Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Reflections - December 31, 2008

"Most of us miss out on life's big prizes. The Pulitzer. The Nobel. Oscars. Tonys. Emmys. But we're all eligible for life's small pleasures. A pat on the back. A kiss behind the ear. A four-pound bass. A full moon. An empty parking space. A crackling fire. A great meal. A glorious sunset. Hot soup. Cold beer. Don't fret about copping life's grand awards. Enjoy its tiny delights. There are plenty for all of us."-United Technologies Corporation advertisement
I soooo agree with that! I'm thankful for the new friends I have made this year. I'm amazed by the human spirit and the capacity to love. I have made friends that I may never meet in the flesh that have still managed to bring an abundance of joy into my life. We embrace our shared interests and some of us find a deeper place in one another's lives. I'm looking forward to what 2009 may bring my way!

Monday, December 29, 2008

December 29, 2008

"There is no better opportunity to receive more, than to be thankful for what you already have.
Thanksgiving opens up the windows of opportunity for ideas to flow your way."-Jim Rohn
Here is a couple little 5"x7" watercolors I did over the weekend. The WDE from WetCanvas was from New Zealand. It's always fun to paint the images from all over the world. I also got a few more pages done in my little Art House sketch book. I only have 23 more pages to do, before I mail it back to them. After that, I hope to get back to my little watercolor journal. This is fun, to do these brief little sketches.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Gratitude - December 16, 2008

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."-Melody Beattie
I feel really blessed! I spent a wonderful, romantic day with my husband yesterday. We cooked together, laughed together, hung out together and just generally had a terrific day! So many people are feeling the pressures and shortcomings of their holidays, while I have been given every gift a woman can ask for... in just one man. Having my best friend with me, celebrating the day with a fire in the fireplace and Christmas music playing just filled me with joy! I am a very lucky lady!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve, 2008

Old unhealthy thoughts can block off inspiration.
Dropping them releases a strong flow of power
through the mind.

from the book - Positive Thinking Every Day
Norman Vincent Peale

The closer we come to the end of one thing, the closer
we are to the beginning of the next thing. Birth and
death, starting and finishing, filling and emptying,
these are the processes by which the physical nature of
life affirms itself. But the spiritual life never begins
or ends, it just is. Only our awareness changes.
Tending our spiritual life, increasing our
awareness of it, and letting go more and more of our
dependence on the physical part of life, is the way to
real freedom and independence.

Sandy Bierig
from the book - Time for Joy

Have a wonderful Christmas eve & a great Christmas!


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

December 23, 2008

.............................."Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary."-Margaret Cousins

I got a few more pages done in my Art House journal last night. I am having a good time with this journal, but I am not getting much else done, art wise. I just started working on a program called Artist's Butler. It's supposed to help me get organized. I realize that my finished inventory is in serious need of replenishment. I'm hoping to get some more done over the Christmas holiday. For fun, check out the following video: It's quite a feat! Have a wonderful day!

Monday, December 22, 2008

December 22, 2008

The formula that will bring your cherished wish to pass is to know what you want,
test it to see if it is the right thing, change yourself in such a manner that it will
naturally come to you, and always have faith.

From: Positive Thinking Every Day
- Norman Vincent Peale

We went to Oklahoma City over the weekend and visited my Mother-in-Law and two other old friends. I did some pencil sketches in my little Moleskine journal and painted in the color when we returned home. It was fun. I have not even filled half of my little Art House journal yet. I need to fill 64 pages, before I send it back to them to go on tour. I hope to have some time over the holidays, because it really is fun to work in such quick little spurts.

Friday, December 19, 2008

December 19, 2008

#561. Never give anybody a fondue set or anything painted avocado green.

#562. Remember that just the moment you say, "I give up," someone else
seeing the same situation is saying, "My, what a great opportunity."

from: The Complete Life's Little Instruction Book, Volume II

Thursday, December 18, 2008

This month is going fast! - December 18, 2008

Always you can go higher, for
within yourself, you are greater
than you think.

Positive Thinking Every Day
-Norman Vincent Peale
We started delivering our Christmas bags the other night. It is a four to five night process each year. We deliver to some old friends and neighbors and some new friends and neighbors. We don't tell anyone we're coming, so it's a little of a HoHoHo moment at each house. We have only been greeted at the door by a shotgun one time. Poor old Gerald was 90, I think. It was his last Christmas, before passing on and I think we startled him by coming by so late.... 6:30 or 7:00. Usually we are greeted with hugs and a drink or a treat. Saturday takes us to an assisted living center in Oklahoma City, and to a couple other elderly friends.
Merry Christmas, to those who celebrate it.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

People become really quite remarkable
when they start thinking that they can do things.
When they believe in themselves they have
the first secret of success.

Positive Thinking Every Day
-Norman Vincent Peale

This is a page out of my little 3.5" x 5.5" Moleskine sketchbook.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Weekend Art Hosting - December 15, 2008

I hosted my WetCanvas Weekend Drawing Event (WDE) over the weekend. I did a lot of painting. I also made 50 home made tamales. My, that was an adventure! First you cook that pork butt for 2 hours, then you cool it, shred it, make the pureed peppers to season it and cook it some more. Then you make that big bowl of masa while the corn husks are soaking for an hour. Then you make all of those little tamales (50 of them). I tied a little corn husk tie around each one. Then you steam them for 2 hours. They were a big hit!

Friday, December 12, 2008

WDE December 12, 2008

Today's quote: You must feed your mind even as you feed your body, and to make your mind healthy you must feed it nourishing, wholesome thoughts. - Norman Vincent Peale
This weekend I am hosting the Weekend Drawing Event (WDE) on You can see the images here:
Artists from all over the world will paint or draw, using these photos as references. Quite a few of them were taken when I went to Barbados in September. This is a really fun thing to do and I do it every 6 months. It's like having your birthday and Christmas all in one weekend. I will paint a few of them, too. How fun is that?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Another Christmas Card - December 11, 2009

Today's Quote:

Set yourself a goal that you've just got to reach. Then build under it the fire of anticipation and keep it burning. That goal will keep beckoning. And when you reach your goal still new goals will succeed it. These are the self-perpetuating motivators of enthusiasm.

from: Positive Living Every Day, Norman Vincent Peale

This little Christmas card is one I painted for my husband. I had a great time doing it. I may still outline it in ink. I haven't decided. I think I am finally done with Christmas and it's time to move on to other projects that I have waiting. One of those would be my Art House sketchbook project. I have a whole sketchbook to fill by February 15th. It's just 3.5" x 5.5", but it has a lot of pages! As I make a little progress, I'll share it with you.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Quote of the day, December 10, 2008

Every weekday morning, I send an email quote to about a dozen people with an uplifting or positive thought. They seem to really enjoy them. I believe that if you start each day with a conscious decision to be happy and look at the best in people and events, your life can't help but be better.
I think I'll go ahead and post those positive messages here, as well. Maybe just one person will have a better day, after visiting my little blog.
"Enthusiasm lifts living out of the depths and makes it mean something. Play it cool and you may freeze. Play it hot and even if you get burned, at least you will shed warmth over a discouraged and bewildered world."
From the book - Positive Thinking Every Day - Norman Vincent Peale

Monday, December 8, 2008

Paintings Galore December 8, 2008

I painted quite a bit this weekend. I did the wooden lady from Dewi's WDE on WetCanvas. I also used her tree frog for my mother-in-law's Christmas card. I painted seven little ATCs for the Out of Africa exchange, too. I had a ball!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas Star Painting - December 5, 2008

This is a little 5" x 7" painting called "the Christmas Star" that I did during my coffee drinking yesterday morning and this morning. It's all watercolor, except for the little bit of gold acrylic I put on the star.

I love doing paintings this size or smaller. I also enjoy painting early in the mornings, before my left brain wakes up. It seems to just flow onto the paper. It seems that after I've been awake for a while, I have so many things on my mind. It can distract me from the pure feeling of getting the art from my soul to the paper. Okay, to cerebral! hahaha.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christmas Cards - December 3, 2008

These are two of my hand painted Christmas cards for this year. My step kids, Kris & LaDawn, found this wonderful old wood block in Colorado. When they saw it, they just knew I'd love it and they were right! I love just looking at it, but printing with it was even more fun. I used a stamp ink that was water soluble until it dried, then became permanent. That made clean up easy, but it made the possibilities infinite, once dry. I had a great time with my watercolors on that print. I am looking forward to playing with it some more.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

December 2, 2008 New Linocut

I finished my linocut for Four Oceans Press. It's 6" x 8" and falls into the water theme for a winter trade. I really enjoyed doing this waterfall. Of course it may be some time before my right hand works properly again!

This is an actual picture of the linoleum, because I haven't printed them yet. This printmaking could really become addictive, if it weren't for the pain! hee hee.

It is the largest one I have ever made and only the fifth one, at that. I have a really good friend who is a printmaker. She is encouraching me to go forth and carve! I have been contemplating the next project at Four Oceans Press, which is air. I'm hesitaing now, but we know I'll do it. Don't we?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Birthday Weekend - November 30, 2008

Well, I arrived at 52 on Sunday. I am not a bid spooked by aging (except for the wrinkles) because I am healthy and having the time of my life. In my 50's, I seem to be busier than I have ever been. I am also happier. I can't imagine anything better!

Duane endulged me on my birthday and I got to stay home. I rarely get to spend a whole day at home and I love those days. We did go out to breakfast around 6 am, since we were both up, then I enjoyed the rest of the day painting, cooking and watching movies with Duane. It was heaven!

I painted the little meercat last week and this weekend, I struggled with the Venice painting. I ended up ruining the water, big time! I may come back with some pen & ink to save it, but for now, I just cropped the bottom off so you can't see it. hee hee.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Eve 2008

As this time of year rolls around, I have very warm memories of Thanksgiving eve with my family. There were traditions that I have not carried on, but I'm sure my sister has... and maybe my brother, because they both have kids. One of my favorites is the Heavenly Hash. The night before Thanksgiving, we would count out exactly 100 miniature marshmellows. To this, we added some pineapple and something else. (The memory of the ingredients is not as powerful as the memory of doing it.) We'd put that into the freezer to set overnight. In the morning, we'd add nuts, Cool Whip and some more stuff. It was wonderful!

Thanksgiving day, I remember playing scrabble with my Dad. It was tradition! We would eat our dinner on the good china and drink our cranberry juice from wine glasses. Fun! There was usually a walk around the block after dinner. Yeah, those are great memories!

This year, we are spending our third Thanksgiving with our friends, Jerry & Teresa.... and about 40 of thier family members and friends. It's a great day! I hope anyone who reads this has a wonderful holiday!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mailing off those paintings - November 24th, 08

Well, I did it! I sent my little 4" x 4" Barbados Beach Shack to the Small Works Invitational, in North Carolina. I also sent my Multi-Tonal Chair to the Art House Gallery, in Atlanta, Georgia. I am building up the resume, these days. I am finding that in order to write a bio, I need stuff to write about. The gallery submissions I'll really want to make in the future, require the oh so elusive bio! I sent my three little miniature tulip paintings to a gallery for an Autism fundraiser and they sold as soon as the show opened. I am going to concentrate on miniatures, for the time being. I am most comfortable painting small, anyway.

I am having the time of my life, by the way!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Weekend Painting and Printmaking - November 22-23, 2008

Wow, what a great weekend. I finished my prints for my WetCanvas printmaker's Christmas swap. I am not experienced at all. The one I am sending out is actually my 4th block ever! I did a flower a few months ago, then 2 little Christmas ATCs, which I decided not to send to this group. This is the one I'm sending. It is a Snowy Egret, based very loosely on a photo that I love. I painted the scarf with watercolor. I am hoping that is not a no-no, since I am hanging with some really serious printmakers on this swap. Aw, that's how I learn.

Saturday morning, my husband slept late and I got to paint! I did 7 ATC (2.5" x 3.5") paintings for an Africa swap at WetCanvas. I felt really good about these. I got all of the references from, which is a royalty free photo reference site. I'll be sending an email copy of the painting to each of the contributing photographers. I really appreciate having this site to snag refrences from. WetCanvas also has a wonderful reference image library, which I use.

Funny thing about these Africa paintings. My husband usually doesn't "get" my art, or just doesn't like it. When I showed him these, he didn't want me to mail them out! He loved them and wanted me to keep them! Huh??? Now I have mixed emotions about mailing them out. I am fond of several (not all) of them, too! I guess I'll paint more than I need and keep my favorites.

I like that doing these swaps forces me to paint every day. I do a little something absolutely every morning. It is starting to show in my work. I am so happy I found WetCanvas!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

November 18, 2008

It's a little itty bitty 4" x 4" painting of a little beach shack at Bathsheba, on Barbados.

I was there with six other lady artists in September of this year. I have painted this shack in several different mediums since then. This is watercolor, gouache and acrylic.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Weekend Paintings November 15th & 16th, 2008

I had some fun with my Intense pencils Saturday. One reader at WetCanvas said my cactus reminded her of her brain molecules after eating her sister-in-law's salsa! How funny!

I painted the frog for a friend that wanted me to paint a frog leaping off a hot tin roof. You just never know what kind of things people will want. Isn't life fun?

I also worked on a 4" x 4" painting I am doing for a SmallWorks Invitational. I'm having a great time with it. Photo to come later.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Pastel Puzzle Piece

I am in an exchange on WetCanvas, where we each do one piece of a puzzle. here is my finished 6" x 6" square. It is oil pastel on Art Spectrum Colourfix. I am not very experienced with pastels, but this was really fun to do. I'll see if I can post the entire puzzle when it's done.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Weekend Paintings November 7-8

Wow. It's hard to believe I haven't been here since July. Life is just so busy! I am really going to try to come by and share what I have been doing. I have been having a lot of fun with my art lately!

I have been experimenting with
shapes and textures. It does make me want to do art more than work! I have to make myself go back to the old sign making mental place, to continue to do what I am supposed to be doing.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A weed is but an unloved flower

I saw this quote this morning and I fell in love with it.

A weed is but an unloved flower.--Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Through actively loving one another we nurture the richness of everyone's fuller expression. With no more than a nod of attention we can elicit a smile or perhaps a commitment to attempt again a challenge that defeated us earlier. None of us shines as brightly, moves as swiftly, or succeeds as easily as when someone special is rooting in our corner.We each need someone special, and let's not forget that we are someone special to another who is walking our path. The loneliness of a day is diminished when we feel the love of someone near or far. The dread of any task is lessened when we bask in the knowledge that we are special to someone. Like roses, we bloom while under the gaze of loving eyes.
Let's remember to nurture the rose within the friends and strangers who are walking our way today.

by Karen Casey

Friday, February 29, 2008

Starting somewhere - Anywhere

I have never blogged before, so rather than staring at an empty blog, I will just start out slow.

I have a wonderful life. I am happily married and childless by choice. I have owned and operated my sign shop for sixteen years in a little resort town on a huge lake. I have wonderful friends and I am very active in my community.

Lately, I have rediscovered my love of art! I have been on the board of my local arts council for three years and really love it. I was just enjoyig the arts for what it is. Last July, I discovered WetCanvas. Since that time, I have been painting every weekend without fail. I am finding such pure joy in the process! I haven't painted in 30 years. I was all about art when I was young, then life took the front seat. Now, at 51 years of age, I can't imagine that I could ever stop again.

I imagine that I'll be posting some of my art on this blog, to share my joy. Well, that's if I actually figure out how.