Sunday, December 22, 2013

vino and vango

I had a recent opportunity to step away
from the normal Thursday evening with
a few friends of mine.  Lady Mel had been
talking about a fun place to go paint...
A fabulous place in Springfield, Oregon named
Vino and Vango

It's bright, cheerful, colorful and oh so fun!!

 All the paints, brushes, canvases and supplies
are provided in the class fee.  Just bring your
favorite beverage and snack and some to share.
Here you can see some of the painting samples
in the background and students ready to start.

Kris has never painted before...
here she is starting on her first canvas..
Way to go!!

I meant to take more pictures of the process.
This ended up being the only one..
as I got so engrossed in the process.
What we are aiming for here is a treescape.

Here is the result!
Not bad for a couple hours of play.

Here is the closeup.
This is a bit subdued to the color palette
I normally use.  But it was good to learn something
new and see the results.
Let's see how the rest of the gang did....

Here is Melysa's painting.
She is the person who pulled the group together
for a fun night of play.
Thanks Melysa...What a wonderful escape
from couch potato Thursday.
Not that I don't enjoy those too  :0)

Letting canvases dry..

Karleen shows off her painting chops...
and she said she didn't know what she was doing..
Could have fooled me..

Karleen's closeup...

And look what the newbie did!
Just like an old master...
It pays to not know what you are doing..
Sage advice for us perfectionists.

Kris's closeup..

Go to the link for Vino and Vango earlier in the post
and check out all of the wonderful options there are
for your own Paint Party.  Step out of your 
ordinary day and do something new..and be 
sure to bring some friends with you.
This was the perfect Christmas gift to me!
Thank you again to Melysa who inspired
us to go PLAY!!

And just as a bonus...we have had some beautiful
tequila sunrises and equally marvelous sunsets in
this cold, crisp weather.

If I don't post before then...
Have a very merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A wee bit of fun

I've been a little bit lax keeping up with
the blogging posts.  I do have more  trip
photos to show.  I hope you aren't
getting tired of them...

Let's start with more Monet...

Don't you want to stroll the path...
sit with a sketchbook and watercolors?

I'm a sucker for stone walls and pretty flowers.

"At the end of his life, Monet hardly set foot out
of Giverny.  It became his sole source of inspiration."
Monet - The Ultimate Impressionist

 Waiting peacefully for its passenger.

A wee bit of the Irish....

St. Mary's in Killarney...

One spectacular view after another at
Killarney's National Park.  We only had to go across
the street to get there.

We happened upon several fine Irish chaps 
that gave us our bearings in the park.
The weather was sunny and pleasant the whole
time of our visit.

Lovely stone walls...

 Celtic crosses...

 A stop at the Teahouse before walking into town.

Another view of the church...

One of many chapels in St. Mary's...

Striking stained glass...

Hitting the shops...

Who can resist a store with this name?

Or the jokester who had a go at this sign....

I hope it wasn't Boofle...
You can see he's doffed a pint of Smithwicks...

Oh...maybe that was Chris's pint..
He met up this cheery couple at a pub celebrating their
50th Wedding Anniversary while I was
away at the bookshop.

We didn't take advantage of the horse and buggy rides..
choosing to earn our meals by walking.

Not all paths lead to our destination...

The locals out enjoying the weather...
better than average we hear.

This is where we're headed...Ross Castle.

I'll leave you with this beautiful shot of Ross Castle.
Taken on a moody weather day while hiking trails
in Killarney National Park.

Friday, November 29, 2013

So Thankful

For me this has been a year of drastic lows..
and unbelievable highs. I lost my mother to
a brutal bout with ALS.  Our lovey tuxedo cat,
Maddie followed soon after.  

But we are on the top level of a
double decker bus in England with the wind
blowing in our hair.

I have so much to be thankful for!
Thank you to everyone who supported
me through all the difficulties and
celebrated the better moments too.
If you want to share in more of the highlights
go to Chris's Flickr site at:

And remember...
 When life plops you on the crapper..

Climb up on the lid..
Remember to flush..
keep looking up...
It's bound to get better!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Aimless Love and the Bucket List

Not many people know that I am a bit of
a poetry nut.  I've also raised a few eyebrows
with my taste for country music.
Keith Urban?  Isn't he a country artist?
Who knew!
Anyway...I'm a huge fan of the poet Billy Collins.
In fact he has been on my bucket list for quite
some time.  He recently released a new book...
"Aimless Love - New and Selected Poems"...
and along with it...a book tour.
Lucky for me...he made a stop in Eugene
and my man snapped up a couple of fourth row
seats at the Library reading...standing room only
with one hour to the reading.
Of course I stood in line to get my book signed...
Billy Collins is the only person to hold two terms as
Poet Laureate.  My friend Bill sums up Billy as
"the Bob Newhart of Poetry."  I love it!
He is all over You go check it out.
Are you ready to do some early Christmas shopping and
help out a worthy cause?
Check out the ultra cool stuff on my friend Emily 
Proudfoot's brand new Etsy site.
Go visit Orange Sweater Design to see what shes'
up to and then hop over to look at her infectious,
collectable jewelry and paintings.
I'm hoping to get to some of my own artwork soon.
But until I have something to show...
have a look at some of the goodies I brought
back from my Europe trip...
I picked these out from a street artist on
the way to The Pompidou....
Eiffel Tower...

Monmarte street scene...

Bistro with kitty....

Boulanger and shops....

The Moulin Rouge

Paintings like the one above are mass produced
on canvas and sell for 10 - 15 euros.
Same as the next three....

These two were purchased during a rain
downpour in an artist square in Monmartre...

Here is the painter....

Artists on every corner.....

Don't you want to dip a brush in and start painting?

Until next time.....