Thursday, April 14, 2016

"My New Collection"

So, now let me tell you what happened......

I usually spend a lot of time at my desk, editing, posting, listing, etc.  So, I knew when I finally got a chance, I wanted more time in my studio to paint. The studio is quite large and has room for all of my work & our very friendly cat who checks in often to make sure I'm doing things right, and for a cuddle or two. In spite of the size and contents of my room, it is all reasonably tidy, maybe too tidy. I can seldom get away from the desk to do much else.

So, a few months ago, I took a little winter break, and I was able to get in the studio and paint on an almost daily basis. (Bliss! :)  I also found some time to catch up on some much needed "relax, do nothing, & watch some TV" time. 

One of my favorite shows to watch is the Weather Channel's "Prospectors".  While I don't climb to the top of Mt. Antero looking for rocks, & seriously couldn't if my life depended on it, I, too, am a rock hound! I just l-o-v-e watching them dig by hand or machine, deep into the earth (& sometimes, not so deeply), and pull out what looks to me like a piece of muddy rock. Then they hold it up, give it wipe, let the sun shine on it.....& there it is! 

Beautiful blue Aquamarine, deep, rich Topaz, lovely Sherry Topaz, amazingly green & turquoise Amazonite, awesome purple Fluorite, sparkling clear quartz, & more! And then I started to remember a collection I had almost forgotten about. My own rock collection!

For quite awhile, I had collected, oh so pretty, rocks.  Amethyst, quartz, geodes, & some I didn't even know the names of. One or two were smooth & tumbled, but most, my favorites, were just as nature had made them, some rough, some enhanced by faceting, clean & sparkling, but still closer to their natural forms. (I had even collected rocks in the past at the beach the waves had washed in.)

I loved them! This show had brought back memories & renewed my interest. So, of course, I had to dig them out! Not so hard, since they were in a dish in the studio. As I looked at each one, they were so beautiful!!

Naturally, the thought came to me, "How could I bring the beauty of the stones into my work?" I gave this quite a bit of thought for awhile. I started using them as props for my handpainted seashells. They added another touch of nature, enhanced the colors in the shells, & sometimes literally propped up the shells up so I could get a better photo of them. But, I wanted something more. I wanted to share these stones & the ones I had seen on "The Prospectors" in an even fuller way. I wasn't about to take up actual rock climbing, not many buried gemstones out my way. What could I do? I sketched a few crystals here & there. Played around with all sorts of ideas.....(some still to be shared!).  Maybe taking photos of the shells with the stones helped.  Somewhere in the process, it came to me!

I decided to see if I could paint my seashells like some of the beautiful stones I had seen & even owned! (insert excited squeal here! :) So, that sent me to my brushes & paints..... and my new "Gemstone Collection" was born! Each one will be shared both in my Etsy shop, on facebook, & here as they come out so you can see them up close & learn more about them!

Hopefully, you are as excited about them as I am! Okay, that may not be possible, but I do hope you like them...a lot! :)

My new "Gemstone Collection"....on seashells!


"Sherry Topaz"



Aren't they just "gemmy"?

Soon to be released on Etsy! :)

Please note: While all of my seashells are shown with actual minerals, they are not necessarily of the same type as the painted seashells. When it comes to props, I use whatever works! :)

Friday, April 8, 2016

"A Bit Of A Collector..."

I am a "bit of a collector", I guess.  I don't think I ever really planned it.

In the past, I have collected drawings & paintings of others, museum post cards, anything by Monet and the French & American Impressionists, art books, art calendars, stamps I thought were pretty cool, and state quarters, at least for awhile. I'm sure there were many other things as well.

I have a deep love and respect for nature. Its beauty catches my eye. I have to explore it, watch it, and when possible, without taking away from anything else that needs it more than I do....collect it. As an artist, photographer, and gardener, I guess that isn't too surprising.

In the park, I collect uninhabited bird nests (who can resist?), flower petals that have fallen, and acorns when they are abundant. I bring them home to the squirrels & occasional chipmunks in our backyard. Thankfully, my sweet, under-standing husband, patiently endures and even helps out.

At the beach, I collect endless photos, inspiration, and seashells to paint later. I watch the waves and birds for hours, pick up handfuls of sand, and marvel at the tiny grains and sparkling beauty as the sun shines on it. I love sea glass and collect it when I can.

I am an avid collector of beautiful memories.

I love anything that sparkles or shimmers, and, no doubt, would probably collect raindrops & snowflakes too, if it were possible. I have collected many, many things.

Years ago, I had also started a very special that I had almost forgotten about.

My next post will tell you all about it & introduce you to my new collection with photos :)

See you then!


Monday, April 4, 2016

Hello Again!!!

How can it be almost a year since I was here???! What can I say?  Life has been crazy busy....whose isn't, right?  Obviously, I'm not one of those women who can do it all.  Wish I was!  Though, I do really try my best.  So then, with heartfelt apologies, let me fill you in a bit on what's been happening.....

Last summer.....I have to admit when the good weather really comes, I have to spend as much time as possible outdoors: gardening, painting outdoors, taking endless photos of flowers, walking in the park, or taking long rides through the countryside.  I can often be seen at the local farmer's market, chatting with the locals, buying produce, & leaving with all the flowers I can carry & don't already grow at home. I even got to chat with the lady farmer who owns the field of flowers I ended up in (very happily), when I got lost on a photo shoot in the country a couple years ago. I shared a print or two with her later.  On occasion, I can also be seen snapping photos at the market.  My last photo shoot there in late autumn involved a "sphinx" cat in clothing! (He had a pretty nifty gray "mac" on his head, an orange t-shirt, & a pair of blue overalls. Honestly!) These cats are hairless and actually need to keep warm in cooler temperatures. Sorry, no "model" release to show those pics here. You'll just have to use your imagination.

Autumn was beautiful too, as usual. More walks, in the park, and though this photo was not taken last year, you get the idea of what I do when I bring my camera. Can't pass up gorgeous color, right?

Winter was amazingly mild! So, we kind of "sailed" through that with very little snow & not too much bitter cold.  Although I kept busy through the summer & autumn, too busy to take a real break, both with my shop on Etsy, my shop at Society 6, & I finally joined Pinterest as well! Pin, pin, re-pin...(Yes, it is addictive, but in a good way.) And, later, I did take a little winter "vacation".

So, here we are back to spring again, in spite of the fact that it is 32 degrees outside, & we have had some snow just yesterday. Very little.  But who wants to see snow on the forsythia trees in April?  Not me.

My next post here will be coming very soon, actually, in a day or so! I want to share something special with you, & it has to do with "what I did on my winter vacation".  I took some time to relax. I even "marathon" watched all the seasons I missed of my favorite TV comedy, "Big Bang Theory". I love it!! I laugh so much, the cat gives up, leaves my lap, & sits on a different chair! lol.

But I also spent time each day in my studio painting!

Join me here & on Facebook for the story & pics of what inspired me in my studio & and started my new collection, which I will be sharing with you!

So, good to see you again! :)


You can find me at the links below :)