Golden Girls Nature Preserve

Today we bring you man’s disruption of nature. Fortunately we built gates.

How many years has this old fella lived and moved along this creek?

He must have been visiting the pond when our fence went up.

A shovel ride later he was on the other side giving us the stink eye.

Then I remembered the construction barrier burried in the brush, but he had moved very fast. We couldn’t find him until later when he came back, breaking branches and making a lot of noise. 

I cut a hole in the barrier about 2 foot in front of him. Hope he finds it. I wasn’t sticking around. Had my Birkenstocks on and my toes felt quite vulnerable. Especially realizing how fast he can move. I kept wondering if this was the same guy in the neighborhood who bit thru a broomstick recently.

I am just glad we found him before leaving for church. Wonder if he would have been broiled turtle with as hot as it is going to get. I know little about snappers and this was the biggest I had ever seen. Scary big! He did not fit on the snow shovel very well. It was not a smooth ride for him.

Cloth Patterns


I have always been fascinated by patterns in cloth. They have to be “just so”, but when they are, I fall in love. No, I can’t explain what “just so” is, but I found it in a purse this week and bought it.
Lesson: If you can find that special ingredient, people will willingly part with their hard earned money just to own it.

Sketchbook Studies – The EYE is Key



For $100 you can spend 10 Monday evenings with 2 well known Indiana artists, John Reynolds and Bruce Neckar, either learning to draw or honing your skills. They give you supplies, generously provided by Prizm Art Supply in Indy (a favorite art store of mine, so I am happy to give them a plug!) The classes are hosted by Nickel Plate Arts in Noblesville, IN, where John and Bruce have their studio.

If you want to see what a working artist’s studio looks like, you should check it out sometime!




These classes (or workshops) are conducted in a laid back fashion and you get out of it what you want to put into it. The guys are very happy to coach and answer questions or help you get unstuck, if you ask.


For 2 of the 10 weeks the guys brought in stuffed specimens to give us an as-close-to-a-real-thing in drawing wild birds as an artist can get. That was a highlight for me.

I love birds and have been painting raptors for over 30 years, so it was fantastic to get this close and to be able to study them. I spent the time doing quick sketches to “feel” the birds, as opposed to trying to do a finished piece.



Touring the Mormon Temple in Indiana


Carmel, Indiana is home to the newest Mormon Temple (#148). Many artisans were involved in all aspects of the creation and design of this sacred building, but the one I was most interested in was Jacob Dobson. Jacob hosted us on a tour of the temple this morning. What a pleasure and an honor!


Some of my long time readers will remember Jacob as the inspirational art teacher from my days at AI. He was my teacher in Life Drawing, Art History, and 2 Illustration courses (class 1 and class 2), which created a turning point in my art and my life. He holds a very special place in my heart because of that.


Jacob created the high relief panel above the baptistery depicting the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist; however, no photography is permitted inside the building, so we have no photos of that beautiful piece (except the one I snagged from the online virtual tour and one process photo on Jacob’s website.)


The beautiful stained glass was created by a company in Kokomo Indiana. A theme throughout depicted the flower of the state tree – the tulip poplar.


This is what an artist lives for, to do something that is personally meaningful and will be a blessing to others. I am simply thrilled for Jacob!


If you get a chance to tour before August 8, you will not want to miss it. (There is also an online virtual tour.)