I Love Puppy Breath – 4″ x 6″ Watercolor and Sharpie

“Every day, think as you wake up:
Today I am fortunate to have woken up.
I am alive. I have a precious human life.
I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all
my energies to develop myself to expand
my heart out to others for the
benefit of all beings.”

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

Copyright Beth Parker Art 2012

I Love Puppy Breath – 4″ x 6″ Watercolor and Sharpie

Don’t you just love puppy breath?  Annie’s puppy was just 4 months old in the photo I painted this from, but I made her look much older.  I do the same thing with children.  Why is innocence so hard to capture?

I have friends who have a new Saint Bernard puppy.  When George brought Lady to see me at 6 weeks old, she was the sweetest, cuddliest little thing.  She is now a 90 pound, 5 month old ball of fire.   George and Carla are in their 70’s!  I hope she learns gentleness.  🙂

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is both the head of state and the spiritual leader of Tibet. He was born on 6 July 1935, to a farming family, in a small hamlet located in Taktser, Amdo, northeastern Tibet.  At the age of two the child, who was named Lhamo Dhondup at that time was recognized as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso.  The Dalai Lamas are believed to be manifestations of Avalokiteshvara or Chenrezig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion and patron saint of Tibet.  Bodhisattvas are enlightened beings who have postponed their own nirvana and chosen to take rebirth in order to serve humanity.

More here.

A bird can’t fly with clothes on, silly! – Illustration Friday

“Mindfulness is the aware, balanced acceptance of the present experience. It isn’t more complicated than that. It is the opening to or receiving the present moment, just as it is, without either clinging to it or rejecting it.”
–Sylvia Boorstein

Copyright Beth Parker Art 2012

A bird can’t fly with clothes on, silly! – 3″ x 4″ Watercolor and Sharpie

Having clothes and shoes on has certainly impeded this bird’s ability to fly.  He had to climb up on a ladder to see what other birds see from these heights.

The weekly word on Illustration Friday is Heights, and I’m posting this little fellow over there today, too.  The (naked bird) photo I painted it from was posted by Susan (Surob) at WetCanvas and it is her sister’s Blue Fronted Amazon, Blue.  🙂

Sylvia Boorstein

The anthropologist Margaret Mead said that some people have a “teaching gene” and, if that’s true, I think my father, Harry Schor, had that gene and that I inherited it from him. He loved explaining and demonstrating, and so do I. He taught me to swim, to roller skate, to ride a bike, to solve anagrams and to construct crossword puzzles. He taught me about puns and limericks. He was a mathematics teacher by profession and he taught me algebra and geometry at home, years before I learned them at school. My mother was unique amongst the mothers on our street. She had a job. She drove a car. She had passionately progressive political views and the loudest laugh of anyone I knew. I think I’m just like her.

More about Sylvia Boorstein can be found on her website here.

The Laughing Pink Bull Elk

“Let a joy keep you. Reach out your hands and take it when it runs by.”
– Carl Sandburg

The Laughing Pink Bull Elk – 4″ x 6″ Watercolor

Okay, a pink Bull Elk did not just wander by, while I was painting.  The reference photo for this painting was actually from the WetCanvas RIL, and was contributed by Crias.  And… if you asked Crias if that elk was pink, I am certain they would deny it to the end.  But, as I was the artist wielding the brush, I took my usual creative liberty.   Anything can (and usually does) happen.  he he

Okay, it was not laughing in the reference photo either.   It just happens to be very fun being me.  😀

This painting became my granddaughter’s Birthday card.  She may be used to me by now.  …not sure.  🙂

About Carl Sandburg

American poet, songwriter, and journalist Carl Sandburg played an essential role in the Chicago renaissance of the early twentieth century. He won two Pulitzer Prizes, one for poetry and one as a historian. He was born in Illinois in 1878. When he was 19, he hopped a westbound train and lived as a hobo. His poetry is filled with slang and the language of ordinary Americans. His publications include Chicago Poems, Cornhuskers, and the children’s series, Rootabaga Stories. He died in 1967.

Idaho Retreat

“Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit.”
– Peter Ustinov

Idaho Retreat – 9″ x 7″ Watercolor on Masa

This was painted from a photograph I fell in love with.  It is the view from the porch of the cabin I have rented for my 3 day painting retreat  in Idaho’s beautiful Teton Valley.  I have permission from the cabin’s owners to post this painting, but I won’t be telling you anything about them or the cabin, until I return.  What good is a retreat, if you’ve told everyone where you’ll be?  I am so excited!  

(Click on the painting for a larger view.)

Yesterday, the entire city of Eufaula lost power from a storm, so I went back home and made my hubby a big country breakfast.  Then, I played for a bit and went back to work when the power came back on around noon.  That was one of those times I was glad to live 13 miles out in the country.  Well…. except for the 52 miles of driving I did.  🙂

About Peter Ustinov

British actor Peter Ustinov is best known for his Oscar-winning roles in Topkapi and Spartacus. He was born in London in 1921 to parents of blended pan-European extraction. He wrote several plays as well as a well-received autobiography, Dear Me. From 1969 until his death in 2004, he took on the role of goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, visiting disadvantaged children all over the world. He said his multicultural background gave him automatic loyalty to the UN.

Pink Cat in the Hat

“It has been my philosophy of life that difficulties vanish when faced boldly.”
– Isaac Asimov

Pink Cat in the Hat – 4″ x 5″ Watercolor

This is another version of Sharrm’s cat, Keetah.  I painted her using a distorted graph here.  I have painted Keetah a few times over the last 4 years on WetCanvas.   Here’s another one that may be Keetah.   What a great cat.

It was a very wet weekend in Oklahoma.  I believe we got 5″ of rain in Eufaula.  We certainly needed the rain and it came all at once.  More expected over the next couple days.  I did a lot of studying, but also managed 3 new paintings to share this week.  YAY!!

About Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov, the American author known as one of the top writers of science fiction’s golden age, penned nearly 500 fiction and nonfiction books, including the Foundation trilogy and I, Robot. Born in 1920 in Russia, he moved to the US with his parents at age three. As a teen, he would read pulp magazines in his parents’ candy store and became inspired to write his own stories. His fiction frames interesting ideas in a bare-bones narrative. He died in 1992.

Clematis – Linoleum Block Print & Watercolor

“If you want a place in the sun, you’ve got to put up with a few blisters.”
– Abigail Van Buren

Clematis – Linoleum Block Print & Watercolor

I really do love block printing, but it hurts my hands too much, carving the linoleum.  I had to give it up.  Here are the steps…  Drawing, carving, printing and watercolor.  Kinda fun, eh?

Tomorrow, I’ll show you the oil pastel version of this flower.  🙂

About Abigail Van Buren

Pauline Phillips, better known as Abigail Van Buren, wrote the syndicated “Dear Abby” column for 46 years. She was born in 1918 in Iowa. She had never written professionally when she contacted the San Francisco Chronicle‘s editor and said she could do better than their current advice maven. Her version was an instant success. Her twin sister, Esther Lederer, became an advice columnist under the name Ann Landers. Phillips retired in 2002; her daughter, Jeanne Phillips, took over her column.

Green and Orange Grasshopper

“The most important things to do in the world are to get something to eat, something to drink, and somebody to love you.”

– Brendan Behan

Green and Orange Grasshopper

Inktense and Ink

I had a lot of fun painting this guy, using my Inktense pencils.   A little glimpse of spring in “Beth-World”.  😀

We’re snowed in again, but I’m okay with it.  We have plenty of groceries and coffee.  I’m painting and enjoying the day, so far.  The other day, a friend of mine put a piece of chocolate cake, with chocolate icing on his deck for the birds.  He said they all looked like little kids at a one year old’s birthday party.  Little chocolate faces!  😀

About Brendan Behan

Brendan Behan, the colorful Irish dramatist and author, spent most of his young adult life in prison, where he first began writing. He was born in 1923 in Dublin and grew up in the slums. He joined the Irish Republican Army in 1937. He landed in jail twice for political offenses. His play, The Quare Fellow, was produced in 1956 to great acclaim. Fame took a toll; he drank heavily and wrote little. He died in 1964.

Purple Grasshopper

“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
– Winston Churchill

Purple Grasshopper

5″ x 7″ Watercolor & Ink

I painted this little dude over the weekend.  We were stuck at the bottom of the icy driveway and it made me think of spring.  I did another one, which I’ll show you tomorrow.  Since we are anticipating being snowed in again for a few days, I have some fish paintings started.  I’ll just pretend I am in the Caribbean!  😀

About 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.

Dressed For Tea – Bird Painting

“Happiness is a butterfly, which, when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you sit down quietly, may alight upon you.”
– Nathaniel Hawthorne

Dressed For Tea

Watercolor & Ink

This is another hotel room painting.  I can tell it’s time to leave that room, because I quit painting.  I’m ready to go home.  We checked out of the motel and are heading home this afternoon, even though it’s snowing again.  I’m ready to be in my studio and my own bed.  YAY!

About Nathaniel Hawthorne

The novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), famous for his dense prose and allegorical undertones, is perhaps best known for The Scarlet Letter and The House of the Seven Gables. He was born in Massachusetts, and his New England upbringing permeates his work. Hawthorne achieved fame late in life: his first work, a collection of short stories, was rejected by publishers, but he continued to write even as he worked at the Salem Custom House.

Pink Poppy Flamingo

“The individual is capable of both great compassion and great indifference. He has it within his means to nourish the former and outgrow the latter.”
– Norman Cousins

Pink Poppy Flamingo

Watercolor & Ink

This is what happens to a mind that is trapped in a hotel room during a snow storm.  ha ha ha  With our steep driveway (out in the country) we decided to stay in a hotel in town.  It turns out that it was a good decision.  Our neighborhood is still too icy to venture in, so our neighbors are taking care of the house, while we stay in town a couple days.   We got a lot of snow and it’s a mess!

I hope that wherever you are reading this from, that you are safe and warm.

About Norman Cousins

American writer and editor Norman Cousins is best known for his book, Anatomy of an Illness, an account of how he used nutrition and positive visualizations, including laughter, to heal from an illness diagnosed as fatal. He was born in New Jersey in 1915. He served many years as editor-in-chief of the Saturday Review, a job he loved. Under his guidance, circulation increased from 20,000 to 650,000. He received the UN Peace Medal for his world activism. He died in 1990.

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