July 2013 – Painting While Holding Umbrella

Thankfully, so far, we have not been washed away by all the rain that has blessed us in the last couple of months.  The weather has reminded us that no one controls when or if it decides to change.  A lovely sunny day can, in a matter of minutes, turn into a sky filled with dark clouds, hanging low filled with water.  A few courtesy warning drops and then, swoosh, down comes the rain.  The great thing about having such a plentifully wet summer is that all the trees, grass and flowering shrubs and plants are simply gorgeous.  Our water table is getting its fill and the lakes and ponds are filling up, no longer looking drained and dry from the past few summers that have baked us.   I just got back a couple of hours ago from making a run at our local Subway and the evening sky had a golden hi-light glowing along the edges of the clouds.  By the time I had returned home to grab up the camera, it had gotten darker and the glow had faded.  Note to self: Keep camera with you in car at all times!

The Dirty Dog Spa Outdoor Vendor Event was a success.  We were grateful for the brief respite from the rain, as the day was sunny and breezy.  It was great to see so many dog owners with their special pets attending the event.  We were able to take some great pictures of the activities and really great pictures of some special dogs.  We had the pleasure of meeting a big, beautiful Bloodhound named Memphis.  He was quite the character.  He decided that he liked our tent so he made up his mind to take a rest.   A gentle hearted but stubborn soul, Memphis wasn’t moving.  However, his owner, a teenaged young lady, understanding the ways of her dear dog, ran off and then in a few minutes returned, carrying a savory pig’s ear.  Memphis, bless his soul, smelled the pig ear before she even got close.  Up and off he went, a happy dog following his owner who was smart enough to know that she who has a pig’s ear will always have the key to her dear dog’s heart.  I tell you this dog was so neat, I almost could see myself having my own “Memphis”.  Notice though, that I said “almost”.   The show was productive as several contacts were made with customers interested in having their dog’s portrait done.  I will certainly look forward to participating again next year.  Thought you might like to see a couple of our favorite photos from the show.

Our Booth at the Show

Our Booth at the Show












If you read last month’s newsletter, you know that a group of us went on a sketching trip to the North Carolina Museum of Art.  I have an upcoming class there on Tuesday, July 23rd, from 10 AM – 4 PM.  Titled “Portraits from the Past”, we will be studying various styles of portraits including European masterworks on loan from the Chrysler Museum.  We will also be working on a small self-portrait using acrylic painting techniques.  For those of you who might be thinking about signing up for a membership to the NC Museum of Art, I can attest that the value of the membership far outweighs the small cost of membership.  If you are interested, please call the Museum Box Office at (919) 715-5923.


The past month of June has not allowed me to be as involved in my paintings as I would have like to have been.  A family member has continuing health issues and we also lost a dear, dear friend, Pat Radiel, who had been contending with an illness for several years.  Pat was a special lady who had a wonderful way of making time spent with her a great time.   Pat and her husband, Harold “Ed” Radiel, and Mark and I shared many of these special times together.  Ed, Mark and I will continue to enjoy future times together, confident that our Pat, now in heaven, looks down on us with that sweet smile of hers.  Pat is also survived by their beloved son, Mike Radiel.   Times like these are made easier by knowing that for us, the Bible offers comfort as well as the tender love of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  July continues to be giving us all a good chance to step back, take a breath and get busy again.  Time in its own way brings healing and allows us all to return to more comfortable routines.  However, in that return, we keep the awareness that life is precious and deserves to be lived in a joyful and loving manner.  Pat Radiel was a great example of how to do that.  I hope to do as well as she did.  Blessings to all our “customer friends”. Dianna and Mark