Thursday, June 26, 2008

Day Lilly

8 x 6 Oil on Masonite Not For Sale – to be given away later

The day lilies, loving the heat, are in full bloom and we’re packing up to leave and head North next Tuesday.

Our journey will take us 6 weeks, and I am taking my painting supplies. I will try to post as we traqvel (both art and accounts of our adventure – we plan to take a helicopter ride over Glacier Nat’l Park!), but it will be difficult to mail them until we return, so if you make a purchase in the next 6 weeks, you will need to be patient!

Before we leave, I will be spending part of this weekend with my Mom. She has tickets to Antiques Roadshow in Dallas, and we are taking 4 items. Actually she is taking a part of her doll collection and a really ugly vase, and I am taking a spice basket that has been in Mike’s family for centuries. She’s got some great furniture, too, but the size of the item is restricted, unless pre-approved, so we are sticking to small things.

When we get back I will be posting a number of small paintings on eBay with ridiculous starting prices. AND I will be hosting a FREE PAINTING GIVEAWAY and maybe even a BUY ONE GET ONE FREE promotion. The studio is filling up again – I have painted over 235 paintings since last September 13 and I have sold over half of them, and some of them I have gessoed over and painted new ones! All this will be happening in time for the holidays, so stay tuned!

Happy news – favorite son-in-law, Garrett, passed his nursing license exam and now he is officially an RN. WOO HOO! We are celebrating tonight with shrimp and steak – his favorite meal. They will be house sitting for us (and cow and horse and fish and kitty sitting) and they will be closing on their own new house right before we get back from Montana – we won’t be here to help them move, and somehow I think that is a good thing!

ONE LAST THING: Our amazing webmaster over at the DailyPainters site figured out how each of us could post a video of our paintings on You Tube and mine is here.

· 2 Peter 3:9

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Coming Up the Hill

6 X 8 Oil on Masonite

Commissioned work Not for Sale

My little walking buddy, Pat, fell off the back end of a horse Saturday and broke her leg. You have to understand that Pat weighs 100 pounds dripping wet and is obsessed with staying fit. She and her husband Ken moved from the Houston area several years ago and embraced our country lifestyle wholeheartedly. They bought a couple good horses and joined our church and got some cows – you get it. Anyway, Pat and 2 other girlfriends were riding a couple horses Saturday (yep – 3 ladies, 2 horses) and typically Pat walked most of the trail taking the opportunity to get in some good exercise. But some long grass convinced her to ride double a short distance behind Barbara. I’m not sure anyone knows exactly what happened, but Pat ended up slipping off the back end and breaking her leg at the top of the foot – both bones when she landed.

She came to church in a wheelchair yesterday and was already talking about when Snoopy, her horse, gets back from a local trainer and she can go riding again.

I know all about getting right back up on the horse. In the 50+ years I have ridden horses I have been injured with broken bones 4 times and skinned up several others, but I have always gotten back up. The alternative is impossible to imagine.

Just like in life, when you get knocked down, you have to get back up again – hopefully learning a lesson in the bruises. I can say that I haven’t been hurt the same way twice – hopefully, I have discovered most of them and am lucky enough to avoid the rest!

This painting is of Pat’s husband’s (Ken’s) horse and I expect a phone call when she sees this! Get well soon, little buddy!

Proverbs 17:22
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Boca Grande Marina

5 X 7 Oil on Masonite
not for sale

Friday night in Florida last week, we were treated to an Island cruise. The weather was "exciting", the company excellent and the food at our destination delightful. Coming back to the marina at the end of the evening, I was lucky enough to capture a few brilliant images - this was one.
We were not members of the wedding party, but the groom's family was gracious and generous in including us in the festivities. And it was delightful. Thank you, Washingtons! This little painting is for you...
When we built our house 12 years ago, we planted 4 dozen pecan trees, and we have nurtured and pampered them through droughts and tornadoes. Now we are finding ourselves plagued with squirrels. They are adorable little critters, despite the fact that in truth they are actually rats with fluffy tails. Georgia, the Border-Collie-Wanna-Be, has taken on the task of keeping the squirrels out of the yard - an impossible job, since she has at least 10 acres of trees to patrol (and an additional 38 acres of pasture). She came really close to catching one yesterday - in fact she snagged the end of its tail and brought the tuft to me.
Today my son-in -law Garrett pegged the little varmint with a 22 and I called my friend Sandy who has a recuperating Barn Owl in her horse barn, to see if she needed owl food.
Sandy is the resident "wild animal rehabilitator". Most of her expertise is actually in the raising of furry critters (whitetail deer being a specialty). But this summer she has been gifted with 2 owls - a little Screech and this Barn.
We suspect the Barn Owl is young, possibly injured slightly, although he does fly across the spans in her barn. But he doesn't leave. Instead he waits for her to deposit purchased baby mice (or in this case, a pegged squirrel).
Anyway, I took over my offering this afternoon and got a super picture of him in the rafters, waiting for me to leave so he could begin feasting on the squirrel.
Technically, he's not captive, so Sandy isn't violating any wildlife rules, but still he doesn't leave. AND if he keeps her barn free of mice (and occasional pigeons), that's a good deal for everyone!
Ephesians 5:2
and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Sunset at Boca Grande

5 X 7 Oil on Masonite $100

Includes shipping and insurance
As I load the blog this morning it is pouring outside. The metal roof on my studio reverberates with every raindrop, and I am loving it. Despite the flooding along the Mississippi and rain in DFW, we have been dry as ashes here in central Texas, and my pasture is a dead brown. The rain here is a blessing.
Yes, the sky looked just like this the evening of Heather's wedding this past weekend. Both Thursday and Friday nights were overcast, so we saw no sunset, but Saturday evening was perfect - just enough clouds for drama and just enough sky for color.
Today we are headed to Denton for lunch with my in-laws. Sunday was Father's Day and we missed seeing my adorable father-in-law since we didn't get back from Florida until late. And since my own father passed away nearly 24 years ago, he has been a wonderful substitute. My life has been blessed in so many ways, but one of the best blessings was loving and generous in-laws.
Isaiah 5:11
Woe to those who rise early in the morning to run after their drinks, who stay up late at night till they are inflamed with wine.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


5 X 7 Oil on Masonite $115
Includes shipping and insurance
The beach at Boca Grande, Florida, was fairly deserted this past weekend. This was about the most beach combers I saw at any given time. All the shop keepers in town said they were packing up to leave this week for the summer - getting too hot - and the tourist season was just about over.
Boca Grande is on the Gulf side of the Florida peninsula - about 130 miles south of Tampa - nearly to the Everglades. And it WAS getting hot. I was told that the best time to go would be October and November and mid-spring. I suspect we'll go back. I have been to the Cayman Islands and was pleased with the spotless beaches and crystal waters. In my opinion, Boca Grande was just as beautiful and a heck of a lot cheaper!
I will continue this week with a few more beach scenes - a sunset and a night-dock-water scene that may take more than a day - it's pretty complicated. And I may paint it large than usual, too. After this week, I'll go back to my farm critters. And THEN it'll be mostly scenes from our trip to Montana and South Dakota through August
Exodus 22:26
If you take your neighbor's cloak as a pledge, return it to him by sunset.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Not In Momma's Shadow?

6 X 8 Oil on Masonite $125
Includes shipping and Insurance

Continuing with the Florida images. This young lady was a beach comber with her little boy in tow - and he was fearless. He DIDN'T stay in Momma's shadow at all. Fortunately, the water was gentle and shallow, there was plenty of other family around and this little fellow didn't venture too far away. Later they built a sand castle together and that brought back memories of a trip to Padre Island with my kids years ago....I need to find those pictures....
Proverbs 15:27
A greedy man brings trouble to his family, but he who hates bribes will live.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Too Young to Notice

8 X 6 Oil on Masonite $125
Includes shipping and insurance
Ya'll are going to have to indulge me painting a few beach scenes. I promise to get back to the cowboys and horses later, but right now I gotta get Florida out of my system!
Every time I walked on the beach, I took my little old pocket Canon with the movable view screen and I would hold the camera away from me like I wasn't doing anything with it, but I could still see images in the screen - and I would capture them. I'm sure I would have been viewed as a pervert by some of the parents out there, but the only way to get good pictures is not let anyone know you are taking them! So I took pictures of kids and adults alike and pretended to be beach combing when I was really snapping photos.
This painting, like most of mine is a composite of 2 photos. The little boy was so happy to be playing in the sand, oblivious of everything else. The young girl was actually his sister, but he pretty well ignored all the other cuties that passed him, too. Ah, youth - don't you sometimes wish they could stay innocent forever?
Psalm 25:7
Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O LORD.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Beauty or Beast?

We just flew in from attending a wedding in Boca Grande, Florida. My precious cousin Heather and her adorable new husband David hosted a lavish, fun-filled, food laden, intoxicating destination wedding for all their Texas and Louisiana loved ones(I qualify as both!).

The Rocky Mountains and the Tetons had almost made me forget how much I love the beach. And I have to admit that the Florida Gulf coast beats the Texas coast by miles. NO JELLYFISH!!!!

Our condo was right on the water and I began each morning combing for shells and then swimming. Saturday while I was snorkeling and looking for sand dollars about 50 yards from shore, in about 5 feet of water, I glimpsed a dark shape next to me and instinctively caught my breath thinking “SHARK!” When I turned to looked, there, not 3 feet off my right side was a gentle manatee, undulating beside me. I was thrilled beyond description.

I have a list of “things to do before I die” and at the top of that list is “Swim with Dolphins”. This comes close enough to almost qualify in crossing it off the list!

I found out later that encounters with manatees are actually common around there. Later we saw several pods of bottlenose dolphins as well, and I was the ONLY one on shore eager to swim with them, however. We ARE going back. Mike promised. Merideth is jealous….

Isaiah 25:11
They will spread out their hands in it, as a swimmer spreads out his hands to swim. God will bring down their pride despite the cleverness of their hands.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Safety in Momma's Shadow 3

5 X 7 Oil on Masonite $115
includes shipping and insurance
SOLD to a California Collector
I didn't think I would get to paint today. As a result of this year's New Years Resolution to get up-to-date on medical check-ups, I had a colonoscopy this morning. The procedure was a snap - the preparation was awful. I had no problem not eating all day yesterday, but the laxative and resulting you-know-what was dreadful. Thankfully everything was fine (and I have pictures to prove it!) and I won't need this done again for 10 years. I have a feeling I won't do it EVER again! But I must admit that it's a relief to know I am OK. I had a dear friend pass away last year due to colon cancer, and I'm sure it was a lot less pleasant than the procedure I just experienced. There, I just talked myself out of complaining any more...God Bless you, Mary Ann. We miss you.
One of the nice things about my studio is a big picture window looking our over the pasture. When the cows come up to nap under the trees, I always see them. Yesterday morning when they came up, I dashed out to take MORE pictures (I can hear their bovine brains thinking "Not HER again. SMILE, ladies!") One by one, I plan to paint each Momma with her baby. This is number 2. In my opinion, the first cow was the prettiest. This one is the smallest with the tiniest heifer calf, and she's really skiddish - hard to get close, so I have to use the zoom lens.
This afternoon Merideth and I went out to get some new pictures of the horses, and of course the dogs came with us for a chance to play. Easy has become the Uncle Babysitter and Dandy looks to him for protection as much as her mother. PJ is fine with the arrangement - so much so that while we were playing, she continued to graze 100 yards away - totally unconcerned with us playing with her baby.
First Georgia chased the horses, then the horses chased her, then they all ran together.
I don't know if you can tell, but Dandy is changing colors. She is losing the reddish colored baby fur and underneath she is a dark-almost-black. I will probably have to register her as a brown paint, because she isn't a true black, but she will appear black if I keep her out of the sun - like her grand-dam, Miss Jack.
Isaiah 30:23
He will also send you rain for the seed you sow in the ground, and the food that comes from the land will be rich and plentiful. In that day your cattle will graze in broad meadows.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

He Just Wants to Run - Big Brown

18 X 23 Oil on Masonite Board $200
Includes shipping and insurance
I don't know how many of you follow horse racing, but I do and I love it. The Belmont Stakes was yesterday- the last race of the Triple Crown with a possible three time winner running - the gorgeous bay stallion, Big Brown. Not since Steve Cauthen rode Affirmed in 1978 has there been a Triple Crown winner and yesterday looked like the record would be broken. (Seattle Slew did it in '77 and Secretariat in '73).
Unfortunately, history was not to be made Saturday. For some reason Big Brown didn't have that kick he always has, and the jockey wisely pulled him up, possibly saving him from injury. The animal evidently wanted to continue the race, but Kent Desormeaux, pulled him up, not letting him finish full out and instead making him finish dead last. The disappointment was palpable in the crowd and in front of TV's everywhere. I always love watching a magnificent animal with a huge heart run for the love of it, and it was sad to not see the expected ending. As of this post, there is still no reason given for the let down, but I am glad to think that the horse is actually OK and will live to breed (if not run) again....
Proverbs 18:10
The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.

I will be having a minor surgery Wednesday and then will be out of town this weekend, so you may not hear from me again for several days.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

How Much Is that Magnolia in the Window?

24 X 30 Oil on Canvas $375 ($475 framed as shown)
Shipping and insurance additional

We planted a magnolia tree in our yard the first year after we built this house 12 years ago. I couldn't wait for it to blossom - the fragrance reminds me so much of my grandparent's home in Monroe, Louisiana. It has been blooming for the last 2 weeks, and if I can reach a blossom to pick, I bring it inside to fill the studio with it's stimulating perfume.
This flower sat on the windowsill for a couple days before it turned brown and inspired a large painting.
John 12:3
Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Old 33's Last Calf

11 X 14 Oil on Masonite Board $110
Includes Shipping and Handling
SOLD to a California Collector
This old cow belongs to a neighbor of mine. We walk past his pasture every morning and I always take my camera with me. Ken is a pretty savvy cattle rancher. He buys older pregnant cows for bargain prices (most are on their way to McDonalds) and gives them one more chance on his farm. Most of the time the results are good. The cows have beautiful calves and often even breed back several more times. I have no idea how old this cow is, but she had one really nice calf this Spring. Unfortunately, it may be her last - she didn't look too thrifty last time I saw her. But at least she's gotten to live on Ken's lush coastal pasture these past few months.
I used to name all our cows and their calves - most would eat out of our hand, and several were even halter broke to lead. One I could milk in the pasture as she grazed (this was YEARS ago!) Unfortunately, the goal of raising cattle is for commercial purposes, though, and the ultimate reason for their existence is our consumption, so I had to distance myself from that thinking - something hard for an animal lover to do.
When we ceased raising registered Simmental 6 years ago, we sold the best of the herd to a fellow rancher and they still have several of our original cows (they can live 20 years), and many of their offspring. Ann still sends me pictures of the babies. And you know something? Most of the cattle ranchers I know care nearly as much for their cattle as we did - happy cows breed better, have healthier babies and fewer expensive problems. I still eat steak, though.
Ecclesiastes 5:19
Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work—this is a gift of God.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Safety in Momma's Shadow 2

9 X 12 Oil on Stretched canvas with Painted Sides $145
Includes shipping and Insurance
SOLD to a Texas Collector
We have leased our front pasture to our neighbor, Ron, and yesterday he turned his cows onto it. I am SO GLAD to have bovines around us again - I have missed ours. Not only are they just plain good for the soul to watch, they are endlessly entertaining (except when the dogs roll in their poop) and a great source of images to paint. These are a colorful lot, too, so I expect that you'll be seeing them both as primary subjects and as background.
Ron raises horned roping cows - they look like Longhorns, but are a little smaller, and they are used for ropers to both practice with and for competition. These guys are pretty tame, though, and I doubt they've seen too many ropes yet! They'll keep the coyotes at bay, though. Georgia tried to go out and play with them, and one little heifer and her momma chased her down to the barn, around it and out of the pasture - with the rest of the herd of 3 cows, their babies and the bull following close on their heels. I haven't laughed so hard in a long time!The studio is practically finished and I love it. To reward themselves my electrician-neighbor-wonderful-friend, John has flown Mike and Carl-the-builder and friend Phil to Port Aransas to his condo. They are going to fish and relax and enjoy the Texas coast for a few days (and possibly indulge in a few adult beverages and viewing a couple well proportioned bikinis). They all deserve it, because now I feel like a queen in her castle. The ONLY drawback is this excruciating HOT summer!!!! We still have a wedding we are looking forward to in Florida next week, and I suspect when we get back that we'll head north early in the RV.
Revelation 19:7
Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.