Photo Journal, Sketchbook, Travel

Travel to: The Hyde Collection

Thanks to a dear friend, I had the opportunity to check out a wonderful art museum located in Glens Falls, NY. The Hyde Collection was dedicated to the community in 1952 by Charlotte Pruyn Hyde. She was born into wealth, her father being the sole owner to the paper manufacturing company, Finch, Pruyn & Company. Charlotte married a young law student, Louis Hyde, who was convinced by her father to join the family business and eventually become vice president of the paper mill. The family, to include Charlotte’s two sisters, commissioned an architect to create three houses on adjoined properties for them to reside and overlook the Hudson River. These buildings now encompass the Hyde Collection.

Over the next few decades they collected works from their favorite dealers in New York and from frequent summer trips to Europe.

The museum is broken down into three sections. One of which being an educational wing for art classes, seminars, and other related events.

The Hyde Gallery, you can guess, is where the art shows are held. The current show is “Transforming the Hyde: The Feibes and Schmitt Gift. There is also an exhibition going on until December displaying the works of artists from the Mohawk Hudson region. There was many great pieces that took my breath away. There were also many works that made my lip curl. I definitely recommend having a look for yourself and seeing what you like…but no cameras!

The Hyde House is set in a home environment with bookshelves, antique furniture, priceless art hanging from the walls, tapestries, busts, statues, a grand piano…I mean, it just keeps going. This place was gorgeous. There was a great room with a high glass ceiling. Even the architecture was historical art. It was fantastically overwhelming. Luckily, I was able to take pictures here although I only had my phone available.


I brought a small sketchbook with me as well so I could sketch some of my favorite pieces. I could not pass up sketching an original Picasso. I could literally get close enough to touch my nose to it. It was called, “The Boy With the Blue Vase”. You can learn so much from concentrating on the details of a master’s work. I also came across a Greek statue from 4th century B.C. called “Mourning Woman”. The head and one of the arms had broken off. I feel like it added even more to the emotion of the piece. The figure clutched a piece of cloth in the hand that was left, perhaps the remaining piece of whom or what she lost. She was draped down to the toe in a heavy blanket-like material. The sorrow literally hung from her. It was a very moving piece.

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the Hyde Collection. It really made for a great day for my artist self. I also discovered that it is free to the public the second Sunday of every month. I have a feeling I’m going to be sketching there more often.

I hope you enjoyed taking a peek into the Hyde House. Have you been to an art museum or exhibit recently? Which place is your favorite to go to? Share your story below in the comments! Thanks for stopping by this week!

Until next time,

“Look beyond the paint. Let us try to open our minds to a new idea.”




Traditional Art

Hearts & Hippocampus

I’ve completed my latest painting. I was commissioned to do a piece for a wedding gift of two seahorses in the shape of a heart. The newlyweds’ favorite colors are blue and orange, so this became the easy choice for the seahorses. The leaf in the corner is a little accent requested to highlight the date and to represent an Autumn wedding. My client wanted the background to appear wood-like, which I have attempted to capture before on other paintings. I’m quite content with how it came out. I didn’t want to put much detail into the wood grain in fear of taking away from the subjects. I adding the shadowing behind the figures to make them pop off of the background.


Overall this was a very vibrant and lively piece. I have never drawn or painted seahorses before, which is surprising. I feel like I did great for my first go-around. I was a little disappointed at first because I felt the seahorses lacked detail. I need to keep in mind that my painting style is completely different than my drawing style. It’s not so much that my paintings lack detail. They are whimsical whereas my drawings are idealistic. They cannot be compared to each other; apples to oranges.

This was a special piece for me. I had decided that this will be my last painting commission. There are multiple reasons as to why. First of all, to be honest I don’t want to put money into anything else at the moment besides my drawing supplies and making prints. Paints, brushes, canvases, and the works adds up to a lot of money. All of which I would rather put into better supplies to better my drawings.

Also, I would like to further improve my paintings skills before offering anymore commissions. That’s a whole new set of lessons which again I would rather put into my drawings right now. I think this is the best choice in order to really boost my skills with pencils.

Before I bring this rambling post to and end, I want to send a special shout out to the newlyweds, Congratulations! I hope you can enjoy your painting for many years to come. Thanks for stopping by this week!

Until next time,

“Look, in my opinion, the best thing you can do is find a person who loves you for exactly what you are. Good mood, bad mood, ugly, pretty, handsome, what have you. The right person is still going to think the sun shines out of your ass. That’s the kind of person that’s worth sticking with.”


Let’s Sea What’s New

This month has been quite an adventure! Things are changing rapidly and and new opportunities beginning! Now I know what the hummingbird moth was trying to tell me! I’ve been spinning in circles trying to get everything done.

One project I will be finishing this week is a surprise! I don’t want to give away to many details but I was commissioned to do a piece involving seahorses! I have always wanted to do a piece with seahorses and now I finally get a chance to. This one is a painting with some great colors! I’m really  excited to “sea” how it will turn out!

Until next time,

“Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.”



Traditional Art

The Wedding Week

A good friend of mine, the best really, called me a week ago and says “How long would it take you to paint a wedding gift for me?” I had an idea of what she wanted and thought for a minute. “About a week. When do you need it?” I asked. “In exactly a week,” she says.

That’s all fine and dandy then! Except for the fact that we live about 600 miles apart and it takes three days to ship! Ok, so now I’m down to four days. The day she called, I ran out and got the supplies I needed. I had the paint and brushes already so I just needed the canvases. Day two and three I completed the paintings. I used acrylics for the writing and spray paint for the background. The wedding colors were pink and navy, so that makes things easy! I went with an Old English style for the writing. I thought it was a classy look. By day four I had it ready to go and shipped to be there by the due date!

It was a cut and dry job! Get it, got it, done. I typically will never attempt to complete a commission with only a week notice but my “BFF” knows I love her and I’ll whip something good up!

I haven’t heard the bride and groom’s reaction to the piece yet so we will see. My friend however loved it!

It was a nice change of pace to get a painting done amongst all these eye portraits. It was something I could be a little loose with and have some fun!

So a special thanks to my “BFF” for the recent commission. Also congrats to the newly weds!

Until next time,

“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love, and be loved in return.”


We wish you a merry…wait!

Trick or Treat! We celebrated Halloween and as soon as November 1st came around…

Christmas carols, wrapping paper, Christmas lights, trees, and stockings; ugly sweaters, sleigh bells and Santa hats; Christmas specials and the ever controversial Black Friday! Wishlists, Christmas decor and early shopping for the season! Could there be a more wonderful time? Well, I like to think so. Does anyone recall a holiday called Thanksgiving? Does anyone know why it’s a national holiday?

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Maybe we should rewind a bit. It’s Nov. 1st. What we should be thinking about is how the leaves are bright orange and the sky is the bluest we’ve ever seen it! Thanksgiving is just around the corner. A time to come together, share, feast (oh I’m feastin’ on pumpkin pie!), and show gratitude.

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People will typically associate this holiday with pilgrims and Native Americans coming together for a great turkey feast and the Native Americans saved the pilgrims from starvation! Yay! Well that’s kind of true. There is a lot more to the story that brought us to the holiday we know now.

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Both the Native American and European cultures incorporated a time for “giving thanks” most commonly associated with a plentiful harvest, rain after a long drought or a new birth. This was practiced long before the famous Thanksgiving in 1621. So what started the famous story?

When the pilgrims arrived they had lost many during the transition to the “New World”. Situations were grim for the survivors. There was however the Wampanoag Tribe who were already living here when the pilgrims arrived. From the tribe, Squanto, a Native American formerly captured by Europeans, came to their aid. He taught them how to grow corn, pumpkins, and beans and how to cook with them.When the pilgrims took what they had learned and created a bountiful harvest, it was time to celebrate. They spent three days pretty much chowing down and getting drunk with the Native Americans. I can’t really say for sure if the Native Americans partook in the drinking but there was definitely alcohol there! The turkey dinner can’t be proven but alcohol there was! Remember that when your setting the table! During this festival, the Europeans went hunting for fowl. They returned with enough ducks and turkey to store for winter! This was the only reference made to turkey. The Native Americans also went hunting and returned with five deer they presented to the governor of the colony. It was a time of appreciation and realizing that there was something to be grateful for. One document describing that day is Mourt’s Relation by Edward Winslow. He describes a three day festival full of activity and he ended with this; “And although it be not always so plentiful, as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.”

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Let’s not forget that it wasn’t all roses for long. Within 60 years the English overran the Wampanoag. Cheif Metacomet declared war on the Europeans but it unfortunately lead to another gruesome story of genocide. So how did we come to celebrate a narrow window of “peace” shared between the two?

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Thanksgiving kind of bounced around after that. Each president changing it to suit whatever was going on in the nation at the time. Until Lincoln decided to make it an annual holiday in 1863. This was because of many things going on; The Union victory in Gettysburg, the growth in population, the plentiful harvest, and some persistent letters from a Thanksgiving advocate named Sarah Josepha Hale.

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Thanksgiving was a time of appreciating what we had and what we’ve worked hard for and sharing with the ones around us. Now it is a time of football games and hot holiday savings. It gets overlooked by so many. The number of people who celebrate it are dwindling. Some people don’t support how it began. Some people don’t want to interfere with their super shopping. Some people just don’t want to put forth the time. Whatever your reason, if you don’t want to celebrate Thanksgiving that’s your decision. At least though, take one day to be grateful for something…anything. If you truly cannot find a reason to be thankful then go out and do something for someone else. When we help others we realize that we have something special to give and we feel more confident. We need to start changing the way we think. How can we have a perfect Christmas if we can’t be happy with what we already have? The funny thing is, typically the people with the least material items appreciate the world the most. When did we get so caught up with shopping and materialism. There is so much more to life then how much stuff you have.

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If we stop thinking the world owes us something and stop judging each other, it becomes easier to appreciate what’s really important. You start to realize the most important things are always available to you and how much we actually take for granted. With very little effort the world could be a lot happier. For as many problems you find in your life, there is just as many blessings. It just depends on how you want to look at your life.

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I hope Thanksgiving can start becoming what it was originally intended to be. A time to show gratitude, no matter what screwed up things are going on in the world. A time to share with others even though we won’t always have a lot or even be on the best of terms. Life isn’t perfect. Neither are people. The sooner we accept that the more appreciative we can be to one another. Don’t do something with the expectation of getting something in return. It’s easier and more rewarding to be giving when we expect nothing back. Don’t worry, karma won’t leave ya hanging. What you put out there will always comes back around!

Remember, November = Thanksgiving , December = Christmas. Show Santa you deserve presents by showing you can be thankful.

I am thankful to be able to share my life with the two greatest people on the universe, my husband and son. I have no idea how I got by before them. I am thankful for a family who loves me, friends who will always be around, a kick ass companion named Desoto (a.k.a my dog), and I am so thankful I can stuff my face on great food tomorrow! I am very grateful for my talent in art and photography. It is a gift I will not take for granted. I’m also thankful I’m done with this blog post because it took me forever to write it!

What are you thankful for this year and how will you show it? Share your story below!  Oh…and thanks for reading my blog! Have a grateful day!