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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Dancing Oaks part II

We did return on Friday and I quickly finished up the painting a couple of hours before we left---shot some photos, then grabbed 2 more rolls of film "just in case" as we headed back to Dancing Oaks nursery for my daughters senior photo shoot. She hauled a suitcase full of clothes to try different outfits while there! Senior photos aren't what they used to be!! I remember going to a photo studio and getting a few shots taken with my one outfit. Now-a-days kids have all sorts of photos taken---still only one used in the yearbook, but different outfits, settings etc. for a portfolio of photos.

We shot our oldest daughter's senior photo (whole roll of 24, two outfits in our back yard---#23 was the winner!) and the one we picked was truly a great photo. She's pretty laid back, but also impatient at times, so getting those 24 pics was not a picnic! Youngest daughter is miss model... She was totally into posing, changing clothes, wanting us to give her suggestions, and very patient. Interesting difference---but that's kids for you---they are very different in many ways (always wondered if I'd had a third if it would be like oldest, youngest, or a whole new version!) Anyway, we ended up using all the film I brought---we're talking 48 + 1/2 the roll in the first camera---and she's not through yet she thinks! She'd like beach photos, pics from this great park that has a terrific wild grassy meadow, and keeps coming up with different settings---we only need ONE photo! Oh well, it's fun---she likes playing model, and I enjoy playing photographer! Brad wandered the nursery in awe of the gorgeous plants, hauled my backpack, making me have to find him when I needed another roll...but also helping make Miss E laugh! We're hoping to get the pics back tomorrow afternoon---yes they're real film photos!

The other cool news is the nursery owner bought my painting! Yay! It's been a while since I've sold a painting---never this quick tho! Seemed a bit odd to sell it unframed, but that wasn't a problem for him---he just slid it into a shallow drawer until they could get it framed. He didn't even flinch at the price, and even remembered what I'd quoted two days prior. His memory is really fabulous---he said he remembers when Miss E & I had been there 6 years ago and where we'd sat to paint & what that painting looked like!! It's probably sitting in my file drawer unfinished still....should pull it out & finish it & email it to him---see if he wants it too!

So, here's the unfinished painting:

and now the finished, sold painting (kinda curious to see the differences myself):

When we get back the senior photos, I'll post some if they're any good!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Dancing Oaks Nursery

Today the Vista Vineyard plein air painting group met & painted at the coolest nursery---Dancing Oaks is located southwest of Monmouth Oregon---out in the boonies! You drive through farmers fields, into the heart of the valley, then make couple of turns onto a gravel road & up a steep hill and come out on this amazing oasis! It's the third time I've been there, and each time it's magical. They carry a lot of different plants you don't see at other nurseries, and they have these gorgeous planted beds with tons of well established perennials. It's also the third time my daughter has joined me out there---when a teenager likes to go it must be a pretty special place! She was scouting it out as a possible site to have us take her senior photos. While I painted she sat nearby reading and loving the sweet greyhound that kept appearing for more kisses!

After our noon sharing time when we gathered to munch lunch and admire each others' paintings/drawings, the owner asked me if I'd sell my painting! Cool Beans! I told him sure, but I wasn't finished yet, then asked if it would be ok to come back soon for a photo shoot & I'd then bring the hopefully finished painting and we could work out a deal :). We exchanged numbers, and now I have to finish it! I'm real happy with my tree and sky, but think the plants in front are a bit scattered and unsettled---sort of a sneeze effect---I'll work on them some more & try to make them seem more "planted" (pun intended...).

Here's the images from today starting first with the rough drawing---it's on black sanded paper

The next image is about an hour later:

This is a close-up of the tree and sky:

Here's miss E with Dale the greyhound :) Aren't they a cute pair?

This is the "sold" image---the unfinished painting that the nursery owner was ready to purchase---but I'm not ready to sell yet!

I shot some photos of what I was painting so I could finish at home---here's my reference photo:

And lastly, I love cannas! Some of the gorgeous plants we saw today :).

Sunday, July 23, 2006

It's too HOT!

This is Oregon, we're not supposed to get this hot.... 3 days of 100º+ just stinks! Not many have air conditioning since it's so rare to get above 95º, so when it happens we all just wilt! My main method of cooling off our house in the summer is keeping it closed during the day & opening it when it's cooler outside than in---sadly these last couple of days we've barely dipped below 80º at night which means it doesn't get cooler than that inside. We've moved downstairs since the upper level is about 10º warmer than the main floor---our air bed is set up in the living room and our futon in the dining room. Yesterday we had breakfast outside on our picnic table since there was a slight breeze compared to inside for an hour or so before it got too hot... feels like camping but w/out the fun! We do have a kiddie pool set up outside but if it's in the sun it's too hot to use! I think today's supposed to be the last above 100º day, so as long as I can drag my little fan from room to room, I'll survive... Just glad I don't live in Arizona... end of whining....

Here's a cute pal that was watching the art camp I helped teach 2 weeks ago,

and here's where I'd like to be today!

Monday, July 10, 2006

My first baby has moved out!

She did it---received the key to her new home on Thursday, started packing once she was home from work, and with a bit of help from her parents (us) & uncle was moved into her new house Sat. night! She hung out with us Sunday for part of the day finishing off some things here, then took us out for the best pizza we've ever had that evening. We dropped her off at her house again & she's now at work, all on her own, all grown up, and it's such a nice feeling for us and I'm hoping for her too.

True she's 22 (a week ago) and graduated from college, but this is a big step for all of us---our first child moving out. She lived at home during college which allowed her to save $$ big time. We'd been looking at really slummy apartments for the past month and were somewhat discouraged at what was available in the price range she was considering. Then a coworker called last weekend & said she had just moved into a 3 bedroom duplex and needed one more roommate---was Miss M interested? She checked out the place on Wed. after work, then we went back with her later that evening and we all were sold almost immediately! It was nice! Nice neighborhood, close to shopping and only a 15 minute bike ride to work, sweet roommate, hardwood floors, over $100 less than the slums we'd been looking at, just terrific!

Her roommates both work at the same place as she does, but one is in Portland for the summer---we haven't met her yet. They all have their own bedroom, and the other girls have been living away from home a year or more now so most of the duplex is furnished with what they've accumulated---means Miss M doesn't have to purchase much at this point. It might be a bit awkward at first for her---she might not feel like the other rooms are "hers" quite yet, but I'm sure once she and her roommate have spent some time together it'll start feeling like the house is all hers not just her bedroom. This past weekend her roommate was in Portland too---sounds like she goes there often to see her boyfriend---so they haven't experienced living together yet. Not sure if she arrived last night or not---my youngest daughter was out with friends last night and went to her sisters new house to hang out 'til 11:30 or so & the roommate hadn't returned before she left.

New stuff! New adventures! Can't wait to hear how her night went and if her roommate is home and how that will all play out :)! (yes, I do have a life of my own---gallery board meeting today, taste test after, new studio to refurbish... :) ... this is just so exciting and new for all of us tho!)

I'll shoot some photos later of her new place---haven't yet---

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Daily musings...

Ok, so this wasn't her birthday cake---it was actually her sisters 6 months ago, but I don't have photos back from her birthday yet, so I'm just using this photo as an illustration, since I like pictures! My oldest turned 22 on Saturday, a quiet affair considering how her sister was out of town, and other family members had partied with us for her big graduation bash 2 weeks ago, so the out-of-towners weren't so hip on showing up twice in one month! My crew made it tho---at least the local uncle and grandparents always happy for a good free meal ;)! We had a nice evening celebration, and during the day miss M played downtown with a good friend so she had fun!

Our 4th was also a quiet celebration---we're known for boring 4th of Julys since we used to be in recovery mode from having to celebrate 3 days earlier, often with a pack of wild birthday party kids! Again, youngest was still out of town, so oldest daughter decided to take matters into her own hands and took off to celebrate the 4th with a pack of fireworks at a friends house! My sweetie and I spent the evening sipping wine and cooking a fabulous meal of which we get to enjoy again tonight since we made enough for leftovers :). My favorite meal of all times---home fried chicken, homemade gravy, garlic-basil mashed red potatoes, and home grown sugar snap peas---steamed with butter and Trocomare! Ah, heaven! We watched the local firework show thru our youngest daughters upstairs window---the perfect distance for me after having fireworks explode over my head one July 4th, singeing my hair making me paranoid ever since!

Time to go fix the peas---they need to be unzipped---what I call pulling the strings out of their edges... It's worth it tho!