Friday, July 31, 2009

Big Bold Daily Painting Tips

Pssst. Last week for the Big Birthday Give Away! Leave a comment by 10 pm CST, Sunday August 8th. I'm celebrating my birthday by giving gifts! You could be a lucky recipient - butcha gotta leave me just a quick note so I have something to put into a hat.

I'm nearing the end of our Off The Highway project. Remember? Canadian artist, Mavis Penney, and I agreed to paint one painting each weekday for 100 days. It's been challenging, aggravating, exciting, and wonderful. I have huge appreciation for those artists like Carol Marine who paint daily for years.

For those of you who are interested, consider these tips. Read on, they're free.

My Big Bold Shiny List of Daily Painting Tips

1. Get a partner. Being responsible to Mavis to finish a painting every day and send it to her to post was huge. I did not want to disappoint her. Knowing she was waiting for my images before she retired for the night was a great incentive. I suppose it wouldn't even have to be someone doing the same thing, just a warm body supporting you, and poking you with a sharp stick if you lag.

2. Tell someone. Better yet, tell lots of people. Folks love this kind of project. You'll grow your own cheering section. Countless times I'd get asked about my progress. No way was I going to have to say, "Well, gee, I got tired and gave up." Having to admit I couldn't hack it would be like announcing I'm a giant wimp. It'd be like dropping the winning touchdown at the high school Homecoming football game. Nope. Not me.

3. Blog it. Sharing your images helps you take the project seriously. Face it, anybody can finish a painting every day. A few slaps of the brush and 'tada!', you're finished! You and Koko the elephant from the local zoo. Show the world what you're doing and you'll give it that much more. Having said that...

4. Relax. Try something new. This isn't rocket surgery, it's one little painting. Sure, it ends up being a huge pile of paintings after awhile, but why not make it fun?

Day 93 - Tagged 2009

5. Use a theme. Apples of America. Single Shoes from the Streets. Mavis and I decided we would paint anything we might see/find Off The Highway. After a week or two painting landscapes I started to watch the ditches. Then I began to look up, just for fun. A theme helps whittle down what you want to think about, and at the same time opens up new worlds for discovery.

Day 15 Birds Nest on Linen 2009

6. Pick a number. We chose 100. Without a goal of 100 paintings, it would have been easy to pass off the whole thing as a cute idea gone bad. Your number should be achievable, but not so achievable that you don't have to struggle a bit. That's why hot dog eating contests are so much fun. No one wants to watch you eat just one.

Is it weird to have a list of six? Well, perhaps there's something you'd like to add. Anything else?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Long Weekend

Hooo-ey! Just returned from a great weekend hanging out with my Mom and brother, Mick. Mom's moving to a smaller house after having lived in one spot for nearly 50 years. The Mickster and I sorted and packed under Mom's careful supervision and shared some great stories and laughs about the old days.

All this means that I'm pooped, so I'll just leave you with a reminder that I'm celebrating my birthday soon by giving you something wonderful.

Leave me a comment by August 8th. From all the comments left (It's just a comment. You don't have to be cute or clever. Just say 'hellow!') a name will be drawn to receive a birthday present in the form of a small painting from me!

I'm hoping to have all of my 100 daily paintings done by then, so it'll be a double celebration. You get a painting, and I get a break.
Too cool for words.

Top - Day 86 - Morning 2009
Bottom - Day 87 - Black-eyed Susans 2009

Sunday, July 19, 2009

From Me to You

Goodie! My birthday is coming soon.

In just over three weeks, I'll turn 53 delightful years of age.

It's been a pretty great 53 years, and I'm going to celebrate by sharing with you!

Leave a comment in the next three weeks, and I'll put your name into a drawing for a small painting. How's that for a celebration?!

I'm not exactly certain just exactly which painting I'll be giving away, but after painting 100 in the last few months I imagine I'll be able to find something.

So join me in celebrating, well, me!

Sign in and get something wonderful, from me to you!
Top - Day 81 - Jet Trails 2009
Middle - Day 78 - Off the River 2009
Bottom - Day 80 - Cottonwoods by the Pond 2009

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Veterans Thank You

Handsome Husband and I had the distinct priviledge of helping the Fillmore County American Legion and VFW of Geneva host the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall this weekend here in Geneva.

It was a humbling experience spending time with men and women and their families who gave so much of themselves in our country's service.

The setting was our Fillmore County Courthouse, a beautiful and peaceful place to gather and remember - and heal.

Thanks to Greg and the folks in Brevard County Florida for their work honoring veterans. It's so easy for most of us to move through our days without so much as a thought about what it takes to keep us safe and free.

Politics aside, we as a country must accept responsibility for showing respect to the men and women who are willing to do the dirty work.

Even after this experience I'll probably still whine about silly things, but it will be with the deeper awareness of the fact that I can whine, that I'm free to dash to the grocery store after my husband's favorite coffee creamer, that I can sleep at night fairly certain that I'll wake up safely the next morning with my community - and government - intact.

I'm called to participate, in something, in some small way. It's been a good reminder to get involved in our community doing ... anything. A town, a city, a state, our country cannot move without it's citizens doing the moving.

I won't run for city council or school board, there are far better people for that. I can pay attention however, respectfully add my two cents, and maybe even offer my services to a community group.

It'll be my way of saying thanks.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Feet Up, Eyes Closed

If you've been keeping track of me lately, you know I've been pretty busy. Last night, July 4th at 6 pm, I completed my obligations - and quite well if I do say so myself.

Many sincere thanks to those of you who came to my exhibits to see what I've been working on lately. Your support and friendship is truly appreciated.

Today I spent some much needed time staring at the sky from my patio. Man it felt good to sit in one spot. My breath came slowly and gently, with none of the adrenalin of the past several weeks quickening my pulse.
It was lovely spotting the caterpillars in the milkweeds I planted last year for just that purpose.
The coneflowers stared back at me, and I made a mental note to put them on my plein air painting list soon. But not today.
The coreopsis is a nice complement to the more robust coneflower and I enjoyed dangling my feet into their fern-y greenery. It wasn't quite like being on water, but close enough.

Tomorrow I'll kick it in gear again, but for today I'm languishing in the calm that comes with a job well done and friends well kept.

Here's wishing you the same.