Thursday, September 28, 2017

Abstract Paintings Illuminated by Scripture

The scripture on this artwork:

Greatly rejoice, even in trials that the genuineness of your faith - more precious than gold - may result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  
 -1 Peter 1: 6-7

"from His crown of thorns - our crown of life"
acrylic, mixed media, gold leaf
36" x 36" gallery wrapped canvas 1.5" painted sides
Jackie Patton, 2017

If you are interested, I would encourage you discover more about the rich and inspiring history of illuminated manuscripts, specifically the art of the Bible. Below I'm adding an image of a book that was recently published on the topic. If you click on the image it will take you to the UK's British Library blog on medieval manuscripts, with additional photos and links to explore.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Road Trip Summer 2017 - Part 3 the Finale

Ok, let's see if we can wrap this road trip up in one final post of highlights....

We stayed in many fun and interesting locations over the course of our travels, but there is one place that will always stick with us.

It was the Air B&B, a dairy farm in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania among rich farmlands and Amish and Pennsylvania Dutch culture. We were immediately welcomed and immersed in life on a farm. The 200 year old farmhouse, hundreds of acres of farmland as far as the eye could see, a working dairy operation, homestyle cooking, quilt covered wooden furnishings, gathering fresh eggs, feeding baby calves, exploring the local back roads and simply peaceful lifestyles of the people in this place aptly named Paradise.

Leaving Paradise, we traveled south east to the Delmarva Peninsula. A large peninsula on the East coast that includes most of Delaware, part of Maryland and some of Virginia's eastern shore. It is a really unique and interesting area that deserves another visit for more exploration...especially Assateague Island with its' wild ponies and abundant sea shells.
We had an early evening stroll along the sandy beaches of Cape Charles and learned some history lessons crossing the impressive Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Chesapeake Bay Tunnel.

Our next extended stay would be in Williamsburg, Virginia. From there we would explore Virginia Beach, Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown Settlement, Yorktown, and venture on a day trip to Washington, D.C.

I think the kids actually enjoyed time at the beach.
Hard to believe right.
*note: the LOVE artwork was on the beach in Cape Charles.

Walking through Washington, D.C. was an overload of sights, museums, monuments, the Smithsonians, oh my! The capitol. The White House. The list continues. And we must not leave off the International Spy Museum. We walked, and walked and walked as fast as we could from one to another to sample as much as we could take in one extremely full day.

Spending part of our trip touring the settlements of Virginia was like traveling back in time to view a bit of our nation's early history. I remember once when I was young, my literature teacher told us that reading a good book was the way to travel vicariously. I completely agree. I love reading. I also love visiting actual historical sites like this and getting the actual, atmospheric, physical feeling of the surroundings while imagining a time long past.
Side Note: After this trip, I totally devoured some historical fiction books at home...and got myself and my husband hooked on the AMC series TURN.

On the last portion of our trip heading west toward home we stopped to stay a couple days at a beautiful place in the Blue Ridge Mountains that is kinda sentimental to us.
The Biltmore in Asheville, NC.
We had come here years ago on our honeymoon so it was neat to come back with our kids and see it again with them.

The gardens, the vast incredible landscaping all around, the mountain views and the architecture - just wow! I took mostly video clips of the tour inside the Biltmore to make a little movie so I don't have a lot of photos of the interior to share but trust me it is something worth seeing.

We also visited their winery and drove through the enormous property this time and saw the hotel that is styled like the main house. Very impressive. I liked seeing the kids doing the "stomping of the grapes" at the winery. Looked like fun. But we didn't have tickets to participate in that so we had to just be observers. Ah well.

On the way home we took in some scenic by ways and overlooks, the kids swam in the hotel pool, we stopped for some "famous chicken" in Memphis and saw the home of the King of Rock & Roll (from the outside), stayed in one slightly scary hotel that we will not mention further, listened to music and sang along loudly, had a dirty sock fight in the car (don't ask), crossed back into Texas and heard a whisper in the warm breeze saying welcome back home.

So many wonderful memories were made on this crazy long family road trip and I am ever so grateful that we got to do it together.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Road Trip Summer 2017 - part 2

Back in the United States after our little day trip excursion to Canada we headed north east.
* I'll spare you the amateur movie clips of our road trip karaoke music videos... completely obnoxious for anyone else to endure; but so much fun for us at the time.
Family bonding at its' finest. For real.

So, in this post we will venture through upstate New York, trek across Vermont, stop for our extended stay #3 in the breathtaking White Mountains of New Hampshire, take a day trip exploring the picturesque coastal villages of Maine, continue travels through Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and finally, have a quick visit with Lady Liberty in the Big Apple.

In my mind I paint a picture of the scenery and tuck it away in the gallery of my treasured memories.

Mountain views, a surprise ferry boat ride, ice cream, serene country churches with tall white steeples, romantic wooden covered bridges.

Iconic lighthouses, rocky seashores, sailboats. I've dreamed of visiting Maine since I was a young girl and it did not disappoint. I'm adding it to the list of places from this trip that we hope to be able to return to someday to spend more time.

mmmm....melt in your mouth fresh buttery lobster rolls, locally brewed root beer. yum.
I wanted to stop and sit for hours, to linger for weeks in these places without a care in the world. To soak it all in and draw or paint it in my sketchbook. Alas, I had to settle for snapping as many photographs as I could, content to savor the time we had in each location.

And maybe paint or draw something later in my studio at home. Like this garden rock.
(roughly 6" across and probably 2" thick, semi-smooth and flat) Primed white. Painted with acrylics.

Side Note:
A neighbor of mine started the hobby of painting decorative garden rocks and planting them as little surprises for family and friends. We decided to make a party of it one evening and invited neighborhood ladies to come to the studio to paint rocks. There were only a hand-full of us but we had a good ole time painting together on our garden rocks, and plan to do it again sometime.

The place we were staying in New Hampshire was a resort in the White Mountains. We were constantly on the lookout for moose and there were hundreds of places to stop and hike to scenic overlooks or hidden waterfalls. There were ski resorts, rafting, zip lining, camping and excursions of every kind to keep visitors busy year round. The scenery. Oh the scenery our eyes did feast upon.

Here are some photos from when we hiked  (just under 1 mile up) part of Franconia Notch State Park in White Mountain National Forest following a rocky stream up to Georgiana Falls. There was a nice path when we started out but as we climbed higher it became a more rocky "find your own path" kind of experience. With the mossy, wet rocks I was glad to have Jeremy to give me a steady hand so I didn't break my camera, yikes. It was the best hike of our trip! The girls navigated those rocks and trees like little spider monkeys! When we reached the waterfall there was a swimming hole....would have been neat to bring swimsuits and pack a picnic. So many other trails and falls to explore if we make it back here one day.

Then this hot guy took me and his girls out for a fancy dinner train ride! Date night!

Vintage train cars, 5 course meal, waiters serving us as we listen to dinner club music from bygone eras and watch views of the mountains and forest pass by our window.

There were actually several other couples on the train with us, no other kids. I just snapped a photo when the train was still empty (photo above ours). There was also an upper deck dining room and we got to tour the train cars and meet the owner, the chef , and the staff after we pulled back into the station at the end of the evening. 

We all think it would be great fun to travel by train somewhere and stay in the sleeper cars. 
I got to do that years ago for my high school senior trip and it was such a neat experience.

Over the course of our epic road trip, the girls filled several long driving hours watching a DVD series called America: The Story of Us (a 12 part TV documentary/drama miniseries all about the founding and building of our nation). I think we all learned some cool stuff from it and they really enjoyed it. Don't mind their faces in these photos, lol. They really did. And they had a few other non-educational movies too.....ones they picked themselves (National Treasure, Night at the you sense a theme here, or is it just me)

Hello there Lady Liberty!

One thing we discovered pretty quickly is that we much prefer the back roads and slower pace of life to the big city hustle and bustle....and traffic!

After we made it out of the jam packed metropolis and away from the crazy toll roads we were quite well and ready to spend some time away from it all.

next stop - our Air B&B getaway on a 100 year old dairy farm in the heart of Lancaster County, PA amongst the Amish community.

Stay tuned for the next trip post. It's gonna be a good one.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Road Trip Summer 2017 - part 1

Summer has come to a close and routines of the new school year have begun. As we settle back into our daily schedules I will take some time to reminisce over the grand adventure we shared as a family this summer and share a few glimpses of our shenanigans with you.
* (I say a few, because in truth there are thousands of photos and video clips and it would take several hours to look through and watch them all!) Trust me. I know.

It's still a lot. But I tried.

We headed out in the wee hours of the morning the day after school let out for summer break and we spent most of the entire month of June on the road.
-18 states, Washington D.C., and Canada, oh yeah!

Quality bonding time in the car. That's what I'm talking about. 
Much love for the 3rd row seating my friends. Much love.

The t-shirt design I made and printed for our trip. 

The scenery was spectacular and I can't brag on my new car enough. I love my Buick Enclave and could not have picked a more perfect vehicle for our travels and our everyday driving. Isn't she pretty.

Ok, ok. Enough on that.

In this post I will cover the first chunk of our travels: 
Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee (1st extended stay in Gatlinburg), North Carolina (quick surprise visit to "the real life Mayberry" hometown of Andy Griffith), Virginia (2nd extended stay st Shenandoah Crossing), then drive to tour Gettysburg, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania (chocolate factory fun at Hershey), New York, and finally to Niagara Falls on the Canada side.
Tired yet?
I hope not.
Cause we're just getting started.

Gondola rides and alpine mountain slides!

Shenandoah Valley outdoor adventures, hiking, horses, swimming, log cabins....
can I stay a bit longer please.
Mountain and valley drives. Historic sights. Gettysburg.
We followed up our somber and reflective morning travels through battlefields and historical locations with a light-hearted stop in Pennsylvania.

Hello Hershey.
Chocolate, oh my! Yes, I believe we will, thank you.

....and waffles for breakfast with M&M's if you please!

No on to Canada my friends.
Let's check out Niagara Falls from across the border.

That's all for this post. Gotta get some sleep. Be back with more to share in a day or two. 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Laundromat Chairs Get Graffiti Art Makeover

I have fond memories from childhood of spending time playing with my younger sister at the laundromat. Mother filled the big machines. And we were transfixed watching the loads of fabrics tumble behind heavy round glass doors. Any extra change was a treasure; for with it, we could purchase candy, gum balls, and tiny trinket toys in plastic bubbles from vending machines. And we sat and played among the rows of laundromat chairs. We pushed rolling baskets around and climbed on the counter tops to help fold towels. It was an adventure to us. As most places were when we were children.

And so when my daughter discovered a set of old laundromat chairs discarded behind a storage shed at the home of her great aunt and uncle we declared she had found a treasure indeed! When they were happy to part with the moss covered, rusty set of chairs we couldn't wait for the project ahead.

And here it is....

*Thank you Don and Marsha. ♥♥

We brought the chairs home in our truck and they sat in the garage for a while before we decided to tackle the job. Covered in dirt, rust, moss and grime from years of exposure to the elements we had our work cut out for us.

Carley was a huge help! 
We used bleach and orange goop and scrubbed, washed, scrubbed and washed again many times.

I believe the Howell brand was a fairly commonly used set of chairs and so after doing a bit of research I was not too worried about ruining any value with an artistic makeover rather than a restoration job.

My ever handy husband was also a great help with power tools. He cut off the broken rusty feet that supported the chair legs and cleaned out the space so that we could epoxy new plastic feet once everything was finished.

I decided to try Rustoleum's Rust Reformer spray paint to coat and protect the metal chair legs since I plan to use them outdoors and I was very happy with the results. *Chairs have been in use for several weeks now and it has rained quite a bit and they are holding up beautifully.

Grab the spray paint it's time for graffiti.
I purchased more than a dozen colors of high quality spray paint and let both my kids join in the fun of making designs and splotches of color all over the chairs.

We added layer upon layer of colors.

We let some paint go on close and thick so it would run and drip. We tried different techniques after checking out videos on youtube about graffiti, lol.

It was a fun process.

Then, as a final touch I decided to add three little letters, one for each chair. It only seemed appropriate since it would sit on the deck of the studio.  " a. r. t."

Monday, July 10, 2017

Taking Time Out for Adventures

If you have been curious as to why I haven't posted anything in over a month, here is the reason....

Before summer began, my little family and I had been planning a pretty big family road trip. We got the idea in our heads over Christmas break and started charting our course and planning our route. For the entire spring semester we researched and prepared and let the excitement build.

I worked on a painting during the spring months just anticipating our adventures....

I filled my tall canvas with bright contrasting colorful landscapes stretching out along a winding open road to express how I was feeling so full of beautiful possibilities, a sense of abandon and freedom and the excitement of exploring new places with the people I love with all my heart.

As soon as school ended for summer break we loaded up and hit the open road.

Our three weeks spanned 5,800 miles, 17 states, 2 countries, and our nations capitol.

If you are curious, here is the breakdown:
Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Washington D.C., and Canada 

 It was an adventure of epic proportions that my husband, our two girls and I will never forget.
 It was all that we hoped it would be and so very, very much more!

It may take a while for me to snap out of "vacation mode" and get back to any kind of routine, and I still have to sort through almost 4,000 images and videos from our trip (yikes!)....but I will be back with more art, classes and projects...eventually, lol. 

Here's hoping you have been able to take a bit of time out for adventures this summer too!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Parisian Carousel Painting with Gold Leaf

Over the past year I have incorporated gold leaf into several of my paintings. I'll share one of the more detailed projects with you today.

This painting was based on a photograph I took of the dazzling carousel in front of Hotel de Ville in Paris several years ago. For a long time it sat amongst the numerous canvases in my studio as a monochromatic underpainting, very plain and unassuming.

here is my photograph

and here is a photo of the painting in monochrome (top left side)  ....notice this was my studio at our old house before we moved out to the country and built the new studio, so it's been a little while, lol

When I got inspired and decided to pick the painting back up again I wanted to incorporate something unique. I chose the gold leaf that I had begun working with.
The metallic shimmer was what it had been meant to have all along!

As I continued painting, it really felt like it was missing an important I introduced the vibrant colors of the sky and stronger contrasts in the carousel colors to give it a bit more of the drama it deserved.

Here is a close up of the gold leaf as I was working with it on the canvas. 
The type I use is in delicate sheets sandwiched between tissue paper. I save the flakes that are removed after the initial layer is applied and I use them in areas where I want the gold leaf to have a bit more texture and crackling effect. No gold leaf wasted. :)

What kind of artwork would you be inclined to use gold leaf on?
Have you tried spicing up an old painting by introducing this medium?

If you would like me to create an artwork for you using this beautiful medium I would be delighted to hear from you.