Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Telling Secrets

Animation was one of the many Thesaurus words for energy and to me, this photo is just that. I imagine they are telling secrets to one another keeping them hidden from this busy world we live in today. Their soft whispers of hidden truths, shared between friends. When was the last time you slowed down to hear your own thoughts? I was walking the puppies today and felt the sunshine on my back and it made me ponder into my life. Was I satisfied, could I be doing anything differently, was I truly happy? Well, yes was the answer to all the question but the one in the middle really stuck out. I am feeling my way in my business but feel a growth spurt coming and the uncertainty is just a bit unsettling. I'm more than willing to do the work, but will it get the attention I'm hoping for? Only the near future knows that answer to that one so stay tuned...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Staircase to Sweetness

While out looking for the crocus flowers that have recently emerged, I discovered a tiny bunch of miniature daffodils. I couldn't resist the sun shining on their bright yellow centers and dazzling white petals so I had to get a photo. This little daffodil flower center was so intriguing to me in that it resembles a golden spiral. Only in Alices' garden would something so beautiful yet bizarre grow. I just love the way it creates such a great space within the tiny core like a spiral staircase to the nectar of the flower. Wouldn't an ant like to take that adventure for the hidden treasure? Enjoy nature's surprises, you never know where you will find them!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Hidden Forces

Some Thesaurus words for "energy" - activity, animation, conductivity, current, drive, dynamism, exertion, fire, force, horsepower, initiative, intensity, juice, moxie, pluck, power, punch, spirit, spontaneity, strength, verve, vim, voltage, zeal, zest.

As you can see it's a pretty lively group of words. When was the last time you felt such emotions in your business or hobby? It's a problem for many of us to feel drained so we need to find something to nurture our creative spirits whether it be a group, craft or even a cup of coffee. If it gives you strength, you must harness it and use it in a pinch.
I recently joined a MasterMind Group with four dynamic women. Each one brings something unique to the table and that supplies me with a hidden strength to find my drive and exert my energy. Accountability and a constant source of imagination is going to help my spirit sour and for that I will be forever grateful. So, find your dynamic and explore it to the fullest - what are you waiting for?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Word - Energy

The word for this week is energy.

Its noun meaning: vigorous action; effort; capacity for action; capacity for performing work; usable power such as heat or electricity; the resources for producing such power.

I have just come back from my local painting chapters, Old Mill Decorative Painters, annual retreat. We had such fun and laughter was heard throughout the retreat center at any given minute but what I focused in on was the imaginative energy. Whenever you get a roomful of talented people, the ideas and creativity just come pouring out waiting to be captured by any willing party. I love the intensity and almost crave it when at home in my studio so I try to remember the moments and call upon them whenever I need to. It is just a trick for my imagination but one that works very well for me. So, harness the energy whenever you get the chance!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Fighting for Position

Another photo of crocus to share. These are a different color variety and I just love them. Their striated petals let the golden stamens show off without distraction. Notice the blossom on the far right fighting for position with the overbearing oak leaf. There is nothing more beautiful for my senses that this combination of color. I can see this being done in colored pencil on a nice tan board letting the crocus shine in their glory. Now what to do to add a twist, hummmmm...

Sunday, March 21, 2010


The crocus flower is finally here YEAH! It is one of my first indications that Spring is coming and the Winter season is behind us. Although I will miss the wonderful white snow, I will not miss the dreary grey that comes along with it.

This is a cheery sight for me because we have them planted around the house and the driveway so we are sure to see them everyday. How can you miss that royal purple with the thinly striped chartreuse leaves? Next to the various shades of brown, the intense bright colors will catch your eye no matter where you are in the yard.

I loved this photo because it looks like the leaf is being unwrapped for the gentle but direct emergence of this little flower. Don't the thin leaves look like they are skillfully arranged around the single blossom as if holding it up like a trophy? Talk about putting something on a pedestal - what exquisiteness!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Hint of Magenta

This is the final photo for Queen Anne's Lace. It has been a wonderful example for flair don't you think? I have enjoyed sharing the various stages and changes this plant goes through in each photo. I think it is kind of splashy and a great representation. Did you notice the center of this bloom? It has a hint of magenta in its center. Not all of the blossoms have this but the one that grows by our pond does so I think it is kind of special.

Now that you have been exposed to flair in a new and hopefully imaginative way, what are you doing to add it to your business practices? I am working on some new designs and trying to give them a certain zip if you will. I feel I have been sticking to the photos a little too much and have lost my creative self a bit. Back to my roots and adding the unexpected. That creativity has gotten me this far and I hope it carries me along in the future. Find your style and don't be afraid to express it! After all, it is what sets us all apart.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Summer Snowflake

As you can see the Queen Anne's Lace is progressing nicely. I love it at this stage because the season is hot and humid outside but it reminds me of a summer snowflake, all white an delicate. The intricate structure of the flower, the tiny blossoms all opening up at the same time - just glorious! I would imagine it gets its name because of the lacy edge the flower head has when it is blooming.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tiny Fireworks

Photo three of the Queen Anne's Lace plant reveals the starting of the white buds. I love the shape and sparkle that starts to take place like little fireworks exploding off each individual section. What could be more imaginative, I'm not sure. I know I hear the tiny explosions with each bloom expanding open to become a blossom. Am I the only one listening to the miniature booms? I hope not. I have been appreciating this plant all week and the fun is just starting - wait until you see the next two photos, the metamorphosis is just amazing!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Opening Up

Some Thesaurus words for "flair" - ability, accomplishment, aptitude, bent, chic, dash, elegance, feel, genius, glamour, head, knack, mastery, panache, presence, splash, taste, zip.

An interesting array of words isn't it? I just loved panache, because of the spelling and it's fun to say. The Queen Anne's Lace is starting to open up releasing that tight birdcage, exposing the buds to more light. You can already see the little blossoms turning white. I like the crown it gives the whole flower head at this point, like tiny jewels waiting to be discovered. The under skirt is falling just a bit, getting closer to the stem to give it a lacy appearance. Change is awesome!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Word - Flair

The word for this week is flair.

Its noun meaning: ability to appreciate or make good use of something: bent: talent; a unique style.

To say I love Queen Anne's Lace would be an understatement. I love everything about it - the intricate detail of the bud, bloom and seed pod to the strangeness of the presence it has. The tight birdcage holding all the buds and the dramatic skirt of the under carriage, doesn't it look like something from Alice in Wonderland? We have quite a lot of them around the pond and the farms around here and I am always on the lookout for a different version of this plant. This week I will focus on it in its many stages so you can appreciate its unique style. Maybe I'll even make you a lover of this plant as well.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Wild Geranium

I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of the crocus flower. We have them planted all over and in front of my studio windows so when they pop up, I will know it. When they do, I'll make sure to share their splendor with you all. The robin is my first sign that Spring is coming, seeing the crocus bloom is the second so I look for them as soon as March begins.

This little lavender wildflower photo will just have to do until then. I love the tiny hanging buds (my favorite part of the photo of course) and the soft range of pastel color. Did you notice even the stem of the flower is a deep violet? Cool, huh! Doesn't the vibrant kelly green of the leaf just make the flower pop off the page. Who knew this color combination would be so striking? Once again, Mother Nature at her finest - truly a gift to witness.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Hidden Bee

I love these dark irises that are almost black in color unless the sun hits them turning them the most beautiful blue violet hue. Aren't they pretty exotic looking?
I didn't even notice the bee until I started cropping the photo. It looks like a planned shot with the little bee standing on the edge deciding whether or not to go in for some nectar.

I sometimes feel like that little bee when I'm trying to decide which path to take my business down. I'm working on that right now, to stay where I'm comfortable or jump into another arena and let my creativity soar and reach for new heights. I'm always up for a challenge and usually jump in feet first, thinking about the after effects later. The possibilities in the art world are endless, I'm just wondering which road will be the correct one for myself. To see me write "let my creativity soar" and actually read the words out loud, how can I not take a risk? I'll keep you posted!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Galactic Insect?

While walking in the yard with the puppies, I noticed a little sparkle something on a dogwood leaf. This small shield like bug has great colors and an interesting pattern on its back. It almost seems to be wearing armor made of green and yellow. Are the colors there to help it blend into the surroundings or does it change as it gets older? Perplexing isn't it? I love the mystery of it all and since it reminded me of a space helmet worn in one of the sci-fi movies, I just had to take a photo. If anyone know what this bug is, please leave me a comment, I would appreciate it very much!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

White Bewilderment

Some Thesaurus words for "surprise" - abruptness, awe, bewilder, curiosity, dazzle, disillusion, dumbfound, electrify, flabbergast, floor, jolt, marvel, phenomenon, perplex, rattle, shock, stagger, unexpected, unsettle, wonderment.

When I saw the word bewilder I thought of the perfect photo - a white spider mum. This one was from the table when I had the book club here. We read "Reading Lolita in Tehran", I served Mediterranean food and the whole evening was a lively discussion.

If you think about the flowers complexity, it is overwhelming yet it is just a simple bloom. One blossom of a floral arrangement that might have gone unnoticed. Would you have given it a second look? Of course the intriguing circular pattern is wonderful and I can't wait to do something artistic with this one. Maybe as a faded background, sure to add interest to any piece of artwork - hummm, my creativity is ramping up, watch out!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


The first time I spotted this tiny jewel I was walking around the yard looking for anything of interest to take photos of. It was hiding in the tall grass but the bright yellow stamen caught my eye and forced me to look closer. On inspection, I discovered a flower about the size of my thumb (hence my nickname of Thumbelina) from top to bottom. The flowers construction intrigued me to no end. The soft gentle curve of the stem, the exotic way the petals flew into the air exposing the stamen, not to mention a giant single leaf protecting this fragile specimen. How did Mother Nature design this one? I'm sure glad she did though, it has been a great inspiration for me. I featured it in my Bold Blossoms Book and am working on a colored pencil design with it. So tiny yet completely fascinating to my creative energies. I'm glad they are prosperous because a couple years later I have found them in groups living in our mulched flowerbeds YEAH!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Word - Surprise

The word for this week is surprise.

Its noun meaning: an attack made without warning; a taking unawares; something that surprises; amazement, astonishment.

Its verb meaning: to come upon and attack unexpectedly; amaze; to cause astonishment or surprise.

To come upon unexpectedly, that is exactly what happened while I was photographing flowers in the garden. I was taking aim, heard a flutter, looked up and saw a flash of golden yellow luminosity. All I could think of was...What was that? Look how big! Where's it going? I've got to get a picture! Needless to say it was very cooperative with my attack and let me get some great shots as this one is evident. It is an Yellow Swallowtail Butterfly and I am very thankful it let me share in its beauty. To this day whenever I'm in the yard, I look for a splash of goldenrod to appear within the flowerbeds. I know what to expect now but I am still amazed by its beauty and brilliance each and every time I see it. Nature is just a wonderland for the senses, enjoy them when you get the chance!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Little Inspirations

Here's my latest Colored Pencil of the Month Club piece. If you would like info about the Club you can check my website.

I wanted to do another glass piece after the success of Seashells (teaching this at HOOT this year) so went shopping for a glass container. I fell in love with the ruffled edge and knew it would be a challenge to pull off but I think it turned out pretty well! I added a nest, feathers and some eggs but it was missing something. I went to my junk drawer and low and behold, found just the object - a tag with "inspire" on it, perfect. Arranged the still life, took a lot of pictures with various lighting, angles and started drawing. The title reflects the tag and the nested eggs, who wouldn't love this combo?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Glorious Light

The blue skies have returned letting the sun shine here all day and after several months of dreariness it is very welcome. This photo represents light in all its glory creating interesting values throughout these little white blossoms. The transparency of the petals along with their incredible shape just comes shining though. I especially like the far left bloom whose center creates a five pointed star. Who knew that was how the center of the flower was? Again, another one of natures inspirational moments for us creatives to share - amazing! Add the delicate stamen, the puzzling shadows and the addition of the leafy greens, its definitely a photo worth sharing. Enjoy and let yourself feel the sunshine!

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Hatchling

Last Spring we had several nests in the fruit trees that I was able to take photos of. I love the nest shapes so anytime I see one I'm intrigued. I like they way they really tuck them into the trees so that they blend in naturally. The small branch with the yellow leaf was actually part of the nest, cool huh? I captured this nest from a single egg and watched the hatchlings develop and grow. The photos were not the greatest because the momma robin was watching and squawking the whole time but after a while she got used to me. This one is my favorite because of its simplicity. Can you see the hidden beak reaching for the sunshine? I know, you really had to focus didn't you. To me, this is half of the excitement, looking for something wonderful to capture in a photograph. I'm happy to share and I'll try to surprise you from time to time, isn't that why you keep on reading?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Worker

I am fascinated by all things "bee" related - their body structure, the hive, honey, bee skeps, honeycomb, beeswax and their order of life. The queen bee reigns while the others tend to the tedious job of making her happy - what a life! This little worker was caught with his legs in the nectar jar of a tulip and I was more than happy to watch him take a well needed siesta.

The shadows are just so interesting here and make you see more of the flower center than you do. I like the rippled petal and the bees delicate wing shadow. Can you see how much lighter it is in value than the body shadow? An amazing sight I have to admit. The pink was so vibrant because of the nice sunny day that it turned the bees body to a nice rosy orange, incredible. Light and shadows are something I will never get tired of seeing because it varies with each and every object no matter how small. Take some time to follow the sun and see what interesting objects get in its path, the journey will be well worth it!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Burning Bush

Fall, my favorite season, has my heart because of all the intensely brilliant colors nature shares with us. Nothing in my humble creative opinion represents the season better than the fabulous burning bush. It wasn't until last fall that I even noticed the great fruit hanging amongst the glorious ruby hued leaves. Yes, you can imagine my surprise - like finding a tiny hidden treasure. It was unexpected but one I will look forward to seeing every autumn day this coming year. Would you have noticed them if they weren't highlighted in the cropped photo?

When was the last time you were pleasantly surprised? I like to think everyday I find something to tickle the creative side of me, but I am good at finding simple joys in all things. My challenge to you for the rest of the week - look past the everyday and explore the possibilities that something great is hidden. Search for it and you will soon discover little prizes that were disguised right in plain sight. See how many you can find in the ordinary, it will surprise you I can guarantee it!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Psychedelic Seeds

I wanted to share some Thesaurus words for "focus" - center, core, concentrate, converge, fixate, hone in, hub, get detail, pinpoint, polestar, target, sharpen.

I picked this photo detail to target the colorful berries on the poke weed plant. It is a tall, gangly looking wild perennial that pops up everywhere and will take over if you aren't careful. The quality I just love is that it has these astonishingly thick red stalks and strange but spectacular hanging berries that are varied in color depending on their maturity. The birds just love them and it is a familiar sight in our yard to see the whole bush just shaking from within. We have witnessed at least 30 robins on one bush just eating until contentment struck. Who wouldn't love the look of them? If we eat with our eyes first, what a delightful feast!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Word - Focus

The word for this week is focus.

Its verb meaning: to bring or come to a focus (rays of light); center; to adjust the focus of.

Its noun meaning: a point at which rays (as of light, heat, or sound) meet or diverge or appear to diverge; focal length, central point.

After reading the meaning as "a point which rays meet or diverge," I chose this as an appropriate photo for focus. I love the allium bulb for its great presence in the garden, the wonderful lilac color, the tall straight stem and the great seed pod it leaves behind. It is an addition to the garden that we have in several different places because it creates such a terrific focal point.

Besides the garden focus, I have also been making a business strategy for myself giving me a mental plan if you will. There is a lot to do when you create from home and you always wear many hats so picking and choosing which takes the majority of your time is sometimes a challenge. I'm getting organized and making goal lists to keep me on track during the week, now if only things would go as I planned. Wish me luck and may the creative juices start overflowing!