Tuesday, October 18, 2016

PCS...Permanant Change of Station


PCS=Permanent Change of Station
24 x 30
Oil on Canvas

Permanent Change of Station or PCS is what happens to military families every 2, 3 or 4 years.  It is a way of life. 

This is another of my Military Spouse Series.  I began this piece so long ago I can't even remember but I always thought it needed something else.  It has been critiqued by more people than any other piece I have even painted.  It has been reworked time and time again.  I tackled it again this week and decided it is done.  It is depicting a mood.  It is a place I have been many, many times as have millions of other military spouses.  It is moving day.  It doesn't matter if the moving is to or from the current location...the feeling is the same.  It is a feeling of being overwhelmed.  It seems like unsurmountable obstacles in the path to move forward...but it all gets done...it will be fine. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Top Hat

Top Hat
16 x 20
Oil on Raymar Panel

Why, yes, I do have a leather top hat!  My obsession with hats started after cataract surgery.  I had to protect my eyes from the glare of the sun...so I started wearing hats.  I started with baseball caps and moved on to bowlers, fedoras and now the sky is the limit!  I just love this leather top hat.  I found the green tinted glasses at an antique fair.  I am always looking for interesting props to add to my collection.  I love having model dress up for painting sessions and photo shoots.  This painting is the first of a series of self portrait featuring my hats!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

China Doll

China Doll
Oil on Linen
24 x 36


Recently I was fortunate to be able to travel to Japan to visit Carrie Roets Waller a dear friend that does magnificent water color paintings rich in colors that reflect her impressions of her travels.  My traveling buddy Debra Kierce joined me on this venture and we enjoyed all the art, sighseeing and shopping we could fit into our short visit.  Debra is also an amazing arrists who specializes in painting miniature works...some as small as or smaller than a business card. 

During my time in Japan I purchased as many kimonos and obis along with other interesting props and costumes as I could afford!  I mailed home boxes of treasures.  It was just like Christmas to get home and open all the great finds. 

This kimono, worn by my great niece Ellen, was one of the many Kimonos I purchased...along with the precious little doll she is holding.  She is a marvelous model and I look forward to painting her again. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Anticipation - Military Spouse Series

36 x 24
Oil on Canvas


Anticipation - Waiting for the birth of her child.  This is part of my military spouse series...this woman is a military spouse.  She is lucky her husband was with her for the birth of their child.  I know many military spouses who have had to have their children while their spouse was deployed.  It is a hard time..but the military family is strong and we stick together.  Help is always available.  

When my oldest son was born we were living in Germany.  I was two weeks from my due date and my husband was called out on maneuvers.  Since it was an exercise and not the real thing there was some leeway and my husband was allowed to come in and check on me.  He came in just in time! He rushed me to the hospital and a couple of hours later...literally a couple of hours...I had very quick labor and deliveries... I gave birth to our son! Of course as soon as I had given birth he left to rejoin his unit.  Since we were in Germany I didn't have any immediate family nearly and only immediate family was allowed to visit.  I heard the Battalion Commander's wife at the nurses station saying she wanted to visit. When they told her only family could enter the ward she replied "of course I am family!"  and she walked past the desk to see me.  

I have know much kindness in my life.  My goal is to pay back.  

Monday, August 15, 2016

Arlington - Military Spouse Series

Arlington - Military Spouse Series
36 x 30
Oil on Linen Canvas


I am continuing my Military Spouse with an emotional painting titled "Arlington."  Arlington is the Cemetery that lays to rest those who served in the military.  It is located in Washington DC.

The subject of this piece is the wife of a classmate of my husband, graduating from West Point in 1974.  We attended the funeral...the first Arlington funeral I attended.  The solemn, traditional ceremony was beautiful, meaningful and very moving.  

Since then I have laid holiday wreaths on the graves of fallen service members, specifically classmates of my husband.  Meeting the families is always a highlight of a solemn occasion.  They are from all over the country and have amazing stories of lives lived to the fullest.  Some stayed in the military after graduation, some followed other paths, but West Point shaped their lives in many ways and they have a camaraderie that cannot be denied.   

Of course the most moving burial was that of my father.  I am proud to say he is buried in Arlington.  His ceremony was beautiful.  The staff at Arlington is caring and professional.  I cannot imagine having a job that requires such compassion constantly.  I am forever grateful.  

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Letter - Military Spouse Series

The Letter

36 x 36
Oil on Canvas


My last post showed a portion of this painting...here is the entire piece.  Her name is Maria...here is a bit of her story:

In 1992, Maria married her college sweetheart LT Greg Bowie.  However, it was more than 10 years later before they resided in one place –together and permanently. During early marriage, LT Bowie was assigned to the USS Nimitz and in 1994-5 the ship served as the test platform for a “new thing” called e-mail.  Writing brief messages, just a couple lines long, families and friends were able to communicate for the first time with a surface ship at sea in a matter of hours, instead of days, weeks or months. Despite the huge leap in technology and convenience, they continue today to add to their families’ history of handwritten letters and cards, like the generation before. They live with their son, Gunnar, in Arlington, Virginia where black ink and crisp stationery are in good supply. 
When Maria first told me she was able to email her husband...among the first to do so...I just assumed that she wrote a newsy, lengthy note telling him of her daily happenings.  I didn't realize that it would be just a couple of lines.  It makes me feel so fortunate to be able to communicate at length whenever I want.  
I still like handwritten notes and do write especially thank you notes.  I don't write as often as I would like...but whenever I get a personal note I feel special and make a new resolve to write more often.  

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Military Spouse Series - Work in Progress

This is a peek at a portion of a Work in Progress of one of my Military Spouses.  This piece measures 36 x 36 in total.  

Her story is that she is one of the first military spouses to be able to send an email to her husband serving on the USS Nimitz.  Prior to email communication with our spouse while he/she was out to sea was nearly impossible.  Snail mail was sporadic and telegraph messages were used only in emergency situations.  The use of email was a giant leap forward in communication.  

When I paint these pieces I think of my life and the struggles communicating with my husband while he was on maneuvers or deployed.  It was always a challenge.  I am so glad it is easier for families today...still a challenge to be separated...but nice to be able to communication.  

I will be posting the completed piece soon I hope!