The Thistle’s Seed

The Thistle’s Seed2018-09-20T13:26:09-05:00

Blog by Mary Buckmiller

The Thistle’s Seed recalls…

March 8th, 2019|0 Comments

A recent conversation with a man of a certain age, a stranger no less. The Seed happened to mention during their business meeting a painting event she would be attending that afternoon.   With out prompting he mentioned painting…specifically his wife’s painting.  

He gushed proudly that “she was the best painter in the world“ and on and on he spoke. He showed me had a couple hanging in his office.  The Seed was speechless in several ways by then.

Then he continued in a hushed, confidential tone …as if his wife was in the office waiting room right outside the door he said that “honestly he didn’t think she was a great painter or even a good painter, but he loved her paintings because she painted their grandkids from her heart and each and everyone of these paintings showed her love for them.” Yes, he truly said that.

He was happy that her paintings of the family, the many dogs they had loved over the years, of their family vacations hung all over the house. With pride in his voice the husband said that their house wouldn’t be the same without those paintings, good or bad.  

Love can be a blind critic in the best of all ways. You be the judge when your family gushes about your recent painting of your grimy, little grandchild helping grandpa worm a hook. You’d gush too if grandma or grandpa painted you as a child. You were so special and loved she painted you.

Art doesn’t have to be great or good, but if it is created from the heart it can be wonderful on all kinds of levels.  It can move people and create a legacy far more important than the “Kodak moment.” Let’s raise a brush and toast grandparent painters. (more…)

Seed was confused…

February 13th, 2019|0 Comments


Seed was confused

After she saw the shadow of groundhog on the ground earlier this month. Every cell in the Seed’s body suddenly began wailing. That little fly by night fortuneteller was foreshadowing (no pun intended) no visual hints at spring even though he said only six more weeks of winter.

The thought of at least six if not ten more weeks without the greens and yellows of an inviting spring landscape without the thrill of lazy, plein air painting by the cool bubbling spring down by the Seed’s sun drench secret spot is torture. It means weeks if not months of eluding the bees and yellow jackets, mosquitos, sweat blurring her eyes, bird poop on her palette, and cow poop on her shoes.

Oh, the Seed longed for all of summer and its magic. The Seed, allergic to the cold as she is, will stick to studio painting beside the fireplace and her cup of hot steaming cocoa with a lid on it to prevent dipping her brush in it by accident. Be sure to sign up for the workshop on cocoa painting next month. Ha!

There are those tough of skin, hard as nails, battle worn warriors of below zero plein air painting, but they are not related in any way to the Thistle’s Seed. They can have their fingerless gloves, sock warmers, thermos’ of schnapps (Yah, don’t deny it) and their aching muscles from trekking into the backcountry for whatever view they are searching for, and, of course, the piece d’resistance, oil paints. Oh, yah, let’s see that in watercolor! Did somebody say paint with rubbing alcohol? Hummmmm….Do not try a home. And with a smile the Seed says secretly to herself “To each his own.”  Oh, by the way, Happy Valentine’s Day.

The Thistle’s Seed checked the oil…

January 23rd, 2019|0 Comments

In the 2019 Art Challenge art car and is getting in first gear to participate. Happy New Year to you all. The Seed wishes all artists a great art year. There are many great ways to get your art face on this year. Participate in many of the special events scheduled through the year and grow and learn.

Next promise yourself to learn more this year by signing up for one of the great workshops available (see workshop category on the menu) this year to help become a new and improved artist.

Don’t forget to promise yourself to also join other members on the first and third Tuesday’s at 1:30-4PM and some Saturdays) at Mosaic Studio in Sioux Falls, SD for our Paint In session with a different teacher every month. This month GPWS is in the midst of our Valentine Card Making Bash. 400-500 cards will be made by members to share with clients of Meals on Wheels in our city and at other locations in the area.

Again members can add a breath of fresh air to their art by digging in with twelve weeks of “Just Plein Fun” plein air painting. New this year will be painting sessions at the beautiful gardens of five of our GPWS members, a field trip to Luverne, MN, and a host of other wonderful Sioux Falls area venues. Join us in June and every Thursday this summer.

There are a host of other opportunities to be had including the outreach opportunities, member art shows, the invitational art show, caring and sharing events, the great demonstrator artists at the monthly meetings, the list could go on and on. Join us, won’t you?

The Thistle’s Seed glued…

December 12th, 2018|0 Comments

The Thistle’s Seed glued

Her hair to her elbow, her thumb to her art table and another day was off and running at a “not so much” painting as measuring and gluing GPWS Paint In at Mosaic Studio on Tuesday. Arty Farty, one of the Thistle’s Seed alter egos ended up having his bottom lip glued to his top lip. Miracles do happen.

Learning a different kind of art can take the skin of a real leather shoe and the faith to think the new process can be handled by your eye/hand and, in this case, four hands and six thumbs. Glue and paste processes are not for the faint of heart or the impatient.

The book cover will be used to house past or future GPWS Monthly Art Challenge artwork. These small, 5 ½ X 7 ½ inch, water media works can be easily lost in the vast artwork stored in and around an artist’s studio… Voila’… a personal little vault to store the twelve tiny masterpieces.

Artists dived into this class with zest and gift boxes (thank you Ginny Weeks of Brookings, SD!) of chocolate bars (medication for those needing more energy.) Each created their covers from cereal box cardboard or poster board, colorful scrapbooking paper, a heavy weight paste, and embellishment items. They created their own special water media artwork to give their book covers and interior box pouches a personal touch.

This book cover could also be used to create a little letter-writing center to give to friends or family as a gift. Greeting cards, envelopes, writing pads, stamps, or even a pen can be stored in this book cover as well. These can make “giftees” mailings easier than ever. The letter writing centers are great for those in a nursing home or assisted living situation. Arty Farty’s has a lot senior friends and his gray cells are stewing up a game plan to create several more of this great project.

Also, it must be noted, Arty Farty is already enrolling The Thistle’s Seed in an assisted living center so that he can make one as a gift for her. What is wrong with this picture?

Happy Holidays and an Artful New Year from The Thistle’s Seed.

The Thistle’s Seed belong…

November 16th, 2018|0 Comments

The Thistle’s Seed belongs

To yet another art group and began to think about what it takes to be a good member of any organization. We as members expect to reap a wagonload of benefits from any art group to which we belong. We pay good money for membership.

The Seed always anticipates the group’s offerings when seeking to find groups to which to align. Typically opportunities to showcase our work, provide learning opportunities both from professional artists and local, amateur teachers, service our time well within the activities, direct our attention to the greater community offerings, provide solid leadership, involve the membership in decision making, and more are all expected of an organization. The least of which is just how much fun and connection will the organization offer.

But what does the organization ask of us as members? The Seed thought about this for a while and decided there are ways we as members can support organizational goals.

1. Participate… no participation =no organization. 🙁 Attend meetings, and join in activities. If nobody comes, those events could be shelved.

2. Spread the word. New member= new ideas, more “stirring of the creative soup” so to speak. Be a great promotional device of the group. Word of mouth is the best promoter.

3. Offer workable suggestions. Don’t just think ideas just appear out of a giant idea generator in the background. Ideas about the creative end, the membership end, and the leadership end keep an organization strong and vital. We want to have fun, make a contribution, and become better artists. This is your chance to make a difference.

4. Be ready to provide answers to questions such as “What would you like to see the organization do?” The leadership just wants to provide the best for the members and knowing what the members want is key to those decisions. Speak up.

5. Volunteer or at the least say “Yes” to occasional opportunity requests both short term and long term. Burn out of active members can be the fire starter to a group’s demise.

6. Be willing to try “new to you” activities that the group provides. Take a chance to learn new things that maybe you hadn’t considered before. Be adventurous. Be willing to grow. This only makes you a better artist and a group that has more fun and educational opportunities makes us more desirable to the community, as well.

The Thistle’s Seed Loves…

October 30th, 2018|0 Comments

The Thistle’s Seed loves…

To try new art mediums and techniques, almost to the state of obsession. Tough problem, right?

Certainly at this point in the Seed’s life knowing how to do one art medium really well is a big goal. The Seed really dreams of mastering one and only one medium. Besides, it’s cheaper…not so much art stuff to buy and store. But…

The Seed suspects that this prospect is slim and not going to happen soon with three oil paintings, a mixed media watercolor, four traditional watercolor paintings, two acrylics on the shelf, two books to make, a quilt top to finish, and two embroidery projects progressing. “No bragging, ma’am, just the facts.”

Of all the mediums to choose from, the Seed would really like to learn how to master acrylic painting because like watercolor it is easy to clean but more multifunctional than any of the other painterly mediums… no more toxic, flammable thinners and the rest of oil painting’s sometimes complicated mechanics.

The Seed asks all Great Plains Watercolor Society members, “Of all of the art mediums out there on that vast list which would you like to master over and above all others… really master? Is it a new medium or one you currently enjoy, but want to know even better?”

Put your choice and why on the GPWS Member’s Only page.