Friday, January 22, 2021

The Light-A Portrait of Amanda Gorman

 Hi.  I have been busy playing with portraits and clearly not finding the time to blog, but thought I would take a moment to post a few photos of what I have been working on.

The first step is always the drawing, but I forgot to take a photo of that.  In the second step, I lay out some of the shadows which establishes the structure of the face.  Then I added the highlights in the pupils so that I would be able to get her expression correctly. Can anyone guess who this is?  Not a lot of clues at this point....But maybe you can guess from the title of this post?

Blocking in the hair helps but the lips are making things much easier to identify.

A little more work on the eyes and more shadowing help bring a very glamorous poet laureate to life.  This painting is based on a photo of Amanda taken for an article on Afro hair styles, so she is highly styled and made up.  But a beautiful woman is gorgeous no matter what she wears if her spirit is lovely!

Monday, September 21, 2020

Monday, October 21, 2019

I Never Met a Costume I Didn't Love

Except of course when little ones are dressed as these creatures and ring your doorbell on All Hallow's Eve!  All my life, I have loved costumes in any shape or form, comfortable or not!  So every year at Halloween, I am anxious to don one.  My husband?  Well... not so much!  However, in our off the grid neighborhood with only about twenty families, we celebrate all together.  This year we are hosting the party at our house, and I have gone a bit overboard with planning and playing.  One of the things I decided to do was make prizes for costumes.  I found lots of wonderful ideas on Pinterest and bought some of those skeleton garlands at the Dollar Store and little plastic trophies at Hobby Lobby.  Here are the results:


               IS YOUR COSTUME READY?

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Missing in Action!

Checking in with myself, I was shocked to see that I had not posted anything for months, eight of them to be exact.  Any regular reader has long since given up!  

Life has a way of speeding by while you are busy.  What have I been up to in the last eight months?  Well, continuing to mentor a group of watercolor artists, painting a lot of works myself, teaching Sunday School, enjoying the grandchildren on visits to their states, spending time on the river, rafting with my husband and family, doing some landscaping at our house, spending time with my fabulous group of friends, finally working again on my Hogwarts Castle, and of course planning and volunteering at Harry Potter camp and Vacation Bible School.  You would think I had no time to write on my blog...

I have been writing some with a group of friends, and also my daughter signed me up to write a series of short stories at StoryWorks to be put into a book for my family. Some of those may appear here, but not promising anything.  

Today, I would like to promote an event that my daughter Brittany is helping organize.

join us for a day of learning and discovery

See the different kinds of beehives

learn why pollinators are crucial to our food chain

See how pollinators can positively affect climate change

discover how you can support pollinators in our area

Saturday, September 28, 2019

10 am to 4 pm


More information here 

I have donated the painting below to their raffle:

  "To Bee or Not to Be"


Saturday, January 5, 2019

Was the Grinch Here?

Not really!  I usually leave the tree up until Epiphany, but I stole the ornaments to create centerpieces for the Epiphany Party tomorrow at St. Mark's.

 The church has eight tables to decorate in the Parish Hall, so I pulled out some of my silver plate to fill with the ornaments.  There will be a tall candlestick, a small crown enclosed votive to represent one of the Wise Men, and each of the silver trays holds some stars to represent the star that guided the Wise Men to Bethlehem.

This little votive is not the right color for the light and dark blue cloths at the church.  It was my practice piece.

 Still working on the crowns for the votives.  Need to go to town to purchase more glitter!

If you are in the Albuquerque area, join us tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. for the Epiphany Service at St. Mark's Episcopal Church 431 Richmond NE with a Party after church. Children will  search for the Baby Jesus, and everyone will enjoy King's Cakes with Mimosas for the adults and Sparkling Cider for the children and youth.  Careful, if you get a piece of King's Cake with a small plastic baby, you will be crowned a King and need to make a toast!

May 2019 shower you will God's Blessings and Protection!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Remembering my Mama's Voice

Happy Mother's Day!  Recently while sitting on my newly enclosed front porch,  I wrote the following as an assignment for a writing group to which I belong.  Remembering my Mama is always  bittersweet but I especially miss her when all the world is celebrating, for she loved a great party. 

Until I went to school at four, I thought my name was “Hurry Heather.”  But no one called me that when at pre-school, it was just the rather abrupt, truncated “Heather..”  Apparently I took my mother’s constant urging to heart because I was a speedy child who was in a hurry to go out to play, in a hurry to learn, in a hurry to grow up, in a hurry to excel.  

It was, when I was young, and continues to be, years after her death, almost impossible to ignore my mother’s voice.  It was energetic, excited, emphatic, encouraging, exacting, exasperated but hardly ever empathetic.  I know that she was tender-hearted by her actions.  She carefully prepared meals for her sick friends and even those she didn’t like among her acquaintances, She took in my and my sister and brother's found strays, both animals and people. She was always the first one to offer assistance in a crisis, but I never heard her say, “I know just how you feel.”  She was impatient with the whole field of psychiatry, which as a high school student, I found fascinating.  She told me again and again, people who think about all the bad things will be sad, but you can decide to be happy! She always saw the glass half full.

In getting ready to write about her voice, which I still hear, I re-read Mama’s journals.  They were lists of her tasks, the places she visited, the things her friends had said, what had happened in the world, with absolutely no commentary.  So I have come to the conclusion that Mama was not introspective, or if she was, she was never comfortable sharing those thoughts.

Mama was opinionated.  She has strong views on religion, politics, the proper way to run a house, how children should behave, her role as a wife and daughter-in-law, her duty as a Christian, and the best way to fight off illness (usually based on completely erroneous beliefs about how the body actually worked).  To this day, I cannot abide the thought of liver and onions, which she dutifully served once a week years after I was a healthy robust, pink cheeked child, because as she said, “You were anemic as a baby.” END OF DISCUSSION.  To her the fact that I was healthy was due to all that disgusting liver.

But her strongest opinion was that all her children should and would go to college.  She always regretted that she had to turn down a scholarship to college because her Dad had died and her Mama needed her to help support her younger brothers.  There was never any possibility that her children would not get the opportunity to learn.  All I wanted was to be an artist, but as Mama said, “ College will make you a better artist, and it never hurts to learn to type, so you can write your papers!”  She paid for private typing lessons while my grandmother paid for my art classes in high school. 

Of course Mama was right.  I used the typing to earn money to help pay for school after my own Daddy died my first year in college.  And I did love school!  And, of course, in this digital age, typing or rather "keyboarding" is an essential skill.

Naturally, there were many things Mama said, that I did not want to listen to, things like:

“Pretty is as pretty does.”  Usually delivered when I was hysterical that I did not have a new outfit to start the school year, or had a pimple the day I had to give a talk.


“It is as easy to love a rich man as a poor man.”  When I clearly was enamored of a flashy boy of few prospects.


“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”  When I wanted fudge.

“It is better to buy one really well made item, than two trashy ones.”   When I wanted to purchase some very trendy item with my baby-sitting money.

“Keep you hair out of your eyes, or someone might think you are an idiot.”  No possible clue why she thought this, but clearly she did not approve of the sixties’ hairstyles.

“It is easier to make your bed the minute you get up.”  Never mind that you drank three glasses of water in the night. No dashing to the bathroom first.

Free printable courtesy of
But mostly Mama was right about all the things she wanted for us and the voice I hear most clearly is, “You can do anything you really care about, Heather.  Just decide to do it!

And because I am introspective, I wonder about how my daughters hear my voice?

Will they stop up their ears and try to ignore that voice?  Or will they, like me, remember Mama with mixed feelings, awe at what I was able to do, and compassion for the things I was not so good at doing?  Will they tell stories about my strongly held misconceptions and a laugh with joy at happy memories?  Will they wish I had been a different kind of mother?  Will they learn from my sharp words to be careful with their children?  Will they remember my sitting up until they are home from some late night activity as they sit up waiting for their own teens?

And now, as I glance at the clock, I hear “hurry Heather” as the day and my Mama call me with things to do and places to see.

Hope your Mother's Day brings back memories of your own Mama or of the Mother's Days you celebrated with your children.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Back to the Beginning

Yikes, it is already March and I am just now beginning to plan for this summer's Harry Potter Camp.  Last summer we had several very disappointed kids because the camp filled up well before July.  This summer we will focus on The Sorcerer's Stone.
 Here is a link to the registration site if you have a young person in your life who loves Harry Potter and would like to spend six days immersed in magical classes at Hogwarts, heavily disguised as a muggle camp outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

To get into the spirit for camp, I have been working on Gryffindor Tower again.  The masonry work (really styrofoam blocks) is almost finished and will be painted to look like stones. Since my last post, I have cut many little pieces of mahogany wood strips for a new floor for the common room which certainly improved the look of the room. (What is it about hardwood floors?) Soon all the little beds I made will come out of storage along with the other furnishings.  

Awhile back, I signed up to get emails from Erika VanHorn, a miniature artist, whose work I greatly admire and became enchanted with this telescope she made as a special order for another Harry Potter enthusiast. 
   Can't you just see Dumbledore sitting here late at night gazing at the stars, when all the student's are long asleep?  For more photos of Erika's fabulous tiny creations, visit here

Sadly the price is much higher than I usually spend on myself, so though she can make one for me, I am hesitating.  I may have to be content with the little hanging armillary that I did order.