Firefly, Graphite and Rocks


The effort and the pics are over here. However, here is a teeny tiny sample of how I can’t seem to follow my own instructions. I think it’s good thing.

Bears and Clouds This time in a Book


I had to try again, and it might happen again after this. For some reason this trio of words (Bear, Clouds, Books) has grabbed me. I’m not sure that it’s fascinated me but I can’t seem to let go of it. So the first looked like this. Then I tried again over here. This time I made it all the way to making an actually book….sort of.

Please feel free to play along. If I can figure out how to link your stuff or incorporate you stuff into my blog that would be great!

Bear, Cloud, Book


Those are the random words I picked to try to create some visual art. This bear isn’t the final effort. It’s only the beginning. I started to draw and have come up with a simple book, but really didn’t have the time to put into it.

This week bears and more bears. I did a clay pot years ago and put it in the blog.

Hopefully next week there will be a little book to flip through involving bears and clouds.

Thanks for the visit!

Week 9 Bees, Glasses and Silly


My big art lesson this week (or has it been week after week) is to slow down and think before I draw. I’m like the person that has no filter when they talk, and they just keep talking no matter what else is going on. I start a drawing one way and think I can keep going without any consequences. Ok, so defy my impatience, slow down, and make something actually look aesthetically pleasing and make sense all at the same time. Most of the Bee pictures are embarrassing but I posted them anyway because I’m trying to learn from my mistakes. It’s a little like teaching an old dog. I know all the lessons but I keep forgetting them.

Head over to https://penzart.com/visual-artists-word-promp/ to see some of my disasters

Week 8 Teapots, Wood Spoons, Lavender


My big art lesson this week (or has it been week after week) is to slow down and think before I draw. I’m like the person that has no filter when they talk, and they just keep talking no matter what else is going on. I start a drawing one way and think I can keep going without any consequences. Ok, so defy my impatience, slow down, and make something actually look aesthetically pleasing and make sense all at the same time.

Visual Prompts


This weeks artist prompt words were Cartoon, Dumpling and Ecru. I think it worked out

It’s posted here!

Thanks for checking in!

Also, I’ve been working on some images that I don’t know what to do with. The shadows create movement, I like them so much, but then what. I’ll take any thoughts or ideas.

Week 6 of Artist Prompts


Walking in the Woods, Copper and Birds. I thought this was going to be too much of a breeze. So I put it off and procrastinated and put it off some more. Now I’m thinking I need more than a week to really get into these prompts. I think that means the wheels in my brain are getting some much needed exercise.

Please join right here, if you’re feeling creative

Artist Prompt Elephant, Mouse, Ginger


The prompt words I picked this week are Ginger, Elephant, and Mouse. These words reminded me that I created a little book a few years ago with similar words. Well, a tiny bit similar, but enough that I thought I’d share it. The book is titled Elephant’s Ants. There is no ginger or a mouse, however, a lot of the hues and tones in the book are ginger colored. Does that count?

Read Here to see my little book and see what else I came up with.

This is directing you to a new blog called Snagging the Muse. Feel free to participate by making a grab bag of likes and loves on little slips of paper and picking two or three to create unusual images by exercising the right side of the brain.

Artist Prompt week #4


This was a tough word grouping. I survived and had a bit of fun. Again time seems to always be the big issue. Perhaps if this was every other week. Would you join in? In any case my results are here.

Next week I retrieved from my grab bag of words: Pencil Drawings, Spaghetti, and Cats

Doing More Artistic Mashups


Pick two or three random words each written on strips of paper and try to combine them in some creative way. Let me know what happens! This last one was almost too random but I have an idea for the next bunch of incongruous words. We might be heading into Dali-land. https://penzart.com/week-3-of-creativity-gymnastics/

The Willow Me Tree

I’m Catching Up To the Muse


I’ve been working on this other blog. Creativity is one thing, the execution of the art is another. The random “likes and loves” words picked were Salt, Espresso and Photos. They inspired salt dough in the form of an espresso pot and beans and a very goofy cartoon.

See what I’m talking about here: https://penzart.com/creative-gymnastics.

Anyone else interested in Snagging the Muse? I’d love the company 🙂

An Answer To My Own Question


Out of my bundle of likes and loves, that I wrote about in the first entry called: Snagging the Muse an artist’s prompt, I decided to pick three pieces of paper from the bag instead of two. This was in an effort to make creating a little more challenging and it worked. Here are my three random picks:  Sweaters, Fountain Pens and Fairytales. Wow – random, huh? Anyway, head over to penzart.com/ to see what I was able to create in just under a week.

While my writing or my fairies may not be the most stunning art, they served the purpose: to get my right brain functioning again and my right hand warmed up.

My next three words are: Salt, espresso, and photography.

Branching Out


Have you ever gotten old, and finally retired, and then said repeatedly to yourself as you walk around the house “now what?” That’s where I am. It’s been a few years since I’ve retired and most of the time, I’ve been dealing with an aging parent. She’s still hanging in at 100 years old but finally in a safe assisted living place. it was an incredible effort and the people at her assisted living place are actual angels on earth.

Anyway, now I have a chance to do something for myself but I have lifer’s block. Kind of like writer’s block but it’s life. What do I do next?

Follow me to my new blog: penzart.com

Day or Two Late (as usual)


I had most of my cards and little sketchbooks at a little rural shop. Perhaps that was my first mistake. People had to go there specifically for yarn and to see alpacas. Their focus wasn’t on art or fancy little art cards. Either that or my work is just not all that sellable. I can easily believe the latter – but I can’t seem to stop trying.

sales.penzart.com

These were so fun to create – yet another thing I couldn’t stop myself from making:

A Calm Moment


For me a calm moment enables me to do some fun artwork. It’s getting that moment to actually last long enough to create. With time and nothing pressing while I was on the island this past summer, I pulled out my paints and over a few days tried my hand at realism. Realism requires patience, not something I’m very good at – I tried. These are art cards that I put on my site. All the cards on that site are hand painted (no prints). sales.penzart.com

New Book on the Horizon


First of all, my Kitty Cat book is done!! It feels so good to finish a project. I’m sending it out hoping to get an agent to see it’s value. I’ll give it six to nine months and then self-publish. Here is the front cover:

The one-minute pitch: This One And That One is a bedtime story meant to ease worried minds and inspire an “aww,” moment at the end, sending little ones off to comfy, safe slumber.

n the meantime, I’m starting another kids book. This the very beginning of the character development. I think his name is Walter. Rough sketches but I thought it would fun to watch the process. He’s a waterfall enthusiast to the point of obsession. My daughter suggests it should be a graphic novel picture book. Wouldn’t that be a comic book? I have the story written, we’ll see how it all evolves.

Living in a Garage


We bought a garage to live in and love it! It really is a garage with a huge-glass-double-car-garage-door. With most summer days the door is open and we can sit in our “living room” and watch the ocean and the few boats that pass by.

In the beginning the kitchen was a laundry sink and open plywood shelves. I loved that too. So easy to deal with. However, when we had visitors with puppies and toddlers it was impossible to have them in the space. All the silverware and sharp things had to be place up on the counter, leaving very little room for cooking. So, long story short, we had cabinets installed. The result is way nicer than I think a garage deserves, but oh well, no complaints and what the heck!? There are so many drawers, I hardly know what to fill them with :). Only one problem – the drawer pulls don’t come in for a while so we’re using painter tape tabs on each drawer. It works for now and now I have a luxury garage!

After

Snow as Art


I couldn’t resist an early morning walk after a tiny bit of snow. With just this smattering of white, everything had a magical look. The sun is just starting to come out. I might have to try again with that warm, buttery, yellow, fill light to help.

Fuzzy Flower Theme


I’ve gotten on a theme of fuzzy flowers. A mixed media thing that I am wondering how to expand on. This one is titled Wildest Dream. The only reason I named it that was because I had one of those dreams last night that stick with you all day. It wasn’t at all about flowers but about an old friend that now has Parkinson’s and I haven’t talked to her in years. In the dream I told I was sorry that I hadn’t been in touch. Maybe these flowers are for her.

This is in the form of a greeting card on my site: sales.penzart.com

Love Letter


I’m slowly adding a few more paintings and cards to my site. I had a friend that died recently. He had a temper at times but he was loyal as heck. We laughed and ate dim sum and helped each other through life. To my friend – This card says: I have a prickly side, don’t we all? I’m blowing through life but I can blush red with love and loyalty. http://www.sales.penzart.com – where I thought it would be fun to mail original art to you friends and loved ones.

Slowly Adding More


Three Poofs

It’s been a tough fall and winter, but I’m slowly getting back to making some art and adding paintings to my sales site. sales.penzart.site

I had a thing for denim. There was so much of it being thrown away I couldn’t help but salvage some of it. Thanks for visiting! Enjoy!

Fig Season


Our fig tree produces a bumper crop of fruit this year. There were so many figs that cookies, crumbles and preserves were made several times. All the neighbors were happy to receive a little jar of preserves. The best recipe came from adding the fig preserves to brussel sprouts, mustard and turkey bacon (which could have been regular bacon or prosciutto or no meat at all). So good, that even a member of the family that normally hates brussel sprouts had seconds! Pretty good.

Along with cooking I’ve become obsessed with painting the little plump cuties. Here a couple that I’ve put on my sales site:

Love of Trees


I have a thing for trees, nature, and the earth in general. I was trying to get a family member to understand what I feel about nature. He has never completely accepted my devotion to the planet. I never really tried to explain, I only went on my way painting, planting and talking to birds and marveling at the natural world. Finally, I figured out how to tell him. In fact why hadn’t I said this before? It was so simple. I told him to just pretend the earth is your child. Would you subject it to any harm? No! Of course not. When it was put in terms of something he could relate to (he has a daughter that he’s devoted to) then voila! He got it.

These are some of the new original watercolor cards on my sales site.

BTW, I tried to edit the last post which was almost exactly like this one and somehow deleted the whole thing. Sorry for the repeat.

Out my door


Big nature day today out my door. Early this morning we saw a family of pheasants – parents plus five babies! No photos, sorry. Trust me, they were beautiful. Later, we saw a snake. Either a garter or ribbon snake. Teens dive bombing head first into the water and lastly, my main man, who found the most disgusting, standing water in a ditch to enjoy.

…and now he’s done for the day.

Prelude to Earth


The place I grew up was heavily wooded. It offered a place to escape, play, build forts and feel free. I had a route that I followed through the woods. In the winter it led to a frozen swamp that I skated on. In the summer I went to an outcropping of huge rocks that tilted towards each other to make a cave. It was one of my many secret retreats. I would always leave something in the cave like a button or ribbon. When I came back the next day it would be gone! Someone, animal or person was taking my cave offerings! Pretty sure it wasn’t a person.

This doesn’t look exactly like my cave but it’s close. Plus I can’t really remember seeing any purple trees in upstate NY. http://sales.penzart.com

All the Way Down to Earth


I THOUGHT the choice of grocery store was “today’s challenge.” You see, I shop for my 99 year old mother a few times a week. She has her favorite store where she knows all the brands. She’s 99and get whatever she wants, even though I’m not a fan of the store.

                So, with list in hand, I walk into “that” store and pick up her huge bag of oranges. She eats tons of them; maybe that’s her secret to longevity. Also on her list: eggs and ice cream. And even though it’s not my favorite store,  I thought I might as well pick up the sponges since they were on sale. Wait a minute!  They have sparkling water in glass bottles on sale! I stuff four bottles that clink noisily in my cart. Add one avocado, and now I’m fully engaged in the shopping trip.

                I paid for mom’s first, which fit into one plastic bag and then paid for mine which stuffed a large canvas tote. Trudging out to the car with my slightly off balanced bags, I was thinking random thoughts like: I can’t believe I found stuff at this store! And, it’s a bit chilly. I looked at the sky to see the beginnings of a storm. The thoughts continued, maybe I’ll be able to make it to the wine store and home before it really starts to pour, the sky, that is, not the wine. Glad I wore my waterproof hiking boots, wool leggings and velour dress. If it does start to rain I’ll be warm and ready!

                With that last thought, I felt the shoelace on my left boot snag one of the lace hooks on the right boot. “Sh**t!” I yelled cursing as I was going down. My knee hurt or was it my hip, or both? I didn’t want to get up. It was kind of nice down there on the pavement and I wasn’t done swearing yet. Good thing I had my mask on because it slowed down the flying expletives, but not much!

Me

                A little grey haired old lady came to my rescue. She helped me get up and collect my groceries. Damages? First, my favorite wool leggings were torn at the knee – very unhappy about that. Mom’s huge bag of oranges – only one was split open! But the eggs! Why is it always about the eggs? How is it that the avocado and the glass bottles went up in the air and landed with nothing squashed or broken? But the eggs? Half the box was oozing yellow. Omelets,  anyone? If I wasn’t hurting so much, I’d still be on the ground laughing. Of course I fell while carrying eggs, of course! Eggs, meet earth. Earth meet…you know the rest. I was a walking, tripping cliché!

                The little old lady quickly grabbed the bag with what was left of the eggs and ran inside. “They’ll replace them!” she shouted. “I’ll be right back.” Wow, hooray for little old ladies! I’m going to be like her when I grow up!

                Lesson learned from this event – How about, tie my shoe laces? The store wasn’t so bad after all.

Kitty-Cat for Kids


I saw one of my neighbors walking her dog. We stopped to chat and she said she was engaged to be married and that they had bought a place in the city. It was so sweet. We talked about her moving on and becoming an adult. I thought about my life as I draw little kitty-cats on a stone wall talking to the moon. Am I un-adulting? Do we revert, getting mentally younger as we age? Will I be going all the way back to finger painting and crayons? This drawing and several others are from a children’s story I wrote recently about a cat that worries she’s losing her home and her best friend the moon, only to be surprised by how it all works out in the end. Hopefully I can get all the drawings done soon! They’ve become cards for sale on my site. sales.penzart.com

Wabi-Sabi


Yes, a little corner of the paper it torn, the paint comes over the edge, and my corners aren’t square. I’ve always had trouble with perfection. Perfection requires patience, which apparently I don’t have 🙂 Having said that, how can there be life with no cracks, torn corners or smudges? It’s unnatural. So the question is, do I just not have the right amount of skill, talent or control over my art? Maybe I’m making excuses for not being good enough to pull off a perfect piece of art. Or do I like imperfection, like the philosophy of Wabi-Sabi?  It’s probably a combination. It might be time to explore this more deeply.   This is a painting on mat board sales.penzart.com

This is an unframed botanical watercolor, acrylic and colored pencil painting. It is floating on an 8×10 mat board.

Which Medium Will Do


I wrote a sweet little children’s book and am trying to decide what medium and style to use. It would be nice if the backgrounds didn’t overwhelm the main character – a cat. I’ve tried pen and ink and it was just a little too boring for a kids book for this particular story. Colored pencil mixed with graphite has captured my interest lately but I’m not totally convinced. Without knowing the story I can’t really ask for thoughts but I’d thought I’d share what I’ve been working on.

Connected


I made this card thinking about valentines day. I reflected on what that first dizzying few years felt like. It was floating in our own orbit, not much mattered but the magnetic pull between us. Even with rough times the pull was, and I guess, continues. This picture could also be I the last picture in my book the Glass Bottle. sales.penzart.com

Open To You


Another card entry with description @ sales.penzart.com

For decades I was lost in my own head trying to figure out what life was all about. Why was it so difficult, and why don’t I feel like I belong?  After a lot of reading and tons of meditation I figured it out! It’s all about opening up the heart chakra. Really! When that one piece is open the world opens. I found I didn’t have to struggle as much with judgmental relationships. As it turns out I was the one judging. Opening the heart allowed me to go with the flow and just live in a gentler place.

What Love Is To Me


Love should be an easy thing to write about, but it has so many moving parts. Our marriage has been pretty steady over the past 18 years, but it’s a balancing act on a roller coast all in slow motion. It’s subtle. Weird sneaks up out of nowhere and then dissolves with a laugh, a talk, or a walk in the woods. As soon as we can focus on each other for a few minutes, all the feelings of safety and warmth comes flooding back.

Art with a Reason


This one painting has gotten so much attention that I thought I post it on my sales website and share the story behind it. This is what’s written in the description of the painting. sales.penzart.com

A whimsical painting if crows had a bar. I imagined my own experience at bars and night clubs (many decades ago). As an introvert I’m usually observing. Expressions, body language and big gestures were fascinating to me. This started with a small soft sculpture of three crows on a branch. On the branch are martini glasses and beer bottles. Eventually it turned into a painting. The outer frame is roughly 23″ x 19

Crane on Paper


Birds have always fascinated me. When I was about three or four years old I very clearly remember asking my mother when I would get wings so that I could fly. She said she was sorry but people don’t get wings. I thought to myself what use is a body that can’t fly? I asked her if I could get rid of this body that felt like a lead weight and get a body with wings. She was not at all happy with that idea. I was crushed.

sales.penzart.com

Adding Memories to Art Site


I’m slowly adding small paragraphs to each of my paintings and cards on my sales site. ( sales.penzart.com ). For instance here is a painting and what I said about it in the description. Sometimes I’ll add something to the description that I remembered, so it’s evolving and yes I need an editor. In the meantime, here is the card and the description that goes along with it. 

My older brother once made a holiday card that was elegant and sweet. It was a branch of a Christmas tree with an ornament on the ground and bird tracks surrounding the ornament. You never saw the bird just his tracks. I keep trying to duplicate the simplicity and beauty of that card. He also drew a candle monster. I was about five years old and knew from that drawing that I needed to create images that came to life like his always seemed to.

 

Mask Upside


President-elect Joe Biden has said “Wearing a mask is not about making your life less comfortable or taking something away. It’s to give something back to all of us — a normal life.”

Indeed wearing a mask has so many positive side effects, that I’m not really sure what the fuss is about.

Take me for example. At age 64, my self-evaluation can best be summed up by the late ‘70s band The Monks and their song Nice Legs Shame About the Face. Yup, that’s me in a nutshell. l have my father’s skinny legs, long neck, not-a-lot-of chin, and punctuated by a large nose. Add to that, since Covid I haven’t gotten my hair cut or dyed. The total effect is chestnut brown hair plus a smattering of silvery grey ( ok, maybe slightly more than a smattering) which hangs several inches below my shoulders. Basically I looked like a goose with long hair. So when you add a mask, here is positive side effect number one: I lose 25 years, a larger than life nose, and a sagging jaw line! What more could I ask for?

Wait, there’s more! Did I mention my big nose is always cold? I guess because it sticks out so far in front of me it loses body heat. So positive effect number two: when I walk the dog in the woods behind my house, I’ll put the mask on for warmth.

My nose warming has an unintended positive effect number three: when a runner or bicyclist shows up on my path, they all of a sudden develop a conscience when they see me and quickly yank their mask into place or at least give me a wide berth. Good, right?

Momentary Quarantine


Nothing else to do but isolate in my studio while waiting for a covid test result for my 98yr old mother. I had just visited her and she wore a mask that was way too big. I spent maybe 10 minutes adjusting her mask and discussing her laundry that I was dropping off.

The test was negative! I kind of liked spending deafening alone time. Door closed with nothing to do but paint. The 24 hr wait was a little unsettling. I two big thoughts. Food. Who would feed me? My husband is not into food at all and I am 🙂

The other thought was that I felt sorry that the family would be burdened with all my artwork if I were to die. Lunch first though!

Might’s’Well Day


August 27th. That’s s Might’s’Well Day. Never heard of it? It started about 40 years ago, fourteen miles off the coast of Maine, on an island, on top of a mountain, in a cabin. Max and I started it that day as we lazed around watching the sky for eagles and the ocean for seals. “Should we go down to the water and get some mussels for later?” I asked.

“Might’s’well,” was Max’s answer.

You can guess where this is going. With every adventure and question asked or suggested, the answer was the same.

“Let’s jump the rocks (huge boulders line the coast)!” I said with bucket in hand to get the mussels.

“Might’s’well.” Max said in his casual, hippy way.

“Go swimming, have lunch, take a nap, walk to the quarry?” All questions were answered the same way. By the end of the day it became official. Somehow through all the years, no matter where we are, August 27th remained “Might’s’Well Day!

Just ask any question on that day and see what response you get.

Artist Marketing (during covid)


So many rules to selling oneself! I’ve been told to tease the product, which in this case is hand-painted greeting cards. Then I’m to hash tag the f…k out of every nuance and thought about the card (which for some reason to me is like eating spaghetti left handed in a tornado). Anyway, here is the tease progression for one card that’s on sales.penzart.com

Just a hint of what’s going on
bit more info.
final product….

Still Isolating?


I am. I’m in Northern Va and it’s still deadly out there! However, I am taking this time to become addicted to wine and making cards. Please buy cards to mail to your loved ones and SAVE THE USPS! go to: https://penzart.square.site/

I’m also selling painted grow bags for your balcony container garden 🙂

By the way, is anyone else feeling deadly afraid at the least little cough? I’ve had the worst ever allergies, unlike ever before, and they come with a sore throat and upper respiratory congestion. I don’t want to “open up,” and go out, I want to isolate further until there is a fix, and yet I want to connect, go shopping and see my kids, friends and 98 year old mother! Tough emotions, tough times.

This is a sample of the newest versions.