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Whoa! Time has a way of getting away from me. So much has happened since my last post. I will catch up on the most memorable parts —

Right after finishing my High School class in April, my husband and I took a road trip out west to visit two of our kids, and some family and friends along the way. This is one big country! Lots of miles, lots of good times. I brought a pastel portrait of my son’s dog, Kuna and gave it to him as a surprise. He said it looks just like her, so that made me happy.

Kuna

These next two paintings were my entries in the Artists of Minnesota show this spring. The one titled “Be Alert” got a merit ribbon in the Super Gold category.

"Be Alert" 30"x30" Acrylic mixed/media on canvas. [There are 5 wolves hiding in the background - can you see them?]

“Be Alert” 30″x30″ Acrylic mixed/media on canvas. [There are 5 wolves hiding in the background – can you see them?]

"BFF" 20"x16" Acrylic/mixed media on canvas.

“BFF” 20″x16″ Acrylic/mixed media on canvas.

Right after returning from the trip, I attended a week-long workshop taught by Karen Knutson. It was so fun! Learned a lot and had good visits with fellow artists. Below is one of my paintings from the workshop, taken during the final critique.

Watercolor and collage painting at Karen Knutson workshop

Watercolor and collage painting at Karen Knutson workshop

That brings me up to the end of May, and I will have to continue in the next post from there. I am glad to report that the snow did finally melt and the leaves came out. [Of course, now we have mosquitoes, but that is a whole ‘nuther story!]

 

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Summer is always a busy time in Minnesota. Since it is so short, we have to squeeze a lot of busy-ness into it! This summer is no exception. We have put many hours into finishing up the kitchen project, and we are almost done. Just have to install the kitchen bar on the back of the center island, and hook up the dishwasher. Here is a peek at the project that has kept us busy for so long.

Our new kitchen island, with cupboards and stove beyond it.

We had to take some time to put a steel roof on the shop — the shingle roof was leaking, and since we were getting a lot of rain, we had to get that taken care of right away!  I have been out in the shop working on a commission of two steel benches, which I will post when I get them put together. I am still cutting the designs into the pieces, then I will be able to start construction.

Tomorrow my art critique group, Studio 10, will be hanging an exhibit at Dunn Brothers in Bemidji. If you are in town on Friday, we will have an opening reception from 2-4 pm. The exhibit will be up for the whole month of July. Then on Tuesday I will be helping install the “We all Love Paul” exhibit at Neilson Place, which is in celebration of the 75th birthday of Paul Bunyan as an icon in the town of Bemidji. Should be a fun exhibit, with art and photos from many artists. The opening reception for that one is also on Friday, from 3-4:30 pm. This exhibit will be available for viewing through October.  Here is a look at my entry in the exhibit: “Paul and Babe, the Early Days”

“Paul and Babe, the Early Days” Acrylic/Mixed-media on canvas, 24″x18″

The hot weather has arrived along with the beginning of July. We won’t complain too much since so many are dealing with such difficult problems — flooding in Duluth, wind damage out east, and huge fires  out west. Hope all that gets resolved soon.

We had a cute visitor in our backyard the other night — I will share a picture!

Evening visitor in the backyard. Mom and twin were there too, but they stayed back in the brush. This little guy came out on the lawn where we could get a good look at him. 🙂

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The sun is shining and the snow is mostly melted. It seems we have finally turned the corner after the long winter, but I still don’t trust it! We may get another blast of snow before it is truly over, but even that won’t deter the advent of the growing season for long. I have seen robins already, as well as swans, and the juncos have arrived. The goldfinch males have nearly completed turning from olive to bright yellow. So off we go into another busy season of life.

I have finished the cat commission I have been working on. Next I have two dogs to do, and then one more dog. I got my watercolor horse painting finished, and will enter it in the upcoming Artists of Minnesota spring show (This Friday!) I also completed a mini painting for the show, so I am ready to go. I have also resumed teaching homeschool kids at my studio. We are making some great looking paper mache animals. One more session of adding paper, and then we paint them.

"Sunny and Murphy"

Other than art, we are still busy with the kitchen remodel. It is one of those things that takes a long time, but is worth it in the end. Our kitty Groucho is getting so big! He is feeling a bit of spring fever lately, spending lots of time staring out the windows and chasing flies.

Groucho supervising the kitchen project

We still have birds and other wildlife visiting the birdfeeder out back. One day some deer and a fox came at the same time!

A doe coming in while the fox is checking for leftover seeds.

I’ll report on the spring show soon. We are meeting at Ruttgers Sugar Lake Lodge in Grand Rapids, MN. Should be a fun weekend!

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We have been having a nice snowy winter this year. Not so much wind (although it is sub-zero and windy today!) so the snow stays on the trees, and everything looks so pretty. I will put up a couple pictures from our last snowfall.

View towards the lake from the house.

Sculptures in the front yard, well covered in snow.

 

 

 

This was taken from the house while we were getting nice powder snow, coming down pretty heavily — we got 6-8 inches in that one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think the snow is over three feet deep in the yard where we haven’t been clearing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had some deer visit the spilled sunflower seeds under our bird feeder. They stayed a while and then moved on.

Scrounging for tidbits

One more:

Our kitten Groucho, on his first walk in snow. He seemed to like it!

Seems like I have been spending a lot of time on the computer lately. I got my bookwork up to date and filed my sales taxes. I also spent time updating my resume and writing some proposals for a hoped-for commission or two. Time will tell how it all pans out.

I did get some work done on a watercolor trio I have been working at for a few weeks — I may be done, or I may add to it — I need to let it sit a while and then decide.

This I will call "Follow the Leader".

"Standing Tall"

 

"Racing"

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