Wednesday, February 29, 2012


sweet zody
foxy boy!
my chihuahua doesn't like wearing 'clothes' and i think it's silly to dress him unless it's really cold out.  i really liked this harness jacket though and i think zody looks kinda spiffy cool in it!

stones and leaves
i've been seeing a lot of neatly painted stones on various web-sites.  so i thought i'd give it a try - i used acrylics and plan to paint more, more, more.  there are many prairie flowers and grasses i'd like to 'record' on these rocks.   i also think these would make neat gifts.  

nature is not a place to visit, it is home. -hfn

take a hike

wisdom on my studio window,,,

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

my haiku for the coyote

last night we were awakened by the sound of one lone coyote 'singing.' even though i went to bed very late, i didn't mind this 'intrusion' on my precious sleep.  i enjoyed listening to him and wanted it to last forever. :)  i'm glad we don't hear them every night though - it would become too common - this occasional singing is special.  so today i wrote this haiku for the coyote.

Prairie under stars
Wild lullaby to my soul
The coyote sings

Sunday, February 26, 2012


untitled, encaustic on mahogany

4" x  8" mini diptych

the electrician came out on friday and put my studio electricity on another circuit, which fixed my problem with the heat gun tripping the switch.  i'm still working on my large piece, but made this smaller diptych in the process. the large one is very physical and challenging.  my favorite self quote is "they don't call it artWORK for nothing!"  it's work; it's pleasure too, but mental and physical work.  

i don't like to title my abstracts.  i want the viewer to think, or connect something to it (if that's important). my play is with color and shape/form and then the art can speak or sing, or tease or fool.  my husband said this piece was psychadelic - i thought of floating confetti (afterwards).  

i started working with encaustic in january 2011, thanks to my husband, greg's, christmas gift - the encaustic started kit.  since then, i've made my own colors, collected tons of tin cans, bought many different hake brushes.  greg and i make the encaustic medium - it usually takes many hours to melt several pounds of beeswax with damar resin.  it's involved and complicated.  right now i've got oil paints squeezed onto paper towels to saturate out the oil, later i'll add the pigment to my tins of encaustic medium. 

it's a whole lot easier and cleaner to pull out the watercolors. ha!  or papercuts, or,,, some other media, or to bake or bird-watch. :)  

"all things are difficult before they are easy." -thomas fuller

"i think that one's art is a growth inside one.  i do not think one can explain growth.  it is silent and subtle. one does not keep digging up the plant to see how it grows." -emily carr 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I heal!

 my hair is in a growing stage right now.  i had three strikes against me from 5 months ago - anaesthesia, mega doses of antibiotics and a sudden loss of estrogen.  i was counting the strands in the sink every morning.  i think biotin and iron supplements have helped, but basically my body healed.  my body is programmed to heal ~ that is such an awesome God-given gift.  medicines, medical procedures and good doctors are all wonderful, but even more amazing - i heal. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


doubled were his days, (mixed media)
under a grey sky, (mixed media)
i got a 4 page hand-written letter from a friend today!  it started "Dear Lady Sandra," and got better and better. :)  i love hand-written letters, notes, cards and postcards and stamps,,, but i don't like the price of stamps these days.  i like other communication too - blogs, texts and e-mails (as long as they are not forwarded junk, ha!). 

a text between me and hubby today:

me:  I have a donut for my dear.
he:  Ha. Neat. I have a forsythia for my dear.
me: Oh dear!!!!! You topped me one!

sweet little somethings during our day. :)    about the forsythia. . . we're getting started on our  landscaping. greg got some knock out roses too, and we're waiting for our weeping blue atlas cedar!  of course i have a whole list of things i'd like.

Spring is nature's love-letter.

i know i'm jumping the gun!  i'm just so ready! :)

Monday, February 20, 2012

birds x2

sovereign woods

into the forest

two springs ago i made around thirty mixed media bird panels.   i have the top one still ~ it only  measures about 1 1/2" by 2 1/2."  seems that birds are a big thing with me again this season.  i'm waiting for a certain book and binoculars to arrive in the mail this week!  :)

into the forest suddenly
to green and lush estate
water the roots of spring

Sunday, February 19, 2012

when woe; walk

'after brown comes green,' watercolor
when greg comes home later, i'll try working in wax again.  i tripped circuits in my studio by using too many gadgets i guess.  still getting used to the new house. :)  anyway, greg will fix it!  and instead of getting aggravated, i watercolored and went for a walk,,,  you can see the last waterdrop still on my sketch 'after brown comes green.'  i painted this from a photo i took last summer of a cicada molting.  a molt is very intriguing and spiritual to me.

prairie hill in sunny winter
i have a romance with the prairie.  i love it all ~ the textures, the vastness, the ruggedness and the wild.

winter bouquet
i picked a dry winter's bouquet,,, found a stake and barbed wire too.  instead of death, i see resilience.  even the tiniest of tendrils are tough on the prairie.
big bloom/mini vase

 here's another dead flower that i'm  going to really enjoy seeing bloom.  the hill is covered with them! 

I'm going to close with this thought:

"I suppose that since most of our hurts come from relationships so will our healing, and I know that grace rarely makes sense for those looking in from the outside."  -The Shack

A true statement. But I know someone who is healing through 'dance,'  and my healing has come through 'nature'.  

Wishing everyone a happy and whole week. :)   

Saturday, February 18, 2012

now, later, saturday

greg made this path from the back~steps through our wild yard to connect beyond with the (empty) ponds and prairie hill,,,  this is winter, things look dead, but they're really not.  there's so much LIFE beneath the surface that we can't see.  it's FAITH.  i have a vision of bright wildflowers and mixed grasses and green leaves on the oaks. until that burst of color comes though, i'll enjoy the tonals,,, the browns, greys and every shade of granite rock. :)   

miniature still

these skeletal flower stalks reminded me of star~bursts!  i wonder what (if any) color they will be?  and will they bloom in spring or later in the summer?  i can't wait to see the transformation on 'prairie hill' where the wind breathes on skeletons and seeds have long been scattered, , , 

  (the clay turtle family is about the size of a thumb. i made them a couple of years ago.)

precious book
   when i checked out this book, the librarian smiled and said she read it and loved it.  so far midway through, i'm smiling and loving it too.  i recommend it highly. 

 it's cold and grey out, and rain is just teasing us. 
  indoors it's cozy ~ with candle~light, hot tea, books, good food and movies.
for light-hearted romantic comedy, i recommend Larry Crown  and Zookeeper

Life is the art of drawing without an eraser. -J. Gardner

i hope everyone is having a nice weekend. :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

sepia mystery

i was going to post more heart pictures tonight, but i'll save that for another time.  we've had heavy fog for two days which has really transformed the landscape out back again.  my dog and i scatter birds with our footsteps in the morning.  they disappeared quickly into a sepia mystery this morn.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

hearts I

i have this thing about hearts, ever since they started following me around  a few years ago.  yes, i easily see them in nature, but they show up in other strange places - especially in food!  i will share a few pics...

in my cream cheese packet!  the weekend my husband proposed to me in santa fe, nm.

my wedding bouquet! delphiniums aka 'frieden wolken' (peace clouds). 


 hot chocolate!
 in nature of course.
magnolia leaf.

i asked myself what does it mean?  it comforts me when i find them or they 'find me.'  
i'm loved.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Snow on the Rocks, House on the Rocks

"No snowflake ever falls in the wrong place." - Zen

Living room window...
Looking over the studio balcony,,,

Prairie Hill,,,
Snow on the rocks, house on the rocks,,,
We had our first blanket of snow in southwest Oklahoma.  
It's been a very mild winter, for which I'm very glad. 
A gentle season ~ a good start.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


'arrival'  (encaustic on pine)          

the studio is a spectacular mess right now,,, i started a very large encaustic piece and i plan to take
my time with it.  i haven't been titling my abstracts, but i immediately knew this little one above should be called "arrival".  i embedded little seeds that i collected from a worn bloom into the wax. 

i've been reading a beautiful poetry book, Ireland's Love Poems and this seems so fitting,,,

'a touch'
(by michael longley)

she is the touch of pink
on crab apple blossom
and hawthorn, and she melts
frostflowers with her finger.

six days ago i painted him, and today he arrived!

my husband saw him first, so i ran for my camera. :) 
i adjusted the seed bell for him - i realized it needed to to be higher. 

"true art, like nature, ever bears
suggestions of some higher thing.
as more than form or tint or bird
we prize the song he stops to sing."
-edith willis lim forbes

Wishing everyone a beautiful, loving week!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Robins (again)

Robins, watercolor
~There are no birds in last year's nest. ~ 
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Someone named Robin commissioned me to paint a robin.
 I had a cart blanche to surprise her, so I went with a 
stylized folk art image.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Baby Robin

Baby Robin, Sumi-e
Seems I'm captured by birds again lately,,, And by sumi-e watercolor.

In an old Chinese legend, an artist named Zhang Sengyou (張僧繇) was asked to paint a mural in a temple. He painted four dragons but left out the pupils from their eyes. The Abbot asked him why. Zhang explained that if he painted the pupils, the dragons would come alive. When the Abbot insisted, Zhang proceeded to paint two of the dragons’ eyes. As soon as he finished painting the pupils on two of the dragons, they roared to life and flew away in a thunderous flash of lightning. The two dragons that had no pupils stayed on the wall.

This story embodies the philosophy of East Asian ink wash painting. The goal is not simply to reproduce the appearance of the subject, but to capture its soul. To paint a horse, the ink wash painting artist must understand its temperament better than its muscles and bones. To paint a flower, there is no need to perfectly match its petals and colors, but it is essential to convey its liveliness and fragrance. East Asian ink wash painting may be regarded as an earliest form of expressionistic art that captures the unseen.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

polar plunge!

i substituted for children's art studio today. the classroom was full
of thirty-one little 3rd &4th graders ready to make some art. i love these
teeny people with their fun approach to creating! each kid is so unique.

(also gave me a chance to wear "goldie" - a necklace made of gourd pieces,
beads, and more by a local artist named peggy.)

blue fish
a student prepares his armature for a papier mache fish!

frozen greg
and!!! my hubby and i jumped into frigid waters today. we are hooked! 
it's our second time at the annual medicine park polar plunge.
we forgot our thermos of hot jasmine tea on the kitchen counter, 
but it's so nice to just live two minutes from this lake! we are
counting down the days already for the next jump. 
it's quite exhilarating and addictive.

i think every daring jump adds a year to my life!

Friday, February 3, 2012

just me!

this was a beautiful gray day! every shade of dove grey!  (and i love how it can be spelled both ways.)

greg received a special cultural award too - Educator of the Arts for 2011. my camera battery died 
about the time i needed to take pics of him. i'm hoping some other people got good pictures. 

this is going to be a crazy weekend. just getting started...

"if you are determined to gather life, to stick your hand into the hive again and again,
to be stung so many times that you become numb to the pain, to persevere and
persist till those who know you become unable to think of you as normal,
you will not be called mad; you will be called authentic."
-sarah ban breathnach

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

red wing

ruffled red-wing, (sumi-e)
Paint yellow... paint black... paint red.
-Native American war cry

One of my favorite songbirds is the red-winged blackbird.  There's a flock that's been nesting behind and below the house by a patch of tall scrub oaks close to a shallow pond.  I threw leftover cornbread to them this morning. 
A tip for their songs. :) 

I read that sometimes redwings attack red things near their territory. 
They will fly at and sometimes even bonk people wearing red hats or shirts 
if they enter a redwing's territory.