Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Sixteen years ago, I painted this  watercolor  of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, of Wilmette, Illinois.  This was a gift for the New Year's Eve marriage of a young couple - John Anella,  (son of our good friends - the Steve Anellas of South Bend) and his fiance,  Margie Pelton (her family is very active in this Wilmette  church).  John and Margie and their five children now live in South Bend.

Each New Year's Eve, I think about that wedding, and remember the trip several weeks before the wedding, when Ward and I drove over 100 miles from our home - then in Plymouth - to Wilmette, to search out this church, and photograph so I could use the pictures for reference while working on this painting.    It was early December and we were fortunate to find that an early snow had recently fallen blanketing the ground white and leaving a fluffy snow trim on nearby trees and roofs - a simple classic scene. 

On New Year's day in 1994, carrying the completed watercolor with us, we again drove to this church in Wilmette and found the wintry scene almost identical to our photos.  We attended the wedding and Ward and I had fun presenting  this painting to the happy couple.

The hustle and bustle of  the holidays is subsiding, and now we are shifting gears and thinking about the year to come.  I'm still working on the yearly holiday note card, and when we are ready to mail it, I'll post it here for all to see. 

Greetings to all!  May you have a joyful, peaceful and healthy new year!   from Esther and Ward

Remember, many of our Painter and Poet prints  (including Wilmette Church) are available on our web site: 

Winter gallery hours:  Fridays and Saturdays, from 10 till 5, by appointment, or whenever the open sign is out.   
Phone: 574-842-8888.  Address:  307 N. Main St., Culver, IN 46511

Remember - it's easy to subscribe to this blog, and also easy to unsubscribe.  Follow the directions here.  And if you have comments, I'd enjoy hearing them.  -  Esther

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Christmas Cactus "Child" survives!

Hooray!  My son Terry just sent me a photo of a thriving cactus "child" in the same bucket I put it in after the cactus crash! He and Dani transported it in their car when they drove back to New Orleans.   I predict it will root in its water and be safely growing in dirt sometime around Easter.  There are some healthy buds on many of its branches, and it is likely that it will bloom again next year.  I am delighted at its recovery  and congratulate Terry and Dani on their care of the "old lady cactus" survivor.   

Photo emailed by Terry
We have about a dozen small starts on a table in my studio, and I am also hopeful that they will thrive.  A good friend of mine gave me (for Christmas) the  perfect ceramic planter for a much smaller version of this now famous cactus, and I hope to have a newer and sleeker model growing in it before summer.
"Raggedy Family"  ©2000

This image of a Raggedy Ann Family
is available in numbered, signed prints
and as note cards.  Check this out on
our web site in the  "Christmas series" and the "Children's series"of prints.

I'm quite sentimental about this little
grouping.  About ten years ago, we moved from a log cabin located on a
small fishing lake near Plymouth.  We
loved the serenity and beauty of the 
location and the cabin suited us perfectly 
until......Father Time began to catch up with us, and the multiple steps became worrisome and potentially dangerous, so we moved, and are content now in our snug brick bungalow - all on one floor, with our little gallery attached. 

A delightful couple, David and Janet Burke, bought our log cabin and we have the joy of visiting them in this home.  David is a man of many talents, among them - making stick furniture and growing bonsai trees.  The Raggedy dolls in my watercolor were made by his mother, Evelyn Chandler, and David made the chair.  If interested, you can look at this print on our web site,

Thank you for your encouragement and support.  We enjoy our small gallery, and are pleased to be able to share our painting and poetry with you.  

Am still working on my 2010 Christmas painting, which will be considered a New Year's card, and will be sent out soon.  In the meantime, peace and joy to all of you in 2011.