Tag Archives: art


It's that time again! A chance to see beauty through my lens.  Starting from the top going left to right:

I'm not allowed to buy any more dishes. I have a ba-jillion sets of dishes  that I am having trouble keeping stored at the moment.  But if I were to buy any new dishes, I would go for these Asian-esque bowls I spotted at Sur La Table.  Truthfully, I go into Sur La Table regularly and always wander over to stare at these pretties.   I don't usually go for Asian style but the colors of these bowls remind me Tahoe, my first love.  Maybe I can justify buying just a couple as food props...

Yes, those are a bunch of little fish, hundreds of them.  They were dried and flat as pancakes.  A sales rep bought them at a Mexican market and brought them into my office.  Being the stinker that I am,  I dared him to eat one, which meant I had to eat one too.  What did it taste like?  If you have ever cleaned a fish you are familiar with that fishy smell that no amount of soap can wash away.  That's exactly what those little treats tasted like.  Like a freshly cleaned large mouth bass.

I went on a walk down to the river and grabbed up a handful of wildflowers along the way.  Orange California Poppies, purple Lupine and some kind of wild yellow mustard, I think.  Against the setting sun they were just lovely.

And lastly, my walking buddy, Buck.  What you have to keep in mind is that the snow is still melting up river so that water he is standing in is fah-reee-zing!  But Buck, being a lab, is obsessed with the water and can't understand why I won't get in with him.  Maybe in July, buddy.  Maybe in July.

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(disclaimer:  this article sounds really hilarious if you didn’t first read the Day 3 post on simple things.  It’s not a joke, someone really did make a comment about being doodling challenged.  But I own it, it IS funny!)

Back on Day 3 on Doodling, someone mentioned that they didn’t know how to doodle.  Do not feel embarrassed!  There was a time when doodling frustrated me too because I was trying to make it look perfect.  Doodling is not about perfection!  It’s about exploration.

The other roadblock I used to have about doodling was that normally I do not “think” in patterns.  I’m pretty basic, I am not usually drawn to pattern in my real life so I had a hard time coming up with patterns to fill in my doodles.  To be honest, I got over my freehand fears when I took Christy Tomlinson’s She Art & 3 Hearts classes because she actually has a short video on doodling.

But, if you need some help to get you started, here is a great “chart” of doodle-strokes I found here.  Here’s is what I would suggest:

Take a scrap of paper and draw 3 large freeform flowers, flowers so simple that it looks like a 2nd grader drew them.  Then draw simple outlines around the petals, following the same original lines.  Then begin to fill in and around the flowers with some of the doodle-parts you see on the chart.  Just keep adding layers inside and outside until you have filled in all the major blank spaces with markings.  If you have different size pens, use them intermittently.  If you have colored pens you would like to use, by all means go for it.

If you don’t consider yourself and “artist” but would like to perk up your creative mind, give this exercise a try!!


We are moving right along with 31 Days of The Simple Things. I'm sitting here, enjoying Day 4's simple thing, but you'll have to wait til tomorrow for that one. Today is Day 3 and piggy-backing on yesterday's Art Supplies is another simple thing that relaxes me... doodling!

I have always been a doodler.  Whether in school, listening to a lecture or at church listening to a sermon or on the phone talking to a friend... I feel compelled to doodle.  Do not make the mistake of thinking a doodler is not paying attention, no, no, no.  It has been proven that doodler-brains are actually more attentive when they are engaged in scribbling out little pictures or designs.  It just so happens that another 31 Day-er is doing a whole series on doodling and she says "Doodling focuses your mind, giving you increased attention (even when it looks like you’re not)."

I started scribbling out that page above one night when I came home and I was feeling a little under the weather.  I wasn't quite ready to go to bed (didn't want to wake up early) but I needed to do something calming.  So I grabbed a couple of black pens and an art journal and I drew a flower.  Then I drew some leaves.  Then I drew some blossoms.  I started filling in the blanks with squiggles and stripes.  Before I knew it, I had about 2/3 of a 2 page spread covered in doodles and it was actually kinda pretty.  But what was even better, I had completely forgotten about my aching muscles and throbbing headache.

I don't always have the time or inclination to sit down and create some big piece of artwork.  Sometimes my brain is just too fried to try to come up with something creative and colorful.  But I can make a few squiggles on a page and get the same satisfaction.  And if my brain is trying to wander when I'm supposed to be paying attention, the doodling helps it to stay focused in one spot and still able to listen.

It's not about being perfect, it's not about being amazing.  It's not about being right or wrong.  It's just doodling.


It's Day 2 of this 31 day journey of exploring the simple things in my life that make me smile. Today's simple thing is Art Supplies!!

I'm not going to pretend that this applies to everyone because I know for a fact that some of my sisters would find very little joy out of the box of art supplies that arrived the other day. But I was giddy with glee when I opened up that box and found dozens of Pan Pastels, Liquitex acrylic ink, Ink Tense blocks, a Copic pen, and Shiva Paintsticks.

I have always dabbled in art.  When I was a kid, I took semi-private art lessons for about 6 years, concentrating on pastels.  For those of you who aren't artists, "pastels" usually refers to the small, square, colored chalks.  There are creamier ones and drier ones.  The drier ones were my medium.  I learned a lot, but I didn't continue to use pastels or create much "art" when I got into my teens and early adulthood.  I knew I missed it, but I just couldn't bring myself pull out my pastels.  I was resistant for some strange reason.   And then last year I had an epiphany.  The truth is, I don't like pastels as my primary medium!  Instead, I figured out that  I love-love to use mixed media.  Mixed media can mean a lot of different things but most of the time it refers to using many different art mediums all in one piece of artwork.  And I really enjoy it.  I love to mix acrylic paint and texture medium and stamps and ink and scraps of paper and rub-ons and fabric and string and hot glue and.... basically anything I can manage to glue down to a piece of canvas.

There is something about sitting down to create a piece of art work, whether it's  a canvas that I plan to give away or a page in my art journals that brings me back to center.  It forces  me to slow down, something I am not naturally good at doing.  It also gives me the opportunity to get my hands "in" something, which is why I also love cooking and gardening.  And it gives me the opportunity to express myself, again, not something I'm naturally great at.

So when I get to buy new art supplies.... ohhhhh the smiles!  Some art supplies can be pricey, like those Liquitex Inks above.  But some things are really cheap, like the Ink Tense blocks, also above.  And paper is super cheap.  Canvas is pretty cheap if you keep your eye out for the sales.

Art supplies represent endless possibilities to me.  Simply brilliant!

Time for another installment of Everyday Art.  It's really just a few pics I've taken with my Iphone recently.  I try to capture "art" when I see it, even if no one else sees the beauty in it, each photo means something special to me.

You would have to have the pulse of a barnacle if you can't see the beauty of the ultrasound photo on top.  That photo was taken just over a week before the larger photo on the right.  Isn't it just amazing?  And no, I won't apologize for reposting pictures of my nephew.  He rules.

The next photo down, the one of the the dog on the river... let me tell you why I love this picture.  1) That is the Yuba River, where I was practically born and raised.  Some of my earliest memories are from the river.  I said my first cuss word near that very spot (blame it on Dad).  I know a lot of people love the ocean, but for me, I'd rather be on a lake or the river.  2) That dog in the picture, his name is Buck.  He's my brother's dog and he's just over a year old.  Earlier this summer Buck found a large rattlesnake and got bit on his front leg.  He got bit bad.  His poor leg swelled up like a turkey-leg and we weren't sure if he would make it.  My brother and I hovered over him for about 3 days and then on the 4th day he was back to running around and being his goofy self.  Buck loves the river and it made my heart happy that he was still around to go down to the river with us.

The last photo is hard to explain.  Oh, it's a pretty enough picture all by itself.  One of the guys at work gave them to me and I was excited to  eat them.  But to explain to you why white peaches are such a strong memory to me would take some time.  The short version is this,  we grew white peaches on our farm.  I can tell you all about white peaches.  They are often a variety called Babcock.  They are freestones.   They bruise much more easily than other varieties of peaches and they taste like a mixture of honey and floral perfume.  The are best eaten on the firmer side, just a hair softer than an apple.  And Hmongs LOVE them.  They bought up roughly 90% of the peaches we grew and the really interesting thing about it is this... they buy them green and then pickle them!  They won't buy them if they have even one little bruise on them and they can't be ripe at all.  They must be under ripe, almost green.  Can't say I ever tried one of those pickled peaches, can't say I ever will have the desire, but I cannot see, smell or eat a white peach without remembering the Hmongs coming to the fruitstand, all piled into their mini vans to buy white peaches.

And that's my Everyday Art.  Hope you stop to see the beauty in your everyday too.

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When you are a graphic artists, or a designer or you just like to look at pretty things, websites like this one are an invaluable resource.  The site is called Photo Card Boutique and they specialize in taking a gorgeous photograph and pulling the colors from it to create a "design card".  I LOVE IT!

Everyday they post a new card or two, showcasing brand new color palettes that make your design work a breeze.  Here are a few examples that have caught my eye recently:

I just adore this palette.  It makes me want to paint something.

I find this one so soothing and relaxing


>1) I love rannunculus, 2) This palette is the perfect combo of sophisticated and playful.

I may or may not be planning to redesign the site with the palette... I'm not saying for certain...but maybe....

Take some time to pan through this wonderful site and add them to your reader so you don't miss their daily inspirations.


I wanted to tell you about a class I took this past month that was so much fun.  It's an online art class taught by Christy Tomlinson over at The Scarlett Lime.

It's a mixed media course, which means you learn how to mix different supplies all onto one canvas: paper, inks, fabric, stamps, paint, chalks... basically anything you can get to stick to the canvas!  Christy specializes in what she calls "She Art", renditions of pretty girls, usually with an inspirational message of some sort, just like the girl above.

I really enjoyed this class!  I've always loved the "layered look" but was usually too scared to attempt it.  I'm something of a perfectionist and I was always worried about "ruining" my art pieces.  My fears were totally erased in this class.  I not only learned the techniques I had always wanted to learn, I learned to let the art develop all on it's own.  Sometimes it came out exactly like I had envisioned, like this one:

But sometimes the piece would have a mind all it's own, like this one:

When I started this canvas, I had planned to have a really light blue canvas, lots of white and yellow and an overall bright look.  I wanted her hair to be longer and wispy.  As you can see, it didn't exactly turn out that way.  But I think it turned out great despite my best efforts to make it something else.  The phrase, in case you can't see it, says "she had dreams... beautiful dreams."

If you are a weekend artist or looking to learn more about mixed media I would highly recommend this class. It's only 3 weeks and includes very detailed video instruction, templates, shopping lists and lots more.  There is a new session beginning April 11th and the cost is just $44.95.

And for those of you who don't want to make your own she-art....  I'm giving away this canvas:

I only have so much wall space and I've still got 3 more canvases to finish in the course, so this pretty little girl is going to live with one lucky reader. All you need to do to enter is leave a comment on this post, anything you like!  Entries will be received until Midnight, Sunday, April 3rd.  I will announce the lucky winner on  Monday, April 4th!