Thursday, February 28, 2013


on the hills
spring and health! 

Goodbye February!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Encaustic Mixed Media

"In order to see birds, it is necessary to become a part of the silence."
-Robert Lynd

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dog Toothed Lily

I love the lower trail that circles the other side of Prairie Hill - 
the side that touches Lake Lawtonka. 
 I've been watching the pelicans almost every day,,, 
and I'm seeing several Dog Toothed Lilies on the post oaked path.
I'm taking the liberty of naming  the area DOG TOOTH TRAIL
 in honor of the lilies that are growing there. :)

Dog Toothed Lily
 What rare beauty are you seeing or experiencing lately?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

the textures of today's hike


our hike started at the quetone look-out toward 
mount scott's boy.  we followed animal trails and creeks
that cut through prairie fields and post oak forests.
i loved the little violet flowers poking through 
the dead winter grass - like an adornment
 in long drab hair, or the tiniest announcers
that spring is coming soon. 
some of us are ready...

Saturday, February 23, 2013

watching pelicans

they're here because it's sunny
and not snowy...
fish are in abundance
in the big lake lawtonka.
life is good for
 this great flock of visitors ~ ~ ~ 

h a p p y   w e e k e n d
f r o m   t h e   p r a i r i e

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

sweet potato pie!

Today's cold & rainy weather put me in a baking mood!
so I made a sweet potato pie! 

Here's the recipe in case you'd like to try it.

1 lb sweet potato
1/2 c softened butter
1/2 c milk
2 eggs
3/4 c sugar ( I mixed half white & half brown)
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
9" pie crust

Boil the sweet potato until done.  Run under cold water and remove skin.
Break open in a bowl and add the butter. Mix thoroughly with a mixer.
Add all the other ingredients and mix thoroughly again.
Pour filling into the pie crust and bake at 350 for 55-60 minutes.

Enjoy with whipped cream!

p.s. "Sweet Potato Pie!" is one of mine and Greg's favorite expressions!
As in, "Sweet potato pie it rained today!!!"

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

American white pelicans

For the past three days I've been walking to the other side of Prairie Hill 
to watch the pelicans in Lake Lawtonka! 
 I've been wanting to get some better close up pictures.
Rain and 40 degree weather is predicted for tomorrow - 
wonder if they will decide to take off for warmer
weather someplace else or stick it out here a little longer?
I sure hope they stay.

They look like little white sailboats~~~~

Sunday, February 17, 2013

sunday birds

the birds are active outside today.
they're dining at the feeder
and splashing in the bath. 
it's warm and sunny
and the promise of spring is growing. 
we have lots of sun but 
desperately need rain....
seeds are longing,
grasses, trees, beast and man
are hungry for the
 manna and rain above.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

the season of shedding antlers

we heard a huge crash and in a matter of seconds a buck jumped
and ran off - my sister and i caught a glimpse of him in the distance.
he had one giant antler.  greg didn't see any antlers on the deer's head.  
we walked to where the buck had been and could still smell his wild scent. 
on the ground lay a 6 point freshly broken off antler. his.
we headed back down to the valley and came across another antler. his.  
the majestic beast just shed both of his massive antlers! 

if food is abundant, his antlers will grow back to the same 
glorious and graceful four feet lengths and ten pounds each
by the end of the year. the buck will impress the does again.

nature's ordinary event was a magical experience for us. 

a little burst of color from a verbena!

 Suddenly, as rare things will, it vanished.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Friday, February 15, 2013


after months of winter, 
i'm longing for a new season,
for buds, flowers and color
to burst out from the brown 
and grey of absence.

oh come quickly,
my eyes, my soul, 
and bones are longing
 for the green touch  
of grace.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Juries

Greg wrote a musical last year and it's being performed tonight!

 Not the Library aisle this time, but the Liquor store.
I selected a celebratory champagne bottle for tonight!

It's raining!  That's also cause for celebration.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Madonna and Child

Madonna and Child, 3 1/2"  x 5" Encaustic Collage
A friend gave me this antique card.  I cut it down to fit
 an arched walnut panel, and then layered and fused 
the image with encaustic medium.  I didn't add
 anything else -  I thought it was perfect as is.

I have a small, antique German prayer card 
that I'm going to preserve like this next.

I could spend hours in the Library's art section,
and nature (trees/flowers/birds), and poetry, and travel....

How is your Monday?

Sunday, February 10, 2013

studio mess and encaustic

"a creative mess is better than tidy idleness."

blackbird w/black seeds, encaustic collage
bird w/sunflower and seeds, encaustic collage
"the object isn't to make art, it's to be in that state 
which makes art inevitable."  - robert henri

  i worked on several encaustic pieces this weekend.
 it's a tedious process,,,
not only mental (ha!) but selecting & applying supplies.  
the weather also has to be favorable so that i can open the studio
door and window - good ventilation is a must when working
with encaustic. i like how the bird panels turned out 
and i'll unveil another special piece tomorrow. 
 it's so precious that greg has put claims on it. 

hope you have a wonderful week ahead!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Some Encaustic Art & Info

Fayum Mummy Portrait
Encaustic is a beeswax/resin medium mixed with pigment.  Used in its molten form during the painting process, the paint is applied using brushes and is kept on a heated palette at 200 degrees.  Each layer of wax medium is allowed to cool and then fused using a heat gun or torch to create a lustrous enamel effect.  Fusing serves to bond each layer to the previous layer, creating a durable, moisture resistant surface.  Its exquisite visual properties make it perhaps the most opulent paint ever known.  It is also the most durable of all artists’ paints since wax is impervious to moisture.  The wax surface of an encaustic painting is a protective  finish, nothing needs to be added to preserve the paintings; they will not deteriorate over time.
The encaustic medium remains one of the most difficult mediums to work with.  It takes a great deal of patience and skill since the medium is so unpredictable and hardens immediately upon contact.  This is also the undeniable beauty of the encaustic process.  Its spontaneity and versatile sculptural quality adds intrigue and dimension that cannot be achieved with conventional artists’ mediums.
The historical roots of the medium are intriguing. The best known ancient encaustic works are the Fayum Portraits from the Greco-Roman Egyptian civilization that were set into mummy casings over 2000 years ago.  Encaustic painting was resurrected as a medium in the 1950 and 1960’s by the famous New York artist, Jasper Johns. Since then, it has been gaining popularity as a modern medium with artists.

St. Cecilia w/Flies,  Encaustic Collage, 5" x 5"


 Some of the abstract pieces I made recently. 
 The blue wax is hard to photograph because of the high reflection. 
One of my favorite things is 'signing' (or carving)
 my name with a tiny stick pin and then fusing it.

I often make diptychs or triptychs - they're more interesting than 
a single panel.   Also I'm not much into titling my abstract work.  
I don't want to 'spoil' what someone else may see in the image....

 And an interesting thought for the day:
"Worrying is like praying for what you don't want." 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

wax weekend and more

crane fold, encaustic collage on pine panels, 4" x 4"

i made 4 of these encaustic panels this weekend - 
incorporated my origami papers, 
burnished the image in after copying it to parchment paper.  
 i was thrilled with the results and plan to make more, more, more.

 my precious,,, he scraped his cornea a couple weeks ago,
a couple of vet visits, meds and a cone healed it up.  that left eye is
beautiful & healthy again.  we had a good walk around prairie hill today.

this picture is from last weekend. behind me to the right is our neighborhood, prairie hill,
lake lawtonka and the windmill farm beyond. i like how we can just walk out of the house
and hike and explore. it never gets old only better.

have a wonderful week, dear friends.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

the bud, the flower and the seed

magnolia tree
The bud
stands for all things,
 even for those things that don't flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on its brow
of the flower
and retell it in words and in touch
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing...
(Galway Kinnell from the poem Saint Francis and the Sow in Three Books)

I had another tree commission - my choice.
I made them a Magnolia.  Now I have another
Redbud order to fill. Probably my favorite to make.

I'm also working with encaustic lately, my high-maintenance media. :)
I spent around $200 in supplies last month.  The trees
are paying for the wax art supplies. ha!
I know, I know.... I need to write about encaustic art.
It's coming soon, I promise.  

Here is an image of something I made today...  
"the flower and the seed," encaustic collage, 3" x5"
I cut a portion of a Christmas card and mounted it to a walnut panel, 
then applied a few layers of encaustic medium and added the flower 
(I like how it mimics Mary's dress.)  Also included dandelion seeds 
collected last year and applied another layer of beeswax. My 
image and flowers are perfectly preserved. :) 

How is your weekend going?  I hope it's lovely...