Monday, December 28, 2009


This lovely lady with her very own bird's nest and crown was so pleased with her Christmas gift. It found a place of honor on her mantelpiece during her holiday festivities. I had so much fun doing her portrait. She is a birdie kind of person and I just knew she would love a pair of tiny blue wings of her very own. This all came together very quickly with layers of gold gesso that gave it a pretty glow, then some paint and collage. I did not paint her face, but left it as a photo. Her smile is so contagious, I thought it was just perfect the way it was. I think I am going to do more of these and offer them as portraits in my up and coming Etsy shop !
Oh and this one was a challenge simply because this lady sparkles so much in real life it was hard to capture her in paint at all. Like trying to catch a sunbeam!!! She also has a smile that can stop traffic at twenty paces and I dearly wanted to learn how to paint that smile. I have come to realise after creating photo albums for my dear brother and sister, that we area tight lipped bunch and I am painting my women as if they are holding back the saddest of secrets. I don't want that. I want them to smile and sing and maybe even waggle their tongues at the world to show they are just fine with life. I gave my friend a golden head piece with ribbons of gold and white and a shower of golden coins. Her wings are the vey brightest colors I could put next to each other dashed with gold and white.Those little angels are helping her plot her next adventure and an adventure she shall have, but please note the big bright heart she has. The face on this one is painted and all is layered over gold gesso to give that ethereal glow.This gift was meant to provide a happy dance and it seemed to do just that.

I hope these portraits are a beginning. I so want to do more. I have been sending out requests for photos from friends and family so I can try my hand at a few more. It is almost too much fun to play this way.

This may be my last photo blog entry for a week or so as I am moving my office, but hope to have everything up and running soon after the New year's celebration. 2010. Can you believe it. I have so many plans and dreams for this year I could just burst. Some are scary, but I think I can do it. I really do ! Life has been rearranging itself into an entirely new set of priorities. Family, home, friends and love have come to the forefront and "things", money, status and appearances just seem to be slipping further and further onto a back burner. Time with my husband is most important. Time to be quiet and happy is most important. Time to create and do my art is very important. Time to love family and friends. Time for the spirit, for talking to God and listening to the messages of the spirit...oh I cannot say how important that is. The rest is all stuff. The rest isn't the least bit important.
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Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Iris

I always think it gets a little boring when folks post a lot of flower photos. Not that I don't like flowers...I LOVE flowers, but it can get a little old. This Iris , however, has a story. It bloomed two weeks ago. Yep, in December an iris bloomed in Mark Twain country. It popped up outside the offices of our church education coordinator, who tipped me off to this little miracle and I just happened to have my camera with me. I always liked the poem about a bird singing in December being a magical thing and sweet to remember. For the visually oriented, an Iris blooming in December has a similar quality. A symbol of hope in the face of cold winds. A flag of bright color to remind us that the world is not all grey and that these small wonders can be what life is all about. And look where it chose to spring up...amongst those red berries to set it off just so. I once spent time in a place where plants, well, flowers specifically, were considered to be creatures like animals and that the fact that their faces were ever turned towards the sun was just one way they had of celebrating God's holy light and the grateful joy of existence. This little flower makes me wonder on the truth of that. Is she celebrating the Advent season? Did she want in on the decorating and singing the Christ Child into our hearts ?

I have a commission to paint this little wonder...I suspect I will do several paintings of this Christmas Iris..perhaps even a card design for next year. Maybe no one will get it except for the few that stood with me as I photographed the flower, but I think this is one of those times I am supposed to do something. I can see a little Iris gesso, wonderful soft tones. Oh yeah.

Well, I decided I can't post my portrait paintings until I gift them because one of my darlings reads this blog so I have to be a little careful. I took this slow this week-end, but went to a lovely dinner party on Saturday, received a thoughtful gift..several, really..and had a lovely time. I've been renting videos from the cool is I can rest a bit and deal with not feeling well.

Planning holiday meals: smoked salmon pizza with brie for Christmas Eve dinner..a recipe borrowed from a multi-talented friend in Las Vegas. Christmas day..DH bought some frozen scallops so we'll do those in a butter lemon sauce on basmati rice and an apple upside down cake for dessert..not a traditional dessert, but one I've been looking for an excuse to try so this is it. I may also try a cannoli cake that has been tempting me, but we'll have to see how my energy holds up. I can't believe it is the 21st. I actually have business appointments tomorrow. The world keeps on. I need Christmas.
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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sorry, no photo today

No big deal on the photo, just can't access my regular computer as I am home with a nasty something or other, choking down antibiotics and running off to the doctor's office...not the kind of thing I had on my Christmas schedule, mind you !

My mica charms were a big hit at the Sacred Space party, though I was a bit bedraggled. It was a lovely party and essentially my main Christmas dinner/celebration. Everyone brings their best offerings as far as food is concerned. I can't eat much, but sure enjoyed what was there. this is a very special spiritual group of women that are just amazing. I can't imagine what I would do without them. Each and everyone of them brings something rich and wonderful. Sometimes I think that because I lost my own mother so young that I desperately need the company of older women to keep me in line...and they do that. I was reading a self help book that suggested you ask your friends to tell you where you could make improvements in your life. with this don't have to ask !!! But it is done with such humor and love, I treasure it all.

I don't have much energy, but I did some painting today just to distract myself from the physical stuff. I have two projects going as gifts that are collage paintings of two of my favorite friends here. they are such is a glitter girl grown up barbie doll, the other is an escapee from a fairy tale cottage in the forest. The one is designer shoes and bags, the other Birkenstocks and bird feeders...and I adore the both of them. Now you know all about MY split personality. I am a Gemini according to my sun sign and boy oh boyo do I live up to that one.

So I am having fun with these paintings and can't wait to see their little faces when they unwrap them after Christmas services. I think this may be a very fun thing to offer professionally...portraits of sorts with little symbols and signs of the person is all about. I may even do one self portrait.....but I'll probably wind up doing two....

We are on the home stretch for all this celebrating. One more night after this for Hanukkah, a dinner party and a luncheon , then Christmas Eve services. I do a midnight run after services where we pick up plates of cookies and treats and drop them off at police stations and fire stations and anywhere folks are working to protect and serve on Christmas Eve. Last year I did the police dept. This year I may do the fire dept. Eh, maybe I'll do both. I go to services by myself and take a very scenic route home anyway so I can see all the lights.

There will be computer transitions sometime over the next couple weeks. I hope to post photos of the things I've been working on before then, if not......Merry Christmas and Peace to all good hearts.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

She's got sunshine !

I'm glad she's got some sunshine. We've got COLD ! This is a collage I did for the online class. Kind of fun to play with though I think I may do some more painting work on her. this week-end my dear husband was out hunting our new pup almost all week-end so I had plenty of quiet time to work on my own projects. the class has moved into faces, which is pretty facile for me at this point so I did an entire figure and set myself some additional challenges like not using any real flesh tones, just hot colors like clear yellows, reds and oranges with some dark blues and browns..very large brush stoke kind of work. I got into it..just a bit. I sat down in front of my easel..yes, I actually set up the easel instead of working flat about 1:00 pm and just rocked out..and out ..and rocked... and well at some point I was kind of thirsty and kind of stiff from holding the half sitting, half standing position I was in. So I decided to give it a rest and step back a bit. I was pretty pleased with the piece. Then I looked out the window...and it was dark ! a glance at the clock behind me told me it was 5:00 pm. four hours disappeared into that painting and i didn't even see them go by. I love it !

I ran around the house like a maniac catching up with the laundry and kitchen duties, which I had ignored. Luckily when my DH came in, he was very tired himself and decided to take a three hour nap. YES!!!!! so I ducked back into the studio and spent the next three hours making inchie mica charms charms for my Sacred Space group Christmas party and still had time to make a boboli barbeque chicken pizza before Prince Charming woke up. I love it when I get like that !

So the rest of the week is Christmassy stuff: cookie sales at the church, a wine and cheese party girls night, a Christian music concert.
Oh yeah. This is a MERRY CHRISTMAS site. No happy holiday stuff. My husband is Jewish and we say Happy Hannukah (starts on Saturday) and Merry Christmas. No confusion. We know what holiday is what and use the correct words. Thank you. He came with me to a Bell concert at my church on Sunday night and enjoyed Christmas music with me. I will stand with him for seven nights as he lights the candles on our menorah and chants in Hebrew the appropriate prayers. I wear a diamond crucifix 24/7 and there is a mezuzah on our front door. If we can handle this the rest of the world should be able to handle folks saying Merry Christmas. ARGH. OK. am off the soapbox....I think... for now.

So I am hoping to finish the figure painting this week..just needs some details and I will post. I need to do more christmas gifts...some hand carved rubber stamps for crafty friends, some cashew fudge for munchie friends, lots of shortbread cookies and tasty casseroles and hopefully a few quiet nights in front of our fireplace sipping some wine, relaxing with our new dog, Demi and just being.....
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