Monday, December 31, 2012

Looking Back... an attempt to clear the air...
to purge...
to tie up loose close the books...
to try to bind everything together.
What we have here is
 one big "sketchbook dump"...
a plethora
of thoughts and illos and attempts to maintain my sanity.
You know...
I have been "here"...but, not really.
I feel badly about that.
This is only my 71st post of the year..
barely one quarter of what I have posted in years past.
The reason?
I haven't a clue...
other than the fact that this year
has certainly thrown a few curve balls my way.
I have been able to turn to my Muse
for a wee bit of artistic therapy and spirit building.
Some of the pieces here will definitely
allude to that.
The above entry was blogged about here
and was drawn ink straight in...lead free...over a series of days.

Seeking a bit of bi-monthly resbit with my art tangling friends here.
My notes are hopefully self explanatory...just click on any image
to enlarge
for better viewing. :)
Sue's passing was bittersweet and difficult for all of us...
she was my sister-in-law.
She suffered for so long...was so young...and was loved by so many.
The trip back to Illinois left our hearts heavy.
I am blessed to have still have my parents with me...
we have had several close calls this year.
I am also blessed to be able
to let my soul breathe and grow through my art.
Waiting and being hopeful and calm have been a challenge.
Patience and the art of developing keen observation skills
have been my frequent companions.
I wonder what challenges will face me in 2013?
I surely hope I will be able to handle them
with a certain amount of
grace and hope and creativity.
Thank you,
each and every one of you,
for checking in on me...
even leaving a note
every once and a while.
I love that.:)
I plan to really BE HERE this next year...
I really do!

“The object of a new year
is not that we should have a new year.
It is that we should have
 a new soul.”

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Happy 90th Birthday...

...dearest Harriet, Heddy, "Sam", Mom, Nana...
We Love You...lots!
Peg and Scott...
Jack, Sharon, Vanessa, Steve, Myles, and Lauren...
Mark, Katie, Chris, Courtney, and Corey...
Susan, Dave, Joya, and Jillian.

Pssst...Special birthday hugs also today for my dear friend Jan...:)

"Because time itself is like a spiral,
something special happens on your birthday each year:
The same energy
that God invested in you at birth
is present once again."
~Menachem Mendel Schneerson

Monday, December 24, 2012

Joy, Peace, and Love... you and the ones who mean the world to you.
Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Simplistic Relaxing Fun...

 in the mandala format of "Four Roses"...
and an "Opera Pink Floral" zendala.
I made these to use as examples
for a
"Whimsical Watercolor Mandala" Workshop
which I will be
teaching March 1, in Arizona...
at my local art club.
These are NOT made coloring book style.
These are painted with watercolor first...then inked.
The final result is driven by the paint shapes
not the inked lines.
Pencil is used (in a compass) only to draw the original circle...
seriously...not a joke!
These were both
extremely relaxing and great fun to design.
Why not try one yourself?
My Muse giggles
just thinking about the possibility of making some more...:)

“The time to relax is when you don't have time for it.”
~Sydney J. Harris

Friday, December 14, 2012

Some "Seeded Zen"...

 ...another new piece from my Waterblossoms "Mandala Collection".
here she is...flipped into bedtime mode...
radiating a bit of nocturnal
for those who incessantly burn the midnight oil.

"Clear conscience never fears midnight knocking."
~Chinese Proverb

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

It's A Family Tradition...

...the Monday after Thanksgiving...
when we all gather
 to decorate
Nana and Papa's Christmas tree...
the twins
decorate my sketchbook...
...and, eventually, I decorate my blog.

“The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree
is the presence of a happy family
all wrapped up in
each other.”
~Burton Hills

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Beading it...

...another work in progress...:) 
These are my 2 pages
in Paulette's Maruman Japanese fold sketchbook.
Paulette's theme is "Womens Accessories"
and as you can see above
by the time I received the book many options
had already been chosen.
This is when my latest copy of the Chico's
catalogue gave my Muse
some wonderfully beaded inspiration
I was off to begin the rough draft.
Once I had my in the actual book began.
The chain strap was the first thing
to be inked in...
followed by seemingly thousands upon thousands
of beads.
 Color play then followed...a rough draft first...
then some
serious painting in the book itself.
I added a crystal bangle for a little extra bling
and to also provide a nice lead in
for Barbara
the next, and final, artist in the exchange.
(Please click on any image to enlarge for better viewing.)
Above is the final scan of my two pages...
complete with an art club badge and a few art accessories.
Our own books will return home to us
at our final art exchange/wine party in January.
What more might a girl want???

"Try to be inspired by something every day.
Try to inspire at least one person
every day."
 ~Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

'Twas a Great Day... in Arizona.
We spent today with Scott's son Rob...
who recently returned
stateside after experiencing incredible adventures
travelling through South America
in October.
Among one of his most memorable experiences was
completing the 4 day trek
over the Incan trail to to the ancient site of
Machu Picchu, Peru.
He said he truely became one with the mountain...
actually, in more ways than one!.
Scott and I sat spellbound 
listening to Rob's tales of physical anguish
on the trail
and hearing how conquering these challenges
 turned into moments of inner triumph
satisfaction he will never forget.
He brought us both to happy tears more than once...
that's for sure. 
What a special time...what a special son!
What a treat
to be with someone who is living their dream.
The weather was impeccable....the Coronas were cold...
the memories made...were simply priceless.

“Life is uncharted territory.
It reveals its story one moment at a time.”
~Leo F. Buscaglia

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Bit of Thankfulness...

I thank all of you...each and every one of you... 
for coloring my world with love
decorating my heart with treasured memories.
"On Thanksgiving Day we acknowledge our dependence."
~William Jennings Bryant

Monday, November 19, 2012

Stumbled Upon...

...this while out and about on the internet today. 
A Facebook artist friend of mine in India stumbled upon it too...:)
Thanks for the link, Aarti...:)
Click on image to enlarge a bit.
(You can check out the original link HERE...for a larger
more reader friendly size...)
a simple, unexpected stumble can be most rewarding...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Whew! What a DAY!!!

It all began with an early breakfast...
cottage cheese, cranberry juice...
followed by a 40 mile drive east across the valley
to the car dealership...
for an oil and filter change,
chassis lube,
multi point inspection,
and drain plug replacement.
Exciting...right??? Well, it took 2 hours!
This was all accompanied by way too much Starbucks,
multiple mini muffins,
a quite bit of sketching.
This was to precede a trip 10 miles to the north valley
to visit with mom and dad...
sharing stories of Rob's 4 day Inca trail adventure trek
to the ruins of Machu Picchu, Peru...
hugs and kisses, too
before beginning the 45 mile drive back home
west across the valley.
Hungry again...
we stopped at Coco's for eggs Florentine,
fruit, another muffin,
and more coffee...
all topped of with a small ice cream cone at the
Grand Cafe.
Once 4:30 mountain time...
we became inundated
with the early returns of election results from the east coast.
Now...mind you...we still had 2.5 hours of open polls
here in Arizona.
we decided to escape the early election madness
and go to the pool only
to find out that the rec center was a local polling place...
and of course, it was still open!
(Note: we voted early
when we were back in Illinois
so the fact that this was a polling place
was news to me!)
At least
the sunset was magnificent...outlining the palm trees..
as sentinels in the desert sky.
That did a lot to soothe the savage beast.
   Sooo...after water walking and some star gazing
chill time in the hot tub
we headed home.
I painted...this journal page actually...
while listening to more early 5% of precints in...!!!
Jeesch...the west coast is still voting!
Aggravation rebuilding...!!!
I grabbed the remote and flipped to QVC for a diversion
from the election chaos...
and ended up
buying a Rowenta iron on 2 easy payments.
Go figure!
I then checked emails,
had a bowl of cereal...felt bloated...
and continued to watch returns.
Slowly, and surely, the election map began filling in.
My heart began to things began to get
fairly final.
Barack Obama was re-elected to serve
another term as president.
What a day...What a night!
I think I am still hyped up on caffeine...
as I just looked at the length of this post...and it's a bit much!
So there you have it folks...
a day in my life...
"All signed, sealed, and delivered"...she's yours!
I am over the moon happy!
Congrats, Mr President!
Indeed it was a very,
I think I may just have to move to Colorado...

"Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone...
you may cherish the sweetest reflection
that your vote is never lost.”
~John Quincy Adams 

Monday, November 5, 2012

"Be counted on..."

...TO VOTE... matter which political viewpoint you prefer.

"To make democracy work,
we must be a nation of participants, not simply observers.
One who does not vote
no right to complain."
~Louis L'Amour

Thursday, November 1, 2012

My Art in Jan's Book...

 Penciling in some basic ideas...
I make my preliminary drawings on copy paper
just to see
how I can best visually blend my art
with the art of the person who came before me.
The theme of Jan's book is "Doors" is spectacular to see.
The books we are using for this exchange
are the Japanese fold Maruman sketchbooks.
These books take both ink and watercolor beautifully...
I really love them!
 My next layer in with ink...
then after running a couple of color tests...again on copy paper...
 ...I am ready to layer in my watercolor...
ever darkening my shadows and enriching my color.
Then, adding my night sky...complete with bits of starlight...
it's ready for a signature
and the next book exchange...What fun!!!!!!
(Click on any image to enlarge...)
Here are our books from our most recent exchange...October 17.
We have only two more exchange rounds
until our books return home to their owners in January.
My book
is the floral themed book 5th from the top...:)

"The doors we open and close each day 
decide the lives we live."
~Flora Whittemore

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Part Two...A Couple of Days Late...:)

 First, I taught a zentangle inspired art class...
with my loyal "art partner in crime" my assistant.
The class even came complete with some "goodies"
for class members to take home...:)
looked at endless examples and patterns and designs
and then
 inked, and tangled, and laughed.
Some members displayed their finished art...
I was even able to catch most of the class members before it was
to say farewell.
After gathering up supplies
and returning the studio to pristine condition (lol)
headed out for a special birthday salad luncheon...
...and wine party with my sketchbook art friends...
in celebration of my big day...
and Paulette's too!
 We had delicious food...
and it was all accompanied by champagne...
iced drinks,
and many, many, many bottles of wine.
A gigantic thanks to Barb...who thought up the whole idea
who hosted all of us in her beautiful home...:)
The company was were the views from the patio
overlooking the golf course...
...making it the picture perfect place to enjoy dessert:
 Barbara's famous
 Kahlua vodka chocolate bundt birthday cake,
(Thanks, Charlie for making it...)
Char's chocolate raspberry brownies
"ala Giada"... 
and...yes, there was even more wine...
by some really hilarious stories...
the enjoyable
seasonal beauty of a lovely, late October
Arizona day.
Yes, indeedy...I feel blessed.
It is so rewarding in life to find friends who truly
understand both me and my Muse.
Thanks everyone for the wonderful memories.

“The most potent muse of all is our own inner child.”

~Stephen Nachmanovitch

Sunday, October 28, 2012

My Birthday...Part One...:)

A little girl...who loved to color and draw...
eventually, after many, many years,
realized a lifelong dream
and moved out west
to Arizona.
that little girl celebrated a very significant birthday last week.
She started the day at Nick's Cafe...
a local diner hangout here in the West Valley.
Then she had a fun day shopping for
sacred hearts from San Miguel Allende, Mexico.
After that,
 a spur of the moment road trip
to Black Canyon City...just north of Phoenix
and the Rock Springs Cafe
for a slice of delicious homemade birthday pie...
(ala mode, of course)
sweetened the day even more.
The weather was spectacular...the beginning of tourist season
here in Arizona...
and the inevitable approach of cold, gray days
 up north.
There was even time for a bit of horseback riding...
before heading back down to the valley...
escorted by a gorgeous sunset.
The actual end of the day came accompanied by
a leisurely swim in the pool
a starlit soak in the hot tub.
(Sorry photos of that!)
I love the simple, everyday pleasures and comforts of home
out here in the great west!...:)
More of my birthday adventures continue tomorrow...
(the artistic side...:)

"A birthday
is just the first day
of another 365-day journey around the sun.
 Enjoy the trip."
~Author Unknown