Friday, October 31, 2008

"Happy Halloween..."

"From ghoulies and ghosties...and long leggety beasties
things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!"
~Scottish saying

Thursday, October 30, 2008

"The Promise of..."

of some kind...drawing, photography, painting, collage...
every day in November!
I am participating in...
"Art Every Day Month"
with Leah, it's her 6th year of doing this, at Creative Every Day
Click on the AEDM link here to join in on the fun!

"Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star."
~W. Clement Stone

"Become Inspired..."

...and VOTE!

"To make democracy work,
we must be a nation of participants, not simply observers.
One who does not vote
no right to complain."
~Louis L'Amour

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

"Well Hung..."

...from the ceiling
in the center of the Wildflower Bread Company
(click here for a quick's a cool place! )
is a glorious chandelier bouquet of huge glass flowers
wrapped in copper.
This always reminds me of the work of the one and only

(BTW...there will be an exhibition of work by Chihuly
"The Nature of Glass" ( a really awesome link)
at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix
from November 22, 2008-May 31, 2009!!!
I am so excited about this...
as a group of us are planning a special sketch crawl
there in December....WOWZA, eh???!)

Okay...back to my story...
Since I did not have my sketchbook with me today
I managed to do a quick overall sketch
with a scratchy ball point pen
on the back of a store receipt I had in my wallet
scribbling in
all kinds of "codes" for color and shape and form
while slurping my potato cheese soup
nibbling away on a hunk of freshly baked nine-grain bread.
What a delicious mess!

The above images are the "fruits of my labor"...
I think that the one I "flipped" looks really "Chihuly-esque."

When you have only two pennies left in the world,
buy a loaf of bread with one,
and a lily with the other.
~Chinese Proverb

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"Luck of the Draw #2..."

This was the exact view we were to have this morning
October 28, 2008
as we looked out of our hotel balcony window...
due to the need to replace 2 highly sensitive computer sensors
on our
German built American car...
(why are mechanical things so complicated these days?)
our plans to get away to
Sedona, Arizona have been put on hold.

This journal page was drawn in May of 2006
from the very room
we were to have this week.
I find that comfortingly funny.
I had to find something funny, now didn't I? LOL:)

"Laughter is the corrective force
prevents us from becoming cranks."
~Henri Bergson

Monday, October 27, 2008

"Candy and Jelly..."

...From a Prickly Pear cactus..."Out Wickenburg Way"!

According to Wikipedia...
"The fruit of prickly pears,
commonly called cactus figs, Indian fig or tuna,
is edible,
although it has to be peeled carefully to remove the small spines
on the outer skin before consumption...
Cactus figs are often used to make candies and jelly and a refreshing drink."

Click here to see some Prickly Pear goodies to purchase and eat!

Happy Cactus Monday All!
Fill yourself with all kinds of cactus treats today. :)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

"It All Started..." all good things do..with a song in my heart,

...and with a bag full of art goodies,
mostly still packed from our day trip to Yarnell...

(ABOVE PHOTO CREDIT: Desert Botanical Garden Website)
the promise of a delightful gathering of blog friends
for the Phoenix version of the 20th Worldwide Sketch Crawl!
The plan was to meet at the Desert Botanical Gardens
around 9:30 AM at the outdoor cafe.:)

All would be well! Such a fun day we would have!
Um...that is until...

...Friday night, when
an unexpected encounter with a "Check Engine" light stopped me cold...
and then
a fairly hefty Saturday morning caution from the dealership to
"Not Drive The Car"!
I was GROUNDED...without a plan "B"!
Wings clipped...I sat...bottom lip stickin' out...all pouty and all...
A big ole raincloud a hangin' over my head...
disappointed and GROUNDED...blah, blah, blah!
do I ever take a lot for granted!

"If you have time to whine and complain about something
you have the time to do something about it.'
~Anthony J. D'Angelo

Saturday, October 25, 2008

"Let's Meet At.." the annual Sycamore Pumpkin Festival!

Oh my gosh...for a lifetime, it seemed,
it was an October tradition my family to gather in Sycamore
for the weekend of Pumpkin Festival.
(The link above has all kinds of interesting info, if you have time.)
The arts and crafts fair would be on Saturday and Sunday...
And the big parade
...attracting over 100,000 visitors...
would culminate the festival on Sunday.
who had moved away from home
would be back in town for the celebration.
There were carved pumpkins on the courthouse lawn,
pumpkin pie eating contests, carnival rides, vendors along the streets...
fireworks, family reunions, sloppy joes, caramel apples,
10K runs, politicians campaigning, leaves crunching,
antique shows, excited school kids,
painted faces,
a "down home" flavor everywhere you went.
The crispness of Fall was is the air...and life was totally good!

I miss autumn celebrations in the midwest
warming up by crackling fires at night...
It was so comforting and fun for all of us to be together.

This post is dedicated to all friends, colleagues,
and former students,
who are in town this weekend for the celebration!
I will be thinking about you!

"The nice part about living in a small town
is that when you don't know what you're doing,
someone else does."

Friday, October 24, 2008

"They Say It's..."

"Where the Desert Breeze...Meets the Mountain Air."

...And that spot would be Yarnell, Arizona!
(If you have time click on the link...its a hoot!)
The area is studded with
"mammoth granite boulders
throughout verdant growth of Oak, Hackberry, and Chaparral,
as if strewn in casual disarray
by a giant and artistic hand."
I just love that part of the line. :)

Yarnell is where I spent my day yesterday...
with sketchbook in hand.

Thank you, each and every one,
for the lovely comments left for me while I was out celebrating! :)
I read them when we got back home from our adventure
as the sun was setting on a wonderful day.
They warmed my heart.

"If I could reach up and hold a star
for every time you've made me smile,
the entire evening sky would be in the palm of my hand."

Thursday, October 23, 2008

"My Birthday Thoughts..."

"Begin doing what you want to do now.
We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment,
sparkling like a star in our hand...
melting like a snowflake..."

Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving."
~Kahil Gibran
I held a moment in my hand, brilliant as a star,
fragile as a flower,
a tiny sliver of one hour.
I dropped it carelessly, Ah! I didn't know,
I held opportunity."
~Hazel Lee

"Where the spirit does not work with the hand...there is no art."
~Leonardo DaVinci

"Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today,
creates a vision for tomorrow."

In gratitude and love, in joyful spirit and hope, I celebrate this day!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

"One Last Homage..." the jubilant color of the glorious Colorado aspen.

Did you know that...
~Aspen trees can be found in every Western state except Hawaii!
~Trees from any one aspen grove are genetically identical.
and because of this
aspens are claimed to be the world's largest
perhaps oldest living organism!
~Individual trees are short-lived, but the root stocks of some groves
may date back to the last ice age!

"Delicious autumn!
My very soul is wedded to it,
and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth
seeking the successive autumns."
~George Eliot

"The glittering golden aspen...
What a jewel in the autumnal wardrobe of Mother Nature!"
~Me :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

"A Little Peek..."

of my artwork in Nina Johansson's book "Multitudes.
(click on images to enlarge)

A bit of zen like freedom...

A bit of calligraphy and color play...

...and a bit of the ancient southwest desert...
a step back in time to one of the first art exchanges ever! LOL :)

An artistic array of marks, colors, styles, and charm
fills Nina's little Maruman
I don't want to let her go...
as that will finalize of my portion of our Maruman exchange.
But professionalism calls...and Multitude flies again.
I now will wait like the rest of our faithful fans
the last three books cross the deep blues seas
and safely arrive home.

"Every end is a new beginning."

Monday, October 20, 2008

"Some Virtual Travel..." the mountains of Monterrey, Mexico
for a "look-see"
at some local artisans work,
a bit of some creatively potted "south of the border" cacti,
and "peek in" on my wonderful niece Lauren...
who identifies herself like this:
"Student, Artist, Accountant, Athlete...that's it!"
I just love the "artist" part! What a gal!

"Experience, travel - these are as education in themselves."
~Euripides (Greek playwright, c. 480-406 BC)

Happy Cactus Monday All!
Enjoy a great day of virtual travel...wherever it may take you!
Anyone want to meet later for a cerveza? LOL :)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

"The Palette..."

...of a most colorful "Sweetest Day" 2008,
...the beautiful roses gifted me by my very own "Sweetie"!
Mmmm! XOXOXO :)

"In our life there is a single color,
as on an artist's palette,
which provides the meaning of life and art.
It is the color of love."
~Marc Chagall

Saturday, October 18, 2008

"In the Distance..."

...are the Maroon Bells....
in Aspen, Colorado...definitely, "God's Country".
I have hiked here several times...
each time feeling like the day was spent in heaven.
I have buckets of photos recording their splendor.
This is my only painting of them...made in 2006
in one of my very first watercolor journals...
long before "Water Blossoms" was even a "twinkle in my eye."
My mind is indelibly seared with their awesome natural beauty...
even though great distance separates us.

"Somewhere we know
that without silence words lose their meaning,
that without listening speaking no longer heals,
that without distance closeness cannot cure."
~Henri Nouwen

Distance of the heart:
Missing those we love...their kiss, their smile, their touch...
Mental distance...
Trying to remember faces, and names, and everyday events...
Distance of times past:
Reminiscing about cozy family gatherings
the twinkling of a young child's eyes on Christmas morn...
Distance of Perception:
Wondering what is reality and what is fiction.
Distance...just all by it
the deal breaker of relationships
the thing that makes them grow fonder?

I often wonder.

Friday, October 17, 2008

"An Autumnal Array..."

...of natural beauty...bedazzled in jeweled tones.

"Where oils lumber...watercolours prance. "
~Doug Mays

Thursday, October 16, 2008

"How I Felt...

...after the 3rd, and FINAL, Presidential debate tonight:

“I know that you believe you understand
what you think I said,
I'm not sure you realize
that what you heard
not what I meant.”
~Robert McCloskey

And on that note...I gift you with a bit of tranquility...
compliments of the state of Colorado personal "nirvana".

I desperately feel the need to be in Colorado...
among the aspen
and on a road less travelled.

Photo Credits: Margaret Storer Roche

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

"And so Goldilocks..."

sat down in the Baby Bear's chair...and it was 'just right'..."
...and we all know what happened after that...LOL :)

"A house that does not have one worn, comfy chair in it is soulless."
~May Sarton

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"An Official Play Date..."

...with my "inner child",
a few real bougainvillea leaves,
some luscious drippy watercolor paints! WooHoo!

“There is a garden in every childhood,
an enchanted place where colors are brighter,
the air softer,
and the morning more fragrant than ever again.”
~Elizabeth Lawrence

Monday, October 13, 2008

"I Am Just Stuck.."

...On Cacti! "

Day or Night...
Summer, Fall, Winter, or Spring...
It just doesn't seem to matter.

"You know you're an Arizona native when you "hug" a cactus
only once in your lifetime."
~Nancy Dedera
Happy Cactus Monday All! :)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

"Shimmy, Shimmy..."

...Aspen shake and quake, no doubt...
Shimmy, Shimmy, golden leaves...shake it all about!"
~Me...inspired by Little Anthony & the Imperials :)

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”
~Mahatma Gandhi

“Today is life-the only life you are sure of.
Make the most of today. Get interested in something.
Shake yourself awake. Develop a hobby.
Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you.
Live today with gusto.”
~Dale Carnegie

“You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.”
~Indira Gandhi

"Well I said shake baby shake.
I said shake baby shake.
I said shake it baby shake it,
I said shake baby shake.
Come on over
Whole lot of shakin' goin' on ..."
~Jerry Lee Lewis

Happy Shakin' ...Every Day Counts!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

"An Old Fashioned..."

...Midwest garden hideaway...
Blumen lovely Sycamore, Illinois.
Primitive, rustic, quirky, and artistic treasures
fill an old brick warehouse
and an enchanting garden shop to the brim.
Winding stone, brick, and gravel pathways
weave through luscious seasonal plant and flower displays
making the gardens a perfect neighborhood retreat.
Quaint and unique areas of the garden
make ideal spots for a wedding or an evening reception,
plein air painting or yoga classes,
and a rich variety of all sorts other special activities.
Architectural remnants and antique garden artifacts
have been lovingly revamped and recycled and renewed...
and used as display items
making the atmosphere feel nostalgic and even a bit zen like.
Whenever I visit the gardens my heart becomes light
and my spirit seems to float.
Click here
to learn about the gardens or to take your own personal garden journey. :)

"The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses."
~Hanna Rion

Friday, October 10, 2008

"The Big Reveal..."

Of my COMPLETED Maruman sketchbook

I cannot wait until the rest of the Maruman sketchbooks
are completed and safely return home to their respective owners...
What joy and excitement they will bring!

Thank you Anita, and Nina, and Jennifer
for sharing your talent and your little corner of the world with me.
this has just been the most wonderful,
endearing and imaginative
artistic experience ever!

“Every production of an artist
should be the expression of an adventure of his soul.”
~William Somerset Maugham

Pages 1-6...Margaret Storer-Roche (Me)...Arizona U.S.A.
Pages 6-15...Nina Johansson...Sweden
Pages 16-20...Jennifer Lawson...Maine, U.S.A

Pages 21-22...Margaret Storer-Roche
Pages 22-26...Jennifer Lawson
Pages 27-35...Anita Davies...U.K.
Pages 36-37...Signature stamp "petals" of all 4 Artists
Pages 38-40...Margaret Storer Roche :)

"Anita's Artistic Gift..." my book Journey!
What a delight to at last open my own book
and find all this beauty inside!
Thank You Anita!
(Click on images to enlarge)

"The greatest gift is a portion of thyself."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I was so secretly hoping that Anita would paint one of her famous
English roses in my book...and she did!
She never disappoints!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

"Berries and Leaves..."

...about to burst with splashes of autumnal glory.
These "gifts"
are brought to you courtesy of the one of the
"clump hawthorn" trees
in front of our house back in
Illinois. :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

"It's A Brand New Day..."

I wanted each of you to know
my heart simply swells from the thoughts, hugs, comments, and prayers
you so kindly left on yesterday's post.
My Dad's cardiac procedure proved extremely informative
even though it was not able to provide
the"easy fix"
we were all hoping for...the future looks
to be positive and hopeful.

My sincerest thanks to each of you...from my whole family.

"Serenity is not freedom from the storm, but peace amid the storm.”

Photo Credit: "Soaring Spirit" by Margaret Storer-Roche
Photographed in Clark, Colorado...Fall 2006