Monday, December 27, 2010

A White Christmas and a Momentous Passing,...
Here in N.C my family had a Christmas that we will never forget, as it was at once sad, beautiful, and magical.
On Christmas Eve, our oldest horse and animal member of the family, a 38 year old Leopard Appaloosa (my Father's horse and his dearest pet), Sugar, passed away due to natural causes.
My Father's good friend Todd baxter painted this beautiful painting of my father and Sugar.
This painting is worth a thousand words,....

As sad as it was, it was a beautiful and meaningful time for him to leave us, on Christmas Eve. When my sister and I were growing up, we had a yearly tradition with out father of going on a Christmas Eve ride. We would each hop on our horse, (Dad always on Sugar, myself on Charger, and Dusti on either Judy or Giddeon, depending on the year) and we would ride down past the big pond and springhouse and through the woods beyond and into "pasture number one", where we would then take off full speed for a good gallop and romp to the top off the nearest hill. We would let the horses graze as we would philosophize and discuss whatever was in our hearts and minds, at the time, together. Memories we will all share for years to come. This spring,..after all THIS thaws,...(these pictures were taken around my house in Cabarrus County,...I have yet to get some pictures of the farm in the snow this year. I wish I could find myself snowbound at the farm!! I used to love riding in the snow when I was a kid, it was a rare and special treat. These days I enjoy hiking in it almost as much with my dog.)

Frozen textures and shapes that transform the ordinary, stopping me in my tracks,..

The steam on the camera lense created a beautiful shot,..

The snow on the trail I usual run up had me mushing through instead,..

So this spring, we will usher in a new era by bringing home some new horses, and ones the kids can ride. There will never be another Sugar, but the farm would not be the farm without the sound of nickers, snorts, laughing children, and galloping hooves. Until then may the snowy frozen ground be a peaceful resting place for Sugar.

Run, Lyla, run!
It's all too beautiful for words,..

If you don't look closely at this one below, you may miss Lyla as she is the same golden shade as these hanging on leaves,..
The colors here below are in perfect complimentary harmony!

Old fence behind the high school where I stop for a stretch,..

It has been an unforgettable winter here in N.C so far, with more snowfall than I can remember in a long time. A beautiful White Christmas. Rest in peace and stay in our memories, Sugarboy.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Dad's New Series of Highway Paintings!
My father is painting every day now. He has been painting plein air, landscapes and cattle, old buildings and barns, anything that catches his eye in the perfect light around where he lives. He recently had an idea to take photographs while driving on a road trip to Tennessee for a smokejumper awards ceremony, where he accepted an award on behalf of his smokejumper friend, John McBride, who died last May. (Dad was a smokejumper in the 60's in Alaska and put himself through design school working seasons at a time.) For the past 11 years, he, John, and other retired smokejumpers have been doing volunteer wilderness trail maintenance work together with The National Smokejumper Association. John was cofounder of the trails program. When Dad is at home, he is completely consumed with painting. I am always excited to see his efforts of the week. Below are the resulting paintings from the quick photographs he snapped on that drive. He paints these on primed canvas panel in oils.
This one here is my favorite...

The best things about his paintings are the loose and bold way he applies each stroke, you can see the paint so well in person, and I love the resulting abstraction! If you squint your eyes while looking at any of his paintings, they appear even more solid and real!

An interesting thing about my father and his eyesight, he is color blind. When discussing his paintings with him, and I say, "oh, that green, right there," he will say "that's green!?" It's so funny how subjective sight and color is, anyway. Who can really know what another person sees? He almost lost his sight several years ago due to a cataract corrective surgery gone bad. He was one of the unfortunate 1% of people who get an infection. He almost lost his sight due to the resulting infection and it took a year or more of surgeries to get his sight back to what it was pre-surgery. He also is a sharp shooter, gun collector, and bullet maker, and so loosing his sight would have been particularly tragic.
This one is another favorite of mine, I love the looseness and thick impasto brushwork! It's just so lush! Wintry, too!

Here is another beauty, I love the watery mist and spray underneath the truck,...

And the light here is so warm and inviting! Reminds me of that cheery moment of driving solitude we have all experienced, perhaps when you just start a long drive, in the morning, and are just enjoying the sights as they pass you by,...

This one has a more hustle and bustle feeling to me,...

A mundane sight transformed,...the highway sign we are all familiar with,..I particularly like how the view through the truck's windshield is a darker patch of blue,...

And this one is so full of action, you can hear the rush of the big rig as it passes, almost feel the vibration!
This one, again, because it is my favorite. So serene,... and almost comforting. The universal driving experience of private thoughts, and the resulting emotion and induced meditation of being hurled through the world at high speed through a changing landscape are captured so well in these paintings.

Thanks, Dad for showing us a glimpse into how you see the world!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Huge Wintry Moon Lantern Available On Ebay!
Am finishing up a round of orders but was able to list one large moon last night, he's only on for 5 days ending late Monday night!

Have been making ornaments that will be up for grabs soon ,too!
Here is a detail of the big guy:

He is 15" deep! Will be strung with a wire bail for hanging...

And a recent devil lamp, already sold,...

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Snowman Cobblin' Magic!

To see how I made the snowman below here are spome photos of the process,...

For the top hat,...I dremmeled apart two different hard black plastic buckets and epoxied them together to get the right height of the top hat,...then I used a large clock rim to make the hat's rim, it has a nice shape, and embellished the underneath part in a vintage hatbox paper,.. plastering the seams together and then sanding, painting, and sealing, goes the plaster,..

Here is the hat after construction but before paint and glitter,...

I tried on the hat to get correct proportions even before I carved the snowman lantern head itself. You can see the sketched outline in pencil to follow for the dremmel carving,..

Here I am hoisting the large snowman head around as I worked on it, you can see how truly large he is!

A dusting of German Glass Glitter was the final appropriate frosty touch! I love the gleam in his eye!

Jingle Jingle! Some Wintry Christmas Pieces Are Here!
This Large Snowman floor lamp with top hat was hand sculpted out of rock hard paper mache and plaster mix. His hard top hat was handmade and constructed out of out of cut plastic bucket parts and a large clock rim, and is encrusted in black superfine glitter. He really looks icy with his frosty German Glass Glitter that sparkles on his cheeks and face! The lamp post itself is a working electric lamp that has been painted white and striped with a candy cane pastel pink motif, while the metal detail on the lamp resembles old fashioned candy, also in rosy pink and white.This lamp is over 5 1/2 feet tall, and what a delight it is for children to see!
Would be a very merry addition to any snowman or Christmas collection!

Here is a basket full of various works in progress,..

Some more finished and unfinished pieces,..

And a 12" Tree Topper Star that shines like freshly fallen snow in white with a hint of icy blue undertones and more German Glass Glitter,...

A smaller 6" star ornament,..
A Snowy White Christmas Crescent Moon, 7" tall!

There is beautiful detail in a vintage paper underneath the snowman's hat in pale aqua and grey paisley type pattern that cannot be seen here! Lovely details throughout including carved teeth, and a large hand stitched crepe and tissue collar in aqua and white!
Would be such a jolly display in a store or a special home's entryway.

Snowman's eyes are hand painted on vellum so that they shine when he is lit!

All of the above designs are available for purchase or special order!
Happy Holidays!