Saturday, February 26, 2011

"Bring It On....!"

Girlfriend weekends rock...Jan and I...
Cave Creek, Arizona...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"This Smokin' Hot..."

...feisty, flame headed, impulsive
of my Muse
definitely has had a strong influence on her
fiery painting palette...
so much so that I just recently found
"Daniel Smith Artist Supplies"
on the speed dial of
her cell!
(I personally think she is addicted
those luscious, yummy quinacridone colors...)
I guess if you love what you do...
life is good!

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

Monday, February 21, 2011

"And Then Came Ms. Dora..."

...who is just a wee bit of a desert diva...
and who is
also another of my Muse's quirky gal pals.
Dora specifically insisted on meeting you all today...
getting all dolled up
for her special Cactus Monday debut!
She is certainly a real "stickler" making a proper
first impression...;)

One should never make one's debut in a scandal.
One should reserve that
to give interest to one's old age.”
Oscar Wilde

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Madagascar, A Journey Diary (2009)

Have you seen this yet???
Talk about artistic...this totally rocks!!!
So...why not
grab your favorite "cuppa"...get all comfy...
and simply enjoy!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

"Meet Ms. Flora..."

...another of my Muse's girlfriends.
It is rumored,
in certain levels of Muse society,
Flora is not very inspirationally active these days
she really burned herself out as a
"Flower Child"
during the late 60's in San Francisco. :)
Hmmm? Could this be true???
Peace out! :)

When the power of love
overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”
Jimi Hendrix

Friday, February 18, 2011

These Four Protea Cards...

...have previously
been packed up and "priority posted" to Canada
as my entries
in the January Illustrated ATC flower swap.
The word
about town has it that
returns have just been mailed out...YAY...
so I will post mine
promptly for your personal perusal
their stateside arrival. ;)
Click on image to enlarge for a closer view...:)

If we could see
the miracle of a single flower clearly,
our whole life would change.”

Thursday, February 17, 2011

"Meet the Girlfriends..."

....another bit of a series featuring
friends of my Muse...
introducing, first, Ms. Fiona...who tends to be
just a wee bit of a flake!
All of the ladies
are drawn lead straight in...
right from the get-go...:)
and will be featured a bit here and there
this next week to celebrate
the arrival in Arizona of a good friend of mine
next Thursday!
(JGL...OOOOh MY! I can hardy wait!)

"A true friend
is someone who thinks that you are a good egg
even though (s)he
knows that you are slightly cracked.”
Bernard Meltzer

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

"New Aquatic Species Discovered...

...swimming around
in the vast zen ocean of my Muse's mind!
Officially named
"The Spirit of the Moon",
she supposedly can cast a spell of inspiration
on any "idea challenged" Muse who peers
into her eye.
Hee, Hee! :)
So, get into the "spirit"...
and let me know if it works...LOL:)

"Many men
go fishing all of their lives
without knowing it is not fish they are after.”
Henry David Thoreau

Monday, February 14, 2011

"A Triple Header..." 3rd Blogiversary...
Valentines Day...
Cactus Monday...
all rolled up into one great big hug
a simple full heart of thanks
for your many visits, pop-ins and comments..
straight from here in the desert
to you across the world! :)
A hug is the perfect gift;
one size fits all,
and nobody minds if you exchange it.”
~Author Unknown

Sunday, February 13, 2011

"Keeping it Sweet..."'s "Fancy Full Heart"
was inspired
by a trip to Vienna I took, solo, a lifetime ago.
My heart is indelibly adorned
with dreams of "Apfelstrudel mit Schlag*"
flowering gardens with wild peacocks,
the images of the instantly intoxicating cafe life
of this elegant, magical city.
Vienna had it all for me...
a powerful, poignant history, extravagant palaces,
graceful parks, meandering streets,
captivating architecture,
scrumptious culinary delights,
wineries, forests, old railway stations,
surprises around every corner,
hearty, generous people.
She was my launching pad for a summer filled with
alpine adventure.
She is one of my most favorite places to be...
maybe, because she played such an
important part in my
personal "coming of age" process
all those years ago.
My only regret about Vienna...
that exuberant, carefree summer of travel...
was I met her during my pre sketchbook life...
which, honestly, in reality,
I cannot believe ever existed. :)
at the time, this was that "big trip" that found ME...;)
All journeys have secret destinations
of which the traveler
is unaware.”
Martin Buber
*Warm apple strudel with hand beaten whipped cream...
definitely something from heaven above...:)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

"A Fantasy Trip To Catalonia..."

...and beautiful Barcelona, Spain
was the inspiration
behind this "Fancy Full Heart" for today.
Barcelona is filled with rich historic footprints.
One legend
actually speaks of the founding of Barcelona
by the mythical Hercules
some 400 years
before the building of Rome itself!
is filled with deep Medieval influences as well.
Catalan modernisme architecture
(often known as Art Nouveau in the rest of Europe),
developed here between 1885 and 1950
left an important legacy in Barcelona.
A great number
of her buildings are World Heritage Sites.
is the showcase city of the architect Gaudi
his famous church Sagrada Família.
When I was little, one of my best friend's dad
was an architect in Chicago.
Among other things, he designed churches.
As a special treat
my friend and I would go with him to his office
on weekends.
I was a paradise to me.
It was filled with industrial sized drafting tables
and pencils and pens and fancy rulers.
it was a luscious, lavish banquet of art supplies.
I decided then...
that I would be an architect when I grew up.
But...that was never to be.
Maybe that is why
I am so fascinated by Barcelona. ♥ :)
Barcelona is also a city of energetic night life.
I think
she would probably also suit me well
as I can
usually be found late night...
into in the wee hours of the morning...
sketching, painting, and unknowingly greeting
the next day.
I also love the evocative allure of
Barcelona's passionate flamenco dancers...
rose in beating wildly.
I love
her gentile mantilla clad ladies.
I love
her motherly nurturing
of Picasso as a young and talented artist
so much so, that it is said
he regarded her in times of sadness or nostalgia
as his true home.
Ahhh! What a city of legendary art, and artists,
and architecture...
what a lovely lasting gift and legacy.
May we each be so fortunate
to be so well loved,
so well regarded, and so well
remembered in the pages of history.
Maybe, we should each
start to refresh and refine and polish
our personal, family, and life legacies now.
"The legacy we leave
is not just in our possessions,
in the quality of our lives.
What preparations should we be making now?
The greatest waste in all of our earth,
cannot be recycled or reclaimed,
is our waste of the time that God has given us
each day.”
~Billy Graham

Friday, February 11, 2011

"I Left My Heart..." San Francisco...
High on a hill, it calls to me...
to be where
little cable cars climb halfway to the stars!
The morning fog may chill the air...
I don't care!
My love waits San Francisco
above the blue and windy sea.
When I come home to you,
San Francisco,
your golden sun will shine for me!
~George Cory and Douglass Cross
Ahhh...the jewel that inspired this song
was in turn
the inspiration for today's
Fancy Full Heart:
the beautiful, elegant, Victorian, storied,
cosmopolitan, laid back,
wild and crazy city of San Francisco.
This day...
may you find a special song in your heart
that sings of
treasured memories too!
And remember,
If you're going to San Francisco,
be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.”
J. B. Phillips

Thursday, February 10, 2011

"Ancient Greece..."

...was my inspiration for this Fancy Full Heart.
I am a lover of ancient history...
from Prehistoric times up through
the Ancient Greeks.
I love all the art,
the architecture, the mythologies...
the unexplained mysteries...
the romantic legends, poems and stories.
I am fascinated by it all.
I enjoy imagining I am an archaeologist
out in the field uncovering wonders of the past...
no matter
whether it be a broken pottery shard,
or a bit of an arrowhead,
or a royal tomb...
to me they are found treasure...keys to the past-
they excite my heart!
Ancient history has bestowed upon us
a lavish bounty of gifts to enjoy
powerful lessons to learn.
We must remember to be thankful for it all.
This gilded heart
celebrates the best of the golden ages
of those special peoples who came before us...
their pinnacles of art and learning...
their triumphs, discoveries...
their positive influences on modern society.

Difference between savage and civilized man:
one is painted, the other gilded.”
Mark Twain

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

"Haat Cha!...Cha, Cha, Chaaa...!"

by the very heartbeat of life itself...
the delta city of New Orleans, Louisiana
pulsates non stop
with expressive tones of jazz
and spicy flavors of syncopated rhythms.
These life forces run through the veins
of her resilient residents
and have mesmerized visitors from afar.
Day or night there is color and festivity and
very much
like another grand city even further south...
South America to be exact.
Almost instantly,
images of swagger, and shimmy, and
hypnotic swaying, and outlandish costumes
captivate imaginations
and fill hearts with the zest of Carnival!

My "Fancy Full Hearts" for today
celebrate man's ongoing romance with Music.
From her classical, subdued melodies
to her improvisational jazzy riffs...
we celebrate her!
From her soft, subconscious, toe tapping gentility
to her euphoric, primal, driving beats...
we celebrate her!
For her ability to addict our spirits
with exhilaration and intoxicating freedom
to magically dress our persona
swagger, sway, sauciness, and shimmy
we celebrate her...
with the fullest...of hearts...:)

Haat Cha!~ Cha Cha Chaaa!

produces a kind of pleasure
which human nature cannot do without”

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

"Joie de Vivre..."

Inspired by the romantic city of Paris, France
my Muse
set out to fill this heart to the very brim
a certain "je ne sais quoi":
romance, artful lines, light, classical elegance,
and a lavish dose of
"joie de vivre."
May your heart also be filled to overflowing with
the joys of life you find everyday
all around you.

"If you are lucky enough
to have lived in Paris as a young man,
then wherever you go for the rest of your life,
it stays with you,
for Paris is a moveable feast."
~Ernest Hemingway

Monday, February 7, 2011


..."Fancy Full Hearts"
my annual Valentine series for this year.
This heart evokes the spirit of the desert southwest...
its bright and colorful sun-filled days...
during its cool, velvety, magical nights.
You are invited to join me this entire week
as each day I will travel
with a fancy and full heart
and celebrate
the spirit and magic of beautiful locations

Experience, travel -
these are as education in themselves.”

Sunday, February 6, 2011

"The Kick Off.."

to my 3rd annual week of Valentine hearts
begins today with this heart...
made in my Artful Musings Sketchbook
just for fun.
She was drawn lead free "ink straight in"...and
was originally designed to be a metaphor...
a heart-filled bridge
connecting winter to spring.
I never intended to color her...or even post her...
but as my Muse moped around pouting-
big ol' pitiful eyes and all...
I caved
and "Poof" out came the colored pencils,
"Mmmm" went the scanner,
"Click" went the mouse.
The size of this piece is about 8" square.
Here are the links to my previous
Valentine's day hearts
in case you might want to pop in for a look-see.
Click here for the "Black Hearts" series...
and here
for last year's Lemony Hearts series...:)
"Follow your heart,
but be quiet for a while first.
Ask questions, then feel the answer.
Learn to trust your heart.”
Author Unknown

(Hmmm...Just a thought...
might one substitute the word "Muse " for "Heart" above?
Might they just be the same identity?
Today, I think so...:)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

"From This...To That..."

From frozen fluttering parrots...
all in the same day!
That's life
here in the "Valley of the Sun" for ya!

Susan Storer-Kash...(my baby sis)...
photographed in her front yard in Scottsdale, Arizona! :)

Friday, February 4, 2011

"A Heart...Warming", it's c...c...c...old outside!
Here in the "Valley of the Sun"
we hit 75 year old overnight LOW temps
in the "low 20's" this week
and highs only in the lower 40's...
which were actually lower than those in
Anchorage Alaska!
add in fierce gusty winds, an official "hard" freeze,
a record low February dew point
of -18 degrees
and Phoenix was in the deep freeze.
It was soooo dry
the winds sliced like sharp sabers.
The Pro Am of the Phoenix Open was even cancelled
due to the fact that the greens
were tundra-like and could be easily damaged.
Plants and citrus trees everywhere
took on ghostly appearances
covered with sheets and car covers and
towels and rags.
Pool pumps, outdoor spigots, and irrigation systems
suffered heavy damage
from the freeze if not cared for properly.
Fountains and outdoor water features froze
into jeweled lacy ice sculptures.
Today temps are 25 degrees below the seasonal average.
this weekend
they are to return to a somewhat normal range
hitting the 70's by Sunday. YAY!
amidst all this chilly frigid blog speak...
I DO realize that
others have had a winter season far worse than I...
and that
I would rather shovel sunshine than snow...
no matter how cold it gets! :)
Today I send you sunshine and smiles
from the desert.
I hope that your artistic spirits and your gardens
will slowly begin to warm
to the thoughts and plantings of
a springtime filled with glorious blooms.
Now there's a
heart warming thought for sure!

All the statistics in the world
can't measure the warmth of a smile.
~Chris Hart

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

"For My Midwest Teaching Friends..."

Nothing beats a "Snow Day"...
especially when it is "called" the day before!
Keep warm & snuggly! :)
"Through woods and mountain passes...
The winds, like anthems,
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

"For My Illinois Friends..."

"When it snows, you have two choices:
shovel or make snow angels."
~Author Unknown

JGL...hang in there...Arizona is on the horizon...:)