Monday, December 21, 2009

WIP- Rooster

I just couldn't stand it any longer- I MISS MY STUDIO!!! I went down yesterday and got my colored pencils which I've never done alot with, just messing around in my sketchbook a bit- and decided to see what I could do with them. Climbed into bed, turned on the Christmas music, and worked on this rooster which I had drawn out already. I rather enjoyed my afternoon. My morning piano student (a man) really loved it- thought it was some sort of Christmas card sitting there! ha! Anyway, here's the latest from the "sickie"! :-) (I'm not sure how the colors will look to you- he looked fairly close when I worked on him in photoshop, now when I look at the post preview he looks too dark. The paper is white, his breast is just slightly cream colored so you can judge accordingly.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Merry Christmas

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! from me and all my studio buddies!
(It's a miracle- I got them all to sit still for a photo at the same time!)
All our love- Carol, Pip, Pooka, Widget, and Snuggles

I must apologize for being so lax in posting lately. I am again ill- I have had something going on since Oct. at least off and on. Once a respiratory thing gets me I have always had a very hard time shaking it off and this year seems to have been especially bad that way. I haven't been able to paint in several weeks. I can barely do more than fix dinner and I am all worn out. I hope to get back to normal quickly in the new year- wow, 2010!!! Seems like we just got over the big "computer-crash" ruckus (2000) and it's already 10 years!
I did want to at least touch base with you to wish you all a happy holiday season and a wonderful New Year. When I turned on my computer- what a happy surprise- someone asking me to please keep updating! I don't forget you all and miss not only being able to update- but having a painting to update with!!! I do have a couple of drawings ready and waiting. Hopefully Santa will bring me some good health!
Before I post this I do have one bit of news- I am buying a harp! 2010 will hopefully see me learning to play it and also learning to become a harp/music therapist. :-) I have always dreamed of playing a harp- this is the year.
May your coming year be blessed with only good things- and thank you for visiting my blog, and especially letting me know you enjoy whatever I may have to offer that week, be it a painting, a WIP, or some of my thoughts about life and art or even my "silliness".

Friday, December 4, 2009

Hidden Homestead

I somehow forgot to post this a few weeks ago when I finished it. Hope you enjoy it. I am enjoying painting these landscapes. 3" x 5", acrylic

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thanksgiving Memories

Please forgive the slowness on the WIP wolf- between holidays and now I have a "bug" (hope it's not swine flu!) so no painting is happening... :-(

Well, Thanksgiving 2009 is just a memory, but what a nice one. We had a fairly quiet day just enjoying being "family".

I love them all so much- it was a wonderful day. And I hardly had to do a thing!!! We all brought food to share, and Andrea and Matthias made the turkey and trimmings.

We opened a few gifts as Grammy and Grampy will be heading south before Christmas sometime. Looks like there will be a few fish caught with Jenny's and Tony's new rods! :-)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mah Lil' Baby Boy

He weighs a whole 2lbs. 1.5oz now...

He's full of "Sass" like I said- lets us know at all times what he wants! The poor girls have to put up with him chasing them around, grabbing them by their scruffs and pulling, etc. They are very patient with him, although Pooka can sound VERY cranky at times. You'd think she was going to eat him alive- all noise, no "tooth"! :-) I'm a bad mama- I have to admit- he's my favorite, but I love them all. This morning was the dreaded "toenail trimming" day. Glad that's done for another time. Don't know who hates it worse- them or me!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

WIP - Wolf

I meant to do a WIP and then promptly forgot to photograph as I went. I have a terrible time with that...
He's a fair ways along, but still work to do- so you get to see at least part of the WIP. :-) Acrylic paints.

Hope you had a good weekend. I spent part of it wrapping Christmas gifts (for the early Christmas with my parents before they head south) and making banana bread. Also shopping for MORE puppy chow for my baby. He has a sensitive tummy so he's been on rice/hamburger for awhile. After a visit to see the vet about it, he's had major worming just to be sure it's not some strange parasite (doesn't seem to have been). So now we'll try special food. Hope that's it. He's happy, growing, and full of "Sass", but I worry- he needs good nutrition. Ah, the worries of children... :-P

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cider Painters of America Award

I just received word that I have been given an Award of Excellance by the Cider Painters of America (miniature painters society) for one of my paintings. This is my very first award from a miniature society for my work. I have been painting miniatures just over a year now so I am very excited to receive this. The letter says "This is an award that is given to an artist for excellence in painting in any media." It also went on to say "The judges had a difficult time this year selecting the best of the exhibit to give the award to since they had so many wonderful entries, but your work stood out from all the others!" What a HUGE complement. I know there were some fabulous artists there so to be one of the lucky ones chosen is such an honor. The piece that was chosen was "On the Rocks- Meerkats".

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Finished Harpy Eagle

I've finished the harpy and finally gotten him photographed. These birds are soooo amazing. We were fortunate enough to be able to stand very close to this fellow and really get some close observation. So aloof, so regal, so "of another world". Just awe-inspiring. I'm very happy with my efforts on this fellow. He was a joy to paint once I got those feathers figured out!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Pooka and a Harpy

I believe I've finished the Pooka, altho I am not completely satisfied. It was a photo taken indoors and so more difficult to get the lighting. But for now I am calling her done. Do you know what a Pooka is? Do you remember the old Jimmy Stewart movie "Harvey" about Elmer P. Doud and his 6 ft. tall buddy, the white rabbit named Harvey? Well, Harvey was a pooka. A pooka is a large, mythical creature. This Pooka, isn't so large, but she can be "mythical"!!! :-) When she was a puppy she had "spectacles", but once she'd "caught" me with that face, she lost most of her sabling, so now she's mainly tan with a bit of sabling (the dark fur) on her back and a very dark sabled tail. This piece is done in casein.

I and a friend went to the Russian museum last Thurs. and really enjoyed it. She and I did alot of talking about Flemish masters and their technics. She is taking classes on how to do this. It turns out that is a bit similar to what I've begun doing so I started trying to do a bit more along those lines with this harpy. All these feathers are driving me crazy, but I think it is coming along ok. Time will tell. Obviously it is a WIP and has a long way to go yet. I think I like this technic more and more as I go along. I am doing this piece in acrylic as it lends itself to this technic more than the caseins or gouache.

Another castle website

Just a quick link- I found this from one of the blogs I follow called Life at Willow Manor. I doooo love castles and ruins!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

One last robin post and KLUTEN!

I've reworked the robin to get his size and angle a bit better. He "grew" as I painted him and got a bit out of shape! I did also try to add a bit more darkness to his shadowed side as well. I'll post him at the bottom so you can see him closer to the "before" shots. He's a bit out of focus so I'll have to try and retake him and repost later.
I thought I'd post a family recipe made by my grandmother when my mom was growing up, often this was their dinner or a good portion of it. My grandfather came over "on the boat" with his father very early in the 20th century- they went through Ellis Island- and they were from Germany. The name of the recipe is Kluten and we believe it came over with them. It is a "by gosh and by golly" recipe as my aunt says, so you must realize things are approximate in some of the amounts. But it is yummy and very different from anything else I've ever had. Also very easy. This time of year we get all those lovely apples, so I thought as I made it yesterday- I should post this on my blog. :-) So, I give you...

1/2 c. sugar
Cake batter:
1 egg, beaten
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. milk
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. vanilla
flour- approx. 1 1/4 c. (enough to stifen like a cake batter, not too thick)

Mix cake batter ingredients until well mixed.

Pare and slice apples (about 5-6) into a large Dutch oven. Add water to come even with the apples. Sprinkle with cinnamon and 1/2 c. sugar. (You can add some red cinnamon candies to make it pink, pretty, and a bit sweeter if you like.) Heat to boiling and cook until apples are half done. Lower heat, and drop cake mixture over. Cover and cook until cake is done, approx. 45 min. Very good with whipped cream or ice cream.

Hope you enjoy this old family recipe which warms our tummies each fall, and also has brought back memories in the past for my mother of her family around the dinner table.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Re-worked and refined robin on fountain

I've reworked the values a bit more on this piece and also the warmth on the sunny areas. I believe you can see the difference- the top, larger photo is the newer version of the piece. Hope you find it to be improved.
BTW- I've named the newest "studio buddy"- he's Pipsqueak- Pip for short. :-)

Friday, October 30, 2009

A Fountain and a robin

I finally got to finish this one several days ago, but just hadn't had a chance to photograph it. It is a combination of several references I had. The fountain was one I saw in a garden in Iowa with my aunt. It was huge, but just gorgeous. It wasn't running unfortunately, and it had a sparrow on it which I wasn't sure I wanted so decided to change to the robin. Hope you like it. It is in need of a title- as usual!

I'm working away on the puppy and hope to have it to post very soon.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A New Piece begun and a Final Thank You

First of all, let me say- It's good to be back and finally getting a bit of painting done. I'll post the piece I worked a bit on while on our trip when my mini painting friend Gail and I got together to talk art and later on I'll post the piece I just finished today that has been calling to me for weeks now!

This is Gail and I during our visit. We had a great time, while our husbands spent their time cooking ribs over the fire and generally just waiting for us to quit painting and talking! :-)

I had my mom here for several days. She has alzheimers and has progressed to the point of constantly thinking I am her sister, not sure who I am when I tell her I'm her daughter, and not sure how many children she had (I'm "it"). This is difficult to deal with as I'm sure you'll understand. She did have a couple of "good" days and even though I thought I "should" be painting I decided to play my piano for her. I believe it will be the last time I'll get to do that and she will know who I am and what I am doing for her. She sat and listened and enjoyed, and I played (with tears in my eyes) thinking- "This is my thank you for putting up with all the "----" I gave you when you made me practice". If it weren't for her I wouldn't be able to play. I was generally an easy child to raise, but that was one area I was awful with a capital A! I bless her every day that I play for that gift she gave me, and this was my final thank you to her. I have a piano student who played for her grandmother and then at her grandmother's funeral. I don't know how she did it- I couldn't I know. So I am thankful the Lord gave me this final chance.
Thus, I still haven't painted as much as I would have liked, but it is a start and hopefully now that I'm done traveling for awhile and mostly back to normal health I can get back into the "swing" of things.

The piece I am posting is in casein, as Gail wanted me to show her how casein and gouache work/paint. Personally I find them to be like painting with the same paint, just that casein is permanent when cured, gouache is not. It was great fun to have someone to paint with for once and I wish I could do it more often.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

New Studio Buddy!

I just got this little fellow, and I can hardly stand myself he's so cute!!! Already love him to pieces. Tomorrow morning we go for our vet check. Sure hope he's A-ok! He's tiny, should be about a 4 to 4 1/2 lb-er. I didn't want him any smaller than that. His face reminds me of my Sammie. Just not as big of eyes (and different color ofcourse). I didn't want one just like Sammie anyway. I think that would be too painful actually, and I want a new guy to love all for himself. Yes- that's a regular coffee mug he's in so you can get a feel for his size! Now for a name!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Back from Branson

We left on a motorcycle trip to Branson, MO. Sept. 18th and arrived home Sat. evening. It was a cold and rainy ride. I think it will be the only long trip we will be taking! I prefer our 5th wheel and all it's comforts. Besides- I missed my studio buddies!

We did get to take in a couple of shows and also went down to wander over our acres in northern Arkansas, just over the border and not far from Branson. Just out of the "big" town of Blue Eye which is part in MO and part in Ark.!

I'm posting the views from the spot we want to build a home someday. The views are to die for, and nearly all the way around. And wildlife (the animal kind!)... my idea of heaven.

I did alot of "thinking" on the back of that bike.

I'll put some of my thoughts in future posts (if I can remember them!) As usual, I thought about "what next" (to paint) and that sort of thing, but I also thought about the meaning art has for me and emotions. How can an animal or a still life or a landscape trigger "emotions". Light bulbs came on, now if only I can remember all that I realized on that rainy ride. I am too tired at this point to go there, but I hope to express some of what I realized and learned about this subject on that ride. Until I am able to do that I just wanted to say "hi" and "how are ya?"!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Hornbill miniature

I did manage to get a bit of painting done this past weekend. I finished up this hornbill on Fri. I had a terrible time getting the color right to post, it's still not quite there, but fairly close, altho my signature doesn't stand out quite this much. I just loved this bird. He was HUGE and so interesting. This piece is casein on illustration board. 3"x2"
I'll be going on a motorcycle trip with my husband this week so this will be my last post I think for awhile, unless I stop by to say something about the radio interview which is happening in just a bit. Yikes! Stomach just did a flip! :-O

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Radio interview!

Just to let you know in case you would like to listen I will be a guest on the Kim McCool radio show this Monday (September 14) at 2PM Central Time. I hope you can
listen 'live' or listen to the replay! The name of the program is Discover the Heart of Art with Kim McCool. If you can't listen in "live" you can listen anytime at by clicking on Blog Radio button on her site and then clicking the "Play Now" button.

and click on 'Blog Radio'.

I am excited and honored to be asked (and a bit nervous). Let me know what you think or if you enjoy it. Thanks.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce- Yum!!!

It's been sooo hectic here with my new job, taking care of mom, etc. I just haven't had much time to paint. But I did get a bit of cooking done. So I decided it was time for a recipe. I used this one for my stepson's rehearsal dinner (I made 3 desserts, he made the rest- he's a professional chef! Do you know how scarey it is to cook for a professional chef?) :-0 But all 3 got rave reviews and they "licked the platters clean" which is always a good sign, as is going back for seconds (and
thirds!) So here it is, simple, and delicious...

6-8 c. bread, broken into small pieces
4 c. milk
2 c. sugar
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 T. vanilla
1 c. raisins (optional)
1 c. chopped pecans (optional)
1 c. shredded coconut (optional)
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
Combine all ingredients, mixture should be very moist, but not soupy. Pour into buttered 9x12 baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees approx. 1 hr. and 15 min. until top is golden brown. Serve warm with sauce.

1/2 c butter
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 egg
1 t. rum flavoring + water to make 1/2 c.

Cream butter and sugar over medium heat until all butter is absorbed. Blend egg in a small amount of this in separate bowl and add back in slowly. Add in rum/water mix gradually, stirring constantly. Cook several more min. on medium heat, stirring constantly. Sauce will thicken as it cools. Serve warm over bread pudding.

I hope you enjoy this recipe- it reminds me of desserts in fancy restaurants.
(The photo is one of my granddaughter's on her first birthday- it's not bread pudding, but you can see she approves the recipe!)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Moms, Illustrations, and...

Today I thought I'd show you a few of my illustrations for an upcoming atlas I have been working on for quite awhile. It is being published by the Mdewakanton Sioux tribe and is of breeding birds and animals found on their reservation here in Minnesota. I am taking care of my mother for a few days who has alzheimers so I will be working on the last illustration for the book today. Yipppeeee!!!
:-) They still have to decide on what they want for a cover for the book. It will have my illustrations along with a page or so of information on each individual bird or animal. It has been an interesting project to do. Hope you enjoy seeing them.
I've been out of town on a family campout so I'm a bit behind and feeling rushed.
Lots to do this week, and little time for painting. :-(

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Here's the latest "hot off the easel"!!! Casein, 3"x2". This post should be about the correct actual size for you. I have such a hard time with titles...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Off to Elder Gallery, Houston, Texas...

I packaged up my entries for the Houston, TX miniature show and they are off on their way. Whew- glad that's done. Always "issues" getting things all finished up- finding all the hanging wire, running out of hooks to attach the wire, then finding more, etc. Here's a few of the minis that will be at the show I don't think you've seen...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Iowa Farmscape

This is my first attempt from some of the photos I shot while on my Iowa jaunt with my aunt. I intend to give this to her as a memento of our time together and to say "thanks" for putting up with me. :-) She doesn't use computers, so this will stay a surprise until I give it to her- hopefully in Sept.
I redid this several times to get it more the way I wanted it. I hope I have the colors adjusted correctly- it's night and I can't see on the computer so may have to readjust tomorrow- if I have time!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Rice Pudding!

Here it is- my Grandmother's recipe from 1923 when she worked at Altoma Hall, Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa! Very easy to make. Different from "fluffy" rice puddings- it's a carmelized version. Make sure not to over-bake and dry it out.

Rice Pudding
4 c. milk, heated
1/2 c. rice
1/2-2/3 c. sugar (more or less to taste)
1/2 c. raisins
Mix together adn sprinkle heavily with cinnamon. Stir in. Bake at 325 degrees until browned, (approximately 30 min.) then stir down. Bake another 25-30 min. until browned, stir down. Bake again until browned one last time.

I love to cook- I used to enter cooking contests now and then, won several with my own original recipes (I've always loved to create, be it with paint or with food!). I also enjoy exchanging recipes and would love to hear from you with your favorites. I believe I'll share more of mine down the road from time to time.
Just for fun I added the photo of my 2 granddaughters making play dough. I like photos, can you tell I love kids books? They have lots of pictures!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I happened upon the most interesting website today- that is if you enjoy castles- and I DO!!! When I and my family were in England and Scotland a number of years ago we visited several castle ruins, museums, and abbeys. We all loved them. It was my favorite part of the trip and also my daughters- who were only 11 and 13. Some of them were just magical- very mystical to walk around in. If I ever get to return I am going to research and visit every castle I can find!!! Until then- I'm going to enjoy this site. Hope you enjoy it too.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Out of the Mire

Says Coyote, "Continue on the journey of the art. Give a hint of the sadness which has filled a life, let it be known that great sadness can lead to great depth of feeling. That is enough."
So Crow continues the story of the woman...

The woman sank deep into her despair, nearly drowning in it. But there came a time when she grew strength. In that strength she gathered herself and became determined to find her life again. She did not know how, but she did know if she were to once again be whole she must continue her artistic journey. She must take back her artistic soul. It was who she was. Once again she took up the search for more knowledge, more ability to express herself, and once begun her world became clearer and brighter. There would always be a cloud, it would perhaps never be quite as bright, but in that shadow was the ability to not be blinded by the brightness and to feel more deeply than ever before.
To feel what another might feel in an experience not personally known, because of what her life had taught her. She had more depth to her soul. Gradually her world became a happier place and she could look back upon that darkness with an inner pride. She had not been overcome by the despair, but instead it had enriched her being!