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The Art School – Olhao, Portugal – – (3)

This is a lovely post. I enjoyed reading of their adventure in painting, and viewing these people’s new art! 🙂

My Life as an Artist (2)

I enjoy working with groups where all levels of ability are present…including those that have never painted before.

I like to begin as if none of us know anything, which leaves the door open to re-awaken the inborn curiosity within each of us.


Just as their are no lines around the olive tree in the courtyard, which is changing and evolving all the time,  it is the same with the creative process.

Making art encompasses much more than the act of putting paint onto paper or canvas.      It is a state of mind – a way of being – an observing of the world around us and seeing it in a myriad of different ways.

Looking down into the courtyard from one of the upper levels….taking in all the beautiful shapes, colours, shade and light….. 


Rather than encourage people to paint like me, my goal is to offer

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Challenging Yourself Lately?

“In the last several years I have taken a few art classes. In every one, the instructors emphasized drawing or painting what you see. I understand why they did this, but not everyone “sees” the same exact thing! After studying Georgia O’Keeffe’s work in the past and reading what she had learned in her many years as an artist, I have to say I agree with modern art instructors up to a point. We can spend a great deal of time concentrating on getting this line or this curve in just the right spot so our drawing ends up looking like a photograph, or we can study the subject and know it so well that we can draw it in a way that expresses who we are as individual artists.”  Patsy H. Parker

You may remember the paragraph above which is a tad different today from when I wrote it in my piece about on Georgia O’Keefee. I was re-reading it, and I have found that my approach to drawing has changed quite a bit since just last summer. I have been pulled into learning all about sea turtles, as you know, and lately I have been trying to figure out how to draw them more “animated” looking like in children’s books and movies since I am working on my first children’s book.

Last night I watched “Finding Nemo” to observe how the artists drew the sea creatures, mainly the sea turtles, of course, because lately, I’ve had my animal books out trying to figure out how to make certain sea creatures look animated with the expressions I desire them to have. I don’t want to copy anyone else’s stuff, you know! Professionals make it look so simple, but as I watched the movie (which is on a VHS tape, by the way,) I kept stopping it in places, and I learned I would not want to be an animator for movies! I don’t know what all is involved in their jobs, but I would not want to draw every frame to get them to move the way they do! So I admire anyone who has that much patience! I realize much of this is done on computers now, also, but think of the old movies like “Bambi” when they didn’t have that technology! WOW! Those old Disney artists were incredible! I have great respect for all artists, but those guys made animals so look so incredibly cute! I mean Wilbur from Charlotte’s Web is adorable! I never thought about the fact that he has blue eyes until I noticed them when I watched it again. And his little gosling friend is equally adorable!

I guess I have always had a desire to do animation of animals since I was young. It is fun to learn, but takes a great deal of thought. That’s what I like, though, a good challenge!


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

Art Jobs That Sound Interesting To Me

Georgia O'Keeffe on Success

In “The Successful Artist’s Career Guide – Finding Your Way in the Business of Art, there are many lists of different types of art jobs to choose from.

Art jobs that sound interesting to me from these lists are:

1. Paint scenery for the theater
2. Teach art to children. I would also like to teach art to people with special needs.
3. Do art workshops with children, the elderly, or the chronically ill.
4. Write about art or art techniques.
5. Work in a gallery
6. Show in a gallery
7. Design posters, cards, stationery
8. Write an art technique book, and/or write and illustrate a book. (I am in the process of trying to come up with a picture book series for children about each type of sea turtle.)
9. Sell my art work at art fairs.
10. Be an apprentice to a well-known artisan (I wish I could work with Georgia O’Keeffe.)
11. Assist another artist (manage schedule, chauffeur, buy art supplies, stretch canvases, etc.)

Reading…one of my favorite things!

“Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably.”  C. S. Lewis

I love this quote! It was in my Goodreads newsletter today. I had never heard it before as one of his quotes. I agree with him wholeheartedly! One of my favorite things to do is have a cup of hot tea while I’m reading in bed at night. So now I’ll probably think of Mr. Lewis when I’m having my tea as well!

One thing I’ve always wanted to do is find a local book club. I haven’t gotten around to it yet, but the thing I used to love about taking literature classes in college was reading and discussing books whether they be non-fiction or fiction. One of my favorite literature classes that I took was when I went back to college for awhile after having both of my kids. My youngest child was about one and a half; her brother is two years older.

The class was in the morning for an hour three times a week. My mom was not a morning person, so I found a friend from church who gladly watched my kids for me…for free. She was a lot younger than my mom and loved little ones. She already had grandchildren and was used to all the running around and changing diapers. She never had a complaint about them which was so wonderful. Sometimes I stayed at the college for an hour or two after my class to do homework, too. So I will never forget Gwen.

Anyway, the class I took was Asian American Literature. We read writing by authors who wrote from the cultures of Vietnam, China, Japan, etc. We discussed the Japanese-American internment camps, the Vietnam War, and many other things. But the book we had to read, discuss, and write an essay final on was called “The Woman Warrior” by Maxine Hong Kingston. It was a haunting but inspirational book. There was a great deal of it I may not have understood if it hadn’t been for the help of my awesome instructor, Steve Turnwall. He brought out things and explained them to where I really got into that book. As I read it, I took notes, wrote in the margins, and asked a lot of questions. It is the only book I will never forget reading in college, the one that has stuck in my memory all these years. So if you’ve never read it, check it out!

Reading is one of the greatest privileges I have ever known. My mom was an avid reader; she only enjoyed fiction, but also read the newspaper.  She and my dad sat together at the table drinking coffee and reading the newspaper every morning after they retired. I was living with them for awhile then so I will never forget that image. It makes me smile. They would discuss the local news and tell me all about stuff while I had my breakfast before going off to my classes. My dad only read the newspaper and T.V. Guide. Once in awhile he would look through baseball books, but I never saw my dad read a full-length book. He was more of a T.V. guy.

My mom read so many novels after she retired that she would go to the Goodwill store and buy bags of them. She would read through them and save them for a while. Then she would trade them in at a local used bookstore for more books to read! She went to the library a couple of times, but that was it. Apparently it wasn’t her cup of tea. But I remember that when I was in grade school she used the library regularly. She would take me with her, and we would check books out together. Back then we could only check out two books at a time for two weeks with one renewal. I have become spoiled with our local library. I don’t feel I have to hurry to read anything anymore. We can check out as many books as we want for three weeks with two more renewals! I know that’s a long time to have a book, but that’s almost how long it took me to read that enormous Georgia O’Keeffe biography last summer!

Georgia O'Keeffe, Full Bloom

What kinds of books do you like to read? Leave me your comments! I’d love to know my readers as well. Have a great day and give someone you love a big hug!

Georgia O’Keeffe’s Footsteps

Donna, thank you for liking my blog. I’m glad I checked yours out, too! These pictures are great and go with all of the stuff I’ve been writing about Georgia O’Keeffe. I’m glad you were able to go there. I sure wish I could! Maybe someday. Thanks again.

Always Backroads

white place 1

In the distance from Georgia O’Keeffe’s Abiquiu home, the cliffs she called ‘The White Place’ can be seen.  She would drive there and camp, wander and draw and pick up a few rocks.

I had an O’Keeffe weekend visiting her Abiquiu home, photographing the Pedernal, walking around the White Place and finishing up at the O’Keeffe museum in Santa Fe.  And I learned to spell ‘Abiquiu.’

white place 2

Thoughts from that trip – I didn’t realize she was 61 when she moved to the Abiquiu house which was beautiful, but not easy living.  She had a huge garden and dried or canned much of her food.

I took the guided tour of the house – the only way to see inside.  No cameras, no sketchbooks, no writing paper allowed.  I felt naked.  But also alive to paying attention in a way that a camera prohibits.  Not sure I want to spend more…

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“Full Bloom: The Art and Life of Georgia O’Keeffe

Today I cried as I read about the ending of Georgia O’Keeffe’s life.  It’s amazing that she almost made it to 100.  (I know this, because my Grandmother made it to 102!)  Georgia lived a long full life, that’s for sure.  She had more stamina than most people have in half that long of a life.  But after many illnesses and her nervous break down earlier in her life, she decided that she wanted to become healthier.  Leaving her husband I’m sad to say was the only way that could happen for her.  She just couldn’t live with his insanity, adultery, and his bothersome family any more.  Who can blame her?  The last half of her life was a very simple life.  I’ve concluded that she had to have been more of a recluse than anyone I’ve ever read about.  But that was how she wanted to live – a simple life doing what she loved – her art!   Her little adobe house in New Mexico was her home.   

Here she felt serene, happy and motivated to work once she was totally on her own.  She seemed to have a somewhat harsh personality some might say, but I think it was because she didn’t trust people easily.  She was taken advantage of emotionally by her husband, and others tried to tell her how to be who they wanted her to be.  What I love about her most, though, was that she basically said, “the heck with everyone else!  I’m going to be my own person, do my own thing, and be happy. ” And that’s exactly what she did.

But don’t just take my word for it.  Read the biography I read.  It is called  “Full Bloom:  The Art and Life of Georgia O’Keeffe”, by Hunter Drohojowska-Philp.  I wrote a review for it at Goodreads, but didn’t say as much there as I have here.  On there you will see that the paperback is 480 pages.  I think the one I read was a little larger print (because I’m half blind)!  The one I read was about 545 pages!!  To date that is the longest book I have ever read.  I’ve read the whole Harry Potter series, but I read her seventh book in a few days!  As involved as that novel is, I was so engrossed in the story, I devoured it almost overnight!  However, this biography took me well over five weeks to digest.  But that is the difference.  There was a lot of stuff to think about and digest.   She was a complex person to understand.

As you can tell, Georgia O’Keeffe is my favorite artist.  What artists have you read about?  I’d love to be referred to some great biographical books on artists.  I’ve read a couple about Vincent Van Gogh and browsed some about other artists.  But the book I just finished was the best one about any artist that I’ve ever read.  Check it out!  I won’t tell.  After all, I got mine at the library.

Happy reading, painting, etc.  Have a great day and give someone you love a hug.


“Success doesn’t come with painting one picture. It results from taking a certain definite line of action and staying with it.”

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