Tuesday, August 31, 2010

There and Back Again - The Maine Adventure

I took this photo in Acadia National Park last week.  My handsome son and his beautiful bride celebrated their first wedding anniversary last week end in Maine. The wedding last year had been very small, just immediate families - which of course included dogs. This year they invited all of their family and friends to a reception/anniversary party, complete with a Maine lobster feast, dancing and a whole lot of fun. So we made a return trip. As you can see, the weather was perfect.  I just love the turquoisey blue of the water and sky. All my pictures from last year were lovely pearly grays, just as beautiful, but a completely different color scheme.  I can't wait to try to capture these amazing blues in oil or pastel!!! I had originally planned to take along watercolors and get in some Plein-air painting, but decided to take lots of photos instead. Cameras take up less room in a suitcase. And a whole lot less time. You will probably see more photos in later blogs. Plus a painting or two...

Our kids live in Lamoine, Maine, which is not far from the famous Bar Harbor, a very fun, picturesque place to visit, a quaint little tourist town with surprises around every corner. We enjoyed all the galleries. souvenir shops  and stores for pets and lots of unique restaurants whose main bill of fare is - you guessed it - lobster!

I left my camera behind when we visited the shops as I was serious about shopping which,  as every serious shopper knows, includes but is not limited to buying things. As a serious shopper, I am committed to looking at everything. These photos were taken by my husband who is a serious photographer.

Hull's Cove School

The reception was held in a 1906 school building, a fascinating bit of history in the area. I didn't bring my camera to that event either, because I thought one photographer per family should do it. But my husband is always willing to share his genius. Above is an exterior view of the school. Below is an interior shot, with Aaron, Keegan, and her uncle in the distance.

As much as I love Maine is about as much as I dislike flying. But it is a fact of life, if you want to go somewhere far away, you must take a plane, you must go through security and you must change planes and endure layovers. I feel I spent more time in airports this vacation than at my destination. But even looking out the window is an experience.

The obligatory airplane window photo

Have a great day. Hope you have had the chance to see something new this summer.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

End of Summer Madness

If I were to say "Butter Cow" what would you think of?
Or, "A Butter Tribute to Dr. Suess?"

Green Eggs and Ham, anyone?

How about "Star Boars?"

Jabba the Hutt
Artist at work.

Corn dog on a stick? Chicken on a stick? Octodog (hotdog in the shape of an octopus)? Chocolate-dipped cake on-a-stick? Pork chop on-a-stick?  Fried pickle on-a-stick? Chicken lips on-a-stick (breaded chicken breast smothered with hot sauce, served with blue cheese dressing)? Deep fried Twinkie on-a-stick? Chocolate-covered tiramisu on-a-stick? That is just a small sampling.  I didn't eat any of those things, but I did have a foot-long hot dog. Please don't tell my doctor!

If you guessed, the Iowa State Fair, you must be from my part of the country.  Of course it wasn't all craziness.

I did see some gorgeous horses...                      And some beautiful artwork...


Not to mention the baby lambs and goats: the chickens, the ducks and giant pumpkins.

I was sorry to see that the Old Goose Herder and his gaggle were missing this year...
I had loved them so much last year.  Wonder what happened to them?  Well, they still might make a good painting. ..

And I did make a new friend. She doesn't talk much but she seemed very friendly and listened to everything I said...

She is the one on the right....

It was a long day and I am still exhausted.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Equine Western Art Horses Running Chestnut Horse by Della Burgus

The Dust Flies

Sometimes they run to avoid capture when they know they are being pursued. Maybe they run out of fear or distress, or because they have been left behind. But they are at their most exciting and beautiful when they run for the sheer joy of running - because they love to listen to the thundering of their own hooves, to feel the wind blowing their manes, or to experience the power flowing through their legs. They run because they were created to run. The idea a simple one, yet far beyond the understanding of most human beings.  Animals hardly ever suffer from identity crises or image problems. They never have to take a year off to "find themselves," and they never waste time or energy trying to pretend to be something they are not. They are what God made them to be.  That is all He asks of any of us.

I once heard that if you pursue your passion you will bump into your purpose, but it you look for purpose without passion you will lose them both.  I like that. Hmm, maybe the horse isn't running away from anything at all. Maybe he, too, is pursuing his passion...

So, keep on running - and let the dust fly!!!

This is an acrylic on canvas, 18 x 14. standard depth. All the edges have been painted and no staples show. It has been listed on the Chisolm Trail Art blog and will also be available through Daily Painters and Art Helping Animals. 10% will be donated to True Blue Animal Rescue.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Churning Waves

Last year I took a trip to Maine and saw the Atlantic Ocean for the first time. Like much of the English language, the word "awesome" has become so over- and, to my mind, misused, that it has nearly lost its meaning, yet it most nearly describes my feelings.  The original meaning of the word, inspiring great admiration, apprehension, or fear, rather than the current, watered down version which could apply to anything from a rock band to a new flavor of coffee.  When nature, in its raw power, causes the jaw to drop, the heart to beat rapidly and the mind to turn to God, now that's awesome!

I created this painting recently in anticipation for a return trip this fall.  I hope to have more time to walk along the rocky shore and listen to the amazing, powerful sounds of the breakers crashing the shore.  Perhaps this time I will bring my watercolors as well as my camera and do some painting on site. That would be awesome!
Sometimes I have to admit that my life feels just like these churning waves. I do not know which way I am going, where to turn, what is going to happen when the next big wave hits. During times like these it is good to remember that, though I have no control over the storms in my life, I know the One who does. He holds my hand and will never let me go.

Rocky Coast is an oil painting on wrapped canvas, 11 x 14, standard depth.  All the edges have been painted and no staples are showing, no frame is needed.  It is scheduled to be listed on Daily Painters tomorrow and on Art Helping Animals. 10%of the sale will be donated to Old Dog Haven, 10% to Children's Cup International Relief. 

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Maine Coon Cat

Tiger Stalks
Maine Coon Cats are a very popular breed, and I receive many requests to paint them. This one of Tiger, a cat belonging to my mother-in-law, shows him stalking his prey. He loves to play tiger and stalks all kinds of things - his toys, my poodle, bugs, his imaginary friends, anything that moves, and if nothing moves he will make it move.  He does resemble a raccoon in a way, but he really is a tiger, and don't you forget it!  Whenever I run across another photo of him I am inspired to paint him again.

As I wrote before in an earlier blog, my husband's parents gave a home to this helpless little stray kitten and took care of him. But later on, when my mother-in-law was widowed, Tiger took care of her - he was her friend and companion, he kept track of her and, when she didn't feel like doing anything else, she would sit in her rocking chair and hold him. All that sounds to me like the hand of God. He knows what we need before we do, and He makes provision for us ahead of time.

This painting is available for sale on eBay. Click here to view the fixed price listing.

By the way, according to a note written on the back of one of his photos, Tiger began life as "Marie."  For some reason everyone thought he was a "she," even the veterinarian.  When Marie was taken in to be spayed, the vet shaved off her fur before realizing it would require another kind of operation altogether.  Tiger was more than just a little indignant about the entire ordeal, but animals do not hold grudges as humans do.  

  Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.  It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.               
                   1Cor. 13:4-7