Friday, October 22, 2021

Returning To The Lakes

It is quite a compliment when someone you know personally commissions work from you.
I am tickled I will get to visit this painting this weekend while on a journey north. 
Thought you might like to see some of the process shots for this piece.
This is one of two pieces I did for a couple's home in Bethany Beach, Delaware.
She wanted it to be reminiscent of the lakes around their home without looking like 
"stereotypical beach art". 
(Note: this photo is at my house, before delivery.)

I love using vintage ephemera in my work. This Rachel Carson book was a great candidate. 
This thrift shop treasure had a broken back and soiled pages so I didn't feel the least bit guilty about cutting it into pieces!

Carson's prose is lovely, as are the pen & ink style drawing used to illustrate sea and shore life. 
I selected pages and passaged that pertained to the Chesapeake Bay and the Delaware watershed and set them aside.

While you don't need Art to Match Your Couch, it IS nice to have coordinating hues in a room if you are looking to continue the calm d├ęcor and feel of the existing space. 
One way to do that is to take all the colors in the room and use them in the background of a piece. 
My intention was that they should peek through the finished piece and speak to the other elements in the room.
This can sound easier than it actually is. 
The photo above is three and four layers deep!

I then thought about how to add the paper. 
I settled on shapes that echoed the leaves of the neighborhood tree lined lakes. 
Others have mentioned they see schools of fish or wave patterns in this step. 
I love how art is open to multiple interpretations!

Many layers of paint and glazes later I blocked in houses in the neighborhood. 
This added a small jolt of familiarity to the abstract and provided a smile to the homeowners because they know exactly what part of the lake this represents.

Here is the finished piece. 
Outwardly simple but full of layers, effort, depth, and meaning.
I feel it is symbolic of our relationship with our "happy places" in this world 
and how we need to be good stewards of them.
I would like to think Rachel Carson would approve.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Guess who is coming to visit?

It has been such a blessing to have friends and family vaccinated, and feeling good enough to travel!

 My family and I just invested in some new beds for the extra bedrooms. (The recently graduated kid is wondering why we did not upgrade until he left with a bed but is enjoying the new accomodations.)
There are a few things you can do to make your guest room comfortable for your long awaited guests.
We have a sign in our guest room with the wifi password and a reminder where the extra blankets, towels and toiletries are.
While I confess one of the dressers is full of household misc., the other dresser is completely empty so our guests can unpack and not live out of a suitcase. 
We also have a comfy chair, a lamp and a small table in case someone needs an impromptu office set up.
Something that is somewhat unique to our house is a step to hop up into this extra tall country pine bed!
We have layered linens, added extension cords for chargers, sorted blinds to block out the sun, found a luggage rack, upgraded our overhead fan, fluffed both feather & foam pillows, stacked up a plethora of reading materials and are grateful for renovated bathroom. 

I will confess some of these additions came about when one of us had to sleep in the guest room post surgery and realized what was lacking.

So if you wonder if your guest room is good enough for your sainted mother in law or your particular friend, try spending the weekend in the room yourself. 

Then you will be sure your house feels like a home and your guests will feel like family.

Friday, October 8, 2021

It's that time of year again! Pet Portraits for the Holidays

What do you buy for the person who has everything, including an awesome pet relationship?
A pet portrait of course!

Enjoy these examples. You can find out all of the details to order by clicking this link.

 For more examples and how to order, click here! Be in touch with any questions!

Friday, October 1, 2021

Time, ten states, and thinking about the future.

This past week was the six month anniversary of my father passing away. 

Like so many others that have lost loved ones during this pandemic (though mercifully not from covid in our case) milestones, anniversaries, memorials, and celebrations all seem to be changed forever.

This clashing really came home to me this week as my husband Bob and I returned from a mask and sanitizer laden car trip to New England and back that we dubbed the #stifelandcapratenstatesojourn .

In the ten short days (that felt like ten years because I don't leave the house much during covid as I am a chubby asthmatic with a heart issue) we saw loved ones and laughed and talked and ate and ate and ate.

We also heard of babies being born, covid infections, confirmations of wedding dates that have been postponed multiple times, covid hospitalizations,  retirements, new homes, cancer diagnoses, new jobs and covid deaths. All in a week. Talk about the proverbial circle of life.

One of the things I miss most about closing our retail store is the seemingly mundane interations of hearing about peoples daily lives. As Stifel & Capra was a "go-to" store when people were buying a gift they would inevitable tell us about the occasion they were celebrating. It was always so good to share my clients' joys and sorrows.

Talking about this with a writer friend who is starting a coaching career made me think how I miss these interactions. Without a monthly schedule of events to write about I had let both my newsletter and my ever so sporatic blog posts drop. Then when the pandemic hit I felt trivial. 

No one needed my goods when they were battling for their lives.  No one needed my sunset photos when the sun rises and sets on all of us.

I did not take into consideration that I have never sold what was considered essential to living, only things that are essential to me for a Good Life. 

Talking with Coach Michelle made me remember how much I enjoyed interacting and sharing with people about their lives and what I was up to as a creative. I needed to find a way to get back to that interaction. Social media can be grand but it is not always personal.

Normally at this point I would talk about turning over a new leaf but if you have read this blog at all you know I have attempted to do that in the past on a regular basis. Sharing goals make you accountable after all, right?

I have realized that for me the opposite is true. 

Whether it is self sabotage or something even weirder that "public goal thing" does not work for me. So I will begin again and see whether you can detect a pattern. 

Let me know if and when you spot it. 

Thanks for reading,

Wishing you health and happiness,