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Art From The Heart



It’s been a busy week.   Tuesday, I finished a painting that was created in honor of the Inauguration of President Obama.  I was particularly moved by this part of his speech

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness.


I have been painting at the Ohio River Valley Artist Guild Building.  I can’t heat my entire studio, so I lug my paints to Old Washington where I recently finished a beautiful landscape that has been on the easel for almost a year!  Yes, I am ashamed for dragging my feet so long.  It has been a little intimidating for me to conquer a large canvas, but I am learning that the more I do it, the less difficult it becomes.  I am finishing another big ’un but won’t show it online until after it is unveiled…this Saturday!artFromTheHeart

I am helping to organize a Valentine’s day art show at the Ohio River Valley Artist Guild.  Do you like the poster?  It is my design.  We will many of the area’s best artists showing their work along with a Chocolate Fountain, Champagne and other goodies.  If you are celebrating with your significant other in the Maysville area, MARK YOUR CALENDAR, and be sure to make our show part of your evening.  The show is from noon-8pm.


Finally, a snapshot taken today on ”long stretch road” in Augusta, KY.   I love that road, and it is especially pretty in the snow.

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I’m trying not to become a pothead


I identify myself as a artist/painter.  Like in the picture above. 

I can’t afford to heat my entire studio, so sometimes I work at the Ohio River Valley Artist Guild building in Old Washington.    It is warm and cozy there , and has great light.


Unfortunately, there is a pottery studio downstairs, and I am friends with a few potters who make their work look so fun.   Here are a few pots that I threw, when I should have been painting.  WARNING!!  A little fun in the clay can lead to heaver stuff.

So yesterday morning, when it was –2degrees, I ended up at this beautiful site at the Artisan Center at Maple Creek  to help load their two chamber wood fire kiln. 


The loading lasted until about 5pm, and the high temp that day was 16 degrees.  Fortunately, the company was good.  (9 times out 10 potters are great people to know)


Here’s a photo of the first chamber loaded and ready to go.  The firing will last for 30+ hours, and the kiln will be opened next week. 

BTW, if you want to be there for the kiln opening, it will be part of the Artisan Center’s CLAY AFFAIR, January 24th-25th from 10am-6pm. 
You are invited to come and
buy a pot,
watch someone make a pot
or roll up your sleeves and throw one yourself!

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Taking The Long Way Home


Yesterday, I went to Cincinnati to pick up the rest of my framing materials.  It was a grey day, and I decided to take the long way home. 


HWY 10 is a winding road, and you will probably not go faster than 35mph on average.


The ride usually takes an hour, but on this road, it takes about 2 hours.  028

You don’t notice, because it takes you through some of Kentucky’s prettiest countryside.


Here’s a sketch from the trip


…A project I am working on.


…and I am glad to have those framing supplies.  These new paintings look great in a frame. (Yes there is a desk under all that stuff!)

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Running around like an artist

The other day, I went to the big city to deliver a painting, pick up framing supplies, and leave some new art at the FUSION gallery. I got most of my chores done, but left a large part of my framing supplies at the warehouse.

Van Full Of Art

If you want to see what’s in the box, pay a visit to the kind folks at the FUSION gallery in Bellevue, KY.

The next day, Joni Powers, the artist, visited my studio. She has been busy working on an Art Therapy project for children in California for the last year. She bought one of my best paintings many months ago, but I was lucky to keep in my studio until she finished her project.

Joni Powers

It’s a little sad to see my painting leave the studio, but it was nice to see Joni…and the painting has a GREAT home!


Then I ran up the hill to the ORVAG building, where I met 3 of my favorite potters. (Dana Sorrell, Toby Fried, Pam Wiseman left to right) We are busy making pots to put in a wood fire at Maple Creek Artisan center. The firing takes 30+ hours of stoking the kiln. I’m making a small sculpture and few bowls. My real reason for participating is to get the first peek at the other potter’s work when it comes out of the kiln.

I recieved a copy of the Boone County Recorder’s article about the Tousey House Tavern, a new restaurant in Burlington, KY. The popular 1800s restaurant was founded by friends Butch and Mary Ann Wainscott. The article featured photos of artwork by Mary Ann, a mural by Debbie Clare and Ken Swinson. I don’t have permission to scan the article, so you will have to visit the Tousey House to see the artwork, beautiful building, and excellent food.

BTW…whenever “TAKE A STARVING ARTIST OUT TO DINNER DAY ” comes around. That’s where I want to go.


I also just finished a painting that was started about a month ago.  I’m really in love with this one!

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A Hidden Treasure

Today was beautiful warm (high 40s) and sunny, so after doing my studio chores, I packed my sketchbook and camera to drive around the countryside for some inspiration.


Less than 5 miles from my studio, there is a road that I have never traveled. It goes up a hill. I was curious what was over the hill, and was surprised when I found out!


Dr. Cummins donated a large piece of land to the community to be used as a wildlife refuge in 1996. It has 3 sculpted trails, a very small amphitheater, a few ponds, and lots of birdhouses. I stomped along the trail, and really enjoyed the hike…even took the time to do a few sketches and take a few photos. I can’t believe I didn’t know about this great park.


After a few hours in the woods, I wanted to drive through the country to see the fields and farms. Now I remember how much I prefer a bicycle to an automobile.


A car is no way to see the country. If you drive 5 miles an hour, the cars behind you get impatient. It’s rare to find a safe place to pull over that also has a good view. Life is better on a bicycle…

sketch at cummins wildlife reserve

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Stretching Canvas And Eating Asparagus


I am working on a large painting project, and wanted to make my own stretchers for the canvas.


It is a lot of extra work, but it is satisfying to have a canvas stretched with tacks instead of modern staples.


Makes an artist feel like one of the early 20th century painters…well, with power tools!


I also had a beautiful plate of asparagus for lunch. Food’s always better when eaten off local pottery!

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I’m just a little superstitious. I believe the way I choose to spend the turning of the new year reflects the way I will spend the entire year.

The last 2 years while working at the Beehive Tavern, I always worked during the new year, and made a point to leave the tavern 5 minutes before the stroke of midnight with a sketchbook to make art while welcoming the new year. Now that I am a full-time studio artist, I spent the new year in my studio hard at work.

This painting was started a few months ago, if you don’t know, I have some of the ADD and often start projects without finishing them. I thought it would be appropriate to finish one of my unfinished works before the new year…especially since it already has a buyer! So, these excellent pickin’ and grinnin’ bluegrass players are my final painting for 2008.


I have been working on a few sculptures to put in the wood-fire at the Artisan Center at Maple Creek.One of our area’s potters delivered some clay that I needed. She brought more clay than I really needed,suggesting that I could make a few pots for the wood fire.

Well, I’ve told you that I have the ADD, so that’s all it took. I spent countless hours hunched over the wheel…throwing bowls…getting the hang of centering and throwing clay. I haven’t thrown pottery for a few years, but it is something I like to do. I think it is my hobby. I won’t make it my life’s work, but it is fun to get muddy every now and then.

Later that day, I finished my first painting of the New Year.It is a small one, titled “A Year Of Peace”.It’s my big wish for 2009.

I hope everyone has a Happy New Year!