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Irish Rose Art - Art, Music, Photos and Musings on Nature, Beauty, Things I See and Enjoy

All Photos and Art Work Copyright Sharon Gunn McMahon

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Another Artist!

This weekend I went to Castle Rock and met Jeanne Oliver from! It was such fun and she signed my Artful Blogging Magazine, too! She is featured in the summer issue.

It is as if you can feel the creativity when you meet another artist! This convince me that I need to do it more!!

Check out Jeanne (pronounced Jean)'s website - you won't be disappointed!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Taxi Mom

Well, I entered another challenge! I now have a piece in the Bernina Stitch It To Win It challenge. It is a swan with her 3 cygnets on her back. They are crossing the pond while the 3 "kids" fuss in the back - but she is able to keep one eye on the "road" and one eye on the "kids" because, well, swans can do that.

I have had some lovely positive comments and have received some votes, but I need SO Many more votes :-/ !! The highest number of votes is over 140, so I hope lots more people vote!

Thursday, June 3, 2010


My Bonnie Lass quilt is now in Groton, NY awaiting the K9 Exhibition! This is my first art piece to be exhibited in a gallery and I am so EXCITED!!

Amazing Experience

Pp gog shot
I was walking through Garden of the Gods taking pictures when I heard a sound. At first I thought it was the wind blowing between narrow cracks in the rock formations. As I walked, I could tell I was getting closer to the source. Then I rounded a bend in the trail and circled around a rock formation to find a man playing a didgeridoo.
The haunting vibrations were perfect in the rock-walled environment, giving me goosebumps all over. I can never get enough of soaking up the sounds and sensations of living in the presence of such grace and beauty - and this experience just deepened it exponentially! If anyone wants to hear it, I can email the file. Couldn't figure out how to post the mpeg.

And Then There are the Rainbows


Always a welcome sight after the thunderstorms and hail!!



I miss rain. Of course, I love snow! but by the end of winter I am craving that patter on the window, the swish of windshield wipers, and the cool humidity only a rainy day can bring. Snow is so silent, but rain is moody - like me! sometimes loud and boisterous with huge pelting drops and thunder and lightening accentuating the emotional roller-coaster - other times soft and misty, just barely expressing itself. Today has included the soft misty sort and the pattering softly on the window sort, and it has been lovely! I have thoroughly enjoyed getting misted on and pattered on and splashing through puddles in my comings and goings. It has been a totally lovely rainy day!

Sometimes when it rains I look east to the plains and even though the sky is dark and dreary, the earth seems to be sponging up the wet and turning it into lush green-ness that exudes through the mists. Tonight the baseball field lights up the drops like tiny diamonds sparkling their individual worlds back to us. Each drop is lit as if from within.

I love wetting paper and then dripping the grays and blues across it, tilting it until they blend like so many rain showers blitzing across the paper. Some days that is all I need to do to make "art" that matches my mood.


What a wonderful word when you hear it - or read it!!

I just got my letter of acceptance from The Main Street Gallery in Groton, NY. I am going to have a piece in a gallery for my first time! I am so excited!! They are having a K9 Exhibition and they want me to send my art quilt of Bonnie Lass, my daughter's Boxer mix. This is machine pieced and reverse appliqued. I chose the orange check to represent the light shade of Bonnie's red/brown coat, then took the shading from there. The border is a paw-print cotton that I just loved for finishing it off. Bonnie Lass

On Being Mama

Quilt in Process Dau 1
So much for posting yesterday - the celebrations took me in different directions than I'd planned. But all directions are good and I enjoyed every minute from the roses and lotions to the piano serenade to the Iron Man II movie with the boys... (I didn't remember movies being so LOUD!!)

I've been Mama for a long time. So long that its hard to remember not being Mama. I had 2 kids, one at a time. I have 3 more kids now that I got all at once. I have loved being Mama and I treasure having that "title." The mistakes I've made make me cringe, but the kids make me smile. I love them all and I sometimes forget I didn't give birth to them all. Mamas do anything they can for their kids, but they cant change the mistakes they made. I wish I could. I would take away the hurtful things that happened and the wrong decisions. I would put bandaids on all wounds - physical, mental, and emotional.

My friend has 7 kids. She got them all one at a time, but the last two came as a pair. Sometimes I watch her knee and hip deep in kids, her whole kitchen full of them (and a couple of them aren't even in there) and I wonder how she does it! I wonder if she even has time to know and contemplate that no one else has her title "Mommy" in that family. "Mommy" typed in as a player name on her Wii game - it is simple, but so significant to every one of those kids. The only "Mommy" they will ever know.

As kids, we never think about our moms or their influence - why we do and think the way we do, but a lot of it has to do with our moms, how they raised us, and the fact that they would do anything they could for us.

Some moms continue this to the next generation - like when my grandmother made 4 of us girls quilts for our weddings - and we got married in rapid succession! Three of us in the same year and 1 shortly after. She made them in the Dutch Doll pattern. She made them from the fabric we gave her and the colors we selected. Some may have fared better than mine. The muslin gave way to the polyester thread - which I have now learned is normal. (The reason I don't use polyester thread on cotton fabric). The dutch dolls, which she called Sunbonnet Sue are all intact. Some are made of polyester knit - probably will never deteriorate. The scraps are probably still intact in some land fill this 30+ years later. The quilt is a mess, but it is treasured and stored in my cedar chest. It is too worn to use, but I still love it.

And knowing that us moms will do anything for our kids, when my older daughter asked me to make a quilt for her wedding, of course I said yes. Never mind that I had only made one quilt in my life! It was about 3 feet by 4 feet, a 9-patch I learned how to do in 4th grade. I stitched it on the machine until it came to the quilting. Then I gave up and tied it. Don't know where it is now, but my mother had it for a long time.

So in the spring of 2008 she says "So, could you make me a quilt for my wedding?" and I say "yes" and here I am. I have a 100" quilt frame strung across our tiny living room with a quilt on it. I started machine piecing the quilt starting in the summer, tossed the whole thing and started a wedding ring quilt by hand. My machine is just not capable of stitching straight seams (or is it me?). The piecing was finished fairly quickly. That's when I realized it would be too big for me to machine quilt. Not that my machine could do it... We set up the frame around March 2009. It took the hubby and the 3 kids still at home to get it all lined up and rolled onto the frame. And I've been quilting it ever since. I chose a much-tighter-than-necessary quilting design that I pulled out of my head, and it is taking a long time. But that's ok, because we have time. (well, I do). Older daughter is impatient, Younger daughter wants it out of the living room, the boys are tired of tripping over it, but all 5 kids know that as soon as it is done, the next quilt is started for Older son. Then Middle son, Younger daughter and Youngest son. Everybody gets one, because that's just the way moms are - and Mama is especially that way.

I never tire of watching the light and shadows play on the surfaces of the mountain. The clouds and angles of sunlight change minute by minute, and they are gorgeous!
Well, since I clearly do not know what I am doing, this is going to be interesting. Rose

This is a watercolor I did last year. I took the picture and then painted from that.

Later, I put this picture in an art quilt.

I am trying to enter as many contests and challenges as I can this year, in order to get my work out there, get it evaluated, and see what response there might be. Until last year, I had not really painted much since High School - and that was a long time ago. Waiting for the results for these shows and challenges is nerve racking for me, since so far I have not heard ANYthing!

I am also working on some collage, other paintings and quilts, and whatever creative itch needs to be scratched on a particular day. Anyone know how to break porcelain dishes in half? Can you saw them? Well if you have any thoughts let me know. I am currently working on "Who's Washing the Dishes?" and need to glue some dishes to the piece.

My website is - it is limping a long because I have not learned how to upload my own photos, but my son does it for me. Problem is, I have to email the pics to him and then he uploads them when he has time. If I email too many, it backs up his mailbox... you can figure this one out.

Anyway, I love art. I love making art and I love looking at it. My favorite era of art history is the Impressionist era. Monet's water lily paintings are my all time favorites. I recently bought a print from Betty Carlson called "Evening Showers" - it shows a rain shower over Castle Rock as the sun sets. It speaks to me in an impressionistic way and I totally love having a piece of Colorado art. The light on the mountain enthralls me and the kids are so used to having me stop to take a picture of the way the clouds and light are playing on Pikes Peak. They are also used to having me shove my phone or camera into their hands while driving, and I point - they pretty well know what to shoot from there.

Aren't Kids Awesome?

I have really enjoyed many blogs about art, especially those published in Somerset Studios' Artful Blogging May issue. They were so inspiring and I feel really at a loss beginning here. See I totally relate to Terri's depths of darkness and I can breathe underwater, too. Then there's - what a beautiful friendship created over kids and art - I so relate! and the photographs on both of these are incredible!!! so totally artistic... what am I doing trying to create an art blog?? Check out Christy's blog at - beautiful beautiful art, photos, and thinking! These are just a few, but they each refer to others in their blogs about being published, so you can find them all from here. Such amazing creativity and so many of them manage to create with all of their children at home, while traveling the world, and other things going on in their lives that would just bowl me over if I had to do it.

I guess that is why we all create from our own individual spaces :-) in life.

Tomorrow is Mother's day and I will be posting another art piece and thoughts about being a mom.