Thursday, December 29, 2011

Messenger, Illustration Friday

This little messenger wants to know if anybody else is ready for a new year...
Hoping that 2012 brings good health, many creative days, and plenty of good fortune to go 'round.
Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Separated, Illustration Friday

I recently separated myself from the blog for a couple of weeks. Though creating my blog was initially intended as a way to participate in Illustration Friday's weekly challenges, this year I've been blessed with visits from other bloggers who've reached out with their comments; some who drop in periodically and others who faithfully return.
Thanks to all of you! What wonderful gifts of friendship you've shared with me- I feel extremely fortunate to have had the pleasure of meeting all of you by way of blogging and learning about your artistic experiences through your posts. Even more so, that some of you return despite my ramblings and goofy puns. Those couple of weeks went by quickly, without anything to offer for IF, but during that brief intermission, it almost felt like there was a part of me that was missing...
Here's to hoping you enjoy all the best parts of the holiday season! ;o)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Brigade, Illustration Friday

It's Thursday night and there's still lots to do to prepare for the holidays! Wish I could call in this flying brigade to help with the tasks which are mounting. Cross another item off the list- here's one to greet those who might visit and will double as a post for Illustration Friday.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Stripes, IF

A late Thursday night quickie, just for the fun of it.
Sometimes things just defy explanation. Looking forward to next week's word challenge!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Scary, Illustration Friday

Barely finished with the Halloween candy, goblins and spirits, and the Dia de los Muertos sugar skulls and paper mache skeletons are just settling down for another year's slumber.
But don't look now...

Hee hee hee hee hee!
Ho ho ho ho ho!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fuel, Illustration Friday

Who knows what spooky concoctions are brewing this month as we prepare for the little ghouls and goblins to visit? A little bit of this and a little "bat o' dat," add a few bags of candy and there will be more than enough fuel to create a cauldron of fun!
"Witch" reminds me, before I fly off for the week... I'd like to wish everybody a Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Scattered, Illustration Friday

The past few weeks found me here and there, mostly there, as in far away from my desk. Imagine my giddiness when Illustration Friday announced that the theme this week would be "Scattered!" It's almost time to hand out the treats, as I've been doing my share of sampling them lately.
Inspiration is in the fall air! Some of my favorite bloggers are also scattering good deeds and sharing treats this week.
I promise these are not tricks- They're all guaranteed to put smiles on your face!
Ooh La La Design Studio
Shirley's Illustrations
Linda Hensley Art & Design
Anybody know of other good tricks or treats? Please share, if you do! Thanks!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hibernate, Illustration Friday

There was a really heavy quote about hibernation this week, which I opted not to include. Instead, I'll just leave it at this. It's possible to hibernate without actually going underground for the winter. Look around, there are a lot of people existing in various states of suspended animation. Hope they'll wake up and appreciate the beauty around them!

Thanks for visiting and your comments, if you feel like saying what's on your mind- I do appreciate hearing from you! And should you find me in a suspended state, a gentle nudge should bring me back around!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Ferocious, Illustration Friday

Minor inconveniences of living in southern California, our Santa Ana winds roar down mountain canyons and seemingly blow everything that's not nailed down out to sea. Along with bone dry days and generally aggravating conditions for those who are prone to allergies, they often increase the likelihood of wildfires, by accident or arson. These winds are not nearly as destructive as tornadoes, but still ferocious!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mesmerizing, Illustration Friday

Here's the image I'm submitting for this week's word challenge over at Illustration Friday.

Doodling is a mesmerizing activity which has kept generations of students awake, albeit in an altered state of consciousness, as their instructors feed them the daily lessons. While many of my generation's class instructors seldom valued our efforts scribbled in the margins of our papers, classes now exist to release the doodler within. Just curious, would students in doodling class receive demerits for non participation?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Disguise, Illustration Friday

No, this isn't one of those "Monster a Day" posts, but is inspired by a little sea creature who comes naturally equipped with its own disguise. Seadragons are relatives of the pipefishes. They can be found fluttering about, propelled by their leafy appendages, perfectly camouflaged in the kelp beds off western and southern Australia.
Don't tell this guy, but I doubt he'll need to shop for a Halloween costume anytime soon!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Influence, Illustration Friday

"In the beginning you must subject yourself to the influence of nature. You must be able to walk firmly on the ground before you start walking on a tightrope." ~ Henri Matisse

Today was spent quietly at my desk, alone with my watercolors and few distractions. As I watched my intentions float across the page suspended in pigmented puddles, it was clear that my hands rarely pick up a paintbrush without feeling the influence of all the artists whose work I have or will become familiar with.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Ray of Sunshine

A good sunshiney day to you! A while back, Linda Hensley stopped by with a cheerful greeting and a sunshine award for me...I have been slowly getting around to making this announcement, but here it is.
Linda's an illustrator and designer who's a whiz at creating art that's not only visually and technically stunning, but her accompanying posts are always a kick to read as well. She creates straight from the heart, spicing things up with personal experiences which are always informative and thought provoking. I'm glad to have met her through blogging and appreciate the award she shared with me. Stop by her blog and say "Hello!"

The rules for receiving the award:
- Thank the person who gave you the award.
- Write a post about it.
- Answer the questions below.
- Pass it on to 10 bloggers who you think really deserve it and send them a message to let them know.

My unofficial answers to
The questions:
01. My favorite color: Green
02. My favorite animal: Dogs!
03. My favorite number: #8, round yet balanced
04. My favorite non-alcoholic drink: Water
05. Facebook or Twitter? Neither, yet
06. My passion: Peace, baby!
07. Getting or giving presents? Giving
08. My favorite pattern: Florals, even though vertical stripes are friendlier ;o)
09. My favorite day of the week: Sunday, a fresh start
10. My favorite flower: Wildflowers and Tropicals

Do you know these Sunshine Award winners? They're all creative, talented and inspiring in their individual crafts. I hope you enjoy visiting them!

10 Favorite Bloggers:
Rose Hill Designs
Leen Christens Illustrations
My Creative Day
From Jen's Pen
Vicki Smith Art
Ms. Moffatt
ValGal Art
Janets dibby illustrator journey
Forest & Sea
Superpo Adventures

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Obsession, Illustration Friday

On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off...

Sometimes you are, sometimes you aren't. And sometimes it's OK not to be either.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Perennial, Illustration Friday

A good scientist is a person in whom the childhood quality of perennial curiosity lingers on. Once he gets an answer, he has other questions.” ~ Frederick Seitz

It figures that Illustration Friday and Mike would come up with a really challenging word this week, "Perennial," while I'm experiencing a case of the summer doldrums. Actually, it's been a period of "what should I do next?" but those activities have been unrelated to painting.
While walking the pups one quiet morning, it occurred to me that these native old oaks that live along the creek fit the bill. I often marvel at how these sturdy trees plant themselves near a source of water, maintain their stances for decades among competing plant life and only give in when disease, intermittent drought, flooding or landscaping crews come along to clear the way for "improvements."
After this quick sketch for IF, I'm heading over to see how Mike interpreted his own suggestion. I might even have a question for him, like "How did you come up with this one?"
Wishing everybody a curiously creative week!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Gesture, Illustration Friday

Just a simple gesture of aloha in the form of a quick watercolor for this week's IF challenge.
The scent of sweet plumeria blossoms sent my thoughts traveling back in time, to early mornings sitting around Auntie's table, where she would teach us kids how to string leis with the freshly picked flowers.
Just daydreaming...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Stay, Illustration Friday

This is one that stayed under wraps until this week, when I decided it might be a good time to complete it for IF.
Stay cool this week, as summer temps soar!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Remedy, Illustration Friday

"To do nothing is sometimes a good remedy" ~ Hippocrates

A quick watercolor for IF this week, the fragrant lavender has been used as a remedy for a variety of ailments. Its soothing, calming effects suggest that Hippocrates might have been sniffing fields of it when he offered this advice.

If you'd like to try your hand at creating a unique gift from your garden, please visit My Creative Day. It's a brand new blog whose writer's first post offers step by step instructions to create a lavender wand. It's possible that the aromatic properties of one of these wands might magically take you to other faraway places, but I have a feeling that many more interesting and creative adventures could materialize if you decide to visit!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Midsummer Night, Illustration Friday

Been lured outdoors many a midsummer night by the sweet, intoxicating fragrance of this night blooming cactus. The spell lasts only for one evening and by mid morning, the flower has all but collapsed.
Was it able to entice that special pollinator? Only by the appearance of its fruit will these secrets be revealed!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Launch, Illustration Friday

Did I miss a post? I was swept away on a short trip up north and back late last week. But upon my return, I took a short detour into a cough syrup induced haze, launched into a colorful fog of daytime television and naps. While staring off into space, this gallery of refrigerator spin art came into view and brought me back to earth for a quick re-entry to reality and IF.
Hope you're all having healthier weeks! Looking forward to visiting with you art bloggers as soon as all the channels are working again!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Shadows, Illustration Friday

"I look out the window sometimes to seek the color of the shadows and the different greens in the trees, but when I get ready to paint I just close my eyes and imagine a scene." ~ Grandma Moses

I couldn't have said it any better than Grandma Moses, a true independent and artistic spirit. So today, my submission for Illustration Friday is one that I recently painted just for the sake of painting, something equally inspired by my surroundings here at the ol' homestead, and my imagination.

But before I sign off, I'll leave you with a link to another example of shadows from last summer. We weren't seeing many of them, so when the sun finally broke through, it put a whole new perspective on life! If you're so inclined, you may view it here.

Looking forward to seeing many more shadows this week!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Asleep, Illustration Friday

In many parts of the world, naps are taken during the day to increase worker productivity. Apparently, this habit has its roots in warmer climates, where a rested worker was a happy and useful worker. It just makes sense, doesn't it?
The last time I remember naps being part of my routine was in kindergarten, and I was one of those kids who never slept. When the teacher wasn't looking, I quietly sneaked peeks around the room to see which of my classmates was nodding off.
Today, I'm making up for it. Seems like there's never enough time to catch a few "Z's." And as the day progresses, while not exactly asleep, I'm at least half aware that it's time to get moving before I miss my chance to post this pic on Illustration Friday!

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you're all well rested, happy and productive this week!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Though Memorial Day weekend has passed and we're counting the days 'til summer, gentle spring rains continue to coax seasonal wildflowers. During chance encounters along the trails of my morning hikes, they appear like fleeting celebrities who smile for one quick photo before they quickly disappear, promising to return for next year's performance.

If anybody who knows the real names of these pinkish - lavender and / or the yellow flax - like flowers, I'd appreciate your assistance with my plant ID's! Thanks!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Soaked, Illustration Friday

Guilty of being thirsty! I've never taken sand to the beach, or coals to Newcastle, but I've been soaked for buying bottled water, even when there's a tap! But in my defense, I do recycle those bottles...
And on a serious note-
It was difficult to play along with this week's challenge, when citizens in parts of our country are dealing with the devastation of severe weather and flooding. My heart goes out to all who've been affected.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Safari, Beginner, IF

Let's go surfin' now, everybody's learnin' how...

When school lets out in a few weeks and even as the gas prices soar,
I hope the kids still manage to go on beach safaris.

Loading up the friends and boards, cruisin' PCH, summer mischief always beckons.
It's part of the southern California culture, you know?

And then...
Since Blogger locked the doors to the playhouse late last week, my last minute efforts were put on hold. Never mind. And don't think that the irony of posting my beginners, as the topic was ending, wasn't appreciated here!
While crouching among the flowers and pulling weeds, the inspiration for "Beginner" struck me. Just had to wait to post both topics.
Better late than never, I say.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Lesson, Illustration Friday

I've tried to keep the good lessons I've learned close to heart and let the rest of it go. But the track record isn't exactly perfect, if you catch my drift! Experience tells me that I have much more to learn, and that's about all I can say on the subject for now...hee hee!

Welcome to my new visitors! Thanks to all who came by last week to comment. You're a kind and friendly bunch! I hope to see you again here, and of course I'll be heading over to your blogs, too. Hope it's been a good week!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Bicycle "Two-fer", Illustration Friday

How did I get so lucky while playing hooky from IF? Last week's "Journey" took me away from posting something on topic. I woke today to find the challenge for the week is "Bicycle," and as luck would have it, I could pull something out of the archives to cover both! On Friday, even!
This adventurous little boy, with the help of a magical bird went on a journey to transform himself into a bird. Here, he rides a bicycle to convince his friend that even under all the feathers, he is indeed a boy.
Happy Easter to all of you blogging "Peeps!" May you continue to find much inspiration in the celebration of springtime and its symbolic messages of renewal and growth!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bottled, Illustration Friday

Some things idle in storage for years, but I know I'll use them for something, some day. The oval shapes in the background were made by inking the bottoms of small lotion bottles, which were then printed on a piece of paper. My simple watercolor of the two bottles was then scanned and placed in a second layer.
If I'd thrown those little bottles away, they probably would have eventually been recycled into something else, but today I had fun printing them and using them for to create my submission for Illustration Friday!
Okay, I hear you snoring back there...What else might be bottled or contained , waiting to be released or recharged? There's no time like the spring to open up, let the light in and find out!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Duet, Illustration Friday

Pigs in a blanket, sawing logs.
It seemed like a good excuse to paint pigs this week for Illustration Friday, not because I was unusually hungry or tired!
Do you know the words to this tune? These two piggies perform a nightly duet, which goes something like this, "Zzzz, zzzz, zzzz..."

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Toy, Illustration Friday

We welcome our newest little one into our family.
Little Skyler arrived late last night, and I understand he's already staking out his place on the sand!
This is a composite of the pair of paintings that were painted in honor of his arrival. I hope they'll make him smile and coo almost as much as his favorite toys!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I'll Show You Mine...(TDAC, IF-Cultivate)

It was too tempting to keep this under wraps, so "bare" with me, as I post my submission for They Draw And Cook, who've teamed up with Simply Beautiful, Simply Delicious, California Figs to host an illustrated recipe contest featuring figs as an ingredient. My recipe is a simple fig and apple crisp.

Figs, leaves, apples? Hmmm...My mind wanders to the Garden of Eden, (or eatin'?) where I hear they cultivate a taste for all things forbidden. "Go ahead," the little voice entices me, "one picture, serving double duties... Nobody will mind!"

Seems almost sinful, but you can view a lot more over at Illustration Friday this week. Oh, and if you want to see the recipe in all its glory, I just found out it was posted this morning. You can see it here. Take a peek!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Stir, Illustration Friday

It's always a good idea to watch where you step, but should you see the shamrocks stir, use extra caution. I understand the wee folk are out and about.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Thinking of You

While the disastrous events that have hit Japan during this past week continue to grip the world's attention, our hearts sink deeper as we watch the horrors unfold and grieve with the victims of this unimaginable tragedy.
Drawing inspiration from the resilience and perseverance that the Japanese have demonstrated as they've endured and risen above other hardships throughout history, we recognize that pain is temporary, and the opportunity to reach out to others always presents itself.
Wherever we might be, do we know others who could benefit from a little kindness? Can we find it in our hearts to share a little?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Warning, Illustration Friday

Cactus has its own built in warning devices.
And if you missed it the first time, there might even be a second thorny warning.
But these cacti are visitor- friendly...All spines have been removed for Illustration Friday!
I traveled far and wide to find these in my own backyard. It was a good excuse to get outside and soak up a little bit of warm sunshine to share with you this week- Are you feeling it yet?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Swarm, Illustration Friday

Just down the road, a neighboring seaside farm puts on an annual springtime extravaganza when the hillside explodes with swarms of ranunculus.
Without grumbling about the good old days, let's just say that what used to be free and occupied much more of the seaside acreage, is now sampled for a small admission fee and in in a much smaller dose, with more restrictions and added attractions to draw larger crowds, or swarms, if you like.
On a sunnier note, here's a tiny (but free) sampling of the view from my memory of the old roadside flower fields that I'm sharing for Illustration Friday! Do you feel spring in the air?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Layer, Illustration Friday

"Man - despite his artistic pretensions, his sophistication, and his many accomplishments - owes his existence to a six inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains." ~Author Unknown

Much of the country would be grateful for a string of warm sunny days such as those we've enjoyed recently in southern California. Besides providing the obvious distractions, the sameness can get a little too predictable. A recent trip through the desert between cloudbursts, as the spring wildflowers awaken provided just enough visual stimulation to shake the mental cobwebs loose. B
eneath layers of sleeping brain cells which sometimes seem to occupy areas of space as vast and arid as the desert, small seeds of ideas wait to be unearthed, even sporadically and unexpected.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sweater, Illustration Friday

“Sweater, n.: garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.” ~ Ambrose Bierce

This week, my mind wanders to a famous cardigan worn by a man whose mother made sure he was always warm. With all due respect, I imagine that Mr. Rogers wouldn't mind if I put hearts on the sleeves of his sweater for Valentine's Day. Besides, in his characteristically kind and gentle manner, he told all of us kids it was okay to pretend in the Neighborhood of Make Believe!
Happy Valentine's Day to all!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Reverse, Illustration Friday

Sometimes a girl just doesn't know which way to go as the deadline for Illustration Friday approaches. So Neil, an alien, zipped down from outer space to deliver a reverse message.
Thank goodness for palindromes, mirrors and people with eyes in the backs of their heads, maybe?
One step back, and we'll all be moving forward from here!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Surrender, Illustration Friday

I surrender! Here's a quickie for this week's prompt, inspired by Valentine's Day and with a nod to all the tattoos and other forms of body art out there.
I must confess, I've never surrendered a square inch of my own flesh to ink or piercings, having already sacrificed tiny pieces of myself to the roads, sidewalks and other undisclosed locations where my much younger self used to skate around on (or off, as it were) urethane wheels.
Whether it's a sweet valentine, a kid rolling down the road on wheels, or a bold statement in body ink, each offers a form of expression as individual as its origin. Surrender yourself to an expressive week!