Sep 24, 2013

R&B + 1

Get-together at the lake cabin, 7 x 9½ watercolor
I used to drink at parties; now I paint. Call me a paintin’ party-pooper. If I had not known I’d be gifting the painting to my hosts, I may have thought twice before withdrawing into my little painting here. I did stop to eat. Wouldn’t you know?

This year and last, hosts Ron and Rena invited my friend Rita and me to their lake cabin on Devil Track Lake. I’ve always thought it strange that people who live on America’s largest lake, have lake cabins inland to which they retreat. Perhaps it’s the privacy and the isolation they seek, the same solitude they were attracted to when they first settled the North Shore of Lake Superior. This year Ron, Rena, Rita, Bob, Bev, and me were joined by someone other than an R or B, Lee, a fellow plein air painter. We let him in though. He’s the one on the FAR LEFT [in the painting]. Lee Englund carries with him the fine distinction of placing third in a competition of 70 artists and over 200 entries in this year’s Grand Marais Plein Air.

I was one of the other 65 artists who didn’t place. I think I’ll drink now.

Sep 19, 2013

Another Judy room

Downstairs at Judy and Steve’s, 7x10" watercolor
I just counted the number of paintings I did on my trip out West. Fifty-five! This included six oil paintings and forty-nine watercolors. Forty-four of the watercolors and one of the oils I painted in Wyoming when I was on commission there to paint a wedding.

Here’s the downstairs at Judy and Steve’s in Minnesota. The guest room connects to this room. All together, the downstairs rooms might be called a guest apartment. White terry robes await guests in an armoire. Their house is filled with the coolest stuff—beautiful paintings, crafts, and a huge collection of Limoges boxes. I’m proud to say they have three of my paintings hanging on their walls. Art is fun!

Sep 18, 2013

Cherished in-laws

Judy and Steve’s, 9½ x7" watercolor
Highlights of this and last year’s trips to Minnesota were overnight visits with dear friends (and customers) Judy and her husband Steve. Judy is the sister of my late husband, Jerry Behr. Although my time with Jerry was cut tragically short, I consider him the love of my life. After a too-long separation, Judy and I reconnected a couple of years ago on Facebook.
Last year, these wonderful inlaws hosted a dinner in my honor, inviting not only their closest friends, but Judy’s brother Dickie, who I hadn’t seen in some thirty plus years. I was so honored. All this visiting left little time for painting. A few paintings like the Canada geese below is all I had time for last year.
I love spending time with these people, so it was a challenge this year retreating from conversation to go out in their yard to paint their lakeside house. How I wish we lived closer.

Six geese, three ducking, 3 x 8½" watercolor