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I took my daughter ice skating recently for the first time. I remember my first time, and it wasn't pretty. I helped her with her skates and was telling her about the rail she could hold onto, and also was telling her be careful when she falls not to have her hands out for someone else to skate over. To my surprise, she took off skating like she'd done it her whole life. I'm not kidding, she was a natural. She even figured out how to turn around and end up facing the same way. Just remembering her skating makes me smile.
I just got back from my daughter's alpaca show in Sevierville, Tennessee. We had such a fun time. During a break at the show, I went with me Dad to a nearby flea market and bought the beautiful blue vase I used in this painting. I'm sure you'll be seeing it some more.
My daughter marks off the days before the alpaca show like it's Christmas. Here's a picture of her from the show. She won first place in performance (which is taking the alpaca through an obstacle course) and second place in showmanship (which is teaching them how to actually "show" an alpaca. The competition was even tougher this time because she was in the older division, and was the youngest in the group. I'm so thankful she's getting to do what she loves :)
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I received an email last week from Barbara Stroud in Charleston, SC, asking if she could feature me in her blog. Why of course!!! I'm so honored she wanted to write about my work. Thank you again, Barbara!!! To read the article, click here.
After painting 3 paintings today that I wasn't happy with... and decided not to call them "failures" but "lessons learned," I changed my subject matter and painted a cute little bird from some photos by my friend, Kay Moore. She photographed several colorful birds in her yard after the recent snow and I asked her permission to use them as painting references. I'm pretty happy with this little fella. Hope you like him (her) too :)
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Candee at my workshop brought in this tiny little daffodil to paint as her still life. She said it was her first bloom and she picked it to paint. So I "borrowed" it to paint it myself. This was fun little painting for me. So what do you call this flower? I've always called them jonquils. Some folks call them buttercups, and most, I believe, call them daffodils.
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All set up and painting
more of their work
The awesome group :)
Gale, Smokey, Candee, Judy, Wanda, Joyce, Robin, Anna & Tracy
Thanks again, ladies!!!
I had a wonderful group in my workshop the last two days at the Gadsden Museum of Art. I wanted everyone to find joy in painting... that was my goal. I watched a demo several years ago by a well-known artist... and he expressed that painting was in no way relaxing. I have to disagree with him. For me, painting is a form of expression of my joy and thankfulness for the beauty of God's world, and that brings a peace to me. From the beginning of the workshop, I aimed to help each artist overcome similar hurdles I've been through in my journey. It was so encouraging to me to see "light bulb" reactions. I also continued to share how I paint several paintings that no one sees... that I make mistakes, and that's just part of the learning process. In one demo, after a couple of hours of walking around, I looked up and realized that it didn't look right. So I showed them how it's okay to realize that and admit it to oneself, and fix it.
Above is my first demo from the workshop.. an exercise on limited strokes, freshness, and painting with intention. I know they heard the word "intention" more than they wanted :)
I've just always admired the confit jars, not really knowing the history behind them until recently. The jars were originally used to store meat before refrigeration was available. The lower part of the jar was left unglazed because it was sealed and buried in the cool ground. Pretty neat, huh?
Thanks again for Leslie Saeta's challenge to artists to paint 30 paintings in 30 days. On a whim, I decided to "tag along" for the ride on January 1st. And then, after posting my decision to take the challenge, my facebook friends were like, "you go, girl!, and you can do it!!!" And I had to stick with it, then!!! Thanks so much for following my blog, for the comments here and on facebook. Truly, they mean a lot to this Alabama girl.
I was in my painting room during our little snow storm here in Alabama and noticed all the birds outside of my four windows. Truly, they were everywhere. Maybe they always are... and I just could see them easier because of the snow. I got my camera to see if I could take a picture of a nice little fat one sitting in the tangled limbs of my crepe myrtle tree. As I focused the lens, I was waiting on a perfect pose from him and I went ahead and held the button down half-way so it would auto focus. I accidentally pressed the button and when the shutter cleared, the bird was gone.
There are many life lessons within the above short story. Take time to enjoy the beauty of God's creation. He takes care of the birds, He'll take care of me. Don't wait for the perfect moment, enjoy the perfectness within every moment. . "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside of your Father's care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." ~ Matthew 10:29-31