Mary's Prints at Fine Art America

Mary's Prints and Originals

January 7, 2017

I'm Dreaming of Spring and Some New Paintings

While it's snowing outside my house today, I'm thinking of spring and summer.  I'll admit I'm not a huge fan of winter.  Are you?  While I love how snow looks so beautiful draped over the landscape and like fluffy cotton balls nestled in the trees; I'm looking forward to warmer weather.  After the Christmas tree comes down today (yup, I still didn't take it down yet), I will decorate with houseplants, birdhouses and nests to rush spring along.

In the meantime, I'm starting to work on some spring and summer paintings.  Here are a few that I finished so far.  I showed you this one in my last post, but it is now available as a signed and numbered limited edition 12x12" canvas print.  I painted the original for my hubby.

"The Bird Watcher" 12x12" Lim. Ed. canvas print.


"Colonial by the Sea"  
Even though the original is sold, it is now available in
16x20" limited edition canvas prints.


"Wildflowers" 
I just finished this original 16x20" last night.  It will 
be available at the gallery this morning.  If you
don't catch this one in time, there should be 16x20" 
limited edition canvas prints available shortly.

I hope you enjoy this snowy weather, or if not, at least you can enjoy a little bit of spring and summer in these pieces.  Stay warm.








January 2, 2017

Holiday Traditions and a New Painting

It has been a busy end of year for our family.  Our month of December included juggling work schedules, hosting and attending several family Christmas gatherings, attending candlelight and Christmas Eve services, enjoying a Christmas play, shopping for gifts, and hosting a New Years Day Dinner party.   So now that things have quieted down a bit, I would like to share a few photos of the last month's traditions,  highlights and a recent new painting.

  

One of our holiday traditions is called the Twelve Days of Christmas.  Twelve Days prior to Christmas, our daughter gets to open a small gift after dinner.  This year we choose 12 different chocolate candy treats.  Each package also has a bible verse attached to the back that has reference to the birth of Christ.


Over the years, our favorite white Christmas tree had been starting to fade into an uneven off-white color, so I spruced it up this year with spray paint.  I  took it outside several weeks prior to Christmas and ended up using 6 cans of spray paint to do the job.  I used large sheets of cardboard to protect the grass and it aired out for several weeks in the garage.  Hopefully it's good to go for another 10 years. I decorated with a red and white theme this year and got matching wrapping paper.  To make it easy, we each got a different wrapping paper for all of our gifts, eliminating the need for tags.  With our small family, it was easy to remember which paper belonged to whom, but it could be a little challenging to remember if you do this with a large family. 


On Christmas morning we all sleep in late.  After we are ready, we have a tradition of making homemade stromboli for brunch and then we open gifts.  


This year, I set up the Central Market Putz I made a few years ago from cracker and cereal boxes.  I  also covered old soccer balls with sheet music circles for the vases.  Everything is very sparkly, but the picture just doesn't capture it.


Every Christmas, I do a painting for my hubby and this year's is titled, "The Bird Watcher".  Giclee prints will soon be available.  I would love to make a series of porch paintings this year, one for each month, so I can create a calendar of them for 2018.  Can you guess which month this is for?  I also made a small folk art calendar for 2017 that is now available on zazzle.  You can find this by clicking into the zazzle panel at the very bottom of my blog.  I purchased one to check the quality and I am very happy with it.  Be sure to check it out if you are still looking for a calendar for 2017.


In case you were wondering what I did with the little Jiffy Corn Bread box from my November 8 post, you can see it in my New Year's Day Centerpiece that I created for a family dinner party.  It's the little cabin in the arrangement.  I also made one into a gingerbread house for the other side of the arrangement too.



In keeping with the green theme, each guest went home with a little terrarium plant too.  


In my next post, I will show how I made the centerpiece, which would also be fun for a spring dinner party.  

I hope each of you had a wonderful holiday!  I will leave you with a question today.  What is your favorite holiday tradition?


November 23, 2016

Tomato Soup For Breakfast and Some Winter Paintings

Last night at midnight, I was putting the finishing touches on a new 8x10" winter painting titled, "Tea Kettle Cafe".  I could have used some of that warm tea before bedtime!

"Tea Kettle Cafe"  8x10" Original
Available at Dutchland Galleries.
Framed canvas prints available soon in my Etsy Shop.

 This morning I was able to sleep in a little bit longer than usual and so I had tomato soup for breakfast and a grilled cheese sandwich to dip into it.   Or maybe I should call it brunch, so it doesn't sound so weird.  Do any of you eat strange things for breakfast?  I'd love to know.   So, let me explain the tomato soup thing.  I'm not very fond of cold cereal and I usually eat eggs, but I have to save them for the Thanksgiving stuffing.  When I opened the refrigerator this morning, I spotted a partial can of leftover tomato soup that I used for last night's supper recipe.  I was feeling the need for something warm.  So that's my explanation.

As I was dipping my grilled cheese into my soup, I was reminded of a time in my childhood when eating tomato soup for breakfast was not so uncommon.  I grew up in a home with six brothers.  My father worked at a school as a music teacher and my mother stayed home and raised all of us.  My father also had a second job in the evening where he taught private music lessons.  One time his school went on strike and that meant big trouble for us.  With little pay from the music lessons, we went through a time of not knowing where our next meal would come from.  I remember my mother telling us one morning that we were having tomato soup for breakfast.  It was all we had left in the cupboard, but it was good.  We never worried, because we knew we had a God that was a great provider.  I also remember sitting at the table at supper and we bowed our heads and thanked God for what he would provide. We had empty plates in front of us.  Then we heard a knock at the door and it was a sweet lady from our church that brought us a large bag of corn on the cob from her farm.  Talk about God's perfect timing.  No one knew of our need, but God did.  Shortly after and just in time for dessert, another woman that we knew brought us a large bag of jelly cookies. That night, as we enjoyed the delicious corn and cookies, we were confident of God's provision and it left a huge impression on my life.  Today, the jelly cookie is still one of my favorites.

"Cottage on the Hill" 16x20"
Framed available soon in my Etsy Shop
Originally, I was going to call this post the "Three P's of Thanksgiving", the first being Provision. This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for God's Provision.  Without His provision, we would not have our loved ones, a job, a roof over our heads and food to eat.  If we begin to think that we can do it without Him, we need to consider that it is our Creator that gives us the health and strength we have to be able to work.  As an artist, I am always thankful and amazed at His provision of new and returning buyers that God brings my way.

The second P is for Protection.  As I think of all the times that God has placed his hand of protection on us, I am so thankful.  With a new licensed driver in the house, I especially find myself praying for God's protection over my daughter.  I make it a habit to pray daily for His protection over my family and I am grateful for His hand on our lives.

The third P is for Peace.  I am so grateful that I have experienced both "Peace with God" and the "Peace of God".  If you could ask God for anything, what would it be?  I think the greatest desire for mankind is peace.  So many people are searching for this and they are looking in all the wrong places for it. They try to fill it with many things that don't have any lasting value or fulfillment.  The way to "Peace with God" starts with a personal relationship with Him. Praying and asking Christ to come into your life and starting a personal walk with Him is how I have experienced Peace with God.  Just come as you are.  You don't need to clean up your act or pray in any fancy way.  Just talk to Him. You develop your relationship with God just like you would with a friend.  You need to spend time with Him, reading His Word and praying.  The way to experience the "Peace of God" is by continuing daily in your walk with Him and when troubles arise, you will notice that you have profound peace even though everything around you may be in turmoil.

I hope that you take time this Thanksgiving to search your heart and ponder the goodness of God.  I hope you will experience His Provision, His Protection and most of all His Peace.

"Follow the Star" 8x10" Original
 Available at Dutchland Galleries.  
Framed canvas prints available in my etsy shop:

November 8, 2016

Easy Peasy Cornbread Topping

Today I'm sharing my cornbread topping.  It's easy peasy and makes corn bread even more yummy.

My mother always made this cornbread from the little box. Do you remember this growing up?  I buy it for my family now and make it in an 8x8 pan.  It's great for three reasons.  1.  It's easy to make--just a little milk and an egg  2.  It costs less than a buck, and  3.  I'll tell you at the end of my post.


Now for the topping.  I love cornbread, but I always thought that cornbread needed a little something extra.  So here is the recipe that will keep your family asking for more.


Cornbread Topping

Ingredients:

2 T Flour
3 T Cold butter (cut in small chunks)
3 T Brown Sugar (packed)
1/2 t Vietnamese Cinnamon (I get mine locally at S. Clyde Weaver)

Directions:

Prepare cornbread mix as directed on box and put in an 8x8 greased pan.  Pulse topping ingredients in a small food processor for a few seconds until it resembles coarse crumbs.  Sprinkle evenly over corn bread mixture.  Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 25 minutes.  Serve warm with your favorite meal.  We use a fork and eat it like cake.   To reheat, microwave each serving for a few seconds.

Now for the third reason that it's great.  You can make a cool Christmas craft with the box, but you will have to wait until next time to see what I did with it.