Sunday, August 30, 2009

We Had the Best Intentions... make it to Albuquerque today but, alas, the weather did not cooperate! Our flight was so delayed that we were missing our connection in Atlanta and so rescheduled for tomorrow.

Still, we had a good time at our very nice airport. Daniel got to use one of the very nice massage chairs, we has some delicious coffee and then got to visit with some good friends we hadn't seen in a while, which was a great surprise!

Now, we are back home, in a very clean house, with all the chores done and a totally relaxed evening ahead. Life is still good!

And tomorrow, we'll try again...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Heading West!

Tomorrow we are heading to New Mexico, where we lived for ten years before moving to Savannah - from high desert to the ocean. As we are getting all of our things ready to take and the house in order for our house sitter, who takes care of Winslow and Ramses, I keep thinking about this upcoming vacation in a place that still feels like home to us.
I am looking forward to:

*seeing our family and friends
*breathing in the clear, crisp desert air the minute we step out of the airport
*the grand vistas where you can see for miles on end
*the big sky where you can see a thunderstorm coming from miles away
*the blue, blue New Mexico sky
*the excellent food at our favorite restaurants and cafes
*ordering iced tea without the question: "sweet or unsweet?"
*seeing the spectacular mountains
*the long and gorgeous drive up to Denver and back again with a stop in the Jemez Mountains
*the views (oh, did I mention that before?)
*our favorite spots in Albuquerque and Santa Fe
*and much, much more!

I'll be posting from the road and hope to take you all along with us on this trip to The Land of Enchantment!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Sweet Art!

Ok, I've been holding out on you. I finished her a while ago and didn't post her right away because she turned out so sweet. Not that I have anything against sweet paintings, but they don't usually flow from my paint brush. My women normally look a little more serious and even a bit gritty. This lovely lady looks like she's about to break into song with little birds appearing as the background chorus.

I wanted to try another painting with a dog (click here to see the first one) and really love how the two of them look at each other, which is why I'm calling it "Pure Love." Her dog's expression is one I know very well from our Winslow.

If you really, really, really like this painting, you can find it here in my shop!

In other news, we are getting ready to leave on Sunday for 10 days in New Mexico and Colorado, visiting our old stomping ground, all our friends there and some family as well. It's an area we loved living in and still think about moving back to one day.

I'll be taking my laptop and hope to post from the road, but if I don't post every day, I hope you'll forgive me and still come back to visit often!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

New Art!

Remember my friend Beth's birthday? Well, I did this painting for her and can now show her to all of you. It went through many different stages. Her face always stayed the same although her eyes changed color a couple of times. The background went from colorful and bright to dark to what it is now. And her hair went from straight down to being windswept to one side to sort of floating around her.

You know that feeling when you just KNOW you have to keep changing a painting because it's not quite there yet. That's how this lady was. In the end I really love how she turned out and then I knew she was done. There's a little bit of paper collage around the edges - sort of gives the painting a frame and then some fun gel medium texture.

Beth, Daniel and I all thought that she looks a little mermaid like - sort of under water. What do you think?

Monday, August 24, 2009

A Few Garden Pictures

As promised a few pictures Daniel took in our garden over the weekend. I wish we could accurately convey they regal magnificence of this ten-foot high sunflower. At first it stood tall and proud and now it is bowing down as the sunflower seeds grow bigger. Every day, I marvel at its perfection!
This was one of our smaller sunflowers with tiny little bees collecting pollen.
I love this close-up of a gorgeous zinnia - it looks like tiny flowers within a flower. Isn't nature amazing?!
Our castor beans are doing well - such interesting looking plants all around.
The pretty flowers of the Mexican petunia bloom for only one day, but new buds open every day during the warm season. The hotter and more direct the sunlight, the better!
Here a few pretty flowers of a butterfly vine, which seeded itself and is so pretty that we can't get rid of it.
A few pretty flowers around our fountain.
This is one of our planted flower pots and it's looking really pretty. It had some self-seeded Asian basil and we added a few things.
This is the time of year when our garden is starting to look really tired from the heat, although this year we are noticing that all the rain we've had has helped plants look better longer. How does your garden grow these days?

I hope you enjoyed this little amble through our yard with us! Now I'll amble on over to your blogs...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Morning in Savannah

Yesterday, we both needed some art supplies, so we decided to make a morning of it starting with a coffee (and our books) at our favorite cafe in Savannah. I was so glad I had taken the camera with me. The grand live oak trees are so magnificent and beckon me every time to take their picture.
I loved the assortment of glass bottles and containers inside the cafe. The photo is slightly out of focus, but I still liked the way it looked. (Click on any of the photos to see them larger.)

I saw this little soda dispenser at a new antique mall we discovered.
On the way back to the car, Daniel thought we should take a look at a new hotel that opened right on the river with a rooftop bar. What a place and just look at that view! We'll definitely go there one evening when the weather is a little cooler.
I loved the driftwood sculptures that were actually lights (I think).
And the chandeliers were all made from oyster shells - usually I don't like that too much, but in that setting they looked really modern and the design was great!
Thanks for strolling along with us! Tomorrow, I'll have some more stunning photos Daniel took in our garden today. Plus, I am working on some more art and will have something to show soon!!

Wishing you all a great start into the new week!

Saturday, August 22, 2009


... is my dear friend Beth's birthday! Beth and I worked together for only three months some 15 years ago and during those short months we became fast friends. Even now, after all this time, we touch base with each other very regularly, share in our lives and adventures, and are always able to uplift each other.
I know that Beth is happiest at the beach, so I included a couple of pictures we took here on Tybee Island when Beth was visiting a couple of years ago.

If you'd like to, head on over to Beth's blog to wish her Happy Birthday!

P.S. Thank you all for your incredible comments on my news yesterday. It's so much more fun when we all share in each others successes! I'm off now to your blogs to celebrate your successes!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Odds and Ends

A few exciting things have been happening in the last couple of days, so you are getting a mishmash of things today. Today, I found out through a comment someone left me on my last post that my entry into Illustration Friday was chosen as the Pick of the Week for this week. How did this happen?! Totally unexpected and making me feel so proud! Thanks for all the congratulatory comments I've already received from you!!

Then, yesterday, I received my first commission for one of my women portraits adding a cat to the mix. I am soooooo excited (and proud again) and also a little nervous! I want it to be wonderful!
The other day there was so much talk about Etsy treasuries on Twitter that I decided to try to put one together. You can click on the picture to see it larger. I really love the color combination, but I didn't realize I included two pieces from the same seller and forgot to include one of my own. Made me laugh! It was great fun though and I can't wait to try it again! I'd include the link, except that it will be expired by the time I post this...

And now for some pictures from the last few days! I was trying just now to take a photo of a butterfly flitting about our garden and the camera did something strange that makes it look like it's foggy and dark here...kind of a cool picture though.
This is how it really looked - bright and sunny and colorful. I loved the underside of the butterfly.
No words needed on this one!
When I went outside the other day I saw that our gardenia bush had two flowers on it! I cut one off and made a little bouquet I could enjoy inside. Our flowers are starting to look pretty tired and hot these days, but I was still able to find a few nice ones!
These were leftover from my birthday flowers our friend and neighbor brought over. I love zinnias and even like them when they already look slightly worn.
I pulled off the petals at the end and am drying them for seeds for next year. As I was looking at the petals, I noticed the pretty plate I have them on and thought I'd take a couple of pictures to show you. It reminds me of the plates I used to have as a kid. I was a very finicky eater when I was little (wouldn't know it now...) and my mom would get me plates with pictures on them that I could uncover as I ate what was on them. I don't know if it worked, but I always liked the plates...
Another plate we are using to dry a few shallots from our garden.
And last but not least a picture of Winslow and Ramses having a sweet moment.
Wishing you many sweet moments today and going into the weekend! I love how you visit my blog and keep visiting and commenting even if I don't make it to your blogs for a couple of days. You are just wonderful, and I promise I'll visit you all in the next couple of days!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Illustration Friday - Wrapped

A sudden breeze and she found herself wrapped in a strand of her silken hair

I am a little late with this week's Illustration Friday painting on the theme wrapped, but better late than never...

This very pensive woman was fun to paint. I first used heavy gel medium to get some great texture for the background and then painted her with acrylic paints. I used some charcoal powder at the end to get more definition in the background pattern. The colors I used are a little different than my previous paintings, and I really like them! She is available in my shop.

I enjoyed all the fun comments I received on the little toad picture from the Wordless Wednesday entry. To be honest, I was feeling less than my usual chipper self yesterday and a wordless post was just perfect! Just one comment on the photo - that hand is Daniel's and definitely not mine! I don't think I could have picked it up myself. Daniel on the other hand loves picking up all sorts of creatures, even tarantulas when we still lived in the southwest !

Tomorrow I'll have some odds and ends for you! Now I've got to get knitting a couple of scarves and then visit your blogs!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Art again!

Whew! It's been a busy day running errands and now I feel like I want to take a nap! But instead, I thought I'd show you my latest painting.

My last few paintings have felt very "finished" to me and I wanted to paint a woman sort of fast, focusing more on her emotions than how pretty she is. So, I gave the painting some great texture with light molding paste (can you tell I love molding paste?) and then painted her without sketching her out first.

It took 10 minutes and then I let her sit for a while looking at what was working and what wasn't. Then another 10 minutes and I love the outcome! I like that she's sort of "raw" and not all perfectly colored in.

I want to work more like that - less thinking and more feeling and just flowing with the process! I'm such a careful person (something I've talked about before), often overthinking things, that this is very satisfying for me and such good practice. It teaches me to trust my instincts!

If you like her, click here to see her in my shop!

P.S. I forgot to say that this is an acrylic painting on 5 x 7 inch watercolor paper.

Monday, August 17, 2009

And the Painting Goes To...

...Mary of The Fresh Notes. Mary started blogging around the same time I did, and I was immediately drawn to her fresh style and writing! In her blog she shares about life, love and cooking!! It seems like we are growing up together in blogland and I am happy that my lovely lady is heading her way!

Thank you all for your entries - makes me feel so good that you would like to own a piece of my art! - and all your birthday wishes. I appreciate you all so much - you have no idea!

As to the starfish candle holder from this post, which many have asked me about, we think that Daniel brought it back for me from a trip to Ohio one year. He couldn't remember where he got it. Sorry!

I've been working on more art and will share a painting with you tomorrow! Now I'm off to visit your blogs...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Color Me Happy!

Between 2001 and 2005 we spent numerous vacations in Oaxaca, Mexico, a paradise for artists and lovers of folk art. We have friends in Oaxaca who own an art school, where Daniel would teach watercolor painting or children's book illustration. And of course we'd combine that with a vacation! On every one of our trips we were accompanied by friends and family and always had the best time!
At first I was nervous about going to Mexico, because while I speak English, German and some French, I don't speak Spanish, but I've never felt safer and more welcomed anywhere than I felt in Oaxaca.

In 2006 we were busy with our move to Savannah and later that year, a teacher strike for higher wages turned violent and it wasn't safe for tourists for a while. Then we got busy settling into our life in Georgia, but now we are ready to go back sometime in the not too distant future. We felt the connection with this beautiful place and its gentle people right away, and it will be one of those spots we will visit again and again.
We discovered the colorful clay figures by the Aguilar sisters on our first visit to Oaxaca and fell in love with Josefina's work. On each of our trips, we would travel to their village of Ocotlan de Morelos (it was also home to the amazing artist Rudolfo Morales) and bring home a few more of her colorful creations. On our last trip, Daniel even had Josefina do a special order for us of the two nuns...
The whole extended Aguilar family lives together in a very humble home and everyone makes clay figures, each in their own style.
Daniel took this last picture on our third or fourth trip to Oaxaca, this time over Christmas. I am sitting in front of a creche with fairly large figures created by the Aguilar family!
We brought back many different pieces of folk art from Oaxaca and if you are interested, I'll share some with you from time to time...

P.S. My sweet friend and neighbor gave me the gorgeous flowers you see in the first two pictures for my birthday. They were from her garden and still look beautiful and happy after three days!

P.P.S. There still is time to enter my giveaway before I draw the name of the lucky winner Monday morning. Simply click here.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Blogging by Candlelight

Well, not exactly... On the night of my birthday, we were all set to go out to dinner, when suddenly a storm broke loose, lightning struck somewhere close by and we lost our electricity. So, instead of going out, we decided to have a romantic evening at home.We lit candles, took a pork tenderloin we had in the fridge, cut it up into squares, and marinated it in a delicious (fast becoming our favorite) red pepper marinade. Later we put it on skewers with some onions and red peppers, grilled it, and ate it by candlelight. Delicious!
Later I thought I'd try to take some photos and these are the only ones where you can see anything. The one above and below are clay figures we brought back from our numerous trips to Oaxaca, Mexico. I'll show you more of them in tomorrow's post - they are so fun!
This next picture surprised me when I looked at it. It's a photo of my mother when she wasn't much older than I am now (on the left is another one of the clay figures). Actually, she passed away not long after this was taken. Strange to think how young she was - it didn't seem that way to me when I was in my early 20's. Our perspective changes as we grow older, doesn't it?
What struck me most about this wonderful, romantic evening, was how very quiet it is in the house when the power is out. Made me realize how much noise there still is even when the TV and radio are off. And without it, it felt very peaceful - for a while, at least, then I was ready for the air conditioning to kick back on...

P.S. Remember to enter my giveaway before Monday morning. Just click here.