Friday, December 31, 2010
New Year's Eve
2010 is ending....and a new year is about to unfold. With it comes all the hopes and promises, potentiality and dreams for things to improve, ideas to become real, situations to become more joy-filled.
For so many, this year has had incredible challenges, changes and conflicts, and with these too, the joys, surprises and miracles that also come into our lives to sustain us through the difficulties. In other words, 2010 has been another year filled with the 'stuff' of life.
In the quiet of this morning, I'll reflect on the year and years past, and I'll also be praying for the new year ahead - wishing for all prosperity, joy, laughter, family, friends, creativity and peace.
Snow still covers our landscape as rising temperatures this week turns the fields of white to dark mud ...but I can't help thinking of this painted capture of a corner of my world - where, for a brief moment, silence, stillness, and the quiet of innocent snow offers the world a moment of pure peace.
Happy New Year's Eve!
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Winsor Newton WC
We enjoyed this particular snow event while visiting my daughter in South Carolina. Snow for them is even more rare than it is for us. Once the roads cleared, we drove around a bit hoping to find a few scenes to sketch. We found this small pond and tree reflection - with a bit of snow remaining on the field.
I used Bombay White India ink for the snow, trying to achieve that 'melting' look that the scene contained. Leaving the paper white would have been too 'snowy" I think ... but I'm not sure the ink conveys 'snow melt' either ...
At any rate ... it was a fun thing to try!
We've been spending most of our time on those chores we can't get done over the weekends - car service, banks, etc. so there hasn't been as much time to paint as I had hoped. Still, it's good to get some of these neglected tasks out of the way before returning to work.
Hope your day is terrific!
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
The cold weather has me dreaming of warm places....and though snow is still on the ground after our storm, we're expecting temps to rise to the mid-50s this weekend. We're swinging from temps in the teens to the 50s! Gracious! Pretty unusual for us to have that much of a temperature change during the winter months.
I've a few days off this week so it'll be catch up on chores, visits with our other grands, and a bit of painting.
Hope your week is filled with the things you love to do!
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Though snow remains on the ground, I thought I'd post something a bit warmer....
It's been a fun, exciting and wonderful time with the grands - we're all pretty tired -- but filled with the memories that holidays and family can give.
I hope your holidays were fabulous!!!
Have a great day!
Monday, December 27, 2010
Our days with our grands are full and mighty busy! We played outdoors in the snow for a while -- brr .. painted a bit, cooked, cleaned, played, and spent most of the day in a dizzying round of playtime with each granddaughter. We fall into bed with a very tired THUD! LOL
Today we give my daughter and son-in-law a day 'out' while we care for the girls. They so need some quiet time. A five-year old and two year can wear you out mighty fast!
There is precious little time to quietly paint, but I'm keeping my brushes wet very early in the morning -- while I can.
Hope your day is great!
Sunday, December 26, 2010
SNOW!! YAHOO! Though this work was a practice piece, the scene became real this morning as we woke to snow covring the ground and falling!! YAHOO!!
We'll see snow fall most of the day and with the cold temps, it'll remain on the ground for a while. It's been almost 30 years since our part of NC has seen a white Christmas!
I'll be with my granddaughters for a few days and so will be scarce at the computer....I'll catch up as things quiet down!! With two wee ones, it's non-stoping doing!! And with the snow--even more go-go! LOL
Have a wonderful day!
Saturday, December 25, 2010
O Holy Night
The stars are brightly shining
It is the night
Of our Dear Saviour's birth ...
Merry Merry Christmas!
May the joy, peace, and light of the season be with each of you today and fill your hearts with the love and joy that were given to each of us on this holy day.
Friday, December 24, 2010
A MOST JOYOUS AND MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU!!!!!
These days when families are a mix of all sorts of relations - steps, grands, aunts, cousins, sisters, brothers, and when you add to that the blending of varying traditons and obligations, the holidays can be even more stressful as we all try to meet each of those expectations, wishes, desires, obligations, 'shoulds' and 'woulds.'
For our family, spread across the miles with steps and grands, being with 'everyone' over the holidays is a challenge in logistics. So we've taken a more 'relaxed' view and decided to, like the seven days of Hanukah, spread our holiday over a number of days.
Today begins our Christmas celebrations with my son and his children - our traditional Italian dinner, opening gifts. Tomorrow, C and I will have a quiet, reflective, morning - then celebrate with my daughter and her family. After that, a more leisurely celebration with nearby friends.
By then we'll be quickly moving into New Year's celebrations.
I like this 'long view'....it makes the holidays a bit less frenetic, spreads the cheer over a longer period, extends the spirit.
And so on the first day of our celebrations, I'd like to wish you and yours a most joyous, blessed, friend-and-family filled holiday. May we each remember 'the reason for the season' and may our hearts be filled with the joy and wonder of our God.
And to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your visits, comments, encouragement, invitations, kindnesses -- and most - the gift of your TIME and your FRIENDSHIP.
To me, these are the true meanings of Christmas .....
Merry Christmas -- one and all!
Thursday, December 23, 2010
White Indian Ink (Bombay)
Winsor Newton WC
My thanks and gratitude go to my friend, AG, who kindly allowed me to paint her photograph! What fun!!! I live over three hours drive from the ocean and with temps at 50F yesterday, every bit of our snow was gone ... So painting this scene was extra pleasurable -- a trip to the beach, SNOW, and a wonderful view -- thank you, AG!!!!
I also had a fabulous surprise! My son came for an unexpected visit! With two children, a fiancée, a demanding job, our times together tend to be hurried and not often enough. What a joy to simply spend TIME with one's grown children - interacting as adults, as friends - yet with all the history and understanding that once living together can bring.
We played a few word games, he taught me even more about my new telephone (sometimes I feel like a dinosauric techno-nothing), and found some computer games for the grands when they come to visit next week - all of those showing me once more how quickly they are growing and learning.
I know we 'older folks' continue to say this over and over - and I can't help but repeat it - there is no other gift in the world more precious than kindness and the TIME spent with those we love -- be it children, siblings, parents, friends, pets. That one precious commodity is IRREPLACEABLE, rare and so very cherished. And yet, makes every bit the difference.
May we all find a bit of time to spend with those we love today ....and make it a time of joy and laughter ...
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Ah,Christmas is acomin' .... the cooking is almost done, gifts wrapped, errands --- well, almost done --- and in the weather forecast - snow for Christmas -- an event for our area in NC that hasn't been seen in over 30 years .. so we'll see. It's been an unusual weather year to be sure!
Thank you all - each of you - for your most kind comments - your words encourage me, like nothing else - to keep painting and sharing my journey... bless you for your generosity!
With all the cold we've had the last two months, today is going to be a balmy mid-50F ... so I hope to get in an outdoor walk instead of my noisy treadmill.
Hope your day is filled with wonderful scents and sights of the season ...
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
My thanks go Gabriella (http://www.flickr.com/photos/quadri_gabriella/) whose wonderful photo inspired this painting..... I loved how the morning sun reflected on the snow -- and I emphasized the yellows in my painting a bit more than in Gabriella's capture. Thank you once again!!
Today mark's the first day of winter - did you happen to see the lunar eclipse early this morning??? WOW - a red/orange moon - what a light!! But today also marks the time when we add a bit more light to our days -- small increments that in a few months will bring the sun back to this kind of radiance along with a lot more warmth.
We're in our final countdown to Christmas too. I spent the day cooking and dashing out for last minute items. Today, following a few more errands, it's time to think about baking cookies --- YUM!
I hope your day is filled with light, warmth and all good things!
Monday, December 20, 2010
A quick watercolor of a winter view, a bit of sun and storm clouds gathering - probably rain instead of holiday snow ...
Busy time this weekend with little leisure time to paint as much as I would have liked. Today begins the round of cooking and last minute errands ...
The snow is about gone except for a few patches of ice here and there, and the temperatures have fallen to bitter cold again. The kitties cuddle in their basket and remain close to the house... just like us!
Have a warm and peaceful day!
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Snow dusted the treetops last night giving everything a powered sugar, fairyland look. It won't be around long - already the water in the kitties dish is melted, and patches of ground can be seen poking through the ice that remains from earlier in the week. But to awaken to a white confection --- Wow!
I wanted to practice a bit of splash and splatter in the busyness of holiday preparations. I kept the colors on the earth-toned side for a winter look with splatters of white for snow.
We are almost done running errands, but there's much cooking and wrapping to do. Somehow, holidays are not quite as restive as we think they might be! LOL
Stay warm today!!
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Empty bowls, empty vases remind me this time of year to fill them all --- with the spirit of giving - the peace of the season - the love of friendship.
I painted this several weeks ago as tonal practice ... but I post it today because of what it reminds me to do especially as Christmas approaches and so many 'bowls' go empty.
Thank each of you for your kindnesses - and may the peace of the season fill your hearts to overflowing ....
And may we each remember to pass it on ...
Friday, December 17, 2010
Snow Field - Inspired by Denis Collette and Today's Snow 3
Originally uploaded by linfrye
Snow Field - Inspired by Denis Collette and Today's Snow 3
Originally uploaded by linfrye
Ice, rain, sleet, snow closed many schools and businesses yesterday. The 'wintery mix' caused over 100 traffic accidents and made quite a mess on the highways. The snow itself, heavy, icy, noisy upon falling, coated the trees and shrubs, steps and landscape -- and yet wasn't as pretty as the snow we had two weeks ago. In fact, I didn't take my first photograph! LOL
But it, and an image from Denis (http://www.flickr.com/photos/deniscollette/), did inspire this painting. With more time at home during this holiday season, I can work a bit larger than my travel journal pages.
The snow is melted from most of the highways, though we still have a solid layer of ice covering the grasses. I'm off today for a shopping 'date' with my son ...
Stay safe and warm!
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Again, my thanks go out to Denis Collette (http://www.flickr.com/photos/deniscollette/) for his incredible photography that inspired this winter evening scene. THANK YOU, Denis!
As I type, my windows are still dark and I can't see the snow that is quietly falling. The weather forecasters tell us that this will, again, be a short-lived event - snow all morning turning to rain and skeet this afternoon. Still, the roads are already hazardous, schools are closed, and events are cancelled. We really are not equipped to handle snow or ice.
I have holiday preparations to work on today, but hope to get to my art table for a quiet, non-rushed time!
Stay wam and safe!
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Though the temps right now are in the mid-teens, we've a broken waterpipe outside the tool shed at the Arboretum, and snow is predicted for tomorrow, I remember the warmth of family and Thanksgiving and the early morning walk at Sunken Meadow Beach. I so fondly remember coming to the end of the boardwalk and viewing this snowfence, grasses and bit of sky and ocean beyond the dunes -- and just LOVING the colors and sight! I offer this today - to help us keep warm in the freezing temps - and to remember, this season, our families, friends and the beauty around us.
Stay warm and safe!
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
With temperatures in the teens and wind chill factors falling close to minus numbers, I had to post something that would warm us up -- especially me -- cold weather wimp that I am!! LOL
I wanted to work with colors that were somewhat different than my normal palette, again, and give this sunset landscape a rosey/orangey glow.
We've our holiday functions at work today so it'll be busy and festive.
I hope you stay warm and safe .. it's absolutely bitter outdoors!
Monday, December 13, 2010
Sometimes it's just too difficult to find words or subject matter that fits a feeling --- sometimes all one has is emotion and ideas and thoughts that can't coalesce into a recognizable subject to paint or even write.
As I've mentioned before, Denis Collette's photography (http://www.flickr.com/photos/deniscollette/) can often trigger these feelings in me --- and so this abstract is my reponse to viewing some of his work as well as the holiday season. I wanted an expression of a bit of snow (we got a dusting last night!), that wonderful night blue that seems to come on snowy evenings, the sparkle and colors of Christmas lights - the glitter, the solemnity, the mystery. The feeling ...
This kind of painting is new to me ... and though I can't say what I like about it besides the colors and textures .. somehow it speaks the season triggered by some incredible work by Denis. Thank you again, Denis ...!!!
The snow didn't amount to much but a coating on the shrubs and steps so I'm off to the last workweek before holiday break ...
Hope you have a great day and that you too -- feel the season!
Sunday, December 12, 2010
I knew that once I began painting snow, it would be hard for me to stop!! LOL Even if none of it was falling!
The rain has arrived and we timed planting our fruit trees well enough that the rain would help them settle in despite the winter chill. Seems funny to be outdoors planting anything when it's so cold and dreary. I spent most of the day yesterday in the kitchen making a pasta dish for the Plant A Row Christmas luncheon, making the last of the persimmon preserves and cooking a sweet potato fluff for C's jam group today. Even managed a bit of holiday preparations! LOL
But even after such a full-day, snow inspired me - and I painted this late last night -- go figure. I suppose we love what is rare -- and for us -- it's snow ...
Hope your day is warm and restive -- and the weather cooperates with your plans!
Saturday, December 11, 2010
When the clouds cover the sun and the air is nippy enough to bite my fingers, I can't help but think we'd all be cheered at least - if we could at least have snow! I painted this partly from the snow last week and partly from imagination ... and mostly from HOPE! LOL
I suppose we like snow in the North Carolina piedmont because it doesn't linger very long. But last week's snow, believe it or not, is still in evidence in some of the low-lying areas -- as well as on my front steps! The saying here is that what snow lingers, it's waiting around for the next snowfall -- which won't be too far off ! So I"m hoping it's this weekend! LOL
Spent yesterday doing chores, car inspections, etc., and today will be filled with getting more fruit trees in the ground before the rain this afternoon, getting our holiday preparations closer to completion, working on a grant for work...etc. Seems like there are more things to rush around with this time of year.
Hope your day is restive!!!!
Friday, December 10, 2010
9" x 12"
A change of pace ... flowers, a bright splash of color ... helps warm the cold that seems to have settled ....helps slow, just a bit, the frenetic rush toward Christmas ...
Aren't flowers magic?!
Have a great day!
Thursday, December 09, 2010
Inspiration can come from so many different places -- the snow, the light on a subject, a mood -- and lately for me, the photography of Denis Collette (http://www.flickr.com/photos/deniscollette/). His images stir my imagination and make me look at the world in a different way .... THANK YOU so much, Denis!
This piece, done quickly last night, doesn't quite have the sparkle of his photographs -- but is a mere SUGGESTION of a way of looking at the world that I want to explore .. so again, THANK YOU Denis for the inspiration!
Yesterday was a blur of running and today is another filled with meetings ...with the holidays so quickly approaching, even the weekend promises to be filled with obligations and preparations. Painting time will be short -- sigh ....
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
In the late morning just before the day warmed, the snow on the trees glittered and shined as the sun rose over the woodlands -- it simply DAZZLED ME .... But it was soon thereafter that that same bright shine turned warm and melted away the fairyland ...
The weather here has been mighty, mighty cold. No snow or rain in the forecast -- just frigid temperatures.
I'll be dashing from meeting to meeting today so I hope to catch up with everyone tomorrow ...
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
Morning breaks - but the freezing cold keeps us huddled beneath the covers ....
When the sun comes up over the woodlands, I jump out of bed to see the snow. I am mesmerized ... the sun glints off the white, and here and there are shades of pink and blue -- sheer magic!
While I am a cold-weather wimp -- I SO LOVE the snow! And probably because my area of North Carolina gets so little of it, I try to make the most of every snowfall...
Hope your day is filled with WARM light!
Thank you all for your most incredibly generous comments yesterday. Bless you for such encouragement!
Monday, December 06, 2010
Already the snow has melted and disappeared --- but photos and memories linger.
This is my side property - a view from my porch as twilight settled and the snow continued its soft fall. Small pines, bare trees, ornamental grasses all peek through the forming mounds. I couldn't get enough of that quiet magic ----
This week promises to be free of any preciptation, but the frigid cold has found its way south and many of our outdoor activities will have to wait until the temps rise about 40F -- which won't happen until later this week. BRRRRR....
Stay well and warm!
Sunday, December 05, 2010
Before the snow arrived, my sky looked so much like this except for all my woodland trees ... but this painting was inspired by a photo posted by my friend, Viola (http://www.flickr.com/photos/aoa-/5230506340/) and used with permission. I'd like to try it again -- as I was quite distracted by all the snow that followed! THANK you so much, Viola!!!! Your photos are INSPIRATIONAL!!
Hard to believe that colors like this can lead to an afternoon of white ...but I spent yesterday hanging out my window, on the porch, stepping out here and there to 'try' to capture the joy and wonder of our first snow. We merely received 1.5 inches -- but what I LOVE about the snow is the hush that falls along with the flakes - that softnesss that smoothes the edges of things and renders everything so innocent-looking.
I hope to paint some of it today. Our temps have fallen dramatically. C set up a heat-light for the kitties and this morning I watched all five emerge from the ball they formed to keep themselves warm.
Have a great Sunday!
Saturday, December 04, 2010
The house sleeps. The sun too is slowly rising, but even the kitties haven't begun their insistent scrambling on the porch that lets us know they want to be fed. The bit of light across the horizon shows grey clouds. Though we're only expecting a bit of flurries late tonight and no accumulation, by this time of the year when it's cold outside and the trees are bare, when the heater hums constantly and I yearn for a fire in the fireplace, my thoughts turn to snow.
I love painting snow ... and because I tend to paint snow day after day after day, I don't want to get started too early - or I'll have nothing different to post! LOLOL But I suppose since it is already December, I can play a bit with the white stuff .... lol
I'm also working toward a change in my 'typical' palette. I tend toward the warm side of things and I'd like to change a bit of that here and there as well. I've begun using a few different colors and giving those a bit more dominance ... so we'll see how all that turns out.
We've a few chores to complete today, but the weekend should be restive ... hope yours is too!
Friday, December 03, 2010
The dawn is just breaking. I can see from my upstairs window the first cold light of day against the dark silouettes of bare tree limbs. The heater hums, the coffee perks, and my kitties are still nestled together in their basket on the porch. I can tell from the morning light alone that the day is cold, and that when I serve the kitties their meal in about an hour, their water bowl will be frozen. We may have snow tomorrow.
Still, the week with my sisters and Mom reminds me of milder weather -- a mere 7 days ago! Blue skies, the sand of beaches, the cooling sea. I painted this last week, and looking at it again this morning, I am transported back to those early morning hikes, the incredible bakery goods found no where else in the world, the family I miss.
Our last workshop for the year went extremely well last night. The entire lab space at the Arboretum was filled with the warm, rich scent of herbs and fragrance oils ... and folks left with a gift bag of hand cream, bath salts, powder, sachets, teas ... and a sampling of herbal breads and teas -- fun!
In addition, earlier yesterday, our Plant a Row for the Hungry went home with containers of herbs for their windowsills -fruits of their labor to be enjoyed all winter. AND we still managed to provide almost 6 pounds of greens, carrots and radishes to the food bank.
I got back home mighty late...but was graced with no traffic and a clear ride back to Oxford.
There has been scant time to paint this week - but I did manage to splash around a bt of watercolor during a hasty lunch and hastier dinner. The paintings didn't turn out well -- but nonetheless, for those brief minutes, the act of moving pigment and water across a bright white page, was one of the most relaxing times of the week.
We've a far less hectic schedule from now until Christmas as we wind up 2010 and open the exciting classes we've planned for 2011. But today - rest, and hopefully, a quiet time at the art table.
Stay warm -- and keep those brushes wet!
Thursday, December 02, 2010
This painting was done a few weeks ago. It's based on one of the roses that was climbing over a wonderfully crafted trellis at the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh. I loved the graceful arc and the delicate pink of the blossoms. By now, the cold has browned all remaining flowers ...but memory and photos really bring back the season and joy of that moment.
It's a slow start this morning as our workshop last night ended after 9:30 pm and by the time I reached my friend's, settled down and finally turned off the light, it was after 11 PM ... and we begin again early today with Plant a Row greenhouse projects, harvesting, and finishing up some soaps from last night. We have another workshop tonight that will end as late as last night -- so my perkiness is waiting for additional caffeine before kicking in! LOL
The air was so cold and clear this morning - and I drove in with the crescent moon and Venus brightening the dark of the sky. What a beautiful morning!
Have a great day!
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
The rains have arrived along with strong winds, and outside our mobile unit office, the winda scream .... right now, the temperatures are mild - in the mid 50s -- but as the winds leave us later today, our temps will drop below freezing.
I continue to paint fall colors, trying new methods to loosen up, working still with rich wet into wet blends. I am so reluctant to leave my favorite season despite the bare trees before me ...
Today and tomorrow are mighty busy - I have a class to work with for a colleague, setting up and teaching tonight's soap crafting workshop, Plant a Row for the Hungry tomorrow morning and tomorrow night's Body Products class. I'll be off the computer most of the day and night and home late tomorrow ... I'll catch up on Friday, I hope!
Stay warm and dry today ... winter is howling in ...