Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Early Haiku my Heart

Packing bags to fly
to a strange new place I know
and don't know, I cry

I fly off to Philadelphia on Thursday.
So I give you Haiku today.
Things have changed for this Jersey girl since her last visit.
Roots have migrated.
Hearts have been broken
and healed.
So I go to a new place with familiar faces,
but my heart is breaking for what once was.
There is joy for my dear brothers and their new homes.
I have shared their grief.
It is time to share joy
I will return next Friday with news of my adventures.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Postcards from Paradise: Somerset Studios!

I am not starting this post with a photo....we are building up to something here. first we have to go back to 1994 when a new art magazine called Somerset Studios had just come out. I was enchanted and immediately subscribed. I have stayed with them all this time. In the years in between, we both grew, evolved, explored new paths. It seemed they were moving right along with me. They actually grew to include a group of creative publications covering mixed media, memory books, sewing, life styles, photography and even one called "Where Women Create" that seems as if every issue were written just for me....sigh.

So a year ago I decided we were in synch enough that they might be interested in my artwork. I consulted other published Somerset artists via blogs and such. Most told me they made several runs at it before they even got a piece accepted no less an entire article. Hmmm...

but I decided to take the chance and jump anyway. I have a really bad habit of doing just that sort of thing. guess what happened......They accepted my very first submission! It was published in the Winter 2011 issue of Somerset Gallery. I walked on air for months over that one....and even believed it couldn't get any better than that.

Then, guess what happened?

This came in Friday's mail:

Then, this came in Saturday's mail:

I was actually expecting the second one to come after July 1, but the first one was a surprise. I do remember sending some extra work to them..and they decided to use EVERYTHING.

I am pinching myself...repeatedly! The Somerset Studio entry is part of an artists challenge to create art with a theme of "Classic literature".
It's the one with the teacup entitled: "Tea with Emily", as in Emily Dickinson. I almost forgot what she looked like. It is all about feathers and hope. I've always thought that hope could come with a cup of tea.

The second publication is Somerset Studio Art Journaling. It comes out twice a year and I have an entire article in it ....FIVE pages. These folks do an amazing job of photographing artwork. They make me look very good:

These won't hit the stands until July 1, but after that you can grab a peek at any Borders or Barnes & Nobles. You can also get them here.

I want to share my joy with all of you and I will be having a giveway and a special Etsy sale after July 10 as I am off to a different kind of Paradise in Havre De Grace MD to visit my dear brothers and their families.I'll take plenty of photos to show you that little Paradise,too! If you get a minute, you can click on the Etsy button to the left and visit the shop. Let me know which print you would most like to win. I need help deciding which one to to include in the giveaway!

Sometimes Paradise is a thing of your own making, the child of your own creativity. Paradise is definitely a place where dreams come true and this amazing confluence is my little Paradise, to be shared with you. Paradise is a sad place if joy cannot be shared. Thank you for visiting!

Please visit Rebecca and friends at Recuerdo Mi Corazon. for more Postcards from Paradise.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Music for the eyes and heart

Ever since I was a child, my reason for getting up every morning, for exploring this glorious world has been to see...to watch, to gaze, to glance..to open my eyes to the wonders around me. It feeds me, this looking. It leads me and inspires me. Beauty of every sort takes my breath away....and I seem to love to lose my breath in exactly this way. I am in passionately in love with music for the eyes and heart. The only thing that moves me more is my desire to share that love and passion with everyone I meet.
As much as I love beauty, it is the Dear Nature, the visible Hand of God, that most often breaks my heart wide open. These soft summer nights call me out of my home, after all the chores are done, after the kitchen gleams and all my dear hearts have been fed and loved into their own peace, I walk out my back door into the moonlit night. I leave my shoes at the door, needing to feel the grass and earth on my bare feet. this is a Sacred Space in my heart. The fireflies light my way playing a scale of soft flashing lights. I walk around my small backyard soaking up all the wonders that are not apparent in the daylight. My moon queen rises and laughs with me at the scent of night flowers.

When I finally go back into my home, I wonder why I don't do this more often..then I remember, the moon queen only visits but once a month and she is already disappearing.

In the day world, I am off to teach my painting class at Michael's today. It is a small class, but growing. there is much laughter and enjoyment as they explore the joy of seeing and creating. I feel more like a trail guide than a teacher.

Today they will paint this:

My two favorite foods. I think I will buy a  few artichokes and garlic heads so the room will smell like these inspiring shapes and colors and our sense can swirl along with the paint. If you are in St. Louis, we meet at the St. Charles Michaels at 2:30. You are welcome.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Haiku my Heart Friday

Forever Forgiven
Golden pools, eternal love,
her eyes are my grace.

My dogs are always my saving grace. No matter what I do they are content with me, happy, ecstatic in my attention.
This one dances a happy dance when I come home,
telling me of her joy in my return
and her wish to take a walk with me.

She and he are my tiny family.
Content are we in our homey grace.

This day I am thankful for all family and friends,
Most especially for my son,
who has traveled by plane and train to be with me
on my birthday.

this evening we will throw open the doors of our home and hearts,
and greet dear ones for sweet things
to eat and share.

My heart is full this Haiku Friday.
Please visit the rest of this heart opening group at Recuerda Mi Corazon

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Postcards from Paradise: The Fairy Garden!

Welcome to the Fairy Garden!
This tiny piece of Paradise is the newest addition to my back yard.

Oh, our guide is here to meet and greet.
As you can see
He has brought a friend.
They both just love dancing beneath the poppies under the full moon.
Luckily, we will have one this week.
So they are practicing their dance steps.
They danced out of the herb garden into this pretty corner.
As you can see , we have quite a bit of color in this little corner of Paradise.
Tiny blooms fill the air with sweet perfume.
Some are smaller than my smallest finger nail, but sweet
all the same.
Here is the centerpiece.
A rescued birdcage transformed
into a folly
Morning glories.

Enjoy more postcards from Paradise with Rebecca at Recuerda mi Corazon

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Sailing away.....

Oh how nice it would be to just sail away...off into a colorful sunset.....Hmmm...not this week.

When things get busy it gets harder and harder to find inspiration..it all looks like perspiration..or maybe that's just the hot summer temps we have been having. I come home worn out from the heat as much as anything else. Last night I couldn't get to sleep. DH couldn't either. We both crept downstairs to find something soporific...a little wine, a little tea. I won't tell who had which. As we snuggled down for the second time that night, he whispered that I should think happy thoughts and he started describing his favorite dream which involved a puppy in a field running up to him ....etc.

I love my pups...don't get me wrong, but my immediate reaction to thinking of a comforting image was the ocean. I grew up on a far away shore, always seeing sailboats and zippy little sports boats along with the big fishing boats. I loved them all. They were the first things I drew when I began to get that habit: a watery horizon, a lighthouse, a boat and a few seagulls. By the time I was an adolescent, touristy types from the BIG CITY would ask me how much I would sell them for. Many owned summer houses along the shore and wanted to decorate in very nautical themes. It was then that I learned I could actually make money doing something I loved. Magic. Wonder.

It never stopped.

So this morning I promised myself an early start in the studio. No distractions. Get in there and PAINT. This can sometimes be much harder to do than one would think. So in I went and the first thing that caught my eye was a little sailboat..a toy really, crafted at a women's retreat a few years ago. That was it. That was my inspiration, my muse for the morning. I grabbed a sheet of watercolor paper primed with thickly textured gesso. Then something wonderful happened. I did NOT grab my usual earthy golden colors. I laid out the brightest, most gloriously different colors I could have possibly put together. These were colors that sang and danced just like a tiny sailboat on the sea would sail. I didn't stop...I just kept going until it was done. I love it. Flower colors gone off to sea.

Much of this glorious color celebration is inspired by Nancy Standlee and her dedication to attending workshops with folks like this.

YUMMMMMM. What inspires your color choices? Not just paintings, but in your home, in the clothes you wear. What colors make your heart SING!!!!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A little bit of the Classics

I've been a bit busy of late with all manner of wonders. My garden is going politely crazy each day presenting me with new delights: purple morning glories, creamy poppies and the prettiest little pansies you have ever seen! this is all edged about with a border of thyme so it is really sweet stuff to be out there propping and winding and watering these wonders.

I did a demo out at the Michaels in St. Charles and have two classes scheduled, they are snowballing with more and more students on daily basis. These are very basic acrylic classes for all those folks who jumped in feet first as far as painting goes, but would like to really master the medium and see what it can really do. The little still life above is one of my class samples, though today we will be painting a lush field of Texas bluebonnets!

I am wrapping up a year long (almost) Disciple study this week, planning a trip back East to visit my beloved brother and his heroic (really) family. this is a real treat and I am hopping up and down. he has just relocated to a mansion (well, I t looks like one) in Havre de Grace, Maryland. If any of you are nearby, please give a shout as I will be there for an entire week and will be hunting down artful adventures while I am in the neighborhood. suggestions are always welcome if you are familiar with Havre de Grace. I am flying into Philadelphia over the 4th of July holiday and beyond!

I will be packing paints and camera so I can promise some yummy Postcards from Paradise. I also have the handsomest of nephews and nieces so of few photos of their happy faces may appear in some form or another.

On top of all of that, I have a birthday sneaking up on me. Oh my! I have a philosophy about that sort of thing: as long as you eat enough birthday cake, the numbers don't matter...and I am hoping for chocolate wonder to indulge in.

Off to prepare for my classes and do a bit of painting for a new exhibit. More later......

Friday, June 3, 2011

Haiku My Heart Friday

Hear joyous waves of sound.
Rolling throughout the woods:
Cicada Opera.

The cicadas are holding daily and evening concerts here in Middle Earth. I drift off to sleep hearing their song. We greet the morning sun together, I with my open heart and eyes, they with their unceasing song. I know it is a song of love and life. Some find it annoying. they can't hear other things for the opera going on outside their windows. For me it is such a celebration. I want to dance to the rolling cicada songs.

I painted this a few years ago as a rather large thank you note to a dear friend and her husband. She is now facing a challenging procedure that involves a gift of life from her twin sister. I ask for your prayers. Her name is Cindi.

Please join the rest of the amazing hearts on this weekly celebration of poetry, art and life at Rebecca's inspiring blog.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Sometimes we just have to take a deep breath and let go of all the prickly, painful locked down stuff we  carry in our hearts. It took me a long time to figure that one out. I actually once thought that carrying around anger was a mark of some sort of toughness. I didn't understand it was just dead weight.

I have been thinking about foregiveness a lot lately. First, I am painting for challenge that has exactly that theme, but the reason I responded to the challenge in the first place is that I truly did want to consider the ins and outs of forgiveness. when we hurt, we want to stop the hurt. So we run away, self medicate or do something mean to make the person who hurt us want to run away. We don't face the fact that we are hurt. we don't think about simply feeling that hurt, seeing it for what it is and then releasing it, letting fly away from our hearts and thoughts and moving on to gratitude for the things that are good in life.

It's decision, really to choose to focus on what is good in your life. No matter how many hurts we are faced with, we also have many, many blessings...even if that is just that there is a warm cup of tea in front of you or that the sun is rising in an especially lovely way.

I have three other canvases going right now. Obviously this is a big topic for me.

Of course, I have a few other things going on: My new Saturday class at the St. Louis Artists' Guild is a go and I am very excited about that.

I am doing a painting demo at Michaels for Grumbacher on Saturday.

I do still have a surprise for you at the beginning of July.

Oh, and my friend, Rebecca over at Recuerdo Mi Corazon is holding a wonderful event:. Some wonderful  artists have donated works for this cause. You can win an amazing original artwork and help the children of Oaxaca. Rebecca is an angel for arranging this and her website is always rich and delicious. Please visit her there.