Blue Jay

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.”
– Amelia Earhart

Blue Jay

5″ x 7″ Watercolor Greeting Card

I painted this little blue jay for my mother-in-law’s 85th birthday on Sunday.  I think she liked it, as she was planning to put it on her bulletin board.  My mother-in-law, Ruby, is a hoot!  She is a smart,  pretty lady with a wonderful sense of humor.  I really lucked out in that department.    Even though my husband just doesn’t “get” my normal goofy painting style, I bet she would love it.  I’m going to have to try it on her next time I see her.

About Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart, who was born in 1897 in Kansas, became the first person to fly solo across the Pacific Ocean and gained renown as a woman in a field dominated by men. Earhart worked as a nurse’s aide during World War I and learned to fly after moving to Los Angeles in 1919. She first became famous as one of a crew of three to fly across the Atlantic in 1928, but her best-known flight was her last. As she was attempting to fly around the world in 1937, her plane disappeared over the Pacific Ocean and was never found.


“We are, each of us, angels with only one wing, and we can only fly embracing each other.”
– Luciano Decrescenzo


4″ x 4″ x 1.5″ Acrylic on Gallery Wrap Canvas

Wooooo hooooo…… watch out below!  he he   This is my 3rd “word” depiction for the Art House Co-op Canvas Project 3.  I had so much fun with this one!  Have you ever noticed, the brighter the color… the more fun I have?  Here are some more views.

My words for the project are Dive, Oboe and Pineapple.

We are supposed to paint our version of the words we are given on 4″ x 4″ x 1.5″ canvases, provided by Art House Co-op.  You can see the other two entries here and here.

About Luciano Decrescenzo

Luciano Decrescenzo, the Italian writer, filmmaker, and intellectual, has published 28 books on subjects ranging from Greek philosophy to his own childhood in Naples. He was born in 1928 and worked as an engineer for IBM for several years before turning to philosophy and writing. He has also directed, written, and starred in a number of Italian language films and received honorary Athenian citizenship in 1994.

Party Pineapple

“Always do the things you fear the most. Courage is an acquired taste, like caviar.”
– Erica Jong

Try as I might, I have never acquired a taste for caviar!  …bleck!  😕

Party Pineapple

4″ x 4″ x 1.5″ Acrylic on Gallery Wrap Canvas

This little painting was fun!  This is the second of three for the Art House Co-op “The Canvas Project 3”.   I received 3 words to paint onto 3 canvases.  My words are Oboe, Pineapple and Dive.  I showed you my oboe here.

About Erica Jong

Erica Jong, the American author who made a splash with the sexual frankness of her first novel, Fear of Flying, has written several works of fiction as well as nonfiction books, including the autobiographical Fear of Fifty. She was born in New York in 1942 and now splits her time between New York City and Weston, Connecticut. She has been married four times and has one daughter.

Puma on Alert

“Don’t believe all you hear, spend all you have, or sleep all you want.”

#693 in The Complete – Life’s Little Instruction Book
— H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Puma on Alert

5″ x 7″ Watercolor

I had a great time studying the form of this critter.    When I got this far, I couldn’t bring myself to put a background in, as nothing seemed quite right.  So I will call it a study and forget the rest, for now.

Yesterday afternoon, I had the opportunity to teach a one hour class as a volunteer artist for the Eufaula Area Art’s Council.  I had 5 students (ages 5-12) and we did vinyl collage, using materials from my sign company.  I gave them each a couple little pieces of coroplast (corrugated plastic) and plenty of vinyl in different colors.   They made some wonderful collages!  I took a picture with my phone, but I have not figured out how to get the pictures from my phone to my computer.  (I am NOT a big cell phone girl)  🙂

Here are mine, which I scanned in when I returned to the sign shop.  We put sticks on the back and made them into fans.

H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Jackson Brown was born and still lives in Middle Tennessee. His numerous books are in 35 languages and read throughout the world claiming 158 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list. It is sometimes noted that he graduated from a prestigious university and is the recipient of one of their most distinguished awards but, who knows? If you were to phone the administration office, they would probably deny that he ever attended. It seems hard feelings still linger regarding Mr. Brown’s insistence that the campus clock tower he pledged to help fund be in the shape of a 300-foot ukulele.

Currently, Mr. Brown writes in a remote log cabin high on Hatchet’s Ridge in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. There he retreats to observe, ponder, resharpen No. 2 pencils and train his parrot to squawk, “One more step and I’ll shoot.” Should you want to visit, get an early start. Take the gravel road east out of Crowell Corners to the end. There it becomes a dirt road switch-backing up the ridges. A hand-lettered sign nailed to a hickory tree teasingly identifies these last fifteen miles as Broken Axle Trail. The cabin is not the first or second on this dusty corkscrew but the third. You’ll think you’re almost there, but you’re not. And count the creeks. You’ll cross two. The first on a tricky two-plank bridge. The second, unfortunately, offers no bridge at all. Now look for the weathered tin roof and the trellised front gate crowned with honeysuckle.  Pay no attention to the dogs Dan, Hoover and Hot Ticket asleep on the front porch couch; Hoover hasn’t bitten anyone in years. But be careful where you step. The copperheads, rattlesnakes, and wild hogs love this bit of heaven as much as Mr. Brown does.

P . S .   As Mr. Brown instructs in one of his books, “Don’t believe everything you read.”

What a bio!  🙂

Eras in Bloom

“Nothing can add more power to your life than concentrating all of your energies on a limited set of targets.
Nido Qubein

Eras in Bloom

5″ x 7″ Watercolor on Strathmore cold press

In the reference photo, this guy was actually a statue in front of McDonalds, somewhere in France.  Isn’t it fun that we can just do whatever we want, when we paint?  I gave an ancient mammoth a free place to roam.  If that statue could talk, he would probably be horrified to be standing in front of a fast food restaurant in a bustling metropolis!  😀

Since 1974, Nido Qubein has given more than 5,000 presentations, received every award in professional speaking and is represented by the best speaker bureaus. He is considered both a motivational speaker and a business speaker with a range of topics covering everything from time management to branding.

Nido Qubein has written more than a dozen books on leadership, sales, communication, and achievement; recorded scores of audio-visual learning systems; and hundreds of client-customized products.


Peugot 202 1948

“Remember, no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

Peugot 202  1948

5″ x 7″ Watercolor on Strathmore cold press paper

This painting is a venture into new frontier for me.  On Leslie White’s blog, I became fascinated by a technique she was using, creating a pathway of light by leaving that pathway white and painting into it.  It’s something she learned from Don Andrews, watching his DVDs.    Of course, I rushed right out and bought his book,  Interpreting the Landscape in Watercolor.

When I received the book, I was so excited.  I tried his suggestion and did a 10 minute value study first.  I have never actually done a value study, being a self taught watercolorist.    So here is my attempt to find a pathway of light.

He says that we, as the artist, can create the pathway that we like.  We don’t have to take the reference at face value.  The stuff I outlined is the places I wanted to use to create my path.

There was so much more, like painting wet and softening the edges of the colors and letting them blend into each other.  I played with some of that, too.  I am not patient, so I dove in before I read any further.  I can’t wait to see what else he teaches me, once I actually read the book.  😀

Eleanor Roosevelt

“Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

Read more about Mrs. Roosevelt here.

Football With A Face

“Rate the task above the prize; will not the mind be raised? Fight thine own faults, not the faults of others; will not evil be mended?”

Football With A Face

Baby Crowned Lemur

5″ x 7″  Watercolor on Strathmore cold press

Sorry, but after I painted this critter, all I could see is a football with a face.  🙂   Ryan (asmalltowndad) will be suggesting the straight-jacket again when he sees this baby.  he he

It is so hot in Oklahoma right now that perhaps my brain cells are getting a little toasty around the edges.  We’ve had a long streak of heat indexes around 108F.   I have a flying lesson tonight and when it’s this hot, there are thermals coming up from the ground that bounce the plane all over the place.  When I’m coming in for a landing and all of the sudden the plane pops 100 ft in to the air, it’s a little startling!  (sometimes a woohoo escapes my lips)  Oh, and I might mention that there is no air conditioning in my little trainer either.   The fun just never ends!  🙂

I’m gonna close my eyes for a moment and pretend I’m in Idaho.

About Confucius

The ancient Chinese social philosopher Confucius founded the ethically based philosophical system which became known as Confucianism. Legend says that he was born in 551 B.C. to a 70-year-old father and a 15-year-old mother. At age 50, frustrated with politics, he left his job as Justice Minister and began a 12-year journey around China. Returning home, he taught a growing number of disciples “The Way” and wrote a set of books called the Five Classics. He died in 479 B.C.

Lake Hefner Lighthouse

“You give little when you give of your possessions.  It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”
Kahlil Gibran

Lake Hefner Lighthouse

4″ x 6″ Watercolor on Indian Village handmade paper

Richard McNaughten put a lighthouse summer challenge on his blog.  Many of us are painting a lighthouse from our part of the world and posting it on our blogs, with a link back to Richard’s blog.   This is my entry.  I  didn’t think Oklahoma would have a lighthouse for me to paint, so I was pleasantly surprised.  I found this one on the internet.

I can’t wait to see what everyone else has come up with.  🙂

Just in case my painting makes you go through color withdrawl…. no fear.  I painted some pretty bright stuff over the weekend.  *giggle*

Khalil Gibran (born Gubran Khalil Gubran[1] bin Mikhā’īl bin Sa’ad; Arabic جبران خليل جبران بن ميکائيل بن سعد, January 6, 1883 – April 10, 1931) also known as Kahlil Gibran, was a Lebanese American artist, poet, and writer. Born in the town of Bsharri in modern-day Lebanon (then part of the Ottoman Mount Lebanon mutasarrifate), as a young man he emigrated with his family to the United States where he studied art and began his literary career. He is chiefly known for his 1923 book The Prophet, a series of philosophical essays written in English prose. An early example of Inspirational fiction, the book sold well despite a cool critical reception, and became extremely popular in the 1960s counterculture. Gibran is considered to be the third most widely read poet in history, behind Shakespeare and Lao-Tzu.

Head in the Leaves

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear — not absence of fear.”
– Mark Twain

Head in the Leaves

7.5″ x 11″ Watercolor on Hot Press Paper

I didn’t paint enough new paintings this week, to post a fresh one each day, so I looked through my stash to find one I may not have shared with you.  That is such a fun experience, because there are so many experiments in that pile.  I picked this one, because I painted all the way to the edges.  It wouldn’t be suitable for framing, unless I did something else with it.

I can glue it to a large canvas and then come in with some mixed media to bring it to life, such as some acrylic leaves, that meander off of the painting, onto the canvas.  I can use it as the beginning to a collage, or possibly cut it up and do a weave with another painting, being careful to preserve that eye.  Hmmm….. what would you do?  😉

I have to tell you about an  exciting little project I’m working on.  I am taking Laura Bray’s Easy Ezine class.    We are learning all the nuts and bolts of doing a first class newsletter or ezine.  I am loving it so far!  I even increased my website’s subscriber list from 1 to 48.  Wee!   You can sign up here, if you want to receive the very first issue.  🙂

I am planning to do a monthly newsletter that has some art, some how-to’s or something fun that I have learned, and of course, something positively “wiggle your butt” fun!    😀  As a student pilot, I am anxious to share some of the new experiences I’m having in the wild blue yonder, too.

I am going to give away an original painting to one of my subscribers in the first newsletter and will continue to have some kind of monthly freebies.   This is key… you can un-subscribe at any time (if I put you to sleep), but I’m hoping that you’ll send the link to your friends, in stead.  Oh, and I will not share my list with anyone… period!

I am feeling like a little girl with a new party to go to.  If you have any suggestions on things you’d like to see in the newsletter, please leave a comment.  I value all I can learn from you, just as I do with my art.

Okay, just for fun…. let me pop that Sign-Up link in there one more time.  🙂

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.

Studio Window

“The highest reward for a person’s toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it.”
– John Ruskin

Studio Window

2.4″ x 3.5″ Watercolor ATC

Except for the big green cactus, this is my studio window, looking out.    Well… okay… the wall paint is a little lighter and the curtains are actually burgundy.  Oh …. and there are more weeds.   Oh, and …. more rocks, and a bunch of thyme.  Thyme is the only ground cover I could get to grow on the steep slope in front of our house.  We had to grow something there, to keep the soil in place, after we built the house.   That whole hill is covered with thyme, weeds and rocks.  There really is a yucca there, though.  🙂

About John Ruskin

John Ruskin was an English art critic who influenced the attitude of a whole generation toward art and architecture. He was born in 1819 in London. His career began with an essay defending his friend, artist J.M.W. Turner, from critics. His book Modern Painters made Turner popular and gave stature to the Pre-Raphaelite movement. He founded the Cambridge Scool of Art in 1858, now known as the Anglia Ruskin University. Leo Tolstoy called him one of those rare men who think with their heart. When Ruskin inherited wealth, he gave most of the money away. He died in 1900.

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