Friday, August 31, 2007

"Passed" Painter of the Day

'Tis the season for making and creating seasonal offerings and I've been thinking "Fall" for awhile now (not just the season, which I love, but Fall creations). On the right is a peek at one of those 'Fall creations' I've just completed.


Joshua Johnston (sometimes spelled Johnson), is this Friday's "Passed" Painter of the Day. Joshua (1763-1824) was a Freeman, or freed slave who supported himself through his portrait paintings. Although there is no documentation, some think he may have been a house servant to another portrait painter, possibly Charles Wilson or Rembrandt Peale and learned from their work. Nonetheless, his talent speaks for itself.
There are 13 known works of his to date. And, perhaps to supplement his income, he worked as a blacksmith as well. (I think I would have preferred painting over the job of a blacksmith!)
His backgrounds were usually painted in dark colors to contrast the softer shades of his subjects. Aren't Edward and Sarah Rutter sweet?

Not much is known about Joshua's life, he lived in and around the Baltimore area, but, according to the census, moved quite a bit. One thing is for sure, he was a gifted painter and others recognized his talent.

Have a wonderful 3-day weekend, and please stay safe!

Reference: 101 Masterpieces of American Primitive Painting, from the collection of Edgar William and Bernice Chrysler Garbisch © 1962

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Primitive Gathering Fall Auction on Ebay

Starting today, (Sunday, August 26th) the Primitive Gathering group on Ebay: Primitive Gathering of Kindred Spirits, or PGKS, will be having a Fall-themed auction on Ebay all week. Just click here: PGKS , or type the letters in the search box on Ebay and you will find wonderful hand-made wares from the talented artists in the group.
I've not had an auction on Ebay for a few months now, just taking the Summer off I guess! Here are my offerings for the week:
(Just click the titles to visit the auctions)

Autumn Blessings Banner
This banner is made using the same process as the floor cloths, and measures (from the pocket-dowel to the mitered point at the bottom) 3 ft by 16.5 in.
It can be displayed inside or outside under a porch or entryway.

Pumpkin' Jack
Little Jack is made of paper clay and muslin, and has a thread hanger on his back so he can hang or sit (with a little assistance). He measures 21 inches long and has custom-fit, hand-sewn clothing. He comes with a "pumpkin wand", also made of clay. Thanks for peeking! It was a little cooler today, hopefully that means Fall is on the way!

Friday, August 24, 2007

The Middle Name Game

My friend Elaine tagged me for a Name Game, and since we've started home school this week, I've not had a chance to do any reading for, or research of a dead painter for my Friday posts "Passed Painter of the Day"...and since it is Friday...I'd rather play a game!

Here are the rules: Players, you must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had. When you are tagged you need to write your own blog post containing your own middle name game facts. At the end of your blog post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

I've never really liked my middle name (sorry Mom, well....while I'm confessing, I've never been crazy about my first name either!) I actually dropped my middle name and started using my maiden name as my middle name when I got married...but for this game I'll use my given middle name, since it's the shorter of the two!

P- parent of two boys who actually did really well this first week of school!

A- always ready for my morning coffee!!!

T- the wife of a wonderful man

R- really loves to paint

I- interested in more things than I have time for

C- cooks as little as possible

E- enjoys eating the meals my husband cooks

Ok, you probably thought that name wasn't going to end, huh? Well, now I have to choose 7 other players...
Lorraine, Cathy, Pat, Kathy, Manuela, Lana, Wendy

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! It will be our first one without a home improvement project in quite a while!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

20 years and an Award

Today, August 22, my husband and I celebrate 20 years of marriage! Happy Anniversary honey! (We gave each other a bathroom as a gift!)

And a very sweet blogging friend, Manuela, The Feathered Nest, gave me an award which I will pass along. At first I wasn't quite sure about this award, but then I read the definition:

" The Power of Schmooze Award is for bloggers who effortlessly weave their way in and out of the blogosphere, leaving friendly trails and smiles, happily making new friends along the way. They don’t limit their visits to only the rich and successful, but spend some time to say hello to new blogs as well. They are the ones who engage others in meaningful conversations, refusing to let it end at a mere hello - all the while fostering a sense of closeness and friendship."

Thank you, Manuela....she makes it easy to chat on her blog, she is so nice and has wonderful, inspiring posts about decorating, gardening, and fun excursions.

I'd like to pass it along to my friend Lana, Honeysuckle Lane's~Simple Joys~, who started me "blogging" and is a dear friend. She usually plays Lucy to my Ethel..."encouraging" me to try new things!

I've met so many fun, interesting, sweet, and creative people through blogging! So, "thank you" to all of you for stopping by and posting a comment, I enjoy reading them.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Bathroom is DONE!!!

This Friday we frantically finished the bathroom in anticipation of the arrival of our guests. It was like an episode of a home makeover show, but we weren't the home owners getting the makeover. We were the designers, contractors, building inspector, and clean-up crew...rushing around finishing trim, connecting plumbing (ok, that was my husband's job!) and I cleaned up and inspected!
It has been a long 7 weeks and we are so glad to be done and so grateful to be able to enjoy a lovely, clean, and so pretty!

Here are a few photos....don't you just love that faucet? It's reminiscent of a pump handle, and the sink is a vessel bowl, which looks like a washbasin. My husband made the cabinet and we painted it a buttery cream color. The bead board wraps around the room and there is bead board made of vinyl in the shower as well. New floor, toilet, tub, sink/cabinet, and walls. I'm so happy with it, I haven't decided where to place things for decorating...I might just admire the newness of it for awhile!


Our online charter school starts today. So it's back to home school for us, the summer is over... (the vacation part, not the heat!). But at least the "school" has a new bathroom!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Primitive Gathering

The 15th is the update for The Primitive Gathering.
Please visit to see what wares are offered by all of the artists!

I've painted profile portraits of a wedding couple, Arthur and Constance Bennett. They met at a garden party and it was love at first sight!
I also used their portraits in small frame charms and made book fobs (bookmarks) from pretty tapestry ribbon. Here they are on the right.
I'm hoping to add a few more book fobs to my website this week, but so far the week has not cooperated by giving me any time to do it!

Hope your week is being more cooperative and you're having a good one!

Monday, August 13, 2007

"Life's A Beach"...and other things

~Thank you to all of my dear blogging and online friends for the "Nice Matters" award nominations. I feel VERY blessed to know each of you.~

Today on American Folk Art
the theme update for August is "Life's a Beach" today at 12pm, EST. Now, I must say, that I was having a bit of difficulty deciding what to paint...19th century swimmers in their bathing suits? Hmmmm, nope....Ships sailing into port? Well, that might take me forever painting ropes, lines, and sails. And since I haven't actually tried to paint a "real" ship, it may not look right, so...I'll save that idea for another day.

My friend Lana suggested a little boy sailor and that is what I've painted, thanks Lana!

So please click over for a visit and see all the wonderful offerings for the theme, "Life's A Beach".

This weekend we will have guests arriving, my in-laws are coming to stay for a few days. We are excited for their visit, but now the bathroom remodel has an actual deadline! Here is what my poor husband worked on in the heat this weekend:

And before you get too excited, lol! Nothing is attached, it's like the displays at the home improvement stores! BUT, you can get an idea of the final stages. So, this week we will paint the base, the top is stained and sealed. Then put corner moldings on the bead board and base boards on the walls. Oh, and connect the plumbing!

Thank you honey for all of your hard work! Now you need a vacation from your summer vacation!

And...Today is my older son's B-Day! Happy Birthday, Ethan. We love you and are very proud of you.
(Here he is posing for me to use him in a profile portrait...It sort of looks like a mug shot, Lol! )

Friday, August 10, 2007

"A Kind Word is Like a Spring Day"

......~Russian Proverb

And that is a good thing in this summer heat! I was surprised with kind words this morning from a new blogging friend, Cathy. (We happen to live in the same state!)
Cathy (Hazelruthe's) nominated me for the "Because Nice Matters" Award. Thank you, Cathy.

If I were to nominate others, my "sweet blogging friends" list would be Oh sooo long! Since joining the "blogworld" I've met so many nice and generous people. Women who take to heart this motto:

"Always be a little kinder than necessary." ~James M. Barrie

So I will pass along the nominations by letting my friends know what they mean to me and how they have blessed my life.

Have you had a kindness shown?
Pass it on;
'Twas not given for thee alone,
Pass it on;
Let it travel down the years, Let it wipe another's tears,
'Til in Heaven the deed appears -
Pass it on.

~Henry Burton, Pass It On

"Passed" Paintings of the Day

(I've changed the theme just a bit this week. Instead of a painter, this post will focus on a style of painting.)

Silhouettes and profile portraits were the least expensive style of portraiture in the first half of the nineteenth century. An artist could work quickly and produce a silhouette out of a piece of paper, sometimes folding it in half and cutting two for the price of one!

There were two styles of silhouettes. One was called the "hollow-cut". The artist would snip the profile of the face and place it on a watercolor background. Usually the body was painted using watercolor and the black silhouette profile was glued to the watercolor. Then the fine details of the ribbon in the hair or a comb, were added using paints.

The second type of silhouette was the profile/bust, kind of a "cut and paste" profile. This was cut using black paper and many families used these silhouettes as we would for placing in the family photo album. Here is a page out of a Quaker family's profile album.

During this time, artist also painted profiles with more features and detail. These portraits were painted using color or a neutral palette. Here are a few of my interpretations of these profile portraits. Charity (upper left) and Temperance (who is really from the 18th century with that cap!)

These smaller portraits were not only less expensive for the customer, but were portable as well. These keepsakes could be placed on mantels, or bedside tables and easily moved around for decorating!

To visit Charity and Temperance,...please click here: Profile Portraits

Have a great weekend...we'll be working on the bathroom!

Quaker Family Silhouettes and references for this post:
"Treasures of American Folk Art" by Beatrix T. Rumford and Carolyn J. Weekley © 1989

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Thank you! And the Winners are.....

". . . her heart lived in no cherished secrets of its own, but in feelings which it longed to share with all the world." George Eliot, Adam Bede (pub. 1859)

.....and in this era, she shares them via the internet!

I want to thank everyone for visiting my new website and for leaving such sweet and encouraging comments. I appreciate all of them! This was fun and I hope to have another give-away soon!

My husband pulled the names out of the pitcher and here are the winners in order of names drawn. (I put the names in a birthday gift from my mother-in-law!..a creamware pitcher, isn't it pretty? Oh, just ignore the tennies in the background!)

First Name Drawn: Miss Maddie's
Second Name Drawn:Lorraine T
Third Name Drawn: Cathy~ Hazelruthe's

It was my birthday during the "Gift-Away" week and my family surprised me with a new camera!! I still haven't figured out all the "cool features", but I've been playing around with it. Roscoe, our min. schnauzer, was one of my subjects...although, he was very uninterested in getting his picture taken. I'll practice a bit more and take some photos of our continuing home improvement saga...."The Bathroom Remodel" It's almost done!

Thank you all again!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Pear Tree Primitives~ Gift-Away

~Pear Tree Primitives~
Website Opening...

Please go take a peek!

Pear Tree Primitives

and to announce this opening, I’m hosting a:
"Pear Tree Primitives~Gift-Away"

Starting Wednesday, August 1st, a give away will be open to all who would like to enter. Just post a comment on my blog from Wednesday August 1st through Wednesday August 8th (9pm MDT). And be sure to leave an email or someway to contact you!
3 gifts will be given away and 3 names will be drawn and announced Thursday August 9th on my blog.
Please come and join the fun!
(and tell your friends)

Here are the gifts:

1st Name Drawn: A Profile Portrait
(see top photo)

2nd Name Drawn: A print of a Profile Portrait in a 5 X 5 frame

3rd Name Drawn: A set of 4 notecards

(I'm still having to use my "old" camera, and the photos are not great, so visit the website to see better photos of the portraits I used to make these cards.)

Thanks So Much! I will leave this post up all week and not post again until Thursday morning to announce the winners.
(but I'll probably be chatting with you in the comments section, lol).