Friday, August 28, 2015

Books and Stuff

For days now I have been cleaning and reorganizing my studio. How did I ever collect so much stuff?

The job has taken longer than it should because of the books. I have a large collection of art books that need to be reduced. I sorted them into three piles – keep, sell and maybes. It’s the maybes that have taken the most time because I have to go through them all, sometimes just flipping through pages, others are put aside to be read again.

Books have always been a very important part of my life. I grew up with a den full of books and a library within walking distance of home. Today we still have a den full of books, plus a large bookcase in my office and, of course, another large bookcase filled with art books in my studio.

The art books to be sold have been listed in my Ebay Store and only a few maybes are left to be added after I check them out.

I am also a collector of still-life stuff – old crocks, vintage copper, brass and silver items. Old figurines, vases and other vintage and worn treasures. Chips, dents and cracks only add to their character. Most are remnants of our antiquing days and trips to flea markets and thrift stores. Some are family heirlooms. These are my painting treasures and have been dusted and replaced on their shelves.

It’s so hard to get rid of anything. Maybe I just need a larger studio, or more shelves.

Here is the link to the book section of my Ebay Store  - just in case you need to add another art book to your collection.

Thanks for visiting with me,

Monday, August 10, 2015

Bees, Hornets and Plein Air Painting

When painting outside, bees and hornets are often attracted to your wet oil paint with painful results. If you get stung, relief is right at hand. I thought I would share this amazing old-time remedy with you.

Yesterday I was stung by a small hornet while painting. Ouch! I immediately found some plantain leaves, crushed them between my fingers and applied them as a poultice to the sting. In less than five minutes the burning pain was completely gone. Today there is only a small red area to remind me - no itching or tenderness.

Plantain leaves are easy to find in lawns, fields and along the sides of the road. This humble weed seems to grow everywhere, at least here in the north. The crushed leaves produce a liquid that is good for all insect bites, poison ivy and other skin rashes, minor burns and abrasions. You can also use it in combination with olive oil to make a healing lotion.

Wishing you happy painting adventures.


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Colors of August

This month's painting and computer time will be taking a back seat to canning and freezing. My studio has moved to my kitchen and is full of color.


Strawberries and raspberries have been transformed into freezer jam and sauces. So many reds!

Raspberry Freezer Jam

Today I canned the bushel of Jersey peaches we ordered through our local Amish store. Maine blueberries have also been ordered and I will order a bushel of Pennsylvania peaches in a few weeks. Our vegetable garden is doing well and there are green beans to can and beets to pickle. Red tomatoes, bright green and yellow squash and more. So many colors!

Jersey Peaches before

And after

And we can't leave out the lush green fields and bright blue sunny skies. The abundance of color everywhere. The list is endless. We have so much to be thankful for.

More art news:

I was so pleased to be invited by two well-known artists to join their new art groups on Facebook. Artist Sandy Askey-Adams’ new group, Professional Fine Art Artists Gallery Group and artist Allen Bunker’s new group, Oil Paintings for Sale. Since these are “membership by invitation only,” I feel honored.

Our Virtual Paint-Out Group is visiting the Monterey Peninsula in California this month. I’ve been exploring the area via Google Street Maps and hope to paint a few scenes. I snap digital photos from my computer and transfer them to my Kindle. I can then use my Kindle in the studio.

In September, artist Leslie Saeta will host another Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days Challenge. I hope I will have enough free time to participate. Last year I was too busy with the garden produce to paint as much as I would have liked. I will try harder this year. I find that it is a great exercise in discipline to challenge myself to paint every day. We will see what happens this time.

I hope you are enjoying your colorful summer. Thank you for visiting with me.