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April Flowers and Updates

Happy Spring! It is now April and seeing my flower garden and the wildflowers around our house begin to emerge from their winter slumber fills me with good vibes and feels. Before 2020 I used to not like Spring to much, because of the more negative things like ticks, mosquitos (which absolutely love me and leave me with big whelps), and other nuisance insects, along with a dose of pollen which just makes me feel sickly with stuffy sinuses and sneezing. But during the 2020 shutdown, due to the pandemic, I found myself outside pulling up brick steppingstones, and digging out annoying grass and weeds out of the front garden. I ended up re designing my whole front garden areas and created a better walking path with the stones. It was so much work, yet getting to plant flowers every year now gets me all excited to go to the garden centers, expect for my husband where he watches be grab one plant after another at the green house, becoming worried about our wallets! So that is what we have been doing and I have purchased many new perennials for my gardens. Only a few have bloomed, but now it’s a race to see them bloom one after another. I now look forward to Spring and have a new appreciation for the season due to the shutdown, and now my way to cope when stressed.

The garden brings me a lot of joy and I spend time photographing the flowers, and various pollinator visitors to my garden. I have begun to include and incorporate more of nature in my current works. Right now, I am working on painting various cactus from a trip to Arizona last year in May 2022. I loved all the cactus I saw, and they were in bloom. I wanted to capture what I saw through my work so took plenty of reference photos. Also starting some bigger artworks so I ended re arranging my art studio and repotted several of my indoor house plants. With my empty smaller planters, I plan to transplant several clippings to these once they become more established in the glass jars I have them.

Regarding current exhibitions, you can see one of my pieces up at the Trail of Tears Art Show in Tahlequah, OK. At the opening reception on April 7, I learned I won Honorable Mention for my category. This is my second year I won Honorable Mention in a row. I am very humbled and honored to receive this award again. The piece is also available for purchase so please be sure to check out their website to purchase online if you so choose. TOTAS has all the current artwork up on their website and it is available for purchase. The show ends May 6.

I am currently getting ready to attend the Mvskoke Art Market up at the River Spirit Casino and Resort up in Tulsa, OK. I heard it had a great turn out last year for its 1st annual, and I do enjoy markets that are in the same building as the hotel. Makes it easy to run back to your room or your booth during the day. This will be April 22 – April 23. Hopefully you can come check it out.

Some other things I have participated in is leading a watercolor class for the Red Earth Art Center up in OKC back in March. It was fantastic and I had a great group to teach to. Also I received a wonderful invite to an event in September… but I don’t have all the details yet, and I am honored to be notified. I’ll update when I have more. I have also updated my most recent podcast I was invited on to, Beyond the Art with host Cray Bauxmont-Flynn, on my ‘Press’ section of my homepage. Please take a moment to listen or watch the podcast!

The next upcoming event I will be attending is the Red Earth Art Festival which will be June 2 – June 3, up at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. I saw the space last year and it looked great. Also, I will continue to have my artwork available at the Exhibit C gallery in OKC, and several smaller pieces at the Red Earth Art Center.

I hope everyone has a pleasant April 2023 and are enjoying the warmer spring weather before the Oklahoma hot summer days!

Amber L. DuBoise-Shepherd

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