Archive for July, 2009

Works in Progress

July 30, 2009

If you ever have a desire to take a jaunt through a cemetery, I can highly recommend the Myrtle Hill Cemetery in Rome, Georgia.   As melancholy as it sounds, I think the trip my mother, daughter, sisters and I took through it last year’s Mother’s Day was one of the most fun days I had all year.  We were looking for my great-grandparent’s graves and although we were not able to find them, the trip was so worthwhile in what we did find.   We found dozens of beautiful stone carvings in the form of angels, tombs, and monuments.  It is sad to think that we have relinquished this form of sculptural memoriam to our loved ones in favor of a flat stone that makes maintaining grass easier.

I took dozens and dozens of pictures. 

stone angel 1 copystone angel 2 copy

These are the painterly beginnings of a series of  stone angels I want to do from those pictures.  I still have lots of work to do on them but thought I would share them showing some of the process of painting.  I find that it is the process of  creating I enjoy most.  The end result of that effort holds little value for me. 

I can only say I am glad God did not  feel the same way!


The Ghosts of Quilters Past

July 29, 2009

I am not as prolific as the calendar rapidly spitting out days.  I cannot keep up my production to post every 2 or 3 days so today, I am deliberately pulling things out from the past.

I was blessed with 2 wonderful grandmothers, one old enough to be the other’s mother.  Mama Evatt, the older,  was such a lady, seemily very proper and lovely always with the sweetest look upon her face.  But in my eyes, she was old (she was 72 when I was born, that was old back then and so young today!) and therefore a little frail, a little unapproachable, a little distance.

Grandmama, the younger, always seemed so young in comparison.  Even in her mid nineties!   She was an open-armed, loveable grandmother with hot cocoa and cake with fudge icing  always available.  She even made my Barbie Doll clothes! 

These women had something in common though, they both quilted!  Anyone reading this who knows better can correct me, but Mama Evatt must have made quilts in her middle aged years.  I was given a box of scraps from her basement years ago.  Included was a pieced quilt top made from bark cloth.   Being ignorant at the time, I washed it to get years of mustiness off it.  It shredded to pieces and I  so regret it.  Grandmama made quilts to her dying days, I would guess she made more that 50 quilts over her years.  I am lucky enough to have a few of them.

These art quilts are made from photos of my grandmothers.  They are raw edged applique, made with trial and error and love.  The first was entered into the “Georgia Celebrates Quilts” 2003 show and won an honorable mention.  I was very honored!


Mama Evatt  

12″x 13″  cotton fabric, cotton and rayon thread, machine quilted

GrandmamaGrandmama  7″ x 8″  

Cotton fabric, cotton and rayon thread, machine quilted

While I am sharing from my past, here is an art quilt I did of my father’s 4 sisters.  I don’t know if any of them quilted, but they sure look like they had fun when they got together and they all had (and my aunt Nonie still has) that same sweet smile their mother had.  My favorite thing about this quilt is the sun shining so brightly in it.

Sister-and-her-sistersSister and Her Sisters  

12″ x 12″  cotton fabric, cotton and rayon threads, machine quilted

My husband heard recently that tests are being run to see how quilting might effect Alzheimer’s disease.  I am sorry I cannot find a link to give you,  but for the record, both my grandmothers lived past the age of 95 with very healthy memories  intact!

Pen and Ink and Watercolour

July 27, 2009

I have a degree in architecture.  But you probably know that if you are reading this.  Life has been difficult for those of us in this business because there is no business in architecture at the moment!  Ken, the architect husband, goes to work daily each morning and comes home each evening and somehow manages to fill the in-between time at his office.   But there just doesn’t seem to be much reason for me to go into the office lately, especially when I can fill my time quite nicely in my studio.  Disarranged or not.

At one time we, at Peek Design Group, thought maybe I could fill some hours creating pen and ink drawings of homes and interesting or historic buildings.


This is as far as we/I got.  It is a rendering of an arts and crafts style home in Asheville, N.C. we toured a few years ago while at the Arts and Crafts Conference there.  It is done from a photograph in pen and ink with a watercolour wash.  If, by chance, you are interested in having your home rendered in this style, give Peek Design Group a call.  We still have some time on our hands.

Image size 9.5″x 7.5″    Matted size – 14″x 11″

Birds from the Far East

July 25, 2009

A few years ago I started playing around with Chinese Brush Strokes.  Ingenious were the ancient people who created and perfected this minimalist art form.

The key to doing this seems to be in holding the brush perpendicular to the paper.  Birds seem to be the easiest images for me to do.   Here are a few I’ve done.  The really bad ones go into the trash.







These were done in watercolour except the heron, which was done in india ink.

A Bug’s Box

July 22, 2009

Each Sunday morning several pre-schoolers gather at my church for Children’s Church.  I have the great honor to play and make crafts with them!  We have such fun!  This week the literature said make a box and it had a pattern and blah, blah, blah.  Of course, that was not good enough for our kids so I found this pyramid shaped box pattern and we decorated and made banks to save money.  Didn’t think about the nice sharp point a pyramid makes until a 3 year old was shaking his box exuberantly!

Here is my rendition of the box.  I have painted beetles on it in tribute to the scarabs all around the plains of Giza where those real pyramids are.




watercolour on arches 140 wt. cold pressed  paper

These bottom two photos are placed in front of  paper flowers I made from instructions on by a paper wizard, Jeffery Rudell.

a new page

July 21, 2009


Karen’s blog –

The nest and feathers were done in watercolor.  This compromise took an exorbitantly long time to produce.  Next time I “blog” like this, I will be much less wordy.

I’ve never seen a purple cow but I’ve seen plenty of red ones

July 18, 2009

I have not been painting much over the last few years.  I am trying to do more painting and now I have more time, it is a little easier to fit in. But oil painting is very messy and my studio doesn’t have enough room to leave out the paraphernalia that comes with it.  But out it is now and, hopefully, I will stay at it for a while. At least long enough to finish a painting or two.

I went to Missouri several years ago to visit with my husband’s family.  As we were driving around the “back 40” the sun was shining  on the most beautiful  red cow.  My words cannot do the image justice and I have no idea what kind of cow a red one is … but it was glorious.

My father-in-law thought I was some sort of idiotic in-bred city girl.  We all have our predjudices.

I have been working on this red calf painting for the last 2 days.


24″x24″ oil on canvas 

Simple Pleasures

July 16, 2009

Have you ever thought about what brings you pure pleasure? 

I get pleasure from the simplest stuff.  Paper, scissors and an exacto knife.  Who needs rocks!  One can model, fold and cut a piece of paper and create such works of art.  These “ones” are especially able to do that.  Take a look at their sites.


Me, I can model, fold and cut and it is just pure pleasure and wholesome entertainment.

Lately, I have been practicing cutting silhouettes so that I can begin my happy golden years sitting on the sidewalk at Disney World.  The traditional way to cut a silhouette is to take a piece of paper in one hand and scissors in the other and look at the the subject while cutting.  No lamps or shadows are involved.  I have cheated though and taken pictures of profiles to use for cutting.  Digital cameras are wonderful for this.  Delete the picture quickly after cutting and no one will know you have cheated.

Here are a few of mine.  They range from 2 1/2″ to 4″ high.


Only 2,000 or so more to go before I qualify to apply at Disney World.

Oh, and did you recognize Madame X in these?

The Profile

July 15, 2009

When I was taking classes in portraiture,views  looking toward the model’s face were always the most desirable.  Why is it then that all my portraits seem to be of the profile?  Perhaps I am not assertive enough.

     This is a portion of a portrait of a class model done several years ago.



20″x30″     pastel on mi-teints paper


This is from an old black and white photograph again.  I like painting from old photos because then I only have to get the drawing right.  I can do any ol’ color I want and who will know the difference.


 Girl in Black Hat

8″x10″   oil on canvas

And one of my favorite artists, John Singer Sargent, did his most famous portrait of Madame X (considered scandalous when it was presented to the Salon in Paris).  The woman was Madame Gautreau.  She was “high society” and was influenced by her peers to hate this painting.  There is a great book called “Strapless: John Singer Sargent and The Fall of Madame X” by Deborah Davis that goes into this story.  It was perhaps the most enjoyable non-fiction book I have ever read.

There is a waitress at a restaurant we frequent who, surely, must be a direct descendant of  Madame X.  She has this exact profile.

I dared not try to copy the whole painting but I did attempt to copy her face. 


Madame X’s Profile

8×8  acrylic on canvas

It is time I did something

July 14, 2009

So my something is to follow the crowd and start a blog.  Specifically to show some of my art.  This goes against my nature so any encouragement you give will be greatly appreciated.

My first piece to share.  A portrait.  Faces are about the only constant in my art.  The medium of choice changes with the hour, but I love observing  faces.  Each is beautiful and so unique.  This face came from an old black and white photogragh of a young woman.  I think she now looks end-of-the-day tired.  Something I am very familiar with. 




5″x7″ pastel on pastel board