Friday, February 29, 2008

"To Market...To Market...To Buy A..."

I drew this, EDM #7, a while back...long before the word "blog" became a familiar word in my everyday vocabulary. Bravely, it was drawn from the "get-go" in ink... which might explain why things are a bit askew....and then brightened up a bit with standard colored pencil for some"pop". Everytime I look at it I am reminded that I need to make another trip somewhere for something...

Maybe I'm just unorganized...but today's marketing experiences will include the pharmacy for prescription refills, the post office to mail bills, the local sub shop for lunch (because the fridge is empty), and possibly Pier One Imports for some totally unnecessary "gotta-haves". Did anyone notice my fridge is empty and I neglected to add groceries to this list???

Hmmm...on second thought...I better think more efficiently...and make a list of the things I really need...I wonder if I need to purchase a set of watercolor pencils today, too... ???

To buy a... ;)

Thursday, February 28, 2008


Okay...I admit it...I am addicted to the television series "LOST". I just now finished watching tonight's episode and headed right for the computer to make another late night post. Curiously enough, tonight's episode did NOT have its usual contorting way with my mind...where I just start to get things figured out and then the series throws me a "curve ball".

Tonight there was actually a storyline of those "A-Ha, I get it moments" where things become clear and purposeful. My posting tonight is a somewhat like experience.

A while back I came across a site called "Zentangles" my opinion a sort of "uber" zen enhanced doodling experience being marketed as a type of new age art form increasing one's focus, artistic creativity, personal well being...yadda, yadda, yadda. To me just picking up an art tool and fiddling with it does the same thing...most of the time. The explantions of the whole zentangle philosophy were interesting enough but it just seemed a bit too much-too contrived. I became "LOST " in the details.

However, while browsing the site, I found the zentangle examples shown in the gallery section very interesting...definitely worth a try on my own. They were really fun to do-minutes into hours on the clock disappeared as I became enchanted by the final results I was getting. I have doodled zentangles of all shapes and sizes and found them quite invigorating... especially when I'm in a drawing slump, or if I'm LOST in project ideas, or if I have extra energy and can't control my pen.

My drawing posted here is a botanical inspired, zentangle based, pen and ink design-a glorified doodle. ;) It had no clear goal, or zen directive, or predetermined ending point. It is just happened...a product of imagination, serendipity, and getting "LOST" in the process of sketchbook exploration..An "A-Ha! I get it moment." ;)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

It Was A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood..."

This past Tuesday, February 26, was the day that marked the first year anniversary of the passing of my "mother-in-law" Lillian. (My"Acts of Kindness"..."Pay It Forward" posting that day was written in her honor.) She and her husband, Ollie, would venture "southwest" every winter for some 20 + years to renew their spirits in the warm Arizona sun and enjoy generations of loving family who lived in the area. They had a great life together-their hearts full of smiles and love.

Remarkably, last Tuesday, February 26, was an exceptionally beautiful late February Arizona day. It was the type of day where you breathed in its sweetness long before your sleepy eyes ever opened. The entire valley seemed to hum with recharged energy and spirit and joy. I, too, felt the "magic" in this early spring air and decided it was a day just right for some outdoor sketching and painting...this was to be my way to remember and honor Lillian. At first I wondered if my attempts would be difficult. But, to my delight, my pen and brushes found a life of their easily and so joyfully floating across my sketchbook renewing to one's spirit...and...I believe in my "heart of hearts"...that Lillian had something to do with that.

It truly was a beautiful day in the neighborhood...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

"Acts of Kindness...In Memory of Lillian Mae..."

I dedicate today's blog post to Lillian Mae, my "mother-in-law", who made the world a better place by "Paying It Forward" every single day.

I have pledged to take part in a Pay It Forward Exchange, brought to my attention recently by Anita Davies.

It is based on the concept from the movie "Pay It Forward" where three acts of kindness are carried out without expecting anything in return. Each participant from those "acts of kindness" must then select three different people who they, in turn, do an "act of kindness" for and the process repeats over and over sending one huge wash of kindness around the world.


Here's how it works:
Email me your land address, along with a link to your blog, typing PAY IT FORWARD in the subject line.

*Please remember that you must be prepared to send three acts of kindness on to other people when you do this.

In return, I promise to create a small gift for the first three people who email me requesting to join in on the Pay It Forward exchange.

I will announce here on my blog the first three people who respond by email within the next few days..

These three people must then post on their own blogs promising three different people an act of kindness gift.

Sorry, you must have your own blog to be able to participate.

Please allow 4-6 weeks for me to make and send my gifts to you.

Gifts can be anything that is handmade or painted by your own hand.

Go to my blog profile and click on my email if you are interested in becoming part of this.

Good Luck!

Monday, February 25, 2008

"One Thing Leads To Another..."

Some days you just can't keep the old pen still.

EDM #140...Draw an Envelope,
EDM #89...Draw Some Buttons, and finally
EDM #90...Draw something with Wings.
Triple the fun...Three EDM's in ONE! ;)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

"Love's Got a Hold on Me..."

To collect your award, click on the image and the select "save as."

Anita Davies kindly gifted me this award. In return, I am to list to 5 blogs I love to visit.

First, I wanted to give special mention and thanks to the artists who inspire me greatly and to whom I visit regularly. Their names-familiar to most of us-are listed on my sidebar. I LOVE you Andrea, Anita, Danny, Grace, Desiree, and Jane! A visit to their sites is ALWAYS a special treat.

Second, now..for the awards...TA DAA!!! Since I am what you would term a "newbie" in the blogging area, I have used a little beginner's artistic license here with this award and would like to use it to honor 3 blogs that are brand NEW to me this week that I am loving to visit:

"Envelope Please" (...after is Oscar night... :)

Jennifer Lawson- Jennifer's blog is fresh and filled with delightfully delicate, refined drawings. I really enjoy her attention to detail and her use of colored pencil. Plus, I am still giggling to myself about her EDM post featuring "popcorn" (as well as its follow-up posting) ;) Check them out for yourself-they are brilliant!

Draw Daily- I found "Pedalpower's" blog this week through EDM links. I so enjoy the midwest nostalgic flavor of her architectural art (I just love that route 66 gas station) and some of her newer vintage drawings. Also, "Pedalpower" is fortunate to be in a work environment dear to her heart where she can both work and enjoy her love of art at the same time...what a great combo that makes!

Desiree-Desiree's blog "The Clothes Line and other Laundry Lists" makes me want to literally bathe in my watercolor paints! Her use of color in her fruit and veggie series is so juicy and scrumptious and rich. M.m.m.m.m! I love to look at and learn about beautiful things. Desiree's website provides one with artistic beauty and a feast for the eyes. Plain and simple...Desiree inspires me! She is my newest addition to my sidebar inspiration list. Check her out!

The participation rules are simple:

1. If you get tagged (and want to play along) write a post with links to blogs that you love, too.

2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme, created by Emilia.

"The Eyes Have It...or Is the Vote Still Out?"

You just "gotta" love Danny Gregory...Draw an eye :)...EDM # 33

Saturday, February 23, 2008

"A Truly 'Hands On' Posting..."

EDM # 61 suggested drawing a collection of two or more similar can guess what personal grooming needed attention that day! ;) I just love the funky, witty names that OPI gives its different shade of polishes. If you go to the OPI website there is a "Try It On Studio". It's a real hoot! Try on any color your heart desires...a great winter diversion for those snowed in...Why not give it a go? ;) Let me know your favorite shade!

Friday, February 22, 2008

"Getting into the Spirit of Things..." I took another class. My local art club, which seems to be getting me into a lot of artistic "trouble" ;) lately, offered a 2 day art workshop entitled "Out of your Gourd". So, since I live in Arizona, right smack dab in the middle of the magical southwest, let me ask you... How could I resist???

What you see posted above is my interpretation of a "Spirit Gourd". Our teacher, Mikki Rynne, was a human dynamo...a whirlwind of enthusiam and spunk! She called us her "Gourdies" and we loved it. What a splendid time we had. We could use ANYTHING (beads, feathers, paint, woodburning tools, stones, "yadda, yadda, yadda"...) to design our pieces. For me though...too many options...I really struggled to narrow down the visual possibilities running through my head and come up with a single design theme for my project. But, after several "heart-to heart" talks between my inner spirit and my gourd, I finally decided to do what I loved best. DRAWING! How simple!

I drew directly on the gourd itself a fine point Pitt pencil sketches as a foundation. When completed the gourd was sprayed with an acrylic fixitive. That really brought the piece into a life of its own. During the drawing process if I made a mistake in my composition it "magically" turned into a vine or some other natural floral looking "thingy". You can see more photos and details of this project and my future projects on my "Spirit Blossoms" blogspot if you are interested.

Working with natural materials such as the gourd was a fun challenge. Feeling its powdery surface, juggling its 3 dimensional shape, and hearing lots of its "innerds" still attached rattling around on the inside was indeed a full artistic experience. From this challenge I, in turn, received an inner sense of peace, a feeling of oneness with nature, and nostalgic touchstone to the ancient past.

Hope you like:)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

"Killing Two Birds with One Stone?"

Okay...the blog is brand new...the post above is older...but I still wanted to share...the EDM challenge I chose that day was #8..."Draw your Watch". I did that... but it seemed extremely lonesome there all by decided...take off the jewelry I was wearing that day and draw it the watch had "company"...and I, at least, surely felt better. Life was good...then... I got a case of the "munchies" (all healthy, please note, from "Sprouts"...a local farmer-market-type-health store in my area) pen was still itching to go...and the rest is blog-history. :)

P.S. A current and timely update... not of the artistic kind... but... of the "yummy " kind...Sprouts now has dark chocolate covered dried cranberries...oh, oh, oh...I think I am addicted to them....don't tell anyone ;)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

"Don't Box Me In" ...Why not? Its FUN!

The other day on her post Anita used a very fun design element to break down her "mountain" into a "mole hill." I have tried that technique several times in the past myself and highly recommend one tries it. I found that not only was it fun thing to do but that also the results were very visually pleasing. The grid can be as large or as small as one desires. Also, the grid boxes can be in whatever shape or arrangement that suits your fancy. Be loose and enjoy. In the example above I drew my boxes in first and then filled them with images. I was reading Danny Gregory's book The Creative License at the time and decided to combine an EDM of sorts into my composition. Hope you enjoy!

"Energy Flows Where Attention Goes..."

I have a neat idea to share...
When I took an illustration journal workshop from Grace Haverty in April of 2006 she suggested an easy way of keeping track of creative spurts. The calendars I posted today show a really user friendly tool she received from one of her art teachers. You can make your own personal record be as unique and complex as you desire-I have chosen to simply color in a square each time I either drew or painted. The quotation at the bottom of the 2007 calendar is "Energy flows Where Attention Goes." How true!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A Step Back in Time-To show a Start of Wonderful Possibilities

As you might have suspected, due to the absence of entries :) , I am very new to the world of blogging. "Water Blossoms" is my first, and one and only, blog to date. So, to provide you a peek into my world, I thought I would share with you some of the things I have been working on during the past few years since I retired from my career as a middle school teacher in Illinois. I also thought I would enjoy sharing some of the delightful artistic experiences I have had through the years with some very special people in my life. These people have not only encouraged me in my artistic endeavors but have also made me a better artist and observer of life in general. My deepest appreciation to each of them.

The artwork in my very first two blog posts (February 15th) is the result of a "leap of faith" on my part. Hence, I whole heartedly want to give credit for their success to the creative mind of Anita Davies-who "took me under her wing" as a member of her POSTCARD PENPALS group. I had no idea what I was in first artist exchange...and let me tell you, what a fun ride that has been...and now I have a blog??!!..."Whoa Nellie!" Yea! Anita! You set the artistic bar high. You are awesome!

So, now if you're ready, here we third post..."Back in time..."

In April of 2006 my art local club offered a workshop for members entitled "Sketchbook Journaling." It was taught by Grace Haverty, a woman who I now consider a "mentor" to me. Grace brought not only her vast knowledge of watercolor painting into my life but also her love for observing the beauty in everyday life. She also brought with her that day stacks of well worn journals-each one depicting intriguing everyday life scenes of her travels around the world. As I looked through each and every page of each and every one of her journals, a fire was lit in my spirit. This is something I wanted to experience-the joy of drawing the beauty in the world around me. In my post above is a scan of the title page I drew after the workshop was over, incorporating some of the thoughts and "words of wisdom " shared that day. The photograph is of Grace painting that day. We spent the entire day-long workshop only yards away from the art studio...but miles away in creativity...just observing life, painting with gusto, and breathing in the sweet April air of Arizona. Our results from that day were simply delightful...

As you visit my blog periodically I hope you enjoy stepping back in time with me and seeing how this one single little workshop grew into a passion..."stay tuned" as they used to say. :)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Belated Valentine's Day Greetings!

A belated Happy Valentine's day to each of you! Here is a card I sent an on-line friend in the U.K. as a Valentine's day surprise. Hope you like it-this is what results when one is filled with "excess artistic energy"-it's such great fun, too.

Prickly Pear Cactus Bloom

Here is an example of a postcard sent to a friend as a part of a Postcard Exchange. This was my first attempt a such an endeavor. I just LOVED being part of it!