Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Family Winners

 Mother's Day was pretty uneventful. Jesse came up and had lunch with us. I fixed fajitas. We sat around and visited. She always brings her little dog, Rosie. Rosie and the new puppy, Rocket are wild. Well, the new puppy is wild. Rosie just snarls and snaps at him continuously. The puppy is a pest, but I love him. He is also a clown and keeps me laughing.

Jesse came back up this weekend and actually spent the night with us. She and I participated in the CTAC Paint in the Park. Last year, I judged it and did not get to participate. This year, I wanted to paint. My little art student, Alayna painted too. Rather than painting in a park this year, we painted the downtown area. I really liked it - so much better than painting in the park and all those greens. Alayna and I met downtown earlier in the week and took pictures and planned our strategy. I am a fast painter and can get lots done in a couple of hours. Alayna is slow and precise. I told her to keep it simple and focus on something small. 

Although it has been raining here for days, the rain held off for us on Saturday morning, and we had great weather for painting. I had tried several different sketches from photos taken earlier and decided to do the big tree on Main Street. Alayna chose a bust from a store window nearby where I set up my easel. Jesse chose a building in an alley. There was another lady who also did the big tree. The lady is a good artist and I had serious competition. But when all was said and done, I won first place.

The top painting is the one I did at the Paint thang, and the other one is my sketch. I like the sketch better. Jesse won second place.

Alayna won third place. Keeping it all in the family! Jesse said that I had cheated ( just giving me a hard time for beating her) by doing the painting at home first. I say it was just good practice :) I actually thought Jesse's was better than mine. Alayna's was very nice too. I am pretty proud of my girls.

Friday, April 23, 2021

Who Could Not Love That Mug?

 My art buddy, Jo, asked me to post some of my mugs. We recently took these cups to Viridian Coffee to sell. When we glaze them, we are never sure how they will turn out. Glaze combinations are fascinating and frustrating. We spend a lot of time on Pinterest looking at other people's glaze combinations. We buy all sorts of glazes to try. Then we just go for it. I take pictures of the mugs when I glaze them and write down the glaze combination. Then when they come out of the kiln, I try to match them up with their before photo to see how the after turned out. Sometimes we hit a winner and sometimes not, but you never know what other people might like. 

My favorite glaze is from Coyote Glazes in Albuquerque. Gun Metal Green is awesome, but it runs a lot - meaning that sometimes it runs off the cup and onto the kiln and then the cup is stuck to the kiln and usually ruined. I have to be careful not to get too much glaze on the mug. This time, I got too little. Here are a couple of mugs with GMG and another Coyote glaze, Red Gold.

You can see that I got too thin on my glaze.
Toby's mug turned out very well with Red gold all over and just the top rim of GMG.
Here is a mug with a GMG rim over Pam's Green. Another favorite is an Amaco glaze called Ancient Jasper. It is similar to Red Gold and very versital. These two mugs have AJ with another Amaco glaze called Smokey Merlot - one has AJ under SM and vise-versa.

Here is a mug with one of my favorites Amaco Red Fire Brick  and Blue Rutile with a AJ band.
Here is one where I put bands of several different glazes. I kind of like this one.Here is one where I took two colors that usually work well and put them together thinking they would be awesome.

They are okay, but not great. We can use this one, but sometimes, we try something new and get total yuck. I have those saved for anyone who wants them or for target practice.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

West Texas Weekend

 With all my CTAC meetings at the end of March and my gallery hanging and show at the beginning of April, things got really busy. Then add my MIL's memorial service and Jesse's art show reception to make things super busy. But we got 'er done. 

The CTAC reception went okay, but not great. Neither artist is from Duncan, although one of them had lived here years ago. That meant fewer locals attending. Covid fear is still apparently a problem too. In my last post I mentioned that one of the artist did not give us many paintings and they didn't seem to be her best work.  Well, two hours before the reception, she called to say that it was too far for her to drive. It is about an hour and a half down the turnpike. She told us that "Dallas forgives her all the time." Never mind that we advertised "meet the artist" and promoted her work. I guess her work is not important enough to promote herself. It was disappointing. When the artist does not show nor does she invite her people, our receptions do not go well. Fortunately, the other artist had several people show up, as well as our regular members. Still, it could have been better. Later, we saw on FB that the Behnaz artist had another show in OKC the next week where she had lots of paintings, and she showed up for the reception. That explains why we did not get her best work or very many pieces of her work. Oh well.

My MIL's memorial service went well. It was good to see her family. It has been a few years since we were all together. My MIL was the oldest of six kids. The first four of which were all girls and less than two years apart. That means that the next to the oldest turns 90 this month and so on down the line. Chances are, this visit with the aunts could be our last, unless we attend a funeral in the next few years.

 Bo and family, as well as Jesse, came out to the memorial service, which was on Thursday. We stayed around and visited family all afternoon, but Jesse drove home to get ready for her show on Friday in Seymore. On Friday, we had a big family gathering for a Mexican breakfast in Levelland at a place called Guadalajara Cafe. It was good stuff! Then we went to the Ranch Heritage Museum in Lubbock to kill time before arriving in Seymore for the art reception. The Ranch Heritage is a very cool place with old buildings, homes, barns, etc. from ranches all over west Texas. The day was warm and windy and it was wearing, which was a good thing for the grandboys who needed to run off a little energy.

Then we all drove to Seymore where we met up with Lindz and babies and a couple of Jesse's friends for supper before the show. One of Lindz' babies threw up several times - first on himself and then on Lindz - so much for dressing up. Toby and I got splashes too. Poor baby! Lindz, the baby, and Toby all changed clothes before the art show. I just wiped my jeans and carried on. Funny how people did not get too close to me - ha!

The art show and the Whiteside Natural History Museum were perfect for each other. With Jesse's whimsical animals and wildlife paintings, her art was great for a museum full of dinosaur bones and taxidermy animals. It was one of the best museums I have ever been in. It was amazing. Jesse's art sold like hotcakes. A really great reception! Her art will be up for three months, if you get a chance to drive through Seymore. 

Wednesday, March 31, 2021


 Wow! I can't believe it is the end of March. My little art student turned 16 in January. She told me that she felt 16 was almost over and she was headed to 17. And that 17 was a boring number. Now, 18 was more exciting. I laughed at her, of course.  But I kind of understand her feelings. March is my birthday month. While I had a nice birthday, I didn't get to have a whole month of birthday. Maybe that is because 63 is a boring number.

My puppy present has been wonderful. I love this little guy. He does not like to be left alone, though. He can handle a little alone time, but not hours of it. He gets anxious and all or our potty training goes out the door.  So, I have been taking him with me if I am going to be gone very long. I took him to the CTAC Cow Patty Bingo last Saturday. No one minded when he helped measure the grid - taking the tape measure and pulling it around.  They all thought he was cute. When I took him to my CTAC meetings on Tuesday, they may have thought I had lost my mind. He fidgeted a bit, but then settled down for a puppy nap. Today I have been home and he has done quite well. By the way, his name is Rocket.

This week has been busy with CTAC stuff. On Friday, we have an art reception for the April-May show. We have two women artists who are very different in style and maybe ability. It has caused a rumble in the running of things. Personally, I don't care. It is art. It is different art. Maybe people will not like it, but it is what it is. One of the artists does very nice portraits of ladies as well as nudes. We asked that she not send any full frontal nudes. Once again, I don't mind nudes, but lots of people do. We are not NY City or even OK City. We are small town, Bible belt folk who depend on donations from local people. So, I think we may have made the artist maybe a bit irritated. She sent very few paintings and they were all rather similar and dull. On the other hand, the other artist is lively and fun and an art therapist. Her art work is not genius. It is modern - whatever makes you happy. And it is happy, but maybe not great art. It is an odd show, for sure.

Next week, we will be traveling to Levelland, TX for Toby's mom's memorial service. Then on our way home, we plan on stopping in Seymore, TX for Jesse's art show at the Whiteside Museum of Natural History. She calls her show "Home on the Range." There will be lots of jackrabbits and buffalo and such. 

We went to Amarillo to see my sister the weekend before last. She was doing well after a little surgery. We stayed in an AirBnB rather than a hotel, because we took the puppy. The AirBnB was a nice place, but not very comfortable or private. We might have well stayed with relatives and been more comfy. We did some shopping down on Route 66, ate good food, and even did some hiking in Pala Duro Canyon.  Then we went to Levelland to meet up with Toby's sisters to make plans for the memorial service. Pretty much the plans were all made when we got there and that was great. We had an excellent breakfast at a place called the Guadalajara Cafe. I love a good Mexican breakfast. We will go back to this place when we go for the memorial service.

Speaking of memorial service, my SIL's mother died a couple of weeks ago. She was 99 and quite a lively woman. My brother, Jesse, and I went down for her memorial service. It was mostly family members since she had outlived her friends. The service was held in a Catholic Church in Weatherford, TX. The church had ben built in the 1800's and was small and funky. The priest was a happy, little, gray-haired man from Ireland - a bit like a leprechaun. Afterwards we went to my SIL's house on the lake for a good old Irish wake. Wake on the lake! It was a good time celebrating someone who was a good person and had a good life. May we all live such lives. 

Friday, March 12, 2021

Birthday 63

 Another birthday has come and gone. I am glad. It is good to have birthdays - the alternative is not so good. I always look forward to my birthdays, maybe because I am a little spoiled, maybe because it is a time to get together with friends and family. I love the calls and texts and Facebook messages. I can no longer control what my kids do for their birthdays, so I have to plan parties for myself :) I had about ten ladies over for lunch and visiting.  With this corona virus, people are happy to get out and come to a party. Four of the ten ladies all have birthdays within a day or so of mine. This is not the first time we have celebrated together. It was the first time to do so at my house. That meant lots of cleaning for me. I am not a very good housekeeper. Truly I needed a reason (I am the great procrastinator) to do some deeper cleaning - by that I mean dusting, mopping, going through piles of stuff - more than clean, but less than mother-in-law clean. I had the ladies all bring food - sort of a potluck. All in all, it was fun, but it wore me out.

I could tell you about all the little gifts I got, and they were nice, but it was the bigger things that I will tell you about. First, I bought my self some new pastels. They were on sale and came with some pastel paper. Go ahead and ooh and ahh. Then I asked Toby for a new chair. The chairs around my art table are old wooden antique chairs from NM - interesting, but hard to sit on for long. Toby bought me a new office type chair - rolls around, soft and cushy, padded, no arms. More oohs and ahhs. And then (drum roll) I got a new puppy.

He is a rat terrier from the Decker line, which means he is a rat, but will be a bigger rat than we have had before. He is a puppy and needs lots of puppy time and training. I was hoping my other older dogs would help with this, but they have turned their doggy noses up at the new pup.

We tried several names. The GGs called him Batdog - like Batman, because his ears are big. Bo called him Bruce for Bruce Wayne. Everyone liked the name Bruce. Since his ears are rather pronounced, I thought Radar was a good name. I also thought Handsome Rob (from the Italian Job). Each day, I have called him different names to see how they felt and if they fit. I think his name will be Rocket. He does Rocket around here, and he launches himself off the furniture - although I guess Batdog would work too. I am not sure anyone else will ooh and ahh over my puppy, but he is pretty special.

I have not done any pottery since Valentine's Day. Actually, I had done quite a lot of cups before VD and then did another 30 or so for VD. I doubt Viridian needs more cups yet, but I am missing my zen. Then I took on a commission for a friend who asked me to paint the view from her home on Hilton Head Island. It's a beautiful view and not difficult to paint and so I said yes. Still, commission work keeps me from painting my own creations, but the money is always nice. I'm glad it is done and I can do some pottery.  Here is the finished piece.  It is actually a little brighter than this shows.  Oil on 24x48 canvas: 

Saturday, February 20, 2021


 Have you ever met someone and your spirits so clicked that you wondered if you knew them in a prior life? Maybe you had been part of the same outlaw gang. Maybe you used to rope and ride in the same cowgirl rodeo. Maybe you were both warrior queens in the Scottish Highlands. 

I've been on an aisle at Walmart and said something crazy and outrageous to someone whom I didn't know, and they answered me back in the same way so that we both went into whoops of laughter. You may never meet again, but you know you just met a kindred spirit.  Sometimes the connection is not quite so wild. Sometimes it is more of a feeling of peace and ease. In fact, you may not have that much in common on the surface, but there is a like-spirit there - as if you have known each other for a long time. It is more of a sisterhood thang.

I have a friend now, that I often think that it is probably a good thing that we did not know each other in high school/college, because we could have been really bad together. It is probably good that we have mellowed in our older age and have come together without causing a todo. I also have a friend that I'm pretty sure we would not have been good friends in high school; we are so different. Yet, I love the differences in us. Somewhere deep down there are like spirits that reach out through our differences and spark.

I love it when I feel that spark. Today I met a lady and had an enjoyable conversation with her, but there was not that spark at all - no recognition of spirit, whatsoever. Although the conversation flowed well enough, it felt like work. As Jesse would say, "Ackward! She was a very nice lady, and I am sure we will meet again and feel more at ease with each other. I will work on it. But I really like it when there is no work to it.

Sometimes I feel such a difference of spirits with someone - so very ackward - that I just give up the work and let 'er rip. I might as well be me and give up all pretense of fitting in. That can work well. It is kind of like laying yourself out there and seeing if they pick up what you laid down. If they do, great. If they don't, nothing lost. (Please don't grammar check my lay/laid use. It is not important to me to check on it myself :)

There are those friends that I have felt ackward with in the past, but it was well worth it to push through the ackward and find out who they were and discover like spirits. Maybe some people are deeper than others and you have to dig to get to the real them. I think I must be fairly shallow, which is not bad. I know the connotation of that word, shallow, is not good, but that is not how I am using it. Maybe "simple" is a better word or "open". I would like to think so, anyway. 

The gist of this is that I love it when there is a spark of recognition between spirits and friendships are easy. I don't mind working at friendships. Ackward is tough, but not un-do-able.  Of course, it takes two people wanting to be friends to make it work. If only one is working at it, chances are the friendship won't go far, but that may be another blog post.