Saturday, November 10, 2012


Pictured are 3  8 by 10 inches watercolor paper hand painted shabby chic mats
for use with 5 by 7 inches art or photography
Available in my etsy store.
These are $10 for 3 plus S&H
I have got a lot of these Shabby Chic hand painted watercolor paper mats that I made during my years at the Antiques Shop. I  began painting these because I never could quite find colors I wanted to match my paintings. So when someone gave me old watercolor paper from an abandoned house I made these mats.

They are all hand painted and embellished with acrylic paints. They were hand cut and not precise like a store bought mat.

One woman who saw my paintings in these said. " These are absolutely wonderful with these old barns. And country farm animal paintings fit perfectly. I love that they are not quite perfect, but like you would see in nature."
Here is an example of one of these hand painted
mats used with a painting and framed. This item, the
framed and matted painting is also available on etsy.

Not all of them are bright colors. Most of them are darker colors  of brown, green or slate blue with embellishments that make them look like faux wood, marble or  just about any wild thing I could think of that would enhance my small formate individual art.

I will be adding more to the collection in my main etsy shop in the coming days before Thanksgiving.
 Please check out my other Etsy Destash things:

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Perfect Life: 61F and In the Garden at 8 Am

I think that if I had a perfect life I would garden for a hour or so every morning 5 days a week 9 months out of the year.  In the hot months I would be in the pool exercising right after.  In the cool days it would be riding. Then I would make art. In the evening I would enjoy my yard and share it with family and friends at least once a week. Maybe play a game or just talk. Perhaps grill and/ or make homemade ice cream. One day a week I would travel to yard sales, flea markets, antiques malls to practice and enhance my picking skills. Or perhaps go out just to photograph to keep my work fresh with new ideas.

Its not a perfect life.. yet.  Family is too far away and don’t visit very often. Most of my friends are busy with the struggles of life. I haven’t been able to get out into the yard since sometime at the beginning of March when I was told I had Peripheral Vascular Disease. ( I'm leaving out the scary parts)Going out to photograph for any length of time is very limited due to the cost of gas. I used to go out at least twice a month.  It was the same with traversing the countryside to enhance my picking skills.

I did get out in the yard this morning. It was not very long and not very much. I watered plants.  I cut down a very rebellious polk plant growing in the flower bed in front of my deck.   I reclaimed my aloe plant, only to discover that in addition to weeds there was also a colony of little black ants residing in the pot. That will be dealt with at another time. I still feel like the little pests are crawling all over me.
My main goal, however, was the Rosemary plant. I was able to have at it the first year I moved in. There were two there. I actually cut it back so far that one of them died. Had I not done it, the plants would have grown so large they would have taken my entire parking place and cut off the water faucet from the rest of the world. As it is, the remaining plant has simply taken over the slate walkway. It was indeed inching its way toward the parking space.

Worse there was a tree growing out of the middle of the plant that does nothing but produce leaves . I haven’t any idea where on earth that one came from. And because it was so cool this morning I managed to make a start on it.  Thanking God for that opportunity.  I might be able to do small amounts all week as the temperature will be going down to the mid to low 60s evey night this week. So early mornings are going to be awesome.

I admit I was tired when I came in and my legs throbbed a bit. But oh how my muscles loved it. And my breathing was awesome. It’s like I was charged with deep breathing and O2. Maybe I need to consider moving some place that has temps in the 60s year around. Is there a place like that? I haven’t a clue.

I would miss Virginia too much. There is so much variety, color, and so many trees.  I love it here. I can stand on my deck and look through the trees to the west on any day and see the Blue Ridge Mountains.
There are horses everywhere around here and rolling green pastures.  I love it. It’s not completely perfect in circumstances, well that’s just life. Not a bad one at that.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Buster My Newest Commission

6 by 9 Watercolor
by LindaLMartin Artist

Openings Available for Commissions
in May and June 2012
5 by 7 inches head portraits starting at $55
Please contact me for quotes:

Friday, March 30, 2012

Michelle's Little Boston Terrier

Michelle's Boston Terrier
4 by 6 inches Watercolor
by Linda L Martin

If you are interested in a portrait of you favorite pet please feel free to email me at
2012 prices list available. 
 Now Booking Commissions for May and June

Monday, March 19, 2012

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My 5 minutes of Anger. And a whole lot of releif!

Every once in a while something happens in my life I need to talk about and share.
 This is one of those days!

 After 46 years of not me not knowing,  my doctor finally told me what is wrong with my legs.  I have PVD. Well, Friends, I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry.

Get this I’ve had this crushing pain, sometimes sharp debilitating pain since I was about 8 or 9 years old. The first doctor my parents took me too told them that I would grow out of it. That it was just growing pains.

In my early teens I lost weight, like many do, I did it through running. I ran until it hurt and the pain was so bad I couldn’t stand it. I couldn’t sustain the exercise; I couldn’t stay on the 400 calorie a day diet I needed to keep the weight off if I didn’t exercise.  Over the years in spite of the pain I’ve managed to do everything I’ve wanted, at least long enough to get experience. And always the pain was there. I never knew a time without it. I had to give up riding because of it.  I was harassed and verbally abused through most of my life when pain stopped me from doing anything. Everyone said I was just making excuses or that I was lazy and obstructive.

In the 1980s they tried to tell me that I was depressed and had fibromyalgia. They sent me to a focus group. Talk about depressing. I had nothing in common with any one there and  our symptoms weren’t even the same.  I knew I didn’t have it. But try to convince doctors of that! I was undaunted.
So I learned not to complain and not to show how much it hurt.  In the 1990s I did race course photography and prayed that the days would be cool or freezing as it was easier to walk when it was. When I could afford it I would take 8 weeks of intense water physical therapy at the local sports medicine place. ( The Washington Football team use to send injured players there as did the regional TB track.) The strength helped my circulation and  cut down on the inflammation so I could walk the distances required for a course photographer at a hunt meet or steeplechase meet.  However there were days that the pain was so bad that I couldn’t manage it. I had to come home lay down put my feet up and ice my legs on those debilitating days.

It took a heavy toll on me, both physically and emotionally.

I’ve never been able to be dependable because I’ve never been able to know when I would have a good or bad day. Holding down a full time job was nearly impossible.  You can’t  work and stand on demand if you have pain like this. I did what I could.  Yet still I miss out on so much. People in general are not sympathetic to someone they think is just fat and lazy, even doctors who should know better.

I’ve been self employed for years , for better or for worse, because of  this pain. And I have been horridly stereotyped.  Right now I’m relieved and angry and sad and happy all at the same time. Finally someone told me what was wrong with me. I have had the symptoms of Peripheral Vascular Disease literally for 46 years at least.  And yes it’s as scary as it sounds. 

When we were growing up in Tidewater my dad, a pastor, would be dealing with the deaths of many folks and helping the families through it. A lot of people had a form of it caused by either diabetes or atherosclerosis. Thank God, I don’t have either of these ( people seem to try to assign me both of them all the time grrr) 

So what was mine caused by? Two things are the most probable causes, second hand smoke from the time I lived with my mom’s parents as a small child and genetics. The genetics came from my dad’s side of the family. They had lots of inherited propensity for enlarged inflamed veins and phlebitis.

Unfortunately, not knowing what I had I probably added to the condition for those few brief years that I smoked in college and later as an adult.

What does the Bible Say? “My people perish for lack of knowledge (wisdom).” I had all these doctors over the years that could have told me what it was, but not one ever did, well, until today.

So I’ve had my 5 minutes of anger today and shed a few tears over the needless additional pain I have suffered.  These emotions were not so much aimed at the health care professionals that simply never told me or missed the diagnosis entirely. My anger was over the years and decades of physiological abuse and guilt I have suffered in silence, because of the pain I had to hide. I admit it, I was devastated when I had to give up my horses years ago. But anyone who knew me then will tell you there were days I could barely walk.

I missed out on social events and business opportunities too numerous to count due to this condition. And dating… how could you reasonably expect to date someone when you had no control over when  or how bad it was going to be.. and keep it hidden.  I wasn’t about to tell some likely candidate I had chronic pain, because, as I was told so often, “no one wants to be with someone who is dependent and ill all the time. “

 Yet, had I known and known how it could be treated, I would still have horses. And when people needed to know I could have told them I have PVD, I need reasonable accommodation. I wouldn’t have felt a bit bad about it or humiliated.

Well the joke is on the powers that be who thought they were going to keep me down over this one. Because “evil bubba” I can still paint from bed. Na Na.  And… I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

My Advice to all my friends Please, Please, Please! If your  children or grandchildren are living in the house with you, stop smoking now. If you are way past being able to stop, then smoke outside and never in front  of any child under the age of 12. And especially around any children under 8 in a closed in space.

If your children are complaining about being tired and having leg pain, take it seriously. A child that is in pain isn’t going to exercise and that leads to all sorts of health issues. Juvenal on set PVD can cause obesity as well as being caused by obesity. I’m not kidding. Don’t let any doctor tell you the pain will just go away as they grow up. There are ways you can find out if the vascular system is inflamed and compromised before it starts affecting the heart and lungs. You have options!