named Lightning and she was not misnamed! The horse is fast and fun to watch work cows. Like my horse PJ, Travis also raised and trained Lightening from a baby and swears to never part from her. In the horse world, it's not rare to find people who are lucky to have known and hopefully owned one horse that makes them smile and vow to never sell. I have been blessed twice with such a horse - and maybe baby Dandy will turn out to be the third!
Proverbs 20:15
Gold there is, and rubies in abundance, but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Summer Bounty

6 X 8 Oil on Masonite $100
Includes Shipping and Insurance

I paint what I see here, in Morgan Mill, Texas, and today I saw tomatoes. I have been working in the yard and vegetable garden daily for the past week and my mind is more on greenery than equines.
Little Dandy is in the South Pasture and eating and growing and not needing me, so I am leaving her alone to be a horse. Favorite son-in-law Garrett asked me today if I had put the halter on her again, and of course I haven't. I dare not try it alone, mainly because I want to make sure I succeed so she doesn't learn that she can escape. So I need help. And when I think about doing it, I'm already in bed thinking about the day and tomorrow - not a good time to go out and halter a foal.
I am planning on more photos of her, soon, though, so stay tuned!
Colossians 1:10
And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Turn Right at the First Century (Plant)

18 X 24 Oil on Stretched Canvas with painted sides, ready to hang - $500
Includes shipping and Insurance

I had a hard time deciding on a name for this painting. This is "Easy" in his winter skin- traveling mode. He always gets lean during seasons where there's little grass. And oats won't put the weight on him. He's not too skinny, but he's definitely not fat like PJ.
I worked on this all afternoon after working in the yard most of the morning and then going to the dentist to fix a broken crown. The garden is beginning to produce edible stuff (potatoes, onions, squash, spinach - beans and corn soon), and I really enjoy making meals of strictly our own produce.
The colors in this painting are warm ochers and browns and greens and it would look gorgeous on a neutral wall!
Exodus 14:19
Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel's army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them,

Monday, May 26, 2008

Leaving Yellowstone

6 x 11 Oil on Canvas, Matted - $125 Shipping and Insurance Included
I really need to work on landscape backgrounds and I recently re-discovered this scene I saw the day we were leaving Yellowstone to head for Cody, Wyoming last summer.
For those of you who are interested, FYI, Yellowstone National Park is one big sleeping volcano. Actually, it isn't really sleeping, because the geysers are quite active (there are more geysers under Lake Yellowstone than there are in the whole rest of the world!). The Lake is the volcano's caldera, and it's predicted that it WILL erupt again, sometime. No one knows when, but when it does, it'll be huge. I hope to be far far away!

While we were at Yellowstone, we were lucky enough to see Old Faithful erupt twice. The timing is fairly predictable, but the size of the eruption is not, and the second one was more spectacular than the first.
A walk though the area showed us a number of other incredible geysers and hot springs. I came away smelling like and tasting sulphur, though, something I have no desire to experience again any time soon. If Hell smells like Yellowstone, it is no pleasant place.....

This next photo is a view of the Tetons from Colter Bay - one of my most favorite camping places in the world. I can't wait to see these spectacular mountains again on our trip to Montana.

Mark 9:45
And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Coming or Going?

8 X 10 Oil on Masonite board $135.00
Shipping and Insurance included

I still have a few more details to add before this one is finished, but I was eager to start posting again - hence this almost-finished-painting.
The open gate falling off its hinges suggests that this horse probably has been in this position before...but we don't know if he's leaving his pasture or returning to it. Some days I can relate - especially when we have been on the road for a while. Home is a comfort zone, but it also means WORK when we return to it after a long absence.
The part of Texas where I live is experiencing some rather unusual weather. It's hot and humid already. The heat we are used to, but the humidity is reminiscent of Louisiana where some of my roots still extend - I see very few good hair days in my future if this keeps up!
Jeremiah 17:8
He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Get A Horse 6

6 X 8 Oil on Masonite board
$125 includes shipping and insurance

We are camping in Cloud Croft, New Mexico and I did bring my paints and some small canvases and boards with me. When I spotted this old vehicle on the way to the pass to Alamosa, I knew I had to paint it. I probably won’t get another one done before we get back tomorrow, but at least I did this one!

We went to the pass mainly to get some shots overlooking the white sands. That is another painting in the planning stages.

When we are gone this summer on our LONG trip to Montana, I hope to be able to paint and post the results like today. If you purchase a painting, you will probably have to wait until we get back before I can varnish and mail them to you, though. With free wi-fi everywhere (I am currently at the Cloud Croft Chamber of Commerce parking lot!), I should be able to post fairly regularly.

Before I got my wireless laptop, we scouted out the libraries in the little towns we visited. All of them had internet availability – on THEIR computers, though, which made it hard to send photos. About the only thing I could do was check mail. Last summer, we found wi-fi at the libraries and some coffee shops – that was better ‘cause I could use my own laptop.

This summer will be really different. We have a generator now so I can run all my electronic gadgets even if we are “dry camping” (without electric or water hookups). I have an external hard drive to store all my photos, too, AND a portable printer. The more stuff we get, the longer we can stay on the road!

This was our first camping trip without my little dog, Kibble. Georgia’s friend, Sadie is here, though, and that helps. Kibble was the queen of defending us from the dangerous, marauding chipmunks! She never caught one, but never gave up either. Even when she was blind, she enjoyed sniffing in their burrows. We all miss her.

Matthew 7:14
But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Time Out

Mike and I are heading out to New Mexico in the RV this weekend, so I won't be painting for a while. John, Merideth and Garrett will direct the final completions of the studio and HOPEFULLY I'll return to my finished space. Carl, the builder/carpenter/artiste has done a fantastic job on this addition, but I suspect he's about ready to be done with it and move on to bigger and better constructions.
Hopefully I will return ready to paint and share with you.
Luke 7:43
Simon replied, "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled." "You have judged correctly," Jesus said.
Note from Deb: For you Bible readers out there who have a study Bible, read this verse in context and/or get someone to help you with it, if you don't understand. I find it an extraordinary passage. :-) Blessings to all....

Peace in the Family

Yesterday I turned Dandy and PJ loose with Easy for the first time. He's been 2 fences away from them since Dandy's birth and this was his first opportunity to get close. PJ has been his boss for the 2 years I've owned him, so I really didn't worry about pecking order. But horses aways have to re-establish who's boss after they've been away for a while. So I let them sniff noses through the fence and do their squealing thing and then I turned the 2 loose. Just as I suspected, Easy went after the foal to be its boss, and of course PJ would have nothing of it. As you can see above, she solidly let Easy know that things hadn't changed in the two months she was away!
I deliberately turned them out together hungry, too, knowing that their interest in food would probably outweigh any agressions they might be feeling.
Soon they put their heads down to graze with PJ making Easy maintain a respectful distance and trying to keep Dandy on her off side away from him. She's really curious of "Uncle Easy" though, and it was funny to watch her try to get over to him.After about 30 minutes of jostling and watching and ear pinning, the "family" finally settled down
and peacefully grazed and all was right with the world. And this morning I saw no evidence of renewed squabbling. Hallelujah!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Leap of Faith

LARGE 24 X 36 Oil on stretched canvas
$150 includes shipping and insurance
SOLD to a collector in Colorado
I am beginning to move more stuff into my new studio and I'm cleaning out some REALLY dusty closets. I found some OLD paintings that I wanted to just throw away (better yet, burn), but instead I primed over them, leaving the texture from the previous painting. This is today's result. I just can't throw away paintings, but I can't let you see what was on the original canvas either!
Really really bad.
Trust me.
Not ever worth anything - even after I'm dead... :-)
I'll probably do some more like this - and even experiment some. All sizes - some even bigger than this. And if I can paint the sides (some are gallery wrap), I will and let you know. And if you want the sides of this one painted, tell me - there are staples showing, but if I paint it black, they are not that noticeable and you can hang it without a frame.
Proverbs 21:16
A man who strays from the path of understanding comes to rest in the company of the dead.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Time to Go to Work?

7 x 12 Oil on Masonite $150
Includes shipping and insurance
This is a relist due to post office losing it
I have owned horses for over 25 years - not yet half my life, but nearly! And I have only owned one I promised never to sell - Miss Jack.
These two mares are daughter and dam - PJ and Miss Jack. Miss Jack was a wonderfully trained cutting horse with a lovely disposition. She was put down last summer at the age of 21 and I miss her terribly. Her daughter, PJ, is a lot of fun, too, and is expecting a foal any day now.
Both horses lived with cattle all their lives and enjoyed working them as much as I did. I often would find the two of them contemplating the calves as if they were thinking about "practicing", and I occasionally would catch Miss Jack cutting and herding them on her own. She would even go round up the whole herd and bring them to the corral - not on command, of course, but still entirely on her own!

Titus 1:2 a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time,

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Break Time

8 X 10 Oil on Stretched Canvas $150
includes shipping and insurance
SOLD to a California Collector
As I promised, here is the little cowboy who is about to outgrow his pony. He's taking a break - maybe dreaming about his next horse, homework due tomorrow, or perhaps a girlfriend. The calves know they are safe - for the moment anyway.
This style is a bit of change in direction for me. I've done it before - used a canvas that was pre-primed with a dark neutral background. I like the effect, but it requires planning, something I'm not always good at doing. I usually like the results, though.
I still have a few more tiny details to add, and I'll change the picture on Daily Painter's website tomorrow or the next day when I do that. There are some things that just demand waiting for the paint to dry!
Ecclesiastes 9:10
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

I have had a wonderful weekend with most of my favorite family and in-laws. My adorable son-in-law, Garrett, graduated from nursing school, and Mike's folks, my Mom and Garrett's parents and sister all watched the ceremony and celebrated this weekend with him and Merideth. And we all went to church this morning for Mother's Day. The only ones missing were my cute brother and his even cuter wife. I know they were with us in spirit, though. And, Tami, I do have a painting in mind for you!
Hopefully this weekend we will complete the roofing and get into the finishing details of the studio's insides. I managed to paint 2 little ones last week and may get 2 more completed this week - between painting trim and staining doors and tiling the inside of the bathroom windows and weeding the garden and - you get the idea.
Baby, Dandy, is getting fatter and bolder daily. I have learned from experience that a foal can be TOO friendly - when they get big they have no respect for humans and their space. So I am trying to be careful and not treat her like a lap dog. I haven't had to spank her yet (yes, a foal can be spanked) - she does stay away from me when I demand it. But I anticipate a kick or a rear at me eventually, and I will be ready. Meantime, I really enjoy just watching her play....

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

His Shirt Tail Has Come Out

6 X 8 Oil on Masonite board $125
includes shipping and insurance
SOLD to a Texas Collector
My walking buddy, Pat, and her husband attended a neighbor's calf working recently. Pat usually has her camera with her and generously shared the images she captured.
This cowboy was one of three in charge of roping a hundred calves to be inoculated, branded and castrated. Evidently it was a long hard day, because by the end of it, his shirt tail was flying and they all looked pretty tired.
Yes, here in Texas (and elsewhere, I'm told) calves are often "worked" the old way - from horseback. And there are a few young guys that have been taught how to do it. One of the cowboys helping out is a grade schooler. I first painted him and his palomino pony several years ago. He's about to outgrow that good pony, but I will paint him one more time before his daddy finds him a bigger mount and he "moves up". Stay tuned....
Studio update: I'm in the studio to paint, but since we still need to finish trim and cabinetry, not much else is in with me. The guys are trying to finish up re-roofing the house first with metal - and it isn't easy during tornado season! I am delighted with the lighting, though and find early morning natural light to be fabulous and later-in-the-day mechanical light to be equally so. THANKS, JOHN!!!
Psalm 59:16
But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Babysitter or playmate?

6 X 8 Oil on Masonite board $125
includes shipping and insurance
SOLD to a California Collector
Dandy is getting "rounder" by the day and more and more accustomed to our daily routine. Eat, get scratched, chase dog, get scratched, eat, play tag with dog, eat, etc. She and Georgia, the border-collie-wanta-be, are still working on their rules of play. Georgia got bowled over accidentally in an early game of tag, when Dandy wasn't quite in control of where her legs were taking her. Now they are both more cautious, and I anticipate a long and affectionate relationship. Georgia has always considered her job of critter care an important one, and she takes it quite seriously. When we still had the cows, she would check them all daily during her morning rounds. A concerned "moo" from a momma cow would send her whining to us to find out the source of concern. The "caretaker" gene that she inherited from a Border Collie ancestor assures me that we will always be able to entrust Dandy in her care. So I suppose I consider her BOTH a babysitter and a playmate.
Psalm 95:7
for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Learning to Eat Grass

6 X 8 Oil on Masonite $125
SOLD to California Collector
We are still working on the roof - outside stuff while the weather cooperates. I expect we'll be inside next week with the predictions of rain. Meanwhile, I paint what I can with limiting what I can move into the studio.
I mailed out several paintings today - hoorah! Now I must paint again....
Dandy is growing in leaps and bounds and is learning to eat like her Momma. At first she would pluck large grass stems and mouth them, letting them fall from her lips. Now she is actually consuming them - and searching for those stems that have tasty seed heads. She is not yet the mowing machine that her momma is, but she is quickly learning.
I go out every evening around 6:00 to let them out of their pen and graze the lush grass behind the barn. PJ immediately strolls to the best grazing, lowers her head and commences to mow. Dandy leaps and runs and twists and gyrates and then follows her momma's lead in eating. When I walk them back through the gate into their pen, it's a real challenge to get Dandy to follow in and stay. You can tell she would much rather remain in the midst of the tasty pasture!
Exodus 34:28
Moses was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant—the Ten Commandments.