"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words." Goethe

Thursday, May 31, 2012

White Lillies

When I saw this paintanddrawtogether challenge, I thought, "Oh gosh, look at that fabric, the reflection, the white blooms--this is going to be hard."  But, I started at about 10:00 last night, and got up and finished it this morning.  It was nice to make myself see and paint realistically.  I think I will put it in my first one-woman exhibit--that starts tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Daily Paintworks

I have been looking at this challenge for a while now and planning to jump in.   Well, this seems to be the perfect time--the challenge this week is polka dots.

I wanted to do another version of my Bubbles painting.  The first one was on an orange background.

I would like you to tell me which one you prefer.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day, Ft. Leavenworth, KS

"It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this."  Abraham Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Better Tree

While in Philadelphia, Joseph pointed out to me that the tree in my red tree painting was just not right.  He was right.  The reason I kept overlooking that is because I used a photo of a tree for reference.  I thought that would help me paint more realistically than free handing.  I decided to try free handing when I got home, and I  painted a better tree.  I was pleased.

So, I redid the red tree.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Van Gogh on the University of Pennsylvania Campus

When I saw this building,

I couldn't help thinking of this painting.

Church at Auvers by Van Gogh

Eastern State Penitentiary

While we were in Philadelphia, we went to the Eastern State Penitentiary--the oldest federal prison in the USA.  The architecture was interesting from the outside and from the inside, but the whole thing is in a state of "crumbledown."  This helps create the uneasy feeling you have when you walk around with your audio guide listening to the stories of people who were there.  As I was walking and looking, I began to notice how interesting peeling paint and rust can be.  Here are some close-ups I took that looked like modern art to me.

One cell was very nicely furnished--the one Al Capone stayed in.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Is It Really?

Sculpture in Love Park, Philadelphia

 We just got back from a week in Philadelphia to see Joseph and Megan graduate.  It was fun for them, and fun for us, too.  While I was there I decided to put the City of Brotherly Love to the test.  Is it really friendly?  Well, initially, it is as "loving" as any other city, but then I decided that I should be friendly and judge their reactions.  I greeted everyone I could from bus drivers to doormen to people on the street--and they get high marks.  Almost everyone responded, most people smiled, and some started up a little conversation.  It is true that you get what you give out, which means anywhere could be friendly, but I think Philadelphians made it a little easier to try. 

When I got back to Leavenworth, I discovered that I had sold my first painting at Scrivners.  You'll never guess which one--the red and yellow line painting.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


When experimenting with painting, one must try the splatters of Jackson Pollock--so here it is.

I decided I couldn't do a  straight copy, so I splattered on a green background.  Interestingly, my family likes this. 

I also tried another version of the Stained Glass Puzzle painting to see how it changed things.  Joseph is my one family fan on this one.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Music, Movies, and Matthew

Matthew has been home for a couple of weeks and he is looking for a summer job.  Until that happens, I get to "hang out" with him.  That means I get to find out what I've missed in the media world.  (I like it when my children tell me about something that I would like on youtube etc. that I would never find on my own.  I really just wait for them to find it for me.)  Let's start with music.

Within a few hours of Matthew's arrival I had new Pandora stations--classical guitar, solo piano, NEK, and GooGoo Dolls.  Those were exactly what I was missing.  Why didn't I think of those?  Then, he combined these with a few others I already had on a shuffle and Voila! it was the perfect listening experience.  I knew the shuffle was on there, but I did not know it would make me happy.  Let me just say before I move on that I think Pandora is what every product should be.  I get to choose exactly what I want--no one "bundles" anything for me and they seem to have pared it down to the minimal commercial interruption possible.  It obviously works for them and it is free for me.  I love it.

Of the movies we've seen, the ones I can recommend are on youtube.  They are disturbing, but I feel like I am not only better informed, but also more clear thinking because I watched them.  These are documentaries about North Korea:  Children of the Secret State, and Escape from North Korea.  We have analyzed over and over again the atrocities and apathy of WWII, can we apply that here?

We saw two movies at the theater, and I'll just tell you how much I did not like them.

Chimpanzee  This  movie has completely lost it's bearings as a G-rated family nature movie.  They took the "Bambi standard" and perverted it with disturbing elements from life as an animal in the wild.  Bambi portrayed danger in the forest and an orphaned baby deer trying to survive and come of age, but handled it as a children's story.  They gave appropriate distance from the danger and added interesting characters and escapades along the way.  This movie gave the chimps names, which personifies them, making them like people to a little child, and then we have the constant threat of gang violence from other chimpanzees--Oscar's mother is killed by a rival chimpanzee gang.  When they run out of fruit to eat, Oscar's gang plans and carries out an attack on a group of monkeys, killing and eating one.  I'm still disturbed about that.  This is NOT a G-rated movie.  The comic relief from the gang warfare is grooming and eating--and grooming and eating, while Tim Allen says something predictable about table manners.

The Three Stooges  This movie faithfully recreates the physical antics of The Three Stooges, of which I was never a particular fan in the first place.  I will tell you,  however, the couple sitting just down from us, who were about in their early 60s, were laughing the whole time.  I thought it was cute to see the Stooges as babies, but once again--can we get a children's storyline in a children's movie?  I'm all for the wicked stepmother and the dysfunctional family that implies, but here we have the wife having an affair with her husband's friend so he can knock off the husband, but really it was a plot by the wife and the husband's father to get rid of the husband because the wife and father are having an affair.  I'm looking for something better.

Meredith is home now, too, so I'm anxious to see what she has to show me.

Monday, May 7, 2012

It Didn't Turn Out the Way It Started

I recently finished a painting for my sister, Wanda.  It is from a photo that she took in California of a row of mailboxes.  I tried two times to paint it as I saw it, but it was boring each time, so I changed the color scheme.  I was inspired by paintings I saw posted on Virtual Painter by Carolee Clark. I wasn't sure what Wanda would think, but she said she loved it, and I'm glad.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


Today the Kansas City Temple was dedicated.  Jeff and I were able to go to the temple for the dedication and we somehow timed it perfectly to be seated in the instruction room with the mural.  So, I thought it was time I posted a picture of it on this art blog.

If I could choose one word for the experience, it would be serenity--as in, calm, peaceful, untroubled.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Black, White, and a Red Rose

Since studying the Impressionists in college I have always thought it wrong to put black in a painting.  But I decided to try it anyway.  It's not 1880 anymore, right?  I submitted this to rookiepainter.