Sunday, December 30, 2012


3"x3" landscape in acrylic, of Glacier National Park, MT

This is an excerpt from my art journal 5 years ago.  Upon reading it, I realize how far I have come in my confidence.

----"Why do I panic at the thought of finishing a painting?  For me, I know the exact moment I was warped for high school art teacher would encourage and instruct me - until I came to the finish of the project.  Then she would take my painting away from me and finish it herself.  That told me that she was sure I would ruin a painting should I ever finish one.  So I never finish a painting without a LOT of panic, double-guessing, and anxiety. I need others to tell me if it is good or not. I feel NEEDY, and worse, I feel like the art is no longer MINE.  I have compromised my own feelings and emotions and put in someone else's.  How's THAT for self-sabotage?!

At one point, I was so frustrated with my inability to finish a painting that I started using smaller and smaller canvases.  I was eventually painting 2"x3" pieces...and still unable to complete them.  Worse, if you have ever talked to a miniatures artist, they are much harder to do than the larger one.  Great care has to be taken on a small surface to use it properly - composition has to be perfect.  Values must be perfect.  I had inadvertently painted myself into a corner..."


I collect a lot of books, new and used, to give me inspiration.  For some reason, calligraphy has always inspired me with the shapes and movement of script.  I see an eventual change in my art , heading in the direction of script and nature.  I don't know what it is yet, but I am inspired!  What inspires you?  I find it very easy to get lost in the CRAFT of art...altered books, playing with color, fabric painting.  Sometimes I forget to be inspired by the playing to continue with my painting.  My mother-in-law calls it 'idle hands making the devils' playground' , but my mother sees no harm in the play.  Guess who I will listen too?

Friday, December 28, 2012


I am a volunteer at the Missouri Department of Conservation Nature Center, and once a year we go on a statewide trip...this one to Kansas City. While there we got a chance to use a huge hand-operated press.  On this piece, I painted the glass plate with a roller, then took cottonwood leaves and painted them atop the glass. A paper was laid over that and I hand cranked it through the large padded press.  What a surprise...a piece of nature art!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


'Open Spaces' by J. Anderson
This painting was done when I lived in Colorado, and traveled to Wyoming where my grand children and antelope lived. The open spaces and even the stormy weather inspired me to paint in impressionist styles on full sheets of watercolor paper.  My daughter, Rose and I were also taking a life drawing class at that time...what fun!!!
(This painting is 26"x32", owned by daughter, Rose)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Merry Christmas to all of you!  I wanted to thank you all for being interested in art, the creative process, and the beauty found all around you. It is that interest that brings us all together and gives us a common thread. The new year is fast approaching, and I have some big goals to think about for the upcoming future of the blog.  If any of you would like to comment, add your 2 cents worth, and offer suggestions, I am delighted to entertain them!  Meanwhile, enjoy life, enjoy color, enjoy yourselves!

Monday, December 17, 2012


Happy Holidays to all of you!  The holidays always stirs up a malstrom of emotions for me, and my creativity either peaks or plummets.  This year it has done a bit of both, so don't expect anything particularly great from me...however, if you would like to email me with some of your creative endeavors, I would be delighted to put them on my blog in the next few weeks!  Do you have something you have done that is especially close to your heart?  Send it to me, or leave a comment so I can contact you.  Meanwhile, I will try to reach through my moody freak-out, and get creative!  Have a great Holiday, everyone!

Thursday, December 13, 2012


I need the gentler moments,
No crisis every day,
To grow and be creative,
And find my artists' way.
Van Gogh could use his anguish
To fuel his passions' fire.
But me, I need tranquillity
To find my heart's desire.
Da Vinci found his calling.
Picasso and Rembrandt, too.
But I struggle daily to find my place,
Scared to know, afraid to do.
Art is a mirror of yourself,
The soul a door, the heart a key.
Exposure means taking a risk...
What if it's NOT for me?!
I need the peaceful moments
To calm my fears and start.
It's all inside, each stroke, each line,
I'm an artist in my heart.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Old King Cole's 4 and 20 blackbirds, baked in a pie
 I have been trying to work up some ideas for the Artist Challenge, subject of Fairy Tales. I did several sketches illustrating some of my favorite stories, but none of them really seemed to be right for a painting, so I am not sure if I will actually participate in the challenge or not.  Regardless, it has gotten me to thinking, experimenting a bit, and testing my 'wings' in the illustrative venue.  I am pleased to have pushed myself, even though the drawings aren't particularly good.  I need to be able to tell a story with my picture, and it isn't there yet...wish I could take some classes on this!

This is from the Shoemaker and the Elves

Monday, December 10, 2012


I always have a puzzle with several pieces missing laying about.  For years I hunt for the missing pieces, holding on to the puzzle in the off chance I will find them...knowing full well that the cat probably ate the pieces in retribution for shooing her off the puzzle table! Being one to never waste anything (lesson learned from my mother, who survived the Depression) I made this silly reindeer.  Three puzzle pieces, a pin back, googly eyes, a tiny pompom and a bit of paint.  Warning...I make one or two every year, and they fall apart after a lot of hard wear.  Maybe I should add a fourth puzzle piece to support the three in the back?  Anyway, Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 9, 2012



This is a blast from the past, isn't it?  These pins were really popular in the early 1980's, and sold by the dozens at church bazaars. I decided to make one just out of sheer madness, as the one I bought so many years ago fell apart.  I always wear it with my December scarf to keep from losing it in the wind! All it is...a broken cinnamon stick, a pin back, and a bit of paint. Oh, the creative juices are flowing this week!

Saturday, December 8, 2012



I took a painting workshop a few years ago from the impressionist landscapist, Billy Kirk (now deceased).  He was an amazing, thought-provoking instructor who was able to give me some valuable insights on art.

"In language, you can define words in a dictionary, but a true artists will form words into poetry."  In other words, an artist can technically be good, but it is the emotional aspects that turns it into real art.

"Take horror films - the most terrifying ones leave the most to the imagination."

This is the first time anyone has expressed it this way to me.  I keep being told by 'family' that my work is too detailed.  Now I am seeing that it isn't so much that, as I am relying too heavily on my technical training...not allowing my emotions to come into play.  Once again, I am hiding.  How do I allow that emotion to come out?  I have no idea, but I know what to work towards now.  Thank you, Billy Kirk, for your instruction, insights, and encouragement!


This time of year brings out the Artsy-Fartsy in me (as my younger brother calls it!) Today I dug through my bits and pieces drawer, and found a few scraps of felt.  I designed this snowman around what I had, which was just enough for one 3 inch Christmas pin.  I have, in years past, been busy with making penny rugs, so this pin is reminiscent of that style.  I used embroidery thread to blanket stitch around everything and add a few features.  I was quite pleased with the results!  Since I miss snow the most at this time of year, I thought a snowman was perfect.  Hope you like!

Friday, December 7, 2012


What an epiphany week!  I discovered that my fears of 30 years have come true.  My avoidance and procrastination of creating art was due to a terror that I would find out that no one wanted it, no one appreciated my art, no one would buy my art.  I was afraid that hubby would depend upon my abilities and sales and I would fail.  My epiphany?  I was right!  Today, at this moment, no one is buying my work.  I can't help monetarily, and I feel like a failure, inadequate and less than mediocre in my chosen profession.  Worse, my family is helpfully telling me to change this, change that - reinforcing the idea that I am not good enough.  Can I go any lower than this?!!

On the positive side, I have faced my fears and survived, not intact, but still here.  The depression will fade in time.  And with the worst behind me, I can possibly move forward, make some progress and stop fearing the worst.  Life isn't easy, but it's better than none at all.  So I need to pick myself up and sort through all the helpful advice, and throw it all out to find what is in my heart.  What do I want to do? How do I want to express myself?  Should I change my style (which I am told is 'out')?  I could really use a week alone with my paints to find an answer...

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


I have this little tiny dream, this secret artist's retreat for a week or two!  I read in the back of my art magazines about workshops in exotic locals...Italy! Denmark! South America!  It all sounds exotic to someone sitting in the middle of a landlocked state.  I would be tickled to go to a retreat in Seattle, or Connecticut. Not really exotic, but different, picturesque and near an ocean.  Oh, and to go and concentrate just on my art! What a wonder! To talk to other artists, share experiences and ideas...such a tiny dream. Such a BIG dream!  Someday, I am going to do that...

Monday, December 3, 2012


This is the companion sketch for my Southwestern cards.  As you can see, the feet of the boots both have spots...I LOVE ostrich skin boots!  Someday I will own a pair..and yes, there is a story behind that!  I never met an ostrich that wasn't bad tempered and as mean as my mother-in-law.  I think it only poetic justice to be able to wear them someday...

Sunday, December 2, 2012


Owl Christmas Ornament

Hubby and I are donating an ornament to the Arts in McNairy (AIM) organization for a silent auction fund raiser.  We chose one of my hubby's owl carvings on an antique thread spool.  I then chose the beads and baubles to string it all together.  We hope that it will bring a little bit of money to the excellent cause of bringing more culture to our small county!  We have some wonderfully talented people here in western Tennessee!


I am working on a few sketches for cards.  Several of my friends are fans of the southwestern genre, so I drew boots, and used a Will Rogers quote to give it a sense of whimsy.  Hope you like it!

Saturday, December 1, 2012


Really, it is ridiculous how awful this sketch looks of this strawberry cupcake with white icing.  The real tragedy of it is that the sketch is right on!  It was my baking that was so hideously bad!  The cupcakes came out flat, some were even sunk in. No amount of frosting disguised the fact that they were lacking fluffiness. I did warn my hubby many years ago, however, that I wasn't exactly the domestic type.  I am frequently moody, often forgetful and flighty, and ALWAYS disorganized!  He thought he could change me....ha!