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Friday, September 30, 2011

These sticks were made for walking~

I know this is not my traditional blog posting, but this is not the traditional creature.  I think this is one of the most interesting creations of our Heavenly Father.
Do you suppose he just wanted to see our reaction to this kind of bug?
My reaction is somewhere close to Awe!

He (or she) was on my screen door this morning as I was shaking out rugs.
I went in and out several times and he stayed put.
I decided to get my camera and record him for all posterity to see.
And here he (or she) is!

Enjoy!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Another Lesson from the Garden

Looking at my flower gardens recently, I made this observation.  I have a bed of impatiens that I have watered religiously this entire summer.  No matter how oppressively hot and steamy, I'm out there lugging my hose around giving these plants a long cool drink. 

They have rewarded me for all my work and expensive water with very little growth, few flowers and a rather sad display of color. 

Now however, with steady rain and cooler temperatures, they are thriving.  They are growing like, well like weeds and have beautiful color. 

The Lesson

I guess the lesson is it takes the Real Thing, and not an artificial substitute for things to grow or improve.  My hose water was a poor substitute for the life giving water from a watchful Heavenly Father.  To become a better artist, it takes real practice, practice with purpose and lots and lots of looking, seeing and then more painting.  Can't read about it, think about it or look at others art, although all those things can help.  But to create great art, I must honestly evaluate my work and then work to improve brush stroke by brush stroke. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

That darn cat can't spoil my fun!

I couldn't paint this scene outdoors the other day because my goofball cat wouldn't leave my stuff alone.  I've seen this scene a gazillion times because it is in my back yard, so I took my little self inside yesterday afternoon and painted it.  Granted it doesn't exactly look like this.  I added the pine tree on the left and the bales of hay are closer to the fence, but this is basically how it looks.  The leaves are beginning to turn, the ones that weren't dehydrated in the summer heat and it's beginning to look and feel like fall.  Notice I didn't paint that darn cat in the picture. 
It's an 8 x 10 on masonite board. 
Thanks for stopping by. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Cats don't make good painting buddies

After finishing a number of errands and getting paintings ready for the gallery rotation tomorrow, finally this afternoon I had some time to set my easel up outside and paint.  I hauled all my gear outside and found a semi-level spot to set up to paint some round hay bales out by our fence.  Enter Misha, my Halloween black cat, and end of painting efforts. 

She is my only non-feral cat in 10 years and she was very friendly today.  She rubbed all over me, my crate I use to hold my gear and just about knocked over my pallet.  It didn't take me long to realize I was not up for the impending wreck she was making of my plans. 

Oh well!  Tomorrow is another day. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Egg on my face!

The Quad's car show and meet the artist night at Gallery 104 got canceled because of the weather, only I didn't get the info until too late to let anyone know.  I'm so sorry.  If you went, I'm even more sorry. 

Have a great day!!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Quads and Meet the Artist

Tomorrow, Saturday, September 24 is Quads night in LaGrange.  Now what, you say, is Quads night?  Quads is the name of the classic car club in LaGrange and the fourth Saturday of the month they have a large car show all around the courthouse and up Main St.  I don't know why they call the club Quads, and I asked several people at the car show last time and the best answer I got was there were four guys who originally formed the club. 

Anyway, Gallery 104, which is on Main St. is also open that night as are many businesses in downtown LaGrange.  Many artists usually come to the gallery and sketch, paint, sculpt and make jewelry.  I will not be able to attend, but I have been the last several months and it has been a lot of fun. 

Change is a good thing
Monday at Gallery 104 is what they call rotation day.  Everyone brings in new work and we all get new spots to display on.  Basically the whole shop changes in one day.  So if you've been to the gallery, after Monday you will need to go again because most of everything will be new. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

The progression of a painting

Here I've just blocked in the sky and I have an undercoating of burnt sienna where the grass and road will go.  We've have had such beautiful sunsets lately I was inspired to paint this.  I didn't realize it would give me such grief or take so long.  The sky which was the inspiration was not the problem, it was the rest of the painting.

This is quite a bit later, but I got the silhouette trees, the house the road and the rocks in.  I also put some silver lining on the clouds.  At this point I wasn't unhappy with the painging, but it wasn't singing to me either. 


Here I added some small pine trees and begin the fence on the left.  The left side of the painting developed very nicely, but this is where I began to lose it on the right side of the road.

Here I'm working on the fence making the posts darker and giving them some highlights, but I added too many bushes on the right.  As this point I'm completely lost on that side of the painting.  I finished up the left side and then let it sit for several days while I did other things and thought it over.  I came back this morning and decided what I wanted to do, got busy on it and finally finished it.



This is the finished painting with the right side completely re-worked.  I made the pine trees larger, less groupings, but larger rocks, the grasses and weeds look better.  Sometimes a painting will absolutely kick you around as this one did for me. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Railroad Show Entry

This old wooden water tower waits to be pressed into service filling a steam locomotive with essential water to keep the train producing steam and moving forward.  "Waiting to Serve" is my entry in the Gallery 104, LaGrange, KY railroad show.  The show will hang from mid-September through October. 
LaGrange is an interesting old town with a railroad track running right down the middle of their main street.  I've never seen anything like it and that's part of the charm of this beautiful town.
$75 + shipping. 
Please contact me if you're interested in this painting.

Just thought I'd show you the train running down the middle of the street in LaGrange.  It's really weird to be in one of the shops and see this train whizzing by.  But it's been happening for years so the locals are pretty used to it. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Progress or lack thereof

I painted all day yesterday because I'm working on an entry for the train show at Gallery 104 in LaGrange, KY.  It has to be in Wednesday night by midnight.  I like most everything about the painting, except the train.  To me it still looks like Thomas the Train.  Very amateurish.  I also worked on a painting built around a sunset that I am truly enjoying and I am very pleased with it's progress.  I also had an 8 x 10 board I've had the background finished on for over a month and decided to put something on it yesterday as well.  Sometimes when you leave something at the end of the day and are not completely thrilled with it, the next morning you look at it and say, "I do like it".  I don't know if the painting fairies go to work on it during the night or just exactly what happened during the night to let me see it differently.  Maybe fresh eyes really can see better.  It has happened more than once to me, and I bet to other artists out there.  I'm going down in a while, let's hope I like it better this morning. 

Hav a great day and thanks for stopping by.

Friday, September 2, 2011

My Olde Kentucky Barn

"My Olde Kentucky Barn" was my entry in the KY State Fair.  I listed it on ebay and can be found at http://www.ebay.com/itm/150657726350?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1558.l2649
Thanks for looking and have a blessed day. 

Lessons from the garden today

Today I was teaching my 2 year old grandson Aidan how to water my flowers.   I was kneeling down next to him and holding both his hands on the hose and showing him where the plant goes into the earth is where we are trying to get the water.  Than I realized, no matter how well I teach him today, I'm probably going to have to teach him again tomorrow and the day after that and on and on until he finally is watering plants and not the house.  Because, after all he's 2.  So no matter how much I practice painting today, I'm going to have to work on it again tomorrow and the the next day until it is part of me, like buttoning a shirt.  Just a thought.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

DRUM ROLL PLEASE !!!

I'm sure everyone has been on pins and needles (hehe) to see who would win this original painting of golden mums.  Well in this picture you can see I'm pulling out the name.

And if you look real close, in this picture the name is Patty Whtehouse Schwartz.  Patty and I have been friends snce I was 5 and she was 4 and reconnected back in the spring after not seeing each other for over 20 years.  She was one of the very first people to join my blog, clicked the like button and then gave me a commercial on her facebook page.  Thanks Patty.  I hope you enjoy this painting. 

To all of you who didn't win, I hope you check out my blog from time to time.  I'll give away another painting sometime between now and the end of the year and you'll have another chance.  Thank you so much for joining my blog.  I'll be posting the progress of a painting I'm working on, you can see what's going on in any shows or galleries I'm currently in and I also have the section on other artists.  You could spend all day checking at the beautiful work representd there.  

Thanks again and have a great day. 

About Me

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Ghent, Kentucky, United States
I'm a nature artist and I love to paint old barns, rivers and lakes, trees and fence rows. I work almost daily trying to improve my art and all that entails. I try to learn all I can from others and from the earth itself by being aware of all God has created and its beauty. You can purchase paintings by contacting me at slgraves6@gmail.com. You can also purchase through my gallery website at www.riverrungallery.com . Thank you so much for stopping by.