Beloved Sam is a new painting that I just completed for a birthday gift for Lauri Shock. Her husband, Billy Howard contacted me after receiving a note card of mine with the image of Adele’s Cats from a mutual friend. Billy asked if he could buy the original since one of the cats reminded them of their Sam who had recently passed away to give to Laurie on her birthday. Since I didn’t have the original I offered to do a new similar painting for him. He liked that idea and sent me his Medium Post, Sam the Cat, which has some lovely photos of Sam.
It was my first commissioned painting and I was a bit nervous, but Billy said that they liked my style of using bright colors so I went with it. I chose my mom’s stangl pitcher that looked a bit like one in the photos. With Sam, I accented his green eyes and white patch that they loved about him. I put a painting behind the flowers of birds flying as a symbol of Sam’s spirit being freed.
Sam showed up one day and became theirs when he was about a year old and for 15 years his quirky personality brought them joy daily. It was a pleasure painting Sam. I was touched by Billy’s thoughtfulness of wanting to do this for Lauri’s birthday gift. What a wonderful idea in helping them to honor Sam’s memory.
I’m back to painting again, here is a new still life I did in honor of my Mom. Her birthday was last Friday. I discovered this small megellica pitcher of hers hiding in the back on top of my kitchen cabinet last month. I just love it, the sunflower with the bee and the handle made to look like a branch.
Tulips in Mom’s Pitcher is a companion to the other majolica stoneware pitcher painting I did last year. I chose bright colorful tulips and pears to lift my spirits as the news has been very discouarging lately, it felt good to get absorbed in painting.
It’s been a busy season, we’ve had a guy redoing our hallway bathroom for the past four months. We have a 60’s split level and the bathroom shower was leaking and the floor cracked so we bit the bullet deciding to update it. He said he’d have it done before our girl got home from school in late December, she went back to school in late January with the bathroom still unusable. Now finally it is almost done. Though it’s taken him a long time, he’s quite an artist himself and has done a good job. It’s looking great and we’re thrilled.
I’m going to start a new painting this weekend, it’s a good distraction. Here in Atlanta everyone is very excited about the Super Bowl as our home team, the Falcons are hopefully going to “rise up,”as they say. Enjoy the weekend!
A Pear of Goldfishes is my new still life painting. I decided to bring several elements together, starting with the pear in the small white bowl and the philodendron in the deep red pot. It became unbalanced so I decided to add a gold fish bowl and then topped it off with a Caroline wren in the window.
It was a fun challenge to get everything to work together and I I learned more in the process. I love the little Caroline wrens that hop about in our wooded backyard with their tail feathers usually pointing up. I’d been wanting to paint one for a while. Another challenge was coming up with a name for the painting. The helpful woman who scanned the painting for me suggested the name which I chose because it was so creative and fun.
It’s a beautiful yet cool and windy spring Friday. I hope everyone has a great weekend.
One of my goals for the new year was to begin a daily practice of making art. I’ve started sketching more and I try to have a painting on my easel most of the time. Here is a still life I recently completed, Lemons.
When I first started painting years ago, I painted several pears in this blue bowl. It’s helpful to start a painting from a real scene, you can focus on what you see, how the light effects the colors of the objects. I felt it would be a good exercise to do some still lifes where I could actually see what I am painting.
I chose lemons this time around as lemons are one of my favorite fruits. I use them daily to make marinaded salads and add them to tea. Their bight cheerful yellow color seems to match this time of year when everything is waking up.
It was a fun challenge and I am fairly pleased. In keeping with my goal, I’ve stared sketching a scene for a new painting, another still life.
I’ve just completed Mom’s Majolica Pitcher with Tuxie in honor of Mom’s birthday which is today. For years now I’ve been painting a yearly still life for Mom. This one features her lovely majolica pitcher. Mom collected all kinds of antiques and she had a beautiful collection of majolica earthenware pottery which she kept on shelves in her kitchen. They were colorful and distinctively decorated with natural motifs. I think it was the natural motifs that attracted Mom to the pieces as she loved the natural world herself.
When I set the pitcher up in my studio to begin the painting, Tuxie, our cat, jumped up on the table and made himself at home around the pitcher. This tickled me so I called my daughter, a good photographer, over and she quickly took some photos which I used to sketch him in. Tuxie is not the most handsome of cats but he has a wonderfully quirky personality and we love him dearly. I tried to capture his funny look.
I wanted this year’s painting to be a happy one full of color and chose a cobalt blue table cover to include Mom’s favorite color. If Mom were here, I think she would be pleased because all of her daughters and their families are in happy, contented places now. This makes me very happy also. I hope everyone is having a great start to this year!
I’ve just completedLemons in Mom’s Antique Yellow-ware Mixing Bowlin honor of my Mom’s birthday which is on January 27th. It was fun to paint a formal still life that I think she would have liked. She had several antique yellow-ware bowls and used them daily in her cooking. I remember mixing many batches of chocolate chip cookie batters in her large bowls.
Mom loved to cook and so did Dad. These days they would have been known as “foodies.” Our life growing up revolved around food. Together they made breakfast every weekend which varied from waffles or corncrakes to homemade biscuits, scrambled eggs and grits. It seemed like most weekends they had dinner parties at which Mom tried out new recipes from her women’s magazines and cookbooks.
The holidays were always about the special meals. From black-eye peas, greens and cornbread on New Years; leg of lamb and mint sauce on Easter; and barbeque pork from Dad’s big smoker outside on the 4th of July. On our beach vacations we had seafood feasts nightly. Christmas was all about the food. From the oranges, special cheeses, plum pudding and Virginia ham that arrived on our doorstep to all the special dishes and desserts that mom and dad would prepare. I have fond memories of going with Dad to the seafood store to pick up our yearly bushel of oysters. On Christmas Eve we had oyster stew, which my sisters and I hated when young but grew to love later. The big event was Dad making the traditional Virginian eggnog in one of the big yellow-ware bowls.
Mom was a northern girl and she served cow tongue, corn beef and sauerkraut, and ham with spoon bread and lots of casseroles and steamed vegetables that still retained their color. My southern friends all thought our food was weird. I was not a picky eater and loved it all. Through Mom I learned that cooking is fun and to enjoy all kinds of food. Thanks Mom!
Mexican Jumping Pearsis one of my early pear paintings. I chose the name because the colors and the bowl reminded me of Mexico. The pears look like they are celebrating, almost jumping out of their bowl with the colorful movement all around them.
Today I feel like celebrating, yesterday my girl completed her college applications. She has already gotten accepted to UGA which is no small feat and has now applied to two private Northeastern colleges. She worked diligently to get them done. The teens these days work so hard with their demanding school work and their extra activities. I’m glad that she can now can relax and see what happens. My husband and I are happy and very proud of her, wherever she ends up.
I’m looking forward to getting back to my painting routine and hope that everyone is off to a happy start to 2015!