Thursday, July 30, 2009


I've been thinking a lot lately about the "left brain, right brain" thought process as it relates to me, and to others who are decorative artists. There are so many tests and optical shows that say they will tell us which "brain" we are. I'm sure most of you have seen the infamous "ballerina" who pirouettes round and round "clockwise" or "counter clockwise" depending on our so called "left or right brain activity"?? She is beautiful as we watch her go round and round and round..... Which way do you see her go around?
When I first looked at her she was going around in a clockwise motion. This means, according to the website, that I am a "right-brain" kind of person. Well, guess what?????
As I watched her go around and around, she changed direction and started turning counter clock-wise, thus favoring my "left brain". Well, I couldn't sit around and just let something like that pass me by so I started playing so called "mind games" with the ballerina. I watched and watched as she gracefully turned around and around, and all of a sudden, I was able to control which way she turned!! I was even able to make her go from side to side without turning all the way around! This totally has me fascinated and I wanted to share the experience with others. I will try to add the link so all of you can see if you are "right or left brained", or perhaps both!,21985,22556281-661,00.html

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Nicole Renee McDowell

Nicole is my only granddaughter and she just had a birthday!! She turned 7 on June 3rd and had a wonderful birthday party with lots of friends and family present. Nicole is "rather" special to me, i.e. she's my "ONLY" granddaughter. She is very much a "girly-girl" and always has been, much to the chagrin of her granny, ME! I was always such a tomboy, climbing trees, fighting pirates (even though I broke my arm), playing baseball, basketball, and even football. I read comic books and "NEVER" played with dolls. WELL, you guessed it!! Nicole loves to have her nails done, wear dresses, AND play with dolls, whom she names and treats just like real babies........
For her 7th birthday I wanted to give her a very special present that she could enjoy and hopefully share with her own children one day. So, I decided to paint a face and the dress on a rag doll. Years ago Priscilla Hauser painted such a doll which was featured on the cover of a magazine so I modeled Nicole's doll after Priscilla's!! I got both the doll (a Sandy doll) and the pattern from Priscilla and painted the doll with "much love" to my only granddaughter. She loved it, and this is truly my legacy to my dear sweet "Nicole".


Grandchildren are a very special gift from God given to us through our children. Whether we are blessed with one or several, each is a true blessing indeed. I have been blessed with four wonderful grandchildren, 3 boys and 1 girl. My oldest grandson is 18 and will be graduating from high school at the end of this month. Where has the time gone????? It just seems like yesterday I held him in my arms shortly after my daughter gave birth. He looked at me and made a sound that "very" much sounded like "granny", and I have been granny ever since. I had a special song I would sing to him while I rocked him in my arms to make him drowsy, "Kentucky Babe". He would look at me and long before I came to the chorus of the song, his little eyes would become heavy with sleep and it wouldn't be long before he was sound asleep....."Sleep Kentucky Babe".
Now, he is a young man getting ready to step out into the world as he continues his higher education. He is quite dear to me and I am very proud of him and all he has accomplished to date. He is part of our future and I know it's a good, positive part.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Another Tax Year Behind Us-OR Don't Count Those Dollars Before They Come!

Well, April 15th rolled in this year with "great" news from our accountant. Seems we put too much money in for Uncle Sam and "believe you me", surprisingly we were looking at a healthy refund to "dream upon". New brushes, dvd's, paint, mediums, new tennis racket, new brushes....(what!!!--new tennis racket??????) Oh yeah, hubby deserves something new too!! lol
Well, it's fun to dream anyway, and besides, tax money takes awhile to get here!!
SO, guess what happened on April 15th, (TAX DAY)????????
Our trusty old central air conditioner blew it's last cool breath............Yep, gave up, stopped working, bit the dust, bought the farm, kicked the bucket, or anything else you want to say. It died and we had to have it replaced.

Believe me, in Arizona, YES, you have to have it replaced, or suffer miserably.

So, now I suffer on a different level, i.e. regarding money, "EZY COME & EZIER GO",
and especially , "Don't Count Those Dollars
Before You SEE Them."

I'm so GLAD I have a great sense of humor!!

Happy Painting to one and all!!
with chin up!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009


I look up at the title for this blog and "chuckle" to myself because I already know the answer but I'm not ready to to admit it, but know what the correct answer is. Sigh....

The reason for the title boils down to the fact that I just spent 8 hours watching David's DVD series on "Blending Techniques" and I understood "everything" he said and knew there was NO reason I couldn't do it too!!!!! Well, I jumped on my high horse (Hi Ho Silver!.... "Stool") this morning and started "blending away"!! YIKES!! Something was wrong, VERY wrong. It wasn't working............ bummer....... Not working at all like David's did on the DVD.

Well, I thought about it and realized that even though I watched the series, I didn't heed what he said. First off, what about the prep of my surface. NOPE, I didn't take that into account. WHY???? I was in too much of a hurry and tried to "skip" this most crucial step & just "get to the blending". It does not work. It did not work... I knew it wouldn't work...... but I'm lazy and thought I could "outfox the step". NOPE, the surface prep is critical to the outcome of the blending techniques. I feel silly admitting to all of this, but am in hopes it will help someone avert what I went through today.

And, above everything else, I also know the KEY to all of this is to practice, practice, practice. This I will continue to do and hopefully I will forgo any thoughts of "shortcuts" in the future so I can become the artist I know I truly am!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Part of My History Immortalized in the DAC Museum

I unexpectedly lost my mother in Jan. 2008. We were not on the "best of terms" as mother and daughter so I took her death quite hard and filled with some sense of guilt at not trying harder to make amends. We were working on it, just not fast enough. I am okay, and have learned a lot about both my mother and myself over the past year.

Among her belongings I discovered an old, unusual document rolled up that appeared to have red, green, and burnt sienna markings and symbols on it surrounding some sort of message hand written in German. I am blessed to have a friend in Amsterdam who speaks several languages and she gladly translated the words on it from a picture. I also sent a picture of it to Andy Jones, MDA and curator of the Decorative Arts Collection Museum to get his professional opinion of what I had. He replied that I was in possession of a "Fraktur" which seemed to be in excellent condition. That sent me on a "google trip" to study and learn about my so called "Fraktur". What an exciting historic adventure!!

I then received the translation and discovered the Fraktur was the Birth announcement and Christening record for Maria Catharina Kaup, born Sept. 2, 1803 in New Brunsweig, PA.
Maria was my Great-Grandmothers, great- grandmother! My great-grandmother (my mothers maternal grandmother) lived in my hometown and she didn't pass away until a month after I got married in 1967. I knew her growing up and was quite close to her, so this document holds great meaning for me. My mother was also quite close to my great-grandmother (she was the first grandchild) so that made it even more special. I was worried about the preservation of it because I didn't have a clue how to take care of such a work of art.
I decided to get in touch with Andy Jones once again and see if this might be something the DAC would be interested in. He was quite excited about it so I made arrangements to have the document turned over to him during the Las Vegas Creative Painting Convention in 2009. It was with a saddened heart I let it go, but a very happy and content heart knowing that it will be taken care of and preserved for future artists to appreciate. I have donated it with great pride, in the name of my late mother, Delores Joyce Hart Schleiger. Somehow, I feel this Fraktur has helped me achieve closure and an understanding for so many pieces of the past.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Spring Is Here

Spring is a wonderful time of year even with it's unpredictable weather. The AZ desert
is usually full of beautiful wildflowers depending on the amount of rain we get. We did have quite a bit of rain this year, but also higher temps than anticipated early on so most of the wildflowers bloomed too early to be enjoyed completely. Unfortunately, it also brought the "Valley of the Sun's" pollen level to extreme highs causing lot's of hay fever symptoms for many souls, including (achoooo, excuse me) ME.
This spring also, however, brought me in contact with a beautiful NEW flower in my backyard that I did not know existed! The picture is to the right of this post and it's gorgeous!! I don't know the name of it, but I do know it's a member of the Hibiscus family. It's weird, i.e. the petals are in a "pinwheel" format. WOW, here I spent a LOT of time trying to teach my students how "NOT" to form a pinwheel effect when painting flowers!! This is just too funny! The leaves are SO different than other Hibiscus and reminds me of poppy leaves. I never used to "see" flowers. I would look, but I did not "SEE" them. This painting journey brings so many things into focus that I never knew was there. I'm almost afraid to blink for fear I might miss something. I am so happy I see things in a new light, and only wish everyone could see what I see.

Turning My Fraktur over to Andy Jones

Turning My Fraktur over to Andy Jones
Fraktur Donated to DAC

Snow in Tulsa

Snow in Tulsa
Looking out my hotel window.

Painting with Priscilla March 09

Painting with Priscilla March 09
some of the Basic II students with Priscilla & me helping.

Playing in the Snow in AZ clothes

Playing in the Snow in AZ clothes
Attempt at a snowman

Priscilla's Bug

Priscilla's Bug
My Transportation While in Tulsa