New Acrylic Hummingbird and Garden Painting

I’ve finished some new paintings and I’ll be posting them here in the weeks to come.

It’s been fabulous painting again in my Baja studio! I love the light and looking at palm trees and the view of the ocean. I feel very grrateful for the opportunity to create art in this kind of setting.

I’ll first put my new work on the VIP page of my website for those who have access to view first and then a week later I’ll be posting them on my website and blog. If you have VIP access, you will have first dibs at purchasing any paintings that I put on the VIP page.

There are  tiny little hummingbirds here in Todos Santos that we’ve been watching in our garden and they are beautiful!

So I’ve been inspired by these little creatures. Hummingbirds are one of my favorite birds to paint.

What is one of your favorite birds?

©Lindy Gruger, A Hummingbird Garden, acrylic on paper, image size: 8″ x 10″,
framed 16″ x 13″, $325

NOTE: Normally, I would be posting images of our stay here but I forgot my camera’s download cord so I don’t have access to the photos until I get home.

I’ll be doing a series of posts about our trip but you will have to wait a few days.

We are getting ready tto travel back starting tonight by taking the Baja Ferry. We’ll be going back the same way we came. Going over to mainland Mexico from La Paz and driving to San Carlos, Nogales and Tucson and then on to Prescott.

Peace, Lindy

We took the Topolobampo Ferry to La Paz

This is the last post about our road trip down to Todos Santos in Baja Mexico from Prescott, AZ.

We headed out of San Carlos to the Topolobampo ferry and got there 3 hours ahead of time, as the bajaferries.com website suggested. If we knew the ferry was going to leave at 8 pm instead of 5 pm, we might not have rushed to get there!

We got our ferry ticket and walked the dogs and gave them water before we got on the ferry. We waited till most of the cars had loaded so we could be on a top deck so our dogs would have fresh air with the windows rolled down. It was pretty hot out.

We gave Cody and Belle a sedative so they could sleep most of the trip. Turned out that was a very good thing and I’m really glad we did because their stay in the car turned out to be longer than we thought. They were comfortable sleeping and had bowls of water next to them.

If we knew the ferry ride experience was going to take 15 hours instead of 6, we might not have gone that way is what Greg said. I didn’t have too many expectations, so I would do it again.

After we got onboard we explored the ferry which was really nice. It was made in Italy. Went outside on the decks and looked at the view. Talked to a few people. Met a nice musician. Then we headed to a bar area and had an ice cold beer with lime. Refreshing!

We wandered around. I read a magazine. Greg explored. Finally 3 hours later, the ferry took off!

Our ticket came with a free meal so we ate dinner and then went to the cinema area to watch a movie. Most people there were sleeping in big recliner chairs. Soon I was sleeping too which made the 6 hour ride go fairly fast.

I only wished I had a blanket or my jacket to make a pillow which would have made thngs more comfortable. Greg would have liked to have had earplugs as between the movie noise, the guy snoring next to him and the man behind us on his cell phone, he didn’t get much sleep. I on the other hand was oblivious and got good shut eye.

Finally at 2 a.m. we pulled into La Paz. We had drank a coffee to stay awake before the ship started on loading.

One of the things they do is separate the drivers from the passengers when they unload the boat. So that was a little disconcerting because we didn’t know where or when we would meet up. Having only one cell phone between us didn’t help matters otherwise we could have stayed in touch. So I kissed Greg goodnye and trusted we would meet up soon.

I went to the passenger area and waited. People started moving so I got in line and followed. We went through an inspection area like at the airport with a metal detector and a machine that scanned luggage. Soon I was outside wondering where to meet Greg.

I could see that the cars that were unloading were all going past this one area so I stood there hoping to catch Greg and let him know where I was.  I could see that they weren’t letting passengers get into the unloaded cars as they moved past. One had to go to a different area that was beyond where I was to do that.

Soon there he was! Yeah! I waved and he saw me. I yelled, I’ll meet you out front and pointed to him where I would be. He nodded. I thought he would just drive around to that area and I would meet him there and that would be that. It was 2:30 a.m.

At 6am, he finally pulls up to where I was.

For 3.5 hours, he had to stay in line as they slowly inched along and did inspections. I on the other hand was waiting out front wondering where he was. I finally asked a worker if this was normal. Yes, he said. I heard someone say it could take over 3 hours!

All the cars and trucks and buse on the ferry would go by where I was, so I knew Greg would eventually find me. So I sat down and waited, wishing I had a jacket as I was freezing in my shorts and t-shirt.

In the end it all worked out but Greg was not happy when he finally pulled up. He told me his story about what happened. The long wait. The inspections. The not knowing where I was. The dogs were fine which was a great relief. I told him my story. The waiting, the not knowing where he was and if he would find me. But we were fine and glad to be together again!

We decided to head to Todos Santos and stop somewhere for breakfast.

Originally we thought we would get in at 2 am and go camp at the beach till morning. But that didn’t happen. We found a great little restaurant and had a bite.

We finally made it to Todos Santos and to the casita. After unpacking a few things and getting the dogs settled, we layed down for a nap which felt oh, so good after the long, challenging ferry adventure! Sometimes a good nap makes everything okay. 🙂

Do you have any memories of a challenging time during travelling? Sometimes these make the best stories.

 

 

An Artist’s Day Notes – 6/1/12

I AM GRATEFUL
for music

I AM FEELING
light

I CAN SEE
juniper berries on the trees

I AM HEARING
song birds

I AM CREATING
a new bird painting

I AM MISSING
friends in Oregon and Washington

I AM HOPING
to get some exercise today

I AM PLANNING
a trip to Baja soon

I AM  READING
The Art of Racing in the Rain
by Garth Stein
(just finished it)

IMAGE TO INSPIRE

yellow cactus flower
©2012 Lindy Gruger, Yellow Cactus Flower

HOME

Welcome! I am Lindy, an artist creating colorful, whimsical art for your living space. I split my time between living on the forested banks of the Skagit River in Washington State and the artsy town of Todos Santos in Baja, Mexico.

My hubbie and I love to travel and be in the outdoors. I love making things, hiking, camping, reading and yoga. I have a lot of hobbies! Therefore, you will find art images inspired by my love of trees, rivers, mountains, birds, mt. bikes, yoga and spiritual teachings. And most certainly, other things as well, like gnomes and fairy tales!

Lindy Gaskill in Baja Studio
I’m a messy painter!

We're Living in a Shoe

Greg said the other day, “We’re living in a shoe.” That cracked me up! We are staying in a small space!

It may feel like a shoe but it’s a a Supreme Rocket!

supreme-rocket-2

A Silver Streak trailer.

silver-streak

And it’s magical at night when we turn on the star lights at dusk.

supreme-rocket-1

And look out at the canyon.

supreme-rocket-3

And the reflections bounce about from the breeze and cast diamond shaped shadows.

supreme-rocket-4

We are enjoying ourselves and I know all those times we lived down in Baja in our little casita has prepared us for these close quarters. No problemo…only a few more weeks till we move to Prescott!

And I am so enjoying painting in the tipi!

tipi-ropes

Sitting on the floor creating  – my paintings surround me.
lindy-in-tipi

I hung up a star to remind me to think of the things that bring me joy! Like star light!

star-heart

I can see blue sky and juniper above me.

tipi-sky

My paintings catch a little sunshine to help them dry.

paintings-drying

A few are almost complete…stay tuned for more.

paintings-drying2

What’s bringing you joy lately?

My Fur Ball painting donation

The video is from a visit to Kitty Heaven when we were down in Todos Santos. These adorable kittens were being cared for there and are up for adoption. They were so sweet and playful! We were so tempted to adopt one these babies.

Our neighbor down in Todos Santos runs Kitty Heaven which is a kitty shelter for homeless cats and kittens in the area. She also helps put on the Fur Ball which raises funds to help spay and neuter the dogs and cats of Todos Santos and Pescadero.

Last year and now this year too, I’ve created a painting for the Fur Ball. I mentioned it earlier in a blog post but just wanted to show you some more detailed shots of it.

Red Dog Finds a Home, Acrylic on Canvas, 12" x 12"
Red Dog Finds a Home, Acrylic on Canvas, 12" x 12"

I put a cat on the balcony of the casita because there’s something about a cat that makes a house feel like a home. Granted, I am  definitely a dog person but I think some day we will have a cat too. Greg loves cats and I’ve had two cats before in my life. Once when I was in grade school and once when I was in my 20’s. The early cat was named Jade and the later cat I named Jasmine. Love that name, Jasmine.

reddogfindsahome-1
Detail of casita

But I have a soft spot in my heart for dogs! I’ve had a couple dogs in my life. One was Taffy that I got for my 13th birthday. She was part beagle and loved to put her nose to the ground and go! She was hit by a car when I was 17. One of the first big losses in my life. Then when I graduated from college, I got Deja who looked very much like Taffy. Thus the name Deja vu.

Detail of Red Dog.
Detail of Red Dog.

And now we have two border collies, Belle and Cody. They love Baja and the beach there!

BeachCodyBelle2011
I can never have too many photos of our dogs. This one of Belle below is one of my favs! I love her big smile!

SmilingBelle

What animals do you have in your life and what are their names?

Donation Painting for the Fur Ball Fundraiser

Last year and now again this year, I’ve painted a piece to donate to the Todos Santos Fur Ball which will be held the end of January in 2012. The Furball is a fundraiser that has been held over the years and is organized by our friend Angelique in Todos Santos. It raises money to spay and neuter the dogs and cats of Todos Santos and Pescadero in Baja Mexico which is really important in these small towns.

My painting is titled “Red Dog Finds a Home”. It’s a small acrylic on canvas, 12″ x 12″.

reddogfindsahome

I’ll write more about this painting and the Fur Ball in another post. Stay tuned.

"Two Ravens Sit and Reflect" Painting Series

I wanted to share two raven paintings that I finished the other day.

I’ve been working on this raven series titled “Two Ravens Sit and Reflect” for awhile now and I finished two more paintings for it. I like the play on words that I use in the titles for these paintings.

The first one is titled “Two Ravens Sit and Reflect on the Waves.” Inspired from when we went to the beach the other day and watched the surfers watching the waves.TwoRavens-2The next one is titled “Two Ravens Reflect on the Sun.”  This one was heavily influenced by the sunny days here in Baja. It is wonderful to enjoy blue skies and sunshine here in Todos Santos.Talk of the weather is common because it is just so beautiful! I wanted to do something different with these black birds so I made their wings expanded with the idea that they mimic the rays of the sun which are expanding upwards as well.

TwoRavensBoth paintings are 6″ wide x 6.75″ tall, acrylic on paper.

Hope you are enjoying June.

~ Lindy

I use TripAdvisor.com for Travel Information

Some of you may know about this great web site for finding travel information but if you haven’t explored it yet, I highly recommend it. It’s called http://www.tripadvisor.com. I think it’s fun to create a page and put one’s travel destinations on it as well as recommend places you’ve visited to help someone else out with their travel plans.

I just added some photos of our baja trip to my profile and I hope to write more recommendations in the near future.

One of our favorite spots to camp in Baja is at Playa Escondida at Bahia Concepcion.

playa-escondida-1

We set up our tent in the palapa on the beach.

playa-escondida-4

I have to admit, it was pretty wonderful to have the whole beach to ourselves.

playa-escondida-2

And you can see why it’s one of our favorite beaches. When the water is calm, it is wonderful for swimming.

playa-escondida-3

The full moon was spectacular when it came up over the ocean.

full-moon-over-ocean

We hear this beach is pretty packed with RV’s and snowbirds in the winter months which is one reason we like to camp in May here. Everyone has left by then.

Go here to read an interesting article about a man and his burro and two dogs who lived a great Baja adventure! See http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/apr/21/baja-adventurer-reflects-trek-entire-peninsula/

I like this quote by Mike Younghusband from the article — “…One little saying that I picked up along the way is that fear is the destroyer of dreams. You will never realize your dreams if you have fear. And that fit into this trip like a glove because if you fear, you’re never going to sleep, you’re never going to get over the mountain, you’re never going to get past that pack of wild dogs. You learn where your fear level is, and you learn you never really have one because it would surface all the time.”

The lesson to be learned, “Live your dreams without fear!” I’m all for that though I have to admit it is sometimes difficult!

Happy travels!

~ Lindy

An Artist's Day Notes – April 1st

Artist'sDayNotes5

I TAKE A MOMENT
to breath deep

I AM GRATEFUL
for sunshine and wind

I AM FEELING
energized by eating good foods and
exercising regularly

I CAN SEE
a new painting in the works for the Place::Twelve Exhibit

I AM HEARING
the sound of frogs croaking in the yard

I AM CREATING
travel plans to Arizona and Baja

I AM MISSING
shorts and sandals

I AM HOPING
to see my brother next week

I AM PLANNING
to drive to Camano Island in Washington on Sunday

PHOTO TO INSPIRE

Peek a boo Deer
Peek a Boo Deer

Whimsical Watercolor Artist Chris Ambrose Art Interview

1. Where are you from?
I reside in Garnet Valley, PA with my husband and two daughters.
2. How long have you been an artist?
I started to enjoy sketching and my original medium, chalk pastels, when
I was around 13.  I mostly created art back then for family members.  I discovered watecolors
many years later and never went back!  I’m primarily self-taught, but have taken classes in the past at a local arts center.
I’ve been freelancing for 8 years now.  I sell my work in galleries, restaurants and online.
3. What did you do before or during becoming an artist?
I decided to stop working my 9 to 5 job to become a stay-at-home mom after my first daughter
was born.  I soon had another daughter, so I didn’t have lots of time to focus on painting.  After my youngest
daughter entered grade school, I couldn’t wait to paint again!  Soon I was taking a few
classes at a local community arts center.  My instructor at the center was so inspirational,
and taught me how to just have “fun” with art.
4.  You have many beach and surf scenes in your paintings.  Tell us about your connection to these visuals?
I noticed one day while visiting a few galleries that there weren’t many vibrant beach/surf paintings displayed.
They were mostly traditional and I thought it would be fun to create something whimsical and outside the box.
I’ve never surfed, but have always admired the surf culture’s laidback attitude, which is why surf scenes
appealed to me.  Also, the beach is my favorite place to be with family and friends!
5.   Why have you chosen watercolor as your medium of choice?
Because it’s challenging but very rewarding.  There’s many techniques for watercolor and I still like
experimenting with them.  I feel that I learn something new each time I paint.
6.  How long did it take you to develop your own style?
Once I decided to paint my whimsical scenes, about a week or so.  I love painting in a whimsical style,
because I feel that I can be much more creative and authentic with my art.  Anything goes and it’s
all about color!
7.  What’s the most challenging part of creating your art?
Knowing when to stop and not overworking a painting.  There’s been a few paintings that ended
up in the trash can that way!  I’m sure a lot of other artists can relate!
8.  What do you want to say with your art?
Enjoy every moment, have fun and think outside the box once in a while.  You never know
what will happen!
9.  How important to you are the titles of your pieces?
Very important.  The viewer has to not only relate to the painting, but to the title as well.  I believe
once the viewer looks at the title, it can totally change their mind about what the painting is all about.
10.  Do you have an idea of what you will paint before starting or does come to you as you start creating?
I do a lot of doodling in my sketchbook and as I think of something I’ll jot it down in a notebook.
Then when I’m ready to paint, I’ll refer to my doodles and notes.  I also get ideas from just observing
the surroundings, especially when I’m at the beach.
11.   What’s your current or next art project?
Learning how to paint with acrylics on canvas.  I’m actually working on my first and will hopefully
complete it soon!
12.  What has been a turning point in your art career and why?
When I started selling in a gallery and restaurant in Sea Isle City, a beach resort town in NJ.
I will never forget that first sale!  My beach art is very much a niche market, so I’m always
researching beachside galleries.
13.  Where do you see Chris Ambrose five years from now?
Having lots of fun with painting and hopefully, more experienced with acrylics!
14.  Is there anything else you would like to share?
I’d like to thank Lindy for the opportunity to display my work on her whimsical
paintings site and for this interview.  She is such a talented artist!

I first saw Chris Ambrose’s fun, colorful beach paintings online and new she would be a perfect fit for my whimsicalpaintings.com website which showcases 20 artists with a whimsical style of painting.

I’m a beach lover and often travel to Baja, also I love whimsy and color, so I was drawn to her lively beach imagery that enchants the playful, free spirit in me. I’m always curious what inspires other artists and how they work so I lined up an artist interview with Chris below. Hope you enjoy it!

Artist Chris Ambrose
Artist Chris Ambrose

1. Where are you from?
I reside in Garnet Valley, PA with my husband and two daughters.

2. How long have you been an artist?
I started to enjoy sketching and my original medium, chalk pastels, when  I was around 13.  I mostly created art back then for family members. I discovered watecolors many years later and never went back! I’m primarily self-taught, but have taken classes in the past at a local arts center. I’ve been freelancing for 8 years now. I sell my work in galleries, restaurants and online.

3. What did you do before or during becoming an artist?
I decided to stop working my 9 to 5 job to become a stay-at-home mom after my first daughter was born. I soon had another daughter, so I didn’t have lots of time to focus on painting. After my youngest daughter entered grade school, I couldn’t wait to paint again!  Soon I was taking a few classes at a local community arts center. My instructor at the center was so inspirational, and taught me how to just have “fun” with art.

Work Hard, Play Hard
Work Hard, Play Hard

4. You have many beach and surf scenes in your paintings.  Tell us about your connection to these visuals?
I noticed one day while visiting a few galleries that there weren’t many vibrant beach/surf paintings displayed. They were mostly traditional and I thought it would be fun to create something whimsical and outside the box. I’ve never surfed, but have always admired the surf culture’s laidback attitude, which is why surf scenes appealed to me. Also, the beach is my favorite place to be with family and friends!

5. Why have you chosen watercolor as your medium of choice?
Because it’s challenging but very rewarding. There’s many techniques for watercolor and I still like experimenting with them. I feel that I learn something new each time I paint.

Waves
Waves

6. How long did it take you to develop your own style?
Once I decided to paint my whimsical scenes, about a week or so. I love painting in a whimsical style, because I feel that I can be much more creative and authentic with my art. Anything goes and it’s all about color!

7. What’s the most challenging part of creating your art?
Knowing when to stop and not overworking a painting. There’s been a few paintings that ended up in the trash can that way!  I’m sure a lot of other artists can relate!

8. What do you want to say with your art?
Enjoy every moment, have fun and think outside the box once in a while.  You never know what will happen!

9. How important to you are the titles of your pieces?
Very important.  The viewer has to not only relate to the painting, but to the title as well. I believe once the viewer looks at the title, it can totally change their mind about what the painting is all about.

10. Do you have an idea of what you will paint before starting or does come to you as you start creating?
I do a lot of doodling in my sketchbook and as I think of something I’ll jot it down in a notebook. Then when I’m ready to paint, I’ll refer to my doodles and notes. I also get ideas from just observing the surroundings, especially when I’m at the beach.

Summertime-Fun
Summertime Fun

11. What’s your current or next art project?
Learning how to paint with acrylics on canvas. I’m actually working on my first and will hopefully complete it soon!

12. What has been a turning point in your art career and why?
When I started selling in a gallery and restaurant in Sea Isle City, a beach resort town in NJ. I will never forget that first sale!  My beach art is very much a niche market, so I’m always researching beachside galleries.

Beach-Fun
Beach Fun

13. Where do you see Chris Ambrose five years from now?
Having lots of fun with painting and hopefully, more experienced with acrylics!

14. Is there anything else you would like to share?
I’d like to thank Lindy for the opportunity to display my work on her whimsical paintings site and for this interview.  She is such a talented artist!

Chris’s website: www.chrisambroseart.com

Greeting Cards by Chris:  http://artist.greetingcarduniverse.com/cardsbychris

Shop for Chris Ambrose Art products: http://www.zazzle.com/lovecolor

Thanks Chris for a great artist interview and for your beautiful, fun art!

~ Lindy

2010 Life and Art in Review

Last year I did a post about my 2009 Life and Art in Review so I thought I’d do one for 2010. This is where I pair some of my art with some photos from 2010. I made 12 images, one for each month and then 3 at the end to wish you a Happy New Year!

In January of 2010, I began painting what I call “Mindscapes” from my Metaphysical Landscape series. I also had an art show at the Lodge at Black Butte Ranch in Sisters, Oregon. I did an artists talk to their Art Guild about my Artist’s Journey and that inspired me to start writing a 5 part series on my blog about my Artist’s Journey. It was fun to go back through my old journals and sketch books to gather images and read about what I was going through. It brought back a lot of memories and I felt very grateful for all that I’ve accomplished.  The Black Butte Ranch aspen trees inspired my whimsical Peace Tree paintings as well!

January

February found Greg and I building raised beds to make a veggie garden. We started building the beds using lava rock from around our property. My paintings reflected peace and love in my garden series. I was dreaming of warmer weather!

February

March 1, 2010 brought my first online art Giveaway which was a great success and very fun. I also did a blog post about 100 things about me which is an interesting exercise in self awaremess. But this was all over shadowed by the news that my Mother suffered a massive stroke while visiting San Francisco with a friend and died on Marth 24th. This was very unexpected and greatly saddened me! I spent a number of weeks in Seattle with my family and we had a memorial service where I was able to meet many of my Mom’s closest friends and reconnect with family.

March
Audrey Gruger May 17, 1930-March 24, 2010

In April, I got back into the studio to paint. At the end of that month, Greg and I packed and left on our road trip to Todos Santos in Baja, Mexico. I knew it would be a good getaway and Baja would be a healing spot for me. I sure missed my Mom! I started painting my aspen tree series and  took lots of photos of my paintings which I ended up making into a video.

April

In May I continued with painting and we also continued our work remodeling our casita and my art studio above the garage. We walled in the studio and put in French Doors. It came out really cool and I can’t wait to go back there this Spring and paint.

May

June arrived and we were still in Baja. I painted some old recycled washing machine drums and made them into planter boxes which was really fun. I painted some art for the Fur Ball which is a long time Todos Santos favorite which raises money for spaying and nuetrering cats and dogs in Todos Santos and Pescadero. Then toward the end of the month one of my best friends flew down to Todos Santos and drove back up the Baja with us to San Diego where she flew home to Seattle.

There are so many San Diego entertainment and cultural events that you can attend when visiting this Southern Californian city.

On our camping trip on the Sea of Cortez at Playa Escondida, Greg and I got engaged!

June

July found us back in Bend, Oregon. The grass in the yard had grown tall! We had planted our veggie garden before we left and friends watched over it while we were gone. We loved seeing all the plants spilling over the raised beds when we got home! Soon we were getting ready for a family reunion. One of the evenings of this 3 day event was at our house for a BBQ with 47 relatives! Fun!

July

August flew by! We did some camping and hiking. I painted a bunch. I was interviewed at Whopple.com We gardened and took great joy in growing our own food! Greg built a greenhouse over one of the raised beds.

August

In September we went on Bend’s first annual Backyard Farm Tour and got lots of ideas for our garden! We hope to be on the tour this year too. I created my inspirational card decks, pairing my art with positive affirmations. I was painting, framing paintings and preparing for my show at the Tumalo Art Co. gallery in October.

September

October was a great month for my show at the Tumalo Art Co. gallery in Bend. It featured my whimsical aspen paintings which I call “Magical Woodlands”. Then Greg and I left on a 3 week road trip through the Southwest. We camped out, did lots of sightseeing, rode bikes in Moab, explored new areas, looked at art in Santa Fe and Taos, met some new friends, and enjoyed hot springs a long the way. All in all it was a blast! But it’s always good to be home. We celebrated Halloween at the neighbor’s Halloween party. It’s always fun to dress up.

October

In November I painted mini paintings for my online sale and more Peace Trees paintings. Greg started putting together a pottery studio. We got really excited about finding some great deals on a pottery wheel and 2 kilns, one electric and one for raku. I started making plans to dabble in ceramics. We stayed home for Thanksgiving because of the snow and ended up going to a nice restaurant for dinner. That’s probably only the second time in my life that I have done that for Thanksgiving. I started gearing up for the holidays and painted Christmas ornaments for the Tumalo Art Co. gallery’s small gifts tree.

NovemberatTumaloArtCo

December brought snow and lots of it! It was so pretty! It felt strange to celebrate the holidays without my parents. It’s the first Christmas without them both being there. I started calling the Trees in my Magical Woodlands series “Peace Trees”. I signed up for the SmARTist Telesummit and looked forward to learning new things in January to help my art career!

December

And there you have it! 12 months of life and art!

And now here we are in 2011!

May everything you hope for, work toward and dream about be your reality for 2011. My wish for you is

SpreadYourWings

to spread your wings,hatchyourplan

hatch your plan,
bethedreamand be the dream you wish for yourself!

Happy New Year!

Love and peace,

Lindy

She Said Take Shelter Amongst The Trees Whimsical Painting

I really was hoping to capture a photo of the quail that are in our yard but they’ve been elusive. Everytime I’ve grabbed my camera to take a pic, they’ve taken shelter under the bushes or in the trees. They are quick little birds. The babies are oh, so cute! Their tiny legs running as fast as they can.

My painting titled “She Said Take Shelter Amongst The Trees” was painted in early summer when I was down in Baja. I know it came from thinking about my Mom who passed away in the Spring and watching the birds down there.

Why so many babies in the painting? Sometimes I analyze a piece after I’ve finished it. Like right now. I’m studying it and wondering about it’s symbolism. I rarely am thinking about the why’s and what ifs while painting. It’s only afterwards that my mind wanders there. Sometimes when I’m thinking of a title I think about what this painting means to me. Usually I don’t share to much about it with the viewer because I like the viewer to make up their own story about the art.

But I will tell you this. My Mom was one of 7 children. She had an older sister who died at 7 before my Mom was born. I think of my Mom as being one of six kids. I made six baby quail in my painting.. It just came out that way. Spontatneously. First there were no babies in the painting and then there were six!

I just recently scanned the painting and made a print of it which is listed in my Etsy Shop.

She Said Take Shelter Amongst the TreesShe Said Take Shelter Amongst The Trees
by L. Gruger

"Meet Me at the Guardian Waters" Acrylic Painting

I know that snorkeling with the fish down in Baja inspired my new painting, “Meet Me at the Guardian Waters”.

I’ve been learning to snorkel for the past 2 years. We snorkeled in the Sea of Cortez when we camped for a few days down in Baja this year.  Although I’ve only been snorkeling a few times, I love being in the water and seeing underwater sea life. We’ve seen the most beautiful fish. Colorful ones, in lots of different sizes – some big angel fish and sting ray!

My fish in this painting although colorful are not as fancy as what I saw snorkeling. My painted fish are a bit trout-like.

I wanted to paint a family of fish with my aspen trees, with guardian trees looking over them.

Meet Me at the Guardian Waters“Meet Me at the Guardian Waters”
24″ x 30″
Acrylic on Board, Unframed
$750

Meet Me at the Guardian Waters detailDetail.

Water is a big part of our life. We love being near it, in it or on it. Greg and I love taking the dogs down to the river and hanging out. Or taking the boat out to one of the gorgeous mountain lakes around Bend. We like hiking along the river or mt. biking on the river trail. I knew fish and water would make their way into one of my paintings soon and they did.

“Meet Me at the Guardian Waters” Print available in my Etsy Shop. Enjoy!

Prayer Flags in my Art

Prayerflags2

“Prayer flags are colorful panels or rectangular cloths often found strung along mountain ridges and peaks in the Himalayas to bless the surrounding countryside. Unknown in other branches of Buddhism, prayer flags are believed to have originated with Bon, which predated Buddhism in Tibet. Traditionally they are woodblock-printed with texts and images.” -Wikipedia

Our neighbors down in Baja had prayer flags attached to the railings on the top level of their home. It’s a tall brown house. The flags were very colorful and hung right off their upper patio. They would flutter in the wind and when I would paint in my studio, I could see them.

They were a happy reminder of peace and good will. I liked seeing them there.

But after a few weeks, they took them down. Don’t know why. I have to say I missed them. So I painted my own. They made their way into a small 16″ x 20″ painting.

My Prayer Flags hang in a whimsical, magical woodland. They flutter in the wind, blessing everything around them. I’ve read that the Buddhists believe that every time the flags flutter in the wind, a prayer is released up to the heavens above. I like that.

Each color of the flags symbolize natural elements of nature – earth (yellow), water (green), fire (red), air (white) and space (blue).

On prayerflags.com they say, “The ancient Buddhist prayers, mantras and powerful symbols displayed on them produce a spiritual vibration that is activated and carried by the wind across the countryside. All beings that are touched by the wind are uplifted and a little happier. The silent prayers are blessings spoken on the breath of nature. Just as a drop of water can permeate the ocean, prayers dissolved in the wind extend to fill all of space…”

You can read more about prayer flags at http://www.prayerflags.com/download/article.pdf

PrayerFlags

“Prayers Spoken on the Breath of the Wind”
Acrylic on Canvas
16″ x 20″
by L. Gruger

We Camped at Playa Escondida on the Sea of Cortez

We’re back in Bend, Oregon. We left Todos Santos on the 25th. We stopped on the Sea of Cortez at Playa Escondida for a couple days of R & R. We love camping on the beach!

We snorkeled and swam and caught the rays! It was hot! About 105, maybe more.

We built a great little camp with a palapa hut.

camp

The views were beautiful!

view2

The water was my favorite color! I call it mediterranean green. But maybe I should be calling it Sea of Cortez green.

View

I liked this painting overlooking the beach.

painting1

It was way up there. I like surprises like that…when you’re looking around and then you notice something way up in the rocks and you have to squint to see it or get your zoom camera like I did.

paintingonmountain

Our friend Heidi traveled up Baja with us. This is Greg and Heidi enjoying dinner by the sea. I had to stop and go get the camera and I snapped their pic.

View3

There was a full moon that came up over the mountains. It was so orange and gorgeous! Hard to capture by photo just how spectacular it was!

fullmoon

Greg fixed us killer margaritas. He’s mastered the recipe!

gregfixinmargaritas

He also mastered the art of relaxation!

Greg

Heidi and I were pretty happy relaxing too!

happycampers

And Greg and I were especially happy because one morning on a walk along the beach, Greg proposed and I said yes! Here we are celebrating with big, happy smiles!

gregandlindy

Now we’re back home but we sure have good memories from our camping and road trip!

I hope your days are bright and blessed!!

Got any fun plans for the summer?

Furball and Art Auction Painting

My artist friend Beth Parker made the sweetest painting titled Barbados Beach Shack. I love that painting and I have a card of it in my art studio. It inspired me to create my own little beach shack. Mine is titled “Little Blue Beach Shack” and it is a donation painting I’ve created for the Todos Santos Furball and Art Auction that will be held in February 2011.

LittleBlueBeachShack-low
Little Blue Beach Shack by L. Gruger

detail-littleblueshack
Detail

The Furball is a fundraiser that has been held over the years and is organized by our friend Angelique in Todos Santos.

A quote from the Baja Western Onion says, “These funds are used for the on-going effort to spay and neuter the dogs and cats of Todos Santos and Pescadero. Local vets perform these operations weekly, both in Todos Santos and at El Refugio in Pescadero. In addition, there is an annual clinic when U.S. vets come to our community and perform surgeries on two hundred or more dogs and cats.”

Angelique’s passion is the animals and especially the kitties!

catsign

Angelique runs “Kitty Heaven” which is a refuge for homeless cats in the Todos Santos and surrounding area.

kittyheaven

The cats run freely in a sheltered area that she had built. They are well cared for, spayed or neutered and their shots updated. All are up for adoption.

Inside

But Angelique needs help with maintaining Kitty Heaven. She can’t do it alone.

catwalk

There are about 25-30 cats at any one time at Kitty Heaven being cared for.

kitty1

Angelique knows them all by name. She knows each of their stories. Where they came from and for how long they’ve been at Kitty Heaven.

kitty2

kitty3

kitty6If you can make a donation to help Angelique with Kitty Heaven, it would be greatly appreciated! See the link below. Thanks!

CLICK HERE TO DONATE ONLINE VIA PAYPAL!!!

Painting in the studio and other projects

Where does the time go? I meant to make more posts this week but have been busy with painting in the studio and working on our casita.

We have a big project happening in our kitchen. We hired some help to create our new palido counter tops. It’s quite a project and takes a few days to complete. So things are a bit chaotic at our place.

counter1

They’re doing a great job. I love the color of them. A yellowish gold with tiny flexs of red in it.

counter2

We’ll add some tile touches to the front vertical area below the sink. It will be fun to go look for tile. Greg is going to build some cupboard doors which will be great instead of the curtains we’ve had hanging to hide the area below the sink.

They’re still working on the counters today. It will be 3 weeks before we can put the sealer on them though and get to really start using them. That means they’ll be ready right before we have to leave.

We have some other projects in the works too but I’ll show you those at a later date.

So last time I wrote, I was pianting in the studio.

painting in baja studio
painting in baja studio

I’ve been working on my six newest birch tree paintings. I added fish to the blue pond in one of my paintings.

painting4

I added some baby birds and a star to these two pieces.

painting5

And the sixth painting I haven’t shown you yet.

It’s gone through some major revisions.

It’s the one painting of the six that is vertical and has only one tree.

I at first had a different larger figure under the birch but I painted over it. I added a black haired maiden instead. I’m beginning to like it now and I’m thinking it will make a nice greeting card. Which painting is your favorite of these six?

painting3

It’s hard from the photos to see the changes I’ve made but they are there. Still more touches are needed before they’re complete. Some of the next things to add are the background swirls and white dot details.

I always feel it is these last touches that really complete the piece. Sometimes I hesitate to show my work before it is done because people will assume it is done but I know it is not.

These pieces I’m showing you right now are about 3/4’s complete. So stay tuned.

painting2

I’ve mentioned before that baja sunsets are gorgeous and we enjoy them almost every night. One night I noticed how beautiful the archway of flowers to our casita looked in the setting sun and captured a pic of it. I love silhouettes with the sun setting in the background.

arch

Another night, although the sky was not very colorful, the sun looked HUGE as it was setting! I took a photo but had to use the telephoto to have it look like the sun really was big. Some times the sun sets and then the clouds turn a beautiful pink color in the after glow. That’s always pretty.

bajasunset2010

Got to get back to the studio now.

Enjoy your day!

I'm unplugging for a few days

Lindybajastudio2010

This computer can be so distracting at times. I’m sure many of you who are online will agree that it can suck up the time. So I’ve decided to unplug from my computer till Thursday morning.

Oh, the idea of it. Unplugging. What words come to mind? Liberty. Freedom. Flexibility. Disengagement. Unrestrained time for art. Enjoying free rein. Creativity. Managing time more wisely. Opportunity. How nice.

My friend, artist Amy Komar did this and unplugged for three days. When I read she was going to do that, I thought to myself, I should do that too. I thought it sounded like a great idea. I was inspired! So I’m doing it.

Bye.

I’m going to the studio. I’m going to paint without the distraction of blogging, Facebook, Twitter, my Website, Etsy, etc. I’m going to soak up my surroundings, relish in my creativity under the palapa of my outdoor studio, feel the cool breeze on my face, concentrate on my art, maybe listen to some music and see what I can bring forth onto the 6 white boards I’ve primed and have ready to go.

I’ll be back next Thursday to share with you my new paintings and tell you how it went.

Okay, I’ll probably check email during that time, but that’s it!

Wish me creative abundance!

So have you unplugged recently? How did it go?

Life and Art in the Sun

Granted, it is has been gorgeous sunny weather since we’ve been in Baja. Just beautiful! But not every weekend is about the sun for us. One of the things we do while we’re down here in Baja is work on our little casita. We did a lot last year for sure but there is lots more we’d like to do.

This past weekend I tore out the tile on the kitchen counter tops that we’re going to replace with either smooth dyed concrete called pulido or some kind of smooth tile.

counter1I had installed these grooved tiles on the counter in 2003. Little did I know I would be tearing them out 7 years later. Back then it was my very first tile job. We used tiles we had on hand and it turns out they were the worst! So hard to clean with all the grooves in them. They drive me crazy! Anyway, it was a tough job chipping them out but I did it. I finished one side of the counter.

counter2

I’ll save the other side to do for another weekend. I’ll show you the end result with the new counters in a later blog post.

We’re loving having bananas to eat. We’re trying to space it out so they don’t all ripen at once. We have about 6 bunches in the trees. So far we’ve taken one bunch off the trees and hung them under the porch to ripen.

banana1

They are so tasty! Small but sweet.

banana2

We have lots more after these are eaten. We have a little corn growing too but I don’t know if we’ll be here long enough to eat it. We do have a basil plant that has grown huge and we’ve been snipping at it and adding it to fish and pasta dishes and to tuna sandwiches. I love growing our own food!

bananas3

We also have the most unusual flies here. I call them fly-bees. The color is amazing on them! Iridescent turquoise! I love this shot with purpley lavender and green with the turquoise.

flybee

I have been painting lots too! I’m still doing birch trees and enjoying painting them so much! I was thinking about what it would be like to have something hanging in the trees so one of the trees is wearing a jeweled necklace.

treepainting

Our neighbors across the way had some prayer flags hanging off their deck so I’m putting some prayer flags in one of the tree paintings too. Not sure if I like that one but I’ll keep working on it and see what happens. I took the below photo early this morning when there were still long shadows. I love that time of day in the early morning and just before the sun sets when long shadows come out.

prayertree

And this is our dog Cody. His favorite thing to do is lay under the stairs in his “dog cave” and stay cool. This is him sitting just outside his cave. He came out to say hi. We think he’s awfully cute with one ear up and one ear down.

cody2010

Today I’m working on my paintings so I’ll see you later.

hummingbird~~~ Enjoy your day! ~~~

Traveling to Todos Santos

bajamap3

Last  Friday we camped at Playa Santispac on Bahía Concepción on the Sea of Cortez. We headed toward Todos Santos on Saturday morning. On this leg of our trip we traveled very long, straight stretches of roadway through a whole lot of nothing but desert for hours on end.

bajaroadtrip2-16

Although we did get to see some goats when we stopped for road construction work on the highway. You can barely make out the goat amongst the bushes below.

goat

We pulled over and ate a picnic lunch before we got to Ciudad Insurgentes near the Pacific coast.

roadtrip2-11

Finally we went through La Paz and it felt like we were almost there! The last 50 min. or so of roadway is a 4 lane highway, two lanes in either direction, that was built last year. It made for a quick ride into Todos Santos.

Below is a photo of the gate Greg built last year for our place. The bouginvilla has really grown!

roadtrip2-12And so have the banana trees!

roadtrip2-13

Over the weekend, I unpacked my art supplies and got my art table set up.

roadtrip2-14

My trusty studio companion, Belle, lounged around after the long ride, soaking up the atmosphere. Good dog.

roadtrip2-15

In my next blog post I’ll show you some photos of how much the plants have grown in our yard and what I’m painting in the studio this week. Bye for now.

On the road to Bahía Concepción

Last Friday we headed out toward Bahía Concepción on the Sea of Cortez from Bahía de Los Angeles. This is an area that we really love. We spent 3 days there last year on our return trip up Baja and this time wanted to explore a different playa (beach) in that same area.

bajamap2

First we stopped in Guerro Negro and got our tourist visas and passports stamped at the immigration office. We were glad we were there on a Friday since we didn’t know if the office was closed on the weekend. We got lunch and filled the gas tank and continued toward Santa Rosalia on the coast.

To see a video, click the link> baja driving

This part of the drive has some super steep roads as one heads over to the Sea of Cortez. The below photo doesn’t do this area justice. I don’t have a photo of the super steep part because I probably had my eyes closed and was holding my breath as Greg drove fearlessly down the very steep and winding road…on that part it was ever so slowly though.

roadtrip2-1

We drove into a small town called Santa Rosalina to see what it was like. We hadn’t stopped there before.

roadtrip2-2

There were lots of shops with colorful exteriors and signage.

roadtrip2-3

We stopped at a panaderia (bakery) for fresh bread and muffins that were delicious! This one had been there since 1901. We thought the town was quaint and the people friendly.

roadtrip2-4

Then we headed toward playa Santispac where we were going to camp for the night.

roadtrip2-5

It was beautiful there. So calm and peaceful. We ate at a nearby restaurant and then went to our camp spot and set up our stuff. The dogs played in the water.

roadtrip2-6

For $8 per night and hardly anyone around, we felt like we were in paradise.

roadtrip2-7

In the morning we got up and took a swim before we left. It was gorgeous!

roadtrip2-8

And then we hit the road for our final destination, Todos Santos.

roadtrip2-9

Greg in the drivers seat.

I’ll write more about that leg of the journey in tomorrow’s post. Stay tuned.