Saturday, August 4, 2012

Welcome to Living in the Middle: Indian Orange

Welcome to Living in the Middle: Indian Orange

Indian Orange

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 30; the thirtieth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.
Shades of Orange by Harsha Chittar
Courtesy - Curious Dino Photography

When I paint from my heart there are many shades of orange to choose. In my own personal palette there are Cadmium Red Light, Red Oxide, Yellow Ochre, Diarylide Yellow, Quinacridone Burnt Orange and my favorite Indian Yellow Hue. Their names are deceiving yet they are all shades of orange and none more than Indian Yellow Hue. I would have named it Indian Orange. It is a sensual color, exotic to my Anglo Saxon eyes and the opposite of my pale skin, a compliment in my life. Its beauty pulls you in. It is a magnetic color, a color of desire, a color that tastes as sweet as the softest yet spiciest curry. 
It is a color, I could not live without. It feels as good to me, as natural to me, as the cool wet sand messaging my feet just as I remember walking the shores edge. My ankles caressed by a gentle low tide - waves nearing the sun's set. It is as far away from me now as the other side of the world. Yet Indian Yellow Hue brings me right back, back to place when my feet did the walking and the sand and waves did the caressing. It is a powerful color.

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. I’m thankful to Someone is Special, who introduced Blog-a-Ton to me, and I debuted in XX edition.
Credits Image - Shades of Orange by Harsha Chittar Courtesy - Curious Dino Photography via

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Resting my thinker

I would love to give credit to the artist
 but I am not sure where I found this.

I have not been writing much. Sometimes I just don't have anything to say. Or maybe I do but I really don't have anything to share. It is okay to keep somethings to yourself and it is okay to keep to yourself too. I think sometimes I keep too much to myself and I don't make contact with my friends. Do they stop being my friends? I hope not. I hate that I am like this but I am. I always have been and I just don't seem to want to change that about myself. Some days I just think. I just think the whole day away and I am not even aware that I did it. At least I am not aware until the sun sets and I realize the day has changed into evening.

I do this when I paint too. However, it is different because I don't actually know what it was I was thinking about. Perhaps I wasn't thinking at all. Perhaps I was in the zone. Resting my thinker.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

It is not going to be a valley to you...

Life is filled with peaks and valleys. There is a lot of waiting for things to happen or waiting for things not to happen depending upon your point of view. I am 45 years old and I believe that my life is more than half over because I am certain I won't live to be 90. I am okay with that, in fact, I am more than okay with that. 

I am actually comfortable and excited about the next life. I finally figured out that there will be a next life. I believe it 100% and I also believe that we humans have no concept about what that truly means. I am cool with that too. I love surprises. 

I heard a woman who was pronounced dead and than came back to life say, "there are colors in the next life that don't exist in this life." That to me, that is really exciting. I can't wait to see those colors.

Monday, March 19, 2012


Magpie Tales
You were hard to like and so were you
it was never hard to love either of you
those threads were sewn into my fabric

Your moods missled sparks in all directions
your reactions impervious to shrapnel shards
bloody barbs not neat round balls

quietly, quietly building
emotions buried under layers of earth
generations buried a million billion years deep

Wall sprouting like bronze tulips
malfunctioning cogs identical
yet unable to fit together

Reflective guts
compared and contrasted
little wonder none of us lasted

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Framed Canvas - Easy Peasy

Framing a canvas is very different from framing a watercolor or poster.

It requires an open back frame, wire clips and the ability to attach a wire across the back. Rather than struggle with installing circular wire screws for the wire across the back, we just used a heavy duty stapler and stapled the wire to the back of the frame.

The wire clips are used to attach the canvas to the frame.  I purchased the clips at Hobby Lobby for $1.99 and the package includes a nice little visual instruction. It is so easy to do and literally takes seconds.Trust me nothing hard about this job.
by Kristen Haskell
11" x 14"

This abstract reminds me of the movement of water on a lake's surface. Sometimes, when I squint on a very bright day, I see almost a block pattern of sparkle when I look at actual water. However, when I look at this painting, I see a flow almost like the flow of life. You start out a kid and your responsibilities are minimal, as you age you become more concentrated, busier with more responsibilities, kind of like the center of this painting, where everything starts to over lap. Later in life things begin to slow down again and the flow is more stream like. So, water or life, you decide but this is how I see "Flow" and how it came to be. 

The frame I chose is solid black, it was $21.99 at Hobby Lobby but I purchased it for 50% off. I am pretty happy with my $12.00 frame. I think it really finishes the piece. 

by Kristen Haskell
8" x 10"

I know that I already posted a picture of this painting but I wanted to show it again in the new frame. This frame was $17.99 but once again I took advantage of the 50% off sale and out the door  it was under $10.00. 

I think the two paintings will look nice hung together.

Peacock Dress
by Kristen Haskell
16" x 20"

Again, I posted this painting when I completed it in January, unframed. I just brought it home framed from the studio, where it hung in the window for the past few months. Last week a lady inquired about purchasing it but I was not ready to let it go. This painting was such a labor of love that I need to keep it for a while. 

What if you don't want to frame a canvas?

by Kristen Haskell
16" x 20"

This painting is hanging without a frame. The sides are really incorporated into the actual painting. This is a gallery wrapped canvas and it typically remains unframed. However, it can be framed but it will be costly and requires custom framing from a professional framing or fine art store. I personally would never frame this type of canvas because the art is incorporated into the sides. I enjoy this type of canvas but it is three times more expensive that what I normally purchase. Yet, every so often the art and the artist demand it!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

How many hobbies can one person try?

The answer to that is, as many as you can afford! I am not a DYIer but lately there are so many cute things on Pinterest, that I have to ask myself that very question. How many hobbies can I try? I am not a baker, but if I baked, I would love to make a cake like this.

 I paint so I am always looking for are a few that caught my eye on Pinterest.

Here are a few neat things for the DIYers out there!

Can't even imagine how hard this is! Better leave this for Pearl!

This is more like it! Totally do-able, heck even I could do this!

Needle and thread... anyone?

The above photos are a few of my pins. You can repin them for yourself by creating your own virtual bulletin boards. The beautiful thing about pinning is that if you click on the actual pin (not here but in Pinterest) it will take you back to the originating site. Often there are detailed instructions or basic information about the picture. 

Beware, Pinterest and pinning is addictive but it is the best on-line magazine without advertisements I know of. There are tons of categories; which, make it nice to see only the things that interest you. Happy pinning.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

It's time for a new look

My favorite season is spring. I love the spring. If I could have it my way I would have two weeks of winter, and fifty other weeks divided between spring, summer and fall. I might even like to give spring a little bigger helping of those weeks.

Even at this moment, I look out my window and my large crab apple tree is budding with green signs of life peeking through. Another week or so and it will be in full bloom with gorgeous white flowers. Yet my spring happiness won't be complete until I see the forsythia bloom. That is my precursor for the season. It just always seems to come first here.

I enjoyed the look of my winter blog but as the seasons change so must my blog. So in the next few days be looking for a new look. You know I am a sucker for comments, so just for kicks, I would love to hear what you think of my current look. 

all images borrowed from Google images

Monday, March 5, 2012


A WIP or rather work in progress is about all I can post today. After my previous abstract, I decided to try another but this time instead of creating depth; I wanted to go for a magnified look of the crystal sparkle you see on a lake's surface on a sunny day. I am not sure I achieved it; however, it was fun to do and the colors are pleasing to me.

When I finally finish it, I will post another picture but for now here is my WIP. I would love to hear your comments, good or bad, they are all welcome. Or hold off and wait for the finished piece if you like.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


I normally work from a picture for inspiration but this piece was created from a dream I had. In the dream swirls of metal, brick, shingles, barbed wire and forsythia were being sucked up into the sky. This was a day dream or the kind of dream you have when you are awake for 36 hours. I slept about an hour total then I proceed to get my vision on the canvas. 

It was a prophetic piece. That night, after I finished all but the fine details, six tornadoes were reported in our area. It was the first of the season and another eleven followed up the next night and tomorrow we are in for additional severe weather. It is the beginning of the season. 

I hate tornadoes and what they do. I believe we are in for one heck of a season, why else would I paint the season opener?

by Kristen Haskell
8" x 10"

Monday, February 27, 2012

What I can share about Matilija Poppy

Fried Egg Poppy

Twenty years ago, I was walking with some friends through the arid chaparral of Quail Valley. At the time it was undeveloped land east of Del Mar in Southern California.  Now the whole area is ticky tacky cookie cutter homes with amenities so many of us end up buying in our thirties and forties. Anyhow, we came upon a wild flower that stopped us dead in our tracks. At first glance it resembled a gigantic weed. Its foliage was scrubby and rough but its flower was a wonder to behold. It made such an impression, that even some twenty years later I can describe where I was and who I was with. There are many alluring and fascinating creatures and plants that live and love this Southern California climate but none as amazing as the Matilija poppy or commonly referred as a “fried egg” poppy.

Its large eight inch flowers have six petals that resemble pleated crape paper and its stamens (yes, it has many) form a large yellow ball-like cluster. From a distance, it looks exactly like a fried egg, sunny side up. This plant thrives in a rocky, sun baked, arid climate but its history alludes to loving other climates as well.  One of my sources site, the plant’s origins are from Ireland. Another source claims the poppy as being “quite popular in England, it grows equally well in our local environs.”

It is an interesting and beautiful plant, so perhaps we could have these in our own gardens? Well sure but there are a few things to consider first. This plant needs elbow room. Much like the Forsythia it takes over and will evict its neighbors without hesitation. After years of growth it will become woody and tree like. In the right location, the plant can reach eight feet tall and more than half as wide. Don’t over water this beauty as it likes to be a little thirsty. Finally, “to encourage flower-bearing branches measuring four to six feet, cut the plant back to the ground each winter. “

I am in the process of researching this plant with our local Master Gardeners through Missouri University. If I can pull this off perhaps I can have a little piece of what I miss about California here in Missouri. If it doesn’t work out I will stick to painting my “fried egg” flowers. Below is my impression of this Matilija beauty.

Fried Egg Poppy
by Kristen E. Haskell
8" x 10"

My information came from the following websites:

Monday, February 13, 2012

White Stallion of the Carmargue

White Stallion of the Carmargue
16" x 20" Acrylic on Canvas
Kristen E. Haskell

Old Man Winter

After weeks of unusually warm temps in the Ozarks, Old Man Winter has arrived. Big fat snow flakes are falling heavily from the sky. My gaze is transfixed at my picture window. We are getting a lot more snow than anyone said we would. Everything is white, everything is beautiful. Wintery wisps of white are swirling past my view, there is something magical about snow.

 My bones do not recognize your beauty
but my eyes struggle to look away

Its chill I fear
yet its peace is soothing

like an ice cold drink on a hot summer day.

Monday, January 30, 2012

A New Week

 I spent last week in a fog. For the past three weeks my brain just kind of shut down and anything I started to write did not work. I read the first two books of The Hunger Games and I am 20% through the third. I watched a lot of useless television, added somethings to Pinterest, and I searched Youtube for some customer service videos to help my husband with a project for work. Other than that, I did nothing. I talked to no one on the phone and kept the very minimum of my appointments. It wasn't depression, it was a lack of energy. So far, I am feeling a lot better this week.

Steve is off to Denver for business trip this week, home on the weekend and back again to Denver for another week of Sales Meetings. His new position is really interesting and he is happy. Getting ready for his travel took a lot of shopping and planning. Now that he is back out, I feel like I can relax. Maybe get some writing done! Oh, my biggest piece of personal news, I finished the woman in the peacock dress.

Haskell, Kristen
Peacock Dress 
Acrylic Painting

Friday, January 13, 2012

Monday, January 9, 2012

Developing a story

Today is a perfect day to do some writing. I decided to take a break from prompt driven work because I need to depend more on my imagination and less on the imagination of others. I still have to goal of finishing a ghost story before the end of the month.

The premise of my ghost story:

Woman lets a large farm house in the south. The property comes with the caretakers. What we are not sure about is whether or not she is the ghost in the story or if the caretakers are the ghosts. It isn't until a demolition crew shows up to level that house that we find out who is alive and who is dead in this story and why they are there to begin with.

Just for fun what kind of story would you write based on the above perimeters and the photo I nabbed from google images?

I would love to read what you would do. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


This is not my painting - Image from Google Images

  • To paint something inspired by the above painting.
  • To finish a short ghost story before the end of January.
  • To successfully teach jewelry classes at Creative Concepts.
  • To be mindful of my food choices.
  • To be kind even when I don't feel the love.
  • To be better at communicating with others.
  • Procrastinate a lot less.