Sunday, August 18, 2013

Wet Paint and a Rib Fest in Helper Town!

So we just returned from a fabulous weekend in one of our favorite places!  Good ol' Helper Town!!  We just get to hang out with so many of our favorite people and this weekend was no exception.

Ryan, our oldest son, was invited by Zach Proctor and Lane Bennion to spend a week in the Studio Group art school with a great group of painters.  Zach and Lane reserved the whole place to do some serious painting!  Ryan loves to draw and "paint" on his iPad but never seriously with the real thing!  Doug was thrilled to set him up with an easel, pallet, paints, brushes, the whole nine yards.  He did great!  Here's a couple of my favorites:

One of Ryan's oil painting studies while in Helper
Ryan's "self portrait" (he's got a great fro as you can see from his shadow!)
He gets his curly hair from his mother!
We took Wesley with us and met Ryan over in Cleveland (Utah!) and said hi to my cowboy brother, Boyd!  He owns a mining supplies company called "Chute Supply" and it's always great to stop in for a little BS'ing with him!  For the short time we were there, several stopped in for a few supplies and also get their daily dose of Boyd Griffin!  He puts a smile on everyone's face that knows him - and he knows almost everyone in Emery and Carbon County!  Because he's 6'3" most know him as "long ass!"

Dinosaur Quarry - Allosaurus!  Rrrarr!!
Since we were out that way, we decided to venture out to the dinosaur quarry.  13 miles . . . ended up being on a dirt and washboardy road (my beautifully clean car was CAKED with dirt!  UGH!!) and after arriving and forking over our $20 entry fee, we ventured around for the 20 minute tour!

RRRaaaarrr!!  See the resemblance?
Wes is really into this!!  
Okay, I'm not gonna lie, it was pretty cool.  So yeah, over 12,000 bones (belonging to over 74 individual dinosaurs) have been excavated from this quarry, AND it contains the densest concentration of carnivorous dinosaur bones found anywhere in the world!  Just a few little tidbits of amazing information I thought you might like to have handy in your hip pocket!  Someday you'll thank me for that bit of knowledge!  

We made our way back the way we came - Mario (Doug) making incredible time on those dirt roads, back through Emery County and back to civilization!  The arts festival was in full swing and we had fun chatting it up with all of our Helper cronies!

Dave Dornan, painter extraordinaire, doing a demo!
Just incredible!!
Sooo much fun to rub shoulders with such amazing artists and great friends who know how to make us feel right at home and laugh till we cry!  Thanks to Dave Dornan and Marilou Kundmueller for accommodations at the Helper Workshops Studio Group building.  Always fun to see them.  It was especially fun to watch Dave do an awesome demo in his studio splattering paint, a little air brush action, wiping off paint and splashing on new color.  It's just an experience you all must have if you love art!

Great to see Wendy and Bryce Chidester, Brian and Sonja Blackham, Charlie and Johanna Snow, Paul and Silvia Davis, Becky Dunham, Ann Jesperson, Brenda and Bob Bosquet, Ben and Melanie Steele and more!  The awesome interns worked hard to hang a great show of paintings all under $500 by students and instructors!  What a compilation of great work at such bargain prices!  Here are some that Doug had for sale - if you're interested in any of these, let me know asap and I'll have them hold it for you!  They're framed with a linen liner and a simple contemporary maple frame.

"Out Back"
8 x 10
8 x 10

8 x 10
"Mountain Melody Mechanics"
10 x 8
"Carbon County Golf Course"
8 x 10

"Empty Spaces"
8 x 10

"Island Park"
8 x 10

"Life Partners"
8 x 10

"Mt. Militia"
10 x 8

8 x 10

"Spring Greens"
8 x 10
Brenda and her darling miniature Schnauzer,
Lily, enjoying a tasty rib!  
We ended the weekend with an amazing RIB FEST hosted by Wendy and Brenda at their studio space there on main street.  Some incredible ribs were done by Charlie, Mike and Bob along with a brisquet cooked to perfection by Marilou and some pulled pork along with side dishes contributed by everyone else!  Probably close to 100 people came to dig their teeth in and "argue" with the ribs, as Doug says "It's gotta argue with you!!"  Lily, Brenda's miniature schnauzer, enjoyed a few bites of ribs as well!!  

Thanks to everyone for such a great weekend!  If you haven't experience Helper Arts Festival or been to a Helper Workshop, you haven't lived!  We have been coming to Helper for over 20 years now and it gets better and better!  

Doug's got some wet paint coming off the easel that you'll enjoy!  He enjoyed a "weekend off" which I don't think has happened in quite some time!  Gosh, I can't believe I let him have the weekend off . . . back to work big guy!!  

Hope all is well!  Love hearing from you!  Share the site with your friends!

Thanks much!!  



Friday, August 9, 2013

Wet Paint and Orange Barrels at Taco Time!!

So O-Dark-Thirty rolls around and yeah, it's still dark!  Doug, what are you thinking?  I think he's thinking no one would get up and notice!  But hey, it's early but baby, it's Taco Time!!

Doug, of course, was there at 6:00 and a wonderful friend and fan of ours was there to watch before her 7:00 meeting!!  What a loyal follower!  Bambi Gibson has been a dear friend of ours for many years and has touched our hearts with her heartfelt sentiments about Doug's work.  I will never forget her tell me of her reaction to "Boulders on Boulder Mountain" when she walked into the show at Park City and saw this breathtaking painting clear in the back of the gallery.  She got choked up and told how emotional it was to see that painting even from 25 feet away.  It's so neat that she feels such a connection with Doug's work and is kind enough to share it with us.  So, watching him paint has always been something she's wanted to do so she was thrilled at the opportunity to come watch and ask questions!!
Bambi asking some questions about the set up, paints, and all that good stuff.
William Brison, commented on this picture on facebook and I laughed till I cried!
"Yes ma'am, this kit will make you a world-renowned painter in just three days.  And if
you buy it now, I'll throw in this truck!  Don't mind the paint splatters on the dash or the steering wheel!"
Bahaha!  thanks for that commentary!  And I thought I was the funny one here!  sheesh!!
Waiting for some sun (since it's barely past o-dark thirty) was not really a challenge for this old-time veteran!  He kinda starts 'em all the same anyway!  

oooo . . and I'm loving the . . uh . . .  shadows?  lighting?  hmmm . . . yeah.  Good start, hun!!  
I'm looking at the corner thinking, what's he going to paint?  It was dark enough when we got here that the stores all still had their lights on but right at 7:30, Auto Zone turned their light off (ahhh) and the street lights go off too!  

Angie Ellsworth is another one of our very "artsy" friends with very VERY "artsy" children!  What a grand experience for her to bring her two oldest kids to watch Doug paint!  

The "Audience" all set up - oooo front row seats!  What?  No popcorn?  Lame! 
Closer up . . . super cool!
This was cool watching the "drawing" happen by taking off paint with the paper towel and q-tips!  He has very expensive drawing tools!  
Colors coming together and the sun is starting to peek through the clouds.  Maybe the drab sky will end up having some color, who knows!  

And it's coming along nicely! 
Always love the orange barrels.  Those remind me of, years ago, our little family performing a musical number for a family reunion.  Yes, we heard a song on the Bob and Tom show.  I say "we" but I didn't really listen to Bob and Tom.  I listened to Sports Radio (I'll elaborate on my sports addiction in another blog on another day!)  Doug and the kids listened to Bob and Tom and decided this "Orange Barrels" song would be perfect to learn (since they already knew it!)  Hmmm okay.  I'm sure we had to edit the words and please don't google it, because I'm certain I'll be super embarrassed!  But at least the words I remember were pretty funny!  Gaby, I know you're googling it right now, damn it!  I'm already embarrassed and you're going to be laughing your head off!!  

Painting finished and what's it called?  Taco Time!!  Ahhh, and I'm so sad that this Taco Time is no longer opened.  Just an empty parking lot screaming for artists to come and paint it's beautiful surroundings and orange barrels!

"Taco Time"
8 x 10
For Sale!
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As always, this is just from my perspective . . . 



Wednesday, August 7, 2013


Are you up for it?  6:00 a.m. Thursday, August 8 - Doug is going to be at the Taco Time parking lot in Clearfield and anyone is invited to come watch the demo from start to finish!  Watch from over his shoulder, take some pictures or set up your paints and paint with him!  Good time!  This is kind've a test to see who is up for joining him so early - you true blue plein air painters!!

If you love his city scapes of our old stomping ground of the Clearfield, Sunset, Roy area, come join him!  I'm going to post a few of my faves of the area.  He's been stopped a few times and asked "what the heck are you doing in our parking lot?"

Ogden Overpass
Torrey Main Street
Van in Sunset
Intersection - Roy??
Roy / Riverdale Road

You get the idea!  Amazing structures and who'da thunk to paint these?  This is a test . . .

See you there??


Wet Paint and the Runaway Cockatiel!

Home and totally on the mend!  Thank you, one and all, for your outpouring of well-wishes and concern!  Last day of antibiotics and I am back onto solid foods but drinking lots of water and taking all of your great advice on kidney wellness!!

Doug still has the plein air bug, however, and has been getting up at the crack of dawn to go paint!  (ahhhh, that phrase reminds me of my dad who used that often growing up as my mother's name was Dawn!  He was such a kidder!  "I wake up at the crack of Dawn EVERY morning" he would say!)  Monday morning he went out to Farr West and painted this beautiful little piece:

8 x 10
Ah - I can just smell that hay!  Heading out in that area, it reminded me of a story I forgot to tell you!  Doug has a cockatiel named Nigel who is a "studio bird" and keeps Doug company throughout the day.  He comes and hangs out while Doug paints and occasionally thinks it's fun to "fluff" his feathers in paint!  Anyway, a few weeks before we left for Door County, I got a frantic call from Doug one evening just before he was heading to come home.  Nigel had responded to Doug's whistle in the kitchen and had flown out to see him.  But instead of landing on Doug's finger, which he usually did, he flew right past him and through the next room, out the open door to the wood shop and out THAT open door to the wide open world!!  What???  Doug frantically followed him out and tried to "whistle" him down, but he circled him two or three times 100 feet in the air before he flew up over the trees and headed west.

We walked several blocks west and whistled everywhere (I'm sure everyone was thinking we were seriously crazy) but to no avail.  We had a few cockatiels whistle back at us in their own cages but no Nigel was to be found.  It was a sad day and we came home with our heads down and looked somber as we stared at Nigel's empty cage.  Doug was pretty distraught and Wesley put it on our local "KSL Classified Ads" that we had lost our bird with his picture but to no avail.

About a week later, on a Saturday morning, Doug and I had just gotten back from a Saturday morning errands run, Wesley came and said he had something to show us.  He brought us over to his car and opened the door.  I thought, "ahh, Wesley has gotten his Dad a new bird."  Sure enough, inside the door was a cage and inside the cage was a bird, and wow, this bird also had paint on his feathers!  Just.  Like. OH MY GOSH, YOU FOUND NIGEL!!

Someone had called Wesley and said "Wesley, we think we have found your bird.  He has paint on his feathers!"  He had been found in Hooper, a town about 5 miles west of Sunset, clear down by the Great Salt Lake!  Their kids thought he had marker on his tail feathers!  Wesley said, "nope, it's paint!"

Nigel - happy to be back!
We were so happy to have him back and he is getting his "whistle" back.  He does a "mocking" whistle  that sounds like "pretty bird" and also does the "WOOT WOOT" wolf whistle that he likes to whistle WITH you.  Doug has built him a perch near his easel and he also has a cool cage in Doug's painting area that has some awesome sticks and some "steps" that he uses for exercise!  haha  No more vacation time for you, big guy!!

So anyway, back to Doug's plein air bug.  He had it again this morning so here's what we got to enjoy today!!  Doug headed to Huntsville where he painted Fox Point.  Call me if you think either of these or both of these paintings would look fabulous on your wall as they're looking for a good home!!

"Fox Point"
8 x 10
Have a great evening!  Hey, we reached 50,000 hits on my blog!  Thank you thank you!!  You keep hitting, Doug will keep painting and I'll keep writing!  



Sunday, August 4, 2013

We Interrupt this blog for a quick trip to the Emergency Room!

Well Mt. Rushmore was awesome - crazy busy and again, no dogs allowed, so we didn't stay long to hike and stuff (whew!) but it was so cool!  A perfect day and not too crowded.

Next stop along, what I thought was going to be boring, South Dakota was the Wall Drug!  I'm thinking a version "knockoff" of Walgreens but no, not this Wall Drug.  This is a drugstore in Wall, South Dakota!  Started off by a sweet little pharmacist and his wife in the 1920's who, to bring people over to their little store, offered "free ice water!"  Go figure.  

It's turned into this huge tourist plaza with all kinds of fun stuff, including a great burger and fries (which we tried) and homemade fudge (which we tried) and a frisbee that looks like a giant cow pie (which we bought for our crazy dogs back home!)  The list goes on of cool stuff but I'll stop there because I don't want you to think I bought one of everything (which I'm afraid I did).  

Continued on our way and tried to get all the way to Devil's Tower but it was a long drive.  Doug needed me to keep him company so I started reading something funny on facebook and laughed out loud.  Doug said "what's so funny?"  So I started reading these to him.  

10 fun facts:

1.  You can't wash your eyes with soap.
2.  You can't count your hair.
3.  You can't breath through your nose with your tongue out.  at this point, I looked over to see him doing this . . . I start laughing as he starts to say "hey . . . I can too"  I said, let me finish . . .
4.  You just tried No. 3  he starts laughing
6.  When you tried #3, you realized it's possible, only you look like a dog.   we are both laughing hysterically now!
7.  You're smiling right now, because you were fooled.
8.  You skipped no. 5
9.  You just checked to see if there is a number 5
10.  I just love these things!

So we had a good laugh for a while and that got us on our way a few more miles!  

I took lots of pictures and we had a few funny discussions about "good light and bad light" still working on recognizing what he sees as good light and bad light.  sigh . . .

Devil's Tower peaked around the corner as we started up toward it.  Talk about spectacular.  The campground was one of the funnest we stayed in the whole time!  They had a central bon fire they started each night and Doug and Max walked over to check it out.  I was having fun uploading pictures and checking out my amazing light!!  He texted me "Come over!!"  So I went over to find a sweet little guy playing his gee-tar and singing about as far off key as I'd heard in a while but it was very endearing!  We tapped our feet along and enjoyed the evening.  At 9:00 sharp, they showed "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" which was filmed at Devil's Tower (a fun fact, yes indeed!)  They show it each and every night!!  What fun!

Doug was going to get up the next morning and paint the tower but it was raining like cats and dogs so we had to pass on that - sad day.

We decide to "pack 'em up" and get on the road.  See if it might be possible to make a 600 mile trek home.  Not sure but we'll give it a try.  We got to Rawlins and we were spent.  The traffic and going through the small towns made the trek slow and averaging about 40 mph.  It took us 8 hours to get to Rawlins!  We decided to move on to Rock Springs and call it a night.  Being only 250 miles from home would make that manageable for tomorrow.

The campground in Rock Springs had a fenced-in doggie area so Max got to play "chuck it" and was in doggie heaven!  Quick video clip of Max and the chuck it!

Shortly after the "chuck-it-chase" we were getting some grub fixed up and I was excited to get my blog finished when I felt an uncomfortable but NOT unfamiliar pain in my back.  I looked at Doug and said "My back sure does hurt."  He gave me that look like "oh oh, not the kidney stones backache, is it?"  I said I was afraid to say it out loud but it sure felt like it.  Within an hour, I was throwing up and in so much pain, Doug had to take me to Rock Springs Memorial Hospital.  The first round of pain killer didn't touch it so they brought in the big gun of Morphine and that did the trick but not without whirling me into outer space.  OMG that was horrible!  Made it back to the trailer at 2:00 a.m. and we both collapsed.  

Doug made me a bed in the back seat of the truck and headed home.  I was about as much help as a bucket of hair but he was sweet and patient with making me comfortable and getting me home.  About noon, Doug leans back and says "Hon, where do we turn once we get to Cheyenne?"  I sat up in a hurry, still blurred by where I was and where we'd been.  "Just I-80 all the way home, hon."  He said "Well, which way do I turn in Cheyenne?"  I'm still in a daze and pulled out the map - "Cheyenne?? We're not in Cheyenne are we????  That's like the OTHER side of Wyoming!"  He couldn't contain his laughter any longer and busted a gut laughing. Maybe a bit of payback for the sticking-out-your-tongue-and-looking-like-a-dog trick!   If I'd have had the strength, I'd have jumped over the seat and choked him!  It's funny now, but it wasn't so much then!  I looked up and saw the sign that said "Ogden 25 miles."  Whew.  Funny.  Whatev.  

Was great to get home - kids were here to help Doug unpack and I collapsed on the couch.  I'm on the mend and have had lots of TLC from family, friends and neighbors.  Thanks one and all for your support and following our trip.  Was such fun to share it with you!!  

I think we're heading to Helper in a couple of weeks for the Art's Festival and possibly Spring City the end of the month.  He's doing a three-day weekend workshop in the Huntsville area in September so if you, or someone you know, might like to jump in, let me know asap!  It will be a spectacular class with amazing colors!!  Go to our website to register:  

Talk soon everyone!