September 30, 2008

Neptune Festival 2008-Sand Sculpture!

Virginia Beach hosted the 35th Annual Neptune Festival, featuring the East Coast Sand Sculpture contest September 26-28th.

Last year was my first time attending the festival. There is something for everyone. The boardwalk comes alive and is lined with arts and crafts of all kinds. There is live music playing all day and into the night-beach music, blues, reggae, country, disco-all kinds of music. There is a carnival with a ferris wheel and a big slide for kids. There is food and drink and there is the sand sculpting competition.

There are different divisions in the sand sculpting contest. Masters/professionals that compete for cash prizes. Sand sculptors from all over the world. They also have a division for amateurs-freelance and business.

This year I made up my mind that I was going to enter and compete in the freelance division. I was doing it for fun and to overcome a fear. I asked my best friend Amy if she would help. Of course she would and she did. Our theme... Virginia is for Cat Lovers. She would carve out the letters and I would work on making sand cats everywhere. The competition started at 8am on Sunday-an alarm signaling to all participants to begin. We had 6 hours to complete the sculpture and we finished up at 1:23pm-just a tad ahead of the 2pm deadline.

We had so much fun making the sculpture, learning and pushing our limits, working together and all the while folks strolling past asking questions, taking pictures, and admiring our efforts.

The whole weekend was a blast. Saturday morning started with the Neptune parade and later that night a spectacular fireworks display. We all had so much fun and were loving life for sure!

September 27, 2008

Children's Murals

I love to paint on the walls of children's rooms! This particular mural was done for twin baby girls. It was my gift to the new Mom to be who was carrying twins. I started and finished it before the baby girls arrived.

I am usually able to complete a mural like this one in the course of a weekend. I try to get started early on a Saturday and depending on the detail and size of the room, I am able to complete it once Sunday evening hits.

I start by doing a pencil drawing on each wall. From there I mix the colors I will be working with and I begin to paint 1 color at a time all over the room. For this room I was given the color palette to work with and the design. This design came directly from the bedding, curtains and general theme that the Mom had already selected for her twin girl's room.

I enjoyed painting this mural and although the theme was already in place, I was given the freedom to paint and draw as I wanted. The twins are now 2 years old. They wake, sleep and play with FLOWERS dancing on their walls.

September 23, 2008

More Watercolors

I'm really enjoying working with watercolors. I like the way I can manipulate the color. And so, more flowers for me-they make me happy! Most of these pieces were donated to non-profits except for the daffodills- a present for a special Mom for her birthday.

This month I have donated to Friends of Jamaica (helping children, schools and communities in Jamaica, Last Kiss of Summer (benefiting battered women), and St. Frances Home for Adults.

I hope to donate even more art in the coming months.

September 15, 2008


I have been working with watercolors lately.
Painting with watercolors is new to me. Of course my subject is FLOWERS-I just can't help it! They are a part of my life and I love each and every one that I see. God's creations are so beautiful.

The digital camera that I am using doesn't quite capture the color, but for now this is what I have. The second photo is a detail of the painting above.

I painted these flowers on 9/11/08, and the next day I gave them to a friend for her birthday.

September 12, 2008

Precious Gift

Children are gifts from God. This is my precious gift, Maria. She is the greatest gift I have ever received. She is such a beautiful person, and I am so thankful for her. I never knew that I was capable of loving one person so much. It's really quite amazing!

She will always be my baby, and I will always be her Ma. We have a special bond that endures all of life's tests and even our own. Being a Mom is the hardest job I have ever had in my life. There could never be a book written or words to explain what being a Mom is all about.

A Mom must be self-less at times, providing patience, guidance, encouragement, attention, respect, courage, discipline, kindness, understanding, caring, consideration, and as much as is humanly possible-unconditional love.

I love my Maria, she is my heart!

September 4, 2008

"Quotes From Women"

"Who so loves, believes the impossible."
...Elizabeth Barrett Browning

"When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us."
...Helen Keller

"Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand."
...Mother Theresa

"Nobody sees a flower really, it is so small. We haven't time, and to see takes time – like to have a friend takes time."
...Georgia O'Keeffe

"To create one's own world in any of the arts takes courage."
...Georgia O'Keeffe

"The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not our circumstances."
...Martha Washington

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature."
...Helen Keller

"Life is what we make it, always has been, always will be."
...Grandma Moses

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do."
...Eleanor Roosevelt

"You don't get to choose how you're going to die, or when. You can only decide how you're going to live now."
...Joan Baez

"Love the moment, and the energy of that moment will spread beyond all boundaries."
...Sister Corita Kent

"We can only learn to love by loving."
...Iris Murdoch

"If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people."
...Virginia Woolf

"Where there is great love there are always miracles."
...Willa Cather

September 3, 2008

All Creatures Great and Small

I am constantly amazed by God's creations! I am an artist and I know that I have a vivid imagination, but I can't even begin to imagine how He came up with all of the different creatures on our earth.

Not only are they Great and Small, they come in so many shapes, sizes, colors, textures and designs.

Just imagine how much fun it would be to create a bird, a cat or a butterfly. In addition to creating each creature to be unique; he created the process for how each one will come to be, how they will behave, live, grow and die.
Each creature an integral part of the next. Each creature living, breathing, dying and giving birth to new life.

I can only imagine painting black and white stripes on a horse to create a Zebra, deciding that a caterpillar in its early somewhat dull colorless form will metamorphosis into a beautiful, fragile and dazzling Butterfly. What about the creatures that blend in to their environment and we barely notice they are there?

Just in case you weren't quite sure... the photos above were taken at the Aquarium in New Orleans and are in order... the foot and eye of an albino crocodile, the face of a stingray sucking on the side of the tank, the body of the albino croc., and down below, a very colorful jellyfish!
God truly is amazing in all of His glory, wonder and creativity! I am grateful that He has given us all so much to be thankful for.

And we too are all part of
His creation-Great and Small!

September 2, 2008

City Of New Orleans

The City of New Orleans is a place like no other. If you have a chance to go, it will be an experience you'll never forget. It's almost like being in another country; especially on Bourbon Street. The shops, sights and sounds will tempt, tease and delight. Live music rolls out of open bars with each step you take. Rock, blues, funk, soul, zydeco and more-it's all there!

Culinary delights abound as well. Crayfish, gumbo, red beans and rice, oysters, shrimp, po-boys, mufelatta sandwiches, etoufee, jambalaya, not to mention cafe au laite with beignets at the world famous Cafe Du Monde.

A stroll down the French Quarter and French market-a living breathing work of art, the Warehouse district, Uptown and the Riverwalk. Walking about and looking down side streets-each one unique with it's vines and ironwork, colors, decorative plants and flowers. It's like walking through many paintings at one time.

Hurricane Gustav cut our trip short, but we had 3 good days in NOLA filled with sights, sounds, food, drink and fun!