Marianna M. Duford
...an artist with wanderlust
ADOPTED by DAVE TOBIN
I love visiting my sister in the fall. She lives in Camden, Maine and the colors and the shoreline are breathtaking. She took a day off and surprised me with a sight seeing tour of a few coastal towns and lighthouses. This is a painting of The Marshall Point Lighthouse that is close to the fishing village of Port Clyde. The original lighthouse tower was built in 1832. The new tower was built in 1858 and used a Fresnel Lens which was eventually replaced with electricity. Now automated the lighthouse no longer needs a lightkeeper and the building has become a museum and tourist haven. The original keeper's house was destroyed by lightening. The present house was built in 1895 and essentially the same now as it was then, with a few modern conveniences added through the years. We spent a lovely afternoon and I painted while my sister passed the time reading and wandering about. I love the history that abounds in this part of the world and through this painting have imagined what it would look like under a full moon. All I'm missing is a tall ship navigating the waters by the safe beacons shining to help them find safe passage, but they are harder to come by in this day and age! Over and out
ADOPTED by JUDY BROCKMEYER
After living here for 30 some odd years I am always genuinely surprised, silly me, when it snows so late into spring... it has even happened on the 4th of July. Talk about putting a kink into holiday plans. Today's little ditty is a memory from about 24 years ago. My husband and I had escaped to the Bahamas for a belated May honeymoon and my Sainted Mother stayed with the kids in our mountain home. My ever so efficient husband, unbeknownst to me, had turned off the heat in the house thinking that it wouldn't be needed. Well, WE didn't need it but they did...BIG time. We had a HUGE storm and cold snap. I think every blanket and sweater in the house was pulled out and shared between the three of them huddled in front of the gas fireplace, school was even cancelled. My Mother threatened to never return if we did that to her again! To this day I still make sure we don't get shut off too early, by Oh Efficient One, as it obviously still happens on a regular basis. I snapped a pic out our bedroom window this morning of Buffalo Mt. and Red before the snow filled clouds blanked out the mountain range and closed in about our home. 66 days ago I foolishly titled the first Little Gem, "Last of Winter on the Blue"!
Sign me, Ever Optimistic in Summit County.
ADOPTED BY PEGGY VANDETTI
Day 3... Once again I am getting to join the group of warriors and their guides on this beautiful private ranch near Kremmling, CO. This is the last day and it's been an amazing experience to see and feel the transformation that happens to these wonderful people as they learn to love the peace and quiet of nature and the way fly fishing takes them away from their pain and everyday problems. I set up my easel in a deserted meadow by this wandering little waterway that fed into the small pond in the distance, keeping my eyes pealed for wandering moose! The willows haven't leafed out yet and neither have the aspens and cottonwoods. They just have a glow about them that indicates that it will be coming soon! About an hour into my outdoor experience the wind started whipping up which preceded a small but furious mountain storm... I quickly finished and slammed my gear into my car just in time and headed back to base camp. I will be sad to say goodbye to these wonderful people, some we will see again, some not and I look forward to this fall's new crop of warriors and friends. Adieu to you, till tomorrow beckons, anew. ..and thank you for indulging me in my bad poetry :) Like you had a choice LOL
ADOPTED by PADDY DUFORD
Another day in paradise. Beautiful weather and a great group of people to spend it with. The banks of the river and ponds on this amazingly beautiful ranch were filled with the joyous sounds of the warriors catching fish on the fly. Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing truly helps these wonderful veterans find a means to find some peace of mind through learning the Zen of fly fishing. For three days they let me tag along and try to capture some of the beauty of countryside. I have found my own challenge in trying to portray the fishermen, in scale with the river, on such a tiny canvas... I think I'll bring a magnifying glass today :) Gotta run, you have to get up EARLY to catch up with this group- they don't use worms!
POSTED EARLY TODAY...IT WAS HARD TO FIND WI-FI OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF NO WHERE!
ADOPTED by LARRY LUNCEFORD
It's that time of year again. Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing has started! 24 warriors and their guides along with a myriad of volunteers have assembled for 3 days of fishing and camaraderie. Some have never fished before and some have, but they all have something in common. Problems to overcome from their service in the military. Some wounds are visible, some are not, but they all come to a common playing field and to hopefully forget the outside world and it's accompanying problems for a few days ... and to hopefully acquire a new passion to "take them away"! I happened to be walking by when this young man caught this trophy size trout and I was able to snap this shot of his guide "capturing" the moment. This is what it's all about and I'm guessing that everyone could hear this young man whooping and hollering a mile away! What a simple joy and what an amazing setting. I'm heading back to paint today. Not sure what I'll come up with, but it doesn't matter if there are more great moments like this one! Over and out little fishing buddies.
ADOPTED by ALICIA DUNN
Hollyhocks and sunflowers just scream summertime to me. They remind me of having to find shelter from the sun and heat and having a big, cold glass of lemonade in a hammock. How do I know this? I haven't always lived at 9,000 feet above sea level! Both of these beauties are difficult to grow at our altitude along with corn and tomatoes. It feels like we have about a 3 day growing season... but I keep trying along with many other optimistic high altitude gardeners but usually end up with lettuce and radishes and having to frequent farmer's markets. I think I'll go plant some seeds inside in anticipation of having another bumper crop of small frozen plants this summer. Enjoy your day and I will be in search of some green grass somewhere to stick my toes in. Buona giornata, have a nice day!
I'm posting early today as I'm heading down valley to the Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing gathering for 24 wonderful veterans. My handsome husband, Bill, is a guide for them and they graciously let me tag along to paint. Till tomorrow!
ADOPTED by TERI WELSCH
The art school that I went to in Umbria would transport us to assorted hill towns to paint in. This charming village was filled with convoluted passageways and was absolutely charming. I sat for several hours in this little area to paint and sketch and was treated to a "show". This little town didn't even have a Tabacchi Shop and everything pointed towards generations of the same sturdy people. I'm sure it is an unwritten rule when you live in such intimate quarters that you don't "hear" what the neighbors are doing. An elderly woman was constantly coming out on her balcony to gather firewood from the landing to carry inside. Every time she appeared she acknowledged my presence with what sounded like kind words and a nod of her head. A gentleman who I'm guessing was her husband returned and went inside. What sounded like a HUGE fight wafted out the door. She would then reappear and say what sounded like kind words and nod her head, gather some firewood and disappear back inside and the cacophony would start again. This continued for what seemed an hour. In and out, in and out. What an amazing culture. It makes me smile whenever I think about it and it makes me want to return. In case I haven't mentioned it, I'm in love with Italy and want to go back and experience la dolce vita, the sweet life, again. Hope you are having a dolce vita kind of day, and if not throw your hands in the air and say, "eh" ! Ciao
ADOPTED by JOHN & BARB GALLAGHER
The first day of the next 40 Little Gems... It's going quickly! A shout out to all of you that are actually reading my stories, it keeps me going :)
Today's painting is a scene from a lovely pond a short walk from our home. The Gore Mountain Range reflects into it's still waters and you are greeted by beautiful views of the Ten Mile Range that points the way to Breckenridge. In the fall the chamisa, sporting blankets of yellow and amber blooms, greets us along the way. In the name of progress it is being developed and will be sporting the bloom of homes instead. Until then we will enjoy it's pristine beauty and I will have the memory of it in my paintings. Another memory will be held in this painting for my "old" college friends, John and Barb, who have requested today's Little Gem be painted in memory of John's late sister, Lynette, who would have been 62. "She was a red headed positive lady who never complained of her pain and loved the beauty of the mountains and all nature." My love to you and your family!
Till tomorrow art fans, not a clue what I'm going to do! You will have to tune in to see :)
ADOPTED by KIM LARSEN
Most people think that the only reason people live in our part of the world is to ski. Not true. There are sailing regattas all summer on Lake Dillon, mountain biking and hiking trails galore, beautiful wildflowers in the spring and summer, fishing, wild life and horseback riding! I love this meadow that is across the valley from my home. Ruby Ranch sports horses grazing throughout the meandering pastures and the Smith Ranch has the beautiful hay fields below. If you look really close you will find the picturesque red horse barn that graces the valley. Up above the ranch Buffalo Mt. and Red Mt. tower in the distance. My favorite time of the year is fall and the color it lends to painting landscapes scenes en plein air...which means to paint outside and capture the light. This particular day low flying clouds were settling in bringing much needed moisture to our arid mountain climate. They lent an atmosphere of mystery to the usually crisp bright skies that we are used to. I captured the scene in photography that day and not paint, but I stopped and enjoyed the quickly changing scene and imprinted the feel in my heart.
Today is day number 60 in the "Little Gems Project" and I can't believe that I'm still enjoying this journey as much as I was in the beginning. It's nice to have settled into a daily painting and writing rhythm and I hope you have enjoyed it with me. Keep hang'n in there...only 40 more days to go!
ADOPTED by The Grealish Family
Ahhh, Mother's Day, the day when we realize that to the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world. To all Mothers I wish you love on this day. Mine has been gone for several years, but she is in my heart every day. Onward to today's tribute to one very special Mother!
One little piggy went to market.
The other little piggy stayed home.
One little piggy had roast beef.
The other little piggy had none.
And this little piggy went "Happy Mothers Day!!!!" all of the way home.
Happy Grandma and Mothers Day to
Grandma Joyce! Who is Pig-o-licious from Pigamundo and the gang!
I think that pretty much covers it! Over and out.