Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day...


Dedicating this post to my Dad, John E. Launius, and all our veterans ~ past and present ~ whose service to this country reminds us that our freedom isn't really free...


The flight crew.
 My Dad was navigator (by the stars!)...
 Daddy told me about each one of the men on several different occasions; he remembered all their names and where they were from; what they did back "at home"... but they didn't all come home... He and tail-gunner James Cook (of Atlanta, top row, second from right) remained close friends for the rest of their lives, though; Mr. Cook (just "Cook", Daddy called him ~ and he called my Dad "Lonnie" ~ for Launius)  passed away a month before Daddy. He was such a nice man ~ my children and I stopped to visit him and his family a few years ago on our way to Florida...he sure did think highly of my Dad. Truly, the Greatest Generation...


Here is my "painting spot" in the basement. I love it. You can't tell, but I have lots of light (I've always preferred painting in the wee hours), but in case I do venture down during daylight hours (as was the case today), there's a large window-well (required now in basements for an escape route) for natural light. It (the basement) will eventually be "finished", but for now I'm happy. It's "semi-finished" ~ I have a nice floor to stand on (and a nice bathroom nearby). Always did love playing in the, quiet... bliss!


Yesterday I went to Goodwill to look for white plates/saucers for my watercolors. I have a huge, heavy porcelain, multi-welled watercolor palette (filled with paint), but I always prefer using smaller, individual plates and fresh pigment for each painting...that way I can keep separate color palettes going for each painting. Much nicer. (And lighter!) And, I hit the Mother-Lode! I got a whole stack of orphaned white saucers, four of which have the coolest raised center ~ they look like the expensive specialty watercolor dishes sold by Daniel Smith ~ for fifty cents each! (YAY!!) I love Goodwill...

(I realize I'm probably much too excited about this...)


They work perfectly! I put the concentrated watercolor in the middle, and am able to make lighter washes around the edge...


Here is the start of my magnolia/hydrangea painting I'm calling "The Queen and Her Court" (kind of a play on the fact the the Magnolia is often referred to as the Southern "Queen" of flowering trees...and also on the chess table I've set the still-life up on). I've never attempted painting crystal like this, so I have lots of masking fluid saving my white paper...we'll see how it goes! (I've never had much luck with masking fluid, but now it's available in a very thin formula that is applied with a needle-like applicator.) Also, though it now has a yellow underpainting, the background will be dark.


Here is the beginning of the first of two paintings I'm doing of some Oriental Lilies, called "After Eight"... SO pretty...similar to Stargazers...and they smell heavenly! They will both be on full-sized sheets of watercolor paper (22"x30"); and again, this one has a yellow underpainting to give it a nice "glow" ~ :^)

I think doing florals like these, in a natural setting, is my favorite painting subject can have some really abstract areas, and it still looks completely correct.

Okay, I was about to brag that my kitties never get on things, that I didn't have to worry about little paint-y pawprints going across my paintings now...(yes, this happened often with my Angel-Kitties...and, yes, to have them all back I would welcome some ruined paintings, but...) ~ ♥

Then I came back down the stairs just a few minutes ago, and there is Leo, and I know what he's thinking...

Can't you just see it in his face?
Don't do it, Weo-Weo!...(didn't I tell you about that name thing I have?)...I moved the paint-plates and water just in case...though Leo maintains his innocence...

♥  ♥  ♥

I hope everyone has had a safe and fabulous holiday is behind us now, until August...I wonder what's next??

♥  ♥  ♥
Oh, I almost forgot...when looking through my art/clippings file for a dragonfly reference photo (that I may use in the "After Eight" lilies paintings), I found this postcard I've had...circa 1905, back when Memorial Day was referred to as "Decoration Day"...(my grandparents always called it that)...

A reminder of such a gentler time...



  1. Such a wonderful tribute to your father! He was such a handsome young man! I hope you had a happy and safe holiday!

  2. Hi Anne: A very nice tribute to your handsome Dad, and I wov weo! Happy Tuesday..Judy

  3. Lovely tribute to your Dad.

    Makes me laugh to see the picture of your kitty--because he does seem to saying, "What, I didn't do anything" My Persians never have gotten on a table. I guess I am lucky.

  4. What a beautiful tribute to your father. I like the 'Decoration Day' postcard very much.
    The saucers were a brilliant find. It is interesting seeing the area where you paint. Leo looks a picture of innocence!

  5. How fun to see your painting area and paintings in progress and I too love Goodwill (thrift stores around her)! Isn't it a treasure when you find things like that? :)

  6. A lovely tribute to your Dad! Love the photo of Leo as always!

  7. Hi Anne!
    Oh, I love your kitties! They are such cute little souls!
    Thank you for a lovely reminder of our brave soldiers.

  8. What a fun tour and insight into how you paint. I love it. I have never tried watercolors but I would love to some time in my life. I can tell Weo-Weo looks like he would LIKE to get in on the fun. Don't you just loVe their different expressions?

    Your Dad was a handsome man and how wonderful that you kept contact with his friend-for-life. I'm sure he was happy to see you and your family.

    My father always called it Decoration Day, too. I think everyone did back then. Funny how things change over the years, isn't it?

    Off to stage a house for a couple that is moving today- Have a great day yourself- xo Diana

  9. How proud you can be of your Dad. Not only was he a great soldier but obviously a great friend.

    I love your paintings and what a great find with those little saucers. I usually use paper plates to put my craft paint on but now I'm going to look for saucers.

  10. Anne - your dad was so handsome - loved seeing your art and where you paint. Looks like you have a lovely corner and of course Leo is just plain gorgeous. Hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day. XO XO Pixie

  11. I loved seeing the pictures of your dad. You paintings look like they are going to be fabulous. Your kitty is so precious. My daughter Mary is sitting on my lap and she just loved seeing your kitty too!

  12. Lovely tribute..Your paintings look like they will be wonderful..I envy your talent.

  13. I love your tribute to your father. My dad was a pilot in the war and miss him so much too. Love your idea for the plates for your watercolors. Can't wait to see your beautiful painting finished, it looks so good.


  14. An appropriate tribute to your father!

    Your Goodwill find IS exciting! Especially when you have such a good use for the saucers!

    Love that Leo.:)

  15. What a lovely tribute to your Dad, what a handsome fella.
    Your painting is looking wonderful and what a cute Kitty!
    Lisa xx

  16. How smart are those saucers..great idea!

  17. Hi Anne..
    What a touching tribute to your dad!
    We certainly have a lot to be thankful for!!
    And, I agree.. Freedom isn't free.. but it is worth preserving!
    How I LOVE our country!!

    Gorgeous paintings!! What a talent you have.
    My dad was an artist too.. and he loved his little work-room in our basement. He was a sculpter and did bronzes, and I can close my eyes and still smell that room with it's clays.

    Love the last picture. So awesome.

    Have a wonderful week.

    Smiles :)

  18. The photos of your dad are amazing. Thank you for sharing a piece of history with us. Also, I am loving the paintings. Curious to see the final product.

  19. Just finding your blog. It's beautiful! Great photos, beautiful colors. I'm following to check back now and then. Love the photos of your parents. I love old photos, vintage items, classic things. I help my folks (89 and 92)and write quite a bit about them. The greatest generation!

  20. what handsome heros those pilots grandfather was a navigator in the RAF....your painting looks gorgeous, makes me want to reach for my brushes!!

  21. What a beautiful tribute to your father... I truly loved reading this!

    Your cat is absolutely stunning..... great photos!

  22. What a beautiful tribute to your Dad. I sent my sister the link to your post on the fairy garden and we discussed it and oohed and awed over it tonight on the phone. She wants to make one, too. I'm following you back ;)

  23. Hi is so nice to meet you...thank you for visiting me at Doublewide Decor. I see that you are a painter....I so envy that. I seriously cannot draw a straight line. I hope we get to know each other better via blogland.

  24. Hi Anne! Oh, it was so nice to rad about your daddy and your tribute to him. Glad you were able to find the little saucers for your paints. I'm so impressed that you're a painter. You have a lovely blog and those kitties are so pretty and I'm your newest follower.
    I'm so glad you popped in to see me and be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  25. Dearest Anne,
    Oh, what a wonderful post...and, what a handsome young man your Father was in his uniform! What a beautiful smile and such kind eyes...To him and all the others who have served...Blessings and warmest thanks!
    Your painting is amazing to me! I have not a stitch of talent when it comes to paint brushes!
    Your blog is so rich with beauty!
    Thanks for your many uplifting posts!
    Carolynn >^^<

  26. Love the post about your dad - beautiful! AND LOVE seeing your works in progress - beautiful, even from the start! Here's to a creative week...Tanya


I love your thoughts and comments, and I read each and every one! Sometimes life gets in the way, though, and it takes me a while to respond...Thank you for understanding! ♥...Time is precious, and the time you've taken here is truly appreciated!