Saturday, May 28, 2022

Courage Cards and Hope

May 14th in Julie's garden in Madison, WI
Her garden in early spring is to die for.  
Really...I can't paint fast enough.

These are birthday and graduation cards.  
Well, the ones on the left and right are birthday book marks.
Zentangle on tinted paper with white shading using white charcoal pencil and white pens.
The center one is a grandson's graduation card.  

This is a 2 part online zoom class called "Courage Cards" 
given my Esther Piszczek.
I've just finished Part I so these are just the beginning of the project.
Esther is a Zentangle® artist. Here's her link.

Back side of the cards in design of your choice.  I used spatter watercolor and also some stencil prints as well as Gelli prints glued onto the back of the cards. (about 4 x 6)
It seems appropriate to be talking about courage in these dark time.
The entire world has been affected by wars and mass shootings and pandemics and loss.  We need music and art more than ever before to sustain our souls and give us courage.  

Greg and I are up north at the cabin for a week now (in the rain mostly unfortunately). Of the 4 days up here in Lac du Flambeau it's rained 3 days.  Sigh.  

But it's that time of year when we try to get things open and ready for the summer to follow.  Hopefully it will follow!  It's a sleepy time for baking cookies and looking for the jigsaw puzzles and cleaning cupboards and we had hoped to do a little raking but apparently not this time up.  We'll be back up the end of June and through the month of July.   


Friday, May 13, 2022

Reminding you to Pay Attention

My Mother's Day gift is a surprise!

Julie took this photo right after I opened the amazing gift card to a local art store here in Madison.  I may have been a bit extravagant in my reaction but stuff is just a lot of fun and it was a lovely gift.  And thinking about how to spend it will be VERY fun.  My kids are really quite something and I am crazy about all 3 of them.  (Beth is in CA, Rick is in Lemont, IL and Julie lives 3 miles away here in Madison.)

When friend, Bill, recently asked me "what's your blog about". I think I said "mostly art stuff" which is true.  But when I look back over the blog posts over the many years I've been doing's surely more than that.  It may "revolve" around art as a theme but it's about my attention to life in general.  Flipping back through posts is a little like a journal of what was up with me at the time.  

It's about what I pay attention to.  You can see if you read the little "bit" by Mary Oliver under the title of my blog that "paying attention" is totally what I'm all about.  And using art as a focus for that is very helpful.  

The Cards

The latest excursion on May 7 that the Madison Urban Sketch group made was out to the Pinney Library on the East Side.  Members of the group suggest places and the leader (Deborah) makes the final decision and usually "hosts" the gatherings unless she can't be there.  Some "urban" groups call themselves "expeditionary" artists.  I think that's kind of a fun term.  Off on an "expedition" sort of says what we hope for.  These are often to places we've never been to before.  Sketching at a library was a first for me.  But sketching anywhere is obviously the name of the game.  
This was a small group...can be up to a dozen or so.  
At the end of a few hours we throw down our sketches and visit a bit about them afterwards. 
I am hosting the group the first Saturday in June to our 9 acre woodland walk here at Oakwood.  Crossing fingers on good weather.

The walks in our Oakwood nature preserve in spring are amazing.  
And right now (after a week of way above average temps) everything is popping out like crazy!!!  I hope to get out there again today to see what's up now!  

One last photo taken this past Tuesday...this is the gravesite of my mom and dad at Oakhill cemetery in Lake Geneva.  On this grave plot are also my grandparents and their infant son who died at 2 days old. AND my great grandparents are nearby.  Lake Geneva holds the roots of my mother's side of the family.  She was born here in an old house on Water Street that still stands.  And I have lived within this southern Wisconsin town most of my adult Fontana, Williams Bay and Elkhorn. And I taught school in Lake Geneva for over 30 years.  It's the "home place"   And this old cemetery is now on the historical register.  

This is where Greg and I will someday settle down like in "Our Town" above the lovely old town that is in my history and not too far from Beloit/Janesville where Greg's growing up memories lie.  His mom is buried in Clinton.  We stopped to put flowers on her grave on Tuesday too.  And we visited his mother's sister's grave in Shopiere..Aunt Corkie who lived to almost 102.  What an amazing woman!  

Now we begin plans for the garden at Julie's...celebrate some family birthdays and graduations coming up. And plan for some time at the family cabin up in Lac du Flambeau later in May.  Wishing you all a great month of May!

Our 12 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren keep us busy.  Here is Greg's lovely grandson Eric who will graduate from Luther college and head off to seminary.  We hope to stream the graduation which is in MN Saturday morning!