Thursday, July 21, 2016

Bees in my Treehouse

This is going to bee an interesting experience.  Have a hive of honey bees in the attic of my Treehouse studio, where I paint.  Am trying to get rid of them via taking them live and transporting their hive to another place.

Back from Alaskan Cruise

Rather a spontaneous cruise that started in Anchorage, boarding the HUGE boat, The Millennium, in Seward, to Juneau, Skagway (whale watching and glaciers on a side trip), then Icy Straits, Ketchikan where we took a train trip up the mountain, and Vancouver.  The plane trip from DFW was straight through on both flights.

Didn't let any experience go unattended on the cruise:  the food was absolutely the best.  Every dinner was spent with different people and that was great joy for me.  One night I had four appetizers and dessert and no entree.  Another night I had escargot and two lobsters!  Had the most wonderful massage.  Played my first ever roulette and won 33 dollars that I quickly lost at my first ever black jack.  Played in the boat ping pong tournament (2600 people on that boat) with all the 20 year old boys and won the silver medallion. Hate to admit it, but that was one of the most fun events for me.  I told each young man as I went to the table that I didn't see too well, didn't hear too well either, and I might have to have someone retrieve the balls.  Used a very fragile voice.  And, then I sliced a serve at them.  Played eight games and only lost to the gold medal winner and that one was pretty close.  A couple of the boys brought over parents or a parent to meet "that little ole lady who beat them".
  One night at dinner looked out the window and right beside the boat, saw a Blue whale (largest of all mammals that have ever existed on this earth).  I let out a yelp of "whale" and one fourth of the dining room was looking out our window.  The whale swam along right beside the boat, very close, for a while and then did a dive.  This was by far the best sighting we had the entire cruise.
  Entered a guessing contest on a huge yellow Sapphire.  The sapphire was 28.4 carats and I guessed 28.3 carats.  Won the prize of a really pretty bracelet and a 1 carat blue sapphire.  So, you can see no adventures were left untouched .  It was a genuine memory maker and great fun.  No paintings from it yet.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Three Things That Determine Your Happiness

For one full year I have studied and taken action on "happiness".  I love my life and the variety of interests and activity in it.  Last May I started dance lessons at the Colleyville Senior Center and have only missed 1 weekly session the entire year.  Once a month we go to a "dress up" dance at Swing
Time.  There, I am without a specific partner, but almost never miss a dance because they have dance hosts and a dance where we line up and dance with "whomever" in the chair dance, and because our table of Colleyville dancers reaches out to everyone.  Telling you this to say that it is great fun to learn this new skill.

Another skill that I am working on is my ability to throw an artificial lure into the exact spot I want it in my pond out back.  Some 40 years ago, stocked it with large mouth striper bass, brim, and catfish.  Those bass give you a thrill when they hit the lure.  Have a running competition going on with Son, whether he is here or not, I keep score on my refrigerator.

Relearning to play the card game of Bridge will be next skill learned.

Now, with the above said, I have determined via time with three other women in our meetings over breakfast once a month for a year and holding each other accountable, making a poster on "happiness", reading,  and taking action,  that three things determine our happiness:
  1.  When you develop the maturity to understand that you have the right to determine who gets to be in your life.  You remove the toxic people out of your life.
  2.  When we have basic skills (competence) to express ourselves intellectually, artistically, politically, and comically.  Learning new things increases happiness.
  3.  When you feel like a person in charge of own life.  When you have the freedom to be your most authentic self, not bound by other's expectations,  you are simply happier.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

From 1969-1973 Those Starving Artist Shows

Every week I have someone email me with a painting or two they bought in the above four years.  Some of the paintings make me cringe and others I actually like.  This one was sent by a daughter via her Mother.  It was done very expressively with quite liquidy oils and I like it for the looseness of the paint and the color that was exaggerated.  And, the frame reminds me of this precious man who made me 300 frames at a time in the color line (turquoise, lime green, avocado green, burnt orange, yellow, and orange) of the decorative colors used at that time.  Remember those avocado green shag carpets, anyone?  Anyway, that dear man made these really nice frames, distressed them, painted the color line, and charged me a pittance for them.  Am remembering that I could get a 16 by 20 for close to $5.  Is that not unbelievable!!

Also reminded that I was painting 20 paintings a week, actually 5 a day for the first four days of week, as I had to get them into frames to carry to the shows on that fifth day.  Too wet to do otherwise.  Never will I work that physically hard in setting up tent and display each week end, nor will I ever make that much money again.  Bought the 20 acres in Colleyville, road in, horse trailer to transport paintings before owned any horses, 4 stall metal barn, and fencing.

Here is this painting done in 1969 or 1970.  Like the drawing and like the looseness and the transparency opposed to the opaqueness of the paint.  Thank you, Susan C., for the sending.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Thursday, April 14, 2016, I was the lone member of a panel that David Morgan was the Moderator for Grapevine Art Project

It was a fun night.  I put in some real time on finding sources for the members of GAP.  It is always "fun" to talk about yourself, and is always an eye opener for self.  Having to put things into words makes feelings more real and gives me understanding of self.  Talked about a lot of things fast and hard and still did not get everything covered.
  One of the things I wanted to mention is using references from the internet and other peoples photographs and paintings.  If you want to compete with your painting or sell your painting (and I can't think of many other reasons for producing a painting), you should not use anyone else's photograph, and certainly NEVER another person's painting) or a reference photo from the internet.  Let me give you my personal experience that I have told in most every class or workshop since the experience.  Wanted to enter a State wide Pet Exhibition with a painting of my Blue Great Dane named Belle.  She had died some year before and I could not find a good photo I had taken, so went to the internet.  Found  a photo of a typical position that Belle would get in and made some changes:  1. the dog in internet photo was beige color with darker points and my dog was a blue.  2. The dog in internet photo had cut ears and I changed the ears to Belle's natural ears.  3. The dog in internet photo was not as fat as Belle, so I changed my painting to add pounds.  4.  Made my painting more feminine looking.
  None of this makes any difference.  The photo was not mine and that is the only consideration that copyright takes into consideration.  I won Best of Show, was challenged and gave the award money and ribbon back.  Lesson learned.
  Below is painting of my beloved Belle in Typical Dane Position.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

This is What Life is About

Great time at the Outdoor Painters Show at Southwest Gallery on Saturday.  Man oh man did they get that show hung and take care of us (220 paintings from 19 states-our Prez, Tina B. did a fabulous job).  I was NOT happy with my Quick Paint, but appreciated the sale of three of my four paintings by the time the reception was over on Sat.

However, the real stuff of what life is made of came on Sunday.  Two of the artists returning home from the OPS Show, came by my home in Colleyville, Tx., and had bacon, quiche, fruit with me for a brunch Sunday mid morning.  We shared for a couple of hours over our luke warm coffee.  It was a wonderful, trusting, honest,  sharing and that, dear folks, is what life is about.  We all have a story, don't we.  And, then those two fine artists each bought a painting and went in their individual cars their individual ways.

Here are three of the paintings that sold at the show:  Thanks, Southwest.