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Couldn't Stand The Weather

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My husband called the other morning and wanted me to put out a missing person’s report on one of his appendages, he stood in the brutal wind helping the commuters at the local train station with the fare boxes.

It was -7 that is “NEGATIVE SEVEN” degree’s here in the windy city and it’s outlying suburbs. What the heck am I doing here? What the heck is this weather good for I ask myself? I think of those penguin’s from March of the Penguins, and I wonder to myself, WTH good is it when you can’t even enjoy the outdoors, whose cruel joke is this?

As we head into Christmas the snow is flying and I long to sit in that blue hammock up there, our’s will be spoiled by the snow, and sadly he will most likely miss most of Christmas – so those of you that may be in the snow covered cold area’s, remember your workers out there that make those streets passable.  Give them a hot cup of coffee, a wave and a smile, or give them a winning lottery ticket so we can get the hell out of dodge!

A Stevie favorite – Couldn’t Stand the Weather and pretty tough to play from what the “boy’s” tell me.

All these years you and I’ve spent together,
all this, we just couldn’t stand the weather…..

Cheers to my husband for being out of these day’s sweetheart, Christmas will be in the tropics..

Peace & Merry Christmas.

Categories : paintings, Tropical
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Sketch from Photo

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I have seen alot of traffic in my statcounter looking for sketches from photo’s and thought I would share a recent drawing I did of my son’s bass player Nick and his Sister Kelly, his mother said it best when I got a comment in my email this morning and her words are the one’s I will share..

And, no, he hasn’t worn out his welcome yet ! But, I would love to get my hands on those curls and clean them up!

Tracy wrote – Trying to find something for my parents at Christmas is always a chore. I saw a drawing that Susie did of my sons band, and knew right away what I wanted.

I contacted her and gave her the photos of my children. Not quite sure if I wanted to do baby or them now, she sugguested both. So I  grabed both pictures that my parents love, and she sketched  them in chalk.

It was so awesome she truly has a wonderful gift.  So I bought the frame and placed it under the tree. My mother in-law came for a week visit. Every day she looked at the sketch and raved about it. Of course I did not get one for her, but something thing else that Susie is so talented doing, window art.

I had to get one for her as well, Susie was just delighted to do another portrait for me. And so close to Christmas. Susie is such a wonderful person. I urge anyone who comes to this site to use her for any drawing needs. I can’t wait to see the look on my parents face when they see her work. It is amazing.

Thank you. Tracy.

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Music & Nature – A Path to Peace

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Music & Nature can well be a path to peace.  Mt. Bonnell is the highest point in Austin, Texas and has been a tourist attraction dating back to the 1850’s.   This was on my list of to do’s while I was in Austin, knowing that it was a hippie hang-out and one of Stevie’s favorite places in the wee-hours of the morning.  A place to get lost and remove yourself from the everyday world.

I trekked the tough climb of over 200 or so limestone steps and found myself in a place I found similar to a “comfortable song”  What is it about music and nature that bring us peace of mind and can calm a restless soul, as well as bring memories flooding back as if they happened yesterday?

Great Musicians and Scenic Places bring us to a place where we fit in, where we are comfortable and the worries of the world can be shut off for a brief moment in time.  When you turn on the Ipod, or crank up the turntable to hear your favorite oldie,  you become part of that sound a part of the music, it’s the great musicians that draw you in and you become part of the music, your inner soul begins to dance and that sound is branded within your subconscious.

It’s a place where you can be home, it’s a place where you can re-charge your batteries and the dam can be opened to release the rising waters of thoughts that well up in of our daily minds,  if those thoughts are not released from time to time they can drown us.

Living with two musicians, I have a greater appreciation of music and I don’t just hear the it anymore, I see it and feel it and become a part of it.  Nature also has a way of provoking a peace of mind, as I stood at the top of Mt. Bonnell, closing my eyes and listening to the screech of a distant hawk, I could smell the mist of the Colorado River and feel it’s touch deep within my senses.  Tuning out the world around me, and feeling the energy of Nature and those that came to this place long before me, was refreshing and it was an brief escape.

We are not meant to be in overdrive all the time, and finding ways to remove the chaos that depletes the natural order of our mind, body and souls should be a part of our daily routines.  Take a moment this weekend to listen to the music around you,  whether it’s the music of a great musician or the music of the screeching hawk you may find that missing cord…..

Hollywood’s a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss, and fifty cents for your soul. – Marilyn Monroe

One of THE sexiest woman ever, has been gone now over 46 years, and she is still idolized and fantasized about.  There have been many debates on what size dress Marilyn wore, and in all honesty to me, that is defamation of who she was..she was beautiful and talented and I heard that Groucho Marx had something quite intersting to say about her when men met her..

It’s stated across the internet she was either a size 12, 14 or 16, who the hell cares..and if she was any of those, at the common size of our celebrities that eat cotton balls soaked in orange juice to be the size 0’s and 1’s that they are

It would take 12 Calista’s, Courtneys or Jessica’s to make up one Marilyn.

Beaming in beauty, Marilyn’s eyes tell a sultry story… from her love affairs with Joe DiMaggio, JFK & Peter Lawford, she was a beauty that captured many in her time.  Ironically enough, even the young teens of today know her name, she captivated young guys & grown men back than, and now.. I wonder if there are any that will ever be able to fill her shoes..

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Tropical Moon Light Beach PaintingIn no means is this post supposed to offend anyone – just a little story of a heterosexual male that had an eye opening experience while people watching.

This is a painting I did over the weekend of my memory of the wee morning hours in Puerta Vallarta, of which I would wake sleepy eyed, and see my husband standing on the balcony reminding me of some great Hendrix Lyrics

All along the watchtower
Princes kept the view
While all the women came and went
Bare-foot servants to, but huh
Outside in the cold distance
A wild cat did growl
Two riders were approachin
And the wind began to howl

Someone sure was howlin’…. My spousal unit fessed up to his eye opening experience later that morning – watching a couple about 8 hotels down, wandering the beach and enjoying some frisky behavior as they walked holding hands and smooching from time to time. Getting a bit more frisky as they approached and lying in the sand in the moonlight, they shared a moment of passion.

As they strolled closer to the hotel, my husband realized it was not a man and woman as he thought in his mind.  Do our eyes see what our mind wants them to see? Are somethings better left unsaid?

I really believe that it is better to leave somethings to the imagination!.

Categories : paintings, Tropical
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Screen Painting

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Screen PainintThe canvas on this picture is an actual window screen, I had heard about this technique but had never given it a whirl.  Thus the investigation of how’s & what’s began.

Screen Painting is an old folk art style of painting that began in Baltimore in the early 20th Century.  It takes a little bit of patience, but the results are quite interesting.

The really cool thing about screen painting, is that you can still see out the window, yet people from the street can not see in.

I took an old door and had my husband paint the entire thing black, (another form of recycling) you need a dark backdrop to see your progress and coverage of paint.  In order for it to with stand any weather conditions you need to use outdoor enamel based paint.

Beginning with a light coat of either light blue or white, you need to make sure your screen canvas is completely covered.  The brush strokes need to be light so that you do not clog the holes of the screen.

I work my way from the top of the screen painting, down to the bottom,  getting the darker elements in first, that would be the outline of the tree’s, the darker sections of the grass, behind the bridal wreath.

I will sometimes add just a little bit of Folk Art Enamel paint to the tip of the brush to enhance the colors, I have not found a huge selection of color in the outdoor enamels, without spending a fortune.  I have had several people stop and ask about the two paintings that are on my bay window in the front, this is a great way to add a little color into your life and home..

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Solitary Thought of Nature

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Chickadee on a Pine PaintingThis is one of my paintings done on a glass window that was removed from someone’s home while remodeling.  Not quite an antique, but certainly no longer in a landfill.

Chickadee’s have a delicate look and and soft features when you watch them.  Dainty creatures of nature, I could watch them flutter for hours around the feeder. 

I frosted the front of this window, with spray to give it an easier base to paint on.  Similar to the Stevie Ray Vaughan Painting but instead of using charcoals, I used enamel paint for the soft pine and chickadee, I used the KISS approach on this painting – Keep It Simple & Straightforward. .

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Going down to the beach!

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Going to down to the beachDo you remember growing up and having Saturday Chores, when all you wanted to do was watch cartoons?

I do, but it was my sister who got to do the chores, I got to watch her and cartoons! (me-sticking my tongue out)

Well, now that I have grown up and have a home of my own, those chores need to be done regardless of what cartoons are on.

I set out one Saturday morning to clean the stairwell that leads to our basement. It gets alot of traffic, this is known as “The Bat Cave” and my batty husband spends the majority of his winter down there. Well, needless to say, with the nitty gritty dirty salty dusty residue that collects on the shelves and the walls. I had pulled all the junk out of there, and was all set to clean it.

I realized, I didn’t want to clean it, it needed something else. So, out came the paints and five hours later, we had Buck’s Beach. This was done in all Acrylic Craft Paints, I put some real sand in the paint to give it a bit of texture, as if you are looking out at a beach. Done on the 3 walls that encase the stairway, it gives a brighter look to the “Bat Cave”

So, when you are not up to cleaning.. I say paint it!

I also ran across a new RSS Feed Site today, you may all want to check it out!

~ Soul to Soul.

Categories : paintings, Tropical
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Recycled Light Switch Covers

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Hand Painted Light Switch PlatesLights Out!

But not for these bad boys that I had found in the summer months during junk days!

These are light switch covers that I found in a box, there had to be over 50 of these switch plate covers at the curb waiting for the garbage truck.   Waiting to end up in the land fills.

Metal, Ceramic and Plastic switch covers, from one slot to four.  I took the ceramic one and had my husband sand it down, and I put a base coat of flat white spray paint on it, and I added the tropical sunset to give it some flare, using enamel craft paint by Anita,

I mixed solid black with an amber red to get the dark water’s.  The three slotted light switch has silica sand embedded in it, and gives a bit of a glow in the evening so that you can actually see where the switch plate is at.  With beads of real sand and a bit of texture, it is a beauty in any sun room.  Using several tones of blue for the water, and combining white gives the depth as the beach scene meets the horizon.

I shot them with a glossy lacquer to give them more protection from wear and tear in rooms that are have more frequent traffic. 

I love finding items that have been disgarded that I can bring back to life by giving them a unique look and turning them into works of art.  There are many different forms of recycling, and if you are unsure if there is a recycling collection center around, check out Earth 911..

Categories : paintings, Recycle, Tropical
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Stevie Ray Vaughan's Hat – Painting

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Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Hat PaintingIt is titled “Top-Shelf SRV Music”  from Vintage Guitar Magazine

Stevie Ray Vaughan & Friends was released a few months back, and IMHO, no matter what Stevie plays on, or who Stevie played with, his style and his sound was always recognizable.

A true fan thirsts for the next album, the next concert, and the next street side appearance but in the case of our late great blue’s legend that will not be happening, we can only continue to enjoy what has been released and continue to be hopeful that there is more hidden in the archives and estate.

Have we heard better Stevie? I would say absolutely, someone gave me a track of Stevie performing I’m Crying and the lyrics are classic  heartache, soul searching and down to the knitty gritty of blue’s music.   The track I got, seems to date back some many years, but is it signature Stevie, I can hear it, and there is not a day that goes by that I don’t listen to at least one of his famous tunes and the scream of his guitar shakes my bones.

Everyone can critique Stevie & Friends in their own way, but for those of us who; no matter the day, no matter the mood, when you hear that first cord hit, you immediately feel a smile embrace your being, and you instantly are thrown into the depths of what Stevie Ray Vaughan was all about.  He was a man that walked a road not much different than most of us, with questions and uncertainty as he states in his AA speech on page six  he says….

I used to think that if it wasn’t done my way, that it was completely wrong and it couldn’t be anything close to right because you just didn’t know. I know it’s kinda, it’s…sometimes I found out that it’s real comfortable not knowing everything…

Chew on that a little my husband always says to me.. stop being an “in-charge”  do something that envokes your passions, do something that you love, and remember…..once in awhile, to use the words…”no doubt” they can be profound.  

I will confess, the spirit that guides me through life, aka – guardian angel, spirit guide… always uses the expression, “no-doubt” so I felt it fitting to add that to the bottom of Stevie’s Ray Vaughans Hat.. No Doubt, either don’t doubt what’s in front of you, or in awe.. you can sit back and revel in what is truly a miracle happening around you.

I painted Stevie’s Ray Vaughans Signature hat, because of it being an icon and a statement. I started this many months back on a solid semi-gloss back ground of a shabby piece of particle board, it had divets and grooves, that lent a bit of a challenge factor to the entire piece, trying to get the curves of the hat correct.  This was done entirely in acrylics, with a smidge of enamel paint for the edges of the hat, and the feather for texture.  .

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