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Siamese Fighting Fish Watercolor

Siamese Fighting Fish

Hello Friends,

Today I took a nice fall walk with my husband all around the hatchery.  When I came home, I decided to do a little painting.  It’s about 5″ x 7″.  The yellow and orange leaves of the hatchery’s sycamore oak trees were my inspiration.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂


Sumi-E Ink Drawings

Hello Friends,

Here is what I did last Sunday afternoon.

An elephant (which I sketched from a painting I did for my daughter a few years ago.)  This Sumi-e ink drawing is a little different from the painting I did.  Here’s the Sumi-e ink drawing of my elephant.  It was a quick sketch (that back right leg looks a little skinnier than the rest!)  Ha, ha!



And a couple of Cardinal birds.  One is puffy from the chilly air.


I was looking in a bird book for this one and did a rough sketch of two different photos.  I am planning to do a watercolor of a Cardinal in honor of my mom.  She loved them even though we never lived anywhere where they could be found.

And now for a little of bit of self-promotion which I rarely do.

I had the original painting of “Grace’s Elephant” printed on 5×7 cards that I am still selling for $5.  I only have a few left.  I have not gotten re-prints of any of my cards yet.  So I occasionally sell some and have used some to accompany gifts I have given people.  The two card prints I am currently out of are the ones titled “Sherri’s Ocean” and “Danny Boy” (the horse.)  They were my best sellers besides “Grace’s Elephant.”  I still have some of those left, though, because I ordered two dozen of those to begin with.  A lot of my daughter’s school friends wanted her elephant a few years ago.  🙂  The other cards I have are of the blue hydrangeas acrylic painting I did, a pink rose painting, and one called George’s Alpenglow.

If you would like to purchase any of my art, I have an art page on Facebook.  You may message me on there about anything you may want.  I do not have any online payment plan set up, however.  I would have to get your address and give you mine to send me a check.  Unfortunately, I haven’t figured out how to do all of that yet.  I will have a lot more time to do all of this when my daughter graduates from high school in May!!

Anyway, here is the link:


Have a wonderful weekend, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂  

Thank you for reading my blog!!!

The Spirit of Giving


via “It doesn’t make much difference how the paint is put on as long as something has been said.” — Art of Quotation

Hello everyone!

I found this beautiful painting on my friend Douglas’s website Art of Quotation.  He always finds and publishes such great art and quotes!  Thanks Doug!

I think Jackson Pollock was a painter who did something a bit revolutionary.  Isn’t coming up with something no one has ever tried a challenge and then being brave enough to put it “out there” for others to see and judge?  I sure think so.

However, I believe that even if one traces their photograph or someone else’s so that it will be the right proportions (which I do most of the time) and then applies their medium of choice to enhance it, their originality will still shine through.  I hope my “signature” comes through anyway!

Most artists who enjoy what they do and don’t worry too much about what they do coming out “perfect” are usually happy with their outcomes especially if the end result blesses someone else.  After all when someone is happy with a gift that is unexpected, what more joy could a person ask for?

I think I have come to the place in my artistic endeavors where I just want God to bless others through what He has given me the desire and ability to do.   It is sad though that many artists, writers, etc. may end up doing what they love and giving it away instead of getting to a place where it can become an income someday, but really, I think life is all about being a blessing and loving who you can love while you’re here.  Sure there is the “earning a living doing what you love” thing, but I think that is becoming more and more possible these days.

However, in the meantime try not to let “someday I’ll be successful” be your way of thinking.  Say to yourself, “I can be successful in whatever I do today by loving what I do and giving what I love to create to others.”

Here is hoping the spirit of giving is in your heart every day as well as on Christmas day.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night! (a little early)

Love always,



Clown Fish Watercolor and Chinese Ink

Hello everyone and happy Friday.

Meet Clara, the Clown Fish!


Yesterday I began this painting by using my Chinese ink and brushes to paint the black parts of the fins of this clown fish. I left the white of the paper for the white of the fish.

Next I began painting the oranges and yellows and added really watered down ink to the white areas for the gray shadows.  I decided not to paint a background, because I like her just as she is.

This is not usually how I paint, so I was experimenting which is always fun.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂




Sumi-e: The Art of Japanese Ink Painting

Hello friends,

I just wanted to update you on what I have been reading and doing lately.  Today I was reading the book called “Sumi-e:  The Art of Japanese Ink Painting” by Shozo Sato.  I have not gotten very far yet, but I was intrigued by what is said here:  ” Sumi-e is commonly described as art done in monochrome, with the use of sumi ink and handmade paper.  Sumi-e means ‘black ink painting’ (sumi=black ink; e=painting.)  The ideogram:

sumi-symbol-in-japanesewhich is read sumi in Japanese can also be read as boku in Chinese, and as is true of most Asian art and culture, the roots of Japanese painting are found in China.”   I didn’t know this until I chatted with my friend on Facebook who said, “…roots of many Japanese cultural things are found in China and Korea.  Japan is the ‘youngest kid’ of the Far East.  Haha!”  So every day I am learning many things about Chinese and Japanese culture in my endeavor to learn their unique ways of painting and writing!  It is challenging and fun.

Here are a couple of pages I did in practicing strokes from the book “The Heart of the Brush” by Kazuaki Tanahashi.

These are vertical, diagonal, horizontal and dew drop strokes.  It is difficult to do to say the least!  However, I am up for the challenge!

vertical-diagonal-and-dewdrop-strokes                                              dewdrop-and-horizontal-strokes-2

 I actually did these a week or so ago, but just hadn’t had a chance to post them.  I am planning to get back to practicing later today.  I wasn’t feeling very well the last few days, but I feel better today.  So after a workout and a shower, I plan to get back to this!

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂



Hello everyone!  Here is the third painting I did the other day.  I love the colors of the yellows and golds that I have. My two recent favorite yellows in watercolor paints are Winsor & Newton’s Quinacridone Gold and Daniel Smith’s Extra Fine Watercolors Aureolin (Cobalt Yellow.)  They blend well, and are bright.  The background water was done with Winsor & Newton’s French Ultramarine.  The French Ultramarine is my very favorite blue to use from any brand of watercolors.  It can be a rich dark blue used right out of the tube, or it can be lightened with a lot of water.

I did not use my Chinese brushes for this one at all.  The fins were especially challenging, but I achieved the “clear” look of them by lifting out paint with water.  It is one of my favorite watercolor techniques to use to get back most of the white of the paper when necessary. Also, the little circles that resemble bubbles were made by dropping large grains of salt into the wet paint and letting the paint dry.  Then when the salt is removed, there are dots!  I don’t do it very often, but decided to try it on this one.  My son said they looked like bubbles, so bubbles they are!

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂



Hello friends,

If any of you ever watched the cartoon of Pokemon in the 90’s like I did with my kids, you heard that question yelled out every day! Then after the commercial break, they would show us which Pokemon came out of the big red, white and black ball.

So if you don’t know who this one is, meet Turtwig!  Isn’t it adorable?  I want one!  I have been wanting to paint several more Pokemon characters for the last year or so and just hadn’t gotten around to it.  I was going to outline this one with pen, but decided not to.  I had a lot of fun painting it, and if you know anything about me at all, you would know why!  I love turtles and sea turtles!  So Turtwig was fun to paint!  I have a How to Draw Pokemon book that I bought years ago.  It has several in it, so that is where I got this.  I eyeballed it and put the shadows in that they have in the book, so it isn’t my original design.  The little How to Draw book was published by Scholastic.  I originally bought it for my son since he was so into the show, the movies, and collecting the Pokemon cards.  We even have a Pokemon game!  However, drawing never became a hobby of his.

In the past I pained two other Pokemon characters, Mudkip for my son, and Pickachu for my daughter.  I painted both of those in acrylics, though, so this is my first watercolor Pokemon.

I have not had a desire to go hunting for any, but my daughter has caught several.  I am not sure if she is still doing it.  We live almost an hour’s drive away from the biggest town near us so there are not many Pokemon lurking out here in the boonies!  But who knows how many more will come out of my paint brushes?

I hope everyone is enjoying the change in weather (if you are having any.)  We have finally gotten some really nice cool weather for our area in the last week or so.  We have been able to leave the windows open for most of the day and night.  It just gets too stuffy in the later afternoon, so I still turn on the A/C then.  But right now it is only 50 degrees and it is after 7:00 a.m.!  When the weather is the hot temperatures we usually get in summer, it is at least 80 degrees by this time in the morning.  I am making coffee right now and sitting here dressed in a flannel shirt over a t-shirt, sweat pants, and socks on my feet (which I haven’t felt in many months.)  I am really hoping that Fall is officially here!

So wherever you are, if you are experiencing this nice cooler weather after a long hot summer, grab a cup of hot coffee or tea, and enjoy the cool air!  Maybe you can even go in search for some Pokemon!

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂


Koi 'fish


Hello friends.  Well, day before yesterday I stayed pretty busy working on 3 paintings!  I didn’t start out intending to do that many, but I was “in the zone!”

This first one is a Koi fish.  I added the background spontaneously after I painted the fish, so of course it makes the fish look too big for real perspective, but that’s okay.

I did this one with my Chinese brushes, but I was having a bit of trouble with them, because I’m not sure they are of very good quality.  I do however, love the complementary colors of blue and orange together very much.  The black Chinese ink I have is very different from the other ink I began using a month or so ago.  My husband told me it is the same ink he used for some calligraphy he was trying to learn how to do over ten years ago!!  I didn’t realize that ink was that old!  So although I feel a little frustrated with the bristles on the brushes, I love the Chinese ink I found!  I will be posting my other two paintings over the next couple of days.

I have also been practicing the first strokes Kazuaki Tanahashi teahces in his book, “The Heart of the Brush.”  Asian calligraphy is tough!  I think I have begun a very long journey to learning how to do it.  That’s okay, though. Life is a journey, and learning Asian calligraphy and Chinese brush painting are companions I have chosen to take along with me on my path!

I hope everyone else’s journey is filled with hope, peace, and love today!  Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug.  🙂

Painting Chinese by Herbert Kohl

 Hello Friends!

A couple of days ago I finished this book by Herbert Kohl called “Painting Chinese-A Lifelong Teacher Gains the Wisdom of Youth.”  This book is about an aging man who lived in San Francisco and had been a teacher for many years.  From the time he was 65 until age 70 he “created and directed a teacher education program at the University of San Francisco based on the idea of integrating issues of social justice throughout the curriculum, hoping to bring young idealistic people into public school teaching and to fortify them with the skills and stamina to make their dreams practical realities.” (pg. 3)  His program was successful and had helped thirty students.  After four years, much to his dismay, the university cut the program.

However, during the last year of that job, he wandered the streets of San Francisco gravitating toward Clement Street which was predominantly “Mainland and Taiwanese Chinese and Koreans with a mix of Asian Americans…” (pg. 4)  One day during one of his daily walks in that neighborhood he stumbled across a sign that said “JOSEPH FINE ARTS SCHOOL.”  The school taught classes in sculpture, calligraphy, drawing, and painting.  Herbert was a painter himself who had become bored with what he was doing on his own.  He went in to find Joseph Fine and inquire about the classes.

He found out that Joseph’s last name was really Yan.  He and his wife Janny taught classes there in all of the mediums the sign had listed.  Then feeling sheepish, Herbert realized his blunder…there was not a “Joseph Fine” as he had thought.  “It was the Joseph Fine Arts School.” (Page 6)  He decided to enroll.

Herbert’s first semester was a drawing class where he learned a great deal under Joseph’s patient and encouraging tutelage.  After he completed his first class he asked Joseph if he could take a painting class, and Joseph said yes, but he would have to start in a beginner class.  Much to Herbert’s surprise he found himself in a classroom of small children on the first day of his new painting class.  There were two five-year-olds, two seven-year-olds, and one six-year old.  It felt strange to Herbert at first to find out he was the only adult in the class, but as time went on he felt more comfortable.  Herbert had taught elementary school for many years before he was at the college so he loved getting to be around small children again. It made him feel like a child himself in his old adult body.  However, he did have to learn to restrain himself from helping the children whenever it seemed like they were struggling with something.  A couple of times he naturally tried to since he was used to teaching small children, but all it took was one stern look from Joseph to tell him it wasn’t his place.  Herbert learned to respect Joseph and his place as the instructor.  He learned to be a student again and loved it.

I could go on and on about this wonderful little book; instead, I would encourage you to read it for yourself especially if you are an aging person like I am.  I am 55, my youngest child is a senior in high school, and I am looking forward to my latter years in life much more than I have in a long time.

I want to learn to paint well with Chinese brushes and learn Asian calligraphy.  I have my new brushes now and my new book.  Today I tried doing the beginnings of Asian calligraphy with my Chinese brushes and ink.  Wow, it is really difficult!  I plan to stick with it as long as I can, though.

I admit I sometimes feel bored in life, but I have learned that as long as there is breath in me, I will never stop trying to learn something new.  Learning brings growth.  Growth brings maturity.  And hopefully, the maturity I gain will be able to be passed on to others as I age.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

Stickleback Fish Watercolor

Stickleback Fish

Hello friends!  Well, I know I promised to post this a couple of days ago, but at this time of the month our internet service slows down a whole lot during normal daytime hours.  So I happened to wake up a few minutes ago, and it is only 4:00 a.m. right now and decided now is as good a time as any to get this done!  I went to bed early, and I don’t have to go anywhere today!

This Stickleback fish is one of the most challenging things I have ever painted.  He is in a stream of course and most likely looking for food somewhere.  Hopefully he won’t get hooked!  (Derek, this is just for looking at, not eating!  Although, out of curiosity, what kind of wine would go well with one?)  As I stated in a previous post, this is for my friend Derek who also has a WordPress blog.  He had a post about Stickleback fish a while back which is what gave me the idea to do this for him.  (I hope you like it, Derek!)

In other news I began practicing my Chinese brush calligraphy yesterday, and I think I will be learning that for the rest of my life!  Wow, it is difficult!  I really want to find someone locally who does it and might help me so I don’t develop any bad habits!  I don’t know if that will happen, but in the meantime, I will keep on keeping on!

I hope everyone is having a nice end to the summer months.  We were able to leave our air conditioning off last night.  As I type now there is a nice cool breeze coming through the window.  Fall is on its way…I hope!  We do sometimes get a few really hot days or weeks in September so I know the hot weather isn’t quite over yet.  Well, I’m going back to bed!

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

InkBlots and IceBergs

a psychologist writing about psychology and writing

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