Friday, May 29, 2009

Jade is a Canine Good Citizen

Over the past few weeks Jade has been working hard to earn the AKC's Canine Good Citizen Award which certifies that a dog can be a respected member of the community using good manners in the presence of people and other dogs. Dogs need not be registered with the AKC to train and test for CGC. This test would be a bit premature since Jade hadn't quite completed the entire seven week course. However, since we hope to leave Florida within the week, we thought it would be good if she could get her award and be ready to start Rally-Obedience when we return in the fall.

Ready to give it a go Wednesday evening, we arrived at the gym where a number of dog training classes were being held! At this point I must say we simply cannot praise our trainers May and Russ Inman enough! They are great! Also, their wonderful Golden Retriever, Molly, and Golden Doodle, Espresso have been so helpful in Jade's training for the past weeks! We met our AKC Evaluator, Jennifer Pingleton and her dog, Logan. Jennifer's and Logan's calm demeanors instantly put us at ease and we were ready to start the tests. As we entered the ring, May invited the rest of the class to take seats on the bleachers and watch! Oh...Oh...More pressure! Ha! Jennifer is very professional and conducted the evaluation with competent enthusiasm. Thank you, Jennifer! We are so thrilled Jade did well! What a sweet, hard working girl she is! After receiving the award, May presented her with a fuzzy bright pink squeaky toy and does she love that toy! She squeaked it all the way home and is asleep with it under a front paw as I type. I think she knows she "earned" it! Thank you, May! Also, our thanks to Al and Ileane Taylor who introduced us to Peace River Dog Fanciers! We look forward to seeing all of you in the fall!

And, by the way, Jade's DNA test (mentioned in a previous blog) proved her to be a PB German Shepherd...not a Belgian! Who knew?! We don't care what she is, she's our precious girl!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Pennsylvania Landscape

8" x 16" Oil over Acrylic on wood panel

This is my entry for Karin Jurick's Different Strokes From Different Folks Blog Challenge Weeks 35 & 36 working from a black and white photo. We were encouraged to choose our own colors and to be creative! I'm afraid I fell into what Karin calls "the boring trap" using mostly traditional colors for this landscape. It didn't start out that way! First I chose a high chroma palette with the idea of getting into the pure joy of color! Maybe I would have blue and purple grass, or possibly red and orange and so off I skipped into Creative Color Land. In no time at all I was lost...and looking for the comfortable light green, dark green, etc. I don't do many landscapes and the ones I paint usually have a palm tree somewhere! Realizing it's color and value that energize a painting's function and that I was in the deep woods, green grass was looking better all the time! With my style being "Romantic Realism" the path seemed a natural way to enter the painting (remember I'm coming out of the deep woods)! Also a little lake beyond the barns? Why not! This was adventure! Thanks Karin!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Painting Finished?

Oil on canvas 36" x 24"

The painting is signed. Hopefully that means this painting of our son sailing "STILLWATER" in the Gulf of Mexico is finished. It's so difficult knowing when to stop and say, "That's it...that's all I can do". Actually...with the ropes, maybe a few more strokes? Will give it a few weeks and look with a fresh eye. This one is for us. It's going to live on our wall. Ed is a wonderful young son, husband and father. We are so proud of him and I never tire of painting him and his family.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Did I OD on HGTV?

"The Bird" 30" x 24" Acrylic on Canvas

Usually when I'm painting in the studio, Richard Schmid, Roger Bansemer, Helen Van Wyk or other much accomplished artist talks to me via DVD or laptop and hopefully their remarkable words of wisdom are finding their way into my long term memory and eventually to the tips of my brushes! However, sometimes the HGTV channel is my painting buddy. Its fun to watch the decorators make "art" in a matter of minutes! Actually they do create some nice pieces for temporary use until homeowners can shop for the fine art that will someday decorate their walls. Thus my inspiration for "The Bird".

On a bicycle ride around the neighborhood a bird graphic as a logo for a gated community caught my eye and an idea was born. Came home, grabbed an old pre-used canvas and went to work ! In no time at all I would have a wall decoration incorporating room accent colors! Thinking gold leaf would be a nice touch, a metallic gold pen from Michaels was a faster option. A quick trip to Home Depot for lattice strips for a frame, some black spray paint...a little help from my husband, and that troublesome wall is no longer bare! The HGTV staff would be proud! Actually this summer we may commission a wall sculpture for that space but for now..."The Bird"

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Little Joe

Detail Gouache on gessoed WC Paper

I sat down a little while ago to drool over the new Springmaid Beach Watermedia brochure for the Fall '09 Workshop. Someday....I wistfully tell myself...Someday I will make it to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in the fall for Springmaid! Five paint and paint and paint!

Carla O'Connor A.W.S.-D.F., N.W.S. ( is one of the instructors again this fall. A few years ago I did take her workshop here in Florida. Was wonderful. She's a crazy lady! Lots of fun but serious about art! I just looked through some pieces ...mostly unfinished ...from that workshop. Today I am posting "Little Joe". This is gouache on dry gessoed 140 lb Arches paper. I absolutely love the hair and beard! As I recall, working from one of our own photos, we were given 15 minutes for this exercise...and then it was on to the next one! No time to fiddle and piddle...Carla's compositions are based on the figure stressing a strong bold design using the human figure for inspiration.

Carla is only one of a number of award winning artists participating. The drawback for me is that it's strictly "watermedia" no oil...however, maybe I can deal with that since acrylics are often my medium of choice anyway... so....Someday...