Friday, January 30, 2009

Illustration Friday: Flawed 1

It turns out the secret ingredient in the winning cioppino recipe was a flawed cod. (I personally love them beer-battered and fried with lots of tartar sauce!)

I hope to be back later with a BETTER entry!! Oy, what a reach.

acrylic, marker and colored pencil on yesterday's news

Skywatch Friday: Popcorn Anyone?

I guess these are called "popcorn clouds" for a reason! These little patterns make me smile!

To see more sky photos from around the world, check out Sywatch Friday!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Animal Wednesday : She's not fat, she's FLUFFY!

This is my cat Bliss. All 20 pounds of her. Now let me explain why she's carrying so much weight before you comment! She's allergic to most cat foods on the planet. If there's a bit of grain in it she itches until she's bloody. It's a sad way to live. Foods without grains give her bloody diarrhea because she has colitis. Cleaning a fluffy butt a few times a day is an awful chore, and worse if I'm not here to do it and she goes on the bed. You get my drift.

If she eats the diet food that makes her itchy, she has to get depo medrol shots which is a long-acting cortisone with many bad side effects ( ravenous appetite, excessive thirst and worse, diabetes.)

I recently read this wonderful article on feeding cats written by a veterinarian. So now I'm slowly trying the changes she recommends which has shot Bliss's weight up to 20 pounds even though I measure her food! So, what I've chosen to do is pick my battles. The bottom line is I want the most comfort for my cat with the least harmful side-effects. Even though it now takes a crane to lift her, we never make her feel bad about her weight :) HAW!!!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Cactus Monday: watercolor ATC

I bought a new pan set of watercolors the other day and decided to try them out for Cactus Monday. Here's another 10 minute ATC to be given away as soon as I get enough made. I originally said all members would get one, but I think I'll only give them away to members who have commented on my posts here. You're the only ones I really know!! Happy Cactus Monday!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Illustration Friday: Climbing

Not unlike her cherished roses, there were just some days when she felt like she was climbing the walls.

graphite and colored pencil on paper bag for IF prompt: climbing
Click to enlarge...she looks better that way!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Skywatch Friday : Dreamboat

This sky is over Asilomar Beach on the Monterey Bay where I live. I didn't even know the whalewatching boat was in the picture because I was focusing on the sky, otherwise I would have never stuck him right in the middle!

Make sure you visit Skywatch Friday to see other stunning pictures from around the world!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Animal Wednesday: White Tiger Magic

This is a collage I did some time ago that I had forgotten about until an Etsy buyer ordered this card today. Here's what I looked up about white tigers when I used one in a painting I did for my nephew.

Tiger medicine represents passion/sensuality, silent solitary power, heightened sense of touch, and valor.

We could all use a little tiger magic in our lives now and then.

Happy Animal Wednesday my friends!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I'm Interviewed by Suki...

The sweet and talented Suki has chosen to interview me and has come up with five tough questions. Here they are along with my answers. I'll try to be interesting!

Your love of animals pervades your blog. Can you tell us a story of a special animal friend?

My very first animal friend was my childhood dog, Curly. He was a black Cocker Spaniel mix with a little Spitz thrown in, or so they said. He was the most loyal friend ever. If it weren't for him by my side I truly believe there were days when I wouldn't have made it. Let's just say that life wasn't easy when I was a kid.

He was my confidant ( I told him everything) and my shadow, my heart and soul. He got a raw deal in life but he never complained. It's because of him that I've dedicated my entire life to caring for animals.

Tell us a little bit about Studio Lolo, which I know you have just closed. Whence the name? How did it feel to run a gallery in which to show your work and others? Or any other bit you want to describe.

Studio Lolo kind of presented itself to me. The most unbelievable, affordable space opened up downtown. I had just lost a space that I had in the back of a private home because they had to move a family member in. I had been thinking of a new space in the back of my mind, never dreaming I'd find something on the main street. It was filled with light and it had a full balcony overlooking the main street! It was meant to be.

Lolo was a childhood nickname my father had given me. He told me it meant "stupid", so obviously I never felt comfortable with it. Believe it or not, I was daddy's little girl. My dad loved me the only way he knew how, so only recently I've forgiven him for the past and decided on the name Studio Lolo. I loved it right away! Now people other than family call me Lolo and it feels right.

I only showed other artists work if I put out "a call to artists" for a special themed show. Mainly Studio Lolo was a working studio and a place to finally showcase my own art.

The best show I ever had was my best work from my first year of Illustration Friday. It was so fulfilling to see them all framed with their stories and watching crowds of people reading every word. I always knew which ones they were looking at by the sniffles or the laughter. I'll never forget the experience.

(click here to see the show!)

Your artwork is incredibly varied. Collages, hand-painted furniture, murals (some quite large), paintings, illustrations in Cat fancy Magazine and others. What is your favorite medium to work in or with, and why?

As a primarily self-taught artist, I find myself exploring new mediums every now and again but usually end up going back to basics. The latest medium I'm enjoying is drawing on brown paper bags because it's a handy material. Most of my art supplies are packed away in the garage and I foolishly didn't mark the boxes! I refuse to EVER miss a week of Illustration Friday so I just grab what I have in the house. My "Bag Ladies" have emerged from this lack of supply situation and they're kind of growing on me. (See my header for the first one I did.) I also love doing mixed media ( paint and colored pencil) on patterned card stock/scrapbooking paper. Illustration has always been my first love.

I've pretty much retired from doing murals just recently. The money is very good but the body is feeling my 55 years. No more ladders or working in the cold. I'll leave that to the young painters!

I have to say that I miss my studio space sometimes, but my dining room table provides a good enough place for me to create for now.

You are anticipating a move from west coast to east coast. How do you maintain your center through all the changes that are occurring?

We moved out here from Rhode island fifteen years ago. We've been talking about moving back home for at least five years now. For one reason or another things just haven't lined up~mainly, a job for my husband. I can do what I do no matter where I live.

I've always been a "bloom where you're planted" kind of gal because of how many times in my life I've been "uprooted." Staying centered is difficult sometimes, but being outside in nature has a soothing effect on me. I'll miss the freedom this climate affords. Cold weather will definately impose some restrictions! Art keeps me centered too.

Can you suggest one or two books for us to read for inspiration?

One of my favorite books that helps to unblock my creative self is "12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women" by Gail McMeekin. I pick it up at least once a year when I need a creative tune-up! Lately I've noticed mention of it on a few blogs and some folks even started a weekly group inspired by it.

Another book I just bought myself for the new year is "The Art Of Extreme Self-Care" by Cheryl Richardson.

As a caregiver I fall into the pile with many others who don't take care of themselves until our own wells have run dry. I've been feeling the physical, mental and spiritual effects for months now~my own personal 'car wreck' if you will. Not being one to wallow and stay in misery, I decided to make my first priority be self-care. It feels strange to focus attention on myself, but I know in order to be effective in my work and be present in the moment then I must be as kind and loving to Laurel as I am to others, and as others are to me.

It's a process!

Thank you Suki, for these questions. I hope I didn't put anyone to sleep!

If any of you would like to be interviewed by are the instructions.

1) leave me a comment saying "interview me."

2) I will respond by emailing you 5 questions which I get to choose.

3) You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.

4) You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.

5) When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them 5 questions.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Cactus Monday: A Day in the Valley

Yesterday was a glorious, sunny day with temperatures in the high seventies, but the best part of it was that I had the day off to myself. I have not had an entire day off in nearly a year! I took my dog Emma, some blank ATC cards, a pencil and and few markers and various reading material and headed for Carmel Valley. It was three hours of relaxation and bliss. I did this atc in about a minute, keeping it simple in black, white and blue.

After I draw as many atc's as there are members, I'm going to shuffle the cards, pick your names out of a hat and mail one to each of you! It will be a surprise to see which one is coming your way!

Here are a couple of photos of the park I went to yesterday. The first picture is Emma enjoying the moment and the view, the other one is the view from the table where I sat and made the atc.

Happy Cactus Monday from a very relaxed member!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Illustration Friday: Pale

The room isn't much to speak of, really. Four walls of unevenly faded wallpaper, pale from the light that slips in on bright days.

But it's the view from the small window that speaks to my heart, and I stay longer than I should.

patterned paper, acrylic paint, a touch of colored pencil, graphite.

For Illustration Friday's promt: pale
( click to enlarge )

Skywatch Friday : January Sunset

For those of you who stop by to see my Skywatch Friday entries, you may notice that I post a lot of sunsets! I never tire of them as each one is different and special. I feel so lucky to have the chance to see this nearly every day because I live so close to the ocean. My favorite part is when the sun is nearly gone and the clouds stay lit from below. Man, I'm blessed!

Please stop by Skywatch Friday's site to see other lovely pics from around the world!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Animal Wednesday : Bella Luna

Did you see that incredible full moon we had a couple of days ago? They said it would appear 14% larger because of how close it would be to the earth, and 30% brighter because it would be more aligned with the sun than usual. I nearly went off the road when I saw it!

Did I get a photo even though I had my camera with me. Uh, no.

Here's an older collage I did which reminds me of that magnificent moon, and a lovely white cat who's soaking in the magic.

Happy Animal Wednesday my lunar pals! I did NOT say looney :)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Cactus Monday : Cactus Pots ATC

I'm enjoying these little ATC formats lately because that's just about the amount of space I have to work on at my cluttered table. I need a housekeeper! Actually I need to manage my time better so I can keep up with my own mess :)

Happy Cactus Monday at bedtime on Sunday!!


Friday, January 09, 2009

IF : Contained

Earlier this evening this contained my dinner. It was shrimp with snow peas and it was Deee-licious!

Oh, I'm sorry I didn't share it with you.

Next time, okay?

Acrylic and prismacolor Pencils on patterned card stock.

I really didn't have this for dinner, I just needed to draw something.

Skywatch Friday: Beautiful Drama

This is my first Skywatch Friday post! I love seeing Soulbrush's entry each week so I felt inspired to enter. This is my solace, Asilomar Beach in Pacific Grove. Please check out more photos from around the world on their site!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Animal Wednesday: Morning Decisions

I bought this wonderful card yesterday by Persimmon Press and thought it would be perfect for AW. This is the first time I haven't posted my art, but who can resist a handsome cat and a great quote? HAW everyone!!
Oh, and please remember to click the Animal Rescue button on the right. It helps feed animals and it's FREE!! Two clicks will bring you right back :)

Monday, January 05, 2009

Missing Dog Alert!!

I came across this sad post today and decided to post it. Please read it and spread the word to help this family find their beloved pet, Noodles!

Click here...thank you.

Cactus Monday ATC

Just before bed last night I remembered I didn't draw my cactus entry yet. Yikes, it was 11 P.M. and I had no idea what I was going to do. I had just opened a package of ATC cards a fellow blogger had sent me and decided to do a quick black and white sketch. Well, then I thought I'd add orange lines for the sun. Then I thought it would be good if I did a colored border. Then...out came the colored pencils!! My quick sketch turned into a half hour! Oh well, I needed to get back to participating, so Happy Cactus Monday you dear cactuteers!!

(I can't wait to get out into the garage to see where the movers put my various art supplies when I closed my studio. I'm getting very tired of colored pencils!)

Saturday, January 03, 2009

IF: Resolve

She was resolved to accept the past and move on with her life.

She knew this was going to be her year. She was feeling lucky for some reason.

Well this went in a completely different direction than I had planned!

Sometimes my bag ladies have a mind of their own ;)

For Illustration Friday's prompt: resolve

graphite and colored pencil on paper bag

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Healthy Spirit ~ 5 Things A Day

I was tagged by Laurel Neustadter to list five things I do every day to keep my spirit happy and healthy. Funny thing is I haven't been doing enough! I've fallen off the wagon of self-care and my resolution is to get back on. Here's what I try to do every day.

1) I wake up with gratitude and carry it through the day even if I have challenges ahead. I believe each day is a gift and each obstacle is a learning tool.

2) I like being the only one awake when I have my coffee. I sit and check email and get caught up on my blogs. Even the dog is still under the covers! I love the quiet and solitude of that hour or so.

3) One of the best ways for me to connect with my spirit is to be outdoors. Usually I try to go for a long walk sometime in the morning. It's best if I go without the dog so I get some momentum and make it exercise. Emma likes to stop and sniff every 2 feet, so either I take her out first or my husband walks her.

Another thing that restores me is just being at the ocean. It's right down the street from me and I can hear the waves from my house. When I sit there I can often feel my troubles slip away.

4) I try to help others every day. It's the nature of my job anyway, but even if it wasn't I'd be doing things for people and animals. I'm working on finding a balance so I don't always feel so depleted.

5) Finally, the last thing I'll list is that I'm trying to be kinder to myself. I used to play "old tapes" that told me I'm not good enough, but now when I disappoint myself I just say "do better tomorrow." So now that it's tomorrow, I'm ready to do better in every way! I'm hoping 2009 is the year I meet my health goals. If I can do it then I know everything else will fall into place.

I'm tagging a few friends for this one...hmmmm, let's see. Okay, here they are!

And ladies, only if you want to!! XX