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Archive for May 2014

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It’s been raining off and on today, so it was a good day to get out the paints. I’ve been really enjoying painting every day this summer so far. I thought I would share a few photos of the inspiration for today’s abstract sketching. This stump is from a HUGE pecan tree in the farmhouse backyard that was dying and needed to be taken down. Yesterday when we arrived at the farm, I snapped a few pictures of the symbiosis still happening even thought the tree is dead. Lichen? Fungi? Some of you knowledgable in botany/biology will have to let me know. I was just intrigued by the overlapping shapes growing so closely together.
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The kids and I are spending the next week at the farm with my parents for a change of scenery and a kick-off to summer vacation, so I’ll be posting paintings from here for a few days. We arrived late this afternoon when the sky had some gray clouds rolling in. But, that was only the weather — no reflection on our disposition.

We’re somewhat roughing it in the tech department at the farm – just using data plans for internet connection (and a personal hot spot for work pinches. At home, I’ve been scanning the paintings so you can see the more crisp and uniform color. Here, I’m relying on photos with farmhouse lighting, but you’ll get the idea.

I’m not sure how we’ll feel about art time over the weekend, and I’m not holding myself to the daily painting on Saturday & Sunday. We’ll see how the days go for the next Summer of Water installment,

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“Fern Fronds”

A few days in, and I’m really enjoying my painting adventure so far. I’m exploring more pattern and transparency. I was sitting on the porch observing my hanging fern for this one.

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Maya Angelou
1928 – 2014

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I hope to explore some more abstract work this summer, as well as patterns. We’ll see where the journey takes me!

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I’m starting something new today! It’s Memorial Day and the first official day of our summer vacation. This summer, I’m challenging my children to write or draw or paint (and of course, read) something every day until school begins again. Tomorrow, we’re heading to the store so they can each pick out a notebook or journal they can use through the summer. I’m hoping this will help them keep their letters and words and spelling fresh and their creative juices flowing. Since I’ve issued this directive, I thought I had better join in with something myself. I’ve been wanting to become more disciplined about painting, experiment with some ideas with abstract themes and hone my painted lettering. SO, I’m committing along with the kids to paint in watercolor each day of summer vacation. We may take the weekends off (because days off or good) or we may include them as the mood strikes us. Regardless, I’m beginning today and looking forward to what images and themes emerge. I’ll be sharing the daily images and sketches here and on my Facebook page. I hope you’ll follow along and let me know your feedback on how it’s coming. Here’s today’s entry…


growing . My Grandmother’s Roses


Happy Tuesday! I’m very excited this week about how my little garden is growing because the climbing roses are finally blooming! I’ve been watching for these small, light pink beauties, and I thought I would share some photos and a little of the story of growing them. My grandmother planted the climbing rose at our farmhouse probably sometime when my mother was young. It’s been blooming next to the fence behind the house and beside the road for as long as I can remember. Even when the house wasn’t in use and the fencerow overgrown, the rose still bloomed. And now, it has spread along much of the fencerow leading to the farmhouse — a testament to perseverance and a yearly joy and reminder of many good times at the farm.


Last year, we spent Memorial Day weekend at the farm, and my Mom and I dug up a few clumps of the rose and piled them into a couple of 5-gallon buckets. If it had thrived for years on the farm with no care at all, I was hoping that my questionable green thumb could make it work in my yard. We brought it home, but didn’t really have time to replant it right away. We combined the clumps into one big black plastic pot with drainage and sat it in a relatively sunny spot in the backyard. We eventually trimmed the longer vines, cut off some of the dead parts, added in some more soil, and let it go again. Only one or two green shoots survived, and I was pretty sure we would have to try again next year.


But, I was wrong! We checked on it through the summer and fall and the rose started putting on new growth. I had picked a spot beside the porch of our storage building that I thought would be nice for the climbing roses, so we moved the pot there to see how it would fair. It kept its green through temperatures in the teens this winter and started growing! We got a small trellis for it to climb and trained the new shoots toward the lattice. Mid-spring, the rose started to put on buds, and I’m excited to say they are in bloom now! I’m waiting until it finishes its blooming season, and we’ll actually put the rose in the ground with a new and larger trellis, hopefully to give it more room to continue climbing. It’s been very special to me to have something in my own garden that my grandmother had in hers for so long, and to enjoy success in this little gardening experiment. I’ll keep you posted on the rose’s next journey into soil and our progress expanding the trellis area. Meanwhile, enjoy some of these glimpses of the first blooms.

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Happy National Chocolate Chip Day! [printable]

It’s National Chocolate Chip Day! A holiday to celebrate, for sure! What better way to enjoy the day than with a chocolate chip cookie? In the absence of a real cookie, I enjoyed a little illustration of a watercolor one this morning. I’ve included a little download of this illustration as a mini-print you can pass along to your favorite sweet friend and chocolate lover. Enjoy!


go . Fairview Inn


Earlier this year, I had the chance to visit the Fairview Inn in Downtown Jackson, and I thought I would share a few images of the historic hotel. I was in Jackson to speak at a conference, and the Mississippi School Public Relations Association treated us to a lovely dinner and stay for a night. The hotel and grounds are a beautiful view of the past, tucked into the bustle of an older part of the Capital City. They even have a hammock hanging from the boughs of a magnolia tree! I walked around for a few minutes at twilight and took these photos.

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My stay happened to be in the “English Room” which included these fun commemorative plates for the royal watchers! 🙂 Happy Thursday!

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This year I’ve planted two “Sara Bernhardt” peonies, and I’m enjoying the first of their blooms. I was expecting more vibrant color, but these first ones are so delicately white and light pink in the morning light!

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