The last snow?

Could yesterdays storm possibly be the last for the winter?

Last year, I believe we were finished with snow by March.

But in 2014, four inches fell on March 12.

Here is a little watercolor painted when I was more in love with winter:

snowflake watercolor

Winter did I hear you say “goodbye” until the fall?  Please, don’t tease us!

Hello April

 

It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want — oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! ~Mark Twain

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Time flies, sometimes we fly with it, and sometimes it just drags us along.  Lately I’ve been flying on the wings of much to accomplish, plan for, and loved ones to help and be with.  Each day has an agenda of stuff to accomplish and a list to check off.  I must admit, I find it exhilarating to be so busy once again.  It’s a happy time around here….tax season, spring, a shower and wedding to plan, and time with my favorite peoples, with a few snatched moments to work at art projects.

march 02Indoors or out, no one relaxes in March, that month of wind and taxes, the wind will presently disappear, the taxes last us all the year. ~Ogden Nash

I love watching the trees bud out each day, the snow melt away and the greening of our Mitten.  The birds are singing once again, and we’ve had days with the windows open.

Every April, God rewrites the Book of Genesis. ~Author Unknown

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I am watching a sweet dog for a few days, Maggie, and we are enjoying a morning walk together.  She’s sending me mental telepathy here….walk, walk, walk…..this is what I miss about having a dog.  She accepts no excuses!

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We enjoyed a few outings in March, the urge to escape these walls was great.  We went to the new aquarium that opened at Great Lakes Crossing, and to the zoo….all were interesting distractions and I especially enjoyed watching little eyes take in the new sights and sounds.

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The aquarium deserves a blob post all its own, as Jeff captured some beautiful images.

A few images from our visit to the Detroit Zoo:

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It was CCCChilly, still. And the Littles were most interested in exploring the environment.

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The zoo deserves its own post too!

The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month. ~Henry Van Dyke

The month ahead promises to be a memorable one.  We have Jackie’s bridal shower, mid month.  Also I have this house and yard to whip into shape for the upcoming wedding reception in our backyard on May 30.   Spring cleaning, sprucing up, and various projects will be on the agenda.   But in the end, the wedding will happen regardless of how much I manage to finish.  Nothing like a party deadline to open one’s eyes about the less than lovely aspects of your home.  It’s a way to get things in shape and be able to enjoy the rewards long past the event.

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We wish you a happy and blessed Easter!

Inspired by Florida

During our winter break, I had plenty of time to do what I naturally gravitate towards…making stuff!

After Jeff completed the pallet sectional, Patrice had a cool wide plank board across the back of it.  It was begging for some art.  I used Patrice’s  mosaic supplies and made a few fish for it:

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Definitely funky fish…they were fun!  I hope Patrice adds more.  These are on mesh, which gets cut away.   The fish will be applied to the board with an adhesive, and finally grouted.

Patrice invited her friend and artist, Marie Dyer, to teach a landscape painting class while I was there!  So in the Tiki Bar, nine of us painted all one day under Marie’s guidance.  She freely shares her experience, always finds the best in everyone yet encourages us to improve.  I learned so much that day.  We painted with acrylics.

Here is Marie, getting us set up:

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She’s creating a color mixing chart for us, as we used only primary colors and white:

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We are all listening intently to her instructions and tips before starting (note  the use the sectional is getting.)

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Patrice started on a mural, a coral Bougainvillea vine …she has a good start,  and will keep working on it:

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Here’s my painting:

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Inspired by this scene:

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Here are a few things I learned from Marie:

-No perfectly straight lines are found in nature.

-Have an entry point for the eye, a line to follow and an exit out of the painting.

-Repeat colors throughout the painting.

-Leave an area for the eye to rest.

And lastly, I really enjoyed sitting here working on my journal, and painting postcards:

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Here are my postcards from paradise:

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palm trees

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This last one is special.  Patrice and I walked around her garden, and identified every plant she grows…I wrote them down as we walked:

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This is the last post of our visit to Florida.  And, just in time, spring is inching its way to the Mitten.

Gray day

 

.  A dear friend passed today.  He leaves many grieving hearts.

Dear Annie, I’m so sorry for your loss of a wonderful, gentle,and kind man and husband.  You were so happy together,  and had such a great love for each other. 

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Give sorrow words;
the grief that does not speak
whispers the o’er-fraught heart
and bids it break. 

– William Shakespeare –

A watercolor question

I’m wondering, specifically about taking a photo and then making a painting from it.

Isn’t  the photo enough?  What does the painting add to the experience?  We have the advantage of photography as an art form now.  Why do we paint then?  I can understand the artist is expressing his vision of reality.  Maybe that explains abstraction.  Does the painting mean more than the photo?

Have I totally confused you?  I sure would welcome your comments.

With that said, I did have fun composing a still life to photograph and then, paint:

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Here is my finished painting:

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I learned  much by completing this painting, so in that it has value.

Here are a few  quotes I found on the subject:

All photographs are there to remind us of what we forget. In this–as in other ways–they are the opposite of paintings. Paintings record what the painter remembers. Because each one of us forgets different things, a photo more than a painting may change its meaning according to who is looking at it.  -John Berger
I paint what cannot be photographed, that which comes from the imagination or from dreams, or from an unconscious drive. I photograph the things that I do not wish to paint, the things which already have an existence.  -Man Ray
The painter constructs, the photographer discloses.-Susan Sontag
Yes, construct, not just disclose.
Have a great Sunday!