The elk were browsing in the foothills of Boise, Idaho. We got a few photos from our daughter's deck. I drove the curvy downhill road back to the city and worried that I might hit one, but they weren't on the road.
No real snowstorms yet here, but we have had frosty mornings.
View of Hells Canyon from the lookout point. My painting doesn't really show the canyon so I should probably come up with a better title. Water mixable oil, 9" X 12" canvas panel. I only have two more classes, so I need to come up with another subject for my next painting. Thinking about winter and snow. Also thinking about painting a nocturne (night scene). I have to make a decision by Friday.
We took the long way home from our granddaughter's house in Oregon and drove through Hell's Canyon. It was interesting. The cattle roam free (open range) and we had to watch out for them on the narrow roads. We stopped on the way in Joseph, Oregon, another interesting place to visit. Lots of statues and sculptures there.
I finished up my fall art classes with a fun painting of the November sunrise from my back yard. I may add some birds to it and a bit more texture. I am also taking a series of 4 classes in December from the same artist, Kevin McCain. He is a good teacher and I am learning a lot.
I think this version of Hopewell Rocks (New Brunswick, Canada) is done. I'll let it dry for a while in case I decide I need to change anything else. 12" X 16" canvas panel. on my website
My old house in fall. 9" X 12". Just a little study I made for myself. I had difficulty with painting shadows and need to practice that more. This was my house in New Hampshire. We are living in Idaho now, but plan on visiting family in NH next summer. We'll take a drive by of the house and see if the buyers have changed anything.
All of these paintings were done in my class. I used Winsor & Newson Artisan oil paints (water soluble).
Happy Thanksgiving to all. We keep being asked "Why did you move to Idaho?". Our answer is always the same "family". We are having 18 here for Thanksgiving this week, mostly family and a few friends of family. I don't have to cook much (which is good since I can't stand on my feet too long yet). Everyone is bringing something and I'm providing tables, chairs, plates, silverware, and an appetizer. Looking forward to it. I'll have plenty of help cleaning up too.
So I'm thankful we managed the big move this summer and I'm thankful for my wonderful husband who has been a great caregiver while I have been healing from knee replacement surgery. I have two more sessions of physical therapy, then I'm done with that. I am able to walk somewhat and will keep going to the gym and working out that new knee. I'm hopeful that I will be able to hike and dance again in the spring. Healing takes time and I am a bit impatient. Winter won't be as severe here in Idaho (as it was in NH), but we have already had frost. I'm ready for it.
It's a beautiful cold crisp clear day in Idaho today. My knee is slowly healing after knee replacement surgery. The stitches come out tomorrow and I have a very ugly scar. I'm going to physical therapy twice a week. Having surgery, prescription drug negative reactions, pains and aches reminds me of my aging and also my earlier years when I was in a bad marriage and struggling with depression.
I have had little motivation to paint, but started a new painting of Hopewell Rocks, New Brunswick anyway. I need to get help with color mixtures next week when I go back to class. As I start feeling better and get back to doing things myself, I hope I will paint more. As it is, my wonderful husband has to drive me everywhere since I can't drive for a few more weeks. I do try to wake up each day with positive energy, but it has been hard.
Hopewell Rocks is really interesting. The tides change on the Bay of Fundy with great force and an alarm sounds so the tourists go up the ladder before the tide comes in. It is also possible to boat around the big rocks when the tide is in. When we went there years ago, we were in time to walk around the rocks at low tide. You are actually walking on the ocean floor, not just a beach there.
After looking at hundreds of photos on my computer, I decided I wanted to paint a picture with people in it, something that kind of tells a story. I had done a acrylic painting on paper of this area many years ago, but decided to try this in oil paints as I am in an oil painting class now. There are many interesting rock formations there and I could make a whole series if I felt like it.
I had done a sketch of this scene in pencil at one point, but the puppy ate a good part of it. Luckily, I had already made a photo before he chomped it. I used a projector to enlarge my original photo for my canvas. That was easier than doing a grid.
I also had a good start on a painting of my old house in NH in the fall (I'm only a little homesick as I'm enjoying our new house in Idaho). I still need help with shadows and some details to finish this one.
I noticed that the oranges and reds in New Hampshire are much brighter than the leaf colors in Idaho, but it's still pretty here too and the sky is clear now. We had many days during the summer with hazy, smoky skies from the wildfires in Montana and Idaho. That seems to be finished now.
I have a list of easy hikes nearby so once I can walk better, you will start seeing more photos, sketches and paintings from Idaho. I'm looking forward to exploring my new home state.
Now that we have unpacked and settled down somewhat in our new Idaho home, we took a brief trip to Idaho City through the foothills outside of Boise. I decided to try a painting in my Friday morning class with Kevin McCain. This is water mixable oil paint on canvas board, 9" X 12". I think it's done now. At least it's done for me as I got tired of working on it.
I have been mixing colors and testing them on a paper for my next class project. I'm going to do a fall painting of my house in Manchester with the bright New England colors of fall. I've never painted an image of my house, so that should be interesting. It is just for me.
I have been giving away paintings to my family here. One of the desert to my daughter who moved from Mojave to Boise. Another of the horses from Mojave for the granddaughter who moved from there to Oregon (and still has some of the horses). Another granddaughter loved my phony Van Gogh painting that I did from an internet video and my other daughter loved my sci fi type painting with multiple moons. So now, I need to do some paintings for myself, and later on some that can possibly be sold.
View from Sharon's house in Mojave.
Gregory and his mares
sunflowers Van Gogh style
This one was based on real scenery as seen in Valley of the Fire State Park. I just changed the colors and added some moons.
Interruption: Mac was staring at something so I got out my camera and took a picture of the squirrel on the fence who was staring right back at him. I'm not sure what he has in his mouth since we don't have acorns and oak trees by this house. The squirrels here in Idaho seem to be a little different in color from the gray squirrels in NH. Very cute though.
I signed up for wet into wet oil painting classes with Alexander Art. I learned that I don't have the patience for this technique. I wasn't happy with any of my paintings and they take way too long to dry. The paint is excellent though as are the brushes and I will probably get some use of these items in the future. Meanwhile, I signed up for regular oil painting classes near my new home and those start next week. I'm looking forward to the classes and meeting some new people.
Here are some of my failures from the classes. I also learned that I don't like painting from other people's photos. I like to paint what I have seen in my travels. That way it has some meaning for me.
I was glad I had leftover canvas to experiment on so I didn't waste good materials. I just taped up some to a board. The trees lesson (above) just taught all different kinds of trees. I did pick up a few techniques that I will use in the future.
The mountain with clouds was on an old board that I gessoed and painted. I couldn't get the technique right with the palette knife. I was very unhappy with that one.
The mood painting (3rd up from bottom) was kind of fun and I wouldn't mind doing something like that in the future. Again, I just taped leftover canvas onto a board to practice.
The top one I actually used a stretched canvas to see if that would help my attitude, but it didn't really. I used the palette knife on that one too and it was a little better than the first mountain painting, perhaps because that was canvas and the other was a board. I would have to practice a lot to get it to look better.
Meanwhile I've pulled out some photos from our recent drive on Route 21 to Idaho City and also from our previous trip to Canada (Waterton in Alberta). I hope to do a better painting of one of those when my class starts next week. I didn't feel that the online classes were a waste of my time or money as I did learn some new techniques and I have some supplies to work with in the future. I've taken other online classes in the past and felt that they were a better match with my level of art and my patience.
On the positive side, some of my past customers found me and ordered Jewish new year images and cards. It was nice to feel appreciated. I made this image using a photo of the glass mezuzah I made in a class last year.
I'm still thinking about the symbolism of paper clips. They connect papers to other papers. Despite my divorce many years ago I stayed connected to my former mother-in-law and she considers us (both me and my second husband) as family. She is in her late 90's now and I didn't get to say good-bye when we left New Hampshire.
While we have family in Idaho, I will still miss the Jewish holiday meals with my eastern family. My Idaho family will now learn about round challah with raisins, latkes, chopped liver and matzah balls as well as Jewish holidays. I think the term "stepchildren" is misleading. These children are my children too and I am grateful for them helping us and accepting me as another "mom". I feel very welcomed in Idaho and the people I have met are very warm and friendly. My new floor is going in today and I hope to have my studio set up over the weekend so I can start painting again next week.
We are gradually unpacking and settling in to our new home in Boise, Idaho. It took us 8 days and 7 nights traveling across the USA to get here. Our dog learned about motels, hotels and elevators. He was a very good traveler.
Except for the first day, the traveling was easy and the interstate highways clear. We learned never to go near the metropolitan NYC area on a Friday. That was a nightmare. We detoured through Long Island so I could pray at my parents' graves. We made it 15 minutes before the cemetery closed for the sabbath even though we had left early in the morning. Then it took us another 3 hours to go 35 miles to get to our hotel in NJ. We had picked a chain of hotels (Red Roof Inn) that accepts dogs and does not charge extra for them. We stayed in many of them along our route.
Leaving NJ, we went first to the cemetery where my husband's mother was buried. Then we followed our GPS back to the main highways and onto Route 80. For the most part we were on Interstate 80 across NJ, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and Wyoming into Utah. Then we picked up Route 84 to Idaho. The GPS was easy, we set it each morning for the next evening's hotel. We tried to do around 350 miles per day with the last day a big one of 497 miles so we didn't have an extra night in a hotel. Altogether, we drove (taking 2 hours shifts) about 2900 miles across. Even where there was construction, the traffic moved along.
The most interesting stop for me was in Iowa City, lots of public art. It is a lively college town.
I haven't found my oil paints yet, but I'm gradually unpacking all my studio items so I hope to get back to painting soon. The piano will be tuned this week and I've already started practicing. I unpacked all my sheet music already.
Our family has been stopping by to help and to say hello. It feels really good to be near them. I never expected to be moving at age 71, but I think this was a good decision for all. We'll be going back east every summer and have an in-law apartment to stay in while we are there. I look forward to that too.
I am gradually learning my way around. After living in New England for so many years, Boise seems like a very big city to me, but I'm also happy to see the mountains surrounding the "Treasure Valley". Once my knee is fixed (maybe in the fall), I'll be out hiking again.
We drove through the southern part of Wyoming and found it to be surprisingly flat. After a while we did see some mountains. We had been in Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons before so I was expecting the same kind of scenery. Nebraska and Iowa were mostly farmer's fields of corn, also cattle, both black and brown. I did see one antelope in Wyoming and thought of the "Home on the Range" song.
I'll try to go back to posting on a more regular basis now that we are settling in. This has been a big adventure for us seniors and a good one.
My last mural in Manchester, NH. I painted the homage to Van Gogh on the left of this garage door on Litchfield Lane. My paints and brushes are all packed now. We sold our house in Manchester and bought a house in Boise Idaho to be closer to family. We leave for Boise on July 14th so I probably will not be posting again for a while.
We spent 10 days in Idaho, house hunting, and visiting with family. The house we picked is one level (Yay!, no stairs - I need a new knee, but that has to wait a while) and has a family room which I would make over into an art studio. I'm really looking forward to this move even though it is a lot of work. Boise is a nice city, although I'm not used to city sprawl. The city is on a grid system and I don't think it will be difficult to learn once I remember which main roads are east-west and which ones are north-south. I noticed that the road signage was much better than what we have in NH.
Once outside the city, it looks like NH as well although the mountains are certainly much higher. My daughter and I walked around this park which is near our new home. There are bike trails here too and I'm looking forward to biking in our new neighborhood as it is flat, not hilly like here.
We visited a friend in Idaho City. He lives in a hilly area with great views.
Great restaurant in Idaho City. We had lunch there but did not have room for pie. I want to go back at some time just for coffee and huckleberry pie.
Our new home with the Sold sign. I am bringing a sketch book on the road (it is about a 10 day trip across country). This is the first time we have driven this far with a dog. My husband and I share the driving and have done other trips of 1000 miles, but this is closer to 3000. I hope to have wi fi at the hotels so I may post something in between. Have camera and laptop, will travel. :)