Friday, December 31, 2010

Adoptable Dog here with us

My crazy attorney friend went away for New Year's Eve and left me to watch this dog for the weekend. I think she is secretly hoping I will adopt him. Anyway, he is part jack russell and australian shepherd...about 9 months old and very cute....yes, I said...very cute! I am posting two not so wonderful photos in case anyone wants him. He is crate trained, good on a leash and really good with my two neurotic dogs!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Fun Making Christmas Presents

Despite how busy Rick and I have been with our exhibit at Johnstown, working our regular jobs and finishing is always delightful to make a commission piece. In this case, it has been made for one of the nicest and most generous people I know. So I hope Laura loves this piece as much as we love her!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Nativity Scenes At Art Works from Around the World

Art Works in Johnstown is currently featuring our exhibit called Wonderful Whimsy and in addition is now housing 6 gorgeous nativity scenes from area churches that have closed in Johnstown. The six nativities are virtually from 6 different ethnic backgrounds and show the diversity of art, spirituality and the beauty that must have been found in these churches. Without losing our cultural heritage, these nativities show everything from the art of Croatia to Irish works....the trees on display also show typical decorations from each nationality.

Entry for this exhibit is free and a must see for anyone who is interested in helping to preserve the history of Johnstown. The stunning colors, shapes and designs of these works is just beautiful. These will be on display until January 6th and hopefully will be a yearly tradition at Art Works.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Crazy Alice's Restaurant in Somerset

If you have not eaten at Crazy Alice's Restaurant in Somerset, you are truly missing out on a wonderful meal. We had dinner there last night and yes, they do serve dinners on Friday and Saturday evenings.....and it was exceptional! I had crab imperial and a filet and Rick had chicken marsela. The salad was lovely with a variety of lettuces and veggies, good bread and triple chocolate lava cake for dessert. Bring your own wine and you will have a delightful culinary extravaganza!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Seven Springs Mural for Light Up Night

I was hired by Seven Springs to convert their outside pool area building to resemble an old time train station. I mimicked the stone structure that already existed and with the help of the carpenters, used plywood pieces to frame over top of the existing garage type doors. With lots of beautiful snow, this building looks really cool at night and during the day. I also made 3 standing buildings but the lighting was not great tonight and we were too far away. I will try and take pictures during the day so the detail of the buildings shows up better. This project took me about 45 hours to complete. I am more muscular from moving 4 by 8 plywood sheets on my own!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Art Works In Johnstown

For anyone who wants to see a beautiful collection of area Churches Nativitie Scenes: Art Works in Johnstown will have them on display with an opening reception on Sunday, December 12th from 1-5 pm. Many area churches have closed and with no place to show these beautiful works of art....seems a shame not to show them. Feel free to come and enjoy an afternoon of Holiday Spirit!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Mastiff Miracle or Martha's Mistake?

On our yearly shopping at the mall, we opted to buy a King Sized Mattress. I hate shopping in the mall and my defenses must have been way down. After much snow today, we managed to pick up the mattress, take the old one to Goodwill and with new sheets etc. our bed is a wonder to behold. Rick is already feeling like a King!
When it is too quiet in the house, I know that our favorite mastiff Moses is up to no good! my suspicions were not unfounded when I found him happily in the middle of the bed....looking much like a King himself. Please understand I am not a cruel owner by any means, as both dogs have very plush beds to call their own in our bedroom. I am not sure if Moses might not think this whole shopping adventure might not have been completely for him.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Never turn your back on a mastiff

The new rule of thumb in our home is to never turn your back on Moses. His newest trick is to secretly eat my pink ear plugs which is not really a secret about a day after the event. As you can see from the photos, one should never vacate the reading chair or it becomes his favorite resting spot. Nor should one leave reading glasses unattended or they become a chew toy. Fortunately, Rick's glasses were safety lenses and although ruined by the mastiff chewing mouth, did not shatter or hurt Moses. Having a baby is difficult work!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Moses and Foxxy

After nearly 30 days of working in a row, I finally had a day off. Although the weather was not wonderful, I did take Moses and Foxxy to the barn to visit the horses and to run in wild abandon. As you can see, they are exhausted by our big day venture. I just discovered Moses all snug as a bug on our bed!

FIVE Secrets to Contentment

I am sure that most of us have felt that finding contenment was just always beyond our grasp. We tell ourselves, if I could just have this, I am sure I would be content. It is like watching the tail of a shooting star and assuring ourselves if we could just grab on we could make that wild ride towards being content. Most of us find that we are not content at some time in our lives and even find ourselves envious of others. Just remember that we do not fully know anyone else's lives and do not really know everything they have on their plate. If we did know, we would probably not trade with them. Benjamin Franklin wisely said: "Content (ment) makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor."

Too many of us find that we love the idea of possessions and money. If we could just simplify our lives and not worry so much about having the bigger, better car or fancy home etc. we might find that our lives are not nearly so complicated. I found myself after college worrying about what people would think of me because I could not "afford" to buy a new car or even own a home. Those worries really ate at me for a while. Then I realized that I loved the job I had and woke up excited each day to create something new or start a new painting. The simplicity of my life made me realize that time spent with family and friends was much more important than an empty possession or an empty house. Learning to love people for who they are and not for what they have is really simple and easy. So many people give of themselves with no thought for what they might get in return....I want to be like that too.

Comparing to others is difficult not to do. The effect of this is really not much more than negative thinking. It will eat you alive and your days will become less fullfilling because negative thoughts take up so much energy. Capturing joy in your heart and sharing it with others is so simple and actually adds energy to your life rather than taking it away. It takes 10 positive thoughts to replace 1 negative thought. Being grateful and happy with what you have is a daily lesson to remember and practice.

Maintaining an appreciative attitude may seem difficult at first. It sometimes even requires rethinking things and trying to look at what is happening to us from a different angle. After my hand surgery, I was so depressed and upset. It seemed like a bad blow to me and it felt as if all my creative energy had vanished. Just recently, I discovered that my left hand can do exactly what my right hand can...not as fast, but it is possible. I can still create because I have not lost my brain or imagination...just some dexterity in my right hand. When my hand gets sore and tired, I am reminded of the gift that I have both hands and I really do appreciate that I have a skill I can share with others.

Choosing friends wisely can be a daunting task. Mostly we still find ourselves getting caught up in what others have and what it seems like we do not have at that time. A true friend will encourage you in all your endeavors and will be content with all they have been given. True friends have your best interest at heart and the air of competition with each other simply does not exist. You are happy when they have success and will listen and cry when needed. A true friend does not judge or condemn you...they simply love you for who you are and will support you without question. Friends always help find the silver lining in any rainy day cloud.

Our spiritual needs are with us every day. Spirituality does not just happen in a church. We must find the opportunity to thank God in every moment of every day. Meeting our spiritual needs is a process that grows and changes with us. When I have been most afraid, I cannot let the fear take over and control me. In my mind and heart, I search for a quiet place that reminds me that God is still with me. Please allow me to find him in everything around me and with everything I do.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wonderful Whimsy Exhibit

Rick and I have worked some long and difficult hours between all our jobs in order to get this exhibit put together at Art Works in Johnstown. The show is called Wonderful Whimsy and is a collection of our metal works, the art of Jon and Jan Heath, Kate Seewalk and others. The exhibit opens on Friday, November 19th from 6-9 pm and we are so excited to be included in this show.

Rick has really proven to be an artist, thinker and a wonderful person with whom I can collaborate. I think the show reflects the strength of our work together. We hope you love it as much as we enjoyed creating all the pieces!

Wonderful Whimsy Exhibit opens at Art Works

Here some more examples of some of our pieces being shown and sold at Art Works in Johnstown....the exhibit opens on November 19th and will be up until December 31st!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Finished and Hanging in the Windows at Cambria Heights

The fifth graders work is hanging proudly in the windows at Cambria Heights Elementary where I just finished my residency. The pieces are beautiful, colorful and joyful to view!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

More Art Work

Cambria Heights Elementary School

I had a wonderful residency with Holly Stanek, a fantastic and energetic art teacher at Cambria Heights Elementary School. Rick and I went to the slag piles at Youghigheny Glass about a month ago and scrounged up lots of glass for the mosaic pieces. My core group consisted of 24 selected fifth grade students. They were divided into teams of four and each team worked in a drawing/template to be laid under the glass to help guide them in their design.

Students learned how to cut and place glass as well as teamwork and the dynamics of a good design. The only negative in this residency was that time was super tight. I only had the opportunity to see them for about 30 minutes a day. However, we did take an afternoon and worked like crazy artists for 2.5 hours after school. Holly and I provided them with much deserved healthy snacks and the kids did an amazing job.

The completed works, once hung at the school will be posted in the next two weeks on the blog. The sense of pride and accomplishment for the students was really wonderful to see and to be a part of their work was also an honor.

Holly Stanek is one of the finest art teacher's I have ever worked with at this time. She is friendly and energetic with the students and provides an excellent art program serving 650 students each week. The watercolor project also shown here is the work of second grade students......really unbelievable pieces coming from the artistic minds of such young people.

Come join us at the High School for their Christmas concert so you can see what an excellent job their music department provides also......THE ARTS are ALIVE despite budget cuts and constraints!

Happy Halloween 2010

We had a great time with Rick's grandchildren, son and daughter in law this week. A dinner of pizza and carving of pumpkins filled our evening. The head witch (that would be me) enjoyed a little dress up in a hat and a gooey evening of cleaning out pumpkins~!

Arts for Healing Artists Statements


I hope to activate the creative side of my brain and venture into a world I never fully understood and rarely visited.


The praying hand bookends represent what I believe in as a Christian. “To always be in an attitude of prayer can help everyone who is sick, or the loss of a loved one or even help people who may have gotten laid off from a job.


I have had a difficult but interesting life. I’m extremely spiritual and feel I have been greatly blessed and protected by God. After two near death experiences and serious health problems, I decided to retire from Wal-Mart and enjoy life. I have always loved nature and all God has given to us.

A friend told me about the Arts for Healing class and convinced me to come. My husband decided to come and see what I was doing and he stayed. I have enjoyed meeting people, learning about color and styles etc and I am looking forward to having the opportunity to create my visions.


Hoka Hey! My name is Many Feathers. I am Metis or mixed blood. My paper name is James W. Wherry.

I am a pipe carrier and I have a medicine partner. Her name is Clear Bear. We both do Native American Ceremonies. I sometimes get my ideas during Dream Time when I am sleeping. Sometimes Spirit shows or gives me a vision or picture of what I am to make and what ceremony is needed.

I only create or work when I am in a positive good way. I do most of my work at home when the time is right and always with ceremony. I construct, make and create all my own Regala used in ceremony. I also do bead work, feathers, dream nets, medicine bags and other work for individuals. I do my arts for the good of all people. Mitakuy Osin Wiaka Ota (Many Feathers)


Art has always been a part of my life. In my early years, I drew pictures; finger painted and connected the dots. As I grew older I was aware that others could do more with paint, pencils and clay. I also discovered baseball but once again others played better than me. That’s when I discovered words.

As newspaper man and newscaster, I found I could make people see a combination of what I saw and also use their own imagination. The neat thing about doing a live sportscast is that you are painting a different picture for everyone who hears your voice. My greatest thrill and challenge as an artist is my words can create thousands of pictures by all who read or hear them.


Art is an event of wonder. In my life of many years, I’ve never drawn or painted as a youngster or grown up. Arts for Healing has introduced me to this great experience. Many words can describe how I feel from joining this class. It’s educating, exciting, fascinating and mostly relaxing that makes it so enjoyable. Not to mention, all the many friends you make and keep over the years. It’s mending mentally and physically to my soul as well as my body.


Art is about enjoyment and excitement with God’s help. The disappointments and anger from past experiences are best expressed through art.


I was hard because of what life had handed me. Then I was handed my wife, Vicki, so art and writing helped me have a healthy outlet.


I used to draw when I was younger. I always enjoyed art classes. I have learned so much since come to Arts for Healing. I like to draw hummingbirds and other birds too. My mother and sister have a green thumb and have all kinds of plants and flowers. I also like to paint flowers and plants.


I retired in 1996 as a Pennsylvania Electric Company’s Safety and Equipment Inspector. I experienced the changes and challenges of women in the workplace for more than twenty five years. Taking early retirement has allowed my real passion for writing, poetry and photography. At the present time I am taking classed through Arts for Healing. I feel everyone should see nature expressed in every way possible.


Painting is relaxing and helps decrease my pain. My only other experience with drawing and painting was a junior high art class. I began Arts for Healing after a disabling injury. It has opened a wonderful creative outlet for me. I like to reproduce the beauty of nature. Inspiration comes from my garden and farm. I try to create more realistic pieces and enjoy experimenting with color and learning more techniques. Painting brings me enjoyment and pride in accomplishment.


To me art is the creative action of the mind and senses molded into form. Whatever canvas we choose painting, writing, music, sculpture or sewing expresses the inner spirit of who we are. My artistic flare is not perfection however the imperfection is its beauty.

When illness struck, I had a deep sense of loss. I lost my physical ability and the loss of how I defined myself. Creativeness helps me live in the present and open to new possibilities. It transcends my inner spirit into something concrete so I can continue to share with others.


For me, painting is more than the simple action of applying paint to a surface. Painting provides me with relief from a great sadness, sadness about pain, about anxiety and about abandonment. Thinking about, preparing for, then actually painting keeps me focused, keeps me in the present moment.

My painting reveals my story, my inner emotions to storms as well as t sunny days, as I continue to grow into the person I have been created to be. I do this by loving as well as I am capable of loving, encouraging and supporting the persons in my life at the moment.

Come share with me the richness of my life’s journey through the colors, hues and blending of my palette as I adjust to the broken pieces of my life discovering freedom, peace and joy that only comes from feeling the pain and ultimately letting go.


This is my first experience with drawing. My two year old cat recently died unexpectedly and I decided to do a picture as a tribute to his life. He was very unique and I think of myself an eccentric. This drawing is a product of some unexpressed grief and my attempt to avoid “art” in the traditional sense.


I am an individual who has lived through many situations. Some were happy and lift me with many good memories. Some were sad and not so easy to live through.

Because of all these ups and downs in the path way of life I became a person feeling gratitude and thankfulness. I create my art work with images of flowers because they represent life, color and happy memories.

I do most of my work in my craft room at times I can be alone and listen to comforting music. I like to do tole painting especially using flowers because flowers represent beauty and individual creations given to us by God.


My drawing and painting reflect my love of my family and the natural world. My favorite subjects are landscapes and figures done in a realistic style with a particular focus on how different light sources fall on objects. Having lived with Multiple Sclerosis for mort than 20 years, my perspective of beauty has changed.

I am more used to working in oil paints but have recently begun using watercolor and acrylic paints. Though initially wary of the transition, I have enjoying the challenge of incorporating new textures, colors and techniques in my paintings.

Taking part in the Arts for Healing class has motivated me to return to painting after a number of years. Arts for Healing provides me an opportunity to produce and discuss artwork under the direction of an encouraging and knowledgeable instructor.


I have had a love of art since I was a young child. I am always looking at the various possibilities of anything that might catch my eye and allow me to reproduce it on paper using watercolors, colored pencil and acrylics.

I have a love of color and the various numbers of ways it can be used. When I begin to immerse myself into a work of art my mind is constantly thinking of what I am working on and I become lost in time. Being able to reproduce the beauty of what we see and what we put on paper so others can share the beauty that I see. To me, that is what art is about and why I love it so much.


When I work with my hands, I am reminded that I am capable of what I love tot do best. I begin a piece by what I see, feel and what inspires me at that moment. The beauty of the day and brightness of the sky inspire me the most. I know a piece is finished when I see that no more can be accomplished. When my work is going well, I am filled with a sense of pride, joy, happiness and self fulfillment. When people see my work, I’d like them to feel what I feel, see what I see, and perhaps allow them insight to what type of artist I am.


I like to paint. I could not paint before. I like to concentrate on the picture and think about the painting. When my painting is going well I am filled with a sense of happiness and contentment. When people see my work I want them to see what I am seeing.


My name is Rose Marie, I could not do the watercolors before these classes and I learned what to do and put it on paper the way I wanted.


Arts for Healing helps me appreciate the beauty all around me. Stop, sit back, be refreshed! Watch natural talent and enthusiasm be born and develop into true artistic skill.

As rocks and minerals found in rough form in nature can be polished and transformed into beautiful gems and jewels…..i see new acquaintances become friends that are friends that are refined into true, caring and lasting relationships.

Through our love and appreciation of nature and mankind we can share a true love and communion with the Creator of all…….

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Latrobe High School Critique of Impressionism

Ms. Ross also worked on a non-Impressionist piece that is viewed here on the blog. This piece is based on a photo taken by a biologist from Powdermill Nature Reserve while in New Guinea.