The Cat’s Backyard – December 31, 2009

Today, I am slowing down my pace.  I do not have to accomplish the entire world in this day.  It is one day.  Today I have time to stop and smell the flowers.

from  – “Time for Joy” Daily Affirmations
by Ruth Fishel

The Cat’s Backyard

4″ x 6″ Watercolor

I thought I’d try my hand at a normal painting.  No psychedelic cats here, today anyway!  he he

Ruth Fishel, MEd, is a prolific author, national retreat, workshop leader and meditation teacher. Her books include: CHANGE ALMOST ANYTHING IN 21 DAYS, TIME FOR JOY ( which has sold over 300,000 copies), PRECIOUS SOLITUDE, THE JOURNEY WITHIN, TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF, HANG IN ‘TIL THE MIRACLE HAPPENS, and STOP! DO YOU KNOW YOU’RE BREATHING?  Ruth’s books take the reader on marvelous journey through pain and loss to inspiration and hope. They are both a program for recovery and a path to growth, peace and love of self, others and God.

Cosmic Cat – December 30, 2009

Taking the first step helps bridge the gulf between our dreams and our accomplishments.

Whether the project is cleaning the garage, building a cathedral, or recovering from an addiction, plans must be translated into action. In order to arrive at our destination, we must begin the trip. We can read hundreds of college catalogs, but it’s when we register for a course, buy a textbook, and begin to study that we are on our way to a degree.

Two factors inhibit our beginning a project. The first is lack of clear motivation, and the second is fear of failure. If we don’t really want to do something, it’s hard to get started. So, if motivation is a problem, we may need to reconsider our choice of projects.

As for fear of failure, this may be something that we step over and around as we move forward. It is not a good reason for aborting a dream. If, in spite of fear of failure, we make a beginning, we will find that the fear shrinks with every step we take. Action is the catalyst. We learn how to do something by doing it.

I will take the first step toward accomplishing a dream today by getting started.

From the Inner Harvest
(a book on Eating Disorders)
by Elisabeth L.

I’ve been told that a lot of people quit when they feel they have failed at an aspect of learning to fly.  I’m going to have to remember this!

Cosmic Cat

4″ x 6″ Watercolor

I was painting a brass cat figurine, when something in me went retro!  I totally went haywire and dove back into the 60’s. Fun!

Nostalgia – December 29, 2009

“A man can do only what he can do. But if he does that each day he can sleep at night and do it again the next day.”
– Albert Schweitzer


5″ x 7″ Acrylic Greeting Card

I found these black photo cards and thought it would be perfect for this painting of a lovely nostalgic lady.  I did this with my Golden fluid acrylics, mixing some of the Iridescent Copper (fine) in with some of  the glazes at the end.   Sorry about the glare from the sunlight, but when I scanned her, she was just too flat.

About Albert Schweitzer

Albert Schweitzer, the German medical missionary, won the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize for his humanitarian work at a hospital in French Equatorial Africa, where he treated and operated on thousands of people, including hundreds of people afflicted with leprosy. He was also an organist, famous for his interpretation of J.S. Bach’s music. Late in life, he worked with Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russell against nuclear proliferation. He was born in 1875 in Kaysersberg and died in 1965.

Thank You Notes – December 28, 2009

“I think in terms of the day’s resolutions, not the year’s.”
– Henry Moore

Thank You Notes

4″ x 5.5″ Mixed Media

The card is Canson Mi Tienes paper, cut into 8″ x 5.5″ pieces, then folded.  To get the colored paper scrap, I laid a piece of gauze across some inexpensive sketching paper and dabbed watercolor around it.  After the paper dried, I tore it into random pieces and glued them to the card, using some thinned Elmer’s glue and a paint brush.

I added a small piece to the envelope flap, too, for fun.  I added a little splash of watercolor to the corner of the envelope.

I added some torn white paper to the inside, to write my message on, and wrote Thank You on the front.  I added some little dots of acrylic to the front, too.

I can’t wait to fill them out and mail them to my friends and family.

Never underestimate the power of a simple thank you note, to bring a smile to the ones who were kind to you, in any way.  I’m a big thank you note person, all year long.

About Henry Moore

British sculptor Henry Moore is known for his voluptuous abstract figures. He was born in 1898 to a poor mining family. After Moore served in World War I, he became the first student of sculpture at Leeds School of Art; a sculpture studio was set up specifically for him.. As he studied primitive arts, his own work became more abstract. He established The Henry Moore Foundation in 1977 to promote public appreciation of art. He died in 1986. His work can be seen in public spaces all over the world.

Cotton Candy Cat – December 24, 2009

If the winds of fortune are temporarily
blowing against you, remember that
you can harness them and make them
carry you toward your definite purpose,
through the use of your imagination.

-Napoleon Hill

Cotton Candy Cat

4″ x 6″ watercolor

This little kitty is Oscar.  I wanted to play with my white watercolor, as I had seen Leslie White do on her wonderful blog.  I had a ball.  I used the white with complete abandon!  *big grin* I mixed it with the colors and I used it pure, on top of wet colors.   Then, since he looked a little sad here, I did a version of Oscar to make you smile, this Christmas Eve, while you are in a whirlwind of activity and stress.

This version of the kitty is 2.5″ x 3.5″

Isn’t artistic license a wonderful thing?  😀

Napoleon Hill was born in 1883 in a one-room cabin on the Pound River in Wise County, Virginia. He began his writing career at age 13 as a “mountain reporter” for small town newspapers and went on to become America’s most beloved motivational author. Hill passed away in November 1970 after a long and successful career writing, teaching, and lecturing about the principles of success. His work stands as a monument to individual achievement and is the cornerstone of modern motivation. His book, Think and Grow Rich, is the all time bestseller in the field. Hill established the Foundation as a nonprofit educational institution whose mission is to perpetuate his philosophy of leadership, self-motivation, and individual achievement. His books, audio cassettes, videotapes, and other motivational products are made available to you as a service of the Foundation so that you may build your own library of personal achievement materials… and help you acquire financial wealth and the true riches of life.
Have a great Christmas Eve and a wonderful Christmas!
If you are traveling, be safe!

Oh, Those Eyes – December 23, 2009

“No man can think clearly when his fists are clenched.”
– George Jean Nathan

Oh, Those Eyes

2.5″ x 3.5″ Watercolor ATC

Are you tired of my fascination with Possum’s eyes, yet?  *giggle*  This is the last one, I promise.

I have been having fun painting her beautiful eyes.   She kinda reminds me of a gremlin, instead of a cat, in this one.  I really enjoy going for the liquidness of the eyes, while getting that shadow from the brow or eyelid, whichever it may be.

About George Jean Nathan

George Jean Nathan, the acerbic American drama critic, was renowned for what he called destructive theater criticism, which helped shape a more serious theatrical community and paved the way for modern critics. He was born in 1882 in Indiana. He and H.L. Mencken coedited the magazines Smart Set and The American Mercury. Although he found little to like in the theater, he became a fierce champion of the playwrights he did appreciate, including Eugene O’Neill and Sean O’Casey. He died in 1958.

Kitty Closeup – December 22, 2009

“Attempt easy tasks as if they were difficult, and difficult as if they were easy; in the one case that confidence may not fall asleep, in the other that it may not be dismayed.”
– Baltasar Gracián y Morales

Kitty Closeup

2.5″ x 3.5″ Watercolor with touches of white gouache

This is Possum again.  I really loved this cat’s eyes.   Working in this small size, I can do study after study, without taking a lot of time or using a lot of paper.   Another one is coming tomorrow.

About Baltasar Gracián y Morales

Baltasar Gracián y Morales, the Jesuit scholar and moralist author, was the leading Spanish proponent of conceptism (conceptismo), a method of expressing ideas through puns, epigrams, and other verbal devices. He was born in 1601 in Aragon. The Jesuit leadership frowned on his oratorical style, which included reading a letter from Hell to his congregation. His best known books include The Art of Worldly Wisdom and The Hero, which repudiated Machiavelli. He died in 1658.

Possum – December 21, 2009

“Times of general calamity and confusion have ever been productive of the greatest minds. The purest ore is produced from the hottest furnace, and the brightest thunderbolt is elicited from the darkest storm.”
– Charles Caleb Colton


6″ x 9″ Colored Pencil on Canson

I rarely use my colored pencils, so excuse the calamity and confusion, that is  Possum.  I could not have added another layer, if I tried.

Did you notice his Andy Rooney eyebrows? Fun!

About Charles Caleb Colton

English minister and author Charles Caleb Colton was best known for his book of essays, Lacon, or Many Things in Few Words. He was born in 1780 in England. He was an avid collector of both wine and paintings and was known as an eccentric for his lifestyle, which was both lavish and ramshackle, and for his church work, which was sometimes brilliant, sometimes slipshod. After leaving the ministry, he lived in Paris for many years. He died in 1832.

Australian Rain Forest – December 18, 2009

“All human wisdom is summed up in two words; wait and hope.”
Alexandre Dumas

Australian Rain Forest

4″ x 6″ Watercolor

I ran across this one recently.  I painted it last year for a postcard exchange.  It went to Switzerland, to my friend Joel.  I liked the simplicity of it.  It just felt right, if that makes any sense.  As cold as it is outside, I wouldn’t mind being in a rain forest a while.

About Alexandre Dumas

Popular French author Alexandre Dumas was famed for his adventure stories, including The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo. He was born in 1802 near Paris. His mulatto father was a general in the French Army who died young, leaving his family destitute. Dumas began as a playwright, but newspapers were eager for serialized fiction, so he adapted a play into his first novel. He died in 1870; in 2002 his body was moved to the Panthéon to recognize his role in French literature.

Outlook Over Oklahoma – December 17, 2009

“Your life becomes the thing you have decided it shall be.”
– Raymond Charles Barker

Outlook Over Oklahoma

Four – 2.5″ x 3.5″ ATCs

Golden Fluid Acrylic on Watercolor Paper

This was another fun Port Townsend, Washington motel room painting.  I wanted to do something larger than an ATC, yet all I had with me were these small 2.5″ x 3.5″ pieces of watercolor paper.  I don’t travel with scotch tape, so I scrounged around my motel room until I came up with the sticky part of the airline luggage tag.  I cut little pieces of it with my tiny travel sewing kit scissors and taped the ATCs together on the back, so I could paint this in my motel room.    I almost didn’t take it apart, except that I could envision it matted something like this.  

About Raymond Charles Barker

Raymond Charles Barker was an influential American minister and author in the mid-twentieth century. He wrote such books as The Power of Decision and Treat Yourself to Life, on ways to change subconscious patterns. He became president of the International New Thought Alliance in 1943, a group practicing the religious philosophy developed in the late 1800’s by Phineas Quimby, with early proponents including Ralph Waldo Emerson. Unity Church and Divine Science are among its later offshoots. He founded the First Church of Religious Science in Manhattan in 1946 and served as its minister until 1979. He died in 1988 at the age of 77.

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