Friday, December 31, 2010

Peace Art

I did these frames for Painting Magazine a couple years ago but love the message and creativity they share. Simple yet to the point, a perfect combination in my book.

Have a safe and happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Bit of Charm

This is another section of the large still life I set up and wanted to share its vignette with you. I tried to keep the colors all alike so you would concentrate on values more than anything. The shapes are interesting, the subject textures and proportions are varied and to me it has a certain bit of charm to it. I think it would make a great picture for my studio with the word imagine under it all. The blank lamp shade gives you an opportunity of creating what you would like to see on it. You could add your name to the star and make it look carved or painted on. The possibilities are endless when you start breaking down the elements one by one and create something personalized. Let it inspire you to let your artistic freedom out and about - enjoy the ride!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Warm and Tender

Some Thesaurus words for "warm-hearted" - benevo-lent, charitable, friendly, generous, gentle, gracious, kind, merciful, neighborly, pleasant, polite, softhearted, sympathetic, tenderhearted, thoughtful, warm.

This was a little part of a still life I set up for a drawing class and I find it very warm and appealing. Not only with the rich colors but the subjects also bring a smile to my face. Now, who could resist the little stuffed puppy?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Word - Warmhearted

The word for this week is warmhearted.

Its adjective meaning: marked by warmth of feeling; cordial.

After spending Christmas with family and friends I thought this would be the perfect word for the end of 2010. I started this blog with the intention of sharing my creativity and wanted to thank you for joining me on this inspirational journey. I hope you had some laughs, saw some great photos and was sparked with artistic imagination along the way. So, sit back, relax and enjoy the creative adventure 2011 promises to be...

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

The decorating of the house, the baking of the cookies, the shopping for the presents not to mention the wrapping - a build up like no other.
The day is finally here, enjoy it - Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

I've decked the halls, walls and windows - fa la la la la, la la, la la.
The presents are made, wrapped and labeled - fa la la la la, la la, la la.
Off to share with all of our loved ones - fa la la la la, la la, la la.
Enjoy the moments, laughter and hugs - fa la la la la, la la, la la.

A time to treasure, a year to remember - have a great Christmas Eve!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Frozen Bittersweet

It snowed yesterday then rained on top of it all creating wonderful little ice sculptures everywhere you looked. I remembered the bittersweet vine on the neighboring street and just had to go take a look. The results, frozen little red orange blossoms surrounded by winter white - just spectacular!

My creative senses were on overload because I wanted to capture it in all its beauty. The entwined vines climbing up a utility pole making a tangle arch that I'm sure the birds just love. The round berries escaping from the wonderful pods making a seasonal gem for all to treasure. The cluster frozen together with ice, snow and a little magic - what a wonderful sight!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Some Thesaurus words for "merry" - amusing, blithesome, boisterous, carefree, cheerful, comical, convivial, enjoyable, entertaining, facetious, frolicsome, funny, gay, glad, gleeful, hilarious, joyful, jumping, larking, lighthearted, lively, mirthful, perky, pleasant, rollicking, sunny, unconstrained, uproarious, vivacious, wild, winsome, zappy.

As you can see, a lot of happy words to add to your vocabulary. I chose this picture to represent the child in all of us. Can you remember riding your bike for hours on end? Mine was a purple Schwinn with a flowered banana seat - ahhh the carefree memories...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Word - Merry

The word for this week is merry.

Its adjective meaning: full of gaiety or high spirits; marked by festivity; brisk; blithe, jocund, jovial, jolly, mirthful.

Now how could you pass this sign and not smile? I have passed it for a couple years now and finally remembered to take a picture. The bright red hue on a seemingly colorless day really did make me laugh out loud :) The bonus - if Santa's sleigh gives out, the roadster looks ready to go...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Snow Piles

Having John stop along the roadside so I could take pictures of snow piles - priceless! Just imagine your significant others face as you ask them to do this. Yep, that was exactly what I saw :)

I just loved the intense blue of the day combined with the random plow stacking. It does make for an interesting photo and would be a great background on a number of pieces. Although this pile came up to the car window, it looks much larger don't you think? The various layers and chunk sizes all contribute to that illusion as well as there is nothing to reference it against. Remember that when doing your art, it's easy to make something appear larger besides looking in your cars side mirror :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Moon Mystery

It is just so weird when the sun is behind you and the moon is in front of you all at just 4 pm. I couldn't resist taking this photo, the serenity is just awesome and perfect for a Sunday afternoon.

Did you happen to notice the tall barn in the back? The cupola (a small structure on top of a roof or building) is falling down and at such an uncommon angle it looks as if it's leaning forward ready to fall any moment. Aahhh, aged barns are a thing of beauty, wouldn't you agree? When I was in college one assignment was to go an take photos of barns. And, of course, all of mine were at the falling down stage with missing boards, caved in roofs and no windows. The teacher actually asked if I had seen any barns that looked good? My reply, yes, I photographed them! So see, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Ornamental Setting

This tablescape photo is from Nell Hills in Kansas and I just loved the way it brought the outdoors in. Wouldn't it be a great gift for your family and friends to send them home with. Not only are you helping the environ-ment by planting trees but you are sharing your love with them as well contributing to a greener cause. I think the juxtaposition of the rugged burlap bag set on fine china with a linen napkin is absolutely breath-taking. Now, how can I set the Christmas table this year - hummmm...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Picturesque Pinecone

I love this photo because of the prismatic colors of the pine cone - they are almost unnatural. Did you notice the bright red orange hue, the striking peach highlights or the deep blue violet shadows? And let's not even talk about the pale, unobtrusive greenery that surrounds it. Beauty by composition, isn't nature great.

One of my favorite joyous things so far!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Heart of Joy

I wanted to share this little bit of Christmas with everyone. It's just one shelf of a built in bookcase in our kitchen cabinets, great for changing out the seasons. I hope you are all having a joyful holiday so far. I know I have decked the halls, put up 7 trees and am playing Christmas music non stop - if only the shopping was done :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Jewel

Some Thesaurus words for "joy" - alleviation, amusement, bliss, charm, cheer, comfort, delectation, delight, ecstasy, elation, exultation, felicity, frolic, gaiety, gladness, gratification, jewel, jubilant, merriment, mirth, pride, prize, ravishment, rejoicing, solace, treasure, treat, wonder.

I painted this nativity set in the 90's and the house is not fully decorated for the holidays until it is put up. It is John's favorite thing and always gets a place of honor. This year it is in the center of the picture window surrounded by 7 trees of various sizes and ornamentation brightened by a multitude of little white lights.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Word - Joy

The word for this week is joy.

Its noun meaning: a feeling of happiness that comes from success, good fortune, or a sense of well-being; a source of happiness, bliss, delight, enjoyment, pleasure.
I wanted to do this little guy as a colored pencil rendering only I can't squeeze it in this year, where has December gone? When setting up the photo, I imagined him up on a hillside sliding down just like I used to do as a kid. I can remember pulling my little sister around the school yard hills for hours at a time until we were both freezing and ready for hot chocolate with marshmallows - aaahh, memories!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

As Pooh Says...

Today is a blustery (don't you just love that word) day!

The wind and snow is blowing so hard outside that I can barely see 10 feet in front of myself. Keep safe and warm everyone!

Now has anyone seen Captain Jack or Princess Sophie?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Snow Pods

Isn't the coloration of this photo just exquisite? I just get warm looking at it with all its golden deliciousness. Add the snow mounded on top of the yucca pods and I couldn't have planned it any better. Snow cones anyone? Just amazing what nature has in store for the creative imagination of anyone looking, don't you agree?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Something Blue

The cedar in our front yard give us pastel blue berries to ponder about during the winter months. I am always amazed at their pale color when I stumble upon them by surprise. It is such a find when all else is grey and lackluster from the dreariness of the season. This tree of wonder is one of my favorites and I was lucky enough to shoot this with the warmth of the sun on my shoulders.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I just had to capture the magical moment of solitude in the front yard. The tiny rolling hill, the various garden pods left to bury their seeds for next year, the trees storing up to bloom in color next spring and let's not forget Venus. See her in the bottom left? She's there all year watching over our beautiful gardens whispering secrets only the flora and fauna can hear. Ah, the beauty of stillness and quiet, peace and goodness - there is nothing better for my creative spirit!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Hawthorn

Some Thesaurus words for "enchant" - allure, beguile, captivate, cast a spell on, charm, draw, enthrall, entice, fascinate, grab, hex, hypnotize, magnetize, spellbind, thrill, wile, wow.

Now, if that isn't a list of magical words to be inspired by!

This is my favorite tree in the yard - the hawthorn. I see it from the front but can admire it from the back in this view. It captivates me because of the angle, the tiny flowers, the extremely thin thorns all enhanced by the alluring snowfall of Saturday. It has mystical powers for me and I do find myself daydreaming about it. Silly I know but it reminds me of a tree I used to climb as a kid and sit there for hours watching everything go by. I think my imagination may well have started up there in that tree - simple magic!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Word - Enchant

The word for this week is enchant.

Its verb meaning: bewitch; enrapture, fascinate.
Some nouns for the word: enchanter, enchantment, enchantress; the adverb enchantment.
I'm already excited about this word just by its definition. The words are captivating and conjure up such an image of wonder that I can't even describe it to you. Don't you love when such small things can get your creative juices flowing? I know I appreciate each and every one!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

First Snow

I can't help but be inspired by the lovely gardens after a nice white snowfall. The dark of the trunk behind the little cement basket creates wonderment for my artistic eye. It was such a wet snow that it will be here for a couple days especially with the cold weather that is expected.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Snowy Visitors

Woke up to a wonderful landscape full of thick, white, winter snow - just beautiful! I always love the first real snow that covers the ground, layers the tree branches and makes funny shapes on all of the yard ornaments. It tells me winter is here and going to stay a while. Now I don't mind the white stuff but then again I work from home so it's just keeping these two out of trouble. Princess Sophie and Captain Jack were cold, full of mini snowballs and ready for a nap - cute though, aren't they?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Golden Angel

Doesn't this little angel look as if she is swaying to Christmas carols? I thought so too!
I loved the bright white wings against my red walls, just a spectacular vision of serenity. I'm getting ready to put up my holiday decorations and wanted to share this photo to get you inspired as well. Hope it helps and keeps you singing...
all is calm,
all is bright!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Some Thesaurus words for "patience" - calmness, composure, constancy, diligence, endurance, fortitude, gutsiness, heart, humility, leniency, meek, mild, moderation, moxie, passiveness, perseverance, persistence, poise, philosophic, restraint, self-control, serenity, stoical, submission, tolerance, tranquil, uncomplaining.

I took this when the fall leaves were still on the trees and the sky a beautiful calming blue.
I'm so thankful this is my backyard! The view was just magnificent on this day, don't you agree? Now, where's your tranquil spot? You should have one to recharge, refresh and energize your creative spirit, it needs to be revived from time to time. Your goal for this week: find that special place where solitude is your friend and let your mind wander with wild abandonment!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Jingle All the Way

So, here it is - not such a long wait right? I hope it was worth it :)
This is my latest Colored Pencil of the Month Club project. I was inspired by a plastic jar of bells and remembered this little jester bear - perfect for the mini still life. Knew I wanted to include black somewhere as a grounding element, the stemware worked great for that!

Now if you are not a member, of course that can't be true, this is the season to be given a gift (*hint, hint*) from family and friends. Go to and you will see that for $120 you will receive 13 months and a free indian corn e-packet. Where else can you get inspired each month from a door-to-door delivery? Now available as a pdf (e-packet) file too. Sale ends December 17 so make sure this little guy is on your list so you can jingle all the way...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Word - Patience

The word for this week is patience.

Its noun meaning: the capacity, habit, or fact of being patient; solitaire.

The adjective is patient meaning: bearing pain or trials without complaint; showing self-control; calm; steadfast, persevering.

Here's a sneak peek at the latest Colored Pencil of the Month Club project titled "Jingle All the Way". You'll see the finished piece tomorrow so just hold on, patience now.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Bulb Planting

John and I plus the puppies were out in the yard today planting what seemed like 1000 + 1 flower bulbs today. Yes it was cold but we managed to get them all in the ground. I can only tell you that if they all bloom our yard is going to be very colorful! I love planting bulbs (well actually John plants them) because they are a promise to what is to come. Isn't that what the four seasons are all about? I couldn't imagine my life without them because I am inspired by them all and appreciate what they offer. Whether it brings bright spring kelly green grass, a steamy hot summer day, the crisp nights and colorful days of fall, or the glorious white of winter snow -it gives me a chance to observe and wonder how she does it all in a magical moment in time!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Violet Saturday

I'm painting coordinates to this right now for an upcoming show and needed a break - too many violets to think about. Doing four butterflies of various shapes and sizes but it's time for the veining so needed a break. They are looking quite lovely and I can't wait to finish them. What are you working on right now - holiday presents for family and friends, spring time treasures, class samples or just something special for yourself? As long as you are being artistic and letting your creative side breathe, you should celebrate. So give yourself a big YIPPEE, YAHOO and continue on! It's the small accomplishments that can keep you going as long as you take the time to recognize them. Smile and continue on....

Friday, November 26, 2010

Let Nature In

I just loved this set up at Nell Hill. It reminds me that bringing nature in is a wonderful, inexpensive way to decorate. So, how are you decorating for the holidays? I love the smell of fresh pine so usually get a couple pine boughs to put on the table or around the banister. It fills the house with such a great aroma. Top it off by warming some cider and you are off to a terrific start. Add pine cones, pomegranates or clementines and you have a fantastic display that didn't cost a lot but looks really expensive - my favorite way to do things. The only thing better, the smell of christmas cookies baking in the oven YUMMM...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Oh Nooooo

Is today Thanksgiving? Oh %$**# - run turkey, run!
Hope you had a great Gobble Fest and that you wore elastic pants!

Friday, November 5, 2010


I liked this photo because of the rotted plant matter the butterfly is sitting on. I told you before, I always look for the ugly. To me it represents life and death in one photo. Although the plant is in the decaying stage I know it will once again appear when spring time rolls around. It's the viciousness of the cycle but one that must happen. I think that is why I enjoy the seasonal changes so much. It gives me a chance to tire of one season and really appreciate what the new one brings. On to the special now - only when I was looking through the photos did I happen to notice the striped antennae. How cool is that? I know, I love that!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pearfect Duo!

This photo exemplifies radiance in every way - luminous, bright, shining and full of light. We have several pear trees around the pond and even though I don't like their taste, I love to take pictures of them. I have them in every stage from the blossom, bud and on to the fruit. So, if you ever need any pear reference photos, I'm your girl!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Dogwood Fruit

I can remember my excitement the first time we discovered a flower on our dogwood. We had planted four on the property and watched them grow, grow and grown but not a bloom could be found. So, imagine my surprise when fall came around and the flower turned into this charming little curiosity. I must have taken 100 photos just in case it was a fluke - better safe than sorry, right?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Man vs Nature

Some Thesaurus words for "radiant" - beaming, blissful, brilliant, cheery, delighted, effulgent, gleaming, glorious, glowing, incandescent, joyful, lambent, lucent, lustrous, radiating, rapturous, resplendent, shining, sparkling, sunny.

In this photo where nature obviously lost, my artistic side was sparked with energy. I was delighted to see this vibrant color and it caught my eye while driving by. I actually backed up the car to see exactly what was glowing in the sunlight. Yes, you can imagine my surprise when I saw what the road crew had done quite artistically I might add :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Word - Radiant

The word of the week is radiant.

Its adjective meaning: shining, flowing; beaming with happiness; transmitted by radiation, brilliant, bright, luminous, lustrous.
This photo just makes me smile because I can remember the warmth of the sunshine on my back even though it was a chilly day. The shadows are intriguing especially the way it illuminated the veins of the smaller leaf. The bright red crab apples are a treat for all the birds flying south for the winter and believe me, we get quite a few through the yard daily.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Study Group

Here are all four studies together as a group. Notice how I turned them making an irregular shape instead of lining them all in a row. I wanted the colors to gradually change as in the actual leaves so at the top left is green-yellow, bottom left yellow-green, bottom right yellow-orange, top right, yellow green-red. I am thrilled with the outcome and hope to do more one hour studies because they were a lot of fun and no pressure. Doesn't everyone need that in their life!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Organic Red Study

This study has a sassafras leaf and the fruit from a dogwood tree. I was enchanted by the colors more than anything. The sassafras tree is just glorious in this season. The intensity it offers will make any yard glow. Picture a bright gold, pumpkin orange and magenta red - the colors it creates amazing! The dogwood fruit is just so interesting to me. It is really the center of the flower that forms after the bloom dies out. They start out as little red berries then expand to the bumpy heart shaped fruits you see here. They then dry out to little hard orbs with wonderful curling ochre leaves on them. Like I said, the intrigue captured my artist side!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pin Oak Study

We have a variety of oaks on our property - burr oak, red oak, pin oak - and each leaf is just a little different. You can tell this species by the sharp tips at each leaf point. I picked a green one that was barely changing and as a bonus found the little stick with a couple leaves still attached and knew it would be great to include. These turn ochre then a deep burnt sienna giving my yard a wonderful new color on top of the green grass. The fun part for me, making each study different than the last yet interesting in composition. So far, I think I like them all!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hickory Study

I took advantage of the fall season by including the nut in various forms. This is by far one of the greatest smelling trees when burning - hickory smoked campfires, sign me up! I loved the decaying part of the leaves and the gradual color change from green to yellow to ochre. This series was also important for the shadow study so pay close attention to them, it is what gives them movement.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Burr Oak Study

Some Thesaurus words for "adventure" - chance, contingency, endangerment, enterprise, experience, exploit, feat, happening, hazard, incident, jeopardy, occurrence, peril, scene, speculation, trip, undertaking, venture.

I painted this little canvas in one hour using leaves from the yard. It is a series of four I will be sharing with you in the next couple of days. I wanted to work quick and loose letting the colors blend into one another while wet. I am so pleased with the results and loved being so free with the exercise. So, grab your brush, pick up a handful of leaves and let the fun begin.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Word - Adventure

The word for the week is adventure.

Its noun meaning: a risky undertaking; a remarkable and exciting experience.

The crazy, fall loving squirrel is at it once again. First climbing a tree enjoying the wonderful colors of the season. Now taking a well deserved rest from gathering nuts and simply appreciating the warmth of the sunshine. Night time is on the way so he can't stay long but he has savored the day for sure. When was the last time you did?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Just Unnatural

Walking around the pond yesterday I just loved the way the sun was lighting this oak tree - the red brilliance was just blinding. When viewing the photos, this one just looked unnatural in color so I had to share. Can you imagine painting a leaf that intense almost fluorescent red? It would take a lot for me to even reach for that color let alone use it. I do however love the bright red with the muted khaki green seen at the top left - that palette I would definitely use! Now, where are those paints....

Friday, October 22, 2010

Bi-color Brilliance

These leaves were found randomly around the yard and put together after a little touch of rain. I loved the dark green grass against the vibrant fall colors, don't you. The orange yellow leaf has red veins and I couldn't help pair the two leaves together. I find it amazing that nature doesn't have a limited palette at all yet as an artist I'm so careful to put together my color combinations. Would I have included the dark blue green background for these brighter colors? Probably not but I do love the dramatic effect it gives them, they almost pop off the page. So, take a page out of mother natures book and try a new color combination, I'm sure you can find it somewhere around you!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Color Stack

I was at the perfect angle for this opportunity - colorful leaves arranged beautifully, stacked artistically and just waiting for a photo to be taken. If you look closely there are five points on each leaf so I guess you can include it with my word of the week star. I know stretching it pretty thin.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fungi Star?

Since star is the word for this week I couldn't help sharing this little treasure with you. Imagine my surprise when I looked down and saw this star like mushroom near the base of a tree. Crazy right? I know, who would have thought it possible but here is the proof. I cropped it with tightly letting a lot of the tree bark show because I loved the textural contrast this image shows. Doesn't the bottom bark look like amber liquid? I just loved the shine and subtle movement it created.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Take a Bite

Some Thesaurus words for "star" - brilliant, celebrated, chief, dominant, leading, luminary, main, name, outstanding, paramount, preeminent, prominent, talented.

Although this poor maple leaf has five points, they are barely recognizable after the bug has had its way with it. To me, it only adds to the allurement and intrigue of the remaining specimen. The tinted red edges and interesting drops of water only magnify the luminary beauty for my creative spirit.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Word - Star

The word for this week is star.

Its noun meaning: a celestial body that appears as a fixed point of light; a planet or configuration of planets that is held in astrology to influence one's fortune; destiny, fortune; a conventional figure representing a star, asterisk; an actor or actress playing the leading role; a brilliant performer.

This is my artistic interpretation found in nature. The holly is one of my favorite plants. I love the berries, the fact that there is a male and female plant, and the shape of the leaves are just fantastic. Sharp and thorny yet magnificently shiny in various shades of green. Who could ask for more from one plant?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Bump Gourd in CP

This is my colored pencil version of the photo from Sept. 25ths post. I loved it and added the trailing stem because it needed the movement and the decorative element I usually look for in my finished pieces. Its done on a 9x12 sheet of paper making it quite charming when you frame it. The simplicity of the single gourd is enhanced by its rugged appearance making it a perfect subject for my creative side. Remember, that little bit of ugly is just what I look for!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Radiant Radishes

I found this great bunch of radishes at the grocery store and when I was putting them away I noticed the wonderful reflection on the table. So, grabbed the camera and here you have it. I think this is a great example of light and just how amazing it is. Notice the differences in the color of the real radish versus its reflected image - dramatic isn't it? I would have never painted it with so much value change but I'm so glad to now have this reference. The whites are just so brilliant against the dark wood table that it just makes me want to pick up the brush and paint it as fast as possible.