Wednesday, May 30, 2012

yellow head and spirit man

hi everyone!

Finally - a night of painting last night.

a few blotches of color...
(purple, blue, beige)

spreading the color and adding a bit of texture
in white and black...

I use anything at hand... in this case,
an old credit card (for the lines)
bubble wrap for the black circles,
and a sponge for the white texture. 

Some added red and detail,
like dots, of course!

Then just for the fun of it,
i flipped the book upside down,
and saw something totally different.

Do you do this sometimes?

It only works with semi abstract paintings, of course
but it's fun to be surprised
by what we find when we look at it
from another angle.

In this case, i saw a giant yellow head
eating a purple germ.

I'm sure a shrink would have a far better description
of what this actually represents, but for now,
let's go with the giant head and purple germ,
shall we?

So after this fun, colorful little abstract piece,
i still felt like painting, but this time,
something more quiet. 

I bought this book
at a second hand book store
a few weeks ago (for $3)
filled with wonderful black and white photographs
and beautiful stories.

a great title, i thought...

And so i chose this photograph,
taken in India.

Something very spiritual about this.

When i looked at this photo initially,
my first thought was:

I wish i was this spiritual.

There's a big difference
between being spiritual and being religious.

i am not religious.

I had a little piece of left over watercolor paper.

A few lines with Micron pens...
added watercolor, and then (brace yourselves...)

without even thinking about it

i was inspired to add these words -
misspelling and all.

Don't ask me why.

Other than the fact that
I was listening to music at the time (Pink Floyd)
and these are some of the lyrics
in the song "Wish you were here".

I love the lyrics of that song,
i'm just not sure they belong here.

But thanks to Photoshop,
I'll have them removed by the end of the day. 

Wishing you all a great day
in your little corner of the world.

Make time for the things
and the people
you love.

Friday, May 25, 2012

flower child...

Courage doesn’t always roar.
Sometimes courage is the quiet voice
at the end of the day saying,
“I will try again tomorrow”.
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Courage comes in all shapes and sizes,
doesn't it?

For some, getting out of bed in the morning
feels like an act of courage.

For others who face debilitating obstacles
 on a daily basis,
and who do so with a peaceful heart,
a strong determination
and without resentment -
courage is simply a way of being
in the world.

Their way of being.

Surely, they have dark days or moments,
but they choose to move ahead
and face the day as if it were their last.

I believe certain circumstances
give birth to courage.

My own mother has become
far more courageous 
through her journey with cancer.

We all know people who have faced
unsurmountable situations
and have surmounted them
with tremendous courage.

One of my favorite books is Viktor Frankl's
Man's search for meaning.

If you want to learn about courage,
read this book.

Sometimes, courage means
wearing flowers in your hair
when what you really want to do
is throw in the towel.

It's not about being in denial,
it's about choosing to create
 your own circumstances
whenever and however
you can.

I had fun doing this one last night...

Acrylic, collage, and oil pastels on paper.

I believe being an artist
takes courage.

Yes, I do. 

Sharing art takes courage.
Like being naked in front of a crowd.

Well, ok, some of us may be 
totally ok with this... ;-)

Go out and practice courage today.

Apply for that job.

Quit that job.

Tell someone how you really feel.

Take that walk.

Take that nap.

Express gratitude.

Move to the ocean.

Make a decision.


Paint that masterpiece.

Wear flowers in your hair.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

abstract doodles and migraines...

Hello world.

I haven't posted in a few days,
so it's nice to be back.

This piece (above) was created after a migraine
over the weekend.
I get them now and then.
Painful enough to make my eyelashes hurt,
but not life threatening, so it's all good. :-)

Watercolor and colored pencils.

This little squiggly pencil sketch is from last night.
It was such a lovely night for art,
although i could do without the june bugs,
flapping their desperate wings in the window screen.

Welcome to summer... :-)

A bit of added color...

...a bit more, and then black sharpie marker.

I took the other photos last night
and this photo was taken this morning,
next to the window (natural lighting).

So much prettier with natural light.

It's not done yet.
I'll add a few things to it today...
probably dots!

Thank you all again so much for your comments.

I would continue to be creative
even if no one was out there,
and i was the last person on earth,
but it's so much more fun
and inspiring
to have you all on this journey with me.

I love being able to share our art
with one another,
despite the distances and differences
that separate us.

I appreciate our differences,
but I like to focus on our similarities.

Our commonalities.

What makes us tick.

What gives us purpose.

What connects us to one another.


Rah Rah Rah!!

Have a great week everyone...

Friday, May 18, 2012


It took me four years to paint like Raphael,
but a lifetime to paint like a child.
Pablo Picasso

Picasso - painted last night.
Watercolor on paper.

Sometimes, I just feel like copying what i see.

No big revelations
or  inspirations
or color combinations.
(hey, that could be a song...)

I just paint what i see.

Don't you love the texture in this paper?

Paper makes all the difference in the world.
i can paint with dollar store paints,
but the paper needs to be top notch.
Especially for watercolors.

By the way, do you ever check the stats on your blog
to see how many visitors you've had in a day?

Well, i do.

Here are my stats for the day so far...

Isn't that amazing?

That technology allows us
not only to connect with one another
on this huge blue ball in the sky,
but to KNOW who we're connecting with!

When i first began to blog
i told myself it didn't make a difference 
whether people visited or not.
That i was doing this for myself,
to get more comfortable
with putting my work out there.

But there's more to it now.

It does matter.
You do matter to me.

It was a strange feeling
when i first saw that i had visitors
from all over the world.

Something magical happens
when you realize you've just communicated
with someone in Taiwan,
or Russia,
or the UK
or India...

At least it's magical for me.

So thank you to all you lovely visitors,
whether you comment or not.

It melts my heart
to know that someone out there
may be inspired
by my words or my art.

I hope it's you.

Wishing everyone a great weekend,
wherever you happen to be in the world.

I am linking this to Paint Party Friday,
Creative Every Day
and for the first time ever,
Illustration Friday

Come on over and check out
some of the great stuff there!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

obsolete world, Giving hARTS and funny book

i LOVE surprises in the mail.

Well, ok, this one wasn't a total surprise,
since i'm the one who bought it on ETSY a few weeks ago.

i love the work of Jeannie L. Paske,
from Obsolete World

I bought this cute little print a few weeks ago called
Flight of the recently departed.

Isn't it gorgeous?
Watercolor, charcoal, pastel and ink.

Some things just speak to us louder than others.
This was one of those things.

And she sent these other lovely things
along with the print.

So precious and kind of her...

On another note,
I did this one last night, 
to be donated to a charity for cancer.

Not quite done, but i thought i'd post anyway.

And on yet another note!
(just cause i don't want anyone to get bored here)...

this cute little drawing was given to me a while back,
by a little boy in the 3rd or 4th grade, 
when i was doing an art project with children
 in the local elementary schools.

So precious, isn't it?

I was so amazed 
at how little encouragement they needed
to get all excited about art,
and reach for the stars.

For many of them,
you just knew in your heart
that they heard more criticism at home
than praise.

I made sure to tell them every day
that they were all fabulous artists
and important to the world.

On the last day,
many of them gave me little drawings like this one,
and despite the misspelled name,
i love these little drawings
as much as the prints i buy on ETSY. :-)

ok, so let's end this one with a bang,
shall we?

I got this in the mail yesterday
from a great friend.

A cute little book with vintage photos and text
that had me laughing all morning.

Yeah, i think we should all have cocktails,
does everyone agree?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

sad girl and Rainer Maria Rilke

hi there.

Feeling a little off today,
so no words of wisdom.

Here's what i painted this morning.
(acrylic and charcoal on watercolor paper)

There's a quote by Picasso that i love:

Every child is an artist.
The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. 

So this morning,
i felt like connecting to the artist i may have been
as a child.

It's a real challenge for me to let go of control
and paint from a place of innocence
rather than judgement.

I do like her...

...and her red shoes. :-)

I may have shared this with you already,
but i'm doing it again.

I read these words often,
by Rainer Maria Rilke
the genius poet.

His words comfort me
in times of doubt,
more than any other words ever do.


Your work needs to be independent of others' work.

You must not compare yourself to others.

No one can help you. You have to help yourself.

Criticism leads to misunderstandings and defeatism.

Work from necessity and your compulsion to do it.

Work on what you know and what you are sure you love.

Don't observe yourself too closely, just let it happen.

Don't let yourself be controlled by too much irony.

Live in and love the activity of your work.

Be free of thoughts of sin, guilt and misgiving.

Be touched by the beautiful anxiety of life.

Be patient with the unresolved in your heart.

Try to be in love with the questions themselves.

Love your solitude and try to sing with its pain.

Be gentle to all of those who stay behind.

Your inner self is worth your entire concentration.

Allow your art to make extraordinary demands on you.

Bear your sadness with greater trust than your joy.

Do not persecute yourself with how things are going.

It's good to be solitary, because solitude is difficult.

It's good to love, because love is difficult.

You are not a prisoner of anything or anyone.

- Rainer Maria Rilke


Saturday, May 12, 2012

abstract, the great North, pheasant in the yard

Ahhhh... Saturdays. 

Don't you love them?
Especially rainy Saturdays.

I try my hand at abstract now and then
but it almost always ends up looking like something.
Usually flowers...

Always so meditative though. 

I saw this quote the other day
and loved it:

Modern art = I could do that + Yeah, but you didn't
(Craig Damrauer)

Then it was time for a National Geographic portrait,
and this guy begged my attention,
for whatever reason.

the tattoo?

the lovely hair?

the gun?


 it's the feeling of FREEDOM. 

Sitting in a canoe in a wide open space.

My kinda guy.

Acrylic paint on sheet music...
although there's very little music on this one.

a bit more detail...

And voilĂ .

I was obviously tired by the end of this one.
Check out the claw hands... ;-)

oh well.
It is what it is.

a little visitor in our yard this morning...
always so beautiful.

Life is all about balance, isn't it?

We find time for work,

for family,

for chores,

for friends,

for Facebook

for entertainment,

for appointments,

for making meals,

and preparing lunch boxes...

and yet,
 why is it still so difficult for so many of us
who are artists at heart
to make time to practice our art?
Do we consider it frivolous?

Do we consider it less important
than real work
like doing the dishes
or cutting the lawn
or putting in a wash load?


I'm quite comfortable
with dirty dishes in the sink.
They'll get done eventually.

But i am not comfortable
with going days without making art.

I believe it is so important as artists
to give ourselves at least a bit of time each day
to practice our art.

Putting paint to canvas.

Creating a melody.

Writing a poem.

Developing a dance.

Making a sculpture...

The world needs more right brained people.
Really - it does.

What if your painting
is the one who inspires someone else
to become a full fledged artist?

What if the song you write
touches someone and
makes them want to pursue the passionate life
of a musician or a songwriter?

So in reality, you're not only creating your art,
but you're creating opportunities
for other little art hearts out there.

Leave it to me to give your art purpose,
dammit. ;-)

How we spend our days is, of course,
how we spend our lives.
(Annie Dillard)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

girl in water, woman and wavy hair, the beginning...

She's scary, isn't she?

She scares me and i'm the one who drew her. :-)

I'm posting her anyway because i believe
flawed art is still better than no art. 

This little wavy haired woman was done right after the girl in the water,
and it's a work in progress.
In BIC marker and acrylic paints.

These kinds of doodles are always so meditative for me.

The quote you see on the left is one that i love
by J.R.R. Tolkien...

Not all who wander are lost

and working on some of the worksheets.

I'll tell you a little secret about myself.

i am not a goal oriented person. 
At all.

So whenever i see someone with calendars
or a strategic 5 year plan on their wall
my heart starts to palpitate.
It just all seems far too mechanical for me.

I'm just saying.

It's just not who i am.

For those of you who can fly with 5 year plans on their walls,
more power to you!

I've never been good at setting goals for myself
and yet,
i've accomplished most of what i set out to do,

through passion

and determination

and perseverance

and courage

and work.

Oh, and love is important too.

If you don't love what you're doing
chances are good you may meet the deadline
but you'll still feel empty inside
and almost always drained at the end of the day.

I know. I've been there. It's not a good feeling.

Danielle Laporte gently asks this question in her book:
how do you want to feel?

An important question, wouldn't you say?

Once i thought about this for a while,
i realized that one of the most important values for me
is freedom.

Maybe i really am a hippie at heart. :-)

I want to feel free more than anything,
which probably explains why i've always struggled 
with the 9 to 5 job.
I've done it, for years, but i never strived there.

I was trading my freedom for financial reward,
and that just wasn't cutting it for me.
There had to be another way.

There was another way.
i just had to claim it as my own. 

When i walked on the beach last weekend,
in this one spot on the sand,
there had been a bonfire there the night before.

Out of the ashes, i saw this one piece of paper...

and these 2 words made me smile.

Wishing you all a happy Wednesday.