Saturday, November 18, 2017

My dear blogger friends,

Much has happen since I last posted in August. We put our house up for sale toward the end of September and two days later had an offer we accepted. That started the process of sorting and packing and stress to get our home of 26 years emptied out in 36 days! YIKES! We did it but were very frazzled right up to the closing on October 31st.

As soon as we walked out the door of the realtor's on October 31st we hopped in our truck and headed for Tennessee knowing we would be living out of our suitcases for four or more days. Although the closing on our new home was two days later on November 2, our home still had some last minute installations and the movers wouldn't be at the house until Friday the fourth. We scrambled after the movers left to get just our much needed items set up to get rested for the following day of unpacking.

After a few hours of unpacking the next morning we headed for Home Depot for a washer and dryer which we found out they wouldn't be delivered for a week later. Bummer! :(  After living out of our suitcases we needed to do laundry and it piled up. Finally the washer and dryer came only to find the dryer didn't heat. You can imagine I wasn't too pleased which added another week before we would get a replacement. I am all caught up now on all the laundry. YAY!

There were other minor things that went wrong like waiting two weeks for Dish and cable for internet service. I had to run to the realtor's office so I could pay bills which is 25 minutes from the house. I do appreciate their generosity in allowing me to use their wi fi. Of course after doing all of this running I found out that the Welcome Center had wi fi and I could have gone there a minute drive away, which I did the second week.

As of today we are winding down and pretty much everything is unpacked with the exception of my studio and art supplies. I'll be working on that this coming week. I've posted some pictures of our new home below. Thanks to all who have been keeping us in prayer! You are much loved and appreciated!
Kitchen area

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Hi Blogging Friends!
I know its been quite awhile since I've posted on my blog and I'm sorry for that. I retired May 5th and have been traveling between three states trying to decide where we want to move. Both my husband and I want to be warmer all year long not just during the Spring and Summer months. We've narrowed it down to either North Carolina or South Carolina. So stay tuned for our final decision.

I was also inspired by an article I read to challenge myself to paint every day for 30 days. And so I did, two paintings which I've included in this post.

I am now into my third 30-day challenge where I am working on some European store fronts, vegetable carts and other interesting subjects. Hopefully I'll get them posted toward the end of September.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Oh my gosh where has the time gone! I can't believe I haven't posted since November, so sorry! I have been pretty busy teaching watercolor classes throughout the winter months at a local shop. This has been quite an enjoyable but scary adventure! I haven't taught for many years and have become rusty with those skills. Even so, I'm working out the kinks and having a lot of fun in the process.

I started my students out with the very basics of transparency, brush strokes and techniques. So far so good. My plan is to introduce each student to a hands on workshop where they will bring a pre sketched item on a 5" x 7" sheet of watercolor paper to class. Each student will work on his or her project and I'll be available to help and work with each individually guiding them with any problems they may be having. The second purpose of the workshop is to connect the students in hopes they will form artist relationships.

Here is the schedule of classes being offered. If interested, you can sign up for any one of these on my website.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Good morning friends!
It is a beautiful and crisp Sunday morning. The sun is shining. One thing I love about being semi retired is the freedom of time to work on my blog. Although decisions haven't been made whether or not to move I am still painting, still teaching and enjoying it all.

Here is a little tidbit of painting info for you. I try to keep my watercolors intricate and detailed but simple. For example, a single flower such as this Texas bluebonnet shown here that I completed in 2015 doesn't have a lot going on around it. Notice there are hints of bluebonnets lightly painted in the background and only the single detailed one in the front. This is where the eye is drawn. Simplicity does have force. Your painting doesn't have to be elaborate. Simplicity is both desirable and affordable.

I have a couple of intricate but simple paintings I'm working on that I will share with you in stages over the next couple of weeks. Until then have a bless week!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Good morning my friends! It is a beautiful Fall day here in Western Pennsylvania. The leaves have begun to change into brilliant yellows, oranges and reds; the woods are ablaze with color and the air is crisp!

I felt my blog needed a change, a "Refreshed Perspective" so to speak! Sometimes we need to take a fresh look from a different angle and work from there. In September, at the urging from friend, I began carrying around a journal and a few art supplies with me in our car (I talked about this in a previous post). When I'm in a doctor's office or having to wait for a length of time I would sketch in the journal about what I was seeing, doing or not doing—you get the picture. By doing this, I not only exercise and improve my drawing skills I am making a diary of my thoughts and daily excursions to hand down to a family member. My reason for this is two-fold, to bless the receiver with something intriguing and fun, and I want to share a part of me and my life's insights and wisdom with others.

I'm standing at a crossroads in my life. Part of me is totally ready to retire, the other part not so sure. I feel like I'm hanging in limbo trying to decide whether or not to move, to be a winter bird or just stay put. Lots of decisions to make and down sizing to do. We've been researching different areas of the country, looking at costs of living, taxes etc. I'm a little overwhelmed. No matter what decisions we make I will still be painting and sharing those techniques and insights on my blog and website.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Pastor Appreciation Day is October 9th and runs through to October 15th. The reason I am sharing this with you is this; without them it would be near impossible to make it through life. I say near impossible because God is always with us regardless and will hold us up. But the presence of my pastor when tragedy lands on my doorstep is more than comforting, more than mere words can describe. They are there for us whether we want them there or not, which is hard to fathom I know, however, there are people who don't want anything to do with pastors or with God. I feel sorry for them. My husband and I have been attending Community Alliance Church now for four years and there's not one Sunday I've left there empty hearted or empty minded. God has a way of doing that to you, speaking to your heart and affecting how you think and feel, its a job only He can do. And pastors are just one of the vessels He uses in that process.

My pastor is my friend, he is kind, honest and caring. He tells me like it is and doesn't sugar coat it like candy so it tastes good. He's genuine, and used in a mighty way, filled with the Holy Spirit, it shows in his actions and his words. You know he loves the Lord! And he cares about each one of us in his congregation. Pastor Denny Thank you so much, you are appreciated!

I don't know if you know the Lord or not, I hope that you do. I wouldn't want to be without Him. I'm not going to go into detail but I'm sure glad and grateful that I do because He is my everything. He loves me even when I'm not so lovable. That is a love that is priceless, a love that died on a cross so that I wouldn't have to, a love that bought me with His life . . .

Here are a few of entries in my journal and Bible from Pastor Denny's sermons on the Book of Ephesians, entries that have affected me deeply.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Hi Blogger Friends!
Yes it has been over three months since I've posted on my blog, many apologies for that. Sometimes life just happens and needs tending to. Unfortunately, I've let everything slide off the cliff. Since my husband retired I have been very occupied to say the least, and only now feel I have gained the time to pick up where I left off.

I have been gathering materials to journal my own retirement. No, I'm not completely retiring just from working for someone else. I will always be painting, Lord willing anyway. But I want to journal what I'm doing and possibly will be doing in the future to share it with my readers. Journaling is a way to keep your skills from getting rusty, not to mention keeping my brain from getting rusty also. A friend has encouraged me down this journaling path and so far it has been fun. Its been along time since I just had fun sketching on the road. I've also been working on some whimsical girls, these are also fun to draw and really cute.

My first journal entry was a sketch from my day out kayaking last week on a nearby lake. I have kayaked for years and thoroughly enjoy it, its relaxing, rejuvenating, and refreshing. It gives a peacefulness to my soul. My second entry was a trip to Wunder Bar, a new German coffee shop / eatery, with Two Fraus Bakery along side it in Harmony, PA. And boy their baked goods are out of this world fantastic! My favorites are their gingerbread cookies, orange cookies and molasses cookies, YUM! :) The third journal entry is in a smaller book and inspired by last Sunday's sermon.

Trip to Wunder Bar for breakfast
If you're interested in art journaling on a daily basis (you don't have to be an artist to do this) here are the items I have been working with that are easily accessible: a mechanical pencil, erasers, a Pentel Hybrid Technica pen 03 (sold at Michaels Arts & Crafts stores in the art department), Global Art Materials 5 1/2-inch by 8 1/4-inch Drawing Book (landscape) which can be purchased on Amazon at a reasonable price. I like these journals because you can use a light watercolor wash with them or lightly paint in them with watercolor. If you want to try your hand at watercolor painting I have listed some suggestions below. Prices vary but you can always use a 50% off coupon from Michaels to purchase a student quality set of watercolors. Windsor & Newton professional watercolors is what I use for my paintings, however you can get a nice student quality version of these in Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolors. Michael's has a compact set that has 14 different colors in the set and runs about $40. With a 50% off coupon it would be about $20 plus tax which is a reasonable price. You can also by a cheaper set of Artist Loft brand but the quality is not as nice.  I always recommend good quality watercolor paints to learn with, it makes a world of difference as does a good quality watercolor paper. My favorite is Fabriano Artistic Extra White cold press watercolor block. To start out I would recommend a 5" x 7" block. Its always better to use a good quality product when learning, your results turn out much better.

I will be posting again a day next week, until then enjoy your Saturday and the week to come!