Bluebonnet Blues and Sunflowers too many….

IMG_0326This week-end has quenched my thirst for art. Being in the city versus the ranch has made it a challenge to devote time to painting. I find it tempting to visit places that were too distant for the last 18 years. Yesterday we were able to check out the works of Porfirio Salinas at the Witte Museum.IMG_0308There are about 30 of his landscapes on exhibit at the new Texas Heritage Museum. It was amazing to see these oil paintings in a wonderful setting and be able to get inches away to absorb the textures and hues of his work. He sold his first painting when he was in the 3rd grade to his art teacher. Another fact I discovered was that another artist paid Porfirio $5.00 per canvas to paint his bluebonnets for him….if this is true, I can totally relate. IMG_0327This painting of our Longhorn Mesquite Joe was much easier to paint than the one of him with all the sunflowers in the background. The tiny ones at the top are almost done, but will I ever finish them ? I would much rather paint another Cactus Jack sans the wildflowers!!!il_570xN.273353728A big fat stick of pastel and I am done…..

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Nothing but Blues Skies

Cactus Jack

Our two Longhorns found an open gate and went to visit the neighbors large herd of welcoming cows. As much as we wanted them back, we were not sure how to separate them from their friends without a stampede. Weekday mornings do not allow enough time to do any cattle rustling, but luckily they happened to be hanging out by themselves along our fence line last Saturday morning. Tom opened the gate and led them back to their pasture while their 100 plus friends were wailing and telling them not to leave…..I think the boys are glad to be back. Welcoming treats of carrots and cattle cubes helped a lot! I just finished two new paintings to celebrate their safe return. I have them on my Etsy web site . Click on Leicalady.etsy.com to see all of the Longhorns

Rosie

Miss Rosie

We have had Shelties since we were first married. My first Christmas present was Omar, a male Shetland Sheepdog. We are baby sitting Rosie. She is a rescue dog, part Sheltie and she is going home next week-end……maybe, I might have to hide her somewhere!

Home on the ranch

Rosie is a big help, keeping a watchful eye on everything.

Reference Photos

It was around 1:00 this afternoon and I told Tom that I would like to shoot some quick photos of our Longhorns, Jack and Joe for a painting that I started. “The lighting is not too great right now” he said. I told him that I had not seen them since early this morning, in fact I had not seen the three ponies that are in the pasture with them, either. Tom was gone for a while and came back with interesting news, not particularly good news…..”The gate to Tip’s property is open….they are gone!”We were still in our running clothes, but did not take the time to change. My first thought was that I might get some actual helpful shots for this painting……

progress of cattle painting

My second thought was that I probably would not have time to paint today…..

help!!!!!

The problem was that our little mish mash herdlet had joined a rowdy bunch of bovines and they outnumbered us by quite a bit.

the cow whisperer

If it was up to me, I would have just turned around, said good bye to our livestock and started a new painting of a bird or a kitten……

gotta keep'em separated

My cowboy, sans the rhinestones would have none of that!

what is going on?

Carrots and cattle cubes are excellent bribes….the problem is that we did not want to cause a stampede of over eager eaters.

rear view mirror

I was tempted to play some good old country music on the radio in the truck for inspiration, but I needed to hear directions from Tom as I churned through the sand…..

move 'em up

“Close the gate!!!!!”

let's hear it for the boys

The ponies were very interested in seeing what treats I had in the truck.

lead pony

Pony Boy and Sunny know the routine of getting rewards for bad behavior.

Ain't no sunshine when you're gone.

Well, we missed out on so much today while we were tracking down the wayward pasture ornaments….I was planning on ironing and mending some socks….but in spite of it all, they are so cute when they are bad!!!!

follow me home

Spring has Sprung

This photo was taken by Leicaman on our morning walk. An unusual view of Texas Bluebonnets, but I love it, probably because of that or maybe because like Daddy Bub….Leicaman loves carrying a camera with him where ever he goes….sometimes two or three. This morning he took photos of the moon…..yesterday it was something different….all while I was still sleeping. He is so lucky that we have dogs to wake him up to get these AWESOME SHOTS!!!!!

I love these colors.I was inspired to paint some trees. I said it was not finished. My teacher and best critic, Tom said “It’s finished” So I said…Good I’m ready to paint something else….Tom and I have been remarking about the gold green color of the Mesquite trees as they are just coming out……I had just the right color in my palette, so I sketched this little tree today for him….
Speaking of Spring…..I just want to say that my Mamacita who gave me my maiden name of Spring….is the most awesome chica that I have ever met and I am soooo proud of her for taking care of herself and staying healthy and strong!!!!! Te amo mucho!!!!!

Longhorn Cattle Drive

It was hard to know where to stand to get the best view of the San Antonio Longhorn cattle drive this year. This was our first time to go and we were excited to get some photos. We could not decide on which lens to use. We found a great spot for next year, but it will remain our secret…until then, this is my interpretation of what I saw.

acrylic on paper

Snow day in San Antonio

The barn is open for the Longhorns, all two of them, to go into the stalls, but this morning they decided to take a break chilling in their bed of hay that they made for themselves.Notice those eyes that are glued on me. They see me through the windows in the house, the minute that I wake up in the morning. If it is dark outside, I can’t see them, but I know they are there waiting for breakfast!

Last Night and the Night Before

I could not wait to get home Friday night. Tom and I had a cook out planned and we wanted to get started before sunset. I thought we might just walk down to the tank and sit on a blanket and eat a salad, but I should have known better. I saddled up Pony Boy and he was my couch for the evening, while the Gourmet Chef grilled bell peppers, zucchini, carrots and onions to compliment our jalapeño and cheddar cheese burgers. Pony Boy munched on hay and was content to hang out with us. We had a radio, but it was more fun to listen to the Cara Caras (Mexican eagles) and the Owls as it got later. Last night was even more fun and Tom had the whole day to plan our feast.We had corn on the cob, roasted on the fire, green beans on another grill, chicken and sausage on the 3rd one.

Spooky's first pony ride

Noche and Okie stayed home (their choice)and I was a little bit worried about bringing Spooky. I thought we might lose her when it got dark, but she stayed near us all night. She even went for a ride on Pony Boy. Sky was really good, too. She did a little exploring, but never wandered off to far.

Every day opens up new possibilities for fun that only could be realized by living out here with the solitude, open land and abundant wildlife. Just recently we have been excited to see several deer on our property for the first time ever. Last week, I started putting out corn so that they will appear on a predictable basis.There is a big buck and at least four doe in his harem. I can’t wait to see little Bambis in May. If I feed them enough, maybe they will hang out here more often and try some of Tom’s roasted corn on the cob! We took lots of photos that are posted here. Check out Just Saying to see some of the ranch recipes.

Owl City

owl painting in oil on ampersand board

This painting is exactly what I remember from our owl sighting about two years ago. I was riding Sarita and Tom was on Francie. It was not quite dark, but two Barred owls were perched together right on the fence-line to our neighbor’s property. The only other time we saw two owls together was right when we first bought the Rockin’ P ranch in 1996. I have seen a few road kill of these barred owls because of their habit of flying and hunting at a low position, perfect target for cars. Sunday night we saw one perched beside the county road and Tom saw him early this morning again. Too far away and too dark, but he was really looking for him.

There you are!

I love all birds and animals, but owls are my current obsession and here is my collection……The painting above is oil on ampersand board of two eagle Owls. Some of my other paintings are listed on Etsy and you can click here to see them at Leicalady.etsy.com