Archive for July, 2009

Red Chair in progress 1 (Small)Lucky me!  I got a new easel for my birthday last week so I did a practice run with it this weekend out at the cabin and painted the Red Chair that I posted about a few days ago. 

Love the new easel and the ease of set-up.  It makes plein air painting so much easier. 

 Red Chair Finished (Small)And here is the finished sketch.  It is an oil on canvas panel measuring 8″x10″ and is SOLD .

I love that chair!

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Easy Artichoke Dip

Artichoke Dip 1As I mentioned before, I don’t cook a lot but when I do it is generally something I really LOVE and it has to be easy & fast.  (I’m not a patient woman; I admit it freely!)

I found this recipe in a magazine several years ago and because I love artichoke dip I thought I’d give it a whirl.  And boy am I glad I did because it is easy and fast.  (See, that meets my criteria.)

Easy Artichoke Dip

2 boxes frozen Artichoke Hearts (chopped)

Artichoke Dip 2

1 1/2 cups of  Parmesan cheese (shredded or grated)

3/4 cup mayonaise

1/4 cup sour cream

salt &  pepper

garlic powder (optional)

Mix artichokes, 1 cup of the parmasan cheese, mayo and sour cream together well.  Add seasonings to taste.



Artichoke Dip 3Spread mixture into a baking dish.  Sprinkle the rest of parm cheese over the top.  Bake at 375 degrees for 20 – 30 minutes or until nice and golden brown. 






Artichoke Dip 4It looks like this when it comes out of the oven and smells sooooooo good.  It’s hard to wait for it to cool enough to put into your mouth. 




Artichoke Dip 5Serve it with thinly slice baguettes, crackers, etc.  I can make a meal off it although it really should be a nice appetizer.  But who says appetizers can’t be a main dish?  Is it a rule?

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Pitiful Looks from the Dog

Pitiful at GateThis is the view I get each time I leave my house and don’t take the “boys” with me.  It is just so pitiful. 

That’s one reason why I take them most of the time.  I hate to have to look at this.  Do you think they are given lessons in looking this sad and making us feel so guilty for leaving them behind?

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Metal Chair RedDo you ever see something, an object that is fairly common, but it reminds you of earlier times?  That is what I think every time I see one of these old metal chairs.  My grandmother, we called her Big Mama, had chairs like this in her yard.  When we were small kids we would go visit at least once a week, and Big Mama, Papa  and Mama would sit and rock while the three of us kids ran and played in the yard.  I can still see them sitting there each time I see one of these chairs.

I just found this great old metal chair at a yard sale in West Virginia a few weeks ago.  I snapped it up for a mere ten bucks and promptly painted it red.  Big Mama, Papa, and Mama are all gone now but every time I walk past this chair or sit in it to rock I think of them.  I think it was a small price to pay for memories that special.

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Art Walk 1The Art Walk last night was great!  It’s the first time since we started over a year ago that I have actually been able to get away from the shop (Delilah’s) and see what the other artists and shops are doing.  And boy was it fun. 

The Blue Ridge Arts Council Gallery had a good turn out of people looking at the Member Show when I stopped by there.  That show runs till the first part of August and is my favorite each year.  I love seeing what everyone has been working on.  www.blueridgearts.org

Art Walk 2And I love how people really get into describing what they like about paintings to their friends. 





Art Walk 3Some artists were set up on the street even though it was a very HOT evening…





Art Walk 4And some really smart artists, like Michelle, were set up inside in an air conditioned shop painting beautiful works of art.  (You know I am especially fond of dogs so I loved this one!)




 Art Walk 5And we even had a group of ladies from Winchester who were making one of a kind greeting cards that were just lovely. 

I didn’t get photos of all the artists that were working last night at the art walk.  There were many more so you will need to mark your calendar for the 3rd Thursday in August (August 20th) and come downtown and see for yourself. 

It is so nice to have an ongoing art event like this in Front Royal.  Good job everybody!


Weeping Cherry at the Train Station Completed

Today’s painting is one I did a few months ago during a 3rd Thursday Art Walk.  I started it that night and completed it over the next few days.   It is called “Weeping Cherry Tree at the Train Station” and it is on display at the Blue Ridge Arts Council as part of the Member Show.

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Girl Scouts at Delilahs 1When you paint for a living you often spend a lot of time doing things other than painting.  Marketing takes up a great deal of time – working on the blog and website can take hours of time that I would rather spend painting but that’s part of the deal. 

Often I am asked to speak to groups about what it is like to be an artist.  Today I spoke to a group of girl scouts who were working on a program about business ownership.  In particular they asked me to talk about the role technology plays in my business.  So they stopped by the shop, Delilah’s at 105 E. Main St. in Front Royal (shameless plug!) and I showed them my blog and website and talked to them about how the internet has changed the way artists sell their work.

Girl Scouts at Delilahs 2They were a very nice group of girls, and along with their chaperones, they were curious about how I got to this point in my business.  It’s always fun to speak to a group of people who have the same interests.  Good luck girls with your “business badge”.  And come see us again at Delilah’s.


Through the Trees (Small)

And don’t forget to come to downtown Front Royal this evening for the 3rd Thursday Art Walk from 5-8 p.m.  Shops stay open late and artists are demonstrating live.  The farmer’s market will be open from 4-8 and there will be live music at the gazebo.  What could be more fun than that??!!  Please come join us.

Today’s painting is  Through the Trees,  an oil on canvas panel measuring 14″x11″ and can be seen at Delilah’s on Main Street in Front Royal. 

If you are interested in this painting you can contact me at kwalker@doubledogdesigns.com .

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Art Class - ShellyI have always believed that anyone can paint.  Many people say to me that “I don’t have the talent or the gift to paint”.  My response has always been that you don’t need “talent”, just desire.  You can learn techniques; you can learn about color theory; you can learn about composition.  But you can’t learn desire.  You have to want to paint. I have a terrific class of students currently on Wednesdays from 5 – 6:45.  This is one of the painters, Shelly, working on her landscape.



 Art Class - YvonneAnd here is Yvonne working on a mountain and river scene. 

For more information on art classes click on the page above about Art Classes or email me at kwalker@doubledogdesigns.com to get more information.  We’d love for you to come paint with us.

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