Friday, December 1, 2017

Three Rivers Artist Guild 2017 Holiday Show

It has been a busy two weeks since I set up my booth for the Three Rivers Artist Guild Holiday Show.  With Thanksgiving and the show opening on Black Friday and having to work the galley for 2 shifts I haven't had time to do a blog post.  I finally am making time to do that today. 
First is a photo of my booth.
Along with having a nice large space I was happy to be featured in all of the publicity that went out about the show.  I had a large picture in the article about the show in the local newspaper.  The only thing is (you will notice) is that they used a photo of my last year's booth.  I guess it really doesn't matter.  It is still a photo of my work.

One of my paintings is on the postcard that is sent out to the mailing list. It is the one in the middle.

They also had a poster made that was hung various places around town.  One of the guild artists did a painting showing the work of various artist who are in the show.  I love her rendition of my lighthouse painting.  You can't miss it as it too is in the center.

I have been so busy that I haven't done any painting in the past two weeks so I thought I would show you some of my greeting cards.  I sell them in sets of 4 large cards for $15.  There are 4 different paintings featured in each set.  They are blank on the inside and are suitable for framing.

I decided to try something new this year by making small cards to sell at $2.50 per card.  Here are just a few of what I made.

If you have been following my blog for awhile I am sure you recognize the paintings that I used on all of the cards.

My next project is to work on my entry for the Carnegie Regional Show which will be coming up after the first of the year.  I am going to do a chair and a companion painting.  They will be a version of my "Fun Flowers" design.  I have the chair base coated and ready for the design to be applied and have the canvas painting base coated, have drawn the design and have started the white under painting.

Photos will be posted when I complete the painting.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Replacement paintings and a whole lot more

I painted duplicates of the things I sold that I showed in my last blog post.  Here is what I did.  The first photo is another "Fruit and Flowers" painting.  I had to add more fruit and more flowers to it because the frame I used is larger then the original which is now hanging in a home in CA.

Next I did the lighthouse and blue jay domino train stations along with another pink rose cancer awareness train station.  I took the original to the Vicksburg Gallery so decided to do another to show at the Three Rivers Artist Guild Holiday show. 

I wanted to have a number of train stations for the holiday show so I did 9 more for a total of 12.

I did a hummingbird pattern that  was popular in Tucson and I liked it so much I painted a slightly larger version on a wooden plate.

I did two more designs that I have sold many times in the past.  One is the Indian Maiden pattern and the other is a Patchwork Horse.

I then did some cute lovebird owls that I have done a couple of times before and a carousal horse which is a new pattern.

I have only did flamingos and a peacock once in the past on train stations so thought I'd do them again.

The last two are both new to train stations.  One is my "Lovely Lighthouse" and the other "Peek-a-boo Kitty"
When I lived in Tucson my domino train stations were my most popular item.  I sold 100's of them. We lived in a retirement community and it seemed everyone played Mexican Train Dominos.  I always put a hanger on the back so that when you are not using it in a game it could be hung on the wall as a decoration. In fact some people who do not play the game bought them as a wall hanging.  I am selling them here in MI but not in the same numbers as in Tucson.  I occasionally get an online order from someone who saw them at a friend's house.  I wish I had kept count of how many of them that I have sold over the years.  I do know that that number would be many 100's!  I sold every one that I painted except for a few I have gifted to family and one that I kept for myself. 

If you wonder how I started painting these here is the story:
 I got the idea for making them from my friend Frances who had a larger version of one she bought online.  It had a domino shaped hole cut in the middle for the " lead" number domino  and was painted with a simple design. She suggested I might want to paint a few to sell.  When I asked my son Mark if he could cut me some he asked if he could make them slightly smaller so that they could fit in a flat rate box and that he not cut the hole so that I could paint a picture on them instead of just a decorative boarder.  I agreed and the rest is history.  Little did we know how many he would cut and how many I would sell.  I'm thankful to Frances for getting me started on painting something that has given joy to so many people.

I sold one more painting last week.  It is my most recent "Magnolia" painting.  I probably have done 4 or 5 of these paintings which have all sold.  Time to do another one.  Here is the one that I just sold.

I set up for the holiday show this coming weekend.  I will show pictures in my next blog post.

Monday, November 6, 2017

New Craft items

Where does the time go?  I am in panic mode.  I just realized I have less than two weeks until I have to set up my booth for the Three Rivers Artist Guild Holiday Show.  I have been trying to get smaller items done which I accomplished except that some of then sold from home before I had a chance to show them.  Also, I had to take some of the items I had planned display at the holiday show to the Vicksburg Cultural Arts Center.  They are having a big fund raiser auction this coming weekend so I decided I should have some new items at the gallery.  I promised I would leave them through the holiday season.  That means I have to spend much time in my studio this week and next painting for the holiday show. 

Here are photos of my latest work.  I completed two domino train stations.  A lighthouse and a blue jay. 

We had out of town company over the weekend and one of my guests bought both of these items for Christmas gifts.  That means I'll have to paint new ones with the same pattern.  I may do two of the lighthouse as they seem to be popular around here.  I also sold a painting I did a few weeks ago to someone who saw it here on my blog.  She is from CA and was a previous customer.  The painting is "Fruit and Flowers".  I am working on a new version and should finish it today.  Here is the one that I sold.

I did a lighthouse painting on a 9" wooden plate so at least I can show this one at the holiday show.

I did one more project since my last blog post.  This is something that I have wanted to do for years.  As you know, my husband Roger makes stained glass windows.  Over the years I have not allowed him to throw away any scrap glass because I wanted to try doing mosaics.  The problem is I just never got around to it because I really wasn't sure how to do it.  I mentioned this to one of the art guild members who does mosaics and she invited me to come to her house with a few others to learn the process.  This is my first mosaic piece which I will keep for myself.  Now that I know the basics I will play around with it when I have time.  Here is my very first mosaic piece.

I better get off of the computer and get to work.  I don't have anything on the schedule for today except to paint.  I may take a break later this afternoon to go to Health Trax.  I hope to get there at least 4 times a week.  We were able to take a mile walk almost everyday during the summer but now that cold weather is here we made the decision to join the fitness center.  I spend too much time sitting and painting so must get some exercise every day and going to the gym is the best way to do that.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

3 new works of art

I have had lots going on the past few weeks but still had time to get three paintings completed.  The first one is an 10X8 painting of the pink rose and ribbons that I did on a domino train station.  I mentioned in my last post that I thought I would do it on canvas as a tribute to October being breast cancer awareness month.  I titled it "Hope for a Cure".

The second project was a small version of "Forest Royalty" done on barn wood.  Maybe I should say "faux" barn wood since it is really paneling that looks like barn wood.  Size on this one is 8X6.

The last painting is a large 19X31 painting called "Kaleidoscope Garden".  It is a version of a painting that I did in 2007 that won third place and People's Choice Award in the very first art exhibition  that I ever entered.  I  sold it the night of the opening reception and got a commission to paint another one for a lady who eventually commissioned me to do many more paintings. When I was trying to decide what to do for this large frame I remembered what success I had with the original version 10 years ago so thought it was time to do another one.  As always, for some reason, the photo of large paintings always look smaller then the small paintings when I post it here on this blog.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

A Few Small Items and a sweet great-grand-daughter

I took a short trip last weekend.  We went to Dayton to meet our great-grand-daughter Adaleia Lynn who came with her mom Megan and dad Paul from Hawaii for a family visit.  She is Brian and Sarah's grand-daughter. She is 7 months old and such a cute happy baby.

I started working on some small items for the Three Rivers Art Guild holiday show before we left for the trip and finished a few more after we came back.  I mentioned in my last post that I had gotten some old wood from our grand-daughter Stacy's farm.  I had Roger cut the old oak board into small sections.  Here are a few tiny paintings that I will sell with the easels.

I stained the two on the end.  The fruit and flower painting is on a grey stained board and the owl is on a medium brown stained board.  I left the one in the middle natural but painted the oval black.  I did one more painting on a slightly larger oak board that is stained dark brown.  The painting is of a lighthouse.  I drilled holes and ran a jute cord through the holes and knotted it so that it can be hung on the wall.

When I was on vacation in August in NC I found this unpainted  swan in a thrift shop.  It also hangs on the wall.  I painted it in my patchwork style.

Since October is breast cancer awareness month I did something to honor that.  I have a stack of domino train stations that my son Mark cut for me so I decided to paint a pink rose on one of them and use the pink ribbon as trim around the edges. 

I really like the way this one turned out.  I think I will do a canvas painting featuring pink roses and ribbons. 

Before I start another painting I have to take time to finish framing the canvas paintings I did in the past month.  I put them in the frames but have never finished the backs with paper and wires.  I'll do that later today then will start work on more small stuff and the rose canvas painting.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

3 Paintings, Abstract, Still Life and Symmetrical Design.

I finished three more paintings in the past 12 days.  After painting so many lighthouse paintings I was in the mood to do something different.  The first painting is an abstract.  When I do an abstract I don't have a plan.  I just "go for it" not sure what the results will be. In this case I put texture on the canvas then sponged the color over the texture.  I thought it needed something else I so drizzled the white over the base color.  When I was done I looked at it and thought "Fire and Ice".  That is what I titled this painting.

The next painting I did is a traditional still life.  I adapted a pattern I had done on slate to fit a canvas.  There is no fancy name for this one.  It is simply "Fruit and Flowers".

It had been awhile since I had done a symmetrical design painting so that is what I did for the final one.  I love doing the detail and design work on this kind of painting.  It looks complicated and time consuming but it isn't.  There is a lot of dot work but it is fun.  This is why I was given the nickname of  the Dot Lady.  I call this one "Ornamental Arrangement".  I've use that title before for a similar type of painting.  I decided to use it again because I couldn't think of something new and interesting.

I'm starting to think ahead to the Three Rivers Art Guild Holiday Show.  Now that September is almost over Christmas will be here in no time so I must prepare.  I know that smaller, lower priced items sell so that is what I am working on.  I picked up a few craft items on my trips this summer and have already started work on them.  I also went to my grand-daughter's farm and got some old barn wood and a nice piece of old weathered oak from her.  I will be doing some tiny easel paintings and some small hanging paintings on this wood.  When I get some of these done I will post photos of them.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Stained Glass Windows for an Air Force Chapel in Iraq 2008

In my last post I promised to tell you the story of how we came to make stained glass panels and paintings for an Air Force Chapel in Iraq.  It started in June of 2008 when our son was sent to Iraq for his second tour of duty there.  He called us shortly after he arrived at the base in Baghdad.  He told us that in his previous time there the chapel met in a tent but since then they had moved into a building.  He said it was windowless for safety reasons and his idea was for Roger to make some stained glass panels that could be back lit and for me to do some paintings to help brighten up the place.  We said "of course we would do that."  This was the beginning of a six month saga.

 I was put in contact with an Assistant Chaplin named Tiffany who became our liaison with those in command.  All our communication was via email.  With her help, subject matter and color choices were decided.  We had to keep the subject of the windows religious neutral because the chapel was used for a variety of different religions. We came up with four ideas that would work.  The chapel name was the Lighthouse Chapel so one would be a lighthouse.  The others were of a rainbow and dove, a butterfly and a lily.  They wanted them to be a colorful as possible so we used a variety of bright colors.

The process took up much of our time in the next months.  The patterns had to be drawn.  Roger and I both worked on this.  I chose the glass colors and he ordered the glass.  While we waited for the glass order to come he worked on getting the pattern ready which takes much time as it must be traced onto mylar and each piece cut out like a jigsaw puzzle.  When the glass arrived I helped lay out the pattern on the glass.  Here is a photo of me doing that.
 From this point on I was done with my part.  Roger did the rest of the job. Here is a photo of him working on one of the panels.
The finished panels were beautiful.  The next photo shows us with three of the windows and the photo after that is of the lighthouse panel.

It took a number of months for Roger to build the windows.  It only took me a few weeks to do four paintings.  I posted a photo of myself and the paintings in  my last post so you can go there to see them.

During the time we were working on this project Brian called and told us he had another idea that maybe we could work on.  He said the chapel ran a coffee bar but that they only served regular coffee and that the troops craved flavored coffee which they could not get in Iraq.  He suggested we have a coffee drive in our community.  We said we would do it and  enlisted the help of our next door neighbors, George and Gloria Magee.  With their help and the contribution of friends and neighbors we were able to collect 400 pounds of every possible flavor of coffee you can think of along with 30 pounds of coffee flavored hard candy and even coco mix.  
 We shipped the coffee in flat rate boxes as we collected it.  Shipping the windows was another story.  At first we were told to take them to the local Air Force Base and they would get them to Iraq so we took them there.  After almost a month we were told they could not do it.  Long story short, we were told that if we could get them to Dover Delaware by a date only a few days away they would be put on a plane to Iraq.  The day we got this call was the day before Thanksgiving.  We quickly picked them up from the local Air Force Base and took them straight to Fedex who got them to Delaware in time to make the plane to Iraq.  I forgot to mention that we also had people contribute money to help with shipping costs of the windows, paintings and coffee.
We held our breath until we heard they arrive safe and undamaged.  As soon as they got there they were given to a young airman who had the skill to build cabinets for the panels and to back light them.  This took almost another month.

They were finally finished and placed in the chapel.  The dedication ceremony took pace just a few days before Brian finished his tour of duty in Iraq.  Here are photos of the staff, and the ceremony.  Brian is in the last photo.

We are proud to have taken part in this project to help brighten the days of our troops and we are even prouder of our son Brian for having suggested we do this.  We are also thankful for all of our Arizona friends who took part in the coffee drive with the their donations of both coffee and money for shipping.

This all happened in 2008.  Since then the Air Force base in Iraq was closed.  A number of years ago I got an email from an Air Force Chaplin telling me that the windows were still blessing the troops in another Chapel but, in his words, "Because of the sensitive nature of the county they were in" he could not tell me where they were.

I hope you enjoyed reading this story about our "Windows for Iraq."