Sunday, December 27, 2009

Woodworkers in the Gallery

These are photos of the woodworkers that are represented in my gallery. They are all veterans who served our country and now dedicate their time and talent to wood. Come by the Gallery and take a look at their wood crafting art. Besides these pieces, they have much more on display and for sale.
Steve, John and Michael are very talented artists-come enjoy their creations.
The Gragg Studios and Gallery is located at 501 NW 5th St. Suite 500, Blue Springs, Mo. 64014.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Wishes for a wonderful Christmas and a productive and happy New Year

As this year closes, I hope it finds all of you well, happy and blessed. I also wish for a wonderfully productive and happy New Year. May we all find the peace within us and help to spread that peace throughout the world!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Jennylynne and my studio guy, Buddy

(Buddy is getting a new toy and bed for Christmas-but don't tell him-it's a secret!)

Sunday, December 13, 2009


I will be offering art classes at the new gallery/studio space in Blue Springs, Mo. Drawing classes will start January 6, 2010 , Wednesday from 2pm to 4pm.

Pastel classes will start January 8, 2010, Friday from 10am-noon.

Fee for the 10 week sessions are $150.00. The fee can be paid all at once or per week.

Contact me via the website at or by phone to sign up.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Invitation to the Opening of my new studio/gallery

Hi everyone,

I will be having an open house for the new studio/gallery space on the following dates. Hope to see you there!

Gragg Studios/Nightingale Gallery
501 NW 5th St., Suite 500
Blue Springs, Mo. 64014

Dec. 12, 2009 from Noon to 5PM
Dec. 13, 2009 from Noon to 5PM

Come see the new space-I'll have the coffee on.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Organizing the New Art Studio

We worked late into the night last night getting the railing up for the walker system to hang the paintings. It looks really good and works even better. Today, I am going there to organize, clean, hang paintings and just get going. I'm so excited about having a place to set up all my painting supplies and leave them out and room to just create! I'll post photos as soon as I get them uploaded.
Till then,
Happy Painting,

Monday, November 30, 2009

New Studio move in date-tomorrow!

Finally, the day has come. I got the key to my new studio and went to start cleaning. I swept the floors, mopped the main floor and bathroom-ugh! Okay this part is not the fun part!!!! All the utilities get turned on tomorrow-so a final cleaning and vacuuming will be on the agenda for tomorrow. Then-moving in!!!!!

Mike has been painting the picture hanging rail and I am ordering the walker wall system stuff today. I can't wait to get in and set up and then start PAINTING!!! I am really getting backed up on portraits. Oh well, soon it will be all smooth sailing.
I'll keep you posted on the Open House Date-till then-

visit me online at

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Adobe at Rio Hondo

Adobe at Rio Hondo, along with Shadows on the Pond, was juried into the Holiday Show at Got Art Gallery in Lee's Summit, Mo. on 3rd Street. These two pieces will be on display thru December 21st. The artist reception is scheduled for December 4th from 6-9pm. (wine and refreshments provided by Gallery)
This piece was created on site in Taos, New Mexico during a plein aire trip in April, 2009. This building and others at this location are over 100 years old. They are on a ranch that remains in the original family. Though the ranch is no longer a working one, the family has retained the buildings instead of tearing them down to preserve their history. Artists still flock to the ranch to paint the many structures still standing on the property. It was great to paint a piece of New Mexico's history. The original owners had come from Mexico in the days before New Mexico was a state, to establish a new life in the new country.
Hope you will stop by and enjoy all the wonderful art that is on display. Great place to get a unique Christmas gift.
See you there,

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

New Studio space

I am so excited. I have a new venture and a new studio space. Starting December 1st, I will be moving into new space at 501 NW 5th St., Suite 500, Blue Springs, Mo. 64014. In addition to my studio space, I will be opening up a new small gallery and teaching space. It is going to be wonderful to have more room to spread out and wall space to store my finished work.

As soon as I get organized, I will be having an open house and setting up class schedules. So keep tuned into the blog for updates.
Also, the painting upbove called "Shadows on the Pond" has been juried into the 2009 Holiday Group Art Show at Got Art Gallery, on 3rd St. from November 20 to Dec. 21st. Opening reception Friday, December 4th from 6-9PM.

Happy Painting,


Thursday, November 12, 2009

New Update on Buddy, the puppy mill rescue

This is Buddy sharing our Princess Miko's pink bed. Obviously Buddy has no issues with his manhood.(even after being neutered) They have become fast friends and she has helped him greatly in learning how to be a pet. We have discovered that when we want Buddy to learn something showing him how Miko does it seems to really help. He is doing great with his house training-only one accident in months. He runs in circles and then to the door when he needs to go outside.

He still has some eccentric behaviours but they are really cute. He still runs around bringing me items that he finds interesting-like shoes, clothing, paper, etc. He doesn't chew anything just brings them to us. He also plays hide and seek with me. I will hide around the corner then come look for me when I call his name. He even came into the kitchen and sat under the table the other day, instead of hiding in his crate ,when some family came over for lunch. He is now taking treats out of my husband's hand. We still have not found a way to teach him other commands like sit, down, etc. But we are still trying different things to enhance his learning experience in a positive way. One of the things we are trying is to say the command when he actually does it on his own. (this might take a long time but I have patience).

He walks well on a leash now. He and I take walks in the park and he is no longer afraid of the geese and ducks-people, however, are still an issue. I am still using two leashes-one on his halter and one on his collar-when we walk out of our comfort zone(the yard). When he gets freaked, he still trys to run and he is quite the houdini when stressed!

That's all for now,
Jennylynne and Buddy

Saturday, November 7, 2009

CAC 20th Annual showcase event

Last night I took one of my paintings "Gorge on the High Road" to the juried 20th annual art showcase sponsored by the CAC of Eastern Jackson County. I was also recognized by the Independence Art Association as their volunteer of the year. I received a lovely plaque engraved with the honor and my name. Pat Betteridge, an officer of the IAA and my friend, introduced me and gave me the plaque. Several other honorees were recognized from various other organizations. There was food, wine, dancing, an art showing, a a really good time was had by all.

Thanks to the Independence Art Association for voting me their volunteer of the year. They are a great organization and one of the best art associations around. They offer companionship, demonstrations, programs, gallery space opportunities, and most important of all friendship with fellow artists.

If you are interested in joining our group contact them at IAA, P O Box 811, Blue Springs, Mo. 64013 or come to one of our meetings at Stone Church, 1012 W Lexington, Indep., MO. 64054 on the third tuesday of every month.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Program at the MAPS meeting on Oct. 27

I will be giving a demonstration at the Midamerica Pastel Society on Oct. 27, 2009 after the MAPS meeting which starts at 7PM at the The Village Presbyterian Church, 6641 MIssion Road, Prairie Village, Ks. 66208.

I will be talking about the Grateful Hearts Project Portraits and projecting a personality and realism when working from photographs. How to discern the reality from a flat image, how to use props and models to help with how cloth falls, how light hits, how to pick out the planes of the face. I will also be talking about how to start from a sketch to work out all the main shapes of the image before going on to finding details.

Come out and see how to work from limited photography images and make the most of their potential.
See you there,

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Lee's Summit Symphony event Saturday, Oct. 17

Cove in Sring I will be at Lee's Summit High School with this painting and one other during the beginning and intermission of the Lee's Summit Symphony event on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2009. Come on out and enjoy the art and meet the artists that will be participating. Also enjoy the wonderful local symphony. Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New Website for the Grateful Hearts Project

Army Spc. Joshua Munger, 22
Artist:Beverly Rose
Painted for his Mother

Well, its finally up and running. The Grateful Hearts Project has its own website. You can find all the paintings of the fallen soldiers that we have done for the families free of charge by going to I have received four new requests and will be giving them out to the artists for completion of the portraits for the families soon. This project has been a wonderful way to honor the sacrifices made-not only by our soldiers-but also their families. I know that I speak for all the artists involved when I say how honored and humbled we are to be able to paint the portraits for the families.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Buddy and the Vet

Buddy and I went to the vet yesterday. I needed to get some more pain meds for
Miko and their heartworm meds. We also had them do a blood test on Buddy before we try the behavior medication. His constant anxiety and stress when I'm not with him is overwhelming him. I will keep you posted on our progress. He is making great strides. We have been walking in the park by our house to get socialized. He is now able to get around the geese without going into a panic. He even let a couple with a boxer stop and talk and pet him, without him shaking. Progress is slow but steady!

We'll keep you posted on our progress with the behavior modification.
signing off for now
Jennylynne and Buddy

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Longview Art and World Music Festival

Had a great time at the art fair this last weekend. Sold two original paintings and made lots of new friends and art collectors. Friday the wind was way too strong to set up but we were able to set up Saturday morning and enjoyed wonderful weather both Saturday and Sunday. To all who came out and stopped by my tent-Thanks! If you missed the fair this year-see you next year!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Buddy update!

Buddy is doing good. He had a little setback when we changed locations. We moved in with my Mom to help after her fall and he is finding it difficult to adjust to the new digs. He has discovered a new game(which we are currently trying to help him find another choice). I walked into our bedroom to find toliet paper strewn all over with a trail leading back to the bathroom. He had taking the piece hanging down that he could reach and started creating his own form of teepeeing. Needless to say-we were not amused!

His potty training is still on track-at least with the wet part. The more solid part is still an issue now and then. When he gets stressd, he leaves a little present for us-even if he has just been outside to do "his business". We are working on this!

I am trying to leave him with "puppy sitters" because he is getting way to focused on me and freaks whenever he can't see me or find me. My son watched him one day last week and said that he first started whimpering when he figured out I had gone then raised his head and started howling. Anyone with suggestions on how to help him with his seperation anxiety would be greatly appreciated.
All for now.
Buddy and Jennylynne

Monday, September 14, 2009

Getting ready for the Longview Art and World Music Festival

I am currently frantically getting ready for the upcoming art fair in Lee's summit, Mo. I will have booth 19. Come by and see all the new art work I've created from my plein aire travel trips. I hope to also have one of two of the Hobbies for Heroes series paintings there also. The fair is October 2, 3, & 4th, 2009 at 3rd St and Longview in Lee's Summit, Mo. Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

New Painting completed during the CF Foundation fundraiser

This painting was started in plein aire at Taos, New Mexico and completed live during the CF Fundraiser at Union Station last Thursday.
This part of the Rio Grande river runs through Rio Hondo. About a mile from this site the rapids become very intense. While I was painting, I could hear the screams of the rafters as they ran the rapids downstream from me. I personally prefer my rabids in my paintings than in a raft, but to each their own.
To purchase this painting or any of my other paintings just visit my website at and click on the "buy now" button.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

CF Fundraiser tonight!

Tonight at Union Station, I and fellow artists will be painting during the Cystic Fibrosis Fundraiser. We will set up our plein aire equipment and paint while the event unfolds around us. Each of us painting tonight have donated a painting for the silent auction at the event. Tickets are $60.00 for the evening's event. Contact the CF Foundation for more information. I will be taking two paintings that were started in Taos, New Mexico to work on during the event. Hope to see some of you there.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Buddy and the Groomer

Buddy has his first "official" grooming appointment today. I dropped him off and he wasn't shaking so we took that as a good sign.
He is still very fearful of strange noices. Anyone who sneezes, squeaky toys, pots and pans on the stove, the alarm clock in the morning-well-you get the picture. We are trying to socialize him to everyday sounds and get him to understand that they are not threatening just loud. I used to let him come to me and I'd hold him and pet him to calm him down but a trainer friend of mine said that really re-enforces his fears so we are trying to come up with a different approach. We can't use food because he is still not interested in doggy treats-not even warmed hot dogs or chicken. Anyone out there that follows the blog and has a good non-food way of coping with this and helping Buddy would be appreciated.
Well-Buddy and I are signing off for now. Have a great day!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Buddy's Love/Hate Relationship with the Vet

Buddy is becoming quite the little social butterfly-however-he does have some limitations when collecting his "friends". His foot got something imbedded in it and rose up like a giant balloon. Of course, this meant a trip to the vet. He already had a follow-up appointment to recheck his ears. (He had polyps/papillomas, calcification and infections from years of neglect at the puppy mill.) So, we had the vet look at his foot also. She had to lance the interdigital ruptured abscess, clip and scrub his foot and flush the wound. When he first got home from the vet, he was not happy and let everyone know it with a low growl. I was not home at the time since I had an emergency with my Mom and my husband had taken him to the vet. My son told me about the "leave me alone behavior" when I got home. I however, didn't experience any of this as when I got there Buddy wagged his tail, gave me kisses(something new in his behavior) and acted like I was Queen.(which of course in his world, I am)

He is now running around all happy and obviously in much less pain. I think he did really good for having all this stuff done to him. After dinner, a walk outside to do his business and a drink of water, he settled in beside me on my bed and promptly went to sleep. He loves to sleep on the bed on my side but can't quite jump up so when I'm not available, he goes into my son's room and whines. Then when he follows, Buddy runs around to my side of the bed and puts his paws on the bed-like"okay, help me up". This is Buddy's new favorite routine. I think he's been watching our spoiled little "Princess Miko" too much. Miko our 14 year old Shih tsu won't even go up stairs without being carried by my husband(her personal servant). I have informed Buddy-IT AIN"T HAPPENING-there can only be one diva in the pack and that position has already been taken.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Buddy's Variation of playing

Well, last night we discovered a whole new side of Buddy. He has been watching Scooter and Miko playing and interacting with we humans. He seems to absorb the dog skills from them like a sponge.
Last night, as I was sitting reading in bed, he came dragging one of my boots that he had gotten out of my closet over to the rug beside my side of the bed. He dropped it on the rug and wagged his tail so hard, he lost his balance. I told him "thank you" and put it up on the bed for returning to the closet later. He disappeared again and returned with one of my slippers. Again he dropped it, wagged his tail and I put the new item on the bed. This went on for about four different shoes, all mine, as he re-invented the "fetch" game.
I finally went to put back the shoes and discovered that he had quite a stash in the corner of the closet. There I found the ink pens, phone cover, and various other items that had disappeared from our night stands. None had been chewed on just left there for safe keeping by our little Buddy. We're going to work on teaching him how to play the fetch AND RETURN game, though in his mind this game is working well as it is.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hobbies for Heroes

I am starting a new series of paintings entitled "Faces of War". This series will contain both originals and prints. These paintings are being done to help fund the Hobbies for Heroes program which is the brainchild of my wounded warrior son, Michael.

These paintings will be done from photos he took in Iraq before his vehicle was blown up by an IED. His brain injury has been helped by his involvement in art and hobbies. There is documented evidence of the difference it has made in his brain injury and therefore his life.

The testing has found that his visual spatial has improved 25%. This means that there are significant improvements in executive abilities. This is his ability to judge what is happening in the environment and make decisions. It is an important skill to prevent accidents and react to things in the environment. Safety issues are a big area of concern, such as responding to an emergency in the home such as fire, and preventing accidents.(i.e. leaving the stove on, etc.) Visual spatial also tells us about our position in space, as when we are walking to avoid something that might be in the way causing the person to trip and fall because of poor visual spatial abilities. Visual spatial abilities are integral to interpreting and responding to everything in our environment for all of our activities all day, every day. It will also give them a new since of self confidence and accomplishment. This program will target the needs of these once active soldiers who are now forced to stay at home with out the purpose they once had and try to give them a new one they can do at home. Through practice, they will even be able to tap their competitive nature at art and craft shows. The occupational therapist, speech therapist and the psychiatrist at the VA are really excited about this new program.
I will be posting the paintings here and on my website as soon as they are completed.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Honoring the Heroes

On August 15, from 11am to 4pm, the American Legion Post 21, 16701 E 4o Hwy, Indep. Mo. 64050 and the Veterans Administration Hospital staff will be honoring those veterans of the OIF/OEF at a social. Also, they will be honoring the fallen soldiers from that conflict and the Gold Star families. Several of the portraits done by the artists group, Grateful Hearts Project(of which I am the founder) will be on display during the event.

To view the completed portraits that were done free of charge for the families you can go to my website at Click on Works, then on Grateful Hearts Portraits.

It has been an honor and privilege to provide portraits of these heroes to their families. If you know of a family that would like a portrait of their fallen soldier from either Iraq or Afghanistan war/conflict just email me thru my website or at

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Teaching Buddy that "touch " is a good thing

Well, Buddy and I are trying a new approach to his fear of people. I offer him my fingers in front of me and if he touches them, I say "touch" and give him a treat. This way I hope to encourage him to see that not all humans that move forward towards him just do bad things to him. We have also started having other families members put treats on the floor and put them closer and closer to them if he follows the "treat trail". Our goal is for him to actually take treats out of other human hands besides mine.

His potty training is going great! No accidents in the house this week at all. He now starts pacing and goes to the door to let me know that he needs outside. I still crate him when I'm going to be gone. I think that the other animals have helped him in his potty training accomplishment.

He also ventures out of the studio every once in awhile on his own to explore. Even when I'm not going with him. I still leave his leash on his halter as he is still hard to catch when he gets scared and starts to run, but he is now off the leash more and more in the studio.

We are hoping for another great training session tomorrow night where he stays out from under the chair like last session. I'm hoping that he will also feel comfortable enough to take treats during the class even with all the distractions.
Baby steps!
Jennylynne and Buddy

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Buddy at doggy obedience class-2nd week

Buddy is learning how to be a dog/companion. The two top photos are of Buddy in my art studio,where he and I hang out the most. Miko, our other Shih Tsu hangs out there with him. She has really been more active and doesn't spend all her time in the closet since Buddy came. Buddy is helping her,and all of us, get over the loss of our precious Wizzy.
The third photo is of Buddy walking on his leash. He spent almost the whole class out from under my chair-huge improvement. He walked on a leash around the whole area with all the other dogs and their owners. Yeah! His tail is much more often up than down now. I am having other family members walk him also so he doesn't stay so focused on me and can begin to enjoy the company of other humans. We try and introduce people slowly to him so he doesn't get overwhelmed.
We gave him a bath yesterday and he did really well with that. He is also now taking treats from my hand and sometimes from other people's hands too. He still prefers it to be quiet but we are working on that. Our short term goal is to get him to take treats even with distractions-he will need to do this for class learning. Baby steps!
Jennylynne and Buddy

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Buddy, the WIP

In art, WIP means a work in progress. That applies to my little Buddy too. We seem to take four steps forward and two back, but we hang in there. He was taking treats out of my hands(which is crucial to doggy training) but then he was distracted when we tried to do it around other family members and animals. So now we are back to laying the treats on the floor in a pattern which he will eat very close to me but not out of my hand, even if he is hungry.(like before breakfast or dinner) He however, is great at going outside to do his business-he has that trick down pat!
Today, we go for our first grooming experience with our groomer. This is an unknown as the only other time he was groomed was by the rescue group when they had to shave him because of all the matted hair after years of neglect by the breeder. We'll keep you posted on how this goes. Also, we have our second doggy class tonight. Our goal tonight is to just spend most of our time out from underneath the chair. Baby steps!
Jennylynne and Buddy

Monday, August 3, 2009

Holyfield Winery Plein Aire Painting

I spent the afternoon at Holyfield Winery Saturday painting in plein aire(my favorite thing to do). This is the painting I completed that day. I know, why a pond at a winery? Well, there were wonderful views to paint everywhere-grapes, grape vines, an apple orchard, wine barrels, beautiful skies but I am always drawn to the water. I love painting water, all kinds, rushing-still-cascading-it all intrigues me. This pond had algae completely covering the surface of the pond. There was a lone tree growing out of the water and casting wonderful shadows across the pond's surface. The painting took me about 2 hours and seemed to just "paint itself". I also did a couple more paintings there which I will post in a later post.
Also, for those who are following Buddy's journey. He is doing great. I get tail wags every time he sees me and he is asking to be let out to "do his business". This morning he even stood still while I put his leash on and didn't try to exit the situation. He ran to me after he did his stuff with his little tail wagging to beat the band and ran right to me for pets and praise. He loves being outside and since our yard is fenced securely, we allow him freedom but still with his halter and leash attached just in case something were to spook him and we would need to try and catch him. He's really fast when he wants to elude you.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Buddy gives me a heartattack!

Well, I learned a valuable lesson today. Buddy is doing remarkably well but I on the other hand got a little too cocky about his progress and let my guard down. We had a productive treat training session this morning and so I took Buddy with me to the bank and some errands in the car. When we got back, his halter was too tight so I took it off and attached the leash to his collar. I closed the garage door(thank the Lord) and put him on the floor still holding his leash. When we got to the stairs leading up to the kitchen, he balked(must have been a different feel and look than the stairs in the house he has conquered) well, he pulled right out of his collar and the result was his panicking and running all over the garage and basement with me in hot pursuit. I finally got calmed down(one of us had too) and he finally came close enough for me to get him under control. Note to self-despite progress-we are not ready for the big time so back goes the harness and the leash. Oh did I mention he is asking to go outside to do his business now? Progress comes in small rewards but they are sooooo worth it.
Jennylynne and Buddy

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Cove in Springtime

The "Cove in Springtime" is a pastel that I started in the field earlier this spring when the redbuds were blooming. This is a cove I have painted many times and is one of favorite places at Lake Jacomo. It was a little overcast that day but the sun would peek thru in spots and deliver these delicious streams of light. It was hard to decide which direction to paint. I had forgotten about the painting until I found a photo of it in my old camera. Finally, I found the actual painting in a stack that had made its way to the back of my cubby. Since I paint almost everyday outside, it is sometimes easy to lose track of the plein aire works in my studio. Finding this painting brought back wonderful memories of the day and the season. It was enjoyable to finish the painting and remember the day. We had a glorious spring this year. Hope you enjoy and remember the spring too.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Painting for the City of Lenexa show in August
Buddy and I went out for our morning walk-he was a really good boy and did all his business. I got a huge tail wag this morning, in fact, his tail is more up than down between his legs now. I know this sounds silly, but tails in the air are a very very good thing!

Today, I am going to get my painting ready to deliver to Karen Lyman for the CF Foundation fundraiser. She let me know that it didn't have to be framed just backed and in a clear bag. Yeah-I hate framing!

I am going to work on a painting that I had started in Taos, New Mexico today and see if I can get finished or at least close to finished. I also have a painting I need to get framed for the MidAmerica Pastel Society show coming up at the City Hall of Lenexa Gallery in August.

Buddy and I might go plein air painting at Lake Jacomo tomorrow. I feel the need to get out of the studio. Of course, I do have the paint out at Holyfield Winery in Basehor, Ks coming up this Saturday-that should be fun.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Buddy's First Doggy Class

Lotta and Buddy
Scooter and Mickey
Buddy went to Doggy class with his friend Scooter tonight. Scooter is a great influence as she knows how to sit, down, shake, roll over and crawl already. Her daddy and grandma discovered this by accident and are excited. At first Buddy was really really scared and spent the time under my chair. Slowly he began to come out and sit beside me or in front of me. Everyone was sitting at first but when it came time to stand and start working with their dogs, it was under the chair again. After awhile, he ventured back out. We discuss with Lotta, our trainer, ways to make him more comfortable. He is totally NOT FOOD MOTIVATED so she gave us a way to practice trying to get him to take food from our hand. We will practice this at home this week. For our first night at class we worked on coming out from under mom's chair and walking on our leash around other dogs. This week at home we will work on having people come in and NOT get down on the floor so he can be more comfortable around people. Afterall, we can't expect all our visitors to always get down on the floor. We are also going to work on taking treats from human hands and walking on our leash. That's quite enough for our first class assignment.

Buddy's Big Day-Doggy Obediance Class Begins

Well, we survived another night. Buddy once again slept on our bed with us. Once he settles in he is gone for the night-it's nice to know that he feels secure enough to sleep peacefully. Tiger,you remember him-the alpha momma's boy, he is still having a little issue with sharing the bed with Buddy but he is getting over it.
Buddy didn't eat last night-I think his tummy is still adjusting to the new food. We have him on Science Diet. He ate a little grass last night while on his walk-hope he's not a vegetarian!
This morning though he went over to the counter in my studio where I keep his food and stood by his food bowl. So I put a little in and he ate it no problem. He didn't even have to have Simba, his cat pal, taste it first. Guess he now trusts that we are not trying to poison him.
After he ate breakfast he went to the back door and stood-I'm reluctant to get too excited that he really knew he was trying to tell me he needed out-but out we went and he did his business. YEAH!!!
Tonight is a big deal for Buddy-we are going to doggy obedience class with Scooter and Mickey. I fed him lightly this morning so hopefully he will take treats at the class. It will be a little difficult to train him as he is totally not food motivated. Al,the trainer, said to not feed him much today in hopes that that will spark his wanting the treats. We are also going to have to find something really smelling to tempt his taste buds. Our two successful choices so far are salami and chicken-so that's what we are going to try.
We'll let you know how the class goes.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

July 28, 2009

Buddy and I went to the committee meeting today at Summit Art and met some new friends. He was really good and stayed quiet for the whole meeting. I let him come out at the end to meet Tom, Ramon, and Carole. He was shy but did allow Tom to pet him under his chin. It was a good opportunity to tell more people about the puppy mill abuse and the plight of not only Buddy but others like him.
Then we went to pick up my nephew and back home for a day of new and exciting things to learn and experience. We are all still sitting on the floor as Buddy gets a little freaked out by new people towering above him.
Everytime I leave the studio when I come back I get a huge tail wag. It's just awesome.
He is not eating tonight. His tummy is growling and rumbling. He is still adjusting to the new food. We are still trying to figure out what will tempt him as far as treats to use in his class tomorrow night. He is totally not food motivated-should be interesting.

More new adventures with Buddy

Monday, July 27, 2009

We had a pretty good day. Little Buddy has not missed once in his "outside" duties. He will pace frantically when he needs to go out to relieve himself. In fact, he went into his crate in our bedroom for the night and as soon as the light went out he started whimpering-this was a new sound we had not heard from him. He was pacing back and forth in his crate. So I got up and dressed and took him outside. That's what he needed-after he did his business he was content to go back in the crate for awhile.
He soon started whimpering again but without the frantic pacing. My husband, Mike, went over and let him out just to see what he would do. He came ove to the bed and put his front paws up on the edge so Mike picked him up. Buddy went down at our feet next to Miko(who always sleeps with us) and after a quick check to see if anyone was going to bother him-went promptly to sleep. He stayed in that spot all night curled up by Miko and in between Mike and I at our feet. Needless to say-we were astounded! In the morning, he waited patiently on the bed while I got dressed and then we went out for his morning walk.

Monday, July 27, 2009

"The Anniversary" Painting for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

This is the finished painting for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation fundraiser at Union Station on September 3rd, 2009. This painting will be donated for the Wine Opener Art Sale and Silent Auction. The tickets are $60.00. Artists will also be painting from their easels on site during the event. Contact Karen Lyman at 913-384-8997 for information.

A new day for Buddy

Well, we came back from the vet and I lay down on the floor in my studio with Buddy curling up about six inches from me. He has gone to the potty outside all day. I make sure that I praise him and call him "good boy" when he does this. After our nap, I worked on my painting for the CF foundation fundraiser and Buddy slept on the rug under my easel. Tiger, our cat with the M on his forehead for "Momma's Boy" is having a few issues with the spreading around of attention going on. Hopefully he will get over it.

Buddy and I started some laundry-which sent him back to his crate in the studio. By the third load, he was out again and by my side. I guess he figures that if it's okay with me and I survive that he will too.

We can't get over the change in Miko-she has not been to the closet once. She also is only sleeping until 10am, as opposed to the all day sleeping she was doing after Wizzy died. Her and Buddy share his crate for naps during the day. He still disconnects when confronted with other people or situations-but we are a work in progress.

Right now he is pacing because Mickey is mowing and he's a little freaked out with the new sound. He hasn't touched his food that I just put down for him-might need Simba,the cat, to come show him it's okay and edible again. He'll start eating it if Simba takes a few bites. It's nice to have other furry companions to show him the ropes. Beats we humans having to show him! They do it so much better.

Earlier today, I just had to take a trip to the bathroom. The experience brought back memories of the boys when they were two and couldn't stand to be separated from their Mom by a closed door. Buddy actually wagged his tail at me when I emerged,seems he was happy to see me. We were astonished. What a great compliment he gave me. It's the best "atta girl" I think I've ever received.

Well, Simba worked his magic and Buddy is eating-all is right in our world.

Finally, the start of the CF painting

Here is the beginning of the painting I'm creating for the CF Foundation night at Union Station in KCMO. I finally got the feeling that I wanted for the still life. I started off with an underwash of oils and am adding pastels on top of that. I am going to call the painting-"The Anniversary". I am almost finished with the piece and will post it when finished. The artists that are participating have been invited to Hollyfield Winery in Bashor, Kansas this Saturday for a fun day among the vines. We will be painting in plein aire and or course enjoying Hollyfield's wonderful wines. Come out and spend the day with us. We will be there from 9am to 6pm. Some of the artist will also have works for sale that day.

The CF Foundation Wine Opener and Art Sale and Silent Auction will be held at Union Station on September 3, 2009. The tickets are $60.00 Some of the artists will also be painting during the event. Contact Karen Lyman at 913-384-8997 for information and tickets.

I will be posting the finished piece soon. Stay tuned.

Buddy's trip to the Vet

This is Buddy. It's Monday, his second full day in a home. Buddy slept peacefully in his crate last night. When he heard Mike get up to get ready for work, he waited patiently for him to come take him out for his walk. We have to open the crate and wait for a few minutes for him to venture out on his own. We do this so he will feel comfortable leaving his safe haven on his own rather than us having to force him out. Then he layed down for Mike to put on his leash and carry him outside for his morning walk.
He did his business and Mike brought him back into the bedroom. I was up and ready to go down to the studio so he followed my down his now conquered stairs into the studio.
We had a vet appointment this morning. Miko went with us to the vet for support. I took his crate so he would feel safe. At the vet, we had to wait for the doctor but Buddy did pretty good. When we were in the vet office, they had to wait until Buddy was ready to come out. They checked his heart, ears, took a fecal sample, and did just an overall health check. His ears were full of gook and have some calcifiation in them from years of neglected grooming. They also had a yeast infection. Dr. Dyer put medicine in them and we will re-check them in about two weeks. His teeth were ground down and he has some missing many incisors but otherwise his mouth looked good. The pads of his feet are swollen and he has chronic interdigital space of foot bronzing from his years in a wire cage. He has chronic changes in vertical and horizontal canals with his left ear thicker than the right and thick brown wax impaction with hair but the meds will hopefully help that condition. He did really well and as always is submissive waiting for the next trama.
So, that is our day so far-Buddy and I will write more later.

Buddy's second day-Sunday July 26,2009

Well, we survived the night. Everything was peaceful and quiet. In the morning, my husband took Buddy out for his walk. Since walking on a leash is a fairly new experience for him-it takes awhile. Unlike normal dogs-puppy mill dogs don't know what a leash is-nor grass-nor do they know how to sniff around for a place to go potty. Scooter has been going out with Buddy to help him adjust to his new found world in the backyard. It is a lenghty process-walking with a lightly held leash-frequent laying down by Buddy when a sound he doesn't recognize is heard(which is practically just about everything).

After he had done his business, we got dressed and went down to eat breakfast. First, though, we had to tackle the stairs. I laid down a trail of his "stinky" treats for him to follow and then sat on the steps waiting for him. We would get to the top and no farther. I kept laying down the trail of treats one step at a time until we had made it down all five steps. Then we went back up the stairs and did it all over again. By the fourth time-Success-all the way down with no treats! He is a really smart little guy.

We went to my studio so he could hang out under my easel or the desk-whereever is closest to me. We had a visit from our other son and his wife and we were back to square one by the time they left. It took about two hours for him to come out of his crate again.

Potty training is going well-no accidents in the house-yet. It still takes about a half hour to an hour to accomplish but it is well worth the wait.

Buddy has become my little shadow. If I get up to get something across the room-he is right behind me. Miko and he are getting along well. They have started sharing his crate. She goes in there and he follows and lays down with her. They take their naps together usually there or under my easel.

It has been so sad to see how much Buddy does not know about the world. He has spent his whole life in a small cage-never walking on grass, never being touched or petted, never getting treats. The pet rescue group said he was terribly matted when they first got him. He still needs some more hair taken off around his eyes but we will let Laura,our groomer, deal with that in a week or two.

Before you purchase that cute little puppy from a pet store-I hope that you will remember Buddy and not do it. If people would stop buying their pets from pet stores-there would be no puppy mills. Amazing!

Buddy is still pacing when any new situation confronts him. It usually takes about half an hour for him to settle back down in the quiet of my studio. Tomorrow we go to the vet-we'll keep you posted on that adventure. But for now, it has been a long day and we are going to sleep.

Braden, the journey back to somewhere normal

I have decided to combine my art blog with a blog about our new member to our family. A couple weeks ago, my son Mickey(a wounded Iraq vet who lives with us) decided he needed a dog. Our border collie, Sarah, who had been his friend thru all his surgeries and therapy had passed away at the age of 16.(we got Sarah in April 2004 at the age of ten-just two months before Mikey was blown up by an IED in Iraq. When he came home Sarah and he would walk and talk for hours-she was constantly by his side. When he started having seizures at night, it was Sarah who let us know. She was a kind and gentle soul and we missed her terribly.

We also suffered the loss of our little man, Wizzy. He had always had a heart condition and finally at the age of 15 succumbed to congestive heart failure. So, reeling from the two losses, we decided to adopt a friend for our remaining dog,Miko, who has been off by herself in the closet ever since her friends passed.

I went on line to Furry Kids' Refuge to find a little Shih tzu. The one I found was named Braden. Braden was a puppy mill rescue. We have always had strays and rescue dogs so after doing a little homework on the needs of a puppy mill rescue, we decided to take the plunge. Furry Kids' also had a little cocker spaniel that needed a home and after my son saw her picture, it was love at first sight. We had to wait a couple of weeks since the foster mom's place had a little touch of kennel cough when they added a couple dogs rescued from another puppy mill.

Finally, Saturday was the big day! We took Miko and headed out to Petco where the adoptions are held. Scooter,the cocker, was instantly taken with Mickey and he with her. Braden was unsure of all the goings on but out of his crate seemed to bond with Miko. We walked everyone together and all seemed to go well-so after the paperwork-we all headed home.

Braden, spent most of that first day in his crate with the door open. We put his halter on him as he tends to buck with just a collar on and we didn't want him to harm his neck when on the leash.

Everything to Braden is a new experience-he was even afraid of the grass. We are taking little baby steps. After he seemed more comfortable, we went out in our backyard which has a privacy fence to introduce him to the rest of our family-the cats. After several hisses, and a scene from a halloween movie with all of them in raised back position, they figured out that Braden and Scooter could care less about their species and everyone calmed down. Our alpha male cat, Tiger, however will need some additional time-he can't understand their indifference to him. He is used to everyone bowing down and kissing his feet-oh well, it's a new experience for all of us.

We tried several ways to make Braden comfortable in the yard so he could do his business(potting for those who don't own animals). Finally, we tried a long retractable leash so he could go away from us but still be under control in case he bolted. SUCCESS! We then retired back to the safety of my studio.

Meal time was a whole different issue. I put the water bowl and his food bowl by his crate but not in it. After about an hour-nothing. Then our little mentally challenged cat, Simba, went over and started eating the dog food-Braden watched warily. Finally, he went over and started sharing the food bowl with Simba. Simba retreated to let Braden eat in peace. Simba is such a good caregiver. Braden and he have bonded wonderfully. Braden even lets Simba lay within six inches of him-HUGE!

I spent the day on the floor in my studio reading-surrounded by tidbits of salami. The salami was to entice Braden to feel comfortable around me. At first, he was reluctant with just doggy treats(not enough smell). Salami, however, is a great bribe-at least for Braden. Braden, was not responding to his name at all. We understood that there would be a little disconnect since everything is new to him. I had been talking to him and started calling him Buddy. He connected with that name and would actually look at you and follow you-soooo-he is now Buddy.

I spent most of the rest of the first day on the floor at his level. Towards the evening I sat at my desk and worked at my computer. My husband came in from his den to check on us and was surprised to find Buddy under my desk right at my feet-so was I. After we return from outside to do his business, he usually paces for awhile and it takes him a little bit to calm back down and feel comfortable. Having Scooter has been a great thing as they were at the same foster mom's house so Buddy feels connected to something he is familiar with.

Well, then it was off to bed. We took Buddy and his crate up to our bedroom. We placed it next to our bed so he could feel safe in his crate but get used to the sounds and smells of our bedroom. He curled up on his pillow and went right to sleep. Tomorrow is a whole new day!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Still life

Well, I have finally got around to working on the still life. I have taken a photo of the initial stage and will post that soon. It has been an interesting process. I can really understand why I don't do them often. It has been hard to resist going outside and painting versus being stuck in my studio painting. I finally found a bird song tape for my cd player-this helps me to "pretend" I'm outside. Opening the windows has helped a little too since the weather has turned nice and cool-in the middle of summer!

Well gotta run for now-I'll keep you posted on the progress.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Still life painting

Well, I have finally bought a dozen roses to get started on the still life painting for the CF Foundation gala. My hubby thought that since I was only going to use 3-5, he didn't see the need for a dozen. I informed him that they were on sale at $6.99 per dozen-so of course-I had no choice.

I have mapped out the painting in my head and will start on the preliminary drawing and underpainting today. I'll post my progress as I go along. Haven't done a still life in awhile because of all the plein aire painting-should be fun.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Final Day in Taos

Well, this was the final day in Taos. We spent the morning touring the galleries and museums in Taos before we packed up and started for Santa Fe. We arrived in Santa Fe and headed straight to Albert's studio.
The afternoon was filled with art talk and viewing his beautiful paintings. His studio is filled with pastel and oil paintings. As always seems to be the case, the actual paintings are stunning in person. He was so generous in letting us explore anywhere-pull out any painting-ask him any question. It was also nice to see how he approaches his studio work and how he sets up to do the painting.
I also was able to obtain a set of his Unison pastel-he had assembled them for artist to help them with the greens. Yeah!!!
That night we all met at the Guadalupe Cafe for our final dinner together and to say goodbye. We all exchanged addresses, phone numbers and emails so we can keep in touch and see how we are all progressing.
Tomorrow we head for home-I am sad that the week is over but so enthused about the trip and looking forward to doing some studio painting from all the photos I took on the trip. New Mexico is truly the "Land of Enchantment".

Day 5-Taos

Today we went back to Arroyo Hondo and the Rio Grande Gorge. It was a lovely day and it was exciting to see and hear the rafters going down the whitewater. I don't know whether the rain made the river flow faster but the rafters were certainly yelling louder. It was interesting to watch them ride up the wave and then tumble down-they all seemed to be having a great time.

I again tackled the stream that ran down into the Rio Grande thru the valley. I love painting water-all kinds of water. I find immense interest in the way water behaves. Whether it is a quiet pond, a lake lapping against the shoreline or in this case, a rushing torrent.

I have really been working on my contrasts in my paintings. Trying to keep it simple and more vibrant in value, contrast and focal point. I think that all artists, no matter what their status in the art world, need to keep learning and growing and perfecting. Not only does it make us better artist but it keeps our skills and style ever evolving for ourselves and our collectors.

The afternoon was spent with final critiques and life lessons.

Mike and I took a drive up through the Ski Basin area. It was so beautiful!

Day 4-Taos

Day 4 found us on the road to Arroyo Hondo again. This time we stayed closer to the begininning of the road to paint in an area that offered views of the mountains, boulders that jutted out from the hills, and a small brook that ran in and out of the road.

Elizabeth and I were a little late getting out to paint. She had a headache so I waited for her to feel better before we headed out together. The others were all ready there and engrossed in their paintings. After walking around to see what had captured their eyes, we set up and began ours. The sky threatened to rain on us at any moment. The others finished and headed out for lunch but we continued to paint-suddenly we heard thunder. The sky was looking pretty black but we kept counting the seconds between thunder claps and continued on with our painting. Finally, I decided that I had captured enough of my subject and decided to start packing up. Elizabeth and I had just gotten everything into the car when the heavens opened up and a torrential rain came down in force. Whether we were just lucky, or we actually were good at predicting when the rain would start we will probably never know. The ride back was a little slippery as the road was not paved. In fact most of the roads off the main drag are not paved. They are a kind of mud/rock/rut thing.

In the afternoon, we all went our seperate ways and found places to paint clouds. I was able to set out under the porch by our room and paint to my hearts content until the rain started coming in sideways. I am posting a couple of my "sky" paintings here. The skies there are just gorgeous! There is no smog or city lights to interfere with them. The colors are incredible-I can see why so many painters flock there. I definitely can see the alure that beckoned Georgia O'Keefe to New Mexico.

Day 3-The Afternoon

We painted in the afternoon at the stream that runs along the road to the Ski Basin. It was a breathtaking area and the stream was running fast with lots of whitewater places. The road runs between the mountains so you don't realize how high you are going till you have a little trouble breathing. I painted a part of the stream with a couple of the small boulders as the light streamed across them. It was a beautiful afternoon full of the sounds of water rushing, birds singing and fellowship. The kind of day that makes you thankful that you paint for a living-what a great job!

In the evening we met back at the hotel for critiques and more sage advice from our mentor, Albert. It is exciting to see what the others have painted and what different views we all capture. Here is Albert explaining about gallaries, the next day's excursion and more pearls of wisdom.

Day 3-Taos, New Mexico

We had a real treat on Wednesday, Day 3. We were taken to Walt Gonske's studio/home to paint in his garden. I painted his view towards the mountains and also a view of his gateway into his garden. He was such a generous host. We all painted till noon and then he took us on a tour of his studio-HEAVEN! He had several of his paintings hanging there along with paintings from other artists. I had the pleasure of seeing Laura Robb's still lifes in person. The pictures of her paintings do not do them justice. They are absolutely stunning in person, as are Walt's. To be so completely immersed in your living space and your art must truly be a blessing. We also got a tour of his famous "paintmobile"(pictured above). He can go out on location and paint from the windows that are eye-level while out of the elements. I have already told my husband that I see one of those in my future.(Lord knows how many brownies that's going cost me-I better get the oven fired up now.)
The painting that I painted of his view is shown above, along with a photo of the view and a photo of his paintmobile.

Day 2-Taos, New Mexico

Day 2 found us painting along the road by an old farmstead. The ranch had been in their family for over 100 years according to the owners brother. He came by to watch us all paint the structures and let us know a little history. His brother owns the land now but they all grew up there when it was still a working farm. He assured us that there were no plans to tear down the old structures-they enjoy watching the artists come to paint there.

The day was a little cloudy with off and on peeks of the sun. Albert and a few of the other painters painted a group of three buildings that were on the slope of the hill. I walked up aways away and MaryAnn and I set up to paint the long barn like building.

It is always so nice to see people preserving the past, and also, in the process their heritage. This is one of the main reasons that I love plein aire painting. You record the moments of time at a location that may never be the same as the moment you paint there. I painted a barn in Odessa, Mo. that had been in their family for years. The next year I went there to paint on their farm and the whole front of the barn had collapsed due to a small tornado. It made an interesting new painting opportunity but I did miss the old structure I had painted the year before. Since the farm is no longer a dairy farm, the owner has no plans to rebuild. So, my painting is the last record of how it looked when it was a dairy farm.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Spending the Week with Albert Handell

My painting of the gorge.

Albert painting on the High road.

Day 1, Monday:

This morning, we all caravaned to Arroyo Hondo off County Rd. B-005. We drove down to the John Dunn Bridge in the gorge by the Rio Grande. It was a beautiful day with an abundance of painting opportunities. The cliffs rose high above us-towering towards a aqua-blue sky. There were loads of buses filled with river-rafters, hikers, fishermen and artists. I drove across the bridge and painted from the other side looking back towards the road(back home we'd call it a lane). The painting that I started didn't turn out quite like I liked but I got some great sketches done and enjoyed watching how all the artists approached the location. It is always amazing to me that we can be in the same spot and all pick such different scenes to paint.

That afternoon, after lunch on our own, we met back up to paint on the high road going from Santa Fe to Taos on Hwy 68. The sun was in and out making wonderful atmospheric scenes. From a picnic area there you can see the gorge as it heads off towards the mountains. It was my first experience painting this kind of landscape. I'm posting Albert painting and also the finished painting that I did.

New blog site

I will be posting at in addition to my blog I already have on my website at

I will be posting the plein aire paintings that I do each week and letting you know where I've been painting and about the paintings themselves. I will also be posting tips I've learned from workshops and the plein aire experience.

Hope you will check back often. The first paintings will be from my recent mentoring trip to Taos, New Mexico with Albert Handell.