Monday, March 30, 2009

Cactus Monday Afternoon

Eeeegads, the day almost got away from me before I had a chance to whip up a cactus! Here it is, fast and dirty!

Happy Cactus Monday you wild bunch of Cactuteers!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Illustration Friday : Poise



Good dog!
acrylic paint, colored pencil on scrapbook paper

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Celebrating Renee

Today is the birthday of one of my newest blogger friends, Renee.

There are a few people in blogland that have touched my heart and have become my dear friends. You know who you are.

I met Renee when she started commenting on my posts and the very first time she showed up she signed it, "love, Renee." I had no idea who she was or why she loved me, so I had to investigate! Well let me tell you that Renee is all about love. I knew that the instant I started reading her posts and the comments left by fellow readers. Even though she's living with a terrible disease, she puts emphasis on 'living' and embraces it every day. She has touched the hearts of every blogger who has stopped by her place, not out of sympathy for her, but because of who she is at the core. You must stop by and meet her and give a birthday hello. You'll see what I mean!

Dear Renee, sister in the trees, raven heart, kindred spirit and lover of life~

may this day hold magic for you and be all you desire it to be and more.

You teach me to be grateful for every breath and every blade of grass.

You make me laugh out loud and you make me weep when I need to.

You are a champion. You kick ass and I love you.

Birthday blessings today my friend, and many more down the road.



Friday, March 27, 2009

Skywatch Friday: Afterglow

The afternoon sky was filling in with wispy clouds as the sun went down over the trees and hills. This was not enhanced in any way. Just look at this glow!

For more sky photos from around the world, check out Skywatch Friday, and remember to look up!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Animal Wednesday : Double-Dog Dare

A few years back I painted a baby's room with two full size horses on one wall and their little Corgi, Tess on the opposite wall. The texture was lumpy and difficult to get the fine detail but I think Tess approved! To see the horses on my website, click here. I always knew drawing on the walls would pay off :)

Happy Animal Wednesday!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Cactus Monday Gifts

Well I'm glad you fellow cactuteers all enjoyed your little tags and ATC's I sent along! (Messyfish, yours is on the way!!) Yoon See...did you get yours yet?

Lynn completely took me by surprise when she sent this wonderful quilted piece of cactus art as a thank-you. You should see it in person!! And I have never ever learned to sew except in junior high (where I failed miserably) so I really appreciate anyone with this talent. She hand-dyed a dryer sheet of all things, then she backed it on a piece of felt and added all the sparkly fabric and stitch designs and it's all on a paper bag! She claims I inspired her :)

Thank you Lynn, I'll treasure it! And thanks to Teri for starting such a fun group that I struggled with in the beginning. It's really grown on me!

HCM my friends :)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Illustration Friday: Subtract

The Crow by Abby Kimball

I click my pen.

Click click.

I lick my lips.

Lick lick.

I stare out the window.

The teacher talks

'cross the Y and an X.'

I see a crow outside.

My mind instantly goes back

to the second grade when the teacher

told us that the crow was beautiful once,

but to save mankind

was burned by the sun.

I remember I cried.

I still think crows are beautiful.

I pulled from my thoughts.

'Abby, what do you think?'

I look to you.

You mouth 'subtract 4.'

I say that.

I look at you.

Your chair is leaned back

and you're smiling.

I'm the crow.

I smile.

Here's how I arrived at this. I went to and looked up poem lyrics that contained 'subtract.' I hated most of them and decided on this one because it had a crow in it and I could imagine the finished art. I liked the feel of it too. Then I went in a different direction and used an image from my greeting card program and I scanned it in sepia tones on a paper bag. I added paint and colored pencil and eventually overworked the hell out of it and called it a night. That's what I get when I don't draw my own image and use my own words, but works, right?

Happy weekend everyone!

My Header is Gone

I know I create art to hopefully make people smile and to stir something in them. A memory of a person or place perhaps, or an intangible~something they can't quite put their finger on.
I got an email from a lady the other day who fell in love with my header. She asked the price...I thought long and hard and made sure I was being fair to us both. So now this young lady up there on my header will be living in Arizona.
She was my post for Illustration Friday's promt, sugary.
And she was my first "bag lady." They say you'll always remember your first ;)
Thank you Karen. I know she'll be going to a good and loving home.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Skywatch Friday: Pine Framed Valley View

This was a glorious warm day in Carmel Valley last Sunday. So perfect for my friend's 65th birthday celebration! We were in the treetops enjoying the ever-changing sky.

For more lovely sky photos, go to Skywatch Friday!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Animal Wednesday: Attack Dog

For my Animal Wednesday post and a look at my attack dog, click here!


Monday, March 16, 2009

Illustration Friday: Legendary in many ways

I've always wanted to attempt a portrait of Frida Kahlo although I thought I'd do it more justice than this. But here's my first attempt to paint a woman who is known for her art, her eyebrows and the legend she leaves behind.

A colorful character in history, legendary indeed.
(She looks better enlarged for some reason.)

(acrylic paint and prismacolor pencils on patterned scrapbooking paper)

Cactus Monday: Purple Haze

I've managed to squeeze out a cactus ATC for today, now would someone please come and relieve me of my duties so I can do my Illustration Friday?

Hubby is away and I'm left with my wonderful but NEEDY dog and clients that are having meltdowns because of personal problems. I'm going to see my patients and do some hand-holding so please check back by tonight okay?

I'm jonesing to paint!

Happy Cactus Monday you crazy bunch! (I mean that lovingly!)

watercolors and Copic markers from KJ :)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Skywatch Friday: The End Of The Day

This is the walking path at Asilomar Beach. Twilight is my favorite time of day.

For more sky pics from around the globe, go to Skywatch Friday.

Have a great weekend, and don't forget to look up!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Animal Wednesday: Thoughts of Spring

This is an ancient illustration. You can tell by all the faults but I still wanted to post it. The three cypress trees in my landscapes (as some of you know) represent my 3 cats we drove cross country with 16 years ago. I miss those boys every day. The girl in the grass with her little companion represents new life as well as memories of days gone by.

My father-in-law passed away suddenly yesterday. He was a terrific man and he's one of the reasons we wanted to move back to the east coast, so we could be closer to him in his last years. I want to close this post by sharing something my husband wrote about him last night as a lead-in to a tribute he'll be writing on Bleacher Report.

"In memory of my father, James M. Gaylord (May 18, 1924-March 10, 2009), a decorated World War II foot soldier, a D-Day Plus 6 man who stormed the beaches of Normandy, a man who nearly froze his feet off at the Battle of the Bulge. Dad, ever since I can remember I could outrun you but in the ways that mattered I could never keep up."

Happy Animal Wednesday my friends! Now go hug someone you love ;)

Monday, March 09, 2009

Cactus Monday: Moonshine

Cactus reaching for the moon,

tell me your secret.

What is it you seek?

The moonlight adores you.

You shine in it's bask.

Alas, that's the answer

to the question I ask.

A feeble attempt at a poem. Happy Cactus Monday, fellow Cactuteers!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Ten Things I've Done...

My friends Soulbrush and KJ are taking part in a meme called "Ten Things I've Done." You're supposed to list '10 things you've done in your life so far' every day for a week. I don't think I could come up with 70 things and keep it interesting! Please play along if you'd like and let us know if you did.

Here are my 10 things (so far) not in any particular order.

1) I've helped animals all of my life. I'm currently a visiting pet nurse including hospice care.

2) I've been married twice~the second time's the charm ;)

3) I'm the author of 2 children's books that are in their 18th printing and are sold worldwide. I wish I had illustrated them.

4) I've remained a Canadian citizen even though I've been in the states for most of my life.

5) I'm primarily a self-taught artist. Being 4th generation helps.

6) I got beat up a lot as a kid. It was terrible.

7) I spent a night in jail once for shoplifting. I was 14. Yes, I learned my lesson!

It was peer pressure.

8) I vomited on a policeman's shoes when I was drunk...and 17!!

Not my proudest moment.

9) I held my mother when she died.

10) I nearly lost my life to anorexia. I have heart arythmias because of it and I struggle with my weight now. My body refuses to be starved again!

Booooooring, right?! You're next, if willing!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Illustration Friday: Intricate Decision

I think most of us make our lives out to be more complex than they really are.
I know I do.

We get overwhelmed by situations that present themselves to us without warning or invitation. What if we stood on the edge and saw intricate beauty in life's challenges and shouted "Thank you Universe!! Message received."

Then we could tend the rice fields in baby steps, one paddy at a time.
For Illustration Friday's promt: intricate
acrylic and colored pencil on card stock

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Skywatch Friday: Sky Whales

Okay so here I was trying to get some good cloud shots after the rain when I saw.....a whale!! Now tell me you don't see a whale in these clouds. And he even hung around until sunset. Does it get any better than this?
The amazing thing is there was a washed up whale on the beach.
Kind of makes you think just a little bit about the bigger picture.
To me, this is amazing grace.

For more sky shots heard 'round the world, go to Skywatch Friday!

Finding Beauty in My Mailbox

My niece was supposed to arrive today for a 5 day visit but sadly had to change plans at the last minute. I know she'll be out to see me another time, or perhaps we'll meet up when I move back to her coast.

It's amazing how a knock on the door from the postal carrier can change your frown to a smile!

A few days ago I got a lovely note and a CD of Anne Murray's Duets from a new and dear blogging friend, Renee. She lives in Winnipeg, Canada and thought perhaps I was missing some good old Canadian "noise!" ( I was born in Canada and I lived in Winnipeg as a baby.) I love our connection. She's quite special!
Another couple of days went by and I got a stunning bookmark and card from Margaret at Waterblossoms. It's the one I wanted! I'll be sure to place it in a favorite book so I can see it often. Check out her blog and take a peek at her stunning sketchbooks and zentangles!
Thanks so much Margaret!!

As you know I had an envelope giveaway a few weeks ago. It was a raven. I drew Brian Blankenship's name and mailed it off to him with a couple of my printed cards. I was blown away when I opened a package from him and it was this original drawing! Wow, all for a little envelope. Thanks, Brian! You rock!

It will be framed and admired for years to come.

Another blogging friend whose work I admire is Neil Ornstein. Whenever he comments on one of my posts, I bow to the computer and say "I'm not worthy!!" He reminds me of my favorite professor. I always have a feeling which pieces he'll like and which ones he'll stay away from. He also liked the raven envelope and offered to do a trade. I just wanted to draw another one for him, which I did but he insisted that I pick out a print. It arrived today and it's amazing! Look!

I'm not worthy!! Thank you Neil. I will frame and treasure this always.
A dear friend who does the most amazing mandalas sent me one of my favorites, the purple spiral! Marianne is also working on my birth mandala. I can't wait!
Thank you Marianne!
My friend Soulbrush (who spoils me rotten) gives me many awards, letters and gifts. My most recent gift is a tea towel from her trip back home to South Africa. She's an amazing woman and dear friend with a heart as big as all outdoors.
Bless you dear one, and thanks always.

Finally, my sweet friend Mim surprised me with my very own copy of her book "Miss Em's Adventures." I was grinning from ear to ear because I've been following Miss Em on Mim's blog. My name was supposed to go into a hat for a drawing, but Mim was touched by a painting I did of her long-ago dog, Sampson. It was my pleasure. Thank you Mim! I love love love the book!

A little knock on the door, some cards and gifts of art from new friends.

Today is a good day! Beauty found me.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Animal Wednesday: Rainy Day Cat

Jeeeeez Louise, when will this rain stop????

Okay, this may seem like a bit of a dark image coming from me but hey, enough already! A week of rain and my niece will be here in a day and a half and she isn't coming 3,000 miles to play in the freakin rain already!!

Okay, I'm fine. I feel better now.

Happy Animal Wednesday!

I hope it's dry wherever you are.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Cactus Monday: Dreamcatchers

Here are the final 2 ATC's for my Cactus Monday Member's giveaway. Yay!!

They're "Day" and "Night" dreamcatchers with a little glitter magic.

I had fun doing these this weekend. I have to admit it's a difficult subject for me to come up with something interesting. I do love a challenge!

I'll be contacting you for your addresses if I don't already have them. I wonder which piece you'll get?

Happy CM Cactuteers!