Tag Archives: Art

Artwork: Guarding His Herd

I have finally finished the oil painting that I have been working on for the past six months.  It is a large canvas…24 X 30.

The vision for this work began as a challenge to myself.  I wanted to paint a thunderstorm over the Badlands.  My goals were to create distance; capture the back glow of light in a storm and the roughness of the Badlands terrain; and to improve my drawing skills by including animals….Hereford cattle.

The biggest challenge of this painting was the sky.  I just could not get it right.  Then, I realized I was painting a Minnesota sky.  The clouds were too close.  Once, I got that right, the painting started to work.

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My goal with the cattle was to paint a very strong bull lovingly guarding his family.

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That is how I think of God.

 

 

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What Is On My Mind Today? Power Without the Destruction.

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2016 Painting of St. Genevieve Church in Centerville, MN. 

For weeks and weeks I have painted and repainted the sky on the same canvas.

Whenever I start a painting I have the exact image in my mind.  I can actually see it on the white canvas. As an artist, my job is to make the image appear for others to see.

I like painting landscapes especially ones with vivid skies.  I have always had a fascination with clouds.  I remember spending many hours as a small child, resting on the lawn just watching them change shapes.  Quietly watching clouds on a calm summer’s day is a very peaceful and relaxing activity, which I highly recommend.

For me the peace of clouds disappeared in an instant when I was about eleven-years-old. Cloud watching changed forever on a stormy day while traveling in a car on Highway 12 just east of Litchfield, Minnesota.  At the precise moment we were along side a huge metal factory, a tornado dropped out of the sky and shredded the big building.  Huge pieces of metal ripped through the air and rained down all around our car.   The destructive power of that small tornado was horrible, yet so very awesome.  From that moment on, I had a very healthy appreciation for power, especially power that originates in the heavens.

After experiencing that tornado up close, instead of looking for the peace in the clouds I looked to find evidence of their power. It is exhilarating to stand in an great empty field and watch a thunderstorm explode on the western horizon and come barreling at you.

It was even more exciting to stare down a menacing mesocyclone astride my Arabian mare.  Animals are naturally much better forecaster’s of weather that humans. My mare could sense stormy weather hours before it developed.  Her restlessness and whinnying told me it was time to saddle up.  Down to the edge of farm we’d gallop and wait for nature’s big show.

Radiant white clouds billowing upwards with great speed and purpose announced that the guest we were waiting for so impatiently was on its way.  Just as the first gust of wind rushed up to make our acquaintance, I would pivot my  mare and give her, her head and we’d race the storm home.

It was all speed, wind, water and…..power. Intoxicating!

I like power.  I love the power of storms.

So, my goal for this canvas was to paint a beautiful powerful mesocyclone with all of its whirl and swirl.  No matter how many skies I painted none of them seemed to meet the vision of my mind’s eye.

Since, I don’t tend to give up, I had to just keep trying and trying to succeed.  Becoming more and more frustrated with a process that is usually as easy for me as falling off a wet horse.

Last week a very good friend of mine, who knows me extremely well, called to say hello. I told her about my canvas of perpetual repainting and how frustrated I was not being able to  produce the image I wanted.  I explained to her that my goal was to capture the winds and the beauty of a great storm, but I wanted it to be a friendly storm.

As always she listened to my concerns very carefully and then responded, “So, you want all of the power without any of the destruction.”

Yup, that would be it.

 

 

What Is On My Mind Today: My painting was awarded a cash prize at the Gallery 96 Art Center Spring Show!

I have two paintings exhibited in the Gallery 96 Art Center Spring show at the Shoreview Library.  The show lasts until June 17.

The big news is that my painting, “Anger” won a cash prize.

Wind in the pasture
“Anger”

Desert Blooms is the other painting of mine on display.

Blooming Cactus
“Dessert Blooms”

The sister painting to “Anger” which is not on display is “Peace”.   My cancer battle inspired both of these paintings.

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“Peace”

What Is On My Mind Today: Expensive Canvas and the Failing Grade

What is on my mind today is an expensive canvas that Doug bought for me this weekend. I have been oil painting on el cheapo student quality canvas for months, and, well, this canvas is the big league.

I am going to have to apply myself.  Which always reminds me of the first time that anyone saw my potential and forced me to apply myself.  I should have been the poster child for world class under achievers.  Somehow I managed to scholastically skate through school never being challenged by a teacher to work up to “my” potential until a fateful day in college.

This momentous occasion for self-reflection occurred over a paper I submitted to a professor.  He gave me an F. Before the shock of receiving a failing grade had even fully penetrated my consciousness, the old guy made all of the students in that class read their papers out loud.

After the shaming had been completed,  I vigorously protested my grade by pointing out very specifically that my paper was a hell of a lot better than the blonde girl’s!  Calmly the professor walked over to me.  Looked me right in the eyes and responded that, yes, my paper was better than hers.  For her that was A work.  For me, it was F work. As she sat there and beamed with pride, he concluded my very public critique by adding that in the future it might help if I did not watch television while writing papers for him. That is, if I planned to pass his course.

It was the only F, I had ever received! Oh, the outrage! A publicly outed F and being beaten in any fashion by a blonde!  Especially, a blonde that had no idea she had just been highly insulted.

I knew two things at that moment: that old professor was a lot sharper mentally than he dressed, or than I gave him credit for; and, if he wanted an A paper, an A paper is exactly what that man was going to get.

I applied myself writing the next week’s paper. I received an A+ and eventually aced his course.  He ended up being one of the professors that I asked to write a recommendation for me to be included in my college placement credentials.  I never read any of my college placement credential recommendations for over ten years after I graduated. When I finally asked for a copy to review, it surprised me that he wrote about that paper.  It amazed me to know that the A+ he gave me on that paper was the only A+ he had given out that entire year.

Yes, expensive canvases always pressure me. They must filled with some fantastic topic excellently executed, but for some reason…I just want to paint Hereford bulls fighting in a mesocyclone.  

Moral of story: Don’t judge a professor by his obvious lack of ownership or ability to use a clothes iron when he has the power to really mess up your grade point average. 

Painting Done…Frame Ordered!

 

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This is the painting that I have been working on since November. Since, I started this painting of Christ seeking the little lost lamb, both my three-year-old niece Laney (she would have been four-years-old today) and my Uncle Mrywin have died.  Laney died right after Thanksgiving and Myrwin passed away three days before Christmas.

Since they were both on hospice, I started this painting as my personal memorial.

I thought I had it done weeks ago, but then decided it just wasn’t right.  So I kept at it and at it.  Today,  I am finally done and am satisfied with the outcome.

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After weeks of trying day after day to get the effects that I sought, when it all started to work  I was done in about an hour.  Can you tell the difference between the first picture and the final one?

It was the water…that was bugging me so much….its lighting and wave action was wrong. I wanted to paint a rising mist that forms in the morning when the warm sun hits the cold water. I wanted it to dance in the light, just little Laney is dancing in heaven.

I also wanted the rocks to look more like agates…I love agates!  I like finding, inspecting and painting them on canvas. I have always thought that Agate Bay in the Gooseberry Falls State Park  was something of a rip off because the cliffs are not solid agate. As Uncle Myrwin used to say, “Now, wouldn’t that be something!” 

There also needed to be a cave to explore.  A cliff without a cave is just a big rock.  Unless it has a waterfalls, then, without a cave, it becomes a big rock with a runny nose. Although my good friend Janis will take one look at the cave in this painting and know that I painted the empty tomb.

Christ’s face was facing straight ahead in the first painting. It was just easier to paint that way.  It needed to turn towards the lost lamb. There can be no mistaking that the Good Shepherd finds the little lost lamb. The lamb is looking up trustingly at Jesus for it knows it is completely loved and eternally safe. Christ’s hands too were changed. His hand is open, gently inviting the little lost lamb to come to him.

The addition of spring flowers were added just for me. Winter gets long here in Minnesota and I am already looking forward to the new flora and fauna of spring. Besides they always add more color, and I wanted color in this painting.  Pink for Laney and blue for Myrwin. The sunrise is pink, oh so very pink and quite riotous. Just like the brightness and havoc young children bring into our lives.Of course the painting needed to have a certain color blue in it.  In our family this shade of blue is known as “Myrwin Blue.”   This color has now been added.

Lastly,  I love it when at dawn the sky looks like it is rising right out of the water.  Early morning sunrise reflections sometimes make it almost impossible to tell where heaven begins and earth ends.  The separation is a very fine line only crossed by the warmth of the Son.

There are two islands in the brightest light one is for Laney and one for Uncle Myrwin.

My painting is done and the frame ordered.

Now, I can move on.

Artwork: Minnesota’s Fall Colors….Best in the World

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Autumn Colors 2016.  Oil painting by Pat Turgeon

The beauty of this autumn’s leaves was positively inspiring.  On our walks around the lake by our home there were times when I felt that all of nature’s colors were illuminated by  a joy and peace that could only be God given.

As usual the colored leaf season in our state has passed quickly.  Those beautiful leaves, of a week ago, now lay on the ground. The ones in our yard have already been raked, and are now a blank of warm protection covering next year’s berry plants and flower bulbs.

Yes, the trees have begun their winter rest.  Their bare arms and fingers filtering the peach, pink and golden morning light into a lacy dance as they, just like all of the rest of us, await the impending cold and snow.

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Detail of oil painting of autumn colors. 

Just Saying: Sending My Best From 2015

Best of 2015…..my grandson. He has held that title for 9 years.

Best gift of 2015….was from God when he blessed my cancer treatment and after 3 years of battling it, I am cancer free and in remission from multiple myeloma.

Best day…every day.

Best emotion…joy

Best husband ever…. Doug.  He has held that record for 37 years and even liked me when I was bald.

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Best daughter…Aurora. Aurora completed her Ph.d in Analytical Chemistry this year.

Best son…Coleman.  He mastered using a pressure cooker and taught my husband the same skill. His jams and jellies are delicious!  In addition to that he was published again this year and is a senior research scientist at Mayo Clinic.

Best friends….the many people who unconditionally supported me throughout these years of recovery,especially Pat, Mary, Janis, Sylvia,Susie, Betty and El.

Best doctors…all of my doctors are the best. Thank you to North Suburban Lino Lakes Clinic, Regions Cancer Care and the University of Minnesota.

Best dog…Walter.  He passed away on December 1, 2015 and is greatly missed.  (See post of his obituary. “Walter, A Dog’s Life Well Lived”)

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Best looking dog….Truman my 110 pound pure white German Shepherd.

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Best food…..husband’s chicken enchiladas.

Best book

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Best trip….Duluth, MN and watching the big ore freighters go in and out of the harbor.

Best hiking trail….Taylor Falls State Park

Best event…The Minnesota State Fair.

Best movie on Netflicks….Tucker and Dale vs. Evil

Best movie in theater….Star Wars, The Force Awakens

Best accomplishment…stopping using a walker.

Best painting  landscape division….Anger

Wind in the pasture

Best painting floral division this year was a tie.

          Blooming Prickly Pear Cactus and Wind In The Peony.

Best painting farm landscape division

12074755_1056427424388718_2772887414640293226_nCombining Wheat in Montana

Best painting in portrait division

      Gambel’s Quail on Blooming Cactus. 

Best children’s story….”Laney the Brave” which I wrote and illustrated for my 2-year-old grandniece who spent all of 2015 fighting AML Leukemia. That is one heck of a brave little girl!

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Best news of 2015…Laney is cancer free!

Best political recipe…Recipe for President (see post)

Best political prayer

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Best quote on manners…Winston Churchill
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Best quote on political leadership….Mark Twain
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Best quote on equality…black bear.

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Best homeopathic recipe…..A Cure for What Ails Us (see post)

Best cookie recipe…Walter’s Favorite Treat: Gingersnaps (see post)

Best cake recipe….The Rolls Royce of Cakes: The Chiffon (see post)

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Best selfie

pat at Christmas

Sending you all my best from 2015 and hoping for all the best in 2016.

Have a safe, healthy and happy New Year!