April & May 2013 – A Cool Spring into April and May Art Projects

Nothing like having weather run hot and cold all within one week!  Of course we had to have a dash or two of rain drops to make it even more interesting.  Flowers are blooming and I do believe the cooler temps have made the blossoming bushes have more flowers than last Spring.  My lilac bush is overflowing with lavender bunches of great smelling clusters of tiny flowers.  The yellow bell bush started  showing off its glorious load of flowers the first week of April.  So far, I have been able to get outside to paint a couple of days.  What with the flowers and trees showing off their pretty colors it was too tempting to miss.

One of the most important tools that an artist can have is a great painting brush.   The month of April has seen me purchasing some really great performing art brushes.  I was reading one of my reference books and the author, Paul Apps, mentioned that he uses brushes made  by an independent maker, Rosemary & Company.  My interest was peaked by the brushes he showed in the book so I contacted the company and asked for a catalog.  Rosemary & Co is located in West Yorkshire, England.  The catalog arrived and, dear friends, I felt like a   little girl turned loose in Santa’s toy store!  I toted that catalog with me so that I could study the brush offerings and read information provided about each brush’s construction.  Rosemary, who started the company and makes brushes, includes information about what types of natural and synthetic materials are used to make each brush.  As an artist, I was amazed by the many types and designs of brushes that she offers.  It was the best collection of Pure Red Sable and Pure Kolinsky Sable brushes that I have ever seen.  Special technique brushes designed to make it easier to create my art on paper and canvas are awesome.  By now you probably know that I placed a generous order for Rosemary’s brushes.  I have received them and so far, they are excellent in performance and quality.  Prices were reasonable and having the ability to choose to have either long or short handles on certain brushes was helpful.  If you are interested in obtaining a catalog or information about Rosemary & Company’s brushes, you can visit her website,  www.rosemaryandco.com .  If you would like a great easy to read book on painting dogs and puppies in acrylics,  I can recommend Ready to Paint – Dogs & Puppies in Acrylics by Paul Apps published by Search Press.

Well, the time had finally come for our 20 year old office chair  to be replaced.  There was also a new photography software that I wanted to check out.  My favorite of the office supplies stores is  Office Depot, located on Falls of Neuse Road.  Patrick Kea was there to assist me with checking out the software and  placing an order for a product that looked to be good for my use.   I mentioned to Patrick that my husband and I would be back to check out some furniture items.   I know that Mark doesn’t care about shopping for furniture.   However, I wasn’t buying a desk chair without his sitting in it first.  Thanks to Patrick’s excellent customer service, he and Mark talked about what was wanted and Patrick was able to get the perfect chair for Mark and me to use.  Mark was also pleased by how friendly the staff was.  Chip, who has helped me several times, called out a greeting, as did the casher and Patrick.  Trust me, customer greeting is a most valuable way to let a customer feel that he or she is valued.  I like to use the phrase, “feels like old home week”.  I may not be there for a couple of months, but let me walk in and I am met with warm greetings from their staff.  That’s a Star Point in my book.  A special Carter Works Art shout out  to Patrick and  Chip for their  great service.  Office Depot, I hope you are signed up to our newsletter or at least following us on Twitter.

My dear friend, Peg Conway and I had went on a photo shoot  around Henderson, NC.  She and I got some really great waterfall shots and nature trail pics.  We hiked up one of the trails and found some oak trees that looked to be 100 -200 years old.   We found old blocks of stone that looked to have been all that was left from an early homestead.  It sparked our imaginations as we thought how these trees had stood for so long and had witnessed many things.  We could imagine little children playing under the branches and swinging in an old rope swing.  On hot summer days, those trees provided cooling shade in the summer.  Back in these trees younger days, wedding couples had danced and families celebrated happy occasions under the boughs of these huge trees.  Looking up at these trees, I couldn’t help but know that they had also seen sorrow and tears as loved ones were called to their heavenly home.  For Peg and I, we both felt blessed to have beheld these giant trees.  One of the trees was actually so big at the bottom, we guessed that it would have taken at least 6 good-sized men to have covered the front of the base of that tree.  For us both, it was a most special of days we have spent together.

It is good to say that painting and picture orders are starting to come in.  We have been invited to be part of a group of pet professionals who will be setting up show tents on June 15th.  The sponsor of this event is Dirty Dog Spa, located at 929 Heritage Lake Road, Wake Forest, NC, 27587.  Their telephone number is (919)  453-0765.  I will be showing some of my dog paintings and also a few landscape paintings.  Other professionals will be dog trainers, pet sitters and many others who provide pet services.  On a personal note, I take both Rusty and Luke to Dirty Dog Spa.  Sometimes, I wash and blow dry both dogs and other times, I’ll have one of their helpers bathe Rusty while I take care of my little Luke.  It is so clean and organized.  They do have a professional groomer available if your sweetie needs a bit of clipping and special coat care.  If you happen to be one of those who clips and trims their own pets, you can also do that there as well.  Both Rusty and Luke enjoy going there and that speaks volumes as to how great Dirty Dog Spa is for pets. Make sure to reserve the date, June 15th, for it would be great to see you all come by to visit.

As an FYI, I have started writing my newsletter in more of a blogging format.  If you visit our website, you can read some of the things that are going on a bit quicker than waiting for the newsletter to be sent out on the first of the month.  Let me know if you find getting information and happenings faster helpful.

It is now time to formally close this newsletter/blog as it will be mailed shortly after midnight tonight.  Mark and I will look forward to hearing from you and always know that we appreciate you, our customers, very much.  God’s blessing to you all and on a special note, May God Bless our United State of America and everyone who serves in our Armed Forces to keep our USA safe for us and to keep us free from the evil that exists in this world.


Dianna & Mark