Tuesday

Done...done...done

I finished the waterfall, yay!
These were the brushes I was going to use
but actually only used the three on the left.

I used the same limited palette, red, blue, yellow,
black, and white but this time I added burnt sienna, to
save time.

The book says to paint mass instead of drawing lines.

I found that starting on a canvas painted with a 
base color helps with showing depth,

  
 I have decided I've done enough on this.  If
I add anymore I think it will be overworking it.

 I actually enjoyed doing this one too.

Monday


I read from Streams in the Desert June 18th some of the following; which inspired me to get moving.

Let your body be healed and your faith strengthened.  When we become so discouraged and fearful even one little obstacle depresses and frightens us we are tempted to walk around it.  We would rather take the easy way than face it.  Perhaps there is some physical ailment that God is ready to heal, but it requires exertion on our part.  The temptation is to find help from someone else or to walk around the obstacle some other way. 

I really see this last statement as a testament to needing to do the work to get in better shape physically.  Walk, go to bed earlier, yoga, eat healthier, all these things add up to being healthier with cancer.  Even without cancer these would be good to do.

God says, “Lift up the hands that hang down, march straight through the flood and behold!  The waters will divide, the Red Sea will open, the Jordan will part, and the Lord will lead you through to victory.”  Do not allow your feet to “be turned out of the way,” but let your body “be healed, and your faith strengthened.  Go straight ahead, leaving no Jericho unconquered behind you, and no place where satan can boast of having overwhelmed you.  Pay as little attention to discouragement as possible.  Plow ahead like a steamship, which moves forward whether facing rough or smooth seas, and in rain or shine.  Remember the goal is to simply carry the cargo and make it to port.

Again, I realize that I need to “do the work,” moving forward, whether I feel like it or not, just do it.   I have friends that meet and walk together to be healthier and they have someone to be accountable to.  That makes it easier.  But I cannot walk three miles like they can.  So I am making it a goal to walk around the block every day until I can do it 2 times and then 3 and work up to a mile, and maybe 2 and maybe 3 and if I'm ever able to do that maybe I'll walk with them.   If it's too hot, like it has been lately, I will use my recumbent exercise bicycle, inside in the AC.  One of the meds they put me on makes getting hot feel prickly painful which really prohibits being outside in the heat for very long.

I also need to paint or do some sort of art every week.  I would have said at one point I need to do something everyday but that isn’t realistic with doctor appointments and other commitments I have on a weekly basis.   I’ve made a goal to do a “quick painting” once a week.  One week I will do a still life, week 2 a portrait, and week three a landscape.  Week four I will do whatever I want to at the time.  I also want to write at least 20 minutes a day, Monday through Friday, which doesn't sound like much but it's better than nothing.  

My nephew, who is writing a book, told me his goal is to write a page a day.   My first impression was, “that’s not much, he’ll never get done.”   But after giving it some thought - I realized - that’s  365 pages in a year and that is a lot!   So I’m thankful to him for inspiring me to do something everyday, in smaller amounts or less time than I would plan to do.  Whether it’s working towards better health, or painting, or writing, taking smaller steps and doing something consistently is better than not getting anything done.  Oh and by the way, my nephew, he finished his first book and it is awesome!!!


I started this quick paint landscape last week and though the book I’m using to learn how to paint better says, “do a quick painting and don’t finish it”, I want to finish this one. 


The artist - author, says to paint masses and shapes instead of line drawing.  This is helping me to see
differently and will hopefully improve my work.  Doing more will improve my work too.  I'm excited to see this one finished.   

Wednesday

missing Dad


Father’s Day this year was really different.  Our girls were both in Colorado and it’s the first time both were absent. 

My Dad died two years ago so there wasn’t our normal yearly family get together.

 Chuck and I went to the beach in the morning and when we got home I didn’t feel very good and was extremely tired.  I had to sleep. 


Later in the evening when I was using the computer I saw this photo and really looked at it.  I could almost remember when it was taken.  I leaned on my Daddy, with my cheek resting on his face.  Remembering, I could almost smell him and feel his hair touching me.  I know it’s hard to see it in the picture but my eyes are closed and I remember thinking how very much I loved him, at that moment, and what a big, tall, strong, handsome, Daddy I thought he was. 


Tuesday, after visiting with friends, I stopped at the cemetery.  I had planned to go on father’s day but after the beach and not feeling well I just didn’t make it.  It was my first time to go by myself.  I got so emotional and the feelings of missing him were so very strong and painful.   On the computer at night, I saw this picture again and all the memories came flooding back again.

If your Dad’s still here, enjoy any time you have with him.  Have no regrets when his time to go home comes.  Make good memories.  Let him know how much you love him.  I know my Dad knows but to be able to hug him and tell him in person - I really – really - miss him.

Monday

Another quick study



Another quick study trying to improve my 
skills with acrylics.  The first one's after 10 minutes.
The second is after 30 minutes.
I used the limited palette again, red, blue, yellow, black and white.
Also, I only used 3 brushes.





After 1 hour, I don't know if I'll do any
more on this or not.  People are much
more difficult than a still life but more interesting.



Wednesday

The book I'm using to improve my painting skills
said not to finish a study but to stop when your time
was up.  I just wanted to take this a little further
to see how it would look.  It's not completely finished but
it is all I'm going to do.  I'm happy with what I've learned so
far.  I think starting with a toned canvas - not white helps
me.  Not really sure why.  Now, what's next?  Time
to go beyond page 9 in the book.

Tuesday

What I learned from the Quick Draw experience


The first thing I learned is I don't know how to 
paint all that well with acrylics.
I also thought about when I went to school for art and 
remembered the painting class I had.  This is what they
taught me;  these are the supplies you will need to paint,
here is the subject we want you to paint - now paint.
And that was about it.  
So, I decided to get some library books and learn how
to paint in the style that I like when I look at other people's work.
This is the first book I'm learning from;  
There is so much information in this book that

I decided to try a little at a time.  His first suggestion is to
limit the amount of time you work on a study and think
of a painting as a study instead of a finished piece of art.
He says, "Don't be intimidated by the white canvas,
don't be afraid of mistakes, learn the difference between line
and mass, learn brushwork, understand how to see, and get
started - learn, explore, enjoy!"  All of that information
was on one page.  That's a lot to start with.

I decided to start with an hour, limit my colors to the basics - red, blue, yellow
black and white, and limit my brushes to 3.  I ended up exchanging the large brush
for a liner brush.  I was trying to keep it as simple as possible.  I also am using a
12 x 12 canvas, a lot smaller than I usually use. 
  

 This was after 20 minutes


Another 15 minutes

and the last 10 minutes.  He said 
not to think of your work as a finished painting
when you're learning but I want to finish this up
at least a little more.  I just want to see what it will look like.
 I'm happy with what I've learned so far and I'm only on
page 9.  Hopefully I will improve my techniques with acrylic
to a level I will be happy with.

Friday

memories....

My younger brother Terry and Me

My brother Terry with Stuart and Me
with Trish.  When I was little I always thought my 
Mom had them for us and that Trish was "mine".


Terry, my pretty Mom, Me and Stuart.
I don't know where Trish was 
when this was taken

All of us with my Dad.  

Thinking about painting


The dogs sunning themselves




The bird feeders been attracting some new birds




 It's amazing how this guy hangs on and gets his food.

Reading about:
Choosing how you deal with things that happen.
How will you walk through this day?
Will you be continually aware of God's presence?
Or will you grumble, moan and complain?
Will you thank God for each problem you encounter, 
and watch to see how He transforms trials into blessings?
Sometimes it is so much less stressful
than being negative and angry.
Give Thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.  
1 Chronicles 16:34

Wednesday

Before I knew I had cancer I remember thinking, except for this nagging constant pain I have, I’m so glad I’m healthier than the people I work with.  I would see them having to sit all the time, or when they walk they limp, or I would hear them complaining about all their health issues.  I remember I thought I’m so glad I’m healthy, if I just didn’t have this pain in my neck and back.  I decided because I’d been in an accident the previous year to go back to the Dr. to get it checked.

When I did, he said he wanted me to go see an orthopedic Doctor.  The Orthopedic Dr. thought it was just age and accident related injuries.  He wasn’t going to do anything else except put me on some pain meds.  I told him that I really thought something else was wrong because I’m not one to go to the Dr., ever.  He looked at me because I was being extremely dramatic in throwing my arms on the table and raising my voice trying to get him to listen to me and he said, “ok, we’ll do an MRI of your neck.”

A week later I got an MRI.  The next day his office called and made an appointment for me to come in the following day.  They wouldn’t tell me anything over the phone.
At my appointment a different Dr. came in to talk to me.  I remember thinking, “something’s wrong.”  He told me they found a tumor on the upper part of my spine, my neck where I’d been having so much pain.  He told me it might not be anything but he thought it also might be cancer.  He told me his son had cancer.  I think he said his son was around 15.  He told me he’d gotten treatment and he was fine now but it was really scary at first until they understood what it was and what treatment he would go through. 

To make a long story short - that started the many tests and biopsies to figure out exactly what I had and how to treat it.  I will always be under some type of treatment and there’s no treatment that can make it go away.  I’m grateful that I’m here and that I feel up to doing things with planning, preparation, resting, and medications.  I believe that I’ve done as well as I have because so many people have prayed for me since day one and I can never express how grateful I am for that. 
I am also grateful for my family Dr. sending me to the doctors she would go to if she were in my situation.  My doctors have chosen treatment methods that some have not approved of, no chemo, but quality of life is more important to me.  Since this has no treatment that can cure it, I don’t believe in anymore suffering than necessary.

Watching this video last night really brought back to me what I’ve gone through and still am going through.  Sometimes I like to not think about cancer for a day, or week when possible.  Doing things like the “quick draw” Saturday where people don’t know I have cancer and I’m not looked at differently helps me feel almost normal.  Except when I stood up during painting and almost fell down – but no one saw that, thankfully. 


Anyway, watch the video and understand what people with this go through.

Monday

Mt Dora, Quick draw event

 Saturday we went to Mt. Dora to the 
Art Center to do the quick paint event.
We being - Chuck, Me, Tracy.  Later Mom and Stuart
came in time for the break and judging.
This was the still life they set up for us to paint.
I will say the lighting wasn't very good.



Tracy getting ready.

              My painting space
                                                               Our finished work


We painted from 10 - 12 then we 
walked around Mt. Dora until 1.


At 1:00 we came back for the judging.  We didn't win anything but 
we enjoyed getting out and painting with other
people.  It was fun to see all the different styles, 
colors, and compositions that everyone did.  I also
saw what kind of easels are out there for plein air painting.
The good thing - this experience inspired me to really start painting again.


More from Chattanooga

 Our first night in Chattanooga we
went downtown in the evening.  We found the Moon Pie General Store.  I've never been a fan of moon pies but I remember my Dad talking about moon pies and RC cola so we bought some.  There's a huge difference between what you get at the grocery store and what we got here.  For one, they're fresh from the factory a few blocks away and they have new flavors like salted caramel, yum!  Chattanooga's a really nice downtown area but like all cities there are pan-handlers.  One guy was
with a group of people and came up to Chuck telling him a sob story while his friends in the background were drinking and obviously partying - and we need to contribute to this?  Chuck just walked away.  Everything else was nice.


The next day we went on the incline railway
to the top of Lookout Mountain.  Part of which
is in Georgia and the other in Tennessee.
 top 'o the mountain
 There was a huge civil war battle on this mountain.

 This was an actual painting of the battle that happened.
It was huge and so detailed.  
 The houses on top of the mountain were, I started to say
huge but I realized I'd said that about other things already, 
so they were mansion like, big ones.
  We met a couple from England waiting in line for
the ride.  About the second thing she said to me
was, "I love your accent."  
I've always loved British accents but she surprised me 
when she said that to me.
 I replied, "I don't have an accent."  
She said, "Oh yes you do!"
Well, I learned something new.

Our next stop was Rock City.  As a kid driving through
Georgia and Tennessee I'd always seen the signs "See Rock City"
and I'd always wanted to see what it was.  
It ended up being my favorite place that we visited.


 Some of the places we walked through were very
narrow.  School kids, on a field trip, were behind us
going through some of it.  They were laughing about
the tight fit.

 A real swinging bridge over a real chasm.
Not like the one on Tom Sawyer's Island
at Disney.

At the top of the mountain you could
see seven states.


Can you see Chuck in the top hole of the bird house?


Next stop, another place I'd wanted to
visit because of signs I'd seen as a kid, 
Ruby Falls.  I did not know it was under ground.





classic car museum

Dolly Parton statue in Sevierville Tennessee


I really like the quilt looking designs you see on barns
and bridges.  I don't know what they're called.






Reading today from Streams in the Desert:

I implore you to not give in to despair.  It is a dangerous temptation, because our Adversary has refined it to the point that it is quite subtle.  Hopelessness constricts and withers the heart, rendering it unable to sense God's blessings and grace.  It also causes you to exaggerate the adversities of life and makes your burdens seem too heavy for you to bear.  Yet God's plans for you, and His ways of bringing about His plans, are infinitely wise.  Madame Guyon

Which brings to mind my favorite verse:
 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.  Proverbs 3:5-6