Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Winter and Summer

Are you more than ready for summer?  Here is my deck during the last snow.  I think patio furniture without its cushions seems so sad. However, I am resisting the urge to haul the cushions out of storage since we frequently get snow here on the mountainside into May.

 I recently visited another blog, Habitually Chic, because my daughter, Camille mentioned this post on her design blog, The Vintique Object

Heather Clawson, the author of Habitually Chic, has generously agreed to let me use a few of her photos from her recent visit to the home of designer, Mark Sikes.  

These fabulous photos of Mark's house made me want to invite myself over for a closer look but, oddly, there were no cushions on his patio furniture either.  (Please ignore that annoying black strip at the bottom of the frame...don't know how to get rid of it.)

Playing with the Big Girls

And what do you ask, does this post have to do with painting?  Well, two things.

1. Sometimes I find things to do to keep from having to admit my painting is not going well, or to keep from having to frame something...shudder! ... like playing bridge with an incredible group of women who allow younger (very relatively speaking) and less experienced (meaning cannot play well at all!) for women to join them.

Judy shares a story about catching a porcupine
2.  Most of these women, all of them retired and two of whom are in their nineties, have wide ranging interests, remain vital, active, and involved in their church communities, and have very active social lives while maintaining beautiful homes that are filled with artwork.

  In this home, you feel like you are both in an art gallery and also living part of New Mexico's history, since many of the artworks are from well-known artists who lived and worked in the last century.
Painting of the Taos Gorge 

Most New Mexico artists paint this stunningly beautiful location, myself included.  Two that I have painted of a similar scene were recently sold before I could take a photo of them, so I cannot show you what my interpretation looked like.  Aren't the colors wonderful in this painting?

Another lovely painting of a New Mexico landscape on the wall behind Marge (in turquoise) who hosted this bridge party.


Jan and Eve

Marge and Molly

Can you guess which two are in their nineties?  Not that I am going to tell you.  They can brag about it if they like, but I was taught not to reveal a lady's age.  But I will tell you that you would probably guess wrongly.  How can I fear getting older when I have these women as role models?

And just to round out the post on incredible women, here is a picture of my ninety-four year old Mom, Rose Lee on the left and my husband's ninety-three year old mother, Dorothy on the right, enjoying looking at pictures of their shared great-grandchildren on my mother-in-law's IPad which she insisted she did not want. When we bought her an IPad anyway, she now spends several hours a day on it  keeping in touch with her friends and family by email and checking in on the blogs of her various grandchildren  Think I should teach Dorothy how to set up and maintain her own blog?
Computer Geeks at ages 93 & 94

In you have an incredible older woman in your life, send me a short comment about her!  For those of my friends new to blogging, you go to the bottom of this post, click in the comments box, and type your comment in that space.  Then in the box "comment as," choose something and click on it.  Then go down and hit "publish" or if you want to look at it again "preview".  Don't forget to hit "publish" again before you quit! Many of you are sending me separate emails to make comments.  That is fine, if you prefer, but you can do it right here as well.  Just remember not to use your last name as these will be seen by all of the folks invited to read my blog. If you wish to remain anonymous, you may do that as well.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

For the Love of Rivers Show

Betsy Butler chats with Norm
 Last night a group of my fellow artists and I celebrated the completion of a process of hanging, advertising and and hosting an opening reception for an art show, For the Love of Rivers, which will hang at St. Mark's on the Mesa, the website until February 24.
Robert Southwick and guests
 This show is a co-operative benefit fundraiser with some members of the Adobe Whitewater Club for the Children and Youth Ministries of St. Marks.  Eight pieces of artwork were sold.

One of our projects is sending a child, who has a parent in prison, to Grace Camp at  Camp Stoney website where they will go Whitewater rafting at the end of the week.

Celia Southwick discussing... rivers!

For more information about work with children and families of prisoners in New Mexico, you can go to the Wings Ministry Website.  30% of the sales from this show will be used for the Grace Camp Scholarship fund.  If you would like to purchase a work of art, you can visit the Sacred Arts Gallery at 431 Richmond NE from 9 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday through Friday (please call 505-262-2484 to verify that a staff member is there to let you in) or on Sunday mornings from 9:00 to noon.

Heather Gaume with her husband, Norm
A Closer Look

Celia's Work Get a Lot of Attention

A Young Art Fan loved the cookies and punch, took a brief look at the art, and found the grand piano much more to his taste.

A Fan of Betsy Butler's Photographs

Up Close and Personal - Richard Silverstein's striking photographs.  In the background, you can see the stunning fabric artwork "He Is Not Here" by Martha Peterson, a permanent installation in the gallery.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Canvas of another sort

My daughter, Camille, The Vintique Object, and her blogging friend, Steve, An Urban Cottage, share a love of renovating and decorating.  While both of them also paint to create works of art (Steve is considering a trip to New Mexico to come and paint with me) they really work more with interiors as their canvas.

Camille and her husband are thinking of buying a house in Albuquerque and have asked my sister, Rosalind and I to take a look at some options.  I am wondering what Camille and Steve would do with this kitchen:
Pass Through to the Family room
Eat in Kitchen
Tray storage over the microwave and look at the ceiling!

So, Camille and Steve, what do you think?  This kitchen shares some similarities to the ones you have recently completed.  What would you do to keep the vintage charm but update and decorate it?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Yikes, Better Get Crackin'

Unfinished Oils
Some many paintings to finish before the Friday Artist's Reception,  so few daylight hours, and it snowed today which doesn't help with the drying time!  Help!  Let me know which three of these you like the best and I will try to only work on them.  How do you let me know?  Scroll down to the bottom and you will see tiny little box that says "Comments".  Click on that and a larger box will open up.  Click in that larger box and you will be able to type a comment. 

And just where did that expression "get crackin'" come from anyway?  Click here to view information about the Reception

You will notice that the painting comes around the side of the canvas.  This is me cheating just a little.
Painting the edges
Most of the canvasses you buy in bulk actually are not exactly true to size, which means custom framing.  Translate that into big $$$$$.  If the edges are painted they can be hung without a frame.  Of course this only works in a very modern space.  A traditional home would call for a good looking wood or even an ornate gold frame.  Still I certainly cannot get these framed before Friday, so this is the alternative.

Floating a flat section of the Yampa

Fall in the Grand Canyon

Almost Winter
Technicolor Rocks

Monday, January 23, 2012

Flowers in the House

恭喜发财 or Happy New Year! 
The Chinese celebrate their new year exuberantly for 15 days.  

When my friends Vicki and Peter traveled to Dalian, China for a three year assignment with Intel, they were so impressed with all the festivities surrounding the New Year.  We received pages of email descriptions of the festivals and fireworks.  On their return, they brought back some decorations for "The Year of the Bear" which I used for a party last Friday.  My husband is planning an Alaskan kayaking adventure and the planning needed was a good excuse for a party.  We celebrated the "end" of the old year, (since the new year for Chinese starts tomorrow) and will be that most auspicious "YEAR OF THE DRAGON".
Flowers for a Party

Today I am linking to the Small But Charming blog about using flowers in the house,   Here I used three chrysanthemums in a very simple style...what I imagine might be arranged for a tea ceremony or for use in front of a scroll... set it into an Imari (Japanese, not Chinese) plate and added clementines for luck.  The little strings of chilies hanging from the candlesticks are typical of Chinese luck charms, but also very typical of New Mexico. Click here to go to my daughter, Camille's, post on Christmas in New Mexico to see more about chilies.  

Also a very simple arrangement on the sideboard with a pastel painting of clouds by my artist friend, Wendy Fidao as a backdrop....

If you would like to see more about the party for which these were designed, scroll on down.
 Usually these decorations would be attached to the front door, but ours is glass and all four pieces would not fit into the glass portion, so I put them on the wall just inside the entrance to the house.  The top section says "Happy New Year"  the center section is the symbol of the bear and I haven't a clue what the side pieces say...hoping it is something wonderful!  Anyone read Chinese?
Below is a close up in case you can translate for me.

The scroll hanging on the chest in the background has the symbol of the dragon to foreshadow the coming year.  

Borrowed decorations include some charming little astrological animals from the year of the bear and the year of the bull.  Holding the mercury glass globe is a brass piece with three dragons as well.

Hanging from the chandelier are paper cut-outs, a form of art at which the Chinese people excel. 
Tall ceilings encourage large decorations
 Here I secured three bamboo sticks in a beautiful brass vase made by a friend of my mother.  Paul has since died, but his metal work and jewelry reminds us of his wit and skill.  Hanging from the bamboo are various paper decorations.  That little chinese figure is a wine bottle cover. 
And a good time was had by all.....