Can You Believe It?

Can you believe it?  I have actually made up for my slackness with 3 posts for the day.  As the Marines say, oh so well, “Ooo-rah!”  (A salute to all you Marines out there!)

Today was a fun day, having a friend to paint with in the studio.  We did our painting and our girly talk and had a productive day in both areas.  I got out of my comfort zone and painted a landscape.  Gail did a beach figurative scene.  This was our first time to ever paint on a 6×6 canvas and we were both a little nervous about it.  But, as with most of life, we fret over things only to find out that we can survive and all our worry is usually for naught.

6×6 Autumn’s Creek – Oil on Canvas

Well, I pooped out and tomorrow’s a big day.  I hope to paint in the morning and one of our son-in-laws is coming for the weekend.  He’s a South Carolina grad and we’re watching the Auburn/South Carolina game with him…we’ll both be nervous and cheering, just for different teams.  No matter what, we’ll have fun and that’s what it’s all about.

Here’s wishing you a fabulous weekend!

Smiling,

Leigh

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I was going through photos to find some good reference material for some paintings and came across some more of my older paintings.  Here they are:

10×12  Oil on Canvas

14×16 Oil on Canvas

24×28 Oil on Canvas

10×14 Acrylic

12×16 Oil on Canvas

12×16 Oil

6×6 – Pen and Ink

16×20 Watercolor

I Declare!

I declare, this “doing a painting a day” is harder work than one might think.  But, I am determined to do this and I WILL PREVAIL some way, somehow.  I just want you, my accountability partners, to know this, I AM NOT GIVING UP!  If I only get one painting done a week, it’s a painting and it’s progress. There are 2 more “buts” here, and those are – (1.)but, I still plan to paint EVERY day.  True, I’m falling on my face so far in making this consistently happen, and I know I’ll “fail” some more (I do have a life outside the studio), (2.)but, I am determined to do my best to really turn out some work.

Today I am heading down to the studio, and a long time friend is meeting me down there.  So-o-o, today the plan is that we BOTH will put out a painting by the end of the day.  I’m figuring there will be plenty of laughter along the way to that end.  Gail, my friend, and I used to own an arty little shop together back in our younger days.  It was in an old smokehouse on my property.  We always hung bunches of rosemary with ribbons from the rafters and to this day, the smell of rosemary holds the fondest of memories for us both.  Our little shop began when we decided to get together one evening at Gail’s to make a few Christmas ornaments…by the time the night was over, we had created a dream that we would work to make come true and did.  Never underestimate your dreams.

Take the steps to make your dreams come true!

Up and Running

It’s hard to believe that I haven’t written a post (or painted) in a week.  That’s more of a Thanksgiving break than I should have given myself.  Still, we did have a wonderful Thanksgiving with some of my family here at the farm.

I had said I would post a pic of my Thanksgiving table.  After looking at the photos I decided you wouldn’t be all that impressed, so I’ll spare you.  I will, instead, show you a photo of the cheese ball/pumpkin that I made.

I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving as much as we did here.  We played Jenga with my 3 /12 year old grand-niece after dinner, dessert and a long hike.  She is really, really good at it!  She’s inspired me to get a Jenga game for our two smallest grandchildren for Christmas.

I spent the days after Thanksgiving pushing myself to workout and trying to get back on some kind of “fitness” routine.  I titled today’s blog “Up and Running,” to inspire myself.  So far, the “Running” is only figurative.  The “Up” is working out pretty well though.  It’s not the easiest time of year to decide to do this, but I really need it, so I’m not giving myself any excuses.  – Clint also booked a cruise for January 30th…oh my, by then I will be 60, so one more reason I am pushing myself now.  Two months to get a 60 year old beach body.   – wondering what kinds of pictures that is conjuring up in your heads??  eeek!

Okay, onto discussing art and creativity as I am supposed to do.  Since I have a way of being honest, I will tell you that I woke up this morning knowing that I had  to go down to the studio and paint.  I knew I couldn’t make any excuses.  I’ve done that now for over 2 years and I’m done with excuses.  There was only one problem that still presented itself as I headed for the coffee pot.  What to paint?  I hadn’t a clue.

For all of you who do have the great pleasure of knowing my husband, you know that he will kindly vouch for the fact that Leigh never has a plan.  It just a fact of life, like that grass is green and the ocean holds fish.  I try, I really do.  And, there are those special moments when I am forced to plot and plan. Those dutiful moments when someone might be depending on me.  Yes, then, I can and will rise to the occasion.  But, it most certainly is not in my nature to plan.

So, as I slowly drank my coffee, and pondered my predicament, I remembered that a painting has hung for over 2 years in our laundry room.  It’s not just a painting, it’s an unfinished painting.  Tah dah, that would be my first project on this overcast windy day.

I called an arty friend, we chatted about some arty plans.  I wolfed down some raisin bran, grabbed the painting off the wall, called the dogs and we were off to the studio.  The clouds were grey and the wind was whipping as we walked down the drive.  I hadn’t heard the weather today, but no doubt, from the look of things, we’d be getting rain.

I got to the studio/old farmhouse, set up the painting, searched for my oil paints and all that goes with them.  In glancing around, I spotted the other painting that I had begun, in acrylics, last week.  I smiled, that would be my second project of the day.  (see how things fall together, even for us ridiculously spontaneous types?)

 – 2013 comment here, dang, I ramble way too much…I have deleted loads of this post and still it just goes on and on.  Note: 2014 – don’t ramble Leigh, just get to the point, share a painting, or something of interest then – stop writing!!

Thanks for dropping in.  With Christmas/holiday season upon us, I know we are all going to be busy with parties, planning, baking and cooking, shopping, family, friends, decorating and maybe even a Salvation Army bell or two to ring.  There’s still loads to do here at the farm, so far the tree is up and that’s it.  But, what a great time of year!

If you like arty gifts, do check out Etsy.  Loads of wonderful artists post their creations there.  A great place to shop!  One day I dream of having some creations there myself.

Wishing you a Wow-Kinda week!

Smiling,

Leigh

A Busy Day for You and Me

It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is almost here.  And, more amazing, Christmas season is here.  Oh, my!   Today, there’s “making a list and checking it twice,” but, it’s my Thanksgiving grocery list, rather than Santa’s Christmas list.

We’re discussing putting the tree up before our Thanksgiving company arrives.  Is yours up yet?  That’ll mean one more thing to do.  Funny, I thought I’d be spending the day’s before Thanksgiving setting up my studio, making it “workable.”  But, when this morning arrived, it didn’t take long for lots of Thanksgiving projects to start bouncing around in my head.  The next few days will be plenty busy, but not so sure part of that will be time spent in the old farmhouse, working on my studio.

I’d get a kick out of seeing all your Christmas trees, or your decorated Thanksgiving table.  Post them in your comment, we can all be inspired by them.  I am planning to post my Thanksgiving table once it’s all set.  I love seeing all the different and unique ways we all decorate and celebrate all the different special days in our lives.

Oh, and to report on this weekend and our fun with our company.  We had a blast, a very laidback group and we ate too much, but did do our share of exercising.  Aren’t you proud?    We took a long hike around the farm and up on the ridge, no easy climb to the top.

Four of us heading up the ridge, taking the lead.  (Laura and Mackie, both on the right, made it up first, Betsy and I dropped behind with the rest, ugh)

Here’s the group (we’ve named ourselves “Hales Bar Yacht Club”) at Jack Daniels Distillery, before our tour.

As the holiday season moves quickly into our lives, the days will fill up and time will fly by.  Recognizing and enjoying each special moment will be up to us as individuals.  Each friend, each family member so precious, so unique.  We’re all actors and actresses in each other’s play.  I hope our lines are sincere, straight from the heart.  Let’s never forget those urges to share, to give the love, respect, appreciation that we feel for those in our lives.  Life is so short.  Love from the heart, dream big, be brave, do great things, you’ve got it in you!

And remember, your love, your dreams, and your success motivate all who are watching you!

Smiling,

Leigh

Lynchburg, Here We Come!

Good morning!  Big day today, we’ve got friends heading our way from Hales Bar Marina (live-aboards), Chattanooga, and Cartersville, Ga.  The three couples are all boaters that we’ve become good friends with. Another interesting fact (I think) is that all 4 of the men are Vietnam vets.

When they all arrive this morning, we are heading downtown (I’m grinning as I say that) to Lynchburg. We’re all going on the Jack Daniels’ tour (Clint and I could be tour guides, we’ve heard the spill so much).  It’s quite entertaining, you should take the tour at least once in your life, for sure.  We’ll eat lunch in town too.  Then, head back to the farm for whatever fun we dig up.  They are all spending the night. Tomorrow morning Clint will fix Aretha Frankenstein pancakes.  If you haven’t tried them, you are missing out.  They’re wonderful!  And, our whole boaters gang is addicted to them.  (Betsy fixes them for us mornings when we all on our boats.)  You can check out our “other” life, our boating life by clicking here.

Since again it’s not a creative day, I’ve decided to share a few photos of the farm, our stomping ground, with you.

The chicken house and behind that, the horse shed for getting out of the weather.

Got milk?

A favorite walk on the farm, heading up on our ridge.  A hard hike, but, oh so worth it.  The view is gorgeous!

The driveway in the spring heading towards home.

A granddaughter enjoying the swing in the horse barn.

The horse barn.

Our summer friends.

Bliss, Summer, Hope and Star – they were a beautiful sight from the front porch as they grazed in the front pasture.  We have sold all of our beautiful lawn ornaments.

Faith, one of our beloved German Shepherds (we lost her 3 years ago) walking up towards the hay barn.

That’s enough, I could post and post photos of the farm.  We will all enjoy a long walk around the farm after that big breakfast tomorrow.

Our favorite college team as a week off, no game to day (thank goodness).  Do you have a favorite team?

And, brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, to Alexis and Ken and the littlest of our grandsons!  The wind chill there this morning is 17!!!  YUCK!   What’s the weather like where you live?  Warmer than 17, I hope!

Smiling,

Leigh

Good Morning, It’s Friday!

Ah, a good day ahead, despite that it looks overcast outside at the moment.  As I said yesterday, I won’t be doing any artwork today (unless you would be lenient with me and let me consider cleaning the house, putting things where they belong – and look best – an act of creating.  Yeah, you’re right, that’s pushing it a bit too far).

I hopped on my blog today to share something important to me.  I wanted to share my favorite charity with you, Smile Network International.   You can be a part of giving a child their beautiful smile to share with the world.  I cannot imagine living life without being able to share a smile.  I hope you’ll check it out.

Since I’m not creating today, I’ll share with you my husband’s favorite of my paintings –

A walk on the beach sounds like a great idea.   I’m missing the warm sunny days.  But, lots to do today and it’s going to be a great day.

Smiling,

Leigh