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BLOGGING IS COURAGEOUS!!!

Hello Friends,

I have had such a great week!  First, I want to share quickly that I finished my Assignment 6 story which is a story about a girl with the compulsion to cut, and it is targeted at middle-school to teen-aged kids.  I haven’t turned it in yet, though, because I have another part of my assignment to finish also.  But it will definitely be in before March 1st!  I am proud of myself which is not as difficult to say as it used to be for me.

Second, I am working on a mama and baby porcupine watercolor, but because of all the writing, I am taking it easy with my arm.  I am still working out (not every day) but when I do, it helps a lot.

Lastly, the reason I titled this post “BLOGGING IS COURAGEOUS” is because I have been blessed to have many new followers lately, and NEW bloggers who have begun blogging about their challenges with depression and anxiety and other mental health issues.  To all of you who have recently found and followed me, congratulations!  Keep on blogging, try not to get discouraged, and make lots of friends.

It is challenging and blogging and making new friends online has been very rewarding for me.  Keep up the great work bloggers!

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

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Mama & Baby Hedgehogs

Hello Friends,

Yesterday I took a lot longer to do this little sketch than I had planned to, and my arm was sore, but I like the way it turned out.  A little brighter than I wanted, but I think the gold watercolor pencil is brighter than I think until I’ve already used it.  Ha, ha!  😉

Hedgehogs normally have those little white tips at the end of their fur, too, but that was difficult to portray without tracing the photo.  What I like about this one is the way the mama is lying on her side looking at her baby.  I used to do that when my babies were lying on the floor!

Sometimes I really miss those early childhood days with my kids, but we are all in such a great stage of grown-up life together now, that making memories NOW is all that matters!   Just getting the privilege to be my kids’ mom has been awesome!

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

Mama & Baby Hyenas

Hello Friends,

You may LAUGH at this one!  They just look too funny.  This one was tough!  The picture in the book of animals my daughter gave me has them laying down in the grass, but it is cropped so that you can’t see much of the rest of their bodies except their heads!  So I think their heads are too big.  The mama’s body is almost the same color as the grass that is in the bright sunshine, too.  Very challenging.  Anyway, I used my Prismacolor watercolor pencils for this one on the small watercolor sketchpad I’ve been using for all the other recent mama and baby animals I have been painting.  I realized I have not done a large painting at my art table in a long time!  Using these are so much easier, but I do miss mixing the paints and using my larger brushes.

Onto other news, though.  On Friday I took my husband’s truck to town to get groceries.  We have been having very warm weather for February, up in the lower 80’s, so I had a lot of meat and dairy to put in the coolers (for the 45 minute drive home.)  I had to open the tailgate to be able to do that instead of just putting them in from the side of the camper shell like I usually can.

THEN something happened after I put the tailgate up and started to drive!!  I saw something fall out the back after I drove out of the parking lot!  (I never went back for whatever it was.)  So I drove straight across the street to the Barnes and Noble parking lot to see what happened.  When I got out to look, the tailgate was hanging half-way off!  I thought, what the heck?  So I tried to call my husband but he was working and didn’t pick up on his cell.  I sent him a text and still no response.  (Our cell phone reception out where we live is not great.  He got my text that night.)

Fortunately,  an able-bodied, middle-aged guy drove into the parking lot, and I asked him for help.  He took one look at the back of the truck and said, “Whoa!  You aren’t going to be able to drive like that!”  (I thought to myself, “here’s your sign.”)  He reminded me of myself!  My kids have always teased me about pointing out the obvious!

So he tried lifting the left side back into the slot it had slid out of, and of course I had to help him.   I had to hold the other side while he fixed it.  I was SO thankful he came along when he did!

However, after driving home and unloading the largest load of groceries I have bought in a long time, my back was strained…a lot!  So I spent the weekend nursing it with wet heat and some exercise.  It is still sore, but I’ll be okay.

I spent Sunday afternoon doing laundry, watching t.v., and reading while George went to play D&D with his friends.  It became so warm I had to turn on the A/C!  I sure hope we get some cold weather again soon.  I am not ready for spring or summer!

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

Mama & Baby Southern Elephant Seals

Hello Friends,

Yesterday I decided to sketch another “Mama & Baby” photo from the book The Wisdom of Moms by Bridget E. Hamilton that my daughter sent to me when she was gone this summer.  The page next to the photo is labeled Compassion.  Part of the text gives us some insight into these wonderful mothers.  It says,

“At first glance, a lumbering elephant seal does not seem like a compassionate, loving animal.  But looks can be deceiving!  Elephant seal rookeries are crowded with mothers and babies, but once her pup is born, mom learns his scent and listens for his signature cry that she can identify among the commotion.  If a pup does get lost there is a chance it will be adopted by another elephant sea cow.  The foster mother will suckle the pup and raise him as her own.”

As many of you already know, I love sea creatures.  Sea lions are such beautiful animals.  The few times I have visited San Francisco in the past, I have seen huge groups of California sea lions bundled together and lying on the pier at Fisherman’s Wharf.  So I know this to be true about the nature of these beautiful mothers.

Someday I hope to live on the coast in California…somewhere!  I also hope to swim in the ocean again.  It is pretty amazing.

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

Sea Otter Mama & Baby Watercolor

Hello Friends,

I used my Prismacolor watercolor pencils to draw these cuties.

Have a wonderful day and give someone you love a big hug.  😁

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!  🙂

Pig Mama and Baby…almost finished.

 

Hello Friends,

I started sketching this mama pig and her baby the other day.  The mama pig’s eyes are completely closed, so it may look funny when I finish.  The photo is from a very nice gift my daughter bought for me a couple of months ago.  The gift is a book called “The Wisdom of Moms…Love and Lessons From the Animal Kingdom” by Bridget E. Hamilton.  She thought I would like to draw the animals; they are all beautiful.  My daughter was sad that there were not any turtles in the book, but when I received it from her in the mail while she was gone this summer, I probably don’t have to tell you how much I cried.  Just knowing she thought of me when she found it was a gift in itself.

The quote on the next page for this photo says “Love the moment, and the energy of that moment will spread beyond all boundaries.”  Sister Corita Kent.  This is so true!  Learning to live in the present has always been a challenge for me.  I used to preoccupy my thoughts with things I was dealing with from the past or worrying about the future, but I do very little of that anymore.  The present is beautiful in itself!

At the bottom of the page where this quote is, it says, “Free-range farm pigs will make a nest for their families, gathering straw for warmth when the piglets are young.”  The photo shows them laying in some straw.  This is going to be very challenging to do in pencil!

I love all animals in the book, and I still can’t tell you why when I was a teenager I began to love turtles so much, but as I have said before I love sea turtles now, because they are so beautiful, graceful, and endangered.  For my fourth assignment for my writing class I am working on gathering current information about sea turtles, picking the most endangered type, and writing about conservation.  I think this assignment is going to take a while…just doing the research will take quite a bit of time.

In the meantime, another project I am going to have to start soon is working on a painting of our dog for an auction on eBay to benefit “Forever Foster Homes” and the “Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary.”  Their notice said they are “currently providing lifetime care for over 300 senior dogs.”  My daughter told me about it a while back.  It is not a contest; they are just taking donations of people’s artwork.  The deadline for donations is November 1st!  The auction starts the second week of November.

So as usual I have my work cut out for me.  I also want to write a piece to send into “Chicken Soup for the Soul” which would be my first real writing submission anywhere.  It has to be a true story.  I may have told you all about it already.  There is no deadline for this, though.

However, the institute where I am taking my class is having a poetry contest.  The poem has to be about an animal, but I really don’t write a lot of poetry, so I’m not sure I’m going to have time to submit anything.  Also, the deadline for that is November 5th!  Whew!  Lots of opportunities but I need to choose wisely.

I hope everyone will enjoy your October, the beginning of fall, and Halloween if you celebrate it.  I hope to make a few more posts this month, but my creative life has gotten pretty busy these days!  I am hoping to get the first couple of 5×7 paintings of my sea turtles I did to a printer this month also!

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

Blanket Octopus 2

Hello Friends,

A couple of nights ago I decided to find the part of the nature show I watched that showed the “Blanket” octopus spreading herself out to make herself look bigger.  I found it and paused it at the best place to draw from.  I couldn’t really get the brilliance of the sunlight shining down into the water and “through” her body, but this is the best I could do with watercolor pencils.

Watercolor pencils are very different to work with than paint out of the tube or even the solid cakes of paint in a pan, which I have never liked much.  With pencils, you can either draw first and add the water which is what I do so the colors won’t bleed too much, or you can wet your paper and then draw.  I have just always done it the first way I mentioned.

So here she is:  “Blanche” the Blanket Octopus!  (I have been watching reruns of “Golden Girls” lately!  Blanche is my favorite character.

Over the next few days I will be posting more turtles I have drawn to fit a 5×7 card!  (I would love to know if you think they should be smaller on the card with more background or fill the card as I have drawn them??? Let me know!) So watch for them to come swimming along.

The weather here has been cooler the last couple of days!  I have not had to turn the A/C on until almost noon!  Nice!

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

 

 

“Blanket” Octopus Watercolor

Hello Friends,

Here is a quick sketch I did the other night with my watercolor pencils.  I was watching a nature show about sea creatures a couple of weeks ago, and I had never seen this type of octopus before!  I sketched it in graphite pencil first, but made a note that it was a vivid red color!  (My watercolor pencils don’t do it justice, and I will probably paint it again bigger and closer to the real color at some point.)

This type of octopus is called a Blanket octopus.  This is a female.  They can grow as long as 6 feet!  They drift in the open ocean at all times.  When she feels threatened by predators, she can unveil her “Gossamer shroud” to make herself look bigger.  She can also detach part of her cloak to confuse her predators as well as release ink!  I thought it was interesting.

And if you want to see the first octopus I did, it’s called Octopus on the Loose!

I painted this on a Canson 5×7 watercolor sketch pad I picked up the other day.  I haven’t used my watercolor pencils in a while, and this is not exactly how red it appears in the show, but I am going to watch it again, and hopefully be able to match the red better with my paints from the tube.  Also, I am going to try and paint her with her shroud spread out a lot more like it showed on the nature show.  And who knows?  Maybe I will get some octopus cards made, too, someday!

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

 

 

Mr. C. Turtle, Page 2

Hello Friends,

I thought I would share page 2 of one of my stories I am working on right now.  In case you missed it,  you can click on the category Stories in Progress to see page 1.

I had two illustrations painted on one page, but I had to divide them so I could fit the text in.  So it doesn’t look the same, but eventually I hope to get it the way I want it!!

You know, one of these days, I really hope to get a new program where it won’t be so much trouble to put text with my uploaded pictures of my paintings!  If anyone has any suggestions on a reasonably priced program, please let me know!  Thank you!

So without further ado…..here’s page 2!

© Mr. C. Turtle Makes New Friends

By Patsy H. Parker

 

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

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