Wednesday, December 30, 2015

and here is to a better 2016

2015 wasn't too bad for us, it started out a bit rough
the van went and we had to buy a car..... so now we have our prius
*i'm still in shock that we have a prius*
we lost phoebe, fawn, falstaff, mr quail and the budgie girls..... everyone was old however- but that all still broke my heart- i don't like losing my animal family
they got a home for life here.
on the plus side, i didn't have any major falls........ although i was diagnosed with fibromyalgia
and i did bring my bad arm and possibly broken shoulder back without medical attention....... *please.....three different freeken drs and no one could figure this out?*
i don't have full movement and i keep doing the exercises, trying to get full movement back if i can
now for you all, i wish you a safe and healthy new year.... i wish you interesting experiences....... new and old friends....
laughter and lots of good memories

i don't make resolutions but my plans are to continue to paint..... possibly going on a few research trips *day trips probably*
i also hope to print more paintings this year...
and continue some of the series that while i figure they are finished, i could sort of expand on...... with the idea of a calendar or something

another plan is to reorganize and expand the we may not be able to add on.... but if i can expand my painting area at least 4 more feet into the rest of the studio that would be a good thing.......
also i need to rebuild my work surfaces that hold tools/supplies and palettes...
when i do...i need them on wheels (and my drafting table too..... bernie is resisting that idea but i need wheels on it)
more lighting over there too

so anyway.....happy new year to you all
see you on the flip side

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

dear santa

well it's that time of year again.....
i miss my folks, but this year not as bad as some...i figure they are watching over me...
and i also figure they are thrilled that my work is very well received.
i have a few requests for you santa, if you don't mind
i've made a list:

* i have some friends who are very sick, recovering from surgeries, heartbreak, and illness, could you give them a bit of a boost?... they are all over the world, and while i imagine syria is going to be rough to get to......there are some over in that neck of the woods too..

* and speaking of that neck of the woods, is it possible to find a way for folks to learn to coexist a bit more peacefully? i watch the attention grabbing ravings of lunatics, and i wonder if things here will ever truly change?

* some sort of help or epiphany on the environment for folks to again work together and take care of our tiny and very fragile planet....spinning through the vast and endless darkness of space.... so incredibly and amazingly abundant with life. it would be such a horrible unspeakable tragedy for this to all be lost.

* some miracles would be nice, elevating folks suffering daily..... it's all fine and good to give them a meal on the holidays but wouldn't a better gift be, a better life daily? it's little things you know, like lack of pain, wholesome food, access to actual medical care.... a warm/dry roof...... clean water..... i know some people in america at least have figured out how to end homelessness..... how about the rest of the world?

* teaching folks we are all in it together, we are all inter-related- and to behave as if whatever we do, is what is truly done to us...... color really is only skin deep, and we are the tribe of earthlings.....(or maybe send some damn aliens to teach our asses that?)

* help the angry folks to find a way through that... they are scared, and bitter, their hopes and dreams are gone....... they need to find a fresh start somehow and a quiet heart

i know it's a lot santa, but see i figure more folks will listen to you then anyone else
i do have hope that people overall, are not stupid, * although some are occasionally sucker punched and miss the mark**
so maybe if there is a way to wake up their highest selves......

maybe that? maybe each one do one unselfish reach to another?

anyway santa
happy holidays to you and the mrs....and the elves and the deer
*i'm probably going to paint deer again btw, so if you'd send me one it's good...... they can come home after their portraits

Thursday, October 08, 2015

still working with gourds

and so far it's not working for me
i have to set up in the studio and i have to make sure the lighting stays consistent-
meanwhile i have a bit of a fibro flare, this one i think is stress induced, and is mostly my shoulders and my energy levels
even now after 12 hours sack time, i could lay down for another 6 it feels like
meanwhile i am trying to figure my gourd paintings
and i am trying to justify energy levels that even make painting hard with trying to clean the house
so far painting is winning out
but the guilt is crippling too-
now other news
cheapjoes is having a free shipping on brushes.... damn
i could use more gouache brushes too
but i'm going to have to pass
and i am going to have to pull out the gouache probably today for individual gourd paintings
although i think that even with them the lighting i want for the group is going to have to be set up.....not roughed in and imagined
i want a particular light

and eventually if/when we do the studio roof i swear, i am getting a north facing skylight....
for that particular cool diffused light

Wednesday, October 07, 2015


i posted on fb the paintings that are at the printers.....
we were only going to scan them as we can't afford to print without prepaid orders.
well i got some orders
so we are going to be printing the two pansy paintings...... 80.00 a print and 5.00 shipping
i am working on a price for the original paintings as well
since i am now getting asked for them
this is all very huge and very scary for me
but i'm doing it
as was pointed out to me, if i don't.....most likely eventually my paintings will end up in a landfill
so better that they go to good homes now

meanwhile bernie's cut back the trees, which means i can light the woodstove, so naturally the weather has gotten very warm again!
i'm ok with that.....
actually i am ok with a snowy but mild in temperature winter where the lows are around 25.......
** hear that mother nature?***
i'm not thrilled with my paint water having ice on it in the morning IN THE STUDIO
you know.....WHERE i paint!

so anyway..... today i am to take many more photos of the gourds
and we'll see where we get to

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

gourds, branches, and the printer

yup winter is coming...... even though the trees are still mostly green.
bernie's cutting back limbs so the chimney from the woodstove is safe 
but this does mean winter is on it's way
---still on the list is insulation and crack filling...oye-along with covering windows in the studio and the door wall in the duck room
more wood and a tank of oil

today, we pick up 'two foxes' from the printer
and amelia and company as well, which is a pen and ink, on rag bristol.
(and their digital files-but no prints) 
while at the printer, i will drop off the first chicken for scanning, that is going to the bird farm to thank them for their hospitality and allowing us to descend on them to photograph their birds and to have them share photos they took with me.
at this point i have two more chickens due to be scanned.....and 6 more to be painted
along with gourds and corn and pumpkins
i wish i could be painting a witch too but that's not to be i guess this year

also in studio news, i am trying to figure out a way to get steady north light for some of the work i am planning... short of installing a sun tunnel.....which i would love to do- the closest i can figure would be a cool white led light hung from HIGH over head?
but i don't know if that is going to work for what i've got in mind (high overhead is a joke as the ceiling in the studio is only 7'2'')

but the thing is.......i am getting more and more intrigued  by the overhead cool north light i see in old paintings, and how it affects colors.... so i am really wanting to work with that for a while
i swear i should have my studio in a glass house..... and i so would if i could afford to and afford to keep it comfortable while working

now i am supposed to be getting my shower, to go to the printer, however i am sitting in the studio sort of listening to bernie cut the trees back, as in case of an emergency i can help him
yes i know
yes i do this all the time
yes even he thinks i'm nuts

Monday, October 05, 2015

gourds have arrived!~!!

thank you so very very much.....

i am going to be taking them outside shortly and photographing them with some corn and leaves and if the pumpkins are ok.....them too
and also individually
i have lethargy though today.....
tomorrow is the printer
(after poor bernie cuts back trees so we can use the woodstove-branches too close to the chimney)

 meanwhile i've been sort of cleaning and reorganizing, rethinking my studio work area
and i realized i have it all sort of..........half baked
some things need to be where i can easily reach them from both the easel and the drafting
and to do that i need to move them and also move my easel........
so the new layout which i am going to try and finish up this fall will have my easel in the corner...... move the cds/cd player and the tool caddy, and camera to the center and further break up the paints.....gouache is going to be going into a smaller plastic drawer unit, leaving the wooden drawer chest for transparent water colors
colored and graphite pencils stay in the same place... sketch pads move over..... cut paper boxes get centralized as well
and somehow the shelves need to be hung...right now i have them stacked on coffee cans..... and that is taking up too much space now if i had just a BIT more floor space, i could set up a still life area that is easier to deal with-and to light........
as it is i am going to see about moving stuff down towards the back of the studio about 18''......that won't cover the ac in summer or the back up heat duct in the winter

i wish i could just open that area totally up but with calpurrnia still territorial marking (since that stupid jackass neighbor with the 7 un-neutered male cats spraying all over-she's never gotten over that) .....i can risk her getting into the painting area easily

so there you go....further small progress in re-organizing the studio's work flow......

Saturday, October 03, 2015


i'm sort of getting ready to start another round of painting,
moving things around in the studio a bit
thinking about how i work and where i can put things so i can maybe work on two pieces concurrently.
in the midst of this i spilled milk on my cobalt palette, as well as on my cadmium palette-i was not happy about that at all
well ok now i have washed them bit all that pigment and mixed pigments wasted.....

and i am thinking that the floor in that area is going to need peroxide too...
anyway some of the thinking i've done is how to set up so i can reach supplies from either the easel or the drafting table.. or should i just locate gouache on one and transparent watercolors on the other?
i need more lighting there as well
up lights would be optimum, but i am thinking a light bar, with clamp-on lamps is probably what is going to happen.

i also am trying to see what direction i need to take my paintings in next....
i am thinking that gouache needs to continue to explore how light falls on subjects, and what it does to colors.... i was so shocked when i figured out the actual blue of shadows at one point- i have to keep reminding myself to paint what is really there, not what i think i see-
gouache on dark paper forces my brain to work one way *reserve the darks for shadows*
transparent watercolor on white paper is directly opposite, *reserve the whites for light*
switching back and forth is a trip! as they both demand that you think about what you're going to do, how you're going to do it, and when in the process certain things have to happen. like when you need to mask out an image as you are going to be doing stuff to the background..... then lifting that mask to work on your main image.
now some people think that should NOT be done, but i know that for me, whatever works, works.... cause see i have this finished image in my head i'm also working towards

and the transparent watercolors, i think i need to go back to telling stories with, as the paintings that i don't hate as much are the ones with a story-
i think i'm ok that the gouache is about how to see, and the other is about overseeing sort of
i also am thinking i need to do both...
i could also with the gouache do one subject over and over if i had to in different lighting and different limited palettes
until i learned what i am looking to learn --- maybe the answer is....same subject, one in transparent and one in gouache?

i think that's part of what you ask 'what if.............' and then you do it to answer the question-no?
that's how i approached porcelain work..... 'what if i try this, would that give me a better finish? or do i need to modify that'

i wonder if there is a grant for studio expansion? there seem to be grants for EVERYTHING else...
me having a body of work at the end of a grant period is not a problem as i am prolific, but finding and writing a grant app may be a bit of a problem.

i do long to do etchings again, (and porcelain work) i loved the atmosphere of etching... that slight haze of ink not quite wiped off the plate- really i need a bigger studio and it needs to be on a slab to support a press -

i keep wondering what a studio would look like for the work i want to do and i think it should be round...... and i think that the perimeter would be where the work actually happens because of that being where the windows are... and the center of the circle is a good spot for a desk/table read/plan projects, do research....... (mat/frame/package-order supplies)- and when i have down time, i think of how i would set it up....where would the storage go, where would the slop sink about the drying racks, or the acid vats and vents....?

no wonder i am having trouble remembering what i ate for breakfast, with all this stuff swirling in my head.....

for now in the next foreseeable future, i have to just decide about the corn/gourd series..... continue the corn in transparent? or go onto gouache, and do the fall series ...and if i do that..... do i continue on the black or go onto the other colored grounds?
i have the other indian corn in transparent..... i could do both i suppose, corn in gouache AND corn in transparent
ohohoh, i would LOVE to do various heritage corns (the not white or yellow ones) THOSE i would do in transparent, and have them labeled with their names
i have a cob of oaxacan green corn- but it's not a complete one.... i would like to do a complete one, and i have a deep red dent corn.... plus a not filled in cob of what could be stained glass or candy corn.....
not quite enough to do what i was thinking of
*i have written to a few seeds banks to see if i can get growers to sell me heritage ears but no luck*
this, and the frog project will be on indefinite hold, due to lack of materials/models...
both of which i could really it's a shame but it is what it is and i'll make do

so there you go.... a sorta of 'state of the studio' address..... more or less?
and tomorrow it looks like i lay out the next chicken

Friday, October 02, 2015

a bit less meh.....

although it's a lot colder today..... i am coming out of the blahs..
today i put up the first real soupie of the season, cause it's very cold here
i am making chicken and dumplins
right now i am also poaching two extra chicken breasts in the broth for bernie to slice for chicken sandwitches at work tonight
and i am seriously hoping that tuesday he cuts back the trees cause it's freeken cold here- and i need to put the stove on
we need to break it in too so a low fire
i am trying to decide if i should do the corn and gourds on colored grounds in gouache or on white paper in transparent watercolors.....

and we may have found a body shop for less then going through insurance and the deductible
so while i am not happy about's better then 500 deductible

so then...... that's life in my little corner of pa
oh and.......we maybe have narrowly missed this current hurricane........joaquin ?
jersey and the coastal areas of course are taking a huge pounding.... but that's part of being a coastal area i guess

meanwhile we (me and the cats and budgie) are pretty cold..... i am going to give them some hot cat food to see if that helps them at all
i couldn't find the millet for captain cuttle.....i'll have to ask bernie where he put it
but hot cat food i can do

stay warm everyone, stay dry and safe

Thursday, October 01, 2015


i need to get back to work, but for some odd reason, i just don't feel like it
i did hear that my corn should be on it's way-
the replacement paper should be at the po today
(bernie will have to pick it up tomorrow)
for some reason though, work.... no energy for it

i don't know if it's the weather, which is cool, but humid and clammy, which makes it difficult for me to breath.
or, if it's just that i need a break..... some time out away from home/work
some sort of change in scenery?

i have to redo the buff orpington chicken then start on the black orpington and the white orpington.....
with corn and pumpkins interspersed, and probably leaves as well

i sort of wish that my studio had an etching press as i would work on etchings then while i waited for the omph to come back to painting.
and i also wish i was still set up for porcelain work..... that too would yield a nice break

so meanwhile right now, i am sleepy (either weather related or i am getting sick) ..... and sort of meh about work
not the best frame of mind to start a new painting in huh?

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

rain, at times heavy

brought a tree branch down on the prius,
put a huge dent in it
500 deductible on insurance
bernie said where it is....he's worried about water leaks
and that the paint already is chipping off so he is worried about it rusting
he is taking to the adjuster tomorrow
there goes my second wood load...
he's going to have to work at least 1 night overtime to cover
meanwhile his company still hasn't paid the overdrafts that they
ASSURED us they would cover do to them neglecting to deposit his pay

i am pretty tired of all this

ok yesterday, i dropped the two foxes and a pen and ink of amelia and the other ducklings at the printer to be scanned..... i am not printing them atm, but getting them scanned so i can send the originals to their new owners
i have chickens to get scanned too-one i know is spoken for in payment for letting me disrupt the bird farm in my quest for reference photos
i am hoping one other is sold
those will go to the printer next
i also took the majority of this years paintings to show ed the printer
he liked quite a few of them......
i know he is looking forward to the time when i will be getting more printed, as he does enjoy doing that for the artists that he works with.
so next tuesday we pick up the originals and the digital files-
i just said to bernie
i can't do this anymore
i need to get mats for the gouache paintings.... even ed the printer said that they needed to be matted and stored in bags due to the abrasion
oh man
so i have to look into that.... in bulk, mats would be at least 4. a painting
more if i cut them myself as i would have to get a cutter and storage and mat board etc....

but he's right

Monday, September 28, 2015

tomorrow the printer~! PS: i got a bad cold thanks bernie

the painting 'two foxes' will be going to the printer tomorrow to be scanned for a digital file, then's new home in Massachusetts-  i am actually selling originals now.
folks have been asking
and it was pointed out to me that i am not getting any younger, so these paintings need to have their futures assured.
as if something happens to me, bernie won't allow any of them to be sold
and then if he dies they end up as land fill
so to avoid that
i have started to sell painting
i will continue to sell prints when enough people want a print of a painting (to make it feasible)

it's bittersweet about the paintings...but then i would have been a very protective mother considering how i tread the animals... and bernie and the people i think of as family

meanwhile i am thinking about two other that is foremost is the gouache project.
still considering that one
and i am thinking of a transparent water color project as well
i'd like to do a run of newts, more birds of course
and then something that is totally out of my comfort zone......which at this point i don't quite know what it is
something with light on form i would imagine

this is my thought process.....
'ok, i can sorta do this, i am used to it........ how about making a sharp left turn and therefore set my brain upside down'

that's how gouache on black paper started....... it was the total opposite of what i had been doing.....

and now i want to think up something again the total opposite to set my brain upside down

so i will think.....and think and hope i come up with something

meanwhile i am interested in gouache

Sunday, September 27, 2015

i can't believe i cut ALL ** the paper

** that was undamaged

i cut 16 sheets of paper yesterday...doesn't sound like a lot but i had to sit down between each one
so all the paper for the gouache project is cut pretty much, and in a box marked 'colored grounds for gouache'
i am planning on making sure all the materials and supplies are inhouse from now on, prior to the start of a project......
and while i thought i was done with gouache on colored grounds (at least for now) ...i realized that i want to do all four season, so in the end that would be 24 paintings
now the question is..... do they all have to be on black paper or can i do each season on a different colored fall could be what? tan?
spring could be on grey, winter maybe on pale blue?
or maybe continue the series on black and vary the subjects
my aim through this is to learn about how light affects your eye seeing things throughout the seasons.....
i've already learned that the dark ground causes you to focus tightly on the image....which during the summer was painted in a high noon type light for the most part
hard and harsh (to my mind) highlights
i am going to try to convey the softer more diffused light of fall that's colored by the leaves and sky .....i am not sure however if black paper is the right ground to showcase that.....but i go around and around --- so while the actual painting may wait-- the reference photos, and notes will be done as soon as i have the models in hand.

meanwhile i plan on continuing work on the chickens..... i have the hackles on the lavender rooster to finish and then he's done...
a second buffie.....
the black and the white
then hens......
i may move the regular watercolor work over to my drafting table and then use the table easel for gouache work
i'll see if i can work on two paintings at a time....
so far i don't know how i can, as each painting takes a bit of time- anywhere from 100 hours....... up but at least i know if something is giving me grief on one painting there is another option i can jump to
this however may take some rearranging of the studio.......something bernie may not want to hear
* he also doesn't want to hear 'i need more bookcases'*
but really i could so use a bigger studio....i think if i did get to expand ( we were going to when we could afford it) i would like an etching press..... and a sculpting area......i miss both- plus i think that would be a good way to keep fresh while i'm working

anyway....i'm about to get to the easel ....having taken the day off to cut and prep paper.....
tuesday does still look good for potatoes and to drop paintings off at ed to be scanned/photographed

tiny ducklings are going to a new home.....(in black and white) and it looks like the two fox have a new home

Saturday, September 26, 2015

brushes and paper and paint --oh MY!

i got notice that part of my paper and brush order was in
i thought we'd have to wait until monday (when the second and final part of the order would be there)
but bernie ran to the post office
*** he's there RIGHT NOW**
so today.... i have to cut paper
(and freeze sausages from his shopping trip)
and in between i have to finish painting hackles on my rooster-

now so far yesterday, i had a pretty good fibro day, all things considered.....
i am hoping today will be just as good
i started to take the b12 in the morning instead of at night with the rest of my vitamins..... i think that has helped a bit
plus the weather is semi settled.

it has been decided that tuesday in addition to going (finally) for potatoes, that one or two paintings will be dropped off by ed the printer, to be digitized
and i need to have a discussion with him about the digital files
i need RAW + and as big as he can do them 5700 pixels is ok
i AM going to be selling the originals- which is scaring the living daylights out of me-
someone (actually several someones) made a lot of sense telling me that those paintings do no good in a box hidden from everyone...... (and those boxes are pretty full up now)

i am still wondering if anyone really actually wants them though
i also got quite a few opinions on pricing.....
from quite a few different people, not only artists, but collectors etc
they all seemed to agree that 300 per painting was a middle ground
so that's about it.....
i guess since most paintings take more then a week... *between 2-4 weeks* and the materials are 100% archival and lightfast....
that would give me a salary of approximately 100 a week...... for painting
see when it was put to me that way...... then 300 sounded reasonable- although it still makes me uncomfortable......which means i am probably in the correct ballpark

i still STILL need to get on the ball with the copyrights
i am behind on that
as in i still haven't done it yet and it's still overwhelming me and just the thought is robbing spoons (the spoon explanation of illnesses)
but it has to be done
i wish i could figure a way to have bernie do it
ahem.... then i could ignore it all...right?
go back to the easel in blissful innocence?

ok so it's time to go ......that easel is calling me

Friday, September 25, 2015

more winter preps

bernie went to shoprite this morning on the way home from work ** thank goodness cause i can't right now***
on sale ronzoni, sausage, teabags, some frozen pirogi at a price i can't even make them for, odds and ends....
we still need another 3 cords of wood
100# of potatoes
a tank of oil
a new storm window in one of the studio windows
crack filler and insulation for the studio and duck room
a roll of bubble wrap ( i found a 48'' x 125' roll)
two packs of sheet plastic
and bernie needs shoes

so i am going to most likely either do a kickstarter to print some of the paintings-
and or sell originals
** which still need to go to the printer for their digital files to be done***

meanwhile i am still painting chickens
which i need to get done soon
as bernie got me two pumpkins! so i have them too
the corn i was promised from CT so far hasn't shown up, - i'll have to see if i can find some around town.

i wish i could get the paintings done as cards..... it is still going to cost 70.00 PLUS per painting to get shot for digital print files......
so at this point that would be a bit too expensive just for cards... (that's why i do a run of 8 prints- that makes it so i pay for scans/prints and make a profit)

any suggestions are welcome


Thursday, September 24, 2015

little pieces of daily life

a piece here, a piece there.
bernie worked overtime so we are stocking up.... (potatoes weren't ready tuesday so next tuesday for them)
but we are stocking food..... tuna at .69 a can we got 14 cans of that but needed a bit more-
sausage on sale tomorrow....we'll get about 10# and that will hold us through to the next sale
odds and ends

i am restless, the weather has been so glorious, i want to go out...i want to pick apples and pumpkins and rake leaves.....
none of which i can actually do
i would love to take the ducks on a walk as well.......
or go horseback riding

meanwhile, i am continuing painting the chicken series..
and doing a lot of thinking about my work

i wonder if other artists go through this.....? i go back and forth about what i do.. i work daily, for the most part, i work hard, i push my limits .....but i don't push the envelope i think..... what really does what i do mean,?  if anything?
what is the point?
the only thing you could say about what i do is that i treat the every day, common images of life as portraits..... (i painted every damn kernel of that indian corn as if it was it's own individual portrait....took forever)
so in the end what does it really matter?

i also am considering the gouache on black..... i guess i am going to have to revisit it
as well as the other backgrounds- probably with seasonal things
and i am so going to have to figure a way to get some of what i need for models....i guess holly for winter? oranges? nuts?

anyway i wonder about the worth of what i do, even while i can't stop doing it
so there you go.....
part of today's musings on life

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

soft days of summer's end

you know the type, those perfectly brilliant days with perfect weather, in a very brief period of time between the demise of the hot hot weather and the onslaught of the cold and dark time of year.
days when you must must be outside,
when you must try to drink it all in
capture if you can the aliveness of it all
before being enfolded up into your cocoon for the winter
that's the reward for enduring the heat and dryness of august
the heat and humidity of the summer
and it's the memory that gets you through the seemingly endless slush and white coldness of sleep of winter

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

a potato day

at least i hope so
at least 2 bags of 50# each for the winter *** ahem, my beloved lehigh potatoes won't be ready until tuesday next ****--we are slowly getting ready
i wish most of this had been done earlier, (potatoes couldn't be done earlier- but wood could have been)
i wish wood was already stacked, trees cut back from the chimney, windows caulked, and covered with plastic
i also wish i had been well enough to garden, to build my cold frames and have tucked in winter vegetables under a blanket of mulch.
i'm better but not well yet.
i have some hopes of improving slowly.
meanwhile i am painting
right now i am in the midst of chickens.
i don't foresee corn at this point, but it is possible that in a week or so there will be corn and pumpkins and maybe gourds ......and colored leaves to paint
*** i need more lightbulbs*** (note to self-for the drafting table)
i am actually looking forward to getting the colored paper and starting a gouache painting on the drafting table while i work on my chickens on the easel.....

i did 6 paintings in gouache of the summer flowers here....... i am considering doing six paintings in gouache of fall/seasonal plants, possibly corn, leaves, berries, gourds, pumpkins, nuts...
maybe if i keep going i will, after a year, end up with 24 gouache paintings that could be called 'the four seasons' or something

now as an aside..... no one is more surprised then i am to find out how committed  i've become to all this work, and how one thing suggests another and how before i know it a series happens
and yet my subjects seem so randomly varied to me.... and simple, what ever is sort of to hand
and the really oddly interesting thing to me is, how involved i get when i'm painting whatever it is i am painting...
i also seem to be thinking of things such as...'what exactly is it about this light on this form'
all this is done while i am somehow in this weird meditative 'out there' state i get into while painting...

i never thought i would get beyond 'does this tell the story' , even though i am a great believer in 'just show up and work every day, no matter what'......
i probably should have/could have predicted this if i had actually stopped to think about it
as i type this
my painting is calling me .....i am redoing a purple chicken.....
don't laugh
he's giving me the stink eye and daring me to do better

Saturday, September 19, 2015

preparing for the influx of stonehenge

the paper that is
i had said if i could find a 25% off coupon for stonehenge i would get it.....i did, so yes i did get it (bernie actually told me to-he liked the gouache on stonehenge series)
now 18 sheets of colored stonehenge are on their way (or will be soon)
plus two sheets of  pescia by magnani (blue) and one each of strathmore charcoal in a dark grey and a cadet blue.
plus an archival box to store the quartered sheets in.
i suspect that the strathmore is going to be for colored pencil as it's pretty lightweight at 64#
the pescia is 300 gsm so about 140#.....we'll see about the surface though- that one only has two options for what i'm looking for..this blue and a grey- but if it's not sized for water media, then i may have to either size it myself....or again, colored pencil work.
the stonehenge is only 90# -200 gsm, and i can make that work

all these papers are 100% cotton rag..
i am dying to get my hands on 100% linen..... i am starting to think i am getting to the point where my work is worth it..... a 300# or more linen would make me very happy in a full sized sheet......unbleached, internally and surface sized.....*** i think i just fainted***..... we'll see after the new year about the mills that have this- i know one is in the midwest, one in canada and one in france.......

so anyway i am getting ready in the studio for the paper to arrive
i've sorted my cut paper boxes, and pulled all the fabriano that i use almost exclusively, out..... it's all in one box now.
the other box has misc. paper from when i was experimenting with surfaces and weights.
i had decided that fabriano artistico 140# hp in extra white is my go to work horse paper.
for the most part, after testing and painting on a lot of other paper. i am only sorry i didn't get more in the 300# weight but at least the 140# is workable.
i have a few paintings on some of the others, and on cp and rough surfaces .....even one on soft press- they are exciting and wonderful-BUT- are a nightmare to photograph for reproduction, where as the artistico hp is much easier.

the stonehenge quartered paper will have it's own box (and yes i labeled all the boxes now with what's in there on drafting tape)

i figure if i can ever get flat files a 10 drawer unit should be ok for me.... i can put finished paintings in four sections per draw......and sort out the full sheets with a draw for halfs and quarter sheets......

and i need a bigger studio..... really i guess i do... i could use a cutting area and a matting/framing area (which i don't do now due to space) ....... storage ** hahahaha, storage around here means NOTHING.....there is none***
and i could use photography lighting..... if i could only get some glare free lighting i am actually capable now of shooting some decent usable digital files, except for the glare
that is my studio goings ons.....and my wish list/ goal list
or my 'when i hit the lottery' list

but it is nice to have sorted the paper out i wish i had somewheres other then the budgie  cage top to store it
-- as does the budgie--

Friday, September 18, 2015

toning watercolor paper

i tried an experiment  on my watercolor paper, using staining pigments to tone it.
i'm not happy with it
this is what i did
i mixed up a solution of pigment (pthalo blue 15:3) distilled water, and oxgall
i wet the paper back and front and lightly wiped off the shiny spots-
and when it was sort of damp and flat washed on the pigment with a large flat soft brush, as evenly as i could manage....
let dry and did it again-
the surface i would imagine would be wonderful for colored pencil or even pastel
but i don't think it will be a good idea for gouache, it's already buckling like crazy- not what i wanted at all
now the next logical thing is to just attempt to work with the stonehenge which while i am not totally crazy about the least is 100% cotton and i know i can use, although i would really like to mount it
and if i can find an archival glue i will....
so far all the so called archival glues aren't...... which leaves me with hide glue
so i  will have to think about that for a while

Thursday, September 17, 2015

slowly slowly

how come things never get straightened out as fast as things get screwed up?
we're still having issues with bernie's company making good on the fees associated with their not paying him his vacation pay.
they screwed up and now are giving us a hard time, even AFTER assuring us that they were going to fix it

meanwhile, i'm still out of sorts
the weather is wonderful...i should be very very content, but out of sorts yet- staying away from almost everyone ** so if you are hearing from me on a semi regular basis, know that you are one of the few - i know you're reading this**

i just realized that if i am going to do any print runs this year ....i need to do something NOW
meanwhile i am still painting chickens
i'm about done with the second one...... i'll finish him today, i am not however sure if i didn't ruin him or not
i have two more roosters then hens to do
i also really need to put in a paper order for gouache paintings..... i want more of the stonehenge in some of the other dark colors..... there is a brown, blue, two grays and a tan called fawn i am thinking would be a good idea..
i think i'm going to get three sheets of each, (three sheets should give me 12 painting surfaces so two series in each ground color)...i also found two other papers to test...
i need brushes ( so what else is new) and some odds and ends.. but i am hesitant to put the order in's not going to be a cheap order... it's going to be over a right now, it's only 15% off on 100, i want to wait until i can get 20 or more % off (and i have the wood and oil taken care of)

so that's pretty much it
i am really wishing i had that paper already but it will have to wait......after all i will just paint on it...... thereby avoiding the rest of the chickens and the corn i have to do on the regular paper with the normal watercolors right?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

chickens .... up to my ears in chickens

i started to paint roosters, from the bird farm.
i did the lavender orpington, and am working on the buff orpington-
i've been sort of not online to much....i'm going through some of 'those' days
i don't know what it is really
but i'm out of sorts
i guess between bernie's company totally messing up his past 4 weeks pays....
and worry over this winter and the heating situation
*our wood got rained on badly the other night, it's not stacked yet-i can't stack*
etc etc
i wish i had been able to put in a back up kero or propane heater in the studio for nights or even for the bad part of winter so i can paint without films of ice on my rinse water ..
but meanwhile i am just painting
i would like to get some of these paintings printed as prints and cards, and the images put on some other things like house flags and calenders but that is not going to happen right now

i also appear to have allergies against a lot more things... probably mostly involving molds as after the rain i got worse.
thaddeaus too ....... maybe calpurrnia a bit also......* i am dreading heating season-
i found a bottle of zyrtec on the shelf so i been taking one a works the best out of all the allergy meds

so until some of this straightens out around here i guess i'll continue to be out of sorts
but i'll also continue to paint

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

gouache and possiblities

i've been researching grounds for the gouache paintings again-
i would like a different color ground....
i found some ideas that could work maybe
if i can get to experiment--- i keep hoping someone says 'oh i got the perfect thing for you, it's exactly what you need'
but so far not in america

so this is some of what i been thinking of

all involve work and are an expense i really don't want or need
 1) 300# watercolor paper and acrylic inks- downside..... the ink won't be perfectly even, it will be a mottled look
2) casein on mat board- downside..... this would be a 'lean over fat' which is not good
3) acrylic gouache on mat board- downside......the pigments aren't as lightfast as i would like

all i want is an approximate 300# HOT PRESS -100% cotton rag with a few completely lightfast colors......
dark blue
dark red
deep purple
dark green
and a sorta moody selection of various grays

is that too much to ask?

Sunday, September 06, 2015

goals, new work, and progressions

i started work on chickens painting yet, just sketches of buff orpingtons
i plan on doing the 4 colors of them and i will decide later on the progression of the series
i can do series of 8, so two of each color..... the first four just the roos the second four the hens or any combination thereof.
right now however i am just going to reacquaint myself with orpington anatomy.

i have also reassessed my goals....
and i have a few new ones
but i am working on that still so i don't know if i'm really ready to share
oh and it's about a year since that agent contacted me, haven't heard anything more from her- i am thinking that's a lost cause.
so i am also figuring that one was not meant to be for me
meanwhile i am of course STILL painting

i do have to make a priority to get my pdf of painting thumbnails done for the copyright office .....even though i am protected currently i need to know that i have it covered for the future

then i will upload to the website i made (*** mobile friendly ***)
and again start to submit for licensing

i am hoping also to get to print some paintings next month
if folks want them to give as gifts
i need an assistant i think too
but again...meanwhile i paint

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

wood, stress, tires and more stress

well first off..i finished the last painting of flowers on black paper in gouache.
so this series has, two pansies, two petunias and two rose of sharon......
i do have the columbine, and orchid also in gouache on black paper.....but they don't 'fit' this series
i hope to return to white paper for a while and transparent watercolors
i am sort of waiting a bit, as i have some stuff to deal with (bernie's job screwed up payroll and he's not been paid for two weeks cause a whole bunch of stress and problems for me to deal with, and for him to deal with)
and before that little tidbit hit the fan......we bought our snow tires and part of our winter wood... then found out that we had to cover the overdrafts caused by the direct deposit not happening and the auto pays coming out...
this should be straightened out by the 5th i hope

we did get our snow tires.....we got them online for a savings of 200.00 over the local b&m stores... we did try to buy local but when we started to shop around, we got hit with 'i ordered them for you they are 110. each'----- yeah forget that, we asked for an ESTIMATE.. so for 84.00 a tire and free shipping we got tires, delivered ups
they are now sitting in my living room along with a bushel of green peppers i have to process for the freezer.....

meanwhile, i found out yet another friend of mine died!.... what is this with all these guys dying before 60? so far this summer i found out about 4 of my friends dying!

meanwhile i am again in a fibro flare, so far it's shoulders and fingers........ and my ankles are threatening to spasm if i don't watch it... poor bernie never seems to get sleep on his nights off due to either me with asthma or me with fibro..

so it's stress, stress and more stress.... interrupted with wood and tires...

and how is your end of summer going?

Saturday, August 29, 2015

once upon a time

about 20 years ago...maybe a bit later then that
we saw a group of 'ornaments'
at a local in town store that sold plants and produce in season, and christmas trees and ornaments in december
i will never forget those ornaments
i made a mental note to go back to buy some when we had the money but when i did they were no longer there and the new owners of that store had no idea what i was talking about

they were amazing...
all handmade and i was told locally made.
animals in victorian clothing, but not stylized or caricatures.....
made of fabric, about 5'' tall.......delicate, detailed, and perfect
i can't get them out of my head
the pig's legs just blew me away (pig dressed as a chef....old german victorian chef)
the fox as reynard in a hacking jacket, with boots and top hat
elephant as a major in the british military with monocle !
rhino as an edwardian banker with bowler and briefcase
flamingo with an umbrella....
mother goose as a goose.....
all perfect all tiny all delicate ...........

i have been searching for that artist and those 'ornaments' ever since...(it was some time prior to 2000 i know, it could have been prior to 1992 but i can't remember)

anyway i keep looking.......
and looking

now i suspect they were either sewn over a wire armature or  spun cotton over wire.... but either way they were accurate depictions of the animal's anatomy........and to this day i am still blown away

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

painting, bird farm, vacation

that's been what's going on since my last post
we had a blast with our friends at the bird farm.....OMG i want to move in there
i've finished another painting in the gouache series...... this one was horizontal petunias
(they're all starting to run together on me)
about to start the last of the series which is a vertical rose of sharon in purple.....
bernie did some stuff around the house and such
he also dry burned our back up kero heaters..... and the generator, got some wood stacked
etc etc.......
while i was completing this latest painting

in studio notes, i am still looking for a 100% cotton, fade proof heavy paper or board to paint on with gouache in dark colors.... i found two that would work but they are in england, without a distributor here- disappointing to say the least....
i'm also in need of new brushes again.....i had seen rosemary and co saying 1.00 shipping but when i inquired it was a typo and 11.00 shipping......
cheapjoes is following me around the net with ads for 1.00 shipping too but when i go to use it they won't allow me
so i am waiting.....
but i so need brushes due to gouache wear-
ohohoh, when we moved the paper boxes off the top of the budgie flight cage to take it out for it's annual deep cleaning, i discovered that i had a stash of paper up there, that i'd forgotten the next time i get paper for painting on, i am getting 300# instead of 140# as i have a ton (seems to be literally a ton, judging by the weight)...... of the 140#.....
so getting in a stash of 300# hot press paper is what i am aiming for in the future.

we are also about to get our snow tires for the prius..... and are waiting for the wood guy to call us back..... getting wood up here lately is a huge problem..... i maybe forced to look into replacing the stove with pellets -although i did see a grate for the woodstove that took pellets.....
heating is getting to be a real problem here...
there isn't a whole lot of building going on up here so land isn't being cleared and there isn't wood to be had as logs lately .... i'm looking at alternatives but so far i don't think we can get solar that can take over.... but i keep researching.
we did get two solar lights to keep for emergencies..... (i need better rechargeable batteries for them though)
i have a goal of having solar lights for nightlights, emergency lighting and also ambient lighting- so then our total lighting needs after are just task.... which i am going to replace with LEDs so hopefully further reducing our electric use....(which is currently 30% lower then a compatible house/family)- i am hoping to get our use, and bill, down to 50% less....
sadly the studio is the worst because of the terrible walls/windows/insulation.... we're working on it ..... slowly

so that's pretty much it- what's been going on here... i would post photos but google's got my gigs limited..... that's why you folks haven't been seeing any pictures here ......sorry

til next time

Sunday, August 16, 2015

the start (after tonight)

of vacation.....bernie's that is
well after he gets some sleep tomorrow
meanwhile i am painting that second petunia painting
and after that a rose of sharon.....then this series is finished

i really need to go through my box of finished paintings and see how many i've gotten done this year....
i also need to get a real official paintbox i think, although i am working on a wooden box right now........ i am thinking of the one from kremers for a metal one, they have a 4 row that holds like 28 full pans, i think that's a good's got to wait however as i can not see spending the shipping money on it. not right now anyway.

see if i am going to be having to go out in the field, i am so going to need something portable... and i am not sure what the most efficient answer is to that's been so very long since i did field work (they call it plein aire now)
but i'll work on it

in other news that's got me concerned, the old farmer's almanac is calling for a brutal cold snowy winter... we still don't have our wood or studded snow tires...
so that's got me super worried now, being's it's august
i'm tired too from the fibro, so everything seems harder and worse to me

well that's our sunday night.... which really for us is actually our friday night
til next time

Friday, August 14, 2015

in painting news

i am continuing with the gouache on black paper series of flowers
so far, i have:

  1. columbine
  2. orchid
  3. pansy dance
  4. pansy cascade
  5. petunia tower
  6. rose of sharon horizontal
and today i start the horizontal petunias
and i'll finish up this series with a second rose of sharon that is vertical
now in between some of the flowers i've also done some of the arctic or nordic/russian goddesses and a pair of fox
that fox pair is a riot....... it makes me laugh
and next week is supposed to be the bird farm visit, so that should give me enough photos and color charts/sketches for a few more months.
we're planning a visit to the butterfly sanctuary too.....but that won't happen i suppose this year, as they close in september and we've run out of time
so that is the line up at the moment of paintings.....
i really need to sit down and figure out how many i've done so far this year....i would like at least 40 a year......more would be better...... (one or two a week would be best).... but some work out longer

right now it's a nightmare to store them all..... and i don't really know exactly how we're going to get them all shot by ed the printer yet..... i would imagine at this point, there are close to 1000 paintings waiting their turn.
and then........ ........ well let's just say it's overwhelming

so that's todays news....

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

today is raining AGAIN

bern put the girls out's dark and overcast- and today is our sunday
so now he's making breakfast for us

i have a lot of work ahead of me this week, and i am hoping NEXT week is a visit to the bird farm for the upland game birds and edwards pheasants
as bern is on vacation...
we are also going to be doing the captain's flight cage and the mobile *morgue* table in the kitchen .......* it's really just a commercial stainless table on wheels- but it sure looks to me like something you'd see in a morgue*

i am still arguing with myself about getting my work to copyright, then up
yeah i know
but i'm concerned about it being lifted
everyone i know is getting their work lifted
i know i's  a catch 22........oh and also i have to put it in my IRL name
so that's upsetting too
after all these years of 'don't put things on the net'
it's sort of hard to do it

also i have to talk to a gallery ........ the consensus is a ny or philly gallery but i've been hearing of so many going under and the work being seized to pay creditors
so i need to rethink that as well
and i am still really wanting to get licensing contracts for house flags and such

really it's just easier to start a new painting and ignore all this stuff which is what i always do

i need a manager i think-- don't you?

Sunday, August 09, 2015

still painting

that's about all i can do lately
last night i had terrible trouble breathing, plus what sleep i got i had nightmares
horrible violent, blood filled nightmares
now normally when i dreamt of blood i would have a monthly- but me and monthlys never were a regular thing and either way....they are a thing of the distant past.

also today i found out another friend of mine died......LAST YEAR
i feel terrible about that, and not know if a year later i should call the widow, or send a card or what?
there are way too many people i know on the other side now
even for me
it's our friday night
i should be in bed
i am going up

in a minute

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

did you ever get tired

of stupidity?
watching the world lately, i keep thinking it's probably LONG over due for the planet to shake off humans in a mass extinction and start over
i'm very tired of all the crap that is going on
how many ways people can try and bully, control, force, coerce, scare.... etc other people
trying to get folks to do something that could/maybe contrary to a person's inner map
and the fear on all sides

it's all very tiring

Friday, July 31, 2015

brush woes

lately i've been working in gouache almost exclusively... botanicals (i use that term loosely)
but my kalish brushes gave up the tips FAST
so again i am on the hunt for new springy tippy brushes that will last more then 5 gouache paintings
lots of suggestions
and lots of cost variations
meanwhile my poor petunia painting languishes on it's easel
maybe i should have a brush fund raiser (it's only half a joke, brushes aren't cheap)
anyway that's what i'm doing right now with my summer

Thursday, July 23, 2015

and the summer is fast flying

i'm battling allergies or something, it's giving me a lot of trouble on and off with breathing
so i'm really not doing much except painting
we did manage to get some very good bargains on meat so we stocked the freezer.
we're trying to stock veggies too now
i am back to knitting again, but very little at a time.....and my circular needles keep breaking
meanwhile i'm planning paintings
i also wrote to the copyright office about the orphan works act
so thankfully i got that in to them in time
and i am researching small appliances for the kitchen, drop in cooktops or wall ovens
narrow fridges....... 18'' dishwashers or dishwasher drawers.....
i can't afford them yet but in the future.......
that's about it

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

again dodging fibro flares

but slowly things are getting done, with a lot of help from bernie as i can't do much of what i used to do .......
bernie told me that the upright freezer is now full
(all the container meals)
we have to rotate the hams out, the precooked ones will stay but the ones that need cooking are to come up, be cooked and then cut up, packed and put away as meals
i have beef to look for next (a good sale would sure help)
and then i'll be doing more veggies
we have a lot of sliced peppers put away, and hope for stuffed peppers to be put away
he's got a guy at work who has a small truck garden and we're getting bushels of stuff when we can
we've gotten potatoes and peppers and corn so far over the past year-
meanwhile i need to seed spinach for the fall
this morning we put away 6 small pork roasts
yesterday we put away 10 meals of breaded porkchops and about 40 of hot dogs (it's a compromise, i don't like or agree with hot dogs, he loves them, they were on a bulk sale at the provisioners, so we got them.
with bernie's help we can get done part of what i used to be able to do in a morning...

i am still debating a kickstarter for printing work
i don't quite have the energy yet... so that's on hold
but i would really like to get the gouache paintings printed so i can sell the originals..
as if i keep them i am going to have to either get flat files or frame them

so that's what's up..oh and rain..... tons of rain and more rain

and how is it by YOU?

Monday, July 06, 2015

and here it is.....JULY!~

i've been sick off and on with fibro flares in response to weather
today isn't too bad so far
when i'm able i am devoting all my time to painting
currently gouache on black paper..... flowers-
i did the birthday orchid from bernie, horizontal pansies from the deck,
vertical pansies from the deck (in the midst of that one)
and planning on doing the lime/fuchsia striped petunias as well (one horizontal one vertical to 'go with' the pansies)
ed my amazing printer is on vacation in i think doubt fly fishing
so nothing is going to be printed until he's back
unless i get cards done
one of my friends has a printer that does her cards and although i'd have to ship, i may do this just to get the cards done

if i do 5 paintings a month as cards.......wait who am i kidding, i am so prolific that i would have to have 15 paintings a month printed to cover the new work as well as making a dent in the backlog of paintings that are piled up in boxes
ahem, i also need more archival boxes at this point

as has been pointed out numerous times (yes i know you're right KAREN) if i sold the originals........... yes yes yes i know
but until they are in digital files i can't do that
i really should get one box started a year though

meanwhile i am liking (ahem was liking) the gouache, these vertical pansies are kicking my ass a bit right now.....maybe it's too much yellow
or specifically CADMIUM yellow
but the other two yellow gouaches from m graham aren't the right shades of yellow and no amount of mixing helped that

well's time now
i have to get dressed and get to work
those pansies aren't going to paint themselves

Saturday, June 27, 2015

i'm thinking.... the drought's got to be over

rain and rain and rain and more rain
and rain
rain rain rain
those are my days and nights
after a while you're actually afraid of the sun!

today i did color charts, i did most of my watercolors (missing two on the chart)
and i did most of my gouache
i am adding two cads (yellow and red) and eventually cad orange
i think that'll be ok for gouache then
as i seem to be able to mix enough colors out of what i have and adding regular watercolors to the mixes as well

i was hoping to do another flower on black paper in gouache but i don't have one
i would like a blue one
alkanet would be nice
a blue poppy
or even delphinium
i can't do acronite as calpurrnia loves to eat the models and that will kill her, ditto on the nightshade

so i have to take stock of what is finished and what isn't finished in my series and go from there
i am going to ditch one of my frogs so i need to do another frog painting, just when i thought i was finished with them and could move on to newts
i am considering a mallard for the next migratory bird series
and due to rain, i can't go to the bird farm for the upland birds-
i don't have the teacups for the rest of the teacup series.....
i could do another northern myth/folklore/fairytale.....
or i can add to the foxes either other small predators or maybe just more fox?
of course there is always CORN to paint.......
so that is the state of the studio this very rainy night

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

oh my goodness

no i didn't forget you all, but i have not be the best with the weather changes
it's really rough on a fibro body
painting continues when i can,
i finished the russian wood spirit and foxes
a portrait of the two foxes
a frog (one more to do as now i don't like one of the series enough to keep it)
and am working on pansies on black paper
it looks like mid/end of july for the bird farm visit so that could be late summer into late fall paintings

in household news, we're stocking the freezer, chicken is on sale so we're stocking
i think we'll end up with 200 pounds if i can (yes it's that cheap )

today is our 'sunday' so bernie due to rain is resting in the house
he's playing video games on the old computer
i'm intermittent painting- as my body allows.....
i am trying to rest as well, and dodge the fibro pain

so that's where we're at now
how is by you folks?

Monday, June 08, 2015

happy 100 birthday mom

that's my mom, the oldest daughter.....she would have been 100 years old today, we lost her 30 years ago to bone cancer. 

Thursday, June 04, 2015

after the rain

it's been raining here too, not just texas and oklahoma
everything is very moist and very green
thankfully because the uphill neighbors were burning garbage illegally throughout the drought
it was pretty scary after having seen the big fire down at blue mountain

all is pretty quiet here otherwise, thank goodness
i'm painting (finished a russian wood spirit with foxes, and a portrait of two foxes-which we may be printing)
i was asked to go to the bird farm and paint the turkey, peacocks, roosters and pheasants there
i am hoping that i can make time by end of june
meanwhile since the weather did warm up, i am feeling a bit better so i've been able to get more done
i put by chicken freezer meals as chicken was .89 a pound
and i'll be trying to put by more meals if i can
against the days i can't

i also found out that a friend of mine from high school 2012, but i just found out yesterday, i don't know from what......but it's made me very sad to hear the news
he'd relocated about 20 years ago to the southwest.

in animal news..... mostly everyone's ok here for now.... captain cuttle wants a birdie friend so bad....and i would like to get him one this summer. he's taken to sitting at the extreme top corner of his cage so he can see me and chirp at me while i work
the lapermies are having allergy problems
it's the rain now
chickens, ducks and mrs quail are in the molt......... so are out of sorts

and this is pretty much all the news from here

til next time

Friday, May 22, 2015

omg a week?

i've been trying to do this next layout and sort of floating
so that accounts to the week gap between posts

the weather's changed to cold too now
good sleeping weather-however it's sort of cold (ahem....SORT OF? i got three shirts on and a wool hat) in the studio

now i am working also on more of the eastern europe/arctic myths of the feminine series
working on the second 'spirit'
also sanding and prepping boards for silverpoint

i have to decide something---- do i set up the next phase of the web presences for my work with a studio name? or in my real life name?
if i go with a studio name then i have to do a DBA......oye
what do you folks think?
i got a partial webpage put together that is optimized for mobile-
i am thinking of a FB page as well to go with
as well as society6 and fine art america

i know i have to do something... i'm not really getting enough exposure right now, and folks do actually like what i do!
so any thoughts anyone have.... there is an email button or you can comment (remember i approve comments so if you say something ....only i will see it -and you can ask to not be published)

the cold weather continues.....good sleeping weather.
it's rather dark out right now so i am sort of expecting rain, and since it's 2pm, i got time to paint before having to wake bernie and start supper

that is basically catching you all up in a fast fly by post

take good care

Thursday, May 14, 2015

froggie froggie

i'm working on my 5th frog in the series
in looking back, the early 3 frogs i put the background paint on....and then sprayed it with water to soften it up, and make it 'watercolor washy'
these last three........yeah no
hard edges and tons of speckly splattery colors

since i do'nt know which way i like better, i may do another series only with turtles or newts
and do 3 of each

now, the weather is cooler, we actually had a frost warning last night, but no frost.
i did however, bring in the delicate plants.
everything seems ok
at least on the deck plants...the rest of the landscape isn't so lucky.
our yews and rhodo appear to be dying for no reason.... we don't think it could be drought as we had a lot of snow cover and then some rain
i'm not sure why else though
and the yew by the front door has a robins nest, bernie felt three eggs and they are blue
that made me happy

the new prius is averaging 49-51 mpg........ i was so hoping for much better mileage (it's getting what it's rated for though-but the prius forum some folks get better mileage)
i had forgotten how small and NOT A VAN that car is....and asked bernie to bring me home pallets from work
yeah that isn't going to happen
and no tow package so no towing a trailer with them either
gees i so miss my van
i thought maybe we put the seats down and tarp the back????
bernie said no

well that's the update from here
how is all of your summers going?

Monday, May 11, 2015

isn't there a way to save the heat for winter?

cause it's hot as hell today

humid too

ok.... the news here is:
art supplies have landed
and bernie made the save after the town (not mine) post office decided not to bother to deliver
and were about to send it back

i have tried the paints
cobalt teal is now my new love
i am trying to see if i can use the ground on my twinrocker 200# hot press paper so i can do silverpoint

and the muse has deserted me for a while ....... at least as far as the goddesses and mythic females go

we had the first real salad off the deck lettuce bucket
we have about three more cuttings on that one....then there are the other plants

what else? .............idiot uphill neighbors were burning the other night, in-spite of it being not only the wrong DAY (as in between 9 am and 4pm saturdays) .....but also we are under a red flag wild fire watch......
so naturally they are above that all.....
and they burnt garbage for about 3 hours (we're only allowed to burn papers.....not the household garbage and even mattresses they burn)

i was up watching the fire incase it got away from them

then had nightmares cause they are low lives so i didn't know if they'd try to burn my house down to retaliate

let's see what else?
oh i put up a 'faux' hornets nest
made out of a brown paper bag
to attempt to deter wasps and yellowjackets
meanwhile we are finding more and more bumble bees dead for no reason we can see
it's alarming

we aren't seeing a lot of butterflies either.... which also is worrysome....
normally we're overrun
i have water out for the birds and the bugs too

anyway..... i need to get back to work now
i hope everyone had a good weekend

Thursday, May 07, 2015

i swear i need a manager

i am overwhelmed again

painting is happening
right now i am working on a spanish water spirit
first in a series
i have to decide if i continue this series in this palette or do i move on from the restricted palette i'm working with to a full palette (relatively speaking of course)

summer appears to be here
it's HOT out there
we went from 40 to 80 in a few hours
so everything is popping now

some art supplies i really couldn't afford and sorta didn't actually need... are on their way
i am going to do some silverpoint work
which is using .999 fine silver to draw with on a specially prepared paper
however it WAS onsale and i got 25% off that and free shipping
i am figuring silverpoint is a good option for me considering how i work
so would egg tempera.....
but right now no extra $ to lay out
the other thing i am DYING to try is painting on vellum (calf vellum)
the botanical artists are flaunting their vellum paintings all over and i am getting really interested in trying it

but meanwhile i am still slowly healing from that fall in december, and i am still painting
still pushing the envelope of what i do and how i do it
and still challenging me

i hope your spring is good where ever you are

Monday, May 04, 2015

averaging 51MPG

not too shabby huh?
bernie is enjoying his gas mileage
today we went over the mountain to giants for chicken, and on the way back he excitedly watched the MPG climb to 76.4!!!!
but we average between highway and city about 51.
so it looks like the prius is going to pay it's own payment in a way.....
with what we save on gas....
it uses 7 gallons a week to commute and also for running around (with a round trip down the valley for either the book store or the art supply)
so we are thinking that he's most likely use about 7 gallons a week during the winter (without the extra round trip down the valley)
bernie was using between 27-30 gallons a week with the kia just commuting to work and small around town errands so that's a huge savings- and it may not only cover the car payment but also some odds and ends (like snows) for the prius
so this maybe was a smart move- with an eye to the bottom line

my two grips with the prius's too low...i feel like i am sitting in a pot hole
and there isn't a passenger left arm rest so my arm hurts on a long run
if it were a bit taller...... and i had an arm rest i would totally adore this car
even though it's not a van

and i guess in two years we're going to see what strides have been made in car technology and either get a second car for me, if i am still mobile.......or trade this in on a new more efficient (and taller?) vehicle?

meanwhile the warm weather seems to have a positive effect on my continued healing
although i am suspecting that part of my back pain may be a kidney stone
cause i did NOTHING to have this weird pain by my kidney
and it's getting worse not better

we also have to figure a way to get money for wood and oil.... for winter
the oils is about out...and there isn't any wood......we need at least three cords NOW to season and three cords in august

meanwhile i'm painting
so that is where you can look for the easel

Friday, May 01, 2015

happy mayday

first of may
raining here

april doesn't seem to have showers anymore, it seems that showers are now moved to may
it's overcast and cold
it's really cold in the house
i put the heat down to 65
so it's very chilly in the house, i'm wearing a light jacket and hat

working on layouts for aloja (water spirit) in the moonlight
and wondering how on earth i am going to get this to be interesting to the viewer as well as interesting to paint with enough detail to keep my occupied
so that is going to be part of the challenges for this well as painting moonlight and a scene that doesn't exist with a person that doesn't exist
the lighting of course is going to be the biggest challenge
and i'll be having to mute my normally bright palette.....

i decided on 9x12 portrait for this one..... on quarter sheets of watercolor paper
and a palette based on cobalt blue

i am hoping to start transferring a layout by sunday..... so far my layouts are crap
(this is the time i wish for a drawing tablet attached to the computer --- which was always part of the plan.... for the future)
or at least a better handle on paintshop pro (i think an upgrade for that is also a plan for the future, as this one is 15 years old now)

other then that i am slowly transplanting lettuce seedlings to other planters on the deck... i transplant two and have to sit- the weather change is getting my knees bad right now
but at least so far it's not touched my back so i can deal with it

if i could get out i would be bringing in violets and daffs to paint but i can't get out there
i am so hoping when the weather stabilizes i can
however we do really need the rain so i shouldn't complain too much huh?
better then the massive wild fires we had about a week or so ago down the valley

ok i'm off

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

finally got ox gall

and a palette knife
more paper too

and approximately 48 mpg on the prius
which as a passenger is uncomfortable
due to no left arm rest
as a driver it's not bad except i felt like i was sitting in a hole

now onto studio news
i have finished a fourth frog in the series
i have two more to go but no reference right now

i am however going to revisit some goddesses/female myths
as a series
probably a horizontal format and maybe larger
(and i'm also looking at studio easels with a smaller footprint then mine has------ which is lost someplace in the recesses of the basement)

i would like to do half sheet painting (15X22) and full sheet paintings 22x20.........
so i need to get a big easel up here soon

ok now this morning (it is finally spring!) i transplanted some pansies and that petunia, and some baby lettuces (from the planter i seeded two weeks ago)
i've got more to transplant and some spinach too
a tiny bit at a time

i am also starting to get a bit used to my fawnie not being around....i miss her so much
sometimes i don't realize and i call her
the others still are looking and crying for her
it's so heartbreaking
i miss my ducks and budgies and mr quail too
i wish i could give mrs quail a friend ........... but with my health this rough new poultry or cats
i may get the captain a friend but probably just one
he's doing ok again now-- however he does miss birdie friends
i play youtube budgie videos for him a few times a week

so that's about it
i have work to do
i am procrastinating
as i am still recovering from that fall and i tire very easily
i hope all of you are well and it's good weather where ever you are

Thursday, April 23, 2015

i am hoping

that life can settle down again now
stuff is still up in the air for some things
however i took today to work ON the studio
washing brushes..... rearranging stuff
general things......

we got some plants yesterday that i am hoping to paint
*two pansies and a petunia*

they will be in the house for a bit as we got them, but then we got snow and tonight is going to be frost!
i am going to be lighting the woodstove in a few

i am having a dilemma, over my irl name for the domain or should i go with duck?
folks call me duck.....
(which makes me laugh whenever they do, i do actually like it)
or folks call me vi
which i am so very used to for 15 years now

i got a new site all set up that is optimized for mobile (it's not live yet though)
i need business cards now too
and the other day while i was down at B&N i was trying to get my color nook fixed so that i could use it as a digital gallery and could organize the photos in an order i could live  with....... the 'expert' there was less then helpful
(and a bit of an attitude as well.....i sure wasn't impressed)

so now what?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

a new to us car

after bugging bernie for forever......we have bought a PRIUS
it's the smallest entry level one
it's a 2013
we got a good deal on it
(i hope it's a good car, as it is 6K below list which makes me wonder)
we traded in my beloved van for it
plus put savings on it
and financed part (my calculations seem to indicate that due to the gas savings, we will in reality only be paying about 50.00 a month extra )
we're expecting in two years to get a second car and/or upgrade this one
i will miss my van so much
but the gas savings are not to be sneezed at

Monday, April 13, 2015

painting continues

i'm about half way through the orchid painting on black paper
it's ok
i'll see how it goes

i am thinking too, it's time to go back to a 'big' painting
something like wood ducks that is involved and takes a while
and is a part of a series
i would really like frogs
but i haven't gotten any to study so frogs it isn't at the moment

as the weather is warming up, i am getting a bit better, the neti pot is working on my allergies for the most part
i am trying to adjust to life after fawn
and after falstaff, phoebe, and the budgies

life isn't the same at all here
it's so much quieter

this week bernie has to take a trip through work for a seminar, and we arent' looking forward to it
i'll be without a vehicle
we're going to keep the ducks and chickens in, and double feed and water everyone

we talked about it and decided that risking another fall for me was not an option
so that is our solution

oh and i got some lightbulbs!

i hope you all are enjoying the weather where ever you are

Friday, April 10, 2015

i'm painting again

while i wait for a frog
i am working on an orchid on black paper
in gouache
cause apparently i have totally lost my mind

so i have laid in two of the flowers on the spike (my birthday orchid)
and i am continuing with the painting

i realize now that the lighting issue has become critical in the studio
and that the next burst of energy i get i need to finish with the rearrangement
as it's still awkward and it hurts my shoulder

spring has finally come it seems to us
for which i am grateful
although the furnace is continuing to run off and on
capt cuttle is touch and go
and thaddeaus peabody has had to be outsmarted again
this time with cardboard covering the screen door from the studio to the main house as he's figured out how to scale it and go through the screen

he's sleeping with me every night now and i am sleeping so much better
but he thinks he can go sleep with bernie during the day and he just can't

bernie's birthday came and went
he had a problem with the van....the power steering went
so we had to take it in for an emergency repair
(he couldn't do it in the driveway )
i think we really need another car

next week the van is going in for some much needed body work
while bernie is at a seminar
i'll be on my own with no wheels
in case of emergency

so that's what is happening in my neck of the woods

how about you folks?

Monday, April 06, 2015

continuing on

spring has finally arrived here in the mountains......
i saw snowdrops by the duck pens
it goes my heart good
today it is so warm out that i broadcast lettuce seeds.....the other day i broadcast some spinach
we'll see

thaddeaus peabody has taken to busting out of the studio ( he really is a card that one)
and coming up to sleep with me
we've decided that this is a good thing as i've been having problems sleeping lately
except when he's up there
i still am not sleeping well but i sleep better and stay asleep a bit longer
calpurrnia isn't interested in coming up so it's the boy only

in studio news:
i finished the study/painting of the shells......
it was done in watercolor with colored pencil
everyone seems to have liked it so while i don't think it would make a print on it's own
i think it maybe would make a card
next birthday orchid as i don't have frogs yet
and my new work surface is wonderful- but i must deal with the lighting as soon as i can

this week is bernie's birthday....... it's a biggie--- 60!
and no one thought we'd last together past maybe a year!

other odds and ends:  my fibro is wandering around my back is better only to have my wrist in pain
capt cuttle is still hanging in there
i am not sure if he's better or worse
the others seem to be ok

and i am about to attempt to start some flower seeds

so that's it
that is the news
 take good care everyone

Thursday, April 02, 2015

another month

april started with snow......
and with what looks to be another pending loss here
capt cuttle isn't doing well
i have hopes but not many as he wasn't doing well when stella died
but then rallied and i thought he'd be ok

i am meanwhile working on what may be a study of small shells that blaidd sent from florida....
i'm almost done
i couldn't use my arm to lift the paint brush so instead i just did watercolor washes with color pencil rendering
they (in the painting) don't look anything like the models
i am hoping for 'representational of the species'
sounds good right?

my birthday was subdued ..... i got a few wonderful presents and cards
lots of well wishes
a cake!
and a quiet day (bernie was sleeping as he'd worked the night before)
bern got me a miniature orchid so that's my next painting.....
(currently with the rush to paint the backlog i am just doing what i have and not worried about series too much, however i do miss doing my series)
maybe i'll do a series of just the orchid next.....different views?

in other local news, the up hill neighbor has put their house up for sale
i said that they were going to
i hope the next neighbor is at least civil .......... or stays on their side of the line and minds their own business

so basically that's all the news here
i've been having some rough nights with allergies and fibro pain
thaddeaus is sneaking up here and there to come sit with me
the little shit came up (with some help from daddy) this morning but started to stick his nose all over under the bed and such......then sneezed like crazy...only to do it again somewhere else in the room
i had bernie bring him down and i followed

now folks are telling me spring has come to their houses......but not in this area yet
so i hope soon
it's been a long cold hard winter here

i hope where ever you folks are.....spring has come to you

Sunday, March 29, 2015

reflections on turning 58

i never thought i would see this age
i was so sickly as a kid i figured 16 was being optimistic-
i had gotten so many things that 'almost' killed me (really they should have but somehow i got medical attention in the nick of time)
then i figured with all the crap wrong with me......maybe 50 was shooting pretty high
now on the eve of 58
i find myself surprised
i also find myself very reflective of the people that i have now...the people i lost
and the people that lost me

i still am of the impression that this would be a giant classroom here
that is the only logical explanation of some of the stuff i've witnessed, some of the history i've read
i do wonder what comes after, although i was given i believe glimpses
and visits

i also wonder why i was given a predisposition and drive to do what i paint, sculpt, work with my hands, read, study, explore how things are made.
why me?
why was i given this when i had a profoundly handicapped cousin...

there are times when i enjoy parts of my life..... like when i am learning something new.....
and it's working
or i make a huge stride as a painter.....
when my animals are healthy, my garden does well
when i hear people laughing with me

i don't enjoy this fibromyalgia stuff at all ......the unexplained insane pain
the energy level below that of a corpse
the inability to heal fast (4 months and counting from that last fall in december)

and today, on the eve of my 58th birthday
my inability to paint like i am used to

now my goals for the remaining years of my life
well they include a bunch of stuff

  1. feeling better and more movement 
  2. us moving to a deltec (that is now my dream house, a net zero energy round house)
  3. putting my work to work... for our retirement income
  4. enjoy my life more
that's pretty much it
there are a few other things ...odds and ends...but those are the big ones

so there you have it
on the eve of 58

Friday, March 27, 2015

life without fawn

it not easy, i keep telling myself she's sleeping by the window
or she's in the crate under the covers

i miss her so badly

i am slowly trying to adjust to life without her in it
for a tiny little cat she sure left a HUGE hole

some of what is going on...
i am turning in a local facility to the attorney general for non disclosure of fees, that they are trying to charge me

i am trying to get back to work

i am contemplating a few projects to work on, one that involves a pond
and one that involves old folk/fairy tales

right now i am sort of avoiding the shells on my table that i've been planning to paint
as i am needing light bulbs (of all things huh?)
and i don't have any to put into some lamps for temporary still life lighting

meanwhile monday is my birthday.. fawn was my birthday present 10 years ago..... and i find it so ironic that she left me before my birthday.
can you tell how much i miss her and how lost i am?

the other two laperms are just as lost without their grandmother

well, to finish up the birthday thingie....i was supposed to get me a present,
and then bernie said 'the van is going into the body shop in mid april'
so much for that

so that's what's up with us here
i've also been having a rough fibro flare, so can't get the seeds started or some other stuff done
but i am hoping as soon as the weather turns and keeps up a bit more stable

take good care

Thursday, March 19, 2015

fawn 12/1/1999-3/11/2015

we lost her
i can't even begin to say how deep this hurts
the day after falstaff died, fawn threw another clot and was paralyzed
not in pain
eating well
but unable to move her hind legs
so we took her to the vet and had him do acupuncture
then we took her home and took care of her
moving her
keeping her clean
making her legs move
she started to recover
started to move her tail on it's own
started to have feeling coming back and movement in her legs
a sudden final fatal stroke/clot
it was over so fast
when i realized there was no coming back from that one i begged her to go
so she wouldn't suffer
she stretched out her paw but didn't leave until bernie promised her he would take care of me for her

i still can't face that she's really gone now

this was a nightmare end to a nightmare winter
where we lost so many of our very old animals
even though we did everything we could not to

i would love to tell you all how amazing and special and heroic this cat was
but really i can't find the words
i can hardly see the screen through the tears

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


we lost our boy falstaff this morning
bernie went down to feed everyone...and found that he'd died during the night
both of us have been crying on and off all day

he was such a character......
he made us laugh all the time
and we marveled at how tame, how personable that drake was.
he was a feral bird until he came here
and somehow he decided we were his family and he just got so amazing
we are going to miss him so very badly
he was always one of the first to greet us when we went out to the ducks
and he listened so well.....

i hope in his little duck heaven he gets his wife serafina back
and has a deep pond to swim in

Saturday, February 21, 2015

catching up

well first off the captain is doing ok....not like when he lost emma
emma was the love of his life ......and while he was a good husband to stella...he didn't love her
so he's ok

i miss her

now onto an update
we so far survived the cold
we have oil in the tank for the furnace so i am listening to susan and staying in bed mostly at night
it's helping
i am still tired though
but i am WARM..... i don't remember ever really being warm here during the winter
i can feel my toes!
i have been actually sleeping without a hat on!

i also couldn't do the mri
i got nuts in the tube ( didn't fit in there and couldn't stay on my back that long)
so we're going to have to try something else

i haven't proofed columbine yet either as the weather and my body haven't really let me
the HUGE news is i finished the indian corn painting
the consensus is that it is a good painting
well..... there are areas i could have done better with though

now yesterday and today i covered my soon to be new work surface with torn and crumbled/wrinkled old paper (like i think 35 year old paper)
it was an old jacki collins trash book i had laying around in the books.....
of course after i got it all stuck down with glue i found an......ahem passage so i had to cover that over
but after i seal it with acrylic floor finish and then buff over it with sienna wax it won't matter
i was going for that old book page color
and i couldn't find a paint that worked then i thought
WAIT,....... how about an old book that is not readable!
i would never do that to dickens....but jackie collins ......yeah it's worth more as wall paper then as a book
now another note to self: try and remember to actually EAT during the day
forgetting and then wolfing down supper with bernie isn't the way to treat your body

now the other thing i realized.... i still don't really have a studio....even though i have a studio
i was doing that work surface in the kitchen..... and slopping glue all over the place
that got me to thinking
really i've never had a studio....even though i am sitting in the studio
i haven't ever had a room totally of my own to get as messy as some of my projects get without getting flack for the mess
i really do need a separate studio out of the house *but attached due to weather, cats and a weak bladder*

i imagine not here
hopefully soon though

ok till next time

Monday, February 16, 2015

we lost estell yesterday

my beloved but really weird little yellow budgie
capt cuttle is lonely and it's just he and i now
i think we are both going to miss her....... i told the capt we'd get him a new friend.... a boy though
no more girls..... i've lost all three girls

i was and still am terrified i'll lose him
the past few months have been rough on the animals around the herron house

the weather has been rough on me too
without sleep so i can keep the stove going
(we're out of oil for back up heat at night so i'm up all night now)

the wood gods had/have smiled on me for now and the fruitwood logs are dry enough to burn hot
but not for very long.... so i stoke hourly

we've put bread out spread with bacon grease and peanut butter for the wild birds
and split the 'clean the fridge' leftover with the chickens and the wild animals

but if this extreme cold doesn't stop soon.......i don't think i am going to survive
every winter is harder

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

on this day,..........

a long time ago
we became a family
yes, it's our anniversary today.....
i got bernie a watch...he got me a card and juju hearts

we bought ourselves a steak for our dinner
we've been together so very very long.....
and boy we've sure had our ups and downs
i get mad at him a lot for him doing dumb stuff
but he's been trying so hard since i fell in december to do all the chores-his and mine
he's also realized that my body after all these years of hard constant physical work wearing out-
and that i am in pain more often then not

i'm sorry i've again not been around...monday bernie got home after he had hurt himself at work
he's got a bruised rib and is off work for a few days
i went to the ortho monday and will be going back after an mri
there is definitely impingement in my right shoulder
so between the two of us..... we are a mess!

in print and painting news...the columbine on black paper is at the printer
we'll go next week maybe to approve prints
my wood duck is almost sold out .....there are i think still two prints left of that run

and i am still painting corn!... but i long to move on to the next painting which i hope is more spring like ...
if my shoulder would cooperate

so there you have it
the good the bad and the ongoing

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

oh my......well we have been busy

a whole week later...
we ended up getting a storm sunday/monday
i'm still in pain but have been painting a bit
we've picked up the prints and i am busy getting them ready to ship to their new owners
we dropped off the next print that will be done (the columbines on black)
and we're trying to keep warm
we also found out that our uphill neighbor who's made our lives miserable died last wen......
and i finally received my daniel smith color charts
a few short lines to sum up a very busy week for us
as it's been so cold, i am coming down to stoke the stove at night
we are also going to need a tank of oil and probably another cord of wood
so since typing is killing my shoulder this is it for my update
(it's a fly by posting)
take good care folks.....stay warm and safe