Archive for August, 2016


Jean Jacoby is the only artist to win two gold medals. He won his second with the above drawing, titled Rugby.

Did you know that there was a time that artists, musicians, architects, writers, etc. competed in the Summer games?  I didn’t!  Amazing.  I just read an article about it where they competed from 1912 – 1948.  Here is some info about it.

And click here for more info including a list of winners including the following categories:  mixed architecture, town planning, dramatic literature, mixed music, composition for orchestra, drawing and watercolors, paintings, and mixed sculpturing.



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TB Rivver 2TB Rivver 1We had an enthusiastic group at The Studio last night for a Corporate Team Building exercise.  Our friends from The River 95.3  in Front Royal came together to paint this wonderful image of “The River” which will hang at their Studio on Elm Street. Each person had  one section to complete and by communicating and working together they were able to turn their one little section into a fabulous large painting that looks GREAT!!!!  Just look at how awesome it turned out.

Nice work everyone….and thanks for the laughs.  I have never worked with a group where almost every time I used a word or two or a phrase to describe a part of what were to do someone in the group would break into lyrics of a song that related to it.  Radio people…you all are so much fun!

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Yesterday we had a private party.  It was a special one as Ty was visiting from Brooklyn with his “Virginia mom”, Kimberly.  And their friend Josh joined in at the party too.

Ty is Kim’s “Fresh Air Fund” son.   I learned from their website that “since 1877, The Fresh Air Fund, a not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer experiences in the country to more than 1.8 million New York City children from low-income communities. At Fresh Air camps in Fishkill, NY, and with volunteer host families along the East Coast and Southern Canada, Fresh Air kids learn new skills, discover talents, build confidence, make friends and have fun. During the school year, The Fresh Air Fund continues to support students through tutoring, mentoring and leadership programs.”

What a terrific program!  And what a terrific thing that Kimberly is doing with these kids.  Ty was delightful and told me about all the many things they have been doing since he’s been visiting in Virginia.

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Making Plans

After being away from The Studio for a few weeks recuperating I have had time to think about new ideas of things I’d like to try at The Studio.  I’d like to know what you want to see us add to the calendar.  Please take a minute to take this poll and let us know what interests you.  And thanks.

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I haven’t posted much about my recent knee surgery on my blog.  But for almost three years I have suffered with some pretty painful arthritis is both knees but especially in my right one.  I tried everything I read or heard about to make it better from Physical Therapy, injections, medications, chiropractic work and more.  I even had my meniscus repaired in the right knee back in December thinking that it was the cause of the majority of the pain but turns out that it was mostly the arthritis causing the pain.


Lincoln encouraging  me through my PT exercises this morning.

I never realized that arthritis could be so painful.  My Granny had arthritis that she often complained about and we just thought she was a hypochondriac. I wish I could tell her how much I feel for the pain she was experiencing.  So after trying everything I found a surgeon who used Makoplasty (read about that here) so that I could cut my recovery time in half.  I didn’t want to close The Studio for 6 or 8 weeks while I recovered from “regular” surgery.  I had the surgery 14 days ago.  Today I go for my post-surgical appointment and  I am anxious to hear what he has to say about it….and hopefully have the stitches removed.

And  I want to find out what is next for the left knee which also has painful arthritis.  I am hoping that we don’t have to go through this again real soon.  We’ll see.

***NOTE:  I realize this isn’t about art (although there are some interesting shades of blue and purple on my leg) or The Studio but I have had dozens of people message me about the knee surgery as they are going through the same thing and have been watching my posts on Facebook so they know what to expect when and if they have to do it.  I understand their curiosity because I would have loved to have known  more before going through it. That is why I am sharing this today.





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Bday Party 2.jpg

Paint Parties at The Studio are so much fun but Birthday Parties are especially fun!  Especially when it’s your 9th Birthday and all your friends join you got the celebration.  Yesterday Alayna celebrated her birthday by painting a lovely beach scene with a sea turtle (her special request for the party).  And boy did these girls do a fabulous job painting!!!  They are just so good.  I love how they jump right in.  Her mom said that a couple of the girls were a little scared at first but once they saw how we go step by step and demonstrate how to do it and come around and check on their progress they were just fine.

We always say that everyone can make a beautiful work of art at The Studio.  And it’s true.  Just look at these young artists works.  AWESOME!!!

Thanks Kristie for letting The Studio share in Alayna’s special day.  We loved it!

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The thing I heard most prior to having surgery on my knee was to be sure, no matter what you do, that you follow the Physical Therapy regime to the letter.  Every person I spoke to about knee surgery repeated this mantra.  So, of course, I took it to heart and have been diligent about PT….doing everything they have given me to do, every time they said to do it.  No short cuts even though there have been a few times I would have liked to slack on it.  But I can’t because I have a coach that lies right beside me and watches my every move.  And there is just no way I can let him down.

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Brother visits me but Lincoln thinks he was here to see him!

I have always felt that I have many, many good friends but I have been humbled and ever so grateful for the many wonderful friends that have offered and helped during the last week and a half since I had knee surgery.  When you live alone and have been independent for most of your adult life it is difficult to ask for and even accept help.  I am not sure why that is….it just is.  So to require Allen’s help with the dogs for many, many months and having to have someone wait on me for several days after the surgery and even now to have someone chauffeur me to appointments is disconcerting.  And while I am blessed to have so many caring friends there is nothing quite like having family check in.  (This may not make much sense to those of you who live in the same community with your family members but trust me, it is special.)

Most of you know that I am from Georgia, born and raised, and that is where my family – small though it is – just Brother and Sister and their families – still lives.  We don’t get together as often as I would like but as often as we can with everyone’s busy lives.  So last night when Brother came to visit it was like a tonic. There is something about reminiscing about crazy things we did as  kids, places we visited, etc. and all the laughing that ensues that does something to aid in healing.  One of the stories we recalled last night was about Sliding Rock, a place we used to go to as kids when we camped in North Carolina.  My folks enjoyed camping and we did a lot of it as kids all around the southeast.  There was an article in Southern Living Magazine in the August issue about the South’s Best Swimming and Watering Holes and it was featured for the North Carolina entry.  I was telling Brother about the article (See it here) and we laughed about how we used to slide and slide down this natural water slide as it was always a favorite highlight of any trip to that area.  Brother’s best memory of it was how at the end of the day the “ass was worn out of his shorts”!  LOL    Laughter is the best medicine!

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Class with Terry complete

Class with Terry 1my painting

My painting

Class with Terry 1

Terri Showing us how it’s done!

Yesterday I got to be the student at an art class.  It was so nice!  For years I have been friends with the wonderfully talented artist, Terri Nicholson. We met through the Blue Ridge Arts Council and showing work through their exhibits.  Later when I was teaching classes at the Arts Council Terri was thinking of teaching at Michael’s and asked me for some advice on how to go about it.  I said she should sit in on my class as the easiest way to see what I did and she did. Not long after that she started teaching at Michael’s in Winchester and Martinsburg.  Ever since then, which had been 4 or 5 years ago, I have wanted to take a class with her but we teach on the same days.  But yesterday, since I am off recuperating from my knee surgery, I went over the Winchester with a friend to take Terri’s class.  It was so much fun.  She’s a wonderful teacher.  Check her out at Michael’s. I’ve invited Terri to come and be a guest instructor at The Studio.  We are working on a date for her to come soon so watch for the date.  Trust me, you’ll enjoy her so much.

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20160620_150852  Sometimes I am asked to create a special image for a paint party…especially for kids…since they don’t always want to do something from the list of many paintings that the adults choose from for their parties. I don’t mind trying to create just what they want.

Here is one I spent a several hours coming up with for a girls birthday party with her fellow softball team members. This is exactly what she requested.   The sad part is that they canceled a few days before the party.  The only reason I mention this is just to say that while being an artist for a living is FUN,  there are many people who think that what we do is a “hobby” and never consider the time that goes into the preparation to make a party a success for the guests.  It’s almost always worth it to me to do special requests but sometimes I’m a little surprised that a few people don’t understand that it is work that takes hours and cancellations like this one left me with supplies and several hours of work from research to painting for which I didn’t get reimbursed.  Just saying it’s something for which some people may not be aware.

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