“I have learned, as a rule of thumb, never to ask whether you can do something. Say, instead, that you are doing it. Then fasten your seat belt. The most remarkable things follow.”
– Julia Cameron
Chinese Geese Arts Council – Watercolor
“We are the Chinese Geese Arts Council. The thing we like best about spring is our first plein air location scouting trip. We just love gadding about in the woods together. Do geese get poison ivy?”
This little ATC went to Kitty in the Netherlands. I have only been plein air painting a few times. I have to admit, I wasn’t very good about painting what I saw. When I started painting what I wanted to paint, influenced by what I saw, it went much better. Does that make sense?
About Julia Cameron
American author Julia Cameron has become an icon in the creative community for her best-selling self-help book, The Artist’s Way, which guides people through a series of simple but profound exercises to awaken their creativity. She grew up in Chicago and has been writing seriously since age 18. In addition to her 28 books, she has written plays, screenplays, and songs. She was married to film director Martin Scorsese and has one daughter. She currently lives in New York.
“All that is necessary to break the spell of inertia and frustration is this: act as if it were impossible to fail. That is the talisman, the formula, the command of right-about-face which turns us from failure towards success.”
Carlos the Cardinal – Watercolor ATC
“I’m Carlos the Cardinal. The thing I like best about spring is a clean birdbath! Humans always clean the birdbath in the spring!”
This little card went to Briar in Aukland, New Zealand. Carlos does look like he is giving that birdbath a good inspection.
Dorothea Brande (1893 – 1948) was a well respected writer and editor in New York.
She was born in Chicago and attended the University of Chicago, the Lewis Institute in Chicago (later merged with Armour Institute of Technology to become Illinois Institute of Technology), and the University of Michigan. Her book Becoming a Writer, published in 1934, is still in print and offers advice for beginning and sustaining any writing enterprise. She also wrote Wake Up and Live, published in 1936, which sold over two million copies. It was made into a musical by Twentieth Century Fox in 1937.
While she was serving as associate editor of The American Review in 1936, she married that journal’s owner and editor, Seward Collins. Collins was a prominent literary figure in New York and a proponent of an American version of fascism, which he explored in The American Review.
Dorothea Collins died in New Hampshire.
“When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.”
– Peter Marshall
Blue Heron – Watercolor ATC
This is part of the “what I like best about spring” swap, from 2008. Being the odd person I am, I gave each bird a name and told the recipient what they liked best about spring. I have copies of the original notes. he he This is hers…
“Hello! I’m Bitsy, the Blue Heron. The thing I like best about spring is the fresh new crops growing on the meadows. It’s just breath-taking! I’m pretty brightly adorned, so it takes something wonderful to compete with me!”
This little ATC was mailed to Lynette in Colorado Springs, CO. There were 24 in the swap and they went all over the world. It’ll be fun sharing them.
While I am studying for my private pilot’s license final exam, there is no time for new paintings. I hope you enjoy revisiting some of these older paintings.
About Peter Marshall
Peter Marshall, the witty, magnetic Scottish-American preacher who became chaplain of the US Senate just two years before his death, was the subject of the 1955 movie A Man Called Peter, based on his wife’s best-selling biography. He was born in Scotland in 1902 and, as a boy, wanted to go to sea; he served in the navy before becoming a minister. His compelling orations and his belief that religion should be fun drew large congregations to his church. He died in 1949.
“It takes courage to push yourself to places you have never been before… to test your limits… to break through barriers. And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
Windy Sunflower – Watercolor
My friend, Louise, recently gave me a handful of sunflower seeds. I gave up planting things in our poor soil a long time ago, but I am going to give these a try. We have picked out a place where they will rest up against the edge of the woods, yet can be seen from our living room windows. I don’t know anything about raising sunflowers, so if you have any advice for me…. leave me a comment.
The National Sunflower Association has a link for a free children’s coloring book (pdf). Here’s another one.
This is interesting. It’s from their FAQ page…
Why is the sunflower such a popular art form?
The sunflower plant has almost ‘human-like’ characteristics and dimensions. The face of the blooming sunflower can almost speak to you. For this reason, the sunflower was a favorite subject for Europe’s greatest artists such as Van Gogh and Picasso. Sales of these paintings can bring millions of dollars today. The sunflower continues to be a favorite art form for designers of fashion to the every-day coffee mug. It has, and continues, to stand the test of time.
Anaïs Nin (Spanish pronunciation: [anaˈiz ˈnin]; born Angela Anaïs Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell, February 21, 1903 – January 14, 1977) was a French-Cuban author, based at first in France and later in the United States, who became famous for her published journals, which span more than 60 years, beginning when she was 11 years old and ending shortly before her death. Nin is also famous for her erotic literature and short stories. A great deal of her work, including Delta of Venus and Little Birds, was published posthumously.
“You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
Striped Leaf in Watercolor
I had a friend who used to collect striped rocks. Then he went through a phase where he collected rocks with holes in them. There were more collections, but I can’t remember what they were. The flower garden in front of his home had different sections with the various themed rocks. It was actually pretty cool!
About Mahatma Gandhi
Mohandas Gandhi, known by the honorific title Mahatma (“great souled”), embodied the power of nonviolent protest to achieve great change. He was born in India in 1896 and awoke to discrimination while practicing law in South Africa. He brought the struggle for equality back to India, rousing the population to demand self-rule from the British. He was profoundly religious, spending one day a week in complete silence; he was also a devout vegetarian. He was assassinated in 1948.
“Freedom lies in being bold.”
– Robert Frost
Rose Macro – Watercolor
This morning, I made a very bold move and gave my stash of fabrics to my friend, Shannon. I used to sew a lot. I made clothing, small quilted items (no patience for full sized quilts), pillows, etc. It has been 10 years since I touched my sewing machine. Shannon makes wonderful creations with fabric. She made me an apron for Christmas that I adore. I feel so good, knowing that she’ll enjoy the stash and it won’t turn to dust, sitting in the corner of my shop.
Now if I could just find a home for some of the other things I’ve been holding onto for “someday, when I have more time”.
About Robert Frost
Robert Frost, the influential American poet known for his rural settings, uncluttered language, and meditative themes, wrote the poems, “A Road Not Taken” and “Mending Walls,” among many others. He was born in San Francisco in 1874 and moved to Massachusetts at age 11. He ran a farm for ten years, selling it to move to England and become a full-time poet. After achieving his goal, he moved back to New Hampshire. His ambition was to write “a few poems it will be hard to get rid of.” He died in 1963.
“Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.”
– William James
Poppy Field – Watercolor
This morning, they were talking about the laughing baby videos on YouTube and they are so funny! There’s nothing that makes me feel better than a good belly laugh! Yesterday, I received this video and roared. I love a good laugh. Have fun in whatever you do today and if you can’t laugh, at least wiggle your butt. It has the same affect.
About William James
American psychologist and philosopher William James, brother to author Henry James, wrote voluminously during his life, exploring a range of issues from a theory of emotion to a philosophy of history. He was born in New York in 1842 and wanted to be an artist, but his father disapproved. He obtained a medical degree but felt unsatisfied and depressed, leading to a crisis that he called his soul sickness. After this turning point, he began his fulfilling second career. He died in 1910.
“Passion, though a bad regulator, is a powerful spring.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Lily Pond – Watercolor and Gouache on 2.5″ x 3.5″ ATC
My friend Robert from WetCanvas liked this little painting so much that we did a trade for it. That is one of the wonderful things about being involved in an art community. I have traded paintings for a lot of art that I fell in love with. I have some cool art that I probably couldn’t afford to buy. It makes it even better, knowing that they were painted by someone I like.
About Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson helped spark the transcendentalist movement with the essay Nature, which described his belief in the spiritual essence of humanity and the natural world. He was born in Boston in 1803. He was a Unitarian minister until he resigned in 1832 to become a philosopher and writer. He suffered the untimely deaths of many of his loved ones: three brothers, his first wife at age 20, and his eldest son at age five. Emerson died in 1882.
“Character is simply habit long enough continued.”
Sign Shop Sampling
I blog about art, tossed in with some positive affirmations. But, most of you know that I do have another life…. my sign shop. Signs by Beth, LLC has been in business 19 years. It’s a hoppin’ little place and last week was a doozie.
Here are just some of the signs I produced last week. The first 6 are 4′ x 8′ signs. Whale’s Tale is a 3′ x 6′ sign and the box van is 7′ x 15′. Of course I did the front and back, too. My week also included a combination of other small signs and some trucks. I don’t have any employees, so every sign is made by me. Ryan (asmalltowndad) asked me to show him some of the signs I make, so here ya go.
Plutarch, the Greek historian who penned more than 46 anecdote-laced biographies of famous Greek and Roman figures in his Parallel Lives series of books, was more interested in exploring the influence of character on a man’s personal destiny than in writing dry histories. He was born in Greece during Roman rule, most likely in the year 46. He traveled extensively through the Roman Empire, finally returning home to become a priest of Apollo at the Oracle of Delphi. He died in the year 120.
“Could we change our attitude, we should not only see life differently, but life itself would come to be different.”
– Katherine Mansfield
Garden Harmony – Watercolor
I wish I had the time or the inclination to garden. I used to do great in the spring, only to be burned out on it by the time the 90 degree temperatures rolled around. I quit trying.
About Katherine Mansfield
Katherine Mansfield was the pen name of short story writer Katherine Beauchamp, who is best known for her collection The Garden Party. Born in New Zealand in 1888, she moved to England as a young woman and became friends with writers such as Virginia Woolf and D.H. Lawrence. Her writing style was influenced by Anton Chekhov; like him, she focused on intimate moments that revealed character. She in turn influenced a generation of short story writers. She died in 1923 of tuberculosis.