Cats, Work, and Changing Seasons

So I’m not sure if anyone’s noticed, but I haven’t been around as much of late. Truth be told, I just haven’t had the energy. Due to the changing seasons, some problems at the “other” job, i.e. people being out ill, and a general lack of employees, I’ve been filling in quite a bit. Thankfully, some awesome people have been hired, and things are easing up a bit. Time to stretch, aaahh.

With everything that has been going on, I haven’t really had time to even think about what to write. But as it’s always fun to see pictures of cats, (I know I can never get enough of them), I decided to share some kitty pics I’ve done.

When our cat gets this look on his face, well… heheh

I did this portrait some time ago, of a beloved cat named Bic. That was the name he came with when we adopted him from a shelter at the age of two. We actually thought about changing his name, but it seemed to suit him so we kept it. Bic was a very special cat, and was a legend amongst family and friends. Even people who didn’t particularly like cats, (I know, what?!) loved Bic. There was just something about him. He was smart, sweet, and playful. Years after he was gone, people would talk about him, and reminisce. So here’s to you Bicy-bear, we’ll always remember you.

Just a sketch I did of a pretty fluffers.

“Murray In Repose”

I think these ladies are going home to take care of their cats, heheh. Bye for now, hope you enjoyed this post. See you next time!

Autumn In O Town And There Abouts

As I reluctantly say goodbye to summer, I do enjoy welcoming Autumn and all the colors that come along with it. We start preparing for Fall with red and yellow mums, bunches of golden tipped wheat, and a few last fun things before the cold sweeps down from the north. Recently, we did something I’d wanted to do for some time, go on an interactive Train Robbery! Just like in the old West, Yay!

Despite the fact that I happen to live in an area that is either cold, wet, windy, snowing, or blisteringly hot, we do have some interesting things to do nearby. Heading north of us, in the little town of Milford, is a treasure called the Cooperstown and Charlotte Valley Railroad. This little gem offers rides including the Train Robbery, and Blues Express, which serves up drinks and food while you listen to some of the best Blues players around. Or so I’ve heard, I’ve yet to take this one.

What, you might ask, has this got to do with art? Well I’ll tell ‘ya ‘all. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, doing something different gets the wheels turning. And throwing in some really cool bad guys, doesn’t hurt, heheh. Also, it’s just fun. And fun should be a part of creating, in my humble opinion, at least some of the time.

Autumn bursts with bright colors, almost like nature is giving us something to burn into our retinas and store away for the graying of winter.

I’ll be heading out to ‘store some more colors’ today. I hope you get a chance to do the same. Thanks for reading my blog, see you next time!

Just a little note, I have no connection to the CCVR, or any other places I might mention on my blog, just sharing the fun. Bye-ee

Make Up My Mind

How does one decide what they want to paint, or sculpt, sketch or write? When it comes to writing I have struggled with that mind numbing empty void often. Although I’ve been told that I’m a passable writer, unlike painting, writing has never come as smoothly to me. I think people who like to talk, or have “the gift of gab” tend to make better writers. I neither like to talk a lot, nor have that particular gift. I tend to stumble over my words, or think after the fact that I should have said this or that. I guess in one way, writing is easier than talking for me, because I can proofread, and change things around. Or simply because there is no one interrupting my train of thought. But still, not my best skill set.

So what of art? That empty sheet or canvas that sends shivers down the paint brush of so many artists?

Well, here’s the thing; I have too many choices of things I want to paint! And I want to do them all yesterday!

There was a time when this insatiable need to create also included miles of crochet work.( One of my grandmothers taught me when I was four years old,) and along with a stint of about ten years of embroidering everything in sight, (oh those fun 70’s), and the occasional macrame, my hands and mind were never still. Interwoven among these creations, which also included years of quilting, I sketched and painted. And somewhere within all of this, I became a wife, then mother… four times, worked sometimes two jobs, and moved house 15 times while my family was growing. But I digress. Eventually these things went by the wayside, (not the kids, heheh) but I never stopped sketching and painting. So now when I’m not working my “other job”, I mostly paint. Although I still occasionally do something else like making a macrame rope lamp, or a cheese board from a barrel lid.

As you can see, I never want for something creative to do, As for painting, the list of things I want to paint, is endless! It’s choosing one to settle my mind on that is difficult. Of the many family outings, to vistas I see on hikes, things my pets do, other animals that I love, or the fan art I would like to do, deciding what I feel like doing and have the time for, is never easy.

Every so often it is easier, as was the case with a recent painting I did of one of my daughters, or these paintings I did some time ago. I’ll get a clear feeling that this is what I want to do. But whatever the case may be, for me I’ll never have painter’s ‘block”.

I hope you liked this post, I wish you abundant ideas, and energy to see them through! See you next time!

From The Easel; Building A Love Note In Paint

When painting a portrait it often feels like a love note in paint for me. The following pictures are some of the steps to creating one such “love note”. I recently painted this portrait of one of my daughters, Nikki and our puppers, Kota. It had started out as just a simple sketch of a nice summer day, but I liked the pose and decided it would make a nice painting. The following are some of the steps taken to build on this portrait and create something both meaningful to me and interesting to the viewer. I call this; “Walking On The Fourth” as I completed it around that time. Enjoy!

After I had lightly sketched in the initial drawing, I then started to block in the basic shapes with an underpainting of the general colors I planned to use.

I then began filling in the facial features, and added more to the background as well as added some more smaller details to the figure. Then I began to layer in more detail on the fence and on the piece of wood on the ground. Adding more trees as well as more colors and leaf shapes to the trees that were already there, gave the background more depth. At this point I also added some more shading and fur to Kota’s image.

Unfortunately I hadn’t gotten enough sequential photos to show all of the details used to further flesh out and finish this painting. Needless to say, there was some reworking, and a bit more detail work needed, such as the layers on Kota’s fur, and darkening Nikki’s hair. I did this until it felt finished to me. (Something I’ve gotten better at over time, is knowing when a painting is finished. Maybe I’ll tackle that topic soon!) I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the steps that brought this painting to life. Thank you for stopping by. See you next time!

Day Tripping: Discovering Obscure Art Exhibits, Curiosities, and “Getting Out Of Dodge”.

My Dad used to joke when my mother was in a slump, that all he had to do was “shake the car keys over her head, and she’d be ready to go”. I guess I must have inherited some of that from my mother. It may have to do with some innate need. But whatever it is, as an artist and “creative” (to use a recently popular term), it is also necessary to recharge and get a fresh perspective. And sometimes it’s just nice to “get out of Dodge” as my son says.

An economical, and often more convenient way to accomplish this, is to go on day trips. This is a personal favorite, as it gives me that new perspective, without breaking the bank, but also without all the trappings that go along with a longer trip. I come home refreshed and hopefully a little inspired.

Recently on one such day trip, we headed out to a small village about an hour away from us called Cherry Valley. After an online search we had found an announcement about a “Sculpture Trail” there.

After a pleasant drive over hill and dale, we arrived in the pretty little village of Cherry Valley. We normally visit there about once a year. There are some neat places there to visit, but first we wanted to check out the trail. We spotted it almost immediately upon entering the village. We both thought the same thing, “This is really small” Heheh. (We soon realized that this was just part of the “trail”, and later discovered other pieces throughout the village.) The above photo shows an archway built for the “trail”, so we were in the right place, and the arch was beautiful. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a photo of the placard with the artist’s name. But if you’re in the area, I hope you get a chance to check it out. It runs through October 8th 2019.

I particularly liked this piece titled; “Eventual Artifact” by Devra Freelander and Gracelee Lawrence. ( At the top there is a hand holding a smart phone.) What will future generations think of the things we will leave behind?

This piece is by Marc-Anthony Polizzi. It kind of reminds me of skyscrapers rising over the landscape.

This small piece had no placard, and is also located in the same small garden area adjacent to the Cherry Branch Gallery.

The two pieces above, are located on the lawn of a local bank. I really liked the concentric circles on the one on the right, and the shadows created from the one on the left.

This piece titled “Red Waterfall” was on the lawn of the Post Office. It has a bit of a “steampunk vibe”.

There is also a gallery that had some very intriguing sculptures in the windows, but sadly were closed when we were there. But I did get some photos through the windows of these beautiful pieces.

The above objects were found in a local antique store. As my daughter says these skulls/skeletons “have a very oddity-esk feel to them.” We also stopped at a cute building housing a used book store that is like the Tardis, bigger on the inside, heheh.

I definitely got a “different perspective”, seeing all of these fantastic works of art, and talking with the people working there. And we got back in time for me to do a little painting of my own, some figurative abstract. I hope you’ve enjoyed this little “day trip” and get a chance to head out on some of your own. Thanks for stopping by. See you next time!

My Growing Body Of Work

There is something that has occasionally been on my mind; my increasing “body of work”, or my “oeuvre” to be more professional. I consider myself a working artist. And although I sell my fair share of paintings, I find that sometimes my creativity outpaces my output, so to speak.

When this happens, I will sometimes try to curb my creativity a little. This only works for a short time as apparently I tend to be somewhat compulsive about creating art. I then try to focus more on getting my work “out there”. But as any artist knows, this isn’t always the answer either. I often wonder what to do. What do other creatives do?

The three photos above, are from a series of paintings I had done that I had entitled “Horse Power”. It was a series of large (3′ x 2′) oil paintings I had done of vintage automobiles and horses. I did sell these three. Yay! I think that having made them as a series and having marketed them as such may have helped. I had sold two of the horse paintings from this series as well. I want to mention here that I by no means painted them specifically to market them this way. I love and appreciate both horses and vintage and other cars, so painting them is something I both wanted to do and enjoyed doing.

Above left to right are “Axle”, (who has a bitter sweet back story that you can read on my Etsy add for him), “A Nice Day for a White Dress”, and “Basil” (who is a personal favorite of mine). In the second row, left to right are “Sade” “Fire” and “Sherman” These pieces are all 3′ x 2′ and are ready for their forever home. They can be purchased by clicking on “shop” which will bring you to my sale site. (A little side note; I noticed that when viewed on a cell phone, that the above photos are not in the same order as viewed on a laptop. There are three rows on phones so in that order they are; 1st row; Axle, A Nice Day For a White Dress, 2nd row; Basil and Sade, and 3rd row; Fire and Sherman).

So, selling as a series is one option, Another is getting your inventory together, and having enough prints made to set up a tent at open air festivals and markets. Every aspect of which, is extremely time consuming, and may possibly add to the issue. :/

I want to say, that the other reasons I personally want to sell more of my work. (aside from feeding my family, heheh ), is space, which I only have so much of. And the fact that, (and I don’t want to be morbid), but I won’t be around forever and I don’t want to leave things for my family to have to take care of. But also, and this is a big one for me, and it’s not ego, I want people to not only see, but to personally have and enjoy my work. It’s important to me, I care about it, and I’d like others to do so also.

I have heard of other artists who have “liquidation” sales. I find this term cheapens our work. I’ve also heard of artists who will actually throw away or even destroy some of their work to “make room” or “move on to their next projects”! The thought of this is beyond distressing to me! One thing I have done in the past that helps open up space, is to have my work “on loan” at local venues. I’m sure there are other options that may be of interest to artists. If you have any other ideas, let me know, so we can share!

Thanks for stopping by, see you next time!