“Granny’s House” is a painting that was conceived from a special place in my heart. Let me start off by saying I have very fond memories of that summer I spent with my Granny and Pa in the Texas hill country. It was a time I will never forget. Every night as I drifted off to sleep, from my bed by the window, I would watch the shadows creeping across the moonlit landscape and the smell of fresh country air in the cool breeze. My Granny and Pa were very stoic and regimented people. Every day they had chores to do, which I helped with, gathering the eggs, washing clothes on a wringer washing machine and of course hanging them out on a clothes line to dry in the summer sun. One day we picked cucumbers and canned pickles all day. It wasn’t work to me, I was so happy just to have time with my grandparents whom I didn’t see but once a year. My Pa was a quite man who never said much, so one day when he ask me if I wanted to see a dead man I said of course I did! He smiled at my curiosity and I wondered why he had that mischievous look on his face, one I may add I had never seen before. I remember asking him about the dead man and he said we had to get a shovel and some picks so we could dig him up. I had a lot of questions about who he was and why we had to dig him up, but Pa just smiled and said I would understand when we got him dug up. Pa wasn’t given to much conversation as a rule, so I knew when he wouldn’t answer my questions I wasn’t going to get the answer till he wanted me to. When we got to the spot where the dead man was buried Pa started digging, he dug for a while and then let me dig a little. The digging was hard and the only time we stopped was to drink some water. The dead man was buried really deep and I thought we would never get him dug up. Finally Pa said he had hit something, I thought, it must be the dead man. I was so scared to look in the hole but Pa said it was alright. As I peered over into the hole all I could see was a big rock! I ask Pa, was the dead man under the rock? I must have had a really concerned look on my face cause Pa just broke out laughing. He then let me in on the big joke, the rock was the dead man, he went on to explain, which was a term the ranchers gave to a big rock they buried that was used to keep a long run of fencing from sagging. I have to say I was a little disappointed when I saw that rock but I had never seen Pa laugh so hard.
Granny wasn’t a very good cook but she always had molasses cookies in the old cookie jar. Every afternoon I would have a cookie, or two, if I could slip one by Granny while we watered the flowers and grass. She had a beautiful yard with cool thick carpet grass which I enjoyed walking on barefoot. It was one of the few places where there were no grass-burs. Some of my favorite flowers was her hollyhocks,larkspur and zinnias. There was a huge trumpet vine that covered one end of the porch that protected it from the evening sun, it was in full bloom and the bees seemed to enjoy the flowers as much as I did. We kept a fly swatter in hand to take care of a roaming bee or an occasional fly while we enjoyed our afternoon cookie break. After we ate an early supper, which usually consisted of some kind of fried meat, potatoes, cream gravy, fresh vegetable of the day and always cornbread, we would go out side and set up the card table in the yard. Pa would get a water-melon, fresh picked out of the garden and Granny would cut it into slices, then we would eat water-melon and play dominos till dark. Pa wasn’t much on games so he would sit his chair in the yard with his rife laying across his lap ready to shoot an unsuspecting deer that might wonder by. Deer meat was one of their main sources of meat so Pa was always looking to get another deer for the freezer.
This painting has brought back precious memories of my childhood, when life was simple and wonderous. I hope you enjoyed my post on “Granny’s House”, my wish is, it will take you back to a place in your memory that was special to you as well.
Till next time, may you make special memories and share them for all to enjoy…Blessings to you all…Barbie
As you can see I love flowers! One of my fondest memories was as a little girl helping my Mom plant and tend to her flower beds. One of my favorite flowers was her roses. She only had one rose-bush which she received from a neighbor. I can remember watching with great anticipation for the first blooms of the season to arrive. Still to this day the rose is my favorite flower. I have several different varieties in my garden each beautiful in their own unique way. I know I can never expect to capture its true beauty for God is the only one that can do that.
One of my other favorite flowers is the hydrangea. Hydrangea needs an acid well-drained soil and Corpus Christi is humid and the soil is mostly very dense clay. So it wasn’t until we moved to the Texas Hill country, which has a drier climate, that I first encounter the majestic hydrangea. I fell in love with the way the flower would change colors during its bloom cycle. But the most wonderful part was how well they dried. I have vase’s full of dried flowers that I enjoy all year-long. I hope my flowers give you the inspiration to try painting some of your favorite flowers as well.
“My Cotton Tail Bunny” was so fun to paint even though it was quite a challenge. Rabbits, for me at least, are really hard to get a accurate likeness. I remember the first one I drew looked more like a rat! LOL.. Not the look I was going for! I painted this picture in Oct. of 2014, started the story but had not posted it. Hope you enjoy my rabbit tale!
Let’s begin by saying, I dearly love all kinds of rabbits! When we were kids one of my favorite memories was mom’s solution on how to make some extra money and supply us food as well, yes you guessed it, raise rabbits! Mom was always trying to figure out how to improve our lot in life, but most of her well laid plans didn’t pan out. This was one of her not so good ideas. I guess she miss judged how cute they were and that daddy was just about as soft-hearted as us kids, so when it came to actually killing one of those cute rabbits he couldn’t do it and even if he had I am sure none of us kids could have eaten them. We all helped feed them and watched them grow and have babies. I think mom realized her plan for the rabbits was doomed shortly after we got them. She had many more great ideas but I will save those for another day.
Back to why I chose to paint this little rabbit. I have raised two babies rabbits, one was a jack rabbit and the other was a cotton tail. Both had lost their mothers in a mowing accident and would have died without intervention, so of course I had to try and save them. This one reminded me of my little cotton tail baby. Both grew up to maturity. We released the cotton tail, on our land in the hill country, where he was born. He or she, had many generations of rabbits, all were raised in the yard behind our house. It warmed my heart every time I saw one of those little creatures eating grass, stopping long enough to look up and then to continue peacefully eating, as if to say thank you for protecting us. The Jack we released out behind our house in Victoria. After his release I would go out in the back yard and call him. He would run out of
the woods, with those big ears standing straight up, looking to see were my voice was coming from. When he was sure it was me he would jump sideways and run straight to me for his ear scratch and of course some treats. Then one day he didn’t come when I called, my heart fell, fearing the worse. Then a few days later I saw him playing with some other rabbits. I called to him and he looked up as if to say I am with my rabbit family where I belong, he never came back to me. Several months later I saw some strange-looking rabbits at the edge of the swamp. They had big ears, looked like they were part swamp rabbit and part jack rabbit. Even though I never saw him again, I prefer to think he found a mate and started his own species of swamp/jack rabbits.
Decided to post both paintings a study in water-color and acrylics at the same time. On the water-color my goal was to become familiar with mixing colors to keep the clean fresh look that makes water-color so beautiful. It’s not easy and I find myself getting a little stressed over it all. I know the more I practice the easier it will become, so plan on doing a lot of these little studies to help me with color mixing.
Water-color is fast becoming my favorite medium. It is also the most challenging medium for me. With that being said I love a good challenge . As I look at it I am thinking the pomegranate needs to be a shade or two darker to make it stand out from the rest of the painting. It helps to take a picture of your painting and study it, somehow it allows you to see problem areas that you didn’t see before. If I decide to make a change in the painting I will post the two versions side by side so you can see the differences .
The second study was done in acrylics on a primed 8×8 board. I have been trying to learn how to paint a rose for a while and I still don’t have it down but feel like I am making progress every time I try to paint one. I am using the David Jansen, hope I spelled his name right, acrylics which has a long open time. He worked with Chroma for 18 months developing this product and mixing the colors. If you are interested in learning more about his paints check out his videos on YouTube.
Stayed up too late last night so am not going to bore you with more of my babbling. If you have any questions please contact me or post a comment. If you would like to be notified when I post a new piece of art please sign up in the subscribe box.
” Bad Rooster” water-color painting, is a gift for a friend who loves chickens and roosters. I grew up around them, chickens that is. My grandma, Mammie, had a whole flock. One of my favorite memories was helping her at feeding time. It always made me laugh when she would holler, here chick, chick, chick and they would come running, flapping their wings and squawking. Chickens represent pure joy and happiness for life. They are always singing and just happy to be alive. When I am feeling blue I remember the chickens and it brings a smile to my face every time. I want to paint a lot more of them so stay tuned. “Bad Rooster” water-color painting, reminds me of the old rooster we had on the farm. He was always strutting around the chicken yard looking like he was the baddest rooster in the yard and would prove it if any of the other roosters wanted to challenge him. I would sit for hours and watch them going about their day, scratching and pecking. Memories of a simpler time makes me smile. I hope it makes you smile as well.
Happy Holidays 2014! I can’t believe another year is almost gone! If they keep flying by as fast as this year did I am going to have to give up sleep altogether!! LOL.. I have so many things I want to do there just isn’t enough time in the day to get them done. I have to tell myself to slow down and focus on one thing at a time, and believe me when I say, that is really hard for me to do. I have so many ideas running thru your head I tend to get scattered. I have made a New Years resolution, you know we all have to have one of those, anyway I digress, my resolution is to have a journal ready to write down my ideas when they pop into my head, not a novel idea I know but it had never occurred to me! Yeah I know you must be thinking, what was she thinking! Well I guess I wasn’t!! LOL. This is my solution to staying focused. At the least it will keep me from feeling like I am going to lose the thought, and at my age that could definitely be a danger. This will hopefully keep me focused on the task at hand. Then when I have time, or feel like doing something else, I can go to my journal and pick one of my ideas and have fun. I also want to start doing thumb nail sketches and testing color mixtures before I start on a painting. I was watching an online class of Mary Wythe, one of my favorite water-color artist, and she shared how she used thumbnail sketches to get the most pleasing composition. She also did a quick sketch of the main subject and painted it so as to work out the colors she wanted to use. I am usually so impatient to get started that I don’t take the time to do the ground work, but in watching her I do see the benefits in those practices. So here’s to the New Year and keeping the resolutions we make!
I did get one thing done this year that I have been saying I was going to do and never had. That was painting my Christmas cards! I will have to say it took quite a bit longer than I thought so if that is something you want to do I would suggest giving yourself at least 6 months to get it done without feeling rushed. That is going to be my plan for next year as well. We’ll see if that happens..LOL!
In closing I have decided to open a Esty shop to sell some of my art that is beginning to pile up. I use to make jewelry and have a very large stash of that. Also have some of my hand-made journals and mini albums I need to pass on to someone else instead of just stacking them up. Running out of storage space as well. Don’t want to be considered a “hoarder”, oh well it may be too late for that..LOL!!!! It will probably take me a while to get this done considering I have to take pictures and write a description for each item, but I am going to focus and get it done one day at a time… Speaking of that I have two paintings I have not posted yet so will try to get that done before the new year begins.. Barbie signing off….