Nov 192015


I am continuing the slow process of learning to express myself in 2d…..through pencil, ink, paint. I want to combine it with journaling (in the ‘art journal’ journaling sense) but right now I’m just smack dab stuck in a ‘face’ obsession.

I can’t seem to stop…I started with the girl and cat a month or so ago and since then this is what followed (in part…)









The last one is on a post it note at work!!  That is how much I can’t stop – even on less than a 5 minute break at work — I’m sketching a face, or a part of a face. Playing with proportions and shading and style.  I sketch at night if I’m watching tv…. it’s really interesting to be learning something new again. Being a beginner is SO GOOD for creative growth!

SO far I’ve just been making it up as I go along, but I did try one sketch from a photo…not as much fun. I did just find some youtubers who share their processes of sketching faces so I’ll be tuning into those for a while and then hopefully bringing it back around to painting/mixed media.

I’ve also gotten some time at the bench recently which is nice – especially since I have a show coming up on the 5th of December – come out to the Creative Alliance in Baltimore for Merry Mart if you’re in the area!

I may have some big (and I mean BIG) life changes coming up…can’t really share just yet as nothing is set in stone yet —  but my ability to be creative and blog etc may be cut to almost nothing so I’m going to try to do as much as I can while I can!


Nov 092015

It has been said that every beginning comes from another beginning’s end.  I’m not so sure that’s true, but it’s an interesting concept and in many ways when we turn our attention to a ‘beginning’ we are taking our attention off other things so it can feel like other things are ending even if they are just fading a little bit. 😉

I love beginnings – there is excitement and anticipation. Cue my fascination with the change of seasons. 🙂

I am leaning to embrace endings for what they offer. Maybe success, maybe failure. . . . accomplishment, closure, peace.

But both are highlights, the sizzle reel if you will.

There is so much that happens in the “in between”.

That’s the good stuff – the real stuff.  THAT’s where growth and learning and LIFE takes place.

Life isn’t lived in the sizzle reel.


Beginnings are great. Endings are necessary.

What’s in between though makes or breaks everything else. The small choices every day. Where to spend our time, who to spend it with.

One of the biggest challenges for many people these days seems to be awareness. I struggle with it – being present, slowing down enough to appreciate the ‘in between’ for what it is. Knowing the little things are big things, the small moments make a life what it is – they determine those beginnings and endings.

Social media has contributed to a fast paced, information soaked lifestyle.

And it has a tendency to turn everyone’s life into a sizzle reel.

I’ve talked about moving away from social media. It’s been hugely beneficial to me. It’s helped quiet my mind, brought me more peace, and allowed me to refocus on what’s important – the in between.

Don’t be fooled by someone else’s sizzle reel. And don’t allow your own to define you.

There is so much more to each of us than that.

Nov 052015

Living a more creative life

Part of my ‘tagline’ or motto recently has been about living a more creative life. Now that’s a very broad statement really – it means more than just the ‘arts’ – it includes things like problem solving and organization and household stuff. It’s really all encompassing and I’ll share more of that in another post but right now I wanted to share a rather literal outcome of this creative life philosophy.

I treated myself to an online class.

I’ve never taken an online class or purchased an online tutorial so this was totally new for me! AND, it’s not metals related! It’s painting with a little mixed media thrown in there. And its WATERCOLOR. (!!)  I’ve dabbled in acrylics and I like to do a lot of abstract work. This is so far from that. This is literal. And it’s WATERCOLOR. Yikes!  Watercolors have always seemed very mysterious to me. And they don’t exactly mix on the paper like other paints do. But I was intrigued and I felt the NEED to do something a little different. To stretch a part of my creative side that I wasn’t tapping into.

And here’s how unaware I am.

I signed up without ever giving a thought to WHAT we would be painting. I mean, yes, I saw the class samples but it didn’t dawn on me that I was going to have to DRAW. Say whaaaaaaaat?  Silly me, I hadn’t even thought of that part!!  There are 6 lessons (I think) with each lesson having several hours of teaching divided into several videos. And they ALL have an animal or person or both.

And you have to draw/sketch the layout first.

And did I mention that it’s WATERCOLOR! ?

Oh my stinking heck what did I sign up for??

Deep breath.

Everyone does the same subject – first up, a cat and a girl.


here we go.
learn to paint

  I have to say, following along with the video this was relatively easy and I am really pretty surprised with how well this turned out!!

The cat looks like a cat and the girl looks human – I’m impressed!!!

Of course we were all allowed creative license so there are some differences in style of hair or shirt and whatnot AND, not all of us have the same supplies as the instructor – so that really comes into play when you start adding color.

I have VERY limited watercolors. Only a few colors and not at all the same palette as the instructor so I was really intimidated to move forward from the sketch. In my head I knew I didn’t care if the colors weren’t the same, but I got really psyched out thinking about how it would affect the shading and depth etc. and even though the sketch isn’t anything spectacular – I liked it.

I didn’t want to ruin it.

and I was afraid I would.

There, I said it.



I was letting FEAR get in my way.

I had to remind myself of something I posted quite a while back on Instagram:


So I put on my big girl panties and I painted.

I tried hard to follow along, to wait for the instructions, but I did find I was moving ahead, anticipating…wanting to fill in here and there. I learned I need to wait. There is an order to things, espeically with my supplies – for instance my black ink pen is not waterproof. OOPS.

So first there is color added. And I was kind of disappointed, because it looked so FLAT.


But then the next stage was adding details and shading with an ink pen and  some fluff here and there and more background texture.

and wow, ok, I’m officially impressed. Not with myself, but with the instruction that led me to THIS.

This was meant to be a little more fantastical then mine came out. . . I am struggling with my inner voice that leans towards realism even though I love abstract. This was just a little confusing to my brain. And I know it may look like a 5 year old did it – but I’m happy.


I may never be skilled in this area but it uses a different part of my brain and even just being a rank beginner in a virtual room full of more experienced artists – it’s really good for me!!  I have taken a huge step back in so many areas of my life over the past year and a half and this fits right in with that, I get to sit back and be taught. I get to learn with no pressure, no expectations. I don’t have to lead or moderate or worry about anything other than my own little self.

And I’m SO looking forward to starting lesson 2 !

What about you? Have you ever tried your hand at painting?


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Nov 032015

I had the immense pleasure of taking my son and the grands cabin camping last month.

We stole away for three days, two nights – an extended weekend. The October weather cooperated and we were blessed with a lovely crisp fall weekend!

I’ve not been tent camping in years and wasn’t sure what to expect with the grands in terms of sleeping, so we opted for a little cabinette – think one room, small kitchen table, a few chairs, countertop along one wall with a two burner propane stovetop, a small microwave, dorm size fridge, sink and a few pots plates and mugs. A dividing curtain and a two sets of bunks.

Ta-da!  IMG_20151024_152831

This was our little home away from home. It served our purposes extremely well and we can’t wait to go back!

We cooked dinners over an open fire, eating outside in the dark, by the light of a small lantern.


We enjoyed the woods….and rivers…and rocks…and lake. It was a lot to take in.

The fall colors weren’t as varied as they might have been on another weekend, but they were bright and all the leaves on the ground provided great crunch underfoot.

What little boy doesn’t like that?


And maybe the big boy liked it just a little too. 🙂




We did carry the phone around and take photos to capture and hold the weekend forever. But we were largely unconnected for the weekend. Disconnecting is a great practice for me. Since I’ve already taken a huge step back from social media it didn’t seem strange to be so disconnected.

The woods are a wonderful place to be present. To listen to nature, the wind rustling the trees, the bubbly singsong of the river, the birds calling to each other. . . . it quiets me.

And invigorates me at the same time. 


(he was much happier than he looks)


We collected little bits of forest floor…and were surprised by how big some things were




These two sweet boys are growing so fast, they hiked up and down hills and climbed, jumped, and rolled off rocks . .

We walked the road, trails, and even forged our own path through the woods.


and just kept going. . .

Sort of like time….it just marches on.

They are growing up, I’m growing older….and needless to say, I came home EXHAUSTED.

But also refreshed and somehow eager to do it again!

When is the last time you got away for a weekend?