Sunday, July 22, 2012

Birthday Parties & Watercolor Basics

As I mentioned, it is indeed friends and my passion for watercolor journaling that has carried me through these recent bumps in life. These colorful pages again reflect the joy if find in people and pigments. Not necessarily in that order all the time :)

One of the most colorful personalities who have added flavor to our Ashland Art Center is Wendy Gell. Known internationally for her outrageous "Bling" artwork, especially for her famous "wristies". And when Wendy has a birthday party ... it too is jubilant. I was thrilled to be invited to the nearby Pho Sur Restaurant (incredibly delicious, by the way) in Phoenix (Oregon, not Arizona) for the gathering. We were to dress outrageous and also, the gifts turned out in that order too! Wendy had printed out the lyrics to "When I'm 64" by the Beatles for us all to sing and of course, those had to go into my page!!

I wanted to capture the playful activity of the affair
 and was pleased with not only the "suggesting" of personalities but the surroundings too! You can tell who the "Star" of the occasion was, right? Isn't she just beaming? Thanks again Wendy for a fab night!!

In the ensuing six weeks, I was teaching my "Watercolor Basics: Landscape Focus". What a wonderful dedicated group of participants I had (yes, you will recognize Wendy again!) and I caught a couple of them in complete focus. I can't say enough about how much growth I witnessed and the pleasure these people gifted me with along the way.

Can you understand why I love how my lil' red paperclay heart pokes thru into this page too? I really do wear my heart on my sleeve ... and wouldn't have it any other way.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Renewing Friendships & Blossoms

Since the new year, 2012, hasn't been bursting with joyful events . . . I'm extremely aware and anxious for the reviving signs of Spring.

The first to appear are my silent but blessed lil' white Snowdrops. With heads quietly bowed, they suddenly appear in late January and possibly raise their heads in final finale' of February. Then, I know my brilliant yellow crocus will soon be appearing. I look for them around Valentine's Day ... but we know that passed while I was visiting the hospital. So ~~ B-O-O-O-M ~~ heroically I catch a peek of yellow nested out in the low cush of green in my front flower beds. And finally, on February 21st, they are joyously in full trumpet. Aren't they just the happiest? The next day I'm in Medford and see my first daffodils dancing in the warming sunshine. I know Spring lurks just around the corner . . . sigh!!!

Another saving source during this time of "stretching my envelope" has been sincere, close friendships. The image I've captured here took about a year to carve into our calendars. I'd included a "free ticket" to a lunch out for my friend, Dale's, birthday. We made the date on our schedules and in our minds and in a couple of weeks when the date rolled around ~ we both just spaced it out. Shaking our heads we renewed our plan with fervor. And - SURPRISE - we actually remembered. A quiet lunch over good food and the hummmm of neighboring table talk can be so healing, centering. 

Along this same timetable . . . there seemed to be a series of things breaking. First it was a molar tooth that broke off . . . it awaits a crown. Then, I've had this silly lil' Mexican ceramic fish with a big wide open mouth that for years now, I'd put my daily vitamins in. Well, it took a nose dive one morn and I could only rescue the big cheery eye to place in my journal. You'll find those two items dotting the edges of this page.
When I'd gotten the two pages all painted and written, there seemed to be alot of white space along the bottom of the pages. What could I do to remedy that? oh grief!!! BLING . . . my designer eye caught sight of those bright orange mugs Dale and I were sporting and I dotted them along the border . . . happy lil' notes aren't they. See things are lookin' up already :)