Monday, June 30, 2008

"Queen of the Night..."

Meet our Night Blooming Cereus!
She currently is laden with close to 100 buds
in various stages of bloom.
Our cactus beauty stands gracefully tall and proud
watching over the front of our house by day
wishing us the sweetest of dreams by night.
For the last several nights now
she has "tucked us in" with one spectacular show
after another.

Magically, each night multiple
saucer-sized snowy white blooms, tipped in crimson and green,
slowly open wide to face the black, inky sky,
dazzling the stars and other creatures of the night.
Then, like "fairytale Cinderellas",
they bid a hasty adieu before the light of the coming of dawn
takes a peek of their spectacular glory...
They simply and silently curl up in the light of the new day
their starlit escapade fading to fond memories.

Happy Cactus Monday to each of you...
And the sweetest of dreams to all!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

"A Picture...

... is Worth A Thousand Words."
How True! :)

I can't wait to get started in this beautiful book of Anita's
which arrived here in the desert of Arizona this very morning
after only 6 days travel from the Fens in England.
Four of us are participating in a
Participating artists are:
Anita Davies-England,
Myself -USA
sit back, get a "cuppa", and just enjoy!

Friday, June 27, 2008

"A Line..." a dot ...that went for a walk." -Paul Klee

So, inspired
I decided to go for a bit of a
"walk about town"
myself...just me and my friendly Pitt Pen!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

"A Negative Impression..."

...Of A Fanciful Floral Mandala...
Flipped ...
Over to the "Dark Side."

Hmmm...How colorfully wicked!:)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


"Gone like a freight-train, gone like yesterday,
Gone like a soldier in the civil war, bang bang!
Gone like a '59 Cadillac...
Like all the good things
that ain't never coming back,
She's gone...! "

But...unlike the song... my "Journey" will eventually return home.
Nina now anxiously awaits her in Sweden,
and I sit here in the desert night
just reflecting and thinking
about how wonderful this all is!
My artspace sits calmly now, awaiting the possibilities of a new day
and the arrival of a very special package from England.

"Gone" by Montgomery Gentry from the You Do Your Thing Album

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

"Remembering Summer..."

...Back in Illinois.

...And all the happy golden tufts of this
wondrously winsome
wickedly weedy wildflower
dancing happily in soft summer zephyrs
bursting into puffs of silken down anxious to fly
at the slightest breath of a breeze
across the grassy prairie to start new families.

Funny, how much I hated them! LOL :)

EDM # 176
"Draw Something that Expresses Summer"

Monday, June 23, 2008

"Three Blue Agave..."

...All in a row!
These three little beauties are actually
"Task Tags"
that I made to accompany my
as she travels around the world.
they are not technically considered "cacti"
I thought this trio of desert agave
would still meet the mark of a Cactus Monday post!
Have a Happy Cactus Monday All! :)
P.S. Tequila is made from fermented agave leaves...
just in case you were wondering. :)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

"A Few Peeks Before Packing.."

...up my little Maruman friend

will be taking place between 4 artists :
Anita Davies in England,
Nina Johansson in Sweden,
Jennifer Lawson and myself
both here in the United States.

This week "Journey" begins her international travel adventures...
5,427 miles from her home in Arizona
and crossing the deep blue seas of the North Atlantic.
First stamp in her passport....Nina in Sweden.
What joy and excitement "Journey" must feel!
Wish I could go with her! :)

AND... on this special day...
June 22, 2008...
A Big Happy Birthday Dad! Love You!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

"Flying Solo..."

19th Annual Sketch Crawl Today!

I was required to spend the morning in
defensive driving school for a photo radar enforcement
speeding "event"
which clocked me 1 mph over the "legal limit"
on the Loop 101 in Scottsdale
back in May.
Anyway...class was say the least.

since the Phoenix sketch group had already met this morning
at the Heard Museum
I treated my happy little self to lunch at AJ's
"Purveyors of Fine Food."
My solo sketch crawl effort above documents my day
...of which one of the best parts
was a veal bratwurst (grilled outdoors)-yummy, yummy...
and a slice of Cherry Garcia chocolate crust cheesecake
which I am about to savor
posting this!

Oh, I almost forgot...
the coconut macaroon was "delish" too...
but that was just a "wee little bit" of a
"snack"! :)


Did I "mention" it was 115 degrees in Phoenix today?
That bratwurst wasn't the only thing cookin' out here! :)

Friday, June 20, 2008

"A Tisket...A Tasket..."

...Today...I sketched a basket!

EDM #175
"Draw a Basket and Its Contents"

Monday, June 16, 2008

"Day and Night...

...Night and Day!


Having a little frolic with a few imaginative ideas

bouncing botanically around in my Maruman-X mind


Happy Cactus Monday All! :)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

"And So I Begin..."

It has been said:

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
Lao-tzu 604 BC-531 BC

So in that light, my first step is

to introduce you to JOURNEY, my little Maruman friend,

born from and centered around the quote:

"I go to Nature to be soothed
and have my senses put in tune once again."
-John Burroughs

Journey's theme or central focus will be zen-botanical...

keeping her open to historical, realistic or

imaginary floral/botanical journeys of the artistic spirit.

I hope you will each enjoy this new adventure of ours

and have your spirits renewed

as we journey together 17,566 miles across the seas


into our imaginations...Ahhh!

Follow our artistic adventures over the next four months at

out Maruman-X blogspot! :)


last, but not least...

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

I love you!

Friday, June 13, 2008

"I Miss You..."


Lately, there are some things I have really been missing!

Like green grass, rain, summer flowers, black soil,

my beautiful columbine garden,

and drawing.


I am on a roll now...

the Maruman_X Project is underway

my fears about starting my book have been squelched

and I am now finding


to think about this beautiful summer season,

my midwest gardens of the past,


to make and share with all of you!

This drawing was inspired by a photograph of one of my beautiful

red columbines

and is dedicated to my sister-in-law


who appreciates the serenity of quiet moments

and is awaiting with hope and courage the

blooming of summer in the beautiful mountains

of her Colorado home.

Sue, I miss you the most!

God Bless!

Monday, June 9, 2008

"A Vicious Teddy Bear..."

Cylindropuntia bigelovii

From a distance the stems of this cactus appear short and fuzzy,
giving it the name "teddy bear" cactus. HAH!
Well...this is the first "teddy bear" that ever "stuck" me!
And so, the story goes...Once upon a time...

...Some 20 years ago while on a vacation trip to Arizona we were out exploring the wonders of the Sonoran desert. After spotting a fairly good sized grouping of these beautiful cacti, backlit by the sun, we thought it would make a perfect setting for a photograph. As I knelt at the side of one of the cacti...a clump of the cactus broke off and actually embedded itself into my thigh..smack dab right through my JEANS! I did the "screamy frantic tourist dance" for a few minutes before I realized how serious it was. Then the long tedious effort of removing the spines began...and lasted well into the night. Long story short I have since learned to keep my distance!

Like its cousin the jumping cholla, the stems of this cactus detach easily. The ground around a mature plant is often littered with scattered cholla balls. Small plants start where these balls have rooted and a forest of cholla begins its life. When a piece of this cholla sticks to an unsuspecting person, a good method to remove the cactus is with a hair comb. (Wish I knew that then!) The spines are barbed, and hold on tightly. Desert pack rats gather these balls around their burrows, creating a defense against predators. Nature always finds a way, doesn't it?

I photographed
this particular cholla flower bud...
...keeping my distance...
while hiking in the White Tank Mountains,
a couple of miles from where I presently live in Arizona.

My advice for the day:
Live and Learn!
and have a
Happy Cactus Monday All! :)

Monday, June 2, 2008

"Have You Ever Seen A..."

...Opuntia zactanglia imaginnia...?

...A unique species of cacti-born of a prickly pear and a zentangled pen.

Shown during the Day...

bathing in warm sunlight, just soaking in life,

and at Night...

...With sweet moonlight coloring her dreams

And setting her edges aglow! :)

Have a Happy Cactus Monday ...and a glowing Night! :)