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Showing posts from September, 2016

Prayer of Peace for the Dying

Today, I asked God to give someone peace because he is dying.  In fact, he will die soon. I know he has been sick for some time -- a lifetime, really.  But he hid it from most with quiet dignity for many years. This death has gradually consumed his life.  He hurts, he suffers, he slowly wastes away.  Death is not far away now.  It is close, it is coming, it has almost arrived. Today, I mailed him a card with a handwritten letter.  I wish I could tell you that I was eloquent and that my words were important or inspirational, but they were not.  I wish my words could relieve his suffering or make his burden lighter.  But in reality, they were just w o r d s , plain letters I attempted to arrange into some sort of m e a n i n g while I fumbled around  my heavy and clumsy heart. I wrote anyway, a delayed letter that I should have written a month ago.  But I let life flood on with meetings and work and business and mothering and making dinners and washing faces and payi

STEAM activities with acorns for the littles

Alex's kindergarten class will learn about the season of fall this week. We have enjoyed walking outside, picking up acorns, giving them names, and acting out adventures with our new friends. (Fred was eaten by a squirrel and Ginnie grew into a beautiful tree, at least in our stories.) Above is a mix of acorns, mostly from white oaks and red oak trees. If you look closely at this white oak bough, you will see some acorns.   What activities can you do with acorns in the elementary classroom or at home?  Quite a few S T E A M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) activities, as a matter of fact. Science Children can use their senses to describe the acorns, or learn about the life cycle of these baby trees.  They can also learn to identify the different types of oak trees. Here is a red oak  printable for students , courtesy of  You can save as a pdf and print for your kids. Technology The change of seasons is a great r

Latest sketches from the studio

Clarice and I started a Saturday '90s Dance Party in the studio that turned into the Best of the '80s.  I tried to keep my watercolors loose while listening to " Total Eclipse of the Heart ." Clarice also wanted to hear Toto's " Africa , " so she could learn the lyrics. So, it was pretty amazing in the studio today. This is Alex's favorite sketch.  He brings me acorns, because he knows I love them and will eventually draw them. A Lovebot for you, transmitting good vibes. Alex tried out the circular sponge with some gouache paint a few days ago. Alex with his classmates at school. I started this quick sketch with some Koi and Sakura brush pens and then layered a black and white floral pattern on top. This is my favorite new art book . Deborah Kemball's quilting and embroidery are amazing!  I don't sew much, but I have always been inspired by textile arts. This is my Little Inspiration

Can't wait for Fall

As you can see, I still have the work of Klimt still on the brain.  His Tree of Life painting continues to inspire artists all over the world today.  I took this motif to create a calendar printable for my blog subscribers.   You can subscribe to my newsletter, too, if you hit "subscribe" on the right margin of my  home page . I'm looking forward to October when I will teach a course in person at the Sawtooth School for Visual Art in Winston-Salem, NC.  If you are interested in a class in person or online , please let me know.  We will delve into the beautiful world of Joan Miro' in this Taste of Art class  at Sawtooth. In the studio, I'm working on two different series for Art-o-mat , and I hope to have them ready soon.   Stay tuned, also, for a new online class incorporating the style of Matisse . What are you working on these days?  What's happening in your studio?  Let me know in the comments section below or through

Expressive Little Faces

I have enjoyed (another!) of Amarilys Henderson 's online classes -- this one is called Expressive Little Faces .  (You, too, can take her class and try out Skillshare for $0.99 for 3 months by clicking here .) I always have my pen and sketchbook with me.  Earlier this summer, I sketched each child in Vacation Bible School group so that I could remember them and their names better.  I had the youngest age group (5 year olds). They were a hoot!  ;) Unfortunately, I had to stop drawing faces and loves because the kids were becoming too interested in seeing themselves drawn.  (I needed them to pay attention to the lesson being taught by our speaker!) I hope to be able to do this again soon so I can learn more about each child while practicing my sketching skills.  It was a great, improvisational activity to develop my sketching abilities. Hope you enjoy,

Grace greater than fear

Yesterday, I talked with a friend I haven't seen in several months.  Although we never get to chat as much as we would like, I enjoyed the short time we had.  He looked good, especially considering the challenges he has faced lately.  Earlier this summer, his sister passed away.  I was thankful I had the opportunity to tell him that I had been thinking of him and saying a prayer for him and his family. Later, I saw another beautiful lady who always wears a smile.  September 11, 2001 marked a day of national mourning but also the beginning of chemotherapy for her young daughter.  It is hard to believe that it's now several years since her daughter passed away. The word "grace" came to my mind so often yesterday.  We are all in need of grace -- a word of encouragement, a hug, empathy.  Someone you know may need any grace you can impart to him or her today.  Despite life's imperfections, frustrations, setbacks, and disasters, we can extend all that

Klimt Craft Class Debuts on Skillshare

For a limited time, enjoy my new Abstract Art with a Twist:  Paint a Craft in the Style of Klimt . for free with this link . I am excited about the launching of my fifth class on Skillshare .  If you have taken my previous classes on Kandinsky, Mondrian, Miro' or Klee, you will notice a couple of variations to our abstract art theme in this Klimt class : We are painting a bold design on a wood craft (an arrow). There is an optional bonus project on a mini birdhouse , just in case you want to explore different designs from Klimt's imagination. This class focuses on the glittering, gorgeous designs of Klimt's portraiture from 1900 on.  We employ iridescent acrylic paints for the first time in this class. Below is a list of art supplies specifically for this Klimt class.  And you can find books, films, and other links here in this Resource List . Supplies for Klimt Class: Acrylic or craft paints: Buy the best quality paints you can afford. At the end

Defining Artistic Success

I can't recommend highly enough Christine Fleming's new Skillshare class called Art School Boot Camp:  Redefining Success as an Artist . I really enjoy Christine's classes and appreciate her candor in sharing her experiences.  The project for her class was for students to write about how we defined success as an artist, and how that can change over time. Her class project prompted me to share here some of the artistic journey I have traveled. (Thanks so much to the readers of this blog for traveling those paths with me over the years.) Below, I have described artistic goals, expectations, and failures.  I hope that reading this will inspire you to allow yourself the time, room, and patience to embrace your own artistic journey.  Please let me know if you, too, have redefined your idea of success as an artist by participating in some mindful reflection. I started out from college wanting to illustrate a children's picture book (fiction).  This mean