Saturday, May 31, 2008

"Joy..." not in things, it is"

-Richard Wagner

From my heart to yours...I wish you


Friday, May 30, 2008

"What Have We Here...?"


Roots, Stems, Leaves, Flowers, Pods


Dashes, Squiggles, Hatches, and Checks...

All mixed together in a

" Zen-Botangle"!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

"At the Midnight Hour..."

...A wee bit of a leaf zentangle doodle
to calm and relax me
and keep me from midnight snacking!

Why is it I enjoy drawing in the wee hours of the morning?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"A Zendala Bandana-rama..."

A bit of a "girly-girly something-something"
In your choice of
Black netting or White Lace.

Monday, May 26, 2008

"Out Of My Mind...! "

Fantasia imaginina

Characterized by frequently changing form and color.
Natural habitat located somewhere between the subconscious
the tip of one's paintbrush.
Classified into two categories according to flowering cycle:
Nocturnal dream blossoms
mid-afternoon day-dreaming blooms.
The ancients of Bloggerama noticed cacti of this type
mysteriously appearing like magic out of thin air
on Mondays.
Hence, they celebrated these sightings with special
festivals and regalia.
Then, under the leadership of their Queen,
these festivals where passed down through generations
and became commonly known as
Cactus Monday

This species of cacti needs minimal care...
thrives in the rich environment and wonders of blogland
and is intrigued by
the casual passing by of interested visitors.

In the words of the those very wise ancients...
Happy Cactus Monday All!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

"Gone, But Not Forgotten..."

Memorial Day 2008

According to Wikipedia..."Memorial Day is a United States Federal Holiday that is observed on the last Monday of May (observed in 2008 on May 26). It was formerly known as Decoration Day. This holiday commemorates U.S. men and women who have died in military service to their country. It began first to honor Union soldiers who died during the American Civil War. After World War I, it was expanded to include those who died in any war or military action."

Further reading states..."Many people observe this holiday by visiting cemeteries and memorials. A national moment of remembrance takes place at 9 p.m. US Eastern time. Another tradition is to fly the U. S. Flag at half staff from dawn until noon local time. Volunteers place an American flag upon each grave site located in a National Cemetery. It honored the troops who fought in the war and died." Note: The red highlighted items provide further information and other interesting details. Simply click on the topic of choice.

And, lastly, Wikipedia comments that..."In addition to remembrance, Memorial Day is also a time for picnics, barbecues, family gatherings, and sporting events. One of the longest standing traditions is the running of the Indianapolis 500, which has been held in conjunction with Memorial Day since 1911. Some Americans also view Memorial Day as the unofficial beginning of summer."

To me

factual information and details about Memorial day are

definitely important to know...

but for some reason today as I was designing this post

the words seemed so cold, and soul-less, and lacking in heart.

I feel the post needed some emotion...some humanity...

to properly pay tribute to those so honored on this day.

So, in that light, I decided on a personal course of action.

As I display the flag this weekend

I will mourn the great human losses suffered in the name of


I will take inventory of my blessings


cherish the richness that fills my spirit

and my life.

I will strive to have a heart full of gratitude and peace.

And, maybe, in this small individual way

I will truly honor the lives of those

who came before me and tried to make the world a better place.

Join me if you wish...

I wish you all PEACE...where ever in the world you may live.

Friday, May 23, 2008

"Hey, Get Down..."

...Let's Boogie Tonight!

Happy Weekend!

EDM #172
Draw Something that Sparkles :)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

"A Triad..."

...Of Big, Bright, Beautiful, Buzzing Bees!
Just Bee..cause! :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


...A freeform
whirling in the wind...
celebrating the joyful blossoming of the "Artistic Spirit"

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

"I Scream..."

...You scream,
We all scream...for
Ice Cream!

EDM #171
Draw Some Ice Cream

Ooops! I almost forgot...
a special bulletin
for all my loyal Cactus Monday followers...
an update to yesterday's posted weather forecast:
Temps in Phoenix Monday reached a record breaking
110 degrees !
Sizzle, Sizzle...

Now, that's definitely
some really good ice cream eatin' weather!

Monday, May 19, 2008

"One Red Hot Mama..."

...Oh Yeeaah!
A solitary saguaro sentinel
overlooking the Four Peaks wilderness area and Weaver's Needle
just a bit east of Phoenix, Arizona...
where the
forecasted high temperature for today is predicted to be
a smokin' HOT 108 degrees...Whew !

"That's Hot! " -Paris Hilton

Happy Cactus Monday Everyone! :)

Friday, May 16, 2008


...Bountiful, Beautiful Bougainvillea!

Believe it or not...the actual flower of this beauty
is the itsy bitsy tiny WHITE flower
found in clusters of three
surrounded by bracts of wildly bright colors ranging
from pink,
to magenta,
to purple,
to red,
to orange,
and even white or yellow!

are fabulous, though thorny...I have scratches to prove it...
like true show girls of the old west,
they display their vibrant magenta ruffles,
fluttering with the breezes,
dancing in my yard,
and decorating my sketchbook.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

"Ancient Greece..."

Being a former teacher of Ancient World History
I could not let this one pass me by!

Pssst...this just might be the start of a new "mini-series"!
Hmmmm... :)

Pre Paid Envelope Art #6

"A Brand New Garden..."

Back in Illinois, on the north side of our concrete patio right outside the sliding glass patio doors, sits an ever growing patch of lovely Lily of the Valley. The first "slip" that started the garden was given to me by Nancy, a good friend who also happened to be the art teacher in our school. At the time I wondered, knowing little to nothing about gardening, how could a bed of flowers ever grow from such a spindly, small single plant?

Time passed and when the garden was still young, I just might find maybe a dozen or so stems every spring to pick...I would place the precious stems in a small crystal vase and carry them from room to room with me, cherishing the delicate blooms and enjoying their light delicate fragrance. It was heavenly.

As the years marched on, the little flower bed grew with vigor. And, each May without fail (and remember, without any gardening expertise on my part) a lovely bed of rich green leaves and tiny bell shaped flowers would pierce through the dark rich soil and sing to my heart. My spirit was enriched with the joy those little flower blooms brought. I picked many full bunches of stems and had them all throughout the house. I shared them with family, and neighbors, and colleagues at school. I would always present my mother with a big bouquet on Mother's day.

Today, I live in Arizona. I am surrounded by some of the most gorgeous natural landforms on the planet. Everywhere I look there is rugged beauty...full of legend and antiquity. Happily, I still do have beautiful plants and flowers and colors all around me. But, it is a different kind of beauty...very geometric, rigid, and spiny, and usually, very thorny as well. Things here are very different indeed. The soil is compacted and stony and a reddish tan in color. Spring comes earlier...and today, May 14th, the weather forecasters are predicting triple digit temperatures by the weekend. This is to be expected for the surprises here... nostalgic celebration of my Lily of the Valley, I drew a spindly little "slip"...similar to the same planting which started my Illinois flower bed over 20 + years ago. I share it now with new artistic "neighbors". I smile at it's spirit still enriched by the memories of the lavish bouquets of the past. It is all good.

Now...I "plant" brand new a whole new environment...gardens this time of the "sketchbook variety". This indeed brings great joy to my heart! And...come to think of it...I know this would definitely put a big smile on Nancy's face too! :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


My, oh my, what an EDM day!
Plenty of sketching, What can I say?
Me and my Pitt pen...We're on our way!
EDM # 170
"Draw A Zipper"

Monday, May 12, 2008

"105 Years Ago.."

Echinocactus damsii
Inspired by the original Schumann botanical print drawn in 1903.

Drawn by me, over a century later, with Prismacolor pencils
in my new
Strathmore Black Field Drawing Book.

how's that for a
Happy Cactus Monday ?!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

"All Strung Out..."

...My Prepaid Envelope Art #5 :)

Friday, May 9, 2008


...On a complex and emotional week of






Healing, and


"Every day in May 2008."

Week # 1

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

"FORE...! "

This is my 4th prepaid envelope art piece...
A hot pink "girly" bag
with lots of pockets
drawn in honor
of all you gals out there who love to golf!
FORE! FOUR! #4 :)

Monday, May 5, 2008

"A Bloomin' Giant...! "

Carnigiea gigantea

Become "Saguaro Saavy":

The magnificent Saguaro cactus is composed of a tall, thick, fluted, columnar stem, 18 to 24 inches in diameter, often with several large branches (arms) curving upward in the most distinctive shape of all Southwestern cacti.

Saguaros are slow growing, taking up to 75 years to develop a side arm.

The flower of the saguaro cactus is the state flower of Arizona.

The saguaro cactus typically blooms in May and June.

It is one of the most unique state flowers, and is characterized by having a waxy feel, but fragrant aroma.

There may be hundreds of flowers on a saguaro cactus that bloom just several at a time over a period of more than a month.

The saguaro flowers have a short life; they open at night and close permanently during the next day.

Many of the blossoms will become pollinated and, later in the summer, the flowers become red-fleshed fruits that are enjoyed by the local bird population.

Some specimens may live for more than 150 years... the champion saguaro grows in Maricopa County, Arizona and is 13.8 m tall with a girth of 3.1 m.

Happy Cactus Monday! :)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

"Bon Appetit...! "

...Chocolate Cherry Cream Cake
"Blinged out to the max "
Chocolate curls,
Chocolate Sprinkles,
A squiggle or two of Chocolate Cream,
And a Cherry on the top.
Yum?? Yum!!

EDM # 169
"Draw a Piece of Cake"

Thursday, May 1, 2008

"Primitive...Or Not?..."

...That is the Question!

Early man used natural items such as stone, charcoal, animal fat, minerals, shells, clay, reeds, and sand to create masterful works of "primitive" art. Evidence of these breathtaking pieces of early art decorate caves, cliff walls, and canyons throughout the world.

To honor this natural art style I celebrate the sand painting style of the Navajo tribal peoples of the desert southwest.

The Navajo word for sand painting means "a place where the gods come and go". Thus, sand paintings had great power and were often used for healing, teaching the traditional ways, and in tribal ceremonies. Sand paintings produced by the Navajo people are traditionally the most beautiful, elaborate, and complex.

The pigments used in a sand painting are obtained by collecting colored sandstone which is ground into a fine powder resulting in colors of rich reds, browns, and ochre yellow. Crushed charcoal is added to produce black. Cornmeal, pollen from plants, and pulverized flower petals add additional color to the palette. These are then sprinked by hand into traditional compositions.

The four plants, sacred to the Navajo and often used in sand paintings, are corn, beans, tobacco, and squash. Artistically interpreted, each of the plants is incoporated into this piece.

My drawing was also styled as a mandala which in certain Buddhist spiritual practices is thought of as a sacred space, a place for meditation, and is often represented in sand paintings.

"Primitive": A (Past) Illustration Friday Topic :)