Sunday, November 30, 2008

"Today I Became..."

charmed by my brand new compass...
transfixed into a semiconscious state
bedazzling my zentangled mandalas with dangling doodads!

Fond farewells to the harvest filled charm of November
and to the
Art Every Day in November Challenge!

Main Entry: charm
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: talisman
amulet, fetish, good-luck piece,
juju, lucky piece, madstone,
mascot, phylactery, rabbit’s foot,
trinket, zemi

~Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus,
Third Edition
Copyright © 2008

Saturday, November 29, 2008

"I've Got Those..."

...Old Time Primordial Blues!
Drawn and painted with pure glee and childlike abandon
in response
for this week entitled:

"I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues."
~Duke Ellington

"I never get tired of the blue sky."
~ Vincent van Gogh

Friday, November 28, 2008

"The Day After..."

and OH! So much to do...and eat...and see...and draw!!!
The 2008 Holiday Season is upon us!

"It's the most wonderful time of the year!"
~lyrics by Eddie Pola, George Wyle, 1963

Thursday, November 27, 2008

"Giving Thanks..."

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,
but by the moments that take our breath away.”
~Author unknown

My your life be lavishly painted with gratitude and joy
and sweet, sweet memories!
Happy Thanksgiving. :)

Photo Credit: Margaret Storer-Roche
"Flying Solo...Switzerland"
Kleine Scheidegg... Jungfrau... Swiss Alps
35 mm Minolta camera

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

"Mum's the Word...! "

as I recall, it was a place packed with fragrance and wonder.
I remember festive holiday flower shows there filled to the brim
colorful chrysanthemums and cheery red poinsettia.
I also remember meandering pathways ready to explore-
lavishly decorated with blooming "surprises" around every corner.
No matter how blustery cold or snowy it would be in Chicago
our floral hideaway warmed us to the core.

This magical place I speak of is the Garfield Park Conservatory,
in Chicago, Illinois,
home to rare tropical plants
and celebrating...this year...its 100th anniversary!
It has been called by many as Chicago's
botanical gem of "landscape art under glass"
is considered as one of our nation's great botanical treasures.
From November 2001 through November 2002 the conservatory hosted
an unforgettable glass exhibition by the world famous Dale Chihuly.
(Click here to view some of the extraordinary pieces exhibited.)

My post this late November day before Thanksgiving
is to honor the priceless memories of a little girl and her "mum"
and to celebrate
the fascination I have grown to nurture as an adult
in botanical art
meandering "zen-tangled" pathways.

as an interesting "aside"...
The Dale Chihuly exhibit at the Phoenix Botanical Gardens
here in Arizona has just now opened.
On December 6th I will be participating in a sketch crawl there...
and just like in the "olden days" I'll be
wandering those old meandering "pathways" again...
still looking for "surprises" along the way.
Fascinating how life works out...
isn't it???

"We do not remember days; we remember moments."
~Cesare Pavese, The Burning Brand

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


...of the Moon,
our lives, our art, our relationships...
the seasons,
belief systems, politics, emotions...
Phases of growth, learning, understanding, loving...
rooted deep in our souls,
embedded in our memories,
shining in our smiles,
pouring out in our tears.
the rhythmic ebb and flow...the pulse of all life.

"angles, aspects, chapters, conditions, facets, features, parts, periods, positions, side, stages, states, steps, times, transitions"

Monday, November 24, 2008

"What...Me WORRY...?"

...After all...It's only Cactus Monday...isn't it???
Gobble up a happy day all!
"Every day counts this time of year", sayeth the turkey!

"Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow,
it only saps today of its joy."
~Leo Buscaglia

Sunday, November 23, 2008

"Birds and Napkins..."

This is the final sketch drawn & painted in my workshop last Thursday.
A Bird of Paradise...right there in front of me!
What a joy to find her...she took my artistic breath away!

Bird of paradise (Strelitzia reginae) is a dramatic plant
with distinctive iridescent orange and midnight blue flowers
that resemble an exotic bird peeking out from the broad leaves.
It blooms in autumn, winter and spring.
This flower is often associated with tropical places,
like Hawaii,
but the plant is actually native to South Africa.
It grows wild in the eastern Cape
where it is an important nectar source for birds.
In the United States
it is widely used as an ornamental in Southern California and Florida
It is the official flower of the City of Los Angeles.
It is also commonly used as a cut flower in the florist trade.
(my resource for above info)

This is the first time I ever saw one in a natural habitat.
I can only imagine the stunning beauty of seeing them
growing wild in South Africa.
Ahhh...again Mother Nature surely outdoes herself doesn't she?!

No philosphical quotation today...just a bit of Bird of Paradise fun!
The holidays are check this out...
Learn how to fold a napkin like a bird of paradise! Click right here!
(btw...This one's in your honor Soulbrush!)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

"Two Pages..." my sketchbook done during Thursday's workshop.

The top page was a work in progress throughout our the day.
It became obvious instantly that if I want to get better drawing people
I must make this a special focus...and we all know the drill:

The second sketch...
was one of two of my major focus sketches from the day...
(I'll post the other sketch tomorrow...)
drawn lead free during a limited time period before lunch
painted lightly after lunch...and more heavily at home.
(I crosshatched over a myriad of mind & compositional changes at home too!)
I learned that, unlike my sketch above,
I want to try a bit lighter touch with my painting...
highlighting with color my main focal area...leaving the rest to be loose
and airy and less defined...
it is a different approach than I am used to...
and one that intrigues me.
Right now I think want to give it a go...

We'll see what "tomorrow" brings! LOL :)

"Practice is the best of all instructors."
~Publilius Syrus
Roman author, 1st century B.C.

Friday, November 21, 2008

"Letting Loose..."

...with Grace....Grace Haverty, that is!

This was the second exercise I did in my
sketchbook journaling all day workshop yesterday...
Grace wanted us to really get loose and comfortable
so we actually began first
with a few 60 second contour figure drawing exercises...
then moved into a still life drawing/painting.
We were to take no longer than about 20 minutes for the whole piece...
painting included...It was really fun!
I will confess here publicly though that I did add
a wee bit of pen work detail when I got home...but don't tell Grace...
She told me to stop! I just couldn't...
after a late afternoon icy mocha cappuchino with whipped cream
...I got "loosey goosey" and out of control!
Stay tuned...More workshop goodies tomorrow...I promise!

"Celebrate your success and find humor in your failures.
Don’t take yourself so seriously.
Loosen up and everyone around you will loosen up.
Have fun and always show enthusiasm.
When all else fails,
put on a costume and sing a silly song."
~ Sam Walton

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"Looking Forward..." a fabulous, sunny, blissfully art-filled day today
with a favorite sketchbook journaling artist/mentor/friend/cool person
during an all day workshop sponsored by my local art club.

The weather in Arizona has been gorgeous lately
it has also been breaking all kinds of record highs
for this time of year...
and many of us are anxious for our seasonal cool down to arrive and stay.
The nights though have been just plain open...
breathing the sweetly scented, cool, fresh desert air...

The day I drew the plein air sketch I posted above was one of those
"picture perfect" days
that everyone comes to Arizona this time of year to experience...
Here's hoping that today
will be a repeat "weather wise" and the only records broken will be
those records I set for sketching! :)

"Nothing is more important than reconnecting with your bliss.
Nothing is as rich. Nothing is more real."
~Deepak Chopra

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

"Here Kitty, Kitty..."

...Two bobcats...
we think a mother and a cub..."popping in" for a 6 hour visit last week
in our good friends' backyard
a mere 5 house down from ours. Yikes!

Did You Know...(info is from Thinkquest)
...When bobcats roar or growl,
it is so rough and deep they are often mistaken for a mountain lion.
...If a bobcat thinks that it is in danger,
it will stay in its home for days at a time without ever coming out.
...Bobcats are twice the size of their relative the house cat.
...Bobcats have five toes on the forefoot,
but the fifth toe does not leave a mark in the ground
because it is raised high up on the foot.
...It is common for a bobcat to walk 4 miles in a day.
...The bobcat does not have an accurate sense of smell.

Happy "Animal Wednesday" Folks!
Ooooh, I almost forgot...
I found a really cool bobcat jigsaw puzzle activity...check it out here!

"Animals give me more pleasure through the viewfinder of a camera
than they ever did in the cross hairs of a gun sight.
And after I've finished "shooting,"
my unharmed victims are still around for others to enjoy.
I have developed a deep respect for animals."
~Jimmy Stewart

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

"You've Just Gotta..."

... LOVE the world
as seen through the imaginative eyes of 6 year old nieces,
...who are so proud they are in "First Grade section, 1A!"
I just had to share some of the joy they brought to my day.
Who would have ever thought that
making Cheetos Corn Curl fingerprints
in a sketchbook
would be so much fun...WOO HOO!

"There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child.
There are seven million."
~Walt Streightiff

Monday, November 17, 2008

"It Started Out..."

...As a "Good Idea"...even somewhat clever...until I saw an ugly bug...
hiding right there in my prickly pear...

EEEK!!!...I am such a wimp...So over to the table... display my first ever Moo cards I!
These are so cool I cannot stand it! What a fabulous company!

Have a Happy Cactus Monday all!
I hope
nothing "bugs" you!
LOL :)

"Scared·y-cat also scared·y cat
n. Informal
One who is excessively fearful..."
( would be Me...especially of bugs...LOL!)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

"Blushing a Bit..."

Cynthia at Muse Swings blogspot bestowed a
(which she created herself)
to several blogging buddies who she felt had "wonderful blogs
that just bloom with art, originality, creativity, beauty, humor, fun
and bring joy to those who read them. "
I am so in awe of her prolific creativity
that it blows me away to receive this...
Thanks Cynthia!

Again, Cynthia , at Muse Swings blogspot,
who has an awesome, imaginative, and joyful blog of her own,
has bestowed this wonderful Premio Dardos Award to my blog.
"This award is given for recognition of cultural,
ethical, literary, and personal values
transmitted in the form of creative and original writing..."
I am touched and honored by this Cynthia...
Thank You. :)

In honour of this beautiful season,
Lavinia at Bird Bath Chronicles blogspot, created a brand new award.
And it's name says it all.
To the recipients of this award...
feel free to pass it on to blogs that you yourself have 'fallen' for,
before this glorious season is over.....
Thanks Muse Swings for passing it along to me.
I pass it along to all my regular blog followers...
and also
to those who pop in for a peek every now and then.
Thanks so much for your support.
Pick up your award and pass it along...before Autumn passes us by...
Winter is just a bit over a month away!

"I would never have thought that blogging
would be this exhiliarating and uplifting to me as an artist...
Learning everyday about the world around me
about the wonderfully artistic people in that world gives me
great joy and strengthens my wings."
~Me :)

"My 200th Post...!!!"


These posts have come and gone so quickly and magically...
like nothing I have ever known before.
You...each of You...have made an artistic dream come true!

have shared the beauty of your little corner of the world
through your art,
and your writing, your humor and your travels...
taking me along, in your back pocket, every step of the way...
popping in every now and again
for a visit, a chat, or a quick 'Howdy do!"
...sometimes even staying a bit for a "cuppa"
the sharing of a brand new artistic adventure!
You...each and every one...You
are the energy which keeps
my fingers dancing across the keyboard
my pen wildly flourishing though my sketchbooks.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Your encouragement, advice, and
have ignited my artistic world!

“The true harvest of my life is intangible -
a little star dust caught,
a portion of the rainbow I have clutched.”

~Henry David Thoreau

Saturday, November 15, 2008


...I feel "faint of heart" these 3 pages are my final contribution of art
in Nina Johansson's Maruman "Multitudes"...
and bit "verklempt", as well,
that this will be my "official signing off " post...
as my portion of the Maruman_X international sketchbook exchange
has hereby come to a close.
The sound you now hear is my breath exhaling in a big looooong sigh.
(Lower lip extended in a bit of a pitiful pout as well...)
What an artistic journey and spiritual joy this project has been.
The project developed from of the mind of Anita Davies...
Anita, your creative idea rocked!

I found it quite interesting and, surprisingly, a bit more challenging,
to be the last artist to fill spaces in Nina's book.
Because of the way the composition of pages filtered through our rotation
there were 11 blank sides left for me to design...
I was blessed with one extra!
on the other hand it was fairly "cut and dry"
as to where my art would need to fit in-in order to complete the book...
simply put...
my creative wings had to learn to fly in "limited airspace!" LOL :)

The pages above were pages 38-40...the last three of Nina's book.
I designed them to provide a transitional, open ended view
of the ancient desert of my home in Arizona
the modern metropolis of Nina's home in Sweden...
symbolically marking the not an ending...but a new beginning.
...the native Arizona petroglyphs included as
being possibly the first "sketchbook" exchange ever! LOL :)
As always...
more art and information about the last two sketchbooks to be completed
can be found at the Maruman_X blogspot.

"The little dissatisfaction which every artist feels
at the completion of a work
the germ of a new work."
~Berthold Auerbach

Friday, November 14, 2008

"A Montage..."

...of more of my artful musings in Nina's Johansson's marvelous Maruman
This is my artwork on pages 17-20 of Nina's book.
(Click on images to enlarge.)
My artwork on pages 5-8, posted earlier, can been seen here.

You can also
check out the Maruman_X blogspot for more "goodies"
and any recent updates.
There will still be much more to see and enjoy.
Two books remain to be completed before being sent home to
Anita Davies in England

"Spend time every day listening to what your muse is trying to tell you."
~Saint Bartholomew

Thursday, November 13, 2008


...a bit of plein air magic painted by Mother Nature last night.

"When I admire the wonder of a sunset or the beauty of the moon,
my soul expands in worship of the Creator."
Mahatma Gandhi

"I Think It's Safe..." now post a "full page reveal" of 4 of the 10 pages
I completed in Nina Johansson's little Maruman entitled
Word arrived that
"She" arrived safely home in Sweden and into Nina's hands
sometime early last week.
Whew! I always get so worried about transoceanic postal travel! LOL :)
(Click on images to enlarge.)

I admit am suffering from APPD..."artistic post partem depression"...
I just don't want my part of this exchange to end!
I promise that I will post
the remaining 6 full page reveals of my work in the next few days.
Stay tuned...LOL :)
If you like, you can always check the Maruman_X blogspot for updates
as well as detailed views of each artist's book. :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

"Brown Baggin' It..."

...and just fiddling...diddling...and doodling around! :)
First off...I must comment that
I LOVE the artwork and designs found on Trader Joe's grocery bags...
The work is funky, clever, and it definitely has personality.
because I was in a bit of a rambunctious, rascally mood,
I decided
to add few zentanglely zippity-doodads of my own....just for fun.
Yippee! :)

"Someday when I am old,
I will look back at this moment as the happiest time
of my life."
~My Trader Joe's grocery bag

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

To the 'Fly Boys'..."

...and the soldiers, the sailors, the Coast Guard, and the Marines

(My dad's flight notes above...the plane he flew below)

of generations past... ...and generations present.
You are honored here today, this Veterans Day 2008,

for your bravery and selflessness.

And, you are thanked...for all you have done...and continue to do.

May your have peace in your hearts


know that your efforts make a difference in our lives.

God bless!

Daily...over our home in Surprise, Arizona
we see the young F-16 pilots based at Luke Air Force Base, just south of us,
winging their way through the dry desert air, piercing the sky
through sunlight and clouds,
honing their skills and making themselves combat "ready"
for eventual deployment to areas of crisis and conflict world wide.
Every time they fly over we look skyward, take a gulp, and feel so proud of them.
There is certain power and beauty
in the flawless precision of their formations
and aerobatic maneuvers.
my wish for them is for a future world
where their skills are no longer needed for war.

My drawing today honors the "Beauty of Flight"
celebrates the 50th year anniversary of the design of the peace sign
Gary Holtom...February 21, 1958

"If we are to reach real peace in the world, we shall have to begin
with the children."

"My soul is in the sky." ~William Shakespeare


Monday, November 10, 2008

"Inside the Fruit..."

...Of a Night Blooming Cereus!
This is the first year our cereus has been so productive.
Currently there are 17 pieces of fruit...
( the one on my drawing table which I dissected
specially for the Cactus Monday cause. LOL)
We have had a few tiny pieces of fruit in the past
once the birds get wind of the pending feast
everything is picked clean!
This year is indeed different...the fruit is larger, there is more of it,
and nothing appears to be feasting on it.
I wonder what's up???

In doing some research
I ran across a night blooming cereus with red fruit called Pitaya or
Dragon fruit (cool pics here)
which is edible..and supposedly tastes similar to kiwi.
I wonder...
Will mine mature, get larger and eventually turn red?
Guess there will be
NO snacking for the time being...:)
Have a fruitful Cactus Monday All! :)

"One is wise to cultivate the tree that bears fruit in our soul."
Henry David Thoreau