Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Arizona!

We just got back from a visit with our dear friends, Leonard and Melinda. We laughed and ate and ate and ate! Did I mention eating? Anyway, one of the fun things we did was ride in Len's mother's cart with her Haflinger, Carmel. We also got the chance to visit a local alpaca ranch, IG Alpacas. John and I have long dreamed of giving up the fast pace life and retire to a ranch and raise these adorable animals. How can you look into this face and not love them??

Melinda gets a kiss...

John gets a ride with Nina and Carmel in her dressage cart.
We had a wonderful time and enjoyed the warmth. When we got home it was in the negative temps, so it was quite a shock to the system. Now it is back to the grind as I have deadlines looming...
If you get a chance, take a look at the www.barIGalpacas.com. John has many wonderful animals and amazing textiles. He does things with his weavings that are just beautiful. Now it is back to the drawing board.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Another successful Turkey Day!!!

This year, John and I spent the Thanksgiving weekend at home. After spending so much time on the road, we decided it would be best to spend it at home with the pets and each other.


Here is our magnificent feast in the raw...at the grocery store on the conveyor belt.
Here, my heroic husband, pulls all the fixins' out of the oven. (With my back out, he did all the cooking, AND all the cleaning. Could anyone ask for a better man???)


The final result...an amazing feast!


Here is the mighty hunter in search of the perfect tree at Goldenman's Tree Farm...
He has bagged his Frasier Fir!!!! All in all, it was a great holiday and we had a wonderful time. I hope yours was filled with as much food, tradition, and laughter as ours was!!!
Now...on to Christmas!!!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Waterfowl Festival

Well, another year, another show. This year's Waterfowl Festival in Easton, MD was another great show. Despite the weather, thank you Ida, the turnout was very good. I have to thank Barbara Noyes for giving me such a wonderful place to stay during the festival. I had a wonderful room and even some "fur" therapy. Benji (the pooch) and Frannie (the cat) gave me the attention I always miss from my own fur babies when I am on the road.
The beautiful ride into the festival I had every morning...
Barbara's beautiful home in Easton.

"Boo" and Benji, my wonderful hosts.

Thank you so much for your hospitality!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

The Rookies

The last painting to be finished before I leave for Easton...whew...all done and one day to spare.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Golden Girls

A few years ago, I attended the Draft Horse Classic in Grass Valley, CA. It was here that I got the opportunity to photograph the American Creme Draft Horse. There is so much to these "gentle giants" but the most amazing is the way their coats glow in the morning sun. This is a small painting, 5"x7" in pastel.
Please go to the website www.acdha.org for the history of this amazing breed.

Swan

I seem to be a little enamored with pencils lately. Not hard to understand because that is where I started. I have always said to my students, you can not paint unless you can draw...it is the foundation that all paintings start.
This is a trumpeter swan that I photographed in Yellowstone years ago. It has a long way to go, but I am enjoying the journey.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Stars in Stripes

I am having fun with pencil again. This time, I take a gesso board and coat it with graphite...then I take a kneaded eraser and an electric eraser and pull the image out. And for the final touch, I take an x-acto blade and scratch in the highlights. This is so much fun that I have to remember to finish my color paintings before I leave for my next show...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Red on Red

We have apple trees and cardinals all around our neighborhood. I think there is no better pairing than those two...here is my interpretation of that.

My retriever Corgi

My neighbor gave my corgi, Zoe, a new toy and she just loves it. She is not a big "toy" dog, so the fact that she loves this so much makes it funnier...

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Keepers


These are two elephants of a herd of more than 40 I saw in South Africa. I call it The Keepers because there was a small newborn that they all surrounded and kept themselves between us the it. They were very protective, but not afraid.
This is a pencil on gesso board.

Finished...

This is a sunflower right outside my studio window, I can see it from my easel. The chickadee is from the feeder just above it. The day after I painted this, a hard frost came and killed the sunflower. I am glad that I did not wait to paint it, it was nice to work from the photo and from the flower itself.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

For cat lovers...

video

I really hate to forward things, so instead of sending this through email, I thought I would post it here. I received this from a friend and every time I watch it, it makes me laugh. I have many friends with cats and I thought they might relate to this...

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Busy, busy...

This is two in a series of songbirds I have been commissioned to do. Hopefully I will finish it today and get to work on the others! No rest for the weary...

Sunday, October 04, 2009

My secret passion....

I am a huge carousel fanatic. Ever since my first visit to Disneyland as a kid, I saw my first real, life size horse carousel and I was hooked. Since then, I take every opportunity to see every carousel I can. On my trip home from a recent visit to Oklahoma, I found an early 1900 vintage carousel in Iowa. This weekend, I visited the Cafesjian's carousel in Como Park in St Paul. This 1914, 68 horse carousel has a fascinating history...it was commissioned by a private investor in 1914 from the Philadelphia Toboggan Company for 8,500 dollars, barely survived a fire in 1939, and then in 1988 was rescued from an auction. The carousel is definitely a lost art in this country, and one to be treasured. The artistry and craftsmanship is a sight to behold. I was lucky enough to visit three of these historic landmarks this summer, and I hope to see all of them someday. Each one has an amazing history, from the hand carved animals to the restorations and "rescues". Visit the website http://www.ourfaircarousel.org/ for more information on this amazing landmark and more on the precious few carousels left in the U.S.
And by the way...yes...I rode the carousel today, and yes...I was a child again for just a moment.
You can see the fire damage on this horse...the restorers decided to keep a few of the horses in their damaged state so the delicacy of these treasures could be realized.
Each horse is hand carved and one of a kind...

For only $1.50, you can be transported back to your childhood...money well spent in my opinion.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Finished...

I still have some clean-up work to do, but it is basically done.
"Royal Colors" Pastel 5"x7"

Putting it together...

My husband and I live for our weekend trail rides on our horses. The farm where we board them has wonderful trails, including trails through the woods and through a prairie area. The prairie trail is full of thistles and a few weeks ago we noticed that they were in that transition period from the beautiful purple blooms to the white fluffy seed pods. Among them, there were hundreds of goldfinches that we scattered as we rode through. This is a painting from a ride that I took my camera on. I love the contrast in colors and the blend of sharp thorns and soft textures. I will be putting in the goldfinch today and I can't wait!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

2009 Artist Ride

Another year, another Artist Ride...and this year was one of the best. Every year, this invitational only event takes place in South Dakota. Artists come from all over the country to photograph at the Shearer Ranch. Native American models, cowboys, civil war recreationists, mountain man recreationists...you name it, are made available to us. I call it eye candy and I take on average 7 to 10 thousand photos over the course of four days. This is just a sampling of what I took...This is Chelsea, the Shearer's youngest daughter. She turned 17 this weekend and is probably the best rider I have ever seen.
This little foal was born on Friday night. The funny thing about his birth was that no one knew the mare was pregnant!!! Talk about a surprise...

My favorite little Lakota model.
Another great weekend and a lifetime of paintings just waiting to be done.
Many thanks to Jim Hatzell and the Shearers for making this once in a lifetime event possible. Be sure to check out www.artistride.com to see a sampling of some of the very special artists and models included in this amazing weekend.

Friday, August 14, 2009

On the board...

This is my newest painting. It is a commission that I have been working on for a couple of weeks. As you can see, it is running horses...a big stretch for me! I can't come up with a title, so any suggestions would be welcome. It is a pastel.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Happy Anniversary

18 years ago today I married my best friend...it has been an amazing 18 years. Here is to 18+ more!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Freak storm...

We have had one of the coolest summers in Minnesota history...not that I am complaining. I am not one of those that likes the hot, hot, hot. It has been breezy and pleasant. But yesterday, we were hit with a HUGE thunderstorm and it dropped these quarter size pieces of hail. It was terrifying and exhilarating at the same time!!!
This is on our back porch...it was 3-4 inches deep!
Our birdbath got a little chilly!
This is our front porch...you can see how big some of the hail got. Good news is, we got a lot of much needed rain for our farmers...bad news is the hail beat the you-know-what out of our flowers and garden.
Oh, well...that is how quick things can change. I remember hail in Hollywood and in Newport Beach, so no-one is safe!

Monday, July 20, 2009

More visiting wildlife

We have a momma turkey and babies that visit every day, and even a young buck...


Friday, July 10, 2009

Look! Twins!

New visitors at the feeder this morning...


I have been a little frustrated lately with the deer eating my garden. In my experience the last few years, if I keep the feeder full, they have had no interest in the garden. Well, not this year...so I told my husband we should consider not filling the feeder until winter. Well, as of this morning, I have changed my mind! They can eat as much as they want as long as they let me take their pictures!




Wednesday, July 01, 2009

What do you do for fun?




Recently, John and I enrolled our two corgis, Zoe and Dakota, in an agility class. It is the perfect scenario, they get exercise running around the course and we get exercise running to keep up. As luck would have it, they really love it and we get to have some fun together with our dogs. For those of you who don't know what agility is, it is simply putting your dog through a series of obstacles including jumps, ramps, and tunnels. It is a blast and is good for a laugh or two! Just ask the one who lost her dog in a tunnel! (Yes, that would be me) I thought I would share a few pictures from last night's class of our Zoe showing her stuff. We had to sit Dakota out for this photo shoot, but we will get pictures of her next time.
We take classes at a local facility known as Elk River K9. They are a wonderful organization with great teachers and offer classes in almost everything. Their website is www.elkriverk9.com. Check them out, and if you live in the area, join us for some fun with our dogs.
(Please forgive the blurry pictures, but what can I say?...my little girl is just too fast!)