Outside the Window

My Friends,

Outside the window buildings twirl into the clouds
Inside are wisps of twisted thought
Up in the skies are throbbing raptor hearts
Inside are thumps of programmed expectancy
Westward are sands that time cannot shift
Inside – the tap, tap, tap of an egg timer
Under the waters coral architects sculpt
Inside are teardrops falling down a drain
Outside the window the world plays against the glass
Inside the sun stops reaching
big skyMay you dream while awake…


Calcutta’s Brothel Children

My Friends,
Once in awhile, I’m reminded of my bubble. The bubble I float in across space. The oily mist lets me imagine rainbows. Its composition allows me to glide and not dirty the ‘souls’ of my feet.
Today was one of the days my bubble smacked reality. I watched a documentary by Ross Kauffman and Zana Briski. Their film, Born into Brothels, shines white light on the children born into Calcutta’s red light district. These young children rarely tread on hope. Their feet are too busy cleaning, scouring and hiding behind makeshift curtains – the flimsy sheets separating them from their working mothers. Many young girls will eventually take up their mothers’ occupation, some starting at age eleven. Some will be sold by their fathers.

The bright side of this award-winning film is the “power of art to transform lives.” Ms. Briski, a talented photographer takes several of Calcutta’s children under her wing. They learn that beauty can be found behind a lens. Ms. Briski goes beyond teacher as she dedicates herself to these young lives. She organizes an exhibit of their work in NYC to highlight their desperate situation. Of the children permitted to leave, Ms. Briski manages to secure them places in boarding schools. While some children return to the brothels of Calcutta, others are able to learn of hope and a better life…
CalcuttaThank you. May you hold on dear to your loved ones.
Calcutta Window sketched in the dark while watching documentary. 


My Friends,

We lived as kings
none as fierce
We unleashed massive power
taking what we needed
Impenetrable as we were
we did not understand
our inability to punch through
the black clouds
We lived as kings…
TrexThank you. May you dream of blue skies and rainbows.
T’rex Battle created in the 1990’s using Adobe Illustrator and a mouse.

Life Just Might Be a Lovely Dress…

My Friends,

A thin layer catches the current and lifts amusingly with the breeze
Silk threads embrace the sun and throw fractured light to earth
Shapes float across the universe attracting magnetic stars
Shielded flawless skin attacks each powerful moment
Gazers desire to embrace the tangible pulse
Gentle fabric folded away for other dreams
Life just might be a lovely dress…

Erté homage

Erté homage

Thank you. May you dream of your perfect day…
This post is dedicated to Aunt Nina.

February 12 Birthday Call

My Friends,
Every year I call my youngest brother who was born on Lincoln’s birthday. I ask if he’s had his birthday cake. Each year on February 12, I think about Mr. Lincoln too. I often (more than I care to admit) pretend I’m part of the crowd in Sangamon County back in 1832 when a tall, awkward man delivered his first public speech. I wish Mr. Lincoln and I could have shared a slice of birthday cake.

“…But if the good people in their wisdom shall see fit to keep me in the background, I have been too familiar with disappointments to be very much chagrined.”
Your friend and fellow citizen – A. Lincoln.
March 9, 1832
abeThank you. May you dream of tall men wearing tall hats speaking of grand possibilities.

I created the computer portrait above using Adobe Illustrator and a mouse. At the time, Prentice Hall hadn’t purchased stylus pens or tablets. And as I mentioned in my previous post, I was learning enough with Adobe to be dangerous. This was done many years ago. 

Send Out a Clown

My Friends,
I’ve been ‘monstering’ day and night. I have only monster art right now and I don’t want to scare too many people all at once. So I was thinking: What’s less frightening than scaly hominids and gooey-mouthed creatures? Of course, the answer was as plain as the once-broken nose on my face!

My next thought was more of seeking out an appropriate image for this post with my less frightening theme in mind. It was then I remembered. Long ago, when I was at Prentice Hall there was a very exciting day. It was the day we received the Adobe Creative Suite. Well, I went to town and started playing around, learning enough to be dangerous.

I present to you my first and only glib stab at a political poster. Insert politician’s name of your choice. And, for those of you that graciously stop by my blogcabin – this is as political as I’ll ever get. Most days I try to keep anntogether a fun place to visit, where one can rest their feet and warmly chuckle.
send out clownThank you. May you dream of living free and having enough savings to enjoy your freedom.
Poster copy inspired by Stephen Sondheim’s lyrics, Send In the Clowns.

A Lesson from the Devil

My Friends,
I’m experiencing a self-imposed studio sequester (say that 3 times fast) and will be for the foreseeable future. Most of you lovely folks who visit here with me know I’d like to someday utter, “Yes, I’m published.” Well, I’m digging in my hooves and applying the only magic I know – persistent work. Feeding my family be damned (kidding, of course).

As I create the many monsters for my project, I’m learning or rather that is remembering as I proceed: If you rush or overwork your art, have a trusty garbage receptacle nearby. My trashcan is named Wandel.

There is a point where one must change direction but I can be bull-headed. When an idea in my head isn’t translating to paper, I often waste too much time trying to make the unworkable work. And then, when I’ve invested so much effort, what is the next logical step? Of course, trying to make it work. When Wandel starts talking to me, I know it’s over. I feed him a delicious snack of paper and scribble. He’s most thankful and I must begin again. In the end, I always get something better. It’s the letting go of what didn’t work that never gets easy.

I share with you below a failed attempt at a Jersey Devil. I’m too embarrassed to share the previous renderings which were worse. The Jersey Devil is supposed to be a winged half-man and half-horse creature (according to some eyewitness accounts). After several iterations of trying to create an original looking character, I gave up and fell prey to an easier approach. What I got was a red Pegasus with a migraine. I keep this unfinished devil nearby to remind me: Wandel needs to watch his weight and I shouldn’t feed the trashcan so much.

One can learn much from a devil 😉
bad devil pegasusThank you. May you dream of angelic devils who dispense sage advice.

Love Lady

My Friends,
Happy Valentine’s to those of you who enjoy chocolate, flowers and trinkets (in that order). 😉
Have a beautiful weekend. May your efforts be lovingly creative!
love ladyMay you dream of love in all its permutations…
The WordPress gremlins just reminded me that today is my 1 year WP Anniversary. Valentine’s Day 2014, I thought of love with blogging…who knew 🙂
sharp cupid

House Painting

My Friends,
The giant husband’s father was a house painter by trade. Pops was old-school. Everything had to be perfect and not a drop of Behr’s ever spilled. When it comes to painting the walls in our home, the giant husband expects no less. He’s a perfectionist. I’m not allowed to paint interior walls solid colors. I can’t paint neatly. Though, the giant husband doesn’t mind when I use more than one color. 🙂
Lion muralspirit:raintoucan muralsun muralVmural detail2Vmural detail3The carousel (with Spirit the Horse) I painted in the delicate daughter’s room and the Jungle Babies mural I painted in our nursery. I painted the remaining murals in other homes. Sorry about the image quality.
pops brushPops’ paintbrush hangs in a special place in my studio. It reminds me of how painting can bring happiness into ones life and home.

Thank you. May you dream of being surrounded by beautiful color…


My Spirit

My Friends,
In 2002 the animated film, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron was released. I fell in love with a cartoon horse the day I experienced this beautiful movie. Oh, the kiddies saw it with me. 😉

“…Then from on high –  somewhere in the distance
There’s a voice that calls – remember who you are
If you loose yourself –  your courage soon will follow
So be strong tonight – remember who you are…”

Sound the Bugle (Gavin Greenway, Trevor Horn), sung by Brian Adams
Spirit MuralCaroline and Max spiritThank you. May you dream of flying across a canyon chasm on the wings of a magnificent steed.

Spirit Mural painted in 2002 in the big son’s room. Big son and delicate daughter standing on bed  –  photo taken 2002 after mural’s completion.
Original Spirit created by DreamWorks