Friday, June 26, 2009

Last Saturday, I left Texas and flew the friendly skies! Southwest Airlines is an enjoyable way to fly and this particular flight was quite entertaining! The attendants were witty and amusing...
from a 50 something brawny man, that looked more like 'secret service' to this young lady sporting a most usual hairdo! The 19 yr. old teen sitting next to me, took one look and exclaimed "Hippie Barbie!"

I arrived safely in Seattle to be warmly recieved by two of the prettiest girls, Beth and Carter. After grabbing my luggage and a quick bite to eat, we were off to Whidbey Island. The beauty of this part ot the country continually takes my breath away and keeps me oooh and aaah'ing! Deception Pass, left, the tulip fields, center, picking strawberries, and a gorgeous flowers, trees, bald name just a few! This tree has the most amazing smooth orange red bark. Fasinating! Especially when the sun shines on it. I'd love to know what kind of tree it is, if anyone knows.
And don't let me forget the fresh sea food, readily available from the surrounding waters!
When we unloaded the car and got everything unpacked, Miss C and I made Rice Krispie Bars. We were going to cut them into squares, insert a popsicle stick, dip into melted chocolate and sprinkles..but they really didn't turn out that well. They sort of fell apart. So if you have a no fail recipe, do tell, please!
Then I gave Carter a few little surprise gifts. Her favorite was this adorable outfit made by friend, Molly. The moment Beth put it on her, she became a human bee....non stop motion. I tried and tried to take a photo to show Molly but it was no use. She LOVED it! ...and so did we! It was perfect, Molly! Thank you so much!
There is so much more to share but it will have to wait. We leave tomorrow on an Alaskan Cruise and I must get a little rest. More coming soon!

Monday, June 22, 2009

...and the Give-a-way winner is...................

Sorry! I know it's getting late in the day. I'm visiting Beth and Carter on Whidbey Island, consequently we're operating on a different time zone here. But I must say quickly that it is GORGEOUS here! More about that later! Without further adieu, the winner of Pet Portait Give-a-way ( selected by is NANCY!!! Congratulations! Please, email me a good close-up photo of your Parker Jones! For anyone else who is dying to have a painting of your favorite four legged friend feel free to contact me for pricing and information!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Pink Hydrangea...painting of the day!

Today's painting was inspired by a lovely visit to the home and garden of friend, Kaye Noles. Who, upon arrival, served me coffee and cinnamon scones.....ok, and pound cake, but it was just a sliver. I promise! After a nice chat, Kaye showed me around her charming home and pretty flower garden. What a beautiful surprise! Thank you, Kaye, for southern hospitality and pink hydrangeas!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I love dogs! I always have and now that our nest is empty, Coach and I have become quite attached to a couple of minature schnauzers, named Abby and Mitzi. I like the way they get so excited everytime you walk through the door! Even if it 's only been 10 minutes since you last saw them. Dogs make the nicest companions! I've often thought we humans could learn a thing or two from our four legged friends. For dogs live simply, love generously, care deeply and speak kindly (accept when the neighborhood cat's come over our fence). If a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

Enjoy the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face.

Take naps.

Stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you're not.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

I had so much fun painting this pooch, that today I decided to have a PET PORTRAIT GIVE-A-WAY!

So starting right now, anyone who would like to have a 8 x 10 oil painting of their favorite pet, simply leave a comment. Please tell me a little about your special critter! Feel free to tell your family or friends that might be interested too.

DEADLINE for entries will be this Sunday, June 21 @ 12:00 PST

The WINNER will be announced the following day!

If you win, I will need you to mail/email a 'good, close-up, color photo' of your pet's face.

So you might want to snap a few shot's this weekend, just in case!

Can't wait to read your pet stories......

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Look what came in the mail today! Cute wrapping paper! Handmade by Stories & Divinations, a artisian on Etsy, who handcrafted this cool bracelet called 'Heros in Helmets'!

Which is precisely why I bought it.

Because my Coach and hero, is a helmet kind of guy!

And when I put it on, this guy can't take his eyes off of me.........Hey, take a picture buddy! It lasts longer......Just ignore him?

Look what else came in the mail today?

More cute football jewelry, from another Etsy artisian.

Shop Etsy! Support the cleaver and creative.

Art Workshop, part 3...last day!

On the afternoon of day 2, Carol had us do another helpful exercise. We all set up our own subject matter and painted it one brush stroke at a time. I painted,

Three Cool Peppers

Later we all ate dinner at the Dead Fish Grill, in nearby Belton. Everything was delicious! When we got back to the studio a few of us decided to paint a little more. Carol joined

us and and set up the yellow coffee cup and a few sugar snap peas. We all loved it! Anyone interested in buying this little gem 'put their name in the hat' and I won!

Thought you might like to see how small these 6x6 inch canvas actually are!

Alas, it did not get a title and Carol's painting always have a cleaver title. Got any ideas?. . . . just leave your suggestions under Comments.

While Carol was painting, I set up an antique sugar bowl and spoon. Ambitious, but I jumped in!

This turned out to be quite an undertaking. The handle on the sugar bowl and the spoon were both challenging, to say the least!

As I write this, one week later, I'm still amazed at the generousity of Carol Marine. She unselfishly shared, non-stop for 3 days. Equipping us with fresh insight and inspirartion as well as unique marketing skills. I would highly recommend this workshop to anyone interested. It was 'peachy keen'!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Art 2!

Day two, artist Carol Marine, started our class off with an interesting 'values' exercise...which proved to be very helpful. The assignment was choose one color, either burnt siena or ultramarine blue and a simple subject. She then gave us 30 minutes to look at our still life and paint what e saw. The time limit made you think and think quick. Here is Carol's demo, which she painted in just a few minutes! The dominant value is the mid-tone, next is the dark-tone and least is the light-tone.

I chose to paint a tiny bird nest that I found in Ruidosa, New Mexico. After 30 minutes, Carol said stop. Here's my little nest. The dominant value is light, mid and dark. Then she told us to get out another canvas and with the same rules, change the values and this time we'd have 15 minutes. Go!

Same nest, closer perspective on a black background. Dark, mid and light. . . I liked this one.

Then, Carol went crazy and told us to repeat this exercise again but this time we'd have only 5 minutes. . . Can you tell what the dominant value is?

After lunch, fellow artist and author of children's books, Bruce Mcmillan, asked if he could take the following photo. . . for his site. Apparently Bruce saw an interesting connection.

POSTCARD PHOTO of the DAY! June 6, 2009
Photo of bird's nest art, subject and artist!

Roxanne Spradlin at the Carol Marine painting workshop HERE in Salado, Texas on June 5, 2009

The Painting, the Subject, and the Painter

Art without constraint, we are what we paint.

by Bruce McMillanAmerican children's book author and photo-illustrator text and photos © 2009 Bruce McMillan~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~
See some of us painting, including Roxanne, at the workshop HERE.Photo of workshop artist, Texan Roxanne Spradlin in Salado, Texas on June 5, 2009

Roxanne's art web site HERE.

The Other Side of the Bird's Nest ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~

Strange but True FactsThe active ingredient in Bird's Nest Soup, a Chinese delicacy, is bird saliva. A few species of swift, the cave swifts are renowned for building the saliva nests used to make the unique texture of this soup. These edible bird's nests are among the most expensive animal products consumed by humans.~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~end
Tell me the truth! Does my hair look like a bird's nest?

...the Belles!

One of the unexpected joys of last weeks art workshop was all of the wonderful people we met. My sweet, artist friend Mary, (right) and I had so much fun getting to all of these amazing artists. Sixteen of us from all over the U.S., gathered to challenge our atistic abilities.

Two of the girls were friends from Virginia! True Southern Belles! Julia and Kathy, quickly painted a lot of great art. Here are a few 'bad' photos...sorry! but I just have to show you.

Introductions, first. This is, Julia! O.K! This is not really her but my interpretation of her (and she'll probably kill me), but I couldn't resist! She just made me giggle! Love those know, a little like Paula Deen. Anyhoo....her painting is beautiful! I tried hard not to be jealous. I think with continued prayer I'll be o.k.

Then there is the darling, Kathy!

I was instantly smitten with her distinctive style that is consitently evident in everything she paints!

The room was full of talented painters. This is Brenda, another lovely painter, that produces beautiful art. Visit her blog and web site to see more.
There were so many more... now I really regret, not photographing more...but hey! I was trying to paint! Which reminds me it is time to go do a little 'daily painting'!!!