Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Goodbye, my love!

Every now and then I still find it hard to let go of one of my paintings. "The Red Tree," as it's known around my house, found a new home tonight. Dave and I took it to the residence of a wonderful family who wanted to see it in their own space. As soon as we walked into the house, I knew it was meant to be. Their rooms were decorated with luxurious drapes and cozy red and green fabrics and paints. "The Red Tree"--- my red tree--- was the perfect finishing touch.

I was thrilled when they loved it too-- so much so that I grinned from ear to ear with pride. I felt like jumping up and down with joy! I am forever honored when people love my work enough to purchase it and hang it in their homes. No matter how many times it happens, it's still a tremendous thrill.

The green paint on their dining room walls was the perfect shade to bring out the brilliant red of the tree. What made it even better is the fact that the couple had Laura Redd's help in decorating! Laura is one of my good friends and I am constantly amazed at her work! Learning that was just the icing on the cake... tonight was meant to be!

When we came home to our empty kitchen wall I felt a little pang of sadness. That glorious painting was the one that I saw each morning as I downed my honey-nut cheerios and sipped my coffee. That glorious painting was the backdrop for our perfect Thanksgiving buffet planned for Thursday...That glorious painting was one of my favorites that I've ever painted. I will miss it.

This is the cycle-- I paint things that I love-- that I want to hang in my home-- and they find other homes! This is the wonderful life of being an artist. Because that painting found a great home, my mind will start pondering the next project to fill the void. Are you excited yet? I sure am...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Holiday Classes for Kids!

(image courtesy of todaysmotherhood.com)

Does the holiday rush make your head spin? Do you need an hour or two of quiet so that you can run errands and check a few things off your to-do-list?

I hear you!

On December 7th and 14th, I'm offering a buy one get one free set of holiday art classes for kids age 6-10. For just $25.00 each, your little ones can paint and sculpt to their heart's content in a professional artist's studio while you get some time to take care of yourself. Purchase the first holiday class on December 7th, and get the second class free on December 14th.

Space is limited and spots must be reserved in advance. To hold a spot for your child, call Katie at 912.704.3637.

Holiday Sculptures: Tuesday, Dec. 7th 4:30-5:45 p.m., at the studio, 3022 Lake Forest Dr., Greensboro, all supplies included.

Holiday Paintings: Tuesday, Dec. 14th, 4:30-5:45 p.m., at the studio, 3022 Lake Forest Dr., Greensboro, all supplies included.

Do you know what's even better than time to yourself?... Seeing how proud your children are of their finished projects when you put them on display! Take that, Mr. holiday-to-do-list!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck!

Beautiful red apples washed and ready for peeling... Don't you see why cooking and painting go together so well? These are about to go into my annual tradition of apple blackberry pies.

The ingredients looked so pretty on my countertop, complete with the recipe from last year's Martha Stewart Living. I'm a huge fan...

Diced cold butter for the crusts. I put it in a food processor with the flour, cornstarch, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and sugar. Pulse until crumbly and then add your cold water until it just comes together.

Peeling 15 lbs of apples is easier said than done. If you're making this recipe, you may as well make several pies and save yourself the trouble of repeat batches later in the year. I made 5 pies and froze them all for the holidays. The apple slices get mixed with more sugar, spice and a few handfuls of frozen blackberries.

This crust is beautiful. I used little leaf, apple and acorn cut-outs to make it lovely. I even put a little turkey cut-out at the center of my Thanksgiving pies.

Dotted with sweet cream butter and ready for the oven or freezer: Sweet success! (and one less thing on my to-do list for Thanksgiving)

Here's the recipe: Martha Stewarts Pate Brisee Apple Blackberry Pie

Friday, November 5, 2010

Apples to Apples, Dusk to Dusk

Traditions are priceless, aren't they? Here are pictures from our latest family tradition. It all began last year with the search for the perfect red tree. Dave and I drove to the Blue Ridge Parkway to seek the fall colors and snapshots. We found so much more along the way-- including an apple orchard called The Orchard at Altapass.

On a gorgeous hillside off the parkway there are rows and rows of apple trees with the brightest red apples and a perfect barn. The barn, now a store, offers hot apple cider, apple butter, apples by the peck or bushel, and entertainment galore if you time it just right. Last year we discovered the cider. This year we discovered the entertainment!

A typical Carolina bluegrass band was playing country mountain-man music and the mountain folk were coming out of the woodwork to dance and sing and be jolly by golly. The dancing was filled with plaid shirts, bushy beards, toothy grins, jerky Caucasian movements and plenty of whoop & ye-haw. What more could you ask for, I say... what more could you ask for...?

The only thing missing was a ride in the Yosimite Sam Truck... maybe next year.

Monday, November 1, 2010


These trees look like they're reaching toward each other, don't they? I couldn't resist the sunlight coming through fog, silhouetting these three shadowy forms. Why are they reaching? I'm not exactly sure of the answers but I like to think about the possibilities.

My style is more impressionistic in this piece. I feel a freshness and an energy in the painting that I always try to capture. It eludes me more often than I like, but in this piece I caught it by the tail!

The top painting is the final version and the bottom piece is a palette knife study that helped me prepare.