Friday, February 22, 2013

The Dancing Tulips

Winter gives me brain freeze. Really. Cold weather and I don't mix well. All of my energy is spent trying to concentrate on keeping warm that there isn't much room for anything else in my frozen brain. That is to say that it's hard enough to figure out what to paint on a regular basis....forget it on any day below 75 degrees. (Yes, that seems to be my threshold.) 

Because of the difficulty in figuring out what to paint (lots of muddled thinking), I went to the florist. It's always a good back up plan to go to the florist when one can't think of what to paint. Except that I forget (because of the brain freeze) that flowers are not the easiest subject matter, especially tulips. Tulips are highly susceptible to light and heat -- a very wiggly flower, opening and closing and moving with the sun --  not still at all. They dance.

This painting is 9" x 12" oil on linen. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Paperwhites and Tulips

Here is where I start saying something about painting.....*crickets*

And here is where I finish saying things about the artistic process and what not. (I'm going to go take a nap.)

These paintings are 8" x 8" oil on canvas.

Monday, February 11, 2013

More Fried Chicken

My quest to find the best fried chicken in town has led me to two more places -- Hay Merchant and Barbeque Inn - yes, fried chicken at Barbeque Inn. From what I've tasted so far, it might be hard to beat Barbeque Inn's fried chicken. Ah, it was boiling lava hot fresh but served with a bland iceberg salad and some other forgettable side. Truly, I've forgotten what the other side was.
Barbeque Inn - hot, crispy, tasty
But the Hay Merchant - oh my goodness - the fried chicken was crispy and under seasoned EXCEPT that it was served over the most amazing macaroni and cheese I've ever tasted in my life....and I don't even like macaroni and cheese! That macaroni and cheese has an addictive chemical in it that makes me crave it fortnightly.

Hay Merchant - best macaroni and cheese EVER!
The waiter also recommended a lovely sour cherry flavored Belgian beer that matched perfectly with the buttery, creamy, cheesy macaroni. I can't stop thinking about that macaroni and cheese. mmmm. Hay Merchant's fried chicken might be under seasoned on purpose just so that it doesn't overpower the macaroni and cheese. Who knows? I'm definitely going back to both places but am still on the lookout for other restaurants to try. Any more suggestions?

Final thought - if these two restaurants would combine talents, Barbeque Inn's fried chicken and Hay Merchant's macaroni and cheese, it would be a winning combination.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

So Long, Bert

This blog entry is a repost of one I did on July 11, 2011.  One of the highlights of my life was not only having my art selected for an exhibit by artist Bert Long, but actually meeting and visiting with him briefly. Sadly, he passed away yesterday.

Here are some links reporting his passing:
Houston Chronicle
Culture Map
Robert Boyd

The following is my blog post:

This past weekend was the opening reception for Archway Gallery's 3rd Annual Juried Competition. It was SO much fun.

The Amazing Reese and I got there relatively on time, which gave us time to take the requisite photo of the painting and me posing in a gallery setting. Expecting a crowd, the gallery very wisely had fans positioned throughout the space in order to facilitate air flow, which lent itself to more than one Marilyn Monroe moment with my full skirt.

The juror for the show was Bert Long, a Houstonian and internationally acclaimed artist. As stated before, I've long been an admirer of his. When Archway Gallery sent out the artist call for this show, the main reason I entered was so that Bert Long would see my work. Then when "Cottonwood" was selected, I was beside myself because here, finally, was my opportunity to meet Bert Long.

(Can you tell how excited I am? That's Bert Long!) Devotedly, I followed him around like a puppy dog waiting for the opportunity to introduce myself and thank him for selecting my work for the show. Had I been an actual puppy, it would have looked like my tail was wagging, but that was just the gallery wind blowing up my skirt.

I'd like to think that we became fast friends the moment we met, but the grown up in me knows better. He very graciously spent some quality time with me talking about the painting, the technique, the brush strokes, etc., and how he selected "Cottonwood" not only because it's worthy on its own today, but because he sees promise in my artistic future. (!) The critique was very humbling and affirming at the same time.

The gallery had the right idea about the fans. The opening reception was absolutely packed. Several groups of our friends came out in support. It was wonderful to see everyone enjoying the art -- not just "Cottonwood", but the whole show. Bert Long did a fantastic job of selecting the pieces in the exhibit, showcasing artistic skill, heart, soul, messages, and variety -- lots of variety.

It just so happens that Bert Long and I have mutual friends, he's a neighbor of some of our long time friends, and I'm a neighbor of one of his long time friends. Of course, as this was pointed out to him, he briefly and silently studied me, peering over his glasses, like he couldn't decide if I was crazy or not. (I'm not -- really.) Bert Long didn't know it, but we've been one degree of separation for years.

The delightful evening wouldn't have been possible without the Amazing Reese. Not only is he adorable arm candy, without his supportive enthusiasm, it wouldn't have occurred to me to consider being an artist as a "career". It's incredible to think that all of this has happened in the last six years. (And that Bert Long talked about my FUTURE as an artist! So cool.) Thanks, Amazing husband Reese.

At the end of the evening, the very approachable Bert Long, with a little nudge from his lovely companion, Joan Batson, agreed to pose with me in front of "Cottonwood". I couldn't have been happier.