Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Not Enough Hours...

...in my day! I have had an overwhelm sort of day today...and yesterday...and the day before. And it seems like it's all in my mind (isn't that often how it is?). And what happens to my mind then is that it starts to flit about.

I start something, think of something else, start that, forget the first thing, etc. So, these days, you might find a half-made bed, a forgotten load of laundry, or a dishwasher only half emptied at our house. None of that is a big deal except that it robs me of my peace of mind and wastes a lot of time and energy trying to remember what to do.

So, today, I resorted to making lists and writing things down. What a relief! It freed up my mind enough to actually go to my studio to start working on another piece. It's not yet to the point of showing it to you all, but instead I want to show you what came in the mail today, all the way from England. It made my day!!!

A little while ago, I won one of the giveaways from Micki at The Art Hermit. It is so beautiful!!And take a look at that clasp - a fish with a starfish, closing with a wave. How cool is that?!? I wore it all day today! Thank you, Micki!

This afternoon, I had more fun taking pictures of some of my scarves for my Etsy shop.

Ok, a little weird story from the other day (related to my scarves)... Those who know me know that I dream a LOT at night. Every night, many dreams. It's like my own personal movie theater and (luckily) never a nightmare. Well, the other night I had a very vivid dream that Daniel and I lived in this opulent apartment in Venice in one of the old houses. The next morning, I got up and checked my eBay store and saw that I had sold a scarf to a woman in Venice, my first international sale! Nice coincidence ... or was it? She promptly bought a second one and tomorrow they are going to Italy! Fun, huh?

I will definitely have more art for you to see in my next post. For now, I am off to visit some your lovely blogs. And if I haven't visited you lately, don't worry, I'll be back! In the meantime, thank you for coming to see me!

Monday, June 29, 2009


Our garden is so green in places that it even draws me, the heat wimp, outside to take a look once in a while. Daniel has been doing lots of work in the garden and it really shows. And some of our plants are finally starting to show some fruit! Above is one of our first poblano chilies! I am hoping for a huge harvest so we can roast and freeze quite a few. I am still using the roasted chilies from previous years in my cooking now!

Our lima beans are also doing really well and almost ready for consumption. We can't wait!!

And here my beloved fig tree - it has grown over 6 feet in the last three years and is packed with little figs this year. Oh, I can already taste them in my mind - so sweet and delicious! Do any of you have any recipes you love using figs?

I'm also slowly setting up my Etsy store (yeah!!) and am listing some of my scarves there as well. I decided to take some new and fun pictures of my scarves in our yard. Aren't those colors great?

All that to say that I haven't been to my studio in a couple of days, but I am getting ready to make some more art soon!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Harvest Maiden

Here she is - the next maiden I spied in the background texture! Actually, I saw three women in this background. First, right I after I finished it, a woman with a hat more in the middle of the painting. That evening I suddenly saw a very beautiful, heavy-set woman with hat. I was all set to paint her, but when I went to sketch her the next morning, I couldn't see her at all - instead there was this lovely woman.

I don't know what made me think of grapes, but they brought back fond memories from my childhood. When I was younger, we lived in one of the most beautiful wine-producing regions in Germany, and every fall, when the grapes were harvested and pressed, I remember visiting vineyards with my parents and sister, many of the wine festivals, and dinners and celebrations with good friends. We children always got a pitcher filled with freshly-pressed grape juice. Those were some of the best years for my family!!

I painted Harvest Maiden with acrylics on 15 x 22 140lb watercolor paper. I hope you like her as much as I do!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Thank You and a Confession...

Look what arrived at our house yesterday - all the way from Australia:
I won Val's giveaway on her blog Vania's Art a couple of weeks ago and felt so lucky! And even luckier yesterday, when I unwrapped this gorgeous painting and hung her in my studio! Such a beauty and such inspiration!! (And it's the first piece of mail I ever received from Australia.) Thank you so much, Val!

Now for my confession (and I don't know why this feels like a confession, but it does - maybe it's my age...). The last couple of weeks, I've been reading, no devouring, the Twilight series. I've been steeped in vampires, humans, shape shifters, teenage love and angst, reading every night until the wee hours of the morning. I so enjoyed these books, not just because they were so entirely engrossing, but I love stories about good and evil, light and dark where my preconceived notions are constantly questioned and redefined, where there are many gray areas and different ways of looking at things. It's a lot how life is to me - a lot of gray areas.

And now that I am done with all four books, I wonder what am I going to read next! Any suggestions for good summer reads? (Not that I don't have stacks of books next to my bed already that I haven't read yet, but one can never have too many books, right?)
In other news, here a photo of of some of our organic produce that came to us today via our sweet neighbor who organizes a sort of coop for several families. When I see all that wonderful food, I can feel the full abundance of life!

Here's to great abundance in all our lives!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Another Background

Today, I made another background with lots of texture. After the last painting, I was actually nervous before starting this one. Especially because I don't plan it out ahead of time. What if nothing else comes to me? So, after procrastinating all day yesterday, today I sat down and very quickly selected these colors (love them!!) and layered this background.

And wouldn't you know it, my fears were unfounded. As soon as I felt done with it, I held it at arms length and immediately saw the beautiful woman hiding in the layers. Today I'll gaze at her a little longer so that she can start "becoming" in my mind, and tomorrow I'll start painting her.

Now a quick glimpse at some of our hydrangea flowers as they are entering my favorite phase. When they first open, the flowers are brightly colored - blue, purple and pink. But after a while the colors fade and take on this antique hue, which I just love!

Thank you all for your wonderful comments on my last painting! You make my heart sing!

Hope you are all having a great day!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Summer Maiden

I am so very proud of this painting (actually, it almost seems immodest to me how proud I really am). Three months ago, I had never painted anything and now this is flowing from my paint brush. Where is it coming from?!? I cannot believe I created something that looks this beautiful to me (hence the shameless pride)! I call her Summer Maiden because I painted her on the solstice and the first day of summer.
I painted her with acrylics on 15 x 22 inch, 140 lb cold press watercolor paper. There is some paper collage in the background, but none of the paper shines through. It does give it some texture though. And then I did lots of layering under and on top of my summer maiden and her flower garlands with various household stamps (q-tips, non-stick shelf liner, bubble wrap).

Now, here's the background I had posted earlier:
When I looked at it, she sort of "jumped out" at me. Can you see her now as well?

All my painting lately has brought up a question for me, something I had not considered before. I am wondering about offering some of my prints and paintings on Etsy. What do you all think? Do you think they have general appeal? Believe me, I am not fishing for compliments - just wondering about something that had not been in my conscious thought before, not knowing if I had talent at all...

Ok, you lovely people, I am off now to visit your inspiring blogs!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Illustration Friday - Drifting

As she was being photographed by the man she loved, she found her mind drifting and caught a glimpse of a happy future together.

Yesterday, I was looking through some old photographs and came across these two of my grandmother - as a young woman and then on her wedding day with my grandfather. I did an image transfer with the wedding photo to make it a little less prominent.

For the dark blue background, I took her engagement dress, which I am lucky enough to have here, made of dark blue lace, and scanned a section of it. The pink square under the photo in the foreground, is a scan of lace she crocheted herself - so pretty!

And because it really made me think about her, her life and the impact she had on me, I will tell you all more about her and show you some more old photos in a later post!

I hope you are all having a marvelous Sunday and to all you dad's out there: Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Art Again - Finally!

Well, here's a collage that I can finally post! I had made it right after my friend's visit and mailed it to her. The package arrived yesterday and now I can show it to all of you. I did two image transfers on a collage/acrylic paint background, one picture of us when we were 10 and one from her visit a few weeks ago. I really like the way it looks! (And it really looked great framed - forgot to take a picture.)

I have to share something else with you that is so fun, especially if you are into unusual creatures and knitting! I first came across the octopus on Madly Creative and was in love! I clicked from there to the Etsy site with the patterns - just wonderful! I am trying to decide which one I'd like to knit first - the praying mantis is really beckoning to me... Wouldn't they make fun gifts?

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

A Thoughtful Day

I was going to write about more art, but I've had a thoughtful day - actually a couple of thoughtful days, so I thought I'd write about that.
Yesterday and today, I found out that two of my new blogging friends, Bella Sinclair and Diana Evans, suffered great personal and unexpected losses.
At the same time, there was an announcement at my husband's school that a young professor had lost his life in a hiking accident. Even though we didn't know him personally, it still made me really aware once again how life can change in an instant. And it doesn't have to be tragic - it can be a good surprise as well!
It made me really conscious of how precious the moments of our lives are. Truly not to be wasted - ever!
And it made me think about how good it is to practice going with the flow of life, as that is really all it is - the natural flow of life with all the changes, surprises, ups and downs.
Something else this made me realize is how connected I feel to all my new blogging friends. I may never meet you in person, and with some of you I don't even know what you look like, where you live or how old you are.
It seems that none of that matters though. Just through our visits to each others blogs and our comments of support, we have made a connection. I can tell by how heavy my heart is for Bella, Diana and their friends and families, and how I rejoice in all of your stories and successes on a daily basis, that you all are a part of my life now and I am truly grateful for that!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Garden and More!

Lately, we've had a good number of storms and rainy afternoons, evenings and nights. In fact, this morning it is raining as I write this. With all the trees in our yard (10 big trees in a tiny backyard), I am always a little nervous when it gets really windy. The other night, we heard a big crash and when we looked the next morning, a huge branch had fallen down.

We both couldn't believe that it fell between the bird bath and the flower box without damaging anything. Nothing looked like it had been touched. Isn't that amazing? We both like the branch and where it fell, so we are going to leave it there.
I love the flowers, the trees, the veggies, the birds and everything else in our yard, but what I get most excited about are toads, frogs, snakes and lizards. I've shown pictures before of the toads and frogs. Here's a little snake Daniel found one day. It's a harmless, but pretty little snake that was living in one of our flower beds.
These we see fairly regularly. They are glass lizards - lizards without legs. The difference between them and snakes (I think) is that they have eye lids and little ear openings. In any case, I think they are beautiful!

In our three years here, I've only seen one poisonous snake when I was walking out by the YMCA - and someone had to point it out to me. It was a gorgeous copperhead peacefully sunning itself well off the path. I went to get a good look and was really sorry I didn't have my camera with me. What a stunning creature! Do you ever find unusual wildlife in your yard?

Before I get back to my art, I want to put in a shameless plug for my dear friend and wonderful sister-in-law, Patti's, new website. Patti has been a gifted vedic astrologer (you can read more about that on her website) for over ten years. She has a highly analytical mind (for many years, she was a very successful software engineer), while being extremely intuitive and insightful at the same time. She has done readings for both Daniel and me and all I can say is WOW! If you or anyone else is ever in need of gentle yet powerful guidance, she might be just what you are looking for. Her business is called Lightspirited Being and that's exactly what she is!

Well, it's still raining and I am heading up to my studio to work on my art. I finished my aunt's painting yesterday and will send it off today. I am so pleased with it!! As soon as she has received it, I will post a picture on the blog! Tomorrow, I should have more art to show you...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Show and Tell...

Yesterday, a package came for me from the lovely and talented Amy of Such a Wondrous Place this Faerytale Space. We had decided to trade my Taking Flight painting for her gorgeous DaVinci. His kind eyes just speak volumes to me! Imagine my surprise when I opened the package and found all of these treasures. Not only was the painting framed, but she included an altered print of a beautiful character in one of the books she is working on, a sketch of a cathedral in France, a little satchel filled with a fun paper tea rose and some other goodies, and the very pretty necklace I took pictures of below. No wonder my heart was so full yesterday!

Thank you, Amy!!

Do you remember the background I was working on here? Well, I painted over it and had a painting almost finished that wouldn't come together. So, in a fit of frustration, I painted over it and created a whole new background that I really, really like. I've already discovered the image in it that wants to be painted. Can you see what it is? (I love this process - it's like looking for images in the clouds!)
I'll start painting more on this today, so stay tuned!!

Earlier this morning, Daniel and I decided to go to the beach for a while and are we glad we did! Can you believe how empty it was on a warm and hazy summer day? We felt like we had the whole place to ourselves and when the crowds started coming, we had had enough and went back home.
I shot a quick photo of Daniel in the ocean before I joined him. The water is finally warm enough for me to go in - a wonderful 80 degrees (27 degrees Celsius)! The waves were calm and even the dolphins swam by a few times. It was magical!!

And, finally, I want to thank the super talented and sweet Julie-Ann of Heavenleigh Art for bestowing this wonderful award on me! I so appreciate it!!
Because I have such a hard time picking my favorites, I am going to leave it up to all of you to take this award and pass it on! Or simply enjoy it here!

Whew, that was a lot to tell, but there are just days when many little, very special things happen, and I find that I want to tell you about all of them! So, thank you for "listening!"

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Full Heart

Today, I've been working on a birthday present for my aunt, Inge, one of the most special people in my life. Her birthday was yesterday and I am still working on her piece. I don't want to rush it even though it's going to be late - I want it to be as perfect as possible. I can't wait to show you all - it's going to be beautiful, just like she is!

While I was waiting for paint to dry, I played with the little collage above featuring a photo of my family (and a couple of friends) when I was about 7 and my sister a few months old. My mom is to the left of my sister's stroller and my dad on the right, next to me. It was such a happy time for us!

So much else happened today that filled my heart, but I am going to leave that for another post. I don't want to overwhelm you all! At one point, I came downstairs and Daniel had picked these flowers for me from our front yard - aren't they pretty?

And one more picture of a spring peeper coming out of hiding when we had a storm a couple of days ago. These little guys have quite the voice!
I hope you all are having a wonderful evening! I'll meet you back here tomorrow...

And the Winners Are...

This morning, I pulled two names under the strict supervision of Daniel and Winslow (Winslow actually tried to pry the paper strips away from me and eat them, but I prevailed) and here are the lucky winners of my giveaway:

Renate of Put a Little Magic in Your Life will get Poise, the egret print.

Amy of Such a Wondrous Place this Faerytale Space is the lucky recipient of Joint Effort, the seascape print.

Please send me an e-mail with your mailing information so I can mail these to you!

And thanks to all of you for participating and leaving such wonderful comments! It warms my heart!! Thank you!!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

An Experiment

This was simply an experiment in using heavy gel medium over an already painted background. I wanted to see if the gel medium dries clear and you can see the background color through it. Well, it doesn't. It was opaque and so I had to paint over it.

The colors I chose aren't my usual candidates, but I wanted to experiment to the end. The resulting 5 x 7 piece is actually not as bad as I had first feared. In some strange way, it reminds me of all the cacti we used to have in our garden in New Mexico that would get the most gorgeous red flowers in the spring. The bees would dive into them and take a long bath in the ample pollen - so fun to watch!

Oh, I love living by the ocean and I will always crave the desert. They both feed my soul! What are some of the places that make your heart sing?

P.S. If you haven't yet, be sure to enter my giveaway before tomorrow evening!