Monday, January 24, 2011

Eat Your Heart Out

I am cheesy. There is nothing that I love more than red and pink hearts, glitter, roses and a box of chocolates. I know there are the valentine-haters out there. There are people who think this holiday is stupid-- that instead, we should celebrate those we love with reckless abandon every day-- or any day, for that matter. I agree with the logic. However, it's often the case that I forget items on my to-do list that don't have a specific deadline. So I am thankful for the deadline of Valentine's Day because it forces me to stop, eat a bite of chocolate, and make pretty cards for some of the special folks in my life.

With that said, I got together with two of my newest friends (Carla and Woodie) on Saturday and we made Valentines like crazy.

There were sweet valentines, cheesy valentines, hilarious valentines-- and between the glitter and pretty patterned paper, we took bites of chocolate croissants (another yearly tradition in the Podracky household).

Here are some pictures from our party. It is sure to be an annual event and I hope more people can join in the fun next year.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Evolution of the Red Tree

It always comes back to the same thing. I realized this week that I've been painting red trees for 7 years now. I LOVE the color red. If everything I wore was red, I'd be happy. If everything I ate was red, I'd be happy (red wine, tomatoes, cherries, Cheerwine, lollipops, steak-- hey, even shrimp are kind of red if you stretch it). I just love the color red.

Here's my latest red tree painting along with all the others that I actually have pictures of. The first one is the one that started it all-- way back at W&L. I enjoyed seeing them all together. My most recent painting is the last one.

Fire Tree, 2004, 30x40 inches, Permanent collection of academic affairs, University of Wyoming

Maple Beauties, 2009, 36 x 48 inches, private collection, VA

November Splendor in Red, 2009, 48 x 60 inches, private collection, NC

November Splendor in Violet, 2009, 48 x 60 inches, private collection, NC

Duke Chapel in the Fall, 2010, available at Studio 91, Chapel Hill

Fire Tree II, 36x48 inches, 2011, available at Studio 91, Chapel Hill

The latest painting just happened out of the blue (or out of the red, rather). I drove home one day and found the sunlight hitting my neighbor's Japanese maple tree just right. I rushed to take some photos and I finally returned to those images in the past few weeks. My favorite parts of these paintings are where the blue sky comes in against the red leaves. There is lots of impasto paint there-- It feels a little abstract and has so much energy! That's when I just lose myself in the thrill of painting colors.

I'll be at Studio 91 tonight from 6-9 p.m. and I'm going to paint on site! I have no idea what I'm painting yet, so this could go either way. I hope you'll stop by and see me for a bit.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

January Struggle vs. White Christmas

I'm struggling at going back to real life today. Dave went back to work this morning and I've been trying to get my act together ever since. It was so nice to have a week to recover from 2010. Not that it was a bad year at all-- it was a glorious year! It's just that after all that cooking, cleaning, entertaining, working at the chocolate shop, wrapping, painting, exhibiting, house buying, moving stuff, we were wiped out. So much happens in a year... I'm sure next year I'll be at a completely different point than this year, but for now, I'm happy to stay put in a warm house with a fireplace. Maybe I could drag my easel up close to it and then I'd be more productive in the first week of January. So instead of new paintings, here are some fun pictures from our very first White Christmas in N.C. Hopefully there will be many more to follow.
Christmas Day in Greensboro-- It began to snow around 2:30 p.m.
By 9:00 p.m., this is what our street looked like!
We went for an obligatory walk in the neighborhood to see the globe lights. Apparently, this is something that Greensboro goes gaga for! Next year we will be in on the action too.
And my favorite photo of the evening.... our neighbor's tree draped in sparkly lights and dusted with glittery snow. Now how about that cuppa hot chocolate and a cozy book by the fire?