Happy Birthday, Mom!

June 25, 2009

Today is my mother's 75th birthday. She's not here to celebrate the occasion with us, but I sang "Happy Birthday" to her this morning. I could feel her smile - I know she would be pleased that we remembered, and somehow I know that she is all right and reaping the rewards of an earthly life devoted to the love and kindness towards others that she rightly taught her children.

Mom's entire life was dedicated to helping those in need. Whether it was a hug, advice or a hot cooked meal that was needed, she was there to give unselfishly of herself to the betterment of others. She always marked a special occasion with a card. Sympathy cards, birthday cards, wedding cards, thinking of you cards - you name the occasion! We have lovingly joked that Hallmark stock must have dropped dramatically since her departure from this earth.

I miss Mom terribly, and as I sang "Happy Birthday" to her this morning, I selfishly asked her to show me a sign. I was watering my son's vegetable garden, and suggested that maybe she could send a hummingbird my way. After a few minutes, I forgot about the request and continued watering. After several hours, I returned home - no hummingbird nor any other incident that I could contribute to "a sign" until I opened my email.

Since joining Fine Art America in March, I have been anxiously awaiting the sale of my first print and it finally happened this morning with the sale of "Grand River Lighthouse". Was it the "sign" that I asked for? Maybe not, but I'm going to take it. She was always my biggest fan and I would like to think that she sees how hard I've been networking and trying to promote my artwork. At any rate, she would be happy to know that it made me feel good to think she had some part in my good fortune.

So here's to you, Mom. Happy 75th Birthday, and in my heart, many more.

The Beauty of Blooms

June 5, 2009

I love flowers. From early on, I was drawn to their beauty like a moth to a flame. The times I can remember really getting into trouble, flowers were involved.

On more than one occasion, I can remember picking flowers that were not in our yard and having to make sorrowful apologies to the owner whose land I had unknowingly trespassed upon. What 6 year old could resist picking a lovely bouquet of bright yellow daffodils from "Flowerland"? Flowerland was the official name given to what was unknown to me, to be someone"s back yard. Walking through "the woods" behind our house and emerging on the other side, were wondrous beds of flowers of all shapes and sizes. It was miraculous to visit Flowerland. Each trip revealed new blooms of every size and color imaginable. After all, it was only a handful out of the massive sea of yellow that I plucked them from. Fortunately for me, the owners, flower lovers themselves, were always understanding and I was never traumatized from any repercussions.

Now I have my own Flowerland filled with flowers of every size, shape and color. My niece told me that her 6 year old son has requested to come see "Aunt Ang's Flowers", and I may pick blossoms for the house without any fear of repercussion. Currently, the Irises and Clematis are in full bloom and their stunning beauty continues to fill me with wonder and take me back to those childhood memories of flowers.

Anthology of Friends, Volume I

May 16, 2009

I am very pleased to be part of the book, "Anthology of Friends". This book is the first publication from Ovation TV Community and includes over 30 artists.

Artists from every genre are included in this book including black & white and color photography, oil paintings, acrylic paintings, and digital art. Styles range from realistic, surrealism, abstract, and everything in between.

"Anthology of Friends" got it's start on the OvationTV Community website Message Board. "Funkyiron" started it with a simple message, enticing many subsequent replies. As a result, artist, Michael E Riffel became the editor and compiled our many different art forms into this subsequent book.

Ovation TV is broadcast worldwide and is dedicated to the arts. Their programming includes everything from artist and musician documentaries, concerts, ballets and more. Check your local listings for more information on this wonderful TV network.

Here are my pages from the book. To preview more pages or purchase the book, here is the link: http://http//www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/612899

Mother's Day

May 10, 2009

I miss my mother every day. She left from this earth on the cold, gray morning of March 18, 2008, after a life dedicated to serving others and touching everyone she knew with love, laughter and wisdom. I miss being able to call her on the phone to share my latest endeavor or ask specifics on a recipe. I miss seeing her face light up when we came face to face. I miss her cheering me on with each new accomplishment. I miss her cheeseburgers and fried potatoes with onions. I miss her hugs and kisses. I miss her stories. I miss her laughter. I miss her more than any words can say.

But being my mother's daughter, I have learned to focus on and be grateful for what I have and not what I long for. What I do have are fond memories spent with Mom, and all the wisdom that she passed on to me. I have the knowledge that she is no longer suffering in her physical body, and I have the understanding that love never dies. I have the memories of every act of love she ever showed me. I have the memories of others who share their stories how she helped them through a crisis. Sometimes I have the memory of spending time with her in my dreams that seems every bit as real as my daily activities. I have my brother and sister and Mom continues to live through our conversations about her and the recollection of all those past events that bind us together forever in love. I have my list of "Momisms"

One of my "Momisms" is what she had to say about Mother's Day. "Treat me right the other 364 days of the year and you won't have to worry about Mother's Day!" That was Mom! And every Mother's Day I would call her and say, "I know you don't care about Mother's Day, but I wanted to call and say happy Mother's Day anyway". She would chuckle and repeat her Mother's Day "Momism" and we would both chuckle about it. I had the good fortune of sharing many chuckles with Mom. We had our share of tears, too, but the chuckles are what we recall the most. Fun, laughter, love and good times were what Mom was all about.

So on this Mother's Day 2009, being my mother's daughter, I pass along this bit of wisdom: Love One Another. Our time on this earth is but a blink of an eye. When all is said and done, all you really ever have is love. And love lasts forever. Happy Mother's Day, Mom! I love you.

Backfield In Motion

May 9, 2009

"Backfield In Motion" is 3rd in my newest series of abstracts.
Inspiration came from the slew of chocolate coconut eggs I've consumed over the last month and the thought that I'm going to grow a gigantic butt if I don't stop eating them! Part two of my inspiration came from my sons trying to recall all the lyrics to Sir Mix A Lot's ,"Baby Got Back", rap song. (They succeeded!)
So, yah........."baby got back" and that "backfield" is in motion!


May 6, 2009 I feel like a kid on Christmas morning. The joy of having the first orioles come to my feeder is overwhelming. They are just so beautiful. Their neon orange feathers are as close to tropical as we get here in Ohio. And they're quite vocal, too. Their distinctive whistle can be heard throughout the neighborhood, and since I've put the feeder up, I have learned some of the other chirping sounds they make.

Their feeder is at one end of our deck, and our grill is at the other end. Yesterday afternoon, I lit the charcoal and began to do my best Bobby Flay imitation. I had my Caribbean jerk chicken breasts, burgers, and bacon wrapped steaks ready to grill along with a couple potatoes. I had rubbed a little oil on the skin of the chicken, and as soon as I started placing the meat on the grill, it started smoking up a storm! About that same time, one of my oriole friends came through and decided it was time for a snack. He was NOT a happy camper! The smoke was, of course, coming directly at him and he let me know it was not acceptable. He sat on top of the lattice and began a rapid-fire disapproving chirping at me before flying off into the nearby trees.

After about 15 minutes or so, the smoke finally died down to where it was lightly swirling around the grill. My oriole friend returned, perched on top of the trellis and gave a few light chirps of approval before hungrily devouring more grape jelly. He and his friends visited quite a few more times before the sun began to sink behind the distant trees. Each time they arrived, I marveled at their beauty and wondered when our hummingbirds would arrive at their feeder. I can tell it's going to be a colorful spring and summer

"Ego's Last Stand"

May 4, 2009
This is the 2nd painting in my newest Abstract Series. It represents the struggle of fighting Ego. Ego has a life of it's own. It's strong willed - it's a survivor.
In order to achieve a higher level of consciousness into a transformation of pure love, Ego must be abandoned.


May 2, 2009
This is the 1st in a new series of abstract paintings that I'm working on.
I haven't painted abstracts in about 5 years, and I was feeling the need to refresh my choice in colors and style. I think that I've been using the same basic palette of colors long enough that it's beginning to feel stale.
I need a change - and I think that will be reflected in this newest group of abstracts that I'm working on. My plan is to use a limited number of colors in each painting and to mute those colors a bit from my usual boldness. I may even delve into some earth tone paintings! Stay tuned......


May 1, 2009

Yesterday was our 32nd wedding anniversary. We didn't do anything spectacular. We had a quiet lunch at a local sports bar and went for a ride in the country. Exhausted from carbohydrate overload, we came back home and snuggled down for a nap. We didn't do anything spectacular to mark the occasion, but we did share a lot of smiles and laughter remembering our past together.

32 years is a long time. That's a whole lot of days, hours, minutes and a whole lot of choices made. That's a lot of meals, a lot of work days, a lot of growing and maturing. During that time we raised two boys into men. We made it through driving permits, unstable girlfriends and the teen years. We fought breast cancer and won. We fought other cancers with dearly loved family and friends and lost. We had our moments with each other when each of us wondered separately what the hell we'd gotten ourselves into. We had our angry, fed-up moments, but we had even more tender, heart felt moments.

And that brings me to editing. When we walked down memory lane yesterday, it wasn't the hard times we recalled. It wasn't the hard work of raising a family or the sadness of loosing our loved ones we recalled. Our memories have been edited to nothing but the good times - the laughter shared with friends and family. The joyful times of spontaneous trips through Pennsylvania, the impromptu excursions with the boys, the surprise 25th wedding anniversary party that my husband planned, the joy of Christmases with the boys - those are the moments we recalled. And maybe that's what a fulfilled life is all about - editing. Editing the painful, sad times and moving forward leaves a wealth of happiness behind and something to lean on when times get tough. Good editing leaves life's unnecessary scenes out of the picture and leaves behind the essential elements for viewing. Viewing nothing but the essential picture, our life together has been spectacular!

Weather and Art - Part Two

April 28, 2009
Spring gently nudges winter aside and the landscape begins to awaken from a long slumber. Dull, cold grays of sky reluctantly give way to bright, cool cerulean. Umber trees and earth breathe new life as sienna, and mounds of cad yellow, magenta, crimson and periwinkle slowly begin to dot the scenery like blobs of paint on a palette as trees, shrubs and flowers spring into bloom.
Like the landscape, two-legged and four-legged creatures of every shape and size emerge from the cover of winter and breathe new life into the landscape. Birds sing feverishly as they call to mates and begin building their nests. Squirrels scamper along budded tree limbs in a game of tag and children squeal gleefully as they mimick the squirrels in their own game of tag. Adults begin to survey their respective yards, picking up twigs, weeding flower beds and shoveling fresh mulch. The sound of mowers penetrates the air and the smell of freshly cut grass mingles with the aroma of freshly lit charcoal as the season's first barbecues get underway.
These are the colors and excitement that live in my paintings. These are the colors that have always stimulated my vision and driven my life's purpose as an artist. Bright, bold colors are the color of happiness, love and laughter. Cerulean is the color of the sky as a four year old Angelia walks hand in hand with Mommy to the post office. Cad yellow and magenta are the colors of the daffodils and phlox that Angelia admires as she skips home from kindergarten. Crimson is the color of tulips and Daddy's truck, and periwinkle is the color of my easter basket and one of my favorite colors in my 64 Box of Crayolas. These are the colors of my life.

Weather and Art - Part One

April 22, 2009

As the weather has turned cold, gray and damp once more, it's given me cause to reflect on how weather affects my art.
Nothing is more conducive to my artistic creation than inclement weather. Cold, snowy or rainy days are a definite catalyst for pulling out the canvas, paints and brushes. Today is no exception as I quickly flashback to the mounds of snow we had just a few short weeks ago.

I am not a fan of cold weather although it does have it's perks. There's a nostalgic comfort in piling on the bed with journals, markers, colored pencils, paints and canvases in front me. With the TV tuned into a movie or favorite Sirius Radio station and a hot, steamy mug of coffee, I have everything I need to be fulfilled in my temporary den. As the creative juices begin to flow, I am transported back in time and for a brief moment, I feel like a teen again.

I live on the south shores of Lake Erie in northeastern Ohio and what is known as "the snow belt". Our proximity to Lake Erie gifts us with lake-effect snow and what generally totals 100 + inches of snow per season. The season generally lasts from November through April. That's a lot of gray and a lot of cold and that translates into a lot of time spent in my "den" creating.

It's not snowing today, but it is cold. The snow shovels have been put back into the garage for the season, and the local weathermen have predicted a perfect, sunny weekend with highs in the mid 70s. Until then, I'll play with my art supplies and dream of sunny skies and the warmth of the sun on my face.

Newest Painting

April 21, 2009

This is my newest painting titled "People Are Changing". This painting is a 12" x 12" acrylic on canvas.

"People Are Changing" was inspired by the song Crystal Blue Persuasion by Tommy James and The Shondells. "...A new day is dawning. People are changing. Ain't it beautiful. Crystal blue persuasion..."

No effective change can occur without people becoming elevated to a higher level of consciousness, and change must first occur within every individual. Until the transient nature of the physical is realized, a spiritual evolution can not be achieved and the higher vibration of true, unconditional love will remain evasive.

Fortunately, as the lyrics state, "people are changing". As more and more people learn to live in the "now" and look beyond the temporary, material nature of this physical existence, a higher spiritual awareness is emerging. That can only lead to a better place for us all.

April 16, 2009

OK. so here I am, the last person in the free world to launch a blog. I have no clue what I'm doing, so if it all turns out ok, it's just beginner's luck!

It's finally warm AND sunny today, so I'm not going to devote much time to computer related tasks. I am going to sit on my deck and enjoy feeling the sun on my face. After that, I'll have some lunch, play in my flower beds and then take some photos of my newly finished painting, "People Are Changing". I'll get it posted to my website, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Ok..........so I WILL be devoting more time to computer related tasks.......