Saturday, June 24, 2017


Little Luke
     I always wanted to write a children's book but never got around to it but my time has come. After signing up for the on line class Storybooks and Studious Girls I got inspired. After thinking of subjects that I could write about I thought of the adorable things my two grand kids have done, therein lies my inspiration.

     My first attempt is: Never Put M & M's Up Your Nose. Of course my grandson Luke did just that and his mom caught it with her camera. The on line class had a link to a book binder who makes  hand bound watercolor journals with a gold binding just like the golden books we read as kids. As I watched the how to video I said no way am I doing all that so I bought two blank books and off I go.
They finally arrived so now I really have to write a children's book.

Cover page rough draft

                                                                                                                                                                                      While I was waiting for my blank books I collected photos, did some tracing onto vellum and wrote the script for the story, then it dawned on me; how do I do all that lettering? I shortened the narrative quite a bit and will just do the best printing I can and remember that it doesn't have to be perfects.

     I'm proud of me.

Saturday, June 17, 2017


African Mask
Thought I would confess to some of my weird sojourns during my years of artistic ventures.  As  a volunteer for the Heathcote Botanical Gardens I was asked to donate art work done on coconuts which are so plentiful in Florida.  I collected dried out coconuts and began designing. All of them are sold or donated to good causes and I did not want to be labeled the "Coconut Lady" so I stopped producing them.

My Wilson Football coconut I could have sold four times when I participated at Art in the Park, an outdoor tented art show and one of my favorite one is this cupcake coconut. First you look at the shape of the coconut and then let your imagination go. It was fun but on to more serious art.

Later I will tell you about my Calendar Art....Year of the Bugs.

Oh, an update on my two children's books that I am writing for my grandkids. I have ordered the hand bound books, written the rough draft of the script and have started on the illustrations. I'll give you a sneak peek when I can. All of this came about after watching the on line class: Storybooks & Studious Girls.


Friday, June 9, 2017


I am so impressed with the Jeanne Oliver on line class offerings so when I saw the 50% off sale my eyes lit up. What better thing to do when you are staying home due to illness? Oh, by the way, two doctors and meds later I am feeling so much better. Next week I will be back to my normal self.

In the past I signed on for: Gathering Beauty & Painterly Portraits, now I am lined up for a free business video, free art video, Living Studio, Storybook & Studious Girls and a webinar today at 4:00 pm today. Every time I run creatively dry an art DVD or an on line class perks me right up.

Danielle Donaldson, the creator of Storybook & Studious Girls, was easy to listen to and so uplifting. She made me feel that I too could develop a character illustration and a story line. It looked so easy when she drew her whimsical girls. For many years I have thought about writing a children's book so why not now?  For some reason I may be ready for this new adventure.

Now on to create a character or characters with a story line plus paint watercolor illustrations for the book. How hard can it be?  What could possible go wrong with my past history of fleeting focus;  "Oh, bright and shiny..... on to a new project"? 

How many are betting I will accomplish at least one small book and how many are betting, nice idea but it ain't going to happen?

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

NOT FAIR.....!

     I have been feeling under the weather so I missed our little talk. I seem to have developed asthma which has taken four long months to figure out. You know the routine; doctor after doctor until you end up at a pulmonologist. At least now my emotional self feels better knowing what it is.

    Oh, I'm not done. For a year my eyes have been allergic to something but who knows what. Many visits to three doctors, many prescription tries and nada. One night I desperately go to You Tube ( my head is hung in shame) for help.

     Did you know that you can use: rosewater, cucumber, potato and home made saline solution on your eyes? I had tried tea bags, cucumber so I thought I would give saline solution a try. After watching 4-5 videos I got the recipe and I already had an eye bath cup. Much to my surprise it helped... oh a little relief from the itching. Just to cover my bases I see an allergist this week.

     Needless to say I have been a little cranky and my art work has suffered. I even stopped painting for a week to see if I was allergic to the paints. My retired scientific mind went into over drive so I researched all my cosmetics, shampoo, no nail polish and on and on. Amazon Prime loves me as I order more and more of "no this or that" products. I even researched the ingredients in tissues and cotton swabs which to my surprise do have added ingredients. I resorted to using some of my husband's white cotton hankies when cleaning my eyes.

 I look/feel tired and old. I don't mind the old part but I do mind losing my sparkle which is attached to my smile.

The sun will come out tomorrow.


Saturday, May 27, 2017

A new class Julie Johnson

     Do you think I have a problem painting faces? I have numerous paintings where I am stuck with the face therefore they are never completed.  I know start with the eyes then work from there but you know me; start with the easy and inspiring.

     I signed up for an on line class with Julie Johnson via the Jeanne Oliver web site. It was recommended by Chris in my Monday painting group and she is usually spot on with her recommendations.
 PAINTERLY PORTRAITS is my new class and it is full of information. I know I am learning because I am taking notes and feel out of my comfort zone. I will listen to the numerous videos once all the way through then I will repeat, experiment then repeat again. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed with the color mixing but I am trying to simplify so it make sense to my style of learning. 
I took a marker to a palette paper that I could place under a glass plate which had the value scale down the left for reference, neutrals on the far right and mixing of warm and cool from a double primary limited palette. After obtaining the mother pile I made three values of each. Julie added colors so easily to make a color warm or cool, change the value that I got a little bit lost.

Wow, one mean looking lady!

I am learning so much that I think I have given myself a headache.  

My best for this lesson.

Friday, May 19, 2017


My Painting Gal Pals

      Every Monday at 9:30 am  8-10 ladies meet at Rita's condo club house to paint together. These  women are true friends with whom you can share you life happenings without judgement and with confidence. If one of us needs something the others will be there to help. At about 11:30 someone will say; "Where are we going to eat", today? We always go to a local restaurant to have lunch, eat half of it and take the rest home for dinner or a treat if there is a husband at home. 

     We were eating at an Italian place one time when a younger man came up to us to say he enjoyed hearing our conversations but mostly our laughter. The stranger said a group of young professional women were in the week before and each one of them was on their phone or I Pad.  To be with people and ignore their presence by being on a phone would not even cross our minds but it was a kind observation from a stranger.

Another time another stranger said to Meave; "I like your hair", she wears it in a lovely white mohawk! White is the preferred hair color for the group but I am thinking of surprising them with a temporary pink tips dye. Why not? That is the same resason I got a tattoo the day before I turned 60.
........"Let's give them something to talk about".......

     We have lost a few precious members over the years; had to move away to be closer to the kids or passed away but each is remembered in our hearts.  This leads me to the most important lesson I have learned from these gals; you alway (no matter your age) must keep meeting new people and share you life with the ones that are worthy. Guess I thought that when one got old life would be static and unchanging....wrong again!  Accepting the changes makes all the difference in the happiness quotient and camaraderie of friendships can be the life jacket to help one keep on keep'in on.

Friday, May 12, 2017


     To keep myself in shape for painting I go to a Silver Sneakers exercise class twice a week, I am going on my sixth year of being pretty faithful. In the past I have pooped out on all attempts to stick with exercising program but this time I have gotten to know the other students and the teacher. It is hard to walk out in the middle of a class with;" Oh I have a pain" or "I'm tired already", so I stay to the end which pleases me.

   One of my fellow students was telling me how he had painted a few rooms in his condo ( the dear is 86), bought a new used couch from Habitat for Humanity and even got new lamps at Home Depot. After class I said I would like to paint him a picture to add to his redecorating, my gift to him. I could tell he was so tickled at the thought as we discussed how big and the subject matter.

     The next class he said; "I love Great Blue Herons" so that was our subject. I started three different designs of herons and settled on this pose. The other two poses are under this painting.

Stage one.
Great Blue in the Mangroves

I hope Mike likes my loose style of painting and I hope it brightens his day each time he looks at it.

Paint it Forward!