Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sketchbook Project 2012 Completed!

Yes, January 31st postmark ends the submission for the Sketchbook Project 2012; a constantly evolving library of artists' sketchbooks from across the globe.


You can check their website to see when the world tour will be in the city closest to you. This year thousands of sketchbooks will be exhibited at art spaces in 14 cities. After the tour, they will join the collection of the Brooklyn Art Library and made available to the public seven days a week.

A digital view of my sketchbook:


Title Page

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sunday Sketches

This watercolor and ink painting completes my Sketchbook Project 2012!

As we were knee deep in snow, I drifted to the ocean images.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sunday Sketches

A few years ago I fell in love with a hanging cactus plant that had the most incredible, huge blooms. The plant was full of buds and it was one of those "must haves".

How could one resist this beauty?!

Needless to say it has never bloomed again :( The new growth is pencil thin and would never be able to support a massive flower.

I can dream though......

Only one more sketch to complete my Sketchbook Project 2012. YES!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

More Snow and First Tracks

An unusual foot of snow graced our city of Olympia today.

Yes some shoveling, but time for fun too.

Fresh powder tracks......

Tee, hee :) I just could not resist

Monday, January 16, 2012

Unique Snow Sculptures

I glanced out my kitchen window this morning to find Buddha smiling wrapped in a blanket of snow. Made me smile as I got ready for this morning's winter wonderland walk.

Another favorite snow scene was the bird bath with a layer of snow nesting on the bird and froggie with a mouth full of snow.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Sunday Sketches

One day I was driving to our favorite walking spot and I saw my friends on the bridge at Woodard Bay in Olympia, Washington, watching and taking photos of what?

Stopping I learned that the Mama Mergansers will carry her babies on her back to move them. Later when I got home Barry sent me an e-mail with photos! Barry Troutman is not only a great photographer but also a wildlife specialist who shares his knowledge about what you are looking at when you are with him. Even in his e-mails!

"Here are some of the birds we were watching today down by the bridge. The Mergansers nest upstream, then move downstream with their broods within a day of hatching. Once they head out, they don't return, but spend their early days growing up out in Chapman Bay or outer Woodard Bay beyond the trestle."

The photo is dated July 1st, but it has taken me this long to capture Mama and her ducklings in my sketchbook.

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Dog Artist

I have a book entitled, Why Cats Paint by Heather Busch and Burton Silver, but had not come across a dog that paints until now.

Hallie is a little black and tan long haired dachshund that was adopted from an animal shelter by the artist, Dee Dee Murry.

Hallie is a constant companion to Dee Dee even when she painted. One day Dee Dee wondered if Hallie might like to paint. Hallie learned to pick up the brush out of the paint cup and go over to the paper to make strokes and dabs. Hallie has a website of her paintings for purchase. Since she is a rescue dog herself, the proceeds from her artwork are donated to Purple Heart Rescue of Centralia, Washington.

In April of 2011, Hallie went blind overnight from an autoimmune disease called SARDS (Sudden acquired retinal degeneration syndrome). After Dee Dee took Hallie to Iowa State for possible treatment, she found out that Hallie's blindness was irreversible.

After several months adjusting to her disability, Hallie re-learned to paint. By trial and error and some assistance from Dee Dee, Hallie once again repeats her routine motions of applying a brush stroke of paint followed by several dots of paint.

Dogs are so resilient and amazing in their positive adjustment to disability and Hallie is a shining example and inspiration to not fear our pets' disabilities, nor shy away from adopting disabled dogs.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Time Out

It is vital for one's well being to take time out for fun and new vistas to spark inspiration for creativity.

I just returned from spending time in Whistler, British Columbia, skiing with my good friend, Elaine. Our last day of skiing was absolutely STELLAR! I must share some images of sunshine, new snow, and mountain vistas.

This is the morning view from our window. You can see the snow line and shadow of the mountains behind us as the sun was rising.

I did get a few runs in the fresh powder and can appreciate the tracks down the mountainside off one of the many peaks.

The view from the top of Whistler Mountain.

Here is my friend imitating the Whistler-Blackcomb insignia.

How did she do?

This is my favorite photo of the Whistler-Blackcomb insignia which my son and I took a few years back.

Whistler is one of my favorite places for renewal and inspiration.

And outstanding place to ski!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sunday Sketches

Very little vegetation life outside right now, but ferns are thriving here in the Pacific Northwest.

I thought I would create a sketch in colored pencil of ferns covering two pages in my sketchbook for the Sketchbook Project 2012. Three more double pages and I have completed the sketchbook! Looks like I will have no problem with the January 31st deadline.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

More Scribbles

I picked up one of Bet Borgenson's book on colored pencil techniques and shared it with my art therapy client who, unfortunately is now immobile due to Parkinson's. I have shared my recent creations at times, but I no longer get her feedback. I shared my woes regarding colored pencils and brought Bet's book and my sketchbook on my last visit.

What I learned is the importance of paper when using colored pencil. Bet showed a cross-section of different papers and how the colored pencil works with each. Returning again to my frustration and challenge with the paper provided in the sketchbook, I scribbled. The last sketches in my sketchbook for the Sketchbook Project 2012 will be done in colored pencil because gluing the watercolor sketches into the sketchbook has made it rather bulky.

This scene was inspired by a vista from my walk on the Chehalis Western Trail not far from my house in Olympia, Washington. I love to watch the seasonal transitions of the ponds and especially like cattails. I am a frequent flier on the Trail.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Year Collage

In Yesterday's blog, I shared about an Intention Stick.

Another way to focus on the new year ahead is to create a collage. The collage can be made alone or with a group of friends. This year I spent an afternoon by myself contemplating the new year.

I have learned that sometimes images in these collages come to fruition or symbolize a life experience or insight. One time I made a dream collage with images of the Alps in Switzerland. After finally traveling to Switzerland, I skied the Klein Matterhorn in Zermatt, the Kleine Schcidegg Mannlichca, and the Schilthorn in the area of Interlaken. Upon return, I gazed at my collage to find that all the images were of the ski area around the Matterhorn in Zermatt where I went on the spur of the moment - I KNEW ALL THE IMAGES FIRST HAND FROM MY BEING THERE!

How to create a collage:

FIRST, find a bunch of magazines.

SECOND, cut out images and/or words.

THIRD, use a glue stick to paste images anyway you want to a large piece of paper.


New Year Collage 2012

Who knows what meaning this collage has for me in this new year?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Intention Stick

At the start of the new year, friends gathered for a potluck and to create intention sticks.

What is an intention stick?

These sticks are also known as prayer sticks or talking sticks, but the focus of an intention stick is to create a visual reminder, or fetish piece to bind to you, and the intention that you set, for your life or your future. What a great way to provide focus for the New Year.

All over the world, people make objects to hold and send their prayers. There are special ceremonies found in ancient cultures and practiced today, that involve the construction of ‘holders and senders’ of prayers from natural materials.

It is fun to create intention sticks with friends. Especially sharing food and materials as well as conversation.

How to make an intention stick:

1. Find a stick that you feel is special.

2. Write intentions for the year on a pieces of paper.

3. Wrap the paper intentions face down around the stick and cover the intentions with colorful yarn, ribbon, thread or other materials.

4. Embellish with beads, stones, other objects.

Here is my intention stick from different angles.....

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sunday Sketches


Do you remember scribbling when you were a child? Or, better yet, getting accused of scribbling by another child who thought they were cool?

As an art therapist, I am aware of scribbling as the first stage of artistic development for a child. It is such a freeing feeling and can be very colorful.

I was having these thoughts as I scribbled with colored pencils to create my maple leaf sketch. What fun! It is the only way I know to layer color with this medium. Leaves are a favorite of mine and I could not resist filling a page of my sketchbook with a leaf in its last days.

Maybe it is symbolic of the year ending?

Happy New Year!