Saturday, April 25, 2015

RAINSWEPT SKIES



Some more sky photos of our interesting skies full of rain lately.  

The rain comes through quickly, pouring down; then gone as quickly with sunshine trying to push through the clouds.






















I should paint these, shouldn't I?  



Thursday, April 23, 2015

FEELING UNMOORED

I subscribe to the Zen Habits newsletter, written by Leo Babauta.  In this latest edition, he talks about what I have been feeling these few days.  I'll figure it out, I think.  Or not.  Perhaps it's the desire to always be something other than what we are, rather than accepting ourselves as we are.  Seeing all the things that are "wrong" with us and not seeing all the "right" things...


For example:

I'm sure you all have a friend who is dear to you.  But he/she may have some habits that are sooo annoying to his/her spouse, family, or friends.  And those habits don't bother you at all.  Because they are a part of your friend and you love your friend as he/she is, warts and all.  Now - could we possibly begin to treat ourselves with that same kindness and acceptance - warts and all?  It is hard.  But I think it could be done with some work...

I think I am going to try to change a few things but the biggest change is to try to accept myself, warts and all.  The desire to change is sometimes just a desire to keep running away from oneself.  I'm getting awfully tired of running...

Here is a link to the newsletter.



And here is a photo of the dramatic skies we've been having due to fast-moving rain showers coming through and clearing out.









And a redbud tree in the back yard blooming out and showing off when the sun comes out - so much violet/purple against the green.  Mother Nature knows how to pick colors that go well together.



Tuesday, April 21, 2015

TRIP TO THE ZOO


Saturday, Sweetie and I went to the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens to see the African Painted Dogs.  The mama and papa had 10 pups, all survived and are healthy 2-month olds.  I wish they had been frolicking more and sleeping less - and had been closer since I don't have much of an extended lens on my point and shoot Fuji camera.  But it was fun to see them in person - and one actually has a large white mark on its back that looks like a question mark - so it is called Riddler with all the others named after Batman characters!




Couldn't have asked for a better morning, warm and sunshining when we got there at 9 am to find a line already forming.















Some of the animals were not so standoffish, but were right in your face along the walkways, including 3 white flamingos (the flamingos here are not pink so they must feed them less reddish food like they do at the Jacksonville, FL zoo where the flamingos are hot pink colors).  And this peacock had no trouble strutting his stuff right beside you.  That's Sweetie and one of his photo buddies trying to get the peacock to turn around and flaunt those feathers their way.




Didn't get a photo of the flamingos being walked by caretakers as it happened so quickly as we were walking up a hill, three flamingos stepping like prima ballerinas along the path, heads moving slowly from side to side as if to say, "Yes, I know I'm beautiful, but just look, don't touch!"  




The tulip beds all throughout the zoo were in full bloom with every color possible bursting out and bright in the sunshine.  I liked the ones where you got an odd color amongst a row of solid colors, like this orange-red thinking it's hiding in all that white!










And how was your weekend?  
Good, I hope!











Sunday, April 19, 2015

VERSATILE BLOGGER AWARD

I received the Versatile Blogger Award from my dear friend and wonderful artist, Sadami.  She named me as 10 bloggers to follow who have supported and encouraged and inspired her!  That is something, consider she inspires me all the time - she works so hard and is so creative, as well as being upbeat and positive 99% of the time - and she pushes herself to get better in every aspect of her life.  I am very much looking forward to seeing her children's book and her paintings for that later this year (a huge undertaking and I hope one that brings her much success).

So...

Here is the award medal:




And here is what one must do to follow along with the "game":

(It is the decision of each person to continue or stop the game.)

You say a few words about the person who sent you the award and a little about yourself. And... 
  •  Thank the person who gave you this award. 
  •  Include a link to the peron's blog. 
  •  Tell 7 things about yourself.
  •  Select 10 blogs and tell a bit about each blogger. 
  •  Nominate those 10 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.
I've already told you about Sadami and I'm sure many of you follow her blog, too - but if you don't you should!  Just go here and subscribe/follow.

Thank you, Sadami, for including me!!  I know this takes time and effort and, like you, I don't want to be exclusive in any way, so I'll just tell all of you to go to my sidebar and visit all of the blogs there for some outstanding artwork!  Any of the ones I have on the sidebar are my favorites and I visit them often.  You may fall in love with one or two or more, too!

7 Things about Myself:
1.  I am married to my Sweetie, the best person I know and I am so lucky he chose me.
2.  Sweetie and I like to visit places where we can kick off our shoes and walk in the sand so anywhere with a beach is high on our list to visit.  
3.  I began painting in watercolor 13 years ago and have had paintings in many regional and local juried shows as well as in many group shows with my local watercolor society.
4.  I love birds of all kinds, small and big, short and tall, colorful and brown; and crows seem to hold a special place for me although I'm unsure why except that they are smart and brave.
5. Walking in nature eases my mind and heart and inspires me.
6.  I read a lot.
7.  I am a true chocoholic and it's a struggle to stop myself from eating a whole bag of chocolates instead of just one or two pieces at a time.






Friday, April 17, 2015

ANOTHER CROW MANDALA PRINT




Worked more on the crow print and came up with this, using acrylics.  


Red Mandala Crow

5 x 7 inches 
on Strathmore 400 printmaking paper

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A BIT MORE ON THE BIRD PRINTS


I returned to the bird prints and worked a bit more in acrylics with them...Here is where they stand now.  Finished.


DayBird and NightBird

Two prints on Strathmore 400 printmaking paper
5 x 7 inches each

Monday, April 13, 2015

SPRING IMAGININGS THREE



Another small landscape on the Arches 140# rough paper block (7 x 10 inches).


Mohan's small hake brush might just be magic, afterall, or maybe it's the rough paper that allows the brush to skip across the paper, leaving nice lights I try to leave alone.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

SPRING IMAGININGS TWO



Another small landscape from a few reference photos combined to help me get started.  This one is on Arches 140# rough from a 7 x 10 inch block.


My inclination is to go back in and "finish" this one - but I'm not going to do that.  Going to leave them as I leave them and let them be whatever they are.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

SPRING IMAGININGS ONE



What is is about spring?  The new growth, the buds, the flowers, the birds constantly singing?  The greening of everything?  

It gives me a boost of energy and makes me want to go back to my art room after a short break of sketching, and pick up some greens and violets and yellows and blues...



This small painting was done on Fluid Watercolor Paper (140# cold press), on a 6 x 8 inch block of 15 pages.  Nice, but I think I'll work on the rough paper next to help me leave some whites.

Painting with two brushes only:  a Silver Black Velvet round #8; and a small hake brush sent to me from a friend/artist in British Columbia who painted some of the most gorgeous landscapes/seascapes with one just like it - he told me it wasn't a magic brush but wanted me to have one anyway, to see if I liked it.  I'll never let it go because, although it is not magic in itself, I think a little bit of Mohan is there when I pick it up and try it.  He is gone now but never ever forgotten.