Thursday, March 31, 2011

Chinese Geese Arts Council – Watercolor

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

Chinese Geese Arts Council – Watercolor

“We are the Chinese Geese Arts Council.  The thing we like best about spring is our first plein air location scouting trip.  We just love gadding about in the woods together.  Do geese get poison ivy?” :D

This little ATC went to Kitty in the Netherlands.   I have only been plein air painting a few times.  I have to admit, I wasn’t very good about painting what I saw.  When I started painting what I wanted to paint,  influenced by what I saw, it went much better.    Does that make sense?  :)

About Julia Cameron

American author Julia Cameron has become an icon in the creative community for her best-selling self-help book, The Artist’s Way, which guides people through a series of simple but profound exercises to awaken their creativity. She grew up in Chicago and has been writing seriously since age 18. In addition to her 28 books, she has written plays, screenplays, and songs. She was married to film director Martin Scorsese and has one daughter. She currently lives in New York.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Carlos the Cardinal – Watercolor ATC

“All that is necessary to break the spell of inertia and frustration is this: act as if it were impossible to fail.  That is the talisman, the formula, the command of right-about-face which turns us from failure towards success.”
–Dorthea Brande

Carlos the Cardinal – Watercolor ATC

“I’m Carlos the Cardinal.  The thing I like best about spring is a clean birdbath!  Humans always clean the birdbath in the spring!” :)

This little card went to Briar in Aukland, New Zealand.  Carlos does look like he is giving that birdbath a good inspection. 

Dorothea Brande (1893 – 1948) was a well respected writer and editor in New York.
She was born in Chicago and attended the University of Chicago, the Lewis Institute in Chicago (later merged with Armour Institute of Technology to become Illinois Institute of Technology), and the University of Michigan. Her book Becoming a Writer, published in 1934, is still in print and offers advice for beginning and sustaining any writing enterprise. She also wrote Wake Up and Live, published in 1936, which sold over two million copies. It was made into a musical by Twentieth Century Fox in 1937.

While she was serving as associate editor of The American Review in 1936, she married that journal’s owner and editor, Seward Collins. Collins was a prominent literary figure in New York and a proponent of an American version of fascism, which he explored in The American Review.

Dorothea Collins died in New Hampshire.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Blue Heron – Watercolor ATC

“When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.”
– Peter Marshall

Blue Heron – Watercolor ATC

This is part of the “what I like best about spring” swap, from 2008.  Being the odd person I am, I gave each bird a name and told the recipient what they liked best about spring.  I have copies of the original notes.  he he   This is hers… :)

“Hello!  I’m Bitsy, the Blue Heron.  The thing I like best about spring is the fresh new crops growing on the meadows.  It’s just breath-taking!  I’m pretty brightly adorned, so it takes something wonderful to compete with me!”

This little ATC was mailed to Lynette in Colorado Springs, CO.    There were 24 in the swap and they went all over the world.  It’ll be fun sharing them.

While I am studying for my  private pilot’s license final exam, there is no time for new paintings.  I hope you enjoy revisiting some of these older paintings.

About Peter Marshall

Peter Marshall, the witty, magnetic Scottish-American preacher who became chaplain of the US Senate just two years before his death, was the subject of the 1955 movie A Man Called Peter, based on his wife’s best-selling biography. He was born in Scotland in 1902 and, as a boy, wanted to go to sea; he served in the navy before becoming a minister. His compelling orations and his belief that religion should be fun drew large congregations to his church. He died in 1949.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Windy Sunflower – Watercolor

“It takes courage to push yourself to places you have never been before… to test your limits… to break through barriers.  And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
–Anais Nin

Windy Sunflower – Watercolor

My friend, Louise, recently gave me a handful of sunflower seeds.   I gave up planting things in our poor soil a long time ago, but I am going to give these a try.  We have picked out a place where they will rest up against the edge of the woods, yet can be seen from our living room windows.   I don’t know anything about raising sunflowers, so if you have any advice for me…. leave me a comment.  :D

The National Sunflower Association has a link for a free children’s coloring book (pdf).  Here’s another one.

This is interesting.  It’s from their FAQ page…
Why is the sunflower such a popular art form?

The sunflower plant has almost ‘human-like’ characteristics and dimensions. The face of the blooming sunflower can almost speak to you. For this reason, the sunflower was a favorite subject for Europe’s greatest artists such as Van Gogh and Picasso. Sales of these paintings can bring millions of dollars today. The sunflower continues to be a favorite art form for designers of fashion to the every-day coffee mug. It has, and continues, to stand the test of time.

Anaïs Nin (Spanish pronunciation: [anaˈiz ˈnin]; born Angela Anaïs Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell, February 21, 1903 – January 14, 1977) was a French-Cuban author, based at first in France and later in the United States, who became famous for her published journals, which span more than 60 years, beginning when she was 11 years old and ending shortly before her death. Nin is also famous for her erotic literature and short stories. A great deal of her work, including Delta of Venus and Little Birds, was published posthumously.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Striped Leaf in Watercolor

“You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.”
– Mahatma Gandhi

Striped Leaf  in Watercolor

I had a friend who used to collect striped rocks.  Then he went through a phase where he collected rocks with holes in them.  There were more collections, but I can’t remember what they were.  The flower garden in front of his home had different sections with the various themed rocks.  It was actually pretty cool!  :)

About Mahatma Gandhi

Mohandas Gandhi, known by the honorific title Mahatma (“great souled”), embodied the power of nonviolent protest to achieve great change. He was born in India in 1896 and awoke to discrimination while practicing law in South Africa. He brought the struggle for equality back to India, rousing the population to demand self-rule from the British. He was profoundly religious, spending one day a week in complete silence; he was also a devout vegetarian. He was assassinated in 1948.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Rose Macro – Watercolor

“Freedom lies in being bold.”
– Robert Frost

Rose Macro – Watercolor

This morning, I made a very bold move and gave my stash of fabrics to my friend, Shannon.  I used to sew a lot.  I made clothing, small quilted items (no patience for full sized quilts), pillows, etc.  It has been 10 years since I touched my sewing machine.  Shannon makes wonderful creations with fabric.  She made me an apron for Christmas that I adore.  I feel so good, knowing that she’ll enjoy the stash and it won’t turn to dust, sitting in the corner of my shop.

Now if I could just find a home for some of the other things I’ve been holding onto for “someday, when I have more time”.  :D

About Robert Frost

Robert Frost, the influential American poet known for his rural settings, uncluttered language, and meditative themes, wrote the poems, “A Road Not Taken” and “Mending Walls,” among many others. He was born in San Francisco in 1874 and moved to Massachusetts at age 11. He ran a farm for ten years, selling it to move to England and become a full-time poet. After achieving his goal, he moved back to New Hampshire. His ambition was to write “a few poems it will be hard to get rid of.” He died in 1963.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Poppy Field

“Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.”
– William James

Poppy Field – Watercolor

This morning, they were talking about the laughing baby videos on YouTube and they are so funny!  There’s nothing that makes me feel better than a good belly laugh!  Yesterday, I received this video and roared.  I love a good laugh.  Have fun in whatever you do today and if you can’t laugh, at least wiggle your butt.  It has the same affect.  :)

About William James

American psychologist and philosopher William James, brother to author Henry James, wrote voluminously during his life, exploring a range of issues from a theory of emotion to a philosophy of history. He was born in New York in 1842 and wanted to be an artist, but his father disapproved. He obtained a medical degree but felt unsatisfied and depressed, leading to a crisis that he called his soul sickness. After this turning point, he began his fulfilling second career. He died in 1910.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lily Pond

“Passion, though a bad regulator, is a powerful spring.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Lily Pond – Watercolor and Gouache on 2.5″ x 3.5″ ATC

My friend Robert  from WetCanvas  liked this little painting so much that we did a trade for it.  That is one of the wonderful things about being involved in an art community.  I have traded paintings for a lot of art that I fell in love with.  I have some cool art that I probably couldn’t afford to buy.  It makes it even better, knowing that they were painted by someone I like.  :)

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.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sign Shop Sampling

“Character is simply habit long enough continued.”
– Plutarch

Sign Shop Sampling

I blog about art, tossed in with some positive affirmations.  But,  most of you know that I do have another life…. my sign shop.  Signs by Beth, LLC has been in business 19 years.  It’s a hoppin’ little place and last week was a doozie.

Here are just some of the signs I produced last week.  The first 6 are 4′ x 8′ signs.  Whale’s Tale is a 3′ x 6′ sign and the box van is 7′ x 15′.  Of course I did the front and back, too.  My week also included a combination of other small signs and some trucks.  I don’t have any employees, so every sign is made by me.    Ryan (asmalltowndad) asked me to show him some of the signs I make, so here ya go.  :)

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.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Garden Harmony – Watercolor

“Could we change our attitude, we should not only see life differently, but life itself would come to be different.”
– Katherine Mansfield

Garden Harmony – Watercolor

I wish I had the time or the inclination to garden.  I used to do great in the spring, only to be burned out on it by the time the 90 degree temperatures rolled around.  I quit trying.  :)

About Katherine Mansfield

Katherine Mansfield was the pen name of short story writer Katherine Beauchamp, who is best known for her collection The Garden Party. Born in New Zealand in 1888, she moved to England as a young woman and became friends with writers such as Virginia Woolf and D.H. Lawrence. Her writing style was influenced by Anton Chekhov; like him, she focused on intimate moments that revealed character. She in turn influenced a generation of short story writers. She died in 1923 of tuberculosis.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

White Flowers

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

White Flowers – Acrylic on Canvas

What do you think?  Screaming for color!!!  he he he  I have a very ambitious goal today and tomorrow.  I am going to try to complete eight 4′ x 8′ signs.  I don’t have employees, so I will tackle this task solo.  That means the computer will pretty much be ignored for a couple days …except for my morning blogging. 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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.  (Check out the link.   It’s a poem about spring.)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt

Impressionist Rose Garden – Oil Pastel

Here is my little attempt at Impressionism.   It’s oil pastel on black pastel paper.  I thought it was fun, but it is so not me.    For the first 2 years after I started painting again (after a 30 year break) I was trying everything I saw.  I grew in leaps and bounds during that time … and so did my art supply stash!  :)

About Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of president Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was a powerful political figure in her own right, crusading tirelessly for humanist causes. She was born in New York in 1884 and was orphaned young. After Franklin was struck by polio, she acted as his eyes and ears. She was central to the creation of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which she considered her crowning achievement, and wrote numerous essays, including a long-running column called “My Day.” She died in 1962.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Hydrangea Macro

“Excellence is not an act but a habit. The things you do the most are the things you will do the best.”
– Marva Collins

Hydrangea Macro – 6″ x 6″ Acrylic on Canvas

This is one little bloom on a cluster of blooms.  I am too intimidated to do the cluster, but I had a great time doing this macro.

Here’s another photo I took outside on the hood of my Jeep Wrangler.  he he  :)

About Marva Collins

American educator Marva Collins pioneered progressive education for disadvantaged children. She was born in Alabama in 1936 and in her 20′s moved to Chicago, where she founded a school for children who were at risk. After one year, every child tested at least five grades higher. Many public schools have successfully implemented her methods. She has appeared on 60 Minutes and Good Morning America and she recieved the National Humanities Medal from President Bush in 2004. She believes every child is a winner until someone convinces him or her too thoroughly otherwise.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Fall Berries – Watercolor

“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”
– Michelangelo Buonarroti

Fall Berries – Watercolor

As much as I like these fall colors, I’m ready for an explosion of beautiful fresh spring colors, aren’t you?

My thoughts go out to all the people in Japan, suffering from the effects of the recent tsunami.  It’s headed toward Hawaii and the US west coast.  I hope it loses it’s potency before then.  That is just too scary to fully imagine.

About Michelangelo Buonarroti

Michelangelo Buonarotti, the Renaissance sculptor and painter, is considered one of the world’s greatest artists. He was born in Tuscany in 1475. He apprenticed to a painter at age 13, infuriating his father, who considered art menial work. By age 25, he had sculpted one of his finest works, the Pietà, in St. Peter’s. Working alone, he took four years to paint more than 400 figures on the Sistine Chapel ceiling. He also designed St. Peter’s dome and is perhaps best known for his iconic statue of David. He died in 1564.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Clematis – Oil Pastel

“Make voyages! — Attempt them! — there’s nothing else…”
– Tennessee Williams

Clematis – Oil Pastel

This is done from the same reference that I made the block print from for yesterday’s post.  Isn’t it fun to be able to create anything we want and switch it up any way we want…. within the limits of our skills, anyway.   Like Tennessee Williams said…  “Make voyages! – Attempt them! – There’s nothing else…” :)

About Tennessee Williams

Tennessee Williams was the pen name of Thomas Lanier Williams, the multiple-award-winning Southern Gothic playwright best known for his plays Streetcar Named Desire and The Glass Menagerie. He was born in 1911 in Mississippi, where he had a difficult childhood with an abusive father, a smothering mother, and a schizophrenic sister. His emotionally honest plays often feature sensitive souls who don’t fit into a confining culture. He spent most of his adult life in New York City. He died in 1983.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Clematis – Linoleum Block Print & Watercolor

“If you want a place in the sun, you’ve got to put up with a few blisters.”
– Abigail Van Buren

Clematis – Linoleum Block Print & Watercolor

I really do love block printing, but it hurts my hands too much, carving the linoleum.  I had to give it up.  Here are the steps…  Drawing, carving, printing and watercolor.  Kinda fun, eh?

Tomorrow, I’ll show you the oil pastel version of this flower.  :)

About Abigail Van Buren

Pauline Phillips, better known as Abigail Van Buren, wrote the syndicated “Dear Abby” column for 46 years. She was born in 1918 in Iowa. She had never written professionally when she contacted the San Francisco Chronicle‘s editor and said she could do better than their current advice maven. Her version was an instant success. Her twin sister, Esther Lederer, became an advice columnist under the name Ann Landers. Phillips retired in 2002; her daughter, Jeanne Phillips, took over her column.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ivy & Star – Watercolor

“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world the master calls a butterfly.”
– Richard Bach

Ivy & Star – Watercolor
I really enjoyed doing this one.  After I painted the ivy, I added a little gold glittery star, hanging from a red string, just for fun.

About Richard Bach

Richard Bach, the American pilot and author, became hugely successful with the publication of the slim novel Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a spiritual quest about a bird who loved to fly rather than seeing flight as a means to an end. He was born in Illinois in 1936, a descendant of composer Johann Sebastian Bach. He has been an Air Force Reserve pilot, a flight instructor, and a barnstormer; most of his books involve flight either directly or as a metaphor.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Calla Lily

“What is harder than rock, or softer than water? Yet soft water hollows out hard rock. Persevere.”
– Ovid

Calla Lily

I remember this one!  The challenge was to paint from life… no photo.  I am not experienced in this at all.  I’ve tried to do it since then and I really do like it, but I paint mostly from photos.  When I get some time under my belt in an airplane, I want to fly to Indiana and plein air paint with Leslie White.  :D

Sunday, I flew by myself from McAlester to Eufaula (where I circled around the airport, but did not land) then on to Muskogee and back to McAlester.  I found every airport easily and had a great time.   Two hours of pure joy!  I even took some photos and am going to upload them to Facebook.  All the water (if you go by to look) is Lake Eufaula.  It stretches into 5 counties, although I only covered 3 counties in my flight.    Wheeeee!

About Ovid

Publius Ovidius Naso, the Roman poet known as Ovid, best known for the epic Metamorphoses, is considered one of the greatest poets of Latin literature. He was born in 43 B.C. in what is now Italy. He rose quickly in Roman government and was on track to become a senator when he chose to devote himself to poetry instead. His tale of Pyramus and Thisbe is the source for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Emperor Augustus exiled Ovid from Rome for unknown reasons in 8 A.D.; he died in exile in 17 A.D.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Blue Flower Petals

“Action without study is fatal. Study without action is futile.”
– Mary Ritter Beard

Blue Flower Petals
Acrylic on Canvas

I don’t remember what type of flower this was, but it’s a close up view of a cluster type bloom.  I glazed it afterward with some acrylic medium mixed with blue.  Just something a little different.  :)

I really enjoyed yesterday’s blog hop.  The best part was getting to know the members of the group a little better.  If you get a chance, click on any of the links from yesterday’s post to see some amazing art.

About Mary Ritter Beard

The American historian and suffragette Mary Ritter Beard was best known for the acclaimed two-volume work, The Rise of American Civilization, which she cowrote with her husband, Charles Beard. She was born in Indiana in 1876. She became a spokeswoman for the importance of women’s history with her books, On Understanding Women and Women as Force in History. She and her husband were controversial, dynamic figures who helped frame the way we view American history. She died in 1958.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Be Your Original Self

“You never know when a moment and a few sincere words can have an impact on a life.”
–Zig Ziglar

Red Tulips
4″ x 6″ Watercolor & Gouache

My new adventure into Art Licensing has been a real eye opener.  I am learning that much of the art we put out there is being stolen and others are claiming it as their own.  My bubble has officially been burst.  I was always taught that art created by another is not to be copied or stolen.

I am a part of a LinkedIn group called CopyRights – Artist’s Rights.  Together, we are blogging today about examples of how you can be inspired by someone’s work without copying it.   I do have to admit that I am a self taught artist and I have learned so much from watching all of the talented people around me.  The example I am showing you today is part of my learning process.  It has not and never will be for sale, but I want to show you the way I interpreted it in my own way.

I love the original pastel art by Susan Dunker that I found while looking into fauvism.    I had a lovely tulip photo from Marionh from WetCanvas’ Reference Image Library.   The photo is royalty free for use by artists to paint from.  Keep in mind – You cannot sell the photo, but you may sell a painting that uses the photo as reference material.   Also, no copyrighted photos may be uploaded to the Reference Image Library.

Here is my little example.

I mainly played with the color.  I would not feel comfortable selling it as my own.  I am going to show you what I am more likely to do in the next examples.

Both of these were painted from photos by my friend Dewi.  I would have no problem selling either of these paintings as my own.

I hope this clears up some common misconceptions about what is not okay.  I will be updating this post with links to other artists who are participating in our “Be Inspired” blog hop today.  

Here are the links so far:

Hilary Hinton “Zig” Ziglar (born 6 November 1926) is an American author, salesperson, and motivational speaker. He has published over 48 works, including the 2007 book titled God’s Way Is Still the Best Way.[1]

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Begonia Greens

“Think it more satisfactory to live richly than die rich.”
– Sir Thomas Browne

Begonia Greens

This one was an exercise in greens.   I mixed a pallet full of different greens and just played away.  I still have that pallet and dig it out from time to time to play with the greens.   I admit that I often use greens straight from the tube, but it’s way more fun to mix them myself.  :)

I have to share… I flew for an hour by myself last night in McAlester.  I did really good and my landings are really improving!  My next trip is to pick the plane up in McAlester and fly it to Muskogee and practice there, then fly it back to McAlester.   Maybe this Sunday.  Wheeeeeee! :)

About Sir Thomas Browne

The erudite English doctor Sir Thomas Browne, who wrote a number of books on science and religion, was known for his baroque prose style and his controversial opinions. He was born in 1605 in London and settled in Norwich to practice medicine. He wrote his most famous book, Religio Medici (The Religion of a Physician), an intellectual autobiography, in 1635. A friend published it in 1642 without his permission, embarrassing him, but the book’s popularity encouraged him to write more. He died in 1682.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Green Orchid Diptych

“Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you’re going to do now and do it.”
– William C. Durant

Green Orchid Diptych
Two 4″ x 12″ x 1″ Acrylic on Canvas

Here is another painting, from my past works in floral.  I never could get a good photo of it, but I remember it was a really fun one to do.

On Thursday, there is a “Be Inspired – Blog Hop” taking place with a group of artists from the Copyrights – Artist’s Rights group over at LinkedIn.  It is being hosted by Brenda Pinnik.

The only criteria is to show the proper way to be inspired by other’s creative work but not cross the line into infringement, either by way of lawful infringement or by ethics. I am going to participate, because as a self taught artist, I have been influenced by a lot of art.  I am going to use an example by the artist, Susan Dunker.  I found her when doing some exploration into Fauvism.   I think this is going to be one of many  steps we take into educating people about many of the issues surrounding copyright infringement.   Join us, if you have something you’d like to share.  Or just stop by on Thursday and I will have a link to some of the other artist’s blogs.

By the way, Ms. Dunker works in pastel, so if you want to see some beautiful pastel work, check her out here.

About William C. Durant

William C. Durant, founder of General Motors, consolidated much of the fledgling American auto industry under one roof. He was born in 1861 in Boston and grew up in Flint, Michigan. His innovative business model was to buy out vendors and acquire competitors. Forced to resign from GM due to this management style, he founded a new company with his race-car driver, Louis Chevrolet. He later regained control of GM but lost everything in the Great Depression. He died in 1947.