Sunday, December 28, 2008

Free Gimme

On December 24th it was 40 below zero wind chill here in the wind swept plains of Nebraska.
Highway 6, 2008 14 x 11 Oil

On December 26th it was 62 degrees above zero. I'm no rocket surgeon, but that's alot of degrees in just a few days. No wonder I'm feeling a little schizophrenic.

It's also very nearly a New Year. I'm celebrating with a Free Gimme.

I'm giving away warm weather. Green grass. Cool water. Reflections of warm sun.

Platte River, Late Afternoon, 2008 11 x 14 Oil

I'll send you a free (yes ma'am, that's no cost to you!) postcard-sized reproduction of "Platte River, Late Afternoon". I'll sign it, too. It'll bring back memories of summer, a late afternoon by the river. Dip your toes in and listen to the bugs buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

It's yours for the asking. Tell me where to send it and it's there. I'm not looking for anything from you. It's my little gift to those of us who have a hard time getting through the winter months. Zip me an email at and ask for a warm breeze in your mailbox.

Here's hoping your holidays were lovely, and your New Year is full of warm friendships.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

My Christmas List

First off, for those of you who thought I was referring to your Christmas letter...nnnnoooo, it was someone else's letter! Your letter was my favorite!!

Santa's been asking about you. Here are some gift ideas I shared with him for the artists on his list:

A box full of fresh ideas. An ego strong enough to handle criticism. Self cleaning brushes.

Frames that actually look like the picture in the catalog. Self cleaning oil paint lids.

Customers. Did I mention friends?

A place to hang artwork. Good lighting. Time to create.

An open mind. A supportive significant other(s).

Friends. (I may have already mentioned that one.)

Dustless pastels. Just the right color.
Great subject matter.

A receptive audience.

A willingness to mentor others.

A sense of humor.

Last but not least, friends. (You just can't have enough of them.)

What would you like for Christmas?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

C is for Christmas

Ah, it's that time of year, isn't it? You know what I mean.
It's December, the month when all the friends you haven't seen in the last 12 months write to tell you how fabulous their year was.

It's Christmas Letter Time!

Eleven-inch envelopes that normally hold bank balance statements or credit card reminders now carry 8-1/2 by 11-inch pages of dancing snowmen or twirling holly garland wrapped around the years' adventures.

Does no one just stay home and read anymore?

It seems that all my best friends, who I haven't heard a peep out of (out of whom I haven't heard a peep) since their last declaration of Christmas cheer, have traveled the world with their beautiful children in tow. Remember them? The A+ students who organized the Katrina Relief Effort from their elementary school in the 'burbs while directing sight-impaired children across the street at the afterschool program in the projects before heading out to dance class to practice for the lead in the Nutcracker, after which they'll build a house for the neighbors whose house burned down, and train their dog to fetch newspapers for the elderly. Oh, don't forget the bone marrow drive they're thinking of starting? All while wearing white, neatly ironed button-down shirts, actually tucked in to their Dockers. Which are actually pulled up to their waists and belted. Did I mention they dined with the Pope?

Who are these people?

My Christmas Letter to You:

It was a pretty darned good year. Learned alot. Forgot some. Learned some more. Laughed more than I cried. Added a few more wrinkles and silver hairs. (Note to self: try 20 watt lightbulbs in the bathroom.) Made new friends. Kept the old ones.

Love my family like crazy, every single one of them.

How was your year?

Sunday, December 7, 2008


The last of the green bean casserole has been eaten and we're getting back into some sense of a routine after our Thanksgiving blow-out.

Back in my studio after not having been there for way too long I found myself floundering a bit. What to do? How to do it?

When in doubt, sometimes it helps to break convention and try something out of the ordinary. I'm not talking anything really weird here. I don't paint with condiments or throw things from my second story studio. I refuse to tie my brushes to the Wiggly Dog's tail or paint with my eyes closed. No, I simply reached for some yellow.

Yellow is not my favorite color. No special reason, I just don't reach for it easily in my collection of pastels. I've got several hundred sticks of soft pastels in many different brands, and the yellow group is overly neat and clean compared to the blues, reds, oranges and especially the greens. So, because I was still feeling a little full after our Thanksgiving revelry, I decided to stretch just a teeny tiny bit by going sunny.
Oh, the agony.
I still don't like yellow. I don't read it easily. What looks like an orangey-yellow in my palette turns greeny-yellow on the paper.
Except when it doesn't. Then there's the grey area where it's no longer yellow but not quite green (sorry, I couldn't resist the pun). Reading the warm/cool aspect of that particular blending was giving me a headache.
Look, I get that I'm not doing rocket surgery here. There's no heavy lifting going on. But it's a challenge to keep fresh and not fall asleep at the easel.
Pick a new color. Give it a shot and see what shows up.
Yellow 24 x 18 Pastel 2008