CARDINAL FINAL PANEL3I actually finished this fabric design a few days ago, but the weather has been so lousy I couldn’t get a good photo and the computer editing was taking forever…I should go back and re-photograph …but not any time soon!  It’s good enough for me!

I just loaded my design onto Spoonflower ,ordered a swatch and now I must wait…I hate waiting!  If the fabric looks good I can make my design public and other lovers of Cardinals can order my fabric too.

Speaking of great love of Cardinals.  CBS Sunday Morning had a beautiful segment on Cardinals.  Check it out:  http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/nature-cardinals-in-the-oklahoma-snow/  I must warn you, this segment forces you to decompress, quiet down and be present… This is hard for me to do, but I truly understand its importance… treat yourself!

Other news…

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I have a 4ft x 6ft canvas sitting in my bedroom…massively unfinished. I plan on “JUST SAYING NO TO EVERYONE” in the new year – as politely as possible mind you, because my time has been leaking all over the place.  I need to take it back.  This starts Monday.  Sorry world.

Pottery – I’ve got nothing.  My poor instructor has been sick for almost a month which slowed the kilns to a stand still.  I have lots of cool things I’m doing there, but they have been locked up.  Next week I shall take pictures I hope.  Photos always allow me to visually see productivity, which I need since I always feel like I haven’t got much done!

I am working on stopping this.  The “WORRYING ABOUT TIME” thing.  I’m not sure why I always feel like I’m in a race or need to sprint to the finish line, especially since I don’t even know what the finish line is mind you!!!

Isn’t that the definition of insanity??? I have been feeling insane all month!

Well January is pretty much gone.  My New Years starts Monday.

Taking my time back

Creating an Action Plan

Stopping the Time-Worry Tape Recording in my Head

Freeing up Self to Embrace Happiness

Yep. Tall order.  But, I’m ready to dig in.

Wish me luck!

Block Island Salt Pond


Hooray!  Painting complete!  I feel like this painting’s been kicking around forever!

Here is the progression:

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Wow. It was kind of difficult to know when to stop painting. I had in my head to add a bunch of native plants to BI such as bayberry, Rosa Rugosa, ivy, golden rod and wild Astor. It’s what I love about the island.  You can actually see what would grow in our region if we didn’t have all of the development.

Well, this gouache painting got me back in the saddle. I think I’ve loosened up after not painting for some time.  Next I am going to switch to acrylics and canvas…let’s see what comes out!

Painting Update


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I’m still plugging along.  I only use blue, yellow, magenta, black and white paints.  I mix my own colors.

Well, mid-painting, I ran out of the blue gouache.  My local art supply store was out of gouache (because I bought it all!) and I live an hour from any other store that would carry fine art supplies ( I have to get my kids from school, so there is now way I can drive two hours and pick up paint in time!).  I had to special order the paint which means finishing this painting is on hold until I get the supplies… I can imagine it is just like Van Gogh running out of the organic compounds ochre & umber in the middle of Arles… your just stuck right?  Yeah Vincent. I feel your frustration.

I have a long laundry list of other creative projects I put on hold so I could paint.  I guess the responsible thing to do would be to get all my other work done…maybe even some actual laundry – nah, I’m not that desperate!

OK.  I’ll keep you posted on my progress and I hope you are all taking on something uber-creative today!

Uncovering the Layers


I finished my first painting in some time today and boy was there a lot of angst attached!   Here’s the story…

So last week I had finished the months of interruptions that kept me from painting and was ready to start fresh.  I knew I wanted to start with painting landscapes because I hadn’t done too many during my 365.

I went to the library and amassed my favorites: David Hockney, Milton Avery and a few other books on Fauvist masters.

Next I pulled out ten big blank canvases.

Then I put them back and pulled out ten small 11×14 canvases.

Then I thought maybe I should work out some sketches on 3″x 5″ watercolor paper.

Then I thought well, maybe I should do three samples of each concept and figure out what color scheme I want to work with, then I’ll take the best, paint small 11×14’s acrylic paintings and from there take the best concepts and go to large canvases…

sensible right?…


Well, I got two mini water colors into this process before I felt like I never wanted to paint again!  I had sucked all the joy and spontaneity right out of my own creative process.  Boy I felt absolutely discouraged and all-out bummed.

It took me a day to pull myself together and remind myself I have been dying to paint for the last 4 months!  I returned the books to the library.  I put all the canvases away.  I stopped looking at all the amazing inspiration I had pinned on Pinterest.  I put away everything.

Wow. I had gotten myself into such a perfectionist frenzy there was no way anything could come out yet alone create joy.

From there I asked myself “what do I feel like doing?” and the answer came.  “I want to play with fast strokes and swirl paint.”  OK.   “I want bright clean color and I want to be able to add layers if necessary.”  OK.   “I don’t feel like acrylic at the moment – it makes me too serious.  I’m not in a serious mood…” OK.  Got it.


As soon as I dumped the preconceived notion of everything my painting needed to be, it allowed space for “me” to be.


I felt a little rusty.  I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted it to look like or what I wanted where.   I did a lot of back n’ forth until I found something I could live with.  You know, I guess it’s like the warm up before the run. We’ll call this painting some well needed stretching.

There are quite a few things I’d change in hindsight, but I was happy with where I left it.  The color is beautiful.  The mood is how I feel this time of year.  There’s breeze, sunlight and so much beauty outdoors.  This painting is loosely based on a road I drove down in Jamestown.  It was quiet, well manicured and I just loved the turn I find myself wondering …where does it lead?


Here is the final painting.

It is gouache on heavy cold press paper 30″ x 30″.   I put a bottle and can in the photo at the way top to give you an idea of the size and proportion of the painting.

So the unnerving first painting is out-of-the-way. Hopefully now I can do away with the angst and get back to work!

Ah, it feels good to be back :)


#354- May all your christmases by bright

Oh man. I would love to wake up one morning and see Fruity Pebble colored snow!

That would make for a Very Mary Christmas!! Ha ha ha. That was bad… I know… I know…

It’s funny, when I started this 365 challenge, I had absolutely no idea how it would end.  I’ve lived every day thus far “one day at a time”.  It is only occurring to me now that I have given absolutely no thought to how I am going to make it through the next ten days. I start traveling to be with family for Christmas starting tomorrow.  Packing, gifts, cleaning, becoming Santa, driving, hosting, trying to have a meaningful moment with each person in my life… How in the heck am I going to create something daily for my 365 and simply try to survive what is already the most stressful time of the year for me?

I’m pretty sure you couldn’t hear that giant sigh I just made.

The answer is – I have no idea!

The answer is I will most likely have to work small, I will have to engage my family in whatever I come up with and finally, I’m going to have to give myself a little bit of a break!

That is hard for me because if you asked me a year ago how I would like my 365 to end, I would have said “fireworks”, better yet “I could run through a hand-crafted finish line”  or best “I could sit on Oprah’s couch in Maui and reflect on a great year”.

More likely I will not have showered for three days, my children will be shooting me with Nerf darts, my house may become condemned for the amount of crap on the floor and I will finish out the same way I began, with a few good friends giving me a pat on the back.

Reality isn’t ever as good as my imagination. This is why I chose to create!

So I warn you, if I post a photograph of a pretty swirl in my coffee, a mustard stain on a cocktail napkin or Jesus on some toast, go easy on me!

I am going to try my best, but I have to tell you, I just can’t see how I’m going to make it to that finish line!

I’ll do it though…I’ve come so far, I can’t quit now.


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#322- Vivid Knoll (2)

30″x36″ gouache painting on 140 lb cold press paper.

Wow, this painting didn’t go at all as expected.

I was going for a free spirit, go where the wind takes you painting experience and instead I got the total opposite! I should have known better.  You can’t  plan  spontaneity!

If you look at yesterday’s post, you can see how I back pedaled on half the painting.

#322- Vivid Knoll (4)

Eventually I worked it out.

#322- Vivid Knoll (3)

I got to make some more tree stamps today.  I’m debating on adding one more tree to the bottom right.  I most likely will.  I’ll see if I still think so in the morning and then I’ll post my changes.

You know, I haven’t really worked with gouache in months.  In fact, before this creativity challenge, I had never worked with gouache at all.  I feel like this week the medium finally clicked.  I get its plusses and minuses now. Months ago I tried very hard to create a smooth surface with gouache. Now I see textured brushstrokes are what make these paints so appealing.  I also didn’t realize you could paint over areas nor did I know you could reactivate the paint with water similar to watercolors.  I’m slowly learning through experience.  I have to say, mostly what I adore is this medium’s vibrancy.  I’ve never experienced colors so clean, crisp and vivid.

Now that I’m getting the hang of gouache, I’d like to try again. To try to create more works.  Hey, they can only get better from this point I think right?


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#321- One step forward three steps back (1)

Yesterday’s post was all about using my intuition, you know, going with my gut.

Ah yeah, that didn’t go so well.

I was so excited this morning to wake up and complete this painting.  I really liked it yesterday and I thought it would go smoothly today. Nope.

My concentration was completely off.  blame it on the kids running back and forth, blasting their morning cartoons or blame it on me.  I just couldn’t get into the zone.

Do you know what happens when I don’t get in the zone? This:

#321- One step forward three steps back (2)

I started in one direction, and hours later I was whiting out everything I had worked all day. I just couldn’t find a direction to go in.

I know, I know, some days are like that, but it doesn’t make it any less disappointing!

#321- One step forward three steps back (3)

I printed out my unfinished painting and then used markers to fill it in.  I was hoping to gain some perspective for tomorrow.  Two of these could work, but I am going to rest my eyes and look at it again tomorrow morning.  Hopefully the answer will come.



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