Friday, April 30, 2010

Dancing Buildings 2

“Keep alert to the magic motivational word that forms an inspiring idea for you.  It can reactivate and change you from indifferent to dynamic living.”
Norman Vincent Peale


Dancing Buildings 2
6″ x 18″ x 1.5″ Acrylic on Gallery Wrapped Canvas

Talk about fun!  I had a ball creating this painting.  I have just the perfect place to hang it, too.  I think this will be the first one I hang in my studio.  I don’t know why I have bare walls in there.  I think maybe because I usually paint so small.  I’m not sure.  I like this one, though.  :)

Here is a link to the watercolor version.

Here is the progress shots and some angles, showing the sides.  The first two are the chalk sketch and the base coat.  The others just show the sides.  Click on photos for a larger view.

Norman Vincent Peale

Born in Bowersville, Ohio, USA, on May 31 1898, Norman Vincent Peale grew up helping support his family by delivering newspapers, working in a grocery store, and selling pots and pans door to door, but later was to become one of the most influential clergymen in the United States during the 20th-century.
He was educated at Ohio Wesleyan University and Boston University. He was a reporter on the Findlay, Ohio, Morning Republic prior to entering the ministry and went on to author some 40 books. Ordained in the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1922, Peale served as pastor at a succession of churches that included Berkeley, Rhode Island (1922–24), Brooklyn, New York (1924–27), and Syracuse, New York (1927–32) before changing his affiliation to the Dutch Reformed Church so that he could become pastor of the Marble Collegiate Church in New York City (1932–84). There he gained fame for his sermons on a positive approach to modern living, which were regularly broadcast, first on radio and later on television. The church had 600 members when he arrived to pastor in 1932; it had over 5,000 by the time he retired in 1984. In 1969 and 1970 he was president of the Reformed Church in America.  More…

Thursday, April 29, 2010


“To a large extent, the way we think determines who we are and what happens to us.

We cannot harbor poisonous thoughts without their effects visibly showing in our lives. If we dwell on our inadequacy and ineffectiveness, for example, circumstances will prove us correct because we will invite self-defeating events to us.

On the other hand, replacing destructive thoughts with hope-filled, optimistic ones brings peaceful and confidence-producing circumstances to us. We will radiate competence and joy.”

Liane Cordes, from The Reflecting Pond.


1.5″ x 2.5″ Watercolor ATC

I like the window, which appears to be in a yacht.  When I added the little sailboat, it just completed the whole “Dreamer” thing.  Just a peaceful little scene.  :)

The Reflecting Pond is a collection of meditations that takes one subject at a time and covers it in depth. Whether we have a concern about self-acceptance, fear, friendship, or love, there is a chapter full of understanding thoughts. Used as an extra dose of support on specific issues, this book will help us think through day-to-day living problems.

I couldn’t find any biographical information on Liane Cordes, but I sure like that positive message!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What I Dream About

“It’s not what you are, but what you don’t become that hurts.”
– Oscar Levant


What I Dream About
4″ x 6″ Watercolor Postcard

This  is a painting of the plane I am training in, except for my trainer is not red.  It’s kind of a dull tan and brown.  Where’s the artistic zing in that?  *grin*
I did this little painting for a free project over at Art House Co-op called “What I Dream About”.  I have participated in several Art House Co-op projects.  I just signed up for the Canvas Project – Volume 3.   I participated in the Canvas Project, Volume 2 and it was really fun!  Their projects are inexpensive or free and a lot of fun to do.  I did the sketchbook project and was able to add like 8 galleries to my resume.  The little sketchbooks traveled all over, to different galleries.   Any-Hoo, try one of their projects.   Here’s a link to their blog. (I received no compensation for singing their praises – I just like them a lot.)

Last night, I had the best flying lesson…. EVER! :D   I am gaining on this thing.  I even flew with the strongest crosswind I have experienced so far.  It was still great.  I’m not embarrassed to admit that several woo-hoos escaped my lips and I was giggling like a little girl.  It must be infectious, cause my CFI was laughing with me.  What a great day!  I must absolutely be the luckiest girl on the planet, except for maybe one that wins a $280 million dollar  lottery.  Oh….. ya gotta buy a ticket?  Crap!  That puts me out.  ha ha ha  :D

About Oscar Levant

Oscar Levant was a brilliant musician whose work was often overshadowed by his witty, neurotic persona. He was born in 1906 in Pittsburgh and moved with his mother to New York in 1922 to study music, gaining renown as a concert pianist before his twentieth birthday. He composed the scores for more than 20 movies in the years 1929 to 1948. He appeared in movies such as An American in Paris and hosted a TV talk show for two years; the show was taken off the air due to his risqué comments. He died in 1972.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


“Defensive strategy never has produced ultimate victory.”
– General Douglas MacArthur

I agree!  I really believe we have to plan our offensive strategies and be pro-active in our lives!


2.5″ x 3.5″ Watercolor  ATC

This little window was so fun to paint.  When I look at it now, it’s hard to imagine that I was able to figure it out, long enough to paint it.  If you turn it around in your hand, it’s especially confusing.   I painted it from a photo I got from

About General Douglas MacArthur

General Douglas MacArthur, the American war hero who led forces in both World Wars, is perhaps best known for his leadership during the Korean War, when his forces pushed back the North Koreans and Chinese to their prewar boundary. He was born in 1880 to Major General Arthur MacArthur and his wife; his earliest memory was the sound of a bugle. During World War II, he was responsible for losing and retaking the Philippines. President Truman fired him in 1951 for insubordination. He died in 1964.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Dancing Buildings

“We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along these sympathetic fibers, our actions run as causes and return to us as results.”
Herman Melville


Dancing Buildings
from Vernazza, Italy

8″ x 10″ Watercolor

I almost titled this one, “Why I Paint” because it was so fun and so satisfying!  It took me a little over two hours and is larger than I usually paint.  The original reference photo is from Joan Tavolott  over at WetCanvas and it was very  inspirational.  One of my fellow WC-ers called these my “Dancing Buildings”,  hence the name.  :)

I first drew a 30 minute sketch.  After it was completed, I began painting in the watercolor, being careful to avoid touching any pencil lines with my paint.  When I finished, I erased all the pencil lines.  This is the original sketch.

This has inspired a 6″ x 18″ acrylic painting.  I’ll post it when it’s finished.
Thanks, Joan, for the wonderful photo!  Check out Joan’s blog, too.  She’s a wonderful artist.

About Herman Melville

American author Herman Melville is best known for his epic whaling novel, Moby-Dick, which wasn’t recognized as a masterpiece until after his death. He was born in New York in 1819. At age 20, he went to sea on a whaling ship. His seafaring adventures included time with cannibals in the Marquesas Islands, the basis for his successful novel Typee. His later, more philosophical, novels were not as well received as his early adventure yarns, and he died in obscurity in 1891.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Longing and the Gorilla Head Bar

“Tears are like rain.  They loosen up our soil so we can grow in different directions.”
–Virginia Casey

2.5″ x 3.5″ Watercolor ATC

This little window is just a product of my imagination.  Would somebody please let the dog in.  :)

On the lighter side, I thought I’d share a little something from the sign side of my life (excuse me while I change hats).  This is a logo I designed for a little beer bar that’s opening soon in our area.

I really love the design part of my business.  Sometimes I get to work on really fun projects, in between the normal and regular stuff.  It perks me back up, when I’m tired of the same old thing.

I also designed this one, but they wanted the more serious gorilla.  They brought me that gorilla head, so I figured they’d go that way, but I tried to make it more touristy, since we are on a lake.  Win some, lose some.  :)

Today is my 18th Anniversary with Signs by Beth, LLC. I have enjoyed nearly every day of it.  I am very proud of my longevity and am looking forward to starting my 19th year, tomorrow.

I can’t find anything on Virginia Casey on the net.  The quote came from the book – Each Day a New Beginning, Daily Meditations for Women, by Karen Casey

Karen Casey

Millions of people around the world spend a few moments in quiet reflection with Karen Casey every day. Karen is the best-selling author of Each Day a New Beginning, the first daily meditation book written expressly for women in recovery from addiction. Published in 1981, Each Day a New Beginning has sold more than three million copies and has been translated into ten different languages. Over the years, readers around the world have come to regard Karen as a trusted companion on the recovery journey. Among her other best-selling inspirational books are Keepers of the Wisdom, A Woman’s Spirit, Fearless Relationships, and A Life of My Own. In her newest book, Serenity (Hazelden, 2007), Karen shares favorite passages that gently convey simple lessons for living with greater peace, hope, and trust. Karen enjoys golfing and riding her Harley with her husband. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Naples, Florida.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Quiet Farm

“True silence is the rest of the mind; it is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment.”
– William Penn


Quiet Farm
4″ x 6″ Watercolor Postcard

This was a fun little card to do.  I wanted the buildings to be kind of off kilter and playful, but I got a little too mired in the detail and forgot the whimsy.   I seem to only have succeeded in making the buildings a little crooked.  :)

Funny thing, my husband likes my realistic paintings a lot better than my normal (ha ha ha …normal???) style.  When he sees my bright colored fun paintings, he gives me the fake smile and small nod that many of us recognize.

Lesson #4 in my flying adventure last night.  The storms stayed away long enough for me to get a lesson in, so off I went.  I did a bunch of multitasking last in my 1.3 hour lesson.  Okay, here’s an example of one of my touch and go operations.  Are your seat belts fastened? :)

Accelerate to 55 knots then pull back on the yolk to take off, but don’t pull back too far or you’ll stall.  Get your altitude to about 1500 ft,  while keeping the plane straight and level.  (keep the nose up, keep climbing,  rudder, ailerons, rudder *sigh*)  Then make a 90 degree turn and proceed to about 1800 ft,  (keeping the nose up and plane level and straight) then turn 90 degrees left, while taking out some power, keeping the nose down or up (to keep the horizon line in the right place) and decrease power to about 2100 rpm, aiming for a 90 knot airspeed.  When you are level with the end of the runway, add carb heat and slow to 85 knots, flaps at 10, and turn 90 degrees left for the base leg.  Then, flaps at 20, keep the nose down (putting flaps in makes the nose rise), reduce airspeed some, make 90 degree turn into final, flaps at 30, reduce airspeed, keep the nose down,  (not too far) center up with runway, keep it at the right altitude, after going over the highway, pull the throttle almost all the way out and head for the landing, keep the nose up, full flaps, throttle all the way out, let it kind of settle above the runway then pull back the throttle and land, pull back, pull back, pull back… whew! ….. carb heat in, flaps all the way up, yoke in, full throttle to 55 knots and pull back to take off again……

I think I did that (or something like it *giggle*) about 6 times.  I did have to go around once, because I was too high.  (no… not on drugs, just in altitude. he he)  All in all, it was a very good night and I was exhausted when I got in my truck to go home.  Then a 45 minute drive home.  Whew!  How much fun is that?  :)

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.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Broken Hearted

“Just as appetite comes by eating, so work brings inspiration, if inspiration is not discernible at the beginning.”
– Igor Stravinsky


Broken Hearted
2.5″ x 3.5″ Watercolor ATC

I don’t know why I see a broken heart, but I kinda do.   On the lighter side, I had my 3rd flying lesson last night!  :)   It was so fun!  We flew patterns and touch and gos.  WOW!  I am really loving this flying gig!  The hour lesson just doesn’t last long enough for me.  It goes so fast!  I am gaining a little more confidence and some of the things are coming a little more natural.  All I can say is WOO-HOO!!! (Talk about something that makes your butt wiggle!) :D

About Igor Stravinsky

Igor Stravinsky, the modernist Russian composer, had a profound influence on classical music with his musical innovations in such pieces as the ballet The Rite of Spring, which shocked contemporary society with the newness of its sound. He was born in 1882 near St. Petersburg. After briefly considering law, he apprenticed to composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. He was also a virtuosic pianist. He continued composing and touring into his 80’s. He died in 1971.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pony in Winter Coat

“My father used to say to me, ‘Whenever you get into a jam, whenever you get into a crisis or an emergency…become the calmest person in the room and you’ll be able to figure your way out of it.’”
– Rudolph Giuliani

That is such good advice!  My CFI tells me the same thing about piloting a plane.  Be calm and you’ll have a much clearer head to handle whatever comes your way.

Pony in Winter Coat
2.5″ x 3.5″ Watercolor ATC

This was fun to do, using some of my favorite watercolors.  There’s something satisfying about painting with Quinacridone Sienna.  It goes with anything and it’s so  yummy.  I paint with it really thin and transparent to thickly rich.  I blend it with reds and yellows and greens.  I just love it!  In the background, my staple color Purpurite Genuine, some lavender and some Blue Stone.   Of course, there are some accents with Apricot Gouache, which is kinda flesh colored.
I am going up for my third flying lesson tonight, then it looks like stormy weather moving in, to ground me for the rest of the week.    ;)

Yesterday, I received the following blogging awards from Jingle.    I am thankful and honored and will pass them on.

About Rudolph Giuliani

Rudolph Giuliani, the controversial former mayor of New York City, took the national spotlight after the events of September 11th, when he stood strong, pulling the city together, which garnered him the Person of the Year accolade from Time magazine. He was born in Brooklyn in 1944. As mayor, he presided over a massive urban redevelopment and implemented the “broken windows” policy, which cracks down on small crimes to deter larger ones. After his term as mayor ended, Giuliani founded an investment and consulting company. He remains heavily involved in American politics and ran for president in 2008.

Monday, April 19, 2010

White Puppy

“There is a sense of exhilaration that comes from facing head-on the hard truths and saying, ‘We will never give up. We will never capitulate. It might take a long time, but we will find a way to prevail.’”
– Jim Collins


White Puppy
4″ x 6″ Watercolor Postcard

I am still learning how to do whites.  I had fun playing with this puppy.  I used a little lavender, pink, yellow and gray to make the white.  Only an artist could look at white in 4 colors.  *giggle*

About Jim Collins

American business guru Jim Collins has written or cowritten four books, including the instant classic Built to Last, which spent more than six years on the Business Week best-seller list, and Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t, which became a New York Times best seller. He was raised in Boulder, Colorado. After seven years teaching at Stanford University’s business school, he founded a research laboratory to examine companies and why they succeed.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Been There Done That

“If you must begin then go all the way, because if you begin and quit, the unfinished business you have left behind begins to haunt you all the time.”
– Chögyam Trungpa

Been There Done That
2.5″ x 3.5″ Watercolor ATC

I named this one “Been There Done That”, because it just seems familiar and comfortable.  There’s something casual and relaxed about this window.  It’s open to the fresh air and a little worn.  It’s not too pristine, yet it has some color.  It just looks like it has seen some life.  I know, it’s just a window, but I like it.  :)

About Chögyam Trungpa

Tibetan Buddhist leader Chögyam Trungpa was instrumental in bringing Buddhism to the West. He was born in 1939 in Tibet and was recognized as the reincarnation of a Rinpoche (enlightened teacher) at 13 months old. After moving to England, he abandoned his monk garb: He wanted his Western students to perceive the Buddhist teachings without becoming distracted by exotic trappings. He founded Naropa University in Colorado and wrote several books. He died in 1987.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


One is happy as a result of one’s own efforts, once one knows the necessary ingredients of happiness — simple tastes, a certain degree of courage, self-denial to a point, love of work, and above all, a clear conscience.  Happiness is no vague dream, of that I now feel certain.
George Sand

(Cool note:  George Sand was a woman!)

2.5″ x 3.5″ Watercolor

In my window series, I call this one Hope because it’s a window with a clear view of whatever fantasy the mind might conjure up.  There is nothing predefined.  I did the watercolor, salt saran wrap treatment to the watercolor paper, before I painted the stained glass type window on it.  It’s from the same piece of paper I did the stone window on.

I had my second flying lesson last night.  It was so cool!  My CFI (certified flight instructor) is wonderful!  He really is perfect for me.  He wants me to have fun and be at ease.  He doesn’t want me to miss a thing.  With his help, I am beginning to gain a little more confidence.  I am having the time of my life!  :)

George Sand
The French novelist George Sand (1804-1876) was the most successful woman writer of her century. Her novels present a large fresco of romantic sentiment and 19th-century life, especially in its more pastoral aspects.
George Sand was born Armandine Aurore Lucille Dupin in Paris on July 1, 1804. On her father’s side she was related to a line of kings and to the Maréchal de Saxe; her mother was the daughter of a professional bird fancier. Aurore’s father, Maurice Dupin, was a soldier of the Empire. He died when Aurore was still a child.
At the age of 14, tired of being the “apple of discord” between her mother and grandmother, Aurore went to the convent of the Dames Augustines Anglaises in Paris. Though she did her best to disrupt the convent’s peaceful life, she felt drawn to quiet contemplation and direct communication with God.

To save Aurore from mysticism, her grandmother called her to her home in Nohant. Here Aurore studied nature, practiced medicine on the peasants, read from the philosophers of all ages, and developed a passion for the works of François René Chateaubriand. Her eccentric tutor encouraged her to wear men’s clothing while horseback riding, and she galloped through the countryside in trousers and loose shirt, free, wild, and in love with nature.

Read more about her here.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


“If your eyes are blinded with your worries, you cannot see the beauty of the sunset.”

2.5″ x 3.5″ Watercolor on Strathmore Textured ATC

I am calling this one “Distrust”, in my window series theme, The  Soul of a Woman.  Some of us know this feeling.  We’ve been hurt or abused and although we still look out at the world, we are hesitant to let anyone in.  We protect ourselves against the possibility of being hurt again.  The cold steel of this train window is strongly bolted against the outside elements.  Ooooo, a little too deep for such a small painting, eh?  :)

The texture of this paper seems to lend itself to the feel of an old steel train.  Fun stuff to paint on.

Krishnamurti (May 12, 1895–February 17, 1986) was a renowned writer and speaker on philosophical and spiritual subjects. His subject matter included: psychological revolution, the nature of the mind, meditation, human relationships, and bringing about positive change in society. He constantly stressed the need for a revolution in the psyche of every human being and emphasized that such revolution cannot be brought about by any external entity, be it religious, political, or social.  more…

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Strawberries and First Flight Lesson

“There are two ways of exerting one’s strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.”
– Booker T. Washington

4″ x 4″ Watercolor

This was fun to do.  I painted the little seeds with yellow acrylic, before I painted the watercolor.  I just am not any good with masking fluid.  It’s too gummy.   I used a wax resist one time and didn’t do much better with it.  I like the control I have with acrylic and an itty bitty brush.  :)

What an experience I had last night! I definitely need to journal about this experience. If I could draw my first lesson, I’d draw a giant, complicated instrument panel and a 2″ female student pilot. I haven’t been in a plane since my intro flight on Dec. 9 and it was amazing how much stuff they pack in to that Cessna 172 that I am supposed to remember.   I aced my FAA written test, but I felt like my brain had gone blank when I looked at all of those dials, gauges, knobs and switches.

But beyond the sense of being overwhelmed by the cockpit instruments, the experience was so cool! My brain retained things about flight that made maneuvers and their corresponding reactions feel right, if that makes sense. I wasn’t even scared when my CFI stalled the plane, because I understood how to get out of it. Steep turns are a little spooky and I taxi like a drunk driver, but I’ll get the hang of those things.  :)

When I got back to my truck and started to leave the airport, I heard myself say, “I just flew an airplane.”  But nobody was there to hear me, so when I got to the WalMart checkout person, 30 minutes later and she said, “How are you?” I heard it again.  “I just flew an airplane.”

I just had to tell somebody!

About Booker T. Washington

Booker T. Washington, the influential American educator, was the first African-American to be invited to the White House; he also had tea with Queen Victoria. He was born in slavery in Virginia in 1856. After emancipation, he worked in the salt mines. When he learned of a school that would accept former slaves, he walked much of the 400 miles to get there. He became an outspoken advocate of education and hard work for African-Americans and founded Tuskegee University. He died in 1915.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Grumpy Cat

“With a short dash down the runway, the machine lifted into the air and was flying.  It was only a flight of twelve seconds, and it was uncertain, wavy, creepy sort of flight at best; but it was a real flight at last and not a glide.”
–Orville Wright, first flight of a heavier-than-air aircraft

Grumpy Kitty
5.5″ x 7.5″ Watercolor

This is my friend, Mary’s cat.  When Mary saw this, she said, “Beth you made Caroline look like she was saying “Are you still after me with that thing.” ” (the camera) :)
I sketched the cat with pencil, then painted all the leaves in, using just the brush.  It looked intimidating, but it was way fun!  I painted Caroline after all the leaves were done.    I really enjoyed doing this, painting the leaves willy-nilly.  I just made sure to paint them smaller as they got farther away.  I also tried to give the forward leaves a little more detail.
“Faith is the main ingredient that combats fear.  As long as faith is bigger than your fears, you will always triumph.”
Marcy Blochowiak, from No Glass Ceiling, Just Blue Sky – A Woman’s Guide to Building Great Teams

If the winds stay down, I am taking my first flying lesson after work today!  I’m a little nervous, but totally excited!  That’s why I posted the flying quote and the fear quote.  I am so lucky, as a 53 year old woman, to have the opportunity to learn how to fly.  Life just couldn’t be better!  (Picture me wiggling my butt)  :)

Marcy Blochowiak is CEO Marketing Director with World Financial Group, a member of the Aegon Group. WFG is a financial services marketing company headquartered in Duluth, GA with offices worldwide. She is also a co-founder of the company’s “Women’s Initiative,” a bold strategy for maximizing the unprecedented opportunity women now have.
Marcy leads her organization by example and her philosophy is simple. People want to duplicate success. Give them a master copy worth duplicating. Be the best you can be. Lead from the front.
For more information, please visit or e-mail her
directly at
. You can also find out more about women in business at

Friday, April 9, 2010

An Open Heart

“The be-all and end-all of life should not be to get rich, but to enrich the world.”
– Bertie Charles Forbes


An Open Heart
2.5″ x 3.5″ Watercolor on Strathmore Textured ATC

If I was to stay with my window project theme of a woman’s emotions, I would say this one is an open heart.  Maybe she is a little gray and not as shiny as she once was, but she is still receptive and open to whatever the day may bring.  :)

About Bertie Charles Forbes

Bertie Charles Forbes, known as B.C. Forbes, is remembered as the founder of the long-running Forbes magazine, aimed at investors. He was born in 1880 in Scotland. He worked as a reporter for a Dundee newspaper until 1901, when he moved to South Africa and founded a newspaper there; but he stayed just three years before moving to the United States, where he became a financial editor and columnist. His sons Bruce and Malcolm succeeded him as editors-in-chief of Forbes. He died in 1954.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Angora Rabbit

“I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be honorable, to be compassionate. It is, after all, to matter: to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all.”
– Leo Rosten


Angora Rabbit
4″ x 6″ Watercolor Postcard

I painted this little bunny last night, while I was waiting for my husband to get home from an adventure he was on.  He brought me the most unusual gift when he came in.  Uhgggg, have you ever seen a baggie full of fresh picked morel mushrooms?  The are really gross.  They looked like sponges fresh picked from the dark, colorless bottom of the sea.  They didn’t look pretty, like Ryan’s painting on his blog.  

But, when Duane looked at me with that “pretty please” look, I quickly looked up Ryan’s instructions on how to cook them.   Ryan, you saved my butt!  Although I didn’t have time to soak them overnight in salt water, I followed the rest of your instructions to a tee.  They were delicious!!

Our friend Brad, who picked these morels, thought I might want to join him to pick more today.  No thanks, Brad.  I’ll leave the ticks to you, but they were wonderful!  Thank you!  :)

About Leo Rosten

Leo Rosten, the Polish-American academic and author, is best known for his seminal The Joys of Yiddish, an amusing look at Yiddish words that have entered the American vernacular. Born in Lodz, Poland, in 1908, he immigrated to Chicago as a child. He wrote dozens of books, including a set of extremely popular humorous stories about Hyman Kaplan, a night-school student struggling with English. Under the pseudonym Leonard Q. Ross, he wrote mysteries and film noir screenplays. He died in 1997.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


“Consistency is only a paste jewel that cheap men cherish.”
– William Allen White

4″ x 6″ Acrylic on Blick Canvas Panel

I wasn’t too sure I liked that quote, when I first saw it.  I like consistency, I thought.   The norms, like bills being paid on time and the car always starting when I turn the key are some pretty great consistencies.  But to have everything be always predictable and in harmony would be rather dull.  I like the stuff in life that makes my brain come alive and my butt wiggle.

con·sis·tency (kən sistən sē)
noun pl. consistencies -·cies
    1. the condition of holding together; firmness or thickness, as of a liquid
    2. amount or degree of this oil of the wrong consistency
  1. agreement; harmony; logical connection arguments lacking consistency
  2. agreement with what has already been done or expressed; conformity with previous practice
Hmmmm, lovely to have stuff to ponder.  :)

About William Allen White

William Allen White, the American newsman who ran the Emporia Gazette, is known for his essay attacking populism, “What’s the Matter With Kansas,” and for his eulogy for his 17-year-old daughter, Mary. He was born in Kansas in 1868. During college, he wrote letters to a grocer, a merchant, and a newspaper editor asking for work. The first two turned him down, so he ended up in journalism. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1923 and is considered one of the most influential Kansans in history. He died in 1944.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Pretty Pink Sheep

“Hope is the feeling you have that the feeling you have isn’t permanent.”
– Jean Kerr


Pretty Pink Sheep
3.5″ x 5″ Watercolor

Sometimes you feel like a nut and sometimes you don’t.  :)

Lately, I’ve been having a hard time concentrating on the Sign business.  There are times when all I want to do is art.  Today, I am going to rein myself in and make signs all day.  I envy artists who are able to make their living at art, but I feel really lucky to have my sign shop, too.  I have been doing this for 18 years and have been able to make my living being creative.  I guess it’s only natural to have periods of boredom, doing the same thing day after day, year after year.  You full time artists must experience something similar.  It’s hard to be “on” all the time.  So, today, I am going to go ahead and jump in with both feet and have some fun being in the sign business.  I may even be seen wiggling my butt!  :)

About Jean Kerr

Comedic American author Jean Kerr is known for her wry take on married life in the suburbs in such books as How I Got to Be Perfect and Please Don’t Eat the Daisies, which was turned into both a movie and a TV series. She was born in Pennsylvania in 1922. She often collaborated on plays with her husband, drama critic Walter Kerr. She also wrote a number of plays by herself, including the extremely successful Mary, Mary, which ran for nearly 1,600 performances. She died in 2003.