Sunday, May 31, 2009

In Memory of My Brother

Portrait of Bruce Raymond Saar
pastel on 6.25" by 9.5" yellow velour
nfs, in Private Collection

My younger brother Bruce passed away five years ago today. He was three weeks shy of his 50th birthday. He married only once, to Barbara, once our sister-in-law, now our sister. They had one son, Alex, who is 22 and is entering his 5th year in an Engineering degree.

Bruce was one of the hardest workers I've known. He owned his own lawn and landscape company. He was an Eagle Scout. He had a passion for boating, skiing, fishing and diving. He had many friends and was very social. He called his sisters and Mother occasionally and NEVER failed to say "I Love You". He was a dog owner, having many Viszla's over his lifetime. That may not seem like an accomplishment, but to me, someone that keeps an animal to the end, and then does it again and again, shows compassion and respect for life that is commendable. But best of all, was the love and genuine interest he took in his son Alex. Bruce was a dedicated father that participated in son's life, guiding and teaching and mentoring Alex into the fine man that he is today. There is no higher legacy.

It's easy to tell all the good about someone after they are gone, the pedestal grows taller and higher. For all his good, his faults were many. He lived fast and hard. Our family never thought he would live through his early years but he was stronger than we gave him credit for and even though he didn't live into old age, he lived and experienced a full life. It is my belief, that when someone dies, it is because they have accomplished what their time on earth was about. I believe Bruce is onto the next lesson his soul requires. I believe Bruce is in the hands of Our Father and he is the lucky one for that. I will always miss his presence and wonder what could have been, but I do not wish him back, I know he is on golden streets and in a better place.

I consider this drawing of Bruce to be one of my finest pieces.

To a day of celebrating Bruce with joy and love,

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Joy of Pigs

Olivia, Little Piggy
acrylic on 8" by 8" canvas board
available, $40.00 including shipping
email me for PayPal invoice

Olivia is a fictional pig featured in children's books by author and illustrator Ian Falconer, who says he based the exuberant, strong-willed character on his niece.

My Olivia is based upon Norma Wilson's Piglet. I actually tried to buy this painting, but was unsuccessful in the EBay auction. Norma is THE reason I was introduced to daily painting. I Googled flamingo and came upon a painting of hers. I followed the links and found my most favorite site, Daily Painters Gallery.

Norma paints the most wonderful, whimsical animals among other subjects. She uses thick, color intense oils and verys the sizes and subjects to keep things interesting. Although I haven't gotten to know Norma very well - yet - I think of her as my friend. Thank you for the inspiration and the joy of your beautiful paintings.

See you next time,

Friday, May 29, 2009

I Crossed the Ditch and the River Today

This was such a fun day, doing something I almost NEVER do, going to downtown Jacksonville. When we were children, in the 60's, that is where you went to shop! Jacksonville is not a mecca center, in fact, it only reached 1 million residents during the 1960's. But, it has a few buildings of note and today, my friend Dottie Fletcher, took me on an adventure to the new City Hall! Dottie has been researching an article about Jacksonville and today made a great tour guide! But first, I need to tell you who Dottie is.

Dottie is a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a retired career educator, a published author among so many other things. But to me, Dottie is my oldest (in duration, not age) friend!

I moved from Decatur, Georgia to Jacksonville in August 1959 to Southside, in the San Jose area on Mariana Road. Dottie lived next door. She was the oldest of 4 children, just entering the sixth grade. I was the middle of three children entering the 8th grade. Due to the extreme difference in our ages, over all the years until 1971 when I left Mariana Road, Dottie and I were very dear, very close friends, but never socialized together. I really don't think I realized until today, that I have no other acquaintance, still in contact with, that I've know longer! Several others came along that year that I still know, Claire, Lynda and Myra, but Dottie came first. Gee, that makes me want to wrap a little piece of gold around her name! Too bad I can't paste a little star here! What?

This building is located just to the west of Hemming Park. It has been in this location since 1910. At the time it was completed, it was the 8th largest department store in the United States. Prior to 1900 is was a grand hotel. It, like so many others of that era, made of wood, burned to the ground. It wasn't until 1910 that the Cohen Brothers started construction on, what was to first be called The Big Building, May-Cohen's. As seen above the facade was simple with beautiful embellishments which are still in tact.

The building itself is called the St. James. I do not know the origin of that, Dottie did not tell me about that! But here you can see the detail of the embellishments.

The original department store had a huge open rotunda with a beautiful sky light. During the 40's, all four floors were enclosed, hiding the sky light for 60 plus years.

I couldn't get in a position to photograph the entire skylight in one shot. Had I known just how big it was and how beautiful it was, I could have taken my seldom used wide angle lens, did I have it with me when I needed it?

And I couldn't help but enjoy the shadows cast upon the beautiful floor from the sky light. Today, this building is Jacksonville City Hall. May it last, in all its beauty, for another 100 years.

Before I finish, I must tell you about the title of this post. In Jacksonville Beach, it is agreed, that we don't like to cross the Intra Coastal Waterway (IAC), affectionately called "the ditch", and we never cross the River (St. John's). My late husband, Paul Leone, and I had a home on the IAC. Paul always called it "the canal". I guess I don't have to tell you that is my favorite term for "the ditch"!

Dottie, you my special friend, have given me a lovely day down memory lane. Thank you!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Seeing a green Kentucky native is believing

A Greener Jimmy
acrylic on 6" by 6" canvas board
available $35.00 including shipping
email me for PayPal invoice

The artist, Jimmy Wright's, Self Portrait with Green Hand, is now in the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is a wonderful self portrait of such color, it is irresistible. This is my interpretation of his wonderful painting.

Wonder what he'd look like in ultra-marine blue?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Not a Cast Iron Doorstop

Mommy Flo's Back Door
acrylic on 12" by 12" canvas board
nfs, Private Collection

I used a palette knife on the door. This was the first time I had use the palette knife and I loved it. The picture came from an old calendar photo. I loved the photo and it has been hanging in my dog kennel, a small utility type room that has a large kitchen sink for dog baths and inside/outside door for the dogs. I like to put doggie cards and junky pictures in there where I would not use them elsewhere.

When my Mother was a child, she had a black Scottie named Lassie. The door immediately reminded me of my Grandmother's back door in the home they lived in, in Cherokee, Kansas, for over 50 years. I never fail to think of my Mother as a child and my Grandmother's home when I see this picture! I wrote about Flo before Mother's Day, she was so special to me.

I gave this painting to my dear friend Pam. She had lived with me for about one year, and there are all kinds of things here that remind me of her. It has always been my theory, that the longer you are friends with someone, the more you should see yourself in their homes. In fact, I learned that from Mommy Flo. She had so many pieces of furniture or nick-knacks from so many friends and relatives. I as her how she came about these items and she said it was because she either helped them move or because they came from family.

I wanted Pam to have something special and of value of mine to have in her home. I told her that she was to walk around and if she saw anything she liked, she should let me know. How else would I possibly know she admired something. Thinking she would select something from one of my collections, I was so surprised when she asked for this picture. Couldn't have gone to a more homey family home than hers.

If you have an image in mind that you think of remembering your family or your pets, be sure to paint it, or write about it or find something that looks like your image and buy it. When you get right down to it, what is better than your memories? And maybe it would be a good idea for you to think about what you would like your friends to have when you are gone. You never know what's goina' happen and you would want your friends to see you in their homes too!

That's it,

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

You look so cool, so cool, so enviably cool...

Hot Tin Roof
acrylic on 5" by 7" canvas board
given to Keiko

My yellow kitty, so sweet and so pretty! I got my pattern for yellow kitty from Drawing in Color, Animals by Lee Hammond. As you all know, by the title of my blog, I am striving daily to learn to paint. Sometimes, I am so grateful for the books that are available to help me, this time with form.

Question: How many kitty's does it take?
(I know, that's incomplete!)

Another Question: Does anyone recognize the title of this post? (Hint - it's a quote!)

See you next time,

Monday, May 25, 2009

No drainage or aeration required

Hanging Orchid
3" by 6" acrylic on canvas board
nfs, Private Collection

I found the basis for the flower in the book Creative Watercolor Workshop by Mark E. Mehaffey. Of course, it was being discussed as a watercolor, but I used the painting as the basis for my acrylic.

The background in this painting is what I love. Being the cheap-scape I am, I can not stand to waste the paint on my palette. When the painting I am working on is finished, I take a gesso'd canvas and use the rest of the palette to set up a background for another painting. I have done this many time and am always amazed when I can find just the right use for it.

My daughter, Mary Ellen, doesn't ask for much, but she asked me for this one. It was my delight to give it to her. I only hope she wants another one!

Thank you for looking,

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Art Challenge #9: Behind Closed Doors

12" by 16" canvas sheet
I can mount it on foamcore if desired
available $75.00 includes shipping
email me for PayPal invoice

This is the my entry to The Artist's Challenge #9 Behind Closed Doors. This was lots of fun to both compose and paint.

For the composition, I had to think how I could show what was behind the door without showing it. I knew I wanted a dog, you may recognize Erin from her photo on the sidebar!! So, what would a dog want? Companionship! Next was what to name the door, presuming it was an entrance to a store or place. That was the hardest part!

For the painting, there are so many things to decide and there is no right or wrong. Have a door, as shown from a street, half a door; I chose the solid door without other embellishment. The thing I do want to say about painting it is I started with a black canvas. On that, I painted gold interference - Wow - instantaneous results, a chemical reaction I guess. That was interesting. I also wanted clean straight lines, so used an artist grade tape but honestly was disappointed. I'm not used to such precision and they (straight lines) looked out of place. I then used a spatter brush & a funny brush to distress the straight lines. Finally, I was happy with the look of the door. Just took more processes than I originally imagined.

Have you every used a spatter brush? The first time I used it, I was real pleased. I used a soft body acrylic in off white on a black background. It put a very fine mist on the canvas. This time, I used a hard body acrylic in dark colors on dark background & even thinning it with water, just didn't seem to spatter. I'm wondering if the little speciality brush is worth it?

Thanks for stopping by,

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Sea Grass in Deep Blue

Goldies in Seagrass
16" by 20" canvas sheet
on self-stick mounting board
available $60.00 includes shipping
email me for Paypal invoice

This was so fun to do and turned out so bright and happy. I had completed it on a solid very dark iridescent background. It was just big and plain. I figured it was a not useful so couldn't hurt to experiment with it. Well, I'm so glad I did. It is one of my favorites. In fact, it is my desktop background.

Have you painted underwater pictures? It seems to me that koi are often painted from above looking down. What methods do you like?

Thank you for looking,

UPDATE (12-15-10): size corrected from 12x14 to 16 by 20 (what was I thinking? Ha! Ha!)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Art Challenges

Am I alone, or do ya’ll love the idea of the art challenges as much I do? I’m only beginning to find a few and want anyone knowing of challenges I don’t have listed on my sidebar to please leave a comment with information. I don’t care if it is open to the public or not. The way I figure it, I can at least challenge myself and that is, after all, what a challenge is all about.

I haven’t joined them all, far from it, but the challenge still intrigues me. I have just located two more new to me.

The first challenge I found is sponsored by James Parker. I love this one. It is a combination of photography, painting and essays. Here’s how it works:

On the First of each month I will post ONE (1) subject (children, cats, dogs, etc). Take a great photo of that subject and submit it. I'll post those photos on Windows to the Words PHOTO. From those photos, I will select 3 for the following month's subject for ARTWORK and WRITING.

On the First of each month I will post THREE (3) photos of the subject matter for the month (children, dogs, cats, fish, buildings, etc.) Choose a photo and do a painting, drawing, or other artwork from it. Submit it and I'll post it. Your artwork will be posted on Windows to the Words ART.

The subject of the Writing category is the same as the Artwork subject of the month. If you have a little poem, or anecdote, or reflection on the subject you want to share....submit it. Only, please keep it short and, hopefully, meaningful. I retain the prerogative to delete or incur wrath, but I won't rewrite anything.Submissions will be posted on Windows to the Words Writing.

The second challenge I found is sponsored by David Lobenberg and Milind Mulick. Here are the details.

Brilliant artist Milind Mulick in far off India and I in the golden state of California are proposing a self portrait paint-off. "Paint-off" is somewhat of a challenging and intimidating word. Lets call it a Global self portrait love-in. No matter what your level of artistic ability or what medium you enjoy working in, this is an invitation to do a self portrait to be sent to my blog by the end of June at which time we can show off our efforts.'s going to be rollicking good fun!...and...what better way to discover yourself visually than doing a self portrait.You are invited!


The Virtual Paintout - April Challenge - Amsterdam

119 Geldersekade, Amsterdam
acrylic on 8" by 10" canvas board
SOLD to Sheila $60.00 includes shipping

The Virtual Challenge is hosted by Bill Guffey. This is the April Challenge, Amsterdam. Below is some of the information Bill includes on the website.

The purpose...
To gather in one area of the world, virtually, once a month with other artists.To paint or draw a scene and composition of your choosing, within a predetermined area.

This monthly project is open to all, no matter the experience or level. All drawing and painting mediums are acceptable, with the exclusion of computer created/digital art. A new city will be posted monthly.

How it's done...
To get to Google Street View, go to Google/Maps. Find the city, zoom in, and drag and drop the little yellow man (in the top left corner) onto a street. A pop-up window will appear with a 360 degree photographic view. You may then travel the streets, looking around, to find your composition.

Isn't this already fun?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

iCoyote - a Utah Photographer

Claret cup cactus growing on the side of a rock overlooking Kane Creek near Hatch Wash. This was published yesterday in a photo of the week contest in San Juan Record, Hometown Newspaper for San Juan County, Utah.

I've know iCoyote, geez, it seems like most of my life. He is a self described hermit and I have to agree, he is one person that knows who he is and lives what he knows. I am the privileged one that gets to call him my friend because he is somewhat of a recluse. I believe he will be the kind of man that disappears into the dessert when his time comes. You hear me i? I believe in you!

Talent? Yes, and then some. His photo's are amazing. He has allowed me to add his website to my "If I only had a friend" list. Go see for yourself and then come back here to tell me you saw it too! My favorite is WYSIWYG (or not)? Choose "leftover cheese", then click on that image. It's like a puzzle and always a surprise on the other size.

I asked him how he would describe his photography and honestly, did not understand it all, so I'm going to use his own words:

As to being a photographer & whatever else I do- What that is, is nature photography, including landscape, macro, wildlife, and humor/anthropomorphic such as rock smilies or drama queen trees. I use the computer in several ways: to give an image the look that I saw when I took the shot; to create humor, such as enlarging a prairie dog image to human size; or to generate a photo realistic landscape from scratch.

Did I forget to mention he's pretty smart? Seriously, check him out, he's got talent.

Goodnight Duncan, thank you for sharing this with me.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Good Day For A Lion

Babar Sher
(Urdu for Lion)
acrylic on 6" by 6" canvas board

$35.00 includes shipping
email for PayPal invoice

Nor'easter Upon Us

Oh, the joy of being dirty - or - a day in the yard. Either way, there is such satisfaction when you've spent a day working hard and getting that sign taken off the road

"Worst Yard in the Neighborhood"

Well, I didn't have the sign, but I'm sure I could have qualified for it had there been one!

Mary Ellen and Ron are so wonderful about helping me do my bi-annual yard work. Here, the leaves fall from September to April. I think, why bother until they are all down? That makes sense doesn't it?

But I wasn't sure you could really see how dirty I was, so I got Mary Ellen to take another picture showing my arms. At least my hands were clean. I took the job of blowing the leaves. Must of blown for 3 hours and we only did the front yard. Next time, I should wear a mask, just think how much dirt I breathed into my pretty pink lungs!

While I blew, Ron chain-sawed large limbs, weed eater and pack horse to the street.

Mary Ellen did the most amazing thing, she cleaned my garage and I was actually able to put a car in it for the first time in about 5 years. And she said, "I'm not working as hard as you guys are, I hope you don't mind"! I told her, ME, in a few days or weeks, you won't be able to tell we even worked in the yard, but the garage will still be done. What a gift! But wait, as if that wasn't enough, she washed my car, too!

A couple of days later, a man came by & offered to clean the roof (very steep) and pressure wash the pergola and sidewalk. Yesssssss!

Now, the sad picture of me. The debris after this storm will be massive. There is nothing I love more than for it to rain - really, it is the regeneration of all life, so I'm not ReallY complaining, but, now .... we get to do it all over again.

At least there is still dirt!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Mrs. Robinson's favorite boy-toy

No longer a boy, this is still a man to be reckoned with.

Dustin Hoffman
pastel on 6.25" by 9.5" yellow velour paper
$35 includes shipping
SOLD to Dan


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Degrees of Separation

This is a picture of my ex-husband Jim Kastelic. On his right, his cousin Kathy Ebbs. On his left, our daughter, Mary Ellen Kastelic. This was taken in 2007. It was the unfortunate event of Jim's fathers funeral. However, being the family historian I am, I told Mary Ellen, you get pictures of everyone, make groups, get cousins, families, aunts & uncles, whatever you can get people to do! She, being the obedient daughter she is, complied beautifully.
This is a picture I took in 1992 of Mary Ellen and Jim, at Mary Ellen's high school graduation. When Mary Ellen was a small child, she wanted a 'kiss' picture of us. I was amazed that our profiles looked nothing alike. I always knew she was 'her father's daughter', so when he and his wife, Mary Lou came for Mary Ellen's graduation, I had them 'assume the position'!

But this story is about something else, it is about the coincidence of knowing Jim! We knew of each other since we were very young children. He was from the same town, Cherokee, Kansas, my grandparents, Flo and Doc lived in. Jim and my sister Beverly were in the 4th grade together. Years later, I attended college 12 miles from Cherokee, in Pittsburg, Kansas. I had hooked up with another guy from Cherokee, Bill Nevin and he set me and Jim up on a date for Labor Day, September 1967. There was something from the very beginning that made me know Jim was special to me, but we did have a stormy courtship with a breakup mostly due to separation. I left college a year after meeting Jim and went back home to Florida where I eventually spent two years in X-ray school. Jim went off to Viet Nam and then back to Kansas City where he lived and worked. Long distance relationships are not easy! We finally married in April 1971. I would do it all over again in a heart beat. The result of our marriage was the daughter we made together - out of our love for one another - Mary Ellen. She is another story, but I cannot hesitate to say, she has brought us both nothing but joy and love!

Coincidence #1: knew of each other since children
Coincidence #2: my sister went to school with Jim

While in college, I sang in a group called "The Cellar Singers". Yes, we practiced in the cellar! It was a group of 8 girls and one of them was Mary Lou Reed. Yes, the same Mary Lou that is now Jim's wife. They met a few years after our divorce while working together in Kansas City.

Coincidence #3: Jim meets a college friend of mine and marries her. How could I dislike my ex-husbands new wife? She had once been my friend! That made it real easy.

In the last few years, Jim has developed an Internet friendship with a woman in Arkansas, Deb. She has a sister, Linda, living in Texas that she recently visited. While there, Linda told Deb she had found a blog that she was enjoying and wanted to show it to Deb. I don't know how, but Deb figured out this was written by her friend's ex-wife, ME! Deb tells Jim about it and they are all looking at it and I haven't even told anyone yet!

Coincidence#4: Jim meets Deb, Deb visits Linda, Linda discovers my blog, Linda tells Deb, Deb tells Jim, Jim tells Mary Ellen, Mary Ellen tells me, and I am writing about it now!

Well, I just have a few things to say.

What a small world!

Just how many degrees of separation does it take for this to happen?

Glad to meet you Deb and Linda. Please leave me a comment sometime. You must both be very special, beautiful and smart girls!! to have found me!! We should now be friends, too!

Here is a TV quote on friendship I like:
I knew I’d made a friend. The bonds we form with other people, can handle any setback
Genuine friendship will survive any dispute or competition.
And true partnership provides strength in times of trouble and confusion.
Kyle XY 8/8/06

Another TV quote, that for me, sums it all up:
You don’t have to Love somebody forever to be happy you loved them at all.
“Estelle” on Middle Ages 9/24/92

And finally, a quote - not from TV:
You never know what your going to get in this life, so don't miss one thing!


A friend is a precious gift

Crab Legs
pastel on 6.25" by 9.5" velour
nfs, Private Collection
This is one of my favorite's. It is a portrait of one of my friends that she gave to her parents. I was pleased by their delight in my work.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Who Can Resist Friday?

Friday the 13th
acrylic on 6" by 6" canvas board

On March 13, 2009 I wrote on FaceBook that I wanted to paint in BLACK today. Being encouraged, I proceeded, but didn't want anything gloomy or dark, just BLACK!

This girl, probably a self-portrait, makes me feel good, happy. I want to dance with her!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Village Street Lamps in the Rain

Village Street Lamps in the Rain
acrylic on 12" by 16" canvas sheet, mounted on paper board
$60.00 includes shipping

I was feeling strong, bold and RED!
I wanted to paint something that indicated strength and maybe even aggression. The red did it for me just fine. However, I don't think the sweet village scene in the rain is indicative of that feeling. I'm glad, because I love this painting. It makes me think of being on a village street, perhaps in Bethlehem - OK, near a stable!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Not Ready for Mother's Day

tan velour
6" by 8.75"

Available $20.00
includes shipping

There is so much I could and want to say about my Mother, but I just can't do it yet. It will have to be a belated greeting when I'm ready.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Paint Beckie in the Shower!

This may be the craziest thing I ever do, but I wanted to have a nude painting of me! The story of how it came about is probably the best part of the story.

This is Self Portrait #7

acrylic on 6" by 8" canvas board
This one I painted.

I used layers of wash in light blue permanent, medium magenta, and raw umber. I then put 2 thin coats of iridescent gel, 1 coat of blue interference and finally coated it with a coat of glass bead gel, wiped it off ? and then put it back on!

The next painting is by my artist friend Dan Lacey. It is oil on 8" by 10" canvas sheet. I didn't think I could paint water and he does know more about painting water than I do!

The last picture is the reference photo I took myself!

I posted a note on Facebook regarding nudity. The upshot of the replys was "I don't understand what your problem is, Beckie, nudity is part of the body. Would you hesitate to paint an elbow? a belly button? a nose? Why then would you have a problem with nudity?"

I thought about this and realized that limiting paintings to "dressed-only" was denying one's self to a limited view and "all that God intended".

That, however, was not the intent of my note. I wanted to have a nude painting of myself done. I was just concerned about sending a nude photograph through email - AND - how far could you trust the artist you were sending it too?

I set up my tripod, ripped off my clothes and jumped in the shower! It is not easy taking "timed-release" photos of yourself in the first place, try doing it - multiple times - dripping wet - in & out - in & out - of the shower. My bathroom was a sopping mess!

So my challenge to any artist reading this, send me your rendition of Beckie in the shower. I promise I will post anything (I think) that you send. Let's see how long we can keep me wet!


Thursday, May 7, 2009

President Barack Obama

I love the presidential art that is so prolific now. I started buying it right at the inauguration. I believe the inaugural ball was what captured my attention. Once caught (my attention) I couldn't get enough. I love the portraits of Obama and Michelle and the family. I love the scene's which show formal and informal situations.

So, of course, I had to paint one of my own. It is a pastel done very early in my experience of daily painting on February 16th. It is on a scrap of pastel paper, 8" by 8.9". I sent it to an artist acquaintance who gave me tips about painting black hair. Apparently, it is not black at all! I need to do another using the colors she suggested.

I have a whole wall dedicated to my Obama art collection. It is not something everyone would want or even be interested in, but it gives me pleasure and I enjoy the installation.

Artists included in the "Obama wall" are Gretchen Kelly, Kim Roberti, Candy Barr, Joshua Budick, Austin Maloney, Dan Lacey, Dean Haven, Peter Fowler and Walter L. Hardy. I also have paintings from JoAnn Gerard and Joyce Kenny but they are not yet displayed on 'THE WALL'. Each of these paintings can be seen in detail by going to an artists blog or website, or they are all displayed in an album on my Facebook called "Barack and Michelle Obama".


I'm including this photo because it is most interesting.

The shadows in the background tell a whole story, don't they?


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Art Challenge #8: Spring Fever

acrylic on 8" by 10" canvas board
Available $44.00
includes shipping

Happy Mother's Day Grammam

Noma Hattie Clark Saar - my Fathers' Mother.
Born August 20, 1894
Died October 14, 1987

She was such a dear friend, we had so much fun together. After high school, I lived with her for short periods from time-to-time. I would wash and color her hair, trim her nails.

She became a widow in 1957, but never changed her routine. During the day, she did light cleaning, watched the soaps and whatever else struck her fancy! At four o'clock, she took her bath, powdered (oh she smelled so good!) and prepared the evening meal. This was what she had always done, when she was married, she was always ready for her man!

She had a candy jar on the coffee table, which was never empty.
She had every flavor of soda on the basement stairs.
She had homemade cookies & cake on the server in the kitchen.
And cook - how we loved to eat at Grammam's. When it was just me and her, our favorite meal was chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes and lima beans. And her chicken 'n dumplings were wonderful. She made her cobbler with a cake topping (my other Grandmother Flo made hers with pie crust).

But oh god, her driving was the pits. She would roll down the window, set her elbow on the ledge and never take it off. I used to try to turn corners that way just to see if I could do it. It wasn't easy.

She was a wonderful knitter. At one time she co-owned a shop with her daughter-in-law Gay. I had her make me lots of baby sets before I was married just in case she was no longer knitting when I did have a baby. She made us all matching Christmas stockings.

She spent her later years in a nursing home due to a series of life threatening infections. During those years she had numerous catastrophic events but always rallied back. She maintained her mental health until the end.

She never smoked or drank. She enjoyed a dirty story and a good movie. She made the tightest bed I ever slept in. She was a great sport, friend and Grandmother.
Until I see you again,

Art Challenge #7: Sun Art


I am the sun for you alone
pastel on 6" by 9" black Strathmore Artgain
CBS Sunday Morning television show is a staple of society and loved by millions. It is an intellectual ‘slice of Americana’ encapsulating current events, art, travel, politics, nature, and everyday people. The paintings in this gallery are created by the members of The Artist Challenge and now part of the CBS Sunday Morning Art Library for use with the show’s segments.
This was another difficult challenge for me. I had never drawn a sun before, so thought I'd Google sun art. Well, it seems everyone ELSE HAS drawn a sun. There was no way I could look at that art and come up with something original. I had to close the book and start drawing!

At first, I took 3 sheet canvas' and divided them into 4 quadrants. Then I attempted to vary color and design to see if something would 'click'. It didn't! Terrible! Deep six'd!

Then I painted the following two. I really liked them both, especially the silver one. But, they just didn't have 'it'! So, I switched from acrylic to soft pastel and that did the trick.

Chasing Away the Night
acrylic on 5" by 7" canvas board

Available $15.00
includes shipping

This is actually a beautiful dark blue, the varnish caused glare when scanning.

acrylic on 4" by 4" canvas board


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Happy Mother's Day - Mommy Flo

1st - Scott & Flo Wimmer c.1930
2nd - Flo Wimmer c.1940
3rd - Flo Wimmer c.1950
Born October 17, 1898
Died October 8, 1981
My Grandmother, Flo Ellen Wimmer married her 3rd cousin Winfield Scott Wimmer. Scott was a dentist in Cherokee, Kansas. There were called by all Flo and Doc. To us, they were Mommy Flo and Daddy Doc.
Doc lived in Liberal, MO and Flo lived in Liberal, KS. As their mail would occasionally become mixed up, they were aware of each other's families. On a hunting trip with his Father and brothers, Doc met and fell in love with Flo. The day they met, Flo had just graduated from high school. She was in her pretty graduation dress sitting at the piano and flowers were everywhere. How could a young man resist? The rest is history!
Mommy Flo was my sister Beverly's and my 'favorite and best'. How we loved her. I remember combing her hair playing beauty parlor! She was strong and pretty and very social, actually ran with the in-crowd, the socially elite! That must of been something back then, the 30's through the 50's. I'm sure society still has their socially elite, but in these days, in my 'social' environiment, that is something I don't see.
We were both born in October, 50 years apart. She was a victim of alzheimers and passed away in October 1982. If still alive, she would be 110 now - yikes!
Happy Mother's Day Mommy Flo, until we meet again ...

Monday, May 4, 2009

Art Challenge #6: The Fool

Joining My First Challenge
I was so scared. I had never entered anything I'd painted in anything! But I knew, if I'm going to do this, I have to start somewhere.
I think I may have selected a very difficult place to start. This challenge wasn't a thing I could turn around in my hand & look at, it was a concept. Whoa, a concept.
When I first tried to think what a fool would be, the usual ideas come to mind, Harlequin, clown, dunce, found naked in public by accident, even falling down.
I practiced drawing in a sketch book & finally tossed that aside. Little by little, the plan developed. First I started with what I thought was a pretty background, shinny gold with rose and green. I knew I wanted vegetation, so the hedge developed. The curb at the bottom of the hedge lead to the sandy beach, gray with glass bead gel to represent sand. Then there was the girl! I knew she had to look foolish and embarrassed. That's it!
By this time, I had become 'friends' on Facebook with one of the site's administrators, Vikki North. I sent her a message "Oh Vikki, I got that lump-in-my-throat kinda' feelin'! Just posted my 1st ever challenge for the Fool - not sure if it is me or the painting .... that is the fool! Hold my hand, this is a really Big step for me!
Pit-y-ful, just can't seem to do anything by myself! And yet ... I'm a loner and get plenty done!
In the end:
Been There, Haven't You
8" by 10" acrylic on canvas board