Don't Step on This Dog

Don't Step on This Dog A word to the wise: if your house is covered in toys and you have a habit of stepping on things, whatever you do, do not step on this vintage Fisher Price dog toy. Just don't do it. Trust me.

We have a special houseguest this weekend. Jonathan's youngest brother is visiting from Nashville and it's been wonderful having him here. We miss our families, way out here on the edge of the Colorado plains. So when we are blessed with a family visitor, I tend to really soak it up and enjoy the entire visit. I love hearing the kids tease their uncle and just generally fold him into our daily life.

Tonight, we had a simple meal:

Two kinds of rice (brown basmati and white) Three kinds of beans: Aduki/Northern mixture and Black (doctored with cumin, cayenne, chili powder) Sharp cheddar, cilantro salsa Homemade cornbread + butter Roasted carrots with a little salt Chocolate chip cookies (a free tub we got at Papa Murphy's for taking a survey. Gotta love free cookies.)

Hope you are enjoying a weekend full of family and friends. Happy Spring...we finally have warm weather here in Denver!

3 Pieces of Art That Make Me Happy

It's snowing (again!) and I'm having a quiet afternoon to write and work. I've been home from my corporate job for about a week a half and my new way of life is still sinking in. (I resigned from my social media job to run Fat and Appy and help Jonathan's career; you can read more about it here.) The house isn't perfect: clothes are strewn about and stubs of crayons the baby has chewed litter the floor. But there are signposts of peace--small pieces of art around the house that tell me I am home. They make me happy. I thought I might share a few with you.

1. Elephant Tea Pot

I realized I loved design and decor when I got out of college. I was in possession of my first apartment outside of Asheville. On a cool, fall Saturday, I wandered into an antique store in Asheville. I spied this elephant tea pot and bought it, relishing in the freedom that came with having a little money in my pocket. (I am sure it was a small amount of money, but still, it was mine!). This little pot has been packed and repacked a half-dozen times...it always goes with me.

Picture of an tea pot shaped like an elephant with baby

2. Blurry Pop

I love this painting by Mr. Jonathan Fenske. One humid summer day in Atlanta, Jonathan decided to lay out some popsicles on a board in the front yard. As they melted, he took pictures every 15 minutes or so. The art project came to an end when Kemp, our Australian shepherd, discovered the pops and ate them. (Want your own Pop? We have a Giclee print version inspired by Blurry Pop in our online store.)

A painting of a creamsicle by Jonathan Fenske

3. Swinging Bird Timestone Clock

We picked up this clock for super cheap at a thrift store. This hangs in our kitchen and is just delightful. It makes me happy just to look at it. You have to see it in action for the full effect (I took a five-second video).

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2OB_WI2Pmc]

That's it from here for today...what pieces of art do you have that you love and make you happy? If you liked this post, you may enjoy our blog post, Art on a Budget: Six Ways to Find Art That's Affordable

Blue Gate: Snapshots from Santa Fe

We spent Thanksgiving with my brother and his family in Santa Fe. I love the architecture there, the courtyards, the light. Our hosts for Thanksgiving Day own a beautiful house and we had a blast playing horseshoes, looking for wild ponies and just wandering around. Earlier in the week we were able to stop in to the William and Joseph Gallery where Jonathan shows in Santa Fe. Awesome trip. DSC_0303We

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Art in the Home

Paintings are funny  things---they live in your head (in Jonathan's case) and in your home while they are coming into existence. I often get attached to certain works Jonathan does and it's a little bit sad when they leave us, whether it's to the gallery or for a commission. I don't get too sad though---after all, the baby's gotta have new shoes! From time to time, though, we hear about where a painting ended up and it's like meeting an old friend. This month, we met over email some collectors who shared with us a glimpse of where a handful of Jonathan's paintings landed after they left the Matre Gallery several years ago. The couple, who live in Atlanta, graciously allowed us to share the pictures with you. I adore their home and their style. And the paintings? I have to admit I was a bit moved when I saw them again. I remember the vintage toys and the fresh canvases Jonathan built in our old bungalow near downtown Atlanta.

In the end, these pictures from such an art-loving couple, brought us a lot of joy. Hello, old friends! And hello, new friends.

 

The Beautiful Place

Sometimes, shaking up the normal routine is what we need to do to see something beautiful. Jennifer's parents visited this week from South Carolina and we took them to Barr Lake State Park, east of Denver. We wanted to see the baby bald eagles that are nesting there, but the hike was not an option for our multi-generational group. So we stuck close to shore and enjoyed the gorgeous scenery. Every step we took led us past the almost-ready-to-bud-and-bloom Colorado landscape. Winter was over and spring was arriving, glorious blue skies and warm winds trailing in her wake. http://www.jonathanfenske.com

We all get in the rut of normal life. It's easy to forget to lift our heads and take in something special, something beautiful. What are you discovering today?

http://www.jonathanfenske.com

Art in the Suburbs

It's kind of daunting to kick off a new blog, so I'll just begin with some thoughts on nurturing and creating art in the 'burbs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We try to make our living creating beautiful things that might last for a while. We are writers and one of us is a visual artist, but we don't live in a hipster loft or even an old bungalow. Nope, we reside outside of Denver in a thoroughly anonymous neighborhood. Chain restaurants abound and we have to drive at least twenty minutes for decent Indian food.

I love where we live, though, because we're walking distance from the stellar Anythink flagship library. Mere minutes from a sprawling park complex. And steps from the bike/hike trail system that we could follow to downtown Denver or north toward Wyoming.Our spot of Colorado is safe and the schools are great.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even in a sea of beige, we find our beautiful things: the fade of the day's light bouncing off the mountains to the west. Vintage toys played with by countless hands. Dolls tossed into the air against a blue sky. Children playing with canvases and paint. We're blooming where we're planted and finding the gorgeous, the mundane, in the small places.