Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Enjoying Northwest Arkansas

Since we moved, we have been busy unpacking and taking care of moving details that take so much time. But last weekend we were able to get out and enjoy some activities.  We moved from a small town, so there are many opportunities for different types of entertainment and dining in this part of the state.  I am trying to take in and experience a variety of things.

The weather was beautiful this past weekend, so it was a good weekend to be outside.  Friday evening and Sunday afternoon, we were able to enjoy great seats at the Razorback baseball games in Fayetteville at Baum Stadium.  The Razorbacks won both of the games we attended.   In the photo above, the Razorbacks were celebrating a homerun.

Saturday, my daughter and I had some shopping to do, but we wanted to enjoy lunch on a patio before we did that. We decided to head to downtown Fayetteville to have a sandwich on the patio at Common Grounds.  I decided to order their Almond Chicken Salad on a Croissant and I was not disappointed! It was very good! And because we were on the patio, I got a good dose of Vitamin D...which I could use more of, after being indoors so much over the past several months.

After lunch, we wandered down Dickson Street to see what the Fayetteville SpringFest was all about. We found a live band playing on the stage, and belly dancers performing in front of the Walton Arts Center! I wasn't expecting that! Both the band and the dancers were talented and interesting to watch.

After our walk down Dickson, we went on to finish our shopping so we could get home to cook dinner and watch a movie.

Sunday, we went back to Baum Stadium for the last ball game of the weekend. The Razorbacks won 2 out of 3 games for the weekend. In the photo below, you can see the teams congratulating each other in the end of game series ritual.

I enjoyed getting out of the house and taking in a few of the sights and activities of Fayetteville. Although we've been living here for a month, I still feel like I'm here to visit.  Hopefully that feeling will go away as I learn more about places to go eat, shop, and get involved in activities.

 Until next time...

Beth

Monday, March 31, 2014

On THE Move


Putting the Sign in the Yard!
I've been talking about wanting to sell our house and move closer to my family for several years now. Although I've been wanting to move for awhile, the timing wasn't quite right...until now! We put our house up for sale in January, in the middle of a rough winter, for us anyway, thinking that I would have several months to get ready for THE Move.
Packing the art supplies! 
At first, things were slow and I thought it may not happen now either. But after one month of being on the market, the right people came along and wanted to buy our house! Yay! Great, but they had to sell their house first. Okay, that gives us a little more time to get ready, start planning and packing. But less than 2 weeks later, they had sold their house and were wanting to close on ours by the end of March! Oh my! That was fast! So...fast forward to the end of March...we have moved across the State, to Northwest Arkansas, and closed on our home of 18 years. It has been a hectic month! We have been unpacking for over a week now and still have a lot of boxes to go through, but it is beginning to look and feel more like home everyday. So, I feel like this was one of those life changes that happened when it was supposed to happen. So I'm looking forward to seeing where this Chapter in our lives takes us.

My goal this week is to unpack and organize the rest of my studio.

Packing the truck!

Unpacking the art supplies!



Saturday, March 8, 2014

Ready for Spring in the South too!

Like everyone else, I am ready for Spring. I love to have some snow during the winter, but we have had more than our share of ice and sleet this year. The latest was a little more than anyone could expect.  We had another ice storm, but this time it was sleet. I've never seen so much sleet piled up! I've seen snow pile up, freezing rain bend trees, but not this much sleet.  This March came in like a lion with a winter storm!  It sleeted buckets 6 days ago and my yard is still covered in the frozen stuff as you can see in the first photo.  The second photo is from the front after 2 days, with no melting.
My daffodils are peaking out from under the ice so I'm hoping that the next few weeks bring in plenty of beautiful spring weather our way!  It's going to be a busy Spring!


Spring is the time for plans and projects.” 
~Leo Tolstoy

Beth

Friday, February 21, 2014

Whimsical and Custom Clay Tiles

I've been making clay tiles for about 6 years now. The first ones that I made had fish themes. Then I decided to make a whimsical house on a tile, which led to custom house tiles and my little mini clay houses.  I gave a whimsical tile to a friend of mine for her birthday several years ago. Then she bought another one from me. Then she decided she wanted to have a set of 3.  So I recently completed the final one to go with her set this week.  
New Whimsical Tile

Pictured is the final one, then the set of 3.  She plans to hang them on the wall.  Some people put them up on an easel.  

I also just finished a custom tile of a customer's house.  After remaking it once (because of cracks that developed), it finally is finished.  

The very first custom tile I created can be seen in a post (here), way back in 2008! 

So now it's back to the drawing board! Have a nice weekend! 

Beth
Set of 3 Whimsical Clay Tiles
Custom House Tile

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Travel and Colds do not mix!

My To Do List keeps getting longer and longer and to keep up I must work everyday.  So what would keep me from playing with paint or clay or drawing? Why...of course...I come down with a cold!  I had planned a trip to visit my sister and I even packed my paint and supplies to work on a painting (for her) while she was at work. I got there and we had a good visit the first day, even though I had this tickle in my throat. No problem, I figured it was my sinuses. The next day I wake up coughing and not feeling so great. No problem, I'll just stay in and work on the painting all day.  That night I began to feel achy and still coughing and felt like I had a fever. Not good.  Not only did I not want to spread my germs to everyone, I like to be home when I'm sick. So I packed up and came home. So now I'm looking at my unfinished painting and my To Do List and still coughing.  Wishing that I could have stayed for my entire planned visit, which was going to include dinner with friends.  Wish I could be there!  But I'm sure they wouldn't appreciate it if I gave them my lovely cold.

Now to find my positive self and to work on my to do list..cough cough.
Background for Painting
on Canvas


 More pictures to come on the painting. I did this before I left on the trip and worked on it more while there. But I don't want to reveal it until I'm finished!

Beth

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Painting...the walls

In between working on some art projects, this is what I have been painting for the past week! I have painted many, many rooms over the years.  It usually takes me a day or two to finish. This time, I had to take time off to finish other projects and to recover. I think that I have a pinched nerve in my lower back, so bending over to tape, paint, pour paint, climb the ladder and all the other work that it takes to complete this DYI project is wreaking havoc on my back!
The 'sports theme' room had a wallpaper border at the top. I tried to remove it, but it didn't want to come off very easily. After soaking, scraping and scraping and resting and scraping some more, I removed about 8 feet in the corner and 4 hours later...I decided I would try to paint over it.  After 3 coats of paint, it looked just fine. So I didn't hesitate to continue to paint over it. You can see, in the photo collage, where I started painting over the border.

This room has seen some wear and tear over the years! It was my son's bedroom for 17 years. It has had a sports theme border on the wall most of those 17 years.  I believe there were many sports played in this room! It was rough!  It doesn't look like the same room anymore.  It has a fresh coat of paint and curtains on the window.
I still have some trim to paint, but that will have to wait until my back feels a little better.  I'm glad to have it cleaned up and put back together. Hopefully it will help to sell the house soon.
Now back to the fun painting!

Beth


Sunday, February 9, 2014

From the frozen South...

Yes, it's February. Yes, it's winter. Yes, we do have cold weather...but...

usually not for such long stretches at a time!  It is just sooo COLD!
 I love snow, but we haven't gotten more than an inch (at most) of snow.  We did, however, get quite a bit of freezing rain, sleet, maybe a few snowflakes a week ago and it is still frozen.  Today is the first day that it has gotten above freezing since last Saturday, when it was in the 60s for one day! It was a tease though. Today it has gotten up to 33.  So some of the ice is melting. But another round of freezing stuff, hopefully snow, is predicted for tomorrow.  So it will be another few days before we see a heat wave in the 40s!

I've been spending more time trying to stay warm this week.  But I have managed to get a few things accomplished with my art.  I have some custom bowls in the kiln. I have two tiles waiting to be glazed.  I am working on a custom letter doodle design similar to these two shown.  The custom one has things that are personalized for a gift. I
will show a photo of it, when it's complete.

I also have some pen and ink orders to work on, so I have a busy schedule for the rest of February.  Let's just hope that we get some thawing out weather soon.  This Southern girl needs some sunshine!

Beth


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Painting the Past

Old White Farmhouse
#5 Watercolor Painting
11 x 14
This house does not exist anymore, as so many old homes from the past.  I was asked to paint it, so childhood memories could be preserved.  I used watercolor with some touches of colored pencils.

Even though I didn't get 30 paintings in 30 days completed, I'm still going to count my paintings as I go through the year.  This one is #5. (I posted #6 yesterday.)  I hope to get at least 30 done. But we'll see.

You never know what the year will bring. I have come to realize that we can't guarantee tomorrow.  I will be attending a funeral of an artist friend this week.  He had a long productive life, but it was suddenly cut short.  But he did make good use of his time on earth and created beautiful art and architecture.  Gus will be missed.


 Beth  

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Challenge? What was I thinking?

Simplify

"Peacock Rescue"
#6 - Acrylic on Canvas
16 x 20
Word for the year...Simplify. So what was I thinking when I took on a 30 painting in 30 days Challenge? Well, I guess I thought that nothing unexpected would come up and that I painted everyday.  Of course, none of that is true so here it is the 27th day and I have 5 small paintings done, plus the large watercolor commission that took several days, not one...and another painting 'rescue' (shown here), and a few colored pencil illustrations that do not count, because they are not paintings. (at least in this challenge) Oh, and some clay projects along the way.

Problem #1 was that I started painting with oils, which I do not use much, I quickly realized that the drying time is not something that I am used to. I usually use acrylics, which dry quickly.  I need that learning curve to work more in oils.

Problem #2 was subject matter that interests me. I fight with myself over which direction to go...realism or abstract/surrealism/whimsical.  Although I enjoy some realism, I really enjoy the surreal to abstract. And I diagnosed myself with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) because I tend to get bored doing the same thing all the time.  I'm sure you could tell by looking at my variety of work!
See paintings for the challenge that I did accomplish:   #1 here   #2 here    # 3 & #4 here    # 5 coming soon  #6 See 'Peacock Rescue' above ^.

Problem #3 was that life happens and unexpected trips away from home occur.  Family illnesses, family emergencies all take priority over a self imposed challenge.  Period.  All of which has happened this year/month.

Problem #4 ...which is really not a problem, but a blessing! I have customers who commission me to create for them! So those projects take priority over my painting challenge pieces.  Commissions are Good. Commissions = buying art supplies and paying the bills!

Problem #5 is that I feel like a failure for not completing this challenge, BUT, I can change the rules. I will continue to paint, but the 30 in 30 days is not gonna happen.  But that is okay. I'm not going to beat myself up over it.  Maybe I will get 30 paintings in 300 days? or less. Or maybe one large painting can count as 4 small ones?   I can't guarantee that I will do 30 though, because I am going to stick to my word for the year...

 ...Simplify

Beth..Art with ♥ 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

No. 3 & 4 Paintings for 30 day Challenge - Baseballs

Baseball #1
I have drawn many baseballs over the years. My son played baseball, so we had lots of baseballs laying around the house.  So I decided to try to paint one or two with oils.  I thought that I would  paint two small 4x4 canvases with baseballs, so they could be displayed together. I am thinking I need a third one, but that will have to be another day.  These two still need some touch ups. I need to darken the shadows on each ball. Also, Baseball #2 is not quite round enough, so I need to adjust that too. But I need the paint to dry some before I can do that.  But for now, I will post these for the 30 paintings in 30 day Challenge.



Baseball #2
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