Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wet Paint and Roadblocks

Hi friends and family -

It's been way too long and believe me, I've missed you a whole lot more than you have missed me!  But nonetheless, I'm alive and well and I'm excited to be back in touch.  The last few months have been full of what you might call "roadblocks" and too often, when they land in front of me, I look at them, sigh, and say "Lord, stop picking on me!!  Enough already!" The problem I have found with complaining to the almighty, however, is that the "parent" in him comes out and he tends to lay it on a little thicker just to make sure you've learned your lesson and realize "it COULD be worse!"

Earlier this year, we were devastated to have lost our sweet Jack Russell, Jade, to a mysterious disappearance.  Here one minute, gone the next.  No trace.  No witnesses.  We scoured the neighborhood for weeks, posting signs, checking all the shelters.  Being chipped, we were hopeful and optimistic but so far, after 5 months, still no sign or word.  Who does that?  It has been so very frustrating and thank you to so many of you who have sent your well wishes and words of encouragement.  We have missed her terribly but Doug has felt the biggest void.  We hope wherever she is, she's being well taken care of and loved.  This was the first of many "stumbles."

A few weeks ago, I had a most delightful lunch with a very wise and wonderful friend, Marjorie McClure, who shared with me a most insightful poem which has helped me look at my "roadblocks" a little differently.  Thought I'd share . . .

The Guest House 

This being human is a guest house. 
Every morning a new arrival. 

A joy, a depression, a meanness, 
some momentary awareness comes 
as an unexpected visitor. 

Welcome and entertain them all! 
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows, 
who violently sweep your house 
empty of its furniture, 
still, treat each guest honorably. 
He may be clearing you out 
for some new delight. 

The dark thought, the shame, the malice, 
meet them at the door laughing, 
and invite them in. 

Be grateful for whoever comes, 
because each has been sent 
as a guide from beyond.

~ Rumi ~

I mean, this Rumi guy was born in the early 1200's!!  Seriously?  The dude had it figured out!  So he's telling me that these "roadblocks" I've been fighting are actually our growing pains and we are to embrace and welcome them!  Okay okay, I'll stop whining!

So the last few months have brought on many delightful "guests" and like Rumi says, some have been sorrowful but others have been most joyful!  Some of those "joys" have been the wet paint found on Doug's easel!  Simply spectacular!

A couple of weeks ago, Doug participated in the Ogden Plein Air competition.  It's one of our favorite competitions because it's Doug's own "stompin grounds!"  This being where Doug grew up, he looks to each road, each building, and the "boulevard" as his own.  Of course, on this day, I had triple booked my calendar (one of my favorite past-times and terrible habits) but was so glad I pushed two of the three aside to join Doug at the Union Station.  This first painting was done for the "overall" competition.

"20th and Washington"
12 x 16
"1st Place - Ogden Plein Air Competition 2011"
A winning painting it was!  The quick-draw done Saturday morning produced another winning painting as he parked his truck on 25th Street, dropped the tailgate and painted the festival from the end of the street.

8 x 10
"1st Place - Ogden Plein Air Quick Draw 2011"
Following the festival, Doug and I had our first week-long separation for 2011 while he went to Helper to teach a fantastic five-day workshop!  Sue Martin, one of the students, was very prompt in sharing her experience of the workshop with her blog  Wait!!  Finish reading mine first!!   Here is a demo and some of the students painting:

"Class Demo - Bus"
6 x 6
Shannon Grosko
Steve Chamberlain
With no internet and long teaching days, I was very happy to get him home the night before Father's Day.  We spent Father's Day putting together a "smoker" for some "shmokin' good" ribs and then enjoyed all the kids for dinner and some "gee-tar" jammin' and singin!  Neither the The Partridge Family NOR the Osmonds has anything over on this bunch!  hahaha

We also worked in some golf over the weekend!  shocking I know . . . and I did let him win - it being Father's Day and all.  We were thrilled to golf with Marco and his most talented artist-wife Shanna Kunz-Hernandez.  We had such a great time.  Shanna tried to even the playing field by golfing with the wrong "lead" hand.  Ahhh thanks Shanna.  Such a sport!

Doug also participated in some fund raisers with great causes.  The Eccles Foundation Fund Raiser, Art Access 300 Plates Show and Spring City Heritage Days.

"Desert Ponies"
12 x 16
So since I'm trying to catch you up on my happenings over the last few months, my Utah Jazz really fell apart and I became a convert to the Dallas Mavericks!  Go figure!  I mean, really, Dirk Nowiski and I have never seen eye to eye (because he was so good and generally whooped on my Jazz men) and Mark Cuban, their owner, well we've gone the rounds several times!  But after the Jazz didn't make the playoffs (therapy 3 times a week), I decided to root for the team that could beat the LA Lakers.  I figured that was the Mavs.  Sweeping the Lakers 4-0 was above and beyond my expectations but then to go on and beat Miami in the finals was an uber treat!  I'm going through somewhat of a withdrawal now as basketball has ended and I find myself surfing ESPN and Fox Sports for signs of a ball bigger than an orange, but with no luck.

Again, through my roller coaster of the first half of 2011, good ol' steady eddy (that be Doug) kept knockin out some amazing wet paint!  These two pieces are going to be shown at the Trailside Gallery Miniature Show in July.  I think we've decided to take a mini vacation up to Jackson to go to the opening which is on July 21st.  The first one is indeed a FIRST, as this would be Doug's first "fly fisherman" ever painted!  see that cute little man out in the water . . . love the hat . . .

"Passing Time"
8 x 10
Trailside Gallery Miniature Show
"Rocky Mountain Headwaters"
8 x 10
Trailside Gallery Miniature Show
A few commissions for some dear friends here and there were the icing on the cake.  This first one of an old schoolhouse near Mt. Pleasant.  Really? Did I just say that?  I mean, it sounds like you all know where Mt. Pleasant is!  haha  so yeah, you all have google - look it up!!

"School House"
8 x 10
for Dorothy . . . 
And for our dear friends, Lyn and Linne, a family home I believe.  Looks like a place we see in the movies but doesn't really exist!

This is a favorite with a new "panoramic" style.  These are great for our countryside here in Utah.  A way to capture the "whole spread!"  

Up and coming . . . Doug is heading to Midway to do the plein air competition there - where I'm going to join him on the 30th of June through the 4th of July!  Wahoo!  I am so excited for a little va-cay!!  This painting is for a live auction they're going to have at the Midway Plein air.  If you're interested in putting in a bid, contact Pam Weileman at the Midway Art Association.  It is spectacular.

"4 Trucks and a Van"
12 x 29
Doug has entered these two beautiful pieces in the Eccles Statewide Competition.  Their opening reception will be held on Friday, June 30th in Ogden, Utah.  Tell me these aren't going to steal the show!  

40 x 42
"The Artist's Brush"
30 x 40
Zion's National Park
Doug will be heading to Estes Park Plein Air competition in August, Escalante Plein Air in September, Moab one-day workshop and Plein Air competition in October, and the Zion's National Park Plein Air invitational in November.  I'm hoping to get to attend some of these with him.  We have a full year ahead and I'll be anxious to keep you posted on what wet paint comes out of them.

Marjorie, I'm taking Rumi's advice and inviting each and every house guest in . . . with open arms.  I'm putting on my steel-toed boots and kicking each of these roadblocks out of my way.  Many of you have been there to help move the big boulders out of my way and for your love and support, I thank you!!  Give me your feedback on the wet paint above . . . love to know your faves!  

As always, thanks for being part of our lives and humoring me as I share Doug's art, at least from my perspective . . .

Much thanks . . .


PS - Our website is up to date and I will keep you posted on the competitions and paintings!  Follow our blog and find both Doug and I on facebook as well!  Let's be friends!!