Change….it’s hard…but necessary!

Change.  I’d like to think that I’m the type of person that easily accepts and adapts to ‘change’.  Unfortunately, that is not always the case.  Especially when that ‘change’ is forced upon me or catches me completely by surprise.

I learned a few days ago that the ‘theme’  my entire web site is based upon will no longer be supported by it’s developer.  What this means for me…and unfortunately my followers as well….is that I’m going to need to find a new theme and re-design my site.  This does not need to be a complicated process and I could probably do this without making too many changes to the current design.  But….where’s the fun in that!

I’ve always been a big proponent of, “Go big or Go home”!  So I’m going to take this opportunity to make some big changes to my web site.

What does this mean to you….my readers and followers and students….the site will be going into maintenance mode on November 21st.  No classroom access, but the following links will allow you access to the classroom videos.  I have also included a link for WaterColor Sparrow….at no charge… for any inconvenience this may cause you.

WaterColor Big Tree Lake

Country Church

WaterColor Sparrow

The above links will take you directly to the videos.  At that point, you can either make note of the web address or “bookmark” them to your computer for future reference.  Please be sure and download any course materials you might need before November 21st….as they will not be available again until the relaunch.

I’m planning a relaunch in mid January.  Until then…..

Happy Holidays y’all!

 

Nothing Ever Goes According to “the” Plan…..

Wow…did I fall off the face of the earth?  No.  It just felt like I did.  We did make it back to Indiana last May and then my step father passed away.  It was not unexpected, but much quicker then anyone anticipated.  It was a blessing…he had been ill a long time.  So…the entire summer has been spent with my Mom.  Helping her to ease into that next phase in life.  She decided to move to Florida….yup….buying a condo right in the middle of hurricane Irma!

She sold her home in Lafayette to a great couple and found a condo in Bradenton.  Thankfully hurricane Irma did not do a lot of damage in that area.  Closing is in a few days and the bank is sending someone out to confirm that there is no damage to the condo.  Mom will be leaving for Florida next week.  Billy and I will be heading that way in about a month.  We will be spending the winter there this year.

We are currently in Michigan….my son and his wife and son…moved to Michigan this past summer.  Another ‘life changing’ event in my life.  They are in the process of building a home here.  My daughter-in-law graduated from Purdue with her PHD…incidentally her graduation day also happened to be the day my step father died.  That…was the pits!  She landed a great job here in Michigan so off they went.  We wanted to spend a little time with them before we left for Florida.  We will be here in Michigan till the first of October.  Loving spending time with my grandson Max….he just turned one year old!

ME…..well, I’m adjusting to all this.  I had planned to spend the entire summer building my portfolio.  I wanted to submit an application for membership in the Society of Animal Artist.  They only take applications twice a year….the second deadline just passed.  I have not picked up a paintbrush since I left Yuma last April.  I also wanted to have some more online classes available….but….life took a different turn.  Here I am….trying to regroup and figure out where I go from here.

Things are different….my life is different and my goals are changing.  I’m not sure exactly what direction I’m heading at this point, but I do see some changes on the horizon.  I know I’ll be spending a lot of time with my Mom down in Florida this winter.  Billy and I will be doing some painting and other little odds and ends for her new home.  I’ve also got to help her build some confidence in learning to navigate her way round the area.  She has lived in Lafayette her entire life so this is a huge change for her.

I know things will eventually “settle” and I will make it back to my easel….because that is who I am….that is what I do…

I am an Artist.

I’m also a daughter, a wife, a mother and a grandmother.  That’s a lot of hats to wear and a lot of responsibility.

BUT

I wouldn’t change a thing

It’s all part of living, loving, and growing….and being…well….just being…..

 

Two projects….done!

Two projects….done!

I’ve been so busy working on two very special projects.  As you know, I taught two class this winter season.  One was the watercolor deer and the other…..

Amur Leopard Cub, acrylic on wood panel

I love this painting and I’m very happy to say that I donated it for a raffle put on here at the park (Del Pueblo RV).  The raffle benefited Old Souls Rescue and I believe we raised over $1500 for them. You can read about them on their Facebook page Old Souls K-9 Rescue and Retirement Home.  They are truly a wonderful organization and I’m so proud to have been able to participate in the event.  I would also like to credit the photographer, Natasha Jefferies.  Natasha has several beautiful photos available for use as reference photos.  You can find them on Wildlife Reference Photos for Artist for a nominal fee.

My second project was a pet portrait commission.  I think I shared a “work in progress” photo a few weeks back.  Here she is….in all here Ohio State splendor…..

“MIMI”

My next project….I’ll be working on preparing the videos for release for my next online class.  Hopefully by the time I arrive back in Indiana (May 1), the Amur Leopard Cub online class will be ready to post!

Watercolor….Red Deer

Watercolor….Red Deer

My goodness….where, oh where does the time go!  It seems we only just arrived here in Yuma and yet it has been over a month now.  I’ve just finished up teaching a watercolor here in the park.  A beautiful and handsome Red Deer Stag.  This painting was done on a 1/2 sheet of 140lb CP Fabriano watercolor paper using Winsor and Newton Professional watercolors.

You will notice that I now am placing my watermark on my work.  I’ve just read too many scary stories about an artist’s work being compromised.  Sad.  I would also like to mention that this painting was inspired from a photograph taken by Sue Dudley.  You should always have permission before using anyone’s photo as a reference.  This particular photo came from Wildlife Reference Photos for Artist.  I encourage you to check out their website.  You can purchase, as I did for this painting, reference photos from which to work at a very reasonable price.

My current project is Miss Mimi!  Her Dad is a huge Ohio State fan and I did her ‘brother’ last year.

Miss Mimi will be dressed in her Ohio State Cheerleader’s outfit complete with megaphone!  As you can see I still have a long way to go…..so many wrinkles!  LOL!  Such a sweet girl…full of puppy kisses and sugar and spice!

The month of February will also find me teaching an acrylic class here in the park.  We will be painting the Amur Leopard Cub…..I shared a partially completed sketch of him or her last post!  I do plan on having the Amur Leopard available for an online class, but don’t look for it until the end of February!

Amur Leopard

Amur Leopard

As many of you know, we are in ‘travel mode’ these days which makes it a little difficult to paint….especially to video.  So much stuff has to be unpacked and set up in order to shoot the video,  that it really doesn’t make much sense to do it for just a day. Once we arrive in Yuma, sometime this month, I’ll be back in the ‘studio’ videoing  again.  I know last post, I promised my acrylic painters that a new class was coming.  Since painting is out, I decided to get out my pencils……This is the beginning sketch of “Amur Leopard Cub” which will be the next acrylic class that I post.  Such a cute little thing and wait till you see those beautiful eyes in full color……

I have to admit that I have never been a huge fan of ‘pencil’ sketching, I’m always to anxious to get to my paints.  Usually I’ll just do a quick line drawing and let my paint brush do the rest, but I’m really starting to enjoy this process.  Establishing values in a painting is so very important and I’m finding this to be a very good learning experience to that end.  I actually feel that when I pick up my paint brushes…having done this little sketch….will prove to have been a very worthwhile experience!