Two more Summer Seaside Cards

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Two more South County, RI notecards.

My daughter just looked over my shoulder and told me the seagull haiku above has only six syllables instead of seven in it’s center verse.

Oh great. Just terrific! I’m glad I sent them all out to print a week ago!

I sure hope there are no poets or English majors hanging out on the sea wall this summer!

;)

Galilee

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This is one of my personal favorite places.  I don’t take for granted just how “New England” the port of Galilee in Narragansett is.

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Even if I’ve been there a hundred times, watching the fisherman load and unload the fishing boats is magical.  It’s one of those professions that hasn’t changed much in a century.   When my kids were babies I’d take them to wave at the boats and feed the seagulls.  I can’t tell you how many hours we passed this way.

Happy memories.

My Childhood Poem

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OK. Drumroll please…..

This is the haiku poem I wrote in the third grade!!!  Thank you to my teacher Mrs. Mylnar for introducing me to the awesomest form of poetry ever!!!

Now think about this.  When I was 9 yrs old I lived on a dead-end road out in the middle of country. I find it so cool that I have this poem as a personal piece of history to actually reflect on what I was thinking about in the third grade.

Where the green grass grows

and the hot sand burns your toes

That’s where I live best

My inner third-grader wanted to live by the beach and guess what???

 Thirty years later I -I –I live by the beach! There you go -the power of manifestation. magic. poof. The universe is too cool.

So this silly little poem is what prompted me to write haiku poems in the middle of the night. Alas none of them could ever be as good as the one from 3rd grade.  Mic drop. I should have quit while I was ahead :)

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This will be in the beach line of notecards for summer 2017.

Favorite Places

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I’ve been creating touristy notecards to sell by the beach this summer.  They represent some of my favorite experiences in South County where I live.  Brickley’s Ice Cream is a MUST.  Especially for us locals.  It’s where you go after a ball game, to celebrate a school achievement, after the beach, after dinner…you catch my drift?

There’s always a long line.  The ice cream is that good. The fun thing is, the whole town is in the line so it’s the place to be!  We hug, chat, catch up and all the kids get to run around with their friends eating ice cream.

Really, does it get any better than that? 

Oh, one more thing. Remember I mentioned not being able to sleep at 3am and writing over 20 haiku poems before finally going back to sleep that night???  There’s a little haiku homage to Brickley’s at the bottom of this card. I have to admit I thought my haikus were prolific that night. It may have been a little bit of delirium. So, if there are any skillful word-sters out there who would like to improve on my poems, I’d welcome the input!

Loosening Up

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I am beginning to work on a group of art prints to sell at Narragansett Beach this summer.  I usually start by loosening up.  I doodle and look for inspiration all over. I also pull up lots of photos of animals and buildings to make sure I am familiar with how many segments are in a lobster body or how many windows are actually on that historic building.

From there I begin sketching lay-outs and illustrations on tracing paper.  I create the image I am happy with on the tracing paper, then I scribble an entire piece of paper with graphite pencil.  The graphite-filled paper will then allow me to engrave and transfer my image to a high-quality piece of paper.  I do this because I can then start painting with a really clean image with no erase marks or damage to the paper.  The other bonus, is if I don’t like the painting, I can re-transfer my initial drawing. I also use them as reference. As the layers of paint get applied, your initial drawing is no longer there to work from. I have a copy of my original ideas.

I am close to finishing the sketching process.  From there I will start painting… I’ll post the progression.

Now to get my cat off all my papers….

Congrats My Dear Friend!

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Have you ever tried writing a book?  I have at least 4 books rolling around in my head.  I never get past page three out of complete frustration! However, my friend Jeanine, she did it and I am so darn proud of her!

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Years ago Jeanine founded a group called Rhode Island Families in Nature.  Her mission is to share her passion for the great outdoors with kids, grandparents, moms, dads and any significant other. It’s do-able, it’s accessible and it’s enjoyable.  To quote Jeanine, “People who regularly spend time outside are happier, healthier, and even smarter than those who do not. And hey, let’s face it: it’s just plain fun to get outside and play!”  Jeanine offers a monthly hike on her website.  All you have to do is show up!

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Now let me get back to the hard work part…  So first she had to write the book – kudos right there! But there is so much more. Jeanine picked the most family friendly hikes from her own experience and then set out with a GPS app to painstakingly map out all 42 trails in her book.  I went out with her a few times on this mission and I tell you she was counting how many steps from the tree until you turn left and documenting any inaccuracies in previous mapping attempts.  She checked parking, strollers, time frames, you name it.  Ok. so she got that done and then had quite  a few more hurdles.  On her own, no backing – her own money, Jeanine hired a map maker, an illustrator, an editor, a graphic designer and alas a printer!  Each process took months and months and she saw it through all by her lonesome.

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I received a text of this photo one day. To most of you this looks like a trunk full of boxes right? 

To me, this photo was filled with so much symbolism, I just love it.  I picture Jeanine  all by herself, giddy and needing to share this with someone – anyone!  I imagine when she looked at her car she must have thought ” HOLY SHIT I DID IT! This is real.There are  actual boxes of my book in my trunk!”  There will be a book launch party this weekend and a lot of celebration, but I’d imagine grasping the reality started with this trunk.

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So I say to all of you who live in NY, CT, MA and RI – think HOLIDAYS!!!  With this book you can go to a place where there are no cellphones or sirens.  It’s quiet and you are hand in hand with the people you love.  Sounds to me like a gift that will keep on giving!

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Congratulations my friend. Job well done!

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Book Launch Party:  Join us on Sunday, September 27, as we explore the northern section of the Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge and celebrate the launch of The Rhode Island Family Hiking Guide and Journal!

Sunday, September 27, 2015
1:00-3:00pm
50 Bend Road, Charlestown

Go Jeanine!

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My girlfriend Jeanine has very carefully hiked the entire state of Rhode Island, very often with her kids and many others, and compiled the perfect guide for family friendly hiking.

 

Quite fitting that she is the founder and director of Rhode Island Families in Nature!

It’s been a long time in the making and she can almost taste the fruits of her labor.

Congrats Jeanine!  I can’t wait to receive my signed copy!  Woot! Woot!

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These were other illustrations I did for the book many moons ago… everything is beginning to get finalized.  The final stages…the finish line!

You don’t have to wait for the book.  Simply go to RI Families in Nature and see where this month’s featured hike will be and if you do, tell my friend Jeanine that Mary sent ya!

Take a Hike!

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These are illustrations I have been working on for a Rhode Island family hiking guide. The book should be out within this year and will provide a wealth of knowledge about where to hike with your kids in the Ocean State.  The author Jeanine Silversmith, is a mother herself.  So, as well as trying most of the trails out with her own kids, she has enlisted many other families to try them out as well.  Her courses are tested and approved!  I marvel at the nature she has already exposed me to and look forward to finding more amazing journeys.

I’ll keep you posted when the book comes out!

DAY #208 – NEWPORT FOLK FESTIVAL

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Thanks to a friend, I was able to score Newport Folk Festival tickets last-minute.

I had never been.  It was pretty darn cool.

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We did arts & crafts.

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We bopped to the music.

I have to say, the smaller bands in the smaller tents were the best part of the day for me. My favorite was a band called Spirit Family Reunion.  If you click on their name right here in my post, you can hear what they sound like.  I’m telling you, I thought their feet were going to go through the stage, they were stomping so hard.  Awesome energy.  I’m going to try to catch them in NYC at some point. Oh, and one of the musicians played a wash board.  My son was amazed!  He’d seen it in cartons but couldn’t believe how great it sounded in a band. It was awesome to expose the kids to so many instruments and to so much talent.

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They also had state of the art headphones so you could hear bands that were playing inside the caverns of Fort Adams.  That was different.

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Somehow we were there seven hours and I still had enough in me to come home and create a little painting.  It’s folk music so of course I had to include a banjo.  It’s in Newport overlooking the Newport bridge, so I added that.  And some might tell you the Rhode Island Red (chicken) is our state bird, but I’d like to argue that in reality, it really should be the seagull.  They are everywhere!  So I made the musician a seagull as a little nod to our locale. I also thought it important to add a little patriotic nod, mainly because folk music is so very uniquely American.

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No complaints here.  We had gorgeous weather.  Spectacular views.  Terrific music.

A perfect day.

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A ride back over the Newport Bridge and we’re home again.

Cool Beans.  Thank you universe.  I’m sure diggin’ this life!

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#108 – AIRPORT DOODLES WHILE STRANDED

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We left for the airport at 10am this morning…It’s now 7pm and we still have two more flights to go.  We are in DC where our latest flight was cancelled.  If we are lucky we will get on a 9pm flight to Boston and a bus back to Providence, RI.  Yep, I’m pretty sure we will be getting home early tomorrow morning sometime.  So, I am sitting in the airport while my husband helps me get my doodles off the phone and onto the laptop, so I can then add them to this blog.  Heck, we have two more hours…why not?  The rumor is everyone has been rerouted or stranded due to Obama visiting Boston.  How lucky are we?  Flights to DC and Boston!!!  Woo Hoo!

So the doodles are just that, doodles.  Who knows why I started drawing silly fish?  Beats me.  I started with two blobs, one left, one right.  Then I had the idea to turn them into fish.  I added the eyes, fins and lips.  After that, I just started to play with patterns.  I like tattooed “male” fish on the left. He seems a little tough.  While the fish on the right seems a little bit of a princess….Yep, applying social constructs to doodle fish….been in the airport too long!

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Next, I told my kids we could get a new cat after vacation because our beloved cat “Pina” died during the last hurricane.  They are very excited.  They told me to draw our new cat….I don’t know what our new cat is going to look like…But I had fun doodling anyway.  As a family, we all agree, the only prerequisite for our new cat is that it is friendly.  We had Pina for 12 years and she hated people.  That included us!  Why do we want another cat????  Yeah, exactly!

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So this is my current state.  I’m so glad I washed the chlorine off of myself this morning!  I am about to hit the “post” button and then continue on with the airport monotony.  I am pretty sure after 3 hours of looking at the Boston Terrorist footage, I could ID them if they walk by…Uggh… Total sadness, drummed into my head non-stop… Way to end my vacation!

But really, we are OK.  We have tons of electronics, tons of junk food, and each other.  Who could ask for anything more!

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