Sunday, June 28, 2009

Summer hits

We have been fortunate enough to have had a relatively cool (for us) June. However, it is definitely warming up now. I think today's high was around 105 or 110 degrees Fahrenheit. So our pleasantly cool nights have been replaced by much warmer nights, and it is now the time to dig a burrow in the sand where it's cool, and lay low until the fall. Just like the desert tortoise does. We have much to learn from nature.

This will be a quick post, as I am tired from long days, painting in the studio. I wanted to let you know my website has been re-vamped and is up!!! I used, per the recommendation of my friend, High Desert Diva. It's free, and super easy to use. Please take a look at the new site, and let me know of any errors or suggestions you may have. It's not perfect, by any means, but I have tried to put more new art on there, and I hope to be adding more work in the next few weeks!!! Click here to visit the new site.

I can't remember if I have already posted this painting. If I have, I apologize. It's called "A Bit Rusty" and it measures 12 x 12 x 1.5 inches. It is oil paint and rusted metal on canvas.

I hope to post a bit more this week, as I won't be in the studio quite so much. My parents are coming for a visit on Thursday, and I have some cleaning to do!!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The scorpion

I grew up in South Dakota, and lived most of my adult life in Colorado. So I haven't seen a scorpion until I came here to the desert. My first sighting was two days ago. It was not a big scorpion. I mean, I don't really know if scorpions are usually bigger or smaller than this one, but this one was only about 3 inches long, and maybe one inch wide. A fascinating creature! Pono was the one who discovered it, and fortunately my husband managed to grab the curious dog before his wet nose got too close to the stinger! I think Pono was as curious about it as I was.

I had another long day in the studio today. I was supposed to go to draw from the model tonight, but I am just plain pooped! So I stayed home to clean up my painting mess and post on the much-neglected blog! Here are a couple of the new paintings.

These are both oil on canvas, 14 x 14 inches.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

More desert delights

I finished another oil painting yesterday. Well, I think it is finished. Sometimes, an artist will look at a painting she thought was finished, and realize that there is still something more it "needs" before she can sign her name. Maybe you have heard it before, but knowing when a painting is finished is one of the most difficult parts of the creative process. At any rate, I think I am going to call this one finished, and move on. I called it "Connection", and it measures 40 x 30 x 2.5 inches. It is oil over acrylic on canvas.

I am tired, but I am going to post another shot from the coyote encounter on Monday, a nice photo of a jackrabbit, and a photo of the Gambel's Quail.

I am sorry to say that the website is not quite ready, although I am making progress. You will be the first to know when it is ready!!! I look forward to your valuable feedback. Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The coyotes

This morning, just as I was about to open the door to the van for Pono and I to take our morning walk, Pono climbed into the passenger seat, looked intently out the window, and began to quiver. I directed my gaze in the same direction as the excited dog when I saw three adult coyotes and two coyote pups!!! How exciting! (I quivered, too, but for different reasons than Pono.) I am glad I was paying attention, because if I had let Pono out, I am certain there would have been trouble. Pono would have wanted to go after those coyotes, and with pups to protect, those three adults would most likely have attacked my dog. I kept the door to the van closed, and proceeded to watch the coyotes for about 15 or 20 minutes.

I only have a small camera, so these photos are not the best quality. Even though the adult coyotes got pretty close to the van, the pups were much more cautious. So the only good shot of a pup is from a distance that my tiny camera couldn't quite cover. I am including it anyway. That is the first time I have seen coyote pups before.

After a while, I did drive further down the road, so that Pono could enjoy his morning walk/run.

I am re-doing my website, and I hope to have it up and running by the middle of the week!!! I will post the news when I finish it.

Another cactus in my garden bloomed a couple of days ago. I love these cactus blooms! They don't last long, but they are so brilliant. You can also see a portion of the courtyard area in front of our house.

I leave you with a small painting I finished before my Colorado trip. It is oil on board, measuring 8 x 10 inches. I titled it "From the Past." It will be available for sale on my new website! (you can also email me, if you can't wait that long.) The larger painting I have been working on over the weekend did not turn out the way I wanted it to, so it is drying. I will re-work it once the paint dries. I hope to have another big one finished by the end of the week. Stay tuned.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

From ocean to desert

A few more shots from our visit on the coast.

Some of you may remember how much I love footprints.

One of the culprits.

Yesterday, we woke up to SEVEN blossoms on one of the cacti in our garden. WOW. They only last about a day and a half. I wrote about this cactus here.

Last, but not least, the third oil painting in the new triptych. I am still pondering titles. 24 x 24 x 1 1/2 inches.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Where has Karine been?

That break ended up being longer than I had originally planned. Sorry! I have missed you all terribly, and I hope to catch up with my fellow bloggers this week. I went to Colorado to visit my parents for one week. When I returned, Matthias and I were invited to go to Huntington Beach for the weekend with our friends, John and Nora. It was too good an offer to resist!! At last I am back home, and I am anxious to get back into the studio.

My visit with my parents was such a good one! I resisted the urge to try to get together with my many Colorado friends. Not because I don't love my friends. Of course I do. I just decided that I needed to have some quality "parent time." So that is what I focused on. I was fortunate enough to have my friend Sally Mather (a terrific plein air painter!) drive the 2 1/2 hours from Salida to stay one night. Other than that, I just hung out with the 'rents. I helped my mother plant flowers in her pots and in her flower bed. I worked in the yard. She and I talked. We ate dinner. I went for long walks in the morning. My dad even took a couple days off and we played golf and saw a movie together. The whole time, I kept thinking how wonderful it was to be there with my mom and dad, and NOT ONCE did I have to go to the hospital. For those of you who are new to my blog, last year my mom was in and out of the hospital all year long. We nearly lost her three times!!! It was an extremely difficult year for all of us. Now, my mother is so much better. She still sleeps a lot, but I can have normal conversation with her, her hair and nails are growing, and she has finally gained some weight. It is amazing. The doctors call her a "miracle patient." It is clear none of them expected her to recover in the way she has. It is hard to put into words how thankful I am that I could be there with the two of them, after everything we went through as a family last year.

My mother has these peony bushes that are about 20 years old. They bloom, without fail every spring. The flowers are so incredibly beautiful. Lucky me was there just as they had begun to bloom!!! Here you can see my parents, and my mom is holding some of her wonderful, glorious peonies.

Our weekend on the coast was just as enchanted as the time I had with my parents in Colorado. We went for long walks on the beach. We ate way too much food. We laughed. We shopped at Big Lots. Then, last night, our friend Esther Spezzano Shaw opened up a brand new art gallery in Long Beach. The Spezzano Art Gallery!!! We used the opening as our excuse to get away for a couple of days. It was a wonderful opening. Esther is an artist, so she had her paintings plus the art of three of her friends. It was a harmonious blend of art. If you are living near Long Beach, or if you happen to be visiting the area, please stop by. You will not be disappointed. The gallery is located at 133 The Promenade N, Ste. 109, Long Beach, CA.

Special thanks to John and Nora for deluxe accommodations and lots of laughter! (Nora is also a gifted artist, and you can see her work here.)