Sunday, December 30, 2012

Look at the Birdies in the Window

Yesterday, it was my extreme JOY to pick up my painting from the correctly named "JOY" art show at City of the World Gallery located at 1229 S. Casino Center in Las Vegas.  When I arrived I found my painting prominently displayed in the front window.  I was reminded of the feeling I had some 35 years ago when I was chosen from among the students of Mr. Easton's art class at Eldon High School to have my art displayed in the front window of the library located on Main Street of my hometown of Eldon, Missouri.  I wish I had captured the moment with a photograph, but none was taken. To make my showcase week even more special, I was given the exciting news that a local doctor had fallen in love with one of my watercolors and wanted to buy it for $20.00.  That was a large sum of money to me.  At that moment, I felt like a REAL artist.  Back then, to create something that someone else actually was willing to pay money for was what I viewed as the criteria of a genuine artist.

Now fast forward through a lifetime of raising six kids, college classes, along with years of reconciling bank statements, preparing taxes and financial reports to December 29, 2012.  It was as if I was 16 again and my dream of being a REAL artist was rekindled.  You can rest assured that yesterday a photo was taken to capture my excitement.  When entering the gallery, I was greeted by the owner, Roz Knight and after a few comments about how wonderful my work is, the question was asked of me, "Are you showing in a gallery somewhere?"  A little more conversation, then me signing a contract and one of my 2013 goals was realized- My art hanging in a gallery!

So this week will be a scramble to get my work all ready to hang on my wall space in preparation for January's First Friday event on January 4, 2013 .  If you are in the Las Vegas area this week and have some time on your hands come down to The City of the World Gallery for the Thursday Preview or if you are brave the First Friday event and you will find me at the gallery, making my dream come true.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

There is something about children and Christmas that brings joy to ones heart.  This makes sense because we are celebrating the birth of a baby, Gods son, born in a manger over 2000 years.  He is the perfect Christmas gift and I pray that His blessing and peace live in your heart and if you don't know Him, that 2013 will be the year that you get aquatinted!  Merry Christmas!

Christmas Memories- this is a Christmas painting I did last year.
If your interested in learning more about my art, please visit my website at

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Let My Vacation Begin

Today, I was reviewing past blog drafts when I came across my thoughts written some 6 months ago as I returned from our last vacation.  I found that even 6 months ago my heart was preparing me for a change because I wrote these words... 
     "The anticipation and preparation that goes into taking vacation can be both exciting and exhausting. I always write a list of items I want to make sure and pack. There are big plans of how I will spend my time and often my plans and reality don't line up. We had two whole weeks recently that we packed the car to the brim and drove off into the eastern sunrise heading to my home childhood stomping grounds of Central Missouri. The all important pink beach bag filled with all the books, sketch book, pencils, painting DVD's and my i Pad.  
     As an artist I was torn between my desire to just paint along every stream and river that we drove past and the reality that I had to reach our destination.  Will life ever slow down enough that I can just focus on my art and not ever again worry about cramming my passion into a weekend or a two week time frame?"

I have been employed by the same church and Christian School for 27 years and have just retired my position as business administrator.  Now I can say that is a lot of years working as a bean counting and I am proud of my years there.  As a matter of fact, just this week they threw me a little party to show how much they appreciated me.  It was very touching and I hugged a lot of necks and cried some tears and with a great deal of mixed emotion, I now am faced with turning a new page in my life.

 The decision to retire wasn't an easy one because the economy uncertainty that we face in this country and especially here in Nevada makes leaving a job a decision not to be taken lightly.  I only dream that down the road I may supplement my husband's pension with the sale of my art or perhaps giving some lessons in the future.  I see some artists are very successful in selling their paintings, but as a whole I understand that the market isn't anything like it used to be.  I guess this is the ideal time to develop your style and increase your artistic abilities.

This past year has been one of the most difficult years professionally that I have faced and so today I'm sitting here full of mixed emotions.  Many of the things I was sure of a year ago have crumbled and have left me wanting.  What I do know is that man may disappoint but God will never forsake and that I find great pleasure in painting.

So that is why today I am determined to cast off this heaviness, turning my eyes towards the amazing world that God has given us, pick up a paintbrush and declare with great passion, "Let the vacation begin!"

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Last Leaf

I started working on a little piece today that I think I'm going to call "Last Leaf". We've had a long, hot summer and an autumn with unseasonable warm weather but today that all changed...rain and snow fell across the valley and the cold northern wind has done an effective job of relieving the trees of the last of the reluctant leaves.  The original photo that I used for my inspiration was taken by Dini Esplin, a talented photographer from Spring Creek, Nevada.  When I saw this photo I knew this would make a great painting and I hope that I can capture the emotion that occurs with seasonal transitions.  This "WIP" (work in progress) is oil on a 12x16 inch canvas.

Last Leaf  WIP as I am working on the fine details
Last Leaf- 12 x 16 Oil

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Hectic Days

Everyone on the planet has experienced days that are sometimes pretty hectic and of course artists are no exception.  We may spend a little too much time inhaling paint fumes and turpenoid but life requires an occasional venture out of the studio and into the wilds of REAL LIFE!  This pretty much describes my entire last week.  Between recovering from my own recent carpal tunnel surgery and doctor appointments for both my mother and mother-in-law, the whole week seemed to be spent running just to wait.

It is times like these that make me so thankful for my little studio and my ability to lose myself in a painting.  In no time, I am returning to the pleasant experiences of a recent family hike on Mt. Rose near Reno.  That hike maybe 2 months past and 500 miles away, but painting brings the memory acutely back as I try capture the emotion of the day on a 16 x 20 canvas.  This piece is still a WIP (work in progress) but it has brought a release from the stress of the week.  I find myself traveling back to that beautiful October afternoon.  This piece also has that normal effect of predominately consuming my attention as most of my WIP paintings do.  Washing dishes, folding laundry or sitting in a crowded waiting room will often find me looking at the last photo taken of the piece and mediating on my next correction or addition to the composition.  I know if you even have a spark of creativity in your life you know what I'm talking about.  Here is my current consuming obsession....