A Free Tulip Video and Framed in Violet White Roses

Framed in Violet White Roses
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Framed in Violet White Roses celebrates the push and pull of warm and cool violets and how it can be just so much fun to play with color. Today the pugs and I are celebrating in the studio the release of my full-length, free tulip video. Just a flower footnote for all those who watch, unlike my professional DVDs, Pink Pirouette Tulips on video was just an amateur production done by yours truly, with her puggy assistants, so the sound is not high quality. I beg your forgiveness for that, though if you listen closely, as a consolation prize, you just might hear snorting, barking and other assorted puggy noises! Stay tuned to the end for some fun out-takes involving four legged helpers!

Click here to watch the free video!

I hope you enjoy this little tulip treat, I created it for you as a thanks for walking with me on the flower-strewn path of my first year as a full time artist, and also to celebrate hitting 14,000 Facebook fans. I thank you from the bottom of my heart - with flowers (and pug kisses)!

How to Build Brilliant Purples and New Pillow Designs in Flower Mound Studio

Glads and Daisies
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One of the perks of filming a new video this week is having a house full of fresh flowers! I gathered up the wildest color combinations and a plethora of petals for Glads and Daisies. Once I had the colors arranged just so (aka, an arrangement that makes my flower loving heart go pitty pat...) it was time to break out the paint! One of the colors I love to push past the boundaries of polite society is purple. To make a purple really pop, it's always a good idea to shift the temperatures mid-stream. What does this mean? It means chunk in (a technical term, take it literally) red violets next to periwinkle blues. By having these two purples next to one another, you've placed heat and chill side by side. The eye loves when these things hang out together, the warms and the cools, all getting along like good neighbors, even though they come from different sides of the color tracks, so to speak.. Try this at home flower friends and let me know how it turns out, I think you'll like it!

Speaking of fun colors in the blue violet spectrum, a couple of uber-squishable new pillows arrived in my mailbox today. Check out the colors and let me know what you think - Here's the link thingy in case you feel like indulging in a few of these for your favorite perch!

 

Click here to indulge!

 

Cloudless Sky White Roses on a fun squishy pillow, suitable for your favorite perch!

 

 

  The flower models take a bow and a dip!

 

The flower models take a bow and a dip!

Ballet Slipper Pink Peonies and the Birds and the Bees

Ballet Slipper Pink Peonies
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Ballet Slipper Pink Peonies is the newest painting in Flower Mound Studio, based on the fresh flower models who kindly stayed up late with the artist with little or no complaint. It was a beautiful day in my garden, my oak leaf hydrangea is in its glory, after weeks of rain. I was able to catch a few rays this afternoon, between clouds, and noticed after a few moments I was sharing my chair with George the tree lizard. Actually, I am quite sure he was George the X!!!, since he was a rather spry youngster compared to his George the Lizard cousins hanging out on the gate puffing their little chins at one another. I hope your day included a few moments of contemplation (aka napping) in a sunny garden!

The studio models take a siesta (as opposed to a bow....)

The studio models take a siesta (as opposed to a bow....)

A little water dabbling and napping in the garden today!

A little water dabbling and napping in the garden today!

Dallas Arboretum Tour and Willow Loop Wildflowers

Willow Loop Wildflowers
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A wet winter and spring have brought on the most colorful wildflower bloom in years in the Texas Hill Country. Willow Loop is just outside the historic town of Fredericksburg, Texas, in the Hill Country where I teach in the spring. We also have plenty of blossoms up here in North Texas. The Dallas Arboretum has constructed an array of new rose arbors this year, along with some fun Texas themed topiaries. Here is a photo tour for those who have never visited my favorite gardens - enjoy!

A Mother's Music and Peonies in Cut Glass

Peonies in Cut Glass
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When we were young, my Mother would go into the piano room and play Fur Elise while we finished our homework. Sometimes she played for hours. At times she labored through the notes and, at other times, the music seemed to flow from her fingertips. Today when my sisters and I met at the farm, it was the first day I was there when my Mother's home no longer was filled with her presence. Where her hospital bed had sat in the living room, an empty space now waits.

Sisters...remembering our Mom today.

Sisters...remembering our Mom today.

I went into her piano room and opened the old wooden bench, where her sheet music was stored. Fur Elise lay on top, with notes on pages yellowed with age and corners crinkled from years of use. Beneath were other songs she would play for us, the Christmas music, children's songs, and some classical pieces. But the only thing I took with me today from my Mother's home, was Fur Elise. I'm learning to navigate a new path now, a life where my Mother can no longer be held and touched. These tangible notes, her music and poetry, the things she loved, are now so very precious to me. Paper and words, they weigh so little, but they will anchor me when I miss her most.

Saying Goodbye and Flags in My Garden

Arboretum Flags - Blue and White Iris
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Heaven is filled with the gorgeous sound of my Mother's laugh today. She passed away on Thursday evening.   Just as many had predicted, the world tilted under my feet, and life is not the same. I've learned a lot since Thursday. I've learned that amazing friends will carry you on their shoulders when your heart is sad. I've learned that sisters are some of life's most precious gifts. I am quite certain my Mother is writing poetry again. I woke up this morning with a funny little song in my head that had the words, "I'm so proud of you, Nanny..." in it, and though I can't remember the rest, it felt like a message from a guardian angel with a sense of humor.

Holding my Mother's spiral notebooks of poetry, I felt a sense of absolute peace and calm the morning after she left us. Her typed poetry is on yellowed paper.  Her written notes are in shorthand, and some are in tiny print. Poems under construction are scribbled through, rewritten in margins, and then typed perfectly in courier. I found things in her notebooks that I had never noticed before. A card from Poetry Magazine, offering prizes of "$50, $100, and even $500!" for winning poems. I remember when we were small, how she saved a few dollars back from grocery money each week to buy us school clothes. I wonder now if her poetry wasn't just about creating art with words, but one more way she was trying to make our lives better.

I taught a class at the Dallas Arboretum Saturday. At lunch break, as I sat in the quiet classroom by myself gazing across the easels at my students' work, and seeing the sunlight streaming in from the skylights, I realized my Mom had just watched me teach for the first time.

I do believe there is a beautiful next chapter in this life. I do believe there are more poems to come. For now, I will keep moving forward with her spirit beside me and the memory of her laugh in my heart. I will love you forever, my Mom.


Leave Me a Comment! It Is So good…To Hear From Flower Friends!

Pink Tulip Jubilee and A Gift for You

Pink Tulip Jubilee
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The fresh pink tulips stayed perky under the studio spotlight for one more day, and I suspect the cool spring weather is helping them along just a bit. We had such ferocious storms in Texas this week, with fortunately no damage to my iris and hydrangea beds in the back yard. My little rescue pug Hannah is terribly afraid of storms, so she spent a lot of time in Mom's arms, since sleeping was out of the question. Finally we discovered she felt best with her head buried under a nice soft pillow, and was finally snoring away (that is Hannah was snoring, not her Mom, just to clarify, since we know her Mom never ever snores.....)

In honor of spring, my most absolute favorite time of year, I'm giving away a gallery wrap print of one of my most popular paintings, Life's a Breeze Peonies.. How to win? Sign up for my Art Newsletter! I'll be announcing the winner on May 2 at 8:30 pm CT on my Facebook Fan Page so tune in for the announcement - you might need to get that hammer and nail out for a new work of art!

Click Here to Sign Up for a Chance to Win Some Breezy Peonies!

Life's a Breeze Peonies ~ Sign up to Win!  

Life's a Breeze Peonies ~ Sign up to Win!

 

Pink Blush Tulips, a Radio Show and a New Video in Bloom

Pink Blush Tulips
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I was feeling quite blue about missing the tulip fest at the Dallas Arboretum this spring, when I stumbled upon a bouquet of big pink tulips at the flower market today. I could hardly wait to get them home and put them under the spotlight! Pink Blush Tulips celebrates all my favorite spring colors, with a mix of warm peach and pink spring hues.

The real prize at the market was a bundle of peonies - cross your fingers, toes and flower petals that the peonies will fluff open in the next day or two and be ready to pose for a painting! If I get really lucky, they'll hold up for my next DVD filming coming up very soon. (Stay tuned for more details on the new video lesson coming up soon...)

My first radio interview aired a few days ago, for Artists Helping Artists on Blog Talk Radio. Awesome hostesses Margaret Sheldon and Leslie Saeta put me right at ease, and the puggies even cooperated, not interrupting even once. I am very proud that Margaret's helper, Gus, tuned in with a few snores, from his strategic nap position at her feet. What's an interview without input from the helpers? (Apparently not a single leaf fluttered outside during the interview, or else the Leaf Flutter Alert System would have gone into full puggy action mode!) You can hear the whole interview, even if you missed the event, since it's all on the streaming thingy ma bob system. Break out the popcorn and enjoy!

Click Here to Tune In

The studio models take a bow!

The studio models take a bow!

Blog Talk Radio and Sugar Queens in New Orleans

Sugar Queen Hydrangeas ~ Class Demonstration
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No sooner had I unpacked my brushes from back to back workshops in Nashville and New Orleans, and it was time to prep for my Blog Talk Radio interview for Artists Helping Artists!

Click here for Blog Talk Radio at 11 am CT April 23

I'm so nervous! What if I forget my name? Worse yet, what if I forget the studio helpers' names? I should prepare a speech. I should make things in the speech rhyme so I won't forget them. Will I even be able to sleep tonight? Leslie Saeta and Margaret Sheldon, the hostesses, assure me it's just a chat between friends, nothing to be concerned about. Nevertheless, my motto is: It's best to be over-prepared.

I've glued post-it notes all over my computer and begun gargling with salt water. I've got little notes to remember my name, remember yellow and blue makes green, all those things that sometimes flee from my 50-plus-year-old brain. I wonder if they'll do one of those 10 minute delays, in case of pug-tastrophe. The time Howard Pee Pugpants decided to throw up in the middle of my DVD video shoot, loudly and with great enthusiasm, comes to mind...

But enough fretting, I can't think of anything better to calm the nerves than photos of one of my favorite places on earth - the Big Easy! I do love New Orleans, and used to visit every weekend back when there Fun Fares (youngsters won't have a clue what those are...). Don't worry Nashville chickadees, I haven't forgotten you - I've got some great images to share of my Tennessee ladies next time, including the scoop on one student who sang for us, in addition to being an uber talented painter, AND my youngest workshop student ever! I had a fabby time with all these recent travels, but my next workshop stop is right here close to home - the Dallas Arboretum - I'm saving a tulip with your name on it, cher!

 

The classroom models take a bow!

The classroom models take a bow!



Spring Rain Irises and Pugs in the Garden

Spring Rain Iris Garden
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This morning my iris garden was struggling to regain its footing after the cool rains yesterday. A flock of yellow blossoms had fallen to the earth, so I took up my garden scissors and brought them indoors for a modeling session. My four pug helpers accompanied me on this rhizome reconnaissance mission into the gardens. Our rescue pug Hannah has bird patrol duties she takes quite seriously, while Howard Pee Pugpants enjoys smooshing his snout into the potting soil, the pots, the bags, the boxes, and anything in general he can reach. Java, my old man puggy, always comes to Mom for love and pats first, since he considers himself more human than pug. And Studio Director AnnieBee waits impatiently for me to throw the toy du jour a few gazillion times for her. She waits all day for this, and it's been a long, wet winter so we've had a lot of catching up to do. I hope you've had some productive moments in your spring garden, with helpers nearby to keep you smiling - tomorrow morning I'm off to teach in New Orleans, one of my favorite places in the whole world - and I'm not just saying that because of the beignets, cher!

The studio models take a bow and a dip!  

The studio models take a bow and a dip!

 

AnnieBee says, Don't forget to play outside today!