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To the Beach and Back

July 12, 2013


We just returned from a road trip to Delaware to meet our youngest son and his family for a week at the beach. For us it was a 2-day drive there and another 2 days back. For them it was just a 2-hour drive, but I can totally understand why they wanted someplace close, since road trips for them involve babies and all their gear. My 4-year-old granddaughter wanted to do art, of course. And I was ready with my Grandmother art kit, which contained plenty of paper, markers, paint, brushes, my gelli plate, baby wipes, watercolor pencils and watercolor crayons. We don’t mess around.

We had a wonderful time, but it’s always good to get back home.

Our neighbor fed our kitty, and the 3 dogs went to a fabulous air-conditioned kennel with real rooms and a big tree-canopied play yard, complete with a kiddie pool and kids to play catch with. I found out what “dog tired” really does mean — they did nothing but sleep for 3 days after we got home. The kennel even has a facebook page and posted pictures of our dogs running and playing so we could see how they were doing. It was the first time I’ve ever left them anywhere that I had complete peace of mind.

Angie at Kuno Kennels

Angie Negotiating a Belly Rub at the Kennel

Summer Blues in the Garden

Back home to the weeds! Every single morning since we got back last weekend I’ve been out there in the early mornings, weeding until it gets too hot, then coming inside to cool down and shower. Finally we did hire some outside help for 2 days, which gives me hope that it will end sometime soon. I know I’m not going to have many more years to do this. In the meantime, I’m exploring less labor-intensive gardening methods. More mulch — and if that’s not enough, even more mulch. Self-watering containers are turning out to be a blessing as well. There are going to be more and more of those, and fewer in-ground beds as time goes on.

Here are my fabulous homemade blue-tub self-watering containers that I’ve been using for 3 years now. All of the tomatoes in these tubs are completely volunteer, growing out of the added compost. They are out-producing all the rest of my tomatoes, hands down. Not a great picture, but you can see how loaded they are if you look closely. This is a small fenced enclosure at the back of my yard (reportedly a “dog pen” built by the previous homeowner.) I’m able to keep the weeds down in this area by piling on pine needles, leaves, and grass clippings — all free. Note: How can anyone pen up a dog outside? Heartbreaking.

tubs July

Studio Update

But wait — there’s more! I have saved these images to share with you. These are more paintings I sent to the gallery just before we left.

Tierra 14 - Acrylic and Collage on Cradled Panel, 10x10x2 inches

Tierra 14 – Acrylic and Collage on Cradled Panel, 10x10x2 inches

Tierra 15 - Acrylic on Cradled Panel, 10x10x2 inches

Tierra 15 – Acrylic on Cradled Panel, 10x10x2 inches

I hope you find some inspiration here. I know I need some. Have a great weekend.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Barbara Tibbets permalink
    July 12, 2013 12:07 pm

    Hmmmm . . .Grandmother art kit . . .will keep that in mind. Thanks Martha! Glad you had a good time with family.


    • July 12, 2013 3:54 pm

      Barbara, I was a little bit brave taking the actual acrylic paints and the gelli plate. She had already tried it at my house and loves it so much! So I took it, knowing we’d have to be very careful in a rental house. We set up shop in the middle of the kitchen with a little card table I found in the house. I worked very fast assisting her with cleanup as she did different pulls of the prints. It is a messy process. But we did fine. Oh, and I put an old t-shirt of mine over her clothes before we started. The rest of the kit was very tidy stuff. Watercolor pencils and crayons are great because they disperse on the art itself with a little water on a brush. Surprise of all was that she spent at least a couple of hours just cutting up paper into different shapes. After she started cutting, and I could see she was really mesmerized learning to manipulate the scissors, I at least had her draw and paint onto the paper before cutting. After that we did collage with her painted cutout shapes. Fun!!!

  2. July 12, 2013 2:01 pm

    Your blue tub garden has given me inspiration for my next container gardening project.

    • July 12, 2013 3:55 pm

      Yes, regnistegg999 – self watering is the way to go with containers! If they are left to depend on me for their water, they’d better have their own backup supply. 😉

  3. July 12, 2013 9:40 pm

    I knew you would returned refreshed and re-energized…we have been under a schedule that is …well sometimes disheartening…………I am totally blind from a sudden burst of my cataracts so on MONDAY I am scheduled for the first surgery. On Tuesday Ken begins the surgery to implant markers for his future radiation and chemotherapy for an aggressive prostate cancer. I have moved completely home …but setting up the new studio is going to take time. I am looking forward to September ..and we return to a more normal schedule. keep inspiring me as we recover! Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

    • July 12, 2013 10:37 pm

      Mary Helen, I’ve been thinking of you since you posted on facebook about what’s been going on. Please know you both are in my thoughts. Hope you’re through this soon and creating again!

  4. Barbara permalink
    July 14, 2013 6:03 pm

    Welcome home Martha. Sounds like a good time was had by all. Good luck with your gallery showing. Great colors and blending in these two as well. A true artist at heart.

    Blessings Barbara B.

  5. Courtney Christine Shingle permalink
    July 25, 2013 1:56 pm

    I love both of these paintings! They’re so vibrant and full of life!

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