Enthralling Adventures

Each blank canvas is a new adventure. Two of my grandsons have made sure that I had enthralling adventures for the last two years. In the January newsletter a year ago, I wrote of my oldest grandson’s request for a painting for the living room of his new home.

This year grandson #2 asked if I would paint something for the master bedroom in his first home. When I asked if he knew what he would like, without hesitation, he said, “a gorilla.” I laughed and said, “Really?” He smiled and said, “Yes, gramma.” Still smiling I told him about a phone conversation we had when he was a preschooler. I had returned to Colorado from Georgia after adding animals to the juvenile jungle in his bedroom. The conversation went something like this . . .

Brady, excitedly: Gramma Mickey, I know what I want the next time you come!
Me: What would that be Brady?
Brady: A zebra!
Me: A zebra?
Brady, even more excited: Yes gramma Mickey, a zebra!
Me: Do you mean one of those animals with all those stripes?!?
Brady, like he couldn’t believe I wasn’t getting it: Yes gramma. a zebra!
Me, kidding: Wouldn’t you rather have a BIG Gray Elephant?
Brady: No gramma, a zebra!

It never occurred to me that I would paint a gorilla, or three. I found a reference photo on Pixabay, a perfect specimen taken by a photographer in Switzerland, Sponchia, I emailed her and she graciously gave me permission to use her photo.

Not All Seasons were for Creating Paintings

My 2018 Spring painting project of Parrot Tulips carried into Summer. Then the house hunting began, the move and the decorating continues along with planting flowers and trees.

Fall turned out to be a time for learning and researching new painting subjects and techniques. Rebecca Zybel, a lovely painter in Myrtle Beach, organized a watercolor workshop with Janet Rogers. Janet is an incredible watercolorist. Her style wasn’t within my comfort zone but I adore her work and I wanted to push myself. I struggled, really struggled. Doesn’t it seem that painting in a loose style would be easier to pick up than representational art? Not for this artist, geesh. I have a lot of practicing to do. I may share later. It could be a lot later.

Portrait by Janet Rogers

My journey from Myrtle Beach, SC continued to Asheville, NC. Halfway through my trek, I stayed at an artist sanctuary, owned by another gifted artist, Mary Erickson. The following morning I walked the quiet, serene grounds photographing nature.

High Ridge Gardens
Then off to a mastermind workshop with Alyson Stanfield. For two days I would be with even more artists, a great experience. This was my second workshop with Alyson and there were no disappointments. Her workshops attract artists from around the world. We all came away with ideas to put to use in our businesses.

Christmas Open House and Art Show

Upon returning home I began planning a Christmas Open House and Art Show at my home. Two dear friends helped with the celebration, Tammy and Cathy Jones, I couldn’t have done it without them. The turnout exceeded my expectations. For two delightful days, I saw many friends to include an artist friend from Decatur, Vickie Martin and I met lots of new neighbors. I took some shots before the Open House but we got so busy we didn’t get photos taken of guests, so sad.

As an artist, one of my greatest thrills is when a client finds art that is perfect for their home. Thank you to all who have given my art loving homes. For those who inquired about commissioned art; if I haven’t contacted you about your pet portrait yet please email, call or you can comment on my blog, it may not have gotten on the list. A special congratulations to Peggy Lassiter, winner of the gift basket.

This was a nice surprise. My sister sent a photo of her beautiful 2018 Christmas tree with one of my paintings in the background. I love the way the lights reflect in the window and the painting. Every Christmas I look forward to seeing how she decorates her beautiful tree.

If you have a friend who would enjoy this, please share in its entirety. I am always happy to answer any questions you might have and I love it when you are kind enough to comment below. Have a joyful New Year.


18 comments to Enthralling Adventures

  • I was mesmerized watching your gorilla video………still am even now. Not sure when that will fade, or whether I want it to.

    Wonder-filled newsletter.

    Thanks for sharing your life, your talent & yourself with the world.


  • Mickey

    Oh Barbara, your words filled my heart to the brim with joy. A heartfelt thank you coming your way my friend.

  • Judy

    It looks like a really interesting year, Mickey. I loved the process shown in the video. Thanks for sharing. So glad you are my new neighbor.

    • Mickey

      Hi Judy, thank you for reading my little newsletter and I’m glad you enjoyed the in-progress video. I enjoyed seeing your little furbaby again – and I thought my little furbaby was spoiled. 😉 Thank you for commenting. I look forward to seeing you soon.

  • DeAnne Dingwall

    Hi, Sweetheart,

    In addition to your well known artistic ability I see your computer skills increasing with every newsletter. Very impressive! But of course, everything you do is always the best!
    Shared Christmas supper with Barbara Blake. We reminisced about the many years of Vein of Gold’s continued monthly get-togethers and other adventures. Your name popped up a lot!!! and with love, of course.
    Hugs dear friend,

    • Mickey

      HI De,

      Thanks for complimenting the newsletter! I actually don’t do the behind the scenes kind of things. Oh, that would be so much brain damage for me and I need every little brain cell I have left! I just give my webmaster ideas and she makes it happen, she’s great. All I have to do is add new art and write.

      Wish I could have been a little fly on the wall or mouse in your pocket listening to you and Barbara reminisce. Was there wine involved? I’m planning on seeing Diane the end of May. That’s always fun! Our Vein of Gold get-togethers are treasured memories.

      Thanks for the hugs! Blessings to you always.


  • Julie Thornton

    Hi Mick,
    So pleased to receive another newsletter filled with beauty and excitement. Loved the gorilla video…just amazing. The zebra is precious, just like your grandson, Brady !!
    Surely do miss you.

  • Mickey

    Hi July,

    I always look forward to hearing from you! Thanks so much for reading my newsletter and of course I love your comments. We sure had a lot of good times on the tennis courts, didn’t we? Great memories and I’m so glad you’re still playing!

    Brady usually stops by once a week or so. Last weekend he invited me to breakfast with his brothers and a friend. I love catching up with what they’ve all been up to. Shawn and the boys popped in several times during my Open House. It was fun watching them interact with everyone. I surely do miss you, too, Julie! Hugs to you and Robert.


  • Erol Linda agnos

    Thank you Mickey for sharing this. Your paintings are beautiful for your grandsons. How special. Have a wonderful 2019. Miss you being in Colorado Springs but know your Happy..blessings and hugs, Erol

    • Mickey

      Hi Erol,

      It warms my heart when I see your name in the comment box. Thank you for reading my little newsletter and especially for commenting. If I were still in the Springs I’m sure I would be into Pickle Ball by now. I watched old schoolmates play when I was in Indiana but I have such a large family it’s hard to find time to do all the things I’d like to do/try. It really looks like fun. Love seeing your pics on FB. So happy you’re having a good time!

      I miss running into you, too! The best to you always, Mickey

  • Mickey

    Re: Artful Whispers: Enthralling Adventures

    Date: Sat, Jan 26, 2019 9:21 pm
    To: Mickey Baxter-Spade

    great newsletter!!!!! enjoyed reading it!

  • Mickey

    Re: Mickey’s Artistic Voyage
    Date: Sat, Jan 26, 2019 12:48 pm
    To: Blog_–_Mickey_Baxter-Spade

    Looks like lots of fun for artist and company. Happy to hear you are having such opportunities and Open House must’ve been lots of fun !
    Happy you are happy in Georgia!


  • Mickey

    Thanks, Elaine,

    I always appreciate you taking the time to write. It was quite a year, filled with much joy.

  • Mickey

    Re: Artful Whispers: Enthralling Adventures

    Date: Sat, Jan 26, 2019 4:24 pm
    To: Mickey Baxter-Spade

    Enjoyed reading your newsletter.

  • Mickey

    RE: Artful Whispers: Enthralling Adventures

    Date: Sat, Jan 26, 2019 1:15 pm
    To: Mickey Baxter-Spade

    I really like the Zebra and Gorilla, great job(s)… Glad to see you are still painting..

    I so fondly remember the shows you had in CO and all the great people we met and good times…

    I can still tend a mean bar and fix a few tasteful nibbles to good with a quaff of your favorite beverage, as I recall yours was either a Chardonnay or Blue Bom Bay Martini, very dirty with a couple of large olives, just saying…

    Looks like you had a great time in the Carolinas…beautiful country down there…from the coasts to the mountains…

    Take care…hope to see you one day sooner than later.

    Kindest Regards,


    • Mickey

      Hi Mike,

      Hope to do more painting this year. That Gorilla was a labor of love. I began painting only an hour a day, only three days a week because the pain got so bad. It took a couple weeks to increase the time in increments of half an hour weekly. What I could have done in six weeks before the accident took eight months. But I loved every minute.

      Yep, Blue Bombay, very dirty but may I have three large olives, please. I haven’t had one since moving to Georgia. LOL

      May make it to Indiana in 2019, hope to see you two!

      Big hugs to you and Di! Mic

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