Monday, April 23, 2018

Escalante Art Festival 2018

For the past 5 years I have attended the Escalante Canyons Arts Festival.  I discovered this festival as I was studying the fascinating story of Everett Ruess.  He was a wanderer and adventurer, exploring the western states alone. A greatly talented artist and poet who documented his travels through art, letters written to family, and haunting poetry.  Escalante is a small town located in Southern Utah on the edge of the Grand Staircase Escalante- National Monument.  Everett, only age 20, ( 1914-1934) was last seen in this beautiful little town before he disappeared into the vast wilderness of the area.  It has been such a pleasure to attend this festival, the breath-taking scenery,  support of the community, and the amazing people who plan and host this event are what makes this Plein Air Festival one of the best in the country!  I am so honored this year to have been asked to present a demonstration on colorful water color portraits. 

A portrait of a dear friend's grandson.

By using unexpected colors, squiggles and splots, creates a unique painterly portrait.

My presentation will be held Sept. 25th, 3:00-5:00 p.m. in the Escalante Community Center.

I can't wait to see everyone and have the honor to associate with so many talented people.  This festival encourages everyone of all ages to be an artist and has workshops, demos, and hands on art projects to help you become the artist you desire to be.  I have included a link below.

Thanks to all the commity members that work so tirelessly every year to make this festival 

My campsite at the Red Rock Canyon Campground near Bryce Canyon National Park.

For those of you who know me, I have included a few post from my adventures in farming and life that you might enjoy reading.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

My Little Red House

I have been busy sprucing up the little red house. Deciding to paint the entrance room,  I choose a warm rust color and was a bit apprehensive about the color at first.  The room is very small and I worried that the dark color would make the room feel extremely cramped, but with the light from the big double doors of the sun room, I think it turned out perfect.

The room measures about 9x10 feet. Everything is second hand of course, even the
 paint, I picked it up at the local RE-STORE. I haven't painted the trim
 around the ceiling yet. I am still deciding on what color to use. Any suggestions?


A shelf we built into the wall holds vintage books.

I moved this lamp from the trailer at the farm. 
 It now resides by the window in the corner of the one and only bedroom.

I added this old mirror to my dresser. The veneer top wore off long ago. 
 I removed what was left of it exposing some really nice solid wood boards
 and painted them a warm brown.

I made a new table for the kitchen out of a sofa table and boards from and old water bed.
  It is not very wide and by scooting it under the window
 it gives us more room in the tiny kitchen.

I couldn't resist putting flowers on this fellow who hangs over the small doorway
 into my 3 foot wide by 10 foot long library.
Spring cleaning and fixing up. It makes my little red house smile!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Junkin' For Treasure

I have always been a treasure/junk hunter. I began at an early age, about 7 years old.
Hopping on my sting-ray bike with it's sparkly banana seat and a basket attached to the front handle-bars, I would ride a mile out of town and spend the day digging through the treasures at the town dump. After filling my basket with treasures I would pedal home.  My mother would no longer let me bring my treasures in the house after she discovered the awful smell coming out from under my bed was the pheasant wing with feathers I had found several weeks earlier.  My treasures were put in the garage and eventually hauled off to the dump, and then I would invariably drag them home again!
Over 50 years later I am still dragging home treasures.


I purchased the above picture in a junk store as a college student  almost 40 years ago.
I thought it looked a lot like me when I was young.

I took the following pictures of a quaint second hand store in a small town in New Mexico.
Unfortunately the store was closed.  

I would have bought this handsome, paper mache frog to sit on the bench in my Garden Shed.

This coming up year I will be spending more time in my little red house now that we no longer have it as a rental.  As space is limited in the 600 square foot home, I have been selling some of my finds.  I still love to dig through dusty boxes for the all illusive treasure, but I have to limit myself now.  Here is one of  my New Years Resolutions:


I will still allow myself to hunt for those one of a kind vintage or antique items, but I can only buy what I can carry.
How long do you think this resolution will last?  

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Pages from my art journal

I try to spend time every day doing art of some type.  Here are a few pages from my art journal.

A study of my eye

quick watercolors paintings of items in my house


A self portrait.
The flowers, cut from scrap-booking paper, represent beautiful thoughts and ideas to paint.

Using an ink pen or felt tip marker makes me think before drawing a line or a mark.  I only have  one chance of drawing what I see.  My drawings of people have increased in their likeness using this method.  

zentangle is a fun, relaxing method to try

Doodles at the beach. 

I am still working on bird paintings.

A plein air painting I painted ( in oils) of my friends flowers as I sat in her rock garden.

Take a few minutes today and make something beautiful.  It will make you happy

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Outdoor Bath

Four summers ago when I made a choice to rent out my "Little Red House" at the farm, I moved my 12 foot vintage trailer (see the remodel here) to the main acreage for a summer dwelling as I worked on my organic vegetable farm.  
The small trailer did not have a bathroom and needed I to find a solution. My FarmHer ingenuity kicked in and after walking around the farm seeking materials to use for an out door bath, I decided to use several of my cold frames to construct it.   Using the 12" high base of a large 6' by 16' cold frame, and by raising the plastic covered lid up on 8 foot posts for the roof, and laying redwood planks on top of the foot high base, it could made the perfect outdoor bath.  Using a second frame butted up along half the length added another 4 feet to the area for the claw foot tub.  A solar shower bag, port-a-potty, old farm bench, vintage curtains, cedar plank flooring, and claw foot tub make this a glamorous, outdoor room.

A collection of vintage bottles to hold shampoo and other bathing supplies. 

A smaller cold frame, flipped on end and adding shelves, holds towels and supplies.

The top of the bath is the plastic covered lid of the cold frame raised up on 8 foot 2x4's.

See the original post here

One day when my  grandson came for a visit, he declared "Grandma, you are not supposed to have a tree in your bathroom!"

Friday, October 13, 2017

Portable ART KIT

This handy travel kit sits in my hall way coat closet ready to grab on my way out the door.  It is filled with items to create art when ever the opportunity arises.

Using the plastic containers that you purchase containing gum, I have simply removed the gum and added water color pigment from the tubes of my most used colors.  The gum containers fit nicely in an empty breath mint tin.

The pack was purchased in a sporting goods store.  It is a pack that will strap around your waist.  I removed the water bottles that fit adjacent to the pouch and filled them with art supplies, colored pencils, markers, pen and ink, water color brushes etc.

This metal container originally held a pen and pencil set. I also filled it with empty gum containers filled with water colors or gouache.  The length also allows me to keep a brush and drawing pens or pencils in it.

The pockets  are spacious enough for various art sketch books and water color papers.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Windows of the Soul

I painted this several years ago for an entry in an art show.  It has been sitting, tucked away in the corner of my studio.  This past summer my husband and I traveled the roads through 10 states and often passed over the old Oregon trail.  As we stopped at several points of historical interest, I was reminded of this painting.  At the time I painted it, I had wanted to portray a strong, yet gentle woman, who had the courage to leave her home and trek west for a new life.  She is a courageous woman, a woman of strong faith, and a woman who toiled and worked hard to provide the basic necessities for her family.  Along her journey she endured many hardships, the death of a child or loved ones, hunger and fatigue, caring for others who are ill, old, and sickly, even when she is also suffering. She greets each day with prayer and gratitude for her blessings, never complaining of the hardships or giving up hope for the future.  In her eyes, the windows of her soul, I tried to convey the message of weariness, yet resilience, of her determination to put on her best bonnet (even though it is worn and dusty), and with her sadness tucked deep in her heart she faces the trail with new found joy of all the possibilities.