Sweet Baby Boy

“Hold your child’s hand every chance you get.  The time will come all too soon when he or she won’t let you.”

H. Jackson Brown Jr.
from: The Complete – Life’s Little Instruction Book

Sweet Baby Boy

5″ x 7″ Watercolor

This is my attempt to paint my little grand-nephew, Gage.  I have never met this little sweetie, because he lives in Washington state.  He was born right after I left there last fall.  I messed his little hands up, so I kinda like this version….

Jackson Brown originally wrote Life’s Little Instruction book as a gift for his son who was leaving home to begin his freshman year in college. Brown says, “I read years ago that it was not the responsibility of parents to pave the road for their children but to provide a road map, and I wanted to provide him with what I had learned about living a happy and rewarding life.” Life’s Little Instruction Book is a guidebook that gently points the way to happiness and fulfillment. The observations are direct, simple, and as practical as an umbrella.

“Most of us already know how to live a successful and purposeful life,” says Brown. “We know we should be more understanding and thoughtful, more responsible, courageous and appreciative. It’s just that we sometimes need reminding.” Life’s Little Instruction Book is that reminder and the perfect gift for students, relatives, or a friend who needs encouragement at any time of the year. A New York Times #1 bestseller for 50 weeks, it is translated into 33 languages and continues to inspire readers throughout the world. This title is available in three separate volumes or in one book collection, The Complete Life’s Little Instruction Book.


“Happiness always looks small while you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and you learn at once how big and precious it is.”
– Aleksei Peshkov


2.5″ x 3.5″ Watercolor ATC

Another one from my window series.  A little bit of retro home comfort.  It’s amazing what one can put on these small paintings, isn’t it?

About Aleksei Peshkov

Russian social realist author Aleksei Peshkov, known as Maxim Gorky, was so esteemed that his birthplace, Nizhny Novgorod, was renamed Gorky in his honor. He was born in 1868. His parents died when he was young, and he left his home at age 12. He was arrested in the late 1880’s as a revolutionary. His writing, including his best-known novel, The Mother, portrayed a decadent society and immense poverty. He became disillusioned after the Russian Revolution, feeling Lenin’s Communism was little better. He died in 1936.

Style & Grace

“When people succeed, I am as happy for them as I would be for my own success.  I congratulate others for putting their prosperity consciousness to work, and I am inspired by their success.”

Richard Carlson, Ph.D.
The Don’t Sweat Affirmations

Style & Grace

3″ x 8″ Watercolor

I really bit off a big one with this painting.  I have been amazed by this photo of my niece, Erin, since I first saw it.  Erin exudes style and grace and this photo flatters that aspect of her personality.  Of course, her face is way prettier than this.  I corrected it so much that I overworked the paper and couldn’t do anything else, so….. concentrate on the dress.  Isn’t that a great dress!  😀

Here is how I started the painting.

No black was used in this painting.  🙂

Today’s quote is fitting, because Erin just graduated from High School.  I am so proud of her!

I quote a lot from Richard Carlson’s Don’t Sweat affirmations, so you have seen his bio many times.  His wife, Kristine, is keeping his legacy alive, since his passing in 2006.  You can read more about that here. I wish her the best of luck in her endeavors.

Poppies in the Wind

“A day of worry is more exhausting than a week of work.”
– John Lubbock

Isn’t that the truth!!!

Poppies in the Wind

4″ x 6″ Watercolor

I really enjoyed painting this little painting.  I tried to keep it loose and not get too caught up in the nitty-picky little details.  I tried to concentrate on forms and shadows.  It was really freeing.  May’s Plant Parade project over in WetCanvas’ Florals and Botanicals forum is poppies.    Sharrm supplied the references and I chose one by HolyLL.    We all upload  our work on the 25th, so if you check it out, you’ll see some amazing poppies!   🙂

About John Lubbock

John Lubbock, the multifaceted British banker, statesman, and scientist, was responsible for the institution of England’s monthly Bank Holidays, sometimes referred to as St. Lubbock Days. He was born in 1834 in England. Growing up, he learned science from his father’s friend Charles Darwin. He coined the terms Paleolithic and Neolithic to denote the different Stone Ages, and he wrote the well-regarded books Prehistoric Times and Ants, Bees, and Wasps. He died in 1913.

Hip Cat Visits Lighthouse

“Life is like music; it must be composed by ear, feeling, and instinct, not by rule.”
– Samuel Butler

Hip Cat Visits Lighthouse

2.5″ x 3.5″ Watercolor ATC

Ha!  You were expecting a painting of a sailboat?  🙂

I haven’t painted any cats for a while and this one just had the smug look that cried out for sunglasses.  The cat in the reference photo didn’t look smug, but my paintbrush interprets things it’s own way, sometimes.

I say … go with the flow when that happens.  No Rules.  It’s great brain food.   🙂

About Samuel Butler

British author Samuel Butler is best known as the author of The Way of All Flesh, a semiautobiographical novel V. S. Pritchett called one of the time bombs of literature because of its incendiary critique of Victorian society and because Butler delayed publication until after his death. He was born in 1835 near Bingham. Rather than enter the clergy as many of his family members had, he became a sheep farmer in New Zealand for four years. He first gained fame with the satirical novel Erewhon. He died in 1902.

Before the Tourists

“You have to take it as it happens, but you should make it happen the way you want to take it.”
Old German Proverb

Before the Tourists

9″ x 12″ Watercolor on Strathmore 140 lb. coldpress

As you know,  this is a huge painting for me!  The references had a bizzilion beach chairs and a fence.  I decided to see what it looked like before the tourists came.  He he he

Speaking of tourists… this weekend is our annual Bucket Run on Lake Eufaula.  The sailboats come to play!  I hope to be out there somewhere with my camera.  There is just something about sailboats!  I’m sure it’s a lot more work than they make it seem.  It’s so calming to watch them floating on the lake, like they don’t have a care in the world.

The festivities begin Friday night May 21st with registration starting at 8 pm and continuing until? They’ll have live music by Bluefish, a wine tasting hosted by Sailing Horse Winery and lots of sailboats. The race for the bucket kicks off at 10 am on Saturday the 22nd. Saturday night they’ll feed pizza and wings to all the crews at Evergreen Marina .On Sunday the 23rd the line opens once again at 10 am for the run back to Eufaula Cove. Awards will be handed out at 4 pm at Gators!  For more info click here.

German proverbs represent one of the finest cultures in Europe. They have a very practical approach and the humor present in some of them gives them a bit of a sweeter taste so to speak. However the sharp realism in some of them is pretty blunt and will not pet anyone, embodying somehow the German direct way of speaking. Nonetheless the German proverbs will pitch your thinking and make you consider some new views.

As an old German proverb says “A country can be judged by the quality of its proverbs”; when it comes to Germany there is plenty to say. Given to the fact that over 40 million Americans are of German ancestry, it is obvious how due to their emigration in the United States of America their words of wisdom inheritance was translated into English, therefore, some of these proverbs may seem familiar.

Spoken directly or with humor, the German proverbs are a great source of thought provoking ideas; see more in the article here.

How About a Swim?

“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will.”
– Vincent Lombardi

How About a Swim?

4″ x 6″ on Watercolor Greeting Card

I painted this little watercolor yesterday for my granddaughter’s birthday card.  It was fun trying to get as much color as I could into it, while staying pretty true to the great reference photo from Li.

I’m ready to take a dip.  Are you coming?  🙂

About Vincent Lombardi

American football coach Vincent Lombardi is famed for turning the Green Bay Packers from a losing team to two-time Super Bowl champions. He was born in 1913 in Brooklyn. He initially wanted to be a priest, but changed his mind after he became the star fullback on his high school team. When he began coaching the Packers, he set up intensive training camps and demanded absolute dedication but promised them the championship. The NFL named him “Man of the Decade” in the 1960’s. He died in 1970.

Mr. Hanna

“We must dare to think “unthinkable” thoughts. We must learn to explore all the options and possibilities that confront us in a complex and rapidly changing world.”
– James William Fulbright

Mr. Hanna

3″ x 5″ Watercolor

I am not a portrait artist, but every so often, I just have to give it a go.  This is another one of Li’s references and I loved the character on this man’s face.

Uncle Tom, as he is known to the locals, is 92 years old and he rides his scooter 14 miles into the market from his remote home, that he shares with his goats and dogs.  Li says that he never complains and is adored by his friends.  I love his face!    I only spent about a half hour on him.

About James William Fulbright

James William Fulbright, the US senator who represented Arkansas from 1945 to 1975, is memorialized in the Fulbright Prize, the international exchange program he created. He was born in 1905 in Missouri. As a congressman, he sponsored a resolution to form the peace-keeping organization that became the United Nations. As senator, he chaired the Foreign Relations Committee for 15 years. His book The Arrogance of Power critiques the government’s involvement in the Vietnam War. He died in 1995.

Coconuts Anyone?

“If we wait for the moment when everything is ready, we shall never begin.”
– Ivan Turgenev

Coconuts Anyone?

6.25″ x 8.75″ Watercolor on Fabriano  cold press paper

Aren’t green coconut overrated?  he he  🙂  I had such a good time doing this.  I enjoyed playing with the light on the wonderful reference by Lisilk at WetCanvas.    Before I did the splatter on it, it just seemed a little flat.  Isn’t it amazing what a little splash of random color can do?

About Ivan Turgenev

Russian novelist Ivan Turgenev, celebrated for his dark, realistic novels about Russian life, is best known for the novel Fathers and Sons, about the conflicting ideologies between generations. He was born in 1818 to a wealthy Russian family. He and his brother were raised by an abusive mother who was rumored to have smothered one of her serfs. He rose to fame with A Sportsman’s Sketches, which may have influenced the Tsar to free the serfs. He died in France in 1883.

Puppy Love

“Everything you are against weakens you. Everything you are for empowers you.”
– Dr. Wayne Dyer

Puppy Love

4″ x 6″ Watercolor

This is 15 year old Zipper.  She is the fur baby of Li, who hosted our WetCanvas Weekend Drawing Event (WDE) from San Salvador, Bahamas.  I painted up a storm over the weekend!  Li gave us such beautiful references to paint from and I really enjoyed my watercolors.   🙂

About Dr. Wayne Dyer

Dr. Wayne Dyer, called the father of motivation by his fans, is a clinical psychologist and author of such best sellers as Your Erroneous Zones and The Power of Intention. He was born in 1940 in Detroit and grew up in orphanages and foster homes. After four years in the Navy, he received his doctorate from the University of Michigan. His spiritually based message focuses on self-reliance and ways to change the tenor of one’s thoughts. He has appeared on the Today Show, The Tonight Show, and Oprah. He now lives in Maui.

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