Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New Artwork! Getting ready for Fall!

Hey All! Just wanted to remind you all that the Charlestown Arts http://www.artistsgroupofcharlestown.com/docs/Art_Park%20web%202010.pdf in the Park is coming up... September 11th in the City Square Park (rain date 9/12). This will be my first show of the year, so I will have new artwork, more prints and plenty of your favorite images in a magnet for dare I say it..... Christmas gifts!! I've already started shopping myself and Jiminy Crickets it'll be here before you know it!

glass study in watercolor

So last Wednesday T, R and I did a Creative Wednesday and again, I wanted to touch on the subject of texture.... Especially glass. So we did a still life of all glass things. I put the plant in there so we have some color through the clear stuff. Of course I think the plant and the pot it's in are the best out of this piece, but I believe the blue glass is the most convincing. Incidentally, the yellow glass chicken I recently found in the barn attic at my parent's house. I believe it belonged to Gramma, but neither of my parents could confirm this. Could have been the previous owner to the house...( My folks moved in to the Boxford house in 1968). But whoever she belonged to, she's my glass chicken now and I love it.

And yes, Finally I was able to get some new work up. Although going back through my portfolio it's only 5 pieces! Wow, I've apparently been busy! Back in 2003 (granted, I was unemployed) I would crank out a piece like every 2 days and at the end of a season have about 20+ pieces! But, alas, this is not the case now. This piece below is I think my best of 2010. I really experimented with the medium. What I started was going to be a strict black and white....

but then my paint tray got a little crowded and the black poured in with a light blue color ( I don't know the name, don't have the tube in front of me). So I just went with it and did the background. Then I took some Prismacolor pencils and went over it making the orange and brown marks in the fur of the kitty. The purple on the blanket is all pencil and then went into the back ground again with a light blue pencil.

This will be on display along with other works at the Charlestown Art Fair. Come and visit me!! :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

My Montana Vacation

So on August 1 through the 8th, my Mum and I spent a week at the Bonanza Creek Ranch in lovely Martinsdale, Montana! Mum always wanted to do this vacation, it was on her "Bucket List", so I was happy to tag along with her and what an experience. It was so much fun!
We flew into Bozeman on Sunday at around 12pm but our ride to the ranch (2 hours away) wasn't scheduled to pick us up til 2pm. So we took a cab into the center of Bozeman with another girl and it cost $45!!!! Holy Crap! I guess in a small village like Bozeman where everyone has their own Ford F150 that cabs can charge whatever they hell they want to! So we split it 3 ways, got out and had lunch. Then the girl what we shared the cab with came into the restaurant and said that she had her mom with her, and their car, and that they were going back by the airport and would we like a ride? Well, how nice! So we put our bigger cases in her truck and walked around Bozeman while Jamie and her mom had lunch. Then while getting a 2 day fishing license this guy behind me strikes up a conversation; where we're we going? what are we fishing for ?and oh - if you're using spinners then this lure is excellent etc. And then I find out the guy doesn't even work there, just a nice guy. I have to be honest, I'm from the North East city of Boston. No one is this nice here!! Well, maybe me, but that's if you catch me on a good day!
The view from our cabin
Anyway, once we got there what a view and it is in the middle of nowhere! I was told people need to drive 40 minutes out to the nearest convenience store to get milk. But gorgeous, oh my. Sunday was a meet and greet with the other vacationers staying at the ranch. There was 12 total and each party got their own cabin.
Saddled Up

Monday morning was an "orientation" with your horse. You rode the same horse all week. Up until this time I had never sat in a Western saddle (if you don't know the difference between Western and English go here http://www.equisearch.com/horses_riding_training/training/beginning_rider/english_western102200a/ )

But over all it was pretty similar. I think my biggest obstacle was new horse, can I control him? And after a couple of runs, he was awesome!!

Nate Dogg

My horse was a black combo of Tennessee Walker and Quarter Horse. Simply put - he was a great horse for me. His name is Nate, but I called him Nate Dogg after that West Coast Hip Hop artist. And just like the real Nate Dogg, Nate was cool, chill and easy going. But instead of smoking grass, he just kept eating it. :) We spent Monday on 2 trail rides. The morning one we had an encounter with 2 coyotes and they were NO WHERE as big as New England coyotes, so I didn't feel threatened at all. Then Monday afternoon, Tanya (our guide) Mum and I went on a trail ride and I got to do a couple of nice controlled canters on Nate. Horseback riding is all about being in CONTROL.

Bison at the Lazy Daisy Ranch

Monday night was a tour of the Lazy Daisy Ranch about a half hour away from Bonanza Creek. So all vacationers packed up in the back of this old pickup truck and cruised around this ranch. They had bison, horses, cows, llamas, sheep, chicken, ducks, peacocks and God knows what else. It was taking a little critter cruise. I wish I had brought a bottle of wine, that would have made it complete :)

Pronghorn on the Horizon

See those tiny dots on top of the hill? That's pronghorn, North America's only antelope! I was so excited to see these guys ( I'm I wildlife geek, what can I say?) and had only seen them on TV up until this point. The pronghorn's defense is that they stay in large numbers and as far away from you as possible. As you can see here, they were succeeding.

View from the Main Lodge

Tuesday morning we did a trail ride into the woods to a campsite and had breakfast in the woods. Nothing like sitting among the wilds of the woods eating bacon! Then we did a trail in the woods along the actual Bonanza creek and did see a red tailed hawk pretty close up. Then the party divided in 2, those who wanted to gallop up the hill, those who didn't and took the low road home. Yes, I went with the gallopers!! It wasn't the speed that really got to me, but Nate's take off and the amount of power this animal was using to lunge himself up a hill was mind blowing. I just held on!

Cattle Penning

Tuesday we did some cattle penning. This was a TON of fun! We had about 14 or so cattle in the corral and the object of the game was to break 3 head off the herd and move them to the opposite side of the corral. Mum, myself and another vacationer, Joe, were the only ones who succeeded!

Me being silly!

Action shot!

Then all of a sudden the weather took a turn for the worse. The thunder started to roll in and then the rain started. Our guide told everyone that we're going to trot home. Well then it started to hail, and as big as marbles! So all the horses were galloping back. Thank dog I had already galloped earlier that day. I felt a little more comfortable that some of the others! A those marbles hurt!

Pushin' Bulls

Wednesday morning was another lovely trail ride. The weather was cloudy and in the 40's and it felt more like October than August. I did see 2 whitetail on this trail ride as well. We bumped into 2 cowboys that were on dirt bikes herding some bulls. They needed 2 bulls pushed into another pasture and since it was on our way, our guide got them going and we pushed them for quite some time. I learned all about breeding black Angus that morning. These boys had some serious "jewels" on them LOL

Skulls and sheds

Wednesday night was a wagon ride to the Hunting Camp. I got to steer the horses on the wagon too and it's not as easy as you might think. Saw a couple of mule deer on the ride as well. The hunting camp was very cool and the guys who organized it were awesome. They had beer, wine and a roast turkey dinner waiting for us! Then after dinner and dessert (peach cobbler and homemade ice cream) they sat around the camp fire and played guitars and sang some country tunes. I'm not a fan of country music but after a couple of beers, I was singing too.

Singing Cowboys

Thursday was an all day trail ride into the Crazies. I was told that the highest point was 8,100 feet above sea level. It was beautiful. Some controlled cantering but then there were some gallops too. And we saw a black bear on our way up! I don't know if I was tired from the week, but I was tired of galloping so at one point I tried to keep Nate from galloping and he was NOT listening to me! In fact, I think because I kept his head in, he ended up tripping, then stumbling and I thought "Oh sh*t, we're going down!" But he collected himself and kept on running until we got to our lunch spot. My hands were shaking so bad when I got off! Needless to say, we didn't gallop after that!
Lunch Spot

After being at the top we rode down to the hunting camp, the same one where we had dinner the night before. Here we gave the horses and ourselves a much needed break!

Horse Butts
(that's Nate on the far left)

The trail ride was 22 miles long and my knees were kind of killing me! I took a hot bath and drank some Mike's Hard Lemonade when I got back. What a workout!

Liz and her herd of cattle

Friday morning was herding 150+ head of cattle into another pasture. We each had to gather about a dozen or so head and then meet up at the pond with our herds. The small groups were scattered all over the property. This is a lot harder than you might think. Chasing cows through bushes and trotting over some rocky terrain. I have so much respect for cowboys now! When I got back home, I guy that I work out with, who is also vegan, asked me if I ever thought guilty about eating beef after being with these cows and um, no not at all. In fact, we ate so much beef that week and it was sooooo goooooood every time!

Friday afternoon was a small trail ride and then it was time to say goodbye to our horses.

Me and Nate Dogg

After untacking and brushing them down, we led them into the pasture (40 square miles) and let them go off and be with the other horses. Bonanza has about 60 horses and after a week of riding they're then given a week off and another bunch will be gathered to work. As you can see from the picture below, I think they knew it was Friday too.


So thanks to Bonanza Creek, my Mum and my horse, Nate for such a wonderful week. I can guarantee that I will be doing this again!
For more pictures visit my Flickr site http://www.flickr.com/photos/11087728@N03/sets/72157624628393309/

For more info about Bonanza Creek Country go here http://www.bonanzacreekcountry.com/

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

August heat!

A reminder to you that art fair season has arrived!! I will be doing the Charlestown Arts in the Park in Charlestown MA in the main square. (9/11/10 rain date 9/12/10). I'm quite excited about this show because I've never done it so to me it's a whole new audience. And I received my assignment this morning and there's a lovely reception for artists after the show at the Grille which includes a drink ticket and appetizers.. How nice!! I have also submitted my application for the Jamaica Plain Christmas fair which is held the first Saturday of December. I have specifically requested NOT to be on the piano as it just gets too cramped in the corner.

And please let me know if you are interested in getting a New England Arts for Animals calender for 2011. I've ordered 12 and are selling them on a first come, first serve basis. They're $15 a piece and all proceeds will go to NEAFA. My "Black and White Barn Scene" will be one of the pictures. I'm thinking probably Jan, Feb or Dec.....

"Black and White Farm Scene"
5"x7" Watercolor

And you all know by now how much I love Twitter. Well, my new friend @gallaghermeow writes a blog http://johnryangallagher.tumblr.com/ and has the ability to get me cracking up laughing in my office. I think probably because we grew up in the same area of Massachusetts, (he in Newburyport and I in Boxford). So yea, a lot of it's "northshore" humor but I highly recommend you take a look! So then he said that he would commission me to do a portrait of his cat smoking weed. haha. So this is what I sent him:

Too funny. I just wished I centered it on the scan bed. Owell.

So speaking of smoking weed.... I don't know if you're all aware of the decriminalization of marijuana that's happening in Massachusetts. As of January 2009, being caught with an ounce or less of the stuff is now grounds for a citation. Basically that means that they can't arrest you (unless you're in the car or it's the 2nd time you've been caught) and it's just a $100 ticket. Hey, I think it's fine and dandy and what people do in their own time is their own business and as long as you're not hurting anyone then go ahead and blaze away. But then I'm in Martha's Vineyard over the weekend with my sister and my nephews (8 & 9 years old). We took them to the arcade in Oaks Bluffs and I was really not down with hanging out in the arcade (all I can think about is the germs all over the games) so I hung outside and there's this dude, about 18 years old smoking a joint RIGHT THERE. Really??? There are tons of kids around and there's a beach up the street and you're doing this right HERE?? I would have said something, but he was big and nasty and I really didn't want to get into it. So I just glared at him. I do wish I had said something though. That's just not right.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

hey all!

Look at these babies!!! Oh how cute are they??????
As you might have know in previous posts, my sister's cat had kittens. I've been told by J that we can NOT get another cat, but look at these and how can you resist????
Back from Montana and I brought my watercolor while I was there:
Montana Hills
watercolor 2010
This was the view from the porch on our cabin. The ranch was in Martinsdale MT, so more sage bush and prairie like. I saw plenty of wildlife including coyotes (which were so much smaller than New England coyotes), bald eagles, golden eagles, red tailed hawk, flickers, the Western tanager, mule deer, whitetail deer, pronghorn, prairie dogs, black bear not to mention all the horses, cows and bison. I had such a great time and can't wait to get my pictures developed!!