Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I Glued a 5 x 7 copy of my Queen of Hearts painting to the page and then began writing some facts from the book I'm reading called Reverse Heart Disease Now (a pretty popular title, it seems, but this one by 2 cardiologists, Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D. and James C. Roberts, M.D.).

I will get into more info from this book as I read on but so far I'm liking their attitude about not just focussing on cholesterol levels as the devil most doctors make it out to be but realizing the other factors, including inflammation of the plaque that builds up and what to look for, if you're a woman, instead of the usual signs of heart problems or attacks that men have.

Did you know we have totally different signs?? Do you know them?

(1) Sudden, profound fatigue (2) Dull, aching chest discomfort (3) Dizziness and (4) Acute breathlessness

No shooting pain in the left arm and shoulder or pressure in the chest like a vise, like men have. We could have a heart attack and never know it. Seriously, have you ever had one or more of these symptoms and just said, "I'm overtired," and ignored it? I have. Don't we feel like most of these symptoms are common for us to experience on a weekly basis?

Did you know that taking CoQ10, a vitamin that is depleted by poor diet and aging, is a major chemical participant in cellular energy production and is critically important for strong pumping action of the heart. And it provides protection against arterial plaque formation. If nothing else, take your CoQ10 daily - 60-120 mg daily as a preventative if you have no heart issues. I have been taking 30 mg daily so am upping my dosage and will buy the gel tabs (the powdered kind doesn't digest and get into your system) at a stronger dosage next time so I don't have to take so many.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


My check to Manifest is in the mail today for my Life Drawing class which begins October 10th! YAY!

1. Blue Heart 2. Armored Heart 3. Swirls with Heart

And while sitting on the sofa (too long) while the TV played some 1/2 hour sit-coms, I made these little ATCs from materials I bought from Jerry's Artarama (a pack of 20 Strathmore Bristol paper - smooth surface + a pack of 20 Strathmore Illustration Board - lightweight vellum). I haven't tried to paint on either of these, just sketching with my Pitt Pens and coloring things in. I need some more vibrant colors of Pitt Pens, though, as these are all fairly muted (except for the yellow).

1. Black and White Hearts 2. Expanding Hearts

I may leave the left one without color.

As you can see, there is a heart motif here so they are Heart Motif ATCs. If you want one in trade, let me know. Otherwise, I may add them to pages of my Heart Journal.

I've got some errands to run today - have to mail out my SWAP painting today, too.

Monday, September 28, 2009


I have been waiting for this...and got the announcement today...that Manifest Gallery is starting their autumn classes in October.

I'm signing up for the class, Life Drawing - Introductory and Anatomy (taught by Cincinnati artist and teacher, Charles Frymier) for this 10 week session - from October to December; then I hope to sign up for the class taught by Emil Robinson for more advanced figure drawing in black and white or color. Time to get back to something I enjoy and something I want to learn more about. So there will be life drawings added to this blog as I go along. Hopefully, you'll see some growth during the 10-week sessions.

If you are in the Cincinnati area, you can't go wrong with a class through Manifest Gallery. The classes are held at the Essex Studios and they have Saturday and Sunday classes. Maybe I'll see you there? I'm sending in my money tomorrow.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


I decided to take the Khadi paper book sent to me by my friend, Susan, and use it for my Heart Journal. Will put artwork and words and other things in it.

So far, I've worked on 3 pages but they may change a lot with more words, scraps of paper, heart cutouts, etc...this will be very experimental and more as a way to get through my issues/feelings/etc.
The paper doesn't take much reworking so you have to put the color down and let it dry and then go back and darken later. I have glued things in there, too - previous paintings that will change once I get words and other embellishments around it.

Friday, September 25, 2009


I've gone back in and worked more on the top 3 paintings of the Cumberland Collage. The colors are not quite true since it's too dark and dreary to take the photo out in the sun/rain room now so this was taken in my art room with the natural lightbulbs's not as accurate for color as it should be.

So...I spray sealed the bottom 2 paintings so I wouldn't get runs down from the top and then worked on the top. Lots more to do on the center tree but the falls and moon are done, I think.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


In a lifetime of 52 years, how many hearts have I managed to carefully collect without bruising or breaking them? If I have collected a dozen or more, that could be a sign of a well-lived life.

Feeling down today.
Could be the health issues;
could be the rain that has been coming down in a steady drizzle All Week Long;
could be the meds;
could be I'm just in a crappy mood and need to kick something (but not the cat - I've been told that is a bad thing to do), or maybe go throw paint around on something (but not the cat, he wouldn't appreciate that, either).

I hope all of you are having a good day, creative, warm, happy, with some sunshine or at least rainbows. I love that we can all share our art and our lives in this virtual reality we have created :)


I'd like to think that I have collected a few hearts in my lifetime...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Well, the Lifetime movie got me wanting to know more about the life and art of Georgia O'Keeffe so I've visited 2 libraries for books. Most of them have her paintings (so many I had never seen), some talk about her relationship with Stieglitz, and then his photographs with her paintings...and finally a real biography I'll start today.

Until then...and since I'm not in a painting mood right now, here's a little sketch from a dream...

This will probably become a painting on gessoed paper sometime.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


We had such a cool, wet summer that we imagine a glorious autumn display of colors will be our reward this fall. Here is the first little red leaves I picked up on my walk a few days ago. Soon...all the colors will be at their peek and we'll have to be out taking photographs and walking in the woods and enjoying the cool mornings and evenings.

I had a wonderful afternoon today, visiting, sharing art materials and talk, and just chatting about everything with J. Her neighborhood was most impressive - each house large and very different architecturally. I enjoyed just gawking at the houses and acreage and the view of the Ohio River on our short walk with Boo-Boo; and enjoyed getting to know her a bit more and see more of her artwork (she does oils, acrylics and watercolors and collage and...).

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Did you watch the Lifetime Movie about Georgia O'Keeffe last night? I did. It was fairly enjoyable but left a LOT to be desired about her life and was more about her relationship with Alfred (who was portrayed as a total pig of a man).

It will run again. Watch it, if for nothing more than to see Joan Allen become her and see her paintings (there are many shown in the movie).

For my taste, I much prefer the movie Frida, which I can watch over and over.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


I finished the bottom 2 paintings of the Cumberland Collage, and have 3 to finish. You can see them all here and how they are going to be laid out on the yupo sheet.

Below are the paintings shown individually. The first 2 (Cumberland Reflections and Cumberland Sycamore) are finished. I had a heck of a time getting a good looking reflection on the first one!

I'm happy with the waterfall in the upper left painting but the rocks need a bit of work.
The other falls and moon painting was just something I threw on there thinking that the shape there already was a full moon and I could go from there. I think I need to make it much much darker - like a full moon at night and the water shining somehow...will think about it more and work it more so it might not look anything like this next time.
Hope you're having a good weekend so far.


I got a large package in the mail yesterday and opening it, discovered some wonderful surprise gifts from Susan on Vancouver Island! Some wonderful Indian Khadi papers in a large book - there are plenty of papers inside to play with and it's a heavy book - makes me want to try it right away. One bonus - inside is a "practice" watercolor sketch painted by her husband, Mohan. I always adored his paintings and now I have another original :) And she was going to tear it out! I'm so glad she didn't.

She also sent a 9" x 12" watercolor canvas - another toy to try out!

If you don't know, the watercolor canvas is coated with a gesso that allows one to paint on it with watercolors. Then you seal it with a spray acrylic coating and you're set to hang it - no matting and framing needed.

Thanks so much, Susan, for the surprises for me - and for the girls (I'll get them to them soon, I promise). Susan was going to visit this month but her back is giving her fits and she could not stand the thought of the long airplane trip and sitting in airports and riding in cars and sleeping in a strange bed, etc. that would take its toll on her back. I fully understand - that happened to me when we were planning to visit her last July and had to postpone until September. So the trip is not cancelled - just postponed for a while.
I am still working on the Cumberland Collage painting, doing a bit at a time. Will be able to share some later today...

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Interesting synchronicity? I had to go to the hospital and be fitted with an "event monitor." This is something I have to wear for 30 days that, in the event of a leapfrog in my heart - well, that's what it feels like! - records the "event" so my cardiologist can determine where it's coming from and why it's happening. I have electrodes glued on me in 2 places - but I have to replace them every day so I can take this thing off to shower which is a good thing (did you know they make Holter monitors that you cannot remove for any reason and can't get wet so you have to stop bathing while you wear them...for 24 to 48 hours?? ugh!)

Anyway - take a look at the name of my new toy.

Now, you'd think with today's technology, they could make it smaller and lighter...and could also make it able to transmit the data on something other than a "land line phone." Does anyone have a land line phone anymore? We don't. So what do you do? If you can't find a neighbor or friend with one, you have to go to the hospital after recording 3 events - all it will hold - and transmit the data. What a pain in the patooty!
I really feel like Big Brother is watching me now...
Now back to painting....

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


While you're waiting for my Cumberland Collage painting to be finished (I'm still tweaking it a little at a time and using my red filter to see the values - I'm such a good girl on this one! ha ha) is the King of Hearts. I won't do anything more to him now. But who knows. In another month or so I may pull this one out of the finished pile and realize just what it needs to finish it off. The joy of yupo is you can continue to work on it...forever! The problem of yupo is you can continue to work on it...forever! ha ha

This is watercolor and grease pencil (wax pencil/China marker/whatever they are called) on yupo.

And just for fun, here are some closeups to show off the textures.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Having absorbed the recent news of a watercolor painting friend passing from inoperable cancer and another being giving just 6-12 months more months from another type of cancer, I find myself thinking:

What if there was no time to wait?

What would you do? If you knew each step was now so much more important, would you tread more carefully or go with wild abandon wherever you walked? Would you smile at more people as you passed them in the aisles of a store? Would you eat more ice cream and less granola?

Would you look at your paintings and tell yourself, "Not too shabby," for more of them, and loosen your grip on those that no longer have meaning to you? Would you give more away? Would you sketch something every day?

Would you walk in the park and pet the dog more?

It's the little things -- like a gorgeous, unbelievable sunset or a softly subtle yet illuminating rainbow -- that make our days worth living. Enjoy every one. Try to touch the powder from a butterfly's wings without harming the butterfly. Capture a frog from your garden and have a long conversation with him. He won't share your secrets.

Cradle a child and hug a spouse for a long time.

Take stock but don't let it cause fear in you, but great joy for this life is all we're given and standing in the present is the best gift you can give in return.

Take care, my friends. Enjoy the day, whatever it brings. If you are in pain of any kind or fearful of anything, know that it will pass by like an autumn breeze...merely the scent of woodsmoke in the air...blowing across your face and fading away.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Thanks so much to everyone - you all know who you are! - who took the time to "vote" on their favorite painting to help me choose which 2 to enter in the Viewpoint juried show. The CD and all the accessories went in the mail this morning and I'll know by the 3rd week of October. I'll let you know when I know.

Now I have some yupo paper and paintings calling me...

Sunday, September 13, 2009


I had a used sheet of yupo "paper" that had been painted and even spray sealed. I just took rubbing alcohol and wiped it off and got most of it, leaving a few rough, textured spots I liked. Then I began on the left side with the reflections painting. Taking this into black and white (just unsaturated the color in my photo program) helped me see the lack of darks I still need to put in - plus I'm not getting the reflection the way I want it to be so will work on that...

I put a "frame" around it with Inktense colored watersoluable pencils. Then started on the next one on the right side, using a bit of the same "frame." It's not done yet, either. But thought I'd share what I've been working on for a few days. I'm liking the abstracted look and textures of the sycamore roots and the darks are good so far.

I am going to paint one more (or maybe two) smaller ones on top of these and tie them in to the textures and colors that are already there (left over from the previous painting).

Here's what I have in mind...

And I want to thank everyone for casting their votes for their favorite paintings in the 5 I listed. It looks like No. 5 (Am I Blue) is the top winner with No. 1 (A Frisson of Flamingos)close behind! I appreciate you taking the time to look at them and place your vote for your favorite. The CD goes in the mail Monday morning and I'll let you know if I get in.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Thursday afternoon a painting friend came over and my wonderful husband took photos of her paintings - 3 she wants to put into the Cincinnati Art Club Viewpoint show coming up and 3 she just wanted photos of. So...he did that, cropped and chose the best and created a few CDs for her for her entry and for her own use. She seemed shocked when I said I wasn't planning to enter to juried competition. I never have. Maybe I should. She looked at 1/2 dozen of my paintings and chose these 3:

1) A Frisson of Flamingos

2) Singing the Blues

3) Summer Girl

Then I asked Jerry his favorites of the 1/2 dozen and he chose Summer Girl

4) A Not-Pink Flamingo

So! How does one choose? I just want to enter 1 or maybe 2.

Which ONE would you vote for as the best image - the most likely to get into the show?

If you take a moment to let me know, I may come up with a consensus...or not! ha ha Just type in the NUMBER of the one you think is the best image, please. And thanks so much. I have this weekend to decide which one and if I am going to enter. The show is hosted by the Cincinnati Art Club (mostly oil, acrylic, and pastel paintings get in but a few watercolors do get in and even win prizes). And the judge (just one) is an oil portraitist.

And just because this is MY favorite:

5) Am I Blue

Friday, September 11, 2009


No speeches
or chats
or talks of any kind
Just remembering that day
- September 11, 2001 -
and how it changed us.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


A few more photos to share of the Cumberland Falls trip while I catch up with things around here.

I think I enjoyed the water reflections as much as the falls.

Taking a 2 hour hike on the other side of Cumberland Falls, you get another viewpoint...and can walk down to Eagle Falls if you have the stamina and don't mind climbing over very large boulders just before reaching the smaller, but very pretty, falls.

Take my advice and, unless you just want the extra exercise, do not take the steps straight up (136 of them) to the gorge overlook. Nothing to see - maybe in the winter but not this time of year. And those steps didn't get any easier...and made me feel quite old when a young woman came by and began running up them!!

This sycamore's roots had been washed by the water and it had cut away the beach (nice, brown-orange sand), causing it to look like it was getting ready to get up and walk away.

It had some interesting patterns in it's trunk and roots...very unreal in color and pattern.

Hope you enjoyed the photos. I'll get back to posting artwork - or talking about art - soon.


We just returned from a few days in the Cumberland Falls area of south-central Kentucky (south of Lexington and about a 2 1/2 hour drive from home). It was rainy and damp and misty but it was still a wonderful get-away for a while. We stayed at the Resort and saw the falls from both sides (one hike easy and paved, the other not).
When you park and begin your walk towards the falls, the water is so calm it's like a mirror. Beautiful reflections and no stirring of the water at all. Then you walk on and the water has more movement and you see the cuts in the rocks that are visible because the water is low. You can hear the roaring and you know what's coming.

You follow the crowd (a lot more people than I thought there would be and hard to find a parking spot but it was the last weekend of the "summer" before kids had to be back in school).
The sound becomes even louder.

And there it is: Cumberland Falls, called the Niagara of the South, only smaller in scope than Niagara Falls and the only falls that has a moonbow. On full moon nights when the skies are clear, you can see the moonbow shining like a white radiating arc in the mist. Sometimes it is pale white, sometimes it has the colors of a traditional rainbow in it.

We didn't see the moonbow (cloudy, rainy, and too tired from a 2 hour hike that afternoon) but did see the sun peek through just long enough to show us a rainbow - always a good sign.

If you're adventurous and want to get really wet, you can take a pink raft down from the "beach" area to the base of the falls and get splashed. We saw a few hardy souls doing this with lots of screaming and laughing involved.

The resort/hotel and the view outside our 2nd floor window...trees, trees and more trees and foggy misty mornings.