Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Change comes to all of us sooner or later.  I know, I know....change can be a big ole pain!  Sometimes though change is needed to make something better or easier or just more fun.  I hope you will agree that is the case here.  I'm changing my blog.  I'm moving on to the Wordpress platform and I'm hoping you will come and see all the new and exciting things I will be offering.   So, please...take a chance and click on the link below....

Thank You!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Kansas to Texas

Life has just been crazy of late.  We have been back in Lafayette for about 2 weeks, but we will be heading out to Kansas on Sunday.  We have been invited to a wedding reception there and decided....what the hey....why not!  From there we are going to head down to Texas.  My hubby's Mom is in the final stages of Alzheimer's and we decided we would go down for one last visit.  She no longer remembers who we are, but we remember and we love her and that is all that matters now.  "Mama" is such a sweetie, but don't get her riled or you might find a hoe handle across your back side...LOL!  She raised three rowdy boys, one of which I was lucky enough to marry.  You did a great job, loved unconditionally, you gave everything you could, and you asked for nothing in return.  You always seemed to have a twinkle in your eye and a smile on your face and never...never at a loss for words.  You made your little corner of the world a happier place....

Monday, May 7, 2012

New Projects

Hey y'all, I finally had some time to work on a few projects.  The first is a completed painting of an Indigo Bunting.  Such a beautiful bird, rich in color.  I'm playing with a new surface, this is painted on 160lb hot press watercolor paper.  I do like the smooth surface, but I think I'm going to try a heavier weight next time around.  I'm using DecoArt Traditions Acrylic as my medium.  I also sealed this painting with Satin varnish.  I felt the watercolor paper was "dulling" my colors a bit and the varnish brings them back to life!
8 inch by 8 inch

Here is a work in progress of a cute little chipmunk.  He played peak-a-boo with me for about 15 minutes in and out of a freshly fallen tree.  I'm finding the textures of the tree great fun to paint and experiment with.......
 8 inch by about 7 inch
Same surface and medium.  Probably will not be able to get back to this til we land in Indiana.  Right now we are moving every couple of days so there is just no time to paint.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Custer State Park

Oh give me a home........where the Buffalo roam........

My darling husband and I took a drive through Custer State Park here in South Dakota.  I was hoping to see some wildlife and boy, oh boy did I ever.......
Buffalo, beautiful buffalo!
Baby Buffalo!
This little guy was still a wee bit on the wobbly side!
Isn't that beard awesome....whata face!
A little further down the road, we spotted this graceful Pronghorn.  I just love the markings on the fur!

It was just a spectacular day and now I have this overwhelming urge to paint a buffalo!  LOL!

Monday, April 23, 2012

One of My Heroes

Jane Goodall is one of my heroes.  Not only because of what she has done for the Chimpanzees, but also her dedication and determination to the cause.  She is truly an amazing and inspiring woman.  I have been enjoying the many interviews she has given promoting the new Disney documentary, Chimpanzee.  It is all about a little baby Chimpanzee who lost it's mother.  I have not seen the movie yet, but the previews look fabulous.

I have been to many zoos and always enjoy seeing the Chimps.  I can only image what it must be like living among them in the wild.  What strength and courage it must have taken!  So thank-you Jane Goodall....thank you for reaching out, for shouting from the roof tops, for making us STOP and LISTEN and LEARN.  All God's creatures are such precious gifts, they need our love, our compassion, and above all our respect. 

Here is a few photos I captured of a little baby chimpanzee.....

How can you not love that sweet face!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Travel Time

Just a quick post to let you all know we are on the move.  Heading north, slowly making our way toward South Dakota.  My husband needs to have his license renewed by April 6th.  Thank goodness the spring weather has come early to the midwest!  Hopefully the warmth will continue so we won't freeze to death....LOL!  I'll post here when I can, but you can also check out our travel blog if you are curious about our journey.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Seagulls Part 3

I'm afraid it is getting a bit crazy around here as we prepare to leave Florida and start our journey North.  We are leaving a bit earlier than usual, but we need to get our driver's license renewed.  South Dakota makes you do this in person....sure hope the above normal temps continue! 

Here is the latest on my Seagull painting.....
I'm pretty happy so far!  My palette consist of White, Black, Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Medium Grey, Raw Sienna, Hansa Yellow Medium, Glazing Medium.  These are all DecoArt Traditions acrylics.  I'm working on an 11x14 gessoboard.  Yes, I did start out on illustration board and absolutely hated it.  Nothing really wrong with just behaves so differently from the gessoboard.  It really drinks in the paint...which translates to less working time...which translates into way to much frustration..for me anyway! Questions and comments are always welcome here!

"Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty."
Albert Einstein

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Seagulls part 2

Life sometimes does get between me and my easel.....this past week has kept me busy with one thing or another.  Finally, I am able to get back to the painting and share some progress with you.
The colors are a little off in this photo...I'll try a different light source next time.  I have established a pretty good base for the background, but now I'm working on the two gulls.  Laying down the first washes and slowing building the layers.  I'll go into more detail on the palette and brushes next time.

"Lots of people talk to animals... Not very many listen, though... That's the problem."
~Benjamin Hoff

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Seagull Project

I have a new painting on my easel.  The seagulls are everywhere...these two I photographed on Tybee Island in GA last November.  I love all the cool blue tones against the white of the birds and the sparkle of the reflections....
Here is my sketch....
I always do my sketch on tracing paper.  The first reason being it is easier to erase then when drawn directly on the painting surface.  The second reason...I can lay this over my painting as it progresses and make sure things have not gotten out of proportion.  For example, it is very easy to change the curve of the neck or the size of the beak without realizing it.  Many times something may not "look right" but I can't put my finger on it until I overlay my original sketch...then its "oops, there it is"!  I'm going to be trying out a new painting surface with this piece.  I normally use gesso board, but I have decided to give illustration board ago.  I like that I can cut the illustration board easily to any size and it will be much easier to store and ship completed paintings.  I have never painted on illustration board so this will be a learning I am happy to share with all of you out there in blogland.....

Friday, February 17, 2012

Love of Art Blog Hop

You probably noticed the blog hop button on my side bar.....I have never joined a "blog hop" before, but somehow this one touched my heart.

Why do I love Art.....

Freedom to fly to soar....
To Inspire....and be inspired....
To "Embrace the Beauty" that surrounds us all
To Surprise
To Reach touch and be touched
To be Who I am

"To capture for one brief moment in time.....a moment of Beauty"
to share
to love
to teach

Monday, February 13, 2012

Flamingo Fini!

Here is the final painting....I'm pretty satisfied with myself on this one.  I'll be posting it for sale in the near future on my website.  Trying now to get a good that is a whole n'other subject of frustration!  I have an Epson photo 1400 and I'm printing on Epson paper (photo luster).  The two that I have tried have come out rather I'm tweaking in photoshop elements to try and get the print as close to the original as I can.  Anyone got any tips on that I'm ALL EARS.  I always feel like I'm wasting ink and paper....cause it takes 4 or 5 prints to finally get it right! 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Flamingo Part 3

A little about materials.  I love my acrylics and right now I'm using Decoart's Traditions.  My palette consist of White, Black, Burnt Umber, Ultra Blue, Cream, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, and Grey.  My painting surface is an 8 inch x 8 inch Gesso board with a 3/4 inch cradle.  I'm very detailed with my paintings and I have found Gesso board's smooth surface makes achieving that detail so much easier.  I do plan to try some illustration board at some point and also planning on experimenting with some Golden Acrylics.  I know that is what a lot of Acrylic artist use because they are pigment rich.  I'm pretty happy with Decoart, but always room for improvement!
I know....doesn't seem like much progress for a days work......
I'm still building up the values on the beak with washes.  I build them up slowly...each layer a little darker or lighter....til I get the richness I'm looking for.  On the head, I have started to lay in the individual feathers.  Many times I will use white or cream to put in the texture then I go back and wash over the hairs with the different values.  I repeat that process as needed. 
Again...each individual feather is painted...lay down the values, then add texture, repeat as necessary. It is a long process, but I do so love the results when it all comes together.  I usually have music playing as I work and my hubby always knows when things are going well with a painting......cause I dance....not unusual for him to see me twirling and singing around the living room.  I just have to let all that JOY out!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Flamingo Part 2

Here we are....I'm building the basic textures and slowly building up lights and darks.  This is all done with washes of color.  My palette is burnt umber, white, cream, grey, ultra blue, and burnt sienna.  As I lay in the washes I'm careful to keep my brush strokes in the direction of the feathers.
A closer look at the feathers and neck/head area below.  Again...I'm just trying to establish the basic shapes of the feathers and beginning to build layers of color
I do use a matte medium (mixed with 50% water) in between the layers of washes.  It preserves the work completed and aids in adding depth to the painting. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Flamingo painting....background work

Made it back to my easel....and I have been working on creating the background for my little flamingo painting.  I do like to at least get a solid background foundation before I start on the focal point.  In this particular painting, I am trying my hand at a little abstraction and I may eventually add a little mix media....will shall see.....
I started by transferring the outline of my drawing....I like knowing exactly where my focal point is when I'm working.  I also prefer to start work on a white surface.  Here I have laid in the first washes of color using Burnt Umber and Ultramarine Blue.  Loose strokes and then a bit of saran wrap, crinkled and applied to the surface.....
The saran wrap lifts the wet paint from the surface....leaving those nice little pockets of texture and sparkle behind.
Here I have added another wash...same colors...and a little more saran wrap texture.
Several more layers of washes and then I applied some clear glaze to protect the layers done.  Next I played with some drips and runs of white and even threw in some speckles.  I'm happy at this point.  Next I'll start work on the flamingo.....

I'm just loving this painting so far....I'm working on an 8x8 gessoboard with a 3/4 inch cradle.  Any questions or comments are welcome!

Friday, January 27, 2012

To lift my wings and fly...

I took a walk yesterday and found another beautiful pink bird.  I was trying my best to be unobtrusive, but get as close as he/she would allow with my camera.
I love this shot.....the contrast of the mossy green water with the pink of the bird.  This Roseate Spoonbill is quietly going about its day and then suddenly, without warning.....
Lift off.....

So...what has this to do with dreaming.....
I'm taking this class, doing a lot of soul searching and dreaming.  I have been quietly thinking, wondering, exploring.  Digging deep.....listening to my heart's whispers...and then suddenly, without warning.... spreading my wings and taking flight
soaring high..where will I land....I don't know...yet
right now I'm just enjoying the be who I was meant to be.....

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Beauty, Grace, Elegance

I have always loved flamingos.....not just for their color.  Their long graceful necks....the soft, cotton candy look of their feathers.  Even the curve of their beak. 
Here is the sketch of a young flamingo.....he or she will soon be on my easel.

Most of us know that flamingos aren't naturally pink in color, that comes from the food they eat.  But did you know that doesn't start to happen until a flamingo is between one and three years of age.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Passion meets passion

“making a difference” I think that pretty much sums it all up for me. I want to make a difference in an animal’s life. Helping that animal find a forever home or making a donation that allows an animal to continue to be cared for…It fulfills me, brings me great joy! So I’m passionate about animals and I’m passionate about painting…it only makes since to bring the two together and let one fuel the other. I found a quote today that I”m going to keep close to my heart and soul….”let the beauty of what you love be what you do” (Rumi)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


I'm on a journey of self discovery....taking a hard look at Who I am and What and Why I do what I do.  It is day 2 of the class taught by Kelly Rae Roberts and Beth Nicholis, "Hello Soul, Hello Business".  The question....what I'm trying to define for myself and my business is, "Why?"  Simply put....I love to paint.  I'm completely and utterly in love with what happens at the end of my paint brush.  The color, the texture, the movement.....all pouring out.....a beautiful, precious gift.  But, Why do I have this gift?  What can I do with it?

“To find your mission in life is to discover the intersection between your heart’s deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger.” -Frederick Buechner

How true is that!  My heart's deep gladness....painting and a love of animals.  The world.....has many deep hungers.  But one in particular stands out to me....the animals.

"What is man without the beasts?  If all the beasts were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of spirit.  for whatever happens to the beasts, soon happens to man.  All things are connected."  Chief Seattle

All things are connected....and I do believe we are each put on this earth for a purpose.  We are each given a "gift" to nurture, to explore, and to share.   My gift and my Why must work together......

"It is my most sincere wish that through my paintings you can see what I see....the beauty, grace, and intelligence all animals possess. Every animal is unique and special and I try to honor that through my paintings. We must learn to respect the animals of this earth and protect and treasure them."  Debbie Goode

I think I had forgotten that for a time.....I became so wrapped up in the "business of Art" that my passion, my joy, my mission....was lost to me.  There is much more...and I think I'm teetering on the brink of something truly amazing!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Self Discovery and Creative Bliss

"To be an artist it is not necessary to make a living from our creations.  Nor is it necessary to have work hanging in fine museums or the praise of critics....To be an artist it is necessary to live with our eyes wide open, to breathe in the colors of mountain and sky, to know the sound of leaves rustling, the smell of snow, the texture of bark....To be an artist is to notice every beautiful and tragic thing, to cry freely, to collect experience and shape it into forms that others can share"  Jan Phillips

I found this quote in a new book I'm reading and loving...."The Creative Photographer" by Catherine Anderson.  It is truly life changing and I intend to embrace it with all my being.  I'm giving myself permission to explore, to taste, to experience, to listen....eyes wide open....

I have a project brewing in my is still developing, still unfolding....but definitely on it's way....
This photo I took at the Tampa Zoo is my inspiration......

Monday, January 9, 2012


No, I didn't misspell my title to this post.  In my quest to "explore and discover",  I have been doing a little research in cyber space.  I have know about ink jet printing on fabric, but was really never satisfied with the results or the longevity of the print.  "Pabric" claims to have solved both of these problems.  I placed my order today through Amazon.  I will share my results and insights here on my blog.  If the product preforms as advertised, it will open a new door for me.  One where I can combine my paintings with my love of sewing.  Pabric also offers a fabric cardstock....supposed to be outstanding for greeting cards and mix media applications.  Yes, I ordered a pack of that as well.  If any of you have used these products in the past, I would love to hear your insights!

Another first for me in this New Year, I sent out my first newsletter!  I plan on sending out my newsletter 4 times a year.  If you are interesting in joining my mailing list you can access it here.

I think I'm off to a pretty good start and I plan on starting a new painting very soon.....flamingos!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Explore, Dream, Discover

  “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

I know a lot of folks are choosing "a word" for the New Year.  I ran across this quote the other day and decided that pretty much "said it all" for me.  


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Simple Gift

Just a few days ago I received a very special....yet simple gift.  It came address to the "Lovely Debbie Goode".  Amazing how something as simple and sweet as that can uplift the spirit.  I smiled, I felt so very special.  The gift was wrapped in pink with a silver bow.  I wish I would have had my camera for the "before", but I was too excited to see what was inside.....
There it is....a journal by the lovely Kelly Rae.
I will soon be taking a class called  Hello Soul, Hello Business.  This New Year is about change for me....a new direction....a new sense of self.  My life is good...I'm happy and yet I just can't seem to find my Artistic path.  That has left my spirit, my soul somewhat unsettled and restless.  I have tried many paths, some more successful than others, but all have let me wanting more....needing more.  "Hello Soul, Hello Business" came into my life at a most opportune moment.....I don't believe in coincidences....everything in my being said "Just Do It" and this time I listened!  The class begins on Jan 16th and I will be sharing my adventures here with you.  I hope you will follow along adding your comments and impressions to mine...."Let the Journey Begin"....