Monday, December 31, 2007

Welcoming the New Year

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas with friends and family. We stayed close to home. Our weather brought more snow and blustery winds, and although it was fun to wake up to a "White Christmas", it's not fun to drive in!

So, I decided to use the break to do something I resolve to do each more organized! A few weeks ago, my son had a dentist appointment, and while I waited for him I picked up the latest issue of Better Homes and Gardens . It had so many great ideas for organizing that it got me inspired. (I bought my own copy so there wouldn't be any excuses!)

Our home is small, aka: our "Colonial/Farmhouse Cottage", so if you walk in and put the mail on the table, or put your coat on the sofa, it automatically looks cluttered....anything out of place makes the whole house seem a mess.

So this past week, I've been cleaning out closets and rearranging things so "everything has a place" and a purpose. Now if I can get everyone else who lives with me to have the same New Years might just work!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Merry Christmas Wishes

This week has been a little crazy! Getting special orders finished/ family and friends Christmas presents made and shipped out.....I know I'll be ready for a break next week, as I'm sure most of you will be too! Thank you all for your kind comments and encouragement on the Mary post. I appreciate them very much. I'll post something new next week....surely I'll have a story to tell after Christmas!

Wishing Everyone a wonderful Christmas with family and friends.
May your time together be a Blessed time of celebration.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Mary and the Babe~ The Painting Process

My husband requested a painting for our church's Christmas Eve program and order of service for the bulletin. So, I asked him to find a photo or a painting of something he had in mind. He chose Roberto Feruzzi's painting entitled "Madonnina"! No pressure there! He said, not to worry, just to make it look like the faces I paint...well, that's all I CAN do!

Here is Roberto Feruzzi's beautiful painting and click HERE to read about the story behind it.
(I can't seem to get Mr. Feruzzi's painting to enlarge, so please visit the website for a larger view.)

I thought I'd take you through my painting process.
(I was told this didn't sound boring when I mentioned to my friend I was thinking about blogging about this! So......we'll see how many click on through!).

Now please remember, I'm self-taught, and this is just my way of doing things. I'm sure a trained artist would chuckle at my process, but it works for me!

When I start a painting, I always start by drawing my subject. I wish I could just "paint what's in my head", but I have to visually see something to draw it. So I will usually look at another painting, photo, or take several objects from several paintings and compile a composition.

Since my husband really liked Madonnina, I didn't change too much of the positioning and composition. Here is my drawing based on the painting:

I then use that drawing and trace it onto my canvas. So when a customer requests a painting that has previously sold, I still have the drawing to use for their painting.....(but no two paintings are ever alike, and as you can see in the photos, my painting isn't exactly like my it's a "varied" art!).

And now the painting begins! I usually paint the background first, (bringing the paint around the sides), and then paint one part at a time. For example, on this painting, I painted the cape then the the scarf, then the faces.

After I "think" I'm finished with it...I tend to look at it for a few days and tweak it here and there. Then I seal it and it HAS to be done! going back after that!

So, not too scientific, or secretive...just my simple process. And now my husband has some artwork for his Christmas program!

It is freezing here, literally! (I think tomorrow's high is 32!). Stay warm, and have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Stockings, Swaps and Surprises

Whew~ it's been a busy week! Lots of activities for the boys and our online school....but, after a "rushing around town" sort of day yesterday, I came home to a package on my front porch!
I joined a Secret Stocking Swap with the online group I sell through: TDIPT Mercantile

Anything from any of these talented ladies would be such a treat! And I was NOT disappointed! I received such a wonderful box of goodies from Paula of Hidden in the Attic.
Every gift she sent is absolutely beautiful! She is a very gifted artist and I feel so spoiled by her generosity! Here take a peek at what was inside:
(Please click to enlarge each photo so you can see the descriptions)
(I've been wearing those warm red socks all evening!'s cold here!)

Thanks so much Paula!

Mary and the Babe are finally finished.....I'll post a photo and the painting process tomorrow.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Santa Dog

Hope you had a great husband and I had the rare opportunity to go antiquing~alone! So I didn't quite finish Mary and the Babe, (Mary doesn't have eyes just yet!). We had fun poking around a few shops. Found an oval frame to use for a future silhouette painting, and a few other little trinkets. I also finished decorating for Christmas, and as I did...I spotted the Santa hats! Poor Roscoe didn't even get a chance to wake up from his nap before I had it on him, asking him to pose! He is most cooperative after a are a few pics from his "photo shoot"!
(Roscoe is our 9 yr old white miniature schnauzer, and a really good sport!)

Friday, December 7, 2007

A Little Tag

I've been tagged by the very talented Cathy of Tadpoles and Teacups to list 5 random things about myself. If you would like to play....consider yourself tagged!

1. I used to be obsessive about cleaning my home...until I had kids!
(now I feel a great sense of accomplishment if I can put things away and sweep the floors once in awhile!)
2. I don't have a favorite color. My boys think this is strange. If I had to choose would be white (Click Here if you want to read a "scientific explanation" of the color white). To me, white means I'm free to paint any color I choose!
3. I love the history and provenance of "old" things. And love to make things look "old". My boys think this is strange too!
4. I ran the Houston marathon when I was 18. I'm not an "athlete" by any means....rather uncoordinated if the truth be told. But my Dad was a runner and inspired me to train and try it.
5. Cooking is not something I enjoy. I wish I did, but I just don't have the seems I have a million things I'm doing at once when I'm cooking and I can't concentrate! So, my husband cooks most of the meals, so I can concentrate on those other million things!

Hope you have a great weekend....stay warm! I'll be finishing the painting Mary and Baby Jesus, as per request by my husband for our church's Christmas Eve program and hopefully have something to share on Monday.

Monday, December 3, 2007

~*~*~* A Winter Wonderland *~*~*~

When I pulled out the Christmas decorations this weekend, I noticed a definite preference in my decorating choices for Christmas. I guess I never realized it before, but I tend to fall for soft, white, round men! (Sorry honey!)
As I carefully unwrapped each snowman from his tissue paper and bubble wrap and set them on the dining room table, it occurred to me that I might have a problem! Oh well, I guess I'm a softy for a top hat and a carrot nose!

(I'm having techno problems with my photos. I can't get them to enlarge, so you'll have to take my word for it that I have "several" snowmen on the buffet!)