Friday, November 9, 2018

November notes

The Mid-terms elections have come and gone.....though, in my State, much is still undecided.  But, more people than ever got out to VOTE, which is wonderful.    Our political environment is still proving a challenge for me and my stress levels.  I am ever hopeful of better things to come.

In the meantime, I have taken up Yoga, to calm and balance my life.  I hope that it helps.  Right now, I am just feeling new muscles and aches, but I really like it, and I think that I see small (teensy, tiny) improvement everyday, in my well being.

It was a good month to get out my colored pencils, paints and pencils and get some drawing done.  I did a lot of sketching in front of the television, while watching a new favorite show.  I used my studio time as a way to find peace and serenity from the 'news of the day'.

So, here is what I have been up to:

pencil sketch (H, 2H, B)

pencil sketch

pencil sketch

We took some time out and went to St. Petersburg, Fl, to the Chihuly Museum.  It is a small jewel with blown glass beautifully displayed.  The movie that is available, is quite long, but if you are a fan of Dale Chihuly, just sit down for and hour (or two) and immerse yourself in the life and art of glass blowing on a large scale.  I would go back in a minute and sit through that film all over again.  The glass presented in the museum was just as amazing, though smaller than his museum in Seattle.

Each tube is blown by a skilled glass blower - with Dale's guidance and encouragement.

Perfect spheres were blown and placed in a boat.
I have seen this presented at the Denver Botanic Gardens; the Seattle Chihuly Museum
and in St. Petersburg.
Each one has been unique to it's surroundings.

Home again, to our back yard - the orchids are blooming!
You may see this painted at some point.
The blooms can stay for two to three months!

Colored Pencil Work

Fritillaria imperialis in colored pencil

This one was just fun to do and it went quickly.
That doesn't always happen.

a quick colored pencil drawing
of Peppers - a fun exercise.


Water color sketch of peppers
As you can see, I need a lot of work in water color.
I am going to be working on this a lot more in the new year.

Thought I would throw in an oldie
I did in colored pencil several years ago.

Curcubita in colored pencil

and last but not least,

a long ago watercolor.

I hope that you have the privilege  of spending time with friends or loved ones.  Gather those around you and have a pot luck or what ever, to celebrate the season's harvest..and each other.  Life is precious and the glorious food of the season is well worth celebrating.  


Every month

As long as there is gun violence,
I will post this candle

Monday, October 8, 2018

The Texture of Life

I love texture.  I love to see it and absorb it and then translate it.  It reminds me of my life at the moment....filled with textures that I am trying to absorb and translate.  I will let you know what I find out???

Wavy Stripes 

iron beehive
Russian Museum - Minneapolis, MN

This past month I took a journey back in a High School gathering, in Minneapolis.
Two years ago, I had gone back to celebrate a significant High School Reunion.  Honestly, we all had so much fun, we decided that we really didn't want to wait too long to we took the nearest "0" birthday (as I like to call them) and had a significant "Birthday Bash"!  A lady never tells her age, so you will just have to guess how old we all are.    I promised myself that this time, I would just celebrate friendships and explore Minneapolis, and the areas where my family had lived.  

I also chose to visit some of the wonderful sights of Minneapolis.  First up was the American Swedish Institute, which I have always wanted to see.  It's a mansion,  really, that is magnificent, all by itself, but imagine my surprise when there was and exhibit of Gudron Sjoden!

The creativity of the displays were astonishing.
I was taken away with this paintbox, in which they used Scarves
as the paint along with these gigantic
 paint brushes.

I knew nothing about this woman, but now I am a huge fan of her work.  She is a painter and a textile artist, with a funky and fun, clothing line.  Her use of color just takes my breath away and it makes me want to go wild with my painting.  I know....that will never happen!

This quilt is filled with texture and line and COLOR!

see what I mean?  lots of color and fun in the clothing line.

This photo is pretty dark, but can you see the crown?
the embroidery?  and that slip? 

Paint brushes were used as the heads.
Also, She uses three strong color palettes:

This is her creative process
Patterns, Texture, Color, style

I think that Gudron must be a wildly happy person, filled with the joy of life.  She projects this in all of her work.  There were also a few more quilts that I will share, just because I love her work so much.  

You can go on line and find her clothing and work.  She is also on instagram, which is fun!
So if you need a lift and want some colorful ideas for clothing, or art work,
remember her!

I will now share what I have been working on for the past month.  I finally......finally, finished up my rock painting.  I seem to get slower with my work, and sometimes a piece just doesn't hold my interest, but eventually, I complete it, whether I love it or not.  The good and the bad and the ugly all have a place in my heart.  I did try to capture the textures of the rocks.

"Rocking Maine" 

After I completed the rocks, I went in a totally different direction.  I took out some watercolor paper (cold press 140 lb - which is not what I would ordinarily use), my watercolors & just threw out a painting.  Here is the result:

My Cala lily kids

I decided to repeat it in colored pencil.
I will share that next month

I will leave you with these chiming bells that were at the Walker Art Center outdoor Sculpture Garden.  We enjoyed a sunny, breezy afternoon there, and the sounds captured my heart.  I hope that this blogger video works, as this is the first time I have tried it.  

Minneapolis is a wonderful city and we explored all of it.  But what it really comes down to, in most cities is the people, and Minneapolis has wonderful people.  It may get cold there in the winter, but the hearts of my high school friends, and everyone else we met in this amazingly diverse city, had the warmest hearts around.  



Of course, I have a preference, and if you know me, you will know exactly what I would prefer, but voting is a privilege that we have in the United States, so take time to understand and study the amendments - then go to the polls and vote.    Your government is all about YOU and what YOU want and need.  If you don't vote, you can't complain.  That's all.

And lastly, lastly:  


In loving memory
Bunny G
1951 - 2018
She epitomized all that was good in the world
I will miss her more that she will ever know.

Thursday, September 6, 2018


Labor Day is behind us but it still seems like summer here.  We have had rainy days, but the sunshine seems to peek through in the mornings, as I take my daily walk.  It is still quite hot, but since I have put my genealogy away for the winter, I am on to other adventures.

We celebrated another Anniversary - sweet Hubby and me!  We are moving into the big numbers now, so each year that we can enjoy together is a good excuse to celebrate.  We decided to cool off in a big way, and headed to Alaska for a few weeks.

Double Wow....Triple Wow!  I loved the experience on a smaller boat.  There were only 39 of us on the small ship, and we had guides galore to give us Alaskan History, Geology, Anthropology, and Cultural information.  We had indigenous guides, who shared with us the cultural clans and make up of Alaska.  Since we were only on the inside passage, we had Tinglit & Haida guides.

The Beauty of Alaska can better be described in photos.  So, here are mine.  Hope you enjoy them.  I promise to be back next month, with some finished art work.

As we flew into Seattle,
we were met with a red ball of sunlight.
The fires on the west coast, had turned the sky orange.

Sadly, I am unable to show you some wonderful photos of Sitka, as this old computer cannot read the images from a new iPhone.  Oh joy, technology always seems to be just a step ahead of me.  Trust me, Sitka, was a beautiful spot with a major Russian influence.  We were able to visit the Russian Orthodox Church and hear about it's history in Alaska, along with amazing Russian icons on every wall.

This was a charming totem.
We made a point of finding as many totem carvings as we could, because they are such an important part of the culture of Alaska and it's people.

Tlingit robe

I have made this photo quite large, so that you can see the intricacy of the weaving.
This is Chilkat weaving.  It was worn by high ranking tribal members
of the Tlingit, Haida clans and other NW coast peoples.

We spent some time on Kake (pronounced like "Cake"),
learning about the culture of the Tlingit.
Our days were mostly sunny and warm for Alaska.

We had opportunities to hike.
Red Alder

We were able to tuck into small inlets where the BIG SHIPS  could not
enter....We would be the only ones in these primal spaces, uncluttered and pristine.
This morning, we awoke to ice flows and a reflective rainbow.


Sunsets in a cove with our cozy small ship

Old cabins became artwork after the moss and lichens took over!

Even old piers - long gone - became art pieces!

The color in the grasses filled my heart.

Still waters run deep

We saw a lot of wildlife.
There were eagles flying all about us, though this one was injured
and at a Raptor Center that we visited in Sitka.

Heading to Glacier Bay

These are the size of trucks - bigger than you think
and stunning in their beauty.

You could take a kayak and go into the bottom of the glacier
You would NOT want to do that, just in case it decided to calve (break off - KABOOM!!)

yes, the noise is loud and the waves roll at you - so we stayed a safe distance.

You can see two large cracks starting, just to the right of center.
The warmth was causing a lot of small calving, though we were told that the chunk that
just fell, was about the size of a car.
The very large black chunk to the left is actually a massive piece that broke off.
It looked like an island.

The seals were fun and funny and a bit lazy.

Majestic Mountains pop right up from the water.
This is another massive glacier.

On the last night of our cruise, we were awakened at 2:00 a.m.  to see the Northern lights.  This has always been on my bucket list, so I whipped on a jacket over my 'jammies' and raced to the bow of the ship, along with Sweet Hubby.  Yes, they were everything that I expected and more.  The light danced across the horizon and for 45 minutes we stood in amazement.  

To be able to get away from the hubbub of life...with no phone, internet or news of the day, we were able to completely calm our souls down and drink in nature at it's very best.  Alaskans are lucky that way, and from everyone that we were able to interact with, I think they know just how lucky they are.
I am sure the winters are long and dark, but the beauty cannot be touched any where. 

Carved wooden door

Back on land, in Juneau, we were able to visit the Alaska State Archives & Museum.  If you have read James Michener's, "Alaska", you would love this museum.  Even if you haven't read his book, you would be amazed at the wonderful art, artifacts and history at this museum.

exquisite beading

One last photo of this beautiful land.
I am most grateful that I could enjoy this experience in my lifetime.

Back to our beauty and sunshine

So, there you have it.  As I write this, we are having yet another monsoon rain.  We have had about 14 inches in the past few weeks and it continues.  We have had such a terrible time with the "Red Tide" on our beaches, that we are hoping that these rains help to clear it up.  It has definitely improved in the last week.  We will walk our favorite beach tomorrow morning, with hope that our little place of beauty is on the mend.

Take a moment to think about the beauty where you live.  This world is a lovely place and most people are lovely people.  It is often the noisy ones that capture our attention or the catastrophes around the world.  Turn off your phone and after you read this, take a break from the computer.
You won't regret it.

Until next month: