Sunday, March 31, 2013

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Small Spaces in Big Places

Portland is a walking town. It is a big city, lots of city noises, people movers, coffee shops and small spaces.

There are little parks tucked in here and there with big trees, rocks and private areas to sit for a moment.

I did walk along the waterfront yesterday then went into the Chinese Gardens a city block cut off from the rest of the world. I found several little areas to just sit for a few moments and take in the beauty of the moment. To help calm my heart and clear my mind.

Later in the afternoon I walked over to another little park on 11th Avenue. In the summer the ground fountains are going with kids running in & about. No water yet but still children having fun, adults sharing conversations, reading, eating lunch or sketching. Which is what I did.

I love finding these small spaces and just taking a moment to be alone in a crowd.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Step By Step

This year I have been trying to take each day a step at a time. Literally and creatively, walking more for my health and painting for my sanity. Doing the hard stuff too, cold calling on galleries.

While visiting my son in Portland I had tried contacting galleries that I thought my work would fit. I put a simple portfolio together and went in to talk to a couple yesterday. One I will follow up with again in the future, the other will go back again another day. Right now neither are taking on new artists. Standard line from galleries but that is ok, because it was not a closed door and you never know what windows may open in the future.

I picked up local gallery guide and will do my homework. I will see if there are any other spaces I should visit while here. This is not my favorite thing, love going to galleries but not to sell myself. To calm myself I plan to go walk along the waterfront with new camera, sketchbook and maybe find someplace to have a cup of coffee. Sounds like a good start to the morning.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


As I lay in the dark this morning thinking of coffee and all that is coming up over the next couple of weeks - kiss came to me - keep it simple sweetie.

I have been putting together a Power Point. I will be giving a talk to the AZ Pastel Artists Association the first Sunday in April. It is on the technique I have been working on for sealing pastels so they can be framed without glass.

When I first start a presentation it will have lots of pictures and few words but this time it is more about the words. Working on editing it down so that it just hits the key points for me to talk about and information for those that want to take notes. Sounds simple. Now just need to keep the K.I.S.S. in mind as I am putting it all together.

Sitting outside watching the sunrise over the mountains help to reinforce taking a breath and keeping in simple.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Just Sharing

" I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order." John Burroughs

Heading out for a morning walk to put my senses in order. Have been feeling a bit overwhelmed and un-focused lately. Need to put some order back into my life. A good walk through the gardens always helps.

Here are a few things blooming in the gardens, just sharing.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A little corner in the shade

I found a lovely little spot to hang out for the day in the gardens. The Shade Garden on the Wildflower Loop. The big mesquite tree that is back there is not in full bloom yet. There are several other trees and they gave enough shade to keep me comfortable for the whole day. As people came into this area, they commented how I had the best spot in the garden...I had to agree. The only other place that has a fair amount of shade is by the cottonwood trees. There are lots of other shady places but usually the shade only last part of the day, making you move to a new location. It got a lot warmer then 79 degrees and luckily the winds were not as bad as the weather reports stated.

 I painted two small pieces. I was pushing myself, working 4x6, I find it harder to work this small. I did a close up of an agave and in the afternoon did a little "landscape" which I just do not do. Landscapes are overwhelming to me, I see too much, I see all the details and want to include them. I took my glasses off for less details. Do not think I will do anymore 4x6 pieces. Might try a landscape now and again but prefer to do the little details, the wildlife that live in the world.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Still Walking

After typing the title I thought that is an oxymoron - still - walking - but also thought it is the right phrase for painting in the gardens. Today is Saturday and I will be painting in the gardens, with painting comes a little walking to find that right spot. I have two spaces in mind today, one the wildflower path, the other back towards the trail where the cottonwood live. There is a couple of cactus back there that I want to include with a gila woodpecker.

I will walk around the gardens, stand still, look and set up for my day of painting. The weather is going to be prefect today high about 79. Warm not too hot. I know everyone back east wishes they were here with me and I do too. I will keep sending warm thoughts your way and hope that spring finds it's way soon.

Friday, March 22, 2013

a clear head

Today I need to clear my head, so I am heading out for a walk. I have taken lots reference pictures, still have lots of projects started and new ones I want to start. When I get like this it is like having too much caffeine,  too much energy, I have a hard time settling into doing just one thing.

My hope is to clear my drawing table off, organize what needs to be done for shows coming up and finish those pieces. Then I can move on to a whole new piece, something I want to do just for me. Those are usually the best pieces anyway, when you put your whole heart into the work it always shows.

Here is a little piece that is near finished - American Kestrel - the smallest of the falcons.
American Kestrel - pastel on coffee stained paper


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Gone but not forgotten

It is back to being quite here in AZ, even the birds are a bit quiter this morning. All my company has gone back east. I will still sit outside with my morning coffee and doing a little sketch. I meant to take pictures of the sketches Marilu was doing in the backyard and at the Gardens...maybe, hint, hint, she will send then to me or post them on the blog.

Got my To-Do list going again. Worked on bio/article for a newsletter. Creating a presentation for the AZ Pastel meeting in April, more to come on that. Lots of little things and planning on Friday as a studio day, Saturday will be in the Gardens painting and will take a break Sunday Morning. It has been a wonderful month so far, plan to keep that great flow going!

Yucca in bloom

Palo Verde tree in bloom

Prickly Pear Cactus with new buds

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

feather weather

"My Favorite weather is bird-chirping weather." --Loire Hartwould--

Thought this was a good quote for the first day of spring. Love the sound of the birds, even the Gila Woodpecker and the bees buzzing around.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Moving Forward

Spring is just a day away, time to be outside, pho-hiking with my new camera. It arrived yesterday and have plans to head out today for experimenting. Marilu & I were talking about learning curves, she has been playing with her new ipad, working on taking photos with it, transferring those photos from one toy to the other. Love new toys!

My old camera has served me well but the light meter was going and there was "stuff" dust - dirt inside the camera. The same spots and little lines appeared in every picture. Which caused me to use photoshop to clean up each and every shot...too much wasted time.

I am one of those people that reads the owner's manual and directions. Moving forward with the learning curve this week, look for new photos with the new camera soon. Today's photos are those that Marilu & I have taken this past week.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Too Much Fun

and inspiration...

It has been a very busy week. Rick, Marilu, Dwight and I have been going to lots of fun and favorite places in AZ. Marilu & I have been taking tons of photos. We have more then enough to keep that creative force going. Plus, we share photos, sometimes one of us gets the better picture. There have been times we have used the same image. Our technique in creating differ, Marilu's scratchboards & my pastels, we end up with unique finished products. Maybe this fall at the Fine Arts in the Valley show you will see some examples of how that works.

Just a quick review - we went up to Cottonwood, went to the Wildlife Animal Zoo, Art Walk in Scottsdale, Cave Creek for a Rodeo, plein air painting at the Desert Botanical Gardens, Tucson & the AZ Sonora Living Desert. In between Marilu & I sat out back watched sunrises, sunsets, drew the mountains & the plants. Of course some of this was over coffee and conversation.
Wildlife Animal Zoo
Linda & Rick Oro Valley

Through the mountains in Tucson

Marilu & Linda AZ Sonora Living Desert

Dwight & friend in Cottonwood

Dwight, Linda & Marilu AZ Stronghold in Cottonwood

Rodeo in Cave Creek

Free Flight


Just passing by...

and of course hummingbirds - black chinned hummer

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sun --- Day

It's Thursday already, the week is flying by with Marilu & Dwight out here in AZ. Marilu & I have been taking some time to do art, photos and sketching. We sit out back in the morning with our coffee, cameras, sketchbooks, pencils, pastels and enjoy the morning breeze. And do our FB, e-mail and blog posts...As I have said before I love March in AZ.

Today we head out for Art Walk, each Thursday downtown Scottsdale stays open late for art, artists and those lovers of art to come by and see what's new. Saturday, Marilu & I will be painting at the Botanical Gardens. A couple options still in the works for Friday.

But, for now we are enjoying our days in the sun - or more accuately, we are enjoying the shade in Sunny AZ.

Finished the piece I started at the gardens

Marilu"s work in progress: scratchboard of a white tiger from the zoo

Monday, March 11, 2013


The Wild at heART gals are back together. Marilu & her husband Dwight arrived yesterday in Phoenix, AZ. We are planning a couple sketching days and lots of photography days.

I will try to keep updated this week with our adventures. Today we are heading to Cottonwood...

Marilu & Linda at the Mill Show

Friday, March 8, 2013

Give the Lady a Hand

Today is International Women's Day.

This started me thinking of the women in my life who have touched me. Some I have never meet, some where gone long before I was born. Some have been there in hard times, others in good times, some have only been in my life for a short period of time, others will be there till there is no more there.

One of the women I have always felt was an inspiration to me, artistically was Kathe Kollwitz. I discovered her work when I started doing printmaking. She lived from 1867 to 1945, born in East Prussia, moved and lived in German. Her work spoke of life during war and hard times. She was not only a printmaker, she painted, drew in charcoal, and did sculpture. Her hands in her work spoke to me on many levels. They showed pain, strength, creativity and compassion.

These hands reminded me of my mother, another inspiration in my life. She encouraged me when I was young to draw, she introduced me to music, all kinds of music. She allowed me to try new and different things. Her hands also spoke to me, a gentle woman, with strong hard working hands.

Today I am honoring these women that touched me and helped me become the artist I am today. 

Kathe Kollwitz

Kathe Kollwitz

Kathe Kollwitz

Mom by linda hp

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