Thursday, February 26, 2009


The drapes are up! The lights are on. It has taken 3 years to complete this modern day castle!

And finally, after many moons (and millions) it is finished! I had to run out west last week to do a little final touch-up. So I snap a few pics so you can see how things are winding up!

Empty rooms are ...

filling up!

When I finished glazing the master suite a couple of weeks ago the fireplace mantle looked like this. But upon return last week, it looked like this.


Great job by Laura Ricker, one of the other faux painters on the job. Laura, is the best I know at wood finishes! This photo is a close up of the kitchen island.

She also finished these 12 columns.

More kitchen.

These cabinets, dining and entry and media were painted by Amanda Lundgren and her assistant Donna. Good job, girls!

Beautiful hand forged iron pot rack. Made in the wine country of California.

Lovely iron Cantera doors entry the wine cellar.

The walls are paved with Antique Chicago Brick Pavers. Awesome! Way up high in the game room.

Welcome home!

P.S. This house was designed by an young woman and new mom, Christina Johnson, , 28, who was also the project manager throught the entire construction. Congratulations Christina! You are amazing in so many ways. Buckle up! You're future is bright!!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A good place to start!

O.K.! I'm ready to share the paintings I did last week at the Nancy Bush workshop. Nancy is such a lovely woman. She generously shared her time and talent with her 3 students. As a result we all learned alot.

Nancy, painted this on the first day from a photo taken in New Mexico. She paints very quickly, making the most of each stroke. She is very disciplined and uses a lot of restraint in her palette. I found this very challenging. I tend to 'like' a lot of color and contrast, but I find her work serene and soothing.We watched and listened and then went to work at our on easels. Here is mine ... I tried so hard to copy her, but try as I may, I got a different look. Which she encouraged. I wish now I had taken photos of Marie and Lettie's paintings too. They were all good, but like our personalities, so different.

This is Nancy's second painting. It too was painted from a photo taken in the hill country. Here is mine. The third day we had to find or take our own photo and paint from it. I really liked my painting until just now when I saw the photo again. It looks a little sick. Oh well! I'll learn from my observations and practice alot! Then on the last day we picked out a photo and painted a snow scene. I enjoyed every minute! Now they are framed and hanging on my walls. I can hardly wait to start the next on. I've already picked out three photos and will be painting this weekend. I'll post pictures. Thanks for letting me share! I've got alot of work to do, to get where I want to be....but I'm in a good place to start.

Monday, February 16, 2009

When I grow up, I want to be an artist!

O. K.! I am an artist. It's settled.....but when I grow up I want to be a 'fine' artist. You know what I'm talking about! Wooden palette in my left hand, brush in my right. Beret on my head. Standing in the great outdoors painting plein air at my folding french easel. This has been my long time desire. So last week, I loaded up the truck and drove to Fredericksburg, Texas to chase after my dream. My Sunday afternoon drive through the hill country was lovely, so I snapped alot of photos along the way. Sixty eight to be exact. Not everything turned out well...some looked like this,
and then some turned out pretty good ...considering I never stopped the car.
I arrived just before the sun set, rolled down my windows and drove slowly down main street.
Savoring each and every sight! I then continued 5 miles out of town to the Rocky Hill Guest Haus. This authentic 'dog trot' log cabin was the ideal place to stay! From top to was perfect!Monday morning at 8:00 sharp, I walked into the Rather Sweet Bakery and Cafe. What a way to start a day! So many delicious choices.....I decided on a Bacon-egg-cheese Kolache (and knew I'd be back). At 8:45 I pulled up to the studio of tonalism artist, Nancy Bush (formely the studio of G. Harvey). At this point, to say I was excited would be an understatement! I quickly met Nancy Bush (www., who introduced me to Marie and Letti, who had driven from Houston, both in pursuit of painting excellence. As I set up my easel and paint palette, my heart was a flutter with anticipation. I had no idea what I was about to encounter but I knew it would be good for me!
Nancy is a fabulous artist. She paints daily and rarely teaches. She shared her thoughts, books, knowledge and ideas for awhile and then she began to paint. Watching her mix paint and brush was magical! She walked us through part 1 of the first painting. We listened carefully and took notes and then was our turn. For the next 4 days we worked hard, asked alot of questions and learned alot. Nancy was a wonderful teacher. Generous and patient. Truthful and encouraging. She has an 'eye' for color and makes the most of every brush stroke.
Painting 9:00 to 4:00 daily, we progressed quickly. By the end of Tuesday, I was overflowing with joy and gratitude (and had a tearful, but happy evening)! It felt like God had given had given me the 'best birthday present a girl could hope for' and it wasn't even my birthday. I felt His love enveloping me in an overwhelming way. I am deeply touched by the power of His love.

And the day wasn't over. Marie, art student and new friend, invited me to dinner to celebrate Letti's birthday. At 7:00 I drove up to the gate, pushed in the code and entered 'the amazing land of OZ'!!! What had begun several years ago, with an 1850's German rock house/turned sheep barn, was now an extraordinary 'EXTREME HOME' that in recent years graced the pages of Veranda Magazine. Need I say more? For the next 3 hours, I spent a most enjoyable evening with 'birthday girl', Letti, Marie and her family. The veal with roasted cummin sauce, spinach and strawberries salade, scalloped potatoes, fresh bread, expensive wine and texas hot cocoa cake with ice cream was delicious. And though the house was exquisite and the meal amazing everything paled in comparison to the warm hospitality, that set the house a glow!

Here are a few more paintings by Nancy. She is a tonalism artist. She says more with less.

I just love the impressionistic style of her work.
Nancy makes painting look very easy.

Thank you, Nancy for an unforgettable week. You'll probably never know exactly how much it meant to me. You are a very good teacher. You shared alot. I appreciate all you gave me and I'm making a commitment to paint, paint, paint!

I'm back now and I'm more than anxious to get started. I brought home the 5 paintings. I'll post them later. They are the beginning. A starting place from which to grow. But one thing is for artist is emerging in me. I look forward to the journey. As Nancy calls it, 'brush mileage'!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Fredericksburg Art School

I'm off to Fredericksburg, Texas to spend four days painting in the studio of artist Nancy Bush, . I am so excited!!! This is something I've only hoped for.... A big thanks to my favorite Coach for continuing to encourage me to follow my dreams. I love you so much!!!

Lot's of Faux!

Over the past six weeks, the girls and I have been in Midland painting in this 12,000 sq. 'modern day' castle. The home has been a 3 year project and with completion insight, the faux finishes have begun. Several decorative artist's were hired to finish the walls of this house. Each of us were assigned different areas. I would be responsible for the 24' high rotunda, which houses the circular stairwell and beautiful 'hand forged' iron railing, and the adjoining living area which is of equal height. So Beth and Kim bravely climbed up the scaffolding and began to paint.

Juliet balcony.

Meanwhile, I would be painting the walls and ceilings in the master suite.

Before...during...and after.

Beautiful leaded glass windows highlight the whirlpool tub enclosure.
More master bath and hallway to closets.

His and....

Closet carpet.

Master bedroom with....

groin ceiling and....

carved fireplace. The scaffold is up and the work begins and ends. Beautifully elegant.

Master sitting area. Before.....

and after.
This house is beautiful.... a true work of art. It has many amenities which I will continue to post over the weeks to come. So check back. Ther is more to come!