Monday, December 31, 2007


Today is as sunny as yesterday was rainy. We ended up with nearly 2.25 inches which is wonderful but not a drought breaker. We'll take what we can get though.

The cardinals are still acting skittish even though a few were feeding this morning with me on the porch. I wonder if the light in the mornings is too dim for them to see me well as they seemed so calm. This afternoon they all flew into the trees before I even opened the door to the porch!

Anyway, thought you might like to see a photo of all the males in the apple trees. This is not all of them but most, I think. You can see how bright they are against the dark bark of the trees. Just imagine what a bright spot they make on a dreary day!

May the coming year be as bright as these cardinals on a dreary day!

Sunday, December 30, 2007


Today is a rainy and dark gray day which is very good even though rainy winter days are usually depressing. We've been in an exceptional drought for months and the larger cities have imposed severe water restrictions. We are blessed with a deep well, however, and have not had problems with running out of water.

So, I'm grateful for the rain and can even deal with the dark grayness of the day especially since the cardinals are visiting the bird feeder this morning. I've been trying to get them used to me being on our back porch so that I can eventually get some photographs of them but they are very skittish. They fly into the branches of the nearby apply trees and wait for me to leave. It's times like this that I wish I had a better camera as the males make such bright spots in the bare branches against the lowering sky! Even with the dark clouds pressing in and the day sort of ominous and forbidding, the bright plumage of the male cardinals offer a cheery counterpoint guaranteed to raise your spirits!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Looking Forward

This is the time of year to both look back to see what's been accomplished in the current year and to look forward to the coming year with new goals.

I have come to dislike the word "resolutions" mainly because very few can be resolute enough to keep them. Goals, on the other hand, are something you strive toward - sometimes they're attainable and sometimes they aren't. However, not achieving your goals doesn't seem to make you feel as bad as breaking a resolution. Is that just semantics? Is it just an excuse to not make resolutions? I don't know & it really doesn't matter in the end. It just seems that if you set a goal and don't accomplish it, you can analyse the reason and adjust your path for another try. If you make a resolution and don't accomplish it, it just feels like a failure!

May all of you have a bright and happy 2008. May you forget making resolutions and charge full-steam ahead toward your goals!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

December 19 - almost Christmas!

Well, Christmas is closer than it has been but the actual Christmas season has been underway for quite a while. We managed to decorate this year, something we really haven't done in years past and it looks nice. I should do it every year but -------

Anyway, I'm still plodding along with both the chihuahua painting and the apple still life. Fortunately, the dog wasn't necessarily to be a Christmas gift since it was commissioned long past the time I could guarantee Christmas delivery but I had honestly hoped to get it finished by now. There has been some intense pain in my right hand when gripping even something as light as a pencil or a paintbrush that has made painting impossible. I've been resting it and taking aspirin and it's slowly getting better. I didn't even write here in my blog although typing doesn't seem to bother me. Anyway, I refuse to let the ailments of the old (someone dared suggest that it might be arthritis!) invade my body and make art so difficult! I've waited way too long to be able to paint again so expect a finished chihuahua and apple still life very soon!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Back Again!

Well here I am two days in a row. Really not a lot to write about today but I did want to keep up with this blog and I also wanted to apologize about the size of the pastel still life I posted yesterday. I would repost it but I think I'll wait until I have a bit more progress on it just so you won't be too terribly bored!

The commission of the little chihuahua is going well but a bit too slowly for me. Since I don't have the exact colors needed, it's a guessing game and trial and error picking the right colors in the right order. I think once I've done a couple more paintings with these pencils, I'll have a better feel for the color combinations and things will go a lot more quickly - it's all part of the learning curve. I was hoping to finish it by tomorrow but I have to go out and don't know if it will get finished until later on in the week. Watch this blog for the completed portrait!

Monday, December 10, 2007

December? Already?!!!!

I don't know where the last few months have gone but I had to reactivate my blog to post! Well, I do know where the months have gone - we finally have our house built and are moved in. It's so nice to have the room & especially nice to have a nice large space for my studio!

The studio is still somewhat unorganized but I'm not sure how to do it. I need some storage cabinets or shelves or something with which to store all my art supplies in an orderly and convenient manner. I suppose that will come; right now I'm having to concentrate on other things.

First, I'm trying to get some commissions out of the way for Christmas. Actually, I only have one more to do & I will try to post it when I finish. It's a pet portrait that I'm doing in pastel pencils instead of my usual watercolor. I've also started a still-life in pastel pencils but have had to put that on hold for the time being but hope to get back to it soon. Here's where I am with it right now.

This is from my own reference as some friends gave us quite a few apples from the mountains of Pennsylvania. The bowl is a yellow-ware bowl that was handed down to me by my mother and is a favorite to use for bread making. As you can see, I have quite a ways to go with this painting but I do like the pastel pencils a lot. No, they really aren't quicker than other media I've used (except colored pencil!) but I like the control if not the mess. I'm also having a bit of a time getting a variety of reds. They don't layer or mix like either cp or watercolor or maybe I just haven't found the secret to it yet.

Well, now that I've reactivated this blog, I hope I do better at keeping up with it!