Marianna M. Duford
...an artist with wanderlust
Adopted by Mike and Michelle Licha-Oros
Hazel was another kind of Little Gem that was adopted from a shelter in Northern California. Born in 2000, Hazel, was a "heinz 57"... possibly part husky, part border collie and all cattle dog with her cropped tail and perky ears. She was Michelle's constant companion until she went to where all good doggies go in 2010. Hazel spent her days chasing bunnies, assuming the position of forward scout while hiking, playing in the river and most important, keeping a constant lookout for...whatever might be coming! She is sadly missed and this "Little Gem" is in honor of her last hike. I'm pleased that it has been adopted into such a loving home! Enjoy your day...until tomorrow.
ADOPTED by DAVE TOBIN
Today's story and "Little Gem" is being brought to you by a long time family friend, Dave Tobin.
This picturesque scene is a place dear to him and his family from Upper Dam, Maine. Upper Dam sits on the shores of 2 huge lakes, Mooselookmeguntic, (Don't you just love that name?), and Upper Richardson. His sprightly 83 year old Aunt Jean and Uncle Linny, 86, acquired this "camp" in 1953 but, Aunt Jean spent every summer of her life in this community of summer homes. Her father, Leon McIntire was a guide and trapper in the area and a WW1 expert marksman and evidently quite the character. For all of you geo cache techies there is one called Leon's Bench in the area. Dave, maybe you should put all your grandkids on the hunt for it this summer when you and your family go to visit this little piece of heaven on your annual trek from Colorado to the wilds of Maine! Hope Aunt Jean and Uncle Linny enjoy this "little Gem".
ADOPTED by CHELSEA LYNCH
The end of a fabulous day of doing absolutely nothing! Turtle Cay in the Bahamas on a girl trip with my neighbor that happens to own this dock. Absolute heaven, Absolute Beauty and a martini of Absolute. We settled in for the show Mother Nature had prepared for us as we just enjoyed the camaraderie that old friendship provides. Thank you, Mother Nature, you truly are my muse!
ADOPTED by BRENDA CARTER
On the last day of my painting trip to Sonoma and Napa last fall we decided to be tourists and drive the little windy road from the Russian Valley, where we stayed, to Bodega Bay for a late leisurely lunch. The little "town" of Bodega Bay is where Hitchcock filmed his thriller "The Birds", but there is no post office, no town, just a group of places to stay and a restaurant. We meandered along the coastal highway pulling off to enjoy the views. I walked out onto the bluff that overlooked the cliffs that line the rocky shoreline and almost blew away in the gusty winds. NOT a good place to try and set up an easel to paint! I love the way a scene gets implanted into my memory once I've painted it. Hope you have a fabulous day, I'm going to contemplate what I still need to accomplish over the last 25 days of my Little Gems Project. Thanks to all of you who have been "along for the ride"...stay with me for a little while longer! Ciao
ADOPTED by JIM & KATHIE KELLY
According to Dorothy, "There's no place like home!" Some people can't breathe unless they are near the ocean or water. My ocean is the mountains. When I fly home after a long trip I can breathe easier when I spot the mountains as they rise from the plains from the window of the plane. This Little Gem is a painting of our deck here in Silverthorne and I feel truly blessed that this is what I wake up to and go to sleep with my ocean every day...except when I'm gone! Hope you are having a fabulous Memorial Day wherever you are! Ciao.
ADOPTED by GAYE WORMINGTON
Armstrong Spring Creek Ranch ,up the Yellowstone River from Livingston, Montana. It's a fly fishing mecca for diehards...no matter what time of year it is! I've seen my husband "suit up" during a snowstorm because some bug is hatching. So here we are. He excitedly disappears through this gate to the river beyond the cottonwoods in hopes of catching the big one. I sat in the car and executed a few watercolors to capture the moment in my own way. I love how we can always do something together... separately! This little gem was painted using my watercolor as a reference, in conjunction with my sharp as a razor memory. If you noted a slight bit of sarcasm, you did! A few days ago I found my phone in the refrigerator when I went to put the coffee creamer I had been carrying around back in. Till tomorrow, art fans!
ADOPTED by A SUPER SECRET SHOPPER
This "Little Gem" depicts the pathway to a "Little Jewel" near the bustling burg of Heeney, Co. Home of the famous Heeney Tick Festival. The pathway is not for motorized vehicles but has been worn by people walking two by two. It is only a short drive from our home, but is a world away when you need some peace and quiet. I used to take the kids there, many moons ago, as it was only a short hike in and they could frolic about in the water with our long gone "yeller" dog. It's a lovely place to hike, canoe and fish...so don't tell anyone about it. Let's just keep it our "Little Secret"!
ADOPTED BY KRISTEN & DOUG MINARIK
I had a tricky Little Gem to paint today as it is Kristen and Doug's 5th wedding anniversary. Kristen, a graphic designer, is my daughter and Doug, an architect, are both amazingly creative artists in their own right and I was honored that they wanted one of my little gems for their collection. They have made it a tradition to buy a piece of art to celebrate each year...and this year it's me! I picked this scene of Montana as they both graduated from Montana State University in Bozeman and met there while walking their dogs...how romantic, eh? They also got married in Montana at Springhill Pavillion where, A River Runs Through It, was filmed. They live in Portland, OR. and we have to fly in to visit...I want them to move back to Montana where it is an easy drive for us and I'm hoping that this will send a subliminal message that whispers..."go back, go back ". They will at least have a little memory of a happy time in their life to keep them company!
Happy anniversary, you two...and thank you for producing our first Grand baby, Little Miss Ada Jean!
ADOPTED by NANCY CANNING
This is the last of my fishing Little Gems I'm going to paint. If you've been following the stories, you know that my husband has a passion for fishing and he guides for Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing twice a year here. It is 3 days of camaraderie and fly fishing for wounded warriors. Each one is teamed up with a guide who's sole purpose is to help them have a good time and hook up a fish and get that "trophy" picture...and you can hear the whooping and hollering up and down the valley. I was invited to stay for the final dinner this year, for the first time, and was privy to stories that were shared of how this event has changed their lives. How something as simple as learning how to fly fish has helped them to heal. Just amazing! I spent most of the evening fighting back tears as these were just ordinary men that have been traumatized by war. I wonder if the day will ever come that the world will live in peace. I don't have to be a beauty queen to wish for it! This painting is obviously a Fall rendering, but as an artist I'm allowed to "imaginate" these things, LOL. Thank you for letting me come along and paint and for letting me share these moments, now, with you! Hope you are having a fabulous day...its not snowing here, today, so it's a GREAT day in the high country! Till tomorrow...
ADOPTED by Eleanor & Doug Jacobs Gillespie
I don't know why but I've always been drawn to landscapes that feature large, old solitary trees. The gnarlier the better as it makes them more interesting than saplings that are basically sticks with a few branches. I think that their appearance of strength is a visual simile to old age and the character that humans exhibit as we age. I like to think that I'm gaining inner strength as my body ages. I''m reminded of my wonderful Mother right now. At the ripe old age of 94 she was examining her reflection in the bathroom mirror and made this wonderful observation, "I don't feel different on the inside, but the outside hasn't kept up very well has it?". I too feel the same at 61 inside as I did at 21...only hopefully a little wiser. A tree is the same tree it was in the beginning as it is at the end of it's life cycle...just looks different on the outside. So there we go, I guess I'm really a tree! Till we meet again tomorrow, who knows what I'll come up with!