Friday, September 16, 2016

Fall is my Favorite!

Fall has always been my favorite time of year. The soft sun filtering through the trees starting to lose their leaves and window panes catching a few final rays of sunlight, delights me beyond description!
A new painting of Miss Kitty (accompanied by the photo) and some items for Halloween.
We are working hard on Bowser's Emporium that will travel to Springfield MO in November.
2Friends&junk at the Ozark Fairgrounds. Lots of great stuff!
 Eying .

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Farmhouse decor and Vintage Style Signs

Hot July Afternoon getting some items ready for Bowser's Emporium Unlimited at 2friends&junk vintage/junk show in Springfield Mo. The event is the first weekend in November 2016. It's a great show with an unbelievable amount of vintage junk, collectibles, and MY Art!!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Got Your Goat!

Goats are amazing critters! They are sweet and affectionate as well as curious and entertaining. They are also destructive and sometimes just plain onery! In my post-college years we raised goats--Nubian Goats. And we milked them twice a day. Our children drank goats milk, I made the best aged cheeses I have ever eaten, and baby goats were a constant presence in our daily lives. Then we moved to the city because a job was the reason we went to college. I mourned  as they were lead away to a new home and I have missed them since then. So when looking for subjects to paint I remembered how much I loved goats! Here are two signs depicting goats. They are hand painted-one on old barn wood and one on an oak table top.
They will go to Bowser's Emporium (my booth name at 2friends&junk) in Springfield MO in November.
The "Smokin' Goat" is $300.00 and the "Farm Fresh" is $280.00. They could hang outside in a protected location or be great above a mantel.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Bowser's in the Fall

Sometime back I mentioned that I would add some photos of the progress of Bowser's Emporium Unlimited. Now that school is out we are working on some pieces to add to the collection. Here are some photos I took last weekend. Nothing fancy--just some pieces I love.

Some new pet portraits for the fall show.

More to come in a few days-- we are really getting busy!
Do you think shabby chic, restoration junk, and pet portraits all belong in the same booth at a Junk Show? Leave a comment--let me know!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Lucky Dog
Bentley liked to ride in the truck-always did, even when he was a puppy and Casey was a little boy.

They had grown up together. Casey wasn't old enough to drive yet, but that didn't stop him and his best friend Bentley from going to the back of his uncle's farm and sitting in the old Chevy pickup anticipating when that day would come.The pickup was once shiny green, born around 1951 in a factory somewhere in Michigan. Nobody could remember back far enough to when the truck still ran and now it sat below the old pond bank, the color of rust. The windows still rolled up and down and the seats were still sit-able, if you didn't mind a little dirt and a spider or two. It didn't seem to matter much to Bentley whether the truck moved or not, Casey didn't feel the same. He couldn't wait for the day he would get his license and drive Bentley around with the windows down--all the way. Hanging his head out of the window was a sweet delight for Bentley when he got to ride shotgun in Casey's Aunt Diane's car. After some of these town trips Casey had to clean the dog slobbers off the side of the car--but he didn't mind too much. He didn't mind dog slobbers at all. It was always a wild ride in that old pickup that sat in the field. They went to Zanzibar (only because it was a cool name- they had no idea where it was or who lived there), they went to Alaska to see the bears--because Casey had studied about bears in school. They even went to Mars once, because as we all know if the vehicle you are navigating is running on imagination you can go ANYWHERE!
Those days are long gone now, when children and dogs sat in old abandon vehicles and dreamed of the life they would have--together.
PS When you have your best friend beside you, sitting in an old green pickup, life is pretty sweet.
Above is a watercolor painted from the photograph you see here. Bentley is a beautiful Boxer that belongs to my friend Casey.
To commission a pet painting contact me--I would love to help you create a lasting memory.
And feel free to leave a comment if the spirit moves you!!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

10 Things to Know About Junking.

10 Things to think about, remember, or inspire you when you wrap your life around antiques, collectibles, and junk.

1. Fall in love because there is no substitute for good old fashion passion.
By "fall in love" I mean love what you see, love yourself for seeing it, and fall in love with the interaction you have with objects from the past.

2. Remember every object has a story-- or two. The older the object-- the more stories it is likely to have. I know most of the stories of some of the family pieces handed down to me by relatives. But I am sure I don't know them all. It is good to know the stories behind the tables, chairs, embroidered pillowcases, and cake stands that fill a collection but not entirely essential. For what I do not know I can invent! That is another entire blog post-- my invention of the personal narratives of objects.

3. Trust that someone else will love these things as much as you do.

4.Think carefully before you change something irrevocably.And after you think carefully--do it unashamedly!

5. Don't follow trends--make them.

6. Incorporate the elements of design and principles of Art in as many of your decisions as you can.
Again, this is probably another blog post.

7. Some people will love your stuff and others will not-- do not take it personally. Custom work is not always easy.

8. Know that in this world of plastic water bottles and planned obsolescence there is true value in being the care takers of handmade items.

9. Think about this--sometimes the best stuff is in the worst looking place. I am beginning to see a pattern here. I could take each one of theses topics and do a blogpost.

10. Whether you are "junking"  for yourself, to decorate your home or workspace, or to sell in a small business--- know this-- acquiring things is a journey. You learn along the way. I have never known anyone to get terribly rich doing this but I know a lot of people who are terribly happy doing it! 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Three dogs and a cow!

Three cute dogs and a cow!
Here are some new paintings to add to the blog!
Whether my readers found me through cards at the dog show in Illinois or found me on Pinterest I am grateful for everyone who checks out my blog. It is my sincere goal to write more, paint more, and work on Bowser's Emporium Unlimited store. So don't give up on me if I don't blog everyday or even every week. Summer is around the corner and I will start to really cook then! My show in November will be the main topic of the blog and my life-- I love every minute of this ride! Check Bowser's on Facebook!
Check back later-- I do paint dogs of different colors besides brown.
Three Dog Night?

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Much Ado About Nothing or Something from Nothing

Collection of things from around the farmhouse.
A free gift from the paint store with needles of varying sizes--ideal for the housewife of the 1930s. Paint and needles--what better gifts uh? My Grandmother certainly considered them gifts because they made her life easier. She loved the towels in the Breeze Detergent boxes and the depression glass in the oatmeal box. There are two pictures of my Father here--the top one with the shadow of my mother with the Brownie camera. The other picture of him is with his dog Adolph--years before Hitler made the name a little uncomfortable to use. The metal my father received from General Motors on their first "50 Million" cars produced in America as well as his tape measure in included.
A silver fork, from who knows where, a piece of a door knob mechanism and three old door knobs. Various pieces of wood from here and there--a piece of a lace collar, and a wooden spool of thread. All of these things are setting on a pair of doors with cool hinges.
This is my project for February--what in the world could be made from this conglomeration of old useless items.
Check back at the end of February to see if I can come up with some ideas to make a display/work of art and how many pieces I will have left over. Now where did I put my superglue??

Saturday, January 23, 2016

I Have Always Loved Longhorns

Everywhere you look in Texas there are cows-- from roadside pastures to billboards to sculptures in downtown Ft. Worth-- which is often referred to as cowtown. From the front of t-shirts to beer bottle labels, from wallpaper to wrapping paper from...well you get idea-- there are lots of cows.
There is usually a cow waiting to become a painting in the back of my mind--bright colored ones, abstract ones, and cows expressed in local color.
Commissioned piece
 One of the very first things I remember drawing in pencil when I was in elementary school was something my mother call " the south end of three northbound cows". Cow butts! Cow are trending right now, so consequently I have decided to "paint up a cow or two". When one of my students at school brought in some photos of the family Longhorns we both wanted to paint their portraits. He got busy and did a great job on his first oil painting. He was shocked to find out how much he enjoyed painting-- we laughed about that--he wanted to do a second one! I waited until he was finished to start a painting of the same two cows but mine would be a little different-more painterly with very little background like the landscape in Texas.
 This is the first step--drawing in the shapes on our first snow day from school.
Here is step one
Here is step two--blocking in the Momma cow, placing a treeline in the background, and starting on the calf. This took place one evening after school. A rotisserie chicken gave me a little extra time that night. I LOVE rotisserie chickens!!
Here is the finished painting.
I decided to remove the treeline on the horizon and simplify the foreground so the cows would be prominent.
 I think it is finished--never sure, many times I reserve the right to declare it unfinished again and work on it more. I usually set it up on the same plane as the TV so during down time I can gaze at it and see all the thing I should change. I find myself looking more at the painting than the TV so I turn it off and get out the paints and turp.
The colors are washed out in the last photo probably because of the sunlight coming into the room when I was trying to get the photo--I just couldn't close out the warm sunshine today. The cows were basking in it!
Oh, I see something I want to change already!! Well it is "mostly finished" that is probably the best I can do right now. Hope you enjoy!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Terrarium for Christmas

 Green Stress Management
Terrariums are magical places. A "place" my daughter asked for as her Christmas present this year. I made many terrariums back in the 70's when they were all the rage--a throw back from the Victorian era when travel and the collection of exotic plants captured the imagination of the upper class.
So I called upon my memories and assembled some odds and ends I had collected over the years. A trip to a home decor store for a jar was first on my agenda. Then came the home improvement center for some small stones and charcoal for drainage. The last stop and the most fun was the stop along a busy highway where a bluff had been cut in order to construct said highway. As the cars whizzed by, some honking and waving, I searched for just the "right" rocks to add a sense of the Missouri landscape I was looking for inside this delicate glass jar. Back in the car with a pocket weighted down with a dozen rocks and something I was pretty sure felt like it was crawling, I took off for home eager to begin my "build".                           
After washing the jars (the one on the right was an extra for overflow should there be any) I placed clean sand into the bottom for drainage. Then came the charcoal for purification.
A layer of small round rocks came next--evenly distributed allowing some to show on the sides.

Here is the assortment of rocks and sticks I wanted to choose from to add interest to the "place". Also a few terrrarium plants I bought at a local greenhouse. Start with only a few--it gets really busy in there fast!!You can also divide many of the little plants you buy and arrange them in groups of odd numbers. Also try to place the items, as well as the plants, on varying levels. Do this by mounding up an area in the back of the jar.

The potting soil came next, then I watered it all in. Not too much water, just enough to hold it all together.
From here the placing of the plants and objects began in earnest. Some of the plants needed a little pruning to contain them and give the most esthetically pleasing results. I chose plants that were slow growing and enjoyed a high level of humidity and moisture. I also wanted a variety of textures and colors.
I visually decided on how I wanted everything to fit and started the placement. After everything was in the right location I watered it well and placed the lid on top.

Below are photos of the finished terrarium that was a Christmas presents to my daughter.
There are some interesting Missouri rocks and a large variety of textures and colors. Do not over water this terrarium. It should need very little if you keep the lid on it. If condensation occurs remove the lid for a few hours. Also it does better in filtered light. Strong sun will trap heat in the glass and cause your little plants to over heat.

If you look carefully you might be able to see a woodland creature or a tiny Airstream nestled in the landscape.

Everyone should try making one of these beautiful miniature gardens. They are not difficult to make and can bring a lot of wonder and peaceful imaginings. So make one--kick back with a little soft meditation music, a cup of tea and go to a tiny world where there are no politics. Post a comment is you have questions.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Aslan of Narnia

Getting ready for a Narnia themed project based learning event with middle school teachers. No better way to inspire young authors and artists than a huge portrait of Aslan. I painted this on a wooden panel and attached it to the mounting board at the end of my art room hallway at school. I also posted it on Facebook! The other teachers and I are cooking up (literally--Turkish Delight) some entertaining, educational, and extremely fun filled projects so the students will fall in love with the Chronicles of Narnia like we have.
I will post some pictures as we go along and share our successes as well as the happy faces of our students! Stay tuned!