Friday, March 9, 2018

New Paintings both large and small

I have not produced a lot of art since the first of the year mainly because we were busy remodeling our master and guest bathrooms. What I have done are a couple of commissions and one large painting  for my new display at the Vicksburg Cultural Arts Center.  Other than that I have been working on tiny paintings. 

Here is the large painting which I titled "Calla Lily Trio".  The size is 22X22.

 Here is my VACA display.  I featured calla lily paintings along with craft items and my fun flowers chair and painting.

Since most of what I sold at the holiday show were smaller items I decide to do a "tiny art" series.  Here are the three newest additions.  These are size 6X6 on canvas. I sell them with the easels.

I am still curious as to why a 22X22 painting appears as the same size as a 6X6 painting  when posted here.  Oh, well that is just the way it is. 

This is the first year since we moved from AZ to MI that we have had a really bad winter.  We had lots of snowfalls and the snow just piled up.  When it finally melted we had floods in town.  Lately we have had some 50 degree days followed by 30 degree days.  This week has been on the cold side.  Prior to this year the weather has not bothered us and we did not miss AZ but this year we said "what were we thinking?'  Don't get me wrong, we love our life here but the winter was not fun.  On, the other hand, I remember those 110 degree and higher days in AZ and those were not fun either.  That was when we would travel to get away from the hot temps.  So, now we plan to take a trip to visit a friend in FL for a week to get away from the cold for a short time.  Hopefully spring will be here when we get back.

I recently bought 6 more tiny canvas which I will paint when we get back from our trip.  So far I have done patterns that I have done in larger versions that I know will sell.  I may get creative and try out some new ideas for this series. 

Monday, February 26, 2018

"My Personal Taste in Art" chapter 3 The Kitchen

I didn't think I had much art in my kitchen but I was wrong.  When you live with things on an everyday basis I guess you get so used to them that you loose site of what you have.  I have both functional items and decorative items in my kitchen.  Like I mentioned in my last post, most of these things have special meaning and memories of people I love. 

I'll start the tour with the area between the living room and the kitchen.  This is where the door to the garage, the entrance to the downstairs art studio, and the staircase going to the second level of the house are located.

The first thing I want to mention is that the walls are not yellow like they appear in this photo.  They are a shade of beige.  Some of the walls are a dark beige and some a lighter shade.  This is a little cabinet that I bought at Target in Tucson and painted as a companion piece to a couple of other items that I had in my office in AZ.  You saw the game table in my living room post.  The large pot was given to me by my mother.  She went to Ohio State University when she was over 60 years old for a BA degree.  While there, she had a part time on campus job assisting a well known ceramic artist.  He would create the molds and she would pour them.  He gave her this pot which she gifted to me. I have the back of the pot facing out.  The front featured a large high heel red shoe!  I love the back and dislike the front so have always turned it backwards.  I bought the cross at Hobby Lobby when I moved here.  It was the perfect color so no re-painting necessary.

This is the wall next to the garage door.  I bought this chest at a yard sale.  It was in my office in AZ with the other two pieces that have the same design.  The mirror was from Hobby Lobby and was silver when I bought it for my master bathroom here.  Later I moved it to this spot and painted it to match the chest.

This is the stairway down to the art studio.  At the time we finished this remodel project I did a blog post going into detail on what we did.  If you are interested you can research older posts and read all about it there.  The shelves are full of favorite things.  I did the painting and the wall hanging is from Hobby Lobby.

I'll move on to the kitchen.  Since the room is too big to show in one photo I took two shots from different angles.

I took close ups of the various "art" items I have in the kitchen.

This one shows a pot I got from Ross, a container filled with a plant that my friend Nancy gave me and a small vase that my mother made and painted that are on top of the cupboard.  The large bowl and matching small bowls were a housewarming  gift from my mother that she bought at an art fair in Columbus, OH for us when we moved to AZ. The little gold leaf dish was a 50th anniversary gift from friends Rubin & Jan.  The copper container which holds my kitchen utensils was from a garage sale.  Notice the apple on a stick in the container.  It was made by my dad and painted by me back in the 80's.  The two trays were also garage sale items.

I painted these as a matching set.  They are functional as well as pretty decorations.

As we move around the counter I have a few other special things that are also useful.

My napkin holder was made by my dad and painted by me many years ago.

I can say ditto on the tray...made by Dad and painted by me.  I use it to hide all the cords from the phone.  The fruit bowl was a gift from my friend Jean and the small bowl and vase came from garage sales.

The items on the top of my dish cabinet are a mixture of garage sale items and a pot made by my mom.  I painted the cross painting and stool.  The stool came from a garage sale here in MI. Roger made the stained glass windows.  Below is a close up of the stool.

By the door to the backyard I have a painting I did on a board made by my dad.  This was in the 80's.  The small cross is a very special to us.   It was given to us as a going away present by our Bible Study group in OH when we moved to AZ.   Roger has just started work on a stained glass window for the door. When it is done I will post photos.

The wooden bowl which I have on my island is another yard sale find which I painted.  I use it to showcase some seashell balls given to my by my friend Nancy.  You have probably notice I have lots of items that were given to me by her.  She was always changing out decorative items and when she bought something new she  gave me the things she was replacing.  I put a piece of coral that came from (you guessed it) a yard sale on top of the balls.

Last are two glass items.  The plate was made by my friends Don &  Leila"s  daughter.  She had it on display in her home and when I told her I thought it was pretty.  She gave it to me saying "her daughter made so many of these that she would just get another one from her and I could have this one." The glass flower is something that I bought from the Three Rivers Art Guild Holiday Show.  It was blown by one of the guild members. It is a perfect match for the plate.

You have now seen all the art in the first floor of my house.  When I decided to share my personal collection of art I didn't realize how much I had.  Everything I own is full of memories of people and places.  People who have passed through my life and places I have lived.  Doing this series has reminded me of how I am surrounded by love of all these people.  Some have passed away and I no longer live close to the rest, but owning things that they gave to me will always keep them close.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day 2018

I have been working on some functional items in the past few weeks.  Around the time they were finished I got a commission for a painting from a previous customer from CA.  I am going to show you all these items on today's post.

These three pieces seem appropriate for Valentine's Day because they all feature flowers.  The first is a 12" wooden plate.

Next is a 7" high pedestal bowl.  I am posting two photos so you get a better idea of what it looks like. always on Valentine's Day....a red rose painting.  This one is on a small 5" bowl.

I no sooner finished these projects when I got a commission via email from a customer who wanted an ocean/beach scene.  I had a 8X10 of "Beacon of Hope" so sent her a photo.  She liked the subject but wanted a larger size in a blue frame.  She said 11X14 was the perfect size.  I had a nice frame that size and refinished it in blue and painted a new version of "Beacon of Hope" to fit the frame.  I mailed it yesterday and it should arrive in CA next Tuesday. 

The first two winters here in MI were pretty mild snow wise but this year we have been hit hard.  I mention this because we were snowed in for 3 days and I never left the house.  I spent all my time in my studio working on this painting.  When I looked out my window all I saw was snow building up but doing this beach scene painting cheered me up!  We are really missing Tucson this winter.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

"My Personal Taste in Art" chapter 2, The dining room

After I finished my last post I spent time walking around the house and really looking at all the art and other items I have collected over the years.  It got me to thinking about each item and the story behind it.  There is history in each thing that I have on display in my home.  Some things were built by my father.  I have pots that were thrown by my mother.  There are all the paintings that I did.  All the yard sale and thrift store items that I have re-purposed bring back memories of time spent with good friends and my mother as we went out on Saturday mornings spending fun time together looking for bargains.  I also realize how much stuff I bought new and repainted as soon as I got it home.  I never let an item that I knew was perfect except for the color stop me from buying it.  Another realization I had is how little money I have spent on decorating my home.  I could call this series of posts "Decorating on a Shoestring Budget."  I love a good bargain and I love creating art.  What fun to combine them both and bring beauty into my home!

Now to give you a tour of my dining room.  The first photo shows the whole room  I took this picture standing in the kitchen looking into the dining room.

I'll go clockwise around the room.  Starting with the credenza which is something I DID NOT paint.  Everyone who sees it asks if I painted it.  The answer is no.  I bought this beautiful piece of furniture from our friends who lived across the street from us in AZ.  She is the same friend who gave me the dried artichokes that I mentioned in my last post.  These neighbors were moving to Idaho to be closer to family and were getting rid of most of their furniture and offered this piece to us for the price of $75.  They also included the statue of the lady with the flowing cape.  I love both of these items and they will always remind me of Dave and Nancy.  The grandfather clock was bought  in Michigan from the neighbors who live across the street here.  They were having a yard sale and sold us the clock for $10.  The key is missing so it doesn't run and is always at 12 o'clock but I don't care.  It is a perfect fit for that corner. The painting on the easel on the floor is my first version of "Study in Patchwork".  I painted it is AZ and had it hanging the hallway on the bedroom side of the house.

The painting over the credenza was also something I painted of our AZ house.  We had high ceilings and I had a large open space near our entertainment center.  I did this painting to fill that space. I call it "In Flight."  Here is a photo of it hanging in the AZ house.

Here is some pottery I have sitting on the credenza.  The vase and small pot were made by an artist friend I met not long after moving to MI.  She commissioned me to do a painting and I told her that instead of paying me for it would she be willing to barter.  She said yes and I chose these two items.  The small dish is a gift from one of my grand-daughters.  It is a perfect match to the pottery.

As we go around the room to the back wall of the dining room we find this small bench.  This holds many memories and has special meaning for me.   I took a woodworking class back in the late 70's and made this bench from a step between our house and the attached garage.  We removed the step when we converted the garage into a new kitchen.  We no longer needed the garage because Roger had built a new three car garage in the back of the house.  We tore out the wall between our old dining room and kitchen and made one large combined family room and dining room and converted the old garage into a new kitchen.   When we took the old steps out I saved this board and made the bench in the woodworking class.

Next are a few yard sale items that I painted. 

Notice the key hanging on the wall.  I got it at a yard sale shortly after we moved to MI.  I paid $5 for it.  It was bright blue.  I had no idea what I would do with it so stored it until we finally redid our dining room.  I knew it would look good there so I painted it to match the room.  Here is a close up of the plate and bowl and also a photo of the back of the plate which I painted in a different design.

I have another painting hanging in the far right corner of the room.  It is titled "Vase of Elegance". I painted it AZ and showed it a few times.  When it didn't sell I decided to keep it for myself.

The last photo is of our dining room table.  We brought the table and chairs from AZ.  The flower arrangement consists of silk flowers that have been in various arrangements over the years.  I wash them and recycle them into new arrangements as the mood strikes.  The container is a companion to the magazine container in the living room that I bought at Ross in Tucson.  It has has been repainted to change the original color.  The table runner was made by a friend from Tucson.  She and her husband came to visit us here in MI and she gave it as a gift for our home.  She is a great seamstress and makes many beautiful items.  I talked her into joining the artist guild in Tucson so she could show and sell her fabric art.  I love the table runner.  It is so elegant.  It is the finishing touch for the room.

My next post in this series will feature the kitchen.  It may be awhile before I have time to do the posting.  I just got a commission to do a painting from a customer from California so will be working on that for awhile.

Monday, January 29, 2018

"My Personal Taste in Art" Chapter 1

Since I started this blog in May of 2010 I have posted photos of each of my paintings when I completed them.  If you go back to the beginning of my blog you will see my various styles of subject matter and use of color.  When I started to sell my work in Arizona I became known for my unique cactus and desert scene paintings along with my critter paintings.  I use bold colors and lots of dot work.  I also did floral paintings but my biggest sellers were my southwestern style paintings.  When I moved to Michigan I changed my direction to a more mid-west look doing various type of animals in the patchwork style but still using bright colors and of course dots.  While sales here in Michigan are not a plentiful as they were in AZ, I am still getting name and style recognition.  When people here see my paintings they know it is my work before they look at the signature.

That being said, when I look at the art I paint for my personal use in both this house and the house I had in Arizona I realize it is different than the art that I show in exhibitions and that have been my biggest sellers.  That is why I decided to do a series of blog posts showing the paintings I have done for myself over the years and where I have them hanging in my home. 

Many of the paintings I did for my AZ house and have found a place for them here in MI.  I even have a few that I painted for my Ohio house and the condo we had in Ohio.

Since I have so many paintings and craft items, I decided to go  room by room and give a little commentary on each piece of art.  This post will feature my living room and powder room.

The first painting I am showing has a lot of history behind it.  I'm not sure of the exact year, I'm guessing it was in the late 60's that we remodeled our living room in our Ohio house.  I wanted a large painting for over the fire place.  I found the perfect size painting at Kmart but the colors were all wrong.  It had a black background with orange flowers.  I bought it anyway as the price was right and proceeded to paint over the orange flowers changing them to red flowers.  Red was my accent color.  I hung it horizontally where it stayed for many years.  In 1990 we sold the house and moved to a condo where my color scheme included teal so I painted over the red flowers and changed them to teal.  They have remained teal through the condo years, the AZ years and  into the MI years. You will notice it hangs vertically now. I never gave this painting a title. 

The next painting I did last year.  I call it "Persian Pickle AKA Paisley".  Persian Pickle is a quilt pattern based on Paisley.  I did this one to match the table topper on the round table between the two accent chairs.  The chairs were bought new here but the table and lamp were from AZ.  Most of what I have were things from AZ except for the two chairs, our entertainment center, and a new recliner we bought a few months ago. You will see that in another photo. The container that holds the books is something else I painted.  I bought a set of three of these in various sizes at Ross Dress for Less which was one of my favorite Tucson stores.  They were the wrong color but the right shape so it was no problem for me to repaint them.

The next item is something I got from my dad who was a professional photographer.  It is a posing chair.  He gave it to me when he retired in 1972.  It was gold at that time with black legs.  I had it recovered in red and refinished the legs.  When we moved to the condo I had it recovered again in teal. 

Roger built this game table for our office in AZ.  I painted it with the flower design on the front and the top.  Roger made the stained glass window and we made the hanging lamp swag lamp from various parts we bought and a lamp shade from another lamp we already had.

On to the table and mirror by the front door also from our AZ home. I bought the table at Target and guess what?  It was the wrong color. Do you see a trend here?  It was black and I panted it gold to match the mirror.  I also painted the little gold tray and  painted the chess board which my dad made for the little chess set .  You get a good reflection of the living room in the mirror.  I want to mention the tray was a yard sale find along with a number of other items you will see in coming photos.

 I painted a yard sale table for another chess set and two yard sale side tables.  I'm sure none of them cost over $5.

Here is one more photo showing the whole couch with both tables and the recliner.  The recliner is our most recent buy and the color is not what I really wanted but Roger was having knee problems and need a chair ASAP so I settled for grey which matches our kitchen counter top.  The coffee table was made from a left over piece of granite from our AZ kitchen.  The oval bowl was another yard sale find and I liked the color so left it as is.  The dried artichokes  were given to me by an AZ friend many years ago.  She was tired of them and was going to throw them away but gave them to me instead when I told her how much I liked them. 

The door to the right of the painting is our powder room.  We redid it last year.   The painting was painted in AZ and hung in our master bath. It is one of my favorites which is titled "Ala Georgia
O Keeffe".  I used the 3 door chest in my art studio and decided to re-purpose it for the powder room.  It is another yard sale item. Notice the painted plate.  I got a bag of 12 of them for $5 at a  consignment shop here.

When you compare my personal art with my public art you can see that I prefer more subdued colors and more traditional subject matter.  I think  reasons is that I spend so much time creating bright colorful paintings that I need a more peaceful quiet color scheme for my everyday living.

I didn't expect this post to be so long but maybe I did when I said it was chapter 1.  Look for chapter 2 coming soon.