Wednesday, November 3, 2010

5K race/walk

 I was in my first 5K race this past weekend. My daughter and granddaughter were in it too. It was a lot of fun. I have also spent time studying and working more on artwork. I have just completed portraits of my two kids which I have been meaning to do for a long time now. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Granddaughter's portrait

I completed the portrait of my granddaughter this weekend. She hasn't seen it as of yet, so I hope she likes it. Guess I'll know when she gets off from school today. I really enjoyed doing this one. Her pose is great. It crossed my mind to do a portriat of Justin Bieber for her so she could hang it next to this one, since he is her heartthrob now, but with 13 year old girls those things change pretty fast.
This portait of Keely is done in prismacolor colored pencils and it's 17" X 14". Completed with love by her grandma :)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Keely's Portrait

Here is the portrait of Keely that is in progress. I'm hoping to get a lot more finished on it this weekend. The last portrait I did of her she was pretty young. She's 13 now and turning into a little lady. She's in love with Justin Bieber, I know that's who she's thinking of in the picture. Oh, to be young again :) She is also a darn good basketball player and loves participating in sports. A lot like her Mama. Anyway I am enjoying doing this portrait. I'll be updating again soon.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


I had to get back to drawing and I finished this Hibiscus last week. It's weird but drawing for me is mandatory to keep me sane. I didn't realize that before until I slacked off. I've come to the conclusion it's an outlet for me. A way to relieve stress and maybe a form of meditation. All I know for sure is...I need it. I suppose it's better than drugs :) Maybe it's Gods way of saying, look, I gave you this talent you'd better start using it! So here's my Hibiscus. It's 8" X 10" and done is colored pencil and ink.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Time and decisions

I hadn't even realized it has been a couple months since I posted on here. No, Alzheimer's isn't setting in just yet. Just tons of crazy happenings.
Ed will be back at work Monday, but still with only a 4 day week. He's been keeping busy around here fixing everything that has been breaking and backing up. I don't know what's going on with that, he had to replace the water heater, then pipes kept breaking in the basement, just to name a few things. After that was all done we started getting lots of rain and the flooding began. Yesterday he was busy with the floor drain in the basement, had to rent a rooter to fix that again. The good thing is, he can do all this stuff himself. For now anyway. Eventually,he's going to have to get his ankle treated. I think one day soon it's just going to give out on him and he won't have a choice in the matter. He has been walking with a limp for a long time now.
The good news is we just had our 25th wedding anniversary.  When the going gets tough, we stick together and when things are good we appreciate it. It works.

Friday, May 28, 2010

ACEO portrait

Today was the last day of school and the kids and teachers were going crazy :)

I did my first ACEO portrait last week and I'm just now getting around to putting it on here. It was strange working on something that small compared to the size I usually do. It didn't turn out too bad, I guess, and I plan on doing some more. Maybe I'll make a series of them. It was fun to do. It's all colored pencil. The title is "Hope" and she's 3.5" X 2.5".

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Kariann & Cloud finished

I'm calling this one finished now. It's 20" X 16" and will be delivered soon. I'm pleased with the way it turned out and I'm happy she likes it :)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Going, going, gone

Here's my baby Eli, going to sleep with his favorite monkey. It's a nightly ritual. He gets the monkey in a headlock, has the top of it's head in his mouth and he drifts off to sleep. I call it the sleeper hold :)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Kariann & Cloud progress

I've been working on the portrait more this week. Cloud,the cat needs more work and then I'll be going over the whole portrait again. It is 20" X 16" and completely colored pencil. I don't know how much I'll get done on it today. I'm helping my daughter pack things in her duplex, she's moving next weekend. Hopefully, we can get all the things she doesn't need immediately packed and labeled in boxes and they will be somewhat organized.
So, stick around for the finished portrait. Here's where I'm at so far.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dreams and Goals

I got little more finished on the portrait I'm working on. She still doesn't know I'm doing it for her. I've been doing that along with scheduling and goal setting, getting ready for this summer. Tonight, I wrote out my dream life along with my obituary....I know ;) I'm using the book "The Artist's Guide" How to make a living doing what you love, by Jackie Battenfield. This is a couple of the exercises in the beginning of the book. The obituary thing I just changed to, "My Celebration of Life" just seemed easier to me. I know I'm starting this late in life but I don't want to think about dying yet, I'm just getting started. I spent the time writing out my dream life, which is yet to come, and turning around and writing my obituary didn't fit anywhere in my dream life. A celebration of life...I could do that. But it all makes sense really, you have to know where you want to go before you can start going. The next step is writing goals, that, I'm looking forward to. My mind gets so full of all the things I want to do that the ideas just get lost in the crowd. Writing goals down and doing things step by step only makes sense to me and after writing my dream life and the celebration thing, helps to figure out what I really want to do and the steps I need to take. So the book is kind of like a coach or mentor keeping me on track. I will follow it and do the steps along the way. I am going to be pushing it because I am so ready to get started.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Kariann Update

The weekend is finally here! It's been a good week, except for the trip to the emergency room. The broken blood vessel in Ed's eye still looks scary but it's not bothering him and he should be back to normal in a couple of weeks. I try to look at the good in everything so..... it's a good thing it didn't happen to both of his eyes, he would look possessed. I can tease him about it now, before it scared the heck out of me.

The portrait of Kariann is coming along nicely. I'll be working on it more today and tomorrow, that's why I live for the weekends, lots of uninterrupted time to work on art, even if it is till wee hours of the morning. So the last update was hair and eyes, now her face is coming into view. Still needs more shaping and color but she's there. Her cat is staring at me patiently. I'm saving him/her for last.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Change of plan

The plan was to work more on the portrait this evening. Well, as the saying goes, "If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans". Granddaughter needed a ride to and from softball practice. Then when I got home I had to take Ed to the emergency room. Luckily, as it turned out, it wasn't serious. It just looked really bad. A broken blood vessel in his eye. All is well now and I will have an update on the portrait soon.

Kariann progress

A little bit more hair accomplished. Tonight, I'll be finishing her hair and moving on to her face, or that's the plan anyway. Her hair won't really be finished since I'll go over everything once I get further along. By the way this is my niece, as of now she doesn't know I'm doing it for her. We'll see how long it takes her to see it and if she reads my post :) I'm off to my other job now.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Red hair & cat in progress

This is on my drawing table now and what I have spent the day doing. Red hair and cat eyes :) I have a thing about getting eyes on paper first, so that's what I did with the cat. Then I couldn't resist getting to work on the girl's beautiful red hair. So it may look kind of odd now but it's coming along nicely.

Central Iowa Artist Coop

I spent most of the day with my granddaughter yesterday, something I really love to do. We went shopping and stopped by Central Iowa Artist Coop Gallery in Merle Hay Mall. Steve Baier and Shawn Palek were doing a live demonstration. They were painting an underwater fantasy city, the focus was a beautiful mermaid. It was looking good the last I saw it. My granddaughter described it as "sweet", and it was! I like to watch artwork come to life. It shows the time it takes to make it happen, plus it's just fun and you get to meet the artist. This was unique having two artist combine their work.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Pastel Flower

As promised, I'm posting the flower I did with pastel pencils. I also added gold and silver ink around the edges. The pencils are chalk pastels, a lot different than the Prismacolor or Polychromos that I'm familiar with using for a drawing. It was an experiment, not only with the pastels, but also black paper, just to see the effects of different types of pencils on black paper. It's 12" X 12" and I'm not sure it's a dahlia, so it's just a flower for now.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pencil trial

I've been trying my hand at pastel and watercolor pencils. I bought a bunch of them last summer when an art gallery was closing and had them discounted. I'm just now getting around to using them and so far I'm kind of liking both of them. I'm doing a dahlia on black paper and the pastels are looking good. The watercolor pencils look much better on white paper, in my opinion. It's good to try different things now and then, but I'm still sold on my colored pencils, I just like the detail, especially in portraits, maybe because I've been using them for so long and I'm just use to them, or maybe, it's hard to teach an old dog new tricks.
Summer is coming up fast! School will be out in about 7 more weeks. I have been busy with artwork along with working at the school. I plan on entering more shows and exhibits this summer. It will be a nice change after being confined during the winter with all the snow. This time of the year I always start drawing flowers, it's just good to see them again. I'll post the a picture of the dahlia soon.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mason Jar

Not my typical drawing but a drawing none the less. Occasionally I do like to mix it up and throw in a still life here and there. Began and completed March 30th 2010. Titled; "Mason Jar" (pretty creative title huh?) :) It's 12" X 12" on black paper.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Time for myself

I have the audio book "The Success Principles on my Ipod. I know most people use their Ipod's for music. I have some music on mine but mostly audio books. I love reading, sometimes it's just easier to listen to audio books. Anyway, I like the book "The Success Principles". I've been consumed with it actually and making notes of things I should be doing to get organized and get myself going. Since I'm that into the audio version I had to buy the book too, so as soon as Barnes & Noble opened I was on my way there. The book is much thicker that I thought it would be, about 450 pages. I thought to myself this is going to take forever to get through! I do recommend it though. I've already got a lot of helpful advice. It spells out 64 helpful principles used by successful people.
It's a good book for me. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in doing artwork that other parts of the business is ignored. I also pick up the book, "The Richest Man in Babylon". I've been wanting that book and just kind of forgot about it until I saw it at the book store. I was on my way to the checkout counter and just saw it as I was walking by, so I had to get it. I figured it was there for me to see. Nothing is a coincidence.
For the past couple of weeks that's what I have been doing, educating myself, not only in art but also other things that need my attention, including my family and the dogs of course. So I'm really not having a dry spell, I am preparing and learning :)
The memoir I'm working on has also been helpful. I'll be the first to admit I know very little about writing a book and to tell you the truth at this point it's not so good. It doesn't matter though, it's good for me. I will continue to work on it, re-writing and adding to it. I might even change the whole thing, I don't know.I do know it has been beneficial to me. The past has brought me to where I am today and now I understand that it all happened for a reason. Even the fact that I'm writing the memoir is something I'm suppose to be doing. I think everyone should write a memoir.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Portrait drawing and Patience

It's been a busy week but a fun week. I've been going over plans with my artwork and learning different techniques. I had even thought about doing something else besides portraits, that thought didn't really last that long. I can't stop doing portraits. I am going to add to it though with more portraits of homes and buildings along with the people and pets.
I like doing artwork that brings up feelings. A home does that just as much as a living person or pet. A childhood home is a cool thing to do and has lots of meaning for the recipient. I guess there are a lot of things that fits in that category, like the yellow rose that my mother in law grew and pampered. My real area of interest in artwork is something that brings up a memory for a keepsake that has special meaning and I love doing expressive portraits. Portraits can be a challenge but I love doing them. The definition of "patience" is; "the ability to endure waiting, delay, or provocation without becoming annoyed or upset, or to persevere calmly when faced with difficulties." That just might be my definition of portrait drawing too, but it's so worth it and so rewarding.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Back to work

It's the end of spring break for me. Back to the Kindergarten class tomorrow. Not that I haven't been keeping busy this week. The time flew by but I did get some things accomplished. I got a lot of things organized in my small studio (aka, a corner of my living room) I've reviewed my bucket list,got my hair cut,went over my schedule again being that will soon be changing when school is out. I finished my memoir and sent it to the Editor and updated my blog.
I listened to "It's Never Crowed Along the Extra Mile" audio book, by Wayne Dyer, it's pretty good. I like all of his books and usually take my ipod to bed with me and he talks in my ear as I go to sleep :) So it was good to listen while I was fully awake. I'm re-reading "I'd Rather Be in the Studio", by Alyson Stanfield.
I did not accomplish the dreaded dog bath. I guess I'm too much of a push over when it comes to him. He will be cleaned this coming week. I've called in back up :) Plus the weather will be warmer so we can bathe him outside.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The first artist in history?

Wiki answers says; "Of course we do not know. The first 'artists' painted animals and sign on cave walls. They may of course be called pre-historic. Before the 12th century painters did not sign their work they were considered workers like carpenters or bricklayers. All this means that we do not know who we might call the first."
I know! I know!(waving my hand in the air frantically) The first real artist is God.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Why I'm drawn to portrait drawing

It's in the eyes. When I look at a photograph of a person, pet or anything with eyes for that matter, that's the first thing that attracts me. Even in real life I'm looking into the eyes. Eyes do their own talking by showing joy, fear, excitment, sadness, confusion, peacefulness, evil, kindness, any kind of emotion.
If I get the eyes right,I've captured the personality. When I get a subject looking straight forward in a photograph, the eyes of the portrait will follow you around the room. I find that awesome.
There's no particular color I like best, it's not about the color, it goes deeper. Maybe I believe the eyes really are the windows to the soul. Don't roll your eyes now, but when I do a portrait I actually talk to the subject I'm drawing and their eyes talk back to me. Not out loud, but you know what I mean. There is something special in the twinkle of an eye. Of course I have to get the rest of the face right too otherwise it wouldn't look right. That's another thing that attracts me. The detail in the whole face has to be precise,especially in a person.
I am not a perfectionist,nor am I a professional portrait artist (although I'd like to be) but I do like to capture a good likeness. It's a feeling of accomplishment and of course I like to see the response of the client. I can tell by their eyes and of course their smile or sometimes tears when they are happy with the portrait. That makes me happy too. ;) wink

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Dog Bath

The dog bath didn't work. He's not going to get in the tub, not even being coaxed by a left-over pork chop in the tub. I took the doors off the shower, put a towel in the bottom of the tub, ran about 4 inches of water in the tub and laid the pork chop in the soap dish on the other side of the tub. He wanted it but not bad enough to get in and I could tell he was going to panic if I did manage to get him in it, even though I was standing in the tub showing him how nice it was. So on to plan B. The basement has a floor drain. I can take him down there and hook the hose up to warm water. That should work better. So he won that round and I gave him the pork chop anyway for putting up with me. Tomorrow is another day. I'm confident I'll be victorious.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Website and Fan page change

I took down my website and the facebook fan page. It was getting too much to keep up with. I do have my blog though which covers everything I'm doing and it's free, so it just made sense to me. So I'm still around, just with less things to work on. Hence, more time for art and writing :)
I'm on spring break this week. So far I've been busy with job searches since school will be out May 29th, I'm looking for employment...again. So if you know of something let me know. If it's good and I get the job, I'll do a portrait for you. :) Such a deal!
I do plan on taking a day or two to groom my dog, Kirby. He's so huge and uncooperative when it comes to grooming. I'm going to try to get him in the bath tub. Yep,that should work....I'll take before and after pictures. There probably won't be any difference with him. I'll need before and after pictures of myself.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Book in progress

The book is in progress and coming along and I'm finding out it takes a lot of hours and hard work to write a book! It's funny how much you recall once you start digging in and bringing up memories. Things I haven't thought about for years are still there, never forgotten just pushed back. Exact dates are hard to figure out but to me dates aren't important really. I do have it down to time frames and that's good enough. It's turning into more of a Narrative style story anyway. It's actually been kind of good for me, I think, even though I have broke out with shingles and I'm thinking it's because of bringing up the past. I've always been told I've never had chicken pox, now I know I definitely must have had them. My art work is waiting on hold for a little bit. I do miss it though so I may try to divide my time up between the two, well three since I work too, oh and the things I need to do at home too. So between the four. It all keeps me out of trouble. I guess that's not necessarily true now that I think about it :)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Pretty Pumpkins

After a goof on my part she is ready to go to Kentucky. To be honest I hate parting with her. Somehow I get attached to these portraits :) I learn with each one I do. I have another one waiting for me to do and then my Keely girl wants one of her. So, I'll be busy for a while. One of my goals this year is to take another workshop. Hopefully I can find one not too far away. I titled this one "Pretty Pumpkins" 20" X 16".

Sunday, January 31, 2010


The past couple weeks the past has barged back. You know how you can get a whisper to do something and if you don't listen it gets a little louder and then really loud. Well, that happened to me. Too many things have happened recently that I can't shrug off as being coincidental. I don't know the purpose of it all. I guess that answer will come later. So, I'm writing a memoir. I know a lot about the subject and nothing about writing a book. I was just going to write, and then, God sent me an Editor. I kid you not! I hadn't even thought about an Editor. A very nice lady I know informed me she was an Editor and offered to edit it for me. That's proof enough for me I need to listen.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Not a winter person

I don't think I've ever been a winter person, not even as a kid. For me sledding and ice skating were OK as long as it wasn't cold outside, so of course I didn't do either of those very much. I did like waking up and seeing the first snow fall of the season, (looking out a window).

This winter so far we've had tons of snow. We had an ice storm which coated the trees and everything else including the snow already on the ground. Yesterday ice chunks were falling from the trees along with tree limbs. I was ducking my head driving home from work because of ice falling all over, like that would do any good :) The ice looks like broken glass laying on the sidewalks and streets. Today we're getting rain. But you know, with all the terrible things going on in the world stuff like this is so minor. I realize I'm actually blessed to experience the weather. Here in Iowa you never know what's coming next and even though I don't like it, I know it will change.