Tuesday, December 30, 2008


As usual going into a New Year, I plan my goals for the following year. This year it's much harder for some reason, maybe the general apathy I feel after my Dad's death this year has made me less driven. Anyway, I have decided to paint animals this year, Herefords in honor of my Dad. He loved his Herefords and he picked them for their "conformation", something I never quite got the feeling of. So, this year I am going to study our cattle from old photos and paint some of them grazing and at their winter feeding station.
Feeding them in Southwestern North Dakota in the winter was a challenge that most people will never know. Lucky them! Sometimes it took us as long to get dressed to go out to feed the cattle as it did to feed them. I can remember my Mom and I getting dressed up in our "storm coats" as she called them. My arms would barely bend with all the layers. The scarf around your mouth would immediately freeze at 30 to 38 below zero. It was a real scary time, the water in the tank had to be heated and broken through for the cows and the calves. We had to haul out the bales, some of which were pretty tightly frozen and packed together. The great life of a farmer/rancher in North Dakota! Wow.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year

It's very cold here in Colorado, but the sun is peeking out. I am working on reorganizing my studio. Today my friend Nancy helped me out putting pastels in a new cabinet I bought at the flea market for $95.00. It has eleven drawers in it and they are lined with red velvet! It is a new cabinet made by a local handyman for jewelery but it works great for pastels. It is extremely heavy and now it is probably close to 80 pounds with my pastels in it. Pastels are so expensive I wanted a case for them where they would get so dusty and messed up.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

North Dakota grandparents house in winter.

Photo taken by Rev. Roger of my
grandparents house, built in 1914, a
Sears and Roebuck house. Now
owned by Doug Tarpo.


Rolling into the holidays, as usual I am trying to do a thousand things at once and lately that has given me some black and blue marks as well as pain! Hopefully, once Christmas craziness wanes we will be able to attain some serenity in our lives. Having spent the last few days in Minnesota, I have become much more excited about Christmas. Minnesota has to be one of the most Christmasy of all the states in the Union. Everyone seems to collect everything to do with Christmas!! My eight Santas pale in significance to everyone's "villages, snowmen, American dolls, ornaments, etc". Anyway, now I am digging out all our stuff to see if I can make a statement celebrating a Colorado Christmas!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Feeding the Kitties

Last fall after my Dad passed on I painted this from a photo I had taken several years ago. My Dad loved his cats and wanted to keep them around to keep the rodents down around the farm. In order to do that it was important to keep them fed, also. So every morning he would fill up a little ice cream pail with table scraps and some cat food and take it down to the barn.
Here you can see the little black kitties rushing out to greet him. He would call "kitty, kitty, kitty" and they would come in a blur. They were all wild, feral cats and you couldn't get very close to them. Now I guess they are all at someone else's farm because there's no one left to feed them at Flagstaff Farms! Time and life move on somehow!