Tuesday, May 28, 2013


I like things to be neat, but unfortunately, I'm not a naturally neat person.  I have to work at it, and accept that sometimes mess happens.  I'll get around to ironing that pile of summer clothes, but it won't happen in the next five minutes.  I've learned to live with the dust bunny in the corner if I really don't have the time to go and get it.  There it will be, a couple of hours from now, waiting for me to take care of it.  And I do.  Honest!
The area where I totally must have order is in the studio.  All right, the art closet and bookcases can get a bit disarrayed, but my paints and palette have to be orderly.  To that end, I have all my watercolors sorted into color families and stored in little tackle box trays.  The box itself was long since tossed, as there was no room to pile the tubes in the trays and still close the box.  But the trays are neatly stacked in my tabouret and my palettes are covered to keep out dust, animal hair, and a curious cat.  I have one palette for each "set" of colors, Earth colors, greens and blues,  yellows and reds, and one smaller one for the purples.

 It may sound foolish, taking all the time to sort and store by color, but in the end, it saves time as I know exactly where to look for the color I want, either in the trays or on the palettes.  I can think about the painting more clearly if I know where the paint is and if my brushes are where they should be.  The paper gets stored carefully by type and weight too.
But once in a while, like today, I can drive myself a bit crazy with all this organization.  I had to buy a new palette today, as I had accidentally punched a hole in the earth tones one.  I decided to make the new one more orderly, with the colors going from dark to light all around the outside, and with the extra colors in their own little wells inside.  Nice idea if you don't get confused with which color you squeezed out color before last and forgot to label.  There's not that much difference between Gold Ochre, Quinacridone Deep Gold, and Quinacridone Gold until it's on the paper.  Talk about clean crazy!!  But I got it sorted, and now I'm feeling refreshed and ready to  paint again.  That nice pristine white won't last for long!

Heather Anderson

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


These past few weeks, life has been as stressful as it can get.  When I'm stressed, I use various ways to get through the days and try to find a modicum  of  serenity, and one of them is to bake.  I love baking . . . it's like spending time with my Grandmother again.  
I thought I'd like to share her recipe for Tea Biscuits with you.  I don't know where she got it - maybe from a cookbook here, or maybe she brought it with her from Ireland.  I just know they are wonderful, served warm with butter and jam, and of course, a good, stiff cup of tea.

                             Nannie's Tea Biscuits.

2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2-3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup of shortening/butter/margarine   (I use Bacel margarine)
1 cup milk

Mix the dry ingredients together.  Cut in the shortening (or which ever choice you use).  Add the milk slowly and mix.  Turn the dough out on a floured board and knead gently for a few minutes.
Pat into a circle (or square) about a 1/2 inch thick.  Cut into circles with a cookie cutter and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake at 450 for 12 - 14 minutes.
Serve warm with butter, jam, and a lovely cup of tea.
Hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Since the last time I posted, the Dark Angel has visited my family and taken a loved relative.  It's hard to come to terms with this, particularly now, when the earth is blooming and beautiful, and life is bursting forth all around me.  It's hard to remember to look at the apple blossoms and listen to the song of a robin on a cool Spring evening. But I think we must.  Life is such a precious gift, and we need to notice, to say 'thank you', and to pass on the love we receive.  Go and hug a family member or a friend, smile at a neighbor, or even someone you see everyday but don't actually know.   And above all, please, when there is an opportunity to donate to a cancer research fund, be as generous as possible.
I don't know who is out there, reading this, but I send you good wishes for a long, happy and healthy life.

Heather Anderson

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Sometimes I need a space to just breath.  I've been busy all along, painting and working on commissions, and  it's been one of the hectic/tense times on the home front.  We all have those now and then.  And all of a sudden, I don't know what to do next with my painting because everything seems so overwhelming.  
The word is, 'Paint what you love.' and I know I love animals - dogs and cats, and horses.  I love being around them, love painting them, but is it time I tried something  else? Or maybe focus on just one type of animal, or just one breed of dog?  

 I delight in Faeries, so should I spend some time in Fantasy now?
How about a new interest in tiny landscapes - is this the time to spend getting good at them?  

So many decisions . . . so much to make my head ache. I think I need an aspirin!
I've learned through experience that when times like this land on me, the thing to do is to sit back quietly and just breath.  The answer will fall into place as long as I don't rush out and jump into a series of paintings that will never please me because I wasn't 100 % committed to them at the beginning.
So for the next few days, I'll be doing some serious thinking about which direction I want to take with my painting for the next extended time.  But first, take a breath with me.  AHHH!