Saturday, October 6, 2018

There's a Saying about Regretting what we didn't do . . .

Mark Twain:  “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than the ones you did do.  So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the trade winds in your sails."

Okay, I really meant to chronicle every day of our road trip in real time -- and I managed to write one entry, about the end of our first day.  Well, we were sooooooo busy and were having soooooo much fun that I completely forgot to write each day.

Suffice it to say that our road trip was fun, entertaining, very educational, very memorable (in a good way), great bonding time, and very, very tiring.  I drove between 2500 and 3000 miles in 12 days (don't do that!) 

Over the next few days, I'll describe the trip just in case someone else is considering doing something similar and wants to learn from my experiences.

Between main destinations, we stayed in motels -- not fun but expedient.

Our first main destination:  We went to Arches National Park and saw all the requisite arches and hiked all the requisite trails and had a good time.  But it was way, way too hot, too sunny, and too crowded!  The first day, in fact, we had to wait in a car-line for nearly an hour just to enter the park.  Fortunately for us, all the campsites in the park were filled, so we found a beautiful site just beside the Colorado River on BLM land just adjacent to the park.  The sites were very large, mostly treed, with very clean pit toilets.  No water, though.  The campground ran through the Colorado River Canyon, just alongside the Colorado River.  We had beautiful red canyon walls hovering over us from both sides of the river.  One evening, we got to watch around 8 bighorn sheep somehow scampering on what appeared to be pretty much sheer cliffs.  It was quite a sight.

I have very few regrets from this trip.  Here's the main one:  We were tired and didn't visit Aspen,  Independence Pass, Twin Lakes, and St Elmo, all old favorites of mine.  I regret that very much -- but there are always other trips to be taken.


Sunday, September 16, 2018

Something Different: My granddaughter's and my annual road trip!!

Just the two of us, we go on an adventure every year, and we're off already on our road trip to various parts of Utah and Colorado this year.  We're taking our time and wandering as we wish. 

We started Saturday morning in our home town of Ellensburg, WA, and drove to Ontario, OR, where we stayed the night.  On the way to Ontario, we took a side-trip into the little town of Baker City somewhere in Eastern Oregon.  It's a little town with a feel of what I would call a perfect "Small Town" of America, complete with some fun shops in a well-defined downtown, with a true "Main Street," of course, and a wonderful large center-of-town park, where there is a large playground for children, a bandstand for I presume great summer concerts for the whole town, and even a cute gazebo for whatever people do in gazebos -- get out of the rain?

Today, we drove only 50 miles to the city of Boise, where we went a bit out of the way to a great "World Center for Birds of Prey."  It is not only a serious research center but a center for the conservation and rehabilitation of birds of prey.  Further, it's the home of the Peregrine Falcon Fund, which protects, educates, and conserves peregrine falcons world-wide.  At the end of the over two-hours-stay, Elena has decided that she's going to become a scientist dedicated to these beautiful animals.  I would highly recommend that anyone with children around 8 and up swing by if you are passing through the area.  It's well worth the drive.

More tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Still Alive, Just Busy

A fun dog sculpture I finished recently.  S/he stands around a foot tall and is around 15 inches long.

I've also been doing a little more painting lately and will be posting some paintings soon.

I'm only selling my ceramic animal sculptures to galleries these days, but I'll be creating a list of galleries where my work can be purchased in the near future.  Paintings and prints continue to be sold retail, though.

I went through a pretty serious health issue from around mid summer last year until late spring this year but am doing fine now.  It was tough, but it's over now, and I'm back and strong again.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Still Making my Ceramic Works

Here's a large dog mask with a tennis ball in its mouth. 

My daughter, Lara, has joined me now, and we are both creating the ceramic pieces together. 

We're making more large pieces, including some really great sculptures that will be available soon.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Making my Ceramic Animal Sculptures Now - Giving Paintings a Rest

For at least the next few months, I'm going to be working on my always popular ceramic animal sculptures and wall-hangings.  I make each one by hand and have no employees, just me in my home clay studio.  It's a bit lonely, but I have one of my dogs and a radio for company.  And I love, love the "work," too.

Currently, I'm working on some rooster sculptures, and soon I'll be making some goat, alpaca, sheep, and goat sculptures. Also, I'm working on some very different sculptures, too, involving various stacked spheres and very fanciful body parts.  It's a slow process but very enjoyable.  They're more "artsy," and I'll be showing them here very soon.

My clay art and my paintings and prints are available on either Etsy or Amazon Handmade.


A sitting cat wall-hanging with a bird looking down at it

A cow

C
Another cat with a curly tail

A dog face wall-hanging with a bone in its mouth

One of my large sitting dog sculptures sitting in the grass

Sunday, June 11, 2017

A Ewe and her two babies, A mother sheep and her two lambs

Mother Ewe and her two baby Lambs
This is a painting I finished very recently.  I created it from photos kindly lent to me by a sheep and goat farmer who lives near me.  I'm not mentioning her name because I didn't ask for permission.  But I do thank her.

I've finally started doing many of my paintings in oil.  I love how it flows, but I'm still having a problem with messing areas I've already painted because it dries much more slowly than acrylic paints do.  I think, too, that the colors are more true after the painting has dried.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

I'm Alive

Sorry for no posts recently (well, in quite a few months!), but I've been really busy and haven't taken the time to post any of my most recent paintings.  And I admit that I don't produce them as quickly as I was for a while because I've been doing a lot of work, too, in my clay studio.

Getting older and older every day but just cannot even bear the idea of slowing down.  As I've always told my family, I hope that when I do drop someday, I want to be standing at my easel, brush in hand.  What a wonderful life, that of an artist!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Yellow or Orange Tabby Cat Portrait

This is a custom cat painting I did recently.  I'm quite happy with it and am feeling that I'm growing again as a painter.  For years, even, I thought I wasn't making any progress in my painting abilities.  Now, I feel I'm understanding and seeing my subjects better all the time.  It's a good feeling.

Obviously, the original has already been sold, but prints are available.

I also recently finished a rough-coated collie painting and another cat painting -- a black and white one this time.  I'll try to upload them later this week.

With my ceramics work as well as my paintings, I've been really busy lately.  It can become overwhelming, but I'm learning to look at one day at a time and just keep working, and work does eventually pay off!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Curious Grey Horse, Blue Sky Background

This is a horse painting I just finished, an acrylic painting on a 24x30x2" gallery-wrapped canvas.  Prints and the original are for sale.

As I've probably stated before, I'm doing more and more farm animal paintings and am loving learning new animal anatomy.  Hope you like it!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Checkers the Rooster!

This is one of my daughter's chickens, an adorable rooster that my granddaughter named "Checkers" for some unknown reason.  But Checkers it is!  I spent around an hour with him last week, taking photos and making sketches, and here's the painting that resulted from our little visit.  It's an acrylic painting on a stretched 16x20x3/4" canvas and is for sale on Etsy, along with prints of the painting.

I just love how feisty he is, and I think I may have to do at least one more painting of him.






I also redid the sunflower painting again, and I really like it better now.   It's much happier looking!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

A couple more recent paintings I've done: A small rooster portrait and a fun sunflowers painting

 This little rooster painting is on an 8x10" canvas board and is one of several rooster paintings I'm doing at this time (the others are larger).  As usual, I'm selling both the original and prints of it.













This painting I did for myself because I love growing sunflowers -- and seeing them so much.  I become happier just looking at them, whether they're in my garden or on a wall in my house.  This one is currently hanging on my own kitchen wall.  However, if someone really wants the painting and buys it, I can, of course, do another sunflower painting for myself  : ) .  The original acrylic painting is a 24x36x1.5"  stretched canvas.  Prints are available as well.

I'm Taking a Few Orders for Commissioned Paintings this Summer

I've decided to take just a few orders this summer for commissioned paintings.  If you're interested, you can click on my page at the top right of my blog to get all the information you should need to get the process started.  Here's a commissioned painting I just finished:


This painting (16x20 on stretched canvas, acrylic) of a sweet pit bull was done for a long-time customer, and I enjoyed painting her so much that that's what helped me decide to take a few commissions.  I probably won't take any after the month of September because I don't want to get backed up with orders around the end-of-year holiday rush.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Guernsey girl on soft, light blue background

This is a beautiful Guernsey cow painting I just finished.  I really like it and have it hanging in my kitchen until it sells.  I have the original, an acrylic painting on 16x20x3/4" stretched canvas for sale (as well as prints of it) in my Etsy shop.

I've been seeing a lot of farm animal art showing up in very modern kitchens lately, and I really like the look, so I'm going to continue with it for a while.  Plus, I just love painting farm animals, too, so that helps a lot.

I just took quite a few photos of some of our own "chickens" a few days ago and will be painting at least one of them, one of the "chickens" who turned out to be a rooster!  He's quite saucy and sassy, and the photos I took just scream to be painted.

I'm also doing just a few custom paintings for a while, too; so if you're interested in getting in before I take another break, now is the time.  I'll probably stop taking custom orders around early September.  There's a page here that gives you all the particulars if you're interested.

I'll also be listing some in-progress paintings I've been working on lately, too, including the completed ones as soon as I get around to finishing them.  I've got so much going on lately that it's time to start finishing up a few projects.                                                                                                                                                        

This is the same cow but with white markings on her back.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Really enjoying the ceramic clay work after a long break

 These are just a few of the pieces I've been making lately.  The bottom photo is a sushi dish set that I made for my son-in-law for his birthday -- with home-made sushi on them, of course!!  I'll be making custom sushi sets before long and will list them in my Etsy shop, https://www.etsy.com/shop/DottieDracos?ref=hdr_shop_menu
(Hope that link works!)

I've also been making a few larger animal sculptures, too.  I've done a dog, which is about a foot-or-more tall, a cat, which is around 10 inches tall, and I'm working on a larger dog, which is around 1 1/2 feet tall.  They're a bit slow-going, though, because I'm out of practice at sculpting -- but getting better!


I'm missing painting quite a lot lately, too, so I'll try to do that as soon as I get a few more ceramic pieces done.

I tried retiring for a while some months back, but I just enjoy all my art"work" too much to think of quitting -- but I have to pay for my materials and new toys, too, so I have to keep making at least enough to cover my costs.  I'm even thinking about getting a new potter's wheel, too.  I haven't done that in forever!  (except for a few hours I have spent at one of the art galleries here in town where I can rent time on a wheel)  Life is good.



Saturday, January 16, 2016

Another Sweet Jersey Cow, this time a young one

A very pretty little Jersey cow that I met on one of my photo-shooting trips to a small dairy farm in Oregon.  She's quite young but was out with the older cows in the field.

As usual, the original and the prints are listed in my Etsy shop.  Her name is Lark, by the way; she had a name tag on.