The Gift of Memories

Bailey-girl: this was a late Christmas gift (the cobbler’s children, right?) to a friend who lost her bestest friend a couple of years ago. It is a companion piece to the other Sheltie I painted for her a couple of months ago.

Positive Memories – my absolute favorite gift to give to others. Whether in the making of new ones, or in the commemorating the memories of old.

Tea Dying Paper

As a part of the Tanuary activities last month, I also tried some tea and coffee dying of watercolor paper to see how that works. I learned that either one works, you just need to leave it in the mix for a long time. I can not wait to find some time to watercolor on these papers.

Tea dying
Coffee – I can not remember now why I thought the grounds should be in it – I think it was to see if it left any darker marks. It did not.

Inktober 2021 Day 19 – Loop

My very first thought when I saw this prompt was how I have played a certain set of cds on loop for the past year to comfort me and keep my spirits up thru all the losses around me.

I originally thought of drawing the stack of cds, but I was following one of my favorite singers/songwriters and she kept posting photos of her new puppy. I just had to! Wouldn’t you?! Then I watercolored it.

The watercolor of this little girl was then sent to the singer who has blessed me so over this past year. A giving back for all her gift has given me. Share your gifts, they were given for the uplifting of each other.

Inktober 2021 – Day 3 Vessel

Our pets are vessels of love, joy, healing which they offer to us unconditionally. It only made sense that Toby would be among the first images for this month.

This is a pre-watercolor inked version with the process below. The watercolor is at the bottom. I have that picture sitting on the mantle where I will analyze it for the next week. <grin> Anyone else do that? I know I need to add his white whiskers, but I may want to work on some of the paint values and tweak them before it is finished.

Inktober 2021 – Hope & Healing

Used a stick from my yard as a dip pen on watercolor paper.

Hope and Healing Project

This year I am choosing to use Inktober for multiple purposes, but the main one is to counterbalance all the sadness of this past year. We just buried another friend this week. Not covid. Those close to me have not been covid related.

  • This month is also the 1st anniversary of the loss of my brother from cancer
  • My best friend, Lainey, lost her mother earlier this year
  • We lost my Aunt Thelma
  • A teammate (my expert on my project) passed suddenly this past Spring.
  • A friend just this week
  • There are untold losses amongst the extended social, work, and church networks. This has been a year for Sympathy cards and condolences

While searching out images of hope and healing and things that bring me joy, I was thinking about the first prompt – Crystal. I do not own much crystal, but I know it is precious. And a good crystal dish is lovely and highly valued. But it is also easily shattered when not handled with care and reverence.

It was not a big leap to think of our hearts and how easily shattered they are. The grief, the loss, the hard things in life. So I went searching for that time in life before our pure hearts were broken and there it was. Myself and my much loved cousin enjoying Christmas before the world intruded. Before our hearts were scarred.

A time of innocence and joy. I want to tap back into that time – that heart is still there. It is time to heal.

I have been watercoloring this image before the Day 1 inking above.

Myself and my cousin Rick unwrapping our Christmas gifts at Grandma’s house in the 1960s

Inktober 2021 Prep

A project has been selected (a theme), my nieces are prepared and zoom meetings scheduled, content has been collected! I am ready!

In the meantime, I have already started playing around with some of the content and watercoloring it. I may do a different image of the flamingos for October. Let us hope I can keep on task – I keep getting sidetracked into watercolors as I choose my images.

Watercolor Nature Journal

Practicing snow and shadows with the Mulberry tree behind our house

I did work on the nature journal a bit this past Winter/Spring. I love our birds and critters but this year we did not feed them. There was a scary disease going through this part of the country. Thankfully, I did not see it with our birds, but the DNR asked us to not feed them in case it was spreading.

Farm Journal Watercolor Project

Quick sketch of our childhood farm in the 1980s

The kids continued to ask for more classes, so in February I sent them all watercolor paints, brushes and paper. We had loads of fun as I taught them how to use their new tools. In the meantime, I continued on with my own project of painting family memories. I am trying to get looser with my sketching, making it less of a detailed and frustrating project.

One of my favorite things is using old black and white photos from my Dad’s family farm. I want to amass a large group of these. Maybe a picture book with stories in the future.

2021 Family Calendar

At the end of 2020 one of my final projects of the year was to create the 2021 family calendar. This one absolutely annihilated me. It is a tribute to the first sibling we have lost in my family.

I printed off the normal 8 for siblings and Mom, but I also printed off 5 for my brother Aaron’s children. Then every month I write each of them about the stories that are held in the photos of their Daddy and his childhood. It has been a hard year, but I will not regret that I did this.

  • Printed double-sided on 13×19 matte photo paper
  • This is year 16 of creating these and it will probably be my final. At this point, we can start reusing some of those I made before.

I continued to do some art after the first of the year because my nieces were begging me to continue teaching and coaching them, but I lost my spark for a number of months and am just beginning to get it back. So expect some fun posts as I catch up on what I have been doing.