Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Cherished .. and Abandoned

"Cherished & Abandoned ..."
9"x 9"x2" - Original Oil, unframed
$180. + shipping

I almost think of Hydrangeas as "Mama Neal" flowers because my grandmother (and likely yours, too), grew them in shades of pink to blue in the flowerbeds of my childhood.   I think of her every time I see them in a shade dappled yard here in East Texas. 

I have one of my own that I recently took cuttings from and the joy I felt when the new baby leaves showed themselves from the stalk I've nurtured made me inordinately happy. 

Not far from where we live on The Dirt Road, there is an abandoned house that holds a certain fascination for me.  In the eight years we've lived here, I've never seen anyone at that house but I've captured it in every season with my camera and wondered about who once lived there. 

I combined my curiosity about that house with my love of hydrangeas to create "Cherished .. and Abandoned".  While it may seem sad and bleak to some, for me, it evokes a sense of love that once lived there.  Someone was happy in that old house.  There were  birthdays and Christmases.  Babies were likely born there .. and some may have died there in hard times.  But the lady of the house (in my mind) called it "home" and planted her favorite flower from her own mother's garden.  It grows there still, in the dappled shade .. in the house they used to call "home".

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Sweet Baby Jane

Sweet Baby Jane
18" X 18" Oil, Gallery wrapped canvas
Available at

She lives in Terlingua, in Big Bend country, and will never, in her life, see grass as green as this.  But I just couldn't paint the scrub and stickers that she lives with.  I wanted to give her a life as green and lush as I could.  

She's a baby longhorn and her mom is known as "Old Brown Cow".  You can already see the little nubs that will someday be her crowning glory.  She walks among the purple vistas of West Texas and battles prickly pear and cholla, side stepping jack rabbits and rattlesnakes.   She's a part of Texas history.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Dogwoods For Dorothy

There was a woman, much loved by all accounts, that I never had the pleasure of knowing, and yet share so much with.

She was an artist.  She loved Dave.  She loved these woods, and she particularly loved the dogwoods.   For twenty years, she was a survivor of breast cancer. 

With all my heart, I believe that she directed my path to Dave, and he to me.  She died in November, 1993.  I met Dave in February, 1994.  He had never been married.  I was a single mom terrified of even trying again.

In April, 1997, he invited me to see where he lived and, by design, it was dogwood season.  I was already in love with him, but I think he chose to bring me here when the dogwoods were in bloom, assuring that I would also fall in love with these acres of 100 yr. old trees that mean so much to him.

Spring's Glory
9" x 12", canvas board, original oil

Since then, every spring, I walk these woods and enjoy Dorothy’s dogwoods.   Now that I am also a breast cancer survivor, I feel an even closer relationship to her.  And I believe that she, in Heaven, rooted for my own victory over cancer. 

I was a little intimidated to try painting dogwoods since I am so new at this, but a friend encouraged me and I found a "zone" where the little ridges of light and shadow, the "stains" at the center of each petal, just took over and dogwoods were born.  No one is more surprised than me!

Dogwoods for Dorothy
36" x 12", Gallery wrapped canvas
Closeup, center
Closeup, left

Closeup, right

DarleneMeader - SOLD

I'm learning so much.  And with each painting, comes a lesson.  This one was learning to surrender to that "something" inside that knows more than you think.  This one also taught me about the color white - what it is and what it isn't.

In my journey to become the painter I long to be, I know Dave's mom smiled over my shoulder while this painting of dogwoods took shape.  I can’t help but believe she is pleased.

Thanks for looking!