Monday, November 30, 2009
Arches 140# CP
The only chance we had of taking any photos during our visit was Thanksgiving morning when my sister and I went for a long walk/run -- I walked -- she ran! LOL Like every day we were there, it was grey, rainy and overcast, so all my photos that I plan to use for sketch material need quite a bit of imagination to bring in some sunlight. This scene was taken walking from my mom's apartment to a local park along the Gulf. It rained soon afterwards.
I used a credit card scrapping technique to etch out the rocks and am continuing my experiments with larger brushes. It's been fun!
It's back to work today for two long weeks of winding up the semester and holiday preparations. It'll certainly be busy. But we had a very restive weekend -- much needed and for which we're ever so grateful. We even got a few rhododendrons planted! We're in for some rain this week, but today promises to be sunny and mild.
I hope your day is great!
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Challenge - Belle Tout to Birling Gap
We're still catching up on chores and rest - but ever so glad to be home.
I spend a bit of time trying to get in some painting yesterday. I thought I'd give Bill's Belle Tout challenge a try. I can see where some things went well, others could be improved ... but it was fun trying all those cloud formations!
We're supposed to get a bit of a warm-up temperature-wise today, so there's a few more 'winterizing' things I need to do in the garden.
I hope your Sunday is wonderful!
Saturday, November 28, 2009
I painted this during our stay in Florida -- more of a wish painting than a reality since it rained every day we were there except the morning we left! Fog, rain, grey skies, damp and humid - we wished for a bit of famous Florida sunshine. The morning we all left, the sun finally made its way through the haze and damp .....
After spending days helping my mom go through her rooms, closets and memories, I returned home to find the same chores need to be done here. My workspace alone is covered with ephemera that needs organization, closets and bookcases are all overflowing and must be given a good cleaning. I'll be off for holiday break in a couple of weeks, and my task will be to reorganize and de-clutter the rooms and closets upstairs -- starting with my craft and art supplies! Just the thought gives me chills! LOL
Outside the long week of rain has stripped the trees of their leaves. Sun up this morning shows wonderful tree silhouettes against yellow, pink and azure. We've in a cold snap and the warm 70s we enjoyed 800 miles ago is now a mere memory as we finally hit the freezing mark.
Still -- it is SO DELICIOUS to be home! By the time we unpacked the car, organized some of the items we brought back from my mom, cleaned out the refrigerator and went through the mail, the day was gone. But the rest of simply being in one's own 'home' cannot be exaggerated or underestimated. I enjoy traveling .. but as Elaine said yesterday "There's no place like home!' ... and we are grateful to be here.
Friday, November 27, 2009
HOME!! Thank heavens for a safe 1500 mile journey. We are sore, tired, achy, but grateful the trip went well .. and SOOOOO very glad to get out of the car.
Mom is safely in NY, the Thanksgiving dinner with the grands was wonderful, but HOME never felt so good.
I sketched this during my short break from packing Mom's things ... It's from a photo reference from the Pumpkin Patch event we took Emily and Nick to in mid- October -- but it could have easily been sketched from one of my mom's apartment windows -- the view of her creek and lone deciduous tree dressed in late fall greenery.
I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful ... I'm off to unpack and organize the boxes we brought home, do laundry, and I pray, take a much needed nap!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Though our official Thanksgiving is tomorrow, we'll be celebrating it today since Mom and my sis leave for NY early tomorrow morning, and C and I begin our long trek home. We'll stop again to see my grands, but the 15 hour drive will take another 2 days.
We've gotten another room packed, and today we'll finish the last closet, run some errands, prepare dinner, and pack suitcases and cars. We'll squeeze in dinner while we finalize packing. It's been a busy time. Moving a lifetime of memories is not only physically draining but even more emotionally involved.
This painting, from a photo reference, is NOT what we've seen this week. We've had overcast skies and rain .. probably good packing weather.
Still, we are grateful for a safe journey here, family, good memories and one another.
May your Thanksgiving be filled with the joy and gratitude of the season
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
A busy day yesterday. My sister arrives and since we haven't seen one another in over a year, it was a fabulous catch-up -- in between the helping mom. We chatted as we worked and caught up -- a joy to be together again!
The water was turned off all day as new connections were made several miles from mom's apartment. So our cleaning, packing, cooking and the like were all curtailed a bit -- but we managed to get in a bit more shopping for Thanksgiving, one room entirely packed, and after 7:30 pm, the dishes and the floors washed. Why is it that once you know you can't have any water, you grow even more thirsty? LOL
These roses were painted enroute. I have to admit that I'm pretty dependent on photo references during our long drives as inspiration to paint, especially if we're on the highways. Sometimes there's little to see except other vehicles.
Without a scanner and under artificial light, the coloring of this painting that I see on my screen varies somewhat from the real painting ... I know that the table, for instance, is far darker brown in my sketch then is showing on my monitor. I did manage to get in a sketch yesterday, but I can't get the colors correct under artificial lights, so if the sun comes out today, I'm going to try to take a photo outdoors in between our packing.
Hope your day is great!
Sunday, November 22, 2009
WE MADE IT!! Thank heavens for the safe drive through three states, blustery winds, rain, and bits of fog and car spray. Driving in such conditions was a bit trying, but we made it safely, thank HEAVENS, and arrived at Mom's to find her looking good, if a bit tinier and a bit less steady on her feet. This is a vew we saw - when it wasn't too badly raining!
We stopped to see the grands en route -- and they were wonderful!! Riley is already crawling at lightning speed and will probably be walking by Christmas. Taylor and I painted this morning ... if briefly .... and then we had to hit the road.
Tomorrow my sis comes in and we'll be doing all-day packing, as we help Mom prepare for her move, preparing for Thanksgiving, and just recuperating from 2 days of driving.
Thank you all for your incredible comments the other day .... I sincerely appreciate your awesome generosity.
I'll have internet service periodically, so I'll check in as I can. Meanwhile, it'll be busy, and I do hope to get in a sketch in a STILL environment! LOL
Have a great week!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
9" x 12"
We're off! I hope everyone has a fabulous Thanksgiving! I'll be away from the computer for the next week - but I'll check in and post as I can.
Thank you all for your kind comments this week -
I sincerely hope that you stay well, enjoy the holiday, and remember all those graces for which we are every thankful ...
HAPPY THANKSGIVING .....!!
Friday, November 20, 2009
This painting is dedicated to my dear friend, Guy, not only because his photo inspired it, but more so in hopes that he feel smuch better today!
Thank you, Guy, once more for allowing me to use one of your images!! (See www.flickr.com/photos/10422334@N08/4113926411/in/photostream).
I posted both versions of this because I wasn't sure which I liked better. What appealed to me was that rich golden, sienna color of the leaves ... and my own reluctance to see fall finish. Here in NC, there are still patches of bright leaves scattered among the woodlands - yes, more leaves on the ground than on the trees. But their brightness against the blue, clear sky is such a joy to me -- I really don't want the season to end!
It's a chore-filled day today as we ready for our short trip. I'll be taking in all the woodland colors I can ... and I'll be carrying those colors behind my eyes. This season, and this particular year of it, has really spoken to me. Wonder why this year especially?
Hope your day is filled with joyous color and the smell of fall's bounty!
This painting is dedicated to my dear friend, Guy, not only because his photo inspired it, but more so in hopes that he feels much better today!
Thank you, Guy, once more for allowing me to use one of your images!! (See www.flickr.com/photos/10422334@N08/4113926411/in/photostr....
Thursday, November 19, 2009
There is such a difference in painting from a computer screen, real life, and a printed photo. And being back to working in my smaller journal, limited light, space and time, all are clearly event in how I find myself painting.
I fell in love with a photo from my dear friend, Guy (http://www.flickr.com/photos/10422334@N08/4108459287/in/photostream/ who has kindly given me permission to use it for my painting). I printed out a copy so I could paint it last night after work when I got to the B&B. The printed copy lacked all of Guy's incredible pink highlights, and, not memorizing that particular point, I painted an interpretation of his work from the copy I had. In checking my computer this morning, I noted this what a vast difference in tone and highlight.
I suppose what I"m trying to point out (and REMEMBER!!! LOL) is that these differences exist and can affect one's work or interpretation of it. And last night's experience is merely another case in point. Since I will be traveling by car for several days next week, I'll be relying on photographs to practice my painting... and yesterday's 'lesson' will be a reminder to do more than rely on the photograph alone.
Thank you once more, Guy, for your generous permission to use your photograph for my painting inspiration. While this interpretation doesn't come close to the beauty you captured in your image, I do hope you like it nonetheless.
It's been raining here again. Our grounds are so sodden that students are unable to work outdoors to complete some of their semester projects.
Still, I found my desk under all that paper yesterday -- and literally rejoiced!!
I hope your day is grand!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Getting a chance to practice what I've learned last week has been exceptionally difficult with my return to work. Between meetings, changes, classes, late night events, and moving toward a new semester, registration, final exams and final projects, I feel like the pace of life has been on warp speed. Add to this leaving this weekend to drive to Florida to help my mom pack up her home as she prepares a move across several states. I suppose all this activity is better than being bored! LOL But it does make it difficult to get in the practice and application I'm longing to do while techniques and demonstrations are freshest in my mind.
This was painted over the weekend as I attempted to continue practicing what I learned in Sterling Edward's class by using his large, flat, bristle brushes. I must admit that using flat brushes is unusual for me -- I began painting watercolor with rounds and seem to gravitate toward them despite the subject. So I'm still learning how flats are used, how best to use them -- and now, how to use bristle brushes to the best of their capabilities. I do love how they easily create distant tree shapes -- far easier than with rounds!
Back to the workshops -- Judy and I took two additional classes. For me, I didn't have any painting success with either - though they were enjoyable. I took a 3 hour class from Tom Lynch - and try as I could to wrap my mind around first washes and cutting in to create the image, I just could not do that with any type of success. I have his books and wanted to participate in this workshop to try to overcome this particular block, but I do believe fatigue and the hurried pace of the workshop just didn't work for me.
My last workshop, a full day with Lian Zehn (http://lianspainting.com/) was an experience just to be there! Watching him pour paint, swish the brush ever so lightly to achieve such luminescent results, watching the ease and joy with which he painted -- was something I was so grateful to see! I purchased his DVDs and book just so he could sign his work -- and his signature included a original miniature painting! WOWZA! I have so much to learn here - -so much to admire! And probably the rest of my life to even come close to learning! But Wow!
The entire week was absolutely amazing -- and yes, very tiring. I think my strategy next year will be to try to take the hardest, longest workshops FIRST while I'm freshest ....
Anyway, I'm dashing to yet another meeting ... hope your day is wonderful. And once more, my deepest and most humble thanks for your incredible kind words yesterday. You're the BEST!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
There were 3 things my family told me NEVER to do: give directions (still applicable), sing (oh my, VERY applicable), and draw. But how I really wanted to keep one of those watercolor nature journals I loved!
On my bookshelf were all those wonderfully illustrated and written books about nature journaling - especially those by Cathy Johnson. "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" was a book I had owned since the 1970s!!!! And I still had not opened. But after passing my 50th birthday milestone, I figured if I were EVER going to draw, I'd had better make the plunge.
And so, 4 1/2 years ago, I picked up Betty's book and not only read it, but began the exercises, one by one. Never having art lessons either as a child or as an adult made for a lot of intimidation. I was always writing, but drawing? Nope! So I studied the book, faithfully did the exercises, and when I got to the 'turn the image upside down the spaces' exercise - and my attempt RESEMBLED the drawing -- I finally had a glimmer of hope that I could possibly learn to do this. And the passion was lit....
I kept drawing on and off for a few months; took Cathy Johnson's wonderful on-line classes - watercolor, sketching and more. And, encouraged by my friends on Flickr --- I began keeping a daily journal on line and sketching every day, no matter what. Though there are some gaps in my posting - like when I was overseas or away from home, I always sketched -- something.
And so today marks four years of doing so. Folks ask me if I ever got tired or bored or just too busy -- and I say -- 'yes' ... but having so many years behind me and far fewer in front of me before I leave this good earth -- the only way I believed I could improve my work was to devote a lot of time practicing.
I'm not nearly where I would like to be with drawing or painting - or writing for that matter. But I'll continue picking up the pencil, wetting the brushes, and learning as much as I can.
That "P" word -- PRACTICE -- well, from experience, I can only say -- it takes that -- often, frequently - and consistently.
But it also takes YOU, my Flickr friends - who have been encouraging me for these many years. And I offer this gentle rose in thanks for all you have helped me through - with your encouragement, kindness, generosity and suggestions.
My heartfelt thanks for being there with me - along this most intriguing and exciting journey!
Here's to another year! Wet Brushes -- Get Painting!
Monday, November 16, 2009
We came home to collapse, again, and have squeezed in 2 more workshops - for me, neither as successful painting wise - I think the go-go-go-go-go of the last few weeks and intensity of this week has caught up with me.
Judy leaves early this morning. It's 4:39 am right now, and we leave in an hour. I've an intense, stressful week ahead - but these workshops have given me a chance to take my mind in another direction, and will provide the much needed inspiration and 'go-to' place when things get over-the-top.
I teach all day today so I must apologize if I don't get to catch up until later this week. I do hope your week is fabulous and restful!
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Arches 140# CP
In real life, there is a bit more purple in this piece, but photographing the painting late last night under artificial lights just wouldn't give me the proper colors no matter how many adjustments I tried to make. It comes close, but the real painting is far more red/purple.
This delightful workshop with Jeanne Carbonetti (The Tao of Watercolor) was great fun. It was a playful time - and yet, just like Jeanne herself, the entire three hours was filled with serenity and calm. The workshops, tradeshow, crowds and excitement tend to be a bit on the exuberant and tense side, so this workshop was a wonderful change of pace. And even though the workshop was calming, it was ever so playful ....
I am thrilled beyond measure for being able to post anything I've painted during a workshop. Typically, and I cannot say this enough, I spill my paint, paint backwards, add the wrong colors, do EVERYTHING BACKWARDS (and a lot of that happened yesterday! LOL) - but these three workshops seemed to be a real gift - not just in information - but in my being able to focus and learn, and more than anything - have FUN!
Jeanne's methods, playful, bright, centered, a bit dreamy, calming - all appealed to me in her semi-abstract, representational approach to a subject. We used a photo of a vase of poppies for a 'jumping off point, LOTS of paint and our imaginations -- letting the painting 'speak' to us as to what it needed and the direction we should take. I rarely paint this large or this bright - but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience - very freeing, indeed.
The sun has finally come out and the weather warmed up a bit. After our morning workshop yesterday, we were a bit too tired to do much sight-seeing, so Judy and I came home to rest, reorganize our materials, prepare for an early flight on Monday (for Judy) and work (for me). C fixed us a scrumptious dinner, and we were able to paint a bit before collapsing.
We've a full day again today - we'll be throwing and pouring paint and generally having a great time.
I've tried to focus my workshops on the direction I hope to go with my work. It will take a while to reinforce these ideas and finally make some of them my own. I can't wait to get started!
Have a great Sunday!
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Arches 140# CP
The workshops have been absolutely outstanding -- but the days are running together! LOL
Thursday's class was with Sterling Edwards - and I LOVED it! (This painting is too large for my scanner, so I took a photo - so I apologize for the quality of the capture.) We had the best time! Sterling offered four classes - this one, a more traditional approach to watercolor, a class that moved into semi abstract, and classes in abstract painting. I find myself on the 'rim' of moving toward less realism, but oh my heart sings with traditional methods! Still - his approach, using his signature large bristle brushes, a lessening of detail, and a 'direct approach' really appealed to me. I really want to do more paintings like this - they went quickly, had the variation I love, elliminated the 'fussing,' and yet just enough detail to make me happy! I was so excited to finally learn how to let go of my small brushes, that I painted another scene yesterday morning so I could reinforce what I was learning!
He was offering another class I really wanted to take, but I was called to a Board meeting and had to miss it. I've invested in a few of his DVDs to keep moving in this direction, and I'm really excited about it! I understand he has a book coming out later this year by Northern Lights.
We spent yesterday -- all day -- at workshops, and crawled home, thankfully without the pounding rain, well after 9 pm. Our class today begins at 9 AM, and it's an hour ride to the workshop. The week has sped by, and I will be sorry to see the workshops end and Judy return home.
I saw some of my Raleigh friends at the Trade Show - everyone with armsful of paper, paints, brushes, canvases - and their talk filled with new ideas. This week has been a huge gift.
I'm off to shower and get on the road ... Have a grand day!
Friday, November 13, 2009
Arches 140# CP
On the second day with Karlyn Holman, we painted in a more traditional style of capturing the shadows first in cobalt and permanent magenta - then painting OVER the shadows in local colors. This is a view of one of the abbeys in France. I thought I'd try painting a landscape from somewhere other than Italy! LOL
The idea behind this lesson, also taught while we WERE in Italy, is to capture the shadows as quickly as possible, especially while location, since they are changing minute by minute. Once this is done, the constantly changing light isn't a factor is the result of the painting - since the shadows were established FIRST. I believe Karlyn has published this idea in her last two books. It was fun, and truly by doing the shadows first, the painting almost painted itself very, very quickly.
This two-day workshop ended far too soon - but oh did we have a grand time.
Yesterday, we began our classes at Art in the Carolinas -- and guess who was the first person we ran into? Karlyn! LOL
We're still encased in clouds and rain - so being indoors has been a blessing. After our class yesterday (more on this tomorrow), we dashed down to Smithfield for a long Board meeting. They passed our budget (THANK YOU!) - but the almost two hour drive home in the rain and dark made for a very long and tiring day.
We return to Jerry's today for another two classes. There is so much to absorb in such a short time --- and I'm running into folks I haven't seen in years! I so hope to find a way to be able to take more classes throughout the year. Condensing my art education into one week a year sure can be tough!! LOL
Have a great day!
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Arches 140# CP
A workshop with Karlyn is an experience in expanding one's horizons, thoughts, creativity. She is a bundle of enthusiastic inventiveness, always finding new ways to use old materials, or finding unusual materials to use in different ways.
In this lesson, one of Karlyn's most noted and noteable, we used grape leaves as stencils, wax paper grapes for resist and textures, Unryu paper for texture, stretched gauze for lines, and lots and lots of paint. (For those interested, she's explained the techniques in her second book "Searching for the Artist Within" -- and no, I don't receive any discount! LOL).
We enjoyed another scrumptious meal, and despite the dismal day of rain, wind and cold, the workshop was filled with glowing light and warmth and the kind of creative energy that is renewing and inspiring. I cannot say how very grateful I am to have had this opportunity.
It was GREAT fun ... but most important to me -- the lessons that Karlyn teaches are extremely practical and transferable to other paintings and work. At the same time, she stretches our perspectives and creativity to embrace the POSSIBLE!
We worked on a more traditional project yesterday .. with equal fun and ideas.
In between project pieces, Karlyn shared other ideas for approaching a work, her use of different materials, and some parts of her upcoming book (due out later this year). And she'll be back in Raleigh NEXT year -- and we've already signed up for her two-day class!! YAHOO!
We're off to Jerry's today for Art in the Carolinas. Karlyn is teaching there as well and her classes are almost full.
After our classes, I have to head back to work for an evening Board meeting -- so the day will be exceedingly long.
I'll be back on the 'Net as I can ... meanwhile, get out those paints and PLAY!
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
It's been raining like mad ever since yesterday afternoon, but indoors, twenty people work diligently on the projects Karlyn Holman has brought. We've compressed a two-day project into one full day, and I'm still working to complete the painting ... so today, in the dark of the morning and the pounding rain, I thought I'd share a bit of spring color and cheer - a semi-abstract of lilac buds. I painted this months ago, but I thought the color would be a bit of a change in this season of yellow and orange ....
It was sheer joy to be in Karlyn's class again. This two-day class is being held in a private home by the same hostess as last year. We are surrounded by incredible woodlands, wide, light-filled windows in the studio, and we are as pampered as cherished children. We were treated to a sensational gourmet lunch, snacks and brownies to die for, and an absolutely relaxing and awesome time. And even more - somehow when creative minds are together at work, there's a palpable energy that seems to engage all the senses, and ideas and creativity flow, frienships strengthen, and the entire experience is one of renewal and joy. What a true gift.
We return today for another lesson, to finish our projects, and to once again be spoiled as we bask in these special moments.
On the homefront - Mike had his staples removed and is making terrific progress. His second surgery should happen before Christmas if things continue as they are.
Great news all around!
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Karlyn Holman- Negative Painting with Color Sanding
Originally uploaded by linfrye
This abstract of a forest floor was done last year at Karlyn's workshop. Since we're leaving this morning for another workshop with Karlyn, I thought I'd post it today.
I've always thought I would add some other element to it - butterflies or something else - but never got around to it. The more I look at it without anything more - the better I like it. It's all watercolor, done with negative painting and sanding colored watercolor pencil shavings onto wet paint. Reminds me of the floor of our forests this time of year - a mix of oranges and browns and greens with bits of yellow leaves still showing.
It'll be a full day of fellowship and painting, instruction, a fine lunch - and an artist whose enthusiasm and expertise are thoroughly enjoyed and admired ...!
Hope your day is wonderful, too!
Monday, November 09, 2009
Arches 140# CP
I have passed these old barns so many times since moving to Oxford, that I promised myself that one day I would stop the car, walk into the woods, take a decent photo, and paint them.
I finally did.
While these two structures sit close to the road, the woodlands and traffic make stopping somewhat risky. One quiet day early this month, C and I managed a quick, hurried stop. The barns somewhat more decayed than I've painted here - but that's another painting.
C's jam, our dinner with guests, music, walks - all went beautifully yesterday. Fabulous company, including my son who's improving daily, fun and laughter, sun-shining and warm temps all contributed to a really enjoyable and blessed day. It's been a very welcome respite.
Today I dash into the office, teach a bit, and then dash again to the airport to pick up my guest for the week. Art classes begin in the morning, so I'll be scarce on the 'net this week. With my crazy schedule I don't often get the chance to attend art classes, and so this week is a true gift and much anticipated time to actually WATCH others create and ask questions.
I hope your week is terrific, and I'll post as I can -- but you can bet, I'll be painting daily!!! YAHOO!
Sunday, November 08, 2009
I snapped photo after photo not just for the incredible scenery, but to try to capture that elusive feeling of harmony and peace.
I painted this from one of those photos.
I spent the day yesterday preparing for a dinner party today, C's jam, my friend's arrival tomorrow and art classes all week. Mike left for home - feeling so much better and hopeful. He will have his staples removed Tuesday, and we're hoping he'll be able to set a date for his last surgery.
The house is shined, the porches swept, the clothes ironed, soap crafted, supplies readied, dinner prepared, my mother and son healing.
I am grateful for this moment of peace.
Saturday, November 07, 2009
I'm in the throes of readying for company tomorrow and all next week so time is mighty scarce. Mike also returns home later today, so it'll be a busy time insuring he has all he needs at his own apartment as well as helping him move.
I have to admit that I have thoroughly enjoyed having him here. We've spent a good amount of time together talking and planning and sharing those things that our daily lives or other urgencies often don't leave us sufficient time to talk about.
This time with Mike reminds me of those times when the lights go out. We seem to return at those times to more quieter, simpler ways of being in this world. We rediscover just how important we are to one another--and those 'things' that typically occupy our time and attention fall away into the distractions they really are - yet we can't see that fact in the light of day.
I"m not recommending 'lights out' by any means - but simply that we 'wake up' more often to those things that hold real meaning to our lives, honor them, and give those 'distractions' the minimum attention they merit.
I can hope.
Friday, November 06, 2009
Ginkgo is one of the oldest surviving trees and has been found in the fossil records more than 270 million years ago.
Ginkgo biloba, a dozen of which are planted around the Arboretum, are reputed to be long-lived and grow best in well-watered and well-drained soils. The Ginkgo is believed to be extinct in the wild, but cultivated specimens were found in China, preserved by monks, and from them re-popularized around the world. The species was first brought into the United States by William Hamilton in 1784 for his Philadelphia garden. Frank Lloyd Wright popularized the tree and thus it has made its way across North America.
The ginkgo is dioecious - meaning reproductive organs are found on separate trees (like the persimmon) - the males on one, the females the other. The fruit, found only on female plants, when fertilized, becomes an oval, tan-orange globe that, unfortunately, has a most 'disagreeble' odor . I won't go into the comparisons of its scent, but the smell is so bad that many female trees were removed from city streets. The male ginkgoes do not produce a fruit and thus are those most often planted in the landscape.
Ginkgoes are virtually pest and disease free, slow growing, and can reach heights of 75 feet. They grow in US hardiness zones 3-8A with a spread of 50-60 feet when mature. Their fan-shaped leaves are unique and turn one of the prettiest yellows during the fall season. The ones I've painted have come from the Arboretum's trees. Two of the grouping are completely yellow, while the rest - just barely losing their green!
Ginkgo leaf extract has been used to treat a variety of ailments and conditions, including asthma, bronchitis, fatigue, and tinnitus (ringing or roaring sounds in the ears). Extracts have also been used to improve memory and to treat Alzeimer's disease.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Traveling almost two hours south reminds me again of the importance of various climate zones. The small difference of 100 miles and half a temperature zone, in addition to recent warm days and bright sun, finds pockets still of golden leaves and yellow fields. While I've used a bit of 'artistic license' to enhance the golds in this work, nonetheless, there are still fall displays nearby that have not yet succummed to our recent winds and cold.
Our first freeze is expected later this week, and I suspect that more and more scenes like this will be duller by next week. But the momentary glimpse of the season's splendor was certainly a delight!
Mike is making good progress, and though the four hours of driving to and from home each day to work is tiring, seing his progress, helping with his health care, are all more than rewarding. Again, thank you for all your prayers and good thoughts.
We've a board meeting tonight so the hour will be late when I get home .... but the pile of paper on my desk has been lowered significantly! Have a great day!
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
I returned to work yesterday to be greeted with a truckload of paperwork and the actualization of the rumored 'changes' that have been hinted at for months. I think the new ideas and changes will all have a positive outcome, but at the moment, it feels like another whirlwind of crises to think and plan and work through on top of all the events of the last few weeks and escalated workload of the last few months. I'm reeling.
I tried to paint my way out of this new tornado I'm experiencing, but I don't feel like my painting or my thought processes have been entirely successful.
Still, when I got back home, Mike was showing signs of increasing progress - he walked several times, spend a good amount of time on the porch and has held down all his meals. Our temps yesterday were hovering around 70F ... so the day couldn't have been more grand for him to 'take the fresh air.'
I will still be taking my much needed week off from work next week despite all the 'happenings.' I'll be participating in another two-day Karlyn Holman workshop and several classes at Jerry's Art in the Carolinas. While the timing of my 'leave' isn't especially fortuitous work-wise and events could not have been anticipated months and months ago when this week was planned, my body and mind tell me the time away is EXACTLY what I need.
With all the new demands, I'm afraid my internet time will be curtailed the next few weeks, so forgive me if I am slow to respond.
I'm off to swirl some more ...
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Mike is home!!! And I am ever so grateful for all your thoughts and prayers that have encouraged us and helped us through the last two weeks. We've more to go through, but oftentimes, the most healing place to be is -- HOME.
I saw this wonder photo on my dear friend, Ronah's webpage (http://www.flickr.com/photos/kookie895/4070140011/), and she has graciously allowed me to use it for this painting. It so reminded me of the light at the end of our tunnel, of hope, and of promise - that I thought today would be just the right time to post it. Ronah's photography is incredible, and I thank YOU Ronah for never failing to lift my spirits with your glorious work. Thank you for the use of this image too!
After Mike was released yesterday and settled at the house, I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening chasing prescriptions, supplies, foods and making those innumerable phone calls to insure that he'll be okay as I return to work today. I understand there's a mountain of paperwork to plow through, more phone calls, and deadlines ahead. I'm confident I'll muddle through with caffeine and sugar (my drugs of choice! LOL) and images like this sunrise reminding me that the worst is over and gratitude prevails.
Thank you all --- most humbly.
Monday, November 02, 2009
Mike didn't get home yesterday. The night before was a bit too rough for him, and the doctor wanted him to continue on his IV and meds one more night before he could be released -- so we've got our fingers crossed that TODAY will be the day he comes home. I haven't spoken with him this morning to know how his night went, so I am assuming, with crossed fingers, that he'll be home today.
This barn is located about four miles from my home. I see so many of these when I'm traveling around Granville County - and they never fail to cheer me with their reddish roofs and aging timbers. They remind me of why we moved to the 'country' and evoke images of quieter times and a less-complicated way of living. True or not, the THOUGHT of a less- complex life sure is appealing, though! LOL
The rains have battered the leaves from the trees - and here and there those more stubborn leaves are still clinging to the branches. The brilliant golds have more of a sienna tone to them now, and the bright reds are turning a bit russet. The time change brings nightfall before 6 pm and is a bit challenging to get used to, since my commitments tend to last well past that time before I can go home. Sure shortens the day and I"m missing the light already!
I'm off to do some paperwork before heading to the hospital. Hope your day is grand!
Sunday, November 01, 2009
MIKE IS COMING HOME TODAY!!! He was able to tolerate REAL FOOD, and so today he comes home to finish his recuperation. He'll have to take it easy as his surgery heals, but to be able to come home after such an ordeal is a gift indeed! THANK YOU SO MUCH for all your thoughts and prayers! They have buoyed us through .....!
We've had quite a number of rainy days, and the trees, though still vibrant in color, are quickly shedding. These maples brighten a corner of my property ... adding their orange/red glow to the vibrant golds of the hickories and deep greens of the pine. Their color cheers me, and I love seeing them this time of year at their glory. They herald the end of the year's work as they move toward their winter rest.
We changed our clocks back an hour last night - a bit more rest but an early evening dark. In the words of Hal Borland:
"Time has its own dimensions, and neither the sun nor the clock can encompass them all. All we can do with the astronomical absolutes of time is note them, divide them as we please, and live by them in our daily routines. Beyond that, our own emotions, our hopes and fears, our worry and our relief, shape not only our days but our hours with only casal regard for absolute or arbitrary time. The busy day can be brief, the suspenseful hour endless....Time is all around us, the time of the hills, the time of the tides, the lifetime of a man or a tree or an insect....We participate in time...but when we change the clocks we aren't changing time at all. We are playing with figures on a dial that denotes but cannot alter the flow of forever."