Animals Art Ink and watercolor wash Painting

Undersea Birthday

Watercolor sketch of seahorse, colorful fish, and jellyfish
Birthday painting for Sadie, Ink & Watercolor, 4×6”

My granddaughter Sadie can swim like a fish, so for her birthday I painted a little undersea scene for her. I’ve always been intrigued by seahorses so it was fun researching, drawing and then painting one.

Growing up in Southern California, I’ve always felt at home in the water, whether just spending the day in the sun and surf or scuba diving.

If I were ever to marry again (unlikely) I want a scuba wedding. I wonder if guests would be willing to come to a “destination” wedding when the destination was underwater.

Colored pencil art Life in general Sketchbook Pages

Time Is Like Toothpaste (Or Paint); A Tube of Birthday

Tube of Birthday, Ink and colored pencil, 12x9"
Tube of Birthday, Ink and colored pencil, 12x9"

I have a very tenuous grasp on time. I always think I can do more in the allotted time than is possible and then I end up rushing to avoid being late (usually unsuccessfully). This “time grandiosity” I suffer from also means I start the day, a weekend, or in the case of the drawing above, my birthday vacation, with a sense of infinite time. And then suddenly the time is gone and I’m shocked and dismayed.

I always thought of time as passing on its own until I read this article at the beginning of my birthday vacation, How to Actively Take Control of Your Time, which compares time to a tube of toothpaste.

Unlike a stream running or sand falling in an hourglass, toothpaste does not simply come out of a tube on its own – we force it out and use it up…Time does not fly by – rather, we push minutes, hours and days out of our finite toothpaste tube of life.  ~ Sid Savara

So at the beginning of my vacation (back in June) I drew the tube of paint (seemed more appropriate than toothpaste) and marked off what I did each day. I paid attention to the choices I was making about how I squeezed out that day’s “paint.”

What about you? Do you choose how you squeeze out the hours of your life or do you feel like time is squirting by on its own?

Drawing Flower Art Ink and watercolor wash Life in general Painting Sketchbook Pages

Birthday Blog: Glads and Gladioli

Birthday Glads and Gladioli, ink & watercolor
Birthday Glads and Gladioli, ink, rubber stamps, watercolor

My blog and I are celebrating our birthdays! My blog turned 4 last month and my birthday was Saturday but I’m celebrating all month. My neighbors gave me this little bouquet of glads (gladioli) which was perfect because I had so many birthday things I was glad for.

Unlike some who expect bling for their birthday, I’m much more down to earth. Some of the highlights of what made me glad on my birthday:

  1. Starting the day with my annual pilgrimage (a 3-mile round trip walk) to Fat Apples for a baked apple souffle/pancake with my sister and my best friend (who gave me a beautiful ceramic bowl she made).
  2. A short nap (because I woke up at 5:00 a.m. like a little kid on Christmas).
  3. A cleaned out garage courtesy of my son Cody (the only gift I’d asked for).
  4. Getting to borrow my neighbor’s truck and then making it to the dump just before they closed to get rid of a truckload of 10 years of junk.
  5. A homemade card from my mom with photos of my grandmother pregnant with my mom and my mom pregnant with me (and a nice check).
  6. A delicious dinner with Cody.
  7. A video, a cup of tea and a great night’s sleep.
  8. A perfect start to my 2-week birthday vacation!

My vacation is a “stay-cation” with lots of time for sketching and painting in the beautiful Bay Area. And along with spending some quality time in the backyard on the chaise lounge with a book, I have also promised (myself) to finally restock my earthquake emergency supplies since all the food and water in there have expired by now.

Blog Birthday: Thank You!

  • 4 years
  • 782 posts
  • 88,880 spam caught and deleted!
    (WordPress has excellent spam protection, which is why you never have to do that stupid Captcha-type-in-meaningless-letters to leave a comment here)

THANKS to all of you wonderful blog visitors for your encouragement, support and the great conversations! I’m so grateful for every comment and every visit, and for the many friends I’ve made with artists around the world who share their wisdom so generously!

Life in general Other Art Blogs I Read Outdoors/Landscape Photos

Eternal (& Happy Birthday Sis)



I took this photo of an old house near Berkeley’s upscale 4th Street shopping area. There’s something about the image that I find so evocative.

Today is my sister Marcy’s birthday, and while I’m thinking about birth, eternity and old houses, I invite you to visit the Blue Lotus Project (click on Craftsman Home) where you can see the amazing rebirth and transformation of her home, a former fixer-upper (or tear-it-downer as I called it).

The house had been severely neglected for decades and everything was rotten and moldy. It was so awful that I thought it should have been torn down. But Marcy and her husband Tim had a vision of what it could be. After several years of hard work, it became the beautiful home they envisioned, and the place where our family meets for holiday gatherings and all of our rites of passage.

Tim is a contractor, fine woodworker, and master carpenter; Marcy is a brilliant interior designer and space planner; both are talented fine artists as well. They are co-partners of the Blue Lotus Project, a San Francisco Bay Area design/build company.

To see the amazing before and after pictures of the rebirth, click on “Craftsman Home” on their Blue Lotus Project website. There are more of Marcy’s interior designs on the Marcy Voyevod Design website and her her paintings are here.

I know sisterhood isn’t eternal, and I am so grateful for every moment we have together in this life!

Happy Birthday Li’l Sister!