TO ME!! Although not one of those 'milestone birthday's - today gets me one year closer to retirement ... yippee!! LOL (now to hope the economy improves so retirement can be a reality! LOL) We'll celebrate with a quiet dinner tonight with my son and grands, calls from my friends and family, and for me -- much needed R&R!!!
We gleaned not one quarter of a friend's field of sweet potatoes yesterday(a most generous offer and donation by her family) - filling the back of one of our volunteer's trucks, an SUV and our school van - for a total of over 1,341.85 POUNDS OF SWEET POTATOES! Some of the potatoes were small - but mercy, some of those were as large as my foot! For nine older women and one older man -- we bent, dug, gathered, piled, hauled to the trucks -- and then unloaded all three vehicles at our drop off point for the Interfaith food shuttle. WHEW! How we all grew in admiration for the folks who do this type of work each and every day! Their backs and shoulders are mighty strong!
We ate lunch together guessing the weight of our donation - looked at plants and as tired and sandy as we were, simply rested and laughed in the followship of a job well done.
Got home late last night, started laundry, bill paying and the like -- Another dear friend of mine dropped off a bucket of chestnuts so this weekend we'll treat those so we can use them through the winter. Charles has his jam Sunday and we'll have company for dinner, and tomorrow is an open house at one of my favorite gardens -- yeah, yeah -- another busy one --
But sometime this weekend, I will wet those brushes and take a nap! LOL
Have a great day!!!!
PS the flower is from my garden -- and some flowers on that shrub are still in bloom!
Friday, September 30, 2011
Thursday, September 29, 2011
A quick landscape painted last night after a full day of tours and guests and work-catch up after hours ....This scan doesn't show the light blue of the lake as in the original -- but it's the best I could adjust the uploaded image this morning ...
We're dashing out to glean sweetpotatoes (collecting after the harvest) from a friend's fields ... the pounds of food will be donated to the hungry. Already, between the friends of the Arboretum and what we have grown ourselves, we have donated over 1,000 pounds of fresh food to the area's needy.
Hope to catch my breath and spend a leisurely few hours visiting everyone tomorrow ..... Have a grand day!
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
9" x 12"
Yellow fields have again captivated me -- and here, one of the many barns in Oxford, the yellow wildflowers and tangle of trees have almost hiding the barn.
This scene is but four miles from my home - and I carefully watch the site as the wildflowers change with the seasons. The fall's yellow flowers - rudbeckia, coreopsis, goldenrod - all mix with the wild grasses also found there. I don't venture far into the tangle - the knowledge that ticks are still active keeps me at road's edge. Still, I admire the way the changes play over this bit of rural life.
I'll be off line for the rest of the week as our classes and trips rev up --- I'll be checking in sporatically as I can - but hope to catch up on Friday ....
Have a grand week!
Monday, September 26, 2011
9" x 12"
The show in my garden this time of year is the American Beauty Berry (Callicarpa americana) - also known as French Mulberry. I have two varieties - this purple, and a white, more drooping shrub. Both take center stage.
This medium sized shrub is native to our area and can be grown in zones 5-10. The show-stopper, though are the bright purple to metallic berries - beloved by all types of birds. The flowers and leaves appear late in the spring, at least in my garden, but the berries last through most of the winter, and for the white variety, those wonderful drooping stems add a wonderful winter interest.
Though the leaves are greener in summer, aleady mine have turned a muted olive and are soft and a bit fuzzy to the touch. It's a fast-growin shrub, and I have to admit, I seem to be finding a number more volunteers each year. These can be transplanted. I find that the white variety, at least where it is growing now, seems to reproduce a bit faster than the purple.
It's going to be another wild week for me and I'll be in and out with classes and tours and lectures. We're also gleaning sweet potatoes for the hungry from a friend's fields ...
Hope your week is fabulous!
Sunday, September 25, 2011
There has been precious little time to paint this rainy weekend - this was painted a few weeks ago during one of those rare, but welcome, fits of inspiration that seems to create paintings without effort. I painted from this same photo of the live oaks on Capte Lookout earlier (http://www.flickr.com/photos/linfrye/6143118477/) but wanted to see if I could approach the scene using some of the simple and effective brushstrokes I have been studyding by Papeix (http://sites.google.com/site/jcpapeix/).
I like both of these approaches for different reasons ... and I find it interesting how different an approach can make in a painting of the same subject.
It's been a busy weekend -- we put up two canners full of field peas - half a bushel!! that is, after we shelled them all! Then finally had a moment to dash out to dinner to celebrate our anniversary ... today, it's all those pesky chores that wait for me each week --- the weekend flies by and before I know it, the work week begins -- or in some cases lately, continues from the weekend.
Driving to town for our dinner yesterday, I was noticing how yellow our landscape has become - already our tulip poplars are not yet golden, but definitely yellowing. And I can see through the woodlands more as leaves have begun to fall and the foliage thins ...
In my area of North Carolina, the peak of fall color won't occur until the end of October to mid-November, so I've a long time to watch the season turn ... but already I am hunting for colored leaves and those wonderful fall berries ....
Hope your Sunday is terrific!
Saturday, September 24, 2011
9" x 12"
Another grey, rainy day -- perfect for a restful, quiet time. This painting is based on a photo I took last week at Old Salem of a huge hops vine .... I loved those pods - and though the vine itself reminded me of grapes with its heart-shaped leaves ... the scaly fruit of the hops (MUCH smaller than I've painted here) were not at all juicy or colorful as grapes can be.
Old Salem gardens are historically accurate recreations of the gardens grown and tended by the first Moravian settlers to North Carolina. Hops, probably for beer, was one of their crops. It's a hearty vine - and this particular plant was growing up a line extended from a pole more than 10' high ... I'd need two ladders to harvest the hops! LOL
I enjoyed a few hours painting yesterday with my friend Jodi - whom I hadn't seen all summer --- so good to be returning to normal things! We got a half bushel of field peas shelled and today, while the rain keeps me indoors, I'll can those for the winter and save some for dinner tomorrow.
My plans are to paint a bit and maybe get in that nap I just couldn't find time for yesterday ..
Hope your day is restful too!
Friday, September 23, 2011
9" x 12"
HAPPY FIRST DAY OF FALL! I know we had a mighty hot, dry summer - but it seems to me that fall has arrived far quicker that I could have imagined when we were suffering through 100F weather!
My persimmons are not quite ready-- but they are on the trees - both at home and at the Arboretum. Already I can imagine their sweet taste and the desserts I'll craft from them .... now to be patient enough to let them ripen!
It's a rainy wet day for fall's entry, but we're glad for the moisture and quietness of a grey day. It's been a wild week and I'm looking forward to catching up on rest and painting!
Hope your first day of fall is terrific!
Thursday, September 22, 2011
This painting is based on a fabulous photograph by Denis Collette (http://www.flickr.com/photos/deniscollette/) -- THANK YOU, Denis!! I painted it a long time ago and it has been sitting in my dwindling archives for months... On this rainy, busy week, I thought it might be appropriate to post today -- Once again -- thank you, Denis!
My workshop went well last night -- we all ate and learned and ate some more. I was mighty late getting to my room and up early for our volunteers this morning. I've one last busy, full day with meetings - and then home for my first real weekend of rest. I'm looking forward to it!
We're in for another weekend of rain - and my garden really needs my attention -- but perhaps the rain will give me that excuse I need to put it off a bit longer.
Hope your day is great!
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
9" x 12"
With cooling temperatures and the offical 'date' of fall almost here, it's time to clean the gardens of spent summer flowers and plant those wonderful, versatile, cool season pansies!
The horticultural therapy program at our college grows these each spring and fall - and the variety of colors and sizes of these cheerful flowers are always amazing! We typically plant these en masse at the garden in front of the sign for the Arboretum - and waves of white and purple seem to show up best from the roadside. I love the multi-hued faces the best .. they never fail to bring a smile!
We've been having rain most of the week, and the weeds are having their way with the gardens. We need the rain - but mercy do we have work to do!!
Mike returns to Charleston today for follow up and stitch removal ..thank you once again for all your thoughts and prayers -- he's mending well ...
My class meets tonight so it will be mighty late evening - and early morning tomorrow when our volunteers come to harvest for the hungry and get those gardens in order.
Hope your day is bright -- no matter the weather!
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
My good friend Bev Morgan introduced me to the work of Jean Claude Papeix (http://water-color-paintings.blogspot.com/2011/05/jean-claude-papeix.html) - and I fell in love with his style.
This painting is of Cape Lookout from the trip Charles and I made several weeks ago. I tried to emulate Papeix's style ...
I think of our trip today especially, on our 19th wedding anniversary -- HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, CHARLES! It's been such a busy time for us this month, that we are both grateful for the brief respite we took weeks ago.
We'll celebrate our anniversary this weekend when, hopefully, our whirlwind will slow down!
Monday, September 19, 2011
9" x 12"
Saturday's field trip to Historic Bethabara Park was fun - though cool and wet. Two years ago when the Arboretum made the trip, the festival was canceled due to excessive rain and ground that was too soggy to hold up the vendor tents and stage. This year, though overcast with scattered showers, the festival went on - music, old-fashioned games, crafts, and apples. From dried, to fresh, North Carolina grown varieties, pies, sauce, cider and more - the festival, and the cool of the day - the mood and feel -was apples! My favorite variety - Pinova - wasn't there again this year -so I settled for an apple that comes close in taste - the Honey Crisp ... a bit of sweet-tart, firm flesh and thin skin -- fall indeed!
The rest of the weekend was filled with grant reading and grading, taking down my exhibit and rehanging my paintings elsewhere, finishing the cooking for my class on Wednesday, packing the car ...after ten days away - it feel like three more days 'away' ...
And leads to a similiar busy week ahead with a meeting or class each and every night this week. Whew ...
Mike continues to do well. He returns to Charleston for stitch and drainage tubes removal later this week. We continue to be ever grateful ...
I'll probably be scarce because of work obligations - but will catch up as I can. Meantime, have an apple -- it's just about fall!
Saturday, September 17, 2011
It's that time again when yellow is the dominant color along the roadsides and in the fields. Fall's 'yellow', unlike the yellow of spring, is more golden, with hints of the season's end in tinges of brown, tan, ochre. Even the greens of the fields - emerald in spring - are now more olive with hints of red ... Season's turning ....
We're off to the apple festival at Bethabara today - the first Moravian settlement in North Carolina. Two years ago, our trip was rained out, so we rescheduled it again for this year. Weather is supposed to be overcast with a chance of rain -- so we've fingers crossed that the wet stuff holds off until tonight. It's cooler too -- in the mid 50s ... making the day really feel like fall.
Hope you have a great weekend!
Friday, September 16, 2011
9" x 12"
Ahhh.... home!! So GOOD to sleep in my own bed again, visit my droughted garden, wild kitties, and unpack my poor car! LOL Mike got home safely as well and is feeling pretty good --- Grateful hearts all around!
It's a working weekend for me with a field trip on Saturday, cooking today for a class on dehydration I'll be teaching next week, and catching up from my time away.
This painting was done before I left for Charleston -- I wanted to focus on the colors of the heather -- to intensify those as the center of interest - and so I didn't paint in the bench from the original photograph. Seeing the painting again this morning - I think the addition of the bench would join the two trees somehow so I might add it later on. Still, I really enjoyed playing with these colors and the challenge of having those compliments work without becoming mud.
We've a cold front moving in ... at least for the weekend. Temps won't reach 70F ... quite a change from summer highs that hovered near the 100s!
Hope your weekend is restive!
Thursday, September 15, 2011
We're heading home!!! Mike was released from the hospital yesterday, but must return next week to have his drainage tubes and stiches removed. He spent the night with his dad and will be driving to NC today. I left Charleston yesterday and arrived at work early afternoon and spent a good number of hours catching up and putting out fires -- but more than anything -- WE'RE ALMOST HOME!!
A million heart-felt thank you's for all your prayers and good wishes for my son. I am a true believer in the power of prayer and these have pulled him through another difficult, dangerous surgery. He will be home over a month as he more fully recovers.
This painting was finished in the hospital from a photograph I brought with me to keep me occupied during the long hours of sitting. But it also represents, to me, a bit of returning to normalcy - such as real food for Mike - and home-cooked meals for me! LOL
Again, my deepest gratitude to YOU ... and to our good Lord who keeps us all.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
This painting is from a photo I took on Cape Lookout, North Carolina - that tip of the beach that reaches into the Atlantic Ocean across from Cape Lookout Lighthouse. We followed this path through the live oaks of this National Seashore Park, enjoying the relative quiet and coolness of the shady areas.
I post this today especially for those glorious giants I studied for all my college work, and which also line the streets of Charleston and maritime forests of the South Carolina's lowcountry. I pass many of these trees as I walk from my motel room to Mike's hospital room - and I always admire that unusual horizontal branching that is so characteristic of live oaks.
We had a bit of a set back yesterday after seeing the surgeon, and though all is well, progress has slowed a bit and we are still waiting for Mike's body to respond to food a lot better than its been doing. It's a very challenging waiting game right now.
Once more than you for all your thoughts and prayers .. I know it won't be too much longer before we call can head back to North Carolina.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Ten years ago, our country experienced the worst tragedy of our existence - the bombing of the two World Trade Towers in New York. I know that each of us can remember where we were when the news came to us, and the days following, and the days following that.
My father was one of the thousands of construction workers who built the towers -- he's gone today, but I cannot think of the Towers without remembering his work there.
After the Towers' attack, I remembered the urgency I felt to hear the voices of my loved ones, to make sure they were safe, and the great need to be home and with those I loved. I suppose challenging times bring out those feelings .. no matter the threat - to be among those we love.
I painted this yesterday from Mike's hospital room -again, feeling the need to be with one of my own family members. I thought about him, our own family's losses and joys, and felt need to pray for peace ....
For all of us ....
Mike continues improving - perhaps he'll be ready for liquids today and to have even more tubes removed ...
Meantime, we are blessed, to be among those we love as we continue to work for the gift of peace ...
For the world ...
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Though I am 'close' to the Atlantic ocean and the marshes I love, l find it difficult to leave the hospital to venture around town, even though Mike is doing beautifully well ...somehow, my mind won't let me 'play' while I'm here for parenting and supporting purposes. But I view the harbor from the waiting room window and beyond that, I can just about see those watery marshes. This painting is somewhat based on experience and memory.
Mike continues to improve -- hopefully, he'll have improved enough to be allowed water and liquids today. He walks the halls several times a day, even took a shower yesterday, and has reduced his pain med intake so he is MUCH more cogent. Really good news!
His wife stays with him when I'm out to lunch or dinner and I am with Mike while she's on break. His dad and step-mom also relieve us -- so things are good. I am painting a bit - but it's a bit challenging space-wise -
Not sure when Mike will be released - probably after he's been eating and has other functions return on their own.
Again, many thanks for all your good wishes and thoughts!
Wednesday, September 07, 2011
9" x 12"
Thank each and everyone of you for your prayers, thoughts and good wishes sent our way. The surgery, 16 hours ago, went very, very well. The find doctors were able to remove a lot of scar tissue which was causing a tremendous amount of pain, fix a few things, and in less than 3 hours got my son into the recovery room. He was moved to his own room around lunch, and though well drugged for the pain, being in and out of consciousness, he is doing exceedingly well. I know it was all the good energy, thoughts and prayers on his behalf that helped make this possible.
He'll be in the hospital for 5-7 days, depending on his pain levels and how well he's mending. But in all, gratefully, a most successful day. It has taken two long years to get to this point--finding a doctor who was willing to risk the surgery and a brilliant surgeon and hospital staff to make such an operation such a success.
We all, family and friends, thank each of you for all your prayers. May you be blessed for such generous kindness.
I'll try to catch up with eveyone as I can ... but know most of all, how deeply I appreciate every one of you.
Tuesday, September 06, 2011
Later today I return to the marsh, the sea, and a city I love to be with my son as he undergoes surgery tomorrow morning. It's a serious operation and I know the doctors who will be working on him are some of the finest. Still, when a loved one is in the hospital, there is always concern and worry. I'll be offline for a while - but will try to check in once we know how things go for him....
Thank you for your good thoughts and prayers on his behalf.... and I pray your week is a good one...!
Monday, September 05, 2011
9" x 12"
Janina offered a wonderful challenge - a photo of the Moorland - fields of incredible heather (http://www.flickr.com/photos/33128445@N05/6093547385/). Though I've never seen these types of fields, the photo so reminded me of the lavender fields that I try to visit each spring .... I LOVE that flow of purply pink flowers and can just imagine being amidst such beauty. As I look at my painting this morning, it probably could use a bit of 'grounding darks' ... and I thought maybe I'd add those later -- but on the other hand, I liked the dreamy quality of this - much as what I felt when I painted it -- so I left the painting as I finished it yesterday.
Today we celebrate the importance of work - "Labor Day" -- and our celebration is to take the day off FROM work for a day of relaxation and leisure -- and I'll certainly join in that kind of celebration!!!
We're expecting rain - and in a way, for those of us who spend a good part of their working lives out of doors, rain means a day of leisure. Somehow when that bright yellow orb is shining, it seems to compel me to go outdoors and enjoy the beauty of nature around me ... When it rains, I tend to see that as an 'excuse' to cuddle in, paint a bit more, maybe catch a movie, maybe even a nap ...does the sun affect you the same way?
We've a bit of indoor chores to do despite the holiday and/or rain ... but for the most part, it should be a wonderful quiet day -- I hope you too have a terrific day of rest!
Sunday, September 04, 2011
My thanks go my dear friend, Ernesto, for permitting me to use one of his photographs (http://www.flickr.com/photos/vilageron/) as inspiration for this painting. THANK YOU SO MUCH Ernesto!! Stop by and see some of his magnificent images!!
(PS the soft blue of the background is more evident in the original painting.)
A busy day outdoors yesterday --we finally trimmed the jessamine - which was growing over the arbor, up the trees and over the roof -- be careful where you plant this vigorous vine!! Trimmed some water shoots from the eleagnus, and hit those stubborn weeds with poison. By the time we finished, we were hot and tired -- but it felt so good to get the property around the house a bit more 'under control'.
The rain we've been having has regenerated new growth in some of my flowers - and today I hope to distribute some seeds I've been saving from my purple cone flower patch. With the rain due later today and tomorrow, this should help get these wonderful plants established in a new area we cleared earlier this year.
My heart and prayers go out to the folks along the gulf coast, especially Louisiana, feeling the effects of Tropical Storm Lee and
already experiecing several feet of flood waters and power outages ... gracious. Lee is a very slow moving storm (2 miles per hour!!!!), dumping tons of rain, and heading northeast. We should be feeling its effects late tomorrow and through next week - meanwhile Hurricane Katia continues her path eastward and towards North Carolina ...
For today, we're in sunshine and relative quiet and coolness ... I'm going to enjoy it while I can ... hope you do too!
Saturday, September 03, 2011
My archives are about depleted - but here's an oldie of the marsch I love ... it was done in the fall - probably last year. While I was living in Charleston, South Carolina, a coastal community, there wasn't that wonderful pronounced fall coloration that folks have in the northeast US - those deep magentas and reds and golds and oranges. We get a bit more of those colors here in piedmont North Carolina.
In Charleston, though, I would watch the marsh and observe the how the marsh grasses - spartina, needlerush, and others - lose their vibrant green in the fall, and turn a bit more tawny, to finally a more tan to brown color. The maritime forests along the marshes - those almost evergreen climax forests unique to the region - are filled with live oaks, magnolia, sweet bay, palmettos, and the few maple and oak growing among those evergreens - were the only hints of fall color - and rarely turned as vibrant a color as the same species growing in New England. Still, the marsh had its own seasonality -- and I loved it in each of them.
We're in for bouts of rain this weekend, and our eyes are turned once again to the bustling activity in the Atlantic. Hurricane Katia is the storm our forecasters are watching most closely. This 'K' hurricane replaced a similiar one - Katrina - that devastated New Orleans several years ago - and at about the same time in September. We're hoping that Katia turns northward ... and soon ...
We've some outdoor chores to do between rain showers...and the heat is returning for the weekend - still, in our drive yesterday, we have already spotted bits of yellow in the trees and very much along the roadsides ... and here and there, the first leaves of red can be found in the sumac ..
Fall is a comin' ...
Have a great weekend!
Friday, September 02, 2011
This painting is a bit different in style for me than some of my others ... I'm not sure I like it or not -- but it was based on a photograph found in the Wet Canvas Reference Library of Himalyan Honeysuckle. The fruit structure of this plant and brilliant magenta inspired my choice of subject - and I tried painting it a bit more botanically -- but just didn't like the tightness my painting in that particular style gave the work. I opted for a more expressive approach focused more on color and flow ....
Yesterday with the announcement of the orchard win, the paperwork, our Plant a Row for the Hungry volunteers, planting the rest of the fall garden, making apple and pear butter as a treat for the volunteers as well as routine demands made for a long, long day and even longer evening. When I got home I had a ton of vegetables to prepare for my dehydration class coming up this month, laundry, bill paying and the rest .. whew ... but at least cramming all that into one long day will leave this holiday weekend a bit freer... I hope!
The weather this week has been divine ... after all those storms - we've had a cooling off period - thankfully - so that clean-up efforts can continue in relatively comfortable temperatures, and those still without power won't be in stiffling heat.
The season has definitely turned as the tropics continue to send storms our way - typical for this time of year. We're expecting rain most of the weekend due to a tropical depression in the gulf, and we have our eyes on another hurricane brewing to the east. Gracious.
I hope your weekend is terrific, and once more, a million thank yous for your support and votes during our long orchard project!
Thursday, September 01, 2011
WE WON! WE WON!!!!
And as I sit here at 6:10 am in the morning, dawn not yet broken, and the announcement of the orchard winners ringing in my head (http://www.communitiestakeroot.com/Plant/Winner) - words fail me beyond -
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
I cannot express just how much we all appreciate your voting, your support, and your help! Thank you -- from the bottom of my heart - and the hearts and souls of those hungry individuals who will benefit from this grant.
Our tentative planting date is November 8 -- if you are anywhere near Smithfield North Carolina and could join us for this community-wide celebration and planting - please let me know -- and join us --
This event and orchard could not have been done without YOU!
BLESS YOU! AND THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH!