Thursday, August 22, 2019

Stuck... Still STUCK.... or Stuck Again!

I know we all go through down times, periods of time when our art muse has abandoned us and we sit in the studio wasting time, not supplies. I've attempted a few things, got several little projects going, but for the most part, I've been turning my back on the studio art supplies and spending all my time on the computer.

Now the computer is a GOOD thing, for sure. Talk about the luxury of being able to research anything at any time of day or night! I absolutely love researching - I spend a great deal of my time doing our family genealogy....


well, I started this post on July 6th and today it is now August 21st. So much for posting monthly, at the very least!

One of the reasons I do genealogy is the simple truth that I love researching! I'm not a scientist type, but a visual artist. As long as I can visualize the past by bringing it to life with my research, I am quite happy with myself and what I am doing. Indeed, my grandfather started me on this path way back in the early 1950's when he told me that we had Mayflower ancestors. Not that I really grasped the full import of that - of course, some people find NO importance in that - but I knew he believed it was an important piece of our family history.

Pop was also the family photographer and probably a historian in his own way. He was an amazing gardener, bird watcher, teacher, photographer and so much more. He began painting from his own black and white photographs when my grandmother became ill. He was in his 80's by that time. Pop was her caretaker and since they were home bound, he decided to learn how to paint. My mother said he probably painted over 50 paintings, giving them to his children, grandchildren and friends. I have two of his paintings and am honored to have them. This one is my favorite - a typical Minnesota wintery scene.


Now it is August 22nd! I got side-tracked helping a 4th cousin twice removed do his family ancestry chart! Research on his family is difficult because the RC church records for his family home town (Valla/Wallern, now in Burgenland, Austria) have not yet been digitized. He's lucky that he still lives in Burgenland so he can go to the church and the government for church & civil records!

Anyway, this is how it often goes. I start exploring one member of the family, get side-tracked by a new bit of information about someone else, and go off exploring in detail some tiny bit of information that I think might be helpful. It's a full-time job, genealogy! Never a dull moment when you have a huge family to examine! Branches "go every which way from Sunday," as my mom used to say!

More another day!

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Vacation: Bavaria, Germany

The Munich Airport...

We departed State College, PA at April 30th at 2:45 pm and arrived at the Munich airport at 7:40 am May 1st. Thus we arrived in Munich with little sleep and immediately drove to and checked into our hotel in suburban Munich. Great location - we could actually see the Alps off in the distance from our room! There is a nice wooded walking path with a little stream which we enjoyed after all the hustle/bustle of flying, landing in the immense airport, and then driving on the autobahn to our hotel! They drive really FAST in Germany!

Spring had arrived and it was sunny - after a rainy spring in Pennsylvania, I was thrilled to see and smell the lilacs, which had yet to bloom at home without any sunshine!

We left the Munich area quickly to drive northwest to the Rhineland region of Germany, where my BEIHOFFER, MUELLER, AND SCHMIDT ancestors lived prior to coming to the US in the 1800's. They lived in tiny towns in very rural areas near the now bustling city of Karsrhue.

Our first stop was our hotel outside the small medieval town of Ahrweiler. The Hotel Zum Zanger is surrounded by vineyards and across the street is the River Ahr- a beautiful creek winding through the valley and into the nearby town of Ahrweiler. The surroundings were beautiful, tranquil and breathtaking! Vineyards climb both sides of the roadway as the area is well known for its wines. The river attracts wildlife of all sorts - I loved the bird song serenades we heard there. The friendly and gracious hostess could understand and speak enough English for us to communicate successfully on the important things! Her husband was the chef, and a very excellent one, at that. There is a restaurant attached and the couple resides within the building.

Ahrweiler is a beautiful little medieval town surrounded, in part, by a stone wall that was common practice in the 1200's. The town has grown beyond the walls, but retains the historic feel of days long past. Inside the city wall, most streets are for pedestrians only and much of the city is a shopping mecca for tourists, older homes and historic buildings, plus the gorgeous Church of St. Laurentius, built in 1269.

The Church of St. Laurentius, within the city walls, was built in 1269 and is celebrating the 740th anniversary of it's existence. It's a magnificent example of the architecture of the time, with some newer windows, possibly damaged during the war. Here are a few photos to show the expansive beauty and grandeur of this church.

Outside the city walls, the rest of the town is still quite old, for the most part. However, the new wine industry has changed this area to a thriving community. Newer homes are springing up, sometimes right in the midst of the vineyards. The vines are everywhere, stair stepping up steep hills and remaining stately in the valleys of Bavaria.

To Be Continued: resuming next time with our adventures from May 3-6.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Clematis Pounding to Naturally Dye Papers/Cloth

My lovely Clematis in full bloom on a rainy day!

I've been away on vacation - and I'll post some photos for that trip a bit later. But today I'm excited about trying a natural dyeing technique using plant material pounded by a wooden mallet onto a polyester interfacing material that was on top of watercolor paper. These are 6x9" papers pounded with the wooden mallet (an antique that was in my Dad's collection of tools) on the concrete patio floor!

Here are the images to (maybe) inspire you to try something totally different and spark your creative drive! Above is the plant products that I used. Below, just different views of the "finished" print.

I was inspired to play today as I was cleaning up my office so that I may return to painting once again. I found an article that I tore out of my Cloth Paper Scissors Magazine (July/Aug 2016 issue, p. 77-81) by Dorit Elisha entitled: Eco-Dyed Collage - Artist & Nature Collaborate."

One of the "problems" or perhaps "happy accidents" occurs after the drying of the pounded images. Once these are completely dry, they will have faded some or perhaps changed coloration. When they are dry, I will add either watercolor or maybe acrylic paints - or maybe some pen & ink - to work up the image of a Clematis vine hanging in full bloom - or maybe decayed bloom! We'll see later! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Represented at the Art a la Carte shop!!!

There's a new art shop opening in our wonderful hometown of Bellefonte, Pennsylvania and I have been invited to have my work at the store! We delivered watercolor and acrylic paintings as well as some small fiber art pieces to the shop today and were delighted to see the space, right on one of the main streets of town - Art a la Carte, 107 South Allegheny Street, Bellefonte, PA. The store is owned/operated by Elizabeth Hay, artist @ Easy parking available behind the store in the city lot. The "soft opening" will be Thursday, May 8th, 2019.

Here are a few of the pieces I delivered today - just a little taste of what is available there. So many local artists have work there making it a must-stop for anyone interested in finding unique, original art, clothing, hand bags, jewelry, scarves, glassware, and more!

Above: a framed watercolor entitled "Paws" - for obvious reasons! - Pat Dolan

Below: a framed watercolor entitled "Little One" of a young African child. - Pat Dolan

Below: a collage entitled "Her Last Song" - honoring our elderly - Pat Dolan

Above: painted fiber art entitled "Little Red Bird" - Pat Dolan

Below: painted fiber art entitled "Raven" - Pat Dolan

And a few acrylic paintings of birds, of course! This one is "Female Ruby Throated Hummingbird."

Many of my friends are also displaying their work in Art a la Carte. Among them, Carol Korte @ and Mary Beth Wiseman @ And of course, Elizabeth Hay has her own botanical jewelry! And many other creative artists so do stop in for a visit when you are in the area!

Unfortunately, we will be out of town for the opening, but we are wishing Elizabeth Hay and all the artists a fantastic opening followed by a long, successful adventure together!