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Painting Panels – What I Like to Use for Small Oil Paintings

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For my small bird paintings, I usually like a smooth surface. So instead of using canvas (which often has a textured surface) I like to use wood panels.

The white panels shown are called gessobord. They are a composite product like masonite. They are factory gessoed with the white surface and are ready to paint on. I really like this product for my paintings.

The boards you see are maple panels. One nice thing about these boards is they have a notch in the back for hanging. So there is no need to frame. Plus the painting stands out, not the frame. So it’s a very simple style. I like the organic quality of the wood also.

But to use the maple panels, I have to gesso them myself. I can’t just paint with oil paint on the surface. So I will apply three coats of gesso. It’s a time-consuming process. But I do like having control of the whole process.

Then I am ready to paint!

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Book of the Bird Release

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I feel very excited to announce the upcoming release of a new book on birds in art by Angus Hyland at Laurence King Publishing. I received an advance copy today in the mail. Was so excited. Felt like a holiday opening and thumbing through the new book. What a fun read. I plan to do a book review on it later this coming week. IN the meantime, just believe me when I say this book is a real treat. And not only because 24 of my bird paintings are included in this book.

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There is such a nice collection of art around the subject of birds, complete with notes, quotes, short biographies of famous and not-so-famous past and present artists. The art is in a variety of mediums and each page is different.

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Can be easily read from front to back or vice versa. Comes with a durable and removable cover. And the soft cover makes for nice flipping of the pages.

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So honored to be included in this collection. Get your copy here. Release date in the US is May 31!

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Chunky Guacamole

guacamole recipe

I haven’t posted a recipe for awhile and felt like sharing my basic guacamole recipe. I love the heart-healthy avocado and the cool and refreshing snack of guacamole. Even though I often buy the fresh made at the local grocer, I always prefer to make it myself. That way I can adjust the recipe to my liking. I prefer a chunkier guac than most of the premade kinds. I also prefer more cilantro and peppers and like to add tomatoes to mine. I usually like a quartered grape tomato. But a regular diced tomato works too. The tomato cannot overwhelm though and should not take up more than its fair share of the guacamole.

Since this is my take on guac, there is not really a set recipe. But I will try to provide one as direction. Enjoy!

Chunky Guacamole
A chunky heart-healthy fresh and colorful guacamole. To be served with cut vegetables or tortilla chips.
Servings Prep Time
3 cups 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 0
Servings Prep Time
3 cups 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 0
Chunky Guacamole
A chunky heart-healthy fresh and colorful guacamole. To be served with cut vegetables or tortilla chips.
Servings Prep Time
3 cups 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 0
Servings Prep Time
3 cups 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 0
Ingredients
Servings: cups
Instructions
  1. Mash avoados in a medium bowl using a fork or potato masher. Leave some chunks and don't over mash or stir. Add the onion, peppers, cilantro, tomatoes, lime juice, and sea salt. Gently fold ingredients together. Transfer to a clean bowl for serving. Serve with raw vegetables or tortilla chips.
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My Parents Wisconsin Farmhouse

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My father retired last year and my parents purchased a farmhouse and farm in Wisconsin, something my dad had been dreaming of doing. The farmhouse was very old and had to be gutted, restored, and added onto. Part of the basement is very old with square nails and round stones. The rest is newly poured, deep for higher ceilings. The house was added onto for a very large, open design with high vaulted ceilings throughout much of the lower level.

My mom has always liked traditional decor and the color red. When I was younger, my parents owned a four-square home and did some crazy things with it. My dad was a young professor of Biomedical Engineering at the time and my parents were starting out. An old bowling alley in town was being torn down. My parents salvaged some of the lanes and turned them into kitchen counters. They had arrows and such in them and were as thick as could be. The dining room wallpaper and curtains were various shades of neony-citrus florals–very Lilly Pulitzer. The curtains had pompoms and ricrac, I believe. My bedroom had dormers and a secret room, about half height and slanting down, which my lil’ sister and I used as a secret playroom. I also remember an upstairs bedroom wallpapered with vintage newspaper ads. It was really wallpaper. But the ads I believe were also real. I used to love reading them while in there. Another thing I remember about that old house and that bathroom specifically, is that there was a laundry shoot door in the bathroom. But my parents had secured it locked and shut so the kids could not open. I could never figure out how to get it open. I had seen it in use before but could not figure out what they had done to lock it.

Anyway, back to the farm house.

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I had saved a few snaps from my snapchat feed. That’s why there are words in them. Which makes it easier to just show the pic without adding anything else. Pretty self-explanatory.

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And okay, this last one is of Sammy the border collie. 😀

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My Buyable Pins on Pinterest

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If you haven’t checked out Pinterest, now is a great time. As an artist, I’m a very visual person. Pinterest boards are almost addictive. Like anything else, Pinterest can be a great time saver or a great time waster. I appreciate the platform because I love creating boards to store recipes, fashion, art, and inspiration all in one digital space.

This past week, Pinterest announced to buyable pins for IOS (iPhone) and iPads. If you have the pinterest app on either of these devices, you can buy certain pins right from Pinterest. I am now approved for and setting up buyable pins. My buyable pins are currently art prints available for purchase online at my new shopify store. I am currently in progress of setting it up and adding new inventory daily. But anything you see available on the site, is for sale.

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So yes, I am now selling my prints again. Most of the prints I am selling are smaller. As time goes on, I hope to supply you with larger prints. I mainly need to reinvest in a new camera and print capacity for larger than standard 8 x 10.5 paper.

Also, follow me on pinterest. I have a board with just my art. Another board of art I like. And fun boards from fashion to food to photography. Check it out!

You don’t need to use Pinterest to buy my prints. You can buy directly from my website page link under shop/prints. I can hardly wait to add more fun prints and group them by themes. Flowers, cats, chickadees, you-name-it. I will organize it soon!

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Earth Angels Studios

earthangelsstudio

I have a new relationship. And I feel so excited to tell you about it! My new relationship is with Earth Angels Studios and its founder and owner, Jen O’Connor. I receive quite a few opportunities and invitations to collaborate, partner, and participate at galleries, shows, fairs, events around the world. But I have to tell you how happy I am to be working with Jen at Earth Angels Studios.

The studio is located in Warwick, NY. Check out their online shop, as well as their event schedule. They do shopping events up and down the East Coast and Midwest United States. They may be coming to a city near you. But check soon so you don’t miss out! They are only at each event for a few days. Upcoming events are schedule for TN, NJ, NY, OH, GA, CT, and London, England.

Now the next event is right around the corner! If you are near Lebanon, TN; check out the Country Living Fair April 22, 23, and 24 with Jo Packham.

If you can’t make it to one of the shopping events, do check out the Earth Angels Studio website for works by me and other curated artists around the world.

What I really like about working with Jen is her knowledge, enthusiasm, and spunk. She also really has an eye for finding unique and lovely items that you won’t find anywhere else.

My relationship with Jen is unique in that she is not a reseller of my art, but a true partner. She will give you the best value and I encourage you to work with her to find amazing and original art, jewelry, home decor, and more. I am in touch with Jen almost daily. Jen can communicate market trends and also personal feedback and ideas from her clientele to me. As an artist, I orchestrate the final product where I hopefully bring together the perfect piece for your home, the perfect gift, or at the least something little to make you smile.

Earth Angels Studios — Celebrate Style — Treasure Beauty