Tuesday, January 29, 2013


...whether it be day...or night...
one just needs
"To breathe deeply...and move in curves."
~Katie's Grandma

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Illustration Friday: Wings

they are beautiful...they are empowering.
They are fearless.
Whenever my heart uses hers
she becomes light.
She flies freely in the night...up amongst the stars...
gliding ever so peacefully, in curves.
She tip toes playfully
throughout the gossamer dream fields of the universe.
 Her imagination is tickled by stardust
and she giggles
with hope.
She recharges her very essence
taking it all in.
When she returns home
she carries with her a newly invigorated spirit.
A spirit that is grounded...and positive... 
full of light
and full of peace.
She thrives and is full of love...
...totally unexpectedly...
her wings become useless...
clipped, crippled, broken, and bashed.
She becomes 
chained and tethered...unable to soar.
Buried in nightmares
of reality
her spirit depletes and allows no
revitalizing breaths in.
There is no light...there is no peace.
In the darkness she chokes and begins to smother.
she moves in jagged lines...
with harsh edges...leaving scars in her wake.
Her memories of flight and freedom...
the days of simplicity, innocence, and playfulness...
into an inky blackness.
Life's experiences, indeed, wax and wane between extremes.
Life is cyclical
and her lessons are oftentimes difficult.
Because of that
we must grasp daily as much revitalizing energy
as we can...
from whomever we can...
whenever we can.
To spiritually survive...
we must remember we have wings.
We must continue to use them to become light
and to fly and to soar...
no matter what the
emotional weather conditions
of the heart, the mind, and the body may be.

“Be as a bird
perched on a fragile branch
she feels bending beneath her,
she sings away all the same,
knowing she has wings.”
~Victor Hugo

Friday, January 25, 2013

Barbara's Bistro Book...

the rough draft is completed on copy paper...
is then followed by drawing the illustration
using graphite
in the actual Maruman Japanese fold sketchbook.
This step is always sooo messy for me...
lots of erasing
along with fingers and hand clean up to follow.
 Next comes laying in the ink...my favorite part.
Here is where I get to add details
and begin to carve out the finished product.
So...now, at long last...
here is the reveal of the final book in our exchange.
presenting to all of blogland...Barbara's book...
my entry is at the very end.
Click on any image to enlarge for better viewing...:)
 Barbara's pages 1 and 2...officially
opening the bistro for business and a world of artistic encounters.
 Her pages are followed
 by Paulette's bountiful Italian inspired pages 3 and 4...
I absolutely LOVE that quote...:)
 ...and then we go "South of the Border"
for Jan's zesty "Killer Guacamole" illustration
and recipe on pages 5 and 6.
 Next comes a familiar laid back reference to the king
of Key West...Jimmy Buffett...
on Char's pages 7 and 8...
 ...followed by Carolle's fresh and healthy market inspired
bistro take
on pages 9 and 10.
 Cindy's pages 11 and 12 follow with a country inspiration,
some fresh seasonal ingredients,
multiple cookbooks, and bright flowers...
...only to be topped of with
a traditional banana split (ZIA style) for dessert
on pages 13 and 14
"yummiliciously" drawn by Barb W.
Thanksgiving occurred during the time Judy designed pages
15 and 16...and as you can see
she included a favorite family recipe
for turkey dressing.
I received Barbara's book in December...
so I thought it best
to personally research typical desserts one might find
during this time of year.
It was a hard job..."but somebody had to do it"...
...Right???  :)
I included my version of a beautiful "Blitz Torte"
Barbara remembers her mother making.
The chocolate "Black Russian" bundt cake on the pedestal stand
was inspired by the lovely dessert
Barbara made for my birthday gathering this year.
The cookies and other treats
were a nod
to the delectable home made goodies found
in the wonderful traditional
Polish and German and Italian bakeries
of the city of Chicago...
where Barbara and I both lived
in our youth.
here is the "whole enchilada."
I hope you can appreciate the fact that
from start to finish
it was
a work of culinary and artistic love...
and also a wonderful trip for many of us down
memory lane.

“A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand..
and my artistic Muse
hovering over my shoulder.”
~Author Unknown

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy...
 more commonly referred to as
kidney stone busting.
it seems to have worked.
The drawings above were made "ink straight in"...
no lead...
while I was all hooked up in the outpatient surgery wing
awaiting my surgery.
It was just watercolored today...
13 days later.
Oh yeah,
 my right hand was drawn with my left hand
Go Figure!!!
Click on image to enlarge...lots of notes here.

“The observer,
when he seems to himself to be observing a stone,
 is really,
 if physics is to be believed,
observing the effects of the stone upon himself.”
~Bertrand Russell

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

An Eye Portal...

...the ultimate accessory for use 
in the search of artistic insight and enlightenment.
Also, it
doubles as another example
to inspire the students in my watercolor mandala
workshop here in Arizona
coming up March 1st.
Watercolor was applied first...patterns and shapes
drawn last...ink straight in...
no lead...:)
(Click on image to enlarge.)

"Inspiration is a message-in-a-bottle
from the distant shore,
a window into the other world,
a tap of the muse's finger,
the grace of the gods.
It comes when you least expect it..."
~Phil Cousineau

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Off and Running...

...and waiting...and waiting...and waiting...
(Click on any image to enlarge for better viewing...)
Well...I am having another kidney stone blasted by ESWL
(extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy)
this coming Friday.
The preliminary tests I alluded to above are actually
general pre-op procedures
just to get all my little "ducks in a row."
thank goodness I love to sketch!
I loved that the lady in the wheel chair
provided me with a perfect 10 minute drawing study...
little did I know that seconds after finishing her
she would leave.
Perfect timing...
Serendipitous? I think so! :)
(All drawn lead free...ink straight in...colored at home.)

"If you wait to do everything until you're sure it's right,
you'll probably never do much
of anything.”
~Win Borden

Thursday, January 3, 2013

My Special "Word" for 2013...

I want to BE...
in the moment...
This is quite similar to my word of direction
from 2009...
you can check it out here
if you like.
I guess when we feel a need for our hearts
to be directed
along a certain pathway
again and again...
repetition is a healthy and positive thing
time doesn't matter
at all.
what word has captured your heartstrings for 2013?

"Do the one thing you think you cannot do.
Fail at it.  Try again.  Do better the second time.
The only people who never tumble
are those
who never mount the high wire.
This is your moment.
Own it."
~Oprah Winfrey