Thursday, November 28, 2013







Thank you to Graphics Fairy for the beautiful vintage clip art! 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Hi Everyone!

Welcome back! Today we continue our Lighthouse journey along the coastline of Florida.

Jupiter Lighthouse Sketch from DuBois Park

When my friend Bonnie comes to visit we make a point of going out to paint en plein air.   A favorite spot is along the Jupiter Inlet in DuBois Park, directly across the inlet is Jupiter Lighthouse (click here for history of lighthouse).  DuBois Park is open to the public and provides picnic tables along the inlet side, a perfect place for viewing the lighthouse and an afternoon of painting under the coconut palms. 
Bonnie and I have been here many times to paint the lighthouse or just to sit and enjoy the afternoon sketching.
Jupiter Lighthouse
Check out the history on DuBois Park Pioneer Home, built on an Indian Burial Mound.  I love reading about the pioneers in Florida history.  I recently read a book called A Land Remembered by Patrick Smith, a historical fiction about a pioneer family in Florida. The story takes place in and around this area and being a Florida Cracker it was of great interest to me.  I absolutely loved this book and recommend it to anyone interested in pioneer life. 

Lighthouses will continue on Sketchbook Tuesday, please come by again. 

Happy Sketching!

Thursday, November 21, 2013


Hi Everyone!

I've been working on my Michigan journal pages.  I prepped a few pages ahead of time knowing that time would be limited but due to luggage constraints I left the journal at home.

Using Dylusions spray ink, I spritz the pages and glued in a Mitten map, the shape of Michigan and a bold date stamp for the opening page.  
Bountiful produce
Another pre-prepped page with pink and orange acrylic paint.  It reminded me of the bountiful produce at the Farmer's produce stands.  Loved seeing the fresh fruits and veggies, the biggest pumpkins and gourds.  It was a delight to this girl's eyes.

A little collage of photos taken of my daughter and grandson along with a watercolor I did of the Holland Lighthouse. We didn't get to actually go to the lighthouse because it was under reconstruction do to the shifting sands. I found a photo on line and painted from that. 
Let's celebrate! We had lots to celebrate on my visit.  My BFF's and my belated birthdays, daughter Amanda's birthday and baby Jackson turning 6 months old.
I should have gotten pictures of the birthday girls and boy! The background is paper I painted designs on and then glued into the journal.  I liked it so much, so why not use it?
At the Apple Farm with the Mommy Group picking apples for the very first time in my life!  What fun this was.  I kept the label from a bottle of water to commemorate the event.  I love the tree stamp, it was such fun to use colored pencils and a water brush to complete the look.

Thanks for joining me today! I'd love to hear what you think of my journal pages. Drop me a comment if you have time.

Happy Journaling!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Hi Everyone!

Beacons of light dotting the coastlines reaching out into the night....Lighthouses! A welcome sight to weary souls in the darkness. 

It was a blazing hot day in July when Bonnie and I went over to Mayport to catch the ferry. I don't remember where we were going only that we got waylaid when we spotted the lighthouse.  Man it was hot out that day, a skin sizzler without a breath of air, we pulled our chairs from the trunk and I donned my Dad's borrowed straw cowboy hat (I know. Geeky perfection,right?) for protection against the intense heat. The lighthouse is just off the main drag to the very busy ferry entrance on a side street not heavily travelled.  There were a few cars that came by and gave us the once over, but not much to be concerned with (you know, the people that always want to see what you are doing, that makes me very nervous). We plopped our canvas chairs next to a 8-10' chain length fence (apparently the lighthouse is actually part of the Mayport Naval Air Station) and started to paint.

 Like I said, it was HOT and summertime, so eventually there would be cooling breezes from the inevitable afternoon showers.  We were just finishing up our paintings of the lighthouse and a little church when the skies began to darken and a breeze started to blow in from the water, large raindrops began to fall as we dashed to the car, laughing all the way. 

Each time I see these plein air paintings I think of that day in July, I can hear the seagulls, feel the warmth of the sun, smell the rich earthy dirt when it rains, and remember what a great day it was to be out painting with my best friend.
You can read more about this lighthouse by clicking on the link above (in bold). 

I would encourage you to seek out and visit a lighthouse on your travels, it is a wonderful way to spend a few hours painting or sketching and learning about an area's history. 

Keep Sketching!


Tuesday, November 12, 2013


HI Everyone!

Growing up on the East Coast of Florida and living in coastal areas most of my life I’ve a great appreciation for lighthouses.  There’s something about lighthouses that grab my imagination and appeal to the romantic side.  I imagine ships at sea and the bright beam from the lighthouses that keep ships from dashing upon the rocks, and I think about the hardy souls who were the light-keepers and what a life that must have been!

One of the first lighthouses I visited was in St. Augustine, Florida.  My best friend Bonnie and I went on a painting adventure and ended up at the lighthouse.  We unpacked our chairs and proceeded to sketch the lighthouse, all was well until people started to stop by and wanted to see our work.  It was too much for me, I closed my book and that was that. 

When I have the opportunity to travel, I’m always on the lookout for lighthouses! Here’s one that’s in my neighborhood so to speak, it isn’t a lighthouse like what you think but a House of Refuge.  There were many shipwrecks along this coastline and the House of Refuge is the only remaining one of ten Refuges built along the East Coast just for that very purpose.  You can read more about it HERE.  

Most lighthouses have great history and stories that go along with them.   I've found most historical lighthouses have a gift shop worth browsing in and the books they carry about the lighthouse and keepers are wonderful reads.  

Thanks for stopping by and come back soon as I will be sharing more lighthouse drawings and photos each week. 

Grab a pencil, get outside and sketch! 

Have fun!


Thursday, November 7, 2013


Hi Everyone!

Last week we crossed the bridge to see what was on the other side..... more fabulous art pieces from ARTPRIZE! 

This week we'll cross over another bridge that takes us back to downtown Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) and more breathtaking art!  Oh my!! It was a real treat to have free admission to GRAM thanks to a benefactor's generosity that graciously pays for free admission for the general public each Tuesday! No cost to go see the very finest art exhibits, that is a very huge gift to art lovers around the city that may not have the means or opportunity to go otherwise. 

 Botanical Exotica by Jason Gamrath, a glass orchid garden; 5th place. I'm afraid my photos did not do justice to this incredible exhibit, I think may hands were shaking from the pure excitement of seeing these gigantic orchids in glass! Being an orchid lover and grower of orchids this exhibit just knocked my socks off! You can see more HERE

The following art pieces caught my eye, you can read the artist statement by clicking on the bold blue HERE.  

-HOLIC by Yunjang Kang. I loved this multifaceted yarn sculpture! The bold red color changes with the lighting. It reminds me of a coral reef. Read more about it HERE.

 FIELD STUDY 20 by Kim Cridler. A steel sculpture based on a thicket. You can read more about it HERE.

Here is the gray catbird (Dumetilla Carolinensis) caught within.

SESSILANOID by James Peterson an interactive sculpture of changing color inspired by barnacles. You can see more HERE.

MELANCHOLY by Adam Mulder.  You can read more HERE.

ILLUSION by Ana Michaelis.  A wonderful dream-like landscape. Read more HERE.

There was so much art to see and so many venues throughout the city ( To visit each venue go HERE) of Grand Rapids, kudos to the ARTPRIZE organization who did a terrific job in hosting this event!  I was truly impressed.  The local news did nightly coverage of the event which included music events each night and lots of interviews with the artists and the final announcement of the winners was a live televised show (To see the top prize winners go HERE). It was so much fun and I hope if you are near Grand Rapids next year that you will plan to attend the next ARTPRIZE.  

Thanks for joining me for the art tour.  I would encourage you to click on the links above and see more fantastic art entries!!  

Oh, and my favorites were: 
#1   Mohican Warrior by Roger Wermers.  You can see it HERE.  #2  Botanical Exotica by Jason Gamrath. You can see it above.  #3 Dancing With Mother Nature by  Paul Balicker. You can see it HERE

 Have an ARTful week!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Hi Everyone!

Happy Sketchbook Tuesday! I'm going to let you in on a little secret....I've been sketching with watercolors on top of my desk!  Yes, that's right!  I was rearranging my workspace AGAIN and I like to have a nice piece of paper as a blotter on top to catch the spills, etc.  The white of the paper was glaring in my face and that's when the watercolors came out and the leaf stamp went into action.

I loaded up the leaf stamp with paint and stamped the white paper.  It was fun and it is colorful.  Couldn't stop there so I did another little stamp/painting on a piece of paper.
This is the enhanced version of the desk top leaves.

If you'd like to see more leaf drawings check out SKETCHY GIRLZ, just click HERE.  I did a few sketches of leaves while I was visiting my daughter in Michigan.  Go check it out!

Love to hear from you.

Happy sketching!