Lone Star Series: #8

This is the last one of the series. Yep, I think it’s time to put it to rest. At least for now. This one is titled The Pond. If you are a city person, you may have never had the chance to “head down to the pond” for some good times. Ponds on many farms are not just for the livestock. Many are also the family’s swimming pool (or hole if you want to get real). In addition to possibly being a place to swim, many farms have ponds stocked with fish and which makes them “multi-use” additions to the land.

Anyhow that’s what we did in the ponds on grandpa’s farm. Fish. As a verb, not a noun. Fishing for perch and catfish. Those are what was swimming in grandpa’s ponds. Not people. Just fish, along with turtles, frogs, insects, and the occasional snake. Oh, the dog too. Throw a stick in the water and in he’d go! Grandpa’s ponds were mostly surrounded by wooded and brushy areas so lots of critters (other than, of course, cows!) could be found creeping around the banks looking to drink or for something to eat. If you wanted to get in the water, you went to the creek, not the pond. (That’s a whole ‘nother story which I wrote about a long time ago.)

There were no trips to the local bait shop out at the farm. We got our bait by taking butterfly nets and running through the fields catching grasshoppers for our hooks. We also got some of the biggest and best worms ever born by digging in the piles of old dirt, hay and cow poop behind the barn. Grandpa would handle the pitchfork and turn over the mess and we would dig in with our old spoons and all ten fingers. Can’t go fishing and be afraid of getting “earthy”.

Those were some good times.

Lone Star Series: #6

Here we go again! Number six in the series is simply The Creek. It’s in the gallery right now and I’m not sure if I need to bring it home and tweak it a bit. Like my painting, The Field, my gut is telling me it needs something. Maybe some cows! No, maybe the hint of some wildflowers. We’ll see.

The Creek (oil and cold wax)

So what inspired this? Well, when we aren’t in a low rain period, there are quite a few creeks around here. I like seeing them because I know that the wildlife will have a place to drink from. With all the dang development going on, habitat is being destroyed right and left. If you know me… you know how much I dislike seeing that.

I also like creeks because they can be a fun thing to explore. Provided you are wearing the appropriate footwear. Birds, frogs, interesting rocks, reptiles and interesting weeds or wildflowers are often found along the edges. Truthfully, I haven’t explored any for a long time. Growing up, I was an avid and eager explorer of such things. I have tons of memories of fun times exploring creeks, streams (wet and dry), rivers of all widths, and lakes. It’s what you did before cable and electronics took over a person’s childhood. If it weren’t for so many foot and ankle issues, I’d still be attempting it. (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)

Happy exploring!

Lone Star Series: #7

More cows! Not much to say about this painting other than I felt the need to do another one in tribute to all the cows that have been moved (or moooved) out of the area. No, I won’t get on my soapbox this time about development. Also, cows are popular, and this one was larger than the first one for this series.

Cows II

I realize this style is not realistic. It’s not supposed to be. It’s representational. However, let me tell you, “representational painting” of bovines (or any animal) is not easy. I won’t admit to how many times I have had to scrape away a cow and try again, on a number of paintings. Anyway, it’s all about the illusion of the cow. Repeat after me… “I see cows. I see cows.” Keep saying it. You’ll see them.

This is another palette knife painting using oils and cold wax. It’s titled Cows II. Yeah… not very imaginative, but I need to reinforce the illusion. Ha!

Lone Star Series: #5

Moonlit evenings. I love them. There is something about a bright moon shining over a landscape that moves something deep within my soul. (Now if scary music starts playing… my feet may get moved!) Many times driving back from my daughter’s home to mine, I have had the pleasure of being presented with a beautiful moon softly bathing the landscape below. It was such a night several years ago as I was driving the backroads from Celina through Prosper to McKinney that has stayed in my mind… and inspired this painting in my Lone Star series.

Have you ever seen something like this? I sincerely hope you have. Nights like this, no matter where you are, should be treated as a gift. Nature is full of such gifts. You just have to look and appreciate the moments. (And not drive off the road if you are behind the wheel. Safety first, appreciation second.) On the other hand, if you are a huge fan of werewolf movies… well, never mind, you probably know about garlic and silver bullets.

In conclusion. I hope you get as much enjoyment from moonlit nights as I do. As the song says, “the moon belongs to everyone, the best things in life are free”.

Lone Star Series: #4

I can’t speak for other parts of the state, but North Texas has a nice sized group of hot air balloon enthusiasts. Certain times of the year, you can see them floating lazily below the clouds as they travel with the winds aloft. Who doesn’t feel the tiniest bit of awe at these monster sized balloons in their coats of many colors. I have not been up in one, can’t say that I really want to… unless it’s tethered. Not scared, just don’t want to have to wear an adult diaper on a trip. It’s not like I can say… “can you pull over right there? I need to pee.”

Sky Candy Over the Farm

In the small field between my house and the community college across the way. Sometimes hot air balloons will unload, fire up, and take off in the early morning hours. Talk about a “wake up call”… you can’t sleep through that sound! How lovely though to watch it lift off and drift overhead. My husband and I will walk out onto the deck or over to the back of the yard and salute the effort with our coffee cups. They are so close we can converse with the handlers. At area balloon fests, they will light up after dark for a “glow” event. It’s awesome to see.

I love seeing them in the sky here in North Texas. They look so peaceful up there. Maybe one day I will take a ride. I’m sure Depends come in my size.

Behind the Lone Star Series: #3

I love the how looking at water in a natural setting can spark so many different emotions. Serenity, excitement, awe, all the way to “looking wild… time to go!” So many memories of so many wonderful places in many different states. This is why so many of my paintings will have a bit of lake, river or creek somewhere in the scene.

Number 3 in my Lone Star Series: Water View could be anywhere in Texas. It came from my imagination and is not of a particular spot. It’s more of a memory of many places that look something like this (minus all the red… but you get what I mean). I hope it will remind you of some place you’ve been, maybe while hiking or looking for a place to go fishing. Or maybe when you were out looking to see where the cows went.

Palette knife painting using oils and cold wax on a wood canvas.

Happy New Year! Art Resolutions for 2020

If you know me, I don’t make new year resolutions. They irritate me.

Life coaches and others say they are good for you and should be attainable over the year. I say they’re good for about a week or two… they are rarely attainable (because for some weird reason we feel the need for them to be grand and life changing)… and they irritate me.

However, if I were to make some “art” resolutions for 2020 they would most likely be this:

Stop letting details get in the way. I’ve been striving for the past year to be more expressive. Loosening up is hard for me… but I’m getting there. Especially since I started using (almost exclusively) painting knives. Wonderful tools. And if you drop one on your foot… no blood. Just paint. Though you do swear like you’ve been stabbed.

Squint more. I try hard not to squint because it leads to wrinkles. However, as artists know, squinting makes the details go away… which leads to a more loose, expressive painting.

Invest in better wrinkle filling serums and creams. I will be squinting more this year.

Invest in myself as an artist. Late in 2019, I decided to invest more… a lot more… in myself as an artist. If you stop learning, you stop growing. If you stop growing, you’re art will too. Thank goodness for payment plans.

Believe in myself as an artist. If I don’t believe, no one else will either. I AM an artist. I was juried in to a local gallery which was a big deal for me. I will try harder not to let the doubts creep in about my work.

Put myself “out there”. I plan to set up from time to time in public places and paint. Talk more about what I do. Donate artwork to charity events. Use social media more (sorry Facebook friends… you’re probably tired of me already. HA!) Market myself within my local community and beyond. Maybe people won’t remember my art, but hopefully they will remember me. The lady covered in wrinkle cream.

Declutter my creative space. This will be a 2020 resolution that will be a challenge. My creative space is a mess. Maybe if I squint, I won’t see it. Gonna need a lot of cream.

Happy New Year from me to you!