Thursday, May 10, 2018

Traveling to the West!

Hello again!
This month, I am quite late with my blog entry, as we were in the air and on the road in California.  What an incredible state of our union.  We had every kind of weather, and went from coastal to mountains to desert in ten days.  Each place was unique and special. 

Spring was bursting all over.

wisteria in Rockridge

One of the flowers that I love the most is the Calla Lily
which grows on the hills, wild and free.

Of course, visiting our kids is always a highlight.  We made the most of our short time together (these kids are working hard, and time off is hard to we made the most of our weekend, stretching it just a bit on either side of Saturday & Sunday). 

We took the Huckleberry hike.
We saw everything from Manzanita, Huckleberry, Calla Lilies,
wild iris & poison oak. 


We started in the East Bay area, up in the hills of Oakland and Piedmont.  Such beauty!  Spring was at it's best. 

I have no idea....just pretty and petite

We splurged on a very special meal at a very special restaurant.  Sometimes, you just have to go for it, and have memories instead of money, in your bank.

A Berkeley treat
Food changed completely when Alice Waters
came on the scene, with her merry band
of Chefs and foodies.

We ate upstairs in the Cafe.
Delightful, and delish!

We also went to Santa Rosa to see the Charles Schultz Museum (home of Snoopy and friends).

What's not to love?

A truer statement can not be made about Art and the Artist.
We love it and do it, because we cannot think of a world without Art.
Music, Poetry, Drawing, Painting, Crafting
It feeds the soul.

Snoopy agrees!

And off we go to more adventures.

We had to leave our sweet kids and move on to Sequoia, where there was still snow on the ground.  We had hoped to hike in King's Canyon, but there was still too much snow.  However, Sequoia was majestic and filled us with awe.

large is an understatement!!!

We are talking - LARGE!!!

These trees are unique to the area.
the weather and moisture are just what they need to grow so tall.

we weren't kidding about the snow.
It was on the North side of the Park and temperatures were in the 40's.

Working our way to our next stop.
We crossed the Mojave desert and dust storms
to Joshua Tree.
Plants are small and delicate and thirsty here.
When the rain does come (& there are only 3 inches a year)
everything bursts forth in glory.
We were lucky...we came right after they had a bit of rain.

Joshua Trees are unique and this National Park was created to save them
from extinction.  Now, they are healthy and contained in this perfect
enviornment for them.  

It was exciting to see blooms in the desert!

survival is not easy, but there is beauty in the stark desert.

Ocotillo plants do not bloom until after a strong rain.
The color and beauty of this plant, against the backdrop of the desert
was stunning.  There were only a few on the way out of the park.

Beauty and the Beast.
Those spines are seriously sharp!

We completed our trip with friends in Palm Desert and family in Los Angeles, before boarding our plane back to Florida.  With in six days, we were back in the car and heading to Nashville, Tennessee.

But, while I was home, I saw a japanese Boro on Pinterest.  I just had to draw it.  That is the maximum amount of art done this month....a drawing copied from Pinterest, in my sketch book.
See you soon.

Farmer's Boro


Thursday, April 5, 2018

Spring Forward

It has been a busy month for me.  Spring gets very warm, here in Florida, and this Spring is no exception.  The garden is happy and the flowers are beautiful.  We have lots of Orchids, and they are tucked in everywhere.  I thought that I would share some photos of them, for you.

At a local Art fair, we found a bamboo holder for our Orchids.
It is working out just great.

I certainly do not know all of the specific names,
but they are hardy and happy for months.

We have tucked some Orchids into our palms
along with our Staghorn fern.

While our Orchids are thriving, so is the rest of our garden.  Sweet Hubby has been working on our Australian tree fern, and it is coming along nicely, after two years.

Can you see the baby fern, unfurling it's sweet leaves?

Eventually, it will be much taller.
(I had to get down low to give you an idea of what it will be like in the future)

Of course, our geraniums never go away.
These were found in the garden, when we moved in
 and have bloomed delightfully, ever since we placed them in pots.

some plants just have fabulous texture and style

Others live only a short time,
but their blooms are exquisitely elegant!

Our Garden is a place of Peace & Calm

Speaking of Peace.....

I have become a warrior for peace, these days.  My Sweet Hubby and I took to the streets on March 24th for the  "March for Our Lives".  We joined 7,000 of the locals and listened to Students and Teachers, who no longer want gun violence in their schools.  I can no longer stand by and do nothing.  I owe it to my children, and the future generations to help make their schools a place of learning and a safe haven for growth.

7,000 citizens marching for our children's lives

My favorite Quote was, "Arms are for hugging"

Art working

But, I digress..... I have been working,.....really!  

I have started a few projects and even found time to order up some cards from Shutterfly.  They always do such a nice job of printing, and I am continually pleased with the product.  

These arrived within a week of my order!
(No, Shutterfly is not paying me to promote them; I just really like their product)

I think that they turned out nicely, don't you?


Here is some other stuff that I have been working on.  I also have done some work that I can share eventually, but it is a gift for friends, so don't want to spoil their surprise.

Ok, this one is really out of season,
I was working with my watercolors again.
I am thinking of notecards for next
Christmas & Hanukkah.

I was 'playing with rocks' in colored pencil.

Cattails (Typha)
colored pencil

And lastly, I have been experimenting....

 I have wanted to do a black and white drawing with a modern edge.  This is what happened.  Ha, I think that I should stick to flowers and plant life, but it is good to try something different, every once in a while.  

"My Peeps"
colored pencil

It's been busy, and plans to get busier this month.  I may not get as much work done, but I am definitely going to make some time to "play" this month.  We may even go exploring.  

Peace - Harmony - Laughter - Love

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Paper Cranes of Hope

Hello friends

The months are passing quickly, with many activities and visitors coming our way.  The Southern weather, has been a delight this past month, allowing me to get out and walk the beach or sidewalks around the neighborhood.  I have not shed one pound, but my spirit loves the water and the warmth.

Sadly, I am making paper cranes again.  I first made paper cranes when my husband was quite ill.  I am grateful to say, that he is healthy today.  The cranes were made for hope and they allow for contemplation, when I create each one.  I am now making them to send back to Colorado, to a friend who needs not only prayers, but paper cranes. I want to send him some "Hope".

I had forgotten just how tricky it is to make these cranes.  It took me many attempts, yesterday, to get one that actually looked like a crane.  There are so many instructions on the internet.  I had many choices to help me.  I ended up using four different patterns, before I figured it out.  (Some are definitely easier to understand than others).  I will share the results with you, before they are sent away through the post.

I went out and bought Origami paper,
 It proved much easier to fold than thicker art paper.
(the origami paper crane is red & white)

In February, our Amaryllis bloomed.  It was a double bloom - a Holiday gift from a friend.  I worried that it wouldn't open, as so many times, the bulbs never really make it to flowers.  But, bloom it did and it was grand.  I decided to draw it and create a colored pencil of the flower.  

First, I created a sketch, and then the cartoon (do you remember, from my last post, that it is the tracing paper pattern?).  I transferred the cartoon to Strathmore Bristol smooth paper. and worked in colored pencils.

The following photos are the stages of my work.  I still have some fine tuning to do, but it is mostly complete.  I don't frame much of my work any more, but I do think that this one will get a frame.

(I am sorry about the darkness of the sketch.)
I liked the composition, and started in the back ground.

...slowly filling in the space

Almost done!

It's complete, for the most part.
I finished up on details and then I let it rest for a bit.
I will come back to it in a few weeks, and see what it needs to be complete.

A quick question, if you find time to answer.... would you like to see cards made from this?   Let me know.  I am considering it.

I wanted to share one last thing.... 
The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, in Sarasota are presenting an Andy Warhol exhibit in flowers.  The Gardens always do a great job of combining an Artist's work and then translating it to the gardens.  I have thrown in a few photos to tempt you, if you are in the area.  It is worth seeing.

Interpretation of Warhol

February 11th - June 30th
Don't miss it!

An epiphyte world
 of Warhol!

If you are not into Warhol, the Botanic Gardens is still worth a visit.
This is Sarasota Bay!

So, with that, I will leave you to enjoy March.  For many, it is the season of storms, with snow and winter cold in endless supply.  I hope that you are in a place, where the buds are starting to show, but if not, I can always supply you with a touch of summer.  

                                                         Be Well.  Hope.  Be kind.