kayaking on Loch Leven near Glencoe, Scotland, 2018

kayaking on Loch Leven near Glencoe, Scotland, 2018

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend 2014

To my regular readers, I apologize for not keeping up with my blog as often as I usually do. I love to travel and explore and share my adventures with you. Presently, the primary "adventure" in my life revolves around real estate. We are in the middle of a slow-motion move from Moss Bluff to South Lake Charles. Between keeping the current home "show-ready" and working on getting the new home move-in ready, there's little time for leisure and entertainment.

Though we did see Journey and the Steve Miller Band last night in the Woodlands, Texas.

In honor of Memorial Day, I'm re-posting this one from 2012 about one of my favorite Lake Charles' traditions -- Avenue of the Flags.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Tribute to My Mom, Mother's Day 2014

This weekend we honor mothers. We celebrate our own mothers and grandmothers, being a mother (if we are one), and consider the children that have made us mothers.

I've been thinking about my Mom a lot lately. I just returned from a trip to Pennsylvania to visit with her and my family. Mom has Alzheimers. The disease has progressed rapidly over the past three or four years since her initial diagnosis. She's been living in a nursing home dedicated specifically to patients with dementia since January of this year. She's still as beautiful as ever.

Mom and her three girls; me, Sue, and Lisa.

Of course I was eager to see her -- I miss her tremendously -- but I was also apprehensive. Would she remember me? Would she know my name? Would she introduce me as her daughter? I didn't know what to expect. Thankfully, the answer to all those questions was Yes. While I'm incredibly heartbroken to see her there and know that that is where she has to be now, my visit with her was better than I imagined. She was thrilled to see me, especially on my first visit. Once, when I first got there and I looked for her, she saw me first and called, "Angie, Angie!" Words cannot describe the emotion that just hearing her say my name invoked.

This photo was taken last October, three months before she was admitted to the nursing home. Me, Mom, and my sister Lisa.

And this one a mere year ago when she and Lisa came to Louisiana for Eric's high school graduation.

It's overwhelming to me to realize how much things can change in the span of only one year.

This is Mom as a teenager.

And on her 70th birthday, just three years ago. Love you, Mom!

On the other end of the Mother's Day spectrum, our Eric comes home from college this weekend, just in time to spend the day with me. Andrew returns next weekend.

Wishing you all a Happy Mother's Day! How will you celebrate?

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Sue Zimmerman -- Southwest Louisiana Watercolorist

As all my regular readers know, I love the lake area arts scene. One of my favorite local artists is watercolorist Sue Zimmerman. 

Sue and her friend and photographer Corene Soileau (pronounced swallow, for my non-Louisiana readers) currently have a collaborative show at the Art Associates Gallery inside the Central School Arts and Humanities Center, 809 Kirby St. Zimmerman chose several of Soileau's photos and painted corresponding pieces inspired by the photos. If you haven't yet seen the show, hurry to Central School! Tomorrow is the last day of the display. A closing reception is open to the public Friday May 2 from 5-8 PM. 

I contacted Zimmerman with a few questions and she graciously replied.

Me: How did you get started as a professional artist?

Sue: I've been painting in watercolor about 30 years. I started with a weekly painting class for about 10 years, then began an intense self study in watercolor. It was then that I began exhibiting and selling my artwork.

Me: What was the impetus for the current show?

Sue: Corene and I have been friends for about 25 years. We were always sharing creative ideas in her area of photography and in my painting . . . always in fun. For several years I've wanted to have a joint exhibit with her, but only recently was able to make it come about. To successfully integrate the two mediums there had to be a thread of connectivity. Since she had several great photos already, I chose my favorites and used each one as an inspiration for a new painting. Taking each photo, I created a new painting using either one of my own reference photos or finding new subject matter to express a similar feeling or tell a similar story. Some of the paired artwork was from the same moment in time when traveling together . . . we were both struck by the same sight. Our group of friends have traveled quite a bit, but our Montana trip produced a great amount of shared images, probably because it was a relaxing trip with no agenda.

Me: Do you have a favorite painting in the show?

Sue: My favorite painting, "Where the Shoe Hits the Pavement," was inspired by Corene's photo, "Hoofin' It." I loved her humorous, creative eye. With that photo in mind I took a few pics while in New Orleans of the carriage mules. This painting is what evolved . . . so not my usual subject but a great design!!

Me: What's next on your to do list?

Sue: I don't have a major project planned now, but I have several paintings planned. This collaboration has inspired me to get out of the box more and paint with inspiration rather than just a pretty picture.

Me: Thank you, Sue! Whatever you have planned, your fans look forward to it!