Friday, February 26, 2010

Snorkeling Anyone?

“There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something tomorrow.”
– Orison Swett Marden


Snorkeling Anyone?
4″ x 4″ Watercolor

I did this last summer.  It just seemed that with all the terrible weather we have going on across the country, we could all use a little warmth.  This is a self portrait from 2002, when I was on my weddingmoon, in Ambergris Caye, Belize.  I call it a weddingmoon because we were married there and we had to be there for three days to establish temporary residency, before they could legally perform the marriage ceremony.  It was pure bliss!  Not a single family member in sight.  :)

About Orison Swett Marden

Orison Swett Marden, the American writer who is considered the forerunner of motivational authors, wrote an average of two books a year from 1894 to 1924. He was born on a New England farm in 1850. During college, he worked in hotel management. He then used his seed money to buy a resort in Rhode Island. Wanting to inspire people as he himself had been inspired by British author Samuel Smiles, he began writing books like You Can, But Will You? and founded Success Magazine. He died in 1924.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Three Tulips

“When you have a great and difficult task, something perhaps almost impossible, if you only work a little at a time, every day a little, suddenly the work will finish itself.”
– Isak Dinesen


Three Tulips
4″ x 6″ Mixed Media

When I painted this, I loaded it with lots of color with watercolor!  It was flat and stripedy.  (yes, I said stripedy… he he)  I came back and brushed on bits of white and pale colored acrylic.  I liked it much better.  No more stripedy!  :)

About Isak Dinesen

Isak Dinesen was the pen name of Karen Blixen, the Danish author famously portrayed by Meryl Streep in the film of her best-selling memoir, Out of Africa. She was born near Copenhagen in 1885. In 1914, she and her new husband moved to Kenya to run a coffee plantation. She stayed on after divorcing her husband ten years later, living an unusually independent life. Her book of stories, Seven Gothic Tales, sold well, but Out of Africa made her a worldwide success. She died in 1962.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Watercolor Weave

“Striving for perfection is the greatest stopper there is.… It’s your excuse to yourself for not doing anything. Instead, strive for excellence, doing your best.”
– Sir Laurence Olivier

Brilliant!  :!: 

Watercolor Weave
4″ x 6″ Weave on 5″ x 7″ Black greeting card

I learned this trick from my friend, Kordelia.  I started with two 4″ x 6″ watercolor paintings that I did a long time ago.  I cut one in 1/2″ vertical strips and the other in 1/2″ horizontal strips.  I wove them, gluing the ends, and then painted a couple layers of  transparent yellow iron oxide Golden Fluid Acrylic on it.  I finished it off with a couple coats of spray varnish, then glued it onto the black greeting card.

I’m going to send it to Kordelia, to brighten her day.  :)

About Sir Laurence Olivier

The brilliant English actor Laurence Olivier, known for roles in such films as The Entertainer, Rebecca, and Wuthering Heights, was central in founding Britain’s National Theater, and was artistic director there for ten years. He was born in 1907 in Surrey. Not a Method actor, he used external attributes to create a character. He craved performance and was depressed between jobs. He was the first actor to direct his own Oscar-winning performance, in Hamlet. He died in 1989.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Quiet Boat

“Forgiveness is the economy of the heart.…forgiveness saves the expense of anger, the cost of hatred, the waste of spirits.”
– Hannah More

Quiet Boat
4″ x 6″ Acrylic on Canvas

I painted this, then kinda lost interest in it when I got to the water.  I suppose I could have gone on to add reflections, and the like, but I thought not.  :)

I opted to insert a little troll, that I did on watercolor paper.  No, I didn’t attach it permanently, because I still may do more on the painting.
I hope I at least gave you a laugh this morning! 

About Hannah More

English writer and philanthropist Hannah More, one of the most influential women of her time, is seen as a proto-feminist because she argued for true education for women. She was born near Bristol in 1745. When her long engagement to a local landowner ended badly, he gave her a yearly stipend in apology, which allowed her the freedom to move to London and write plays. She later shifted to philanthropic work and writing popular religious tracts. She died in 1833.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Norwegian Landscape

“Men, like nails, lose their usefulness when they lose direction and begin to bend.”
Walter Savage Landor


Norwegian Landscape
4″ x 4″ x 2″ Golden Fluid Acrylic on Gallery Wrapped Canvas

This was a fun project!  I have 4 hours in this little painting.  There are layers and layers of acrylic glazes, gradually building up the color.

I started with a canvas that I had primed with black gesso.  I drew the lines in with a watercolor pencil.

Then, I painted the pieces in with Golden transparent yellow iron oxide mixed with a dab of titanium white.

The last two are the midway point,  after 2 hours….
I hope you enjoyed seeing the process.  :)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Lone Tree

“Discontent is the first step in progress. No one knows what is in him till he tries, and many would never try if they were not forced to.”
– Basil Maturin

Lone Tree
4″ x 6″ Acrylic on Canvas

I started with a black gessoed canvas, then painted this with layers and layers of glazes with Golden Fluid Acrylics.  This is more of the style I learned at my Don Tiller workshop in Port Townsend, WA, last November.  I have so much fun painting with acrylics, since learning  Don’s wonderful techniques.  I’ll always be grateful that I was able to attend his workshop.

About Basil Maturin

British cleric Basil Maturin, renowned for his oratory skill, was ordained as an Anglican but later converted to Catholicism. He was born in 1847 in Ireland. He ministered in Philadelphia before returning to England in 1888 to resolve his conflict about his religious identity. He died on board the Lusitania when it was sunk by a German U-boat in 1915. He was observed giving last rites as the ship sank, looking pale but calm.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


“Within our dreams and aspirations we find our opportunities.”
Sue Atchley Ebaugh

4″ x 6″ Watercolor

This was a fun little watercolor to do.  Mike Beckett, over at WetCanvas is an amazing photographer!  This is one of his photos, from the WDE last weekend.
I looked up Sue Atchley Ebaugh, but couldn’t really find out anything about her.  She has some great quotes out there, but no bio, that I could find anyway.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Quilted Love

“When I do things without any explanation, but just with spontaneity…I can be sure that I am right.”
– Federico Fellini

Quilted Love
5″ x 7″ Watercolor & Sharpie

This is another Valentine.  This has just been so much fun.  I really do think it’s time to try some more quilting with paint.  :)

About Federico Fellini

Famed Italian director Federico Fellini is known for the dreamlike logic and rich symbolism in Oscar- winning films like La Strada, La Dolce Vita, 8 ½, and Amarcord. His films often featured his wife, actress Giulietta Masina, and his onscreen alter-ego, actor Marcello Mastroiann. He was born in 1920 in Rimini. After he’d begun his film career, he opened a store named the Funny Face Shop, where he sold his drawings and artwork from other filmmakers. His 1993 funeral was attended by thousands of fans.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Wiener Dog Love

“You must lose a fly to catch a trout.”
George Herbert Mead

Wiener Dog Love
5″ x 7″ Watercolor & Sharpie

Another Valentine for you.  I just love the expressions that dogs get on their faces.  What is this one saying to you?  Comment and tell me what you think.  :)

George Herbert Mead (1863-1931), American philosopher and social theorist, is often classed with William James, Charles Sanders Peirce, and John Dewey as one of the most significant figures in classical American pragmatism. Dewey referred to Mead as “a seminal mind of the very first order” (Dewey, 1932, xl). Yet by the middle of the twentieth-century, Mead’s prestige was greatest outside of professional philosophical circles. He is considered by many to be the father of the school of Symbolic Interactionism in sociology and social psychology, although he did not use this nomenclature.   more…

Monday, February 15, 2010


“We each need to let our intuition guide us, and then be willing to follow that guidance directly and fearlessly.”
Shakti Gawain

5″ x 7″ Watercolor & Sharpie

I did this one for Valentines Day, but he kinda fits in with any old day.  I really enjoyed “sewing” him together.  :)

About Shakti Gawain

American New Age author Shakti Gawain was born in 1948. Raised by atheists who taught her to question everything, she went through an existential crisis after a romantic breakup, which led her on a pilgrimage to India. Her experiences inspired the book Creative Visualization, which became an international best seller. She has been featured in Time magazine and has appeared on such shows as Oprah, Good Morning Americav and The Larry King Show. She currently lives in California with her husband Jim Burns.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Ruv Roo

“Love is the miracle cure. Loving ourselves creates miracles in our lives.”

-Louise Hay

Ruv Roo
5″ x 7″ Watercolor & Ink

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Louise L. Hay is a bestselling author, speaker and inspirational teacher whose healing techniques, affirmations and positive thinking have inspired millions worldwide. She is the founder of Hay House Publishers. Visit to learn more.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Love Puppy

“Life itself cannot give you joy unless you really will it. Life just gives you time and space. It’s up to you to fill it.”    -Author Unknown

Love Puppy
5″ x 7″ Watercolor & Sharpie

Since it’s Valentine’s weekend, I thought I’d share one of my little Valentine’s paintings. I had so much fun doing him!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Your Roots are Showing

“When a man is sufficiently motivated, discipline will take care of itself.”
Sir Alexander Paterson

Your Roots are Showing
4″ x 7″ Acrylic on Canvas

This little painting was painted using Golden Fluid Acrylics on a canvas coated first in black gesso.  There are a lot of layers of glazes.  In real life, it has a ton of texture.  It was fun to do after concentrating so hard on the old dory.

About Sir Alexander Paterson

Alexander Paterson was instrumental in humanizing the Borstal juvenile delinquency prisons in England. He was born in 1884 in Cheshire. While working to aid the poor, he moved into a tenement. Across the Bridges, his book about his experiences, was a call to action and set off much-needed reforms. As prison commissioner, he initiated a training program of hard but interesting work, believing that prisons should focus on rehabilitation, not punishment. He died in 1947.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Old Dory

“When you cannot make up your mind between two evenly balanced courses of action, choose the bolder.”
– William Joseph Slim

Old Dory
7″ x 11″ Watercolor

This painting was something else!  All the perspective and boards going this way and that…. mind boggling!  It is also quite a bit larger than I normally paint.  In case you were wondering, this is not one of the valentines paintings.  :)

About William Joseph Slim

The courageous British commander William Joseph Slim, who led forces during both world wars, led an impressive turnaround of the so-called Forgotten Army in Burma during World War II after he trained them how to fight in jungle conditions. He was born in 1891 in Bristol. He joined the army as a second lieutenant at the outbreak of World War I and was wounded in the battle of Gallipoli. He served as governor-general of Australia, a ceremonial role, from 1953 to 1960. He died in 1970.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Valentine Bears

“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
– Winston Churchill


Valentine Bears
5″ x 7″ Watercolor

Love is in the air.  I have recently completed 6 different Valentine’s paintings, so I thought I’d share them with you.  I really had fun doing them.

Top Valentine gift ideas, according to

About 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.

Here is a site with some Winston Churchill trivia.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Well Dressed Dog

“Laughter is the best medicine for a long and happy life.  He who laughs-lasts!
Wilfred A. Peterson

I couldn’t agree more!

Well Dressed Dog
5″ x 7″ Watercolor

If you ask me, I’d have to say this fellow doesn’t like his new sweater.   There’s just something in his eyes.  :)

Wilferd Arlan Peterson (August 21, 1900 – June 2, 1995) was born in Whitehall, Michigan and lived most of his life in Grand Rapids, where he was the Vice President and Creative Director of an advertising firm, the Jaqua Company. A prolific writer for various industry publications, his inspirational essays began to appear on the “Words To Live By” page of This Week magazine in1960 (which was distributed in 42 metropolitan Sunday newspapers with over 13 million readers). Letters of praise from admiring readers led to the publication of The Art of Living, the first of a series of books that would sell millions of copies. Essays in this book were also recorded by William J. Nichols, editor of This Week magazine, to produce an album called “The Golden Album of Inspiration.”  more…

Monday, February 8, 2010

Party Peppers

“If one scheme of happiness fails, human nature turns to another; if the first calculation is wrong, we make a second better.”
– Jane Austen

Party Peppers
5″ x 7″ Watercolor

The fun part about painting peppers in their shine!  Oh, and the way some are red and green at the same time, or yellow and red.  They are just fun to paint.  :)

About Jane Austen

Jane Austen (1775-1817), the British writer whose sparkling, socially incisive novels remain extremely popular two centuries after her death, is best known for Pride and Prejudice, which she called her “own darling child.” She started writing solely for her own family, and her novels, including Sense and Sensibility and Emma, were initially published anonymously (or “By a Lady”). Nevertheless, she won fame later in life, and she earned the high honor of burial in Winchester Cathedral after her death in 1817 at age 41.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Friday's Cat

“Happiness is a butterfly, which, when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you sit down quietly, may alight upon you.”
– Nathaniel Hawthorne

4″ x 6″ Watercolor

I hope Mona likes Sandy.  She told me that Sandy is 11 years old and is a little grumpier than vivacious little Pelle.  She has the most piercing blue eyes.  Here is the real Sandy.

I hope you enjoyed my Swedish cat series.   I sure enjoyed painting them.  :)

About Nathaniel Hawthorne

The novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), famous for his dense prose and allegorical undertones, is perhaps best known for The Scarlet Letter and The House of the Seven Gables. He was born in Massachusetts, and his New England upbringing permeates his work. Hawthorne achieved fame late in life: his first work, a collection of short stories, was rejected by publishers, but he continued to write even as he worked at the Salem Custom House.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thursday's Cat

“Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing.”
– William Butler Yeats

Oh I certainly do agree with that!

Pelle 3
4″ x 6″ Watercolor

My husband tells me that these paintings would look more like Pelle, if I had his ears closer together.  Funny how non artists can see things we sometimes can’t.  Here is the real Pelle.  (See?  Not even close)  LOL

About William Butler Yeats

Irish author William Butler Yeats, known for his mysticism and Celtic imagery, won a Nobel Prize for his plays but ultimately achieved more renown as a poet. He was born in Dublin in 1865. Co-founder of the Abbey Theater, he served as its resident playwright and worked with actress Maude Gonne, who inspired the romantic longing expressed in many poems. He married at age 52 and co-wrote A Vision with his wife, a book with occult roots that explores the mythology in his poetry. He died in 1939.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wednesday's Cat

“The individual is capable of both great compassion and great indifference. He has it within his means to nourish the former and outgrow the latter.”
– Norman Cousins

4″ x 6″ Watercolor

Here is the same cat I posted yesterday.  You’d never guess I was looking at the same photo.  he he I used a little Daniel Smith white iridescent (it probably has a fancier name), blended with the blues.  In real life, this cat has a bit of a shimmer.

About Norman Cousins

American writer and editor Norman Cousins is best known for his book, Anatomy of an Illness, an account of how he used nutrition and positive visualizations, including laughter, to heal from an illness diagnosed as fatal. He was born in New Jersey in 1915. He served many years as editor-in-chief of the Saturday Review, a job he loved. Under his guidance, circulation increased from 20,000 to 650,000. He received the UN Peace Medal for his world activism. He died in 1990.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

tuesday's Cat

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.”
– Plutarch

I love that!!

Pelle 1
4″ x 6″  Watercolor

Pelle’s true appearance was eluding me, so I just had fun with him.   He loves the camera, but I’m not too sure he loves the artist.  :)

About Plutarch

Plutarch, the Greek historian who penned more than 46 anecdote-laced biographies of famous Greek and Roman figures in his Parallel Lives series of books, was more interested in exploring the influence of character on a man’s personal destiny than in writing dry histories. He was born in Greece during Roman rule, most likely in the year 46. He traveled extensively through the Roman Empire, finally returning home to become a priest of Apollo at the Oracle of Delphi. He died in the year 120.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Monday's Cat

“We make our fortunes and call them fate.”
– Benjamin Disreali
4″ x 6″ Watercolor

I have a WetCanvas friend in Sweden who made me a very wonderful little felted portrait of my step-mother’s dog, Goldie.  I was so thrilled that I am doing little portraits of her cats.  I’m mailing them to her today and thought I’d share them with you this week.   So, this is the week of the watercolor cat.  :)

 This is Eliza.  She is a ragdoll, which are very loving and have gentle tempers.  Pelle and Sandy to follow.

About Benjamin Disreali

Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881) was a novelist, dandy, and ultimately a politician — he served twice as prime minister of England, the first (and thus far only) Jewish man to hold that office. He introduced a number of domestic reforms, including the Factory Act, the Public Heath Act, and the Education Act, but is best remembered for his imperialist foreign policies. During his second ministry Britain annexed the Fiji Islands and the Transvaal, purchased a controlling share of the Suez Canal, and declared Queen Victoria the empress of India.