How Many Grandchildren Can You Paint!?

Now that the girls have had their birthdays I can show you what I painted for them.  August is my oldest granddaughter and Grace is her sister, my second oldest granddaughter.  There’s a boy in-between.  I haven’t painted him ………..yet.

Some of you are already familiar with August (Auggie).  She went to England with me a few years ago.  I also blogged about her when she got married and when she had her baby girl, Annaleise.  I took this photo about 10 years ago and have wanted to paint it for a long time.    It’s just the perfect pose and the lighting is perfectly dramatic.

I gave it to her for her birthday and I think she liked it.


And here is Grace (Gracie – or Gracie Bug) .  She is our singer/dancer/pianist/violinist.  She sent this graduation picture 2 (or is it 3) years ago.  And I knew immediately I HAD to paint it.  After a few years of painting portraits I finally felt that I had enough knowledge to attempt it.  I’m glad I did.  I think I did okay.  Anyway she likes it.


So that concludes the 5 paintings I have been working on for the last few months.  Whew!!

I actually have a couple more paintings finished but I can’t show them on line because I painted pictures of people without getting their permission.  So you’ll have to come to my house to see those. (wink wink )

I’ve got another one started and will show it in progress as soon as I have some progress.  This one won’t be a gift, so I can show it any time.

I’m also developing another still life type painting.  I’m not at the painting stage yet on that one.   More about that later.

So here’s the question.  Is it in poor taste to display – in your home – a painting of yourself that was given as a gift to you?
What do you all think?


Posted in The Artful Life | 32 Comments

More About Grandsons – And Other Stuff

I know you wanted to hear more about my grandsons….right?

Our grandson, Isaac, visited from Oregon this month.  I think he might have inherited my love of all things artistic.  Or maybe he got it from his mother, Kalen, our daughter-in-law, who is also very artistic.

We were looking for something interesting to do one day,  so we found a scenic place at one of the parks to do some plein-air painting.  The first time for both of us!
It was 96° in the shade but we were happy to be there trying something new.  Isaac did a great job and even finished his at the house that night.

We used my Golden Open acrylic and plenty of water.  I prepped a wet palette of paint before we left so we didn’t have to take lots of supplies and paint tubes.
I haven’t finished mine.  I didn’t have as much energy as Isaac did after being in that heat all afternoon.
I did manage to get to the couch and put my feet up though.

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I think he did a wonderful job!


All I got done on mine was the basic sketch, but I promise I’ll show mine later when I have it more finished.


I definitely want to do this again.  But here are some things I would do differently.
1. Wear shoes and socks.  The ants were biting the heck out of my feet and legs.
2. Take some mosquito repellant.  (HD warned me, but I forgot)
3. Take a shade umbrella.  Our views were limited by where we could find shade.  And the shade moves!  I started in the shade, but the sun was soon shining on me.
4.  Take a small cooler to keep my water cold.  Warm water——UGH!
5. Head out earlier in the morning – or go in the winter.

With those little corrections I think I would definitely enjoy doing this again.  I didn’t think I could do it.  I tried not to worry about how the painting was going to turn out.  I knew I didn’t have to show it to anyone and Isaac wasn’t going to care how it looked.  So I just let go and painted.

I would advise anyone to try it.  Start out with an inexpensive canvas or canvas board.  Or you can tape a piece of heavy water color paper to a large clipboard.
You will be surprised by what you can do!  And if it doesn’t turn out very well, you can paint over it or throw it away.  Who knows, though??  You may just like what you do.  You have nothing to loose!

And take plenty of water!


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Another Portrait Finished!

Our second summer in Florida and we’re finally getting the hang of it.
There are only a few places to “be” when it heats up.
1.  In your home – with the A C
2.  At the mall – with the A C
3.  At the beach

I’ve mostly been staying home and staying cool.  So I’ve gotten a lot of painting done.  I’ve finished a painting I started about 10 years ago when my Grandson, Evan, was only 8 or 9.
He joined the Navy this year!
I think he was – maybe 5 – in the photo I was working from for this portrait.


So I just can’t resist showing a photo of him now.  After all, I AM his Grandy!


AND……………..I think his mother must have know something from the beginning……………


I hope you all are having a productive and fun summer.
School has already started in some areas!  I can’t believe we are already at the end of August.  But I have to say……..I’m looking forward to winter.


Posted in The Artful Life | 14 Comments

Hot Off My Easel

The down side to working on five projects at one time…….it takes a long time to finish any one project!
The up side is that when I get frustrated with one problem, I can put it aside and pick up a different one.  Maybe that problem has solved itself while sitting in the corner??  No.  Not so much.

Well anyway, I did finally get another one finished (I think).  So that just leaves three more to finish.  Hmmmm  I think maybe I’ll start another one today.

I’m calling this one “Apothecary”.  This little chest of drawers was not really a medicine or spice chest, but rather a nuts and bolts chest in someone’s work shop.  But I like to think of it as an old medicine chest of drawers.  My new friend here in Florida says you can paint it however you want “as long as you have a story……”

Anyway, I think it made a nice little still life set up.  I don’t know what I’m doing with this painting yet – other than hanging it on my wall.  It’s a 12″ X 12″ canvas and is painted with Golden Open.  I love that I accidentally used colors that work well in my house.  (not that it matters so much when you are creating art).

This is a new style of painting for me and I’m enjoying trying new things, pushing myself to stretch.  After so many years of teaching it feels really good to concentrate on learning again.



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Believe it or not….even with all this sunshine I’ve been getting some painting done!

I’ve been working on 5 painting projects at one time!  I haven’t done that for a very long time.  But I love every one of them and am almost finished.
Today I’ll show you the one I will be teaching in Shamokin Dam, PA at Heirlooms From The Heart  on October 15, 16, 17, this year.
I’m looking forward to painting at the Heirlooms studio again and I hope if you are in the area you will join us for lots of painting fun.
The three little drawers push through and  open on both sides. The tray lifts off and you could paint a different tray for each season of the year.



I hope you are enjoying your summer as much as I am enjoying mine.

Posted in The Artful Life | 30 Comments