Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Cat Painting Update and Ice Bergs

ice remnants on the lake
 Isn’t it marvelous that Spring is finally here?! The ice went out of our lake yesterday morning when there was a stiff breeze, so now we have open water again. Actually, the ice is usually broken up on a windy day or two in the Spring and just blows east down the lake from us. The marina to the west helps the process by going out in boats to make waves. This year they posted a short video on their Facebook page showing them using a boat as an ice breaker in the marina area. The ice was pretty thin by then so no danger to the boat.

The first photo is of an “ice berg” out in the lake in front of our house. I took the photo early this morning while the lake was still. It won’t last long with the warm temperatures as the lake waters warm up.

I feel so lucky to live on a lovely lake with all of its wildlife!

Now that gardening season is back, I decided that it’s time to get back to exercising; something I’ve managed to neglect all winter. After walking on the treadmill, I did my “legs and back” exercise routine, and later in the day went for a short spin on Scottie. This morning I had a hard time getting out of bed! Ack! But, if I keep it up, the stiffness will go away.

In addition to exercising daily, I’ve set a goal for myself of doing some artwork every day this week, even if only for an hour. This is in hopes that both goals will become established habits if I keep them up long enough.
"Annie", 6x6 gallery wrapped canvas oil painting
I managed just an hour yesterday on the little cat painting I started a while back of our kitty, Annie, when she was young. Most of the time was spent setting up and deciding what colors to use and then mixing paint. So, I was limited to working on just one ear and the forehead markings before it came time to clean up and leave for the barn. Otherwise, I would have painted longer.

Please note my painting setup here. I came up with this brilliant idea a while back when I noticed some scraps of pegboard out in the garage. Even though I’ve looked at those scraps for years, THAT day the thought struck me that they would be perfect to use on the easel to hold small paintings and paintings whose edges need to be painted. I’d been trying to figure out a solution to this problem for a while now since I’ve been working on smaller canvases lately. How DOES one paint the edges of those gallery wrapped canvases without getting your fingers in the paint?

I had my husband cut a couple of pieces to fit on the easel and cleaned off the garage grime. Yesterday, I used one of them to hold the Annie painting, and it worked great! As you can see, the painting is resting on pegboard hooks. It can be moved from side to side to get at the bottom of the canvas, and I can set the painting at a comfortable working height. In fact, I might just expand this for use with larger paintings, too!

Now, why didn’t I think of this sooner!?

I’ve just had a chat with my gallery owner (Adams Madams, Central Lake, Michigan) who has requested that all her artists replace their pieces which have been in the gallery for a long time with new artwork. She is readying the shop for the coming summer season when the summer residents and visitors will be returning. She tells me that she gets visitors from the Horse Shows By The Bay people each summer as they explore the area when they’re not showing. These people have money to burn, so that gives me incentive to get some horse show pieces done to put in the gallery during the four or five weeks of the show. A series of small paintings of horse show dogs would be perfect as well as some leadline class photos of toddlers on cute ponies.

Ah! I’m getting super inspired!


Linda Shantz said...

Congrats on setting those goals, Karen! I've done the same thing - determined to paint at least a little every day, and exercise regularly! It's hard when everything else is crazy, but I'm trying to learn to make the time! It makes such a difference so it's worth it. :-)

Karen Thumm said...

Thanks, Linda. It's really a matter of reordering priorities for me which is something I haven't been very good at in the past.

I don't have nearly the responsibilities that you do, so there is really no excuse for not painting and exercising more.

So far so good, if I can just stay off the computer!

Heather Anderson said...

That's a great idea with the pegboard! And the cat is coming along really well.
What a pretty spot you live in!

Karen Thumm said...

Thanks, Heather!