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Monday, May 25, 2009

Toilet Paper Tube Pics!!

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I just had a great time running around the house (inside and out) taking photos through an empty toilet paper tube! Isn't it crazy where we get our inspiration? There was one sitting on the counter; I picked it up and looked through it into the mirror, and wondered what it would be like to see the world through circles. Waaalaaaa--I grabbed my camera and went crazy. It was interesting to see the difference between flash/no flash. Hope you enjoy the show.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Spent yesterday in Chicago with Phil and had a wonderful time. These photos are backwards, time-wise, so I'll tell the story backwards to go with the photos.

The first two here were taken from our hotel at the Westin River North. We had a view of the Chicago River, as well as a view of our own hotel, reflected in the building adjacent to us! That was a little weird. You can see Marina Towers behind our hotel also. Very nice place. I always love the Starwood Hotels because they have a modern flair to them.

We ate at Joe's Prime Steak and Seafood Restaurant. If you've never been there, I highly recommend it! Quite expensive, but if you love excellent seafood, it's worth it. I would have to say that the seafood was better than some I've had in Florida even! The blue crabs----mmmmm-to die for. And they bring out warm wet towels afterwards...also mmmmmm. I had grilled shrimp that were divine, and Phil had scallops the size of steaks.

Next up is a skyline view from the top of the ferris wheel at Navy Pier. We had lunch there at The Riva; I had a great salad with a glass of wine. We strolled the pier, and I had to get my photo taken with "the pirates." I'm a sucker for those photo ops. Even though the sign said to stay on the other side of the ropes. What can I say? It was my birthday celebration, and I'm a rebel.

We began the day by going to the Museum of Contemporary Art. Some wild stuff there! It's interesting to think of other forms of art--such as one exhibit which was mostly the effects of light on us, including full-spectrum colors, and a kaleidoscope you walk through. Some of the other stuff was quite interesting, but other stuff was just plain weird. The steps to the entrance had these letters painted on them, and you couldn't tell what it said until you backed up.

It was a gorgeous day, like a breezy summer day, and we thoroughly enjoyed it and each other's company.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Show

Here are some photos from the show on Saturday. These particular pieces did not happen to sell, but that's fine. Actually, the one titled "Mother and Son" is one of my favorites and I was kind of glad it didn't sell. Not that I wouldn't still sell it, but I also enjoy displaying it at home.

The show was an awesome experience for me. I saw people that I hadn't seen in years, I was delighted that people took their time and really looked and interacted with the art. And I received so many favorable comments . When my husband showed me the grand total at the end, I couldn't believe it. I will have a nice check to give to Groundworks. I couldn't be more joyful.

Tomorrow Phil and I are spending the day and night in Chicago. We had originally planned this trip for my birthday, but postponed it when his mother became critical. I'm so glad we did; we would not have been able to relax. Now it comes at just the right time. We are planning to go to the Museum of Contemporary Art (my Artist's Date for The Creative Way group!), perhaps stroll around Navy Pier (the weather forecast is perfect), and then check into the Westin River North, hopefully overlooking the Chicago River. We have reservations at Joe's Steakhouse and Stone Crab, which gets wonderful reviews for their seafood. So it promises to be a wonderful getaway for the two of us. All these places, with the exception of Navy Pier, will be a first for both of us.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

2 Birds

Took these photos last week. We have several orioles who come to our feeder now for grape jelly and oranges. This one, however, also seems to enjoy the hummingbird nectar! I don't know how he gets his beak in there, but he does.

The other one is a rose-breasted grosbeak who stopped one afternoon to fill up on safflower seeds. At first I thought it was a woodpecker because of his colorings. But when I looked closer, I realized he wasn't. So I looked him up in my trusty bird book, and discovered that it was a grosbeak. Somewhat unusual for this area, they usually stay more north. He was only here for a couple of days, and then moved on. But what a treat to see him.

In fact, watching all the birds this Spring has been a real treat. I never thought I would get such delight from just sitting and watching the birds. But they are quite entertaining. I've seen only 1 hummingbird so far, and it must have been migrating, because there's been none since. But Mr. Oriole appreciates their feeder!

Only 2 more days til my Art Show. The countdown has begun. Now I have to start thinking how I will store everything that doesn't sell, because I really do want to "start over" with my art. Well, except for a few favorite pieces which I will probably put back up in the house. But for the most part, I want to move on and allow my art to go in new directions. Sort of like that rose-breasted grosbeak.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Feather Tree

This is the feather tree I made several years ago. I just added a few more embellishments and placed it in a tin to give it a better base. It carries more heft and meaning now. This is one of the pieces I'll have in my Art Show this Saturday. It is similar to Rita's Legacy (below), but with an entirely different meaning.

It has been a wonderful experience to revisit each of my art pieces, recalling the original feelings and emotions as I created them, as well as seeing new meaning now in each one. I continue to fret that nothing will sell on Saturday, and that no one will even come. And then I also fret that I'm parting with some of my favorite creations. An artist friend of mine once told me that she has to remind herself that someone else may get just as much enjoyment out of them as she does, and therefore it deserves a new home. And I have to constantly remind myself of what a blessing it has been just to go through this process of revisiting my art, so as to get ready for the next stage. My continual mantra has been: I cannot learn to soar without taking risks.

And in some ways that is what this feather tree is about: trying out my wings, experiencing the freedom that I now have with my art. I definitely feel that my art will take off in new directions very soon. And I know that my friend Barb is cheering me on from heaven, with a smile on her face, saying "YES!"

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Rita's Legacy

My dear sweet mother-in-law went home to her Lord this morning around 3:00. Her passing was peaceful, which was a blessing. And the most amazing thing is that she passed on May 3, which is the exact date that her husband Gene died, 20 years ago today. God is good. All the time.

This is the art piece I worked on all week: Rita's Legacy. In fact, I finished it only last night. She is the mother of 10, grandmother of 30, great grandmother of 15. I wanted to honor that in some visual way. So I decided to depict each family member with a heart, symbolizing her love. The blue hearts represent children and thier spouses (because we all felt her motherliness also, in very strong ways), the orange hearts represent grandchildren, and the lime green represent great grandchildren. I chose the "tree" format to symbolize her family tree; I spraypainted lilac branches silver. When the hearts were all added--with wire and beads--it looked like it still needed something, so I added the ribbons for color and to represent our prayers.

It felt good doing this piece, to honor a lady who is the epitome of the word mother. For those of us for whom she was not our actual mother, she was still our role model of a mother. Rest in peace, dearest Rita. You will be missed.