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One of the interesting things about making paintings is the emotional response I have to my art.  Different themes flow through my brushes but they are all intimately linked to me as a person. Sometimes it is a quirky little road I've traveled to bring an idea to fruition,  but I get there because the theme speaks to me. Sometimes it is a relentless gnawing that wakes me up from sleep and sometimes it's a rapid fire idea that requires pencil to paper immediately. Eventually I get somewhere with it but I will have you know there are several themes in various stages that you haven't seen yet. Don't you just want to know? Something is always cooking! Some of the themes are very old friends of mine and will always be with me - my love of women's life stories, birds in trees and of course, my Quilted Women series that I'm sharing in this writing.

Beyond working in a theme, each painting requires its own unique story. Even if I have found a new pattern or concept for a painting it still must have a message that is compelling.

 This painting is so large, certainly for me. I spent several weeks making it. I became very emotionally involved with it, saying hello every morning and stopping reluctantly each night. I began by carving a stamp that allowed me to paint blocks of rosettes. After placing the stamped images I needed to find a color story for my painting. That takes me to my close painting girlfriends - The Friday Painters. I really love the pallet of my friend Diane Calkins and thought I would use her colors for a challenge. I started out calling this painting Diane. I painted a few colors in some of my blocks. Each time I mixed a new color I put a stroke of it on the top. Gradually I found my own colors.
 While I'm in the studio I listen to podcasts, books on tape or music. This day I was listening to oldies and a couple of old Todd Rundgren favorites played. While I was making my rosette quilt squares the music was pretty up lifting. And- it was moving my painting along in a beautiful rhythm.  Pretty soon I began to see a story to this particular painting. My Quilted Woman is standing humbly with arms wide open ready to comfort. And then I wrote my title.
That became a mantra while I painted. 
 Throughout the weeks that I have worked on this - LOVE was my underlying theme in each rosette square I painted. Of course I'm still attentive to all of the other things I know must happen in a painting, color transitions, patterns mixed with solids, good value and composition. But with love as my mantra it was easier to shine light on my figure and create a rich glow.
My finished painting - Love Is the Answer, 36 x 48 inches frame added
Stop by my booth, #102 at the Golden Fine Art Festival to see it. 

Walking with friends


I used to walk with my friend, Barbara. We were neighbors for many years, and we went for an early morning walk a good number of those years. Her husband made us a cup of coffee every day that I totally appreciated as we started out.  We set our empty mugs on the curb at the end of the street and picked them up on our return. She was an outstanding walking pal.  On those walks we solved all of our problems. We planned craft shows where we shared a booth. We planned events for our families. and neighbors. We talked about our jobs, our kids, our parents and of course, ourselves.

In all of the years I have been a daily walker, I think having someone to walk with is a grand way to start the day. First - there is the commitment to get up and go, because someone is standing outside waiting for you.

Second, it grounds you because a friend who walks daily with you is going to be a good sounding board. They will let you know you are being silly or perhaps flat out wrong about things. In fact - giving your ideas a test run by your walking partner before you take real action is probably smart. I know it has kept me from doing and saying a lot of stupid things. She will remind you she told you so!

And third - its makes a day have purpose. I always come home from a walk feeling like I have achieved something. It is so much easier to head to the studio if I have a couple of miles on my day.

A terrible picture but a great memory. This is me with Barb on a road trip we planned to the winery in Herman, Missouri. Did we do "we shouldn't be doing this" things? I'm not telling.

 In the case of my friend, Barbara, we benefited from all of the above,  and we planned lots of things that provided us with ample laughs later. We always walked just before light because we had early morning starts for work. At certain times of the year we walked in real darkness. We were nearly run over by a shocked neighbor who could not believe we were outside ibefore daylight. We were met out on the street by a gentleman in his bathrobe reprimanding us about our volume as we walked by his house. We crossed paths with a "wanted  man" coming up from the creek where he had been sleeping. Later in the morning we saw an alert for him on the news. (That was actually scary.) We found money on the street. Sometimes we visited with other neighbors who were coming outside to collect newspapers or start their own daily walk. We admired gardens and house additions. Mostly we just shared our lives with each other. Walking with Barbara has provided me with memories that will sustain me forever.

You really should find a pal to walk with. And in honor of that friendship, and the other terrific women I've had the pleasure to share daily walks with, Carol, Connie, Rennie, and Sara, I made this card. Where else are you going to plan your life's adventures? Card is blank on the inside. No doubt you have your own great stories about "things you shouldn't be doing"to share inside! Enjoy.



Blank floral cards added to shop

I love flowers in my garden, but when I paint them, they are almost always  gathered into bouquets. As blank cards they are perfect to have on hand for any occasion. 

My bouquet cards are now in my SHOP under Blank Cards

5 x 7 cards are individually sleeved. 


Colorado Watercolor Society Exhibit

My painting, Quilted Woman, was accepted into and awarded Honorable Mention in this prestigous State Exhibit.  The Colorado Watercolor Society State Exhibit runs concurrently with the Western Federation Of Watercolor Societies exhibit at the Arvada Center in Arvada, CO. The exhibit runs through the end of July, 2016.



Art Journal, telling my travel stories

Do you keep a journal of your travels? I have always kept journals. They are filled with memories that photographs just can't measure up to. If I thought something was big, I painted it BIG. If I thought something was funny , I painted the humor. I always paint  my response to what I see, so my paintings are triggers for all my memories.

I thought it would be fun to share one of my trips with you. This is a journal that has a trip to Atlanta for a trade show. Below are just a few of the journal entries that tell this particular story. Come along with me! 

We left from Colorado early in the morning. It was January and there was quite a bit of snow on the high plains. By the time we reached Kansas in the mid day, we saw a pretty sky and lots of cattle.

We spent the night in Topeka and saw a beautiful sunrise when we started driving the second travel day.My journal says Tulsa - it's not. Why can't I remember I'm driving through Topeka? I've never been to Tulsa!

We saw a lot of beautiful tree in Missouri. Missouri is my home state, and always speaks to me when we drive through. And my son, daughter-in-law and new grandbaby live there too!

We spent the night with our kiddos and drove over the Mississippi into Illinois on the last day of our drive. I have my knitting on the dashboard!

We drove through hardwood forest in souther Illinois and Tennessee. "See Rock City" painted on the side of a barn outside of Chatanooga, TN is always nostalgic for me. We took so many road trips to Florida over my life and this is as familiar as the St Louis Arch to me. 

One last "full moon" painting I made because after all, there was a full moon!
Once my booth was set up, then I waited for customers to buy my art. 
These two ladies were from Georgia

The woman on the left was not interested. So noted!
But these two women loved my cards and bought them for their shop. If you visited my booth I probably made a painting of you. There are a lot of them in this book! I call it reference material.

And the show ended. We retraced our steps home, very tired and doing lots of paperwork in the car.
I painted a beautiful sunrise in New Rocheport, MO as we headed west.
And...have you ever seen cows walk in a straight line? I have not, at least not out in a field. They probably do it all the time. I saw these cows in Kansas.

We spent the night in western Kansas. The rest of the way home we saw big beautiful skies, which I love and can never paint enough of them.

And that's the better part of a travel journal from my sketchbook. How do you record your experiences? I draw and paint it all, and would love to hear about yours.