Friday, May 29, 2009

LuLu is here

Granddaughter Candis and I picked her up after school today. The shelter said she'd been sleeping all day. Well, believe me she has not slept a wink since. She is a little live wire, cheery and fun. She and Nikki have been chasing each other and wrestling and having a ball. In the yard she follows Nik around like a little sister, learning the good places to sniff and peek through the fence. Buddy gave a little growl to warn them that they can't wrestle on top of him when he's napping. It was a Grrrr.... Elder Dog Abuse Alert..... Grrrr... and they dashed off and didn't bother him again. She has to learn that he gets his food dish first too. But the stairs which totally confused her at first have now been conquered, and 4 or 5 minutes with the dogs going in and out and she had the doggie door in her bag. She's doing fine. And since she didn't respond to Lola, her given name - I am calling her Lucy (she's kind of a ditsy red head) but LuLu for short. She already comes when we call her that. Right now we are going to take another walk outside. I want to make sure she learns her manners is thoroughly housebroken. We welcome her to our home and hearts.

Scenes from Micke Grove Art Show

Here are a few pictures from the Micke Grove Senior Awareness Day Art Show. What a nice event and wonderful place to hang out for the day.
Elizabeth is in the hat, Gloria is in t he flowered shirt, Francis and John are in the group photo, and the two tinted photos are Nancy's artwork.

Legitimate at last

I have been thinking about why I went to all the trouble and angst of entering art shows, and even juried art shows at this time of life. Well, I take my art very seriously, and my friends, art groups, and family are supportive, but I think I needed to have it accepted by legitimate traditional art venues. I wasn't thinking of it at the time I decided to go that route, but now that it is over and done with, I believe this is what motivated me. First place awards in four out of four shows. That's pretty damn good for someone who had never tried showing art outside of my comfort zone - La Selva Beach. My aunt Verna Mae would have been so proud of me, it's what she always wanted me to do. And somewhere in heaven she's telling my mom and dad what a big thing this is and they will all be proud and smiling. I was always legitimate, and now my art is too. Cool. This photo is of my parents in their 80's.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Senior Awareness Day Art Show's over time for a nap.

Today was the day. Perfect weather under the oak trees on the lawns, great crowd, good music, good company. I entered three painting/collages and three altered books. The competition was rough this year. Which is a good thing, it means people are having fun painting. Wonderful paintings. I took an honorable mention for "Bread and Butter". Jean J. took a second place in the paintings category for a lovely watercolor. She took a first last year. Some of her students entered their work too. Francis took a second place for three dimensional work for a wood carving. She is so clever with her hands and tools. Then I took a first place for an altered book "City of Bones". Since they are so hard to show, this was a wonderful surprise for me. I'm tickled pink. A lot of people looked through all three books and brought back friends to see them. They were very well used today. A couple people expressed their interest in taking my Altered Book classes in the fall.

Another wonderful thing was that I was approached to discuss the possibility of doing a show or becoming one of the artists at our best gallery in this county. But the show would not be until 2011 - they are fully booked that far ahead. I think I will probably pass on this opportunity, since I'm already 70 and really just into art for the fun of it. Even if I were younger, I don't know that I would take it on. I don't want to sell my best stuff. And I don't like to show the things that aren't as good. Hmmmm....... I'll have to think about this. Maybe there is another way, like a reception. Hmmmm...... I love to show and share my work, so I hate to miss an opportunity to show it. Hmmmmm.....

Another fun thing about today was meeting some other artists and seeing their work. A couple of them are interested in joining the Mixed Media Artists of Northern California, and may even make it to this months meeting on Sunday.

The patriotic piece I took along to work on got a lot of attention also. I used colored pencils to bring out the little people. I'll post a pic later. I'm officially retired from entering shows for the time being. Summer is for fun. Entering shows is hard work. Now, for a nice nap.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Painting update - again

I'm still working on the patriotic piece. Today I found some wonderful images online that I will use for collage on it. I contacted the photographers and got their permissions to use the photos, so it is looking better and better. I painted out the background becaue the flag image sort of got lost on it, and I've added more people alongside the flag. the new images are sitting on the piece - not glued down yet. I'm still saving some finishing touches to do at the senior awareness event on Thursday. I'll do more with colored pencils that day also. the photo of the scout holding the folded flag is by David Blumenkrantz. The photos of the signs with words from the pledge of allegiance, were taken by Steven Depolo. I haven't been able to reach the photographer who took the soldier saluting in lower center. I'll go back and try again and at least I can credit him for the photo here.

May update

I've been in the country again with dogs and friends. A nice long weekend with near perfect weather. How nice to enjoy it without having to rake and clean. Nikki traveled up and back just fine, the first time without being carsick either way. I gave her a small dose of Bonine which is made for motion sickness. She rode well, and arrived in high spirits with no after effects and with a good appetite. Problem solved.

Before we went to the country we had visited the shelter in Lodi with the thought of adopting a sweet little girl to play with Nikki, but unfortunately it was not the right dog for us because of our stairs, and a problem she has with her knee. So, we checked PetsnPals in Lathrop, where we found Lola, a terrier chihuahua mix. Same size and age as Nikki. She won't win prizes for being pretty but she has a very winning personality and will be a good match for a playmate for Nik. They seemed to like each other, and it will be fun to see them tearing around chasing each other and making mischief as a pair. Buddy liked her too, in his quiet way. We will bring her home on Friday after she is neutered. Then we'll get to bond and make sure she understands the use of the doggy door, and how to eat out of her own dish. My dogs, except for Nikki being mischievious, are soooo good. They are not biters or barkers, or even growlers. They are very social with people and the other dogs they have met. Today at the dog park, Nikki's running mate was a young basenji who was there for the first time. We were the only ones there, so it was a good introduction. The owners were very nervous about finding bigger dogs who could hurt their pup - or even wondered if Nikki might be aggressive - some chihuahuas are nippy and feisty. I assured them that was not the case. It made me laugh because Nikki wouldn't know how to be aggressive. A good time was had by all. then we came home and I bathed them in the kitchen sink with a nice shampoo and conditioner. It's a hot day, so it felt really good and they both dashed around enjoying the after bath romp.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Painting progress report

I signed up today for the Micke Grove Senior Awareness Day art show. Nancy and Sally have also signed up. I've been plugging away on this patriotic themed piece and may take it and work on it there during the show. It might be interesting for people to see it in progress, and since it is coming along so slowly, that gives me an excuse not to finish it yet.

What's up?

I've been to the mts twice since last post. Past weekend son and grandsons came along and did a power wash on the trailer and raked pine needles and oak leaves. They also dragged up some things from home that I wanted on the deck there, including some potted plants. Mostly succulents and geraniums that I wont' miss if something eats them. i'll just plant more. It makes it very homey to have them there to fuss over. The place looks wonderful. Nikki still gets carsick. I'll try her on a little dose of Bonine next trip.

We met some new friends up there. Dennis and his little Yorkie pup, BoBo. We walked the dogs together, and everytime BoBo escaped from Dennis' place, he headed right to my place to play with my dogs. Little dog is like a tiny tornado, so full of energy and bounce. And the cutest little ears that stick straight up! I've got to take his picture this weekend. Neighbor on the other side, Rea, was over for a nice visit also. She loves BoBo and wants one just like him.

Yesterday Bev drove her husband's big van and brought Rosemary and Nancy for a day of thrift store plummaging. We had a blast. And of course, I bought another table. Last week Nancy bought the cutest little child's table with the seat inside, wooden with folding legs. She promised to send a picture. My table is a miracle table. Italian, glass top, blonde wood with chrome legs. Two wood framed glass tops that slide out from the center and pop into place to make one long glass top which can easily seat 6 people. It's gorgeous. Cost me $34.57 with my senior discount. We all bought books to alter. I have some fun new titles to work with and will take them to the country to work on. I have the whole summer ahead for playing around. We also bought more stuff for assemblages, which is what I plan to do a lot of this summer also. And I got a few audio books on cassettes to listen to while I work in the screen house studio.

I just got a cell phone - finally convinced I should have one again. this time it is a prepaid one so I have no monthly charges and enough minutes paid for to last the full year or more. Now, I have to figure out how to use it.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Power to the People

This painting came to mind yesterday, when I found our Mixed Media Group has a patriotic challenge this month. I had so much fun with the small figures in the Lathrop painting, that I just wanted an excuse to play with little figues again - so this is how far I've come so far. This is probably about 8 hours of work. There will be more done on it another day, but I'm satisfied to have the skeleton done. It's drying now. The alternate title is United we Stand.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Dancing the happy dance, but holding on to a chair.

Good news. I took first place in the Lathrop Art Show mixed media division for "Only the educated are free" piece. I called to tell them I'm not feeling well and can't be at the reception tonite, and they gave me the news over the phone. I'm having an inner ear problem, so it's hard to be upright - I get dizzy and nauseous. But, I'm thrilled at winning this particular show. Both of these wins were with fresh new works done especially for each show. Is this making a difference? It must be. Or, the mixed media works are being more widely accepted. I'm really proud of both of these works, and so I really cared about winning acceptance so they could be shown. Whoopeeeee!!!!!

You have seen the pics of the progress of this piece as I worked and reworked it. so, rather than bore you with another picture of it, here's a chocolate treat, just for you. you can celebrate with me. I've been getting emails and hear you want to see the photo on this post, so I'm adding it now.

Nancy's new work

My friend Nancy took a photo of her mom and aunts, altered it, and gave each of them a personalized mixed media piece for Mother's Day. It is a charming piece and looks much better in person. Here's a pic.

Sure sign of Spring

My little transplants.

Got fish?

Here's another new pic I bought. You can use it too. isn't he a little cutie? Reminds me of my boys when they were kids.


I just bought this image on Ebay and want to share it with my online friends. Feel free to use it.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Summer toys coming out to play

Matt has Candis' ski mate ready for action, and his jet ski loaded on the back of the truck. They'll be off camping at the lake this weekend and out on the water.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Bird painting/collage

I took this old bird mixed media piece that I was never really happy with, and made lots of changes. Here is the new version. Still some tweaking left to do, but almost there.


I planted a borage plant 5 or 6 years ago because the flowers are such a beautiful blue color. Every year now they come up all over the garden, in the paths, in the planters, in the pots. They are easy enough to pull, but they are so prolific! I keep a few where they come up if they aren't in the way, and love to see the blue flowers and the bees they attract. Buddy likes to eat the leaves, which seems very strange because they are prickly. The big black carpenter bees love this flower. At the same time the mexican sage is in it's first bloom, attracting the hummingbirds. Although my garden is small, I have the pleasure of watching nature there with these welcome visitors. This is a borage plant, standing about 3 feet tall.