Sunday, December 15, 2019

The Making of a Folk Art Christmas Painting

I've been trying to find time to sit at my paint table this year to do a little creating and I have to admit it's been a challenge.  But, recently I've been feeling more inspired and had to pick up my brushes even if only for a couple hours at a time.  The most difficult part is seeing the vision for my canvas.  Sometimes it flows naturally and other times it comes in bits and pieces.  I started this painting a little different than usual.

Normally I paint from the top down,  but I was having a difficult time picking a theme.  I knew I wanted a general store / mercantile in the center and a Christmas tree in the front, so I started with the buildings first. Finishing each house helped me to start to see the vision and sometimes things change as the painting developes.  

Evergreens were added and the road through the town took a couple changes.

More snow was added (this is the fun part) and landscaping helped to settle the houses into the scene.  Finally an idea came to me to add tiny cross country skiers to the stop of the hill along with a cozy cabin where they could warm up by a cozy fire. 

A small truck was added on the road heading to the general store and two snowmen in their finery were added to each side of the tree.

That is how the painting "Village of Snowflake" came to life.

Margie and Dave own "The Mercantile" in Snowflake.  Cross- country skiers love to gather around the potbelly stove to sip hot cocoa or coffee before heading back to the slopes.  The store is stocked with everything from snow gear to groceries.  Delbert who owns the local tree farm is delivering a Christmas tree in his green pickup and will stop in to say hello and pick up some groceries before heading home.  The children in the village enjoy building snowmen, skiing, and having snowball fights.  As the sun goes down the windows start to glow, Christmas trees twinkle in the windows, and the scent of sugar cookies magically clings to the crisp cold air.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Our Sweet Dog Lady

On October 11th our beloved Lady went to join her best friend Jersey.  I'm sure they are happy to be running around together again.  We lost Jersey back in March and Lady was completely at a loss without her.  She would occasionally stand at the bottom of the staircase and bark once as if to say, "Jersey come down here".    Lady had lost the ability to climb those stairs though sometimes she would surprise me and make a run for them only to find out she couldn't get back down.  

They would run to the laundry room every time I went in there to fold clothes and beg for treats!

They loved Christmas lights.

The girls standing upstairs amazed by the tree on the landing..

Ready to come in out of the cold

She had lots of health issues steming from Cushings Disease and a broken heart. To lose two dogs in such a short time has been extremely difficult.  

Cushings disease caused her to have lots of skin problems, so we started having her hair clipped short.  I loved hugging her even more because she felt like a chamois after a clipping.

She loved laying with her dad each night on the recliner.

We are so happy that she got to go on our first camping trip to Wallace State Park.  We weren't sure how she would do so we didn't go too far in case we had to go back home.  She loved it though!

Lady was a Golly (Collie and Golden mix) and was the most gentle dog we've ever had living up to her name.  She loved everyone including children but was a little shy.  Needless to say, it's very quiet around here now, but we are taking our time to get over this before jumping back in with a new dog.  

I'm walking Jersey and Rick is walking Lady in this painting "Dog Day's of Summer".  

Miss you girls!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Memories of Our Sweet Dog, Jersey

 I've been putting off this post for a few days because it simply hurt too much.  Last Saturday morning we found out from our vet that Jersey was in kidney failure and it was so bad that we had to do the humane thing.

Jersey was my constant companion who was always by my side.  She sat beside me everyday in my paint room, following me every time I got up or went downstairs.  At the end, we were packing her up and down the stairs.  She suffered with an enlarged heart for several years and took several medications twice a day to keep her heart going and the fluid off.  Her will to live was amazing.  Several times through the last couple years we thought we were at the end when she would quit eating and then she would always amaze us like the energizer bunny.  
She was always very camera shy and would generally run when she saw someone aiming a camera or a cell phone her way.  

Jersey has been depicted in my artwork over the years.  In this painting she's being walked by a lady in a red polka dot dress.

Our other dog, Lady, stands at the bottom of the steps barking for her to come down and it breaks our hearts.  Lady can no longer climb the stairs.  They were very close companions and are the same age.  Lady is a little too big to pack up and down the stairs, but Rick still does it occasionally.

I can't believe she let me put this hat on her, but she knew her momma loved buffalo plaid.

Jersey is also the dog I'm walking in my blog header and at the end of each blog post.  
Missing her so much!

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Village of Winterset Christmas Folk Art Painting

I started this painting well before Christmas and it came to a halt for several weeks. 

In February I forced myself to sit down at my art table and hoped that it would start to flow.  I've been in a state of creative block and finally after I painted this stone house, it started to come together.  It felt really great to be back painting and visualizing this Christmas village.  

After Christmas, I slowly began to pick up my brushes and push myself.  Please excuse these two photos from my phone.  I didn't take the time to get out my camera to take pictures while I was working. As the weeks went by, I found myself slowly getting back to enjoying myself and just letting it happen.

"Village of Winterset"

In the rolling hills of Winterset family, friends, and neighbors are busy getting ready for Christmas.  The welcomed snow blanketed the earth putting everyone in the spirit of the holiday.  Snowmen appeared out of the glistening snow, evergreen boughs and trees decked the village houses, and snowball fights erupted cheerfully.  Smoke flows from chimneys and snowflakes gently fall reminding us that:  "Snowflakes fall from heaven above, sprinkling us with our Father's Love".

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Valentine Cupcake Mugs

I hope everyone is surviving this freezing weather!  I'm a little weird, but if it's not windy, I love the feel of cold crisp air.  I'm not going out when it's below 0 though!  We got down to -8 but by Saturday it's supposed to be in the 50's.  Welcome to Missouri winters.  
Recently, I started working with a company to produce some of my artwork on mugs.  I'm so excited about their white camp mugs!  Valentine's Day is coming soon and these mugs would be a great gift filled with some sweet treats.  

These are available in my Etsy store here.  
It takes 3-5 business days from the time you place your order until they are shipped, so get your orders in now to assure delivery in time for Valaentine's Day!  
They come direct from the company that makes them and they package them beautifully.
They are dishwasher safe too!    


Stay warm!!

Just an update to add that if you would prefer ceramic, over this metal camp mug, I can make that happen too!  I just listed one for the "Be My Valentine" design and would be happy to do the others if anyone is interested.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Pumpkin and Maple Folk Art Cats Original Painting

This past weekend we went to the Roots N Blues N BBQ in Columbia, Missouri.  We've gone the last three years and it's become a family tradition.  The weather was wonderful and we felt like autumn had finally arrived!  I love spending time doing the things we love with family and friends.

This morning I finally got my act together and listed this brand new painting in my Etsy store.  Just click on the title at the top of this post to go directly to the listing.  I can't believe how long it's been since I've actually finished a painting.  Life takes on all kinds of changes and challenges, but I was finally able to slip in a few days of painting and have to admit how wonderful it felt to actually pick up a paint brush again!

Pumpkin and Maple love resting in the brisk cool air on the porch every day as brightly colored leaves seem to magically fall from the sky. They roll and toss themselves into these irresistible crunchy piles scattering them in all directions. What a heavenly time of year to play outside!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Autumn Folk Art Painting Challenge

I've been busy this week working on a 12" x 12" painting that I started last year.  It was the middle of winter at the time and I decided to paint a summer scene.  Now that I've gotten back to it and the temperatures are still in the 90's in September, I'm trying to figure out if I can change this to a fall scene?  Summer or fall,  what do you think?  

Friday, August 31, 2018

Dreaming of Autumn

I should have titled this Surviving the Summer of 2018!  I started off by fracturing the radial head in my left arm during a stiff armed fall in my garden.  This is the part of the long bone that allows your arm to bend, straighten and rotate.   This is supposed to rotate next to the elbow.  I'm not great at explaining, but needless to say my gardening days this summer were quickly ended.  Along with an attack of Japanese Beetles and a drought, I lost a lot of plants and grass this year.  I spent several weeks in physical therapy and now I'm feeling great once again.  I can't complain because I wasn't in a lot of pain, but could not use my arm.  I should have tried painting with one arm, but I always hold my canvas with my left hand.  It was sort of a challenge to see how much I could do with one arm.

We left the heat behind a few weeks ago and headed for Colorado with our family.  It was a dream vacation for sure!  We always go to Rainbow Lake in Buena Vista, but also took several day trips. Our kids were our good luck charm because we got to see our first moose along with her baby in the lake in front of our cabin.  There were always plenty of deer roaming through town, chipmunks, and also a baby bear running down the sidewalk.    

Now that I'm rested, healed and refreshed from all that mountain air, I'm ready to pick up those brushes and get back to work. 

It felt so good to start a new painting!  How was your summer?  I'm so ready for autumn and some cooler weather.  

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Original Folk Art Painting Thanksgiving at the Parker Farm

Yes!!  It's finally finished!  I've been working on this painting for so long.  Maybe not working, but putting off finishing it because I just wasn't feeling it until recently.  I was beginning to think I would just have to resort to starting a different painting all together.  This is what happens when I haven't painted something this involved for over a year.

Generally when I start a painting I finish it.  I'm not the type to have unfinished projects sitting around.  Canvas is also my surface of choice and this was a flat masonite panel.  I haven't painted on a flat surface in years.  Let me just say that canvas is STILL my preferred choice.  

When I first started this painting last year the barn was gray and I finally realized that was the problem.  It stuck out like a sore thumb.  Gray is all the rage right now, but not for this fall scene.  Once I got that corrected the painting started coming to life with a story to tell.

My husband's family had a farm with a dinner bell like this one.  His dad moved it to his home and last year when no one was around, someone stole it.  It was heartbreaking!  I added this to the painting for my hubby.

Follow the winding country road through the Village of Redfield and you’ll eventually end up passing by the Parker Farm. Guests are guided by the aroma of a home-style Thanksgiving dinner around the bend to the driveway of Ed and Nancy’s home where dinner is laid out picnic style and the family will be eating by moonlight. There’s always plenty of food for extras who might stop by to visit. The scent of chimney smoke and freshly fallen leaves lingers in the air as Lady, the family dog, checks out the new litter of kittens roaming the farm. 

This painting is listed in my Etsy Shop and does not include a frame.