Sunday, September 9, 2007

My 3 month knee check up

This pic was sent to my by someone who forgot to give
credit to the artist, I love her/his work and would say
bravo if I knew who painted this, it caputres my mood
lately to the T!

I just had my 3 month knee check up after my partial knee replacement and all is well. My doctor was thrilled with my lack of pain and my range of motion in my knee and couldn't be happier. We were all worried at first because my joint locked up after surgery and out of my 18 surgeries this was by far the most painful and difficult to rehab, but 3 months later I at least feel like I have a new knee. Most people still don't get the 'partial knee replacement' but my doctor said that it is sort of never done and that's why. Would I suggest others have this surgery? If you live with arthritis under the patella only and have tried everything else go for it, I have never felt as good with a surgery as I do this one. As for going back to work and being able to function, that's a whole other story. If my knee were my only issue I would be fine, but the back issues along with the arachnoiditis and being on my feet all day are making this return quite difficult. I am looking at working from an electric wheel chair and am not sure I like this idea but if it helps me stay employed this year and saves my back/leg issues then I'm ok. I miss the art world now that I am trying to teach again, when I catch up I hope to start on a new piece. To all those suffering with ailments I wish you comfort and peace. A

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Back to School time!

Spinning Planets, one of my most favorites!
A lot has happened in the past few months for me and tomorrow is a BIG day. I start a new teaching position at Chastang Middle School teaching 6th grade Science. I thought long and hard about what position would be best for me when I came back to teaching and this spot seems the best fit. I hope to bring a creative, fresh approach to this grade level and hope to help change the lives of my students this year. Because of my disabilities this decision was huge for me and my family. I have the support of my husband who teaches fifth grade and my son, as well as the Vocational Rehab Center. I hope to prove that physical disabilities are not the life-ending death sentence so many people believe them to be. I know it will be challenging but I feel most worthwhile things in life are those that take sacrifice. I will keep you posted as to my progress, my student's accomplishments, and those new ventures in art that I take on this year. I ask that all my supporters keep me and my students in your prayers throughout this year because we will all need them. I also want to congratulate my best friend Holly Carrigan on a wonderful art show this past week during LoDa. Her acrylic works are great and I am really proud of her effort. Peace, Ardith

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Silly Monster Art Trading Cards

Mr. GeneBeans

Wim Wiggly

Mr. PigOats

Captain TimTom

Howdy from hot Alabama! It's been brutally hot here the past few days but the weather man says we are in for a break, I hope. I haven't been painting much because of my neck but did do a few new ATC's that I am thinking of writing a book about. They are quite a hoot I guess. For those of you who were following the saga of my Christmas tree there is a new update. As of now, it's once again on the grass in my front yard. It stayed parked in my living room, and yes I know it's JUNE, so I decided to finally take it to storage because my husband swears we can use it again next year, ugh! Well, he put it in his truck and got to storage but had no key, so it traveled around and parked it's itchy self here and there for a few day until I went and got it to take to storage, but.... I brought it home because I was too hot that day and ended up taking it out of my car so I could fit a pump in the back and there it sits, once again on my front lawn for all to see and wonder why we are a bit crazy. I promised my husband it would be taken care of today so we will see, to storage or not to storage, that is the question. Maybe I can find a nice trash pile on the way and come up with a wild story of how it got lost. Nah, my husband would see right thru it so I am once again bound to this horrible, nightmare of a tree. Stay tuned for tree updates if you choose and put me on your prayer list for one who has lost her marbles, but would rather lose her tree, Ha! Peace!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I have finished my ATC swap!

"Primary I"

"Treeline Abstract"

"Midnight Abstract"

"Island Abstract"

"Dusk of Gold"

"Blue Abstract"

Just a quick note to say that I finished my ATC swap on Wetcanvas. Some of these are swap pieces, some are just ATC's I have done, so if you check this out early you'll still be surprised for WC people. My neck is hurting pretty bad today so I can't type for long, but wanted to upload the images I completed. Peace! Ardith

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Physical pain is the pits!


Well, I haven't felt well lately. My knee is doing better, still rehabing as best I can, which is slow, but still making progress. My Arachnoiditis has flarred and it is quite difficult to deal with. The only thing I have done differently is increasing my excersices for my knee, but that's just the nature of have that spinal disorder on top of degenerative disc disease. My headaches have increased as well, and I feel that it's because of the rupture in my neck. That alone makes doing any painting or normal activities difficult. I mentally manage my pain well, but at times get quite discouraged when it's really bad and I have to take my really strong pain meds. That's no way to live for anyone and I just have to work through it and not lose my mind. School will be out in 2 weeks so I am looking foward to having James and Bill around more often, I miss those nuts during the day. I'll try and catch up later on any art I'm doing but for today I'm just able to rest and take it easy. For those of you who are artists struggling with pain issues, mentally or physically, I wish you the best, hang in there, it will pass. Ardith

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Somewhere out There

Far and Away

I'm not Mexican but I have several friends who are so I say celebrate the day and have a blast! Here are two more of my ATC cards, which leaves me with only 4 more to go, yipee! These two I did last year, actually they were my first two I ever did this small and I really love the way the colors turned out. It was hard for me to part with them but I think they will be appreciated where they are headed. I was able to go to the gallery yesterday which was nice. After sitting and painting a few small pieces I realized I had sat too long and my neck and arms were stinging. I have a small rupture at C5/6 so I have to be careful how I sit and hold my head. When I had my ankle sugery I came out of it with a paralyzed right arm, but rehabed it back after about 9 months. I couldn't paint at all in 2005. They finally called it a brachial plexus strain and said I was positioned wrong! Ugh! Sometimes I hate medical care, but other times I am so appreciative. Anyway, I won't be painting for a few days because of it. We have had some great weather, I already have 9 tomatoes on my plant out front. I can't wait to eat one! I recently joined the forum in Wetcanvas for artists struggling with disabilities. I want to encourgage them to hang in there and make the best of each day. It's not easy especially when you have to take drugs everday to function. I so wish there was a better answer to chronic pain. If you find my blog and leave a comment I'll add you to my monthly drawing for a free miniature! Peace, Ardith

Monday, April 30, 2007

My 7 latest ATC's!

Moment of Joy

Electric Goddess of the Sea

Spiral Luminosity II

Spiral Luminosity I

In the Shallows II

In the Shallows I

Converging Lines

Wow, I have tried to catch up with my ATC project cards and feel like I have made some progress. Several of these I created as pairs working with some new techniques with my abstracts that I may use for larger pieces. After my abstracts I decided to go a bit whimsical which was a lot of fun. If I am adding correctly, I may be down to 6 more to go, or so which is a much more workable number. I do want to give everyone an update on my knee sugery. So far, I have NO pain in the knee, which is sooooo wierd, but wonderful. I still have swelling issues, but am working those out in the pool at the YMCA, and my PT and I are agressively working towards progress. He told me it would be up to a year to be back to "normal" if there is such a thing for me, so until then I am thrilled with no crunch and no pain. I am finding a knock and pop in my hip, which I have had, but I think the extra excercises are flaring that up, at least I hope it's just a flare. I am excited about the prospect of healing and having a much stronger leg, which will help my foot drop not be so much of an issue. I'll keep you posted! A

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Four more ATC Cards

Horizontal Abstract

Autumn Fair

Sunlight Sunshade

Winding Way

These are the most current ATC's I finished for a total of 16 so far. I have around 10 more to do. They are on their way to Germany, Canada, and two places in the states, which I think is really cool. So, to my counterparts, I hope you like them!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

VSA Art in the Magic City Awards Program

Wow, what a great night I had in Birmingham Tuesday. I attended the awards/reception/auction for the VSA Art program in the state of Alabama at the ATT Center. My three paintings were displayed proudly and my "I Wonder Why?" won the VSA Arts of Alabama purchase award and an Image Award, so it was on all the t-shirts, which was cool! This is the first time I had participated in this event and found it to be so meaningful and rewarding. The people were just so nice and meeting the other artists around our state with disabilities was the highlite of the night. I also got to attend it with my mom, Uncle Ralph, and Great Uncle Dewey, so that made it even more special. We stayed with my Aunt Peggy and had a ball! Physically, the trip was hard, because my knee was still quite swollen and being on my feet at times was stressful, but I wouldn't have missed it for the world. Thanks to all of the VSA staff, ATT/Bellsouth, and Alabama Power who made this event possible.

I started physical therapy last week with my most favorite of all therapist at Grelot Physical Therapy in Mobile. I have had to work with a lot of thearpists in the past 15 years, and by far, Stjani Fridrikkson is the best, most knowledgeable one. It's frustrating to go into a PT's office and be seen along with two to three other patients at the same time. At Grelot, it's one on one care and the best you can get. Thanks Stjani for mastering your craft and being such a great help! Rehabing after this surgery has been way slower than I thought or expected, but I can say that I have NO pain in the knee now, which is bizarre and wonderful all at the same time. I am weak, but there is nothing stopping me from building up my knee to an almost normal state. YEAHHHHH!

I have been watching the events at Virginia Tech this past week and want to wish all those family, friends, students, and community my heartfelt sympathy and prayers. I can't comprehend the loss or imagine what it would be like for those who lost loved ones, but I can stop and acknowledge their lives. I have been a victim myself of gun violence when I was 10. I survived the ordeal but was never the same and to this day still deal with the images left in my mind of that frightful night. I wish all of those who experienced this firsthand a much quicker, peaceful understaning than I have had. God 's Peace be with each of you.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Partial Knee Replacement was a huge success!

Finally, after waiting over 4 months for the sugery to take place I had my knee surgery, or PFR, which stands for PatellaFemoral Replacement. The pic above shows the implant on the femur, but the two screws were from a prior sugery which was an Osteotomy of my tibia. On another view, you can see the disc inside my patella, which will fit right on top of this round part, but I didn't post that picture. I have had 18 surgeries in all, and this has been the most frustrating by far. To start with, I came home to soon from the hospital and didn't get my pain undercontrol which affected my range of motion, and then I forgot that I wouldn't be driving for 3-4 weeks, which has me pulling my hair out. The sugery itself went great! It was the first of it's kind done in Mobile, because for one, this type of knee replacement isn't really done much, and second, it was a custom implant, built to fit my knee only. I am psyched thought because the statistical outcome his high for success and already I have no pain in the knee where it was. YAHOO! If you are thinking about having knee surgery though I would highly recommend staying in the hospital much longer than 24 hours and possibly going to Rotary Rehab to make your surgery the most successful it can be. My home health has sent my a great phyiscal therapist and she has motivated me to make great progress in the past 2 weeks, thanks Jeannie! So, I am still not sitting for long periods of time and wanted to give you all an update. As for the art world, I am one of four artists in the April show of Earth Tones, on the 13th at the Cathedral Square Gallery in Mobile during April, and I am attending the awards banquet for the VSA Arts Show in Birmingham on April 17th. (Cross your fingers!) I'll keep you in tune as to the knee progress and what art is going on. Once I cross this hurdle it clears the way to possibly return to teach in the fall, but we'll see. Peace, and God Bless! Ardith

Friday, February 23, 2007

Miniature Abstract Flower

I wanted to show you what one of the newer miniature paintings looks like that I give away each month. This one is my Abstract Flower, measures 5" by 7", and is done in watercolor and pen and ink. I usually give away paintings measuring 3" by 4" up to a 5" by 7". So, if you read my blog and visit my website, email me and I'll add your name to the pot. I would also love, love, love it if you would spread the word that I have this drawing monthly so others might visit my site and email me. In the meantime, my knee surgery is scheduled for this Wednesday, hooray! I'm excited because when I rehab this knee, my crunch will be gone and they have said that I can actually jog, eventually, which would be awesome. That is, if my foot drop and my arachnoiditis work along with me as well. Anyhow, the promise is exciting. I'll keep you posted as to how things go. In the meantime, I am trying to finish my painting to enter into the Eastern Shore Center art show in Fairhope, by Monday. Hope I can get this all done and keep my sanity, but as always, if it doesn't happen there is always the hope of tomorrow. Peace to all today! Ardith

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Miniature paintings I have finished so far!

He Loves Me

Little Cabin

My Grandma's Pears

Converging Landscape II

Converging Landscape I

Mexican Sunrise

Alabama Angel

Rainbow Fish

Here are 8 of the miniature paintings I have finished so far. They are being sent to other participants in the art card exchange through and I wanted to share them with you. I have 18 more to do by June. Wish me luck!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Working on my ATC's

Greetings to all! It has been a slow few weeks here, recovering from a virus, or something akin to that, but seem to be on the mend. I have received 6 trading cards so far, one from Germany and Australia to name a few. They are each uniqe and beautiful, which makes me so glad I joinded the project through I will send and receive 26 total, and so far it's like Christmas everytime I check my mailbox these days. The image above is a 2.5" by 3.5" minature watercolor painting using Holbein watercolors. My grandmother used to have these huge pear trees in her back yard, and gosh do I remember picking up those pears and eating a few. I named it "My Grandma's Pears" in honor of her. I hope the lady I'm sending it to enjoys it. I sent three paintings to Birmingham this past week to enter in the Magic City juried show by VSA Arts of Alabama. I won't know until April if they were accepted, but am pleased with what I sent. I'll keep you posted how that goes. I am still waiting to hear when my knee surgery will be, can you believe it? It was supposed to be the end of December, but the manufacturer has had problems, so I have had to be patient. I look forward to getting it over with and getting back almost full function of my knee, who knows I might even get to run again, at least a few steps. I must give a shout out to my Aunt Peggy and Uncle Lewis for putting me up for a night when I went to Birmingham. Every one needs aunts and uncles and fun and generous as mine, they make life simply delicious! My cousin, Lanie, has commissioned me to do a painting of her grandson, Brandon. It has been a challenge, because I don't do portriats, but this turned out to be as colorful and abstract, within reason, that a portriat could be so I am pleased. I will post it here after she receives it in March. Bravo to all portriat artists out there, it's takes a master craftsman to do it well and my hats of to you! This week is Mardi Gras for us. I'm not big on the holiday but am looking forward to school being out and getting together with my family. I hope to paint some as well, but we'll see. Peace and Paints to ya! Ardith

Thursday, February 1, 2007

VSA Art in the Magic City entries

"Raymond's Marbles"

"I Wonder Why?"

"Purple Cottage by the Sea"

After much deliberation I have made my decision to put these three paintings into the VSA art show in Birmingham. I feel they repesent a broad range of my style and I am happy with them. I have had another crick in my neck/shoulder this past week which has made most things difficult, but I am carrying on and hopefully on the mend. I have a small rupture at C5/6 which causes problems, but I'm just praying God heals me of that because it affects my painting arm. Say a pray for me. If you have visited my site or left me a comment I have added your name to my monthly drawing and I soooo appreciate the support and feedback. Happy Painting! A

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

My frustrating marble painting!

Well, I was excited, at first about this painting, but am quite peeved at myself now that it's finished. I wasn't paying attention to the pencil I used to draw my grid and accidentally used my grey watercolor pencil. Now, you might think that was a good thing because the color would wash away, but no, that pencil loves to grab the paper and never erases off. I did my best to wash it, over and over, but to no avail. I was hoping the paint would cover it, but no, it's still visible and it's the pits! I used a photo by a member of WetCanvas, Mustcreate, and I thank them for allowing me to use it. I have had some suggestions of how to fix it such as adding checks to the background or tiles, but I'm too mad to mess with it now, maybe tomorrow. The marbles are swell, just not the background. I guess we all live and learn!

Friday, January 26, 2007

I got my first card today!

I received my first ACEO card, "Blooms Floating", today from Jeanne in California and it's just fab! It reminds me a lot of my own style and the colors are just perky and fun. Thanks Jeanne for taking the time out of your day to make this for me, can't wait to get the other 26. Peace! Ardith

Thursday, January 25, 2007

My lovely red roses!

I must brag about my sweet husband, Bill. He knows I love roses, not the $50/dozen, but the Fresh Markets oh so gorgeous dozen for only $7.99. I photograph them often and they bring so much color to our house. So, the other morning he woke up early, snuck out, and came home with these gorgeous red ones, and I never buy red ones for myself. Thank you sweetie for taking time out of your day to make me feel special, I just love, love, love you! A

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Painting Steps in creating an abstract!

Step One: Drawing in the image
I draw out the design using a grey, Derwent watercolor pencil. I then begin adding watercolor to the individual shapes, creating blends as I feel like.I prefer to use Holbein because of the intense colors, but also use
Van Goh and Winsor Newtons. I chose a 140lb. cold press paper and cut it to a 5" by 7" size.

Step Two: Adding in more color
I continue adding in more color, choosing colors that balance off one another and trying to place them in shapes opposite one another.

Step Three: Adding more color and depth
As the image evolves, I continue to add more color and work in glazes to give the shapes depth and contrast.

Step Four: Completion of adding watercolor
I add the final bit of watercolor, checking the composition for changes or additions that need to be made before the outlining step.

Step Five: Completion
I added a thin, black outline to give the painting a completed, graphic quality and make the shapes and colors pop off the page. All I have to do now is decide which direction it should hang!

Monday, January 22, 2007

ACEO Card Project

I have joined my first project at WetCanvas and it appears to be an exciting one. We will be creating 24 2.5" by 3.5" art cards to swap and send all over the world, which is simply too cool. I cut my cards today and cleaned off my table to get my ducks in a row, but I am not sure what I will paint. I'll try and keep you posted as to my progress here and you can also visit to see what others are painting as well. I feel a bit better today, but realize I can't spend as much time sitting in one position or looking down with my neck. Once again I have to adapt because of my body, but I just keep thinking about people who have lost limbs or are wheelchair bound for life. That keeps things in perspective for me. If you believe the news, then it's supposed to be the saddest day of the year for most people. It's not to me, too much to be thankful for I'd say. I've got the best husband in the world and a really phenonomal 15 year old son, so today, I am blessed, hope you are too! Peace, A