“Garden Party”

16x20 oil on hard board
16×20 oil on hard board

“Garden Party” is composed of my favorite subjects, birds and flowers. Who doesn’t love that! Well maybe I am a bit predacious.. Roses, for me, is a real challenge. Getting them to look realistic without looking stiff. I am always trying to capture the essence of the flower. Each time I paint them I feel I have learned a bit more than the last time I tried, so I am always anxious to start another one in anticipation of improving.

In this painting I was trying to capture the feeling of distance in a rose garden without actually showing a distance plane. As I worked on the painting I began to get bored with all the flowers and foliage so I decided it needed some life. I knew I wanted birds but didn’t know exactly how I wanted to incorporate them into the flower garden. My first thought was a bird bath but after laying it out in my mind I decided that would be too large for the scale of the flowers, so settled on a pot with bird seeds and a group of blue birds enjoying their meal in the shelter of the rose garden, and of course every garden has to have a few ants.

Granny’s House

Hollyhocks and chickens, what could be better than that!
Hollyhocks and chickens, what could be better than that!

“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

Water-color Garden

A journey in water-color
A journey in water-color

“Water-color Garden” started out loose and then turned tight. So enlightening for me to realize how fast you can switch from right brain to your left. Needless to say, I am still working on my water-color technique, improving but not there yet. Which for me is exciting because the learning of new things is why I get up in the morning and I hope I never loose that excitement. There is a learning curve with all new things, whether it is a new medium or style of painting or new things you experience in life, for that matter. If it was too easy it wouldn’t be a challenge and, for me at least, that would be boring. So with that in mind I am having fun with the challenge. Each time I pick up my brush I learn a new way of expressing my subject in this beautiful medium, and that keeps me coming back for more! My goal is to have, at the least, a cursory level of understanding in all the major mediums. I do believe that will allow me to elevate my abilities in all forms of art. My goal is to incorporate numberous mediums into my art, which has been coined as mixed media art. I like pushing the limits on what is comfortable and usual into something that is different and unusual, but at the same time is pleasing to the eye.

I have babbled on for long enough. My hope is this will inspire you to try new mediums and see where it leads you in your art quest. I will leave you with this thought, paint, paint and then paint some more…xoxo’s, Barbie