Saturday, March 31, 2012

An Artist's Statement

Hello friends...
Now that I'm back home from Florida and trying to get back to normal (whatever "normal" is for me right now) I realize how quickly time is passing. 
I still feel like there is so much to do before we move! 
Trying to hold onto whatever "artistic" side I have during the chaos is comforting for me, so thank you for letting me share what I can during this hectic time. 

Alan J. Smith

 I feel fortunate to have been given some of the artist related things that belonged to my father in law.  I was able to keep some of his sketch books, notes, and a beautiful studio easel as well as his painting smock, some of his paints, pastels and other art supplies, while still being able to donate some things to local schools.

I have photographed portions of some of Alan's work. 
I hope you'll enjoy. 

Alan J. Smith

I'd like to mention that my father in law was a perfect example for 

"it's never too late to become an artist"

He went back to school later in life to pursue art seriously and started to study at the University of Miami where he received a B.F.A. degree in 1991 and an M. F.A. degree in painting in 1994. 

Some of his sketch books...

I am proud to have these things as a reminder to pursue my dreams. 

Alan J. Smith

Alan J. Smith

While going through some of his art supplies, I found an old zippered case with his sketching supplies...I just couldn't resist.

This old studio easel out in the garage has many a story to tell. 

Artist's Statement

"I choose to make art which does not represent anything but itself because that liberates me in my use of the materials of painting.  When art depicts objects or ideas, the artist's primary objective in using paint must be to make appropriate representations.  By making non-representational paintings I am free to use paint in any way which may produce a visually pleasing effect.  My objective is to make objects which are as beautiful as many natural beauties which we admire (such as a rose, a peacock or a sunset), but my creations will be original things which no one has ever seen before and which no one could ever see until they are created with paint."

Alan J. Smith

Alan J. Smith

A favorite of mine, called "Jug Mug"
Maybe one day I can keep this in my art room. 

Alan J. Smith

To just quickly use these old art supplies felt wonderful. 

Simple art...emotional bond.

To just know the joy of sketching and painting.

Becca Smith 

Thank you for being here, 


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Beauty I'm Seeing Here

Sending a big thank you out to everyone for your comforting words during this difficult time. 
 Russell and I appreciate your kindness. 

It's so sad that my first trip to Florida had to be under these circumstances.  But,  I still managed to find a bit of comfort with my camera and surroundings.

Here is a peek at some of the beauty I've been seeing around this place while spending time with my family.

Temperatures in the 70's with cool breezes.

Tropical flowers. 

My new friend...I think he has "cute toes," don't you? :-)
(I've never seen a frog in Las Vegas, so I guess I'm easily amused)

...falling asleep to an evening rain shower last night... 

These little guys are everywhere...I think they're cute too. 
I'm not sure of their correct name...I just like to call them "garden geckos." 

Love the old Florida style home with the louvre type windows.

I think it's so healing for the heart and soul to be able to find beauty even in the sad times.

It'll be good to get home on Thursday, although I'm not looking forward to the long flight home.
I'm a bit of a nervous flyer, so I'll be hoping for a smooth one. :-)

Sending love your way,


Monday, March 26, 2012

A Good Man...

Hello friends...

I just felt the need to share this with you tonight. 
My father-in-law passed away this last weekend.  
I am with my husband in Florida.

Out of the many wonderful things my father- in -law was, one was an Artist.
During this sad time, I have been surrounded by some of his beautiful pieces of art.

I thought I'd share one of his self portraits.  I so love this piece.

This past summer my husband and I were able to visit him.   I have memories of conversations with him about art, music and the theatre he loved so much.
I know he even enjoyed visiting my blog occasionally.
I only wish we'd have had more time...

I hope your week is off to a good start.

I'll have to get caught up with you when I get home. 


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Rainy Day Green

Dear friends, 
I'm just dropping in for a quick post.  As the time gets closer to our move, I'm finding it harder and harder to "be creative."
Creativity tends to keep me sane though, and that's why I am trying my hardest to keep it in my daily routine even during the trying times like these. 

Last week, we got a couple of days of "rainy type" weather here in Las Vegas.
(you know how much I love that!) 
I was drawn by how everything looked so "clean & green" outside.

This is the area in our back yard.
I love the contrast of the plum tree and the chinese elm.
The lawn is actually artificial.  Since we have a water shortage here, most people have removed any kind of grass they had and replaced it with rock and desert landscaping.
We love the green so much we choose the "fake grass." 

This bearded iris container plant has been with me for about 6 years now.
It blooms every year around Easter (I love that) with large, purple bearded irises. 
I hope I can find a good home for it when we leave. 
See the buds already? 

In our front courtyard, this container holds my "cats claw vine" that comes back every spring and crawls up the side of the house.  You don't see it in this photo though.  I took this because of the rhubarb!  
I planted rhubarb in here a couple of years ago just to see if I could grow it.
Funny how it tries to come back every year until the June/July heat rolls around and it simply gives up. 

I just threw this in for was so shiny in the rain.  

Finally, I wanted to share another surprise I received in the mail. 
Lisa from 
sent me a lovely note on one of her own notecards and painted this lovely, blonde girl on a piece of book paper!  Don't you just love the blonde hair?  
If you haven't seen Lisa's paintings, please visit her.  You will certainly be inspired! 
Thanks Lisa, I LOVE this! 

The past few days and upcoming week is looking full already.
I miss you guys when I get so busy I can't even visit blogs.
I will stop by and say hi when I get a chance. 

Thank you for being here.
Your comments help me keep my spirits up. 


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Encaustic Collage

I've been wanting to get out my bees wax and melting pot to use on a collage piece. 

So, I created this mixed-media collage on water color paper.

(French Lace Hydrangea)

First, I began applying book paper with matte gel medium.
Then, over the book paper I added tea bags with the gel medium. 
I SO love using old tea bags! 

The flowers are just the kind that you purchase at the craft store.
I was attracted to the colors and thought of hydrangeas when I saw them. 

Added vintage lace, bird and butterfly images,  sketched the background leaves and painted with watercolors.

I love the look the bees wax gives it, and the smell of the wax while you are working is 

Here you can get a closer look at how the wax looks over the lace. 

I'm linking up with
Paint Party Friday
So many great links and artists over there,
check it out!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!


Wednesday, March 14, 2012


"Gratitude is a twofold love--
love coming to visit us and love running out to 
greet a welcome guest."
(Henry van Dyke)

I've received some lovely surprises in the mail that I wanted to share! 

This first package came from Catherine
I was so lucky to get to meet Catherine during one of her recent trips to Las Vegas.

A beautiful sun catcher.

Such a lovely note about my upcoming move, 
Thank you Catherine! 


Fetzer LOVES "Shnacks"
Thanks Banjo! 

Then, Tracy from 
chose my name for this beautiful moleskin journal that she embellished.
I've kept this in a special place and have started using it.  She also sent me a lovely ATC that I am sorry to say I realized I packed it in a box already with some other handmade cards, gifts, treasures that friends have given me.  I should have taken a photo of it sooner!  
I love it Tracy, thank you.

Jillayne from
made lovely "wishing stars" for her blog friends and embroidered your wish onto your personalized star.
This was before we found out we were moving.  We were waiting for the news to see if my husband got the job in Seattle or not, and I told Jillayne I would like my "wishing star" to say "rain." 

I think my "wishing star" worked! 
Thank you Jillayne. 

I hope you'll visit these ladies if you haven't already.
There is just so much love and inspiration out there in blog land isn't there? 

Thank you to all of you that visit here and share your kind words, friendship, and love. 
I truly appreciate everyone of you!