Undergrowth with Two Figures– A Personal Favorite!

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Undergrowth with Two Figures
Vincent van Gogh
Painting, Oil on Canvas
Auvers-sur-Oise: June, 1890
Cincinnati Art Museum
Cincinnati, Ohio, United States of America, North America

I first saw this piece at the Philadelphia Museum of Art! I was in heaven walking through the Van Gogh Exhibit!!

I am fascinated by Van Gogh’s short but AMAZING career! I am so interested in his mental illness and how it affected his art.

I was absolutely drawn to this painting because it reminded me of my husband and me. I think these two figures only have each other in the big world. Their love is strong and these two are okay as long as they have each other. They are surrounded by beautiful flowers but also a lot of darkness. I love this!

Ironically enough, I encouraged by best friend, Deirdre to go see this exhibit as well (as if she wasn’t gonna go anyway, she is more cultured in art than I am) and when she left she started describing her favorite piece to me; it turned out to be the same one!!

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Some photos of me and my bestie, Deirdre!! She is so awesome!!

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Winter Wednesday Morning with the Sociopathic Ocean

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I worked a 12 hour shift yesterday so that I could have the day off today! I slept in to 730, read a few articles on my cozy couch, and watched a little TV. I decided to have breakfast and bundle up for a beach walk. I drove over the bridge onto the island I call “home”. Ocean City, NJ.

This island took a hit from Hurricane Sandy; when I look out at the ocean after a storm like Sandy I can’t help but personify the ocean as a sociopath. One minute it’s heavy waves are plowing through any and everything causing destruction and death; the next minute it is calm and easy like a sociopath walking away from a murder with no remorse or discomfort. So beautiful but so dark and psychotic!

I browsed the waters edge for treasures and breathed in the ocean air, some things never change; this is a very comforting scent and feeling!

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Incredible that another living thing built this incredible shell (above) for shelter. The colors are perfect.

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Below is a shell called a mermaid’s slipper! I learned the name of this as a child as I always get excited when I find one!

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Happy Winter Wednesday!

Our Cooperstown Vacation PLUS a DIY Tutorial: Create a Simple Watercolor Image from a Favorite Photo

In April of 2010, I took my husband to Cooperstown for what we call a “Minication”, a short vacation to visit  somewhere close to home. I treated him to this vacation for his birthday. He loves baseball so we traveled to Cooperstown to walk through the Hall of Fame. We had a lovely time at the hall of fame along with walking around the town, visiting a local brewery and apple farm, and eating at some of the local people’s favorite restaurants!

Here are some photos from our trip and a short tutorial of how I turned a photo from this vacation into a simple water colored piece. First, a picture of me in Hank Aaron’s locker, next a picture of my husband and I having dinner at Alex and Ika Restaurant, and finally, a picture of my husband’s favorite part of the trip, Doubleday Field!

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and now…

How to turn a color photo into a simple watercolor piece:

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Left: This is the photo I started with, brings me right back to a lovely walk around this small town with my man.

First, I printed this photo to the size I wanted on my home printer. Then I cut the photo out, covered the back with graphite using a graphite pencil, and taped (with painters tape so it doesn’t stick when you want to peel it off) the photo to a piece of water color paper.

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You then use a regular pencil to outline the lines you would like to transfer, peel the photo off the watercolor paper and trace your pencil lines with a thin black marker.

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Use any watercolors you like, I have a cheap set from Michael’s Craft Store, any kind will work, don’t spend and arm and a leg. You can try to recreate exactly but you don’t have to, of course. Just have fun with it! Here is the final product:

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Welcome Home, Creativity

I have been recently reintroduced to the confident, creative part of me that I used to know very well. This part of me moved away for a while; it would come visit or call sometimes to be a part of my life, but was mostly living in a different place. Now, I am thrilled to say that I have invited this part of me back into my world, where it will stay, for good; I couldn’t be happier about it! I plan to learn, practice, and share my creativity with the people around me all of the time!!

I feel that this part of me left because of lack of confidence, distraction, or confusion but I feel that I have had an epiphany! I was one of very few students in my class as a child to test into an advanced creative learning program where I excelled. I was encouraged during this time but my heart wasn’t in it; I am not quite sure why this was and my memory is very faded. I believe it was mostly because I was only 10 years old at this time so I had many interests that I wanted to explore. I am glad I explored the other interests but I wish I invited the creative part of me back into my life sooner than I did.

I have always wanted to please everyone I share anything with; I never felt confident enough to stand alone in a room and defend something I believed in. I wanted to feel approval when I finished something I had been working on; I didn’t think it was “good enough” if I was the only one liked the final product. I still struggle with this but I refuse to let this “good enough” monster keep that creative part of me out of my life. I am choosing now to do my best in creating things that I think are beautiful, share them with others, and take positive feedback as bonuses instead of a needs.

Welcome home creativity!

There’s SNOW way I could be unhappy on this beautiful morning!

Last night was the first snowfall of the season. I was excited because I knew I had the day off today to take a walk with my sister. We played with her puppies first and then ventured around the neighborhood on one of our regular routes for some fresh air an sugar-coated scenery. Since I have last posted, she got a new puppy (now there are 2). His name is Tucker; I call him “tuck tuck”.

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On our walk, I took some photos of the train tracks and some snow-dusted plants. Simple, natural, and pure nature, one of the few uncorrupted joys of life.

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So blessed to share the beauty of this happy Saturday morning with you.

*Soundtrack of the morning: Missy Higgins Radio on Pandora