Friday, December 06, 2019

Winter Has Arrived along with December!

Our December snowfall, before it melted away. As a Minnesota native, I LOVE the winter snows! Snow brightens all the dark days by laying a layer of white everywhere. Alas, here in central PA, the snow rarely lasts long, so it turns to slush and mud quickly. But while it is here, I'm always thrilled!
As you can see, it's not much, by Minnesota, Vermont, or Maine standards. But it sure is beautiful when it's new and fresh. Ever notice how quiet it is outside when it's snowing? All those snowflakes must also absorb sound, because it's always magically quiet in a soft snowfall. Now a windy, blustery, stormy snow - that's another animal altogether...

Meanwhile, I completed two autumnal collages for our Bellefonte Art Museum Annual Christmas Show & Sale.
The one on the left, entitled "The Lost Chord" from the sheet music in the background, has already sold. So it's been replace by the one on the right, entitled "Autumn in Pennsylvania." Had a lot of fun doing these. I've not done collages in the past, so it was a happy experiment that I enjoyed doing. I printed some of my photos on sheer organza prepared for inkjet printers. Then cut them apart and rearranged them with natural object, art, and papers. So much fun. A new medium to explore!!!

My other framed entry is a watercolor with graphite of one of the great-grands. I call this one "Stars & Stripes" - alternately, "Save the Children."

And I'm somehow revived during the cold, dark season....probably because I've just received my orders of another new medium: Pan Pastels!

Check out Pan Pastels on YouTube here:

I'm participating in an upcoming exhibit honoring women in our community. Each woman is having her portrait done by one of our Bellefonte Art Museum member artists. I need to complete the portrait within the next month - for many reasons! Mostly so it can be framed for the special exhibit in March 2020 at the Museum. Also, because Frank will be having a total reverse shoulder replacement at the end of this month, so I'll be a tad busy after that!

So I'll be experimenting with pan pastels for the next week or so until I feel a tad confident that I can do a great portrait of a wonderful woman in our community, to be honored in March! Wish me luck!!!

Monday, November 18, 2019

As Autumn Departs, Celebrating It's Beauty

Autumn in central Pennsylvania is often colorful and exquisitely beautiful. This year, due to differing weather patterns, it was delayed, subdued, and only briefly very colorful. But I went out to enjoy it while it lasted! Hope you enjoyed it as well.

There's a lovely farm not far from our home where they raise Belgian horses. The farmhouse is a stone building and the barn is dated 1822. It's name: Oak Hall Farm, in the tiny town of Oak Hall.

Also in Oak Hall is a mini park entitled the Oak Hall Parklet. It's a wonderful little resting place between shopping for groceries and running other errands.
And it has a mini book exchange box, too!!!

Taking a small back road entitled Barn Road, I saw a newly mown corn field with a flock of wild turkeys dining on corn kernels.

Hope you enjoyed a brief respite from the days worries by reliving Autumn's Glory!

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.