Offa’s Dyke Painting Auction, #30paintingsin30daysAuction

Offa’s Dyke Painting Auction, #30paintingsin30daysAuction

Beginning in October, the 18 paintings I completed in the September #30paintingsin30days! will be up for auction to the highest bidder.

The paintings were inspired by a recent trip along Offa’s Dyke path following the borders of Wales and England from the south coast to the northern coast of Wales.

This means there’s a great opportunity for collectors to either add to their collection, or perhaps get started collecting. I’m offering these small painting on an art auction website,  it easy to bid and easy to pay through PayPal .

#11 #30in30paintingchallenge! purple-mtn-cliff-walk


We interrupt this Regularly Scheduled Content

We interrupt this Regularly Scheduled Content

Stealthily Disguised Bobcat, lesliemillerfineart.comUplifting to my Soul

We interrupt this Regularly Scheduled Content for some exciting art opportunities! When I signed up to participate in the #30in30paintingchallenge, I had no idea how many fantastic opportunities  were going to present themselves this month! Several shows and competitions I would really like to enter have deadlines  the first week of October. I am going to need to reroute my path, just a bit, but I am still committed to painting every day for the month of September. 
Returning to the artist mecca that is the little village of Tubac has been very uplifting to my soul. I’ve been reminded how important art is to the lives of others. I have also been exposed to so many new avenues to expose my art, including new shows, exhibits, associations, and general participation in the art scene.
When I sat down to do a little personal business and organize my Evernote folders today, it occurred to me how much there is to do!
Have you been wondering what happened? No posts for ten days there is so much to accomplish in September so much that I intended to post this a week ago and never hit publish!

Why the rules of #30in30paintingchallenge! Rule!

First off you need to know there are no rules. There is no such thing as cheating. So, if you want to paint seven paintings in a day and take the rest of the week off then that’s ok! If you want to get an early start in August then that’s ok too. Just don’t post an old painting as the whole point of the challenge is to get you to paint more! –Leslie Saeta-founder of the #30in30paintingchallenge.
No rules! These are my kind of rules!

Choose your Battles

The pressure I have put on myself is beginning to take it’s toll. I am learning that having a messy house, not having dinners planned and neglecting my family is not conducive to open creativity.
I am a firm believer in choosing your battles. Life is complicated enough without fighting the universe. The goals I set for myself at the beginning of this year  are very high on my priority list. To reach those goals, I feel it is necessary to switch my focus for the next few days. There are six painting submission deadlines scheduled on for the first week of October. Luckily for me, there were three pieces near completion hanging in my studio when I arrived back home.
It is important to me to finish what I have started for two reasons: because I announced my theme and intentions to do so publicly and because I feel the subject is so very deserving of 30 paintings. The number one goal for me in choosing to participate was to renew my painting practice after being away from the easel for nearly four months.

Offa’s Dyke Path Sensory Stories

I will commit to finishing my sensory stories  about Offa’s Dyke Path, though they may not be all complete by October 1. I may also combine two or three prompts into one story. Sometimes the wheels in my head turn faster than I can keep up with and then my mouth runs before I test the ideas that swirl around up there. Does that happen to you?
I really appreciate the positive feedback associated with these stories. I enjoy writing them and its fun to see where a little phrase can take my mind.

What I am Trying to Say

Painting every day in September is still my goal. However, I most likely won’t complete a painting each day. The subject matter is going to take a little detour, but I will revisit it soon. All of the submissions will be related to the southwest in one way or another, since the exhibits and contest are all in Southern Arizona. I plan to continue sharing my progress; that may look like an abbreviated post each day, but sharing the journey none the less.
Once the priorities are addressed, the Offa’s Dyke Path series will be continued…
Let me know what paths you’ve had a struggle rerouting, in the comments below or on Facebook. Also do you think September is an extra busy month? Always love hearing from you.
Why I Journal Using Sensory Prompts

Why I Journal Using Sensory Prompts - Sensory stories from Wales and #30in30paintingchallenge!I Journal Using Sensory Prompts

We love to travel, but I have a poor memory. I rely on photos, scrapbooks, and travel journals to save those memories. I like to tailor my travel journals to each trip, adding in journaling prompts, quotes, and date stamps. I usually include little envelopes for ticket stubs and paper placemats, etc. Somewhere along the way, I threw in a list of sensory prompts. Those short, little snippets bring back floods of memories to the whole family. We’ll get to talking about a trip and they’ll ask me to read off some of the lists. Sometimes the funniest and most memorable of these snippets are the “I smell…” pieces.
Olfaction, more than any other sense, is so successful at triggering emotions and memories. In fact, studies have shown thatthe olfactory system has a direct connection with two parts of the brain that are strongly linked in emotion and memory. Oddly enough, the sight, sound, and touch perceptions don’t pass through these two areas.
I failed to create a journal for this trip before we left. Luckily, I wrote out these sensory prompts on the plane ride home. It started with a handful and the more I jotted down the more memories and thoughts came back to me that wanted to be sure to remember.


Memories of the Countryside

I love to walk in the countryside. That peaceful, simple, and open space always reminds me being at my grandparents’ farms. Visiting the farms during my childhood always meant discovery and adventure. 
As an adult. I crave the solitude of more rural spaces, away from cars, and hustle and bustle. I especially love walking with no purpose other than to enjoy being outside.
Walking across Wales we encountered a couple of unmistakable scents of the countryside, namely, poop and silage. Since we walk through field after field, and literally through barnyards,there is so much poop! Of course being a gardener, I associate it with fertilizer and healthy plants. Round bails of hay are wrapped in black plastic to ferment the feed. These are stacked in huge rows and one can smell the fermentation before one can see the stacks.

The scent of Family History

Homes that have stood for centuries have a distinct scent. Dusty, musty and an unidentifiable unique smell of each family. We stayed in many homes along the way. One, in particular, had been in  the family 400 years. That means the books furniture and other family treasures, passed through the generations, had collected years of perfumes, cooking aromas, dust, tobacco, detergents, pets, various spills and who knows what all. 

Heavenly Butterfly Bushes

I mentioned before that I enjoy gardening. It was a hobby that came as somewhat of a surprise to me and my family. As a child, I hated to get dirty. I hated to sweat and I feared all the creepy crawly creatures in the vegetable plots my parents gardened. Somewhere along the way, I developed a deep connection with earth and the beauty it can provide. I discovered the joy of nurturing plants. 
One of the first plants that I ever planted was a butterfly bush.I encountered one in a friend’s garden. I was not so much interested in attracting butterflies; I loved the color and the heavenly scent. If you’re not familiar with the butterfly bush, it can grow quite rapidly! Soon it was taking over the garden but couldn’t bear to cut it back! I quickly learned it needed some space to flourish.
On our first trip to the UK I was completely taken aback at the mere size of the butterfly bushes. With so much unspoiled countryside they flourished indeed into tree-sized, gloriously scented giants, that reminded me of my first little garden in my first little house.

Deep Woods of Fantasy

The dampness and darkness of a woodland can create some very memorable smells. For me those smell remind me of days played in the woods behind our house. When it was safe for children to play outside, mostly unsupervised. We built things and discovered tiny creatures, played chase and hide and seek until sometime just before dark our moms would call us time for dinner. At night i’d fall asleep thinking of all the discoveries I’d made and what we would play tomorrow. Good Times.

#30in30paintingchallenge! Day #15 & #16 #30in30paintingchallenge! door-greeter

Please Share

I’d love to hear from you, share your olfactory story in the comment section. What’s the oddest scent that brings happy memories to your mind?


Two Countries Separated by a Common Language and Pork

Two Countries Separated by a Common Language and Pork


I see no pigs

I taste ham and cheese with butter, cucumbers, and tomatoes from the garden. I taste lots and lots of pork and see no pigs; I see tons of sheep and rarely find lamb on the menu.
Wales has a population of approximately three million people.
The population of sheep in Wales is four times greater than the Welsh population of humans.
Lamb was on the occasional dinner menu, but less often than you might think. We walked through hundreds of sheep every day, everywhere!

Two Countries Separate by a Common Language

Two Countries Separate by a Common Language.The origins of the quote are a bit fuzzy but can most arguably be attributed to Bernard Shaw.
“England and America are two countries separated by the same language.”
And you can quote him on that, because he also has been credited with saying, “I often quote myself. It adds spice to my conversation.
As I’ve mentioned before our accommodations came with breakfast. Whenever it was time to order breakfast, usually the night before, it was always ham and bacon that gave us the most issue. We’d say ham meaning bacon they’d look confused, who eats ham at breakfast? The choices for breakfast are bacon or sausage.
Clear as mud,
In the UK bacon is more like our “country ham” and streaky bacon is what Americans think of as bacon.
Then there is the sausage. I’m a southern girl, sausage is Wamplers, sausage patties fried in a cast iron skillet.
Wamplers Wamplers, it’s farm sausage. Their sausage is a large thick link, not “sagey” and peppery, but more like what we have on a bun with mustard and onions.

Care for a Butty?

Did you know?
Butty is a Welsh term for “sandwich” and slang for “friend” or “buddy.”
Another difference in culture is evident in the way sandwiches are prepared. 
Not mustard, sometimes mayo but always butter.
Wonder why this is?
I was told it forms a barrier between the fillings and the bread. Makes perfect sense.
Order a ham and cheese you’ll likely open your lunch bag to find a  shredded cheese and butter along with a ham and butter butty!
Ultimately pork is featured at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, even though we never saw a single pig, in 182 miles! Did we eat them all?

If you enjoy these sensory storylines pin on Pinterest it helps me out so much!

Painting #11



#11 #30in30paintingchallenge! purple-mtn-cliff-walk