Catching up to 2018

I have some catching up to do on my blog notes!  Can’t believe I haven’t written anything since last October!  John and I went to Hawaii in November, the Big Island – Kona side, and it was wonderful! The best vacation getaway ever!  Visited with my granddaughter, June and son Jesse.

Sea Village – watercolor in my travel journal

Returning to Oregon in time for Thanksgiving, which we celebrated with Mary and Shawn and my grandsons at their house. A very good dinner! I have so much to be thankful for.

I entered one painting the Something Red show for the month of December. This is an annual art walk and reception for artists in the Salem area.

Winter's Last Blaze

Acrylic on canvas, 16 x 20

Christmas was celebrated at our house. My son Gabe and Belinda and boys and daughter  Mary and Shawn and boys came over and we had a wonderful time together.

With the New Year I’m going to have my kitchen cabinets refaced in white, including new granite countertops and tile backsplash. I’m very exited about that.

I just completed a 5-day 20-minute painting challenge (online) with the guidance of Mary Bentz Gilkerson, who is an amazing painter and art instructor from South Carolina. It really got me going in the studio and part of it at the start was done on our vacation to the Oregon coast, so I was able to try painting some quick seascapes, which I realize I am not very proficient at.

Here are my five 20-minute paintings done in acrylic on canvas pad sheets:

Day 1

Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5

Art and being an artist is a life journey. It’s a dream to become the artist you envision yourself to be, but it’s a dream that keeps you going, alway striving to achieve new heights and cross new vistas. It opens the world to you and at the same time it causes you to look deep inside.

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The Month Before Christmas…

Winter is in the air and the spirit of Christmas upon us, and it always seems that the season creeps up slowly then hits suddenly. I’m never quite prepared for it, and I doubt I ever will be. I like to hold on to summer as long as possible, then fall approaches with Halloween, and when Thanksgiving is here I want to enjoy the harvest and warm comfort of good food and family. I don’t even want to think about Christmas until it’s December!

Pears in Square Dish with ApplesHowever, when I went shopping for some last minute Thanksgiving decorations, when Thanksgiving was still a week away, I had a hard time finding anything left in the store, or in the several stores I went to. Not even a single marked-down item for Thanksgiving was to be found.

Everything was already set up for the Christmas shopping extravaganza. Red and Green, tinsel and lights. Please don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas — but why do they get rid of all things Thanksgiving a week before Thanksgiving!

I realize that many stores start putting out Christmas trees and decor in September so that shoppers  get in the “mood” for holiday shopping, but that’s just not my game. Sure, when Christmas is here, I’ll wish I had started shopping for gifts in June, rather than wait until December, but I will probably never do that. I never have, so chances are slim I’ll start now.

Christmas, in my mind, is a time to celebrate our lives together in Christ. Born in a manger, with cows and sheep all around, Son of God ~ a Gift to us all ~ given to teach us what Truth and Love are so we can live in Peace and Love one another with Joyful hearts.

But what says Christmas, like Black Friday!  This year, Black Friday started early ~ a week before the day we Give Thanks for all we have. This is the biggest farce of all!

Does it make sense to you? … Not to me!  I stick with my old-fashioned belief that there is a time for every season under heaven. The marketing world wants us to move too fast, to jump ahead, making it impossible to take time for the present moments and enjoy the ambiance of each occasion. Let’s not be sucked into the money-grabbing capitalistic machine where the bottom line for the holidays is increased sales!

  •  I will have a Christmas tree.
  •  I will send Christmas cards.
  •  I will wrap presents and prepare gifts for my husband, daughters, sons, grandchildren and other family and friends.
  •  I will send packages to those I love, too far away to be with.
  •  But I will not make buying gifts the most important aspect of the season!

It’s a time to be joyful and remember the good in our lives and the love we have for each other! The gifts are merely a token of that love. It’s not about getting or giving the biggest, best, most expensive thing you can afford or add to your credit line ~ and its not about fulfilling everyones wishes and dreams. It’s about sharing something special with your loved ones ~ the hugs and kisses, the smiles, the laughter, the songs. Creating happy memories ~ the smells and tastes, the twinkling lights and candles, and sharing the traditional foods and treats.

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

 If you are in Salem, Oregon ~

  • Be sure and join the Artists in Action on Wednesday, December 3rd for an Art Walk and reception for the Something Red show in downtown Salem. See the AiA website, www.artistsinaction.org for more information about this fun art event.
  • The Holiday open house at the Enid Joy Mount Gallery, for the Keizer Art Association is on Saturday, December 6th from 11 am – 4 pm, with the Small Works show and holiday gift boutique.
  • The tree lighting ceremony at Willamette University is in the evening on Saturday, December 6th. There is a free Christmas concert and sing along in the Smith Auditorium after the tree lighting on the WU campus.