Tea Set – April 30

2.5″ x 3.5″ Watercolor

When every physical and mental resource is focused, one’s power to solve a problem multiplies tremendously.

-Norman Vincent Peale

I’ll be in Estes Park, Colorado this weekend, for an Art Marketing workshop, with Alyson B. Stanfield. I am really looking forward to it! She is a real pro in the industry! (Click on her name and check her out.)

I’m heading up to Estes tomorrow. I’ll be meeting a friend from WetCanvas, for this adventure. I’ll tell you all about it when I return. I’m sure my head will be filled with all kinds of wonderful ideas.

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Limes – April 29, 2009

2.5″ x 3.5″ Watercolor

Don’t overlook the wonder of the ordinary.

The extraordinary, the amazing, the phenomenon are daily glorified in the movies, the news, and on television. Our senses become bombarded. We become addicted to drama. The only things that get our attention are the big, catastrophic, knee-jerking events. Take a closer look at your life, your everyday world, and the people and activities in it. If it were all taken from you in one moment, what would you miss? What sights, what sounds, what smells? Would you miss the view from your kitchen window? If you were never to see that scene again, would you nostalgically reminisce about it, wishing you could see it one more time, remembering how beautiful it was, and how much that familiar sight comforted you in your daily life?

What about those toys strewn about or the baby crying because he’s hungry or wet? What about the sounds of the city you live in as it comes to life each morning? Or how about how your child smells after her bath? Or when she comes in cold from playing in the snow?

What about the way your friend smiles, or that little thing he says all the time that’s not funny but he thinks it is, so you laugh?

Look closely at the ordinary in your life. While you’re being grateful, don’t forget to express pure, sheer gratitude for how beautiful the ordinary really is. We can easily overlook the ordinary, take it for granted. The sun rises and sets, the seasons come and go, and we forget how beautiful and sensational the familiar really is.

–Melody Beattie

Gut Lake – April 28, 2009

Gut lake – Watercolor & Gouache 2.5″ x 3.5″

I was in an ATC frame of mind over the weekend. I painted 6 of these little paintings. Four of them are for an exchange, one has been mailed to New York and one is winging it’s way to Kansas. It’s fun to be able to do something that enables me to give so freely.

One cannot have wisdom without living life.

— Dorothy McCall

Living life means responding, wholly, to our joys and our pitfalls. It means not avoiding the experiences or activities that we fear we can’t handle. Only through our survival of them do we come to know who we really are; we come to understand the strength available to us at every moment. And that is wisdom.

When we approach life tentatively, we reap only a portion of its gifts. It’s like watching a movie in black and white that’s supposed to be in Technicolor. Our lives are in color, but we must have courage to let the colors emerge, to feel them, absorb them, be changed by them. Within our depths, we find our true selves. The complexities of life teach us wisdom. And becoming wise eases the many pitfalls in our path.

Living life is much more than just being alive. I can choose to jump in with both feet. Wisdom awaits me in the depths.

— Karen Casey

Rose – April 27, 2009

7″ x 7″ watercolor

Today I will let go of procrastination. I will take a look at why I put off responsibilities and how I can change this behavior.

Do I feel that I won’t do certain tasks well enough or that they’re too overwhelming? Do I set specific standards for myself and then fail because I’ve set them too high? Do I expect perfection from myself and then put off what I fear will be imperfect? As long as I accomplish my tasks to the best of my ability, I will succeed. I can jump in with both feet when necessary and feel proud that I at least started what I needed to do. Nothing can ever be completed without starting it first.When I procrastinate, I will never get where I need to go, and eventually I will become overwhelmed and buried underneath all the things I refused to start.

Today I will let go of the desire to put off what needs to be done now.

–Judith R. Smith

Boy… This one is for me!!!!

Floyd – April 24, 2009

Floyd – Watercolor 2.5″ x 3.5″

In three words, I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: It goes on.

— Robert Frost

If we’ve ever dug in a garden and unearthed an ants’ nest, we can recall their first reaction to our unintended destruction: they do everything possible to save their lives and supplies. The ants scurry around, moving the larvae to an underground room. Exposed contents are then relocated to unseen passages. In a matter of minutes, the ants are again safely underground and ready to resume their daily routines.How do we react when some catastrophe or unplanned event occurs? Do we want to crawl under a rock or are we as resilient as the ants? Instead of moaning over postponed plans or the loss of something in our lives, we can try to be like the ants and learn how to best work with circumstances that come our way.

Life doesn’t stop for us to lick wounds or add fuel to grievances. Hours pass, we grow older, nature continues. Every event is part of life’s cycle. We can’t run away from anything. We must meet life head-on and adjust to its ebb and flow.

I can look at an unplanned event in my life as part of life’s cycle. I need to trust that life will go on.


Amy E. Dean

Feelin’ Rosy – April 23, 2009

“Feelin’ Rosy” – Watercolor 2.5″ x 3.5″

… put our efforts where we can succeed.

The appeal of a “fix” tempts us. One day we dream, “If only I had a different job my life would be happy, or if only I had a different house.” Perhaps we even dream of having a different partner. When we waste so much precious energy on trying to change something or someone outside ourselves, we usually end up alone, unhappy, or exhausted. It takes great effort and a long time to develop what we truly seek: love, self-acceptance, honesty, and peace of mind.

Fixing or changing our partner might appeal on the surface, but why not put our efforts where we can succeed? What can we change? Ourselves – by becoming less critical we build our honesty and self-worth. Do I block my own growth when I focus on someone else’s action?

Merle Fossum and Mavis Fossum

A Polished Look – April 22, 2009

“A Polished Look” – Watercolor and acrylic on canvas panel 8″ x 10″

Nothing negative in your past has the power to affect your life today. This moment is created out of your positive thoughts, and only good things can come to you.

There is no limit to the power of your positive thoughts, if you are open to all good things. Your future is filled with adventure, wonder, love, harmony and countless blessings.

–Richard Carlson Ph.D.
from The Don’t Sweat Affirmations

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