Thursday, June 23, 2011


Tao:  The state of effortless creation which is beyond craftsmanship and artistry.  Not there yet.  Probably never will get to that point, but a few of my latest efforts are showing progress in the "not so tight, breathe you moron" category.  Here are some of my watercolors, all starting with the letter S.

"Summer Afternoon"

"Shadows and Spots"

"Snail Mail"

These are all are little 8x10's on Arches 140 cp.  I'm trying to get an inventory
large enough that I can make them available online.

Note:  All above paintings have sold.  To see more like them go to:

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Flamboyant: French, present participle of flamboyer  to flame.  Strikingly bold or brilliant; showy, dashing and colorful, elaborately styled.

Yes, and maybe even a little trashy. I brought home this Oriental Poppy plant in a box from the garden nursery three years ago.  A lot of perennials don't bloom the first year so when I saw no blossoms I wasn't surprised.  But when the plant started to look sick and threatened to keel over the next spring I was puzzled.  Then I realized the whole area had become a depository for kitty poo.   When the weather was cold and ugly I'd scrubbed out Thomas's litter box and absently tossed the dregs there, unwittingly marking the territory.

So I dug out and removed as much dirt from around the tainted area as I could and replaced it with potting soil.  Then, for insurance, I dumped a bunch of cayenne pepper on top.  It appeared the preventative measures worked,

but I still had to wait another whole summer and winter 
before there were promises of blossoms.

The first flashy flower almost exploded when it finally decided to open. 

By noon it was starting to look a little like a floozy on her way home from a gig.

She may look a little overdressed for my garden but I still like her.  The Oriental Poppy is a hybrid with the Latin name of Papaver orientale; close but not the same as the Papaver somniferum or opium poppy.  As much as I appreciated the morphine I got while recovering from surgery, I'd sure hate to be arrested for growing a controlled substance.

On a totally unrelated subject.  I ran across a video on the internet that claimed Mountain Dew could be made to glow in the dark by mixing it with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. It looked like a really cool trick.

But I did a little more checking.  Snopes says it is a total scam.  So don't waste a good soft drink trying to turn it into a giant glow stick.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


I really try hard not to yell at my husband to, STOP THE CAR! when I see something along the way that needs to be photographed.  Yelling at the driver is just not a good idea.

This urge is very strong when we pass fields of Holstein cattle.

I blame this impulse on my upbringing on a dairy farm.  These gentle cows, which produce more milk than any other dairy breed in the United States, were an important part of our lives.

 Maybe that compulsion to love black and white 
is why I also find irresistible those pinto ponies. 

There are Pinto and Paint ponies.  The word pinto comes from the Spanish word paint.  Pintos can be white with large spots of color or a colored horse with jagged white markings.

A true Paint pony can only be the offspring of the American Quarter Horse or Thoroughbred.  Therefore, most Paints may also be Pintos but not all Pintos qualify as Paints.  I know, I know, it’s confusing.

Another car stopper is a field of Appaloosa Ponies.

The Appaloosa can be any combination of color and spots, but my favorite are the ones with specked rumps.  These horses descended from wild mustangs of the Nez PercĂ© Indian territory which in turn descended from Spanish horses brought in by explorers.

You should now be thoroughly bewildered and seeing spots before your eyes.