Refuse to Give Up

“Great leadership usually starts with a willing heart, a positive attitude, and a desire to make a difference.”

~ Mac Anderson

Refuse to Give Up

2.5″ x 3.5″ Watercolor & Gouache from the Windows Series

I used a piece of watercolor paper that I had already treated with watercolor, salt and saran wrap.  I found a picture of this stone window somewhere and was impressed that it stays where they put it.  It was really fun to paint all the different stones and concrete on that little blue ATC.

Mac Anderson is the founder Simple Truths & Successories, the leader in creating products for employee motivation and recognition. Successories, however, is not the first success story for Mac Anderson. He was also the founder and CEO of McCord Travel (one of the largest travel companies in the Midwest) and as a part owner of Orval Kent Food Company (the largest manufacturer of prepared salad products in the country), he was Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

His remarkable accomplishments in these three unrelated industries provide some insight into his passion and leadership skills.

Mac brings the same passion to his speaking when he shares his business experiences with others. In addition, he is the author of two books, The Nature of Success and The Power of Attitude. He also introduced The Race, a motivational classic.

To learn about Mac’s newest venture Simple Truths, LLC. please visit

FTC disclosure:  I have been buying books from Simple Truths for many years now.  They are amazing!  I buy them for their wonderful inspiration, and I often give them as gifts.

Once you start reading them (they are small and a quick read) you’ll be hooked!  I have 6 of them on the shelf by my computer and more at home.  🙂The link above is an affiliate link.  If you purchase something from that click, I will receive a little commission. Trust me, you will receive so much more!


The Hiker

“When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.”
Peter Marshall

The Hiker

2.5″ x 3.5″ Watercolor on Strathmore Textured ATC

I had one more little painting in me for Harry’s challenge.  The hills are alive with his texture.  🙂

I enjoy painting small.  The challenge for me will be to paint big.  Yesterday’s 8″ x 10″ painting was larger than I usually do.  I enjoyed it.  Maybe there are some larger paintings in my future.  🙂

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.

Bunuel’s Tattoo

“Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity.”
– Gilda Radner

Over at WetCanvas this weekend, Harry challenged us to do something with this design.

Sure….. I have no problem with that.  First, meet Bunuel.  🙂

And then, see the results of my challenge.  This was so much fun!!

It’s 8″ x 10″ All Watercolor.

About Gilda Radner

The endearingly goofy American comedian Gilda Radner was the first actor cast on “Saturday Night Live” and stayed with the show for six years, creating such beloved characters as Baba Wawa, Emily Litella, and Rosanne Rosannadanna. She was born in Detroit in 1946. After she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the late 1980’s, she wrote “It’s Always Something,” a book about her experiences. Her widower, Gene Wilder, founded the “Gilda’s Club” national support group after her death in 1989.

Caladium Box Lid

“Character is simply habit long enough continued.”
– Plutarch

Caladium Box Lid

5″ x 5″ Acrylic

I am out of little paper mache boxes.  I wonder what’s next.  A friend just came over and showed me a diaper bag she made from a feed sack!  It is so cool!  I love creative people.  In these tough times, it’s not only frugal, but a great way to recycle!  Now my mind is whirling about some burlap bags I have been hanging on to for just the right project!  Who says you have to use a canvas?  🙂

About Plutarch

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.


Joy increases as you give it, and diminishes as you try to keep it for yourself.  In giving it you will accumulate a deposit of joy greater than you ever believed possible.

Norman Vincent Peale


6″ x 6″ Watercolor

I did this one for the Plant Parade project in the Florals and Botanicals forum at WetCanvas.  Each month, we all paint from the same references or theme and we upload it on the 25th of the month.  I think I have been doing this since late 2007.  It’s really fun and it’s not unlike what Ryan did with his poppies yesterday.

Tomorrow, I’ll post the acrylic I did.  🙂

Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

Norman Vincent Peale was the pastor of Marble Collegiate Church for 52 years and one of the most influential religious figures of the 20th Century. The author of 46 books, including the all-time inspirational best-seller, The Power of Positive Thinking. With Marble Church as a base, Dr. Peale launched far-reaching innovations in the decades of the 1930s, 40s and 50s. He was a dynamic motivational speaker on countless platforms, the co-publisher of the world’s leading inspirational magazine, Guideposts, and the co-founder of the first school for pastoral psychology, The Institutes of Religion and Health. Dr. Peale recognized the powerful impact of mass media and in 1935 launched a weekly radio broadcast, “The Art of Living,” which was to continue for a record-setting 54 years. His down-to-earth message of optimism, courage, and faith in God’s love for the individual has helped countless millions find confidence and inner peace.

Dr. Peale spoke to an average of 100 groups a year, until the age of 93, and he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Ronald Reagan. He died at his home in Pawling, NY, on Christmas Eve, 1993. Dr. Peale’s wife, Ruth Stafford Peale, passed away in February 2008.

Spring Poppies

“Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.”
William James

Spring Poppies

4″ x 4″ Acrylic

Ryan, on his blog,  asmalltowndad, posted a photo of poppies and challenged all of us who follow his blog to do our own version of the poppies and post them today.  I have already peeked at his and they are gorgeous!    I did mine on a little paper machete box.  Here are a couple other views.

I’m off to post a link on Ryan’s blog.  It should be fun looking at all the poppies today!

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.

Chocolate Drizzled Delights

“Passion, though a bad regulator, is a powerful spring.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Chocolate Drizzled Delights

5″ x 7″ Watercolor

I enjoyed painting these yummy treats, even though I’m not a big donut eater.  They taste good, but an hour later I’ll feel bad.     Not unlike some passions, I guess.  🙂

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.

Sally’s Lighthouse

“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”
– Sir Winston Churchill

Sally’s Lighthouse

6″ x 6″ Acrylic on Little Box

My friend Sally has a room in her house decorated with a lighthouse theme.  I painted this little box for her birthday.

About Sir Winston Churchill

Sir Winston Churchill was an extraordinary British prime minister; he laid the groundwork for welfare in England, helped set the boundaries in the Middle East, became a symbol of the resistance against the Nazis in Europe, and was a central force in the Allied victory in World War II. He was born in 1874 near Oxford. He was known for his courage, his stubbornness, and his powerful personality. He was also an accomplished painter and writer. He died in 1965.


“Could we change our attitude, we should not only see life differently, but life itself would come to be different.”
– Katherine Mansfield

That philosophy is exactly why I put the quotes out there every day.  I really think that if you begin your day with something positive, it can genuinely change the course of your day.  It works for me, anyway.  🙂


2.5″ x 3.5″ Watercolor ATC

Something about this little scene looks optimistic to me.  Fresh spring air coming indoors after a long winter.  It just feels happy and warm.

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.

All Dressed Up

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”
– Mark Twain

That is so true!  Maybe this is another reason we blog.  🙂

All Dressed Up

2.5″ x 3.5″ Watercolor on Strathmore Textured Paper

This was fun to do in this small size.  I chose the name because no matter how plain the building, when you add a beautiful window, it is all dressed up.

I love stained glass.  I learned how to do it when I was younger, but gave it up because I didn’t have the space to leave it out all the time.  Stained glass is a little to hard to do on the kitchen table between meals.  🙂

About Mark Twain

Samuel Clemens, the iconic American humorist and writer, is better known by his pen name Mark Twain. He was born in 1835 in Missouri. He worked at several jobs, including steamboat pilot and miner. He wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Prince and the Pauper, and other successful novels. His writing captured a very American vernacular and flavor, and helped create a distinctive American literature. He died in 1910.

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