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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas is right around the corner!

Time just seems to get away from me. This is always the craziest time of year for me. Working full time at the US Postal Service takes over my life. Mail is overwhelming, and my family comes and stays at my house several days and weeks starting with Thanksgiving. This year we had 6 dogs at the house, my 3, Bullwinkle, Rocky and Scooby, my daughters' s two, Louie and Zoe, and my son's new puppy, Moto, 8 months old. Baby, great grandma's, kids and dogs it was a zoo at my house. To say the least I am blessed by a household of family! After Thanksgiving, I attended my granddaughter's first birthday, ALREADY! The year went by so fast and even attended my first Hanukkah dinner at my daughter's in-laws house. It was really fun and the food scrumptious!

Through all this I have gotten behind on my artist committments. One is this pet portrait of Murphy. It is about 90% done and I will finish it at the gallery this Sunday. Here I show the original photo given to me and then the almost finished painting.

Murphy was the beloved dog of my daughter's friend. This is a gift to her husband for Christmas. Of course Christmas is only 9 days away! I will also have to work on Robert's mom portrait. His dad pic is done except for one correction I have to make to his chin. I will post all the finished pics next week.

Next year I think I will dedicate some more time to the study of painting. I have several dvd's to work on that are workshops in painting figurative and portrait painting like the old masters. I also would like to devote more time to drawing and the study of anatomy. I have purchased some good books by artists on anatomy. The more you study your craft the more accurate and easier your art becomes. Life is a continuing learning process. I wish to improve my art and expand the way I paint. The more I understand others painting technique the better I can become. Everyone can teach you something different.

I have also been in charge of the High Spring Art Coop blog so some of the latest things happening with the coop gallery can be read there. I was voted in as chairman for next year. so that will keep me very busy.

Check out the Art Coop, 115 North Main Street, High Springs, FL, if you are in town. I am usually at the coop on Sunday afternoons and serving hot coffee! I hope your holidays are shaping up well. Stop by the gallery and see some of the wonderful art. There are so many great things there in all price brackets no matter what your holiday budget is. I made some hand made ornaments with prints of some of my Florida paintings.

Until the next time we talk, Have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Chair art and Commissions

It has been so crazy since Thornebrook Art Festival. The festival was great, I sold two paintings and other small stuff. "On the Way Home" sold to a lovely couple from Gainesville. You can see that painting on my website, . So the shows sales are improving and it looks like the ecomony is on the way up, finally. I saw more people buying art than other shows in the past few years. The weather was breathtaking here in Northern Florida and it looks like fall season is beginning. I am now working on two commissions and a charity fund raiser.

The second portrait commission from my friend Robert is in progress, I am painting his mother. The photo he gave me is very old and I have to improvise on the skin color for his mom. I have to draw on my personal family history. Robert is hispanic and so his mother looks as if her skin color is a light olive tone. You can follow along with the progress on this painting. It is only in the first phase of painting.

I am also working on doing the Melrose Palm tree again. I sold the one at the Coop and now I have a customer who wants to buy that painting from Vero Beach and I am painting it again you can view the other painting sold on my website also.

The fund raiser is from the town of Newberry, which is down the road, south of High Springs. They are trying to build their Main Street program and have gotten local businesses to sponsor artists to paint old chairs to be auctioned off to raise money for their program. Several of us, coop artists are participating.

My chair is a "Country Harvest" theme. Check it out!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Getting ready for the Art Festival at Thornebrook

Don't have a lot of time but friends wanted to see the progress of the last two paintings. Both were finished tonight but I don't have any updated photos. These photos were taken a week ago and much improvement has been done to both paintings.

The first is the large painting, " Needle in a Haystack" and the other is the picture our friend, Michelle took in Key Largo, Florida of a friendly Egret, they called him, "Artoneous", so that is the name of the painting too.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I photographed the portrait commission I call "Robert's Dad" the colors online are not as accurate as they actually look. I am not sure I like the background it has been changed so many times. I am going to show it to Robert and see what he thinks. I was going to add a subtle American flag draping downward in the background. I will talk with Robert and then decide.
I am also ready to place my Central Park picture I named "Crossing in the Park" on my website for sale.

Things are coming together for the Thornebrook Art Festival on Oct. 1,2, and 3. I will post the pics of Florida Keys bird and the over sized Haystack during the week. Spending the day at the High Springs Art CoOp I got a lot of painting done and met some very nice customers. The end of the day let loose with a deluge of rain so I couldn't take pics of the work I was doing. I will go back there during the week with my camera.

Friday, September 10, 2010

More A Dog's Life pics

Scooby and Bullwinkle taking life easy.
Getting ready for the festival at Thornebrook, Oct 1,2 and 3. I finished "Crossing at the Park", the pic of Central Park and "When we were young" the pic of Heather and Courtney. There is still so much to do. Prints and labels, I already ordered more business cards and framed all the paintings done except for the park pic, but I just ordered a frame from ASW, Art Supply Warehouse. They have the best prices. If you need art supplies check them out they are great. One price for shipping and they arrive very quickly!

I haven't posted the portrait I have been doing because I am unhappy with the background I will post all the new pics next week. So I started a big haystack pic and this one from the Florida Keys. My friend Michelle took this picture while vacationing in Key Largo. I loved it and so here is the beginning layout. More soon!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Dog's Life

Everyone should have a dog's life. At least my dogs. Bullwinkle's usual position on my leather couch! I had to post this pic of him. He looks so relaxed. I will take all the boys for a walk later and will try to put up more pics of the boys, Rocky, Bullwinkle and Scooby. They are so blessed. Yesterday we saw this dog in front of the house he was sooo sad. He was severely skinny and his hind leg was tucked under him as if broken. He hobbled into the woods. I tried to coax him to come to me with food but he looked back at me and continued on. He looked about medium size and maybe had Pit Bull in him. I would have been careful in case he was aggressive but I was hoping he would come and eat. If I got him into the back yard I would have tried to get a Pit Bull rescue group to take him. Lord knows I don't need another dog but I wish I could have helped him. He disappeared and his sad eyes are emblazoned in my memory forever.

Painting update; I am just about finished the The Bridge pic of Central Park in New York City. I am really enjoying painting this one. It is very big for me but I like the values. I gravitate to warm colors. You can compare the progress with the previous posts.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Getting work done!

Another great day at the High Springs Art CoOp. Customers were a little scarce perhaps because summer in winding down and people are preparing for school next week. Not too many strollers and shoppers in High Springs today. August has been slow and the record high temperatures may be the cause. Although I heard our "Artist of the Month" reception at the coop, two weeks ago was a great success with about 200 people. I was down south visiting my granddaughter.

I got lots of painting done as you can see if you compare the pics of these two paintings from last week to this week. The Central Park picture is coming along nicely and I think I will call it "The Bridge." Unless someone can comment with a better name. Give me a suggestion and if I pic it I will send you a notecard, free by mail!

The other painting of fisheating Creek is giving me a bit of trouble on the tiny faces of Heather and Courtney. I will let it dry some and then work on it again.

Both paintings still need work. Talk with you again soon!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Back on Track

We have recently come back from vacation in Williamsburg, Va., and I need to get back to painting. These two pics I started before I left, the left one is roughly laid out of a large version of my Central Park pic. I had done that as a miniature and our cousin, Daphne, purchased it several months ago. The other one is almost done of Fisheating Creek in Florida. It is a pic of my daughter and her friend fishing at the campout, soon to be a part of my figurative art collection.

After some errands yesterday I started 2 more pics, I will post later. I have to finish Roberts portrait commission. There is only some details to do on the portrait. I did get excepted to the Thornebrook Art Festival in Gainesville, Fl the first weekend of Oct. I will give more details on that later. So lots of work to do to have some new work for the show!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Family Time

For the past two weeks I haven't done any painting. The Fourth of July was spent with family and watching great fireworks in Alachua. This weekend was my birthday weekend and my family gave me a great weekend. My daughter, granddaughter, my sons, my husband, and a surprise visit from my cousin from New Jersey made a fabulous celebration. We ate lots of good and fattening food and finished on Sunday with a fun day at Blue Springs Park. I took lots of possible pics for future paintings.

On my website, you can see the two paintings I have done of Blue Springs in the past.

Here are some cool scenes from the weekend.

Dillon and Heather jumping off the pier at Blue Springs. The water was really cold even if the day was so hot!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Portrait in Motion

For the past couple of weeks I have been working on a commissioned portrait from my friend, Robert. He asked me to do his mom and his dad. Both photos are very old, of his parents. The pic of his dad is in better shape so I chose to do that one first. It is much easier to see. I thought it would be interesting to see it's progression. Remember these first photos were first weeks work and I have worked on it several times since these photos.

I will post the newest photos during the week. I forgot to bring my camera to the gallery today. Plus I worked on an old painting of my son, improving the values of that painting and a few others that were bothering me when I looked at them. It is funny as an artist and I am sure other artist's feel the same, a painting is never finished. You can work on it forever!

The first pic is the original photo of his dad, and then I show them at the High Spring Art Co-Op gallery as they are progressing.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

"Diamond and the Ruff"

I finally finished this painting. I painted it at the High Springs Co-Op and it is available and hanging there. You can see it on my website, This was the picture I put together. Diamond our quarter horse was looking at Scooby and I when we were doing one of our daily walks. Scooby, our Great Dane, checked her out but he was not that friendly because on another day he actually stuck his head through the fence and tried to nip at her belly. Not smart on his part. She got upset and started to kick almost hitting the fence. I reprimanded Scooby hoping he will learn that biting the horse is definately not smart and dangerous. I really don't want him to learn the hard way if Diamond ever gets the opportunity to nail him with a kick.

For everything there is a season.......

So my time at LaCrosse Post Office comes to an end. this week I go back to Alachua, the detailed position has run its course, four months. I have come to realize how much I have gained being here in this small town. When I first came here the town appeared ragged and small, and the people perhaps a little strange. Now my eyes see it with affection, as a lovely untouched spot in this busy world. The people sweet, each with a story. The elderly lady in her 90’s with a lovely smile, pleasant conversation, and dressed in her pastel cotton dresses; she drives her Chrysler every day to pick up her mail. I miss her when she doesn’t come because I know she’s not feeling well. The little ladies that come in every week to pay their bills, a mobile veterinarian, a few local Hare Krishna’s who mail their little packages overseas, always kind, bringing me homemade cookies. I’ve gotten to know the daily customers from the Radio supply company across the street, that keep this little post office open with their big mailings, like an old friend. In a short, spring season a pleasant life was created here.

My lunchtime walks through town are the highlight of my day. You actually can smell the blooming flowers which grow wild amongst the overgrown trees and weeds that line the streets. It is amazing. The rusted tin roofs of the houses, the missing jalousie windows, the makeshift curtain of a confederate flag that makes for a garage door, these are my sights as I walk. The little green house with the fabulous flower garden and the house that sells the earth worms. The lonely horses, roosters, dogs, that live along the route. Even though State Road 121, a major country road for tractor trailers is a block away, the area still has that rural charm. The old beat-up cars and trailers in the back yards may look bleak to some but to me it shows that a story was once here.

This old post office building is owned by a lovely white haired woman who was postmaster for over 30 years here. She always comes in with lots of spunk and has handled every problem I have had. With roof leaks to bumble bees, that made my back room a home through a broken screen.

I was thinking back of those who have worked at this little post office and their were varied opinions. Some employees that have spent a season or two here have seen this place as a stepping stone to greater positions, others as a hindrance to future promotions. For me, it was an inspiration. Learning to appreciate the simple things around you and to take the time to see what is here in a different light. The place matters to the little people who give it life. As the years go by I may not be back and small post offices’s like this may disappear from the landscape. Perhaps because of technology and the importance that the bottom line is all that matters.

For just a season I got a taste of something special. I will remember it long after I retire as a,refreshing time, a haven. A time when working at the Post Office is the most stressed out then any other period in it’s history. It was like having a french vanilla ice cream cone on a hot summer day.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Paynes Prairie, Gainesville Florida

Sorry I haven't posted this sooner.

My husband and I spent Memorial Day checking out a local site. I had often heard of many fellow artist's speak of Paynes Prairie and saw their beautiful paintings of the many animals and plants that reside there. I have been wanting to go there since we moved here. We found the trail off of St. Rd. 441 just north of Micanopy. The sign said it was 2 1/2 miles long and that the prairie is 170 acres. I knew you could see wild horses and buffalo I just never knew how really "free" they were. It was a little intimidating. They just walk where you walk.

Jay and I made it through the horses to the look out tower. You can see the massive prairie spread out on all sides, it is lovely. Just as we got up there I said "I wish I could see Buffalo. " Out of the bushes come two huge guys. They looked so hairy and hot! Quite amazing. Then it was time to leave, which meant we had to walk from whence we came, but there were those buffalo. I asked Jay, "Are buffalo dangerous?" I had no clue and knew nothing about them except that the Indians once depended on them and they lived out west. Jay decided to start walking back and I said "what happens if something happens to you", he just said "use you cell to call for help." Great!
After I saw that they moved into the bushes when he got close and safely walked past I followed. Though I did see them eyeballing me through the bushes. By then I was hot, starving and forgot water so I was barely able to trot the 1 1/2 miles back to the car. It was a very cool experience.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

BIG little Auction at the High Spring Art Co-Op

Last Friday night we had a fun time at the auction in High Springs. Lots of people bid on many treasures. I won three items, a pen and ink, Schooner from Bob Dunn, a watercolor abstract from Tina Prizament and a watercolor print from Ron Baughn. I was outbid for a watercolor painting by Diana Fava that I really liked of a parakeet in an adorable position.

Here are the three miniature paintings I did for the event. These photos are not too good since I took them at the last moment and not with my best camera. Some friends came and won some cool stuff. My buddy, Rhoda and her daughter fiercely bid. Rhoda won my "Squirrel" painting and her daughter won my "White House." The squirrel was one of the ones I painted from those pics I took at LaCrosse Post Office when I first went to work there. The last pic is of a flower bush in St. Augustine at the historic site for the Fountain of Youth. High Springs artist, John Sterpe, won that one.

They were small 4"x 6" miniatures with little table easils. You can see more miniatures on my website,

Monday, May 24, 2010

Gainesville Fine Arts Association Summer Show

Recently entered in the Gainesville Fine Arts Association Summer Art Show. It is being held at the Central Medical Plaza on Newberry Road in Gainesville, Florida. Anyone can view the exhibit in the Medical Plaza. These two are my entries. The portrait of "Scooby" and "Grandpa and Me" . With the Pet Portrait of "Scooby" I worked to portray Scooby's amazing expressive face. It is hard to imagine only a year ago we rescued him from being taken to the pound and destroyed.

With "Grandpa and Me", I am doing more figurative art because the subject matter always tells a story. This pair was taken on Daytona Beach last year when my family vacationed there. It was a very poignant scene of two generations sharing this moment.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

More Daytime Doodles

These are a few more drawings. The cowboy was from one of the newspapers and the I took this pic of the cow at Morningside Nature Center in Gainesville, last year. And of course you all know Bullwinkle. Here he is in his favorite chair. He always lays there when I am on the computer. He used to fit on the lounge chair as a puppy but he has squeezed his huge 170 pound body on it his entire life. If you happen to sit in the chair he will sit on you until you get off.

We went for a walk after dinner. First I took Scooby and Rocky and then Bullwinkle alone. We had an interesting conversation... I told him he was the finest dog that ever lived, Ha! Ha! that he was the Mona Lisa of dogs, the statue of David, and the Sistine Chapel. That God outdid Himself when he created him. I also told him I have loved many dogs and will love dogs in the future, but he will always be the most loved dog of all. You think I need therapy?

Maybe I sniffed too many fumes today when I spent the day painting at the gallery. Jay and I went to breakfast for Mother's Day on Saturday to beat the crowds, so today was free. Friday my "Hayfields II" sold at the gallery, so that was exciting. The couple who bought it came by and talked with me about a commission of their farm so that would be fun. I also managed to finish the portrait of "Scooby" and the painting, "Grandpa and Me." Both paintings will be entered into the Gainesville Fine Arts Association Summer Member's Show at the Central Medical Plaza next weekend. Then I added a little spice to the Central Park painting, that one, and "On the Road Home" have been entered in a competition at the Thomas Center in Gainesville. I will keep you updated as to the results of both competitions. As soon as I get good photos of the two newest paintings you will see them. I also have to add them to my website.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Day Time Doodles

For about 2 months now, I have been at LaCrosse Post Office, a little place in the middle of small town about a mile long. I have a long lunch time, about 1 1/2 hours. The first half hour I eat lunch, the second half hour I do 10 to 15 minute drawings. I usually pick a variety of subjects just from interesting things that I find. Photos I have, magazine pics, newspaper photos, whatever I have. I try to draw whenever I can. I really need the practice. The last half hour I walk around the town for exercise.

I showed you a few doodles a few weeks ago and here are a few new samples of my "Day Time Doodles"

The first two pics are from a magazine with a story of the devastation in Haiti. The last one is a pic from the cover of a Hari Krishna magazine of a woman and child in India. These are quick lunchtime drawings so they area a little skewed at times. I will post more later in the week.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sundays at the Co-Op

The past couple of weeks I have gone back to painting animals. This first pick is a portrait of Scooby. It is still in progress but it is coming along. I needed to put him on canvas like I did Bullwinkle and Rocky. Then I took a very bad photo of the other pic I am doing of Scooby and our horse Diamond checking each other out. I am looking for a name for this painting. So I will have a little competition when it is done for a cool name. Stay tuned for that announcement.

Still in it's beginning stages, this painting with it's western theme, is in honor of Pioneer Days in High Springs this weekend, Saturday, April 24 and Sunday, April 25. It should be great time and everyone should come check it out. There will be great booths with lots of interesting crafts, art, food and stuff for sale. Plus the western gunfight is always fun. I will be working at the High Springs Art Co-Op on Main Street both days some come and say "Hi!"

Sunday, April 11, 2010

He's still the King

Last weekend was lots of fun. It is great to be off on the weekends. I brought Bullwinkle to the High Springs Mutts and Pups Show. There were so many great looking dogs, including this amazing Russian Mountain dog. He was not as tall as Bullwinkle but twice as broad. He was huge. Bullwinkle almost lost his top spot as Biggest Dog. Which he won first place of course. He is pictured on the front page of the North Florida Herald, the front page of the Observer, and I was quoted in the Alachua Today newspaper, “He always wins the biggest contest,” said owner Tina Corbett, adding that he’d won the Best Dressed contest before, but had since outgrown his costume. “Somebody said, ‘Why do you keep entering him?’ I said, ‘Cause he’s still the king.’You can read the article by just clicking onto Alachua Today.

Then this Saturday I decided to check out the Santa Fe Spring Art Festival. I knew past festivals in Gainesville did not allow dogs at the show but I checked out the Santa Fe College and the Gainesville events websites and found nothing that said no dogs. So, I grabbed Bullwinkle and off we went to the show. It was a breathtakingly beautiful day. We first stopped at Jean's Grooming to visit with Jean, Lisa and Linda, and bought dog food. He is always so excited to go for a ride in the car. Once we found parking at the festival, we were only there five minutes when a cop made us leave. No dogs allowed!

I was bummed. Some nasty lady, I think was an artist, goes "doesn't anyone know how to read?" Apparently it was in the Gainesville Sun newspaper but I don't get that paper. I secretly cursed the nasty old biddy and hoped she had no art sales for the entire weekend. Bullwinkle and I turned around and went back to the car, I swear he knew and was just as upset as I was. I still wanted to check out the show and did not want to go all the way home to High Springs so I called Jean at Jean's Grooming since she was close. She agreed to dog sit for 2 hours. I brought him back and Jean put him into her largest, gated cell, where they board dogs. It was awful. He looked at me with his soulful eyes as if to say "why are you leaving me, you promised to take me out." It was just like leaving my kids at the babysitters when they were little and they cried and I felt like a heal. I did go back and hurried through the show and was back in 2 hours. When I opened the gate, Bullwinkle, bolted from the room and practically dragged me out of the store, he was so happy to see me and get into the car. Jean said he is very spoiled but well behaved. He did bark a little when I first left. I can never leave him in a strange space again!