Thursday, May 11, 2017

....And Life Goes On...the bitter & the sweet.

Life seems to go along at a steady pace and then...Kaboom!  Something happens.  Sometimes, it is extraordinary in it is a delight and at other times, it is just difficult to imagine.

I have been away, doing both of these things in the past month.  We were delighted to visit Seattle, with a bit of rain and chilly weather, for a very special weekend.  My niece got married to the most delightful man.  They are a bit older and wiser and have found a perfect match in each other.  Kaboom!  We celebrated their marriage, overlooking the Pike Place Market, on a blustery late afternoon.  The Sun popped out, just in time for a spectacular sunset.  And....all was well with the world.  

Here are some photos of Seattle - a lush city filled with good energy and great food.  We stayed at a wonderful B&B - The Greenlake Guesthouse.  If you ever get to Seattle, this is the place to stay!!

View from the wedding venue

view from the Chihuly Museum

Delicious feast after the wedding!

Chihuly Museum
A magical experience
Don't forget to have lunch in the Collections Cafe!


My gift to the Newlyweds.
Cherry Blossoms in Spring
Sharing the joy of their wedding day was so sweet.


Just as we were packing up to leave Seattle, our lives took quite a turn....more bitter than sweet.
My Father died quietly, in his sleep, on May 1st.
I can't say that I was surprised, because he lived to the age of 102 years old.  He lived a very full and satisfying life, filled with all that he wanted to accomplish (how many of us can say that?) and all that he had hoped for.  He started out small, but became a mega star in his field, and then gave back to this world, as much as he could.  We will miss him and it will be difficult not to have him in our lives.

The last photo taken of my Dad was at his sister's internment.
She recently died at 104,5
The longevity of these siblings is amazing.

We are off on another Journey, and then to a Memorial Service for my Dad.  
I will be back here next month
And hopefully, back to work on my art.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Color of Orchids

Tis the Season for Orchids, in Florida.  It is always warm enough for Orchids to bloom, here, but there is actually a season, when they bloom outdoors and this seems to be one of the better years for them.  We have gone to many Orchid shows, as there are so many varieties to learn about.  We always end up taking away a few specimens, and this year is no exception.  When they are done blooming inside the house, we take them outside and tuck them in a tree (a palm works well), or in our garden pots.  They seem to thrive in that atmosphere.

The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, in Sarasota, also have a wonderful selections of Orchids, and often have shows, based entirely around the orchid.  It never fails to uplift my spirits, to walk the grounds and enjoy all of their flowers, but when I step inside the greenhouse, magic takes over, and my spirit soars.  If you are ever in the area, it is definitely worth the visit.

So, without further ado....a selection of Orchids for the soul.  

Here is a selection from an Orchid Show

Proudly, this was the first bloom on the Orchid in our pot.
There are three different species in the pots, and this was the first to bloom.
It has been blooming for over two months, and has taken a beating from the
pollinating Oak Tree above.  

An individual bloom on the White Orchid.

It looks a bit bedraggled here....the black dots are small seeds from the mighty Oaks in the yard.

Next up is this beauty.
It is slowly (very slowly) opening up
and it is a lot smaller than the White Orchid.

Last, but not least is this sweet yellow-green Orchid,
with a happy face.
It just popped up yesterday.

Days end - a backward reflection
of the Penta's and our Orchid.

This is a quick sketch from my sketch book
I was using colored pencil.
Not my best, but when you are watching
television and trying to draw, it is never
your best work!!

This was done at my desk, and is a combination of
water color and colored pencil.
I find that painting Orchids, is tricky and complicated.
I always feel a bit heavy handed  when I am
trying to catch their  delicacy.

Well, that is it for this month.  We will be having guests for a week long visit, and then heading to Seattle, for a wedding in our family.  (So exciting!!).  I love celebrations.  Next month, I will try to squeeze in some of the work that I have been doing for these celebrations (though, one did get away from me before it was photographed). 

Hopefully, I will get a blog in before we leave for a Big trip, but not to worry, I will be here for most of the summer, so we can catch up in June! 

Have a great month.  Enjoy your Spring, where ever it may be, and leave me a message, if you feel inclined.  

Monday, March 6, 2017

Warmer Days & a Busy Spring

This is a busy time of year, with a lot happening on the Gulf Coast of Florida.  It is called "The Season" by many and this is when every day is filled with adventure. 

In St. Petersburg, just north of us,
there is a small but interesting exhibit about Frida Kahlo.
Mostly, it is filled with photographs
and an extensive history of her life,
but there are many sketches,
as well, and several paintings.

The Exhibit is at the Dali Museum,
if you happen to be in the neighborhood.

There are exhibits nearby, along with many Home & Garden tours.  It is so much fun, to see how people work with their homes and their gardens, in this tropical climate.  We get lots of ideas for our own home and garden, which is never really complete....there is always something to improve on.

The Selby Gardens, in Sarasota is also having an exhibit of Marc Chagall's work, and they have turned the greenhouse into a beautiful space.  It is well worth a visit if you are nearby.  The Gardens are outdoing themselves, as they improve the orchid and epiphyte collection.  We pop in whenever we are in the neighborhood, and there is always something new and exciting to see.

This circular creation was in the entryway
of the exhibit

Replica's of Chagall's stain glass windows were along the glass walls.
It felt magical and healing to my spirit, to know
how he continued to express love in the most hateful of times.
He loved flowers and used them as an expression of his emotions
in much of his work.  

I wanted to share a bit of our garden, as we planted Orchids in pots and placed them in our planters, outside.  We have three growing in one pot and the first on has bloomed.  I thought that you might enjoy a peek at it's beauty.  We are becoming Orchid crazy, and have enjoyed going to a few Orchid shows in the area.  There is always something to learn.

Oops....I should have trimmed the flowers before I took this photos.

A closer look.

I have also been working on several things.  One is a gift for a newborn, EB, that is a surprise for her, so I did not take a photo of it, as it was just for Momma, Daddy & EB.  

I have also been working on a wedding gift...and I will share that after the wedding.  It's been fun to create for friends and family.

This last photo is of a piece that I gave to a good friend who moved back to Canada, recently, because of her health.  Oh, how I will miss her and her husband.  They are funny, fun, smart, and loving.  
I think of the quote about people coming into your life for a season or a reason....and this couple did just that...they were friends for a season or five...and definitely for a reason.  I am grateful to have known them.

This colored pencil drawing, now resides in Canada!

I will be back next month...a bit earlier in the month, I hope.  Time seems to get away from me, and before you know it, another month has passed.  

I hope that Spring is starting to open it's doors and windows for you....with crocus blooming or baby grape hyacinths peeking up.  Soon, the tulips will show their beauty and the flower season will be off and running.  Enjoy the warmer days (and nights).
It's been windy here and exceptionally warm, so we are in a bit of a drought.  Spring rain would be welcome.

Peace be with you.  We need more peace and love...quiet and caring....embracing everyone.  Be kind to each other.... I have seen some mean spirited actions when I am out and about, and it solves nothing, so just BE KIND.    Thanks....I feel much better now.  See you soon.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Notebook Playtime

I have been playing with my color crayons, colored pencils, and pencils, while I watch television, at night.  It calms me and allows me to sit through the new.  

At present, I am knitting pink caps at night, so my scribbling (and you will see that some of it is really scribbling)has been left to late afternoon.  I have been experimenting with crayons, and then going in with colored pencils on top of the crayon.  It has been partially effective, but it definitely casts a slight haze on my creation.

Also, I am taking an online class from one of my favorite Teachers, Susan Rubin, on Craftsy.  If you are interested in taking an online class on Colored Pencil Essentials, this is definitely the place to go. 

So, here is what I have been up to this month.

Every Artist needs to practice.  This is my practice sheet.
Since I have some issues with my dominant hand, this practice
was challenging for me.  Still, I learned quite a bit by doing it.

Hey, not all of what I do is good.  Some is simply playing.
It can turn out quite badly, but I am practicing some skills
or just noodling.  It's all fun

I was just scribbling on this one as well.  Nothing specific,
just playing around with pine tree needles in another way.

My friend gave me the sketch book that I have been using.  When I showed her
what I was doing, she fell in love with this particular piece.  This is a sketch from a
photo that I took, years ago.  It is in colored pencil and I have been playing with it for months.
I just continue to go back and add a bit here and there.
I think that this piece will end up in Canada, with my friend.

So, that is it for this month.  I just wanted to share what I am doing on a daily basis.  Nothing is screaming at me to do right now, and company is coming, so playtime will be limited.  However, I will share more goodies next month.

Until then, make it the best day that you can.  I have been getting quite worked up over political issues in the past few weeks, but I have faith, that Karma will do it's work and some of the craziness will come to a halt.  I am always for good change, but not hateful change.  So, think kind thoughts, and try to extend a hand of friendship, where ever you can.  We don't know each others stories, but a smile goes a long way in this world.   See you soon.  

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

In the Pinkish for February!

The color combination of white and red becomes pink.  This color seems appropriate after picking White & Red in the past two blog posts.  It also seems to be just the right combination for this month, as we head into Valentines.  

My heart goes out to all the women in Pink this month.  Politics are not a part of this blog, but to see so many women standing together, made my heart leap.  It is a good thing, when we stand together in peace and harmony.  It is a good thing when we are out in this universe, with our art and blogs and working quietly to change the world for the be noticed and heard.  It is a comfort.

So, with that in mind, I hope that you have family, friends and "loves" around the universe, that you can shower with love this month, and going forward.  Don't wait to tell them....let them know with Valentines, e-mails, phone calls, and letters. Yes, let them know just what they mean to you and your life.

I am also going to share a bit of a trip that we took before the Holidays, to Cuba.  I had no idea what to expect, but it far exceeded my expectations.  That is not to say that it is a perfect place.  No, it is in it's imperfections, that it touched my soul.  With it's infrastructure crumbling and struggles of survival, the people are vibrant, talented, individuals.  The art...the buildings....the warmth of the breezes and yes, the cars, brought delight.

So, without further ado, I will share a mixture of Cuba and Pink.

As for some art, I will tuck in a photo of one of my pink pieces.  I have more work completed, but have not transferred the photos to my computer.  I may just pop in twice this month, if I get lucky.

Happy Valentines Day! 


The Cubans take great pride in their Automobiles.
This one was perfect in Pink!

Of course, there were other colors, if you had a preference!

Entering the port of Havana, in the early morning.

Art in the Central Square - one of my favorite sculptures.

We had the pleasure of hearing many outstanding, choral groups.
Much of our day was spent with Government guides,
wanting to show us the best of Cuba.
With our own eyes, we could see between the lines.

A view as entered Havana. 

The National Ballet Company.

Behind many buildings, there was simply nothing....
This building was being restored with Unesco funds, as it is a fine
example of the original and historic, Spanish Architecture.

With some exceptions, much of the art was political.
(Castro died about a week after our visit.)

A change of direction,  after Cuba
These are bougainvillea, planted in our outdoor pots.
Just a hint of pink in this delicate flower.

A birthday gift; this Cactus just started to flower !

Our Hibiscus bush is always happy and full of pink blooms!


I believe that this is a Japanese dogwood.
I completed two of these from the same cartoon.
One is in Watercolor and one in Colored Pencil.
Can you guess which one this is?