Sunday, September 28, 2008


Can any one ever resist a new puppy? I would like to introduce you to Toby our precious little white labrador retriever. We couldn't take him home yet, just picking him out of the litter. You know that "first pick" is always the best. The little collar that we put on him then, let the people that had the puppies, know that he was ours.

I really didn't want another dog since we had had "Jacob" for about 15 years, a chocolate lab that was like part of the family. I wanted to try life without a dog for awhile because you have to always be thinking of them when you go off or come home late, etc. Terry still wanted a dog and Todd, our youngest son, had just happened to find the lab puppies. Terry had a dream that we got a white lab puppy and named "him" Toby. Look what appeared right away. I think that I was set up. He was cute but I probably would have picked one of the girl puppies if I had to pick one.....they were all cute. Needless to say, I went along with the crowd and we got a new puppy.

We promptly made ALL of the mistakes. First of all I could not crate him. If you are going to have a dog, they need to be able to run around inside and out. Second, I just helped him a little and he managed to get up on the bed and lay down with us one morning. Sort of cute when he is 5 pounds but now he is 90 pounds.

We believe that he was just about the most destructive dog on earth, getting from a puppy to a 2 1/2 year old dog. His favorite was pillow foam... I would come home from work to find the living room had experienced a snow storm from the couch pillows. What is so bad is that I would bring the downstairs couch pillows up if we had company (so you could sit on the couch) and forget to take them back down. I learned very quickly to not do that again. He tore one of the downstairs pillows once and made it a center cushion instead of a left side cushion. One morning while Terry was in the shower, I went to make coffee and when I came back, he was proudly bringing my eyeglasses to me ... forget that they were new and one side was crunched. Clickers ... we went through them like crazy, he really loved to chew them until the batteries fell out.

One of the funniest things that happened was when Nedra came and picked me up to go to somewhere, when I got home there was a message on my recorder from my next door neighbor. They wanted me to call them as soon as I got the message. Apparently Toby had gotten my keys that have a clicker on them to open the car and it has a panic alarm on it. Well Toby was chewing or biting it and the panic alarm was going on and off. They had tried to get me to come to the door but I didn't come and they were afraid I was trying to signal for help. It was only Toby! There are probably too many things Toby did to go through, but he would always be at the backdoor when I would come home from work with that I didn't mean to do it look.

If you and the dog can manage to live through the "puppy stage" and we did manage, you will come out with the best dog in the world. Toby has become our best friend and a part of the family. He is one of the most loving dogs we have ever had, but then, he gets away with more than any dog we have ever had. He demanded that we care about him even when he was bad, and he knew when he was bad.

The picture above was the day I went to the Sunflower Farm in Rutledge, GA with Southern Colours. I was making pictures of the sunflowers for potential paintings and I caught him checking out the sunflowers.

If you are thinking about a pet, don't hesitate. Maybe get a little bitty one, but we love Toby and he loves us. It really adds alot to your life, you'll be surprised. Sally...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Early Morning and the First Light

I have been reading my friends blogs and they seem to be written with ease. I love Sallie and Ron's old pictures, with Sallie's wonderful stories of long ago and Ron's humor, then there are Margaret's paintings.... What should I do next?

I prepared my "Art Blog" so that I could write whatever I want here so that my art work site stayed "professional looking". Now when I can write whatever I want I can't decide what to write; is this writers block. Sort of like a painter with a white piece of paper? I know that when I have that white piece of paper I just have to get something on it and then it just starts, sort of magical. Like dance or even music you have to get the flow started and then if you're lucky it just begins to flow out in streams of words, or color, steps, notes, to create ART! What would we do without it. Have you ever thought of life without art? Everyones' artistic nuances help to make our lives more interesting. Art is everywhere.

As artist, we strive to develop an artistic eye. I think we all have it, we just need to realize the beauty in everything around us. It's there! Simple things can be beautiful. I'm lucky because right now I can go outside and look at the sky and see the beautiful cool atmosphere.
Thinking about it I decided I need to get up and take a field trip. Here is what has attracted my attention this early morning.
The moon flower was the first thing that caught my eye and nose this morning. This flower is gorgeous, looks like a morning glory on steroids.
I think the bud is my favorite picture that I made, but the picture just doesn't do it justice. The air is so cool this morning and that first light spilling over the trees and across the field all the way over to the bud. The light exposing the ribs of the petals still folded up and waiting for the evening to unfold and saturate the air with fragrance. It is just beautiful.
I want to paint today I'll have to make those first marks on the substrate to see what wants to appear. Some additional pictures from this early morning walk for you to see.
Future art projects are in the gourds. I have seen some absolutely gorgeous gourd art! Diana Dice has loaned me some art books on gourds to hopefully handle mine properly so they can become beautiful art. I love the shapes in this picture of the gourds against the sky.
The first color of fall is starting to show up in the trees, not very much but I spotted it here.

This is our little pond and I have a sprinkling of flowers here and there. The lantana has been really pretty this year. Can you just see the cool misty air around the lantana....
Well my paper isn't blank any more. Have a great day today and my hasn't God Blessed Us with his beautiful handiwork! ...Sally

Monday, September 22, 2008

My Week in the Mountains

I re-posted the picture because the color wasn't accurate at all. Took the picture outside in shade so I hope light is right now. Sallie Atkins says to take the picture in the N/S/E/W positions and pick the most accurate one. You can look at the difference in the one below that was made in my studio around midnight. I also have a real problem in that I painted one of my studio walls red so I get reflections from it. Thank goodness the rest of the walls are a very neutral green hue.

Roses in Pot - Encaustic is what I have done this week in the mountains and I had to put every thing encaustic away to stop. I really don't know when to stop even though I try to stop. I'll look at the painting and think I just need to do this or that and keep messing with it.

The photograph of the painting with the texture isn't photographing very well. When I started this painting I decided I would take pictures of it as I went through various stages. The second painting is in the beginning stages and I really liked it too. Should I have stopped there? You never know what will develop. I really like the painting now and I can't work on it anymore because everything is put up.

I did try to plan a little bit better this time. I had a picture and the fake roses to look at. This painting I used the slotted brush on and it really creates a lot of texture. I still fused between my layers, but then I also in the end brushed on the extra damar medium. The extra damar medium fills in the texture but yet keeps it too by dropping down into the valleys. When it is fused it is clear but as you can see it has a glare when I try to photograph it.

I really love the texture that you can get with the encaustics. This piece probably has more than the pieces that I've done so far. The piece is the largest encaustic I've done to date,
24" X 24".

Well I didn't get too much done this week, but I have painted! When we got here on Sunday evening we had a little excitement. We always bring in our things, cooler, etc. and Terry said there's a snake! He wanted me to go and get the pellet gun so I took off after it. When I got back I hadn't gotten the pellets, so back I went after them. I was afraid the snake was going to bite Toby who was on the outside with Terry and I in the studio and the snake between us. So with Terry yelling at Toby to stay, then me coming out and yelling too; Toby just jumped over the snake and came to me. In the meantime the snake came in too and went over by the bookcases. Terry was afraid the snake would get under the bookcases and then we'd have a problem. So luckily we had a fish net with a long handle to catch the snake with. Terry managed it pretty easily with the net and took the snake outside and took care of it. The snake was a copperhead and for a copperhead it was a fair size about 2 inches in diameter. Sure would have hurt if it had bit one of us! Now we are looking everywhere as we are carrying on with things outside. The price one pays for living in the country!

Tomorrow I have to clean before we go home.... ugh! Sally...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It's there.... and then it's gone!

I have been painting tonight...

I started out painting my raku pot and had put some pods in it for a still life. There was something bothering me so I usually will get my camera out, take a picture and that helps me to "see" what the painting actually looks like. I can distance myself from it and see better what it needs. So I got the heat gun out to work on the top area of the vase where the pods were. They got a little too fluid and the next thing I knew... I wind up with the painting on the left.
I probably could have gone back and scraped off the wax and redone it. I decided since I had messed it up I'd just get crazy because I couldn't hurt it at this point. So I tried some new things to create texture using the netting that is on bags of onions. I really liked the texture effect that I got from brushing the wax over the net and then lifting it off.
To me the painting is of some bouys that I saw by the docks in Kodiak, Alaska. You know how when oil gets in the water and it just kind of swirls around with reflections and dark water. I was just having fun creating all of the texture in the hot wax. I showed it to Terry and he thought it looked like beehives; so I guess it can be whatever you want it to be.
I really need to start planning a little better with thumbnail sketches, etc. I just get in a hurry and I always know that if I take that little bit of extra time it will save me in the long run. I'm just doing what I want... and it doesn't always come out.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

More Encaustics

Well here are my newest "Little Bouquet - Encaustic" and a revised "Blackstock's Vines - Encaustic". You can look back to the previous blog and see how much it changed, hopefully for the better. I finally got cranked up... or heated up and at 4:10 am decided that I had to stop and go to bed. I discovered that heat guns get extremely hot and you shouldn't get them near your skin. That helped me to realize that I needed to go to bed.

You will see how much Blackstock's Vines changed. I think I'm through for now on it. The photographing of the encaustics is very difficult and I'm still not sure the best way to do it. All of the glare is hard to overcome and see it like it really is.

The Little Bouquet is only 5.5" x 5" so I had to be very careful doing it since it was so small. I did it on a little leftover piece of maple so it can sit on a little easel on a table or shelf.

The wonderful thing about being an artist, you forget everything and just get in that "Art Zone" and time flies when you're having fun! The more encaustics I do the more I think this might be challenging my pastels. Sally...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I'll still have a garden but....

Today the garden called. I had to pick more butter peas and okra. We really love having all of the fresh vegetables but I have decided that I'm going to be more careful on what I plant. The butter peas that I dearly love are really little jewels worth about $25 a pound when you figure the plowing, buying seed, fertilizer, and bug deters (if you don't want to attempt being organic); then there is the weeding, battleing the crows, picking, shelling (my poor fingers), cooking or freezing! Once it is put on the table it goes really quick! Then when I went to the grocery store the other day, the $3+/- a bag makes you think what a bargain they are at the store. They are still really good too, even from the store. Who would know... Sally

Monday, September 1, 2008

My New Art Blog

Well I have been working on my "website" or blog. I am amazed at how much you can do with the blog software and even more thrilled that it is free. You can spend alot more time than you realize because you keep thinking of things to do to it. Really alot of fun though for me to be creating something, almost feels a little like I am working.

There is something about working and seeing something produced from your labor. When I am doing housework or cooking, you feel different than working at a job. I have always felt fulfilled in working at home but you know that it's not long until it has to be done all over again, and again, and again. The blog is different, something new and more "businesslike", I have enjoyed it for a change. Now don't get any ideas that I want to go back to work because I am quite happy in to my current lifestyle. My work is painting, gardening and it's wonderful to love working.

Please check out all of the new things I have done to the website. Under the "MY ARTWORK SITE" you will now go to another page to see my business. I'll keep all of the fun stuff here. You can return from each section to the ART HOME PAGE... I'm still trying to decide if I need to fix it so you can go anywhere from any page. What do you think? Still a little wild on colors but I'm playing with that too.