Stranded Iguana

“Courage is the human virtue that counts most — courage to act on limited knowledge and insufficient evidence. That’s all any of us have.”
– Robert Frost

Stranded Iguana – 5″ x 7″ Watercolor

Li took the photo of this poor, stranded iguana in Belize.  She said the river came up after he was out there and she really felt for him.   I hope it wasn’t too long before he was able to get back to dry land.   Oh…  I took creative liberties with his coloring, since he was in no position to fight me on it.  he he  😀

About Robert Frost

Robert Frost, the influential American poet known for his rural settings, uncluttered language, and meditative themes, wrote the poems, “A Road Not Taken” and “Mending Walls,” among many others. He was born in San Francisco in 1874 and moved to Massachusetts at age 11. He ran a farm for ten years, selling it to move to England and become a full-time poet. After achieving his goal, he moved back to New Hampshire. His ambition was to write “a few poems it will be hard to get rid of.” He died in 1963.

Sea Turtle Watercolor

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

Sea Turtle – 6″ x 8″ Watercolor

I had a great time painting this.    Of course, just like I don’t have patience for tree painting… I’m the same way with the underwater plants, too.  I just made some up.  😀

This is painted from another one of Li’s Belize photos.

We had a terrific anniversary on Saturday.  We took the retro Tbird for a top down road trip to Van Buren, Arkansas.    We went to our favorite store, A Little Bit of Mexico, owned by Barb and Dave Little, to treat ourselves to some art.  We bought 2 pieces by metal artist, Andres Martin De Campo.  Here is a YouTube video with some of his work on it.   Here is a photo from Facebook of his shop in Mexico, where he uses live models to pose for his art.  One of the pieces we bought is a sea turtle trio, to go over our fireplace.

We had a great day, but couldn’t fit a single one of our purchases in our itty bitty little Tbird, so Barb and Dave delivered our goodies yesterday.   What a fun weekend.

Samuel Clemens, alias Mark Twain, is an American icon whose razor-sharp wit and inimitable genius have entertained countless readers for more than a century.  His many publications include such gallant childhood essentials as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, along with many dozens of other works ranging from airy magazine columns to focused, biting anti-imperialist satire.

He was born in Hannibal, Missouri in 1835.  The Clemens family consisted of two brothers, a sister, and the family-owned slave, Jenny, whose vivid storytelling was a formative influence on the young Sam.  As he was growing up, his parents explained their perspective on the nature of things in the established South, about the slave-owning tradition, and about ‘rough western justice.’  more…

Laundry Day Watercolor

“Never look down to test the ground before taking your next step; only he who keeps his eye fixed on the far horizon will find the right road.”
– Dag Hammarskjöld

Laundry Day – 3″ x 7″  Watercolor on Masa

I had so much fun painting this little dude.  It’s another photo of a Belize sight from Li.  The fun thing about masa is the amazing texture you can get.  Personally, I am terrible at trees!  Masa gives me more texture than I would have been able to get, when left up to my own tree laziness.  I just don’t have the patience for trees.  They have all those pesky leaves!  😀

About Dag Hammarskjöld

Dag Hammarskjöld, a Noble Peace Prize winner, was a diplomat who strengthened the United Nations’ peacekeeping mission. Born in Sweden in 1905, he followed his father’s footsteps into national government, where he coined the term “planned economy” before becoming a delegate to the U.N. and a two-time secretary-general. He negotiated the release of Americans captured by the Chinese in the Korean War, worked to resolve the Suez Canal crisis, and was on a mission to the Congo when his plane crashed in 1961, killing all aboard.

Dive Shop Watercolor

If you’re dog-tired at night, it may be because you growled all day.
–War Cry

“Negative attitudes wear us out. Assuming the worst will happen, focusing on just our faults, constant complaining, are attitudes that bring us down. If we stumble on a flight of stairs and feel embarrassed, it’s going to feel even worse if we growl and curse. We’ll feel much better if we laugh at ourselves and see the humor.

People want to be around those who are cheerful. The good cheer we send out will come back to us from others who are healthy. We can choose these cheerful people as our friends, and our happiness will grow and blossom in this good soil.

Today let me try to say something cheerful to another.”

–Nancy Hull-Mast

Dive Shop – 5″ x 7″ Watercolor

Another Belize painting, thanks to Li’s wonderful photography.   I just had to play with it and make it a little goofy.  🙂

Li was on the mainland, but where we were on Ambergris Caye, everything north of San Pedro town was only accessible by piers and water taxis.  When we were there in 2002, there were still no cars north of the little wooden ferry at San Pedro town.   Belizian men would pull the ferry back and forth with ropes.  Golf carts, bicycles or pedestrians were all it could handle.  They have since put a bridge in, to replace the ferry.

The water taxis were the only reliable mode of transportation, north of the ferry back then.   When we got married on the beach, 9 years ago this weekend, our wedding planner (a local requirement back then) and our minister came to us by water taxi.

What great memories we have from Belize.  🙂

But… here is that dive shop again.  If I leave the wedding photo as the last picture on the blog, it will post it to facebook and I ‘m saving that for another time.  🙂

Nancy Hull-Mast is a contributor for the following Hazelden Title: Our Best Days.

Our Best Days is a book of daily meditations for those who cherish the simple truths of recovery. Its clear and practical ideas-and spiritual themes-give daily insights into the process of change. Our Best Days has been cherished by those new to recovery as well as by recovery old-timers.

Colorful Porch

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
–William Arthur Ward

Colorful Porch – 5″ x 7″ Watercolor

This was painted from another Belize photo by Li at WetCanvas.  I’ll admit, I added some of this color and some of it was already there.  It did have pink railings.  he he  🙂

Every time I come home from the Caribbean, I want to add more color into my life.  Our home has a lot of brown.  Our project for the winter is to infuse some bold color into our living room.

William Arthur Ward (1921–1994), author of Fountains of Faith, is one of America’s most quoted writers of inspirational maxims.

More than 100 articles, poems and meditations written by Ward have been published in such magazines as Reader’s Digest, This Week, The Upper Room, Together, The Christian Advocate, The Adult Student, The Adult Teacher, The Christian Home, The Phi Delta Kappan, Science of Mind, The Methodist Layman, Sunshine, and Ideals.

His column Pertinent Proverbs has been featured in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and in numerous service club publications throughout the United States and abroad. He is one of the most frequently quoted writers in the pages of Quote, the international weekly digest for public speakers.


If you can imagine it, you can achieve it.
If you can dream it, you can become it.

–William Arthur Ward

Safe Harbor – Watercolor on Masa

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough, and more.
It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order,
confusion to clarity.  It can turn a meal into a feast,
a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace
for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

–Melody Beattie

WOW!  Good stuff!

Safe Harbor – Watercolor on Masa 3″ x 5″

Well, we have left Idaho behind and now we’re in Belize.  Li from WetCanvas had some great images to paint from in her WDE.  Li and her hubby recently spent 10 days exploring Belize.  The location is dear to my heart, because I was married on an island off the coast of Belize…   Ambergris Caye.    While Li enjoyed the ruins, the caves and the jungles, we loved the beaches and the quaint little town of San Pedro.  The people are amazing, no matter what your vacation plans are.  🙂

I think this one had masa written all over it!

Melody Beattie is the author of Codependent No More, published in 1987 by the Hazelden Foundation. The book was successful and influential within the self-help movement, selling over eight million copies and introducing the word codependent to the general public.[1]

Following the success of Codependent No More, Beattie authored over a dozen other books, including Beyond Codependency and The Language of Letting Go. Her most recent book is Make Miracles in Forty Days: Turning What You Have into What You Want, published in 2010. Several of her books have been published in other languages.

On melodybeattie.com, she says this…  “They call me a self-help writer, but I’m not an expert or a guru.  I don’t give medical, psychiatric, or legal advice. I research, and then combine personal experience with what the experts say.  Then I turn that into easy stories for people to watch or read. Sometimes I show people how others (and I) work through certain issues and I suggest options, but I don’t tell people what to do.  I tell them they can do it, instead (a practice referred to as empowerment or permissions therapy.)”

That whole page is very interesting.  Worth a quick read.  🙂

“Don’t look down.  Look up!  The steeper the climb,  the more important it is to laugh.”
–Melody Beattie

Belize City Street Market

“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves.  The process never ends until we die.  And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”
–Eleanor Roosevelt

Yeah!!!  That’s what I was talking about yesterday!  🙂

Belize City Street Market – 5″ x 7″ Watercolor

This reference was super busy, with cars and junk everywhere.  I wanted to practice people, in the simplest form, so I eliminated a lot of stuff.  I have the buildings and perspective all wrong, but it was the people I was after.    I had a great time with this reference by KreativeKay at WetCanvas.   Oh, I added the dog and chickens from two of Kay’s  other photos.  They just wanted to be in the painting, and since I removed the cars, there was no danger of them getting run over.  😀

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt  October 11, 1884 – November 7, 1962) was the First Lady of the United States from 1933 to 1945. She supported the New Deal policies of her husband, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and became an advocate for civil rights. After her husband’s death in 1945, Roosevelt continued to be an international author, speaker, politician, and activist for the New Deal coalition. She worked to enhance the status of working women, although she opposed the Equal Rights Amendment because she believed it would adversely affect women.

In the 1940s, Roosevelt was one of the co-founders of Freedom House and supported the formation of the United Nations. Roosevelt founded the UN Association of the United States in 1943 to advance support for the formation of the UN. She was a delegate to the UN General Assembly from 1945 and 1952, a job for which she was appointed by President Harry S. Truman and confirmed by the United States Senate. During her time at the United Nations she chaired the committee that drafted and approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. President Truman called her the “First Lady of the World” in tribute to her human rights achievements.

Active in politics for the rest of her life, Roosevelt chaired the John F. Kennedy administration’s ground-breaking committee which helped start second-wave feminism, the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women. In 1999, she was ranked in the top ten of Gallup’s List of Most Widely Admired People of the 20th Century.  (Wikipedia)

Mr & Mrs Parker

“Artists must be sacrificed to their art. Like bees, they must put their lives into the sting they give.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Mr & Mrs Parker

Ambergris Caye, Belize

September 17, 2002

What a beautiful day that was, on the day I married Mr. Right.  I just wanted to take a moment to be grateful for all I have been blessed with.    🙂

Have a great weekend!

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Born: 25 May 1803

  • Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts
  • Died: 27 April 1882
  • Best Known As: A founder of Transcendentalism

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s father was the seventh in an unbroken line of ministers dating back to Puritan days, and after attending Harvard Emerson himself became a Unitarian minister. After the death of his young wife and two elder brothers, Emerson began to doubt his faith and in 1832 resigned his ministry. Eventually he settled in Concord, Massachusetts, where he lived most of the rest of his life thinking, writing and speaking. Emerson remains important in American history as a founder of the school of thought known as Transcendentalism. Its chief features were a reliance on intuition over cold scientific reason, a belief that the natural world held spiritual truths, and an optimistic view of the human spirit. Emerson was known as a stirring speaker, eventually earning the sobriquet “the Sage of Concord.”

White Sands Cove Resort

Ambergris Caye, Belize


Snorkeling Anyone?

“There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something tomorrow.”
– Orison Swett Marden

Snorkeling Anyone?

4″ x 4″ Watercolor

I did this last summer.  It just seemed that with all the terrible weather we have going on across the country, we could all use a little warmth.  This is a self portrait from 2002, when I was on my weddingmoon, in Ambergris Caye, Belize.  I call it a weddingmoon because we were married there and we had to be there for three days to establish temporary residency, before they could legally perform the marriage ceremony.  It was pure bliss!  Not a single family member in sight.  🙂

About Orison Swett Marden

Orison Swett Marden, the American writer who is considered the forerunner of motivational authors, wrote an average of two books a year from 1894 to 1924. He was born on a New England farm in 1850. During college, he worked in hotel management. He then used his seed money to buy a resort in Rhode Island. Wanting to inspire people as he himself had been inspired by British author Samuel Smiles, he began writing books like You Can, But Will You? and founded Success Magazine. He died in 1924.