Monday, March 31, 2008

"Aloha...?"

A crown? or a lei?...hmmm...you be the judge!
Mammillaria melanocentra
Seen at the Phoenix Botanical Garden
During 18th Annual SketchCrawl
and
Inspired by the Schumann botanical print circa 1900
Pretty to look at...but... you better not touch!

Happy Cactus Monday!
See the rest of the group's art at:
Enjoy!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

"18th Annual SketchCrawl..."


Desert Botanical Gardens
Phoenix, Arizona
A glorious day,
A wonderful group,
Memories to last forever...
Aaaah...it's awesome to be an artist! :)

Friday, March 28, 2008

"My Mile-High Purchase..."

This is the camera I purchased in sheer frustration
right after my most favorite, favorite camera
carreened off the top of our car
and
down
the
mountainside
near Breckenridge, Colorado many moons ago.
Oh, My!
EDM #164 Draw a camera :)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

"What Did YOU Do Yesterday?..."

...Three guesses were I was...?!!
New brakes, new brake rotors, replace two motor mounts,
and an oil light computer sensor :(
EDM# 60...Draw an automobile...or part of one...
Whew!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

" A Little Spring Flip Flop..."

...and a bit of a Spring fling, too!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

"From Out in LEFT Field..."

Today's post was inspired by Mark of "Mark Just Because" blogspot. I was excited to respond creatively to his "non-dominant hand" post, which initiated a lot of positive creative "buzz" on the EDM blog site, and I thought that his would be a fun way to do that!

To begin with, my art piece was drawn, with my left hand, as a late night creative effort this past January (2008). The idea to draw this way came to me right "out of the blue"...or "LEFT field", if you will! :) Like Mark, I was using my non-dominant hand to complete all the work shown. Interestingly, I found that when I made the original pen drawing I got a bit "woozy" and "dizzy" afterwards...maybe because I had on my old glasses...or...maybe because I was just thinking too hard, too late at night!?? Hmmmmmm... :)

Color was added for extra "oomph" just today. And, to my surprise, I found that adding the color with my left hand was actually more difficult than the initial drawing part. I continually was forced to turn my sketchbook upsidedown and "topsy turvey" to adjust to the angle of the shape I wanted to color in. It was difficult to control my strokes and keep them even and, as a result, I found that my right hand started to move in sketching/shading motions while I was trying to color with my left! Hmmmm...wonder what THAT means...YIKES!

Truly, my whole non-dominant hand endeavor was a fun experience...and, truly, it was also an experience "from out in LEFT field". ;)

Monday, March 24, 2008

"That Girl's Got Bling..."

"Phyllocactus hibridns"
Bejeweled...Bedazzled...and Blinged out!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

"Alleluia!!!..."

May
you...your family...and your friends
be blessed
this
Easter.

Friday, March 21, 2008

"East Meets West...Zen Pysanky..."



Once upon a time...I enrolled in an extension course offered by our local community college back in Illinois. It was in the art of pysanky. Pysanky are Ukranian Easter eggs, decorated using beeswax and dyes that are applied in layers. The process is very similar to that of batik. Pysanky decoration is an artform that has been handed down through generations of the Ukrainian people and they are known all over the world for these colorful Easter eggs. The eggs symbolize the release of the earth from the shackles of winter. They also symbolize the coming of spring with its promise of new hope, new life, and prosperity. Legend has it that as long as pysanky are decorated, goodness will prevail over evil throughout the world.

An amazing fact I learned while working in this artform is that it is very important to use flawless eggs...without any hairline cracks...as the egg white and yolk are not blown out. You must be very very careful not to drop your egg!

The colors and the symbols used all have significant meaning. The designs can be intricate and complex. The eggs are coated with a varnish to protect them and enable them to become keepsakes. After several years in safe keeping the insides of the eggs dry out and cause the egg to rattle. It's really cool! The whole process of creating these little art gems is quite remarkable and the end results by professionals are simply stunning.

What is so amazing to me is that when I was about to make today's post...it was to be just the pen and ink drawing....and then...a little voice in the back of my head said..."Whoa! Deja Vous! This is just like the pysanky you made one time!" After I calmed myself down...I scurried off to look for my photos! I found them and to my utter shock while looking at them I noticed my pysanky were signed and dated...14 years ago!!!

So, in the traditional spirit of new hope, new life, and prosperity...I hope you enjoy. :)

Be Blessed...Happy Easter.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

"Celebrate Spring...Be Like Flower!"

"Be like a flower...Turn you head to the Sun."
-Kahil Gibran

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"Toss in a Little Spring..."

No special reason...'cept for the season... :)

Enjoy!

Monday, March 17, 2008

"Giving Cactus Some Definition..."

According to Wikipedia, "A cactus (plural: cacti, cactuses, or cactus) is any member of the succulent plant family Cactaceae, native to the Americas."

But...according to me...that's way too stuffy! To me cacti are the "Personality of the Desert." They give their arid homes character, and life, and a sense of identity and history. They give me, as an artist, "food for my sketchbook". They decorate my imagination. They become actors-role playing scenes from life...statuesque saquaro transform into guards standing watch over huddling bouquets of prickly pear...fleshy, juicy, ready to burst with color...sensual night blooming cereus coyly flirt...and tempt the creatures of the dark with their charms. Images like these dance in my mind and energize my pen and my keyboard.

Cacti are complex and wise, yet fresh and spunky. They are survivors. They deftly plant seeds of nostalgia deep into my being. Like old souls, they wistfully tell me stories of times eternal...Stories of Days...blazing with fire, and heat, and agony...and... Stories of Evenings...blanketed by endless stretches of soothing magenta sunsets...and...Stories of Nights...dark...with an inky blackness pierced by eternal pinholes of starlight and the ebbing sounds of wailing coyotes. They tell stories of their "home turf"...immense and vast and expansive, cloaked in antiquity, buzzing with life, yet serenely quiet, solitary, and remote. They share their desert world...their environment...with each of us on this planet. Their very essence flavors the art journals, the sketchbooks, the photographs, and the canvasses of artists across the world.

To me...my art...and my words...give cacti some real definition.

Happy Cactus Monday! WooHoo!

Friday, March 14, 2008

"Happy First Month Birthday Water Blossoms..."

With all the excitement of a little kid on her birthday... I celebrate this day!
This was the one of last things I thought I would ever do.
Me?...A blog?...You've GOT to be kidding! ;)
Visiting you all, "watching from the outside in", was joy enough for me.
Drawing, painting, doodling, fiddling, class taking, journaling,
THAT is was I did...
...and life was Good!

Then a change happened.
It all started with "call out"
for participation in a Postcard Pen Pal Exchange.
"Why not try? What could possibly go wrong? "
Well, to my surprise, and utter delight,
everything went very, very, very right!
"Water Blossoms", a thought I once had, became a reality.
A blog was born...

Then,
I met YOU...and this time I really MET you...
up close and personal, right here in my own home.
Every morning you would be right there in my email.
You came from all corners of the world...
from the east to the west coast...
from across the rolling seas..
from big urban cities to the quiet open skys of the fens...
...from your world into mine.
You entered my life and decorated it with your individuality,
and your talent,
and your encouragement.

So,
on this "First Month Birthday" of "Water Blossoms",
I joyously celebrate!
I celebrate the vigor it has brought to my art
and,
most importantly,
I celebrate
YOU...
each and every one of you,
and
I thank you for the artistic energy you give me every day.

With appreciation and thanks,

Margaret :)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

"Spirit Blossom # 2...For Phyllis..."


Here are just two views of my latest "Spirit Blossom"... made for my friend Phyllis. The entire gourd's surface has been drawn upon...top...bottom...and all around the sides. More specifics and details about the design, the process, materials used, and the quotation can be found by linking here to my "Spirit Blossoms" blogspot. There are several more views to enjoy there as well.

I especially delighted in making this for my friend. It brought me alot of smiles. The quotation is one which has always had special meaning to me. Working with a natural object enhances the spiritual connection for me in my art...just like painting or drawing out of doors does. There is a special awareness of life, a peace in the heart, and an energizing of the spirit that results in doing something like this.

Oh, and did I forget to mention... it was alot of fun as well?! :)

This piece now sits is a special place in Phyllis's home where she can enjoy its simple beauty and be renewed by its serenity...and..I get to visit it whenever I want. ;)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

"Dear Diary..."

...Today

I drew, and painted, and blogged, and sketched, and blogged some more.

Retirement is a good thing.

Love,

Me

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

"Let There Be COLOR!..."

Before...

After...

And... the "Secret Garden" burst into song...heralding the approach of Spring!

Monday, March 10, 2008

"Cactus Monday...This One's for Teri!..."

Happy "Cactus Monday" everyone!

I just joined Teri, from Teri's Painted Daisies, and her little drawing group honoring the cacti of the world. We will attempt to post either a cactus drawing or some type of artistic cactus endeavor every Monday on our blogs. This is my first posting with the group and because of that I am posting it in honor of Teri for her enthusiasm and love of Arizona.

My drawing is of a prickley pear cactus just like the one I have in my own backyard. Mine is still a few weeks from producing blossoms but when it does they will be a pale yellow color like in my drawing. I can't wait for all the cacti to begin blooming. It is such a festive site!

Woo Hoo! I can feel it in my bones...This is gonna' be fun! :)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

"Woo Hoo!...It Arrived! ! ! ..."




I was so happy when the mail came yesterday I almost cried. Tucked in with the bills and the usual flyers was a small soft-padded envelope from the UK. My special token from the Pay It Forward exchange from Anita arrived...and special it was...just in time for spring. My gift is a TAB (Anita's term for her Tiny Art Books) and every part of it was created by Anita...I'd even believe it if someone told me the girl wove the ribbon herself...she is so amazing.

Anita Davies has truly been my guiding star on the jumbled road to blogdom. Her professional and sincere ways and her artistic enthusiasm has influenced me greatly. Our paths may have crossed by chance but her specialness will be in my heart always. I hope, in turn, I can do for someone else just starting out what Anita has done for me. She truly lives by the spirit of Pay It Forward.

P.S. There is still time to join in on the Pay It Forward campaign. Just follow this link for information if you are interested. Hope to be hearing from you! :)

Saturday, March 8, 2008

"Wisteria Chinensis..."

My request to join the Botanical Art & Naturalist Illustration Yahoo Group-"Botanicalart" has just been approved! WooHoo! I sent over my letter of introduction this morning... so if any of you are members...pop over, if you like, to the group and read it! :)

This drawing was completed in January 2007 ...and...it is posted for the first time here in celebration of my new group. :)

Friday, March 7, 2008

"My Secret Garden..."

"My Secret Garden" was drawn last May, before I blogged, and posted today for the first time in honor of the Illustration Friday Theme..."Garden".

Saunter through it for a while and allow your spirit to renew. .."Namaste". :)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

"Political Gridlock..."

"I saaaay no-ow...Who-oo do ya la-ove?" (Tap your foot to the beats of the song...and sing along...if you're old enough to remember it ;)

This is me..and my thoughts...on the results of the political primaries in the U.S. tonight...in grid (lock) format...how suiting...;)

And so, "I saaaay no-ow...Who-oo do ya la-ove?..."
And, the beat goes on..... ;)

Monday, March 3, 2008

"The Cosmos?...A New Earth?...Or Art?..."




..."In the Beginning",

...The expanding universe,

...Our evolution in time,

..."Awakening to your life's purpose",

..."The flowering of human consciousness",

..."Finding who you truly are"...

...Defining Perspective,

...Developing Perception,

...Understanding Point of View,

The cosmos?... "A New Earth" ?...or... Art itself?...

NOTE: All Images c. Margaret Storer-Roche

Sunday, March 2, 2008

"My Postcard From Anita..."

This is the lovely card I received from Anita Davies as part of her international Postcard Penpal exchange. It arrived here in Arizona much to my "squealing delight" several weeks ago. It is so amazing looking in real life. It is a loving drawing of the "fens"...of which she writes poeticly in her new column in the Cambs Times. Check out this link and enjoy her description.

While I was exploring around in my fellow artists' blogs I saw Anita's return cards posted all over the place. It was then that I realized I MUST MUST MUST get my act together and post this little beauty for all of you to enjoy. What a "silly little goose" am I to have not thought of this until now...!!!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

"I've Got Spring Fever..."

Woo Hoo! I just felt like playing around today...I guess we artists never grow up... ;)