Wednesday, August 31, 2011

4 Paws East – 4″ x 4″ Acrylic

“All that is necessary to break the spell of inertia and frustration is this: Act as if it were impossible to fail.”
– Dorothea Brande

4 Paws East – 4″ x 4″ Acrylic on Black Gessoed Aquaboard

If you lived in my head, this is the view you could see when you looked due east from the beautiful little cabin (4 Paws) I stayed in, outside of  Driggs, Idaho last week.  This cabin was the most amazing place.  It went waaaay beyond my wildest expectations.   Next time I go, I’ll try to extend my stay at 4 Paws.  It was wonderful!

Here are some of the stages this painting took, on it’s way to being what you see above.

I even had some pink and some polka dots on those far yellow trees, before I came to my senses.  It really wasn’t working for me until I filled in the little woodsy area.  This is the view I enjoyed from my deck every day, including all the colorful wildflowers.  Can you say aaaaaaahhhhhhh?   :D

About Dorothea Brande

Dorothea Brande wrote the quintessential how-to-write book, Becoming a Writer, which was among the first to address every writer’s core problem: How to sit down and let the words flow. Her book, published in 1934, remains in print today. She was born in 1893 in Chicago. She worked as an editor on the Chicago Tribune and The American Review and married the latter journal’s owner. She also wrote Wake Up and Live, which was adapted into a movie in 1937. She died in 1948.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Laughing Pink Bull Elk

“Let a joy keep you. Reach out your hands and take it when it runs by.”
– Carl Sandburg

The Laughing Pink Bull Elk – 4″ x 6″ Watercolor

Okay, a pink Bull Elk did not just wander by, while I was painting.  The reference photo for this painting was actually from the WetCanvas RIL, and was contributed by Crias.  And… if you asked Crias if that elk was pink, I am certain they would deny it to the end.  But, as I was the artist wielding the brush, I took my usual creative liberty.   Anything can (and usually does) happen.  he he

Okay, it was not laughing in the reference photo either.   It just happens to be very fun being me.  :D

This painting became my granddaughter’s Birthday card.  She may be used to me by now.  …not sure.  :)

About Carl Sandburg

American poet, songwriter, and journalist Carl Sandburg played an essential role in the Chicago renaissance of the early twentieth century. He won two Pulitzer Prizes, one for poetry and one as a historian. He was born in Illinois in 1878. When he was 19, he hopped a westbound train and lived as a hobo. His poetry is filled with slang and the language of ordinary Americans. His publications include Chicago Poems, Cornhuskers, and the children’s series, Rootabaga Stories. He died in 1967.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Travel Moose Postcard

“Remember there are no mistakes, only lessons.  Love yourself, trust your choices, and everything is possible.”
–Cheri Carter-Scott


Travel Moose Postcard – 4″ x 6″ Watercolor and Sharpie

Okay, I’ll fess up.  I did this one before I actually got to Idaho.  It was a travel moose.  I needed something that was portable and a little fun.  I have been noticing artists doing zentangles lately and thought I’d try my hand at it…  in a fashion.  All the watercolor came first, then a fine Sharpie was used to do the zentangle work.  The only ones I have ever seen were just black and white.  Did I do it right?

I didn’t really get to paint until half way through my vacation.  The first half was all about spending time with family.  I can’t tell you how long it’s been since my brother, sister, mother and I were all together at once.  I think it had to be in the 80′s.  I saw all of them in 2009, but not together.  I was lucky enough to travel to Oak Harbor, Washington and Blackfoot, Idaho that fall, to spend time with them.  The last time my brother and sister and I were together, was when my dad passed away, over seven years ago.

My little sis is going to retire on Wednesday the 31st.  I am so happy for her.  My hubby retired on August 31st, too….. 10 years ago.    Me?  Oh no… not ready to retire yet.  :)

Cherie Carter-Scott, Ph.D
New York Times #1 Best Selling author Cherie Carter-Scott, Ph.D. has been coaching change successfully since 1974. Dr. Carter-Scott is an international author, entrepreneur, consultant, lecturer, teacher/trainer, talk-show host, and seminar leader. Her company, Motivation Management Service Institute, Inc. (MMS), has reached millions of people worldwide. Dr. Carter-Scotts Fortune 500 corporate clients include: AMI, FMC, American Express, IBM, GTE, State Farm Insurance, AMI, SGI, Burger King, and Better Homes and Gardens Magazine.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Near Jackson Hole, WY Airport – 2009 – 4″ x 6″ Watercolor

“Kind words are a creative force, a power that concurs in the building up of all that is good, and energy that showers blessings upon the world.”
–Lawrence G. Lovasik

Near Jackson Hole, WY Airport – 2009 – 4″ x 6″ Watercolor

This was the last thing I painted before I left Jackson in 2009.  Tomorrow, I will be back there.  YAY!!  I’m going to spend a few days with family and a few days on a solo painting retreat.  I am so ready for that!  :D

I was born in Laramie, WY, then lived all over the place.   My parents were born and raised in Idaho.  My brother ended up back there first, then my mother followed.  She has been there 20 years.   It’s very beautiful.   Bonus:   Tomorrow, in Eufaula, OK, it is supposed to be 109 F.  In Idaho, I’m going to be enjoying 82 F.  YAY!!!!

In looking for a biography on Lovasik, I found the book he wrote, titled “The Hidden Power of Kindness”.  I found the book on and saw the greatest review.  Check it out…..  :)

“I was recently on a pilgrimage to Rome. My pilgrimage director was so atrocious, had I not taken this wonderful book with it’s simple guides on charity, patience, and kindness, I would certainly have killed her. The simple pledges, and easily applied steps, helped me not only hold my tongue, but led me to enjoy what could have been an otherwise unbearable experience(…even though the surroundings were spectacular!) If you’re serious about improving your daily relations with the people you deal with, you have to read this book!”

“Strength of character means the ability to overcome resentment against others, to hide hurt feelings, and to forgive quickly.”
— Lawrence G. Lovasik

Fr. Lawrence G. Lovasik (1913–1986) said that his life’s ideal was to “make God more known and loved through my writings.” Fr. Lovasik did missionary work in America’s coal and steel regions, founded the Sisters of the Divine Spirit, a missionary congregation, and wrote numerous books and pamphlets emphasizing prayer and the Holy Eucharist.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Belize City Street Market

“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves.  The process never ends until we die.  And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”
–Eleanor Roosevelt

Yeah!!!  That’s what I was talking about yesterday!  :)

Belize City Street Market – 5″ x 7″ Watercolor

This reference was super busy, with cars and junk everywhere.  I wanted to practice people, in the simplest form, so I eliminated a lot of stuff.  I have the buildings and perspective all wrong, but it was the people I was after.    I had a great time with this reference by KreativeKay at WetCanvas.   Oh, I added the dog and chickens from two of Kay’s  other photos.  They just wanted to be in the painting, and since I removed the cars, there was no danger of them getting run over.  :D

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt  October 11, 1884 – November 7, 1962) was the First Lady of the United States from 1933 to 1945. She supported the New Deal policies of her husband, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and became an advocate for civil rights. After her husband’s death in 1945, Roosevelt continued to be an international author, speaker, politician, and activist for the New Deal coalition. She worked to enhance the status of working women, although she opposed the Equal Rights Amendment because she believed it would adversely affect women.

In the 1940s, Roosevelt was one of the co-founders of Freedom House and supported the formation of the United Nations. Roosevelt founded the UN Association of the United States in 1943 to advance support for the formation of the UN. She was a delegate to the UN General Assembly from 1945 and 1952, a job for which she was appointed by President Harry S. Truman and confirmed by the United States Senate. During her time at the United Nations she chaired the committee that drafted and approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. President Truman called her the “First Lady of the World” in tribute to her human rights achievements.

Active in politics for the rest of her life, Roosevelt chaired the John F. Kennedy administration’s ground-breaking committee which helped start second-wave feminism, the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women. In 1999, she was ranked in the top ten of Gallup’s List of Most Widely Admired People of the 20th Century.  (Wikipedia)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Wacky Longhorn

“There are two primary choices in life; to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.”
–Denis Waitley

I love that quote.  I get up each day and decide to have a wonderful day.  No matter what the world throws at me, it’s my reaction to stuff,  that will make or break my day.  I can’t change big junk, like the way our politicians behave, but I can choose how I participate in (or react to) the things that directly affect my immediate world.  I choose to be happy!   I’m deciding to wiggle my butt today.  :D 

Wacky Longhorn 4″ x 5″ Watercolor & Sharpie

I used a distorted graph to make this pink longhorn.  I thought it would be a fun way to start our Mondays.  :)

The photo is from KreativeKay at WetCanvas.

Denis E. Waitley (born 1933), is an American motivational speaker and writer, consultant and best-selling author.

Waitley is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, and claims to have counseled leaders in many fields: Apollo astronauts, Fortune 500 top executives, Olympic gold medalists, Super Bowl champions, returning POWs.  He was a founding member of the National Council for Self-Esteem.

He has authored 16 books and has released hundreds of audio lectures.  More…..

Friday, August 12, 2011

Towel Dude – 5″ x 10″ Watercolor

“Life must be understood backward; but… it must be lived forwards.”
-Soren Kierkegaard

Towel Dude – 5″ x 10″ Watercolor
As you may have already guessed, this towel creature was from Astrid’s cruise.  It also was white on a
 white background.  I had fun playing with the light and shadows in pink and blue.  :D

Soren Kierkegaard

Born 5 May 1813, Søren Aabye Kierkegaard was the seventh and youngest child of Michael Pedersen Kierkegaard. Søren’s father, Michael, was retired at the time of his son’s birth, having achieved a relatively comfortable position in his community.

Michael had risen from serfdom to the new merchant class of Europe. Michael had been a shepherd, with little in the way of possessions. Michael’s success came from his work as a wool trader. Having been a shepherd, he had a keen understanding of wool, which he parlayed into success as an exporter. He amassed a fortune quickly, something he considered proof he was cursed… a theme running throughout his life and that of his children. However, Michael did want to use his wealth for good causes and for his family. As part of this new middle class, Michael wanted his sons to attend universities and prove even more successful.

Kierkegaard’s mother was Michael’s second wife, a former maid to the family. This second marriage took a great toll on the religious Michael. He had consumated the relationship with his maid shortly after his first wife died. He believed this act of “weakness” further angered God and increased the punishments he and the Kierkegaard family would experience. Michael never forgave himself — or his second wife — for the transgression.  More of this biography…

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Tasty Tidbits

“Dreams come true. Without that possibility, nature would not incite us to have them.”
– John Updike

Tasty Tidbits – 7″ x 8″ Watercolor

This was painted from a photo by Astrid at WetCanvas.  Astrid and her hubby like to go on cruises and this is some of the desserts found on one of their trips.   I have never been on a cruise.  I’m not sure I’d like it.  I sure did have fun painting the desserts, though!

Power was out all morning, here in Eufaula again.  Another bad storm came through last night and downed some power lines.  They had a water main break, too.  This time, I stuck it out, since I already had a fire truck in my shop, ready to be lettered.  Thank goodness I had all the graphics ready.  No electricity or water needed.  At noon, they had it all back on.  Now I’m waiting on the storm that’s due to hit this afternoon.  Let’s hope our brand new mayor doesn’t have to deal with a third outage this week.  (fingers crossed)   :)

About John Updike

John Updike, the Pulitzer Prize–winning American novelist known for his careful craftsmanship and small-town settings, published more than 60 books before his death in 2009. Born in Pennsylvania in 1932, he suffered from stammering as a child and was encouraged by his mother to write. After college, he joined The New Yorker as a regular contributor. He is best known for his series of novels about a fictional alter ego, including Rabbit, Run and Rabbit at Rest.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Idaho Retreat

“Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit.”
– Peter Ustinov

Idaho Retreat – 9″ x 7″ Watercolor on Masa

This was painted from a photograph I fell in love with.  It is the view from the porch of the cabin I have rented for my 3 day painting retreat  in Idaho’s beautiful Teton Valley.  I have permission from the cabin’s owners to post this painting, but I won’t be telling you anything about them or the cabin, until I return.  What good is a retreat, if you’ve told everyone where you’ll be?  I am so excited!  

(Click on the painting for a larger view.)

Yesterday, the entire city of Eufaula lost power from a storm, so I went back home and made my hubby a big country breakfast.  Then, I played for a bit and went back to work when the power came back on around noon.  That was one of those times I was glad to live 13 miles out in the country.  Well…. except for the 52 miles of driving I did.  :)

About Peter Ustinov

British actor Peter Ustinov is best known for his Oscar-winning roles in Topkapi and Spartacus. He was born in London in 1921 to parents of blended pan-European extraction. He wrote several plays as well as a well-received autobiography, Dear Me. From 1969 until his death in 2004, he took on the role of goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, visiting disadvantaged children all over the world. He said his multicultural background gave him automatic loyalty to the UN.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Rainbow Lizard

“When you encounter difficulties and contradictions, do not try to break them, but bend them with gentleness and time.”
– St. Francis de Sales

Rainbow Lizard – 7″ x 7 Watercolor on Masa

I’m sure you realize that the lizard wasn’t really this color, right?  I just couldn’t resist giving him a little dye job.  :D

The reference photo is from Astrid at WetCanvas.

I thought he was really huge, until I noticed those were sidewalk cracks behind him.  he he

About St. Francis de Sales

St. Francis de Sales (1567–1622), known as the Gentle Saint, was bishop of Geneva. His motto was, “He who preaches with love preaches effectively,” and his religious texts, including Introduction to the Devout Life, have resonated with many non-Catholics. Pope Pius IX proclaimed him a patron saint of writers. Some consider him a patron saint of the deaf; he invented a form of sign language to teach a young deaf man how to communicate.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Idaho Range

“When we are unable to find tranquility within ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere.”

Isn't that the truth! 

Idaho Range – Gouache & Acrylic on Black Strathmore Photo Mount Card – 5″ x 7″

More practice from my 2009 photos.  I think if you looked at this week’s paintings, it would seem that they came from 5 different artists.  I was all over the place last weekend… having fun with my art.  he he

I just found out last night that we have a weekend house guest coming, so I’m not sure how much time I’ll get to paint.  I’ll probably sneak into the studio in the wee hours of the morning.  I’ll just have to be quiet, since it’s right next door to the guest bedroom.  :)

Core-a-te: conditioning meets martial arts

A body workout with a dollop of self-defense and a dash of spirituality

November 08, 2010|By Meredith May, Chronicle Staff Writer

Before entering the dojo, Whitney Arnautou had her students contemplate a daily saying:
“Accept change. It is inevitable. … In ourselves. Our bodies. Our relationships. Our Jobs. Understand that it’s happening every day, and try to move with the changes – gracefully.”  (Note from Beth… WOW!  I like that!)

Minds centered, it was time for Core-a-te, a new exercise class at the United Studios of Self Defense in San Francisco that combines karate, self-defense and a kick-in-the-pants core workout.
Arnautou, a Shaolin Kenpo black belt and fitness instructor, designed the one-hour workout to bring her students physical and spiritual balance.  More…

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Jenny Lake Watercolor

“Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.”
– Will Rogers

Jenny Lake – 7″ x 10″ Watercolor on Masa

Jenny Lake is in the Grand Teton National Park, in Wyoming.  I took this picture when I was there in 2009.  I also sat on the edge of that lake and did some watercolor plein air paintings.  It was not as clear and bright as usual, because they had some fires north of the park and the smoke was making the sky hazy and the mountain views a little muted.

This painting was fun to do on the masa paper.  I figured I better practice painting mountains, since I’ll be back in the Tetons in a couple weeks and I intend to do a lot of plein air.  It’s going to feel so good to get into the cooler mountain air.  It was 114 degrees here yesterday, not counting the heat index.  Whew!

I tried to find some photos of Jenny Lake on the web and this is probably the best.  Most of the links went to the lodge and you don’t want to see a bunch of photos of a motel, right?

About Will Rogers

American humorist Will Rogers was considered the Mark Twain of his generation. He was born in 1879 in Oklahoma, of Cherokee descent, and left school early to become a cowboy. In South Africa his showy roping skills won him a job in a traveling Wild West show, and he quickly switched over to vaudeville and film acting roles. He wrote six books and 4,000 syndicated columns. An avid flier, he died in a plane crash in 1935.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Cat Portrait

“Perseverance is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody.”
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Cat Portrait – 4″ x 4″ Watercolor

The photo of Panny was taken when she was walking across (WetCanvas artist)  Stacey’s studio table, while she was trying to do art.   Can you see the body language?  “Mom… I’m right here and I don’t want to be ignored any longer.  I will keep coming back until you put down that paint brush and pet me.”  I love to paint critters, although they never look just like the pet.  That’s okay with me.  No rules, right?  :D

About Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, a beloved American poet of the 19th century, is best known for “The Song of Hiawatha” and “Evangeline.” He was born in Maine in 1807. He knew Latin by the age of six, and when he taught at Bowdoin College, he wrote the textbooks himself. He courted his second wife while teaching at Harvard and frequently walked the several miles from Cambridge to Boston across the West Boston Bridge. The bridge that replaced it was named the Longfellow Bridge in his honor. He died in 1882.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I Don’t Wanna Wear This Doggy Sweater!

“Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone.  The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.
–Lin Yutang

Boy, isn’t that the truth!

I Don’t Wanna Wear This Doggy Sweater! – 4″ x 4″ Watercolor

This painting is a little portrait of Stacey’s dog Alex (WetCanvas).  I have created such a look on her face!  She looked worried in the photo, but I seem to have created something different, though I was really trying to capture the worry.    I seem to have something like… “I swear!  If you make me go outside in this sweater, I will never be able to show my face in this neighborhood again!  Pleeeeease take it off!!  I don’t want to be the laughing stock of the whole town!  Come on,  Mom!”  :)

Tune in tomorrow for Stacey’s cat, Panny.  Totally different approach and way fun!

Lin Yutang (October 10, 1895 – March 26, 1976) was a Chinese writer and inventor. His informal but polished style in both Chinese and English made him one of the most influential writers of his generation, and his compilations and translations of classic Chinese texts into English were bestsellers in the West.  more…

Monday, August 1, 2011

Palms – A Study in Negative Space on Masa

“Failure seldom stops you. What stops you is the fear of failure.”
– Jack Lemmon

Palms – A Study in Negative Space on Masa – 7″ x 10″ Watercolor

This is loosely based on a photo from Wildhorse Australia on WetCanvas.  It was so fun!  I find that painting on masa encourages me to develop negative space.  Practicing this technique can only make my watercolors better.  I love this stuff (masa)!  Thanks, Leslie!

About Jack Lemmon

Jack Lemmon is best known for the poignant sweetness he brought to comedic roles in movies like Some Like It Hot and The Apartment, but is also remembered for his dramatic roles, including the struggling alcoholic in Days of Wine and Roses. He was born in 1925 into a wealthy Boston family and knew by the age of four that he wanted to become an actor. He won two Academy Awards and was known for his collaborations with director Billy Wilder and costar Walter Matthau. He died in 2001.