Sunday, November 17, 2013

Ruler of the Barnyard

"Ruler of the Barnyard"
16x20 oil on canvas
I found this fellow at Shakertown in the same barnyard as the turkey I pictured HERE. I'm not sure who actually ruled the roost since the turkey was much larger, but this rooster appeared to be the boss! But then, so did that turkey! I haven't painted the turkey yet: I'm not sure I'd want to look at his portrait, at least not at Thanksgiving time. Besides, I think roosters are handsome and more regal.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Spiker

As you may know, I live on a farm where burley tobacco is grown. You can read more about the crop in my posts listed HERE and specifically about harvesting the crop HERE and HERE. Cutting tobacco is done in August and early September. It is a tough job of bending down and lifting repeatedly, working in the hottest part of the summer... it takes strong men to do it! The full-grown plants are massive, as tall as a man's head, and brittle. Great care must be taken not to break off the leaves. Each plant is cut by hand using a small hatchet-like tool called a tobacco knife and then laid gently on the ground.

"The Spiker"
24x30 oil on canvas

Then the tobacco is spiked onto tobacco sticks, wooden sticks about 4 feet long. The worker places a sharp metal cone... a spike... over the stick and impales the stalks of five plants onto each stick. The sticks filled with tobacco are forced upright in the ground. They remain there for three days  to wilt before the crop is moved to the barn for curing.

The man in my painting has worked on our farm for almost twenty years. He is strong and rugged. I wanted to capture that in my artwork. Spiking tobacco is daunting work!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Clarence Explains How He Became a Steer

Do you think his friends found it shocking?

"Clarence Explains How He Became a Steer"
30x30 oil on canvas

I always liked the captions on Far Side cartoons. That led me to this title. Perhaps my sense of humor is somewhat warped.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Artist by Association

Over the past weekend, several members of my art class were featured in the Artist by Association fine art show in Nashville. The artwork they exhibited was outstanding! Even though we paint side by side each week, seeing their finished and beautifully framed paintings and drawings was inspiring to me.

Here's Jimmie with her goats on a haystack. She told me she saw them by the side of the road and made her husband stop the car so she could take a picture!

Saundra does wonderfully detailed pencil drawings. I especially admire her ability to draw, something I've been reluctant to try.

Jo does both drawing and oil painting. This horse is one of my favorites. She painted it on board and used a technique called glazing with more than 40 coats!

Laura has serious eye problems. Even though she can no longer drive, she continues to paint so beautifully. These apples were on a tree in her back yard.

I hope you enjoy some of their art below. I wish I had better photos to share, but I only took my iPhone to the exhibit!

The show was wonderful and I am so proud of their effort! I'm also thrilled that I get to paint with such talented artists. I hope a little of their technique and skill rubs off on me in class. Maybe I'll become an "artist by associating" with them!!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Brotherly Love

"Brotherly Love"
20x24 oil on canvas
When things get too stressful here on the farm, Pa and I like to get away to... well, another farm.

Shaker Village near Lexington, Kentucky is a quaint village of beautiful old buildings built by the Shakers in the early 1800s.  

The setting is rural and peaceful with tall trees, wildflowers, and trails along a creek.

We like to go for their annual antique show in June. Booths are set up under billowing white tents and filled with lovely old pieces, both large and small.

Shaker Village has a good restaurant that often serves produce that was grown in the garden right outside the window. I loved how they planted these varigated rows of lettuce!

There's a barnyard filled with chickens, sheep, oxen and this big fellow!

That was where I spied the inspiration for my painting... two goats sound asleep, one using the other's back to rest his head. Unfortunately, I only had my iphone to take their picture... but it worked and I had fun painting them!

:The Stairs at Shakertown"
16x20 oil on canvas
Several years ago on another trip there, I snapped a photo of the stairs in the restaurant and painted that too. Shakertown is a pleasant place to visit and it seems a good resource for subject matter to paint!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Anita's Beer Batter Bread with Bacon

We had another fun painting session yesterday! Fellow artist Anita brought along the BEST beer bread. She says it's an easy recipe that only has five ingredients so you can try adding bonus goodies. Yesterday she mixed in bacon and apples... and OH MY, it was wonderful! Anita was nice enough to send me the recipe too... enjoy it below along with her funny comments! Nobody said Peg Paints is an "art only" blog, you know!
I was too busy eating the bread and painting, so I didn't take any photos.
Here's a picture of Anita and her huge painting... she's still painting all those candles!

Anita's Beer Batter Bread

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan.  I also use a strip of parchment paper or Reynold Wrap Pan Lining Paper (combination of foil and parchment paper) to line the bottom and ends of the pan.  You can lift the loaf right out by the ends of the paper!  Stir together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt.  Open the beer and add it all at once:  it will foam up.  Stir briskly just until combined.  It will be slightly lumpy (like me!).  Pour into pan and drizzle with melted butter.  Correct, this is not health food.  :}  Unless, of course, we're talking health of your tastebuds and soul!

Bake until the top is crusty and tester comes out clean, 35 - 40 minutes.  If you have added goodies it might need another 5 minutes.  The guide says serve it warm or at room temp on the day it's baked.  No Problem Here!!  Also they reccommend slicing thick and serving with plenty of butter.  That would be up to you....the fat factor is totally your call.  I will not take responsibilty for that!

Okay, now for ingredients:
3 cups all purpose flour
3 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
4 Tbsp. melted butter
1 12oz. bottle room temp beer  (this is when the fun really begins - I've used blueberry beer & fresh blueberries (tossed gently in the flour mixture) Red's Apple Ale with the addition of one finely chopped (more or less) apple, and if you want it, 5 crumbled slices of crisp bacon, Chili Beer and chopped green chilis, or dried chilis, or smoked dried chilis (which is a little bit of heaven right here on earth) and a 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.  If you are a fan of a little heat, use pepper jack cheese,  yumm!  But cheddar works, or whatever your favorite is.  I'm going to put cheddar in the next loaf of apple bacon....ooooh, can hardly wait for that!  Anyway, you get the picture.  This recipe lends itself to playing in the kitchen, which if you didn't get it, is my personal favorite place to play!

Well, that's it.  This looks long because of commentary.  It's actually only 5 basic ingredients plus your imaginative input.  Enjoy!!

I'm linking this post to Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farm! Be sure to check it out today. Not only will you find links to great recipes but you'll get to see Michael's wonderful new kitchen too!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Canoeing with my dad

Earlier this summer, we had a family reunion. It was held at my brother-in-law's farm in the middle of nowhere. Each of the children took a canoe ride with dad.

It was a beautifully sunny day. I loved how the clouds were reflected in the water.
This painting will remind us of a fun day in the country.

"Canoeing with my dad"
24x30 oil on canvas

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Art Class at a New Location

This summer my art class has moved to a new location... the studio of our instructor, Charles Brindley, in tiny Adairville, Kentucky. It's a bit of a drive, but the scenery along the way is worth the trip. We passed by fields of tall corn, soybeans, and tobacco, peppered with weathered barns and stately farm houses.

Then we arrived at the studio in a lovely restored Victorian house, complete with white gingerbread on the wide front porch. Three tall-ceilinged rooms are equipped with easels, tables, and good lighting. There was plenty of room for all the members of our class.

Coffee was waiting in the quaint old kitchen,

along with a silver tray filled with big cookies.
Chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, M&M, and sugar... yum!

Charles works with Faith, a member of our class who brought along her granddaughter today.
Charles' wife, Jennifer, teaches a summer art class for children.
You can see some of their creations on the studio wall.

I'll bet she put the hydrangeas in the kitchen window too.

Jennifer makes castles like the one on the sideboard in the dining room.
Charles is not the only artist in the family!

Jimmie's lovely rural landscape is not finished but isn't it beautiful!
We loved painting in a relaxed, peaceful setting.
As you can see from the painting above, we are inspired!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Pink Poppies for the Nursery

Several years ago, I painted these brightly colored poppies for my daughter to hang over the mantel in her New York apartment.
36 x 36 oil on canvas
She married and moved to an apartment with no fireplace so the poppies spent some time stored in her mother-in-law's basement.

Recently, they've moved again... this time across the country! The poppies now hang in my new granddaughter's nursery.

There was a slight problem... the poppies needed to be pink! Grandma Peg traveled with tubes of permanent rose and zinc white. Voila!!! Pink poppies... easy peasy!

The room is not quite finished, but here's a sneak peak!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th on the Farm!

We'll be celebrating a rainy Fourth of July here on the farm, but that's a good thing for crops and cattle. We need the rain, but hopefully it will subside in time for an evening cook-out!
30x40 oil on canvas
This is a large painting that I did three years ago for a young lady who never came to pick it up... that's one reason I don't like commissions! There were a couple of things that bothered me about the painting so I recently reworked the problems and now I'm pleased with it. The large size is perfect to hang over a couch or perhaps in a little boy's nursery.