Passions of an Odd Chick

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Poppies for fun

Do you recognize the poppies? I sketched them several days ago in my art journal. Little did I know that they would be perfect for some cheap white shoes I bought at Walmart.
Mom has spurred me on and I made her a pair. We have had a fun and restful day.
We have a lot more creative project up our sleeves while she is here.
I hope circumstances allow each of you to add creativity and fun into your life. I have had difficult periods in my life where I was just surviving and had no time, nor inclination for beauty and fun in my life, and yet, it was probably just what I needed. As I get older, I'm learning to not put creative endeavors last or when I have the time or I will never do them. I make them a priority because they are what refreshes my life and helps keep me sane. I have a saying that I borrowed and made my own: "in the time it takes to pout, I made a sketch". ..... or new painted shoes, or ...... you fill in the blank.

Friday, June 27, 2008


I loved sketching this little set-up of fresh fruit and dried apricots. It was even more fun choosing colors to paint them. My mom and dad enjoyed this one.
I'm blessed to have my parents visiting here from Texas. They are fun-loving, good people all the way through and I sometimes realize that these days with them won't last forever. I sometimes realize that being cherished from the moment of birth and loved so intensely is not something I should ever take for granted.
I'm so proud of my dad. He will be heading to Iowa to help take care of the flood victims. He is 72 years old with only one good foot. He will work all day, late into the night, feeding and providing supplies to desperate people. He helped in New Orleans after the hurricane, and he came back broken and humbled by the circumstances that those poor people struggled under. It changed him. He became much more compassionate with everyone and more grateful for his blessings. It changed something in me to see him modeling these lessons to us. He's really amazing. I know he feels a heavy burden for the suffering in Iowa and I know that his authentic faith pro-actively lives what he believes, and he can't stay away from there. I'm so proud of him. I know he will sacrifice his own health, time and money to care for those less fortunate. Did I mention that I'm so proud of him??

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I'm pooped. I really just want to take a nap already and I haven't been up but 2 hours. My mom and dad are coming from Texas and this morning is the only time I have to clean the house. A friend and I fed our church family last night as we did "Good Girls Go Greek". We cooked them a Greek meal with Greek music and told them of our travels to Greece in March. They seemed to really enjoy it but it took a lot of time and effort. And now I'm reeeallly tired.
I've said "yes" to too many things lately. Not realizing that all the regular things I have to do can pop up at anytime - and of course, this is the time they all pop up.
Other than coffee, what is it that keeps us going? I've learned to just do the best you can with the day you have. Nothing more than that can be done. I've learned that when we you say "yes" to someone, you're saying "no" to someone else. Most of the time that "no" is to you... For me today, it is: no to rest, no to painting, no to couple time with hubby. I've learned that... but I still haven't found a good balance.
Oh well, as a new song says: I can sleep when I'm dead.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Palette Change

Well you can't stay red hot forever. I decided that I would try to sketch these lovely compositions with a cooler palette. I'm not usually a pink girl but there was something about these colors and treats that drew me in and made me want to be prissy like a little girl playing tea party. I do love tea and all things tea! And tea cups and all things sweet - because I need more sweetness in my life, a lot more gentleness. I need softer edges and cooler colors instead of the intensity and boldness my character leans toward naturally. Needless to say, these are not my compositions, or palette - nope, no originality here from me. If you want to see the real artist that inspired me to attempt to sketch these - take a look at this eye-candy . But maybe her sweet pinkness will rub off on me - just a little. They do cool me off a little- but they make me hungry - not good.... not good....

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I'm almost finished with my first, ever art-journal and I think this is my favorite watercolor sketch. You may have seen my photograph -I didn't get the faces quite right. They were quite a challenge for me.
These are children (Maasai children to be exact)in case you couldn't tell - who were actually rounded up by their teacher to sing me a thank you song for giving them suckers. They may look older because even though they had a pure naivete, they also had an old, wizened look to their faces. Their clothes were just that colorful. Sometimes they just tie up t-shirts and rags to make their ensemble. I think because they live in mud houses on dirt among the bush of Africa their eyes long for color. They live a very simplistic life. These children were happy, playful, and joyful without one toy in sight. They were curious as little kittens and very respectful. I loved the Maasai children. I could have spent all day with them just watching them play with their sticks like the real spears of their fathers. I'm so glad I have a photograph, and now a sketch to remember them. I hope to do a painting of this study someday soon now that I learned backgrounds and back-paintings from Mary Ann Beckwith.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Poppies for summer

Yep, I'm still into reds, oranges and turquoises. And I'm into poppies. I sketched this off the front of a magazine cover. I think that blooms, and living plants represent life to me and that's why I like to draw them.

I can feel something like new growth inside - from a seed to a bloom. Not pregnant, not possible!!!! But there are new things sprouting in me and my mind. Some people plant gardens and then there are some people who dig up and till the good, rich soil in their own heads and plant and nurture those new creative thoughts planted there. I think we have to pull weeds, and rake the ground of last year's debris and successes and work that soil with all the passion and struggle of a sweating gardener. We let the good Lord water and grow the things He is leading us to, and let Him leave the tares that will make us push passionately toward the sun (SON), and rid ourselves of the things that rob our nutrients.

After all, we started out in a garden walking with Him in the cool in of the evening. Maybe now that our body is His dwelling place, it's not too far a stretch to think His Spirit grows a garden within us. I hope mine is vibrant and hopeful as poppies!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Back from Cloudcroft

This is the reason I love Cloudcroft. We sit out on a deck in the middle of the forest and eat breakfast. No flies. No wind. The sun is very warm but the breeze is cool. It was beyond refreshing. Hummingbirds are zig-zagging by you on the way to their feeder and squirrels are peeking around the corner, and running along the rails of the deck. It rains enough to shine rinse everything and then the sun comes out again and the birds start their symphony warm-up.

Wow! What can I say about Mary Ann Beckwith. She was stupendously huge-alicously incrediblawesome! And that doesn't do her justice. She was the most generous teacher giving us hundreds of tips for back-paintings, textures, techniques, and color everywhere. This was just one, of at least a dozen, back-paintings (that's a painting under your next or last design) that I did for her class. She taught us not to give up on ourselves, or our paintings so quickly and then showed us a 100 ways to fix mistakes/move on/and be joyful. It was like receiving a huge, unexpected gift - worth more value than I can grasp - providing a thousand hours of personal pleasure in my next 50 years of painting! There were 6 beautiful, inspiring women, besides the teacher. So it was a great girl time. Plus, 3 of my local girlfriends came up and spent the night and would meet me for lunch break so I enjoyed lots of friendship. I had honeymoon time with my hubby the last 3 days so my heart is full and my soul refreshed. What more could a girl ask for???

Oh yeah, I've missed my blogging friends!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I think I'm leaning toward really hot colors because it's so darn hot and dry here. We've had several 102 days and it's been months since it rained. And the wind - it's like a blowing heater on high. I'm really looking forward to Cloudcroft. There is usually a 20 degree difference in temperature, not much wind, but I think it is dry there right now. I love when it rains in the mountains and the storms come through so maybe it will happen while I'm there.

This will be my last post for a week or so. I hope I'll have some new ideas with my art as this teacher (Mary A. Beckwith) shows us how to use watercolor and acrylics and all kinds of stuff in our paintings- mixed-media which I play at but have no idea what I'm doing. Mary Ann Beckwith is famous and has written books and won many awards on the subject.

I'll look forward to catching up on your posts. Have a good week and remember your fathers! I sent mine a fresh basket of pears (his favorite thing) and they accidentally wrapped it in "IN SYMPATHY" ribbons. My brothers are giving me heck so next year I think I'll make it a tradition and always send him "in sympathy" baskets just for fun.

Friday, June 13, 2008

My fav flip-flops - I couldn't capture what pretty little shoes they are. They are very oriental -ish with velvet straps and silky ornate soles. I bought them in a wonderful little yoga store in Cloudcroft, New Mexico. I think I captured how comfy they are.
Speaking of Cloudcroft, that's where I'm headed for a mixed-media art class with Mary Ann Beckwith, June 16 -23. I'm beyond excited! Cloudcroft is a wonderful place for art work shops. I try to go every year and we have a cozy little cabin up there which makes it nice.
I will miss my blogging friends but it will be good for me to get away from the computer for a while.
I really appreciate all your encouraging comments. It has really inspired me to improve my work.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I love light and shadows and this was my attempt at the practice. Looking at things with your "third eye" and seeing all the dimensional aspects of a perfectly normal setting -like how the light changes an image and how the shadow becomes an image in itself - makes for wonderful viewing of the world. This scene at a mall (who would have thunk it?) stopped me in my tracks and made me pull my camera out and just enjoy what had happened to these ordinary objects when God shone His light on them.
I would like to think that this is what happens to a life once God shines his Son on them. It should change this ordinary object. I shouldn't have a flat affect when viewed by others - but a multi-dimensional, enhanced, resonant beauty that makes you want to stop and ask, "how did that happen?"

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Lemon Chilton Park

So yesterday my husband fixed me a lemon Chilton because it was hot and windy and we were tired. I sat in my big leather chair and I got my sketch book out and put a good movie on. It's a form of romance for Greg and I to hide from the rest of the world and just enjoy each other's company right during the middle of the hot afternoon. I had things to do, of course, like bookwork, yard work and laundry. But I decided to escape to "Lemon Chilton Park" or what I called my new little art piece.
Today - I have some regrets. I had to rake hay for several hours this morning, then I got to cut hay until noon. Of course, this was the day I was going to do yesterday's jobs. But the winnower broke down, and now I can do a little catch up before it gets fixed and I go back to cutting hay.
Oh, but the escape to Lemon Chilton Park for a little while was so refreshing - I guess I wouldn't trade it after all.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

This is what I love about art. If you're not happy with the image you created, you can always change it. My daughter left her Oprah magazine here, and it had this art image with a title "Bird's Eye View" to the article. I sketched it and painted it in my art journal and used both sides of the paper. On the first one, you may be able to see the previous day's art coming through (that's why I never use both sides). Anyway, I took it to Flickr and played with it and I like the abstract image on the bottom. What is your favorite?

A Bird's Eye View - what does that mean to you? Apparently the most generally accepted definition is: the summary of a subject or broad overview of a topic.

Do you see any resemblance to this aerial photograph? I thought it was interesting.

Sometimes we need to step back from our own lives and take a bird's eye view, see the bigger picture and not get so caught up in the details. And like the lovely thing with art I mentioned earlier - change it if we don't like the view we're looking at.

Monday, June 9, 2008

"I'd gone through life believing in the strength and competence of others; never in my own. Now, dazzled, discovered that my capacities were real. It was like finding a fortune in the lining of an old coat. " unknown

I like this quote because I was one of those people that let other people define who I was. When it finally dawned on me that God defined who I was, and that He was really crazy about me, it changed my course in life. I began to take my own path, where I walked with God, and He let me discover things about myself that enhanced the life He had given me. No longer am I defined by others, no longer do I seek my value from others. I know where I stand in this universe and the next. Of course, I want your acceptance, but if I don't receive it, I believe now it is not necessarily my problem. I've been given a fortune by this very precious life I live and I want to live it out in such a way that He who created me has squeezed every talent, every drop of love, at full capacity, until I drop dead from the passionate striving of this goal.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Mr. Rabbit

I don't know why my new little sketch of Mr. Rabbit looks so upset. Maybe it's because his grandkids had to go back home. Or maybe it's because he had to get up at 2:00 a.m. and rake hay. Or maybe it's because he ran out of chocolate.
Mr. Rabbit needs an attitude change. I hope he went to church this morning. That always helps.
He sees his friends, he sings, he focuses on Someone bigger than himself, and then, low & behold, he's happier -more content. At peace deep down. And life seems to make sense again.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

"Why, I say, should I ever have bitterly blamed my body for such trifles as I have blamed it for: for having too much flesh in this spot, too little muscle in that, for producing this wrinkle, that sag, that gray hair, or this texture? Dear Body! My dear Body!
It has gone about its incessant business with very little thanks. "
- Janet Burroway
my sketch is inspiration from

Monday, June 2, 2008

Sweet diversions

This is what I've been doing the last few days. I went to see my oldest grandson graduate from kindergarten. Then I brought the two darlings home with me so that we could spend some quality time together with Papa on the farm. So not much time for blogging. But then, these days are precious and not to be passed up. I know I will blink my eye and he will be wearing this cap for college. We did manage to get a little art going on the sidewalk. Even a neighborhood friend joined us.