Cheerful and Colorful Paintings

Cheerful and Colorful Paintings in Oil, Acrylic, Mixed Media and Collage

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Grackles ~ Opportunity Calls ~ Frames by Mail ~ ~ Art Blog

11" x 15" Watercolor on 140 lb. paper

Grackles are a nuisance bird in some Texas cities. They are an iridescent black with purple and bronze close up but at a distance they appear just to be a black bird but an interesting bird to paint for artists. Usually straight black out of the tube is a no-no for watercolorists as a more exciting black could be made to mix it from other colors. I like the freedom to use arbitrary color..what ever color strikes my fancy at the moment. In this watercolor I’ve left some unpainted places on the birds, sparkles. Some purist watercolor painters approve, some don’t. So paint how it pleases you.

If you want to learn more about painting and try it out for yourself, there is an excellent tutorial and information at If you want to learn to paint and have any time at all, I would encourage you to begin your journey by reading THIS article.

There are color tips here also.

Color Mixing Tip No 5: Don’t Overmix
If, when you mix two colors together on a palette, you don’t mix and mix until they’re totally, utterly, definitely combined, but stop a little bit beforehand, you get a far more interesting result when you put the mixed color down on paper or canvas. The result is a color that’s intriguing, varies slightly across the area you’ve applied it, not flat and consistent.

Read these tips for creating black..

Choose a painting medium and if watercolor as these grackles are, paint your first painting, and then for your first show, order a simple metal frame, white matt, and plexiglass from the largest collection of Custom and Ready Made picture frames on the Internet, Frames by Mail. They have a simple process set up for measuring your art and adding the dimensions and figuring your cost; however, I allow a smidge more area than the 1/8 they suggest. That is playing it too close in my book. Another suggestion would be to frame a painting is wait for a picture sale at a local hobby store, buy a sale item and remove the print and place your original in its place.

Now go have fun. Paint your own black grackle in glorious colors. And if you want to learn to paint, just do it while reading all you can about painting. Start a sketchbook and paint in it. I’ll talk about choosing a sketchbooks on another day.

Other blogs where I post:


Eat Well ~ Paint Your Food ~ Laugh Often

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Sunflower Painting ~ Summer Friends ~ Thru the Bible Radio ~ Art Blog


11" x 15" Watercolor
This summer has brought changes in my lifestyle as I've become interested in blogging and in some weight issues. ( See Post in Artist Food Network) and for the past two weeks I've begun a walking program. I have listened to Thru the Bible Radio off and on for years but this is the way I'm listening while I walk. On the home page you will see a free MP3 Download option.

WELCOME! Thru The Bible is a 30-minute Bible study radio program that takes the listener through the entire Bible in just 5 years, going back and forth between the Old and New Testaments. This Bible study program has been aired on radio stations in the U.S. since 1967, and is now being produced in over 100 languages around the world.

Because the mission of Thru the Bible Radio is to take the whole Word to the whole world, we are making these files available to you free of charge for your personal use.

John Vernon McGee was born in Hillsboro, Texas, in 1904. Dr. McGee remarked, "When I was born and the doctor gave me the customary whack, my mother said that I let out a yell that could be heard on all four borders of Texas!"

How To Download:

Please note that these zipped MP3 files are large and therefore suitable for download only by using a high-speed internet connection. Dial-up users are advised not to attempt to download them. To begin the download, simply click on one of the primary download links in the first two columns and choose where on your computer you'd like the zipped file to be saved. Before you can play the MP3s, they must be unzipped or extracted back into individual mp3 files. To do this you will need a zipping software (such as WinZip or the Extraction Wizard in Windows XP) to unzip the file. Once they have been downloaded and unzipped, you can begin studying the Bible along with Dr. McGee!

Hints: Download to your Desktop and on the last Extract choice of the original file you are trying to extract - (Extract to Title of what you have downloaded or you’ll have files all over the desktop.) Right click on the Last extract. Delete the original book type icon and start saving all the Bible Books to a folder. I save the current Book only and delete it when I’ve finished listening to save room on my Samsung Digital Audio Player. It’s easier for me to just start playing where I’ve left off the day before. I tie the Sportline Step Counter around my waist and when I return from about a 30 minute walk, I post the activity on the Calorie Counter Plus site.
With a MP3 player download you can start anywhere you like in the J. Vernon McGee broadcast and listen when it’s convenient. I am listening to these chapters as I walk in this Texas August heat and each day I look forward to my chapters and my walk as I find walking needs a little something extra. Walking is a priority as I’ve mentioned before as some of my collaborative painting group from Canvas by Canvas are in a weight loss war and the weigh in date is drawing near, September 4. There is a cash bonus involved plus the benefit of some better fitting jeans.

If you like a little religious humor, you might find this worth looking at; however, there are several comments posted pro and con about the Baptism Cannonball.

Other Blogs where I post:

Oh, yes I forgot to mention MySpace has been updated. I visited a 13 year old grand daughter yesterday and she thought my site was much too plain. I asked her to find me something she would recommend. I like her choice.


Eat Well ~ Paint Your Food ~ Laugh Often

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Still Waters ~ Acrylic Landscape ~ Artist Magazine ~ Chroma ~ Psalm 23 ~ Art Blog

$100 unframed
11" x 14" Acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas
Still Waters was one of my entries accepted in the Park Cities Presbyterian Church, Dallas, Texas, juried art exhibition held in May, 2007. The entries were all based on the 23rd Psalm and explored the visual and spiritual richness of this ancient text. The collaborative painting group I belong to, Canvas by Canvas, won one of the 4 best in theme $1000 awards for A Table Before Me.
This morning's email brought a message from The Artist's Magazine.
and inviting me to view a video from some old friends at, Jennifer VonStein and Debra McDonald. If you'd like to see Jennifer demonstrate painting techniques with their Atelier paints click HERE .
The Artist's Magazine's statement if you'd like to receive updates about their e-newsletter:

As part of The Artist's Magazine's commitment to bring our e-newsletter subscribers useful information on new products, techniques, and educational programs, we're delighted to share the following message from one of our marketing partners with you.

Two of our paintings, Queensland Gold and Put Another Nickel In, are on
Here is a good discussion about acrylic paints and techniques from the company owner.

Paint Talk

Paint Talk is an attempt to allow a lively and informative discussion on paint. This is especially necessary when new paints and techniques are being explored.

In what follows therefore, I am not seeking to ‘blog you into submission’, but rather to set out some personal views, discoveries and reactions from selected artists and myself, and seek your opinion and feedback. No one person can explore all the possibilities a new paint presents.

Jim Cobb, Owner and Paint maker, Chroma.

Jennifer has an On the Road report where I have posted comments.

If you are interested in acrylic paint technique, check out some of these links and if you're an artist, PCPC is planning another juried show in 2008 based on Genesis.

Other blogs where I post:


Eat Well ~ Paint Your Food ~ Laugh Often

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Figure with Flowers ~ Diadem ~ Wotartist ~ Facebook ~ Art Blog

18" x 24"
Acrylic on watercolor paper
This week I was notified that my art work been accepted from the site. Wotartist was voted one of the top 50 web sites in the Times poll, a roundup of the most interesting sites of the year. At Wotartist you can search for an artist by genre or by the artist's name. For a ex-librarian this is hard to understand but their entries are alphabetical using the first name. So I would look for me by Nancy Standlee instead of Standlee, Nancy. Here is my listing

When you mouse over the painting an image will appear. If you click it takes you to the blog site. If you’re interested in looking at art of any kind, it can probably be found at Wotartist.
My big objection to the Times site was that I could never find a way to print their poll off. I ended up doing a print screen to get them down on paper as I think this would be a very good list to refer to.
If you want to vote for Wotartist you can here. You can rank the Times' picks.

This elegantly designed portal is a beautiful introduction to artist websites from around the world. Listings are organized by region (Americas, U.K., Europe, Australia, Asia/Middle East) and directory pages list types and genres (sculpture, painting and photography; Figurative, Surrealism and Expressionism). They are clues that are to be explored—moused over, really—so you can discover who, and what, lies beyond. Trigger the pop-up windows to see the artist's name and a sample piece. One click takes you to that artist's website, where you can see more images of their work, learn about gallery shows and get other information. Whether you're a serious collector or just plain curious, it's fun to hop from Nick Milliner's animations (listed as "Weird" on the U.K. page) to bright clay pots by Pippin Drysdale (ceramics, in Australia). But if you're looking for a particular artist, just Google him or her, as there's no search-this-site option. If you're an artist who needs help designing a website to showcase your work, Wotartist has a Wotdesign team for hire. Another site that can quickly suck you in: Getty Images' 10 ways, 10 separate, uniquely structured virtual paths through one immense collection.

Who could resist reading about the 25 sites we can’t live without?

Scroll down and you’ll see the 5 worst web sites. Wouldn’t you love to have the time to explore the 50 best, 25 that we can’t live without and yes, even the 5 worst.

From the Wotartist web site:

About wotartist

Wotartist is unique in being an artist directory run voluntarily by artists themselves. It is a non-commercial site, with the sole aim to promote some of the best artists currently exhibiting on the internet. Designed with ease of use foremost as a consideration, we hope that the buying public, publishers, art students and art agents will all find wotartist a useful tool. Please contact directly with individual artists if you are interested in their work and send selective artists e-cards - which can be used for all occasions. New artists are actively sought out and added to this site daily, so please visit frequently to discover new and exciting art work.

Locate an artist

  • Use continent region links to browse for artists.
  • The drop down list of genres allows for a more specific look at the artists listed.
  • A further detailed search can be made by using the search box. Try searching by using the first few letters of a name, or a specific location and e-card to select all artists with e-cards to send.
I found it interesting that FaceBook was not listed in Time's top 50 web sites but it was included as #9 as the 25 we can't live without. Some of us from Canvas by Canvas have joined Facebook and we would welcome you as a friend. To find more information about Facebook, click HERE:

Other blogs where I post:


Eat Well ~ Paint Your Food ~ Laugh Often

Monday, August 20, 2007

SOLD ~Copper Curls ~ Small Portrait ~ NeoCounter ~ Art Blog

SOLD to an art collector in Plainview, TX
5" x 7" Acrylic Portrait on canvas board

I have a fondness for painting girls with red hair. Red hair is more fun to paint than just plain brown. I see that this redhead may have gotten a little too much sun on her cheeks. Wikipedia has this to say about people with red hair and I learned that Scotland is the country with the highest proportion of redheads in the world.
And talking about countries, I've found the neatest, coolest web widget in the Blogosphere. When you scroll down my page you'll see a list of visitor's cities and countries beside their flag. I found it in operation on a site in Australia, Life in the Health Lane while visiting Blog Catalog.
Then I couldn't wait for Megha to click on my site so Australia would show up on my NeoCounter. You can download your free copy at Neoworx.
Today some from Canvas by Canvas painted at the Upstairs Gallery on an upcoming project of mini flies and lures and the rest will have to be a surprise (no sneak peeks yet). This is just the "bait"..sorry. But while there the gallery owner, J.T. Martin, stopped by from his UTA teaching position and I had to snap a photo of this handsome Southern Gentleman.

We have a NeoCounter on our Canvas by Canvas site and I am jealous. I see they have had 2 hits from my home town of De Leon, Texas (population 2200) and I haven't had one De Leon visitor. I think I may have to email some old classmates! Also, my brother lives in Midland and I don't see a Midland visitor yet..hey, Bro.. come visit my blog but there is a Midland visitor on the CBC web site. OK, this could get addictive.

Other blogs where I post:


Eat Well ~ Paint Your Food ~ Laugh Often

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Blogger Profile ~ Dancers of Antiquity ~ Art Blog


Side View

15" x 30" collage and acrylic on watercolor paper attached to gallery wrapped canvas with 3/4" profile
Blogs can be found on about any subject and I will refer to Google's Blogger as this is what I use. To begin, go to Google in the menu bar at the top click on More and go to Blog search. Type in your subject. For example, Elvis and you'll get about 4 million plus hits but type in Elvis Nancy Standlee and you will find the blog post I did about Elvis and portrait painting. The more narrow the search the fewer hits.
Now for the fun part. Once you find a blog you like and you want to know more about the author of that blog you will find a photo (maybe) around the About Me area and then View My Complete Profile.

Blogger's Profile feature allows users to maintain a page about themselves to help match a face with the personality that inevitably comes through in blog posts. Think of your profile as an easy way to create an "About Me" page supplemental to your blog. Browse profiles and find new blogs to read.

Profiles also feature blogging stats, interests, and links to that user's blogs. Stats such as how many profile views your page has generated (Mine 582 - so people are looking at your profile). Additionally, there are Profile Tags that will render a mini-version of your profile on your Main Page. You can edit your Profile by clicking on Edit Profile from the sidebar of your Dashboard page.

These links are now active and by clicking on one of your interests you will be able to find like minded people. Go to your profile and click on one of your active links and see how many people you find that share that particular interest, movie, or music.

For example I’m interested in painting, well, so are 37,000 more people but if I click on acrylic painting I get 101 hits, watercolor is 333 and these stats will change every minute.

I like Clint Eastwood movies and so do 128 others, but if I click on a specific title like Moonstruck, I get 2200. For music, My favorite Willie Nelson has 4600 people who listed him and Willie and Lobo has a following of 15 who appreciate their music.

Click on your location to find other bloggers are in your area. From looking at those young Arlington faces, I firmly believe I could be the matriarch of the clan.

With this linking ability added it will be a way for people to search for blogs they are interested in and to find people with the same interests but do you really want people that are interested in the same things as you are? Does diversity create more interest? I look forward to that time you can search with multiple entries, such as city and movies and interest.

The Browse Profile results are tuned to show you people who have recently updated their blogs at the top, so you can find blogs with fresh posts.

If you haven’t filled out your profile, do it now to help people find your blog. I posted here about registering your profile in a profile directory.

Here is another post that discusses this new feature.

Elvis Week has passed but I've found this wonderful video that shows the younger crowd some of his appeal when he was young and wowing all the girls. Wikipedia has more information on Poke Salad. I remember my grandmother picking it at certain times of the year and being very careful as it could be harmful if eaten or prepared incorrectly.

The painting, Dancers of Antiquity, reminds me of the hyper linking that is continuing today in the form of these social networks when the next click may bring you a new friend.

Other blogs where I post:


Eat Well ~ Paint Your Food ~ Laugh Often

Friday, August 17, 2007

Autumn Portrait ~ Art Workshops ~ Elvis Week ~ In the Ghetto ~ Nancy Standlee Art Blog

Autumn 2
Autumn 1
Not for sale
11" x 15" Watercolor portrait on 300 lb paper
Autumn 1 was painted in a Ted Nuttall workshop in 2004 in Dallas. It was one of my first portraits and I am just now ready to pass the painting on to the subject as she is leaving for college in a few weeks. A painting holds so many memories that it's hard to let go of some of them but it's time. Later, I painted Autumn 2 for me to keep as a remembrance. Ted had told us not to paint a loved one as it would be more difficult because of the emotions involved so I didn't listen. Sometimes I do listen. Ted is a wonderful person and delightful instructor. Since that time I've taken other Ted Nuttall workshops and one of the best was in Italy where we stayed in a Tuscan villa with side trips to neighboring towns but that needs to be told in an additional post.
Another reason for thinking portraits is my October 07 copy of Watercolor Magic that came this week and it contained a portrait article: Face Forward, p. 48 about Myrna Wacknov and her portraits. I love her technique and corresponded with her immediately to tell her so. Watercolor Magic has a file to download about using Photoshop Elements to enhance the color of photos and it is excellent. Now I want to take a workshop with her but for now I'll try out the Photoshop Elements Technique. Thanks, Watercolor Magic for that pdf file.

Since this is Elvis week and it's drawing to a close, I need to mention him. He performed in the early 50's around Stephenville but my thoughts were about making some summer school credits at Tarleton State and I missed the opportunity to see him early in his career. I've been to Graceland, saw him in concert in Virginia, and in 2005 the Texas State Fair had an exhibit with him carved in butter. You be the judge.

And in Texas we have fans that grew up with Elvis and here is a photo of one I couldn't resist taking as he was viewing the Elvis exhibit of his personal memorabilia on that Fair Day.

There have been blog tributes all week.
I enjoyed this video clip of Lisa Marie and Elvis singing In the Ghetto..

Have a great weekend, paint a portrait and remember Elvis!

Other blogs where I post:


Eat Well ~ Paint Your Food ~ Laugh Often

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Ranch Style Beans ~ Black Bean Salsa ~ Blog Artist Food Network ~ Nancy Standlee

10" x 11" Watercolor on Fabriano 140 lb. paper, Pen and Ink
In a previous post on my art blog and on the Artist Food Network I talked about the De Leon Peach and Melon Festival that is held the first full weekend each August.
To read the rest of the post please click on the Artist Food Network and you will find the recipe.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Lady Portrait ~ Kimbell Museum ~ Modern Museum ~ Art Blog

9" x 9" Acrylic on watercolor paper
Road trips are always popular with my Canvas by Canvas painter friends. Yesterday, August 14, the temperature was about 102 in the shade when some of us decided on a Fort Worth museum day where air conditioning is king. We were all in need for a “girlfriend fix” as we were on the verge of a major hissy fit. The Purple Cow and a hamburger fix nixed the fit. Cindy Y drove us , Maryann was available, and Betty needed a break from her web duties, and Connie met us for lunch.

First stop was the Modern Museum where we viewed the Ron Mueck sculpture exhibition that runs through October 21, 2007. Ron is a virtuoso of hyper realistic sculpture and the exhibit includes 13 of his works and each will elicit a different response from the viewer. The sleeping elderly lady covered with a blanket made me want to view and then tip toe silently away as to not awaken her. The larger than life baby with umbilical cord attached brought a joyful shout just thinking about watching the birth of my last grandchild. A 30 minute video showing his sculpture process and the production steps of the pregnant woman is a must see.

The Kimbell Art Museum was exhibiting The Mirror and the Mask: Portraiture in the Age of Picasso until September 16. Some portraits by artistic giants such as Van Gogh, Matisse, and Cezanne could be studied and it is a dazzling collection of 100 masterpieces from 75 collections. One of my favorites was Maurice de Vlaminch’s Andre Derain.

The Buffet at the Kimbell is a favorite place to eat and we stopped by to share some of Shelby Schafer’s desserts and Mango tea. Shelby’s first Kimbell cookbook was published in 1986 and The Kimbell Cookbook was revised and published in 2001. I have both books and I use them regularly and I’m so grateful Shelby believes in sharing her recipes. We sampled the Mandarin Orange Cake, page 182 and Raspberry Truffle Brownies, page 204 from the new book and Mango tea for a pick me up before our Arlington return. The Buffet Restaurant is a welcoming stop after a museum tour. The area is a visual delight while enjoying Shelby’s culinary masterpieces.

This portrait is a very impressionist loose interpretation of an imaginary person lurking in my storehouse of mind portraits.

P.S. I've done a Technorati search and have found some recent posts about Ron Mueck you might be interested in:
Great photos

Another blogger:

Photos of installation:

Other blogs where I post:


Eat Well ~ Paint Your Food ~ Laugh Often

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Blue Rose ~ Blue Vase ~ Floral Painting ~ Oskee-Wow-Wow ~ P and M Festival

Detail of Red Rose ~ Blue Vase
19" x 19" Acrylic on watercolor paper

This weekend was the annual De Leon Peach and Melon Festival. See my post on the Artist Food Network about the P and M Festival. Friday evening, August 10, found me at Proctor Lake celebrating with the De Leon, Texas class of 1954 with great snacks and ever greater memories.

Saturday was the all school reunion at the elementary school where kudos were given to the oldest student, the one that traveled the farthest, and ex-faculty present. Each class stood for recognition with the 50th anniversary class given the privilege of some stage sitting and viewing by all. Neck hugs and howdy’s all around and with promises to return in 2008. I saw Charles Chupp and asked if he’d written an article about our school song, Oskee-Wow-Wow. He had but he said it was in a shoebox somewhere and had not been archived. He has a web-site that mentions it in the Article Words and Music, August 9, 2007.

All would enjoy his story about how the De Leon Peach and Melon Festival came into being. Texas History 101 by De Leon, Charles Chupp at the Texana Review.

After the song closing, tables were at the back to buy a quilt raffle ticket (Yes, bought 6), a De Leon Tee-shirt (Yep, I did), and Memorial bricks (I’m thinking about it), afghan of De Leon photos (yes, as well).

A trip wouldn’t be complete to pay my respects and a visit to the De Leon Cemetery where I observed these Confederate battle flags with the distinctive 13 stars marking some of the graves. I did not realize the cemetery held so many Confederate veterans and thanks to whoever is responsible for that display. One interesting note on a gravestone I saw were the words “1825 made the leg irons for Santa Anna after his capture.”

Also an interesting article about the Confederate battle flag.

Activities not attended were the Garden Tractor Pull and the Seed Spitting Contest but participated heartily in the Watermelon Slicing at 5:00.

Other blogs where I post:


Eat Well ~ Paint Your Food ~ Laugh Often

Friday, August 10, 2007

Calf Painting ~ Cattle ~ Nancy Standlee Art Blog

Texas Calf
11 x 14 Acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas, 1 3/8 depth

My calf/cow knowledge would fit in a thimble and the closest I get to cattle is probably at the State Fair of Texas.
In my earlier days, I have observed my daddy milking and remember asking him if I could try but zilch on the milk.
I've seen a lot of cattle and horses on the daily painting sites and Canvas by Canvas had painted some longhorns so this is my attempt (My square in the CBC longhorn painting was the bottom left square (just grass and the signature) You can't draw the center square every time). My other longhorn painting was given as a Christmas gift and I have one that has been repainted several times and is not ready for it's debut yet. I'm still cattle challenged and I still prefer my associated to be limited by canvas and paints.
If you like jokes, here is one from MGR of Chaos about a Montana cowboy and some cows and calves.

Other blogs where I post:
Eat Well ~ Paint Your Food ~ Laugh Often

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Gloria ~ Glorious Days with Gloria ~ Duck, NC ~ Nancy Standlee Art Blog

5" x 7"
Acrylic on canvas board
This small portrait is smaller than I usually paint and the colors are not as vivid but I love to try my hand at portraits and plan to do others. I named the painting Gloria, but it really reminds me a little of Helen Hunt and it doesn't look like Gloria. Gloria is the name chosen because several of the CBC group (but before it was organized) traveled to the Outer Banks, North Carolina to take a workshop with a long ago Virginia friend, Gloria Coker. She paints like I’d like to with very bright colors and in an impressionist style. We flew into Norfolk, Virginia. She has a beach house in Duck named the “Sketch Pad” and near the ocean but she was such an enthusiastic teacher and taskmaster we spent little time on the beach. Her forte was individual attention and getting us to find “our style” while working at our own level. I had met Gloria years ago (think 70's) while we were artist wantabe’s in Hampton, Va. She was already painting and selling fabulous watercolors and I have an early Gloria painting of her cats. I was very involved with batik and as I remember we probably traded a batik and a painting.

One distracting little activity we were prone to do during our photo ops were to display friends (who were absent) photos on sticks to include them in the activities. Gloria would be giving a demo and a head on a stick would appear behind the easel so the missing person would still be in the photo. Gloria indulged our little whims. This photo was taken at the airport before the heads were on a stick.

Gloria is in the process of developing a blog sometime during the summer. It will be a welcome bookmark and she says she will contribute a painting and recipe to our Artists Food Network.
I should have named the painting, “Glorious Days with Gloria” to remind us of those early mornings sitting on the covered deck drinking our coffee and planning and looking forward to a day of instruction and painting. Gloria, please let us know when your blog's grand opening will be.

Red Watermelon ~ Poppy Seed Dressing ~ P & M Festival ~ De Leon, TX. ~ Art Blog Collage Painting ~ Nancy Standlee

9 x 12 Acrylic collage on gallery wrapped canvas,
1 3/8" depth profile
(Originally posted on the Artist Food Network)

Watermelon is one of the world’s most perfect foods. I served it to daughter’s family about a week ago and had it sliced when they arrived. Upon seeing the table my daughter quipped “Oh, I see you’re using your redneck placemats today” referring to the newspapers I had spread out to catch the drips. I started really looking at the arrangement with the red watermelon and black and white of the paper
and I grabbed my camera and started shooting. I liked the look and decided to use a piece of newspaper for a collage. I've painted over it so not too much of the paper if visible but it is below the watermelons. I used the Fort Worth Star Telegram but as an afterthought, I should have used the De Leon Free Press. This is the result. Watermelon can stand alone. It doesn’t t need any special presentation. Some foods need ornaments and garnishes and sauces but with watermelon you just need some watermelon and a place to sit.

That’s what will be going on at the De Leon Peach and Melon Festival this weekend of August 10, 2007.

The Annual De Leon Peach and Melon Festival is one of America's premier family celebrations, with truly something for everyone who comes to this small town in the heart of Texas' melon country.

Over the past 92 years, the celebration has become a tradition for local residents, as well as for the 20,000 annual visitors the Festival brings to this community of just over 2,400 persons located 90 miles from Fort Worth, Waco, & Abilene equally.

The four evenings of the first week of August showcase entertainers, unique family events, a Street Parade, an old-fashioned carnival, and lots of good-tasting watermelon, Arts and Crafts Exhibits & local food vendors. Auxiliary events connected with the Festival include an earth-shaking tractor pull, one of
Texas' best bike rides, a sanctioned "42" Tournament and a downtown celebration.

I enjoy meeting at the elementary cafeteria on Sat. morning at 10:00 for an all school reunion and discover who is the oldest ex-student there or one who has traveled the farthest. We sing Oskee-wow-wow De Leon (that will have to take a separate post!!!) and recognize the 50 year class and they get to sit on the stage. In the afternoon there is a seed spitting contest and then.. ...hold on, you go downtown sit in a folding chair if you have one, on the curb if you don’t and watch as the big trucks and trailers bring in ice cold watermelon that are yours for the stroll over to the middle of the street where you are handed one from one of De Leon's many gracious P & M volunteers.

Return to your spot and good for you if you brought some silverware and your salt shaker but dig in and keep eating until all of the melons are unloaded. Later you’ll have to scatter because the firetrucks will slowly pass by and spraying away those stray chunks and seeds and juice.

If you enjoy this kind of small town hospitality and are considering a move or a holiday, check with the Chamber of Commerce. I graduated high school in 1954 and I don’t know very many but our class of about 33 try to get together sometime during the yearly festival. One precious thing about my classmates is their lovely spirits haven't changed but our bodies are betraying us but I still see them as they were and I even remember their handwriting. It was a typical small town experience back in the 50's where everyone knew you were Boss and Marie's daughter and they could and would be reached if necessary. It is one trip I look forward to in August. You plan your trips carefully in Texas in August. When my father was living, he would go early on parade day and park his pickup under a shade tree and later we'd join him and sit in lawn chairs in the pickup bed for the best view and time in the city. I'd insist he "make the drag" before traveling up the street a few blocks to home just to make sure I got to wave and yell at anyone I might recognize. The DeLeon's motto:

"Busiest Town - Friendliest People"

Now for the recipe. I know I said watermelon can stand on it's own but if you want to dress it up a poppy seed dressing could be added to a mix of summer fruits of watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, grapes, or pineapple chunks. To see my poppy painting click HERE.


  • 1/3 TO 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 t. ground mustard or prepared mustard
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 T. onion grated
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 t. to 1 T. of poppy seeds, or to taste
  • Whisk together all ingredients except the poppy seeds or put in a blender/food processor
  • If using a processor, blend ingredients and add oil slowly and add seeds after blending
  • Keep refrigerated. It's also great with a spinach and toasted pecan salad.

Other blogs where I post:


Eat Well ~ Paint Your Food ~ Laugh Often

Enter your Email for Updates

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Poppies ~ Poppy Painting ~ Afghanistan Poppy ~ The Red Poppies Dance ~ Nancy Standlee Art Blog

12"x16" Acrylic on watercolor paper on gallery wrapped canvas 1 1/2" profile
No flowers were harmed in the making of this painting. They came from my flower imagination. Each spring I have always loved shopping the seed packets and seeing the Oriental Poppies and I'd buy a package just to have. I love the genus name of Papaver. But poppies can generate a multitude of memories.
Here is more information on the poppy that I found at
pop·py (pŏp'ē) pronunciation

n., pl. -pies.

  1. Any of numerous plants of the genus Papaver, having nodding buds with four crumpled petals, showy red, orange, or white flowers, a milky juice, and capsules that dehisce through terminal pores.
  2. Any of several similar or related plants, such as the California poppy.
  3. An extract from the sap of unripe poppy seedpods, used in medicine and narcotics.
  4. A vivid red to reddish orange.
  5. Besides symbolizing sleep and unconsciousness, poppies were also associated with death, and already at the time of Waterloo it was said that those growing on the battlefield had sprung from the blood of soldiers (Dyer, 1889: 115). This symbolism was taken up during and after the First World War; in the period leading up to Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday (11 November, and the Sunday nearest to it) they are widely worn as lapel badges, and wreaths of them laid at memorials for the dead of all recent wars.

Country beliefs about poppies were chiefly warnings: to pick or sniff them supposedly caused headaches, earache, blindness, warts, or a strong possibility of being struck by lightning. The purpose may have been to stop children trampling the corn in order to pick flowers (Vickery, 1995: 286-90).

Disturbing and alarming news on the poppy front from Strannix blog and he reports that Afghanistan will produce another record poppy harvest this year that cements its status as the world's near-sole supplier of the heroin source and that the country now accounts for 95 percent of the world's crop. Good news for dealers and junkies.
Another report from Matthew Lee mentions that almost all the heroin from Afghanistan makes its way to
Europe; most of the heroin in the U.S. comes from Latin America.

The poppy has been the symbol of the dead and of sleep since antiquity. The poppies of “Flanders fields” are celebrated in a poem by John McCrae and are the Memorial Day emblem of World War veterans. The poem can be viewed on Tom's MySpace . In Flanders Fields" is one of the most famous poems about World War I, and has been called "The most popular poem" produced by the war. Green Fields of France - Memorial Video
is a must see with a beautiful song with the lines "The warm summer breeze makes the red poppies dance"

An interesting tidbit is the false positive drug tests when ingesting small amounts of the seeds. Although the drug opium is produced by "milking" latex from the unripe fruits ("seed pods") rather than from the seeds, all parts of the plant can contain or carry the opium alkaloids, especially morphine and codeine. This means that eating foods (e.g., muffins) that contain poppy seeds can result in a false positive for opiates in a drug test.

I hope you enjoy this poppy painting about dancing poppies. For a wonderful poppy seed dressing recipe check out the Artist Food Network.

Other blogs where I post:


Eat Well ~ Paint Your Food ~ Laugh Often

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Yellow Rose, Red Boot Painting ~ Nancy Standlee Art Blog

"Yellow Rose, Red Boot"
11"x14" Acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas, 3/4" profile

These sassy boots have seen some good times but they are worn now only if there is someone to assist is removing them or a photo opportunity comes along where I need to look like a cool cowgirl.
And talking about artists and photos brings up another matter. If you want to photograph people it is necessary to use some stealth techniques. If you ask for permission to take their photo for a possible painting, you get one of two results. First they give you a flat out no or they look all smiley/cheese (with all teeth showing) directly into the camera. (I don't do teeth so that makes for a very elongated chin area when I try to paint a chin/lip combo minus the open mouth/teeth. (We like people to look like they're really not present ..for some that is easier than others.)
On a Santa Fe photography trip last year, I saw the dreamiest guy, long dark ponytail, white open neck shirt, with a big chunk of turquoise around his neck and he would have made a painting that would have gotten me into any area juried show. My biggest mistake when my Canvas by Canvas girl friends were at his booth was to ask his permission. He gave a little hands under the chin head bow and I got the NO- answer #1. I spent the next 30 minutes with my 12X zoom across the street behind pillars and adobe columns and trees and bushes trying to get something, anything but he was busy selling and wouldn't stand still. I even tried a friend as a shill to approach him but that didn't work either neither did slowly cruising by his booth, slinking down in the back seat. You're always afraid you'll get reported for stalking. And I've followed a few interesting looking people trying to get a good candid photo.
But I have found a fellow blogger's post, Dave Silver Creek 78250
that you will love and it has to do with his love of photography as a way to relieve his shopping excursion boredom. Read it and wouldn't you love to join him for a day of people photography. You would come away with some awesome people shots, no cheese/smiley's..just a fun day to remember. A diversion like getting a new telephone that has a button on the base unit that when pushed will generate a beep from the phone. I was fascinated with this possibility and kept hiding my phone and pressing the button and see if I could find it. I found the phone every time.
This stealth photography is one of those fun activities that might result in a good people painting. I would like to hear other suggestions for getting good candid people shots. I think my next photo op might be Garden Ridge as I take 2 allergy pills every night. Or I would look cute sitting in Dave's Texas flag tub with my yellow rose/red booted leg dropped over the side for my next publicity shot. Maybe for a 71 year old that would need to be a jeans covered yellow rose/red booted leg.

Other blogs where I post:


Eat Well ~ Paint Your Food ~ Laugh Often

Enter your Email for Updates

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Friday, August 3, 2007

Daffodil Painting Series #4 of 4 ~ Art Groups DFW

$40.00 each

Daffodil Series #4 of 4

Weekend Sale 2 Daffodil series $60.00 or 4 Daffodil Series 1-4 for $100.00

5” x 7” watercolor with light beige mat

How do you get visitors to your web site or blog site? There are many opinions to that question. This week I invited everyone in my address book and that gives you pause. You’re afraid that Yahoo will think you’re a spammer or your friends will not appreciate you filling up their inbox. Fortunately I’ve had some positive response and thanks to you who have subscribed. One email came from Sharon Giles from the Art Groups DFW and she asked me to contribute an article on blogging and my art blog. You can read the article here.

The web site is a hub for the DFW area artists and those living in the North Texas area. It is The Place to discover what is happening in the art scene in the metroplex and surrounding area.
It is devoted to news of art events hosted by nonprofit visual art groups as well as news about their member artists. Artists can find out about exhibits, meetings, art instruction, and opportunities. You may find a exhibit you would like to visit over the weekend.

Or take a cruise over to Canvas by and see our mini paintings of high heels and cupcakes. We have reduced the prices to make them affordable for gifts - maybe an early Christmas present. It is always a difficult process to find the correct selling price for a painting. We have reached the conclusion that these were priced more than some competitive paintings. Our goal is to sell so we can keep painting. Your comments on this would be appreciated. Since lowering the price to $40.00 earlier today, one has been sold so that tells us something.

I hope you have an enjoyable weekend. I wish on these little holidays you take the right exit and you travel without any warning lights appearing on your dashboard.

Other blogs where I post:


Eat Well ~ Paint Your Food ~ Laugh Often

Enter your Email for Updates

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz