July 23rd, 2023
Years ago, I went to Buescher State Park with my husband and son. My husband wanted to play disc golf, so I tagged along with my camera. While there, I snapped several photographs of a bush of blooming peach roses that was full of bees!
Buescher State Park is located at 100 Park Road 1E in Smithville, Texas 78957. The park also has camp sites, cabins, and trails for hiking, biking and fishing.
July 20th, 2023
I painted Tiger Lily Trio for kidney disease awareness. Kidney disease awareness month occurs every March, with a green ribbon color for kidney disease and an orange ribbon color for kidney cancer.
In this painting, both the green and orange colors are represented. The stamen, or stem like structures that come out of the lilies and hold pollen, are kidney shaped at the tip to symbolize kidneys. These are painted in black. There are three lilies in this painting, because kidney recipients often end up with three kidneys- instead of taking the damaged kidneys out, often surgeons will add the good kidney to the other two.
The original painting has gold overlay in the petals, giving them a metallic shine.
July 20th, 2023
Mission San Juan Capistrano is located at 9101 Graf Road in San Antonio, Texas, 78214
This mission was founded in 1716 in East Texas, and moved to its current location in 1731. Mission San Juan was completed in 1756 and is now part of the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park.
I think Mission San Juan has the simplest design of the five missions, which makes the mission an excellent backdrop for photography portraits. I created this image of Mission San Juan using charcoal pencil, and especially love the bell tower.
July 20th, 2023
“Those who dream by day are cognisant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." Edgar Allen Poe, from Eleonora, 1841
There's so many ways to create skull portraits! I especially love the expressive yet empty eyes she has, and creamy complexion against the black background. The original sugar skull was created with oil pastel and charcoal pencil, and sold to a firefighter captain at the Windcrest Art in the Park event in 2023.
I didn't have a story for her in mind when I created her, but to me she looks like the ghost of a 50's housewife. I can't even imagine the dreams women in the 50's had that became a reality for us today. I love that I can get qualified and work in any field I want, and support myself and my dreams.
July 19th, 2023
"Breaking Wave" oil painting image earned a feature in Light, Space, Time's magazine for their 4th Annual Patterns Exhibition. Their contest received 842 entries; "Breaking Wave" placed in their Special Merit category for painting and other media.
This oil painting was the first time I painted waves and had it turn out the way I wanted. Water can definitely be challenging to paint! I used oil paint and a palette knife to create the texture. This painting was the first piece of art that I've made that was published in an online magazine, so of course it is special to me!
July 19th, 2023
Many people are uneducated about the Coast Guard’s missions. Did you know that one of their 11 missions includes aids to navigation? Boaters must follow the Rules of the Road. Yes, that is an actual thing, and the pdf is over 200 pages long. Some basic rules include what type of vessel can overtake another one, and how they are supposed to do it. Boaters need to use specific light and sound signals as well.
The Coast Guard helps maintain safety by not only doing boardings, but by maintaining the signage that allows boaters to know where to sail. This involves repairing day boards, nun buoys (which look like red nun hats) and can buoys (which look like green 7Up cans) and lighted buoys.
The Juniper is 225' and operated with advanced navigation systems. In February 2007, the Juniper used 160,000 pounds of concrete salvaged from old buoy markers, to help rebuild a reef off New Jersey.
July 19th, 2023
When my husband and I were dating, we took our first vacation together to Ruidoso, New Mexico. On the way there, we stopped in El Paso, Texas and I marveled at the mountains, which I'd never seen before. We went to the mall, I met his family, and we stopped at Chico's Tacos for some flautas. Afterwards, we continued our drive to New Mexico.
I remember passing the border and seeing signs on the highway urging drivers not to pick up hitchhikers due to a prison being in the area. We drove past miles and miles of flat dry roads, until we started to climb into the mountains of New Mexico. As we climbed, the air temperature dropped and I loved it. We drove through winding roads past beautiful green trees.
Once we arrived, we stayed at the Inn of the Mountain Gods, which is in the Mescalero Reservation. I remember seeing signs asking visitors to respect the cultural differences between visitors and the Apaches that ran the casino, which noted that eye contact was considered rude. We gambled and rented a paddle boat. I could't believe how cold it was in the mountains compared to what I was used to!
While we were outside enjoying the lake, I snapped this photograph which I later turned into a miniature painting. I'd love to go back, feel the cool air again, and capture more moments to paint.
July 13th, 2023
I created this oil pastel piece right around Mother's Day this year thinking that it would be nice to offer flowers that won't wilt and die. Months later, I find myself looking back and thinking about Mother's Day and Father's Day.
The argument could be made that Mother's and Father's day are "hallmark holidays," but like anything else I think it's good to have a reminder of what we should appreciate. I also understand that these holidays can come with mixed feelings. Not everyone has a good relationship with their parents. Some may have a toxic relationship with their parents without seeing how unhealthy it is. while others may be reminded of grief for their deceased or estranged parents.
I'm not sure how flowers became traditional Mother's Day gifts, but they're beautiful. Flower arrangements also require a lot of behind the scenes work- they need to be grown, shipped, packaged or arranged, and placed out for sale. Isn't that the life of most mothers? Raising a child also requires lots of behind the scenes work to raise a hopefully happy and healthy child.
July 13th, 2023
Years ago, I was working the EMS tent at a marathon at the Shiner brewery with my two best friends. Afterwards, we met in Gruene at the Gristmill for lunch. As we were walking from the parking lot to the restaurant, I snapped a quick picture of the river and turned it into art!
I've always loved Gruene, Texas. Its a little town with lots of shops, restaurants and a dance hall. When I was a child, I'd go there with my mom and grandma so they could shop for antiques. We'd spend hours wandering and shopping, and we'd stop by the Gristmill for lunch. As an adult, I still love going to eat there. I enjoy the food, and I love the view of the river. The Gristmill is an old mill that was converted to a restaurant, and they have cute and tasty mojitos!
I think I'm ready for a trip back.
July 3rd, 2023
This past year, I've been posting health related art to my artist Facebook page, and someone suggested I look up autoimmune hemolytic disease. I'd never heard of it, so I did a bit of research, then made this watercolor painting.
The simple explanation is that this disease causes the red blood cells to prematurely bust. I painted red crepe myrtles to represent this disease because the red color of the petals represents the red awareness ribbon color. The petals also symbolize red blood cells bursting because of how easy it is to shake the petals free.