Friday, June 28, 2013

Little House in the Desert

This newly finished house portrait commission was more complicated to paint than it might look like it would have been because all of those lines and angles were hard to get just right....and acute, and obtuse. And, because it's a 12"x 16", only the tiniest of brushes could capture all of that detail. As per my usual, it's oil on linen.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Willie Grace

This is a portrait of a sweet little three year old girl. It's a commission I've been working on for her grandmother. It's 16" x 20" oil on linen.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Glass Mosaic Table Top

It's been quite a while since this project began.....a year and a half plus some. That's a while, right? After not much success with glass cutters, and over thinking the design, I decided on free form table top. This is the basic idea of what it will be. Looking at this photo, I see that a few colors need to be moved around, but for the most part, this is it....or at least the general idea of it.

Now to find the adhesive and/or grout I bought a while ago to keep all of these tiles in place. And then decide whether or not to use a ruler to get the lines straight or let it stay a bit organic like it is now. Honestly, I could go either way.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Homemade Furniture Polish AKA Salad Dressing

I don't remember where I saw this on the internet and therefore am not in a position to give credit where credit is due, but as you can see from the before/after photos, it works.  The basic recipe for this furniture polish is a simple salad dressing - two parts oil/ one part vinegar. I used canola oil and apple cider vinegar.


The very observant observer will notice that these are two different chair legs on account of me forgetting to take a before photo before working on the first leg. However, the effect is the same. Before - both legs looked crappy. After - both legs looked good.

Tilly the wonder dog was extremely interested in "helping" with this project by sneaking licks of the chair legs when I wasn't looking. I mean, who can blame her? It was salad dressing! The only thing that would have made this project more fun for Tilly would have been if I had used butter in place of the oil and vinegar. Has anyone ever tried butter for furniture polish? It might work.....?

As good as the chair legs look now, on the down side, multiple washings and hours later, my hands still smell like vinegar. At least Tilly likes the way I smell. 

Friday, June 07, 2013

Texas Landscape

This is what my part of Texas looks like - somewhere along highway 71 between Houston and Austin.

It doesn't take much looking to find it, either. I'll bet there's somewhere within two miles of my house that looks just like this. Take away all the buildings, houses, and roads in Houston and this is what you'd have left. Yep. That about sums it up. Seeing this makes me fall in love with Texas all over again.

Texas Landscape is 24" x 36" oil on linen.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Hilary's Big Adventure or How Hilary Spent her Summer Vacation

Watching daughter Hilary ride her bike out of sight last Saturday turned me into an emotional puddle. My heart was full and empty at the same time - filled with love and loss. That's when Hilary's first day of an epic adventure 4000+ mile bicycle journey started. Yes, you read that right -- 4000+ miles. She and a group of fellow University of Texas students are riding their bicycles from Austin, Texas to Anchorage, Alaska in the name of fighting cancer while sharing hope, knowledge, and charity along the way and giving support to those who battle cancer and support for their loved ones. The Texas 4000 is billed as the longest charity ride in the world. I don't know if that's actually true, but I tell you what -- Texans sure do know how to do it big.

The Amazing Reese, Tilly the wonder dog, and I went to Austin to cheer Hilary on at the beginning of her big adventure. Soon-to-be-son-in-law James joined Hilary for the first 50 miles.

At the start of the ride, 69 teammates paused to remember loved ones affected by cancer and  listen to the national anthem. Hundreds of bikers joined the ride for the first day.

Each rider raised at least a dollar for every mile they ride. Hilary's group is riding the Sierra Route and amazingly will be out of Texas in three more days, in and out of New Mexico in two days, in Arizona for a day total, and in Utah by Sunday!!! Y'all can follow the route here, and if anyone still wishes to contribute, Hilary's fund raising page is here.

Friends and family were invited to join the riders for a day one celebration lunch at Lagato Winery in Lampasas, Texas. We poured Texas wine in little plastic cups, toasted, and shared one last Texas BBQ meal under a big tent in a big Texas field. Well, our last meal for a while anyway....until she reaches Anchorage, Alaska in 70 days.

After our meal, it was time to say our good byes. It sure was hard. May God bless you and the people you (and your teammates) touch on your journey. May God bring you safely home at journey's end.

Here's a little something in her own words.