Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Beach Ballet - March 31, 2009

2.5" x 3.5" Gouache on Yes! Canvas Pad

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.

--Marcel Proust

How have we felt when we return to our hometowns, childhood homes, old playgrounds, or high schools after years of absence? Suddenly each place isn't as it once seemed because we're looking through the eyes of someone older and changed. Where we once saw our high school through the eyes of students, we now look at it through the eyes of adults - in a much different way.

So it is with all areas of our lives: our jobs, homes, families, friends, or partners. Many of these people and places haven't changed for a long time. Yet, we change every day. Instead of seeing our job as the same old job or our home as the same old home, we can start to look at them differently.

We don't need to change things on the outside to feel better on the inside. We can change how we look at things from the inside out. We can start to see who and what are outside of us as if we were looking at them for the first time. Today the ho-hums in our lives can turn into ah-has just by changing the way we see them.

There may be many things in my life that haven't changed, but I'm not one of them. Today I can see them all with new eyes.

-Amy E. Dean

Monday, March 30, 2009

Banana Quit - March 30, 2009

This is a 4" x 6" watercolor on Indian Village handmade paper.

"It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something."

– Franklin D. Roosevelt
I think this particularly makes sense for artists. At least for me! I love to try new things with my art. It makes life so fun!!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Shoes... again - March 27, 2009

2.5" x 3.5" watercolor painting.

Choose your Love; Love your Choice.

-This is the slogan on my favorite coffee cup. I love that!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Shoes and such - March 26, 2009

2.5" x 3.5" Watercolor

Everyone has his own fingerprints. The white light streams down to be broken up by those human prisms into all the colors of the rainbow. Take your own color in the pattern and be just that.
--Charles R. Brown

We are often amazed at how different members of the same family seem to be. Contrasts are often great: one child might be loud and funny, one might be timid and quiet, and yet neither seems to take after the parents.

A family is like a vegetable garden. The vegetables respond to outside influences. The one exposed to more sunlight will grow differently than the one growing in a damp, shady place. Vegetables growing in crowded areas of the garden may not be as developed as those around them, but they might be tastier.

Although we may have common roots, outside experiences and friends mold us too, making each of us unique. We sometimes lose ourselves by comparisons and feel as if we don't belong, but the variety of our family garden is what makes the world so interesting.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Boots - March 25, 2009

Boots 2.5" x 3.5" Watercolor on Strathmore Textured

In wildness is the preservation of the world. - Henry David Thoreau

Nature confronts us with its beauty in a flower or a furry animal. The awesomeness of nature is in a lightning bolt or a majestic mountain. Every variety of tree has its own uniquely textured bark. Each annual ring in a tree trunk is a natural record of the growing conditions in each year it grew. These things remind us we are not in charge, and we are moved by the experience.
This "wildness" is everywhere around us, and we are renewed by it when we interact with it. At night, in the city, we look up and see the ancient moon. When we live with a pet, it reminds us we are creatures too. We are part of this larger whole. We don't just appreciate nature -- we are nature. When we open our eyes and learn to be a part of it, it renews and lifts our spirits.

- Anonymous

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Green Train - March 24, 2009

4" x 6" watercolor postcard. In case you can't tell, it's a train.

"Passion, though a bad regulator, is a powerful spring."

– Ralph Waldo Emerson
I really like that quote. I hope you're all having a great day out there in cyber space.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Tulip Farm - March 23, 2009

8" x 10" Inktense pencils and watercolor on Yes! Canvas. I call this one "Tulip Farm".

We are only human. . . paying attention to our growth

Trusting our partner has a lot to do with trusting ourselves. When we feel confused, unsure, or in conflict about our own direction. We may shift our attention outside ourselves. Even when we feel unsure about our self-worth, our negative feeling may crystallize as blame directed toward someone else. Looking outward in that negative way and avoiding responsibility for ourselves makes liars of us. When we do that we are not paying attention to our own growth, not looking at the truth. If we do not claim ownership of our part in a conflict, we will not be able to trust our partner either. We build trust when we are honest with ourselves and expose our truth and vulnerability to our mate.

Merle & Mavis Fossum

Friday, March 20, 2009

Boot Macro - March 20, 2009

2.5" x 3.5" watercolor

Love cures. It cures those who give it and it cures those who receive it.--Dr. Karl Menninger

Love is no mystery, but its results are magical in many ways. It's generally accepted that many illnesses are psychosomatic. Because we often feel anxiously alone, lonely, fearful, and unloved, we express our need through our bodies. How sad so many of us are so hindered. But we can each be willing participants in a solution. The action called for is simple. All it requires is the decision to act with favor toward one another.
A look through loving eyes on a struggling person offers him or her the strength to try and try again and thus succeed. Lovingly moving the barriers to another's achieving spirit will benefit all who share this journey.
Love multiplies the great and simple acts of goodness in the world. Each of us, with no more effort than a genuinely warm glance, can change the course of history today, tomorrow, always.

-Karen Casey

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Fishing Boats - March 19, 2009

4" x 6" Fishing Boats - watercolor

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."

– Eleanor Roosevelt

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Koi - March 18, 2009

Koi - Watercolor and Acrylic 4" x 6"

The natural flights of the human mind are not from pleasure to pleasure, but from hope to hope.--Samuel Johnson

A truly powerful force in the universe is that of optimism. Optimism lies at the root of our mental and physical health. Feelings of hope can stimulate the body's immune system and inspire recovery from a critical illness.Optimism expresses itself in the persistence and resilience of living things. A child learning to walk repeatedly falls down and picks himself up until he stands erect. A decade after the eruption of Mt. St. Helens destroyed the local ecology, life reestablished itself on this volcano with amazing abundance and rapidity. And despite its hostile environment, a sole dandelion miraculously pushes itself up through a crack in the concrete. That dandelion is optimistic that it can and will survive.

In the long run, the forces of love and life always triumph over those of fear and death. No matter how challenging the obstacles or difficult the tests, there is always cause for optimism.

Joseph Bloch

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pond Lilies - St. Patrick's Day 2009

8" x 10" watercolor. "Pond Lilies"

Today I will be grateful for where I am now.

My life might not be perfect, and I might not have achieved the goals I thought I would have by now -- I might not be living the kind of life I thought I would be or want to be, but I'm grateful for this day, right now, and the fact that I've made a commitment to myself to live a life in which I'm treated with respect and dignity.I will use this day as a gift, one that I've given myself because I deserve it. I will use this day to be glad for all I've accomplished.

I'm deserving, worthy, and valuable.

-Judith R. Smith

Monday, March 16, 2009

Giddy - March 16, 2009

This is another 3" x 3" canvas for the Art House Co-op Canvas Project. The word was Giddy. What's more giddy than a grown woman getting together with a bunch of her girlfriends, all having fun, while wearing red hats. I bet they have a ball in those get togethers. I believe I would feel giddy. hehehe

"Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit."– e. e. cummings

Friday, March 13, 2009

Robert Genn newsletter - March 13, 2009

The following was from a Robert Genn newsletter. You can subscribe to his newsletters at http://painterskeys.com/ . They are always thought provoking and informative.

Not long ago the popular business coach John Di Lemme broadcast a simple idea that applies to anyone wishing to succeed. It goes like this:

"I am your constant companion. I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden. I will push you onward or drag you down to failure. I am completely at your command. Half the things you do you might just as well turn over to me and I will be able to do them quickly and correctly. I am easily managed--you must merely be firm with me. Show me exactly how you want something done and after a few lessons I will do it automatically. I am the servant of all great men, and, alas, of all failures as well. Those who are great, I have made great. Those who are failures, I have made failures. I am not a machine, though I work with all the precision of a machine plus the intelligence of a man. You may run me for a profit or run me for ruin--it makes no difference to me. Take me, train me, be firm with me, and I will place the world at your feet. Be easy with me and I will destroy you. Who am I? I am a habit!"

Favourable habits reap favourable results. It seems that simple habits contribute more to success than luck, happenstance, or even a favouring economy. Further, recent studies on the nature of genius indicate that self-generated habits are mighty muscles indeed. While all of us who wish to master specific skills need to tailor our habits accordingly, here are a few for starters:

Squeeze out paint in the morning before your coffee is cold.

Program creative work balanced with rest, exercise and study.

Train yourself to be regular, punctual and workmanlike.

Shoot down your lazy tendencies before they shoot you.

Do whatever it takes to honour your personal perception of quality. This may mean slowing down, speeding up, multitasking, single-tracking, going back to basics, being risky, being cautious, dreaming, concentrating, winging it or even reading the instructions.

Apparently, one of the most common bad habits these days is not reading the instructions. This can apply to artists. We need to regularly refresh the habit of truly looking, truly seeing and truly understanding. No big deal. It's just a habit.

Best regards,


PS: "Our natures are alike; it is our habits that carry us far apart." (Confucius) "We are what we repeatedly do." (Aristotle)

Esoterica: John Di Lemme was a 24-year-old stutterer working in his family art gallery who dreamed of becoming a motivational speaker.. Over a seven-year period of hardships, challenges and obstacles, John focused on his dream and ultimately built a marketing team of over 25,000 representatives in 10 countries. His idea was simple: with the right habits one could see progression to a higher state. In the words of the great art mentor and teacher Robert Henri, "If a certain activity, such as painting, becomes the habitual mode of expression, it may follow that taking up the painting materials and beginning work with them will act suggestively and so presently evoke a flight into the higher state."

The little White House - March 13, 2009

I am having a great time experimenting with this style. I didn't do this one on black paper, tho. I did it on white, then added the black outlines. Here's the white version, too. It is painted on a little 4" x 6" piece of Indian Village 300g in watercolor.

Take all the fuming and fretting of the media with a grain of salt.
Much of today's news isn't really new. Most of it has happened
before and before that.

Norman Vincent Peale
from Positive Thinking every Day

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Red Shoe Laces - March 12, 2009

I love the red laces! 2.5" x 3.5" Watercolor.

"Make voyages! -- Attempt them! -- there's nothing else?"– Tennessee Williams

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Trees in Gouache - March 11, 2009

This painting is gouache on brown Art Spectrum Colourfix. It's 5" x 10". It was really fun to do. I love experimenting and I love color.

"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world the master calls a butterfly."– Richard Bach

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

March 10, 2009

I painted this little 5" x 7" painting on Saturday. It is gouache on black paper. I really had fun with this method. I'm definitely going to do some more paintings this way and see what happens. I love to experiment. If my husband says he doesn't get it, I usually know I'm on to something. hehehe

"What is harder than rock, or softer than water? Yet soft water hollows out hard rock. Persevere."– Ovid

Monday, March 9, 2009

March 9, 2009

I call this one "Fantasy Farmland". It is 4" x 6" watercolor & gouache on black paper. I am going to submit it to the 2010 AARP Calendar contest. Their theme is "There is no place I'd rather be." Wish me luck.

"If we don't change, we don't grow. If we don't grow, we are not really living. Growth demands a temporary surrender of security."– Gail Sheehy

Friday, March 6, 2009

March 6, 2009

Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them. You will find that they haven't half the strength you think they do.

-Norman Vincent Peale
Yesterday, I told you about the Art House Co-op canvas project. The word for this little 3" x 3" painting is Genteel. It is supposed to be lace. Can you tell?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

March 5, 2009

This little 3" x 3" canvas was painted for a project I am in, with Art House Co-op, in Atlanta, GA. We are painting 5 canvases to depict 5 user generated words. The words I received are Destroyed, Tenacious, Genteel, Insolvent and Giddy. This canvas is my version of "Destroyed".
You can find out more about this project here. I have participated in several Art House Co-op projects. They're really fun and they are not juried, so anyone can participate. You'll never get a rejection letter from Art House, and we emerging artists like that! We get plenty of those, if we stick our necks out and try to get our art out there.

"Experience is not what happens to a man. It is what a man does with what happens to him."– Aldous Huxley

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

March 4, 2009

Kind acts create a gracious living environment. Your genuine kindness produces positive energy in the world around you.

-Richard Carlson, Ph.D.
The Don't Sweat Affirmations

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

March 3, 2009

I painted this little bitty picture in watercolor, from an upside down reference. I have never done that before and it was quite a revelation. Although it has it's flaws, I learned that when the reference is upside down, you paint shapes, instead of painting it how you think it should be. I'll definitely try that again.

"Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference."- Virginia Satir

Drop the idea that you are Atlas carrying the world on your shoulders. The world would go on even without you. Don't take yourself so seriously.

- Norman Vincent Peale

Have a great, carefree day!

Monday, March 2, 2009

March 2, 2009

4" x 6" Beach Umbrellas - watercolor and Pitt magna pen on Indian Village 300 gm hot press

"Life is what we make it. Always has been, always will be."– Grandma Moses