4 Paws to the West – 8″ x 8″ Acrylic

“I have always believed that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value.”
– Hermann Hesse

I like that!

4 Paws to the West – 8″ x 8″ Acrylic on Black Gessoed Aquaboard

This is my favorite of the three acrylics I did from my 4 Paws vacation cabin.  I literally sat out in front of the cabin and sketched it with chalk onto the black aquaboard.  I took my artistic liberties, of course, but the view was that spectacular.   They are still doing the square bales there, and everybody had huge stacks of them, stored up for winter.  I’m sure people thought I was weird, taking photos of hay.  I just loved it!  😀

It was such an inspiring place to have my own private painting retreat.  I can’t wait to go back there!

Here are the progress shots…

I hope you have a wonderful Labor Day weekend.  Be safe.  🙂

About Hermann Hesse

Hermann Hesse, the Pulitzer Prize–winning German writer, became extremely popular in the 1960’s and 1970’s for his deeply spiritual novels spiked with Eastern philosophy. He is best known for the novels Siddhartha, The Glass Bead Game, and Steppenwolf. He was born in 1877 in Germany and immigrated to Switzerland in 1912. Hesse was exposed to Eastern thought from childhood: His grandfather taught Indian studies, and his mother had been born in India. He won the Noble Prize in Literature in 1946. He died in 1962.

4 Paws Southwest – 5″ x 5″ Acrylic

“A bad habit never disappears miraculously; it’s an undo-it-yourself project.”
– Abigail Van Buren

4 Paws Southwest – 5″ x 5″ Acrylic on Black Gessoed Aquaboard

This is the view (from my brain) to the southwest of my wonderful 4 Paws vacation cabin in Driggs, Idaho.  What a wonderful place!   I haven’t worked on paintings like this for a while and I enjoy the process so much.  I used Golden Fluid Acrylics and apply many, many layers before they are done.

Here is the progress shots…

These little paintings really look better in natural light, but you kinda get the gist.  🙂

About Abigail Van Buren

Pauline Phillips, better known as Abigail Van Buren, wrote the syndicated “Dear Abby” column for 46 years. She was born in 1918 in Iowa. She had never written professionally when she contacted the San Francisco Chronicles editor and said she could do better than their current advice maven. Her version was an instant success. Her twin sister, Esther Lederer, became an advice columnist under the name Ann Landers. Phillips retired in 2002; her daughter, Jeanne Phillips, took over her column.

4 Paws East – 4″ x 4″ Acrylic

“All that is necessary to break the spell of inertia and frustration is this: Act as if it were impossible to fail.”
– Dorothea Brande

4 Paws East – 4″ x 4″ Acrylic on Black Gessoed Aquaboard

If you lived in my head, this is the view you could see when you looked due east from the beautiful little cabin (4 Paws) I stayed in, outside of  Driggs, Idaho last week.  This cabin was the most amazing place.  It went waaaay beyond my wildest expectations.   Next time I go, I’ll try to extend my stay at 4 Paws.  It was wonderful!

Here are some of the stages this painting took, on it’s way to being what you see above.

I even had some pink and some polka dots on those far yellow trees, before I came to my senses.  It really wasn’t working for me until I filled in the little woodsy area.  This is the view I enjoyed from my deck every day, including all the colorful wildflowers.  Can you say aaaaaaahhhhhhh?   😀

About Dorothea Brande

Dorothea Brande wrote the quintessential how-to-write book, Becoming a Writer, which was among the first to address every writer’s core problem: How to sit down and let the words flow. Her book, published in 1934, remains in print today. She was born in 1893 in Chicago. She worked as an editor on the Chicago Tribune and The American Review and married the latter journal’s owner. She also wrote Wake Up and Live, which was adapted into a movie in 1937. She died in 1948.

School of Fish

“We have to fight them daily, like fleas, those many small worries about the morrow, for they sap our energies.”
– Etty Hillesum

School of Fish

Two 4″ x 4″ Acrylic on Ampersand Panel

This was a fun one to paint.  If you were to relate it to the quote today, each fishie could be a little worry, nibbling away at you.  Have you ever stood in a lake or a stream and felt the fish nibbling on your legs?  It’s weird!  🙂

About Etty Hillesum

Etty Hillesum, less famous than her contemporary, Anne Frank, lived a short life of great courage. She was born in 1914 in the Netherlands to a Dutch father and a Russian mother. She studied law, Slavic languages, and psychology. Hungry for knowledge, she cut down on food in order to buy books. She went voluntarily to the Westerbork camp to help fellow Jews interned by the Nazis. Her letters detail her experiences; her more meditative diary focuses on issues of faith. She died at Auschwitz in 1943.

Cone Flower

“We cannot swing up on a rope that is attached only to our own belt.”
– William Ernest Hocking

Cone Flower

5″ x 7″ Golden Fluid Acrylic on Ampersand Aqua Board panel

My favorite artist, Don Tiller, uses blue trees a lot, but I haven’t quite pulled it off.  This may get re-worked.  😀

Here it is after some small changes…

I am hosting the WDE in the All Media Art Events forum on WetCanvas this weekend.    If you have never participated in the WDE (Weekend Drawing Event) you may want to try it.  We paint with a 2 hour time period in mind.  We don’t have to finish our piece in 2 hrs, but we post our progress at 2 hours if we aren’t done.  It’s fun.

The AMAE forum is actually where I learned to paint again after a 30 year absence.  I have only been painting now for 3 years and I have grown in leaps and bounds, thanks to my generous friends at WetCanvas.  They have given me so much encouragement!    Give it a try.  🙂

About William Ernest Hocking

William Ernest Hocking, the idealist American philosopher, wrote 17 books, mostly on the philosophy of religion in modern life, and taught philosophy at Harvard for 29 years. He was born in 1873 in Cleveland to devout parents of modest means, and it took him ten years to finish college while working. In his books, he explored mysticism and the nature of God as well as the conflict in the Middle East. He died in 1966.

White Flowers

“Trust your own instinct. Your mistakes might as well be your own instead of someone else’s.”
– Billy Wilder

White Flowers

9″ x 12″ Acrylic on Ampersand Aquabord Panel

I did this painting for the Plant Parade challenge over at WetCanvas, in the Florals & Botanicals forum.

White is hard!  This painting went through so I thought I’d share them with you.


About Billy Wilder

Billy Wilder, the Austrian-American film director who gave us classic films like the farcical Some Like It Hot and the sardonic Sunset Boulevard, was a true rags-to-riches success story. Born in 1906 in the Austria-Hungarian empire, he fled the Nazi regime in 1934, arriving in Los Angeles with $11 and speaking almost no English. By the 1950’s, he had become one of Hollywood’s greatest directors, directing more than 60 films. He won six Oscars and the National Medal of Honor. He died in 2002.

(There was one more progress shot, but it wouldn’t upload.) 🙂

Lovingly Rusted

Too many activities, and people, and things.  Too many worthy activities, valuable things and interesting people.  For it is not merely the trivial which clutters our lives but the important as well.
– Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Lovingly Rusted

5″ x 7″ Golden Fluid Acrylics on Ampersand Panel

I did this one for the Acrylic forum’s monthly Different Strokes project over at WetCanvas.   I used things I learned from Don Tiller’s workshop.  Here are some of the phases….

I really enjoyed this painting.  Rust is so fun!  There are so many colors in rust.  There are the warm colors we expect, but then there’s all that blue!

1.  On a panel I had coated with black gesso, I drew lines in with chalk.  Then I painted all of the resulting shapes with Raw Sienna.

2.  I started adding colors that would end up being some kind of underpainting.  Having never taken formal art classes, I don’t know much about underpainting, so I just went with my feelings on this one.

3.  I just kept adding glazes.  When I’d find some anatomical error, I’d come back in with some black and reroute the lines, so to speak.  Then I glazed some more and glazed some more.  There are some major differences between the original and my finished painting, but that’s okay.  I had a ball!  🙂

Anne Morrow Lindbergh, the widow of aviator and conservationist Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr., was a noted writer and aviation pioneer.

Born June 22, 1906 in Englewood, New Jersey, Anne Morrow Lindbergh was the daughter of businessman, ambassador, and U.S. Senator Dwight Morrow and poet and women’s education advocate Elizabeth Cutter Morrow. Her family spent summers at the seashore: Martha’s Vineyard, Cape Cod and later on the island of North Haven off the coast of Maine. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Smith College in 1928, and married Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr., on May 27, 1929.


Wrap the World in Love

“Inspiration usually comes during work, rather than before it.”
Madeleine L’Engle

Wrap the World in Love

5″ x 7″ Acrylic on Aquaboard Panel

This is the second one I submitted for Embracing Our Differences.   I really hope that one of the two submissions will pull at the heartstrings of the judges.  🙂

About Madeleine L’Engle

American author Madeleine L’Engle is best known for her young adult novels (including the Newberry Medal winner A Wrinkle in Time), which weave science and fantasy into sprightly adventure tales. She was born in New York in 1918. After her marriage to actor Hugh Franklin, they opened a general store and raised three children in a New England town. She has written more than 40 books. She spent her last years in New York as the librarian and writer-in-residence at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. She died in 2007.

“Never give out while there is hope; but hope not beyond reason, for that shows more desire than judgment.”

– William Penn

Farm Cabin

9″ x 12″ Golden Fluid Acrylic on Ampersand Gessobord

This is the painting I worked on, the second day of my workshop with Don Tiller, in Port Townsend, WA last month. I had the best time in his workshop! I’m going to try to go larger with my next one. **grin**

About William Penn

William Penn is remembered as the founder of Pennsylvania; the democratic government he set up became the model for the United States Constitution. He was born in 1644 in England. After he was arrested several times for preaching Quaker ideals, he decided to found a settlement in America. He drew up the “Great Treaty” with the Delaware Indians to ensure they were paid fairly for their land and toured Europe marketing the new colony. He died in 1718

For the FTC: I have not received anything for endorsinging the people or products in today’s blog post.

No Thanksgiving Dinner – November 25, 2009

“In every person who comes near you look for what is good and strong; honor that; try to imitate it, and your faults will drop off like dead leaves when their time comes.”

– John Ruskin


No Thanksgiving Dinner
5″ x 5″ Golden Fluid Acrylic on Ampersand Panel

I’m pretty sure if he could talk, he’d tell you he’s glad he’s not a turkey today. I hope all of you U.S. people have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

About John Ruskin

John Ruskin was an English art critic who influenced the attitude of a whole generation toward art and architecture. He was born in 1819 in London. His career began with an essay defending his friend, artist J.M.W. Turner, from critics.. His book Modern Painters made Turner popular and gave stature to the Pre-Raphaelite movement. He founded the Cambridge Scool of Art in 1858, now known as the Anglia Ruskin University. Leo Tolstoy called him one of those rare men who think with their heart. When Ruskin inherited wealth, he gave most of the money away. He died in 1900.

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