Saturday, February 23, 2013

Getting ready for the "Art on the Wall at City Hall" exhibition

I have been getting ready for my solo exhibition at the City Hall of Snellville.  I began last fall preparing paintings for this exhibit.  It is a variety of pastels and encaustics that are a wide range of subject matter from landscapes, still lifes, even some animals and figures.  Originally I was suppose to have the month of March but in January I was asked to hang the show beginning February 1st if I wanted because someone had not been able to do their show.  I then decided that I would do my framed pastels for February and then hang my encaustics for the reception and the month of March since they weren't all framed at that point.  Everything worked out fine and now I am almost ready for the reception next week.  All of the encaustic artwork was hung yesterday and I'm pleased with how it looks.  The community room holds a lot of paintings (20-25).  The City has prepared the room for the hanging of the paintings with a first class hanging system.  Very easy to put up and take down paintings without any holes in the wall, it's wonderful!  Please come to the reception if you can, I'd love to see all of you.  The reception is Thursday, February 28, 2013 4:30 - 7:00 p.m. at Snellville City Hall.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Hope that you all have a very Blessed Christmas!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Thanksgiving and Art

The Thanksgiving holidays were wonderful with family. We had a crowd with Becky's family and mine along with Pat and Greg joining us. Terry, Jr., Melisa and Michael were with her family this year but we'll all be together at Christmas at Becky's home. As usual the four wheelers got a workout; big kids, little kids, it doesn't matter they love zooming around the property on it. Becky and I can't watch.

Todd, Lori and the girls came up on Wednesday and spent till Sunday. Lots of fun for all of us. Todd took each of the girls deer hunting with him. Lori washed lots of dishes for me, and we all ate and ate and ate. They hiked, played lots of games, and watched movies too.




Bailey busy at work
Alexandria, Bailey and Ava's Artist Trading Cards
Lori and Ava getting started
When the girls come up we always have art projects, so this time was no exception.   I wanted to try to find something that would be fun for all of them to do together.  So I introduced them to artist trading cards.  These are little cards 2 1/2" X 3 1/2" that artists paint, collage, draw or whatever they want to do to create what they want to express on the card.  Each of them made there own card and we ran out of time or we probably would have made more. 

Alex and Todd taking a Break

I got each of them their initial made out of chipboard so they could do whatever they want on it.  It can be hung from a ribbon or in a wall grouping of their things.  I gathered up all kinds of papers, fabric, sequins and jewels for them to collage with.  They bedazzled their letters with all of the embellishments of their choice.  Lori helped and we managed to keep everyone on track to complete their artwork.  Bailey is the one who really concentrates and plans her project.  She really got into it and collaged fabric all over her letter before she started adding other things.  I think everyone, even Lori had a good time with the glue and scissors.

Alex wanted to make a Christmas card, Bailey did the frog by the pond, and Ava and Lori did the Princess and paper dolls card.  If you have kids of all ages I think they really do get into it once they get started.  You can use photographs, magazines, stickers whatever you have on hand, you can even cut just card stock to whatever size you want and let them get started.  I assure you it's additive and quiet.  Just Google Artist Trading Cards and see what all people do with them.  I've done some that are encaustic that I'll post on my artist section.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Creating Art with Citrasolv

Sustenance    8" X 8" Collage

Magazine sheet Citrisolve applied.
Citrasolv is something that you can play with and create art in many ways.  Friends of mine have added the Citrasolv papers to jewelry, boxes, whatever you can dream up.  I have tried to use it as inspiration because it is really beautiful, but I've never used the actual papers (you can though).  I usually photograph them on various other papers or just paint them using them as inspiration.  Everything is one of a kind and it just depends on how you have manipulated it as to what appears.  The colors and shapes can be really exciting. 

I will describe how I have gone from the first sheet of National Geographic Magazine which I put the Citrasolv solution on, to the finished collage that is 8 X 8 inch gallery wrapped board.  I took the altered sheet of NG and photographed it, then I printed it on fiber material sheets.  You can find all kinds of papers now that you can print on so try different ones for different effects.  After I printed the sheet, I got out my collage papers which are a variety of handmade papers of all types to add to it.  I use medium as my adhesive but you can use whatever you are use to working with.  You just collage as normal using all of the papers, working them into the design that pleases you.  In collage you tear the papers into shapes and adhere them to your substrate, when completed you need to spray the artwork with a UV Spray to protect the colors in the artwork.

Citrasolv is like an orange natural stripper but you use it to disturb the ink on magazine pages, National Geographic works the best, but I have successfully used other magazines. They must have very good ink and paper for them to work.  Do this outside and wear old clothes this can be messy and smells like very strong oranges. Use a chip brush or paint brush (mine was 1" wide) and paint plenty of the Citrasolv on the magazine pages, one after another (front and back) and close the book, let it rest for 5 or 10 minutes then put pressure and rolling on the magazine even with a rolling pin or bottle, squish the ink out of the magazine.  The pages can be touched and you will see how the ink will react to different things.  You can touch the pages together and pull them apart to get neat effects.  The binding on the magazine will come apart and the sheets will separate and you lay them out to dry individually, best side up. While the sheets are wet you can press the sheets together and pull them apart, moving the ink around on the page.  When they are dry the ink doesn't move around anymore.  Also... wear gloves.

Citra Solv is the natural substitute for traditional turpentines, mineral spirits and solvents!Supplies:  NG Magazine, Citrasolv CONCENTRATE(Ingle's in the area with ammonia and cleaners be sure you get the concentrate), gloves, chip/paint brush (cheap one); optional supplies after the magazine pages are created are UV Spray, adhesive of your choice, different types of paper to run through the printer.

I loved creating the piece with the Citrasolv, hope you do to!

It's been a long time...

I went and helped my sister do a program for a garden club last Thursday. Becky's a Master Gardener and will do programs occasionally for the promotion of gardening. So she wanted me to help her do this one on Tussie Mussies. Becky and I went to a book signing for Geraldine Adamich Laufer's book, "Tussie-Mussies: The Victorian Art of Expressing Yourself in the Language of Flowers".  This is a beautiful book and we were trying to determine how long ago it was when we had met her.  We couldn't believe it had been 18 years ago!  My I can't believe we are getting so old.

When I got to Becky's house she had already picked flowers, leaves, berries and herbs for our class. She had florist tape, ribbons and lace to finish them off to perfection so off we went. We had a room full of ladies that were very attentive as Becky talked and then we each made one to explain and show them how.  We helped them all make their own Tussie Mussies and met many lovely people and one made me want to start blogging again. I've been doing things lately that you all might enjoy and so I will try to show you what I've been doing.

To make Tussie Mussies all you need is florist tape to wrap the flower stems and then you can add ribbon or lace to decorate it but you really don't need it.  The first thing is to select what you want in your center; I usually will use either one flower or three.  I always use an odd number.  Wrap the stem of your flower down to the length that you want to hold.  Then you just keep adding flowers one at a time (and wrapping tape down the stem each time) until you have it like you want.  The outer layer can be leaves to help make the flowers stand out.  Keep in mind that you can add berries and all kinds of things, let your imagination take over.  The wrapping keeps the flower stems from decaying and the little bouquets will last a really long time.  Sometimes they even dry out beautifully.  Keep them in water, a nice stemmed glass is a great thing to display them in.

Once you get use to making them you will find how easy they are to do with not really very many flowers.  I have made alot of wedding bouquets in this manner even using the really nice silk flowers that look real.  Hope you enjoy making them as much as I do!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

After the Leftovers...

Hope that all of you had a wonderful Turkey Day.  We had one of the best ever!  I can't believe that out of a 23 pound turkey there is only a leg left and one thick piece of ham.  Don't we all look satisfied... There are a bunch of us.

Well we have had all of the preparations, fellowship, excitement and love of being together,  eaten all of the good food, rested; and now what.  Today I've just been thinking of all the fun that we had.  Memories, hope that you have some good ones too.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Just some fun pictures...

All of our grandkids, mine and Becky's

Michael and Bailey followed by Katie, Stanley & Maddox

Becky and Miles

Pat entertaining Miles

Alex, Michael and Miles (looks like everyone gravitates to the baby)

Katie, Stan and Maddox

Alex relaxing

Alexandria and Miles

Even pretending to drive and ride is fun

Bailey and Ava (2 cuties)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Almost Thanksgiving...

We came up to the mountains Monday to start preparing for the holiday.  Michael came up with us and has been helping Terry with things outside.  He's also a deer hunter now, so that has kept him busy every morning and evening.  They get that hunting bug and don't get tired of it.  He killed his first deer earlier in the season and now knows how much work it is after you kill it, so he is looking for a great big buck, nothing little the next time.  I also have gotten chauffered around some since he's now the owner of a learner's license.  We had to make a run to the Dollar Store, never gets enough driving time.  I'm so proud of him, he is growing into such a fine young man.  He is now about 4 inches taller than me, I can't hardly believe it.

Thanksgiving is such an important holiday and it really doesn't get enough attention.  We all have so much to be thankful for that we really don't even think about, it's only when you lose something do you realize what you have.  I am so thankful for my family and friends and the love shared with others. 

We will have our Thanksgiving at the mountain house in Ellijay, GA.  All of my kids, grandkids, Pat and Greg will be there and so will all of my sisters's family.  Lots of cooking and cleaning for me but I love having them all here.  Everyone will bring dishes too and I'm sure we'll have way too much food, but it's all so much fun.  We'll make a day of it, probably eating more than once or twice. 

The kids always seem to have a good time with the four wheelers and little motorcycle.  Sometime the big kids go deer hunting early morning and late afternoon.  Sometimes they even play paintball, but I haven't heard that that's on the agenda this time.  We'll have lots of little ones to keep up with and I'm really hoping it doesn't rain, but it won't dampen our spirits.  They'll have lots of room in the studio to dance and play.

Becky and I are suppose to remind each other that we need to take lots of pictures.  We want them for the Christmas cards and hopefully my blog.

So I hope that you all enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday and this year we think about all of our blessings.

God Bless You All!

Friday, November 12, 2010


Procrastination refers to the act of putting off actions or tasks to a later time.
(From Wikipedia)

Procrastinating is easy to do and then gets easier with each time we put off the task.  I can't believe that it has been almost a year since I've written on my blog.  I hope to do better about this.  I've also worked on my art site too and added some new paintings, but I'm still behind in photographing paintings and updating my inventory list.

Hoping to get fit

Terry and I have been really enjoying "retirement".  Traveling in the Chinook motorhome is trying to become the main extra-curricular activity.  Terry is working on something for the motor home all the time, making a bigger bed, hooking up TV and satellite radio.  He built me a beautiful section of shelving that works great in the kitchen area that holds all of the can goods, along with extra shelving and hooks.  He's also added things to the outside of the camper to hold the batteries and bicycles.  Since the last update, we've joined the Chinook Camping Club and attended a rally in Crossville, Tennessee.  Lots of fun.

St. Andrews Resident
This year we've managed to go to St. Andrews State Park in Panama City, Florida.  A beautiful park that prompted us to go and buy bicycles so we could ride around and see things.  This was a great way to get around St. Andrews and I also thought that it would be such a good exercise when we got home.   I really wasn't thinking, Florida is nice and flat, Snellville is nice and hilly, and forget Ellijay with it's north Georgia mountains.  So the bikes aren't getting quite as much use as I had planned, but they do get a little use in Snellville and around the campgrounds.  This little bird was walking along the shoreline.

We are trying to visit all of the National Parks and don't have many left to go, so we added two more to our list.  We worked our way up to Minnesota and Voyageurs National Park located at International Falls. Voyageurs is a water-based park where you must leave your car and take to the water to fully experience the lakes, islands, and shorelines of the park.  We did take a boat trip around the park and it was quite beautiful.  There are really unusual rock formations from the glaciers melting thousands of years ago. The voyageurs, who paddled large birch bark canoes carrying trade goods and furs between the Canadian northwest and Montreal is why the park is called Voyageurs.  They sure must have been some strong people to withstand all it took to survive.

Boat to Isle Royale
We left International Falls and headed north to Canada, going across the top and through a Canadian Provencial Park to Thunder Bay, Canada.  We spent the night here and then traveled down to Grand Portage where we were able to get a boat to Isle Royale.  Minnesota and Michigan both sort of claim Isle Royale but it is really in Michigan.  We camped in a beautiful spot right on Lake Superior, looking out to beautiful scenery and had visits from beavers that were raising a family under the marina dock.  Early one morning they were playing in the harbour and then raised a ruckus because we were watching them.  One went out into the lake one evening and came back with a huge tree top.  So in between our scrabble games we were entertained by the wildlife.
Isle Royale’s physical isolation and primitive wilderness is beautiful and inhabited by wolves and moose.  The story goes that the wolves walked over on the ice and the moose swam over in the summer.  Accessible only by boat or seaplane, people experience the park by hiking its trails, paddling its inland waterways
Isle Royal Ranger talk
and exploring its rugged coast.  We went on the nature walk with the Ranger and it is to me a very lonely place to visit.  You really are roughing it and we saw groups of young people that had hiked the island and were catching the boat to go back to civilization with us.  There were a group of teenage girls that sat near us on the boat and they were beyond dirty, I think they probably just threw there clothes away when they got home.  If you go to Isle Royale be prepared to rough it.  I'm sure they were all having the time of their life though, because it is all quite beautiful.  There are sunken ships in the waters approaching the island because of the treacherous Lake Superior waters and an old lighthouse.  We enjoyed our visit but I was glad that we could get back on the boat and go back to my creature comforts.  There are only about 22,000 people visit Isle Royale every year compared to the Grand Canyon that has over 4 million.  Everyone should visit the National Parks they are really beautiful and a wonderful experience for young and old alike.

I went to Folly Beach with my artist friends and we painted plein air.  They rent a beautiful house on the beach and all week you just immerse yourself in art, from painting plein air and in the house, to talking art and visiting galleries in Charleston; it's really great.  While in Charleston I managed to work in a little genealogy, finding some relatives at the Magnolia Cemetery and a book that mentions my Cordes family that lived in Charleston in the 1800's.  My sister went with me so we had alot of fun with the "Folly Group" and have made some new friends.  
Beautiful Lake Claytor

Didn't even unpack, Terry wanted to go to Shenandoah National Park before the leaves were gone, so we packed up and took off.  The leaves were maybe a little past their peak but not far from it, the color was gorgeous turning the darker jewel colors.  The first night we stayed at Claytor Lake State Park in Virginia and were in a tornado watch.  Stayed snug though but it was really starting to get cold.  By the time we got to Shenandoah it was really cold and we used the furnace.  The drive through Shenandoah is so pretty and this time I was able to plein air paint some.  Maybe I'll get the hang of it sooner rather than later.  As always the deer are everywhere and also saw Ranger programs on the Owls.  We were lucky that was the last program for the year (campfire talks at night and the owl viewing and talk the next morning).  We even hiked a little on the Appalachian Trail.

Stayed for two nights and then headed back down the parkway towards Danville and spent the night, Halloween, at Paradise Lake.  They had a hayride for the kids and they were going around the lake and you could hear them laughing and hollering, finally stopping about 10 pm.  Went on to bed and then up about 8 to have breakfast and then get back on the road  heading towards Asheville.  We were going to go down the Blue Ridge Parkway but decided we'd had enough of twisting roads and took the better road.  

The campground in Asheville, Mama Gerties, was extremely nice.  Wasn't real big but up on the side of a mountain looking out with lots of foliage.  We went into Asheville the next day and visited art galleries and had lunch, then headed on home to pick up Toby, who was staying with Pat and Greg.

 I think we're getting our money's worth out of our little Chinook camper.  Hope I haven't bored you all too much with my travel.  I know my kids always dread going through all of the "pictures" when we get home, not quite the same as being there I guess.  Terry and I are making lots of good memories though.

Till later,

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

I can't believe how quickly this last year has gone by. I think that is a sign of getting older, time just seems to be flying by. Hopefully, 2010 will be a much better year for everyone. Sure has been a long time since I have written on my blog. It is very easy to get lazy and not write on it.

My agenda is full for awhile. I have to get to work and prepare for an art show and sale in Gainesville, GA for the State Master Gardeners Convention. They juried artists into a show and sale where you will be able to show your "Garden Art". I want to get some more of my small encaustics done for the show. I'll have oils, pastels and encaustics in it with the theme being gardens, flowers, etc. The date is January 22nd, 23rd so I have to get busy on organizing my work that will be submitted.

Terry's ready to go someplace in the camper... it will have to be South because the campgrounds are closed up North. I guess we'll head towards Florida next, maybe around February. I have gotten really inspired to be more committed to plein air painting. I have joined a site of Plein air painters you can check it out by clicking on the badge in the right column of my blog. There are so many beautiful beach type pictures with palm trees, dunes and sandy beaches.. I' ll be looking for them when were headed South on the next trip.

Hope that you are all doing well and my prayer is that God will richly bless each one of you in this New Year with Peace, Love and Joy!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Leaf Lookers.... that's us!

Well Terry and I have been "leaf lookers" for the last ten days. Off in our little camper again on our way to Vermont. We thought we should have gone earlier, but I had a workshop with Ann Templeton, a fabulous artist. It was great and I can't wait to paint, but had to put it off because the leaves were quickly turning. We left on Monday October 19th. Worked our way up through Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York before we finally got to Vermont. The leaves are beautiful!

We spent some time in the Shenandoah National Forest camping at the Big Meadow. It was beautiful with all of the color. I painted a little watercolor while Terry went out and hiked the trail at the Big Meadow. He came back excited because he had managed to see some larger deer with horns and even a black bear. There had been 4 inches of snow a few days before and you could still see remnants of it. I bet it was really pretty too. The weather was beautiful for us cool but not cold.

We are really enjoying this driving around by the seat of our pants. Through Pennsylvania I tried hard to get a picture of the Amish buggies. I would see one every blue moon but miss the picture. I finally got this one but missed the horses head.

In New York we were looking for a campground and went to the first one to find no one there. It was sort of being built or renovated and there was just a note on the door, we chose not to stay there. The second one we rode to we went down the back road very slowly but never did find where it was, right road but no campground. So as we are leaving to go back to I-81 we saw another sign. So... we finally found a beautiful campground by East Lake. We stayed the night there and they had beautiful stone buildings with lots of fir trees that were huge. They had lots for children to do in the summertime, pool, putt-putt golf, horseback riding and game rooms. It was really nice but had a beautiful old charm with those stone buildings.

Finally we were in Vermont! We stayed in Manchester the first night there. A really pretty old town with high end boutique shops for men and women. We also managed to make our way into the Orvis shop.... a fisherman's dream. The campgrounds are mostly closed up North after October 15th, most after September; but I think it depends on their weather. They were having beautiful weather this year so I think some were staying open longer. We still had to look to find one open.

In Shelburne we went to the Shelburne Museum, a fantastic museum. They were having a special event showing of motorcycles and Tiffany glass lamps. I was able to make lots of pictures of the 38 historic buildings that they have on the property. You were even able to make pictures inside as long as you didn't use a flash. So I really enjoyed this museum and we spent almost all day there. What we didn't realize was that it was the last normal day of the museum being open for the season. The next day they were having a Halloween party and expected 2000 people to attend.... not quite what we were looking for.

Here are a few of the things that we saw in the exhibits, they had alot of original artwork, here a Monet (Haybales), but also got to see Degas, and many others they held in their private collection. The Mary Cassatt painting was my favorite.

On our way over to the mountains of Vermont we passed by Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Factory. Couldn't pass that up so we did the tour and got our sample of Triple Caramel Chocolate Chunk! All it does is make you want more and go to their counter and buy another icecream treat....

We saw so many beautiful barns, bridges, and rivers. I love the silos. Some more interesting things were a beaver lodge.. but we didn't see any beavers, but we did look for them. A really neat red light, portable. Now doesn't that make alot of sense. The latest in landscape elements, the wind turbine, is popping up everywhere. I would love to have one in Ellijay to provide our power.

Vermont has lots of covered bridges and so we managed to find alot of them. They were tucked everywhere and along with the bridges we managed to find a Maple Sugar House. The lady was so nice when we pulled up and asked her if she was open. A lot of the Maple Sugar houses are privately owned by families who own the property and make the syrup. She said she would be glad to show us their "factory" if we'd like to see it. I was amazed at how syrup is made. I still thought that they put the little tin pales at the tree to collect the sap. Not so... they have tubing that goes from tree to tree and a vacuum draws it down to their collector tank. All of the tanks and cooking vats are stainless steel and I never would have thought inside their barn they had all of this equipment. She showed us everything and then offered us to taste the different kinds of syrup. That was especially nice and also not what I thought. The light to dark amber syrup is all equal, the color is determined by the weather/temperature. Each time they make syrup they keep a sample and they were just beautiful sitting up in the window with the light coming through them. I hope to paint a picture of that. The taste test was also a surprise. I have always thought that the better syrup was the dark amber.... with the taste test my favorite was the "fancy", a very light amber, the darker the amber the stronger taste and I didn't like it nearly as much. So we learned all about the maple syrup industry and couldn't leave without buying some fancy maple syrup.

Worked our way back over to Burlington and went up the islands of Lake Champlain. It was really nice and I love the older houses up North. They have such charm. We don't have anything like them down here. We left Vermont at the Canadian border and crossed over into New York again. Now we were on our way home.

Once we make the turn from being "on the way to" to "on the way back" it changes my mind to start wanting to get home. I start thinking more about the kids and Toby and, and.... we are a little more direct about our directions. We really are having fun with our camper... Terry drove 2800 miles on this trip. When we were driving out Old Bucktown Road to our home we both were looking at the beautiful leaves and Tickenettlely Creek by our home.. decided that the leaves are just as pretty here as they are anywhere!

Take care... Sally