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Wow — I haven’t written a post for a very long time! This last year was different — I guess you could say I was out gathering sights and experiences to feed my soul and provide inspiration for future works. I went on a long journey out west with a good friend, visiting friends and relatives all along the way. We also visited 7 beautiful parks: Mesa Verde, Arches, Redwoods State Park and Redwoods National Park, Olympic National Park, Yellowstone, and Theodore Roosevelt National Park. All different, and all wonderful!

Here are a couple shots from the trip.   I addition to the trip, we also were busy raising the kittens of a stray cat who came and adopted us — we spent a lot of time playing with and feeding, petting etc. to make sure they would be friendly and adoptable. They all got good homes and Patches [the mama cat] got spayed and adopted by us. We also kept one of her babies, which we named Calypso.

Hope to have some new works to share later on this year!

Calypso1

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This is for anyone who will be in or near Bemidji next week (and through the end of June). I have an exhibit with my friend and fellow-artist, Pat Shough at Neilson Place, in Bemidji.  We are having an artists reception on Friday April 6, from 3-4:30 pm. The Exhibit is called “Flora and Fauna”, and it features my Pastel and Acrylic animal themed-art with Pat’s Watercolors and Acrylics of flowers. We would love to have the chance to talk to you about our art.

Neilson place is now also called Sanford Health WoodsEdge — located at 1000 Anne St NW. If you can’t be there next Friday, you can still come and see the exhibit, as it will be up until the end of June. If you stop by, write and tell me your thoughts!

Here is one of my works that will be at the show:

"Still Life" Pastel Painting

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This piece was a lot of fun to work on! I started it last fall when a film crew came out to my studio to film me at work, and I ended up carving a linoleum block for the painting that I planned to do of a Border Collie puppy. The painting was just a sketch in my idea book at that time, but I knew I wanted sheep in the design. So, I carved a sheep on my block, and then Christmas, other paintings, and general busy-ness stopped my progress for a while.
When I got back to this idea I printed a bunch of sheep on a thin textured rice/mulberry paper and tore them out individually. I painted my background colors on the canvas, then collaged the sheep in place with matte medium. After that I adjusted the background with glazes, added some text, and began work on the puppy. I developed the fur and the details, then finished with some metal leaf highlights. “Destiny” was complete! Hope you enjoy it.

"Destiny" 18"x18" Acrylic/Mixed media on Canvas

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A Glimpse of Mount McKinley -- aka Denali

Here we are at the close of summer, and what a summer it was! After the exhibit in June, I went on a wonderful trip with my 3 sisters, and 2 brothers-in-law to the land of the midnight sun — Alaska! It was a wonderful trip in every way. We flew to Anchorage, and rented a vehicle, then drove over 1700 miles seeing and experiencing the beautiful northland. Highlights included Denali Park, Chena Riverboat cruise, hiking on the Matanuska glacier, viewing whales and other wildlife on Resurrection Bay, and beachcombing on the Homer Spit.

Caribou seen in Denali Park

Fireweed patch

The Matanuska Glacier

Breaching Whale

The second big event of our summer was the wedding of our youngest son. He and his bride chose to have their ceremony on the shore of Lake Superior at Gooseberry Falls State Park. It was a beautiful day, and two beautiful people committed themselves to each other in the presence of friends and family.  My other kids came from here and there, so we had a brief time of being all together before they all headed out their places around the country.

View from the wedding site.

Now it is back to work! Back to Art, back to kitchen remodel, back to teaching!

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We seemed to transition very quickly from a nice long mild fall into full blown winter. One day it was nearly 60 degrees and a couple days later ice on the lake and highs below freezing. I was out getting pictures of the first pretty snow one day, and of the newly iced up lake the next. Now we have received over a foot of snow, so I think winter has come to stay.

The first real snowfall, making our world beautiful, quiet, and cold.

I have several things going on in the studio. I am working on some pet commissions, finishing up some metal pieces that I started in the fall, cleaning my desk, and preparing to teach an acrylics class starting the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, in the house, we are tearing out the old floor in the dining room, and laying down a new under-layer before  installing hardwood flooring. Plus, preparing for Thanksgiving! So we are busy, no matter where we are.  Here are a couple little sculptures I made this fall.

Here is a Toad Castle!

Here is a little Toad house.

 

Groucho in the directors chair.

Groucho is keeping a eye on things in the studio.

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Deadline ahead

I have been working every day in the studio, hoping to get a couple more paintings done for my showing at Dunn Brothers. I finished another painting on Wednesday, and started right in on the next one. This one is called “Curiosity”, and it features a pair of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. I placed the frog in there as the object of interest because my Sheltie, Bailey, is nuts about frogs, and we have a lot of them this year.

"Curiosity" My latest painting.

Yesterday we delivered the sculpture, “Future Unknown” to its home at Neilson Place. I hope many people enjoy it there!  Here it is, on location:

"Future Unknown", home again!

Now, I must get back to painting! I’ll post it for you when I get it done.

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Time is flying by, and here it is almost July already.  I have been a student this spring, attending several workshops and classes on various aspects of being an artist. I am in a period of evaluation, and I hope these workshops will help me make decisions on what direction to follow with my art in the near, and possibly more distant future. The topics include, Public Art, School Residencies, The “Business of art”, PR – marketing and writing/talking about your work, and having an online presence. It has been fun for me to go to the sessions, but busy too.

Other events have also filled my time, such as Region 2 board meetings, painters group sessions, and the annual Bemidji Pet Expo. That is a fun event, and you should come to it if you happen to be in Bemidji next summer. I got lots of photo references for future paintings, as well as a fun time watching dogs and their people having fun together.

Did you know dogs could fly?!

I’m working on a new acrylic/mixed media on canvas, and I’m trying something new — I started with black gessso. So far, I like it. I’m also getting out to the welding shop to work on my big tree/nest sculpture for Neilson Place. It is a challenge, but I am making progress. I’ll put up a picture of working on the armature.

Working on the armature

I had a fun time this morning, doing art with one of my “occasional students”. We did some drawings of animals, some blown ink trees, and a monoprint. Hope she enjoyed it as much as I did.

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