Monthly Archives: November 2013

The Fall of Life

Her weathered appearance tells her story.  It tells of hours spent in the baking sun, hurricane strength winds, and summer thunderstorms.  It tells of the shade she provided for ducks who napped under her boughs, and of the structure she provided for the cardinals who nested in her branches.  Her brilliant colors and shriveled edges call attention to her beauty as she lies in a heap upon the ground.  She is at the end of her life, and she is a stunning mosaic to be admired.  When I have reached the end of my journey, what will others see when they look at me?  Will they see a withered old woman, or will they be able to envision my life’s story from the lines on my face—or perhaps the lines on my canvas?  I want to leave a beautiful mark on the world, so my artist’s journey continues.

“The Fall of Life”–Watercolor Pencil


Tagged , , , , , , , ,

A Show of Hands: Come Here

When I was a teacher, I found it very easy to get my message across without saying a single word.  If I saw a student doing something inappropriate, I would beckon to him with the wiggle of my finger.  He already knew there was trouble before he ever reached my desk.  That simple gesture, coupled with my raised eyebrows said it all.  The offending student would usually hang his head, apologize, and shuffle back to his seat.  Sometimes, a gesture is worth a thousand words.

“Come Here”–Pencil and Watercolor


Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

A Show of Hands: Shake on It

I like to think I’m a person of my word.  If I make a promise or a deal, I try my best to follow through.  When I’m dealing with myself, however, it’s often a different story.  I make resolutions every year, but many of them remain, well, unresolved.  Maybe what’s missing is a hand shake to seal the deal.  I’ll shake my own hand on January 1st as I proclaim my New Year’s Resolutions.  Hopefully, in 2014, I’ll have success.

See the continuing ‘A Show of Hands’ series here

“Shake on It”–Watercolor Pencil


Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

A Show of Hands: Pray

People pray in many different ways for many different reasons.  Prayer can be a time to connect, to reflect, or to meditate.   It can be done out loud, with others, or in complete silence. It has the ability to create a sense of calm, hope, or reassurance. Regardless of how people pray, I think most would agree on one thing– prayer is powerful.



Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Old Dogs and New Tricks

 Before I started volunteering at the Spring Hills assisted living facility, I had taught students as young as three, and as old as 23, but I’d never instructed seniors.  I was a little nervous, but I hoped the passion I felt for art would be contagious.  Most of my students on that first day hadn’t drawn anything since elementary school.  They seemed nervous, too.  I heard them chatting to each other as I was setting up. “I can’t draw.”  “I don’t have any talent.”  “This is going to be awful.”  You can’t create in an environment of negativity.  Those seniors, much like my younger students, needed encouragement and a feeling of safety in order to move forward.  We began with a few warm-up exercises.  I watched awkward attempts at putting pencil to paper, but after a few minutes and a little motivation, something magical happened.  Creativity began to flow, and when it did, my budding artists began to loosen up and have fun.  They were letting go, making art, and learning.  Then I realized that I was learning, too—learning that I could adapt my teaching style to a new demographic.  I guess you really can teach an old dog new tricks.

“Sit”–Watercolor Pencil



Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Show of Hands: Pick Me!

When I was an elementary school teacher, there would be one student every year who knew all the answers—literally.  After I asked a question, his—or hers—would be the first hand to shoot into the air.  It would wiggle wildly, willing me to look in its direction.  Its fingers would stretch desperately toward the ceiling.  It was a flashing neon sign begging to be noticed.  It wouldn’t be fair to let that one student answer every question, but it wouldn’t be fair to ignore that kind of enthusiasm, either.  I would smile, nod, or wink at my genius, giving that “I know you know” acknowledgement before calling on another student—perhaps the one who sat in the back of the room and was often too shy to raise a hand.  Everyone deserves a chance to shine.

“Pick Me!”–Pastels


Tagged , , , , , , , ,

That is Love

Every time I visit the assisted living facility where I volunteer, I see an elderly couple sitting on a bench just inside the lobby.  They don’t talk or look at each other.  They simply sit and hold hands.   Love is not always loud and showy.  It doesn’t require grand gestures to be true.  Sometimes, love is still and quiet.  I don’t know their story, but I do know the love that radiates from that couple takes my breath away.  How lucky are they to have found that kind of love.  It’s a love that doesn’t need words, or glances, or validation.  That is love.

“That is Love”–Watercolor Pencil


Tagged , , , , , , , , ,