Saddle Up Saloon; Art Showin’

Written by D. Avery @shiftnshake

       Read my writing and see my books at

June 15, 2020

Saddle Up Saloon

“Wow, Lit Kit Libation Slingin’ Librarian and new bartender at the Saddle Up Saloon, this art show is happening!”

“Really Kid? I can tell there’s no word limit here. Just call me Lit Kit already. But yes, the bar is busy.”

“Yep, Lit Kit, there’s sure  a mess a folks here ta show an’ see visual art work.”

“Heehee. Some a them make Shorty look tall. Look, there’s Ann Edall Robson. An’ who’s that sippin’ a tall glass a Sauvignon Blanc?”

“You two don’t get out much, do you? That’s author-illustrator Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. And she’s been the lead buccaneer captaining Friday Fictioneers for the past eight years. Look, I have to tend the bar. Go talk to Rochelle, she’s interesting.”

“Howdy ma’am. Welcome ta the Saddle Up. I’m Pal, this here’s Kid.”

“Yer a author-illustrator? Soun’s like a chicken-egg conundrum. Which comes first?”


“It’s okay, Pal, it’s a fair question. As to which came first, I have always wanted to be a visual artist and have drawn and painted as long as I can remember. I spent two years at the Kansas City Art Institute in the early 70’s debating with my teachers what art was. My greatest influence as an illustrator was Garth Williams who illustrated Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House Books. I’ve illustrated for others but, aside from a couple of book covers, my career as an illustrator has never taken off. ASFTJ Cover ArtBut my last published book, A Stone for the Journey, is a hardback coffee table companion book replete with short stories to go with my trilogy of novels. My novels and the coffee table books are Jewish Historical fiction, which I refer to as the dark side of Fiddler on the Roof.

The flurry of painting started over the past 6-7 years. I began with painting sepia portraits of my characters beginning with Lafeyette Tillman who was the second black officer on the Kansas City police force.

Officer Lafayette Alonzo Tillman with copyrightI wrote character studies for the novels and put them in my blogs. My publisher liked them so much he proposed to publish the coffee table companion book. Who was I to turn down my dream book? He wanted full color illustrations. Someone else saw the illustrations and suggested I have prints made and offer them in art fairs. Meanwhile I shared my painting process and finished pictures on Facebook. I had two requests for Havah lighting the Sabbath candles (Gut Shabbos) before I had a chance to get them printed. Moonlit Night is a scene from the book. Once I’d finished the book I searched for subjects to paint. Wine glasses came first…then seascapes, most recently flowers…pretty much anything. If it catches my eye, I paint it. I also do portraits on commission, as you can find on my art page.

Gut Shabbos with copyrightMoonlit Night with CopyrightWine at the Getty with copyright


“Kid! Pal! A moment?”

“Excuse us Rochelle. Whut’s the matter, Lit Kit?”

“We have a problem… some sort of infestation…”

“Looks like an infestation a artist types. Jist serve ‘em like anybody else.”

“No. I keep seeing… little cowboys… in chaps…”

“Oh, chapfaeries! That kin only mean one thing! Toj must be here somewhere. Cain’t wait ta see more a her work since the Poet Tree sign.”

“Okay, if you’re not worried about these… chapfaeries, I’ll get back to work. I’ll tend bar, you two go tend to all these artists.”

“You bet. Look, there’s Toj now, all the way from Rabbit Bay, MI. Hey Toj! Good ta see ya at the Saloon again. Whoa. These paintings are amazing.”





“Thank you, Kid. You can see more of my work at Red Rabbit Studio .”

“Reckon I would like ta hop on over there! Why here’s another artist come back fer more. It’s the quiller, Bonnie Sheila from Crescents & Coils. What are ya showin’ t’day?”

“I thought I’d show a couple of pieces that D. Avery likes.”

“Had ta drag her inta this, did ya? They’s somethin’ sketchy ‘bout her visual art.”

“Be kind Kid. I know she was working on a paint by number picture.”

“Hmmph! Seems calculated. Heck, she cain’t even stay in the lines with her literary art. But she’s got a good eye I s’pose. These are beautiful pieces, Bonnie Sheila.”

“Thank you.”




“Is that your jewelry too?”

“No, my son is the jeweler.”

“Shorty’d like thet the goldsmith has taken ta workin’ with rocks!”



“Oh shift! Speakin a Shorty an’ rocks! Look’t this installment from World Headquarters.”FullSizeRender-2



“Do these photos count?”

“She says she’s collaboratin’ with Lady Lake. Reckon it’s art. But what about these next ones?”

“Shorty claims these are the art behind her art…”


Vision Board


Poet dogs and other inspirations.


The Unicorn Room W. Where the literary art takes visual form. (Sidenote: should read 15000 words; artists are not always good at math)


“Now here’s some art I could really git wrapped up in. Quilting!”


Sue Spitulnik/Susan Sleggs made this for a challenge to depict the word ‘Converge’. It was one of 12 quilts chosen to travel New York State with a display of others who depicted the same word, in different ways.


“It’s Carrot Ranch columnist and quilter Susan Sleggs! What ya got here, Susan?”

“I just brought some of my quilts over for the wild rumpus. You might recognize one of the subjects.

Oski is the mascot of the University of California at Berkely.  My bonus children (children I didn’t bear but claim as my own) are both graduates from there so I made this quilt for them. It doesn’t have anything to do with my writing, except, when it’s finished, it is finished, regardless of mistakes.



Max is the little boy in the book Where the Wild Things Are. My new bonus grandson’s name is Max, so I made this as his baby blanket. It is machine appliqued and all sewing is by machine. It is not against copyright laws to reproduce a photo, or character, in fabric if you don’t make any money doing it.”

“Oh, these are wild! Who knew quilting was sech an art form? I sure am glad ya brought yer work by ta share with the folks.”

“Does that make it folk art, Pal?”



“Whoa! Stop. Back up, Pal. Look’t these photographs!”

Buck Mule Deer

“Why this is the work of Ann Edall Robson, all the way from DAKATAMA Country, home to a smidgen a her photographs and the place where the world can purchase them (should they choose to) in almost any form from wall prints, apparel, home decor, and even face masks. All with her photography on them.”

Freight Wagon

4 a.m.

“Well based on these, it’d be worth a gander over ta her place.”

Seeing Double


“Phewie, Pal, that was quite a show. Thing is, I know they’s lots more visual artists out there. Sure hope folks feel free ta add links ta their own work in the comments. Thinkin’ we’ll have ‘nuther Art Showin’ ‘nuther time, too. Mebbe folks’ll wanna be featured an’ will git in touch with us via”

“Hope so, Kid, hope so. An’ folks, if ya see somethin’ ya like, let the artist know in the comments an’ by droppin’ in on ‘em.”


Artists, in order of appearance:

Lit Kit

Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 Toj (Teacher of joy, Tammy Gajewski)

Bonnie Sheila   Crescents & Coils

Nick Ray


Susan Sleggs

Ann Edall Robson

If asked, Pal & Kid will deny that they spill from the pen of D. Avery. They claim to be free ranging characters who live and work at Carrot Ranch and now serve up something fresh every Monday at the Saddle Up Saloon. If you or your characters are interested in saddling up for a wild ride as a saloon guest, contact them via

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  1. denmaniacs4

    Some beautiful work here…

  2. rochellewisoff

    Reblogged this on Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple and commented:
    This is what happens when artists gather at The Saddle-Up-Saloon. Looks like an Art Gatherin’. I’m right proud to be part of it. Thank’s to Mizz Avery.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Thank you! It was good learnin’ more ’bout you and yer art.

  3. Norah

    What a wonderfully eclectic collection, each beautiful in its own right. I couldn’t say which I prefer. That would be totally unfair as each is very special anyway you look at it. Thank you for sharing your visual joy, artists.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Thinkin’ art shows will be a regular thing at the saloon.

      • Norah

        I look forward to more.

  4. susansleggs

    Reblogged this on Susan Sleggs and commented:
    Meet some of the ladies I write with each week. We do more than writing.

  5. susansleggs

    Thanks for inviting us to show another form of our creativity. I reblogged this on my site too so my readers can meet the talent I hang out with. Beautiful work ladies.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      I treasure the quilting work you shared at the Vermont Writers Refuge a million years ago last summer. It was a pleasure to see your art showcased in this fine and essential establishment. Thanks for sharing Susan!

  6. patriciaruthsusan

    Beautiful artwork. 🙂 — Suzanne

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      I agree!! I’m so glad you came by to check it out. I am already excited for the next show.

  7. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    Reblogged this on ShiftnShake and commented:

    The Saddle Up Saloon is an art gallery this week! Come by to see the displays of local visual artists and leave links to your own. It’s all good here.

  8. Ann Edall Robson

    All I can say is Wow! Beauty, intricacy, love, and more. I am honored to be included with such talented artisans.
    Thank you for hosting the Art Show, Kid, and Pal (and D, too). The chance to get to know each person beyond their writing, and see more of Carrot Ranch World Headquarters, has been an amazing trip.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      It’s a trip all right. We never know how this’s goin’ ta turn out but think it did. Reckon we’ll be doin’ somethin’ like this again. Thank ya’ll fer sharin’ yer talents and time. Ann, yer photos are stunnin’.

      • Ann Edall Robson

        Thank you for your kind words, D. I hope the Saloon does something like this again. I look forward to meeting the ‘other side’ of more writers.

  9. Ann Edall Robson

    Reblogged at

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Thanks fer smugglin’ this over the border!

      • Ann Edall Robson

        LOL – Easy Peasy! Flew under the radar and dropped it off in FB, Twitter, and a few other Social Media sites, too.

        I’ve been informed it has been picked up for distribution by another FB group I belong to. (Dames on the Range).

        The joys of modern technology.

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        Hot dame, this’s gittin’ lotsa range!

  10. Liz H

    So cool, all of you! Words can not describe, but your visual arts tell the story! ??

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Right? Kinda turns the tables on thet 99-word business, don’t it? There’s some real creative folks aroun here. Sech a thrill ta have some of ’em in the saloon.

      • Liz H

        So many ways to rope that creativity calf!

  11. Jules

    There’s a whole lota talent goin’ on!
    Thanks for hosting and sharing all the beautiful and different mediums of art.
    I meant to send a photo of a chair full of the scarves I’ve made.
    But it can wait until the next show.

    Best to all the artists and thanks for sharing! ~Jules

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      I’m hoping you and others will send things along. Once there’s a collection collected we’ll have another show.

  12. Charli Mills

    Saddle Up Saloon is becoming a right fine establishment with a real lit bartender, music, and now amazing visual artists. I think writers tend towards creativity and thanks for sharing my offering as validating creative play behind the words!

    Rochelle’s covers are stunning — warm and realistically detailed, full of emotion. Stunning!

    Ah — my favorite deviant artist is here — Toj of the Chapfairies and Red Rabbits. I love the whimsy and life in her work.

    That Bonnie sure can quill! The trout is stunning. She’s got such a talent for bringing water to life in her art. And her son’s jewelry is gorgeous. Ranch headquarters could supply him beach rocks!

    Sue’s quilting is fabric artistry! The scenes she creates is amazing. I love the women walking together on the horizon. It feels so full of deep meaning.

    And my favorite Canadian artist wowed with her photography! I can see the facial expression on that bee. I love her perspectives with her camera when she finds something worth stopping for.

    This will be a great installment at the Saddle Up Saloon!

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      It was fun to showcase visual arts. There’s such variety here! The ‘creative play behind the words’ is interesting to me, how one art form might inform another, or free up a logjam when one is stuck in writing.
      Yep, the Saddle Up, it should be recalled, has more than the bar. It has a stage and lots of room for ideas.

    • rochellewisoff

      Hi Charlie,

      Thanks for your glowing compliments. You made me smile.

      Shalom y’all,


      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        I love that valediction, ‘Shalom y’all’! Makes me smile.

  13. memadtwo

    Nice variety of work. (K)

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Thank you for checking this out! There’s also a nice variety of work at your site. Your pairings of visual and literary art are exceptional. Did I mention this art showin’ will be a regular feature here?

      • memadtwo

        It’s a good idea! Perhaps when my life settles down a bit…

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        I think Kid and Pal can manage to at least hang some of your work. Send any favorites to or let them rustle it from your site.

  14. Anne Goodwin (Annecdotist)

    What a talented crowd you’ve corralled in the bar this time. Beautiful artwork all round.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      It’s a talented bunch every time, but yes, this is a colorful bunch of visual art and artists!

  15. reading journeys

    Hi D. and Charli
    Way behind in my blog reading!

    your blogs got linked in my mind –
    Art Showin’ — Fabulous!
    Good Vibrations — absolutely Good Vibrations from the art & artists.

    Thanks to Kid and Pal!

    will post comments on Charli’s blog.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      That’s a good link! You’re never late. The saloon is open 24/7. We’re always glad to have you come by.

  16. Sherri Matthews

    Wow, a beautiful collection here. Sorry I missed it at the time…fantastic!

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      You can come by anytime! And there will definitely be other art showings.

      • Sherri Matthews

        Thanks so much, D, that’s great to know!

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