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This required art BEFORE and AFTER breakfast!

April is "panel change" time at the TRAG Gallery and lately I have either tried to put up only new work that I haven't shown before or hang work that applies to a "theme." Last quarter I used a theme (things I painted/drew while at the Marybelle house), so this quarter I challenged myself to do all NEW work. The trouble was, though, that I hadn't done that much since the first of the year. I worked for WEEKS on a COLOR magazine tutorial of a Venetian mask that went to Sarah for her birthday, and then focused on recreating an image of Joey playing baseball from a photo (that is already posted at the Gallery under the Artist of the Month section -- Toys and Games). This left me with hanging only four pieces or changing my "plan." Although I am a great fan of Plan Bs, I decided not to change plans yet. Accepting my own challenge, Monday evening I embarked on a mission to create at least one more new piece of work. Voila -- the cardinal emerged! It looked a little empty though, so early Tuesday morning I added some Bradford Pear blossoms to the branch he was sitting on. It made him much happier! Here's how the panel turned out:

The bottom one, "South of Bolivar Farm - Revisited" is a watercolor of the Grant family farm about 8 miles south of Bolivar on Highway 13 and KK (I think). I really admire that farm and did a larger one in colored pencil that sold at Silver Dollar City last fall. I didn't know at that time that it was Bill Grant's farm. Some visitors from Bolivar saw it and shared that information with me. Unfortunately, Mr. Grant passed away last year, but his son, Kelly Grant, still lives there. They took one of my cards that happened to have an image of the original drawing on it and shared it with Ann Grant, Kelly's wife, and she called to see if I would do another drawing for them. I had already started the watercolor and it was accepted in the White River Exhibit at College of the Ozarks in November. Ann sent me photos of some of their cows because I mentioned that there were no cows there at the time I took the photo that I used as a reference for my original drawing. Of course, just for fun, I then obsessed with drawing the cows! Thus, my additional drawing of the farm, with cows looking at you! You can tell how hard up I was for images to hang that I would include that one, too. [I am currently working on a wide-angle view of the farm for them on the paper that my daughter Tina gave me for Christmas. So far, it's looking good if I do say so myself! That's the one I plan to share with the Grant family when it's finished.] The daffodils came next, and my favorite part of that drawing is the little lady bug perched on the edge of the cup at the bottom. You can't see it here, but I've included her in the title of the drawing and hope that someone will be curious enough to look for her!

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