I’m Still Here…

Isn’t that a movie with Joaquin Phoenix… or something like that…? (And yes, I googled to make sure, and while scanning wikipedia,  I only needed to see the words “Buffalo Soldier” to then have that song in my head.) Totally not the point of this post, but is a very accurate depiction of me. Ugh, I’m all over the place. And you know that’s exactly how I write this blog thing. My husband was the writer, not me.

Anyway, so, yeah, I’m still here. I’m actually not sure how to write this – do I gloss over my absence or do I just go ahead and talk about the elephant in the room? It’s not like I’ve NOT done any art since then, but it hasn’t been at the same pace. My family has weathered some tragically rough patches since the fall of 2014 (I’ve not talked about it outside my private facebook page so don’t worry about searching for it… in time maybe). I’ve been slowly working on my art, but being a widowed mom takes a lot of time, especially with two active middle schoolers. I participated in last year’s Alamance Studio Tour and will be participating in this year’s Alamance Artisans Art Extravaganza. I’m also involved in a “plein air paint out” in my town right after that, and I’m taking a few art classes/ workshops in November. I suppose I’m stubbornly hanging on to keeping my artistic side alive.

So… I fluctuate between just being blah, running around dropping off, picking up, dropping off, picking up, OMG what’s for dinner, and is there an event I need to be at that requires me to take a shower…? Oh… and my favorite activity at 12:30 at night is waiting for the washer to be done so I can throw the clothes in the dryer and go to bed. And that’s when I’m not traveling for work.

With my first of many events less than a month away… I still need to get this thing done. I need to get some headphones, put soccer games on one tv and the other tv on older seasons of America’s Got Talent – (congrats Darci!)- and then MAYBE I can move mountains and get it done… right after I clean the studio.

Field of Lillies

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Orange County Studio Tour 2014

Here it is the last day of the Orange County Studio Tour. October and November are busy for me, but it’s been so much fun to talk to people about my art and studio space.

This is the first year in my new studio since we moved in March. It’s a smaller space, (taking over the dining room instead of having my own custom built studio), and the lighting is far from perfect, but it works so far. I’m sure many tweaks are in its future, but that’s part of the fun!

If you don’t catch me today (open from 12-5), then I hope to see you next year!

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Alamance Studio Tour 2014

Lehto_Studio Tour 2013

The Alamance Studio Tour is the second and third weekend in October – it’s right around the corner! (I’m not freaking out…ok, maybe a little).

Artists around Alamance county are opening their studios, selling their art and maybe even sharing techniques. Since I live outside the county, another artist is sharing her studio with several other artists, including me. Mark your calendars! Click here for more information. (Did I mention it’s FREE?)

I’m also participating in the Orange County Studio Tour in November… details coming soon!

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My favorite thing about this is the cow’s expression! Using a black sanded surface, my intention for this was a simple “white drawing”. The other colored pencils were added before I reminded myself of my objective.

My 7 year old daughter would come in and critique it along the way, but it never met her full approval. Now I know why… Her favorite of all my paintings and drawings is “277” (a pregnant Belted Galloway at Fearrington Village in Pittsboro, NC) because of all her fur.

This one is definitely cuter, though!

“Lucy” | colored pencil | 8″ x 10″

Newspaper Article

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by a local newspaper looking to do an article on me and my art.  The writer left me a message on my phone and also sent me an email. I was typing up my email to respond to her (thinking out my answers so I wouldn’t have to worry about how many times I said “ummm” and “you know”). My plan was to call her back and use my draft email as notes (doesn’t everyone do that?). But before I could finish, she calls me again. And wants to come by my studio NOW.

If you like my facebook art page, you might have seen a post saying I was rearranging my studio just the night before. Do you know how organized artists typically are? Can you imagine what my studio looked like the day the reporter wanted to come over? Most of my art was still hanging at the Roasted Coffee Depot in Graham, so I had limited inventory in my studio as well.

After she explained she only needed to take a picture of me and could crop out everything else…I said “OK, come on over.” I’d love to say I was completely ready for someone to come over, but my studio and I were far from it. After frantically getting presentable, I stuffed all the junk in cabinets quickly reorganized my art supplies before she arrived. (I really need to start following flylady more…CHAOS!)

I don’t remember saying ALL of this and in those EXACT words, but it’s consistent with what I have on my website and SOUND like something I would have said.  In case anyone familiar with the two pieces on the second page catches these errors, the “Woolly Malamute” and “Lesser Kudu” (it does have a title) are pastel, not colored pencil.

All in all, it was a good experience! Anyone interested in doing a follow up article, I can now say my studio is back in one piece and my paintings have returned from the coffee shop.

Alamance News

Alamance News page 1

Alamance News page 2

Alamance News page 2

Boxed In

Of course, it’s called “Boxed In” because it’s a box turtle, right? There’s actually a pretty cool story behind it.

“Boxed In” | 6″ x 18″ | Colored Pencil and Neocolor II on pastelbord

Close-up of "Boxed In"

Close-up of “Boxed In”

We have this black tube attached to our gutter drain to direct water flow away from our house. It’s VERY long – like maybe 50 feet. One day as Mike and I were doing yard work, we heard a scratching sound that sounded like something was in the drain. When we (Ok, Mike) pulled off the black thingy to see what it was, (I was cringing because I imagine something would jump out at us), we saw a turtle. Stuck. For who knows how long?!?!?!

The turtle made a long journey from the tube opening and I guess got stuck as the tube joined the gutter drain. Just like my grandmother did when she ran to get her camera before rescuing my brother who fell into the toilet, I grabbed my camera and took some closeups before we freed him (or her…I think it was a her after reading up on them).

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Poor turtle…

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Finally free to roam the overgrown lawn. (Don’t worry – we are careful when cutting the grass…I mean weeds).