Diary, musings on life, people, interests. Posting my poetry

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Location: Lacey, WA, United States

I have a Certified Artist/Teacher degree with the National Society of Decorative Painters. Taught decorative painting, color theory, calligraphy and other art related classes for 12 years. I enjoy using my artistic talents, especially to update furniture and repurpose found items. I am married to the world's most wonderful husband. We celebrated our 48th anniversary this year (2016). We have raised six children, three boys, three girls. Have 10 grandchildren. Through the NSDP I have paintings in the White House, Blaire House and Smithsonian Institute. I was given the honor of being the Chair of the Pacific NW, "Breeze and Brush" Decorative Painting Convention. What fun we had! I like keeping healthy and enjoy life. I love humor and people. God has been good to me!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Making The Yards Pretty Again, Spring 2014

Our handsome Mylo, 19, napping by the birdbath

Don trimming the Ivy in back, just this fills up our yard waste receptacle

Finished with the back side, now he has to do the patio side

One of our back yard squirrel buddies...."Hey, got any peanuts or walnuts?"

Regular visitors to our back yard, Mourning Doves. They are so gentle and beautiful. The feed on seed I put on the patio and also on the 'Squirrel Plaza" under the feeder.  They will eat their fill and then settle down and nap under the Rhodies.  We feel honored that they feel safe in our back yard.

Years ago the neighbor took out a lot of their Rhododendron bushes, we weren't aware of it until we saw him digging up the last one that was located in his back yard next to the fence.  We asked if we could have it.  At the time it was an uncared for, scrawny little bush.  We nurtured it, gave it fertilizer and pruned it down every fall so it would grow and fill in.  It sure paid off.  It is a real beauty when it blooms every spring

Mylo has to have his outside time every morning.  He has arthritis and has a little difficulty going up the slope of our back yard to this flower bed, where he sits sideways (his most comfortable position) and takes in the fresh air.  We don't leave him in the sun long, because he is white and can get sunburned.  He loves the back yard, never bothers the birds or squirrels.  The squirrels have even sat next to him eating their peanuts and feel very comfortable around him

The Azalea in front bloomed so profusely this year it hardly showed any leaves

One of the pretty Camelias on our bush in back

The Rhododendrons and Ivy along the driveway in front. It amazes me how many birds use the birdbath during the spring and summer, squirrels too!

Rhododendrons along the front of the house.  The big one to the left I trimmed down about a foot from the ground because it had grown so big, now look at it, and that was just two years ago.  It also has a beautiful dark red blossom, the one on the right has off white blossoms with maroon in the center, they remind me of Orchids

The bird bath in front.  The Black fern behind it was given to me by our neighbor, Dorothy Carr, she died several years ago but every time I look at the beautiful fern I think of her.  She was a special lady!

The tall Douglas Fir trees behind our house,  in mid afternoon.  It was a glorious day to work in the yard, not too warm with a gentle breeze

Waiting for our Dragon Flower to open up.  Not sure it will.  I plan to move it to the front this fall where it will get a lot more sun and do better

Wherever Don is working, that's where Mylo will be, he is such a yard buddy to my 'Yard Cowboy'!

Froggy playing his French Horn, sitting on the decorative grass by our front walk. He's been there for 14 years, lol

Play Your French Horn Froggy
By Carol Glitschka 7/25/06

Relaxing in the garden
Early in the morn
Froggy by the Hosta
Tooting on his horn

Work, or stay and listen
Decision leaves me torn
He sits, as the leaves
His little head adorn

Lovely garden music
I could never stay forlorn
Froggy's played his tunes
Since the day that he was born

Don't have the heart to throw out this beat up pottery bird, but he looks okay among the decorative grass strands.  I took a pottery course at OVTCC (Olympia, Vocational Technical Community College) back in 1973, along with some other art-related classes.  I really enjoyed pottery but eventually focused on painting instead.  I would like to do some more though!

Assortment of flower bed critters, the snail on the right has lost his antennae, but, like the bird above, I'll keep him in his little corner by the front steps

Squirrel pile was a gift from our daughter, the bird houses were also gifts, one from my brother and his wife, the large middle one was built by our son-in-love, Doyle, and the small one I got at Goodwill or G.W. Boutique as I call it!

Repainted the bench by the front walk this year and used some favorite things to decorate it.  The  bird feeder in the center was a gift from our daughter, Amy, years ago.  I was cleaning and refilling the feeders and discovered that it was peeling pretty badly.  I love it, so I decided to repurpose it for future use. After cleaning it I spray painted it with a grey Hammered Iron paint, filled it with clear, colored marbles and am using it as a decoration.  The sea bird on the right was a gift from my wonderful friend Norma and our son Von and wife Becky gifted us the cat holding the 'Glitschka' sign.

I always take pictures of the flower bed by our front walk, I love the huge Hosta and the ferns when they grow. They have to be cut down in the late fall and this space is just so bare all winter.  I put in a little ground cover and so far it is doing well.

Front walk flower bed from another angle

I removed all of the old Ajuga ground cover and weeded the area really well, then planted some Impatiens because it is a partially shaded area

One of the three pots are done, still have the Lobelia to plant

This was a four day project. I had to remove two half-dead bushes and the bed was full of weeds, lots of digging and taking out. Also had to cut back and remove a lot of overgrown ground cover. Transplanted some ground cover to the left area and put in a Pygmy Barberry, Purple Heather and a Bellflower plant, added mulch and it looks so much better

Oh yes, I bought myself an early anniversary present; a Homelite, small hedge clipper.  I began trimming all of the bushes in front, we have a lot in the flower beds. This one is finished, it had grown over the ground cover (none of the dirt around it showed.  It was also about 6 inches taller.  The rocky area was filled with grass and weeds and ground cover that had taken root.

Early spring Jonquils bring a smile to my face

Trimmed up the ground cover, took out all of the grass and weeds  along the base of the stonework along the street and continued trimming the bushes

This is what the bushes looked like before trimming, they were crowding each other out and also the flowers in between

Our daffodils bloomed so nicely and then a wind came up and blew a branch off of one of our huge Douglas Fir trees in back, it flew over the roof and landed......wouldn't you know....on my daffodils.  So I took one of the leaves and wrapped it around the fallen flower.  They stood straight and happy until the blooms were spent

Finished with trimming the bushes along the neighbors driveway in front.  You couldn't even see the dirt, they were so overgrown

Not too pretty but for now they are staked up so they will grow straight.  I need to add mulch around all of them to hide the uglies

It always feels so good to have most of the work done, even the grass is responding to the fertilizer Don put down. The weeds and other growth got a head start on me. I was busy finishing my dog/cat paintings for OVCC, had a deadline and so the plants outside had some happy growing time before the 'clipper' got to them!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Dog/Cat Paintings for the Olympia Veterinary Cancer Center, 4/2014

The completed French Bulldog/Black Cat. This is at the beginning because I forgot to add it where it belonged below.  Enjoy the journey!

Canvases have been given two coats of Gesso and two coats of an off white acrylic.  Time to transfer the drawings and start painting

The dining room table is protected by a plastic Christmas tablecloth and an overload of supplies for every need has been added :D

Lots of colors to experiment and work with, pre-mixed acrylics, my preferred  brand is Ceramcoat by Delta

The veterinarians for OVCC are a husband and wife team.  They have a Bernese Mountain dog so that was the first painting I did.  Based in some of the fur and am working on the paws and nails

The Bernese is pretty much complete at this point and I have applied the base color to the Maine Coon cat on the eyes and body.  I take pictures as I paint, the ones posted here are just a few of the hundreds taken.  Sometimes you can see things that need to be changed in a picture better than looking at the actual painting itself.  It's always nice to have the pictures too.

The completed painting. The cat is our 'Mylo', he is now 19 years old.

Close-up of the Bernese Mountain dog face.  I discovered that I really enjoy painting tongues, eyes and noses.  I think it's because they were such a challenge.  I try to get the eyes painted early on, they tend to bring out the 'soul' of the animal and it inspires me to get the painting done.

Mylo's head up close.  He is a sweet boy.  We shave him when the weather warms up, so he will be comfortable in the summer.  He looks like a white lion!

The Shetland Sheepdog and Abyssinian cat were, by far, the biggest challenge of all. So much fur of different colors, overlapping on the dog.  The subtle changes of color depicting the muscles and curves of the cat's body was hard to achieve, especially maintaining the softness I wanted.  Acrylics dry in ten to fifteen minutes, you don't have 'working' time to blend colors.  It is achieved with layer upon layer.  I painted out the dog's face three times before I was satisfied with how it looked.

The completed painting. I love the soft eyes on the dog and the perky, curious eyes of the cat. Lots of color mixing too.

I want to kiss this handsome face!  They are such gentle and fun animals!

The Abyssinian's face in progress

Almost done, I'm sure I tweaked it up a bit here and there as I went.

I had such fun painting this little guy.  He just looked like he was waiting for a hug.  I absolutely loved painting the ears, all of the different shades and mottled skin colors, such fun!  Look at the difference having the eyes finished makes (between this picture and the next)  They just bring the animal to life.

Cute little French Bulldog eyes.  Painting all of the folds, highlights and shaded areas of his wrinkly skin was a challenge.  At this point he still doesn't have a muzzle or nose.

Hi Andy! I painted this guy in honor of our wonderful black cat Andy, we lost him to cancer years ago. He was such a character and so loving and fun to have around.  With every animal we've had, our hearts have expanded and we have so many great memories.

Thought you might like to see Andre' (as my husband named him) in his Jockey briefs.  When I first drew the patterns for the paintings, I was taking care of my Granddaughter, Ashley, in Oregon.  My goal was to complete all five of the drawings before I went home.  I was so happy to reach my goal and when my Daughter-in-love came home she was looking over the drawings and commenting on how cute they were.

Then she pointed to the rounded lump between the French Bulldog's legs and asked what it was.  I responded that it was his scrotum, to which she replied "you mean, right out there in public for everyone to see?"  I laughed and responded "Well.....yes, he's a dog!"  So, after I finished the painting I got out some watercolor paper and painted some Jockey briefs on it, cut them to fit the dog and double-back taped them to the canvas.  Then I posted them on her Facebook page, lol  I picked briefs that would compliment his coloring.

Andre' and Andy, they make a great pair!  I missed getting the final painting included of Andre' and Andy, so I'll add it at the end.

Here are the painted briefs

On March 15, 2014 I had completed the first three of the five paintings, so I had to take a picture for my Facebook page. In the meantime, we were eating our meals on a 3"X3" square at the other end of the table.  Of course, in between painting, I was also cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping, sleeping, all of the things that have to be done to survive.

Big sigh! Only two more paintings to go.  This looks funny, starting the Border Collie.  I typically work from back to front, so I started by basing the mouth and eyes, doing the details on them, then painting the teeth and working my way out to the fur.  On all of the paintings I did the ground first and darkened it before starting each painting.

Most of the fur is based and I have added shading where needed so the over-strokes of fur will look more detailed, you also work your colors from dark to light.  I start with a grey for the white fur, you only use pure white for highlighting on the very outside areas.

Here is the completed painting. I didn't add pictures of working up the cat, too many.  We lost our beautiful Orange Tabby, Kirby, to stomach Lymphoma in June of 2013.  He was my buddy!

Close-up of the Border Collie head.  The nose and mouth were fun to paint.

Close-up of the Orange Tabby, his wide-eyed look reminded me so much of Kirby. He had been abused before we rescued him and was afraid of so much, it took us a while but we finally got him to actually sit in our laps and enjoy being loved and petted.

Beginning the last painting, Mr. Chihuahua.  Now those were some 'big' ears'!  Acrylic always looks so dull and 'blah' during the painting process.  It isn't until the painting is complete and you apply a finish spray, like Matte or varnish, that brings the colors to life and gives the painting depth.

I had to work and re-work the fur around the eyes and on the forehead to get just the right degree of brown tinting and texture, it was worth it.  It was a lot of work, but it turned out to be one of my favorite paintings.  I love his smile!

About half way through. Still have some work to do on him and I'm beginning to add the shading and striping on the Tabby.  I painted out the cat's forehead about four times until I finally was happy with the pattern I painted.  It is so important, when adding stripes, to curve them in the correct direction and make them the right size for the area they're in.  I was very happy with her stripes.  I dedicate this painting to our two wonderful Tabby's....Mama and her little girl Samantha.  They've been gone for years but never, ever forgotten.

The last of the five paintings completed.  For those of you who paint, always check the internet for supplies, you can find things very inexpensive. These 24"X30" canvases were listed at $30 on sale locally, I bought them on Wholesaleartsframes via the internet for $6.00, five to a case. I also found 1", black matte, Polystyrene frames at the same place for just $12 each.  They are embossed to look like wood and are sturdy and well made.

A close-up of the sweet couple.  I was really happy with the striping on her forehead, I think they make a grand couple.

The final five, protected with Matte spray and a UV protective coating, framed and ready to hang.  What timing, I finished the last of the paintings and the frames arrived the same day.  The Open House was scheduled for 4/18/14 at 4 p.m., we hung the paintings that morning and had plenty of time to go home and get ready for the Open House.

Beautiful Olympia Veterinary Cancer Clinic. The first one to specifically treat cancer in animals.  Congratulations to Tom and Lisa and their Staff.

Back area of OVCC with covered and enclosed deck where animals are transferred to and from the treatment facility on the left, from the reception/office area on the right.

Open and treating lucky animals

The Bernese/Maine Coon painting hangs in the Reception/office area where people drop off and pick up their animals

Andre' and Andy hang in one of the consultation rooms

The Border Collie/Orange Tabby hang in the other consultation room

The Shetland Sheepdog/Abyssinian and Chihuahua/Mature Tabby hang upstairs above the treatment area in the conference/training room.  Husband Don, blue shirt, enjoying the food, conversation and Open House at OVCC