Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Cat's Backyard - December 31, 2009

Today, I am slowing down my pace. I do not have to accomplish the entire world in this day. It is one day. Today I have time to stop and smell the flowers.

from – “Time for Joy” Daily Affirmations
by Ruth Fishel

The Cat’s Backyard

4″ x 6″ Watercolor

I thought I’d try my hand at a normal painting. No psychedelic cats here, today anyway! he he

Ruth Fishel, MEd, is a prolific author, national retreat, workshop leader and meditation teacher. Her books include: CHANGE ALMOST ANYTHING IN 21 DAYS, TIME FOR JOY ( which has sold over 300,000 copies), PRECIOUS SOLITUDE, THE JOURNEY WITHIN, TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF, HANG IN ‘TIL THE MIRACLE HAPPENS, and STOP! DO YOU KNOW YOU’RE BREATHING? Ruth’s books take the reader on marvelous journey through pain and loss to inspiration and hope. They are both a program for recovery and a path to growth, peace and love of self, others and God.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Cosmic Cat - December 30, 2009

Taking the first step helps bridge the gulf between our dreams and our accomplishments.

Whether the project is cleaning the garage, building a cathedral, or recovering from an addiction, plans must be translated into action. In order to arrive at our destination, we must begin the trip. We can read hundreds of college catalogs, but it’s when we register for a course, buy a textbook, and begin to study that we are on our way to a degree.

Two factors inhibit our beginning a project. The first is lack of clear motivation, and the second is fear of failure. If we don’t really want to do something, it’s hard to get started. So, if motivation is a problem, we may need to reconsider our choice of projects.

As for fear of failure, this may be something that we step over and around as we move forward. It is not a good reason for aborting a dream. If, in spite of fear of failure, we make a beginning, we will find that the fear shrinks with every step we take. Action is the catalyst. We learn how to do something by doing it.

I will take the first step toward accomplishing a dream today by getting started.

From the Inner Harvest
(a book on Eating Disorders)
by Elisabeth L.

(I’ve been told that a lot of people quit when they feel they have failed at an aspect of learning to fly. I’m going to have to remember this!)

Cosmic Cat

4″ x 6″ Watercolor

I was painting a brass cat figurine, when something in me went retro! I totally went haywire and dove back into the 60’s. Fun!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Nostalgia - December 29, 2009

“A man can do only what he can do. But if he does that each day he can sleep at night and do it again the next day.”
Albert Schweitzer


5″ x 7″ Acrylic Greeting Card

I found these black photo cards and thought it would be perfect for this painting of a lovely nostalgic lady. I did this with my Golden fluid acrylics, mixing some of the Iridescent Copper (fine) in with some of the glazes at the end. Sorry about the glare from the sunlight, but when I scanned her, she was just too flat.

About Albert Schweitzer

Albert Schweitzer, the German medical missionary, won the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize for his humanitarian work at a hospital in French Equatorial Africa, where he treated and operated on thousands of people, including hundreds of people afflicted with leprosy. He was also an organist, famous for his interpretation of J.S. Bach’s music. Late in life, he worked with Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russell against nuclear proliferation. He was born in 1875 in Kaysersberg and died in 1965.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Thank You Notes - December 28, 2009

“I think in terms of the day’s resolutions, not the year’s.”
Henry Moore

Thank You Notes

4″ x 5.5″ Mixed Media

The card is Canson Mi Tienes paper, cut into 8″ x 5.5″ pieces, then folded. To get the colored paper scrap, I laid a piece of gauze across some inexpensive sketching paper and dabbed watercolor around it. After the paper dried, I tore it into random pieces and glued them to the card, using some thinned Elmer’s glue and a paint brush.

I added a small piece to the envelope flap, too, for fun. I added a little splash of watercolor to the corner of the envelope.

I added some torn white paper to the inside, to write my message on, and wrote Thank You on the front. I added some little dots of acrylic to the front, too.

I can’t wait to fill them out and mail them to my friends and family.

Never underestimate the power of a simple thank you note, to bring a smile to the ones who were kind to you, in any way. I’m a big thank you note person, all year long.

About Henry Moore

British sculptor Henry Moore is known for his voluptuous abstract figures. He was born in 1898 to a poor mining family. After Moore served in World War I, he became the first student of sculpture at Leeds School of Art; a sculpture studio was set up specifically for him.. As he studied primitive arts, his own work became more abstract. He established The Henry Moore Foundation in 1977 to promote public appreciation of art. He died in 1986. His work can be seen in public spaces all over the world.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Cotton Candy Cat - December 24, 2009

If the winds of fortune are temporarily
blowing against you, remember that
you can harness them and make them
carry you toward your definite purpose,
through the use of your imagination.

-Napoleon Hill

Cotton Candy Cat

4″ x 6″ watercolor

This little kitty is Oscar. I wanted to play with my white watercolor, as I had seen Leslie White do on her wonderful blog. I had a ball. I used the white with complete abandon! *big grin* I mixed it with the colors and I used it pure, on top of wet colors. Then, since he looked a little sad here, I did a version of Oscar to make you smile, this Christmas Eve, while you are in a whirlwind of activity and stress.

This version of the kitty is 2.5″ x 3.5″

Isn’t artistic license a wonderful thing? :D

Napoleon Hill was born in 1883 in a one-room cabin on the Pound River in Wise County, Virginia. He began his writing career at age 13 as a “mountain reporter” for small town newspapers and went on to become America’s most beloved motivational author. Hill passed away in November 1970 after a long and successful career writing, teaching, and lecturing about the principles of success. His work stands as a monument to individual achievement and is the cornerstone of modern motivation. His book, Think and Grow Rich, is the all time bestseller in the field. Hill established the Foundation as a nonprofit educational institution whose mission is to perpetuate his philosophy of leadership, self-motivation, and individual achievement. His books, audio cassettes, videotapes, and other motivational products are made available to you as a service of the Foundation so that you may build your own library of personal achievement materials… and help you acquire financial wealth and the true riches of life.

Have a great Christmas Eve and a wonderful Christmas!
If you are traveling, be safe!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Oh, Those Eyes - December 23, 2009

“No man can think clearly when his fists are clenched.”
– George Jean Nathan

Oh, Those Eyes

2.5″ x 3.5″ Watercolor ATC

Are you tired of my fascination with Possum’s eyes, yet? *giggle* This is the last one, I promise.

I have been having fun painting her beautiful eyes. She kinda reminds me of a gremlin, instead of a cat, in this one. I really enjoy going for the liquidness of the eyes, while getting that shadow from the brow or eyelid, whichever it may be.

About George Jean Nathan

George Jean Nathan, the acerbic American drama critic, was renowned for what he called destructive theater criticism, which helped shape a more serious theatrical community and paved the way for modern critics. He was born in 1882 in Indiana. He and H.L. Mencken coedited the magazines Smart Set and The American Mercury. Although he found little to like in the theater, he became a fierce champion of the playwrights he did appreciate, including Eugene O’Neill and Sean O’Casey. He died in 1958.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Kitty Closeup - December 22, 2009

“Attempt easy tasks as if they were difficult, and difficult as if they were easy; in the one case that confidence may not fall asleep, in the other that it may not be dismayed.”
– Baltasar Gracián y Morales

Kitty Closeup

2.5″ x 3.5″ Watercolor with touches of white gouache

This is Possum again. I really loved this cat’s eyes. Working in this small size, I can do study after study, without taking a lot of time or using a lot of paper. Another one is coming tomorrow.

About Baltasar Gracián y Morales

Baltasar Gracián y Morales, the Jesuit scholar and moralist author, was the leading Spanish proponent of conceptism (conceptismo), a method of expressing ideas through puns, epigrams, and other verbal devices. He was born in 1601 in Aragon. The Jesuit leadership frowned on his oratorical style, which included reading a letter from Hell to his congregation. His best known books include The Art of Worldly Wisdom and The Hero, which repudiated Machiavelli. He died in 1658.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Possum - December 21, 2009

“Times of general calamity and confusion have ever been productive of the greatest minds. The purest ore is produced from the hottest furnace, and the brightest thunderbolt is elicited from the darkest storm.”
– Charles Caleb Colton


6″ x 9″ Colored Pencil on Canson

I rarely use my colored pencils, so excuse the calamity and confusion, that is Possum. I could not have added another layer, if I tried.

Did you notice his Andy Rooney eyebrows? Fun!

About Charles Caleb Colton

English minister and author Charles Caleb Colton was best known for his book of essays, Lacon, or Many Things in Few Words. He was born in 1780 in England. He was an avid collector of both wine and paintings and was known as an eccentric for his lifestyle, which was both lavish and ramshackle, and for his church work, which was sometimes brilliant, sometimes slipshod. After leaving the ministry, he lived in Paris for many years. He died in 1832.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Australian Rain Forest - December 18, 2009

“All human wisdom is summed up in two words; wait and hope.”
Alexandre Dumas

Australian Rain Forest

4″ x 6″ Watercolor

I ran across this one recently. I painted it last year for a postcard exchange. It went to Switzerland, to my friend Joel. I liked the simplicity of it. It just felt right, if that makes any sense. As cold as it is outside, I wouldn’t mind being in a rain forest a while.

About Alexandre Dumas

Popular French author Alexandre Dumas was famed for his adventure stories, including The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo. He was born in 1802 near Paris. His mulatto father was a general in the French Army who died young, leaving his family destitute. Dumas began as a playwright, but newspapers were eager for serialized fiction, so he adapted a play into his first novel. He died in 1870; in 2002 his body was moved to the Panthéon to recognize his role in French literature.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Outlook Over Oklahoma

“Your life becomes the thing you have decided it shall be.”
– Raymond Charles Barker

Outlook Over Oklahoma

Four – 2.5″ x 3.5″ ATCs

Golden Fluid Acrylic on Watercolor Paper

This was another fun Port Townsend, Washington motel room painting. I wanted to do something larger than an ATC, yet all I had with me were these small 2.5″ x 3.5″ pieces of watercolor paper. I don’t travel with scotch tape, so I scrounged around my motel room until I came up with the sticky part of the airline luggage tag. I cut little pieces of it with my tiny travel sewing kit scissors and taped the ATCs together on the back, so I could paint this in my motel room. I almost didn’t take it apart, except that I could envision it matted something like this.

About Raymond Charles Barker

Raymond Charles Barker was an influential American minister and author in the mid-twentieth century. He wrote such books as The Power of Decision and Treat Yourself to Life, on ways to change subconscious patterns. He became president of the International New Thought Alliance in 1943, a group practicing the religious philosophy developed in the late 1800’s by Phineas Quimby, with early proponents including Ralph Waldo Emerson. Unity Church and Divine Science are among its later offshoots. He founded the First Church of Religious Science in Manhattan in 1946 and served as its minister until 1979. He died in 1988 at the age of 77.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Kansas Crop Circles - December 16, 2009

“Hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence.”
Lin Yutang

Kansas Crop Circles

2.5″ x 3.5″

When I left the airport in Oklahoma City, on my way to Seattle last month, I was intrigued by the view. Since I have committed to flying lessons, I saw things differently than I have in the past. I sketched this scene on to a little ATC. (I always have watercolor supplies with me when I fly.) When I was in my hotel room in Port Townsend, I started painting it with Golden Fluid Acrylics. I finished it last weekend, after many more layers of glaze. I did another one, which I will share with you tomorrow. It was fun!

About Lin Yutang

Chinese author Lin Yutang wrote more than 35 books in English and Chinese, including My Country and My People and The Importance of Living, which brought him international fame. He was born in 1895 in the Fujian province in China. He created a Chinese-American dictionary, an indexing system for Chinese letters, and translated many classic Chinese texts. Written in a humorous, accessible style, his books bridged European and Chinese cultures. He died in 1976.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Serpent Eagle - December 15, 2009

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
by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Serpent Eagle

4″ x 5″ watercolor

I love painting birds! This fellow was fun to do. He does look a little smirky, instead of threatening, though. he he

H. Jackson Brown, Jr. is an American author best-known for his book Life’s Little Instruction Book which was a New York Times bestseller.

Before becoming famous as a writer, Brown acted as a creative director of an advertising agency in Nashville, Tennessee. It was simple words of wisdom gathered from other people and his own experiences that made him a best-selling author.

Brown first published A Father’s Book of Wisdom, which was quickly followed by P.S. I Love You, a collection of sayings and observations from his father and mother. Both were very popular and led to Life’s Little Instruction Book, which was originally written as a going-away present for his college-bound son, Adam. This book contained 511 reminders about “how to live a happy and rewarding life” and became a phenomenal best-seller worldwide. It has logged more than two years on the New York Times best-seller list, including more than a year at the number one spot. Life’s Little Instruction Book was the first book to ever occupy the number one spot on the New York Times best-seller list in both paperback and hardback formats simultaneously. Live and Learn and Pass It On followed and also became a New York Times best-seller.

Brown’s books have been translated into 35 languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide. They have spawned calendars, posters, apparel items, daily journals, greeting cards, audiocassettes, screensavers and even fortune cookies. Brown is also said to receive thousands of letters from readers all over the world. Their content ranges from the simple, “I enjoyed your book and I read a page or two every night before I go to bed” to the humbling “your book convinced our family to adopt a special needs child.”

Remarking on his books, Jackson has said, “Most of us know what we need to do to make our lives more fulfilled and useful, but sometimes we forget. My little books are gentle reminders of those simple things which, if done well and in a spirit of love, can significantly change our lives.”

Monday, December 14, 2009

Posture Study - December 14, 2009

“I do not place blame outwardly, but accept responsibility for the results in my life. Every time I overcome an obstacle or meet a challenge, I reaffirm that I have access to all solutions and develop a deeper trust in my inner resources.”

from “The Don’t Sweat Affirmations”
Richard Carlson, Ph.D.

Posture Study

4″x5″ Watercolor

I painted this little study from the reference photo provided by my friend, Dewi. I was intrigued by how comfortable and at ease the people looked in this photo. I wanted to see if I could capture it, with as little detail as possible.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Penguins - December 11, 2009

“I am grateful for the ability to turn inward and find peace rather than allowing the small annoyances of life to get me down.”

from The Don’t Sweat Affirmations
Richard Carlson, Ph.D.


2.5″ x 3.5″ Watercolor

I really needed this quote today. My email was hijacked overnight. They sent a message from China and deleted all of my contacts, history & folders. I’m still trying to sort out the mess. If anyone reading this has any advice for me, please leave a comment. Thanks!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Snowman & Reindeer - December 10, 2009

I AM in harmony with the calling of my heart
I know that divine right action guides my way
I see only good and release that good in all I do
I joyously celebrate the gift I AM
I spread unconditional love along the path I AM on
Today is the best day of my life
And I will live it as so

It’s your day…MAKE IT A GREAT ONE!

Paul Hoffman

Snowman & Reindeer

4″ x 5″ Watercolor & Ink

These little Christmas figurines are sitting on the desk in my sign shop lobby. They are such fun little critters.

Paul Hoffman is a transformational musician, speaker, author, and teacher. He has composed and produced music for internationally acclaimed speakers, best-selling authors, Fortune 500 corporations, films, television, commercials, and radio for over 25 years. Paul is the CEO, Visionary and Chief Creative Officer of Success Creation Institute, LLC, Paul Hoffman Music, Inc., Success Songs, LLC and Blue Music and Sound Design.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Hazel - December 9, 2009

“Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits.”
Thomas A. Edison


Atelier Interactive Acrylic on 5″ x 5″ Panel

Hazel is my sister’s dog. I don’t know much about painting realistic animals, so this is a new experience for me. (Where’s all the purple? *grin*) Hopefully my sister will like it.

About Thomas A. Edison

Thomas Edison, the American inventor who made his early fortune with the stock ticker and the phonograph record, is credited with inventing the light bulb — although he simply improved upon the original idea by making the bulb burn longer. Edison was born in 1847 in Ohio. He was a dreamer in school; his teacher called him “addled,” and his mother taught him at home. He used the money from his inventions to set up a lab with a number of employees; he held a record 1,093 patents in his name. He died in 1931.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas Dingy - December 8, 2009

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

Christmas Dingy

5″ x 7″ Watercolor & Ink

This one was purely for fun! Santa needed a little help getting toys from the Christmas Ship to the kids on the island. Snowman was nice enough to offer to take the dingy over and deliver the toys. (Santa has a multitude of toy delivery methods that he wants to try out, since the reindeer wages keep going up every year.) Never forget how much fun it is to play outside the box now and then!

About e. e. cummings

The writer who became known as e. e. cummings was an experimental poet whose idiosyncratic typography complements the music of his poetry; he published more than 900 poems, two novels, and four plays. He was also an accomplished painter. He was born in Massachusetts in 1894 and entered the ambulance corps in World War I but ended up in a detention camp after expressing his pacifist views. He died in 1962. “In Just-” was his most famous poem.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Yachting Anyone? - December 7, 2009

"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm."

– Sir Winston Churchill


Yachting Anyone?

2.5" x 3.5" Collage ATC

Thanks to Leslie White, I have been having a ball doing little skyline ATCs for an Alternate Art exchange on WetCanvas. This one was done by cutting little pieces of necklace cord and gluing them to the card as buildings. I added a little color and texture medium, then painted little white dots with acrylic. The yacht is Jeannetini, cut from a Showboats magazine.

This one was done, using felt.


I used spackling paste for the buildings on this one.

Here are some progress shots.

About Sir Winston Churchill

Sir Winston Churchill was an extraordinary British prime minister; he laid the groundwork for welfare in England, helped set the boundaries in the Middle East, became a symbol of the resistance against the Nazis in Europe, and was a central force in the Allied victory in World War II. He was born in 1874 near Oxford. He was known for his courage, his stubbornness, and his powerful personality. He was also an accomplished painter and writer. He died in 1965.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Farm Cabin - December 4, 2009

"Never give out while there is hope; but hope not beyond reason, for that shows more desire than judgment."

William Penn

Farm Cabin

9" x 12" Golden Fluid Acrylic on Ampersand Gessobord

This is the painting I worked on, the second day of my workshop with Don Tiller, in Port Townsend, WA last month. I had the best time in his workshop! I'm going to try to go larger with my next one. **grin**

About William Penn

William Penn is remembered as the founder of Pennsylvania; the democratic government he set up became the model for the United States Constitution. He was born in 1644 in England. After he was arrested several times for preaching Quaker ideals, he decided to found a settlement in America. He drew up the "Great Treaty" with the Delaware Indians to ensure they were paid fairly for their land and toured Europe marketing the new colony. He died in 1718

For the FTC: I have not received anything for endorsinging the people or products in today's blog post.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Critters in Watercolor - December 3, 2009

"A person who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."

Albert Einstein


Critters in Watercolor

4" x 6" Postcard

About Albert Einstein

The brilliant physicist Albert Einstein became an international icon for his groundbreaking theory of relativity. He was born in Germany in 1879 and began his seminal work while at the Swiss Patent Office. He later fled the Nazi regime, moving to the United States to teach at Princeton. In 1921, he won the Nobel Prize. He declined Israel's invitation to become its president, saying he lacked the necessary people skills. He died in 1955.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Luxury Yachts - December 2, 2009

“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.”
– Thomas Jefferson

Collage ATC’s. Each is 2.5” x 3.5”

I learned how to do this from Leslie White. She is always coming up with something new, to stimulate my artistic senses.

My method is a little different than hers, so to see Leslie’s method, go to her blog here.

To see how I made these, go here.

About Thomas Jefferson

President Thomas Jefferson was a true Renaissance figure: politician, inventor, archaeologist, architect, and more. He was born in Virginia in 1743 and later designed his adult home at Monticello. Many consider him the brightest man ever to inhabit the White House. Jefferson was the primary author of the Declaration of Independence; the Library of Congress was founded from his personal collection. He died on July 4, 1826.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Wooden Lady - December 1, 2009

"None of us will ever accomplish anything excellent or commanding except when he listens to this whisper which is heard by him alone."

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Wooden Lady

3" x 9" Watercolor

About Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson helped spark the transcendentalist movement with the essay Nature, which described his belief in the spiritual essence of humanity and the natural world. He was born in Boston in 1803. He was a Unitarian minister until he resigned in 1832 to become a philosopher and writer. He suffered the untimely deaths of many of his loved ones: three brothers, his first wife at age 20, and his eldest son at age five. Emerson died in 1882.