Entries Tagged as: Travel

Travel Stories

March 7th, 2010, Comments (4)

Ah, a bit of travel is good for the soul. Something about being somewhere you've never been, can really wake up your senses. It was especially nice in a middle of a gray winter season. The hubster and I had never been to Arizona before and being surrounded by the beautiful mountains, creating shapes of camels, cathedrals, and arched cat backs was inspiring. Plus, oh, the sun. Yum.

The theme of stories was on my mind as I traveled, and so I was especially aware of the little snippets of stories overheard while we were out to dinner or passing people on walking trails or sitting at a basketball game. Some of these stories were funny, some made no sense as they were taken out of context, and some were intriguing. But it also made me think about all the stories a place holds...a hotel room (who has been here, what was their story?), a mountain trail (what animals and people have passed through here, what kind of stories are stored in this dirt, in these trees, in this stack of rocks?)

Stories can really bring a place to life. Cities seem to swim with them, which I've tried to capture in some of my city art. But quieter places hold them tight too. Have you noticed that some places just seem to be rich with tales, stories on the tips of the tongue, that would just come bursting out if we listened closely enough? 

While we were in the Phoenix area, we also had the opportunity to meet the super creative and cool, Miss Connie of Dirty Footprints Studio. So fun! It was a full trip with lots of adventures mixed with some beautiful relaxation. It was hard to leave!

It's good to be home, though. I missed our meows and our bed. And I was so happy to come home to spring-like weather (perhaps all that sun I stuck in my pockets traveled with me?) Thank you to the fabulous guest posters who helped fill in the gaps here last week. I loved reading their beautiful words and I hope you did too!

Drinking up Color Online and Offline

April 15th, 2009, Comments (14)

Yum. Something about color is so delicious to me right now. I'm just drinking it up. Between the Intuitive Painting class I'm taking, the fact that Spring is finally happening here in New England, and this month's theme for the Creative Every Day Challenge, I'm all about color.

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One of Sukanto Debnath's photos of Holi, Festival of Color

If you're in need of a shot of color, get yourself over to the Colour Lovers blog. They have fabulous articles with stunning pictures sure to inpire you. I'm loving this one about Holi, the Hindu Festival of Color that happens in March, and this one about the colorful art of Thangkas.

Speaking of Thangkas, I had the pleasure of meeting Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo at a Christine Kane retreat last month and she makes absolutely amazing pieces of textile art working in a Tibetan tradion. Her fabric thangkas are sacred Buddhist images created in layered, hand-stitched silk. Wow, beautiful stuff. Leslie has a blog and she's on Twitter too!

Do you ever notice the colors that are prevalent in the places you travel to? Something about traveling to a new place makes things like color really pop for me. Even if we're unable to travel at this time, we are so lucky to be able to view colors from all over the world online. This site explores color all around the world and wow, it is so inspirational. Or you could just go get lost in Flickr, searching for random words.

What colors are you drawn to as you look around online and offline? Make notes in a sketchbook and later use oil pastels, colored pencils, collage, paint, or crayons to play with your chosen colors.

Or try this: Flip through magazines and without thinking tear out any color that catches your eye. Don't focus on the objects, just the colors, textures, and patterns. Spend at least 5 minutes tearing, then put all your images out in front of you, and make mini color palettes. You can use a glue stick to glue these color palettes into your journal or onto 5"x7" cards (old postcards work great for this). This can be a great jumping off point for some artwork (either painting over the magazine images or recreating your color palette in another media.)

slurp, perfect dew catchers

Go soak up the color. I can't wait to see what you create!

Playing with Words in Art

February 3rd, 2009, Comments (13)

sketchbook swap blah I decided to play with words in art last night as I watched some of the Super Bowl with the hubster.

I used a moleskine that I'm drawing in as part of a sketchbook swap and drew in a few pages just to see what might come up if I drew. The first drawing was inspired by the slouchy pose my husband was making at one point in the evening. I imagined the buzz of thoughts running through his head, all leaking out and landing neatly in a nearby fishbowl.

I sometimes enjoy writing what I imagine the figures are thinking about in my art, like I did in my "Subway Stories" paintings, in which I collaged Subway maps and train schedules, painted a subway scene over that in acrylic and then within the figures I drew what I imagined they were thinking about. "Subway Stories: Green Line" is below. (The original is sold, but you can buy prints of it here.) I'm doing a commissioned Subway Stories painting for someone who met their soon to be husband on the train. So sweet. I usually think of art as a way to express what I can't say verbally. I suppose words in art are just another way to tell the story.

subway stories green line

Another page from my sketchbook swap moleskine. More words, this time just the action itself, "jump!" I seem to have a thing for striped tights at the moment.

sketchbook swap jump

Looking for more word inspiration? Well, I've got loads of it!

  • Ms. Dawn Doran from The Knitting Gnome blog emailed to let me know about this cool art and writing collaboration called Spark, art from writing: writing from art. Here are the details from organizer, Amy Souza: The next artistic/literary exchange starts on Feb 13th; ends Feb 22nd. Again, pick 2 days (48 hours) in which to work. They don’t have to be contiguous. You send your inspiration piece to your partner (and Amy) by the 13th; send me finished work by the 22nd/23rd. The theme this time is “hope.” Not sure how it’ll work out, but if you have an inspiration piece that says “hope” to you, send that to your partner. If not, just send her whatever you want. But I’m asking everyone to look at their partner’s work through the lens of “hope.” Again, it’s so vague, you can define it how you want, and if nothing comes to you through that lens then forget it and just let the piece inspire you. You need to let Amy know if you're interested in participating by this Friday, February 6th, by contacting her at or get more info on her site here.
  • Blogger, Writer, and Massage Therapist, Heidi Fischbach is offering A Month of Living Curiously, a month of inspiration and guidance via email sure to spark your creativity through the wonder of words. Check out all the details here!
  • I loved reading the written responses to my painting at Pictures, Poetry, and Prose yesterday! Laura mentioned this in the comments, but I wanted to be sure that everyone knows that she is always accepting submissions from artists. What a wonderful way to collaborate and join the creative energies of visual art and the written word!

Back from the Big Apple

October 20th, 2008, Comments (9)

We had a great weekend in NYC, visiting the hubster's family and then heading into the city to surprise my brother for his 29th birthday. I snapped this picture on the way into town with my iphone. Didn't quite work, but you'll have to trust me when I say that the city was looking spectacular all lit up. That green smudge up top is not a U.F.O., but the empire state building. Somewhere in the outskirts we saw a building that had "Vote Obama" in gigantic lit up letters taking up one entire side.That was cool.

After a weekend full of travel and socializing I was seriously exhausted when we got home last night and today felt like a day of introvert-style recovery. This evening I followed my urge to draw by sketching out faces I saw on television, in magazines and online for fun. Here's one of them (above.)

I used a new journal (decorated with kitty faces) to draw faces in. I plan to use this journal while reading Denise Linn's Soul Coaching which I'll be doing along with Jamie's online book group. If you're interested in joining in, you can check out all the details here. I think the book will be helpful as I do Art Every Day Month next month and I'm looking forward to both challenges!

Speaking of AEDM, I'm enjoying visiting the blogs of some of the folks who signed up to participate and wanted to share some of the fabulous things I found!

I'm off to relax and then catch some z's. Hope you had a wonderfully creative weekend!

Peeking into my Sketchbook

October 8th, 2008, Comments (19)

I brought a blank sketchbook with me to Hawaii to draw and write in and since I got home I've continued to draw, sketch and doodle in its pages. I like how this one came out (above.) The blue color makes me happy. I'd been waiting to see where all the inspiration I took in in Hawaii would take me and I think I see some of it in these colors.

Mermaidcirculardrawing While I was in Hawaii, I was sitting in a chair and happened to notice the structure a mirror which made me think of a mermaid in this sort of stretch. Now, looking at these two drawings I'm seeing loads of curves. I've always been a fan of curves, but I'm sure the rolls of the ocean, the curved hills and mountains, the shape of fish swimming by, the half-circle of a turtle shell, the roundness of the sun and moon, all the curves, circles and swirls in nature brought that to the forefront of my mind.

I did some sketching on the plane too. I'm not a plane-sleeper, even though we flew first class (our first time doing that and it was lovely!). I have enough trouble falling asleep in a bed, never mind a chair. But I actually love flying, even at night because I love looking out the window, I get a thrill of traveling by air, and I like that time and space where I'm disconnected from the world and I can read and sketch, doodle and write to my heart's content. Here are two pages from my plane sketching below:

I've got some adorable, snuggly kitties next to me at the moment. I love how the cooler weather brings out the extra cute cuddles in them. Life is good and I've much more to share, but I've gotta fly for now!

Leaving Hawaii

September 25th, 2008, Comments (12)

flower in Maui, Hawaii

When you are in that blessed retreat, you are safe from the turmoil of life; you drowse your days away in a long deep dream of peace; the past is a forgotten thing, the present is heaven, the future you leave to take care of itself. You are in the center of the Pacific Ocean; you are two thousand miles from any continent; you are millions of miles from the world; as far as you can see, on any hand, the crested billows wall the horizon, and beyond this barrier the wide universe is but a foreign land to you, and barren of interest. -Mark Twain, on Hawaii.

This gorgeous flower was in a state park on the road to Hana yesterday. Tonight, I did a little bit of checking up with email (still loads to catch up on, but that will have to wait til I return), did some packing, and I'm getting ready to head home (flying out Thursday, getting home Friday.) I expect I'll be jet-lagged and laying low this weekend, so I plan to be back into the swing of things sometime next week. The hubster and I had an *amazing* time in Hawaii. I'll be sharing some pictures and stories from my travels soon. In the meantime, I'm waving hello from the sunny paradise of Maui. I'm missing my kitties, but otherwise could easily stay longer here. It's so lovely. Something about island life, similar to our time in Greece, has a pace and energy about it that's so hard to maintain back in New England. I'll miss that and the weather, the water, the starry skies, and of course the fun of living in a hotel. Ah, but it's been so good for both of us, so relaxing and inspiring. Hope you are all happy and healthy. Ta ta for now.

Need I say more?

September 15th, 2008, Comments (20)

Yesterday, we arrived in Oahu. Waiting for our room we went out to the pool bar and I got this.

Best. drink. ever.

Having a blast. :-)

A Little Travel Shopping

September 9th, 2008, Comments (5)

Swim_2 I don't know about you, but swimsuit shopping is not my most favorite activity. Nothing like a bathing suit to point out all your flaws and make you feel fantastic about your body. I put it off all summer under the guise that I'd get a better deal by waiting til the last minute to shop for them, but unfortunately I waited a tad too late and the department stores have sent their swimsuits away (just this morning in fact.) Poo! Well, I found a couple suits at a store that only sells swSwim2Swim3im-wear. Definitely more expensive, but also much easier to find a variety of suits in my size in every color of the rainbow. The trying on of suits was not as dreadful as I had feared and I found a couple cute swimming trunks to wear to the beach and pool. I may return one of them as they were pricey. This one on the left was sort of Marilyn Monroe-ish. It has a flattering cut that's sexy without being over the top. I've never really worn a tankini, but this one (on the right) was cute. I love the little art deco details around the edges. I got a colorful bikini too on clearance. Not all suits need to be black. I'm looking forward to being a living mermaid in the ocean and the pool and hopefully on a few waterslides too. Ha, that just reminded me that I dreamed about the most elaborate waterslides last night!

I also picked up a big straw hat (heh...I feel a little silly wearing it, I'm not a big hat wearer, but I like it) and a couple cute dresses for the wedding we'll be attending in San Fran and surrounding events. I saw this dress atOldnavy_2 Old Navy online and it's wonderfully cute in person. I'm liking the color blocking trend going on right now. It reminds me a bit of the early 90's, which means junior high, but it's not bringing back any horrid memories. I was keeping my eyes open for a pair of color blocked shoes, but couldn't find a pair I liked. This cute little dress is inexpensive, versatile, and it has pockets. Gotta love a dress with pockets I say.

I also found this fabulous dress (at a fabulous price) from Yoana Baraschi at T.J. Maxx. All this shopping cameYoanabaraschi about in a search for swimsuits. I'm really not a big shopper, but what can I say? I found some cute things today and I'm quite pleased about it. You'll just have to trust me when I say this dress is infinitely cuter in person. The grey part is a jersey knit and the shawl and bottom are this silky satin that feels so nice against the skin. Oh, and it has pockets.

Since I'm on this little fashion kick today, I couldn't help but share a link to this post from Bridget in which she uses her masterful sewing skills to recycle a sundress and transform it into a super cute shirt. I'm so impressed! I must learn how to do this sort of thing. 

There are loads of cool fashion finds on etsy to peruse such as:

Completely unrelated to shopping and fashion, I'm reading a fantastic book by Craig Ferguson right now. Yep, the same Craig Ferguson who hosts a late night talk show. I picked up the book, Between the Bridge and the River, randomly in the library and it's quite good! I really enjoy his sense of humor and the wacky web he's weaving with his story-telling. I also love that Carl Jung is a character in the book. It's in a similar irreverant style of Tom Robbins, one of my favorite authors. I was thinking it would be honeymoon reading, but I think I'll gobble the rest of the book up before we leave. I have a few books in the wings, but may opt for something light and beachy for well...the beach. We shall see. In the meantime, I'm taking my book and heading to bed. Sweet dreams!

Mermaids, Hope, and Other Tales (or Tails)

September 7th, 2008, Comments (9)


I worked on this all day Friday and it's already different from this picture. But it's fun to see work in progress pictures I think. I had the idea for this mermaid ages ago, but it kept developing in little sketches and doodles until I was ready to go. I incorporated a bit of collage. As soon as I received it, I knew that the vintage postcard that Tammy from Sunflower Studio sent me because she just felt it belonged to me would be going in this piece. I love it when that happens. As much as the image has been played around with in sketches and doodles, it's already entirely different than I thought it might be and I still don't know where it will end up. This process is definitely a metaphor for life.

I was feeling oh so tender around the edges yesterday. It was a lovely day, yoga in the morning, cleaning and movie watching in the afternoon. It was so incredibly muggy and I was dripping sweat and generally feeling sad and teary for no particular reason. The hubster was out of town and late at night we chatted on the phone lying in beds in different countries. The talk made me feel much better and then I slept like a baby, a baby surrounded by snuggly cats.

Today I'm feeling so much brighter, my ups and downs seem to be mirroring the wild weather. When I was feeling blah yesterday, I saw this meme on Elizabeth's blog and decided to do it. What is it about memes that are calming? Simple, a bit mindless, short answer, lightly creative. 

Song you love: The song the hubster wrote for our wedding.

Word you love: Lately i've really enjoyed saying Hawai'i (not just for the meaning behind it, it's just fun to say.) I also love the sound of the word "ciao." Go figure.

Academic subject you love: art history

Hobby you love: getting lost in a book

Type of baked good you love: warm chocolate chip cookies

Type of sky you love: fiery sunsets, starry nights, stark blue against tree branch silhouette, poofy clouds, so many skies.

Beverage you love: coke

Vacation you love: Exploring a new place

Restaurant you love: Blue Ginger

Way of getting around that you love:  walking

Person you love: the hubster

Room in your home (or ideal home) you love: studio/office

Movie you love: Clue

Book you love: The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron

City you love: Seattle

Future plan you love: owning our first home, starting a family

Form of communication you love: art

Junk food you love: m&m's

A huge good luck to Elizabeth (not that she needs it!) in her first year of the Squam Art Workshops! I wish I could be there, but I'll be on the opposite side of the country for a wedding.

I've been feeling the need for a short blogging break and the time I'm away on my honeymoon makes perfect sense for that. I'll still be checking my email of course and I'm sure I'll pop in on occasion, but for the two weeks from Friday the 12th through Friday the 26th, I'll be enjoying checking out San Fran for a wedding and then soaking up the rays in Hawai'i with the hubster. I'm SO excited! I will still have the weekly posts where you can share what you've been up to. And I know I'll be back with loads of inspiration. And I'll still be blogging this week too.

How bout some links? Yes? Yes.

  • Mother Henna has a great post over at JustBeConnected that is fabulously filled with great links.
  • One of the links Kara (Mother Henna) shared was to MIT's OpenCourseWare, a selection of classes posted for free online. One of the classes is called, "The Creative Spark"! Yeah! I loved this quote from the description of the course: Creativity - "the mastery of information and skills in the service of dreams" (Hirschberg).
  • The sweet and talented, Jes has an article about artist's studios on the wishstudio zine blog here. There's a little bit of my studio in the post! And Jes is looking for more info about artist's studios, so check out the article and get in touch with her if you have something to share about your space.
  • Hope The upcoming election has me partly excited, partly angry, partly scared, partly hopeful. Speaking of hopeful, I love this kind of news. The Maine artist who made the pop icon of the word LOVE has created a new piece for the word HOPE with proceeds going to Obama's campain.
  • Have you ever wanted to make a bowl out of an old record? My bff recently let me pick through some old records she was bringing to a thrift shop. I'd like to use the covers in some art and she mentioned she was going to keep a couple records to make some of those funky bowls. If you'd like to try it out, here are some instructions from P@perSeed.
  • I received two copies of Patti Digh's Life is a Verb: 37 days to Wake Up, Be Mindful, and Live Intentionally this week and I'm so thrilled with how gorgeous it is! Patti's writing is absolutely fabulous and inspirational. I've got some cool art in those pages too! It was so fun to do some illustrations for Patti's essays and I'm so pleased to be a part of the community of creative folks that brought artwork to her book.Here's one of the pieces that I created for the book:


Still behind in emails I'm afraid. Hope to be caught up soon. I hope you've all had a lovely and creative weekend!

Cool Things Creative Folks are Up to

August 7th, 2008, Comments (7)

Although I can't get around as much as I'd like to (only so many hours in a day!), I *love* seeing what Creative Every Day 2008 participants are up to. Goes to show you that there are endless ways to be creative and so many fun things to try!!

  • Brand new member, Lisa from the blog Tissuepapers has a kick-ass tutorial on folding fitted sheets, featuring her husband. It is SO cute. I just learned how to fold a fitted sheet last year from a friend and found it incredibly fascinating. I know, I know, folding sheets probably isn't fascinating to most people, and I'm the furthest thing from Martha Stewart neatness, but there's something so satisfying about folding those darn fitted sheets in something other than a big ball! Even if you already know how or don't care, the tutorial Lisa put together is super cute and creative and it looks like she has a bunch of other tutorials on her blog!
  • I do enjoy a good tutorial and although I've seen a bunch with descriptions on how to do freezer paper stencils, I think this one from Brie is quite good. I need to get some freezer paper and try this!
  • Snap has written a post exploring the concept of creativity along with a link to a series of articles about the future of creativity in the Utne reader (and she posted her first collage! yay!)
  • There's loads of inspiration to be found in the CED flickr group, here.
  • You may have noticed that I have a soft spot for kitties, so I totally adored this post, from Mary of Art Spirit, about her cat and bird softies and a real kitty too! Hehe.
  • A big thanks to Wendy for featuring me as her August artist of the month!!

I spoke with two blogging pals, who also happen to be CED participants, for the first time today (by phone.) I feel sort of awkward on the phone sometimes, but I really enjoyed both conversations. I spoke first with the ever-so-sweet, Olivia of happyluau who shared her amazing first-hand knowledge of Hawaii. Thank you, Olivia! I really enjoyed hearing her perspective on the islands and wonderful tips! I knew Olivia's voice already from all the video blogging she does, but it was great to be able to interact with her by phone.

Shortly after that, I spent some time talking with the lovely Jennifer of Life Unfolds, Artizen Coaching, and the Right-Brain Business Plan! Phew! Jenn is one busy and talented lady! We chatted about a little something we'll be doing together this fall, which I'm very excited about. I'll share details on that soon. Jenn has such a sweet, welcoming voice and it was a pleasure to chat with her.

And now, I'm all chatted out. :-) Toodaloo!