Tuesday, July 26, 2011

New Paintings for Etsy!

Sneak peek time, y'all. Here's just a few of the original watercolor aceo paintings as well as a small original oil painting. These and some others will be listed in my Etsy shop this Friday, July 29th, at 2pm central time. Thanks for looking and I'll see you Friday!

"Turned Round to Face the Bright Sunshine"
watercolor on paper 2.5" x 3.5"

oil on masonite 4" x 6"

watercolor on paper 2.5" x 3.5"

"She was Creating a Monster"
watercolor on paper 2.5" x 3.5"

watercolor on paper 3.5" x 2.5"
"As Night Fell"
watercolor on paper 2.5" x 3.5"

Sunday, July 24, 2011

My Month of Traveling Part Three: Texas Gulf Coast

And now for the last trip of June: it's the semi-annual, no-holds-barred trip to visit the old homestead and my family. There was the annual July 4th party, a trip to the beach, the arrival of my mom and dad's new toy (a camper trailer and truck!), lots of visiting and trips to town. No fireworks, though--there was a burn ban in effect because of the drought.

The prettiest cow in our longhorn herd.

Downtown Bay City; the south side of the Square.

Crossing over the Intracoastal Waterway on our trek to the beach.

The kids at the beach! The water was warm, but rough and the beach was CROWDED. I don't think I've ever seen that many trucks on the beach. There were lots of people getting stuck in the soft sand.

Sunset at the old hay barn.

Nomming on some homemade peppermint ice cream, yum!

As always, there's a lot more pictures on Flickr.

And on Wednesday I'll be posting some sneak peeks of new paintings for my Etsy update on Friday, July 29th!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

My Month of Traveling Part Two: Little Cayman

My brother Doug and his fiancee Stacy got married on June 11th on Little Cayman. Ricky couldn't afford to take off work, so he stayed home and his mom (who was in town from CA) watched the kids. So I had a Caribbean vacation of my very own! I missed them, though. Maybe if I win the lottery we can all go back.

But anyway, the trip was amazing. I didn't know what to expect: tons of tourists and crowded beaches, I guess. But Little Cayman is so tiny and remote (plus this is the off season), there were very few people there except residents and there's not very many of those. The wedding was the talk of the town that weekend, so you know there's nothing else going on! The island has basically one restaurant, one grocery/hardware store, one liquor store, one policeman--you get the idea. The island is only a mile wide and ten miles long, most of it undeveloped.

So Doug and Stacy, my parents, and most of the other wedding guests stayed at the Southern Cross Club (the wedding and reception were there also), but my grandmother, aunt Kay, cousins Alan and Paul and their friend Nicole and I stayed at a trio of little cottages about a mile away down the beach. Food was incredibly expensive, so it was good that Kay and I had brought a lot of cereals, dried fruit, peanut butter and such with us. We bought bread and milk and butter and cheese at the local store and freaked out at how much everything cost, because of course it all has to be brought in by plane or boat.

But it was beautiful. The sun was very intense; I was slathering on 50 spf sunblock at least three times a day and still got fried, so I broke down and bought a funny floppy sunhat at the liquor store. It helped a lot. The colors in the water were gorgeous: vivid blues and greens and turquoise. I went swimming every day and snorkeling, all just right there at our own beach, literally just a few steps from the porch. The water was wonderful: warm and clear and quiet; our part of the island is surrounded by coral reefs, so there's no big breakers or large waves, just smooth water. I saw probably twenty or thirty different kinds of fish, and an octopus!

I took so many photos, at least 1800, so if you want to see more there's an album on Flickr.

On the little puddle jumper flight from Grand Cayman to Little Cayman, flying through the remnants of a storm while the late afternoon sun filters through the clouds and hits the water.

Sunset on my first evening on Little Cayman. This was taken from "our" beach where our little bungalow sits.

And here's the cute bungalow we stayed in. There are two guest cottages next to it with one bed and bath each, while this main house has a kitchen, bedroom, living room, and bath. And it has a big screened-in porch that wraps around two sides of it, facing the beach and water. The "yard" is just sand.

The water was just incredible. Photos don't do it justice. It seems like the colors there are so intense and bright and vivid...

Bougainvillea growing next to our cottage.

The long pier near the place my parents, my brother and his fiancee, and other wedding guest were staying. The brownish patches in the water are turtle grass.

Doug and Stacy!

It was a simple and very sweet ceremony. I'm so grateful I got to go.

One of my last sunrises on Little Cayman. I was up at ridiculous hours every morning, usually around 5 or 5:30 am. But I got to enjoy these gorgeous sunrises!

So it was a fantastic trip and the wedding was wonderfully low-key and relaxed, and everyone was having a great time. It was just nice to be lazy and swim if you wanted to, or sit in the shade and read or draw, or go for a bike ride, or whatever. I loved it. Hopefully I can go again some day and take the kids and husband too!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

My Month of Traveling Part One: San Diego

I hadn't seen my dear friend Alisa since her wedding almost 5 years ago, and as a surprise for her birthday, her awesome husband Stacy flew me out to San Diego for Memorial Day weekend. It's the first time I've traveled without kids in almost five years (since her wedding, actually) and even the plane trip was wonderful: just me and my iPod and my sketchbook. The rest of the weekend would prove to be just as mellow, relaxing, and fabulous. It was so good to just to see Alisa!
Stacy picked me up from the airport and as I followed him into their home, I heard Alisa ask why he was home from work so early. Then she saw me! That was fun.

Flying into San Diego

We had dinner that night at El Zarape--delicious! This was taken outside of the restaurant.

The next morning we walked down to get coffee and breakfast. I forget just how beautiful Southern California is. Sigh.

After breakfast we drove out to Torrey Pines state reserve. It was a beautiful hike. All the wildflowers were in bloom and trying to identify them was a challenge.

The view was pretty spectacular, even on a cloudy day.

Driving back through La Jolla.

On Sunday we went to Balboa park, and toured the museums and walked around. There was a festival going on at the International Cottages, with food and vendors and dancing. I love stumbling unexpectedly across fun things like that. Here's some of my favorite paintings from the San Diego Museum of Art:

George Inness "Farm Landscape, Cattle in Pasture"

Charles-Edouard Boutibonne "After the Promenade"

John Hoppner "Portrait of a Lady (Georgina Buckley)"

I loved the botanical garden!

The architecture in Balboa Park is incredible. I didn't realize it was all built for the first World's Fair, the 1915-16 Panama-California Exposition.

After a marvelous day at the Park we drove to downtown San Diego for an early dinner at Monsoon, an upscale Indian restaurant. The food was wonderful and the setting was very luxe and soothing. Then we walked just a bit, being all touristy and stuff.

Stopped at a relatively expensive haberdashery and I was taken in by this display.

And then the next day I was back on a plane and heading home. It really was a fabulous weekend: great friends, good food and conversation, episodes of The IT Crowd, new music and record shopping, long walks, and gorgeous weather. It was just the break I needed and I'm so grateful that I got to go!

And then, barely two weeks later, I was on another plane and flying to the Caribbean!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Some Finished Paintings

Finished those two paintings that I'd been working on all spring (and a big chunk of the winter, too). They're both currently at The Blue Gallery here in Kansas City. And here they are!

oil on canvas
20" x 24"

"Lurid Flowers, Like Poison in Pretty Bottles"
oil on canvas
22" x 30"