If your family and friends are like ours, 
everyone takes lots of photos, and prepares lots and lots of food through out the holidays.

Looking back--- what is one of my most fond moments, besides stuffing, loading and basting a 22 pound turkey and preparing enough stuffing to feed a battalion?


And I didn't BAKE a single one.
I remember pies the best because our daughter, Sarah, sent photos of her amazing pies she created. 
She has decided that her latest undertaking is to make every type of pie possible.  Pies and Photography a great combo.

It should be mentioned that Sarah is very petite, yet having an Asian style kitchen, even she can barely fit in.  Yet out of that tiny space with no dishwasher or disposal, comes a WEALTH of delicious foods.

All in our family loves creating tasty food.
Our son, Hunter, loves to bake cakes and pies.
His specialities are coconut cream pie and pecan pie.

My favorite, Hunter's Pecan Pie

Hmmm, I am not sure. I also ADORE Hunter's Coconut Cream.

These little monkeys are just working up their appetite for dessert!

And this little rascal, must haven eaten ALL of the BERRY PIE!

The only PIE claim I can make this year is sketching! Not nearly as appealing!!! 

Our entire family loves to cook...bake...and eat.

Our family is blessed. No one goes hungry, abundance is piled upon our plates: an embarrassment of riches.
All the more reason to donate to our favorite charities that help those who need a "hands-up."
In our local community we have over 1,000 children who do not get enough to eat on a daily basis. 

These Vietnamese children are smiling, happy, content in their world.  But feeding and clothing them is very difficult.
It is like this in too many places all over the world.  

I am so grateful for the many organizations and charities and those who run them,  that give us the opportunity to donate and be a tiny part of feeding our brothers and sisters. 

I know that you join us in donating to local food banks, churches who serve others on a daily basis, any opportunity to share our bounty.

Today, November 30th, is our daughter's birthday.  Her birth ushered in the Christmas and Hannukah Season.  
So tonight we have a family celebration, for which Hunter baked a luscious chocolate cake, smothered in raspberries.  We are rather

Anatomy of a Painting Part I

A short tutorial on a new painting.
20 x 20 cradle board....a new substrate for me, when working this large. I love it.  Before painting I apply several coats of gesso, or a gray primer paint.  Sand between coats for smoothness.  I left the sides "natural" and later whitewashed them.
Be sure to use blue tape to mask off the sides so that paint doesn't drip down.
paint your scene all the way around the deep board.

Damask Sunflowers

 I bought a fading bouquet of flowers from the local grocery store. Of course they faded and died before I barely got started. So I took a photograph and then didn't use it !!!  So much for painting from "life."


This started out as a traditional painting, but the next day I didn't like it and scrubbed off all that I could. You can see bits and pieces of the original painting. One reason to love working on a wood surface is its resilience.

After priming the board, I rubbed in various colors of light to medium: turquoise, white, yellow, magenta..achieving a mottled appearance.

The bottom half was painted a medium yellow ochre.

Selecting a delicate floral/leaf stencil, randomly placed on the canvas, I used  a palette knife to push lavender or turquoise paint, thickened with heavy gel medium through the stencil.  Remove stencil carefully.  
These first steps were all done with acrylic full bodied paint to hasten the drying time.  

It is not unusual for me to start with acrylic, but do all large design work in oil.

I had a fabulous piece of tri-designed paper from Anthropologie, cut it into a vase shape and attached with gel medium.....you can see the original flowers I could not remove.

From here on I "winged it" and painted the flowers without photos, still life, etc.

The entire floral design, scrolls, detail work are painted with oil.  

I lightly painted over the collaged vase to blend it back into the painting.
Up close you can see the paper design and heavy stencilled background.

Although I am slow to wipe a painting off, it does happen. And in this case it led me to a knew way of looking at something.

You can see this painting on my website.  (It sold just before posting this blog! ) 

I have one more piece to share with you...next posting.  There are many ways to approach a painting when the first idea is not the greatest....
Isn't that what LIFE is all about?

Art Projects in Honor of Deepavali

On my photography blog I  shared photos of a Hindu Festival of Lights known as Deepavali.
Click HERE to read the first blog sharing the tradition behind Deepavali if you would like to know ore about it.

Today I wanted to share the fun artwork that our GrandKiddies did to honor the festival.( I apologize if you read both blogs, thus redundant, but it is fun enough to share twice I think.  And it is ART!!)

This is a direct copy and paste...looks a bit strange, I know.  So here goes:

Back again to share the fun art projects the GrandKiddies did for Deepavali, Festival of Lights.
The actual festival started just AFTER we left Singapore. But these cute kids with their mom's blessing did some fun art projects.
Mama-Sarah sent me the photos.
(Sarah's photography skills are superb, she knows how to get down to the essence of the scene. Thanks Sarah for always sending me wonderful photos of the GrandKiddies.)

A few on-the-street scenes to start with.

Usually the children dress up and go down to the festival. This year they explored the art that goes hand-in-hand with the festivities.

Here they are working  on the floor putting a paper design together.

" Hmm are you sure that piece goes THERE?"

Got it.  Now to get the beans, lentils, rice and all the colorful mosaic pieces to glue onto the design.   Actually I believe the design came with colorful plastic pieces.

A gorgeous, full size mandala.  Wish I had been part of this really fun day. Didn't they do a super job?  
Way to go!!!!

On to another project.  Ella is applying a faux-henna paste to
decorate brother's arm.

Years ago she and I had this done professionally.  It takes great skill to apply henna.  Ella did a fantastic job!

Saving the best for last......

Perhaps you recall from the previous blog, a photo of the clay vessels that hold oil and a wick, to be lit and placed in a holy place.
Right in their own home;
a  beautiful shrine for the Festival of Light, a time of renewal and forgiveness.

Way to go!  Thanks kids for being a part of our story of Deepavali.

If you made it through this garbled text, you are PATIENT.  

Don't think I will try this "short cut again."

But  hope you enjoyed it.  

Anatomy of an Art Show

The Silver Brush Art Show has now come and gone. It is a charitable event with proceeds going to the Matthew's Help Center.  This is an organization that does much good in our community, especially supporting children and families who are facing difficult times.  

After all the hours of creating new works and preparing them for sale, the time approaches to  load heavy metal display panels,  paintings, boxes of prints/cards, display stands, receipt books and miscellaneous needs  into two vehicles. Fully loaded we drive off  with high expectations.

The annual show is held at Weaver and Bennett Law Offices in our home town. They graciously donate the rooms that we use.

One challenge we all face is deciding how to attractively arrange way too many paintings in a small area!!
But, when you are most exhausted it all falls into place. There seems to be a spot for everything.

Have a peak!

Each artist presents food in their room on opening night.  The law firm provides the drinks.
Being so short on time this year, my appetizers were not FANCY, but nevertheless gobbled up.

The Lollipop-Pop-Kids Collection and color co-ordinated plaster bowls were favorites. 

Paintings are attached to wire racks, covered with pillow-slip fabric cases. They are always a struggle to put on....rather like a TIGHT GIRDLE.....(for those old enough to remember.)
But they work.

Below are two new paintings just completed for the show. They will be on the website, when I next update.

Not everyone, by any means can afford a painting.  But they do love to pick up a print of their favorite painting or a handmade 

It is always a challenge to display paintings which are very diverse in style, color and size.  

 Wanting to help the Hurricane Sandy victims in some small way, I set aside two panels and filled with smaller paintings, with the intention of giving all profits to relief organizations.

People were most generous as most paintings sold. All money is going to an animal humane center in New Jersey.

Probably what surprised people who know my paintings the best, were the softer blue palette paintings.  Two of them sold.
So I guess it is okay to switch things around a bit.

Just a peak into the world of an art show, a modest one!
Thank you to all who came by to support me and my fellow artists.
Thank you for your purchases. The funds raised go to very worthy causes.

The best part of a show like this are the people who come by to share a love of art, visit and chat and leave a bit happier.

What More Jitters?

Gosh, what is the Furner household coming to?
First the election jitters....(thanks for voting family)..and sincere prayers for hearts to mend and compassion and compromise to gain a foothold.

Next in the Jitter line up:

Tonight and again tomorrow, the Silver Brush Art Show in Matthews, NC, holds its annual art show
 that supports the Matthew's Help Center, a pivotal charitable organization aiding thousands of people, especially children.

Anyway, the show is all set up and ready to go.

I will be introducing my Lolli-Pop-Kids series.
I have to say they look a little unusual next to my regular paintings...a touch of YOUTH! never hurts.

More updates:  I have taken 15 of my paintings that date back a year or more and heavily discounted them.  All money, will be donated to hurricane relief...Red Cross and Humane Society for Animals.  

What paintings are  left over I will attempt to post on this blog or website and you can have an opportunity for a 50-75% reduction on a painting, knowing your dollars will go to hurricane relief.

If I only sell the paintings for charity I will be a happy camper!

Make today a "smile" day in our family as it is our daughter, Melinda's birthday! 

Happy  Birthday, Melinda.

Election Day Jitters

I wasn't sure what to do with myself today.
I could complete preparation for Silver Brush Art Show this weekend.
I could clean my studio that is a dismal mess.
I could sort through the several thousand photos I took this past month.
Gosh, I could even do laundry, as in ironing!

Today is Election Day.
(as though you need reminding!)

In 1972, Richard Nixon was elected, defeating George McGovern.
And as the ballots flew, I was birthing our third child, Mateo.

So ELECTION DAY is fun...sort of a BIG HUGE EXPENSIVE PARTY for our son.
Happy  Birthday, Mateo

Yes, I did vote.

So here is the problem, it is beyond absurd, but I am more concerned about the person (s) who lose than those who win. Is that lopsided or what?  But I can't imagine what it would feel like to lose the most important election in our country!!!

So to break this ridiculous mind set, I am here fiddling with my blog.  The only thing, art wise, that I am inclined to mention is the 
art show I participate in is this weekend in Matthews, NC.  

Here are a few of the paintings.

These are small 8 x 8 paintings. I recall going to the grocery store and purchasing a wilting bunch of daisies.  I instructed my paintbrushes they would have to stiffen the loopy daisies up a bit to be presentable.

Working from a composite of photographs, this little delight reminded me of warm, sunny, Provence days, when the light is golden and clear.

I will be introducing my new line of Lolli-Pop-Colors at this show.

My spirits are a bit better now. At least I have done two things today: VOTED and SENT A LITTLE BLOG YOUR WAY.