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Black Friday may be over but…

Merry Christmas Red Deer Mug

My Black Friday Sale may be over but there are still items in the Gift Shop and the Ye Old Christmas Shop on sale for one more week. The last day to ship items for Christmas delivery via USPS is Dec. 15 and Dec. 20 for Fed Ex 2 day delivery.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Mine was lovely. We deep fried a turkey which turned out delicious and had all the fixings.

In the meantime, I have a question that I could use some input on, perhaps you will indulge me in the comment section below. My website renewal is due at the end of this month, and I am having a hard decision to make: do I pay the high yearly fee to continue or do I shut it all down as there isn’t enough interest to continue for another year? It seems to me it is the latter, as I rarely get comments on any blog post, or likes for that matter, which tells me my posts are not being seen or there is just no interest. Sales are not as expected to be honest.

Is art something folks are not interested in anymore, or are people just creating their own art these days? Back in the day, original art was considered valued as a home decor item. But with the advent of print on demand, mass manufacturing, low prices on printed artwork, and the general times we live in, I fear artists who are trying to earn a living at their craft are going by the wayside. I see this in many artists who are turning to workshops as a way to earn a living. Not only that, they are forced to try and sell there works at lower prices than they should be. This is sad to me as I love art! I understand the creative process and what it takes to show up at the easel and create something that was not there before. With the cost of art supplies skyrocketing and the demands on our time, it’s becoming harder and harder to be a successful artist. So I ask you who may be following me, read my posts, like my work, etc., do I stay or do I leave? If you prefer not to leave a comment you can fill out the feedback form below. Your info will remain private.

The sound of Crickets (i.e. no comments or likes on this post) will tell me its time to leave and my website will be gone on Dec. 20th. If that’s the decision I must come to, then I thank all of you who have left such lovely comments on my posts and have hit the like button! If after Dec. 20 you see I’m still here, then I thank you for your feedback and know you helped me to make a difficult decision!

The Black Friday sale may be over but there is still time to pick up some unique gifts in the Gift Shop. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a safe and healthy New Year! May 2021 be a better one for all. Much Love ~ Rhonda

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New items in the Ye Old Christmas Shoppe!

I have been busy creating some new items for the Ye Old Christmas Shoppe. Using my watercolors and digital illustrations there are three new ornaments to decorate your tree AND they are on SALE!!!

Check out the Gift Shop as well as the Ye Old Christmas Shoppe for some cool ideas for your Christmas shopping list! Help an artist and buy artisan gifts this year. These items are made on demand and not produced on an assembly line. There are lovely Garden Journals to give to your favorite gardener as well as a beautiful winter themed puzzle for the brains in your life. There will be more products coming soon, so check back often.

Don’t forget , nearly the entire GALLERY of original oil paintings is on sale this entire month, with more sale prices coming on Thanksgiving weekend. There is only one of each painting, so give a gift that lasts this year to those who appreciate fine art. Remember, art in your space uplifts the soul! And don’t forget to look at your art when you walk by where it’s hanging. Many of us hang it and forget it! Don’t do that. Take some time to really see and stand in front of your art and gaze, allowing your imagination to run free and maybe relieve some stress!

Keep in mind there are shipping delays due to covid restrictions, so shop early and plan ahead.

Thanks for stopping by. I really appreciate you! If you would like to stay in the loop about studio news and upcoming secret sales, join the TMS Members by filling in your info below. Have a wonderful day. Much Love ~ Rhonda

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Worst Year Ever Sale!

Sunset on the Villa

This year, instead of the typical Thanksgiving weekend sale, I thought it would be cool to have a Worst Year Ever sale; Because 2020 has been the Worst Year Ever. Beginning today, Nov. 7, 2020 and ending on Nov. 30, 2020, the Worst Year Ever Sale kicks off! I’m sick of 2020 as I’m sure you are too, so I’ve put nearly the entire gallery on sale! Select paintings are up to 50% off. Shop early, as there is only one of each painting. More paintings and other items will be added throughout the month for the Worst Year Ever sale, so check back often.

Christmas will be here before you know it and you’ll be up at midnight wondering what to get that hard to shop for person. Do they have an original one of a kind painting of a favorite subject? Humm? Maybe this could be the year you buy something unique, instead of a last minute dollar store gift. Shop early because shipping has been delayed and you don’t want to be a grinch with nothing to put under the tree. Right?

Here’s a teaser of some of the paintings in the Gallery on sale this month:

  • Yellow-throated Warbler oil painting
  • Pears oil painting
  • Pink Conch Shell
  • Pink Rose Bud
  • Purple Lilacs oil painting
  • Bearded Iris oil painting
  • Serenity on the River oil painting
  • Solitude oil painting
  • "Fly Fishing"
  • Sunset on the Villa
  • Dandelion Flowers oil painting

Click on the GALLERY tab on the home page of my website and you will be taken to all things painted in oil. Pastel paintings and gift shop items aren’t included in this sale. You can sign up for divided payments and give your person a card with a note saying their gift will be late, which would be appreciated not only by them, but by me, if that’s a financial position you find yourself in. Which of course because 2020 has been the Worst Year Ever, it’s highly likely, divided payments would be a real help at this time and I would love to help out.

Complimentary gift wrap is included with your purchase as well as a signed Certificate of Authenticity by me, the artist. What is a Certificate of Authenticity? It’s a signed certificate by the artist who created the work, stating the work is an original work of art and not a copy. It gives the year the work was created, the title and size of the piece.

Free Shipping is not included in the Worst Year Ever sale. The Tamarack Mountain Studio watermark is not on the paintings, and is done for online purposes only.

Feel Free to share this post with anyone you can think of! And if you’re interested in quarterly news about secret sales and giveaways, sign up below and become a TMS member! Happy Thanksgiving! Much Love ~ Rhonda

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Bearded Iris Pastel

This week I worked on a new pastel using my Bearded Iris from my flower garden as my subject. The flower garden is a small patch surrounded by a fence to keep the deer out. It contains three Rose bushes, Iris, Lillies, Hollyhocks and Clematis plus hanging baskets of Petunias. Every so often I’ll plant sunflowers but that’s doesn’t go well cause the squirrels and chipmunks dig up the seeds before the sunflowers can root. I usually have to end up starting sunflowers indoors and planting them outside as a seedling.

Here’s a pic of this heavenly spot where the Iris grow:

Bearded Iris in the garden

Next week the weather is going to take a drastic change and go from the delightful 70’s to the 50’s with temps at night dipping in to the low 30’s. There’s even snow forecasted! The garden will be over with next week, so I figured this would be a good time to paint a new pastel in memory of this year’s abundant beauty. I used a photo reference for this piece because the Iris are long gone for this year.

On the easel – “Bearded Iris” pastel

I have a new pastel tray thanks to my husband, who built it for me. It will be fun filling it up with pastels. Right now it looks like I don’t have any pastels to speak of, but every color I need is there. The shelving has wheels so I can move the pastels close to my easel.

Here’s a pic of the finished piece. The watermark is not on the pastel and is done for online purposes. “Bearded Iris” Pastel is 7” x 9.5”. I’m super pleased with how it turned out.

“Bearded Iris” Pastel

If you like this new work, hit the “Like” button below. You don’t have to leave a comment, but clicking on the “Like” button let’s me know I have readers out there who enjoy reading my posts. The more readers, the more posts I will create. Otherwise, if I’m talking to myself, then there won’t be any posts.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a super weekend! Go out and enjoy the fall colors! Much Love ~ Rhonda

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New Interest in Pastels

Summer on the Lake Pastel Painting

Its been a minute since last time I posted! I’m still here ~ just been busy with the garden and my new interest in Pastels. I think I may have found my preferred medium of choice!

There’s nothing like a new box of pastels ~

When I was a kid I used to adore a brand new box of crayons, all pristine and freshly sharpened. Opening a new box of pastels brings back those fond memories. Pastels today, compared to what I used 10 or so years ago, are so much better. The paper has come a long way too and I’m totally in love with this medium. The way the soft pastels lay down creamy vibrant color on the paper is fascinating and delicious, if I may say! Here are some of my new works:


These are a few of my faves. You can see the rest of the new work in the Gallery under the Pastel Paintings tab. I’ve taken the pastels plein air painting and even on a super windy day, it was a pleasure to paint with them. I didn’t have to worry about bugs becoming stuck on the paper, as when I paint with oils. Or like when I paint with oils in plein air, no worries about yellow jackets being attracted to the smell, because pastels have no smell. You can understand why my new interest in pastels has such a great appeal to me. No fuss, but a lot of mess, which is the only drawback. Not to worry, if you work in pastels, you know to have a wet towel on hand to wipe your hands off.

Look at all those vibrant colors! The most wonderful thing about pastels is there’s no mixing to do, like there is with oil paint. I don’t have to think about adding just the right amount of medium or which colors are transparent or opaque, or complimentary and greyed down, etc, etc. I can just be free to paint what I see with ease and not have to wait for paint to dry.

Plein air pastel

The above photo is where I last painted plein air while on a camping trip. We stayed in a campground on the Moyie River in north Idaho and had a great time. My husband fished down below while I painted and my only complaint was the strong wind. But everything stayed together and only my hat threatened to blow away. I’m bummed that the summer is over and we probably won’t have any more outings. In the meantime, I’ll use my reference photos and paint in the comfort of the studio. I hope you had a decent summer and the trials of the times weren’t too harsh. Stay well, be prepared, and thanks for stopping by! Much Love ~ Rhonda

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New Work ~ “Bearded Iris Backside”

New Work ~

This new work entitled “Bearded Iris Backside” describes the back of the Iris where two buds were growing out of the stem. Why did I paint the back of the Iris? Well, viewing a flower from all sides is one of my favorite things to do before deciding on a view to paint. There are so many interesting parts to a flower and most times, the back is just as interesting as the front. Hidden behind this flower were two buds that I never saw until I turned the Iris around, upon cutting it in the garden.

The Bearded Iris had grown crooked in my flower garden and wouldn’t stand straight in the vase. So, upon turning the Iris all different directions, I discovered the buds made a more interesting story and I let the Iris be the backdrop to the buds.

Iris in a vase

The Studio Set up ~

Originally, when I placed the Bearded Iris into my vase, I didn’t add any leaves. The vase is too small to hold the thick stalks of the plant. Further into the painting I decided the composition needed the addition of leaves. You can see how there isn’t a good balance of the elements.

Iris painting in progress

Here is the point when the decision was made to add a single leaf from the Iris patch, which would add flow and balance to the composition. As the last bud was wilting I added a few leaves for reference. The blue tint to the vase is from the addition of water soluble fertilizer. I have discovered flowers last longer with this addition, and that adding an aspirin or some sugar to make flowers last longer is an urban myth.

Iris leaf added to painting

Finished Painting

The painting was done alla prima on an 8”x10” oil primed linen panel, using a tetrad color palette. Because the buds opened so quickly photo references were used to complete the piece. (The original flower set up wilted before the painting was finished.) Here is the finished painting:

Iris Backside oil painting
“Iris Backside”

This new work, “Bearded Iris Backside” oil painting, will be varnished and framed when it’s dry. Afterwards, the painting will be posted in the gallery under Floral Paintings. I’m super pleased with the results and had a wonderful time painting it.

Please note: the Tamarack Mountain Studio watermark is not on the original painting. The watermark is for online purposes only.

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New Work: Tulips and Daffodils Oil Painting

Tulips and Daffodils Oil Painting

Recently, I finished a new oil painting of the Tulips and Daffodils blooming in the flower garden. I wasn’t totally idle while awaiting creativity to come back for eight months, a.k.a. The Muse, and worked on a stained glass project , which you can read about HERE. But now The Muse is back and things are good.

The Tulips and Daffodils put on a spectacular show this year. Due to the abundance of rain this spring, the flowers grew big and lasted a long time.

A beautiful bouquet adorned my studio for a few short days as my subject for this painting. Reference photos were used to finish the painting when the flowers had wilted. Some of the photos came out beautiful and I may use them in other photography projects.

“Pink Tulip” Copyright Tamarack Mountain Studio
“Orange Tulip”
Daffodil

Look how lovely the tulips are. They bloomed in an array of colors from pastel pink to vibrant orange with splashes of red! Here’s the finished painting entitled “Daffodils and Tulips”, painted on an 8″x 10″ panel in oils. It will be framed in white and you can find it in the Gallery in a few months.

“Daffodils and Tulips”

The “Tamarack Mountain Studio” watermark is not on the original painting. The new “Tulips and Daffodils” oil painting is drying in the studio and next month will be varnished, before sending it off to be framed. I really enjoyed painting this piece and had the most fun painting the vase and the leaves on the table.

Currently on the easel is a Beared Iris painting and it’s coming out great! I can’t wait to share it with you! Here’s a sneak peak:

Thanks for stopping by! I’ll post the latest painting soon, so stay tuned!

Happy Summer! Much Love ~Rhonda

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Stained Glass Installation

After all this time, I am happy to say my stained glass project is finally finished! It took longer than expected, since I created my own design. Many pieces had to be recut in order to fit correctly. Not only that, but the stained glass supplier has been closed due to the current situation and I was not able to purchase fresh foil and solder. I made an order at the beginning of April and patiently waited for my delivery but by the end of April and no delivery, I cancelled the order. The Hobby Lobby stores are all closed as well, so that was a no go for purchasing fresh supplies. I ran out of solder just as I was almost finished, and luckily had saved a bunch of solder bits from the last time I created a piece. It was just enough to finish this project!

Here’s where I left off when last I posted about the project. The pieces are all cut and ready to be foiled in this image:

Stained Glass Work in Progress
Finished Stained Glass Art

Here’s the finished project as seen through a window:

Greenhouse

And this is where the stained glass art piece now lives, in my greenhouse. I like it so much even though there are some mistakes, like the sun ray line being a bit off in the second panel. The piece adds a bit of whimsy to an already happy place. It was a lot of work but well worth the effort!

Below is a short video of the foiling process. I apologize for forgetting to show you the soldering process. I will try to remember to share that next time I make a bit of stained glass art.

Thanks for stopping by! Until we meet again, much Love ~ Rhonda

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Stained Glass Update

In my previous post I shared the stained glass panel I’ve been working on and promised to share the progress. It’s tedious and slow going but I can see light at the end of the tunnel.

The drawing had to be scaled down from the original pattern because I realized I originally drew it to the size of the opening and forgot to subtract for the frame measurement! Geez. So in scaling down the project I was inadvertently left with smaller hard to cut pieces. I’ve cut and recut many pieces over and over. But it’s finally coming together.

After I finish fitting the right side panel it will be time to add the copper foil to each piece. That will be very time consuming because there’s 68 pieces or more and some are tiny! Oh joy. But the end product will be worth it and it’s going to look great in our greenhouse! Next post I will share the copper foiling.

I hope you are staying healthy and you are finding things to keep you busy during our stay indoors. These are tough times but we will prevail! Much Love ~ Rhonda

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Coping during these strange times ~

Greetings to all. I wanted to share an email I received from a favorite artist of mine, Roos Schurring. She is a wonderful impressionist artist from the Netherlands. You can visit her website HERE. She gave me permission to share her uplifting email with everyone during these hard times:

“Hi! It’s Roos here.
I wanted to write just to my Art Business students but decided it might be good to share this with you as well.
I hope you’re not glued to the news-inputs too much.
If you are, I hope you can break away from it.


Coming to your senses and deciding it might be better to keep a peaceful mind. Dedicating this ‘house arrest’ time to important tasks.

For example, that photo album you wanted to create, the attic that is a mess, you never had time for it, well you have now.
You can start a Blog, paint a lot.
You can create a whole new website from scratch.
You have time!

I think it’s these choices that make us who we are.
Most are floating on a stream, a wild river, almost consuming them.

But you can sit on the sideline. Yes, you can watch the updates, once a week, or better yet, read some about it.
Nothing you’ll be able to do about it.
But staying home, ordering your food, spending your time well.


I hope you’re spending your time well. That’s just what I wanted to say. You know what curiosity does.
Telling yourself you much stay in the closest loop, because it’s just ‘wartime’, that’s just bs.

Sure, the fear is real, the risks are real.
But I hope you’re not sinking away in the big negative spiral loop created by the news stations and media, driving on this fear.

Turn it off.
Do something productive or fun.

I saw the movie Ad Astra yesterday. You can buy it at Youtube.
That will take your mind off things.

After that, create a plan, ideas about what to get done now.
Making the most of a bad situation.

Bake a great brownie cake.


Be well!

Happy Painting as well, painting can put your mind on something positive as well.

Roos Schuring”

Does your neighborhood store look similar?

It can be surreal to go into your local grocer and see an image like the one above. Some of you might not be experiencing this in your city, but for our area, this is reality. We went to our local grocer this past weekend and I couldn’t believe my eyes! I thought, “This must just be because we are more rural and this can’t possibly be happening in town!” So I went to town a few days later to finish my weekly shopping and to my disbelief, every single store looked like this. It’s making me sad. It’s making me angry.

Anyway, while we are all hunkered down waiting for the next shoe to drop, I thought I’d share Roos’ words of wisdom. Find things to do you never had time for. Play with your kids and teach them some new things. Do art! Art has a way of taking our minds off time for a little while. Then afterwards you have something that wasn’t there before, to display and enjoy. Kids love doing art projects.

Puzzles, games, reading books, getting outside and enjoying nature in your area are other feel good things to do. When I was a kid, we played a lot of make believe games. We would turn a picnic table on its side and pretend it was a fort. We would hang a sheet between the poles on the patio and use it for a backdrop to put on plays for the neighborhood kids. We would turn the water on a patch of dirt and get it soggy to the point we could make mud pies. Has anyone ever done that? It was soooo much fun.


If your kids are grown and gone, now would be a great time to sort through all the stuff in the closets and get rid of things you never use. I did that a few weeks ago with my kitchen. It took me four days! I now have a bunch of stuff in boxes ready to sell in a garage sale, or give to charity. My kitchen is much more organized after doing this reorganization and clean up.

Get to know your neighbors! No one has time for neighbors anymore. Back in the day, our neighbors were always dropping in, unannounced, for a cup of coffee. My parents would sit at the kitchen table drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes (gag me city!) and talk for hours on end. Invite your neighbors over for a cup of tea, or coffee! Within safe distances of course. 🤓

If you’re the type that likes to play on your phone, tablet or computer, here’s a little digital puzzle you can play which will keep your mind off of the days’ troubles for awhile:

Sunset on the Villa

You can click the image or click HERE, to play the puzzle. If you’re not into playing puzzles, this might convert you!

Another good thing to do is go in the kitchen and create a new dish, or challenge yourself to a bake off with someone else! Like Roos suggests, bake some brownies. Yum. Here’s a link to a yummy breakfast recipe that uses up old bread; Cinnamon Roll Breakfast Bake! It’s super easy to make and tastes delicious! The ingredients are simple. You can omit the cream cheese, and just use raisins and cinnamon like a traditional cinnamon roll.

Well, I hope you are not sick, and that none of your family and friends are either. I hope you are coping as well as can be expected and the Lord is watching over you. Stay safe and remain calm. Much Love ~ Rhonda ❤️