I have to give a shout out to my brother, Alan, who is one of my best friends (hoping it is reciprocal!). In February, he was able to move into a house, right across the street from us. He has worked for the past 17 years with an insurance company and has always wanted his own house. Thanks to our dad, who purchased the house, Alan is able to make payments on a rent to own basis and he knows the landlord pretty well.
So, for the month of February and most of March, we have been busy painting, especially the doors, windows and trim, plus cleaning the house as well as the apartment he moved out of.
He wears a leg brace from the hip down due to a birth defect, Klippel-Trenauney-Weber syndrome, and a luxating patella, so he just needs a little extra help. It will be nice to have him so close. He truly is an inspiration to others, as the doctors said when he was little that he would never be able to walk very far. However, in Philippians 4:13 the Apostle Paul wrote, “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me”. Amen to that! Alan is an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America, has white water rafted and earned the Swimmers merit badge by swimming a mile across a lake in Michigan, plus showed horses in 4-H. Way to go bro, indeed!
Alan has lived in apartments for over 16 years, but he loves the peace and quiet of the country. We are in the middle of farmland, with cattle on three sides, and he loves it here. Next door there is a herd of sheep and the man that owns them has asked if he can fence in the back of Alan’s property to extend their pasture. Of course he said yes, (less mowing for us) and he is looking forward to watching them graze as he sits with a coffee or iced tea out back. After all, its the Southern thing to do! Congratulations Alan!
Yes, it has been way too long since I have posted anything! So, what have I been up to? Well, I am always busy with daily chores of caring for our 29 year old Tennessee Walking Horse, Master, our Dachshund, Rembrandt, the lawn and flower beds and other typical chores (plus cleaning my brother’s apartment). I have also spent way too many hours on technology issues, such as antivirus software overhaul and my tablet not working properly (still working on this issue), and I transferred a multitude of photos from our phones to our computer. I have been going through them trying to organize them as well. I also did a bit of cleaning and rearranging in the studio.
I have gotten in some painting, although not as much as I would have liked. One of those projects was a set of bookends a client ordered for her son for Christmas. I won’t show them now, we will have to wait until he opens them! I have painted a number of vintage spoons with latex house paint and I have been on a song bird trend that has been extremely popular.
Another project my husband and I both worked on was the process of going through my grandfather’s 8mm and Super 8 movie reels. My dad found them along with a projector and screen for viewing. They had been left to my mother by her dad when he went to Heaven as she received his camera equipment. David cleaned and tuned the projector and we set about going through them to see if they were any good and if the projector would even work. It clacked and clicked away (don’t you just love that sound), and the films were in much better condition than we thought. I mean, it is 2017 and these were shot between about 1953 and the mid -’70s. Most were around 60 years old! We realized we had a task on our hands as there was a lot of film, as in over 30 reels, many with 200 feet of film. Plus, we didn’t necessarily recognize a number of the people in them as they were filmed before or around the time I was born.
So, after we had viewed them, we decided to see if we could get my mom and her three siblings (two in other states) together to go through them and identify the people and places. After much planning, it all finally came together over Labor Day weekend, and as they watched and laughed they told me the names, places and dates they could remember and I wrote them all down to the best of my ability on pieces of paper we then put in their respective tins. Some of their cousins heard about them and expressed interest in having copies made. They all thanked us for getting everyone together and showing the movies and loved the memories they brought back. We found a place to have them put onto DVDs, and since they are near one of my uncles and they don’t ship the film out, the price is pretty decent, especially when you have a number of families going in on it together. I am looking forward to seeing them again, this time on DVD, as so many of the people in the films have gone on, and places have changed so much.
Hope you have had a wonderful summer, and blessed memories and days ahead to you!
Yes, I am rather late with this post, but Thanksgiving (even though it was last week) is a season, in my opinion, not just one day, that we should be thankful. I have been busy with a few commissions for Christmas, and have been fighting what I thought was allergy/sinus issues for over a week. However, on Thanksgiving night, a severe cold hit and needless to say my weekend has strictly been some much needed rest and hot tea with numerous herbal remedies. Finally on the mend now, so I thought I might write a post on what I am grateful for.
I am always grateful for the love and support of my family and friends, who are my constant cheerleaders. They really help out when I need it, doing everything from helping to set up at shows, assisting when I just need an extra hand, to critiquing my work. I asked my brother one time what he thought of a sketch I had done for a watercolor painting of a cutting horse and cow. I loved his honesty when he stated, “Why is that horse chasing a deer?” Made me re-examine my sketch and yes, I erased the cow and started over.
I am also thankful for my clients, who not only help support my artistic habit, but also have become good friends, even if over long distances. I guess I am thankful too for technology, as it has opened up a way to connect with clients farther away, even overseas. It is an awesome experience. My clients also push me in a sense that I learn something new in each piece of artwork I create, and to them I am grateful for the opportunity.
Not only am I thankful for the support my clients give, but also for the stories I am privileged to have them share with me. One client had me do a portrait of her husband’s beloved mixed breed dog, a true Heinz 57 as we like to call them. She related to me a story that happened shortly after they had gotten Flint, who used to make a warfle like noise.
They were at a dinner with their priest and other parishioners when someone asked one of the couples in attendance how the season had gone with their registered show dogs. With great flair and exuberance, they elaborated the wonderful show season the dogs had that year, inserting their registered names at every chance. The priest then asked my clients how it was going with their new dog. He is a great dog, they replied, not really wanting to elaborate that he was a mixed breed. Then the owners of the show dogs asked what breed he was, and what was his name? My client’s husband who has a wonderful love for humor, stated that he was a one of a kind Czechoslovakian Sport Spaniel, (no, there is no such breed) and his name was Flint Warfle I. The show dog owners were quite impressed, as was the priest. For Christmas that year, the priest gave them a blank photo album. On the cover he had inscribed, “The Complete History of The Czechoslovakian Sport Spaniel”.
I also loved the story this fall from a man who collects spoons. I had my booth set up at the Art On The Fly Fest in Fly, Tennessee, and a gentleman and his wife came in to look around. He noticed my painted spoons and asked if I had any that said ‘Oneida’ on them. I knew I had at one time, but I wasn’t sure if they had sold or not. He started to browse through them and immediately came upon three miniature spoons and said “Yes, these are Oneida”.
Upon looking at the backs, they were stamped ‘Oneida’ and he said he would take them. He was happy that they said ‘Love, Joy, and Peace’ in a Christmas theme as they were going on his “Spoons” themed Christmas tree. He said he had worked 34 years at the Oneida Silverware company in New York, and every chance he got he would purchase Oneida spoons that an artist had worked on. He was so happy to get them, and I was honored to have them placed on his tree!
I am also thankful for the people who look at my art and are appreciative of it, even if they aren’t able to purchase anything. My last show this fall a young woman and her friend entered my booth to browse. She was really impressed with my work and we chatted about the wonderful weather we were having so late in October. I mentioned I liked her shirt, and she replied that she had purchased it at a store on the base she was stationed at. Wow, she really didn’t look much out of high school, I thought, but she had done a tour and was leaving out again the following week and wanted to go to college when she returned. I am thankful for her service even more than her appreciation of my art. God bless Katelynn!
Finally, I am thankful to the almighty God Who gave me what talent I have, and am honored to do it for His glory. Truly, I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me. I pray you have had a wonderful Thanksgiving season, and hope you have a blessed week ahead!
I truly cannot believe it is post Labor Day already! This summer has flown by, and as some would say, it goes faster the older you get. Well, if that is true then I must have aged a lot and quickly! So, just to bring everyone up to speed, here is a synopsis of the past few months:
For the past few years my husband and I have been thinking of selling our place. This was a very difficult decision: on one hand we loved where we lived, the neighbors, location, the barn we built with my father, uncle, and a good friend, plus the sheer beauty of our property. On the other hand, life was changing for us, and we had some goals we wanted to meet: closer to family, a set studio space for my art as my business has been growing and it was taking over the house, garage and barn. So, we decided in 2013 to list our small farm. We had numerous showings and then in May we did sell. After nearly a month of rigorous house hunting, we finally found a wonderful place. It is a little less acreage, is much closer to my folks, brother, and aunt and uncle, the drive for my husband’s work is the same, plus it has a room that is my new studio!
However, we did leave some wonderful friends and neighbors, but we are only in the next county over, so it is not that bad. We are boarding the horse until we get a barn built here, and there is a wonderful canvas for future flower and vegetable gardens. I am really looking forward to getting the raspberry canes in again!
Since moving in during late June, I have painted 4 full sized whiskey barrels, 4 new fox cutouts, a toilet seat lid, plus a huge mural. My aunt from Michigan was here for two weeks, my cousin from Texas and his son were here for one week, plus we helped put on a surprise anniversary party for my aunt and uncle. We had to replace the motherboard in the computer, but outside of that the move went quite smooth over all, thanks to our Lord and Savior Jesus! I believe we are at a place where we are catching our breath once again and moving forward.
I have a lot to do to get the studio ready, and I really need to catch up on computer work! I will post photos and info about the aforementioned art pieces soon. I hope you and yours have had a fun, safe and memorable summer!