Thursday, April 30, 2009

Tea Set - April 30

2.5" x 3.5" Watercolor

When every physical and mental resource is focused, one's power to solve a problem multiplies tremendously.

-Norman Vincent Peale

I'll be in Estes Park, Colorado this weekend, for an Art Marketing workshop, with Alyson B. Stanfield. I am really looking forward to it! She is a real pro in the industry! (Click on her name and check her out.)

I'm heading up to Estes tomorrow. I'll be meeting a friend from WetCanvas, for this adventure. I'll tell you all about it when I return. I'm sure my head will be filled with all kinds of wonderful ideas.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Limes - April 29, 2009

2.5" x 3.5" Watercolor
Don't overlook the wonder of the ordinary.

The extraordinary, the amazing, the phenomenon are daily glorified in the movies, the news, and on television. Our senses become bombarded. We become addicted to drama. The only things that get our attention are the big, catastrophic, knee-jerking events. Take a closer look at your life, your everyday world, and the people and activities in it. If it were all taken from you in one moment, what would you miss? What sights, what sounds, what smells? Would you miss the view from your kitchen window? If you were never to see that scene again, would you nostalgically reminisce about it, wishing you could see it one more time, remembering how beautiful it was, and how much that familiar sight comforted you in your daily life?

What about those toys strewn about or the baby crying because he's hungry or wet? What about the sounds of the city you live in as it comes to life each morning? Or how about how your child smells after her bath? Or when she comes in cold from playing in the snow?

What about the way your friend smiles, or that little thing he says all the time that's not funny but he thinks it is, so you laugh?

Look closely at the ordinary in your life. While you're being grateful, don't forget to express pure, sheer gratitude for how beautiful the ordinary really is. We can easily overlook the ordinary, take it for granted. The sun rises and sets, the seasons come and go, and we forget how beautiful and sensational the familiar really is.

--Melody Beattie

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Gut Lake - April 28, 2009

Gut lake - Watercolor & Gouache 2.5" x 3.5"

I was in an ATC frame of mind over the weekend. I painted 6 of these little paintings. Four of them are for an exchange, one has been mailed to New York and one is winging it's way to Kansas. It's fun to be able to do something that enables me to give so freely.

One cannot have wisdom without living life.

-- Dorothy McCall

Living life means responding, wholly, to our joys and our pitfalls. It means not avoiding the experiences or activities that we fear we can't handle. Only through our survival of them do we come to know who we really are; we come to understand the strength available to us at every moment. And that is wisdom.

When we approach life tentatively, we reap only a portion of its gifts. It's like watching a movie in black and white that's supposed to be in Technicolor. Our lives are in color, but we must have courage to let the colors emerge, to feel them, absorb them, be changed by them. Within our depths, we find our true selves. The complexities of life teach us wisdom. And becoming wise eases the many pitfalls in our path.

Living life is much more than just being alive. I can choose to jump in with both feet. Wisdom awaits me in the depths.

-- Karen Casey

Monday, April 27, 2009

Rose - April 27, 2009

7" x 7" watercolor
Today I will let go of procrastination. I will take a look at why I put off responsibilities and how I can change this behavior.

Do I feel that I won't do certain tasks well enough or that they're too overwhelming? Do I set specific standards for myself and then fail because I've set them too high? Do I expect perfection from myself and then put off what I fear will be imperfect? As long as I accomplish my tasks to the best of my ability, I will succeed. I can jump in with both feet when necessary and feel proud that I at least started what I needed to do. Nothing can ever be completed without starting it first.When I procrastinate, I will never get where I need to go, and eventually I will become overwhelmed and buried underneath all the things I refused to start.

Today I will let go of the desire to put off what needs to be done now.

--Judith R. Smith

Boy... This one is for me!!!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Floyd - April 24, 2009

Floyd - Watercolor 2.5" x 3.5"

In three words, I can sum up everything I've learned about life: It goes on.

-- Robert Frost

If we've ever dug in a garden and unearthed an ants' nest, we can recall their first reaction to our unintended destruction: they do everything possible to save their lives and supplies. The ants scurry around, moving the larvae to an underground room. Exposed contents are then relocated to unseen passages. In a matter of minutes, the ants are again safely underground and ready to resume their daily routines.How do we react when some catastrophe or unplanned event occurs? Do we want to crawl under a rock or are we as resilient as the ants? Instead of moaning over postponed plans or the loss of something in our lives, we can try to be like the ants and learn how to best work with circumstances that come our way.

Life doesn't stop for us to lick wounds or add fuel to grievances. Hours pass, we grow older, nature continues. Every event is part of life's cycle. We can't run away from anything. We must meet life head-on and adjust to its ebb and flow.

I can look at an unplanned event in my life as part of life's cycle. I need to trust that life will go on.

Amy E. Dean

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Feelin' Rosy - April 23, 2009

"Feelin' Rosy" - Watercolor 2.5" x 3.5"

... put our efforts where we can succeed.

The appeal of a "fix" tempts us. One day we dream, "If only I had a different job my life would be happy, or if only I had a different house." Perhaps we even dream of having a different partner. When we waste so much precious energy on trying to change something or someone outside ourselves, we usually end up alone, unhappy, or exhausted. It takes great effort and a long time to develop what we truly seek: love, self-acceptance, honesty, and peace of mind.

Fixing or changing our partner might appeal on the surface, but why not put our efforts where we can succeed? What can we change? Ourselves - by becoming less critical we build our honesty and self-worth. Do I block my own growth when I focus on someone else's action?

Merle Fossum and Mavis Fossum

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Polished Look - April 22, 2009

"A Polished Look" - Watercolor and acrylic on canvas panel 8" x 10"

Nothing negative in your past has the power to affect your life today. This moment is created out of your positive thoughts, and only good things can come to you.

There is no limit to the power of your positive thoughts, if you are open to all good things. Your future is filled with adventure, wonder, love, harmony and countless blessings.

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

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Flamingo Boots - April 21, 2009

8" x 8" "Flamingo Boots" Watercolor & Pitt Brush Pen on 140# cp.

I just noticed that two of these birds seem to be looking at their boots.... wondering if the artist has lost her mind. hahaha

Choose to bring forth kindness, love and compassion in your life.

When confronted with gossip or talking behind someone's back, choose to keep silent.

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

Monday, April 20, 2009

Flamingo Forest - April 20, 2009

Flamingo Forest - 6" x 8" Acrylic on Canvas

Thoughts and words form your mental image. And since we become what we picture, be sure your thoughts and words express prosperity and blessing rather than poverty and defeat.

--Norman Vincent Peale

Friday, April 17, 2009

Fancy Legs - April 17, 2009

Fancy Legs - April 17, 2009 2.5" x 3.5" watercolor

I'd like to get away from earth awhile. And then come back to it and begin again.

-- Robert Frost

Do we think it's weak to need a break? Do we ignore the need to recharge our batteries? Responsibility for our own lives requires us to recognize the need to restore our energy.

We can take a break from the world and come back restored. This meditation time generates more energy for our lives. Recreation with friends, a walk, a movie, or a concert does the same. Taking responsibility to get away is a good cure for self-pity and exhaustion.

Today, I will be aware of my need to restore my energy.

-- Anonymous

Have a great day!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Clyde - April 16, 2009

Clyde - 2.5" x 3.5" Watercolor
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
--Eleanor Roosevelt

In this moment, we are the best we can be.

Today, we can work at loving the best in ourselves and not fearing the worst. We are truly wonderful and growing people with gifts and qualities that make us who we are. No one can make us feel inferior without our consent.

We are in charge of our lives and growth. We have options today. We can choose to have loving, affirming people in our lives.

Today, stick with the winners. You are a winner today and every day.

-Nancy Hull-Mast

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Pastel Mill - April 15, 2009

8" x 10" watercolor & pen "Pastel Mill"

I believe in living a poetic life, an art full life. Everything we do is part of a large canvas we are creating.

-Maya Angelou

Hope everybody has their taxes behind them, already. Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bubbles - April 14, 2009

2.5" x 3.5" "Bubbles" watercolor

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.

-Norman Vincent Peale

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Office Cat - April 13, 2009

4" x 6" watercolor & sharpie
I miss having a cat in the sign shop.... not! I loved the company, but they do go wherever they want. When I hand painted all my signs, back in the early 90's, I'd tell people that it wasn't a Signs by Beth original, unless there was cat hair in the paint somewhere. I think a cat would have a little too much fun with the moving parts on a plotter now. I do smile at the thought of it, though.
Respond to challenges with perspective and grace, because life isn't meant to be hassle-free or perfect.
-Richard Carlson, Ph.D.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Betsy - April 10, 2009

2.5" x 3.5" watercolor & gouache

Use your mind for positive change - a workable solution, a better alternative, or a productive plan - rather than wasting your mental energy criticizing and pointing out faults.

-- Richard Carlson, Ph.D.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Bahama Fish - April 9, 2009

6.5" x 10" watercolor completed. I had posted this one before, but now it's finished. I just had to look at it for a while, before I knew it wasn't finished.

Practice hope. As hopefulness becomes a habit, you can achieve a permanent happy spirit.

--Norman Vincent Peale

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tornado Alley - April 8, 2009

"Tornado Alley"
6" x 8" Lino cut block print

"I used to think freedom meant doing whatever you want. It means knowing who you are, what you are supposed to be doing on this earth, and then simply doing it."

~ Natalie Goldberg

I really like this quote! I may finally be getting it right!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Whiskey Transfer - April 7, 2009

7" x 10" Whiskey Transfer Cottage with Watercolor

This is a fun method I learned. Use an inkjet copy and turn it over on to your watercolor paper. Use whiskey, gin or vodka (isopropyl alcohol won't work) and brush onto the back of the painting with a stiff brush. You can do all or just a portion of your inkjet image. Then, simply paint it or do pen & ink. It dries fast and is ready to work on right away. Have fun!

Only a few of those who accomplish things in this world are superintellects. However they have one super quality that keeps them going: the I-will-keep-trying attitude, the never-give-up, the stick-with-it, the hang-in-there, the keep-it-going attitude.

--Norman Vincent Peale

Monday, April 6, 2009

Butterfly - April 6, 2009

10" x 7" watercolor

The secret of changing one's personality, regardless of the problem, is to think in new categories, reeducating your thought pattern so that enthusiasm is put into the top-priority category.

--Norman Vincent Peale

Friday, April 3, 2009

Watercolor Fish - April 3, 2009

8" x 10" Watercolor

"I have learned, as a rule of thumb, never to ask whether you can do something. Say, instead, that you are doing it. Then fasten your seat belt. The most remarkable things follow."

– Julia Cameron

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Bahama Iguana - April 2, 2009

Bahama Iguana - 5"x 7" Watercolor

. . . concern should drive us into action and not into depression.

--Karen Horney

If a situation in our lives causes concern, be it mild disgruntlement or serious frustration, we should understand that our concern indicates that we need to act responsibly. Events that attract our attention need our action.

Our actions can take many forms. Occasionally we will be called upon to take charge of a situation. More often, offering emotional support to another is all that's needed. Perhaps most frequently, our prayers are enough.

There is always a proper response to any circumstance that causes us concern. If we choose no response, our inaction will only heighten our concern and preoccupation will hinder the day's activities..

Karen Casey and Martha Vanceburg

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Ballet Slippers - April 1, 2009

2.5" x 3.5" watercolor.... and the last of my shoe series. LOL

We all need a little humor in our lives.

Once in a while it seems like we just can't handle everything that happens along the way, plus carry out our own plans for the day. Perhaps we have to stop and change a flat tire. Or a friend calls and needs help. Or one of our kids has a meltdown in the grocery store. Or maybe all those things happen in the same day! It's a perfect excuse to take a deep breath, call a friend, and have a good laugh about it.

Just realize that our days are not really ours, that we can plan them, but we can't really control them. That's just the way it is, and it's okay.