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.

Idaho Retreat

“Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit.”
– Peter Ustinov

Idaho Retreat – 9″ x 7″ Watercolor on Masa

This was painted from a photograph I fell in love with.  It is the view from the porch of the cabin I have rented for my 3 day painting retreat  in Idaho’s beautiful Teton Valley.  I have permission from the cabin’s owners to post this painting, but I won’t be telling you anything about them or the cabin, until I return.  What good is a retreat, if you’ve told everyone where you’ll be?  I am so excited!  

(Click on the painting for a larger view.)

Yesterday, the entire city of Eufaula lost power from a storm, so I went back home and made my hubby a big country breakfast.  Then, I played for a bit and went back to work when the power came back on around noon.  That was one of those times I was glad to live 13 miles out in the country.  Well…. except for the 52 miles of driving I did.  🙂

About Peter Ustinov

British actor Peter Ustinov is best known for his Oscar-winning roles in Topkapi and Spartacus. He was born in London in 1921 to parents of blended pan-European extraction. He wrote several plays as well as a well-received autobiography, Dear Me. From 1969 until his death in 2004, he took on the role of goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, visiting disadvantaged children all over the world. He said his multicultural background gave him automatic loyalty to the UN.

Idaho Ranch

“Difficult times have helped me to understand better than before how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way, and that so many things that one goes worrying about are of no importance whatsoever.”
– Isak Dinesen

Idaho Ranch – 5″ x 8″ Watercolor

Over the weekend, I booked a trip to Idaho to see my mom and my brother.  I will fly in and out of Jackson Hole, WY and drive to Blackfoot to see them.  When I did this in 2009, I took lots of photos from that drive.  It really was beautiful!  I painted this from one of those photos.

This time, I am going to spend three days in a cabin in the Teton Valley, painting, before I go home.  I am so excited!

About Isak Dinesen

Isak Dinesen was the pen name of Karen Blixen, the Danish author famously portrayed by Meryl Streep in the film of her best-selling memoir, Out of Africa. She was born near Copenhagen in 1885. In 1914, she and her new husband moved to Kenya to run a coffee plantation. She stayed on after divorcing her husband ten years later, living an unusually independent life. Her book of stories, Seven Gothic Tales, sold well, but Out of Africa made her a worldwide success. She died in 1962.