Monday, December 29, 2014

Family is Here

And, it is more than wonderful to share in all the joys of life.  The festivities continue as more and more family arrives.

I want to share with you an Egg Nog recipe that I have recently replaced my old recipe with.  It is a bit of trouble, but well worth it.  It will be made the night before and "utilized" on New Year's morning or maybe at a dinner when all are here.

The ingredients are:

6 eggs separated
1 C sugar
1 pint of bourbon
1 jigger of rum
1 pint of whipping cream
1 pint of almond milk

Whip your cream. Beat yolks until thick and pale lemon color. Add sugar gradually, beating well until sugar is dissolved.  Add bourbon and rum, pouring it slowly and beating constantly. (cooking the eggs, so go slow)  In a large bow (chilled) beat egg whites until stiff and carefully fold in the whipped cream. Slowly pour the yolk mixture into the whites and cream, folding carefully.  Thin with almond milk to insistence you want.  Refrigerate overnight.  Thanks, Allyson.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

This Christmas Season

Remind yourself as you go into the new year (the future) nothing ever stays the same.  Look at how you/we can learn and grow and remind yourself what we are grateful for in life, the blessings we already have.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society

Just received notice that a little Cactus painting won  AWARD OF MERIT in the Online International Show for NOAPS.  Received EXCELLENCE AWARD in the Spring International On Line Exhibit, with a portrait of an Italian Gentleman.  Will post them both in this blog.  Thrilled.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Be the Kind of Person

Be the kind of person that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says "Oh, crap, he's/she's up!"

I know several people that fit into this description.  The world is truly better for them being in it.  And, I feel mighty fortunate to have them in my life.

This is one of my latest sales at FW Community Arts on Gendy Street.  The Nature Show was held there:

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Week-End of Painting in the Cold

Spent the week end and Friday afternoon painting in 30 degree weather in Cypress Mill, Texas.  And, there were 34 other crazy people painting with me from all over Texas.  Really was a fun time of sharing with a bunch of artists that I have not seen in quite awhile.  Saturday night we had a bar b que at the ranch house where many of us stayed.

Painting in the cold is doable if you have good clothing and preparation for the cold.  Remember to wear gloves that the hand you paint with has had the fingers cut from.  Good silk thermal wear is necessary and a hat that covers ears and neck.  My jacket also has a hood that I used over the hat.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Things Successful People Do that Others Don't

Having just worked with three other artists over a luncheon meeting about their work and their desires matching, here are a couple of things that we shared and all learned and were motivated by:

Be realistic about your work.  Self critique in an honest manner.  Put it aside for days.  Have another artist better than you give honest feed back.  Have a non artist look at the painting as they can give some brutally honest assessments.  Be willing to completely start over.  We All want to produce good work, but just wanting to does not make make it a reality.  We must put the hours and hours of work into our reality.  

Successful people go to work to prosper, not just to work.  They have a self-centered push to get something done.

They have exercised an incredible drive.

They never make excuses.

They focus on Goals daily, written each day.

Willing to fail, viewing failure as an opportunity to learn.

This Was a Different Direction for Me

This was done for the contractor who built The Ballpark in Arlington when Bush was the young owner.  My reference photo was 3 x 4.  The big dirt moving machine was to be in the painting, and the three standing men were minuscule  in front of that machine in the photo, so it was hard to have any facial reference with them being that small and with Ranger ball caps pulled down over their faces.  But, it still was a fun commission to do.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Palace Theater Exhibition and Sale was Great Success

The first painting to leave my space in the Palace was this one.  It went to a darling young lady that I am happy to be with in the being of a painting.  Three bird paintings left me.  And, it was especially fun to have my "Chick Filet" and "Bunny Boy" paintings go to some long long time wonderful friends.                      

Saturday, October 11, 2014


The commissions are way ahead of me.  Have a very interesting one right around the corner, with only a couple of weeks to get done.  But, I miss painting some of the things I just WANT to paint for the whim of it.  Would love to get a series done on birds.  Have a house wren that comes every year and builds her nest in my Geranium pot.  That means I quit watering.  Mother wren has gotten so used to me taking the basket down and seeing how her nest of eggs or babies is doing that she doesn't leave when this happens.  Can you believe that! !  
  A next favorite bird is the Eastern Blue Bird.  Have two nests (boxes) they come back

year after year.  Boxes must be placed far apart-500 feet or so, be on a tree or post some 5 feet from the ground.  They are a territorial and feisty little bird, sometimes fighting their own reflection in my windows.  Here are a couple of small bird paintings:

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Bosque Classic Painting Went to:

Jane Adams, a Real Estate Agent with the Clark Group in Gandbury, Texas.  This National Show (with paintings from over the United States) is a very prestigious show that the little town of Clifton, Texas, has put on for many many years.  Clifton has a booming creative front.
   I have never met Jane, but hope to have our paths cross in the future.  Here is her painting:  (thank you, Jane)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Just Finished This One

This is the beautiful little redhead granddaughter of the bride's parents (her brother's daughter) that was on the trip to Virgin Gorda.  Entitled it "Porcelain and Sand" and her skin did look like porcelain.

Antonio Working on the Painting

Monday, September 22, 2014

Neighbor worked with on this painting

Antonio is the son of Marco and Stacy who live in my neighborhood.  He painted the lower right hand corner of this painting when I was working on it at Grapefest and I retained it in the painting.  Thank you, Antonio.  Antonio is 3 years old.

Here are a few of the paintings that said goodbye at the Grapefest Festival

Had a great time in beautiful weather at the Grapefest Festival in Grapevine, Texas, two week ends ago.  Actually am just recuperating from it and getting my commission of young brothers done in time.  Sold some 15 paintings and also did the train demonstration during the festival.  Worked with a fine group of other artists who weathered the wetness on Friday beautifully.

Here are a few of the paintings sold during Grapefest:

Two Paintings Win Awards in Domestic and Wild Life Show

Could not be at the show because I was working Grapefest, but both of my entries won an award in this show with entries from over the US.

Gamblin Award for Chickens  "Free Range Chickens" and "Wildlife Award" for "Heron Hareing"  (I did not know until I saw it happen in my own back yard that Herons will actually drown a small animal to have it as a meal)

Received a 2nd place with the painting "Horny Toad" at the Ft. Worth Botanical Garden Show.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Put my Reference Material in With This Photo

In the upper right hand of painting is the reference in black and white that I was given for this painting. It was not an easy job.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Are You a Procrastinator?

I listen at various art meetings and functions such as the Grapefest to the awful tales of woe of the state of the economy and bad art sales.  This usually means that people shut down their production or just procrastinate.  Find myself quoting (loosely) Winston Churchill who says something like Success is not final.  Failure is not fatal. It's the determination to continue that counts.

Last year was the best year I've ever had just because I worked harder, worked hopefully smarter, and thus sold more.  The emphasis is not on quantity of paintings, but quality.  Find myself being more and more critical, with a good eye, on each piece of work.  A work is kept on the working block until it meets my standard or it is destroyed and I start over.

Had fun with this piece.  My daughter in law, Amy, has the piece in the back ground hanging in her bathroom.  Wanted to see if I could make toilet paper look pretty.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Another Week Filled to the Brim and Spilling Over

Had just told myself that I must learn to say "No" a bit more often.  And, moments ago accepted the responsibility of judging the "Shining Stars" for another year.  So much for new resolutions.

Grapefest was a wonderful, tiring, exciting time for four days.  Sold fourteen paintings and did a demonstration that I will post in a later blog.

At the same time, I was under a time limit to get a commission done for a woman for her husband for their 25th wedding anniversary.  Had about 8 days to get the gallery wrapped canvas, get it gessoed, and the painting done with enough drying time to put a light varnish on.  She is coming tonight to view the painting, of which I am very pleased.  It was a back and white photo, and I kept my colors in a muted value, which gave the painting an ole world quality look.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

What a Vacation! ! ! ! !

  Been to the British Virgin Islands on the most flamboyant, luxurious week of my life Was taken by a young man celebrating his 20th wedding anniversary with a beautiful retake of vows on the beach of Virgin Gorda silhouetted in a magnificent sunset.  He took 11 adults  and 9 children.

We snorkeled, went to the Baths through tunnels of huge boulders, kayaked, swam, got a lesson in sailing a Hobie Cat, danced and danced with ages from 3, 5, 14, to adults, ate the best food I've ever eaten, swam wtth dolphins (the highlight for me), played ping pong, and shared a great week of life.


Just started a "Living the Best Possible Life Project", which also might be called a "Happiness Project" with a group of three other women.  We will meet once a month for a year, have a "Resolutions" chart to hold us accountable, and have chosen, individually,  a spiritual mentor or leader.  This is going to be an interesting project.  Daughter, Holly, is the person who initiated the idea with me.

Couple of weeks ago had a photo sent of one of my paintings hanging in a collector's home.  Such dear people I am happy to be hanging with.  Here is the image:

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Dinner with Three Lady Friends LAST NIGHT

Trying a new recipe can open new doors.  Made a pretty strawberry, cream cheese, cream, sugar recipe that I put in pretty containers to serve.  Baked graham crackers and butter to a crisp stage, put in the bottom of containers (beaded glasses), put the mixture above in, added a layer of strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries, then whipped cream and one berry on top.  So now I had these lovely compotes.  Decided to invite my three women friends for dessert.  During the day, got the energy to extend the invitation for a simple dinner of kale salad, olive bread, chicken soup topped with avocado and cheese and green onions, and peach tea.  So, now we have that planned and what is the purpose of this dinner.?  Let's plan a trip to Arkansas and the Crystal Bridges Museum.  We get our dinner over and move to living room and make out plans.  All because of a new dessert needing to be tried.

Here are a couple of images going to NATURE REFUGE SHOW.  November 3-23, 2014.  Location is the Ft. Worth  Community Arts Center, 1300 Gendy, Ft. Worth, Texas.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Flipping Art

Have recently been asked what I think about flipping art, meaning: buying art at one price and selling for a profit.

Since I have been a Broker in Real Estate and have done a lot of flipping of both residential and commercial real estate, I have no qualms about flipping art for a profit.  But, this is not the only problem  that is rearing it's head.  Artists are saying that since they created this product, they should be a part of the  profit made, be it a small 3% or larger.  I  disagree.  How would this ever be determined as a future sale is made?  Life of artist?  Too many questions that don't have reasonable answers.

Two  of my three paintings going to Art in the Garden:   Short duration Show: Sept 4,5,6,7, 2014
Held at Botanic Gardens, Ft Worth, Texas     During Gallery Night go and have refreshments.

 Top painting is Tea Time. oil, 18 x 24

     Bottom painting: Hidden Hare, oil, 28 x 22

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Let me Give You a Typical Day

The one thing that I have fallen into this summer is sleeping later.  Must rectify that soon.  Have been getting to bed earlier, but still sleeping.  And, my darling precious Trudy (rescued on Feb. 1, 2014) who sleeps on her bed next to mine, does not make a sound until my feet hit the floor and she gets a "Good morning, darling".
     Started the day with breakfast for the two of us, Trudy and me.  Then did some watering out in the yard as Trudy does her daily investigation of what critter has been in HER territory through the night. Then read my morning devotional that Hunter, son, and Liz and girls got me started on some summers ago and a short bit from a book that four of us will read and have an agenda to add "brightness and laughter" to life.  The book suggestion came from my daughter, Holly, who was reading it in her book club.  Then came out to office and did office work (sent a couple of cards, emails, entered a show).  Since I knew my evening was going to be full, went to gym early.  I usually close it down from 9-10 p.m..  Took four paintings to a new gallery that wanted to have some paintings from me during the Gallery Walk in the Fall.  From there I ate a salad (maybe the worst salad I have ever eaten.  But, I must have been hungry) Then drove into Grapevine for a meeting there.  Left the meeting during the demonstration only because I wanted to be a "show" at a friend's reception in Keller.  Then home to feed my dear Trudy.  It was past her feed time, but not a word of irritation did she make.  And, that is a very typical day, though each day has it's own personality.

This painting is on it's way to the Bosque Classic.  This is an International Show that little ole Clifton, Texas, has presented for years.  They put on one of the best shows in the nation.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Becoming a Collector of Art

Becoming a collector of art (or anything) is an exciting adventure.  You must ask yourself some questions along the way:
  Is it well done?
  Is it priced too much?
  Do I really like it or am I just collecting?
You need to read about the artist (web, what magazines say, galleries).  The more you know what makes him/her tick, the more you know the artist's innate honesty.  And, you want to deal with honest people.  Talk to gallery owners, being aware they are just an opinion.  Talk to the artist.  What attracts you will be unique unto you. What attracts you will be different than what attracts your neighbor.

The following piece just won an Award of Exceptional Merit from the International On Line Show:

Thursday, July 17, 2014


Just had a meeting of our PAG artists a couple of days ago.  We are a group that has been meeting as long as I have been painting for my livelihood.  We talk about all subject matter and have shared much of life with each other.  Consequently, we have become a close knit body, a kind of family, and it is quite wonderful and important to me. 
     We have some real life toughies going on in our midst at this time.  And, it is most interesting to see how we handle these difficulties.  Our hearts go out to our fellow creators. 
     One of our members sent this to me and it is worth sharing:  I am paraphrasing:
          Don't think of a rose bush with thorns, but think of a thorn bush with roses.  And, surprising to me,  this is an Abraham Lincoln quote. 

Just  found out had a painting, a portrait! ! !, win an Award of Excellence in National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society. 

This is a latest painting that still working on.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Reception this Coming Saturday, August 19th.

Bedford Storefront Gallery is having a Reception this Saturday, 19th, at the corner of Central and Harwood Streets, Bedford, Texas.  I have 5 pieces in the show.  Live music and free refreshments will be served.  Come out and enjoy. 

Here is one of my pieces:  24 by 18, oil

Sunday, May 18, 2014

This has BEEN A WEEK END to remember and appreciate.

Some of the perks of being an artist are the variety of events and people that come into your life.  The last four days are a great example of how interestingly varied life can be:

     went to Possum Kingdom exhibition (featured artist) and met some really good artists from the region that I did not know existed
    judged the Western Oil Painters of America Show (for getting into the show) and was so pleased at some of the good works.  And, it was good to know that my eye could determine so quickly.
    gave a talk at Dutch Art Gallery during their reception and actually was not the slightest bit nervous. That was interesting for me to learn about me.
    spent a lot of hours at Main Street Days in Grapevine, Texas, and loved the camaraderie that we shared in the physical work and the selling (and the eating).
    picked up a show at Southwest Gallery and actually found my way to another gallery via new pathway of directions.  And, kept my patience in some formidable traffic on LBJ roadway.
    always so happy to see my doggie, Trudy.  Whatta reception she gives, and it's sincere ! ! !! 

Sold this little one at Southwest Gallery, OPS Show:


We had the greatest camaraderie in our tent at Main Street Days.  Dave Morgan and Bob Fron were a real team setting the tent up each night.  Beth Wassom and Naomi Fron did a great deal of hard work behind the scenes and during the show.  It actually was a fun time of eating really bad for you food and telling the best life stories.  Laughed until my cheeks hurt from Craig's stories and loved sharing life with Fred and wife, Glo, and Naomi and Arlene.  Tired, but happy.  And, oh yes, it was a good selling time.

Here are some of the solids:

Friday, May 9, 2014

Sometimes the simplest subjects sell

Did a series of lures and fishing supplies and this one just sold in Possum Kingdom where I was a featured artist at their show held at the Chamber of Commerce.  Loved meeting some of the artists in the show from Oklahoma and Ft. Worth that I did not know.

Here is the painting of the lure:

Monday, April 28, 2014

Painting from the model is the way to go.

This "cowboy" was a great model.  Only had 30 minutes to do this.  Bought by another cowboy in Grapevine, Texas.

Long time friends, McIlvains, bought this painting of the Monarch Migration

Took the photo in California, Monerrey, where the Monarchs return year after year.  They land on the same trees.  None of the same butterflies make the migration, as they have died off.  Truly mystifies me how this is accomplished.

This family has been friends for many years.  In fact the male of the family was a teacher at First Methodist in Ft Worth when I was going there.

These two paintings left their home

It is always a deep complement when another artist that you have respect for buys one of your paintings.  That is where this painting found it's new home:  Thank you, Judy M., in case you see this.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Today a Family is Coming to check out their commissioned painting

No matter how many times this occurs, I will ALWAYS be nervous as the clients look at their commissioned work for the first time. (I am a pleaser, and want them to be happy with their painting extremely much)  This family is a long time family of friends.  The Grandmother, a wonderful woman in my life,  and Grandfather are giving their Son and Daughter in Law, Jill, a painting of their adorable three children. This Son, Mike, just happens to be a growing up dearest friend of my Son.  They actually were tennis doubles partners.    Mike and Jill had a curly haired daughter and then a pair of TWINS not that far behind.  Here is the painting:

Friday, March 21, 2014

Painting in the Bosque County area

Took Trudy, 8 year old adopted dog, and headed South to paint with several other artists in Bosque County.  Had a delightful time.  Every night we all ate together and usually had our lunches together.  Found a motel that would let you keep your dog with you for an additional $50.  Dog and I took walks together every day and she loved being a part of the fun of sharing a glass of wine with other artists.

One day it was so cold that I set up a still life in motel room and painted there.  Here is an image.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

New Dog in my Life

One month ago, I adopted an 8 year old Australian Shepherd/Labrador Retriever (looks like a large Border Collie at 66 pounds) named Trudy.  The Humane Society told me she had some hip problems that have turned out to be Arthritis in the rear knees.  So, she gets some injections for pain, Acupuncture, and Previcox by mouth for pain, plus Glucosamine/Chondroitin,MSM every meal.  Am I hooked?  You bethcha.  She is one sweetheart.  Also putting in an invisible fence that is not working at this moment.  Also taking off some of that weight to make her knees feel better.  Here is a photo of the lovely lady.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Valentine's Day, 2014

When I had a wonderful Christmas meal with this family, the daughter, JoAnn, slipped a photo into my pocket when leaving and asked me to do a portrait of her Mom and Dad for their 35th wedding anniversary.  They picked it up last night, Valentine's day.  Aren't they a precious couple !  Look at that head of hair on James and those cheek bones on Sandy.