Friday, April 18, 2014

Newness of Life

The paintbrushes were my mother's. It is nice to have them.

Today I'm sharing a small vignette in honor of Easter. I also, just for fun, am sharing my latest watercoloring: a vignette of spring flowers. I am still in the childlike stage where I'm not doing much more than "coloring in" my drawings. I am making attempts at shading, but they are primitive. I have much to learn, but I think just jumping in and experimenting might be the best teacher when it comes to my new hobby.

Right off I used too large a brush for the fritillaria stems and had no idea how to fix it.
I will have to try again sometime!

It doesn't bother me that Easter is also associated with baby animals, eggs, green grass and flowers. Whatever the origin of the connection, to me they are lovely affirmations of new life, the quintessential new life being when we are born again by believing in Jesus.



There are so many fantastic painters out there! Of course, I love Susan Branch, Aude Kamlet, and Beatrix Potter, among many others. In perusing my old Victoria magazines, I'm rediscovering that they are a great source of watercolor works. But I like the article I just reread today (Victoria June 1991) ... an art critic said regarding Churchill's oil painting: "He does not paint more ambitious pictures, pictures with complex compositions, peopled by human figures, quite simply because he cannot." I also have my limits, far more numerous than Churchill's, to be sure! But he loved to paint, and I hope to find joy and refreshment through painting as well.

By the way, if you want a complete collection of Beatrix Potter's books, Beatrix Potter The Complete Tales (in one large volume published by Warne) is very nice quality with 400 pages of Beatrix's wonderful art!






A few more snaps:


"Made in China"



My Prang paints; keeping it very simple!

The following four photos were taken in different light yesterday evening. I wanted the western sunlight on them, and I just wound up with dirty window and screen shadows across the white paper. Live and learn!





"We cannot aspire to masterpieces. We may content ourselves with a joy ride in a paint-box. And for this Audacity is the only ticket."
Winston Churchill as quoted in Victoria (June 1991 issue)


... being in very nature God, [Jesus] did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death- even death on a cross!

Therefore, God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:6-11



Thanks for putting up with my ramblings! :O) Enjoy a blessed weekend,
Bess

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Reading and Watching

I trimmed the bookmark from an insert I found reading an old Victoria (I think).

Nothing much going on around here ... thankfully! I finally finished The Best of Stillmeadow by Gladys Taber. It's an easy read with chapters set by the calendar year. I just kept letting myself get distracted by other things.


Small TV, bad eyes: a poor combination!
Those are some of my mother's paintbrushes
to inspire my watercolor attempts.

Our PBS station is airing Doc Martin. I happened to catch the first show last week and watched the second yesterday evening. It seems quite good so far. Love the dog. Last night's show explained why the Doc has taken a position in a seaside village in Cornwall. Lots of film of pretty English countryside. I'm usually late to the party, but if you haven't caught this series yet, it's worth a look. I think it dates from 2004 and is probably available via other sources as well (youtube, Netflix?).

Taken just as the sun was going down. The photo doesn't
show how golden the color was.

I've also hit upon The Good Life on youtube (starring a young Felicity Kendal from Rosemary & Thyme). Have only watched two episodes. It's the typical slowish British comedy, of which I'm a fan. But the one I came across "by accident" is Mulberry. I think there were only 13 shows made. I've watched the first two and love the premise and the interaction between Mulberry and Miss Farnaby. Do you know this one? It stars Geraldine McEwan, oh maybe 5 or 6 years after she was in Mapp & Lucia. (I have not seen her Miss Marple shows!) I think she's a marvelous actress. Somewhere I read that there is going to be a new Mapp & Lucia series filmed. It will have to be terribly good to outdo the original!

So from the western sky we had a glorious sunset shining through my back door ...

Now I'm reading Barchester Towers, written in 1857 by Anthony Trollope. Not quite as light reading as Taber! :O) In fact, last night I was so warm (we've had two 90 degree days this past week, but now we've plummeted!) that I got up at 2AM and surfed: mostly reading summaries and characters of Trollope's first book in the Chronicles of Barsetshire/Barchester Chronicles series, The Warden, and then his second in the series: Barchester Towers. Hopefully it will help. I am so grateful for Wikipedia and that other people share what they know about books, authors, and locations. 

And this was the eastern sky at the same time (taken with a different camera).
The line of thunderstorms just missed us.

On the Great Plains this time of year one watches the skies, too!

May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the Lord.
Psalm 104:34

Have a blessed week!
Bess


Friday, April 4, 2014

Sunshine Sandwich


We are enjoying a lone sunny day sandwiched between very dreary, cloudy days (or so the experts are predicting and so far they've been correct). And thankfully, it's a day without wind so that I can hang on to my balloons! 

The colors aren't true. :o(

I am trying to teach myself how to watercolor paint. I did the balloons on the fly and before reading up on the how-to. At least I'll have a "before" sample. I did make a balloon pattern to simplify matters. I suppose that's cheating? Ah well, I just want to have fun with the process, however meager.


I think I tried at least five times to get a photo of Sweetie, my black and white kitty, but she was having none of it. Then Baby joined the group and was willing to focus long enough to capture her in the afternoon sunshine.


There is surely a future hope for you,
and your hope will not be cut off.
Proverbs 23:18

"Faith is a decision that we make about where we put our trust."
Joyce Meyer

Learning to focus on Jesus ... and the sunshine,
Bess

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I Spy


I've been reading through my old Victoria magazines. Well, looking through them, to be more exact, and occasionally reading an article. 



I began by reading the month's issues corresponding to the actual calendar month, but now I am forging ahead and am currently enjoying the May issues. When I saw page 92 of the May 1990 issue, I did a double-take, and then went to the lower cupboard of my china hutch.


Yes! It was the same. I only have the one plate since it was the only one I found in my mother's things. But I do have this "feeling" that at one time she had an entire set that would have been her "good" dishes until she replaced them with the Rose Chintz dishes. I have no idea what she did with the Tudor Roses set.


Tudor Roses by J & G Meakin.



In searching I read one remark placing the pattern in the 1950s and another the 1970s. The 1950s would seem more likely since I'm trying very hard to think I remember them from my childhood. Anyway, spying something in Victoria (or elsewhere) that we also have is a thrill for some reason, don't you find?
























Basket by Mikasa.


















Odds and Ends:

I have had the large depression glass platter shown below since my great aunts passed away (the last in '83).


Every winter I treat myself to Camille Beckman hand cream. I love it even though I doubt there is anything that really helps my old dishpan hands. More humidity might help, though. We'll have plenty of that soon enough!


I have been enjoying watching my Rosemary & Thyme DVDs while winter and spring continue to battle it out. Seeing the beautiful flowers and English gardens is so soothing. (The mysteries aren't sophisticated, but the gardens are wonderful.) High winds here today, but not quite as high as off the coast of New England and Nova Scotia!

And finally, I had a dream about these, so what could I do but buy some?!!! :O)




For in Him we live and move and have our being.
Acts 17:28 (All of Acts 17 is worth a read!)

Linking to Pink Saturday. Please give Beverly a visit!

Blessings,
Bess