August 15, 2011

A wonderful weekend...

I'd love to tell you every detail from my weekend because it was truly wonderful, but I simply can't fit it all in.  So...let me think of the very best things to share...

First, how about I show you Galena, Illinois?  Have you ever been?

I went for an annual art festival, but I'll share that part with you later.
Now tell me how adorable this Italian restaurant on the hill is!
Corrie and I sat at that corner table there and overlooked this...

...lovers, an accordian player on the sidewalk, and a horse-drawn carriage giving rides.
We were in Italy for a night (or at least we pretended we were).
How about those lovers, eh?

The downtown streets are lined with back-to-back buildings housing gift shops, art galleries, ice cream parlors, and yes, even hot sauce stores...very eclectic and oh so charming with all the hills and brick and colorful awnings.
If we did nothing else but walk around and talk and eat ice cream, it would have been enough.

But what made it so especially excellent was the combination of relaxation and work.  
Here's what I mean...

Hours upon hours of precious time I spent preparing for this season of art shows.

Getting things framed...

and mounted...


and packaged...

and more framed!  This last picture shows the original painting next to the framed print.  How gorgeous is the Green Birdwing Butterfly?!

All that work for this...

And it was all just so sunny and perfect until I spotted those angry clouds.
Corrie and I took cover, zipped up the sides, and (literally) held the fort down until the storm passed.
Good thing my walls can move with the wind without causing me much worry (thank the heavens for zip-ties!).

The next day was much more pleasant...

The vintage suitcases add a nice touch and are extremely portable as they can be snapped shut in one hot second to protect the prints from rain or to haul them to/from the car.

But here was the best part of it all: getting to talk with the people who stopped by my booth!
I get more out of that than anything else.  It's so inspiring and incredibly important to hear how others perceive my work.  Like, for example, the mother who came looking for paintings for her young violin-playing son.  She said she loved the sheet music I tend to add in my paintings, but wanted to see more paintings for boys.  (And I'll give you one guess what I'll be painting next!)

Another pair came in looking for a gift for their new grand-baby...

and walked away with a very nice arrangement (if I say so myself).
How adorable would a trio of paintings look above a baby's bed?
Oh, it's such an honor to be able to provide that.

It just excites me even more for my next shows!
I'm equally as excited to show you some paintings I have in the works right now but aren't quite finished the boy with the pet owl who lives in a castle on a hill, or the girl who can communicate with hawks, or the twin boys riding giraffes bare-back. 

And what about the world's largest butterfly I've been dying to paint?

ok, I'll stop.

Don't judge me for that corny picture.

Can I just share one more thing?

The vineyard!

(and a wedding we definately weren't invited to)

A local told us about this great and scenic vineyard a few short miles outside Galena. 
You better believe we didn't pass it up!

The drive was GORGEOUS, filled with all our favorite barns, lush woods, galloping fawns, sheep grazing on hillsides, old wooden fences outlining the hills, beautiful brick cottages, spotted cows knee deep in a creek bed, a setting sun, and a light fog above the treeline.

We stopped multiple times for pictures and to scream about how much we wish we lived in those cottages and could marry farmers... 

ok so maybe I made up the bit about farmers.
I guess I was just dreaming of my lover boy.

Wonderful and exhausting all at once.
I hope your weekend was the same!

{ *Side note* I'll be posting THIS WEEK to let you know the exact time my new prints will be released into the shop.  I'm so excited!  Hope you are too.}
I can't wait!  Stay tuned...
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