Sunday, May 29, 2011

Postcards from Paradise

Like my friend Dorothy...the one with the red shoes...Paradise is mostly located in my own backyard. It's a short trip. I can make it in my pajamas and robe. Packing a lunch with some fresh lemonade is a cinch. Of course, my fuzzy friend , Demi doesn't fit in a picnic basket...but she's right there beside me....

Please visit Rebecca at Recuerda Mi Corazon for more amazing Postcards from Paradise.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Haiku my Heart

The Garden tools wait.
Cloud paintings fill the Spring sky.
Enchanted I watch.

My heart has been outdoors, wandering amongst the trees and flitting about with the wild birds. I see new hatchlings in the nest by my door. They get bigger everyday, along with my plants and herbs. Such richness. I may be the richest woman on the block!

Please go to Recuerda mi Corazon for more haiku wonderments and links.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Rainy Days

Truth be told...I would rather be outside than inside, but sometimes we just don't have much of choice. The rain and thunderstorms running wild in Middle Earth are a little scary and call for indoor graces. These are my kitchen chimes...a gift from a precious friend. she knows I love butterflies and light and this gives me the magic of both. When life gets too wet and rainy, I can always give the chimes a bit of a nudge and lovely music fills my kitchen sounds brighter.
Of course, a nice cup of tea in the rosiest of cups along with a buttery pink cookie can brighten up any week of rainy days.

Let's see, music, tea, a sweet for inspiration. the rest of this day will be spent here in my art nest all dry and warm. There is a new painting on the easel waiting to be finished; a brand new sta-wet palette that just arrived yesterday to keep my paint nice and moist in between trips to the basement.

Ah, the wonders of Middle Earth!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Quiet Place, A Sacred Space

Everyone needs a quiet place. A place to think and dream. Most importantly, we need that space and silence to be able to hear ourselves. There are adventures, wonders and amazements deep within every single one of us. Most of the time we are so busy going here, doing this, doing that, and we never connect with that quiet place that is really what we are all about.
In my heart of hearts, I know that this Sacred Space is where I connect with God and receive the gift of life that goes out into the world as my art work and teaching.
 I know my God is a creative God and blesses us all with that same creativity, though it manifests in different ways with different people.

A Sacred Space of silence is my gateway to creative living. It doesn't have to be long or in any particular place. the gateway is in my own heart. In your heart,too.

I am very interested in knowing what your Sacred Space is and how you create it for yourself. Do you share it? I sometimes do and it is a rich thing to do. Tell me true.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Laughter in the Attic

More than once, I have been introduced to visitors at the St. Louis Artists Guild as the one in the attic where everyone is laughing. It's true. We are a noisy crew.
I am honored to be working with a phenomenal group of women every Monday morning. They light up my life. Their work is amazing and their spirits even more so. We hold class up in the attic of a wonderful old building in Clayton. The elevator doesn't even go up there, so they trudge up the stairs dragging bags of goodies and art supplies

Most of them have been with me for almost a year now and no one is getting bored!  Especially not me. We recycle old books, mostly from the library sale table.  In fact, we have an exhibit up right now at the Richmond Hieghts Memorial Library through June1.
It's a knock out exhibit. I just provide techniques and they take that information and fly with it.

Now we have added a Saturday Class, which will be for folks just starting on the Art Journal journey. Mondays will still be for more experienced Art Journalers. Anyone who has taken one of my classes is welcome to jump in on the Monday group. Those wondering what all the giggling in the attic is..can join in on Saturdays..we still meet in the attic. Leave a comment if you would like more information.

In the Monday group absolutely ROCKS.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Haiku my Heart

Morning Dew calls me
Toes nesting in wet grass
We sip the the Dawn Light.

Inspiration comes from many places and the magical blog Recuerda Mi Corazon touches my heart. I love the form of haiku. It is a doable poem format for we busy bees. In addition to Haiku Friday, Rebecca has created all manner of wondrous delights for the heart. Please visit her and also the other magical haiku poets linked to her blogsite.

Each morning since Spring has visited Middle Earth, I step outside in my pink pajamas and worn out tennis shoes. I visit each little garden I have planted in our backyard: a place for herbs and salads; a place for bright colored Poppies , morning Glories and the sweet scents of Lavender; A magical pot of mint by the gate and three pots of ..even more salad!.

After my little circuit which tells me who needs water and who needs weeding, I step out of those old tennis shoes and into the cool wet grass, bare toes nestling into the soothing dampness. I reach my arms up to the sky and give thanks for the day, for my life, for this space in time. Then I bend down to touch my dear Mother Earth and gather the dew onto my hands to wash my face in Full Moon water.
then, with arms raised again, standing tall, I turn to each of the four directions calling out my gratitudes for my home, my family, the trees and sky. As I return to center I gather all of that wonder and gratitude into my heart space and just breathe, allowing my heart to be filled. The last thing I do is walk to my favorite tree, hung with wind chimes and set each one in motion so I walk to their song back to my house and the new day.
That's my poem.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


My world is inhabited by many strange creatures. As you may have read previously, a lovely owl friend moved into the eaves of our house and manages the local fauna for us. I kept thinking the owl was a "she" so last week in my Art Journaling class, this was a demonstration that started with the photocopy of an old owl engraving and the lower half of a rather threatening looking model. The original images are well covered with paint and texturing, even a little mono printing to get the feathery effect. I haven't decided if the bird in her hand is being guarded or in hmm... are YOU my lunch?????

So in pondering habitations and cohabitations, I thought you might enjoy a tiny peek at one of my favorite rooms. I painted the walls my very own self as anyone can see by the fact that I forgot to tape off the ceiling and there are a few blobs of blue paint wandering around the upper edges. This little corner is where Miss Bunee lives...far away from the owl guardian. she likes to keep me company in my bathroom! You can see the blue I chose was that wonderful Tiffany blue.

I do have my own to sit on when I do my make-up and consult Miss B.
I also have LOTS of artwork hanging in my bathroom. I know some folks live in fear of ruining precious art with steam,etc, but I have a large watercolor hanging on one wall and it has lived there for seven years without a smudge or fade. The piece peeking out in back is also a watercolor of mine and YES, that is an Alice in wonderland clock. The Cheshire cat is on the pendulum. I picked it up in antique mall for $7.00. Love it. The other piece is a needlepoint of a Renoir painting done by DH's favorite Auntie.....well, she was my favorite, too.

A bit more news: If you are in the St. Louis area, Rosemary Grove, in Kirkwood is now carrying my artwork.

I will have some joyous news around July 1st.

A demo for Grumbacher at the St. Charles Michaels.

A glass of wine in my hand Friday night at the Collector's choice event at the St. Louis Artists' Guild

Whew.....all that and hubby is still wearing a sling and in need of a chauffeur and mail room assistant


next time I'll see if I can get some shots of my garden and the famous Oregognome!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Flying Lessons

You may have noticed a new badge over there to the right. This will connect you to the wonderful Kelly Rae E-books site. Kelly has written an amazing ebook on the ins and outs of moving your art to a professional level in the area of sales and e-marketing. Kelly declares that her soaring success is mostly due to her blog and website . She advocates using these tools to increase your visibility in the art arena.

Why is her ebook amazing? Because it works. I have had this blog for several years and most of my visitors have been family. I made just a few of the changes Kelly's ebook suggests and tripled my readership in a single posting. WOW. Yes, TRIPLE WOW.

Her book is highly readable. I took notes as I read, highlighting the ones I knew I could use the fastest and easiest. The results , when applied were so positive, I decided I needed to share just how wonderfully open and sharing Kelly has been in her writing. I think most people who have achieved her level of success like to sit back on their laurels and close out other artists. Believe me, I know about this one. Kelly has shared what she has learned on her journey without holding anything back. On top of that, she has interviewed other artists and bloggers who have achieved success and gotten them to share their experiences.

The book comes in three parts that you can purchase one at a time or you can go for the whole Shebang and buy all three at once. they download to your computer so you have them forever. This is a good thing as you will certainly want to go back and check them out again and again.

Thank you, Kelly for your open heart and wisdom.

Dear Hearts that read my blog, click on that badge and get a chance to read a few tickler pages for free. this is an investment in the future of any artists ready to take the next step in sharing their own art.

Feel free to leave a comment on your opinions or if you have any questions.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Dream Dancer

In my dreams, I dance. I am so not a dancer in real life. Balance, stretching, grace are all things I strive for. I love to learn new things. I love to learn to DO new things. Keeping balance in my life..well..I guess I am just like everyone else, doing the very best that i can and trying to do it with some amount of grace.

This image is from one of my newer art journals. It's created on an old book, discarded by the local library on ballet. My sister and I took ballet lessons when we were kids at Miss Billie's School of Dance. Miss Billie had been a genuine Ziegfeld girl in her prime. I remember loving the romance of dancing, but my adolescent body just wasn't coordinated enough and after a year or so, I wandered off to my brushes and watercolors.

Now as a mature grown up kind of person I can go back into my heart of hearts and create images that honor the great admiration of I had and still have for the art of the dance. The words say "Do something strange and extravagant" and so I pick up crayons to add color and add fluttery things, dreamy things. Now there is magic. I may never be able to execute a perfect en pointe, but I create images that speak to that perfection. Then carry my dreams forward in a strange and extravagant way.

What dances did you dance as a child? Horseback riding? surfing? music ? How do you honor those things in your life these days?I am off to make dinner for my recovering DH. He requested linguine with clam sauce. I laughed when he asked because I really can make it in my sleep as it was a household staple when I was growing up and probably one of the first things I learned to cook! I even have fresh oregano growing in my tiny garden. There is an oregognome guarding it...truly..I'll post photos at another time!

I am off to make dinner for my recovering DH. He requested linguine with clam sauce. I laughed when he asked because I really can make it in my sleep as it was a household staple when I was growing up and probably one of the first things I learned to cook! I even have fresh oregano growing in my tiny garden. There is an oregognome guarding it...truly..I'll post photos at another time!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Sense of Wonder !

I have been in love just black and white recently: charcoal ,Stabilo or just gel pens. I think it's part of a search for simplicity in the midst of everyday details that tend to distract and stress. I have been working on cleaning up, simplifying and caring for a few areas in my life. More yoga, less running; more veggies, less frozen food; more organization, less chaos. Chaos seems to arrive all by itself in regular doses. It is focusing on what really feeds your soul that seems to make life a blessing. I will be posting more on this as I am doing a lot of journal work on discovering just what it is that does really feed my soul. I have gotten to this tender age by rushing about madly, nursing a sick parent, raising a child, getting an education, moving all over the country without taking the time to ask myself what I am really all about.

Resources have been falling into my hands on all kinds of levels and I plan on sharing those, too. Living a creative life calls for taking in and receiving at least as much as one puts out. Deciding on just what does the feeding, then following through and actually doing it is what makes life worth living.

So I am working on Imagining the rest of this wild and wonderful life:  It's the balancing of the everyday wonders and the magic carpet of the imagination that makes my heart beat a little faster these days.

Monday, May 2, 2011

I LOVE my Stabilo pencil

OK, so what is a Stabilo pencil? It is a water soluble, rich, black pencil that you can smear with your fingers, blend with a wet brush or just draw with. If you use it to draw, say a face, then paint it with acrylics, all sorts of nice shading happens almost magically. These pages are in my art journal that I use to do demonstrations for a class I teach at the St. Louis Artists Guild every Monday morning. I will start a Saturday morning class in June so watch for info on that or check the guild website.

So, the demo last week was on how to do a pop-up page. we use discarded old books as recycled..upcycled (!) art journals. I usually glue two or more pages together to give them some body and then gesso them. In this case I drew a flower with my faithful Stabilo pencil, blended and accented it, then cut off all the excess paper just leaving the center part that I had drawn on. without the weight of the extra paper, the page just pops up! In this case I added a quote from Colette regarding memories of flowers..which is, after all, what a drawing of a flower really is if you think about it.

I had so much fun with one demo, I had to do two! This one I painted the gesso on very thinly so some of the original imagery appears softly in the background. this book is about ballet so there are dancers doing a little flower dance around my popped up poppy.

I really liked the sketchy effect of these drawings. It gives them a nice sense of life and immediacy. Me and my Stabilo are off to play together again today...This time with a bit more color and some collage. Mr. Stabilo, where ever you are: hugs, kisses and please don't ever discontinue these yummy pencils!
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