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5×7 Sea Turtle #2

Hello Friends,

Here is my new Hawksbill sea turtle in watercolor.  I did this one yesterday.  Since I had it lightly penciled on the paper already, I painted it in a few hours.

I am inside right now during the solar eclipse getting ready to wash some dishes.  We didn’t get special glasses to watch it.  My husband had a doctor’s appointment this morning also, so he may be inside through most of it.  Oh well.  I stood on our very shaded back porch and took a few pictures at different times between 10:05 and 10:40 a.m. PT.  It was definitely darker!

Well, I hope everyone has a wonderful week.  I will probably get back to some writing later today after doing dishes and working out.

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


5×7 Cards Ready to Paint



Hello Friends!

I just wanted you to know that I am still working on my cards.  Unfortunately, I did not make it to the printer this week with the first one.  I became involved in a huge writing project.

Anyway, I did get three more sea turtles LIGHTLY drawn (sorry if you can’t see them well) onto the watercolor paper and will probably do some painting later today.

I didn’t feel very well for a couple of days this week, but I did get to talk with both of the kids for quite a while which made my week a lot brighter!

I hope everyone has a great weekend and all of you creative people out there are enjoying your creative endeavors, whatever they may be.

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

5×7 Sea Turtle #1 FINISHED!!


Hello Friends!

Here is my first 5×7 Sea Turtle watercolor painting with the background!  This is my Green Sea Turtle.  In case you’re wondering why they are called “Green,” it is not because of the colors of their shells which are usually a brown color (mine is covered with moss, etc.) but it is because of the fat inside their bodies!  It is green from all the algae and other plants they eat!  Cool, huh?

I cannot seem to get my phone camera to do the colors justice, though.  The blues and greens in the water are not coming out as much as you can see them in person.  I tried taking the photo in different areas and this one taken outside was the best.  I think when it is scanned by the computer guy at the print shop, it will come out better.  I will dropping it off to them on Monday, August 14th since I will already have to be in town that day for the dentist.  I live over a 30 minute drive away so I go to town as little as possible!

I’m not sure how many to order, but will probably just start with a dozen.  The first time has to include the cost of scanning the painting as well.  So it could be two weeks or so before they are ready most likely.

In the meantime, I will be starting on the second one!  I am also working on my second children’s story for my writing class.  I wrote the first two drafts out by hand, and the second draft is a lot longer.  Now I’m going to type them to see what my word count is!

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


Remember Me?

Hello Friends,

I was looking at a photo of the painting I did three years ago of Kevin, the Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle and trying to re-sketch him on my 5×7 watercolor pad.  And again, the issue for me with watercolor pencils seems to be with color and blending.   This came out too bright and yellowish looking to me.  But it was still good drawing practice and relaxing while we were watching our ER dvds.  😉

Here is a link to my original painting of Kevin and his sea turtle friends.

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

PhotoPad Fun!

Hello Friends!

The other day I got to chatting with a fellow blogger, Kevin Cameron, who also has a blog here on WordPress called

I was asking him what type of photo editing he used and we went back and forth for a while.  I can’t afford what he has, but he took the time to help me find a FREE one called PhotoPad!  It is simple, easy to use, and the price is just right for me at this time!  Thanks Kevin!  I appreciate your help!

So I was “doodling” around with one of my paintings that I have published here before, and this is how I changed my Floating sea turtle!  I love purple and yellow!  I also added a border!

The New Floater


The Original Floater

Pretty cool huh?  It will be a fun “toy” to play with and a great tool for editing any photos or just changing stuff up to make something new!  So I glad I held out and waited until I found the person who was able to help me most!

I am still working on a painting and my drawings for future prints of new 5×7 sea turtle cards, but it will take a while. I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend!

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

WINNER of Giveaway Watercolors!!

Hello Friends!

Today I am going to be announcing the WINNER of the Giveaway for these two paintings!  I picked from the five names of people who liked the post announcing the Giveaway.  I had to shoot the video last night since we will be out of town for part of the day today.  Thanks to all who entered!  Congratulations to________WATCH!



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

GIVEAWAY Watercolor Paintings

Hello Friends,

I know I already posted here today about World Watercolor Month starting.  So…I decided to go ahead and do a little sketch on a small 4″ x 6″ piece of watercolor paper I already had cut from my 300 lb. Fabriano watercolor paper.   There is just one thing…this is a 2 for 1!  

The first painting I did is this one, the front view of a bloomed rose.  (I haven’t done flowers in a LONG time!) So if you don’t like the rose, you can turn it over to find…..“Suzy Sea Turtle” (that’s what I’m naming her.)   AND…

I AM GOING TO GIVE HER AWAY!!!   This is something I have never done on my blog or my Facebook art page, but I thought it might be fun.  Keep in mind, though, that the background color behind Suzy looks a little bluer in the picture than it actually is.  I mixed a little French Ultramarine with my Thalo Crimson for a light wash which makes a nice lavender, but I’m still getting used to my new phone’s camera getting the colors accurate.


So here’s what you do if you want to win Suzy and The Rose:

  1.  Leave a comment and/or like the post.  Then I will put your name in a hat and pick a winner.
  2. Watch for the winner to be announced on Wednesday, July 5th, 8 a.m., Pacific time.   Once you know you are the winner, you can e-mail me at to give me your mailing address, and I will get Suzy and The Rose mailed off to you next week, okay?

Thanks a lot everyone!

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





MENTAL HEALTH: Getting Well is Possible.

Hello Friends,

Over the last few days I have been deciding how I plan to deal with my brother’s suicide and how I would like to be involved in a large community near where I live.  I met with a woman on Tuesday at the open house for a new mental health facility that opened in Redding, Ca.  Here is a link to the article:

It was exciting for me to hear about all of the many services this group of people is going to offer to Shasta County.  I knew then that God was showing me how my life is going to change real soon.  I signed up to be a volunteer.  I will start out doing simple things at first such as answering phones or e-mails or helping with mailings.  I also plan to begin attending meetings facilitated by the woman I met with.  She facilitates meetings for friends and family members of people who completed suicide.  It has been many years since I went to any kind of open recovery meetings such as this, but I am looking forward to it.  I remember back in 1988 when I went to my first recovery meetings after I stopped drinking and using drugs.  I felt very nervous and afraid.  However, I am not that person anymore; I know what I need to deal with, I have good boundaries, and there is no pressure to share.  I think just meeting new people and hearing other people’s stories will help me begin to deal with the unfortunate choice my brother made.  I will have no problem sharing or talking, though, so I am sure I will.  The next meeting isn’t until June 5th so I have some time to process all of it some more before then.

I have my first counseling meeting set up for June 2nd with a therapist I met a couple of months ago.  I am also looking forward to talking with her.  It has been a very long time since I went to a woman counselor which will be different.  When I first went to counseling in 1988, I went to a woman.  However, after several months, I felt really uncomfortable with her for some reason.  So I stopped.  I kept going to the ACA meetings, and then found a male counselor at the church I was attending at the time.  I went to him for several years, and he was encouraging, safe, and the first man I ever felt connected with emotionally whom I knew I could trust.  I grew a lot in those years, and he helped me through the transition of entering a second marriage which has been healthy and loving.  My husband and I have been together since December of 1994.  It has been quite a journey!  And now we are looking toward the future when our nest is empty and he retires someday.

So as far as working with Hill Country Care Center, I am planning to take some time to get to know people, get a good feel of all of their services to the community, then possibly go through their Shasta Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Academy which is a “FREE 65-hour certificate training program…designed to help people prepare for entry-level positions within the public mental health field and/or prepare them to become Peer Mentors.”  (That is a quote from their brochure.)

It has been many years since I have taken any kind of classes, but I had already been thinking about something along these lines for the last year or so. I just had no idea I would find out about this wonderful care facility this way.  So hopefully, as I said in my last post about my brother, something good will come from his death.    It is possible that I may eventually get to use my writing and art to contribute to the creating of flyers, etc.  So that is exciting for me, too.

Thank you to all of you who read my last post about the suicide of my brother.  I appreciate all of your support, prayers, and comments more than you know.  I am planning on keeping you updated on what I will be doing and learning as a volunteer in the mental health community.

I am still doing art and still plan to keep working on the picture books I’d like to write and illustrate, but for now it is just for fun.  I am feeling like this other work is going to become more important to me for the time being, but the facility does also have a program where they train people to go into elementary schools and talk about suicide.  Who knows?  Maybe somehow, all of this will meld together into something beautiful.  I sure hope so.

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




This post is going to be the first in a series of posts where I will be sharing my thoughts in answer to the worksheet questions from the following book: THE SUCCESSFUL ARTIST’S CAREER GUIDE – FINDING YOUR WAY IN THE BUSINESS OF ART

“Chapter One – What Do You Want to Do, and Where Do You Want to Live?” There are many brainstorming questions in this chapter, but today I am only tackling the first one.

Worksheet 1: Imagine Your Dream Life

In your most extravagant dreams, what would you like to do with your life? Imagine the most gorgeous fantastic life you can think of with all the trappings: time to work, a wonderful studio, interesting clients or buyers, a supportive mate, a nice place to live, etc. Don’t shortchange yourself in this exercise by not writing down certain dreams because you “know” they won’t come true. Write it all down. Fill the page with your dreams.”

I am going to back track a little to give you an idea of how long I’ve been a dreamer. I guess I’ve always been a dreamer more than a go-getter. But in the last 10 years I’ve been trying to become more of a go-getter.

When I was 15 I began writing poetry. I tried writing fiction but I could never stick with a story long enough to develop strong characters and exciting plot. I also found I hated writing dialogue. So I stuck with poetry.

As I sat in my pink room with the white French provincial furniture at the desk I bought myself with money I earned babysitting full-time one summer, I dreamed of being a writer, getting poetry and books published, being famous and making lots of money. What 15 year old who loves to write doesn’t dream these same things? The funny thing is I still have that desk! I can’t sit at it very well, though, because I did get a couple of inches taller since I was 15 – I think.

My daughter used it for several years in her room, but she surpassed my height by four inches, so she can’t use it anymore. I tried to sell it awhile back, but I didn’t get any bites on my offer, and I was only asking $50. Sure, it’s old, but it’s in great shape! So now it’s sitting in our living room being used as a catch all for books, etc. But that’s okay. I decided to keep it, because I would like to use it in my daughter’s room someday when she moves out. You see, I plan to use her room for an art/writing studio until I can get one of my own. But for the sake of this exercise, I am going to write about my “dream studio.” It is more extravagant than what a one bedroom studio will ever be! 🙂

My Dream Studio

My art/writing studio is right outside my home’s back door. I walk down the pebbled pathway with pink flower-shaped stepping stones to the green front door of my cottage. When I go in, I light a cinnamon-scented candle to give the front room a nice aroma. There are huge windows in the front room with rose and white flowered curtains. I don’t need blinds on the bay windows, because there are huge shade trees all around my cottage. There are light green bench seats in front of the windows where I can sit and think and let the light stream in all the time. I live by the beach, so I don’t need air conditioning in the summer. There is a little woodstove in the room that heats my place up in the winter. I can hear the waves crashing on the rocks outside and their receding sizzling sound taking them back into the ocean.

In the front room there is a dark green couch and two matching chairs with a round glass top coffee table in the middle. One wall is lined with built-in oak bookshelves housing all my art and writing books, my favorite novels, and other types of books showing my interests in many different things.

Off to the side there is an oak preschool sized table and two chairs with paper, colored pencils and crayons in little colored bins. This is for people’s kids who need something to do while I meet with them to discuss the artwork they would like me to do for them or the book they are getting ready to publish for me. There is also a big box of children’s books and a few toys they can play with quietly.

There are fresh-cut roses and/or carnations of all colors in vases on the coffee table, bookshelves, and the counter that divides the living room from the kitchen and dining nook. A few of my paintings of flowers are hanging in strategic places around the room. There is also a print of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” painting hanging on the wall above the children’s table. There is a full-sized wall mirror on the wall by the front door with an oak coat tree next to it. Light green stone tile is in front of the door with a small bench for sitting to take off and put on shoes. The carpet is an olive green color with white specks throughout it. It is soft and plush and feels nice on my bare feet.

The walls in the living room are light beige, but a light green in the kitchen/dining nook. The tile counter is a pale green with a dark green swirl design. The cabinets are oak open shelves. There are no doors on any of them, and they display my white fine china dishes. The appliances are beige, and the window over the sink has a light and dark flowered green valet instead of curtains to let the light in.

In the dining nook there is a bay window with a dark green window seat, a small round oak table and two matching chairs beside it. There is a crystal vase of fresh flowers on it with scented candles. This is where I have my morning coffee before I start my day. I sometimes write here on my laptop or jot down drawing or painting ideas in my journal. And sometimes I have tea with friends here when I am not working.

Under the stairs there is a closet where I store my dog’s food, have her food and water bowls, and store a few food supplies for myself. There is a round plush rug for her to sleep on when she is inside with me.

Next to the stairs is a half bath for visitors. African violets are on the counter with flower-shaped soaps in a dish. The walls are light green, and the floor is beige tile. The towel rack is oak, and there are small framed flower paintings I have done hanging on the wall by the door, above the towel rack and above the toilet. There is also rose-scented hand lotion on the counter in a pretty pink ceramic dispenser.
Now let’s go out the back door. I know we haven’t yet made it to my actual studio where I do the bulk of m work, but we will get there soon. It takes time to show you around. Outside in the back is a red brick walkway leading to a pond with huge goldfish in it. There is a red brick wall about two feet high all around it where we can sit and chat and look at the fish. A round fountain is in the middle with water coming out of the flower-shaped holes. There are small white ceramic fairy statues around the yard area that have Lupine flowers growing around their feet. Rose bushes of all colors line the outer skirts of the lush green lawn with a white picket fence all around. Under a huge weeping willow tree is a small table and chairs where I can sit and think when it isn’t raining.

Follow me back inside, up the carpeted stairs and into my upstairs studio. I open the sliding wood door and we step inside. There is beige colored tile with a few scattered non-slip rugs. To the left there is an oak counter about three feet deep and five feet long that is the right height for me to work at standing up. I use this counter for cutting paper, planning out drawings and paintings, and framing them when they are finished.

In the left-hand corner of the room there is a wide, shallow sink where I soak my watercolor paper. Next to it is a white tile counter where I lay out my paper to tape it to my boards to stretch it. There is another small sink on the other side of the counter that I use to wash my brushes, etc. A round window is above this sink where I can see the weeping willow tree. There is tile under the sinks and counters that is easy to clean water up from.

On the wall straight ahead there are huge windows letting all the light in. It can get warm there in the summer, so there are a couple of oak ceiling fans with lights. My drawing table is in front of the windows with track lighting on the ceiling above it for working at night. There are glass jars of various sizes lined up in front of and to the right of my workspace holding all of my pencils and paint brushes. There is a long table to my right with all of my paint tubes and other paint supplies organized in separate bins.

Along the right-hand wall are shelves deep and wide enough to hold pads of paper in many sizes. The top of the shelf space has a set of book ends where I keep reference photo books, a bin with art magazines, and a bulletin board on the wall above it for tacking up notes, etc. My built-in light table is next to the shelves where I can sit or stand and do tracing work.

There is an open closet in a nook by the entrance door where I keep the apron I wear when I am stretching paper or mixing large quantities of paint for big projects. There are also a few changes of clothes in there as well. The shelf in the closet is where I keep my camera and batteries. I do not photograph anything to paint in the studio so there is no need for photography equipment. On the wall next to the closet is my small desk with my computer where I do all of my photo and writing editing and run my business. I do most of my writing on my laptop.

A few of my framed paintings decorate the walls along with paintings of other artists I admire as well. Also, there is a small stereo on a little round table to the left of my drawing table where I can play my music.

So I think we have made the rounds. I hope you enjoyed the tour. I know I wish I could just go there right now for real! Maybe I can someday. After all, some dreams do come true! 🙂



4. Creating a Portfolio

I am still in the process of putting together a handheld portfolio. However, one thing Margaret Peot points out in her book is that my websites can be my portfolio. I think the most complete one I have is here on WordPress. But now I also have the Facebook page and the Etsy Shop. I do have a handheld portfolio book, but I just haven’t filled it with my best work yet. And as you have probably guessed already, I’m my own worst critic!

5. Art Jobs to Consider

Margaret has listed a ton of possibilities to brainstorm in the area of using artistic talent such as: teaching, writing, illustrating, photography, animation, and graphic design just to highlight some. She breaks things down in areas of interest such as working big or meticulously, functionality, technology, etc. She lists so many possibilities that I had never even thought of! (She’s amazing!) She even lists general job descriptions to many professions such as art teachers, designers, art therapists, calligraphers, botanical illustrators (something that interests me greatly), and animators, but there are many more!

6. Getting Down to Work

This includes setting up my workplace, making time to make my art, and a few fun ways to stay connected to my creative side. One of the things she mentions here is setting time limits. I have done this, but it is difficult for me. Sometimes once I am knee-deep into a project, I have a hard time stopping in the middle of what I’m doing, especially if I have my colors mixed just right for the painting I’m working on. Drawing is much easier to walk away from. All I have to do is get up and wash my hands! I don’t have paint brushes, etc. to clean up which takes a little longer.

I have been trying not to rush things either. I try to decide ahead of time how much time I have to spend on a project that day and only do that much work. I even use a timer some days.

But the thing I have not done yet is try to set in stone working hours for myself. I want to try and work the same days and the same hours every week. However, part of me has resisted doing this, because I feel like I might put too much expectation on myself to be productive while I have the chance. So far I have really enjoyed the last few years of time that I have invested in learning how to draw and paint. I don’t want to lose my spirit of curiosity or adventure. It has never really felt like “work.” That is to say it has not ever felt like the 9-5 job I used to have that I had to be at every day no matter what. THIS career I’m trying to start at the age of 53 is what I was looking for back then but didn’t know it! THIS is what I love about being able to work at home. THIS IS MY DREAM JOB!! So why would I want to mess it up?

Lastly, another great feature in Margaret’s book is the worksheet sections and personal interviews she conducted with other artists.
Her worksheet sections cover such areas as: discovering and deciding who I am, asking myself what I want to do with my art, how to build my dream life, creating my dream studio, and writing a business plan. There are more, but I’m hoping you’ll purchase this book for yourself and see just how great it is!!

There is so much meat in this book to chew and so much to think about. I have read through everything, but now I get to do the work. I chose to read the book without completing the worksheet sections at the same time. Now I am excited about doing it and plan to begin soon. I have so many books I’m reading, ideas for paintings in my head, and writing I want to do, that I also need to keep concentrating on those things as well. In fact I began my Hawksbill sea turtle painting yesterday.

In conclusion, I want to say,


If you are an artist, read it!

If you are a writer, read it!

If you are a musician, read it!


Here is a link to another of her websites:
She has written several other books as well that I plan to get in the future. Happy reading, writing, and whatever else you love to do!

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

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