Sunday, May 31, 2009

Gables are up!!

Well, it's really happening, I've waited 10 years for this barn, and now it is going up. Every sunny day and spare moment John & I and our kids have, we are building. Rita & Rob came by to add outside cladding on the barn. thanks for your help, it was a fun day together.

Working as a team, Alex and I also cladded the backside of the barn. Once this is up, we are adding vertical board and batten, so this is only the underside. This will give us the option of insulating the barn in future.

With some strong neighbours and our guys, the gable ends went up on Saturday, another beautiful sunny day. We are looking up. We've had a lot of rain lately, but mostly at night, but it's pouring in the downstairs and drenching the tools... I'll be glad when the roof is on.

The guys did a great job of supporting the gables until the ridge poles can be installed. This week will be busy with cutting all the roof trusses.. my job. I'm the mitre saw gal, I love it!!

Spent one full day planting our large veggie garden with Alex and my 89 yr old dad. Alex did such an amazing job at roto-tilling that we could just shove the potatoes in the ground without digging a hole, great job Alex!! In the foreground we have rows of sweet peppers, dozens of Roma tomatoes, rows of potatoes and cucumbers. In the far patch of ground.. lots of onions, zucchini, carrots, herbs and hot peppers etc. I spend a good portion of my summer harvesting, freezing and canning the results... all organic too!!!
till next time Frieda

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Weekend at the Shanty!!

Enjoyed a weekend up at the Shanty clearing bush and shredding. Black flies visited us, so we created some make-shift bug hats with tea towels, haha. Still got a few bites on the forehead. The pick axe in the foreground was used to make holes for our new white pine trees... we have very rocky ground, so it is quite the challenge to make a sizeable hole for planting.

After two cool days of reading in the Shanty, we finally had a sunny, warm day, so I enjoyed an afternoon of painting in the bush. Only probably is that the bush twiggies landed on my wet paint, sheesh!!! Oh well it's texture, haha.

Almost finished with Module C Lesson 9, Dave's Dutch Floral design, just a few more embellishments to go, yahoo!! soon on to Lesson 10.

We arrived at the Shanty on Thursday evening, and found a beautiful empty bird nest built in our door wreath. By the next morning one robin egg had been laid, then when we were leaving, John noticed two eggs!! Hopefully, the eggs hatch while we are away for the next month, poor birdies chose the wrong location to nest their eggs.

The wild columbine were out in full bloom all over the property. I love wild flowers and have a large collection of photos all ready for a wild flower painting series. All I need is a little more time, don't we all,ha!!
till next time
enjoy painting

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Labour of Love

Not much time for painting these days, but I'm having fun editing all the fabulous designs for the new Heritage Manual. Thought I would share what's happening in my little corner of the world. On my screen is a beautiful Zhostovo design by Tatiana Sholokhova, a Master Artist from Russia, who is on the Heritage Team building the new Educational System. Tatiana is developing the Zhostovo style from beginner to advanced throughout the Module System.

What I am working on is developing line drawings for Tatiana's designs. The greatest part of all this involvement, is that I am also challenging myself to learn something new, and thereby improving my own computer skills. Haven't mastered all the techniques, but I'm steady at it. I'm even learning to Photoshop elements in or out of designs, just ask Paul, haha... no one will ever notice that there are scrolls or flowers missing in a design... LOL!!! It's great fun... I may not be painting with a brush, but I am "painting" with the mouse.

For the past three months, I have spent every spare moment at the computer, learning new techniques to improve the quality of the new manual. Tonight, I asked myself Why? Why would I give up so many other things to be involved with this monumental task? The answer is quite simple... it's a labour of love... love of art, specifically art education and it's potential for growth as an artist; love of learning something new and the joy of that challenge, while keeping the mind active; love of this industry, for without it, I would not have the opportunity to experience the thrill of painting, and what it has brought to my life; and most of all the love of all of you, who will benefit in a huge way from the content that is being presented in this new Heritage Manual.

Each one of us plays a role in seeing our love of art, our passion grow. Whether the leader, designer, ambassador, editor, teacher, student... we all need to join together as one global team. As I thought about this tonight, I realized that it sure would be lonely if we didn't have each other to motivate, to inspire and to share our knowledge and experiences with.

This feels so right for my life right now, it is truly my calling for this season in my life. Working on the Heritage Team has opened up a new adventure which I am thoroughly enjoying.

Heading north to plant more trees at the cottage, so I will be taking a much needed break from the computer. I'm even taking a few Module C pieces along to finish painting, and of course a new novel, haha.
See you Monday when I return... Happy Victoria Day to those who celebrate this day.
till later Frieda

Monday, May 11, 2009

Uncovering the Past!!

Yesterday, we visited with my mother-in-law celebrating Mother's Day, and to my surprise she had uncovered a painting of her father that I had done in 1977. She had kept it stored in a plastic bag hidden in her closet for the past 32 years. About a month ago, I had asked her if she still had the painting, and that I would love to see it again, and show my kids some of my artwork from the good old days.

In 1977, I had enrolled in an evening painting class at our local high-school. We learnt in class how to "paint" using a palette knife (or more properly a painting knife) with oil paints. A painting knife is different than a palette knife, due to the curved blade, where your fingers hold the knife. A palette knife has a flat straight blade.

This is the original photo. On my own at home, I found this tiny 1" x 1.25" passport photo of hubby's grandpa, Peter Funk. and painted it on a large 16" x 20" masonite panel. Mind you, I did not have the luxury of enlarging it on a photocopy machine or using my Kopy Kate light projector. No such thing.
We've been talking on the Educational Forum, about a limited palette, and I remember many paintings that I did back then with only a handful of oil paints. The following rendition of my hubby's Opa is a monotone painting using Burnt Umber & White to lighten & some Black to darken his suit.

Looking at the painting now, some 32 years later, I can definitely see some flaws, (I've also made him skinnier), but I was just a beginner painter, and for that I think I did ok. Remembering that this large painting was first sketched free-hand from a tiny, tiny photo, then completely painted with a painting knife, no brushes involved, makes me rather proud of it. I didn't even own any oil brushes, just two special knives that I still use today... but not for painting, just for mixing colors. I haven't painted with a knife since 1977, don't even know if I still know how, haha.

Thought I would share a relic from the past. I think it's about time that I frame this painting, and proudly display it in my home. Hubby suggested painting it with Tradition's paints, but it's kinda sentimental... not sure if I want to paint it again. I like the memory of it... one of a kind.
till later Frieda

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Planting while others are Painting!!

While a bunch of you were painting at the Jansen's...lucky you... I was at the Shanty property clearing dead bush and planting new white pine seedlings. But, it was great fun sharing this time with our family, and the weather was fantastic... sunny and just right for working.
Rita and Alex taking out some of the dead balsam fir trees to make room for the new pines.

Digging a basketball size hole is no easy feat... lots of rocks in the way. Used a pick axe to remove them and make it large enough for the tree roots.

While Rita & I dug the holes and John hauled dirt and helped us plant, Rob & Alex hauled water from the Bay. Could have used a mule, but the guys did a great job.

Doesn't look like much yet, but hopefully if the deer, porcupine and rabbits don't find our baby trees first, we should have 30 tall white pines filling in the backyard of the Shanty, and hiding the outhouse and woodshed.

Saturday was work day, and Sunday we were all in agreement... we needed a day of rest... so we slept and read novels and relaxed.
It wasn't a painting weekend... but I did read a whole novel, which was a great read!!

Felt great to be outdoors enjoying the fresh air, then relaxing by the shore watching the sunsets. till later Frieda